Sunday, November 19, 2017

Week 103--This Is It...Last One...24 Months Served!!

Well, the day that I never thought would come has, at last, come. It is Connor's last P-Day in the mission field and the last email I will ever receive from him as a missionary. He comes home in two days. I am not really sure what to think or what to expect. I can say these last few weeks, and especially the last few days, have gone VERY SLOWLY for me. And, I am certainly so, so excited to finally see him and have him home. Those things I know for sure. Another change is about to take place and I don't know how things will be or how he will react to it, but we are going to face it head on--with lots of gratitude for the experiences he has had as a full-time missionary and with lots of faith and hope for his future experiences as a returned missionary. Here is his last letter--yep, his LAST letter:

Well...... Hi Mom!!!! :)

Thank you for your email and the updates! That schedule sounds perfect :) Thank you!!!

Ah... So basically sometimes I'm SO happy and sometimes SO sad! Whichever I choose, is what I feel! Mostly I just don't really even know what to think or do or's surreal, like you said :) I'm just trying to focus on how happy I am to see everyone!

So, it was a pretty amazing week.... We had a BAPTISM!!! :) Her name is Melika. I'll send you pictures soon! She was so excited for so long for it, and cried when she shared her testimony after the baptism. She said, "I've been needing this change" and talked about how she's going to follow God and keep His commandments. SO GOOD! :) I got to confirm her yesterday, which was another huge blessing. I was so nervous, but once it was time, I felt so calm. It was such a good journey with her, and we got close to some members during the whole process (some that are moving to Idaho in just a week) :) It's pretty crazy - the day we met her, we had talked to a lot of pretty rude people, and almost passed her up cause we didn't want another bad talk. But, we decided to cross the street and go talk to her... and she was SO prepared!

Also, I got a nice joyride in a sweet Mustang and got to sit in a Corvette... literally my dream car. Pictures coming soon :) We were on exchanges at the time, which was also a fun part of the week! This week went SO fast!!!

So, Elder Hong is staying here with Elder Powell (who was our district leader this transfer!). It should be good! They'll be great for the ward! Our schedule the next couple days will be lots of fun. Tomorrow we head to Modesto and proselyte downtown for a little bit (my old area!!!), then have dinner and a testimony meeting at President's house. All the elders will go sleep at the assistants' house, and we fly the next morning! :) I'm excited! All the elders, of course, that I came out with will be there - Elders Feltman, Grover, Elliott, Anderson, etc. And a couple really cool sisters! It's looking like it will be 14 missionaries coming home, and a lot probably have their final destination in Salt Lake!

Here's a good story from the week! There's a lady that walks the same road we live on pretty frequently; there have been a couple times when we've passed her but felt prompted to go back and talk to her, and have had a couple good conversations. Anyways, on Friday my tire got a slow leak and was unfixable, so we got a new tube and I fixed it. We left the apartment from that around 8:20. We were going to go left but felt like we should go right. And about 15 seconds later, I got a flat in the brand new tube!!! I was so annoyed and frustrated! So we dropped off the bike at the apartment and decided to just walk the last half hour. We were talking about how maybe it wasn't just a coincidence when we ran into that same lady! She saw us and laughed and said, "OK! This is the 3rd time! God wants me to go to church!" :) We had a good talk with her, and hopefully more will come!

Kenny says hi :)

Ah, the biggest things I've learned? It's so hard to put it into specific thoughts and words! :) In district meeting, Elder Hacking last transfer asked me to share the same thing, so I got a couple thoughts at least. I would say one of them is that we can choose so much more than we think. We can choose to be happy despite our circumstances. We can choose to love people even if it's hard. When we purposefully look at the positive, we can find happiness even when we may have trials. I found this quote that I LOVED on Saturday in a restaurant, and it said, "Success is getting what we want; Happiness is wanting what we get." I feel that sums it all up pretty well :) Another thing is how important it is to follow the Spirit. Sometimes we get promptings that don't even make sense, but we need to trust it's right and from God. I've found that instead of wondering if something is the Spirit or my own thought, I'll just do it anyways (unless it's bad :) ) and even if 50% of them are just my own thoughts, at least I responded to the 50% that was the Spirit! I've seen miracles come from responding to random promptings. Another: I'm really glad that my sacrament talk is about sacrifice, because I've come to LOVE the scripture in Matthew (16?) where Christ says that those that lose their lives for His sake will find it. We need to pay the price, no matter how hard, to do God's will, and He will bless us more than anything we can give! Also, I've learned more about how much God loves us. We are His greatest creation, and EVERYTHING He does (and everything we should do) is centered around His children and their eternal happiness. Lastly, I've come to just appreciate the Savior's Atonement more and more. I've felt His love in my life SO many times! He's given me peace when things are hard, and I've felt His forgiveness for mistakes, and He gives me so much hope! That's just a few things, but they're the first that come to mind :) Sorry if that was too long!

Ah, I gotta go, but I'm excited to talk your ear off in a couple days :) As I said, I'm so excited for those plans! Perfect! :) Thank you for your thoughts and quotes and all your help and love! :) I'll try to send pictures soon! I love you SO much and I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU SOON!!!!!! :)

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

I got a final picture from Sister Palmer on Tuesday night of all the Elders and Sisters returning home with Connor.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017
California Modesto Returning Missionaries

Friday, July 28, 2017

Week 102...and counting...(for one more week, at least)!

It is crazy to think that I will write only one more email to Connor next Monday and then I will get to see him and hug him two short (although they seem very long) days later. This is his second to last email. Sounds like he had a good week, which is nice to hear. You hope they can finish strong and on a positive note. This coming Monday we will get his final email telling us all about his last week in the mission field. And that he will pack his bags, go to the mission home for a final dinner and board a plane for home. There are a lot of emotions going on here: excitement, sadness; I hate to use the word "fear", but fear of the unknown. I am sure he feels them even more. Change is coming....

Hi Mom!!!! :)

Haha I don't even know what to say! I'm looking forward to both this week and next! :)

The week went really well! Last week was pretty stressful, but this one was tons better, so I'm happy! :) We had some great lessons with our investigators, and a couple came to church, and we found a new investigator that is so solid! He's part Native American, so I realized we were literally fulfilling Book of Mormon prophecy of Lehi's descendants receiving the gospel - pretty cool :) We taught him about the Book of Mormon, and before we even invited him to read it, he said, "Cool, I'll start reading this!" Then at the end of the lesson, before we had set another appointment, he said, "So... you're coming back, right?" We assured him we would :) We had interviews with President and Sister Palmer, as a companionship - that was different, but good! We had a couple of lessons, too, with less active members, and we had some great conversations with people along the way... and others that weren't so great :)

I'm planning on sending a box home with some books and stuff today. Hopefully that will get rid of enough weight! I also got myself a cheap carry-on, which should help! That's SO fun Robert got a room so close - that will make the semester that much better :) I'm pretty excited for my phone... is that bad? :) And it seems like Morgan has had a great time in Ghana - she sounds pretty grown up!! Let Ashley and Kyle know they're in my prayers please! That's exciting they get the boys home! Good luck with your classes! Someone at dinner asked what my mom does, and I mentioned that you teach exercise classes (amongst many other things) and they were quite impressed :)

I like how you said each line of that hymn could be a talk... that made me look deeper into the words, and there really is so much there!! I wonder how many other hymns/scriptures/etc are like that :) Thanks for the reminder; that has become one of my favorite hymns as well! And I do love that quote from Elder Holland! So cool! I've had a couple investigators that bring up the Second Coming, and it's cool to be able to tell them that THIS Church is preparing us for His coming....and it will NEVER die away until then (and even after). That quote is very hopeful :)

Haha I can't WAIT for story time!! I feel like nobody will be able to get me to shut up! Elder Hong and I are constantly telling each other stories, and I've realized how many cool/funny/weird/crazy stories I have from the last 2 years :)

So I have a thought from a couple nights ago but don't know if I can put in in words... but I'll try :) I was biking along and something just made me think about how much sin there is in this world. I myself, a member of the Church that knows the commandments and has covenanted and is striving to follow them, make SO many mistakes every day! Then multiply that by the 365 days per year, and hopefully again by 80 years or so. Then by the billions of lives on the earth at this moment, and again by all the lives that have ever lived on this earth... and again for the other worlds that are home to God's children. That's a LOT of mistakes! (I will add, though, lots of good deeds too :) ). Then I thought of the Savior taking every single one of those upon Himself in one night. I don't even understand a fraction of how much sin and how much suffering He went through as He performed the Atonement. Yet He did it ALL out of love for us and His Father. None of us could achieve exaltation without Him doing that for us. And still, somehow, we choose to mess up, to break commandments. We choose to not share this message with others so they can start to bring that infinite sacrifice into their lives. Some people even purposefully reject it. Sorry, I realized this is kind of sad... :) But, it just put it all a little more in perspective for me. It is so important that I show Him that I love Him and appreciate His Atonement by keeping His commandments and sharing His gospel with those around me. How else could His Atonement be worth it? It reminds me of Mosiah 2:21-22: "...if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants. And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments..." It made me feel SO grateful for His love and the sacrifice He made for me and others. Again, sorry if that was intense... :)

I think that's all for today! Thank you SO much for your email and everything you do!!! Thanks for all the hard work and preparation for the coming weeks... that has reduced my stress by at least 70% :) I love you so much, and I hope your week is wonderful! Until next week :)

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Week 101--Dating and Marriage...WHAT?

Hi Mom!!!!! :)

Haha so... I don't have much time left... I just did the Dating and Marriage section of My Plan :) This week went ok! Ups and downs! I'm a little stressed about a couple things, but I'm feeling ok overall! :) We committed another investigator to a baptismal date, which was really exciting! She's been really consistent about coming to church, which is rare and amazing. A couple others that had dates fell off, which was too bad, but we'll keep working with them! Things are going great with Elder Hong, which is a big blessing. Yes, he's super funny; kinda that purposefully awkward and uncomfortable funny that everyone loves :)

That's fun you got Bryn's room painted!! Good luck with the rest :) That's so good to hear that Grandma and Porter and Lucas are doing well!! Haha I'm with you on the prayer... sometimes I'll have a goal to just say gratitude for part or all of my prayer... and no matter what, a request or blessing comes up without me even meaning to! I'm glad He understands and loves us no matter what! :)

Haha that's a fun excerpt from Morgan! She's funny :) Those elders are all over her, huh?? Punks.. they need to focus :)

We had a great district meeting this week - ah my district leaders are so great!! One is from the Philippines and is one of the smartest people I've ever met! His companion was telling me that they were street contacting, and this guy was bashing them, and my district leader said, "If I can find a scripture in the Bible that says there was a prophet after Jesus, will you believe us?" Then he whipped out Acts 11:27-28...what the heck? :) The other one is great as well - has had some trials in his life but is still so happy and faithful all the time!

I'm trying to think of good stories from the week... none that I should share at the moment, cause they could have some confidential stuff... but we've had a couple funny experiences :) Always makes life good!

Thank you for the pictures of my buddies! :) I'm so excited to ball with Robert and Michael!! I hope Rob can get into my building, that would be fun! I got a box to ship stuff home, but decided to get a carry-on too... I think I'm way overweight (luggage and body ;) ) Hopefully it will all work out!

I have such a testimony of the refreshing and strength that can come from prayer! I remember at the beginning of my mission, when it was hardest, I just couldn't wait for the end of the day to talk to that One person that knows me and actually understands and loves me perfectly. And I've seen so many times at the end of a hard hour or day or week, that as I sincerely pray, He is there to help us through it!

Sorry this is kinda rushed, but I love you SO much! I'm SO excited for...whatever is coming up.... in a year or so, right? ;) Thanks again for all your love and help and support and love! Thanks for setting so many things in order for me... that's such a weight off my shoulders! I'm so grateful for you! :) I love you!!!! I hope you have a great week!!!

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Week 100--That's Right--ONE HUNDRED! 23 Months Served! One More Month!

Well, we've reached 100 weeks. That is a lot of weeks. Just a few more to go. Connor has now served 23 months and with this passing week, we are under a month before he comes home. It is getting exciting around here! Shon received a letter from the Mission Home this week. It was addressed to the Bishop, but I read it too and thought it was so nice that I would share it here. I am sure they send similar, maybe identical, letters to each Bishop, but it felt personal to me and made me a little emotional as I read it.

(It's not super easy to read being enlarged and all, so I retyped it out below.)

Dear Bishop Hopkin:

Elder Hopkin, a member of your ward, will soon return home after completing an honorable mission for the Church. He has faithfully served the people with distinction and dedication. Those whose lives he has touched will long remember his service here.

Elder Hopkin has been a Senior Companion, Trainer, District Leader, Zone Leader and an Assistant to the President. He has served with all his heart, might, mind and strength. Your efforts in welcoming Elder Hopkin and encouraging him to remain temple worthy are most appropriate and will be greatly appreciated. He will benefit from your counsel and help as he adjust to life at home.

Please accept my personal thanks for the service given by Elder Hopkin in this mission. He has been a dedicated, faithful, hardworking missionary for whom we will always have great respect and heartfelt affection. Please convey our deepest love and gratitude for all he has and will continue to do to bless others throughout his life.

President Brent A. Palmer
California Modesto Mission

We also received a letter addressed to us--as his parents. This is that letter:

Dear Brother and Sister Hopkin:

As Elder Hopkin completes his mission, we wanted to personally thank you for sending us such a wonderful missionary.

Sister Palmer and I have not only been greatly pleased with his willingness to accept the call to come to the newly created California Modesto mission, but are also very impressed by his wonderful work while serving as a full-time representative of the Savior.

We will always have a great respect and affection for your son and hope you will convey our love to him again and again.

Kindest regards, 
President Brent A. Palmer
California Modest Mission

On Sunday we got one of those awesome picture texts of Connor from a ward member. This is probably one of my favorite pictures from the whole mission. He looks so happy, so mature and so missionary-like. I love it so much!! And, I don't even know who it was that sent it. I am grateful to them, though....

"Look who we had for dinner."
Elder Hopkin
July 9, 2017

And, finally, here is Connor's letter for the week. The 100th email he has sent to me:

Hi Mom!!! :)

100 weeks!! That's over 700 days... I'm finally down to 3 weekly planning sessions left. I've been waiting for 2 years to not have to do weekly planning anymore :)

I'm so glad EFY was such a success! I hardly recognized any of those kids - that freaked me out! :) A girl from the session actually emailed me - Mirka Sansores. Do you know anything about that? :) She said she loved you and Dad, and that her testimony was strengthened so much, especially of the Atonement. Thanks for the updates on Makaeli and Bryn - it sounds like they've grown a lot. A lot of missionaries here have family members that they worry so much about - siblings being dumb, parents being less active, etc. I've noticed how huge of a blessing it is for me that I don't have to worry about any of my family - you're all so good! :) That'll be really fun to bear testimonies with Ethan and Bryn! I hope the upcoming projects and activities go well!

Thank you so much for what you said about coming home! I just did the Self-Reliance part of MyPlan, and it calmed me down a little... and also scared me a ton :) That's a good reminder that even when I had to make hard adjustments in the past, I always got through them alright, especially relying on God. And thank you for being there to support and help me! It's a huge relief that I'll be able to lean on you and Dad for counsel and support.

This week went well! It flew pretty quick :) We had a great zone conference on Tuesday that reminded us of some "areas of focus" that we as a mission are trying to improve so as to better fulfill our purpose. I got to play the piano, which is always a blessing. And, near the end, President invited me and Elder Grover to share our testimonies on the Savior. That was so scary :) It was really good for me though - it sparked a lot of thought! I was able to see so many missionary friends that I've been missing! I'll send some pictures soon :) We also had a couple of great lessons with our investigators. I have a good story for you :) For one of the lessons, we were going to simply focus on the principle of repentance. I said the opening prayer. Now, I know this is bad, but during the prayer, I was half-thinking about the coming lesson... not what I was saying. As I was kind of thinking about the prayer, I was also thinking, "Ok, we're going to teach repentance.... we're going to invite her to start repenting" etc. So, I may or may not have ended the prayer saying, "...please allow the Spirit to be here. In the name of Jesus Christ, repent!......amen!" I played it off decently though :)

I love that quote you sent!!! I like the part about doing the important things without fanfare... kinda reminds me of President Uchtdorf's talk in priesthood session last conference!

As far as phones go, I'm thinking to just go with the Samsung 7. Gray would be cool if that's available! Thank you so much for working on that for me! 2 weeks would have been long without a phone :) And THANK YOU for paying for half and the monthly plan for now - that's SO helpful!!! I'll probably be hopping on email again in a couple hours, so I'll think about it till then. But if I don't change my mind, or forget to email, just go for the Samsung 7 please :)

Thank you for the long email!! I love seeing those :) Thank you so much for all you're doing and have done for me! I love you so much!! I'll send some pictures in a bit :) You're such a blessing! :)

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

And, a few pictures:

"Elder Stock!!!" :)

"Elder Hong (and his ice cream), 
Me, Elder Lee, Elder Stock, Elder Morley"

"Tall Elder Mutchie" :)

"Gotta have appropriate distance! :) Sister Bird (she was in my district the whole 6 months I was in 6th ward. One of my best friends here!), Sister Webb (Probably the best missionary in this mission... she goes home with me), and Sister Shafer (I don't know her super well... but she's way cool)" :) 

Week 99

Hi Mom!!! :)

This week was super good! Ugh it dragged for some reason though.... I feel like the last 2 weeks have been 4 or 5! That doesn't mean it was a bad week though :)

We're having a little concern with a couple investigators, but some really good progress with a couple others! The SAME lady told us again she wasn't coming to church, and CAME! :) She's so funny and SO solid! We've had some great lessons with members of the ward too, which has been wonderful! I feel like there were some good stories this week, but I can't remember any very well! I got to go on exchanges with one of my district leaders, Elder Powell - it was lots of fun! He's a super good missionary! Our district meeting this week was focused on gratitude, and Elder Hong and I led a training on how gratitude is an essential part of humility. In Preach My Gospel, it says that humility is accepting the Lord's will and giving Him the honor for what is accomplished. Obviously, gratitude shows that we're giving the Lord credit for any good in our life; I also thought that it shows that we accept His will of what blessings He will give us, rather than imposing or demanding our will on Him of what we want. I love how the Church says that the temple garment is an outward sign of our inner commitment to God, and I had the thought that gratitude is our outward sign of an inner humility to God. Hope that made sense :)

Aw that looks so fun in Texas!! That reminds me of going down a couple years ago to visit Brian - we went around to the old schools, and the church, and our old house. It's so weird to see all that again! I'm so glad you got to see everyone and spend some time! So many good people :) Thanks for the missionary updates! Good stuff! That'll be fun to see Truman!

Thanks for the advice on all my junk :) I got my letter a few days ago that gave me my to-do list before I go. It had the schedule for our last couple days and everything. They're TRYING to make me trunky, I swear! Haha I made a goal on Saturday to NOT talk about home at all... and I made it! And I tried again yesterday but slipped a couple times. Today I decided it just wasn't going to happen, so I'll recommit tomorrow :)

Someone in our ward yesterday gave a super insightful testimony! She talked about that story of the foolish young man and his creditor - he received a loan for his farm, but wasted time and didn't have the money when it was due, and the creditor came to take him to jail - but the Mediator stepped in. He became the new Creditor, with more merciful conditions. Our member said that she usually things of herself as the foolish young man, the one that needs the Mediator to become her new Creditor and give her mercy. But, she put herself in the position of the old creditor. Sometimes, she said, people have wronged us and justice is due. But the Savior paid the price for those sins too - not just ours. Do we accept Christ as the Creditor for those that have injured us? She said that when we don't forgive others, we make light of the Savior's atonement because we don't accept His payment of their sins. I thought that was such an incredible thought!

I did realize that was my last fast Sunday as a missionary! I made sure to have a good fast :)

Thank you for your support, and what you said at the end. I feel pretty nervous, just wanting to do everything right back home. So thanks for the reminders; I needed that :) I love you so much! Thank you for everything!! :) Good luck at EFY!!! :)

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Week 98

So, this came. Final travel itinerary. A little change in arrival time, but not enough to make much of a difference. Just glad they didn't push it back by hours or days. 

Hi Mom!!!!! :)

I hope I can make sense today... My mind isn't working too well :)

First of all, I really loved your thoughts! Whenever I see a paragraph that long I get excited :) That's a cool/funny experience and lesson from camping! I'm proud of you for being willing to do it anyways - I know it's not your favorite pastime :) What you said about how the anticipation is usually much worse than the actual circumstance, was very timely for me. I'm getting pretty nervous for life, but it's good for me to remember that things work out, and probably won't be as bad as my mind likes to expect :) I love that quote too! And the fact that you're still learning things helps me see that I don't need to be perfect when I get home - that I'll keep learning even into my late 30's like you ;) So thanks for the philosophy!

This week was so great!!! We had several lessons with several different investigators, and two of them accepted a baptismal date! Two others came to church yesterday and really liked it and made some good friendships with the ward. I had an experience that I've never had before :) One of our investigators had committed pretty solidly to come to church but didn't show up, so we texted to see if she could still make it, and all she said was "No." We were a little disappointed and texted back but she didn't respond. Then, about 10 minutes later, I looked over my shoulder and could swear I saw her walking into the hall... then we got a text that said "Hey I'm here I was kidding". What the heck?! We got played hard! :) Made our day though! On Saturday we had our zone breakfast, and it was fun to see everyone! Yesterday, we got to attend the Melchizedek ordination for a young man that we've gotten pretty close to. He's been waiting for his mission call for a few weeks now, and his parents played a good surprise on him :) They had gotten his call in the mail but didn't tell him. They had been out of town for his birthday, so they threw a little surprise birthday party and invited some missionaries and members. Then, the first present they gave him after we sang happy birthday... was his mission call! He was so excited and ticked off :)

That's crazy Robert is coming home!!! Dang! I would guess that Michael leaves next Wednesday but I'm not positive. That's fun you saw Anna! She has sent me letters and packages from time to time, so if you see her again, please tell her thank you and hi for me! That's pretty amazing that the two boys are doing so well; that makes me really happy to hear that!

Thanks for the updates on Makaeli, Bryn, and Ethan! I think 2nd place is still pretty darn good! Maybe tell him my basketball city league got 2nd place in our tournament for the last time I ever played ;) I hope your week at EFY goes great, and that it isn't too terribly busy!

Quick question: I'm 90% sure my luggage is going to be too heavy with all my books and random stuff. I think the only two solutions are to buy a carry-on bag for my books, or to ship some books home... do you have any idea which would be cheaper? A post office is available, but not convenient, so I only want to go if I'm sure I'll send stuff from there. Some missionaries have said it would probably cost 10-20 bucks with Priority Mail. I found a carry-on at Wal-Mart for 15 that I can buy next week or something. Any ideas? :)

I did some My Plan today (AH!), and I loved the overall theme for the day: Your life will work out better if you give it to God. That's something I've been learning, and hope to now apply, on my mission. I've seen that putting God's will over our own by following the Spirit and keeping the commandments brings joy and happiness and success. Just like Jesus said, if we lose our lives for His sake, we will find them. I love that thought, and I hope I can put it into action :)

Anyways, I love you SO much! Thank you for your email and for everything you do for me!!! I can't wait to see you... but not for a while right...? :) Elder Liddell and Hacking kept telling me I have 18 months left... I think that's pretty smart to try for me - but not for you :) I hope you have a wonderful week and please always remember how much I love and appreciate you! :)

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

"Got these from my last district leader :) This was our last Monday before he and Elder Liddell left."

"Our zone for this transfer." :)

Hi Dad!!! :)

It was a great week! I told Mom about it, but two investigators accepted a baptismal date, and another two came to church; and we had some great lessons with less active members. We're being really blessed to see some success in this area - it's been a good way to spend my last couple transfers :)

So, how long after I get home does school start? I totally forgot to mention this, but Elder Bancroft (the one you met at scout camp) is getting married on Sept 4 and invited me and Elder Grover :) That won't interfere at all, will it? I'm starting to worry about all the stuff I need to get done between getting home and starting school. I probably shouldn't worry toooo much about it, but I'm getting pretty nervous. I just have this huge desire and expectation to be perfect... and I'm scared not about if I'll fail at that (I know that's inevitable), but how bad I'll fail at that :) Anyways! I'm really grateful too that I'll be so close to Makaeli and the rest of you!

Haha I really like that about what Jesus says :) That makes sense - I'll need to look back at that prayer! We had a pretty good basher pull over and start talking to us yesterday :) He drove past and yelled "Hey guys, Isaiah 43:10", so I pulled it out when he was out of sight, and he flipped around and started to talk to us. He brought up the classics: There's only one God, and works do not save us. We did a pretty good job I think - gave some reasoning and perspective that he only listened to so that he could refute it, and bore our testimonies and kept pretty cool. I looked up some scriptures this morning though, and next time someone yells that scripture at me, I'm going to yell back "Psalm 82:6!" :)

I hope you have lots of fun in Texas, and that EFY is a little less busy this week! :) Thank you for your email and for all of your help, love, and support! I love you so much, and I'm excited to see you soon! :)

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

Week 97

Hi Mom!!! :)

Yep, no changes this transfer! I'll finish my mission with Elder Hong in Don Avenue! :) I'm excited for the next 6 weeks! I felt really good last night as I prayed about the transfer call, so I think there will be some great experiences ahead. Our district leader, Elder Hacking, is leaving to be a zone leader in Modesto; I'm going to miss him, but he's going to do a great job! The week went pretty well! We taught a few different lessons, which went really well, and we've been able to have members of the ward participate more, which has been great as well! This ward is continuing to be so wonderful! A man in the ward gave us some really nice compliments yesterday, and a woman dropped off a TON of food for us; afterwards, she took us to a restaurant to buy us food, and a random guy in line pitched in $20 bucks and said missionaries do good work :) Lots of nice people around!

That's so crazy Estevan is home! I remember seeing him in the MTC almost 2 years ago. He's such a good guy! I was thinking about him the other day, so I'm glad to hear everything went well for him. Maybe I'll get to skip out on a "homecoming" talk...? :)

I'm glad things went so well for EFY!! I think Dad's probably the best person possible to have to deal with situations like that :) That's WAY cool Ethan gets to go with you in Texas!! Lucky punk! He'll be ecorting older women everywhere... :) I hope this next one goes as well for you and is a little less stressful!

I love that quote from D&C 128!! And I'll definitely be sure to sing Called to Serve as I'm biking around... good idea :) You played in sacrament meeting??! That's so cool!! I still remember, literally 12 years ago at least, you playing "Away in a Manger" for us :) Fun times!

I think my waist is around a 34 right now - kinda depends on the pants. I have one pair of 34 that's perfect, and another that are way baggy :) And my shoe size is still right around 10 1/2. No specific requests! Thank you so much!! I've been thinking about having to get clothes... and getting a little nervous. So that'll be nice to have a little bit to start me off :)

Yesterday, I was reminded just how special and powerful the sacrament is. I think we become a little acclimated and used to it, but it really is a true ordinance performed by God's authority and power. His power is more able to flow into our lives as we participate in the sacrament. I studied a little bit about it and was reminded that it is an opportunity to reflect on our willingness to keep the covenants that we made with Heavenly Father - to keep His commandments, to remember our Savior, to act as He would, and to serve others. As we do that, and recommit to living those promises more fully, the Spirit can cleanse us and help us feel God's forgiveness for our mistakes and sins. I'm very grateful that His priesthood has been restored again to allow those blessings in our lives.

I love you so much!!! Thank you for all you do to bless and help me! I NEVER doubt if you love or care about me - ever :) Thank you for all your help on my mission as well - your support and love have meant so much. I hope your week goes well!! :)

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

We gave Connor a gift card to Panda Express for his birthday--FANCY, I know. Anyway, looks like he went and got more than just food. We'll see how quick he is to test out his fortune when he gets home. 

"​Panda knows what's up!" :)

Hey Dad!!

Thank you for setting me up for classes!! That'll be really fun to have classes with Makaeli! I really appreciate it! That'll be nice to have some mentors as well. And thanks for not sending the schedule... I was kinda excited to see my classes, but on second thought, that was smart to not send it :) I'm so nervous for school, but kind of excited in a weird way.

Thanks for the thoughts on the "exceptions"! I like the analogy to physics and science, and I really like the perspective of just accepting that we have limited knowledge and understanding! I had also thought about the Nephites praying to Jesus - is that just along the same lines as the ones we already talked about? And I just read about Abinadi popping up :)

Mom said you had an interesting time at EFY :) She said it was great but really busy. You had some discipline to take care of, and lots of extra lessons to give? That's pretty impressive :) I hope the next one is a little less hectic - it sounds like it'll be lots of fun seeing all the Pflugerville crew!

Thank you for everything you do for me! I love you so much! I hope you had a great Father's day and I hope your birthday is lots of fun too!

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

Elder Hopkin June 13, 2017

We got this picture in a text from a member in Connor's area. He was impressed by Connor's use of the hot sauce. We taught him well. :)