Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Well this week has been a bit frustrating. We changed our proselyting schedule so that we work during the siesta which is the national nap time from after lunch until like 4 in the afternoon. It really is quite impressive that an entire country can organize a nap time so large. For us, however, it is a bit difficult. There aren`t a lot of people in the streets, but it has lead to some interesting experiences. We clapped this house that looked like it was half under construction but a lady came out with a baby and she invited us to sit down and she told us that her daughter was born a month ago and the day after her mom passed away. She really was taking it really well, but it was very interesting to see the mix of two life changing moments at basically the same time, but with completely different emotions involved. She is the second oldest of 7 kids who still live there in the house. The youngest is like 14 and he was taking it really hard. But we shared a bit about the plan of salvation and than a few days later we went back and shared about the Book of Mormon and how it could bring them peace in times like these. Brian who is the 14 year old said a prayer at the end expressing his confidence that the teachings of the Book of Mormon would help them. They really weren`t super interested in coming to church or anything, but I was grateful that we were able to help a family in need. I think it is something that they will always remember.

We had a couple funny experiences this week too. We were teaching this guy about the Book or Mormon and mid lesson he gets a text and starts reading it and ignoring us and he says that he wants to know what we think about the text he just received. I am pretty glad he told us about it cause it sounds pretty intense.. All people in the United States are being implanted with a chip in their arm that is the mark of the beast. We can only buy things if we have that chip. I thought I should let you guys know cause it sounds pretty serious. Also, my companion was almost kissed by a woman this week. haha Here they do that thing where you do like the kissing on the both sides of the cheek without actually kissing the cheek (if that explanation makes any sense) and this lady went in super slow and Elder Graves just froze.. haha And at the last second he backs his face away and apologizes to the lady. After he was just like "she had her face close to me forever!" haha Luckily I don`t think she was offended. I got a good laugh about it though.

But even though the new schedule is a bit difficult it is a good opportunity to find people who we may not find in other ways. They might be a little upset that we wake them up, but if we can help them get eternal life they will be ok. I bore my testimony to Monica and Graciela and I really just realized how certain I am that all of this that I am teaching is true. I know that this is Christ`s true church. But our testimonies are shown by what we are willing to do. It isn`t that hard to give two years of your life, especially when you get so much in return. I am so grateful for this mission. I know I am not paying my time but rather putting myself in greater debt. And the way I plan to show my gratitude to the Lord is by giving Him every day of my life. Maybe I can`t go out and preach every day like I am now, but I can still dedicate my life to Him. It is the only thing I have to give Him. These two years of my life are really just my opportunity to learn how to give Him all my life. How grateful I am for this opportunity.

"For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it." -Matthew 16:25

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Elder Graves estaba grave‏


Well this was a bit of a slow week cause Elder Graves was pretty sick, but we still got a lot of good work done and I had some time to think and reflect a bit.

One of the cool experiences of the week was on Thursday when we had a few lessons in the evening and Elder Graves was getting worse, but we decided to visit the Caceres family before finishing the day. We got there and Julio didn`t want to come out and talk to us cause he had a fight with his daughter, so we were just gonna leave, but at the end he came out and offered to take us to the church in his car. So we went and on the way he told us that he doesn´t want us to waste our time on him cause he doesn`t want us to lose a chance with someone else. So we asked him a bit about how he felt with us and explained a few things and as we came near to the church he wasn`t budging a lot so I told him we were gonna give him a tour of the church. He laughed and said "Que bravo!" Which is not really brave it is more like bold. But anyways he agreed to go in and it was the first time he had really been inside and seen the church. So we showed him a bit of everything and we turned the light of the baptismal font on and at the end brought him over and talked about baptism. The Spirit was so strong. He asked us what we believed about the Holy Ghost and we explained that it is what he feels when he talks with us and that it helps us as missionaries to help people know the truth. He said that he has felt it a lot with us and it was one of the first things he noticed. Then he started to leave but I told him top come back for a second by the font and I put him in front of me and we got into the baptismal stance. I told him that when he was baptized the one who baptized him would say his name and then say "Habiendo sido comisionado por Jesucristo, yo te bautizo,en el nombre del Padre y del Hijo y del EspĂ­ritu Santo. Amen." He just kind of stood there with this look in his eyes and then I told him that he knows that what we teach is true because he has felt it and I know that he has felt it. I told him the only thing left to do is follow those feelings. I asked him if he would follow what he had felt and even though the Spirit was so strong and his eyes were watering up he put his head down and just said "I`m gonna miss you." He left and we said goodbye. We then went into the sacrament room and I just felt the Spirit so strong because I had said and done what the Spirit had told me to do. I prayed for Julio and for all of the people who I have met who have felt the Spirit with me but haven`t haven`t followed it yet. One day they will.

Graciela was baptized on Saturday by Dario! I got to be in the font to support her back cause she has some problems. It was awesome to be right there up close to see it all. The Spirit was way strong. She was worried that she was going to have problems with her legs and back while being baptized but she said she didn`t feel anything! She is way excited to try and go to the temple in April to get the work for her son done who passed away. That was really what got her excited in the first place and it will be incredible to help her do that work. She is way excited and the ward is supporting her a lot. There is a new light in her eyes.

 These are the moments that makes it all worth it. I know that I am only an instrument, but I am the happiest instrument ever! haha Maybe not everyone will have the strength at this time to follow what they feel, but when I do my part I can be happy and know that God will make sure they find the way one day. Either way they may not remember a lot about me (often not even my name which is difficult for many) but I know that they will never forget the strong Spirit that we felt together. I love this work.

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Graciela's Baptism Fotos

Monday, March 16, 2015

Mostrar la gratitud‏


Well it was another fantastic week. We didn`t have the baptism this week but I think it will be better off. She should be baptized this weekend or the next. She was having some opposition from one of her daughters but the ward is rallying around her. Hermana Duarte came with us to a lesson and bore a huge and powerful testimony! She is a convert of almost 2 years but has a huge testimony and is a very strong woman. We sat and listened and there wasn`t a lot to add at the end so we just bore testimony of her words. It was incredible.

On Friday we had a cool experience with Anival who is progressing a lot. He lives in a very bad part of the town and there are a lot of evil influences. He messed his back up at work and so we gave him a blessing. As Elder Graves spoke I really felt the power of the priesthood and afterwards I just sat down and Anival was crying. He said he was so grateful that we were helping him and he knows he is going to move forward and he wants to get out of that neighborhood which is crazy cause we had already felt like we needed to try and help him get out of there cause it is impossible for anyone to progress. But as he was talking I just realized and I told him that we as missionaries are nothing. We are simply instruments. I powerfully felt in that moment that the priesthood is God`s power and I am just a simple instrument. Everything I do is completely dependent upon Him. Anival recognized that the same is true for him and even though he told us he is absolutely terrified of doctors and hospitals he followed the counsel of the blessing and went! I know he will get better.

I realized that even more when we felt to clap a house and started talking with Mariana. She told us she was a member of a church but had changed because she was in an abusive relationship and the pastor didn`t really support her and it caused her to be in a horrible relationship for even longer and afterwards she separated and was very criticized. She started going to another church and she feels better there, but she said that she talked to what would be something like the Sunday school teacher and he said he wouldn`t really know what to counsel her in that type of situation either. Then thought came to me "you would know what to say." And to be honest in that moment I couldn`t have told her what she would have done cause the situation is already passed but I am 100% confident that if someone came to me with any type of problem that I could respond. I am not an expert on anything. I am 20 years old. But I have the Spirit with me and I am called of God. And because of that and after seeing it happen countless times in my mission I can say that I know that the Lord will always fill my mouth if I open it. It is an incredible thing to feel the inspiration of the Lord come to your mind and heart as you preach the gospel to others. And that is what happened as we spoke with Mariana. I felt ideas come to me and we taught her that because of the Restoration of the gospel she didn`t have to trust in man, but could trust in God and His chosen servants. I told her I felt compassion for both her and the pastor who tried to help her. She didn`t have access to the truths of the gospel to help her with this problem. She didn`t have a knowledge of how to receive revelation. The pastor didn`t have the doctrine necessary nor did he have the authority or power to know what to do. Neither had the gift of the Spirit. Then I asked her "How would you feel if you found out that God`s true church is on the earth with inspired leaders and all the doctrines we need to solve our problems?" She said it would be something.

As I reflected on these experiences I realized yet again just how blessed I am. Since birth I have been surrounded and protected by priesthood power. Since the age of 8 I have had the gift of the Spirit to guide me. And since the age of 11 I have had a testimony of the truths of the Book of Mormon. Every problem I have faced in life (which have not been many) I have had everything I need to face them with God`s help. I have never had to search amongst the ideas and doctrines of uninspired men. In every moment of my life I have had the Restored Gospel. What a great blessing that is. The gospel is the greatest possession that I have. I am so grateful to my Father in Heaven for sending us prophets and truths again from the heavens. And I am grateful that I can use these truths and the Spirit as well as priesthood power to bless the lives of others who have not had these truths and who have lived in a cold, fallen world all of their lives without the warmth of the true and everlasting gospel. The only way I can ever show my gratitude to God is by working all of my life to bring others to the same knowledge and happiness that I enjoy. And while I can never pay him back I can at least show how grateful I am. I love this gospel. It is true.

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Monday, March 9, 2015

Mi testimonio es quien soy y lo que doy‏


Well it was yet another fantastic week here. We are making the last preparations for the baptism of Graciela and Siomara on Friday. We are way excited.

With Graciela I wasn´t sure if she was ready yet so we were thinking of waiting a bit longer for her baptism, but then we taught her about prayer again cause she struggles forming the words and the importance to ask God if these things are true. So we invited her to do it right then with us. She offered one of the most simple, but sincere prayers that I have ever heard. It was so simple that I was certain that she wasn´t going to receive an answer but she finished and I looked up and there were tears in her eyes. She described what sh had felt and I knew that sh had really received an answer. She feels more than anything else and trusts in that. Then two days later we had a family home evening with a family nearby and watched the Restoration video and she loved it and heard the whole family´s testimony. She is ready and excited to be baptized. But maybe the coolest part is that sh will be baptized by Dario! He got the priesthood and she wants him to baptize him. It is going to be awesome to see those two in the font together!

The other cool experience of the week is attached from pages in my journal. Not sure if you guys like it like that but I am getting a little lazy.. haha

But from this I realized that a testimony isn`t really a lot about what we say, but it is who we are and what we give. I watched a video where President Faust said " I appreciate (this work) more than life itself." When he said that I just realized how powerful that is. That our testimony is truly measured by what we are willing to give the Lord. That is how we show that we really know. I love being a missionary. The best part is that I never have to stop.

I love you all so much!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Journal Entry:

March 8, 2015

Today was stake conference, which was way good. The stake center was so full that I had to stand the whole time! Afterwards we went and worked and Anival was busy and had problems so I decided to take the path that goes by the Rodriguez family, not actually looking for them, but rather searching for Nidia (who walked all the way to the conference! It was awesome!). When we passed by Marta Rodriguez’s house (a recent convert who doubts) there was a lady named Andrea there and they invited us in. Turns out that this lady is from some sort of biblical educational institution and thinks she knows a lot about the bible, relying on her intelligence she said that baptism in water isn’t necessary and we just have to accept Christ and we’ll receive the spirit, and they know they received the spirit because they speak in tongues. We began to talk about how there are many ideas about the bible and that is why we have the Book of Mormon. We explained it a bit and talked about how Christ came and showed Himself to the people here showing the marks in His hands and the wound in His side. At this point (and after already having said the book of Mormon was a secondary source as if it was just some man’s idea about the bible) she said that Christ no longer had the wounds because of His resurrection. At this point I had desires to contend. I mentioned about how Thomas said he wouldn’t believe until he saw the marks in Christ’s hands and I was going to find the scripture (I have it in Luke 20:25-29) but decided to take another course. I said that I truly am just a humble servant of the Lord and that I have been called and given power from God to preach his gospel of repentance. I said that I have seen that power evident in my mission many times and said that I know that I have been called by God and given His power. It was powerful. Then we prayed and shared some scriptures from the Book of Mormon and Andrea kept making comments. So I just looked at Marta and said that in Christ’s time the scribes and pharisees were trained in the law and had lots of knowledge and intelligence, but that the apostles were just fishermen. And because of that the scribes and pharisees would not believe that a normal person who was born in humble surroundings in a stable and who lived His life in poverty could be truly teaching the truth because of their “knowledge” they closed their hearts and wouldn’t listen to Christ. At this point it began to softly rain. I urged her to listen not to the thoughts in her head that can confuse us but rather her heart. And then I bore one of the most powerful testimonies of my mission and I felt the power. I told her that I know by the spirit that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is true. I told her that I know these things and that I give my name, my honor, and my life for these truths that I know. Elder Graves bore testimony of my words and gave his own testimony. Then Andrea began to speak and the rain began to come down hard! We were below a tin roof and you basically couldn’t hear her. I looked at Marta and she wasn’t listening. She just sat there looking off, thinking. Andrea said something about Christ being the only path, but really it was impossible to hear. While she was talking I prayed that the rain would continue strong until it was our time to talk again. The rain began to stop, I began to talk and the rain nearly stopped completely. I looked straight at Marta and said that it is true that Christ is the only true path. Then I said and testified that the only complete and true path that leads to eternal life and holds all the keys, ordinances, and priesthood necessary to be saved—that path is only found in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The church of He who is the path. She stayed there thinking and feeling. We said a prayer and left.
Yet again the Lord has proven to me that I am truly His servant. I am weak and inexperienced. Andrea was a scholar of the bible. However, my words held the might and power of the authority of God which has been bestowed upon me. My words were supported and backed up by the spirit of truth and power of the priesthood. Her words were hollow and backed up only by her own strength. It is the spirit that in unfriendly venues whispers to us the words we should say and puts power in our mouths. (I am thinking of a quote by I think Eyring that I can’t remember) The important thing I relearned is that I am called of God. It is manifest by the power He gives to me. It does not come from me. I also realized from this experience (and many others recently) that our testimony is most dependent on what we give to the Lord. If I am giving my life I am showing how much I truly believe it and know it. That is why the apostles have powerful testimonies—they give their lives to what they know. Our testimony is measured by how dedicated we are to what we profess to believe. I mi testimonio es quien soy y lo que doy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


From my Journal


Well it was the best week of my whole mission. I could in no way describe all of the incredible things that have happened to me in this week. For this reason I have attached photos of my journal as well as my letter to Presidente LaPierre so you can get a better look at what happened and also to change things up a bit. Hope you enjoy it.

Letter to Presidente LaPierre:

I know you hear a lot of complaints and problems, so today I wanted to let you know how they way you are running the mission is blessing my life. This last week I began to think a lot about service in the church and many other things and I really have come to realize that it has been for me as it has been for many kind of like a chore. It is like we serve just cause we know that one day we will be up in heaven on a throne and we will be able to finally relax. Because of the changes in our mission and the way we work as well as several experiences and studies, I have come to realize that that couldn`t be more wrong and if I continue with that attitude I will live a life of fighting against what I truly want to do and what the Lord needs me to do. I realized that service is not like something we do to get our way to heaven and then we can be the boss, but it is rather a preparation for Godhood. God`s work and glory is to bring to pass our eternal life and immortality, which means that everything he does is service! He is the servant of us all. And He loves every single part of it. Serving and helping us to gain salvation is what makes Him complete and makes Him happy. Serving is what makes Him God. I don`t know why it took me so long to figure that out. But now instead of looking at service as a chore I will look at it as the thing that makes me happy and brings me joy and relief from all of the stuff I have to take care of. I am so grateful that I have been able to learn that and I can feel my heart changing and I think my whole life is going to be a lot happy and less stressful if I can remember this and really have it in my heart.

Thanks to Elder Hawk's sister! She typed up the photos of his journal. It is much easier to read---

He had asked me: “What are you trying to achieve” After I had told him that he was searching for something. I thought about it and at the beginning of the lesson today I told him I wanted to answer this question for complete. So we prayed and then I showed the picture I have of my family with Jace and told them the story. Maria Bejararo started crying and I told him that I am here so that he can have an eternal family. The spirit was way strong and everyone could feel it. I also said that I know that the only way to receive an eternal family is though Christ's true church. Then Elder Graves talked about how the last day he was with his family they knelt together and prayed and felt like it didn’t matter if anything happened to them because they would be together forever. That really touched Julio because he said after that he felt some regret for not having spent more time with his son and being close to him. He also told us how his son shared with him about eternal families and also that in his family he also lost a brother and sometime his brother comes to him in dreams. He said he enjoys talking to us because it brings peace and calmness. I told him that all those feelings and all of these things are the spirit working with him. He also said that from my experience he could really feel that it was genuine and came from the heart and that truly is my purpose. He said he feels things different with us and that he is very perceptive and can feel those types of things and not just anybody and get along well with him. That made us feel good! And at the end he started talking about his son in the mission and how much he missed him but how they are receiving so many blessing and how he feels their love charing so much and while he talked about it he began to cry. We said a few more things and then left them with that spirit. One of the most spiritual lessons of my mission. And it made me realized how this really is our goal. It’s cool and beautiful and bring joy to see someone baptized but the true joy is found in eternal families. The real happiness comes from the blessing of the temple. That is what I am searching. That is my purpose here. In moments like that I feel like it all I do in my whole mission is help this family to be together forever that was all so worth it. I love being a missionary. I love being a part of God’s work to create eternal families.

I also realized that the Spirit does all the real work. I show up, I talk to people, I do my best, but the Spirit is working so hard, it is really him. I realized that with Julio. He is just being completely prepared in every way by the spirit. Just like Mariola, just like the Ventura Family. I just have to be worthy, have the Spirit show up in the right moment and then do whatever the Spirit directs. When it all comes together is really is so simple, yet so marvelous. God is in charge. He has a plan and all I have to do is play my small, but important role.

I also just remembered that Julio said three times “Voy a llegar”

February 28th, 2015

Today some crazy crap went down. In the morning we taught a man with 14 cats again and he had read like 10 chapters of the Book of Mormon and believes that it is true, but just said that he is Catholic. He may still have a chance of progress.

After studies in the afternoon we went to Dario’s house because we were going to visit Arnaldo with him. They were playing soccer on the field right in front of the house and a couple minutes after it finished while we were waiting for Dario to get ready these guys started arguing and one throws a brick at the theory one and then like this swarm of people just started chucking rocks at each other! I think somebody got knifed in the arm too. Then the guy hid in the house two houses over and they kept chucking rocks even though there were like little kids everywhere. Then the guy left the house and ran and was *sent* to the fence in Dorios’s house and they kept throwing rocks and it was right there like 5 feet away from us and he we watched the whole thing! It was so crazy. We hid behind the house for part because I thought somebody had a gun or something.

Then we went with Dario to the lesson and everything was calm, but suddenly this little dog came after us and then there was this huge pit bull behind him, but he had a chain. Before we knew what was happening the dog came after us because its chain broke or something. It attacked Dario and ripped his shirt and bit his arm a bit, but while it attached him i screamed at it and swing my scripture bag at him. Then he come for me and I hit him in the face with my scriptures (SCRIPTURE POWER!) and he bit them a bit and I ran the theory way and fell down and then the dog left us alone. He probably just didn’t want anything to do with me after I gave him an *escrituraso* to the face.

Today we also read 3 Nephi 11 with Julio and his wife and daughter and it was way good! The coolest is that at the end I wanted him to give the prayer, but I didn’t want to pressure him so I asked, “Are you going to give the prayer or somebody else?” He answer very quietly that he would say it and it was a beautiful prayer. As we were leaving Marira told us a quiet “Thank you so much” with a huge smile. We are starting to get the wheel moving with him.

Then another cool moment was when we went to teach the Girenez-Toledo family and Siorera who is going to get baptized offered a way awesome and sincere prayer at the end. It’s amazing how kids pray so sincerely and powerfully. Looks like even the dad will come to church. All in all a crazy, but great day.

March 1, 2015

Well we just finished up with church and it was a morning full of surprises and lessons. I woke up with a nasty headache and I just felt super weak. So I went around slowly getting ready and then I took some Ibuprofen and kept going. Just before leaving I said a quick prayer and just told Heavenly Father that I wanted to be able to help everyone in church and search for investigators and be excited and in the some instance the pain in my head was cut in half. It was incredible and I was surprised that I had been answered too quickly. Throughout church the headache completely disappeared. I think I am growing in my faith.

Then we went to the farthest end of our area to search for Anival and Nidia and Teresa. I was still a bit weak, but we went and Nidia was there, but had fallen off her motorcycle and messed up her lung. She wasn’t going to, but her (still) drunk son came and said he would go and so she said that she would go. Meanwhile he went for Teresa who didn’t answer and finally for Anival who is a really big guy and he can’t read and he lives in a small wood house and he has some tattoos and smokes and drinks. He said he wanted to change his life, but I didn’t really believe he would do it and I had very little hope for him. I don’t know if it was for the area or for his aspect, but I judge him and honestly didn’t put my heart into teaching him the 2 times we had passed by. We clapped and clapped and I even threw a rock on the roof, but no one came out. I thought I had been proven correct. We went back to Nidia and she was getting on of her sons ready and it was already late and she was taking a long time and her son that was drunk made a scene and then left. She told us to go ahead and she would go to church with her younger son. I didn’t think she would really go, but we went and waited for the bus for like 10 minutes and then got on. We were down and tired (and also discouraged because Hea. Collucini had called really angry about the lady we were teaching in her house and that she had just kind of disappeared on her.) But as we came closer to the church we suddenly saw a lead man waiting outside - it was Anival. I couldn’t believe it! He absolutely loved the church and felt right at home! He said when he decided he is going to do something he has the will to follow through. The power went out and so his alarm didn’t work. He didn’t hear us clapping because he was listening to music with his headphones. He woke up and realized he had slept in and his neighbor told him we had passed by so he went fast to church and beat us there! After gospel principles he told me he felt right at home and it wasn’t hard to be there like he thought it would be and that he will never miss a day of church ever again! I realized that I had judged him and during sacrament I thought a lot about it and how I didn’t have any hope in him and I didn’t see him as he could become. I repented of it and made the goal to try again to see others as they can become and not be afraid to hope that can change. Because with the power of the Atonement they truly can change! I think I just try to protect myself because I have seen so many people like him who don’t have the will to do it and it is hard when they don’t progress. I was judgmental and cynical, but now I know that Arival really has the will and then faith to change. i just need more faith to help him and many people like him to gain access to the Atonement and stay firm in the right path, no matter where they live or what they look like. Anyone can change and they need my faith, my hope and my help.

I also had a beautiful moment when Hro. Cristaldo got up to give his testimony. We were fasting with him for his wife Monica who is not a member yet. He talked and I began to think of the importance of part-member families. I have met so many faithful member who have family members who are either not baptized (like with the *Caceres* family) or who have family members who are not active. This would be very hard but the active members of these families work so hard and do so much so that the other family members can also participate in the blessing of the gospel and ultimately to have an eternal family. It is truly very admirable. i thought of my Grandma Hawk who fought for my grandpa to get baptized and then to get active, taking the little kids to church and doing the best she could. Because of her efforts and love my grandpa came to full activity, later becoming a bishop. Because of my grandma’s constant effort and love and my grandpa’s correct decision. All of my family has the gospel and for the most part we are firm in the gospel. I would not have had the opportunities that I have had nor would I be on the mission today if it was not for their efforts and correct decisions. Then as i pondered on this I realized that every last one of us is part of a part-member family. For 1 year and a half I have called just about everyone “hermano” or “hermann” just because it is what I learned. I would never call everyone I met at my house “brother” or “sister” because I would feel weird, but here I do it almost without thinking, but the truth behind this is that we are all members of the same eternal family. We have brothers and sisters who have no yet received the gospel or have fallen away. Shouldn’t we work for our spiritual brothers and sisters just as hard as we work for those who were related by blood? I have been reading it, saying it, I have had people teach me it, and I thought I understood it but today as I pondered and prayed I truly learned and felt through the spirit that what it says in the very first paragraph of Preach My Gospel is true. “All of them are chided of God, your brothers and sisters” This is why we share the gospel with others! This why we go home teaching. This is why we serve in the church! This is why I am on a mission! I do all of those things because every soul on earth is my brother or sister. I’m not sure why it took me a year and a half in a foreign country as a mission to learn that. But it will be my reason to keep working my whole life, and for eternity, because I will have it ingrained in my heart and written on my soul that we are an eternal family. Not just floating around in my head. I will dedicate my life to helping my brothers and sisters - my eternal family - to return home, to be together as a happy family for time and all eternity.