Monday, December 28, 2015

Seventy-fifth Week - December 28, 2015

What's up guys?!

It was good seeing all of you guys on Christmas, but today I don't have much time.  Nothing much new since we just barely talked, but I'm still doing well. Pretty good week, sad to see how much they abuse the holiday of Christmas here, but I guess that's why I am here right?  To teach them the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
 (Elder Merrill and Elder Copeland at the Christmas party for the missionaries.)
 (At the party, the missionaries received microwaves.  Elder Copeland says, "We got microwaves, it was awesome.  I haven't seen one in 17 months.  They are magic!")
 Elder Merrill and Elder Copeland
 (The missionary group.)
 (Elder Copeland with Pres. and Sister Russell, the Mission President and his wife.)

(Elder Copeland with Elder Jensen--his fourth companion in Rivas.)
  (Elder Copeland and Elder Arevalo, his first comp in Rivas)
 (Elder Copeland and Elder Kleiner--his MTC companion.)
(Julio with his two granddaughters.)
I can't believe that 2015 is already over.  It flew by!  Crazy to think that I come home this year, but still a lot of work to be done.  I love you all.  Pray for the Nicaraguans, please.  They need your prayers.
Sorry for the short e-mail.  I will do better next week.
Elder Copeland
(Elder Copeland says, "Washing clothes by hand is fun.")

Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Day Call - December 25, 2015

All missionaries are allowed to call home twice a year--Mother's Day and Christmas.  Elder Copeland's family and grandparents enjoyed Skyping with their missionary in Nicaragua on Christmas.  These are some of the photos of his call:
 It was great for the family to talk to their missionary after six months.  I think he was pretty happy to talk to all of them, too!

 Elder Copeland had a favorite blanket before he left.  Here his dad is showing him how the blanket has fared since he left.

Sadly, it hasn't held up too well, and we may need to make a new one for him when he comes home in six months!
He showed us his name badge . . .

and then showed us his worn shoe.  He has put lots of miles on these shoes and will definitely need a new pair when he comes home.
When asked what he is looking forward to the most when he returns, he remarked, "That I won't have to worry about all the problems of the Nicaraguans that I am trying to help will be on my head."  He truly loves these people and has been working so hard to help them find peace and happiness in their lives through coming unto Christ and through the service he can give.   

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Seventy-fourth Week - December 21, 2015

Wow, can't believe that it is Christmas again...

Sorry guys, no time today.  Today we don't have a P-day cause we have a multi zona tomorrow, so I gotta make this quick.

This week was brutally hot.  I can't wait til you guys come here and witness it for yourselves haha... 

But this week we had three baptisms.  The first was Manuel, he was a family to complete.  He is a good guy.   In his 20s, he got electrocuted and got his arm blown off and a huge hole in his head and a couple other parts of his body, but he always has a smile on his face.  Miracle that he is alive.  Great dude.

 (Marriage and baptism of Manuel.)

(This morning we went and did some service for Manuel, who we married and baptized this past week. We ripped up his shack and cleaned it out so they can re-build it.  Be grateful for what you have!)

The next two baptisms were of Elizabeth and Julia.  She is divorced and has two kids.  They are all members now.  Just working with the extended family now.

(Baptism of Elizabeth and Julia)
(Elders Copeland, Elison, and Passey)

Come What May and Love It, A General Conference Talk by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, October 2008

The way we react to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life.

Life has its peaks and shadows.  Yet in spite of discouragement and adversity, those who are happiest seem to have a way of learning from difficult times, becoming stronger, wiser and happier as a result.  The Lord in His wisdom does not shield anyone from grief or sadness.  The way we act to adversity can be a major factor in how happy and successful we can be in life.  If we approach adversities wisely, our hardest times can be times of great growth, which in turn can lead toward times of great happiness.

Things to help us through times of testing and trial:

-Learn to laugh: The next time you're tempted to groan, try to laugh instead.  It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable.

-Seek for the eternal: The second thing we can do is seek for the eternal.  You may feel singled out when adversity enters your life.  You shake your head and wonder, "Why me?" but the dial on the wheel of sorrow eventually points towards each of us.  At one time or another, everyone must experience sorrow.  No one is exempt.  Learning to endure times of disappointment, suffering, and sorrow is part of our on-the-job training.  These experiences, while often difficult to bear at time, are precisely the kinds of experiences that stretch our understanding, build our character, and increase our compassion for others.  Because Jesus Christ suffered greatly, He understands our suffering.  He understands our grief.  We experience hard things so that we too may have increased compassion and understanding for others.
Remember the sublime words of the Savior to the prophet Joseph Smith when he suffered in the smothering darkness of Liberty Jail:  "My son, peace be unto they soul, thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment.  And then, if thou endure it well, God shalt exalt thee on high, thou shalt triumph over all thy foes." -Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8. With that eternal perspective, Joseph Smith took comfort from these words, and so can we.  Sometimes the very moments that seem to overcome us with suffering are those that will ultimately suffer us to overcome.

-The principle of compensation:  The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundred fold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.

-Trust in the Father and the Son:  The Lord Jesus Christ is our partner, helper, and advocate.  He wants us to be happy.  He wants us to be successful.  If we do our part, He will step in.  He who descended below all things will come to our aid.  He will comfort and uphold us.  He will strengthen us in our weakness and fortify us in our distress.  He will make weak things become strong.  THE SIMPLE SECRET IS THIS:  PUT YOUR TRUST IN THE LORD!  DO YOUR BEST, THEN LEAVE THE REST TO HIM!  I know why there must be opposition in all things.  Adversity, if handled correctly, can be a blessing in our lives.  We can learn to love it.

Come what may, and love it!

Feliz Navidad

Elder Copeland

...The pic is of Lake Managua

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Seventy-third Week - December 14, 2015

Well, not much this time this week cause I had to send so many pictures.

But I left Jinotepe... I was devastated, I loved that place and did not want to leave... But here I am in La Ciudad Sandino in Managua.  It's hotter than crazy.  Just imagine the hottest place you have ever been to, then X that by ten, then you have got Sandino...:):) haha... Well, let's get to it...

Monday was a Nicaraguan Catholic celebration, La Purìsima.  They all set up their "Mary statues" and everyone goes to everyone's houses and sings to Maria.  Kinda reminded me of Halloween.  There were fireworks all night long.  It was super annoying.  Talk about idolatry.

Tuesday around one, we got the transfers.  They told me that I was leaving Jinotepe... I was so devastated.  So all day Tuesday we just visited converts, to say bye and stuff.  Never thought I would have ever gained so much love for those people as much as i did.  I hate goodbyes.  Jinotepe by far has been my most successful area.  I was there for only 3 months, but had 17 baptisms.  Miss that place and those people like crazy right now... But oh well, somehow got to make my new area better than last!

 Claudia and Shelsea

 Iziomar and her boyfriend
 Elder Copeland, "This family was the first members in Jinotepe.  The church was in their house.  They washed our clothes."
Julia, the lunch lady
 Sugey and Yessenia who are members
 Fathima and family members 
This is a young man who is a member.
Francis (my convert)
 Andy and  family (my convert and less actives)
 Some ward members
Mariana, Keyling and Willy (my converts)
Bianca (my convert)
 Daniela and Griselda and her twins
Fernanda, (my convert) her mom is a member.
 Familia Medal, who are members
Xiomara and her daughter.  They are getting baptized soon.
 Perla (my convert) 
Soccorro, getting baptized on the 26th
 Manuel de Jesus.  Elder Copeland and his companion found him about two weeks ago.  He loves the church.
 Pura Vida and family who are members.
Obispo Arevalo

Wednesday at 2:30am, we left to go and pick everyone up for transfers.  I didn't even sleep one second that night, so that wasn't fun.  But anyways, I am here in La Ciudad Sandino.  It is in Managua and VERYYYYY poor, and EXTREMELY HOT! ****Like at this moment, I am in an internet cyber and literally dripping in sweat, not cool***  Everything here is ALL dirt. The zone is all Elders cause it is one of the most dangerous parts of all Nicaragua... haha! It's all good.  I have been here only five days and the worst thing I have seen is some dudes beating the living crap out of each other haha... kinda scary but ...  Let us all press on!

Elder Copeland's new area in La Ciudad Sandino in Managua.  "It's super poor.  Straight dirt roads and metal houses."
Elder Copeland states:  "Some of my cute little new friends here in Sandino."

We have just been looking for a bunch of new people cause the other Elders didn't have much.  My new companion is Elder Seneca from Virginia.  I am training him.  My ZL comp is Elder Elison.  We came together.  He is from Hurricane, UT.  Good guy.

Sorry, just don't have anymore time.  But I love you all.

Come what may, and love it.

Elder Copeland