Thursday, August 28, 2014

It's Fall in the "Badlands" of CO!

Apparently Sis. C didn't believe Kenz when she told her if she didn't do her hair after a night shower, she'd look like Kesha in the morning........guess this proves it.  :)  (Like the pants, sis)
 Daddy-O!!! 

Thanks for all those really great training ideas! I hope I get the chance to use those soon!  I thought on the mission holidays and winter would be the hardest but so far I think fall is. The weather is really great here as well, its starting to cool down and the breeze feels really great. SWEATER WEATHER, FINALLY!!! BOOOYAH! 
Anyways, this week was really really awesome. Lots of funny things happened and miracles as well. On Tuesday we had a funny experience. We were contacting a referral and when we pulled up there were some young kids riding bikes and playing. We got out and I said "Hello! Are y'all having a fun time?" The little girls closest to me said, "Yeah, who are you?" I said, "My name is Sister Hoopes." She responded, "Oh, what are you doing over here?" I told her, "We're missionaries so we are trying to come talk to your neighbor over here." She looked a little confused and said, "So you knock on doors and try to sell stuff?" I laughed and said, "No, we teach people about Jesus." She kind of just shook her head and just to note, this whole conversation happened while we were walking toward the house of this woman. So we get up to her house and right after we knocked on the door, the little girl rides her bike up the driveway of the lady's house and says, "Hey, what's your name again?" After which Elizabeth answers the door so I couldn't talk to this little girl, so we talked to Elizabeth, she was on a long distance call so she asked for our number and we gave it to her and then as we were walking back the little girl was still in the driveway. I told her my name again and she said, "Oh, well my friend Mitchell has a crush on you!" SAY WAAAAAH? She rode away really fast, toward Mitchell, and yells, "I'M GONNA TELL HER YOU WANNA MARRY HER!" BAHAHAHAHAHA SO FUNNY! Then the other little girl playing with them says, "No, that's so mean!" As if we can't hear any of this conversation... It was really really funny. 
On Thursday Sister Courtney and I were giving trainings in district meeting. Our district is really small, we have us and the district leader and his companion. SUPER LITTLE. Usually the zone leaders come though, which makes it a lot better. We were able to train on how to HELP investigators resolve their concerns and how to help them to progress. Sister Courtney took the first topic and did a really great job. She emphasized that we should allow the investigator to learn to find their own answers and resolve their own concerns through prayer and scripture study. Then I trained on how to help and investigator to progress. I loved studying this topic. I was able to learn a lot from the spirit. My emphasis on this topic was that in everything we do, including helping others come closer to Christ, we should be using the spirit. I focused a lot on the scriptures, especially the conversion stories of the Book of Mormon prophets, who were ALL converted by the power of the spirit and used that spirit to convert others. In Doctrine and Covenants it says that the spirit is the only thing that can convert and if we try to convert by any other way, its not of God. (D&C 50) So that went really well and everyone that was there learned a lot about how to help their specific investigators and themselves. 
The next day we taught Ginny, an investigator that we have only been able to meet with one other time this transfer. She has been investigating for 8 months and still hasn't committed to baptism. Sister Courtney has spent her whole 4.5 months here trying to figure it out. When we met with Ginny this week we followed up on how her reading went and she told us that she was reading in the pearl of great price and that she was learning a lot. We then read with her Moroni 7, which talks about baptism. At the end we asked what she had learned. She expressed that she knew we wanted her to get baptized but she felt like God hadn't given her an answer yet and that if she prayed about a day that it would be "bribing" God. We explained that her Heavenly Father loved her and would answer her prayers, that baptism is the way he wants us to go.... yati yati... But then her REAL concern came out. Ginny is a PRO at asking hard questions, so she brought up the fact that because she was the newbie and wasn't a member, people were okay with her asking questions. She was afraid that once she was a member she wouldn't be able to ask questions anymore. We had a HOLD THE PHONE moment. We explained that if we never asked questions we wouldn't be able to progress in the gospel or gain testimonies. We explained that by asking questions it allows the spirit to tell us things are true and for Heavenly Father to answer our prayers. We also explained though that we can't let doubts effect the faith that we have already. We took pieces from President Uchtdorf's talk when he said, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." It was a really great lesson and Ginny came to church this week for the first time in a month and a half. We are hoping to set her on date for baptism this week. 
We are singing with the youth this coming Sunday, the last Sunday of the transfer, we are having three youth of the ward play musical instruments. On Friday we helped Cole Hardy (piano) and Kyle Bodine (cello) practice. Cole hadn't played with the whole group yet and hasn't ever performed with a group of singers. Sister Courtney and I sang while they played so they could get used to practicing with voices. Throughout the practice they became more and more comfortable with the music. At the end we were able to read the scripture that the song was made from and relate it to them. We helped them to know that the enabling power of the Atonement would help them with their nerves or with their self doubt. It was a really encouraging experience for them and even if its a little bit harder to get the adults on board, from that, we have two really great young men on board who are coming closer to Christ. It was really neat. 
We were able to go to the temple this week. It was awesome. Sister Pitts and Sister Reynolds were there so I got to hug them both and talk with them briefly, it was amazing. We are anticipating another great week, with it being the last week of the transfer. This Friday our district is being trained on how to do family history, we're excited about that. We also have a few good appointments set. THINGS ARE GOING GREAT IN THE BADLANDS!!! :) Thank you so much for all your prayers and all your love. I feel more strength from the family than you could even imagine! I LOVE YOU.

<3 SISTER HOOPES

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