Monday, March 23, 2009

From Mom and Dad: March 19, 2009

Dear Elder Hoopes,

Top of the mornin' to you! That's some St Patrick's Day lingo for you. I am feeling much better after being on antibiotics all week. I still have pain and ears plugged, though. I've not only become partially deaf, I've become tone deaf as well! Now I know how Dad hears music. (Sorry Scott) It was weird because we were in the Temple chapel, waiting for a session to start and the organ was really out of tune. There were about 5 of the keys that were so flat and sour, it was crossing my eyes. I turned to Dad and said, "Wow, doesn't the organ sound awful!?" Naturally he couldn't tell. Then, when I heard the music in the temple film, and it was very off-key, I realized that it must be my hearing that was off-key. There is a good gospel analogy in there
somewhere. It's weird, music is not only painful to listen to because it sounds bad, and there are whole ranges of vibration's missing, like when the bass is turned off, but I also feel the waves of sound pushing against my eardrums, and it is uncomfortable. Nothing quite like listening with someone else's' ears to make you humble and sympathetic.

I hope my ears are a little better for the Eagle High Choir Concert tomorrow. Rachel will be singing in that, and I better enjoy it because she's not going to do choir her senior year. She says there are twice as many wonderful female singers as needed for Sonos, so she hasn't a chance to
make it. Rachel is taking an ACT prep class because she will take it on April 4th. She is gearing up for a fun summer which includes a educational tour of London, Paris, and Rome, planning Legacy Camp, Girl's camp, as well as EFY, and some home study courses. I don't know how she will fit in a summer job into that mix.

Dad is busy as ever. This week he travels to speak in Seattle then flies directly down to Denver. The ward has been busy as well. Yesterday was ward conference so he was able to speak in Sacrament meeting. He spoke about having broken hearts and contrite spirits. He observed that often our hearts are broken because things are taken away from us that we had set our hearts upon, but that we then have the choice as to how we respond. We can become frustrated and angry, or we can turn to the Lord with contrite spirits and ask Him to make us into the people He wants us to be. Dad also pointed out that, as President Packer once said, life is a three act play, and we can't remember the first act. However, as we each were about to come to this world, we must have been apprehensive and asked our friends and family to help us when we were together in mortality. One day we will have a reunion of the Eagle 5th Ward when we are in the 3rd act of the play, and it won't be heaven if one of us has been left behind. When we are in the 3rd act, we won't care about the car that we drove or the house that we lived in, but we will care about the people we loved, or should have loved, including our Savior.

President McCauley spoke about how the ordinances and covenants of the Gospel lead us to the presence of Christ, if we make them and keep them. He referred to the Doctrine and Covenants 84:19-22, and said that the whole aim of the gospel is to bring each of us back to the presence of God. The 3 fold mission of the church, proclaiming the gospel, perfecting the saints and redeeming the dead, really is just 3 stages of the same goal, to bring each of us back to God. And the 3 fold mission leads all of us to the Temple. There we can come to understand the covenants we can keep to become able to have the power of godliness in our lives and eventually see the face of God, because we have become like Him. It was an amazing message, a sobering message. A "meaty" message that gives us a lot to chew on. And here we just wanted to lead comfortable, ordinary lives, but God has so much more in mind for us.

Well, our thoughts are with you as you are making another change. I know you are the last person I would need to say this to because you are always so positive, but remember to bloom where you are planted. May God bless you in your new area. You are wonderful, and we are so proud of you, and so grateful to have you as our son,

Love always,
Mom & Dad

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