10/28/2013  "Rock moving Mission"
We had zone training this week.  This mission has officially been moved from a seed planting mission, to a rock moving mission.... Meaning we move the rocks so eventually people can plant seeds and then later on they can be harvested.  That kinda really sucks if you think about it... haha, but  I just like seeing it like we are going to get so yoked from moving rocks all day.  Sure you become fit when you plant and harvest... but we have to flippen move rocks!! We're gonna be ripped! Its crazy. (this is all spiritually BTW)  During personal study I read chapter 8 in Mormon.  It helped me out so much.  If you have time this week just read this chapter.  It is such a good one.  Basically what I got out of it is,  People may say you cant do it, and they may say there is no point, but when God has said the opposite, why listen to what the average joe says.  He is on my side, and He has told me it's possible.  

10/21/2013 Testimony of Joseph Smith
I want you guys to know I have come to have a very strong testimony of Joseph Smith.  He founded our church.  He was not perfect, but he brought to pass a perfect thing through the help of Heavenly Father.  If you study Joseph Smith with an open mind and heart, I honestly think it would be impossible to say he didnt have any Godly influence in his life.  He was such a great man and prophet.  My favorite part is that when ever he wasnt in "prophet mode" he was a little kid. :)  I love that about him.  He is such a great example to me about the type of person I want to be.  Be serious when you have to, but then play hard when you can.  It is actually really hard to type my testimony of him over an email haha.  I just want you to know that I know he was called of God.  If you dont feel like you have the faith to just believe that he was and that you need proof.  I urge you to study his life.  That is proof right there.  The more I study and know the more I feel like Joseph Smith, is my best friend. :) 

10/21/2013  The Language
I just want all of you to know how much I love you all.  I love reading your emails because it just re-energizes me out here.  It reminds me that You dont always see who exactly you are affecting for good.  Everyone is doing so great and it just brings my heart so much joy!  For once I really feel like, this week im just gonna lose myself and be 100% missionary.  Which I try to do every week, i just feel it will happen this time cause I am ready and pumped to do so!  We are where we are because Heavenly Father needs us to be.  That can be taken physically and mentally oh and spiritually! :)  For example: if Heavenly Father needed me fluent in the language right now, he would make it happen.  He doesn't need that.  I often feel I could be a better missionary if I just knew this language better, but It just so happens that whoever I am supposed to talk to now, needs me just the way i am.  I still try and improve of course, its just a thought that helps.  It's all in His hands and in His time. 

10/21/2013 Church
We had an awesome experience at church the other day.  We had 17 people there!!  WHAT!! so many people!  Two of them were just random people we contacted on the street.  One of them's name is R.  Me and elder B were just talking to him before the meeting actually started.  During the meeting, I had this kinda vision thing, or rather, I envisioned R in all white after his baptism.  This picture popped into my head.  The typical picture that you take with an investigator after their baptism.  Turns out that later that night when me and elder Bliss were talking, he had that same thing come to mind!!  I am really excited for this guy!  He doesnt count as an investigator... YET!! :)  I m so excited I might have my first lesson this transfer!!

10/14/2013  The Continual process

I just missed home with every fiber of my being.  It is strange though.  The end of the week was pretty decent.  People always say you have to lose yourself in the work right?  That is true.  What they dont quite emphasize is that it is a continual process.  You can "lose" yourself one day, and "find" yourself the next :) Its kinda annoying.  It is just like everything, when you wake up you gotta make a choice of what you are going to do.  That is why I have come to love my morning prayers.  It is just a time when I talk to my Father in Heaven, and just tell him what I plan on doing that day.  Then If I am listening close enough he can correct my plans and help me have an even better day!
Park contacting at night. Not much success this night!
As crappy as this week shouldve been, My head has not let it really felt like that ( with the help of the spirit and constant prayer)  Things are looking up and I am super excited about this next transfer!  I am chipper then a chipping bird, and as energetic as a bouncing bunny!! :)  I am ready work and nothing will get in the way this week :)  I love you all so much :) 

10/14/2013  Stoned
This week had a very interesting start.  By interesting I mean stupid!  Haha.  I just dont understand some people.  So, me and elder B are just about to head down to the Trivale forest ( which is beautiful!) for some contacting.  There are like a million steps on this stair case to the entrance of the forest.  We are just about to get to this point when these people just start shouting at us.  Turns out the most English people know is the F word.
 Anyways, we look over and just decide to ignore them.  Right as I turn away, a rock comes zooming past me!  I look back over and these people are throwing rocks at us!! Hard!! I could hear it in my ears. They are trying to stone us like the prophets of old!! (I mean, that's what it felt like) It ticked me off at the time, but I can laugh at it now)  So these Romanians are just hurling rocks at us.  I felt like I kinda had a Samuel the Laminite moment.  None of the rocks hit me :) Miracle.  So for some reason we just keep walking at a normal pace and walk down the stairs away from these people.  Looking back I dont know why we didnt run haha.  So that is how we started of the week with contacting!! :)  ( It was really lucky that I am a missionary and that I care about my companions well being.  If it wasnt for those two things, there wouldve been a different story. My first thought was "I can take them"  But the spirit calmed me and it was all okay.  But seriously I was gonna knock some heads! )

10/7/2013 Good to Follow the rules
So ya it is still weird to me how much I am still required to stand up for what is right out here.  A ton of elder's goal out here is to be an campanion who is not dreaded by other missionaries. I got to thinking about that goal.  Sure it would be super nice if that could happen.  But why does it matter?  That goal sets you up to fail.  In order to be that type of companion you have to be ready to disregard rules, be okay with slacking off, and basically just being okay with not doing missionary work.  Honestly I have got to the point where I dont care what the others think of me.  If I have a "bad reputation" to the missionaries out here for sticking to rules, or never has any fun (but of course I Plan to have fun, just the right way)... I can honestly say i dont care.  I really only care about what My Savior's opinion of me is.  Their opinion of me is for two years, but i am going to have to deal with the decisions i make out here for the rest of my life.  IT is just so important to remember that out here.  That is what I would tell any one who is about to serve a mission.

10/7/2013 Will you Marry my Granddaughter
Yesterday I had a really fun experience.  Let me just say that I am a pretty big guy.  I dont know if it is because everyone else in my district is just litttle or if I really am just big haha ( really everyone in my district is like 130 lbs and llike 5'10)  So when it comes to food here they always associate it with elder Cooper haha it is actually really funny.  I honestly do just get super excited for food and I show it.  ... back to the point.  We are outside church contacting ( we set up a TV and have Books of Mormon out and talk to everyone who
He is pretty cute! :) 
passes)  So, as we are about to rap things up, these two elderly ladies start walking by.  The eldest one looks at me and I just give her a huge smile.  In return she gets super excited and they come over to talk with us.  They are just talking to our district for a while and I dont really know what is going on.  The one lady pulls out her phone and shows us a picture of her granddaughter.  She then points to me with a gigantic smile on her face and says something.  She then wips out this covrig from her bag (a giant pretzel.. they are really popular here) and hands it to me... which was an answer to my prayers cause I was Starving!! haha :) i say "îmi place covrig"  Which means I like covrig.  I guess I said it with to must excitement because she starting jumping up and down saying to her friend " he likes them! He likes them!" Any ways we end up placing two Books of Mormon with them and they leave.  Once they get out of ear shot the elders start busting up.  I guess the lady said she wants me and her granddaughter to "create a generation together" HAHAHA what in the world!!  So she handed me the covrig to basically be super nice and butter me up.  So this next sunday she is coming to church and she said she is bringing a bag of covrig and her granddaughter's phone number!! haha this is gonna be interesting haha but it made my night! super great!

10/7/2013 Hot Peppers
I finally had time to get my shirts tailored!  I also have purchased some pants, a coat, and a sweater (the ones you sent are now to big.. :) haha Im losing those pounds!)  So anyways we go to pick up the shirts, and we are waiting for him to let us up into his place.  While we are waiting we turn around.  There is this guy just squatting and taking a (well you know)!! hahaha what!!!  You dont do that!  Kinda really nasty, but i just couldnt help but laugh.  So finally the tailor lets us in and I go for my wallet to pay for my stuff.  I pull it out and it is a hand made one out of candy rappers and tape ( a gift from elder S)  He takes it pulls all my money out and rips it into pieces!!  The whole time I dont know how to say anything so I am just watching this happen.  Then he taps his cheek with his finger which means like .. shame shame... so then he pulls out his wallet puts my money in it and says 3 leu... So this man
Maybe this will cool down his mouth
tears up my wallet then makes me pay for one that he wanted to give me! haha  He is just this old sweet man, so I couldnt help but just smile and laugh the whole time.  Not mad at all, just feel bad that elder S spent so much time on that thing and now it is destroyed.  Before we leave, the tailor gives us 4 little red peppers.  I dont think much of it.  So we get down to the bus stop when M says.. "hey elder Cooper you should try one of these peppers"  So i was like "sure why not?" ......  IT FELT LIKE SOMEONE WAS HAVING A BOND FIRE IN MY MOUTH!!  IT was the hottest thing that has ever been inside my mouth! And my stomatch didnt like it either, but that is a different story that doesnt need to be shared... haha :)  So of course right when I am trying to deal with this pepper our bus comes.  Let me re state this... I dont handle spicey stuff that well!  So i am like all red and just crying and sniffing, and all these people on the bus are like.. who is this crazy american on our bus that is crying?  IT was awful! haha :)  So note to self... stay away from peppers!!

Not gonna lie walking to and from the apartment is scary.  We have a lot of heckilers but I dont understand what they are saying, so really it doesnt bother me :)  The dogs suck though!  We have almost been attacked by a pack of them!  IT WAS NUTS... and super cool!! I was swingging my jante like a mace about to smack any of them that came at me :)  Its scary but I make it fun.

9/23/2013  Books of Mormon
The first week or so were pretty slow days.  Each day we would have straight zeros across the board.  It is not about the numbers at all, it just kinda sucks reporting those numbers.  Anyways, the Lord has truly answered my prayers this last week.  I would just pray every night that the hearts of the people in Romania would be soften.  They have been!  We were able to place 7 Books of Mormon this week!  That is crazy!  The thing is, you dont just hand them a BOM and say read it, you got to do something we call TTIP.  That is teach testify invite and pray.  So the person has to be willing to take a little time and learn a bit about the BOM.  We did it seven times!  WHAT!?  I am so grateful that the Lord helped us out and made it possible for that to happen.  It was an awesome experience when I was able to place my first BOM.  My trainer is getting pretty good at it and did 5 out of the 7.  Also we usually dont give them a BOM with out a phone number.  So now we have 7 new numbers to call.  It is fantastic!  I know my first lesson is coming up soon, I cant wait.

9/16/2013  Building a House
So there is this member..  He is the best! He gives us a service project to do every week!  Basically what it is, is digging out a room for him.  Haha it sounds kinda crazy, but it is what he needs help with.  So he has these stairs that you walk down, about 4 or 6 and then a little walk way.  Then this is where his room starts!  It is gonnna be a 2 room place when we are done with it.  One for him to sleep.  The other for his vegetables!  He cracks me up!  He is that best.

There are millions of dogs.  And there are a lot of emotions that come with this fact.  I usually feel so bad for them.  They look and act just like normal dogs except they are very flinchy.  Most of them are so cute and I just want to pet them and give them some food, but its against the rules...  So that is normally how I feel about them.  However, there is also fear that comes with coming upon some wild dogs.  In Bucharest, One kid was killed and the other critically injured by dogs.  They can be very mean.  I haven't crossed any mean ones yet though haha and if I do ill probably just throw my Book of Mormon at them and they will probably carry it around for a while, then give it to some one haha :)

CONTACTING!  Contacting is very fun... and funny.  This old couple approached us the other day.  I was like cool I got this.  So I started to speak "Romanian" haha.  after I said what I thought made sense, this little old man brings me closer.  He gives me three nice little slaps on cheek and says something like you little cutie.  At first I thought he was trying to attack me or something hahaha :) but he wasn't, just a very nice old man.  A usual thing we get here, we call "the finger"  all it is, is the person we are trying to approach wags his index figure back and forth basically to tell us he doesnt want to talk with us.  THIS IS SO COMMON.  I just act really confused for now and try to keep talking haha I figure... try to take advantage of being new here :)

THE SMELL.  The smell in Pitesti.  hmmm is very interesting :)  When I the smell of cigarettes enter my nose ( which is very often, a lot smoke here)  it Is kinda a relief, in a way, from the sewer smell.  So I wouldnt necessarily use the word "clean" or "nice" or "pleasant" to describe the smell haha :) but its fine! It makes it a very interesting experience.  

TESTIMONY  I see amazing things happen everyday.  Something I just realized is they were all around me when I was home as well.  The mission has just taught me how to see them.  It is SO DIFFICULT, and it takes a lot of effort to see them.  But I promise they are there.  Sometimes it just takes me looking back on a day, to realize something amazing happened that day...  The Lord is with me, and he is protecting me constantly.  Its kinda really the only way I feel safe here.  Realizing I am wearing the name of Christ on my chest.  I know with time and with enough work and faith, the people of Romania hearts will be softened.  I go back to the scriptures often, and I am constantly drawn to the behaviors of the Laminites.  I am reminded that Ammon and his brothers were able to convert the Laminites.  If a few of them can do that, to that type of people,  just think of what 100 missionaries here can do for this people!  The one thing to make sure you always remember is to have the Holy ghost with you, then doors upon doors will open. ( meaning doors of actual houses :) and of course, the doors to someone's heart)

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