Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 12--No Transfers!

On Sunday morning, November 1st, I woke up with a great photo on my phone from a member in Ione--Connor's first area. At first I was a bit weirded out by seeing him in a picture with Elder Dixon again (his trainer), but the member sent me the story behind the picture and it then all made sense. It is a family that he and Elder Dixon started teaching together before he was transferred. Elder Dixon and his new companion finished teaching her and her two sons. They were baptized this weekend and Connor was able to attend the baptism. Some kind member from the Tracy Ward drove him and Elder Jones to Lodi so they could be there. 

Baptism in Lodi on Saturday, October 31, 2015

It was fun to see Connor and to hear a little bit about what he did this week. We got letters from him on Monday. The first is his letter to me and the other is the one sent to Shon. 

Hello Mom!!! :)

How are you?? It's so good to hear from you!

So I don't have a whole lot of time today... and I'm feeling a little off to be honest... so my email might be kinda lame :) But yah, it was so nice to go up to Ione for that baptism!! I had no idea that they had sent you a picture so I'm glad you got one! It was so weird to be there. I had only taught them a few times (and it was mainly Elder Dixon doing the talking) but we found them together and it was super exciting to see them getting baptized. It kinda helped remind me that it really can happen :) It was super fun to see the families and Elder Dixon. It was funny, between the baptisms and the closing talk, Elder Dixon and his companion were gonna share a message, and Elder Dixon leaned over to me and asked "do you and your companion want to give it?" And I was like "uh, no!!" and he was like "you're a lot nicer to your companion than I was" :) His companion right now has been out about a year, but I think Elder Dixon has really helped him grow a lot, so that's cool! Thanks for showing me that text, that made me feel good :) And that's super fun you connected with Elder Jones' mom! I really appreciated hearing what she said too! If you haven't already, let her know how great I think my companion is!

Thanks for all the compliments! I'm really lame cause I always need those :) I've felt pretty stressed this week - I don't know why! It's just my stupid brain and the way it overthinks things and gets all confused and messed up. So thank you for all the prayers and fasts! Cause who the heck knows where I'd be without them! Overall I'm doing pretty well though!

Our week wasn't too wonderful but not too terrible. Nothing exciting really - we've just been trying to talk to as many people as possible, so we've found a few people that are "interested" :) A lot of our investigators either weren't available at all or postponed their appointments, so not a lot going on there. We've had a few really good visits with less active members though! There's a Prospective Elder that we've been working with basically since week one, and we brought the Bishop to his house on Wednesday and had a super good visit! He's planning on coming to church this Sunday and really getting into it! That's kinda been the highlight!

This week is transfers. Elder Jones and I are staying! No changes there! Except one of the Elders in our apartment is moving out and we're so upset cause we love him so much! It's Elder Griffin, the one that has the uncle that knows Dad. He's not too excited to go, but we all know the Lord is in charge of it all! Our District Leader is now a Zone Leader, and he's pretty excited about that! So that's kinda it for transfers!

I love 1 Nephi 3:7! That one always helps me so much! He just has so much faith! I'm ponderizing Alma 17:2-3 right now, cause I really just need the Spirit as much as possible! I've been learning a lot about how God always answers our prayers and we're always able to ask for help and answers. So I've been trying to pray even harder for the Spirit and others things :)

I got the Halloween cards and LOVED them!! They were so fun! Thank you so much! And again, that package was so perfect! Also! The Simmons sent me an awesome package so could you tell them thanks? And could you also give Chris and Melissa a thanks for the gift cards they sent us? That was so nice of them! Everyone is so helpful and kind and it makes me feel so loved! :) As far as the jacket goes, do you mind picking one up for me? I just don't know enough about what's good and what's not. I feel super lame about that but it just stresses me out trying to find one. If that's inconvenient, let me know and I'll suck it up and find one :) Thank you!

That's super exciting about all the missionaries!! It's so crazy! Jeremy is gonna be so stinking good, that punk! :) I've been getting weekly emails from Brian, and I think he actually just sent me a personal one! I'm sure he'd love an email from you! He seems to be doing super well!

Well, I love you so much! I know that this is the Lord's work! He's always there for us. More and more I'm learning just how much and just how individually and perfectly he cares about us. There is so much happiness that comes from this Gospel!

I didn't get to say this last week, but I realized how lucky I am to be your son! I always kinda understood how blessed I was, but just that fact that I have such incredible parents is such an enormous blessing to me. So thank you so much for everything you do! I really look up to you! You're the best!! :) I hope this email was ok! I love you so much and I'll be really looking forward to your email next week! Thanks for all the uplifting and inspiring thoughts, they always help me so much!

Elder Connor Hopkin

Hey Dad!

Sorry about last week! I thought we were gonna get extra time to email but we didn't :/ I hope that was ok.

I'm glad you guys got that photo from Ione! I didn't know they had sent one! :) It was super exciting to be there and to see that family get baptized, but it was really weird! It seemed like so long ago, even though it was only 6 weeks! It was really good to see everyone though - except that I forgot half of their names :)

This week is actually transfers, but Elder Jones and I are staying the same! That'll be super nice, I've never liked change :) It makes me worry though that I was supposed to accomplish something here already, and that I'm staying because I haven't done it yet. But I hope and think that's maybe not the case.

I love that thought about us being the lost! It's super interesting to see us as being both the 99 and the 1! I've definitely found so far on my mission that I ALWAYS need Christ! Elder Jones and I were talking about how a mission is so hard, but we have so much to strengthen us - prayers from others, the temple endowment, the priesthood, the Holy Ghost, the Atonement - so how the heck do people do it that don't have the Gospel? I know more than ever how much God loves us and is there to strengthen and help us. And we definitely all need it, no matter where we are in life!

Well, time is limited once again. I loved seeing those pictures of the family! It was good to see everyone kinda :) Thanks for emailing Elder Jones, he really appreciated that! Thanks for always being there for me! You (and Mom) are such a good example of being Christ-like! You both have so many attributes of His that I hope to gain someday! I love you so much! Thanks for everything!!

Elder Connor Hopkin

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