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'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! :)

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 :)"

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