Monday, March 24, 2014

Milagros y más milagros‏


Well it has been one of the best weeks of my mission by far. First of all, Martín and Carolina Ventura were baptized on Thursday, exactly one month after the missionaries first talked to them! It was way awesome and they were running around like crazy to finish everything and they did it all on their own power and they were so happy. The Rojas family were the witnesses of the wedding and gave them a gift and brought rice to throw and are planning to do all sorts of things with them so they have friends and everything! Everyone was so happy!

Then on Saturday they were baptized! I baptized Carolina and Elder Meniz baptized Martín. They were kind of nervous and the water was a bit cold, but they were way happy! Also, Elder Olsen, who found them, was able to come and be at the baptism and he gave a small talk, which was really cool for him and for them. There was a cake and we had like 40 people there which is more than we have a church sometimes. It was really so amazing and I just realized how much the Lord has blessed us to find this amazing family and have the opportunity to teach them and get to know them. It is my dream to get to be there when they are sealed in the temple, but we will see if I am able to get permission. It has really been like we are living a dream with this family and I am so blessed to have gotten to be a part of their conversion.

Also, we have an investigator named Virginia who is 18 years old and she has been studying all of the pamphlets and everything and she told us the other day that she wants to serve a mission! We were so pumped and she is really changing her life for the better and should be baptized in April. I can´t remember if I told you about her yet, but we found her one day while clapping houses and she came out and before we even said anything she invited us to sit down. Her grandpa and her dad were both preachers, her dad died when she was very little. Her mom died only 5 months ago, so she has been very lonely, but now the ward is like adopting her and she is starting personal progress and is way happier. It has been amazing to see her life change as well.

Also, we had a really cool experience with a part member family who we didn´t even know existed until recently. We passed by a few times but they were always busy but this week we came by and they were very eager to have us come by. They told us that he lost his job and had been super sick for a whole week. they asked us to pray for them and so we did and shared a thought about putting trust in the Lord. It made me realize how much the people here trust in prayer. Even if they don´t like us, they are always grateful and willing to accept a prayer for their family. And when we ask if they need us to pray for anything specific it is always, always about the family. But a few days later we passed by this same family and he told us that the morning after we had passed by he woke up and was totally healthy and nothing was bothering him anymore. I almost forgot about the visit before, but it had a huge impact on him (he isn´t a member) and he was so grateful and was just telling us how much he needs more of God in his life. It was a huge miracle because of the faith that this family had.

Another miracle was that Lorenza, a less active member, came to church! She had been impeded from coming to church because her son has some serious mental and drug issues and always destroys the house so she can´t leave him. But this morning she said she woke up at 5 and just was praying and praying and then her uncle showed up and was able to watch the house and her son and so she was able to come. Another amazing example of the power in a prayer of faith.

This area is having so many miracle and we are so blessed to be a part of all of this! Things are looking very bright here in Puerto Rico and all the members are very excited. I however, just received the news that I will be leaving Puerto Rico tomorrow in the morning. I am going to Ciudad del Este, Paraguay to be a zone leader/district leader with Elder Silva (who was my first zone leader). While I am kind of sad to leave behind our investigators and converts and the members, I am very happy that I was able to help this area begin to progress and help so many incredible people. I am also very excited for this new challenge and to learn and grow even more. If the mission has taught me anything, it is that the Lord always puts us in the best situation. I know I have completed my purpose her in Puerto Rico and I am excited and humbled to continue with the work that the Lord has for me.

I am so grateful for the miracles that we have every day! I am so grateful for the opportunity to be a mission and serve the Lord and my brothers and sisters here in Argentina. I love you all so much and thank you for who you are.

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Monday, March 17, 2014

The MTC District together again


Le daré el éxito‏

Well it has been as pretty exciting and amazing week!

This Wednesday Elder Jorge Zaballos of the area 70 here came and we had a really good conference. He talked about learning the language for your whole life and setting higher goals for ourselves and the importance of love in the work. It was really good and motivated everyone a lot. But the best part of the meeting is that I talked with Elder Muñoz and the other missionaries who are in Oberá and the familia Amarillo got baptized! And also the Torres family was reactivated and the 9 year old son got baptized! I was so happy when they told me! And I am so excited for those families and for Oberá cause it is continuing to grow! It was way cool!

Also, la familia Ventura is getting married this Friday, baptized this Saturday, and confirmed on Sunday! It is going to be a super crazy week for them but they are so happy and are always just talking about how much their lives have changed and how much they love everything. They have so much faith and are really an awesome example to me of how I need to be more excited and ready to learn about the gospel. They are already talking about going to the temple and it is possible that in a year if everything goes well that I might be able to go with them. I can´t think of anything more amazing for a missionary than to be at the sealing of a family! I really love this family so much and I am so happy for them and so excited for their baptism!

We are also working a lot better with the branch. We had a meeting with the ward mission leader Chunchu (he was basically the city drunk before, but totally changed his life and got baptized) and the Branch President Sandoval (whose dad was the first person to be baptized in Puerto Rico). It went way good! President Sandoval is a bit difficult to work with at times but we finally are helping him to see that we as missionaries are here to help him build the branch. It is one church, not the church of the members and the church of the missionaries separated. We convinced him to let us start a gospel principles class and we are planning an activity and we now have a branch mission plan! We presented it to the branch counsel on Sunday, and to be honest there was some contention between some of the members about certain things (there is a lot of past here) but we just started talking to them about what we wanted to accomplish and working together and the vision for this area. There were some tears and a little contention but in the end we all knelt together and offered a prayer and we are now definitely headed in the right direction.

Also, the other day Elder Meniz and I were talking and I was kind of complaining about the sister missionaries in the district because they just have no desire to work and that I kind of hope they leave this change and he told me that I need to humble myself and not let my ego get elevated. At first I was kind of mad and wanted to argue with him and tell him that I wasn´t doing anything wrong, but then the Spirit told me to listen. So I did. And I am glad I did because I realized that any success I have is not mine. I thought of Alma 26:27 that says "I (the Lord) will give unto success." I am very glad that he told em that because I think it helped me to avoid a lot of trouble and pain down the road. I just need to always remember that the success is not mine. It is the Lord´s. And I am not out here so I can feel good about myself and the things I can accomplish. I am out here so that the Lord can bless the lives of people like the Familia Ventura who will have the chance to become an eternal family. And that is why I am here. That is what it is all about.

I love Puerto Rico, I love the people, I love being a missionary, I love all of you and above all else I love the Lord.

Con amor, Elder Hawk

"A toucan head we found in the street. A member is going to clean it up and feed the head to his dog and give me the beak!!! I am pretty pumped for that!"

 "The airplanes that Danielle sent for Christmas are a big hit with the kids"

Friday, March 14, 2014


It has been a good week. We lost a little bit of time due to some health problems of Elder Meniz, but we pushed on and had a solid week. We found a really cool investigator named Virginia who is 18 and her mom died 4 months ago and she is living all alone in this giant house. It was kind of sad, but she is very hopeful and we talked to her about eternal families and she loved it! She said her parents came to her in a dream and said she needed to go back to church, but she didn´t want to go to her old church because they just scream loudly and she doesn´t feel good. So we invited her to ours and she came and loved it and will probably be starting up with seminary as well this week! She is way cool and we are gonna try to talk about serving a mission and stuff after her baptism because she said she would love to serve in the church! Miracles.

Also, this week I realized how crazy the life of a missionary is. I experience and see the entire spectrum of human emotions throughout the day. We go from talking to a half drunk guy on the street, to the less-active woman whose drug addicted son has just destroyed the house, to a man who just welcomed a new baby to the family, to a war veteran who has mental problems from what he has seen, etc. etc. It really is kind of exhausting, but so rewarding to be able to help these people. The woman whose son destroyed her house was way down and crying and we gave her a blessing and it calmed her down so much and the branch president is going to pass by today to help her. It was just way cool to see the power of the priesthood yet again.

We are also focusing a lot on helping to get the branch and the members more involved in the missionary work. The last baptism in our area was like a year ago and it was someone who was (as they say here in Argentina) "not playing with all the players". That phrase is way better in Spanish. But because of this they are all kind of pessimistic about missionary work and don´t really understand how they can share it with their friends, etc. So we are going to be working closely with the leaders and such to help improve this. I know it will be WAY more effective than just clapping 100 houses every week. We are having a lot of difficulties with he branch president who doesn´t want to help us too much, but we are going to start serving him more and talking with him and making a branch mission plan and we are praying lot so I know that it will start to get better. I also think it will help the future missionaries in this area, which will be very good.

Anyways, I am still here in Argentina---healthy, happy, and loving life. Thank you all for all you do and I love you all so much!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

These photos are me in front of giant churches. We do it during the nap time so no one sees.

More Fotos

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

6 Meses!‏

Well it has been a good, but crazy week. I received my newest companion Elder Meniz from Peru on Tuesday. It was going to be this whole process of going to the office to pick him up and waste a whole day, but I planned it perfectly so we were still able to work most of the day. haha But he is returning to the field after an operation and is way excited to be back out and start working again. He really has a lot of love for the work and the people and I am excited to keep working with him.

The familia Ventura is still progressing like crazy! They have started a little journal book thing to record their thoughts and questions about the Book of Mormon and are putting it into application. it really is so amazing! They came to church Sunday and they were making good comments and participating and listening and it was so awesome! They are going to be such awesome members and leaders in the church. We as missionaries hardly have to do anything because they are doing it all on their own. They told us the other day that they have had such a peace in their home and they can feel the changes and are excited to keep changing for the better. It is an amazing blessing to get to be a part of their experience.

Antonio however stopped progressing. He only wants to fight with us on certain points in the Bible like if we can play sports or what day is the sabbath day, etc. He denied his testimony of the Book of Mormon and just refuses to listen to anything we have to say. It is way sad that he is focusing too much on his knowledge and not on the Spirit. We tried to explain this to him but he wouldn´t listen. I just hope that he will humble himself enough to listen one day, but for now we aren´t going to visit him any more.

As for me, I have just been really focusing on being more obedient and raising the bar. I read "Our Heritage" which is a brief history of the church and I realized that growth, in the church and personally, come through sacrifice. The history of the church is a history of people who were willing to sacrifice everything because they knew it was all true and that it was all worth it and they had the faith to keep going. So I am trying harder to sacrifice and improve.

I am so happy to be a missionary and can´t believe it has already been 6 months! (attached is my tie burning photo). It really is going by way too fast. I could do this my whole life because it makes me so happy and I can see the blessings in my own life and especially in the lives of others. The Lord is shaping me into a better tool in his hands and I just need to be humble enough to accept the trials and experiences that he sends me and learn from them. I know if I do that then I will be able to bless so many lives and that I will have true happiness, which only comes from serving others.

I love you all and am so grateful for the opportunity you have given me to serve for these 2 years!

Alma 17:2-3

Con amor, Elder Hawk

 This 6 months tie burning is serious business

 Lovin' the mission life