Friday, December 4, 2009

From Alec: December 1, 2009

In the mission field, every day is Christmas!

Hello everyone,

Sorry my last email cut short - I looked over at my time and realized I had 8 seconds left. So I scrambled to figure out what to do - there was no save button, so I just sent it as was. You got most of what I wanted to send though.

Well Thanksgiving was good - we went out to Tenney Ranch to have it, and we stuffed ourselves into a stupor (not really, we helped clean up afterward). It also snowed Sunday morning, and it stuck less than an inch outside - but it was still neat to see our second snowfall (that stuck) this year.

Well, last week was a pretty good week. We taught the Hoopes family, and H. said she wasn't sure what was keeping her from being baptized - probably just not sure in general. On account of illness they didn't make it to church, but we are showing a movie on the Prophet Joseph Smith on Thursday at the church and they have promised to come, as well as most of the others we've invited (we're hoping to have close to 30 people there - of all sorts, investigators/LA/RC/fellowshippers). We are pretty close to being all set for it so we are very excited about it.

We watched 'The Testaments' with the M. family (LA) and it was our last one with them before they went down to the valley for the winter. It was very good for Sister M. (the more LA one), I have always felt that that movie is best for less-actives. I just love the church movies - we hear people surprised and say it's no fun for us that we cannot watch TV, non-church movies, or listen to non-church music. But I love the church movies that are out - every time I watch them. And there is some really good music out there that we can listen to as well.

Saturday was a very good day (even though number wise it might appear otherwise). We helped with a child of record's baptism (though no one we invited to come too showed up), and that was neat. Then we did exchanges so that Elder Moa (our district leader) and Moore could go down to Young to interview P.. She passed, easily I am sure, and so we are getting excited to go down there on Saturday and spend the night so we can attend the branch for her confirmation. She is just on fire. That night too we had a great dinner appointment with the S., an active family - the parents are both the only members in their family (within the last 11 years converts) and we talked about their conversion and the Spirit was there very strong. There is still hope for the rest of the S. family - because of these two awesome people who listened to the Good Shepherd's voice.

It has been very rewarding recently to be out on my mission - I have felt in a very real way that we are being directed where to go and what to say to bring all of God's children unto him through his restored gospel. We had a lesson yesterday morning with an older couple (our RC J's mom & stepdad - K. and R.) who like to talk ALOT. They'll both talk about different topics to us at the same time, and so it is hard to really answer questions and help them understand everything. He is very OK with most religions but has no interest in becoming religious - and she said she would be baptized but she had two things keeping her from it - she smokes and is not married to Richard. And it has been hard to teach them why and mostly they have just said how they don't feel it's a "sin" or something that will "keep them out of heaven". But yesterday morning, the Spirit was there as we answered one of R.'s questions with Alma 34 and used verses 32 & 34 - it was exactly what they needed, as the Spirit bore very powerful testimony to everyone in the room. They might not change, but K. did, in passing, mention "I guess I could stop smoking" at one point later in their conversation. The warning voice has been raised - all we can do now is love and pray!

I pray that everyone who reads my email may have an added determination to keep all of God's commandments and hearken to his Spirit - Because it is what our Father in Heaven so wants us to do because he knows that there lies happiness. Follow Jesus Christ, and listen to his prophets words:
"Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth beset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day..." (Alma 7:15)

Love you,

Elder Hoopes

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