Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Not Much To Tell

Hola familia y amigos!
    Well, it looks like I may have been wrong about transfers. One of the sister training leaders told my comp that she´s getting transferred to another area and that I´m training again, which means one of two things: I´m staying to train here and my comp will be transferred and they will take out the two other sisters here to put in elders, or they´ll take out both my comp and I to put elders and I will be training and white-washing. I get the feeling that I´m staying here to train and the other sisters will be transferred, but who knows. All I gotta say, is that ya never really can be sure about transfers. I was positive my comp was gonna train, but I doubt they´ll have her train AND white-wash fresh out of her training. Guess we´ll just see what happens this Sunday. 
    This week, President gave us the goal to contact 10 familias each day. We were in Managua for a training meeting all day Tuesday so we didn´t contact any familias, but Wednesday we contacted 12, Thursday 12, Friday 11, and Saturday 15. We´re working hard on finding new families to teach in these next two weeks to prepare us for the Miracle of August (which is that the whole mission baptized more than 100 families in the month of August). I am determined to contribute a family this time! By Saturday night, we had 26 people and 7 families commited to coming to church the next day. Sunday morning we did divisiones with two sisters in the ward so we would be able to pass by for everyone to bring them to church. One by one, each promise fell through. Some people weren´t home. Others had to work. Others had some other excuse. And we ended up having zero investigators at church yesterday. Zero! And 26 had said they would come! Ugh, I just wish people would be honest. Man, it was disappointing. We felt like we had worked so hard contacting families and commiting people to coming to church this week and we had the goal of bringing 3 families to church. But alas, God gave us a trial of faith. I´m trying to stay positive. I know that trials are just signs that a blessing is around the corner so I have the firm hope that we will bring families to church this Sunday and we´ll make this last week the best one in the whole transfer! We´re going to recommit all the families who said they would come yesterday and we´re gonna commit more! From all the contacting we did, we have a lot of possibilities for new families, so I hope we can really increase our teaching pool. 
  My comp and I have been working on trying to shorten our lessons. Presidente wants us to only spend 30 minutes in any house. It´s harder than it sounds. Especially when the investigators have lots of questions and you just want to sit any answer them all, but our sister training leaders say that sometimes it´s better to leave someone with a question brewing and tell them you´ll answer it the next day when you come back. I´m trying to put that in practice and simplify my teaching. 
  Well, sorry this letter is pretty boring. We´re found some seemingly positive new investigators, but we haven´t taught them much so I´ll wait to tell you more about them when we see if they´re sincerely positive. I´m pretty antsy to find out what happens with transfers. I´ll let you know this Monday! 
   My love for the scriptures continues to grow. Hope you all are treasuring them and reading every day! Lots of love, Hermana Hawkins

Sunday, July 27, 2014

More Pictures

a dead baby mouse we found in our room.... EW!!! (this picture doesn't really show the size very well, but it was puny. still, it was so hard for me to get up the guts to get rid of it), cool rubber shoes I bought to use in the rain, day at the beach in Corinto, eating lunch with the sister of the zone

3 generation pic (my trainer and my "daughter" in the mission), me with all four of my comps so far

Reyna's baptism, a cool braid thing another sister did on my hair, a chicken on a clothesline, my district from this last transfer

My Letter Titles Are Always Lame - Sorry

Hola familia y amigos,
   Yesterday we had an an awesome first lesson with a couple named Veronica and Donald who are super prepared to hear the gospel. We received a referral from other missionaries and went to contact it. We found the house, but they weren´t home. So we continued to check back various times, but they were never home. One Sunday before church, we finally found them in their house and set an appointment to return. But when we arrived for the appointment, they weren´t home. So we went back another day to check and they still weren´t home. And finally, yesterday evening we found them at home! They were just about to leave, but we told them "Just 15 minutes! It will be worth your time!" So they stayed and we were able to teach them the Restoration. They commited to coming to church and to reading the Book of Mormon and praying and they accepted a baptismal date! The lesson was definitely not 15 minutes long. Even though we were trying to be concious of time, it was like 45 minutes, but I didn´t even care cuz it was just such an awesome lesson! My comp told me after that she felt the spirit the strongest in that lesson of all the lessons of her mission so far. We set an appointment to go back this Wednesday and Veronica said she wants the whole family together when we teach them because she wants them all to be saved. Heck yes! She also said something she liked about the church is our devotion to searching for the lost sheep and said that other people wouldn´t have given up after a couple times not finding them in the house, but that we kept coming. It showed me how important persistence can be in missionary work. II´m grateful God trusted us enough to place them in our path and hope I can keep working hard and exercising my faith to find more prepared families like them. So that was exciting. But sadly, I´m pretty sure I won´t be here for their baptism. We had interviews with presidente this week and he pretty much told me comp we won´t be together for another transfer and he alluded that she will be training! So I´m pretty positive I´m gonna have transfers in two weeks. I wish I could be there for Veronica and Donald´s baptism, but hopefully I can´t at least hear about it and see pictures. But I will miss this area and the members here. 
   We´re teaching another lady named Reyna who is a single mom and has a 9 year old daughter. She has come to church twice and seems to be progressing well. We´re hoping she will get baptized with her daughter this Sunday. We´re also teaching Reyna´s mom and step dad. 
   We´re facing some challenges with Leonardo. His neighbors are recent converts and apparently he´s being saying stuff to them that he never says to us in the lessons. The last time we went with him he said he believed the Book of Mormon was true and that the church was restored though the prophet Joseph Smith, but his neighbor told us yesterday that throughout the week Leonardo has been going over to talk to them and says that they´re crazy and that the church teaches false doctrine. What? I think it´s his wife that is causing him to doubt. She is very closed off when we try to teach and said that she´s already congregated in a church even though she doesn´t even go anymore. Also, he´s one of those people who believes that before, we were under the law of most but now we´re under His grace and that certains laws don´t exist anymore because Christ did away with the law of Moses. That means he doesn´t believe in tithing. We tried to help him understand that the laws of God are eternal and that Christ only removed the legal consequences of the Law of Moses, but that doesn´t mean he removed the commandments. It´s still wrong to kill and to rob and titihing still exists. We´re going to study a lot for Leonardo and see how we can help him overcome his doubts. Please pray for him.  
  This week I tried green mangos with salt and lime juice and this chile powder called taj√≠n. I actually really liked it. It has an interesting zesty flavor. I´ve decided that when I get back I´m going to make it for the family, as well as papusas and fried plantains, and maybe a few other things I´ve tried here. 
   Welp, I´m happy to be a missionary and am learning so much every day. I hope all of you develop a love for the scriptures. There is so much we can learn from them. And when we apply them to our own lives and to the lives of others, our studies are so much more edifying. Hope everyone has a wonderful week! Con mucho amor, Hermana Hawkins

The Effects of the Sickness

hahahahahaha... just kidding, it´s just a cool effect on another missionarie´s camera. How ugly... hahaha

When I am Weak, Then Am I Strong

Hola familia y amigos!
   I´m pretty much all better. My body is still trying to figure out how to digest food right and I´m still taking some anitbiotics, but now I´m off the pain medication and am feeling great! Ah, there´s nothing like being really sick to make you super grateful to be healthy. I hope this feeling of gratitude will carry me to work even harder in my area. No Mom, it wasn´t a parasite. It was an infection in my intestines. I don´t know what type of infection, but the nurse said it was probably caused by something I ate. We´re assuming it was some food from a fritanga (street vendor) that I had last week. Needless to say, I won´t be eating from fritangas anymore. I don´t think it´s anything permanent. I already gained back my appetite and am eating normally again. But goodbye tan. Hello pale. Haha I need to get some sun again to get my tan back.
   We were able to go back out and work in our area on Thursday night. So we only had two full days of teaching/tracting this week (Friday and Saturday). I was pretty stressed for all the time we had lost while I was sick and for not having visited our investigators all week. I worried that our numbers would be horrible this week and that we wouldn´t be able to bring anyone to church on Sunday. But God blessed us with another little miracle. Friday, we did divisions with two member so that we could split up and double the number of lessons. That helped. It was pretty exhausting jumping back into the missionary schedule of walking all day after 4 days in bed, but I did it. And the next day was easier. Also, my comp did awesome without me. I need to give her more chances to take the reigns. Then, Sunday in the morning, we did divisions with members again so that we would have time to pass by for all of our investigators and bring them to church. We ended up bringing 5 people to church and the church attendance was up by 33 people! I was so happy and relieved. I hope things continue to go well in our area and we can keep strengthening our ward. 
   I think God wanted to teach me a little something about faith. When things are beyond our control and there´s nothing more we can do, that´s when God steps in and manifests his power. 2 Corinthians 2: 9-10 "And he said unto me, my grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me... for when I am weak, then am I strong." I was really weak at the beginning of this week. And a little weak in faith towards the end of the week, worry that we wouldn´t have success on Sunday, but God´s power is made perfect in weakness and he showed me that even when the odds are completely against us, God can do miracle. Anything is possible with God. We just need to have the faith look past the seemingly poor probabilities. 
   We´re teaching this awesome guy named Leonardo who is reading the Book of Mormon and praying and went to church on Sunday. He was baptized in a church called the Church of Christ and when we invited him to be baptized he said he couldn´t be baptized again because he was already baptized. Never heard that one before... not. Haha. But anyway, we explained the priesthood authority and he still didn´t seem to understand so we brought the district leader and then on Sunday, we brought the Elder´s Quorum president and he explained things really well and Leonardo accepted a baptismal date for August! It was awesome. He even said that maybe God will want him to get baptized earlier! He said, "When I get my answer, I get baptized that same day." Ah, I´m praying to much that he will be able to recognize his answer when he gets it! He was in a war earlier in life and God saved his life like two times. I know God preserved him for a purpose. He had to learn about the restored gospel! 
  I forgot to mention last week that the mission accomplished the goal of baptizing 102 families in the month of June. I wish I could say we contributed a family to that number, but we did not. We just contributed a lot of prayers for the whole mission. And we are working hard to try to baptize a family soon. I have yet to baptize an entire family in my mission. I hope I can do it before I get transferred from this area.
   My recent convert Elizabeth went to the temple in Honduras to do baptisms for the dead a couple weeks ago with the stake! How awesome is that? It brought me joy to hear that. Also, yesterday, we got to church late after leaving to fetch an investigator and missed the sacrament. I felt so incomplete and didn´t want to miss taking the sacrament even once on my mission because it has become something so much more sacred for me in the mission, so I asked the Bishop if we could still take it and he arranged for the sacrament to be blessed in the secretaries office and given to us. And guess who blessed it? Mauricio! It was so special to have one of my converts bless that sacrament especially for me and my companion. It´s like a circle. Hermana Cruz and I helped him receive the gospel and now he was helping my companion and I receive a sacred ordinance on the Sabbath. 
  I´m ready to hit the ground running this week and see some more miracles. Hope you all have a fantastic week and stay healthy! Until next week, Hermana Hawkins

Happy Late 4th of July!

Hola todos!
   Sorry for not writing on Monday. I was sick and couldn´t go to the cyber. It´s been kind of a rollercoaster of a week. On Tuesday I started feeling nauseous and later I got the chills and a fever and we had to enter the house an hour early that night. The next day I didn´t have a fever anymore, but I had really bad stomach pains. I tolerated it for most of the day, bu around 7:30pm it was so bad I could hardly walk and had to keep taking breaks to sit down and wait for the pain to ease. I decided to ask the Bishop for a blessing so we walked to his house. When I was about to ask for the blessing I start crying thinking about all the times my Dad gave me Father´s blessings when I was sick and wishing he was there to give me one then. The bishop gave me a blessing and we went back to the house. The next day I woke up feeling better and all Thursday, Friday, and Saturday I was totally fine. Saturday we had the baptism of Roxana and were able to see a miracle. We found Roxana had been crying in the bathroom right before the service began and realized she was having doubts. We tried to help, but she only wanted to talk to her Mom. That worried me because her Mom was the one who had said she would only give Roxana permission to get baptized if she demonstrated that she was really commited to this religion and was really sure about her decision to get baptized. Now that Roxana was having doubts, I was worried her mom would convince her to cancel the baptism. But she didn´t! When Roxana came out of the bathroom, we took pictures, and then proceeded with the baptism. Wow. Roxana´s mom is the LAST person I thought would be encouraging her to move forward with her baptism. That was really cool. It was a great service. So everything went well witht that. Sunday morning in sacrament meeting I started getting chills, but thought it was just from stress, hoping that our investigator had a good first experience at church, but by Relief Society I was visibly shaking from cold. I took some ibuprofen and hoped it would kick in soon. After church, at 1pm, wad the baptism of Janina and that 1 hour between church and the baptism felt like one of the longest hours of my life. By that time I new I had a raging fever. My skin felt like a thousand degrees. But I had to stay for the baptism. As the service started, I was sweating and my face was bright red. I was breathing deeply and was miserable. After tolerated the fever until Janina went under the water and then couldn´t stand it anymore. I went and laid down on a bench in the hallway. The members start noticing I was sick and that made me cry. One member brought me a wet rag to put on my forhead. We decided to leave right then and took a taxi back to the house so I wouldn´t have to walk in the scorching heat. When we got back to the house, I took me temperate and had a fever of 103 degrees! Up until this point I hadn´t called the mission nurse. My comp and the other two missionaries in our ward kept telling me too, but I refused because I hadn´t once had to call the mission nurse in my whole time here and even before when I got sick at the start of my mission I was able to take some medicine that I brought from the states and was able to get better.  I knew the nurse received lots of calls from whiny missionaries with trivial conditions so I didn´t want to add to her stress, but my fever was so high that I gave in and told my comp to call the nurse.  I took some tylenol, started drinking lots of cold water and kept a wet rag on my head. Then I took a cold shower and my fever started to go down. But then came the awful stomach pains and  the diarreah. (Yep, it´s part of life when you´re serving in Centro America). I think I went to the bathroom like 12 times. I stayed in bed all day. My comp and the other two sister missionaries took care of my all afternoon and into the night. Some elders even came to give me a blessing of health. That night, I didn´t sleep well at all and had to get up several times to use the bathroom. The next day  (Monday) I wasn´t any better. I still had wrenching stomach pains and diarreah.I also threw up twice and had a headache when I sat up or started walking. I had absolutely no appetite and it seemed like everything just went right threw me. I stayed in bed all day again and the mission nurse finally arrived around 6pm to give me some medication. The members kept asking how I was doing and some of them made us food and brought it too us. The next day, I felt a bit better, but the stomach pains continued, a little less strongly. I threw up a couple more times as well. The mission nurse called and said I should go to a clinic to have some tests taken. So my comp and Hermana Juanita hauled me to a clinic. We took a bathroom sample and when I got there, they took a blood sample. It scared me to receive medical care in a third world country, but I felt so sick that I knew it was necessary. Anyway, it turns out from the results of the tests they took that I have an intestinal infection and dehydration. I´m taking medication and have been staying in the house and resting and it´s helping me. So don´t worry, I´m on the mends! Today I felt a hundred times better than yesterday and I think tomorrow I might be able to go back out and work. It´s been a tough week, physically, but I know God has been strengthening me and my comp has been a lifesaver. She made me food and brought it to my bed and just took care of me when I was suffering in my bed. I´m so grateful for her. All I know is I will be sooooo happy to be healthy once I get over this sickness completely and I will be ready to dive into the work and give it my all. And what a miracle that during all of this, we saw two baptisms!  I´m happy God has a perfect plan. Philippians 4:13
Happy late 4th of July! I´m so grateful to have been born in a free country where we enjoy so much liberty and peace.  I love you all!
Hermana Hawkins 

Pictures of Baptisms!

Another Week in the Mission Field

      How's everybody doing? This week we had some pretty cool things happen. We´re teaching this lady named Janina who has a son serving a mission and another who just received his mission call. When her son left on his mission, she started coming to church. When we started visiting her she said that she wanted to wait to get baptized till her son get back from his mission, but that she wanted to receive the missionary lessons. We helped her understand the importance about not postponing baptism and talked a little about the temples and said that it would be even more special if her sons came back from their missions and she was already baptized so they could go to the temple together. We explained the priesthood authority and told her that her son who just received his mission call could baptize her if she gets baptized before he leaves and that encouraged her a lot. We put a tentative baptismal date with her for yesterday and when we set it, she asked about her baptismal clothes. That was the first sign that she was started to consider the idea of getting baptized sooner. We ended up moving the baptismal date a week later (for this Saturday) after seeing that she needed a little more time to receive all the lessons and one day, when we went to visit her and asked her about her reading and prayers, she said that she knew the church was true and confirmed that she was going to get baptized this weekend. Wooo!! It was super excited. I almost cried when she told us. She's awesome. She kinda reminds me of Aunt Stacy, just super fun-loving and generous. 
    We´re also teaching a 15-year-old girl named Roxana, whose older sister, Stacy, is a member. When we started visiting her, we asked her mom for permission for her to be taught and get baptized if that was what Roxana decided to do and her mom said that it was fine if we taught her, but that she would only let Roxana get baptized if Roxana really demostrated that she was commited to this religion. Because before, she had gone to church various times, but didn't stick with it. Stacy started investigating the church when she was 8 and her mom finally gave her permission to get baptized when she turned 15. We explained to the mom that Roxana is the same age that Stacy was when she got baptized, but she said that it´s different because Roxana hasn´t been involved with the church for as long. Roxana had been really worried that her mom wouldn't let her get baptized as early as the goal we´d put with her and had said she wanted to wait till her birthday in October. But as with Janina, we explained the importance of not postponing and that once she had her answer, she needed to move forward without delay because the opposition would only get harder if she waited. Anyway, we started teaching Roxana the lessons and she´s been reading every day. In one lesson she expressed that she still wasn´t sure if this was the true church, but then we asked her if she believed the Book of Mormon is true and she said, "Yeah, without a doubt", so we explained to her that the Book of Mormon is the evidence that this is the true church. When we went back for the next lesson she said she knew the church was true and that she wanted to get baptizd, but that she was afraid to ask her mom for permission for fear that she´d say no. We told her she just needed to share her testimony and express her feelings to her mom and that if we all united in prayer, God would soften her heart. After much prayer, we went to see her one night and she said, "Hermanas, I have something to tell you. I don´t know if this is the appropriate time, but I just want to thank you for coming to teach me..." --- in that moment, I thought she was about to say, "But I´m not going to be able to continue receiving the lessons" as we have heard time and time again from investigators. But to our delight, she said, "... Because if not my mom wouldn't be giving me permission to get baptized next Saturday." Ah, we were so excited! It was an answer to our prayers. I know that if we just ask God, and not just one time, but that if we keep asking in faith, that he will grant us the righteous desires of our hearts.
    On a more uneasy note, we went to visit an investigator this week named Thomasa and there was a little rat /mouse scurrying around on the floor. I didn´t mind it too much because it was so small and just ignored it. Then a little while later, I look over at the couch in the room and saw something crawling across the top. At first, I thought it was the mouse, but as I looked more closely, I thought, "Why does that rat have such weird, long arms?" And a second later, the "rat" opened up it´s wings and flew up to the ceiling! It was a BAT crawling across the couch! Ewwww! I HATE bats. Thomasa`s son whacked it with a mop and killed it. So many creepy creatures. 
   We teaching a family named Carlos and Lisseth and Lisseth is really positive. We taught her more than Carlos because it´s hard to find him at home, but they have a baptize date for this month. We brought some members to a lesson with Lisseth this week and one of them asked her if she wanted to get baptized and she said yes, that she´s gonna get baptized the 11th of July. That was great to hear because it was the first time she really confirmed that she is going to get baptized. We´ll probably have to move the date back a bit because we want her and her husband to take that step together and he hasn´t been to church yet. They have two adorable little girls named Maydana and Brittany. Please pray for this family. I want them to get baptized so badly. 
   Today for P-day we played volleyball and soccer and had scones with the missionaries in the zone. It was fun. 
  Welp, I´m out of time. Till next week! Love you all!
Hermana Hawkins


Hola familia y amigos!
   Yesterday our investigator Reyna was baptized!! She has been super positive from the start, but that doesn't mean it was all easy with her.There are ALWAYS obstacles. And they are necessary, too, to be able to determine if the investigators have the faith to conquer the obstacles. A week ago, Reyna texted us saying she wasn't going to go through with her baptism because she wasn't prepared and just wanted to hear the word of God. We went to visit her and she said has been really sick and was gonna move back home with her parents so she could receive treatment. We talked about the importance of baptism and assured her she was ready. We shared the story of the apostles who were fishing when Jesus showed up and told them to follow them and they instantly dropped their nets and followed him. We asked her if she thought they were prepared to follow Christ and she said no. We explained that we never really feel prepared, but when God calls us, we follow, and that God was calling her by way of His missionaries. We encouraged her to pray and asked God if she should get baptized and she said she would. The next visit, I think it was Thursday, we asked her if she had prayed about her getting baptized. She said yes. We asked her how she felt and what God had indicated her and she said with a smile on her face that she needed to get baptized. We were so happy that she received an answer to her prayer. She then proceeded to tell us that there was a job opportunity near where her parents live and that she was going to leave the next day (Friday) to move back home and start working on Monday. What? :O It was quite a shocker. We asked her why she couldn't stay here and she said she was her parents' only daughter and that they needed her there and she also needed to the job to be able to earn money. We asked her if she could leave Sunday afternoon after her baptism and she said that she needed to be there the next day to arranges some things for the job before Monday, so we agreed that she'd go home the next day and come back Saturday to be able to attend a baptismal service that afternoon (she had only been to church once and had to go to church at least once more and attend a baptismal service to be eligible for baptism) and that she'd be baptized after sacrament meeting on Sunday. She ended up not being able to go home on Friday because she didn't have money for transportation, so she stayed, went to the baptism Saturday afternoon, went to church on Sunday, and was baptized afterwards. She was able to be confirmed right after her baptism. She'll be moving back home this week. Oh, here's the catch: where her parents live, there isn't a church. The closest branch is like an hour away in bus. She said if their was a church there that she would go every Sunday and that she wants to prepare for a mission, but there isn't. It's so crazy to me to realize there are some places here that still don't have the church cuz it's starting out in Nicaragua. I just hope that she keeps reading her scriptures and is one day able to move somewhere where she can go to church. We weren't going to deny her a baptism just because she was moving. We knew it was not a coincidence that she moved in with her aunt for just enough time for us to prepare her for baptism. And she really does have a ton of faith. We were so glad she was able to take that step to follow Christ and that now she'll have the gift of the Holy Ghost with her to carry home to her parent's house. 
    Sadly, we had to drop Luis and Mercedes and a few other families this week.  So we're gonna have to work hard on finding a lot of new people to teach.
    I didn't have transfers, as I predicted. But the first white sister missionary is serving in Puerto Cabezas this transfer, so that's interesting. I don't think I'd want to serve there though.
   I'm pretty sure I'm not gonna be able to finish reading the whole Book of Momron before the end of the month cuz I'm only in Mosiah, but I'm gonna aim to do it in two months.
 We had some more investigators in church this week, so that was good. Not sure what else to write. My testimony of faith continues to grow. I know that God provides the means for us to accomplish our righteous purposes. I know that this is the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and that it is the only way to find true joy in this life and in the eternity. Thanks everyone for the support. Love you all.
Hermana Hawkins

This Week

Hola familia y amigos,
  This week was another Sunday of disappointments. We have this family who's progressing that promised to go to church and we passed by almost every day this week to be sure that everything went well and they were preparing for the Sabbath, but alas, they didn't fulfill their promise. The same things happened with other people that promised to go too. It's so tough to get people to come to church. But we just gotta keep trying.  
   We're halway through the month an I'm only in Omni. We'll see if I can get it finished before the end of the month. Maybe next P-day, I'll spend most the day reading.
   So one day this week, I was sitting at my desk, peacefully eating my breakfast when I felt something brush past my foot, had a brief panic attack, and saw something small and gray dart under the bed. I jump up on my chair and waited for it to crawl out to see what it was. It was a mouse. Or baby rat. I can't tell the difference. I tried to follow it to somehow capture it and get rid of it, but it scurried away too fast and then I lost it. Still don't know where it went and I'm nervous it's gonna come back. We cleaned our house really good again today and set some rat pellets and a piece of bread in one corner of the house in case another one comes. 
  Yesterday was stake conference and I loved the talks. It made me wonder how much time and thought each person put into preparing their talks and made me glad that they fulfilled their callings. This is a church of order. Imagine what it would be like if one of them just through their talk together, in the same way we sometimes do essays for school haha). I'm grateful for the hierarchy of leadership in the church.
  When we visited Luis and Mercedes this week, I started talking with Luis and he asked me to tell him the story of Joseph Smith so I told him the story of the First Vision and after he said, "No, tell me the story of Joseph Smith." So I said, "I just told you." And gave a brief resumen and he said, "No, but do you know the story of Joseph Smith" and said yes and asked what he thought it was. He proceeded to tell me that he was a drug addict and died in an accident and lead a pitiful life. Apparently, his pastor had shown him a book that talks about and critizes a bunch of different religions. Ah, it hurt me to hear him say such awful false things about a prophet of the Lord. I bore my testimony and told him he needs to pray and ask God. Anyway, we had another rough lessons with him trying to help him clear up his doubts about Joseph Smith and found out he had stopped reading the Book of Mormon, so we stopped talking about that doubt and focused on the Book of Mormon and explained that it is the evidence that this is the restored church of Jesus Christ and he finally commited to pray about the Book of Mormon. We'll see what happens with that family. We've lost almost all our possibilities for families to baptize this month and Luis and Mercedes are our last hope so we're doing everything posible to help them understand. I know without a doubt that Joseph Smith was a prophet because I know without a doubt that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. It's that simple. No drug addict could have possibly been the means of bringing to pass such a marvelous work and a wonder. If Luis would just start reading again, he would know that. 
  Transfers are this Saturday. Anything could happen. We losing like 34 missionaries and getting 28 new ones so they will be a lot of changes. 
  Sorry this was kind of a boring letter. Hopefully next week's will be better. Love you all and hope you are looking for missionary opportunities! 
Con amor, Hermana Hawkins

Less Fruitful Sunday

Hola familia y amigos!
    Yesterday was pretty disappointing in church because we had a bunch of people commited to coming to church and not one of them showed up. We went to visit Eleazar (the less active who brought his wife to church last week) a few times this week and both times his family told us he was out drinking. So sad. We need to find him and teach him the Word of Wisdom because I know he has a desire to change. Also, we passed by for Luis and Mercedes before church to bring them to church, but right as we showed up they were leaving the house for some 2 day vacation. We tried to commit them to coming to church next week but Mercedes said they go to their own church on Sundays. What? I know they go to an Evangelical church, but I'm pretty sure they don't go on Sundays. We'll see what happens with them. Almost every time we go to visit them Luis is sitting there reading the Book of Mormon and he already said he knows it's true so I am not ready to give up on this family. I know Luis is starting to understand the importance of baptism by the proper authority and if he gets baptized, I'll bet his wife will too. So we're keep working hard with them. 
  Reina, Beatriz's niece is really positive, as I mentioned. She's reading the Book of Mormon and praying every day and already has a testimony of the Restoration. She was commited to coming to church these last to Sundays, but didn't come because she was sick. I understand that that happens sometimes, but if she wants to get baptized on June 21st (the date she accepted), she needs to come to church ASAP. Also, Beatriz was sick on Sunday and still came to church, and she's a little old lady, so I'm pretty sure Reina could have come. We're gonna talk a bit about opposition with her and overcoming it with faith. 
  Ah, did I mention we found a dead baby mouse in our apartment this morning? That was a fun surprise. NOT. Hna. Garcia has a terrible fear of rats so I had to get rid of it and it was hard to get up the courage to do it. The makes one more on the list of creepy creatures: spiders, tarantula, cockroaches, bat, scorprion, giant centapide thing, dead mouse. I don't want to find out what's next. :S 
   I wonder if I will ever feel well-rested in my mission. Every night we get back to the house exhausted and I have to fight to stay awake in the plannign session. One night this week, I even feel asleep praying by my bed and woke up who knows how many hours later to the terrible pain of my arms having fallen asleep. I HATE that feeling! I think part of what maked us so tired is the heat. I'm convinced this is the hottest month of the year hear in Nicaragua, but we'll see if July is hotter. 
   We have a goal this month to read the whole Book of Mormon in one month. Right now I'm in 2nd Nephi, but I need to start reading more each day to be able to finish in the next 3 week or so. 
   I love meeting new people here and sharing the gospel with them. It hurts to meet close-minded people who don't want to receive more spiritual knowledge, but this week I learned that the reason why God doesn`t just lead us to the people who are prepared is because we have to preach to everyone to fulfill the prophecy the the gospel will be preached to every nation, kindred, and tongue. Come judgement day, no one will be able to say, "Nobody preached to me. I never knew". We've gotta tell the whole world. I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ with the fulness of the gospel and the pure doctrine. Every day, I receive little confirmations of that truth. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that no one can honestly read the whole thing and deny that it is the word of God. 
   I hope everyone has a great week! If you're feeling tired, go help someone who's more tired than you. If you're feeling angry, go bring a smile to someone who's angrier than you. If you need a hug, go give one to someone else! Love you all!
Hermana Hawkins