A big week!

My dearest Family,
Wow you have all had some great weeks filled with tons of fun! I am so glad to hear that Talia and Jared had good birthdays and that you all had a fun Easter! How great to remember our Savior and the great sacrifice that he made for all of us. Happy happy birthday to Koen this week!!! Also, GOOD LUCK KRISTIE IN DYW!!! You will do amazing!!! 🙂 Thank you all for the great emails and fun pictures! I love you all so much and love hearing what you are all doing! Also, Kelsey thanks for the workouts! My arms were sore for Days!!!  🙂

I was reminded again this week as I was studying the talk from President Nelson, what a special opportunity it is to be here and really how things have fallen perfectly into place in my life so that I can be here having this unique and incredible experience and serving the people here in Ecuador! I truly love being here and am so grateful for the experiences I am having, the Spirit that I am able to feel, and the lives that I am witnessing change including my own. I never knew it would be possible to feel such a deep love for people who aren`t my family, but I truly feel like these people have become like a big extended family to me and I can feel the love that Heavenly Father has for them so strongly! I love the people of Ecuador!

This week we studied chapter 4 in Preach My Gospel, and I was reminded again what an incredible role the Spirit has in our lives and in the lives of those we teach. It is always something we have to work to have, and can always do better at listening to the promptings that Heavenly Father always wants to give us. My goal for this week is to work extra hard in listening to the Spirit to be able to know the will of our Father and what He wants for me and the people that we teach!!

We had the opportunity to attend the temple this week! Haha honestly usually when we have to get up so early to travel, I am so tired and fight to stay awake in the session, but this time I felt like everything was brand new and I was learning so much the entire time that at the end I realized that I wasn`t even tired and had learned so many new thing! thank you for allowing us to attend the temple and participate in the special spirit that is always there!

We also recently got a new ward mission leader… and wow the work is about to start on fire here with the members! He has great plans to start doing more activities and to involve the members so much more in this great work! We are planning a `sports night` for the 8th of April where everyone will wear the jersey of their team and come and play games! The greatest part is that we are putting so much emphasis on the fact that everyone has to bring a family or friend with them to play the games and hear a short message! We are so excited and hope to be able to find lots of new people with this activity!

I also really enjoyed the General Women`s Conference and was so amazed at the wonderful talks about service, love, and charity! What a great role we as women have, especially women in the church and the expectations and examples that we have to set are so great! We truly can step up our game in our service and love and share the love of the Savior with all! It was also so great to go to the session because I got to sit next to Cecilia, our recent convert and she had questions about where was the prophet, what certain words meant…etc, and it was so great to be there with her! Her and her husband Hector got assigned to give the lesson in Gospel Principles in 2 weeks and they are so nervous but really excited and they are so firm in their learning and understanding! I have been so blessed to see the gospel touch their lives.

I know that this is the true church here on the earth and that it is lead by a true prophet and apostles. I am so excited to hear their words this weekend and learn what more we as members can do to better ourselves and push this great work of Him forward. I love this gospel and the blessing it is in our lives and in the lives of the families! I love you all so much and am so grateful to know that I can be with you all forever!! You are the best family in the whole world and I hope that you always remember how much I love each and every one of you!! Have a great and safe week!

Love, Hermana Hawkes

This is the Zona Daule! they are such a fun zone and I am learning so much from them!

Hna Ramalho filling out our area book at our study desk! She is so much fun and always so happy!!

image

image

Hna Ramalho and I
Hna Casimiro and I

This was our trip to the temple this week!! 🙂

image

image

Advertisements

My Dear Family

Hello!!! How are you all doing??? Happy happy birthday to Talia and Jared this week! I hope you all have tons fun, and it sounds like Whit`s party was really fun as well!! Thank you for the fun updates!
This has been a good week here!  We have been teaching the new Easter initiative to as many people as possible and I love the special spirit that it brings when we teach it! It is great to be able to share of the Atonement and Resurreccion right off the bat in all the lessons and we have truly seen miracles. We have been able to find some great people and some families using the initative! Hermana Ramalho usually starts the lessons and does a great job inviting the Spirit and helping the people feel the spirit of the sacrifice that Christ made for us and the miracle that he performed in the Resurection. We just got a new ward mission leader and he will do an amazing job! He has great ideas and wants to do lots of activities to find people and wants a lot of help from the ward missionaries. We are planning on doing a big activity every month, and he also wants to set the goal that each member family is going to find, help baptize and bring to the temple, one family per year! It has brought a new fire to the missionary work here in Daule and I know that it will be an incredible help to us and to the branch! We are excited to push the work forward here!
This week was a little short, but we had some good things happen. Our investigator Felicita accepted a baptism date for the 16 of April. We are excited to work with her and also excited for a little bit of a challenge because she can`t read but we are looking for ways to teach so that she understands well with pictures and so that she will feel like she can prepare even if she can`t read the material herself. We have also been working with a less active Mariana that will be reactivated this next Sunday and she is so sweet! She is always so excited to see us and yesterday when she prayed at the end of the lesson, she blessed us missionaries and started crying and thanked Heavenly Father for sending us because we are more like her family than her family is. We are going to work extra hard to make sure she has lots of friends in church and that she can feel like the people in the ward are part of her family as well.
The Leòn family is also doing so well and the branch has done a great job helping us make sure that they always have friends and someone to answer their questions! Hno Hector received the Aaronic priesthood yesterday! We were going to teach them last night, but when we passed by for them, two of the brothers in the ward were there sharing a message with them. It made me so happy to see that they were already doing their home teaching and helping him because Hno Hector has such a hunger to learn all the things of the gospel, as well as Cecilia. We had a lesson in their home with one of Cecilia`s sister`s and Cecilia said `come here we are going to teach you how to pray.` 🙂 Then we shared the message of the Restoration with her and Hector and Cecilia practically taught the whole lesson because they were so excited to share the message of the gospel! I know that this is a sign of true conversion and they are such a special family and will be such strong members!
I know this is the true gospel and am so grateful to be part of the missionary work of the world! My testimony grows each day of this incredible work and how important it is for each and every member to be a missionary!!!
I hope you all have an awesome week and always remember how much I love you all!!!
Love, Hermana Hawkes

Baptism week! :)

Hola to my amazing family!!!
Happy Happy birthday Whitney this week!!! One year older and wiser too!! 🙂 I am so glad to hear that you all had a fun week and Baylor`s blessing looks like it went great! He is such a cutie!! thank you for the pictures! 🙂 And thank you for the updates on all of your week! I love hearing how you are all doing!!
Well the highlight of this week was that Hector and Cecilia Leòn were baptized and confirmed!! I have such a deep love for this family that I never knew was possible to have, but I have truly come to love them so much! Leading up to their  baptism we visited them everyday to make sure that they felt good and were excited and ready for their baptism and always tried to share something that we thought would help them. This usually was something about eternal families or the temple or something like that to keep their view beyond their baptism and help them remember why this is such an important step. Two days before their baptism, Hno Hector got a really bad cold and had a fever and wasn`t sleeping and felt really bad. The day before he still wasnt doing great, but he said that nothing was going to stop them from being baptized because they had already made the decision, and no matter what he was going to get baptized the next day. the next day, we went with a member in the branch and he was able to give him a priesthood blessing and it was a really cool experience! (Later that night he said that he was feeling much better, and the next day at church he was almost all the way better!) We went with them to the church later and they changed their clothes and then we showed them the font. they were so excited, and Hno Hector just stood there and looked at it and didn`t want to leave to take pictures or even have the baptism service. We went and took pictures with their family and then he asked `is it time to be baptized now?` 🙂 the service went really well and they had great support from the branch. Their whole little family was able to be there and see it and we are hoping that it will help get their 2 oldest kids excited for baptism as well! The next day, their confirmation went really well and later we went to their house and they bore their testimonies to us about how much their lives have changed and how happy they are and want to keep in this path because they know it is right! It was truly such an amazing experience to be part of!
This week we are also working with a less active lady named Mariana and she is probably 70 years old, but we had an awesome lesson with her about why she should come back to the churchand she was crying and truly felt the spirit and she came to church this week. but earlier in the week we invited her to a FHE in one of the member`s homes and she said she would go as long as we went and picked her up. So as we were walking down her street, she looked up and saw us (because she was waiting outside in a lawn chair) and when she saw us she started kicking her feet and cheering and said `I knew you would come! I knew you wouldnt forget about me!` haha it was so fun and she wanted to sit by us in church! Now we just need to find her lots of friends in church so that she doesn`t come just for us!!
Ok I have tried to think of a few fun things that I could tell you and something that I have truly come to love is contacting! I love walking around in the streets and talking to everyone and anyone!! I also am adjusting to the rice that we eat a mountain of everyday for lunch and I actully really like the rice now!! :O Also, If you have any fun activies taht we can play at FHE i would love ideas! Also, we want to start doing activities in the church so if you ahve fun themes or fun ideas I would also love them!! I would also love fun no bake rescipes or any workout circuts that pinterest has to offer!! 🙂
It truly has been a great week and as a companionship we have tried to focus on having more meaningful prayers, and I know that Heavenly Father hears us and the more we communicate with Him and let him know what we are doing and how we are feeling, He can help us more! I love you all so much and pray for you all sooo much! I pray that you are all safe and happy and always remember how much I love and care about each and every one of you!!! Have an amazing week!!
Love, Hermana Hawkes

Baptism of the Leon Family

image

Her new companion

The time has started to go by way fast! I truly love being out proselyting and it seems so fast! haha it was nice to sleep in air conditioning and makes me so grateful for the little things in life! Hmmm one strange thing they have is frogs! There are frogs everywhere in the nights when we are walking. Oh also something kind of humorous… The bats have found how to come into our house and we don`t ,know how!! yuck… i seriously hate them! We walked into the big room we have to exercite this morning to discover a bat flying around! It actually ended up being pretty funny because hna Casimiro and I ended up opeing all the screens in the room and trying to hit the flying bat with a broom and mop!! hahaha looking back now I think it`s hilarious, but this morning it wasn`t super funny!!

She is AWESOME!! Everyone told me that it would be hard to have a new companion, but she is super happy, fun, humble and just super sweet!!

My companion is the one on the left! this was before we knew we were companions. The other is Hna Chaupin and she is now Hna Casimiro`s companion!

image

The time has started to go by way fast! I truly love being out proselyting and it seems so fast! haha it was nice to sleep in air conditioning and makes me so grateful for the little things in life! Hmmm one strange thing they have is frogs! There are frogs everywhere in the nights when we are walking. Oh also something kind of humorous… The bats have found how to come into our house and we don`t ,know how!! yuck… i seriously hate them! We walked into the big room we have to exercite this morning to discover a bat flying around! It actually ended up being pretty funny because hna Casimiro and I ended up opeing all the screens in the room and trying to hit the flying bat with a broom and mop!! hahaha looking back now I think it`s hilarious, but this morning it wasn`t super funny!!

She is AWESOME!! Everyone told me that it would be hard to have a new companion, but she is super happy, fun, humble and just super sweet!!

My companion is the one on the left! this was before we knew we were companions. The other is Hna Chaupin and she is now Hna Casimiro`s companion!

image

A rainy, but great week in Daule

Dear my amazing family!!!
How are you all doing this week?? It was so great to hear from all of you and the fun things that you are doing! I love getting your updates and the fun pictures of all of you!!
This week has been a great week. I have felt slightly less stressed, and a little bit more like I know what I am supposed to be doing! The first week I felt extrememly overwhelmed, and I really didn`t know that it takes practice planning who to visit at the right time and when to change plans, and when not to! I pray so hard everyday that I will have the spirit to help me know when to do and say things, and I truly know that I am being blessed! One of these blessings that I have been given is Sister Ramalho!  She never even complains when I say that we are going to do practices of the lessons during our studies and when I asked her if she likes the practices she said `no but I know that we need to do them and I want to get better at teaching so let`s do them!` Her attitude has truly been such a great blessing and I know that the Lord is blessing her and us as a companionship!
This week has been a great week here in Daule! I love the time that I have been able to have here, and because I have so much time here, I can pass people on the street and know a lot of them from contacts or lessons that we have had with them, and I truly love the confidence that I have been able to gain with them, and also with the members!! The members are so great and really willing to help us in this great work!! This week on Wedneday we had a Family Home Evening in the home of a member of the Ward Council and it was so great because we were able to bring The Leòn Family and also a few of the less actives we had visited in the week. We watched the video of The Restoration and after when the member asked what everyone had learned, our investigator with a baptism date Hector was the first one to talk and explained the whole vision again. Then after him, one of our recent converts Glenda bore her testimony of the first time she heard the message of the Restoration, and I guess you could say that I had a glimps of what it feels like to be a proud mother!! I was sooo happy to hear the sweet testimonies of these two great people that we have been able to help bring to the gospel!!
Wednesday it rained the hardest I have ever seen it rain and we left the house in our rainboots and ponchos! but it didn`t ruin our spirits!! We were able to visit one of the references we were given and as we were teaching her about Joseph Smith and asked her to pray at the end, she cried in the prayer. I know the the Spirit was working with her and am so grateful for the small but extrememly significant experiences I am witnessing!
The Leòn family is doing great and everything is ready for their baptism this Saturday! We have had great lessons with them this week, and it truly touched my heart to get to teach them this week. They told us that they have had some friends chastize them for listening to us, but it doesn`t bother them because they know they are doing what`s right! They told us that this is something they truly want in their lives and they know they are doing the right thing by following Christ. It was so awesome because the day after the FHE we had a lesson with them, and Hector and Cecilia told us that they really love being with the other members of the church! They said that they feel like they have known them all thier lives, and maybe even before this life! The spirit was sooo strong in the lesson.
Things are going great here. I know the the Lord is blessing us so much and I am so grateful for each of the special experiences that we have! I know that the gospel changes and blesses families and I am so grateful to be part of this work! I hope you have a great week! I love you all so much and pray for you nonstop! please all be safe and remember how much I love you!
Love, Hermana Hawkes