Bula Vinaka,

The mission is certainly interesting.  I can honestly say there is never a boring day here.

The weather here has been wild.  We had a cyclone warning all last week, but it’s only a category one.  I don’t think it’s going to hit us, but I’ve heard it’s going for Vanuatu.  We just got lots of rain and wind for four days.  The river is filled to the brim, and the footpaths look like chocolate pudding.  The ward activities this weekend were cancelled, but we still went out proselyting.

It sounds like I am going to be playing the piano for Stake Conference.  They’ve already told me, and they’re picking the music now.

The Suva Temple re-dedication is going to be a great experience.  I’ve just got two months or so to enjoy before it rolls around.  Then nine months to enjoy after that.

The work is still going here in Nausori.  As a missionary, I’ve got a burning desire to find people and teach them what they need to know to return to our Heavenly Father.  As a person, all the little social interactions get a bit muddled due to language and culture barriers, but it is getting easier for me to recognize what they value.  My purpose as a missionary is always tugging at the edges of my mind, directing me back to the Gospel, so there’s usually some disconnect when people realize that I’m not there just to make friends.  A lot of the mission here seems to be just making personal growth.  I’m getting a lot of the “love and charity” course partnered with a good dosage of “patience and gratitude 101”.  I’m more grateful that I’ve ever been for every opportunity I’ve had in my life, and I’m more willing than I’ve ever been to share everything and love everyone.

Obedience is something that I’ve had, but I’ve seen more blessings from it on the mission than anywhere else.  I’ve seen the consequences of disobedience.  I can testify that disobedience is a bad deal all around.  It distracts from the work, it drives the Spirit away, it changes missionary work from a consecrated service into a vacation funded by family funds and hard-earned tithing money.  I don’t understand the appeal of disobedience on the mission.  It’s like wearing the Lord’s jersey and playing for the adversary’s team.  The benefits of obedience are countless because it brings the Spirit, and the Spirit is what makes the mission the “best two years” (or eighteen months).  The work is hard, and that’s why we can’t do it alone.  We need the Lord’s help, given according to our obedience and dedication.

I love you and miss you very much.  Know that I am doing my best.  Know that the work is hard, but it is worth it.  I have faith that things will work out.  I think Fiji is just getting started with the work, so I’ll keep doing a bit of trail-blazing.  Keep me in your prayer, you’re in mine.

To her grandparents:  I’m grateful for the many things you’ve taught me, and I’m grateful for how much you love me and my family.  You and my family are my favorite people on this whole earth.

Love and miss you very much,

Sister Hawkins


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