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