Monday, January 27, 2014

Rough Week

Hola familia y amigos,

to be honest, this was a reallyrough week. We had a baptism fall through and had to drop a bunch of our other investigators who had baptismal dates. You might think that having a lot of people with baptismal dates means we're having a lot of success, but sadly, that is not the case. We're encouraged to set baptismal dates early on in the teahing process (firstorsecond visit), so we do. And a lot of people accept. But the thing is, very few people follow through. I've mentioned before that many people here aren't very reliable. Tons of people will promise to come to church over and over and then never show up. Or people will set appointments with us and then we'll get to their house and they won't be home. People just don't have a sense of commitment. We have a lot of great first lessons with people who seem really interested, but they lead us to believe that they're going to get baptized and then let us down and it ends up just feeling like a total waste of time. I know, it's never time wasted and hope that we've at least planted a seed in the hearts of the investigator's we've had to drop that will later develop into a testimony, but it's really frustrating.

Jennifer was supposed to get baptized on Wednesday. We visited her on Monday and told her we'd be bringing the elders the next day to conduct her baptismal interview and explained what it would be like and everything seemed to be going well, but the next day we arrived at her house for the interview and he dad said she was at her grandma's house. However, her mom said she was at her aunt's house and wouldn't be back until Monday. They were obviously lying to us. The next day, I passed Jennifer and her mom in the street and asked her what happened. She said she had to go to work to earn money for her schooling. I asked her when she'd be in her house and shesaid she didn't know. Ah, WHAT HAPPENED??? She was so positive and ready to be baptized! We talked to her mom later this week and she said she took her Book of Mormon with her so I believe she still has a desire to get baptized. Maybe it really was just unfortunate timing. I don't know. But I do know one thing: there is ALWAYS a trial in the week before a baptism. If you think things are gonna just go smoothly, you're wrong. As I've seen with every one of my baptisms so far, there's always an obstacle. Satan is working really hard to keep people from taking this important step in their life. I still have a lot of hope for Jennifer and the next time she's in her house, we're gonna verify how she's doing.
Another of our investigators, Marlo, had a baptismal date for this weekend, but we visited him this week and he said he feels closer to God in another church. We emphasized the importance of the priesthood authority and the proper organization of the church. We invited him to keep praying and reading the Bookof Mormon and promised that if he'd be patient, he'd receive an answer, but later in the week, he messaged us and said he didn't want to keep receiving the lessons because God had indicated that the other church is where he was supposed to be. NOOOO!!! Our first lesson with him was so awesome! He was so hungry to learn and even asked if he could get baptized before the set date if he felt ready! What happened? I think Jorge got to him. We were teaching Jorge, but had to drop him because he wasn't progressing and I think he was putting ideas into Marlo's head. Soooo disappointing!!

Our numbers were really low this week. We've been working hard and trusting in the Lord and feel like we've been teaching with the Spirit, but we just did not have any success this week! Every night we returned to the house totally wiped out and disheartened. I don't understand what we're doing wrong! We even fasted for Thomasa this week that her heart would be softened, but we visited her later this week and she made it clear she's never going to let go of her pride and change religions. Breaks my heart. I feel like we should drop them because they're not progressing, but Hna. Tarax thinks we should keep visiting. It's hard to know when you should drop an investigator and when you should keep fighting for them. How long to we push to help them understand until we should drop them and move on to other investigators? I don't know why this week turned out so badly. Maybe there's something we need to change in our teaching strategy or maybe it was just a trial of our faith. Either way, I hope and pray this week is better.

Love, Hermana Hawkins

Link to Pictures

There is the link to view NataLee's pictures!


Hola famila y amigos! Holy cow, Nicaragua is an inferno. It's now summer here and I feel like I'm standing too close to a fireplace. But at least I'm not in Chinandega like Hna. Salinas, because it's even hotter in that area. Every night my comp and I return to the casa totally exhausted. I haven't been slacking off on my journal,but I don't have the energy to stay up and write in it. People are so unreliable here; it's really frustrating. So many people promised they'd come to church this Sunday and never came. A bunch of people make appointments to have us teach them, but then when we walk all the way to their house, they aren't even home. Few people here have cell phones and even the ones who do rarely answer when we call them to remind them about a lesson or church. We only had one investigator in the church on Sunday and only one recent convert of 19 showed up. Boy do we have our work cut out for us. The retention rate here is so low. Why can people just understand the importance of going to church every Sunday? It's hard. Last Monday night, we had a lesson with Thomasa and Roger and were about it set a baptismal date when this lady (a friend of Thomasa's) walked in and ruined everything. (Everyone here leaves their door open when they're home so people just walk right in). This lady was Evagelica and started asking questions and showing her dislike for our religion and then her and Thomasa started disputing over the bible and we couldn't feel the spirit so we left. Erg, it's so frustrating because Roger is so humble and he has expressed a desire to be baptized, but he won't do it without Thomasa. She is so stubborn and prideful. We fasted this week that she would have a change of heart and humble herself before God. Tonight we're gonna have another lesson with them and we're hoping we can set a baptismal date. We're teaching this 15-year-old girl named Jennifer who is gonna be baptized this Wednesday. She's just great. She's reading the Book of Mormon and going to church and last week she shared a scripture with us that she'd found in the Book of Mormon and really liked : Mosiah 2:41. We thought it was so cool that she found that scripture herself. Her parents don't care to listen to the lessons or come to church and say they won't even come to her baptism, but they say they'll give permission if she wants to be baptized. It's sad that they don't even care to learn about something thatmeans somuch to their daughter. We have 3 other investigators with baptismal dates for this Sunday, but one of them we have to move because she hasn't been to church yet and one of the others might not happen because her husband doesn't want her to go to church, but we're hoping the third one (a guy named Marlo) still happens. We're trying to look forward with faith! I got my Nicaragua cedula (visa) so I'm officially a resident here for a year. I'm probably forgetting a bunch of other things that happened this week, but I'm out of time so I'll write more next week. Love you all!!!!! Con mucho amor, Hermana Hawkins
P.s. On dropbox there are also some pics of us playing with a ward member's baby rabbits, a picture of a homemade doll man that's people here make as a tradition and then set on fire on New Year's Eve, some pics of my district and Zone from last transfer, a pic of the giant tarantula
(will be posted to blog shortly)

No Time

Hola familia y amigos!  

Hermana Tarax is awesome. She's 22 and from Guatemala. She even shorter than Hna. Salinas, can you believe it? She was 9 or 10 when she got baptized. Her whole family are members, but her and her younger sister are the only ones who are active. We already get along great! I was super surprised how easy the transition from companions was. She doesn't speak English, but I'm teaching her some phrases in English, so that's fun. Yesterday, she asked me to teach her the lyrics to the song "Call Me Maybe" hahaha. Hermana Tarax is probably the sweetest person alive. When she got to our house the first day here in Leon, she pulled out three stuffed animals and put them on her bed, told me each of their names, and gave one of them a kiss. Haha. She's always happy and loves to give hugs, and even though I'm not a very touchy person, I don't mind it because she's so easy to love. Super easy going and positive and has a really strong testimony. I am going to learn a lot from her. She always uses tons of great examples in the lessons and relates to the investigators really well.
Erg, I'm almost out of time. I will try to sum up Roger and Thomas really quick. They're a Catholic couple who are dedicated to their religion, but like to "listen to the word of God" so they let us teach them. Roger found a Book of Mormon in someone's trash a few years back and asked if he could have it. He started reading it, but stopped after a while. When we found him, he started reading it again. We left specific verses for him to read, but he took the iniciative to start reading from the beginning as well. He said he's reading about three pages a day and is planning on finished it. He and Thomasa came to church on Sunday. MIRACLE. We taught them again that night and shared the Restoration video and I stated crying when I bore my testimony at the end of that lesson. They both said they believe the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and I think Roger has come to the realization that this is the true church, but Thomasa is stubborn and bit prideful. She still says. "I like to listen, but I have my religion." She knows it's true, but won't accept the reality. We gonna be very clear and a bit bold with them in our lesson tonght. Hna. Tarax is positive they're going to get baptized. Sorry I don't have time to write more! But I did send pics! More next week! Love you all!

Hermana Hawkins

Monday, January 13, 2014


Ah, one more thing: I died my hair back to my natural color this week and my comp cut her hair really short! I'll send a pic next week. I'm having problems uploading pics today again.

Happy New Year!

Hola familia y amigos! Transfers are tomorrow! I'm stayin in Leòn and my new comp will be Hermana Tarax (prnounced "tar-ahsh"). I'll meet her tomorrow. I've heard she's a really great missionary. She'll be senior comp and also the sister training leader in our zone. I'm so glad I don't have to train. Hermana Behan has the same time in the mission as me (just finished her training) and is already gonna be training! Crazy! I'm hope I will be ready when that day comes for me. This week we had the baptism of a guy named Jorge planned for Saturday, but we had to move it back because he had had some doubts that he needed to get baptized again since he was already baptized in another church. We explained that it's important to be baptized with the proper authority from God. On Sunday, he came to church, but he wasn't in the class for new people after sacrament meeting so we thought he had left, but we found him later in the bishop's office talking with the bishop! When he came out, Hna. Salinas asked him if he'd been reading and he smiled and nodded yes and she asked if he'd prayed and he nodded yes with a smile again. That's a good sign! We'll see how teaching him goes this week. I think he could be ready for baptism this weekend. We're also teaching Jorge's friend, Marlo. He is golden! In our first lesson with him, we pulled out a Book of Mormon and started telling him about it and before I could tell him the copy was for him to keep, he asked if he could find it at a book store cuz he wanted a copy.Hewas so interested he was gonna look for and buy one! We told him the copy was for him and asked him to read 2 verses in Moroni and pray about it before our next visit. He said he wouldand then asked if he could start from the beginning and read it. Of course! Then we extended the baptismal invitation for Jan. 25th. He said yes, and then asked if could get baptized before that day if he felt ready!! Heck yes you can!! He is totally ready for this gospel. I'm excited to see how things go. This week we were walking in the street and passed out house where a guy was blasting super vulgar music in English and he was shouting out the profane words! It was HORRIBLE!! I cringed and picked up my pace. How can people listen to such abominable music? Satan is real. We met with Francisco and Esperanze this week and were very disappointed to hear that Francisco is going to work in Costa Rica and could be gone for a whole year which means their goal to get married and baptized at the end of this month is shot and we have to drop them. So sad!! I sure hope future missionaries contact them and that they'll be ready then. Oh, did I mention we found a huge tarantula crawling on the wall in our house this week? We tried to kill it by throwingflipflopsand spraying bug killed at it, but it escaped out the window in the roof of our house and I was so afraid it was gonna come back in the middle of the night, but as far as I know, it didn't. Welp, that's all for this week! Tomorrow, I'll have a new companion! I hope the adjustment isn't too hard. I know that with the Lord's help, I can make the transition alright. I love you all!!! Until next week, Hermana Hawkins