Monday, January 13, 2014

Be Good, Make a Difference

We found a new mission vehicle!

Might have to do a few touch ups but I think it works!
Look how ridiculous this is!!! I couldn't believe there was just a random boat in a field. The pond was disgusting by the way.

Oi Familia! Tudo Bem??
This week went well, mostly because I had a chance to go to the Atlanta Temple!! Thank goodness!! Every transfer we have zone meetings in Atlanta and go to the temple. AH I love it! It gives me a chance to rejuvenate and focus. I didn't grab a picture because I didn't have time! But I'll most likely be going again within the next 6 weeks so I'll be sure to get a picture then.
For those who don't know what zone meetings are, they're awesome. It's where about 50ish missionaries in my area get together and meet with the mission president. To put this into perspective, there are about 250 missionaries in the Atlanta mission; which makes about 5 zones. What we do in these meetings is train for like 5 hours. We'll have meetings and classes that inspire and improve our missionary skills.
Now that I've broken into this number theme, I'd like to confuse you some more with numbers so you can understand a bit more about my mission. In Douglasville, we have 5 sets of missionaries. One set of sisters and one set of elders for each ward except for the spanish branch. In this mission, the most amount of missionaries I've heard in ONE ward is 18 (so 9 sets). How crazy is that? Those poor members, how do they feed them all??
I might as well throw in a few more numbers. Everyday I study for about 4 hours-- which is actually more than usual. I have extra for training since I'm a new missionary and also extra time for language study. My companion and I always try to make 40 calls a day and somehow end up traveling around 40 miles a day too. We make goals to talk to at least 20 new people and we tract for about 2 hours a day. SO MANY NUMBERS. I'll stop boring you with all these numbers... but let me tell you, this isn't even the half of it!
Though numbers are so prevalent in everyday life as a missionary, they are the least of my worries. Missionaries prayerfully set number goals every night to achieve for the next day. How often do we meet all of our expectations? Well, let's just say that only once have we ever been close to accomplishing all of our goals for that day. It's good though because our goals push us past our comfort level all the time. What really matters is that we did as much as we could that day and even tried for more. What matters is that we tried our best to be the greatest instruments for the Lord to proclaim His word through. And in the end, what's most fulfilling is that we brought at least one person closer to Christ--even if that one person was myself.
At night when I look at the goals I accomplished, I know I'm not looking at exact numbers. There's no way for me to know exactly how many people I possibly helped or influenced that day! Something that really stood out to me this week during my scripture study was the first page of the Book of Mormon. It talks in the 4th verse about the Prophets that went out and cried repentance to the Jews because Jerusalem was to be destroyed. The cool part about this is that those Prophets were incredibly great missionaries. They probably got out of bed many mornings not wanting to preach to a city that wouldn't listen. In fact, they probably died in the destruction of Jerusalem just trying to save the people. Even though they were sorely rejected, they preached until the end and guess what? They probably didn't know that a single person listened to them.They probably didn't know that Lehi prayed upon their words and received revelation to leave Jerusalem.  And I'm pretty sure that they never knew that the journey of the Book of Mormon had begun due to their diligence, persistence and great faith. While they lived, they would not have even known that their efforts led to the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ today. If that doesn't tell you how to be a good missionary, I don't know what will!
There is absolutely no way that we can count all of the people that we affect day after day. I may not be a prophetess, but I am doing the work of the Lord and I've discovered that there is no sense in feeling weak because you can't accomplish a few daily goals. When your goals are aligned with God's, then you might have even achieved some of them already without knowing it.
The Lord works amazing wonders. I've witnessed enough in just these two weeks to know that He puts us in the places we need to be. Just keep being good and trying to make a difference, and you most likely WILL!
I love you all! Until next week!
Sister Hawkins

More Pics...

Just an example of what it looks like around here. It's not very different from PA but just not as beautiful. I might be biased.
Uh, our newest investigators?  Well at least they listened....
Mini bananas!  They exist!

Haha so we got a flat tire this week and our office elder was giving us directions of where to go... he led us to a Chuck E Cheese's on accident.
We found a turtle in the road!

He was a little scared of us.

Note from the Mom:In case you're wondering, there has still been NO progress on her visa. We check it every week and it still only shows that it's been "received". It needs to advance 3 more steps before she's actually issued a visa. It's just a tad frustrating! But we're glad she's happy where she is for the time being.

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