Saturday, October 24, 2015

Week 10--A Great Letter And A Couple Of Pics (We're Finally In Double Digits)

So, this week our family went on a trip to Disneyland and Southern California. We didn't tell Connor that we were going--we didn't want him being distracted by it and thinking about it while we were there without him. So, we told him after the fact...which I think he appreciated. Anyway, just as we were packing to leave, I got these two pictures from a member in the ward that he and Elder Jones are serving in. I always love getting random pictures of him. They are taken and sent right in that moment, so it's not just hearing about it afterward, but it's in the present. Somehow that makes me feel a little bit closer to him--to see him at that very time and know what he's doing right then. And, I can always send a little message to him through  the person on the phone. Usually it's a short "Tell him I love him" or "Send him my love". We sure missed him on our family vacation--it's just not the same without Connor there. I thought about him quite a bit, seeing that we were in the same state as he and just a few hours south of his mission. Despite that, we did have fun, and I told him we'd try to make sure he got to Disneyland when he gets back. 

Here are the pics. Someone took them for wings. I never realized how much I would appreciate the kindness that members and others would show to my missionary son where he is serving. Makes me want to be more generous with the missionaries in our area, or any that I come across, and do nice, random things for them. And, then send the pics to their Moms and families. It is really appreciated by this Mom and I'm sure would always be by other Moms and families just as much, as well.

 Elder Hopkin and Elder Jones October 13, 2015

Here is Connor's letter from this week:

Hey Mom!!!

You guys went to Disneyland?! And the beach? What!? :) That's super fun but I'm so jealous! And I really really want to see the San Diego Temple! Dang :) That's crazy that we were in the same state! That kinda weirds me out. Sounds like you guys had a super exciting week, I'm so glad!

Our week was decent! We've had a little of a hard time with some of our investigators. The one that we met after responding to Elder Jones' prompting is pretty interested, but she's been out of town for the last few days, and that was kinda sad for us. Amelia, the little girl we've been teaching is still super interested and we keep teaching her as much as possible. But we basically contact her through her mom, and she is super hard to get a hold of and doesn't keep appointments ever. She told us she was going to bring Amelia to church yesterday, but that morning texted us and said that she actually couldn't. So we asked if a member could come get her (there's a family that is SOOO cool and has offered to give Amelia a ride) but that didn't work either, cause she's protective and doesn't want her going alone. So that was pretty frustrating for us. Amelia is totally ready to be baptized after just a couple more visits, but she HAS to come to church! Ugh. So we're just trying to figure out how we can get her there. There's a guy that we met on the street that's super interesting! His grandma was a member, so he's interested in learning more and we're visiting him later this week. He was in the Navy Seals and has some really crazy stories that we've heard plenty of :) There are a couple others that might be interested, so we'll just see. For now, we're just teaching the few we've found and trying our best to find more! We are starting to get to know our members pretty well! I think they really like and trust us, and they're all soooooo nice and helpful. Those wings on Tuesday were dang good, and they burned me pretty good! I figured I needed to make you guys proud though :)

So, fun story! We were at a recent convert's house, sharing a message, and we came out and saw this guy riding away on his bike. And, he had a lot of lights in his hands. We got back to our bikes and our lights were GONE! We hopped on our bikes and tried to chase after him but he was long gone. So I got to spend 50 bucks on new lights! :) Better than having a bike stolen, but still annoying. I don't know if there's anything CTR will do for that, but I figured I'd go ahead and buy some more. It was a good reminder though, to always be locking our bikes up, just in case. And now I make sure I take my lights off my bike every time too :)

Question for you: It's starting to get a little chilly at night, and I don't have a coat :) So, where are the best places to get something? Would it be best to get a coat, or like a sweater, or a cardigan? What do you think? I never realized how little I know about that stuff :)

I love what you said about the Spirit! I've realized lately just how essential it is to everything! Without it, we can't do anything. I love how when we teach people about baptism, it's like the little extra motivation, a little extra prize they get. It's like, "Ok, baptism is cool right? But after, you get one of God's greatest gifts - the Holy Ghost! Now, you want that right? Here's what you do to get it" :) I've definitely been trying my hardest to learn how to listen to the Spirit, but it's so hard sometimes. I still can never tell if it's my own thoughts or the Spirit :) But sometimes it's just so unmistakable. It's definitely something that we all need to learn how to do, because it will lead us and help us do so much good in our lives.

I have been writing in my journal actually! I haven't missed a day! I made a goal in the MTC to right in it every single day, and I've met it so far! Some days are definitely better entries than others, but I've gotten at least a sentence in :) Most of it will probably be nonsense but I'm hoping that I get some good stuff in there!

Thank you for your advice! I've been realizing lately that I worry a lot! I always knew that about myself, but I just worry so much about weird things, like if I'm focused enough, and then the worry just causes more problems. So I've been trying to worry less. My companion and I were telling each other things that we liked and didn't like about each other (all in good fun :) ) and one of the things he said is I'm kinda boring :) I didn't mind though, cause it's kinda true nowadays, and I know I'm not really all that boring. But I do have a hard time sometimes, just letting loose and not worrying so much. So I need to learn how to do that, while still balancing it with reverence and such :) And, better to be too boring than too annoying right? :) I'll try not to be too hard on myself though.

That ponderizing scripture is really good! I'm gonna study that one more! Mine this week was 2 Nephi 4:34-35. Another Nephi one. Isn't he the BEST? :) It's actually kinda similar to the family's! It's all about trusting God. I need to trust God more...He knows everything but still I won't give things up sometimes. Ugh :) Lots to work on :)

I don't have any pictures this week. Sorry! I'll definitely try to get some soon! You need to know just who I'm dealing with in my apartment and district :) Thank you for everything! I loved your email as always, thank you so much! I LOVE you!!!!! I'll be excited to email next week! Thanks for being the best Mom ever :)

Elder Connor Hopkin

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