Monday, March 3, 2014


Another week- Check.

The hair!
Mid-life crisis :)
Me and Elder Bishop just keep laughing cause we can't believe you and his mom know each other :). Yeah that picture was of me and Elder Bishop in the middle of Amsterdam near Rembrandt Square (or something like that). Yeah my hair is better wanna know the thing that drives me INSANE?! NOBODY TOLD ME IT WAS BAD!

Ok, it wasn't bad but literally the day I changed it again everyone kept saying "Ok good, I like this one better" (forehead slap). What if I had never realized it? I would just be walking around looking weird for the rest of my mission. Tsk, tsk. Court kind of told me too so that was good :). Now it's got a part thing on the left side and I swish it all back and to the right. We will call the other one a mid-life crisis.

Our one investigator is actually doing REALLY well! Last Thursday Elder Bishop and Elder Lewis asked him if he would be baptized! This is the investigator we talked about last week cause we only have one. Elder Bishop said the spirit was super strong and that it was really cool because this investigator was actually found by Elder Lewis. So we'll be seeing him again on Thursday and we're praying that he receives his answer (cause he said he'd pray about it).

It's funny that you say that you "just want them to understand what [we're] teaching them" cause while that was happening I was having another spiritual experience in Amsterdam. We were eating with a member and his atheist roommate talking about God. One of his problems was that if Heavenly Father knew everything he thought that we'd have no agency. I proceeded to answer according to the words the spirit gave me. I don't think I've ever testified so strongly in my life and it literally felt like the Spirit was exploding out of me. I explained the analogy of a parent knowing their child so well that he knows what they will do even if he doesn't choose for them and then expounded.

To my astonishment it simply didn't make any sense to him. He said that it didn't really answer his question and his opinion still made no sense. That's when I really started to understand 1 Corinthians 2:14 " But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned". Things pertaining to the gospel can never be understood with our natural minds and logic at first. It takes a leap of faith first; even just a small shred of faith is enough. But if your heart is not open you'll never learn. If you've already made up your mind, the spirit simply can't work with you.

I realized I haven't really told you anything about this branch huh? It's really small. Somewhere in-between Sint-Niklaas and Vlissingen. That's general size but we have barely any Priesthood. They are all really sweet people and most of them are older, so it's struggles bringing in new blood. We just barely got digital missionaries and will be working with them very closely. Our whole goal in the branch right now is to help every member create a profile so that when investigators or other Dutch people go to the website they see that it's not just a scary cult but a normal church with normal members. That is super important, especially in this age.

Great Companions and friends (and much better hair Elder Cooper)
I’ve been thinking a lot about teaching and how to help other in that capacity.  The mood of the classroom when people go to church is very important. They need to be able to feel the spirit.  David M. McConkie stated it this way in General Conference. Speaking of the roles of teachers (but the idea applies to students as well) he says, "You are called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ. You must not teach your own ideas, or philosophy, even mingled with scriptures. The gospel is "the power of God unto salvation", and it is only through the gospel that we are saved.

You are commanded to teach the principles of the gospel as they are found in the standard works of the Church, to teach the words of modern-day apostles and prophets, and to teach that which is taught you by the Holy Ghost."

Bam. Conferenced. My point is watch what you say in classes. When you're raising your hand to comment ask yourself things like "Is this going to bring about contention?" (3 Nephi 11:29) and "Why am I about to say what I'm about to say?" Obviously there are exceptions. Teaching false doctrine? Correct in a nice way. Legitimately having questions in another area that you need answers to? Go ahead ask. Just try to think a little more about why you do the things you say and do.  

Everything seems to be moving along over there. SO jealous Sky got to go to a Brian Regan concert!
Elder Cooper's brother is the one in the brown coat.
Lucky! That man is SO funny! And tell Sam I'm getting a letter to him soon, haven't talked to him personally in a little while...and also that I'm not disappointed in him about the Batman thing.  I'm not proud of you (Sam) just because we bond over Batman, I'm proud of him because of who he is and what he wants to become. That's all you ever need really :). Plus you all will Always have my love unconditionally.

LOVE YOU ALL!!! Hope things keep moving forward in a good fashion and that everyone is reading their scriptures and praying every night. It's amazing how much that helps, trust me. Thanks for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers because you are all definitely in mine.

Elder Extremely Tired But Still Going Cooper
(The Batman)

Culture Note: Did you know that the Dutch don't have gravy? I didn't realize that until I got both my packages this week (Thank you SO much by the way!!!) and one of them had three packets of gravy. I realized the Dutch don't believe in gravy! Kinda like me haha! I realized that the only times I have seen "gravy" it's just been sauce left over from cooking the meat. Different huh? Always super good, but it's just not gravy gravy. 

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