Friday, December 25, 2015

Week 18--Transfers and Training (Again!!)

A few changes for Elder Hopkin this week. Here is the letter and a couple of transfer pictures taken before Elder Jones left Tracy.

Hi Mom!!!!!

It's so good to hear from you!!! Thank you so much for that compliment about me apologizing! That's really nice to be told, you know? That made me feel really good :) Ok, so I know you're wondering about transfers, so I'll just go ahead and let you know :) Elder Jones is taking off to Modesto! His new companion came out with him, so they'll both be pretty new, but he's a really good missionary and I know he's going to do amazing down there! I'm staying here to train another missionary! It was really funny, on Saturday night I had said my prayers and was just falling asleep, then around 11:15, we got a phone call and it was President Palmer! And when the mission president calls, you answer immediately :) So I, still super groggy, answered, and he asked how I was and if Elder Jones was there, and I looked at him and he was OUT. So I said "kinda...." and then about 5 minutes later we were ready for our assignments :) Both Elder Jones and I loved being with each other, but we both think that this is definitely the best way for both of us to progress. We still got along really well, but we had hit a couple road blocks that kept us from working perfectly together, and this change will be good I think. So that's the news! I'm pretty nervous about it....definitely not nearly as scared as a couple transfers ago though :) I just know that each new transfer always holds a new challenge. And since I'm not getting doubled-in to an area this time, I'm worried that the challenge will come through my companion :) That's just my negative thinking though; I'm sure he's going to be incredible and is going to teach me a ton! I'm just anxious to find out who he is and what he's like! I was reading a kind of trainer's "guide" and realized there were a ton of things I didn't do so well with Elder Jones, and I hope I can do those a lot better this time around. I'm pretty sure that we're going to be moving - again. There are a few extra missionaries coming into the area, so they're going to move me and my companion BACK into our old place and give this new place to a couple Sister :) That's the update!

As far as the work is....we had a disappointing Saturday. We had a baptism planned that fell through. It was pretty nuts; we had his interview scheduled for Friday afternoon, then the investigator kept pushing it later and later, then eventually asked if they could do the interview an hour before the baptism! Then about 10:00 Friday night, they texted and said they wanted to push the baptism a week or two back so they could clear their head. So...hopefully that will happen really soon! I'll keep you updated! And I realized that typically, that situation would have been pretty hard for me, but the Spirit totally comforted me, and I didn't really worry very much about it - so that was really nice. And that same Saturday, we had another investigator do their interview and they passed! Their baptism is planned for this Saturday and we're so excited! We've got several other potential investigators that actually seem quite interested, but we haven't gotten to actually teach them yet. It's super cool because they typically consist of families, which is like the jackpot for missionaries! The family is so important, of course, so we're always super excited when we find families that can learn and change together! So my new companion should have some good opportunities to start teaching :)

Dang sorry, that update was super long! So yah, I've been opening my presents from 25 to 1. Sorry about that, I hope that was ok! I thought the numbers were supposed to count me down to Christmas. Oops :) I won't mind at all though if the presents are "piddly"! I've loved every single one of them! The poo-pourri made me laugh so hard!!!! And I opened the snow globe last night and loved it!! And the musical ties were awesome! And every time I open those, I feel so so so much love and it just reminds me how much you do for me. Thank you so much! That's been such a perfect gift and I've loved it so much! The Case's today took us shopping, and then gave us presents that they said were a "continuation from our mothers". My understanding is that they asked you what I'd like then bought it. It was so kind of them!!! Thanks for giving them such good ideas too :)

Thank you so much for putting my name on the prayer role!! And my investigators'! That's so helpful and I definitely feel the strength from them! Hahaha thanks for taking such good care of Katy with her wisdom teeth :) It's fun that you two are such good friends! Hmm....for presents...dang it's been a while! I could suggest... A Five Guys or Chickfila gift card; a book (like a romance type thingy); maybe like a bracelet or earrings or a hair-accessory thing; something sour; maybe something pink :) Hmm....I hope those are accurate and helpful...I've never been the best gift giver. I'm sure she'll love and completely appreciate anything!!! :)

Holy cow that quote from that conference is so good!! "Heavenly Father is more interested in my growth than my comfort." I needed that too! It's so true! Here in my mission, that is so accurate! Heavenly Father wants us to be comfortable and happy, but he knows that true happiness comes from progress, which only comes with some hardship and trial. I think that's such a good summary of the Plan of Salvation. He and we all knew that it wouldn't be comfortable coming here - but it was the only way for us to grow and progress, and achieve that eternal happiness that He wants so bad for us! I want to tell you though, that I think you're already such an incredible example of sacrifice and consecration. I've realized just how stinking much you've sacrificed for me, my siblings, the rest of your family, and others. You're sacrificing time with your husband as he fulfills his duties as a bishop. You sacrifice relaxation as you spend countless hours working and doing so much for us. I think of you as one of my biggest role-models for sacrifice, and I appreciate so much the example of Christ that you are. I know that you've consecrated so much of yourself to Him. I don't want to dissuade you from becoming better at it - I think that's so cool and incredible! But just know that you're already so good at that!

That other thought about other people having to accept the gospel was so perfect for me too, especially after Saturday. It's so true! I think that's a good example of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. In the same way that it's our role to teach and their role to accept, I've noticed that in the Plan, it was Christ's role to perform the Atonement and our role to accept it by living the gospel. He's already perfectly fulfilled His role, like we knew He would, and so it's our turn to show Him that we'll accept it. I love how it talks about that in the Christmas video I told you about. We need to love Him, remember Him, and follow Him. And it's our job as members of the church to help others find that path and make that choice for themselves.

One last thing! We talked about Skyping a few days ago, and I wanted us to start figuring that out! We're going to find a member that can let us Skype on their computer (we could also FaceTime if that's easier). I need to know though when would work best for you all, so I can plan to Skype when you'll all be together. Also, if I could get the contact information for your Skype and FaceTime, just so I can have that info just in case. I can have my member call you on Christmas though, so we can make sure all is set up and ready to go! And just so you know, we only really get 40 minutes. We talked in District Meeting about following that rule from the Missionary Handbook and being strictly obedient. So as much as I hate it, it's gonna have to be only 40 minutes :( Just wanted to make you aware of that. I'm looking forward so much to that!! I'm so excited to see you all and get to talk to you for real :)

Thank you so much for EVERYTHING!!! You're so incredible and I love you SO MUCH!!!! Thanks for all you do for me. I've never had a doubt about how much you care about me and love me, and it's been so comforting to remember that I have you no mater what :) Sorry this email is soooooo long! I love you and miss you and will be looking forward to your beautiful email next week :)

Elder Connor Hopkin

Elder Lopez, Elder Hopkin, Elder Moreno, Elder Jones
Tuesday, December 15, 2015

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