Monday, October 27, 2014

Buh-Bye Amurrica!

that's a lot of languages

Well hello there! Looks like it's just about my time to go. Can you believe it? Last week in the US. And let me just tell you how much of a blast it has been!

We'll start with transfers. We got to hear all the testimonies of departing missionaries like Sister Vasquez and Sister Pribyl. It was so sad to see them go but they've done their time and they've served well. Shout-out to you guys! YOU'RE THE GREATEST! I look up to them so much and will miss seeing their faces. Anyways, back to the meeting. After those testimonies we heard introductions of all the new missionaries. They were so nervous. Man. I remember being in their shoes. President asked them to share one thing they knew to be true and one elder said, "1 thing I know is that I'm scared out of my mind." Most honest elder I know! I didn't realize how long it had been since I was that new. I guess in a way I'll be back at that spot in just 2 days....

As President called the new transfer companions, he called my name and had me go sit up on the stand to bear my testimony at the end of the meeting. I thought I would get away with it but no, they caught me. Overall it was an awesome meeting. It was so great seeing people I love for the last time before heading off.

Then I was put with my new companions and let me just say how much we've hit it off. I almost don't want to leave because I love them so much. Both are from Utah- Sister Echols and brand new Sister Giles. And guess what?? She's a visa waiter too! She's going to Taiwan! Luckily her visa should only take a few more weeks. But we've got this awesome Portchanese thing going on here. With Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and English, we don't really know what we're speaking. I can't tell you how incredibly grateful I am to be learning Latin-based languages...Granted that's plural but I'd take 4 Latin languages over Chinese. I have learned to say a few things in Chinese though. As the week has gone on, I've even thrown some French into the mix. Goodness... maybe now I really am learning 4 languages!!

The other day we had a really awesome experience as we were getting our car inspected. Out of sheer luck, there just so happened to be a huge farmers market behind the PepBoys. I used to go sometimes with Sister Vasquez to go finding because it was one of the craziest international Food stores. There are so many kinds of fruits and vegetables that I've never seen before. I was amazed at how many types of bananas exist in the world. Holy cow I could spend hours discovering the foods in that store. Anyways, we went to the France and British aisles and I got some Cadbury and Kinder chocolate :) Just for childhood's sake!  And then the miracle happened....

We got to the Chinese aisles and Sister Giles wanted to practice her Chinese. She tried to talk to 2 people, but that failed as they spoke only Korean and Cantonese. Discouraged we stood at the top of an aisle and I pointed out two Asian girls. I told Sister Giles to go talk to them and she turned to me saying, "my nervous level is about 100% right now." But as we stood there I grew impatient and walked right up to these girls. As soon as I opened my mouth, Sister Giles came out behind me and started speaking Chinese. They were completely amazed!!! She conversed with them in straight Chinese for about 25 minutes!!! IT WAS SO COOL. 2 months and she's able to converse like that. In the middle of it all, while she was explaining the Book of Mormon, a lady walked by and stopped to ask, "Are you Mormons? I'm a Mormon!" I started speaking in Spanish with her and realized I knew her kids but that she hasn't been to church in years. At the end of our trip to Farmer's Market, we were all just on cloud 9 with the miracles. Sister Giles was so happy to have used her Chinese and to have understood everything. She even rolled down the window to tell the whole world.

Well. Now to a new adventure. I don't feel like it's real. I feel like I'm staying in GA except that I'm taking a plane on Tuesday. It still hasn't hit me that I'm really going. People keep asking, "are you nervous?? Are you excited???" I think I just say yes because that's probably how I should be feeling. In all honesty, I don't really feel anything, yet. Maybe it'll finally hit me when I'm there. I guess we'll find out, won't we?

Love you all!!!

Buh-Bye Amurrica!

Hermana Hawkins
(last 'hermana' signing!)

3 amigas

maybe we need a few more language study materials... that's not even all of it

three amigas. studying outside a waffle house. hip. 

me and my husband. We're "parents" since we're training sister Giles. She's our baby. 

sis Giles telling the whole world she spoke in Chinese for the first time.

true southern bumper sticker. Gon miss dis.

Fro yo

Sister Echols


family pic

this is us impersonating each other. hahaha

Monday, October 20, 2014

Hello and Goodbye!

Our Georgia time is coming to a "Dead End" and we're sad to go! 

Alooooooha.  haha just needed to switch it up for a second. 

Well well, what a crazy week! It's been super busy and because of that I don't have much time on the computer. We're trying to get Sister Vasquez squared away before she heads off to the Dominican Republic. Home! I can't believe she's leaving me... but then again I guess I'm leaving too. 

Here's us trying to take a selfie with the dead end sign.. we failed. But hey we gave it a good effort.

So we just got a call and for the next week I'll be in a trio of Sisters. One is a sister I've done many exchanges with whom I love (Sister Echols from Utah) and the other is a brand new sister straight from the MTC. That means I'll be helping Sister Echols train for 1 week. How fun is that? Anyways, just trying to finish things out here now in Chamblee. It's super sad because they're closing this area :(

Before I forget I wanted to give a quick shout-out to Sister Meise and Renata for their sweet packages. And for mom who sent me a dress (thank you :)) I LOVED them and I am sooo grateful for how thoughtful you are to send me such wonderful packages! You're all the best!

I don't have much else for ya other than some pictures of the Branch and friends from saying goodbyes this week. I'll be sure to try and write more next week. Goodness maybe I'll just wait till I'm in Brazil... it'll be a lot more fascinating than whatever I could say now.


Hermana Hawkins

The girl in the front is the one who likes frozen (from last weeks story).

Here's us with some of the kids we teach in primary. They're all hysterical.  LOVE THESE KIDS.

Note from the Mom: If anyone is planning on sending anything this week (last chance before Brazil!!!) please email me, or message me on facebook, she has a new address for this week only!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Make Every Week Count

a selfie,of course !

Goodness what a week! I feel so so so so tired today. I think that means I'm doing something right. All I want to do is sleep. We did lots of exchanges with the sisters this week and taught so many lessons!

One thing I've really gained an appreciation for are companions. I know that's a pretty general thing to say as a missionary but here's my reasoning for this new appreciation. As we've been on lots of exchanges, I've had to stay here in Chamblee with sisters that don't speak Spanish. It gets pretty tiring because I'm the one doing all the talking, all the teaching. Sure my sister will say something- but only if I translate what everyone is saying and what she wants to say back. Really, it kind of feels like I don't have a companion. I swear it's a different mindset to teach that way. Normally if one companion gets stuck, the other will just pick it right up. But if I get stuck on these exchanges, I awkwardly try and get out of it.. By the end of the day I end up losing my voice! Now I feel much more sympathy for Sister Vasquez and my future companion in Brazil. Training someone in a language would not be fun or easy. Major kudos to them!

It's definitely been helpful for my Spanish though. I only pray that it's helpful for the sisters. They all say they love coming to Chamblee because the people we work with and talk to are just so nice and giving. Really they are. They're the best! 

I've also gained an appreciation for this cute little cupcake place in Chamblee. They were delicious!

I can't believe I only have one week left in Chamblee. It makes me sad! I love it here. One of the things I think I'll really truly miss so much are the kids. Sister Vasquez and I teach primary almost every week and normally it's the 5 year olds. Before sacrament meeting they all run up to us and give us hugs and kisses. They just absolutely love us and we love them! When we visit them and knock on their door, the kids stand behind the doors and say "Quien es?" (who is it?) We reply, "Las misioneras!" Then you hear them say to each other "it's the missionaries, the missionaries!!!!!" They run around and go crazy until their mom comes and opens the door. It's like letting the bull out of the bullpen when that door opens.

How I'll miss their little faces. And their hilarious conversations. Yesterday in class, one little boy said to another, "Guys guys guys, I watched a movie and guess what? God died for us." Another said, "Wait didn't Jesus die?" Then a little girl jumps out of her seat and says, "I like Frozen!!!!" with her hands waving way above her head. Frustrated, one of the boys turns sharply toward this girl and says, "We're not talking about that. Why do you always stand up.. just sit down... geez!" Oh los ninos. I love their conversations. Some of them are incredibly intelligent! 

Sister V took this picture of me impersonating a primary girl we teach. She's crazy.

Goodness do I really have to say goodbye to this place? I don't think there is a way to do it. My goal for this week though is to work harder than I did last week. Well honestly that's my goal every week but some weeks are better than others. I don't want to stop working just because I'm leaving.. that's no excuse! Honestly, it's those last few moments of anything that you remember the most. I want this last week to be a good last moment here in Georgia. That's the game plan. I guess I'll be filling you in next week!

Sorry for the shorty email! Got lots to do today! I'll be getting back to you all next week! Love ya!

Hermana Hawkins

Us and Cristian. He's a member and I call him my "hermanito". Little brother. He's the best!

Note from the Mom: Soooo, just after she sent her weekly email, she sent another one saying she'd just heard from her Mission President letting her know that she won't be leaving until Oct. 28th now instead of the 21st.  Which means she now has TWO more weeks to finish everything up in Chamblee! I know she'll make the most of it as usual. 

It also means...she leaves the exact same day that her brother leaves Africa!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Long Meetings, Short Meetings, Meetings in Between Meetings

Look there's Pribby!

If I could tell you one of the things that made this week different, it would be that I discovered a new article of faith. 

Now there are 14 articles of faith, the newest which says:

"We believe in meetings, namely, long meetings, short meetings, meetings in between meetings and anything that appears as a meeting. We believe in the literal gathering of one or more persons to discuss and fulfill many great and important things pertaining to the Kingdom of God."

I'm kidding. But goodness! Sister Vasquez and I feel like we hardly went out and taught this week! It's ok because every meeting we went to was incredibly inspiring.  Wednesday we had a Mission Council with all the zone leaders and Sister Training Leaders (Sister Pribyl was there!:) Guess what we did??? Watched Meet The Mormons

It was fantastic!!! Little fun fact, one of the families in it is in my stake here in Atlanta. At the time of the film he was a bishop, now he's the stake president. He's a great guy! Really funny too. Anyways, you should all see it! Request for it to come to a theater near you by going to It's definitely worth your time!

If you're wondering how we saw it before it was out the First Presidency actually shipped it overnight to Mission Presidents (I'm not sure all the missions but maybe the US at least?). We aren't able to see it in the theater so I guess the big screen in the chapel works just as well. Anyways, we're to promote it here in Atlanta! Pretty cool!

I've actually seen it twice because we had a zone conference, which was another awesome meeting because we went to the temple in the morning! That's always something I look forward to. I'll miss that when I'm in Brazil.

Speaking of which, I'll be leaving for Brazil the 21st of this month. My mission President announced it in Zone Conference this week so now I guess it's official. Two more weeks with a car and Spanish and Amurrica and my lovely comp. I'm really going to miss it here!

Back to meetings now..... CONFERENCE!!!! Evidence to the 14th article of faith. How amazing was that?! You know as we were watching conference I realized that to missionaries conference is like a holiday. The reason being because on real holidays, Christmas, Easter, New Years, Thanksgiving, etc, we go out and work! But conference we get to stay in and watch and all we need to do is be edified by the apostles and prophet. It really is the best holiday! All I have is one more conference holiday on my mission. Can you believe it??

Let's see, what are my favorites from conference? My district leader asked us on Saturday what our favorite was so far. I told him the "Holland Holla." He doesn't quite holler at you (... well maybe sometimes) but normally by the end of his talks I feel the major need of repentance. It's like a holler to your soul. 

In any case, he's just awesome! I also loved Elder Bednar. For those who are not members of the church and are reading this, take 5 minutes to watch this!  Elder Bednar is one of my favorite speakers.

Others-- (click on the names if you'd like to listen to their talks!) Jorg Klebingat and his boldness. I wish I could be that bold sometimes! Eduardo Gavarret's talk was awesome too because of the cute story of his wife and because I could understand it all in Spanish. That's a plus! I did also listen to Elder Godoy in Portuguese and let me just tell you how much of a struggle it was. I felt like he was speaking to me in Spanish underwater. Goodness I think God trusted me with learning these languages because He knew it would be entertaining.

Anyways!  It was an awesome conference as usual. I felt like there really was a huge emphasis on the prophet and how blessed we are to have one! It really is so important to sustain and support President Thomas S. Monson. I really have received my own witness and testimony that he is called of God and is of the same importance as the prophets of old. What an opportunity it is to hear his voice! Maybe he won't have to part seas or engrave his revelations on gold plates, but He does guide millions of people on this Earth. And I know He does it through constant council and divine authority given to him through our Lord and Savior.

We thank thee, O God, for a prophet!!!

Thanks for your emails this week! Until next week!

Hermana Hawkins