Hello Mom!!!!! :)
I'm glad EFY went well! I really wish I could have been there! I don't think I'll ever make it back...I'm a little too awkward to be a counselor :) It was fun seeing Bryn's pictures of her company - they all look so young!! It's crazy! It's such a good program; it strengthened my testimony so much each time I went, and I look at the sessions I attended as some of the many blocks that have helped my testimony today. It's really cool that you and Dad are able to take part in that experience and help those kids come closer to their Savior.
I kinda freaked out when you said "Aspen and her husband"... eh that feels weird to write :) I'm sure other kids my age have gotten married recently, but this one is super weird cause we used to be such good friends! I'm glad she looked happy, and that her family is doing well too! I had totally forgotten that Dallin is in Fresno right now!! I've heard so many storied about the Fresno mission.... :) And that's so exciting for Jared!!! Thanks for telling me hello for him - if you get any kind of emails from him, I'd love if you could forward them! If not, no worries :)
Thank you so much for your thoughts!! I totally agree - I wish I was better at accessing the power of the Atonement. I feel all the time that I don't appreciate or use it quite enough. It's just a gift sitting there waiting for us to take it, and I just forget about it or refuse to take it sometimes! I frustrate myself so much :) I loved your testimony about prophets and apostles too! That's another blessing I take for granted so much too. I love how you said that God is so anxious to tell us what we need to know, and He's able to do that through prophets. Why wouldn't we listen to and apply everything they say?? As I've studied, I've realized that God's commandments are basically just a road map to happiness - that's all! And we can learn of it through the prophets. Thanks for reminding me of that!! And that quote is super good! I'll have to print that and study it for a few days :) Thank you so much for always expressing your love and compliments to me...they mean so much. I'm so blessed to be your son and be able to talk to you every week. You are and always have been such a huge strength and example to me.
I'm blanking for the week. So....I'll start writing and hopefully it will all come back :) Let's see....we have a 'specialized training' coming up tomorrow and Wednesday, so we got to spend some time with President and counsel about what topic and trainings there should be, and fun stuff like that. We spent some time with him and Sister Palmer last night, and had a great time! We of course talked about the meeting, but got off on random tangents, and it was just super fun to sit there and talk to them; they're super funny!! I got to go on two exchanges! One was with my district leader's companion, who is a new missionary and is super impressive. Their area is downtown Modesto, and it was fun to bike around that area. We had some really cool experiences too! We were teaching one of their investigators, and we were teaching her about prophets and the Book of Mormon, and at the end she started expressing how lost she feels. My companion-for-the-day shared one of the scriptures he's been studying recently; it's in 2 Timothy, and it talks about how God fills us with peace and clear minds, not fear. She all of a sudden broke down crying and said "That was an answer to my prayers! My dad just passed away a year ago, and his name was Timothy." She said she'd read and find how the Book of Mormon would help her in her life. The next day, we were biking and saw a family outside and felt like we should go back. We went back, and they weren't interested, but as we were retracing our path, we saw the neighbor sitting on his porch. We talked to him for about 20 minutes, then he got his wife and we talked to them for about 20 minutes, and it was incredible to see how their hearts softened more and more as we talked to them and read in the Book of Mormon. We talked to a lot of other people that seemed quite interested too! When I got back with Elder Griffin, he had good news about investigators and such - it was a pretty cool day! We found a new investigator and taught a couple other lessons. The work seems to be slowly picking up!
See, once I get started I don't stop :) Those are the biggest highlights I can remember. I've felt God's love a lot and felt Him help me with lots of different things too!
I hope you have an awesome week! Thanks always for all the emails; I love them so much!!! I love you LOTS and hope everything is going well for you! Thank you for being such an incredible mother!! You mean so much to me!
Elder Connor Hopkin :)
We had a crazy day today, and I'm on the computer late, so that was perfect :) Thank you so much for your prayers!! We did find one new investigator this week, and having some promising potential investigators, so it's helping a lot! Teaching really is the best way to be happy, as weird as it might sound! The hardest work is the most fulfilling. However, I've actually been tasked with the job of creating an outline for our transfers schedule and to-do list, and I've actually really enjoyed it. I love feeling like things are getting organized, and I've gotten to use some of the nerdy computer skills you taught me :) That's so cool about Elder Bancroft!!! That really is a blessing.
I'm glad EFY went so well! I've told some of the members in my past area that you do Education Week, so it's possible they might visit your classes. I'm looking forward to coming back and hearing those classes you teach!
A couple questions! Several weeks ago in mission leadership council, President Palmer kinda off-handedly mentioned that if any of us missionaries know any senior couples in our wards back home, President can request they come here; and he said we need senior couples. So I figured since you're the Bishop, I'd mention that to you in case there are any senior couples that are looking to come out any time soon. Also, we had a fun conversation in a downtown Modesto McDonald's a couple weeks ago with a Bible-basher. He was SO sneaky, but we held him off :) Anyways, he brought up that there were verses in the Book of Mormon that had tiny tweaks to them, so the copies we have now are slightly different than the original copy. The example he used was in Moroni 8, I think, and he said there was a switch from something like "the Son of God" to "the Lamb of God'...something like that. I was wondering if you had any comments or ideas about that? Maybe it was a printing mishap or something?
Thank you so much for everything you do for me! I love you so much and hope you have a great week!! Thank you for the example you always set for me!
Elder Connor Hopkin
Elder Connor Hopkin