Well it was a very good but very strange week. This week I was out of my area for almost three days doing divisions with some Elders who are having difficulties. We showed up at their apartment early on Wednesday and it was flooding in their apartment, even though it is a second story, and the water was entering through the electrical outlets. It was pretty crazy, so we spent the morning searching for a new apartment and it was a lot harder to find than I thought it would be. ha ha But we finally found one and we will probably be moving them today. That apartment was horrible and it smells bad and the owner is not helpful at all.
Afterwards, we were able to work a little bit less unimpeded. I had some very good spiritual moments with this Elder and talked to him about being a man of integrity. A letter from Michelle had just arrived and it had a talk by Tad R. Callister about being a man of integrity and so I decided to share that with him and it really made me realize the huge importance of doing what is right even when no one is looking and no matter who your companion is and just being a better person. I felt the Spirit testifying to this Elder about what he could become and I really felt a great love for him. The Lord was guiding my words and helping me to put together doctrines in ways that I had never thought before. I also learned while I was trying to explain it all to him. We had a really good division and then at the end as he was leaving I felt a little bit worried for him, but I knew that I had done what I needed to do because I felt the Spirit which confirms that we are doing what we should. Now the choice is up to him. I felt the same way when we taught a young couple who are having huge financial difficulties and might get thrown out of their apartment. I was doing all I could to help them see that they just needed to trust in the Lord and He would support them. I think that I felt how God feels for all of us: He just wants us to follow Him and do what He asks and He knows it will be best for us, but that the decision is ours. My job as a mission is to help people to understand and feel the spirit so they can make the right decision but I cannot force them to do anything.
In my scripture study I was pondering on my mission and the challenges and I realized that one of the greatest things I am learning on the mission is how to manage with stress and that is really one of the greatest challenges of life, especially for me. The Lord sent us to the earth to experience stress. Stress is a good thing because it gives us a chance to grow, but only if we manage with it in the correct way. Before the mission I had ways to deal with my stress: wrestling, TV, the computer, taking a nap, hanging out with friends, etc. and on the mission all of that is taken away and I am learning that the only way to really learn and grow from stress is to put our faith in Christ and think of Him in every moment. Because the world teaches us that in times of difficulty or stress we must turn to sin whether it be drugs or alcohol or being mean to others or any other number of things. But these are only temporary solutions and will only lead to more problems and more stress. But when we turn to the Lord, He will help us to grow and give us the strength that we need. In our lives we will all have stress, but we can not allow these things to lead us to sin, we must trust completely in the Lord, which is one of the most important purposes of this life. I invite all of you to consider the ways in which you manage the hardships of life and if it is anything other than something that draws us nearer to the Spirit I invite you to stop doing it and put more trust in the Lord. I know that as we strive to do that that we will be more supported in our times of trial and build a stronger relationship with our Savior.
The greatest miracle this week was on Sunday when we went out to search for some people we had invited to church. We woke them up and they made a lame excuse and so we left a bit downhearted. But then we went back to church and sat down. I noticed a young boy in front of us in jeans, but didn´t know who he was. Then the members told us that he showed up with his mom early. It was a single mom who we taught one time for like 15 minutes last Sunday, but to whom we both bore our testimonies of the family. We hadn´t had a lot of time to talk, but we felt the Spirit strong in the lesson. I had almost forgotten about them, but they came and they loved it! I was way excited and then a young couple that we taught on Saturday also showed up. We had a way powerful lesson with them in which we bore our testimonies of the importance of eternal goals, but they hadn´t answered their phone and weren´t super certain about coming, but they also showed up! It was a great blessing from our Heavenly Father and I realized the power of the Spirit. The truth is that the elect will hear our words and know that they are true and have the strength to follow what they have felt. I have been working with the same people for a long time because I believed they would be great members of the church and they were way awesome people, but they weren´t coming to church because it isn´t their time yet. I just need to follow the Spirit in every moment and bear my testimony with power and the elect will hear my words and know that they are true.
D&C 29:7 And ye are called to bring to pass the gathering of mine elect; for mine elect hear my voice and harden not their hearts;
Con amor, Elder Hawk
The new mission t-shirts for finishing one year as a new mission