Wednesday, January 21, 2009

From Mom: Happy Human Rights Day!

Dear Elder Hoopes,

We got your Christmas picture CD, and it looks like you had a great time. What is the story with the toilet? We are all happy and healthy. I just got back from taking the dogs for a walk so my hands are so frozen I can barely type, so this will be slow. The dogs are grateful that the snow is gone so they can be taken for walks again, and it is good to catch up with my walking buddies, and get some exercise again.

The ward is doing well. There still is some financial stress, which will only get worse, but the Lord is compensating by sending His love and Spirit as people are humbling themselves. We had wonderful talks, music and lessons yesterday in church and there was really an outpouring of love and comfort. Brother Casos (a new brother who is a trauma surgeon) spoke about service,
and he likened the parable of the good Samaritan to us. He said that on one level, the good Samaritans actually represents the Savior and at times in our lives we are the victim at the side of the road who can't help ourselves. The Savior runs to us and pours into us His atonement and
healing love lifts us up in His arms and carries us to an inn (the church?) where we can be healed and find rest while we recover our strength. Then at other times we are the innkeeper who has been charged by the Samaritan/Savior to care for the victim, because His business calls him
elsewhere. The Savior promises that one day He will return and pay us for whatever it cost us to help this victim. But we already have been paid and are already in His debt, as King Benjamin has pointed out. Yet he promises to pay us again. The Savior never says if the victim will recover, or how long it will take for his recovery, or how much the innkeeper will have to pay to help the man, but the Savior will return and will recompense us.

Brother Casos finished his talk by saying that often the Inn can be our own homes where the Samaritan/Savior asks us to serve our neighbor who is also our own family. He said that after 5 wonderful daughters, the Lord sent them a wonderful son. Jericho is severely autistic, and Brother Casos said that the Lord sent Jericho to teach him how to serve and how to love. "I don't
know when the Savior will return, it might be next week, it might be in 10 years, I may not meet Him till the end of my life, but He promised He will pay me again, even though He has already paid me and I am in His debt."

We sure love you and are so proud of you. There are angels about you bearing you up.



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