Elder Hoopes reporting from northern Arizona. This last week was a very interesting one. Thanks for the package mom, and thanks karene for putting that book together - I read it very soon after opening it. I realized how central to our familys' happy experiences and strength in the gospel goes back to Mom's mighty faith. Love you, Mom.
Wednesday was a great day - we headed out to Snowflake for the first district meeting that I was to conduct - it went very well, the Spirit was very present and I feel that what the Lord wanted said was said. It really got me excited, and even though we had two lessons cancel that day, we did a lot of work. By the time dinner came around I was very tired so I had to take a nap. We then taught the H. - we watched "Safety for the Soul" by Elder Holland. That was exactly what was needed.
Thursday was a different day - our plans got messed up because we were planning on teaching Aaron but he was feeling sick. We were still able to get some good work done, however. We were able to follow up with T. and D. - they didn't read but he expressed he still wanted to. We didn't have time for a long lesson but talked about families and blessings for them found in the restored gospel. We both have a feeling they could be investigators, ok with us coming by but don't understand (truly) why they need to do the things we leave with them to do - so we're trying to focus on the blessings they'll receive.
Friday I was pretty sick - my stomach just didn't feel good (except for a plate of food at a member's house for dinner all I had was an orange for b-fast). We were still able to teach L. - it was a good lesson, except for the fact that her family is wanting to make their getting married (which was just going to be a quick signing of paperwork) into something big and so she, and we, aren't sure when she'll get baptized. She will though - she is just converted in her heart.
By Saturday I was feeling pretty good - and that was the start of a crazy weekend. We had an RM drive us to Taylor so we could attend a meeting, then we went to a baptism in Snowflake with one of our investigators (M., S. too). Then after the baptism we had a lesson with them and set a baptism date for M. for January 30. We were pretty excited, but learned Sunday at church that her mom said that was too soon and put a hold on it. So both of our awesome progressing investigators are in limbo at the moment as to their baptisms. After being back in Heber for a bit of the afternoon we headed down to Young to stay the night.
Sunday we gave talks in the Young branch, and then headed back to Heber to catch some of our wards. Royce and Lindsay were in Sunday school when we got there - it was great to see them there. Also S. and M. were at 1st ward, and we heard later that the H. came to sacrament meeting. We were very pleased that they were all finally there to partake of the blessings of church. That night we had a mission president's fireside in Snowflake, and we had Angela there telling her conversion story. It was great - we listened to some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard, and all the speakers were great. It was slightly long though - and we weren't able to get any investigators to it.
The last day of our crazy weekend - Monday morning we had the Taylor elders drive us up to Holbrook for zone conference. That also went a little long but it was exactly what I needed. Just a couple cool statistics from last year - we baptized 1,203 people last year in the Mesa Mission. That is the equivalent of a stake! It was so neat to be a part of that number. I love the thought of putting all of those converts into a stake center chapel - it would be like stake conference! Just to think that every one there got baptized last year.
Well, after a crazy weekend running around it is time to get back to work, figure out those baptism dates and hopefully set some more and find some more people who are being prepared as I type. One exciting thing - this Thursday will be the first day of our Book of Mormon class in Heber. That night Elder Moore and I will teach it and we're hoping to get our WML's and ward missionaries and our teaching pool out to it. Hopefully as well some ward members and potential investigators.
It's wonderful the confidence this gospel has given us, if we have but faith. We can trust in the Lord and his promises that nothing will go permanently wrong, and especially that we can do what is right and be "perfected in Christ". You can always question what you don't know yet, but never doubt in what has been revealed to you - love you all,
Elder A. Hoopes