Monday, November 30, 2015

Seventy-first Week - November 30, 2015

Time is just going faster and faster, cant believe that it is already December. 

Last month of 2015, WOW!  Well, this past week was pretty good, full of miracles, and also disappointments.

On Tuesday, we had a miracle.  Around 2 pm we were just walking on the street and from behind us we heard a lady yell, "Elderes."  In my head, I just thought it was going to be people that mock us like it always is.  But I turned around anyways and it was two ladies, so we went back to talk to them.  One of them was a member from Granada (my first area).  She somehow remembered me from a year ago haha.  She just came to Jinotepe to visit her sister Xiomara.  We just talked outside of her door for like five minutes and put a cita (appointment) for Thursday.  Turns out she basically asked us if she could get baptized.  Has a couple doubts, but came to church yesterday and stayed the whole three hours and loved it.  We have a cita tomorrow with her to meet her kids and we are going there with the bishop and his wife.  She has a baptism date for the 26th.  If her sister wouldn't have come to Jinotpe, we wouldn't have ever met her.  It was a miracle.  God prepares his children.

On Wednesday, we just spent the whole day looking for new people.  Didn't really find anything.

Thursday was Thanksgiving.  We went to a resturante called Terry's Diner.  I ate a hamburger.  I definitely have had a better Thanksgiving that's for sure haha. 


After that, I went down to Rivas with Elder Kleiner to visit all of the possibilities, got home pretty late, but we got Claudia and Daniela interviewed and everything was good.

Saturday, for lunch, Claudia invited us to lunch at her house before her baptism.  She got baptized at 5.  She was super happy, she is awesome.  I love them as if they were my own family.  

(Baptism of Claudia.)

Daniela was supposed to get baptized at 5 also but she had to wait in a line for her graduation clothes and didn't get home til 7 and she was sick so wanted to do it on Sunday morning at 9 am. So we said Dale (Meaning, "Go ahead.")

Sunday morning... we called Daniela at 7:30 am, and she said that everything was ok and was just about to start getting ready.  At 8 am we called a member to go and help her and her two kids. Turns out on Sunday morning they were celebrating the birthday of her sister in law (preparing to get baptized as well).  So all the family was at their house and the mom of Daniela told everyone that they were listening to the "Mormons."  All of the family started to mock Daniela and Griselda (the sister in law), saying all sorts of crap from coffee to Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon.  

So Daniela left the house with her two kids to the park.  She didn't end up getting baptized. Last night we went to go and talk to them.  They told us all of this.  We also talked to Daniela's mom for a bit to try and help with the problem.  The lady is so close-minded it's sad... Daniela and Griselda have a strong testimony, but last night they both told us it would be better if they stopped listening to us because of all the problems.  Daniela's mom said that if she gets baptized, she has to leave the house with her two kids... We tried helping them out, they want to do it, but don't know what to do... PLEASE pray for them and their family!!!

This past week, Dad told me to read a general conference talk called, "What Lack I Yet?" by Elder Larry R.  Lawrence.  It was awesome.  I really liked it.  Here are some of my favorite parts:

(Click on the above link to read or listen to the conference talk Elder Copeland is referring to.)

If we are humble and teachable, the Holy Ghost will prompt us to improve and lead us home, but we need to ask the Lord for directions along the way.

We came to learn and improve until we gradually become sanctified or perfected in Christ.
The journey of discipleship is not an easy one.  It has been called a "course of steady improvement."  As we continue traveling along the straight and narrow path, the Spirit continually challenges us to be better and to climb higher. The Holy Ghost makes an ideal traveling companion.  If we are humble and teachable, He will take us by the hand and lead us home.  However, we need to ask the Lord for directions along the way, like "What do I need to change?"  "How can I improve?"  "What weakness needs strengthening?"
(El Joven Rico.)  He was a righteous young man who was already keeping the ten commandments, but he wanted to become better.  His goal was eternal life.  When he met the Savior, he asked, "What lack I yet?" (Matthew 19:16-22).  Jesus answered immediately, giving council that was intended specifically for the rich young man.  "Jesus said unto him, if thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and... come follow me." The young man was stunned.  He had never considered such a sacrifice.  He was humble enough to ask the Lord but not faithful enough to follow the divine counsel he was given.  We must be willing to act when we receive an answer.  Every one of us, if we would reach perfection, must at one time ask ourselves this question, What lack I yet?
The Holy Ghost doesn't tell us to improve everything at once.  If He did, we would become discouraged and give up.  The Spirit works with us at our own speed, one step at a time, or as the Lord has taught, "Line upon line, precept upon precept, ...and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts,...for unto him that receiveth I will give more."  For example, if the Holy Ghost has been prompting you to say, "Thank you" more often, and you respond to that prompting, then He my feel it is time for you to move on to something more challenging, like to say, "I am sorry, that was my fault."

A perfect time to ask, "What lack I yet?" is when we take the sacrament.  In this reverent atmosphere, as our thoughts are turned heavenward, the Lord can gently tell us what we need to work on next.

The atoning sacrifice of the Savior is what makes perfection or sanctification possible.  We could never do it on our own, but God's grace is sufficient to help us.  "Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for sinners.  I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the Atonement is also for saints, for good men and women who are obedient, worthy, and conscientious and who are striving to become better." -Elder David A. Bednar

I would like to suggest that each one of us to participate in a spiritual experience, perhaps even tonight while saying your prayers.  Humbly ask the Lord the following question:  "What is keeping me from progressing?"  In other words, "What lack I yet?"  Then quietly wait for a response.  If you are sincere, the answer will soon become clear.  It will be revelation intended just for you.  The Spirit can show us our weaknesses, but He is also able to show us our strengths.  Sometimes we need to ask what we are doing right so that the Lord can lift and encourage us.  He rejoices every time we take a step forward.  To Him, our direction is ever more important that our speed.

Be persistent, but never discouraged.  We will have to go beyond the grave before we actually reach perfection, but here in mortality we can lay the foundation.  *It is our duty to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow that we are today.  If spiritual growth is not a priority in our lives, if we are not on a course of steady improvement, we will miss out on the important experiences that God wants to give us.

"I have learned that where there is a prayerful heart, a hungering after righteousness, a forsaking of sins, and obedience to the commandments of God, the Lord pours out more and more light until there is finally power to pierce the heavenly veil. ...A person of such righteousness has the priceless promise that one day he shall see the Lord's face and know that he is." -Spencer W. Kimball.

Love you all, have a great week!

Elder Copeland

(My omelet.   We ran out of plates, so I had to use the law of castidad folleto as a plate:)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Seventieth Week - November 23, 2015


What's up fam?  It's your son.  I am still alive.

This week was a pretty good week.  We had another baptism.  Biana - she is 16, we found her about a month ago contacting.  Her dad is Ateo and we hope to baptize her mom soon. On Friday, she got Chikunguna.  (It is a really bad virus that's spread by mosquitoes that is going all over Nicaragua right now.  But she has gained a strong testimony although, getting a bunch of crap for listening to the Mormons, but she ended up getting baptized.  Then on Sunday morning she was like dead but went and got confirmed.  Super smart girl.

This week we should have two more baptisms. 
Claudia - she's 27, a single mom with a 7 year old daughter.  Her husband left her.  She has had a bunch of challenges ever since she started listening to us, but the difference is, she has a testimony of the Book of Mormon.  The Book of Mormon is the difference.  But please pray for her every prayer possible this week.  She needs our help.

Daniela - she is 22.  Her husband left her and her 2 kids about a month ago.  Also, her parents are giving her crap for listening to us because our church is "of Satan," apparently. But she also is reading the Book of Mormon like crazy.  She loves it.  Please pray for her, also. 

Lets see... what happened this week...
Well, we have spent the whole week looking for new investigators.  It's been tough.  From scrap metal doors slammed in our faces to... who knows, a bunch of wild things.  We have had an extremely good month in our area, right now we have 9 baptisms and 2 more this week.  The Lord has really blessed us. 

This past week I had something happen that I will never forget.  I was able to serve someone that never gets served.  About 9 p.m. we were heading back to the house and it started pouring like crazy, so we hid underneath a little shelter.  After staying under there for about 15 minutes and the rain's still coming down hard, I looked up and about 50 feet in front of me in the street I saw a blind drunk guy lying on the sidewalk, hitting his stick on the ground looking for shelter.  I looked over to my companion and told him, "Sigueme."  (Translation:  Follow me.)  My companion looked at me weird, but we started running out into the street to go help this guy find shelter.  I got there and told him we were God's missionaries and we were going to help him find shelter.  We helped him up, he couldn't even stand up cause he was so drunk.  I got under his left shoulder and my companion got under his right shoulder.  We picked him up and put him under some shelter so he wouldn't get wet anymore.  We ran to get him some bread and we ran back to him and gave it to him. He wept and told us thank you and that we were God's angels.  I couldn't help myself but weep.  We are all weak.  Go out of your way and serve someone this week.

I am really working right now on my personal spirituality, and trying to focus on having the spirit with me constantly.  It is tough, but I am making progress little by little. 
Tonight in your family home evening, I want you guys to watch "17 Miracles."  I watched that this week, and wow, I honestly don't know how the pioneers did that.  Ever since the restoration, it has been a chain of miracles to where the chruch is today.  All of us need to become more appreciative for what we have.  We honestly don't recognize how lucky we really are.  This is The Church of Jesus Christ, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be his hands.

Question of the week.  Would you keep the commandments if you didn't receive a single blessing????

Sorry I haven't been so great with my emails lately.  I will start writing them on Monday mornings to make them a little better.

Miracles are everywhere to be found when Priesthood callings are magnified.  When faith replaces doubt, when selfless service eliminates selfish striving, the power of God brings to pass His purposes.  Whom God calls, God qualifies.

Elder Copeland

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sixty-Ninth Week - November 16, 2015

Great week!  We had 4 more baptisms! 
-Yahoska, is 16 and a has a kid that's 1 1/2 years old.   She left her boyfriend so that she could get baptized.

-Roxana - her little girl got hit by a motorcycle the day before her baptism and broke her arm.
(Yohoska and Roxana and their daughters.) 

-Marvin and Johana -  they got married and baptized.  Super humble people.  They live rough lives. Johana has two kids in jail (here in Nicaragua if you go to jail, it's something serious because the policia don't do much here).  They don't live the easiest life, a lot of problems.  But anyway, it was awesome to see all of their decisions that they made to get baptized and see the changes that they are making in their lives.

 (Wedding of Marvin and Johana.)


Now we have 8 baptisms this month.  It's a record!  The old record was 4 (set by us last month).  We are working like caballos and doing everything possible to baptize!  Please pray for Daniela, Claudia and Griselda.  Some of our investigators that are super awesome, just struggling with a couple things.
This week we also had interviews with President.  That was good, I love him so much!  I spent the day with Elder Kleiner and Sister Russell doing house checks.  That was a good day talking with them.
But anyways this lady at the cyber (where the missionaries use the computers) is not nice at all.  She said that she is closing so i gotta go.  Sorry... i didnt get to write a lot.  I'll try better next week.
Elder Copeland

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sixty-eighth Week - November 9, 2015

What's up, Fam?

Don't have much time today, so I'll just give you a quick rundown on a couple of people we are teaching.

Claudia, we found her two weeks ago contacting.  She is like 27 and has a 7 year old daughter named Chelsie.  She is super awesome and is reading the Book of Mormon like crazy.  She tells us her testimony all the time.  It's incredible that if you actually read the book, you will know if it is true or not. Well, she has been to church these past two weeks and is progressing well. She works as a nurse or something like that.  She's acutally a pretty rich Nica. She gets mocked a lot for visiting the "Mormon" church, but just tells everyone to read the book and don't judge before knowing.  It's awesome.  She has a fecha for the 28th and we are working hard with her.  Pray for her.

Roxana, she's getting baptized on Saturday.  She is 20 and starting coming to church because all the family problems that she is having.  But she's awesome, too.
Oneida and her daughter Yahoska.  They should be getting baptized on Saturday.  They just have a little problem with coffee, just like every other Nica ahah.
But anyways, right now they are our most positive people we have.  Pray for them please.  We need them to get baptized.
Let's see, can't really think what happened this week... On Tuesday we had Consejo de Lideres at Presidents house.  It's when all the Zone Leaders get together and discuss how their zones are doing and stuff.  There was some cool stuff that Sister and President Russell said, but I forgot it at the house, sorry... you'll have to wait til next week.  That's basically the main thing we did this week, nothing special.  I'm still alive, so that's good.  Just trying so hard to take advantage of these last 8 months.  Sometimes it's tough, but I'm trying my hardest.  Today we went to Managua.  I had to get my police record out.  We ate at McDonalds.  It was super good. 
The pictures are of my zone--La Zona Jinotepe,

and today at McDonalds with Elder Naisbitt and my comp. 
As individuals we are strong. Together, with God.  We are unstoppable.
Have a great week.
Elder Copeland

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Sixty-seventh Week - November 2, 2015

Wow, can't believe that it's already November.
Time seems to just go by quicker and quicker!  Good week, a lot has changed, let's get right to it!
Tuesday, we received the changes.  Elder Merrill left.  He went to Juigalpa (the other side of the country).  We are finally separated after 7 months together... We also continued to look for a house for another new area that night.  We were on a super dark street, spent a few hours looking but couldn't find anything, so we decided to pray.  About 10 seconds after the prayer, a dude was on the other side of the street, put his shirt over his head, and started sprinting towards us.  We took off like a gazelle running away from a cheetah. We have never run so fast in our lives haha.  He chased us for about 10 seconds, also pulled something out of his pocket, but that doesn't matter cause we got away safe and sound:)  It was super scary, but Elder Merrill and I were laughing our heads off when we were getting chased hahahaha... We had so many memories that I will never forget.
Wednesday, we got up at 2 a.m. to go and pick up the missionaries around the zone for changes and then went to Managua.  Got the changes, and we now have 26 missionaries in the zone.  It is the biggest in the whole mission.. a lot of work!  I still have Elder De Leon, but there are two new missionaries here, also.  The new ZL with me is Elder Mataalii from Los Angeles.  He has one transfer more than me.  We have known each other for basically the whole mission.  We get along super well, he is super awesome.  And the other new guy is Elder Isham from Hawaii.  He just got to the mission.  He is a funny guy.
Friday, I went to the District meeting in Nandaime. This whole week I worked with Elder Isham, the new guy.  It was good, just never want to live my first four months of the mission ever again haha.  But you gotta start from somewhere, right?  Elder Kleiner (my MTC comp, the new AP) came down to visit our four possibilities. That was fun working with him, cause last time we taught together was in the MTC and that was brutal hahahahaha... It was cool to see all the progress that we made.  I also saw a lion and cheetah.  That was cool.

Saturday, we had four baptisms!!!  We have been having A LOT of success lately, knowing that this area is known as one of the toughest in the whole mission.  We baptized Bianca who is 9.  Her mom is inactive and her dad is a drunk, but her gma is in charge of the family history.  Our other three baptisms were something that probably rarely happens:  A grandma, her son, and the son's daughter.  So it was a baptism of three generations.  It was awesome and definitely a bendicion de Dios.  Mariana, the grandma; her son, Willy, who got baptized even though he has a broken foot; and his daughter Keyling who's 10 and actually super smart.  I love watching people take the decision to get baptized and have their white ropa on. 

Today, my favorite convert came to visit me.  His name is Frederick.  He lives in Granada (my first area).  That was awesome to see him!  I love that kid and his family! 

Miracle story how I met him.  He lives on a corner of a street, and I had a strong feeling for about two weeks to contact his house, but never did it. Finally contacted it.  He was the only one that wanted to listen to us (although he was studying to become a Father in the Catholic Church).  In fact, he read all of 1 Nephi in one day.  Long story shory, he got baptized last December, but his mom, dad, and sister didn't.  But about 2 months ago, Elder Mataalii, my new comp, was in Granada and teaching them.  Frederick was able to baptize him mom (who used to be a Nun), dad and sister.  I learned that Alma 37:6 is true.  He teaches the Melchizedek Priesthood classes, has his Patriarchal Blessing, been to the temple, and gets his call in December.  And the family is going to the temple to get sealed when he gets home.
I love this work.
Love you guys.  Happy BDAY GPA GEORGE!
(Elder Copeland's Grandpa George celebrated his birthday in Danville with his cousins, Tyson and Preston, and Aunt Alison and Uncle John.)

Elder Copeland