Saturday, November 30, 2013

November 30, 2013

Service Projects on Thanksgiving!! 

This week has been one to go down in the books of my mission. One of the best weeks. First last Sunday, my kasama and I taught our district about repentance. The spirit was the real teach and it was cool how that worked. I learned that repentance is a dear dear gift that our Father in Heaven has given to us to help us return to live with him again. Sundays are the bomb here at the MTC! 

Miracles are happening everyday here. One of the miracles that has happened is with our investigator named Jerry. He is a 60 year old man who wants to learn about the church but his wife is not happy and doesn't want him to. We asked him to be baptized but he said he wasn't ready. the next time we went he told us that he loves what we have been teaching him and he committed to go to church on Sunday. So Monday we will follow up and see what he thought about that. It was a miracle thought to see him go from no to wanting to come to church and to learn more. Miracles are still happening all around us. We just have to recognize them.

THANKSGIVING!!!!! So even thought I did miss being with family this year, thanksgiving was probably the best day I have had at the MTC thus far! It was incredible. Elder Russell M. Nelson of the twelve apostles came to talk to us. He talked about things we can to do have a successful mission and be a better missionary. It was also nice to have him say that All the apostles  and the first presidency pray for us daily. They really do love us missionaries. Next was our service project. We packaged meals for children in Utah who don't have food or go without meals. In the span of 3 hours, the missionaries here at the MTC packaged over 300,000 meals for the children of Utah. Pretty amazing huh? Later that night there was a skit about the first thanksgiving and we then watched Ephriam's Rescue. If you haven't seen it, you should. It is a good movie. Such a great day of gratitude and time to reflect on things that I am so thankful for. I and so grateful for family and friends that support me and pray for me. i love you all. I am so grateful to be out here on my mission and can't wait to go to the Philippines, only 2 more weeks!!!!! 

We have the older district leaving this monday and that will be really sad because we all are really close. It is as if we are a giant family, that is how close we have gotten. But I look forward to seeing them do great things in the Philippines. 

If I could give you all some advice it would be to pray. Sometimes we may feel that God doesn't hear us or answer our prayers but he does. A sister in my district said this about prayer " We communicate with god through sincerity, and he communicates with us through stillness". Sometimes we are always going going going, but take the time to slow down, ponder, and pray. He will hear you and help you with anything. His hand is reached out towards you, all we have to do is grab it.

I love you all so much and pray for you all. Don't ever forget that you are a child of God!!!! Mahal ko Kayo!!!!!!! Only 2 more weeks!!!!!!!

Love, Sister Hopkins 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

November 23, 2013

MAHAL KO KAYO!!! I love you all so very much. 

Mom, thank you for sending that package. It is ok that it took a while, at least it got done. I look forward to your package. I would love some family pictures and anything that you want to send me. Just something that shows you love me. That is all I need :) Mom, do you remember those sister I met at the temple after one of our sessions? One of them is in my zone, her name is sister Davis and she is so great. She has become a really great friend of mine. 

Just to clear things up, my area in the Philippines was not severely hit by the giant storm. But it has humbled the hearts of the filipinos. I noticed before I left that a lot of missionaries were being called to the Philippines and I didn't know why. but I do know now. they need so much love and service to help them heal and get over this trial that has come in their lives. I am so grateful that I can be one of those missionaries to help build up the Philippines again with hope and a love for God. 

I have been in the MTC for almost 3 weeks!! It really has gone by fast. The districts ahead of us have already gotten their flight plans so that means we are the next ones to get our flight plans!!!!!! I can not wait to get to the Philippines! I am so excited to be there for Christmas! 

Last Sunday at devo we had an amazing speaker, her name is Mary ellen Edmunds. she was soooooo funny. She has us laughing like the whole time. But there was one thing that she said that really stuck out to me about her mission. She said that the first little bit she was discouraged and wanted to go home. but she stuck it out. So instead of having 15 pages in her mission journal she had over 200 pages. she said she learned so much and wouldnt trade it for the world. I think when things get hard every missionary thinks about going home for a split second. But I dont want to just has 15 pages, I want over 200 of helping others come to christ, of seeing miracles, of seeing my own miracle of my own conversion. 

I want to pose a question, what is the reason the 1st presidency came out with preach my gospel? To better help the investigators? Because it was inspired? Yes to all, but the main reason is to convert us as missionaries and keep us converted. Too many times missionaries have come home and not wanted to go to church anymore. the only success that really matters on your mission is your own conversion as a missionary. I had a testimony before I left, but I am starting to see my conversion, I am started to see me align my life with the will  of the lord. It is incredible to see. My prayers are so sincere and more personal than ever before, as well as my scripture study. I am not fully there, but it is not expected of me. The only thing the lord expects of us is that we do our best. This place is a place of miracle and I have seen  many miracles happen in class and all around me. 

If any of you have ever had doubts or doubt now about the gospel or about god not loving you, I would invite you to pray with a sincere heart really wanting to know and along with that I would invite you to pick up your book of mormon and read from the pages. I feel so much love as I read. Just start from the beginning with Lehi and his family. those first 3 chapters can relate to anyone at anytime in their life. 

THE LANGUAGE IS STARTING TO COME!!!! Not all of it yet, but I know it will come. I love you all so much. Thank you for your loving and your prayers. I feel them everyday!
ALAM KO PO NA SIMBAHAN NI JESUCRISTO!!!!! I know this church is true :) 

Love, Sister Hopkins 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

November 16, 2013

Elder Kelton Jenkins & Sister Hopkins! These 2 have been friends since the 7th grade! 

Here is a new letter from Sister Hopkins!

This week was so rough for me.  So we are learning tagalog and we have class twice a day for 3 hours not my way to spend a day but that is ok. There are others in my district that are getting a really good hang of the language but so far that is no me. I get so frustrated when I want to say something sa tagalog pero I dont know how to say it. In class one morning, Brother Nordstrom could tell that I was having a really hard time with my myself and the language. He flipped to a scripture in D&C 1: 19-23. this is about how weak things can become stronger. I started to tear up and the spirit testified to me that I could do this. I may be weak but I am progressing so much. If you cant understand my emails im sorry because it is hard to speak english without a little bit a tagalog. I am grateful that I have a teacher who is intune with the spirit and can help me to reach my potential and become a great missionary. 

i am so happy that Brooke is doing good! I wrote her a letter and I hope she got it. REPLY SOOON BROOKE!!!
If anything i have learned this week that the lord knows who I am. Tuesday nights devotions we got to learn from Elder L. Tom Perry. He spoke about the Philippines and what is going on over there. she told us a story about 20 missionaries and a young stake president. the stake president wanted to get his missionaries to safety so he got tickets for all of them. when they got to the airport, they were not able to get on the plane because people want to get out of there so they pay loads of money to get to safety. so the missionaries were at the airport along wondering what to do. A moment later, a filipino pilot asked if they were missionaries. They in turn said yes and willing the pilot took 3 trips on a small jet to fly the misionaries to manila in safety. Talk about a miracle. The lord is so mindful of us. I can see that in the short time I had been here that I have been blessed to see miracles. Miracles in teaching, in speaking, and through prayer. If I could leave you with anything for this week it would be that God hears and does answer our prayers. If we ask with sincerity and a wanting to seek for help, the lord is willing to help us and bless us. we only need to ask. I love the MTC and this is such a place of spirit and love. 
So the food is does weird things to you..that is all I will say about that. 
In class we learned how to teach the first lesson and that any need that an investigator has can be taught through the first lesson. the principles are:
1. God is our loving heavenly Father
2. God blesses families
3. Gospel in every dispensation
4. the Savior's ministry and atonement
5. The apostasy
6. the restoration
7. The book of mormon 
8. We can pray to know for ourselves. 
If we apply these to anything we are going through, we can find hope and peace. Kind of cool to think about, we can teach prayer with all these and we can teach love of god through all of these. 

I hope all is well with everyone. I hope to hear from more family soon because I love and miss them. You are all in my prayers. And I can feel prayers being sent my way. I love being a missionary and I couldn't be in a better place. 
I love you all! Mahal Kita!!! Until next week. 
Love, sister hopkins

Work of the week: Kapayapaan. this means peace sa Tagalog :) 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The First of Many To Come...

I knew that a mission would be way hard and all my friends told me it would be the hardest thing that I would ever do. I didn't realize how hard it actually is the be a missionary. It is the best calling to have but also the hardest. The first day we got here I got my first kasama(companion) Sister Calder. The moment she walked in the room, I felt so much love for her. It was a weird feeling. It was weird to have a companion at first but now we feel so weird if not with each other. she is from Utah and is a 19 year old missionary. Most of the missionaries here are that age. Our first night we taught an investigator names Sarah in a large group of new missionaries. She couldn't understand why if God loved all of us so much that some people had harder lives than others. We were taught to focus on her and what she needed to hear at that time. A lot of elders were telling her sob stories about how hard their lives had been and more talking at her about the gospel instead of what she needed to hear from God. The spirit was so strong and I knew she needed to hear 1Cor 10:13. At the time i didn't know where that was so I turned to my kasama to ask her. She was able to find it, and I took her the bible and asked her to read it. I asked her what that scripture ment to her and she said that god wont give us anything we cant handle and she started to tear up. She loved that and I saw the light in her eyes change from sad about life to hopeful. The spirit was so strong and that was what she needed to hear, I know that, she knew that, and everyone else in the room knew that. That is a a moment I will always cherish. I came out here for those moments and what a blessing it was for me to be there along the way as she comes closer to Christ.
The first day we also were in class learning tagalog. Man is it a weird, hard language to learn. I had no idea what our teacher Brother Nordstrom was saying. But after about 3 hours we were able to say hello, how are you, where are you from, and where you will be serving your mission, and how to reply to those questions. It is not a lot yet but it is more than I came in here with so i will call that a success. The second day was rough and hard to focus. I was really tired and thinking about home and wondering why i was here. Then after a class, I walked out and say Sarah, who we taught the night before. She waved at me with a great smile and I waved back. That was a tender mercy from the lord that I needed to give me strength to get through the day. That day we also learned how to pray in tagalog. Wow, so so cool. I am not very good yet, but I am getting better and can say that I am able to pray in Tagalog with some english along with it. I have been frustrated with the language but I can tell that already I have been blessed with the gift of tongues to learn what I have so far. 
I have seen Elder Jenkins everyday at either lunch or dinner and that has been great. It is fun to chat with him a little each day. And I also see Sister Goates each day(Hannah) which is also a blessing.
Yesterday was the hardest for me. I didn't know what I was here, I wanted to just go home and go back to school. It was rough. But after thinking about it, I can do this. I am supposed to be here at this time going to serve in San Pablo. There is a reason. It may be hard but I keep telling myself that I can do this or I would have been called someplace else. It has been a key thing for me to really rely on Heavenly Father. 
We taught our first tagalog speaking investigator last night. What an experience to teach a lesson in a language you know very very little about. Our lesson was in Tagalish with mostly english. As soon as we went in the room, I forgot all my tagalog because I was so nervous. It was very rough. His name is Ignacio. we taught him about God and that he loves us. we have another appointment with him tonight so hopefully that goes better than last nights. 
Today is pday though and I am so grateful for that. We are going to the temple today at 2 which I really need. 
We meet our branch president the other day, his name is President Howard, he used to be the mission president over the Manila mission. Super cool huh? He is very nice and so is his wife. I look forward to getting to know them better. 
Sometimes life can be hard. I know the last 2 days have been some of the hardest I have ever experienced. But I have really learned the importance of turning to my father in heaven and relying on him and not others. Sure it is good to be there for my kasama and I know she is there for me, but my greatest strength will come from him. He loves me and he loves you. I know this to be true. If we do what he asks of us and rely on the promptings we receive from him, we will be happy and can endure anything that comes our way. The spirit is so real and have felt it so strong here, stronger that I have ever felt him before. I love and and so grateful that I can feeling his presence and love everyday here on my mission because I wouldn't have much of a successful mission with out him. I love my father in heaven and I love my Savior so much. 
Sorry this is so long but there is a lot to tell because I have learned so much each day. Thank you for your love and support. Letters are a good thing too. I hope to get some soon. 
I love you guys soooo much!! You are such great examples to me. I can do hard things and so can you!
 Love, Sister Hopkins

Leaving For 18 Months....

Boise Airport Wednesday, November 7, 2013 5:30 AM. She flew out at 6:30 a.m. to Salt Lake City. 

Officially Sister Megan Hopkins

Megan was set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Tuesday, November 5, 2013 by President Andy Scoggin of the Boise Idaho East Stake.

Sister Hopkins' Contact Information

address:  DEC18 PHI-SAN
                 2007 N 900 E Unit 25
                 Provo, UT 84602