Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Joyeux Noel!!

We did the classic abbey road picture going to the temple.... 
we're going to work on getting a better, more organized picture. 
Kind of awkward when people started taking pictures of us 
who weren't from our Branch/Zone!


What a crazy day so far! 

So, our Christmas/P-day extravaganza so far today has been pretty crazy. We tried to do our laundry today at 6:00 AM like we usually do so we avoid the lines. IT WAS JAMMED PACKED! People had been waking up at 4:30 to do their laundry. We just decided to see if we could do it during our free time today because there was no way we were waiting in that mess. Which is where I'm at right now! We decided to do our laundry rather than the Temple walk because everyone who has a P-day on Tuesday was pretty much told they have to make do with what they've got. Good thing I did too! I ended up being able to get one of the computers down here in the laundry room that doesn't have a timer on it and one that we can send pictures on! Since nobody gets to call home, they let every missionary have 20 mins to send an email. Which is great for everyone else, except for those who have P-Day today (since we get shorted 10 minutes). I didn't get many (or any) Christmas pictures however... but pictures are pictures nonetheless! 

So we got to hear some pretty cool things over the past few days. Last night, we had a Nativity fireside (a mix of recounting the Christmas story, singing Christmas songs, special musical numbers and so on). It was really cool and made you think about how humble the Lord's birth really was. Then we watched "A Christmas Carol" (it was kinda weird, from the 60s or 70s) but it was really good! Tonight we get to watch "It's a Wonderful Life"! At least that's one Christmas tradition I get to keep today. 

Today we had a very spiritual devotional. Elder Russell M. Nelson came and spoke to us. I was pretty excited because his Mormon Message (cue the FRO! Embed it!) on how Men's Hearts Will Fail Them. He talked a lot about how we should be enjoying missionary work as the field will be growing so much... they keep calling us the trainers to the new generation of younger missionaries. Thus, we have a big responsibility to show all this new, younger missionaries how do be great missionaries. Hmmm... where have I heard that before... being an example to the younger ones? 

Speaking of younger missionaries, I read about Abe Muldowny (sorry about the spelling!) being in the MTC last Wednesday and was trying to keep an eye out for him. The next day, I was in the bathroom (sorry, I can only recount the truth!) when I heard somebody's voice who sounded very much like him... so I come out of the bathroom, and lo and behold, it was ABE! AHHHH!!!! We were so excited!! Turns out his classroom is on the same floor as mine and he has a very similar schedule to mine, so we see each other at dinner and during gym a lot. We haven't been able to get a picture together yet, but I will definitely do that because VF2 needs to be represented! We talked a lot about being how the old ward was doing, what we had been doing since I moved, etc. etc. Anyway, what are the chances of that happening?! Mongolian and French on the same floor. Crazy stuff, isn't it?

Thanks for all the cool Christmas gifts. I love the pillow! It's pretty heavy but everyone is pretty jealous of it. The watch is pretty cool (the manual is huge and I have no idea how to use most of the functions). The hugeness and toughness of it definitely reeks Africa! And the shirts were... nice... haha just opening five of the same thing is always exciting! But, really it was very nice. And the head shaver thing looks pretty cool... not sure how my hair is going to turn out when I do it myself however... And thanks for all the treats too! We've found that everyone has gotten so much food here, from their parents and friends, that we're forcing people to take our candy and baked goods! So much food! 

We're pretty sure Elder Adam's has narcolepsy because he falls asleep all the time! 
He even admits he has no idea how it happens. Maybe it's a food coma?

The cards were really sweet too! Everyone got like one or two cards, and I had six so my whole district was shooting daggers at me! They were pretty jealous that I got one from Pixie too! Speaking of which, I'll be needing Jon's address to reply back to him. 

Anyway, things at the MTC are going great. Don't have a whole lot of time left (3 weeks or so)... the malaria pills aren't too bad that we got... they'll only burn our esophogus if we don't swallow them correctly so nbd, you know what I'm fro-in? 

So, I just wanted to leave a quick spiritual thought before I get going. We were reading in 1 Nephi about when Nephi sees the vision of Christ's birth and the angel tells him, "Knowest though the Condescension of God?" (Fro, If you could correct that spelling for me, that would be great!). And I've been thinking a lot about that. Christ, a God above all but the Father, came down to have a birth of the most humble means. He was the God that parted the Seas for Moses, allowed the Israelites to cross the Red Sea, and performed so many different miracles in the Old Testament. And this King, came down to be born as a baby in a manger. Not a hospital, not a warm home, not even a warm room... And this was for a being who would perform the most miraculous and most amazing act ever done in the history of the galaxies, the Atonement.

I invite everyone to think about Christ's purpose here on Earth, as that is the gift above all other gifts. Even though we might only think of Easter as being the day of remembering the Atonement, Christmas is the start of Christ's infinite gift to mankind. 

I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year. I love you all and miss you with all my heart. Thank you for the many letters and the kind gifts I've gotten the past few days. I appreciate the support that I've gotten and even though this is my first Christmas away from my family, it is one I'll remember forever.

With Love,

Elder Hawkins

P.S. I hope Christine is doing well! I've been keeping her in my prayers over the past few weeks since I found out. Hoping for a quick recovery!

Oh and a hipster pic of my scriptures for Sienna. Instagram!

Note from the FRO: It was tough not getting a call from our Elder today, but were VERY happy to still get an email!  We are SO excited he gets to see Abe Muldowney whom he grew up with in the Valley Forge 2nd ward before we moved.  They haven't seen each other in a few years, so amazing that they end up on the same floor at the MTC! In reference to the Christmas card from Pixie, our good friend (ok, really, he's part of the family) Jon, wrote him a special card in the voice of Pixie the dog.  And I love that I get personal instructions on embedding videos and correcting spelling!  Oh so Trev.  We also got a handwritten letter in the mail from him on Christmas Eve. He admitted there are a few things he misses this time of year, like the sing-a-long Messiah, "That's one tradition I didn't really think I would miss until I got here." and "All the decorations Fro puts up every year.  I only have the stuff Sienna sent to me, which to be honest is more that enough for me, but doesn't quite compare to the Fro-dazzle!"  He makes me laugh!  But he also said, "I've been so blessed while I've been here at the MTC.  I feel like my testimony in Christ has grown 100x since I got here, which seems crazy since I thought I already had a really strong testimony of Christ before coming. I'm so grateful for this opportunity!" That's my boy.  We love you Trev! Merry Christmas.

Sienna, Pixie, Adele, Keegan....
missing their brother on Christmas morning

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