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!
I can hardly keep track of what's
going on here! haha It's like we're flying around inside a whirlwind and I'm
trying to grab as much stuff as I can in the middle of it. Don't worry I catch
a lot, it's just from time to time a refrigerator slams into you... Not always
in a death kind of way but it sure does feel like that when I wake up in the
So worth it though. I'm learning SO
much! Unfortunately this week had to be a painful one, but hey I'm still
breathing and smiling :). It's kind of been an Alkmaar week too. I don't know
if you know Sis.VR but she is down here in the zone on a mini-mission
right now! I was able to have a really
good talk with her. She helped me see a few things I hadn't before, like why I
had to leave Alkmaar so soon. She helped me see that it was probably another
way the Lord was protecting me, and my heart. I was very grateful to see her
again and boy is she an example to us all.
Upon reading one of my blogs she said
she determined to go on a mini-mission but there were SO many uncertainties if
she left. She put them all aside, trusting that if it was the Lord's will He'd
provide. And He has, like He always does. Sometimes I wish I had more faith
like that, to let those things that matter most to me go into His hands so that
I can go and serve Him with all my heart, might, mind and strength. I have worked on this, and I'm getting better, but there's always room for improvement.
Maybe not brothers by birth, but brothers forever.
Then the very next day I got to see
R and Br.D B which was SO GREAT! Can I just say how stinkin' proud of R I am! From
all the stories he was telling me about his life he is on a roll and is setting
a righteous example for those around him.
A true blessing.
Mark my words, that young man is
going to have a huge impact on the world around him :) and I get bragging
rights cause he's my brother! :) Mama and Papa D B definitely did things right when they raised their family. Every single one of them shines
with the light of Christ. True examples of goodness.
Which brings me to another happy
realization: I love Rotterdam :). It's a VERY different kind of love than I've
experienced before, but it is still love and respect. Heavenly Father helped me
see the other day how amazing they are.
I've made a lot of mistakes here, none on purpose, of course, but it is tough for me because I want them to have my best self. There has been some struggles here and the people could be upset with the missionaries, but they keep going. They continue to reach out to us in love as if we
were their own children. No matter what we do, their love is
unconditional and unwavering, and they don't deserve anything less than that.
I'll always love them for that.
As for the Zone things are going
AMAZING! Progress is being made here and steps are being taken that have needed
to be taken for two years. The Lord is blessing us in His tender mercy and
giving us opportunities to finally work with Stake and Ward Leaders to bring
the members and the missionaries in harmony one with the other. Both sides are
ready to work and are willing to get to understand each other. It's literally
the perfect situation for miracles.
To help this unity along we're asking
all the missionaries to base their spiritual thoughts with members in Preach My
Gospel. By sharing this amazing book with members they can better understand us
and why we are the way we are, why we do the things we do. It's the perfect
foundation for us to be able to move forward in unity one with the other. The
perfect foundation that missionaries will be able to build off of for years to
I have had some hard things this week and a person questioning me. It been tough, but thank heavens that we have the opportunity to serve others. Best balm for a broken heart? Forget yourself and go to work. Don't have a work to do, go find one or better yet someone to help. That's what healed my soul and got me on my knees. The pain ebbed away and my heart opened enough to forgive and move forward. I still feel a little fragile but I'm better than I was :)
Saying good-bye at the MTC
Well I love you all! And SKY! HAPPY
BIRTHDAY!!! Gosh you're just going to be so grown up when I get back it's
crazy. I keep thinking when I meet 15 year old that I've got a brother that
age, but NOPE you're 17 (on the 3rd)! Weird thing is, I've never seen you as a
young kid/a 15 year old, it's just kind of the number that's been frozen in my
You're too solid to just be 17,
seriously. Things may be twirling around it a million miles per hour and you
may not be able to make heads or tails of things but your head is on straight.
That's why your our Peter, our rock. That's why you're Tim Drake, the fundament
of hope in the Bat-family. Thanks for being you Sky-guy and for always taking
an interest in the things I was interested in :) we make a pretty good team
that way. There's no one else I'd rather have as a brother and no one better
Sam could have for an older brother with him right now. LOVE YOU AND HAPPY
LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Love, Elder Cooper
Culture Note: Everyone in the Netherlands has an agenda!
Seriously, you pull out your planner to make an appointment and they pull out
theirs to do the same. Say all you want about the Dutch but they know how to
use their time efficiently. One of the greatest blessings for me out here was
learning from them the importance of time and how to schedule it properly.
Being on a mission helps with that but it helps when everyone else around you
is doing it too! :D