Sister Hoopes and her new comp, Sister Harvey
|Kenzie's small district. Man, that's small!!|
This is what sisters look like after an hour and a half of
weekly planning. :)
THANK YOU FOR THE PICTURES! I LOVED LOVED LOVED it. I was so happy to see Kenyon's football pictures, they warm my heart so much! The jersey's are looking really good too! SO many cool things are happening in the branch.
So this past week has been probably the most emotionally insane time of my mission. Last Monday Sister Courtney received a letter from her boyfriend, who is serving a mission in Indiana, that he no longer wanted to be in the relationship. It was so hard to see her struggle and not be able to really help her. We spent the rest of the p-day in our apartment just writing letters and trying to talk through it. We went out to work and around 7:30 I got a call from Sister Reynolds. She told me that Jimmy Brown passed away a couple hours earlier... I had anticipated it would probably happen within the next couple months but I had no idea that it was this close. At that point we were both kind of checked out and not really sure how to make sense of things in our heads. We continued to work for another hour or so after that and eventually we both came to the conclusion that we should call our district leader and get blessings. So we did, it was amazing. He counselled me to truly study, ponder and apply the Plan of Salvation into my studies and my life. Until that experience of Jimmy passing away, the Plan of Salvation never really stuck in my heart. Man, is it real. That night I pleaded and prayed with the Lord. I could feel Jimmy's spirit so close to me and I knew that he was okay, that he was free from pain and sorrow and that because he was on the right path when he passed, his earthly troubles were over. WHAT A BEAUTIFUL TRUTH. A couple district meetings ago, and Elder gave a training and in it he said "It doesn't matter what your numbers looked like as a missionary, the salvation of Sunday night is so insignificant compared to the salvation of the souls you will bring with you to heaven because you taught them and showed them to path back to the Savior." That is one of the greatest lessons I have learned since I have been here in Broadlands.
On Thursday we taught the Jung family. Yun, a 15 year old young man, started coming to church with his friend Christian Moon. Yun has LOVED it. We later found out that Yun's dad, Ju, is a less active member. He was converted when he lived in South Korea but the missionaries who taught him were Americans and their Korean wasn't the best so Ju didn't last too long after he was baptized. Soo, Yun's mother and Ju's wife, is not a member but is interested. We were able to teach them at the Moon's home. The spirit was SO STRONG as we taught very simply and testified of the things we were saying. We invited Soo and Yun to be baptized. THEY SAID YES. Both of them came to church this week and stayed for all 3 hours. We are teaching them again on Thursday and WE ARE SO EXCITED.
Sister Courtney, this past week, talked a lot about wanting to train and what it would be like. The AP's called us on Friday night while Sister Courtney was in the shower. I answered the phone and Elder Wipfler was just making some small talk and I said that we could call him back so that he could talk to Sister Courtney. They always call trainers or missionaries with special assignments on Friday nights so that they can be at meetings on Saturday. So he said, "Oh, well I actually wanted to talk to you Sister Hoopes." MY STOMACH DROPPED ALL THE WAY DOWN TO MY BIG TOE..... He asked if I would train a new missionary. Of course, I said yes. Sister Courtney got a call after she was out of the shower and she was extended the assignment to train a new missionary as well. We went to our trainers meeting on Saturday and I felt so sick to my stomach. I was so excited but still felt so new myself. I knew what was expected of me, but I was unsure of my abilities to actually do it. While Elder Brennan was training us, he asked us a question. He said, "Do any of you have younger siblings? Do they want to serve missions?" Then he asked us, "What kind of trainer would you want your younger brother or sister to have?" THAT HIT ME LIKE A TON OF BRICKS. As I thought about the kind of trainer I would want Kenyon to have, or Hailey or Shelby, or Calvin, my anxiety started to fade. I came to realize that Heavenly Father knows each of the people I love more than I do. He knows this new sister I will train and he knows EXACTLY what she needs. He inspired President Mendenhall to choose me to start this missionary off right and in the way that she needs to go. After the meeting Sister Mendenhall came up and told me about this new sister. She said that she has asperger's and ADHD, she is on a 2 transfer mission and since Sister Mendenhall had never met her she expressed that if this sister didn't last all the 2 transfers that it was not my fault and I shouldn't worry. NO PRESSURE RIGHT??? On the way home, my anxiety started to come back. How was I going to be able to take care of this sister who would need so much extra care. Being a full time missionary is hard enough, but having physical and mental limits makes it even more so. As I kept reflecting, I thought about something that it states in my patriarchal blessing. "Heavenly Father has given you so many gifts, but one in particular, is the gift of deep and abiding love for others and a desire to serve them." I have been prepared to do this since before I was even set apart as a full time missionary. I have come to know that my Heavenly Father knows me to a tee, He knows this sweet sister as well. He knows that at this point in both of our lives, we need each other.
I picked up my new missionary yesterday, that's why I am emailing you today. Her name is Sister Harvey. She's from Colorado Springs and she is BRILLIANT. She was terrified, like all new missionaries AND their trainers are. She was concerned because she hadn't gone to the MTC prior to coming out. Apparently 2 transfer missionaries don't go to the MTC and they don't receive their endowments either. This created a little anxiety for me as well, but so far it's going great. This morning while we were studying I asked her how she felt the spirit and she explained and then she said later on, "I want to be here so badly, I have worked so hard and so long to even be here for 2 transfers. I want to do this." She started crying and I did too. THIS MISSIONARY WANTS TO BE HERE, SHE WANTS TO SERVE THE LORD! I am so grateful for the chance we will have to learn and love each other over the next 6 weeks. I think you were right when you said miracles are about to happen. Sister Harvey is EXACTLY what Broadlands needs right now, talk about an inspiration! I am so blessed and so excited!
Thank you so much for your prayers and your love. I pray for y'all too, every day. I LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU!
Sister Hoopes :)