Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 23

We got a couple of pictures this week from members in the area where Connor is serving. They came in on different days, from different people. I sure am grateful for those who send us these pictures. It makes me feel more connected somehow. I have added quotes from the texts also--I love what they members there have to say about Elder Hopkin and Elder Ashcraft.

 Elder Ashcraft, Elder Hopkin, Sister Baker
Tuesday, January 12, 2016

"We love taking care of them here in Tracy. They are both very dedicated and love the Lord and the people here."

Elder Hopkin and Elder Ashcraft
Wednesday, January 13, 2016

"Hello Mothers. Had your sons here for dinner. Sounds like they are having lots of success and are working very diligently. Your Elders are great young men."

Here is Connor's letter this week:

Hi Mom!!!! :):):)

Week 24! Dang! That's crazy! Yesterday, I was in ward council, and before the meeting started it came up that I had been in this area for 4 months - it was nuts to think about! And, with my training assignment, I'm guessing that I'll stay here with Elder Ashcraft for another transfer to total about 5 and a half months. That's a long time! It's been such a perfect ward to be in for so long though; it's been such a blessing! And, I've gotten to the point where I tell people I've been out 6 months - what?! It's insane :) I can already see how I'll look back on my mission with gratitude and fondness; even though it's hard sometimes, I'm learning so much that I know is really going to bless my life - and already has!

That sounds like a good week! Dad emailed saying you've had a couple crazy days - is everything all good? Anything specific I can pray for? That's super exciting for Dad going to Singapore! That for some reason reminds me of how you let me go to Israel instead of going yourself...I don't think I ever really thanked you enough for that, but I've realized just how incredible that was and how much I should be grateful for that opportunity. So thank you....about 2 years late :) Anyways, that was random... :) And that's super cool about Makaeli!! I think I mentioned, there's a girl in our ward that plays the organ, and I was so jealous cause she's really good - then I talked to her about it yesterday and she doesn't use the tell Makaeli that's something to be proud of! It's not an easy thing!

Thank you for praying for me and my investigators!! And putting us on the prayer role!! That's so helpful! I've felt pretty...not-so-stressed lately. Of course, plenty of obvious stress that comes with a mission. But I've felt pretty good about things lately. I don't know if that means I'm not being hard enough on myself, or if it's just a big blessing! Probably a little of both? I hope I'm being hard enough on myself... :) But I've definitely seen and felt the blessings from your prayers! And I'm so jealous that you get to go to the temple!! Ahhhh! A mission is like, the time that you most need the temple, and when you're just starting to appreciate how beautiful it is and...we can't go!! It's ok though :)

So this week! We found a few new investigators! One of them, we had found about a month and a half ago, and one of them about 3 and a half months ago - and we finally got lessons with them!! They're all super cool and really great! One of them keeps telling me she wants to set me up with her daughters.... I don't know how to respond to it, but I don't mind the compliment :) One of the guys is suuuper cool! We got in, and asked to start the lesson with a prayer, and he was like "Can I say it??" and we were like "uh....ok!" and he said our opening prayer! That made me a little nervous, but he ended up being sincerely interested! We asked him if he would get baptized when he finds that the Book of Mormon is true and he said "Well, yah! I wouldn't be genuine if I didn't! I really just want to follow Christ, and if this is it, then of course!" Basically the perfect answer :) So we're excited about that! So thanks for the prayers because we all really need them! :) Mission President is so inspired!! We had a Zone Conference recently, and just the things that he's doing with our mission are so incredible! He's really teaching a higher law. He does a lot of things that make us receive personal revelation and figure things out ourselves line upon line by relying on the Lord (namely, having missionaries train after their first transfer :) ). It's been so good for me, cause I'm so reliant on people telling me what to do sometimes. He also has emphasized the importance of counselling together. Instead of him getting up and teaching us, he has everybody participate and add in their two cents that they've been taught by the Spirit, and it's powerful! He really understands how the Lord wants us to learn and grown and decide things, and it's rubbing off to a lot of our leaders, and then to us. So that's kinda what I've learned recently, if that makes any sense :)

So yah! I think that's it for now! That situation with the money is SUPER COOL!!! Thank you for sharing that with me! Sometimes, I don't have as much faith in my prayers as I should, cause I almost just assume that what I'm asking for isn't God's will. But a lot of times, it is! That's a really cool experience!!

Thank you so much for everything! I love you so much and just THANK YOU for all you do! Thanks for your email and your love and your thoughts and you! :) I'm excited for next Monday already :) I love you!!

Elder Connor Hopkin

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