Monday, April 28, 2014

Three countries- Two Companions- One Month- Zero Complaints

Hey Family and Friends! 
It seems that the Lord is making some great preparations for this country and is also preparing His missionaries as well. These past two weeks have been rough but they have been great learning experiences as well. I think that rejection hollows out the heart leaving more room to love. We literally had one day of entire rejection from our most progressing investigators. We have not had much success in the usual respect, but rather have been forced to try new things and have been given hidden success (i.e. success that isn't measured by numbers and statistics). We have been able to talk to many people and invite many more! I learned a lot of things that I was not expecting. We had a really great conversation with a man from Chicago who felt led to come to Kosovo but didn't know why. I believe it was so that we could find him and such that he could find the church. As for our other little family we found last week, they have been busy and we have not met them again but we are never going to give up. We gave them a Book of Mormon stories book with pictures for there little children to read and hope we can go and watch the Restoration video soon. 
I also want to report that we had a great exchange in Macedonia with the sisters there! It was sad to see the Anderson's leave and I could feel the great love that is in that branch. I sense that the Lord has great things planned for that country! Being there was like walking into the real Europe I always imagined and I actually saw the church of Mother Teresa! It was great! The sisters are doing great and I enjoyed sharing with them new ideas to find more people and reach a bigger audience. It was great. I never thought I would serve in all of the countries of my mission but it happened.
I also wanted to share my testimony of the miraculous power of the Lord in teaching me. Before serving as a missionary I never understood my need to completely rely on the Spirit and the need to delve into the scriptures to find personal spiritual truths. I understand now the need all of us have to learn to literally feat upon the words of Christ. May you all do so as well!! 
Have a great week! 
Motra Hawkins

Monday, April 21, 2014

Happy Easter!

Hey Everyone! 
I have sincerely loved the few short weeks that we have had here in Kosovo. The members are wonderful and our Senior Couple the Jones are amazing! It is going to be hard not having them here in a little while. Everyone looks to Sister Jones because of her love and Elder Jones for his leadership. It will leave a lot of room for growth here. 
This past week was amazing! We had great fun inviting everyone to come and celebrate Easter with us, even if none of them actually came.We spent the better part of everyday this week trackting and street contacting because no one wanted to meet because it has been raining and snowing. In the history of Kosovo for the last 100 years it has never rained or snowed for a week so it has been really crazy. It forced us to do new thing and consequently we found some really prepared people. We really saw the hand of the Lord in knowing who to call from our Area Book and really had some great success with that. The best part of the week was being led to a family who are really faithful and desire to learn more. The father was actually given a copy of the Book of Mormon by one of his friends from work (we are still trying to figure out who that could have been) and really enjoyed it. It was quite a surprise for us when he pulled out the book from his bookcase. My mouth about fell on the floor because no one here has even heard of the church let alone been given a Book of Mormon. Its humbling when you realize who's work you are doing. 
Things are still going well and we are striving our best to invite thousands and begin to help them prepare for baptism! 
Motra Hawkins 

P.S. Today we went and saw another waterfall and old Catholic church. Can you say amazing??

Monday, April 14, 2014

Waterfalls, Witches and Watches

Hey Everyone!!
So I think I have died and gone to missionary heaven. Yep. I couldn't ask for anything better. The Lord is working so hard through the missionaries and it is shown through the members. Last week the first branch was organized in Macedonia and just last night the second branch in Kosovo was organized in Gjakova. It is amazing to see the growth. We were blessed with 12 new investigators, almost half of which have already accepted a baptismal invitation! Now comes the fun/hard part of teaching them how they need to change their lives.
This week we worked really hard to find and teach and had much success. I have so many good stories but not nearly enough time. My favorite comes from an awesome street contacting we had.
There was a man on the ground begging for money and playing his clarinet. Since I have always loved music I had the thought to go and talk to him. Ten minutes later he had told us his conversion story and agreed to come to church the next day. He used to do drugs a lot and lived in Albania. He actually talked to my companion once before when they were both in a city called Durres. He received a Libri i Mormonit, but lost his bag. When his life was in the lowest of lows, much like Valjean from Les Mis, he went to a Catholic church and was taken in by the loving priest there. He was accepted like one of his children and given a new life. Now his philosophy is that it is better to beg than to steal. He has such a strong belief in God and Christ and by just looking at him you would never guess. He came to church yesterday and had a great experience!! I am excited to see what more will happen.
The Lord is beginning to gather His lost sheep up here and I am so grateful to be a part of it!!
Motra Hawkins
P.S. Today we went to see some waterfalls. And yep I totally went behind the waterfall (and I found a magic faden!)

Here is the video with people from Kati's Stake:

And Pictures:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Happy Birthday!!

Good Morning ! I am delivering a birthday message for Sister Hawkin's sister ( I think).

"Happy Birthday from Motra Aunt Tate !"

And can I add how much we LOVE, love, love Sister Hawkins ...She is  more than wonderful !!  We have been looking forward to sisters  coming back for 6 months....they are fabulous!!!

She is so good in every way.... I am so blessed to have her here.....thank you for your sacrifice and your love, prayers and support....

I am in tears at their goodness and all that they is so great to have sisters here with me...I am up here kind of in the North away from the rest of the couples !!   They have helped me so much...I pray daily that they can realize how valuable they are and their great worth...

AND  They are SO  safe need to worry !!!  We love the people here and love being missionaries !

  Our time is up in May ( so sad)..We live in Logan  nice to know we are close...if ever we can do anything...

So much love,

Sister Jones

Monday, April 7, 2014

Welcome to Kosovo!

Hello Everyone! 
I must start by saying how very grateful I am to be here in Kosovo. Upon entering and talking with the senior couple presiding here, Elder and Sister Jones, I understand how greatly we are needed here and how hard it has been without Sisters serving here for the last few months. I thought it would be scary coming after the attack but we have had no problems. We are completely safe and are having much success. We have had a lot of luck calling up random numbers in the phone and meeting with them. We are trying to not only work harder but also work smarter. So far we are having much success. Our first night we sat down together and read from Alma 26 about Ammon and his missionary work. After reading, we made a plan and goals for our transfer. Our main goal for this transfer is to invitethousands to learn of Christ and baptize many just like Ammon did! We wanted to make a goal of baptizing hundreds but we thought that would be a bit difficult, but not impossible.  
We are beginning to understand that many here do not know Christ and never have any intentions of doing so. We had a refferal from a different city come and meet us with her best friend. We taught her a bit about the Book of Mormom which she readily took and then when we mentioned that we wanted to go to the church she refused. The idea of even walking by the church was impossible in her mind. Another thing that is different than Albania is the fact that people here when they say that they are Muslim, they actually practice their faith and religiously pray and cleanse themselves. It has been interesting talking to people and learning more about Islam. It is not all that different from us than I always imagined. The biggest difference is that they cannot believe in Christ and believe that simply asking God for forgiveness satisfies the demands of justice. We are doing our best to teach all that Christ is an essential part of the Gospel and Plan of Salvation. 
We are trying to do our best to follow Ammon's example and invite all to come unto Christ. We have seen progress and are trying to think of ways to reach a larger number of people. Today for our activity, we went to the place where Elder Nelson dedicated the land of Kosovo for the preaching of the gospel. Below I included a picture of the grove where it took place. After we read the prayer, we offered our own as a district and felt the power of the Lord in this area. The Lord is truly preparing this people for the Gospel. I feel in not too many years away there will be a stake here. We are really excited to see what the Lord has planned for this people in the near future!! 
Motra Hawkins