Sunday, October 31, 2010

Our joy to help and support the Elders

We had a delightful day on Saturday. Elders Charles and Lewis, whose mother, by the way is a Hoopes, have been visiting with Sister Danita Rouzer. President Holms called us and asked if we would visit her as well. Talking with the Elders we learned she had her own business called Mama Dee's Car Wash. The Elders told her we would be coming to visit her sometime.

When we drove by the car wash in downtown Detroit she was outside and saw us pass by and & watched us as we turned into a driveway to turn around. She was worried for us in her neighborhood thinking we were going to get ourselves into trouble. When we stopped and said hello from the car she immediately knew we were the missionaries the Elders had mentioned. She was extremely happy to see us. For the 40 minutes it took to hand wash our car, we visited with her and it was an exciting time for each of us. She even explained to me that the sounds I was hearing in the ceiling were mice and that they find large rats too. That was a funny crazy new experience for me.
Especially wonderful is her story in many ways. When she saw the Elders on their bikes she was always concerned for them. One time she saw the Elders and yelled to them to stop but they didn't hear her. Then down the street the Elders felt they needed to turn around an go back and they found her. This was the second time she had met some Elders.
When the Elders mentioned something about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy,
she immediately, made the signs to be closed on the Sabbath.

Wrapped up in this plastic is a huge speaker from which she literally blaaaasts gospel music out into the neighborhood. She said no one has complained and she feels it has brought business in.
What we find with several of the investigators we have met is that they had already turned to the Lord and were seeking answers. Denita is a very spiritual and intelligent woman with the scriptures. Likewise is Sister Hannible.
Sister Kimberly Hannible showed me her scriptures and said she wanted a new Bible with gold leaf on the edges of the pages. I pointed out to her how special her Bible is to me because it is well worn. She has read the the Bible completely through at least two times and is now reading the Book of Mormon.

The other thing I marvel at is their love and acceptance. The women we have met so far, who are either baptized or investigating, have tremendous loving hearts and many of them with deep knowledge of scripture. We will be assisting in getting these special people to the scripture study on Wednesday nights.

As we were taking Sister Danita Rouzer and Sister Gwen Jordon home from church today, they got to visiting and Danita offered Gwen an opportunity to come and help work at her car wash. She will make very little money. But right now Sister Jordon has nothing and is all alone. It was thrilling to see the goodness of Danita and the happiness in Gwen that she had a friend, a place to go and something to do the next day.

Saturday Evening Holloween Pizza Party

Sunday the 31st

Elder Erichson, Sister Lockhart Pres & Sister Davies, Pres Brown, Elder Rushton, Elder Adamson and Elder Lewis

Elders Lewis & Adamson, Rushton & Erichson & investigators
Sisters Danita, Kimberly, Gwen and Debbie

Today was a sad day for Sister Gwen Jordon. When Elder Adamson told her he was being transferred on Tuesday she began to cry and could not stop crying. Then we had a Sacrament Meeting talk by a returned Elder who talked about being transferred before a sister was baptized. At the end of his mission he learned from the Elder who took over, that she was baptised and became a very strong member. His talk helped put things into perspective for our sister Jordon. I see how attached these investigators can become to their missionaries. She said it was because he was so important to her because he had changed her life. Elder Adamson told her he would not forget her and in fact would always remember her and write to her.
When we took her home she said she wanted to be baptized. She felt more peace attending the Mormon Church than the other churches she had attended. Her experience in other churches were preachers arguing about things.
We are having a wonderful mission because of these beautiful African American people we are serving here in the branch and the good mix of people coming in for help at the Employment Center.
We also enjoy meeting in stake Networking Meetings and our ERC Conferences where we meet and enjoy Employment Specialists and job seekers who are spread out over Michgan and parts of other states and Canada which is a total of 50 stakes that we serve. I am sure thankful for CDOL (Church Leadership Directory) which, with special saved searches makes it possible to keep 100% up to date on new bishops, branch presidents, stake presidents and district presidents and even new units. An awesome site. This is important because we communicate with these leaders occassionally.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Joy of Grandsons and Grandparents on Missions

On Fri, Oct 15, 2010 at 4:22 AM, Maria Hoopes wrote:

Dear Grandson Jonathan,
Think of you and love you every day. So happy to have the picture of you and your companion in France. We will always be with you in Spirit. Hope you received the letter and picture we sent to the mission office for you. We loved every word of General Conference. We met in a beautiful building in the middle of a the run down area in downtown Detroit.
Love GG Hoopes

Hey Grandma and Grandpa!

It's good to know that you two are still alive in downtown detriot! I hope all is going well. We are really busy here and we are just working as hard as we can! I hope that you keep up the good work. Don't slow down for one minute! I love you both and pray for you!

Elder Hoopes!

To The Family

Things here are going really well. This next week we hope to line up three more baptismal dates! So thats pretty exciting! They are all African also! I'm telling you the africans here are the best because they haven't been raised in this kinda society and environment. They a
re humble and loving! We're going to set a date with...Amie means investigator or friend. Her name is Justine. She has gone through a lot of hard times in her life like most recently her home burnt down... Tough stuff but she is strong catholic and is completely relying on the Savior. So we are setting a date with her this week! Because she was fellowshipped in the ward and came to church she wants to be baptized! Let that be a good lesson about taking friends and other people to church with you! There is a special unity within the church. It's the love of God. Love the ward and do all you can to make it stronger! Be an example of a strong example of missionary in the ward. Romans 1:18 I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Dont be embarrassed to be a missionary!
BTW so far the best boulangerie i've been to is just outside of centre ville. They have this Strawberry Shortcake Tart that is my favorite so far! And our Usual lunch is Baguette and Cheese!!! I love it here! I love you all so much and i hope that you like the pictures! Love Elder Hoopes

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Wonderful Sabbath Days

About a month ago we attend Stake Conference in the Bloomfield Hills Stake and met our sweet daughter-in-law Camille's brother, Gary Safsten, and his children Abigail and two sons. It was his son Alex we met at the MTC who is now serving in Mesa AZ.
Now just today I met Camille's sister Rachelle Beer at the Grand River Branch while she and Sister Snow the Stake RS Presidency were visiting the branch. I saw her smile and saw Camille. It was wonderful and fun. Rachelle is in the middle of our picture.

This evening the missionaries invited us to a teaching appointment and we loved it! Elder Erichson is the taller from Sandy UT and Elder Rushton from Pleasant Grove UT. They both spoke in Church today and gave amazing talks. Elder Rushton who has only been here for five weeks, spoke of keeping our baptism covenants. Elder Erichson spoke of the good guilt which brings one to repentance and the guilt from the advisary which causes one to feel hopeless and unworthy for baptism. Both gave excellent and spiritual messages. These two Elders were also in the picture at the Palmer Park Ward on the day of Conference. We are grateful to serve with and learn from these young Elders.

The picture with me & the Elders (click on the picture & you will see) shows pictures of Christ on their bikes. They do that to thwart any who would want to steal their bikes, and I am sure also to draw one's heart to Jesus Christ. They also keep their car clean and keep pictures of Christ on the dash board for the same reasons. When the car does not have things piled up it is not so inticing to break in to.

Farmington Hills Community Service Event

In the Bloomfield Hills Stake, Farmington Hills Ward, we have a wonder outreaching bishop, Bishop Geiger. The first week we arrived here, a grocery clerk told us of an LDS man (we learned it was Bishop Geiger) who put together some genealogy of the early settlers for the Farmington Downtown Founders Celebration. Now this week we participated in another of his outreach programs. He made arrangements with SLC Welfare Square to deliver 6 tons of clothing and quilts to Farmington. His stake distributed about one fourth of this supply to the greater Detroit area to those in need. Anyone could come. The Church Building was open for two full days on Friday and Saturday.

The Stake President also made a partnership with Salvation Army (because there are no Deseret Industries here in Detroit) to take the other part of the load of clothing that came from SLC. In doing so an agreement was made that Latter-Day-Saints with a bishop's order could use it at the Salvation Army store. They could also be hired on the bases that Deseret Indrustries hires those who need the experience. The Sisters in the picture shows Sister Vance the granddaughter and gr granddaughter of Marion and Leonard Vance from Tempe Stake.

For the two day event there was also an agreement with the town of Farmington that this would not be a proselyting event. There were a few others in the community who came and set up their own area to show how they could serve the people. It was a wonderful time to meet others in the community.

Throughout the building were displays such as, Church literature, Temperal Preparedness and Employment Services. Wonderful experiences were had in each of these areas. When questions were asked, we informed visitors about the Church and even Church Doctrine when they had an interest. We saw many taking Church literature out the door with them.

We visited in the Employment room with many people in need of help. We visited with a beautiful sister from Yugoslavia, with two children and a handicapped husband who can not contribute to the family income. She is desperate to provide for her two young children but was very clear she would not sacrifice the children for work. She is determined to teach her children well and support them. Elder Hoopes bore his testimony that God would help her as she prayed about her needs. He promised her that God would bring to her mind things that would help her with her family and her work as she would pray daily. I suggested she look at some of the literature that would help her guide her children throughout this life. She was so receptive and took all the literature and specifically wanted a Bible and a Book of Mormon.

This was a wonderful interactive two days for us.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Beauty All Around In Fall Colors

The once green trees at the ERC are now completely yellow. The colors are getting brighter every day.

(Click F11 for full screen then click on a picture to see more intense beauty.)

Grand River Branch Chapel

This is the branch building we meet in for Church. The Church purchased it from another church. It is in a depressed area but it is pleasant inside and we enjoy meeting there with the members and with our young Elders.

October General Conference 2010

We met for Conference at the Palmer Park Ward in downtown Detroit. It is an old Greek Orthodox building, purchased and renovated as a Latter-Day-Saint chapel. It is beautiful but in a very run down part of the inner city.
We loved every minute and every word from our Prophet, Apostles and other leaders. It was a wonderful two days. Always has been and always will be.

Saturday Morning of General Conference

Conference starts at 12:00 here so we had time to visit the Franklin Cider Mill. What Fun! On our drive to Conference we enjoyed freshly sqeezed apple juice (they call it cider) and donuts.

Dear Sisters-Lorraine Jameson & Ellen Lee

How fun it was to get this picture from Lorraine as she met my sister-in-law Ellen Lee who, after my brother Bill passed from this life, chose to go on a mission and landed in Johannesburg South Africa. Jameson's were in town and met her. What joy to see two of my beautiful sisters meeting and making a connection to me, being so far away and while they are both serving the Lord.

Hosting New Sister Missionaries

Mission President Holms asked us to take in the new sister missionaries since we have an extra bedroom and bath. When we greeted them and saw the name badge of Sister Vance and then saw how tall she was Jay said, "You must be the granddaughter of of Marion Vance who lived in our Tempe Stake and the Great granddaughter of Leonard Vance who lived in our Tempe 6th Ward." And she is! We had so much fun! And funny thing too, Jay worked at Garrett with her grandmother, Marion's wife, Marie Johnson. It is fun to have so many wonderful connections here in Michigan. Practically every day we get connected to back home.

Visit at Laura & Brian's Labor Day 2010

Family Posted At the Door

We brought these small easy to pack pictures that were hanging on the chandelier at home. So glad we did. Love seeing our children as we come and go out the door. We are grateful to Brenda Ebie who gave us this beautiful Christmas cactus that will bloom at Christmas time.