"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 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

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