"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, June 29, 2015

The Infinite Atonement

Hey guys!
I have been reading the Infinite Atonement the past two transfers and it has been a really good read. There is a chapter called the "Blessing of Grace" that was really cool. I wanted to share a couple of things from what I learned from it.
"How does God transmit divine qualities and powers to a mere mortal?" The medium for the infusion of godlike powers and enabling traits from a divine being to an ordinary man is the Holy Ghost. . . . All of these divine qualities, . . . are scripturally labeled "spiritual gifts."
Basically what Brother Callister is telling us is that God gives us spiritual gifts to help perfect us. It is the way that we are enabled to do things beyond our own power and capacity. Brother Callister then goes on to explain that these gifts, in their fulness, are only enjoyed by members of the Church. (Count your blessings) Brother Callister also explains that spiritual gifts are God's way of helping us to overcome weaknesses as well as to achieve exaltation. When we pray to God to find out what it is we need to work on we must also pray to receive the spiritual gift that will help us to overcome that weakness. For example if we are quick to be angry with someone else we must pray for the gift of charity which suffereth long and is kind. The biggest thing I learned is that the key to receiving these gifts, whichever ones we need or desire, is not just our works alone, but also our prayers that we receive them. Often times that is the only thing that gets in the way of our receiving these gifts, when we do not ask for them.
I know that the Lord will bless us with the spiritual gifts we need. I know that he will help us to overcome our weaknesses and make them strengths. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
I love you guys! Have an awesome week!
Elder Cooper

Monday, June 22, 2015

Lots of Work To Do!

What's up everybody?
We had fasted this past weekend to try and involve the Lord even more in our effort to find a prepared family. We have been having a difficult time this past week finding people to teach and so we thought we should try and fast to help us out. While we were fasting I was reading in the Book of Mormon in the Book of Alma and read where Ammon rejoices in all the success him and his brethren had in bringing the Lamanites to repentance. One thing that Ammon shares really stuck out to me. He explains how in the beginning they were met with a lot of afflictions and it got so bad that they wanted to turn back. But the Lord told them to be patient in their afflictions. Then the Lord blessed them with being some of the most successful missionaries in the Book of Mormon. When I read that I realized that the Lord is trying to test our faith and our patience to see if we will bear the frustrations well. Which is setting us up for success with one of his prepared families.
Other than that nothing too crazy, just a lot of finding.
I will say that I really enjoy working with Elder James. I think it helps that we were in the MTC together because we both want to really build up the area with people that will progress and become strong converts. It would be so easy to just pick up all the investigators that were not progressing just because it's someone to teach. We also have really good companionship studies, it actually feels like a study during that hour.
That's so awesome everyone got together for fathers day.  Wish I had been there. Tell them all I said hi. Tell Celeste that she's awesome and that I enjoyed her and her family's letters.
You guys are all awesome and I love you! Have a great week! Sorry this email is so short! Lots of work to do!!
Love Elder Cooper

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

End of the West Indies Mission

Hey family! So I forgot to tell you that zone conference was this weekend which explains why I am emailing on Tuesday. It was the last zone conference of President and Sister Mehr who are going home soon, and also the last zone conference held in the "West Indies Mission." The zone conference was amazing, Sister Mehr talked about bearing simple, brief, and powerful testimony. She explained how when we teach we often try to come up with good analogies or doctrines that will convince the investigator that what we say is true, but it isn't until we give that simple personal testimony of the truth we know that the Spirit testifies. It was a good reminder about what a testimony really is.
President Mehr talked about the Atonement, which is interesting because during his discussion he quoted several times from the Infinite Atonement which you guys sent me in a package a couple months ago. SO many new things learned both from what President Mehr said and from what Tad R. Callister says. I really enjoyed it.
We had a couple of baptisms this week. I am posting pictures on Dropbox so be sure to check them out.
Story of the week goes to when the French Guyanese elders came here for zone conference. We were asked to take two of them into our apartment for Saturday night because zone conference would be Monday. The zone leaders had brought the mattresses that we would let them sleep on and when they got here we were trying to figure out what we would do for sheets. The apartment had some old sheets but they were questionably clean. Then I remembered that Grammy had sent me two sets of sheets in the package I had gotten just recently. Which is funny because she had sent me two different sizes, which went perfectly with the two differently sized mattresses the zone leaders had given us. When I explained this story to the other elders they came to the conclusion that Grammy has the spirit of prophecy and that from now on they will want to know what I get in packages because it is a good indicator of what happens next.
Anyways, that's it from me this week. Hope you all have an amazing week. Let me know if anything cool happens. Mom, I forgot to take pictures of some of the birds, but now this week I won't forget.
Love you guys so much!
Elder Cole Cooper

Monday, June 8, 2015

The Rain is Crazy!

Hello friends and family! Everything here is still the same. We are serving and working hard. The highlight of the week was definitely yesterday when we got a referral from a member. We went to this investigator to try and follow up on him and the member that referred us to him came along. We sat down after introducing ourselves and started to teach a little bit about the Restoration. Pretty soon  this member just went for it and was explaining like every aspect of membership in the church. He just went off, saying stuff like "Yeah you'll get baptized and then the Holy Ghost, then if you pay your tithing and you pay your fast offering they'll interview you and you can receive the Aaronic Priesthood and then if you continue on you can receive the Melchizedek Priesthood and with the Melchizedek Priesthood you can give blessings of healing with oil." Luckily the guy we were teaching did not let all of that overwhelm him he was just silent and listening. At the end of the lesson we gave him a Book of Mormon and he said he would read it and that we could come back so we are pretty excited.
We also tried to go to Brownsberg today but because it has been raining so much the roads were covered in waist deep water. Not only was it waist deep but it was running water. It would have definitely carried away our cars. (All this rain is crazy!) So we turned around and asked the locals where we should go. We ended up finding a pretty cool dam and some other really cool views. Hopefully the pictures explain themselves. When we looked out on the river we saw a little houseboat so I sent a picture of that. It looked pretty cool. .
Sorry this is so short this week Most of the time was spent uploading photos. Hope you all are safe and well. Pray often!!
Love you guys!
Elder Cole Cooper

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Importance of Scripture Study

We have been doing a lot of finding in the area trying to increase our teaching pool and there have been a number of unique experiences. Best experience goes to a 70 plus year old lady who, when we knocked on her house came outside and asked what kind of a message we had for her. When we explained that it was a message about Jesus Christ and prophets and apostles her eyes just got really wide and she said, "You dare to come here and try to bring a message about Jesus Christ and not God?! How dare you! My ancestors were slaves thanks to Christianity!" My companion then asked her, "so, you don't want to hear our message?" "NO! I will not hear your message, I will say have a nice day!" Me and my companion could not stop laughing afterwards, we weren't offended, it was just so funny.
Dad you asked me about my companion, he is pretty sweet. His name is Elder James, we were in the MTC together, not as companions but in the same group. When we first got together we started telling a little bit about how our mission experiences had been up to that point and we realized that we had had very similar experiences. We were also discussing what would be best to help the branch as well as the area and we came to pretty much the same conclusion, which was nice. We also have really good discussions about the gospel and what we study.  I am really excited for this transfer. It will be slow for a little bit, but we feel like it will begin to take off here pretty soon.
To finish it off, I was just want to bare simple testimony of the importance of scripture study. I am not talking about ten minutes before you go to bed scripture study. I am talking about actual scripture study lasting anywhere from a half an hour to an hour, pen and paper close by started with a prayer, in the quiet privacy of your room, at your desk and not in bed. The Spirit and Heavenly Father have so much they want to reveal to us, we need only ask and search. I have had to learn on my mission that if you want scripture study to be meaningful, you have to ask what you want to learn.
Not sure why I felt like sharing that, but it's something I've noticed lately.
Hope you all have an amazing week! Please stay safe!
Love you guys!
Elder Cooper