Friday, July 1, 2016

WELCOME HOME ELDER COOLEY!!!

Elder Cooley is home at last! 
He's Exhausted but full of energy, smiling & being smothered in love!!!
It's so good to have him home again.
As a mother I'm so grateful for the life lessons and experiences learned a mission offers, the sacrifice and service humbly given and that he is now home.
 It brings a feeling of wholeness back into our family.
 Shane's homecoming address is July 10th at 11:00 at our church on Cherry lane.
 Ya'alls welcome to join us.

video


Monday, June 20, 2016

10 Days to Go.

This week might be a short letter because I will be home in ten days haha. It feels weird to say that and it hadn't  hit reality until four days ago. I am actually struggling with these last weeks because it is all that I have known for the past 2 years and I am about to leave it all. I also find it harder to be motivated thus making my days feel a little bit longer when I go out. I feel like life will hit pretty hard but I am excited because I will be able to set new goals and reach for new heights. It is also an awesome experience at the same time. We went to Zone Training Meeting this week and since it was my last meeting they asked me to stand and share my experiences with my testimony. A lot of members are having us over also because I am going home and they want to feed us and have a little celebration. I will miss the culture more than anything in my mission.

We got a call from some of my old friends in the Albany ward and they came down to see me before I left and we had some awesome food that they cooked. I am going to miss them a lot. Maybe it wont be long until I see all of these people though because Louisiana is so close and still state side and they might actually be moving to Utah. We also have been invited to a big cook out because I am going home at the previous stake presidents house. I love the people here. 

Our Hispanic investigator's name is Alejandro De La Cruz. He has been busy along with a lot of our other people this week and couldn't see him. We will see him this week and bring a member with us that is from Costa Rica.

I will see y'all in 10 days:):) I hope y'all have a good week.
Much love, 

Elder Cooley

Monday, June 6, 2016

24 days to go!

How is everyone doing? I have had a very good week. This area is awesome and we are always being supported by the ward. It still amazes me how many people are in this ward. We walk into sacrament and I am constantly seeing people that I don't know and I am constantly meeting new people. They are very friendly and are awesome at fellow shipping those that we bring to sacrament. We brought two Chinese folks to church the other day. The husband is very smart and he talks to us about the study of religion all the time. He came to church and was shocked at how the church is run and how nobody gets paid and there are great amounts of good that's being done still.
The ward here got a new bishopric and has changed a lot of callings this week. The bishop is moving to Texas and they called his first counselor as the new Bishop. The bishops son also received his mission call and we went over to say congrats. He is going to Washington Spokane English speaking. They were discussing how he would get to the Provo MTC and the joke came up that he could stay with me in Utah and I could drop him off haha. It is weird to think that I will be home before he enters the MTC. Time flies family and friends... 24 days to go.

The English elders had a baptism this week. The lady's husband was baptized a few months ago and she decided to go through with it also. 

We found a cool new Hispanic dude and he is very receptive to us sharing with him. He is from the Dominican Republic and he has a cool accent. We will be going by to see him this week again. There aren't a lot of Hispanics here in Lafayette but we see a few. We have a lot of members that speak Spanish because the ADT security salesman are here and all of them are return missionaries. We have them speak to the Hispanic people that we bring to church and it is very helpful.

This week has felt very regular and I don't have much to say. It seems like the closer I get to the end of my mission the harder it is to write my emails. We are seeing some awesome people and we are staying busy but other than that I don't have much to say. Feel free to ask me any questions if y'all want and I would be happy to answer them.

Much Love,
Elder Cooley

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

30 days left!!!!


Hello family and friends,
I had an awesome week this week. We went fishing all day yesterday and caught some bass. I had an awesome time. I love fishing... I cant explain myself enough by saying I love fishing because Louisiana raises fishing to a whole new level. I got some sun and had a good time. After fishing we went to a craw fish boil to end our P-day. I cant think of a better day haha:)
I only have 30 days left on my mission. I have been enjoying this area a lot and plus it keeps me busy. I am very happy that I got moved  to a new area to end my mission because it will keep me busy and non-trunky because I am constantly meeting new people. There are a lot of people in this ward. There are 964 people on our ward roster and 326 were at church this week. There is always something to do haha;) 
2 years has gone fast and 30 more days will go even faster. I feel very exhausted and worn out haha. I remember getting off of the plane, riding to the church for transfer meeting and thinking to myself "I dont know if I can do this for 23 more months". The funny thing about this is that I still feel like that even with 30 days left. I feel very blessed for these experiences in my life. I would never trade these experiences; I know that they will serve me for the rest of my life.
I have been asked a few times what I will miss the most when I leave and my answer would have to be the culture. They have also asked me what I have missed the most about home and I would have to say I miss being able to put actions behind what I want to pursue in my life. Yes I still do that on my mission but it isn't balanced. I am working on a lot of spiritual and mental goals out here but I cant wait for being able to balance them all out and take direct action in my life. I have a dream and a vision of what I want to create in my life and It hurts not being able to work on all of it.

One of our Hispanic families moved out this week to follow the work that they found in Texas. When we had found her she had all ready read up to 3rd Nephi in the Book of Mormon and had a lot of questions. We did our best while she was here and I hope she has continued with the missionaries in Texas. We are visiting with some other very cool people and I will let y'all know more if anything comes about.
Well family and friends, I don't have anything else to write about but I hope that all of you have a wonderful week.
Much love,
Elder Cooley

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Elder Cooley has discovered- SMILING ;)

I had an awesome week and I am doing good. We have transfers today and Elder Peterson and I are being doubled out haha. They are losing a lot of elders and especially Spanish elders so they they want the new ZL's to be ready for the next wave that will come in. Elder Peterson is staying in New Orleans zone but I am being moved out to who knows where haha... I will let y'all know next week as to where I am moved.

I only have 6 weeks left and I feel like I have been learning So much. I discovered this crazy new concept these past few weeks... its called "smiling" hahahaha. I have been trying to work on my people skills and this gives me a great desire to talk to everyone if I get the chance. I love seeing how people act and react and it is amazing to see how society works as a whole. Have you ever noticed that it is rare to see someone that doesn't have a gloomy face? Life's circumstances have conformed them into who they are being and it should be the other way around!

Everyone wants to feel significant. This "Fact" is why people do a lot of what they do. This is why a lady screams and rants and rages in line while at the grocery store because the register isn't working. Either she wants to feel significant to the people in the store or she wants to feel significant in some other odd twisted way. For whatever reason, why she acts like this can be attributed with how she feels. I too would rant and rage at a cash register in public if I didn't feel significant enough in my life. This is also why kids do drugs, adults separate in marriages and many more examples that I could very easily think of. 

The reason I talk about this is because of one question that I want to ask; Can you imagine what a benefit it would be to your life if you felt very significant and made everyone else around you feel significant? You could go through the worst things possible but because you felt significant and had meaning behind your suffering you were able to endure and live through it; the Holocausts and POW camps are great examples of this. Most of your life problems could be solved by finding who doesn't feel significant enough. The impact that we have on other people can be HUGE and even life changing. If a store manager walked up and made the crazy lady screaming at the cashier feel more significant by paying more special attention to her and being sincere while doing it then the problem would most likely stop and even more so maybe even take a complete U turn because she was so pleased about how she was taken care of.

 The reason behind this paragraph is to prove to you that you can make a bigger impact in the world than you think. A simple start is to become one of the rare few that smiles instead of having a gloomy face all the time. If you were able to make everyone feel significant around you Imagine the success you could have in every endeavor that you pursued let alone an increase in your own self significance! Go out into the world and make every life moment worth it for yourself and everyone around you. I am not saying to go and be an entertainer on a stage because that will become exhausting. I am saying that every action you do towards others reflects what you think of yourself and who you are. I am saying to become a better you by helping others do the same. If you want others to be interested in you then you should become More interested in others and stop thinking about yourself. 

I have been So highly blessed to be working with so many people out here in Louisiana on a mission, but, the mission doesn't stop here. A person doesn't have to be a missionary to work and learn with people. The one thing that a person needs to start this process is initiative. Shake your life up, face your fears and go out into the world not knowing what is going to happen next. The most awesome thing about 'certainty' and 'uncertainty' is that it will help you take risks. If things go south then it will fire you up to do better. If things go good then it will inspire you to do more. If you cant have prosperity then pray for adversity because you will either become better because of 'inspiration' or 'desperation'!

I love you family and friends. Remember that love is the friend and that fear is the enemy so keep your friends close but your enemies closer because the enemy will drive you to 'action' and 'decisions' that need to be made in life. Face your fears and live your life to the greatest.

Much Love, 
Elder Cooley

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Rubber Band Game

I have had a good week this week. We tried a lot of doors this week and not a lot of people answered. Hahaha I have to laugh at those moments when people look through the blinds straight into your eyes and still don't answer. Also When the kid answers the door and has a full conversation with his mom and comes back and tells us that his parents aren't home. Or the moments when you get to a house at the exact moment someone is coming home from work and you knock their door as soon as he walks inside but he still doesn't answer haha. Those moments actually make me laugh and make me appreciate the good moments that much more! Those moments make me appreciate the contrast between light and darkness and the principle that You can CHOOSE which one you are going to be. 

Our zone is doing very well and some of the slower areas are getting better. Our area is pretty slow so we need to switch things up or something. We had some good moments and it was awesome to see some people show up to church that are now progressing. A man that I was visiting at the start of my mission came to church and we talked for a while. I haven't seen him in almost 2 years so that feels weird to say. He is a less active friend that took a break from coming to church because he didn't feel supported at all. He had heart surgery and the bishop stopped by with a box of chocolates and no one else came by. After that his wife died and no one visited him. After that his son died and no one came to visit him. He said in a testimony that he was offended but he knew that the church helped him to better himself so he came back. He has more trust is God and Jesus Christ then the flesh of man.

Do you remember the rubber band and close pin game? One of the nights that we came in from working we had two elders with us and we started to shoot Q-tips from my exercise bands. One thing led to another and we started launching red beans and anything that we could find at each other from across the apartment. it was really fun and everyone said that they haven't had that much fun in a long time haha. It is very important to go out and work but to have fun is VERY important also. To love what you do is very powerful. Make the best out of your days, get rid of doubt and worry and get things done. If you do not love what you do then you need to strip everything away and review the basics so that you can find the problem. Most often you will find the problem and realize that it is yourself; haha I have done that many times. A change in knowledge is a powerful force that changes our perspectives; it is swift to change our actions and attitude.

The Sisters in our area are going to have a baptism this week on Saturday.

Life is good and I can NEVER Complain! I feel good and hope to have the same influence on others. 
Have an awesome week family and friends. 

With much LOVE from,

Elder Cooley

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Time flies

We had a good week this week. We found a few new people and are planning to go back this week. I enjoy going out and talking to people, It really gives you a lot of experiences through out your day. It is interesting to see how people treat you and to observe how they live. 
We also went on exchanges with the assistants to the President. We found a few people with them and we also did some service hours. It feels weird to be with other missionaries sometimes because it makes me realize how long I have been gone for; I am one of the oldest in the mission. Time flies. 

We have zone conference tomorrow but we don't have to instruct this time. We show up at the church and have our car inspections and then have our meeting. 

"So live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!" -Viktor E. Frankl.

 "It doesn't matter how long you live, but HOW you live" I hope that I can one day fully grasp this and use it to come closer to God and my Neighbor.

-Elder Cooley