Monday, May 26, 2014


Hello everyone!!

Gosh the second week of transfers has been so busy and when it's finally over, you realize how slow it was!  But, A lot has happened just the same.

An actual church building. You can see it outside out window in
our apartment. So great!
So we had zone training this past Tuesday.  Elder Daland and I were asked to give a presentation on extending baptismal commitments by the second lesson.  It was actually fairly difficult to prep for this, seeing how I have never done it myself.  Havent had anyone to put this to practice on! haha  We had two visuals.  We took two people out of the room.  Set up a very easy obstacle course and hid a candy bar somewhere at the end.  We took one of the volunteers and blindfolded them.  We told everyone in the room that they could tell them how to get to the candy bar and could give them directions.  We then brought the other volunteer into the room not blindfolded, and told everyone they could do the same thing.  the one with the blindfold represented an investigator without a Baptismal commitment, and the one  without represented one with a baptismal commitment.  Basically we were trying to show a couple things.   That it is still possible to reach the end goal without a baptismal commitment by the second lesson but that it is easier for the investigator to reach the end goal with his "vision"  So ya... After that R canceled his lesson with us,. but we had another guy come and we talked a bit about our church and also helped him with some English stuff... That was Tuesday.

The Bird
Dont know if I told you this before, but every week we teach a mission prep class, to two members who are preparing to go on missions. :)  So at the end of the class I hear this noise and look over to the door just in time to see this bird fly in and nail the sacrament door!  I grabbed a broom and was trying to chase it out side.  It got a way for a while and ended up on the second floor when I trapped it!  I had a miniature battle with it, that involved some playful banter.  I end up victorious, and it retreated out the window.  It was pretty crazy.

Also this past Saturday we went and did some service at the church farm/garden.  It was super fun.  The Assistants drove us out a couple miles out side of town to the farm.  We ended up working there basically all day.  Our job was to clear the iarba and to make some rows to plant some potatoes in.  It was super fun, and now I kinda want to be a farmer!  During the middle of us working, there was a 30 minute rain storm that came in from no where!  That is when the member decided to feed us so we didnt get too wet.  She cooked us some great stuff!  After the storm passed we went out and worked again... this time accompanied by THOUSANDS of mosquitoes.  No joke, the final count of bites on my body is 56... it was like trek all over again!  Besides the mosquitoes, it was an awesome experience to go and do some farm work!

So everything is going just dandy as you can tell.  We stay super busy here.  We have a lot of good things coming at the end of the transfer.  Mainly, a few baptisms if everything goes according to plan!  R, who the missionaries have been meeting with for 7 months prior to me getting here, is set to be baptised the 21 of June!  We then are planning on setting a date with a married couple for the 14 of June!  It is crazy how much is going on here haha.  I've gone from barely getting a lesson a transfer, to having 3 investigators really close to baptism!  It is kinda overwhelming to be honest, but good non the less :)

Glad to hear everyone is doing good!  I love you all so much!  (just like in every email)  Thanks for being such a great group of support, you help make it possible. :)  Until next P-day!


Elder Cooper

PS. While contacting this week we saw something super cool.  A massive American escort!  There were so many police on the streets and so many armed forces it was crazy!  Our attention was then brought to the road.  We started seeing all these police motorcycles leading the way of the escort.  Then after like 10 motorcycles past, we saw blacked out cars and SUV's all with American flags attached to the side of them!  It was just like a movie!  A huge formation of them came down the road and it was intense.  Apparently good ol' Joe Biden came here or something like that, to discuss Ukraine with Romania or something... still not 100 percent sure... but anyways it was super cool!

 Turkish Festival in the of course they bought hats

A monument for WWII - Happy Memorial Day
"This is my ceiling in my apartment. Don't worry, there's been a lot of rain. I'll be fine"

Monday, May 19, 2014


Hey guys!

So things have been pretty nuts!  Finished up the week packing and cleaning.  Then of course hopped on our sleeper train down to Bucharest!  It was really weird because of going there and waiting around for my new comp, my new comp, elder Daland, picked me up and showed me to my new place,... and I love it!!  Not to big and not too small.  We will be able to manage it just fine!  We literally live straight across the street from our chapel.  That's right, I typed that correctly, we have a chapel here!!  Pretty insane.  So it basically feels and looks like just another church back from the states.  Also we basically live right on top of a little shop where we can buy a lot of things we need.  So all in all.... I love it here!!

Not gonna lie,  when I first got here I was SUPER overwhelmed.  I was talking to elder Daland just about how things worked here in Buc. I wasnt really ready for the answer.  We have four progressing investigators who we work with constantly.  Before this week was done we had already set up and had planned to meet with 2 of them!  Now I remind you that, that is about as many lessons as I have gotten in a transfer!  Then I found out that we also teach a mission prep class ever Wednesday and Friday.  Also that we have an investigator class that the missionaries have to teach ever Sunday the second hour of church.  On top of all this information, I had to plan for our first district meeting and coordinate a sports night on Friday.  Also the day after transfers the Assistants to the president  called and said they were coming to district meeting!  And then also found out that elder Daland and I have to give a presentation for zone training meeting. So to shortly put it, I was stressing hard core.  But I love elder Daland!  He is such a boss!  This is the only city he has been in, so he knows how things go pretty darn well.  He has helped me out a bunch!  Something that I really learned to do, was to take things one day at a time.  All that stuff that had to been done, most of it, was on different days.  We just broke it down and did it day by day.  So we survived... this week.  It's all gonna start again this next week! haha :)

So ya like I said, Elder Daland is super tight.  He kinda reminds me of Ross from Friends every now and again.  He is from Southern California, and is a massive water polo player!  Like before he left on his mish he was 9th best player in the country!  So he is pretty good at what he does haha  We get along great, and want to work hard.  This is gonna be a good transfer.

The branch is pretty big here.  We had like 25-30 people show up and Daland said it was a super low turn out.  So that is pretty crazy!  It's so different from anything I have had!  It's gonna be good though.

Okay now for something awesome that happened.  So I was trying to take me and Daland home after some contacting, (he is testing me so I can figure out this massive place) And I accidentally took us the wrong way.  We stopped and were about to turn around when a man stopped us who was clearly drunk.  He came over smiling and waddling over.  He then preceded to give us a big burley hug.  He explained that he loves America and hates Russia.  He then forces 100 lei into my hand and says " okay now you are my American friends!" Then makes his way over to a taxi.  The whole time im following him, and explaining that he shouldn't give us the money and that we are missionaries trying so hard to put it in his hands or just give it back to him.  Then he opens a cab door and separates himself from me.  Then explains that he owns a company called Kiss a Frog and asked if I would kiss him!  I said no, and the taxi drove away.... and now we have an extra 100 lei!  Super random and crazy.  We are not sure what we are going to do with it.  We think it is a tender mercy though.  It is getting close to the end of the month, and we are getting really low on money.  So we might dip into that money a bit for food! haha :)

So ya.  Things are super different and prettty great.  We are getting stuff done and enjoying the ride.  I've been able to see how one can lose themselves in the work, when then have all this stuff to do on a normal basis!  I am really excited that I will probably be here for a while.  So much to do and see and not much time to do it!  Love you all so much!  Hope you can have another great week!

Elder Cooper :)

They started this journey together (almost 10 months ago) in the MTC.  It was a great district of wonderful Elders and Sisters who all loved and supported each other.
MTC District reunited during Transfers. First time they've all been together since arriving in the country. What a fun sight. 

Monday, May 12, 2014


Favorite broken pen from last week
(maybe it is symbolic of my leaving Arad???!!)
Holy cow!  This week has just been a whirl wind!  We have been so busy and just running around everywhere I feel!  So as you know, transfers are happening this Wednesday!  I am headed down to Bucharest, not just to switch companions, but to serve there!!  The city of Buc is divided into 2 technically three parts.  You got the Panduri side (which I will be a part of) and the Mihi Bravu side.  And then of coarse, the office and AP's and what not.  Not only will I be living Arad after six months of being here, but president Hill has called me to be the District Leader over there! 

I have to say, I am more then a little nervous for this new assignment.  There are going to be 8 people in the district including myself.  So there is me and my companion, elder D, then a pair of sister, then the STL's (sister training leaders), and then the Zone leaders!  So it will be the biggest district I have ever had!  haha but It's going to be good.  That brings me to my next point in what is happening to Arad.  Me, elder DeGraw, Sora Bynum, and elder Poulsen are all leaving.             So Preece and O'brien staying here.

 They are "white washing" me and DeGraw out, so we have to do a little extra work to get the apartment ready for the new elders!  So like I said my new district is going to be good.  Elder Poulsen is following me down and going to be in my district as my zone leader!!  haha it's so crazy, and so fun!  So at least I know one person there! haha :)  So ya that is basically what is going to happen this next transfer! :)

Cooper and Poulsen taking on the world.
Okay so at the beginning of this week we had an awesome branch activity!  We had a cinco de maio party!  We had tacos, chips and salsa, and a piñata!  We also had some former sister missionaries come!  So naturally a good amount of members came to the activity, which was awesome!  We had to do a spiritual thought, so we decided to do it on putting on your armor of God to protect yourself from the fiery darts of the devil.  Elder Poulsen was super creative and made a full suit out of armor out of the packages mom and Grandma have sent! haha :)  I was designated to be the wearer of this said armor.  Elder Poulsen has a nerf gone and was gonna be "Satan" shooting the fiery darts at me.  So that was really fun to do! haha  There is actually a video of it, I will try to get to you guys! :)  

This past Wednesday we went and played soccer with he kids from the service place.  It was defiantly the funnest thing we have done with them.  We actually have a video of that to!  So again, I will try to get that over to ya!  But ya the kids are super great and funny.
 When picking teams they would always pick me first because I was the only name they knew/ could pronounce haha :)  Im gonna miss the kids here!

Also during this week we were able to have two lessons!!... what!! haha it was great.  We had one with an English student, which was focused on family history work.  She set up an account and is working on getting her information put in there!  The sister here should start teaching her pretty soon, so that will be awesome!  We then had another lesson this past Saturday with someone Elder DeGraw and Rodenberg talked to on there mini exchange at the very begining of the transfer.  It was pretty awesome.  It first started off with him comparing what we were saying to his religion and telling us we were doing stuff wrong.  After a while of this Elder DeGraw looks at him and says " look, I dont like it when you tell us what we are doing is wrong, we did not come here for you to convince us of your religion, but to share something wonderful we have"  This act of boldness really brought in the spirit and we were then able to have a very great lesson!  So ya had a busy week haha.

Alright to add on top of this week, I had a week of clothing... mishaps, we'll call them.  I was able to have a stain on every single white shirts I own except for two (one of which is long sleeve, and you cant wear it when it's as hot as it has been lately)  Also I somehow ripped a huge whole in the crouches of the two pairs of slacks I have. And to top it off, one of shoelaces has decided it was time to wear-out and to fray away and snap.... haha kinda ridiculous!  I was able to sew the hole of one of my pants, so it is wear able in public.  So when I go to Bucharest, I gotta get some new stuff, or see a tailor or something!  It's been crazy!  Also it is a good thing I still have that Shout from America!  I was able to get the stains out of some of the shirts :)

That is my week!  Sorry it is really all over the place!  I was so happy to see you guys!!  You all look so good and happy!  It is so weird to see every one changing and getting older and what not.  But it's like Mom said one time to me in a letter.  It's kinda like Harry Potter.  As they kept going and getting older and what not, it kept getting better, and they had even greater adventures with each other.  It's gonna be a marvelous and glorious day when we are all back together again, but for now, it just has to be like this, and that is okay :)  I love you all so much and that will never change!!  Thanks for being the best family ever and giving me all the support you have!  I hope you had a great mother's day mom!  You deserve it!  Until next week!! :)


Elder Nightwing Cooper :)

Glad to have had a good companion in McGraw

Monday, May 5, 2014


Hello :)

So this week has been pretty great for me.

"It's been why not an umbrella!"
We had a branch activity at the beginning of the week.  We sat outside and grilled up some mici and some porc!  Havent had any other meat then salami for a while... especially not grilled, so it tasted soooo amazing!  The best part was that members came!!  We talked and mingled and connected more with them and it was just a great day.  I found something I really love out here... Pepsi twist!  I think it is back home as well, but I think it taste better out here!  They also brought this to the branch BBQ so it made me very happy.

At some point this week we ran out of some milk, so we had to run to the store and grab some.  Guess who we ran into again!?  P!  Every since the first time he has been coming to church and English, so he is doing better.  We talked for a bit and then checked out together.  He bought me and DeGraw some sort of Pastry.  "I was thinking to myself, what can I get these two that is a little bit different"  He bought us this breaded popi seed thing.  You know, It didnt taste that bad haha.  Basically it was like pure popi seeds all messed into a mush and spread over bread.  Like I probably wont go out of my way to buy it... but it was P so of coarse I loved it! haha  Oh ya whenever he doesnt come to church, It is my job to water his plants he has at the church... haha :)

Elder Cooper and his favorite gypsy boy. 
This week service went great as usual.  We are really starting to connect with the lady who takes care of all the children at the Gypsy camp.  Next time we go over there she wants us to prepare something to teach the kids out of the bible!  So we are pretty excited to do that.  Poulsen Is going to dress up like Golieth and we are all gonna throw stuff at him!

Okay now tomorrow we are having another activity with the branch.  It's gonna be a late Cinco de maio!!  We are cooking Mexican food and gonna teach everyone the Macarena!  For the spiritual thought we are doing it on putting on your armor of God.  Poulsen has made that armor out of the boxes mom and grandma have sent me :)  We will also be using the nerf guns you sent to represent the fiery darts of the devil!  So Im gonna be the example of not having the armor, and then putting on the armor and being able to block all the fiery darts!  I am pretty stoked!  Itll be fun.  Also we have two American families coming down!!!  Two former sister missionaries are coming to this activity!  It is gonna be a blast!

Cant wait to see all of you in a couple of days!!  I am super excited.  Transfer boards are this Saturday so I find out what next transfer has in store for me before we Skype on Sunday!  Love you all so much!!  Keep being so great and doing your thing!  Try to get some sleep mom I know May is a crazy month!  Everybody take care of her!!! :) Till Sunday!

Elder James 

President and Sister Hill with the District in Arad

"We all love these kids"

"Their ice cream is a lot softer.  But this one tasted just like American in my opinion!  Havent had good chocolate ice cream in a while!... The best part of summer is there is ice cream stands everywhere!  and It is so cheap!  So with how hot it gets here it will be nice!"

"My favorite pen that I found at the beginning of my Arad transfers... Just died.  I barried it in our backyard."

"Why not an umbrella"