The warm, sunny October days!

Dear family, 

How are you all doing! 🙂 Wow it has been so fun to read your letters and see all the fun things that you all have going on! I am praying for you all and hope you are doing soo great!! 

This has been a super week here! I know that the Lord truly does bless each of us when we are working for him. These last few weeks we have been praying so hard and looking for families! It has been such an eye opener for me in seeing that Heavenly Father truly does work through the family. It has been challenging, but I know that we are supposed to be finding families. President Uchtdorf said in the Women´t conference that his wife was found when the misisonaries knocked on the last door of the 4th floor. We had a somewhat similar experience this week! My companions were out contacting as I was working with a sister from our ward, and they went and contacted the last house at the very end of the street! They found a mother and her two little kids and shared a short message with them. She invited them back for the next day and we all went together! She had told us that her husband got off work at 7 or 8 but we can´t be in that area after dark so we passed by at about 6. Miracle 1- her husband was home and they invited us in. We taught them about how much Heavnely Father loves them and they were excited about our message and invited us back for the next day. We went the next day and taught them about the restoration and they were soo awesome! They understood so well and at the end the husband had 2 questions. 1- Could he keep listening even if he knew he had sins and wouldnt be perfect, and 2- what to wear to church on sunday! AHh we were sooo excited for them and they did go to church! We went and picked them up on sunday and went with them to church! The only challenging thing is that they have a little autistic boy. He cant be left alone so he had to go to the classes with them, and would randomly scream and cry, but they are so humble and patient and I can truly feel the love that Heavenly Father has for this sweet family!! I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has blessed us to be able to work with them and am excited to help them!!! 

I´m sorry this is so short, but I hope you all have a great week and remember that I love you all so much!! 

Love, Hermana Hawkes

New week, new adventures

Dear family, 

Wow, what a joy it is to hear from all of you and to hear how you are all doing!! I love to see the pictures and the emails and love the updates every week!! Thank you so much for your encouragement and love! I truly can feel it all the way here in Ecuador! 🙂
This week has been full of fun and lots of new things!! Starting on Tuesday, we got to go to the airport to help pick up new missionaries from the airport! 5 sisters and 3 elders came which means we also got to give our nurse presentation to all of them and help them know the basics… what they can and cant eat here, what to do in different situations, etc. I truly love this calling that I have been given here on my mission and the unique and awesome opportunity that I have to be a nurse! Anyway, my companion Hermana Hernandez got called to train, but was still my compaion. So we are now in a trio and we are both sort of training, but mostly her! I get to go work a lot with the members and it has been so much fun and such a challenge in this last week! 🙂 Our new companion is Hermana Jarpa and she is from Chile! She is so positive and it is so fun to see her progress in just one short week! 
This week we were able to visit a family of less actives named the Cedeño family. They are both about 25 and have two little kids. They have been inactive for about 2 years, and know what is right but it is just hard for them to repent and come back to church. We had such an awesome lesson with them during the week, probably one of the most spiritual lessons of my mission as we taught them the restoration. They were kind of hesitant to commit to going to church, or even praying, but we felt the spirit so strongly with them. So sunday came and we called them at 1:30 (church starts at 2) and the husband said that his wife was getting ready to go, but he wasnt. We tried to encourage him and said that we would be waiting for him in church. Sacrament meeting started and they weren`t there, and to be honest I was a little sad. I was praying so hard for them but knew that they had to choose and that Heavenly Father loves them no matter what. After the sacrament I looked up, and in they walked with their whole family!! My companions and I were so excited and it was fun to see their determination to come to church and start taking these steps in their lives! I know Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers and that He loves each and every one of His children! 
I love you all so much and hope you have an awesome week!!! 

Love, Hermana Hawkes 

Hello Hello!!! 

Oh what a beautiful conference weekend!!! Isn`t it such a blessing that we have living prophets and apostles to guide us in these days. I know that it is such a blessing to have their guidance in our lives and for their help in all we do and learn. I was honestly sad when conference was over and could have listened for a few more days, but I left with a new excitment and more determination to keep the commandments that our loving Heavenly Father has given to us. 
What I loved the most, was our call to do the Lord`s will and to help others do the same!! I am so grateful for the amazing family that I have that you are all awesome examples to all those around you all in doing the Lord`s work and sharing the gospel!! I was so grateful for the call to be missionaries! Every member truly is a missioanry and can bring someone to this gospel!! The first step is true and fervent prayer!! I know that Heavenly Father hears adn answers our prayers and that if we ask Him to help us find one of his children to bring to the gospel, He will give us these special experiences!! I know that the true gospel has been restored to the earth, and how blessed we are to know it!! 

This week was great and we were able to find a new family! Our leaders have been encouraging us to find the Familia Chosen!! The Lord has been blessing us to find families. We were able to find a family of 6 and the mom has cancer. It has been great to see the light that they have and I will keep you updated on how they all do. I love you all and hope that you all have a great week and can continue to share the light we felt at conference with everyone!! 🙂 
Love, Hermana Hawkes

Another great week in Ecuador! 

​Hello my awesome family!!! 

What a fun week! It was so much fun to open my email to the fun new picrures of Raelynn!! I truly love being an aunt and it is so fun to see our family grow! Everyone is growing up so fast I can hardly belive it, but I want you all to know how grateful I am for each and every one of you and the huge blessings you are all in my life!! Thank you all for the support and love! I can feel your prayers!

It was  a great week here in Ecuador! We had Veronica, Sulemy, and Diego`s baptism and it was so special! We had a lot of members come and right before they were baptized, the primary kids sang `I like to look for rainbows` and it was so sweet. I love the sweet spirit that little kids bring and it is no wonder that Christ always wanted the little children near him. They have such a sweet and special spirit!! One of the 18 year olds in our ward was able to baptize Diego and it was so cute because he just took him by the shoulders and let him to the font, and then helped him after! I am also so grateful for the strong youth we have today and know that they truly do make a great difference in the church!! 

Right after the baptism, we went with a bunch of the ladies in the ward (and Veronica too) to the stake center to watch the General Women`t broadcast! It was so inspired and I am so grateful for living prophets and leaders to lead and guide us today! I loved that a few of them talked about how we have to have the doctrine of the gospel in our hearts and that now is our time to be strong and help others know these great doctrines that we have! It is such a blessing to have the gospel and these truths to lead our lives! I love this gospel and am so grateful for the time that I have to be here sharing it with the people here in Ecuador!! I am so greatful for conference this weekend and look forward to the councils they will give us!! I challenge you all to find someone to invite to listen to conference so that they can also receive guidance in their lives!!

I love you all and hope you have a great and safe week!!!

Love, Hermana Hawkes

When we think we’ve gone as far as we can… and the Lord knows better.

​Dear Family, 

Wow how fun it is to be able to hear how you are all doing and to write you again this week!!! I hope you all got the fun announcement, and it was so fun to be able to announce the baby!!! Josh and Kelsey Congrats!!! Your sweet boys will be such great big brothers and you are such great parents!!! I am so grateful for each of my parents and siblings, and in-laws and know that we have been so extremely blessed to be in the family that we are in! Thank you all so much for your support and encouragement!! I know that through our obedience to the gospel, we have the wonderful opportunity to feel eternal joy altogether!!! Also, congrats Whit and Shane! I am praying for you and am excited to see your sweet baby next week! 

Well this week went soooo fast! We had such a crazy busy week! We got to go to the temple on Tuesday, and I love the peace and revelation that going to the temple brings! It is such a blessing to be able to go there, and such a blessing that we all live close enough to be able to go to the temple! We truly couldn´t progress without our ancestors, because our goal in the gospel is to always be temple worthy, but without our ancestors to go do their work in the temple, we wouldnt ever be able to go. Just for our own ordinances. And just think of all the revelation and learning we receive each time we go! How grateful I am for the perfect plan of our Heavenly Father and the sweet blessing that temples are. Then on Wednesday we had a big sister´s conference! That is what all the pictures are from! I was asked to give a message about ´my mission experience of doing my hair.´ Haha… considering that this is the craziest my hair has looked in my life, I realized that I was probably supposed to learn more than anyone from the talk! I was also asked to play a special musical number on the piano and was grateful be able to play! 

This week was absolutely crazy as far as nursing goes! On thursday, we had to go to this special eye appointment with one of the missionaries, and at the same time there was another missionary in another clinic for a weird stomach pain. Hermana Roylance (we are the 2 nurses that always go together when we have nurse things to do) got back to our sector at about 6 that night. Then there was an elder that called and we ended having to send him to the hospital. Poor Hermana Roylance was just about crazy after all the calls and I was just there to help. Then on Friday we had to go to the hospital, and after trying to decide if the elder could leave and talking to all the doctors in medical spanish, I was about in tears a few times. But I know that the Lord knows our limits and knows how far we can go. He always sends saving angels and answers in the exact moment that we need it. The elder was ok and my testimony was so strengthened in knowing that the Lord really does show us our weaknesses to try to help us become stronger! 

And on top of all the blessings we recieved this week, our investigators have also been progressing! Veronica and her daughter Sulemy will be baptized this Saturday and another little boy named Diego! I know that we are being so blessed at this time and that the plan that Heavenly Father has for each person is perfect! We were walking by a house yesterday and saw this cute little girl standing outisde and stopped and asked if we could talk to her mom. The lady imediately invited us in and we shared a message about how the gospel blesses families. She said the closing prayer and thanked Heavenly Father for sending us at this time in her life when she needed this message, and said that she knew we had been sent by Him. I know that He truly is blessing and preparing people in all parts of the world! And now all of our responsiblity is to go find them!! 

I love you all so much and hope that you have a great week!! 

Love, Hermana Hawkes 

Sisters conference. I’m hiding in the back as one of the ‘tall’ gringas! 🙂

Character building… the Lord always prepares us!

​Dear Family, 

Thank you thank you all for the fun birthday wishes!!! It was so much fun to get to read all of them and I am sooo grateful for you all and the awesome family and friends that I have. I know Heavenly Father has richly blessed me to have been born into the family that I was, and each of the relationships that I have been able to make with each of you in this time!! Thank you all!! 

This was truly a great week! One on my mission that I will never forget! 

So starting on Tuesday, it started out bright and early! 🙂 We got a call from an elder that was sick at 5:20am and ended up having to go to the hopsital with him!! He had a kidney stone and thankfully was ok to go home that day! Then we had appointments with other missionaries in different clinics that day and ended up getting to go back and work in out sectors at about 6 that night!! The experience of being a nurse has truly helped me in having to listen to the spirit in every situation and knowing how to make inspired decisions, and it has been taught to me in a way that I never even imagined!! On wednesday we went back to a clinic for about 3 hours to help another elder. Lots of time in clinics but I am so grateful for the opportunity to be able to help out in any way I can! 

Friday was truly a birthday to remember!! I opened the package you all sent me first thing in the morning and it just happened to be the package with all the letters you wrote me at the reunion!! Oh how fun it was to be able to read a letter from each of you!! Thank you so much!! Then my companions made me pancakes, colombian arepas with eggs and cantalope juice!! mmmm it was soo good!! Then we had weekly planning in the church, and at the end they brought in a cake and all sang Feliz cumpleaños, and happy birthday!! Then we went to work in the office that day, and all the office elders surprised me and brought in another cake and all sang to me again!! Then that night, my companions brought me home a pizza!! Wow, I was sooo full but it was such a fun day!! 

This week we had some great time to work in our sectors!! On Thursday we were able to go visit out investigaator named Veronica and her daughter Sulemi! They had been reading the Book of MOrmon and prayed about Joseph smith and knew it was all ture!! They are truly elected people of God to hear the gospel at this time. We taught them about the Gopsel of Jesus Christ and invited them to be baptized on the 24th of September, and they accepted!! They didnt even have objections and have been so excited and  really are just ready!! 

I was also able to see this week that Heavenly Father truly does prepare us for each situation that we are going to have in life. On Saturday, I had the experience to do some great CHARACTER BUILDING!!! Literally. 🙂 We were walking along and were looking for contact or people we could help. I saw this lady starting to move a mountain of rocks and literally said out loud ¨perfect!!¨ So we went over and asked if she needed help. They were moving all these rocks up onto this wall, and then from there the husband would haul them in to the back yard in a wheelbarrow. We started to help them haul these rocks (in our skirts) and I thought we would finish in about a half hour. We called some of the YM in the ward and 3 of them came to help as well. 2 and a half hours later we finished moving all of these rocks. The whole time I would think of all those time moving rocks out in the field with dad and my siblings and when everyone else would say lets just take a break I would say ´´no we are almost done!! 10 more minutes!! ´´  I think we ended up moving 8 cubic meters of rock. I was trully grateful for the opportuniity to serve them, and at the end the husband thanked us so much and it really was all worth it! We have an appointment with them tonight and I am way excited to see how it goes!!

I know that the Lord truly does prepare us each and everyday for the experiences that He is preparing for later! We just have to keep the faith and push through, even when things seem hard! His plan is perfect, even when we can´t see the end results!

I love you all and hope you have a great week!!

Love, Hermana Hawkes

Exciting weeks!

​Dear family, 

First, Happy happy birthday to Kelsey this week, and happy anniversary to Shane and Whit! I hope you all have an awesome week!! And thank you all so much for the fun birthay wishes!! 21… yikes…. I am getting way to old! 🙂 

Wow, it is always so fun to hear about your exciting weeks!! I always love hearing about the fun events and I am glad to hear that homecoming was a success!!! That is always fun to win the big game! 🙂 I have to say though, reading about Jared´s combine event made my heart race, and then made me stop and think about how truly grateful I am for each and every one of you!! I plead to Heavenly Father every day for your safety and know that He is watching over each and every one of you!! Keep listening to the spirit and I know that He will continue to guide and direct all of you!! 

We had a great week here this week!! We have been busy looking for the ´elect people´ that Heavenly Father has prepared at this time. We had a really cool experience. We were going to lessons one afternoon and nobody was really home and we didnt really know what to do or where to go. We were walking to go to find another family, and my companion started talking to a lady that was sweeping. We started talking to her, and they invited us in. She was really nice, but her daughter who is a single mom with 2 kids started listening and was really interested about knowing which church she should go to. They invited us back and we were able to teach her about the restoration, and then she said that she would go to church! We went to pick her up on Sunday, and she went to chruch with her two small kids, and made friends in church, and seemed to really enjoy it!! What a pioneer she was! Trying something all on her own! I know that the spirit helped her and blessed her for her righteous desires!! 

I´m sorry this is short today, but I am so grateful for this gospel and know that it truly blesses lives and families! I know that sacrifice brings forth blessings and each day we should be looking for ways to serve the Lord and His children! I love you all so much and am so grateful for each of you!! I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!!

Love, Hermana Hawkes 

Here are pictures of Hermana Hernandez and I and then the other is a baptism we had this last week!! It was a miracle and happened so fast and I know that we were so blessed!! Love you all!! 

Miracles Exist!

Dear family,

Ok first, please forgive my fogetfulness last week…
Happy happy birthday to London, Kelsie and Carter!!!!! And Happy anniversary to Josh and Kelsey!! 🙂 What a fun week and I had fun little reminders on my calendar that made me think of each of you on these special days! I hope you were all able to do lots of fun things!!! I love you all!!
How fun to see about the first day of school and how harvest is going! I found a cute picture in an Ensign that has a picture of a girl standing in a wheat field that says `The ultimate reward of righteousness is `peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.“ It has helped me stay in the fun harvest spirit with all of you, as well as my fervent prayers for all of your safety and happiness!!
This has been a great week here!! We have truly seen blessings this week and I am so grateful to be here in the front row of so many miracles and blessings!! This week we were able to find a guy that is 22 years old who is so prepared to hear the gospel! He was a referral from his cousin, and she went with us to teach him. We taught him during the week and on Saturday night he was able to go to a baptism that they had in another ward. Then after, we were able to teach him about the Restoration and the lesson went so great! At the end he was sharing his testimony with us about how he knows that he needs to pray and that he knows that Heavenly Father will answer his prayers. Then on Sunday, his cousin was late so he came to church alone and really felt the spirit so strongly!!
We had also been working with a less active family but found out that the husband was never confirmed. They have been coming to church and we were able to finish all of the lessons with them and rescue the wife, but we still weren`t sure if he was going to be able to be baptized. Yesterday morning they told us that he can, and that he can be baptized this Saturday!! We extended the date to him right after church and asked how he would feel about being baptized again so that he could also be confirmed, and he was so happy. He said that he would be so happy to be clean again and wants to live a different life!! It really ha been a miracle to see how the gospel has changed and influenced their lives!!
I hope you all ahve a great week and look for the small miracles in your lives everyday!! I pray for you always and love you all so much!!
Love, Hermana Hawkes

Miracles really do exist

Dear Family, Wow thank you all so much for the fun emails and updates!! It is so good to hear from all of you and the fun things you are doing and it sounds like you are in the full swing of harvest! I pray for all of your safety in this busy but fun time!! 

Things here have been going great!! We just had transfers today and my companion leaves tomorrow morning at 2am for Bolivia! She was the main nurse in the mission which puts a little bit more stress on all of us that are staying, but I know that with lots of inspiration and heavenly help that we will all be able to handle it. So a little about nursing. Mostly what I do is recieve calls from missionaries that have any kind of illness and then have to try to figure out what medicines will help them or if they need to go to the doctor. If they need an appointent then we have to call and schedule it, and then call an insurance company in the US and ask them for warranty payments. Then we have send medicine perscriptions to an area doctor in Peru and then follow up on how the missionaries are doing or see if they need other kinds of test taken. Also in the office, we are in charge of verifying emergency backpacks, making the slides for presentations and the kits for when new missionaries come, and whatever else comes up that day that they need us to do. Today I went to an appointment with an Hermana and then we had to get some other tests figured out! There is alwasy lots to do and lot of phone calls, but I love being a mission nurse and know that it is always so inspired and the spirit is required in every situation!! 
OK so we had the coolest experience this week. We went on an invasion, where our whole zone went contacting in the same area. We found a couple of people that were interested, and then went back to meet up with everyone else. Our zone leaders came back out of breath and with huge smiles on their faces. They told us that they knocked on a door and found a man that was about to commit suicide and that they talked him out of it and were able to share the message of the restoration with him and help him to realize how important his life is and how special he is, especial to our Heavenly Father. Wow, it really opened my eyes to how perfect Heavenly Father`s timing is, because we were supposed to have the invasion a different day, but it all worked out in His timing. Later that night we had a training for some of the members in the ward and were teaching them to go be missionaries and find these people that need help. We were talking and I had the impression to share the story of the man from that morning, so I told the story and by the end, everyone was pretty emotional, including me. It made it such a powerful and special moment to testify to those members that they can be the saving angels in the lives of their families and friends and I know that it is true with each and every one of us. We never know who needs our help, but Heavenly Father does and will lead us to these people if we will be attentive to the spirit. I know that the spirit leads and guides us and my challenge to each of you this week is to listen to the spirit so that you can be the saving angels in someone`s life!! Heavenly Father will guide each of you!! 
I love you all and hope you have a great week!! 
Love, Hermana Hawkes 

Where does the time go?

Hello my wonderful family!!

I`m sorry for my short letter last week!! The hour slipped away way too fast, but I hope that dad and jared (or google translate too) 🙂 could help you all out with my letter!! It has truly been a great week and I always love to hear that you are all doing great and involved in lots of fun activities!! 

Ok so some fun things that happened this week. Last monday we got to go to this really pretty tour site by a river and took some fun pictures and I bought a hammock to bring home. Anyway, we took the president`s daughter with us (she`s 21) and then on the way back we got to go into President`s house to drop her off and they just happen to have a piano, so I sat down and played a little bit and then naturally played what I remembered of Pirates of the Carribbean. We had a multi zone conference on Wednesday and as President started his talk he said `could the Sister that was playing the piano in my house this week please stand up?? Her name starts with H.` and then looked right at me! 🙂 I didnt even know that he was in his house when I played because his daughter said he wasn`t home so I was shocked. For a minute I thougth I was in big trouble for not playing only church songs, and then he asked me to go to the piano in the church and play the song that I had been playing. Haha so i sat down and nervously played the first little bit until I forgot. Then he asked me to play another song that I remembered which at that moment was the EFY Medly of As sisters in zion. (my hands were shaking so bad) But then he asked me (in front of everyone) how long I had taken lessons, if I had to practice a lot… and then he related that to the gospel. We have to study and practice the things that we are learning everyday and make them into talents in our own ways because Heavenly Father has given each of us these special talents for a reason! I challenge all of you to look for these specail talents this week, whatever they may be- talking to people, being patient, laughing a lot…etc, and find a way to bless others` lives with these talents, and the big challenge: find someone that isn`t a memeber using these talents to help them find the gospel!! (Also, again, thank you mom and dad for all the years of piano lessons) 🙂

This week we were truly able to see miracles! Maria Fernanda had her baptism planned for Saturday, the 13th and when we talked to her on Monday and Tuesday she just kept telling us that she wasn’t ready and wanted more time. Our district leader went with us to a lesson and we had prepared a lesson that morning to really help build her faith and get her excited for her baptism THIS week!! We read with her in D&C 31:1-3 and told her that her mission in this time of her life is to follow Christ and be baptized, and that it would take a lot of faith on her part, but that it was something that she could do and needed too help her family. Our leaders helped so much and just took over and my testimony of priesthood power was strengthened so much, but mainly, I was so grateful for the Spirit because I know that without the Spirit she wouldnt have accepted, but she did! She accepted and was baptized on Saturday and her mind was firm in her decision!! The great part was that her sister in law Tanya was there at the baptism and told us that she was almost crying to see Maria Fernanda be baptized and it made her even more excited for her own baptism! The promise to Maria Fernanda that `she would be a light to her family` was already started to be fulfilled, and I know that Heavenly Father works in wonderful ways!! I know that He alwasys comes through on His part if we are worthy and obedient! It is such a pleasure and blessing to be here learning from these people and seeing the gospel bless their lives!! 

I love you all so much and pray that you all have a great and safe week!! I love you all so much!!! 
Love, Hermana Hawkes 
This was our day on the Malecon!
Maria Fernanda`s baptism
All of the Loaiza Family! 🙂