Hi Mom!!!!!!! :)
I'm so glad your trip is going so well! Sounds like you're having tons of fun! Send me some pictures/videos of Dad surfing if you can :) Hahaha I'm so glad you still got to take the sacrament - as apostate as it may be ;) Still, Catholic church is better than nothing, right? I'll definitely keep you in my prayers for your job!! Good luck with that! And with your Relief Society lesson - I doubt you need much help, but I'll still pray for you :)
Ah it's SO crazy it's 2017! I remember in 2015, thinking that going home in 2017 was so far away! And now, I have 5 transfers left! I really hope I can make them my best ones yet; I can feel the temptation of laziness creeping in, but I'm trying to fight it :) Elder Griffin goes home this Wednesday! Ah it's all insane! For the New Year, we actually stayed inside most of the day cause Elder Lopiano wasn't feeling well. So, pretty exciting! :)
As far as transfers go, it's a little bit of a twist from what I had been expecting. Elder Lopiano has decided to go home, so I'm going to stay here and train a new missionary! I've known I'm getting a new companion for about a week now, but I didn't find out I'd be training until last night. I'm excited for the opportunity; but I haven't done this for a while, so I'm a little nervous! I'm going to miss Elder Lopiano a lot; he's taught me a ton, and has been a huge help in this area; but we're going to keep in touch, and he has some good plans for when he gets home!
This week, I had a lot of opportunities to give people blessings, and I had the chance yesterday to take the sacrament to a man in the hospital. I've noticed that each time I see the priesthood at work, or participate in it, the Spirit always testifies to me of the truth. There have been times when my testimony was a little weaker, but after hearing someone receive the Holy Ghost, or participating in a blessing, my testimony is strengthened. Also, I wanted to share about our lesson we had with our investigator last night! First of all, we were teaching her the Plan of Salvation; I explained the Celestial Kingdom, and she said "Oh! How do I get there?" Solid, right? :) Then at the end, she prayed in front of us for the first time - and prayer for 5 minutes! One of the most sincere prayers I've heard! Afterwards, she told us that during the prayer, and still afterwards, she had an intense feeling in her chest, that felt so good and gave her feelings of relief. She said it felt so beautiful! We kept talking, and she expressed how much she has seen herself and her boyfriend change as we've been teaching them! It was one of those moments that we as missionaries come on our missions for! As we were biking home, I felt so much joy, and realized that's the happiness that the Prophet promises us for serving missions. Such a cool experience!! :)
Well, I should probably go :/ Thank you so much for those comments at the end of your email - that meant so much to me! You're the best Mom I could ever imagine :) Please continue to stay safe on your trip, and good luck with your lesson and your job search! I love you so much!!! :)
Elder Connor Hopkin :)