"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, July 27, 2015

"I Do Set My Bow in the Cloud..."

Hi Family!!
Not much is going on around here. Thanks for sending that picture of the rainbow Mom.
(This is a picture of a rainbow we saw in our backyard that I sent to Cole this week.)

Elder James and I look for them all the time. (There are so many storms here.) And when we see them we always say jokingly, "It's going to be ok."It reminds me of the scripture in Genesis 9..."I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud: And I will remember my covenant..."If you notice in the scripture that this statement is repeated several times. By using repetition it strengthens the covenant.
As far as this week goes, we had a good week. We had finally found a less active we have been trying to find for a long time. We sat with her a couple times this week and she came to the decision on her own to come to church. She has been to church the past two weeks and yesterday she even brought a friend. She has a lot of faith. The last time we sat with her she confided in us that she is having problems with her testimony. It's amazing to see that she is still wanting to do the right things and keep the commandments despite how easy it would be for many to think that they are the exception and just not come to church or keep the commandments. That was definitely the highlight of the week.
Other than that not too much else happened. As far as cool insights this week from personal study, I was reading in the Book of Mormon about how captain Moroni was preparing his people for war. One cool insight that I got this week is that what is interesting to note is that as soon as the Nephites successfully fought back against the Lamanites, Moroni did not stop preparing his people for war. I realized that when we overcome one of Satan's temptation or overcome a weakness that we have we should not cease to pray for help or guidance because just like the Lamanites, Satan prepares for another attack.
It's not too much this week, but I hope you guys know that I love you. We have a really good week planned so hopefully there will be a bunch to write about next Monday.
Storms can be a little crazy here.
Have an awesome week!
Elder Cole Cooper

Monday, July 20, 2015

Keep The Sabbath Day Holy

Hi Family!!

Our week was a pretty good week. We had finally taught a contact that we had run into about three weeks ago. They are a couple in their late 20's that studied English at a University level. . . you can guess which language we spoke with them. They had a lot of questions about LDS doctrine which was really fun to answer. We had talked about what being sealed in the temple means, as well as the remission of sins, and other questions about basic LDS belief in general. We do not get to talk about those things with people for a couple of visits so you can imagine how excited we were. We are afraid of two things for them though. Because they studied at the University and because of their personality they approach things very academically which may be hard if your trying to feel the Spirit, which comes more as a feeling rather than an academic discovery. We are also afraid that they will search things on the internet where the truth will be distorted and presented in an extreme way rather than reading the Book of Mormon for themselves and praying. I have faith that they will do well though, they seem like a really amazing couple.
Other than that the week was pretty normal. Yesterday was branch conference. It was a discussion about keeping the Sabbath day holy, which the Apostles explained is one of the best things we could be doing to strengthen our faith. It really made me want to strive to keep the Sabbath day holy, not just on my mission but when I get home. The biggest thing I learned is that it is not so much about what we can or cannot do on the Sabbath, like the Mosaic law. But that it is more about what sign we are trying to give the Lord on the Sabbath. If we think about that then the Spirit guides us into knowing what would be a good idea to do on the Sabbath.
I testify that the Spirit is absolutely necessary to succeed in life. Without it we are lost and we lead ourselves into temptation and problems. I also know that a mission is the best experience ever. Even on the worst of days I realize I would not want to be anywhere else. I hope you all have an amazing week! I love you guys so much!
Elder Cole Cooper

Monday, July 13, 2015

Our Trip to Two Hotspots in Suriname

(Cole didn't take this pic. This is just a pic I found online of the bridge. 
It shows the height a little more clearer.)
A view before they headed out for the torturous ride.

Cole's view from the bridge.

Hi Family!!
I had an amazing spiritual experience last Monday that I wanted to share with you guys. Because last week was a difficult one I was trying to think of what to study last Monday. I felt prompted to look up patience in PMG. It led me to an inspiring scripture in Alma 17. For the background of this scripture it is talking about how when the sons of Mosiah first went on their fourteen year missions they were praying to the Lord for success in converting the Lamanites and that the Lord would grant them his Spirit. What is interesting to note is the first thing the Lord said in answer to their prayers was "Be Comforted." When I had read those words I felt a wave of spiritual comfort. I know it is what the Lord would have said to me if he could've been sitting across from me.
The next thing he told them, was to be patient and long-suffering in their afflictions. I'm sure that would have been a tough pill for them to swallow but they did it. They were then blessed so much for their efforts.
I know that the Lord will comfort us in our trials and afflictions if we can be patient and accept the Lord's timing. Which is often times so hard, but the effort is well worth it.
As for this past week it went a lot better. We have an appointment with a cool couple we met this past weekend who have heard a lot about the church and are not afraid to ask questions. They also studied English and are English teachers so that's nice.
Other than that, it's just working hard to show the Lord we love Him.
Cool thing we did today was found the I heart Su sign. As well as biking up to the top of the tallest structure in Suriname---The Commewijne Bridge. It was pretty fun, but also tough surprisingly. We were both breathing pretty hard when we got to the top. Took some pictures. Some people called us crazy which was funny. We did not dare bike down, it's way too steep. We just walked.
Anyways, you guys all have an awesome week.
Love you guys!
Elder Cole Cooper

Monday, July 6, 2015

Our New Investigator and My Three Anchors

Hi Family!!!

Pic of the week definitely goes to the baby iguana we found just chilling out on the side of the road. 

I don't have much time this week but I want to share with you something that I shared with one of the YW in my home ward. (She is in charge of a devotional this week for girls camp.)
The three biggest anchors in my life have been scripture study, sincere prayer, and families. By making these things a priority we come closer to Christ, who we ultimately strive to have be the true anchor in our life. I can bear testimony that there is no adequate substitute for these things. It is by sincere prayer that we develop our relationship with our Heavenly Father. It is by scripture study that we learn more about our Savior Jesus Christ and also how we receive revelation to guide us in our lives. Our families are one of the most sacred gifts our Heavenly Father has given us. When we set time aside to be with them and seek to strengthen our relationship with them we show the Lord how grateful we are for those people in our lives. I can testify that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love us, they want only the best for us, and if we will seek to do the will of our Heavenly Father we will be so much better off in our lives than if we tried to do it alone. I know that's true, I've seen it in my own life. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Cooper