What a crazy week, there has been a lot of things going on, a lot of fun things and a lot of frustrating and tiring things. haha, it just seems to be the life of a missionary (which I love by the way ;) ). This last week we went and worked with a lot of other missionaries... And our zone is huge! First, on Thursday we went up to Portsmouth to spend some time with them and get a baptismal interview done which was good, I got to stay in their area, do the interview and ride around on my bike! After that exchange we made the long drive to Ahoskie North Carolina!!! Wow, that place is the sticks! haha, it was really good though and much needed, they are going through some pretty hard times down there and hopefully we were able to help out. After that exchange we went later that night to Albemarle, still in North Carolina for more baptismal interviews! Itsn't it great to see all of these people preparing for baptism, it's amazing, and it's even better because we get to meet a lot of them and help them in their journey! :) So after all of this we finally end up leaving back for our apartment at about 8:00 maybe a little later even, and it is about an hour, maybe and hour and a half drive... Wow talk about fun, haha, I got to drive that day too. :) Then, the great day of Conference... What an amazing thing, I am so grateful for Elder Hollands talk at the very end, to really think about what Conference is and what happens there, just amazing! Mom, like you, Elder Scott, and Elder Robins (the one with the to do and to be) were some of my most favorites, I also loved Elder Bednars talk on revelation, and Larry M. Gibsons talk on the Priesthood Presidency and the Deacon boy. Priesthood session was just great as it always is, but we missed a good chunk of President Monsons talk because of some satelite reception, so that was pretty sad. There were so many good talks I could just go on and on and on! Again with Elder Hollands talk when he talked about when we listen with the spirit, and they teach and talk by the spirit, there will always be something that we need to hear that will impact us. These devoted servants of our Father in Heaven are so inspired I just love it, the love and care about us so much that they do all they can to listen to the small impressions of the spirit and do the best they can to follow and to act on what they receive. I know that they are called of God to lead and direct His church here on earth, and we are so blessed to have that. Mom, like you said you can't wait to get the Ensign, I'm right there with you, and President Monson told us to read and STUDY it, something I haven't always done, or have done the best of. I can't wait to really delve into what these inspired men and women and given to us. There were so many amazing talks on family, temples, charity, revelation, repentance, and the atonement... and others... It is amazing, like you said, that each time they come up with something that just blows us away... Again it is because we are listening with the spirit and our hearts, not just our ears. Transfer calls also happened last night, Elder Gill and I get to stay here in Chesapeake, but it looks like there may be some problems in the zone with missionaries staying and missionaries coming in. I have complete trust and confidence that President is sending the missionaries or keeping them where they need to be, it is about letting other missionaries recognize that it is happening for a reason. Missionaries go through so much, more than you think, and it is up to us as their zone leaders to help encourage them and give them the confidence they need to really appreciate the mantle that they wear. Missionaries are amazing... I hope all is going well at home, remember how important the family and the home is, strive to do all you can to have a Christ centered home, put a temple in each room. :) I love you all and wish you all the very best, you are in my prayers.
With much love,
Elder Neil Hopkins