Thursday, October 1, 2009

From Alec: August 25, 2009

Hello everyone,

Things are going well in Heber - it is a very much different place than Mesa. No huge city-ness. The temperature is like 50's-80's at this time of year. It was 86 when we were driving up to do emails. Lots of hills and pine trees too. It is a nice place - we cover three wards, Heber 1, 2, 3rd Wards- and then also a branch in a little valley community called Young. (We have to travel about 1 hour to Young from Heber - though it isn't as far as that sounds distance-wise because about half of that is dirt road that is windy and sometimes rough. We wouldn't have been able to do some of the work we've already done with a car - it would have died. Our White Chevy Colorado is exactly what we need. We had to use 4 wheel drive on the way down and when we were in Young. The branch is great though, we spoke at sacrament meeting on missionary work. It was great too because we went down on Saturday and had a lesson with this guy named J. who is staying with a convert of a few years. He is great - the Lord knows exactly what we all need and knows his children, especially those who are ready that they will receive the guidance and truth they can handle/desire. We'll be heading back down to Young on Wednesday - I'm excited to teach J. again. We don't really cover any reservation, though we do cover Heber and to the little valley community called Young and everything in between so we could technically cover some. But we have no reservation wards or anything.

It has been a little bit of a shock to be up here - I didn't think it would be because I was just excited to have a change of scenery and go up north, but it is very different up here - the people are different to a degree (of course the church and love is the same) and being in a truck the whole time is very different. Our teaching pool isn't necessarily smaller, but for some reason it feels like it - I think it is because new investigators are harder to come by as we just don't get as much of a chance to do street contacts, and there are no apartments - everyone is lots more spread out, the only thing close to an apartment is trailer parks, and those are few too. I'm greenie-breaking Elder Dursteler, he's been out for about 2 transfers, and he is a good missionary who loves the people - which is all that really matters.

We have this couple named S. and J. - J. is a member but has never been active. We have a baptismal date for S., though we'll probably have to push it back to be sure he is keeping the word of wisdom (he is trying to quit smoking). They are actually homeless in a way - they are basically camping out the whole time (they have a tent and a truck and stuff - but no home or anything). But we have already seen the Lord bless them spiritually and temporally as they have obeyed the gospel. We have a few others but I haven't got to know them well yet - as there are a few out of town at the moment and the others we haven't been able to teach yet.

I have realized this week how important it is to be positive. Fear and doubt are negative and do nothing good, and attitudes change the courses of people's lives. Getting down on oneself or dwelling too much on our weaknesses (we should try to identify and remember them - they are there to keep us humble) without the focus that with Christ's help those things can be made strong. That is such a key thing, because the only way we can change or make weaknesses strong is to let Christ change us as we exercise faith in him and do what he asks of us. If we want to be happy we must to things that bring us happiness. Love you guys - thanks for all the love, packages and messages!

Elder Hoopes

Rachel - block schedule? Whats that mean? I can't believe you have Ms. Taylor - that is one crazy woman. She is awesome and a good teacher - and I enjoyed that class even though I disliked about 95% of the literature we read (not counting the ones where we got to choose what we read - I liked all of those ;) Didn't you do the outline for Siddhartha for me? I remember asking you to help me outline because you could do it faster and I read so slow when I outline. I bet that will come in handy!

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