Sunday, January 18, 2015

Could this be it?

January 12, 2015

Dear Framily,

Could this be my last week in Maplewood??? I am about 95% sure that I am leaving Maplewood and it makes me want to cry, but at the same time I am really excited to meet new people and have new experiences in a new area! I will know by next Monday morning whether I am staying or going so the anticipation will kill us all! Here goes week 6 of the third transfer!

Okay the funniest thing happened during p-day last week. So zone 5 (Newark) and my zone 6 came to Maplewood for a soccer tournament and there were 4 sisters there Sister Mortensen, and her trainee, Sister Larsen and I. So we picked the elders we wanted on our teams and got playing! When Sister Mortensen and I were on the side with our team we were sitting on this small table unaware that it was missing a leg. So then the ball goes under the table and about 8 elders run over and start trying to play under the table that we are sitting on. Sister Mortensen swung her legs over me and SMASH!!! The table collapses and bends in half and we fall straight to the floor! It was the funniest thing in the whole world and everyone was laughing for a solid 3 minutes! fyi no one got hurt!
Monday night we had a lesson with Wuthnay and two Haitian boys came and joined because they didn't know that the ESL class was canceled. It made for a really interesting lesson! We then got the two boys and Wuthnay to stay for Family Home Evening at the church!!!

We went out and looked for sooo many less actives that morning while it was snowing and we drove past this house with a old man shoveling snow and sister Larsen slams on the brakes and pulls over and says I have never shoveled snow...we are helping this man. So then we go ask him if we can shovel his drive way and he said no!! He said it was his exercise for the day. Sister Larsen was kinda sat so then we went to the Taber-Kewene's and shoveled their driveway, and she gave us really good hot chocolate!
That night we took out one of the young women Tiffany Brown to go and teach a lesson to Ibrahim. Tiffany was an awesome team up...she is pretty much a pro missionary already!!

We woke up early to drive down the Scotch Plains for our zone Conference with zones 5, 6, 7 and 9. It was pretty cool. This month we are focusing on becoming master teachers which I so need!! I am really excited to get more trainings on it! It was also really fun to hear from president and his wife!
After the conference we had to rush to our appointment with Greg and pick up our team up Qiana! Qiana got some really cool inspiration during the lesson and suggested a next lesson to us! It is really fun to see the spirit work in our team ups!
That night we taught Wuthnay with Regina and we had planned to teach the plan of salvation, but then we totally flipped our lesson to prayer and asked Wuthnay to pray to find out if god loves him!
Then we stayed at the church and helped our Bishopric with the ward list and organizing it for the blitz!

Thursday: EXCHANGES!!!
I got to go to Elizabeth with my lovely sister training leader Sister Childs! It was freezing cold, and it was walking day haha! We taught a lesson to a new investigator and I don't remember her name but it was something Spanish sounding! We taught the plan of salvation and her mother had just died 3 months ago and the spirit was really strong in the lesson. We then went and taught a less active couple and I have no idea what happened in that lesson because they didn't know any English, but the lesson sounded good haha! Then we went to another family and the little girls spoke English fluently and the parents kinda did so I was really able to help in the lesson! They fed us this weirdly good treat that was a tortilla with beans and cream on it....I really enjoyed it haha! That night Sister Clarke and I had a lot of fun talking! The next day it was snowing huge flakes of snow! It was so awesome! But I had only brought thermals to wear and it wasn't that cold so I was dying with heat! Really though I was sweating bullets! When we exchanged back I was so excited to change and then I walked with my coat wide open and the cold felt so good!

We got to have dinner with the Strouds the YSA senior couple! It was so nice to have Utah food! We ate roast and mashed potatoes and GREEN BEANS!!! I was in heaven with the green beans! It was also the most enlightening dinner talking with the Strouds because they are so knowledgeable about the doctrine. SOOO COOL!

We went to the BLITZ!!! So the purpose of this blitz it to find out if all these 300 less actives still live here or not and where they moved to and bring those that are still here back to church. So we had about 7 missionary companionships come and help and they split us up with the members of our ward. There weren't enough women to split up with so Sister Clarke and I ended up together! Every door we knocked on someone was home which was a HUGE miracle! And we also knocked on this door looking for a Theodor and the man that answered the door said yes, but he was only a one year old. And Sister Clarke and I are like WHAT??? He invited us in and his wife came down. It turns out she is a member and even went on a mission. She hasn't been coming to church because her husband is a Methodist and runs the choirs at his church and she just didn't have ride to come to Maplewood so she went to short hills for a while! It was really such a miracle that they had blessed their baby in Texas because then we had the records and were able to find her and bring her back to church!! And we have a new part member family to teach!!! It was soo cool!
After the blitz we went to the Serranos to help them clean and then they fed us Portuguese food that was really yummy. They invited us to dinner too so later that night they fed us Indian food haha! It was great they also gave us nonalcoholic was weird!

So I am in the chapel talking to people before the meeting starts and welcoming people then I look to the door and see Madeline my roommate and my heart seriously skipped a beat! I ran to the door and hugged the guts out of her! She moved here to nanny and she came to the YSA ward and came to see me!! We had one investigator come to church it was Greg!!
They didn't have Relief society or Priesthood. Instead we did the second day of the blitz! I went out the first time with Madeline and Regina! We were able to find a man that hasn't had the missionaries come to him in years!!! He wants to come back too! And then we did a second round and I had Madeline, Kate and Lasanyna come out with me! We didn't find anyone, but we did have 2 really cool street contacts! One of the guy’s names was Moses and he was from some tribe in Africa but he as these really cool scars on his face and they said that they did it to all the babies in the tribe so that it is easy to tell who to protect when danger comes!
That night we had dinner at the Taber-Kewene house and we asked their little boy what he thinks of when he hears the word love and he states very boldly, "A DEAD TREE!" it was so hilarious!
Then we went to teach Collette our recent convert and for the first time ever Wayne her husband joined in the lesson (he is kinda atheist but not??) and we boldly asked him if the book of Mormon is true don't you think you should know? And you could tell that he knew the answer was yes but he didn't want to admit it haha! He said that he would read it though!! It was sooooooooo cool! Huge miracle right there!

Being a missionary is awesome and I love it! Last week I had Louis ask me: How a mission has strengthened my testimony, and made my life happier? I thought I would answer this question for all of you. This is probably the hardest question you could ask because it is really hard to explain feelings, but I will try my best so bear with me. The biggest thing that has strengthened my testimony is seeing the change in other people whether it is investigators or our team-ups or less-actives or members or street contacts. I can almost physically see the atonement and sprit working through them. That is a huge testimony to me of the atonement because as I share how my life had changed other people change and the domino effect is beautiful. I have also through prayer and study become so much closer to my Heavenly Father. I don't know how I lived before without praying every day or reading the scriptures. As I pray and read I have really started to hunger for more and I feel like I can't live without it. I have found a deep love for my savior and all that he has done for me. Putting his name on my chest every morning is the best feeling.
To answer the why I am the most happy it is simply because I have been focusing on others. Lana Del Re said, "When someone else's happiness is your happiness that is love." I am happy because I am experiencing a whole new kind of love, real, pure, honest love every day. I am happy because I get to feel the pure love of Christ as I am serving others.

I love you all the mostest and miss you lots!
Sister Cooper the Jersey Girl

PS after probably tomorrow send all letter to the mission office/home because I might be getting transferred.

PSS I forgot my camera adapter so I am sorry to disappoint but I have no pictures to send this week!

PSSS I dyed my hair is sweet!

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