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August 3, 2015
Dear Mi Framily,
SOOOO can you believe that I am 11 months...TODAY???? I am about to hyperventilate over here...call 911 now!! I am sooo sad that I only have 7 months left, but at the same time...I HAVE 7 MONTHS TO KILL IT OVER HERE! I am so excited to work my little heart out!
Thank you all for the emails that you sent today! I have a huge smile on my face and I love you all soooo much!
So this week consisted of a TON of FINDING!!! Because we dropped...almost all of our investigators!
So Tuesday we went and tried to find a lot of people that the bishop and our Elders Quorum President gave us names of. Most of them were less active or inactive members. We went to the Roncallo's and we weren't really sure why Bishop wanted us to go and see them, because we thought that they were all active members and pretty strong. But we knock on the door and this man in his 20's answers that we didn't recognize. Turns out they have an inactive son! His family was on vacation and he stayed home alone so we went out into the backyard and we talked to him for a good amount of time. Turns out they went to BYUI and had some pretty bad experiences. It is a huge culture shock for easterners to go west! So this and numerous things have lead him to take a step back and figure things out! We were really real with him and straight forward and understanding. It was one of those moments that I knew God really needed us there with him. He ended up realizing that he does need to be reading and praying. It was a really cool experience and connection.
Wednesday we took Sister Mathusek to see Leilani (returning nonmember). Leilani has been seeking for a stronger testimony in Jesus Christ and we planned this lesson that we were sooo excited for! The problem was that both Sister Andrus and I didn't feel adequate enough to teach it, because we are still learning about Christ too. We read Mosiah 3: 1-10 and we talked about the life of Christ through the Book of Mormon. It was a good start that brought the spirit in very strong. Then we watched a bible video, and each of us bore our testimonies about Christ and how we came to know him, and how he has become our personal saviors. Each of us were crying and Sister Mathusek has such a powerful conversion! I want to be like her one day! She has been through soooo much, and she has just become this beautiful spiritual bomb!
Friday we decided that we were going to stop by Alexandra's house. We dropped her as an investigator, but we are still really concerned about her because she is going through a lot of things with her health. So Alexandra has been taught on and off for a while now, and no one had EVER taught her husband. He just never seemed really interested. Well, we knocked on the door and he answered. He said that Alexandra was asleep and not feeling well. Then we started doing some How to Begin teaching at the Door and he let us in. He started asking a lot of questions about our beliefs. We ended up teaching the restoration, and it was probably the most heartfelt whole souled I have ever taught it! Matt (the husband) totally got it! He then asked us how he can know this is all legit. Then we invited him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. He said that he really wants to read it. Then he said will you follow up with me and make sure I do it. Okay can we just take a second here...HE ASKED US TO FOLLOW UP! Can you say GOLDEN!!!! He is going to be our way into this family. He is ready to receive answers! He then said that he wants to come to church! Okay I was falling off my seat by this point!
Saturday we got to serve at Ellis Island and we went with Sister McConkie (yes a descendant of the apostle) and Sister Pexton. It was a really good day at the Island! It was very very busy and I was able to help a lot of people. Something that really broke my heart is that I helped 2 people that had no results..I mean ZERO results for their last names. I got to talking to them and both of them have no idea about any of their family history. They don't know where they came from and they were hoping that they could find someone with their name. That night when I was saying my nightly prayers this was haunting me. It broke my heart. I pray that God may assist them in finding their families.
Sunday right when the first meeting started I felt our phone buzz. My heart dropped a little bit, but I couldn’t look at the phone because I wanted to focus on the meeting. At the end Sister Andrus and I looked at the phone together. We had a text from Don. Don is our investigator (one of the only) and he has had some BAD experiences with church in the past, but we got him to realize that he needs to be open to coming. Plus, this church is very different from what he has been to in the past. His text said, "Hi Sisters I was in your parking lot. I have seen the men were dressed in suit and tie. I was under dressed, so I left. Sorry" We both reverently ran outside and just broke down in tears. It was really heart crashing. We went back inside and the rest of church was good. We called him later that day to talk to him, but there was no answer and we got pretty scared. Then during studies today he called back. We were able to talk to him and we are going over there tonight, and I think we will be explaining a lot more about church! It makes me sooo happy that he acted on his faith enough to even make it to the parking lot! That is a lot for him! I know that God will bless him immensely!
That night we went to Bethany Ralston's open house because she leaves on her Mission tomorrow! One of her friends had come to church the past two times, and when we got home from church I prayed that we would have an opportunity to teach and invite her friend Julie to learn more. About 30 minutes later there was a text from Brother Ralston asking us to come over to the open house, and I knew my prayers were answered! It was really fun to get to know all of her friends and see how excited she was for her mission. Right before we were about to go I was thinking, and I seriously could not pass up this prime opportunity to teach. So I raised my voice over like 20 people and got everyone's attention. Sister Andrus was across the room and gave me this look and I knew she was nervous too. I then started talking to everyone about how on Bethany's mission she will be talking a lot about the Book of Mormon then Sister Andrus and I explained what the Book of Mormon was and asked Bethany to share her favorite scripture. We felt kinda bad for putting her on the spot, but it is going to happen a lot on her mission. Each of us testified and the spirit was there. I knew everyone felt it. Looking back before my mission that instance would have made me sooo terrified, and I probably would never have the courage to do that. It is really amazing how when you have God on your side you can overcome your deepest fears (like talking to people...a lot of people)! Bethany is going to be an amazing missionary! It is so amazing how the gospel brings people from all religions and walks of life together like that! Right before we left we asked Julie if we could teach her and her mom and she said YES!!! It was awesome!!!
Being a missionary is HARD, but it is the best thing I have ever done. I am truly happy, and I know it is because I am living the gospel and helping other people follow the savior as well. I wish I could be a missionary forever. I want time to stop so badly, but it won't. I love each and every one of you. I love my mission. I LOVE NEW JERSEY! Saturday we were driving down a little bit of a ruff neighborhood and I turned to Sister Andrus and we both just laughed because we realized that this environment is so comfortable to us and we feel at home, but if we were in Utah our mom's would probably be checking to make sure the doors were locked and drive as fast as they could. Man I just LOVE JERSEY!!! These people are awesome!
I miss and love you all!
Mostest,Sister Cooper the JERSEY GIRL!!