Sunday, February 9, 2014
WALKING TO THE EDGE OF THE LIGHT (1-6-2014)
JANUARY 6, 2014
Gelukkig Nieuwe Jaar iedereen!!!
And what a crazy new year it's going to be! I just keep seeing all the crazy things that are going to happen this year and it blows my mind. But I am SO STOKED for it! I'm glad that our relationships won't change, but I've really come to hope that we all as people change. I mean that only means we're learning, growing and becoming better so why not?
It's like when Trav got back from his mission. I was so worried he was going to be different, that he had changed. Turns out he had, but it was a great one! The Travis that came back from his mission was two times as good as the one that left! And I hope it's the same when we all get back together. I hope that we've all changed enough for the better, that way our reunion can be twice as good as we always imagined it :).
Change. Now there's a tricky topic. It's kinda the theme of this letter. Yes indeed mother you are correct it is that time of year again, transfers! And indeed we have been split up and thus yes, I am leaving Sint-Niklaas. Hence, you will be receiving a package shortly containing more movies and books that I can watch and read in Dutch :)
Now this is a pretty heavy transfer. It's been harder than a lot of them, mainly because the people I got close to I got REALLY close to. I'll miss it all. It is the perfect timing for it though. I feel like my task here has been fulfilled, that I have done everything I was sent here to do. That's an amazing feeling let me tell you :) sure there are things I would have loved to see happen here but Elder Denny's got it.
As for me, I'm headed back up to Netherlands! I city called Alkmaar and you'll never guess who my new companion is. Go on guess! Guuueeessss! It's TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAWR! Ok sorry had to quote it haha :). My new companion is Elder Bishop! Wahoo! Reunited at last! :) We're both super excited to serve together but I'm a wreck with nerves.
(Elder Cooper and Elder Bishop in the MTC together)
See what you don't know is that Elder Bishop was the youngest District Leader out there for a little while, got called on his 6th transfer to be District Leader. I followed with Elder Kemp on our 7th. Last transfer Elder Bishop was called to be a Zone Leader over the Zone Amsterdam and where does he live for that? Alkmaar. He's still there, still a Zone Leader, which means as you probably have now guessed, I got called as a Zone Leader...
I'm terrified! Granted, it's going to be epic, we're going to have so much fun just winging it together and I'm stoked to be with him again but there's SO much that comes with this call! Ok most of it I can handle with the Lord's help, I am just terrified to drive!!! I hate driving!!! And I have to have a car now!!! It's the worst :/. Used to think it'd be nice to have one but now I have to worry about gas, tiny lanes, crazy drivers (at least I'm not in Belgium...) and my worst enemy...parallel parking! Oh boy, I'm gonna need some prayers for that one...
Basically for Zone Leaders here this call is a big change. A lot of the Zone Leaders tell you "Yeah, MY mission is now over. My mission is now all about you missionaries." and they have a point. Yes there are people in Alkmaar who need me and I can't wait to be lead to them, but on the other side of things I'll be on exchanges three times a week, planning whole transfers, reporting on all the missionaries, planning Zone Trainings, getting trained myself, etc. It's a whole other kind of missionary work and looking back, the Lord has been preparing me for it.
That's really the type of work I've had to do in Sint-Niklaas on very small and different scale, so the adjustment will be a bit easier and I'll be able to, with Heavenly Father's help, step into it quicker. I am so nervous, but excited =) so I'll probably sing a song called nervous but excited (just dropped another quote :) ). A whole new adventure is about to begin, for the both of us.
We're walking right up there to the edge of the light now. No idea what's ahead of us, all I know is the Lord will put solid ground underneath my feet and everything will be ok.
This week we had this weird experience with a man who believed very strongly in the Bible. We had a lesson with him and he Bible Bashed us a bit...we tried to testify and teach but it just wasn't really working. For some reason I just felt like we should keep pushing to see what he believed in and why. So I learned a lot about the Protestant churches.
It seemed like a random isolated incident until Sunday. A member of the church (Young Adult) said that she had set us up an appointment with her friend who she had given a Book of Mormon too! Obviously we're stoked at this point. Never had that happen to me. So we go to the appointment and what do we find out? He's Protestant. Every concern we found out the day before we were able to address it the correct way on Sunday. Best first lesson I've ever been a part of! Spirit was strong, me and Elder D had unity, he had questions and he legitimately wants to know the truth. It was so amazing and I am SO grateful for the preparation the Lord gives us for the tasks we are meant to fulfill.
Life moves forward :) Life is looking up. The Lord is preparing each and every one of us for what He needs us to do, all we need to do is be open for the instruction :).
Thank you all for your love and support. Couldn't ask for a better family or support system :) LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Elder Jonathon Cooper