Monday, December 29, 2014

Humildes comienzos‏

Feliz Año Nuevo

Well it was a great week here in Paraguay. It was awesome to be able to talk to all of you and see you. Sorry for my accent. haha After talking to you we went to the beach and I took some pretty sweet fotos that are in dropbox.

The coolest thing that happened this week is that we opened up a new little group in Campo Verde and Azotea.  It was the first time in a long time that a lot of those people were able to go to church and take the sacrament and it was very humbling to see how grateful and happy these people were to be able to take the sacrament again and have a church meeting. The spirit was very strong and we are very excited for the future. It was cool to be a part of the start of something like that. And I hope that it can begin to grow and help even more people receive the blessings of the gospel like these people were able to experience yesterday. We are going to be working like crazy there searching for members and working with some we have already found. It is quite a job trying to create a new group. We had to bring a bunch of chairs and help Hermano Gimenez organize his house and then go around to help people find his house. It was way fun. we will see what the future holds.

We also had a cool experience this week when we helped some missionaries who were having some problems getting along. While one of them called us the other threw water on him, which was kind of funny, but also ridiculous. haha So we went over there and talked to them for a long time and nothing was really working and then I asked them to think of something good about the other. They sat there for like  minutes and couldn´t think of anything. Then they came up with some lame ideas. So I read a part in Moses where God cries because He taught His children to love one another and they hate their own flesh and fight, etc. We told them that the real problem is that they don´t love each other. So we invited them to give it a try. They called last night and they are both a lot more excited and getting along a lot better and having more success. But it made me realize that really any time that we don´t like someone or we fight is really just a lack of love. It makes it a lot more important when you think about it that way.

Well i talked to you like  days ago so that´s about all I got for now, but I love you all so mucha and I am so grateful for your support and prayers. I´m living the dream.

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Monday, December 22, 2014

Presidente Papa Noel‏

Feliz Navidad!

It is crazy how fast Christmas came this year. Seems like just yesterday I was in Oberá making empanadas and talking to everyone in the church. Crazy. I am way excited because we are going to chill with the members on Navidad and go caroling a little bit. haha. We are also planning on taking some gifts to the members and some of the kids as well. And I will get to talk with you all! So that is gonna be sweet. But you might want to find someone who can translate Spanish cause my English is horrible. haha My comp asks me how to say things sometimes and I don´t know how to say it. My accent is gonna be bad. haha But it will be good anyways.

This week was full of awesome stuff. The best part of the week has been Mariola and Scott. Like three weeks ago we challenged Hermana Benitez who has 5 kids in our area who are all inactive to fast the first Sunday of the month. She did it and on Sunday she invited us to eat at her house and so we were going to go, but her son Scott talked to her about it and said that he would cook us un asado. So we were pretty pumped and we went over and started taking while he cooked. After lunch his wife who is not a member started talking to us and I was going to share a scripture that I had in mind but I felt to ask her if she had any questions for us. She started crying and told us how a few days ago she broke down just feeling like a horrible mother and person, etc. and she just didn´t understand the meaning of life. When she said all this I was pumped. Cause we have the answers!! So we taught her about the plan of salvation and she loved it and they have now come to church twice. We talked with her I think on Wednesday and talked about baptism and she said that for 7 years she has talked to missionaries and every time they mention baptism she gets very defensive but this time she accepted! And she even added that she knew that all of her family would ridicule her for it but that she would do it anyways. Later she talked about how she wants to share with her parents because they have the same questions. Yesterday we visited her and Scott and they had friends over and we talked with them a bit and I asked Mariola to talk about how she has felt in these last few weeks and she gave a powerful testimony about how the pain she has had was replaced with a joy and peace and a surety that God exists. It was incredible! She is way excited for baptism and her and Scott are going to help the church here like crazy!

This week we also had some pretty sweet parties. We grilled with the members in Itá Paso and it was delicious. There were about 50 people! It was way good and 2 of Hermana benitez´s kids came with their whole families! And they were helping with everything and talking with everyone and it was awesome! Like 4 investigators were there. Then on Friday we had our Christmas conference with all the missionaries in Encarnación. It was way good! We played a bunch of games and ate a super delicious dinner and then we watched a video where the Grinch stole Christmas presents from missionaries that the office missionaries made and it was hilarious. But the best part was that when the movie ended President LaPierre came in from the back dressed up as Santa Clause and his wife as Mrs. Claus and the assistants were dressed like elves. haha It was way awesome! And president gave us all a stocking with a journal in it and some candy. It was hilarious. There are pictures of it in dropbox.

Also, one of the best things that happened to Itá Paso in a long time is that Elder Fernando Goncalvez arrived on Wednesday! He is a stud. He is helping us out a lot and already has given us like 10 references. He is excited to work and help the church grow here. I worked with him on Sunday and it was awesome. We are excited to keep working with him and helping the people here.

Well I will see you on Christmas! I am way excited to talk to you all and see you! I Love you!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Wednesday, December 17, 2014



Sorry for not writing on Monday. I had to got to Corrientes to do some visa papers  yesterday. We slept in the super chuchi (nice and rich) mission house and it was glorious. I also had the chance to talk with President and he helped me out with some things. It has been a week of getting my head on straight.

On Monday we traveled to Pilar and I was frustrated with our travels cause we had to take two different buses and the first one dropped us off late and we had to walk backwards and then wait for another bus two hours later. We got to Pilar at midnight in a bus that had no seats left. haha But then in the morning Elder Bogardus made me these amazing pancakes with coconut syrup and it was glorious. haha So good.

Then before our zone meeting in Pilar i went with two new missionaries to get things ready for the church and they were asking me questions and making me feel old haha. But I took the opportunity to sit down and talk with them both and share some of the things that I thought would help them. It was way awesome to just take some time to help missionaries in a more personal way. They were both really happy and excited afterward and are great missionaries. After we had our zone meeting and it went really well. To explain the relationship between the numbers and just working by the spirit we brought a brick and a pen and a screwdriver and a hammer. We explained that when we rely on our own power even if we work hard we can´t achieve what we need to have success. So we got the strongest missionary who tried to break the brick with his pen. He couldn´t do it. (obviously.) Then at the end it was easy to break it with them hammer and we explained that that is what it is like when we have the Spirit with us and use our strength the do what the Lord wants us to do. But its also true in our lives. Sometimes we have problems and we try to solve them in other ways, but the only real way is through the spirit. It was cool and fun to break a brick. haha And I think everyone understood the point.

Then we had divisions with Pilar and the next day went to San Ignacio for divisions again. I went with an Elder that was in my zone before and it was cool to see how he has matured and is really trying to be better. he also told me that I had changed for the better. He said that before he called me Robo-hawk. ahaha I thought that was pretty funny and I have definitely learned to relax a bit more. Then we got a call from the Elders in San Pedro who were having problems so early the next morning we headed over there and I came back to Ita Paso with one elder and we had a long talk that helped me just as much as it helped him. He felt like his efforts weren´t having results and so we talked about Abinadi. No one listened to him except for 1 person. A less active member. But he taught with power and did what God wanted him to do and from that one person he helped, thousands were saved.

Finally we entered Friday dead tired from so much traveling and were able to work. Then the assistants came on Saturday for divisions and i went with Elder Silva. It was good to see him again and we talked about a lot of things and he helped me out a lot to get more excited again. We had an awesome day. Probably the coolest thing that got me the most excited is when we found an inactive member. She is amazing and hasn´t ever stopped reading her scriptures. She just hasn´t been able to go to church because it is so far away. But i was amazed by her great faith and we are going to keep helping her and her niece who cried in her prayer when she asked that her parents would stop drinking. That girl needs this gospel and her aunt is so supportive. It was a humbling experience.

Then with Elder Blanco we realized that we need to just seek God´s will and do it. It sounds obvious, but we talked about it a lot.

Then I went to do tramites and we were in the mission home and I talked with President and he helped me a lot to. Then i talked more with elder Silva in our traveling to and from Corrientes. I am back in the right frame of mind and with more excitement. I just need to do what God wants me to do, forget myself and remember what Abinadi said. "No improta a dónde vaya, con tal de que sea salva" (Mosiah 13:9) That is how we teach in power.

I love this work and I love being a missionary. I am way excited for Tanner and Jamie this week! I got the tie and all of your letters! Thank you all so much! I love you!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Saturday, December 13, 2014

La fe


Well I don´t have a whole lot of time to write cause I was watching my little brother destroy somebody in a wrestling match. haha But I´ll write what I can with the adrenaline that watching that gave me. haha I haven´t felt that in a long time and it was nice. haha

Well it was a bit of a difficult week for me. Me and Elder Blanco (Formally known as Elder Faroñay. He is now using his mom´s last name) are working way hard in Itá Paso. He is an awesome missionary and way excited to learn. And the best part is that he has one less transfer than me so he is full of life! We are going to work hard together and we are learning a lot. I wanted to train a new zone leader.

This week I was really humbled by the Lord when I saw the great faith of so many wonderful people. I really realized it when I was talking with Hermana Barbosa. She was baptized six months ago and her husband has fallen back into alcohol. She is struggling a lot and hasn´t been to church in two weeks now, which is very rare for her. So we started talking and during the lesson something amazing happened. I was just feeling so much love for her family and suddenly it was like my mind was opened up and I truly understood everything that she was feeling. She didn´t tell me, but I realized that this amazing woman has been going to church almost a half hour early every week, praying with her family, and struggling to learn to read so that she can study the scriptures all with the hope that her husband will change and her family will come closer together. The missionaries always promise that if she does those things then things will improve.. and things are getting worse. In this moment I truly understood how that must feel. And I realized that it is the same thing that is happening to me in a way. So I told her how much I admired her faith and perseverance. We taught her about patience and how the Lord always blesses us, just in His time. We told her that some blessings take longer, but during the struggle He will, always bless her with peace and strength. She went to church and received that peace she needed.

But I was truly humbled in that moment because I saw that she has so much faith and if I was in that same situation I don´t know if I could do it- My life has been incredibly easy. And when I don´t have immediate success, when I work hard and it appears that nothing good is happening, I get discouraged and lose hope. But I need to remember what I taught Hermana Barbosa--that the Lord always blesses us, but in His time and in His way. I don´t know if Itá Paso will have huge success while I am here, the truth is that right now it looks like things are getting worse. I feel responsible. But all I can do is keep working and trust in the promises of the Lord. I just need patience and hope. Maybe I will never see the blessings of my work here. But that´s ok. the Lord will bless me with peace and strength.

The other huge example of faith this week was Hermana Estefana. She is like 60+ years old and was living with a man who was a lot younger than her and they weren´t married. She was mostly doing it because she needed someone to help provide for her and for her disabled son. A few weeks ago my heart hurt when I knew that I had to tell her to repent while knowing how difficult it would be. I did all I could to help her make the right decision and believed that she wouldn´t do it, but I knew that I had done my all. We passed by on Friday and she told us that she kicked him out of the house. This woman did not know how she would even eat! But she took a step of faith and did what she knew the Lord required. I had the opportunity to give her a priesthood blessing and listen to her talk about how she finally felt peace and how no matter how hard it gets she will never go back to what she was doing. That is faith!

I couldn´t help but ask myself if I had that same kind of faith. Could I do what they are doing? I don´t think so. But I know I can get there. Right now the trial of my faith is to work as hard as I can even if it looks like I am fighting a losing battle. I admire these people so much. I am so humbled to have the chance to know them and to help them overcome the trials they are facing with faith and hope. I can´t do it on my own, but I know that even though I am weak, with God I can do all things (Alma 26:12). that was a lesson that I needed to remember.

I love you all and am so excited for our family! Everyone is doing amazing things and I am so proud of all of you! Keep being awesome!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Monday, December 1, 2014

Maté mi compañero‏


     Well it seems like this week flew by. I didn´t even realize it was thanksgiving until the night! haha  But it was also kind of a tough week cause it was the last week of Elder Sanchez and I have a nasty cold that doesn´t want to leave me. And it doesn´t help a whole lot that I haven't been able to sleep well with our traveling. But I am feeling a lot better now and I am way excited for this next change. I am staying in Itá Paso with my big zone and Elder Farroñay from Peru will be my companion. I am going to train him as a zone leader, which is what I wanted to do this change so I am way excited about that. I have a lot of plans for this change.

Yesterday Elder Sanchez was saying goodbye to everyone and we were leaving the house of a family of investigators and the mom was shaking his hand for like 2 minutes and then she gave him a big hug and a kiss on each cheek. I had to turn around and bite my lip to stop myself from laughing. It was so hilarious and he was so uncomfortable! Afterwards I couldn´t control my laughter and he just kept saying "I feel violated.." hahaha It wasn´t her fault though cause she didn´t know any better. Funny stuff.

This week we also took some of the youth of our group to an activity in the district. They played volleyball and soccer and President LaPierre came and talked to all of them. It was way cool. I felt like the young men´s president. haha Here in Itá Paso we have to play a lot of roles, but it is really rewarding. I am going to step my game up this next change and fulfill all of the roles better. The district and President LaPierre are really pushing to try and make this group a branch but we are lacking a little bit still. I need to start training the members better to be able to run like a branch should. But it is going to be a struggle. Luckily we are working with two priesthood holders who both look like they have a good chance of coming back, so that will be a great help. And we are going to receive a returned missionary here in like 2 weeks, so that is going to be a huge help.

Well it was a rather uneventful week, but I love you all and I am so grateful for you!

Con amor, Elder Hawk