Hello family and friends of the Alec! This is Karene (his older sister). I was reading through Elder Hoopes' letter this week and noticed that my mom's email to him was attached at the bottom. I realized how great it was to read what she wrote and then his response. And it is pretty spiritually uplifting. Definitely something our family will want to have a record of.
So I will start posting letters from other family members to Alec too. I will label them as To: Alec, so you can easily skip over them if you want. Anyway, here's Mom's letter:
We got your picture CD and it was awesome to see all those pictures. I couldn't help but notice that you were filming while you were riding your bike, and your hands weren't on the handlebars. After Caitlyn's disastrous bike flip, I think it would be a great idea if you were extra cautious when you ride. Give the angels who are round about you a break! Caitlyn is healing beautifully. She got the stitches out on Thursday and the scabs have given way to new pink skin. I'm not sure of all the reasons, but she seems a lot happier, and is just very sweet and helpful.
There isn't a lot of news, just the routine care and service to family and friends. It's all good.
I got pulled into a situation in the ward where there is a family who is not at all active, and their teenage kids are having real difficulties, and the Dad is out of work. Their landlady called here and asked me if the Bishop was going to pay their back rent for them. (Dad didn't discuss anything confidential with me, these are things that I observed on my own.) I found it interesting that this family only wanted financial help. They don't want to come to church, and have the emotional support of a ward family to lift themselves and their teenagers. They don't want help changing their lives in any way so they could have the Spirit guide and teach them. They just wanted to be saved from financial disaster, or temporal salvation.
It reminded me of everything I've been teaching in the Gospels this semester. Thousands followed Jesus for a time because He fed them; they also sought a temporal salvation. Most of the Jews wanted political salvation only, they were waiting for a Messiah to free them from bondage to the Romans, not from bondage to Satan. Some who were sick wanted healing, but were content with physical salvation only, when He was offering so much more. Then there were
those who sought Jesus for spiritual healing. Those who were mentioned by name in the New Testament most likely became disciples of Christ, who found, at last, their spiritual Savior. "But whom say ye that I am?" "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God."
It is a wonderful thought, but also a terrifying thought that the Lord respects our agency so much, that we will get what we want most, and nothing more. As we read in Alma 41:3-7, we will find what we seek. And yet we feel somehow cheated if we are not happy at the end of the day, even when we insist on doing things that lead straight to unhappiness. (Alma 41:10) The bitterest people in the world are those who resent God for not allowing them to be self-centered and happy at the same time.
Well, God bless you and those you teach. You are carrying Living Water to a desert land.