|Kenzie, in her natural state :) :)|
|Aren't they so cute?|
This week has been pretty incredible. Sister Harvey and I have been working SO hard. We set a goal to find quite a few people this week. We felt good about the goal, we had a plan, we knew how to be accountable for our plans and we really did see miracles happen. It wasn't in the form of new investigators but we still saw God's hand in our lives this week. We were able to talk to so many more people this week than we would have otherwise. We taught 8 lessons this week which almost doubled, in some cases tripled, compared to the number of lessons taught on average per week in Broadlands since before I was even here. MIRAAAAAAACLE...... Seriously. It was incredible. Yun and Soo are progressing SO well. We taught them this week, the rest of the plan of salvation. Brother Moon asked them towards the end of the lesson how they were feeling about baptism. He asked them if they remember the day that would be on. They both responded enthusiastically, "OCTOBER 11th." We invited them to start praying as a family, so they could know the truth of what we were teaching them. Yun asked about temple marriage and we were able to teach and testify about that. Its amazing to see the light in their eyes when we teach them, THEY HAVE BEEN PREPARED FOR SO LONG. It always feels like we are learning and growing together when we teach them.
On Friday we had a mission tour, Elder and Sister Lawrence came and spoke to us. Elder Lawrence is a member of the seventy. Sister Lawrence started off the meeting, she talked all about the House of Israel. Most of it was too deep to actually teach anyone but it helped us as missionaries understand who truly is "elect" and how we can find them. She taught us that "the House of Israel receives more blessings from Heavenly Father because of premortal obedience" We talked about that a lot and she said something that really hit me. She said "You are all here on missions because when you were in Heaven you said you would. You said you would gather Israel and find your brothers and sisters that might be lost. You signed those binding documents in Heaven and promised. Since you are here on earth you have forgotten but the spirit is able to witness to you those things. So when you think about why you're here, tell yourself, I am here because I am a child of the House of Israel and I promised long before this life that I would." It was pretty deep. I will send you my notes because trying to express everything I learned in an email just isn't good enough. Elder Lawrence taught us the importance of STRIVING. At first I thought at the mission tour, we would just get railed for disobedience and what awful teachers we were so on and so forth.. But I was amazed when he just very simply said that yes, our mission claimed to be disobedient, but how were we viewing obedience? He taught us that striving to live by the mission rules and letting our hearts accept the rules and always STRIVING was what true obedience was. It was just really great!
This week I have also learned something really important, its that when it seems like everything is going wrong and bad things are happening it really means that you are doing something right and getting so close to something brilliant that Satan is doing everything he can to stop you. We had a random person call us the other day and say, "The Book of Mormon sucks." and hung up the phone before we could say a word. At night, when its too late to knock doors but we still want to stay out, we will put sticky notes on doors that we feel prompted to put them on and they say at the top, YOU ARE LOVED. Underneath it has a link to mormon.org/becauseofhim and our number at the very bottom. We figured the people that called were ones who got sticky noted. A couple days later we did another sidewalk masterpiece. This one was probably the best of all! So we see this cop pull up and he gets out and walks over, all the while sister harvey and I are checking to make sure we have our ecclesiastical endorsement cards. He says, "I can't believe I got called out here for this but a neighbor said you all were probably drawing some kind of profanities on the sidewalk and I should come over here and check it out." We said, "Well sir, there aren't any profanities here. We are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We are really sorry for the inconvenience of you having to come out here." He was really kind and said that it was all fine and wished us a good evening. We were kind of mad at ourselves for not at least giving him a mormon.org card but anyways... We just both felt like this week in particular Satan was working really hard on us to get us to stop doing what we were doing. But we both felt like we have done a lot of good in the world this week, even if its by leaving small sticky notes on a door, or having quality gospel conversations on the way to an appointment or when we are doing service. On Sunday a couple from the temple presidency spoke in our ward and Elder Pulson said something that made me think of our previous experiences. He said, "For every temple that is dedicated, it lessens the power of Satan and adds to the greatness of Gods power on the earth." I think this is true with every testimony borne, or every word that's said with the spirit, every act of kindness, and every time we avoid temptation. Satan cannot be in a place filled with the LIGHT OF CHRIST! :)
I love you so much, Dad.
<3 Sister Hoopes