Monday, April 6, 2015

April 6, 2015

Hey everyone,

     I hope this email finds all of you doing well and pushing forward!! I am thriving in Oklahoma with my companion, Elder Durrant. I am finally beginning to adjust to missionary life a little more fully haha! We had a pretty full week and found a lot of success and a lot of room for improvement. I can't even remember all of the things that happened this week, there are so many experiences and moments that tear by faster than I can rememer them. Owasso is a beautiful and fairly wealthy city. The people here are generally really nice and sociable! Some of the neighborhoods are sooo pretty, with huge green lawns and big brick homes with little baby steeples on top that almost make them look like castles. I need to remember to take more pictures. The members of the wards are really kind, and love to feed us, and yes I am super fat so get over it. Haha. Last night we had just a massive Easter feast at the Wilcox home and I very nearly had to crawl to the car. And they gave us an unholy amount of food to take home. AND they gave us Easter baskets. Yes, the Easter bunny is real kids. We also had another part-member family we taught after dinner give us Easter baskets too! So much candy. So little exercise. The people are really taking care of us. Friday we had a zone training meeting in Bartlesville just 30 minutes north. It was neat, and they shared good ideas for increasing our finding, especially with this new initiative of #becausehelives. If you haven't already, (which probably isn't likely because the video is everywhere) watch it! And more importantly, SHARE it! That's what it is for! Sharing it on social media is great and easy and should be the first step, but take a minute to talk to somebody about it! If they haven't seen it, show it! It's the greatest message we can be giving to people, at any stage in their lives. Be courageous and bold. Anyway after the training meeting we got some burgers at Braum's. Our awesome, retired, 76 year old ward mission leader Brother Barham drove us up to the meeting that day, and we had a little adventure on the way back. I will quote my companion's email because I couldn't say it better myself:

     "On the way back both I and Brother Barham missed seeing the exit so we went all the way to Tulsa on accident! In turning around we headed on and interchange and came curving down back onto the highway and I saw a block. We were going right at it! My 76 year old pilot obviously hadn't seen it. Right before hand I said, "Hey watch out for that box.." (THA-WHOOMP CLUNK CLUNK BANG SMASH!) I thought the poor Prius had it's batteries ripped out as we cruised over the 8x8 one foot post. I could felt the thing slam under my feet... It was not good. Elder Hakes confirmed that we had NO battery juice leakage. It was fun."
     Poor Brother Barham dented his pretty Prius. But no harm to the passengers on board, so it's all good.
     Conference/Easter weekend was pretty awesome, we ended up watching the sessions at several different investigators homes which was perfect. The last session we were at Bishop Nielson's, who lo and behold has a booming home theater and kingly armchairs. I only dozed for a couple of minutes in that session so I consider that to be a shining victory considering the comfy circumstances. The talks given were incredible though, per usual, and as I did all I could to seek after the spirit and find answers I was blessed in a big way! The counsel given was so important, and I walked away with new goals for myself that will improve my discipleship and lead to greater happiness.
     My testimony and strength in the Savior still continues to grow. Elder Holland's talk on the Atonement was amazing, as was Elder Uchtdorf's on grace. I heard so many things that I needed to hear from them. Let us all remember our Savior at all times, and in all places, becuase He will stand ready to help us at all times and in all places. It is never too late to seek His forgiveness and be cleansed through His power. The Book of Mormon stands as a witness of Christ, contains the fulness of His doctrine, and provides the foundation for all of our testimonies. It is central to our spiritual survival. If you are not studying it daily, repent. Enduring to the end has been a central theme that I noticed as well. Read 2 Nephi 32, its so important. We must excercise our faith in Christ and repent every day of our lives! Doing so will bring greater blessings than we can imagine.
     Love ya'll! (surprisingly I haven't heard that as much as I would have thought. Maybe it's becuase we're in an educated area ;) ) The southern accent is all around though. It may begin to rub off on me. Until next week! Be good.
Elder Hakes

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