Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Babe the Son of Mary

Cuban Food!

Ellis Island

December 7, 2015
Dear Family,

HAPPY MONDAY! Also happy birthday shout out to CORY! It was fun to get emails from everyone!
Last Monday night we went to have dinner with Brother Zamora! He took us to this really cool Cuban restaurant! It was really fun and I had my first steak in 15 months!! It was soooo yummy! After dinner he took us to go get hot chocolate and we went to this really cute diner and they made homemade marshmallows. I didn't even realize you could do that! It was the BEST hot chocolate of my whole life! That night we talked to him about a time that he has changed the most for the good. He said that after being an atheist for a while he had thought about what kind of morals he wanted to have and what would be his motivation in life. He said that he decided that night that he was going to be a "kind" person. He said that from that day on he tried everywhere he went to just make people smile or serve in some way. It was really cool to hear about that.
Tuesday the WHOLE MISSION was together for zone meetings so we could practice for the Christmas fireside! It was so fun to see all my sister and elder friends! I was soooo happy! During zone conference I
had a really cool thing happen. During one of the trainings an Elder who I have served around a lot was commenting and said the "R" word pretty harshly. My companion looked right at me and I tried to not
react at all even on my face or my thoughts. At the end of the meeting the elder came up to me and he apologized. I was so touched by this because he was humble enough to recognize and come up to me. He asked about Sydney and I showed him some pictures and told the latest Syd stories. I am very grateful for that experience.
That night we had planned to street contact in Caldwell but things just weren't feeling right. We prayed about 8 times to be directed and we ended up at a Dunkin donuts. As we were about to go in we felt good until the second we stepped closer and it didn't feel right again. I was getting so confused. So we got in our car and as we were pulling out we saw a man at the bus stop that had just walked out of Dunkin. We both said that we needed to talk to him so we parked the car and literally ran because we saw the bus coming. We caught him as he was walking into the bus and handed him a card and said about 5 words. As this was happening I saw a man that wasn’t getting on the bus and I went over and started to talk to him. He was Muslim and said that he is taking a class about Christianity in school right now. I asked him if he would ever become Christian and he said YES! He didn't live in our area, but we were able to pass his information on! We found who we needed to talk to!

Wednesday my zone went to the temple and I couldn’t go because I am going with Ashley this Saturday! I am so excited to go with her! I spent the day in Emerson with some awesome sisters! We set up a tree for a woman who is actual the mother of some of my favorite members in Short Hills! It was so fun!

Friday we had Sarah team up with us for the day! We were so happy to have her! It was a blast! We went and tried a potential that we had found a couple weeks ago and the daughter pulled up as we were at the door. We started talking to her and turns out she LOVES Katy Perry so I talked about Katy Perry and we were totally able to connect! She said that she would have her mom call! And her mom did call! We weren't able to answer in time so when we got the voice mail I was literally flipping out with excitement! That night we went and helped set up for the Christmas party! I was with Sister Shupe working in the silverware. I was able to get to know her a lot and she is so sweet!

Saturday we spend the morning at Ellis Island! I love being there and helping people! It was a day full of enriching finds! It is so fun to see people get excited when they find their families and even more
excited when you get to help! I helped this one person find 4 different documents on the man’s father! They had found one and as I was helping them I noticed that he was marked as a citizen so I told them that he was probably traveling back and forth! We were able to track him back to the first voyage over with his whole family!  It was really touching to see his emotions about his father! Family is where it is
That night at the Christmas party I found out that I know Brother and Sister Shupe’s family! As I was talking to sister Shupe about sign language we got talking about Down syndrome and she made a side
comment about some of her family in Utah, and so I asked her who it was and it was Jill Puffer and Shaylee! I was so excited! It's a small world

Sunday we were asked to sing a special musical number with two of the young women. It was my first time EVER doing a number in church like that! I was so terrified, but it ended up going extremely well! They spirit was so strong after! The testimony meeting was a bit interesting. After church Sarah came with us again and there was a street back on Thursday night that I felt really prompted to go knock while I was saying my nightly prayers. So we went and the spirit was guiding us very strongly. The first couple doors we had little success. Then we knock on another door and the older woman that came to the door opened it right up! She was from Bulgaria and spoke barely any English. We used google translate to help her understand that we weren't asking for money but wanting to teach her about Christ. We showed her the Christmas video and she was tearing up. We used google translate to tell her that Christ died as a gift to her. We set a return appointment for this Thursday! It will be interesting to see how the
teaching will go! Sarah was so excited after and it reminded me of when I was a new missionary it was so refreshing and rejuvenating!
We then headed to the Vandergasts! We are helping them start to do family scripture studies together! We read 3 Nephi 11 with them and we talked a lot about how we hear the word of God and what it will be like when Christ comes again! Sister Vandgergast was really able to feel the spirit! We hope that her husband will join us next time, but he did come to church!! He came because Zoe his daughter sang with us! It was awesome!
We had dinner at the Dolan's home. We made a list with them of people they love that aren't members of the church, and we prayed together to know who on their list they could reach out to. After the prayer we had a minute of silence to let the spirit guide. Everyone received an answer right there. It was soooo beautiful!

Well on that note I will end the email! I want each of you to know that I love being a missionary. Some days it is really hard and I am really exhausted each day, but I have never been so happy. I am grateful for the joy that the gospel brings to our lives. There is nothing so special than being able to feel God’s love for the people around you. I love change. I love that God has provided a way that through Christ we can become all that we are meant to be. Trust in him and he will lead you!

Love you mostest,
Sister Cooper the Jersey Girl

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