Friday, May 6, 2011

Missionaries are still Boys too!!! 03/21/11

Good morning!

This week has been pretty intense, and I have a good story coming up soon. haha, anyways we got to start our week off by going on some exchanges with the missionaries in Franklin, Elder Bischoff and Elder Hylton, that was a lot of fun, we know them both from Charottesville. They have been having a pretty hard time so we just went and talked to them quite a bit and tried our best to help them, so it was a pretty good time. They have a huge country area so that was really fun, really different from what I'm used to working in. Being a zone leader is cool because we get to spend a lot of time with other missionaries and go to their district meetings, Wednesday we went to Portsmouths district meeting and that was really good, later that night we were able to interview someone that got baptized just this last Saturday, also a very cool experience. :) Friday we were able to go to another district meeting, this one was in Currituck North Carolina! It is so sweet traveling to North Carolina, we got to see a lot of water and took some good pictures so that was pretty fun, the district meeting was a little different so we will see what we can do to help out that district leader, he is a great missionary and has all of the right intentions it's just some different things happening. haha, so later that day we were going to go tracting around a head-quarter referral that we had tried to contact and before we started that we were talking to the assistant, Elder Fairclough who we know a lot of the same people at home, he went to Lone Peak as well, but I never knew him. Well we were talking with him and we told him that we were going to tract and he was just like don't do that, oh come on Elders, haha so we decided not to go tracting. I agree with him, tracting is worthless, 1 out of 1000 people found tracting will get baptized. Not the greatest numbers. So we decided to go and use our talents in trying to find people, this story leads up to the story that I wanted to share, so myself and Elder Gill are pretty good at basketball so we decide to go to the ghetto and find people to teach, some young single adults, by playing basketball with them. We get to this streetball court where there are a ton of people playing ball and watching and people walking around on the grass so we decide to play there, it was super nerve racking walking up to those courts in our shirts and ties to play ball with them. We start shooting with them and we seriously can't miss a shot it was hilarious! They started asking if we played for Duke!!! haha, quote: "Hey ya'll play for Duke?" :) I start dunking and they pretty much freak out, haha, so we started talking to some people but nothing to big came out of it, we got our faces out there and was able to give out some pass along cards but that was about it. The next day, Saturday the 19th we plan to go out there again to see if we can have any better luck. Around 5 we show up to the courts and there is just a completely different group of people there so it seemed great! We walk up there and ask if we can jump in with some who where playing and they were pretty much laughing at us and saying you can step on next. I don't blame them, 2 white boys showing up to play ball in a shirt and tie with slacks on just doesn't look good. Luckily the other side of the court starts to play and we ask if we can step on with them and again they start laughing and start saying things like: "Hey look they want to play with us," or "These two want to play ball?" Then we start shooting around and then they decide they want us on their team! hahaha, they set up a game with the guys who didn't want to play with us, so we start putting our stuff down. I put all my cards and the keys down on the bench so nothing falls out of my pockets and go over to play. We play for like 30 to 45 minutes, just owning everyone who steps on the court, they didn't like us because we were seriously going to town, breaking their ankles and dunking on them and stuff. haha, so we recognize that they are just getting mad at us and no one wanting to talk to us about the gospel we decide to quit and go try something more effective. We go back to grab our stuff and everything is there except our keys... SOMEONE SWIPES OUR KEYS!!! I guess I should have seen it coming, in the ghetto and I put our car keys down, smooth move by me right? I felt awful, at least our car was still there. ;) Well end up calling the cops, they don't do anything, so we end up calling a tow truck and all this stuff, we had our car keys on there, apartment keys, mail key, church key, everything. We make a lot of phone calls and it starts to get dark while we are waiting for the tow truck. WOW, can you say scary, just before the sun sets everyone that was playing basketball was gone, a group over under a tree make a garbage fire and all these people start showing up over there to do who knows what... A lot of swearing and things like that, it was pretty freaky. Finally the tow truck shows up and we get to have it towed back to our apartment because there is no way we were going to leave it there to get stolen. The good thing is that all of this we get to talk to the tow truck guy, his name was Brian and he has a wife and a 17 month old boy. He was talking how he wanted a good church to raise his little boy in, isn't it great how things like this just happen. We tell him about our church and the great nursery and primary, how the whole family can be together and things like that. We give him a card, he shows us where he lives. Everything after that worked out perfectly to where we have all of our keys now. It's a pretty amazing story, not the greatest things happened, but we were able to meet a really nice guy and share some of what our church has to offer. It's amazing how people are being placed in our path, people who will listen to things that we have to share. Although I don't have common sense, I do have the knowledge that will bring people eternal happiness, and eternal life with their family. I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the fact that it is a part of my life. We are truly blessed to have these truths and it is up to us to share it with those around us. I love my Heavenly Father, I love Jesus Christ, and I love this work that I get to be apart of. We are all apart of the great work here, to share the gospel of Jesus Christ and to invite our friends, our brothers, and our sisters, to the knowledge that they have someone who cares for them, who loves them, and who wants them to come back to Him. Quoting Joseph Smith, "Shall we not go on in so great a cause?" Ask yourself that... Thank you for all that you do, I love you all. :)

Much Love,

Elder Hopkins

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