Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Italy, Week 47 (9/30/15) - I Feel Old

Okay, I guess I will start with the most exciting part of the week, which would happen to be transfer calls. Sadly, Sorella Nilsen and I are not staying together for a third transfer as we had hoped :( BUT I get to stay here and my new companion is Sorella Stott. Sorella Nilsen is going down to Prato, which is super close to Firenze and SHE GETS A CAR! It's the only car in the mission for Sorelle, so it's really exciting. I hope I never get the car. Drivers here are insane. They don't follow ANY rulesCommunque, it's sad, but exciting! Plus Sorella Nilsen and I know that we‘ll be best friends after the mission still and hang out at BYU and all that great stuff, so it's not too sad :)  
On Thursday and Friday we did a scambio with the other Sorelle in Como and it was a dream. They have zero problems. Their our dream coppia. I absolutely love all of our Sorelle, but this scambio was an answer to my prayers. I got to go to Como this time and we got fresh baked bread in the morning for breakfast and the best gelato in Italy and it was divine.
We recently started teaching a new investigator who is a referral from a member and she's awesome! She's 17 and is looking to come closer to a church. She's really quiet, so sometimes it's hard to know what she thinks about everything, but she keeps meeting with us! She's really great, so cute.
So. One day on the mission tanto tempo fa, Sorella Nilsen had a dream about a yellow house and knew that there was a family in there waiting for the Gospel. Before I left for my mission, my mom had an impression that there was a family with dark hair in Italy waiting for me.  There's a street of actually houses near our apartment that we knew was special and sacred. We finally made time to go there, but we just had enough time to knock on the yellow houses. Nothing happened, we had lots of rejections, some nice enough and some really not nice. But we noticed that there was a woman outside her house next to one of the yellow houses that we had just tried. She came out and we had a wonderful conversation and she told us to come back! It was a red house and she had gray hair, but we don't pick and choose what God blesses us with! Plus we didn't finish knocking all the houses, so just wait to hear about those miracles! They're coming! Brace yourselves.
We had a delicious meal with our new convert Chris and his mom and dad and it was soooo yummy! So. Much food. It was a mix between Italian and Filipino, but it was a great mix. Yum yum.  Sunday we visited a less active family that we see a lot and there was an explosion and tears and straight up yelling. It was not pretty. How do we help this family?!?! Two teenage daughters who are great, but are teenage girls who spend lots of time on their phones and don't always listen to their mom, and a single mom struggling to understand her daughters and won't listen to us when we try to help her. I just want them to have peace and love in their home!
Monday a member from Nepal wanted to feed all us missionaries, so.....  Oh my gosh, half my email just got deleted. So mad. Okay, basically  this member fed us a lot and it was yummy and fattening, then later that night we got fed more and felt sick, but that's the mission. The COOL part that got deleted was how we went to visit a less active member. I'm just going to post what I wrote to President
had a week full of miracles!! It was incredible! one of them happened when we went to teach a less active member. In the morning we were trying to plan her lesson, but nothing felt right. We tried to find scriptures but everything felt off. We tried thinking of something else we could teach her but nothing was coming; we were having a stupor of thought. But we chose to go with what we had originally planned, knowing that there was a reason and everything would go the way it needed to go. A few minutes after we arrived at this member's house, her non member friend came over. We started teaching the Gospel, and after talking about baptism the conversation slid into the Restoration and she just kept asking all the right questions. When we talked Bout Joseph Smith searching for the true church, she said that she is just like Joseph. It was a beautiful lesson, full of the Spirit.
So that was cool :)
Last night we had FHE and it was crazy! Oh, other transfer news, both the Anziani are being taken out and FOUR new ones of coming in. Aka there's going to be six missionaries in Cimiano and only one of them knows the city. And guess who that one is? Yours truly
I'm fine.
It's payback for when my trainer and I whitewashed Busto and one Elder had to teach three of us the city. It'll be fine though, I'm honestly not super worried about it. But anyway, so FHE was crazy because three missionaries were leaving, but it was super fun! And a member randomly gave us each a bouquet of flowers, it was so cute!!  What I've learned this week is to always be grateful. Be grateful in the moment. Love the people, love every moment you spend with them, and love your trials for what you're learning. Going around saying goodbye to people (not me...) made me see how truly great these people are and how much I truly do love them. But it also made me realize how much more I need to show that love for them. It made me realize that if I had left, would they have known that I loved them? I'm not an open person, I don't talk about how I feel to people. I feel weird telling them I love them. But it's what they need to hear! That's why I'm here!
Thank you to all of you for always sharing and showing your love to me. I'm so grateful to know that I have friends and family supporting me who love me and want good for me.  You guys are the best. Thank you
thank you thank you. Vi voglio tanto bene!
Sorella Hawks :)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Italy, Week 46 (9/23/15) - The Lord Blesses His Missionaries

My brain is very aware of the fact that I should be absolutely, one hundred percent drained and exhausted to the point where I should hardly be able to take one more step in front of the other. But I'm not. Yes, I'm tired, as is normal, but I cannot comprehend how much energy I have. I'm honestly not kidding when I say that the Lord has blessed me immensely. This week was great but tolling, but the Lord has blessed me with a strength emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually that I cannot believe. But what I love is that I haven't been blessed with incredible super hero energy where I feel like I could run one hundred miles and back in an hour. I'm still my normal tired where sitting for too long my eyes get a little heavy, but it's just what I need. I know at the beginning of my mission when I started getting really tired I didn't understand why I was tired. I thought the Lore would bless me with an inhuman ability to never be tired because I was doing His work. But I have come to understand that He gives us exactly as much as we need, in everything, to go on and do what we need to do. I love that. He doesn't baby or over spoil us, but He sure as anything takes care of us.
We had an AWESOME zone training on Thursday! It was so weird being up in the front doing a training with the zone leaders, but it ended up
being super fun and I actually enjoyed it a little! Plus it turns out there's an Elder from Palmyra NY! FORZA EAST COAST. Then we did a scambio with the Lugano Sorelle and I was with my wonderful German friend Sorella Kras again :) it was so fun! We got yummy gelato to celebrate my year mark. I didn't take any pictures, I'm sorry, I'm so lame.
Fun news, I was asked to play for the stake choir at stake conference this coming October haha. Hopefully I'm still here for it!  This guy at the metro station started talking to me because I was trying to see what time our metro was coming and he was in the way. He was Napoletano and old and kept telling me he was looking for a girl.  Well he didn't find her in me, sorry Massimo. He was super nice, but.... I'm a sister missionary nun. Quello flirtare non va bene.  Oh! And on Sunday this really professional musically talented member of our ward was like, hey, I brought my violin, let's do a musical number. So during sacrament meeting he handed me the children's song book and told me how he wanted to do it and 20 minutes later we played it. It was a little rough, but really fun nonetheless! :)
Then we went on a scambio Monday to Tuesday in Como and I got to be with a fresh new missionary in her first transfer, Sorella Carrus!  She's from Sardegna but lives in Reggio Mila and is going to the Temple Square mission, but is here until her visa comes through. She is INCREDIBLE. Literally, she knows so much and understands so much about the mission that I didn't figure out for a long time. She's on fire and knows what she's doing. She and her trainer are practically whitewashing the city, so it's a little rough, but Sorella Carrus is amazing!
But again, tears were shed and tantrums (literal tantrums) were thrown towards the end as we had a meeting all together. It wasn't very pretty. But we tried our best to give council, and Sorella Carrus listened and learned! I told you, she's fantastic. She has no problems, she could train herself.  ANYWHO.
I just want to share with you what I've learned from seeing a lot of different situations from a lot of different Sorelle. We are all clay in the hands of God. He has put us here on the earth to shape us.  Sometimes it's hard and it hurts, but we are becoming more beautiful.  We are a work of art, but it is our decision whether or not we let ourselves become the beauty that God sees in us. He has given us certain situations so that we can learned and grow and be shaped. The situation is ugly, but we become all the more beautiful because of it.  Let us be soft clay. Let these moments, these beautifully tragic moments in our lives shape us and let it be easy for God to shape us.  Don't be hardened, dry, unmanageable clay that believes that you are fine just the way you are. You may not consciously think that, but sometimes you need to take a step back and see if you're acting that way. Don't tell God what you want Him to do or how you think things should go. Give your will to His and find the learning opportunities instead of whining and complaining and waiting for the day when your situation might change. If you do that, you're just an outline. These moments are for us to be filled with color, brightness, shading, and who we truly are. Just please, I beg of each and every one of you individually. Look at yourself. See how you've grown, if you've grown.  Everyday should be a new learning experience. There is not a day that goes by where God doesn't try to teach us something. If you haven't learned something, search for something new to learn! Don't let this precious time pass you by. Be soft clay in the hands of the Lord. I can promise you that you are nowhere safer.
I love you so much, I am so grateful for my parents and siblings who taught me how to handle trials and adversity and helped me to grow.  I'm grateful for your strength and love. You are all so dear to my heart. I wish you the best of luck.

Vi voglio un mondo di bene <3
Sorella Hawks :)

#youknowyoureinitalywhen this is the view outside you're window. If you're colorblind.


Maxi burgers at Roadhouse. Yes, you can find a good old Mexican burger here

 It's frightening how big it is.



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Italy, Week 45 (9/16/15) - Gratitude Lessons Learned From Drama

Hello my wonderful beautiful family and loved ones. I love you all so much. I'm so grateful for all of you.
I'm so tired.
I'll get back to that later.
So on Thursday we celebrated a new convert's birthday with banana bread that we managed to turn into a cake by topping it with buttermilk frosting. It was good.
Okay, I'm going to skip boring stuff, I'm so tired and my brain is fried. Friday morning when we were going to start weekly planning, we get a call from one of the companionships of Sorelle that we're over saying that they were straight up depressed and didn't know what to do. Needless to say we didn't get weekly planning done. That night we got to participate in a young women's activity and it was so good to be back with the young women! Sometimes I forget how much I miss being in with them.
Anywho, Saturday we had time to go out and do some finding (I still can't believe I just said that. I remember when we would spend about 6 hours a day (at least) doing finding in my last city. It's GLORIOUS.) and we stopped and talked to this older guy named Enrico. At first he was just asking questions about why we were here and details about what we
do, but he told us not to preach to him. He did, however, let us pray with him. And after that prayer he was so different. When we ended it we looked up and he was looking straight ahead very quietly and had a single tear in his eye. After that he asked us more about our church and wanted to see us again. It was such a tender moment
Oh! And on Wednesday night we taught this woman from Ukraine who just showed up after church one day and then came again to sacrament meeting two weeks later! We taught her the restoration and it was
awesome! She is so wonderful! I love her so much!!!  Sunday we went over to another companionship of Sorelle that we're over with Oreo cheesecake and determination. Their companionship is really struggling. They both opened up to us on our exchanges and we decided it was time to take action and make them tell each other these things. It took a while and there were tears and tension, but it all worked out in the end :) We hope it actually helped. They said they've seen some improvement, so that's great

Monday we had consiglio (missionary council) and it was so fun! We talked about faith and how faith will cut out all our fears, and we talked about how we're going to help other missionaries grasp this and apply it to their work. I love consiglio because we really get to know President Dibb more and see his true character. He is so great! I love him so much! Then we did another exchange and we heard more companionship problems. Like, where they went three days without talking to each other at one point. This, this right here is why I am so tired, so emotionally drained. I love these Sorelle, but sometimes they can be such GIRLS.
And you know, a lot of the problems in one of these companionships started because of gossip. Three words: GOSSIP IS DUMB. Another three words: DON'T DO IT. It doesn't do any good whatsoever. There's a very fine but definite line between opening up to someone about your hardships and struggles that you may be having and gossip. Don't.  Cross. It. It drives me NUTS.  Anyway, I love being here and helping others, but sometimes when they've already given up and don't want to listen or try anymore, it's like bashing your head into a brick wall
It's really not that bad, I promise. I'm just ranting.  Speaking of rants, I LOVE THIS GOSPEL SO MUCH. I just love reading the scriptures and praying and being able to open up to my Heavenly Father who I know loves me and will be bold enough to chastise me because He knows my potential and He knows how to get me to reach it. I am so grateful for the lessons I've learned on my mission so far. I hit my year mark tomorrow and I love taking the time to look back and see such a change. My companion and I will talk about what changes we've seen in ourselves and I realized that I am absolutely the same person.  Same personality, I am still Danielle Elise Hawks, that doesn't change. But I have learned to be more humble, to listen more, to be
more confident and bold. I have been stripped of all pride and sent raw into hail storms of trials and tears and sweat and a little bit of blood sometimes. I have learned an immense amount of patience and trust in the Lord and His timing. I've been blessed with the opportunity to be placed in the hottest part of a refiner's fire and I have been blessed with the cool soothing, healing balm of the Atonement. I've been put in so any different situations where I've been able to grow in different ways. The work here in Cimiano is so good and it is such a well-taken care of city. And because of that I can focus on helping others with new responsibilities that I am given.  I'm learning to be a leader, not the kind that is in the midst guiding people along, but I'm trying to learn to be the kind that leads from the front. It's super uncomfortable and I feel like a fool most of the time, but I'm learning! That's the point, right? Sometimes I feel like I've seen it all and experienced it all, what more could I learn? And then I get hit in the face with something else and I realize, mamma mia, I have a LOT to learn.  And I thank you all for always being there for me. For supporting me and for helping me before to prepare me for this. Thank you for your examples and kind words of love. I love each and every one of you so much, you are all so dear to my heart. Have a wonderful week, vi voglio bene.
Sorella Hawks :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Italy, Week 44 (9/8/15) - Can't Think of a Good Title...

Sorry! Aside from the lame heading, however, this week was full of miracles and wonderful things :)
First off, we got to visit a less active family and we brought a
new convert with us who doesn't have very many friends. They're some of the few Italians in our ward, so they hit it off great! They're all from the South, so we got about five words in the entire night, but it was great! They talked about how America influences Italy too much and
it's New York's fault that everyone in Milano stays up late and
build giant waterslides. Don't ask me what we did to cause such havoc. But they're all friends! Plus we're hoping that this friendship will help our new convert's husband to find more desire to join the church. And miracle of all is that we made it home on time! And by on time I of course mean that we didn't have to call our mission president....
Friday and Saturday we did a
scambio with the Sorelle from Lampugnano, another city in Milano. I got to go there with a new missionary in her second transfer who's from England! Her name is Sorella Barlow and she's so cute! Funnest accent ever. We visited one of their investigators who is from New York! He's from a small town near Sleepy
Hollow and he actually knew my school. It was so fun! We
would randomly stop each other while we were talking when the other would say something that the other hadn't heard in forever and whatnot. It was a little piece of home!
scambio was super fun! But dang, it's hard being an STL.... Comp struggles and drama.... Sorella Nilsen and I both heard different ends so we're probably going to have a comp inventory sit down session.   Hope all goes well!
We saw an ex investigator who had texted us and told us that
she wanted to meet with us! We taught the Resto and it went so well! She knows this church is true but she doesn't recognize it, which is hard.  We tried explaining that maybe the fact that she feels so good here and missed the church and wanted to meet with us again is her answer.
But now she just has to come to that conclusion for herself. But
she is so great
On Sunday we visited the cousins of a new convert and it was so fun! We had delicious Bolivian food where the chicken just fell off the bone. So good. Then we taught them and they were super open! We have to pass them over to the Navigli Sorelle, which happens to be my ex-comp Sorella Burt, so I know they're. In good hands :) after that we
had a lesson with a less active member and the senior couple in
the office came with us and it was a miracle lesson. The Sister is a reflexologist and she worked on our member while we taught and by the end of that lesson, there was a peace in that home that I had never felt there before. It was incredible. The lesson went well and our member was so happy and calm. It was SUCH a miracle. I need to study that stuff when I get home.
The rest of the week we taught the wonderful word of God to
our wonderful people here in Cimiano. I could go on forever about them, but you guys probably wouldn't find as much joy in it as I do haha

Just know that I love you, but more importantly that God and Jesus Christ love you. One of my favorite things about serving a mission is being able to tell so many people that they are not alone and that they need not feel alone. We may be surrounded by people, have a good family and great friends, but we still feel a small, quiet emptiness.
A little tiny part of us that's hollow, that often times we
don't  notice in all the world around us. But when we're by ourselves, do we feel God's love? Do we feel it was we walk to busy street to work or school? Do we try? I love telling people that no matter their situation, whether it be heartbreak, a broken family, devastating illness, or just a feeling of loneliness, they are not alone. Christ suffered not only for our sins, but for our sorrows. He shed our tears and laughed our laughter. And He continues to do so with us. He knows us better than we know ourselves. We need never feel alone. That empty, hollow part in our heart can and will be filled as we turn to our Lord and Savior. I know this is true, I have experienced it in my life multiple times. He loves us and wants us to be complete, full, and overall  HAPPY. I love that word. HAPPY. Yes, we can and should be happy in this life. But true lasting happiness and joy only come through Jesus Christ.
I love you all so much, thank you for everything.
voglio un mondo di bene,
Vostra Sorella in Dio,
Sorella Hawks :)
These are our cards we made for our Sorelle! Attack the day!

 Got your good old El Camino in there

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Italy, Week 43 (9/2/2015) - Spiritual High: The Kearon Conference

Hey! So I had spent ten minutes writing this email on a computer, saved it, and headed out. But as I feared, it didn't translate to my iPad. Va bene, fa niente. COMMUNQUE.  So yeah, the president of the Area Seventy over the Europe area, President Kearon, came and spoke to us missionaries on Thursday and it was so good! Before the conference started, he took all of the STL's and Zone Leaders into a side room, shook each of our hands and asked our name and where we were from, and then stood there and thanked us.  He told us we were going to have to stretch ourselves and keep getting better. The Spirit in that room was absolutely incredible. I just wanted to bask in it all day haha. But then he gave us an incredible conference and we talked about not settling and getting comfortable with where we are and what we're doing. Some of my favorite points were that, attacking the day, how to help our investigators and those we teach with understanding the importance of reading the Book of Mormon by giving them reasons and promising blessings through personal experiences, inviting the power of the Spirit into the work, and becoming the message.  I especially like the last part: to become the message. It's so important to be what you believe, in private and in public, everywhere you go. You don't pick and choose to act like a disciple of Christ depending on where you are. You already made  the decision to take upon you His name and therefore you are His disciple.  You don't choose where and when you're going to be good. You already made that decision. The choice now is HOW you're going to be good.  What you're going to do now to be even better. BE the message of the Gospel that we know and love. Do people look at us and think we're weird and different? GOOD. We ARE. News flash.... The world is full of corruption, sorrow, filth, and heartache. But we are the light. We need to show it. Don't wait until tomorrow, and don't dwell on the past when you were such a great light. BE IT NOW. Christ is trusting you with His name. Wear it well.  RANTS. Sorry hehe
Anywhoooo then the next day we had a missionary council (consiglio) with President Kearon and it was awesome! We talked about how we're going to help everyone apply these principles into their lives and the most important part. I'm super stoked for this transfer! You always get so spiritually pumped after conferences like these and everyone feels it. It's awesome
So we recently started teaching two new investigators. They're two girls that a member lives with (their family friends) and they're awesome! The second lesson we had with them we brought two new converts, a young man and a young woman, and they were AWESOME. Youth have such a power about them. They basically taught the Plan of Salvation and the Five points of the Gospel and then the investigators talked about the Restoration. It was probably one of my favorite lessons in the fact that everyone else was teaching each other and it was just a beautiful thing.
On Monday we had a surprise scambio and we were in a trio with one of the Sorelle from Como! They're In a trio and two had to go to Genova, so one stayed with us, Sorella Insalaco. She's a genius. She write symphonies. I kid you not. She wants to write music for movies, and she is absolutely more than capable. She's so cool.
And now we're here! Today we met up with the Como
Sorelle at the Duomo and we ran into the Sorelle from...... BUSTO ARSIZIO! My birth city!!  And they were there with a few members! One of which we were working with to help re activate and she's fully active now!  Gah! I'm so happy. Then we went to a creepy bone church that had all these skulls and bones in the walls. Why would people do that. But it was fun and we got really yummy food after :)
And that was our week! It was great! We've just been killing it
here in Cimiano and I'm loving it! I just love the mission so dang much
And I love YOU all so dang much. You guys are the best, I'm
so grateful to each and everyone of you. Stay strong and don't just live the Gospel, don't just love it, BE it
Hugs and kisses (only to the girls) and firm handshakes to the guys,
Sorella Hawks :)
 Members from Busto!

 Bones, lots and lots of bones!

 The walls are filled with this, minus my fleshy face!

My wonderful companion and one of the Sorelle in Como, who also happens to be Sorella Nilsen's ex-companion

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Italy, Week 42 (8/26/15) - Food Poisoning, Black Magic, Witches, Ghosts and Murders

Made for a real interesting week....
that was all just in one night, so let me back track and think about what happened this week.....
Thursday morning we went to visit to member who is the cutest little old lady. She's 85 and from Ecuador and absolutely LOVES Ecuador. She is the absolute most lively 85 year old i have ever met. She is so happy and loves life and loves everyone around her. When she tells stories she has so much energy. She was just so dang cute!!  We started to meet with an old investigator that we had dropped when I first got here. She's from Albania and super cute, but just going through some hard times and didn't make time to read and come to church, but she always said she knew this church was true, so we just had to give her a little space and some time to get things settled.  Things are really going a lot better in her life and when we called she was so happy! We extended a baptismal date and she was hesitant to "promise" anything, but we told her to pray about it, but she said she definitely wants to get baptized. That night we went to a new converts house to eat with her and her nephew and they're from Bolivia, so they made us some Bolivian food. IT WAS SO GOOD. It was meat that was pounded really thin and then fried, then with rice, a chunk of potato, a fried egg, and some tomato and onion salsa. So. Yummy. And it was such a fun night! Her nephew just got back from his mission in February and is still learning Italian. We asked him to tell us some mission stories and he starts pulling out name tags (he has 15 of them....) and business cards that he and his companion made to give to members to get them to feed them haha. He served in Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela and had some really great stories. It was SUCH a fun night!
On Sunday two members came out with us to do missionary work, so to start off we went to a less active family's house and talked about temples and it went so well! The less active mom was able to make a really good friendship with the relief society president and it turns out that the other. Ember that was with us is just starting to come back to church more and she really needed that lesson too! Miracles! Then the other member had to go and it was down to three. We visited another less active family's house and played a game about following the prophet (that one that we did for FHE that I talked about a few weeks ago where you have pieces of paper with good and bad things and you either go closer or farther from Christ. That one) and again, it
was SO PERFECT. It was so great to have the relief society president with us to make these friendships and help ease members feel more comfortable and loved.
Okay, now about the title of this email..... Oh my. So Monday night we were supposed to have an FHE with this less active family from the Philippines, but the daughters weren't home, so we were just going to visit the mom and bring our new convert whose also Filipino and is like a son to this woman. She told us that she was going to make us her specialty and she was allllll excited about it. And it turned out to be squid pasta. Anzi, squid spaghetti. Yeah. Didn't taste too awful, but seafood in general here is a little sketchy... So we eat the food and I don't know how it gets into this, but our new convert (we'll call him Kip) starts talking about witches and how his great grandpa was killed by a witch. Then the mom starts talking about how she doesn't believe in black magic and witches and Kip starts going off about black magic. We finished our squid pasta and within ten minutes, Sorella Nilsen gets these awful stomach pains and has to run to the bathroom, feeling like she's going to throw up. While in there, the conversation continues on and goes towards ghosts. And during this whole conversation, Sorella Nilsen is running to and from the bathroom, poor thing. So ghosts come up and they're telling us all these stories and whatnot. And then a family secret regarding murder gets thrown into the mix. I don't know what else was in that pasta, but it definitely seemed like it made them start spilling all of their confessions. Like some type of truth serum or something... It was some night.... But somehow we got the Spirit to come back and taught about the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's burying their weapons and about how we're going to choose something to sacrifice, such as pride or sleep to wake up and go to church or time on Facebook to write a missionary (cough
cough)( haha just kidding you guys are great :) ) it went really well and the mom asked us to teach the same lesson to her daughters!
Anywho, on the walk home Kip is being the typically annoying little brother who's trying to trip us and whatnot, but we have to stop at this cute little sandwich place for Sorella Nilsen to run to the bathroom. At this point I'm not feeling too great, but I know I can make it home. I can't run home, but I can make it home. We show up at the metro station and we see the Anziani so we plan to pull a prank and have Kip pretend to try to steal Sorella Nilsen's bag,  but he laughed too soon, so there was no time for anyone to react. Then Kip was just on one and super hyper, laughing, messing with everyone. It was such an interesting night.... In the middle of the night I woke not feeling good, but nothing happened. Until the morning that is....  And the rest of the day Sorella Nilsen felt sick  and I felt a little off, off and on. It would come in waves. So that was... Fun? Haha but luckily Sorella Nilsen felt well enough to go to church for FHE and correlation.

It wasn't a super crazy week, other than Monday night. But it was a great week!  In the Book of Mormon I've started studying the book of Ether and Jared and his brother. Every time I read that story I always learn so much more. First off, chapter 2 "the Lord talk[ed] with the brother of Jared and chastened him because he remembered not to call upon the name of the Lord." (Vs. 14) there are so many times in our lives where we become content where we are and where the Lord has brought us up to this point. But we need to continue to move forward, dive into great waters, take a chance, turn to the Lord and ask what else is to be done to bring you closer to getting to the promised land, aka the Celestial Kingdom. There's a great talk by Elder Carlos A. Godoy from
the Oct. 2014 General Conference called "The Lord Has a Plan for Us!“  It's super great and talks about this!  There is a lot more, but my favorite chapter is chapter 6: Crossing the Great waters to the promised land. First off, the people had light CONTINUALLY throughout their journey to the promised land, no matter how deep they were buried under the water. No matter how dark our life may seem, the light is ALWAYS there. "Choose to Believe" Elder L. Whitney Clayton April 2015 Women's General session. There's a great story of a little girl in a plane crash whose parents died. She could have sat and waited but she got up and moved and saw a tiny light in the far distance and made her way towards it. No matter what, the light was always there. Sometimes she couldn't see it, but sure as anything it was there. Sometimes we don't see God's light or hand, but it is always there. In vs. 8 it talks about how the wind God created never did cease to blow them toward the promised land. When we are in God's hands, when we put ourselves there because we must choose to do it by choosing to follow His will for us, he will ALWAYS guide us toward the right and life eternal. There will be waves of life that crash upon us, that scare us, that make us think we'll never rise to
the surface. But cry unto God, like this people, and you will always be lifted up. Life wasn't meant to be easy, the journey is long and requires a LOT of faith. But you will get there if you are letting yourself be guided by God. But don't just cry unto Him in the dark, scary moments, but at all times. The good, the bad, and all the in betweens. And I promise you you will reach the Celestial Kingdom and God will say unto you "Well done, thou good and faithful servant.“  Okay, this is getting way long and kind of preachy, but I invite you to read chapters 1-6 in Ether and those talks!  I love you all SO much, thank you for everything! You're the best!
Vi voglio bene! Tanti baci!
La Sorella Hawks :)