Dear Elder Hoopes,
Hope you are doing well this week. Things are great here. Rachel has finals the next 3 days then she is all done with her Junior year. On Thursday and Friday she has Legacy, which she has been involved planning as a ward rep this year. Dad has Helaman Academy on Thursday and Friday (Thursday is his birthday) and I am going up too to be one of the cooks. So Ben and Hilde will be hanging out together for a couple of days.
Speaking of Hilde, she had a minor altercation with a fox in our backyard yesterday morning. There is a fox who had had 3 kits, and their den is just down the rim. They often come up and play and hunt quail (successfully)in our back yard. Well, yesterday Dad let Hilde out, then Dad heard the fox barking and when he got to the door he saw the fox chasing Hilde, and Hilde trying to run away, but not sure which way to run. When Dad went out to rescue Hilde, the momma fox ran off.
Friday was my last day teaching early morning seminary. We had a breakfast of course, and the kids shared their testimonies of what they had learned this year. Then they gave me a card which all of them had written in, a box of chocolate dipped fortune cookies, and a $100 gift certificate to Eagle Day Spa!!! I've never been to a spa so it should be wonderful. Today I am going to pester 5 of the students to hand in/complete their makeup work so I can give them a final grade.
I learned a lot this year, probably more than any of the kids. The first I have already mentioned, is that I was given the gift of loving those kids from day one, so it did not seem a sacrifice to devote all my time to prepare and get up at 5:00 am each weekday. (Probably you have experienced that on your mission.) I came to appreciate Jesus Christ more as I studied his daily life and words; what infinite compassion to deal with flawed, weak, silly humans, yet to be so patient and concerned! I was also impressed by the trials endured by the early Christians who repeatedly gave their all for their hope in Christ. One student pointed out that the New Testament takes place over a relatively short space of time, within a man's lifetime and yet so much happened. The students also were so impressed with Revelation, and what an amazing book that is as it reviews the battle of good and evil which began before the world was, the history of the earth and the events which will unfold over the next 1000 years. We even get to glimpse heaven and the Celestial Kingdom. I am hoping that I will continue to really study the scriptures daily, even as my life gets packed with other things. It seems that because I've studied so much, there is a spiritual conduit opened in my heart directly to heaven; it is like I've got a high speed connection! All I have to do is kneel down and say "Father," and I feel the burning in my soul. I don't want to lose that.
Have a wonderful week. We love you so much!