Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Week 83, Learning From Challenges.

I just realized that on Saturday I hit 19 months (the thought I had
when I wrote this was, "oh my gosh this is awful haha!). I used to
think missionaries were so old when they would say that they were at 6
months haha! So, I finally had a normal haircut for the first time in
my mission this afternoon (except from Sis Jangula in Staten Island).
All these other places in the city kept giving me line-ups and
trimming my hair in spots that don't look good on a white guy that is
40% bald, hah just kidding.

I am going to be honest, this week was extremely difficult for me! I
was just anxious out of my mind! Lots of little things that I kept
worrying about, but I just kept pushing them a side saying I will
think about that at 9:30pm when I am free from talking to people.
After a while it all just built up, becoming something that I was
having a hard time handling. I wasn't able to think very clearly, and
I felt unworthy. The Lord is always with us. Sometimes we start
feeling so frustrated, feeling inadequate, or feeling "why me" we
hinder the Holy Ghost from prompting us because we get so preoccupied
by these thoughts, leaving us unable to feeling the quiet, subtle
whispers of the spirit. This is why it's important to read the
scriptures, pray, and do things that invite the spirit like listening
to uplifting music during challenges.

Elder S. Gifford Nielsen of the First Quorum of the Seventy came to
tour our mission! I had the opportunity to be with him twice, once in
an Mission Leadership Council format and then in a Mega Zone
Conference. He gave many valuable insights that I cherished. He and
his wife are just awesome! You can definitely feel the mantle of their
calling when you see him. From watching him on General Conference, he
doesn't look all that tall, but he is huge! He is 6'5". He said
President Monson sent a messenger over to him during their lunch break
asking Elder Nielsen to come over and talk to him. Elder Nielsen,
nervous, went over and Pres Monson says "How tall are you!?" "6'5"
says Elder Nielsen. "Well, I am 6'3"." It was a pretty funny
conversation that he described. Here are some brief summaries of what
I learned. "You can't waste a minute on this mission... You will never
have another opportunity like this... This is your time." I am the
future of the church. Am I the problem or the solution? "This mission
will change my entire mortal and eternal existence".  "If it doesn't
start with the leaders, it won't happen". It was awesome to have him
with us!

Here is a miracle!
On an exchange with Elder Acosta, a missionary in my zone, we went up
to a lady and talked with her for a bit on her driveway. She said she
would be open to listen and I ask well what about right now? She said
she had time. We spoke for about an hour and it was looking very
stormy,  but since there was no man in he house we had to teach it
outside. Once we finished the lesson and got in the car the rains came
down and the floods came up! We knew that God allowed us to teach that
lady! It was raining on and off all day, so to have the rain
completely stop was no coincidence. She said that she felt really good
during the lesson and would like us to come back! It was all in
Spanish, therefore, I had Elder Acosta translate what she said in
English and translate what I said in Spanish. It was cool!

Even though it was a tough week, it still taught me a lot. I gave a
talk on Father's Day during sacrament meeting. It is at the bottom if
you want to read it!

Have an awesome week! Happy Birthday to my Mom this week!

Elder Hooper

(This is just an outline)
Brother's and Sisters, before I begin my talk I want each of you to
think of a fond memory you had with your dad. Hold on to these
memories while I speak and think of the good your dad now does or has
done for you.

I would like to share with you some of my favorite memories of my dad:
going with my dad on deliveries, working on the Chevelle, priesthood
blessings I received from him.

James E. Faust said, "Brethren, noble fatherhood gives us a glimpse of
the divine attributes of our Father in Heaven. A father should be many
things. He should magnify his priesthood and be an example of
righteousness. In companionship with his wife, he should be the source
of stability and strength for the whole family. He should be the
protector and the provider and the champion of the members of his
family. Much of his love for his children should flow from his example
of love, concern, and fidelity for their mother. By his uncompromising
example he should instill character into his children." (“Them That
Honour Me I Will Honour", James E. Faust).

I feel one of the most important ways a father can lead by example is
working with his wife in unity, being equally yoked in the decisions
of the family, and treating her with utmost respect.

Through the council of our church leaders, we have learned that as
parents learn their duty and lead their homes in a Christ-like manner,
they in return will learn what our Heavenly Father feels towards all
of us, His children. "And this is life eternal, that they might know
thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." As a
father, as you pattern your home after the manner righteousness, you
will come to know the only true God and Jesus Christ.

Do you remember the memory you thought of about your father? Now I
want you to think of your most fond memory when you felt the love of
your Heavenly Father.

"Of all the titles of respect and honor and admiration that are given
to deity, God has asked us to address Him as Father." Jesus Christ,
before he ascended into Heaven, said "Touch me not; for I am not yet
ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I
ascend unto my Father, and "your" Father (John 20:17)." We know that
God is our Father, the Father of our Spirits. We are all His children
and He loves us! He loves us so much that He has given us a Savior,
living prophets, the scriptures, continuous revelation, the Holy
Ghost, and temples! Why has he done all of this? It is so you and I
can have peace in this life and eternal salvation in the next life,
just like any loving father would want us to have!


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