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!!!


  1. How funny! I can't wait to have a conversation with Sienna when she comes home now. Love that she calls Elder Maxwell her "friend". Gotta love that girl!

  2. That is now one of my new favorite quotes! Neal A Maxwell was a very smart man :) I've always said to my kids, just be where you are supposed to be when you are supposed to be there and the Lord will help with the rest. Her poor brain must be so tired of figuring out what language to speak. She has served in 3 languages in the last 15 months!