Goodbye Daule

Dear Family,
Wow, how fun it is to hear from you all and see all the fun activities that you are all doing!! It looks like you have all had a great memorial day weekend and lots of fun and fancy camping!! 🙂 Thank you for all the fun pictures and I hope you are all doing great and are safe!!! I can`t believe school is about over… I forgot that it ends in May or June… 🙂 Happy Summer!

Well, this has been an awesome week! I had an interview with President Dennis on Tuesday (all the missionaries in our zone did) and he told me that I was going to get transferred. It was a weird week as I thought about all the things and people I would be seeing for possibly the last time. It made me want to work extra hard to be able to leave our area with lots of good work to continue. It was a hard goodbye with all the members in church yesterday, and even thought I didn`t know I was leaving `for sure` everyone was telling me good luck and I even had some of the members call me and tell me they would miss me. There were 2 ladies that we helped reactivate and at church they heard I would possibly be leaving and this cute little 85 year old was crying to hard and told me she didn`t want me to leave. It was also hard to tell the Leon Family goodbye, and it was hard to leave Hna Ramalho. But at the same time I knew that this is what I needed to be doing and was excited for a new start in a new area!

So I got transferred today! I am now in the center of Guayaquil- Imagine the small town girl living in the huge city of Guayaquil! I am just praying that I don`t get run over or lost or something! 🙂 I am in a trio for now with Hna Gonzales from Bolivia and Hna Rojas from Perù! They are so much fun and I can already tell that I am going to love being with them! Our sector is called La Florida and our zone is huge… that will be a big change for me! Also something super cool is that I am going to start the 12 week training program to become a mission nurse!! 🙂 I am super excited and am not sure of the extent of what it means to be a nurse here, but mostly I think it is just receiving calls from sick missionaries and telling them what medicines they can take… we will see! 🙂 I am so excited for this new change and for all that we are going to be doing! I will give you all a better update next week when I know a little bit more!
I know that Heavenly Father has a specific plan for each of us in whatever time we are in in our lives! I am so grateful to be here serving in Ecuador and for the awesome experiences and opportunites that I am having here! I love you all so much and pray for your happiness and safety! Please have a safe and great week!
Love, Hermana Hawkes

P.S. I will try to send pictures next week!

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Another great week!

Dear Family,

Happy Happy birthday to Garrett this week!! Wow bud I can`t believe how grown up you are! I love telling people here that you are  (now going to be 15) and how tall you are! Their mouths always drop open! They thought I was a monster!! 🙂 Oh how I love hearing from you all every Monday and seeing the fun pictures from your week!!! I am so happy to hear about all that you are doing! Also Happy birthday to Lindsey Palmer!

This was an awesome week! We got to go to another Mission conference becasuse Elder Godoy who is in the area presidency came and talked to us. We heard from him and his wife, and President and Sister Dennis. They are all so inspired and talked to us a lot about making good choices in our lives now as missionaries and after! Sister Dennis also talked a lot about helping our ancestors becasuse they are the angels that are able to help us in this life. There was a ton more great things but I am a little short on time… This week we also experienced 2 more kind of big tremors and nothing happend, but it is always a little shocking now and made me a little nervous! We have also contintued to find some great people this week! One of the the investigators we found this week named Katty went to church with us and always calls us her friends! She is 21 and it is actually really cool because we connect really well with her, and her whole family is listening to us now!

This had been a great week! I am so grateful to be here with Hna Ramalho and honestly I learn so much from her! I felt like she is the one that trained me and has helped me so much to improve as a person and as a missionary! I also got to go on exchanges with Hna Chaupin and she is an awesome missionary! She is so loving and listens so well to the people! She loves to be kind to everyone and when I would talk a little bit more directly, she would be sure to end with a lot of love! I promise I wasn`t macheteando the people, but it was fun to see how loving she was to everyone. I learned a lot and it was interesting to see other sectors and the great work that they have been doing.

Well, honestly after all this time being a missionary, I finally feel like I am getting the hang of missionary work! We have started looking and working hard to have new investigators because I honestly know that that is our purpose here… to bring the people to Christ and the first step in doing that is through baptism. I know that helping the other people to endure to the end is also a great priority, but I have seen the great importance of bringing new people to church and to the waters of baptism! There is no greater joy than seeing the people that we are working with progress and seeing their faith in Jesus Christ increase! We are trying so hard to help our investigators progress, and when they don`t, I truly feel sad for them. Today we found out that one of our old investigators who is an older man died after being sick from an accident a few weeks back. The family is all members of the church, and so we went to see them today when we found out. I never knew how hard it would be to experience things like the death of someone we taught, but I truly felt pain for him and for the family. He never got baptized, but he was a good person. I know that Heavenly Father has a very specific and perfect plan for each of us, but what we do here on earth is SO important. There isn`t time to wait to repent. Our time is now. Everyone`s time is now and I am so grateful to be here `declaring repentance` as a servant of the Lord. I know this is such a special calling and I am learning so much from the people I meet and my testimony is strenghtened each and every day! I hope you Have a great week! I love you all so much and pray for you always!!

Love, Hermana Hawkes

2 pictures at the sisters conference we had

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Jeremy`s baptism

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me with a lady that I absolutely love named Blanca and her 3 boys we baptized

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one of the rice fields on the border of our sector

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Another week in paradise

Hello Family!!
Wow, it looks like you all had such a fun week! Thank you for the fun updates and the pictures! I can`t believe how much you are all growing up and the love that I can feel in our family, even far away in Ecuador! I am always so happy to hear that you are all happy and safe, and hope that you all know how much I love you all!!
This week we got to go to Guayaquil for a Sister`s Conference, and it was kind of sad because this is the last one that we will have with President and Sister Dennis! They talked to us a lot about making good plans and decisions in our lives and gave us so many great councils! We got to have the conference in their house in Guayaquil and it was so much fun and so spiritually uplifting! Funny story… I was sitting right by the AC vent and usually I love it, but I FROZE!!! I told my companion that I am going to freeze to death in Idaho!!

This past week was the final training week for Hna Ramalho. It is crazy to think that she is already done with her training, and it has been great to see the progress that she has made. I truly love her and love her excitement for the gospel and for the mission. It is fun to think back to when she came and the great changes that she has made!! She is so positive, and her happiness and initiative really make the people want to listen to her! She is extrememly aware of everything that goes on and is always worried for the lessons or investigators, and it has truly helped us to push forward in the work together, sharing the worries and the work to be done!

This week we were also so blessed to have a baptism. Jeremy Leòn (the last of the family with the age to be baptized) was baptized by his dad Hector, and it is such a blessing to see this awesome family progress in the gospel. The mom Cecilia bore her testimony at the end and said that she was so happy that her son was baptized and that she is so excited to progress in this next year to be able to be sealed in the temple with all of her family. I love that the gospel always helps us focus on the next goal or the next things we need to do in our lives. There is always a goal to reach and things to improve, and I know that this will be for all of this life, and for after! I have truly come to love teaching people of the perfect plan that our Heavenly Father has created for each of us personally, and it is so great when the investigators come to realize their purpose! We were teaching a lady named Suli this week and once we talked after and it was like we were just reminding her of something she had already learned, and it really sparked a fire in her! We are going to visit her tonight and I can`t wait to keep helping her and teaching her more!

I had also always heard of people calling to the missionaries on the streets and telling them that they wanted to be taught but never had that experience. Yesterday we were out contacting and walking past a street that we walk by all the time and a lady started talking to us, so we asked if we could share a message with her, and she said yes! We shared a short message with her and she was so receptive and told us that when she decides that she wants to do something that she will do it, and that she liked what she heard and wants to change her life, so we are really excited for her!

We also found another couple that we were able to teach, and they had some pretty crazy ideas… but we taught them the Restoration, and they understood it really well, and the wife said that she felt an emptiness inside and is looking for something to fill this feeling! Heavenly Father is truly preparing these people, and I hope that we can be instruments in His hands in order to bring our brothers and sisters to the knowledge of the perfect gospel that he has given us.

I am so grateful to be here and for all that I am learning. I know that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ and that is changes lives! I hope you have a great week!

Love, Hermana Hawkes

P.S. I tried sending pictures, but it didn`t work so I will try again next week!

Oh what fun…

Dearest family!
Wow, there aren`t words to describe how much fun it is to see you all and be able to talk over skype!! You all looked to happy and so good and it was truly a blessing and joy to see!! Thank you all for the fun stories and updates about what you are all doing! I cannot even believe how grown up everyone looks… 🙂 you all looked great and so happy!!! What a blessing it is to be part of such a special and happy family, and the experiences that we go through truly help us to see these blessings in our lives! I know that we are so blessed to be in the family that we are in and I love you all!!!! 
This was a great week in Daule and my testimony of working through the members and their references grew SO MUCH!  We had an invaciòn last sunday and it was great because the members just went and contacted all of their friends, and then later in the week, we were able to go and meet their friends with them and they became our new investigators! People are so much more willing to go to church and learn when they have friends that they already know in the church. Why am I just remembering this now? But we will definitely be working a lot more through the members to find people who will truly progress in the gospel! It was great because these 2 new investigators that we had attended church and really liked it!
We are excited for this coming week as our recent convert Hno Hector will baptize another of his children. He is going to baptize his 14 year old son, and now all that are of the age of baptism in the family are going to be baptized! They are an amazing family and both Hector and Cecilia received callings this past week! Hector is the 2nd councilor in the Young Mens and Cecilia is over visiting teaching! They were both really excited to receive callings and will be dedicated servant to help push the work forward here in Daule! It as really funny, we had a lesson with them this week and we were trying to get references from them and they were trying to explain to us that everyone they know won`t listen! 🙂 but cecilia said `and what happens to those people that wont even listen to you missionaries?? They won`t even receive a kingdom of glory right??` and she was pretty riled up to think that people shouldn`t receive a kingdome if they aren`t willing to listen to the gospel! It was pretty funny but cool to see the love that she has for the gospel!!
This past week Hna Ramalho was in her week 11 in the 12 weeks which meant that I gave her complete initiative in our sector! It was a little bit of a rough start as she didn`t like that I wasn`t helping to know where to go, and it was also hard to not say a lot and be a follower! But how grateful I am for the experience!!! She did an amazing job and would really stop and listen to the spirit to know what to do and say. We visited people that needed us in that moment and she was able to help us complete our goal of new investigators for the week and commit them to go to church! She has such a strong testimony and really knew how to help the people in their needs. It was great for me to take the back seat, and at first I was kind of bored in the lessons, but I realized that I needed to be listening even harder than if I was the one talking so that I could bear testimony after, and it was kind of a humbling experience for me! I know that one of the thing that the Lord wants me to learn here in the mission is to rely on Him more and to be more humble, and I know that through these experiences that I`m having that He is able to help me to improve in so many ways! I am grateful for Hna Ramalho and the amazing companion that she is! I know that it probably isn`t easy to be my companion as I`m not always the most patient and have many faults, but she is so kind and is helping me to overcome the things that I need to change and improve!
I was trying to think of some fun things that I could tell you about Daule or about what we do so these will be some random fun facts! The first is that with 8 months here in Daule I can literally always run into someone I know in the store or in the street and even though most of the times I only remember their faces, they are always excited to tell us hi and talk for a few minutes! I have mastered getting ready in less than 20 minutes but it probably doesnt help that I use very minimal makeup becaue it usually sweats off. I cant really think of anymore random facts! I love you all and it was so fun to talk to you all! I hope you all have a great week!!! I pray for you all so much!
Love, Hermana Hawkes

Another great week

Querido Familia,
Hey how are you all doing!! It is truly a joy for me to be able to get on every week and see your happy faces in the pictures and receive the great updates! I always pray for you all and your safety, and each week when I am able to hear that you are all happy and doing well, it is an answer to my prayers!
So we have 2 new sisters with us here in Daule. I am loving have Hna Mendoza and Hna Cox here to help us push the work forward in Daule and hope to see lots of success with the members here as well! I am truly coming to see the importance of asking for references and have a hunger to get references from these faithful members because I know that these are the people that will progress the fastest! We are trying to become very creative with how we ask for references to trick the people into not knowing that that is what we are doing! 🙂 It is definitely a challenge though, but we are going to work hard with them! They are great and really willing to go on visits with us and it helps the investigators so much! It is the neatest thing to be able to see the work push forward through the members!! I challenge you all to pray to know who you can invite to hear the missionary discussions, because even when we think there isn`t anyone, Heavenly Father will put someone in our path if we are truly looking and praying for the experiences!
This week we were able to go to Guayaquil  and hear the pshychology lady teach us techniques to recover from tragic events! I know there are a lot that are suffering from this great event and pray that they are recovering, especially those missionaries that were so greatly affected.  My favorite part, though, was to be able to hear the experiences of all the missionaries that shared their experiences and bore their testimonies! I know there were a lot more that we weren`t able to hear, but I was grateful to hear those that shared. That night when we got back to Daule, we had a small FHE with a family and shared the video that President Nelson shared about when he was in the plane that started to malfunction and how he was calm because he knows that plan that our Heavenly Father has for us and that we are His children. It was a really spiritual lesson as we shared a few of the experiences that we heard that day in the mission conference and we able to bear testimony of our purpose here and that we truly are children of a loving Heavenly Father.

Hna Ramalho is doing really well. She started her week 11 today and I am impressed with the progress that she has made in her teachings. She has a powerful testimony and I love to hear her share it with the people.. She is always open to help and is very teachable which has been really nice! I know I am far from a great trainer and hope and pray that I have been able to teach her good habits that she will able to carry with her through her mission. I think I know a little bit how a mom feels in life, but that is a lot more stressful because they are responsible for the salvation of their children… but it has been great to hear more of Hermana Ramalho`s story and get to know her and how and why she does things the way she does, and she is helping me to grow and progress as a person and as a missionary.

This has been a great week here in Daule. Elder Alvarez and Elder Borg (our zone leaders) have done a good job of tightening up the zone a little which was exactly what we needed. They explained a lot to us what we are going to do better as a zone (complete goals and how to do it using references and effective numbers) and I am excited to see the progress we make with this new change. We as a companionship asked them to put more pressure on us to help us do better and be more successful in our companionship and our goals, and we are already seeing results in less than a week. We were extremely blessed this week as another one of the children in the Leòn family accepted a baptism date! It was so great to see and now we can work with them as a family to go to the temple in a year! I know that the families are the plan of God and that we are with the specific members of our families to help us progress in this life and help us to gain salvation. I love this work and am so humbled and happy to be here in the service of the Lord!

I had one of the best experiences of my whole mission this week!! The leon family has a 14 year old son that has been really skeptical and hasn’t wanted a lot to do with us, but we finally felt like he was ready, and extended a baptism date to him. He told us no and we tried so hard to work through his doubts, but nothing worked and I left their house with a pretty heavy heart because I want so badly for them to be able to be a complete family and to go to the temple in a year. He talked a lot with his parents and went to church on sunday, and when we went to their house later that night, he told that he is ready to be baptized and wants to progress and help his family go to the temple! I dont thing I have ever been so happy!! I know that the families are forever and that is our goal for everything we do! I am so grateful for you all and the awesome family that we have and know that though our faithful obedience to the commandments, we will be able to be together eternally!!
Love, Hermana Hawkes

P.S. Talk to you all on Sunday!! I am so excited to talk to you all and can`t wait to hear your fun stories!! I love you all!!