Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hey!

Happy early new year! Another year come and gone already. Crazy. Well, I know that I just talked to everyone just a few days ago so I guess I will tell you about how Christmas was in Longmont. Christmas Eve we went over to a family in our ward, the Urquidi's, and it was awesome. Bro. Urquidi is really good at cooking so we had the full Christmas dinner with ham, potatoes, etc. After dinner we made gingerbread houses which I haven't done in forever. Elder Phillips and I even put a couple missionaries tracting in front of it. A home tradition that they did was the chimes! I must say....we sound way better back home, that’s for sure. To kind of end the night we finished by watching "Joy to the World". It was great and we had so much fun.

Christmas Day started early. We went to some members with the other elders for breakfast at 8am. They were kind of an awkward family, but the food was good. We had a brunch at 11am with our members and by the end of that meal we were so full. We then ended up watching them open their Christmas gifts and of course my comp. and I had a tie under the tree for each of us. Right when we left that house we went to another one of our members. They have 4 boys and when we got there, a couple of nerf guns were out for us to use. It was an all out war as soon as we got into the house! More food! We also played a little air hockey and challenged the mom and dad to foose ball! Elder Phillips won 2 times in a row. It made up for losing to them when I was with Elder Henson. Rad Christmas!

Now on to the new year and it is going to be a crazy one!

Elder Cooper

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

12-20-10

Merry Christmas!

How is everything back home in San Diego? Things have been going really well this past week. So, I might have told you this before but we have been giving the task to tract out the ward boundaries by the end of the year and when I was with Elder Henson we kind of were slackers. Elder Phillips and I have been tracting about every day for about three hours each time! It’s humbling because I am not a huge fan of tracting. The blessings have been coming from it though. We have been able to find a lot of potential investigators which is what this ward really needs.

This week is week 5 of the transfer which means that my trainee is going to be the senior companion. That means that he is going to take charge in just about everything that we do. I am supposed to help but really I just follow. We will see what happens. I remember when I did that my first transfer and I was all over the place and had no idea what to do.

This last week was our Christmas program at Sacrament and we got roped into being with the choir. It’s the same story as any other ward. There are just not a lot of men that want to sing. It went really well though. So we do have a singer in our ward. His name is Brother Reedy and he sang the best I have ever heard someone sing in a sacrament meeting. This week we have a couple families that we are going to celebrate Christmas with which should be exciting. Today we get to watch some movies like last year. We already watched "The Santa Claus" with Tim Allen. I think we are going to watch a few more too since this is a once a year thing.

It has been a great year and I love being a missionary.

Elder Cooper

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hey everyone!

This past week was awesome! I think I say that every week. That is just how missionary work is. It is crazy and sad to think that I now have less than 9 months left. I don't know what happened. As far as investigators, we have one that has really been progressing. His name is Josh and he has now been going to church for the last 3 weeks which means that he can now be baptized! We have talked with him about it and we are hoping to commit him this week. We really want to see him baptized by the end of the year. We just found out from our stake president went to a meeting with the mission president because there are really not a lot of missionaries to go around they might be taking missionaries out of unproductive areas. Since the ward that we are in now has not seen a baptism in 3 years, we fall in that category. All the more reason to see Josh baptized by the end of the transfer. We have been working really hard with finding people. All extra time has been dedicated to that. We found a new investigator this week which is the first one since I got here 4 months ago! It was awesome.

This past week we went to the temple which was rad because it has been awhile since I went. It was my comps turn that we used and I've got a turn coming up at the beginning of the year. We just ended up doing a session but there is something that the temple brings.....it was great.

This upcoming week is our Christmas Devotional. It actually will be tomorrow so we will be getting together with the north half of the mission up in Loveland. I'm excited to see old friends. Other than that, Christmas is just around the corner and I totally got Grandma Cooper's box. Too bad there was a note not to open until Christmas. Do you know how much an unopened box is a temptation? The weather has been awesome too. It has been a little chilly but no snow! Prayers are answered!

Elder Cooper

Monday, December 6, 2010

Zone Conference 12-2-10


Back row (left to right): E. Regnier, E. Edwards, E. Searle, E. Moore, Me, E. Allen, E. Mose, E. Berg, E. Seime, E. Richardson

Front row (left to right): E. Mena, E. Phillips, E. Scotto, E. Macheknie

Happy December

Hello Everybody!

I can't believe that it is December already. Time does go by fast that is for sure. It is kind of sad because a lot of my missionary buddies are all going home. That must mean I'm getting old. Out of my 9 companions, 4 have gone home already and I think one of them is gearing up to get married soon.

So this last week was great. We had our zone conference this past Thursday out in Greeley Colorado which just made me want to go back and serve there. I probably shouldn't be picking favorite places where I have served, but that one was. So, at the beginning of zone conference we have reviews on the trainings that we have been receiving over the last couple months and Pres. Ely will call on random companionships to do those reviews. It is pretty obvious the groups that he picks. They are usually companionships that have new missionaries and since I'm training....sure enough we went up there and presented a 10 minute review to about 60 missionaries. It went well though. What was funny is that my companion didn't even receive that training yet. The rest of conference was listening to departing missionaries’ testimonies and a couple of other trainings. Pres. Ely took some time to talk about the new handbook of instructions that got past out at the worldwide leadership training and how we don't have to go meetings anymore!

This past Saturday was the Christmas party for our ward as well. It was fondue. It was kind of a cool idea but it was also kind of lame. It probably had to do with the fact that that was our dinner and I was still hungry when we left. They didn't have Santa either or a nativity. They played a movie in some other room in the building instead. There was a lot of people but maybe not as many as back home.

This Sunday was pretty cool too. We have been teaching a guy named Josh and he has now come to church 2 weeks in a row. The first week he only came for 2 of the 3 hours, but this last Sunday he came for all 3! At first I was a little bit nervous being fast and testimony meeting but things went smooth so it was all good. We are hoping to see if we can get him baptized by the end of the year and we already talked about baptism with him a couple of times so he knows our purpose. Sometimes when you go into a new area the missionaries before never talk about it so the investigator is shocked when you bring it up, so I don't want that to happen. We also have 2 potential investigator lessons this week so hopefully they go through.

Elder Cooper

Monday, November 29, 2010

My new companion - Elder Phillips



Hey,

Wow, week one of training done. This week went really well. What I didn't realize is how much missionaries know after they have been out awhile compared to missionaries who are right out of the MTC. At first it was kind of frustrating because you expect your trainee to pick up on everything all at once. I just look back and realize that I was in the same situation back when I first started. So things have been good though. Elder Phillips is a pretty quiet guy but he isn't going to be difficult to train. He definitely has a desire to do missionary work which is always a good thing. It was actually kind of funny....his first street contact didn't speak English. That is what happened to me too. I was cracking up.

Our thanksgiving was great this past week. We went to “Five Guys” before Thanksgiving Day so I don't know why it showed up on the 25th. For Thanksgiving we went to 3 different members to eat. The first meal was just kind of to get us started. The second one was the full blown meal and man it was so good! The last family was dessert and they made like 7 pies. It was pretty rad.

This past week we also had a cool experience. We stopped by an investigator who I thought was not very interested. In fact that is why we went over there at first...to find out if we were going to drop him or not. We were going to leave a commitment to read and pray about the book of Mormon and his response was "I've already done that". I was thinking "Oh, boy what does that mean?" He went on to say that he knew it was true so we invited him to be baptized and.....he said that he would have to think about it. It was still cool though and then he went to church the next day which is huge for this area.

Holy cow it is getting cold....

Elder Cooper

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

So this past week has been just as crazy and the exciting news is that this transfer I'm TRAINING! So, I got the call that I was training on Friday this past week. I'm still in the same ward with the new missionary. His name is Elder Phillips. He is from New Hampshire and once again from a tiny town somewhere. He is also like my companion before in the fact that he graduated this year from high school. That makes me feel kind of old. What also made me feel old is that when we went down to Broomfield to meet the new elders I didn't know the other elders that were training either. Most of the trainers this transfer have been out somewhere between 6 and 12 months. Yeah, so when you train they don't tell you who your companion is going to be until you meet him. Today has been crazy busy though and I'm super excited to see what happens this transfer and being with a new missionary totally relights a fire to do missionary work. Elder Henson (last comp.) went to the Denver North Stake which is down in the Brighton area.

As far as our investigator goes, we were actually not able to meet with her this last week and we probably will not be able to meet with her this week as well with the holidays. We need her to get to church this Sunday though and I think that she is planning on coming.

We have a couple of dinner appointments for Thanksgiving this week. Well, just one big one and then we are going to another member’s house for pie later so it should be pretty awesome. It is just going to be a crazy busy transfer with Christmas and New Years in it as well. It also makes it kind of difficult to set up appointments with people though.

Elder Cooper

Monday, November 15, 2010

So, this is the last week of the transfer again. I have a feeling that something is going to happen but we will see. Not too much has been going on in the last week, just trying to find people to teach. We had an awesome lesson though with one of our investigators though. We went in wanting to talk about baptism and we did, but the spirit was super strong. She is unsure about baptism and we were on exchanges so our district leader was with us, but at one point we each took a turn to pray and it had to be one of the most powerful appointments that I have been in. She said that she was going to think about it and have an answer for us next week when we go over.

This past week it snowed as well for the first time. A couple weeks ago I was thinking to myself how nice Colorado was and that I could possibly live here. When the snow rolled around I realized why I couldn't and that I had forgotten how much I don't like cold weather. This next transfer will have Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years all in it so we are going to have all sorts of fun activities. I'm excited. I still couldn't think of anything really for Christmas other than a couple cool paisley ties and a visa gift card or something. I am trying to reduce the amount of stuff I have in my suitcases.

Hope things are going well.

Elder Cooper

Monday, November 8, 2010

11-8-10

Hey,

Yeah, this week has been pretty good. I can't believe that I only have 2 more weeks until the transfer is over. I think that something is going to happen, I just don't know what yet. So this past week has been great weather and even today is nice but there is a storm coming in tomorrow so that might be the end of sunny days. I am just glad that it went this long with nice weather unlike last year when winter started the first week on October. The work has been pretty good but we are still having trouble finding new investigators. The investigators that we did have are starting to disappear. I might have told you this last Monday but a part member family that we have been working with is moving this weekend. They are just moving into the next ward over from ours. We know the elders and they will do good. It is amazing the love that you can have for people that you sometimes hardly know or know at all.

Not too much out of the ordinary happened this past week. We had a general priesthood session yesterday and it was all about missionary work. We ended up singing Called to Serve. On the way home Elder Henson was riding his bike in front of me and he caught the curb wrong and took a pretty good spill. It was good that he was wearing a helmet because he cracked it in 2 places. He will have to end up having to get a new helmet now.

That is a lot of elders in one ward even if they cover the singles branch. A lot of singles wards up here have two sets of missionaries. Usually one is a set of sisters. As for Christmas I didn't really think of anything. Maybe a couple of sweet paisley ties. Other than that there is not much that I can think of. Most likely the mission will send those notes again. Depending if I get transferred next transfer I will just give you the address of where I'm living so it will get sent straight to me. That is super exciting about another girl! It’s going to be weird coming back to family that I have never seen before.

Elder Cooper

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hey,

So this past week was pretty good. It is weird to repeat holidays on the mission knowing that the next time the holiday rolls around you will be home (I'm not trunky). Just like last year we had to go in at 6pm instead of the normal 9pm. I just wrote a couple letters, read a little and then went to bed. On Saturday we had the trunk or treat which was pretty awesome and because it was combined with another ward it was packed. We decorated the Spanish elders’ trunk. One of the other elders got creative and we did a missionary bike accident for our display. It was pretty hilarious. I did get Allies box too on Saturday or Friday so THANK YOU.

So yea, I have seen just about all of those missionary DVDs that you are talking about. We use them in our district meetings for trainings. That is the second set of DVDs that have come out. The first ones were not as good. The first ones seem to be almost scripted. These are pretty good but could just be a little bit more realistic. It is cool to see a little bit of home too.

This past week we haven't had any snow yet. It has actually been sunny and really nice. I'm glad that winter has decided to come later this year. Maybe it will be okay until next transfer. Who knows....

So, something that was pretty awesome happened this past week. We had a zone fast on Wednesday and we were not having a good week. We were not able to teach any of our investigators, we didn't find anyone, and one part member family that we have been working with basically dropped us. So, going into Sunday I was kind of bummed, but to our surprise one other part member families showed up at church without us even knowing! It was pretty rad. Maybe it is just chance, not....fasting works.

As far as Christmas I will have to think. I was thinking this year just a visa gift card but that is a little bit boring. We will see.

Elder Cooper

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10-25-10

Hey,

This past week went pretty well. As far as the work is going, the investigator that came to church the week before didn't come to church this week because she had the flu. That has been going around since it’s getting closer to winter. This past week though one of our biggest accomplishments is that we were able to get 20 total lessons taught during the week. That is what we shoot for every week but we never get there. It has been getting colder and colder every day but it has yet to snow in town, thank goodness. It looks like winter will come a little bit later than last year. Interviews went well and it is always nice to get instruction from the mission pres. He has been really happy with the progress that I have made especially in the last couple of months. I also got to talk to him about my comp who is still kind of homesick among other things. It was great. Today we actually went to Estes Park which is just west of Longmont. It was awesome except it was snowing up there. We visited the Stanley Hotel and a couple of other places.

Oh yea, I got Grandma Cooper’s card, THANKS GRANDMA and GRANDPA. Speaking of mail, I got an interesting letter in the mail this last week. I know that a lot of my friends are engaged if not married that were up at BYUI but this past week was the first time that I got a wedding invitation. It was pretty funny. This week we have the trunk or treat and of course on Sunday we have to be in at 6pm. It’s kind of a bummer because Sunday is usually the busy day of the week for us.

I am trying to think what else is going on this week but I can't think of anything. Hope all is well at home.

Elder Cooper

Monday, October 18, 2010

More pictures




Pictures....




Hello everybody,

This past week was pretty good. Probably the most exciting thing that happened this past week was that we were able to finally get one of our investigators to church! That has not happened since I got here. Now, she just has to make it a habit. She only came for sacrament meeting but it was a huge step that is for sure. So, to answer your questions… As far as smokers in our mission (which just so happens that I have never dealt with that situation really) I think that it is a week but that might be completely wrong. I still have my big coat but last week at Target I bought a light waterproof jacket instead of wearing the big heavy one (Plus, wool coats don't smell very good when wet). I also got some gloves and earmuffs. So, I am now fully prepared for winter. This next week is interviews with pres. It is weird not having interviews every transfer. The last interviews were when I was in Greeley. They are quarterly now. Other than that things have been pretty much the same. Halloween is just around the corner and to think that by the end of next transfer, it will be a new year. 2011! Wow, that came up fast. Oh another thing that we did this past week was we went to a murder mystery dinner activity. This is now the second one that I have been to since I have been out on my mission so I guess they are pretty popular here in Colorado. Oh, and missionaries with cars… I think about half the missionaries in the mission are in cars. There are only 2 bike companionships in Longmont and we are one of them. I don't think that Elder Henson and I will be together for another transfer after this so we will see what happens in 5 weeks.

Elder Cooper

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

10-11-10
Hello Everyone,

So the big news is....I'm staying in Longmont. My companion is staying too and to be honest, I have mixed feelings about that. I hope this next transfer is a little smoother than the last. We really want to see a baptism. This ward needs it. It has been 3 years since their last convert baptism. This past week has been alright. It is getting colder now and I can definitely tell that winter is on its way.

So, here is a crazy thing that happened this past week. We got a referral from church headquarters on our cell phone early in the week for someone who was interested in the church. We called him and set an appointment up for Thursday and everything. We found out by talking to him on the phone that he didn't send anything in but he would be happy to meet with us. Well Thursday a half and hour before the appointment we were helping a family in our ward set up the volleyball nets up at the church. My companion just out of the blue asked if they knew this person that we were about to go see. Well, they knew him alright.....from the newspaper. Apparently just recently he was put in jail for some really creepy and awkward stuff. We decided not to go to the appointment for several reasons. The fact that my companion just so happened to mention his name and it just so happened that the family knew who he was… I don't think that it was random.

Oh, this last weekend was also nice with general conference. It is scary how fast time has gone by. Now, I'm 13 months out! Scott left the MTC today I think. He will be a good missionary that is for sure.

That is a bummer about Wingnut. Are you planning on another cat or no. I say there should always be a cat in the house.


Elder Cooper

Monday, October 4, 2010

New mission home address

If you are sending a letter or package to Jacob, please us this new address after October 20th.

Elder Cooper
Colorado Denver North Mission
1250 Main Street
Broomfield, Colorado 80020
10-4-10
Hey, how is everything going? Looks like this week will be another wrap up for the transfer. Transfers seemed to go pretty slow at first but now it’s hard to keep track of which one that I am on. This last week was pretty rad, especially with General Conference. It is always nice to have a little breather as a missionary every once in awhile and that is why conference is so great. Plus, we get to hear some amazing talks that’s for sure. Of course, priesthood session was my favorite, but I also seemed to like Saturday’s session more than the Sunday sessions. We also watched it with the member who houses us so it was nice to sit on a couch instead of at the stake center.

As far as transfers, I'm not sure what is going to happen. Things have been going kind of up and down with my companion so we will see come this Friday. Today is pretty exciting because we are going over to a member’s house for dinner and she is bringing a non-member co-worker. This is the first member referral since I have been in this area. Also, the part member family that came to church last week we were not able to get a hold of yet so we will see where that goes this week.

I don't know what happened to my bike a few weeks ago. I noticed that it was getting harder and harder to pedal and it made me think of the first time that my axle broke and sure enough when I took off the back tire it was broken again. I think it has to do with going up curbs or something.

I had an interesting experience 2 nights ago. I was laying in my bed thinking about the past year and for the first time on my mission I realized that I am not ready to go home. I know that is 11 months from now, but the feeling just made me want to get up, get dressed and go do missionary work even though by that point it was around 11. It is just what I needed. The Lord really knows me and never has a problem taking the time to help me grow.

Elder Cooper

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

9-27-10
Hey, how is it going back home? Things have been going good up here so far and it is crazy to think that there is only 2 more weeks left in the transfer. So, I was going to mention some things in this email but I left my planner in the car that had the list. I have had a few expenses these past couple weeks that have been kind of a bummer. I broke my back axle on my bike again and it ended up costing me just about 30 bucks and yes I got the letter from grandma which came right in time for that. THANK YOU GRANDMA COOPER! Oh and my p-day shoes (my vans) last week completely ripped in half so good thing it is the beginning of the month so I can buy new shoes next Monday. I was also curious about David Carlson. Is he still working on getting his papers in. Now, Elder Sadlier is in the MTC which is super exciting and he sounded like he was really pumped to go before he left.

I found out also that a couple weeks ago a lady in my first area that I was in that I taught got BAPTIZED! That is always cool to here about after you have left an area that things are still going forward. So this last week we had something cool happen. We have been working with this inactive member of our ward who has been struggling for awhile with getting a testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon (last 18 years). Well, he and his wife attended church this last Sunday which was awesome and his wife might take the lessons. She actually might be a member. When she was younger her mom got her baptized in several churches I guess to cover all the bases so she might have been baptized in our church too. If so great, but it would also be cool if she wasn't a member too. A baptism is really what this ward needs. They haven't seen one in like 3 years so I really think that this could be the spark that gets the ward thinking about missionary work.

Other than that things have been about the same. I am super excited for general conference this next week. It’s a nice weekend as a missionary to sit back and listen to the brethren speak. I can't believe how old Lucy looks now and I hope everything goes better with Grandpa. He is in my prayers.

Elder Cooper

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hey,
So this last week was pretty good. Things have been going well with my comp and we seem to getting along better. We had stake conference this past Sunday too and it was a broadcast from Salt Lake so we got to hear from Elder Hallstrom, Sister Cook, Elder Perry, and Elder Utchdorf. It was pretty awesome except it was hard to hear them speak sometimes because the feed from the satellite was pretty bad.

The area I am in is pretty SWEET too. We don't have a ton of investigators right now but the investigators that we do have are so close to baptism! I can just feel it. One of them is a single lady who is living with her boyfriend but the other day she told us that as soon as she can find a job she’s moving out. The other one is a part member family and the husband is the non member. They are about to have a child and he will do anything for his family. Shouldn't be the main reason for baptism but it is a strong motivator. The cool thing is, he wasn't sure that he believed in God so we asked him to pray and ask if he even exists. The other day he said he was having a stressful day and he prayed for peace and comfort, and guess what....his prayer was ANSWERED! I would have to say that is proof that there is a loving Heavenly Father who is watching over us.

I hope that everything goes alright with Grandpa Cooper. My last companion’s grandfather is going through the same thing or went through the same thing...one of the two. Anyway, it’s good that it is treatable.

Hope all is well and go CHARGERS even if the game was not shown on TV.

Elder Cooper

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A letter from a member in Colorado

This note arrived at our home last week....Made my week!!!

Brother and Sister Cooper,
I live in Berthoud, Colorado where your son recently served and I just wanted to drop you a quick note to tell you what a wonderful missionary he is! We had Elder Cooper in our home on several occasions and was touched and uplifted each time. His testimony is strong and his desire to serve is such a wonderful example. The love he feels for our Savior is evident in all he does. We were so touched by his spirit and his willingness to do what the Lord wants him to do, to seek and to teach. Each message he left us with was filled with the spirit and confirmed the love our Heavenly Father has for each of us. Thank you for your sacrifice and willingness to share your son with us. Elder Cooper was a joy to have in our home. We will miss him.

Love, Sister Lin Morgan
Hey everyone,

Yea, so this past week was pretty awesome. Nothing in particular but it was just overall a better week. So, there have been some fires too. The first week was in Boulder, just south of us, and it wasn't too bad where we were, not like back home when we had the fires. There is one going on right now just west of Loveland so it looks like Longmont will be safe for now. Oh and I have to tell you, the family sweatshirt curse struck me today. We were in Ross and I ended up buying a sweatshirt. I don't know what came over me.

Anyways, this past week we had zone conference and normally zone conferences can be kind of long and tiring, but something was different at this zone conference. The spirit was super strong and we really focused on how we can improve as a mission. It just so happens that it was right on my year mark so it was a great way to kick off the new mission year. They also showed a video of missionaries for our training and guess where it was filmed.....San Diego! I’m not going to lie, it made me a little trunky. All they had to do is show one clip of the beach....

Other than that, things have been going pretty well. We have been trying to get the ward to really focus on the ward mission plan because missionary work in the ward is struggling and I feel that everyone is on a different page. My companion and I are getting along a lot better than the first week and now it isn't a matter of "Please let these 6 weeks hurry". So, normally missionaries burn a shirt at the year mark but I didn't really feel like it. The tie burning at 6 months wasn't super exciting and I decided that I wanted to keep the shirts that I have. As far as things that I need....not this transfer but next transfer I might need some new gloves and earmuffs because next month is when it starts getting cold again!

Elder Cooper

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

You were right. Yesterday was a holiday so we are just now getting the opportunity to do our emails. Things have been pretty good. Sorry, but I forgot about getting the address again, next week for sure. So, to tell you a little bit about Longmont… Our ward is on the east edge of town and we are on bikes. I have never been in an area with as many hills as here. It gets a little tiring after a while but it is not too bad. It is an interesting ward because it goes from low income areas to really high expensive areas all in the same ward. The place we live at is more on the Hispanic side of town. We live with a single guy, but he has been out of town since I got here so I haven't officially met him yet. Elder Henson, I might have told you already, is from Buhl, Idaho. It is by Twin Falls I believe. Things were a little rocky at first but they are starting to smooth out. He is willing to work which is great and I am glad that I have never had a companion where that was an issue. We have a few investigators, some I feel are semi close to baptism....maybe. None are set and we have been having a hard time getting a hold of a lot of them. This last week was also super slow because we didn't really have any scheduled appointments for whatever reason but we have been super busy this week which is good. This week we have zone conference which is nice and this is the last zone conference before we switch it to having one every other transfer.

It is crazy to think that it is 1 day from my year mark and I have been thinking a lot about how I have changed and how limited my time is left on the mission. I'm so grateful that I have been given such a wonderful, once in a lifetime, opportunity to do so, and can't wait to see what happens in year 2.

Elder Cooper

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I got tranferred again!

Hello everyone!

Hey, so sorry this is a day late but....I got transferred again! This time it is to Longmont, Colorado which is right below Berthoud and is a pretty big town. What happened was there are not as many missionaries coming out as there are going home this transfer and I'm guessing because Berthoud is so small...it’s the first to go. The zone leaders are actually going to be the elders for Berthoud Ward now. I was a little bit bummed because things were going pretty good and it felt that I just unpacked but when it is time, it is time. So I am in the Union Ward in Longmont. I'm follow up training with an elder who has only been out a transfer. His name is Elder Henson. He is from Buhl Idaho. First impressions, to be honest, were not so good. He just got out of high school like 3 months ago and he is still kind of immature if you know what I mean. We will see how it goes. We live with a single guy who I have not met because he is out of town right now (I haven't been able to write down our address yet either). Unfortunately my bedding, pillow, and helmet went missing during transfers so I'm trying to find where they went. I was able to get a spare helmet for now though. It is super weird going back to a big town after being in Berthoud for 6 weeks.

So funny story... this last Sunday I gave a talk in church. I wrote it on Tuesday last week and by Saturday I could not find the binder that I put it in. It wasn't at the house so it either had to be in the zone leader’s car or at the church. Well, Sunday morning we called the zone leaders and they couldn't find it. I thought for sure that it would be at the church then. When we got at the church it was nowhere to be found. That is when panic set in and my heart dropped. That is when the silent prayers started up as well. I called the zone leaders one more time to check the car and behind just about everything....there was the binder.

What also is cool about Longmont is that I know just about all the elders in the district (one of them I lived in the farmhouse with in Greeley and Elder Tuiasosopo (former comp in Greeley) is the zone leader here so it should be a fun transfer. The first couple weeks are a little difficult to get adjusted.

Elder Cooper

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hey everyone,

To answer your question about the bike, I was being stupid. That is usually how missionary bike accidents happen. There is a BMX track right next to the church so 4 of us missionaries decided that it would be a good idea to check it out on p-day with our wonderful mountain bikes. Sure enough we said "Let’s race". The third go around I ended up eating it on one of the jumps. I went right over the handlebars. I only got a few small scrapes. yea....

So this past week was good. We taught a new investigator. She is a theology major so we are not sure what her true motives are yet but we will see. We also have another appointment with a potential investigator this week that was given to us by a member so we are super excited for that one. The bummer about this past week is once again none of our investigators made it to church again. Even when we contact them the night before they still seem to not make it.

On Saturday some members took us out to lunch and of course my stomach started to hurt so we went back to the church after to use the restroom and after, when we were just about to leave, a mouse ran into the kitchen where we were! We stood there for a minute trying to decide whether to pretend we didn't see it or to take care of it ourselves. We ended up spending the next 20 minutes to take care of it ourselves. We didn't kill it. We ended up sweeping it outside. We got it on camera too. It was hilarious.

Other than that it has pretty much been the same kind of missionary work. I can't believe that this transfer is already over at the end of this week and that the half way point is in 2. For some reason I feel that I will be getting transferred but I don't know why. I have been right so far. We will just have to wait and see what happens.

Elder Cooper

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

8-16-10
Hello everyone,
So, that is so weird that you had that dream after talking about coming to Colorado towards the end of my mission. In our ward is a German family and their son is serving in Germany right now. Actually he is serving in his dads hometown which is pretty cool. The family just left to go there and they didn't have time to tell their son so they are going to show up at his last Sunday at church. A couple elders and I were talking about it and how much we would not want our families to do that. It is kind of interesting that you had a dream that totally related to that.
This past week has had some ups and downs. We went to the temple Tuesday and of course it was a pleasant experience. Actually something different happened this time when we went. Normally all of the distractions and things leave when I enter the temple, but this time even during and after the session I was super distracted thinking about our area and some of our investigators and I was having a hard time focusing. It wasn't until we went and did some sealings that I was able to really focus and feel the full force of the spirit that the temple brings. It was still a great experience but just different.
So, the investigator that we had set for baptism for this Saturday is not going to happen. He is almost there and we are all hoping and praying that he comes around. I feel that it’s that he doesn't yet have a solid testimony in the book of Mormon and he kind of expressed that in our meeting that we had with him last night. We ended up giving him the talk "Safety for the Soul" by Elder Holland. He is an awesome guy he just is having a hard time recognizing the spirit.
Some other things that have happened have to do a lot with my bike. So part of last prep day we went to some, well, let’s just say that I fell. Nothing bad, just a couple of scrapes. But this past week I have been getting a ton of flat tires. It’s those stinking goat heads. So, these members put a brand new tube in for me and the next day when I went to go ride it the tube was flat again. I flipped it over and there was slime from the tube everywhere. The tube ended up having a dime sized gash in it and we have no idea on how it happened.
Hope things are great and that is super rad that Brittany is going to have a baby!
Elder Cooper

Monday, August 9, 2010

Hey Family,

This past week was pretty good. Not as eventful as maybe the previous weeks but it was still great. The downfall of this week is the fact that we ended up dropping 2 of our small pool of 5 investigators. One was a pagan guy that we were kind of teaching. When we went there this past week he was pretty up front in telling us that he didn't want to become Mormon and when he read the Book of Mormon, something offended him and he said that he will probably never read it again. He was kind of interesting. He worshipped the goddess Venus and he told us all about it. I never thought that I would teach a pagan worshipper in Berthoud Colorado. The other lady we dropped straight up said that she was not interested when we went to go set up another appointment.

On the bright side we were able to set one of our investigators for baptism on August 21. He has had a date before and it didn't end up happening, but I have a good feeling about this. His mom who lives at his place has been sick and he has just thought about everything a lot more lately so we will see. He is another one of those investigators that have been investigating for over a year.

Tomorrow we will be heading down to Denver to go to the temple again. My companion is using his turn since I just used mine a month ago. His trainer is going home this week and so he is going to be there tomorrow as well. I think he likes his trainer more than me but that is okay. As long as we are getting along and still working it’s all good.

Elder Cooper

8-3-10

Hello Family,

Sounds like things are going well back home. It is interesting that things have been cooler because it has been pretty hot up here. We seem to get a thunderstorm that rolls in mid afternoon almost everyday which actually feels nice when you are on a bike. This past week has been about the same. The good thing about the week is that we were able to meet with a lot of our investigators and other members of our ward. We haven't been able to set anyone for baptism yet (it’s going to happen) and none of our investigators came to church this past Sunday so that was kind of a bummer. A lot of them had random things going on I guess.

This past week we had Zone Conference again for the transfer and I had to give a ten minute training in front of 40 missionaries. Every transfer we focus on 4 topics and review them in the next zone conference so we gave one of those. I was kind of nervous and I was also nervous for my companion Elder Porter but we went over them before the conference and we did all right. There are going to be more changes in the mission now. For example, we will have zone conference quarterly instead of every 6 weeks and that goes for interviews with Pres. Ely too. That’s kind of a bummer, but it will be good. There are a lot more changes but I don't remember a lot of them.

So, we do a lot of tracting in Berthoud and this other day I learned something about having a good attitude and to not get offended. So, we ran into this lady who told us that when she was prego with her 4th child her husband ran off with some Mormon girl and for awhile she hated Mormons because of it. Since then she has had a change of heart as she has met others of our faith to the point where she is no longer bitter about it. A little bit further down the street we ran into this really ticked old man who said that a missionary (not even sure if it was a Mormon missionary) said to him that he was going to hell once and has been holding a grudge ever since and probably won't change. After leaving it just showed me that here is a lady whose husband left her but was still eventually able to forgive and yet here is a man where someone said one stupid thing once that he can't let go. It just made me realize that people are not perfect and make some pretty big mistakes sometimes, but we have to learn to forgive and move forward rather than dwell on the past.

Elder Cooper

Monday, July 26, 2010

Hello Family
This past week was pretty good. I'm in Berthoud, Colorado. So, technically I'm not in Loveland, but it is in the Loveland Stake. It is a way small town. It is kind of like one of those towns where a lot of people know each other and are related if you catch my drift. Okay, so maybe not the related people part but it is a super small town. The Berthoud Ward is pretty nice. The people are kind of on the older side. We have an awesome ward mission leader though which is nice. As far as investigators are concerned we have a few that have been investigating for awhile. We definitely are out knocking on doors everyday though. Being a small town a lot of the people that live here are pretty comfortable with where they are at. The place we live at is really nice and it is about a mile or so out of the main town so we have a little biking trip every morning and evening to get back to the place.
So, Elder Porter. Elder Porter has been out on his mission for 2 months including the MTC and its been interesting but fun because he has the greeny fire. He lives in Eastern Washington...I think the name of the town he lives in is Zilla. Apparently its an even smaller town than Berthoud. So, we are pretty much opposites in just about everything. He went to BYU Provo and likes the drama thing and he wants to go into film. Even though we are completely different it’s been good so far. I'm not going to lie though, Greeley has been my favorite area so far.
So, couple awkward experiences this past week. They pretty much all happened this weekend.
1. We were tracting and we talked to this lady who wasn't really interested but wanted us to pray for her son that was having a rash or something so I got to pray on the front porch of this lady’s house.
2. There was a baptism of an 8 year old girl this weekend that we went to and the extended family of the girl that got baptized found out that I lived in San Diego and they kept trying to set me up with their daughter afterwards. They live a couple hours away from SD I guess.
3. The singles ward meets in the same building as our ward does and I recognized(he did too) this kid from the dorms up at BYU Idaho during winter semester. Awkward thing about it was he was one of the kids that got kicked out of BYU Idaho.
Strange things happen in Berthoud....
Elder Cooper

Monday, July 19, 2010

I'm being transferred!

Hey everyone,
So drum roll please.....I'm being transferred! Yep I was pretty much positive that it was going to happen. I will be serving now in Loveland with Elder Porter. So, I got a call from President Ely on Saturday and was asked to be a senior companion. I haven't met Elder Porter yet and he has only been out on the mission one transfer so this next transfer is going to be interesting. I will be in the Berthoud Ward. That is about all I know as of now. One of my companions, Elder Tuiasosopo, is going to Longmont and Elder Bean is staying in Greeley. I'll see him and the rest of the other elders next week at zone conference though so that will be cool.
As far as money goes, I should be okay now. The problem with the singles ward is that we would never get fed so we had to buy a lot more food. Now I will be back in a family ward where we will get fed every day! Oh, and the other thing that I know about my new area is that I will be on a bike again, but that is okay. To answer your question about plus 1's. Plus 1's are the weekly lessons that we do with members each week. They are usually object lessons and they are called plus 1's because the member is suppose to invite someone to go with them to the lesson, hence plus 1.
It is going to be kind of sad leaving Greeley. I'm going to miss the ward and the farmhouse. I am also pretty excited to see what this next transfer will be like. The weather is pretty weird lately. It has been super hot, in the 90's, and about mid afternoon the weather gets cloudy and it sometimes rains. I don't know if that is normal or not but it has been like that for awhile. Oh, before I forget. When you send something in the future can you send me back my planners that I sent home. Apparently I'm going to need those in the future.
Other than that, not much is going on. The work in the University Ward in Greeley was going pretty well so I hope to hear some good news in the near future with some of the people that are being taught. There is this one girl in particular that we have been teaching for the past month and she set a date for baptism just yesterday. It was rad and we were all pretty pumped.
Elder Cooper

It has been great serving on a college campus...

Hey,
It was good to hear from you this past week. I'm kind of ticked because for some reason I wasn't able to log on to my email and it took 30 mins just to try and fix it. Anyway, I'm on now. Last week of the transfer. Most likely I will be moving this transfer as well so we will see what happens. I'll know Saturday. This past week was great though. Nothing real major happened, but it was still a pretty solid week. My birthday was great. It was pretty much the same as any other day of the week. Some members in the ward did make a pretty sweat cake for me though. It is weird thinking that I'm not a teenager anymore.
We went to the church farm again this past week. This time we were pretty sure that they forgot that we were coming because when we got there they told us that we were going to go to our place where we live and do a little yard work. It is okay though because our place really needed it. There were so many mosquitos that day and I think cutting things down helped because mosquitos like that tall stuff. I have also noticed they haven't been as bad just because it has been pretty warm lately. After we did some yard work though they took us back to the church farm where we went to the grain silos to clean out this pit thing. It was pretty bad. My companions and I definitely ran into some mice and frogs.
As far as the work, it has been going pretty good. One of our investigators we feel is so close to baptism. She feels that she has not received a confirmation yet that this is the one true church. We feel that we have done all we can, but she still feels the same. We are all pretty stumped on that one but we will see. She came to church this past Sunday so that will probably help. It has been great serving on a college campus even if it is during the summer and not as crowded or busy.
Hope things are going good.
Elder Cooper

Monday, July 5, 2010

Thank you everyone for the gifts

So Saturday night after a long day it was so exciting to see a birthday package on the table at the farm house. Thank you everyone for the gifts. The new scriptures are sweet and super light. Some extra spending money helps too. Thanks again. I actually just went and bought a backpack today because my other one is falling apart, but the back pack that I got is too big so I'm going to have to take it back and find another one.
This past week was great. The Denver temple closed today and will be closed until the 20th so President let me use my temple trip early. We went down to the temple on Friday. We spent the whole day down there. We arrived in time to make the 11am session and after we did the session and got something to eat we did some initiatories. It was sweet because it just so happens that 30 or 40 other missionaries from our mission came as well. They all probably had the same idea I guess. The temple was amazing and we had a great time. After we left, we spent some time at the Deseret Book and then went to Red Robin for dinner. One of my companions knew the guy who owned the place and we ended getting 50% off. That was a good day.
The work has been going all right. The ward is picking up as far as inviting and doing missionary work. This past Sunday was the first time that I did a little smack down in our meeting in the morning. It is just frustrating because we have investigators that need fellowship and we feel that there isn't much. This past week we found an investigator though, taught the first lesson right on the porch. The baptisms that we did have scheduled for the 10th of July are not going to happen. We had to bump those dates back. I think that younger people that are investigating sometimes don't know what they are committing to. Only 2 more weeks in the transfer. This transfer by far has gone by the quickest.
The 4th of July, I must admit, was kind of lame. President Ely didn't let us stay out to see fireworks mostly because it was Sunday. Plus, yesterday night there was a freak storm and it rained really hard. Probably the heaviest rain that I have ever seen.
I did hear last week that Scott got his call to the Houston East Mission. Is that the same one that Tommy went to?
Elder Cooper

Monday, June 28, 2010

So, to answer your questions......yep I got 2 brand new pairs of shoes a while ago. It is pretty sweet I must say. My toe is doing a little bit better. I am no longer on crutches. It isn't broken, but the toenail fell off, well, I pulled it off the other day and it looks like I will never have a toenail there ever again! We still have 3 set for baptism and they are all around 18 years old. It is going to be hard for some of those to reach their dates and some have been switched already. They were all set for within this transfer but now it looks like they will be sometime next transfer. Something else that is exciting is that we got a new investigator this last week and she is awesome! She is christian and believes that it wasn't just random that we showed up on her door. We were tracting when we found her. We met with her 3 times this last week! She doesn't have a baptism date because she still wants to pray about it, but I think that she will.
Also this past week we were able to do some serious service at the church farms. They are right next to our house and they grow beans, corn, and wheat. So, we showed up on Saturday in the morning at around 7 and we ended up laying pipe for watering alongside the crops. It is these huge pieces of PVC pipe with holes in it every couple feet that hook up to a water main. We laid that down pretty much the whole time and it wasn't so bad until it started getting hot. After we did that we went to painting the inside of a huge shed which was like a break. We were rewarded with an awesome BBQ for our hard work that made up for everything. I have to admit that it still was probably the most tired that I have ever been on one day on the mission. We went tracting a bit that day too so I was just spent by the time we got home.
This next week is interviews already and we will see what happens. I probably will go this next transfer because most tri-companionships the junior is usually only there for a transfer. We will see though. Last time I thought that I was staying and look what happened.
Elder Cooper

Monday, June 21, 2010

Three baptism dates!

Hi everybody,
How has it been? Things have been going well this past week. So, the first thing that happened this week just so happened to be on Tuesday morning when we were doing our morning exercises. We were using the bench and I was taking off the 45 pound plate on one side. Well, I set it down on the wall and it just so happened that it slid off onto my middle toe. I didn't think that it was that bad, but as I was lifting I realized it hurt a lot more than I thought. I stopped and took off my sock to see that I completely smashed it. We don't think it is broken. It is actually a lot better now that it has been a week, but the toenail is definitely going to fall off. The downfall for the rest of the week is that I was using crutches.
Friday we had our zone conference. That is when my box from missionary mall came. I got two new short sleeve shirts that are name brand so now I have 6 short sleeve. That is plenty. It was just in time too because you are right, it has been way hot lately and being right next to the cattle farms where we live has brought up some smells that I have never thought existed. Zone conference was great! The way it is done is completely different now and it is cool because all of the missionaries are now being taught the same thing. It still was quite a bit of sitting.
Saturday we had to go up to another zone conference. We were recruited to help the senior missionaries with car inspections up in Cheyenne. I was still on crutches then, but I got a job of going through all of the papers that the missionaries were supposed to have in their glove compartments. I couldn't believe how hard it was to get all of there info together!
Sunday, Elder Tuiasosopo was sick so we went home early and that left Elder Bean and I thinking of something to do for the rest of the night. Well, as I have mentioned we live in a dump and so we cleaned out the kitchen and the bathroom and man was it bad! It took us three hours and it looks awesome now, well as awesome as it can get!
So some other awesome news about this past week...Last Sunday( June 13) we had a missionary fireside where we watched Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration and we were able to meet with a couple of the investigators that showed up for that. His name is Christian and he brought his friend to the lesson and now they are both set for baptism! We also taught someone else who is set. Three baptism dates! Let’s hope they all go through. It just goes to show how many different tools we have available to use to bring others into the gospel.
Elder Cooper

Monday, June 14, 2010

Greeley has been awesome!

Well, this past week was my first time outside of Fort Collins. Greeley has been awesome! The one bad thing about Greeley is that it smells like cow poop. My companions and I live in a farm house right past where all the cows are.....So the place that we stay at is owned by the church. We are right out next to church farms so literally it is a farm house. It is so ghetto but its also fun. We have the house to ourselves, well we share the house with the Spanish elders here in Greeley. Being in a singles ward is awesome. Its way cool to work with people that are my age, but also it is really different so it is taking a little while to get used to. We have our own special office at the institute. So, we work on the UNC campus. It is pretty rad, but there are not a ton of people considering that it is summer break. I will probably be here the rest of the 5 weeks of the transfer too. Oh, and for the first time we are in a car, truck actually. So, because I am with the zone leaders we cover all of Greeley but just the young single adults. The ward is pretty cool, bigger than the branch back home. Oh, speaking of that, I met an Andy Rogers(Elder Rogers) who served in our ward like 6 years ago and he remembers us from the Fanita ward. He remembers talking to Tommy as he was getting ready to serve a mission.
My companions are Elder Bean and Elder Tuiasosopo (yep another poly for a comp). Elder Bean is from the Seattle area and has been out like 21 months! He is a pretty cool guy. He went to BYUI for a year before he left as well but I don’t think while I was there. Elder Tuiasosopo is from Hawaii and has been out 18 months. I feel young still but the Spanish elders that stay at the farm house are both younger than me. Elder Tui's (for short) dad played professional football for like 12 years I think on the Redskins. He has 2 cousins that are playing professional football right now as well, one on the Raiders and I can't remember the other. That’s what he wants to end up doing I think. He is like 315 pounds and can bench like 500. Yeah.......
This past week was great. I think that the best thing about the week was that we had a missionary fireside on Sunday night and we watched "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" The semi new one they play in the visitor centers. It was so good even though I have seen it 5 times. We had like 4 non members and several less actives and I think that they really enjoyed it and we will see good things come about.

So, new address....
25707 County Road 60 ½
Greeley, CO 80631


Elder Cooper

Monday, June 7, 2010

My 9 month reign in Fort Collins is over...

Hey everyone,
So, I officially got transferred! My 9 month reign in Fort Collins is over. I got a call from President on Saturday around 4 in the afternoon telling me that I would be transferred and that I was going to be in a tri-companionship with Zone Leaders. So, I'm not a Zone Leader, I'm just a junior companion with the Zone Leaders. It is going to be interesting. I'm going to be heading down to Greeley, Colorado today. So, to give you a little background on Greeley, Colorado...it is stinky. There are a couple slaughter houses there that makes the whole town stink. It’s all good though. On top of that I will be with the Zone Leaders in the singles ward down there. So, President Ely told me that I am going to really have to focus. I'm super excited! I think it is going to be a blast.
So, one of the reasons for the tri-companionship is that I believe that there is an odd number of missionaries out in the field right now. Most likely I won't stay there a long time, no more than a transfer. If a missionary goes home early or one comes out in the middle of the transfer I think I will most likely fill the vacant spot, but who knows.
Other than that not much else happened this week. I said a lot of goodbyes yesterday. I wish I could skip that haha. It can be kind of awkward sometimes.
This next transfer I feel that I am going to learn a lot. I felt that I was getting a little too comfortable up here so I'm glad that I'm going somewhere new to change things up a bit.
Elder Cooper

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

So this past week was great! Things have been a little bit slow though. I was kind of afraid that it was going to eventually happen when I first got here. It has been tough finding people to teach. Anyway this past week was still good. So the library was closed yesterday so sorry that this got a little delayed.

All I can say is that box last week was awesome! So that retainer needs to be adjusted but because Bishop Allen is a dentist he can fix it. I haven't got my suit yet from the tailors. I will pick it up this Friday just in time for the end of transfers. I don't know if I will be moving but there will definitly be a lot of changes in the zone and in the mission. About 20 new missionaries are coming in!

One of the interesting things that happened last week is we had a dinner appointment with a family and we ended up going to their neighbor's, who are Muslim, for dinner. The wife converted from being Catholic and her sister just happens to be Mormon. Her sister lives in Utah though, I think. Anyway there were 2 people from Egypt there and their son-in-law who is originally from Pakistan. It was an awesome Middle Eastern feast!. It was also interesting to understand a little bit more about the cuture and different views on the world/politics/religon. Basically, Elder Smith and I kept our mouths shut the whole time, haha.

We also helped a non-member family move this week. It was the relief society's friends and they could be interested so we are pretty excited to see where that will take us. The move was hard though. They had some heavy stuff and nothing seemed to be packed. We were there for 3 hours on Friday and like 4 hours on Saturday.

One more week until transfers and 9 months....wow

Elder Cooper

Monday, May 24, 2010

Hello Hello,

This week was pretty typical. We had interviews with president and he said that I most likely will be staying another transfer in the ward I am in but that is not set in stone. I still think that something will happen. Elder Smith had a dream last night that I was going to be transferred so who knows, haha. The work this week was kind of slow. I blame it on graduation. Everyone graduated from high school this past week so everyone was busy doing stuff and we got shot down on appointments. We actually went to a graduation party this past Saturday. It was our ward mission leaders daughter's grad party and it just made me feel old. It's been 2 years now since I was last in hight school. Yikes! All of the high schoolers that were there looked really young but it was good that there were older people from the ward there to balance it out.

There aren't any huge events this week. Just winding down on another transfer. A lot of the missionaries in Fort Collins could be leaving next transfer. There is one other missionary that has been in Fort Collins as long as I have and so we joke around about it. In fact, we had a zone lunch thing where the stake president talked to us and the other missionary and I noticed that it was a very similar talk that he gave to us like 7 months ago.

So that's it for this week. Hope things are going good!

Elder Cooper

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Email from the Bishop Allen

Dear Brother and Sister Cooper
My name is Ken Allen. I am the bishop of the Taft Canyon Ward in Fort Collins, Colorado. Your son is currently serving in our ward. I just wanted to send you a quick note to let you know how impressed I am with your son. Elder Cooper is very studious and has learned how to be an effective teacher. He and his companion, Elder Smith, have been working hard and have been a great blessing to our ward. Thank you for teaching him and encouraging his missionary service. It is a great blessing in our lives! Ken Allen

Baptism on Saturday

5-17-10

So, this past week was pretty awesome. The baptism was this past Saturday and it went really well. Kyle's dad baptized him which was pretty cool considering that his dad has only been active for about a couple months. A lot of his family was there which was awesome because his mom and grandma are not members and you could definitely see the spirit working on them. It was probably the most emotional baptism (I wasn't emotional but Kyle's whole family was). Anyway, it went really well and Elder Smith and I spoke while they were getting changed. Another cool thing about the baptism is our other investigator, Robert, came.

The next day at church was great too as Kyle got confirmed by his grandfather who I knew because he lives in the Parkwood ward where I was serving before. Our other investigator met with the bishop as well which was really good so I have this feeling that he will be baptized before the end of this transfer. We will see. Overall it was just a solid weekend.

Other than that not much else happened. We actually got a new investigator this week. It is a part member family. It is the husband of the daughter of the people that we are living with. He is Catholic and a really cool guy. We just started teaching him and he seems to enjoy it.

Tomorrow is interviews so we will see if President Ely drops any hints as far as if I will be moving at the end of this transfer or if I will get put into a new position (i.e. senior comp). We will see. I like being a junior companion because I get to focus all of my attention on the work.

Tell Tommy and Dad good luck on the 100 mile ride!

Elder Cooper

Monday, May 10, 2010

Hey!
It was good to talk to everyone yesterday! Things have been really great and it is crazy to think that the next time I call home will be in 8 months! Other than that not much else is going on other than everything that was mentioned on the phone yesterday. This next week will be exciting with the baptism. It is amazing to think that it has been 8 months since I left home. Their have been so many cool experiences that I have been able to take away that will help me the rest of my life. It is also awesome to have a family who is supporting me in all that I do. It was great once again to talk yesterday. Hope all is going well.

Elder Cooper

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A few more pictures




Pictures!
















5-3-10


This last week has been pretty interesting. It started with a move that we helped out with on Tuesday. We helped this family who is less active and not in our ward move with the other elders and when we finally got to the house to load up the moving truck we realized that nothing had been packed and it was one of the dirtiest houses that I have been in. I know I like things organized but I'm serious when I say that this house was gross! It is okay though. The family was really grateful that we were there because it was just us 4 missionaries helping. This Thursday was the mission tour where Elder Grow came to visit us. It was awesome. Most of the meeting was the zone leaders/Pres. Ely/Elder Grow explaining changes in the mission. The issue is that our mission has been kind of on a plateau and we want to see the success to continue to grow. There are a lot of changes, but nothing really huge. It will take some time to adjust to it. The only downfall of the meeting was the fact that we got there at 8:00am and didn't leave till 5:30pm. That is a long time to sit on the church benches. That evening though we went to go over and teach the 11 year old that we have been seeing and we set a baptism date for the 15th of May! Its pretty exciting to be apart of teaching and seeing someone get baptized again. We are hoping the dad who just recently started coming back to church will baptize him, but if not it will most likely be the kids grandfather who just happens to be in the last ward that I served in. We have a couple of other investigators so we will see what else might happen this month. Other than that the rest of the week was pretty normal and there isn't any big events other than Sunday when I get to call!

Elder Cooper

Monday, April 26, 2010

Four investigators at church!

Hello family,
This week was awesome! It was a great way to end the transfer. It looks like I will be staying here for another 6 weeks. My companion is staying as well and he is now the new district leader which means that I have more meetings to go to now. Our new address 1300 Patterson Place. The people that live here are really cool "The Haynes". They both are retired and the husband is really into political stuff. So if he is not at home or some church function he is at some political thing. Sis. Haynes watches the grandchildren who come over quite a bit because some of their children live in Fort Collins as well.

As far as the work, this past week was really exciting! We started teaching this 11 year old whose dad just came back into activity. The son is pumped and it would be awesome if his dad could baptize him. We also just started teaching this family who was taught like 2 years ago. It is the single mom and her 2 sons. They all came to church this past week too which made things even better. We had another one of our investigators come to church making it 4 investigators at church! That is the first time that has happened on my mission. I guess the only downfall is that it has been kind of cold this past week. Weather in Colorado is really random.

This next week we have another mission tour. Elder C. Scott Grow is coming to speak to us. I think the name is kind of funny, but we are all excited to hear him speak.

As far as Mother’s day, since you are in church from 9:30 to 2:30 it will work out perfectly. I'm in church from 9 to 2 so I can just call sometime in the late afternoon around 4pm if that will work. It feels like I just called! I guess time just goes by really fast. Mother’s day will be my 8 month mark as well.

Hope things are going well.


Elder Cooper

Monday, April 19, 2010

April 19, 2010

So this week has been interesting. This Tuesday my jaw started hurting so I went to our bishop to see what was up and come to find out I was clinching my teeth. He said he would make me a mouth guard, but I thought it was weird that I never needed one before. Wednesday morning I woke up to a super bad sore throat, my tonsils were swollen and covered in white spots and the lymph nodes right below my jaw were swollen. Come to find out it was tonsillitis. I called to see if I could go to the doctor but I was told to just wait it out. It got me kind of mad this week because we were inside not working. I figured that they would let me go to the doctor, find out what it was, and get the best medicine so I could get better and get back out and work but I guess not. So, we didn't get around really to much this week because I was dealing with that. I'm not fully recovered but I'm getting better. On the flip side, we were going through our area book this week and started calling up former investigators that had been taught 2 or more years ago. We called this one lady and she said that she was still interested in hearing from us! We went over there and she told us that she had been trying to get in contact with us but she was having a hard time getting our number. Then she said that it just so happens that we called. It was a mini miracle. So we are teaching her now. We also are going to start teaching a 10 year old. His dad just came back to activity after 15 or so years and the son is coming back with him. Hopefully his wife will come around as well. We are definitely being blessed, that is for sure. Elder Smith and I are pretty sure that we are not being transferred this next Monday but you never know. Oh, we also moved today. The people that we were staying with have a daughter coming back from school and we can't stay there while she is there. It is all good though because the new place we are staying at it twice as big. Hope things are good!
Elder Cooper

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12, 2010

So first off there is no way that I am going to be able to compete with that long email that you sent me. That is awesome that Hawaii was nice. I look forward to going when I get back....right? haha. So things have been going good this past week. The weather first of all is a lot warmer then it has been although right now it is completely overcast. I'm getting a nice neck tan line. Not the normal one you get from a shirt but one that is higher up because of the collar. It is pretty nice. This past week we met with president Ely for interviews and I have a pretty good idea that I will be staying. By the end of November there will be a 100 missionary switchover which means that I will be older than half the mission. That is a weird feeling.

The work in the Taft Canyon is picking up and we have a couple of potential investigators now. We actually were going through the former contacts one day and gave this lady a call and found out that she was still interested so we will see how that goes. We thought it was a miracle. There is another guy we are teaching and we are either going to set a date for his baptism or drop him in this next appointment this week so keep your fingers crossed. There was a baptism in my old ward this past weekend of an investigator who I taught which was pretty awesome. I didn't get to go, but that is okay. There might be another one soon that I taught as well. It is just so cool to hear about the people that I taught getting baptized.

I didn't know that Tommy and Brittany were going to move out that quick. That is cool though that they are going to stay close by. That is what I ultimately want to do as well. Out of all the places that I have been to, nothing beats San Diego.

Oh also, not this week but the beginning of next month when I get money I'm going to by a GPS. I have decided that it is worth getting on a mission because we are always wasting time trying to find places on a map and it will also be handy when I get home too.

Hope all is going good.

Elder Cooper

A letter from Jacob's "host mother"

3/30/2010

Dear Brother and Sister Cooper, My name is Christine Montgomery and my husband is Kent. We are the Host family for the missionaries until April 26. Your son, Elder Cooper, is living with us, along with Elder Smith. They have been with us only 2 1/2 weeks. It is such a joy to have them in our home. Kent and I have raised 7 children (5 girls and 2 boys), but our boys are not active in the church (ages 21 and 24). We decided to help out the missionary effort by opening our home for them since our boys didn't serve missions. It has been fun getting to know Elder Cooper, all about the family, what he did for work before going on his mission, and I have especially enjoyed his piano playing. All my girls play, and since they left home I have really missed someone sitting at the piano. So I let him go through all my music anytime he wants. He seems to be getting along well with Elder Smith, and they are pretty motivated to get things done. I'm impressed at how disciplined they both are as far as getting up, what they do during the day, and being in at 9:00 p.m. each night. It was only a week ago that we got a foot of snow, and Elder Cooper walks in at 8:00 p.m. and said, "Sorry, but we're back a little early." I was just glad they weren't stuck somewhere! They were more than happy to help my husband shovel the walk and driveway, and then play a little in it. I had hot chocolate waiting for them when they finished. Also, Elder Cooper and Elder Smith have been great about cleaning up after themselves. You would never know they used my kitchen for breakfast and lunch, and on P-Day they clean their bedroom and bathroom. Either your son was taught well at home, or the mission president is strict about staying in members homes. I just feel bad they have to move out on April 26. My 19-year-old daughter is moving back home for the summer from BYU Provo, so the elders have to leave. The plan was to house the sister missionaries here with Liz for the summer, but they had to be transferred out. Anyway, I want to thank you for raising such a fine young man. He has brought such a special spirit into our home. He's doing a great job and you can be very proud of him. Thank you for your good example and for sending him out on a mission.Sincerely, Christine MontgomeryP.S. He loves our frosty cups we keep in the freezer and I let him have all the milk and Chocolate Nestle Nesquik he wants.

Aloha!

April 5, 2010

ALOHA!

I'm so jealous. It sounds like you are having a blast right now. I forgot until midweek that you were in Hawaii. I remember turning to my comp. and saying in a really depressed voice "My parents are in Hawaii right now" haha. Things have been awesome this week. This last Wednesday we went to our mission conference in Wyoming. It was another solid conference and hopefully I will use what training was given in my day to day missionary work. The downfall is that we got stuck there. It snowed on the way up and before we could leave they closed all the highways. So, we didn't get back until 6pm but that is okay.

Conference this weekend was awesome. I have really grown to appreciate conference so much more now that I am on my mission. Before I always thought that it was too long. Now I can't wait for it every six months. It is also kind of a mini break from missionary work too. Not saying that I don't like to work, but it is nice to sit down for a bit and listen to the leaders of the church speak. Once again my favorite session was priesthood especially the one about how apostles go about making mission calls. Every one is so personal which makes my call to serve in Colorado special.

Other than that not much is going on. We have interviews with president this next week and I cannot believe that half of the transfer is already over. If I stay in Taft Canyon Ward then we will just end up moving to another family in the ward. The people that we are staying with have a daughter coming back from school at the end of the month so we are getting the boot haha. Hope you have a fun time eating shaved ice without me! (I'm trying to make you feel guilty)

P.S. I did hear about the earthquake. Pretty big one ya?

Elder Cooper

Monday, March 29, 2010

3/29/10

Hey everyone!

How are things back home? I'm pretty jealous that you both are going to Hawaii, but I'm still planning on that trip when I get back haha....no but seriously. This last week was kind of slow with not much going on. It snowed like crazy earlier in the week. We got 14 inches I think. It was nuts. We were still out there though trying to get around. I did get the box! It was good to get it because I was kind of running out of things to eat. Thanks!

So, my companion found out he had a brain tumor (its not a tumor....had to say it) when he was 13. It was cancer, but it wasn't one of the spider web ones that can sometimes take over the brain. He had surgery (14 hours) and from the surgery he lost his ability to speak and eyesight in his right peripherals. He ended up having to have another brain surgery where this time they finally got it all. After the 2nd surgery he had a seizure and he was paralyzed on his right side for awhile and had to do physical therapy to get it back. He is fully recovered now except that he has a little bit of short term memory loss which is a little frustrating when you have to re-tell him something over and over haha. So yea that’s his teen years for ya.

This last week we went to a Seder dinner activity at a member’s home. There were like 35-40 people there and it was a lot like the one that we did at the Mazer’s. It was the condensed version and it was really cool to see the symbolism for everything. There were also some non members there as well so that was probably the most exciting thing that happened this week.

I'm pumped as well for conference this weekend. As a missionary it is kind of a break weekend and what better thing to do, other than missionary work, than listen to the prophets and apostles speak. We also have a mission conference in Laramie this week as well so it’s going to be pretty busy!

Elder Cooper

Monday, March 22, 2010

A new area

3-22-10
So, I am now officially in the Taft Canyon Ward. It is still in Fort Collins so I'm guessing that I will be in Fort Collins for the rest of my mission haha. No but seriously, the ward is pretty good and the Bishop is all about missionary work so there is definite work to be done. The area is a lot like my last area with a lot of younger families. Sisters were in the ward before I was and one of them was sick the whole time so not a whole lot of work was going on before we got there. I guess the ward didn't click with the elders before that very well so basically we are the clean up crew. All we have to do is build up the trust with the members and we will get the ball rolling. My companion is Elder Smith. I probably already told you that but oh well. He is from North Carolina. He has been out close to a year now. Come to find out, he had brain cancer when he was 13. It is a pretty amazing story. It looks like we are going to work well with each other.

It snowed this past week again and it was a pretty heavy snow, but it’s pretty much all gone now. One day it will be super cold and the next it will be in the 60's maybe even the 70's....if we are lucky.

This last Saturday we also got the chance to go to the temple again. I just keep getting lucky with companions who have turns to go. We went because there was a couple that was from my companion’s last ward that was getting sealed. We did an endowment session and then went to the sealing. It was awesome. A funny thing happened though in the endowment session. Another elder that I knew really well who was my comps. last comp. threw up about 15 minutes into the session. It was awkward. I was surprised though on how quick they were to get someone to come clean up. While he was cleaning it up he said, " ...and this is why maintenance guys shouldn't wear ties". That lightened the mood.

Other than that not much else has been going on. We have a zone conference (now called mission conference) tomorrow which will be up in Laramie, Wyoming. Both of us are still getting adjusted to the area but we should be cruising by week 3 of transfers.

Elder Cooper

Monday, March 15, 2010

Transfers were today and I got moved....

Hey, how is everything? Well, transfers were today and I got moved far, far away. All the way to Taft Canyon Ward which is still in, you guessed it....Fort Collins! It’s all good though. My new comp. is Elder Smith and he seems like a pretty cool guy. I have hardly even been with him yet so we will see. It was kind of sad leaving my last companion though. On top of that we got swept into our ward which means that neither of us have served there. So, it will probably take a while to get work going a bit. There were sisters there before, but one of them was sick the whole time. The elders before that I guess lost a lot of trust with the members so we are now there to build up that trust with the ward again. So, in other words we probably have a lot of work ahead of us. I didn't burn a tie Tuesday. We did it Saturday. It was all good. I can't believe that a 1/4 of my mission is over. We also went to the temple this last Thursday. It was so awesome. A family that Elder Seve knew picked us up and took us down there. After the temple we went to their place and had some dinner so overall we had a great day. I'm pretty stoked for a new area and meeting some new people. I don't think that I will be here for another 6 months. Probably 3, but we will see. I will still get to see all my old district at least once a week on P-Day so that is cool. That is rad that so many people in the ward are going to the temple. We have a couple of people in Parkwood Ward that are really close so I am excited to get some updates from my old comp. Everything else is going great. Moving is kind of weird for me considering the last time that I moved was from the MTC. So, we will see how it goes...Elder Cooper

Monday, March 8, 2010

I can't believe 1/4 of my mission has already gone by

3-8-2010

Once again another week gone. This will be the last week of this transfer and for some reason I am getting really excited to see if I will be going or not. If I stay then no worries. That means that there is still work here for me to do. I might not know what that is but the big guy upstairs does. Tomorrow will be my 6th month mark! I cannot believe that a 1/4 of my mission has already gone by. We might go to the temple this Thursday as well so this could be an extra exciting week. This last week was pretty good. It was a lot harder than most other weeks. The investigators in this area that we have now are really hard to get a hold of. Who said conversion would be easy though.

This last weekend was stake conference. It was awesome. I used to get so bored going to stake conference, but now I really enjoy it. The stake president makes things interesting by calling people up to the stand randomly to bear their testimonies. Most of the people that went up were youth and recent converts. Those are probably the 2 kinds of people that have probably some of the most powerful testimonies. The rest of the meeting was really good with a theme of "the atonement of Jesus Christ" and how we can apply it to ourselves. I realized that the atonement is much more than forgiveness and being clean from sin, but then again, there is so much to the atonement that I don’t think that I will ever fully understand it.

That is sweet that lady went through the temple and that you both got to go through with her. I bet that she loved it. As a missionary I have noticed that I stress sometimes about the work especially when the work is slow, but when I go to the temple all of that stress goes away. It is pretty awesome.

Other than that not much else to report. Fort Collins is still mostly cold with a few nice days. It always seems to be cloudy and cold on P-Day though. Hope things are going well.

Elder Cooper

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Another baptism

2-22-10
Hello once again! How is everything back home? This past week was awesome! We had another baptism this past Saturday. The spirit was so strong and the investigator was way excited. I was the one to baptize her and I told her that I was just as nervous as she was, but I only had to perform the baptism once which was good! We had another investigator there (the 9 year old) and now she is excited for baptism. So, we might have a couple more on the way! Elder Perry was also awesome to listen to. Before the meeting we got a mission wide photo of all 200+ of us so I am pretty excited for that picture to come. We also got to shake Elder Perry's hand! So, yea, the meeting was awesome and you just know that when he speaks that he is an apostle of God. He can crack a few jokes as well. Other than that, the missionary work has been about the same. We are now half way through transfers and we have interviews as well this week so I am interested in how my interview will go with President Ely. Maybe he will drop a few hints on what is going to go down next transfer. This week we also have an adult ward talent show and it just so happens that my companion and I are in it. I signed up at first because nobody else was so I'm signed up to play the piano and my companion and I and some other missionaries are going to do the Haka war dance. It should be pretty entertaining. A funny thing happened this last week. We went to teach one of our investigators and when we got there she was a little bit high and the room smelled like the "green stuff". We taught the lesson anyway and it made for a good story. That is about it. In a few weeks I will be at my 6 month mark which is crazy to even think about. It was good to hear from everyone.

Elder Cooper

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About Me

My name is Jacob Cooper and I will be serving in the Denver North mission starting September 9, 2009 until September 2011