Tuesday, March 25, 2014


Alright another week down. :)  I can't believe this is the last week before transfers!  Wasn't that like a week ago?

 New suit
This week we went on exchanges.  I got to go with elder Poulsen!  It was crazy, it was like we were still companions haha  What we had planned for the day, ended up not happening at all!  We basically had a day full of contacting besides district meeting.  Ended up we got to go to a funeral.  One of our members dad just barely passed away.  It was sad for him and everything, but it wasnt unexpected.  So the whole day we were doing stuff to help the member, and attending the funeral and things like that.  It was an awesome experience and really showed me a lot more about their culture.  At the funeral we were able to connect more with the member, who is stellar by the way, and talk to a lot of less actives that I have never seen or met before.  I really think it could've helped remind some of them that we are still here, still normal, and welcoming.  It was just great to be able to talk to people who we have been missing for a while.

So within this day we were constantly with our second councilor/ missionary help guy... Edy... he is a drummer.. :)  So we had a day of SYLing ( speaking your language )  That side of things were a little rough.  So what happened was I was being really hard on myself.  I was getting really frustrated and just kinda turned off.  I went about doing everything with a smile and still tried..but if I'm honest I was frustrated.  We ended up going to the funeral's "after party"  And we were surround by Romanian conversation... and although it was fine I didn’t feel completely comfortable.  As we get up and leave, I was just defeated.  The elders and Edy all got up and walked out the door and I was following, when I was stopped by a baba ( Grandma/old lady)  I found myself not able to rely on anyone and it was all up to me talk to this lady because she really wanted to talk to me. She asked me a couple of questions, and I just answered her and we talked for a bit.  After that was through, I took a minute and realized I just did that. haha I get those moments every once in a while.  At times it can still be crazy to me the situation I am in haha :)  So I have found the language is difficult when I'm trying too hard, but when I can let the spirit help me, I'm just fine.  I am glad I have had some situations that have helped me see that I need to give myself just a little more credit.

On Sunday we were a little later arriving to church then normal.  There was this man in a mechanical wheelchair with a lady on a bicycle next to him in the middle of the street.  Turns out this man's wheelchair battery had died, and he was stuck in the middle of the street!  So we go up and ask if we can help them out.  We ended up pushing this man down the street and let me tell ya, those wheels did not want to turn!  It was a great work out before church haha.  We wheeled this man to saftey and asked if we could help further.  they said no and thanked us for our help.  We gave them a pass along card and left to go to church.  I just love those little moments of service that are all over!  It really just helped my Sabbath be that much better.  It seems whenever I get a little focused on myself, something like that is thrown at me to help remind me why I am here.  Serving someone else is the best way to think outside yourself! :)

Everything over here is going pretty well.  Really can't believe it is almost transfers again.  Who knows what will happen.  Kinda an antsy week comin up :)  No matter what is coming up this next transfer, it's gonna be good for me.  The peace I find from the "unknown" of transfers, is the fact that the Lord is behind it.  I am going to experience exactly what I need to next transfer.  The Lord doesn't make mistakes and there is a reason for all He does.  So whether it will be a little tougher or more uncomfortable transfer I will always have that knowledge in the back of my head. :)

Gosh I hope everyone can heal up!  Sounds like people are just getting hurt left and right haha :)  but really super legit Sam tried to go for 3 front flips!  Keep flippin Sam!  Hope everyone has a good calm next week with all they have to do.  Know that I love you all so much!  You're are the perfect family for me and help me out in more ways then you can even konw! Love ya!!

Elder James :)
PS. I love my new European Suit!  

Monday, March 17, 2014


Surprise!  We had another change of plans so I actually get to write today.

Ok "nu va suparati" but I left my little note book back at the apartment, so this letter will be straight from memory... haha :)

So this week I got hit by a bicyclist... :) we were just walking straight down to centru, when out of NO WHERE the bicyclist FLIES by and hits the left side of my body.  No worries neither of us lost our balance and fell or anything, but it was not a pleasant feeling Ill tell ya that.  Usually when the bicyclist are riding by, they ring there little bells they have to let everyone know to clear a path... this particular man for some reason didn't seem to think he needed to.  That is the one thing I thought I had was the trust from the people that they would ring their bells when they were coming, and then I watched as that trust was shattered into pieces as the bicyclist nailed my precious left side of the body with his very heavy metal bike.  For the rest of the day I was constantly checking my back and every time a bicyclist would pass I would flinch. It kinda through of my day. ;) haha

I also had a very great experience this week.  We were walking from point A to point B and contacting on the way.  We were walking down a stretch of sidewalk, when I see a lady coming down our way.  It was one of those moments were I was just like " you know, even if she doesn't want it, I feel like she will let someone else know a bit about us"  So I go up and hand her a Sunt Mormon ( I am Mormon ) pass along card.  She takes it, and then actually wanted to have a conversation!  It just turned into a great contact and I can see this lassy becoming an investigator down the road. The whole thing was just really guided by the spirit.  It is awesome when you can look back and see clearly where the spirit prompted you to do something.

Alright so the reason I thought my whole schedule would be a little offf was because they decided to have zone conference today.  We were planning on just moving P-day to Wednesday, but decided to do half and half.  Thus I am doing the writing home half right now:)  During the zone conference they really really focused on stepping up a little more. I bet if you ask any one else there, they would say something different, but for me personally
Time to step up!
that really stood out.  Now that usually means that's what you gotta work on if it sticks out to you like that.  So I got some stepping up to do.  It was a really good SHOVE in the right direction.  I guess from being here in Arad for a while I might have become a little complacent.  It's not even like I have necessarily been doing anything wrong at all, it could just be that I am not progressing either way.  It was just a great reminder to keep pushing yourself to do what you know to be right.  To not justify slightly curved choices and keep them straight and narrow.  Because before you know it, those little slightly curved choices will eventually turn into a freakin half circle and you could be going the wrong way! :) haha so ya it was a good zone conference... long... but good... for me. :)

A week from Friday the new transfer boards will be out and it will be another transfer in the bag!  Time is just on steroids lately.  Anyways, thanks for being my family haha :)  You guys truly give me the support that is well needed out here.  So thank you for being you.  I love you all so much!  I hope you have a stupendous week! :)

Elder Tiago/Nightwing/Cooper/James

PS. No lesson with G :/ Maybe this week.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

THE PROTECTOR (3/10/2014)

Goodness, this week has been nuts!... Looking back on past letters... that is a common way to describe my weeks.  The days sometimes just blur together and if it wasnt for nightly planning, I would lose track of which day it was.

Ok so this past Tuesday we started English class again.  English classes end the Saturday before transfers, and begin again a week or two right after the transfer starts.  So this week me and elder D were walking to go teach our English class.  We get down the road a bit when this lady asks us if we will walk this kid to the end of the street.  I am a little confused at first but it's no big deal, so we walk with him.  We get about half way down the road when I see these group of kids behind a car.  The kid starts saying something like "these are the kids! these are the kids!"  Still a little confused, we continue walking.  We get up to where the kids were hiding behind the car, when they jump the kid we are walking with!!  We pull them off and separate the little brawl.  At this time the group of 4 kids were shouting stuff at us like” we need to get him back".  The kid we’re with then shouts back " I already told you it wasnt me!"  Then the kid takes off and tries to run (me and Elder D were standing between him and the rest of the kids) so one of the kids runs around the car and tackles the kid to the ground and starts kicking him!  I get over there first and get the kid off of him.  It really just clicked in that moment that these kids were legitimately trying to beat the crap out of him (at first, like I said, I thought they were all just little punks messing around) I yell at the kids to stop and to "run like thieves" (Romanian saying)  I started approaching the kids and they started running.  So we decided to walk the kid all the way home because the “angry” kids were following behind us the whole way home.  I am just glad we decided to leave to English class a little early that day.  But rest assured everyone is just fine.  We saw “him” again later that week, and he just came up and starting chatting with us.  He is just a stud kid!

 So the week continues and we have a lesson with G!  The lesson went great and we invited him to come to church.... and he came!!  It is officially the first progressing investigator I have had! :)  It was really funny sitting next to him during church.  He brought a candy bar for us to share during the first meeting haha  ( he actually ended up eating the whole thing, but hey, its the thought that counts!)  He was able to meet a couple of the members and really connected with one of them.  We are hoping to have a member lesson with him this week.  SO great week with G.

We also had the opportunity to give a member a blessing this week.  She has been going through a lot of stuff lately and hasnt been to church the entire time I have been here in Arad.  It was just a great reminder to me of how much I love the priesthood.  She wasn't able to come to church this past Sunday because she is pretty sick, but she is going to come this next Sunday, I just know it!  I am glad I had the opportunity to do that this past week.  It always just feels great when you are able to exercise the priesthood.  In this mission specifically we arent able to a bunch, so it was just nice :)

So that is my week in a nutshell :)  I love you all so much!  I hope you can allrealize how much God has blessed us.  When you take a look at the little things, it is just amazing to see how much we are truly blessed!  Hope you all have a great week!  LOVE YOU!!

Love, Elder James
 Ps:  Next P-day is gonna be weird... meaning it might not be on Monday, just a heads up :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

DO SOMETHING! (3/3/2014)

March 3, 2013 (the blog is finally caught up)

Okay, My week
Just so you know I got the packages the other day in the mail!!  Best ever!!  Haha really funny package.  I love the slippers!! They rule!

Okay so we had our zone training this week.  Me and elder D had to give a presentation on professionalism.  I think it went fairly well.  haha I dont know, the point got across and they understood, so that's good right?  Have I ever told you how much I just hate being in front of people.  I am learning to get used to it a lot more out here cause it is required of you from time to time.  I learned, and was built up a ton by this training meeting. 
Something cool we talked about:  We dont just keep holding on to the spirit, we gotta keep reaching and grabbing for it.  It is a constant thing we have to work for.   It is good for me to be reminded of this.  Just gave me an extra boost to keep striving for the spirit, and to not become complacent or lazy with it.  So this kinda led me to another point that I am going to start doing... that is just doing.  It is the time to do!  Through out a lot of my life and a lot of my time out here, I feel I have done more time asking then doing.  I have come to find out, Sometimes the Lord just expects you to make the best choice you can and then just DO SOMETHING.  So, that is just one more thing I am going to try to add on to all those other things I am trying haha. 
Okay so also a cool little thought.  The spirit knows the best way you learn.  The things we go through and the way the spirit communicates with you is because the spirit knows, that IS the best way for you to learn.  It's hard to see it sometimes.  Sometimes I feel I would learn better a different way, but then I have to remember that there is a great mind at work.  So ya, there are a couple of scattered spiritual thoughts of this week haha.  Hope it kinda made some sense.
We have had a lot of contacting this week.  Me and Elder D have been all about getting out, and trying to find people.  Not that me and my other companions havent, we've just set a lot of specific goals this transfer to make sure we are pushing to the limit.  Always with contacting there comes great stories.  This week we were contacting down Centru.  Just a normal stroll contacting people as we go, when we hear this really high pitched bark.  We just assume it is a dog or something and continue.  We get a little farther down the street when we hear it again.  This time it came from in front of us.  So we hear the barking a couple more times when finally we pin point where it is coming from.  As we are looking we see the older man (in his 70's probably ) jogging.  He is wearing short shorts with a legit runners top, and barking as he is running!  haha what?!  We are kinda interested so we follow him for a bit ( in a total un-stalkerish way)  He gets to the pri maria (the main building in centru where the most people are ) and he just stops.  Not two minutes stopped when he gets on his head and arms!! 
So seriously we are looking at this 70 year old man doing a head stand in the middle of centru!!  That's not all he does, after a solid 5 minutes of really impressive balancing... he starts doing bicycle pedals up side down!!  So of course me and my companion stop and sit on a bench so we can monitor this and see how long he can go for.  This man goes for 15 minutes on his head!!  The most legit thing I have seen! haha :)  as we got up to leave he walked past me and barked right in my face. haha gosh you gotta love people! :)
So that is kinda it for this week.  My letters will be getting better, just for the record... Im gonna keep better tabs on the weeks.  So ya.  Love you all!!  Keep being so amazing and strong!!
Elder James Cooper
Elder Cooper! (one more paintballing outfit)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

NO NEED FOR STRESS (2/24/2014)

February 24, 2014  

Well family, it's been a week :)
This week we have just kinda been going none stop.  We had a lot to do.  So last Monday - Tuesday I was packing and cleaning up.  I had to be all moved over before we hopped on the train, so I was kinda rushed.  No worries we got it done and I am all moved over... just
need to go back and grab my shower fulufa then it will be all done with haha.  Okay so we hop on the train and this time we got second class tickets instead of first class cause all the tickets were almost sold out!  Since it is a lower class we had to switch lines in Timisora and were supposed to have a two hour delay there.  We arrive to the gara (train station) and are waiting for our train.  The whole time we were there we thought our train was on a different line, so to make a long story short... we missed our train. haha  Then I am thinking to myself, crap.. there are no trains down to Bucharest tonight they are all sold out!  That is when we remembered our train was gonna be stopped in Timisora for two hours.  We go to the counter and get more tickets straight to Timi.  We ended up catching our train and only had to wait in Timi for like 45 minutes instead of two hours :)  Then just hoped on the train we were supposed to be on, and it was like nothing happened!  Okay so there is something weird we have to do in our mission sometimes.  When it comes to second class train tickets it is an adventure.  In first class there are two beds.  One for you and your companion.  In second class there are six beds.  So we share with the sisters.. so they dont have to with random Romanian men.  Sleeping in the same room as sister missionaries is just something I never thought I would be able to say on my mission haha :) !  
Okay so we get down to Buc and it is a party like always.  All missionaries from everywhere come to the same place and it's fun to see people we havent for a while.  They planned a contacting activity for all the missionaries in some part of Bucharest so we could " stay productive"  This is a FANTASTIC idea in concept, just a little harder to do in practice. They wanted all the missionaries to stand at a corner of a street and sing hymns.  Me elder Poulsen, elder W, and a Russian elder decided we were just going to get some materials and contact around the area where everyone was. (we call the missionaries serving in Moldova Russian elders)  So, we were just walking up and down the streets talking to midnight until our train came.  Hopped on it, and now we are back in Arad all safe and sound. people and it was really fun.  I had to teach the Russian elder a little Romanian so he could contact with us haha :)  After this little adventure we basically all go back to the gara to wait for some trains.  Of course there a million little things that also went on that day, but that is mainly what happened :)
Sometime his cat helps him think. 
Then we had district conference in Oradea this past Sunday.  We also had a fireside last Saturday in Oradea.  So we got to take a three hour train over there.  We spent the night and we just got back last night.  I'll tell you right now, I love Oradea!  It is so pretty over there and the branch/pepole are amazing!  We listened to a member of the 70's come and give the fireside and a talk in the conference.  It was awesome and I learned a ton.  On the way back all our seats were a little scattered on the train.  I ended up meeting this man from Italy and talkd to him for a bit.  Elder W was able to give him a Book of Mormon and just connect with him a bit.  It was an awesome train ride back.  So, that is it for the crazieness of the events of this past week.
Again, I have been taught and have realized a lot this week.  I have decided I have been too focused on this language.  I have, for some reason, in my head determined that to be a good missionary, you have to be good at the language... and that is kinda how I have based my thoughts.  Like, oh he is really good with the language, he is a great missionary.  I will tell you that that is completely wrong.  It doesnt really mean anything.  Only that they have worked and have obtained the langauge skills.  I could be fluent in this language, and be an awful missionary.  I guess I have always really known this in the back of my head, just wanted to share that it isnt in the back of my head any more haha :)  I have just been focused so much with language, when really all I've been wanting is to be a good missionary.  I have been pretty hard on myself cause, really the langauge is good, but not perfect, so subconsiously I have thought I am not the best missionary.  So what I am doing now is just focusing on being the best missionary I know how to be, and I know the language will come.  That is really all there is to it.
They are very lucky to have time to unwind. 
I have learned another thing this week.  A question was asked in district conference, "In the scriptures, was Christ ever stressed?"  The answer we came up with was no.  Christ wasn't stressed.  Basically they were trying to tell everybody to calm down a bit haha.  We dont need to be stressed, it is not a good thing.  In Mosiah 4:27 it says something along the lines of dont run faster then you are able.  We still need to work diligently and do the best we can, but dont worry!  This is the Lord's work and He isn't stressed why should you?  So I have a fun challenge for all of you this week.  Don't stress!  When you start to feel stress coming on, just remember, the Lord knows what He is doing and it really will be okay and then get to work.  With this focus, this week, I would love to hear kinda just how you have felt this next week.  Imma try it to and hopefully be able to write something insightful about it next week :)
I love you all so much!  Thanks for being there for me, and helping me out.  I feel so blessed to have come from the family and situation I did.  I love you all more then I can even express!  Have a great week! :)
Elder James Anderson Cooper

LOVING AND DOING (2/17/2014)

Where they sleep on the "Sleeper Train"
FEBRUARY 17, 2014

Hallways of the "Sleeper Train" 
So my brain is weird.... and I think I might have memory problems...  haha.  I didnt write in my journal Tuesday or Wednesday and looking back at those days... I dont remember a single thing!  It is like those days just vanished!!  But good thing I wrote some stuff down through out the rest of the week! :)

Transfer boards came out this Saturday!  I am staying here to do a third transfer in Arad.  Elder Poulsen is going Zone leader!  So he will still be here, right across the street with elder W.  My new companions name is elder D.  Super excited!!  Me and elder W decided that since we are going into our third transfer in the same city, we will switch apartments, to kinda mix things up for us a bit.  So I am packing and moving across the street! haha  That is basically what is happening.  So tomorrow we have to catch a train at 18:42 to Timisora take an hour ride there, take a two hour lay over there, then hop on a sleep train to Bucarest!  Ill get there at about 7:30 and then leave that same day at midnight back to Arad!  It is gonna be a nuts couple of days coming up :)

I have had some pretty great moments this week.  Gosh this transfer, I just feel like I have grown so much. I have been taught a lot by a great companion and by Heavenly Father.  So we were just having a normal day the other day just contacting and being missionaries you know.  We get a call from our hairdresser lady and she says she has to move elder Poulsen's appointment back to 19:00  So now we have a blank spot in our schedule which is never
A few Pdays have been spent at the Lipova Castle ruins.
good.  After about ten minutes after the call we get another one.  It is from our branch Presidant and he needs us at the church right this instant!  So we rush over to the church and elder Poulsen takes care of some branch work, and I practice the Piano :)  Then 19:00 is rolling up and it is looking like we are gonna be super late for the appointment.  Then something happened that usually never happens... He offered to give us a ride! haha It was great.  So everything worked out and we weren't late to anything.  Looking back at something simple like that always makes me happy, because I can defiantly see the Lord's hand in it.  He helped us get done the things that we needed to that day.
You have to climb and work to get to where you want to be.
So with this next transfer coming up, I have a couple things I want to work on. A couple of them are:  Loving them, loving it, and loving where I am.  So the "them" is the people of Romania, the loving "it" is the language and the "where I am " is obvious love what city I am in, and love my situation.  I decided as bad as some situations are, you can try your best to love it for what it is worth.  If it is tough, love it for the fact that it is making you grow and helping you be better.  So that is what I want to work on this transfer.  I am starting down the path to love!  In wanting to start this, it has really helped solidify something in my head.  It is never to late to start now.  This is a concept we have talked somewhat about.  I have been taking a look back at the missionary I am now, and seeing things that I still dont have. (still getting over the fact that the mission doesnt automatically change you haha )  I had a funky moment this week when it kinda got me down.  I was thinking other missionaries younger then me already have this, why dont I?  Then it hit me.  Well have you been working on it?  Durt dee durt!! haha you got to work on the things you want to get better at :)  So I have decided to start working on some things.  I think also this next transfer it is another opportunity to work on, doing things on my own.  Not waiting for the moment when I am the senior companion, or the district leader, and just stepping up now, and do the things that will help me and the people.  So it is gonna be good :)

I dont know if I have told you all yet, but I have eaten cow stomach... haha anyways, this week we had some cow heart!  I will probably eat every part of a cow by the time I get home haha :)  The cow heart was really not that bad, I would do it again in a heart beat!.... (haha) but the stomach was not that good at all.  Another thing I have experienced this week.  The proprietors (apartment owners)  when they come over to fix things, sometimes you might get one who likes to work in his speedo!!  haha I totally respect them for it!  It was so funny this week.  One came over to work on some stuff in the bathroom.  I was walking by and at first glance I thought he was naked!!  It was a great relief when I actually saw the speedo on haha :) So there is some random info for y'all.
There is my week for all of you!  I hope everything is going great back at home and everyone is recovering the best they can!  Love you all so much and know that you are in my prayers!! Love you all!

James Coops

PS. I found a great scripture that has been helping me a bit.  D&C 90:24
"Search diligently, pray always, and be believing, and all things shall work together for your good, if ye walk uprightly and remember the covenant wherewith ye have covenanted one with another."  I love the scriptures!

Monday, March 3, 2014

DEFINING TIME (2/10/2014)

FEBRUARY 10, 2014

Hello... :)    

Grateful for a good companion
Okay this letter might not be full of stuff, cause it has been a rather chill week.  The transfer is wrapping up and we are cleaning up are apartment and are area book and what not.  I really love what Joco has said about abiding in cleanliness.  It is so true!  You can defiantly feel a difference when things are organized and when things are clean.  So we have been a workin on that a bit this week.

So I guess for this week I just got some random stuff to share with ya.  Did you know my companion is the branch clerk.. and elder quorum's president?!  He just got off of being the branch president in Galati and now he has got all this responsibility again!  He is such a great missionary!  I am learning so much from him.  I really feel like these past two transfers I have had, have really helped me get my head together.  Lately I have been able to see what I need to do, to reach the goals I have for my mission.  I will always be able to look
back at this specific time in my mission, and see that it was the transfer that defined the missionary I want to be.  It is crazy how things play out.  I had an awesome thing pop into my head a while ago.  Each step of the  way, the Lord prepares you for your next step.  For example;  If I didnt go through the things I went through my first and second transfer, then I would not have learned and gained the things I did from elder M in my third transfer.  If I did not experience all I did with elder M, then I would not have been prepared go through everything I have with elder Poulsen.  Since everything has played out the way it has, I have been able to learn and grow so much from elder Poulsen.  I really feel like I can say my 4th transfer was my "defining transfer".  Hope some of that made sense haha :)

So proud of themselves for making cookies! I never heard
how they tasted. 
Okay so for English classes it is twice a week.  17:00 - 18:00 on Tuesday and 12:00 - 13:00 on Saturday.  At the beginning of the transfer we have about two weeks before English class starts.  So we spend about two weeks English contacting.  Then English class starts, and sometimes we choose to continue to English contact people to try and get bigger classes.  So like I said in one of my past emails, we had like 10-15 people in our advanced English class at the beginning. ( me and Poulsen are the advance teachers )  In our last class we just had we had one.  So over time people leave haha that is just the usual.  In our class we focus on getting them to talk and have conversations.  They give us an english book to teach out of.... but it sucks.  So we make up fun lessons and teach things that are really useful in real life situations.  We have this one guy who comes every Saturday.  It's very intimidating cause he majored in English... Just like you Court!  So he is constantly correcting the way "I"English and what not.  It can be pretty funny sometimes! :)
Remember the first question Elder Cooper asked
him was if he was allergic to cats. Looks like
they made friends. 

So we had interviews this past week.  So Pres Hill came all the way out to Arad and we had a thirty minute talk sesh.  I will just tell ya I love that man!  He understands life and the way things work better then anyone!  We had a great conversation and he really helped me understand some things. I feel like am walking on air.  He is just such a great inspired man!

Fun fact I am learning to play the piano!  When elder Poulsen has branch duties I am stuck at the church.  So I practice! :)

So thanks for being there for me all of you.  I have realized a lot of what Joco has said is true.  When it comes to Utah, life, growing up, and all that stuff.  I am in accord with him!  I am so incredibly blessed to have been given the situation I have in life.  I am so blessed to have each one of you be in my life.  I am so blessed to have grown up in Utah surrounded by the people I was.  If any one of these little factors I had in life were different, it would change everything!  I love the family and all of you so much! GO AMERICA!! :)

Elder James Anderson Cooper