Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"Elder, you're giving me too many email titles. Slow down!" - Elder Hawkes

From December 22, 2015

Can also be titled with any of the following:
"Elder, I realized I wave like Margaret Thatcher." - Elder Belnap
"Mace Windu died with his dignity and honor intact!" "Yeah, but not
his arm!" - Elder Campbell and Elder Belnap
"Anakin fulfilled his destiny as the Chosen One." "Yeah, but he was
really whiny about it." - Elder Hyde and Elder Belnap
"Oh my gosh! Is that polar bear Jewish?" - Elder Belnap

I love my companion. He's the best.

This week, we...
- Learn how difficult it is to understand Somalian dialect
- Help a nonmember move in
- Almost drop Morad
- Sing "Silent Night" in Arabic with the Primary
- Walk to an appointment only to have it cancel on us as we're on our way
- Have the Christmas devotional
- Go caroling

Nothing really to report on Wednesday. Transfer meeting happened, and
we got a new zone leader named Elder Schroeder. This is his first time
being a zone leader, fun fact. We tried some potentials and formers,
but nothing really worked out.

On Thursday we went to contact a missionary referral named Bashir in
Lakeside (right next to Santee, where we live). He's from Somalia and
he and his wife are Muslim but open to other religions and ideas. I
had never heard a Somalian speak Arabic before, so I was totally
unfamiliar with a good chunk of what he said. It was like a blend of
Iraqi dialect and Egyptian dialect. For the former Arabic missionaries
and people who understand Arabic, he kept switching between swallowing
the ق (like Egyptians do) and turning it into a گ (gaaf, like the
Iraqis do). For the most part he talked about his current health
problems, though, and so I could understand a good part of it due to
context and the fact that he pointed to what he was talking about. Bad
heart, bad leg... awesome guy, though. We gave a brief overview of our
message and he was really interested when we said that we have a
living prophet. We're going to go by tomorrow and teach the
Restoration and see from there if he's willing to progress towards
baptism. If yes, President Schmitt will need to come with us to our
next visit and have a brief interview with him to make sure he isn't
going back to Somalia anytime soon.

On Friday we had zone meeting from which all those Star Wars quotes
came (Elder Belnap is a huge Star Wars fan). Afterward, some of the
members asked us to help someone move into a recently-remodeled home.
When you have four missionaries working on unloading stuff, it goes by
pretty quickly. She was nice enough to give us lunch afterward and the
members are going to be inviting her to activities and church meetings
to gauge her interest level.

Saturday was the only day that we were able to see Morad this past
week. He was going through another one of his "I don't believe in God
because life is hard" phases. He didn't express any desire to read or
learn more, and I said, "Well, it sounds like you need some time."
Shortly thereafter Elder Belnap was able to see past the walls Morad
was putting up and help him and us see that he really did want to
learn more, he just was having a bad day. I'm really grateful the
Spirit gave Elder Belnap those words and helped Morad take a step
forward. We committed him to come to church. He didn't come. :(

On Sunday Basim wasn't able to come to church (he had work) but
Elder/Brother Jackson showed up for a
surprise-except-we-knew-about-it-several-weeks-before visit. It was
really cool seeing him again. It was also really weird seeing him
growing out his hair. Muhammad had some great discussion in Gospel
Principles. He talked about how his neighbors don't like him being a
member and how they're trying to persuade him not to come to church.
He's got a lot of faith! We also got to sing "Silent Night" in Arabic
during sacrament meeting with the Primary children, which was really

Yesterday we had the mission-wide Christmas Devotional. It was really
cool to see some old members of the district/zone again and chat with
them for a little bit during lunch. President gave us a CD and a
temple recommend holder for Christmas. He's so awesome! Last night we
went caroling as a district to members, potentials, investigators, and
formers. We had a lot of fun and learned how to do a good job the next
time we do it (which happens to be tomorrow night).

That's it for this week. I feel like this email is a lot shorter... Oh
well! Merry Christmas everyone! To my family, I'll talk to you on
whatever day of the week Christmas is this week (I think Friday?) and
to everyone else I'll talk with you in 13 months. Have a Merry

-- Elder Hawkes

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