Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Hey guys :)

Still just pluggin' along here. I think the theme of this week has been endure to the end...without an actual ending, so probably just endure haha. Exchanges were a little difficult this week, life got more difficult too(as it Always does), etc., etc. I could sit here and bemoan my situation, which I will a little, but there are also good things too.

First off- me and Elder Chantry are getting a lot closer. We keep finding common ground and are building off it to make it work. We laugh, have a good time, etc. We kind of know how the other works now.

Having dinner with some of their favorite people. The new 4 getting along great!  Thankful for those
who care for the missionaries. 
Second- the relationship with the branch is still strong, I still love them and they still love us.

Third- The Lord is blessing us like CRAZY down here! The Church here started a Facebook Initiative for free copies of Finding Faith in Christ DVDs and the response has been fantastic! 243 referrals came from it in one week! The stats say that for every 'share' that a member does a referral comes from it (that's the stat they've been recording here in Nederland anyway)! It's just like the Spirit Always testified to me, this is the future of missionary work, especially here. Now we just need I-Pads to make it smoother haha. We have been super blessed by the Lord in this zone pertaining to the referrals and had to stop singing our "Referral Song" because there was simply too many coming in that we weren't doing it in a timely matter! I am very grateful and humbled to be here right now in this defining moment of missionary work here.

Well those are my good things of the week :).

It's just hard sometimes you know? That's probably the hardest part of the gospel of Jesus Christ and if not it's definitely the most underestimated- enduring to the end. It's just what I've noticed people struggle with the most out here and it literally breaks my heart. To see someone you know and love deeply, utter words of extreme pain and suffering like our Savior when he said "What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?" (Or what more can I do? I've tried everything!) and having no answer other than "We've just got to endure." But that doesn't fill the pain, that never heals the wound. Questions like "For how long?" or feelings that this time it may be too much thrive off the phrase "Endure to the End".

I truly wish there was a better answer, but sometimes we are simply called upon to suffer. Now don't misinterpret this- God does not cause us to suffer, or inflict upon us a cursing just because He feels like it or wants to try our patience, rather we inflict these things upon ourselves or life just happens that brings about hardships. Whether it is self-caused guilt, our attitude about a situation, dumb choices we've made, sin, you name it. At it's core base we cause our spiritual suffering, physical suffering is another thing entirely. We've got no control over that, just our attitude and outlook.

I guess all I could share with people is, NEVER stop the important things: scripture study, prayer, going to church and one, I’ve always known, but learned out here that heals a sad soul- service. The second you step out of yourself and start trying to help other people you allow the winds of the Spirit to blow away the mists of darkness around you to help you see clearly again.

Like I was saying, even if you have no desire to do it, just try. Keep on pushing, just a little longer. Trust yourself enough to know you knew the truth. Trust yourself and your Father in Heaven enough to acknowledge that help will arrive, healing will come, it just simply sucks right now. But NEVER stop trying. That's when you've truly lost.

That's the beautiful thing about the Atonement though and this idea, the second that you start trying again, you've already won and will continue winning so long as you are trying.

I guess I just want people to Keep on trying. Keep on praying. Keep on doing those things that missionaries do cause that's what is required of me right now and it helps.
I love the scriptures and I’m so grateful for them.  Keep on praying...oh wait I said that already...but it's that important. And never forsake the church simply because you "can't handle it" because it's probably the only thing that's truly keeping you afloat right now. Like Sis. Stevens quoted in her talk "the gospel is not weight; it is wings".

LOVE YOU GUYS!!! I'll see you all next week and am super looking forward to Mother's Day :) that'll be great!

Elder Cooper Batman

 Culture Note
Money is super easy here. Really starting to understand how wacky America's measurement system is...for example: the idea that a item costs more than it does on the tag is SO weird to me! Here in Nederland what you see on the price tag is exactly what you pay. Period. No extra thirteen cents or something random like that, in fact they just round here! With no ones or twos in their moneys (they do have it but NO ONE accepts or uses them anymore) they just round it up or down based on how much change you get back. So maybe that means you eventually have to pay more, but it seems a lot easier. That's going to be a really weird adjustment when I get back haha. Especially with things like 5 and 25 cents. They just have 5, 10, 20, 50 cent pieces and 1 and 2 euro coins. Super easy :) which is nice for someone who can't do math like me ;)

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