This past week was amazing!
I love Elder Hoopes! It is such a blessing to serve with him! We have a blast as we serve the Lord and His children. He is constantly making me laugh! This morning I laughed so hard I almost cried. It's always good to have a good sense of humor at the right time and place. I enjoy teaching with him! I have learned a lot with him as we have taught and looked for people to teach and as we have studied together. I'm afraid I haven't trained him much but I'd say he was ready to serve a mission so I didn't have to teach to much. He has really opened up over the weeks. We talk as we drive to appointments and at home when we are eating and getting ready for bed.
So our week was great! Elder Hoopes felt prompted to contact a man named Martin right as we were getting in our car a few weeks ago after we stopped by our recent convert Dameon. So I was about to back out then he came and knocked on my window and said he wanted to talk to Dameon's neighbor who was sitting out on his porch. He gave him a card and started to talk to him a little then we asked if we could come by and teach his family and we scheduled an appointment. We went to the appointment and he wasn't there. Then as we were walking back to our truck Martin pulled up and said he was sorry he couldn't meet with us that day, something came up with a family gathering but that we could you come back on Tuesday. We told him that we would come back and he then got back in his truck and headed off. I was impressed that he would come all the way back just to tell us in person that he wanted to reschedule. We finally got to teach him and his wife Candy this past week! He works at Pilgram's Pride as a foreman and they have four children, their oldest being eight. (Pilgram's Pride is a chicken processing place and one of the 2 major employers here in Lufkin.) We taught the restoration and got to know them. I already love this family! I too feel like they have been prepared to receive the gospel at this time. We are excited to be able to help them become converted to the restored gospel. Candy comes from a catholic family but has been looking for a church with her husband Martin. He doesn't have much experience with going to church. They said that we are the first people to find them and talk about church and we had a good lesson. We are going to see them again tomorrow!
Yesterday at church the Beuse family, a really awesome family in the ward, brought a friend with them! It was wonderful to see them doing all that they could to share the gospel with their friend Ray. We met him and have an appointment scheduled with him for this Friday. We are excited to be able to teach him. He is friends with sister Beuse mostly just from talking to her at the gym. She started talking to him when he just came up to her when she was working out and started talking and to try to get rid of him she started talking about church stuff and then he kept coming by so she kept it up and gave him a pamphlet that she asked for from us and then she gave him a Book of Mormon. He stayed for sacrament meeting so hopefully we can help him come back again.
We went out with a member of our ward, Brother Grisel, who is in the stake presidency and visited some less active families and our recent convert, Dameon. It was wonderful to have him with us and to be able to teach with him. He is an amazing example of ministering to others and it was wonderful to be able to teach with him and to see him reach out a hand of fellowship to the members of the ward.
This past week on Tuesday we started teaching Kenisha Cauley and her boyfriend Donovan. Kenisha's parents are members but have been less active for a long time. We are hoping to be able to teach Kenisha's brothers as well and help this family come to the waters of baptism and start on the path to going to the temple in a year to be sealed.
The Lord truly has blessed us here in Lufkin and will continue to do so. I know He will.
It was so good to hear from everyone today! I love being able to hear about y'alls lives back at home and how y'all are doing. I can't believe the family has shrunk so much. That is people living at home. Well I love y'all and I hope y'all have a great week!
Love your missionary,
Elder Drew Bowen
Attached are 2 pictures of Elder Hoopes and me in the laundry room this morning.Love y'all!