"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, September 28, 2015

We Need To Stop Counting Down :)

Hey family! That blood moon looks really cool, I don't think we even tried to see it, wasn't it at like three in the morning?
When I saw those pictures of the mountains I thought that was pretty cool.When we hiked Brownsberg I was surprised how much it can be like the Utah mountains in places. Just with a few more vines. Haha. Tell Jenny I said Happy Birthday, and tell Celeste Hi!
To start off, "R" is on a baptismal date! He should be baptized on the 31st of October. We feel like he is ready. But he is so hard to get an appointment to sit with him that we haven't been able to oversee his progress. But now that he knows what we're shooting for he should hopefully be a little better at appointments.
This week was also really good with getting members to come out with us. We have a lot of members in our area that were baptized at most three years ago and so a lot of them are always willing to do missionary work. What's funny is the investigator appointment falls through more often than the member coming with. I've had it happen a lot on my mission where it's the other way around. Either way the people here are amazing and I have grown to love them so much.
Being a district leader is a fun experience. I'm not sure if you did this on your mission dad, but here the district leader calls all the companionships at night, mostly to make sure they got home safe and to see how their day went. What that means is that immediately after planning for the next day I'm calling everybody and it stays that way right until I have to go to sleep. Basically I stay busy, which I like. I also like the opportunity I have to help the other companionships out. If they had a bad day then in that nightly phone call I can help to get them on their feet. At least that's what the nightly phone call did for me. So I like being able to be that for others. I get to teach my first district meeting tomorrow so wish me luck! Haha.
I don't have any pictures this week, but what I thought I would do for next week is just take a lot of pictures with the members here. They are some amazing people and I would kinda like to tell their stories a little bit.
Well, that's about all I got! Hope you all have an amazing week! Enjoy General Conference, tell me what you guys thought next week.
Elder Cole Cooper

Monday, September 21, 2015

Transfer Calls

That is a Koi pond at a new investigators house. 

Some puppies at a less-actives house. Elder Hardy wanted a picture with them.

When I got that package I read Maddi and Celeste's letter asking me to take a picture with the piƱata. I  Pretty fun package.

Hey Family! Man I remember homecoming weekends. It seemed like such a hectic time for everyone else. Keri, I'm glad you got to go to homecoming. It sounds like your group was a lot of fun. I would have liked that escape game.
That's so cool Mat will have to learn Dutch to use his dog. Doesn't that just seem like a coincidence? :)
As I'm sure Dad can tell you guys, transfer calls are somewhat of an event for missionaries. Especially if you're Elder Carpenter, who has served in the same area since he came out here. (He did get moved btw haha). As for what is happening to me, I am staying with Elder Hardy in the same area, but I'm now the district leader! I'm pretty excited. There have been several good examples of district leaders in my mission which I will have to wait until I get home to tell those stories. It'll be fun.
As far as this week goes there were some ups and downs. "R" cancelled our appointment with him this last week so we couldn't give him a date. He came to church. He always comes to church, so I'm not too worried, but in all honesty he could have been baptized awhile ago. (You weren't kidding about Satan working on investigators leading up to baptism Dad). Having said that though there were several other successes this week. Mostly with less-actives who we have been working with like crazy to try and help them come back. We have had fewer investigators in the past while so it's allowed us to work on those less-actives we might not otherwise have time for. One of them named "G" came to church this week which was awesome and two others, Bro. "B" and "S" promised to be in church either this week or on General Conference so we are excited. So even though "R" will have to wait maybe one more week for his baptismal date we are still seeing success. One cool experience from this week is a member from Brazil came to church in Suriname last week and is staying in Suriname for at least two months. It was cool to see her faith and to have her still come to church even if it's not in Portugese. We are going to start teaching her English this week. She already knows a lot so it won't be too difficult but there is enough of a barrier that we will have some funny moments.
I haven't gotten Grammy's package yet, I will be sure to let you guys know.
Well, I love you guys so much. Thanks for all your emails and letters!
Have a great week!
Elder Cole Cooper

Monday, September 14, 2015

I Still Bleed Boise State Blue!

I think to start off the weekly letter I need to make one thing absolutely clear. . . I still bleed Boise State Blue. Haha. Even if it means being ostracized at my Alma Mater. It sounds like even though the result was a little painful it was a fun game to watch. Sounds like the type of game that keeps you on your toes the whole time. You can't really beat that x-factor that allows you to throw desperation bombs successfully even if your defense is crazy good. I still think Boise State will have a good season, with a defense like we have it's hard not to.
It also sounds like I wasn't the only one to go on an adventure through nature. Those pictures look fun. Especially the moose.
Today we went to a place called Brownsberg. If you remember we tried going there around May but the way there was blocked by a good sized over-flow of water. Well this time was a success. We took some cool pictures that I'll send. The hike led to a waterfall which was pretty cool. It was also just fun to be doing some form of exercise other than biking haha.
Sometimes I think it would be so cool to come with you guys and show you all the stuff I've seen and be able to give you guys a similar experience. But then I see things like this biting fly, and I think, there is no way I could bring you guys here. Haha. I'm just kidding. You guys would survive, but seriously those flies were about the size of a quarter maybe bigger, and had pretty good sized mouthparts, maybe a quarter inch long? Long story short, I wore very good insect repellant so I was fine, but others were not so lucky.
This week was really good! We went out with a lot of members this week and it was an amazing experience. This one member helped us to find a less-active we had no clue about. His name is "R." He seemed cool and said he was willing to sit with the missionaries again. We also got a very promising referral for some one that seemed very interested in the concept of eternal families, which we as missionaries love. "Ro" also came to church this week and gave us his schedule so that we could set a good baptismal date for him. I'll give you more details next week on that one. He seems like he will progress really fast. All in all, we have a small but very promising list of people I'm excited to follow up on this week. Also, Elder Mercier and I are getting back together to do his death tour. The area I'm in is his first area, and he wants to say bye to a couple of people. It'll be fun.
That's about all I have time for this week! Hope it was detailed enough. Tell Aunt Celeste and Maddy the picture of the pinata they wanted is coming next week. I read their letter again and realized I forgot to do that. Don't worry the pinata is not yet smashed so. . . yeah!
Love you guys! Have an awesome week!
Elder Cole Cooper

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Miracle Week

Hey Family! It sounds like everyone had a good week. Our week was good as well.
We saw several miracles this week in trying to find people. I think the biggest one is when we went by a member's home at the end of the day. He is our branch mission leader so we meet with him a lot. He wasn't quite there so we started talking to his brother who was just sitting outside. To give this some context we had been talking to our branch mission leader about sharing the gospel with his brother for quite some time, never pushing anything too hard but always asking him about it. At first it wasn't yielding too much but on Friday night we started talking to him for the first time. Our branch mission leader had told him a lot apparently about the church. One of the first questions he asked was why they haven't built a temple in Suriname yet. It was quite a surprise to hear a question like that. Most people don't know about the temples until we talk to them. We asked him if he had a little bit of time to sit with us and he said only about 5 minutes. We shared Joseph Smith's First Vision and gave him a Book of Mormon. He agreed to meet with us again. It was pretty cool. We are excited for him.
We also got an investigator of ours to agree to baptism and the next time we see him we are going to set a date so that was also a plus. His name is "R." He has been to church several times, really cool guy. Basically was interested in the church and wanted to join right when he met the missionaries.
As far as how the year mark went it was great! It's tradition hear to burn a shirt on the year mark. (Don't worry, it was not one of the new ones! This one was actually already ruined). We went to Subway to celebrate so that was fun.
Dad, I don't know if you remember using those flipcharts, (I sent a pic). We were at the zone leaders apartment and I nabbed it. We had some interesting conversations about what it might have been like teaching with them. I was kinda curious if you remember anything about it? Either way I thought it would've been cool to take a picture and send it to you.
Besides that there was not much else. P-Day today was combined sports which is always fun. Hope you all have a great week! Love you guys!
Elder Cole Cooper