Sunday, January 17, 2016

Week 22

Hello Mom!!!!! :):):)

It's Monday again huh?! :) It's so good to hear from you! Dang I love you :)

Well, things were pretty good this week! I don't think I've had a perfect week, nor a perfectly bad week, so things are normal I guess :) Lots of things that made our schedule unexpectedly weird, but nothing that was too crazy! On Wednesday, we had a great day of proselyting planned, then our Zone Leader needed someone to help him drive 2 cars down to Modesto (about a 30 minute drive), then he had to take care of some things on the way back up, and we got to proselyte not nearly as much as we had hoped. And just other things like that that ruined our plans...but nothing bad! :) It's super weird and funny, cause in situations like that, I absolutely love a break, you know? I love being lazy sometimes...but I just get this pit in my stomach that disappears the second I'm able to get out and work. I appreciated that situation on Wednesday cause it reminded me how good it feels to work :) I had a lot of really good learning opportunities this week that I really appreciated! On Tuesday, we had a meeting specifically for trainers and their companions. On Thursday, we had an awesome District Meeting; I also went on an exchange with my Zone Leader Elder Moreno, and he imparted a lot of wisdom to me :) And on Saturday and Sunday, we had a wonderful Stake Conference with an Area Seventy - Elder Pimentel - where we learned about prayer and other things. If you don't mind me sharing a few highlights from Stake Conference: 1) Elder Pimentel talked about how there are two types of prayer. He said we can pray to know things, and we can pray to change things. He talked about how when we pray to change things, we either receive the blessing according to the Lord's will, or we have to pray for strength to be patient if His will isn't the same as our request. He also said that an amazing thing of prayer is that we can "pray to change things" for others. It was really cool! 2) There is a returning less active man that is in my ward that spoke. He talked about little "dots on his spiritual road map" that led him back to the church. He has been back for a little over 2 years, and about 6 weeks ago, he received his endowments, and a couple weeks later was sealed in the temple. He's such an incredible example to me of how the gospel can change lives. He carries the Spirit with him and just seems so happy. His main point was that Satan wants to tell us that we can't get where we want from where we are right now. But because of Jesus Christ, we can get anywhere (specifically Salvation) from where we are. 3) Elder Pimentel also gave his "Pimentel Theory" that you less likely to fall off the cliff if you're not standing close to the edge. He talked about building fences that keep us from breaking commandments and receiving the consequences. Anyways....that was a lot of words! I hope those were a little of worth....sorry :)

There was a man that we met several weeks ago and taught a little, and he said we could teach him more. He's been super busy, but we were finally able to meet with him on Saturday! We taught him and his girlfriend, and they were very receptive! We could have improved a lot in our teaching, but I think it went well. We're super excited about them; I think they're truly prepared - especially him. I'll keep you updated :) Mary is back on the radar! We're hoping to meet with her soon and help her start progressing again. Circumstances are better now, and she's still interested in being baptized, so we're excited for that too! And that's the update! :)

I'm glad it was a good week! That's so crazy about Makaeli! It's so weird to think that she's gonna graduate before I even get home! Ahhh!! That's super exciting though! It's cool that she's growing so much :) And that's awesome about Bryn's and Ethan's plays! Thanks for keeping me updated! :) So, his name is actually Elder Moreno...just so you know :) And thank you SO MUCH for working on that! I haven't told him that I asked you, so it'll be a nice surprise! :) He's the shorter one from the pictures. I'd guess he'd be a large for a shirt. For snacks....I'm not sure :) Dang it! Thanks again for doing that, that'll be such a blessing for him!

Thank you for your thoughts - as always! :) It was really cool for me to see a man in our ward whose father died a few weeks ago, and he and his family were just so calm with the whole situation. He explained in a testimony meeting how he finds so much peace in the Plan of Salvation. It really is an incredible truth that we have. Thanks for your ideas on the Book of Mormon and the tree of life! I need to study that chapter! It really is such an amazing story of the love and peace that we can feel as we push through the hard times. Jesus Christ fills us with so much happiness, and we have the opportunity to partake of that. And we need to share it! :)

Elder Moreno talked to me on our exchange about how leaders need to lift up all those that are around them. We as members of the Church are leaders to those around us, and we have a light that comes from the Holy Ghost. That Spirit will help us as we turn outwards to focus on and help others, and I love the feeling that comes when you focus on someone else and help them. That's what we are called to do, and we are given the power to do so. You're an incredible example of this, but it's something that I've been working on over the last few days, so I wanted to share it with you! :)

Everything is well! I'm so glad everything is good back home! Thanks for your emails and all your love!! You're THE BEST!!! I pray for you constantly! Thank you for everything you have always done for me! I LOVE YOU so much!!!!!

Elder Connor Hopkin

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