Hola from Ecuador!

Dear Family,
Hello from Ecuador! How fun it always is for me to read all of your fun emails!! Thank you for the fun stories and great ideas!!! You are all so much fun and I love getting the updates!! I tried to send pictures, so I hope they all got there! it has been a fun week and I wanted to share those pictures with all of you!!
So this was a really great week!!! We got to spend some time in the office trying to get everything ready for President and Sister Santos to come tomorrow!! It will be bittersweet!

On Wednesday, we had our last big mission conference with President and Sister Dennis and they kept saying `this is our king Benjamin speech so we are going to tell you everything we can in these short hours.` It seriously was so awesome and they shared with us about so many topics: making sure people know they are children of a loving Heavenly Father, having a good projection here on the mission and after, and it as so fun because when they were closing they opened it up for questions and we asked about their plans, about their lives before their missions and really got to know them better and it was a lot of fun! They are so awesome and I am so grateful for the time that I have had here to get to know them, but mostly to learn so much from them!!!

We didn`t have hardly any time in our sector this week was was really sad, but when we were there I really felt a spirit of urgency to find, help and teach people. One day, Hna Lowe and I were on exchanges together, and we were working in her sector, but we had the most incredible day!! First, we were contacting this house, and this random guy with a `canal uno` logo came up with a microphone and camera and started asking us all of these questions about who we are and what we do here and we were honestly kind of weirded out… but it turns out that he is a famous news guy here and just decided to interview us, so hopefully we left a good impression for those that saw it even though we probably looked like 2 crazy gringas! 🙂 But after that, we went looking for a referral that they had and we didnt find the girl, but we found her mom. So we sat down and started talking to them and within like 3 minutes the lady started crying and told us that her husband just left for Chile to look for work and that she was soo sad, and honestly the spirit was so strong! We told her that it wasn`t coincidence that we found her that day and shared with her some of the plan of salvation and eternal families and by the end she told us that she felt a lot more peace!! She didn`t end up going to church, but her 6 kids went without her so we will work with her!! I with I had more time to share because I am meeting incredible people here!!

I am so grateful for this time to be serving! I know I am where the Lord wants me and I hope and pray taht I can be an intrument in His hands! Missionary work is incredible and so satisfying! It is definitely not easy, but it`s so worth it!! I love being here and the awesome expereicnes that I am having”!” I love you all so much and pray for you and your safety everyday!!!ª Have a great week!!!

Love, HErmana Hawkes

P.S. President and Sister Dennis sent us all the infor for their homecoming reports! Dad and Jared can translate for you all!! 🙂 Algunos de ustedes querían saber la fecha cuando vamos a discursar en nuestro barrio para decir a sus familias. Vamos a discursar el 31 de julio a las 11 am en el Bountiful Orchard 7th Ward; 3599 S. Orchard Dr., Bountiful, UT.  Será un placer para nosotros conocer a algunas de sus familias y también ver de nuevo algunos de nuestros misioneros retornados.

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Another sunny week in La Florida!

Dear family,
Wow, it has been another week already! The time ticks away faster than I am able to comprehend and I love hearing from all of you and all that you are doing! I hope that you all had a great Father´s Day and were able to spend some good qualitiy time together!!!

Happy happy birthday to Tycey this week!! 🙂

This has been a great week here in La Florida and I finally feel like I am starting to get the hang of our area, how to work in it, and getting to know my companions and the people. I have started to love what we are doing and I feel like we are finding a good balance in the things that we are doing. It has been so much fun for me this week to finally start getting to studying nursing and I truly feel like this was an extremely inspired calling! I love to learn and it makes me be more patient with others and myself, and rely on the Lord even more because I know that I can´t do any  of this without His help.

We were so blessed in our sector this week and truly saw the promises of Elder Rasband completed. It was amazing because we asked for referrals allll day and nobody was really interested, but then in our last lesson of the day, we went to visit a less active member and his 2 aunts were there visiting and they were interested to listen to us! Their names are Martha and Janet and they are so humble and so nice and we got to teach them the Restoration, and then we went back two days later and taught them about the Book of Mormon. When we went back, they both said that they received their answers of Joseph Smith and of the Book of Mormon and that they know it´s true! They also attended stake conference on sunday and seemed really happy afterward! We are excited to keep working with them and helping them to keep gaining this special testimony!

We have also been so blessed to find some new less actives and the majority are young single adults that we can see that they have a testimony, but have just forgotten it! I am so excited to work with them because I know that they will be able to see the blessings of the gospel in their lives again and come back to the church!

A few more of the highlights we had this week were that we found a family of 6!!! We haven´t been able to teach the dad, but the mom and the 4 kids are so awesome and I am so excited for them! As we were teaching them about the Restoration, the three teenage boys were so excited about Joseph Smith and said that they were going to pray, and this week they are going to be able to attend church! We also had stake conference this weekend and Elder Calderón came and wow… he explained our Area Plan so well!! Please in whatever callings you have, GO LOOK FOR THOSE THAT ARE LOST!!!  Just like Christ went looking for the 1 lost sheep, if we will even find one person per year, we are helping so much in this work! In your classes, quorums,… please go look for those that are lost and help them come back! they need this happiness that we have!! 🙂

I have truly come to see and love the incredible blessings that the gospel brings into our lives individually and as families! I know that when we live these principles and truly come to love the gospel, that Heavenly Father blesses us with things that we never even knew or imagined! I can truly feel that Heavenly Father is shaping me with the refiner´s fire and at times I just feel overwhelmed, but I know that it is because I am learning to rely completely on The Atonement in my life and can truly feel this love when I slow down and am thankful for everything that I have and that happens, including the hard times or trials. I know that Heavenly Father loves each of us and has given us weaknesses to be able to learn and grow and become better people. I am so grateful to be here and for the amazing sisters that I am serving with. I know that I am with each of them for a very specific reason and that I have so much to learn from each of them. I love you all so much and am so grateful for all your support and help! I pray for you all daily and know that through our obedience as a family will bring incredible blessings!!! I love you all and hope you have a great and safe week!!
Love, Hermana Hawkes

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Wow the weeks fly!

Hello my awesome family!!!
First of all, Happy happy Father`s day to all the dads in my life- brothers, grandpas, uncles, and most especially to my dad!!! I love you so much and hope you have an extra special day!!! 🙂
Wow, honestly the weeks are flying by here for me!! I love being here and there are so many great things happening and not even enough time to write it all down!!! This will be short, but I will try to hit a few of the highlights of this week!!!

So on Wednesday, we all got to go to the temple with President and Sister Dennis for the last time and it was such an awesome experience! I have truly loved them and respected them so much as they have taught and guided our mission! I will miss them so much!

On Tuesday and Thursday, we had time to work in our area which was so fun! I haven’t had a lot of time to get to know the people, but it has been awesome this week to get out and learn the area and more of the members and investigators! We are on the hunt for more investigators, but I am up for the challenge and excited to find this week!

Friday, we had a training/conference for all the nurses here and that was really fun! We had it in President`s house with Sister Dennis and then she took us all out for lunch!

Saturday was probably the coolest day I have had in my whole mission! We had a 3 mission- Guayaquil North, Guayaquil South, and Guayaquil West conference and Elder Rasband came and talked to us! We each got to shake his hand and he even asked where I was from which was cool because he just said hello or good morning to most! 🙂 Then he talked to us and his wife as well, and something that I loved was that they all talked to us about being HAPPY!!! They said that we have such a special message and that people should know it by seeing how happy we are in our lives!! 🙂 He also talked to us about listening to the spirit and following the first prompting we get! The first good thing that comes to mind is what we should do!! It was honstly so awesome and I will have to write a letter with more detailos!!

I love my mission and am so grateful for this time and all that I am learning and experiencing and for each of you and your support! I love you all so much and pray for you all and your safety daily!!!!!

All my love, Hermana Hawkes

A week in the big city!

Dear family,
Wow how are you all doing this week??? Mom and Dad, Happpy Anniversary this past week! I know it is late and I`m so sorry but I thought about you all week and am soo proud to say that I have a sealed family!! Thank you so much for blessing our family so much! 🙂
So this week has been a different one than I have had in my whole mission but it has been so much fun!!! Here in this sector there is never a normal day!!! There are always changes or calls or some thing exciting!!! It is definitely different to be in the big city where we take busses and taxis everywhere and there are tons of people, but I truly do love it! 🙂
So on Wednesday, I got to go to the office and do nurse stuff. I looked through all the medical papers of the new missionaries that just got to the mission and this week I will get to call them all on questions we have to be able to record them in the computer! We mostly just take calls and put stuff in the computer and verify everyone`s emergency backpack! We were in the office until like 6 at night and it was kind of funny because they had like an office birthday party and Hna Dennis made homemade chocolate cake and it was soooo good!!
On Thursday I went with 2 Hnas from the US- Hna Rojas and Hna Lowe and it was so fun! I am not super used to the busses and have to try so hard not to fall down! I`m sure everyone just laughs and points at `the crazy gringa`!!! 🙂 It is way fun because we go on a lot of exchanges and I get to know all the Hnas and the people they are working with!!
We also did something cool in our zone. Once a month they go contacting with the members and give people banana bread and it is crazy how it actually does soften the people up and we can talk to them about the gospel! It was awy fun! We also had a baptism this past Saturday and living with the nurses we truly see miracles and people that honestly want the gospel!!

I was so blessed to come to this area to be able to learn from all of these awesome Hermanas! I love learning new attributes and new ways to help and connect with the people! It feels like I am starting the mission again, but is so much better because I still have all the knowledge of 10 months in the mission! I truly am loving it here and growing a lot. I want to get to know all the ward members and especially the leaders to work with them and help this awesome ward! They have been so welcoming and nice and really are such an awesome and strong ward! It was also such a fun experience to be able to do the banana bread contacting!! We also had 3 baptisms in Florida 1 y 2 and it was such an awesome experience for all that were there!

I feel like here I am truly learning to have faith in all the small things! I know that it is necessary to depend on Heavenly Father 100 percent and He truly cares about all the small things that we are doing! I know that when we put all of our faith in what we are doing, no matter how big or small, Heavnely Father will bless us and show us the way! I love you all so much and hope you have an awesome and safe week! I can`t wait to hear from you all next week!
Love, Hermana Hawkes