"How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of those that bring glad tidings of good things, and that say unto Zion: Behold, thy God reigneth! As the dews of Carmel, so shall the knowledge of God descend upon them!" ---D&C 128:19

Monday, January 26, 2015


Hey you guys! How's it going? This week was the second week leading out the area. It was still pretty tough. There were a couple of things though that were cool.
I think the first thing I want to talk about is that even though these past couple of weeks have been tough trying to find new people to teach we have found a couple of cool people.
The first one is "R."In my opinion he is a really cool guy. He is going to college right now studying to become a judge. So he's really smart. He is a deep thinker which means he asks some tough questions. It's different because we have to say we will answer his questions later, or that we will have to look them up, which I have never had to tell someone in a lesson before.
The other is "D." We found her through contacting and she has been really good at listening. We have taught her the Restoration and Plan Of Salvation and she is really good at repeating back to us what she said in her own words. She has a family and so we want to try and work her husband in the lessons. Sorry I can't be more descriptive with these two, we have only had two lessons each with them so I'll let you know how it goes.
"O" is doing good. We are having problems getting them to church. They just live far away and so they have to wake up early and take two different bus routes to get there. We are working on arranging a member to bring them. They are almost done hearing all of the lessons we have so that's exciting. They have done really well in following the commitments we give them, which is awesome.
Today for P-day we played Ultimate Frisbee and a little bit of soccer as a zone. I have a couple of pictures from the guys in the zone so you guys will get an idea of the other missionaries here. One thing I will say is that I feel like this transfer will be really miraculous. Every district and zone meeting we have had has been really inspirational. I have come out of those meetings feeling inspired to do missionary work. This zone is really awesome. We all really want to work hard and try and improve the branches and areas we are working in. It may be tough now but I feel like it will be a good transfer. We just need to be patient.
This email is a little all over the place but I want you guys to know that I love you! Just know that I am ok and that I am having fun. Some days are tougher than others. But it is still fun. I really love the zone and am excited for the things to come. Hope you guys have a good week! Tell Ledoux and Kache Happy Birthday for me!!
Elder Cole Cooper

Monday, January 19, 2015

A Perfect Effort

Hello everyone! I'm really glad to have gotten your emails. I appreciate them every week.
To start off, this was easily the toughest week of my mission so far. When we went to visit "S" on Friday to do the baptismal interview she came out with some bad news. She explained that she had just gotten into a fight with her mom about us. Her mom had told her that she does not like our church, us meeting with her, or the idea of "S" getting baptized. Her mom told her that if she continued to go to church or meet with us she would kick her out. "S" may be 18 and able to decide for herself, but she has nowhere to go with a year left of school. So she unfortunately has to stop meeting with us, or going to church. She told us we could still call her and text her, and she asked us to do that everyday, which we have. It was incredibly sad to have to say goodbye. The best we could do was to say to continue to pray and read the scriptures. Part of what made it so sad was that I feel like we have more than just a missionary-investigator relationship, but that we are good friends.
On top of that, we had several appointments fall through. We had set up appointments to visit recent converts, a couple of investigators we wanted to follow up on, but almost all of them fell through. Which left us to just do contacting. Also mine, and Elder Mercier's bike had problems, so that kept us from going outside one of the days.
Leading an area is tough. I didn't realize that it could be so tough. I'm trying to plan effective days where we are able to be productive and stay outside, but we need to find a few more people and the people that we do have are not just people we can visit unannounced. It's ok, we have plans this week to visit some members and seek referrals so hopefully we can increase our pool of people to teach.
In the quiet moments that I've had the past couple of days thinking about all that's happened and how rough it's been trying to be effective, there have been a couple of things I've been reminded of.
One is a verse in 1 Peter 1:7 which says "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than gold which perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:" For me, what this means is that the Lord is refining me a bit. I need to learn and grow from the experiences I'm having, like leading out an area, or going through a rough time with an investigator. The other thing I thought of was one of the last movies I saw before going on my mission, called "When the Game Stands Tall," which has one of my favorite actors, Jim Caveziel, in it. One of the quotes often repeated in it is "Perfection should not be expected, but a perfect effort, through that we can achieve success." Along those lines, but applying it to myself, I can feel successful as long as I'm trying my best and giving "A perfect effort."
I love you guys! Even though times get rough, the Lord is with us and loves us and I testify of that. I know he will help us through all of our trials. And through a perfect effort and through Jesus Christ, we can achieve perfection and exaltation. I hope you guys have an awesome week!
Love Elder Cooper
P.S Don't worry about me, we have made plans to really attack this week, seeking referrals, finding new people, working with members, all that stuff. I love you guys

Monday, January 12, 2015


Hey everyone! So the first thing I think I should say is that our baptism with "S" did not work out this week. She wanted to postpone it next week so that she could invite more of her friends and so that her mom could make it. She is still going to be baptized though. It's just this Saturday instead of this last. She is awesome though. I'm happy for her, and I'm glad that she wanted to make sure her mom could come.
Other than that this week was pretty normal. We were able to play basketball on Tuesday, which was fun. Most of the time we play soccer so this was a good change.
Some good news is that "F" has a baptismal date for January 31. We haven't been teaching him but because he goes to our branch and lives so close we hear about how it's going with him. He has come to church I think every single week since we've met him. He will be a really strong member and a good priesthood holder for the branch, when that time comes He's a good guy. My only wish is that we were the ones who taught him! Haha.
"O" and her family are progressing in what ways they can. They continue to read from the Book of Mormon, and ask really good questions. They tried fasting for the first time yesterday. Which was really cool. They have a lot of faith and they are awesome to teach.
In other news, transfer calls came. Elder Beckstrand is going to the Tamenga branch and I'm staying here and leading the area. My new companion is named Elder Mercier. (mer-see-ay).
It's not all bad though. We still have awesome people we work with, and we had a contacting blitz the Saturday before. So we have a lot of people to follow up on, as well as a plan with the branch council to help reactivate some people.
I want you guys to know I love you, and hope that everything goes well this week. I know that Jesus Christ loves us. Every circumstance or trial we run into is for our benefit. Sorry it's a little short this week!
Love you guys!
Elder Cooper
P.S I got Aunt Jenny's package and your guys' package. As well as all of your guys' letters! It was really awesome to read them. As well as all the candy. ;) Please let the Wilson's know I said thanks. And thank you guys!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

When The Lord Throws Us The Keys

First off, I want to apologize about the pictures. When I said I was sending them last week I didn't realize that the cyber I was at did not have the software for dropbox. I also ran out of time in the middle of emailing so I wasn't able to send out everything I wanted. It was a little frustrating. But it's all good now! Most of these pictures are from last week when we had our celebration and when we went to the museum at New Amsterdam.
To tell a little bit about our week, this week was zone conference. Which means that President Mehr  came by into Suriname. It was also District Conference so our entire weekend got shot going to different meetings back and forth. Yesterday we had zone conference which went from 9-5. I'm not joking, 9-5 with an hour lunch in between. We literally sat down and heard from President Mehr, sister Mehr, a member of the district presidency, and also the AP's. There were good parts and not so good parts but all in all it wasn't bad. President Mehr gave an amazing analogy that I know Dad would've loved. President Mehr gave an analogy of how when we go to build a house we make a contract with a company. He explained that during the process there are payments that the company receives when a step is completed (like the foundation). He then explained how sometimes companies cut corners. With the roofing brackets or with a cheaper tile. But then when the home owner notices the change, the company has to go back and sometimes they ask for a payment before they deserve it, because the economy is tough. But if the home owner agrees in the building of this specific house, the company then decides to go the extra mile. Putting in better quality pipes, higher quality everything. Because the home owner was so nice and helped. And then when it's all said and done and as we're walking away from the house we just built, the home owner throws us the keys and says it's ours. So is it in our lives. Sometimes we cut corners, we ask for things we don't deserve, but our Heavenly Father has mercy. If we go the extra mile though, we make our house beautiful, and we work hard. The equivalent of exaltation is when the Lord throws us the keys and says the work we've done was for us all along. I don't know if that went across as well. I summarized it, but I just remember enjoying it a lot.
As far as how our investigators are doing, "S" is still on her baptismal date. She should be baptized this Saturday.
To answer your guys' questions, I am writing in my journal. I know I will really enjoy going back and reading those pages in the near future. There are still so many little things I want to write in there too though, so I will definitely make even more of an effort. Cause right now I'm writing like every other day, or like every 3 days. But I'm pretty sure I could write more if I just gave it some thought.

I love you guys! I hope you know that I enjoy reading all of your emails. Have an awesome week.
Elder Cooper
P.S The win against Arizona by Boise State is sweet! I'm excited to hear more about how our coming season goes.