Saturday, October 24, 2015

Week 9--Some Good Experiences and Nothing Too New

 Week nine finds Connor doing well. He and Elder Jones continue to work hard to find people to teach. His letter this week is below.

Hi Mom!!

How's it going!? I loved your email as always!! :) I feel like there were so many things that you said that I just loved but don't really know how to respond to....:) I hope your heel is ok! That's fun though that we both get to bike a ton though :)

Things with Amelia are going well, but kinda slowly. She's pretty busy and a little hard to get a hold of, so we only got to visit her once this week. It was a really good visit though! We are having a lesson with her tonight at a member's house, and that's always a really good step! I hope things can continue to progress and go well. She's still our only investigator that's really progressing, but we have a couple new ones that we're hopeful about! We actually had a really cool experience the other day! We had gone over to Amelia's for a visit but she wasn't there and we were pretty bummed. So we started to bike away, but about a minute down the road, my companion had a super strong prompting to go back. So we did. Amelia has this neighbor who supposedly has been pretty antagonistic to missionaries - she has a sign outside her door that says something like "Keep away Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses. Do not leave any literature on my door!" :) But as we were riding by, she stopped us and started asking questions. She had seen us over at Amelia's a lot, and had asked Amelia's mom about us and was told to just ask us. So she was super curious and asked a couple questions about what we believe, and we told her, gave her a Book of Mormon, and scheduled a visit for tomorrow! And she took her sign off her door! We're really excited about it! She's kinda interesting, but seems reasonably interested! And, after we talked to her, we saw that Amelia had gotten home, so we went over and had our lesson with her! It was an amazing experience!

I had another cool experience last Monday. There was a funeral in the Spanish ward that the other Elders in our apartment cover, and they set me up to play the piano for the funeral. So I said yes, thinking that I would play a couple hymns and it would be all good. But on the funeral day, a couple hours before it, I found out that I needed to accompany a singer. She gave me the music and it was just the right hand, and I was relieved. But all of a sudden, she said "So, are you gonna play the left hand?" And I looked at it and said "Uh....there isn't a left hand...." :) But I tried to draw on the music training I've had, and in a matter of about 15 minutes, I had basically figured out the chords based on the right hand and had improvised a left hand for it that sounded pretty good. And it went super well when it came time to actually perform! The thing is, I have no idea how I improvised it so quickly...I definitely know that it was completely the Spirit drawing on the years of piano lessons and jazz piano training I had taken, and helping me to play well so that I could serve someone. It was incredible, and I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father helped me be able to do that!

Those were kinda the two highlights of my week. We have another couple of people that have seemed interested that we can hopefully visit soon, and we've had a couple of really good experiences with a less active/inactive member, and a recent convert. Other than that, not a whole lot going on. We're just trying to work hard and have faith and hope that we'll be able to find the people we're meant to! I've had a couple of kinda hard days, where I just feel like I'm not accomplishing much and wonder if I can do what I need to. But God has helped me through them :) I just hope that I'm doing enough, that I'm doing what I need to so I can have the Spirit and be able to use it to bless others.

I loved how you said that the disappointments we face when people don't accept the Gospel gives us an idea of how Christ feels. I've realized and thought about that a bit during the week actually! Here we are as missionaries, just trying to help others and bring them happiness, and they just dismiss it, sometimes very unkindly. And we're just like "Hey! We just want to help! Don't be mad at US!" you know? But I realized that we have weaknesses that make it less likely for people to accept us; but Jesus is perfect and has made a perfect Atonement! You'd think everyone would accept it! There are no flaws! Yet people completely dismiss and reject it, often very unkindly! And I imagine He's kind of like "Hey! I'm just here to help! I love you so much! I'm right here and I've made it perfectly possible for you! Don't be mad at ME!" Kinda sad but interesting to think about, and it made me realize that I need to always be accepting of Christ, because He's just there to help and love me.

Thanks again for the updates! Bryn's birthday party sounded like a success! I'm glad everyone got to be together! I'm super excited for all those missionaries! It's so scary but good :) As far as things I need, I'm pretty good. Those snacks you sent a while ago are basically out, so a few more would be kinda nice, but I'm a lot better off with food this transfer than last. Having 4 missionaries around and a lot of money from the ward has helped a ton! But snacks and candy are always appreciated :) Clothing-wise, I'm good! Thanks for taking such good care of me!!!

I hope this email was alright. Ugh I ALWAYS worry! I felt a little weird about emailing today too for some reason....I just worry that I'm missing something :):) But yah, pretty good week! I love you so much!! Let me know if there's anything I can do! I pray for you all the time! Thanks for all the prayers and fasts, in my behalf and my companion's and my area's! Thanks for being so so so supportive! You're the most incredible Mom! I love and miss you!!

Elder Connor Hopkin

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