Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

Me and my companion, and the worst Santa Clause I have never seen at a ward Christmas activity, but we brought investigators and they loved it!

My second companion, leaving to go home!
Another friend leaving to go home

A youth from our ward leaving for his mission on Wednesday

December 24, 2012

Hey familyyyyy.

Thats awesome that you got my package, I was hoping to hear that good news. I'm glad you liked your gifts, its an Elder Hopkins Personalized frame, you can put your favorite Elder Hopkins picture in there and it'll look great.
Also did that little Quetzal coin keychains get there for madi and Sam, i hope so.
it was really just some last minute gifts that i got together, cuz i haven't been to Antigua for a while, not until mid january will i go again.

So my Phone number is xxxx-xxxx, an i think the area code for Guatemala is 502, so dial 502-xxxx-xxxx. but you might want to look on the internet to figure that out, i don't remember from the last time you called, maybe you do. so yeah, call me tomorrow at 9 30 MY TIME, i think thats 8 30 your time
they never said that we can do test calls, but if you want to call to see, and just leave a message. i probably wont be home to answer anyways. tonight we are allowed to stay out until 12 45 tonight with members, but i think we're just going to be out till like 10 30, 11 00 ish, just to eat and hang out, and then come back to the house, cuz from our roof we have an awesome view of all the city, to watch all the fireworks from there.

Yea, those sisters were kidnapped, that was the scary thing of the week, and the kidnappers were calling other missionaries and stuff, i actually don't know too too much about it, but we were praying all day about it, all the missionaries in Guatemala, and i think central america too. Yeah that sister was in my district just a little bit ago, I was her district leader, she even gave me a lollipop the day before she was kidnapped. but thank goodness that they are safe now.

But yeah, I'm excited for the call tomorrow too, make a little of Questions that you want to do to me, will make the phone call a little more lively this time ha. 
I do plan on opening my Christmas presents tonight actually.

Were still working with these 2 youth, "D" and "M", their dad doesn't want to give them permission, but we're going to go there today to see what he says, the family "G" in as Pilas as always, we just gotta wait until their one son comes back to Chimaltenango so that they are baptized together, he'll either come the 28th, or the first week on January.

but I'm all good, and I hope you are too this Christmas holiday, Enjoy those Christmas cards, it says Stay classy, but the spanish version of saying it.

i also got a card from Tyler Johnson the other day, actually i got it the day that he entered into the mtc, cool.
Well, well talk tomorrow,

love you all, 
From Guatemala, with Love,
Elder Hopkins

Christmas Activity

Leaving for the temple at 2:30 a.m

At the temple, still dark out!

The great lunch afterward!

Getting his Christmas parcels

The other Elders that slept at our place 2 nights and traveled with us

Our Zone!

Baptism of Pablo


December 18, 2012

Hello familyyy.

all is well in Guatemala,
it wasn't day of the dead, but it was the burning of the devil day, which is what i think you meant. yes lots of devils burnt, i didnt have my camera, but i have pictures of it from last year, lots of firecrackers and fireworks and all that good stuff.

So this week we had a baptism, Pablo was baptized. it was a small but nice service, i ended up baptising him, thats what my companion wanted even though it was his first baptism, but yea it was good.

Tomorrow is changes, but im staying here with my companion, so there's no changes for me.
I talked to a guy named Jonathan Ruiz this week, funny, ive already talked with an Amanda Ruiz here as well ha.

Also we are teaching two people, from separate families, one is a young woman named Helaman, and the other is a young man named Nephi. neither are members, but with names like that they should be. were working on it.

So we had a great Christmas activity last week, got up super early, actually we had a sleep over with elder Tanner and elder Mcmillan in our house, got up at 2 30 the next morning, had a good time in the temple, them went to a chapel and ate great food, played sports, had a fireside by President and Sister Brough, and then ate more food, then got back to our house at 8 40 at night, had another sleepover, and then got back to work.

I actually got my Christmas packages already, but i haven't opened them yet, im going to wait till Christmas, great willpower hey?
also the Broughs gave each of us a mini spanish preach my gospel, so i no longer need one, thank you!

I have no idea what wrap thing your talking about, but maybe something called Baleadas, there actually from honduras, but yea, i donno ha.

Thats so nice of you sending packages off to some friends of mine, there should be a package arriving soon for you guys, i sent it a couple weeks ago, let me know when you get it.

oh also in the pictures you sent me there was a bunch of things referring to calgary as the yyc i think? is that the airport? i don't remember. who knows.

so our attendance lowered to 6 this week, but we hope to get it back up to 10 ish next week. we are still looking good for january, to meet our goals, we are having some problems with 2 youth that we are going to baptize real soon, their father doesn't want to give them permission, but we plan on bringing with the dvd of finding faith in christ for a christmas gift and know him a little better, and hopefully he'll change his mind,

so next week i will be writing on the monday, 24th, and i will give you my phone number then.

all is good in Guatemala, i still hold my record on never pooping my pants, although about an hour ago i came real close, luckily there was a gross bathroom on the side of the road that i could pay to use, as i couldn't have made in another block to the house haha. im sure you want to know that, but every other white missionary that I've talked to has pooped their pants.
your sons a trooper.

heres some pictures of the christmas activity, the baptism, and my district and my zone.

Love you all tons!!
write you and talk to you soon!
from guatemala, with love,
Elder Hopkinsito xoxo

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

This week: Most lessons taught, most people at church and most investigators found for my Area

A cold foggy night in Guatemala

December 10, 2012

hello family,

This week was great actually, we were able to teach the most amount of lesson that I have taught in the area, have the most people at church that I've had in this area, and reach my record for new investigators that I've found in this area.

We foud a really poor cowboyish family, the man buys and sells livestock. but they actually came to church on thier own after the first time that we visited them. actually, the day before we found their son in law, and taught him, and we asked him for a reference, then the next day we found a family fom the reference, and then we asked this family for a reference as well, and right after we found another family from this reference, and then we asked them for a reference as well, but the referene they gave us wasn't home, so we'll go try to find them another day.  It was just a great chain of references. It was great.

Also the Family "G", they are great, they're doing really good, they brought 2 friends to church on sunday, and they arent even baptized yet. awesome. They are not even members yet but their doing better missionary work than most of the members. We're going to baptize the 4 of them once her son gets back from Christmas vacations with his dad.

Pablo, is doing good, we are going to baptise and confirm him this weekend. He's already read the whole book of mormon, and reads it every night for a half hour. 

Diego and Melvin, 2 kids, are still coming to church, they've come like 4 times already, we're going to baptize them on the 30th, we want to take it slower with them, because thier parents don't come to church, and we want to make sure that they'll stay active.

This week I did some baptism interviews in a little town called Comalapa, out in the middle of nowhere. when you walk down the streets there, you dont hear spanish, you hear katchiquel. Spanish is just the second language. In one of the interviews, I had a translator present because the lady was more comfortable speaking katchiquel, but she only needed a few things translated. It was kinda cool. I love the native people.

Oh yeah, so I did get a suit made, a 3 piece suit, with a vest, I got it a little while ago, it has the guatemalas flag embroidered on the inside, its really cool, maybe one day I'll send a  picture of it haha. I want to get another one made, and put corte inside, the native cloth. its gonna be cool. 

So the pictures i sent are me and the other elders in the district out in this little town of Comalapa, at the chapel. Just me and a book of mormon, and one night it was really cold and foggy, so I got a cool picture of that.

Tomorrow is the Chistmas activity, we have to leave at 2:45 in the morning, yes, at 2:45, to be in the temple at like 5:30 6 ish, we live kinda far away haha. The elders from Comalapa, Elder Tanner,and Elder Mcmillan are going to sleep over at our house tonight, it should be fun. I did divisions with Elder Mcmillan on wednesday and we had a good time.

Thats so funny that Guatamala is only a little bit further than Halifax haha, even though Tyler is going to Halifax on his mission, and its in Canada,  he is going to a far away place haha. I  love that guy. I can't wait to reunite with him one day.

I did get that preach my gospel in the mail, thank you for it, i appreciate it, the only this is.... that I dont ever study anything in english anymore haha. in fact I left my big english preach my gospel in some old area cuz i never used it haha. but thank you for the thought.
I really don't need any thing in the mail right now, i think I'm all good. I satisfy my hunger cravings with tortillas beans and eggs, or platano frito now. and I'm all good with everything else, just save your money and give it to me to buy cool things in Antigua or Panajachel for you.

yeah, the buses are pretty crazy here, i think the mixture of  the stuffiness, and occasional very bad smelling guatemalan, with the sharp fast turns, and starts and stops, get me feeling sick every once and a while, other times I'm perfectly fine. Maybe when you're down here we'll get on a bus so you can experience it haha.

So the Christmas call will be on the 25th, I will write you with the phone number on the 24th, thats what I've  been told to do. So i was thinkining that 9:30 am my time will be perfect, now I'm pretty sure theres a time difference be like and hour so we'll have to be sure with that. right now its 10 00 am here.

and wow i just got the picture of tyler and lincoln, (I sent a picture in my email to him) wow there are so HANDSOME! girls, you better be writting them while they're out in the field cuz you don't want boys like that to forget about you.

well, i think thats just about it for this week, next week i should be back to the regular schedule of writing on tuesdays.

stay classy canada.
From Guatemala, with love,
Elder Hopkins
A chapel in Comalapa

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Another great week, besides the sickness on the bus again and NOTHING to cook on!

Our Christmas tree

Dec. 4, 2012

Tanner didn't write this in his email today, however I found it in his emails to the office.. (Tanner allows me to go into his email to check that all emails get forwarded onto us that he intends to send because sometimes pictures get stuck in cyberspace and I have to resend them to myself)  So - They have had no microwave for a few weeks as it broke and now their stove is broken too.  There is nothing for them to cook on, he says if the office would send them something to cook on next week they will be heroes to Canadians forever!"  I guess he is learning to adapt and improvise!

Hey  fam, all is good here is Guatemala,

Awesome that dad went to kicking horse this weekend, that would have been fun, next year I'll be there too ha. So cool that a Guatemalan family moved into our ward, thats fantastic! I'll have a little piece of Guatemala with me when i get back haha. heres some Guatemala phrases to tell them. Que Chilero!, how cool. Que onda. ill leave you with just two to practice for now haha. Yes i have met Elder Falabela, he spoke to me in the ccm (mtc in Guatemala) and I think in the field as well. I was wondering where he went cuz hes not part of the central america area presidency anymore, but that cool that his niece is living in my ward now. ha.

Yeah I'll look for a Christmas nativity for you here, I know a booth that sells Christmas stuff, I talked to the guy and he told me that they sell Christmas stuff all year round, cuz I also wanted to get one for my family when I have a family, gotta think of the future ha. but yes, I'm planning on going to Antigua later this month for a district activity, where I'll get it for ya, and some other goodies. I wont send it through the mail though, I'll just keep it with me. I'll only have one more area in the mission so i will only have to pack up this one last time, and then one more when I leave for the great white north.

good to know that sam is now 23 and had a good birthday. I hope you saved me a slice of black forest cake. yuuuummmmm.

Tell Tyler Johnson that I love him and to fight till the end of his mission, there are good days, and there's bad days, its inevitable, but thats the mission life.

So this week we invited everybody to the Christmas devotional, we made invitations and everything, we had 6 investigators there, and one of our investigator's doubts was about prophets, but she said she felt so good listening to Thomas S Monson, and now she knows that he is a prophet. it was great. her name is "H.G."  , her and her 3 kids are going to be baptized,  i know it, but the kids are off visiting their other family for Christmas vacations, so we are going to baptize them in January.

Also, Barnie, from the coast, already received the melchezedek Priesthood, hes Pilas! He's changed so much and hes just progressing so fast, he says that hes going to go on a mission, i hope it happens,   but ya, anyways, him and his family are doing great.

so its not every monday that im going to be writing, but this next week, i don't know what day I'm going to write, because on Tuesday we have a Christmas activity, and we're going to the temple and stuff, so I doubt I'll be writing on tuesday, it will either be on monday or wednesday I'm thinking, just so ya know.

I sent some attached pictures of the invitations that we handed out, and another journal entry, and a great breakfast that I made, and   me and my christmas tree ha.

Journal Entry:
"Today I had another training meeting with President Brough.  But on the way, we were in a super crowded bus and the buses here drive like wildmen, so I started to feel sick and I started to throw up.  I had my sweater that I covered my mouth with and luckily I didn't eat breakfast, so there wasn't really anything to throw up, but we quickly got off the bus to rest for a few minutes.  Ay ay ay, the buses here are so rough!    I've gotten sick many times on the bus.  Who knows if I'm claustrophobic or if the many turns, stops, and starts make me feel sick.  It was a good meeting though"

also in january Todd Christofferson is coming to talk to us, awesome! i haven't seen an apostle since the mtc. it'll be awesome.

So thats all i got this week, have a great week,
From Guatemala, with love,
Elder Hopkins

A GREAT breakfast I made!

The invitations we created for the first Presidency Christmas devotional

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Best week in this Area so far! Only one other Missionary in the mission has trained this much!

Thanks for the letter from everyone at the Family Reunion!

November 26, 2012

Muy Buenos Dias

First of all, Great news mom! Relief Society President! thats awesome!! what a blessing to be able to have more responsibility and work more with all the sisters in Tuscany ward. That will be a great opportunity for you!

Sounds like another great week for you guys as well as it was for me, the best week that I've had in this area so far. We had some really cool experiences, (i included a picture of my journal entry of it) we had a lot of success. We have a Baptismal date for the 15 of December with a man named “Pablo, and another four that will be baptized in the beginning of January after a trip that they have to do, otherwise they would be baptized sooner. Also there are three other kids that should be baptized in January. After a month and a half of no success, the Blessings are coming, if things all go well, we should have 8 baptisms by the end of January.

Pablo has come to church tons of times, but has always felt that he needs to personally change more before baptism. A couple weeks ago we kind of tricked him into coming to a baptismal service, and then that night, he told us, he was thinking a lot, and reading the book of mormon a lot, and then he had dreams of the church, and he now wants to be baptized. I just love the way that the Lord works! we had a really spiritual lesson with him in the chapel, and he agreed to be baptized. actually, that morning in my studies i received the revelation that we needed to give him a copy of the teaching record, so that he knows what lessons he needs to receive, and also the pamphlets of every lesson. it was great, and it got him really excited.
On Sunday we had a ton of people that came to church as well, well, not a ton, but a good number, 9. it was a great week.

Journal excerpt:   "Today my testimony was strengthened even more that this work is of the Lord.  So on Sunday, after "J" and "I" came to church, we visited them and met their mom.  From this point I knew that the perfect member to friendship them would be "E". So today we had a lesson all together.  She bore a super strong testimony of her conversion and then "J" asked if she had ever prayed to know if Joseph Smith was a true prophet.  Then she again gave a really strong testimony about her conversion and how she found out that Joseph Smith was a true prophet.  I then asked "J" to say the prayer, (It was already about 9:05 pm) in his prayer he started to cry, and said that he knew that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and that what we told him is true.  His little sister and brother were both crying too, and hugged him after the prayer and the mom cried too.  We weren't going to challenge them to be baptized because it was already really late, but I just had to do it, so I did, for Dec. 15 but the problem is that he's going to be on vacation this next month with his dad, so we will have to work something out.  Anyways, we left there at about 9:20 pm and we were pretty far from the house, so we just started running as fast as we could, when 5 minutes later a tuctuc (taxi type thing) passed by, we flagged it down, it happened to be a member that we just had visited who had been telling us that he can't drive because they had just operated on his foot, but for some reason he was out driving.  He showed up like a superhero!, just in the time we needed it most, in a very unexpected way.  He drove us right home.  By the time we had entered into the house it was 9:29 with 50 seconds.  (only 10 seconds to spare) Just in time!! (in the training program, if I get home late, or do anything imperfect, I have to call the President to tell him).
I know this work is the Lords, he planned out this lesson perfectly, he even arranged a ride for us to get back home.  I am forever grateful for it.  I love my Heavenly Father. Goodnight."

This morning i had an interview with Pres. Brough, and he told me that there was only one other missionary in the mission that has taken part in as much training and I have. He told me that I should be very grateful that the Lord trusts me so much. It says in his presidents manual, that a trainer is the most important calling in a mission, so i feel blessed.

Thats so awesome that Lincoln got called to Barcelona, thats soooo cool, that will be an awesome mission. Everybody here are huge fans of the barcelona Soccer team. The spanish there is very different from the spanish here, thats for sure, but we can still communicate basically fine. I've met some people from spain here. Tell Lincoln Congratulations, and that I love him, I got a card from him the other day that I loved, and there will be one in the mail coming to him shortly.

So what I was thinking is that when you come to pick me up, that we stay here for a week anyways, to go see all the sights, and visit with all my converts, coming back on like the 22 or 23rd of May is what I was thinking, you guys gotta experiment the Guatemala experience! but yeah, i think that would be the best, then there will be no problem with any holidays or what not. I'm fine with waiting until next year to snowboard again, thats just the way that things have to be. I'm curious if the release date of Tyler Henry has changed as well, since he left one week after me, he might be getting home before me haha. let me know!

Also i want to wish Sam a happy birthday, since i wasn't able to get a letter in the mail to him in time. hes what, 23 now? hes getting quite old isn't he.. haha. Have a great year Sammy Boy!

Oh, so I'm probably going to stay with my comp next change as well, is what I'm thinking, its never a for sure thing, but its most probable. I'm hoping to stay at least, thats when I'm going to have all my baptisms! haha.

Here is what I included in the card that i sent to the Mission President today.

Buenos Dias Presidente. After a great week the first week of the change, things only got better. we had a great week actually.
We had a super spiritual lesson with the familia “G”, they basically know that the church is true and they want to be baptized, they were even crying in the prayer, and the joven said that he knows its all true. We dont have a specific date with them yet, because the oldest joven, is going to peten this week, and wont come back untill the end of December, he asked us where a church is there so that he can attend, but i imagine that the whole family wants to be baptized together, we are going to talk more about that with them today. WE have Pable, a man that has come to church like 20 times before, hes pilas, hes never felt too sure about baptism because he feels like her needs to personally change more. We attended a Baptismal Service with him a couple weeks ago when El Tejar had their last baptism, and he loved it, and has thought a lot about it, and has agreed to be baptized of the 15th of December. WE haven't taught him the word of wisdom, or law of chastity yet, even though were sure that hes living it fine and were pretty sure that he knows about it. We also have 3 young kids that were working with that i mentioned to you, that should be baptized in January if the Bishop Agrees with it.
The Lord sure has been blessing us, we are very Grateful, we know that the Lord does Perform Miracles.
Our faith has been increasing, and we've got to keep it high.
Thank you President for all that you do, and for the things the Lord does through you.

I'm sure that you will be a great Relief Society President mom, work hard, magnify your calling, and even more blessings will come.

Love you all so much, Happy Birthdays Sam and Ricky, Give one a Bone, and one a Hamburger for me, it doesn't matter who receives what.

Love you all, Sigan Elegantes!!
From Guatemala, with Love,
Elder Hopkins

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

My Mission extended 2 weeks, What a Blessing!, sorry Mom

And really Mom this was after I gave half of them away. 

Picture taken today, with my new companion Elder Maldonado from Mexico
Contacting a bus

Elder Largaespada and me with Marcotulio

With the Familia "Q"

With Elder Horrocks who just went home
 November 20, 2012

Hey Family.

So awesome that Tyler Johnson got his call!! I'm im glad he's excited, and tell him its alright, we will see each other in 2 years from now, and we will still love each other the same, tell him congratulations, and i wish all the best for him, the mission will be awesome for him.

I didn't see any more farm animals on motorcycles, but it has gotten a lot colder here this week, I've started to sleep in sweatpants and a sweater as well as all my blankets, but we went to a second hand clothes store yesterday and got some warm clothes. But, right when it started to get cold, I got your package of slippers and hot chocolate! so that has been absolutely fantastic. I love it. also I got the package from grandma, and enjoyed all the goodies in it. I'm so blessed to have such a loving family.
 I just took out some money to have some extra, also yesterday i bought some Christmas decorations on my card so well have to pay that off too.
So yes, i got a new companion, a newbie from Mexico, another mexican!, only Americans, honduraños and mexicanos so far, cool stuff. His name is Elder Maldonado, Cesar Maldonado, close to the gulf of mexico, and like 4 hours south of Texas he lives.He's been a good companion so far, we're getting along great.
The Lord has really blessed us as well, this week was the best week I've had in this area so far. We had 10 investigators in church, and they all really liked it. We've been finding really positive investigators too.

Here's a cool experience about endurnig to the end. We needed 1 more new investigator to complete the goal of the week, it was sunday night, we had an appointment planned for 8:00, when we were going to find new investigators, and we got there, he wasnt home, but the daughter said to come back in like a half hour, so we went to see if another investigator was home, then came back, he wasn't home yet, it was 8:30, and we were 15 minutes far from our house, we were a little disappointed, but decided to knock a few doors more, the first door we knocked on, a boy answered and then called his mom, we shared a small message and asked to enter to share more, then she asked us if we prayed, and we said of course, she said, we are experiencing difficult times and problems in my family, can you pray for us? yes of coarse. we entered and got to know the family, the husband used to be great friends with the missionaries, his sister is a member, his 17 year old daughter just got pregnant, and the boy doesn't want to show his face to the family, the whole family was really devastated. We shared about repentance and forgiveness, and their hopes were lifted. we're going back tonight at 8:00. it was a great blessing of the Lord. The results are finally coming.

Tell Grandpa Trampoline and Nanny Tina that I wish them all the best luck on their mission, its going to be a great experience. They will love it. Tell them I love them and that i say, Que les vaya bien.

So I also have somewhat big good news as well. I'm going to be staying in Guatemala serving 2 weeks longer than we expected, my release date has been moved to the 15th of May. What a blessing. Also we will have the blessing of being able to speak to each other on the telephone on Mothers day. One more phone call home on the mission! sorry mom! ha. With all the changes in the Mtc´s the mission change date has been moved back 2 weeks. This change will be only 5 weeks to accommodate Christmas, and the next change will be 9 weeks.

So I was thinking that you should just come and pick me up in Guatemala after the mish. make it 3 weeks longer, why not. We can pasear a little bit together, conocer the country and my converts. awesome. Since I'm not going to have to speak on mothers day anymore for my homecoming talk, it will be perfect.

Also next week i am going to be writing on MONDAY, so send me my email before, so I have something to read.

My pictures I sent are me contacting a bus, me and elder Largaespada with Marcotulio, and the familia Quelex. Me and Elder Horrocks, who just went home, me and all my chapstick, and really mom, i had double this before, but i gave alot away haha.
And me and my companion just now, we took the picture after district meeting,

oh, also my district is different now, since they opened a new area in the zone, its just my area, and another, 2 companionships, and the other Elders are my old Zone leader and good friend Elder Tanner, and Elder Mcmillan, also a brand new missionary that Elder Tanner is training for his last 2 changes. So its fun to be back together.

Well, I love you all so much! I think next monday or tuesday its Rickys birthday, how old is my chucho now? who knows eh? give him a bone for me.

From Guatemala, with love,
Elder Hopkins.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

two men, one donkey, and one motorcyle! Fantastic!

November 13, 2012

Hey Familyyyy

So, I'm not dead, don't you worry, yes as you heard there was an earthquake. We were sitting inour 3rd story house studying, and it started to shake, but it always shakes a little bit from big trucks that pass by, but the shaking didn't stop, and it was really strong,,, the fridge was like wobbling like crazy too, so we went and stood under one of the strong arches in our house, until it passed, it was only like 10 seconds maybe, but yea, it was quite strong, apparently a house about 20 minutes nearby fell down, but there were no injuries where I'm at. I've felt lots of little earthquakes while here, but nothing so strong. it was kinda cool. ha.

Oh poor danny, I'd be lost as well, and I will be,, haha,, thats great that Jesse will now be off, the time really does fly.
I'd be glad is brett was my nurse if i was ever in the hospital :)

This week was better than the last, we were able to use the members a lot while teaching,, but only 4 people came to church, we were hoping double, its been a little tougher, i didn't have any baptisms this change, which is a bummer, but hopefully we'll make up for it this next change.
Tomorrow i receive my new companion, I will be a father again, whoohoo,, It'll be fun. Also I believe the limits of my district are changing, so i will be in charge of another area of Chimaltenango. We have to open a ton of areas as a mission, so we will be changing up the districts.

Here's a great part of my week, even though you might not believe me,. well you know how here, tons of people jump onto a motorcycle, well, my record was seeing 5 full grown ups on one motorcycle,, but this week, I saw something even better..... I saw... Two full grown men... and a.... DONKEY! Yes, there were two men and a donkey on a motorcycle, the one man had it straddled over his lap, obviously a younger donkey, maybe like 175 pounds, but yes, I saw it, fantastic!

Ill keep thinking about if i want you to come get me after the mission or not, I'll let you know one of these days, with a firm answer.

Well, I'm almost out of time already, I love you all very very much.
know that I am safe and well.
Sigan Elegantes. (keep elegant)
From Guatemala, with love,,
Elder Hopkins

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

One of the toughest weeks!

At a Chocolate Shop in Antigua

Our Zone Shirts!

November 6, 2012

Hello Familyyyy

Im glad that you're all doing so good back at home, sounds like calgary sure has changed, but exciting.
Im glad that you finally got the package the mail sistyem from here to canada must not be that bad. Enjoy the pictures, Enjoy the videos, also, the dr pepper  video with the Amen and Amen music was not timed, it was a complete coincidence that it timed up perfectly, i was just listening to music. But you know what they say, everything happens for a reason. Enjoy that belt with the corte i already sent you. you can wear it to church and be like a Guatemalan. You're all going to have to wear them anyways when i give my homecoming talk. haha.

To answer your questions, i don't think I've gained back too much weight from what I lost in the coast, maybe a little. yes i am enjoying my cook, and i still have a laundry lady of coarse. me and my comp are still getting along, don't worry. hah

Congratulations Sammy bammy for Graduating!! that's awesome! you'll have to help me when I'm in university. The hardest thing I do academically is add up all the lessons and contacts and things that I did during the week, I've forgotten everything. but seriously, Felicitaciones!

Ayyy, that will be weird if they change the ward boundaries before I come home, but I wont be going to the home ward anyways, cuz i gotta look for my exaltation. sorry fam. its what i gotta do. Gen. 2:23. I think.haha depressing? Quizas

what else..... well, this week was real tough not going to lie, one of the toughest, but i have faith that this week will be better. This last week included nov.1, the day of the dead. our best investigator, well his wife died like 4 months ago, so he's been really depressed and started drinking, but we had a great lesson with him yesterday and he's not going to drink anymore, and he's going to come to church... i hope!
We went to Atigua for pday, which was fun, went to a cool chocolate museum, and bought some stuff in the market, fun.

Also, if we have any pioneer history in our family I dont know anything about that, but if we do, it would be cool if you could send me some stories of them to read.

Also, i was thinking... i think it might be better if I just come home from the mission alone? and then like a little bit later we can come back? that way we can do more things when we come back, and I wont have to be at dads side while we shop in the market and everything. and we can still go visit all my converts, and ya, then we can have a cool reunion in the airport, instead of it being in front of a bunch of other missionaries and the President, kinda wierd.  And then I can give my homecoming talk on a day thats not mothers day, and not the same day as tyler henrys homecoming talk. we would just have to do testimony sunday another sunday, which is what i heard they do all the time for return missionaries in the States anyways, I donno, see what bish fib says.
But yeah, those are my thoughts for the moment. tell me what you think.

Tell Jesse to have a great mission, and Vickie too, if you see her again haha.
Great work at being great Temple Workers.

Also the President called me last night, I have been called to be a trainer again, so i will stay in this area, my comp will leave, and I'll get a new missionary. fun fun. Love you!

Jose , my old investigator, who was baptized in the coast the week after i left. OH yes, my old Companion Elder Pineda took my place to finish training Elder Palomera haha.

Love you all!
From Guatemala, with gran Amor,
Elder Hopkins

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

18 months completed!

The tradition of burning pants once 18 months is up
His new suit, the liner is the material of the native dress - the corte

October 30, 2012

Hey FAmmm

Wow, sounds like you guys had an incredible week, the temple is actually finished and dedicated! woooow. i cant wait to enter in 2 years. so cool that dad got to talk to president Tommy Monson, and shake his hand. that would have been cool. thats also cool that Colin Steele will be there as an ordinance worker every tuesday as well. 

I laughed when i saw those pictures of jesse, i hardly recognized him. his beard sure has flourished. i cant wait to see what mine we be like after 2 years of shaving everyday.  incredible i hope.  one of the great blessings of serving a mission.

Well, I'll answer your question, here in Guatemala they don't do anything for halloween, apparently a few places in the capital do, but not many. The big day in the first of November, and what they do is go to the cemetery and fly big kites. I'm in Chimaltenango right now, but close by they have like the biggest kite festival in the world. also in san andres itzapa, where i was last year they have a big festival too. i bet you can find it on you tube. search ¨´Zupango Sacatepequez Kite Festival¨´ im sure you'll find something. its pretty cool.

Well, this area has been a lot more difficult, but i think things are getting better, we had stake conference at 8 on sunday, ad not many of our investigators came, but the members are super animated to work now, so we have been able to put some appointments to go out and visit with them. the people that we had as a goal for the 10th haven't come to church, i don't know whats happening to them, they work a lot, so we're going to have to postpone the date.

The weather here is pretty good its stopping to rain, but november and december are the cold months here, but i have my sweaters and all that good stuff so theres no worries.

I finally got my suit that i ordered a long time ago, its nice. i think i might order another.
also, yes, i did complete 18 months already, soo sad. if i was a girl I would be home, but as a celebration, I got to burn an old pair of my pants, fun.

well, thats about all for this week, know that I'm doing fine, i hope that you are too.

From Guatelama, with love,
Elder Hopkins

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Carving "Pumpkins"

Before - a very hard "pumpkin" to carve!
After - the result

October 23, 2012

Hay Family

So last week I even wrote down to wish dad a happy birthday, but in the witting process it just didn't quite get into the email, but happy birthday dad!!!  wow, 50 years old.... i left home living with my dad, and now I'm gonna get back to live with my grandpa it seems hahahaha. just kidding! Thats great that you've got another year under your belt, . I laughed when i saw the picture of the cake cuz it looks just like dad! haha. but seriously happy birthday, i love you.

And also Happy Anniversary. Thank you for getting married so that Icould be born in a home of loving parents who love the Lord. We are teaching a part member family right now, the wife is a member, but doesn't want to get married to her husband! They have 3 kids and have been together for 7 years. We're gonna have to give them chicote. thats what we say to reprimand, or get after? i don't really know how to say it in english.
(I told Elder Hopkins that the office emailed me about details for his Christmas package and then Elder Jaramillo put in brackets at the bottom of his email  "p.s. Elder Hopkins is a stud!"

haha, Elder Jaramillo is my bud, we were in a district together, actually he was my district leader for a change. great guy.

Thats crazy that the temple is going to be done so soon! I'm excited to go when I get back.

So what happened this week... lots of interviews... one that needed the President to go interview him, one that wasn't ready for baptism, but after everything, 4 people were baptized in the District.
Right now in my area, we have 2 families that have accepted the goal of november 10th for baptism, but we're just working hard with them to go through with the goal.

This week we have stake conference here, and a member of the 70 is coming for it.

This last week we have a few more coming to church, but the people that we really wanted to come couldn't. well, one had a job pop up that he had to do, and this other family, the one that doesn't want to get married, well, one of their kids got really sick from eating food in the street, and they took him to the hospital at 3 in the morning.

Yesterday or a distict activity, we carved pumpkins, because next week we wont be able to. well they were kind of like pumpkins what we carved... i don't really know what the name is in english. but they were really hard to carve haha, but it was fun. The sisters carved a watermelon, which was a lot easier, and we could actually eat the insides of it ha. we also made enchiladas and brownies. it was great.

but yeah that was basically my weeks. it was good.
Don't be jealous of me being in a warm place, cuz its kinda cold up here in the mountains too. I always have my sweater with me, and sometimes a rain jacket as well, cuz it also rains...

Well, thats it for this week, you'll have to log on to get the pictures because they don't want to send.
From Guatemala, With Love,
Elder Hopkins

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I'm enjoying life, I think I'll stay here

With my new companion, Elder Largaespada
Means "The hills"
October 16, 2012

Hey fam. 

haha, everything I say, whether I'm cold, or I'm hot, you worry! Don't worry about me! I'm good, it's not that cold, its just a little chillier here at night, but recently its has been a little warmer. The blanket I emailed the office for was for my companion, as he didn't have one. I'm nice and toasty warm at night.

My comps first name is Brandon.
Elder Palomera's first name is May, or something like that. He has Japanese ancestors so he has a Chinese first name.  I have it written somewhere.

The people here are harder to teach, the work is a little slower as of right now, but the people are cool. The majority are mayan people, who all wear the native dress. its cool.

The money I spent was just taking money out of my credit card, to order a cool suit from this guy. I'm going to put Corte, its called, the native fabric inside the suit. It'll be coooooool.

Yesterday for pday we had a pday as a zone, and played sports, and i got SUUUNburnt haha. It was fun. We also ate toooons of pizza that the mission paid for as a reward of completing our goal in September. 

Yes, you should include something for my companion at Christmas again, and yes me and my companion are getting along great. here's a picture of us too.

Thats awesome all the missionary work that is being done from the temple open house. what a miracle. awesome. thats cool about your callings, that will be a change, but it'll be a huge blessing.

I do know I lost weight in the coast because I went down in my belt holes. fun. but I'm here in the mountains to get fat. hooray.

So yesterday we were finally able to find this family again, the familia “S”. In fact it was the very first door we knocked on in this area. They were super excited, they're super nice too. They asked for a book of mormon, and said that they're gonna come to church this week. awesome. hopefully a baptism in november. In november we have a goal of baptizing 50 FAMILIES. awesome.

well, I'm about out of time already. Sorry, I'm real rushed today.
love ya guys tons. know that I am fine, and I'm enjoying life. I think I'll stay here. ha
From Guatemala, With Love,
Elder Hopkinsito

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

From the Hot Hot Coast back to the Cold Cold Mountains!

Cookies sent from Grandma Rhodes

A big icecream I got Saturday between Conference sessions

My house - a lot nicer than the last one but its very cold!

I think all the windows with no window coverings would contribute to why its so cold in his house
And no insulation around the doors

We need to get a shower curtain and rod

October 9, 2012

Hello family,

Sooo yes i did have changes, and guess where I'm at, Chimaltenango. I was in this zone about a year ago, not in the same area, but I have been here tons of times before. Its a great place, its up in the mountains, and its where all the natives live, the real native people who wear native dress, (Corte), and speak dialects such as cachiquel.

My companions name is Elder Largaespada. or in english, Elder Long Sword. and yes, he is from Honduras, big surprise right?  I am training him, but am his 2nd trainer. (training lasts for 2 transfers and he has had one trainer for one term already)  I am still District Leader, just a leader of a different district now.

The weather where I'm at is..... Cold! You'd be surprised that a country like Guatemala could be so cold. its like the climate of a Cold Autunms day. But we have no heat of course. I've been wearing my sweater a lot, and have been wearing sweatpants and sweaters in the house ha.
The terrain is like a city, but poorly paved. mainly the streets are made of blocks. actually most of the streets we walk on are dirt, mud and rock.

The house is a lot better,  its fairly small, but nice. I do have a hot shower, but the air around me is cold, so actually i was warmer having a cold shower in the coast believe it or not ha ha.
yes, i am training my companion in my second change. actually my first child, Elder Palomera is now being finished trained with my old companion Elder Pineda, who I was with for 3 changes.

I think I'll be here with my comp a change more after his training, but well see.

So I think that answers your questions.

but now... how crazy is that about the age limit changes they announced! crazy! id be back home right now haha, but don't worry, not too much longer left, just 2 short years.
This also hinders my plan to achieve eternal marriage.... its looking like all the girls that are my age/slightly younger than me are going to be out in the mission field when i get back.... hmmmm.... back to the drawing board.

Thats funny that you noticed that my ring was on my ring finger... I did have it on my other hand, but then a rash type thing developed on my finger, so  i switched it to the other hand haha. but no, it doesn't mean anything, don't you worry. A lot of the married people here don't even have rings, so its not real like how it is in North America.

Well, happy thanksgiving, I'm jealous, i could go for a thanksgiving feast about now, with pumpkin pie... mmmm yumm. but don't worry, I'm still getting fed great.
oh ya, my cook in this area is the best cook in all of the mission basically. she used to be a chef at some good restaurant in the capital, and now she's here in Chimalt making my food! What a great blessing! I'll gain back the weight that I lost in the hot coast! haha.

I have seen my old comp, and he is a lot skinnier, basically everyone loses weight here, even those that don't need to!

and yeah right, our dog doesn't miss me, I bet that he's forgotten who I even am. I guess we'll see his reaction in 2 years.

hey, in my next package could you send me that super good hot chocolate that we always get from costco i think. awesome. and some moccasin slipper from walmart that they always have, size 10, the fluffy ones.
but don't send them until your next package, they are not things that I really need. just luxuries.

for your question on what to gather for the Guatemalan people.... hmmmm, I'm not too sure. toys would make kids feel good, and the jewelery for the woman would make them feel good im sure, but i dont know if that that stuff will help them progress in life, or if they'll just sell it for the money for food, i don't know. keep thinking mom, do some research or something, i donno ha.

I did get the package from Grandma on wednesday, with the delicious cookies. it was great.
also there is a small package in the mail to you guys, from me.

Well, i think thats all i got for you folks this week,
Keep on doing the things that are pleasing to the Lord.
From Guatemala, With Love,
Elder Hopkinsito