This week I am going to go back in time and tell a few stories of things that happened before the mission that I remembered this week. I think I am becoming more sensitive and sentimental in this last time. haha
One of the days this week I decided to try to love everyone that I talked to as much as I could and as we were talking to an older lady I don`t know why, but I remembered Michael. I was probably like 6 or 7 and we went to Washington Elementary school. I`m not sure how but mom heard about him and how they lived basically homeless and he had a really rough situation. We took him to school every day in the car cause the bus couldn`t go for him and he wouldn`t be able to go to school if someone didn`t help him. Then we walked home with him to our house and took care of him until his parents could take him again. I remember that I did not like having him around. To me he was strange and he wasn`t well bathed and he bothered me. I only thought about how it was a pain to have to go home with him and everything. But as I sat there talking to this woman about 14 years later I almost began to cry thinking of how amazing my parents are. I saw a problem and they saw a child of God who needed help. The simple act of helping him go to and from school changed his life. It took 14 years for that lesson to finally sink in, but now I understand. I am so grateful for my amazing parents who have always given an amazing example of living the gospel of Jesus Christ which at its essence is service. Michael wasn`t the only person to whom my parents have opened their house and heart. I am grateful for the Spirit for reminding me of that experience. I hope to be able to continue to see everyone as they truly are--children of God no matter what they may appear. Perhaps one day I can love others unconditionally like my parents do.
The other experience I remembered my road to get here on the mission. I was talking to Elder Cancino about the power of the Atonement and how it changes our lives and that is what makes us want to share the gospel and then I shared a bit with him about how I have felt the Atonement in my life and then read the following verses in Alma 26:
17 Who could have supposed that our God would have been so merciful as to have snatched us from our awful, sinful, and polluted state?
18 Behold, we went forth even in wrath, with mighty threatenings to destroy his church.
19 Oh then, why did he not consign us to an awful destruction, yea, why did he not let the sword of his justice fall upon us, and doom us to eternal despair?
20 Oh, my soul, almost as it were, fleeth at the thought. Behold, he did not exercise his justice upon us, but in his great mercy hath brought us over that everlasting gulf of death and misery, even to the salvation of our souls.
21 And now behold, my brethren, what natural man is there that knoweth these things? I say unto you, there is none that knoweth these things, save it be the penitent.
22 Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance.
I can`t describe how grateful I am for the mercy of God that has changed my life and allowed me to truly change. Without Him and His Atonement we are all "consign(ed) to an awful destruccion." The least we can do to show our gratitude is to help others receive the same mercy that we have received.
I love being a missionary. I value this mission so much. Its a true privilege to represent my Savior and serve Him. It is going to be hard to leave. If you all weren`t waiting for me I don`t think I would ever go back. haha I love you all! See you later.
Con amor, Elder Hawk