Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Referred to as "Angels" and Planting the seed

Baptism of the Familia "R"

with their little boy
A Hammock I put up in our house

Some P-Day Fun

May 29, 2012
Hey mami papi y hermanos

I'll answer the questions first so i don't forget.
my ecco boots are size 42, i love em, eccos are super comfortable, the missionary shoes look more water proof than the shoes i have now, but the eccos are pure waterproof, which is great because I”m often walking in 2 to 3 inches of water.

I don't have any of that spray or waterproof polish, but the water gets n through the seams, and the hole on the bottom of my shoe haha, so i don't think it would make a difference. I'll send you a picture of the hole when it gets bigger, so we can sent it to mish mall for a new pair, right now its just a tiny little hole.

my companions don't snore, but sometimes i talk in my sleep apparently, but i do have earplugs if i ever have the need to use them.

right now i have a little bit of a cold, but all the stomach and bowel problems are gone, at least as gone as they can be while I'm in Guatemala. hopefully this cold will go away pretty quickly.

 the last time i went to the temple was in december, i might get to go to it in a few more months for a sealing of some recent converts, but well see... and yeah, the last time i went i did it all in spanish, it was great.
great that Parkers all g`d up. my first time i had no idea what was happening, but ya you just gotta go to learn more and get used to it, and gain a testimony of it.

im super glad parkers doing so good, he is such a great friend, sucks that I'll have to wait a year after my mission until he gets back, but thats just the way things gotta be. I want to write him so i can get a letter to the mtc ASAP, but i dont have his mtc address i need it!
i think i have most of those pictures of me and parker printed out in one of my albums actually haha, from that great trip we took a year ago. but I'm excited to see the pictures you're gonna send me.(I told him about the pictures he was in from Parker's mission slide show)

We don't have any rules about what days we can baptize, we baptized this family on sunday at 6. they just need to attend church 3 times before being baptized, we got permission to baptize Brother “R” with only coming twice. But it was a fantastic baptism, Sister “R” bore her testimony afterwards, and it was really touching. she said she was talking with her husband, and they came to the conclusion that if we hadn't talked to them in the street that day, one of them would be dead, the way they were living before. She said we were her angels. They're both super happy and have had a big change in their lives in a short amount of time. I sent a photo of my journal entry that says more about that. (His mission journal page talks about how he saw them in the street one day on their way to another appointment and how Elder Hopkins felt he needed to go and talk with them. He also mentions Sister “R's” name and how she has 6 very long names plus her last name for a total of 7 very long spanish names and since he was the one to baptize her, he had to memorize those names and their order before hand which was a challenge)

Also something super cool that happened. So about a month ago we were teaching a family, and the cousin of the wife was there, and we taught her a little bit, and gave her a book of mormon. A little after that we dropped this family cuz they weren't progressing, but the other day we found her cousin in the street, and we talked a little bit, she said that she started going to church, and that she was going to get married, and baptized this weekend that just passed. The Lord had a purpose for us to be teaching that family, maybe not for them, maybe it wasn't their time, but this other lady and her husband were baptized because of it.

Heres some pictures of the baptism, some p-day fun, the district and zone im in, a hammock i put up in the house haha, and a volcano that you can see from my area, volcan pacaya. you can see smoke coming out from it every once in a while.

tell Tyler I say he should just get his butt out there in the mission field as soon as he can as well, and if he needs extra money when he gets back, we can invest in some hot dog stands together or something.

I haven't gotten that package yet, but tomorrow is mail day, if i don't get it tomorrow, I'll get it in like 3 weeks. oh and yes, I'm staying in my area and getting a new companion. maybe another from honduras? Haha (He has had companions from Honduras his entire mission in the field except for just 3 weeks, when he had an American)

Love ya guys so much, keep on keepin on.
From Guatemala, With love,
Elder Hopkins

Playing Soccer on P-Day
Volcan Pacay, you can see from my area.  Some days you can see smoke coming out of the top

My District
My Zone

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Wedding, another visit to Antigua and Being Sick

Wedding of the "R" Family = their baptism next week!

A good ole shoe shine in Antigua

 May 22, 2012
Hey Family

Thats some great new about all these missionary farewells, I hope you sent them my love. Sounds like Parkers and Peters talked were great. I laughed out loud when i read some of the stuff that Parker said haha, what a great guy, miss him. and wow, little Lincoln is all grown up and is about to graduate, haha, thats fantastic news.

To answer your questions, yes, I can print out emails here. and yes, changes are soon. The actual day is wednesday the 30th, but they tell us the monday before. But I already know whats happening basically, my companion is leaving, and I'm getting a new companion. there ya have it, but next week I'll confirm it.

So yes,we did marry the family "R"!! we didn't have to pay anything either, cuz the lawyer who is a member here was able to to marry them, and he does it for free. It was a good wedding, they're happy, and ready to be baptized this sunday thats coming up. It was funny at the wedding, cuz Isabel who doesn't want to get married to her parter due to past problems (we baptized her daughter, her sister, and her brother in law) she caught the bouquet of flowers so maybe she'll get married soon haha We bugged her about it, but still is showing no sign of getting married. Her and her partner do come to church every week though.

What else... We had a conference with Elder Amado of the 70 this week. it was a great conference, he's a really funny guy haha. Basically he talked and talked and told stories for about 5 hours, and we didn't open our scriptures even once. He kept saying, don't put as much attention to me,but put attention to the spirit, and what it tells you. That was basically the theme of the conference, how to recognize the spirit.

This week i got sick again, it suuuucked. On Tuesday I had BU (butt urine) all night, in between appointments we basically just ran to bathrooms. and at night I started to have  really bad fever. I had a high temperature, had BU, a sore stomach and didn't sleep too much that night, and slept in until 2 in the afternoon the next day, (it was our Pday luckily) I was still feeling horrible, but my companion had a dentist appointment, so we took a taxi there and back because guatemalan buses make me feel sick even when I'm not sick to begin with. Slept the rest of that night, and then the next day i was basically better. It might have been the temperature change cuz its started to rain a lot more here. The exact sickness elder Reeder from my district got the same night. But I'm all better now, don't worry.

Yesterday we went to Antigua again, kinda boring, not too much to do there, just walk through the markets and buy cool unnecessary things. I bought a hammock, pair of shorts, and a piece of corte that I'm going to get put into a suit. but overall it was good time.

Yes i have taken out some money, about 3000 Quetz, like 250 dollars ish i think. but yeah, it was for my suit, and then I took out some other money to bring to Antigua, also for those taxi rides that saved my life, or at least my pants, and the shame of throwing up on people on a bus. I didn't spend even the half of it, but I have it stored away in my suitcase for when I need it. The machines here charge a lot to take money out.

The photos I sent are of the wedding, and Antigua. They were selling necklaces with a swastika on it, also I got a good ol shoe shine like I always do in Antigua, and just chillin at some fountain, one of the two being a little erotic, but there it is, in the middle of central park. Also just me in the house with my shorts I bought haha.

Love ya guys tons! have a great week, party it up hard at the grad party madison!

From Guatemala, with love,
Elder Hopkins

at mono loco, the restaurant in Antigua they were playing good music, they even played heart of gold by neil young! I got excited haha. I heard some cool new songs too haha. made me want to dance too. haha... one day.

hey, also its starting to rain almost every day here now, and my shoes get soaked cuz I only have one pair of water proof. If theres a nice cheap pair of waterproof dress shoes that would be good it would be great if you could send me some, but don't want to make you guys spend more money on me haha, I feel like you've already sent me so much stuff after spending so much money in the first place on me, getting all my stuff before the mission. but just let me know what you find.
Selling necklaces with a swastika on it in Antigua

Chillin in Antigua
The "erotic" fountain in Antigua in Central Park 

The new shorts I bought

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day Activity and more work to do

Buenas Tardes Querida Famila Mia

I'm glad you liked that little mother's day card. A lady in my ward. Hermana Delmy, Took a picture of me while we were at their house on Sunday for lunch and made the little design and then sent it to you the week after, on mothers day. Also this is how Gracias is spelled haha.

I'm glad your all having a great time in phoenix, relaxing and enjoying the sun. luckily today isnt a sunny day here in Guate, rather rainy.

We had interviews with the President this week, and got pouch as well. it was a pleasant surprise to get letters from Jocelyn Leavitt, Lauren Steele, and Sam Turner. If i want to write Sam back i might have to write it to his house since hes almost done his mission ha ha. it sucks to hear that some people haven't gotten cards that I've sent them, but I have responded to every letter I've received, that's Guatemalan postal service for ya.

Unfortunately with the family R. we've been having a few technical difficulties ay ay ay. But they should be baptised by the end of the month. The husband got a promotion so they switched his schedule for work so we have to wait until he has come to church enough times. But this weekend we will be marrying him, Saturday at 6. We've been talking with the Lawyer who is a member here and marries our investigators for free, and there's a chance that he cant to it this Saturday, we might have to find another Lawyer and pay it ourselves, like 50 bucks between the two of us, well see what happens.

This week we had a great ward activity for mother's day, 240 people came, we had a nice talk by the bishop, and then a few skits from each church organization, The elders quorum did a hilarious comedy act and everyone was dying of laughter. unfortunately only 140 people came to church the next day... ayayay.

Thats great to hear that Tom and Nicole are going to be sealed, send them my congratulations, anyways great when a family is sealed. The one old man that we baptized in February is having problems with smoking again, so we're working hard on that with him.

Great that Madi's working hard at Lics, eating lots of ice cream I'm sure haha, or maybe not. I think tomorrow I'll buy a great big cone in memory of Madison haha.

Don't worry too much for the comp that I have right now, he's from a well off family haha, his family was in Miami and sent his a package just a little bit ago.

This week, on Thursday actually, we have a conference with Elder Amado of the Seventy, and on Monday I think were going to Antigua again, woohoo... Antigua is boring already, the only thing there  to do is buy things haha.

Yeah if you could find an article about Corinthians14 or something that would be cool, I'm sure it would be easy to learn a lot more about it if I had access to the internet to do it ha. mainlyof verse 2 I think it is...

The photos are of me at the activity, this little girl gave me a duck visor to look after for a little bit, and at the interviews we all bought a cake for Sister Brough, the president's wife, since Thursday was mothers day here.

Well, I sure love you guys, keep being the best you can all be.

From Guatemala with love,
Elder Hopkins!

Our Mission President's wife, Sister Brough is in the pink in the middle

A Mother's Day Surprise

Tanner's Mom received the following via a member on Mother's Day.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Service Day on the News and Shopping at Pacas

Talking to the family on his week early Mother's Day phone call.
Muy Buenas Tardes Familia Mia

So I don't have too too much to write since we just talked on the phone 2 days ago, but well see what I can think up. A Guatemalan can talk about absolutely anything for hours and hours without stopping, but I haven't quite aquired this attribute I'd say, nor do I really want to. But yes it was great to talk to all of you guys this past weekend, it's great that your all doing so well. And fantastic news that Sam and Jazz are engaged, seems kinda surreal since I'm so far away, but I guess in about a years time, I'll have a wedding to attend. Woohoo!

A warm nice feeling entered into my being as I read what you wrote ´´I know this next year will fly by and you will be back home with us soon... to lay on the carpet and walk in barefeet in the house.´´ Carpet and barefeet seem like something of the past, but I am very excited for our re-uniting.

Hmmm, so this week like I told you we had a service project, it was a service day in Central America. We painted and renovated a walk in doctor's clinic basically. It was a good time, and there was a lot of work to do. The minister of Health of Guatemala came along with a news crews and we all were on the news and paper I'm pretty sure, we never watch the news or read the paper, but I'm assuming that we are in there somewhere haha.

At the service Project, we managed to talk to a Lawyer, who told us that we can marry the family R. with the Papers that they have. The husband appeared a little hesitant, but we have an appointment with them tonight so we're gonna try to get everthing worked out. Like I said before about marraige here in Guatemala, nobody wants to get married. There could be a couple that have lived together for 40 years, have 6 kids together, but when you mention marriage to them, they say that they have to think about it seriously first.  AY AY AY ughhhh. But thats the way things are here in Guatemala.

Hey, I sent a picture of a little waterproof case that I found in a Paca (used clothes type store) that I've been using for my camera. Great Case, perfect for Guatemala, but it broke the other day, if you ever find anything like this, it would be great to have if you could include it in a package some time.

Also here's a picture of a cool little pin that the stake president gave me and my companion. it was nice haha. Also I took a picture of myself while I was talking to you guys again, so I thought I'd throw that one in there.

Also like I was saying, is there's pacas absolutely everywhere here, on every street wherever you go there's like 2 pacas, Well, the other day I found a really nice pair of brand new hush puppy shoes, I'm pretty sure those are expensive. but I bought them for about 8 dollars. they are suede so I can't use them here in the mission, but I bought them anyways, for after the mission maybe haha.

Also I'm going to Antigua again in like 2 weeks, so if there's any little souvenirs you want just tell me, cuz I'm probably going to send a little package home pretty soon with the cards that I've recieved and anything else I can throw in for you guys.

Fantastic that madison is working at Lics, I absolutely love icecream. Its fairly cheap down here too, I don't know why I don't eat it more often, its like $1.25 for a waffle cone with 2 scoops. yummm. I'm making my own mouth water while I'm sitting here in this heat writing you guys.

Well, thats all I've got for this week, maybe by next week well have this R. family married already, I hope so!
 les amo

From Guatemala, With love,
Elder Hopkins

Service at the Doctor's Clinic
Service at the Doctor's Clinic
Pin from his Stake President
Small case from his Paca shopping

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The One Year Hump Day Ritual

Traditional Shirt Burning at the One Year Mark

May 1, 2012
Hey Fam

Ya the original and ranch corn nuts are the best to send me, and the socks thats you sent me are great, so just send me like the same ones i guess. and yeah, that would be a good time for you to call me, I'll be in the house this Sunday waiting, another phone call already, its seems too soon ha.

ummm i dont know when my visa credit card expires, but ill look tonight.

 haha thats sweet that Jesse is working at American Apparel right now, a good job for him. hey you should tell Sydney Barr to write me!! I've never gotten a letter from her, I'd like to hear from her.

And don't worry about the flees, I've got them under control, I aired out my mattress and blankets in the hot sun and changed all my sheets so not I'm all good. I actually did just buy another bed sheet, not from walmart or anything, I've never been there, but I bought it from a paca. basically on every street theres like 5 pacas, when a family buys a big bundle of used clothes and sells them from their house, like a little value village. Anyways I bought some sheets for like 2 dollars.

And yes my feet are doing fine, the insoles you sent me are good. one of my pairs of shoes the sole is about to wear right through, but I'll take a picture of it when it does to get the free pair from missionary mall. I'll probably just end up putting a new sole on it, theres a lot for shoe repair places everywhere here too.

So the one Family that we are going to baptize, well, we are probably going to be baptizing the woman first, and later the man, well they still don't have their papers, but we're working on that. The man works 2 sundays, then 2 sundays off, so he still hasn't been able to come to church yet. But the woman draws and paints on her walls, kinda strange but its a hobby she has i guess, well, when we went yesterday, she has 2 scriptures from the Book of Mormon written on her walls as well. So she is reading and is really into the church you could say.

We put another baptismal date this week, but it kinda fell already, and I'll tell you why. (private message)
.. we have a goal to baptize 3 people in May.

So yes, i did burn a shirt on the night I completed a year, and my comp did say. usted esta loco! its not really a latino thing, just a north american thing.  

I also bought a new Belt this week, my second belt of the mission ripped into 2 pieces.
We share a ward with another pair of missionaries, and they had a baptism the other day of a super old man that basically has the mind of an 8 year old so he had to get married to his wife his partner of many years, who is 35 years younger than him, so it was a kinda a weird wedding, like an 80 year old with a 45 year old, but they did it so he could be baptized. As he was entering into the water he tried to take his pants off cuz he didn't want to get the clothes wet, and the Elder that was baptizing him told him to keep them on, and he said, Your Crazy!! anyways, me and another elder had to help him dry off and changed his clothes... I never thought I'd have to do that on my mission... but its all said and done now. ha.

But know that i am well,and content. I can't believe there's only a year left, there's still soo much to do and learn. 2 years is too short for a mission! I guess I just gotta realize that there's life after the mission to learn and improve as well.

Love you guys so much! I'll talk to you guys on sunday at like 9 i guess!
-Elder Hopkins

Helping him get dressed afterward