Monday, November 28, 2011

Never make a deal with the Devil

 Elder Hopkins with his companion Elder Mejia from Honduras
November 28, 2011
Hey famm.

So first of all I'd like to wish Sam a feliz cumpleaños this week. Have a great one! and i think it was ricky´s birthday this past seek, so a shout out to him too.

Elder Hopkins shared an experience this week, that I am not putting on the blog, as it was quite personal and gave him a testimony of how the spirit can tell you when something or someone is not a follower of God but rather the opposite.   Ask me about it if you want to know.    (his mom) 

On a positive note, this week we found a whole bunch of new investigators, and people that are married!! Don't need a divorce, and don't need to get married! My prayers are answered!! We are trying to get members involved with these people as soon as possible, and we are hoping and praying for some results.
Also there is a big fair in our little town right now, so its super noisy at night, its cool until you have to sleep. There is like 2 feet and a pane of glass in between my head and the street where the fair is when I sleep, but luckily I've been able to sleep through most of it all .

Now I'll try to answer your questions

do you think you are losing weight?
I think im mas o menos (more or less) the same as I was when I left. Yes, I only got the tailor to slim the legs of my pants, cuz you know me, I like it like that. He did nothing with the waist.
Do you ever get dinner appointments with members?  No we don't. We have a rule that we can only eat with our leaders aka the bishops, priesthood quorum presidents, ect. The work is urgent so we don't take time to eat haha. besides, most of the people here work until like 8 or 9 anyways.  
What do you cook for Sundays when you are just at home if you don't go to anyone's house? well we usually go to this one families house for lunch on sundays, but we still eat a little at home before going because they don't have tons of food, kinda poor, so we don't want to eat a lot of their food. but this sunday i ate spaghetti with some sausage things.
Did they have a "Thanksgiving" type day there? nope
Do you still go to that restaurant to eat your lunch meal? yes we do.
Do you have a lady there that does your laundry? yea
What time do you have to be in your apartment at night?its the same as every other mission. at 9 at night, unless you are teaching a lesson, then you can get home by 9 30
What's your favorite thing to eat when in your apartment and you are hungry? i like to eat yogurt and granola when i have enough money to buy it, ummm i dont know, whatever else i can find thats cheap and tasty.
Have you seen Elder Moon or Elder Davis since you got into the field?  Are they ever at any of your meetings?  (maybe next week at your special event for all the missionaries)! yeah I've seen them both a few times, but its not that often. and this special even is just going to be two zones at a time, i don't know whose in the other zone that we are having it with, so i don't know who i will see
Have you had much contact with Pres. Brough and his wife besides your weekly email to him? we have either a zone conference or interviews every change, so i see him at those.
Any more sicknesses come upon you? not really. i have a little bit of a cold, but its nothing much.

the photos i sent are of the turkeys, a pday we has as a district where we had a barbeque, and i bought a little tiny bible that i carry around now instead of having to carry around my giant other one. its great. and i just right now took a picture of me and my companion here in this iternet place cuz you wanted to see who he is ha.

oh also the next time I'm going to email you is december 9th. not next monday. and starting later in december i will be emailing every Tuesday, NOT monday. the president changed the days of pday and email and stuff.

Okay, times up.
Love you all so much!
From Guatemala, With Love,
Elder Hopkins
 Elder Hopkins holding baby turkeys - Happy American Thanksgiving!
Our district had a BBQ (love their make shift bbq from an old cement sink)

A tiny bible he bought to carry

Monday, November 21, 2011


I found a Guatemalan Peewee!!  (like Parker's cat I used in my Grad Photos)
a little dog belonging to a family
Hey FAM, hows it going??
Just to let you know i got the letter you sent with your talk in it and picture of my friends. they´re all lookin great. so i never know what to say in these cuz wierd stuff seems normal to me now, and also i never want to say anything that might worry you haha, but I'm fine and safe always. i did have a funny experience this week, while teaching a man. i wrote about it in my journal so i just took photos of my journal that im sending to you so i don't have to repeat it all.

We were contacting the other night and a man passed by, and we were pretty sure he was drunk, like half the Guatemalans at night. he yelled out. you guys are mormons! and kind of lifted up his shirt to show he had a machete, and pulled it half way out. at first I'm kinda like, wow buddy, you have a machete, half the people in this town half a machete strapped to their belt at all times (because they all work in farmers fields basically) and i said what do you want, with my arms out kinda confronting him, but then i thought no thats stupid, lets just go. he followed for a little but we lost him. but i mean he's not gonna do anything, there are people around that would stop him, so don't worry!
also twice now we have been walking to this guys house at night for an appointment, but there has been people shooting in the corn fields we have to walk by, because people steal the corn, so we haven't been able to go over there for a little bit.
I tell you things not so you worry, but because you always want to know what its like down here. but we always feel safe, and always are safe. the Lord protects us.
The other day we were on this street, where they was just a ton of little little kids. Of coarse they always shout out all the english words they know, and ask us to give them something. My companion pulled out a pamphlet and started showing them pictures of Jesus and teaching them a little about baptism. There was like 15 kids all crowded around us, it was really funny. they all wanted pamphlets, so we gave them some, one for each family, and told them to show them to their parents and that we are going to come to their houses and teach them more. There was even some adults that came up after asking for a pamphlet. and now whenever we come to this street the kids come and give us awkward leg hugs cuz theyre all so tiny ha.
Yesterday for church there was a broadcast for all the stakes in Guatemala, where president Uchdorf and Elder Holland spoke. it was really good. Elder Holland said a few sentences in really horrible sounding spanish, it was funny. Also they said something interesting about tithing (because there are so many poor people here so they don't pay their tithes) they said if the situation comes down to either paying your tithing, or being able to feed your family, Pay your tithing, and talk to the bishop for help with feeding your family after. This really shows the importance of this commandment. Dios dice, probadme ahora. y abrire las ventanas de los cielsos y derramare bandiciones sobre vosotros. or something like that. ha.
thats cool that some kids are up north for the week because of thanksgiving. i held some baby turkeys the other day. its so crazy that hardly any of my friends are even in calgary. i guess the world really does keep moving as I'm here in Guatemala. crazyyy. im glad I'm here and don't have to adapt to the changes back home for now ha.
So the photos i sent this week... one with some cute little dog of a family, nothing really to explain ha.  two of a place called cerro de la cruz, or hill of the cross in english, overlooking the city of Antigua, and the big volcano covered by clouds in the back. in one of the photos you gotta search for where i am. its a game called 'Wheres Elder Hopkins.' And in one of the photos i think i found Peewee, the cat of the Steeles that i used for my grad photos. and then there is the photos of my journal so i don't have to write that stuff all over again.
also theres a tailor that lives next door that is taking in some of my pants and shirts. he only charges 10 Quetz. or only like a dollar twenty five to tighten a pair of pants. how sweet is that! so i got a few pairs taken in so they're slimmer.

Well thats all thats new here basically.
love you all so much, have a great week.
from guatemala, with love,
Elder Tanner Hopkins
Story from his Journal:           November 18, 2011
Today we had a real interesting lesson.  Basically it ended up being a guy trying to prove us wrong.  At first the lesson was going well, then we asked him if he had any questions so far.  We hadn't even taught about Joseph Smith yet and he asked us the dumb question that many people ask, "why isn't Joseph Smith in the Bible?".  He ended up having a sheet of paper with questions written down, like do we believe in other scriptures besides the Bible.  I answered, "absolutely yes".  He asked us a really dumb other question too, "do you believe Jesus had a wife and kids?"  of course no one knows, maybe like the Prophet, but us no.  Basically he just kept arguing with us and trying to fight with us.  He said he had read the Book of Mormon, then we asked him if he prayed about it, he kind of hesitated, obvious that he hadn't, but then lied and said he did and that God told him it was false.  He said a lot of other dumb stuff, like God changed, He is really blinded from the truth.  It was funny, he was saying anything that is not written in the Bib is not true, and that he would only believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet if it was written in the Bible.  Then I asked him if he knew what faith was.  HE said things that are hoped for, but are not seen, and was mad that I asked that question.  My companion then asked him "But if you could see it and read it in the Bible, then you would believe it?"  Then he held up his bible and yelled out "This is faith!!, the Bible is faith!".  So the people in ancient times that didn't have the Bible didn't have faith?"  The Bible was put together many years after the lives of Christ and his apostles.  We stumped him on a lot of things, but the time came when we had to go to our next appointment.  We asked if we could leave with a prayer, and he said only if he could offer it. He prayed that God might open our eyes and that we might stop preaching false doctrine and teaching about Joseph Smith amongst other things.  After the prayer, I turned to him, shook his hand and said "Just so you know, I already know that what I teach is true, and I hope that some day you can know it too.
It was a pretty funny little lesson, and this guy did not want to learn at all, it was as if the time between we contacted him and the lesson (a week ago we contacted him) he spent all his efforts to find things he could argue about to us, to try and shake our faith.  But what I know, I know is true, and no one can change that.  He'll be sorry when he finds himself at the  Judgement seat of Christ.  Crazy Guatemala, Feliz Noche!
A place called Cerro De La Cruz, or hill of the Cross overlooking the city of Antigua and the big famous Volcano covered by clouds in the back.
this picture is a game called "Where's Elder Hopkins" ha ha

Monday, November 14, 2011

Up A Mountain, Down A Mountain, Up A Mountain, Down A Mountain / Touched through Prayer

 just how everyone carries their babies here. kinda funny.
November 14, 2011
 hoooooooola. ¿que tal?
Well ill answer your questions first like always.
My companion and I are getting along great. He's actually a really sweet guy. He is obedient. Works hard and there is nothing frustrating about him. And yeah I'm happy too be in this area still. Even though its sometimes real tiring to walk up a mountain, down a mountain, up a mountain, down a mountain to get to an appointment, its good. ill get in shape from it ha.
Have I met nice people you ask? Yes I have. Most of the people are pretty nice. theres a really poor family that can hardly afford a new pair of shoes, (in fact that was his excuse for not coming to church this week, that he's embarrassed about his shoes, and hell wait till next week when he buys a new pair, I offered him a pair of mine to wear, but still no.) but anyways, even though they're poor they insisted on going and buying us some crackers and some juice after we taught them the other day. They are a family that need to get a divorce, and then get married to be able to be baptized, but want to do it. So well have to wait along time for them.
I also found and taught a guy that speaks worse spanish then i do. His first language in Kakchiquel i assume. but as he was telling us a story he was saying stuff like -i believe before- and -i live in the street before- (which is probably another factor of his bad spanish) but i was sitting there thinking, wow, i speak better spanish than this guy. haha.

It was also cool when we taught a guy that is inactive, and his non member family for the first time. After a long mas o menos day we went to their house and taught them for the first time.  After the lesson we asked him to say the closing prayer, and he started to cry while saying it, thanking The Lord for letting him feel the spirit once again in his life, and that he has desperately been wanting to feel it again. his whole family started to cry as well. The thing with him is that his ex wife is also an inactive here, and they kinda still have issues, so they never want to encounter each other in the chapel, so neither of them really go to church anymore. The new wife of this guy though said that she wants to go to church, so hopefully they'll come some day soon.

Also I made a copy of all the photos that i have taken so far, and im gonna send you a memory card with all of them. I dont want to loose them all so i thought id make a copy of them to have safe at home.

Also check this out, on the 8 and 9 of December we're having an activity as a mission for christmas. On the 9th we get to go to the temple, and on the 8th, we are doing service, playing sports and stuff, eating tons, and then President Brough said that in the night we are going to have a really spiritual night, one we will never forget. but he said he was going to keep it a secret. but look at this, 2 days later the Quetzaltenango temple is being dedicated by Pres. Ukedorf (or however you spell it) so could it be that he is going to come and speak to us? I HOPE SO.

Well thats just about all i have to say for this week. the works still moving, and were still workin.

Love you all, con todo mi corazon. (with all my heart)

Elder Hopkins

Planting A Seed, Day of the Dead, Giant Pig

Day of the Dead at the Cemetary, where everyone flies kites. Kites they made that were 3-4 meters in diameter, flying so so high, the myth is that their dead will be able to climb up their string to reach heaven

November 9, 2011 – 2 days later than usual!
Hey Family, yeah sorry that i didn't get to email on monday, there was a meeting some of the missionaries in the mish, so the president moved district meeting and email time to today, so that everyone would be getting their emails on the same day.

So I'm still in the same area, no surprise, but i do have a new companion. Elder Aaron Mejia from Honduras. my third honduran! but hes a pretty cool guy, were getting along great. hes been out for 19 months.

thanks for sending me the address of Zach and Brendon!

bahaha thats so funny that that happened to Kent. I cant believe they actually beat a guy up. yeaa they probably shouldn't have done that, especially over a cell phone. but yeah, its kents companion that decided to do that. I mean, we don't even have cells phones in my mission, only the zone leaders do. but yeah thats pretty sketchy what happened, you never know if a guys got a weapon. but im glad they're okay.

i don't really need anything as of right now, but a pair of shoe inserts, but not like the crappy massage gel ones, real ones that have real support and stuff. the soles of one pair of my shoes are kind of falling out, but i super glued them back in so they're fine for now. you can find super glue absolutely anywhere here, for like 12 cents a little tube. and the rain has stopped so its not as cold anymore, at least for now. don't bother sending me a warm wheatie, i'd just end up leaving it when i get transferred. i don't even use the one i made anymore.

Thats funny what you wrote about me saying pffft are you kiddin me, all the time. i forgot i used to say that so often. i haven't done that for like 6 months! And for our Christmas call, don't be hoping on skype. my mission is rather strict, but thats the way it should be. and we'll talk for 40 minutes, not three hours. the mission book says we get the chance to phone home 2 times a year, christmas, and mothers day, 30 to 40 minutes each time.

Oh yeah, i wanted to tell you. Almost all the investigators i left in villa canales, that were so close to baptism, got baptized!! 3 families! 13 people! in 6 weeks. The man that i contacted in the rain, the one that looks like chris rock, Mario is his name, well they still are working on getting married, but their parents that we were teaching too got baptized! and a family named the familia can, i don't know if i told you too much about them, but there were three families living in the same lot, with sooo many kids, they finally got married and baptized! it was so exciting to hear it.

but as for the people im teaching right now, alot of them need to get a divorce first, then get married to the people their living with before they can be baptized, so I probably wont be here to see it happen, and a couple catholics that have a problem with us not worshiping the virgin Mary. but well just see how things go.

So the pictures that i sent this week... the day of the dead, at the cemetery, where everyone was flying kits. kites they made that we like 3 to 4 meters in diameter, fling so so high. a little member boy that has grills. basically everyone here has grills, its just what the dentists do, a pig that is so so so HUGE, the picture doesn't do justice to how enormous it is. its the pig of a member family here. and a dog that you can hold up by the ears, like a rabbit. its not a dead dog like the picture looks, just real dirty, but the dog is fine with you doing this, its pretty funny.

And dad, you look great in your corte tie.

im doing great and all is well. LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!
from guatemala with love, Elder Tanner Hopkins
Little boy with Grills, its just what the dentists do here, very common
A pig that is so so huge, the picture doesn't do justice to how enormous it is.  It's the pig of a member family here.
A dog you can hold up by the ears like a rabbit, its not a dead dog like the picture looks, he's just real dirty, but the dog is fine with you doing this, its pretty funny