Monday, October 27, 2014



Well it was quite the week, but we had several wins. We are finally going to change our apartment and we signed the contract for the church building so we aren´t going to get kicked out! I learned how to solve a Rubix cube and can do it in under 4 minutes now. The Velasquez family came to church for the first time since their baptism like 3 months ago! Also, Lilian and Ivan came to church!

The bad news is that I learned how to do the Rubix cube cause I got way sick. I had bad allergies on Friday and then on Saturday my stomach started killing me. I woke up at like 3 on Sunday morning and puked. Then we spent Sunday sleeping and learning the Rubix cube. it was the first day I haven´t been able to work from being sick, but I was afraid I would pass out if I went out into the furnace that is now Paraguay. I really have been amazingly blessed with health my whole mission. I should have probably been more grateful before and I wouldn´t have needed to be reminded.. haha

This week was a bit different with a new comp and learning the area and all that, but it was good. The coolest lesson of the week is when we started talking to a kind of rough looking guy on his porch and he invited us to sit down and we just started talking. He went inside and came out with a tiny baby and said that they adopted her cause the mom couldn't take care of her. Later he introduced us to another one of his daughters who he had adopted with his wife. I don´t remember how it happened but I asked him a question about how his life was before he started going to the church he goes to and he just totally opened up and told us how he was in jail with his wife and he just really realized how badly his life had turned and started studying the Bible in prison and then got out and started going to a baptist church and how much it helped him. He was a drug addict but has been clean for like 2 years and it was way cool to see his story. They were having a lot of issues cause the baby girl was sick and needs and operation so we talked a lot about trials families and he loved it. The Spirit was really strong and I could see how asking that first question and following the Spirit is what led us to help that man.

The other challenge of the week is having a giant zone, with the farthest companionship 6 hours away and the closest like 40 minutes away (if the bus passes by). Our zone is from Pilar all the way to Encarnacion. We had to plan everyone´s buses and get new missionaries to their areas and we are trying to figure out how to do divisions with hem without losing an entire week of work. haha It is a challenge, but it is fun to try and figure everything out. I am really excited for this change!

Thank you all so much for always supporting me and giving me the help and confidence that I need. Your letters and prayers really do make a huge difference! I love you!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ya gané‏


Well it was a very good week. We had divisions with the missionaries who were emergency transferred here and I went with Elder Gallini who is a 7 foot tall Texan with a month in the mission. It was way awesome but the weather was so hot. i think it was probably the hottest day of my mission and the humidity was unreal. It was fun to be with a new missionary and not only focus on the people we are teaching but also help the missionary. it made me want to train again. But the coolest part was when President La Pierre called about a problem in one of the areas and we had just started talking to this lady, but I had to answer it so i left him there and he looked at me like I was  crazy, but by the time I finished the call he had gotten to known her and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ and set a return appointment, so that was cool to see.

Then, we went to Posadas to do some visa stuff for Elder Ollerton and we had to walk all the way across the bridge which doesn´t look that long, but it is. Luckily I got the classic Argentina Posadas mission foto of these buses that say orgulloso ser misionero and on the back servicio international. Perfect for missionaries here. haha We also got to talk to president a little about stuff that is going on in our zone and also our little group in Ita Paso. He told us that we just need to focus on helping individuals more and less on just trying to raise attendance and all that. He talked about how when the church started not everyone was a Brigham young and there were a lot of crazies but look at what came out of it all. That is what can happen here even if it is just a couple of youth we help who later on build it all up.

But when we got back to the area I was just feeling kind of down and I couldn´t shake myself out of it and that night I prayed hard and received some help but I was just so tired that I didn´t understand it until the next morning when I started talking to Elder Ollerton at the end of our weekly planning. I just started talking out about how sometimes I just am not very content and I don´t feel like I have had a whole lot of success especially recently and then he said that the important thing is that he respects me and he knows the zone respects me and lots of other stuff that helped me out a lot and that I have done a lot of great things on my mission and then I said " i think i´ve already won. I´m already a better person. The rest is just gravy." And it may sound crazy, but that helped me feel a lot happier and it is now going to be the theme of the rest of my mission. I have the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am trying my best to live it. I am trying so hard to help others people have it and if I work as hard as I can and try my best than I have already won. if the people accept it then that is just gravy. I had never thought about it like that but it is way true. The Doctrine and Covenants talks about how great our joy will be with those we bring unto Christ in heaven, but that is just added to the infinite joy of being there in the first place. I have already helped so many people and even if they don´t all accept completely what I teach i know i have helped them and will continue to diligently do so. So if I just keep doing that then I have already won. The rest is just gravy. So me and Elder Ollerton use that as our catch phrase. I say " Ya ganamos" and then we do jamongaru which is when you put your fingers together and then do this snapping thing. (impossible to explain I will have to show you one day) and then he says "Gravy, baby!" haha It is pretty sweet.

This week Cirpriano told us his real doubt. he has some kind of strange belief of who Jehovah is. We tried a bit to explain to him, but he was just blinded by his own logic and trust in his own intelligence. And it may have been a bit direct but I read him 1 Nephi 13:24-29 and explained how the Bible has had parts plain and precious taken from it and told him we need to depend on the spirit and that he has tripped from the problems with the Bible. Then, I bore my testimony to him of prophets and the Spirit and how we need to trust in those things and not ourselves, but he didn´t want to listen. It was interesting to see how I totally logically understood what he was trying to explain, but did not feel the Spirit testify of the truth of what he said because it was not true. But when i bore my testimony I could feel the truth and I hope he could feel it too.

Things are progressing here slowly, but steadily, but the most progress has come from me. I just decided that I am going to be happy no matter what people choose to do. Wish i would have learned that one earlier, but I´ve got my whole life to try and keep the attitude of just seeing the positive and realizing that no matter what happens with other people´s decisions I have the gospel and I am doing my best and if we are doing that than we have already won.

Changes this week. Crazy how fast this change went. Elder Ollerton is going to La Paloma to be ZL 1 and I am staying here and Elder Sanchez who is dying this transfer will come with me. He is way cool and I am way excited to learn from him and get work done here! Also, my zone just ate another zone so we are way bigger and we are going to have to do divisions this transfer with a companionship 6 hours away, so that will be an adventure. Excited for new challenges!

I love you all so much!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Ya gané

Ozuna Family

orgulloso ser misionero
(proud to be a missionary)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Playa Paraguaya‏

I never thought I would be on a beach in Paraguay, but there I was. On the beach. In Paraguay. I love this place. (the pictures are in drop box). We played volleyball with the two zones in Encarnacion and the Gringos won. So that was sweet.

This started out as one of the most frustrating weeks of my mission. We had leadership council on Tuesday and then on Wednesday we had emergency transfers in our zone so we were stuck in centro until like 7 o' clock and then once we finally got on a colectivo (after a very drunk man threatened to kill us) we arrived to find the church full of giant ants. Also, our air conditioning broke and it was quite hot and humid. Then we had our zone meeting on Thursday (which was actually way cool. We had a testimony meeting and it was very powerful) and at Thursday after lunch we had 0 lessons and 0 time in our area. But on Friday we just decided to go out and have ourselves a day. So we did.

We had a few good lessons and then we went back to the street where our apartment is (which is this tiny crappy house that we are finally going to change next week!) and the lady who lives right in front of us said hello so we decided to talk to her. She lives in the house that I have seen every day leaving our house for a month, but  a house that I have never contacted. So we start talking to her and she just starts telling us about how hard her life is with her husband in prison and her 8 kids and working two jobs, etc. She said she just sees us smiling all the time and she wants to be a person like that who just smiles and laughs. It was maybe the saddest thing I ever heard. But the happiest thing she ever heard is when we told her about the power that the Spirit can have in her life to be a constant friend and to guide her and direct her in all she needs. (This was when I began to remember that without the Spirit I am nothing) We gave her a book of Mormon and she said she was excited to read it. She was way happier and more full of hope after we left.

Then we went to teach a family we found with a recently reactivated single mother who has a very difficult life. The husband of the investigator wasn´t home, but we sat down and the wife just started talking with the member and Lilian (the investigator) just started to completely open up and the Sister Barrios gave her way good advice and said that the feelings she gets with the missionaries is the Spirit and invited her to church and everything. We didn´t even do anything, but Lilian said she had only told her parents some of the stuff she told to us. Then on Sunday after a difficult morning we went to visit her and her husband again in the evening. We taught them about eternal families and the Spirit was so powerful. We asked them how they felt and Lilian said that her husband almost never lets people in and doesn´t like talking a lot but with us he just feels a serenity. They said that we seem wiser beyond our years and that we just have experienced so many things and I told them that it is not because of us, but it is because God helps us and supports us and helps us to be more than we are. Something I needed to be reminded of. Then at the end they said that they understand it all very well and I just looked at them and realized that it is because they are not learning but remembering. I had only felt like someone was remembering what I was teaching one other time in my mission. Then they said that when we talk they feel like it is Christ teaching them. That felt really good because that is our whole purpose. But more than anything I have realized again that I am nothing. The Lord does it all and all I can do is try to be His instrument.

I am way excited for the progress here in our zone and in Ita Paso. I am so grateful to be a missionary.

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Monday, October 6, 2014

El que no sirve, no sirve‏


The title of this email was my favorite quote in conference. It doesn`t really translate as well in English, but it basically means that if someone doesn`t serve others they aren`t worth anything. But not that harshly. It is hard to explain. haha

Conference was probably the best of my life. My questions were very thoroughly answered. We set up a room for all of the gringos to listen to it in English which was really good. The message is more powerful in your own language and by the voice of the person really giving the talk. So we were all listening in there and every time a Latin guy would talk we would run into the other room to listen in Spanish and then run back to the English room when he finished. haha. I especially enjoyed the MTC priesthood quire and an awesome priesthood session, but it did make me miss Dad, Parker, Tanner, and Grandpa thinking of how we would always watch priesthood session together. My favorite talk was by Eyring in priesthood session. One of my questions was "How can I help others to achieve their potential?" and he hit it on the head. I was thinking of all of the amazing men who have helped me to improve and strive to reach my potential. I am grateful that the Bishop was inspired to make me home teaching companions first with Dad and then with the high priest group leaders. Three amazing men right there. I think now in the mission, and as a leader especially, it is my turn to help others to reach their potential. I have been trying to do it the whole mission, but I really want it to be my focus now.

This week I was in a division for two days with a brand new missionary and it was way good to be able to try and help him and the people at the same time. The new generation of missionaries coming into our mission is awesome. It is cool to be able to work with them and try to help them learn from some of my experiences. But I learn more from the new missionaries than they learn from me.

This week we had a crazy experience when I was in divisions and we finished our lesson early and there is this other neighborhood that is farther from our tiny area, but there are some recent converts that live there and we hadn`t planned to go and it is a bit dangerous and creepy to go there at night cause they don`t have power and so there is no light, but I felt like we should go and so we went. Right as we turned the corner we see a young couple. We had taught the woman but the man wasn`t home so we went to talk to him and I was sure that was why I felt we should go, but then our recent convert comes around the corner at the same time and is way angry and yelling and his son is trying to stop him. So we go over to him and he is saying something about how he is going to fight with his neighbor because he lied and said he stole something. So we calm him down and take him back to his house and sing a song and pray and read the scriptures and he totally calmed down and even prayed at the end that he could forgive his neighbor and that they could settle their differences. I was grateful we got there just in time cause it would have been big trouble if they had started fighting. I am grateful I followed the Spirit to prevent anything bad from happening and also that it helped to calm down our recent convert.

Also, in conference they talked a lot about receiving revelation and on Sunday after conference we took our zone`s numbers for the week and they are all just having a lot of difficulties and we haven`t been able to totally help them yet. So we started talking and then said a fervent prayer together asking for guidance, and right after we realized that the problem wasn`t asking for references or working with members or inviting people to be baptized. Those are only symptoms of the deeper problems that we have which is really just a lack of faith. A lot of missionaries, myself included sometimes, loose faith that they can have success. But we need to have faith that we can work miracles even when all the odds and problems and even the history of the area are against us. We are making good plans for this month and the leadership council is tomorrow so we are really excited for that. I am very grateful that I can receive personal revelation to help myself and others because I definitely would have no idea what to do without it and things would never turn out very well. All that has gone well in my mission is because I sought revelation and received it and followed it. All that has gone bad is because I have not done that. The Lord is so willing to give us the revelation we need. We just have to ask.

Con amor, Elder Hawk