Sunday, February 9, 2014

A DAY IN THE LIFE! (2-3-2014)

FEBRUARY 3, 2014

Hey :D

Tired....but still moving. I swear it gets harder and harder to wake up every morning haha :)! So we have a really good reason for it this week too- we went on exchanges Wednesday-Friday. Doesn't sound like a lot, but I was only in Alkmaar/Heiloo for one of those days. The other two were in Zaandam and Amsterdam. All three days were focused on helping and uplifting. LOTS of walking, lots of spiritual moments and energy and definitely worth it. But when me and Elder Bishop got back together on Saturday we were just spent. We are giving everything for this zone and the Lord is sustaining us in this process. How do I know? I'd be dead without Him. I still feel like I'm dying with Him :) but He ALWAYS gives me energy and strength right when I need it. Hard to explain but it happens, kind of just how it works.

Got the best compliment EVER on Friday from Elder L. He told me that he admired how I was able to choose to be positive. He recognized that I understood and saw how much evil and sadness there is in the world but instead of letting it drag me down I chose/choose to be happy. I appreciated that SO much! Many have thought of it as ignorance or called it other unflattering things, but I truly feel I have been blessed from Heavenly Father with this perspective.  It's one of my most prized gifts from him :).

I personally drive every other day. We switch off between carrying the Phone and driving Corsa (our beautiful Opal Corsa that can go from 0 to 15 in 3 seconds!) so I drive a lot actually.

 Early Culture Note: Although we don't drive on the other side of the road here in Nederland, driving is a whole nother game. Humans have the right away...bikers have the right away...but auto wins in collision (physically not legally) so it's super scary sometimes. You have to constantly on the look out for fietsers and pedestrians because they'll just go into the crosswalk without looking cause they have right away. Hey, at least they use the cross walk :) I hear it's worse other places. But seriously the fietsers (bikers) are everywhere! Everyone rides a bike here. Usually a bike and train combo but there are still plenty of autos on the road. 

 Alkmaar is a small branch of 45 or 50 active members, over half above 40. Makes it really difficult to do this whole Digital Age thing since a lot of them don't know how to use computers but ah well, we'll work with the four JoVos (YSAs) for now. However there is this sweet amazing 82 year old man that should be an example to us all. 82 and 100% against Facebook and any other like things. Enter the Priesthood Meeting. They talk about the digital hastening of the work and ask every member to have a profile. This man goes home, finds a computer and makes a profile before even telling his wife! We're pretty sure he has no idea what he's doing on there but the faith, obedience and faithfulness of this man is inspiring!

His son is also super great. They have us over to eat on Sundays a lot and we have a really good relationship with their family. Usually it is just with R, the son, but last night the daughter was there as well. She's inactive, only one in the entire family. She finally ate dinner with us last night and we were able to really get her to open up. Thanks to the bumbling nature of me and Elder S (Elder P elder in training) we were able to endear ourselves and find a common link. Right 
before I left she asked which one of us liked Batman (she had seen it on my shoulder bag). I was in the closet at the time but as soon as I heard that I stumbled out, mouth opened wide and asked "Do you like Batman?" She said she loved the movies and she even knew who Harley Quinn was! (See even half of you don't know who that is!!!). Turns out she's super into films and stuff so I'm stoked to talk with her next Sunday when we have Gourmet :).

Oh tell Grandma I'm receiving her letters :) they are still just as wonderful, I love my new PJs and wear them every night and am SO sorry I can't write them more :/. They are however in my prayers and I think about them a lot. Tell them how much I love them. I can't even express it with words. I have just been blessed with SO many good examples who have loved me SO much and I loved THEM so much in return! Grandparents Cooper, Green, Cousins, mom and dad, brothers, friends, I am so blessed. I don't know why the Lord saw fit to bless me so much, but you all better make certain that I live out my days attempting to repay Him for all His tender mercies upon me and us all actually.

I love you all! Sorry there wasn't too much spiritual stuff in this one...lots has happened. I'll say this though, God lives. I know it more surely than anything else in this world. I see it in you guys, I feel it in my soul and everything keeps coming back to it. He is real. He loves us, cares for us and watches over us; you just need to learn where to look. Christ lives. He suffered and died for us so we can be clean and have the chance to enter the Celestial Kingdom. Thanks to his resurrection we all have the chance to do that together, as a family. The Holy Ghost is real. I feel him every day. He comforts me when faint, strengthens me when weak and always leads me back to Christ and my Father in Heaven.

I am so grateful for the temple and the covenants I have made. They are such a source of strength to me in my life. Because of them I don't have to be afraid, if we do what we need to we will be taken care of for Heavenly Father cannot lie. I am SO grateful for this gospel and for the hands of those who restored it, namely Joseph Smith. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon and it's divine nature. Without it I would be blown to and fro across the plains of religion, being easily persuaded by the crafty words of men. But thanks to that book my heart and soul are anchored in Christ, the real Christ. They are anchored in the truth and in the love of God and they can provide the same to anyone who is willing to try and willing to accept it as the word of God. Don't get me wrong I love the Bible, but the Bible isn't a testament of the Restoration, the Book of Mormon is. That's one of the reasons we need it so badly :).

Thank you for all your support and love! :) I truly feel it every day along with your thoughts and prayers. I love you all SO MUCH!!! Thank you for everything!

Elder Cooper "Batman" (don't you just love how my love for Batman keeps helping me make relationships here? Cause I sure do!)
P.S. On exchanges out here I met two famous people you will not know! One was an artist for the really popular Donald Duck comics here and the other was a violist for the London Symphony who played in things like Stars Wars and Shrek!!! Was pretty cool :)

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