Wednesday, April 8, 2009

From Alec: March 6, 2009

Well, hello everyone!!

Rachel ACT? Prom - do I know who she's going with? I got her a way late birthday present/souvenir and I might send it or wait till I'm home ;) I'll keep her in suspense.

This week was a pretty good one - lots of growth involved. And yes, Mom, when Elder Perry was at bat we all were cheering, at least on the inside. That really was an amazing story, however - I don't think we'll ever find a better metaphor to teach that point. It is so, sooo, sooooo much easier to do missionary work when the members are involved. They are the personal, loving shepherds who will probably almost always contribute to someone's conversion more than any missionary. The conversion story of a recent convert in my second area started early in his life with his journey to a better focus on spiritual things. Even though what started him being taught by the missionaries was a street contact from them, he attributes so much to this member couple he knew, who he has the highest of feelings for, and it is because of them that he had any interest whatsoever in even listening to us.

I went to the Easter Pageant this week, it was pretty dang cool. Definitely worth going to see if you just happen to be down here.

Well, we had our baptism date fall through - and it's partly our fault, we didn't spend enough time with her - and something that could have easily been resolved quickly to keep the date. But that is ok because as of right now she is not ready. We'll keep working with her! We are just having trouble meeting with D., T. (our golden who has felt the Spirit and church bless his life) and the A. family (taught once, come to church on their own now, are so solid). Then there are two others who aren't as hard to catch, but we're just struggling to help progress. D. is still feeling caught betweed a rock and a hard place - but we will be taking him and L. to the Easter Pageant on Tuesday - because he so needs the next step of baptism and the blessings from the gift of the Holy Ghost. He totally knows and professes it (every time we go over) that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. S. , who's wife is a less-active member, has been tough to meet with because J. (his wife) has been sick and now his kid has a fever and it's just been rough. He is totally awesome though! Hopefully we'll be able to meet with T. and A. and G. as well - they just were busy the end of the week (and couldn't make it to watch Conference). We'll just have to do everything we can and rely on the Lord.

Which is something that I don't think I've been doing enough - I can definitely say that I have "lost myself and [gone] to work" but I need to do a little bit more relying on Heavenly Father, because I can do alot - but in what actually matters I have little power - and that is changing hearts and bringing happiness to people. Thinking about it, the only times I have actually accomplished anything (that really means anything) it has been because I have either relied on Heavenly Father, or that He totally "made bare" his arm (D&C 123 last verse) and did the work that I guess we couldn't do! I can't remember if I told you that D., the high school football player from my first area got baptized the last week in March. I was able to go, we took D. and it was awesome to see him there. Elder Pongi, who is still in that area, got to baptize him. Way exciting to see someone I taught my first week make some good choices!!!

Not as spiritual of an email for you this week, but I wanted to tell you what was going on and then I guess just end with the testimony I have. It has been made known unto me by the power of the Holy Ghost, that this work is God's work - He is real and tangible and loves us more than we could ever know. I am so struck with the love and patience Jesus Christ must have for us. We make so many mistakes and focus so much on ourselves. What Nephi notices is so true, the "unsteadyness" of the children of men. How quick they are to do iniquity, and slow to listen to the Lord their God, when all He ever wants is us to have joy (2 Ne 2:25). He does EVERYTHING He can to help us make right choices. Of course, the devil is there, too, to try and blur the line between what is right and what is wrong - but more especially what will make you happy and what won't, what is selfish and what is self-less, what damns you from progression and what "makes you free" which is the truth, the light. But luckily we have wonderful men and women in the world who DO choose right more often than wrong, and amazing people called prophets and apostles who do everything they can to make known God's will and love. I as well love you all and hope you always are in the paths of righteousness!

Elder Hoopes

PS Thank you sooo much for the package!!!! I will be asking my companion to hide the candy for me to find when Easter comes around :) That Penguin tie made me happy/laugh - it's pretty sweet

Also, sorry that I missed your birthday so you'll get a late card but never less thanks and love for what an influence you've been on my life. I know I can liken Alma 56:47, 48 to us. The only weakness in the analogy might be that I'm probably not as steadfast and righteous as those stripling warriors, but I doubt no less than they did that "you know".

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