Monday, March 30, 2015


I tried to leave the house like this.... take note of my feet.

From the picture above, you can get a glimpse at the kind of day I'm having. I can just hear Trev's commentary: oooooh my goshhhh, I'm so confused, I'm wearing flip-flops with socks. Haha! Oh Tebs. But it's ok. I just laugh at myself on days like this! 

I have to apologize yet again for my horrible post. I feel like I never have enough time to write what I want to and then my time is up. I don't even have time to share with you my favorite scripture this week! But I will share with you my favorite video. Watch it. Share it. He lives! He is here!

#BecauseHeLives I get to be here in this beautiful country. #BecauseHeLives I wear His name on my tag and in my heart, always. #BecauseHeLives I get to teach people about Him, and share His gospel. #BecauseHeLives I have seen lives change. #BecauseHeLives I will get my real shoes on, put a smile on my face and do the work I was sent here to do! 

#BecauseHeLives I get to live with Him again. 

I encourage you all to find Him this Easter season. He is here! 

Love you all,
Sister Hawkins

More group selfies with Ana!

P.S. Check out for a day by day break down of the week leading up to Easter. It's awesome! Click here ---> Easter Week. Also, can't wait for conference! Tune in next weekend!!!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Availability, Dependability, Capability

just doin' a little service!

So yesterday I was walking the streets just stopping others and talking with them about the Gospel, of course! It had been raining so not many were in the streets. At least it was fairly easy to talk to everyone that passed by. Normally, as you talk to people in the streets, a little beforehand you think to yourself ok, I'm going to stop this man when he gets a little closer. You don't want to startle them, you know?

I had done exactly that when a man passed in front of me. I approached him and greeted him with a smile. As I introduced myself he stopped me and said "I speak no Portuguese" It then occurred to me that he was speaking English!! Well great! Hey, I speak English too!!!

Wrong. It was an absolute trainwreck. I couldn't hardly introduce myself and the church. The most I could do was mutter the church's name without stuttering. But the rest was a disaster. Broken sentences with Portugeuse expressions. He left me saying that I should study more... I think he actually thought I  couldn't speak English at all.

How is it that I can write in English, think in English, and yet the language can't leave my mouth coherently?? What has the mission done to me!? I was completely shocked at the lack of English skills. Maybe he just caught me off guard. But heck! I've been an English speaking missionary too!

You know lots of people ask us American missionaries how we learn the language so fast. Honestly I have no answer. It really is a miracle how the language just comes. Of course you try to do your part by listening and stuyding but on my own I feel almost hopeless. 

There's a quote by my friend Neal A Maxwell that I found in the beginning of my mission which helped me with how I took on learning another language... or doing hard things in general. He said:

"God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only about our availability, and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability."

Too often we think we don't have the ability to do all the Lord has asked of us. But it's not our ability we really need to show, it's our availability. Availability doesn't just mean our free time or willingness, neither should it be us waiting for the ability to come. It means actively putting ourselves out there. Active effort, proof that the Lord can truly depend on us!

The miracles that come are innumerable. I've seen them all throughout my mission and the ability to speak Portuguese doesn't even compare to other miracles I've witnessed.

I love this work! I love this Gospel and the fact that God is a God of miracles. I know he works through us and I know He leads and guides us. He lives and there's proof today through our living prophet and the witnesses of saints like you and me. 

Thanks for the support and love. Until next week!

Sister Hawkins

The Mom: Just some cute pics of my girl I found on Ana's IG account this week.
She keeps posting more for me too.  Love it!!!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Happy Birthday Petropolis

This is a member who took fotos of us..
or should i say we take fotos of ourselves
to leave as the background of her phone haha

hello there friends and fam!! 

So sorry that this such a horrible email. BUT it just so happens to be the birthday of Petropolis and everything is closed. I'm currently using the tablet of a member but am hardly managing to type correctly on its keyboard. 

This week went great! Just more climbing mountains and preaching the gospel! I think I wrote basically the same thing last week didn't I? Thanks for the prayers! I'm feeling them more and more in this area so thank you!

Until next week! Hopefully there won't be any surprise holidays...

love you!

Sister Hawkins 

Monday, March 9, 2015

Climb Every Mountain

climb everyyyyyyyy mountain!

Hellllllooooo family!!! 

What an awesome day it is today! I love waking up to the rain. On the mission, rain normally kinda sucks... your shoes get soaked, it's cold and not a whole lot of people are in the streets. Your umbrella most likely is broken because you bought the cheapest one. Days like this at home were perfect for napping, watching movies and drinking hot chocolate by the fireplace. BUT it just so happens that today is Pday! At least I CAN nap, watch the Restoration in 15 different languages AND heat up my chocolate milk. Gotta love pdays. 

Other than the rain this week not much is new. Just trying to get used to this new area. Have I told you already how mountainous it is?? Remember how in Muriae I wrote that I wanted to run through the hills singing, "the hills are alive with the sound of music"? Well.... now I should be singing, "climb every mountain"! I'm in the middle of gorgeous mountains. Everyone lives in the mountains and to get to them you either have to hike or climb lots of stairs. This week I've come to notice that most of our members live on the tops of the mountains. I'm also starting to hear the phrase that all the elects live on the tops of mountains.... Maria from 2 weeks back is proof of that!

Despite the hiking trips everyday and the aching knees, I really enjoy climbing these mountains. To me if feels like a little test... How far am I willing to go to help my neighbor? How many stairs am I willing to climb to spread the glad tidings of the help the Lord in His cause? 

In the end (or at the top!) it doesn't really seem like much of a sacrifice to climb. First, you have this amazing scenery of God's creation. Second, you can publish peace on the tops of mountains. It keeps reminding me of the scriptures which say, 

"Now what do we hear in the Gospel which we have received? A voice of gladness! A voice of mercy from heaven; and a voice of truth of the earth; glad tidings for the dead; a voice of gladness for the living and the dead; glad tidings of great joy. How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things and say unto zion: Behold, they God reigneth!"

What an amazing message I get to share- and God, no matter how much I falter, continues to bless me immensely for being willing to share it. Goodness, with a happy and healthy family at home to the family I serve here, it's easy to count my many blessings. 

Have a good week! Sending lots of prayers 

Sister Hawkins

Note from the Mom: This was actually the song playing in my head the whole time I was posting, so I had to share!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Turn to the Word

How can it really be Monday again?! This week was incredibly rushed and I feel like I don't have much to say.... at least last week you got to hear a good story.

This week was a little tough... lots of things fell through and left us a bit discouraged. But we had stake conference and President and Sister Cascardi came to speak. At least there was something awesome to look forward too. Luckily by the time the conference came around, the week turned a little better with answered prayers, Maria's confirmation, chocolate cake (thanks to Sister Hekking and her birthday!), learning how to samba (hahaha) and more! 

You'll have to forgive me for the lack of good emails. I'll tell you a secret.... my creativity at this point in my mission has escaped me. I'm not sure where it went, but if you can find it for me I'd gladly take it back! Unfortunately, to add to the dullness of my emails, photos will be harder to send. Both of my SD cards for my camera have viruses and won't let me upload pictures. I'm quite afraid to even plug my camera in and try again. I can take pictures, just not upload them. I will see if a member can help me out. In the meantime I'll send the pictures my companion sends home... if she sends any.

Goodness lots of little stresses this week. But hey, what's life without a little stress? It's easy to get caught up in all the downs of missionary life...and life in general. What we have to remember are the things that really matter. In the end it doesn't really matter if one person rudely spoke to us or if my camera won't upload pictures or whatever else it might be. All that's really important is right here at my side. I've learned on my mission that when life gets really stressful and you feel incredibly discouraged or maybe even annoyed, the scriptures are a good source to go to. This week I had one of those moments and rediscovered one of my favorite chapters of the Book of Mormon...3 Nephi 17. If it's been a while, go back at read that chapter keeping in mind how much the Lord truly loves us. (click *here* to read online)

I best be going. Thanks for the prayers and the updates! I hope all is well! Love you all! 

Sister Hawkins

P.S. Mom, you should be getting my travel arrangements soon. Goodness, already?!