Here is Connor's letter for the week of January 18-24th. Sounds like he's having all kinds of adventures--which is a pretty good description of what a mission is--an adventure. It certainly gives a few good stories to tell for years to come. I love seeing the growth and progress he is making in responding to change and unexpected experiences. I am proud of him for it!
Hi Mom!!!!! :):)
So! It was a pretty good/crazy week! :) I was actually going to just copy my journal entry for Monday and email it to you, cause it was such a unique day...but I forgot my journal :/ Anyways, the summary is this: After emailing, we went to dinner, then had an awesome lesson with this couple that basically asked us what they need to do to be baptized!! We had a couple of other really good contacts that day, and then! We do our laundry at this laundromat in our apartment complex, and we had to leave our clothes in the dryer to come email, then we went straight to dinner and our lesson, and so our clothes were there for hours. So we went to get them....and they were gone!! Yay!! There were clothes in the dryer we had been using, so we waited there until that person came to get his clothes. He arrived, and we started to ask him if he knew anything...and he was deaf! So we had an interesting time communicating with him and realized he didn't know anything about it. We prayed, and then searched around. Finally, we saw one of our socks outside the laundromat. Then we found another one about 20 feet away. I connected a line between the two, and it pointed....straight to the dumpster!! :) So we went dumpster diving at 10 pm getting our juicy clothes so we could wash them in the morning! It was actually super exciting! :)
So that was my Monday! :) We had a really good work week, and that was super nice! We found those two investigators that I mentioned already, and had a good lesson with Mary, and found several other investigators! It's so interesting how they're all from different walks of life, but they ALL need the gospel! It's been exciting trying to teach them the way they need though - we have a couple investigators that are just SUPER smart and know the Bible in and out and teaching them is so fun but exhausting! Without our members and the Spirit, they would have eaten us alive :) They're all actually interested though, it's not like they're trying to Bible-bash or anything. And then we have the investigators that don't work, do drugs, and are so humble and teachable. It's so interesting!
So, a pretty good week! I'm sure I'm missing something important, but I can't think of it right now :( We had transfer calls last night! I'm staying with Elder Ashcraft (thank goodness!) and I was called as a District Leader. I'm super nervous but really excited for the learning opportunity! I just KNOW I'm going to have some really embarrassing and humbling experiences....but oh well right? It's good for me! :) I'm so glad I'm still with Elder Ashcraft - he's fantastic, and it would have been sad for one of us to leave the area with the progress happening right now. It's all pretty overwhelming but I'm happy about it :)
Dang! 6 months this week....it's crazy! It seems so fast...but there's so much left! I don't know what to think about it. It's crazy that I'll end up being in this area for nearly 6 months! Unless I stay even longer after this transfer! Hahaha I love you calling it the Sister Missionary Mark! That's so weird that the Sisters coming in tomorrow will be going home the same time as me!
I'm sure you had a fantastic time being a single parent for a week! :) That really is cool that he got to travel there and represent the Church in that way - and I really do agree that you're a huge part of that by taking care of things at home and supporting him with that! He wouldn't be able to do anything that he does without your love and support and work! I'm glad that Makaeli and Bryn and Ethan are having fun with everything! That dating sounds intense! She better be careful! ;) That's fun about the Stake Presidency! President Vaughn will do an amazing job! That's interesting that Elder Runia talked about distractions - that's been a theme that President Palmer has emphasized a lot lately - getting rid of distractions that keep us from fulfilling our purpose! That's really cool! And holy cow isn't the Book of Mormon just so good?? I've really come to love and appreciate it even more on my mission - if there's ever a doubt that I have, I just remember how true the Book of Mormon is, and that helps me hold on until more understanding comes. That's why it's such a keystone for us!
That's super cool that they got to have the morningside with Elder Holland! Luckies!! :) It is cool how missionary work is progressing so much in these latter days! I remember an EFY lesson I had, where the teacher pointed out that all of the previous dispensations had their duties and responsibilities, and they have provided such a foundation for us through the scriptures and such. And it's our responsibility in this dispensation to gather Israel and do missionary work and especially do temple work so all can have the chance to receive salvation. That's what we're here for!
I'm glad you think it's a good thing that I'm not too stressed! :) I had a couple moments this last week where I did, but overall it really has been so much better. I think I see a few potentially stressful situations in my future, but I'll take it as it comes I guess! :) Thank you for all your prayers! And the reminder to rely on the Lord! I just always hope I can do enough myself to qualify for His help, you know? But He helps me do even that! It's so unfair - we're so blessed :) I'm just so grateful for the Atonement and the strength and power that comes from it. I'm so grateful to Him for His sacrifice for me and all of us, and I KNOW that because of Him, we can receive forgiveness for our sins. We can live with our Heavenly Father again, because His plan is perfect!
I love you so so so much!! Thank you for your email and just EVERYTHING!! I'm so blessed to be your son! I love your emails every week - I always always look forward to them! And they're always perfect! I always pray for you! There's an amazing section in Preach My Gospel called "No Effort Is Wasted" - and I think it's so applicable to motherhood! I know you get discouraged or sad every once in a while cause I can't even imagine how hard it is to be a mother! But everything you do means so much, and it doesn't miss its mark. You're such an amazing Mom and I love you and miss you so much!!
Elder Connor Hopkin