Monday, December 30, 2013



Hola!

It was way good to talk to everyone on skype on Christmas and I am glad you all look healthy and happy and are doing good things in your lives! I am blessed to be a member of our family!

This week on Christmas eve we had a meeting in Posadas with 3 other zones and each zone did a musical number and Presidente LaPierre gave a talk and so did the assistants and sister LaPierre. It was way good! One of the zones were singing a song super serious and normal and then one of the Elders pulled out a harmonica and they changed it up a bit and it was way sweet! Also, one of the Elders played guitar and a member played the violin and it was so awesome! It was way awesome to experience! And good to talk to a lot of my friends from the MTC and other areas.

This week there was a lot of people at church which was way awesome and we had a meeting with all the adults in the last hour and the branch president talked about the goals for the branch and what he wanted to accomplish this year and one of them is better home teaching. I shared an experience about how we visited a man from a different church who left his church a year ago and told us, close to crying, that not one person from his church had visited him, but that God sent us to help him. It was way cool and I thought about how there are people in our church who go inactive and nobody even notices and how sad that is. So I just bore my testimony on the importance of home teaching, because I actually hadn´t thought about it like that before.

We had four investigators at church Sunday but Ramona was not one of them. We visited her and she actually has some really serious heart issues that prevented her from coming. We gave her a blessing and it was very powerful to be a part of that. She has so much faith! It has been really cool to bless people who are sick on the mission. I have had lots of opportunities and it really is amazing and entirely based on the faith of the person.

Well, i am way excited for this next 6 weeks (or more) in Oberá! The work is not only here but in the whole mission. We actually are creating 4 new zones this transfer and are going to open a lot of areas cause we have so many missions. A lot of young missionaries are being called to do hard things but we are learning so much and the blessings are real! Les quiero!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

PS I sent pictures this week! The one with the hill in the background is the hill I have nick-named "cerro del diablo" hahaha  (hill of the devil)



This picture was on Hermana Crump's blog: They were all in the MTC together

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Feliz Navidad!

Feliz Navidad!

This was probably one of the best weeks of my mission so far. We have really been working really hard and searching for the people prepared and trying to get the members and leadership in the church involved and we were very blessed this week.

Ramona came to church this Sunday with the Familia Rivero and we were kind of nervous because she had basically said that if she felt good at the church, she was going to continue and get baptized. So I was nervous but I had no control cause she was sitting away from us (which was actually better) but I prayed she would have a good experience. Today was the week of missionary work in Sacrament meeting so I gave a talk. I talked about the pure love of Christ and how as missionaries we always tell people we have a message of love and that I say it all the time, but when you really think about it everything in this gospel is about love. So I talked about that and the atonement and then read the scripture that says "as I have loved you love one another" and challenged them to show their love for someone in someway before Christmas. And I stressed about forgiving people who have offended you and asking for forgiveness because a problem we have here is that the members can at times be offended pretty easily and can also offend. I was basically finished with the content of my talk that I had planned when I just looked out at the people and felt the strongest love for all of them. I told them that I loved them and that this love comes from Jesus Christ and that I truly want to help them and that the Lord has blessed me with the ability to love. It was pretty powerful and I came pretty close to crying. Afterwards, some people told me that they had cried or were close to crying so I hope they felt the spirit strong enough to where they will act and change for the better.

But back to Ramona. We have an awesome gospel doctrine teacher who is super animated and exciting so I wasn´t worried about that class. But then she went to relief society and we went to priesthood and our meeting went long so we didn´t have a chance to talk with her after. But we talked to some of the members and one lady said that Ramona gave the closing prayer! And we talked to her afterward and she told us she just felt total peace and tranquility and the love of God the whole time. We are so pumped for her! And we are hoping to get the rest of her family to come this next week. We had a good lesson with her and her husband and  he told us as well that if he had a good feeling at the church that he would be baptized. Pretty amazing!

The Lord really is blessing us so much. Today me and Elder Muñoz listed the blessings we have received these last 5 weeks and then I made a little sign that says "Las Bendiciones Son Reales" and we are going to hit it with our hand every time we leave our apartment. The greatest blessing of all is that we are becoming more like Christ and helping others do the same. It is really amazing to see these blessings and to see that if we exercise our faith, through actions that the Lord will bless us EVERY time. I love you all! Merry Christmas!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hijos de Dios

Hola todos!

It has been a pretty crazy week of traveling here for divisions and for Elder Muñoz´s visa, but we were still able to get a lot of good work in and we are excited for this week to come.

This week we did splits with the Zone Leaders and we went to their apartment in Apostoles which is about 2 hours away in the evening on Monday but when we arrived the assistants called and said we all needed to go back to Oberà in the morning for a district meeting with the assistants, so it was kind of a waste of time, but there was a pretty sweet sunset on the way to Apostoles as a birthday present to me and we ate delicious pizza so it was pretty good.

We also had the Christmas Devotional yesterday and it was really good! There were some really good talks! It is weird to hear them translated though because I am so used to the apostles voices and everything. haha. Before the devotional we were trying to get a family to come with us and we were talking with their dad who has been really kind of cold towards us before but we just started talking with him and we really have gained his confidence and we shared a scripture from the Bible about Christ and then one from the Book of Mormòn and he loved it. He is very firm that he won´t change, but if he actually starts to read the Book of Mormon then I know he will feel even more of the Spirit. His daughters and wife are way interested so hopefully we can help keep them progressing.

This week was good, but I have just been feeling like we aren´t accomplishing a whole lot, just kind of working. So I had been praying hard to find an answer and studying in Preach My Gospel and realized that this gospel isn´t just like a cookie cutter for every person. I love creating systems and in my teaching I had created a system and tried to fit everyone inside the system, but that isn´t how the gospel works. We are all individual children of God and he has a specific plan for each of us. And the gospel will bless every aspect of our lives and our specific unique challenges. So we are going to work more on getting to know people better and then teaching based on what they need. And if we can just show them with a small example that the gospel will actually help them with their specific challenges then they will actually be interested in learning more and changing and acting. And we need to start working better with the branch and supporting the bishop. We are going to ask for a list of people he wants us to visit and also if there is anyone in the ward who needs any kind of service. And these ideas are probably obvious to a missionary with experience, but I don´t have a lot of experience. But I have the Lord and he sent me specific revelation to help me out and to help out the people in Oberá. It's pretty incredible that he loves me enough to help me even though he has plenty of other important things to do.

Well I love you all and I am so proud of all you are doing. Special props this week to Parker for his speech and award! Also to Tanner for being a huge part of helping Jamie get baptized. Keep up the good work everyone!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Monday, December 9, 2013

Feliz cumpleaños a mí‏

¡Hola!

It has been a great birthday today! Elder Tetedoux bought me a delicious cake! Also, Presidente LaPierre called me and sang happy birthday over the phone. He is awesome. For the first time in my life I feel older than I actually am haha I am so glad that the age for missionary service changed. I know that this is where I need to be and I have already learned and grown so mucha and I am so grateful for that! I am grateful that we have a prophet who can receive revelation to guide the church. We are very blessed.

Well, the language is improving at an accelerating rate. Especially, since we started to do language study with the other two elders who are in our house. Elder Tetedoux took like two years of college before the mission and so knows a lot about grammar and also learned some English at the university so he is a huge help. He is helping me to not sound like gringo haha. I hope that when I get back that I will have a Latino accent! We are also starting to teach them more English and they are way excited and motivated to learn. Today I asked them why they wanted to learn and they said that it was because they can use it when they go back home to help continue edifying the church when they get back. I thought that was way awesome that they had that vision because I hadn´t even thought about using my Spanish for church service when I get home but that would be so awesome to be able to do. I want to  keep learning even when I get back home!

The other day we met the family Vazquez. The sisters who are in the area next to us found them because they were in our area and didn´t know it haha So we stole them back and they are awesome. They have been through a lot of missionaries and we had our first lesson with them (they have 6 kids so it was a bit wild, but we brought them suckers to get on their good side and also so they would be good) and during the first lesson we asked about their beliefs of the church and everything. Oscar (the dad) said that they believed in basically everything and really loved the church but didn´t feel like they needed to be baptized because they were baptized in a different church already. He was very strong about this. And so we taught about the Restoration of the gospel and I am not sure exactly when it happened, but he was touched by the Spirit and now the family has a baptismal date for the 4th of January! He may have changed his mind when we asked that if he believed it all was true then "wouldn't you want to be a member of Christ´s church". It was pretty awesome! Though the problem is that they aren´t very committed, and so they did not come to church Sunday. But we are going to start working on that to help them out.

Also, we had branch conference and president LaPierre was there and he started his talk by calling all the missionaries up (there are 4 elders and 2 sisters in total) and we sang Silent Night, Holy Night. It was pretty cool. He gave an awesome talk and a really cool training to the leaders. He and Sister LaPierre bore powerful testimonies of Jesus Christ during the first meeting and in the second Pres. LaPierre introduced a challenge that I am giving to you all. In Elder Ballard´s talk in conference he gave the challenge to reach out to one person about the gospel before Christmas. The challenge is to receive 4 "no"s before Christmas. Which means that if you ask four people to somehow act on the gospel (invitation to church, sharing a Book of Mormon, etc) and they all say "no" then you are successful. And if someone says yes then you have to keep asking until 4 people say no. It is kind of changing the measurement of success. So I am giving that challenge to all of you and I would like you to report to me your progress. But what a great present that would be to the Savior before His birthday. I promise that if you really try to do this and pray for opportunities the Lord will help you and he will open your mouth.

Well, I love you all and thank you for your birthday wishes! I am way excited top continue the work here in Oberá and to keep building the church here. I love this work and I am so happy to be a missionary!

"Abrid vuestra boca y será llena" D&C 33:8

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Happy, Happy Birthday Elder Hawk

Monday, December 2, 2013

Buenos tardes!

It has been a challenging week but I have been learning a lot. Elder Muñoz and I worked like crazy and had a lot of lessons. We had lots of people who said they would be going to church and we even woke up early on Sunday morning to go find two investigators and come with them to church. We walked for like a half hour and when we got there another person answered the door and said they weren´t there. So we walked back and I was hoping someone would show up to sacrament meeting but nobody did. It was pretty rough and I was feeling down and frustrated and prayed for help. I was pretty upset because we had worked so hard and there were so many people who really needed to be at church to show their faith and solve the trials in their lives. I prayed to have the wisdom to know what to do and how to do better the next week but I was really just feeling pretty down. After sacrament one of the members came up to me and talked about his mission where he didn´t have any baptisms for 3 months in an area that  hadn´t baptized for 2 years. He said I just needed to be patient and not lose my hope and excitement for the work. This helped me a lot to realize that I just need to be patient and do my best. I also realized that I need to just focus less on myself and how I measure my success and focus on the people.

Afterwards, the Lord sent me the wisdom I had asked for. One of the members came up to me and said that we had passed her house a few times and gave us her cell phone number and offered to help us with lessons or things if we needed it. It was a blessing and also a reminder that we need to start working with the members more. And today the assistants showed up and taught us how we can get people to come to church and had some really good ideas. So I was blessed with what I needed, but in the Lord´s time.

This week I really saw a lot of my weaknesses but the Lord has said "Wherefore, I call upon the weak things of the world, those who are unlearned and despised, to thrash the nations by the power of my Spirit;" (D&C 35:13).  I am weak and I am not going to be perfect ever. But the Lord can still use me to do great things. I just need to be patient and improve little by little every day.

I love you all so much and am so thankful for your examples and your prayers. I am ready to have an awesome week!

Ether 2:27 "I will make weak things strong unto them"

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

¿¡Soy un padre!?

Hola!
Well life got pretty crazy this last week. I am now a father in the mission. Hardly had any time to enjoy my youth. haha I had a feeling it was coming but the truth is it is an even harder challenge than I had thought before.

So we had a big conference call with the whole zone and the ZLs announced every change and said that Elder Peña would be training a new missionary in Ruta 2 (my last area). So I was kind of confused cause I thought that would be what I would do. Then they said that I was going to train and everyone started talking at once and Elder Peña picked me up and started yelling things in Spanish and I was kind of confused. haha Once things settled down they explained that I would be going to the Area Oberá 1 with a new missionary. White wash and training at the same time! At that moment I got more nervous, but the missionary's name was Elder Muñoz so the ZLs and Elder Peña said he was probably from South America. So I decided it wouldn´t really be all that hard.

The next day we went around and visited all the families and investigators and it was really hard to say goodbye, I love those people so much. One of our investigators who is 9 started crying and it tore me up a bit, but Elder Peña will keep working with him and I hope to go back and visit after my mission. I am going to miss those people and that area, it became like my home. I learned so much from Elder Peña and the ZLs and I was really lucky to get to be in that area in that time. And the truth is that the Lord was using them to prepare me for this new and difficult challenge. They are all great missionaries.

So, the next day we traveled to Posadas to receive our new missionaries. I was talking to all the new missionaries and met Elder Muñoz who is from California and is not a native speaker of the language. At this point I got a lot more nervous. haha But Elder Muñoz is awesome. He is struggling with the language but he is working so hard! He wants to learn it and help the people so badly. He is working really hard with me and has a good grasp on the principles of the lesson. He just needs some more practice in Spanish. But he is already a great missionary and he is going to do great things in the mission. I just hope I can do all I can to help him reach his full potential. It's a pretty big responsibility but I have the Lord´s help.

As for our area: Oberá is the second largest city in misiones and there are 3 sets of missionaries here. The address to the church is Santiago del Estero 355 and we live across the street in a house in case you are interested in checking it out on Google maps. The branch has about 70 active members and they are super supportive so that is a huge help! The city is sooo beautiful! It's really green and when you are at the top of the hill you can just see it all. The other day there was one of the most beautiful sunsets I have ever had the privilege of witnessing. haha It was even better than an Arizona sunset. haha The area is so beautiful.

However, when we opened the area book we found a lot... of nothing. There aren´t any teaching records of current investigators or forms of progression. The most recent is from like April. So we are kind of starting from scratch. We have tried to ask around the members who they were teaching and there are numbers in the cell phone but basically there is no one. It was kind of frustrating, but also it's ok cause now we can just kind of play dumb and talk to everyone and clap every house. And so we have just been talking to everyone we see and going down the streets and clapping lots of houses. It has actually been pretty effective and we now have a pretty large pool of people who we are going to start working with. I figured that if we just actually had a pool to teach from we could work with them all and then see which are actually prepared for baptism and who will actually follow through with commitments. So that is what we are doing for now. I am praying really hard for direction and the Lord is guiding us to lots of amazing people. The work is hard, but we are being so blessed.

The truth is that this is the hardest thing that I have ever done in my life. I am mentally exhausted constantly, because I have to speak ridiculous amounts of Spanish every day and try to figure out where we need to go and there is a lot of responsibility. It´s difficult. But this is not my work and it is not my challenge. This is the work of Our Savior, Jesus Christ. I am not alone! I have His help constantly and I have felt Him with me. I have felt Him lift my Spirits, guide me where I need to go, and give me the strength to continue on. I testify that this is the work of the Lord. And I testify that this gospel is true! Because if it wasn´t true, an 18 year old boy with very little experience of the world who hardly knows Spanish wouldn´t be able to do what the Lord is helping me do. Thank you for your prayers and your support! ¡Les quiero!

2 Nephi 4:20-25
     My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep.
He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh.
He hath confounded mine enemies, unto the causing of them to quake before me.
Behold, he hath heard my cry by day, and he hath given me knowledge by visions in the night-time.
And by day have I waxed bold in mighty prayer before him; yea, my voice have I sent up on high;
 and angels came down and ministered unto me.
And upon the wings of his Spirit hath my body been carried away upon exceedingly high mountains. And mine eyes have beheld great things, yea, even too great for man; therefore I was bidden that I should not write them.

Con amor, Elder Hawk

New Missionaries

President, Elder Munoz, Elder Hawk, and Sister La Pierre



Monday, November 18, 2013

Marcos Bautizado

¡hola!

Sounds like everyone is doing really good at home. I am glad to hear that all went well with dad becoming bishop and everything. We all will receive so much blessings for his service and he will do an awesome job. That is also way cool about Tanner being involved in that girl meeting with the missionaries and everything. Tanner´s the man, still being a missionary.

The week started out with more traveling. We actually hardly had any time in our area to proselyte this week because we had to sign a contract in El Dorado on Monday and travel to Posadas on Tuesday and Elder Peña got sick and there was a crazy storm, but we were still able to get a lot of work done. The meeting in Posadas was with 3 zones and it was so awesome. We have amazing leaders in this mission. President LaPierre is the man and Sister LaPierre (who speaks only a tiny bit of Spanish) bore a powerful testimony of Christ with the Spanish that she had. Other highlights were practicing to use the Book of Mormon more with the idea that the Book of Mormon answers the questions of the soul. It was way good because at times we just give people the Book of Mormon and explain what it is but we don´t always focus enough on how it can specifically help people with their lives. It was an awesome meeting and I got to see a lot of my district from the MTC which was way sweet.

Best part of the week though was that Marcos was baptized! He has been working so hard to get ready and we really have seen amazing changes in him. He was way quite and just serious at first but now he is always smiling and laughing and he is growing so much. He quit smoking to be baptized as well and it was so amazing to get to see the Atonement work in his life. Definitely the best part of missionary work: to see the amazing changes in people. And I had the opportunity to baptize him which was an amazing experience. But his confirmation was even better cause a member gave him a white shirt and dress pants and he was confirmed by a former less-active member who we have been working with. I really just felt the full joy of missionary work and it was amazing!

Other highlights of week were a crazy storm in Posadas that flooded a lot of streets. We also were in it but Elder Peña was sick so we were inside when it hit super hard. It was one of the hardest storms I have ever seen but the members say it was weak compared to a lot in the past. Also, we found a giant frog in the street. I ate pig intestines (very difficult to chew) and today we had a district activity with like 4 kilos of chorizo which was delicious! We also watched the Emma Hale movie and played ping pong. I am actually getting pretty good. We have cambios (changes or transfers) tonight so we will see what happens. Kind of anxious to figure it all out.

I´m loving life, working hard, and enjoying the journey. I really have been so blessed. Thank you all for your support, love and prayers.

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Elder Hawk and Marcos

Look at those Smiles!

Elder Hawk is loving Argentina

Pig Intestine

Chorizo

Stirring Up Trouble

Monday, November 11, 2013

La Situación Perfecta‏

Hola!

Its been a great week here in Argentina! It started out way good with a zone conference. I learned so much and we have such great leaders in this mission from top to bottom. As I was reflecting on this week and on that conference I realized how I really have been put in the perfect situation. Elder Peña really is the best trainer possible for me. He works really hard and puts me into situations that help me grow. He also doesn´t do everything for me and doesn´t always bail me out when I need help which really helps me to grow a lot. I also am in a great little city that has people who are prepared to hear the gospel and has the people who I need to meet who are helping me to grow and become better. Really, there are so many people who are here to help me and I am so grateful that I have been put here by the Lord. I truly am so blessed and so lucky and am learning so fast and becoming better everyday. And really I have my Heavenly Father to thank for that because he has put me in the exactly perfect situation for my growth as a missionary and as a person. And he also has put me here because there are people who I can help come closer to Christ. I really just feel so blessed!

 This week we traveled to Posadas which is about a 5 hour trip one way. We left the apartment at 3 in the morning and returned around 9 in the evening. Elder Peña had to sign some papers for his visa. But it was just really cool to see how much I had grown in just one month. It especially hit me when we were driving in the taxi and I thought about my first taxi ride to head out to Ruta. The contrast really is amazing! A month ago Elder Peña was talking to me and I understood close to nothing, I didn´t know what was going on or where we were going and I was really kind of nervous. But this time I could understand almost everything and could communicate so much better and I knew what was going on and was confident that I could survive. Ha ha But it really was such a huge difference and I am so grateful for how much I have grown.

 This week we were walking away from an appointment and we just had this feeling to go down a street that we always pass but never use. So we started walking and about 5 houses down we heard someone yell “Elders” and we turned and this women in a wheel chair invited us in her gate and she was crying and we started talking to her on her patio. Her name is Ambrosa and she moved to Ruta a few months ago. She is a member but hasn´t been to church for a long time because there was no building in her old city. And she told us how she had been having a really rough time with a lot of things and she prayed for help and within minutes she saw us walking down the road. It was so awesome and I was so glad we were where we needed to be at the right time. I know that God always answers a prayer said in faith and that we can help answer the prayers of others if we are doing what is right. Way cool.

 Well, that´s about it for now, other than the fact that the weather is suddenly extremely hot. Ha ha I almost passed out on Sunday because we have to wear our suits during church. But all is well and I am happy and healthy and learning way fast! Thanks for all your support and prayers!

 Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.
 Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by his grace, and his great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things. 

Jacob 4:6-7

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Monday, November 4, 2013

Primero Bautismo‏

Hola!

It has been a pretty sweet week here in the area Ruta 2. On Tuesday President LaPierre came to our zone for interviews and it was awesome. I have heard that most mission presidents just do super fast interviews (sometimes only like 10 minutes) but President LaPierre takes more time which I think is way cool. I talked to him for like 50 minutes and I learned so much. And it was really good cause I needed a good pep talk. We talked about a lot of things and he told me to not worry about being perfect, but just try to improve a few things at a time. And I talked to him about how the way me and Elder Peña do things is kind of different, not that one way is better than the other, but I just have some different ideas of what we need to be doing. He told me to change some of the things if I could but that I needed to let some things go but to remember them because my time is coming. Hopefully it isn´t coming too soon. haha. But I have really started to realize that I can receive revelation for the work in my area. I have been called to this area for a reason and I am able to receive guidance for myself and investigators and the area if I am worthy and I ask for it. So I have really been trying to seek revelation on what we need to do and it has been really good.

So the most exciting part of the week was Lucas´s baptism and confirmation! On Saturday Elder Peña and I were preparing the church building for the baptism and the font was like a foot deep or so when the water in the building ran out. So we got a bucket and put it outside under the place where all the water was going (can´t think of the word) because it was raining really hard and we filled it another few inches with rain water. haha It was pretty sweet. Luckily we had enough to do the baptism but only just barely enough. Elder Peña baptized Lucas and I confirmed him on Sunday so he is officially a member! Pretty awesome! He is a great kid and he is already being a missionary to his friends. I can tell his parents are nervous about him just leaving the church after baptism (they aren´t members) but we told them that we are here to continue helping him. And I was thinking about it and I don´t just want to be the kind of missionary who only is trying to baptize people. I want to help others truly become converted to the Gospel and develop habits and a testimony that will help them be lifetime, active, involved members of the church. Because a really solid, committed member down here is like pure gold! It seriously makes such a huge difference to have people who are strong in the gospel and ready and willing to serve.

Now with the not good news. Because it was so rainy on Saturday it was super muddy. We had thought that we could get around 10 people to church (best case scenario) and we even went on splits with two priests to try and get everyone to come. I went to the house of Gladis who had a dream where a man came to her and said the Book of Mormon was scripture and then had another dream where she was in a white baptism dress. I know she received a strong answer that the Book of Mormon was true but she wouldn´t come to church. And another women also wouldn´t come after she had promised and planned. They had excuses about the mud and the distance and the rain and their dirty clothes etc. And I am not saying all this to bash those people and in reality it probably would have been difficult to attend, what I am saying is that it made me pretty sad. And I know it is probably pretty normal for something like this to happen but I really do love these people so much and I want so badly for them to truly change their lives and find true and lasting happiness, but at the end of the day they have the ability to choose. But it made me think a lot about how living the gospel is not easy. In reality we have to sacrifice a lot. But the truth is that the blessings and happiness that come from living the gospel are infinitely greater than any sacrifice. I have seen that in my life so many times! No matter the sacrifice, the Lord pays us back 100 fold or more. But the only thing I can do for others is to teach, testify, and invite. And hope and pray that they make the correct decision. But that has just been on my mind a lot lately.

Also, we went on splits again Sunday in the afternoon and I was a little nervous to be without Elder Peña, but I was helped by the Spirit and me and Hermano Jimenez taught the Restoration to a family and it was really good. I couldn´t understand everything or say everything, but I was able to understand enough and say enough to bring the Spirit. It is actually pretty cool not being able to speak fluently because I have to totally rely on the Spirit and be really simple and I think it brings a special Spirit to lessons. And it truly is a miracle how much I have been able to learn in less than a month in the field. I am blessed every day.

Well, I love you all and miss you. I am doing well-I´m healthy and working hard every day. Thanks for all your support and prayers and love.

"Y sè que el Señor Dios consagrará mis oraciones para el beneficio del mi pueblo. Y las palabras que he (hablado) en debilidad serán hechas fuertes para ellos"
-2 Nefi 33:4

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Monday, October 28, 2013

Los Eligidos‏

Hola todo,

This has been quite an interesting week. It has been pouring rain like crazy! So every night my pants and shoes have been covered in mud (see attached pictures). But the work has been great! Spanish is still difficult but I find that when I listen to people carefully and love them and focus on them instead of my Spanish I am able to understand and say so much more. Because its not about me speaking Spanish, its about that person feeling the Spirit.

So, the other day started out as a disaster because I accidentally locked the keys in the house. Elder Peña said (rather quickly) "tiene los llaves" and I said yes before I totally understood what he said and then he swung the door shut right as I realized what just happened. The door automatically locks when it shuts and the only other key was in the centro en Eldorado. So after we ate lunch with a member we got on a bus for the centro. I felt like crap because we were missing out on proselyting time and also because I felt stupid. Then, the place was closed cause it was ciesta time (naps) so we had to wait for like 15 extra minutes. During this time I just prayed that Heavenly Father could make up the difference for my mistake and that I would work as hard as I could if he could only make up the difference. But the people didn´t have a key. So we left and it took another 15 or more minutes for the next bus to show up. Finally, we got back to the apartment and were able to open one of the windows and use a long stick to turn the doorknob thing. I´m not sure why we didn´t try that earlier haha. But after that things got way better! We started clapping houses and we found an awesome family. They are way prepared for the gospel and have all the right questions and really accepted everything really well. Then, we had a great lesson with one of our investigators and after we asked if he had any questions and his only question was what day he was going to be baptized, so we were pretty pumped about then. Then we visited a less active family and Hermana Tavarez had a sister at the house who is like 16 or so. We started talking to her and gained her confidence and then she told us about some of the problems she was having and we were able to help her. I testified that through the atonement we can be totally clean and that it is powerful enough to make up for everything. It was awesome and the Spirit was so strong! So a terrible day turned into an amazing day because we worked hard and Heavenly Father made up the difference.

Yesterday we also taught Gladis who Elder Peña contacted during exchanges. She is amazing and talked about how she was able to change her life through Christ and now she has this beautiful feeling in her heart. We asked if she wanted it more and after she said yes we taught her the first discussion about the Restoration through Joseph Smith. And it was so awesome because the Spirit was way strong and she accepted a baptismal date. Afterwards she said she felt a beautiful powerful feeling in her heart during our lesson, especially about the Book of Mormon. We told her it was the Spirit. It was just so amazing because here was this person who had come so near to Christ with the knowledge that she had, but was kept from the whole truth and the full joy of Christ because she knew not where to find it. And we were able to give her that truth that is able to make her joy full. It just made me think even more about how lucky I have been to have all this knowledge my whole life. And now I have the opportunity and privilege to share that knowledge with others so that they can have total peace and joy in their lives. It really is incredible and I am so lucky!

Also, we are going to have a baptism this Saturday! Lucas is 9 and finally we got permission from his mom to be baptized! He seriously is such a great kid and we are so excited for him! He is the man! So, the work is progressing and we are being blessed. Its actually going to be the first baptism in this area in over 6 months because it had been closed for a few months and this is only the second transfer it has been opened. So that is pretty sweet as well!

Well, I love you all so much and am grateful for you! I miss you, but the sacrifice is more than worth it for all of us. Stay strong.

Alma 22:18 "abandonarè todos mis pecados para conocerte"

Con amor y felicidad, Elder Hawk



 Soaking wet from the rain

A Lizard...should we cook him for dinner?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Gran Area Ruta 2

Hola,

It has been another awesome week in the gran (great) area Ruta 2! I decided early last week that we were going to fix our map and area book up because they really were just terrible and so I talked with the zone leaders and we got this huge map that is like 1.5x1 meter and we are putting all of our investigators on it with pins and it is way better because before the missionaries would lose investigators because they didn´t know where they were and it was difficult to find your way around, but this should really help a lot. I want to leave this area a lot better off then I found it, and help the next missionaries to be successful. I have a picture of me by the map but I forgot my card 'cause there is a freak thunder storm right now and we had to run to the internet place and my umbrella broke. jaja (haha in Spanish) but it was pretty funny.

Another cool experience this week was going on exchanges with the zone leaders. I went into their area and worked with Elder Cortez. He is way capo (cool) and I learned a lot from him, especially about how to use the Book of Mormon more in our lessons which I think is way important it is kind of difficult because a lot of the people here don´t read all that well. though, I did find one guy who loved reading. He is deaf and so I wrote notes back and forth and gave him a Book of Mormon and pamphlet and he loved it so much. It was cool.

Yesterday was el dìa de madre. We gave little cards to a lot of the mothers that we are teaching and it was way cool. We gave one to the mother of one of our investigators (Lucas who is 9) and I think it has really warmed her up to us so hopefully she will give permission for him to be baptized this week. But it made me think a lot about how awesome my mom is! I really am so grateful for her and all that she has done to help me. I am especially grateful for her prayers (and all of your prayers) for me. We shared Moroni 8:3 with a family and it is Mormon telling Moroni that he is always praying for him. It made me think especially of how I know that my parents are always praying for me in every prayer and have always been praying for me. I know these prayers have blessed my life and given me the opportunities to learn and grow. I am so grateful for all of your prayers of support. When I am feeling down I can especially feel them.

Also, yesterday there was a bird in our apartment! jaja We walked in and it was kind of just sitting on the blanket thing we use to block the sun out of the window. We freaked it out a little and it flew straight for me and I just ran to the other side of the house and the bird hit the wall and Elder Peña was laughing his head off. jaja it was hilarious! So finally Elder Peña snuck up on it and grabbed it and it started screaming but he let it out the window and that was the end of that. jaja

Yesterday I was feeling a bit frustrated with my progress in the language and I was just kind of down and felt that a lot of our investigators just were not even trying to keep their commitments. But then we went and visited the Gayerdo (probably spelled wrong) family who I visited on my first day and I realized how much I really had learned. The first day I was hardly able to understand or say anything and during the visit yesterday I was able to understand so much and participate in the conversation and laugh with everyone. It was so nice! Then Elder Peña made a comment about how I had been in Argentina for ten days and I realized how foolish it was to be frustrated. In only ten days I have learned so much and I am continuing to learn like crazy. In my life before the mission I would usually experience some kind of trouble or trial and struggle but fairly quickly adjust and be ok. In the mission I am constantly being pushed and stretched and challenged. It is difficult but I am growing so much and it is awesome! I want to be pushed and pushed so that I can become an effective and reliable instrument in the hands of the Lord.

Well, sorry I don´t have any pictures this week. Next week I will try to remember to send some good ones! (Just kidding it was actually in my pocket the whole time)

´´Quedaos tranquilos, y sabed que yo soy Dios´´ -Psalms 46:10

Les quiero mucho,

Elder Hawk



La Pension


 Elder Peña

The Map

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Estoy aqui‏

¡hola!

Well, after riding the crazy train tracks from the MTC to the airport in Salt like (while getting separated into two different trains because the train didn´t give us enough time) taking a flight to Dallas after our plane was delayed and having to run like crazy to even get on our flight to Buenos Aires (10 hours), taking a bus for 2 hours to the church headquarters, taking that bus another hour to the other airport and taking a 2 hour flight to Posadas, then after a meal boarding a 5 hour bus to my area, I am finally here in the City of Ruta near the city of El Dorado. It was a crazy couple days of travel but I am very happy to be here.

My companion is Elder Peña from Chile. He is the only member of the church from his family and was baptized when he was twelve. He is really cool and a good trainer, or at least i think he is good because it is kind of hard to understand this whole Spanish thing. haha He is Chilean and they are notorious for talking super fast, so he has a hard time slowing down for me, but he is really doing a great job and is really patient. Luckily, he knows how to say some things in English so that makes it a tiny bit easier.

So, the language is coming along really well. The first day I pretty much could understand nothing which was kind of frustrating and I hadn´t yet talked with Elder Peña about how he could help me so I wasn´t understanding much. I also wasn´t talking enough because I had no idea what was happening. also have been praying and studying and trying my hardest and Heavenly Father is helping me to learn. Honestly, without His help I wouldn´t be able to do anything. The people here speak super fast and have a weird accent and leave out letters a lot but i am starting to figure it out. I actually have been able to understand a crazy amount these last couple days and we have had several amazing lessons where I was able to understand and also bear my testimony with power all in Spanish. I am feeling really good about the language right now because I have already learned so much and I know the Spirit will help me to continue to learn super fast.

The work here in Ruta 2 is going well. On 9 of November we have committed 4 people to baptism at this moment I believe. I even challenge Rosalia to be baptized and she said yes! It was pretty sweet! Write now we are focusing a lot on less active members and trying to help them come back to church. the families and the branch here is awesome! There were probably like 50 or so people at Sacrament meeting and it was testimony meeting so I got to hear a lot of really powerful testimonies. AND i bore my testimony in Sacrament Meeting. I talked a little about why I decided to go on a mission and that I don´t know the language and I don´t know the culture and I don´t really know all that much of anything, but I do know that my Savior lives and that God loves us and that he will provide a way for us to do his work. I know that He is going to teach me Spanish and teach me how to be a better teacher and that through Him I will be able to do all that he needs me to do. I said that I was going to work my hardest and do my best and that I was thankful for all of them and that I loved them. It was so cool to bear my testimony like that in Spanish. That really is my favorite thing to do-- bear testimony of the gospel. Luckily, I get to do that for 2 more years!!

The weather is incredibly humid and pretty hot so there is a lot of sweating. The food is really good! We had chorizo the other day and the empanadas are the most delicious things I have ever tasted. They also have this like weird crumbly bread stuff that is super salty that isn´t too bad. The use a crazy amount of salt in everything which will take getting used to. Also, the expect me to eat like  20 pounds of food every time I go to their houses so I am always full. It was raining like crazy the other day so all the street (they pretty much are all dirt) are super muddy so my pants are covered at the end of every day. We do a lot of fast walking and visit a lot of people. The people here are so amazing. They have very little, but have such amazing faith and trust in God. I wish i could tell you about all of the awesome people that I have met but I don´t have time. Also, the little kids love those little alien parachute things! The kids here are so stinking cute and there is one kid who is probably like 2 and he always runs to the gate and says hola elder! and I talk to him a little in Spanish and his sister is teaching me twinkle twinkle little star. haha The people are all so kind and are helping me so much.

Right now I am in this tiny store with 4 computers in Argentina! And all of my words are underlined in red because I don't know how to change it to English, so sorry for the spelling mistakes. But I really am so happy! There have been some rough times but My Heavenly Father always provides and always lifts my Spirits. The work is hard and it is difficult to be a missionary, but the work is good and true and it makes me so happy.

Yo sè que nada soy; en cuanto a mi fuerza, soy dèbil; por tanto, no me jactaré de mi mismo´sino que me gloriarè en mi Dio, porque con su fuerza puedo hacer todas las cosas -Alma 26:12

Les amo mucho!
Con amor, Elder Hawk


Elder LaPierre, Elder Peña, Elder Hawk, and Sister LaPierre

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

So I (Rand's mom) have been following a blog that is written by a sister in Rand's district, heading to Argentina with him today. This is what she wrote in the last paragraph of her post yesterday. I loved it and wanted to share. She also had some pictures that Rand was in so I thought I would share those too. It's been a blessing to me to read her blog. She will be an amazing missionary. I love you Hemana Crump even though I've never met you.


The people here in the MTC, particularly my district, have really become like family to me. I just have to say that I was, at first, a little skeptical of the idea of these 18-year-old boys coming out here and representing the Lord, but as I have spent so much time with them, I know that this is a revelation from God to send us here at such a young age. Their testimonies are so strong. As I sang Called to Serve one last time with these missionaries, I thought to myself, why in the world would all these teenagers, of their own free will, give up some of the best years of their lives, leave everything behind, solely to serve the Lord? Why? The only explanation is because this is true. This. Gospel. Is. True. I know it with my whole heart or I wouldn't be here. I am so excited to get out there and do this! 





Monday, October 7, 2013


 Elder Litchfield's first time seeing snow.
Trying out the new coat
 The District
Crump, Me, Ogden, Litchfield, Cross, Rupe, Barrett, Rust, Sleight

Fe y Cambiar‏

Hola!

Another week in paradise! Crazy how excited I am to leave a place I love so much. But it is because the mission field is even better! So the news you have all been waiting for.... I got a travel visa and I am heading to Argentina on Tuesday!!! I am so pumped! I wanted so badly to go straight there and now I get to do it! So after a flight to Dallas and like an 11 hour flight to Buenos Aries (and I am thinking maybe a bus all the way to Posadas). I will be at the mission home probably Thursday some time. I am so excited! I can't wait to get there. I am a little nervous because I am not that good at Spanish or teaching or anything a missionary needs to be good at, but I am not afraid because the Lord is on my side and he has amazing blessings promised to missionaries (including member missionaries) if they will work hard, have the Spirit, have faith, and open their mouth. And I can't do a lot of things but I can do those simple things! So I cannot fail. SO pumped!

OK, my first lesson of the week came during in-field orientation which is this big meeting for like the whole day where they prepare you for things in the field. It was all awesome, but my favorite part was when the guy in charge told a story about how in the Philippines he had an investigator who needed to sell fruit on Sunday to support his family, but he told the man God would provide if he came to church instead. The man did it and made enough money to be OK. but I thought about this and how for me living the gospel has never required that much faith. I have certainly had to have some portion of faith, but never the kind of faith that would require a person to put their family's livelihood on the line. I thought about if I would be able to have the faith to ask people to do this. I thought about it and then the man mentioned D & C something that talks about how obedience to the law will always bring blessings. And as I continued to ponder and study that the next couple days I began to realize that while I don't know a whole lot, I do know that God will always keep His promises. He has given us pages and pages of promised blessings along with the way to obtain these blessings and if we have faith that he will give us those blessing if we do the required work then we will be so blessed! In D&C 84:88 God promises that he will go before my face and be on my right hand and on my left and that angels will be there to bare us up. Now, that scripture is worthless to us if we don't believe it and remember it! I know the scriptures are true and that if we will believe God, believe that he will support us and then do the things he requires then we will be blessed with all that he promises. I know that when I promise a person that God will bless them and provide for them if they do a difficult thing that he asks that He will keep His promises! I am so excited to promise people blessings and see those fulfilled as they do the required work. And I promise all of you that if you will study the scriptures and understand what you need to do to gain the blessings you desire that God will keep His promises to you! Every single promise, every single time! So amazing!

Conference was so awesome! I hope you all felt the Spirit and were able to hear and listen for the answers you needed. The main theme to me in conference was: Get yoked! They quoted the scripture "my yoke is easy and my burden is light" at least 70 times and each talk for me in some way related the idea that if we will just do all that we can then Heavenly Father will do the rest; which was exactly what I needed to hear before going to the mission field. And after receiving so much truth from the MTC and conference through the Spirit I know I have a lot to improve on, but that I will be able to change through the Atonement. And that is my desire for all of you. I think it is easy to listen to 10 hours of truth, feel good, and then do nothing about it. I know that I have done that so much in my life. But now I truly want to change and be molded by the Savior. But the question is: how do we truly change? I have a few tips I have learned that I hope you and I will be able to put into practice so we can actually change. First, true doctrine, understood changes behavior. (I believe that quote is in PMG) We need to understand that we will never change with "applications." What I mean by this is that we can try to first change our behaviors, the things we do, but until we understand God's revealed truths (doctrine) we will not change. For instance, (and this example and idea of doctrine vs. application comes from a talk by Elder Bednar that we watched last week) if we want to increase home teaching in the ward we can either try applications such as getting the meanest strongest man in the ward to threaten to beat people up for not doing home teaching, or we can help everyone understand the doctrines of why we do home teaching. Only the doctrine understood will bring true, lasting change. Second, first set goals, then plan to achieve them. Too often we do the opposite. I caught myself planning before setting goals right after conference. luckily, the Spirit helped me realize this and I decided to set "eternal goals." I listed the Christlike attributes plus a few others in a book and then wrote about what I wanted to be. How would I think, act, and be when I had mastered this attribute? What did I want to BECOME? Once we have determined that. And only after we have determined that, we can set daily, weekly, monthly, goals with the purpose of helping us achieve those eternal goals. The only purpose of short term goals is to help us achieve our eternal goals! I hope that makes sense. So, my challenge to you is to truly change because of what you have learned at conference. Go to a quiet place, write about what you want to become with help from the doctrines you have learned, and then set shorter term goals to help you accomplish that and regularly and diligent check up on them. And do all of this with the help of the Spirit and your Heavenly Father. I know that only through the Atonement and through diligent effort are we able to change. So get the most out of every spiritual experience and truly allow yourself to change from it. I promise you will not be alone in your righteous pursuits to change. Heavenly Father, the Savior, and angels both heavenly and earthly will be there to help you.

I love you all and am so grateful for you and your examples! Because I love you, I want you to change for the better. I am so excited to go to Argentina! I can't even begin to express how excited I am to serve the Lord and have the experiences that will bring permanent change in me and in the people I love and will love. What a great work this is!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Friday, October 4, 2013

Stock and Hawk

Tanner's AP companion (Tate Stock) teaches Fijian at the MTC and looked up Rand. 
Stock sent this picture to Tanner today.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Orar y Cambiar

 Hola, personas bonitas!

Another week in paradise! Though I have to say that I am getting pretty ready to leave. It is crazy how excited I am to leave such an amazing place, because if I was going  to almost anywhere else I would be sad, but I am about to head off to do something even better--serve others by helping them come unto Christ. Now that is really living the dream!
So this week I got a little sick. I have had like half a cold for awhile, but on like Tuesday I lost my voice part way through the day and could only whisper for half of Tuesday and all of Wednesday (kind of like Elder Cox in our ward, I sounded like Batman sometimes). On Thursday I woke up and decided to go to the doctor so he said I might have a sinus infection so I got to walk down the street to the BYU student health center and get some drugs. It was pretty exciting to go on a little adventure almost a full 1/4 mile away. haha But now I am feeling a lot better so don't worry about me! But on Wednesdays we do this thing called the Training Resource Center where we get to talk to members about the gospel in Spanish which is so cool. But since I could only whisper I wasn't gonna talk a lot, but when we got in there I just had to say what I felt. So our teacher, Hermano Bush, is able to watch from the camera and he said it was super powerful when I would testify and quote scriptures while whispering. It was a blessing to be able to do that and we had an amazing discussion with the sister we spoke with. It actually ended up being a blessing to have lost my voice and been able to do that. I know that the Spirit helps me to speak and without it I would not be able to do anything I am doing on a mission.
So yesterday was probably the best day at the MTC so far. It was fast Sunday and so we had mission conference and also a Sunday night devotional and district meeting and fast and testimony meeting and watched a video in the evening. So it was bound to be an awesome day from the start i guess. But I'm going to share a couple talks I heard. The first was in mission conference. President Brady asked if we wanted to learn the language better and gain more knowledge and teaching ability. He then told us if we would only take a handful of minutes each day then we would be able to do this. And he asked us if we would be willing to do whatever it was even if we didn't know what it was yet. Then he talked about having an evening devotional with our Heavenly Father each night. At the MTC, between 10:15 and 10:30 each day we have time set apart for pondering and prayer and he told us it was crucial we took this time to account to the Lord about our day and to listen for answers. He promised that if we did that, then we would be able to receive guidance, support, encouragement, and help as we faithfully had a personal interview with the Lord each day. He said this is the time when the will of the Father and child become one and when we make ourselves moldable to become who he wants us to be. It was so powerful and I am definitely going to do that for my whole life. So I challenge all of you to turn your evening prayers into something more than just a quick list of the blessings you want. Speak with your Heavenly Father about your day, ask for direction, tell him of your desires to improve and LISTEN. Remember that He is your Father and prayer is a 2 way communication! I promise if you do this, then he will help you to become the person that He wants you to be and your relationship with Him will grow and this will bless your life in so many ways. It really will change you and I know that to be true because as I have done that during the MTC I have already been changed and prepared to change and it is a great blessing. So please, do this and share your experiences with me! And don't only do it once! Do it every single day!
Each Sunday we get to watch these different videos they show, mostly of talks given by apostles at the MTC. So instead of an apostle we were gonna watch this movie about Joseph Smith's life, but at the last minute we changed our mind and decided to go to a talk by Elder Uchtdorf. We put our stuff down and went to the bathroom and came back and saw Elder Bednar talking. We were surprised and almost left cause we thought we had already seen it. But we stayed and I am so glad we did because it was the best talk I have yet heard at the MTC! He talked about doctrines being simple truths revealed to us by God. Principles are guidelines based on those truths and an application is what we do because of the guideline. So doctrines answer "why", principles answer "what", and application questions answer "how." Hopefully this all kind of makes sense. But he said we too often try to help people and help ourselves by using applications. we try to change our behaviors by focusing on the behaviors themselves. But a prophet said that "true doctrine, understood changes behavior." Can't remember who it is but the quote is in PMG and it is amazing. So, the only way we can truly change is to learn doctrine with our minds AND hearts. For instance, when we truly understand in our minds and hearts that prayer is 2 way communication with God then we will apply that doctrine by praying like described by President Brady above. He gave us an apostolic promise that if we would search, learn, and understand the doctrine then our lives would be changed and that as we helped others to understand doctrine for themselves that their lives would also be blessed and they would be able to truly change. It was so simple, but so amazing. So, my challenge to you is, when faced with a problem or a question about the gospel, always respond with DOCTRINE! Learn the doctrine, understand the doctrine, and you can then apply the doctrine.
There were so many amazing talks and those are just two of them. So I hope that you at least kind of understand them because the talks themselves were way better than my attempt to share them with you. But, fortunately you don't have to rely on my email alone and you don't always need an apostle to testify of truth. Go and search these things and I promise you will gain a greater understanding and you will be better able to change for the better every day. These had really been answers to my prayers because I had been asking how to truly change.
What an amazing day and amazing week and amazing life I have been able to have! I am so lucky! Keep being awesome people! Thank you so much for your prayers and words of encouragement and examples to me. Les amo todo de ustedes! I love you all!

Love, Elder Hawk

Monday, September 23, 2013

Recuerde‏



Hola familia!

It has been another awesome week at the MTC. I am learning Spanish and the gospel quickly, I am happy, and I am so grateful for all of you, your letters, your advice and your support. Thank you!

So this week I have learned a lot about the word remember. It started when I was walking to lunch and some missionaries were doing something stupid and I just had the thought come to my mind that missionaries don't want to be disobedient or less than they have the potential to be, they just forget. I wrote this down and then that night I just started writing with the subject of: the greatest threat to a missionary is that he forgets. And that really is the greatest threat to all of us who are members of the church. It isn't usually that we want to sin or be unkind to someone or do less than our best. It's that we forget. A missionary forgets that he has been called by God; he is a representative of Jesus Christ and is expected to act as such. He forgets that he has made sacred covenants that he needs to keep. He forgets that he holds the priesthood of God. That God has trusted him with the same power He used to shape the universe. He forgets the people he has been called to serve; that they are alone, and unhappy, and in danger spiritually. That it is his job to find those people and help save them! He forgets all the sacrifices made before him by saints and missionaries and martyrs. Worst of all, a missionary (and all of us) forget about Jesus Christ. He has done so much for us and redeemed us and yet we do not always follow him. We don't remember that we can become perfect through Him and that he wants so badly for us and others to be with Him forever. It really is pretty sad that we forget.
But the only way we can fix this is to remember. To remember all of those things and to act better because we remember them. Last night, I watched a talk Elder Holland gave at the MTC. He talks about how incredibly lucky we are, because never has there been more opportunities and ability to do good and better health technology,etc. on the earth than there is today. And every prophet before our time has had to deal with the reality that eventually he would fail, that the gospel would be taken away from the earth; they were all destined to ultimately fail. But not us! I am part of an army that was called to succeed. The gospel will never again be taken from this earth! "Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly,  and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear,  till the purposes of God shall be accomplished and the Great Jehovah shall say 'the work is done.' What a blessing it is to know that! But it is one thing to know something and an entire other thing to remember it.

So, my new goal is to remember. To remember all who have gone before me. To remember my family and all who have done so much to give me the truth. To remember I was called to succeed. To remember that a boy truly did see God and Jesus Christ in a grove of trees almost 200 years ago. To remember Jace. To remember the people of Argentina and Paraguay who need the Gospel so desperately. To remember my Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ. And to remember that the message I am going to share is true. I know it is true! And I will boldly proclaim it to everyone I see. If I truly remember all of these things and try harder and do better because of them, then I will be the missionary I want to be. And I promise to everyone reading this right now that if you will only remember then you will have the strength and diligence to continue on and to improve every day. 
Well, that turned out longer than I thought. But I hope you all truly consider it, no matter who you are. I know it will bless your life. I love you all! I am so excited to be able to dedicate the next 23 months to helping other people and building God's kingdom on the earth. How lucky am I!? The most lucky.

RECUERDEN

Love, Elder Hawk

Monday, September 16, 2013

This is how a champion studies Spanish
Zone Leader Gifts....coat hanger crown & sword

Ser o no ser. Esa es la pregunta.

Hola!
I hope that everyone is doing good; it sure sounds like it from your emails and letters! I am doing amazing cause I get to be a missionary and serve the Lord all the time. Pretty sweet. Thank you to everyone who has helped give me this opportunity and who is supporting me. I love you all so much!
So, Sunday i was officially made the Zone Leader in sacrament meeting. Sitting on the stand is kinda weird even though there are only like 30 people in sacrament. I get to watch all the missionaries slowly fall asleep and me and Litchfield made bets on who would go first. I even started nodding off a bit but I realized everyone could see me so I kept myself awake. Then all the new ZLs had a training thing that was sort of unnecessary but it was ok. But finally we were OFFICIALLY the zone leaders when the last ZLs called us over and pulled out a crown and sword made mainly from metal clothes hangers and duct tape. They knighted us zone leaders and it was pretty epic. We have 8 new missionaries coming this week so we will be responsible for that and for welcoming them and everything which will be good. i hope i can make them feel welcome and excited!
Classes have been going very well and we committed Alberto to baptism which was pretty sweet. We talked about how he could feel the Spirit more in his life and how if he is baptized he can have the good feelings he feels during prayer and scripture study ALL the time! He was pretty excited about that idea and it made me realize how lucky I have been to have the gift of the Spirit to be with me at all times if I am faithful. I have a friend, leader, comforter, inspirer, helper, etc. at all times! That is amazing and yet I take it for granted too much. We do have one investigator Clara that we are struggling with. She doesn't really share much with us and refuses to say anything and it is hard to get anything out of her. She wouldn't pray either which was lame. But after we taught her she all of a sudden comes into the classroom and says she is going to talk about our lesson cause we all can learn from it. She had some good points and we are trying to learn from them, but it really wasn't presented very well. She just kept on like a 45 minute (not an exaggeration) rant about pretty much everything that bothers her about how missionaries teach and she even took a sarcastic approach at times. She is really a good teacher and I am trying hard to not be negative about the experience but afterwards we didn't feel like we wanted to do better, we just felt discouraged. But we have rebounded and have had good lessons since then and i realized that my teachers are just people. They make mistakes and they don't always approach things the correct way, but they still want to help us. And i also realized that the Spirit is the real teacher and He is the one who I need to listen to and counsel with and ask questions to and I will receive answers and help from the perfect teacher. So it really ended up being a very positive experience and I am glad that it happened so that I could learn a lot from it. I know that if I just listen to the Spirit throughout my mission and work hard then I will become the person that I need to be able to serve others.
I am having a lot of fun even though it is hard work. Elder Litchfield has a hilarious quotable moment like every 15 minutes such as "I think Helen Keller is a myth.. and Stevie Wonder is definitely not actually blind." Also, last night he taped a picture of his (sort of, unofficial) girlfriend on the ceiling (he has the top bunk and I have the bottom bunk) so he could look at her before he fell asleep and I said "I think I'm gonna tape a picture of Jesus above my head" haha it was pretty funny and we had a good laugh. We are teaching with really good unity and are able to finish each others sentences. One time we even said the exact same thing at the exact same time in prefect unison! It was so crazy and i realized that the words i say, if I'm teaching in the right way, are not my words, they come from the Spirit.
Last night we watched a video "Becoming a Missionary" by Elder Bednar and he talked about how some people just go on a mission but others become missionaries. It really motivated me to want to become a missionary! I am going to start making better goals and always trying to get better every day and be molded into the missionary I need to be. I decided that am willing to give up all that I have and all that I am in order to become the missionary that the Lord wants and needs me to be. i know that if i do that then I will be so happy and be able to help others access the Atonement and feel the "exquisite joy" that Alma the Younger felt after repentance (Alma 36, go read it because it is amazing).
This has turned into a very long email so sorry. i just have so many amazing experiences to share and I didn't even get half of them. But that's why the MTC is so amazing! It helps mold us into who we need to be through these amazing, life changing experiences every day! I love you all and I miss you so much. thank you for your letters, emails, and prayers. They are a great strength to me.

Love, Elder Hawk

Monday, September 9, 2013

Español es la idioma de los cielos‏



Hola!

Hope everyone is doing well! Thank you all for your letters and emails! I love reading them and responding to them.

Anyways, let me explain the title of this email (Spanish is the language of the heavens). My teacher, Hermano Magallanes told us that he knows that they speak Spanish in heaven. I was skeptical but he actually shared some really cool things. For instance miseria=misery and cordero=lamb but if you combine the two you get miseriacordia which means mercy. So "the misery of the lamb" equals "mercy" for us. I thought that was way cool and just thought I would let you all know that Spanish is awesome. I am speaking it pretty well and I can understand it way better than I could when I got here. We got a new room and switched around teachers about a week ago and Hermano Bush spoke only in Spanish and it frustrated me a lot cause I couldn't understand. But I had a good talk with him and shared my frustrations and he helped me through it and now I am doing way better and it is awesome! I have been here less than two weeks and I can already say and understand so much! The gift of tongues is definitely real and it is amazing! I have been working hard and learning a lot and it has been an amazing experience. Every day at the MTC has been better and better.

Last week I was praying to be more charitable and to love others more and then my prayer was answered... and Elder Litchfield and I were called to be zone leaders (we don't start until Sunday though). haha. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve others and learn to love more like our Savior. I also know that it is going to stretch my talents and abilities and I will learn so much. I am glad it came this week and not the first week because I feel a lot more prepared to take this on at this time, so that is a tender mercy. Speaking of tender mercies, they finally fixed our AC so that is another tender mercy. Also, I have been having allergies and cold symptoms but I am feeling way better now! So I am glad I don't have to worry about that as much now!

We now have 3 "investigators" and it is a lot harder than just one but I like it more because we get to prepare for different lessons. I have also realized how important it is to get to know the investigator and figure out what they need. And I know that I cannot do that with my own talents (even if I was Sherlock Holmes) but that if I work at it than I can have the gift of discernment which is a pretty sweet gift because it is a great way to help figure out what others need and to know how to help them with those needs. I am learning so much at the MTC! It is like every single time I study or listen to a devotional or do anything I get so much truth and inspiration and happiness and light and direction! It is truly amazing and I know it is because the MTC has an amazing Spirit and that the Lord blesses his missionaries so that they can bless others. Never in my life have I felt such a constant flow of happiness, direction from the Holy Ghost, and so much love for the Lord and for others. It is remarkable!

Well, sorry that email was a bit random, but I want you all to know that I love you and I can feel your prayers strengthening me and helping me. Keep being the wonderful people that you are!

Les Amo, Elder Hawk

P.S. You should all WATCH Elder Hollands talk "Safety for the Soul" he gave a few years back. So powerful.