Friday, November 29, 2013


"There are only two types of missionaries: Those who serve in Brazil and those who wish they served in Brazil." - Ezra Taft Benson

Oh my gosh, I'm a missionary!

I love that quote!! WOW what a crazy 10 days it has been! I feel as if I've been here for 3 weeks already! I say that because the days feel so long but the week goes by in a blink. Not to worry, I love every minute of every single day! Getting accustomed to the lifestyle change has often felt like trying to drink from a fire hydrant.. there's this overload of information the first few days but never have I felt too overwhelmed or like I didn't want to be here.

Sister Hawkins & Sister Menasco

My companion is Sister Menasco. She is so awesome. We get along so well and the other 3 sisters in my district are incredible too. We all love the work we're doing and encourage each other to study and work hard everyday. Each of these sisters love to laugh and have fun in between doing all the crazy things we do so we've all grown so close in only a matter of 1 week!

Sisters in my district

So a few of you have asked how Portuguese is coming and I've been waiting to answer this! I LOVE PORTUGUESE. It really is a mix of French and Spanish. Just 3 days ago a sister prayed in Spanish and I understood the whole prayer. Sister Menasco actually studied Spanish in school, so add in my French skills and together we speak perfect Portuguese!!! Hmmm I wish it was that simple, but honestly Portuguese is only a tool for teaching the Gospel. The third day here Sister Menasco and I gave a 45 minute lesson to an investigator in Portuguese that I will never forget. Our investigator was so inspired and emotional and I KNOW it wasn't because of our broken Portuguese. In our orientation meeting, a teacher said, "you are called to serve in the language that the Spirit can best testify truth through you." At first my reaction was, "really Heavenly Father? Portuguese??"  But only after the third day here have I become a witness and testifier of that statement.

Sisters in my Zone! (We can walk to the temple, but it will be closed the whole time I'm here.  Boo!)

Thanksgiving Day was the best day in the MTC yet. It started with a devotional where my companions and I sang in the choir. (side note: We'll be singing in the choir every week since I love it, AND a general authority of the church will be speaking almost every week that I'm here!!!) Russell M Nelson and his wife gave the loveliest devotional. As soon as he entered the room I turned to my companion who was moved to tears just by the Spirit that he carried. Then we had a little Thanksgiving Feast which may have been the best meal here so far. BUT the best part of the day was our humanitarian service project. We made 350,000 soup bags for kids in Utah that go home from school with nothing to eat. To top it all off, we finished the day by watching the movie Ephraim's Rescue (which was a pretty cool story!). Overall Thanksgiving Day was so wonderful and one that I will always remember. (click HERE to read the article about the MTC service project!)

I think there's a moment every day where I say to myself, "oh my gosh I'm a missionary!!!" My companion probably gets annoyed haha but honestly I can't believe I'm finally here. If there's one thing I've learned about the MTC it's that it mostly teaches you things that you already know (minus the language) but because you're so filled with the Spirit you become more receptive to the teachings. Then you're forced to apply those new things so quickly whether you're ready or not. Yet, I love it no matter how inadequate or unprepared I feel. At the end of the day I always remember that this is the walk of God and He will not let me fail. 

My district!

I couldn't write a whole lot this week but thanks to everyone who sent me a Dear elder or letter. They make my days SO much brighter and I can feel the love that you all have for me. I have a little bit of time each night to write hand-written letters so if you write to me via DearElder, I will respond by sending a hand-written letter. 

Ciao familia y muito amor!!

Sister Hawkins

Sister Menasco hiding the fact that I've lost another button on my coat.  Sorry, Mom!

Note from the Mom: Oh my girl, she makes me smile!  And she's sorry for the missing button on her coat because I spent a good hour sewing new ones on it before she left.  Ah well.  I'll have to remind her there's a spare in her pocket. Also, if anyone would like to send her a package, she'd love granola bars or protein bars.  Anything even remotely healthy!  She says the food at the MTC is horrible. Funny, her brother didn't complain about it.

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