Monday, March 18, 2013

Week 15 NYNYS

Hey everyone! Happy St. Patrick's Day last week.

This past week was a little slow. A lot of our appointments fell through, but this week is going to be very busy! We have a lot of appointments coming up and I see many blessings coming in the near future.

So stories for the week: Last Saturday, we were helping a family move out of the branch and we all got some pizza and ate at a near by park. Elder Finlinson knows a "squirrel call" that attracts the squirrels and it actually works! (He taught me this awhile ago so whenever I see squirrels I call them and they immediately stop in the tracks and look at me. It's so cool!) There were tons of squirrels in this park and we called them all over to us and fed them pizza out of our hands. It was awesome! I also did the rock and sand analogy of putting the Lord first in your life at a members home, but substituted sand for salt since you cant really find sand in the city. I had to adjust a little when the plastic container I had all the salt in broke in my backpack!

A few days before that we were going to visit a member of the branch and we didn't really know how to get their so we hopped on the L-train and went to Broadway Junction to transfer to the A-train. Since the A-train is express, it passed the stop we needed, so we had to walk 1.2 miles to get there. Then we find out that instead of the address being "55", it was actually "555". We then had to walk another 2 miles to get to the house. It was a long night. We did eventually get there and found that there was a train stop on the J-train that would have gotten us there in 5 minutes.

Elder McDonald and I have been very busy lately changing up our area. We do something called the "elliptical" where we work right around the church. We have been talking with the branch president and have decided that we should change the location of the elliptical area. The elliptical area we are in now has been good, but we really aren't seeing much growth there. It is a very difficult area and the people seem to be getting more and more resistant to us. We are shrinking our current elliptical and creating 2 other ellipticals along the J-train. So far from what I have heard from the other Elders in our district is that the new area we are moving to is very nice! People are receptive to us and are actually friendly. They have come in contact with quite a few people in only 2 days. We will have three ellipticals and we are going to do a sort of "crop cycle" so we will be in one elliptical for a while, while the other rests. I am really excited for the change. So instead of focusing on Williamsburg, we will move into Ridgewood.

I just want to give Elder McDonald, my companion, some props! He has been a great companion to me and I am very grateful for the example he has set for me. We have helped each other through our unique challenges and have been a great support for each other. I am disappointed to think that one of us will get transfered in 2 weeks since we have been together for 3 transfers and he was my trainer as well. He has been in Bushwick for 8 months and has not seen another area!

It was a more tough week for me. I was struggling the whole week and wasn't seeing any relief. I felt my testimony was lacking and because of that I was losing that "power" in my words. Thankfully I felt prompted to fast on Sunday. I have never worked harder and put more faith in the Savior than ever before. I simply did everything that I could to be obedient and work extra hard so that the Lord would help me. I am doing so much better! I have a strong testimony of fasting. I have always seen fasting work miracles in my life. It is definitely hard being a missionary, but the Lord is always by your side. I also have been directing my studies more toward the Savior, and my knowledge of Him and His gospel has been growing so much more than simply just studying a principle. The Savior is the key that opens up the door to success in all aspects of our life. If we turn our life towards Him and "learn of him.. we shall find rest unto our souls" Matt 11:28-30.

We are teaching a family of 4, and family of 3, a father and son, and a woman and her 18month old son this week! I sure do love all these people I have been coming in contact with. I feel the love the Savior has for these individuals and hope that I can help them come closer to Him! If you would like to know more about them I would love to write you a letter!

I love you all very much and am grateful for your support. We are having a lot of success here. Hope to get some letters from you throughout the week. Talk to you all next week!


Elder Hooper

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