Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Week 96

Hi Mom!!!! :)

We had a great week! We've been blessed to start teaching several people, which I've really enjoyed! One of the people we were teaching ended up moving this last week, which was too bad, but I'm glad we got a little bit of time to hopefully make a little difference for him. I had the wonderful opportunity and privilege to speak in sacrament meeting yesterday.... I thought by the end of my mission I wouldn't still be that nervous to speak.... guess not :) We had interviews with President and Sister Palmer as well, which was amazing as always! Today I got on my email and I had received one from Salt Lake, reminding me to start My Plan next week - that's the program for the last 6 weeks that helps us prepare for coming home. So.... :)

I'm glad you got safely to Flagstaff! Is the city Eagar anywhere near Flagstaff? It's really small, but I'm sure it would be on gps - that's where Elder Eagar is from :) I hope you really enjoy the week!! You'll be a huge influence for those youth! I'm still planning on Spin classes :) I'm not so sure if I'll attend Pilates... but if you ask really nice I might come ;) That would be so fun to have a class with Makaeli!! We can be each other's wing man/woman. I don't know if she'd want me in that position though... :) Is there any chance of us having other classes together, or is that the only possibility? I'm glad everyone's staying nice and busy this summer! Tell Ethan good luck in his games for me!!

So I figured I'd just send a couple thoughts from my talk yesterday; it was on the topic of faith applied to missionary work. I focused on the importance of action as a result of faith, basing it from the sentence in Preach My Gospel that says, "Your faith to find people to teach is demonstrated through your actions". I'm sure there are many others, but I talked about 4 ways we can act in faith in order to accomplish missionary work. 1) Personally live the gospel of Christ. As we faithfully live it, we will see its blessings in our lives and will be able to bear more sincere and powerful testimony through our strengthened faith. 2) Pray in faith. Prayer is the way we secure for ourselves blessings that God is willing to grant, but that He makes conditional on our asking for them (BD - Prayer). If we have faith that He loves us, that He answers prayers, and that He wants us to share the gospel, we can pray in faith that He will provide opportunities for us to share the gospel. 3) Follow the promptings of the Spirit. Just like Elder Rasband taught, we should respond to the first prompting. On my mission, responding to spiritual promptings hasn't always brought obvious results, but I've seen enough miracles from doing so that it's worth it to respond to every prompting. 4) As we've lived the gospel, prayed for opportunities, and followed the Spirit, we will have opportunities where we need to faithfully open our mouth and trust the Lord to give us the words to say and trust the Spirit to bear witness of our testimony (D&C 100:5-8). We can have faith that even if we don't see immediate results of our faithful missionary work, God is preparing His children to receive the gospel through us. As Preach My Gospel says, "No effort is wasted". We shouldn't "dispute not because (we) see not", because faith is "things which are hoped for and not seen" (Ether 12:6). Unfortunately, I don't think I got the points across very well in my talk, but it was another good opportunity to practice speaking in front of people :)

I love you so so much! Thank you SO much for everything you do for me! I can't wait to see you :) Thank you for your constant love! And thank you for always being so good about emailing me! I realized this week that a lot of missionaries' moms don't email them the way you do me - so thank you :) I love every single one! I love you!!!

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

​1) "Elder Hacking and Elder Hong after exchanges."

2) "Elder Liddell, who I went on exchanges with (he says hi)."

3) "FINALLY!!!!" :)

Hi Dad!!!!

I hope things go well for EFY! Good luck! :)

For the religion class, the Book of Mormon and the Restoration classes stand out. Do you think one would be a good precursor for the next? I've been super interested in Church history on my mission but haven't had much chance to learn about it; but it would be cool to have a specific Book of Mormon class, to learn more about it, right after the mission.... I probably lean towards the Book of Mormon one. But either way!

Yah, next week starts the last transfer! AH! :) It's pretty crazy it's so close. I was praying the other night and got so sad realizing I'm going to have to leave the mission... but then there are other times where I just can't wait to be home. It's so mixed! I am pretty amazed at how God's power and help have gotten me through the last 22 months. I don't feel that I've seen any big trials, but it definitely strengthens my faith that He'll see me through hard times if/when they come.

Quick question I had! What do you know about any difference in ordinance administration that are in the scriptures? For example, Adam being baptized by the Spirit (who doesn't have a body), Alma baptizing himself with someone, Oliver Cowdrey baptizing Joseph before he himself had been baptized? I mean, God can authorize anything He wants, so I'm not too worried - He knows what He's doing :) But, He could have had physical angels do the baptizing, or something along those lines, right? Just curious :)

So yesterday in Elder's Quorum we had a lesson on fathers. The teacher gave all these different statistics on children with poor or no relationships with their fathers, and how it affects crime rate and dropping out of high school and drug use, etc. It was pretty crazy. So, we talked about how fathers should be, and read a talk about their roles and why it's so important. Now to my point: for everything we talked about that a father should be, I had memories of you doing and being :) We talked about how fathers should spend quality time with their children; how fathers should preside in decision making and gospel teaching, but be loving and not dictatorial; how fathers should show a good example to their children of loving their wife; how they should be worthy to give father's blessings; etc. It reminded me once again how blessed I am to have you as a father. I seriously feel like I'm bragging whenever I talk about you, and I have to make myself hold back sometimes :) You and Mom are my best friends. So, THANK YOU! I hope you have an amazing Father's Day this Sunday! I love you tons!

Elder Connor Hopkin :)

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