Elder Jonathon Cameron Cooper was called to serve a 2 year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and is serving in the Belgium/Netherlands Mission speaking Dutch.
This blog was set up after a year of him already in the field. Current letters will be posted, and some past experiences shared in the tabs below along with current ones.
Elder Cooper wants to share his experiences, and testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and his love for the people he is serving!
off- PLEEEAAASSSSEEE don't freak out that I e-mailed today and not Monday. (he emailed on Saturday)See let's do
an early culture note.
The holidays here make me smile
sometimes because there's two of everything almost! It's like Lord of the
Rings. "Yes I know we've had first Christmas, but what about second
Christmas?...Wait you think he knows about second Pinksterdag?
Thankful for members who share pictures!
Easter?" ...I took a lot of liberties on that quote, but I promise it's
funny if you think about it. Basically those are the three I know for sure-
first and second Christmas, Pinksterdag and Easter. And if you really think
about it Sinterklaas is basically a smaller form of Christmas so they have
three of those! They really like their holidays over here.
So that's why I'm not e-mailing on
Monday cause it's second Easter then. Why didn't I say something before?
Originally we were going to e-mail in the church but last minute we decided to
do it today. So, yeah....
Anyways things are going great on
this end, but I do have an analogy for you.. I call it "The Break-up"
Theory. Bear with me, it may be weird but it truly is the best way to describe
my feelings and what in the world happened these past two weeks.
Elder Bishop and me were in a
companionship, we had an awesome relationship. We worked well together, had a
good time, inspired each other to be better, etc. Then came transfers calls,
the break-up. Due to circumstances beyond our control we were separated and
more or less "broke-up".
I really discovered this during
Mission Leader Council, when we saw each other for the first time since the
President had told us we were done. It was fairly awkward, not going to lie.
The "feelings" (haha, remember, work with me) were still there and
all we could really say or talk about was the good ol' days in Alkmaar.
But then came the awesome closer
moment. During the council President asked me and Elder Bishop to perform the
song we had written to give the members of the zone referrals. The second Elder
Bishop started playing the song it was just like the old days and for a
moment/a few minutes it was all better. It was exactly the kind of closure
Elder Cooper and Elder Chantry. Called to Serve!
From there I could move on and really do better by Elder Chantry and our Zone. From there our friendship
has sky rocketed! He's SO cool! We joke around, we get things done, and life’s
just enjoyable again.
I feel like we all have moments like
that where we simply can't take the pressure anymore and we collapse a little.
That's perfectly fine, it happens, you just have to keep moving forward and
like one of our very wise district leaders counseled me, without even knowing
it, we should be grateful for these trials and the hard things we are going
through because eventually they are just preparing and strengthening you
against what is to come. The hardest part is just opening up the heart and
letting the Lord teach you what it is you need to learn from it.
Moral of my story (well at least one
of them): You have to let go of the past in order to embrace the future. Don't
forget it, just put it in it's place whether that is a file-ing cabinet or a
glass trophy case doesn't matter, but until you do that you can
never truly give everything thing you have to the now, the present, and
the future because it's still back there. Don't know how but my advice this
week: take a look at things in the past that may be holding you back and try to
make steps to get them resolved that you may be free to embrace where you are
Things are just overall going well in
the zone. I am so proud of the missionaries that are stepping up and learning to be good leaders. I mentioned the referral miracle last time, it's still going strong
as ever. For the first time many of the missionaries in our zone are just going
from referral to referral to see if they have further interest and quite a few
have led to miracles. We are being SUPER blessed here and I am so grateful that
the Lord has allowed me to be here at this time in the Belgium/Netherlands
Mission. The Lord's work is moving forward, it is hastening and who can stop
Thanks for Always talking me down and
loving me enough to tell me when I'm simply being a dramatic. Thanks dad for
the awesome letter last week :) I really loved it and you Always have such good
gospel/life insights. Between you and mom I feel like a get the whole picture,
so thanks for working as a team to keep me balanced. You two are perfect for
each other and for me :).
LOVE YOU ALL! Hope everything is
progressing there well and that everyone is still learning and growing the best
they can :). Can't wait to see you on the 11th! You guys will get to meet Fam.
De Bruijn probably, cause that's where we're skyping :). Have an awesome week!