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

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Mission Baptism Miracle - sets a new record, and leaving the hot coast

My two missionary dog companions
Eating cocoa fruit, which is what chocolate is made from, you just eat the meat around the seed, it doesn't take like chocolate just real sweet fruit

The Church in our area
Barnie and Family
October 2, 2012
(I mentioned that a sister in his mission has Dengue Fever right now from a Mosquito bite)
Well, i don't have dengue, luckily, but yes, i get mosquito bites everyday of my life down here, but we won't have to worry about it too much longer, see below!
Hey Family
Thats sounds awesome about the temple, so great that you could visit through it so often this week. I was imagining all the things you said about the temple, I bet its just so beautiful, another little bit and I'll be able to see it.

So theres been tons of confusion on this training thing between us haha.
I was assigned as a trainer, to train only ONE Missionary, for a 12 week program.

buuuuuuttt, things have changed, I am leaving my hijo, and my area, to continue training a different missionary that will also be in his 2nd change of training.

President Brough called me last week to tell me, so I am leaving the hot hot coast in Ceiba Amelia. Despite the heat, mosquitoes, tarantulas, red ants cold showers, extremely hot house... ect.... I am sad to leave this area, I would rather stay for one change more. Its sad to leave an area, converts, and your only child, (missionary I trained from the start) but, I'll have to make due. But i don't have to worry about the mosquitoes or heat anymore haha.

Its sad to leave the family of Barnie as well. But I'm not too worried about him at all, he's really awesome, super pilas, he passed the sacrament this last sunday. it was great to see.
We are going to go to his house one last time today and they said they are going to give us cake haha whooo! the last day in an area, everybody gives you food!

Also, here's the biggest news of this week. Well, you know how we had a goal of 300 baptisms this month, well, WE REACHED 314!!! The most this mission has ever baptized in one month!! A miracle! In our zone here in the coast, we were able to pass the record of baptisms by many, we had the second most in the zone here in Ceiba Amelia.

Also, i don't think you guys know what a ¨Ceiba¨ is, and thats what my area is called. Look it up on google images, its a type of tree that is absolutely GIGANTIC! there are tons of them here in Guatemala. They're super cool.

Well, tomorrow will be the change meeting where I will get my packages, also I'm going to send a package to you guys tomorrow, the one I mentioned like a month and a half ago. It will finally be on its way.

to answer your questions, yes, it has been good with my companion, no problems.
Training... well, as trainer we have to be 100 percent perfect we were told, well, that can be hard at times when I'm tired and stuff but yea, its a little tougher than normal, but its also rewarding.

Well, love ya guys tons
From Guatemala, with love,
Elder Hopkins
My District