Merry Christmas!!!

Dear Family,
Merry Christmas! Wow I can hardly believe that Christmas is this week!! How fun! I am beyond excited to talk to you all in 3 days! thank you for all your work to get Skype figured out and it will be so fun to talk to you all!! I have some fun stories that I have been saving to tell you all!! Thank you for all the emails and pictures this week! It was so fun to see snow, and especially to see you all! I love seeing pictures of you all so happy! Also, it sounds like you had quite the sacrament meeting yesterday! Wow I wish I could have been there to feel the special spirit and I am glad that so many of you were on the program!! Dad it sounds like your talk was incredible! I would love a copy of it if you have time! I will try to imagine that I am sitting there listening to it personally! I hope you are all safe and enjoying all the fun activities!
We are definitely enjoying our time here and I am truly starting to realize and appreciate the true meaning of Christmas! Everyone has been telling me that Christmas on the mission would be special and one I would never forget and I am already seeing how true that is! I am so grateful for this time that I have had to focus on the Savior and his birth, life, and atonement for us, and to be able to share this awesome message with the people here! I know it is true and I am so grateful to be here sharing this message.
This has been a good week! We don´t have a lot to show as far as numbers, but I have felt so good this week as we have tried to really stress the importance of Sabbath Day to the people here and also teach with the initiative. We have been working hard to find investigators, but we have also really been working to help our less actives, recent converts, and rescueds see the importance of Enduring to the End. The more I get to share my testimony of the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy, reading our scriptures, and praying, the more I know in all of my heart that it is true and that these simple truths are really what bring the most happiness in our lives and help us to progress spiritually as well as temporally.
With one of the families that we have rescued 2 of their kids, we were able to have a Family Home Evening and we talked about the importance of Family History. The ward historian talked at it and it was really special because the father of this family passed away a few years ago so it was really an eye opener to this family that it is so important to do their family history for their ancestors.
We also have a family that we are working with named the Cuenca Family. They didn´t come to church yesterday, but the kids are so excited to go to activities and church so we just need to work with the parents, but I truly believe that as soon as we can find a way to help them realize the importance of going to church, they will be so willing to continue to learn and progress.
We were also able to go to Guayaquil and go to the temple this week! Aw it was so beautiful and so much fun to go! We had an interesting experience on the way there… the bus was jam packed with people so my companion and I stood for over half of the time! haha but it was awesome and so neat to get to go to the temple!! the spirit was so strong and it was so peaceful!
This has truly been a great week and I have tried to focus on being happy, humble, and have charity! Wow those are things that I honestly think we can never have enough of, and can truly see blessings in our lives when we strive to develop them! I know that Christ is our ultimate example in all these things and as we strive to be more like Him each day, we will find the most happiness in our lives and become the people that He wants us to be! I hope that you can all feel the spirit of Christ so strongly during these next few days, and can keep this spirit and share it with others! I love you all so much and can´t wait to talk to you in a few days!!! Have a very Merry Christmas and I´ll see you all soon!
Love, Hermana Hawkes

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