Monday, March 28, 2016

Week 33--Easter 2016

We sent Connor an Easter package this week. It's fun to put these together and I love that he gets them within a couple of days. Here are a few photos of that package.





Easter Package 2016



I am also posting one thing we added especially for the Easter season. In 12 of the eggs that we sent we had a scripture that fit into the first Easter story with one small token to go with each scripture passage. And, before anyone thinks I'm creative, it comes from Pinterest, of course.





(Coins) - 1
Matthew 26: 14-16
14 Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests,
15 And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.
16 And from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.

(Bread) - 2
Matthew 26: 26-28
26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

(Sacrament cup) – 3
Matthew 26: 36 & 39
36 Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

(Twine) - 4
Matthew 27:1-2
1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:
2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

(Soap Chip) - 5
Matthew 27:24-26
24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he has scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

(Thorns
) – 6
Mark 15:17-20
17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,
18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.
20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.

(Nail) – 7
Matthew 27:31-32
31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

(Dice) – 8
Matthew 27:35-36
35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
36 And sitting down they watched him there;
37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

(Sponge) – 9
Matthew 27:48
48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

(White linen) – 10
Matthew 27:57-59
57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimath├Ža, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:
58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

(Rock) – 11
Matthew 28: 1-4
1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
2 And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
3 His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
4 And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.

(Empty) - 12
Matthew 28: 5-7
5 And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
6 He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
7 And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.


Here is his letter and a few pictures we received on Sunday night from their dinner appointment. The members in Tracy have been so good to him. I know he loves them a lot! And we love them too for taking such good care of him while he is there. If you'll notice, they are wearing their new Easter ties that we sent in the package. :)

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

1/3 done! That seems so crazy! And yah, who's counting? :) I have so much left to learn and improve on, and I'm glad I still have 16 months to do so! :)

This week went well! I got to go on exchanges with Elder Robinson (the blond one in that picture I sent last week) and it was a blast! I love the chance to spend time with all these other missionaries! This week, I'm going on exchanges with Elder Lopez, who is an Assistant right now. He's going to be coming into my area, and I'm going to have crazy flashbacks to when he was my district leader here! :) We found a super cool investigator the other day! There's a less-active lady that we found, and a member of the bishopric went to visit her; she didn't answer, and he being the awesome missionary he is, he talked to a guy down the street. He told us about this guy, and while Elder Roudabush and I were visiting that less-active lady, we decided to knock on his door. It's of course still in the early stages, but he seems to be truly searching for the right church! We also found a man that will probably be moved to the YSA ward, but he told us that "there has to be one right church, and as far as [he] can tell, Mormons are the right one" :) Pretty prepared if you ask me! :) It's incredible how even when things don't seem to be going perfectly, God is still working with His children and leading them to the truth. Even if it doesn't seem like it at times, there are people that will listen and accept this true message of the restored gospel.

I studied about the resurrection the other day for Easter, and it continues to amaze me how much we can learn from the scriptures. As I studied about our need for and Jesus Christ's sacrifice to offer a resurrection, I realized how important it is for us to do good works here and accept Christ's grace to make us better. The glory of our bodies and the happiness we enjoy after this life are dependent on how we've accepted the Atonement and let it purify and sanctify our spirits. I also gained a greater love and appreciation for my Redeemer Jesus Christ; if it wasn't for His resurrection, we would be lost and have no hope to live with our Father again. He made it possible for us to fulfill this Plan and have complete joy and happiness. He did it out of love for us - He suffered more than we can even imagine, so that we could be cleansed and so He could know how we feel and how to help us.

Thanks for your insights on the enabling power of the Atonement! That's the part of the Atonement I'm most grateful for, but the one I don't understand or recognize as much, if that makes sense. But yah, thank you for that! I'm always so grateful for your emails and spiritual thoughts - they always amaze me :) I've heard just a little about the situation in Belgium, and it really is incredible how they and God are turning that bad situation into an incredible opportunity.

I got your Easter package and loved it!!!! Thank you so much for sending all of that! I love the slacks especially - they're so comfortable :) And the eggs with the Easter story in them were so cool! I read through those and really felt the Spirit - so thank you for that as well! I have so much stinking junk food in my apartment - but I always love those packages :) Oh, and did you see our brand new ties in that picture? They look pretty good on us I think :)

I love you so much!! Thank you so so so much for everything! I hope you feel and understand how much I miss and love you! You're such an incredible Mom, and I'm so blessed to be your son! I hope you have a good and safe week! :)

Love,
Elder Connor Hopkin





Easter Sunday
March 27, 2016
"It is a blessing having them in our home. You have very stalwart sons."








Monday, March 21, 2016

Week 32--A Fun Visit From Elder Moreno

On Sunday night we had an unexpected visit from Elder Moreno who just returned from Connor's mission one week ago. He was Connor's District Leader and then Zone Leader in Tracy. They shared an apartment off and on as well. Connor talked a lot about Elder Moreno in many of his letters and had commented several times about how much he was learning from him and how awesome he was. So, it was really fun to meet him. He told some great stories of serving with Connor and shared some details of other things we had only heard through email. It was so fun to hear his perspective on Connor as a missionary and some of the experiences he has had. Here is a picture or two from his visit.




 Elder Moreno's visit on Sunday, March 20, 2016. 


He said Connor got packages and letters all the time and he would threaten to steal them from him. Connor would always say that he could, but then would change his mind in the end. He did say, however that Connor was always willing to share whatever he got with them any time. He keeps a large stash of candy in his apartment from all the packages he's received and they could go in and get what they wanted. We took this picture and sent it to Connor telling him that Elder Moreno was taking all the candy from his Easter package and that what he gets is all that was left.




Shon made Katy stand by him for this picture and wanted me to send it saying that Elder Moreno was stealing his candy and his "girl"friend. I didn't send it--I am not sure Connor would've appreciated the joke.



March 20, 2016


Here is Connor's letter from this week. He also sent a picture of his district. Both are below.


Hi Mom!!!!

Well...after saying I'm getting on early now...we went bowling for some of the missionaries' birthdays. But I'm on now! Sorry about that :)

Things are going pretty well here! It's been fun getting to know Elder Roudabush more and starting to notice his strengths and weaknesses. I don't know if I said earlier, but he is basically the exact opposite of Elder Ashcraft - super funny! :) I don't know how to describe the work here...it's not like nothing is happening, but not a lot is happening, you know? Highlight of the week: There's a less active woman that wasn't on the church records, but her aunt sent us a referral to her through church headquarters. So being the good missionaries we were ( ;) ) Elder Ashcraft and I went to contact her and she's SUPER funny! She's expressed a little interest in coming back to church, and Elder Roudabush and I started teaching her kids (who were never baptized) this week! And they are SO cool! There's a 14 year old boy that's super smart and really good at basketball (better than me at both :) ) and his 12 year old sister. We're super excited about them! We have a couple other potential investigators that we think will be solid, but we haven't gotten to teach them yet. Our zone though is doing awesome! It's looking like there are going to be several baptisms coming up, and we're super excited about that!

That's kinda the update! One of our zone leader responsibilities is going to the mission office on Fridays to pick up mail and supplies, and delivering them to everyone. It means that I get to see President Palmer and the Assistants more (one of them being Elder Lopez, one of my previous district and zone leaders!), and we get the chance to see mostly everyone when we drop off their stuff - but holy cow it's a lot of driving! So that's been fun and super tiring in a weird way!

I've felt a little overwhelmed with my...imperfection...the last couple days. (what imperfections?!?!? Hermana curtis :P) ((Haha Sister Curtis just read some of my email and added that - and I thought it was funny so I left it :) )). I'm just not as diligent or obedient or loving as I should be sometimes, and I worry about it. But our incredible Elder's quorum President (I think I've mentioned him before - he's one of my favorite people I've met out here) invited me to teach a portion of the lesson in Elder's quorum and Sunday morning I was able to study for it - the topic was how we receive help from Heavenly Father. Perfect! :) Anyways, I learned about how through scripture study and prayer and obedience, we qualify to receive the help that our Heavenly Father has promised us (and he's promised us so much help! D&C 84:88). And through personal revelation, through feelings of comfort and strength from the Spirit through the Atonement, sometimes through other people, He is always there to sustain and support us. He LOVES us SO much!! And when we take the time to ask, He will help us! I continue to have experiences that strengthen my testimony of personal revelation. Yesterday, after feeling just a little down, I prayed and asked for just a couple things I could do better and what I'm doing well - and He answered! I've also noticed how serving others helps us feel better. Anyways, sorry for the long paragraph - I've just learned a lot from these past couple of slightly-but-not-even-hard days; Heavenly Father always seems to turn bad things into good, huh? :)

I'm SO glad Elder Moreno got to come visit you! That's so fun! Dang it was soooooo weird seeing those pictures though - like that's not even reality. Ahhhhh! But lots of fun! Isn't he the BEST??? I'm sure you could see why he had such an influence on me and why I look up to him so much. He taught me so much about the importance of love, especially as a leader. And the importance of having fun and not worrying too much about things :) Thanks for having him over. It's so fun for me to hear! And holy cow that package looks intense! :)

Sounds like things are going well at home! I'm glad Bryn's play went well and that she can actually get some down time now! And that's fun that Ethan is doing so well and enjoying his play! That will be interesting to see which he does more - as long as he doesn't quit basketball ;) That's SO crazy that he's going to be a Deacon and do Young Men's and dang!!! I wish I was there for that but...oh well! :) I'm glad you and Dad are doing well too!

Ahh I'm sooo jealous of you going to the Provo Temple dedication!!!!! Awwwww I want to go soooo bad!!! That's a super cool theme though! I don't know if you've gotten to see the new Easter video the church put out - "Hallelujah" - but it talks about how we can find new life through Jesus Christ. They say Hallelujah, which means "God be praised", and I love the Spirit that they say it with. Because of Him, we can be renewed and changed, and our lives can be turned around. And for those who are already in the right way, we can continue to push forward with hope because of His Atonement and resurrection. By the way, thank you for the thought you sent me last week - I printed that out and read it during studies :) It was so good! :)

Eh, I should go. Thank you for your email and EVERYTHING you do for me!!!!!!! I always appreciate the kind things you say to me, and the love you always give me! You're THE BEST!!! and I love you SO MUCH!!! :) I miss you... but hey, Mother's Day is coming up!! Crazy!!! :) Until next week! :)

Love,
Elder Connor Hopkin


"My awesome district!! Left to right: Sisters Arevalo and Lynn, me, Elders White, Shepherd, Robinson, and Ahau (the district leader). The cool ones of us wore green for St Patrick's day :) Elder Roudabush, like I said, hates pictures, so he took it :)"

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Week 31

Hi Mom!!!!!! :)

I'm so glad I got your email!!!! I had already started writing one to you cause we got on early today... we'll probably be getting on email a bit earlier this transfer, just so you know. So I'm pretty low on time now cause I was waiting for yours - and it paid off! :) So sorry if this is a little short - Elder Roudabush is a quick emailer and wants to get going - but I'm going to take my time to email my Mom :)

I hope you enjoyed those pictures...I look kinda weird in some of them but I wanted you to see the people I'm serving around! :) Elder Roudabush is awesome! He's been out about 18 months - it's really nice having a companion that's experienced! He's super easy to get along with though, and not intimidating to do missionary work with. So I'm learning but it's not like I'm with another trainer or anything, you know? I'm really looking forward to this transfer! I'm enjoying the opportunity to be a zone leader - it's been a learning experience already, but since we're both new at it, we're not expected to be perfect or anything! I learned a lot last transfer as district leader that's helped me a lot, but I have LOTS to improve on of course! The biggest thing right now is just loving those that I'm called to serve. And I love these missionaries so much! They're all so cool!!! And I hope as I love them and do my best to show my love, that that will help me be a good an influential leader. The area is doing alright....a tiny slow but we're seeing it start to pick up a little. We had a really cool conversation with a new investigator last night and we're hoping he'll progress pretty quickly! Hopefully we'll have some other new investigators soon too! :)

I'm glad the week went well! Bryn emailed me and it sounds like she's having a good time with her play! How are things going with the new job schedule?? Thanks for working on a package for me!!!! No worries about the time, I just really really appreciate you taking the time to get one together - it really means a lot!!

That's really cool about the law of the harvest!! I hadn't really thought about that very much!! That totally ties in with one of my favorite scriptures though - Ether 12:6. After the trial of our faith, where we work hard and do the things the Lord has asked, then we receive the witness - the blessings He promises. I love the thought that we need to act on our faith. You said that so beautifully! Thank you for that thought!! And that's so true that when we pray, we need to be willing to do our part to bring about those blessings. Then the Lord sees our effort and our desire and can bless us! I learned a lot this morning about how the Holy Ghost can give us knowledge, as we diligently seek and ask. He's always there to bless and comfort and teach us. He's one of the biggest gifts God gives us in this life. He knows everything, so when we ask and listen, He can teach us anything.


Also, there's a new video out for Easter!!! It's called Hallelujah and it's so good! I know because of Jesus Christ and His power and love, we can all return and live with our Father in Heaven in complete happiness! He makes it all possible! I'm so grateful for Him! His Atonement is always there to strengthen and forgive us!


Sorry if this seems a little rushed... :( I love you so much! I'm SOOO glad I got your email!! It made my day! :) Thank you for the encouragement and advice and thoughts and love and all the prayers and everything you do! I miss you and love you so much!!!!! I hope you have a wonderful week!!

Love,


Elder Connor Hopkin :)










"Ok! So the top is Elder Roudabush! He hates pictures so I forced him to take one so he was grabbing a pressure point so I was on the ground about 5 seconds after that picture - that's my new companion :) Then Elder Moreno the day before he left - that's the mission office behind us in Modesto. Then Elder Ashcraft before he took off to Sonora. Then Elder Pelsue, an awesome Elder in my zone last transfer - he's training up in Lodi now!"




Got this picture on Tuesday from my trusted Tracy ward member who first, always treats the Elders to great meals and then secondly, sends me pics! I don't even know her name, but she is one of my favorite people EVER!


Elder Roudabush and Elder Hopkin Tuesday, March 15, 2016







Monday, March 7, 2016

Week 30--New Companion and New Assignment



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

So, I'll just let you know so you don't have to wait....or should I just drag it out?...or maybe I'll just tell you right now...or wait until the end of the email... hm............ I don't know......:) K have I built up the suspense enough? So I'm staying in Tracy! Ah it's crazy - I was completely expecting to be transferred out! But there's more... I'm going to be a zone leader here - with Elder Roudabush, who was companions with Elder Dixon right after me! And Elder Ashcraft is going to be with Elder Dixon for his last transfer of the mission! So yah...not expecting that one! I'm super excited and SUPER nervous! I'm really glad I get to stay here and continue to be with this incredible ward and work with the awesome missionaries in this zone. Our area has been pretty slow (except for the huge blessing of Abraham and Martha), so I'm hoping that Elder Roudabush and I can pick the pace up a bit and find some more investigators that are truly prepared! I've heard that he's a really good missionary (and I've talked to him a bit and like him) so I'm excited for this transfer. But like I said, pretty nervous. It'll all work out! I just need to accept that I'm going to make mistakes and that's ok and I'll learn a lot! Should be good :) I'm a little stressed with the changes going on tomorrow so if I sound a little off, that's why :) But thank you for your advice on change - it's so true and that'll be very applicable soon enough I'm sure!

So that's that! Ahhh I'm soooo jealous of Makaeli!!! Taking the ACT? Lucky!! Haha, but I wish soooo bad that I could go to Paris and London again! Awww man! That's going to be so fun for her! I'm glad Bryn and Ethan are staying busy and enjoying themselves! That's super cool about your job! That sounds like a super good idea and like it'll really bless the family a lot! I'm so appreciative of the fact that you care so much about us and are willing to sacrifice your time for our sakes! And that's a super cool example of receiving personal revelation and having the courage to make changes according to what God wants. Thank you for that example!!! And I'm sure the other kids are super appreciative too. I also loved how you said that you and Dad "counselled"!! Did you get that word from me talking about what I've learned from President Palmer, or did you just decide to use that word? Because that's exactly what we're learning in this mission - with our companions, with our stewardships, with our future spouses, we're always supposed to counsel. According to President Palmer, that's the Lord's way of teaching and directing His work. So that's SUPER cool!!! :)

So I actually read in 2 Nephi 9 yesterday morning! That's way cool :) That chapter is so good! It's super intense, and a little goes over my head sometimes, but it's so doctrinally perfect! I agree, Jacob is so incredible! I think that's the chapter that I was reading a few months ago where I just realized that without our Savior, there would be absolutely no hope at all, which I've brought up in several emails. I was reminded of His love and sacrifice as I read through that chapter again yesterday. And your comments on not being shaken - haha I read that paragraph and said "holy cow my mom is so cool" out loud! I completely agree that it's the small, consistent acts of obedience that build that solid foundation for us. Recently I've loved Helaman 3:35, which says that the people fasted and prayed oft. As they did those small and simple things, they became more humble and faithful, until they gave their purified and sanctified hearts to God. And as they did that, they received complete joy and consolation. Through fasting and praying (and we'll add scripture study, service, meeting attendance, etc) we build that foundation on Christ that can't be shaken. And I think you've already done that, if I might say so :) Not saying to stop getting better, but you are such an example of faith and spiritual stability, and it's obviously because you've been so obedient throughout your life! Anyways, I thought that was a super cool thought - thank you so much for sharing that with me!!

Sounds like my missionary friends are doing well! :) I saw that picture of Brittany and Josh (excuse me, Sister Easthope and Elder Carlile) and it blew my mind!! I had no idea they were in the same mission! That's so weird!! :) That's super fun for Cooper to have that assignment! He's obviously killing it out there, and he sounds perfect for that job! Oh man I can't wait to swap mission stories with him - I'm sure he'll have plenty more than me :)

Thank you for reminding me to put my trust in the Lord, and that as I do so I won't fail. I needed to hear that! And reminding me that the gospel is what truly blesses our lives. With transfers, my mind got caught up with different stuff, so I'm grateful for that reminder! I really hope I can do a good job here and that the Lord will be pleased with my efforts and help me do what I know I can't by myself - and I have faith he will! I know as we love Him and others, we won't fear, but we'll have power through Him.

So yah! Oh, by the way this week is actually 7 weeks long! Because of the MTC time change we get an extra week in our missions and this transfer is making up the difference! Not that it matters but kinda fun :) Anyways, I love you so so so so much!! I can't tell you how much I miss you! Elder Moreno going home is making me a little homesick for you, but he's spent his time and I still have plenty to go! Thank you so much for all of your love and everything you do for me! I couldn't ask for a more incredible Mom!!

Love,
Elder Connor Hopkin

Oh I almost forgot!! Highlight of the week! Abraham's sister was taught by the Spanish missionaries, and she got baptized on Saturday, and Abraham baptized her!!! It was SO COOL!! Just wanted to report that :) Love you!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Week 29--THE Magic Number

This week marks week 29--which I call Connor's magic number because he left on the 29th of July. The 29th of each month marks one more month that he has been serving. This year is an actual leap year, so there are 29 days in February--which marks 7 months as a missionary. He had a pretty good week, with a baptism on Saturday, the 27th. Here are some pictures we received throughout this week and then his letter follows.





Thursday, February 25, 2016


Friday, February 26, 2016
"We love your sons!"




Baptism Day of Abraham and Martha!
Saturday, February 27, 2016


"Abraham and Martha!!!!! :) Their son is Sebastian - we didn't baptize him yet"  :)


Hi Mom!!!!! :)

So yah, that's Abraham and Martha!! They're absolutely the best! Elder Jones and I street contacted him forever ago, then after a couple months because of his health, Elder Ashcraft and I finally got to teach him and his wife! His sister came from Mexico several months ago to stay with them, and she's being taught by the Spanish Elders and is getting baptized this Saturday! It's been incredible teaching them and seeing them learn and love the gospel. They have such ready, believing hearts. He's hilarious and so down to earth, and she's the sweetest lady ever! Aahhh I love them! :) Anyways, the baptism was great! His boss (who introduced him to the gospel) came from the Bay area to confirm them, his boss's son flew from Utah to baptize them, and some past co-workers flew from Maryland to be there too! It was great! :) Thank you so much for praying for them! It was an enormous help!!! I'll let them know you did!

So that was basically the highlight of our week; not a whole lot else happened. One of our investigators that we weren't too sure about did seem to regain a little fire though! She said she was really considering truly searching to know about this Church, so that was exciting! She didn't keep her commitment to come to the baptism, or church, though...We'll have to figure that one out soon :) I also got to go on an exchange with another Elder in my district, and absolutely loved it. He was so interesting and fun to talk to, and we did some great work together. He came in 3 transfers after me and we've been in the same zone the whole time, and I've seen him change and grow a lot in the few short months (haha I sound like a wise, old missionary) and it was great to spend some time with him! I'm starting to realize how sad I'm going to be to leave this area when the time comes. I think I'll enjoy the change in the work, but this ward has become my home, and I'm going to miss all the members, and Rita and Abraham and Martha... it'll be interesting to find out next week what happens! All the members are telling me I'm outta here (most say it sadly I think :) ) and I think they might be right. I've heard of plenty of missionaries staying for 9 to 12 months in an area though! Who knows? :)

Haha I love the update about the family!! I'm SO excited for Ethan! Abraham is getting ordained to the priesthood tomorrow, so I've been appreciating more that authority and power that God gives us. And cool that Ethan will get to hold that! We just had a boy in our ward turn 12 and become the only deacon too! Quorum President and everything :) Ethan's gonna do awesome! I'm glad about his basketball season too! I hope Bryn's ok with the friends and crazy schedule. I'm so happy about her talk though - I wish I could have heard it!!! And Makaeli - I LOVE being reminded of my last couple years, but in Makaeli version! It's pretty funny :) I hope everything goes well for her too! What's going on with your work?? Same job but different schedule? That's great that you'll get to be home for the afternoons!!

So with the pants...I'm sorry, do you mind grabbing 34 waists? I think I've grown just a little and I HATE tight-waisted pants - they stress me out :):) Sorry....the 34 length should be great though, if that's a thing? If not, I should be able to fit into the 32's. Thank you so much for taking the time to get those for me!!! I can't think of anything else.

That sounds like an incredible Sacrament Meeting! The scriptures are SO INCREDIBLE!! I've been trying to take a little extra time and read the Book of Mormon during my lunch time when it works out (Preach My Gospel says that you teach better from the scriptures when you spend more time in them - makes sense so I thought what the heck? :) ) and I notice such a difference in my receptiveness to the Spirit when I just spend a few extra minutes reading. Not only do I feel good that I spent my time wisely, but the Book of Mormon teaches us about Jesus Christ and His gospel, and brings the Holy Ghost closer to us. I just realized, as part of our baptismal covenants, we promise to always remember Christ and keep His commandments; as we read the Book of Mormon, we fulfill BOTH! We keep the commandment to read the scriptures, and we read of and remember our Savior! So it just makes sense that the Spirit would enter our lives more, because that's God's end of the promise! Hm! I'd never thought of it that way before! :) I love your thought that the mark of our discipleship is how we treat others! That's so true!!! :) Thanks for the clarification on President Vaughn's talk! I like that a lot! I love especially that you said we are told line upon line.

Thank you for your constant prayers! You don't know how much they help! I've noticed SUCH a difference in the last couple of transfers; I just feel more relaxed (hopefully in an appropriate way) and less worried about everything and I'm better able to enjoy things. I still have my hard times and days of course, but it's been so much better for me lately - and I know that's from your prayers and faith. So thank you!!! You're always in my prayers as well! I love you so so so much and just appreciate your example of faith and sacrifice and love. Our incredible Elder's Quorum President gave a lesson on women's divine role and nature, and I just want you to know that you're a perfect example of what a Mom and a daughter of God should be. You're humble and loving, but not afraid to lead and give your thoughts. You sacrifice for and serve others and always treat them with kindness. You're constantly trying to improve and become more like our Savior. And I just really really really look up to you. You're quite pretty as well - I was looking at my little photo album the other day and was reminded of that :) Anyways, you're just the greatest and I hope you always know and remember that! And I know that God loves you so much and is SO pleased with ALL that you do!

I love you and I'll look forward to next week! Thank you for EVERYTHING!!! :)

Love,
Elder Connor Hopkin




Hi Dad!!!

Thanks for the email!!! Don't Abraham and Martha look so wonderful? They're the best!! :) I forgot to tell everyone in my email to Mom: after their baptismal interview at the church, Abraham looked at me and was like "you and me, one-on-one" and we played a game of basketball (and I destroyed him - shh) and it was one of the best times ever! :) And afterwards he and Elder Moreno (who interviewed him) were bantering and he said "yah we'll play next time and I'll kick your..." We still have a little to teach him :) They weren't the ones that had either question. They completely and readily accepted everything we taught them; literally the only time they brought up a concerned question was when we told them they couldn't drink tea. They are so believing and faithful! It's interesting, there are two different families that we're teaching, and they both brought up both of those concerns! It's like our lesson with one is preparing us for the other. They're both hard concerns to answer - especially because these investigators are so smart and faithful to their church. They truly are searching for truth, but they have very strong opinions from their other churches. These kind of people are hard, because they're so close to the truth that they think it is the truth - it brings them happiness so they're skeptical of everything else that doesn't line up. But they don't have the full truth or happiness! Luckily these investigators are humble enough to keep meeting with us, and I hope the Spirit will eventually convince them :)

I think I've seen the mission change me quite a bit. I've definitely learned a whole lot!! I hope that I myself, as a person, have also changed on the inside and become more Christ-like. It's super hard to measure those things. I really hope I've improved in those ways. But yes, I've seen the mission teach me so much!! And it goes by so quick! Slow, but quick! It's super weird :)

I love all of your thoughts!! I hadn't thought about how He shows us that glory every day! That's a beautiful idea! Often, I'll look up at the stars out here and remember you telling me that quote on several campouts when we were looking up at the stars - that thought that we're more glorious and eternal than them is so wonderful and I'm reminded of it all the time!

So an Elder here is showing me this webiste called bookofmormoncentral.org.... I don't know if you know about that, or if you actually wrote some of those videos (some of them sound familiar) but it's super cool! :) Anyways, I'm glad the kids enjoy my emails! I do feel like they're short but I hope they help a little. Thank you so much for everything! I love you so much and really enjoy and appreciate your emails! Thanks for your love and incredible example! Good luck with work and bishop-ing and everything! :) Have an awesome week!!

Love,
Elder Connor Hopkin