Thursday, March 12, 2009

From Alec: March 9, 2009

Hello from Arizona,

Glad to hear from everyone. I always look forward to hearing from everyone. Mom, that activity you're talking about sounds a lot like TTI's in our mission. That's the name for street contacts: Teach, Testify, Invite. It's from PMG, but that is good you are asking the kids to do that. When you actually try and articulate your testimony, especially when you're under the clock, you really learn things - part of which is going to the very heartfelt basics of your testimony.

Well this past week was great. We had a good zone development meeting and some good and interesting lessons. We met with this guy in our area (he actually fed us dinner) and he was very curious about the church, partly because he was raised in a less-active family and remembers parts of the church. But he mentioned he has a colleague who is a bishop, and hasn't asked him questions because he doesn't feel their employer would like that. It just made me realize how we just need to do little things like get to know each other and spend time with other people - if that bishop invited him to dinner he would totally go and come with lots of questions.

A couple of investigators (both would attend the singles ward) didn't show up to church, they were doing other things but it was really dissapointing, especially because we felt we did everything we could to get them there, but everything will turn out ok if we have faith and do everything we can (which is part of faith).

I have a beginning of a cold and so that is really annoying. It's been a while since i've been sick but I'm starting to battle it so it should subside quickly.

This week ended with a little, well a lot, of a shock. We were planning Saturday night (the night transfers are announced) and our phone started ringing and I saw "Pres Bassett" on the screen. He only calls that night if someone is becomeing ZL, DL, AP, or training. My heart sunk partly because I'd hate to leave this area and have to get a new companion (again...) but president asked for "my companion". It turns out Elder Duren will be training! It will only be his 4th transfer out (like 5 months). That is pretty cool, he will do well. But it hit me hard because it means I'll be moving again - over to Papago zone (West Mesa) with Elder Sexton. I've already met him - he's one transfer older than me and was in my first zone. If you asked me how I felt about it I would say I'd rather stay with these wards and investigators. I tried hard to sink my roots into this area because I felt I only got to know some of our investigators and less-actives in the last area, and I really hoped/believed that I would be here a long time. But, I'll do my best in the next area with my new companion - there's a reason I'm going there so I'll go willingly and hopefully a Nephi-like attitude, not a murmuring Laman/Lemuel one. I love my mission and hope to be the best representative of Christ I can be.

Love you all and hope you choose happiness. I read alma 29 and it really epitomizes a lot of how I've felt on my mission. I want to be an angel and cry repentance with the sound of thunder that "there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth". But of course the reason that will not be so is stated in verses 4 and 5, that we will be given what we choose. Literally we reap what we sow, which makes sense - if you choose bad, how could Heavenly Father give you good? You chose those things, and therefore choose "life or death, joy or remorse of conscience". After remembering that I knew that was true and that I could only do so much as a missionary, but then I was reminded about how much joy that "only so much" can bring. "Perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy." which, if you remember, was one of the scriptures I chose for Alma Academy when I was one of the leaders. The theme was "instruments in the hands of God" and that is my joy - and it can be everyone's if they have desires to perform the work!

Elder Hoopes

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