Monday, March 2, 2009

From Alec: March 3, 2009

Hello from Mesa,

It sounds like everyone is doing pretty well, I would say I definitely am as well. I got the package on Tuesday - man that was a good one! Thanks Rachel (if you had blindfolded me I could still have been able to tell they were your cookies). Oh and Happy Birthday tomorrow! Sorry I won't be able to send anything cool I don't think now, but I'll definitely have to make it up when I come home with souvenirs or something like that. Oh and do you know a Brother Larsen teaching seminary at Eagle? because he is the son of one of our bishops here.

Well this week was pretty cool - we went tracting more in this week than I have on my mission, but that is because we have the Easter Pageant flyers to hand out, and the people are alot more friendly if that's the main reason you're knocking on their door (for them probably the 5th time in the past year missionaries have knocked on their door - that's how small our area is). No miracles. but I do know we've been blessed not only with the Spirit because we were working hard to find new people, but also new people to teach. We were biking out of our apartment the other day and saw this guy walking to us, so we stopped him and chatted. He asked us if we were "heading to work" (gotta laugh when you hear that in Mesa, you know they have recently come here if they ask that) and we explained what we do, and I felt the Spirit when I teachtified (teach + testify) to him about the restoration. We asked when we could meet with him and he gave a specific time and day! That was pretty cool, and yesterday we had the chance to teach him. When we got there, he had a whole page of questions he had written down - I think most of them the general about religion ones. He was raised in the Catholic church but never really by his choice whatsoever. The lesson went pretty well I feel, and we both (Elder Duren and I) think that he will read and pray.

We also were riding to grab something from our apartment and one of our less-actives that lives across from us was sitting down and got our attention when he saw us. He talked to this guy close to him who said he was LDS and wanted to come back to church, so we went and talked to him. You could tell he missed the Spirit in his life, and we were able to teach him. Hopefully he keeps the commitments we extended, because it is only through "doing" that you keep commandments and therefore receive blessings. (He actually seemed surprised that we committed him, but I think he realized he should be reading and praying anyways).

Well we had Stake Conference yesterday and it was great to be there - especially because both President and Sister Bassett spoke there. But probably the thing that has been most manifest to me this recent week is the power of sincere testimony. When someone stops and sincerely testifies of truth that they have realized from the power of the Holy Ghost, there is a difference, a very powerful feeling of the Spirit that can do amazing things. It can touch the hearts of those who perhaps were hardened, it can lift you up and keep you going in hard times, and it can do so much more as well. I know through the power of the Spirit that Jesus Christ is our Savior, He loves us and so does our Heavenly Father and the greatest thing we can do is to first "obtain" these things, lay hold upon all good things (Moroni 7) and then, "when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren." As President (Stake President here) Turk said in Stake Conference, "these things will be of the most worth unto you, to declare these things to the earth" (or however that scripture in D&C goes). Love you all and I think of you often,

Elder Hoopes

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