Monday, March 23, 2015


View from apartment 

Another week in the books.  Yesterday I started feeling a little sick and now today I got a cold.  I say that just in case I word things in a weird way or if I dont connect some of my ideas. haha just cause when I get a cold it usually fogs up my brain a bit.  You should ask Elder C, I have already said some ridiculous things.
Anyways, this was just about as normal a week as you get.   We got out and tried to do some slack line contacting cause it was finally warm enough.  I dont know if you remember but in my first two transfers I did some slack line contacting with elder S.  Elder S trained elder C and introduced it to him.  He liked it so much he got his own, and now we are doing it again.  If you dont remember, it's basically tight rope walking.  You tie it to two trees in a park and try to walk as far as you
Slack Lining
can.  It's kinda difficult.  While one of us are walking the other stands by and usually people will stop to watch or ask if they can try.  So while one is walking the other one will just talk to people.  Some pretty cool conversations come out of it.  It is also nice to get out of normal church clothes and into something a little more comfy haha  So we are going to be doing more of that in the future.
Also English started this week.  My class is all right.  I have like 7 men from the ages like 30-60.  They are all funny so its not a bad class at all.  I just wish some females would come, because personally I think it is easier to talk to them.... haha :)  We want to build our English classes. The mission is starting to change a lot of the ways I am used to doing things.  Like they are testing new ways to do English and what not.  But for now I am kinda sticking with my system cause I know it works and it actually works well, I'm open, just waiting for clearer directions. 
This week we were able to meet with some active and less active members.  Our meetings are actually really different then I am used to.  In my opinion it is a cool way to do it.  We set up a time to meet and then we talk.  We see how they are doing and it is kinda casual.  We talk about real life and joke around with them for a bit.  We leave them with a scripture, if we can, but that doesn't always happen. I think this is a good way to do it cause it doesnt feel as forced. This way of doing it helps us get on a more personal level with them and when we say things they know we are saying it because we care or just cause we want to and not because we feel like we must because we are missionaries.  It's nice.
So this week I gave another talk in church.  It was on repentance.  I maybe should have put a little more thought into it but there's only so much time to prepare, so I used parts of a talk I used my 3rd transfer... but it was fine haha  It's weird thinking about coming home and literally having way more than 100 people at church listening to me talk.  There is no way I can prepare for that!  Like I have gotten okay with speaking in front of people a little bit out here, but that might be because the most I had to talk in front of was like 20 people.  Ah freaks me out! haha.  Basically the point I tried to get across in my talk was why we keep trying and why we keep repenting.  That we do those things because we have the hope.  We also do those things to receive a certain type of hope.  We continually are striving to be better cause by being better we have a hope that some day we will be able to live together with our families, Heavenly Father, and Christ in never ending happiness forever.  I thought it was cool how Hope and repentance tie together. 
So that is everything for this week!  I love you all so much!  You are amazing and I dont know what Id do without you!!

Elder Dogar (aka Elder Cooper)  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015


We had a busy week.
It is kinda an interesting situation we got here.  We have some people we meet with, but we dont do the typical lessons with them.  Some are more serious than others.  We are working though and helping some battle smoking and drinking. That's a long fight, so we are just trying to be a consistent source of support. We have someone else that is actually progressing a lot I think.  She actually came to church! She lives really far away and we havent been able to go out and visit her yet.  We are planning on doing that this week hopefully.  We usually will call and kinda do a lesson or a check on the phone with her. 

There are a lot of Samoan places to eat here.  It is amazing.  There is also this Greek place where we get some Gyros sometimes.  The ladies there love us and basically want to marry us, so we go in sometimes to talk and laugh.  It hurts the wallet though.  But I have been saving my whole mission so i got some of my MSF saved up so it's not that bad.  We are working on the fun part of things to do.  We are going to try to go slack line contacting soon so that should be fun.  

Our zone training meeting was this past Friday. We are in the
Thank you for the pictures Jacque Stratton :) 
Bucharest zone so we had to take a three hour train down on thursday night.  We stayed in my old apartment that I was in when I was serving in Buc.  Ill tell ya, it was probably the worst sleeping arrangements or worst sleep I got on the mission so far haha.  The conference actually went super well.  I was able to stay awake, and the Zone Leaders and STLs did a really good job, so I actually got a lot outta the meeting.  Prez was also trying a new type of outline or way of doing the meeting.  It ended up being really refreshing.  We talked a lot about being yourself.  President also told us that generally our first contact with a person should not be about the church.  That type of contacting doesnt work here so they are really focused on people using
their talents and being creative and themselves and just getting to work basically.  So after the meeting we go over to the mission office.  I got a great surprise.  The Bairs were there!  We had a really nice conversation.  I love them so much they just make me laugh. It was good for my soul. They are over in Brasov right now. Boy I would love to serve with them.  It just made me really happy to see them.  After the office we went to a park to meet up with the zone and do some contacting.  Some played their guitars and Violins while the rest went around and talked to people.  That is something nice about being in Buc.  There are always big things going on with missionaries.  Alright so the end of the night consisted of us missing our train to go back to Craiova... haha kinda stunk we had to wait another 2 hours or so before the next train came to the station. To pass the time we got some ice cream cones at McDonalds... so it wasnt that bad haha.  We didnt get home and in bed till like 2 am so we were just exhausted to say the least.

The next morning we had made plans to go work in our Branch president’s garden (that's also why we didnt just spend the night in Buc cuase we needed to get back)  So we woke up kinda early and went over to our Branch president’s house and helped him out.  We got a solid 2 or 2 and a half hours in.  They then fed us an amazing meal.  After we finished eating we went into the living room.  We all then just passed out for like 10 or 15 minutes.  We literally took a nap with our branch president! haha he is super chill!  It was also really needed.  All this farming and gardening experience I am getting on my mission really makes me want to have a garden some day.  Not like a little dainty one, but one that I need to actually put some effort into.  That would be kinda dope.
Anyways I dont know if i have mentioned this yet, but in the mission we are doing this thing called POP.  It is basically just a short 2 minute role play about a certain topic in the lessons.  With every POP you are supposed to have a scripture.  There is certain POP that I really like.  One cause it is simple. Two because it is easy.  Three cause it can actually be pretty deep.  It is the one I have up my sleeve. I want to share the scripture with you cause it is one of my favorites.. actually like in my top 5. :) It's Ether 12:4

Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

So this scripture is awesome for a couple of reasons.  I really like how it says so clearly that faith is the anchor.  It keeps us abounding in the good works.  Faith is what makes a steady and ready when the storms of life come.  That is obvious conclusion right.  But going a little deeper.  What happens to a boat not during a storm?Just out on the water?  It still drifts right?  The water will typically always keep you moving just a little bit.  So it's that anchor of faith that we need constantly.  Especially during the "calm" times when there is no storm.  Sometimes we even lift the anchor just a bit to "go out exploring" a bit. But when you find that good place where you are supposed to be drop that anchor and dont let the water make you drift.  Ether 12 is a great chapter.  I recommend it :)

That's about it for this week. Things are good, and my companion is good. I'm lucky to have him right now. I love you all so much! Talk to ya soon!

Elder Cooper

PS. I actually forgot this.  This week we only had one hour of church!.... it was so nice! haha I loved it a little to much I think :).  But no I didnt get to just relax. It was Elder C's turn but we have that American guy who comes sometimes and he gave a talk. Usually we have a member who is a good translator do the translating, but he wasnt at church.  So I had to do it.  It's really the first time where I have just flat out been put on the spot to on the go translate for someone for like 30 minutes.  It was kinda rough, but overall it was fine haha :)  I would've also had to teach Sunday school, but everyone had to catch train or go back to work so literally everybody left after the first hour. 

Monday, March 9, 2015


Well Im here in Craiova now.  Every time I go down to transfers there are more and more people I dont know.  It's really weird Im like in a different mission now then when I started.  Especially after these next two transfers literally everyone I know that is older in the mission will be gone.  Weird reality check.
So Craiova is not at all how I pictured it in my head.  I
pictured the work to kinda be slower over here and there to not be much to do.  Well there is a lot of work compared to what I am used to!  Elder Christensen is awesome!  Just walking on the streets we pass people all the time that he knows and we just stop and talk with them.  It is amazing to see that so many people know us and are super friendly with us.  We actually have people to meet with.  It's the only other time in my mission since Bucharest that I have come into an area where there are already people that the companionship has been teaching.  So to say the least I have been pleasantly surprised.
We have met with the branch president here and he is amazing.  He is older but is full of energy.  We went over to their house and it was just as friendly as going over to a grandparent’s house.  It is just a warm friendly place and I think the smell helped set the scene a little more.  I am really excited to work with them.  
So church rolls around and I gave a talk.  The missionaries switch off every other week, so it's a good thing I have kept all the talks I have written haha.  Brother F also came this week.  He is from Nevada but has been living in Germany for 8 years and now is working on a project here in Romania.  He is so awesome!  He came in with three bags of only American stuff!  So now we have American cereal, tons of peanut butter, pop tarts, and brownie mix!  haha it was one of the best Sundays ever.
It was really weird the other day.  I woke up and looked out the window and it was snowing!  I havent had to deal with snow for basically an entire transfer now and then to wake up and see it falling was kinda weird.  Luckly it didnt stick.  Craiova reminds me a lot of Pitesti.  I've been in the Transylvania area for so long that coming over to this part of the country I am able to notice some little things here and there.  The people here speak a lot faster.  They also slur a lot of their words together so it is kinda fun trying to understand some people.  Also in this area there are a lot more wild dogs out and about.  Also there are a lot more gypsies and others around.  I actually dont feel like I have
the best read on this city yet because it has been surprisingly cold the past few days, but I guess only time will tell. I'm here to work, to share the truth, and to serve. It's going to be just fine. 
Well that's about it for this week I think.  I love you all so much!  Ill talk to you next week.

Elder (Nightwing) Cooper

Sunday, March 8, 2015


Well Finally got back home to the apartment but guess what?  I gotta get going again!  

It's been kinda nuts.  We got to go down to Cluj this past week and it was super dope!  The city is beautiful and just
huge.  We lucked out cause Elder French had served there for 6 months so he was able to show us all the cool things
and what not for the short time we were there.  We basically had all of Thursday to go around.  Friday rolls around and we had the zone conference.  It was pretty good.  President Ivory is really focusing building up the mission culture and bringing a new and better attitude....  a lot of the younger missionaries im sure got pretty stoked.  The conference was supposed to last 6 hours!  We had to catch our train so we had to dip out an hour early haha. Overall it was a good conference though.  President Ivory's parents came.  His dad gave an awesome 30 talk/presentation.  I think that was my highlight.  He was so sincere and really was just talking from his heart... it's easy to tell when people aren’t for me.  He just encouraged us to keep going.  To get out, consistently work, and then see how the Lord blesses.  That was zone conference in a nut shell.   OH other big news from the Cluj trip.  I was able to get my "going home suit".  It is amazing and I love it.  I got it on a really good deal and it was just perfect.  So now it sits in my closet until I get on the airplane haha. :) 

I've enjoyed my time with these Elders! 
So next transfer.  Everyone is staying the same here in this city!... except me.  I am headed over to one of the bigger cities Craiova.  The branch there is almost like here in Timi, except minus the amazing new American family/ branch president, then minus 2 of the regular comers and that is the Craiova branch.  It is going to be a big adventure over there for sure.  I am actually really excited to see what we can do with the city.  This will almost be my last city, or maybe even my last. I really just got to go all out here and make every second count.  It will be really weird being in a two man city.  I guess it just means planning some sick Pdays is easier, working really hard easier, and over all, I really I am excited to see how this next transfer goes and to work hard.

I realized something the other day.  It actually made my day.  I said the sacrament prayer in Romanian like we always do.  Afterwards, elder Harris came up to me and said that my accent when saying the prayer was very very good.  It then hit me... that  a sincere compliment from a person I respect really helps my confidence. I get them a bit, compliments, on the street with Romanians cause they are impressed if you can even kinda hold a conversation), but you all know how important that stuff is to me, so it really made my day.  It's weird to think how much one little nice thing said can do.  I think we often forget that.  No matter who it is to, every one likes and honestly needs a good sincere compliment now and again. It's something I want to be able to to for people. 

So we are going to hop on a train tomorrow night and get to
Buc Wednesday morning.  Then Ill be taking another train Wednesday night and get to Craiova.  It's just gonna be another crazy week ahead of me.  It'll be good and sad to go down to transfers.  A lot of my friends are leaving after this transfer so this is the last time to see all of them!  Crazy to think they were all in their third transfer when I got into the country.  Time just keeps going I guess! 

Bottom line I came on a mission because I love the Lord and I want to share His gospel.  I suppose they can teach you all that other stuff, and I’m not saying it’s not good, but if you go on a mission and expect something different you might be disappointed. I love the Lord, he loves me, honestly nothing else really matters at this point. Through prayer I am okay, I promise. Things are good. 
 I love you all so much!  I wouldn’t survive without all of you. Have a good week!!

Elder James

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

SORRY A WEEK BEHIND! February 23, 2015

Hello! :)

Well it's hard to believe that this is our last full week of the transfer.  It has actually gone by really fast.

(Thanks for the picture Mason Family)
This past week not that much happened.  We had two meal appointments with the Mason family.  They are so amazing!  More details about them.  He is a college professor teaching about religious stuff.  He has a job over here for I think five months or so.  They have three little kids, the oldest one is 7.  Then they have two twins who are 5.  They are so freakin cute!!!! We had a dinner/game night with them and it was just so great!  We played some settlers of Catan. Have you ever heard of that game?  You should definitely think about getting it, it is a blast!!  The kids loved the game so we all teamed up and 
just played a game and ate.  It was really refreshing actually.We are getting pretty close with the family and we are going to be able to work so well together.  They really are exactly what Timi needs.  They have a lot of energy and excitement about the gospel and missionary work.  He is a very humble and down to earth guy and she is very excited just about doing things in general so it is nice.  So the appointments went very well with them to say the least. So grateful!
Also I dont know if I have told you how strong the 4 ladies that come to this branch are.  They have blown me away and continue to impress me with their rock solid and sound understanding of the gospel principles.  These 4 ladies are the champions of Romania I think.  They have all been through so much and to see them at the place they are now is very inspiring and very reassuring for the branch here.  I kinda feel like if Grandma Green could speak Romanian (or they could speak English) they would all be really good friends.  All just really strong women.
So now we got a pretty crazy week coming up.  We are going over to Cluj for our zone conference.  We have to leave like Wednesday or Thursday and wont be back till like Friday night.  Then we teach our English class and hopefully find out transfer boards!  So it's going to be a very fast week.  Going down to Cluj is going to be very cramped.  There are two apartments for the elders to stay at.  The thing is we got Sibiu, Arad, Oradea, and Timi all going and needing a place to stay at and they want to cram all of us in these apartments... haha it's going to be crazy to say the least.  Wish us luck!!
Love you so much!  Thanks for everything!!!

Elder Nightwing (Cooper)