Monday, August 29, 2016

Week 55--13 Months!! is 13 months since I have last seen my boy! It's crazy that we are already one full month into the 2nd year! He is doing great and sent a lot of pictures this week. Lots of changes in the Mission, but Elder Hopkin and Elder Griffin are staying put. Here is his letter and the pictures.

Hi Mom!!!!! :)

13 months! Ah that's so crazy! This month has flown by like crazy! Every transfer is a bit faster than the last. Thanks for understanding my short email needs :) It was a blast last week but those kinds of trips always make Mondays a little crazy! This Monday has been pretty exciting too, as usual. 14 new missionaries here - they're super great! I'm really excited for them this transfer!

So this week.... Lots of transfer stuff to take care of! It's been fun to kinda develop my administration skills though....I've improved them from about a 0.0 to a 0.5 on a scale of 10 :) We had a great lesson with our investigator that has a baptismal date. He's still trying to accept some doctrine, but he just wants so bad to do what's right and follow Christ. It's been a miracle seeing him gaining strength. He was able to come to church last week! He lives about 30 minutes away from the YSA building though, so some super nice Elders found a ride for him to the church in the city he lives in, since he wasn't feeling well enough to come all the way to Modesto. A couple weeks ago, while I was on exchanges with Elder Stewart, I had a pretty strong prompting to talk to this one girl, and she seemed pretty interested. I left her to the 6th ward elders, but they decided she'd be best with YSA, so we'll hopefully get to teach her soon! Her name is Heaven....I'm pretty excited :)

I've continued to learn a lot about testimonies this week. President Palmer sent out a weekly email about how we need to continue to believe until we know. He talked about how a lot of us want and kinda expect a continuous spiritual high, but the reality is that sometimes our testimonies will be stronger than others. He said that Heavenly Father loves us too much to let that happen, but that He allows trials of testimony to enter our lives. It reminded me of Ether 12:27. I've come to understand another perspective of that verse: not only does Heavenly Father make our weak things become strong, but our weaknesses of themselves make us strong. They humble us, and it's when we are truly humble and rely on the Lord that He makes up the difference in a way that we never could have, even if we had no weakness. So when the trials of our testimony come, they're there to keep us humble, and to show us that the witness always comes after the trial of our faith. Our testimonies are that much stronger if we can just hold on and believe until we truly know. I've seen over the last couple weeks how true that is. After a week of slightly weakened testimony, I started receiving witness after witness that reaffirmed that God is there and that this is His true church.

I'm looking forward to this next transfer. All of the zone leaders stayed the same, which I'm so happy about! I'm still with Elder Griffin, the perfect companion ;) And I'm really liking the YSA more and more!

Oh, real quick! In a meeting, President reminded all of us to make sure that we maintain privacy on the Internet, just to avoid any kind of bad situation. So I just wanted ask, if you ever notice anything that would give away any confidential or personal information, to not put it on the blog (if you're still updating it). I try to be pretty careful with my emails, but a double filter wouldn't hurt :) Thank you!!! :)

Thank you for your thoughts about the Tree of Life - those are some super good self-reflecting questions! Haha you almost remind me of Alma in Alma 5! ;) Thanks for the updates too, and the compliments! You're definitely the BEST Mom ever - I'm so grateful for you! You bless my life SO much! I really appreciate all of your hard work and love, so much! I love you!!!! I'll look forward to next week :)

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

Alright, lots this week!
1) Elder Griffin's idea....taken at 10:50 after doing transfer calls... :)
2) Pizza with chocolate filled crust at a member's house. Way better than you'd think!
3) Our district! Sisters Guilott and Rugg, me, Elders Griffin, Stewart, Petersen (the district leader)
4) ......
5) At Big Trees. Elder Griffin has his serious face down! He couldn't stop laughing though so this is a pretty good shot!
6) The group standing on a tree stump - they're that big! Sisters Arevalo, Webb, Dayton, Alcaraz, Martinez, Curtis, me and Elder Griffin :)

 This is Porter, a YSA that went out with us for a night - super cool guy! He's off to BYU so maybe you'll see him around :)

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