"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, March 14, 2016

These Days Are Fast

Hey family,
It's crazy how fast time has flown by. Elder Beuhler and I  joked around earlier this morning that it seems like only two hours ago that we emailed our families so it's hard to remember sometimes what we need to write about.
I've really appreciated the emails you've sent in the past little while about families and family history. This story I'm about to share needs to be given some context to get the full gist of it but it here it goes.
Every transfer the district and zone leaders gather together for a quick hour to plan out things like exchanges and p-days. But also we discuss what we can do to help the zone grow. It's very similar to a branch council or other council in the church, it's pretty cool. We were talking about how we could be more "full-purpose" missionaries and we were talking about how it would be cool to share the spiritual experiences we had about having our prayers answered. The reason why we chose this as our goal was because we didn't want to focus on a number as in "so many member referrals" or whatever but we wanted to allow every companionship to seek after the thing their area needed the most and to pray and even fast for it and then when we went into district meetings we could report those spiritual experiences and be uplifted by all the experiences everyone had. One of the things we mentioned is that often times we ask the Lord for a specific blessing and then forget to look for it later, never realizing that the Lord answered our prayers. It reminded me of my time in Paramaribo North. It was a real struggle to try and find people in that area. It was even more of a struggle to find families and I had a very strong desire to find a family to bring into the church. I must have asked for that in prayer for two whole transfers. After awhile we found "E" and I always figured that was what I was supposed to do in that area and kinda stopped praying to find a family.
Now, after two transfers in Commewijne I realized that the Lord has answered my prayer in his way. We are teaching more part-member families than I have ever taught in my mission. In that way the Lord has answered that prayer of finding a family.
My testimony has definitely been strengthened of how the gospel blesses families since having come on my mission. It has become very clear over the past year and a half that Satan attacks the family on as many fronts as he can. He will do everything he can to have a broken up family keep someone from accepting the fulness of the gospel. There are many people who've told us we can't come anymore because their parents don't want them to accept visits from us, or the spouse does not agree with the religion and so we can't come anymore. That being said, there are many that I've seen accept the gospel, together as a family. Sometimes it was through efforts in my area and other times through efforts by other missionaries. I've come to realize that when it comes to missionary work, everyone takes a part and every part is necessary. No one did the work "all by themselves." Usually, someone sews the seed, another finds the sprout, and yet another cultivates it into the tree.
I'm really excited for this transfer because I'm going to keep track of what I ask for in prayers and then write down when or how that prayer is answered in my journal. I'm hoping it'll really open my eyes to just how much the Lord gives his tender mercies and just how much he answers our prayers.
A lot of cool things happened this week, one of our investigators asked to be baptized during gospel principles, another couple of investigators agreed to have their spouse sit in the upcoming lesson, and we met the wife of one our less-actives. I wish I could go into more detail about that, but I wanted to share that spiritual experience. I'll talk about the investigators a little more next week, because they should be able to just sky-rocket in their progress.
Love you guys!
Have a good week!
Elder Cooper

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