Elder James AndersonCooper was called to serve a two year mission in the Romania/Moldova mission speaking Romanian for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This blog was not started until about 6 months out on his mission. Some early stories can be found in the tabs below and recent letters will be posted.
Oh my gosh have you all had such a busy week! It all sounds so overwhelming and yet at the same time... fun. (of course looking back at it). I got on to read my emails today, and I read yours last. That was interesting cause in an email I recieved from someone else, it was talking about dad on crutches! I was like " what!!!" haha then I go on to read your email and It is all okay. Gosh dad you and your injuries. You need to come up with a good story. Like someone threw a sword at you and you dodged it, but it got your foot or something, but because you had super glue with you, it was able to hold it until the doctors could re attach it or something! haha :) But seriously, I am glad you are doing okay.
Okay so we had the first snow of the year on the 24th this week. It has been lightly snowing every since. Anyways, because it was pretty cold outside we diecided to go block knocking. Dont know if I told you what that is yet? Basically just these apartment complexes, that are all over the place. You go inside one and just knock all the doors. So me and elder Poulsen see a block we want to get into. To get in, you have to ring in. You just buzz a random number and then ask a random person if they will let you in. Sometimes they wont, and other times they will. Okay so we buzz the first number and this lady lets us in. We decide we want to go to the top and work our way down. Just as we are about to reach the top, the little old lady we buzzed, is wandering the stairs trying to find us. We run into her and she asks us what we are doing. Elder Poulsen says " we have a message to share with all the world" She makes him repeat this several times, and she still clearly isnt conecting what we are saying. After a bit, she is like " oh I know" She starts knocking on other doors of the block asking for money for God's servants. ( at this point we kinda realize she isnt quit all there) :) so the whole time she is getting money for us, we are trying desperately to tell her we dont want any money and we just would like to talk. After she gathers a bit of money from her neighbors, she turns to us trying to hand us the money. We say loud and clearly that we dont want the money. (we also figured she was hard of hearing) Now she is all confused. Eventually we kinda explain the situation to her, and we think she understands. So we walked her back over to her apartment door. We ended on good terms with her and left her smiling and happy.... so not a waste of time haha :) I have yet to have a normal block knocking experience! Something like that happens almost every time to me :) It is fantastic!
Elder Cooper and Elder Poulsen
Okay onto just the normal and random stuff of this week. We had our first English class of the transfer on Tuesday. It went great! We filled up the entire sacrament meeting room! It is the most people I have ever seen attend an English class. Me and elder Poulsen are teaching the advanced class this transfer. We had about 10 people in our class, then the rest were beginners. It is so fun to just talk in English and hear about these people's life. In our Saturday class, we didnt have as many people show up. Nevertheless, it was still a good turn out. Tuesdays are just the "good" days. So at the end of every English class, we have a spirtual thought. They are not obligated to stay, so some people leave. We had two really great ones this week, that I really felt like eveyone could feel something. I love English classes now!
So this week elder Poulsen and I have been really good at working out. We are doing P-90X!! ( There used to be a thing in this mission where missionaries could get gym permission and could go and work out to relieve stress and other stuff, elder Poulsen used to have it, but gym permission has been taken away from the mission, so now he has permission from pres, to work out for an hour and to do it at night... so it is awesome!) It has been kicking my butt, but I am getting in good shape with all the walking and now with this working out! I am so sore... but it feels so good! haha :)
So mom, I got some cloths!! I got a scarf,cardigan,belt, binie, and shoes/boot things. I am super warm with bloody feet! haha breaking in European shoes sucks! But it will be worth it cause they will be nice for the snow. So ya, love all the stuff I got.
I have had some pretty good realizations this week. I have been learning a lot lately about obedience and rules. Remember how we are not perfect but we keep trying? Remember how sometimes back home when I would do something wrong I would feel so guilty, hopeless, and down put? Now I've remember something you have told me. That feeling that I felt couldnt have came from Heavenly Father... and that it was Satan trying to get me to stop trying and to just feel bad about things. Of course we feel bad about mistakes we make, when that feeling makes us want to improve and do better, that is when it is from a good source. I have learned how that feeling feels. Ive learned not to completely destroy myself over not being perfect. I have learned not to get stressed out when I do things I am not supposed to. This is kinda hard to put in writting what I have learned. I dont want this to come across like I am being super disobedient and not caring about the rules. I have just been able to see where I need to improve, and not feel that awful feeling of being depressed about my imperfections. I guess lately I have been able to take Satan out of the equation of guilt. Sometimes it is harder then others, but it is something I have in my head that I can do now. I have seen a lot of places I need to improve. So Im going to improve. Im not going to get stressed out, and worried. Just gonna take care of it. The Lord teaches me very subtly and over a long period of time. I dont really konw if any of this paragraph makes sense. It is so hard to put into writting what I have experienced this week. I am just grateful I have my loving Heavenly Father. I love that I can have the comforter with me. It makes it all possible. I am so grateful for the sacrament, for being able to get that boost for the week, and for being able to kinda hit that restart button. I have had a great week! :)
Life seems pretty crazy back home. I pray that things will start to calm down, or at least that you all will have the strength to get through what is coming. It sounds like my prayers have been answered! You all made it through last week in one piece, except for dad's achilles tendon haha :) I love you all so much! Thanks for being there for me, and thanks for giving me the life I have. Just like Joco has been saying for a while, how different our lives could have been if we just changed a single aspect of it. So ya, Just love you all so much!! Hope you have a great next week!