Monday, July 21, 2014

Hola familia!

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

Monday, July 14, 2014

El Espíritu es la medida más importante


This has probably been one of the most spiritual weeks of my mission because I learned that the Spirit is the most important.

We had interviews with President LaPierre on Tuesday. He talked to me and Elder Acevedo for about an hour and then talked to each of us apart for another hour. He is an amazing and humble man and I am so grateful that he takes the time for each and every one of us. We are like his kids. He told me that he knew he would love us but he was not expecting it to be so powerful. In the interview we were talking about real success and how I can improve and then at one moment he took a pause and then asked "Have you ever loved someone you were teaching?" I responded yes and then he paused again and said "How do you feel right now?" and as the Spirit filled the room even stronger I responded that "I feel like that is what really matters." Then he said that the Spirit was teaching that to both of us in that moment. It was very powerful and is what has given me strength this week. Throughout the interview we just talked and shared our feelings and it felt like I was just talking to a friend or father.

Then on Wednesday we did divisions. I was with my trainer Elder Peña and it was a bit strange to switch our former roles. We felt the Spirit super strong in a lot of the lessons and there was one in particular where I asked a young couple what they desired for their child and then they listed all of the things and then the question came to mind: "Do you think these things will be possible without God in your lives?" and they both just started thinking and we talked with them about what they could do to assure the success of their daughter and it was way powerful. At the end we had a kneeling prayer and we told them to think about what we had shared that night. As I reflected on that lesson I was thinking of the eternal consequences of this work. That one lesson could be the turning point for this family which could mean that generations and generations will have the gospel in their lives. I realized again how important this work is not only for those we teach but for people who have not even been born yet.

As we were reflecting on this and other experiences of the day Elder Peña told me that he felt more of the Spirit in this one day than in the entire change that we had together before. I told him that the difference was not that we were more experienced and that I knew the language, but that we were obedient and followed the Spirit. I think it really helped him to reflect on the importance of obedience and work harder to be worthy of a greater portion of the Spirit. All I did was invite the Spirit and then the Spirit did all the rest of the work.

This week we didn´t have the best numbers or anything like that, but what we did have was the Spirit and a love for those that we taught. I have truly felt a strong desire for the eternal welfare of the people I am teaching. Sometimes they don´t listen and it saddens me, but all I can do is help them feel the Spirit and hope they make the right decision. The Spirit is the only important measurement.

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

De cosas mas importantes‏


The mission just had its first birthday the 1st of July and at the leadership council (which was way awesome) there was a sweet cake and we are all getting t-shirts and we made a big flag with all our signatures. So that was pretty sweet. I also had to do more visa paperwork on Wednesday so we only had about a half week of work this week which was a bit rough. But what ended up happening is that basically we haven´t been able to meet with our progressing investigators for like 2 weeks and it had been making me pretty frustrated and upset and I wasn´t responding super well. I was without hope and then we had a fast for our investigators and none of them came to church.. however, on Sunday we went out with our ward mission leader and after a few good lessons we went to try and have a lesson with Gustavo Pedroso. He wasn´t home... however his girlfriend said he would be back that evening. So we went to visit Zuni and Joel and she said it would be better to pass another day, but I insisted a little bit more and she let us in. Finally, we were able to talk to them both together for the first time in like a month and it was a way powerful lesson! I had been thinking a lot about how incredibly blessed I am to have such an amazing family especially with Jace´s birthday this week. So I talked about families and about Jace and the Spirit was way strong. Our ward mission leader then talked about how much his family meant to him. We all felt the Spirit strong and we are having a family home evening with them today!

But as I was bearing my testimony I think that I was the one who learned the most. I said that to me it
 doesn´t matter if I have a super successful career or make a lot of money or have a nice house or am famous, etc. That these things don´t matter and don´t mean anything if I am not able to be with my family forever after this life. And it is true. But it also applies to the mission. If I am a leader and baptize hundreds of people, etc, etc but don´t change myself then what have I really accomplished? Nothing. What matters is that I and these people I am teaching can have eternal life and live forever with our families. And it doesn´t matter when or how it happens. It just matters that it happens. The truth is that two weeks in which we weren´t able to meet with these people probably won´t mean a whole lot to their eternal progression (I believe that they will one day be baptized and be strong members of the church). But these last two weeks have meant a lot to my eternal progression. I was praying and praying to make these people progress and make them do it now, but the Lord knows what is best for us and he sent me something better--he sent me an opportunity to learn patience and to understand more about His eternal plan. This is something that will not only bless me, but will help me to bless the lives of others forever. I am just grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who
doesn´t always give me what I want right when I want it, but gives me what I most need in the ideal moment.

Sometimes we think we know what we need and usually we are wrong. When we pray we should not ask for God to change our circumstances but rather ask Him what we need to learn from the circumstances He places us in and how we can change from them. Every day I realize how little I actually know, but even if I am rejected at every door I will always know that this is God´s work, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth and that it truly was restored by a prophet of God--Joseph Smith. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know He lives. I know it and I can never deny it.

3 Nephi 14:9-11

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Fotos: La Zona, Sunset, Elder Acevedo got bit by a little dog. haha

The three following pictures are courtesy of

MTC Family Reunited