Monday, July 28, 2014


Hey everyone :)

So basically as I type I am experiencing what it would be like in a zombie apocalypse. You finally reach safety after distracting the zombies and you've barricaded the door. However you made a mistake and now they know where you are and are pounding, trying to break in. You sit there and cringe as you realize it's only a matter of time...

Luckily our lives aren't in danger, but we do have people banging at the door trying to get in. Make that little kids. There's this crazy group of six kids outside that want to come into the church and we had to trick them to go away long enough for us to slip inside. But Elder C promised to let them in if they found a card (face palm). I promise we're not being rude. Last time we only let two of them in "for a few minutes", they left the building an hour later after running through it all and causing havoc. :) kids. But to let six of them in...they would have destroyed the church.

Thus why we are here, barricaded in the church, hoping that they go away before we have to go home.
I think the biggest thing this week was Zone Training on Wednesday. It went really well. The first half we really focused on The Character of Christ (turning outward in love when the natural man would turn in) in three parts- What is character? The part Action takes in developing such a character and Charity. I gave the part about action.

That's something I've gained a strong testimony about out here: action. Maybe I've always been like this (I don't think so or don't remember it) but out here I've created a new pattern, namely- when I face a problem or am having a hard time I try to sit down and make a plan. I realized that sitting around and just stressing about things that have already happened is dumb and got me nowhere (except sick). We've just got to put things that happened behind us, there's literally nothing we can do about it now, it's already happened! 

And this is where the enabling power of the Atonement comes in. Never understood that part of the Atonement before but now I'm beginning to. See, without the Atonement that would be it. We'd make a mistake or doing something wrong and bam! it's over. It already happened, there's nothing to do about it and you're left with your regret and sorrow. But because Christ paid the price for our sins and our mistakes, we have second chances. We can change.

Because of Him, we can take moments like that and turn them around. We can sit down with Him and say, "I'm really sorry I messed up on this one, but here's my plan on how to avoid it in the future." Then you hash out a plan. 

2 Nephi 2:26 says "And the Messiah cometh in the fullness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day according to the commandments which God hath given." (emphasis added).

He truly enabled us to act, and not just be acted upon by our sins, mistakes, situation, there's always something we can do. Maybe we can't solve everything, but there's always things to do (or keep doing). And what a blessing that is.

This truly is repentance. I mean think about it: Christ has suffered for EVERY sin that we'll EVER make. So it's not like every time we make a mistake it's some new, unexpected load on Christ. He has already gone through that, He was fully aware that it was going to happen. Yet what does He ask from us then if not to destroy ourselves with guilt until we shrivel away into oblivion? Like it talks about in "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad R. Wilcox,  He just requires that we keep "practicing" because we are learning heaven right now. Godly sorrow is realizing what you did was wrong and desiring to change it because you have offended God. The level of bad feelings vary and where they do have a place, never forget that truly godly sorrow uplifts and inspires us to do better, not the opposite. So keep going! 

The talk me and Elder C had was amazing. We know we are simply different.
It makes us a good team. He treats the missionaries as they've been called, namely set apart representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. He refuses to lower expectations (which is just fine) and expects the best from the elders he works with. He has a true gift of lifting missionaries to be better than they ever knew they could be. It's an amazing gift.

And that's why I have my gifts. I'm the healing balm when it stings, which it does. Together we truly make a great team, especially because the biggest thing we have in common is our work ethic, namely go till we drop :). It's tiring but So worth it.

We go on splits all the time, at very least 3 times a week. Rotterdam Zone is on fire right now :). The Lord is showing forth His hand and blessing us TREMENDOUSLY! Relations with the members are better, missionaries are motivated and working, it truly is a blessed time to be here. We even go on splits with the Portuguese elders.  They are great Elders and we are really impressed with them. 

Well, I love you guys! Thank you SO much for your letters and your love. I never have to feel too far behind out here and I never have to feel abandoned. I truly have been super blessed and I could not have had a better situation in which to grow, so thank you, thank you, thank you!

Elder Cooper

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