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