(It's not super easy to read being enlarged and all, so I retyped it out below.)
Dear Bishop Hopkin:
Elder Hopkin, a member of your ward, will soon return home after completing an honorable mission for the Church. He has faithfully served the people with distinction and dedication. Those whose lives he has touched will long remember his service here.
Elder Hopkin has been a Senior Companion, Trainer, District Leader, Zone Leader and an Assistant to the President. He has served with all his heart, might, mind and strength. Your efforts in welcoming Elder Hopkin and encouraging him to remain temple worthy are most appropriate and will be greatly appreciated. He will benefit from your counsel and help as he adjust to life at home.
Please accept my personal thanks for the service given by Elder Hopkin in this mission. He has been a dedicated, faithful, hardworking missionary for whom we will always have great respect and heartfelt affection. Please convey our deepest love and gratitude for all he has and will continue to do to bless others throughout his life.
President Brent A. Palmer
California Modesto Mission
We also received a letter addressed to us--as his parents. This is that letter:
Dear Brother and Sister Hopkin:
As Elder Hopkin completes his mission, we wanted to personally thank you for sending us such a wonderful missionary.
Sister Palmer and I have not only been greatly pleased with his willingness to accept the call to come to the newly created California Modesto mission, but are also very impressed by his wonderful work while serving as a full-time representative of the Savior.
We will always have a great respect and affection for your son and hope you will convey our love to him again and again.
President Brent A. Palmer
California Modest Mission
On Sunday we got one of those awesome picture texts of Connor from a ward member. This is probably one of my favorite pictures from the whole mission. He looks so happy, so mature and so missionary-like. I love it so much!! And, I don't even know who it was that sent it. I am grateful to them, though....
"Look who we had for dinner."
July 9, 2017
And, finally, here is Connor's letter for the week. The 100th email he has sent to me:
100 weeks!! That's over 700 days... I'm finally down to 3 weekly planning sessions left. I've been waiting for 2 years to not have to do weekly planning anymore :)
I'm so glad EFY was such a success! I hardly recognized any of those kids - that freaked me out! :) A girl from the session actually emailed me - Mirka Sansores. Do you know anything about that? :) She said she loved you and Dad, and that her testimony was strengthened so much, especially of the Atonement. Thanks for the updates on Makaeli and Bryn - it sounds like they've grown a lot. A lot of missionaries here have family members that they worry so much about - siblings being dumb, parents being less active, etc. I've noticed how huge of a blessing it is for me that I don't have to worry about any of my family - you're all so good! :) That'll be really fun to bear testimonies with Ethan and Bryn! I hope the upcoming projects and activities go well!
Thank you so much for what you said about coming home! I just did the Self-Reliance part of MyPlan, and it calmed me down a little... and also scared me a ton :) That's a good reminder that even when I had to make hard adjustments in the past, I always got through them alright, especially relying on God. And thank you for being there to support and help me! It's a huge relief that I'll be able to lean on you and Dad for counsel and support.
This week went well! It flew pretty quick :) We had a great zone conference on Tuesday that reminded us of some "areas of focus" that we as a mission are trying to improve so as to better fulfill our purpose. I got to play the piano, which is always a blessing. And, near the end, President invited me and Elder Grover to share our testimonies on the Savior. That was so scary :) It was really good for me though - it sparked a lot of thought! I was able to see so many missionary friends that I've been missing! I'll send some pictures soon :) We also had a couple of great lessons with our investigators. I have a good story for you :) For one of the lessons, we were going to simply focus on the principle of repentance. I said the opening prayer. Now, I know this is bad, but during the prayer, I was half-thinking about the coming lesson... not what I was saying. As I was kind of thinking about the prayer, I was also thinking, "Ok, we're going to teach repentance.... we're going to invite her to start repenting" etc. So, I may or may not have ended the prayer saying, "...please allow the Spirit to be here. In the name of Jesus Christ, repent!......amen!" I played it off decently though :)
I love that quote you sent!!! I like the part about doing the important things without fanfare... kinda reminds me of President Uchtdorf's talk in priesthood session last conference!
As far as phones go, I'm thinking to just go with the Samsung 7. Gray would be cool if that's available! Thank you so much for working on that for me! 2 weeks would have been long without a phone :) And THANK YOU for paying for half and the monthly plan for now - that's SO helpful!!! I'll probably be hopping on email again in a couple hours, so I'll think about it till then. But if I don't change my mind, or forget to email, just go for the Samsung 7 please :)
Thank you for the long email!! I love seeing those :) Thank you so much for all you're doing and have done for me! I love you so much!! I'll send some pictures in a bit :) You're such a blessing! :)
Elder Connor Hopkin :)
And, a few pictures:
"Elder Stock!!!" :)
"Elder Hong (and his ice cream),
Me, Elder Lee, Elder Stock, Elder Morley"
"Tall Elder Mutchie" :)
"Gotta have appropriate distance! :) Sister Bird (she was in my district the whole 6 months I was in 6th ward. One of my best friends here!), Sister Webb (Probably the best missionary in this mission... she goes home with me), and Sister Shafer (I don't know her super well... but she's way cool)" :)