I LOVE those pictures! You look 100% horrific! :) That's too good of an idea! I showed some of the missionaries here and they thought it was so funny and were glad you didn't get shot :) Also, let Makaeli know she looks adequately hideous! I loved all of those costumes - good stuff! I'm dressing up today in the Halloween tie you sent me last year, so that's been fun! I don't have the chance right now to send a picture with my new tie, or the mustache, but I'll try to get them to you next week! :) That date night with Dad sounds fun! I'm guessing you didn't kiss him for another 24 hours afterwards right? I'm glad things are looking pretty good with the kidney stone! You've been in my prayers, and I also fasted for you... I hope that goes well and that you only have to do one round! It sounds like church was amazing yesterday! That's always nice! Brother Jenkins is awesome! Those are some super cool thoughts (and explained very well :) )! I'll definitely be keeping that in mind. I especially like how he said that our own thoughts typically lead us to do good as well - I've never thought about that before. Thanks for sharing that with me!
Hm... this week.... Well, I got to play basketball last Monday, for the first time in months! That felt super good :) I went on exchanges with a zone leader and had a great time with him. President took us to dinner, and then went with us to teach Kevin. Kevin is one of those people whose answers are always perfect. You'd almost think they were rehearsed, or that he was saying them to please us... but he's completely sincere about them! It was a great lesson. President mentioned something about how his being baptized was a way that he followed the Savior's example of obedience, and Kevin said "Yah, it felt good! It felt kinda like I was making my parents proud!" and I thought that was so profound! The next day, as I and the zone leader were finishing up exchanges, we were going to drive to In-N-Out and grab some lunch; we passed by a burger joint that a member has taken us to a couple times and is owned by really cool guy that loves talking about religion. I had a weird prompting to go there instead, which I blew off for a while, but finally listened to. So we had lunch, and got the chance to talk to him for a while (he likes talking more than listening, but hopefully we're slowly helping to soften his heart) and then he paid for our lunch! Kinda small and random, but it was a really cool experience for me! We didn't have a whole lot of fun stuff going on this week for Halloween, which I'm honestly not too worried about - this holiday takes way too much creativity :) Another cool experience was on Friday night - we were teaching this less active member outside her apartment, about the Atonement, and the Spirit was really strong. Our member team-up, who is a returning less active member himself, shared some really cool insights! And during the lesson, I just felt as if the outside world wasn't even there - we were just in this little bubble with the Spirit so strong, and it helped me remember the comforting power of the Holy Ghost and the gospel. Again, kind of a random experience, but it was great!
I had a thought the other day that I'll share! It might be pretty obvious, but it just clicked in my mind a couple days ago. I was reading and studying about the Restoration, and I started thinking about how crazy it is that a 14 year old boy was called as the prophet of this dispensation. I was thinking to myself "Can we really trust a 14 year old?". But I realized just how incredible and miraculous it is that he was so young! What man would continue a lie that he had thought up when he was barely a teenager - even down to his death? What boy is genius enough to start such an intricate and perfect lie when he's just 14 - a lie that would convince 16 million people (and counting) and perfectly complete the history of God's dealings with His children? I feel safe assuming that the smartest person in the world right now couldn't do such things. And that really strengthened my testimony of the Restoration. I feel like I keep hearing so many "concerns" and "problems" that, when looked at in a different perspective, end up showing just how amazing and beautiful this restored gospel is.
Anyways, thank you SO much for the package!!!! That was so perfect! I've already used my dictionary 10 times, and I was so excited for that hymnbook!! Elder Grover and Elder Eagar want me to say thank you for their baskets - they're really enjoying them :) We got our month's money today and went shopping, so with that plus your package, I now have food to last for weeks! :) Thank you!!!!
Well, another week past! Elder Grover and I are enjoying counting our time together - it's fun to be in the same situation as he is. And Elder Eagar isn't too far ahead of us :) Thank you so much for the constant prayers and support and love. I'll continue praying for you; I hope things go well with everything! Thank you for being such an incredible mother! You're such a strength and example to me! I love and miss you so much!! :)
Elder Connor Hopkin :)
Got this picture from Sister Palmer of the Elders on Halloween. Where is Elder Grover's glow stick tie?
Elder Grover, Elder Hopkin, Elder Eager
October 31, 2016