Hi Mom!!! :)
We had a great week!! We found a few new investigators, and had some other cool little successes! It feels good to not be getting all 0's - not that it matters that much, but it's still nice to have some stuff going! :) We're getting better acquainted with the ward. You've already seen how good some of them have been to us, and the rest are just as amazing :) There's a couple that got married a few days before we came into the area, and we've gotten to be pretty good friends with them! I've really enjoyed being with the missionaries here to - lots of good friends! My district leader, Elder Hacking, has been such a blessing, along with the other missionaries around!
I am excited for that book! It seems really cool! DANG you're trip sounds crazy! I'm glad the van and Makaeli are still alive! I would have cried if one of them had been seriously hurt - you guess which one :) Makaeli looks good in hospital clothes... hopefully the next time she gets to be that stylish is when she's having a kid :)
Good luck with your classes! I didn't know you're doing Pilates too.... what is pilates? :) I'm sure you'll do an amazing job, and I'll be sure to pray for you! I hope EFY goes well - ah I miss those weeks! Thanks for always helping me get into that - they were such blessings for me.
I LOVE that hymn!! I have it memorized actually, but haven't thought about it for a while. Those 3rd and 4th verses especially... so good :)
So, I've been thinking a little bit about a sentence in Preach My Gospel, which says, "Becoming clean from sin is being healed spiritually". I've expressed this before, but I loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk a couple years ago, where he explained that obedience isn't conforming our souls to something that they're not - it's helping them be what they truly are. When we sin, it harms us spiritually; it goes against everything that we are inside, since we are truly sons and daughters of God, a Being of perfect truth and goodness. So, through the Atonement of Christ, those wounds can be completely healed, and we can be restored to the spiritual health and goodness that we always have been. It usually requires that we put on a bandage, or take some medicine, or go through some "spiritual" therapy, but as we put in our effort, Christ promises He will forgive and heal us. I hope that made sense. I'm so grateful for His sacrifice that can heal us and take away the guilt that burdens us - just like your hymn says :)
Quick question - duffel bags would be considered a carry-on on an airplane, right? My two suitcases are going to be way too heavy, so I thought I'd buy myself a carry-on to help out, instead of ship a ton of stuff home. I hope it's not too early to think about that ;)
I love you so so much! Thank you for everything you do and are! You're so amazing :) Until next week!
Elder Connor Hopkin :)
3) "We should have proselyted like this!"
Sounds perfect about the bike! Thank you so much for working on that. That's super nice of him to be so helpful, and that's nice to be able to think more about it later. I did think it was a better deal than that though, so it's good to know!
I'm excited about the temple! :) Speaking of, Elder Watkins of the Seventy came to stake conference yesterday, and mentioned a talk by Elder Bednar, where he said that we actually don't take Christ's name upon us during our baptism - we covenant to, and it actually happens in the temple. I thought that was cool, and I had had a similar thought about a week before, so it was fun to have that confirmed :)
I'm really excited about that book! Thank you for that! And I never mind your musings and "ramblings". I'm constantly looking back at previous emails, trying to remember stuff :) I really liked those thoughts today!!
Elder Watkins also taught something else that connected with me. I sent some thoughts on it to Kevin, our recent convert from YSA, and I'm running out of time, so I'll just copy it here if that's ok! "I don't know about you, but I personally will sometimes find things in the scriptures that I feel contradict something else in the scriptures, or contradict something I've learned from the Church. That used to bother me a lot, until I would find or be told the answer, and then I'd be fine again! I've started noticing the pattern, though, and realized that there is ALWAYS an answer to the questions - it just isn't readily apparent always. So instead of being concerned when I come across a "discrepancy", I try to have faith in what I already know and believe, and wait patiently until the answer comes. I'm not perfect at it, but I'm learning how to do that. The Seventy that came yesterday (his name is Elder Watkins) said that even in science, there are apparent discrepancies and paradoxes between quantum mechanics and the general theory of relativity. Does that mean that the scientists abandon the theories? No - they wait and research and study, knowing that both are true and will eventually come together. We can do the same in our religious searches. We know this Church is the true and restored Church of Jesus Christ. When seeming paradoxes present themselves, we should never abandon what we already know - we can just wait patiently and research and study and ask God until the puzzle pieces fit." I thought it gave some cool perspective, and it was well-timed for me because I had found some "paradoxes" recently :)
Anyways, I love you so much! Thank you for being such an amazing father and friend! Good luck at EFY! You were definitely my favorite session director out of all 4 years :)
Elder Connor Hopkin
Elder Connor Hopkin