Hello from Daily!

Hello my amazing family!!! I hope that you are all doing great and thank you all so much for your emails and pictures! I love hearing that you are all doing well and I love seeing pictures of you all! Thank you for the stories and updates that you share with me as well as experiences and testimonies! They mean so much and I truly love you all sooooooooo much!! 🙂
This has been such a great week here in the mission! I am still here in Daule and received my new companion on Wednesday! Her name is Hna Ramalho and she is from Brazil! She always has a huge smile on her face and is soo solid! She was baptized a year and nine months ago and I am seriously AMAZED at her testimony! She is so fun and always has so many great ideas and fun things to tell me!! She is so great and it is so fun to have the new missionary spirit that she brings!! I feel bad because we don`t have many investigators in our area right now, so her first few days we were contacting and contacting references like crazy! Poor girl… I think I about killed her off. But she still has a smile and already knows way more than I did in 2 months! She has a super solid testimony and a love for everyone she meets! I will send pictures of her next week!!
This has been a somewhat shortish week because we went to Guayaquil to get our companions. Hna Casimiro is also training an hna from Peru! I am stoked because I know that my spanish will improve a ton being with them in the house, and it will be fun to help them all with their English!!
We have been so excited to work with our two investigators that have Baptism dates- Hector and Cecilia! They are progressing so quickly and have done so well! This week we taught them Word of Wisdom, and when we verified with them 2 days later, they were so eager to tell us that they had completely quit drinking coffee, and instead have been drinking hot chocolate! Then the next day we taught them about the law of chastity and the wife had been wearing 2 earrings in each ear, but when we went to visit them the next day, she had taken them out and had such a special and happy spirit about her!! They also attended church and it was great because 2 of the ward missionaries went to pick them up and they all arrived together before church started, and then one of the families in the branch sat with them during sacrament meeting! The branch is doing an incredible job helping us fellowship them and it really does make a difference! When we talked to them after church, they told us that they really do love it, and love the feeling that they have there. They are excited for their baptism, and always have questions that we could explain for hours!! They are absorbing everything faster than we can teach it and it is incredible to see the blessing that the Gospel is in their lives! I truly know that this the true church, and like we teach in lesson 1: The gospel blesses families! I know it is true!! I have seen it in my own family, and in so many of the awesome families I have met here in Ecuador!! I am so grateful to be here witnessing these miracles and for the special lives that I get to be apart of! I know our Savior lives and loves us. I know this is His work to bring our brothers and sisters to see the truth and to come to know Him in their lives! I have truly been able to come to apply the Atonement in my life so stronly this week! I know that our Savior lives and loves each of us personally and that we can always recieve His help.
I`m sorry that this is short, but I hope you all have an amazing week! I am so excited to hear from you all next week! I love you all!
Love, Hermana Hawkes

Big Changes!!!

Hello to all!! It was so great to hear how you are all doing!!!
It sounds like Mckade`s birthday party was soo fun and thank you for the pictures! Also Shane and Whit, I AM SOOOO EXCITED FOR YOU BOTH!!!! AHHH!!! 🙂 Garr- good luck in your game tonight! I know that you can do it!!! Focus on this game for now because it is the most important… and then the ones to follow will be great too!! 🙂
Well, this week will be bringing big changes for me! We had transfers today and I get to stay here in Daule! yay!!! and I am going to start training! I will be receiving my new companion on Wednesday and have no other details except that I know she will be a Latina! I am so excited for this new challenge, but so humbled at the same time. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan in everything that He does and I pray for His guidance in this time and know that I will need the spiritual help more than ever!!
This week seemed extrememly short because we spent a few of our days in Guayaquil, but the time that we did have here in our sector was so precious and we had some great things happen! We have been working hard with one of our less active families and it was so great because they all came to church this past Sunday! The girl that we have been working really hard with is named Diana, and she even went with us on visits during the week. She had gone with us before, but this time she was really confident and was able to answer questions we had for her and even invited the people to church! It has been great to see the gospel light up her life and the changes that she is making.
The greatest miracle we saw this week was with the Leòn family. The mom and dad have been pretty hesitant with their testimonies of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. We have been working so hard with them, and they are praying, but just didn`t really feel like they were receiving thier answers. We had a really good lesson with them on Saturday and we read the Sacrament Prayers and the Spirit in the lesson was so strong! They were so excited for church, so bright and early on Sunday we went to go get them and they were all ready. The dad had on a white shirt, the mom was in a nice dress, and all of their kids were dressed really nicely. It was so neat for Hna Fruentes and I to be able to sit behind this family of 6 and see as they listened intently to the talks and were able to experience the Sacrament like we had read about the night before. They seemed to really enjoy all the meetings and when we went to visit them after church, the mom answered the door grinning ear to ear and told us that her and her husband had just been talking about us and the church. We asked them all about church and they said they really liked it. Hno Hector (the dad) even told us about that he learned about the natural man and becoming a more spiritual man in priesthood and really enjoyed it. We had a great lesson and were able to bear testimony of the blessings of the gospel in our lives and in our families and that the way to enjoy these blessins is through, faith, repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the end. We invited them to be baptized and they said YES!!! They didn`t even hesitate or ask any questions! They said yes! While Hermana Fuentes was extending the invitation for them to be baptized, I was praying soo hard in my heart that they would say yes and when they did, I almost started crying for the gratitude I felt with Heavenly Father. I am so excited to help this family progress for their baptism and am so grateful to be able to stay here in Daule to help them! I know that this gospel blesses families and it is the only true way to have the most happiness that we can receive in this life and in the life to come. I know that these blessings come throught Jesus Christ and that He lives!

I love you all SSSSSOOOOO much and am so grateful for the amazing family that I have! thank you for all your encouragement, support and prayers! I can feel them so strongly! I pray for you all so much and please alwasy remember how much I love you all!!

Love, Hermana Hawkes

Hola from Ecuador!

Hello my amazing family!!! it sounds like you have all had a great week and that you are all doing well!! I pray for you all sooo much and love hearing taht you are doing great!! I loved seeing all the pictures of all of you!! thank you so much! I am so sorry but i didnt have time to email you all but thank you all soo much and I will hopefully have more time next week! This coming week is transfers so I will be getting a new companion on Monday for sure, I jsut dont know if I will be switching areas or not!!! Happy Happy Birthday Mckade!! I sent a letter that had a little letter for Mckade and I hope it made it!! If not please know that I tried and I hope he has a very happy birthday!! the following is an overview of our week that I sent to president so if some parts dont make sense I`m sorry but I jsut have no time today!!! I love you all sooo much and hope you continue to do great!!! You are all always in my prayers and I love you all so much!!! Love, Hermana Hawkes

This has been a great week here in Daule! It was fun to be in the house with the other sisters for Carnival and just to get to know them all better! Monday we had a fun day and were able to play carnival a little bit and all ended up laughing until we could hardly breathe! We had a great time with a Family Home Evening that night and were able to share our favorite scriptures with each other, and also shared experiences from our missions! I love getting to know Sister Fuentes, Casimiro, Twitchell better as we are able to do these fun activities! Tuesday was also great and I really enjoyed all the time that we had to study and really learned a lot. It was great to study the talk on The Godhead by Elder Holland and I really did gain such a great understanding that they are 3 seperate beings but are perfect in their unity and their purpose. I also really liked that it explained how they each have thier different characteristics and I had never really thought of that, but they truly are 3 different beings with different personalities and different ideas like all of us, but are able to work in perfect unity! That was a great learning experiences, and also all the rest of the studies that we were able to do that day! We also had fun cooking and inventing new things that we can make with our little double burner! 🙂
On Friday we were able to visit one of the less active families here in the branch, and it was so neat because we were teaching this girl named Diana and she has had so many problems in her marriage and in her family and we were trying to help her. We started teaching about the Atonement and how we know that Jesus Christ can help her in her life. It is amazing how when we are trying to help other people and bearing testimony to them, how our own testimonies grow so much! In this moment I was reading Alma 7:11 to her and the Spirit came over me so strong and I was able to bear testimony to her that I know that Christ payed for all of our sins and knows exactly how we feel in everything we are doing (and I even started crying…) but in that moment I felt the truthfulness so strongly of the Atonement so strongly, and I know that it is such a powerful tool in each of our lives. It is the only way we can return to live with our Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ truly does know how we feel and knows exactly how to help us in every situation. All we have to do is ask for His help!
Saturday, Hermana Fuentes completed her 18 months! That was really a bittersweet day! It was so happy because there was just a feeling of accomplishment in the air, but it was sad to think how short our time is together and I truly am so grateful for all the fun times we have had together and for all the things I have learned from her! She truly is an incredible person and an awesome missionary and I have been so blessed to work with her in these last 5 months!
Sunday, we had a baptism! Two of the boys (Alejandro 11 and Isaìas 8) of a couple we just helped reactivate got baptized before church and then were confirmed in church that day! They were so happy and glowing with the spirit, but my favorite part was to hear the testimonies of the two parents that they know that their kids are on the right path and that they want to help them progress in this life and keep making covenants! We are excited to keep helping this family!

My christmas apron!! thank you all so much! and yes my hair is always crazy! You know how the conditioners say `extra curl`?? well it actually works here… but mostly with my baby hairs! 🙂

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My Amazing Family!

Dear Family,

Wow it was so great to hear from all of you and the crazy busy week that you have had. I love being in the loop and just know taht I am cheering you all on in all that you are doing, even if i am a long ways away!!

Moday, during P-day we were able to go visit one of the people that the other Hermanas have been working with to rescue and also the sister of the little boy that just got baptized. She was going to teach us how to crochet. She started explaining and tried to show us how to do it, and after a few attempts and no success from my part, she switched and had me make a bracelet.

This week we were able to go to the temple with the branch and also to a big multi zone conference in Guayaquil! It truly was a great week and I enjoyed it so much and also was able to learn a lot and to feel the Spirit so strongly. I know that President and Sister Dennis are so inspired in each of the things they teach us, and I felt like each topic was exactly what I needed to hear, be doing, and the things that I need to to better in order to help the people we are teaching to progress! I know that this is the work of the Lord and that he is training us as missionaries so that we can find and help His children, and also to help us become better servant of Him for the rest of our lives.
We had a really great week! So funny story. On monday, for Pday we went to learn to crochet from one of the ladies in our ward. to make a long story short…. I sat there for a long time on the second step and struggled for a long time and the member (probably the most patient person I have ever met) finally came over to me and said `How about you  make a bracelet` and it wasn`t crocheted… so in other words, I can not crochet!!
Tuesday we had a great zone meeting and I really realized that I need to do a better job of being exactly obedient, whether it is in the schedules that we have or being exactly obedient to the things that my companion tells me! I also learned that I have a lot of humbling to do. I know that this is one of the things that the Lord would have me be learning right now, so I am working on being a lot more humble in the things I think, do, and say.
Wednesday, we were able to have some great lessons during the day and then we got to go to the temple that night with the branch. It was so amazing to see a bus full of 37 people all going to the temple to help further the work of the Lord. It was really great to see because we had people that have recently been reactivated, baptized, and the faithful members. I was sad because our recent convert Glenda wasn`t able to go and she had been so excited, but I know that she knows it is important and we will keep working with her to help her get there!
The next day at the Multi zone conference I was so spiritually fed! I came to the conference with a lot of questions of what we can do better in our area, how we can help the people, and what I need to be doing better as a missionary, and I had every single one of my questions answered from you and Sister Dennis. I loved getting to review the worldwide mission training again and for the things that I learned a second time. I am excited to watch it again and learn even more this week! I also learned so much about how we need to set good plans and then have faith to carry out these plans. I know that faith truly is a gift of the Spirit and that is a gift that I want to have and need to work on, so I was so grateful to learn that.
Yesterday I was able to go on exchanges with Hermana Twitchell and we had a great day. We were able to find a lot of the people in our plans and it was great to get more ideas from her and see how much care and interest she has in each person she teaches and the clarity that she teaches with. I learned so much from her and was grateful for the opportunity to work with her. We were also able to find a really neat contact. It was a guy whos wife just died 8 days ago. We were able to bare testimony to him of the plan of Salvation and that He can see his wife again someday, and the was pretty teary eyed. I don`t know if he will be able to progress, but it was really neat to be able to meet him and hopefully help him in this challenging time in his life. I know the Lord is putting people in our way so that we can share the light of the gospel with them.
We have also been able to find some great investigators this week! One of them is named Dalia and she has been really strong from the beginning! She is reading the Book of Mormon and already has a testimony of the things we have been teaching and is always so excited and willing to pray! I have realized that that is when we know the people are truly becoming converted. Hermana Fuentes and I have really been focusing on teaching the people and teaching to their needs and listening to their lives, and we have really seen the difference! I love serving here with Hermana Fuentes and all the people that we are able to see and teach. I know that this is the work of the Lord and know that this is such an important work! Have a great week and please always remember how much I love all of you! I pray for you all individually  in the things that you are doing and know that the Lord is blessing us as a family! I love you all!!
Love, Hermana Hawkes
Picture 1: We were going to the Temple and Multizone conference
Picture 2: We were matching this day!
Picture 3: When we went to Sister’s Conference
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Happy February

Hello my wonderful family!!!

I truly loved reading about all of your weeks and I am sorry I don`t have time to respond to you each individually, but I want you all to know that the things you all tell me are so inspired and help me so much!! thank you so much!!

This week went really well. I was able to go on exchanges with Hermana Casimiro again on Thursday and I truly do learn so much from her everytime I am with her. We went to her sector this time and it was also great to meet new people and get to help teach their investigators and less actives with her. Although I did find out that they walk A LOT and I was so tired by the end of the day! 🙂 But it really was a great experience and I was happy to get to work with her.

We also had a really good experience with one of the investigators we are working with. She isn`t married, but we are working with her to get the papers and the excitement from her family that she needs in order to get married. We were teaching her lesson 3 about The Gospel and when we talked about baptism she got really excited and had a lot of questions so that was really exciting for us to see her interest and be able to answer questions and help her progress. She also told us at the end of the lesson `I have to tell you two that I have felt a difference in my life ever since I started meeting with you. I am a lot happier and I just have this good feeling all the time.` We helped her realize that this is the Holy Ghost and that she can have this feeling with her always after she is baptized and it truly was a great lesson.

The last experince I would like to share is about Glenda`s son Oliver. They are both recent converts and are so strong. Oliver had all his tests in school this week to finish the school year and Hermana Glenda told us that he was really nervous before the tests and forgot everything that he had studied. In this time he decided to say a prayer and ask Heavenly Father to help him in his tests and he ended up doing really well on all of the tests he took. I am so grateful for the strong testimonies of all these people I am able to be with and the great miracles I am able to see in my life everyday. I know that we are being blessed and that Heavenly Father knows each of us in the experiences we are having and the things that we need.

Sunday was also a great day! President and Sister Dennis came to our ward and gave incredible talks. I learned so much and am so grateful for the amazing people they are and how inspired they are! The talks they gave were directed straight to the people here, and also me!!  In gospel principles we talked about prayer and it was a great class because we had so many people in the class and everyone was willing to participate and a lot of them even shared experiences they have had with prayer. The third hour was combined and it was a great class on Sabbath Day obervance. Something that I learned and really enjoyed is that we need to focus more on service to truly feel the spirit of the sabbath and think of the people around us that need our help in this day. They also talked about how we can observe this special day with more reverence and the thing that really stuck out to me was that we need to prepare ourselves spiritually before church even starts. We should be preparing from the minute we wake up, so that when we get to church, we already have the spirit with us and we can truly feel the spirit during the sacrament.

I hope you have a great week and remember how much I love each and every one of you individually!! Good luck in all your activities and I will be praying for you!
Love, Hermana Hawkes