Tuesday, April 29, 2014

So Much to Write, So Little Time

Hola familia y amigos!

Wow, I have so much to write and so little time, so I will probably have to continue this letter next week.
My second week here we had the ward talent show. My comp and I and the two other sister missionaries in our ward prepared a number. We stood with our back's turned to the audience and shook our fingers in the air, as upbeat music played, to make it seem like we were gonna dance. And then when the music drop, we jumped around and held out papers that said "Las misioneras no bailan" or, "The missionaries don't dance". We got a lot of laughs. Everyone thought we were gonna dance. I think it gave the stake president a good surprise hahaha. Then we called out "But we sing!" and proceeded to do a Spanish rendition of "The Cup Song". I changed the lyrics to a missionary theme. Here are the lyrics:

Hemos tocado muchas puertas hoy
(We've knocked a lot of doors today)
Y nadie quiere escuchar,
(And no one wants to listen)
Pero no nos vamos a desanimar,
(But we're not gonna get discouraged),
Porque estamos aquì para predicar. (Because we're here to preach) CHORUS:
Y enseñar, y bautizar, vamos a ir y invitar
(And teach, and baptize, we're gonna go and invite)
En las montañas, en los valles, y tal vez hasta la playas, o,
(In the mountains, in the valleys, and maybe even to the beaches, oh)
Vamos a ir y predicar.
(We're gonna go and preach)
En Nicaragua hace mucho calor,
(In Nicaragua, it's very hot)
y los siervos del Señor,
(And the servants of the Lord)
Caminan sudando, pero gozando
(walk, sweating, but taking joy)
Porque saben que van a rescatar,
(Because they know they're gonna rescue)
CHORUS again.

The other three missionaries did the rhythm with the cups and I sang and then at the end, they joined in singing too. Juancito, our lunch lady's son, wanted to participate so he called out "Uno, dos, tres!" to start off the song and we gave him a cup to play with so he felt like he was part of the group. We had a great turnout for the talent show. The ward goal was 150 and we had almost 200 attend! It was great! The show was straight-up awesome. I tried sending some videos of some of the acts, but I think they're too dark too see. It was a really fun night.

I love the people here. They are so happy and free-spirited. Yesterday we had three baptism! Two young men (Mauricio- age 17, and Victor- age 14) and one young woman (Elizabeth- age 17). Mauricio and Elizabeth are dance students of Kevin and Judith and Victor is an investigator that Hna. Cruz and her comp found before I came here. It was such a special day and I am so happy to have had the chance to help bring them into Christ's fold. They are the future generation of the Church. Crazy to think that in just 4 weeks here, I saw as many baptisms as in my entire 6 months in Leon. I'm already seeing miracle here and know that God has many more in store! I'll write more next week! Love you all! Have a great week and pray for missionary experiences!!

Love, Hermana Hawkins

P.s. Juancito prounounces my name "Hermana 'Awkeen'" haha.
P.p.s. Kevin and Judith's dog's name is spelled "Puppy", which is funny first of all because it's a cat named puppy and second of all because in Spanish it's pronounced "poopi" hahahahaha. I couldn't help but laugh when I heard that one.


Hola familia y amigos,

I just watched the "Because of Him" video that the church released for Easter and loved it. I really can't fathom the fact that every single person who ever lived will live for ever. Each person will die and live again. Because of Jesus Christ, we are eternal beings. I loved the talk in Conference a few weeks ago by Elder Uchtdorf. He talked about being grateful IN our circumstances and not just AFTER our problems have been resolved. I've been reflecting a lot on that and trying to have a more grateful heart. But my favorite part of his talks was when he talked about the eternal nature of things. I'm going to copy it here so you all can read it:

We Are Not Made for Endings:
In light of what we know about our eternal destiny, is it any wonder that whenever we face the bitter endings of life, they seem unacceptable to us? There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings. Why is this?Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless 13 and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny.The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful. How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings.

Also, If you haven't had the chance to watch the video yet, watch it now! http://easter.mormon.org/?cid=HPTU041514694

I hope you all had a wonderful Easter and really meditated about the glorious resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Ahhhhh...... I think the first part of my letter from last week didn't get sent! Noooooo........ ah, it was so long too! I'm going to try to rewrite it. Erg, I doubt I'll have time to write everything so I'll probably have to continue it next week.

I LOVE it here in Chinandega. The members are awesome and so willing to help in the work. My comp is Hna. Cruz, a big girl from El Salvador. She has 3 months in the mission (just finished her training). She's so loving and always lets people know we're here to serve them. She's a great missionary too. Her and her comp had 11 baptisms in the last 3 months alone. I'm excited to work with her and learn from her. Our lunch apt. is Hermana Juanita. She is absolutely AMAZING!! She made me feel so welcome my first day here. She asked me what things I do and don't like to eat and said I can tell her how much I want when she's scooping it onto my plate. Awww, I love her. It's so nice to not have to stress about hating the food or having to shoving more food down my throat than can fit into my stomach. She told me she wants me to feel at home in her house. Get this: Her husband's name is Juan and her 3 year old's son name is Juancito. Haha. Juanita, Juan, and Juancito. Two other missionaries, who are in our same ward and same area eat at her house too. Juanita and Juan call us their daughters. Juanita also washes the missionaries' clothes and does so with much care and delicacy. Score! It will be nice to not have to worry about washing all my own clothes, especially because the missionary schedule really doesn't make time for it. There is this member couple here name Judith and Kevin and I'm not even sure I have the words to describe how totally awesome they are. They're like the perfect couple. They are dance instructors and professional dancers. They go to a lot of competitions and have even been on T.V. Judith has been a member for 2 years and Kevin for 5. They have already given us so many referrals for people to teach and love accompanying us to lessons. They also told us they want to spend an entire day with us going to lessons and introducing us to new people to teach. They are every missionaries dream! Kevin says he talks with everyone about the gospel and that if it's not part of the conversation, her brings it up. They say sharing the gospel brings them so much joy. We had an amazing lesson with them my first week here with a lady named Marta that made me cry. Kevin and Judith kept saying they loved her and that God loves her and they bore powerful testimony. I felt the spirit so strong. After the lesson, Kevin and Judith kept pointing out houses to us of friends with whom they want to share the gospel. They sure are popular! And I can understand why. They are just the happiest pair of people! And probably the greatest member missionaries that ever lived! We didn't get back to the house until almost 10 o' clock, but we didn't even care because it was such an awesome night. Gosh, I am so happy to be here! All that time struggling in Leon and not having much success just makes me appreciate so much more the blessing I am receiving here. God is the master of Heaven, and earth and space. He really does have a perfect plan and I know that if we are patient and trust in him, he will carry us through our trials and we will find happiness. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary and meet so many wonderful people here in Nicaragua.

This ward is the best! Our mission leader brought up in a ward meeting that us missionaries didn't have dinner appointments for some nights of the week so the leaders started saying which days they could feed us and now we have dinner appointments for every night! What a blessing! In Leon, we never had a single set dinner appointment.

Random sidenote: The soup here is made by putting everything in a pot and boiling it, so there are huge globs of grease because of the meat. It makes meat feel so unhealthy and can't possibly be good for my skin. Who want's to eat hot super in 100 degree weather anyway?? Crazy...

There's this member named Hno. Blanco who is the cutest little old guy with snow white hair and a huge testimony. He has accompanied to a few lessons and when we were visiting a sick old lady who wanted to receive a blessing of health, he came right away. Aw, love him. I cried during the blessing because my heart was so full of gratitude and love for the members here.

We're teaching this sweet little old lady named Beatrice. At the end of a lesson, the member who was with us offered the prayer and afterwards, Beatrice said, "I'm also going to say a prayer for you all" and proceeded with the sweetest prayer thanking God that we visited her and asking him to take care of us. Aww! She's the cutest!

Welp, I have a lot more to write, but I'm out of time so more next week! The video I sent over dropbox is of a song us 4 missionaries did in the ward talent show two weeks ago. I'll tell you more about it next week.

Love you all! Hermana Hawkins

Monday, April 14, 2014

Part 2

Happy Easter!!
Part 2... For those of you who are wondering if I felt the earth quake in Nicaragua this last week, the answer is yes. There were actually two, two days in a row. Both days we were in a lesson when it happened. The first one was freaky at first, but I just sat there and it stopped after a minute. The second one the next day wasn't as strong.
One day last week, I woke up in the middle of the night and my hands were swelled up so much I could hardly bend my fingers. They stung and my whole body itched. I applied some medicated body powder and was able to go back to sleep, but my hands were still a little swollen in the morning. We tried to figure out what caused it, if it was an allergic reaction to something I ate, but I hadn't eaten anything out of the ordinary. That night I sprayed some insect repellant on my feet before going to bed to see if it was insects that caused it. I slept fine and in the morning my hands weren't swollen at all so I think it must have been red ants cause I saw one crawling on my bed a few days before. Darn ants.
Well, I'm out of time again and still haven't told you about the fun ward activity we had this week so you'll have to wait till next week to hear about it. And I'll send lots of pictures! Love you all so much!! Please pray for my brother Hunter who is recovering from an ATV accident.
Con mucho amor, Hermana Hawkins

Sunday, April 13, 2014

New Area

Hola familia y amigos!
Here I am in the Chinandega Oeste Zone in the area of Acome 1. It`s hotter than Leon and I've come to just accept the fact that I'm going to be sweaty all day. Eww..... Well, my companion Hna. Cruz is actually from El Salvador and she is super friendly and loving and a hard worker. The members here are awesome!! I'm almost out of time so I'll write more next week. Conference was amazing, as always and we had 5 investigators attend. I love my area here. More details to come. I just got word from Hna. Tarax that Ruddy (an investigator we were teaching in Leon) got baptized this week! Woohoo! I'm so happy to hear that.
Well, I'm so sorry this letter is lame and super short, but this keyboard is awful and I have to push really hard on the space bar and it makes writing slow. I love you all! Have a wonderful week! Go make someone`s day!!
Con mucho amor, Hermana Hawkins


Hola familia y amigos!!
First off, tomorrow are transfers and I'm going to Chinandega! Believe it or not, it's even hot there than it is here. Ah, I'm going to die of heat stroke. So if you don't hear from me next week, you'll know why. Haha.
My new comp's name is Hna. Cruz. I haven't met her and all I know is that she's from Nicaragua. I'll be senior comp. Not that that even matters. When you're working together like you're supposed who is senior comp and who is junior comp is irrelevant. Really the only difference is that the money for the house gets deposited in the senior comp´s account so I'll be responsable for taking care of that. I'm sad to say goodbye to the people here, but I know I will meet many more amazing people throughout my mission. This week there a dust storm here. I didn't even realize how gross I was getting until I wiped my face with a tissue and tons of dirt came off. It was crazy. I'll send pics next week.
This Saturday we got to watch the Women's Conference and I loved it! I was suprised how much of the talks I could understand. It was so powerful to hear the women, young women, and girls of the church sing together! It made me think of all of the amazing women I know and how they were probably watching the same broadcast at the same time and it made me really miss everyone. It´ll probably be the same with General Conference this weekend. But I'm so excited to hear from the living prophet! It will be awesome. I don't think I really apreciated General Conference until my mission. It's so great to receive modern revelation. Everybody make sure to watch it!
Two of the sisters who I came with, Hermana Howell and Hermana Lesher, had to go home for medical issues. Sad day. I hope they get better and will be able to finish their missions.
Someone here told me that the U.S. has started putting some sort of chip in people to make it easier to pay for things? Is that true? Sounds pretty dangerous to me.
This week was great. We're teaching some great families: Ruddy (who came to church again and is totally ready to be baptized. He talks about baptism more tha any investigatos I´ve ever had. We were hoping he could get baptized before the transfers, but we haven't taught all the lessons yet so it will probably be this week that he gets baptized. I'm sad I won't be here to see it, but if I can at least hear about it, that will be enough.) We're also teaching 3 families in one house who are a referral from members that accompany us to every lesson! It's awesome! Ah, of course, just when we're starting to see success, I get transferred. It's a real bummer that Hna. Tarax and I didn't have a single baptism together, but Ruddy's baptism will practically be ours.
Anyway, I'm glad that I'm leaving my comp with some good investigators instead of a leaving a burden for her, which is how it would have been if had been transferred last changed. I've learned a lot this change and I'm excited for the new adventures in Chinandega! I love you all. Enjoy conference!!
Con amor, Hermana Hawkins

Another Week

Hola familia y amigos,
More about Engel amd Judi... We had a good lesson with Engel this week and explained that before he can come to any conclusions about the stuff he found on the internet that he needs to pray about the message of the Restoration. Buuuut... we passed by their house later that week and Judi was smoking. The next day we passed by she was drinking with her so-called friends. She was on the phone when we arrived so we waited in front of her house to talk to her, but when she got off the phone she asked her friends if we had left, referring to us with a bad word (Hna. Tarax told me so later). Ah, how did she go from calling us angels to that?? The day before she sent us a text message asking us to lend her 1,000 cordobas ($40). We told her we didn't have that money, that trials in life are opportunities to exercise our faith, and sent the reference of a scripture in the Book of Mormon, but she texted back saying that book wasn't going to help her at all. It was made clear this week that we had to drop them. Ah, it breaks my heart because I know how much this gospel would bless their lives if they would just have the faith to start taking the steps!!! But they don't want to act which means they aren't going to repent or progress. We did our part and they are choosing misery instead happiness. But on the bright side, we're teaching a guy named Ruddy (a family to complete) and he's super humble and really wants to learn. I look forward to seeing him progress.
Did I tell you I wrote a song about Nicaragua? It's to the tune of " Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" and these are the lyrics: Super caliente es aquí en Nicaragua. Más cuando andamos sin bebiendo mucha agua. Ahora no tenemos energía para nada. Super caliente es aquí en Nicaragua!! (It's super hot here in Nicaragua. Moreso when walking without drinking much water. Now we don't have energy at all. It's super hot here in Nicaragua.) Just thought I´d share that.
I gave a talk in my ward yesterday. I didn't time it beforehand and it ended up lasting about 1 minutes. At the end I bore my testimony by singing a favorite hymn "How Great Thou Art". It expresses beautifully the awe I feel upon viewing the Lord´s gorgeous creations like the starts and moon and flowers. I got a lot of compliments on it afterwards. Music has always had a special place in my heart and I'm glad I could share it with the people here.
We finally reached the goals President set for us and get to return to the normal schedule of waking up at 6:30- Hallelujah!! It was tough waking up an hour earlier, but I do think it paid off.
Did I tell you that I ate cow intestine. I can't remember if I already mentioned that, but it was disgusting. I didn't know what it was until after and I don't think I would have been able to eat it if I knew what it was.
Today we got to go to the beach for P-day! We took lots of pictures and looked for cool shells and enjoyed the ocean breeze. I'll send pictures. I tried to dye my hair back to it's natural light brown this week, but it came out way too dark, so I'm going to re-dye it to try to fix it. Right now this dark color makes me look really washed out.
Apparently Nicaragua is the Centroamerican country that eats the most rice and beans. Just my like. I don't like beans and don't think I ever will. I eat them, but I don't like them.
It's the last week of the transfer and I'm pretty sure I'll get transferred, but ya never know so we'll see.
Sorry this letter is kind of random and unorganized. I was running out of time. I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!!
Con amor, Hermana Hawkins