Tuesday, March 31, 2009

From Mom: March 30, 2009

Dear Elder Hoopes,

How are you doing this week? We are back to life after our Spring Break. I feel rested because I got 8 hours of sleep every night, and I think my ear infection is almost done, just a little bit of fluid left in my ears and a little bit of hearing loss. The break was pretty boring for Rachel, but we did get her a prom dress. My ideas to get some spring yard work done fizzled because we had spring storms all week, but that meant I had a chance to read a book and get caught up on indoor chores. Melinda and Phil were able to come and stay with us on Friday and Saturday because Anna had a softball tournament in Boise, and it was so fun to see them again. Geoffrey
is now in Mexico after being in the MTC for 2 months.

We got a fun picture from the Theriots of you and Elder Sexton at a dinner appointment. They said that you are a great missionary. It is so sweet of them to send a note. I never thought of doing that for the parents of missionaries who served in our wards.

The ward is doing well. Yesterday we had a fast for the members of our ward who are struggling, whether it be financially, physically or spiritually. It was a sweet day and the Spirit of the Lord was there abundantly through fast and testimony meeting, and the other meetings. We had a few families move in, (yea!); one of them is the Stevens family from our stake. Sister
Stevens used to teach seminary, and they have a son a year ahead of you who will be returning from Argentina soon.

I got to sit next to the newly baptized sister for two of the meetings, and between meetings we talked about how essential the gospel is in the lives of our children. I told her that people have often asked me what I have done to raise 5 such incredible kids, and I always tell them that I couldn't have done it without the church. Lauren said that is what first attracted her to the gospel, seeing the strength it gave to families and children. After the meetings she said with great feeling how much she enjoyed them. She said her friend asked her why she goes to church and she answered that it seems like the lessons and talks seemed to be speaking just to her, and just what she needs to hear. She also said it is so wonderful to feel the Holy Spirit so powerfully. I don't know if she realized it, but she bore her testimony to me, and it strengthened me as well.

We are so excited for Conference this coming weekend! Just think, we will be watching it the same time you are. It will be an awesome birthday present for me on Sunday. In fact this will be a wonderful month because the next week is Easter, and then the week after that is Stake Conference, so it will be a month of spiritual highs. We are so blessed to have the gospel in our
lives and to be surrounded by such good people. What a joy it is to be able to share it with others!!

We love you and pray for you always,


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