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.
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!!
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!