Alright! Hi! :) I feel like there's lots to write about but not at the same time :) So! I'll give you a little recap of the week!
So things have gone lots better than I was fearing they would! Pretty typical I think :) Thank you so much for the prayers in my behalf and everything you have done! They've helped a ton! So I was so nervous my last few days in my last area, but there were times that the Spirit just completely told me that everything would be ok and I felt so comforted. And then other times I was about ready to have a mental breakdown :) So on Tuesday, I drove down to Modesto for the little fireside thing they do for the trainers and new missionaries. Three other missionaries that came in with me are training too! The two Sisters, and our MTC District Leader. They're all super incredible missionaries. But that comforted me a bit, that I wasn't alone in this. So we got our companions! My new trainee is Elder Jones. We got to know each other and almost all my fear left. He's so great! He's basically pre-trained :) So I basically told him that I was almost as new as he is, and that I'd teach him what I know, and we'd learn together! So that's what we're doing! We get along super well, and we're super similar in a lot of ways! He is so dang lucky because he has absolutely no homesickness...at all. So unfair! And he's just excited to get out here and work and he's super good with people and he's already better than me at some things. Our new area is the Tracy Ward, in Tracy. The last missionaries were...well, we didn't have a lot to go off of when we got in. So we're focusing right now on just finding investigators. The first few days, I basically had no idea what to do, but we're just trying to work hard and have faith. I've found so many times that if I just go and talk to someone, or just go knock the door, the Spirit helps me. I've really seen it "fill my mouth" so many times! Now that I don't have a trainer to lean on, it's kind of up to me to take the lead in a lot of situations, so that's been such a huge blessing! We haven't found any investigators yet and that's super frustrating (all of our numbers that we reported were straight 0's... kind of embarrassing) but our ward is incredible and is working super hard to have referrals for us. So we're just going to exercise as much faith as we can muster and rely on the Spirit, and Heavenly Father will provide according to His will! We live in an apartment with my District Leader and his companion and they're absolutely incredible! That's taken a lot of stress off too, cause I've been able to ask them questions and they're super helpful. All four of us get along super well! We are biking though :/ It's taking some time getting used to but I kinda like it cause it gives us more opportunities to talk to people along the way. Our District Leader has a car, and he's been so kind and helpful in driving us when we need. Our district is so cool! All of the missionaries are just good and nice and we all get along and we all have a desire to work hard and be obedient. It's a power group :) So all in all, everything is going super well! Dang, sorry, that was a lot of info! But there was a lot of change, so there's all the background information :)
Elder Hopkin and Elder Dixon on the day of transfer: Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Elder Hopkin and Elder Jones
Thank you so so so much for fasting and praying for me! I know that it helped a whole lot! And it means a lot to me that you do that for me, it shows how much you love and support me. Thank you! I've definitely felt the Savior help and uplift me throughout the week! It's been really good. My last companion was so good and taught me so much, but it's kind of nice to be my own missionary now. He was really hard on me. Being with these other missionaries, it's helping me realize that I can have fun and be myself too! This is obviously such an important work, and I need to do everything in my power to help it along...but I don't need to take myself so seriously all the time. I can enjoy it! As long as I'm still obedient and work hard and do my best. It's been really nice relief. I just hope that without Elder Dixon pushing me so hard, I'll still be able to progress. But I think I can :) But yah, a lot of the stress that I had been feeling for several weeks has diminished a lot. It's really good.
I'm glad Makaeli is having a good time with soccer! And dating :) That's super fun! Thanks for the updates with Cooper! It gives me flashbacks to just a few short weeks ago :) I loved that letter from him :) Thanks for keeping me updated, it's fun to hear what's going on back home!
Thank you for your thoughts on faith and General Conference! I love hearing your testimony in all your emails! It's really good to hear! I've definitely been needing to exercise a lot of faith lately, so I've gained a good testimony of that too :) Like I said, as I just go to open my mouth or just knock on that scary door, it takes a lot of faith, but there are a few scriptures that help a ton! Ether 12:6 reminds me that it's supposed to be scary and hard, but that if we push through the hard times, then we will always receive the witness. And I love 1 Nephi 4:6-7 cause I've had to do that a ton! I just have to leave the apartment, and bike to a random place, and figure out what to do, not knowing exactly what will happen. But nothing will happen if I just stand still. So as I exercise faith and act, THEN the Spirit helps, and THEN the Lord can direct and bless me. It's been a big testimony strengthener. And holy cow, am I excited for General Conference!!! Something about being out here, about plain NEEDING direction and help, makes me so stinking excited to hear the words of the Lord, given just for me. I love your testimony and story about the prophet. Isn't it super cool that we have a direct line to God's advice! I'm so excited :)
Just so you know, this ward is SO incredible and they are already taking such good care of us! They have made SURE that we've had dinner every night. They are so kind to us. Our WML is amazing! And....a woman from the ward just took us out for grocery shopping. I don't even know how to express how kind it was. She spent a lot of money making sure that Elder Jones and I have enough food and everything that we need...we have a pretty limited budget. Oh, I never told you huh? $135 per month. Barely enough! I can't even describe how much of a help that was. So I just want you to know that your son is being taken care of, more than enough! :)
Well, I love you so much! I miss you a lot a lot a lot and I pray for the family every night. I always just realize how much I love and care about you all, and how stinking much you and Dad have done for me. Thank you! I love you!!!!! :)
Elder Hopkin :)
As a testimony of what he said was true about being well taken care of, we received this picture and text message from a member in his new ward on Monday night.
These are the blessings of missionary work! And, my heart really is happy!