"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, December 14, 2015


In the vast stretches of the flat greenland of Suriname there lies a river that bears the solemn name of the country. This river has a surprisingly rich history; a German WWII ship has been sunk and the remnants can still be seen from the shoreline. But this river is also a barrier. A barrier for missionary work. On the West side of the river the church is somewhat established and enjoys the blessings of five well-spread branches. But East of the river, there lays a city named Commewijne, (coma-wine-a) untouched by missionaries. All white, ready to be harvested. Missionaries and the leadership of Suriname counseled together for many a night and many a day to determine when the time would be just right to send the Lord's forces across the river into the untouched, unharvested city of Commewijne. Several events showed promise, a bridge reaching 100+ feet high was built and allowed the citizens of Commewijne and Paramaribo to cross the historic Suriname river and it allowed them to more closely interact one with another. But the time was not yet ripe, until December 12, 2015. A day when the Lord would declare to the missionaries and the church in Suriname to go. Go and cross the bridge and enter the untouched, unharvested city of Commewijne. "For behold the field is white already to harvest."

Ok, I had to type that up to give this news some context. It'll make more sense as I explain. This last Saturday we received transfer calls. Elder Hardy is partially leaving Paramaribo North and is going to be companions with one of the elders he knew in the MTC. Part of the Paramaribo North area will still be his area, but a part of the area that belonged to other missionaries is part of his area now. It's called Munder.
As far as what happens to me, well that's where the first paragraph of this email comes in. I have been asked to go and open up a group in the city of Commewijne. This area is across the Suriname river, over the Commewijne bridge. Missionaries have never worked there before, and up until this point there was not enough members living there to justify starting serious missionary work there. But now, there are several members and families living there and a sufficient amount of Melchizedek Priesthood holders that the Lord can now open up work in that area. I am really excited and it was cool to see how the members living in Commewijne responded when they heard the news. Me and Elder Hardy got to go with President Verway to meet them on Sunday to give them the news. Every member offered their home as a place to meet and were really excited to hear about missionaries finally crossing the river. One member went so far as to talk about building an apartment and buying a plot of land for a church building to be built there. He was excited. I am excited too!
I am going to be with an elder that has been in the mission field for about three months. His name is Elder Buehler. I've never met him so it'll be cool to get to meet him.
Don't worry about me leaving anything behind. We are driven in a truck/van for transfers so I don't have to pack up too much, or pack with the idea of losing weight. I will be able to take all of my christmas gifts and decorations, and belongings, etc. It'll be fun, it'll be an adventure and it'll be hard, but the members are willing to help and I'm excited to get to work with them.
I will still be able to get packages/letters that you send to Suriname so that's good as well.
I think I'll end this week's email with this verse in Alma 6
4: And thus they began to establish the order of the church in the city of [Commewijne]
5: Now I would that ye should understand that the word of God was liberal unto all, that none were deprived of the privilege of assembling themselves together to hear the word of God.
6: Nevertheless the children of God were commanded that they should gather themselves together oft, and join in fasting and mighty prayer in behalf of the welfare of the souls who knew not God.
I know this is a sign of the Lord hastening the work here in Suriname. This work is true. Thank you guys so much for the emails! I love you!
Have a great week!
Elder Cooper

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