Sunday, March 1, 2015

Spring Fever-Not!

February 18, 2015

Dear Framily,

Alrighty here we go with another week of everything you could possibly think of! 
Last Monday after we emailed you all Elder Preston, Fairbanks and us went sledding on and ice was a blast and everyone was super sore...except for me yay! That night we went and had dinner with a family that just moved in, the Jacobsons, they are really fun and they have a lot of kids! They made mashed potatoes and it was so yummy! Sometimes you just get so tired of rice and noodles that you would die for some mashed potatoes :) it was awesome!

Tuesday we had an insanely spiritual District meeting! For accountability we went around in a circle for Valentines and said what we loved about each other. The spirit was so strong and it really helped us be unified as a district! We all really needed it! Then we went off in twos and did some contacting Role-plays. I was with Elder Preston and it was the most real of a role play I have ever had! The goal was to be able to use the restoration pamphlet to teach to their needs and the front picture on the pamphlet just took a whole new meaning and it was powerful! I love being surrounded by such spiritual bombs all the time! 
After district meeting we FINALLY met our investigator Lena after 4 weeks of trying to get an appointment with her! We talked about baptism and confirmation. She had sooooo many questions which is good, but it was hard because she is Russian and there is a bit of a language barrier...but we were able to get the message to her! She is praying about being baptized on March 22!
That night we went to Bishop Rumble’s house to sit down with him and talk about the area map we have! It was really nice to be able to get some advice from a local. He gave us some good service opportunity advice that we had no clue existed! AWESOME!

Wednesday we went to Morristown for Specialized training! Can I just say my trainee is a piece of cake! I love her to death and she is so prepared to be a missionary! Also, it was soooo warm on Wednesday I even took off my tights and had spring fever! It got up to 34 degrees and we were on cloud 9 million ;) After trainings we went to go see Sister Elizabeth and we talked to her about how much we are able to learn from the spirit children have! It was beautiful! 
Later that night we met up with our Ward Mission Leader and went over our area map! He was a huge help! Not only did he tell us awesome contacting areas but he told us good places to eat! We are so excited!

Thursday Sister Egan got really sick with a bad cold so I made her sleep it off and I mainly worked on our area map and made a million phone calls! ps mother I did get the packages thank you soooo much! I love you to death! The bread was awesome!

Friday the missionaries in the ward put on a Valentines dinner!! It was a blast and we had a great turn out! Some nonmembers came and surprised us too! It was awesome! Sister Egan was still really sick though and I felt so bad!

Saturday!!! Happy Valentine’s Day!
We canceled all of our appointments except one because Sister Egan really needed to get better. So I made her sleep some more. Then that night we went to Sister Martine Williams’s house! Oh my heavens that family is hilarious! So Martine is French and her husband is English and you just get these two really funny strong personalities together and you die of laughter the whole night! Oh and Sister Williams is pretty much a professional cook it was seriously the best dinner of my whole life! 

Sunday night we went to the Sanchez for dinner! They were hoots too! People in this area are seriously comedians! They really made us feel like we were at home and it was so much fun to be with them! They had Sister Egan try her first cannoli too!

Monday as you know we were celebrating our presidents! We woke up to frozen pipes because the temperature got down to like negative 15 during the night so that was great! We ended up having to shower at our was so weird! Then we went thrift shopping and we went and played pool with the elders! It was a blast!
That night we found out that we were having in zone exchanges on Tuesday too!!! Then later that night we stopped by Lindsay and Marisel's house (we taught Lindsay on our last exchange) It was getting late so we just talked to Lindsay for a while and then set up a time to come and see her and her mother together! She is officially our newest investigator now!!!!

Tuesday we had district meeting and then we had exchanges and SISTER ROBINSON CAME TO ENGLEWOOD! It was so much fun having to C-ville sisters together! We had so much fun and also saw miracle after miracle! We went and contacted a street that Bro. Mata had told us to try and we had solid contact after contact! Everyone was so happy to talk to us and we got 6 peoples information which was crazy good! And we set 3 appointments with these potentials! One lady named Phyllis told us she wants to come to our church on Sunday and that she is going to bring all of her friends! And then she went on to tell us that she wants us to not only teach her, but teach her whole family including the grand children! She was cool! Then we contacted this beautiful Muslim young adult named Nsreen! She was a little hard to crack open at first but once she told us she was a kindergarten teacher we totally clicked and I told her how I want to be a teacher too! And then when we asked if we could come to her home to teach her about the gospel she said yes!!! She said that she would love to have us over....that is the first Muslim that has ever said that to me! It was beautiful! Then we contacted this couple that was a hoot and she was such a diva, she was eating us up too! We set an appointment to come and see them! BEST CONTACTING HOUR EVER!! It was crazy awesome! 
That night we went and stopped by Sister Perez's house. All of the sudden she had just stopped responding to our calls and our texts so we decided to just go over there. When we got there out of all the door bells we were able to ring the right one and we were able to get in contact with her. The battery in her phone looked like it was pregnant not even joking. So her phone is struggling and that is why we haven't been able to reach her! It was good that we come over too because she had a really hard day and Sister Robinson totally got her heart when she shared Alma 37:37 with her! So amazing! 

That night Sister Robinson and I girl talked it up and it was like a slumber party! It was a blast! 

Well I love you all! It was so cool to hear the Sara and Zoe got their mission calls! I am so excited for them! Best decision they will ever make! 

Sister Cooper the Jersey Girl 

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas? Not!

February 9, 2015

Dear Framily!!!!!

You know what I realized this that church is a hospital for sinners...that is why we have wards!!! Budump chu (drums) Elder Ketcher (SP??) said that in his address to the stake at stake conference this Sunday and I almost died! He had a great spirit and sense of humor!

So Tuesday night we went to go see Sister Perez and her son Josh who was baptized this summer. And she had made us some soup and got us pizza. As we were sitter eating and talking she said that she had the best dream of her whole like that afternoon. She said that she had a dream she had another child and it was a daughter with Down syndrome. She went on talking about how much she loved this daughter and what she did in the dream with this daughter. My heart was pounding and I told her that my little sister had Down syndrome and then we had this beautiful conversation about how precious she is and I told her all about growing up with her as my sister and showed her pictures!! :) It was such a cool experience! She is an amazing woman to dream that!

Wednesday morning we had interviews with president Taggart and sister Egan and I were the first ones to go that day! He met with Sister Egan before me and then when I went in and sat down the first thing he said was that Sister Egan really loves me and he knows it! It was really cute! Then we went on talking about how I am doing spiritually, emotionally, and physically. I told him that I feel like I am a chicken running around with my head cut off all the time. Then he received some really cool revelation. He asked if we had an area map and I told him we had just got one yesterday. Then he told me that I need to go to staples and get a road map of our area (the mission maps are awful ha-ha) and mark where every member lives and look for patterns and focus on the areas that have a lot of patterns of gold. Then he told me to take that map to the home of each of the auxiliaries and have then tell us where they would go if they were the missionaries in the area. Where they would contact, knock, do service, eat ;), etc. He then gave me a really spiritual pep talk and I felt the spirit so strongly. I walked out of the interview on cloud nine! I was so excited to get back to our area and get to work! So we have started working on this map and we are going to the bishops house tomorrow (Feb 10) to get started with the whole thing!  
We went to go and find Mel that afternoon, but we had no luck. His front steps hadn't been shoveled and were honestly really dangerous though so we spent some time and shovel it off for him. His neighbor was watching us do this so after we were done we went over to talk to him. His name is Jack! He told us that everything is okay with Mel and his wife (phew!) he also said that he would be interested to learn more about our gospel, but he didn't have time right then so we got his phone number! MIRICLE!

Thursday we had our lovely weekly planning session and during companionship inventory when we talk about our strengths and weaknesses and make goals to be better together and individually I had a little struggle. When I was talking about Sister Egan's strengths while sitting on my chair I somehow lost balance and totally fell really hard on the floor! It was the funniest thing in the whole wide world and I have no idea how it really happened! We were both crying it was so funny!

Friday EXCHANGE DAY!!! We had an exchange with our awesome Sister training leaders, sisters Harvey and Taylor! Sister Egan went to their area with Sister Harvey, and it was really cute because she was really kind of scared and I felt like a real mom sending my daughter off for the first time...weird! But Sister Taylor came to ENGLEWOOD!!! It was probably the most spiritual exchange I have ever had so far! We took Kim out for a team up to see a potential investigator but he totally jersey juked us so we tried a Head quarter referral and she had moved, but the man that lived there, Bill, was very talkative! He pretty much tried to convert us to be Muslims ha-ha! But my heart was pounding the whole time and I asked him if what we taught was true, would he want to know. Then he said no. He said NO....and I was like what??? So then we handed him a restoration pamphlet and left. It was so weird.
We dropped Kim off after that because she was freezing cold and we were too in reality. We then had two options. Stay in Teaneck of to go try people in Bogota. So we said a prayer and told God specifically which people we would try in each area. When we closed the prayer I looked at sister Taylor and we both felt that we had to go to Bogota and I looked down at the names and felt so strongly that we had to go and try to find Marisel and Lindsay (a referral from the Spanish elders) so we went and we knocked on their door. Lindsay opened the door and let us in right away! We talked with her and got to know her. Her mother wasn't home though. When we said the prayer to start the lesson we talked about the concept of the word restoration and showed her the picture of Jesus holding the lamb on the restoration pamphlet she then really opened up about how she was a lost sheep in her past. She had been really addicted to heavy drugs and should have died so many times. Then one night her mom prayed for her and that night she tried to kill herself driving, but was miraculously saved. After that she stopped drugs instantly and was able to clean herself up and now here she is strong, and about to help her mom take off with her piano teaching business. The spirit was radiating and as we taught the rest of the restoration everything clicked! She said that she honestly thinks Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ. When we asked her to be baptized she said she would think about it, but she has a concern about baptism! It was the coolest restoration lesson I have had! We both walked out of there on cloud million! ps we will resolve her baptism concern don't you worry!

Saturday we went to go see sister Wilshire and visit her at work. She is a home health aide. When we got there her employer/the woman’s daughter was home and we sat down and had a beautiful discussion/lesson about how important it is to follow the will of God and chose right continually! We hope that this women (Sharon) becomes and investigator in the near future!

Sunday we road tripped it with Elders Preston and Fairbanks to Morristown for Stake conference! Stake conference was awesome! One thing that I loved that was said by Elder Ketcher is this, "It is okay to feel inadequate at times, in fact it is good. It is good because God needs the weak and the simple, those are the ones that are teachable." That hit me hard! I can't even describe what that did to me. I have felt pretty inadequate lately, and he knew I needed to hear that! WOW!

Before I came out here to New Jersey I hated the word perfect. Because of past experiences the word perfect to me was so negative. It is what people expected me to be, but I knew I could never be it. I made mistakes and I always would and I always will. I thought I could never do things perfectly, and ever be perfect. I looked at Christ and saw that I could never be like him or our Heavenly Father.
Out here as I have spent literally 24/7 learning and teaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ my ideal about perfection has changed. I have really changed. I have come to understand a new view of perfection. I realized that to me a perfect person is someone that has gone through struggles, pains, temptations, and sin. But, they come out on God's side. They took what happened and became a better person, they strived to change. Jesus Christ chose to suffer for us in the flesh because he knew that in order for us to want to turn to him and to trust him he had to show the greatest act of love and go through everything and beyond all we have gone through. I love that right now I am not perfect, because I am not perfect people can trust and turn to me. They know that I have problems just like them. But I know that as I go through the refiners fire and experience pain and trial I am being made more like my savior....more like my God. I know that the day I stand before him if I try my hardest and give my all constantly turning to Christ he will say to me, "You have made me proud" and then I will get to hug him! :)

My lovelies the gospel is my valentine this year :) oh and my companion! hehe! I love you and most of all I love my Savior and I love our Heavenly Father. He is pretty rad!

Love Mostest,
Sister Cooper the Jersey Girl

5 Months down today!

February 3, 2015

Dear Framily,
Alright so I will begin with an explanation as to why I am emailing on a Tuesday....
SOOO yesterday we woke up to a beautiful half a foot of snow/freezing rain, but that didn't stop us! We went to go get in the car to go to the library, but someone decided to plow our parking lot and while doing so plowed like a 3 foot wall around our car. So we called the elders because we didn't own a shovel and in the time it took them to get to us we got a crutch and a spoon and began to shovel ourselves out. We succeeded...until we realized that we had to go up a really steep hill to get out of the parking lot...and it was covered in ice. SO the elders took us in their car all day. Also, people here are really scared of the snow and EVERYTHING shuts down including I am emailing on a Tuesday!

So last Monday we had a crazy miracle happen. So it had been snowing all day and we weren't allowed to drive our cars so we walked to the church and got the shovels and just started shoveling people’s driveways because all of our appointments canceled and we live pretty out of the way of our area. So we started shoveling the street our church is on. This guy pull up next to us and says, "how much do you charge?" and we yell, "FOR FREE!!" then he says, "Follow me home then!" Now normally if I was not a missionary I probably wouldn't have followed him home, but we are missionaries so we did! Turns out he was a really cool guy and he gave us hot chocolate and took pictures of two little white girls shoveling his driveway! He asked how he could pay us back and we told him we would like to share our message with him and his wife! So we got his number and set up a time to come back! Ps his name is Mel!

We shovel all morning again because well, we did. And then that night we went and taught our recent convert Josh and his mother Sister Perez! They are so awesome! When we were done with the lesson we asked her if we could help her with anything and she says yes and starts explaining what we could do and then she looks at us really concerned and says, "are you really sure you want to do this?" And we were like oh yes! So we put plastic covering over her windows ha-ha!

We had a lesson with a less active named Sister Elizabeth Segovia and it was such a spiritual lesson. So we went in teaching endure to the end and she really just instantly opened up as we were starting to get to know her. She then opened up about how her husband just really has a hard time with the church and how they collide religiously! Sister Egan was totally owning the lesson and brought the spirit in really strongly when she committed her to bare testimony to her husband! SOOO COOL! I am such a proud mom! 

We walked for what felt like hours! We went and saw sister Suarez who lives in a nursing home and she is a hoot! We sang hymns with her let me tell you that woman can sing!! It was a blast! 

So we took our team up Kim to our lesson with Mel and his wife that we had set on Monday. We pull up to their driveway and they are getting in their car to leave so we pray and literally run out of the car to them and Mel says, "Girls I am so sorry but there is an emergency and we have to go...and I lost my phone." then he drove off. So we got juked and I felt really bad, and didn't know what to do and just stood there in my tracks really confused for a second. It was really confusing and I can't really describe why. 
So we changed plans and went to street contact, but it was freeeeeeeeezing cold outside and our poor team up Kim was dying! So we took her home.

WE FINALLY MET ONE OF OUR INVESTIGATORS! So we have been having the hardest time meeting with our investigators that the sisters before us were working with. We were finally able to meet with Sister Parkinson. Sister Parkinson was self-excommunicated, but want to come back! So the bishop joined us for the lesson! She is a so sweet. She has had about 15 back surgeries and just got down with one. So she won't be coming to church for a while, but she is really excited to come back!
That night we went and met with Sister Moses and Sister Pitter. Sister Moses in 92, but looks in her 70's. She also is still driving and living like a boss! We are helping Sister Pitter get to the temple and it is really cute how excited she is about it!

We had two new families move into the ward which is AWESOME!!! Also, it is starting to get really fun as we are getting to know a lot more of the members! Neither of our two investigators came to church, but we did have our recent convert Josh there! 

So once the elders rescued us they took us to Sister Santamaria's house to have brunch. Mom, Sister Santamaria is a Chilean version of you! You two dress alike and act alike! It is so fun and I just want to hug her to death! She is also a Spanish teacher too! It is really so nice to have a mom here in Englewood! My heart melts every time I see her! After we had brunch we went and shoveled from some of the single ladies in the ward. We then went to the church with all the other elders in the ward and Korean branch and some of the other missionaries in our zone. We played sting pong for a while which was sooo much fun, and I never lost! Then we had a nerf gun war! Sister Egan and I were total bosses and got both of our Sister Training leaders out! Then Sister Egan was kind of having a hard time and I took her into the chapel and talked with her for a while. Our Sister Training leaders came in and we sang hymns together. I know without a doubt that God gave me Sister Egan for a reason. I know that he is giving me the words and helping me with what I need to do to ensure that she is okay and succeeds. It is so amazing to be able to feel of God's love for her and to see her potential. She says all the time that I have a motherly love. After all the missionaries left the trio elders and the duo elders and us shoveled the church walkways! It took forever!!! And I am really sore today!
Well that was our week! We are working hard and having fun! 
I love you all and wish you an amazing first week of February. 

Sister Cooper the Jersey Girl

Ps Sister Egan and I spontaneously cut me bangs....hehe