Wednesday, December 16, 2015

"We're basically giraffes. We're tall, we're skinny, we eat leaves..." - Elder Belnap

As a random sidenote, my companion is about 6' 4". Whenever he says
his height I always follow it up with the rest of the song: "And full
of muscle. I said do you speak my language? And he just smiled and
gave me a Vegemite sandwich." Unfortunately, he hasn't heard the song
before. Nor does he come from the Land Down Under. Yes, shake your
heads and moan at my attempted humor.

This week, we...
- Drive on I-15 (that's seriously the most exciting thing that
happened on Wednesday)
- Help with a move
- Give Elder Hawkes's Bible to a guy who's convinced we're Protestants
- Move a couch for Suhaila
- Have the Ward Christmas Party
- Listen to محمد (Muhammad) bear his testimony during Elder's Quorum
- Talk with a guy that doesn't even believe in what he believes
- Finally get in contact with Morad!
- Get an email from Basim that I can't understand!

On Wednesday we did exchanges. Elder Jensen came to Arabic North with
me and we went up to Poway and Penasquitos to go contact some
potentials. None of the potentials we went to see were home, which was
sad. But we left a bunch of cards so if they're interested they'll
call us. We had lunch at Panera (thanks for the gift card, Mom and
Dad!) and went on our way.

The nice thing about San Diego is that everything is connected to one
or two main freeways. All we need to do to get from San Diego to El
Cajon, for example, is just take I-8 east. In order to get home, we
take I-8 and CA-67 up to Santee. We wound up driving on I-15 to get to
I-8. Elder Jensen is from Cedar Hills, UT, and so both of us found
driving on I-15 very interesting. There's isn't really a large
difference between I-15 in San Diego and I-15 in Utah. Lots of
hills... people not knowing how to merge... pointless road
construction... more California license plates, though. We rushed to
our dinner appointment, then rushed over to Bro. Seba's to go over the
Word of Wisdom with Morad, and... Morad didn't show up. :( He wasn't
answering his phone either. We were kind of disappointed.

On Thursday we exchanged back after helping a lady in a retirement
center move. We expected to be there for an hour and it turned into
three or four. We got everything packed up in the U-haul truck nicely
but then they needed to get a trailer to fit everything else, so we
wound up having a miniature lunch consisting of cookies and other
snacks while they were retrieving that. Nothing much happened on
Thursday - weekly planning, visiting potentials that weren't home...

On Friday we were out contacting potentials and referrals and we ran
into a guy who was very much Catholic. And he took the time to point
that out to us. Occasionally we run into people that are very
committed to the Catholic Church and are convinced that if the Pope
doesn't say it's good, it's automatically evil. This man was convinced
we were Protestant preachers. He was telling us that he knew
everything about our church and how we were a split-off of the
Catholics. He also said he had read the Book of Mormon, even though he
had no idea what it was, what our church was, etc. Halfway through the
conversation that wasn't really getting anywhere (it did include him
claiming Jesus was a Chaldean) he asked if we had a Bible. I wasn't
entirely sure where he was going with that so I pulled out mine. He
thumbed through it and said, "Can you get me one like this? I've read
the Bible a dozen times in English and Arabic and I have Protestant
Bibles but I want this Bible!" After a brief exchange I wound up just
letting him keep it. That's the second Bible I've gotten on my mission
that I've subsequently given out to someone who isn't interested. I
wonder if he has a Bible collection or something.

On Saturday we helped Suhaila's home teacher get a couch for her. She
was about to order a couch that would have cost her $2,000 she didn't
have. Her visiting teacher mentioned that one of her families had a
couch they were looking to get rid of and he jumped on the
opportunity. We went over to the house of a less-active member to pick
the couch up. It was difficult getting it out of the house (we wound
up having to remove the legs of the couch and the door to the room it
was in), but it was a breeze getting it into her apartment. It fit
perfectly in there! I managed to take a picture, which I'll include in
this email.

Also on Saturday we had the Ward Christmas Party! محمد wasn't able to
make it, but his wife and kids (who are currently investigating the
church) were. They were really involved in the set-up and food
preparation and had a really fun time. We invited Morad, but he didn't
come. It was still a worthwhile activity because we got to meet some
less-actives in the ward that had been invited.

On Sunday Morad didn't come to church. We called him and called him
and he wouldn't answer. محمد came, though, and stayed for Elder's
Quorum! He shared his testimony (in Arabic) and it was really moving.
He said, "People in my complex were telling me not to have the
missionaries over because they weren't Christians. Some even told me
they were Satan worshippers. But my neighbor [who is a member of the
church] kept telling me to let them come over. I still have neighbors
who talk to me about my decision. A neighbor handed me a CD the other
day and said, 'Watch this and you'll never want to go to that church
ever again!' I didn't watch it, and I don't care. I can't deny the
good feeling I have when I come and I can't deny the peace I feel when
I'm here." There was hardly a dry eye in the room by the end of it.
Even though we don't have as many recent converts as other areas in
the mission, the ones we do have like محمد have amazing faith. It gave
me hope, especially since this past week we weren't able to add anyone
as an investigator or even have any lessons other than the one with
Morad last Monday.

Yesterday we stopped by Morad's in the evening and he wasn't home. We
were pretty sad because we felt like if he didn't answer we were going
to have to drop him, and he was our only investigator. We went to
contact some other people and figured we'd circle back to him later.
We met with a former investigator named Malik, a Mandaean (John the
Baptist follower. No one joins their religion, they're born into it).
We were asking some questions to get an understanding of his beliefs,
and he told us, "I don't believe in God. I don't believe in Jesus. I
don't believe in the Mandaean religion."


He told us that he was only doing it because he'd been raised to be a
Mandaean and he said, "You can't change when you're 75." We kept
talking with him to see if there was anything we could do to help him
out, but he just didn't want it. He didn't want to pray about it, or
read the Restoration pamphlet, or do anything. He told us, "I can't
change. I don't believe in this religion. But I'm in it because I was
raised that way and it's no worse than being a Christian or a Muslim."
I honestly think his philosophy of "I don't believe this. I'm only in
it because I was taught that way and I don't think I can change" is a
sentiment shared by a lot of people in the Iraqi community, no matter
what religion they're in. The amount of apathy from some people is
almost shocking to me.

Anyway, we got in touch with Morad last night! He forgot to pay his
phone bill, so they cut off his service. We talked about keeping the
Sabbath Day holy a little bit, asking him why church was important to
him. He told us, "Because I go to pray, it's the house of the Lord,
and I take the sacrament." We then asked him, "Why is the sacrament
important?" And that was the question that got the wheels turning
more. We shared the sacrament prayer from Moroni 4 and talked about
the importance of partaking of it weekly. By the end of it he was
committed to change. Elder Belnap felt inspired to start a new plan
with Morad:
This week, we're going to help him remember and understand what we've
taught him in the past by re-sharing the lessons and having daily
Next week, we're going to help him quit smoking.

And today, as I got to the library, I noticed we had received an email
from Basim. I couldn't understand everything, but if I read it
correctly he asked for more information about the Book of Mormon,
Joseph Smith, and the history of the church. It was a miracle! We're
going to definitely be emailing him some more and getting something
set up.

That's it for this week! Thank you all for your prayers and fasting on
behalf of us and our investigators. Thank you also for the mail you've
been sending. I love you all!

-- إلدر هاكْس
<Mail Attachment.txt>

"Do you have an iPad yet?" "No, not yet. I carry the Wi-fi in my heart." - Bro. Seba and Elder Belnap

Sent on Dec. 1, 2015

Normally I'd have something witty or interesting to say about the email title this week, but I don't, so let's get right to it!
This week, we...
- Forget about the fact that we have exchanges until the Zone Leaders call us
- Get lost in downtown San Diego, then proceed to get lost in La Mesa
- Meet a Chaldean who wants to pay tithing
- Have dinner with an older family in the ward and teach a lesson before dinner
- Go on exchanges with Elder Campbell
- Have second Thanksgiving dinner
- Check up on Morad, who quit smoking!... and then didn't.
- Interview an eight-year-old for baptism
- Find not-Arabic speakers in apartments where we were told there were Arabic speakers

First up, I don't know if it's the mission or if I got dropped on my head or what, but I've developed a poor memory when it comes to really important things. When we go to visit someone at their house I usually have to check my iPad three or four different times in a short interval because I've either forgotten the address, the name, the apartment number, or some combination of the three. Sometimes when I check my iPad to find out one of the above I forget the other one or two. This week, I learned that it applies to exchanges with the Zone Leaders also. We got a call on Wednesday morning from them saying, "So, about exchanges today... Elder Godby is going to be with you and Elder Belnap for the day while Elder Egnew and Elder Jones stay in Fuerte." 

This was about 7:30 in the morning. We exchange at 8:30. So that was an interesting start to the morning! It also didn't help that they closed down a section of the freeway for the morning, forcing us to take the really long way to get to where we needed to go. But we got it all worked out, Elder Godby came with us, and we drove out to the mission office in downtown San Diego in order to get needs for our district (needs normally come with the mail, but there was some mix-up and we didn't get our needs). We figured while we were out there we could try some potentials and formers in the surrounding areas, so we went to work. On our way to the first former, Google Maps forgot what distances are and said that our turn was an immediate right, which it wasn't. We spent a good half-hour circling around trying to find this nonexistent turn when we finally ran into two missionaries biking in the area. We asked them where it was and they pointed us in the right direction - right down the street from where we were circling! We finally found the address, got to the door, and no one was home. So we left a card with our name and number on it and figured they'd call us if they were interested. 

After that we had an almost exact repeat of earlier in our attempt to find a potential investigator in La Mesa. Google Maps didn't understand this time what directions were and started leading us to our apartment in Santee. After Elder Godby and Elder Belnap worked it out on a different map, we went to the house... and no one was home! Again, we left a card and figured they'd call us back. At that point we figured it was best to head back to El Cajon where we knew the streets and could figure out where we were without the use of maps.

We parked on a street and prayed that we'd be led to someone who was willing to hear our message. Right before we went back to the car, we decided to knock on one last door. A man named Basaam opened and after a brief explanation of what we were about he said we could come in for a little bit. We didn't have a whole lot of time but we sat down, started with a prayer, and got a feel for his religious background. He's Catholic, but he's always felt that he needs to pay tithing to God. He told us, "I've always felt that I need to pay 10% to the Lord - العشور (Al-Ashur, "tithing"). I've got about $130 from previous paychecks and I'm wondering where I could pay it. Could I come to your church and pay it?" 

After I picked my mouth up off of the floor, we explained that we believe in the principle of tithing and he's welcome to come to church but he's under no obligation to pay anything because there isn't a collection plate passed around or anything like that. We also talked a little bit about our belief in Jesus and how our message was centered in him. He said we could come back Friday at 8:30. He wasn't home on Friday, but his wife said to try on Wednesday when he is home. 

Thursday wasn't any special day or anything. Just, you know, عيد التركي (Aid Al-Turkey, what Arabic speakers call Thanksgiving here). We had a dinner with an older family in the ward, the Mahaffey's. Sis. Mahaffey had her non-member brother come in from Arizona and she described him as "very anti-religion." So from the start we figured it was going to be an interesting lesson! It started out with Bro. Mahaffey, the non-member who I'll call Greg, and two other older members of the ward talking politics. I've learned to not talk during those conversations, regardless of whether I agree or not. Suffice it to say I now know their individual stances on gun control, Islam, and the House of Representatives. After that fun little conversation, they turned it over to us. We asked Greg some questions about his familiarity with religion; he told us that he's not really familiar with religion aside from what he sees الدعش (Al-Da'ash, the Arabic abbreviation for ISIS/ISIL/What have you) and from history textbooks. He told us he wasn't really into religion at all. While we were talking, I prayed silently that the Lord would show me and Elder Belnap where to go with this because I personally had no idea. As we started the lesson, the words came to me in the form of "I should say this next" and similar thoughts. It was an awesome lesson and we were able to actually use the earlier discussion about الدعش and current events to reinforce some of the things we were talking about. At the end we gave him the Book of Mormon and he said, "I'm definitely going to read this." We invited him to pray about it and he said, "Sure. I don't see the harm in doing it at least." I was grateful to see the words come to me and to Elder Belnap as we prayed for direction. Dinner was good and there was a distinct lack of political conversation. Just another tender mercy from the Lord. :)

Sidenote before I go into the next bit: As district leader, I have to go on exchanges at least once a transfer with every missionary in the district (aside from the sister missionaries, of course). It turns out that this transfer is a short transfer so that the people going home in December don't go home two days before Christmas. So for the last three weeks of the transfer (last week, this week, and next week) we have the privilege of doing back-to-back exchanges. I started it off by going on exchanges with Elder Campbell. He's a Linguistics minor who grew up in Washington, D.C. and wants to work for the State Department. It was almost frightening how similar we were. He ran me through what's going on with the Presidential Election in five minutes and I understood 90% of what he was talking about. Thankfully our conversations were not political in nature. Yet another tender mercy from the Lord. District meeting went well, there isn't much to talk about with the exchange. We didn't have any lessons, and we only met one or two people, but at least we didn't drop anyone! 

Saturday we exchanged back, did language study with our ward mission leader... Not much happened until the evening. We went to visit Morad on Wednesday and he told us he'd quit smoking and he was going around telling people all day that he'd quit. We were really happy for him and started going through the baptismal interview questions in order to get him prepared. Well, on Saturday we went back and it turns out he bought another pack. :( We told him that when he came to church on Sunday we'd go over a program with him that would help him quit (he didn't come to church on Sunday, so we're doing it tomorrow with him). We felt like we should just keep moving forward and so we taught him the Law of Tithing. It went a lot better than the last time we taught it, in part because we brought a member who has an amazing testimony of the blessings of paying tithing. He agreed to live the Law of Tithing and continue to prepare for baptism. We honestly weren't very shocked at the fact that he relapsed; he's been smoking since he was a young kid and it's a difficult habit to break. We told him to keep working on it and not give up just because he went back to them this time!

On Sunday we were going to go to Jamul to interview an eight-year-old the Sisters have been teaching, but it didn't work out so we rescheduled for Monday. It was honestly one of the hardest interviews I've ever had. I had to rephrase the questions a lot for her and it wasn't the easiest thing to do. She passed the interview (the Sisters did need to do some follow-up on one or two principles but they got those taken care of) and she's going to be baptized this Saturday. It's really cool to see who the Lord is preparing!

Last night we had a lesson with Morad that wasn't very noteworthy (plot twist: He agreed to follow the law like he already has been!), but afterward we went to contact some other potentials. We went to one door and knocked on it and out walked a guy with long hair who definitely didn't speak Arabic. He talked to us about youth outreach and how he was wanting to be a good example to kids and help the community by showing kids and teens the right way to spend their time by offering free guitar lessons. He wasn't interested in hearing our message, but he was really cool! The next one we tried was referred to us from the same set of missionaries that referred the guitar-playing guy. We knocked on the door. No answer. We rang the doorbell. Out walks this guy with a very thick Texan accent. He told us, "You're looking for Arabic speakers? Well there aren't any in this apartment... but you must be looking for #96! They speak Arabic." So we thanked him for his time and went on our way because it was late and we needed to get home. And that's how we were 0 for 2 when it came to Arabic speakers!

That's it for this week (I'm 90% sure that I'll remember something really cool after this that I can't remember right now)! Thank you all for your prayers for me and my companion as well as for Morad! They are very much appreciated! Have a wonderful week! 
!الرب يبارككم
-- إلدر هاكْس

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

"It looks like some of the skin got damaged and I'm bleeding. It's okay, it was weak-sauce dermis anyway." - Elder Belnap, after getting his thumb stuck in a rolled-up window

Sent on Nov. 24, 2015
Each week the missionaries get pizza for
their district meeting. I wonder if they do this.

To be honest, the first sentence is a bit of a paraphrasing. But the second one is word-for-word.
In other news, I actually feel like writing a weekly email this week, so I'm going to write one and you're all going to enjoy it

This week, we...
- Have a mixed-up language day
- Teach a Jordanian whose neighbors invite themselves over just as
we're wrapping up
- Have a great lesson with Morad!
- Almost tract out an apartment complex
- Have another awesome lesson with Morad!
- Drive to Poway only to meet a person who isn't interested
- Have a not-so-great lesson with Morad
- Almost trip over ourselves when a guy says he's really interested

So first off, MTE's were this week. MTE's are essentially inter-zone exchanges. President gathers all the missionaries of two or three zones together, gives everyone some instruction, and then scrambles companionships for the day. I wound up with Elder Browne, a Spanish-speaking missionary, and stayed in Arabic North. That night we found more Spanish speakers than we normally do in a week. The entire night consisted of us essentially walking up to people who looked
either Mexican or Chaldean, and telling them, "I speak Arabic and he speaks Spanish. Which one do you speak?" Sometimes we'd speak to them in Spanish and they'd be Arabic speakers. Sometimes we'd speak to them in Spanish and they'd be Spanish speakers. We didn't talk to any Spanish speakers in Arabic, although I think that would have been
highly entertaining.

On Thursday we exchanged back and had a lesson with a Jordanian man named Samer. Elder Belnap and he were conversing really well because Elder Belnap studied in Jordan before he came out and my Jordanian dialect is at "I could probably fake it for a few minutes" level. We were doing well and the lesson was awesome. He said he'd be baptized
if he knew it was true and was willing to at least listen to what we had to say. As we were wrapping up (after the closing prayer and at the point of "When can we come back?") his Palestinian neighbors invited themselves over. He got a little flustered at that, I think, and so said, "You can come back whenever" and rushed inside to be with his guests. The neighbors were rather apathetic towards our invitation to learn more, but we'll see.

Onto Morad, Part I!

Part I consists of an awesome lesson. In Weekly Planning we had told each other and the Lord, "Morad needs to commit to a day to quit smoking and he needs morning reminders about church." In the lesson he repeated back to us almost exactly what we had talked about in Weekly Planning that afternoon. He said, "I want to quit smoking. I really want to." We committed him to stop by November 27th. Then he said, "I need to come to church... could you guys call me in the morning around 9:00 to remind me about church?" It was really awesome! He's progressed so much since we first starting teaching him!

On Thursday night I realized I hadn't done a lot of planning for district meeting. In a panic, I looked through my old plans to see what I hadn't talked about with regards to Chapter 9 of Preach My Gospel ("How Do I Find People to Teach?" I had told the district we'd go over that). Fortunately, there was a lot. I made sure it all flowed together nicely and set everything up and come Friday it went great. We were leaving and Elder Greer told us, "Hey we're going to hang behind for a minute. There was a guy who walked in here and he looked a little rough so we're going to see if he left." About 30 minutes later, they showed up to their apartment where we were studying. Turns out that the guy that wandered in was high on heroin and passed out on the front lawn due to an overdose. They wound up having to call paramedics who got his heart started back up and wheeled him away. Just a reminder to all of you: don't do heroin. I told the elders that they should have given him a pass-along card.

We had received a referral from a guy on the street who pointed to a complex and said, "There are five or six Iraqi families in there." So we were going to go tract it out on Friday when out walked a guy from his apartment. We talked with him and he said the other missionaries could visit him and that the Iraqi families were on the other side of the complex. So we went over there to check it out and one of the first doors we find has Iraqis.

Who are Muslim. Who aren't looking to convert to Christianity. Nice people, though! They pointed upstairs to an apartment and said, "You could try them." So we're going to go visit that apartment!

On Saturday we had Morad Part II wherein we had a good, albeit uneventful, lesson about obedience with him. He was down to one cigarette and he promised us "After this pack I'm done for good!" We told him we were going to hold him to it and follow-up. He came to church on Sunday after we reminded him about it. It was great to see him there.

On Sunday we wanted to go up to Poway to try some potentials we had there. Poway is towards the northern part of the mission and as we learned on Sunday it's a 20-minute drive from our apartment in Santee. We drove up there and after getting some semblance of an idea of where we were went to go visit people. The only person we were able to visit
due to time constraints told us he wasn't interested. He pointed us to a few doors we could try and actually knocked on one of them to get the residents to come out and meet us. They weren't interested. At the end of it all we went home feeling a little downhearted because we could have used our time much better.

Yesterday we spent most of the day walking around. At the end of the night we had Morad Part III.

Turns out that Morad went and bought a new pack yesterday. We brought a member of the Bishopric with us and he was on point. We talked with Morad about what he loved more: God or the cigarettes. He answered God. We then encouraged him to gather up all his smoking materials and throw them away. He wouldn't do it. We were pretty sad about it, but
we did the next best thing: Each of us signed his pack and told him, "Now that you've promised to quit, if you have another one you'll see these signatures and remember your promise." We still feel good about him. Could you please keep Morad in your prayers?

That's it for this week everyone! Thanks for your emails and prayers. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

-- Elder Hawkes

"Butter makes everything... buttery." - Elder Campbell

Elder Hawkes and Elder Belnap

Elder Campbell is one of the two new Arabic missionaries. He's minoring in Linguistics and he came in knowing no Arabic.

Also, my motivation is very much nonexistent right now, so this email won't be the same as other emails past or future. Pinky promise.

Welcome to my weekly email, wherein....
- Elder Hawkes gets a new companion!
- We get two investigators with a baptismal date!
- We drop a man who didn't fully realize what our message was about
until our second visit
- We have district meeting, and then Elder Hawkes does a baptismal interview
- We get some people to church
- Elder Hawkes realizes how much he needs to improve... well, pretty
much everything

Let me start off this email with a story.

Once upon a time Elder Hawkes didn't go by Elder Hawkes, he went by some sort of weird name that he doesn't use anymore. He also was a lot younger and inexperienced in Arabic. In an attempt to learn Arabic a little more, he went to Startalk Arabic 2010 and Startalk Arabic 2011. While there, he met a young man with the last name of Belnap. And he
and Belnap were roommates in 2010 and good friends and partners in 2011. We both kept in touch after the camp but never really interacted beyond that.

Flash forward to last Tuesday. Elder Hawkes, Elder Greer, and Elder Jensen receive a call saying that they're all training. And also would we mind hosting a new missionary for the night? He just got in and he needs a place to sleep, get him fed and show him the ropes, make sure he's at the Mormon Battalion at 8 A.M., etc. So we drive to the mission home and who does Elder Hawkes find but the now-Elder Belnap, the same one that had been his Startalk roommate!

At this point it is certain that Elder Belnap is the "Studied Arabic for five years" missionary that President told us about. The question remains, though, who will be training him? Elder Hawkes assumes that Elder Belnap will be with Elder Greer and Elder Jensen.

And then transfer meeting happens on Wednesday. I'll spare you the details of us getting lost on our way to the Mormon Battalion and all the other crazy things that happen that day. The moment of truth comes. "In El Cajon!" President announces from the pulpit. "In the Hillsdale Arabic Group. Elder Greer, please stand. Your new companion will be Elder Jensen, and together you will be training...

"Elder Campbell!"

And so that's the long way of saying that I'm training Elder Belnap in Arabic North. How many missionaries can say that they were roommates with their companion before the mission? I certainly can now!

To be honest, aside from transfers our week hasn't been that exciting. I've learned that I really need to work on planning, finding, and teaching. We had a training yesterday for all the missionaries who arrived from about May onward (which is actually over 50% of our mission) and since my trainee needed to be there, I had to be there. And I'm really glad I went because I know exactly how to improve my planning, finding, and teaching this week and in the coming weeks. I'm not going to get into specifics, but suffice it to say that I have been a very poor planner up until recently (read: yesterday).

Now, onto what happened this week! Again!

After getting transfers all situated (including getting lost trying to go to the grocery store and winding up having to shop right before we went home), we taught some people. As is prone to happen in missionary work. I think that this week I'll do a more person-by-person thing.

So first off, the two with a baptismal date. Their names are Nabil and Nazhat. We added them about two weeks ago (I think it was two weeks). We went back this week on Thursday and taught them the Restoration again to make sure they understood it. Elder Belnap invited them to be baptized and they accepted! We offered them a date for December 19th. At church on Sunday we taught them the Plan of Salvation and it was a really great lesson. They were asking questions about baptism that really showed their spiritual desire: "Can you get baptized when you're old?" "You can get baptized again?" It was an amazing lesson!

Morad: He's still doing okay. He's still struggling with the Word of Wisdom and won't make his current baptismal date. We taught him on Monday about the Holy Ghost and about church attendance, emphasizing that if he was baptized and received the Holy Ghost he would receive greater guidance in finding work, starting a family, etc. It was a really great lesson... and then he got sidetracked towards the end of the lesson. :( And we almost got him with a new baptismal date. We still feel like we need to keep him, so I'll let you know how it goes. He's going to get baptized before December, I know it!

Maryam and Frial: It hasn't quite clicked for them. We read the Book of Mormon with Maryam on Thursday (Frial wasn't there) and she didn't quite get it yet. We're going to be working with them this week to get them baptized before Christmas.

Amer: Got dropped. He essentially didn't know we wanted to teach him something new and reverted to his traditions. It would have been so easy to just bash with him, but it wouldn't have gotten anywhere. So we dropped him and we'll follow-up in about six months.

And with that my motivation is completely and totally gone. Thanks for reading this email everyone. I promise my motivation will be greater next week!

-- Elder Hawkes