Well it was a pretty fantastic week. We worked way hard and on Sunday we had a lot of people who were able to come to church. Not only investigators, but the whole ward is growing. We were way excited in the first few meetings of church and we just felt a different spirit with the members and in the classes. It was way different from the first few weeks in Tacuarí. I was mostly just excited that a lot of people were able to come (including the lady that we found in the grocery store the other day) and so I didn`t think a whole lot about it. Then I was able to sit and hear the best sacrament meeting of my life and maybe my whole mission. The first sister got up and talked about the importance of visiting the members who aren`t coming and helping them to feel comfortable and loved. It was extra powerful cause even though she was baptized only 4 years ago, she is out doing visits like almost every day. Then at the end the counselor of the bishopric talked and gave maybe one of the most powerful speeches I have ever heard. The Spirit was way strong. He talked about how much he supports the bishop and wants to work with him and then started just creating a vision for the whole ward. He talked about how when we are baptized we have responsibilities and how if we just fulfill our responsibilities that the church will be filled. He said "We have a responsibility to fill these benches!" Everybody was pretty pumped about it. I almost did a fist pump in the middle of his talk like 3 different times. After the meeting everyone carried that Spirit with them. I have never felt anything like that in any ward, branch or group in which I have ever been in during my whole life. Something special is getting ready to happen here and I am happy to be a part of it, even though I realize that I am really just a tiny part of what the Lord is planning.
Missionary work is like yeast. If we don`t have it, the church stays small and normal. But when the members get excited about working in the work of salvation, that ward will grow. I am way excited to see what is going to happen here.
Also, I had a cool experience the other day when I told a kid that I had a year and a half in the mission. I think that is when it really hit me. I left and we were walking and I was thinking about how crazy it was and then I just had this peace come over me as I thought that when I go home it will not be the same as the mission, but I will still be working in the work of salvation. I will still be doing all I can to help others to return to live with God and their families. Sure, it will be with lots of other responsibilities, but it is the same great work. Later I thought about death and how that really is just passing into a different phase of the work of salvation. I may not be a full time missionary 6+ months from now but my entire eternity will be used to work for the salvation of souls. But I need to take advantage of this last time to focus completely on the work. I am way excited and so happy to be able to be a missionary!
I love you!
Con amor, Elder Hawk