Dear Elder Hoopes,
We got your CDs yesterday and it was so fun to see them. We can really tell you have gained weight; you're still probably underweight for your height but you're not as thin. I'll send some pictures to Karene so she can add them to your blog. I hope that you got the card and pictures that we sent last week.
We had an awesome time with Laurie and Elliott the past two weeks. Yesterday Dad and Ben took them to the airport, and Ben said that he was carrying in their luggage and Laurie was bringing In a crying Elliott who was saying, "Grandpa,! Avec!" He wanted Grandpa to come "with". Dad and I drove from Utah until 1:30 in the morning so we could make it back to see them off yesterday morning.
President Bassett called and left a Father's Day message for Dad telling him what a great, powerful missionary you are and thanking him for sharing you with them. I think we will leave that message on the machine for a long time. Grandpa said that he introduced himself to Pres. Bassett at a stake conference and Pres. Bassett raved about you and said that your stake leads the mission in baptisms.
We had a wonderful weekend. Dad and I drove down to Utah on Friday and we had dinner and stayed overnight at Jon and Nicole's. Then the next day we went to the Provo Temple with them, and we drove around to show them the houses that we lived in while we were at BYU. Then we went to Dad's South African mission reunion. It was a surprise for President Thorn, whose health is failing. It was so sweet to see the overwhelming love that President and Sister thorn still have for all their missionaries. There were also 3 South African converts there who thanked the missionaries with all their hearts for bringing the gospel to their land. In the 35 years since these men have served, when there was just 1 stake, there are now 11 stakes and a temple. It was and evening filled with love and the Spirit, which, of course, is the same thing.
The Gospel is such a wonderful thing; what joy and peace and purpose it enlightens our mortal experience! How wonderful it is to share that with others. May God bless you and the people of Mesa!