Sunday, June 8, 2014

Link to More Pictures

And here are some pictures of a scorpion. 

Another Week Serving The Lord

Hola familia y amigos,
    Tomorrow I complete 9 months in the mission!!! I can't believe I'm halfway through! These last 3 months have gone by sooooooo much faster than the first 3. So this week my comp and I have been working a lot on finding new families to teach. We found this new couple named Mercedes and Luis who have an 8-year-old son named Javier. We had the first lesson with them on Saturday and they commited to coming to church the next day. We taught about the Book of Mormon but didn't have a copy to leave so Sunday, when we passed by in the morning to bring them to church we brought them a Book of Mormon. Luis sat down and started reading it that instant. Mercedes started making coffee and messing with the radio and we asked them if they were gonna come to church. She said it depended on Luis. So we asked Luis if he was gonna go and he wouldn't answer haha. He got robbed and beaten some years back so he has some injuries on his head that I think have caused some problems mentally. But not many cuz he definitely understands and can communicate himself. He does seem to have some trouble walking though. Anyway, we spent a half hour asking them if they were gonna go and saying we needed to leave soon cuz church was about to start. In the end, 5 minutes before church was gonna start, I said, "Ok, we're gonna hail a taxi and bring it over here, so we'll be right back and they we'll all go to the church. It was raining, so I wasn't sure they were gonna go out in the rain. We hurried and found a taxi and brought it to their house and after a couple minutes getting reading they got in the taxi and came with us to church and we only ended up being a few minutes late. And what to our suprise when we walked into the chapel and a member told us a couple had arrived who were asking for us. I thought, "Who could it be?" And began thinking of all the couples we were teaching who could have possibly showed up on their own. Turns out it was a less active we found this week who had commited to coming to church and he brought his wife! We didn't even know he had a wife!! Miracle!! 2 families in church! I know that faith works miracles. As we were passing by for people that morning, a lot of people who had commiting to coming to church had said something came up and they couldn't go so I started to feel discouraged. But as we walked along, I prayed in my heart that God would increase my faith and help me to not give up hope. 
  I really do love Nicaragua. The people here are so loving. They welcome you into your house even when you're a stranger! Also, in all my time here, I think I have only met a total of 3 people who don't believe in God. The people here understand the importance of Christ in their lives and almost everyone I meet, when I ask them what role Christ plays in their life, says, "Everything." or "Without him, we'd be nothing." It's awesome. 
   Something I've learned recently is that up to this point in my mission, I've wasted a lot of time visitng stubborn less actives, trying new tactics every time to help them to come to church. But there are so many less actives here and I've realized I need to forget the stubborn ones who aren't willing to open their hearts and go find the ones who are ready to come back to the fold of God, like Eleazar, the less active that came to church on Sunday and brought his wife. It's the same with investigators. We need to drop the stubborn ones and go find the ones who are humble and ready to act in faith. I think a really effective mission consists of a whole lot of finding and dropping and less time wasted with the same people who aren't gonna change. 
  Ooh, we also found an awesome new investigator this week named Reina, who is the niece of Beatriz, our recent convert who got baptized a few weeks ago. She's really positive and I'm hoping it stays that way. 
  Interesting note: People here ride motorcylces with babies in their arms. How dangerous!! Their are a lot less road laws here. I'm really suprised I haven't seen more accidents. 
   Also, I think I wrote that my comp was kinda of quiet. I was wrong. Once you get to know her, she's pretty quirky. And loves to tease. Here's an example of one of her quips: We're doing this "be a more loving companion" thing as a mission so I told her I loved her and she responded, "With your lips you honor me, but your heart is far from me." Hahaha. I don't think she is ever serious. In fact in can be quite hard to tell when she joking and when she's telling the truth. }
  Completely out of time. Love you all to the moon and back!! Go give someone a hug and tell them you appreciate them! :)
Love, Hermana Hawkins

Good Week

Hola familia y amigos!
   Once again, lots to write. I want to start off by sharing something cool I learned in my personal study a few weeks back. I was studying the Atonement in Luke 22 and read something I had never noticed before. Verse 45 reads, "And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow." Now I'd learned and learned about Jesus's suffering's in the Garden of Gethsemane before and knew that Jesus found his disciples sleeping, but something I read in that verse completely changed my perspective- "sleeping FOR SORROW". In the other accounts of the Atonement it just says "for their eyes were heavy". I had always kind of thought badly of the disciples for falling asleep while Christ was suffering in the garden. I thought they fell asleep because they didn't care what was taking place in that moments. I saw it as a horrible thing that they could allow themselves to fall asleep during such an important event and couldn't even wait for Christ for an hour. But when I read the words "for sorrow" and reflected on the fact that Jesus was only a stone's throw away from where the disciples were waiting, I realized that disciples had been watching Christ's sufferings. They were witnessing it all. And they fell asleep because they were so overcome with grief that their human bodies couldn't support it. They couldn't bear to see their Savior in such excruciating agony. I know what it feels like to be overcome with with exhaustion after much time crying. I can't imagine how utterly exhausted the disciples must have been after witnessing such a heart-wrenching scene. Then I thought, the disciples couldn't even bear to WATCH the Atonement, much less experience it, as Jesus did. What Christ suffered that day in Gethsemane is so far beyond our mortal comprehension. It is unfathomable. He felt every pain, every illness, every load of guilt, every betrayal, every regret, every crushed dream, every longing, every weakness, every sorrow, every affliction. Only the Son of the living God could have made such an infinite sacrifice and even He needed an angel to strengthem him. We will never truly comprehend the weight of the Atonement. But now I understand a little better what the disciples had to suffer and why that moment changed their lives forever.
   Ah. aren't the scriptures just amazing! I'm always learning new things! Especially for something I like to call "The profoundness of Hermano Juan". Hermano Juan (the husband of the member who feeds us lunch) has such a profound knowledge of the scriptures and deep doctrine. Whenever we have a spiritual question, we ask him and he always seems to know the answer. He has shared a few things with us that blow my mind haha. I can't really wrap my brain around some of it. For example, he asked us if dinosaurs lived on the earth in the time of Adam and Eve and we said we didn't know. He proceeded to explain that they never existed here in the earth, but that their fossils were brought from other worlds to be used as material in creating the earth. Woah. Who knows if that's true or not. But it's interesting to think about, right? 
   I don't know if I mentioned that Mauricio blessed the sacrament last week! That was really special to hear. He also received a calling as ward missionary!! Love it!
   This week is POURED rain and we had an appointment so we ventured out into the river in the street that reached half-way up our calfs. I had on a rain jacket, but my comp was using an umbrella which really didn't help at all because she got soaking wet. I think the rain must have been coming at an angle. It was all fun and exciting until I remembered that we often pass dead rats or birds lyring on the street and it made me about want to puke wondering what was beneath the river of water we were trudging through. Ew.... Oh, I also found a scorpion in our house this week and killed it with a chair. I feel like I'm becoming immune to the things that would normally scare the bejeebers out of me haha. 
   We had a training meeting in Managua this week and me and three other sisters performed my missionary versioin of "The Cup Song" and President liked it so much that afterwards, he had us perform it again to he could record it. Then all the other missionaries pulled out their cameras to record us too. President posted it to the mission facebook page: MisiĆ²n Nicargua Managua Norte: if you want to see it. 
 Welp, I'm out of time. More adventures to come next week! Love you all!! 
Hermana Hawkins