Monday, February 24, 2014

Makin' goals and kickin' booty!

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Beautiful Denver Temple.  Kenz Got to go last Wednesday :)
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Not sure what the significance of the kites are..............I'll ask and post next week.  

Dad,

your quote was great and goes right along with how this past week has been! 
***The Quote was:  "Whether you think you can or you can't, you're right."  Henry Ford***
Im sure you remember on your mission when you would weekly plan and set goals for your coming week, well when Sister G. and I did that this past week our goal was to expand our pool of investigators. We were doing really well with teaching lessons but we wanted to start finding investigators. So... We prayed about it and at first we felt really good about finding 7 new investigators in our week, then as we moved on to other goals I had the promting that said "you really think thats the best that you can do? The Lord is preparing people that only you sisters can reach.. Have some faith... Try 10." So of course in my head im saying, what in the world, yeah right! We've had a max of 3-4 for the past two weeks, we are brand new in this area... blah blah blah. So I speak up and tell Sister G. that the Lord wants us to find 10 this week. She kind of goes through the same process of yeah right, the most I've ever found is 4 on my whole mission. But FINALLY, we decide to pray again and we felt good about 10. We then talked about how we could actually reach our goal, so we decided to give up all sweets (still haven't eaten valentines day candy), fast on Sunday, only talk about missionary work from 6:30 AM to 9:00PM, call president so he can hold us accountable,and pray pray and pray some more. And so the fun began! EVERYTHING FROM HERE ON OUT WAS MIRACLE AFTER MIRACLE! So on Monday, right after studies we are saying the closing prayer and we get a text message from the MTC Referral Center that gives us the name of a girl in our area who was referred by another missionary. It felt like the text came straight out of Heaven! What a way to start the week! Then onTuesday, we finally got to teach a lesson to this family who were former investigators and we are giving them a church tour today, they are a family of four. We also got a less active lady, named Linda Sue Caroll, to come to a relief society activity. She hasn't been active for 20 years! Wednesday, we got to go to the temple. It was an incredible experience, there is nothing cooler than being in the celestial room with about 30 other missionaries... There was just something so special about all being able to be there and recieve guidance and comfort from the Lord who has watched over us and his work the whole time we've been serving. It definitely gave me the reassurance and power that I needed to finish out this week. After the temple we helped Carissa move from the Thornton ward into our ward. The Thornton Elders were teaching her but gave her to us because she had moved out of their boundaries. She has just recently been divorced and that's why she's moving. We were able to help her with the move but also uplift her spiritually. She is now one of our new investigators and came to church this past Sunday and already has so many friends! Later Wednesday night we decided to contact a referral we recieved from a brother in our ward. He didn't give us an address or a name, he just said his neighbor across the street. So we pull up and there are two houses across the street, one is pretty lit up and the other was pretty dark, so we always pray before we get out of the car so Sister G. gave the prayer and we got out. I started walking towards one house and she started walking towards the other that was kinda dark. So I follow her and we end up meeting Nick, a sophomore in high school who is technically Catholic but pretty much tells us that he has no reason why besides the fact that his parents are Catholic. We talk for a good while and it was amazing. We were able to teach him about who God is and how he can have a stronger relationship with him. Sister G. hands him a book of mormon and the next thing he says is "I feel like this is exactly what I need." IT WAS AMAZING! We weren't able to set up a return appointment but we are seeing him this week. Friday, we were planning and right before we finished the elders called us with another referral! Her name is Maxine and she's the sweetest old black lady I ever have met! We have a return appointment this week with her. As we were driving to service that afternoon, the elders called again with ANOTHER referral. Her name is Jennifer Goodman and we didn't get to meet her this week but we have an appointment with her on Wednesday! Satruday was kind of a rough start, I was getting really frustrated with myself because I felt like my contribution to the lessons were very little and I wasn't helping anyone feel the spirit or progress. So Sister G. showed me this video about how even Jesus Christ, the most perfectperson and teacher was rejected, spit on, mocked, and scorned. So even in the hardest times, my Savior has stooped lower, felt worse, and been rejected so much more than I ever will. So I sucked it up, wiped my tears and we went to work. We got to meet with Helle Hill, an excommunicated member who hasn't been back in FOREVER. Apparently missionaries have tried for years to get in and she has always shut them down. So we talked with her and got to know her and then asked her to take the lessons. She agreed and now we meet with her every Sunday. This next one is the one that meant the most to us. There's a single sister in our ward named Suzy Ose, coolest lady ever! She lives with some nonmembers. We went over to her house for dinner on Saturday night and us three were sitting around the table and Jenny, the home owner, grabs a piece of pizza and joins right into the conversation. We start talking to Jenny reallly casually about what she believes about God and she exaplains how she was raised Catholic and starts talking about her family. Tears fill her eyes and she starts telling us about all the hard things she's gone through recently, like her father choking and passing away right in front of her, her sister basically disowning her because of what happened with her dad and how she's been struggling through her marriage. Sister G and I just looked at each other and knew right away that we came to Suzy's house that night because Jenny needed to know that God loved her. We have a return appointment with Jenny on Wednesday. Then Sunday night, we had an hour before the day was over and so we knew we needed two more investigators. So we were driving down the street and I was prompted to stop and knock on this door so we do, and it ends up being a member. We explain the situation and he gives us two referrals. We contact the one, they aren't home. Then we contact the other, her name was Cathy. We started talking to her about God and she explains how her faith in God has got her through so many things. She told us about how she lost her only daughter in a car accident when she was 18 and how even 13 years later she's still having a hard time with it but she's happy she knows that she's with God. We were able to have a prayer with her and set a soft return date. So even though we only got 8 new investigators this week, we have seen so many miracles. This week was proof that Heavenly Father makes miracles happen when we show our faith. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. I love seeing people's lives change through their struggles, and seeing the light that turns on as soon as they hold a book or mormon for the first time. I love being able to see people turn to God when life seems to hard to handle. ITS AMAZING. I love you Dad, thank you for loving me and supporting me always! <3 Sister Hoopes

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