Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013


Dear family and loved ones,

 

As Elder Kevin once said,

"We're going home."

 

PEACE.

 

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013

Hello family!

Much like Elder Hopper #2, I had a very uneventful week. However, I had a cool experience on Saturday night. 

There's an Elder here named Elder Black, from Utah. He is a executive secretary right now with Elder Wilson, another good friend of mine. He plays piano incredibly well, and I thoroughly enjoy listening to him play, even when he's just messing around. On Saturday, Elder Black and Elder Wilson had a baptism in our chapel, so we had to go open it up for them and we hung around to watch it. The assistants also tagged along, and after the baptism we all stayed around talking. Then Elder Black decided to play piano, which lead to all of us singing hymns. It was really nice to be able to sing a bit in a group of people who know how to sing. After we sang a bit, Elder Black played a rendition of "If You Could Hie to Kolob" and "Come Thou Fount." I felt the spirit really strong while he was playing, and had a bit of time to just reflect. It's been a while since I've been able to do that. I realized how easy it is for us to become ungrateful for everything that we have. We have soooo many blessings that we don't even realize sometimes. We are such a blessed people! 

Well, I've got a week left. The end came fast. Next week I might email, I might not. I still haven't decided. We'll spend some time here in Piracicaba then probably take a taxi out to São Paulo to catch our flight at 11:35 PM... Gotta love red-eye flights!

I love you all! Have a great week! See you next Tuesday!

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013


Helllooo everyone! 

This week was rather uneventful. However, I arrived in my new area, with Elder Farias. We are now in Piracicaba 2nd ward. I thought that I was going to be junior companion, but when we got here, I found out that I am still a district leader. My whole purpose here is to train my companion to be a district leader, actually. We got here together, and once again there was no work in the area. We have to find all new people and try to get the work started again. There aren't even any records in the area book since September... So this week we just went after old investigators and a couple of referrals we got from the mission office. Hopefully this next week we can have a bit more success!!

So President transferred my who group to Piracicaba to be able to make the whole going home thing easier. So this is the first time I'm in a zone with Elder Welch (my companion from the MTC) and Elder Russel (another from my group) and second time with Elder Marler. I really didn't have much of a chance to get to know the Elders from my group, and finally at the end I do. Interesting how that works. 

Well, not much else has happened this week. I'll try to do something more exciting next week so I can tell you guys all about it. 

I love you all! Have a great week!

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013


Hello family!

 

This week, was reaaallly exciting!

 

We did absolutely nothing.

 

Both me and my companion have been sick since last Tuesday and have been unable to work full-force since then. We are getting better, taking some medicine, and trying to rest it off, but it's a slow process. 

 

So that family I told you guys about last week; Maria, Jonathan, and Rosana, They decided to not be baptized this week. They felt like they didn't have enough time to prepare and they kept missing appointments and marking for other days. So with that moleza combined with our sickness, we were unable to get them baptized this week. A sad ending, but hopefully Elder Galleguillos can get them back.

 

Remember Everton that I told you guys about two weeks ago? He went to church this week! He tried to sleep through it and not come with us, but we made his dad wake him up.

 

This week we have transfers, and I'm leaving the area. I'm not sure where I'm going yet, or with who, or what I will be, but I'm pretty sure I'll be junior companion. Not because I did something wrong, but because my group is leaving in the middle of the next transfer, so it's just easier to do that with us than keep us as ZL. I'll find out later today where I will go and all that. I'll only stay there for three weeks....

 

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

 

Love,

Elder Hopper #1

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November 6, 2013


Heeeeellllo everyone!

 

I officially had my last conselho de liderança on my mission. Looks like next transfer (which comes up here in a week) I'll be put down to junior companion to be able to simplify the transfer, since I'll be going home in the middle of it. Which means I get to work and not worry about leadership responsibilities for the last three weeks of my mission!

 

This week we had a couple of good things happen. The other Elders who live with us baptized, which is really good for them. They're both very new on the mission and were kind of discouraged when they got here, but these two baptisms helped them, and the ward, out a ton. We also marked three baptisms for this weekend, but we'll see if they go through. We'll need prayers in our direction! It's a great family that had been taught about a year ago but they had problems with police and the law and junk. So now they're all good to go and want to be baptized! They're names are Maria, Rosana, and Jonathan. 

 

So me and my companion must've ate something bad on Monday, because we're both sick... We're hoping to be able to work this last week we have guaranteed together, but we're spending a looooot of time in the bathroom recently. So hopefully we'll get better soon so we can work and stop wasting our time in the bathroom! 

 

That's about all the exciting stuff I got for this week... Lack of interesting things to talk about because of the time I have on the mission... less than 4 weeks left? Interesting, neh?

 

And as The Potato says, "Give full order peace love power."

 

I love you all!

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013


Hello everyone!

 

This week was pretty good for us. We had a good amount of success, but it'll be building for the next couple of weeks. We've finally figured out how to work well in this city. Every place has it's own difficulties, and here it's been finding good people to teach. We've decided to follow the apostles' advice (go figure) to keep the chapel open. So what we did the majority of this week, was we sat in front of the church, inviting people to come in and visit, just to see what the chapel is like. Most of the people we talk to accept, and then we have the chance to show them around while talking about our beliefs. It's rare for the people to not allow us to get their address to go to their houses. So this week we'll spend a good amount of time going to the houses of these people and all that good stuff.

 


We also are going to a couple of English schools in the area to help out and to find some people that are willing to hear the gospel. This last week, we met a guy named Everton at one of the classes who is really cool. We went to his house on Saturday to talk to him a bit and invite him to an activity at the church that night. He accepted to go to the activity and liked it a lot. He goes to the quadrangular church, which I'm pretty sure is the four square church in the States, and lives with a pastor from a Baptist church. Interesting combination. But he seems really interested in the gospel and wanted to come to church on Sunday but had already promised someone else that he would help them out with their car. So we'll invite him this week! He seems pretty promising.

 

That's all I got this week! Hope you all have a good one! 5 weeks left!

 

Love you all!

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013


Hello family!

 

This week was another roller-coaster of emotions, and looks like it won't be the last. Let's start with Maria.

 

Well, you all remember the story I told last week. We were ready to leave Maria and never teach her again. But we decided to try again with her. So we went to her house on Tuesday and invited her to a Family Home Evening with her son and his wife the next day. We went, and it was all great. We had a good time and we were all happy. On the way home, (a member gave us and her a ride home) we were talking about baptism and how she felt terrible that she hadn't been baptized last Saturday. Then she told us to to mark her baptism for Saturday. So we did! We visited her again on Friday and she was all excited to be baptized and all. Then on Saturday, we got a call from her while we were helping out at an English school. She didn't want to be baptized anymore. Her mom was having health problems and she had to bring her to the hospital, and Maria had been asking people if she should be baptized or not... And they obviously said no. So we went to the hospital. When we got there, Maria's mom was about to get let out already, so we waited for them, and planned to get Maria a ride home and talk to her in the car. We had parked the car in front of the church because it's close to the hospital, so we went there with Maria. We stood outside of the church just talking to her for a while about everything, and she got mad at us (we really didn't do anything to make her mad) and started walking away. She didn't even want a ride home anymore. So she stormed off and we sat there... and tried to figure out what had just happened. Well, we still don't know. But we went inside the church to drown our sorrows in the chocolate cake we had made for her. Which turned out pretty good, by the way. So we aren't going to go back to Maria's house anymore. We'll wait for her to call us.

 

We had a good experience, too! On Thursday we had a multi-zone conference. For part of the conference, President Canuto wanted to do a live practice. So the zone leaders (us) had to go out and find some people to teach! We went out and walked around a park a bit, talking with everyone there, but everyone was on lunch break about to go back to work. But then we talked to a guy named Caio. He was also on lunch break, and had 5 minutes to be back to work. We told him we would only need him for about 20 minutes, and he said, "I have to go back to work... but something is telling me I need to go with you guys." So he went with us! He ended up being about an hour late for work, but it was a really good experience for us and for him. He is really ready to hear the gospel. The bummer is that he doesn't live in our area... Or even the stake. So we won't hear about how it goes with him until a lot later. But it was a great experience!

 

Well, that's the exciting stuff for this week. I hope you all have a great week this week! I love you all!

 

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013


Hello family!

 

This week we actually got to work. And it was hoooooot. But we're working, so that doesn't matter!

We knocked on a door this week and the guy opened the door, walked to the gate, and said, "are you guys Americans?" Which we responded in the affirmative, and he said that he lives in Texas. He came here to visit his family for a bit, but he's going right back to Texas to his family. It was a pretty cool conversation, and interesting how it all worked out. But he didn't want to let us into his house. So that was a bummer.

 

The major happenings for this week were that we worked quite a bit with a lady named Maria. Her son, Janio, is a member of the church since about three years ago, and Maria was never able to be baptized because she smokes. But she wants to be baptized and knows that the church is true. So we went to her house on Tuesday, talked a bit about baptism and the church and all, and marked to return on Thursday. We went there, and the spirit was SUPER strong in the lesson. We made promises to her, gave her a blessing, and invited her to be baptized on Saturday. We returned on Friday to do the baptismal interview, and she had decided that she wasn't going to be baptized again. We asked if she had been praying and reading the scriptures, but she said no. There's the problem. So we talk to her a bit, share experiences, and she decides that she wants to be baptized again. The interview goes well and she passes. We then get a call from her Saturday morning saying that she doesn't want to be baptized, and that she doesn't even want us to go to her house anymore. She, once again, hadn't read the scriptures nor prayed. So we went to her house. We talked to her again, told her about the consequences of her decisions, read Alma 40 with her, talked about the blessings she could have, and the spirit was even stronger than the day we invited her to be baptized the first time. But she denied it. She simply said she did not want to be baptized. So we left her house very sad and pretty down. But then we went to someone else's house, talked to them for a bit, and everything was better. The mission is a huge roller coaster of emotions. But Maria wasn't baptized this week. 

 

That's about all that happened this week. Next week we'll have the Multi-zone conference with President Canuto. It'll be the one that I give my last testimony...... 7 weeks left... Wow. That went by fast.

 

I hope you all have a good week! I love you all!

 

-Elder Hopper #1



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Monday, October 7, 2013

October 7, 2013


Hellllllo family!

 

This week, we basically didn't work. So this email miiiight just be a little boring. Monday we had leadership council, Tuesday we went to a different area to work, Wednesday was our P-Day, Thursday and Friday we working, and Saturday and Sunday were conference. So we spent most of our time this week outside of our area. But conference was awesome, so that's okay. 

 

The biggest news is that today we have transfers! Buuuut nothing happened to me or Elder Galleguillos. We're both staying here for another 5 weeks (5 week transfer instead of 6 this time). But we'll also have another companionship in our ward this transfer! They'll be living with us and dividing the area. It sounds like the Elder that's coming is Elder Tomaz, who Elder Galleguillos just trained and was with before those emergency transfers, and he's going to train as well. But that's just the rumors as we have not officially been told what's going on yet. We should find out in an hour or so.

 

Other than that.... You should all go watch all the sessions of General Conference. There is no way I can say everything I want to about it in just this email. But it helped me out a ton. There's always something we can learn from it. And it's proof that those men are really called by God and have the Apostolic keys here on the Earth. I'm so happy to belong to this church and to be able to say that we have a true prophet in our days. We are so blessed!

 

Well, hope you all have a good week! Love you all!

 

-Elder Hopper #1

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

October 2, 2013


Weird things happen on the mission: Part 2

 

Well, last Monday night, after Elder Mesquita and I got home from working, we got a phone call from President Canuto. He called to tell Elder Mesquita to pack his bags again. He was being transferred to Havaré, one of the areas that's furthest away from Americana, and he would be companions with Elder Cabral. And Elder Galleguillos would be my companion. Remember him from Araraquara? He was living with me there and now he's my companion! I was pretty sad to hear the Elder Mesquita would be leaving, but at least I got a good companion. Now we're super excited, we're going to work a ton, and we're going to help this ward grow! Also, we'll be getting another companionship in our house next week when we have the transfer. Should be great!

 

I also told Elder Galleguillos about 7 months ago that we would be ZL together. Called it.

 

I don't really have much to say... I'm just excited to work and to be able to help out more people to be happy! I'm gonna include a picture of our zone, as we'll have transfers next week and it will change. We will have two more companionships in the zone, one with us, and one in Santa Bárbara D'Oeste. 

 


Well, hope you all have a great week and YOU SHOULD ALL WATCH CONFERENCE!!!!!! It's going to be aweeeesoooooome!

 

Love,

Elder Hopper #1

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23, 2013

Sometimes weird things happen on the mission. 

So on Thursday afternoon, I was walking in the street, trying to contact some old investigators from the area book with my companion, Elder Freitas, when we got a phone call from the assistants. Which is pretty normal, being the Zone Leaders and all. They tell us that there's going to be a transfer, and I figured it would be a member of our zone that would be leaving, right? Yeaaahhh.... Nope. They then proceeded to tell me that we had to go home immediately so that Elder Freitas could pack his bags and be in Piracicaba the next day at 9 in the morning, because he was being transferred, and would be going to Pirassununga. Tudo bem. So, logically, I thought that the Zone Leader from Pirassununga would be coming to stay with me, which is Elder Russel, who is from my group. It made more sense because I knew that he wasn't getting along too well with his companion. But then Elder Shumway, the assistant, asked if I wanted to talk to my new companion. And of course, I did. So what does he do? He hands the phone to his companion, Elder Mesquita.

Now wait a minute. Elder Mesquita has 2 weeks left until his mission is over, and is currently the other AP. Buuuuuuut he is now my companion! Elder Russel ended up going to São João da Boa Vista, and Elder Albernaz (my last companion who was in São João) became the new AP! I told him that would happen! So now I have been the companion of three different APs. Elder Gade (who is the assistant in Ribeirão), Elder Albernaz, and now Elder Mesquita. I am super happy having Elder Mesquita here. I've known him since São Carlos more than a year ago, and I feel really privileged to have him as my companion. Although he'll only be here until the 4th of October, I'm really excited to work with him here.

 

Also, I drove a car this week.

 

Last night, we also had a fireside with President Canuto. He came here with Sister Canuto and the APs, and that was really cool. Elder Freitas had been planning everything, but then he got transferred, so his plans got wiped out and we went with something completely different. But it ended up really good. There were almost 100 people there (which is really good for a ward that has a frequency of 80-90) and the ward is now really excited to do missionary work. Not to mention the fact that we're going to have another set of Elders in our ward in a couple of weeks. I'm pretty excited about that.

Today I went to the doctor to talk about my hernia. He told me nothing. Absolutely nothing. Soo..... we'll just have to wait until I get home to see what we'll do about it. Like... He said some things... But it was basically everything I know and that I'm already doing. So he told me nothing. 

 

Well, I love you all! And Elder Hopper #2 only has 10 weeks left of being number two! TEN WEEKS.

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16, 2013


Hello family!

This week! We had some cool things happen! We found some good new families! I'll tell you about one.

On Thursday, we got a call from the secretaries saying that they had a reference for us. From a guy named Carlos Wizard. Who happens to be one of the richest people in Brasil. But that's beside the point. Generally, his references are junk and the person has no idea why we were sent to their house and ends up rejecting us. Buuuut we decided to try and contact this person! So we went to her house (which was way in the back of this dirt road and looked like it didn't exist), and knocked on the door. The girl's name was Gisele. We told her who we were, and she just invited us in as if she was expecting us. Turns out, she works at a place called Skill, which is a language school. And she takes English classes there as well (She works in sales). Apparently she had requested a visit from the missionaries on Wizard's site because she knew that we were generally American and therefore speak English fluently. If you could see the typos that I just made you would know that's a complete lie. Anyways. We went there, and turns out she is needing quite a bit of help spiritually, and not only with the school. She and her husband had been fighting a bit, and she had pretty much given up on God. But then we showed up and now we're going to help her and her husband! We're super excited. They also have two kids, one who is 8 and the other is 4. So we could have three baptisms here in a bit! And we're gonna go help out at the English school!

That's pretty much the exciting story for this week. I love you all and hope you all have a great week!

-Elder Hopper #1

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

September 9, 2013


Hello, familiares.

 

Well, it seems as if Mom has already been informed of the biggest news for this week. I got a phone call from Elder Longhurst (the executive secretary) again this morning, and he started it off saying that he had some bad news. And some good news. He then proceeded to announce the flight dates for the group of Elders that are going home with me. Aaaaand we're not going home on the 26th of November anymore. We leave São Paulo on the 2nd of December, and I'll get into the Portland airport around 11:00AM on the 3rd of December. Soooo no more Thanksgiving at home. But that's alright. I guess I can deal with that.

 

Other than that, not a whole ton happened this week. Just more knocking doors, teaching people, the usually. Although, on Sunday there was an activity for the YSA group in the ward. Just before it started, we talked to the YSA leaders and they told us to go talk to a couple of inactive members just down the street from them and so we did! Only of them was home, whose name is Jackson. So we get to talking to him, and turns out he has a ton of problems... But he wants to change! So we took him to the activity, which his mom only let him go to because he was going and would come back with us, and he was talking about how he wants to come back to church, go to the temple, bring some friends to church with him, and all that stuff. It was really cool to see that in spite of his problems, he still has a testimony of the church and believes it's true and knows that the church is the right place for him to be. We're really excited to start working with him and help him to get back on the right track.

 

For this week, that's about all the cool stuff. We're preparing to have a fireside here with the mission president in a couple of weeks, and that should be really good. We're trying to get the members here to work a little more with us, just as the Prophet wants them to. It's just that difficult part of teaching an old dog new tricks. But it'll work! And we'll have more success here!

 

Oh, and I have a doctor's appointment set for the 23rd of this month to get my hernia checked out. We'll see what they say!

 

I love you all! Have a great week!

-Elder Hopper #1


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

September 4, 2013

Hello family!

It looks like the other Elder Hopper and I are falling into the same trend. I have almost nothing exciting to say to you all today.

But, I do have something kind of exciting I guess. Last Thursday (almost a week ago... this week went by fast), I got the trunkiest phone call of my mission. The executive secretary, Elder Longhurst, called and asked what airport I wanted to fly into. Obviously, I said the Portland airport. Then he told me the date that they were buying the tickets for. You wanna know? Cool. I'll tell you, then. They bought them for the 26th of November. So, I'll be home the day before Thanksgiving. Pretty cool, huh?

This week I basically got acquainted with me area. My new companion, Elder Freitas, is from Maceió, Alagoas. He's got basically the same amount of time on the mission as me, he'll actually go home two weeks before me, on the 12th of November. Our area, which I'm pretty sure I said was Nova Dessa last week but is actually Nova Odessa, is pretty cool. It's just outside of Campinas, and we have the whole city to ourselves. The ward seems to function pretty well; we've already done a couple of divisions and other visits with some ward leaders. I'm pretty excited to be working here. 

So, I'm sending a couple of pictures. The first one is of a Volkswagen Bus that someone decided to shorten. I liked it.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The second one is of a Honda Civic. You guys have to find the error.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The third is when I took a quick trip to New York this week. Or rather, they're building a huge market in a neighboring area, and it's apparently an American store. I dunno.

Hope you all have a great week! I love you all!

-Elder Hopper #1
 

Monday, August 26, 2013

August 26, 2013

Hello family!

This week we had another baptism!!!1 Wooooo!!!!!! Tadeu Henrique was baptized on Saturday morning (it's really weird having a baptism in the morning...) and confirmed on Sunday! We called him through the week a couple of times to see how he was doing and all, and it was interesting how everything unfolded. Henrique was actually hit by a car on Thursday morning... Satan really didn't want him to be baptized. But he went to the hospital, got all bandaged up, and then Saturday came to São João and was baptized anyways! Take that, Satan!
We also had transfers this week. Or rather, we have them tomorrow. Aaaaaaaaaaaaand I was transferred. Where to? I still don't know. But I should know in a bit. I'll let you guys know in a week what happened. I'm feeling Piracicaba. But that's just me.

And the other big news is about when I'm coming home..... And I feel bad telling all of you, so I'll go ahead and write it in Portuguese and pretend that you guys don't have translators. It makes me feel better thinking that you guys won't understand what I'm saying.
 
Bom. Essa quinta-feira eu recebi uma ligação dos secretário executivos da missão. Na verdade, foi o Elder Black. Ele é bem legal. Ele falou para mim que tem duas datas de embarque da missão no final do ano. Uma será no dia 12 de novembro, e a outra no dia 2 de janeiro... E então ele perguntou se eu tenho qualquer compromisso em casa no final do ano, até janeiro. E falei que não, porque realmente não tenho. Só que eu gostaria de estar em casa para o natal. Mas aquilo não é compromisso. Elder Black falou que provavelmente eu vou embora no dia 2 de janeiro... então... Eu não vou estar em casa para natal, nem o ano novo. 
Tudo isso é um pouco triste, mas saibam que o Senhor tem um propósito por tudo. Com certeza Ele tem planos para tudo isso e lembra que o homem não pode compreender todas as coisas que o Senhor compreende! 

Well, enough Portuguese. I'll send a couple pictures this week of random junk. One is a house that has two addresses... Not sure how that works. The other picture is with the Bishop from the ward here, Bispo Lucien, and his wife and kid, Suellen and Luan. Then I'll try to send pictures of the baptism this week as well. But those will come later.



 

I love you all! Have a great week!

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013

Hello família!!!

This week was great! We had two baptisms! I know that we had said there would be three, but something happened and he wasn't baptized. But he will be next week! So this week Claudineia and Hugo were baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday. It was a pretty great week.

What happened with the other guy... His name is Henrique. I don't know if I said that last week or not. Well, we called his girlfriend who is a member of our ward, and asked her how we would schedule the interview and baptism and all that this week, but when we did that, she said that Henrique knew nothing about the baptism! So we got Henrique's number and called and talked to him a bit. Turns out that when we said that 17th, he thought we meant the 17th of next month! (Which is September, by the way. That came really fast.) So we talked to him a bit, and he agreed to the 24th of this month, which is this Saturday. It'll be the first baptism in the morning that I've ever taken part in. It'll be at 10:30AM Saturday morning. Weird. But it'll be great!
 
Not much else happened this week, wee spent a lot of our time in divisions with other areas because of various problems and interviews and such. But It was a good week.
 
I'm super tired right now because we just went up the mountain in Poços again (yes, for a third time), and this time we basically ran up, sat up there for an hour or two, then ran down. And it had rained the night before, so the trail was reeeeaaaaalllly slippery. So I fell. Only once, though. It didn't hurt too much. Plus I got a monkey to climb on my shoulder! He was nice and fluffy. It'd be cool to have a pet monkey.



Anyways, I hope you all have a great week! I'll try to send some pictures if my companion gets them to me quick. 

I love you all!

 

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, August 12, 2013

August 12, 2013

Hello family!

One thing that I have noticed lately is that time is flying by really fast. Like so fast that I don't even know what to update you guys on this week. 

Most of this week was sacrificed in favor of the other areas. We had interviews in Poços de Caldas and Espírito Santo do Pinhal, two other cities, so we traveled quite a bit. But we were still able to see a bit of success in our area. We are teaching a family that is a mom and two kids (one of which is 11 years old, the other 7), and it's going really well. The mom's name is Claudineia, and the kids are Hugo and Mayara. They went to church last week and loved it. This Sunday they weren't able to go because of problems with their dad and the fact that it's Father's Day here (Happy Father's Day again, Dad!). We marked their baptisms for this Saturday and they're pretty excited about it! The only problem is that Claudineia drinks coffee still. But I don't think that'll be much of a problem because after we taught them about the Word of Wisdom, the kids started being really quite... annoying about the coffee and won't let her drink anymore. 

Well that was weird. There's a key right under the delete key on this keyboard that turns the computer off. Learned that one the hard way.

We are also working with a guy named Henrique who is the boyfriend of a member here. He's a really cool guy and always has searched for a place like the church of Jesus Christ. The only problem is that he's only here on the weekends and lives in a city called São Sebastião da Grama. Which is about 45 minutes away from our city. He's already gone to church 3 or 4 times now, and really likes it. So we finally were able to teach him on Saturday, and he accepted everything. He says that he feels like God is calling him to be a part of the Church of Jesus Christ. So he'll be baptized on Saturday, too! We had to teach almost everything to him Saturday and Sunday, since he'll only be back here next Saturday (the day of the baptism), but it went well!

Also, I'm emailing a little bit early this week because we had to come to a different city so that my companion could have a medical exam. The bus left our city at 6:30AM. So we had to wake up at 4:30AM. Plus we ended up getting to sleep late last night because of some... difficulties that we had. But we resolved everything and now it's okay! We got something like 4-5 hours of sleep last night. So today we get to spend our P-Day in Pirassununga, a city where we know nothing and nobody! Woooo!!

Have a great week! Next week I'll try to send pictures to you all! I love you all!

-Elder Hopper #1



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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

August 6, 2013


Hello family. And everyone else.

 

I'm tired. But faz parte, right? As many of you might have noticed, this email is coming a day late. That is because on Sunday afternoon, right after lunch, we we our area to go to Piracicaba. And we just got back into São João da Boa Vista, being 16:00 on Tuesday. That was a tiring trip. But it was good. We had a meeting with President Canuto and the other zone leaders in the mission. We got to see all the other missionaries after they did the transfer where they integrated the two missions. It was interesting to hear about the difficulties of all the zones, as well as all the success that everyone is having now. In our own zone we had more baptisms this last month that they have in the past 6! The mission has some pretty bold goals for this next month, but I believe was can reach them!

 

This last week wasn't too exciting, but we did have 3 investigators in church this week! That's a record for this area! It's really hard to get investigators to church here because of the chapel and it being so far away, but we were able to coordinate with some members to get them to bring our investigators. We're going to talk to two of them this week as well about baptism! The third one lives in some city far away and comes here to visit his girlfriend, who is a member, on the weekends. But he's liking the church a lot and we're going to teach him this Saturday! Should be cool!

 

I got a couple of pictures! 

In the States, we have F350 trucks which are pretty cool, right? Well here, they've got F11000. That's how cool they are.

Also, I'm unsure of the price of Furbys

in the States, but here they are a little over-priced. R$400. That's about $200 USD. Waaaaaaay too much.

 

Have a great week! I love you all!

-Elder Hopper #1

 


Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013



It's COLD. Actually cold. I felt cold this week for the first time in a year and 5 months. Ridiculous. But I liked every second of it. It got down to around 40 degrees this week. It was GREAT. But this week it's going to get warm again. Up to the 70s again!



This week we had a baptism. It was pretty great. Maryelen was baptized on Saturday, then confirmed on Sunday. I was sick most of the week, and we weren't able to leave the house much, but we were still blessed with her baptism! Even through losing her fiance, her whole family being against her joining the church, and many other people saying things against her joining, she had received an answer from God and couldn't deny, and was baptized regardless of what other people said. She is truly an example for all of us!

Not much else happened this week due to me being sick. But we're going to the Pedra Balão today! Should be fun! I like this zone a lot! There's always cool things to do on P-Days. We're already on week 3 of this transfer, so time is passing by quickly, but hopefully we get to do cool things the whole time we're here!

 

Well, that's all I got for this week. Love you all! Have a good one!

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 2013

Hello family! 

This week I'm on another computer that doesn't want to play well with memory cards, so still no pictures for you guys... But I promise I'll send them as soon as possible!

So as I said last week, we had transfers. And my new companion is Elder Albernaz! He's from Vitória, Espírito Santo, the same place as Elder Küster, one of my old companions. But they didn't know each other before the mission. Elder Albernaz was part of the Campinas mission, but now he's part of Piracicaba! There are a couple of missionaries here that I met in the MTC that are now in my mission, so that's pretty cool. It's good to see them all again.

This week we were able to mark a baptismal date for Maryelen. She'll be baptized this Saturday! I'm excited! It'll be my first baptism in this area, and the first baptism in the ward for the last 6 months or so! Should be great! 

Not much else happened this week, but I love you all! Looks like I've got less than 4 months left here before I head back to the good ol' US of A. Not much, but be assured that I'm still working hard out here in the sun!

Have a great week! Love you all!

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

Hello family and everyone else! 

This week we didn't have too much happen. But it was still pretty good. We had our first multi zone conference with the new mission (which was actually still all missionaries from the Ribeirão Preto mission so it wasn't too different) and we had transfers this week! I'm staying here in Recanto, but Elder Kevin is leaving. 7 of the 13 missionaries of the zone are leaving, actually. They've gotta mix together the two missions now, so there's gotta be lots of changes. We're still unsure of who our companions will be or where everyone will go, but we should know in a bit. The transfers are actually happening on Tuesdays instead of Mondays now, so that's a pretty big change. 

This Saturday, we found a new family to teach. They have 7 children. So it's a family of 9. That's a lot of people. When we contacted them, they told us that they were going to the Assembleia de Deus church, and had been there for 8 years. Which isn't a problem at all, since we're here to show people the true church, right? So we taught them the first lesson, where we talk about Joseph Smith and all that, and it goes really well. The mom and dad were really interested, which is all that really matters. When we get to the end of the message, they tell us that they had only been living in São João for 1 year, they moved from Ceará to here. When they got here, they had only gone to their church two or three times, and then stopped because they didn't like the people! And then they said they wanted to go to church on Sunday! So we arranged a ride for them since they don't have a car, but when the member got there, they were all ready, but something had just happened with the mom, so they couldn't go... That was kind of sad, but that's alright. They said they would go next week. I look forward to teaching them again!

That's about all the cool things that happened this week. But I saw a cool sign. I'll send a picture. Maybe not. The computer is being dumb.

Love you all! Have a great week!


-Elder Hopper #1

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 8, 2013

Hello everyone. I am rather tired today. We travelled quite a bit, and climbed up a huge mountain. A HUGE mountain. With a statue of Christ on top. It's that same place that I sent some pictures from not too long ago. I don't think I've mentioned this before, but it is veeerrrry common for all the cities here in Brasil to put up a statue of Christ at their highest point. Kind of like they have in Rio de Janeiro, but I'm pretty sure that one's bigger than all the rest.

 

Anyways.

 

This week was very unproductive. We had our meeting with Presidente Canuto on Thursday, but because of the location, we left on Wednesday after lunch, and got back on Friday night. So we basically lost 3 days of work in our own area. Kind of annoying, but oh well. Fazer o que, neh? But we found a really cool family this week, in spite of our lack of work. The dad, whose name is Eneias, seems to be the most interested, which is really good! It's hard to find men who are really willing to listen to the message we have. But he has his wife and two daughters who live with him, and we'll start teaching them now. We've only taught the first lesson so far, but should be great!

On Friday, there was a huge party that started in São João da Boa Vista. It's called EAPIC. And it doesn't end until next Sunday. It is terribly hard for us to work when everyone and their uncle is at this party. Which is not in our area, so we can't even go to it! (that was a joke, by the way) So we just keep knocking doors while people are at this party, and we don't have much success. The members have all told us that this whole week will be very difficult. And we saw a little bit of it this weekend, when we tried to knock doors a bit. No one was home. And if they were home, they were watching soccer and didn't want to talk to two gringos who talk a lot about God. Oh well, just gotta keep working and find those eleitos!

So this transfer is only 4 weeks, right? Turns out that the next one is only 5 instead of 6. Which means one more week that I would be coming home early. But now they're talking about adding in an emergency transfer in the middle of that transfer so that we would get home on the 3rd of December again. But they haven't decided anything yet. So as of now, I could be home anywhere between the 11th of November, and 23rd of December. I guess we'll find out soon!

Sending a picture from up at the top of the mountain today!

 


Love you all! Have a great week!

 

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013

Hello everyone!

This week we had quite a few developments here in the mission field that are very exciting and that I will now tell you all about.

First, we got a new mission president. His name is President Canuto. I know absolutely nothing about him, though on Thursday we have a meeting with him so I will know here shortly.

Second, some things come with getting a new president. Such as new rules and such. Before, in Missão Ribeirão Preto, we could not play basketball. We now can. We also could not drink cola-based sodas. Now we can. So I am now drinking an ice-cold Coca-Cola while I am writing this. Just because I can. I don't actually like the way Coke tastes.

Third, and possibly the most important, this transfer has been cut down from a normal 6-week transfer to a 4-week transfer. Since we are combining with the Campinas mission, we have to adopt some things from them, one of which being their transfers. I'm not sure why we couldn't use the transfers from Ribeirão Preto, but that's alright. So. That also means that I will be home 2 weeks earlier. I WILL BE HOME FOR THANKSGIVING. I'm not too excited, don't worry.

This week we had a cool thing happen with an investigator, too. We were running a little bit late for some appointments, and we had just finished teaching a less active member (who went to church this week! Woooo!!!) and the he offered cake. We kind of reluctantly accepted. Then left. We took this dirt road back to a part of our area where we had our next lesson, which would have taken us about 30 minutes to walk there. While on this dirt road, a taxi pulls up next to us and tells us to get in. So we do. He tells us that he saw a couple of missionaries in the bus station earlier that day, and for that reason he offered us a ride (which is an interesting story in and of itself. The missionaries that he saw were the staff and assistants from Ribeirão Preto that were passing through the city on the last couple of days that it was part of their mission, so they shouldn't have really even been there). So he cuts down the walking time by about 20 minutes. And as we're walking to that appointment, we pass in front of this girl's house that we had marked with for later that night. Her name is Brenda, by the way. She tells us that she's going to Sorocaba in like 30 minutes and asks if we just want to teach her right then (this was the first time we were able to teach her), so we say yes! So we teach her, it goes great, and she accepts the invitation to read and pray and all that good stuff. Then we go to the appointment that we had marked, which we were now an hour late to, and they aren't even home. So all these little things built up to where we were in the right place at the right time to be able to teach Brenda! It was definitely an opportunity for us to see the hand of the Lord in our work.

We'll ignore the fact that two days later we found out that Brenda lied to us and that I saw her in the center of the city two days later... It happens.

Well, that's the exciting stuff that happened this week! I hope you all have  a great week! Love you all!

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, June 24, 2013

June 24, 2013

Good morning everyone! And happy birthday, São João da Boa Vista!!!!
It's the city's birthday today, and therefore everything is closed. Which kind of ruins our whole P-Day thing. But that's alright. We'll figure out some way to get some food. And not die of hunger.
 
So this week was pretty good. We found some cool people. We actually were walking past a house this week at about 8 at night. I looked at the house and thought, "That's a pretty cool looking house. Let's knock on it." So we did. And then some young, hipster looking kid opened the door and we told him who we were and all that. He said we could come in, but he had to talk to his mom first. So she came out, but she was on the phone. And she came out in that sort of "I'm about to tell you meddling kids to get off my lawn" look. But then, she told us to come back the next day! And she was on the phone with her sister who wanted us to go to her house! So we started teaching this family this week. So far we've taught the boy, João Victor, the mom, Ivana, the kid's best friend, Luiz, and one of the daughters, Pamela. And they're progressing great! They all read the day that we left the first message and they're loving it. They didn't go to church this week because João Victor got sick, but they would have gone. Next week I'm sure they'll go!
 
There are also quite a bit of protests going on in Brasil right now... And I saw a video of the protests in Ribeirão Preto the other day. Where 12 people were ran over, and 1 was killed by some crazy rich dude in a Range Rover. And they showed video of it. I recognized the place, considering I served a good time there, and realized that it was literally RIGHT in front of the missionary's' house in Irajá, my last area. That must have been lots of fun for the missionaries there! I'm sure they loved it. 
 
Well, I'll send some pictures of Poços de Caldas a couple of weeks ago for you guys. 
 




Hope you all have a great week! Love you all!
 
-Elder Hopper #1

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

June 17, 2013

Hello family!

I always start my emails like that and will continue to do so until the end of time.

This week we had TRANSFERS!!!!! Not many changes happened in the zone. 5 Elders were transferred, and we'll have two sisters in the zone now. So that'll be a big change. Pretty much the city of Poços de Caldas will be cleaned out, but that's alright because it was needing some changes. Some fun information about this transfers: of the 14 missionaries in the zone, 11 are American, 2 are Brazilian, and 1 is from Uruguay. So basically everyone here speaks English. Should be fun.

So while all you back home are enjoying summer time goodness and being free of school, I'm sitting here working still. But that's alright because we're actually getting some progress! We think. We met some super good families this week and looks like they'll be pretty promising. One is a lady named Soraia, but we haven't met her husband yet. Only her 13 year old kid. We found her in the area book and decided to pass by her house, and when we did, we knocked and she immediately invited us in.  So we went in and started talking to her, and turns out that a couple of days earlier when she had seen us walking in the street, she had a huge desire to stop us and talk to us. But she was all embarrassed and didn't want to because of the.... vergonha. So then, when we knocked on her door a couple days later, she was super happy and was willing to hear everything! She said she would go to church this week too, but she didn't go... We'll have to see what's up with that later this week. But she seems like a pretty promising investigator.

We went to Poços de Caldas this week and climbed up a big mountain. I almost died. And I was sore for the rest of the week. BUT. It was awesome! I'll include a couple of pictures.

 
But that's about all I've got for now. This week should be great! I hope you guys all have a great week, too! Love you all!

Oh, and happy Father's Day! We had no idea that it was yesterday until just now....

Love,

Elder Hopper #1

June 10, 2013

Hello family! 

so this week i have a keyboard that is obnoxiously hard to press the shift keys, so i won't be capitalizing many things.

Last Monday we went to Riberão Preto for a mission leader meeting. it was awesome because we went a little bit early to go and see a few of the recent converts that I had there. so we got to see Vera, Victor, and Jessica, then we went and had a delicious stroganoff with Maria and Carlos. It was really cool to see all of them. Victor is already a teacher in the Aaronic priesthood, and Carlos will receive the priesthood on the 17th of this month. And Carlos told me that he's going to baptize his other son. That would be AWESOME.

So then we came home, and it got hot again. It's been in the 80s here and the sun is BLAZING hot. I want the rain back. But this week we're spending P-Day in Poços de Caldas. Where it's cold. Yay! Today we'll be climbing up a mountain to a statue of Christ that looks over the whole city. we'll have some good pictures next week!

Umm... I'm not sure of any cool stories this week. But I'm excited to go up this mountain! And we have transfers next week! i don't think i'm going anywhere this time. but I hope you all have a good week! I'm gonna stop struggling with this crappy keyboard now.

 

Love you all!

-Elder  Hopper #1

Monday, June 3, 2013

June 3, 2013

Hellloooo todo mundo!

So this week was a normal week as a missionary. Last Monday after we got home from the LAN house, it just started pouring rain. And didn't stop until Thursday night. So the local rivers went up about 3 feet, and everything got all wet, and our clothes wouldn't dry. That's one of the bad things about having to let your clothes dry on a line. But it was nice, because it cooled off quite a bit. It only got down to around 60 at night, but didn't get above 70 during the day. But then on Friday the sun came out again. The sun is HOT, in case you didn't know. But on Sunday afternoon it got all cloudy again, and by the time we left our lunch appointment it was already raining and it's still sprinkling on and off since that point. But it's completely overcast and there's no sun! Woooo! So it's cool today as well.

Today me and Elder Kevin (Davis) are heading out to Ribeirão Preto as soon as I get this email sent off to you guys. Tomorrow we are going to have a Conselho da Liderança da Missão. Mission leaders council? Something like that. So we'll go spend the rest of the day today there (after a 3-4 hour bus ride) and visit a few of the people I baptized while I was there with Elder Gade! Should be fun!

So there's an inactive member of this ward here who's name is Ditinha. Her husband, Donizette, is not a member and has not allowed her to go to church in the past. When we got here and talked to her, turns out that the missionaries before us had done some good work and talked Donizette into letting her go to church. But Donizette had a ton of health problems, which he had already gone through various surgeries for, but this time is was getting really bad. He had told Ditinha that he was going to die during the surgery this time. So Ditinha was never able to go to church because she has to be sitting at home taking care of him all the time. So what'd we do? We gave him a blessing! Right before he went in for this surgery we went to his house and gave him a blessing so that everything would go alright. We've been visiting him ever since, and he's been recovering just fine. He had no difficulties in the surgery, he's healing great, and he's looking a lot better. And Ditinha said that during the surgery she was perfectly fine, didn't worry about him at all and just had this feeling of peace around her while the surgery was being done. So now we're trying to get Donizette to come to church. Which might take a while since he 1) is a die-hard Catholic, 2) is stuck in bed with a pump attached to his stomach, and 3) is Catholic. But we'll get him there. He already likes us, and he knows other members pretty well. So it shouldn't take too long. Just gotta get that pump out of his stomach now.

Also, the other night, I was quietly, peacefully sleeping, when suddenly I heard a *CRAAAAACK* and then my companion jumped up from his bed as it split down one side. This was about 2:30 AM, mind you. His bed randomly pretty much split in half while we were sleeping. I just rolled over and went to sleep. But he had to sleep on the ground because his bed broke. And he's been sleeping on a mattress on the ground ever since. Coitado dele (pity).

Anyways, that's all for this week. I love you all! Have a great week!

 

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27, 2013

Hello family!

This week I met a girl named Wythórya. It's pronounced "Vitória." That was a big shock. It seems to be cool to name your kids something super weird, but have it pronounced normally. I think I want to name my kid "Thiago" but have it be pronounced "James". I think that'd be cool.

This week we had the last Zone Conference with President Prieto. He's only got about 3 weeks left as President, then he's headed out and we get a new president for two weeks before the new mission is created. He said something that I though was really cool. Actually he quoted President Monson. But he said that there are 4 basic concepts that we need to always apply in our lives.

1) Examine the scriptures diligently
2) Plan life with a purpose
3) Teach the truth with a testimony
4) Serve the Lord

I enjoyed those 4 points quite a bit. Really, if we just follow those 4 points for our whole life, we can't go wrong!

He also said something really funny. He was talking about calling the financial secretaries on their P-Day and he said we should only call them in case of an emergency. His example of an emergency: "Elder Schmutz (the current financial secretary), my companion died and I need to buy a casket for him." As in, it has to be something really serious to call them. I thought it was quite funny that he used that as an example.

Anyways, that's all I got for now. Have a great week! Love you all!

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013

Hello familia!

I didn't even mean to write that in portuguese, it just sorta happened. 

Anyways. This week was a week of finding. Or trying to find. We basically started off with nothing here. We tried to look through the area book to find old investigators, but they either didn't live in the same house, or the person was fake. Not exactly sure why missionaries lie about their work. Just do the work and you don't have to lie! But some missionaries just decide to not work. DUMB.

So we're trying to gain the confidence of the members in this ward because the other missionaries that were here didn't work. We constantly hear stories about the fubecagem that took place in this ward before we got here... But we ignore that all and keep working! I also hear a lot about Elder Henrique (my trainer) because he was in this ward not too long ago. Many of the members talk about how he was a good worker and all. True story. We'll see if we can get the members to talk that way about us! We just gotta work hard!

On Friday we went to a city called Poços de Caldas. It is an awesome city. It's a super touristy city, but it's great. It's up in the mountains (some of the only mountains in all of Brasil... that's what it seems like, anyways) so it's colder. It got down to 14 degrees! Celsius, that is. But it was refreshing. Hopefully we'll be going there for a P-day sometime here in the near future to go up the side of a mountain that has one of those Christ statues on top. Should be great.!

Well, that's about all that happened this week! Not much in the ways of success, but this week will turn that around! Hope you all have a great week! Love you all!

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, May 13, 2013

May 13, 2013

Hello family and friends!

 This week we had A LOT of changes. It was a very interesting week. 

Remember how I said I didn't get transferred? Yeah, I didn't on Monday. But then on Tuesday night I got a phone call from President Prieto. He told me I would be participating in the Zone Leader conference the next day and that I had to be in the office at 8AM the next morning with all my stuff packed up. So I packed up all my stuff, and went to the office the next morning. Where the zone leaders who were in my area that I am now learned that they were being transferred. They had no idea. So they had to go back home and get all packed and everything then come back to Ribeirão Preto where they were then taken to their new areas. But then my new companion, Elder Kevin (used to be Elder Davis), had to renew his VISA. So we waited until Friday to leave. Then we got a bus at 6:30 at night to our new area, Recanto in the zone São João da Boa Vista. Which is conveniently the coldest zone of the whole mission! This morning it was like 65 outside when we woke up! Chilly!

So I got to say goodbye to everyone in Irajá and all that. It was quite sad because I didn't want to leave that area, but that's okay. Now I've got some new challenges with new people and a new area! Should be fun! Both Elder Kevin and I are excited and we'll definitely have a good time here. We're pretty sure that we'll both stay here and therefore be sent to the new mission. Less than two months until the mission splits!

Anyways, that's about all that happened. We didn't have much time to work this week considering we got into our area on Friday night late. But this week should be fantastic! Lots of finding new people and knocking doors!

Have a great week! Love you all!

-Elder Hopper #1 

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013

Hello family!

Remember last week when I said that nothing happened and then I said I was joking? Well.... This week nothing happened. For reals. 

I got Dengue (see this link Dengue Fever).
(two trips to the hospital!)

Which is also known as Breakbone Fever. 

I was in bed all week. 

And I have to go back to the hospital tomorrow for more blood tests. 

But I'm okay! I don't feel that bad anymore. And it's not contagious nor deadly (I think), so I'll be fine. Just gotta rest up and keep myself from working......... Boo.

But I have some news. We had transfers this week. I will stay here in Irajá 6 more weeks! But Elder Gade... Won't. He's going to train and open an area called José Bonifácio near São José do Rio Preto. I'm so excited for him! My new companion is Elder Foster. He's from Pennsylvania, and he has about 10 months on the mission. He plays piano! So he likes classical music! That's great! 

Well, that's all I got for now. I'll talk to you on Mother's day! Less than a week now!

Love you all!

-Elder Hopper #1

Monday, April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013


Hello pessoal!

This week was rather boring, nothing new happened.


 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 
That's a lie.

 

 

 

 

 

WE HAD 5 BAPTISMS!!!!!!!

 


The two families that we had been working with got baptized and they were able to get everything together to be baptized this week. Vera and Carlos quit smoking, Maria and Carlos got married, and we had churrasco (barbeque) on both Saturday and Sunday! It was amazing!

I just have to echo what Elder Hopper #2 said about baptisms being amazing. They are. They're about the best thing. EVER. Especially when you know that many more people will enter into the truth and have the wonderful happiness that the gospel brings because of those people. Victor, a kid that we baptized, wants to serve a mission! I'm so excited for him to do that! And Maria and Carlos are the ones that have a son on a mission in Belém, and so he must be super happy now, too! 

 

I'm not sure what else to say because that's all that's in my head right now!

Oh, right. Well, there's an Elder here named Elder Olsen. He's our Zone Leader. He's going home next Monday. His mission is over. He's from California. Anyways, we saw him here in the center last Monday after sending emails, and he told us that his house had burned down. Two weeks before he was supposed to go home. How sad would that be? So now his family has to go through the trouble of getting themselves a new home and all that. Good thing they have fire insurance! Nobody in the family was hurt, just a painter that was inside the house when it exploded. Literally exploded. He just got 1st and 2nd degree burns, though. But I'll send a picture of Elder Olsen for you all to see him. Along with a picture of our 5 baptisms! 

 

Have a great week! Love you all!

 

-Elder Hopper #1