Tuesday, December 9, 2008

From Alec, Re: Housefire

that is an amazing miracle,

the lord definitley is mindful of us - i think the last two verses in alma 37 are great about talking about that. if that is a bogus reference, just look up "mindful" in the TG and look for alma-ish. it's great

yes i remember that 4th of july story! i had quite a bit of adrenaline going when i was putting it out! yeah i've actually been thinking - i'll probably do some volunteer fireman work when i get home - and by the sounds of it i think i got some good genes from dad!

well i love you all and the church is so true. i had a wonderful experience at the christmas lights yesterday. i talked to everyone and it was amazing, the lord lifts us up when we're on his errand. and we should always be on it! i'd also like to stress a couple things i've thought about recently - our relationships with people are so eternal and of great worth. and that is why it is so important to always try and be christlike and improve ourselves and our relationships. that's why there's a section in the lesson 1 of PMG about families (and we're all a family!). but also it's important to remember that you can always talk and have fun with someone and have a good relationship that way - but if you never edify (spiritually) each other, how are you helping each other one bit? the funny thing about that too is that with edifying, relationships grow beyond something that can be attained with just idle talk and laughter. well i love you all, and i hope you have an amazing week!!!!

Elder Hoopes

From Mom, Housefire

I'm back.

We had a Christmas miracle early Sat morning. We had gone to bed late on Friday, about 11:30 and I was so tired from the week of 5:00 am wake ups for Seminary. I tell you this to make it clear how deeply asleep I really was. Just after 1:00 am, I woke up suddenly and completely because I thought someone had been speaking to me. And I could smell a faint burning odor. So
I got up and went all over the house, the garage and out the back sliding door to see where the smell was coming from, but couldn't discover anything. I began to doubt my nose so I woke Scott up to see if he could smell it too, and he said he could. So I went over the whole house again, and everything checked out. I thought I would check the air out the front of the house. I opened the front door; the timing box for the Christmas lights was a puddle of smoking plastic, and the siding of the house was on fire, and the framing along the foundation was glowing embers.

Dad was a trooper. He ran and got the garden hose out, and after pulling out what was left of the cord from the wall, he had it pretty much out by the time the fire truck arrived. The firemen said we were pretty lucky-a few more minutes and we would have had a major fire. They had this amazing heat sensing camera that sees through walls and floors, and registers the actual temperature. It was cool, you could see the framing had started to heat up. After they made sure there were no more hot spots (about an hour)they left. They said it was amazing that I woke up so quickly, that most fires that begin on the outside do a lot more damage before they are discovered.

We got back to bed after 4:00, after a heartfelt prayer of thanks for God's tender mercy in waking me in time to avert a disaster. The Lord has been protecting us from fire lately. Remember on the 4th of July when we left the garbage can on the front walkway? I was going to tell you to put it at the side of the house, but then thought it would be fine there over night.
Thank the Lord, literally, that you and Dad left it out, and I thought better of asking you to put it away. God is good!

I'll send this, then write a little more


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

From: Alec, 12/1/08

it was great to hear from you, dad - and i'm really glad you enjoyed the picture of the woody - i knew you would. it is pretty cool - when i saw it i knew you'd want to see it. i actually have on someone elses camera me in a touched up stingray. i don't know much about cars but this member had so many really cool old cars. (a different one than the woody). he had an old GT 500 mustang, really sweeet, a couple stingrays, a 68 camaro, and an old truck, not sure what brand i can't remember. but he owns a ton more you'd probably love to see.

my teaching pool is good. we've had not baptismal dates for a while and it seems like most of our investigators are having trouble progressing (as far as we can see) but we're finding 2 new investigators (4 this week) per week and so we are getting work done. i also feel good about our pool because when i can't see any progress in everyone we have written up on our whiteboard, i feel that the lord is watching over them and making sure they are progressing and learning. Elder Pongi and I are doing everything we can too!

no don't worry about doing anything on your side other than prayers for us and if you want our investigators. pray for them to feel and recognize the spirit and have the courage to follow those promptings from God. above all for you guys - let your prayers be guided by the spirit, i try hard to do that, and i know that there are times that i'll pray about something that just comes to me and it needs to be said/asked for. it's easy too - really be sincere and think about what needs to happen or be done. think about and feel your love for people and the spirit will tell you what to ask or say. maybe read Bednar's two recent talks about prayer too - and implement!

i'm glad you're trying to put focus on the Savior vs. gifts and the commercial side of christmas. it is funny and sad how subtle satan is in turning a completely religious holiday into a materialistic craze for a month. i see lots of christmas decorations and hear songs and i look at some and realize all to often all of those dumb landscape blow-ups are of santa and reindeer or something like that. nothing about Christ (it's become Xmas instead of Christmas). i do love all of christmas and santa and stuff, but it can be easy to lose focus of things. it seems satan's favorite tool is half-truths and things like that. he'll never say "run around and do every sin in the book", but he will say, "you don't have to read your scriptures right now, you can read them later." bad example but you know what i mean. Be soo soo careful about half-truths. i'm preaching to the choir though! Love you dad

elder Hoopes

To: Alec, From Dad 12/1/08

Dear Alec,

Oops - sorry about last week. As you can imagine, the time is screaming by for all of us. Before I was a bishop it seemed like the days moved slowly but the weeks and months sped by - now the days speed by too. That may just be an "old-guy" thing too, I suppose.

I'm glad that you are working hard. That is the only way to spend a mission happily. The Spirit may be more intolerant when we are on missions, but I recall even a bit of slacking made me feel badly.

How is your teaching pool? Are there any investigators progressing well? Is there anything we can do on our side?

I am in the middle of Tithing Settlement now, which has been an inspiring experience. It gives a time to visit with and get to know many of the members of the ward I have not known well, which has been very enjoyable and often inspiring. We have wonderful people in the ward, as you know.

Your mother is working very hard on her Seminary calling and, she says, feeling quite a bit better about it, which is good for all of us.

I loved the Ford Woody you found! Surf boards and everything. What a hoot. The Barrett and Jackson car show will be in Scotsdale in January; you might want to see if your president will let you go on a P-Day. It's well worth seeing.

I have invited the ward to read Luke in December to build up to Christmas. Luke has 24 chapters, so we are going to read one chapter per night, on Christmas eve reread chapter 2, and then read chapter 24 about the resurrection on Christmas day some time. I'm quite excited about it - I hope it helps us all focus more on the Savior and less on the gifts.

Well, have a wonderful week. We love you and pray for you many times each day,



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

From: Alec 11/24/08

Sorry if the subject line makes you feel guilty for not writing me - it's just as missionaries it's our job to have our investigators "feel the weight of their sins" so i think we do that to members sometimes too. i know you guys are busy so i don't expect you to write me every week.

anyways: i am doing well - it is pretty nice outside usually, and i am trying hard to not be lazy and focus on my investigators and on how i can help them the most. that mostly by focusing on commitments. i also am trying to implement all of the advice i get from district meetings and all of the meetings. which is a job in itself! we have lots of meetings.

i don't have a lot of time but i would like to put some pictures on here so i'll keep it short.

it's amazing how important it is to be humble. pride is one of the basic and universal reasons people reject truth (or actually implementing truth). And i'd just like to share something that i learned as i decided to study about this, especially as it is very relevant to this week - thanksgiving week. i think i will try to make this holiday rival christmas in my home when i get older. Basically what i got from the Christlike attributes section in the PMG is that the way we are humble is how much we express (truly) gratitude. we thank God for everything - which makes sense, if you realize that all blessings come from heavenly father and that it is important to thank him, what is there to be prideful about? well i don't have time to keep talking about that but i commit everyone this week (who reads this email) to read that section in Preach My Gospel and the scriptures it gives in the blue box. then to try and apply it into your lives. will you do this (answer with a yes and then do it and be happier).

love you all

Elder Hoopes

p.s. wow lots of KBs from my pics - hope it goes through