Sunday, December 7, 2014

Angels in the outfield-or mission field!

November 10, 2014

Dear Framily,

Where do I even begin???? This week has been crazy and awesome so brace yourselves!!

We had the wonderful opportunity of having interviews with the President Taggart and Sister Taggart! It was exactly what I needed! When I was in the meeting with Sister Taggart I addressed to her about some things and she responded in a way that really opened my eyes. She said that the experiences and what we struggle with on our mission are to prepare us for similar situations in our lives beyond our missions. She said that there is a reason we have our certain struggles because if we don't learn to overcome them now how can we apply what we have learned in the future. Light bulb moment for me! It is so cool, and I know that the spirit was working through her. As I met with President he committed me to pray specifically about the street we are going to and the addresses of the houses and ask Heavenly father directly to bring us to the people he has prepared. Blessing of this challenge were fulfilled that very night. We were in Hillside which we don't really ever do contacting in, but the night before I really felt like we needed to go there and so Sister Giles was like, "are you sure about that???" and I said, "Well yes we need to go there" So we are sitting in our car in Hillside as the sun is setting and we begin to pray to Heavenly Father. We tell him that we are on Grumman and we know that there are prepared people on this road and to help us know where to go to find them. We get out of the car and we walk probably four steps when this man calls out to us from the other side of the street. It was really dark and we couldn't really see him very well at first. He yells again, "What are you two white girls doing here? I have seen you here before!" So Sister Giles looks at me shrugs her shoulders and then starts crossing the street so I followed her and we come up to this man sitting on his porch and he sees us closer and notices our name tags and says, "Oh your Mormons, it all makes sense now" turns out that he has talked to missionaries before and his girlfriend as been telling him lately that he needs to be a church goer and BAMMM we show up on his street! So I give him the Book of Mormon and we tell him about what we do and our purpose here on earth! Then he asked us why you can't have sex at BYU so we explained that to him. His name is Mr. Jones and God sent us to him! He was so prepared and excited about what we had to say and he said that he has never been religious, but he thinks he need to! It was sooo cool!
Okay then we go a couple of streets over to Conan Ave and we pray again about the specific street and the prepared people we knock on this door looking for a girl named Nayfesha and her mother answers the door and she we tell her that we are looking for Nayfesha and she says well I'm the mother! And then we tell her that we are missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ...and we get cut off. You two are Christians? And we said yes. She says I have never had two Christian girls like you on my door step before. God must have sent you two to me. Then she gave us both hugs and we start talking about how we know we knocked on her door for a reason and she said that we were and answer to her prayers. then this man starts walking up to her porch and she pulls us into her house and shuts the door really quickly and says, "you can never trust the outside world" then tells us to sit down and she says to us the she was reading the bible when we came and knocked on her door and that is how she knows God sent us to her. So we gave her a lesson right then and there about God's love and about the atonement and we gave her the book of Mormon! God will always answer our prayers.

Wednesday for district meeting we had a contacting competition!! Each contact was 1 point information was 1 point and giving away a Book of Mormon was 5 points so we head out in companionships and I am totally in it to win! We had home court advantage too! So sister Giles and I head to the bus stop and contact about 5 people one after the other then we start taking to this guy named Randy and he was going to the library so we walked with him and I asked him what it would mean to him if God was there and he said it would give him hope. He then told us this story about how he was in a bad position in life and the people around him picked him up and got him on the right foot and that because of it he wants to serve for the country and give back. So we just start testifying to him about how God is it the details of our lives and we have to find it out for ourselves that he is there for us and loves us. I could tell that he was really touched so I have him the Book of Mormon and got his information! He was sooo cool! He lives in the Elders area so I am excited to see where it goes! Ps Sister Giles and I totally owned the contest and won, but honestly I am just thankful that we got to find Randy!

So Saturday we decided to go find Harold again :) we were both so excited because this man is crazy awesome! I have never felt the spirit more while talking to someone than I have with him. He has the light of Christ within him! So we go to his house and knock on his door and as we are knocking the people that live there walk up and we tell them that we are looking for Harold and that he told us he lives here and they said they didn't know who he was then walked in really quickly and slammed the door. So Sister Giles and I are like uh WHAT? We go back to the car and just sit there for a second then we look at each other and we both say Harold has to be an angel! So we text the Strouts and ask how we can know if someone is an angel and they said that angels have messages for us. So later that night during planning we figure out what Harold message is and he had told us about his family and about how his kid have rejected him and that they need to have Christ in their lives and he then pointed to one of the Ivy Hill buildings by were we had first seen him and said that his son lived in the building. So Sister Giles and I come to the conclusion that Harold needs us to find his son. We don't know a name, which of the 14 floors he is on or anything. But we will find him.

Sunday we decide to check again and make sure that Harold doesn't live at the address. So we ring again and the answer is no again so we got to the building that he pointed us to at Ivy Hill and started our search. We only had time to try one door so we get in the elevator pick to go to the 8th floor and start at door A. We knock and this Hispanic man opens the door says one second and then a young women come to the door and we tell her we have a message about Jesus Christ and ask if we can come back and she said YES!! So we haven't found his son yet but we found Cindy!!
Sister Giles and I decided to fast this Sunday to help our investigators get to church because they have all been struggling with getting there. Fredy, Gigi, and Yana all showed up. There is so much power when we fast and pray and it can change lives. God will always answer our prayers. Gigi wasn't feeling well and the Elders were even able to give her a healing blessing! The spirit was so strong!

I love New Jersey and I know without any doubt from this week that God is in the details of our lives and He answers our prayers. He sends us angels to help us. I love my Heavenly Father, and I know that my redeemer lives. I feel it every day.

I love you all mostest. I pray for you and I miss you.
Sister Cooper the Jersey Girl

I received my letter from Hogwarts only a couple of years late
Maplewood from Ivy Hill
Rainy days are the bestest days

Happy Halloween

Two Months!

Dear Framily,

Happy two months today!!! I can't believe it has only been two months because it feels like 11 hahaha!! I love it here though and I am excited for the next 16 months!

Well let’s just dive right into the week shall we?
We went and got our hair cut at this hair school...bad idea it took like 3 hours for just a trim, but hey these girls needed some people to practice on and we needed our hair cut! Sydora is a student there so we went to support our girl and we got to see her too :)
That night we got juked which I guess. But we also got to say goodbye to Elder Nelson who was getting transferred. He was one of the missionaries in our ward so we had spent a lot of time with him the past 6 weeks. It was sad to see him go, but change is always good :) He is in Jersey City now!
We then went to FHE and Qiana brought her friend named Kari-ann and we were able to meet her and set up an appointment to teach her :) she seems pretty awesome and is really interested! The elders gave her a blessing earlier that day because she had surgery this week. (we ended up turning her over to the elders because she is in their area)

The elders took our car to go to transfer conference because they are walking elders. So we were carless and my legs could definitely feel it when the day was over. So we didn't have very many appointments that day and we spent a lot of time walking around trying to find potentials and less actives. We ended up contacting this awesome guy named Jim that rescues abused and abandoned animals and finds homes for them! He was really just the nicest guy ever!! We also re-contacted Peter, one of the security guards at Ivy Hill, and he was asking us why we even believe in a God and we told him both of our "conversion" stories to knowing that God is there and loves us. And when we stopped talking he was just looking at us with his eyebrows raised so I asked him what he was thinking and he started swearing at us and me and sister Giles are just smiling and listening to his concerns and then he stops talking and says, "You two are a bunch of Jello" and we start laughing and we are like "uh thanks I think? What does being like jello mean?" Then he went on to tell us that we are too sweet and every offense he gives just bounces off of us. And we are like YES!! Then he really started to open up and he said that it is really cool that this gospel makes people genuinely happy! He has a lot of questions about why it feels like God has stopped talking to people and about the plan of salvation so I have him the Book of Mormon and told him to read the introduction and that when he saw him on his next shift we would answer more questions and set up an appointment to give him the lesson about the plan of salvation. IT WAS SO COOL!!!! On our way back we saw another security guard that we talk to a lot and he told me that my long black skirt make me look Amish....Amish? I was like uh really now you think I am Amish? Then he went on saying that we need to wear skirt that go at least a little bit above the knee because it would be more normal. I was like I thought I looked really cute today ha-ha!! Funny.
That night we were able to teach the ESL class and it was so much fun! We taught them how to have conversations and Sister Giles and I just sat and talked with each of them and then Raymond asked if he could have a picture with me so one of the other students was taking the picture and I pulled a funny face on him and then all of the students pull out their phones and tell me to keep making the faces and they were just getting the biggest kick out of the fact that my face is funny! Such a great lesson! I am excited to teach them again tonight!

We had District Meeting and got to meet all the new missionaries in our Zone! It feels so good to not be the youngest missionary now! We had all planned to go out to HLS for lunch and then the boys walked in and saw that it was a healthy place and decided to go and get pizza hut hahaha...elders....! It was really fun though and all of us were laughing the whole time! Elder Workman for Layton took of shot of wheatgrass and it was so funny!
We went to Ivy Hill after for our contacting hour and we talked to these two guys that were giving away free phones to people who qualified. Sister Giles talked to one and I talked to the other who was named Mike. He was really cool and he is Jamaican, but doesn't look or sound Jamaican. He said that his parents had met with missionaries back home, but he never really understood what they were talking about so I gave him a Book of Mormon and started talking about it then all of the sudden rain just pours down and they ran away to their car and I didn't get his information to follow sad! Hopefully we see him again!
We went to go see Collette after that and we knocked on the door and Ashley opens it with tears running down her face and she said that she had just finished saying a prayer asking God for help and right when she said Amen we knocked on the door. Can you say miracle? So we talked with her for a while and ended up taking her out to our next lesson. We taught the Law of Chastity to Raymond and Gigi....awkward! So Raymond is this Haitian man that is married and is a huge player. We will just say that he doesn't keep this law. During the whole lesson he was trying to convince us that he and Gigi were married so we had nothing to worry about and Gigi is telling him off saying that she is not and will never be his wife, and that he needs to go back to his own wife! But then Ashley stepped in and totally turned the lesson all around and told Gigi that she is strong and can turn to God for help every time and he will be there. Ashley was amazing in that lesson and she was a miracle to us.

We decided to walk to Harold's house and see if he was home. Harold was the Jamaican from last week that told us to clap for Jesus. Anyway we ended up running right into him on the street and he opened up to us a ton and talked about how his family has rejected him and that he has read the bible, but reading it doesn't matter if we don't do what it says. Every time we would say something about Jesus he would say, "YES MON, YES!" in a full on Jamaican accent! It was awesome! He is so Christ like and will make such a good member one day after we baptize him :)
We had linner and Sister Peprah's house that early evening and she is African. So there are some meals that missionaries talk a lot about and one of them is peanut butter soup and how disgusting it is. It smells like peanut butter...looks like peanut butter...but it does not taste like peanut butter. She we walk and sit down and she says, "I made my favorite dish for you, peanut butter soup!" my stomach dropped and inside my head I was screaming "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" it was weird....really weird! Afterwards sister Giles and I had really upset stomachs and we had to take a moment when we got out of her house to settle them down. It was eventful. I can now say I have had peanut butter soup.....
Then right after that we went the HLS with Sister Edwards and had dinner. My stomach was in so much pain!!! But our lesson with sister Edwards was one that we had been praying about for over a week and really working on to make sure that it was perfect for her because she is going through a lot right now. We shared the two scriptures we had each picked out for her and she looked at us and said, "How did you know exactly what to say to me?" she said that it was exactly what she needed and we were praising God let me tell you the scripture I had shared with her was Alma 34:41 it is beautiful.
We had to be in by 6 that night for mischief night and we did weekly planning and then we carved a temple in our cute pumpkin!!

Happy Halloween!!
Some Sisters had to cancel their trip to Ellis Island and they asked us to step in and go in their place so we got to go! It was so much fun and I met this old couple and helped them find ship manifests! We ended up finding 6 of their family members which is really rare to find that many in just one sitting. They were so excited and turns out that they are huge into family history and they got started at the Manhattan Family history center at the temple! They have even gotten back all the way to 400 ad! It was really cool! We got home and had to stay in because it was almost six so we did a bit of study and then we ordered pizza, watched church videos and wrote letters! It was really fun!

We got stood up by some people and they were in the house asleep. We spent like 10 minutes trying to wake them up and we were like yelling and singing luck hahaha!

We had stake conference which was awesome and we had Yana there who was one of our investigators!!! She even got to meet the one of the Seventy!! That night we saw Jenny because she was sleeping on us the night before and it was a good thing that we went because her friend Barbara was there and she wants to learn about the restoration too :)

I love New Jersey and I am so happy to be here! God is so good and he will bless us daily we just have to open ourselves up to those blessings! I love you all mostest and wish you an amazing week!

Sister Cooper the Jersey Girl