Monday, July 28, 2014


Hey guys!
Can't believe it has been another week.  What I said way long ago in the MTC is still true though.  Days feel like weeks and weeks feel like day!
So our week basically started with an exchange with president Ivory.  Kinda intimidating going out and working with him to be honest, but it was super good and we did a ton!  First we went to visit a former Branch President, now inactive, member family.  We went there and only the wife was there.  We still talked with her for a bit.  She was so impressed that the mission president came to her house.  She kept saying she saw a picture of Ivory's family, and she felt the spirit so strong.  She got very emotional and said " I know my family needs the gospel in our lives"  It was an amazing experience.  It is just complicated. We tried meeting with them again today... but to no avail.  I am scared her husband won't let her talk with us any more!  We will just wait and pray for the time being. They are wonderful people, please keep them in your prayers.

Elder Cooper is still in love with the Clouds (even
if there is only one)
Guess where else we went this week... I bet you guessed it right... to the hospital again!  This time it wasn't any missionaries. ;) We went and gave a member a blessing.  We actually went twice this week.  What's another week without the hospital?!  We gave her a blessing the first time, then went on our exchange with president Ivory and visited her again.  I feel so sorry for anyone who has to stay at a hospital here.  We just walked right in and went up an elevator without talking to a single person.  No one was around.  We get to the tiny room and there are three elderly women crammed in a single room!  There was enough room for three beds, one bathroom, and a couple of steps in between.  It was not a place I ever want to stay.

To kinda explain why I am so late on getting this email out this week is because we kinda had a surprise exchange with Ivory again.  We were only supposed to meet with that family again and then go separate ways, but that didn't happen.  They weren't there, so Ivory was like "well what can we do here and now?"  Super cool to see him be so gun-ho about doing missionary work and all that good stuff, sincerely was...we had to switch some things around, but it all worked out.  We had some really cool experiences and really it is something special not a ton of missionaries will be able to do on their missions.  He knows Romanian really really well for being here a transfer.  Seriously... kinda scary sometimes haha.  He knows Italian so that helps him a lot, but he really knows and can speak as well as a missionary who has been out 6 months to a year.

This week has defiantly been one of growing and learning.  There has been a lot of mistakes made and some good lessons learned from them.  I was also blessed enough to be able to see the real progress I have made with the language.  I want to try to prepare as much as I can no matter what the circumstance.  We have had to teach some classes and give some spiritual thoughts this week that we didn't really plan to heavily for.  I found myself keeping up with it though.  I also have found words coming out of my mouth more easily then ever before.  To say the least I have been blessed to be able to see and recognize this progress.  I am able to understand and speak things that need to be spoken.  I am starting to feel like things are working together to benefit those that need it.   Ya I have learned lots about patience and not comparing myself to others.  I want you all to know that all your prayers and fasts in my behalf have been answered and will continue.  Make sure you give some thanks to our Father in Heaven.  Selfishly, I need you to give thanks so that He will continue to bless me with the language and the other things! :)  Seriously though, thank you all so much for all your support and help.  It's been bumpy, there are some scars and bruises, there are more to come, but my vision has increased.  I am  trying to strive harder and trying to be better then I have been because "with more vision, comes greater motivation"  Love you all!  Hope you can have a great next week!!
James :)

“Elders say hi from Panduri Bucharest. We are visiting Romania with the Bridge of Love Foundation as volunteers and met your sons.”  (texted to mom) 

Elder Poulsen and Elder Cooper - Elder Cooper is serving as District Leader and Elder Poulsen is the Zone Leader. They have also been companions, and are great friends. 

Monday, July 21, 2014



Elder Cooper and his companion
So this week started off with a sick elder G.  I got a lot of good studies in so it was kinda nice.  It was actually really weird, I finished my studies and stuff at 11, and then thought.... well now what.... I guess I can study some more! haha  Eventually I just couldn't read another word, so I decided to make something!  I made some no-bake cookies and they actually turned out half way decent.  I accidentally made too many, so I gave the district some.  I'm starting to become a sister missionary! ;) haha  but for reals, it was kinda nice to have a day to kinda get caught up mentally.  So for as much as it sucked to be stuck inside all day, it was good. :)

This week was just filled with a lot of busy work I feel like.  We were able to meet with some members which is always great.  We helped out A fill out some of his mission papers.  He is going to be leaving soon and it is super exciting!  He is the kid about my age who we have been teaching mission prep to ever since I have been here.  His mom kinda reminds me of you mom!  She is just an awesome lady!  So I like to talk with them.

We also spent some time helping out the senior couples here in Bucharest.  We went with elder N ( The office manager for our misison ) to the bank to help him figure out some stuff.  The office elders were gone and he wanted some people to go with him.  For our "troubles" he gave us some Ron to go get some lunch!  Elder G took me to this traditional Moldovan restaurant.  It was pretty awesome.  Also this week we took the Smiths (the senior couple in my district) to Care-cu bere.  It is a traditional Romania restaurant, and we really got to know them better.  I had to do a lot of translating because they dont know a whole ton of Romanian yet.  It was really good for all of us.  This week has kinda saved my budget a bit.  I was running kinda low on MSF for this month, and since I had two meals paid for me this week, I should be able to make it to the end of July with the money I have! haha  so miracles all over the place!

Now I want to tell you about a cool story that just happened today.  Well actually it starts a couple of weeks ago with the Smiths.  So they were flying in to Romania, and they got talking to a lady.  They talked for the entire flight over here just about normal stuff I guess.  They became pretty good friends, but were not able to exchange any information.  This lady was worried that when the Smith's landed, they would not be able to find the people to pick them up.  So she was kinda taking care of them.  They said no worries they will just be dressed like us!  So they parted ways, and now it brings us to today. 
We went on a tour of this huge building called Palatul Parlamentului or castle poporului, and guess who we saw there?!  The same person the Smiths talked with on the plane.  Her name and guess where she is from.... THE NETHERLANDS! 
Jonathon - the other Elder Cooper
who is currently serving the the
Belgium/Netherlands Mission. 
So I got talking with her a bit and told her about Jonathon of course.  She gave us her email and I just gave it to him today!  A referral from clear across Europe!  She promised, whether it be to Jonathon or other mormon missionaries, that she will let them in and cook them some food.  She leaves for the Netherlands tomorrow, so I guess we will see what happens!  The Lord works in mysterious, yet fantastic ways!  This also reminded me of my plane ride over here to Romania,and how I gave a book of Mormon to a Dutch airline lady.  Just sending all the people to my brother! haha :)
Kambree Lynn

So that is about it for the week.  Hanging in there doing the work day by day.  The days really do mesh together!  And Ash, Kambree is so cute!!!  Can't wait to meet her! :) Love you all!!  Thanks for just being flat out amazing!  :)

Elder Cooper


Tuesday, July 15, 2014


Hey everyone!

This has been a great week.  Basically the big event of the week was zone conference with President Ivory.  I'll tell ya, I was a little nervous/excited to see what would be happening.  Basically to say it short, it's gonna be awesome!  There are a lot of things that are going to be different but it's what we need at this time.  President Ivory is really really focused on balance.  A lot of time in this mission, missionaries get burned out, especially in the summer, because all they do is contact outside for hours and hours on end.  President Ivory wants to stop the "banging our head against the wall" and switch it up.  In our mission we are more focused on less active and active members then ever before.  It's going to be really good for all of us to get to know the branches better and really connect with the members.  There was so much energy at zone conference it really pumped me up.  I feel like It brought my greenie fire back.  Not that I lost it, just helped it burn a little higher.  I've heard that is what training a new missionary does but I defiantly felt it this past Wednesday.  We are going to be "The MOST positive mission on the planet!"  President Ivory is kinda working on a motto/ saying for our mission and it is going to be something like that. 
I dont even know how to describe this over email.  Our mission is cracking down a little more.  He really believes in being exactly obedient, and once we are that is when he will reward us with things such as cool P-days and trying new things out.  I think my highlight was when I got to interview with President and Sister Ivory.  We were just able to talk and it just flowed and really seemed like they cared. We were able to talk and share, they understand. So to wrap up my interview with Ivory, we kinda were just talking.  He looks at me in the eyes and says something like "I need you elder Cooper.  I know you are an obedient missionary and try hard.  You are an elder that I want to be able to point out and say, look what this elder is doing, follow his example.  I need a strong core of missionaries to be able to help lift the mission so we can lift the church here.  Keep up the good work"  So that was kinda paraphrased, but that is the jest of what he said!  I cant even tell you how many different prayers were answered and how on fire that made me feel.  He said it in a way that even though I might not be the best, I wanted to be, it made me want to step up, and fit the shoes he has in mind for me.  So ya I really like President Ivory.  He has such a great vision for us and this mission.  Expect to hear great things.

After zone conference elder G and I had exchanges with the zone leaders.  I went with elder C.  We really got to work.  The thing I wanted to work on was going about doing good, a section from preach my gospel.  The day started of with a great contact!  The first person we talked to listen to us and gave us their number and wanted to come to church!  It has been a long time since a day had started out as good as this.  For the rest of the day we were out side a lot!  We tried to set up lessons with members and less actives, but they ALL canceled!  So that left us with a day of contacting.  Towards the end of the day we were kinda near G and M's house, so I wanted to stop by, and give them some of their favorite juice and just see how they were doing.  Well we were planning on a quick drop by and it turned into a lesson with them and it was super great. 
They just love the missionaries so much!  They invited us in and just took care of us haha.  So they are still doing super great.  When we left M left us with two huge bags of fruits!  I was really excited to eat them, because the fruit here can be amazing!  Elder C and I are about 5 minutes away from home when C turns to me and says "elder I think we should give this fruit away to those two newly wed couples over there"  So we did!  We kinda second guessed it at first, but I remember what you said mom... or I guess what Joseph Smith said. 9 times out of 10 the first thought that comes to your mind is from the spirit.  So we gave the fruit away to the young newly wed couples.  It felt really great and their smiles were almost glowing, I thought.  It helped end the night with a bang!

The Smiths
So I have a new set of missionaries in my district.  The Smith's!  They are a senior couple from I think Oregon.  They are so legit.  I've only known them for a couple days and they are already my heroes!  They are the modern day Lehi family!  They have sacrificed so much to be here with us.  We often think that it is only hard for the young missionaries to serve... but it takes just as much faith and courage, I think, to go as a senior couple.  The challenges are similar.  They are doing it and it is difficult.  It truly is amazing to me and they are just great.

The key to being a great missionary is having the spirit. That requires you to do the little things everyday and keep trying when you "fall short"  You can be 100% fluent in the language you are called to learn and know "all" the answers, but without the spirit, none of that matters.  It's time to get going and let the things Heavenly Father has in store fall into place.  That is kinda where I am at currently. :)

Thanks for all you do!  Sounds like you are all super busy but having a good time!  Keep it up and know I love you and am praying for you! :)

Elder Cooper

Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Last Monday seems like a month ago!  The days went fairly fast this week, but looking back... it has only been a week!

We were back and forth at the doctors this week.  This time not for the others in my district, but for my companion.  However this time, it wasnt at 3 in the morning.  It was the civilized way where you make an appointment and go during the day.  He has what all men fear to have.... Kidney stones!  So with us going to the doctors a couple times and him being sick, it has just been an interesting week.  We took care of all the appointments and so now I think we just gotta wait.

This week we were able to have a lesson with a potential investigator!  It was actually super sick.  Last transfer Elder D and I taught medium level English and he was in our class.  He came to us and wanted to do, what we call 30 30's.  It's where we spend 30 minutes teaching him English and then the other 30 minutes teaching him the gospel.  So initially he wanted to do this.  Then he came to that activity we had on the 28th where we watched the restoration and stuff.  He came up to me after and I asked if he still wanted to do the 30 30's.  He said " Im going to England at the beginning of August, I can learn English there.  I just want to learn more about the gospel"  Super crazy!!  So we set a time and we met up with him.  He is a great guy, with a million questions.  I am so grateful for elder G
because he is able to communicate with him so well.  We are going to meet with him again this week!

Also this week, men came and fixed our roof finally!  Now we dont have a water damaged ceiling with water dripping down!  Random thought, just thought I would share :)

Now for a bit of a story.  So here in Romanian, Bucharest specifically, we have huge parks all over that we go and contact people.  This week we were going to go district contacting for English because our classes start on the 8th.  So elder G and I get there early and are talking to people.  We end up on this bench talking with a couple people.  Elder G was eating sunflower seeds and naturally, the shell goes on the ground right?  Well after a while of eating them there was a little pile by his feet.  Sooner then later the BGS (private security for the park) comes up and gets mad at G for making a mess.  They get in a little argument and so the BGS call the real police. 
We wait around for a while and a police officer shows up.  Basically we were there for about an hour talking to them and G left there with a fine for eating sunflower seeds!!  Now I'll tell you the back round story.  The BGS dont like Missionaries.  We go contacting there all the time, and they tell us that we cant and we have to leave.  President Hill checked and it is 100% legal to hand out flyers there.  So Pres Hill told us to take down their name and badge number of anyone who tells us we have to leave.  So missionaries have been doing this and continuing to contact there.  Our guess is that this BGS guard was really sick of us and so he tried to catch us on any little thing he could.  It's really frustrating having to deal with this type of stuff, but it's all worth it and we must continue to be kind. 

Overall it was a week filled with Treabă.  Between doctor appointments, lessons, and trying to figure out where to pay for this ticket, we were all over the place!  I am exhausted, but that is a good thing... because then I sleep good. :)

So president Ivory is here and kickin it as our new mission president.  He is really young, energetic, and just ready to go.  We have our zone conference with him this Wednesday where we will find out a lot of things that will be changing in our mission.  "Things will be changing."  It is kinda stressful not knowing what will change and stuff, but I trust elder P and he tells me all will be well.  So, it will be good, I will just have a lot to write about next week I bet.

Picture at the MTC
Schuyler now!
Hey Happy Birthday Schuyler!!  I cant believe it you are 17!  That is so old!   I hope you had great birthday.  It sounds like you have been having a lot of fun. That's good, keep it up!   Want

you to know I love you and am sorry I couldn't be there for this birthday of yours!  Maybe next time ;)  You are such a great example to those around you and like Joco said, no one better to be the oldest brother in the house right now.  Thanks for taking care of Sam and helping Mom and Dad with all their busy work!  You're the man!

Love you all so much!  Hope you have a great week!

Elder Cooper

 PS:  In the summer time, bed bugs come out to play!  We have this spray called permethrin.  We are supposed to spray it on our beds and cloths if we fill like we have bed bugs.  Just so happens that I think I got them!  You just wake up with red bumps almost like mosquitoes bites.  Kinda stinks haha