Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Sixty-sixth Week - October 26, 2015

Wow!  What a week!  Crazy, but for the most part good with many prayers answered and many miracles.  Let's get right to it.
Monday night we had another Noche de Hogar with a bunch of our investigadores.  We watched "The Restoration."  It was awesome.  I know without a duda that José Esmeeth (That's how they say it here,) was a prophet.  It's so funny how so many people are still arguing about that.  But whatever, just find the chosen.  This world consists of two sorts of people, those who are acted upon and those who act.  Which one are you?
(The Monday night Noche de Hogar.)
 (Elders Copeland and Merrill)
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were just normal days.  Our four possibilities (Perla, Ana, Alfredo and Francis) were looking good, even with all of their problems.  We had done literally everything we could have possibly think of to baptize these people.

Friday.......... everything went insane!  I hit 15 months... Got a call from the APs and said that we were opening up two new areas so we had to go look for some houses (didn't find jack).  Merrill and I also didn't sleep one second on Friday night, because we had a Multi Mission on Saturday morning, so we left the house at 2 am to go and pick up all of the missionaries in the Zone.  Elder Snow of the Seventy and Elder Turley the Church Historian spoke to us.  It was awesome.  I learned about the importance of writing in my journal (just started that again, took like a 4 month break).  And a few other things. 

The baptisms.  We got back to Jinotepe from Managua around 3 p.m.  And the baptisms were scheduled at 5 p.m.  Not good.  We sent Elder De Leon and Velasquez to go see if they were all there while Merrill and I went and set everything up.  And just like always here in Nicaragua, 3 of our 4 possibilities were no where to be found (And, Alfredo, Francis).  I knew how much work and effort that we put in with them.  I would not give up.  So Merrill and I left the church and went a searchin...

Elder Merrill and I were at the church getting everything ready, then we took a taxi out to where they live.  I had a strong impression to tell the taxi to take a different route than we ALWAYS go, so I followed through with that feeling and we went the other way.  Miraculously, we saw Francis walking on the sidewalk with her baby.  We would have NEVER seen her if we didn't take that route.  So grateful for that feeling that came to me!  We got out of the taxi instantly and she seemed super animated about getting baptized, and said that Ana and Alfredo were as well.  Did I tell you that they were trying to do this baptism in secret so that they wouldn't get kicked out of their house?  But she said all was good, just had to drop something off at her aunt's.  We went with her obviously, but waited outside and hid so that her family wouldn't see us.  She didn't come out for about 20 minutes, so we got a little worried.  We finally passed by and saw her inside, and she signaled to us to wait just a little.  We waited and saw some old lady walk in.  About 3 minutes later, she came out, didn't even look at us, and started walking toward her house.  We caught up to her, and she was super sad because her aunt had found out and told her, "If you get baptized, get out of the house."  She did not want to do it.  We tried to animate her, but nothing was really working while we were walking to her house.  Then we got to her house and sat down and talked to her for about 45 minutes about faith and how she had seen miracles and how she could do this and how the promises of God always get done.  I shared a little story that I happened to read that week in Doctrine & Covenants 39:7-10, 12.  

And now, behold, I say unto you, my servant James (Francis), I have looked upon thy works and I know thee.

And verily I say unto thee, thine heart is now right before me at this time; and, behold, I have bestowed great blessings upon thy head; 

Nevertheless, thou hast seen great sorrow...
10 But, behold, the days of thy deliverance are come, if thou wilt hearken to my voice, which saith unto thee:  Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on my name, and you shall receive my Spirit, and a blessing so great as you never have known.
12 And it shall come to pass that power shall rest upon thee; thou shalt have great faith, and I will be with thee and go before thy face. 
She really liked it, and put full trust in the Lord.  No matter the circumstance, no matter the difficulty, if we are obedient, God will bless us.  She wanted to do it, but was scared of getting kicked out of the house.  Somehow, gracias a Dios and the Spirit, she decided to be baptized.  But we had to secretly leave her house and get to the church so that her aunt wouldn't see her!  We went walking down the street and then went down a little alley way about 200 feet long and 3 feet wide--pitch black, to get out to the highway.  As we left the alley way, I walked out first and looked right, and saw her aunt walking right towards us.  I told Francis and she went sprinting back through the alley like she was going to her house.  Merrill and I sat there like nothing was happening haha. We said, "Well, that was fun while it lasted," thinking that she would go back to her house and give up.  After the aunt left the alley way, we walked back through it to see if her aunt had seen her.  When we got to the street, we couldn't see Francis.  My heart just dropped.  Two seconds later, one of our investigators that we are teaching on that street signaled at us... FRANCIS WAS HIDING IN THE HOUSE OF AN INVESTIGATOR FROM HER AUNT. She came out, we went to the church, and she got baptized.  Perla got baptized as well without any problem.  She is so awesome.  That night we never found Ana and Alfredo.  We went in the morning at 5 a.m. to try, but couldn't get them.  So we finished with two last weekend, four in the month, and six in the change.  It is a record in this area.

Francis took an enormous step of faith that day. She has a one-year-old baby and isn't married, doesn't have a job, nothing.  But she decided to put her faith in God.  I will never forget that moment and what she did.  She will be forever blessed for that, I have no doubt.
In the Zone, we finished with 24 baptisms.  Our goal was 25.  I was really disappointed, because our two baptisms that fell were the ones that would have helped the Zone hit their goal.  But I learned a great lesson that day.  It was the will of God.  Although I was really sad, we did break a record, with 24 baptisms.  And although they didn't all get baptized, I can honestly say that I really felt your prayers.  The Spirit was very strong last week, and I am so happy for Francis and Perla.  I am so grateful for that miracle.  It was the biggest miracle I have seen on my mission.  The whole thing was like an action movie; it was much better in person obviously.  Francis is a chosen daughter of God, just like all of them.  It was a humbling experience, and I learned that night many things.
Today, Merrill and I kept looking for a house in Nandaime!   We left the house at 8 a.m. and we were looking all over the place.  We got to play with some monkeys!!!  Legit monkeys!  That was super Salvaje.  They are incredible. Can basically do anything they want and are really smart!  (One even stole my pen!)

However, today was tough.  We were looking for a house last night for four hours (didn't find anything), and today from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.  We were really frustrated because nobody wants to lose their P-Day looking for a house!  We felt hopeless, we had looked literally everywhere!  At 4, we decided to humble ourselves and say a little prayer.  We sat down on the sidewalk, Merrill said a prayer, we started laughing our heads off mid-prayer, who knows why, so we had to control ourselves and restart.  After the prayer, we walked 1/2 a block and asked some dude if he knew anyone.  He pointed to where we sat down on the sidewalk to say the prayer.  We walked to the lady at that house.  Little did we know that she was renting a house and it was the perfect house. Haha... 
I feel like this last week the Lord was just telling us, "Son, just put a little trust in me,"  because we had got so stressed out.  I love the Lord, and I am grateful for His many miracles. And I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow every day.
The Lord answers prayers.
Love you all, have a great week.

Elder Copeland

Monday, October 19, 2015

Sixty-fifth Week - October 19, 2015

Well, there goes another week.  Can't even remember what happened.
Monday night we had a little Noche de Hogar in the chapel with some of our super awesome investigators (picture).  We watched, "The Testaments."  It was super awesome. 


Wow, sorry super blank right now is my brain. 
So, I'll just talk about our investigators.  The record in this area is 4 baptisms in a month.  Right now we have two and have four possibilities for this Saturday!  One of them is Perla.  She's like 24.  She is super awesome--no problems.  She will be baptized.  We, also, have Ana, Alfredo and Francis (the lady that I told you guys about last week.)  Well, they have gone through a bunch of crap for listening to the Mormon missionaries--from losing friends and family relationships to people cutting their power and water, and now, today losing their house.  So many people hate us here, don't know why haha... But they have received so many problems, but Francis has been battling through it.  She is so awesome!  Alfredo is 12, so he doesn't really care, but he reads the Book of Mormon picture book all day haha.  And Ana has kinda been struggling a bit with all the stuff that has been going on.  We have been working and praying a lot for them, but it has been tough.
Today around 2 they called us and told us that their aunt came from Managua last night and told them if they are going to get baptized in the Mormon church, they have to leave the house (keep in mind they have nothing).  So Elder Merrill and I rushed to their house to see what we could do.  Francis told us, "In the morning, we are going to the government to see if they can give us some land so we can build a house, even if it is made out of plastic."  She is so awesome and has a lot of patience and will do anything! 
Well, that's about it.  We will see what happens with them this week.  PLEASE PRAY FOR THEM!!  ANA. ALFREDO. FRANCIS and PERLA. 
Love you guys.

Elder Copeland

Monday, October 12, 2015

Sixty-fourth Week - October 12, 2015

Well, there goes another week.  It was a good week, we had two more baptisms.

On Wednesday, we had a baptism, Fernanda.  It was her birthday.  She was turning nine and wanted to get baptized on her birthday.  Her whole family are members.  She just hadn't been baptized yet, so we gladly did it.  She's super cute.  I baptized her.
 (At the baptism of Fernanda.)

On Thursday, Merrill and I got up at 2 am because we had a Multi-Zone Conference in Managua, so we had to go pick up all the missionaries in Rivas then come all the way back to Jinotepe to pick up the rest of the missionaries.   Then we were off to Managua.  It was good.  We didn't get back til 10 pm because we had to go drop off all the missionaries in the Zone.  It was a long day.  Also, Merrill and I taught a workshop called El Embudo (the funnell).  It's basically the steps you need to follow so that we can teach better and find the needs of the person and most importantly, teach with the Spirit.  After Sister and President Russell spoke to us, we did some activities.
Some things Sister Russell and President talked about:
1- Change your heart
     -Have a repentant and obedient heart
     -Daily steps of obedience will NEVER leave you astray
2- Never give up
     -The Lord has given us sufficient opportunity and resources to accomplish anything we want to do here.
3- Always remember Him
    -Ask Him.  He will always help
    -One key for success in your mission is desperation
    -When we are desperate, everything changes.
    -We have to have the determination to do what He wants us to do.
Scriptures to strengthen our Faith
1- Mark 9:23
2- Luke1:37
3- Mark 10:27
4- Isaiah 41:10
5- Mark 11:24
6- 1 Nephi 3:7
7- Romans 8:31
8- Alma 36:3
9- Genesis 18:14
10- 1 Nephi 17:50
On Friday, I went down to Rivas to their District Meeting and to visit their possibilities to make sure everything was good and ready for baptism.  Kinda forgot how hot Rivas is haha... Got back that night around 7.  My second day in this area we contacted a house and talked to a guy named Dario.  He's an alcoholic but came to church with us that Sunday.  We visited him that same Sunday that he went to church and he told us that he has a cousin that is coming to live with them cause she and her husband were having some problems.  So we met her that next week.  Her name is Francis.  From day one, she was awesome.  She's 24, has two kids and quit school after second grade.  Well lately, her husband has been telling the police and stuff that she is doing stuff to her baby and all that stuff.  So on Wednesday, she went to talk to a judge to be tried to see if she was guilty or not.  Judge proceeded to ask her something along the lines of, "On Sunday, October 4, it has been stated that you did this and this to your son."  She responded, "I was at the Mormon Church with the Elders listening to the living prophet and Apostles (General Conference).  The judge responded, "What are the five things Mormons don't drink?"  She answered perfectly.  She told them everything that she remembered about the church; from the First Vision, Book of Mormon, Jesus coming to America after his resurrection, and that she is learning a lot of things and getting baptized on October 24th.  The judge released her and said that her son will not be taken away. 
When she told us this, she said that somehow everything she has learned came back to her remembrance and she remembered everything.  She said that she felt all calm and confident and the words were just leaving her mouth. I thought that was so amazing.  In fact, it was a miracle.  The Holy Ghost is powerful and I know without a doubt that the Holy Ghost helped her and put the words in her mouth for her that day.  It's amazing to see how much the Lord helps us when we keep His commandments.  And His ways are different than ours.  If she never had these problems with her husband, we wouldn't have ever been able to meet her and help her receive these blessings.
Don't shine so others can see you.  Shine so that through you, others can see Him.
Elder Copeland

Monday, October 5, 2015

Sixty-third Week - October 5, 2015


Wow, kinda annoyed right now cause these computers are horrible.  I've had to restart it six times now, so hopefully it'll get me through now. 

But anyways, great week.  Got to watch most of conference, all of it besides most of the Saturday morning session, cause here in the mission, if you don't have four investigators, you can't go to conference.  But don't worry.  We ended up getting 18 and 4 of them came multiple times.  It was awesome!
(At Chicken Alfredo's house.  He's an awesome kid.  He came to two sessions.  He, his mom, and his aunt are all getting baptized on the 24th.  They are so awesome!) 
This week, we will have two more baptisms, Andy and Fernanda.

Well, conference... I love President Monson!  Funny how much I hear everyday about the Prophet Joseph Smith.  Come on people!  Just accept the fact that he was the Prophet of the Restoration.  But anyways there were a bunch of little liners that I loved from conference.

-How do we make the Lord's ways, our ways?  I believe that we begin by learning of Him and praying for understanding.  As our trust in Him grows, we open our hearts and seek to do His will, and wait for answers to help us understand...
-When we open ourselves to the Spirit, we learn God's way and feel His will.
-The journey of discipleship is a course of steady improvement.
-Ask the Lord, "What is keeping me from progressing?"  Then quietly wait for a response.  If you are sincere, the answer will soon become clear.  It will be revelation intended just for you..
-None of us marry perfection, we marry potential.
-If you want more than you now have, reach up, not across.  No one can reach up for you. Only your faith and prayers will cause you to lift yourself and have the mighty change of heart. 
-It's never too early and its never too late.
-No matter how dark our doubts, we choose how long and to what extent we allow it to influence us.
-Am I as close to living like Christ now as I was before??
-Faith is not by chance, but by choice.
-Your calling isn't yours, take care of it.
-The Lord will qualify those whom he calls
-He weeps when we suffer and rejoices when we do what's right
-Our mothers bore us and continue to bear with us.
-He doesn't respond just to answer our curiosity
Just some things I noted down during conference that I really liked.  I hope you all have a great week and become more like Christ every day!
Mucho amor,
Elder Copeland

Many phrases can fit this picture:
-Because I have been given much, I too must give.
-Recordad que el valor de las almas es grande a la vista de Dios.
-True happiness doesn't result from what we get, but from what we give.
-For it is in giving that we receive.
-You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.
-In the service of the Lord, it's not where you serve, but how.
"Sí, venid a Cristo, y perfeccionaos en él, y absteneos de toda impiedad..."