Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Thirty-sixth Week - March 30, 2015

What's up, fam? 

There goes March... Only got a few more days being 19 years old... WEIRD!  Here in Nicaragua, April is the most brutal month, and I am literally dying of heat right now.  It's impossible to get adapted to this heat.  I also made it through another change... changes are on Wednesday, I find out tomorrow if I am leaving or staying.  I'm really anxious to know, I hope I go.  I am ready for a new start.

Well, this week was good.  We found 2 families this week, seem to be pretty positive, but we need to marry them.  Absolutely no one is married here and no one wants to, so it's tough to find families here and same with men cause all they do here is drink, smoke, go find girls, and you know the list goes on.

One of the families the lady's  name is Rosa.  She came to church 2 weeks ago just to see what Mormons are really like.  She loved it.  That day we visited her and she accepted a baptismal date along with her man and kid.  She is reading the Book of Mormon and knows that it is true and that Joseph Smith was the Prophet of the Restoration.  She's awesome and is progressing everyday.  The only problem is the man, he just doesn't care.

Sometimes I think my work is pointless and isn't effective at all cause we get rejected so much.  I have definitely noticed in my mission what many are called, but few are chosen really means.  And plus everyone will have 'their time' to accept it or no.  So far in my mission, I have 9 baptisms and not a single one of them was easy, not one bit.  I have worked my tail off for every single one of them!  It's sad to see so many people rejecting the Book of Mormon, just read it like honestly.  I love 2 Nephi 29. 

6: Thou fool, that shall say:  A Bible, we have got a Bible, and we need no more Bible.  Have ye obtained a Bible save it were by the Jews?

7: Know ye not that there are more nations than one?  Know ye not that I, the Lord your God, have created all men, and that I remember those who are upon the isles of the sea; and that I rule in the heavens above and in the earth beneath; and I bring forth my word unto the children of men, yea, even upon all the nations of the earth?

8: Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word?  Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am God, that I remember one nation like unto another?  Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another. And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also.

9: And I do this that I many prove unto many that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and that I speak forth my words according to mine own pleasure.  And because that I have spoken one word ye need not suppose that I cannot speak another; for my work is not yet finished; neither shall it be until the end of man, neither from that time henceforth and forever.

And also a few verses from 2 Nephi 28.

29: Wo be unto him that shall say; We have received the word of God, and we need no more of the word of God, for we have enough!

30: For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

31: Cursed is he that putteth his trust in man, or maketh flesh his arm, or shall hearken unto the precepts of men, save their precepts shall be given by the power of the Holy Ghost.

How blessed are we?  Like honestly its incredible.  We have the truth, we have it, now we need to share it with everyone.  The right path is  never the easiest path; Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, and many people from the Book of Mormon.  The church is true and I love it and I live it!

Oh yea, last night I had another huge tarantula chillin right by my bed

(Elder Copeland said, this big guy was "Just chillin right by my bed.  The sad thing is that I'm in his territory, he's not in mine."  But in the end, he still did away with the spider.)

Also, this picture is from a lady in the branch.  This dog is a BOY and his name is Angie haahah! love you mom<3

For family home evening tonight, I have something for you guys to do.  Watch "The Testaments," the movie about the people of the Book of Mormon.  (This video is now available on DVD.)

Mucho amor, el ünico

Elder Copeland

Monday, March 23, 2015

Thirty-fifth Week - March 23, 2015

Well, today is a pretty big day 8 MONTHS!  Wow, time goes way too fast.  

This week was much better.  We found some pretty cool people, and we also had a baptism on Saturday.  Ariel whose 10.  His Grandma Justina was baptized in January.  Ariel's mom hates Mormons.   Who knows why so she never gave us permission.  Then I finally told Justina this past week that we need to baptize Ariel.  She's super cool, so she gave us permission.  So he was baptized on Saturday!

 But holy freak it's HOT HOT HOT!  The only thing I can really compare it to is that one time we went to the BYU v Florida State football game in Florida and we were soaked in sweat before the game even started.  It's kinda hard to put in words the heat, just come down here and get a feel for yourself... It's miserable, but the work is still moving forward!

On Thursday, we had to get up at 4 am for a meeting with the North and South missions and Elder Ochoa from the Seventy and Bishop Davies were there.  It was pretty good.  It was good to see everyone that I haven't seen for a while.  We had to go to Managua quite a few times this past week, so my money has gone down the drain...
 (All the missionaries that came when Elder Copeland came to Nicaragua.)
 (Elder Kleiner with Elder Copeland.  They were companions in the Missionary Training Center when they first arrived in Nicaragua.)
 (Elder Hartley and Elder Copeland.  They have become very good friends while in Nicaragua.)
(Elder Bennett and Elder Regalizo with Elder Copeland.  Elder Regalizo leaves next week from Nicaragua, so this was one last picture with Elder Copeland's first companionship in Nicaragua.)

Saturday was pretty crazy!  This is what I wrote in my journal on Saturday: 

Very interesting day... First off, yes Ariel was baptized.  He was so pumped!!  I'm so happy for him.  I was able to baptize him.  After, we ate cake and ice cream at Mariaelena's house. Then we came back to the house and I decided to light the weeds on fire in the backyard (a huge pile), so yea I did that and in like 5 seconds that flame was like 10ft tall... Kinda scary, but we got it all under control and it burned all the weeds down thank goodness.  

Then we went and worked for a bit.  We were walking to the Espinosa's and a guy right by me, stopped me and yelled, ''Tu eres Satanas!''  Then I just gave him a nice salute and started walking and he yelled again, ''Tu eres Satanas!'' so I just said back, ''Dios le bendiga,'' (God bless you) and walked away laughing.  

We went to the Espinosa's to chill for a bit, then right in front of their house a little girl got hit by a motorcycle.  She ran out into the road and the guy couldn't do anything about it.  The girl had a bunch of blood all over her face and a big gash in her forehead, but she'll be fine. 

Then we went to look for some investigator arriba, but she wasn't home so we walked to Hermana Katy's house to eat dinner cause we didn't have time to eat lunch.  And as we were walking, a moto taxi pulls over to me and the guy tells me, ''esta fumando mariuguana.''  I just replied, ''k.''  Kinda embarrassing how stupid some people are like, honestly.  

I bought some Nesquik today and drank it for the first time in 8 months!  But today was a pretty good day, different but good.
So yea it was kinda crazy!

But I can't believe I already have 8 months... 1/3 of the way done.  I need to enjoy every little moment while I have it.  I don't really have anything else to say.  I can't believe spring break is almost here and school is almost over... Have a good week!  Love you guys.  Thanks for all the support.

Elder Copeland

Monday, March 16, 2015

Thirty-fourth Week - March 16, 2015

This week was a little bit better
We are still looking for some people to teach, man we cant find like anyone.  Freaking Catholics and Evangelicos!  It's all right as long as I do my part, the Lord will always do his without fail.  I learn new things every day, and I am greatful for this opportunity that I have in my life right now to do what I am doing.  But really nothing big is happening right now, so not a lot to say.  But there's a thing I saw that a missionary wrote called, "The Miracle of a Mission."   It was super cool. 
I had a revelation this week.
One of those keys to the universe.
Keys to understanding a question I've had for months and months.
One I've never really fully understood.
Until now.

I see miracles every day.
I see the hand of God in all things.
But some miracles, if you follow the whole story, sometimes they turn instead into a disaster.
a nightmare--for the time being, anyway.
What was the purpose of the former miracle if it's followed by something horrendous or at the very least, it doesn't quite work out in a way a missionary may hope?
Because the miracle of a mission and throughout all of life is in the moments.
the molecules of eternity.
There is no grand destination.
Even eternal life is a continuation of living.
The beauty and joy is the process and experiences that come thereby.
and that's the answer.
The outcome doesn't take away from the miracles or moments that preceded it.
To everything there is a season.
a time and place. and He knows all the times.
He knows every experience we're going to have and when we need it.
It's about the experience.  The tender mercy.
Not necessarily whether or not it works out in our eyes.
Just because it doesn't all turn into a beautiful story they share in general conference, doesn't mean that the whole process was foolish or wrong.
God always has a plan.
His plan and timing is perfect.
a master of logistics.
a master of mercies and miracles.
at the very moment they're needed.
God really does give new hearts.
Peace really does exist.
It's not a lie, a vain ambition, or false hope.
but the only peace is in Him.
in trusting Him.  in knowing Him.
because in the end, that's all that matters.
This is life eternal, that we knew God and Jesus Christ.
our father. our brother.
All things are done in the wisdom of he who knoweth all things.
the most profound memories of every day, week, month, transfer, or even my entire mission aren't found within the big events.
They're in the little moments.
the miracles, in my eyes.
miracles that someone else may not even see as such.
a magical moment shared with someone that you may never even see again.
a moment of sharing testimony.
a moment of seeing the light brighten and shine within someone's eyes.
All the moments that have no description.
meeting a kind old grandfather that reminds you of how much you love these people and talking with them.
the rain being stayed until later so that you can sing in the park as a district.
telling someone how loving and compassionate God is, and having them truly listen.
the bond shared with companions.  seeing a new missionary be filled with confidence and capability be validated.
watching someone read the Book of Mormon, and be filled with a new light.
singing hymns with babushkas.
or maybe even just the moments with no other person at all.
just something you share with God.
something that He sends into your path just for you.
a confirmation.
a mercy.
a reminder of all that is good.
Because that's the miracle of a mission.
Those are the treasures that we lay up in store, holding forever sacred and cherished in our heart.
That's why we do what we do.
That's why I'm a missionary.
to watch the light and love shine.
I never get tired of the process.
the moments that make any other disappointment or hardship worth it.
the true joys.
That's why.
to find, hold, and share the sunshine that never goes away.
to recognize the children of light.
they're here.

This really helped me cause I would just wait and look for the big miracles, like baptizing a complete family, but I just couldn't get my mind around it.  Just like this missionary, I see miracles every single day.  In all sorts of forms.  I'm working on having a complete change of heart and love for this work cause I'll be honest, especially right now when we can't find anyone to teach, I'd rather just go in the house and read my scriptures or something, cause getting rejected all day long sucks.  But, no, I'm still yelling, "Buenas," at every house I see to find that family of gold that I have been searching for.  I have been humbled this month and learned a lot about patience and how we can't always have success or else we would never learn. 

 (Family Espinosa with Elder Copeland.   Brother Espinosa used to be the branch president.)

(Family Mendoza in the branch with Elder Copeland.  Brother and Sister Mendoza both served in Guatemala.)
(Mariaelena, a lady in the branch that cooks for the Elders sometimes.  She used to work in the SLC temple.) 

 (The bird is just dead.  As Elder Copeland describes, "It's just there cause the lady wants it there."
This picture is from church yesterday.  It was Elder Page's bday, so after church we ate cake with some of the branch.  In this branch there are more than 300 members, but only on average 60 come every week.  So many inactives here in Nicaragua because they don't have their foundation--their testimony.  It's sad.  But we had fun!
Hope you have a good week and go Cougs!
Elder Copeland

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Thirty-third Week - March 9, 2015

Hey, sorry not much time. 

This week has been insane, and we just had a missionary get put with us cause him and his old companion weren't the greatest missionaries, so we have to set him straight I guess.  But this week kinda blew in ways.  I'll get right to it.

On Wednesday, around 6 pm we were walking past the park, and heard an "oy!"  We turned around and saw a guy sitting on the sidewalk very drunk.  He happened to be a dad in the branch with a family of 6 including one on a mission... we are like family with this family.  It was very sad to see this... I asked him what the heck he was doing.  He was super aggressive with me, trying to take all my money and stuff, so I finally had to just shove him away... it's sad to see stuff like this happening especially to a family.  This guy ended up spending his whole week on the street drinking and smoking...

And then on Friday night... a lady in the branch wanted to wash our clothes so we came to pick them up Friday night.  We got there and she was crying, so I asked her what happened. She said nothing.  Then I asked, "and where's your husband (our mission leader)," and she broke down and said that he left a week ago to be with another lady... keep in mind that they are sealed in the temple... So sad to see what Satan is doing to families these days.

(Click on the link above to watch a short video about making poor decisions.)
And then Sunday morning, we were just trying to bring our investigators to church, we turn the corner to be right in front of a street fight.  One of the guys is super inactive but has the priesthood and spends his life drinking all day long.  So this member is getting destroyed and the other dude stabbed him twice right in front of us and his body was completely jacked from getting beat up so bad.  The dude ended up just smashing his head into the wall to knock him out, then left raging.  And this guy that got knocked out has a family, also... so sad.  I seriously thought he was dead after seeing him get stabbed twice, but nope.   He was drunk as ever that night running around like nothing even happened.

I'm so lucky to have a dad like the one I have.  Not easy to find these days.  He's faithful to his wife and family, has a job and works so hard to provide for us to make our lives better, active in the church, worthy priesthood holder, incredible example to everyone, supports me in all that I do, and the list just goes on.  Not easy to find a dad like that.  I hope to be like him one day, such an amazing role model!

 (Elder Copeland's dad)

Well, now about normal stuff.  We are still looking for new people to teach, but it's tough, but we are still working hard!  When sore trials come upon us, it's time to deepen our faith in God, to work hard, and to serve others.  Then he will heal our broken hearts.  Love you all. Sorry no pictures again.  I haven't been taking my camera with me.  I'll take some this week.

Elder Copeland

Monday, March 2, 2015

Thirty-second Week - March 2, 2015

Well, I definitely didn't know what I signed up for... This is hard! 

This week kinda sucked.  We had 8 people that were sooooo close to being baptized, but this week Satan got to them... So they all fell this past week and won't get baptized.  It was tough, I love them so much.  Many are called but few are chosen.  I guess I just need to realize that everyone isn't ready to have the gospel in their lives yet.. That's why you need to work so hard and talk to literally every person you see to find the person/family of gold.  

This past week we talked to so many people and had so many lessons, but none of them seemed to be ready, so we are kinda struggling with investigators right now, but working hard to find some new people!  People have no idea what a mission really is until you go on one.  Whew!  I don't have much to say this week, but so sad to hear what's going on at Lone Peak... It's too bad, but we need to always be an example and nice to people because we never know what they are going through in their own lives.

This week I printed off an article about the Book of Mormon, one word, Incredible.  Bottom line, if the Book of Mormon is true, everything else just falls into place.  Joseph Smith really saw God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith really was called to be the prophet in the Restoration of all things, Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon from "plates" that everyone knew he had something special, and so on.  Most people that talk bad about the Book of Mormon have never even read the book.  They just hear something from a person and just assume that its correct.  It's absurd.  If the Book of Mormon is true, La Iglesia De Jesucristo De Los Santos De Los Últimos Dias es la Iglesia verdadera sobre la faz de la tierra.  Then it goes on and says just read the book then ask yourself these questions... 
(To request a free copy of the Book of Mormon, click on the link above.)

- Could an uneducated boy come up with 531 pages of ancient scripture on his own that was historically accurate and prophetic in nature?
- How could Joseph Smith come up with roughly 200 names in The Book of Mormon and the story that goes along with it?
- If you think Joseph Smith couldn't have written this book, then were did it come from?  If one says the devil put him up to it... them why would Satan want to publish another testament of Jesus Christ and a book that does nothing but promote righteousness.  Jesus said that a house divided against itself would fall.
- Who were the "other sheep" that would hear Jesus' voice in John 10:16? 
- If we have the stick of Judah (record of the Jews or the Bible), then where is the stick of Joseph that is referenced in Ezekiel 37:15-20?  The Book of Mormon is the only explanation for this scripture.  Lehi was a descendant of Joseph.  Think Joseph Smith could have gotten that right by sheer chance?
- How could there be so many witnesses of the Book of Mormon and the plates and not one of them deny their testimony even when some of them became bitter toward Joseph Smith? With so many people involved... a hoax of this magnitude could never go uncovered.
- How could the Book of Mormon never contradict itself while being an extremely complex book?  After all these years... someone would have found something... but no.
***And the most important question to ask yourself, How do I feel while I read the Book of Mormon??? 1Kings 19:12
Doctrine and Covenants 6:23 What greater witness can you have than from God?

If you've never read the book, read it!  If you say no, why not?
Something that Elder Holland said that I put into my daily life as a missionary is, "I want it absolutely clear when I stand before the judgement bar of God that I declared to the world... that the Book of Mormon is true."

The Book of Mormon is true.  The church is true.  I hold in my hands the happiness of more people than I can now imagine. 

Elder Copeland