Monday, November 28, 2016

Monday, November 28, 2016

This week was full of adventures! We got to see the wonderful people of little Searchlight Nevada! Our STLs decided to go with us to Searchlight so we could try and get some more work there and hopefully be able to send missionaries down there more often! It's amazing how many people are searching for the truth and it's so hard for us to get down there and teach them. Searchlight is seriously one of my favorite places and I hope to be able to see the people there more often. 
Chris and his family at church! That was the first day he had ever worn a white shirt and tie in his life! And he looked so good!!
My twin Eliza and me :)
 (she calls me her twin) 
This is a picture of Chris holding up a potato.. he said he was going to use that one the boys if they get too close to his daughter Eliza.. Chris is one of my favorite people and he always makes us laugh! We also got to have Thanksgiving dinner with them! Chris' brother Joey and his girlfriend and her daughter came as well and it was a lot of fun! I love that family so much! 
Sister Hunt and I had got hot chocolate the
other day because it is FREEZING here!

Someone gave us leftover thanksgiving food for dinner last night so we have a little mini thanksgiving in our apartment


And the most exciting news of the week...... CHRIS GOT BAPTIZED!! We are so proud of him! Before his baptism we went to go check the water for him and it was nice and warm! But by the time he actually got in it was cold! But just like Chris usually does he was smiling when he got out! Just like the rest of us! This family has changed so much in the last year. They have made huge changes and have done whatever they needed to do and have been asked to do to come closer to their Father in Heaven. 
When Eliza was interested in the church her grandma Trish sat in
 on the lessons just to supervise the things Eliza was getting involved in. It wasn't long until Trish was asking questions and becoming interested herself. In January Eliza decided to make the decision to be baptized. The missionaries continued to come by and teach Eliza the new member lessons and to teach Trish. Trish decided to make the decision to be baptized in April. Around that time Chris was moving around a lot and eventually came back to live with Trish and Eliza and became interested himself and was baptized on Saturday. It's amazing the influence a twelve year old girl can have on an entire family! And she continues to share with them the things she learns in church and at mutual. Trish refers to her as a sponge and loves hearing her go on about the things she has learned. I have grown to love this family so so much. They really are amazing! 

We are continuing to try and find people to teach here in little Boulder City and to serve as much as we can! 

And good news! Transfers are this week and I get to stay! Sadly, 
Sister Hunt is leaving and going back to Henderson. But I am getting Sister Foulke! She's from Oregon! I can't remember exactly where.. but OREGON! YAY! I haven't been around her much but I know a lot of people who have and they all love her and say she is hilarious! So I'm excited! 

Sister Hunt wanted to go say goodbye to some of our favorite young women and have them sign her transfer journal so we went outside and swung on their swing hammock things while we waited :) 

I was given an awesome opportunity to give a talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday and wanted to share a little bit of it with you! 

I used two talks that I love for my talk:

"To Whom Shall We Go?" By M. Russell Ballard and  "Yes, Lord, I Will Follow Thee" by Elder Eduardo Gavarret.

I talked a lot about keeping our faith strong and supporting those who are struggling. Most of my mission I have worked with a lot of less active members of the church and it's been an amazing experience to help these people remember how they felt when they were first converted to the gospel. I have seen so many people change their lives not only by stepping into the waters of baptism but by just stepping back into a church building and partaking of the sacrament. It's such an amazing thing to be apart of! :) 

A few quotes from the talks that I love:

Elder Ballard 

"For some, Christ’s invitation to believe and remain continues to be hard--or difficult to accept. Some disciples struggle to understand a specific Church policy or teaching. Others find concerns in our history or in the imperfections of some members and leaders, past and present. Still others find it difficult to live a religion that requires so much. Finally, some have become “weary in well-doing.” For these and other reasons, some Church members vacillate in their faith, wondering if perhaps they should follow those who “went back, and walked no more” with Jesus."

Where will you go to:

  • find others who share your belief in personal, loving Heavenly Parents, who teach us how to return to Their eternal presence?
  • be taught about a Savior who is your best friend, who not only suffered for your sins but who also suffered “pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind” so “that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities,” including, I believe, the infirmity of loss of faith?
  • learn more about Heavenly Father’s plan for our eternal happiness and peace, a plan that is filled with wondrous possibilities, teachings, and guidance for our mortal and eternal lives? Remember, the plan of salvation gives mortal life meaning, purpose, and direction.
  • find a detailed and inspired Church organizational structure through which you are taught and supported by men and women who are deeply committed to serving the Lord by serving you and your family?
  • find living prophets and apostles, who are called by God to give you another resource for counsel, understanding, comfort, and inspiration for the challenges of our day?
  • find people who live by a prescribed set of values and standards that you share and want to pass along to your children and grandchildren?
  • experience the joy that comes through the saving ordinances and covenants of the temple?

"My heartfelt plea is that we will encourage, accept, understand, and love those who are struggling with their faith. We must never neglect any of our brothers and sisters. We are all at different places on the path, and we need to minister to one another accordingly."

Elder Gavarret

It was the year 1975, and I was serving in the Uruguay-Paraguay Mission as a young missionary. During my first month in the mission, the zone leaders held an activity to demonstrate a gospel principle. Each missionary in the zone was blindfolded, and we were told that we were to follow a path leading to the cultural hall. We were to follow the voice of one particular leader, a voice we heard before starting to walk. However, we were warned that during the journey, we would hear several voices that would try to confuse us and get us to stray from the path.
After some minutes of hearing noises, talking, and--in the midst of it all--a voice that said, “Follow me,” I felt confident I was following the right voice. When we arrived at the cultural hall of the chapel, we were asked to take off our blindfolds. When I did so, I realized that there were two groups and that I was in the group that had followed the wrong voice. “It sounded so much like the right one,” I said to myself.

That experience of 39 years ago had a lasting effect on me. I told myself, “Never, ever again follow the wrong voice.” Then I told myself, “Yes, Lord, I will follow Thee.”

John 10:14,27
“I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep. …
 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”

What steps can we take today to “walk with Him”?

  1. Feed the desire to be a better follower of Christ.
  2. Pray for this desire that your faith in Him may grow.
  3. Obtain knowledge from the scriptures, lighting the way and strengthening your desire to change.
  4. Make the decision today to act and say, "Yes, Lord, I will follow Thee!" Simply knowing the truth will not change your world unless you turn knowledge into action.
  5. Persevere in the decision you have made by exercising these principles daily. 

 I hope someone is able to get something out of what I'm sharing. 

I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!! 

Sister Eliza Hopper 

Monday, November 21, 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

So I don't have much time! But I want to share a couple highlights from my week!
Chris is getting baptized on Saturday!! We are so so excited for him!

We are also having Thanksgiving dinner with their family on Thursday so that will be fun! They also got a dog this week..but they don't have it anymore.. haha his name was Oreo and he was sitting weird because he wanted us to pet him but we stood up and he just stayed..

The picture of the trailer park is where some of our investigators live and while we have been here it's slowly been torn down.. there are still some people living there but it will be gone soon and it's been a little sad..

The pictures of me are out by Lake Mead.. we took a wrong turn when we were out here and decided to stop for a second to take a couple pictures and Sister Hunt took some pictures of me.. haha We had so many blessings is week! We have some investigators making great progress and also a lot of less active members coming back to church and feeling the joy that comes along with that!
I hope you all are doing great! Love you all!

Sister Hopper

Monday, November 14, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

This week was an adventure! We went Pomegranate hunting Monday night during FHE for our dinner with our favorite person Eliza! And I got to use a head lamp! 

We had an awesome lesson and got to talk to some members who recently started coming back to church and help them understand how they can stay strong right now! It's amazing how much love we are able to have for God's children! 

Our member Brandi has become such a good friend and we have been helping her make her way back to church and she's been coming for the last 3 weeks! She's doing awesome! We have been talking to her a lot about what we call CPR for the soul! It stands for church, prayer and reading. We know some people that have been feeling down because they don't feel like they are doing "enough" when we see the things they are doing and are blown away by their progress. Really the only thing they need to worry about at this moment is making sure they are doing CPR and everything else will come together. 

Being a part of the church doesn't mean you are perfect. Being part of the church means we are imperfect people trying to get better and come closer to our Father in Heaven! It's the simple things that will help us on our path to Heavenly Father and make us happy! Sometimes we see other people and get caught up in the details and look down on ourselves. I love sharing with people the simple things that make our lives different because it completely changes their lives!

We also had an awesome Zone meeting this week and he STLs shared a video to us that I'll share with you. We can do so much more than we give ourselves credit for! So keep pushing forward and keep working hard and don't look back! 

A Sister shared a quote in church on Sunday that I really loved! She said "you spend 2 years (18 months) of your life working hard and then you spend the rest of your life thinking about it." This is such a precious time that I have here on my mission and I want to be able to look back on it for the rest of my life and smile at the amazing experiences I've had!

Those were probably the biggest lessons I learned this week! I love that I learn something new every day. It's such a huge blessing!
It's starting to turn into Christmas here and I'm super excited!
Everyone starts getting ready for Christmas as soon as Halloween is over and it's the best! I love Christmas! It's going to be weird this year without my family around but I'm glad that no matter where I am I have family within the church and all of the amazing people I get to meet become like family!
I hope you are all doing great! Love you all so much! Have a great week!

Sister Hopper

Monday, November 7, 2016

So this week... what happened this week? I always forget when I go to write my emails and I apologize.. haha but this week was pretty great!

Lots of highs and lots of lows.. unfortunately there have been a few sad things happen this week with a few of our members. Two of our members lost family members unexpectedly this week and our District leader and his companion lost their ward mission leader this week. In a small place like Boulder City word gets around quick too. But I wanted to tell you about a really cool story that came out of this sad week! So a family in the ward lost their son this week due to an accident while he was hiking. He has three little sisters and one of them just left on her mission in May. Sister Hunt and I were wondering how she was doing and our bishop told us a really awesome story! Her mission president and his wife went to go be with her when she talked to her parents and that same day she was assigned to give a training at a zone meeting. She decided to go forward with her training and the mission president took a video of her giving her training so that her parents could see that she is doing well. She is a strong missionary!
Heavenly Father definitely gives us strength in times of need and helps us to get through the hardest times of our life. I've had a lot of time to reflect on that story and it's an inspiration to keep going. Even when things get hard I know that I can do hard things! Our bishop was really touched by the story as well and bore a simple testimony of eternal families and the wonderful blessing it is to have an understanding of the plan of salvation. Isn't the gospel amazing?!
I love it :)
Well other than that this week was pretty normal! Lots of laughing and meeting amazing people! Including our new friend Thomas! Sister Hunt and I met him this week with one of our young men and he seems super solid! He was really nice and invited us to Play video games with him!
Haha of course we declined the offer but said we could come back and talk more about the Book of Mormon and he was really excited about it and said we could come by any time! Then we met his wife and she looked really familiar to Sister Hunt and I.. it feels like we've talked to her a lot but we just met her that one time when we first met Thomas.. sometimes things like that happen because we were meant to meet those people! It's really cool! But... I still feel like I met her sometime recently.. maybe we will figure that out.. haha but they are super awesome and we love them!
We also got to get together with the mission on Monday for Halloween!
We got together and sang like 10 different made up verses of called to serve and then we watched..... Shrek.... hahaha we were all shocked when President put that on and I think some missionaries were having heart attacks.. especially the foreign missionaries who had never heard of the movie before.. it was interesting.. but lots of fun! And it was great getting to see some old mission friends!
Well here's a picture of my pumpkin and some little corgi puppies we made friends with through a wall! Haha and the sunset last night which was beautiful! The colors are amazing in the fall! I love it! And it's starting to get cooler! It's still 80 degrees.. but that's better than 115!
Hope y'all are doing great! Love you!

Sister Eliza Hopper