Thursday, September 30, 2010

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

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