***Before today's posting, I wanted to share with you all why all these letters are addressed to McKenzie's Father...I was asked a few times by people why McKenzie's letters are never addressed to me, her mom. McKenzie and I write to each other, however, if I posted those, it would be much too personal. These letters I post are ones that are sent to Blaine and our family in general. After I take out things that are personal (aka family secrets, lol) then these are fit for the public's eyes. Just wanted to clear that up. :) And now, enjoy!!
|Beautiful CO skies|
|Sister Hoopes and Sister ????? (Reynolds maybe??) Stay tuned for next weeks pictures and we'll see. :)|
|Goodbye Pres. and Sister Toomes, we will miss you!!|
|Sister Svedin (a sister missionary trainer)|
Since you will probably want to know where I am, I'll tell you! After the rest of this letter is typed..... now you're probably scrolling to the bottom. That's okay! I LOVE YOU! I'm always so happy to hear that all is well at home! It makes my heart glad! I would have to agree with you that Calvin is the cutest little boy to walk the face of the earth... until I have a son... bahaha! He's safe for a while! His cards make me laugh so hard and smile always! He is so thoughtful, organized and athletic! He amazes me so much! I am so proud of Chris! What an achievement! Thank you for those pictures! Candice told me she came down! She said she LOVED it and how much she loves and misses you all! I am so happy she feels welcome with you all. It makes me happy to know that you all can still be close and love each other even if I'm not there. She is especially impressed with Hailey and Kenyon. She thinks Hailey is becoming exactly like me! To some extent I agree but Hailey is so special and very much her own person. I have seen a lot of positive growth in her and I know she is becoming exactly who her Heavenly Father wants her to be. She really loves all of you, as do I! You'll be happy to know I am completely well and happy as ever! :) So for this week! We had some pretty cool things happen! We had Carissa, our recent convert, bring a friend to a scripture study class we have. We haven't started teaching him or anything, he's out of our area, but she is on fire! She is so close to the spirit and to Heavenly Father and I love seeing that in her! She is working at paying tithing and is really trying so hard to do the right things! We had mission conference this week! WOW! It was so cool! It felt like a mini MTC all over again! The whole chapel and overflow were filled to the brim with missionaries and it was so great! President and Sister Toombs spoke to us and gave their departing testimonies... Talk about a heart wrencher! Sister Toombs talked about how important is it for us to be obedient because in order to be true disciples of Christ, his image has to be seen in us and that only comes through being obedient! President spoke about who we really are. He talked about who our Heavenly Father is and how he is the God of millions upon millions of galaxies, yet we are the crowning glory of all his creations. HOW SPECIAL ARE EACH OF US?!? SO INCREDIBLY SPECIAL. That fact alone changes lives. It's changed mine. Often times I really have to try hard to remember that because the work can be hard on you in every way possible and it gets even more discouraging when you don't remember where you came from. Remembering makes you capable of SO much! It takes the fear, the loneliness and the stress away from the work. On Wednesday we go to mutual with the youth to extend invitations to do missionary work and try to get people to fellowship the ym/yw age investigators we have that attend. So we always do a spiritual thought in opening exercises and this week we decided to do the first vision. We got to the point where we were supposed to recite the first vision and it was my turn to speak. I started saying the experience of Joseph Smith and the spirit touched my heart so deeply. I started to tear up, which looking back was super embarrassing in front of a bunch of youth, but in a way I needed that experience. I was able to truly testify of the divinity and importance of that event. Everyone in the room could feel the spirit and we invited them all to think about their testimony and the things they believe and to tell those things to someone close to them this week. Hopefully they did it, we will follow up this Wednesday! But it was a really neat experience, one that helped me more fully know that it was true. On Saturday we got to teach the Martin Family again and it went really well. We were finally able to talk about the restoration and they came to church on Sunday! It was really great! WE HAD SO MANY PEOPLE THERE ON SUNDAY!!! We had three of the Martins, Beth and her son (friends of the Pitts that we hope to start teaching, we set up an appointment with them), Maxine (a former investigator), the Lopez's (current investigators with a bap date), and the Jones family (ARTHUR AND TROY ARE GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY..... BOOOOOOOOOOOOYAH)! We also had the Carrolls there (returning less actives). Brother Carroll even went out and bought a white shirt and tie to wear! The Williams, also a less active family. Carissa, I just love that she is still goin' strong! And now, for the BIG NEWS! Sister Hoopes is officially....... STILL AN EAST LAKE MISSIONARY!!!!!!!!!! WOOOOOOOOOHHOOOOOOO! SOOOOO HAPPY! Although, my lovely trainer, best friend, and mom Sister Grenfell has moved on. She is now serving in Aurora in a highly concentrated poly ward! She is so excited, she has also become a sister training leader (which is the equivalent of a zone leader). I was sad to see her go and I feel like my heart is still pretty sad but I know I will see her again, whether that's in a year when I come home or whether its while we are still here it'll be great! My new companion is SISTER REYNOLDS!! She is from England and has been out one transfer longer than I have. This is the first time she has ever been transferred so she is a little scared and doesn't know what to expect but I reassured her that she has entered into the GREATEST PART OF THE MISSION and that she will probably want to be sealed to East Lake for eternity. We are getting along so well already and I know it'll be great for the both of us! She has such a cute accent and her brother is serving in GILBERT, AZ! Cool right?!? Anyways, life is great pops! I feel so blessed to still be here, I love it so much. It's a home away from home and I am excited about this new adventure with Sister Reynolds! :) I LOVE YOU!
<3 Sister Hoopes
P.S. Other missionaries are starting to see our awesome shirts and are asking when they can have one.... The jealousy tactic has worked ;)