Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Great Way to End

Hello Family.

Well, it was a great last week. we had 7 baptisms on Sunday. it was a great way to end the mission. Sunday night it really hit me that I was finishing, and I couldn't sleep well. but I'm good now. 

Yesterday was a great 2nd last day, I challenged everyone to baptism. 3 accepted, and of these three, I truly believe that at least 2 of them will be baptised very soon. the third, ya never know.

I'm not done yet, I still have a whole afternoon to work and challenge people to take the step of baptism.

I'm not too sure what else to tell you. I'll see you tomorrow. We had a zone training this morning, me and Elder Barahone talked about how to use our agendas better. it was good. Of course they all picked God be with you till we meet again as the last hymn, and then they all stood up to sing it, and that they all surrounded me during the last verse. It was funny, but it almost made me cry ha.

The 3D map is called el mapa de relievo. or in English, the relief map. It's in Zona 2 in the Hipodromo. It's right beside the church dental office, so people should know where it is.

About carrying cameras and stuff, it all depends on where you are at really, and what time of day. you never know. The zoo is just a normal little zoo, nothing too too special. the only cool thing is that they do have a bunch of animals that are in Central America, and they have a lot of tropical birds which is cool. It's apparently the best zoo in all of Central America. It's pretty good. and safe.

Well, these 2 last years have been great. They have been fantastic. They have been the best 2 years for my life, and the best 2 of my life thus far. I look forward to have many years that are better, they have to be, because of they aren't, I'm not progressing. But with that said, I will always look back on these two years 2 weeks and 4 days with much fondness. I've Learned a lot, I've changed a lot, and I plan on learning and changing lots more.

The church is true. Joseph Smith was a prophet. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Thomas S. Monson is a prophet. And in acting in accordance with this knowledge, and these facts, I, along with everyone else, will live in the presence of a very living and loving God for all time and eternity in everlasting happiness.

We´ll see each other tomorrow. you can count on that tap on the back mom.

From Guatemala (one last time), with love,

Elder Hopkins

Monday, May 6, 2013

Last email before we (his parents and sister) arrive in Guatemala!!

Baptism of 9 year old Nancy

May 6, 2013


This week was good. Nancy was baptized. I had never seen a little girl so excited for her baptism. It was great. we were going to baptize her last week but she had drinken coffee that her mom gave her, so we had to postpone it. but it was a good little service after church. We had other investigators that were in the service that felt the spirit there, and will be baptized next week. One new thing that I love to do is challenge people to baptism during church meetings, baptismal services, church activities, not only my investigators, but other investigators of other missionaries. It has helped a lot to do it in a more relaxed situation, and it has helped others investigators get a third opinion so to speak, get them to realize that its what they need to do.

We found a young lady named “M” a few weeks ago and yesterday was her second time attending. She quickly made friends with a recent convert thats about her age and they have been able to talk about baptism and everything, which has helped a ton. At the end of the baptismal service she was asking us when her baptism was going to be, what she needed to bring, and when her interview was going to be. all thanks to this friend that she made in church. it was great. so she will be baptized on sunday.

Another family was in the service, and the young boy was sitting in front of me, and I was talking to his and I was just like, what do you think, how about we baptize you next week? and he wanted to, then we had a lesson with the whole family at night, and we challenged them to baptism, and they accepted. We are going to have to marry them first, which we will do on saturday. There are 4 of them.

Also... ya know “MG” that we married and baptized like 2 weeks ago. Well, the husband was already baptized, but when he was like 14 or something. but I thought I needed to talk to the church offices to see if he really showed up on the system, and he doesn’t. He has no evidence, documents, pictures or anything of his baptism, so we are going to baptize him on Sunday as well hopefully. We still haven’t talked with him, but I just got the call from the offices this morning. Whats not written on earth, is not written in heaven, and we cant write it on earth unless we actually are sure that it happened, so he'll receive the remission of his sins again.

hopefully we'll end my last week with 6 Baptisms.

so since we are having the baptisms right after church, we probably wont be able to talk for mothers day until 5 00 pm. so lets set it at that. At 5:00 pm we will talk for 40 minutes.

oh ya, so for the stake president FHE thing we were on divisions, cuz Elder Jaramillo is still in the zone, and the pres. wanted to do it with the two of us but couldn’t when we were together so he asked us to do divisions.

Yeah we aren’t emailing tomorrow because we are going to go to the zoo as a zone. it should be fun.

so I'm thinking that if there are no baptisms here in El Lago on the 19th, we'll just go to Guajitos ward in the capital. I love the people there, and then we wont have to go around that area to visit many people in their houses, cuz that area is a little dangerous you could say.

so I'm thinking that when we go to the temple on thursday we should try to go really early. try to talk to the temple guys cuz there are sessions that start really really early. I think that the latest session we should go to would be the 7:00 am session. Then we can go for breakfast, and then I wanna go to a mall with you guys here, its called oakland mall. its like the most americanized area here, and then maybe drive through villa canales or something there's a big market with cool souvenirs in zone one in the capital, and then we can heard out to Antigua. Plan to get up fairly early each morning, ie 6:30 am. this ain’t no sleep in holiday. lo siento.

I'm so thankful for this opportunity that I've had to be a missionary, and yes, i am sad that its coming to an end.  But just as some investigators think that the end of things is baptism, when really its just the start,
I'm still going to be a missionary, I just wont wear a plaque.
In two years I've had many wonderful experiences, and I hope they wont start to lack.
I'm starting another journey, that doesn’t have an expiration date.
During the one I am now finishing, I always knew that it had a 2 year fate.
Maybe my english is weak, and these rhymes are making so sense.
But before you can say ¨Chimaltenango,¨ when we speak about being together it will no longer be in future tense.

Yeah I really don’t know what else to say to your guys. I'll actually SEE ya next week.

From Guatemala with love,
Elder Hopkins

I asked him:
How come you are always the lucky one that gets to do the baptism? Do the other missionaries not want to?
well with these ones I've known them longer so they normally want me to do it, plus I gotta be in the water as much as possible in these last weeks haha.

Note from Elder Hopkins' Mom:

We will get to talk to Elder Hopkins on Mothers Day.  Then his next email day is Tuesday May 14th, but we (his mom, dad and sister) are leaving on a plane that day for Guatemala, as he gets released Wednesday May 15th and we will be there to greet him and tour around with him for a week to meet all the special people that have had an influence on him, and him on them.    I will blog about our experience when we get home.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Working Overtime, Miracles, 36th Baptism, and starting to be at Peace about ending

Working Overtime.  (2 year mission has ended but now a 2 week extension - and he DOES look exhausted!)

Dinner with the Stake President's family

His Area - Lake Amatitlan

His companions got him a cake celebrating his 2 years on his mission!

May 1, 2013

Hey hey,

sorry that I started to write the other day but i couldn’t finish, I had to take an Elder to the hospital, we left at like 11:30 and didn’t get back till 9 at night, so that's why I'm not writing until today. (he's fine, it was just a long day)

**Also before I forget to tell you, next week we will be writing on MONDAY, so please send emails before monday morning.

This last week was absolutely great. We had a small miracle happen. So I might have told you that we were trying to get papers for an investigator so that she could get married to her less active husband that is now active. Well we tried to get the papers a while ago, and they told us that the books they were in were destroyed, and it would be like a 4 month process to get them. Well on tuesday last week we visited this lady, and she had gone to try to get her papers too, and to our surprise she was able to get them, so we quickly got a wedding planned, married them and baptized her on the Saturday 27th. It was a good way to spend the day on my 2 year mark. Yes, I've already been a missionary for more than 2 years, I'm on overtime right now.

But it was really fantastic, when she handed us the document that she needed, I just held it in my hands and just stared at it for a few minutes. They are one of the poorest families I have ever visited and baptized, but they were so ready for the gospel, teaching them was not a struggle, they accepted everything easily.

Also we put a fecha with Marisols little cousin, nancy, so she should be baptized on sunday. Shes 9 years old and is so excited for her baptism.

Also there was a girl we found, a 20 year old named "M", that we found cuz we were teaching her grandparents, and she was there for a lesson, we started talking about missions and how she could go help people by serving a mission, and then we said somewhat jokingly "look, come to church with us three times, we'll teach you, and baptize you on the 12th of May, and then in a year from now, you can go on a mission." and shes like oh cool, so we started teaching her, she came to church, and she absolutely loved it, and so we have a baptismal date for her on the 12th of may. we need at least 2 more than we have planned to be baptized these last 2 weeks to complete the goal that I have, but I feel good cuz if these baptisms happen, and they will, I will have baptized every weekend for 7 weeks in a row which is great.

For your question of what ward I want to go to on sunday when you are here, it depends, if we are going to have baptisms here in my area right now, we'll come here, and go to the baptismal service, if not, I was thinking that we would go to Guajitos, in the capital. well see. I'll have it planned out.

So that you know what will happen when you get here, we wont get any private time until wednesday night. After the change meeting, I'll be in the Presidents house waiting for my interview, and then you'll be in the downstairs lobby where we have the dinner, and then all the missionaries whose parents aren’t picking them up will come down, and then they'll all watch when the missionaries whose parents are there come down, then well hug blah blah blah, and eat dinner all together. Then we'll have a testimony meeting all together, all the missionaries, and the parents will be there to watch, and then we'll leave there and go to the hotel together. that's all I really know, I don't know toooo much detail.

On monday I went to the stake presidents house for dinner, and we had a great lasagna, and cake, and we were there for his family home evening, he's a great church leader, this stake is recognized throughout all of central america for being a great missionary stake. He also gave me two ties as a gift. President Denis Pineda is his name, great guy, great family.

Also something really really great happened on Saturday, the three people I just baptized a very short time ago,  all went to the temple to do  Vicarious Baptisms, and they loved it! what a great way to strengthen their testimony right off the bat. Fantastic.

Also I believe that The Elders in the office just called Dad, to ask him information about how to contact President Miller. They just called me to ask me his phone number.

Ps. I did get the package with all that good stuff in it.

Now as I'm finalizing my mission, I'm starting to be at peace with the fact, even though I'm going to miss the mission like crazy, I no longer have much of a fear about finishing. I know that I've worked hard, and I've become the missionary the Lord wants me to be in these last few months, and I keep working. The only thing that I wish, is that I could do it all over again with the knowledge and diligence and faith that I now have. But the mission is not the end of things, its a start, a start to a new mission, with different challenges and different rewards. I'm not quite ready, but in a few weeks, I will be ready to get it started, for the mean time, I've still got 2 weeks left to make a difference.

For mothers day, we'll have to call on the sunday, on the 12th. I have Church from 8 am until 11 am. I might possibly have a meeting after church but I doubt it, next week well confirm the time, sounds good?

ps, I'm so down to hit up a lake on a boat. we'll just need derek to shave his chest before hand.

Well, I love you all, take care.

From Guatemala, with Love,
Elder Hopkins