CARLEY i’m so excited to hear about the temple and will be thinking of you (as always) today when I go to the temple. I love you so much and am so happy for you and ERIN I forgot to mention your birthday last week but don’t think I forgot! I hope scott spoiled you. The Romanians are at the end of the hall and the teacher knows scott. Unfortunately I forgot his name so this information is useless.
Welp, anyways, a swellllllll week at the MTC! I love it here and laugh when people ask how long I’ve been here/when I’m leaving because I have no idea! I don’t remember life pre-MTC and actually going to Russia doesn’t even seem real but I remind myself everyday that this is just the beginning!!!!!!!!!! I love the MTC but can’t wait to get to MOSCOW!!! My home. Sometimes my jaw literally drops when I think about how blessed I am to go there.
This week Sister Dalton spoke in relief society and then Sheri Dew for the Devotional Sunday Night. Yeah girl power haha but actually I’m so glad we had the opportunity to hear from Sister Dalton and to go and meet her afterwards because I am a horrible person and whenever I think about Sister Dalton I laugh and think about a “golden peruvian shawl” (nicole knows what I’m talking about. And nicole-I’m glad you liked my father’s day card to dad, I was cracking myself up. I can’t wait to hear from you and I love you so much–everyone in  my district knows all of my family members names and close friends and what you’re all up to hahah it’s the best) But anyways, I am ashamed to admit it but I always thought sister dalton was a nice, wonderful lady but not really my soul sister–I never really felt a huge connection with her because she seemed almost too bubbly–can’t explain it. But anyways, on Sunday she seemed so much more real and it was so cool actually getting to know her and I admire her a lot a lot–she’s secretly really funny!! And the Spirit was so strong. Sister Dew spoke about receiving and remembering and talked about sometimes we’re so focused on giving (which is great!) but a common misconception is that people feel greedy or ungrateful when they ask for things when they pray!! NO Heaveny Father WANTS to give us these blessings and gifts and we have to ask for them. It was a splendid talk.
But I just wanted to say today how much I love the Book of Mormon. And I have so many memories of us reading it as a family and Dad pretending that he couldn’t pronounce “Ammonihah” (that’s literally one of my favorite memories of all time ahhahahahhhah) but my love for the Book of Mormon is a result of my own personal experiences with the book. It blesses my life as it continually reminds me of Christ and provides new insights, meanings, and ways to APPLY to Atonement in my life. I love the Book of Mormon because it provides extended  teachings and words of Christ, but also people and their relationship with Christ and their struggles with faith and pride and family and it relates to me in every way in every conflict and in every happiness! It’s the best!!!! And I love in Jacob 2:8 when it says “the word (scriptures/the Bible/the Book of Mormon) healeth the wounded soul.” I can’t think of anything more beautiful. Except maybe in Isaiah when it talks about the Atonement and the suffering of Christ and it says “and by His stripes we are healed.” So are we healed by the Atonement or are we healed by His word? The Scriptures? Well folks, I love that the two are inseparable. We are healed by the Atonement and the scriptures, the Book of Mormon in particular helps us understand the Atonement and APPLY it to our lives. The most wonderful gift!!!! The greatest blessing!!!!!!!! I remember Kev saying the same thing and i think it originated from Hyrum Smith but truly when I read the Book of Mormon, nothing else matters. I don’t want to do anything else. “Food becomes a nuisance.” And that is saying a LOT i tell ya! I love the foods. Except I made a goal to give up cookies and ice cream from the cafeteria here in the MTC. It’s been three days. This was a terrible decision and I have felt a recognizable detriment to my happiness. BUT I will persevere!
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!
Next week’s email will be crazy because hundreds of Mission Presidents are coming this weekend and we’re having special early devotionals next week and word on the street is that a plethora of the 12 will be here. (would you say that we have a plethora of pinatas?)
Thanks for all of the prayers and supports–I feel them strengthen me, I truly do!
-CECTPA Hawkins.