Saturday, November 28, 2015

Week 14--Finding People To Teach

Got a couple other pics this week from the sweet member in Tracy who has taken good care of Connor while he's been in that area. Also, this week, I made a fun connection with a friend of mine here that knows someone in the Tracy ward. This member's report was that Elder Hopkin and Elder Jones are working hard. She said they are great missionaries with good hearts and that the Ward Council was doubling their efforts to help find people for them to teach because they were working so hard in the area. This was a fun and unexpected blessing to hear about their efforts and successes from someone on that side of things. From Connor's letter it sounds like their hard work is starting to pay off and that they are finding people who want to hear their lessons, and that a few of them are even wanting to be baptized. Here are the pics and the letter:

November 16, 2015--Elder Hopkin and Elder Jones
getting back from riding their bikes to the grocery store
in the rain. The member met them at the store and took their
groceries back to their apartment for them so they wouldn't have
to carry them on their bikes, which was really nice. Didn't save them
from getting drenched in the rain, though. Looks like they survived it, anyway.

Hi Mom!!!

How are you doing?! Man, that sounds like a nice, peaceful Sunday morning! I remember there were a few times I'd get back from Mission Prep class and we were the only ones awake and it was so nice cause you and I just know how to be quiet and calm :) Sundays as a missionary are definitely quite stressful - the way I am, I get so overwhelmed and worried that I'm not talking to exactly who I should be or doing everything I need to. Yet there's something about church that just helps you keep going. The Sacrament has a bigger effect on us than we realize, I think. As we renew those covenants, we can receive the peace knowing that our sins are forgiven and that the Holy Ghost can be with us. And I think that even just being obedient to that commandment from the Lord brings so many blessings!

Thank you for all the prayers for me and my companion and our area! They have definitely been answered! The mission continues to be pretty dang difficult, but I've felt the Lord strengthening me. And our area kinda exploded this week! Quite a few new investigators! Of course, who knows how that will all turn out, but we're both very excited with the way things are going. We had a couple disappointments yesterday with people not coming to church, but some did come and we're trying to stay positive :) Thanks for the reminder that conversion is a process and takes a while! I'm not sure how long I'll be in this area, and I just want everyone to be golden and progress perfectly - but no matter how perfect our investigator seems at first, there's always a complication and concern somewhere. It's important for me to remember that this is how missionary work is, and I need to be patient with their progress. I've talked to several members over the last couple of days that took years to finally be baptized - and I need to remember that that's the best timing for some people. At the same time though, I hope that I can help people move towards that saving ordinance as quickly as possible, because that is what will bring them the most happiness!

Sister Brown came up to me yesterday and asked if I knew the Yokota's and after a couple seconds (it's so weird the things I forget and the things I remember) I was like "Yah!!" and she told me the story! It was so cool! I didn't know she had said those things though, and I really appreciate them. You know that I'm a people pleaser, and I worry that I'm not looking good enough for everyone. So even though I'm sure I don't always, that's really good to hear! Thank you!! I'm glad that the ward trusts us, because I don't always trust us :) We can always do a lot better, but we are doing our best to do our very best :)

I'm glad Cooper's doing well! I'm definitely so grateful for the living conditions I have!! My companion was really hoping to be called somewhere crazy, like Africa, and I'm thinking "Um, I'll take where I am" :) Keep me updated with him! And that's so exciting for Kelsey! She'll do awesome there! Dang, all these missionaries going's insane! It's super weird, now that the first wave of guys my age has passed, all the girls are starting to get their calls - and it's freaking me out! :)

I did get the jacket!! Thank you so so so much! It's exactly what I need, and I've already put it to super good use! Thank you so much for taking care of that for me! I need to figure out stuff like that for myself...ugh I've been realizing how dependent I am. It's no good :) And, I was thinking, I don't know how much I'd use a sweater...that jacket will be perfect! Just so you know :)

I've been feeling like I just need to tell you how much you mean to me. I hope I've always let you know how much I love you, but I'm sure there were millions of times when I fell short with that. Just know that I couldn't imagine a more incredible mom. You're seriously the perfect example of Christlike selflessness and service. I look up to you so much, and I can't imagine where I'd be without all the time and advice and love and everything you've given me. You're such an amazing example of true faith and diligence and charity. Thank you for the example you are, and all that you do! It doesn't go unnoticed, and I hope you understand just how much good you do for so many people! So yah....I just love you :)

I've been realizing lately just how important faith is in everything. I feel like I've always had a pretty strong testimony of the gospel and especially of Jesus Christ. But while out here, I noticed I don't have enough faith that the Lord can work through me. My patriarchal blessing talks a lot about faith, and I've really been trying to improve in that. I know that through faith, anything is possible. Through our belief and action, the Lord can work amazing miracles through us. In Ether 12, it talks about all of these incredible miracles that people performed - but these never came until AFTER the faith. I know that through prayer and scripture study and keeping the commandments, that Heavenly Father will bless us with unshakable faith and strength in our weakness, and that if we center that on Jesus Christ and His Atonement, there are so many blessings we will see. Of course, I'm preaching to the choir here, but that's what I've been learning lately :)

Thank you for keeping that blog updated! Several people have told me that they check it and really like it. I can't wait to see it in forever :) I love you so much! Congrats on reaching your Book of Mormon goal soon!! That is soooo cool and impressive!!!! Let me know when you finish! :) Thanks for that scripture, D&C 101:16 - I love that so much but had forgotten about it! Thank you for the compliments and advice and testimony and love and EVERYTHING!! You're the BEST!! :) I love you!!

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

P.S. I was wondering if it was snowing yet! I don't miss it that much, but it is pretty and kinda fun :) Good luck with that, I know you were never too fond of it :) We won't be getting any here, so enjoy it for me! :)

This week we sent Connor a Thanksgiving package. It was Thanksgiving in a box--snack style. Here's a list of the things we sent:

Cranberry Sauce--Trail Mix with Cranberries
Stuffing--Double Stuffed Oreos
Corn--Corn Nuts
Salad--Veggie Straws
Fruit Salad--Fruit Snacks
Pumpkin Pie--Pumpkin Cookies
Apple Pie--Apple Nutrigrain bars

We also had all of Shon's family respond to this question: "I am thankful for Connor's ___________".  We sent him all of their answers. The best one was Eva's (Connor's cousin) answer--"his hair".

Here are a couple of pictures of the package. Hope he enjoyed it!

 Thanksgiving package we sent for 2015

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