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 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 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 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 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, 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 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

We had your sons over for dinner and a lesson last Friday night. We jokingly refer to it as "Date Night with the Elders"! In all seriousness, we love having your sons in our home and are grateful for their testimonies and the Spirit they bring with them each week. They are dedicated missionaries and we feel fortunate to have the opportunity to meet with and learn from them. We hope our own son grows up to be the kind of missionaries they are!

Please enjoy this picture from our "date night."


Courtney & Troy Buer
(Charlottesville 2nd Ward)

Hello From Virginia - 08/16/10

Tuesday was GREAT! I went on exchanges with the elders in Staunton and it was just so great! For some strange reason I was talking a bunch and pulling scriptures out of thin air, I was totally led by the spirit. We were just walking down a street and we saw a lady cleaning her car and we just went inside with her and had this amazing discussion about the gospel, I was talking so much it was way cool! She is a Baptist but I could totally see her getting baptized so hopefully they follow up. Also right after that we were knocking on doors and this kid rides by on a bike, so I wave and he totally just cusses me out, I just started laughing but it's pretty different with that happening instead of them just waving or something back. Also that night I had my first home cooked meal, different kinds of chicken, mashed potatoes, and vegetables, it was really good! So ya, that was just a way good day! Wednesday was an alright day, a few things fell through, but it happens, we talked to Lisa and things are still going good with her, she really needs some help so if everyone would just include her in your prayers it would help so much. The coolest thing about Wednesday was I taught someone who speaks French by myself with no companions; of course I had a translator and her husband so it was cool to be there. Taught him the restoration and invited him to be baptized so now he's just going to think about it, but the spirit was definitely there! Thursday we had a zone conference and President Perry and his assistant missionaries. Zone Conferences are soooo amazing and our mission president is so powerful, it was great to be there and just catch the vision, which I am going to talk to everyone about later. We talked with Sara Richardson after that, and she is getting so close, we talked to her and her fiancĂ© about eternal marriage, she wants to get married in the temple so baptism is totally going to happen hopefully in the near future, so pray for her too! :) We met with Natalie Sikes that night too, she is so solid and is so excited about getting baptized, she is so great and her little daughter, Harley, is the cutest little girl ever!!! Ha-ha, so good stuff there! Friday we had our weekly planning which takes awhile, but we got it done. A lot of things fell through then, but we had a dinner with Kim Willaby who is like a professional chef! The meal was amazing, some chicken on rice stuff I forget what it was exactly, but it was super good! She's going to travel around the world with her boyfriend and go cook at these huge restaurants (ya can't spell) but she is legit, but they don't want to hear about the gospel right now, so that's a bummer. Then we had a lesson with the Buer family, members, and they are so great, brother and sister Buer are so great and they love learning more about the gospel. We just talked to them about listening and asking inspired questions (pg 183-186 in Preach My Gospel) it was good stuff and they loved it, I loved it, the Holy Ghost is AWESOME!!! :) Saturday we met with a new investigator for the singles ward named Shauntay and she is progressing really well, she is set for baptism on Sept. 25th I think it is? So ya, we were able to meet with Lisa and Marcus, and also Lisa's son James who is 13 and we're going to start working with him. It is so cool!!! :) Then we had dinner at Natalie's house and it was amazing pasta stuff, talked to her about the gospel of Jesus Christ which is AMAZING, haha I love this gospel so much. Faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end, 2 Nephi 32:21 I think, I sure hope I’m right, but I don't have my stuff with me right now. So sorry if that isn't it. Sunday was good, we had meetings and I went to the family ward by myself, well with the other elders who go there, and it was really nice, Lisa couldn't make it, but Natalie was there! :) Then we had lessons with some of the single sisters from the singles ward and it went really well! Sorry this is kind of a crazy letter but I really don't have much time, I love everyone so much, study Preach My Gospel, it is amazing! Also, the vision I talked about from our mission president...!!! Everyone go to and look at it, make links on your facebook, make links to your blog, send those videos to friends everywhere, it is growing huge and it is a huge way we get referrals so it helps so much! Will you do that? "YES" says everyone! haha ok good! :) I love you all and have a great week, can't wait to hear from you! :)

With love,

Elder Hopkins

Amazing Week - 08/08/10

Dear... Everyone,
This week has been absolutely amazing! If you couldn't tell by the title of this e-mail, but yes, amazing! So after we e-mail and do all of our personal stuff we get to work again, so we go to lessons and do all that fun stuff. After talking to less active members and knocking on doors I pass out my first pass along card. Not a huge thing but still pretty sweet. Tuesday, not much happened, just lessons and teaching investigators. Wednesday, I go on my first exchanges because my companions are zone leaders and had to go to Richmond for a meeting, I'm going to talk more about my companions in a bit, but I go with Elder Carpenter, and Elder Harris, two great missionaries. We go to a little mobile home neighborhood and begin to knock on doors, not much success; I get my first door slammed on my face though! Sweet right!? Right before my companions get back, around 4 we go to the last lesson we have scheduled together, her name is Ashley, long story short they committed her to baptism! Soooo sort of my first one, but we also gave her a blessing and I was able to stand in on that, powerful stuff. Later that night there was a huge thunderstorm!! Thunderstorms are so sweet here! Even though they are super cool, it was my first power outage and it was pretty intense, so trying to plan and study that night was a little rough but it's still gotta happen. Thursday was a really frustrating unsuccessful day. Pretty much everyone canceled and we just didn't get to do much that day. Friday we had a zone meeting so that was cool, I was able to meet all of the other Elders in our zone and I had the spiritual thought so I talked about the importance of bearing testimony. It was really good. :) Not much else happened that day, a few more cancellations but it wasn't all that bad. Now Saturday! The longest, but it was awesome! So every Saturday we get to play Saturday sports which starts at 9 am, which means that we have to wake up at 5:30 am to exercise, workout, study, and plan. At Saturday sports we play ultimate frisbee!!! How great, it is so much fun to play, so when I get back home I won't miss a beat. ;) The members and leaders who play are so great and it is just so much fun! After that we have a lesson with Meagan Lake who is the relief society president and we just wanted to help her as best as we could, I shared with her the beginning of Enos talking about prayer and receiving revelation through sincere prayer. The lesson went over great! Then... The highlight of the day!!! Natalie Sikes, a progressing investigator I've only met with twice, but Elder Brockbank has only met with her twice before that, she is set for BAPTISM!!! September 18th! It's amazing and she is really confident about the whole thing and after we set the date she said she felt more relaxed and ready. It is so amazing! I was bearing my testimony about not having a perfect knowledge, we don't need a perfect knowledge of everything in the gospel because that is impossible, I said how I'm just 19, I have a lot to learn, but through faith in Jesus Christ what she KNOWS IS PERFECT! I shared my testimony about Thomas S. Monson because that was what our lesson was about, modern day prophets. Then baptism just came in! So good, we were lead by the spirit, she felt it, we felt it, oh... so AMAZING! Alright, I'm running out of time, we only have an hour to e-mail. We met with Lisa White and she is progressing so much, and Sarah Richardson is on the very edge! Pray for them please. Later that night as we were getting home there were drunk guys outside in the parking lot yelling and swearing, then some older lady was walking by and started yelling and swearing at them for being worthless, she told us to call the cops afterwards and the cops showed up and took one of the guys away. Pretty crazy stuff. Then... One of the companionships didn't call in that night, so at 11:00 we have to head out to Waynesboro which is like half an hour away and check on them. We get there at 11:30 and their car is unlocked and they won't answer the door. We throw stuff at the windows and nothing happens, 30 minutes goes by and we say a prayer. I check the windows and I just slide one of them up and we crawl in, there phone is on the couch and they are upstairs asleep!!!!! So that all happens, we get back home and finally get to bed around 1 am! So from 5:30 am to 1:00 am, it's kind of a long day, then having to wake up at 6:00. Pretty rough. Sunday was good, we got a new bishopric in the singles ward and I gave a blessing to Marcus, it was really sweet. That night, we helped moved a non member couple into a new home and I saw FIREFLIES, oh it was the coolest thing ever! But ya, so it was a really good week. Now a little on my companions... Elder Brockbank is a professional wakeboarder, snowboarder, and dirtbiker!!! He's legit; also he is the greatest missionary/companion. He is also from Sandy Utah. Elder Comer plays football for BYU, he plays corner and he is so cool, he is so bold it is awesome! He is from Springville Utah. They are the greatest and I am learning so much from them! Well that's pretty much it, I love you all, study the scriptures, be sure to pray, and always have faith, it is so important! I studied a bunch on faith today, Ether 12 and Alma 32, talk so much on faith, also read the Bible Dictionary on Faith. I love you and enjoy your week!

With Love,
Elder Hopkins