Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Transfers..... 12/06/10

Hello all,

This week has been a great week and a lot of things have been happening! I didn't bring my last planner so I'm gonna have to go off of my remembrance, sorry. haha, so anyways this last week myself and Elder Justice were able to set 2 people for baptism. We set Ed Young and also Kat. They are both really excited, but now it looks like Ed won't be able to baptized on that day because of his wife Judy, they do everything together and when Ed said he would be baptized Judy isn't ready for it, so they need to have a little, or big talk! Kat, we set her for January 15th, but I think we will need to move it back because I think they are still going to be on Christmas break, not exactly sure but that is the thought. Kat is so pumped, she loves the gospel, since we've met with her she has been happier than she ever has been, she believes in God and Jesus Christ and has faith in both of them. She believes the restoration, she knows the Book of Mormon is true, the only problem now is her family, whether or not they will let her be baptized. Some tough stuff to work with so if you would include her in your prayers that would be really great! :) Elder Justice has now left to Virginia Beach, and Elder Van Wagoner!!!!!!! My new companion is here!!! :) :) He is such a stud, he is from Riverton Utah (another Utah missionary here) and the best missionaries come from Utah! haha, alright I'll stop before I get to prideful, haha. He really is amazing though, he is prepared to serve, all of the new missionaries are, they are so much better then I was when I came out. More young men are preparing for their missions and they are powerful, he is a powerful teacher! He is a track star, when he goes home he will have a scholarship to UVU, it's so cool. He already speaks up in lessons and is already growing rapidly. I hope I can keep up with him! :) We are getting along so well, so we teach together and are totally unified I love it! The work is so much better when companions work in unity and we will see miracles. Other than setting Ed and Kat for baptism nothing else too exciting has happened. Sunday we had a stake conference and it was really good to see people from Charlottesville there! Also we got to see the Christmas Devotional with the First Presidency, it was absolutely amazing!! I love this work, I love the spirit, I love everything about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the blessings and happiness that we receive from it! This is all true, everything that missionaries do, all that we teach, all that we feel, it is real and it is true. Whoever reads this, let your light so shine. My studies today was on examples and the light that we all have. Be an example of the believers, and more people will believe. :) I love you all so much, and I want what is best for all of you! :) Have a great week!!


Elder Hopkins

Fun or should we say FUNNY!!!!

Apartment Elders! It's nice to see someone has good Hygene!

"We ROCK Suspenders"
Yes this is their real heights as well.

Happy Halloween!!

It's good to know that Elder Hopkins hasn't lost
the Nerd
that dwells inside of him!!

HELLOOOOO Harrisonburg

First Day of New Companionship
Elder Hopkins with Elder Justice.
This doesn't look good from the START!! Ha ha
OK so after a few days together things are looking better!
At least they are both smiling.
By the way Elder Hopkins was Sr, Companion in this companionship.
Before you get all excited with this "promotion" it basically means
He Drives!!

Elder Hopkins with apt mate, Elder Carpenter

Elder Hopkins with another Elder from their apt
Elder Caldwell from Pleasant Grove, UT

Goodbye Charlottesville

Great First Companions!!
Elder Brockbank, Elder Comer with Elder Hopkins
Charlottesville District Before Tansfers
E. Brockbank, E. Gill, E. Harris, E. Bishoff, E. Bobo, E. Hopkins, E. West
E. Comer & E. Voster

Natalie Sikes

Charlottesville was a great Area.
Nan Mosley

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving, a Baptism and Transfer Calls‏ 11/29/10

Hello Everyone,

I think I will start with Thanksgiving, Thursday the 25th. WOW, so the missionaries were able to play in the turkey bowl this year and we got to play 2 hand touch. We played the married people vs. the not married people, haha, they picked the teams. Here are my stats: 5 interceptions (1 returned for a TD) and 7 touchdown passes!!! haha, it was a lot of fun, we ended up winning, but it was getting a little intense, old people who love people get really heated then it gets a little competitive... :) All in all it was a lot of fun. :) After that we got to relax the whole day until Thanksgiving dinner, Elder Justice and I went to our ward mission leaders home, it was really great! Here are some scriptures that I looked up for the lesson afterwards: *D&C 78:19, *Alma 37:37, *Alma 7:23, *2 Corinthians 9:15 cross reference to James 1:17. Those ones are my favorite! :)
Now I'll skip ahead to Saturday... MARIO'S BAPTISM!!! We weren't able to see him at all the past week until Saturday morning, it was pretty rough but it went good. :) After we talked with him we went and got everything ready at the church. Mario allowed me to be the one to baptize him... what an AMAZING experience! I took some pictures that I can send home some time. After we do the baptism we go into the bathroom to change, he just tells me how good he feels and how much he enjoyed it! Oh it was so great! The spirit was so strong, Elder Justice gave a talk on the baptism and Elder Carpenter gave a talk on the Holy Ghost, it was so amazing and he just loved it all! :) Sunday, we were able to confirm him, someone from the ward did that while the missionaries stood in, confirming someone is such an amazing feeling as well, when they receive the Holy Ghost you can feel it, and they can feel it as well!!! Sundays are the greatest, and Sundays like that are even better! Amazing stuff. :)
Now for some more big news... We received transfer calls last night... Oh man, they are so intense, we were all playing LIFE and the phone calls start happening! Elder Carpenter got the 1st one, he is going to be a Zone Leader in Richmond, it's so cool, he is such a great missionary! Elder Caldwell is staying here (he was trained by Elder Carpenter). Then we got the next phone call. President Perry talks to Elder Justice for a little while, he is going to Virginia Beach! Then I get the phone... President tells me about trainers, in the Leadership meeting he said how training is the highest thing you can do as a missionary... Then he says that I am going to train!!!! Also, I'm staying in Harrisonburg and I'm going to be the District Leader! It's crazy, I'm excited to stay here because there is so much that is happening right now! So that is the news on that.
I hope everyone is doing good, I hope and pray that you will all have a great week and enjoy the winter season. I love you all, thank you for all that you do.

With love,

Elder Hopkins

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Leadership Training Mtg 11/22/10


Wow, this week was absolutely amazing!!! Of course I forgot all of my notes and things like that, but... I went to the leadership training meeting this last week. It started early Tuesday and went till Friday! All of the Zone Leaders and the District Leaders, then the Assistants to the President and President Perry and his wife were there, it was so amazing! I don't want to sound like I'm tooting my own horn or anything, but I'm one of the future leaders in the mission!!! :) That is a direct quote from President Perry. haha, who would have thought that. The leadership meetings started at 10:00 am and went till about 5:00 pm everyday that week. All that it is, is we learn how to better ourselves, our companions, our districts, and our zones. Pretty much just improving the mission all around. We learned so much stuff, and I'll include that in my letter home. (all the details and things like that) It was so great to go there and see what happens and learn and receive revelation and inspiration for my area and what I can do to help it improve. The Assistants and President Perry trained all of us and they are so amazing! We role played a bunch, which I'm beginning to love because being there I realized how much it actually helps. haha. One way sweet story... After the first meeting we go out and do work. I went out with Elder Duke, Carpenter, and Gill in Downtown Richmond and we had an appointment to go to, a referral to go see. Turns out she needs devils to be cast out of her!!! Really!? We go into her house and it is just all foggy (they had the oven open trying to heat up the house) and it just felt like a scary movie. She starts talking to us about all of these crazy things that are happening and how there is a devil or something inside of her. It was really creepy, she was so serious about all of this. We end up saying a prayer and talking to her about it, then Elder Duke gives her a blessing. (all of us standing up because she has no chairs in her house) After the blessing she falls to the floor. She gets scared asking if that was really supposed to happen, and starts talking to us about this vision that she sees when she closes her eyes. The fog starts to go away and we start to talk to her about the gospel. Talking to her and realizing she is beginning to change her kids come out, we start talking to all of them now. After talking to her about Jesus Christ and how her Father in Heaven loves her, her whole countenance changes. We end up setting her and her daughter for baptism, and we went in a circle and all took turns saying prayers. Whatever evil spirit was there left, and the good spirit, the Holy Ghost just filled the room. It was an amazing experience, miracles happen and the gospel of Jesus Christ is true and it will change peoples lives. Applying everything that we learned at this meeting will change my mission, it is such a good thing I learned about it all so early in. That week was just full of miracles, everyone sharing stories about what happened the last night, all of the missionaries applying what they learned and seeing the blessings that come from it. I loved that experience! I truly can't wait to step it up, I know that Lord trusts me, and He is calling me to help other missionaries and to help bring His children closer to Him. This work is divine... I know it is true. I love you all so much! Thank you for everything that you do for me, I pray for you always and I hope the best for all of you! I hope you all have a great week!


Elder Hopkins

One more thing...‏

haha, Kinda forgot a big thing that is happening this Saturday!!! Mario Martinez is getting baptized!!! It's a single adult who was baptized in Florida, but he never received the Holy Ghost. He hadn't gone to church for a really long time and he found his back awhile ago. We've been teaching him, he had his interview on Sunday and he's all good to go! I get to baptize him at 11:00 on Saturday! This area is so good! Things just keep happening and we are being so blessed! I love it. So that was all, I love you mom, I love you family!!!

Elder Hopkins :)

Stepping It Up!! 11/15/10

Hello and good morning from Virginia!!!!

This last week was so amazing! I'll start off with Tuesday, the bad day, Every lesson except for the one at 6 at night canceled! It was really rough, but the day still went alright, a lot of tracting and talking to people everywhere so it was good. That lesson at 6 we went on exchanges and Elder Caldwell came with me and we taught this less-active about patience and being patient through all kinds of trials and rough times in life. That lesson was so amazing, she went out after that and talked to a lot of her friends about it and started doing some missionary work because of it, it was way sweet to hear about that. Wednesday was the start of our "car fast" where we can't use our cars until 5:00. Lucky thing is we have a member, Alex, who drives us around everywhere anyways so it worked out real good. We had 3 lessons in a row in the exact same spot too so it worked out really well! :) Later that night we went to see Ed and Judy at 7, we watched Finding Faith in Christ, it such an amazing and powerful movie. After we watch it the spirit was so strong... but... (aren't buts awful) Our ward mission leader is really smart, he knows a lot about the gospel, and he went off for such a long time talking about who knows what, some book he brought for them to read. Elder Justice and I got to say a little bit right after the movie but then he just took over! It was pretty rough. Now for a story... Driving home from the lesson we're running a little late... the second stop sign I see a car coming so I do a little stop and go because we're in a hurry... Turns out it's a cop!!! Alex was telling us how the cops in Virginia are awful and will give you tickets for the littlest thing and find more reasons to give you tickets. I pull out the license and registration and give it to him and he asks who owns the car, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!" That's what I said not knowing if it'll help or not. haha (in Utah it would) ;) He comes back and points out that my license says VOID on it!!! Are you kidding me, when I went to get my Virginia license they stamped that in there, real good... I told him my license was in the mail, or at least it should be, and he just gives me a warning!!!!!!!!!!! I was freaking out, so I pulled over and now Elder Justice drives until I get my license. hahaha. Mom, don't freak out to much, I'm good. Driving will improve I promise. :) So ya, that was pretty intense. Now for Thursday, this is when things start getting really good! We have a district meeting and the Elder Comer and Elder Dyer come up for it. After the district meeting Elder Carpenter and myself are told we're going to ZLC!!! (Zone Leader Conference) How cool is that!? So we drive down to C-Ville right after that and do our stuff then drive to Richmond that night for the meeting! Friday we get to play basketball at 5:30 in the morning, haha it was a lot of fun! Then we went to ZLC from 9 am to 3 pm. It was such an amazing meeting, we were there with all of the leaders of the mission, the zone leaders, the mission president and his wife, and two guys from the mission board or something big like that! Amazing!!! That was my Friday! :) :) Oh ya, also there was a baptism, I missed it because the meeting went to long. Her name is Logan Douglas and she was investigating the church for 2 years before she finally got baptized, but I heard it was a great meeting. Kat, an investigator got up and bore her testimony there!!! Next time we meet with her we're planning on setting her for baptism! :) Saturday we got to play ultimate frisbee with the singles here, we're setting that up here it's real cool! :) Then we have a bunch of lessons. Sunday we have 6 investigators at church!!!!!!!!!!! That is sooooo cool! Then we had 2 non-members who we aren't even teaching! Harrisonburg is being blessed and we get to witness it first hand! After church we went to meet Mario, who is set to be baptized on the 27th of this month! His friend, one of the people who were at church sat down after the lesson and asked us some questions. She goes to a satanic church... scary! But we answered all of her questions and she is going to read the book of mormon. We find out later that night from Mario that she wants to be baptized! The spirit worked at her, it's so sweet! So ya, we also had dinner at the Alvords, they are a great family so that was really good too. After dinner we go to an old folks home and sing hymns with the single adults, it was really good and the people there loved it! More big news... I get to go to leadership training this week!!!!!!! Most of the leaders are leaving either this next transfer, or the one after that, so it looks like President is getting more ready. Elder Carpenter, Elder Harris, Elder Dyer, and myself are going to have to step up it looks like. haha, it's pretty scary but I'm so excited! (there is a good but) hahaha, so ya that is what is happening. Prayers are answered, I can see it and I can feel them, thank you so much for all that you do. Stay close to the Lord and he will bless you, read the scriptures because they are the word of God and they are true! I love you all, continue to be an example and follow the Savior. I hope you all have a good week and stay safe!

Much Love,

Elder Hopkins

Beur's Email From Charlottesville

To the Family of Elder Hopkins -

We just wanted to write a quick note and let you know how much we enjoyed getting to know your son during the weeks he was here in Charlottesville. We had such a great time during our first "date night" with the elders that we tried to have them over every week - - what a blessing it was to our family to have such dedicated missionaries in our home!

Elder Hopkins in particular brought such a happy spirit into our home. We miss his smile, his testimony and teasing him about his "hollow leg." We hope he is happy and well-fed in Harrisonburg!

Courtney & Troy Buer

Another Great Week 11/08/10

Good Morning,

This week was great, starting with Monday we went and played ultimate frisbee! It was a lot of fun and I got some good pictures on that. We went to see Melany who is less-active and her friend who had some questions. It is so cool to be able to answer peoples questions and to really clear up some confusion that they have had. Then we ended that night with FHE with the singles. Tuesday was such a great day! I love being a missionary so much... We have been so busy, we just keep finding people to teach, this area is so ripe I love it. We met with Jimmy who is agnostic, and we shared the Restoration with him, our unique message to the world. We talked with Tabitha and she had a bunch of questions about church and stuff like that so we were able to help her and we invited her to church. Ends up she couldn't make it, but she is totally planning on coming so that's really good. More lessons and stuff and then we went finding in a place we like to call Disney Land. There are so many apartments full of college students there, it wasn't one of our successful nights but we were able to talk to some people so that was good. :) Wednesday we went onto JMU and tried to hand out copies of the Book of Mormon to people and talk to them. The real highlight of that day was that night, when we met with Ed and Judy. They are amazing and I love them so much. We talked to them about eternal marriage and I just expressed my love for my family. How comforting it is to me that we can be together forever and I got all choked up, ya ya I'm a baby, but the spirit was so strong in that room and that lesson was just amazing. Ed is ready to be baptized, he is just waiting for Judy who still isn't quite ready, but she will be really soon I'm sure of it. :) Speaking by the spirit is soooo amazing, it is the greatest feeling ever and we get to experience that every single day! I love it so much! :) Thursday was good, we got to see Kat, she is doing amazing! She loves to read the Book of Mormon, she loves meeting with us, her goal in meeting with us is to be happy. That is what missionaries do!! haha, so things there are really good! :) Friday we had a zone meeting so I got to see all my friends in Charlottesville, it was great. Also President Perry was there which was great. :) We are going to be a pilot mission, here in about 2 weeks we get texting! Daily contact is gonna rock and the work is gonna explode it's gonna be sooo sweet! More lessons that night, just the usual missionary life, good stuff. :) Saturday we had a deep cleaning session of our apartment... It's gonna be the first Saturday of every month. WOW... Elder Justice cleaned the oven, and I cleaned the whole fridge area! Mom, you'd be impressed. :) It looks real good let me tell ya. haha, after that we had some following up to do, but not much until some lessons. So it was alright. Sunday, church was great (as always) we had 4 investigators there this week, and then after church... We had some following up, wasn't successful, then 2 HOURS OF FINDING!!!!!!! It was crazy, we had 3 good conversations and 1 return appointment so it was pretty good. Brace yourselves... I'm a talker!!!! hahaha, yup I love talking so there ya go. ;) Anyways that is pretty much my week in a nut shell. I thank you all for your support and your prayers. They are definitely being heard, answered, felt, and noticed. Thank you so much for all that you do. This church is true, the Book of Mormon is true, and Joseph Smith was able to translate it through the power of God. It is amazing, it is true, and it blesses peoples lives and brings happiness. We don't need the answers to every question, we just need to know that the scriptures are true and that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and we will know what it is that we need to know. This gospel is amazing... Follow the guidance of the prophets and hold fast to the iron rod, the word of God and you will be blessed. Sorry this e-mail is a little all over the place... I hope you all have a great week. Enjoy your own missionary work!! :)

With much love,

Elder Hopkins

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Halloween 11/01/10

Dear Mom....... and family,

To start on Sunday, with that guy who was there, I spoke in church... No one came up and said anything about meeting you, but if he was there he sure would have seen me. haha. So I spoke in church on..... missionary work.... haha who could have seen that one coming. I found out I was speaking on Thursday, and I was also giving a training on Friday for our district, so I was really packed up with things I needed to do, especially since we don't get to study on Sundays because we have meetings early in the morning. My training for the district was on the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion. I was able to use Elder Hollands talk on the divine companionship which was really nice. You should read that talk sometime. That went really well, then I guess my talk went pretty good, haha, a lot of people liked it. Guess what! We had 6 investigators at church yesterday!!! Sundays are always amazing, people were so excited and all of the investigators loved church. We met a girl on JMU, her name is Kat, and she absolutely loved church, she used to be Catholic and grew up and then fell away and didn't even believe in God. She has a missionary out in Argentina I think it is... She loves learning about the church and I am positive she will be baptized soon. A lot of things are happening here, before I came it was pretty slow, but things are changing, we're finding people to teach and we're focusing on their needs. It is sooo great! :) A college student is getting baptized next Friday which is way exciting and she has some non member friends that we've been meeting with. So ya, this place is exploding and progressing so well.
Justin is going to be great, I just know it, and I'm positive he's going to love being a missionary, as I'm sure all of the others do as well! :)
Sounds like a pretty sweet Halloween, a Jabbawoccee (however you spell it, mom- a jabberworky hahaha) and Eric as MC Hammer sounds way sweet. For us, we had to be inside at 6. We took some funny pictures with the stuff you sent us, and thank you so much for that I loved it! :) So ya, it wouldn't have been the most effective thing to go tracting on Halloween.
Yes, it is getting cold, haha. Every morning it's pretty much freezing and its not even winter yet! haha, but some sweaters would be cool, I was wearing Elder Comers sweaters in those pictures. Just black and maybe gray would be cool, but you don't really need to worry about those. Today we're gonna go golfing on a free par 3 course. It's gonna be a lot of fun, and no we don't play ball here. 1st reason, the court is carpet, no bueno. 2nd reason, there are only 4 of us, maybe some college students, but ya that's it.
My role is senior companion... I drive!!! :) and I make all of the final decisions. I have to be real decisive, which is what I wanted to work on the most, which makes it funny that I'm doing this now. But ya, that's all I do, the real senior companion is the Holy Ghost, so we're good. ;)
Thank you for everything that you all do, I love you all so much, Stay strong and read and pray and things will always get better. I love your letters and e-mails so much! I hope you have a great week.

I love the life of a missionary!!!

Elder Hopkins :)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Letter from Kelly Peterson 10/25/10

Hello Sister Hopkins,
Greetings from beautiful Charlottesville, Virginia! I have had the pleasure of getting to know you son and wanted to tell you what a fine young man he is. I have been so impressed with him on so many levels, I am currently going thru a very difficult divorce and dealing with the varitety of difficulties it includes. He and his wonderful companions have been a great source of comfort and support. I have received almost weekly visists providing uplifting messages, scriptures and offers to help in whatever capacity they are able. My daughter has a love of missionaries and has told me that they are "Heavenly Father's helpers." I have a testimony that they truely are. And that your son is especially in tune with the spirit and has a kindness and compassion that is profound.
I thank you for raising such a good man and your sacrifices that have allowed him to serve a mission. I can tell you first hand that he has touched many lives and will be greatly missed. He has been transferre to Harrisonburg and I'm hopeful we'll be able to catch a glimpse of him at Stake Conference in December!
Thanks again. Much Love,
Kelly Petersen
1009 Huntwood Lane
Charlottesville, VA 22901

A whole new world... haha‏ 10/25/10

Hello from Virginia!!!

Wow, things sure are different here in Harrisonburg...
First off, the last week has been crazy, finishing up my time in Charlottesville, trying to get some last words in to investigators and saying bye to members, it is hard stuff... Saying bye to Natalie was probably the hardest one, but she gave us the greatest letters and we got pictures with her which was so great! Everyone at Charlottesville was so great and I grew so close to them and it was really hard to say bye... or cya later. ;)
Thursday we had to leave, we went down to Richmond and listened to President, all that good stuff and then I left my companions and traveled up to Harrisonburg with Elder Carpenter and his greeny. A lot of things are going on, I've been able to meet a lot of people, both members, less-actives, investigators, it's been real good. Harrisonburg has so much potential that we've been finding. We've been tracting a lot, which isn't the most effective form of finding but it has been working. We go around the dorms and apartments and just talk about the Book of Mormon! (by the way we're on JMU campus area) Since I've been here we have 3 return appointments and about 10 phone numbers for potential investigators. It's been real good! :) The ward here is great, not many young adults but hopefully that will change, we're working on it. I was able to bear my testimony on Sunday to introduce myself, I love doing that, but this ward is great and the love Elder Justice, since he's been here for about 7 months he has been able to get to know everyone pretty well. :) Being Senior Companion is really great, I really get to grow and lead out... Elder Justice is pretty casual, and just staying consistent. I've really been trying to bring the fire, and he is such a great missionary, I love him and he's great at making people around him comfortable. So we're gonna be real good I'm sure of it. :)
Funny story... We set a really less-active for baptism!!! hahaha, so we're just gonna try to get her to come to church and partake of the sacrament. :) We don't have any of her records and we met with her and talking, and she brings up how she wants to be baptized... Missionary minded I think alright we can do that! I though she had been baptized as a baptist and wanted to be baptized again... So I commit her to be baptized on November 27th so we have room to prepare her for it, and she accepts! Turns out talking to her more, she said that she has already been baptized into the mormon church... So that went straight out the window. haha, but we're gonna help here to take the sacrament and renew those covenants so she can feel clean again. That's my funny story...
I just want you all to know that miracles happen and missionaries are being led by the spirit, I know it's happening because it happened to me last night while we were finding. We really found the elect and people seemed to be excited about the Book of Mormon. :) The Book of Mormon is such a powerful thing, just sharing simple scriptures with people really help them open their eyes no matter what. I love it... I accidentally left this out awhile ago... On October 14th, a Thursday I finished the Book of Mormon for the first time. Reading from the very beginning, reading the intro and all that, to the very end. I know it is true... It is the word of God, and that it brings happiness and joy. We have the desirable fruit for all mankind and we all have the opportunity to share the delicious fruit with others. Just as Lehi desired his family to partake of the fruit of the tree, I desire that for my brothers and sisters as well. They are lost in the mist of darkness and we need to help them take hold of the iron rod. 2 Nephi 8. Where are you in Lehi's vision? Think of that then think of where you would want to be and think of how you can get there, and how you can get other people there too. The Book of Mormon is the key from the apostasy, it is the keystone of our religion, without it everything would crumble.
I love you all, I desire that you will partake of the fruit. Read the Book of Mormon. By doing so you can receive Moroni's promise... "By the power of the Holy Ghost, you may know the truth of all things." Continue to be the example, do what is right and the Lord will bless you. He is bound when you do what He says, follow the commandments. :)
I love you and I hope you all have a great week... Until next time! :)

I love the life of a missionary... :)

Elder Hopkins

Note From Missionary Couple in Charlottesville

15 October 2010

Dear Brother and Sister Hopkins,

You don’t know us, but we are senior missionaries in Charlottesville, Virginia. We have had the wonderful opportunity to work with your wonderful son, Elder Hopkins. We remember when he first arrived. He had Green written all over him. You would be amazed if you could see him now. He has grown so much and is doing a super job. He is working in the Young Adult ward with us. A few weeks ago he taught a lesson in Relief Society and did a great job. He certainly has a great spirit.
He is working with two of the best missionaries we have worked with and we have worked with quite a few. He is being taught well.
We know that he will probably be transferred next time and we will be sad to see him leave. We know, however, that he will be great wherever he is.
Our compliments to you for raising such a great young man. We know that young men don’t just come this way. You can have good peace of mind about him. He is in great hands and doing a great work.

Yours truly,
Elder & Sister England

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bye-Bye Charlottesville...‏ 10/18/10

Good Afternoon!

Well by the title of the subject... I better get into the news. I'm leaving Charlottesville... :( It's rough, Elder BrockBank is also leaving, he's going to Richmond and Elder Comer is staying here which will be really good. The good news is that I get to stay in the zone, I'm moving to Harrisonburg 2nd!!! That's not all, I'M SENIOR COMPANION!!! Which is crazy, I've only been out... what 4 months? and my companion, Elder Justice, is leaving in May, he's a vet and I'm going to be senior, it's soooo crazy! I'm so nervous, but of course, those the Lord calls He qualifies, so I'll definitely be getting some help from the spirit. :) Here's the new address:

1721 Park Rd. Apt. D
Harrisonburg, VA 22802

So there ya go, send what you want. haha. So that is that big news, I'm pretty excited, I'm definitely going to grow from this experience. It is going to be hard to leave this area, but I know that the Lord's hand is in all things and He is controlling His work and He won't let it slip up... I know that area has a lot of improvement and I feel that is why I'm going there, it has potential and I'm going to do my best to help it out and help the people come to Christ as best as I can.
I sure everyone is doing good, I hope work, school, and anything else that you are doing is going well. I pray for you all and know that the Lord loves each and every single one of you. :) Even though transfers can be rough... I love the life of a missionary... I'm excited to grow and see new things and meet new people. As long as we do what we know we are supposed to we can still rejoice... Keep the commandments and you will prosper. :) I love you all, continue to make right choices and hold on the iron rod, help others take hold and help them hold tight, we are disciples of Christ, this is His work and His glory, it is divine, the plan is divine and perfect and it is up to us to do our best to follow Christ's example and have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God. I love you...

Elder Hopkins :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

•Cville! :)‏ 10/12/10

Good afternoon! (or good morning for you in the west coast) haha,

This week was a good one, as I've been saying the life of a missionary is the greatest! I love it! :) First thing is first... Eric... HAPPY BIRTHDAY BUDDY! (last week) :) I'm sending you a little something today, I was going to send it last week but I couldn't get you what I wanted to, so be expecting something. ;) Sounds like everyone is doing good and I love that, we should be enjoying each other’s company and it sounds like everyone is having fun.
So now to the missionary work, haha, on Tuesday we had our weekly lemonade stand, which is going to be changing to a hot chocolate stand! How cool is that? The stands are so successful, we get to make peoples days! People receive drinks, both temporally and spiritually ;) because they get to hear about the gospel and receive copies of the Book of Mormon which is the greatest fruit there is! :) Doing that is just so much fun, we get to meet all kinds of new people and just talk to them and get to know them, we complement people all day, mostly because this campus is just amazing! UVA is such a beautiful campus and they really do have great people here. :) After that we met up with a recent convert, Maurine, she is great and loves doing missionary work which is great, the next time we meet with her she said she would have someone there with her! Such great stuff. After that we went and visited Lisa, who used to have a baptismal date, she doesn't want to meet with us anymore but her son does! He says he has dreams of him being a missionary, it is way cool. With him meeting with us I'm positive she will meet with us as well and things will get better. Then we met with our ward mission leader of the singles ward who returned home from Guatemala doing work there. So we caught him up with things that are going on, he's a great guy and it's great to have him back. Wednesday not too much, I went on exchanges with the 1st ward elders and met with some of the people they meet with which is always great. Going on exchanges is awesome because I really get to see how missionary work is done so many different ways. When we met up with my companions again we met with Joseph Glass, a member in the singles ward, we got him hyped up on missionary work again and he is really excited to start doing his own missionary work. :) Everyone can do missionary work that is what we are trying to get the members to notice!! Thursday! (Eric's birthday) :) We had our weekly planning session... haha that is just LOADS of fun! ;) After that we met with Nan again, talked to her about the baptismal interview questions and she is improving so much! Later we met with Meagan Lake, the relief society pres. and just really focused on her needs, and then met with the Richardson’s and watched "Together Forever" with them. Old school movie but gets the point across of an eternal family! :) Then we went to institute. :) Friday we had a great Zone Meeting, my companions are the greatest, they are so powerful, they know what they are talking about, and they know how to really invite the spirit, it was so amazing and it got everyone really fired up! :) We met with Nan again and focused on her needs before her interview and got her ready, so that was good. Then later that night we met with Cara Montagna who is improving really well. She still has a long way to go but she's getting there, we talked to her about the atonement and the restoration and watched that video with her and it was way powerful and she is really accepting everything and wanting to change! :) Good stuff. :) Saturday Nan had her baptismal interview and she PASSED!!!!! She's moving right along and getting closer to getting baptized! She moved her date to the 23rd, which is a little scary she wants to move it back, but at least she has still set a date! So please pray for her and that would help out a bunch. :) We were able to go to Saturday sports finally, haha, that was a lot of fun, more ultimate Frisbee and my team just tore it up! :) We won every game it was so sweet! haha, that night we met with Natalie, and we talked to her about enduring to the end. She's been struggling with some stuff but nothing that the gospel of Jesus Christ can't help with. She's good and is still doing missionary work, haha, she is just so great! :) Then we met with Sister Kirby and she has quit smoking now for 3 weeks! She has improved so much and it is so great to see the change in her and her desire to go to church and read the scriptures. :) Sunday was great as well, as it always is. The wards big focus is missionary work and it is so great to see everyone so pumped and excited to invite people to our activities which is going to help out soooo much! Afterwards we had munch and mingle which was great, we just get to talk to the members and interact with each other, it's great stuff. Then we had to do numbers which took forever! Monday we had a zone p-day, which was so great! The whole zone came to our church and we played volleyball and basketball, pretty much it was a BLAST!!! Then we went to FHE that night where we had a bonfire and had smores and all that good stuff, it was amazing! :)
That was my week, I just realized I really ramble on about this stuff so I apologize for that. Still haven't gotten very organized about how to share everything... Like I said at the beginning though... I love the life of a missionary. It is so great and I love it. Thank ya'll ;) for your love and your support. Thank you for everything that you do and your amazing examples. We are truly blessed in so many ways and I hope you slow down and focus on the more important things in life. I love you and I wish you all the best!

With Love,

Elder Hopkins

Monday, October 4, 2010

Great Stuff!! 10/04/10

Hello Everyone,

This week has been great, a lot of time to study and a lot of things happened... mostly this weekend! :) Alright, so on Tuesday Elder BrockBank has been sick for quite sometime and I had to stay home with him on Tuesday, it wasn't completely bad... I read a lot, got a lot of studying in and I was able to right a really long presidents letter. haha. I also made this delicious chicken! :) Talk about Mr. Chef. ;) That's the excitement for Tuesday. ;) Wednesday was better, we had District Meeting which is always good and we usually learn quite a bit, it was nice. After we went to Asian Fusion as we always do! :) Good Stuff. After that I went out with the 2nd ward Elders and visited some people. Thursday there was a whole bunch of stuff going on with a family that is investigating the church, I'm not going to go into details but it was some tough stuff, a lot of stress going on in the morning trying to help them out, which we finally did so that was good. After that it was again my turn to stay home with Elder BrockBank so we learned some more, then I went off with the 2nd ward Elders again and got to play some basketball that night with investigators, it was all good, but a pretty rough day. Friday was great, we started off with weekly planning... which really isn't that great but still, after we went and saw Sister Peterson, who is going through a rough time and we were able to just go over and really comfort her and help her and her daughter out. After visiting with her we went and saw Maurine Anderson, a recent convert who just loves missionary work, so that is great! Then we went to dinner with the Jones family! They took us to Asian Fusion!!! haha oh good stuff, I haven't said anything yet... but I'm gaining wait!!! hahaha, I'm 185 now. :) just sayin. After dinner we got to go have our interviews with the President! He is absolutely amazing! I already have a great name in the mission. :) People trust me, and he told me that I am going to be a leader very soon. He told Elder BrockBank he received revelation that I am going to get stretched and that I am going to get exchanged this next exchange. WOW! haha, so after that we went and saw Sister Kirby who is just doing amazing!!! She has stopped smoking for a week and a half now and is just back on the right path with both hands on the iron rod! Great stuff! Alright now to the weekend......... Can I say... It was absolutely amazing! General Conference in the mission field is the GREATEST!!! Before I get into that, Saturday morning, before conference, Elder Harris, Elder Bobo, and myself go to meet Nan Mosely, the eternal investigator for like 30 years! This was the make or break it meeting... Either we set her for baptism, or we have to drop her for a little bit... Which is just awful. So it's the youngins who go to see her... It was an amazing meeting, I was soooooo BOLD with her and taught her the doctrine of baptism and how the Savior said: "Come follow me" Elder Bobo showed her love and compassion, and Elder Harris and myself set her for baptism!!!!!!!!! October 16th!!! It is an absolute MIRACLE!!!! That's better than great... That's AMAZING! haha, I was sooooo pumped, I still am! :) :) Alright, I don't want to go into too much detail about conference... Family I'll send you a letter, and there will probably be a letter for others, and if you write me there will be one for you too. ;) Miracles happen, the spirit is amazing. Prophets are real, and they are called of God. We have a prophet on the Earth today... Thomas S. Monson and his apostles are called of God and we got to listen to them! What an amazing blessing that is! We had 2 investigators come to the Sunday morning session, one of them loved it and the other is still really skeptical about the whole thing. WOW, those talks are amazing... I can't even truly put into words how I felt... Everything that was said was of God... They are just the mouthpieces for what He wants us to hear. They are inspired, they receive revelation for what it is that needs to be said and they follow that revelation, and a good thing too! It was cool, in Priesthood Session, the choir, I saw: Jared Keetch, Tyler Mickleson, Josh Stewart, and Cole Jolley. All kids that I have known growing up, they did an amazing job, missionaries are awesome! haha, but ya that was just pretty sweet. I would like to receive letters on the talks and insight that you received the most out of. If that made any sense... haha, that would just be really cool to see different sides of these amazing talks. I really hope you were all able to enjoy what you heard. Another 6 months until we get to be spiritually fed like that again... Its not very often we get to hear Prophets and Apostles speak directly to us, we need to treasure that moment, don't forget what you heard, don't forget the way you felt. In the scriptures you always see remember remember... Why? Because the people forget to easily, we need to REMEMBER!! Don't forget the things you've heard and the way you have felt, those feelings of the spirit are there because it is letting you know that the things that you hear are TRUE!! I know that what we heard is of God, we were all able to get something out of what we heard. I love this gospel, I love our prophets and apostles, I love every leader in the church, they are called for a reason. I love my family, another amazing blessing that we cannot buy! We need to be grateful for our blessings and thank our Father in Heaven for what we have... I love my Savior, our Savior, Jesus Christ, and I know that He truly is the Christ. I love you, I am so grateful for your support and your prayers. Don't forget, remember remember all that He has done for us.

I love you all,

Elder Hopkins

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Missionary's HOT WHEELS

An Experience Building Week ‏ 09/27/10


As it says in the title, a lot of things happened that really helped me grow and learn a lot. Tuesday is where I will start, all of the leaders and trainers went to a leadership meeting, leaving me in charge of Charlottesville 2nd ward and 3rd ward with another greeny who has only been out 2 weeks. Talk about a change of pace. The leaders leave early in the morning and myself and Elder Bobo (I met him in missionary mall before I came out) went and set up a lemonade stand on grounds. Oh ya, what else is cool is I got to drive around everywhere, which was way sweet. :) The lemonade stand was very successful and we handed out 35 copies of the Book of Mormon!!! We only got set up with 1 person to teach later in the week, but the whole thing was very successful and very exciting! :) Having someone who doesn't know what their doing makes it so I really have to step up and lead out, which is a real stretch for me, but it all worked out which was great. After the lemonade stand we got lunch and then went to a lesson, her name is Emily and she is a new investigator. We talked to her about the first part of the plan and then went into the Restoration! Such a powerful topic, my favorite one to share, and it is something so unique that we have! That went really well, again I really had to stretch and talk a lot, which helps me grow a lot. After her, we went to Casey's house, who is an investigator for Elder Bobo, she is really nice, and as we were talking to her a man with 3 different split personalities came up to us, it was really creepy but we were able to help him out, and Casey was really worried afterwards because she knows about all of that stuff. After that we had dinner and drove around trying to follow up with people, that really didn't work out so it was a little frustrating. That was really it for that day. Wednesday was rough as well, another great experience builder! haha, but we followed up with people at the beginning, and then the person we had scheduled fell through, and we only had 2 lessons scheduled that whole day! haha, not so good, but we did a lot of finding, knocking on doors, trying to follow up with people, just trying to see as many people as we could. Not a very productive day. Then, finally it comes time for our 2nd lesson (which is at 5:30) and it is with Sara Richardson. We taught her about Charity and Love, it was such an amazing lesson! Again I really had to talk a lot, but it went so great!! Using scriptures, stories, just everything that I can, oh man, it was just so great, the spirit was there and she got excited to do service. Which when you're in the service of your fellow beings you are only in the service of your Lord! :) After that we had to travel to institute and then that was our night. Thursday, the last day of my seniorness ;) things went a lot better, for the most part... We were supposed to meet with Young, a guy from Hong Kong, but he flaked out on us so we ended up teaching a member about temples! That went so great as well! :) We talked to some students around campus after that, but nothing really promising. Then we tried to follow up with a guy named Jim Price, but we didn't have his phone number, and he had a wack e-mail address. No good. Now its 2:00 and we have to go meet up with a guy named Charles... This was the highlight of the day!!!!! We go in ready to talk to him about Faith, we planned on reading Ether 12 with him and just really boosting in confidence and his faith. He had called the day before and said how he didn't want to meet with us anymore! :( but we scheduled with him and we got to meet with him. So we're at his house and I just begin by sharing how much God really loves and cares for him... I was pulling scriptures out that I didn't even remember, that I didn't think I knew but I sure did... After that little discussion we start to read Ether 12, just talking to him about it along the way. We really focused on Ether 12:6 and Ether 12:27... Everything I said... Wasn't me speaking... I knew it was the spirit, the whole time I was there, it was the spirit that was talking and I was just the mouth piece!!! This was unreal!!! The spirit was soooo strong in that home, and I know he felt it, and he knew he felt it, it was the greatest lesson! We as missionaries are really truly His mouthpiece, we are instruments in His hands... and I know that with every fiber in my being... I love it. After his lesson we go and see Nan, who is still not ready to move on, we just helped clean up her house and organize things which was nice. Then we had dinner and a little lesson with the Richardsons and with Brother Castro, then we had to meet up with the other missionaries and get things back to normal... Such an amazing experience! I know I have grown from that experience and that I learned so much from it. :) Friday Elder BrockBank was sick so I went out with Elder Harris and Elder Bobo, and it was good. Saturday, we helped with a ward service project, then Harold, who is in the 2nd ward got BAPTIZED!!! It was such a great service, baptisms are the greatest! ;) After that we had some baptismal interviews to take care of then a meeting with the Elders quorum pres. in the singles ward. Sunday was so great, as it always is, I went into the Relief Society again to help strengthen them with a goal that we are trying to establish. Simple invitations is what it is, so I went in and helped them figure out a goal! They decided to invite 100 people to activities by the end of the year!!! I know that they are so excited and that they will surely pass their goal!!! Sisters are absolutely amazing... Guys... Sorry, but they are way stronger than us, they have so much more love and they are way more excited to do missionary work than the guys are! Way to go sisters, you spiritual giants! :) :) After that we met with Adam, the guy we met at the lemonade stand, and also we met with some member sisters. It was a good day. It was a great week!!! I love the life of a missionary!!! I love the spirit that we get to feel and how we get to grow!!! This is like boot camp for life, but I wish this could be my life... I've only been out about 2 and a half months now... But it has been the greatest thing ever! I love my companions, apparently I already have a great name in the mission, people know me, the assistants and the president know me and trust me so much. That was really cool to find out... So ya, I'm definitely learning a bunch and growing a lot too!!! I want to thank you all for your support, and I want you all to know that you are in my prayers, I love you. Thank you for everything that you do, stay strong in the gospel and the Lord will bless you, I promise you that. This church is true, invite people to watch conference with you, what a great opportunity we have to listen to a prophet of God!!! :) I'm so excited! :) Listen to him, we don't get to very often so when we get the opportunity to hear him, we should take it and remember it! Again I love you all, may the Lord bless you, know He loves you and He is there for you always, He wants what is best for you.

With love,

Elder Hopkins

Sweet Home Virginia

Elder Comer is from Springville, UT.
He plays football for BYU, he plays corner and he is way cool, He is so bold it is awesome!

Greenie Hopkins with his trainers!
They are the greatest an I am learning so much from them!

Elder Brockbank is from Sandy, UT
He is a professional wakeboarder, snowboarder and dirtbiker. He's legit, also he is the greatest missionary/companion!

Where great knowledge is obtained!

Sorry as a mom I have to comment - usually I use Elder Hopkins words from his letters but really.... Is there a reason they can't use SHEETS!! I know they have them they were on their mission list. Ok I feel better now. Sorry guys

Here Comes Elder Hopkins

Boys STILL Want to Have Fun!!

Provo Temple - MTC

Boyz from the Hood at the MTC

Elder Dreyson Killpack

Elder Ryan Kimball

Elder Skylar Jensen

Elder Skylar Jensen

Friday, September 24, 2010

I Forgot the BIG NEWS !!! 09/20/10

Lucky, I got another reservation right after that one. So... The big news! Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, I get to be the senior companion over 3 greenies!!!!! All of the leaders are going to Richmond on those days for a leadership meeting, so since I'm the longest out I get to lead out! I'm nervous but also way excited! I really get to stretch myself and do new things and really be in charge... hopefully we will have the real senior companion aka the Holy Ghost. ;) but I am way excited, just wanted to tell you that and let you all know. Please pray for us: Myself, Elder West, and Elder Bobo, also Elder Augustine, but he is working with the spanish members so he's leading out on his own as well. I'm real excited for this opportunity, it sure is a time to grow and gain more experience!

I love this gospel, I love sharing it with others and seeing them change, see the light of Christ grow from the message that we have to share. What we share is true, there is no way 19, 20, 21 year olds can go out like this and change peoples lives if it wasn't true, if they didn't feel the spirit. I know, without a shadow of a doubt that Jesus is the Christ and that He lives. He is our Savior and Redeemer and He has suffered for us, so we could be happy, so we can do what is right. Don't make Him suffer anymore than He already has. I love my Savior, I love my Father in Heaven and I know He loves me, He loves all of us.

Again I love you...

Elder Hopkins

Another Week Down 09/20/10

Hello from Virginia,

So as I said in my last e-mail... I love the life of a missionary! :) This last week was great, after p-day I went with the 1st ward elders, just went around seeing as much people as we could but it wasn't the most successful thing. Tuesday was brutal! We had our mission conference, and we had to be in Richmond, sitting in our seats at 8:30 in the morning! We had to wake up at about... 4:30 (fun stuff let me tell ya) and drive over to a member’s house that was going to give us a ride. We waited there for a little bit and then finally started heading down, not a bad drive, it’s like an hour and a half or so. Elder and Sister Sebrowski (don't know how to really spell it) were visiting. Elder Sebrowski is a member of one of the Seventies, I don't remember which one, but he is way powerful. We focused on our mission, our numbers, and how we can really improve. We pretty much got rebuked but we are doing such a great job! (of course we could be doing better, everyone can) It was great though, I don't have my study journal so I can't really tell you all that was said... Just know it was amazing!! ;) haha, that was pretty much our whole day, we didn't get back till like 5:30, then we went and visited some people so it was cool. Wednesday was way cool; we went onto the grounds again doing our lemonade stand. We were planning on ending at 2, so about 3 or so hours doing this and we handed out our whole box of copies of the Book of Mormon!!!! So cool, we got some return appointments, phone numbers, addresses, it was just a way successful day! :) After that we had some lessons, a dinner and a lesson with a recent convert in the singles ward, and then institute that night. Thursday was a lot of fun; it was Elder Augustine’s birthday! (Spanish Elder) and we went out to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch! They had a deal, 18 wings for a low price. (I forget the price) So we all get 18, and there are 7 of us. Craziest thing, they don't bring out my sweet BBQ sauce and they bring out a ton of this mango habenaro (however you spell that) also this Asian zing. If you know me, I do not eat spicy things, so I did have my honey BBQ and this parmesan garlic, which was alright. I'm trying to eat the Asian zing and I am just dying... ha-ha, everyone else has the it and also the mango habenaro and they are dying as well. We all finish and there is still a lot of mango habenaro left, the Elders start saying how the Asian zing is a lot more spicy then the mango habenaro, so I'm like, alright I'll eat more! Haha, bad choice... I take half a bite of the mango habenaro and my mouth is just on fire; I don't eat spicy things, at all!!! So this spicy habenaro chicken is just killing me right then and there! That was all I could eat and I just couldn't handle it, it was so hot, then it started burning as it went down my throat and into my stomach where it sad and burned the inside of my stomach... hahaha, anyways... that was our fun time there. After that we had a few lessons. I watched a new Restoration DVD with Sara Richardson, the one who is engaged, and it was so amazing, I love talking about the Restoration! :) Friday nothing to special, we did meet with Cara Montagna who we have been trying to see since I've been out here; we had a nice dinner and talked to her. Her mom and brother are both members, the mom is Less-Active, and the brother is a stud, he's off and married, but has served a mission and is a second councilor in the bishopric in a singles ward. So ya, that's about it. Saturday we met with Torrey, a Chinese girl who is from Hong Kong, we met her at the lemonade stand, and she is just solid. :) We talked to her about the Restoration starting with Christ’s earthly ministry and the apostasy, then invited her to come to church. SHE CAME! See solid, so the next time we're going to commit her to baptism, she is so ready, she loves it! :) If you could, you could include her in your prayers. Thanks. That night, we met with Sister Kirby, who was less-active, but now coming to church every week and she is even going to the temple on the 8th! We were able to see fireworks that were going on right outside of her house, they were huge and we were so close it was awesome! Sundays are always amazing! After church (I was at the family ward this time) I met up with Tim Viar who is getting baptized in December because then he doesn't need his grandma's permission! We talked to him about the priesthood and being an example and he is way excited to receive the priesthood!! :) Later that night we go over to Brother Vance's house (who is engaged to Sara) to talk to him about Sara. Things are a little rough but we're there to help, he is such a great guy. The zone leaders took numbers while Brother Vance and I watched The Testaments! Always gets to me, you can feel the spirit so strong from that movie! :) Side note- Dad, Brother Vance's dad knew Dr. J!!! He knew him when he was a kid though, but still way sweet! :) And that was my week!
Sorry no time left, Mom, thank you so much for that story, I'll try and write more about it in my letter, but thank you for sharing that!
I love you all, continue to stay strong in the gospel, and continue to write! ;)

With love,

Elder Hopkins

Friday, September 17, 2010

Oh the Life of a missionary...‏ 09/13/10

Hello Everyone,

I sure hope you are all doing well, and I pray for you always. I love prayer, it really has a huge impact on the lives of others and is a great way (really the only way) to communicate to our Father in Heaven. What a great thing to have, a two way communication with our Father in Heaven, I say two way because he hears and answers our prayers, every single one of them, it is just so great! So anyways, the missionary life is so great, I love it and I am so excited to be out here. There are times when it is hard, of course, but I love trials, because thinking about it, we receive blessings after the trial of our faith. :) Ether 12:6, also as a missionary, you find out (or at least I have) that there are a lot of weaknesses that someone can have too! I do have quite a few weaknesses, but there is another great scripture that goes along with that. Ether 12:27, I absolutely love the scriptures and I am so glad that we are able to have them in our lives, they answer questions that we have and are always there to help us out in many different ways. :)
So the girl that I told you all about last week was set for baptism... key word... was. After we met she came to church and felt the spirit, and then went home and now she doesn't want to meet with us anymore. :( She had said that our beliefs just isn't what she believes in... Sad day. Although she didn't turn out all to good with us, she is in the records so she will always have missionaries there for her and who will always show up eventually. ;) Another person that we met from our sweet lemonade stand is a Chinese kid named Young (we don't know his last name, it's some crazy Chinese name). Young is an absolute genius!!! He is a golden investigator and I am positive that he is going to be baptized, we set him and he said yes! We started talking a little more and he says he wants to think about it. Not in a bad way, he just really understands that he is going to make a covenant with God and he really wants to work and be sure that he wants to make that commitment. He is a really great guy, I can't wait to meet with him again.
I'm so excited to be staying with my companions and in the same area, It is really an answer to my prayers. It is such a great area and things are really starting to pick up, we are starting to teach more and more singles and the ward is really getting excited about missionary work!! Which helps us so much!!! :) I ask everyone to study out of preach my gospel and you will see how even you can do your own missionary work. Be an example, do what is right and you will be blessed in so many different ways you won't even be able to tell them all! Preach my Gospel and mormon.org are absolutely amazing and the missionaries are really making a push to make these things become a part of everyones lives. Also praying, I might have said something in my last e-mail, but I'm not sure, so just remember to pray for missionaries around the world, pray for the missionaries in your area (or your missionaries who are out on missions) and pray for your own missionary opportunities and missionary work will EXPLODE!! :)
This week we were able to give a lot of priesthood blessings, every single on of them were for single sisters both in the family ward and in the singles ward, giving blessings is the greatest thing ever!!! Every male should be worthy to give such blessings in any situation, they are powerful and they work. They not only bless the person receiving the blessing, but also the one who is giving the blessing! I absolutely love it and we were able to give a bunch, I think it was just 5 in one week! :) :) Such great stuff. Really there hasn't been much else that has been happening, things are still the same, we talk to people, we teach them the gospel, we help members become and want to do missionary work, and we feel the spirit. I love it.
The Life of a Missionary... It has it's hard times, but it is the greatest thing ever!! I'm so happy, so blessed, so grateful that I have the opportunity to serve my Father in Heaven. I love it, I also love all of you, keep studying, keep praying, keep living the gospel, be an example in all that you do and you will be blessed. Good luck in all that you do and remember you are in my prayers. I love you all so much... HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!! :) :)


Elder Hopkins

First Baptism!!!! Natalie Sikes 09/04/10

Here are some pictures taken before and after my baptism on 9/4/10. If it weren't for your son and his companions I never would have gotten to that point. It was the most amazing thing. Your son is so sweet and will have great successes in his life. He helped my father with a difficult task during the building of a shed and my father later told me that Elder Hopkins was very smart and logical and "seemed to know what he was doing and the best way to do it". As you can see by the piano pictures, my 3 year old daughter is quite smitten :) She always chooses Elder Hopkins to say the prayers.
Natalie Sikes

round Two - 09/07/10

Hello Everyone,

So on Sunday we received our transfer calls! Pretty much the whole time I thought I was going to be leaving Charlottesville, but turns out that I GET TO STAY!!! I was sooooo excited after we got that call! So ya, that's what I wanted to start out with.
There is that exciting news, however, this is the real exciting news... Natalie Sikes... Got baptized on the 4th and confirmed on the 5th! She is now a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, how is sweet is that!? She is so solid and she loves everything about the gospel, she is just so excited and so happy to be a part of this church. :) Everything was so great, Elder Brockbank baptized her, and Elder Comer confirmed her, it was my first baptism and first time standing in on a confirmation, it was such a sweet experience! A cool thing about her baptism, the 2nd ward hasn't had a baptism for about a year or so, its like 18 months since the last baptism, so that's sweet. :) :)
Also, on that Sunday when she was confirmed, Elder Brockbank and I went to the singles ward and I had to teach the Relief Society... haha what an experience. I guess it went really well though, all of the sisters really enjoyed it, I taught on Recognizing the Promptings of the Spirit. Such a great subject to teach on, the Relief Society is awesome, it was my first time ever being in there but there is such a strong spirit in there, Daughters of God are amazing! :)
On Saturday, (sorry this is kind of all over the place) right after Natalie's baptism we met with an investigator who would go to the singles ward, her name is Whitley. We talked to her about the restoration and shared with her how we have the proper authority that God had while he was on the Earth. I was able to share with her the first vision, what happened to Joseph Smith after he prayed. About half way in her face just begins to glow, and she puts this huge smile on her face! After I shared that she said she wanted to cry, and quote, "I've never felt this good in my whole life" the spirit touched her and then we committed her to be baptized on the 25th of September and she said yes! Things are happening here and Charlottesville is going to explode, it's so great!
That is pretty much the excitement that is going on right now, like I said things are happening and I am so excited that I get to stay here and help out. Some of the missionaries leave today, one of the Assistants to the President that I got to know pretty well is leaving, his name is Elder Fraga, such a great guy, it's sad to see them leave but it is great as well, all of the missionaries that are leaving are so successful, not by baptisms but by many other ways. The way they feel and teach by the spirit, the way they help others come closer to our Father in Heaven, and so much more. (A Successful Missionary in PMG) I hope all of you are studying out of Preach My Gospel and your scriptures, you will be greatly blessed if you do and I promise you that you will. Also I hope that all of you have been able to go onto mormon.org. That is such a great missionary tool for everyone and everyone can use it! Well, there really isn't much more to talk about... I love you all, I love my mission and I am so thankful that I could be here now, I love my Savior, He is the Christ, He is the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, our Savior and Redeemer, and I know that He lives. He loves each and every single one of us, He gave His life for us so we could come to this Earth, don't let his sacrifice go unnoticed. I love this gospel... Again I love you all and I wish you all the best in whatever you do. You are in my prayers.

With love,

Elder Hopkins

Another Week Done Well - 08/30/10

Alright, so I think that I am just going to write about the highlights today.
First off, sounds like bishop really hit it hard with Justin, haha, that would have been pretty funny. Hopefully angel moroni waved back! ;) I'm way glad his farewell went well, I'm planning on sending him something, so it will go to his house then hopefully his parents can forward it to him.
So on Tuesday the 24th it was the first day of school! The campus, or the grounds as they say here, were filled with students. What we did is we made a survey and copied a bunch of them so we could start conversations with the students and take this survey with them. We were planning on getting some new investigators out of it, but people were running around trying to get the feel of things, we all split up to cover a little more ground, and I had some good conversations with people but that was about it, hopefully when they get all settled in it will work out a little better. The questions were stuff like: What is the purpose of life? What is your religious background? Do you believe there is a God? What is your desire in this life? End Goal? What is the bible? What is the Book of Mormon? and the last one, If there was a prophet on the Earth today like Abraham or Noah or Moses, what would you ask him? It was cool to get different answers and see how people reacted. haha
Wednesday we had a lesson with Natalie Sikes and we would really appreciate it if you could pray for here, she is now in the red zone like football, she gets baptized this coming Saturday so Satan is really working on her. She's still solid, just needs a little help and confidence.
Thursday we had a district meeting and I was prepared to talk on 2 Nephi 31. The Gospel of Jesus Christ, oh man I love it. Go ahead and read that, it's one of my favorites! After that we met with Sarah Richardson who if you could would really appreciate it if you would pray for her parents, they are making her wait a year before she can get baptized, which means she has to wait 2 years before she can get married to Thomas Vance. Crazy stuff but she is amazing and has a solid testimony.
Friday night we had another great date night with the Buers, mom you got that picture. They are such a great couple, we haven't really met their kids because they are always asleep before we get there. But they are such a great couple and they enjoy having us over which is really great!
Saturday... Happy Birthday Justin! Today I went on exchanges with a kid from the singles ward who just recently got off of his mission, we went out to crozet and was able to meet with Lisa. It was sweet being in charge and taking the lead in the lesson, it went really well. Lisa says the church is to white for her... :( sad day, but we found out that her 13 year old son wants to start taking lessons with us which is so great! Then that was really it.
Sunday was absolutely amazing! I was so nervous though because I had to teach the gospel principles class on tithing and fast offerings. Which actually went great!!! I loved it so much and I was totally being led by the spirit in what I said, it was absolutely amazing!!! Often times we look over tithing or we don't fast with a purpose, but we receive such great blessings when we do these things! 3 Nephi 24:10, great promised blessings! And then we had our 5th Sunday of the month meeting, and talked about our ward mission plan! We're really focusing on mormon.org and prayer. Praying for missionaries world wide, praying for missionaries in your area individually by name, and praying for your own missionary oppertunities. Missionary work will soar if all members did these things. Then the making a profile on mormon.org and sending videos and posting it to your facebook will work a bunch too. After that we met with Natalie, and like I said, things are getting hard, but we really helped her out and things are still good. I got lip gloss all over my white shirt because her daughter kept trying to kiss me... She is a cute little girl, but she knows how to get in your space, haha. She's in love with me... hahahaha
Well that was pretty much my week, thank ya'll ;) for your support and for everything that you do, I love you all, and you are in my prayers!

With Love,
Elder Hopkins

My Testimony - 08/23/10

I'll just end it kind of short and sweet, I love all of you. Serving a mission, even though it's been just about 4 weeks now (not counting the MTC) has been so amazing. I'm so glad I decided to come and serve the Lord. Of course there are times when I think of home, but nothing makes me happier than having an amazing lesson, or an amazing study in the morning! I've felt the spirit so strongly and been led by that spirit already so many times. I can't wait for more of those amazing opportunities! They truly are the greatest things ever! I love my mission, I love the people, and I love my companions and all others who are here with me. I thank you so much for your love and support from back home and really does mean so much to me. I love this work, our mission is exploding!!! In our area we have 20 people set for baptism this next week, our goal is 23 and I'm sure we are going to crush that goal! Now that school is starting, it starts tomorrow, things are going to change, we actually get to see people on campus and start up conversations with people! THINGS ARE GOING TO HAPPEN HERE!!! I am so so so excited (also kind of scarred... haha since I'm such a talkative person) but truth be told I am a more talkative person, the Lord has helped me so much in that and I am so grateful that he has. I love learning about this gospel, I love teaching people of the happiness that it can bring into their lives and into the lives of their loved ones. You are all missionaries as well, please please PLEASE go onto mormon.org, make a profile, send videos, and connect it to your facebook page! We can use the internet for good, why not use it!? I challenge all of you to do this, to go onto mormon.org and make a profile and send a video to one person so they can do the same! This is a new focus that the church has and it is amazing, people love it here! Anyways, I'm so grateful for each and every single one of you. I've said this before, but you are getting these e-mails for a reason, you've impacted my life and I am so grateful for that. This church is true... it is growing, People are coming to know of the things that we have known, it has to be true!!! I know it is, I know this gospel is true and I know that my Savior lives and we can live with him again! Endure to the end, grow in faith, we can never have to much faith, repent and follow the commandments and we are promised that we will have eternal life! 2 Nephi 31:20. Thank you for everything, have a great week, enjoy all of your blessings, and write me anytime you have a question or want to say hi ;) I'm here for you, my work isn't just here, I want to help all of you increase your faith as well! I love you and best of luck in all that you do!

With love,

Elder Hopkins

•Another week in Virginia ‏ - 08/30/10

Hello everyone!

Ha-ha these titles for the e-mails are funny... Maybe I'll get clever sometime and actually make a good one. Alright so we just got done playing basketball, eating lunch, and cleaning our apartment, fun stuff right!? Ha-ha, but basketball was way fun, a member comes and plays with us, and his name is Brother Bishop, um... He went up for a lay-up and I totally pinned him up on the backboard, hahaha oh man it's a lot of fun. I love these Elders, it is so much fun to just play around with them and talk about things, it's all so great! So starting from last Tuesday: We went and drew a huge MORMON.ORG (and I mean huge) chalk drawing on campus where a lot of people walk by, it was a lot fun! After that we drove around but it wasn't the most successful day, a lot of people weren't home when we were supposed to see them or they rescheduled, but that night we got to play basketball with some less actives and investigators. That was a lot of fun, just tore it up there. haha, but we got to talk to a lot of them, they are all black, so me dunking it really gained some respect. ;) but that was pretty much it for Tuesday. Wednesday we went and saw Nan Mosley, we talked to her about baptism and the importance of it and what happens after we're baptized, she says she wants to get baptized but she just won't set a date, it's kind of frustrating but it will happen when it needs to happen, she is a great lady and loves missionaries, but she definitely has her own pace. After that we went to see Natalie Sikes, who is just soooo solid! We taught her about the Word of Wisdom, the Law of Chastity, and the 10 Commandments. It was a really good lesson and we committed her to stop drinking coffee and she hasn't had any since, and she thought it would be super hard to stop! Amazing stuff!!! After talking to her we go to see Shauntay who would go to the singles ward, but as we go there we see a note on the door by her roommate saying that she has to move out! It was kind of sad but we just had to leave it at that... Then we went to see Kendra who is a member, but going through some pretty hard times, we talked to her about hope and it was a great lesson, in PMG under christlike attributes. Then we go to our new bishop’s house for a meeting, and he lives on this huge farm! He had so much land; there is even a little airport! haha then that was that day. :) Oh also, look up Josh Groban - You Are Loved! haha, it's a good song that we listened to with Kendra. Thursday we had a district meeting which was good, just talked about what's going on where, then we always go to Asian Fusion after a district meeting, which is an amazing Chinese buffet! :) :) After that more unsuccessful meetings, but then we go and see Sarah Richardson who is engaged to Brother Vance, we watched the video Finding Faith in Christ and talked about faith and increasing it, such an amazing lesson, it was totally led by the spirit which is always the best having that divine companionship with us! Speaking of that, look up the Divine Companionship talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. :) Then we went to Sister Kirby who is a less active and just read scriptures with her and made sure she understands, we also talked quite a bit about faith, so we read Ether 12 and Alma 32, some of my favorite scriptures! On Friday we had weekly planning, which always builds up our companionship, then we had a meeting with Brother Snow who is the bishops brother, who used to be bishop and just met with him and talked to him about things that were happening. Then we go and see Sister Kirby, we talked to her about revelation and how we receive it and the importance of it, lessons with members is always so amazing because we can go deeper into the doctrine. I'm going to send this one but hopefully I will get to get back on here in a minute, time ran out at the library so we'll see if I can get back on. I love you all!!!

Elder Hopkins