Sorry, there was some confusion on who was posting these emails so here are Sister Hawkins’ emails from the last 2 months+ and we will try to keep it up to date from now on!

HELLO! okay, favorite scripture: 1 Nephi 21:16
This week has been great here at the MTC except for the fact that i am sick sick sick! I only tell you this because it lead to me to great discovery! there is such a thing as magic numbing spray for your throat. Why didn’t anyone ever tell me this? It is a miracle worker!! except everyone laughs at me when i ask if i can spray it up my nose and in my eyes to cure all my illness…supposedly that’s not such a good idea.
My main teacher here is brother porter and he looks like Frodo and is the funniest human ever!! for those of you who know me well enough, when i speak, particularly with nicole, i speak mostly in movie quotes. but brother porter is like that x1000000!!! it is hysterical!!! and i said “how redundant!” under my breath and he said “we will be singing a duet. the two of us. together” (Little Rascals). So the good news is, he is so funny but also SO good at Russian and an incredible teacher and brings the Spirit so strongly and it’s been so great. (He served in Rostov). The bad news is he’s leaving us. He got a job in Arizona that pays way more and he needs to save up so he can marry his girlfriend…which i GUESS is KINDA important. Anyways, we will all miss him but we’ll see who our new teacher will be.
Also, thank you Sandy for the cinco de mayo package–and the Yorks reminded me of Lauren. Lauren invented this brilliant pun for her visiting teachees–she gave them Yorks and said “Yorkgonna have a great semester!” my roommates here at the MTC got a kick out of that. Also, Carley, I continue to wear my bow almost every day and it is my trademark and I think of you always. Also, can you send me my copy of the Fourth Missionary?
I have learned SO much this week and it has been so incredible and I want to share a few thoughts. Last night Elder D. Todd Christofferson came and spoke to us and it was such a unique experience to have an apostle here. He said a lot of wonderful and powerful things but my favorite was when he read in 2 Nephi 31 (i forget what verse) and it talks about how repentance, and the power of the Atonement, makes us spotless. Elder Christofferson emphasized that word: spotless. And said that Being spotless is different than being sinless. The Atonement not only removes sin, but the effects of sin. I thought that was so profound and it has been on my mind a lot lately. Nothing that the world has to offer can compare to the enabling power of the Atonement. Nothing is impossible if we allow the Atonement to change us. We are not glued back together or stitched up, we are made whole and we are new and we are healed. I am so grateful for that power in my life and so grateful I get to share that with those I teach.

We’ve been practicing teaching someone new this week named Anton and he has problems with addiction. I felt the Spirit stronger than I ever have before while I was teaching as I shared personal experiences and promised that Anton could be made clean…it was the first time I got emotional in a lesson (if you can believe that!) And I was just overwhelmed with love for Anton and my heart ached for him–I wanted to do everything I possibly could to help him understand and believe it for himself. He reminds me so much of people I know and love…but it was the most frustrating part of my MTC experience thus far because I couldn’t understand what he was saying after I shared that experience. We asked him to repeat himself, and he tried to use different words. I offered to go get my dictionary and he said no and he even wrote down what he was saying but my companion and I couldn’t figure out one word that was essential to what he was saying!! It was heartbreaking as we struggled to understand and the Spirit wasn’t as strong because we weren’t able to answer his question because we didn’t know what it was! So finally we just bore our testimonies again and asked if we could come back and answer his question another time.

When we left, we got some help from the other missionaries and realized that the word we didn’t understand was “to  change oneself”…Anton has said that he was happy for those people I knew and those experiences I had had…and he wanted to change. But just didn’t believe that he was strong enough to do it. Ahh I wish I would have understood that in the lesson. And we’ve been preparing on how to address that concern for next time but it’s hard when my vocabulary and language ability is so limited. It is the biggest motivation to study harder and to practice the language more. I can’t wait until I can say what I want to (and need to say) because the message that we’re sharing means so much to me! And it’s the worst feeling ever to know my language inability kept Anton from knowing he can change..but hopefully I’ll find some way to inspire him to have faith in himself. Because I have so much faith in him!
Anyways, I love being a missionary. And I love this work…It felt so good this week because instead of just having a question in my head and then writing it down with an “*” to write my dad and ask him, I pondered and searched and studied more and received so much revelation and insight and understanding to these questions! So now, Dad, I can write you my questions AND my answers and hear what you think!
This Sunday is mother’s day and I wish I could call you Mama but just know that I’ll be thinking about you every second and know how grateful I am for you. You are SO amazing and everything I aspire to be.
I love you all!
Oh and it’s so nice to see familiar faces: I see trevor reese every day all the time, Adam Klopp, Elder Hilburn (Lauren), Cameron Pettey for the first time today, Matt Clayton, Alex Nightingale, I even saw Ellie Hansen and Erin McAdams pulling in one day…and random people from my ward. And Yesenia from my seminary class. It’s so nice seeing familiar faces.
-CECTPA Hawkins
P.S. can someone update me on Lauren? I’m dying to hear if she made it to Africa and how she’s doing.
Also, no time to read emails–can you dearelder me Kevins?