Friday, July 28, 2017

Week 102...and counting...(for one more week, at least)!

It is crazy to think that I will write only one more email to Connor next Monday and then I will get to see him and hug him two short (although they seem very long) days later. This is his second to last email. Sounds like he had a good week, which is nice to hear. You hope they can finish strong and on a positive note. This coming Monday we will get his final email telling us all about his last week in the mission field. And that he will pack his bags, go to the mission home for a final dinner and board a plane for home. There are a lot of emotions going on here: excitement, sadness; I hate to use the word "fear", but fear of the unknown. I am sure he feels them even more. Change is coming....

Hi Mom!!!! :)

Haha I don't even know what to say! I'm looking forward to both this week and next! :)

The week went really well! Last week was pretty stressful, but this one was tons better, so I'm happy! :) We had some great lessons with our investigators, and a couple came to church, and we found a new investigator that is so solid! He's part Native American, so I realized we were literally fulfilling Book of Mormon prophecy of Lehi's descendants receiving the gospel - pretty cool :) We taught him about the Book of Mormon, and before we even invited him to read it, he said, "Cool, I'll start reading this!" Then at the end of the lesson, before we had set another appointment, he said, "So... you're coming back, right?" We assured him we would :) We had interviews with President and Sister Palmer, as a companionship - that was different, but good! We had a couple of lessons, too, with less active members, and we had some great conversations with people along the way... and others that weren't so great :)

I'm planning on sending a box home with some books and stuff today. Hopefully that will get rid of enough weight! I also got myself a cheap carry-on, which should help! That's SO fun Robert got a room so close - that will make the semester that much better :) I'm pretty excited for my phone... is that bad? :) And it seems like Morgan has had a great time in Ghana - she sounds pretty grown up!! Let Ashley and Kyle know they're in my prayers please! That's exciting they get the boys home! Good luck with your classes! Someone at dinner asked what my mom does, and I mentioned that you teach exercise classes (amongst many other things) and they were quite impressed :)

I like how you said each line of that hymn could be a talk... that made me look deeper into the words, and there really is so much there!! I wonder how many other hymns/scriptures/etc are like that :) Thanks for the reminder; that has become one of my favorite hymns as well! And I do love that quote from Elder Holland! So cool! I've had a couple investigators that bring up the Second Coming, and it's cool to be able to tell them that THIS Church is preparing us for His coming....and it will NEVER die away until then (and even after). That quote is very hopeful :)

Haha I can't WAIT for story time!! I feel like nobody will be able to get me to shut up! Elder Hong and I are constantly telling each other stories, and I've realized how many cool/funny/weird/crazy stories I have from the last 2 years :)

So I have a thought from a couple nights ago but don't know if I can put in in words... but I'll try :) I was biking along and something just made me think about how much sin there is in this world. I myself, a member of the Church that knows the commandments and has covenanted and is striving to follow them, make SO many mistakes every day! Then multiply that by the 365 days per year, and hopefully again by 80 years or so. Then by the billions of lives on the earth at this moment, and again by all the lives that have ever lived on this earth... and again for the other worlds that are home to God's children. That's a LOT of mistakes! (I will add, though, lots of good deeds too :) ). Then I thought of the Savior taking every single one of those upon Himself in one night. I don't even understand a fraction of how much sin and how much suffering He went through as He performed the Atonement. Yet He did it ALL out of love for us and His Father. None of us could achieve exaltation without Him doing that for us. And still, somehow, we choose to mess up, to break commandments. We choose to not share this message with others so they can start to bring that infinite sacrifice into their lives. Some people even purposefully reject it. Sorry, I realized this is kind of sad... :) But, it just put it all a little more in perspective for me. It is so important that I show Him that I love Him and appreciate His Atonement by keeping His commandments and sharing His gospel with those around me. How else could His Atonement be worth it? It reminds me of Mosiah 2:21-22: "...if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants. And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments..." It made me feel SO grateful for His love and the sacrifice He made for me and others. Again, sorry if that was intense... :)

I think that's all for today! Thank you SO much for your email and everything you do!!! Thanks for all the hard work and preparation for the coming weeks... that has reduced my stress by at least 70% :) I love you so much, and I hope your week is wonderful! Until next week :)

Elder Connor Hopkin :)


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