On July 23, 2014, Elder Connor Copeland began his two-year missionary service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church). This blog is intended for those who want to share his experiences for the next two years as he serves the Lord and the people of the Nicaragua, Managua South - Spanish Speaking Mission.
What's up guys? Good week. Not much time, we don't have p-day again... This morning we had a multi mission, Elder Christensen of the Seventy came. It was good.
Monday night, I got stoned. Some dumb teenager chucked it at my back. Dummy.
Tuesday, I went and did some interviews up in Mateare and visited some of their investigators.
I should have three baptisms this week, Meyling and her two daughters--Ivania and Katherine. They are awesome, but this week, her old boyfriend showed up out of nowhere, and wants to live with her again. On Sunday morning, before church she was crying cause all he has been doing is drinking, and she doesn't want that for her kids or for her. So she said she is going to tell him to leave the house so that she can get baptized this week! She's so awesome. Pray for her to have the courage to do it!
(Just as Jesus was baptized to obey God's commandment, each of us must be baptized and receive the Gift of the Holy Ghost through proper authority in order to go back and live with him again.)
I have a new companion--Elder Andino from Honduras. He has 10 months. My new ZL comp is Elder Martinez, the old AP. He is dying this change. He is super awesome, but ready to go home haha.
Sorry for the short email. Hopefully we have a p-day next week so that I will be able to write you guys.
So, Wednesday as a mission we went to La Playla de Gigante. It was awesome! We ate hamburgers.
(Elder Hartley and Elder Copeland)
(Elder Kleiner and Elder Copeland)
(Elder Hanson and Elder Copeland)
(Elder Hanson, Elder Merrill, Elder Copeland)
Thursday, my convert from Granada got his mission call to Honduras, San Pedro Sula West, leaving March 30th. SO awesome! So proud of him!
This week I read one of the best General Conference talks ever, October 2010, "The Transforming Power of Faith and Character," by Elder Richard G Scott.
"When faith is properly understood or used, it has dramatically far reaching effects. The exercise of faith is vital to Father in Heaven's plan of happiness. But true faith, faith unto salvation is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ, faith in His doctrines and teachings, faith in the prophetic guidance of the Lord's anointed, faith in the capacity to discover hidden characteristics and traits that can transform life. Truly, faith in the Savior is a principle of action and power.
"Faith in the future is demonstrated by a couple sealed in the temple. They understand that by obedience to the teachings of Jesus Christ and the plan of happiness of our Father in Heaven, they can have a joyous life together. They recognize that when the challenges intended to be growth opportunities come, they will find ways, as prompted by the Holy Ghost, to overcome them in ways that are productive and character building.
Faith and character are intimately related. Faith in the power of obedience to the commandments of God will forge strength of character available to you in urgent times of need. Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation. That is when it is intended to be used. Your exercise of faith in true principles builds character, fortified character expands your capacity to exercise more faith. As a result, your capacity and confidence to conquer the trials of life is enhanced. The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to benefit from exercising the power of faith. You will discover how faith and character interact to strengthen one another. Character is woven patiently from threads of applied principle, doctrine and obedience.
"We exercise our faith by doing. "Faith is the principle of action and of power." WE BECOME WHAT WE WANT TO BE BY CONSISTENTLY BEING WHAT WE WANT TO BECOME EACH DAY. Righteous character is a precious manifestation of what you are becoming. Righteous character is more valuable than any material object you own. In the next life, your righteous character will be evaluated to assess how well you used the privilege of mortality. You can only undermine your own growing character through disobedience.
"Strong moral character results from consistent correct choices in the trials and testing of life. Such choices are made with trust in things that are believed and when acted upon are confirmed.
"What are some of the empowering principles upon which faith is based?
- Trust in God and in His willingness to provide help when needed, no matter how challenging the circumstance.
- Obedience to His commandments and a life that demonstrates that He can trust you.
- Sensitivity to the quiet promptings of the Holy Spirit.
- Courageous implementation of that prompting.
- Patience and understanding when God lets you struggle to grow and when answers come a piece at a time over an extended period.
"Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith" (Ether 12:6). Thus, every time you try your faith, that is, act in worthiness on an impression, you will receive the confirming evidence of the Spirit. As you walk to the boundary of your understanding into the twilight of uncertainty, exercising faith, you will be led to find solutions you would not obtain otherwise. With even your strongest faith, God will not always reward you immediately according to your desires. Rather, God will respond with what in His eternal plan is best for you, when it will yield the greatest advantage. Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes. That causes your faith to increase and your character to grow.
"Worthy character will strengthen your capacity to recognize the direction of the Spirit and to be obedient to it. Your consistent exercise of faith builds strong character.
Your happiness on earth as well as your eternal salvation require many correct decisions, none of which is difficult to make. Together those decisions forge a character resistant to the eroding influences of sin and transgression.
"Material things do not of themselves produce happiness and satisfaction and the joy of attainment of earth. Nor do they lead us to exaltation. It is nobility of character, that fabric of inner strength and conviction woven from countless righteous decisions that gives life its direction. A consistent righteous life produces an inner power and strength that can be permanently resistant to the eroding influence of sin and transgression. Your faith in Jesus Christ and obedience to His commandments will strengthen your character. Your character is a measure of what you are becoming. It is the evidence of how well you are using your time on earth in this period of mortal probation. You get what you pay for in obedience. Your faith in Jesus Christ and diligent application to the truths you learn, what you get is the molding of character. The growth in capacity and the successful completion of your mortal purpose, and to be proven and to have joy. You become what you do and what you think about. This mortal life is a proving ground, how well you meet its challenges determines how strong your character will be. Your faith in Jesus Christ and His teachings fortifies your character. I have personally verified that concepts like faith, prayer, love and humility hold no great significance and produce no great miracles until they become a living part of us through our own experience aided by the sweet prompting of the Holy Spirit.
"A testimony is the very essence of character woven from threads born of countless correct decisions. A strong testimony gives peace, comfort, and assurance. It generates the conviction that as the teachings of the Savior are consistently obeyed. Life will be beautiful, the future will be secure and there will be capacity to overcome the challenges that cross our paths.
"A testimony grows from understanding truth distilled from prayer and the pondering of scriptural doctrine. It is nurtured by living those truths with faith anchored in the secure confidence that the promised results will be obtained. Your testimony will be made strong by willing obedience to the law of tithing and by giving fast offerings, and the Lord will bless you richly for it. As your testimony is fortified, Satan will try harder to tempt you. Resist his efforts. You will become stronger and his influence on you weaker. The devil will not triumph. Even now he must operate within the bounds set by the Lord. He cannot take away any blessing that has not been earned. He cannot alter character that has been woven from righteous decisions. He has no power to destroy the eternal bonds forged in a Holy Temple between a husband, wife, and children. He cannot quench true faith, he cannot take away your testimony.
- God uses your faith to mold your character.
- Character is the manifestation of what you are becoming.
- Strong character results from consistent correct choices.
- The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to exercise the power of faith.
"If you have determined to live righteously, don't become discouraged. Life may seem difficult now. But hold tightly to that iron rod of truth. You are making better progress than you realize. Your struggles are defining character, discipline, and confidence in the promises of your Father in Heaven and the Savior as you consistently obey their commandments."
(Meyling and her five kids and some friends. We watched, "The Restoration" and ate popcorn. Getting baptized soon.)
What's up, guys? Sorry, last week I told you that this week's letter would be better, but I lied. Today we don't even have a P-day because on Wednesday we are going to La Playa Gigente, close to San Juan Del Sur. We are going as a mission. It will be awesome. We are going because at the start of 2015, President Russell put a goal of 2060 baptisms as a mission, and if we completed, he would take the mission to San Juan Del Sur (super cool tourist place and number one surf place in all Cenral America). So in 2015 as a mission, we baptized 2,158!!! It was a record! All missions work hard, I won't lie, but not like this one. Here, daily we need to have 7 investigator lessons, 4 converts/less active lessons and 24 contacts and 6+ investigators in church every Sunday! So you add that all up in one week, that's 49 lessons, 28 converts/less actives and 168 contacts. Now you wonder why we baptize a lot here. Other missions you can watch Disney movies, here if you do that Pres just sends you home without exception. There is a reason behind it why we baptize here, cause, trust me, it isn't easy, at all! Finding positive people that will actually progress is very difficult. You have to work like a horse! If any other mission in the world had President Russell, they would baptize like us.
But, let's see, cool things that happened this week.
Wednesday we were contacting all day and couldnt find jack squat. I kinda just stood in the middle of the street, and said to myself, "Honestly, where else can I contact?" I looked across the street and saw a green house, so I said, "Why not.?" A humble mom of 5 kids answered and let us in. She accepted a baptism date for the 6th of Feb. They all came to church on Sunday and loved it! It was a miracle! Today we visited her, wouldn't stop talking about her baptism and of her 2 daughters that are over 8. I gave the girls CTR rings for going to church. They loved them. Her name is Meyling, she is a 26, single mother, 5 kids. Please pray for her!
Also, I don't know if you guys remember Carlos and Janet from Rivas? I married them, then baptized Carlos and his 2 kids, but Janet wouldn't get baptized. On Saturday, Carlos somehow got my number and called me and said that he baptized and confirmed his wife and that he also has the Melchizedek priesthood. Another miracle.
I love this work with all my heart. I have many weaknesses, but try to be better each day.
Have a great week. I'll send you guys the pictures of the beach next week!:)
Sorry guys, not much time this week. I have to make a zone presentation for consejo de lideres on Thursday.
This week was a good week, we had 2 more baptisms!
Julio- He is like 60 we baptized his daughter and 2 grandchildren. Now working on the other 7 people in the house. He is an awesome guy, he used to be a pastor.
Ruth- She is a single mom with 2 kids and used to be a JW.
This week, let's see...
Well, it's 2016. I can't believe that... I come home this year, crazy! This whole week we spent finding new people! After looking all week long, it came to Saturday night and I had 15 people committed--super good! Sunday morning, I went on divisions with a Returned Missionary, and my comp went with another Returned Missionary to go and wait for our confirmation. So all in all, we ended up getting 7. I was so dead from walking so much.
One of the people that came to church with us is named Flor. It was her first time coming to a church in 20 years and she loved it. It was so awesome! That night we went to all the people that didnt come to church to go and talk to them to see what happened. One super cool family that we found this week said that this week their pastor came and told them that the Mormons make blood pacts with vampires ahahahahahah! I have heard a lot of dumb stuff but nothing nearly as dumb as that! I honestly have no idea how you can think of anything so dumb.
Sorry about such a short email this week. I had to do a bunch of stuff. I will write it out next week. I promise it will be better.