"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

Friday, January 29, 2016

Don't Know What To Put In This Line Anymore

Hey family! Thanks for the email. Tell Tom I said hi, that guy is awesome. Man that's crazy to hear the Smith's moved. They will be missed. The ward is not going to look the same when I get back.
As for this week there is so much that I'm not sure I'll remember everything. So I'll start with what was probably the coolest thing.
On Wednesday there was a worldwide missionary broadcast, where several general authorities spoke; Neil L. Anderson, L. Whitney Clayton, David A. Bednar, Dallin H. Oaks and others. Apparently, it was the first worldwide devotional that the missionary department had held in almost a decade. They talked about how we as missionaries are to teach repentance and baptize converts. They talked a lot about the fundamental things missionaries get drilled into their heads all the time. I think my favorite is when Dallin H. Oaks spoke. He talked about how the ordinances of the fulness of the gospel are necessary in order to reach exaltation and that nowhere else can ordinances be found. He talked about how exaltation cannot be achieved by just simply "living a good life" not even living a good "Christian life" can do it. Basically the message was that missionaries shouldn't fear to raise a warning voice when they realize that eternal life, exaltation itself, hangs in the balance. If we don't tell people that then we deny them the opportunity to exercise their agency and change. That was a lot of paraphrasing and I'm sure more of it was what I learned from the Spirit but I liked it. I think it was a good reminder to go back to fundamental things. It reminds me of what President Uchtdorf said last conference about keeping things simple.
The next highlight involves a story. So, one of the investigators that we visit lives down a long overgrown road. It's overgrown because she is really the only one that lives down that road. On Friday we were biking down that road and saw out of the corner of our eyes what looked to be like a black  rubber hose, but when we turned around to be sure, it was actually a snake! I'm pretty sure it was an anaconda. Now, anacondas can get big, so to make sure my fish doesn't get bigger as I tell this story this anaconda was probably three feet long. As me and Elder Buehler pulled out our cameras to take a picture Elder Buehler jokingly said "Touch it" Now, most missionaries in order to assure their families that they are ok and that they needn't worry, would say something along the lines of "We laughed about that and then took this sweet picture and had a great lesson." But you guys haven't withheld any information about what is going on at home, (I'll use Keri's car crash as an example but there have been other things) so I will not withhold information from you guys. I reached down and touched this snake. Now I did not do this because of peer pressure, in my mind I was half-planning to do it already so the joke was just encouragement.  I must have held my hand there for about three seconds when he jumped back. I moved my hand out of the way in time so he missed. So the most important message from this story is that I'M OK! What this all resulted in though was a really good picture Elder Buehler got mid-jump! I'll send it to you guys in another email. Needless to say I got lucky and will probably, maybe not, be touching snakes in the future. JK, I won't touch any more snakes. Later on in the day there was a snake at an investigators house that got scared and ran away but still freaked out the investigator pretty bad. I felt bad for her.
Now for some spiritual stories. We found a less-active! Turns out he was baptized in Guyana several years ago and was just getting ready to leave for his mission when he got scared and the thought of a mission became too much so he did not go, and as a result, did not go to church from that point on. He moved to Suriname about three years ago and said that he wanted to come back but couldn't because the church was so far away and the services were only in Dutch. It was really cool when we tried to see how much he could remember  by sharing the Restoration. His neighbor sat in and I nearly broke down to see that he still remembered almost every detail about the Restoration and could explain it perfectly. We found out a little later in the lesson that he holds the Melchizedek Priesthood which is gold when you are trying to start up a group. It just goes to show that people more than likely still believe in the gospel when they go less-active.
Last story from the week comes from an investigator named "C." She recently had a co-worker die unexpectedly in a plane crash so when we came over she was still somewhat shaken. She broke down towards the beginning of the lesson and we took the rest of the time to have a really good lesson on the Atonement. It's the kind of lesson you live for as a missionary because  there is no doubt in your mind what you are sharing is inspired and is  what they need.
Well that was it from this week! Hope you all have a great one as well!
Love you!
Elder Cooper

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