Dear Elder Hoopes,
Well its not technically June 30th yet, but that is the day you'll read this. Karene told us that your new P-day is on Tuesdays, so we will remember that. By the way, you're supposed to keep your eyes peeled for Elder Doug Valentine(sp?), who should have just arrived in Mesa after being held up in the MTC because of the Swine Flu quarantine. He is a good friend of Geoff Belnap's. Geoff is doing great on his mission in Mexico. Also, for Father's Day, Dad got a torn, empty envelope that looked like your handwriting on the address. Did you send something that the mail sorting machine ate?
Rachel got home from Europe this week and she had a wonderful time. She was showing me all the pictures and reading me her travel journal and about every new city she wrote, "This is my new favorite place!" She said that Sorrento, Italy on the Mediterranean coast was her favorite place, but I'm not sure if that is because she was there last. She says she is definitely into traveling. It's her new favorite thing.
I got to substitute teach for Relief Society today, and I had the wonderful opportunity to really study the talk by Elder Hale about being provident and not coveting. I really understood that anything we do that is not good for us, and we persist in doing even when we know it is not good for us, is an addiction of sorts. I love everything he taught:
"In seeking to overcome debt and addictive behaviors, we should remember that addiction is the craving of the natural man, and it can never be satisfied. It is an insatiable appetite. When we are addicted, we seek those worldly possessions or physical pleasures that seem to entice us. But as children of God, our deepest hunger and what we should be seeking is what the Lord alone can provide-His love, His sense of worth, His security, His confidence, His hope in the future, and assurance of His love, which brings us eternal joy.
With all the love I have in me and with the Savior's love through me, I invite you to come unto Him and hear His words: "Wherefore, do not spend money for that which is of no worth, nor your labor for that which cannot satisfy. Hearken diligently unto me, and remember the words which I have spoken; and come unto the Holy One of Israel, and feast upon that which perisheth not, neither can be corrupted" (2 Nephi 9:51)
I testify that the appetite to possess worldly things can only be overcome by turning to the Lord. The hunger of addiction can only be replaced by our love for Him. He stands ready to help each one of us. "Fear not," He said, "for you are mine, and I have overcome the world" (D&C 50:41)."
This talk is probably also a good one for investigators who need to make changes in their lives.
Well, next week Rachel and I, and Rachel's friend, Emily, are heading up to Canada for a week, so we may not be able to email you. I will try to send off a small package this week to you. Love you soooo much,