Monday, April 28, 2014


What a week! We've had to do SO much this week! So much so that I've been getting to bed a lot later than I should haha three nights in a row!

Really it was just the weekend that was a lot. First we had exchanges with Zaandam, then on Friday we had some service and a Branch dinner, following which (at 9) we had to go to Amsterdam so we could sleep over for KONINGS DAG! But first with the exchanges:

I was with Elder E and we may have had a brilliant breakthrough idea, scratch that, we did have a brilliant breakthrough moment. At the end of the day we were talking about the future and I asked what he wanted to do. He mentioned he didn't know but listed a few options. He mentioned his original dream was to become a director. Obviously I got excited :). So I asked him why he let his dream go. Same reason I've grown worried about mine out here. Simply stated: Hollywood is not a friendly place to members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I think about it af en toe (now and again) and it just doesn't look like a bright future for a family. All the things actors have to do, all the moral struggles screenwriters must have, how to raise a family in such a setting, etc. But I know what I love doing and unless the Lord tells me no, I'm going to pursue it with everything I've got, ideally with the Lord on my side. So it makes me sad when I see people give up their dreams.

It's SOOOO important to do something you love, something you have a passion for. Sure there's bills to pay and practicalities to think about but it's like you told me mom, if you really love what you do you can always find a way to make money with it. But more than that you'll be happy and that's SO important especially in a family (at least from what I've seen). I've kind of taken it as a personal quest of mine to restore everyone's resolve out here to chase their dreams and to go where their heart and the Lord wants them to go. So far it's been working :).

With Elder E I shared an idea that the Spirit helped me solidify that night. I've always been obsessed with going into the film industry in a team, like the Avengers or Christopher Nolan. Gather a talented and unified group of people together and just crank out movies that inspire and uplift. It just seemed so cool, but now it's more than that. It's the only way to do it.

If you go against a giant army by yourself you're going to lose. Period. But you can actually win a fight with even a small group of people and the Lord. We realized the only way to stay safe in the business is to go together. Go in a group that can sustain and uplift each other, a group that supports each other in their struggles and temptations in the field, a group that sticks together through thick and thin and a group that stands for something more than what the media of the world today has become.
That's the dream. 

We stayed up really late talking about that and then the next day we spent most of the time helping clear the backyard of a member's house. Basically we moved brick and other junk from the backyard to the dumpster all day. Tiring? Yeah. Worth it? ALWAYS! And immediately after we went to eat dinner with the Branch at the church. We played Capture the Flag and Sardines with the kids and had an awesome time :).

After we got right in the car, drove to the station and took a train to Amsterdam to sleep over for Koning's Dag (King's Day).

Culture Note:
King's Day is the biggest holiday in the Netherlands. It's a day where you celebrate the king or queen's birthday by getting drunk and partying. No really that's what you do. People come from all over to party. Everyone wears orange clothing and sells their old stuff on the streets. It was PACKED!!! Even during the night when you passed certain streets where the parties were all you could see was orange and crowds of people.
As a mission we took advantage of how many people would be out and set up booths to give away Books of Mormon and Pass-a-long Cards. We gave away a lot! Not sure how many specifically but it was many many. So at very very least our name is definitely out there and we gained a few new potentials for Amsterdam Missionaries.

The worst part though was after doing that from 8-3 we returned home only to discover that Elder Chantry had not only left the car keys in Amsterdam, but that the card he used to ride the train had slipped out of his pocket somewhere! So having no other choice we had to walk home from the station and bike to our dinner appointment. yeah...we were late. But they forgave us so it's ok now :). We have all the stuff except his card back now so we are again at peace.

Sunday was a lot less crazy and we ate dinner with Fam. DB.  I'm so glad we're skyping there! You may even get to meet them! Not sure exactly on timing.

AND THEN, today we just barely got done working in some tulip fields :) snapping off their heads. I don't know apparently it's good for the bulbs and they grow better that way...but we went through and snapped the heads off every remaining tulip in the cut portions of the field, which was probably 8 or 9 acres worth :). SUPER tiring but really fun, I mean how often do you get to work in a real tulip field?! Plus we worked with Fam. M (it was their tulip farm) which meant there was 9 people working. Loved doing it and we all had a fun time together.

As for me, I'm great :). Got things back in order and my head is on straight. Me and Elder Chantry get along really well and I LOVE his sense of humor :). SO I am happy.

It's nice when you're not alone. I think that is a lot of the reason why people fall anyway, they try and do things alone. They enter dangerous or difficult situations trying to be the only one around them standing for something and eventually it just simply gets to heavy and you give up. That's what I was talking about with the movie thing. Alone, it's a recipe for disaster. Together it could influence the lives of hundreds.

Also a good marriage tip for later in my life. I have to meet someone who's willing to be with me. We need to have the same goals in life (as far as a family goes), we have to push each other to be better in the gospel and to keep each other there for it's only together that we'll make it and only together will we be able to raise an amazing family. I simply can't settle for less. And neither should any of you.

Chase you dreams. Surround yourself with people who will support and help you during your struggles. Be that person for someone else. Be someone another would want to surround themselves with, someone who builds instead of destroys, who brings hope instead of crushing it and who sticks by you and loves you through thick and thin who's love isn't conditional.

Love you all! Sounds like things are a bit hectic but are moving forward healthily. You're all in my prayers and thank you for the prayers you send my way :) I definitely feel them. Tell Oma and Opa and Jacquilin that I love them and am praying for them. I LOVE Opa's comics and Oma's letters and packages :). Make my whole life and I really look forward to them.

Elder Cooper
The Batman

P.S. Me and Elder Bishop wrote a song that we sing as we give other missionaries referrals (people who have asked to hear the gospel or receive a book or a movie, etc.) so that's the song we performed :). When I get home remind me to show you the music video to it ;)

Companions at their finest. 

Ready for King's Day

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