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.
This has been a fun and interesting week. I feel like this week has never ended and the last time I wrote home was like a month ago! It is not because I have had a bad week at all. In fact, it has been one of the best weeks for me out here so far.
So we have done a lot of stuff this week. We were able to go do some service and at charity place that helps less fortunate people. This particular Wednesday, they wanted us to play with the kids. I love playing with kids! haha there were only a couple there, but we had some fun. There was this one specific little 4 year old gypsy girl that loved playing with us. She made up this... fun... game. She would look at us, yell, "sus!" (up) and expected us to lift her up on a very high stool.
The first Sister missionary you serve with is your "Mission Mom" Elder Cooper thought they needed this picture.
Once she was up there, she would wait until we sat down, then yell, "Jos!" (down). The thing is if you refused to lift her, she would smack you until you did what she wanted haha. This game could've been A LOT easier.... some kids are just.... a lot bigger then others :) haha So ya had a great time there and a great work out :)
TRABA: (for future this word basically means... like busy work... or just like stuff to do)
This week we had our zone training meeting. It was fantastic! We have a great zone, and I know a lot of people in it, so it makes it fun to be around them. So the zone leaders call us up a few days before the training meeting and ask us to give a presentation for the zone on working with the branch members. So we came up with this great object lesson we could do, so it wouldnt being boring just listening to us ramble. So here is what we did. We bought four oreo milka bars ( the best chocolate bars you can get here) we also got rope. We put the four Milka bars in the four corners of the room. Then we tied four volunteer's feet together. We then announced that if they could get a milka bar, they could keep it. They went nuts!! No one was able to get what they were going for, because there was always someone else pulling the other way. After a while of sitting there watching and laughing at these people going crazy for their chocolate, we stopped them. We then proceeded to give them an idea. "What if you all worked together and went around and picked up your candy bars one by one working together?" Then we tied it all back to our topic. You and the branch have similar goals, everyone wants the branch to grow and for more people to join the church. Doesnt matter if you have the same goal in mind, if there is no communication and no working together, then achieving that goal is a thousand times harder! So we just emphasized working and communicating with your branch and getting them on board to work with you. :)
Then on Saturday we had to give a fireside. We split it up amongst the 3 companionships and tried to make it a great fireside for the members. Me and elder Poulsen had to give the Spiritual thought. We decided to do it on, why we have trials and asking God for help. We had two object lessons with this one. We had a very complicated maze for them to try and do. Then on the other side a very simple one. We had them do both and then we talked about it. Then we had them hold two hymn books out and see how long they could do it. This one was to teach them to ask for help. That when it started to get difficult to keep them up, they just had to ask us, and we would be right there and give them some aid. So this week we had a lot of teaching opportunities within the members and missionaries here. It was super fun!
I have grown a ton this week. I have been able to take a better look at myself and make some pretty crazy realizations. Elder Poulsen has been a champ. Me and him think so a like it is uncanny. He has showed me that it is possible to become the missionary I want to be. He is really great with the language, and that gives me more hope then I think he could ever know. We have had some real talks and it has been something I have needed. I am on the search to find myself. Now I dont know how cheesey or silly that sounds, that is just simply how it is.
Of course I know who I am and I am still the same James, but I am just going a little deeper. It is kinda scary, but at the same time super exciting. So I mentioned last time about my theme for 2014. It is D&C 6: 36- " Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not" I am going to try and look at these words every morning this year to remember what I have promised to do. While studying I stumbled upon another scripture that goes well with this one. 2 Tim 1:7- "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." I just love what these verses tell me. They help pump me up and look at things in a better light. While reading them I just feel like God is with me. I feel I can do anything He wants and that there is no reason to fear. :) Everything is going to be okay :)
So that is basically it for the week :) I hope all is well back home, and that you are just having a good ol' time being the best family ever! I am so grateful for you guys, and for the life you have given me, for helping me stay on the right path and helping me become the person that Heavenly Father needs me to be. I love the way how our family helps each other grow and to become better. Just konw that everything is going splendid over here in Arad and that all is well! Remember what it says in 1 Peter 2:2- " As a newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow therby.".... haha :) If you have the sincere desire you can grow into what you and Heavenly Father want :) LOVE YOU ALL!!