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 :)