Monday, August 29, 2011

Week 18: His hardest trial yet and "Aah! It's the dog!"

With a sun burnt nose.

Well to answer you first, my companions first name is Carlos

Yes yes i did get my packages! Whoohooo! and I love having music, I got a copy of a CD from my companion too. And I loved the pictures. I didn't realize there was messages from everyone on the backs of them until like 4 days later, and I absolutely loved that part of it.

And also I went through probably the hardest trial of my life with that dr pepper. i didn't drink any of it. i poured two out for the picture I'm sending you, and that was a bad idea cause that rich rich smell of that sweet nectar, dr pepper, was so hard to resist. but i did it. Phew. (side note: Tanner's New Mission President doesn't allow any caffeine drinks, and this is a new rule, and wasn't the rule when I sent the Dr. Pepper 3 months ago!)

That's sweet that you went to boogies burgers, that place is so good!  the only thing I have here where I can eat hamburgers is called Q dely. and I think I'm going to eat there in like 45 minutes.

Awe thanks for giving those guys those address labels. I was going to say out of the pictures I got, Parker, Tyler, Zack, Lincoln, Brendon Jesse and Jordan all looked so so handsome. wooow. ha.

That's funny that you mentioned Elder Cukuk. He was in my district. He is a pretty cool guy. We got along well. (side note, I told him that in Elder Cukuk's blog, he mentions that he paid a lady $3.00 to shorten all his long sleeved shirts into short sleeves shirts and wondered if Tanner would want to do that)

Oh man Sam hahaha that is so funny. i want a beard like that. but where's your mustache?? I'm going to grow a bigger and better beard than him in about two years. (side note: I sent Tanner a picture of his brother who just got home from doing a dig for 4 months and he has a wild mountain man beard)

Anyways I wanna try to put some of the pictures you sent me onto my camera so I'll just tell you a few quick things about my week. The other day me and my companion were walking down the street and a dog tried to bite him and kinda jumped after him. That night we were sitting in someone's house for a lesson and the same dog walked into the room. and we were like ahhh it's the dog!!. it didn't try to bite again or anything, but it was kinda funny.

Also after almost 8 months of listening to the missionaries, Jorje Louise got baptized. whooo! He's kind of a  different man, but he believes the church is true. It was kinda funny, cuz he was kinda scared of going under the water. We had to do it twice. Elder Cruz from the mission, came to baptize him, because he was the one that found him, and Jorje wanted Elder Cruz to do it. so Elder Cruz and Pearson came for the baptism.

Also it has been really hot here this week, my nose is definitely burnt. Of course, my big nose always gets burnt.

Well sorry that I didn't write too too much this week, but I want to try to get these pictures onto my camera, so I can always remember them haha. love you all!! byeee

The hardest trial
And the blessings of obedience - Jorje Louise is baptized.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Week 17: Rain Blessings

August 22, 2011

¡Hola Padres Hermanos Abuelos y Amigos!

This week had been pretty good, first full week with a latino companion, it's not bad, I was kinda worried about it at first, but it's turned out to be a blessing. We get along great, he is a great missionary, and my ability to speak Spanish is increasing. One day when it was raining really hard, we hid ourselves under a tarp for a few minutes. There was also a man avoiding the rain under the tarp with us. We started talking to him and we got his address to go back to visit him. We went and taught him, and his family, and they are very very positive. They brought up baptism the first lesson, and about how they need to get married to do so. We hadn't taught them any of that yet, but they were very interested it all of it. they are a chosen family. They came to church and loved it. We feel like they will be baptised before this change is over. I don't have any pictures of them, but I don't need to send you pictures because if you search "Chris Rock" on Google images (click here), you will know exactly what this man looks like. He must be his long lost twin or something because he looks and sounds exactly like Chris Rock.
Anyways, this has strenghthened my testimony of talking to everyone, because really we are just here to find the people that are ready. we have been finding lots of new people to teach, and we are being blessed for it. 20 new people this week.

okay now to try to answer some of your questions. I'm still not sick, don't worry. Although maybe I'm constantly a little sick and just used to it now. but I feel fine ha. Yeah the home of the fam Ajquejay sure is humble, there's only that one room, and that's their house. A lot of people live like that here. My Spanish is better today than yesteday, but not as good as it will be tomorrow. I'm not really having many problems with fleas anymore thank goodness.

I love the echo five boots, but I'm gonna say not to send me another pair, but I will say send me another pair for my birthday or something, cuz around that time I might actually need them.

My latino comp is very obediant. hes been out for 8 months. we get along good and everything is good there.

About my motorbike, you can sell it. I want a motorbike when I get back, but I could buy a different one, cuz I kinda wanted a bigger motor anyways.

Yea antigua is a big tourist site, there was lots of white people there, which was wierd to see. I want to bring you guys there. In fact I had a dream last night that I got home, and I was like wow that went by really fast, and then we were talking about going back so I could take you there.

Tell Sam and his girlfriend that I say to go to church. and I promise that the quality of their lives will increase. I've seen it with many people here already.

I don't have any pictures for you this week, sorry!
but yes I do enjoy receiving one or two photos from you every once in a while. I printed off the one of you guys in front of the temple.

Well my time's about to run out. I love you all
until next week.
Love Elder Hopkins

Monday, August 15, 2011

Week 16: Family baptism and "little interesting facts"

Tanner and the family Ajquejay
 Hello Family!

Well yes im still in villa Canaleles. But Elder Euteneier left to be a zone leader in one of the coastal zones. I received Elder Varela for my new companion, From Honduras. My first Latino Companion. I don't really speak English at all anymore. When i was in the change meeting and I found out I was getting a latino I was like what the heck am I going to do. It was hard the first little bit, but as I put more trust in the Lord things became easier. I think we are going to have a lot of sucess this change. and I'm going to learn ALOT of Spanish. it's going to be hard, but of course worth it in the end.

We baptised the Family Ajquejay this week too! My first family baptism. they were really excited, and so was I. We were a little worried the day before cuz we couldnt find baptismal clothes for Hermana Ajquejay, but this all worked out. Also confirmed Mauro in Sacrement meeting yesterday, which I was a little nervous for cuz I had to do it in front of the whole ward, and in Spanish, of course. but it all went well.

Umm well for the water and snack question, i usually just fill a bottle and bring it with me and then I'm fine for the day, sometimes bring a snack, or buy something at a store as we pass by. not really that interesting haha.
That's awesome about Parker being at the Hockey camp. Of course they are so impressed with him, he's AMAZING. That will be so fun for him to do before his mission.

That's awesome about Madison getting into the EFY talent show! something i never managed to do. I guess we now know where the talent of the family is. I wish i could have been there. Maybe Illl try to be a counselor the summer after i get back, and then Madison would still be young enough to go to haha. Yes that is so crazy that shes turning 16, what happened to my little sister. Also i wanted to ask a favor of her, since were on the subject of Taylor Swift, her singing a Taylor Swift song, and going to her concert this week. I want her to send me a Taylor Swift T-shirt. There's nothing more a missionary could ask for. It would be a nice thing to wear around the house I'm thinkin. ha. i sent her a card like a month ago for her birthday, hopefully it got there.

Oh, the packages. i havnt recieved them, but i should be very soon. Elder Davis told me at the change meeting that he was in the regional office for the missions here and that there were two packages for me there, so those are probably the ones from the ccm. We have interviews in like a week or two so i might get them there, who knows. but i did get some letters this week, which is always awesome!

just some little interesting facts. there was this man wearing a calgary flames hat here, ofcoarse he had no idea what it was.i wish i had my camera at the time to maybe take a picture.
also there this little girl in my ward who was wearing Toms Shoes. so i asked her about them, and she said that some people came to her school and gave all the kids free shoes. so its cool to know that maybe those toms shoes i convinced you to get gave this little girl a pair of shoes. most of the kids here dont really have shoes, or just run around barefoot anyways. buts its cool that the Toms shoe company came to the town where im living right now to do that.

We found this family this week that seem really positive. we were hiding from the rain under some tarp someone had just for a minute and talked to this man, named Mario. got his address and went there yesterday, and greeted us and let us in with excitement. Its kind of fun talking to him because he looks and sounds exactly like Chris Rock. Even though its in Spanish he just sounds the exact same, has the same goatee thing, and just looks like his twin. But I'm excited to keep teaching them.

It rained alot, and hard this week. One day we were walking along a river of a street, already so wet, but to make things even wetter, a big truck drove by, and i was just drenched. luckily we were already on our was back to out little community to eat lunch so i got to change right away.

oh so the pictures i sent you. We went to the house of the familia Ajquejay and made pizza and breadsticks last week. it was really good, they are so kind. there the picture of the t-shirts you made for me and Elder Euteneier, just like you wanted. and the picture of the fam Ajquejay at their baptism.

That's all I got for this week. Love you all so much!
Love Elder Hopkins

Making pizza and breadsticks with the familia Ajquejay
Baptism of the family Ajquejay
No longer companions - wearing matching tees from Tanner's mom

Monday, August 8, 2011

Week 15: First Baptism, still fleas and willpower

Hola Familia.
Well... I wanted it [his hair] short cuz its cooler, but also its only how short it is because they cut hair funny down here, they shaved it all and left the front long, so I just told them to shave the front off too. yeah I think I still have fleas, but I just spray my clothes every morning with permetherine so it kills them all, so I'm not itching all day. I laughed out loud when i read that Sam Turner got bit by a monkey. What a goof.

So yes! I had my first baptism yesterday. and I got to baptize him. He is so much happier than he was before. This is the man we found just sitting on sidewalk with his mentally challenged son, looking off in the distance like he didn't know what to do with his life. His wife had left him and he was left alone to take care of his son and daughter. He was really kind of shy and seemed depressed, but as we continued to teach him, and bring him to church, he opened up more and more and seemed more and more happy. Its amazing what the gospel can do to someone's life, give them a purpose and direction.

Baha that's so funny that you did that to my friends to force them to write me pity letters haha. But it's always great to get them. ummm im gonna say maybe not send me a package this time you're in phoenix. I already have a bunch waiting for me, and I dont want to get to a change meeting and have to carry two suitcases, a backpack, and three packages onto bus after bus trying to arrive somewhere far away haha. Alot of that stuff I can get here at the stores, the cards and pictures and print outs are the things I love most, an envelope might be sufficient, for at least a little while, until the backup of packages stops. I might be getting some of them on Wednesday, depending if they've come.

I did get the little sign and tshirts you made. I'll be sure to take a picture of it tonight.
Yes yes i did spend a lot of money at Antigua, but i couldn't resist buying such cool stuff for you guys! Hopefully the package that I'm going to be sending to you tomorrow will arrive. Maybe in two years you'll have to come down and we can just fill up suitcases of souvenirs haha.

That's too bad Madi got in a car crash, but practice makes perfect.
Also thats cool to see that temple is coming along, I can't wait till i can go to it someday!
and fantastic that my tree is still there. It better stay there till the second coming.

well I love you guys lots! I'll let you know next week where I am!
Keep it classy.
Love Elder Hopkins

Here's some photos of my baptism!
The other photos are some ruins that were in Antigua, there was a courtyard and we were pretending to be harry potter. you better go see the movie for me if you haven't already.  Also they had DR. PEPPER in antigua! but i couldnt drink it! cuz i would be breaking the rules. some pretty strong will power eh? love you all lots! besos.
Baptism in Villa Canales
Ruins in Antigua
Ruins in Antigua
Obeying the rules...

Monday, August 1, 2011

Week 14: Fleas, Frenchtoast Tortillas and Working Hard

By the sugarcane field
Monday August 1, 2011

First of all. thats so crazy about Brendon's mission call! thats so so sweet that they're going to the same mission, and on the same day! they're going to TEAR IT UP! they're going to have so so much fun. I  want one of my buds to come down here haha. I can hardly believe that. so sick!
well i haven't been sick at all yet. so hopefully that will continue. I've gotten the odd mosquito bite, but more than anything flee bites haha. we think our laundry lady has fleas in her house, but we have been spraying our clothes to kill them, so I'm doing fine now. (I quickly emailed him back while he was still on and told him I would send him flea collars to put on his bed posts at night as I was told this would really help)  haha all right. We do have permetherine spray or something that kills them all too and lasts for 6 weeks. I  haven't been feeling anything since I sprayed that a few weeks ago, entonces no se preacupe.
About the lady that feeds us, yeah she feeds us a pretty good amount, and we can ask her for more usually. Sometimes its not the most delicious food, but it fills me up. oh i want to tell you how to make something thats really good  and quick. Fry tortillas in eggs, like french toast, but with refried beans in it, scrambled eggs, any kind of meat, and we put this cream stuff they have here in them too, its a pretty thick cream, like butter, but i don't know if they have it in Canada.[It's a kind of cheese - NOT available in Canada. Either queso de capas or queso fresco.] They're good.
ummm the walking, my feet haven't really been too sore, but a foot rub would be so nice haha, sometimes i get tired at night, basically every night, but i just gotta fight from yawning in a middle of a lesson haha.
i did get a package this week! the one that was sent on july 11th. with a card from Brendon and Jordan in it, and your primary kids. those two boys made me laugh so hard. I loved getting those cards from them. they'll be getting some back. oh also from saving you from sending stuff i can get here, i can get hand sanitizer, and pencils and stuff. those sharpies sure are nice though! you can't get them here. but I'm sure i have enough of that stuff for a long time haha.
the familia Akjikji, i actually found out you spell it like this -Ajqueyay- well... they didn't come to church this week cuz they had random family show up, so that means we have to push their baptisms back at least a week. they have to come to church at least 3 times before being baptized. Mauro could be getting baptized, but we don't know, he has an interview this week but we aren't sure he is ready.  but unexpectedly an investigator, jorje louis cuevas said he wants to be baptized this week. he has been ready for a long time, but he felt like he needed to know everything before being baptized, so at least we have one coming up. basically he wants to be baptized by my comp and he know that there is a chance that he could be leaving. This is what happened last change to him to, the guy he wanted to baptize him left, so this time hes making sure ha.
My transfer day is in like a week and two days, whatever day thats going to be. and I find out next monday night. Its likely that either me or my companion will be leaving.  I kinda want to stay so I can be here for the baptisms of the familia Aajqueyay. but we will see.
oh also tomorrow for pday we are going to Antigua, a major tourist attraction with lots of markets. I'm hopefully going to buy you somethings and send YOU guys a package.
also those are some nice photos you sent me haha, thank you.
the pictures that i send are... it rained alot one day, so the street was a big puddle. this is nothing compared to some of the streets that have turned into rushing rivers that I've seen and there are a few of me standing by the sugar cane field. the one symbol with my two hands is -B gang bros- the gang me and brendon were in,  haha, that we made, so that picture is for him. you should make sure he sees it and tell him its for him and congrats for his call and thats i'm proud of him and he's going to be so great!
and the other one is i was wearing my rain jacket and i guess that pigment just dripped all over of white shirt, so i was kinda looking like a mess that day. but don't worry, i have another rain jacket thats better.
i still can't believe how brendon and zach are going to be together for 2 years haha. thats so awesome. its gonna be hard to not drive over to Winnipeg to visit them after i get home. they're leaving almost exactly 6 months after i did. I'm for sure going to be at the airport when they get home haha
okay.. i love you all!! thank you for everything! keep it classy.
LOVE elder Hopkins.

Emails with his Sister
first email:
from Madison
Guess what...I'm currently eating a banana that was grown in guatemala! Yay!
Tanner's response: thats crazy! i eat things that were grown in guatemala all the time! we're practically related!
(I miss his sense of humor around the house!)

2nd email  From Madison
Now i am currently drinking a Doctor Pepper that has been in the fridge since before you left, i think its yours. Oh and guess what!! Brendon got his call to WINNIPEG! So i just thought i would tell you that he is super excited which is really good. But i love you and miss you! SO peace, see you in like 21 months! LOVE MADI!

Tanner's response:
THATS CRAZZYYY!! what the heeckkk hahahaha thats tightt that Zach and Brendon are going to the same mission! thats would be so sick hahaa. they're going to have so much fun. that would be nice to have one of my best friends here haha. i even thought of that happening, Brendon getting his call to Winnipeg. hahaha whooo crazy. i hope enjoyed that dr pepper, cuz i was saving it for when i got back! your gonna have to treat me to one.
well i love you alot! stay cool
love elder hopkins

What wearing his rain coat did to his white shirt