Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 36

Hi Mom!!!! :)

So I'll start with the report I guess! Let's see... the investigator that I was talking about that came to the baptism is SO cool! :) We had two lessons with him this week (which is the first sign of how prepared he is - we barely get a lesson a month with most people) and he will hopefully be getting baptized sometime next month! Ahh it was so cool: in our lesson with him last Monday, we were talking a lot about the Book of Mormon and receiving an answer through the Holy Ghost. We bore our testimonies and did the missionary stuff and he paused and said... "Hmm... I think I'm feeling the Holy Ghost right now!" And we were like "Yes you are!" :) I think one of his spiritual gifts is being able to recognize the Spirit. Similar to Abraham and Martha, it's a humbling privilege to work with him. That less-active lady that I said came to church last week, came again this week! She's loving it! She cried at both sacrament meetings - it's really cool! The family that came to church last week isn't interested anymore; we tried to drop off a video to her, and her husband turned us down hard. So yah! I'm happy with the way things are going - of course not perfect, but this is definitely a higher point in my mission as far as the area goes.

We had interviews with President Palmer on Thursday, and it was one of the best days ever. As a zone leader, we had to stay and keep time for all of the interviews (10 minutes each :) ) so since I was going to be sitting at the church all day, I took some piano music!! I got to practice for a couple hours, and after a while some of the missionaries started singing along and it was just so much fun!! :) I've noticed that whenever I try to play something not church-related, I've lost about half of my skills. But when I play hymns or try to improvise on hymns, I'm almost better than I ever was! Pretty interesting :) My interview with President was wonderful. I had a personal question I wanted to ask him; before my personal interview, he talked to me and my companion together, and answered my question there! Before I had said anything! Talk about inspired :) Elder Roudabush had a pretty long interview with him, so I got to talk to Sister Palmer for a long time, and she's the BEST! I walked in and her first words were, "Do you want a cookie?" :) A member of the Stake presidency walked in on us and stopped to talk for a while, and she carried on a good conversation for about 5 minutes - then the second he left, she turned to me and whispered, "I have NO idea who that is!" :)

This morning, I had a prompting to read in my patriarchal blessing, and I learned SO much! I've been so amazed at how Heavenly Father has helped me learn line upon line over the last several months. I looked back about 6 months in my journal to another study I had done with my patriarchal blessings, and I had learned several of the same things, but today it was just a lot deeper. It's amazing to me how God has a plan for every single one of us and helps us progress in the way we need. I've noticed this as I've read emails today about what different people are learning; as I've been taught by different missionaries; and as I've seen less-active members come back to church because of big trials. God knows exactly what He's doing! :) Yesterday, while taking the sacrament, I felt an overwhelming feeling of love and forgiveness come to me through the Spirit - a lot stronger than I usually do. It was amazing and really strengthened my testimony that Christ loves us and forgives us because of His sacrifice. I'm so grateful to Him!

That's exciting with Ethan's baseball! And crazy with him and Makaeli receiving new callings! Makaeli's life really does sound too familiar! :) Nice and busy! I hope she really enjoys that trip to Europe! I'm glad you have Grandpa and Grandma behind you to help you out with things! You do a more-than-adequate job running the house with Dad gone though - just so you know :) I hope that all goes well!

That's really really cool that Cooper was humble and faithful enough to accept that. I respect him already of course, but that just increased my respect for him. I hope he's doing ok. Please give him my love too! Is he gonna work, or go to school, or anything in these 6 months? Do you know?

That's cool that the family is reading through the General Conference talks! I hope I get the chance to join in on family scripture study when I get home! I've realized just how important and special of a time that is. Thank you so much for always making that, and family prayer, and family home evening such a priority! It's given me such a good example of what I want for my future family!

I love you so much! I'm looking forward to Mother's Day too!! I think last time it stressed me out to where I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have (I still loved it of course!). But I feel a little more acclimatized and normal, so I hope I can act a little less weird this time :) I'm so grateful for you! I miss you lots! Thank you for your love and example of faith and kindness and service! You're the best :) I love you!!!!!

Elder Connor Hopkin

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