Monday, June 2, 2014

Listen to Warnings and Be Grateful

Look Ma! It's like what I think the Brazilian rainforest would be like...

Hi family & friends! I swear it was yesterday that I was just here writing. Oh! Thank you for all the letters and packages!!! I got sweet envelopes from Sister Meise and the Olsons!!! So nice of them. Also of course I got a package from mom :) (Thanks Sis. Bayless for all the cute clothes!) Then lots of little letters from the family Memorial Day party! Needless to say I felt pretty loved this week and was so happy to hear from all of you! I will be responding shortly!!! 

I feel like I have nothing new to inform you of this week. We've just been doing what we normally do-- loving, serving, teaching, praying, committing and maybe stopping for a lunch break here and there. 

You know it's funny when I think about the little things that happened this week. I think God always has a way of warning us about things to come. Last week my dad wrote to me and told me not to do more than I can handle. That should've been a a sign! I didn't feel like I was overworking myself, but turns out I passed out eating ice cream the other day! No worries, mom, I was sitting down and I was out for less than a second and I'm totally fine. But that's the first time I've ever passed out before and it was so cool! I'm sad that I don't have a really cool story about it though... I was literally just eating ice cream in the car. Apparently my body can't handle it.... just can't hack it.(<---that's for my uncle Steve!)

It reminds me of the other month when I had an interview with President asking me over and over if I was safe... then later having a stalker at church! I think "Well, Heavenly Father!!! I couldn't have avoided either of these situations so what do you want me to do about it!?" Maybe it was for experience, but most always He wants us to learn something. I have taken the time to really ponder about the things that happen to me on my mission. I've learned that we're not always going to know God's intentions, but we can take what we've got and do something with it! 

We're not always going to know God's plans either. Like this week we were planning for our investigator Joe to be baptized Saturday. Everything went as planned until the very last minute on Friday night when we learned that we needed to postpone the baptism. You know at the time I thought, "Why would God not let someone get baptized??" But as we discussed postponing it, I felt the Spirit strongly. I knew what it meant- that we'd have to cancel all the plans and preparations but that it didn't even matter. What matters most is how ready and willing a person is in making these covenants with God. 

It always reminds me who is in control when things don't happen the way we plan for them. But God always has better plans anyways. Next weekend will be an amazing weekend here in the 3 wards that make up my district. Each set of missionaries will have a baptism! the plans as of now are that 14 people will be baptized next weekend- one of them being Joe. :) Now, how the Lord expects us to plan that one out...I don't know. We're gonna need His hand big time!!

So there is much to be grateful for! I'm grateful for my sight and hearing which I lost for a I take these significant gifts for granted almost every day!!! I'm grateful for God's plans which are way bigger and better than mine are. I'm grateful for this mission and all it entails; my awesome mission president, companion, ward, etc! I could go on and on with all the things that I am so grateful to have but it might be more important for YOU do make your own list. What are YOU grateful for?

Hope you all have a wonderful week!! Till we meet again, monitor-to-monitor.


Sister Hawkins

Note from the Mom: "I passed out, but don't worry mom"...ahhh! Seriously? She assured me she really is ok. Which is fine, but all you awesome families in Douglasville, keep an eye on that girl for me, will you? I know you already do!

Also, I just wanted to share something she wrote in my personal letter. I had shared with her an article from the New Era called 28 Ways to Spread Sunshine. I told her I was pretty sure she already DID all those 28 things, so challenged her to give me two more things to get to 30. This was her response:

Aww I love the 28 things!!! hmmmm 2 more things to scatter sunshine. Well, I'm trying to think of other things that I do. Maybe one is to try saying hi to all those you walk by. It's ridiculous how unexpected it is to be greeted!! But sometimes people say that it makes their day that we came over even just to say hi. Also, another thing is something I learned from trevor. We were at a drive through once and trev said thanks, and the person responded "It's my pleasure to serve you!" They said it in a sincere way though, not like the rote dialogue that McDonalds or chick-Fil-A would make you say. And I remember trev being grateful and saying, "No! It's my pleasure to be served by YOU!" It was a funny little experience but I remember how saying that it was a pleasure to be helped by someone, even for a second or upon "forced" means, really made the difference. Another one could be, if you doubt or think negatively, think of 3 positive things to rid your doubt. Don't let it sit in your mind because negativity takes a physical toll on you! It brings down your perspective and you smile less, you think of others less, you worry about things that are not important...etc! 

So there's a few.. I think I may have given you 31, but the "pleasure to serve you one" kind of goes along with saying something nice to someone. Or maybe even being kind to someone lonely. But I think the point of this experience is more so to make the most out of your situations. If you hate working, well, be extra nice to'll make it much more enjoyable!

Well said, my sunny girl.

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