Monday, April 28, 2014


Hey guys!!

This week has just been smooth and nice.  We were able to get out a lot.  This week we were also able to meet with a member!  It was nice to sit down and have a conversation with someone in Romanian!  Havent had that for a while.  Well actually It was more of DeGraw and the member talking and me actually being able to follow the conversation, but hey whatever :)  We talked to him about family history work.  In our mission they are really trying to push it right now.  It is a tad difficult because of something like their (Romanian) records not being digitalized or something like that.  So they do their work on the paper to wait to get it digitalized.  Eventually it will get going!  Just laying the ground work!

So like I said we were able to get out a lot this week.  We actually were able to contact to places I have never been in Arad!  Crazy cause I've almost been here for half of a year and I thought I knew this place like the back of my hand!  It kinda freaked me out a bit haha Like where am I this isn't Arad.  So ya super good and a lot of walking!

Okay so this is why I love people this week.  There is a certain shop we frequent.  It is this little pastry shop on a corner as you are headed to the church.  The district here goes all the time, because they have this delicious roll stuffed with mashed potatoes!... the best part is... it's only a leu!!  So literally like 30 cents!  So this particular time we went and decided to get something different, to be more specific we got sweet cheese rolls (super good!)  after we purchased and were about to head out, she told me to wait as she heads to the back room.  She then comes out with two potato rolls for me and DeGraw for free!  Then told us to have a good day!  It's just one of those things that makes you just love people.  :)  And now we have friends!! haha ;)

Elder Cooper and Elder DeGraw
We were not able to meet up and have the lesson we had planned on.  A little bit of miss communication, and the plans completely changed.  He wants us to come over this week, so WE WILL this week!  It will be good WHEN it happens haha :)

Okay so I dont know if I told any of you this but I found my "spirit animal"  Way back when elder Whitehead was here, he took us "on the Journey".  In the MTC a Polynesian elder gave the ability to take people on their journeys to elder Whitehead... haha  So mine is a Hippo :) haha  There is a lot of details about how I found it... so Ill have to tell ya later or something.  So ya elder DeGraw wanted to find his, so we have done a lot of meditation this week!  Turns out, it is really good for you.  Ya it's been fun :)  His was an armadillo and switched to a tiger!  Crazy stuff!

Today we went to Lipova!  I have now been four times haha :)  it is a super cool place.  Me and elder Poulsen climbed up a little tower place and just went tanning for about an hour while the others who hadn't gone explored a bit... I am burnt and it feels so good!!  Getting rid of all those missionary tan lines! :)

Hey thanks for being so great!  I love you all!  It makes me so happy to hear you are all doing well and happy. Know that I am doing great as well.  The work here is slow... but IT'S HERE.  Have a great week!  


Elder Cooper #2

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


Hello everyone!

First off, Schuyler you freakin lucky dog!  You got to take care of all the cars?!
Grandpa's cars!
 AH!  Green with jealous rage right now... ;) haha 

So this week we had a lot of celebrating and stuff to do.  For one there was Easter, we also got to celebrate DeGraw's year left mark, also DeGraw's birthday!  Plus we had scheduled not one... but two flippin lessons this week!! 

We had set up a lesson with G on the 17th.  But he "bunged" us.  Super weird cause G has never really been like that before.  So we were waiting around for him and he never showed up.  He then called the next day and explained that he was stuck at work or something like that... :/  We are planning on meeting with him this week so hopefully that happens!

Happy Birthday McGraw!
So I'll take you on the adventure of the 18th.  We wake up and boom it's DeGraw's Birthday.  I got up a bit earlier then usually to make him some breakfast.  Guess what I made?  CHOCOLATE CHIP PANCAKES!  I think they turned out alright?  Either way DeGraw said they were good so, maybe he was just being nice or maybe they were actually okay.  We ran out of baking powder so I was like shoot how am I gonna make them pancakes ( this was after I had mixed basically everything together already)  So I was looking around when I found some yeast.  I was like BINGO I can put that stuff in instead?!  I just put in a little, plus a bit of cinnamon and ta da!  We had some pancakes!   After this we had District meeting for a bit, which DeGraw is good at doing.  The sisters were not able to make it cause Sora O was sick... like superish sick.  Okay now us elders contact around to the Easter targ at the mall to check out the neat stuff that might be there. (Targ is basically a bunch of little stands/shops)  

The moving play of Christ
After searching the targ for a bit we decide to head back to the church to watch our Easter movie President allowed..... :)  We are half way back when we noticed a huge group of people.  So I was like "come on let us go check it out"  Right as we get there, everyone
starts moving!  We ended up getting swooped into this crowd walking down the middle of Centru.  It was a struggle trying to stay next to your comp cause everyone was moving and what not.  Eventually we see what is actually going on.

 There are some "Roman Guards" separating the crowd from the very center.  In the very middle there are guards "whipping and beating" 3 torn up men.  One of them carrying a cross.  Basically we stumbled upon a live moving play of Christ's walk through Golgotha.  It was super interesting and I got a lot of pictures and stuff.  So that was a super unique experience.  After walking down the middle of Centru for about an hour, we had to head to the church to watch our movie.... :)  We watched Despicable me 2!  Super good show!  So that wraps up the adventure of the 18th.

Now it is Saturday the 19th.  We set up with a legit guy A.  Elder DeGraw and Rodenberg contacted them on there mini exchange the other day.  He has so much potential.  Ill explain how.  He is married and has a family.  He has a job and is busy.  He called us to set up a time to meet. He actually wants to talk about our religion!!  Sadly he “bunged” us as well this week.  He actually got sick and couldn't make it.  He then called us yesterday and said he is still planning on meeting with us this next up coming week!  So I am really excited to meet this guy!  So the 19th is When Romanians start celebrating Easter.  Everyone gathers together at a church.  In our case the Huge giant white Orthodox church in Centru.  Everyone starts getting there at like 11 or 11:30.  Then at midnight is when the magic happens.  A fire carrier brings the fire from Jerusalem. (The fire i guess just appears from God there and they have to spread it around or something like that)  We all bought candles and you are supposed to light your candle with this flame.  It is super cool, the priest spreads the light to people and then the people start spreading it to each other and so everything is glowing in candle flames!  Then they have their midnight mass.  Afterwards it was like 1:30 or 2.  Now the goal is to get your flame all the way home without letting it burn out, so all your sins for the year can be forgiven... Sadly I didnt make it...  :) but ya that is how it went over here in Romania!  I am so glad President Hill let us go be a part of the Romania culture!  It was an awesome experience!
The tradition of lighting the candles.

Here are some random facts about Paste/Easter here.  Wooden eggs are a big deal.  You go around to the Targs and buy some, I only bought one (super legit one) this year, so I can have room for next easter!  Also Saturday basically through Monday you greet people by saying " Hristos a înviat"  They then have to respond " Adevarat a înviat"  Which translated means " Christ has risen" " True He has risen".  These phrases also carry over into an Easter game they play.  You take a boiled egg and your opponent takes one.  You hold them over each other and one person says " Hristos a Inviat" Then other then replies " Adevarat a Inviat"  Then you smack the eggs together!  If your egg cracks, you loose!  I really like this game haha :)

Next was Sunday the 20th.... Super tired.  We had permission to sleep in as many hours as we missed.  The one problem was we had church, and stuff we had to do, so we didnt really get to.  So after church we took those hours and caught up on  some sleep :)  Later that day we had an awesome Easter dinner prepared by Elder Preece!  Following that we dyed easter eggs!  So Easter was a success!

This now brings us to the reason I was not able to write to you all yesterday.  Basically our whole zone went down to Timisoara to play some lazer tag!  We got there kinda early, went to the place and realized it was closed ALL DAY!  So of course we didnt waste our P-day!  We went to the park and played soccer, basketball, and did some slak lining!  We then still had time so we played cards and ping pong.  Then turns out we looked at the wrong train times on the computer, so we missed our train to get back early enough to do some internet.  So after realizing this we all got back to the church... and had a little dance party  Sisters weren't dancing, no worries, basically just us elders having a fun time. :)  That made my whole day.  And since we were gonna be there for a while, we got to go to One of the Timi elder's investigators soccer game!  He is profesh.  So that was my day yesterday haha super hectic and not at all how we planned, but it turned out awesome! :)

I had a moment on the train yesterday... and I was just like " hey I am in Romania!  on a super gheto train!  While some lady is shouting something behind me!  This is pretty nuts! "  But I still feel this new energy to do good... which is good :)

Thank you all for your support.  I know I say that all the time, but I dont know how else to express how much it means to me!  I glad you all got to have a good time down in California ( sorry dad)  Miss that place like crazy!  :)  Hope you all travel and do everything you need to this week safely!  LOVE YOU SO MUCH!! 
Elder Cooper

P.S. Had to say good-bye to Elder Rodenberg. He has basically just been the leader of my entire mission!  He has either been zone leader or AP over me the entire time here...... so of course he has been a huge example to me. I'm grateful for him. 
Elder Rodenberg with Elder Cooper

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Hello :)

Looking back at the events that took place at the beginning of the week, seems like forever ago!  We had our Zone training meeting this past Tuesday.  Elder Poulsen and Priece did a great job and really packed a punch in there for me.  I guess they just really helped me find this desire to share the Book of Mormon with others. Okay every missionary has that desire, but it was a tad bit deeper for me.  My testimony has been strengthened and it feels great.  I really just want people to read this book.  I know it's true and I know it contains answers that people need to hear.  If people could just set aside their pride or whatever it may be and pick up this book and read from it I know it would help them.  It is just a consistent sturdy handle to hold on to while the whirl winds of life go on.  So ya I love the Book of Mormon!  I used to always think "earlier in the mish life"  That when I would have feelings like this, or this new excitement about some gospel topic it meant that I was just barely gaining a testimony on the matter.  Might be the case for some things here and there, but it has been good for me to remember that a testimony can grow!!  Just because that excitement wasn't really there before doesn't mean I didnt have a testimony then!  I really feel like I am just growing "line upon line, precept upon precept"  (something one of the big boys said in conference somewhere haha)  I really dont know if that makes any sense over writing.  Oh well just know if nothing else that my testimony has been strengthened a lot this week.
So we were able to watch and finish all the conference this week!  I am super glad I didnt miss the Sunday sessions cause they was good!  I really really like L. Tom Perry.  He is just so down to earth I feel.  This time around I was just able to appreciate what he was saying a lot more.  Not that i wasnt appreciating what he was saying before... and just really enjoy his stuff now :)  And he is a giant!  and I dont know if you were watching at the end of priesthood session, but he totally gave bones to elder Bednar!  haha so ill!!

Also this week I was able to see a little miracle.  So there has been this member here that has been missing for two months!  No one had seen or heard from him for that long.  I loved this guy, he came to English sometimes, and was just the sweetest little old man ever.  Well Elder DeGraw and I were just doing our thing and contacting. 
Throughout the path of contacting time we had set a side, here and there we were like hey let's stop at this store real quick and grab a snack for later.  We get around and are looping back around to our apartment a little later then we had planned.  As we were walking down the street guess who we saw!?  Yep that member that had been missing for soo long!  We were able to stop and chat with him for a while and see how he was doing.  He is doing fine, just gets pretty sick when he is out walking, which explains the no church show.  He then came to church last Sunday, which is awesome!  It really just amazes me how the Lord works.  What if we hadn't stopped at the store and delayed us just a bit?  We might have been too fast and totally missed our friend!

Oh ya... had to give a talk in church again... it's okay.  After I got done speaking the first councilor got up and said something like, the missionaries are so brave to come here and speak in a foreign language.  Even though sometimes we cant understand everything they are saying, I know we can learn from the spirit... haha so... it is possible no one understood what I was saying for the 20 minutes I was talking!  haha oh gosh!!  Hopefully, someone got something.

Anyways Know that I love all of you!  Thanks for doing your part back there in good ol' Utah.  Thanks for being there for me and for supporting me through the ups and downs.  I defiantly feel the prayers and know they are helping me!  LOVE YOU ALL!!!


E l d e r  J A M E S  A N D E R S O N     C O O P E R

Monday, April 7, 2014



Okay so it's been a long week.  A lot has happened.  Usually during this past week we would've gotten to see all the missionaries down in Bucharest for transfers, but since nothing changed for Elder DeGraw, and me we just stayed put.  We got some ice cream :)  (A lot of the days have been super hot, in the morning you usually need something to keep you a little warm, but days are warm and feel great)

So on the day everyone left to the party down in Buc, DeGraw and me went out contacting.  As I look for some reasons why I am still here and stuff, they pop out.  Seriously the day where everyone was gone... we contacted a guy, and he actually was willing to give us his number!  It has been a while since we have received any new potential numbers.  So there might have been a reason we had to stay?  Who knows?  All I know is there are reasons, they might just be smaller and scattered through out this transfer, but they are here.  
I received a pretty strong answer.  It was very clear and I felt was completely directed at me. In D&C 111:1-3 "I the Lord your God, am not displeased with your coming this journey, not withstanding your follies. 2: I have much treasure in this city for you, for the benefit of Zion, and many people in this city, whom I will gather out in due time for the benefit of Zion, through your instrumentality. 3: Therefore; it is expedient that you should form acquaintance with men in this city, as you shall be led, and as it shall be given you."
I dont even know if I can put into words what comfort this scripture has given to me.  (at the beginning he is re-answering one of my old huge concerns)  He just goes on to say, that He really is using me here.  Through my instrumentality here in  Arad he will gather people out for Zion in His own time.  So I really might not even see WHO He gathers out, all I know is that people WILL be gathered out, through our efforts here.  I have written this scripture on a little flash card and carry it in my planner so I can read it whenever.  Just helps with the whole take one day at a time with an eternal perspective. :)
Ever since coming upon that scripture I have seen a lot of things that have brought me joy.  For example, this week was a week where we GOT contacted BY people.  What I mean is people came up to us to talk!  WHAT!  It has been crazy this week alone, I have 3 specific examples of people coming and talking to us.  And as I look back there is even more!  I have noticed while we walk on the streets people have actually waved and smiled at us!  People that know the missionaries have come out and are actually acknowledging our existence!  It is a miracle!!  So I go back and read that scripture "Therefore; it is expedient that you should form acquaintance with men in this city, as you shall be led, and as it shall be given you."  We have/are forming a lot of acquaintances out here in Arad, especially since being here for so long.  It just makes me happy to see :)

So for April fools G wanted to play a trick on some of the people in the district before we
all got split up.  So he pulled out some "rooster blood"  Elder D and Sora B almost hurled all over the floor!  Gosh funny stuff.  I love G, such a great guy!
Elder Cooper Drinking the "Rooster's Blood"

Elder DeGraw drinking the "Rooster's Blood" 
The week has been filled with ups and downs.  I have had some highs, and some lows.  It is a constant roller coaster,  but I like what you said.  Try to learn to enjoy the roller coaster, instead of trying to get off of it!  As a little child, back in the days, I was terrified of big roller coasters.  After all of you forced me to ride a couple big ones I learned I loved them, and the scariness actually added to the fun of it!  The thing about the roller coasters I feared the most, is the thing that I look forward to the most now, when going to ride a roller coaster.  Now I am not saying I am going to start loving the downs of my weeks, or even enjoy them, but it will be helpful to see that they are what made the ride fun in highn site. :) 

It's all worth it!  That was something I have constantly in my notes from conference.  After all the speakers, it kept popping into my head "because it's all worth it" or " That is why it's worth it"  If you have a chance listen to or watch elder Randall L. Ridd from the priesthood session.  That is one that just hit me pretty hard.  I really enjoyed it and it pumped me up. (Dont really remember a ton from it... It is just in my notes to write home about, so I am) I am going to go back and study it more, it was good.  We have had a chance to watch everything from Saturday's sessions, but not Sunday's.  We will this week though.

I am so glad that I have all of you in my life.  Things can get pretty crazy out here, so it brings me a lot of comfort to be able to hop on here and realize you are all still there rooting for me.  So really you guys are the best!  Love you all so much!  Have a great week and do some good for somebody else!  LOVE YA!!

Elder James

Ps:  I got a lot of letters from grandma this week!  I am going to type back a quote she sent me, because it lifted me so high!  " I testify that no one is less treasured or cherished of God then another.  He loves each of us--insecurities, anxieties, self-image and all.  He doesn't measure our talents or our looks... He cheers on every runner, calling out that the race is against sin, and not against each other... I know that if we will be faithful, there is a perfectly tailored robe of righteousness ready and waiting for everyone, robes made white in the blood of the lamb."
-Elder Holland GC oct. 2002

This really helped me this past week, especially cause I get in bad habits of either comparing how good I am as a missionary or the language to others.  But the race is against sin.  So that's the only one I need to stay a head of :) Also because being in Europe I have gotten all my white shirts tailored to me and they feel so nice!  Cant even imagine how my tailored robe of righteousness will feel!! ;) haha Love you Grandma!  Your letters are so great! Thanks for helping my week be that much better!  

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


Some of the "original" District - Going to miss them.

Well it is the end of another transfer.  I am going to be staying here in Arad for a 4th and with Elder DeGraw for a 2nd.  Elder Whitehead and Sora Bird are leaving, which will be kinda weird.  They are the ones who came into Arad with me, so we were all like the senior veterans in Arad, and now it is just me.  But not really cause Elder Poulsen will be staying here along with Sora Bynum so everything is not changing completely haha

Elder Cooper's companion Elder DeGraw

Nothing has really happened with G.  He is an interesting guy.  We havent met with him for a while.  I hope this next week we can.  It is so weird out here.  For all the time we have for contacting... it seems like there is never time to do anything else?  I know missionary work isnt always knocking doors or hitting the street, there is always just little things that pop up everywhere that makes things difficult. 

I’m going to be honest and tell you that I have been kinda frustrated. Its been a tough week. Sometimes I struggle with a purpose or I really feel so insignificant out here.  All missionaries have their purpose, which is to invite others to come unto Christ, but I dont get to do that much.  I really just need to find my deeper purpose you know?  So I think I got my question for General conference :) I can’t wait to watch!  And there is a purpose to everything right?  I have been relying a lot of Heavenly help, it’s how I make it each and every day.
Relying on Heavenly help 

We go help at a service place every Wednesday.  It is basically a place Gypsies go. (dont know if I have told you about Gypsies?)  So a lot of times we play with kids or sort cloths... that type of thing... that is always fun to do :)  Just to tell you a little about them, gypsies are all really poor.  and the worst part is, they dont care... and most of them wont do anything to try and fix it.  The law actually kinda protects them... and they dont plan on trying to make their situations any better.... it really is sad how much people look down and talk bad about them...

So Easter is coming up, I think it is on the 20th of April here.  I guess it is a pretty big deal here... so I am excited to see what happens.

Nothing much else to say for this week.  Just a lot of contacting and preparing for transfers and what not.  We actually ran into a man on the streets the other day while contacting.  He recognized the white shirt and ties. (he has 3 Books of Mormon and I think has met with the missionaries before) He stopped us and wanted help with something.  He wouldnt tell us what exactly and just told

us to come over at 5 the following day.  So the next day rolls around and we are looking for his house.  The  place that he gave us directions to was weird.  There was a lock on the outside of the door and it had a broken window.  We knock and wait for a while, and nothing happens.  Hopefully we will see him again, because we werent able to find him this week!

We are gonna be doing a lot of planning for next transfer soon.  So I think we will talk about and get our focus in gear and stuff :)  It can just be so hard sometimes cause everyone takes things so casual sometimes... its something I didnt think I would have to deal with in my mission, but its okay.  Time to get to work.

So ya :)  Love you all so much.  Thanks for being there for me and being the people you are! Keep praying and doing good things! :) Pray for the people in Romania. have a good week!

Elder James

 Note: So basically in this mission you WILL buy cloths... if you care about style or looks even in the slightest.  There are soooo many extra white sleeve shirts in every single apartment you go to, because missionaries just ditch them!  It is really nice to bring at least two different normal out fits.  You will loose weight so take that into account.  The rules on suits have changed, so technically you only have to wear them to church meetings and interviews and stuff like that.  I have never worn a suit contacting.  Also feel free to bring out whatever color slacks you want basically, as long as it isnt to bright and crazy.  Right now with President Hill, we can listen to ANY music we want, only if we your comp agrees, and you can feel the spirit.  So bring any music you feel is appropriate.  Also, bring USB sticks or something to throw a ton of pictures/movies/music on.  Missionaries love doing that here.  Bring USB that has good storage.