Friday, December 4, 2009

From Alec: October, 28, 2009

Hello from snowy Heber

Hey to everybody,

Everything is just great down here in northern Arizona. We just had a snowfall and it stuck on the vegetation and on cars - so we are listening to Christmas music in the truck. Thanks for that genealogy on the Hoopes, dad. I've wondered lots of it because there are many Hoopes down in Arizona and I've always wondered how they were related - and I love family history stories. (Besides I have some wranglers and a straw hat and soon to have a belt buckle so it's good to know that Hoopes is a "western" name) Thank you, Mom, for the package - there must have been at least 12 big cookies in there. You are the best!

Well we weren't able to get any investigators to church this recent Sunday - but we still have been doing very well, Elder Moore and I work together pretty well and we are seeing it in the success we're having.

Last Tuesday we taught a kid named D. (he graduated last year) over at a member's house (who set up the lesson even) and it went pretty well. Just yesterday we had the second lesson with him and it went fantastic. He kept all of the commitments and said he had been praying every night since the lesson - and he liked the things we've taught and accepted more commitments to read (and go on and the soft baptismal commitment without much hesitation. (For those not PMG savvy, the soft commitment: "As you come to know that these things are true, will you follow Christ's example and be baptized?" - usually done in the first lesson) He is a great kid, but if he lets it out that he is meeting with us he might get some flak from family/friends - so we'll keep praying for him. After the lesson last night we went outside to head home and it was snowing!!! Pretty neat to finally see snow again, and it sprinkled all last night. (You can still see some here and there today.)

Last week we also taught Coach S., he is a really good guy - we didn't get to finish the first lesson, but have a return appointment set. He is a social studies teacher so he probably is more interested for the sake of knowledge and curiosity, not necessarily to live a new lifestyle, but he is very open-minded so hopefully he will hearken to the Spirit of God!

On Friday we had zone conference, and was it awesome - by far my favorite ZC of my mission. Many prayers and wishes of mine were answered and the Spirit was very present there - and when we ended the meeting with hymn #2 it was very appropriate. We were taught a lot about finding - the why and who and how, and also how to use baptisms as great finding and conversion activities. President also talked about how to use as a missionary. It was all very very good

Saturday was a great day. We spent the morning in Heber - and went to eat lunch at Bulk Foods (they love us coming there) and there was this other man eating there who struck up a conversation with us, and as it turns out he wants to come to church and us to teach him - pretty neat experience. We'll have to wait a couple weeks because he left the next day (that's what he told us he would do) to South Dakota to go hunting. But that was an answer to prayers and we're both excited for him to come back to Arizona. We also traveled down to young for Saturday night and spent the night down there, and attended the branch on Sunday - it was the Primary Program, always good to watch.

On Monday we were able to teach the Hoopes again (J. and H.), and it went pretty well - they were both very attentive and answered the questions with good understanding. They are both great, just hope that they can really start attending church regularly. J. has a job for at least until spring so they'll be here for a while, which was an answer to another prayer - I personally feel that they are prepared to hear the restored gospel at this time, and pray that we can help them accept it.

So things are going very well, and we can really see the hand of the Lord in our lives and just as much so in the lives of those we come in contact with. This really is his church on the earth, and what a wonderful thing that our Heavenly Father loves us enough to give us this church, so that we can know where to go for salvation and happiness - instead of the free-for-all of opinions and beliefs that most others believe is the way God works.

We need never fear, but have love for all and be faithful to the Lord.

Elder Hoopes

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