Monday, August 25, 2014


Hm...what to write this week. I never know, sometimes it just all comes to me and sometimes not... But I'll do my best. :)

First off:  Doing fantastic :) working hard, staying busy, time is flying!

Second, before I forget: The Beards :). Basically there was absolutely no reasoning behind them haha! I had been on exchanges for two days and hadn't brought my razor with me so you could really see it coming in. We were heading off to
Are we glad we got an explanation?  Not sure! 
bed when I looked in the mirror and saw it. So what did I do? I decided to color it in so I could see what I would look like with facial hair. I only colored in what I could see, so if I ever grow out my facial hair that's exactly what it'll look like! haha! Well Elder Krebs sees me doing this and decides that he wants to have one as well. So he gives himself one and we have a photo shoot. It was fantastic. We basically looked like mafia men or spies or something :). Oh the things you do on a mission.

Well I guess one theme of this week is I'm really noticing changes! Not only back home but out here too! We had Mission Leader Council this week and it was really good, but really different as well. I'm SO old here! Literally I'm in the
Top 10. The weird part about it is seeing the future leaders rise. You sit there in a meeting where everyone used to be older than you, where all "the greats" of your mission had sat and realize there's only one other missionary in that room
View from the apartment window.  "I know right"
older than you (mission wise). This new group of leaders is going to be great and is going to do awesome things for the mission, the transition is interesting.  Excited to see what they can do though.

On that note of change I just want to bear my testimony on unity. Something else our mission changed recently was Mission Leader Councils. We used to have them only once a transfer, but last transfer the whole mission started having them every other week and it's been fantastic! When we did it here in Rotterdam it made all the difference. I have also gained a testimony of communication, trusting other people with important decisions and the council system. When done properly it works wonders.

The most inspired decision of my mission was made in such a council. We had all these different problems in the zone that were being brought up to the council. As we talked about it we realized if we could fix the biggest problem, all the other problems would solve themselves! So we began to
"This is just another view from my window" 
brainstorm and it all came back to Preach My Gospel. We realized all the answers to our problems were in there and that that book would increase the understanding between us better than any other source. As we realized this the Spirit overwhelmed us all in the room. For the first time since the council was organized all eight of us were in complete agreement and knew exactly what we needed to do. We put together a plan and have been executing it to this day.

The response has been fantastic and ever since it's been working perfectly. The missionaries are becoming better missionaries and the understanding between missionaries and members as increased a TON! I've also seen it on a mission wide level. Last week (the second week after we started this across the mission) the mission had a super good week :). The Lord truly does open up the windows of heaven when we are unified with each other. Something tells me that's going to be a helpful tip in the future.

Well I love you all! Glad to hear things are not only going good but that they are moving forward in a good direction :). Wouldn't want anything else for you guys. Thanks for keeping me updated and for loving me unconditionally! I sure do love you all! Till next week!

Elder Cooper

P.S. Remind me one day to show you the journal entry for this week, I think that's where all the Spiritual thoughts went this week haha :).

Culture Note: Literally, we've been keeping track, it has rained every single day since Elder Krebs got here- that's 3 whole weeks and counting! Not even little sprinkles either, it's raining hardcore! But that's not the weird part. Usually what happens is it rains super heavily and then a few hours later all the
clouds disappear and the sun shines bright for a few hours until the rain comes back. It's just this one long continuous cycle that keeps on going. Never have I been so grateful for a car as I am now because amidst all this rain and sun we are part of a really funny miracle :). 
It's rained for three weeks straight and me and Elder Krebs have only gotten wet once! "Oh that's cause you have a car!" you say. Yes it is, partially. The weird thing is that more than once we go somewhere to do missionary work, finish, get back in the car dry and then the heavens open and Noah's Flood begins all over again. We've literally been missing the rain by seconds :D. I think it's up there with one of the greatest miracles of my mission hahahaha! 

Monday, August 18, 2014


I never thought I'd get here, always thought it was a myth, that time would run out, or I guess that somehow I never thought it would ever happen to me, but it did. I don't know what I'm going to do when I get back! This beautiful work has simply absorbed me and I
don't ever want to let it go! I am encompassed about with a love for this work and for the gospel that cannot be put into words, and I don't simply mean the going out knocking doors and talking to people part, I'm referring to the bringing souls unto Christ; acting as a sort of savior for them (not the Savior, savior). 

A lot of the times missionaries lose sight of that. Yes we are here to invite others to baptism, but first and foremost our purpose is "to invite others to come unto Christ" to "preach [His] gospel" and "use words if necessary". Ok there are a lot of words that need to be said, but you get the idea. 

It's funny when I look at my life to see a pattern emerging. What did I always say? "Psh, I'll never ever go to BYU! Too many mormons." Bam. Lord calls me to go there. "Utah. Hah. Life is so much better out of 'the Bubble'." Bam. Converted to the power and protection of Utah and "the Shield" it provides. "I'll never be one of those awkward returned missionaries that can only think of the gospel when they get back." Bam. Everything else, every other desire I have has been driven back and now rests under the burning desire to serve the Lord and further His kingdom on the earth.

Honestly the spirit is helping me with my distractions and hindrances and they are just disappearing. I feel more convicted than ever.

What I learned through the Spirit talking with Elder Krebs', was.. . hmmm...I don't know if I can truly express the thought because it's something I am not allowed to simply tell everyone. The Spirit "stoppeth mine utterance" seeing as I'm having a "stupor of thought", but I can say this: putting everything behind and getting lost in the work was the best thing I ever did and I have more comfort now in the future than ever before.

 I am very grateful that I feel qualified at this time. Through trials and hardships, I feel
stronger than ever. With the last two weeks under the belt I have regained confidence in myself and in my ability to do the Lord's work and follow the Spirit. I have seen Him work through me and Elder Krebs as we have gone about accomplishing good things and fulfilling all we are asked to do and it feels amazing. I really hope I can retain this skill when I return home.

Funny enough, I've found myself another church hero: Brigham Young. Not a hero in the sense that I'm like him, more that I see a lot of attributes that he has that I really want to develop. One of my favorites is his undying loyalty to his leaders and thus his undying loyalty to the Lord and the order of His kingdom. He fought like a lion defending those around him who were called to lead the church in every circumstance and I pray I can do the same some day.

love the way he talks about self-control and recreation/entertainment as well. I had a chance to read bits and pieces of "The Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young" and it inspired and touched me so much I called the office and ordered a copy for myself to study when I get the chance. His words in those chapters I mentioned above gave me SO many answers to my questions it's amazing!

The Lord is just pouring pure knowledge into my head this week and I'm just trying to enjoy every second of it :). 

I am having a great time here :). The members are
KREBS AND COOPER - not really sure?
fantastic, I'm learning so much, me and Elder Krebs get along great, it's one of those mission upswings for sure. I am so grateful to the Lord for the tender mercies He bestows on me, and for every little thing I have that has made me into the man I am today.

Thank you SO much for nurturing me and for bringing me up in the good word of God. It has changed not only my life, but the lives of SO many others around us. How blessed are we to have the gospel in our lives? How blessed are we to have the opportunity to share it with EVERYBODY?! Just think, originally in Bible times, the Jews were forbidden from preaching or even mingling with the Gentiles. Now is the time for everyone and we get to be a part of it all :).

LOVE YOU ALL! Thank you so much for everything you do and continue to do for me. You're all the best!

Elder Cooper

Culture Note: In the Zone Rotterdam we have 24 missionaries. The cities it comprises: Rotterdam, Spijkenisse, Gouda, Dordrecht and Utrecht as well as the surrounding cities and everything in between. Geographically one of the smallest zones and known for it's uniqueness/self-standingness it's one of the oldest stakes in the Netherlands and operates nearly at the same level as a stake in Utah (which for here is amazing). I've met some of the hardest working members whose testimony and commitment to the gospel are unshakeable. Here the soccer team to root for is Feyenoord and they are the rivals to the Amsterdam team Ajax. That rivalry matches and exceeds that of BYU and UofU. It's HUGE!

Finding joy through service
Always the gentleman :) 

Monday, August 11, 2014


Hey :)

Sure enough I have a new Zone Leader companion- Elder Krebs. Last time I saw him was in the Amsterdam Zone as his zone leader. He's grown SO much! I mean he was already great but he is even more refined now and a great leader that President and the Lord can trust and rely on. I've kind of just been throwing him into the deep end so he can learn to swim, and so far so good :). It's making me think back to the days when I was a new zone leader. Seems like only yesterday but then I remember that was back in February! Time is just kind of slipping away on this end.

It's a totally new calling, zone leader. The gears you've been turning for your whole mission have to switch and the first little bit can feel uncomfortable. You start off focusing everything on the investigators, doing your best to be outside as much as possible and you're busy working with people all day on the streets and in houses. Zone Leader life is very different. It's all about the zone members, lots of time needs to be taken to plan, prepare and complete the little tasks that no one else can do and you're only with your companion 4 of the 7 days usually. Instead of being physically and emotionally draining it becomes spiritually and mentally draining and you get SO tired. And it's worth every second.
 He'll do great things out here, just you wait and see :).

Sister Training Leaders here a companion just like District Leaders. I know in other missions you said 2 STLs were together, but that's not how it is here, but our STL is awesome! The only difference between a District Leader and his companion (for what they do) is that the district leader gives district meetings, otherwise the companion does everything else as well. Here they even participate in the District Leader Councils we have three times a transfer. Those meetings couldn't be done without them and thanks to the contribution of all eight members of that council they have been the most spiritual meetings and decisions of my mission.

That's the other nice thing about this zone, not a lot has changed in the past three transfers. We keep making this joke that for the past little while they've been trying to build a tower of cards here in Rotterdam and it keeps falling down. So when they got the placement right and things started moving they said, "STOP! Nobody move! Nobody even breathe!" And thus why only 4 or 5 people have changed since I've been here ;).

Thank you to everyone that reads these, I really hope they help someone, if not, I guess they really help me and that's good too. I think one of my greatest desires in having mom make the blog is so that we don't have to be alone. I can't stand that thought, that anyone has to be alone, thinking they're the only one with no friends and no one going through what they're going through. I just want you to know you aren't alone. There are so many people out there struggling just as hard as we are, even if they don't show it. And if not, know that at very least you've got me.

 I wish I could explain how much I learn from typing these e-mails. It's like that one quote, I know it's the Spirit speaking because I learn right along with everyone else.

Why don't we open up to people more? I'm not saying go about publishing how hard your life is, but if the opportunity comes where someone can be uplifted by your story or empathy don't be afraid to share. We all need each other, now in this day more than ever. In a world where Satan is trying harder and harder to isolate us all, we need to stand with each other and understand each other. I firmly believe that if we truly took the time to understand why the person across from us is the way they are, we couldn't be mad at them. Understanding, compassion and love would fill our hearts till it would take all our energy and effort not to love them, be kind to them and make sure they are taken care of. Isn't that why Christ can be who He is? Isn't that how the Atonement works? He took the time and suffered the price to get to know each of us and our trials personally, the least we can do is try to emulate that. The least we can do is start listening and understanding one another. Life is so sweet when we include our Savior, and when we work to emulate his example. 

LOVE YOU ALL!!! Thanks for your support and your love! Couldn't do it without you!

-Elder Cooper

Culture Note: Traffic lights have a few differences here. 1. When you pull up to the line, the lights are no longer visible. No idea whose idea that was but when you get to a light you have to lean forward and look up to see what color it is. Super annoying, especially if it's a long light. Why not stop further back? I always forget! (face palm :D).
2. Turning right on a red light is a definite no-no. I've gotten used to it here, but I'll probably have a lot of people honking at me when I get back haha!
3. The four way intersections here are HUGE! When you're turning left you just have to follow the lines and take a leap of faith, hoping you end up in the right spot. And don't even get me started on the four or five lane roundabouts! But on the bright side, I can parallel park like a boss now! :) Weak things becoming strong all over the place!!!!


Monday, August 4, 2014


Haha it's funny that you thought of me going back to Alkmaar even though you knew I wouldn't, but you were really close. Elder Corsini got transferred to Alkmaar!!! Such a crazy one because it's like the Rotterdam and Amsterdam zones just keep switching Zone Leaders. Elder Chantry went there from Rotterdam, I went from Alkmaar to Rotterdam and now Corsini is going from Rotterdam to Alkmaar.

Kind of a funny thing there, it's a trend I'm noticing in my life. Heavenly Father likes to keep me in really tight knit circles (which I'm fine with cause that's where I excel) because I've basically been around the same people my entire mission! Obviously I've met a lot of new people and will continue to as well but there are SO many reoccurring characters in my story :) I love it! For example, my new companion is Elder Krebs. I met Elder Krebs and worked with him a lot when I was in Alkmaar and I love that man's guts! He has this awesome gift of being able to expound things, even things that are non-scriptural.  So yeah, we'll have a good time together. Example number two, with this new transfer coming up I will officially be Sister T's zone leader for 5 transfers (or 7 1/2 months)! She was telling me yesterday that I'll be the zone leader she had longest her entire mission. Crazy huh? I could go on but those are the two most obvious ones.

Elder Cooper and Elder Corsini
So, these new transfers...they were kind of rough to swallow at first. 
Catalyst: Elder Corsini is going to Alkmaar. My first thought;  that is MY heart. I love Alkmaar with SO much of my heart, and the people are my family.  It was an incredibly special time of my mission I guess it's hard to share sometimes. :)

Elder Corsini  loves me to death and I love him too so we don't like seeing each other get hurt and somehow, this one hurt me. He knows the effect he has when he goes into cities, he's seen the results his whole mission. He's wary about going there and while he may not have said it I feel like some of the reason is because he knows how I feel about it and how close to them I feel. But he and I both know he is needed in Alkmaar so he can go and do the things the Lord has commanded the way he's been taught.

So that all started swimming through my head yesterday, you can imagine what kind of night I had. Yup, a sleepless one. I eventually did get to bed though :) just had to concentrate all my thoughts on the color black. Worked like a charm.

I know these thought processes are so messed up. They're dripping with pride, self-absorbent and selfishness but hey, it's how I was feeling. I realized exactly what you said, that in having a gift to notice and help others find their strengths, I
often turn it in and find myself inadequate. My strength becomes a weakness. 
haha Funny world! I'm going to be able to process things SO much better because of that! Thanks!  It has helped me to realize what I was doing. My whole goal in life is to do my best and truly be who Heavenly Father needs and wants me to be, sometimes I just struggle to know if I measure up.  On the other side of things it really helped me focus in and just submit to who I am and what I was meant to do. 

The Lord gives us assignments and helps us grow and develop in certain ways so that we can succeed. There are many things I will not do, and I will not change the world, but what I do have a testimony of is that I will have an influence, I just needed to be reminded about where I needed to be looking. 

I honestly believe that and it's something I learned in Almere but had forgotten: all of us have an influence. The only reason we ever feel that we don't or won't is because we're not looking in the right places. It's like looking through binoculars. There can be a HUGE pile of gold right in front of our noses,
but if our binoculars are looking into the empty hole next to it all we'll feel is as if we failed, for we were told to find gold. That's where heaven's perspective comes in. If we allow Him, Heavenly Father will guide us back to a look-out post down the road always. He will point us in the right direction until we can see both the pile of gold and the empty pit. Then Christ will help us figure out how to work the binoculars until we are completely focused upon the gold and it fills our entire vision. That's how it works.

Let's all get our binoculars focused on the gold, at very least that's what I'm going to be doing. Time to stop staring into that empty pit wishing that there would be gold in there and move to the tower. Time to gain an eternal perspective. That's what I'll be praying for, or more specifically I'll be praying to have this perspective and knowledge (especially of who I am and my assignment on this earth) engrained in me; cemented there that it will never leave.

Thank you SO much for supporting me in this :). I truly feel the love from everyone and the influence I am having through your e-mails. They always come at the right times, saying the right things. 
The Zone is doing great and great work is being accomplished. Trials are happening, but the love that people have for one another is evident. 

I LOVED hearing about the wedding :) it sounds SO great! I know I helped Court out and stuff but thanks to her and Tallen my whole perspective on marriage and finding a wife changed. It is of utmost importance that you find someone on your level, that is as motivated as you, to develop together, at the same place and pace. Ideally you should motivate each other to want to be better and together you push each other to become the very best possible. Court and Tallen were perfect examples in that for me. THANKS GUYS! :) 

Grandma and Grandpa Green with
the bride. 
Please send Grandma and Grandpa my love. I think about them a lot and they will be in my prayers. Those three are my heroes. Let them know I love them a TON and thank them for their support for me. Couldn't have done it without them. And no worries, I feel the same kind of love for Grandma and Grandpa Cooper, they have my respect and love too.. I just have great examples all around me, I truly am SO blessed.
The newlyweds made a special visit before the reception
So, I'm good. :) The Lord's got my back and is supporting me so I guess I'll just enjoy it!  I'll just keep moving forward, doing what I do best :). That's what the Lord needs and what I want to do. I truly am learning that everything that I find a bummer or that I wanted to do that got "taken away" was just Heavenly Father expressing His love even more by giving me what I really wanted/needed and could learn from. He knows me that well and I really do love it :)

Thank you for everything! Hope everything keeps going well and that my cardboard cut out still exists when I get back! SUPER excited to check out the rope over the pool haha! Till next week!  Time to go to work. LOVE YOU!

Elder Cooper

Cultural Note: NO AC?! So Europe seems to be behind in a few things. Plumbing and AC are two that really stand out. You may think I am joking but my guess is 90% of homes here in Europe have 0 AC. They rely on open windows and shade to keep things cool. I think it's less of a "they don't know how" and more of a "it's not environmentally friendly" thing but still. It's SO humid here! It's not like Nevada heat where you walk into a wall of heat, it's like it cooks you from the inside out. You feel warm on the inside and like there's an extra layer of clothing on you, and we're so far in the north the humidity is probably not even that bad compared to Florida or Brazil! Guess that's why I'm here and not there huh? haha! :D

***  "Oh something to ask/say as long as you promise you won't get worried. I just think it's funny :)  Guess what my weights done out here? Elders usually gain pound right? I've lost 20 pounds on my mission!!!  I work out, most of the time I have 3 meals a day. I eat eggs or peanut butter sandwiches for lunch. So it's fine right? "