Friday, May 6, 2011

James Madison University - 02/07/11

Dear Mother, (and whoever else reads this)

This last week has been crazy, it just flew by! Time goes so fast and it all just mushes into one big day and one big moment, that is why it is such a good thing that we have planners. haha, anyways... I hope everyone is doing well and that things are going good at home. :) Not much happened on Tuesday, the biggest thing was that we went onto JMU and handed out copies of the Book of Mormon and actually met a lot of people and handed out quite a few and were able to get some contact information. That was the big thing that happened on Tuesday. Wednesday we met a lot of Recent Converts and Less-active members, things went well, a good day but nothing too exciting. Thursday we had a district meeting, and it was scary because I didn't find out what I was going to train on until like 10:15 the night before, not an excuse just made me a little nervous trying to get everything ready to help the missionaries feel uplifted and edified. It's a good thing that the Holy Ghost is the real teacher! :) It went really well, I trained on conversion, and how it is the actual doing and believing of things, the action behind the testimony. Elder Shelley trained on the testimony part, it went really well and I'm really glad that it happened the way it did. After the meeting myself and Elder Van Wagoner went to teach a college student, Nathan, it was the first time both of us had met with him, but Elder Justice and Elder Caldwell had taught him once when I was in Richmond. We went in and taught him about the Plan of Salvation, we didn't plan for an invitation to leave with him, but when the time came we were talking about the Celestial Kingdom and how to get there, I brought up baptism and then invited him to be baptized. He accepted and we set a date for March 26th!!! That was really exciting especially because we totally followed the spirit on that whole lesson and just answered all of his questions and things like that. After that we had a few more lessons and then we met with Michael, who is also a college student and progressing really well! We taught him the Restoration and when it came time to talk about Joseph Smith the whole atmosphere changed. We were meeting in the chapel and the spirit is already so strong in there, and then I said the first vision and it was sooooo powerful! It is true, and he loves it, we are planning to invite him to be baptized tomorrow so keep him in your prayers if you would. Friday we had interviews with the President! President Perry is so great, and he is just amazing! I was the last one to go in our district and we just begin talking... It got to the point where he said that I intrigue him... He had a lot of questions about my patriarchal blessing and what it said about leadership, I told him and he said he wanted to stretch me even more in the leadership of the mission. Not exactly sure what that means, or when it will happen, but I think some good things are going to happen. :) Again, he is just amazing and so knowledgeable and so caring. It is great to be able to in one on one and talk to him about the district and about investigators that we have and that we are working with. Later that day we had dinner with a less-active who took us to a place called taste of thai! Wow, that place was so good. Saturday went good as well, we went to play at this rec center with Michael, we played basketball for a good while and I'm pleased to say that I can still play. I'm so out of shape though it is hilarious!! We had more lessons and then at 7 we had a lesson with the 1st ward elders. Earlier we had found this lady who wanted to learn more and she was in their area, so we passed her off to them so they could teach her. Later they found the sliver on the map where she lives and it just barely in our area, so we went all together and taught her to pass her back to us. We get over there and she is just solid, she has an amazing memory, loves the Book of Mormon, and loves what we teach. That lesson we set her for baptism on March 19th and she is sooo excited! Amazing things are happening, we are being so blessed and I couldn't be more thankful for what opportunities our Father in Heaven is giving us to build His kingdom. That was pretty much my week, and I just wanted to let you know what was happening. I thank you all for your love and support and for your prayers, they are definitely felt and recognized and I thank you. I hope all is well and I hope you all have a great week and that you stay safe and feel the spirit. :) I love you all!!! :)

Much love,

Elder Neil Hopkins

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