Thursday, November 13, 2014

Here she is, Miss America. I mean, Sis Hoopes :)

***Mom's note**** Sorry I didn't have time to post last week's letter....but here is this week's :)  

Daddy-O

 This week was pretty RADDDD! We taught more investigators this week than we have the whole time I've been here. We also had more meetings this week than we've had since I've been here. On Tuesday I was on exchanges with Sister Francis, she came out a transfer before me so she's coming up on a year here in no time. She is a wonderful missionary who had a really hard time last transfer with her companion. She was very manipulative and not very kind so this transfer has kind of been her recoup time. We had a GREAT day. We found a new investigator, Lexi, who is a friend of a recent convert. We were able to teach her the plan of salvation and help her know what the purpose of her life here on earth was. It was AMAZING. Later on, we had time to talk about things that were going well with her, the companionship and the area along with things that were less than fabulous and things she could do to improve all three. It was incredible how the spirit filled my mouth and put ideas into my head that I know I couldn't think up on my own. I was able to testify to her that her Heavenly Father knows her personally, he understands all of her struggles perfectly because he was there. It was really powerful and I loved it. 

On Wednesday, we taught David and Katie, the one that has the case of bugs. They really really love to talk but we were able to simply testify of the plan of salvation and invited them to read 2 Nephi 2. The theme in District Meetings this week, was unintentionally, to make it personal. We talked about how we can "bring ourselves" to every lesson and to everything we do in a mission because that's what God has commanded of us. It was really powerful. 

On Thursday I was on exchanges with Sister Bush. She is Sister Harvey's follow-up trainer. She has been struggling with recouping from a hard companion last transfer as well and is realizing some new struggles this transfer. The night before we were able to talk for a long time about some of the challenges that she's facing. The next day we woke up with the attitude to go out and baptize! BOOYAH! Later in the day we taught Betsy, a woman who has had a really hard life and feels that God doesn't love her. Sister Bush and I brought OURSELVES to the lesson. We explained to Betsy that we had no idea what she was truly going through but that because Christ has already been through it with her, He can help. We taught and testified of the importance of prayer, not only thanking God, which is important, but also just pouring out your whole heart to Him and letting Him change her. 

On Friday we had MLC's (Mission Leadership Council) all of the zone leaders and sister training leaders get together with President, the AP's and Sister Mendenhall and we counsel. We talk about struggles in the mission and we decide as a council what needs to be done. We are trained by the AP's, President and Sister Mendenhall. It was a really great experience. It kind of felt like a piece of what the prophet and apostles do when problems or programs arise in the church, they discuss different ways they could go about it, sometimes, most times probably, it gets heated and whatnot but as soon as the prophet speaks it feels right and they move forward. I know President Mendenhall holds the keys to the Colorado Denver North Mission and as he seeks inspiration and answers from the Lord and we all follow it, we are blessed and miracles happen. He puts a lot of emphasis on counselling with councils, BRILLIANT I KNOW. 

Anyways... on Sunday we met a less active woman, Sister Packer. She's only less active because of her health. So we went over and got to know her better and shared with her how much her Heavenly Father loves her. It was super cool and then she opened up and told us that she had come to the united states when she was 22 to marry to missionary that taught her and baptized her. They were happily married for 25 years and have 4 sons. After 25 years he got involved with another woman from the Philippines and they got divorced. She is extremely lonely and only one of her four sons lives near her. She said it was a blessing for us to come visit her. She also told us that her testimony is all she needs to get through her challenges. While I was listening to her it made me reflect on how I feel about my testimony. Would my testimony be such a treasure through hard times like hers now? That was a lot of food for thought. We are seeing her weekly now and part of what we are going to start doing with her is recording her stories on our cameras then writing them for her to keep and pass on since they aren't written anywhere. We are excited and it means so much to her and I know it will mean a lot to her family as well. I am thankful to be a representative of my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am thankful for the opportunities He gives me every day to lift and inspire those around me to believe more fully in Him and in his Atonement. Its a privilege. :) I love you! 
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