Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Transferred to the Capital City, Positives - Little Ceasars Pizza nearby, Negatives - Too tall for my house, Sharing my fruitloops with a cockroach!

Me and my new Companion, Elder Pineda from Honduras, 
(my 4th companion in a row from Honduras)
drinking warm milk with cinnamon and sugar, a common drink here.  

January 31, 2012
Feliz Cumplianos a ti!! mama!!
Happy Birthday mami!!!

Well yes I'm in my new area, its called Guajitos 1, and its in zone 21 of the capital of Guatemala. so I'm in the City. There's not many people who wear corte here, and i cant say hi to people in kekchiquel, cuz they don't speak it here haha, but its a good area from what i can see so far. The members work hard with the missionaries, which is something that didn't happen in my old area.

To answer all your questions, of coarse my companion helped me to get on the bus and everything, he carried one suitcase, me the other, cuz we gotta stick together, then how changes work is we go to a chapel, and have a meeting, and the president speaks a little, then he calls out all the new companionships, then we leave from there, bus or taxi, to our new areas.

So i got there and had my interview, didn't say too much, just that I'm senior comp, and that I'm responsible for the schedule and everything. My new companion is Elder Pineda, and he's from honduras, of coarse, all my companions are from there haha. The apartment is alright, we do have hot water. well, hot ish. Every house just has a shower head with exposed wires coming out of it that heats the water with electricity as it leaves the head. I have to duck to go up and down the stairs, or into the bathroom. it was super dirty when i got there, I don't think my comp or his old companion knew what a garbage can was, and they didn't even have one, but i collected like 5 bags of garbage, cleaned the place, and bought some garbage cans and now its all good. The only thing is that my comp doesn't know when the garbage is collected, so we gotta find that out so we can get rid of these five bags of garbage.

There are cockroaches in the house, like almost every house in the capital, but the other day while eating my fruitloops, I went to take a bite, and there was a cockroach sitting there in my bowl enjoying my frootloops as well. ewwe. It is a lot hotter than up in the mountains, so I'm just getting use to it.
I do still have spanish ctr rings, sure i miss playing guitar and snowboarding a little, but its just not the time to do those things. My district leader snowboards too, Elder Jaramillo from Nevada, and we were talking about snowboarding this morning haha, being baggy, but he had flown into calgary to go heliskiing up by Golden one time, so we were talking about it. I haven't gotten my birthday box yet.
and don't worry about sending me those ecco shoes, if they aren't water proof, I don't really want them ha.
Also you might have to go pay off my credit card cuz i bout some vitamins the other day at GNC. so those will be on my card. there was also a super cool pair of glasses at the mall type place by our house that i really like and i might buy. I'm using my glasses a lot more often now, because I'm reading and studying a lot.

One of the best new parts of my area is that there is a Little Caesars in it! can you believe it? a Little Caesars here in Guatemala, I sent a picture of when I went there the other day.

We have an investigator here that we wanted to baptize this Sunday, he wants to be baptized too, but he  is just having a super hard time quiting smoking, so we are trying to be creative with what we can do to help. Today in district meeting we got some advice that apparently works that we are going to try. buy a liter of milk, and crush a cigarette and stir it into the milk, then get him to drink it all, then the next time he puts a cigarette to his lips he'll want to throw up. who knows, maybe it will work, we have tried everything else, so well give it a shot with this.  Me and Elder Tanner in the office were talking at the change meeting, joking about how he gets to email you, and we were joking that he was gonna make up an excuse to call you just to talk, haha. obviously just joking, don't be expecting a call.

i assume Parker, Peter, nor Tyler have gotten their mission calls yet, I'm excited to find out where their going. Each week I come to the computer with that excitement. let me know when they get them.

I sent out a few letters to my boys the other day too.
(I told him I had a dream he was in charge of the cats in Guatemala and in my dream I asked him how teaching the cats was going, he said it left a lot of be desired on both ends)
also the cats here are doing great, loving the gospel, but i said it once, and I'll say it again, it leaves a lot to be desired, on both our ends.
Also, my companion has been out for 7 months. yeah he does look white ha ha. and we do have a washing lady, and cook. Awesome. Cleaning the house wasn't that bad, i feel like I take after you in that aspect.
love you tons! eat lots of cake and drink dr pepper for your birthday for me!

Well i hope you have a Splendid Birthday, and that you are still getting better.
love you all tons and tons.
Love Elder Hopkins
So excited to have a Little Ceasars near me!!

A fountain from my old area in the Mountains

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Itzapa and A Special Family

and 3 months with the same companion
This is a special family Elder Hopkins has been working with for the past 6 weeks or so.  The parents have been less active members and they have agreed to let their children of age be baptized.  They came out to church themselves for the first time this past sunday.  Many in our family have fasted and prayed for this family and Miracles really do happen.  It's too bad Elder Hopkins will be transferred just a week before their baptisms but he is just happy that the kids will be baptized and the parents reactivated as he has witnessed their growth through his many discussions with them.

January 24, 2012

Hey family.
So yes I am getting transfered tomorrow, I don't know where I'm going, or who is going to be my companion. I am not training, but i do have an interview at 9 in the morning tomorrow, so i gotta leave the house to catch the bus with my suitcase and all my belongings at 6 in the morning. The interview just means I'm going up to senior companion most probably.

So the one boy didn't get baptized this past sunday, he will wait till his siblings join him next week, but the whole family, including the parents came to church on sunday, which was awesome. The dad said they were going to start coming every week and they didn't even open their paca ( used clothes store in their house) this sunday, so that was awesome. I wont be here for their baptisms but I'm glad that they are going to be baptized. Maybe you will get to meet that little boy one day cuz all the kids were saying that they want me to come back and visit one day.

I'm glad you are feeling better from your surgery. I hope you get better real quick. by the end of this next change you will be able to lift heavy stuff ha,, so thats good.

I'm not gonna write tons today cuz i just wrote on thursday, and also i have a blister on the tip of my finger so it hurts to type. i was melting caramel yesterday in the microwave to pour over popcorn, but then it burnt, and was boiling, so i decided to touch it for some reason, and of coarse the burning caramel stuck to my finger so that was pretty dumb haha. but I'll send a bunch of pictures and tell you what they are.

Well i love you all tons! thanks for everything. again, feel better mom!

from Guatemala, with love,
Elder Tanner Hopkins
 A family we have been teaching

The family whom we eat with every Sunday at their house

 Goofing around with our district
BBQ Ward Activity

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Miracles Do Happen!

Future Missionary!
 Having some fun while doing some service

January 19, 2012
Tanner wrote two days later than usual:
Hey family,
sorry about that, the internet in the place we were writing the other day crashed, so i wasn't able to send the email. i knew you were going to worry ha ha, but don't worry, I'm always okay. Yeah Elder Tanner from the office phones me this morning and told me i can write again today, so here i am. but i'll just paste what i wrote to you guys the other day, cuz i saved it on a memory stick i have, and I'll write a bit more, and send more pictures ha.
so here is what i wrote the other day:
Hey fam.

We still aren't sure about those kids, we fasted as well. The bishop went to visit them the other day and shared D and C 68 with them, haha, thats what I wanted to do but i felt it wasn't the time yet for me to do it. Apparently the father will tell us for sure his answer this week, we just haven't been able to find him yet as he has started working.

the reason you didn't see me write my president is because we do it on a different website now, its a new program that the church has come out with, so i dont write it through my email.

thats strange about the shoes, yeah maybe it is some exclusive thing, cuz i know they're waterproof dress shoes that ecco makes,but i donno.

Thats cool about Tims call, and super exciting that PARKER and Peter both have their papers in, I will be looking forward to internet time to find out where they're going!

thats awesome about angel Moroni! take a picture from the house to send me next week! i cant wait till i can go to that temple.

Also there will be a small package coming to you soon,basically just filled with cards i have received, and want to keep, but that i don't want to have to carry in my suitcases everywhere. there are also a few small goodies for you guys.

But yeah,the work is slowly moving as we are trying to excite members to get involved in the work,without the members, the work goes nowhere. support the missionaries there in our ward all that you can, and find investigators for them! contacting isn't as fun as it might seem! and doesn't have as many results.

I love you guys and ill type to ya next week! also ill know if I'm being transfered or not next week, i think that i am, well see.

Also attached should be a journal entry i wrote,so i don't have to re write my experiences.
also i wrote madison a card in return to hers that has a funny experience included that i dono if I've told you guys about.

From Guatemala, with love,
Elder Hopkins

(I didn't attach his journal entry, but this is what it was about!)

But what happened that night after i wrote was a miracle. An answer to fasting and prayer.
we went to the familia “M” to see these kids that we were going to baptize, we talked a little about families, and how they can be together forever if we do certain things .... and then i said ¨will you allow your kids to be baptized?¨ and the dad was like yeah, what date were you planning on doing it? YEAAAAAA!!! i was so so happy, i almost started to cry, cuz it was a pure answer to our fast and prayers. it was so amazing. then when we left the appointment we were jumping up and down and shouting in the streets. The baptisms are planned for februray 5th, the only thing is i probably wont be here for it, but as long as they get baptized I'm happy. also something you should know is that our area, and another area in our district are kinda tough, and there hasn't been a lot of success lately, so they told us if there aren't any baptisms in the next 3 months, they were going to close one of the areas. But both areas are going to have baptisms now. whooo!

Also i wanted to ask if you can send me all like the newspaper articles about the Calgary temple when stuff turns up in the paper, that would be cool.

talk to you guys soon!!
on tuesday this time! ha and ill be able to tell you for sure if I'm going or staying. the only thing we know for certain right now is one of us is going.
love ya all!
Elder Hopkins

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Little Guatemalan kids love to be in Photos and the Guatemalan people love to decorate their streets for all sorts of events!  
(Just look at these little guys, they are SO cute!!)

This is how Elder Hopkins responds to facebook.  (I sometimes send him the funny pictures his friends post)  He sent this especially for Lincoln and Parker!

I found all the Waldo's!
(I was surprised to see in the background that he put up some of the vinyl phrases that I sent him!)

January 17, 2012, 

No email today.  I logged into Elder Hopkins Account to see if he received our emails.. He received and read all his emails.. He started to write us back by attaching some photos and had these pictures saved in his draft box.  He didn't send them.  In fact he started to describe the pictures but his phrase ended mid sentence not finishing a word.  He sent no email. (I then forwarded them to myself)  I'm thinking perhaps there was a power outage and everything shut off on him.  I hope that is all it was.  Its very strange indeed.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Frustrating week & getting cold here in the mountains

It's getting cold here so I bundled up while studying
January 10, 2012
Hey family

Another week has come and gone and i find myself at the computer again.
This week had some disappointed moments, as of right now, the inactive member parents of these kids are not giving them permission to be baptized. it sucks, cuz they all want to, and the kids are being the examples to the parents as of right now in their life. the parents say they aren't ready yet, but i think the parents are scared cuz the parents aren't completing all of the commandments right now, such as working on sundays. They have a pacaits aka a used clothing store that they run in their house, and they want their kids to work for them on sundays, so they don't want them to be baptized i think. uggghh frustrating.

we had an interesting experience as we left moroni 8 to our catholic investigator. when we got to his house he had built a little shrine, with an altar, with baptismal scriptures from the bible written on pieces of paper all pinned to his wall. with incense burning and lots of smoke. he then reads us a passage from the bible that basically says that God can give one knowledge. then he explained how he felt horrible while reading this scripture, cuz he was baptized as a baby. (i would too if i read that my baptism was an abomination) but we bore simple testimony, and he agreed to continue to read the Book of Mormon, and we have an appointment with him on wednesday again.

also thats so awesome that they're putting moroni up on the temple. You gotta send me pictures of that next week.
also sorry that the spelling on this email is so bad, but this keyboard sucks and i have to push really hard for each letter,so some letters are missing. also the space key sucks! (I fixed it all!)

Love you all so much!
Keep it classy, keep it safe.
From Guatemala, With Love,
Elder Hopkins

a little girl that always comes to the restaurant we eat at to buy tortillas

I gave her a toy

some cat i picked up by its head

i bought some really expensive cheesecake at mcdonalds that wasn't that good

there was some restaurant with a canadian flag so i decided to take a picture of it.and no this is not the grill at sunshine village ski resort
and the toms flag you sent me, it said to take a picture of it and send it to www.toms.com/flags so i took this picture and you should send it there haha

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

LOCO GUATEMALA! Anything goes!

January 3, 2012
 Opening my Gifts Christmas Morning!
 Talking to us on the phone Christmas Day!
Matching Christmas PJ's I sent them
Hey Familyy
I'll try to send all those pictures, just downloading them now, hopefully there will be enough time.
But yeah my new years was alright i guess. I've kinda hated these holidays too though cuz they've been impeding our investigators from coming to church. The people who live below us, the owners of our house, had a dinner party, so they invited us to come down and eat with them, we ate some turkey and it was pretty good. We went to bed at 10 30 like normal, then at 12 the fireworks and firecrakers started to go off. all i could think was SHUT UP I'M SLEEPING. and there was also a little parade at like 5 in the morning, people carrying around a big virgin Mary, playing instruments, and lighting fireworks. I'll just say I was tired the next day.

So Guatemala is crazy, the other day we were talking to a member, when a truck full of people drove by, and like a 9 year old kid was driving. We were like what the heckkk. but the funny thing was, about 5 minutes later we saw the same truck coming, with only the little kid in it driving, driving super fast over all the speed bumps. Some mom probably decided that her little boy could just drop her and her family off on the other side of town. Theres always like 12 year olds driving motorcycles too. and also there are always familys driving around on motorcycles, with like a 1 or 2 year old, sitting on the gastank, holding on to the handle bars, without anyone holding onto them. loco!

Also this week has been great cuz i haven't really had to buy much food, besides lunch. From the Moment I wake up until we leave to work after studies, I have been eating my Christmas Candy!! and when i get home at night... MORE CANDY!! until i go to bed. its been bad, but its also been soo good.

An old investigator that we were teaching, you might remember, the guy i offered to lend a pair of shoes to come to church, he died the other day. i don't know how yet, just this guy always drives around town in a truck with big speakers announcing people that have died. He's the second person that we have taught in this area that has died. uh oh. i hope they choose to accept the gospel in the spirit world.

Something else funny. i went to photo copy some pictures that i had, including one of Ricky, and the strange old lady at the store thought that ricky was just so so cute, so she copies a big picture of him, printed it out, and hung it up in her store. So theres a big picture of ricky in some store in guatemala. I'm proud of you pup!

Also Thats cool that David Archeleta is choosing to go on a mission. i hope he gets called to my mission, and i hope i get to train him. You sent me the christmas cd of the motab with him, and I've just been loving it. I've listened to it so many times. Especially theres a song called los pastores a belen, that i have been singing constantly too, cuz its a spanish song, and super awesome. umm yeah, thats all i have to say on that.

Awesome that dad went skiing. sounds fun. ha. you guys are looking good from the photos that you've sent me.

We are planning to baptize some kids on the 22 of january i believe. its not a set date, for sure for sure thing yet, but were pretty sure it will happen. they're great kids, their parents are baptized, but inactive. we found them while contacting. the kids have been coming to church and love it. the parents still havent come yet, because their situation is rather difficult and uncomfortable, but yeah, super great people. They are a great familioa.
and thanks for getting those addresses for me! you guys are the best

Well i love you guys tons!
Have a Great week!
From Guatemala with love
Elder Hopkins
We went caroling Christmas Eve over to some Investigators
The investigators we are currently teaching 
 The place that we eat lunch at everyday starting giving us little bee chocolates every time we go there, cause we are such good customers!
Eating So many Tamales and Ponche during Christmas!  EVERYONE makes Tamales during Christmas time, Its the traditional thing to make and Ponche is a traditional hot punch with fruit in it.
 Some pigs drinking milk, can you imagine drinking pig milk? Disgusting!
The Calgary Temple I made out of playdoh before I gave it to a kid