Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ninety-second Week - April 25, 2016


Well, yeah, I turned 21 this week.  I don't really like birthdays anymore, I don't want to get older.  But, yeah, my ZL Comp Elder Carbajal is gone and also my normal comp Elder Gomez.  My new ZL comp is Elder Heileson.  We came together, he's from Utah.  We are good friends, other than that--he is a Ute--I like him a lot.  He is Elder Merrill's old companion.  My new normal comp is Elder Solis from El Salvador.  He has four months.  He's cool, we get along. 

I also completed 21 months in the mission this past week.  It's super weird that it is coming down to the end, but it was a super crazy week.  I left my area everyday this week trying to go and help other missionaries around the Zone.  This week I worked like a horse.

(Part of the area where Elder Copeland serves.)

Monday night we had a Family Home Evening with a super cool family that are members with Jose that I told you about last week.  We got him a cake cause it was his birthday.  We watched the John Tanner video.  When Jose saw the cake, he started to cry. 

He said that no one has ever bought him a birthday cake in his life.  He was super happy.  He is super positive and came to church again yesterday.  The only problem is that he and his partner don't want to get married.  Here, no one wants to get married, pretty annoying.

Tuesday afternoon I went to my convert Meyling's house.  She is the one that just had twins last week.  She is 27 and now has 7 kids, the oldest one is ten.  She is a single mother and doesn't work.  We were just sitting in her house and in the house there is only one bed.  So I asked who stayed in the bed with her.  She said she and the two new babies.  I then asked, "And the other five kids?"  She responded, "They sleep on the ground..."  My heart just dropped, so sad... Mom and Dad, when we come here in July, we will be buying two mattresses for the other five kids so they don't have to sleep on the dusty concrete floors... We are so blessed to have what we have.  They literally have nothing.  I brought them five bags of Top Ramen on Saturday so that they could eat.

Wednesday, Elder Heileson and I went all day around the Zone to animate all the possibilities and stuff.  Like a week ago, I had a feeling to go and visit one person that was supposed to get baptized like two months ago but something happened so she didn't do it. So we just randomly showed up at her house and we convinced her to get baptized.  So she got baptized, super awesome.

Friday I turned 21.  I can officially say out of all my 21 birthdays, Friday was the first time I didn't do a single thing for me.  That's what made my birthday so good, forgot about myself and helped other people come unto Christ.

(The color of the moon on Friday.)

Saturday.  At around 5 pm, I got a call from one of the companionships that was supposed to have a marriage and afterwards a baptism, but the lawyer, wasn't answering her phone (he said he called her 20+ times...) and she was supposed to be there an hour earlier.  So I just said a little prayer saying, "Heavenly Father, I have literally done everything I can this week to get this lady baptized and married.  Please help me find this lady."  So I called her, and she answered.  I told her I would be waiting on the corner of the market for her.  I went hauling to the market and sat there and waited.  She showed up like 30 min later.  I then took the lawyer all the way to the house of the people that were getting married.  What we do to baptize............. That's just a long story short.  Things we do can't be put into words.

Sunday, I brought two new people to church that I found this week.  Super awesome!

Well, I got to go and run to a different cyber so that I can send you guys the pics.  I love you all and thanks for the birthday wishes. 

The choices we make determine our destiny... "May we ever choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong."

Elder Copeland

Ninety-first Week - April 18, 2016

Well, there goes another change. 

I am in my last full change, can't believe it!  I am staying here in La Ciudad Sandino.  I'm fine with it.  It'll be my 4th change here.  I will be staying here as ZL.  My ZL companion E. Carbajal is leaving and my normal companion E. Gomez is leaving.  So it's going to be all new this week haha.

Tuesday at around 2 pm we were just contacting and I have just been praying to find someone positive.  We were waiting for one of the APs to come to my house so that we could go and visit all the possibilities around the zone.  So I said to my comp, "Let's just contact one more house and we will see what happens.  I saw a little house not too far out of my sight.  So we went and contacted the guy.  His name is Jose and he just turned 31 yesterday and he has a family, not married obviously.  He said has never visited any church in his life, but he has interest in our church.  He committed himself of going to church on Sunday.  I gave him a pair of shoes so that he could go, he only has flip flops.  He doesn't have a job right now, but I am helping him with that right now.  We have got this guy locked down for baptism.  Tonight we are going to have a FHE with his family and some members that live on the same street.  The lady got a cake and everything.  It's going to be awesome. We just need to help him stop drinking and smoking, get him married, then he can get baptized:)  Pray for him, please.   He is sooo positive!  Right after that lesson with him, I went with E. Hironaka (AP) and we went around the whole Zone visiting possibilities.  It was a good time.

Wednesday night I had to go and animate some possibilities in the Zone again, so I wasn't really in my area.

Thursday same thing...

Saturday, we were supposed to baptize a lady named Tamara, but she told her mother-in- law that she was going to get baptized, and the mother-in-law became very upset. So we tried all we could, but she didn't get baptized.  We are going to try again this week.  It's upsetting getting all the way to the fecha of someone's baptism and they fall... not fun... But we did have another baptism--Ivan, he's like 45, such an awesome guy.  I wasn't able to be in his baptism cause I was trying to get everything sorted out with Tamara and never was able to go to his baptism... But he is an awesome guy! 

Sunday afternoon my convert Meyling here in Sandino had twins!

I am winding down to the end, I cant believe it.  So much has been learned and a lot more to go.  Trying so hard not to get trunky or anything.  I'm still working hard.  It's still super hot. This week I thought of something miraculous. Here air conditioning doesn't exist and it's never colder than 85.  You guys remember what a rotisserie chicken is???  The chicken that is on a bar and gets cooked by spinning around all the time?  Well, yeah, I have come to the conclusion that I am just like the rotisserie chicken when it comes to sleeping.  Every 5 minutes I have to rotate to a different position because if not, I will just burn and sweat like a dog.  haha  It's kinda hard to explain the heat.  I thought that I would get used to it.. haha never. 

Quote of the Week:
"If you don't like something, change it.  If you can't change it, change your attitude"

Elder Copeland

Monday, April 11, 2016

Ninetieth Week - April 11, 2016

What's up, guys?

I hope you had a good spring break en la República Dominicana.  Just make sure to plan something fun next year cause i will be able to come:)  I saw a bunch of pictures.  I can't believe how much everyone has changed!  I won't even recognize some people.  I'm still me... skinny, very good looking and weird.  I think the only thing that has changed is that I'm balding a little bit... I need some Rogaine or whatever that stuff is called haahah... I can't go bald, I'd be sooo ugly!  We are down to double digits, 9 weeks left... super loco!!!  But I honestly don't like writing letters anymore.  This cyber place is literally an oven.  So I'm just going to give you guys a quick recap of the week.  

This week was one of the most stressful weeks out there haha.  A bunch of problems with baptisms in the zone.  But I had a baptism, that was a miracle.

Tuesday afternoon we passed by for Rosa.  We got there, the first thing that she told us is that the guy left and that she was going to get baptized!  I was so surprised, it was a miracle.  Later that night, we were just contacting and we came accross a young mom her name is Francela.  We taught her the Restoration, it was a really good lesson.  She said that she wanted to go to church and would get baptized if God answered her prayers and made her feel like it was correct.  So we put another cita for Thursday... So we passed by again on Thursday, she came up to us and said, "My husband said that I can't listen to you guys.  He said that I can go to any other church besides yours."  I was devastated.. We left and came back like 30 minutes later to talk to her husband to see what his problem with us was.  He didnt even want to talk to us, wouldnt answer questions.  He just ignored us and went inside.  Too sad... that lady was one of the most positive people that I have found in a while. But here, it's rare to find good men.  It's rare to find families that are all willing to listen to our message.  But I just keep working, knowing that the Lord will put that person there for me. 
Friday afternoon Rosa got baptized.  She wanted me to baptize her, so I gladly did it.  She was super happy! 

I was out til 10:30pm that night with Elder Weyand (DL) looking for his possibility cause there were big problems.  She was supposed to get married and baptized the next day.  But one of the families went insane.  We never found her til Saturday morning. She didnt get baptized.  

Saturday morning I went and surprised worked with some Elders in the Zone til 2pm.  That day I didn't find Rosa and her phone was turned off.  Supposedly she went to Managua to see her grandpa or something. I was super nervous that she wasn't going to be home in time to get confirmed.  I called her Sunday morning at 5:30am, no answer.  We got up and went to her house, thank goodness that she got home in the morning super early.  She got confirmed.

Last night something crazy happened.  I got some random reference a couple of days ago. So being Sunday afternoon, I decided to go visit them.  After like two hours looking for the house, we found it.  It was a 16 year old kid named Marcos.  So we start getting to know him.  He said like 18 months ago he moved from Granada to Sandino . Turns out we were basically neighbors in Granada.  So I asked him if he know Frederick Aguilar.  He said, "Frederick's little sister is my girlfriend."   Super crazy.  Eighteen months ago I baptized Frederick and like a year later he baptized his family (mom, dad and sister) and out of no where I found this kid from some random reference... and he just happens to be the boyfriend of one of my converts.  The kid is super cool, just has it in his mind that he is going to die a Catholic.  The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Elder Copeland

Monday, April 4, 2016

Eighty-ninth Week - April 4, 2016

APRIL!  Wow!  Can't believe it! 

I say it every week, but time is flying!  Ten weeks left... Trying to make the best of it.  But it is a super busy week, lots of work.

Tuesday, we had consejo at President's house.  Could have been my last time going to consejo.  I'm pretty sure I'm going back down to DL for my last change.  Consejo is always good and many things learned.  Something that Sister Russell said was, "When the Lord knows that He can trust you, everything is made much easier for us."  President talked about taking advantage of everyday and how it will be worth it someday.  Something that he always tells us is, "The way you serve the Lord on your mission is the exact same way He will serve you after the mission and for the eternities."  Super awesome.  I hope every missionary recognizes that.

Wednesday morning, Elder Carbajal and I went up to Mateare to work.  I worked with Elder Jimenez (DL) and Elder Seneca (my half son).  We basically spent the whole day looking for new people.  We found some super cool people, it was a good day.  That night we slept four people in two beds connected together, that wasn't fun.

Friday we had our Zone Meeting, that went well.  After that we went to eat lunch than came back to the house for a bit to get ready.  Out of nowhere, IT RAINED for the first time in like five months!!!!  It felt so amazing.  Straight bendicion de Dios.

Well 4up and 4down.  Next conference I will be nice and comfortable on my couch:) Conference here on the mission wasn't the funnest.  If you didn't have four investigators you weren't allowed to go... So in October, I won't have to worry about that:)  But I never noticed the importance of Conference until I came on my mission.  It's sad seeing the members only go on the Sunday morning session and to nothing else.  Probably the last time seeing Pres. Monson, sad.  Love that guy!

Just a few little liners that I really liked:
-You can have what you desire, or you can have better.
-Drawing nearer to the Lord, causes us to change.
-Priesthood power
-The best leaders are also the best followers
-Regardless of your calling, you're always a leader and follower whether we recognize it or not.  People are watching us.
-Be happy, choose happiness
-His work is our work
-Wherever you go, your Priesthood goes with you
-He will not rescue us against our will
-The Lord blesses those who want to improve
-Sanctify yourselves today, and the Lord will do wonders unto you tomorrow.

Have a great week.  Love you all.

Elder Copeland