Happy New Year!

Happy happy new year from the Equator!!! 🙂 I hope that you all had a nice `cool` holiday… i had a very `warm` one! Haha but it was great and filled with lots of fun memories that I will definitley never forget!! Thank you all so much for writing and I have to say I was soooo excited to hear that Baylor is finally here!!! I took pictures of all the pictures to look at lots more times and I can`t wait to hold him… even if he will be 1 by that time!! 🙂 It was great to hear about the fun holidays and bbal games and everything you are all doing!! Josh- i haven`t gotten the letters yet, but they go to the mission office and then they give us them at zone meeting, so hopefully I will get them tomorrow!!
I just have to tell you all… that you have never experiences a New Year until you have seen how they celebrate in Ecuador!! Wow… there aren`t even words!! Haha so we had to be in our house on New Years Eve at 6 because I guess it gets pretty crazy…. so we went to our house and I was in this weird cleaning mood (haha) so we deep cleaned our apartment super good and then I worked in our area book for like an hour and a half… I know…. crazier partier! But it was nice relaxing time that I actually really enjoyed. After that, we waited for the new year. Here they have things called monigotes that they burn at midnight and they have been making these huge ones for like 3 months. So at midnight they started all these monigotes on fire in the streets and there were a whole bunch right by our house! What I didn`t know is that they had these huge fire crackers inside them so you can imagine hundreds of these things burning and going off at midinght! Wow it was seriously sooo crazy and soo aweosme! The first new years I`m home I am going to make a monigote to show you all becase it was seriously sooo aweosme!!
The day after we ahd to stay in the hosue all day again, and we got to watch Mulan and Frozen! Ahh it was so much fun! We did a lot of fun things together (us 4 sisters) and I really have grown to love and have so much fun with them!!
It has been a great week here in Daule, and the more experiences I have, the more I know how blessed I am to be here because I know that Heavenly Father is helping me to realize how blessed I am, but also to help me to see the things that I need to change in myself. I am grateful for this new year with new goals and new things to work on. I know I have a lot more to work on and fix, but I am grateful to be shown these things to help me better myself, and hopefully others along the way.
It was great to get to pass the New Year with the other Hermanas in the house and it was awesome to see how they celebrate here in this culture! I think I have a new idea of what new years will be like the rest of my life and I definitly think I will make monigotes!
It was great to get out and work after the day in the house! We have really been working hard with the Cuenca Family with their baptism date. The mom Jessenia is coming along so well, and also her less active husband. They really are such a great family and I am so grateful to be able to be here to work with them and to see the amazing change that has already started to occur in their lives. They are reading the Book of Mormon and can always give us a review of what they read and it really is great to see. I was studyinf this morning about baptism and about how they can come into the `redil de Dios` and I truly feel a love for them and desire for them to gain these amazing blessings in their lives, so we are going to keep working hard with them.
We are also going to do some good hard contacting this week to find more investigators. I have truly come to love contacting and I love to meet the new people and get to know about their lives and try to help them. I have started to understand spanish a lot better and I finally feel like I can understand well enough to respond to problems and questions and converse with the people so much better. I know that this is a blessing from Heavenly Father and I am so grateful to receive these blessings. I truly do love being a missionary and I love being here in Daule. I know that I have a lot more to learn, but that I am learning and have learned tons. I truly love it here and love being a missionary!! I know this church is true and love sharing this message with the people here! I love you all so mucha nd pray for you nonstop!!! Have a great and safe week!
Love, Hermana Hawkes

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