Monday, August 18, 2014

The Mission Coaster

Guess what!? It's my birthday! Well in 2 days. In missionary time, I'll be 9 years old. It's comparable to dog years-- each month is equivalent to a year. I will have served half my mission by this Wednesday! HALF OF MY MISSION. I swear I only blinked and found myself here... how did this happen??
I went back and read my first journal entry here in GA and also the MTC and I can remember every entry like it was only yesterday! The reason behind that is because still, at this point in my mission, I feel like a new missionary. Even though I'm halfway through, I feel like it was yesterday that I said goodbye to my family at the Philadelphia airport.
I've been thinking about why I still feel like a new missionary and I think I've come to a conclusion. It's not because the time flies but more so that there isn't a way to really get "the hang" of being a missionary. You can't really get into a rote pattern of doing missionary work... and if you do, I don't think you're doing it right!
You can get the hang of some things. For example you can get in the hang of working out every morning or writing in your journal at night. I guess you can even get in the hang of waking up at 6:30 every day....but I don't think God has blessed me with that strength still. I think most would assume that it'd be easier to wake up after 9 months of doing it But no. I swear it's just as hard as it was when I started in the MTC. The reason being not because I don't want to get up and work, but that I don't want to get up and work OUT. Working out that early in the morning will never motivate me to get out of bed. Goodness gracious.

BUT what I call "the meat", (the teaching, finding, humbling, learning, praying, etc) of missionary work is a practice that you can't swing. You constantly change, constantly push yourself until you sometimes feel you're at your breaking point- mentally, spiritually, or physically. It's a roller coaster ride which never stops.

Of course my family knows I LOVE roller coasters but let me tell you a little bit about the Mission Coaster. The Mission coaster is so fun- it's one of the fastest in the world! It has amazing peaks where you feel like you're practically flying to the moon and you can almost see the entire world. At the top you feel like nothing can bring you down. Really, it's these peaks on the mission where you feel like God has just called you to enjoy every second of the ride. 

Then there are parts of the mission coaster that often feel like you're the one pushing the cart up the incline and trying to catch up with it on the way down. Parts of it haven't been updated so it's made of wood and rickety. You know, those roller coasters that are super bumpy and jerk your head side-to-side until you get a headache? Yeah I hate those too. Even at that point of the mission coaster, and in all those rickety old roller coasters, you get to the tippy top of the hill and the cart just sort of coasts for a second. Your head stops spinning,  you enjoy the scenery, you see how far you've come and think, "Wow how did I get up here?" And you realize then that you weren't alone. 

Of course the mission coaster is pretty comparable to Space Mountain at Disney world. It's all in the dark since you never know what's ahead. But even in Space Mountain there are these little lights that look like stars in the sky. Those little lights are just gifts from God along the way-comfort in times of need and guidance to light bits of the track. And even though you can't see, at least you know the stars are always there and they're nothing but beautiful!

Boy do I love the Mission Coaster. Lots of ups, downs and loop-Dee-loops and never have I once wanted to get off. I look at the things I've achieved, the friends I've made and the knowledge and testimony I've gained thus far and wouldn't trade it for the world.
I'm excited and ready for round 2. Thanks for pushing through with me this far! Fasten your seat we go!
Love you all!
Hermana Hawkins

This is me cutting my massive watermelon with my tiny knife. luckily watermelon is fairly easy to cut!

Sorry it was so humid that my camera couldn't take the picture well.
But this was us at the temple!


  1. Half way done already!! Wohoo! I love reading her letters - so full of energy and happiness!

  2. I just love how Sienna paints the picture with words so that we are all right there with her! I feel that roller coaster she is on and love that I get to be along for the ride through her emails. Love her!