Monday, August 25, 2014



This has been a pretty intense week.We started of the week with something amazing.  Elder Chatterton and I were walking down the street just wrapping up a day of contacting when a man came up behind us and starting speaking some broken English with us.  He told us that he had seen our partners in Poland!  We got talking with him for a bit and he was totally down to set up and meet up with us!  We have been able to meet up with him about three times this week.  It is pretty nice to have an investigator to be able to focus on now.  It is
always difficult when you are just starting from scratch.  Which I have noticed has kinda been my mission so far.  I have been in newly opened up areas my entire mission except for Bucharest.  When a place is newly opened it can be kinda rough.  We have almost called every single person in our area book already to just kinda give you an idea.  So being able to find someone this week has been a huge miracle!  We had a lesson with him unlike any I have had in my mission so far.  We were planning on talking about the plan of salvation, but towards the end the subject got switched to the Book of Mormon.  We gave him a copy right there and he flipped to a random page.  He ended up in Omni 1:25.  After reading it, he kinda just looked at us in amazement.  He went on to explain that what that verse had just said was the exact thing that he was just telling us!  This alone gave him the curiosity and motivation to want to continue to read the Book of Mormon.  The entire rest of the lesson, he just kept saying " I just feel so good right now, like all my problems are just gone".  It was a lesson truly guided by the spirit... I mean he ended up in Omni of all places!
The Zone
So that was basically the beginning of the week.  We then had zone training this week and it was great!  There is something awesome that happens when the whole zone gets together.  It was kinda weird cause I realized that there were only three missionaries older then me at the meeting!?( older = having done more transfers then me ) as for actual age... I think I am still one of the youngest.  Elder Chatterton is
technically older then me in actual age!  Anyways beside the point.  We all got together and it was a great meeting.  I left it feeling so uplifted and so motivated to get some work done.

Okay then to continue on the week we had district meeting.  As the meeting was kinda wrapping up, someone brought up something about fasting.  It kinda gave me the idea for us to do a district fast for church attendance here, whether that be for members, less actives, or non members, we were hoping that it would help all 3 areas.  So right there we decided we would all join together in a fast for the branch. 

By the time Saturday rolls around, life is pretty interesting.  Elder Chatterton and I went to the usual Internet cafe to do our extra hour of internet.  As soon as we got there we began to be harassed by everyone in there.  I ended up sitting next to the person that was kinda the one leading everyone being so against us.  They were saying a lot of awful things about us and about America.  So naturally I start talking to this guy that I am next to.  Everything he is saying is super smart-Alic and making everyone in the internet cafe bust up and laugh.  We eventually started talking about what we were doing here in Romania.  This whole time you are reading this, you are probably wondering why we didnt just get out of there.  There was one person in there that elder Chatterton and I decided was super cool and if we could make an impression on him it would all be okay. When I told them that we didn't drink, do drugs, have sex before marriage, and dont smoke, I seriously felt like I was the "weird one" in the room, but that's okay, I'll be the weird one.
This brings us to Sunday.  As we are sitting there I look at the time.  It is five minutes before Church is supposed to start and the only ones there are the six missionaries, two
We appreciate "this guy" in our branch. He makes things fun
and interesting
members, and our investigator.  It made all of our hearts sink a little bit.  Right before the hour our Branch president shows up along with another member.  We were all thinking we would just have to do a testimony meeting or something!  Luckily that didn't happen.  By the end of sacrament meeting we had a total of 9 people at church!  Three of them being investigators!  So that was kinda cool to see some investigators at church. We did 2 hours of church which is all I have done the whole time I have been here. The Branch President is about to get married to the Relief society president and then they will be moving to Canada!  They are wonderful and strong members here, when they leave it will cut the branch in half!  So the stress has kinda hit of the great need this place has for something missionary wise.  All we can do is our best and then put our trust in God to hasten His work in His own time.

So that is kinda the update for the week!  Sorry dont know if any of it makes sense or if any of the thoughts are connected.  Hopefully you can get something good out of it :)  Love you all so much!  Have a great week!!  I know I will, my district is so great here! and me and my comp get along super great!

Elder James
                "The District! We stumbled upon a castle"
Me and Chatterton encouraged everyone go on a hike last week and it turned into a huge adventure!  

Monday, August 18, 2014


I can't believe this is only my second week in Sibiu!  This place already feels like home!  (Not home home, but like a home in Romania)  We have had an awesome week.

I really took your advice last week.  To just follow every little prompting you get, and dont question it.  Well doing this led to one of the best contacting days I have EVER had on my mission.  Literally every single person we talked to, we had a conversation with.  There were only 2 or 3 who said no... POLITELY!  We had planned to walk to this big church, but we ended up in a much better place.  We just kept getting
feelings like, take that street, talk to that person, ask them if you can help, etc...  So I feel like this day really helped shaped what we want the transfer to be like.  After this day we realized that everything just goes better with the spirit, not that we forgot that, but sometimes you just get caught up in the missionaries way of doing things.  For the rest of this transfer, we are going to make sure we do everything with the help of the spirit.  Everything!  We aren't going to miss any of our prayers and we are going to make sure and stay open minded even after we have set our plans for the day.

This week I met an interesting man.  Basically he is a very well known/well accomplished veterinarian.  The elders before I got here were able to meet with him once, but elder Chatterton and I hadn't had any success with meeting with him.  The thing is he is super busy!  His entire family lives in America and he could to if he wanted to.  He wants to stay here and give back to his people.  He is probably the most
Loving all the buildings in Sibiu
charitable Romanian I have met!  So he is always gone doing favors for people and just helping others out... He is amazing!  So the other day we had a lot of contacting planned.  Elder Chatterton turns to me and says " Let's go see if Adrian is home."  Because of our mind set for the transfer that we had set, we both knew it was from the spirit and that whether or not something happened or not it was what we were supposed to do.  So we walk over there and we stumble upon Adrian outside feeding his cat!  We get talking with him and he was explaining how he just got home 5 minutes ago, and that he would be leaving in like 30 minutes.  He said he had time to talk for a bit so he invited us inside!  It was crazy.  We ended up at his house at the same exact minute he was outside.  (He has a big gate, so it is kinda hard to get him to know we are there)  It was a miracle that he was out there and took some time to talk with us even with his busy schedule.  We talked for him a bit just about life.  We came to an agreement that if he ever needed any help that he could give us a call and that we would do the same.  We are hoping we will be able to get another meeting or something with him this next week!

There is a lot of interesting people here in Sibiu. Elder Chatterton and I had just finished teaching sunday school when a man walked in.  I met him at the door and tried to get to know him a bit.  He asked if church was over and I told him that it was.  He sighed and then said that's okay.  He continued to walk inside and in the middle of the floor he knelt down and said a prayer.  When he stood up he was on something.  He opened up the bible and just started going to town on us and telling us we needed to repent and stuff.  Finally, after a couple minutes of listening to this man shout at us, I told him we he had to go outside.  He wouldn't listen but after a bit we got him outside.  It kinda reminded me of my second transfer when that man came into the Pitesti church and I had to escort him out.  I guess some people think it is okay to do stuff like that?  :)  

Quick story.  We went to a members farm this week.  Each time I do stuff like that I feel closer to Grandma!  The member kept telling me go pull the big weeds cause I was "a powerful young lad"  Just thought it was kinda funny and wanted to let you know we did a little farming this week! :)

This letter is getting really long.  But I got one more quick thing to tell ya.  We were doing our normal weekly planning session and we ended a little early.  Elder Chatterton looks at me and says " Cooper I think we need to go outside and try and contact 5 people about the Book of Mormon, I just feel like I got hit in the face with this"  So of course we got outside as fast as we could and tried getting those 5 contacts in before the end of the night.  It started off very difficult.  We were getting rejected hard.  But at the end, is where something happened.  We started talking to this guy.  I got the impression to promise him something.  I said " you can find out for 100% fact if what we are saying is true.  You need to pray tonight and ask God, and if you feel anything I need you to call us."  Then elder Chatterton gave him a Book of Mormon, and that was that.  We looked at each other and we were just like, that is why we needed to come out here tonight.  So ya, super cool experience for us :)

Things are really going great over here in Sibiu.  We are staying positive and working hard!  Thanks for all you do for me, I know I say that every time, but I really just want you to know how grateful I am for you all!  Love you so much!! Have a great week!


Elder Cooper the second

Monday, August 11, 2014


"So proud of this kid who will soon be leaving on his own mission. It's been great
working with him and teaching Mission Prep."
 This week was transfers and it was insane!  Basically it started Tuesday with everyone coming down.  My meeting was on Thursday morning, but everyone was alreadydown by Wednesday.  It was super nice to be able to see a lot of
See you later Bucharest.
people again.  Between everyone in and out of our house I had to try and pack.  I figured cause I was just In Buc it wouuldn't be too hard, so I waited... bad move on my part.  In the end I only forgot a couple of things, so it's all good haha. 

So Thursday rolls around and we had to be at the Ivory's home by 8 oclock.  We live about an 45 minutes to an hour away plus being a little early we had to wake up pretty early.  When we got there turns out they forgot to tell everyone they decided to move the meeting to 9:30.  So everyone was there like an hour and a half early.  It's whatever.  The trainer meeting went like 3 hours or something like that.  It was nuts. 
This transfer was the first influx in elders our mission has had.  We had like 9 leave and 13 new come in.  So we grew by four!  We are catching the wave! haha. There are so many new missionaries currently I feel like. It has been fun and there is a lot more energy here. Basically what Ivory told us in the meeting was we were the trainers to set this mission up.  We are the ones who set the tone for this huge group of kids who will soon be leading the mission.  He kinda put a lot of pressure on us, which is good and stressful.  I am super excited I have the chance to be a part of this, but at the same time, there is a lot to do!

That takes us to Friday.  Basically I met up with my new companion, Elder C, and we waited for our train with the rest of our district.  We caught our train at about 10 in the morning.... Sibiu is 6 hours away by train from Buc.  It is literally the farthest you will travel on a "sitting up" train.  Any farther and you will take a sleeper train.  So it was a long train ride to say the least.  I really like the district here though. 
I've arrived here in Sibiu
Elder C is with elder L and they are the ZL's here.  They are both super great!  Super kind and everyone likes them.  They always smile and never judge anyone!  So people like being around them, especially me! haha  Then we have Sora R and Sora O'B, the STL's here.  They are both super cool and easy to get along with.  So the district will work well together.  We are all super pumped to see what we can accomplish this transfer.  Elder C, my new comp, it super great!  He is so chill and easy going.  He wants to work and is just a friendly guy.  We already have had some cool experiences... well I think they are super cool.  There has been multiple times when we have gotten in conversations with people already.  The cool thing is...I've been able to talk with them!  You really don't know how much you know until your are forced into situations. 
We were walking to a store to get some food when a man stopped us.  He came off really attacking.  He straight lined
"You'll never guess what we have in
our apartment?...
toward us and said "What do you believe about God?"  I answered and he was like "okay what else?"  The whole time being super assertive and looking kinda angry.  We got talking for a bit and the conversation turned a little lighter, finally to the point where we got him to laugh.  It was kinda intense at the start.  Usually when things like that have happened, in my experience, it never ends well and they usually try to bash with us.  This time it was super cool.  We all ended smiling!  He wouldn't take any of our materials or anything, but I feel good with the fact that before we talked there was no smile... at the end there was a smile!  If we can't be having lessons every day and teaching people frequently, what better to do then go around and help people feel a little happier than they were?  I think we might be doing a lot of that here in Sibiu.

The situation here is interesting.  There is one man here in the branch that does everything....  The scary part is that he is probably leaving for Canada in a couple of months, and
"I really like it here!"
then there will be no one to keep this place going!  So I feel like there is a timer.  The need for more members here is huge!  The Zl's are the Branch presidents counselors and elder C and I are the elder Quorum's "teachers".  Sometimes the branch will have enough members to be able to do 3 hours of church, but usually it will just be 2 hours.  I have a feeling we will see some miracles this transfer!

Basically that takes us to now.  We are all settled in and ready to go.  I am doing super good and I am just happy to be here!  Thank you all so much for your support, love and advice!  I love you all so much!  Glad to hear that everything went smoothly and you are about to embark on a calm week haha :)  LOVE YA!!

Cu Drag,

Elder Cooper

Saying good-bye to Bucharest
"Said good-bye to this great investigator" 
Good-bye SOCCER team

Monday, August 4, 2014


Hey how's it going!

To start of the week we had another chance for AFTER HOUR PARTY!  Not really, the sisters forgot their keys at the church.  When I called them at 10 pm they told me they had forgotten their keys at the church and they couldn't get into their apartment.  Haha so naturally elder G and I go over to the church get their keys and hop in a taxi.  I guess it wasn't to unnatural for this transfer right?

This week we have been very busy.  We have been trying to do a lot of less active and active member visits.  It is kinda our new focus.. "Balance".  We are trying to get just as many lessons with members and less actives as we are with our investigators. 
So far it is going pretty well.  Not that numbers matter, but as the district leader I have already seen our numbers increase.  Every Sunday night I have to call every companionship in my district and get their numbers for the week.  I was kinda reviewing them this past Sunday, and our numbers are up!  So that is really cool to see!  The pattern we have seen should continue and it should be great!

On to the big news of the week... Transfers!!  The only thing happening to our district is me and elder Poulsen leaving!  President Ivory has asked me to make my way over to the beautiful city of SIBIU!  Arguably one of the prettiest cities in all of Romania!  That's not all that is going to happen next transfer.  President has also asked me to continue to be a district leader and also second part train!  In the mission typically what happens is when a new missionary comes in, they get trained for two transfers.  My new companion's name is elder C.  His trainer is "dying" this transfer so I am
Elder Cooper and Elder Poulsen
going to finish up his training.  I am really super excited to be going over there!  Guess who else is over in Sibiu?  Elder L from my MTC group!  He is a zone leader with elder C and they will be in my district!  I couldn't be more happy for this up coming transfer.  The elders over there are some of the best examples and friendliest elders out here.  Of course it is a little sad to part ways with elder Poulsen.  He is going to be a ZL is Iasi.  Elder Poulsen and I have been together for about 7 months now.  More then half my mission.  It is going to be different, but it will be good. :)

Excluding transfers... It's been a tough week.  There is not really a reason I should be happy or feel motivated, but I am. I will tell you though, that undoubtedly the reason I am happy and motivated right now is because Heavenly Father knew he needed to be with me specifically this week.  I have felt his spirit comfort some deep emotions I have.  There has been a lot of unkind things that have happened. I have been judged pretty harshly.  I have felt abandoned this week even by people I trust.  It just kinda stunk.  I felt like no one believed in me.  Like I said above, there is no way in the world, not even a sliver of a chance that I should be happy and motivated right now, but I am.  When all this stuff was going on,  Heavenly Father helped me see different points of views and helped me understand why people were acting the way they were.  I should be down in the dumps right now, but I am not and I wasn't... I am still kicking!!  I have experienced what can only be called as
tender miracles this week.  I had an experience where I was helping the senior couple here get some food.  The worker turned to me and said " wow you speak Romanian very well"  I didn't say a lot to him so there wasn't much to judge of off, but that compliment helped sustain me through because you know that's my insecurity.  I also had the opportunity to bare my testimony this week in church.  I got up and I know I didn't speak perfectly.  I know I made some  mistakes, but when I finished with my testimony, I went and sat back down.  This is when I felt the spirit super strong.  The words came to my head, "you did good, I am happy"  I know this was my Father in Heaven...  I guess the thing is, Heavenly Father didn't need me to get up in front of everyone and speak fluently or even correctly.  I did what I could, and although not perfect there was a greater purpose behind it... this is what I know.

Reflecting on this week has helped me realize and see growth and progress.  My testimony about God's love for me and each one of His children has been expanded by leaps and bounds.  I know that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
We can be happy if we remember our Father in Heaven and all he has done for us and all he does every single day.  My knees are bruised, but they have never felt better!  Through the difficult things we go through there is always something to be thankful for.  If you can find them and thank God for them, I promise you will see God's unyielding and endless love for you more then you ever have!  He wants you to be happy. He has created an entire plan specifically for you to be happy.  It just takes us opening our minds and trying to see things the way God does. :)

I am super excited to have the opportunity this transfer to help another elder and the district over in Sibiu.  There is something for me to do in Sibiu. Not only something to do, but someone who needs me over there.  Can't wait to get started over there!

Love you all so much!  Just so you know, I have defiantly felt your prayers, fasts, and the things you are doing for my benefit!  Thank you all for your support and love!! :)

Elder James :)
Congrats Mrs. Meek and Mr. Meek.  haha  MARRIAGE!! Such a happy thing!  Glad to see me and Joco were able to make it! ;) Court you look so pretty and happy!  And Tallen!!!  Your suit and your shoes!! ah!!  good taste!  I approve.

 ***For Family night or just when ever, you should show everyone this short clip.  It blew me away.  It is my favorite Mormon message. :)