Also, this lyric has been stuck in my head all week from Abide with Me:
“Help of the Helpless, Oh Abide with Me”
I love it and thought I should share.
Love you!

HELLO! I am 100% healthy and 100% happy to be! But first things first: MOM happy mother’s day and Birthday! I am so so sorry you were sick for both–that is the pits! And with the flu? the whole time i was sick i just kept praying in gratitude that it wasn’t something like that because a cold is just annoying but the flu is dreadful…I am so sorry! But for your birthday yesterday, Elder L Tom Perry came and spoke to us! He sang happy birthday to you over the pulpit and everything, it was so sweet of him! Maybe that last part wasn’t quite true but he did come and it was wonderful. And i had no idea your birthday is the day the Priesthood was restored! I am the worst kind of person that I didn’t know that. Anyways, that’s what he spoke about and it was very powerful. There was one part when he raised is voice a little and with SO much conviction said: “I know the powers of the Priesthood.” I was struck with the reality of his statement and thought about all of the miracles he had probably witnessed and experienced throughout his life and how much it entails when an apostle of the Lord says something like that. Then I thought about that statement for myself: “I know the powers of the Priesthood” and my mind was filled with all of the miracles I have witnessed and have been blessed from because of the priesthood. I am so grateful for the power of God on the earth today and was just sat in awe as I looked around me at all of the missionaries who hold the priesthood and how much I respect and admire them–they are all striving so diligently to be worthy of this incredible gift God has given them and I’m so grateful to be surrounded by them and to learn from them.
P.S. Elder L. Tom Perry is the cutest sweetest old man and you can just tell he’s a man of God…and he’s so tall! who knew? And i think he kinda looks like Grandpa Hawkins…
Anyways, This week I have been thinking about the word “matchless.” Sorry Dad, this is a repeat of your letter kinda…but I’ve heard that word time and time again…usually coupled with the name of Christ or His Atonement. But I had never reallllllly thought about it until now. I thought of the scripture that talks about the peace that the Lord gives: “Not as the world give I unto you” or something like that…and it is so true. We are faced with trials that can’t be solved sometimes and hurdles that are daunting beyond imagine…but the Lord can give us peace that is MATCHLESS. it can’t be compared to anything of this world and it can’t be equated to anything logical or human. It can’t be matched. And it can change our lives in ways we can’t understand…and we can’t explain. We can only recognize it when it changes us or someone we love…and it’s undeniable. Sometimes when I think about the impossible that has become possible, i just want to belt “There can be miracles! When we believe!” Prince of Egypt style. And often I do. (Sorry Avenues 330). But I feel so blessed that I get to introduce to the Russian people God’s MATCHLESS love and MATCHLESS power. What an honor! And this week I got a little taste of it!

Since our last lesson with Anton, we’ve been praying everyday to know what to teach him…what we could possibly say to convince him that he really can change. And the thought kept coming back to me that I should talk to him about the Book of Mormon, even though he’s already read it. So we did–and CECTPA Prows bore the most beautiful testimony and we shared our favorite scriptures (I shared 2 Nephi 4) and how they’ve helped us and strengthened us and we told him that he could feel the same and that the Book of Mormon could teach him about faith and about trusting God and about using Christ’s Atonement in his life. and it was so cool because he asked: “How does this book apply to me? Where does is talk about smoking in here? How can it help me quit?” and my face just lit up and I got so excited because I knew I could honestly tell him with all my heart that the Book of Mormon doesn’t talk about smoking…but it talks about overcoming temptations and making changes to come closer to God and that even though it was ancient, it applies to us! And it has taught me so much about life and relationships and God and has helped me come closer to Christ and the Spirit was so strong! Then Anton said the closing prayer and it was the most beautiful prayer I’ve ever heard in my life and my eyes got all teary and shoot I wish I could hug him! But CECTPA Prows and I were just overwhelmed after the lesson with the power of the Holy Ghost and I just couldn’t stop smiling all day–THAT is the best feeling in the whole world. better than starfish floating at Three Arch and better than watching the sunset on our roof. And I just can’t believe that I get to feel like this all the time. It’s the best.

Another thing I’ve been thinking about is compassion. I was thinking this week and realized that I think I’m a pretty passionate person-but am I compassionate? I want to be more COMpassionate. and I love how in the scriptures over and over when it talks about Christ, it says he was “moved with compassion” and indefinitely, that is always followed by some service or healing or miracle. He doesn’t feel feel for the people…he doesn’t just love the people–he serves the people. And that hit me so hard and it something I really want to work on. Sometimes I have nice thoughts in my head about other people or wonder how they’re doing but do I say anything? Do i DO anything? not always…and I’m trying to make a big time effort to improve that.
But anyways, I love you all so much and have been filled with so much love and gratitude–thank you to all my mom’s friends who met her for lunch on her birthday! it makes me so happy that even though i’m gone, there are still so many people who love her and could celebrate with her. I’ve been thinking about you all weekend mom and am so grateful for you–you truly are my favorite person in the world and I think about Grandma Maw who always says: I love you…but more importantly, I really like you. And that’s so true!! I miss you!
And Thank you so much for sending me an update on Nicole! My goodness I feel so bad for her, she sounds like she is having such an awful time. I always knew Europe was a terribly boring place, especially when your company includes Riley, Kendall, and Avery. Poor girls….
THANK YOU so much to everyone who wrote me this last week–it means so much to me and was so kind and i am anxious to write you all back..I will as soon as I can.
I love you all!!
-Sister Hawkins

P.S. Remind me next week to tell you about¬†Sister Kuznetsova (Sp? Don’t know in English…). She’s one of our teachers and a native from Russia and the best

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