Friday, December 4, 2009

From Alec: October 21, 2009

Hello from north AZ

Hi everyone,

It has been a good enough week so far, the weather down here has been nice (though a little warm in Elder Moore's and mine opinions - whew that's bad English!) We are just soaking up the cooler temperatures after suffering through the valley summer. Nothing specifically new or exciting happened this week, mainly it was me trying to cope with losing my planner. I didn't lose too much info but it was still annoying.

Thursday was a great day - we did some service for this less-active couple. We helped the brother hang up some drywall in his second story that he's been working on. Then after lunch we headed down to Pleasant Valley to do some work for our Young Branch. We did some service (wood-gettin') to start and made a couple visits. It was good because we were able to share just a couple verses and thoughts, and that is were you get the Spirit as a missionary: teaching. It felt so good just to share those very simple and short things, and I think it helped them to bring the Spirit in. All the Spirit needs is an invitation, and a worthy audience, and the sweet feelings of the presence of the Holy Ghost can be there.

We had a great Sunday - R. (we taught him a couple of weeks ago) came to church to listen to one of his friend's farewell talks. But, like many people new to the church, he skidaddled right after the closing prayer. It was a very missionary-oriented Sunday though (the meetings that we were able to attend), and that always feels good because as a missionary you can feel very ineffective to motivate members to help. Of course there are many that do so so much, and you really grow close to them, but many in the church are a little unsure and shy (I was one of them) and some feel like all they need to do is be an example. Of course our example is the most important thing, our actions speak louder than words, and as PMG puts it in the Christlike attributes section- what you teach and how you teach are important, but just as important is who you are. But at the same time we must be prayerfully seeking opportunities to open our mouths or to serve or to invite. We cannot put our candlestick under a bushel. But enough of my preaching -

I liked your comment, mom, about helping others at church. I was struck in the April 09 conference by something said in a talk, I'm not sure which - I believe it's Elder Oaks one about self-less service. But what he said was that there was a brother he knew who said he no longer went to church to be passive, he was active - basically he went to church for others, he went to be a friendly smile and a handshake, and to always be looking for ways he could serve the people he saw there. That's good advice, I think - and if that were the case for all members I think that no person would ever walk away from an LDS church meeting without feeling better than before. (which is the goal, right?) I think I still need to work on that - but of course as a missionary it is easier to apply that by getting investigators to church.

Anyways - I love you all and hope that you always remember Jesus Christ and what he has done for us all specifically. He is real and leads his church on the earth today, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and he especially leads his servants that he has chosen to accomplish his latter-day work.

"see that ye look to God and live. Go unto this people and declare the word..." (Alma 37:47)

Elder Hoopes

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