Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 45

Here is Connor's letter and a couple of pictures from this week. He is having some really great experiences serving in the office. I am happy for all of the opportunities he is having. 

Hi Mom!!! :):)

It's so good to hear from you and get to email you!! I hope your trip to St Lois is going super well! Isn't the main landmark there the Arch or Gate or something like that? You'll have to send pictures if you get any! :)

So let's see.... This week was great! The first part of the week, we got to spend most of the days proselyting and that was nice! Lots of biking! There was one day, where we passed this lady on the opposite side of a decently busy road, but we felt prompted to stop, turn around, and talk to her, and she was actually quite interested (which isn't a super common thing)! Later that day, we were still biking, and I had this random thought to turn down a road to the side; I looked around, and saw a couple sitting in their garage, and we talked to them and had a super good conversation - they weren't interested, but we were able to provide one of those "touchpoints" that President likes to talk about. It was really cool to see how the Spirit can lead us and give us promptings. I just wish I responded to all of them :) Our investigator came to church this Sunday with his less-active family!! It was so great to see them there, and the ward welcomed them so well. That less active man I talked about in my group email also came (he didn't get to last week because of complications) and that was wonderful! We're still really trying to find find find, but it's kinda slow. I think we have some things picking up though!

So our investigator's family consists of his wife and three girls between the ages of 2 and 8. I think on Monday, we were there and the 8-yr-old came in and had a background conversation with her mom. The mom later told us that the 4-yr-old had sworn at her sister, so she had asked the 4-yr-old why she would say something like that, and she said "My body wanted me to say it! I didn't want to say it, but my body made me!!" :) Regardless, she spent some time in the corner :)

On Thursday and Friday, we had our zone conferences with Elder Evans, from the Seventy. Oh man, they were incredible!! Elder Maxwell and I were lucky enough to be at both of them, and I learned SO much! He focused on the importance of repentance - for us and especially our investigators. He said that really our whole job is to help people repent, then be baptized when they are converted. He made the distinction that we don't just invite people to "stop smoking", but we really need to invite them to "repent" because not smoking is a commandment. When they focus on the principle of repentance, they become truly converted. When they're only worrying about the specific action, they likely haven't had that true change of heart. He invited us all to be more diligent in our repentance so we can have that change of heart and therefore more effectively teach repentance. We talked about effective finding, and President read "Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy" (#335) and talked about how we're the lower lights and must be aligned with our Father (the lighthouse) to help rescue those that are "watching, longing, for the lights along the shore". It was so good! He also felt prompted that our mission has been together long enough and has set a good foundation to where a lot of success will start coming soon, if we pay the price. It was really motivational and super exciting... and scary :)

I completely agree about my dad! :) I couldn't have said it better myself - he's pretty incredible! Makes sense that he would deserve someone like you ;) I'm so blessed to have the parents I do! Thank you so much for the compliments and advice and everything! They really mean a lot!

The story of the sons of Mosiah was actually our "prepare to learn" for the zone conference! I thought it's so cool how faithful and diligent they are through everything. They do the things that allow them to have the Spirit, and they follow it. They pass through so much affliction, but on the other side, they have incredible success. It's a super good reminder - about how to be a better missionary, and how to have patience in trial. I hadn't noticed though, their humility and gratitude at the end! That's super cool! And I love how you linked that with the redemptive power of the Atonement! Thank you so much for that! Have you found any new favorite scriptures recently? Or are your classics still the best? :)

Well, thank you so much for everything!! I love you so so much! You're such an incredible mother!! Thank you for the email! I miss you! I'll look forward to hearing from you next week! Stay safe and happy pleeeease :) I love you!

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

As you may know, Connor's mission is close to Oakland, California, where the Golden State Warriors play at home. Connor has always been a huge Steph Curry fan, and now he lives right in the Golden State close to where they play. Too bad they didn't win the championship again this year--I am sure there were a lot of disappointed Warriors fans in his area/mission.

Elder Lopez, Elder Hopkin, Elder Maxwell

"Golden State!!!! We're the real dream team (at least at morning basketball)! :)"

I am part of a Facebook group for Missionary Moms and many of them have posted nametag pics that their missionary has taken that would identify their mission or area or something iconic from where they are serving. I loved the idea and asked Connor to take one for me. Here is his picture. I love it!

Modesto, CA
  June 20, 2016

"​Alright, I tried my best! :) So all around in this area, there are TONS of orchards like this - so I chose the best looking / most convenient one and took a picture :) How's that?"

This week I also received a surprise email from Sister Palmer, Connor's Mission President's wife. It is here below. How grateful I was and am to her for her thoughtfulness in sending it to me.

Dear Sister Hopkin,

Just a note to say how much we love and respect your son, Elder Hopkin
He is kind, respectful, and gets along with everyone.
He has a lovely smile.
He is President Palmer’s assistant and has continued to impress us.
He speaks so highly of the two of you. You must have a very close family. As a grandmother, I wish I could live so close to my grandkids. He told us he learned how to play the piano from his grandma. How wonderful.
We love and admire him.
Thanks for raising such a great young man.

Love, Sister Palmer

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