September 29, 2014
New Jersey. Is. Amazing. PERIOD.
Okay so we went to the Barnard's to do Family Home Evening with their super cute kids! We talked about Elder Bednars talk on social media and how to use it for the good! So post about this awesome gospel aight people??? And I told their son the oldest one that he has to be as much of a missionary as us because we can't do our work without him! So I gave him a pass along card to give to one of his friends at school...when I followed up he said that he lost the card! Oh well! Ps he is like 6?
FHE with the single adult ward was fantastic and really spiritual! We watched the bible video about the atonement and crucifixion of Christ and I must say that it is beautiful! Mike said that, "Christ gave his all for us, and is willing to do anything for us. Are we willing to give our all to him, and do anything for him?" This has been my moto this week as I am trying to forget about me fears, and concerns because they really don't matter. I am here for Christ and I need to be willing to do anything and everything for him. We all do. I will be extending this quote for my whole mission because is something to work on daily and if by the end of my life I have accomplished it I know that I will be with my Heavenly Father again.
We had Zone Conference and Elder Anderson (of the Seventy) and his wife came to speak to us, and with us! He was pretty awesome! He sat next to me at lunch too and I told him that Elder Robins was my neighbor and he said that he would tell him that I am doing awesome! Soooo cool! I have a general authority next to me...Sister Cooper?? WOW!
So we were taught on how to make contacting less awkward by doing a feel-felt-found! So we let them know that when people have objections we let them know that we know how they feel and many have felt that way, but we have found that as they listen to us they are enlightened blah blah blah! Super useful though!
Elder Anderson talked about revelation and that it requires reverence! Reverence in all things: clothing, apartment, titles, speech, everything! It is like tuning into a radio station if we aren't exactly on the line we won't be able hear clearly or even at all! Revelation is when you feel it in your heart and in your mind! He also talked about how to be an enthusiastic missionary is to have hope. Hope for the people we talk to, hope for ourselves, and hope in Christ.
After zone conference we went and met with Ronal our recent convert and we talked about the restoration and how we can pray at any time anywhere! He didn't really understand how to do that so we mention to him that we can say prayers in our hearts and minds. Really awesome lesson! We then went to see Gigi because she called us a bit distressed. We got over there to find out that she might be getting kicked out of her apartment-through the thick Haitian accent I think that is what is happening?? We stared a scripture with her and help bring the spirit back to her as she is going through her trails right now. We left and went to the church, when we got to the church parking lot we realized that we left our phone at Gigi's place. And we were panicking because we can't get into her apartment building without calling her first. So we said a very heartfelt prayer and got to her apartment as quickly as possible. It was starting to get really dark and this part of town is pretty scary at night because a lot of men are on the streets. So we ran to her apartment when we parked and when we got to the door there was a woman in the hall beyond the door so we started yelling to get her attention... I think we scared her a bit, but she reluctantly let us in and we were able to get our phone. God answers prayers people he will always answer them! That was really a miracle! We went straight home after that and we prayed many thanks to our heavenly father that night let me tell you! We haven't been able to get a hold of Gigi since that meeting because her phone was canceled. So we don't know if she has been kicked out or not.
We met with Shelon a recently activated member! She is Indian, but from somewhere other than India! She made some amazing lunch for us...Indian food is soooo good! We shared the visiting teaching lesson from this month because our ward still does not have visiting teachers, but we are trying to help get the program started! It is sooo needed! Women in the church visiting teaching is what makes us strong and united as one. No not overlook your monthly visits! It is also so much more than just seeing that person once a month it is about reaching out to them in any way possible and making sure that they are building a stronger relationship with Heavenly Father! They need you.
All our other meetings were canceled for some reason or another. So we went to the doors of people who were in the area book! We found anther dead person, but we were able to meet her niece and she remembers the missionaries talking with her aunt! She said we could come back when she wasn't running out the door! We also knocked on door as a guy was coming home to his house, which was the door we were knocking on...awkward?? Anyway the guy we were looking for had moved so Pier this man we were talking to had some questions! We talked about our church and what the guy that lived there before believed! And I was holding a book of Mormon in my hand and he said, "Do you want to give me that book or something??" I said YES! Before he was even able to finish talking! He is Haitian and doesn't speak much English so I gave him that book and we are taking him a French copy today!!!
We then went to the Chiropractor for Sister Giles! He if the first person I have met with a Jersey accent so that was cool! He is a convert of like 10 years and does all the missionaries backs for free so he did mine too! Felt sooooo good!
We then had correlation with our ward mission leader! He likes to talk which is really nice because I am totally fine just sitting there listening!!!
We got some more Mormon.org time and this time I had headphones to listen with! I watched a lot of the bible videos. They are addictive in a good way!
We then tried to see Sister Edwards but she was in New York and forgot that we were coming so we went to our back up and Linda the person we were trying to find let us in and we got a return appointment!!! AWWWWWW She and her mother are from Kenya I believe??
She then went and saw Karen and her kids Aly and AJ! We talked about prophets and encouraged them to come to conference! I love them! Karen is from Jamaica and she designs and makes wedding dresses! She said I would look good in sheath because it would show my nice figure I guess!
We then spend the rest of the night with Collette and Ashley some more of our recent converts I had a really good one on one talk with Ashley as Sister Giles was with Collette! Ashley has some big decision to make in the next couple of months about a mission and also what to do with her boyfriend leaving on his mission....as we were discussing it I told her about my experience deciding and that is was hard leaving my boyfriend really hard, but we have to be true to the answers we get from God and pray to him in every circumstance! I think I needed that talk more than she did. The spirit was really strong and I needed to feel that! Ashley is so amazing! I love her to death!
We met with Sister Long and shared a scripture and gave her company and someone to talk to! Her house is so homely I love being in there with her! It always smells nice too!
We then went to Leanne's apartment and did the visiting teaching message again! We also tried to give her a little bit of courage because work is hard for her right now and really draining!
We then went and saw sister Elizabeth she is from somewhere is Africa I can't remember, but she is hard to understand haha! We talked about love with her and she is very passionate about love let me tell you! She advises everyone to carry love in their pocket. I extend that to you!
We then saw CASSANDRA!!! Who is officially an investigator now!! We contacted her last week! The lesson went well. When we talked about Joseph Smith the spirit was radiating so strong and I hope she felt it! She is very interested in different people's beliefs! Her parents were really skeptical to us coming over, but Cassandra told them that we didn't look like polygamists on TV and that we seemed normal! So her parents told her to be careful! HAHAHA oh what people think we are makes me laugh! We will be meeting with her next Friday!!! I can't wait!
We then went and saw Jennie. She is bed ridden mainly because of obesity. But she wanted to hear about the plan of salvation so we taught it to her! She has a lot of character let me tell you! It was fun talking with her and strange but fun!
We then went to the Women's broadcast! Okay the Korean little girls made me cry! It was so beautiful I hope all you women saw that! I also loved what President Uchtdorf about the cloud of God's blessings is always showing down on us! But we are the ones that have the umbrella open blocking them. So close the umbrella people let him bless you!
I miss my family a lot every Fast Sunday! I think of Syd every time and it makes me smile! I love that I have such a courageous sister that gets up every single week! And I love that she talks about me too haha!
We had a whopping zero for investigators that showed up. It was really disappointing and we tried so hard to get them there and reminded them so many times. UGH agency sometimes makes me flustered, but hey I can't force them to come even though it would be nice if I could!
We stopped by Whinney's house after church. We had stopped by earlier in the week to find her but only her son was home so he told us to come back on Sunday! So we met her and saw her son Jake again! They are so kind! They are 7th day Adventist but Whinney has been to an LDS sacrament meeting before and that is probably why she showed up on our radar! We set a time to come and teach them a lesson in two weeks from now because they can only meet on Sundays! I can't wait!!
We then went and say Saylline who was confirmed last week, but has had some struggles this week. We took Sydora with us because she is a convert of 4 years now and she knows exactly what it is like. Saylline was able to be comforted a bit and we reminded her that church in not for perfect people and that we all have struggles and temptations, but that coming to church is what will give us the strength to overcome them! It frustrates me so much that Satan works so hard on these recent converts! It is so surprise to me that many of them go inactive. Satan needs to just stay away from me people!
Mom Sydora reminds me a lot of you. She is a very strong woman and knows where she stands in this gospel. She talks like you too! I am really glad that I met her! She has had so many struggles being the only member in her family, and her family doesn't support her at all. She has a good husband though and actually met him one day on her way to the temple to do baptisms! He is Muslim and so kind and sweet like most Muslims from what I hear!! Sydora's ancestors were actually slaves down south and it is really cool to hear her talk about her search to finding where she comes from! I hope I can be as strong and faithful as her someday! She is 25 and the black version of a young Leona Cooper, or at least how I picture my mom young!
We saw Raph and Yana that night and again tried to explain resurrection to them, but it is so hard because they speak Russian...haha! But the spirit is always there and I hope they feel it! They gave us some Russian cake and I was really thankful I was fasting...That cake is sooo dry and peanut buttery weirdness!
We then went to Bishop Klusey's house for dinner and had some nummy spaghetti and ice cream! It reminded me of my mom's spaghetti it was sooo good! Sister Klusey was actually an investigator for 5 years! She wanted a church that had a place where she could have a strong connection with God in a white room that was I guess you could describe celestial and her whole life she had pictured this room. After five years of investigating and going through so many missionaries she told some sisters about this dream place of hers and the next day they dropped off a video about the temple and she was baptized as soon as possible after watching that video. Such amazing people! The Klusey's are from Ghana! We shared a quote with them that we actually found lying on the table that we had never noticed before until we were trying to decide what message to share with them. This is the quote:
"Sometimes we become the lightning rod, and we must 'take the heat' for holding fast to God's standards and doing his work. I testify that we need not be afraid if we are grounded in His doctrine. We may experience misunderstanding, criticism, and even false accusation, but we are never alone. Our Savior was 'despised and rejected of men' [Isaiah 53:3] It is our sacred privilege to stand with HIM!"
Bishop said that this was a theme for his day, and that he wished he had this quote earlier to share with the people he met that day. There is a reason why we noticed that quote.
I will leave you with this message that we won't always be understood by people as we are members of this church and that we need to have our foundation because the lightning does come. But Christ went through everything we did and more! We have to stand by him and share his word and continue what he has laid before us!
Love you all!
Sister Cooper of Jersey