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