Tuesday, June 10, 2014


 Hey Family,

Culture Note: Nederland is probably one of the only places in the world that struggles accepting Visa. It's lacking something everyone keeps calling a chip...don't know what it means, but it's this gold thing they place on the front of the card. So basically the only thing you can do with a Visa over here is pull out money from an ATM. One time we actually got trapped in a parking lot at the hospital because of this! None of us have chips on our American cards and the automaat would only let us pay with cards, which only worked with chips. So we had to ask some nice lady to pay it for us...but we paid her back after!

Anyway, we just finished one crazy week! As I was telling James we go on four exchanges every week. Sundays we go to church, Monday is P-day and we set aside Thursday to do planning, office work things, etc. It's really good though and I truly feel like a really know the zone now :).

I love learning things on exchanges, it's probably the most effective way I personally can be a leader. Although my favorite lesson of the week was on Tuesday during district meeting. Elder G gave an AMAZING one that really got me thinking.

 He talked about one of the highest goals as a missionary, namely to develop a "love of God and all mankind". What he brought up though was very interesting. He asked us all, "But how often do we say- love of God and all mankind...self included?" He shared with us Galatians 5:22-23 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,...Meekness, temperance..." and asked, "How often are these emotions present when we think about and criticize ourselves? If they are not present then they are not of the Spirit...period."

It was SUCH a powerful meeting! He went further to say that we all need to accept two principles together (never to be separated):

1. Accept that we all have weaknesses

2. Accept that it is impossible to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (which we have all been given as members) without receiving at least one gift of the Spirit.

So the question then becomes, where are we putting our emphasis? Are we defining ourselves by our weaknesses our strengths? I think we all know which one will make us happier. Not to say ignore your weaknesses, simply acknowledge them, work to improve them, and like you always taught me mom, NEVER define yourself by them. It truly is such a small part of who you are. Compare your biggest weakness to the amount of good things you do every day and it will quickly be overwhelmed I can guarantee that.

Please send my love and appreciation (if you know them) to the Zrs for their letters of support. I truly appreciated them and I love them a lot. Also to all of Alkmaar. I just love that place SO much! I just keep hearing from you about their support and well wishes for me and want them all to know that they're in my prayers and I love them VERY much!

Sorry this letter is a shorter one, time just seemed to slip away today. 

LOVE YOU ALL!!! Thank you for your prayers and your support! Couldn't ask for better.

Elder Cooper

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