Tuesday, December 1, 2015


Here are some recent pictures.  Enjoy!

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

This week has been another tough one but I know we are doing the Lord’s work and so it is okay.  I will be thinking about you on Thanksgiving Day.  What a wonderful time of the year.  We are all so blessed.  I have learned how very blessed I am while living here in Brazil.  The people may not have much but they are happy and what a difference that makes.  How blessed I am to have the gospel in my life and know that it is true.  I am so grateful for a wonderful and loving Heavenly Father that allowed His Son to atone for our sins.  We are so blessed to have the Savior in our lives.  I know that He loves us and is there for us.  I am grateful for a wonderful family and loving parents.  I am blessed to have such great friends.  You have all been such a support to me over the years.  May you all have a fabulous Thanksgiving!

Elder Hoopes

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

I am doing great. This week had a few ups and downs but all is well and we are doing great. Our Mission President wrote us this week and told us that he is counting on us. So this week will have us working harder than ever. Also this week has been a week of learning. My companion and I have been growing together as a team and I am learning so much every day. This week it has rained a lot and it is planned to rain this entire week also which throws a monkey wrench in our works but we are pushing forward here in Formosa. There is a lot of work and little time. Here we are needing investigators that want to hear the gospel. Our biggest problem is getting them to go to church and to pray. A lot of investigators are toying with us. They would rather lie right to our faces than just tell us the truth. It is very frustrating. I am doing fine and having a wonderful week. I miss you all and I ask for your prayers that my companion and I will be guided by the Spirit to those that are ready and that we will know what to say. I love you all. Thanks for your support.

Elder Hoopes

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a slow one for me. This week my companion and I have had a hard time. I felt that there was a disconnection between us. I felt that we were not communicating well and that a wall had been built between us. I was really worried this week about what I needed to do. Sometimes I would be waiting for my companion for many things like companion studies, wake up on the hour, at least speak. This week I started to see through other eyes. There was a talk in a past conference that talked about a missionary. One day his companion and him were riding bikes and he look back and his companion was walking. He was mad and asked the Lord why he had received a companion that didn’t want to work. Then the Lord responded back that the two were not very different from one another. I was really trying to help but I was trying to do it my way and not the Lord’s way. I am better and I am ready to work following the Lord’s way. My companion is also okay and he is better. We have talked a lot and we have made goals together about how we can be a better missionary pair. We are working hard. I am learning and growing every day.

This past week was crazy because we got hail. There was a lot of wind that was sooo strong it up rooted 25 foot tall trees. We are all okay but it was crazy that afternoon. Also this week, I have been trying to see what I can do to be better. I have learned so much from the Lord in these past few months that I am seeing a difference in the work. Right now my companion and I have three dates for baptism and we are working for more. Also there is a lot of movement in our ward and we are pushing for the work. All is well and I am trying to put photos on my email but they are not downloading fast enough.

Love you all!

Elder Hoopes

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November 3, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,
   Just a quick run down.  Life is going great.  The work is moving on.  It has started to rain this week about everyday and yeah it is refreshing!!!
   I had a neat experience this week.  This week my companion and I were eating açaí and a pastor sat down next to us and started asking a lot of targeted questions. He stopped, went to buy some acai and then my comp said a prayer and then the conversation began. I recognized that every time we bore our testimonies the pastor was confused in the way that he didn´t know how to counter our testimonies.   It was a very special experience. 
  This week, my companion and I have felt prompted that the work is going to go forward in a big way.  We know there are a lot of people the Lord has prepared to receive the gospel and we just have to make sure we find them.  We know the Lord loves these people and wants them to be happy with the gospel in their lives.  The members this week have really started to open up to us and we have seen a greater desire in them to help us share the gospel.  Our president is very happy with our work and we are pushing hard for a breakthrough in the work.  
    This week we had an interesting experience.  My companion and I passed by a recent convert’s house.  His wife is a member who left the church.  She is always drinking and smoking.   The recent convert told us that she was in the house and suggested that we could pass by and try to converse with her.  When we got there she was not there but another woman came out of the house drunk, she said that she was the mother of one member.  Also two more women came out of the house, one was the mother of the other. The two women that came out are from Bahia which is well known for Carnival and they were drunk.  They started saying things I never thought I would hear.  After the experience, I talked with Elder Francisco and we are both fine.  There are no problems but we realized that Satan was trying to put a block in our path and is trying to upset the work.  I say this was a miracle because it has given me a greater drive to baptize people and to be a worthy priesthood holder.  I know my responsibilities and I am happy to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints because I know the value of my choices and my standards.  Thank you for everything that you have taught me mom and dad.   I believe in the gospel and I have seen so many miracles and the power of God in my life this week.  I know that the Lord lives and that He does perform miracles. I know that the work will grow here and that the blessings will come.
Your son,
Elder Hoopes

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

I am doing great and I am not sick. I am 110% and rolling like a roller coaster. The work is going forward. The other two investigators we had were baptized. One will be interviewed next Sunday to see if he is worthy for the Aaronic Priesthood. They are growing in the gospel and coming along so well. I am still so excited about the baptisms that we had last week. I told you about where we had 60 people show up. This is so exciting to see the ward get excited. It was crazy amazing!!! Everything is going swell and life is wonderful. It finally started to rain here and ohhhhh how it is nice!!

Yes, I loved Conference! It was so wonderful. And yes I love Elder Durant’s talk. My scripture was in Mark that said to him that believeth all is possible. My companion and I have felt a strong impression this past week that the Lord is ready to do miracles here. We have felt that by December we will have a lot of people ready to be baptized. We are pushing for miracles for that is our call. Thank you so much everyone for your prayers.

This week was transfers and I stayed. The work is great and like clockwork. It is hot here but that helps me feel at home in the AZ sol. This week will be strong and I know that the Lord is preparing ways for his children to be baptized and enter into the Kingdom of God. Every day we are receiving revelation and learning how we can improve. Love the work and vocês!!! Até a proxíma semana!!!

Com Carinho, Elder Hoopes

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Life is great and I am running! Our schedule is pretty hectic and sometimes there isn´t time to rest. But that is okay. The work is going forward. My companion doesn´t run but there is another missionary in our house that does. I am doing fine and I never thought I would say this but I am eating a lot less. I am not like the black hole I used to be when I was at home. hahaha (maybe a good thing :])

This past week we did have two baptisms and one was confirmed on Sunday. I was able to confirm him. One baptism happened on Saturday and that was Maycom who watched all of conference and when he got baptized he told us that he still hadn´t received an answer but he knew that the church would help him change his life and that was a good thing. We know he will receive his answer soon. On Sunday there were two more baptisms. One was ours and the other was from the other pair of missionaries. The baptism was amazing. There were almost 60 people there and everyone was energized. The train is picking up speed here in our little branch of 120 people. This area is growing and we are pushing forward now that the members can be more animated. I will send pictures of the baptisms next week. Maycom, the man that was baptized on Saturday does photography and he has professional cameras. He took the photos and he will send them to me during the week. The work here is going great and our district president returned. The District president has a lot of goals for our district and he is pushing that we can divide our branch here in Formosa. So the four of us (elders) here are working double time that we can accomplish the divide before Christmas. The Lord is working miracles here. There are a bunch of less actives that we are encountering and a lot of members that are showing up out of nowhere. Less actives wanting to return and members with friends that are not members but want to learn more about the church. What can I say but, “Wow!” As I like to say, ´when we are in the Lord’s work and doing everything that we can it looks like another day in paradise!!!!


Elder Hoopes

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

October 13, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,
This week was great!  We had a great day as Shirley was baptized.  We are so excited for her!  Her life will be so much happier with the peace the gospel brings.  We are so blessed to have the gospel in our lives.  We truly are.  To know of the truthfulness of the gospel is such a gift.  We need to make sure we are sharing it through word and deed so we can bring others to the happiness that it brings!

This week was hard for us to find new investigators and were are looking into new ways to reach the people of Formosa.  Also we were talking with our District President here and he is thinking about dividing our branch into two and he wants to become a stake and not a district.  We are growing.  Looks like we will be having 2 more baptisms the end of this week!  Please keep our investigators in your prayers. 

Sorry I didn’t write yesterday.  It was a National Holiday and we had to stay inside all day.   We have been working so hard this was a nice break. 

I am still pondering over Conference.  It was so GREAT!  From Elder Durrant’s talk about ponderizing, my scripture last week was 1 Nephi 15: 11 that says that if we remember what the Lord said and we ask in faith believing that we will receive and keep the commandments the things we ask will be made known unto us.   I love it!!  This week I am still deciding on my scripture.

Last minute things:  By the way, I did get the box and I didn’t get it.  It is at the escritorio (office) and I will have to wait 2 more weeks to really get it.  I am still running and loving it.  I will tell you that I had to get another pair of running shoes.  My others are dying and there are starting to hurt my feet. I bought a pair of Asicis and I tried to buy when the dollar was high.  It has already passed 4 reals here!!!

All in all I am doing great.  It is unbelievable that I have been in Brazil for 13 months.  The time is flying by which is hard to believe.  I love Brazil and the people.  They are all children of our Heavenly Father and they are so wonderful to be with.  I know I am supposed to be here and I am so happy.  I am so blessed.
Until next week,
Elder Hoopes

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

I am so excited about this week. Shirley is going to be baptized. She is a wonderful woman who finally after three months denying every invitation has finally accepted the invitation to be baptized. Shirley has been invited countless times to be baptized. She believes everything and she keeps the commandments and everything. One day Elder Francisco and I went to her house with two members and we sat down and said, Shirley, we have been prompted by the Lord to come and visit you on one special purpose. The Lord is calling you to follow in his footsteps and be baptized. She responded that she didn´t know about it and I felt impressed to ask her, “If God appeared in front of you right now and asked you to be baptized right now would you?” She responded yes. I then then explained to her that God has sent us, two of His representatives, to invite her to follow Him now and be a new person. Heavenly Father wants her to enter into His path and help others to do the same. Shirley will be baptized on the 7th of October. We also have one more investigator named Maycon. He has set the date of October 11th but he is still deciding if he will be baptized or not. Of all our investigators he was there in the chapel and he watched all five sessions of General Conference!! He was awake and attentive the entire time!!! If you guys could pray for him that he will receive his answer it would help a lot!! Thanks.

I am doing great and life is a wonderful. It is getting hotter here every day and we are still waiting for rain. haha but it is great!!!  I want to thank you all for you love and support. I am loving my new area. It is wonderful. I love watching our investigators grow! I am so thankful for the miracle of repentance and how we have the ability to change. I have watched the difference it has made in so many people’s lives and mine also. I am so grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and Savior and the Atonement. We are so blessed!!

Also I loved the conference talk by Elder Durrant and his challenge to ponderize one scripture every week. I put my plan for ponderizing for 10 years.

I love you all and until next week.

Elder Hoopes

Monday, September 21, 2015

September 21, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

I am doing better than ever and I am loving my mission. The weather is getting hotter here and there is a lot to do.

When it comes to transfers I am very excited about my new area. My new companion is Elder Francisco and he is from Sao Paulo. He has only been a member for 5 years and is 23 years old. He is a wonderful companion and we are doing great! I am excited. Here in Formosa we are working with an investigator that knows everything. She believes in everything but has not accepted a date to be baptized. She has already past the interview. We are working with her now and with the Lord's help we know things will go forward. There are so many people here in our area that are ready to be baptized. Also this area is ready for some big changes.

We have two people with dates for baptism. One this week and one for the 7th of October. If you can pray for one person. Her name is Shirly and she has a date for the 7th. She is ready and that day is her birthday. She needs to baptized on this day or she never will be baptized because she will continue to tell the rest that invite her that she doesn´t feel ready yet. She is a great person and we are working closely with her..

Thanks for sending the box. I will let you know when I get it. I am also sending a box your way. I love you all!

With love,
Elder Ashton

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sept 14, 2015 WITH PICTURE

Dear Family and Friends,

First of all I was transferred this past week from Lago Azul and now I am in Formosa. I love Lago Azul and I will miss the area and people! The members there are amazing and I will truly miss them. The 2 investigators we were working with I will try to keep informed on. Keep praying for them.

This email will not be long because today was a rush with transfers and all. My new companion is Elder Roberto. He is great! He is from the town of Lavras in the state of Minas Gerais in Brazil. The work is ahead of us but we are excited. Also it has rained the past few days here and it is really humid, wow!!! I am sweating like a pig. I will send fotos soon. I will download them on the computer and you can take them off my email.

Elder Hoopes

Monday, September 7, 2015

Sept 7, 2015

Dear Family and Friends,

So to start off I just want you all to know the Lord’s work is going forward. I was transferred and I am in the state of Goias in Brazil and my address is Quadra 87 Lote 17 Casa 2 in Lago Azul, Novo Gama de Goias. Thank you for your prayers. The Lord is answering them. Every day we are trying our best and Elder Roberto and I are starting to see a change in the ward members. A new plan we are implementing with the Lord’s help is starting to work to get the members involved more. Up until now our investigators are Cristiani who is dating a less active member named Antonio. Antonio is returning to church. They need to get married now so we can move forward with their teachings. Also, we have another family. They are Diego, Lidiane, and Nicolas. This is a family that wants to know more about the gospel. They are great and they also need to get married. Besides that we are encountering new people. I am really loving the work. We are having a wonderful experience and it looks like we will start to have some baptisms by the next transfer.

Today is Independence Day in Brazil. My email is short because we only have 30 minutes total today as the Lan house where we go to email is closing in a few minutes. This new area has been an experience. In my last area there was a person murdered close to our house and we saw what happened the next morning. Just the other day our apartment was broken into. Only one elder’s things were stolen which was a sad thing for him but a blessing they didn’t have enough time to go through the other 3 elders things. We are doing okay and continue to be safe with the Lord’s protection.

Again sorry this is so short, I will write more next week. Just a side note: I have learned to play the ukulele. It is a fun thing to play on P-Days. Elder Sifuentes is teaching me how to play.

Love you all,
Elder Ashton Hoopes

Monday, August 31, 2015


Dear Family and Friends,

I have been transferred to a different area. I am training and opening an area. It is an amazing experience with all the ups and downs. When I started this transfer 4 weeks ago I was ready to rock and roll and just plow through our area. Then over the last 4 weeks things become a lot slower. Everyday my companion and I walked about 3-4 miles just to get to our area and then we start talking with people. It has been a very interesting journey when you have time on your hands to think about what you have to do. Everyday my companion and I have talked with 30 to 40 new people trying to help them see that the message that we have could change their lives. I think though the most enriching experience that I have had through this transfer is training my companion. Every day when I would train I would show my companion how to do the work and show him some hints. But for me it was a humbling experience. I realized I wasn’t training my companion every day he was training me. I am truly thankful for the blessings of a new companion because they have new ideas and when I told my companion to be original when he teaches, he just unloaded things I had never seen. He taught in different ways and the Spirit was more present than I have ever felt. My companion taught very simply because he doesn´t talk much at all.

Also this transfer there are 4 elders that are here. We have discovered that our ward has been having serious problems with the families in our ward. When we discovered this we created a plan and I have never seen the power of the Spirit work so quickly. We had a ward of dropping numbers of about 60 people that shot up these past weeks to 120 plus. The Lord works in many ways but we must be worthy to be His hands and to have the Spirit with us.

I am thankful for everyone and I know that the Lord lives and that He is knocking on our door. But the question is, are we willing to open it??

Until next week,
Elder Hoopes

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015

I am doing great! I have learned a lot lately and I so love the work. This area that my comp and I are opening is one we are starting from scratch. We have our work cut out for us to find those that need to hear about the gospel. It will be a busy time but a great time. Thanks for all of your prayers. The Lord has been watching over us! The Lord has heard your payers and I have truly felt comforted and loved. Thank you so much!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015

Dear Mother & Dad,
This week was an interesting one. Not one of our best weeks of work but things have improved. I am doing great. This week my companion had a panic attack about things back home. This week I could see the power of the devil and how he works. This week we had two baptisms planned but the two dropped because some problems arose but we are still strong. I know that the Savior is there for us and when we ask Him for help that we will be some of the strongest people here on the earth. This week problems arose but we are doing great now. We are 100 percent and nothing is coming in between that. This week I have learned so much. Every day we will encounter new challenges, but every day is a new day and a new adventure for us to begin. Mother, oh how I have seen the power of the Lord these past few weeks. There was counsel that president gave to all of the Zone Leaders this past week and they passed everything to us. There were so many things that I was truly humbled. I have so many things that I can do better and so many things I can do to live life without regrets.

Our investigators are doing great but we have lost a few because they are not progressing.
Life is so crazy that I am totally exhausted. My body is dead. Sunday morning I almost could not get out of the bed. I am running everyday to our appointments and we are trying to do our best.

Love you so much and until next week.
Elder Hoopes

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015

This week was a long one but a good one. Every day I have been learning new things. Learning of the power and authority of God; Learning that I am to call others to repentance and raise the weak and feeble. I have never learned so much as now. I am thankful for your confidence in me and the continued support that you and dad have always given me. Every day that you pushed me and that you drove me and the days that you made me go crazy. Now look at where I am. I am doing the same to others in the efforts to do the same. To raise those that have fallen, to move those that have stopped, to inspire those that are broken. I have the responsibility to act as the hand of the Lord. I am to open my mouth when the Spirit prompts me. I am the eyes of the Lord every time that I look on those in doubt and fear with the love of Him who died for us. Mother I am thankful for everything you and dad have done for me. I am grateful for every person that has ever pushed me until I dropped and then you raised me back up to do it again. I am thankful for my family and friends, for my coaches, for everyone that has been there for me when I was in trouble, or was in tears wanting to quit and give up. Without you and father and everyone else, I would not be where I am today. This past week we had two baptisms drop on us but I will not give up. I will not stop. I will push forward until I can go no further. Then I will go on until I can go no longer. Then I will break that wall in front and above me and will help others to do the same. I am ready. I am here. I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ and a representative of my Savior and my family.


Thank you so much!!!
Your son

Monday, July 6, 2015

July 6, 2015

Dear Mother and Dad,

It seems that time is passing so fast. My companion is a wonderful and we are working a lot. We have three dates for baptism for this next Sunday. One of them is Tyago who was an investigator of one of Ashley’s college roommates. Every day we are in the fight to do what is right and my company and I are sticking true.

That stinks to hear about your hand but it is good to hear that you are okay. Also that is crazy about Kapono going to Washington. Wish him the best of luck for me.

This week was fast and quick. We had the AP’s come and did a trade with my companion. We had three Assistants in our house and Elder Porter (Zone Leader) who will be going home soon went to another area with the 4th Assistant. I got to spend a day with Elder Xavier and it was great. I talked a lot with him about our ideas and all that we could do here to work better. He has given me a lot of ideas. I am doing great and life is good. Also I got to make pancakes this past Sunday and they were amazing!!!

Elder Hoopes

Monday, June 29, 2015

June 29, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

I am sorry about last week and that I didn’t get to write a letter. Last week we had transfers and I had to bring three elders and their bags to our house in P-Sul and then I had to take a 2 hour trip with one of those elders to another city to get the stuff for our zone and the rest of his bags!!! It was an extremely hectic day and our assistants don´t give permission to write a letter during the week if you missed Pday. But all is well.

I am so excited for Dallin that he will be serving in Colorado. He will be going out a year after me. He will be reporting a week before when I reported to the MTC. Also I have had some other friends that have gotten their calls and have reported to the field. Mother do you know anything about Donivan or Chief and the boys on the team? How they are doing? I still haven´t gotten the other letters you sent. Life is crazy here and I think the postal service has a problem

This past Monday was transfer day and I stayed in my area and I got a new companion but also another surprise. My area has received two more elders and now my area has become the area of the zone leaders. I am learning so much everyday from my companion who is Elder Escobar who is from Peru. He is 19 also and he is my district leader. He is great!! The two zone leaders are also great. There is Elder Schinigoski who is from Parana of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul and Elder Porter who is from Kansas City, Kansas and he is going home in 5 weeks because he is about to complete two years.

Here I am doing great. Our ward is great and everyday I am always meeting new people that we can talk with and share the gospel with. When we use the ward is goes along so much better. Yesterday Elder Escobar and I were walking with one of the boys in our ward doing contacts. Really we were knocking on doors and we meet a kid who was 15 years old and he said that he has an interest in our message and wanted to know more. It is amazing to see the blessings of the gospel here in the field. I love being a missionary!! Also here in Celandia it has started to cool down and it is amazing!!! I don’t like the heat and there is a cool winter breeze that has come along. Every day it is becoming a paradise and our investigators are wonderful.

We have 11 people with baptismal dates marked in about 2 weeks. We have a couple that is very firm on being baptized and this couple is interesting. They are great. The woman is healthy but the husband is completely paralyzed on his right side. He cannot speak clearly. This couple is great and they have really progressed. We have another family that my companion and I have only met the mother and the kids of the family but the father does not like us and does not want to talk to us. This family (I will call them Jane’s family) is wanting to progress but that the husband is not wanting us to enter into his house. We are having to meet in another member’s house now to speak with Jane and her family. They are great but have a few problems. When people go to school they go to learn. Here in Brazil the school systems is horrible and I have encountered many people that do not know how to read or write. Jane and her husband don’t know how to do these things. For me I feel extremely grateful for all of my teachers and parents for helping me through school.

Every day here is a new experience with all the people that I get to meet and I love it. I would like to invite everyone that reads this letter to do something this week to help someone that you know or a random person in the street. Do it out of love and a desire to be happy. Serving is one of the best ways that you can encounter happiness and that is the best part of my job. Also this week my companion and I encountered a man in his house. When we started talking to him, he became very irritated with us and tried to tear us apart about what we believe. He was so belligerent that my companion started to become really frustrated and so we ended the contact and went home. My companion started to vent and told me that he doesn´t like it when people talk bad about the church and I learned what I think is one of the best lessons yet in my mission. When life is beating down on you, when the world seems to be targeting you and that the enemy of all is trying to get to sin, that the best way to push them all away is to smile. When you smile or try to smile you become happy and also you can think this thought. If you believe in Christ you know that He lives and that He exists and that this is all that matters. The Holy Ghost and an army of angels are on your side fighting for you every moment of the day and we must always remember the sacrifice of our Savior.

Mother & Dad, I love you and I am having a great time. I will try to send some pictures to you next week. If you could find out what is happening with the team and how you and the family are I want to hear. I love you a lot and remember as Spencer W. Kimball says, “Great women and men are more anxious to serve than to dominate.”

Until next week,
Elder Ashton Nephi Hoopes

Monday, June 8, 2015

June 8, 2015

Dear Mom and Dad,
I will write more next week. I wanted to let you know that Romeo and Juliet did not get baptized. We are working to sort out some problems and help them both. We are focusing on our ward and working with them to learn how to help. We are moving in a better direction and working with them so that together we can become a stronger ward. The Lord’s work is going forward and I am so blessed to be a part of it.

Your son,
Elder Hoopes

Monday, June 1, 2015

June 1, 2015

This letter will be short. I am on a time crunch because today was zone activity and we are in a rush. Quickly, I want you to know that the baptism we had scheduled is being rescheduled. We are working with this brother and hoping in two weeks that he will be ready. Life is going great and I am loving my mission. President had an interview with our entire zone. He told us that he is pleased with the work we are doing. Every day is a race and he told us that he wants more and expects more of us and so this week we are planning a lot. We have started a new program with our ward and everything here is training. Life is great and I love you. Next week will be a longer and better letter.

I love you so much!!!!