Monday, June 30, 2014


Hello everyone!

So glad I took notes on the day to day this past week, because it has been absolutely nuts!

To start off, we had transfers.  You would think being in Bucharest would make them a little easier on yourself.  Nope!  haha  We had elders at our house Sunday to Wednesday night!  Our apartment has room for about four elders including me and my comp.  So it was a mad house with 5-6 of us consistently there.  So when Wednesday arrived, I was already a little wiped out.  On Wednesday I went to the Dentist with elder S from my MTC district.  He chipped a tooth, so he came down and I went with him.  Straight after that, we went to Ruby Tuesday's to celebrate elder M birthday!  It was pretty fun and a good way to kinda end the rein of our amazing district!  After this, we just went to the gara and talked with all the missionaries and stuff like that, And that was basically it for Wednesday.  Met up with elder G, and took him home.

Things are going pretty well so far.  However it is exhausting!  I have to be thinking in Romanian, and trying to figure out how to say things constantly.  So this is going to be great for my language skills!  But ya, we are getting along, and I really like him!  He is teaching so much about the culture and everything, it is going to help a lot down the road.  So there is the update on that.

Alright, I had a great birthday over here!  I got the package a couple days before my birthday so it was like perfect timing!  I woke up to an elder G, half asleep, trying to sing happy birthday to me in English.  He knows a little English, but not much.  It was great. Alright, since the beginning of May, the branches in Buc have been advertising for an activity for the 28th.  We've been handing out flyers and trying to get people to come and see what we are all about.  We watched the restoration in segments, and in between we sang hymns.  It amazes me how no matter how much I think I love and have a strong testimony of Joseph Smith, it can still grow and expand by leaps!  I love Joseph Smith so much and am so grateful for the sacrifices and endurance he had.  Cant wait for the day where I can personally thank him, and give him hug and try to show him how grateful I am for him.  He is one of my heroes.  After the activity, I had the chance to use the Melchizedek priesthood.  I was able to give someone in my district a blessing.  So half way through the day, and I've done two things I love, Learn more about Joseph Smith and use the priesthood :) Then we all took our lunch our and went out to eat!  The best Sharma I have ever had is here, so we went there to eat.  Elder W is now serving on the other side of Bucharest and so he came with us out to eat.  It was great to see him again!  He is training again.  Elder L or something like that.  He is super cool and me and him hung out for a bit.  So we all sat down and ate a great sharma together.  That basically concludes the adventure of my 19th birthday.  Oh, on the way to sharma place, there was a Turkish festival/ parade going on!  It felt like they were celebrating my birthday haha.

Now Imma tell you about the real adventure we had this week.  three nights ago, I get a call at 1:50 am from the sisters.  Turns out one of them rolled over on the phone and accidentally called us.  I was up though cause I thought something was wrong so I called them back.  Being the district leader, you have to make sure that everyone is home and safe and the end of the night, and if for any reason something is not okay, they are supposed to call me and me and my comp have to go over there to see what's up.  So that is where my head jumped to, but it was nothing.  Then.  Then two nights ago, we get a call at 1:30 AM from the other pair of sisters.  I thought I was dreaming and i didnt really know what was going on.  One of the sisters was really really sick, so she called us to go over and give her a blessing.  So we threw some cloths on hoped in a taxi and were at there house by 2 AM.  We gave her a blessing, and then called Sora Hill.  She told us to take her to the ER and so we did.  We brought her there and we were there until 4:30 AM.  We took them back home, and then we took another taxi and got back home around 5 or 5:30.  Everything is fine now, and she is doing better, but it was quite the adventure.  That morning we had church.  Elder G and I had to still prepare to teach the second hour of church, and he also had to give a talk.... we were so dead. haha but we survived!  Then that Sunday night, we get a call at about 10:20 pm.  This time it is the sister's companion!  She got the same thing her companion had, and so we went over there and gave her a blessing.  So to sum it up, our schedule is whacked! haha.  My body is tired when it shouldn't be and awake when it shouldn't be!  It really is just a great story and me and elder G bonded over our traveling all over the place.  He would also say "AFTER HOUR!" with his Romanian accent haha it was really funny.  But ya that is the real adventure for the week!

So it is official.  President Hill is gone, and President Ivory is here and now presiding over the mission.  He seems great and I'm sure has good ideas for the mission. All is well. 

That is it for this week!  Love you all so much!  I hope you are all doing well and having some fun!  Talk to ya next week!
Elder Iacov Dogar



Monday, June 23, 2014


It is so unreal.  G, M, and R were all able to be baptized this past Saturday!  Elder Daland has been teaching them basically from the beginning (5-7 months)  He was the one to actually do the baptisms while elder Poulsen and I were able to be the witnesses.  This day was incredibly busy.  We woke up, did some personal study, had time to grab a quick bite to eat, and head out to go clean the font and the church.  It was really cool being the behind the scene process.  The font took FOREVER to fill up and there was some grime we had to clean off the bottom.  Super fun experience though.  So we had to let the font continue to fill up while our English class was going. 
I had to keep stepping out to make sure it wasn't going to high or nottin'.  Basically with in all this hassle of preparing for the baptisms, cleaning, and English,... we found out transfers boards... but more on that later. :)  So G and M showed up a little late.  We were filling pretty rushed, cause we still were not sure if we had white suits that fit them all.  Daland was getting changed and I was running around like a mad man trying to get all their stuff together.  Luckily, we found all their stuff and it all fit and was a huge miracle haha.  The program starts and everything is going smooth.  We get to the font and it's still going smooth!  It was really kinda cute to see their excitement about everything going on.  So first up was G in the font. Straight when he got out of the water, he started to silently sob.  It was such a powerful moment where the spirit was super strong.  So everything went smoothly and it was just great :)  

For our last district meeting, we played the ball game!  It was a success!  We got going and everyone got into it, even the AP's.  Through my mission I have been collecting bouncy balls and what not just so we could play this game at some point. 
The District
It was fun and we actually found and talked about some great metaphors relating to the gospel.  So ended with a bang! haha

Another highlight of this week was sports night.  It started of super sunny and great... and then about 15 minutes into it... it started pouring.  Like actual cats and dogs were falling from the sky!  We decided that we didnt care and had a very controlled soccer game in the pouring rain!  It was one of the funniest things ever!  We all got so muddy and drenched but it was so worth it!  I am really glad that we have sports nights with investigators here in Buc.  It helps show them that we are normal.  So great week in general!

Sometimes injuries happen!
We also were able to go paintballing today!  I have gone so much on my mission it is ridiculous.  So much fun.  Defiantly gonna do it more after my mission as well.

Now for transfer boards.  Elder Daland is leaving and going to Moldova and being a district leader over in Chisanuo.  Elder Poulsen is staying here and receiving a new comp.  I am staying as well and my new comps name is elder G.  He is the only native in the mission.  It is going to be so great for helping me with my Romanian, because he doesnt speak English hardly at all.  I am actually really excited for this aspect of this next transfer coming up, so I am going into this transfer hopeful and happy ready for miracles to happen.  I know I can be good for this Elder as well.  I am also excited because I get to become a "dad" this transfer!  So if you train that is your "kid" For new sisters coming in, their district leader is their "dad".  So it will be pretty fun haha. 

So in general, I am doing great, I am happy, and I am ready to go.  I have had so many great memories and great experiences this past week, that it is almost impossible to be anything else!  Thank you for being there for me and cheering me on.  I have defiantly felt your prayers in my behalf.  Love you all so much!  Hope you can have a great week!  Talk to ya later! ;)

Elder Coops

"I am so grateful for President and Sister Hill and will miss them tremendously"

Monday, June 16, 2014


It's crazy, this is the last week of transfers basically!  I feel like it has just started!

So remember last week how I told you I lost my wallet with everything inside it:  My Mission money card, personal money card, drivers license, 300 lei, my visa, and all my transportation passes?  Well guess what... I got it back!!!  I called the office elders that Tuesday and asked them what I was going to need to do, to get all my stuff secure and taken care of.  It was going to be this whole long process, involving a lot of time and a lot of traveling.  We started off Tuesday morning trying to find a police station.  We spent about two hours asking around and walking to try and get to one.  Right as we find the location to one, we get a call on our cell phone.  It is this random lady asking for a James Cooper!!  I was like "YA! I am James Cooper!"  We met her at the church and she returned my wallet!  Everything was inside of it!!  Not a single thing missing!  So crazy... and as fast as we found that lady, she disappeared!  Super crazy tender mercy right there.  Even though all my cards are canceled and what not... I still feel like it is better than the alternative.  Plus it will help me save money, not being able to pull any out haha :)

This week we also had zone conference.  Super weird for me.  Elder B, my trainer, gave his "dying testimony"  Which means he is going home at the end of this
Elder Cooper with his trainer (Daddy) - Good-bye picture
transfers... which is a week from Wednesday.  So crazy that he was training me almost one year ago, and now he is going home.  Guess who else gave their "dying testimonies"?  President Hill and Sister Hill!  I truly love them and I'm so grateful for everything they have done and the things they have sacrificed for us.  The mission is changing so much.  In the next two transfers (including this one)  we have 20+ missionaries leaving and being replaced with brand new people!  There will be more people younger then me then older by a lot!  It's going to be super different... but I feel like it will be good.  I really am not that nervous, just anxious to see what changes will be made instead of just rumors.

Okay so here is a story.  We are at a bookstore.  Myself and a couple other missionaries.  We are just shopping around and looking for deals like we do.  I noticed this girl staring at us, and it is super obvious.  All of us keep making awkward eye contact with her, and she just wont look away.  So I look and her and say "well hello there!"  She starts speaking in English.  She asks where are all of you from. 
Great Companions
We tell her Basically all over.  Then she is like, so what are all of you hot men doing here in Romania!  A little shocked, we explain and gave her our whole shpeal.  She then asks if we have any luck converting people.  She then answers her own question and says she bets it is just a bunch of girls, and that when ever we are try talking to them, they aren't paying attention to what we are saying, that they are to busy checking us out!  Then she is like take me to your leader!! haha She then says well I am going to leave before a pass out, checks us out, and walks out!  haha we were all really confused at first at what just happened haha.  Super weird, but we tried to spread the gospel and I guess at least we made a contact for the day. 

Also this week we were able to do a little bit of serve for Sora G.  Went over to her house, and cleaned her rugs.  And she fed us again, and it was great!

This takes us to Friday the 13th!!  Elder and me Daland found out we have a ghost in our apartment... just in our attacked us.  Elder Daland was going to hop in the shower when the shower curtain detached from the wall, fell on top of him and knocked him into the tub/shower headfirst!  He didnt really get hurt, just pulled his hamstring haha.  Then while I was in the shower, I heard something bang against the floor.  Found out after it was Daland's hair gel.  I asked if he threw it in while I was showering... and he said no!  I dont know....haha crazy funny stuff :)

Okay on the serious side, this next week is going to be great!  We are planning on having 3 of our investigator's baptisms on the 21st!  G and M the married couple.  And then R from Syria!  Everything is so lined up and is actually going to happen!  It is going to be wonderful.  It is the perfect way to end of the transfer.  I love all of these people, and I am starting feel close to them.  I realize though that I am reaping the reward of others work.  I know many missionaries have been a part of this conversion story and I am grateful to them. I came in and they were all already going to be baptized.  I was just here at the right time.  Dont get me wrong I am super grateful to be able to be here for them at such a great moment in there life... But hey I am still very very very excited to see and be a  part of a baptism!!  So this Saturday will be awesome!!

Well that is it for this week.  Next week Ill be able to tell you all if I am staying or just what ever happens.  Elder Daland has served 4 transfers here, this is his only city he has served in, so he is probably leaving and Ill be here to see what ever comes my way.  I really have grown as a district leader and just hope I can do whatever is expected of me this next transfer.  I dont know... Ill let you know next week!  Love you all so much!  Be safe and keep on being so wonderful!! :)

Elder Cooper the 2nd!

 "When Romania communist leader was killed they took this statue (his favorite one) and impaled it on this stake.  I think it is super cool... and pretty interesting."

                         "With my Dying trainer (meaning he's going home) and one of my buddies" 

Cooper and Dalad in front of the Opera House

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Hey er'budy

This week has gone by super quick, which is kinda weird cause it was super rainy on and on.  Kinda makes talking to people on the street rough, but what can ya do?! 

So at the beginning of this week brother L took all the district to lunch!  He is from South Korea and his work moved him here for some reason.  He speaks only a little English, but we are able to make conversation.  Anyways... I love this man!  He took us to a real nice place.  PIZZA HUT!  So nice here!  You sit down, and these high trained waiters come over and it is just like a fancy dinner.  After Pizza he took us to McDonalds for some ice cream!  He is just a very generous guy.  I feel like me and him are already pretty close, so that is good :) 

We then met with R again a couple times this past week.  He was doing good, just has some stuff to work through.  Robi has a pretty crazy story.  Hes a refuge from Serbia.  He speaks Arabic, Romanian, and English.  He has experienced a lot of things in his life over in Serbia, and has done a lot of healing over here in Romania.  His mom is over in Egypt working to help support him over here.  ( He came to Romania because it is the cheapest place to do medical stuff.)  So he has a lot going on, and dont want to rush things.  So there is an update on him.

We also met with G and M!  They are doing so great!  In fact they came to church this past week and told us that they know they need to get baptized!!!!  We were going to try and do it this Saturday cause that is what we thought we be good for them, but it is looking like we will being doing it on the 21st of this month!  So crazy to me how every one is progressing so well.  They are just the cutest older couple every.  They just make me smile every time I see them.  G is an amazing man that will really help out this branch a lot.  M is the sweetest older lady.  We are gonna keep meeting with them these next two weeks before it all goes down.  Crazy to think i've gone from teaching a lesson or two a transfer to preparing people for baptism!  Blows my mind how the Lord works.  In all reality, it just gives me hope.  The Lord has it under control.  Things will work out the way they need to cause he has a plan for all of us.  Just as simple as that.

Yesterday we had dinner with Sora G!  Dont know if you remember, but she is the lady I would call when I was in my first and second transfer to help me with Romanian!  So we went over and she cooked us this great meal!  I love Sarmali!!  Then these random Norwegians came over.  One is a returned missionary just traveling his mission with his buddies.  It was super cool to talk with them and hear about their old mission stories and what not.  Super random, but we made some new friends! haha :)

Things over here are going pretty great.  The work is progressing and people are getting along, which is fantastic.  I am so grateful for all of you in my life!  I love you all so much!  Hope you have a great week and do something great to kick start summer vacation!!  Talk to ya next week!

Elder Cooper

Monday, June 2, 2014


Hello everyone :)

This has been a week that has tried and pushed me, mentally, spiritually, and physically.  To just simply list off the things we had to do this week:  Prepare for and teach two English classes, give a spiritual presentation/ spiritual thought for an English class, prepare and have two mission preparation classes, prepare for 4 lessons (two of which fell through), plan and have district meeting, and to top it all off, teach the second hour of church.  Now for some that may be an average week or not seem like much at all, I tip my hat to you, cause that isn't easy.  I know I am in the right mission for the fact that, that was a busy week.  I cant even imagine even more!  Super grateful for where I am at.
Elder Cooper loves the clouds in Romania

Ok I so I want to share something I decided to do for district meeting this week (with guidance and help from the spirit of course)  Towards the end, I handed out a little strip of paper to everyone.  I told them to write two or three things on there that they wanted to get rid of (like bad habits or just things that they didnt like that they were doing)  Basically Just asking them to sacrifice a little bit more to become the type of missionary/ person they want to be.  After they wrote it down, I told them to fold it up twice and give it to me.  I them put all of there papers and put them in a pan.  Then took them outside... and we burnt them!  Just made my district do a little burnt offering no big deal... haha just kidding... kinda...  After we burnt them went back inside and finished up and talked about sacrifices and stuff and tied it all back into what we were talking about.  I thought it was pretty fun to play with fire again haha ;)

Also this week, we had one of the best lessons I have experienced on my mission.  Dont know if I have told you about G and M yet our investigators?  Anyways... I love them!  They are so great and they are progressing so great!  They are a bit older but they are one of the cutest married couples I have ever seen!  We went over to their house and they fed us THE best Romania meal I have ever had.  She cooked us some Sarmali and some momaliga. (Cant really spell)  The whole time we were eating they would just keep piling stuff on our plates, and wouldnt let us stop eating.  Something I have found with Romania's is once you get past the shell, they can just be the best!  So friendly and so loving!  Anyways after we were done eating, which took a while, we jumped into out lesson.  We had a member there who I love!  His name is Nimu.  We talked and taught about baptism.  At the end we extended a commitment to be baptized on the 14th of June.  M got all serious for a second, looked me and elder Daland straight in the eyes and asked "Why did you pick that specific date?"  We went on to explain how we had just been praying and both testified that that was the date we felt was right for them.  She then got kinda emotional.  She explained how that is a day Orthodox (her current religion) celebrates when Christ gave the spirit to the earth or something like that.  It was really powerful and meant a lot to her.  They didnt give a solid yes, but they told us they would pray about it, and see what the Lord wanted them to do.  So ya super cool experience for me.

Another random cool thing... I saw M from Pitesti this past Sunday!  If you dont remember, he is the member we would dig for!  I love that member so much!  It was really cool to see him and talk to him for a bit.
Basically I want to try and say something now.  Satan won't win.  This may be something super random, but whatever.  He gets in our heads.  He messes with our lives.  He wants us to be miserable and wants us to suffer.  He is miserable, but clever.  He has spent all of his existence coming up with different ways to trick us, and trying to learn how to get us... how pathetic.  We have all we need to beat him.  Christ and His atonement.  If we can just remember to look towards Christ and strive to be like Him, it's gonna be alright.  It's not easy to strive to be like Christ, and frankly it can be overwhelming.  He is perfect and we are mortal but through the GRACE OF GOD we are saved.  We only need to make him proud.  Get up when you fall down.  Shake off your mistakes.  "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith"  If you want to be better, then be better.  And just remember in the end it'll be okay, if we follow Christ.  He has the plan of happiness, so if you want to be happy follow his plan.  It can be so easy to want “the easy”, But it's not worth it.  So there is what I wanted to try and say.  Like I said in the beginning of this email, this week has been challenging mentally, spiritually, and physically.  But it's all okay.  I have learned a lot. :)

I love you all so much!  You're the best family a missionary could ask for!  Thanks for being there for me and raising me the way you did.  You're the best!  Hope you have a great week!


Elder James

Ps:  Happy Birthday Sam!!  I am so excited that you are now twelve and have the priesthood!  You have to let me know how you are feeling and how your experience was with all this!  Love ya buddy!
The youngest of the boys received the Aaronic Priesthood. He knew
his brother would be proud.