Monday, December 16, 2013

Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland...

Hey Family!!

There may be no falling snow here but the blessing have been pouring down to make up for the lack of snow. As the year is coming to a close, it is amazing to me to reflect back on this year and think about all of the miracles happening around the mission and district. It is hard for me to believe that a year has almost gone past. It seems it was just yesterday that I got out of the car at the MTC and said good-bye to Mom and Dad. Now I am here in Durres inviting everyone to be baptized!! I realize that my time as a missionary is slowly slipping away and my time is waning, but I am so excited to see what the next couple of months will hold! As the Lord is hastening His work here in the Adriatic South Mission, I am so grateful that I have the chance to participate in this marvelous work. Every week has it's ups and downs and some weeks are a lot harder than others but there are always miracles and the work presses on. I can hardly wait for March (if all goes as planned) when there will be a Stake established here. And that is when the work will really begin to blast forward!! It is going to take a lot of work and a lot of willing hands and I pray that I may always be on the front-line fighting the battle!
This past week was amazing because Ndue Pjetri was able to be baptized! It was an amazing baptismal service and it was great to see him with his cute little family. It has always been a goal of mine to complete a family with a father baptism and how wonderful it was to see that goal come to life! As Motra Smith and I were thinking about it, we realized that every baptism that we have had this transfer has been a bit of a surprise. We have found many investigators and all have been progressing towards baptism but something has come up and all are now gone for one reason or another. It is really hard for me to see so many people prepare for baptism and then other distractions or problems have gotten in the way ( I can think of at least seven people off the top of my mind).
But the miracle is that those who are prepared have been put in our path and this is where the true miracles lie. My first transfer here, I was able to be in the home of a member who received her mission call. She is now serving in the Leads, England Mission and we have been teaching her mother. Many times we have invited her to be baptized, but every time she has said no because she was already baptized in the Evangelical church. But, this week the atmosphere in their home was different. They have started to read their scriptures together, they pray as a family, they have family home evening and best of all, the Lord has softened her heart and she has finally accepted the invitation to follow the Savior's example and be baptized! We will not be here (most likely) but I know it will be a wonderful day for her. She already knows everything and for the first time came to church yesterday!! It was such a great miracle in juxtaposition with the not so good week that we experienced. The moral of the story is that you must have patience with those who do not know how to use their agency and encourage those who do not know how to use it.
Love you all and I can hardly wait to see you all soon!!
Talk to you next week!! 

Motra Hawkins

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