Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 27--Valentine's Week And A Few Pics

We sent Connor a package for Valentine's Day. Here are a few pics. It really is fun to have him in a place where we can send stuff to him regularly--one huge advantage of a state-side mission!!

 Red and Pink ties for V-Day 2016.

Another fun thing this week was an unexpected post on my Facebook wall from a friend and member of my home ward. He was in Modesto on a business trip and saw two Elders walking along the sidewalk. He stopped and asked them if they wanted a ride and they accepted. He asked if they knew Elder Hopkin and one of them said "yes". It was Elder Jones--Connor's last companion! Here are a couple of pictures Scott took with Elder Jones. It was so kind of him to think of sending them to me! He then went to Tracy, but didn't have quite the same luck finding Connor, although he did look for him as he was driving around. Maybe next time!

Scott and Elder Jones in Modesto 
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

"I just met Connor's last companion, Elder Jones, while I was in Modesto today. He had the best things to say about Connor! I looked for him in Tracy but no luck."

On Sunday night we got another picture of Connor with his companion, Elder Ashcraft! How I love random and unexpected pictures and texts (and Facebook posts).

Elder Hopkin and Elder Ashcraft 
Sunday, February 14, 2016 
Tracy, California

"Our family is here in Modesto to visit our daughter's mission (who was just released two weeks ago) and saw these two wonderful Elders in Tracy at Stake Conference. I think I kind of freaked Elder Hopkin out because I knew who he was and your name Jen from missionary moms group on Facebook. Anyway, happy Sunday!"

Can I say again how much I appreciate and love the thoughtfulness of others in taking and sending pics of Connor. Makes me feel a bit more connected somehow! And, it always makes me happy!!

Here is his letter for the week and a few more pictures that he sent along.

Hi Mom!!!!

Hahaha thank you! I really hope I'm not balding :) The other day we were at dinner with a family, and I mentioned that I was gaining weight and getting fat and they were like "What?! Are you trying to get kicked out? What are you talking about, stop!" and then I said that I was balding too and they just cracked up! But I was serious about it all! I don't know what they were laughing at :)

I'm glad you got that picture! Yah, a Sister that went home last transfer came to visit with her parents and her mom was like "Is one of you Elder Hopkin? I read your blog!" and it was really random and weird but cool :) So I hope you edit that thing carefully ;) But really, thank you so much for keeping that up! I did get your package, ON Valentine's Day! I loved it!!! I just sent you that picture of our ties! And holy cow, Elder Moreno LOVED his package! It made his day! Thank you so much for sending that to him! He actually lived in Orem, and he goes home this transfer and said he's gonna go visit you guys...we'll see but that would be fun :)

I think that's a good option to suggest that to President....but I don't know if I'm brave enough :) I'll sit on that one and think about it! That would make things pretty intense - but I would learn Spanish pretty quickly huh? I'm glad the other kids are working hard and having a good time - especially at ACT classes :) I just realized, I use a lot of smiley faces, huh? I had a dream the other night, where my mission president told me I needed to stop using so many emojis in my texts (I use them a decent amount, like when communicating with missionaries or members), and I wasn't sure if that was revelation through a dream, or something to not worry about :)

My week was ok! We had our fair share of dropped appointments. I'm pretty used to that though! We found another investigator, but I don't know how interested he really is. We have a couple investigators that we have planned appointments for soon, and a couple that are really busy over the next couple weeks. Abraham and Martha are still going strong! We're excited about them! I do continue to have new adventures and experiences. My district leader assignment is going pretty well! I always have been a people-pleaser, so I always worry if I'm doing enough of the right things, if they like me enough, etc... I need to get over that stuff though! Our last district meeting, we focused on personal revelation and I've just gained such a strong testimony lately that God gives us directions and answers to prayers. I've really tried to learn to listen to the Holy Ghost so I can understand God's will and do the right things, and while I have a lot to improve on, I've had some cool experiences. Kinda along with that, I've gained a strong testimony of scripture study, especially in the Book of Mormon. Just this morning, I started my studies with a prayer, and was reading in Ether 3, and went on this long scripture chain and just learned so much from the Spirit, and it was so amazing! The Lord always teaches us line upon line. Today I understood something a little better that I had studied and learned about months ago! He's always there to teach and direct us, as we ask Him in faith. Anyways, my district is doing great - they're all recovered and back to full force! We had a new addition; there was an emergency transfer somewhere and a really cool Elder (that had been my Zone Leader's companion when I first came to Tracy) is now in a tripanionship with the Northland Elders! Sot that's been fun!

That's a really nice story about Ethan! Thank you (to all the family) for all your prayers! They help more than you know! Thank you also for those thoughts from Grandma and Grandpa! That's fun that they got to give their talks! I wish I could have been there - I'm sure they have some incredible stories! And that scripture - Isaiah 41:10 - dang I love that one!!! It's SO GOOD!!! Thanks for reminding me of it! :)

To close, 2 things. One: last night we had this delicious meal at a member's home and I got super full and then she pulled out our Valentine's Day surprise dessert - a HUGE cupcake! I was so grateful but ahhh I ate the whole thing and almost died!! So know that I'm taken care of - too much :) Also, I've been sharing a lot lately a few verses from Alma 36 - verses 12 and 17-21. I think it's so beautiful the contrast between his shame and guilty torment, and the light and joy that Jesus Christ gives him. He remembered that his father had taught him about Christ (a good reminder to us to always be teaching of Christ so others can remember Him and His mercy), and then as soon as he cried out for mercy with a repentant heart, he felt the peace and joy that only Jesus can give. I know He can and will forgive our sins and make us clean so we can live with our Father again.

I love you so much!!! Thank you thank you thank you for everything!!! Let me know if there's anything in particular that I can pray for, for you and/or the family! I LOVE YOU!!!!!

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

 Elder Ashcraft, Elder Moreno, Elder Hopkin--they are all wearing their V-Day ties that we sent to them in their packages!!  Fun!
Monday, February 15, 2016

Elder Hopkin and Elder Torres
Monday, February 15, 2016

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