Friday, July 29, 2016

Week 50--1/2 Way To 100....

Here are Connor's emails for this past week--and a picture of him with his new companion, Elder Griffin.

Hi Mom!!!! :)

Hahahaha I love the subject lines!!! :) Thank you SO much for sending those family reunion pictures! It's SUPER scary how old everyone looks!! Especially Ethan and Katelyn and Chris's kids! It's pretty funny, Elders Lopez and Maxwell kept saying I look like I'm 16. Don't know if that's a compliment or insult, but it'll be nice when I'm older, right? That's super fun about Maddie! She's going to do an incredible job; she's such a good friend, so thanks for being there for her! And that's cool to hear about Gavin!

So....a year....huh? I don't even know what to think about it, so I just won't :) About a month ago, it kinda hit me that I'm about to start the "decline". Hopefully my missionary work will increase in the meantime!

This week has been....crazy! Haha I'm definitely not "training" Elder Griffin though - it's the other way around! He's one of those companions that just makes you better. I feel like I'm at a little bit of a peak with my mission right now. My companion is great and helps me be better, and I'm hardly ever homesick anymore, and I feel like my skills are improving. So I hope that continues, and that I can be humble without "being compelled to be humble" you know? :) This week has been a complete blur but I'll try to give a summary! Monday we spent time with the new missionaries, and they slept at our house. Tuesday we paired them with their companions; Elder Griffin and I had to do a couple trainings, which scared me to death cause Elder Maxwell wasn't there to lead out; we switched phones and area books with Elders Feltman and Elliott and thus began my work in YSA; we took the departing missionaries to Modesto to proselyte for the last time; on the way up to dinner we stopped to pick up another car to carry luggage, and it was drained so we spent half an hour jump-starting it and were super late to dinner; a couple of the departing missionaries got picked up after dinner and I had the opportunity to get super homesick as I saw them cry and hug their parents. Interesting day :) Wednesday we took the departing missionaries to the airport and had a new leadership meeting, then finally got to do some visits. Thursday was a great district meeting with our new district and we spent more time figuring stuff out at the office. Friday we got some good proselyting time, and Saturday too. Sunday we spent 5 hours straight in church. Today is today! :) So, we're covering 2 YSA branches momentarily - this Sunday they will be combined into a ward (that's why we had to switch areas; it messed up the zones). It's super interesting and really fun to work in YSA! Lots of returned missionaries around! We have a few investigators that are super awesome, and I hope they'll progress quickly! Our finding is pretty slow right now, but we're hoping it will pick up! Our area covers both the Modesto and Modesto North Stakes! So...the cities of Modesto, Riverbank, Escalon, Oakdale, Salida, and Sonora (but we never go there), if you want to check it out on the map. HUGE area! I actually didn't get a new apartment; it worked perfectly for us and the other elders to just stay where we were. Does that answer your questions?? :)

So, for our district meeting, our district leader had us study our companion's favorite hymn and scripture, and choose 2 attributes to describe them. It reminded me of something that President Palmer LOVES to teach every missionary: TSP. He invites us to each day give our companion a Truthful, Specific, Positive, compliment. He always tells us, do it with investigators, with members, with your companion, and with yourself. It's been such a blessing for me when those around me have told me the good attributes they see in me, and it feels so good when I'm able to do it for someone. I know our Heavenly Father loves each of us and focuses on the very specific, positive good in us. And as we do the same for others, we can see them through His eyes, bless lives, and find joy in doing so. You're already an expert at this - I think every email you've sent me has a "TSP" in it :)

Thank you for your thought from Sacrament Meeting! That was a good reminder for me! Thank YOU for your example of courage and faith! Your example of going on a mission and being an incredible mother and living the gospel at all times has been such an influence in my life!

I love you so much! I'll look forward to your email next week! I hope you have a good one!! :)

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

Hey Dad!!!

Haha so guess what? Elder Griffin is technically a Spanish missionary, so he's been teaching me some more Spanish today, and he taught me the word for gift - don. It made me remember that song "Don Gato" and I remember almost all of it!! That song hasn't crossed my mind for at least a year, but I guess when something's important, it sticks! :)

Yah, we didn't do a thing for Pioneer's Day - no worries though! I'm glad sacrament meeting went well! It sounds like those talks were really good! So Elder Griffin is actually more senior than I am! He's been out about 18 months. It's really fun to work with him; I feel like we're able to just help each other be better, instead of one of us dragging the other down, or both being dragged at the same time, you know? I don't remember if I mentioned this, but he's the one whose uncle teaches Book of Mormon at BYU. It's definitely another companion that I think will be one of my good friends for a long time!

That's a super cool quote!!! I really like especially how you said that sometimes those things that go wrong are actually things that go right - we just can't see it at this time. Thank you for sharing that with me! I've definitely seen how God is there to turn bad situations into good ones and to help and support us when things are "going wrong".

Thank you so much for the email!! I love you so much, and I'm so grateful for all you do for me! Let me know if I can do anything for you! Sorry it was a long Bishop-ing week; if you're ever wondering, you're an incredible Bishop! The ward loves you, and the love you show to each of the members is incredible. That ward is lucky to have such an inspired and loving and approachable Bishop! Thank you for the good example of leadership you give me!

Have a wonderful week!!

Elder Connor Hopkin

Elder Griffin and Elder Hopkin
July 25, 2016

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