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!
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!
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!!!!