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.
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!
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.