Monday, June 29, 2015

La carga‏


Not sure why the e-mail didn`t go through last week. I can`t find it in my e-mail either. But oh well.

This week was hard cause we are starting to hear about a lot of problems that have happened and are happening in this ward. It is discouraging to hear this stuff cause it makes me feel like all of my work is in vane when it will be destroyed by problems that always happen. But this is kind of just the way that it has to be. The wheat and the tares have to grow together. But when we heard of all the problems I just felt a huge weight. I felt sympathy for Bishops cause I am certain that that weight is constant and difficult to manage. I didn`t expect it to affect me so much, but it was very hard to hear some of those things and feel mostly helpless to do anything about it. But I prayed a lot and studied the scriptures and I am learning how to manage the load and give it to the Lord, which is something important to learn. There are always problems, but this is the Lord`s church and He is in charge. If we work worthily He will make sure that it turns out like he wants. The church in Joseph Smith`s times had lots of problems and apostates, but from that a worldwide church sprung forth. The same will happen here, but it takes time. I can`t expect to see it in my 2 years here.

But despite all that we were able to find some prepared people. One family was contacted by Elder Cancino like a month ago but we hadn`t gone back but we ended up being close to the house with nothing to do and he said we should try it out. This time the daughter was there and she was way interested. She said that it called her attention way more than her own religion and that she really wanted to learn more. The others aren`t super interested yet, but the good thing is that there is an awesome young single adults group here that is going to be able to help her progress. The Lord puts people in our path who the ward is ready to receive.

I also recognized a lot of progress in my companion. He has become a missionary and continues with his desire to learn. At the beginning of the change, and as I thought about it, I decided to teach him the gospel more than to just teach him how to be a missionary and it has been awesome. I realized that that is really more important. Yes, I will teach him how to clap a house or teach, but I am trying to focus on helping him to live the gospel and gain a love for the scriptures and learn to follow the spirit and it is working. After talking to a family we were worried about how to fix the situation that is happening and he said that he wasn`t sure what to do but that he didn`t feel the spirit in the conversation we had so he knows that there is something wrong there. I had felt the same, but didn`t really put it into practice like he did. He is becoming a great missionary and it is very rewarding to see those changes. I have had to learn a lot more patience, especially trying to teach him English, haha but I am learning a lot more how to be patient.

I love this work. I love living the gospel. There is nothing better.

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Sunday, June 21, 2015

No es justo‏


It was a difficult, but important week for me. I learned a lot and saw a lot of weakness that I need to work on. We had lots of incredible experiences.

One of them was yesterday night I when I was kind of discouraged cause we aren`t having lots of success with investigators. The last part of the night we decided to visit the Barreto family who is less active. They are like 10 kids and the single mom and we got there and they hadn`t gone to church cause the sick daughter had to go to the hospital and the wiring of the house burst into flames in the night. The mom was way discouraged. We talked about the Children of Israel who followed Moses out of Egypt (I studied this like a week ago.) The course they take into the wilderness really makes no sense because they are heading straight for the Red Sea when they should logically just take a straight shot to the promised land. But in faith they follow the cloud that guides them by day and the pillar of fire by night. But then a difficulty come: Pharaoh is on their heals and they begin to doubt. They ask why they didn`t just stay and die in Egypt. The situation looks impossible but Moses prays and God tells him to put his staff in the water. And the waters.. do NOT part instantly. I never knew that. But during the night they are parted and they cross over and the armies of Egypt are destroyed and they are all safe. This often happens to us. We may find ourselves in a seemingly impossible situation. We might think that we would be better off if we had never joined the church or if we had never followed a prompting that seemingly led us into danger, but if we have faith and keep following we will be protected and one day we will be in the promised land and realize that we left the comfort, but limited progress of Egypt, passed through pain and trials, but ended up much better off in the promised land. That is what they are going through. It was awesome to see the perfect application of the scriptures in their lives. But the best part was seeing the amazing faith of the mom. She told us that she knew that God would protect and bless them because he has been doing it since she found the church as a recently abandoned single mother. She said that this experience would help her daughter to come back to church and that it would make them stronger for their goal to be at the sealing of her son and daughter-in-law.

As we walked home I realized that while I can preach all day about faith I am not sure if I could face these type of situations with such bravery and optimism. I admire these people so much. I love them and one day hope to have the faith that they have. I truly felt as we went home the love of the Lord for these people. They do not have the same opportunities as I have and are in situation a whole lot more difficult, but they have faith that is unmatched. I have loved these people for 22 months and I think in that moment it really hit me that I was going to have to leave them in not too long. I don`t know how I will be able to do it. The Lord answered my prayers and gave me even more desire to work and help in the time I have left. I do my best to help these people, but they always help me more than I could ever help them. It really isn`t fair how much God blesses me. I love being a missionary.

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Friday, June 12, 2015

Y cuando leáis estas cosas...‏


Well it was a very good week. We are starting to see who is progressing and who isn`t ready yet.

We had an awesome lesson with Rafael Leal who is the father of a recent convert. He is evangelical and we taught him and his family about the Book of Mormon. We got there and the first thing he said is that he already has his doctrine and church and he feels like he would be betraying his faith if he accepted what we were teaching. We explained that it isn`t a different doctrine, but rather the same doctrine with more light to help him guide his family. We taught him about the restoration of the priesthood and told him that he could have a portion of that power to bless his family and his home. He was very interested and accepted what we were telling him and used the Bible a lot. He accepted what we were saying and then we were about to teach the last part about asking God if the Book of Mormon is true and he started teaching the last point to us! He talked about how he was in a super difficult situation and he prayed for help and God showed him in a dream where he needed to go to get work and he found the place the next day and worked there for 3 years! Then he said that he needed to set apart time to read the Book of Mormon and that he knew that God would show him that it was true. We were way pumped. I am confident that he will receive an answer because it is promised us in the Book of Mormon. We are excited to go back and see how it went.

We also visited an inactive family and started asking them questions to get them thinking. They all said basically that they wanted to be more prepared before going to church. We read Alma 34:32 and explained that we aren`t on the earth to prepare ourselves to be ready to go to church but rather to prepare ourselves to meet God. Going to church is part of the preparation. Then we read verse 33 and vs. 36 and talked about the atonement. The Spirit was strong and then we explained that Christ is the Great Physician and that the church is His hospital. If we fell and broke a leg we wouldn`t wait to go to the hospital until we are prepared we go now. That part really hit the father. We invited them to come to church so that the Great Physician can heal their wounds and make them whole. We said that God loves them even though they aren`t making the best decisions and that he wants to help them and he is waiting for them in His hospital. It was very direct, but the Spirit was strong so we were able to be more direct. The father prayed for strength to be able to return at the end of the prayer.

Also, Monica came to church on Sunday and really enjoyed it. The members welcomed her very well and she was basically received like a hero for having a son in the mission. It was way cool to see. I just keep thinking about that missionary who is working so hard and praying so fervently for his mother. I`m grateful to be able to help the Lord answer those prayers.

Things are progressing. Luckily I have learned to be a bit more patient here in the mission, so I`m not all stressed out like I would be before. haha We are having lots of success and I am confident that we will have more in the coming weeks. The Lord is preparing amazing miracles here in Miguel Lanus.

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Note from the Blogger: Our internet was down for 10 days so these two posts are from May 25th and June 1st.

Nuevas personas‏


Well it was a good week and we met a lot of awesome people. There is an unlimited supply of part-member families here in Miguel Lanus so we are finding them and seeing which ones progress.

We went to visit a less active member with Sister Gonzalez and we talked or a moment and then her husband Roberto came up and was way surprised to see us. He asked how we found him cause the house is way back in this tiny trails of super humble houses. Turns out that he lived in El Dorado and the missionaries there were teaching him a bit over a year ago. Back when I was in El Dorado! He was in a different part but the missionaries who were teaching him were from my district! It was cool cause he was just looking for something in that moment when we showed up. He has health problems and started smoking a lot more. He was looking for an escape and we showed up. It also made me think about how maybe there are a lot of people out there who I have taught who maybe didn`t accept everything the first time, but felt the Spirit and the Lord will guide them to the missionaries in one way or another when they need it. I`ll never know the impact I had in some peoples lives.

We also found the mom of a missionary, Monica. She moved here from Santa Fe and we were looking for him cause we saw his name in the ward directory. And we showed up on the one day that she had free that week. We talked to her a bit and during the lesson I just felt very strongly that we showed up there in response to the fervent prayers of her son. She is looking for something to renew her faith and she is starting to read the Book of Mormon and has lots of questions for us. Her daughter who was baptized about a year ago but is a bit inactive is also listening and she was happy that we found them and were teaching her mom.

The other cool experience this week was when we were visiting a family and the mom of the wife was there and the husband said that she didn`t like the missionaries, but we invited her to come and talk with us anyways. She sat down and we had a great lesson and she invited us to their house. On Saturday we went, and they are very humble, but we taught the whole family about the Book of Mormon. The dad was skeptical about another book that wasn`t the Bible but we read some parts and I told the story about Samuel the Lamanite to the kids and they loved it. They are great people and willing to learn.

It really is overloading right now here cause there are just so many people that we could visit. We are going to see who are the ones who progress. But we are working well with the ward. We taught the 5th week class and did a practice with everyone about how to talk to a friend at church and how to treat people right when they come to church and to help them get to classes and stuff. They all participated and it turned out really well!

We are excited with how everything is going and ready for another great week. Thanks for all your love and prayers! I love you!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Papà en Miguel Lanus‏


Well it was pretty difficult to say goodbye to everyone in Tacuari. I really grew to love that place and love the people who were there especially. I miss it a little, but I am way excited to be here in Miguel Lanus. The Bishop is way awesome and there is a whole lot of work to do here. The past missionaries didn`t do a whole lot so there will be lots of success here that has been waiting for us.

Elder Cancino is my son and he is from Santiago, Chile. He is 19 and his dad is not a member of the church. He is way excited to learn and be a missionary and I am doing my best to teach him what I know, but I am finding that I don`t really know how to explain a lot of things cause I just kind of do them. haha But it is great to be a trainer and see the excitement and know that the impact I have on Elder Cancino will impact the mission for two more years even after I am gone. He is going to be a great missionary.

When we got to the apartment it was pretty disgusting. If this computer stops being slow I might be able to send the pictures I took. After 3 hours it is looking a lot better now and the Spirit is actually present. haha The Bishop showed us a lot of the area on Saturday and we had some great lessons. We taught a part-member family whose son will be baptized the first week of June and some other less active families who are progressing a lot. The area is HUGE. Maybe my biggest area. The people are a lot more receptive here now that I am farther away from centro. The ward has lots of potential and I am excited to be here.

It felt like a really short week with everything that happened and we didn`t have a whole lot of time to work, but we are happy and healthy and ready to have a great week. Elder Viñas of the 70 is coming on Monday so that should be awesome too.

I love you all!

Con amor, Elder Hawk

Farewell to Friends in Tacuari

New Companion---Elder Cancino
and President and Sister LaPierre