Monday, January 27, 2014

Cuando sale el sol‏


Well this has been a great week. We worked like crazy and found a lot of knew possible investigators and have been helping a lot of people progress and improve.

But first of all, I love Oberá! The attached pictures are a sample of some of the amazing sunsets we have had here. They are even better than in Arizona! The people here are all so humble and friendly and they believe in God and try o live good lives based on the knowledge they have. This place really has become my home and I love it so much. I have met so many amazing people and I am changing for the better every day. I hope I get the chance to stay a bit longer but we will see what the Lord has planned for me.

This week we had a lesson with Marcelo and Lily and Hermano Rivero came along with us. We were talking and then they told us about a miracle that they experienced together a long time ago. Marcelo was super sick and couldn´t even hardly walk or do anything. He really was close to death, but he prayed for help and then Hermana Rivero should up and offered a prayer with him and he stood up and she took him to the church nearby the house that she was a member of. Now, years later she was with us outside his house to help him yet again have the faith to be healed and baptized to follow Christ. It was a very powerful experience and he told us that he believed in the Book of Mormon and everything and is just waiting and praying for his wife to gain the same answer to her prayers. They will be baptized one day. Maybe not by me, but the Lord used me to play a part in this experience and that is the real success.

I have also been struck this week by how the Lord sends us to people when they are in a position to accept the gospel. It just seemed like every person we talked to this week had something that was going on in their lives or that recently happened such as a death in the family, separation from a spouse, moving to a new area, having a baby, etc. We were able to talk about these experiences and promise them blessings if they would act in faith on the message we have to share. When we are doing what it right, the Lord provides. He provides these people with an opportunity to find the peace that is so difficult to find in life.

We might not have the outward success with the numbers, but I know the Lord is pleased with our efforts and we are fulling our purpose to invite others to come unto Christ. More than anything, we are being changed and becoming better by the service that we have the opportunity to give. It has been amazing to see the changes in Elder Muñoz especially. I am so proud of him and am excited to see all the great things he will do on the mission and in life. We are constantly and continually blessed here in Oberá.

I love you all and am so grateful for your prayers and support. I know that your faith is helping to guide us to those prepared for the gospel and helping us to teach by the Spirit so we can help these people change their lives. I love being a missionary!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

 Beautiful Sunsets in Obera

Monday, January 20, 2014

Exitó Verdadero‏


Well it has been a pretty interesting week this week, but I am learning a lot about myself and how I need to improve. We are being blessed every day, but we had some trials this week as well.

About two weeks ago I traveled to Posadas and then Corrientes to get my visa stuff finished but when we got there, there was not enough time to finish. So this Wednesday we left for Posadas at about 7 in the evening and slept in the apartment of the Elders in Posadas. At 3 in the morning we woke up and started the drive to Corrientes. After a bit less than 4 hours we arrived and went into the place to do our papers. We waited forever and the power was going on and off. They finished with Elder Litchfield's papers and then there was this huge bang and I saw a flash of orange light and I looked over and the fuse box was smoking a little bit and the side of the wall was all black. It was pretty intense! haha So they couldn´t finish my papers. So we traveled back to Posadas and spent the night with the assistants and again at about 3 we woke up and left. I tried to sleep in the truck but it was pretty difficult. At this point I was only half conscious because I was so tired, but finally we finished and headed back to Posadas. Then we luckily caught the last bus to Oberá and arrived at like 12:30 at night. So after over two days of travel we finally made it back. But we had not had much contact with our investigators so I was a bit worried.

But Saturday was an awesome day and we had really good lessons and I was pumped for church cause I was sure that we were going to have a lot of people there. I had prayed hard for a good day and we got it and I was really excited... And then no one came to church. I was pretty sad and a bit frustrated. So we went out and visited our investigators. We had found an awesome lady this week and had a super powerful lesson. I know she felt the Spirit so strong and was way excited to come to church. She said she couldn´t talk to us any more cause her mom didn´t want her to. We worked hard to try and get her to change her mind but she wouldn´t. It was pretty sad to see someone who had received a witness of the truth and just didn´t have faith to follow it. I hope that one day she is able to build the faith to change. But I know she knows it is all true.

Our last lesson of the day we taught a family about the Plan of Salvation and I talked about Jace and how I am on a mission to help others to have an eternal family. It was super powerful and I felt the Spirit way strong. After I talked with Elder Muñoz of my frustrations and then this morning I was praying and I realized that my frustrations our due to my pride and that I want the outward success. But the truth is that the true success is when we are teaching people by the Spirit and doing all we can to help them truly change their lives. And I am doing that. So I just need to change my perception of what success is and not worry about my own feelings of what makes me successful. It isn´t about the numbers or the baptisms. It is about doing all you can to help others come to Christ. I just need to humble myself and remember that.

I am really starting to see my weaknesses better and am grateful the Lord is putting me in the situations that I need to learn and to be humbled. But I know that through Him weak things will be made strong. Not only for me, but for the people I have the opportunity to teach. And at the end of the day, every success is the Lord´s and we are just humble tools in his hands.

¡Los quiero mucho!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Monday, January 13, 2014

Conocer Las Personas Realmente‏


Well it has been one of the best weeks in the mission so far! It has been a big learning process to be a trainer and to just have to rely totally on the Spirit to know what to do, but our hard work is starting to pay off!

The coolest part of this week was just listening to people´s life stories. We have an investigator named Ricard who had an abusive father who left him and his alcoholic mother when he was 9 years old. His mom didn´t work so he had to work from the age of nine in order to provide for himself and his mom. He told us that he suffered a lot and at times would go days without food. Then he met a guy who gave him a house to live in and helped him find a job and it totally saved him from this situation. Now he has a pretty nice house and land and is able to provide for his family. He also told us that he totally has forgiven his dad and his mom which I found incredible! He said that sometimes he just thinks of all the things that happened in his life and just feels horrible so he smokes sometimes. We taught him about the Atonement and that he could be healed from these things if he was willing to put his faith in the Lord. It was pretty incredible to hear all that and to see that he actually turned out alright despite all the opposition in his life. It made me very grateful for all the blessings I have had in my life. I was born in basically the perfect situation so I definitely need to be out here helping others!

This week we found the Amarilla Family and they are way awesome! They are super humble and live in this tiny house and right now the power and water is cut off and they have three little kids. They came to church this Sunday and it was awesome to see the branch rally around them. Everyone was helping out with their kids and being very welcoming and it just made me feel so good to see so many people helping out this family who really needs it. Yesterday after church we met with them and they loved the meeting and we talked to them about baptism and they accepted a baptismal date and are way excited to keep preparing. He even destroyed all the cigarettes he had with him and committed to quit so he can receive the blessings of baptism. I am so excited for them!

I guess the best thing I learned this week was to teach more by the Spirit. All of our good experiences this week came from when I just totally tried to focus on the person and what they were saying and then responded with the Spirit and answered their question or talked about something that was bothering them. Without divine guidance we can´t truly help these people. Because God knows what they need and if we listen carefully he will tell us so that we can help these people truly change their lives. It is pretty amazing that I can help these people change their lives truly and permanently. I love being a missionary so much! I am blessed every single day and I love these people more than I am capable on my own. It is a great blessing!

Thank you all for your support and prayers and love! I love you!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hola hola!

I have started saying things twice is Spanish in a row this week for some reason. Like bueno bueno so I am trying to break the habit.

This was a pretty crazy week. We had transfers and Elder Muñoz and I are staying here in Oberá! But Elder Tetedoux is going to be a district leader and Hermana Houtz is going to be a sister training leader and Oberá is now a zone and we are living with the zone leaders. There are a lot of young missionaries in leadership positions and all of the sisters from my district in the MTC are training now which is pretty cool. After two more transfers they are pretty sure there will be more sisters than elders! The mission is growing a lot and there are a lot of young missionaries out and it is way awesome. Pretty exciting stuff.

This week was exciting because we finally were able to really teach the family Vasquez. A few weeks ago I couldn´t sleep and I was thinking about this family and I just all of a sudden had a lesson plan come to my mind and so I wrote it down on a paper and then I went straight to sleep. But we still hadn´t been able to talk with them until this week. We called our appointments on Monday and they said that Tuesday would be better so we didn´t know what we were going to do. So we decided to pass by the Family Vasquez. When we got there we followed the lesson plan and it was way powerful! We talked about the blessings of having parents who are good examples and how the parents can change the lives of the children and their responsibility. We shared the story of Enos and a few others and we felt the Spirit so strong. And they came to church Sunday! And they really enjoyed it and our excited to keep coming. It was way cool!

Also, we had interviews with President LaPierre. We talked for like 45 minutes again. haha I could probably keep him talking for 2 hours if I wanted to. But it really is awesome that he takes his time with everyone individually like that and he gave me a lot of really good advice. He is the man! And I got to talk to Sister LaPierre and she told me her conversion story and it was way cool! It´s also funny how direct she is with the missionaries sometimes. One of the Elder´s had a really tattered shirt and she told him off and said he needed to throw it in the garbage. haha It was pretty funny.

Also, this week we went to Corrientes to do visa papers and I got McDonald's which was pretty exciting. And thank you all for the package! It was way awesome and delicious and the kids will love those toys! Thanks for everyone who sent letters as well! I love you all and am grateful for your support!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Missionaries in front of a huge Catholic Cathedral

"Sunsets here in Argentina are even better than in Arizona"

McDonald's in Argentina is delicious!