Elder Hopkin and Elder Dixon Sunday, September 20, 2015
Elder Hopkin and Elder Dixon with the Busi Family
Shortly after receiving these photos this text came in. It was a little bit shocking to both Shon and to me.
Shon and I both went to bed wondering just a little if maybe they were all teasing us and we would open Connor's email the next morning and he would begin with "Hahaha, just kidding." Not that we doubted his capabilities, just that we thought he hadn't been in the field very long and was still a "greenie" himself in many ways. But, the next morning, on Monday, before receiving his email, I saw a post on the mission facebook page which announced that 25 new missionaries would be arriving from the MTC that day in the Modesto Mission. Well, obviously if there are 25 new missionaries, there must be 25 trainers. So, I concluded that the text was real and Connor would, in fact, be transferred and training a new missionary. Here is Connor's letter with all those promised details.
Hi Mom!! :)
I'll try to answer some of your questions. So, we stayed with the Zone Leaders until about Wednesday, then went back up. By the time we were back, the area wasn't having too many problems. The fire has moved pretty far away, so all those in our area that were evacuated are back and ok. I think there were a few homes that were destroyed but the destruction wasn't too terrible. I honestly don't know a whole lot about the whole deal :) But all is well now! As far as my area goes, I've maybe seen a couple black people here and there....it's very dominantly Caucasian :) It has kind of a mix of poor and wealthy...there are some very obviously rich people, but there are several trailer parks with very poor living conditions. It's kinda all around. Kinda like Orem, honestly, but with maybe a little more poverty? It's pretty rural, we were sent to "the hill country". Small-ish towns with one-street downtowns. I don't really know how to describe it honestly. There are some newer developments in Ione that remind me of Pflugerville. A lot of the cities are old mining towns that then grew over the years. It's all pretty spread out though.
I got the package on Tuesday! It was sooooo perfect! I needed those, they will be so helpful! Thank you for taking such good care of me! You're the best Mom I've ever had! Or could ever dream up! Or ever existed! :)
Saturday sounds like it was a lot of fun! I'm glad Ethan finally got to ride all the rollercoasters! :) And that concert sounds like a blast!! I'm jealous :) Thanks for the missionary news! I think Gavin's farewell was yesterday as well. I have had one email from Michael...he's training on his second transfer too! Crazy!! That's really all though.
Thanks for your thoughts on charity, I loved them!! I haven't been able to really study it a whole lot more, but I'm certainly trying to develop it right now. I feel like there's so STINKING much to work on though....it's pretty overwhelming :) Thanks also for sharing that hymn with me. That really helps. I've gained such a greater appreciation for the hymns....that one, How Firm a Foundation, Lead Kindly Light, etc. They're so good! :)
So yah...I'm training. In a new area. I don't even know what to say about it. I'm kinda psyching myself out about it. I am SOOOO scared. I can barely even take care of myself - I have no life knowledge or common sense or anything. And now I have to take care of myself, and do missionary work, and train someone else. Elder Dixon has been preparing me for this though. President Palmer had said some things to him, and he had felt some promptings, that made him think I might be training really soon. So that's why he's been so hard on me, he's been trying to get me to progress faster than is usually needed. I'm doing my best to rely on the Lord. I'm gaining a better appreciation for 1 Nephi 3:7. The Lord wouldn't ask me to do this if I couldn't, right? I can do all things through Christ right? Anyways, it's kinda built a lot of stress and anxiety for me...it's the epitome of the unknown, and that's always been hard. I've had to really try to just pray and read the scriptures and my patriarchal blessings and my other blessings and try to have faith. That's all I need to do, is have faith. He'll provide. But I'm scared. Anyways...those are my thoughts on it. I feel super overwhelmed and confused honestly, but there have been times that the Spirit has given me a clearer mind. Thank you so much for your compliments. Those really help. I'm so aware of my weaknesses out here that I have a hard time remembering my strengths. So thanks for reminding me :)
We had another baptism on Sunday! His name is Rick, he had been coming to church a lot on and off, so we went and found out what he needed and invited him to repent and be baptized! He's already so knowledgeable about the Gospel! His son is a convert and return missionary, and he was so helpful as we helped Rick progress. So I'm gonna try to send a couple pictures of that! I'm glad you got the pictures from the Busi's! They're so great, they've done a lot for us. We're pretty sure he's going to be the next bishop. :)
My companion and I have been giving a lot of thoughts lately about the Atonement. He showed me a scripture that I really like, 1 Nephi 19:9. And connecting that with Alma 7:11-13, it gives a lot of insight on the Atonement. I know that without Christ doing that for us, that we would have no hope. He did it out of complete, pure love for us. Because of it, we can return to God's presence, and as we live righteously and follow the Gospel, we can live in His presence. It's the center of everything. I'm so grateful that He did that for me, and I know that He can strengthen us through it as we turn to Him.
Anyways, that's all my thoughts I guess. Pretty muddled. I wish I could consolidate all my thoughts better. I hope these emails are ok! Thank you so much for all you do for me! I love you so so so so much!! I love getting your emails, they're so helpful! I pray for you and the family every night! Thanks for your prayers for me, they give me a lot of strength! I LOVE you!!!! :)
Elder Connor Hopkin
Here is the letter that he wrote to Shon.
I got your package on Tuesday! Thank you SOOO much!! It was perfect!! I tried to listen to the Barbie song but my companion wouldn't have anything to do with it and shut it right off :) I've been putting the protein to good use too! Thank you for taking the time to do that! It really means a lot!
Ok, about the transfer. UGH!!!! I'm so terrified. I'm getting doubled-in to an area, to train. So basically starting from scratch...and I barely know how to be a missionary, and my companion doesn't. I've been super stressed and worried about it. My anxieties haven't been too terrible lately, but after I got that call, they came back a bit. It's been weighing on me pretty hard. It's a stinking whole lot of the unknown, and I'm just doing my best to handle it and not worry too much. Thanks for the thought to not worry about every detail, and the compliment that my companion will love me. I'm trying to see this as an opportunity to learn and to grow, and as a compliment from my Mission President and the Lord....but it's also looking like a good opportunity to fail and just mess up. I'm just trying to go forth in faith and rely on the Lord to help me in the calling that He has given me. At times the stress and worry has been almost too much for me, honestly, but there have been times that the Spirit has just calmed me and I feel like everything will be ok. I'm just trying to have faith! :)
Thanks for telling me that about Makaeli! That makes me feel good, as surprising as it is :)
I think your thoughts about me getting overwhelmed will help! I don't know if I can control it, but I think I'll try to just zone in and focus on one thing at a time. My brain just wants to go a million miles an hour but can't keep up, and it freaks me out. I'll have to learn to figure that out though :)
Thank you so much for your love and example. It's been so important to me in my life. You're so incredible! Thank you!! I love you so much! I'll be looking forward to another inspiring email next week :) You're pretty good at those... no pressure :)
Love Elder Connor Hopkin
Needless to say we have been saying some extra prayers for him this week. We believe he will do an amazing job! And, we are quite anxious for his email this coming Monday so that we will know who is companion is, where they are serving, and how this last week has gone.
On Monday evening we received more texts from the Busi's. They sent a few more pictures and a video of Connor playing their gorgeous white grand piano. These are below. It is one song broken into two videos--it was too big to send over text as just one. So, there's the first half and then the second half.
Monday, September 21, 2015
Here is an article that was written about Connor's mission. It was shared on his mission facebook page and is worth reading, if you get a chance. Nice when there are positive news stories about the Church and the missionaries!