Monday, April 20, 2015

Oh the Things I've Learned

Ola familia!

Oops... tried to start typing in Portuguese...

This week was great! A bit of zombie-ness still, but not too much so that was helpful. I'm really trying not to think about the fact that this is my 2nd to last Pday (my last monday I'll be at President Cascardi's house). I'm in complete denial. Even my brain is in denial. I've already had ¨nightmares¨ about being home. I love you and miss you my family.... but I'll be with you for an eternity... my full-time mission as a 19-21 year old ends here and won't ever return. UGH. Alrighty, I'll stop on this subject before I start crying. 

You know my mission has just been one big humbling experience for me. To witness so many miracles, to receive answers to prayers, to help someone in need. They say that the biggest convert on your mission should be yourself. I really have witnessed the truth of that statement. I have learned how to trust in God, how to follow His whisperings and I've even learned who He really is. 

But one of the biggest lessons I've learned is how to change through the Atonement of Christ. I've discovered that without repentance, it's as if we're seated in a chair our whole lives, unable to move forward. But maybe more importantly I've learned that it's through repentance that God really speaks to us.

A missionary friend of mine told me of an insignificant experience that taught him just that. He told of how he was writing in his journal one night while his companion prayed in the bedroom. My friend had been in a bright room and his companion in the dark for some time so when he turned off the lights and tried closing the door, he was useless at finding it. His companion laughed at him as he tried finding the wall and said, ¨can you really not see the door?¨ My friend replied and said, ¨no my eyes haven't adjusted yet¨.

I think too often in life we look for the voice of the Lord through questions like, ¨Why, Heavenly Father?¨, ¨Why did this have to happen?¨. When in reality the answer to those questions aren't what the Lord will respond to. When we question like this, we are like my friend who became lost in the darkness. We grab at the dark and search for whatever wall to lean on, or whatever answer we can get. Unfortunately, it's not in this way that we receive divine guidance from our Heavenly Father.

What we need is to let our eyes adjust. We need to give our spiritual eyes time to adjust so we can be prepared to receive answers. How do we do that? Humble ourselves.... repent!

After sincere repentance we're in a state to receive heavenly revelation. Many times we pray on our own without first pleading for forgiveness for our shortcomings and failures. My friend made the comment, ¨we might as well take a baseball bat to Taco Bell, shatter all the windows and stroll inside to order a burrito like nothing ever happened.¨ (sorry about the destruction of Taco Bell  visual, dad!)

I believe that it's when we understand the importance of repentance in our lives that we truly have the key to always be guided by the Spirit and receive direction from God. To talk with Heavenly Father and be blessed with His help, strength and love.

FAMILY, I could share everything I've learned on my mission but I would have to sit at a computer for hours, maybe days. Better yet in person, right? Sit tight for just a little longer!

I love you all and really felt your prayers this week! Thanks for all you do!

Sister Hawkins

Note from the Mom: Please consider taking time to send a little note to our sweet missionary girl in the next couple of weeks. I'd love it if her inbox could be flooded with notes from friends and family one last time! Click on the "write to me" tab at the top of this blog post for her email address.

Pics: (she just forwarded these pics on without descriptions, so, your guess is as good as mine! Goofy girl.)

1 comment:

  1. Gotta love a missionary who doesn't want their mission to be over. I have truly enjoyed the experience of following Sienna this last 18 months. Her insights and experiences have enriched my Mondays. I'm happy for you that she's coming home, sad for her that her mission is almost over, happy for her that she gets to start a new chapter in her life, sad for you that her weekly missionary emails are ending. Is there such a thing as happy/sad tears? Well, I have them.