February 9, 2015
You know what I realized this week....is 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!
Sister Cooper the Jersey Girl