Monday, April 21, 2014

The happiest day of the week......MONDAY!! :)

Carissa and her sweet children

Awesome CO sisters on P day

This one is my FAV.  This is SO McKenzie! :)
Probably the best Text McKenzie has ever recieved :)
Sounds like one crazy awesome week! I love the "Vontrap family" styled bike picture!! :) You look pretty legit in your Bee-Keeper suit too! All the pictures this week were perfect! Thanks so much Dad! And monkey bars too?? WOW! :) That's really cool! The prom group looks like they had a great time! That's so awesome! I'm really glad you had a great Easter pops! I thought it'd be really hard being away from the family since it's been my first holiday away from home besides valentines day... which lets be honest, doesn't really count as a holiday worth celebrating. It was really great though.
The week started out really great! We found out Carissa was only imprisoned!! I have never been so happy someone was in jail in my life! We were at the Bishops house for dinner and we got the text then, it had been one rough week so us, the elders and sister Pitts were all so happy when that text came! We were able to set Carissa and her son Ryan back on date for this Saturday at 9 am! WE ARE SO EXCITED, so is she of course!
Wednesday we got to go to the temple and that was a really great experience. When I walked into the celestial room I sat down and just prayed because I just needed to feel better inside, lately I've just really been struggling with being confident for whatever reason. As soon as I was finished I felt something on my shoulder, like someone was physically comforting me. I really think it was grandpa Woolley. I know I have family members on the other side who strengthen me and help me in times that are tough. It was a really wonderful experience.
On Saturday we got to go to a Mormon Chorale Concert with Robert (an investigator), Lynne (investigator), The Carrolls (less active members), and Carissa and her kiddos! It was really great, my favorite part was when they sang I Believe in Christ. I felt the spirit really strong and my testimony of Christ was strengthened even more.
Sunday was KILLER!!! The whole overflow was full, there were so many people at church!! Linda Sue and Jim Carroll came to church! It was their first time in 20 years! It was seriously a miracle! SO many people were completely amazed and they all welcomed them with open arms! The Lopez's all came (investigators). Their grandpa came up to us and said, "You are working miracles with these girls. I cant express how grateful I am for the work you are doing with them." Then Carissa and all her kids were there and she fit right in with everyone else, a lot of people in the ward knew about her adventures last weekend but they didn't treat her any different, it was great! Sister Grenfell had a 20 minute talk and she did a GREAT job! After church we were able to meet with the Lopez girls and we watched the Because of Him video, man, it was so powerful! I don't think I've ever liked an LDS produced video more in my life! They gave us these really great Easter baskets too. Then we got to eat Easter dinner #1 with Carissa and her kids. All of us were missing our families a little bit in one way or another but we were talking about it and we all said we didn't really feel that sad, Carissa calls us her sisters and she said that she was so thankful she was able to spend Easter with us. We were all just really thankful to be there together and in a small way it felt like family. I really don't think I've ever loved a family, besides my own, more. It was a really happy time! Then we had dinner #2 with a new family in the ward who doesn't have any family around. It was fun, we watched Because of Him with them as well. Then we saw the Olson's and made resurrection rolls. Neveah, the second oldest, taught us a lesson because she wanted a turn since we are always the ones teaching. It was cute! Overall, celebrating Easter was a great experience.
I know my Savior lives, I know he suffered for me in the most personal way possible. I know he rose, and that because he did, I will as well. I know that his sacrifice makes me whole, makes me better. I know that through his atonement I can change and become the person my Father in Heaven has always intended me to be. I know that Christ's gospel is restored to the earth and blesses me every day. I know that the work I am a part of is HIS work and that its the best work a person can be a part of aside from having a family. I am so thankful every day to be a missionary. I love you, Dad.
Love, Sister Hoopes

(pictures: Carissa and fam, Lopez girls, and we got flowers from an open house we hosted. We got to take them and that'll probably be the first and last time I ever get flowers on the mission ;))

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