Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Feliz Nuevo Ano!

Hola familia! Que tal? I had a pretty fast week this week. Obviously because I talked to y'all on Skype this week. I had a great time with talking to all of you.

It has rained a ton this week... I love it. I love nothing more than the wet and cold. Is that weird?

So we went over to the investigator that is trying to quit drinking and when I pulled up he was drinking again. We had a pretty straight forward lesson and also a very powerful discussion with him. He gets stressed and down on himself and so he drinks to cope with it. That is why it is so important sometimes to not  point out peoples problems and we just need to look past differences. He knows he has a problem, he knows he has a lot to fix and most of the time telling them that again just tears them down. We need to look past faults (we all have them) and build people up instead.

He is pretty stressed for providing for his family. I asked him... have you ever been to the point where you thought you were going to die from hunger? or have you been in torn cloths or no cloths on your back and thrown out into the streets? (Read Matthew 6:25-34)where do you have room to doubt and fear? If God feeds the birds and cloths the grass fields then are ye not much better than they? Don't worry about it because God will provide.
 I felt very strongly to promise him that if he is always progressing and doing his part in some little way (because God demands progression not perfection) then he will never go without.

Why would you use a Spotlight to do a job in which a flashlight is all that is needed to accomplish it? Therefore... why would God give you a great miracle when just a little tender mercy would do the trick. Isaiah 55: 8-9
Life might not be perfect but god knows what you need and what you can and cant handle. he will not give you a trial without a way to overcome it.

I love my mission. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else in my life right now. I have learned things that I know will help me in my life after and that there is so much in store for us... and a lot of people don't know it. We have so much potential.

I read the 4th missionary and it had a lot of insights that I loved and needed to hear. That talk can pertain to anything you do in life.
I don't know what else to say... so feliz Nuevo ano!

212
the 4th
-Elder Cooley

Monday, December 29, 2014

Week 4 Home - Be Faithful

Hello Family and Friends!

What a fun week! Of course, Christmas Eve and Christmas were filled with family traditions and cheer…and broken iphones. Hahah. Don’t ask. Anyway, I am excited for New Years Eve, and for the start of a new year, a new semester of school, and new opportunities to share the gospel. I am excited to see where Heavenly Father will guide me. 

I know my past couple posts have been pretty lengthy, so today I will keep this short and sweet.
This week, amid all the jubilee and joyousness, the lights and the laughter, the rush and the relaxation, the headaches and the holiday, I was given a beautiful gift. This gift was not wrapped, nor did it come from a store.

After studying my scriptures one morning, I felt impressed that I should ask my father to give me a priesthood blessing. We had talked about him giving me one ever since I returned home, but suddenly it felt very important.

It was beautiful. I truly do know that Heavenly Father listens to us. He knows us. He was able to use my father, a righteous priesthood holder, to tell me things that I needed to hear, to comfort me, and to guide me. There were things said and counseled on that I had never talked about with anyone besides Heavenly Father. I know the power of the priesthood is real… it is Gods power given to men; His way to direct His work here on earth. What a gift.

There was one thing that stood out to me in the blessing. I was told that Satan is trying with all of his might to bring me down, to make me feel despair and hopelessness; to make me feel like a failure. I was then counseled not to let him bring me into darkness or those whom I will uplift.

I had never thought of it that way.

Each of us has the opportunity each and every day to uplift others; to be an influence for good in someone’s life. But when we allow Satan to influence our choices, our mood, our state of mind, our beliefs about ourselves, we not only bring ourselves down, but those whom we could have lifted.
Perhaps there are people who need us to be strong. There are people who are in our life for a reason.
One scripture that I really love is in Doctrine and Covenants  81 verse 5. It says:

Wherefore, be faithful; stand in the office which I have appointed unto you; succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down, and strengthen the feeble knees.

We not only need to be faithful for our own souls, but for others. When we resist the adversary, and stand strong in the path God has placed us, then we are able to lift up the hands which hang down and strengthen the feeble knees.

So there is some food for thought for you. Simply put, your choices effect more than yourself. I think we have all heard that sometime in our life, but it became so clear to me this week. If I allow Satan to drag me down, then I allow others not to be uplifted. There are people all around us who need our good choices. There are people who need to be uplifted. I am grateful for this time of year that reminds everyone about charity and gratitude. I know I have been significantly blessed with reminders this week.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas, and I wish you a Happy New Year. I cannot wait for this “New Beginning,” and the adventures to come. To quote a dear friend of mine, “I have learned to walk with Christ this year, and plan to walk with him for the rest of my life.” That is my choice, my resolution for this upcoming year. I know that the savior is a real person. He came to earth a little baby. He lived and taught us how to live through his perfect example. I love Him.


I love you all. Thank you for your continued support and Love. I am here for you too.

212
The 4th

Megan Cooley



Sunday, December 28, 2014

Feliz Navidad

Hey I'm not quite sure to tell you in this email this week seeing that I'm going to be talking to you on Christmas. I got your tree! thank you for all you give me, I evjoy reading letters and stuff like that. I will be sending a package... I just want to get everything together first that I want to send (letters, gifts...etc.).
So We hit over our mission lesson goal this week. We got 22 lessons and had a great week with helping people. We had some of our less actives come to church again and also our refried bean investigator (the Honduran that got struck by lightning). I feel like I have come to the point in my mission to where It seems like missionary work is my life. I feel good; Converted to the work. This is my life now.
I have had some sick Bible studies! I'm flying through the bible and I love it! I don't think I will ever think of the word "seed" the same ever again but that's okay haha. I can prove so much things that our church is true in the bible. I can prove in the bible that the church was restored and the book of Mormon is true. I have dug pretty deep into my studies and have found some cool stuff. If I ever needed something to fall back on with my testimony (if I had doubts) And I needed a bench mark to keep me in the game... I would fall back onto the book of Mormon and the bible. They are true.
Have any questions while I'm still online?
P.S. I am going to call you before so you can know when to answer my call on Skype.

-Elder Cooley

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

I can explain!


Sorry about last week. I had written a letter and the library computer kicked me off and wouldn't let me log back on... anyways... I am staying in Kenner again with the same comp! This transfer is seven weeks... wow. I love this area and the people in it are awesome. I will have somewhere to go on Christmas so I will let you know more
We had a death in the ward this week. we started seeing him and his family two weeks before this happened and it has brought us closer to his family to listen to the gospel. Everything happens for a reason. It reminds me of all of the visits dad would go do as bishop. He died on his and his nieces birthday... sad. He was in the ICU for one week from a massive heart attack. He had three arteries 97% clogged. He had never told his family about his health problems so they actually got a lot of news about him when they got to the hospital. They didn't even know he couldn't see out of his left eye... tough little geezer aint he?! Sounds to me like something dad haha.

So bens brother in Texas has a baptismal date for December 28 and he has all ready bore his testimony in church... wow. It is cool to see results of missionary work. he invites friends to church and is a strong member. I wish every member of the church was more like ben; Then the very gates of hell would tremble and be no more. I look up to him a lot.

 We have a new investigator from Honduras that we met at tacobell... Ironic huh haha? He is in a sling from surgery and we asked him what happened; turns out he was struck by lightning!!!..... "refried beans" hahahaha sorry I had to throw that one in there. But everything happens for a reason and now he has met us and is learning the lessons. We took him to family home evening and he is wanting to learn more. The other night he asked us if there is life after we die... I never thought I would be asked that question; Si! Claro que si! Este es un subjectivo grande entonces Podemos pasar manana y compartir mas de este? I am excited to share more with him; he is excited to learn more too.

 Our friend with the drinking problem relapsed this week but we are still working with him. It says in the PMG to think of something you do without thinking about it (like popping your knuckles) and then try not to do that for a day, and then a week and then never again. I cant even imagine having an alcohol or drug addiction. He is doing great though and it will only get better. I hope.

I feel so humbled out here. I feel even more humbled to here from one of my best friends Hayden. It takes a real man to do that kind of stuff. All I have been wanting to do is work harder and not let a moment pass by since I heard his news and how strong of a desire he has to serve. Luv ya buddy, I look up to you a lot.

Love you family and friends! thank you for being good examples to me. Thank you for all of the packages and letters too.  

Elder Cooley

Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 3 Home - Our Best Selves

I can’t believe that it has already been three weeks. However… Time is an interesting concept. As a missionary, all can attest that the DAYS are just the longest things ever. You lie in bed at night and think, “wow that felt like an entire week…” But then the weeks somehow just scream by. All of the sudden you are at the library again, emailing your family on Prep day, wondering where the last 7 days went. I thought that time warp would go away, but I actually just think it is a symptom of growing up and having responsibility. The week went by fast for me, but the days were often painful and long. I miss Indiana and serving others 24/7, and being in the scriptures for 3 hours a day. I miss bearing my testimony 20 times a day and talking to everyone. I miss uplifting others and feeling like I am making a difference. If anyone ever tells you that the transition from being a missionary is easy… they are lying haha. Because the feeling of helping change someone’s life, and serving with all of your heart, might, mind and strength is irreplaceable, and unmatchable, at least for me it is. That is why I miss it. I became my best self in Indiana. I learned to truly love, serve, and care about others needs. However, when you are released as a missionary those opportunities are not as prevalent as before. I’m sure you have heard several return missionary say, “I just don’t feel like I have a purpose anymore,” or “I don’t know who I am anymore.” I used to chuckle when I would hear those things…but I am here to tell you…those feelings are real.

Do you ever feel like you’ve lost your best self? What did you lose it to? Perhaps you lost it to an addiction – food, television, Netflix, shopping, gossiping, and exercising. Perhaps to sin: lying, cheating, lusts of the flesh, laziness, idleness, and selfishness. Perhaps a to-do list, a never-ending business that really is only surface deep. Perhaps you lost your best self to your worst self – to self-criticism and self-doubt. Whatever it is, the loss can be painful. In the scriptures, Satan is said to use Flaxen cords. A flaxen cord is a tiny itty bitty thread, that when tied around your wrists can be easily broken. However, the scriptures say that he leadeth them (humans) by the neck with flaxen cord until he bindeth them with his strong cords forever. One little flaxen cord can easily be broken… but a hundred little flaxen cords make a strong rope, which cannot be broken by your strength alone.

So what does this have to do with our best selves? We lose them only a flaxen cord at a time. I have talked to several missionaries who say that their greatest fear is to return home and go inactive, or leave the church, or mess up really bad with sin. It is a rational fear, but is also 100% up to the choices WE make on a daily basis. It is a fear that can easily be overcome. It is a road that we can choose NEVER to walk. Isn’t that good news? So how, how then do we so often end up walking it? Each of us in our life, whether you are a return missionary, still waiting to go on a mission, raising a family, or are 80 years old, each has experienced flaxen cords of their own. We have all spent a little time, lost from our best self.

Satan knows that any return missionary is not going to go get drunk or watch porn or whatever the night that they get home. Satan has been around far too long and is far too cunning and wise to even try that game. Just as in Book of Mormon times, he works by flaxen cords. Little by little, he tries to make his way into our lives. He tries so hard to ensnare our best selves, and to turn us into someone we were always terrified of becoming; someone we may have even promised we would never be.
So what is the answer? Although it may seem cliché, its all about the little choices. Am I going to pray this morning or not? Am I going to strengthen my relationship with Heavenly Father today, or not? Am I going to think about the savior today, and try to be like him in my actions, or not? Am I going to watch that movie, or listen to those lyrics or will I shut it off and walk away? Am I going to keep going to the temple or am I too busy for that? Am I going to seek the spirit of revelation or just make decisions without prayer and pondering? Am I going to give my burdens to the savior during the sacrament, or am I going to play on my phone? So many little choices. But the good news, is that they are choices, and we always have the opportunity to choose right, to choose to let the savior change us.
Do you see the flaxen cords? Do you see how our little choices, made repeatedly, become big life changers? How thick is the rope you have decided to carry?
Do not despair, for there is still more good news. Not only is it our choice, but we also have one, our savior Jesus Christ, who has already gained the strength to break the cords, no matter how thick. Sometimes this break is immediate and the healing and relief comes quickly. However, usually, we are healed and the cords are broken as slowly as we created them, flaxen cord by flaxen cord. Just as our little choices can bind us, our little choices can free us. When we choose to pray and to read and to attend church and to cast away bad images and thoughts from our mind and replace them with good music and pictures of Christ, we are choosing to come to Christ; we are choosing to be free. These little choices are much harder to make once we are already tied up with a rope of bad choices, but it is POSSIBLE to make them, and POSSIBLE to break free. Jesus Christ makes it possible.

Elder Bednar, when talking about the burdens we carry, recently said, “It is one thing to know that Jesus Christ came to the earth to die for us. But we also need to appreciate that the Lord desires, through His Atonement and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to enliven us—not only to guide but also to strengthen and heal us.”

The little choices are hard. But when we but the savior in our little choices, they become a lot easier. In the October 2014 General Conference, Elder Quentin L. Cook asks us to ponder our choices and think, “Will this make me a better person today?” Those types of questions will usually guide us to making the right decision. Perhaps an even more stirring question, “Will this bring me closer to the savior today?”

Write it on a note card. Put it in your car or your mirror. Put it as the background on your phone or your computer. Even write it on your hand if you need to. But begin to see your small every day choices as choices that have eternal consequences. Flaxen Cords.

I know God is real. Even writing those words makes me feel empowered. I know he is working on us and in us, to help us be better. But we must let him. Choose to free yourself from the flaxen cords. Choose to let Christ in your life to heal you. It is up to you.

 Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

I love you. There is healing and hope available to every life. God is never finished with us. Even when we tell him that we are finished with Him, he holds on to us.

The Savior’s loving arms are always open. There is nothing he cannot heal. There is nothing that he cannot help you overcome. Make the choice today. 

Make. 
One. 
Little. 
Choice.

212 Forever. 
4th Missionary

Megan Cooley

Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 2 Home - The Homecoming Talk

Hello Family and Friends!

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to report to the High Council about my missionary service, and then give my Homecoming talk later on in Church. Both were amazing experiences filled with love and hope and the spirit.

I sat in the high council room with 3 other return missionaries and several high council members. Each of the missionaries had the opportunity to talk for about 5 minutes about their mission and their testimony. The spirit was dense. I was really nervous for my turn, because I was only able to serve 6 months. But I stood and addressed them, the entire time thinking about Marva, a woman from my ward in Indiana, telling me to have courage and knock their socks off. 
So with courage in my heart, I began by saying that I wasn’t expecting to give this report for another year. I continued to explain why I had to return home, and then I was able to tell about my mission, and how the most important thing that happened in those 6 months is that I was converted to Jesus Christ.

Later on in my homecoming talk I was able to expound a lot more and tell a lot of stories about the people and my experiences. I talked for almost 40 minutes about Indiana and the lessons I learned. (I made us go over on time… I know, I know.. everyone hates that..) I could have talked for another 40 minutes though.

It felt so good to talk about Indiana. Not very many people have actually asked me about my experiences or details of my mission since I have been home. I don’t know if it is because they don’t want to upset me, or think it might be too painful? I am not sure. But it felt so wonderful, and so… healing to talk about those lives in Indiana who changed mine forever. Those people deserve to be talked about. Those amazing miracles and blessing deserve to be shared. Those people are angels to me. They taught me to be better, to love more unconditionally, to live more freely. Those moments and experiences tore me down, and built me up.

I still don’t know why I had to come home. A friend here told me not to try and figure it out, because it will just drive me crazy. So I have just been trying my best to move on with my life, while still keeping the people and the lessons and the love in my heart forever. It has been great with all sorts of hard mixed in. A constant roller-coaster.

I think one thing that is hard for ERMs (early return missionaries), is feeling this constant need to help everyone see that you would give ANYTHING to still be on your mission; that you didn’t choose to come home. Seeking every opportunity to explain why you are home. At least that is what I have heard from other ERM’s. However, one thing the wonderful people of Indiana taught me is to not care what people think because it honestly doesn’t matter. I served among some spiritual giants, people who’s examples of love and service and beauty changed my perspective of it all. But I think we, as a society, have a distorted perspective of what those things are regardless. And I think there is this unnecessary fear that ERM’s have that they will be labeled a failure or rejected. This makes me sad. Nobody can truly know what is going on in another persons life, unless they take the time to ask.

So those of you who may have question.. please ask! I think all ERMs would rather have questions rather than whispers… And TRUST ME… we love to talk about our missions. For me, it was the happiest I’ve been in a long long time.

And for my fellow ERMs.. I plead with you. It doesn’t matter what people think, only God. As long as you are doing God’s will, then it really doesn’t matter. Choose to be happy. Choose to listen to the spirit. Choose to listen to God’s opinion of you, rather than mans. We need not fear mans opinion more than Gods…for that truly sets us up for failure. My little amazing brother, serving in Louisiana, sent me an email the week that I returned home… here is a part of it that I think will help all of you…
           
There is EYE sight and MIND sight... Eye sight is what you see in a situation, trial, task, and how it might appear. And then there is MIND sight... this is how you view your situation, trial, task, and how you are going to react to it. I strongly believe that as we live our lives clean and upright then whatever happens to us will be the RIGHT thing. Are you living your life accordingly to how you are supposed to? I could probably guarantee that you are.... therefore, if your mission in the field stops there then that is the right thing. God loves you. He cares about you. He has a specific plan for you; and he isn't resting on it or forgetting about you.

I know that we have a kind and loving Savior, Jesus Christ. I love the video Because of Him. I began my homecoming talk yesterday by quoting from its text that appears on the screen. Such powerful words. As we turn our lives to Him, and focus on who He wants us and created us to be, I know, and I PROMISE, we will find greater peace and happiness. Even if we are ERMs or RMs or never served or are preparing to serve or whatever! Heavenly Father loves you the same. And Jesus Christ is always beckoning you to come unto him.

I love you all. Thank you for your continued support. Thank you for helping me to be better than I was yesterday. Thank you for encouraging me and loving me :) 

212 Forever
4th Missionary
Megan Cooley





Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 1-Home

Hello Family! 
Despite my pride and somewhat potent desire to just hide away from society from the rest of my life, I have felt prompted to continue to write on this blog. Yesterday I had a conversation with my father about still having meaningful missionary experiences as a return missionary. I promised God that I would submit to his will, and that I would continue to be a missionary for the rest of my life. I continue to promise each week when I take the sacrament that I will ALWAYS remember the Savior. I believe that means sharing him.
This week was long, I will be 100% honest. On monday I landed in SLC after a really hard goodbye to Beautiful Indiana. As the plane took off, I looked out the window and just sobbed. It didn't seem fair, nor real that this was happening. I kept saying in my head... why couldn't someone who actually wanted to go home get sick? haha but hey, God doesn't work that way I guess. As the plane dipped below the clouds and descended into Salt Lake City, I expected to feel nervous and dread, but instead I felt peace. I say intensely beautiful rays of sun, bursting through the clouds, and I felt the hope of God's light. 
I was honorably released from my mission later that day by my new stake president. We had such a wonderful interview. I cried and he cried. He told me that President Cleveland had told him that in 6 months, I completed what most do in an 18 month mission. Now I don't really know if I believe that, but knowing that someone else does has helped me heal.
My stake president asked me to my homecoming talk. That scares me a little, but I agreed. It will be on December 14th at 2:45 pm. He also asked me to be put on the high council circuit and to speak to the other wards in the stake. oh boy.
As the week went on, I began to feel more and more heavy and less and less sure of why I was even here. I was really struggling with the fact that I feel like I am doing nothing here and could be making such a huge difference there! I started to lose that light of hope. But then something changed. I was reminded of how truly blessed I am. I was reminded of GRATITUDE. I started praying and thanking Heavenly Father for everything He had given me. I recultivated my trust in Him, and the perfect love and plan that he has for me. Why would I not trust Him? Everything I have ever gone through, any hard thing I have EVER faced, has led me to be a better person. Has changed me in ways that I needed to be changed. Why should this be any different?

When we choose to look at our circumstances and our selves with a dimly lit candle, we miss the beauty, we end up losing our footing and tripping and groping for the wall or ANYTHING to hang on to. We may end up choosing the wrong thing to hold on to, and live in that dim light, never really having joy.
I was told this week to imagine myself on top of a mountain, and to look out and see every single possibility that is before me. To smile and feel the sun on my face and feel the potential inside of me. To imagine myself, and see myself, as the woman I want to be in 5-10 years. Do this. and ask yourself these same questions... Is that person holding a dimly lit candle? Is that person choosing dark ravines and thorn filled dark canyons to travel?
Or does that person carry a far brighter light? Does that person choose to see the good? Does that person choose to be happy?
There is a far greater light available to us. God's light. That light is cultivated by hope. It allows us to see beauty, and to feel love. That light illuminates our path, and helps us hold tight to good. But it doesn't come to us merely by wishing for it, or saying routine prayers asking for it. Like I said, what does that person you want to be CHOOSE to do? Our choice cultivate that light, and create that person who we want to be.
So today, despite the hard and sometimes awkward situation that I find myself in, I choose to have gratitude. I choose to always remember the lives that touched mine in Indiana. I choose to believe and feel that I made a difference there. I choose to acknowledge myself as serving a full mission, the mission the Heavenly Father intended me to.
I know I can have meaningful missionary experiences each day still. I know I can spread that hope. I know I can share the gift of Jesus Christ. and I choose to do so.

Thank you all so much for the outreach of love that I have received this week. It was truly overwhelming. So many people emailed me and wrote to me, telling me that they have been through a similar experience and to hold on, that everything will be ok. I choose to believe them. :)

I love you all. I know that Heavenly Father loves each of us. and I am SO convinced, because of the experiences I have had, and the feelings I have felt, that He is so involved in the tiny details of our life. I know that the enabling power of grace is true, and allows us to live, today, tomorrow, and for eternity.

212 Forever.
4th Missionary 
Megan Cooley

Thursday, December 4, 2014

EYE sight and MIND sight

hey fam! I had a pretty good week last week. I have just been doing the regular mission life in the south... Chillen with drunk hondurenios and their borracho music; and being the only white kid on the block. haha I think that my favorite thing now is when some with trash lady or black chick asks me if im a cop hahaha. By the way we had a good thanksgiving. the regular thanksgiving meal in our first appointment and tamales and ham in the next two... stuffed!
I met with my president for our interviews and he changed my look and opinions on a lot of things. I have witnessed how fast my mission is flying by and how many opportunities I am going to miss if I am not careful. I have committed myself to die before I ever leave this post!
 
As missionaries with a language we have been promised that if we ready the Book of Mormon in our language than we will be able to speak it (and for me specifically I was promised that if I put my heart into my studies than people wouldn't be able to tell the difference between a native and my gringo voice). I know this is true. I have all ready seen it influence my language. I now can understand in church and not sit there bored because I don't know what the freak is going on. I have a long ways to go but the important thing with learning a language is to look back at your progress and not so far forward that you get overwhelmed. I read every night, wake up early to work out and study language and after I have my study of language later that morning too. I love the people and I have a desire to be able to interact and communicate with them.
So do you remember ben? So he moved to Texas before he was confirmed down here so he had his confirmation in Texas this Sunday. He ended up bringing 3 new investigators to church with him; and two of them have that desire now to learn more and to take the missionary lessons. One of those three is his little brother and he has a baptismal date on the 28th of December now. Wow! He is a new member who quite drinking and changed his life and is now one of the most impactful and faithful members I know. He is constantly bringing others unto Christ and is having a huge impact on his family and friends now. I told him that god has a lot in store for him and a great work for him to do... he told me that he has all ready accepted that and said for god to do what he wants with him... put him through what ever god wants him to go through... and his will be done.
Our friend that we are helping to stop drinking hasn't drank in three days... its not a lot but that is a huge first step. He is trying to get out of the environment he is living in now and change his life. People end up digging themselves so far down that the only way to get out is a struggled slow climb one step at a time. I hope it continues that way for him so he can live a more balanced life.
 
Hey Megs: this is what I had on my mind this morning so I hope it can help you and whoever it may concern.
 
There is EYE sight and MIND sight... Eye sight is what you see in a situation, trial, task, and how it might appear. And then there is MIND sight... this is how you view your situation, trial, task, and how you are going to react to it. I strongly believe that as we live our lives clean and upright then whatever happens to us will be the RIGHT thing. Look around you... we have so much in this life that goes on. We have the earth, the ocean, the stars, and the galaxy... how could God have time to even focus on me?
I want you to answer these questions in your mind:
You believe in a God right?
And this God.. you believe that he created you, the heavens and the earth?
than I can not believe that life was created by a God that didn't have a plan.... By a God that just woke up one day and decided to have some fun creating life... putting us through trials... and then it just stopping it there after we were all killed off.
For a God to create a precise earth... he is a God that has a precise plan intended for each and every one of us. Can you wrap your mind around just dying and that was it? you just ceased to exist!
Are you living your life accordingly to how you are supposed to? I could probably guarantee that you are.... therefore, if your mission in the field stops there then that is the right thing. God loves you. he cares about you. He has a specific plan for you; And he isn't resting on it or forgetting about you.
 
Megs you are a big example to everyone and especially me... I cant tell you how much people I tell about you. The MIND sight that you have right now will determine the type of person you are and the person you will become. It is these types of moments that truly shows what we are made of. Keep doing what your good at... keeping your head up and keep moving forward.
 
Love you fam!
 
Elder Cooley

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanks for your love and support

Hello Family and Friends.
It seems like this last week was a year long. So much has happened. I hope I am able to share my thoughts and feelings through this email about what is going on. I wasn't sure at first that I was going to share anything, because of my killer pride (haha), but I think I would rather everyone have all of the facts from me, so that there is no room for rumors or error of information. Though this is a hard email to write, I hope you all will understand.

I am being sent home.

My heart is broken, I cannot even think about leaving this place and these people and this spirit and this life. It hurts so much.
Most of you know that I have been having a lot of "health problems." Its been going on for quite some time now. In October, I finally decided to tell someone about it. Well... that just opened the flood gates. Apparently it was a bigger deal than I thought. Because of my past history with an eating disorder, they were really concerned with my stomach issues that I was having, (have been having since the MTC). I had to have an endoscopy test done, and blood work, etc. etc. But they came to the conclusion that it would be best for me and for my future and my body and my future family if I came home. I received this news on tuesday night. I cried and cried and cried. I don't even know how all of this happened, nor can I understand why.

President Cleveland has literally done everything in his power to keep me here, and I have done everything I can to stay. I've tried perscriptions and treatments and mom's voodoo stuff. I've tried counseling for anxiety and eating smaller more frequent meals. Nothing seems to work. 
When I spoke with President and Dr. Dunn this week, they both felt very confident, that going home was what Heavenly Father wanted for me. When I spoke with them, I felt a calm come over me, and so I just said ok. But since then I just wish and wish I could go back in time and do something.. anything different so that I may stay. I know, I know, that is stinkin' thinkin', but I am struggling to accept that this is Heavenly Father's will. 

I have to keep reminding myself of Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail... he did nothing wrong that landed him there. He prayed and he fasted and he was obedient and he worked hard, and yet he still found himself in a horrible and depressing situation. And just when he wanted to give up... Heavenly Father told him that all of these things will give him experience. I may not know for a long time why this is happening now, but I hope to be able to cheerfully submit, like Joseph Smith was asked to do, like Job was asked to do, like the savior did.

My studies this week have been incredible though, and I can honestly say I have never felt more of the saviors and heavenly fathers love for me. Yesterday as I took the sacrament, I pondered on what it really meant to me, and how it enabled me to rise from the ashes we create for ourselves. My heart was filled. All that matters is what Heavenly Father thinks about us. All that matters is that we do our best, give our all, run as far and as fast as we can. He promises us the strength as we do that, and to carry us when our legs become too weak. This morning I studied Grace. (again). It is one of my favorite things to study. I read in John 1:17-18. It says that from him came grace and truth. In the JST for that, it says from him came life and truth. It completely opened my eyes in seeing that GRACE = LIFE. How does grace equal life? well there are the obvious ways... Because of the savior's grace (his strength and power) we were given life, our bodies were created. Because of his grace we will receive our bodies again, in perfect form! Because of his grace we have the opportunity to live in the Celestial kingdom, in eternal families, in he presence of our loving heavenly Father. These are all wonderful, but seem distant and often unable to fully comprehend. But something that is so real, and so available to feel and see, is the grace that enables us to live our life here. No matter what we go through. No matter the mistakes that we make. No matter what depths we may sink to, or what twists and turns we may experience, it is the VERY REAL love that we can feel from our savior (grace), that gives us the ability to rise. I know it will take a lot of strength and faith to do this, and to go through this transition, but I know that His grace will be there. I can feel it now, as I type these words. It is available to every soul who will diligently seek it. That is the beauty of the Gospel. It is the hope that we need to overcome the depths and the shadows and the fears of this mortal life. That very love, and the power it brings, is the very essence of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I love being a missionary. I love learning about the savior, and feeling his love, and sharing it with others. I know that I will be fine, and that everything will be fine in time. I will never stop being a missionary. NEVER! It is too fun, and much to rewarding to stop. 
The work goes on, no matter where I am.

I will be sent home on Monday December 1st. Luckily President Cleveland is allowing me to stay for the 3 baptisms we have this weekend on the 29th. :) I am so excited. The twins and Rosemary are being baptized. They are all sooo ready. :)
I love this gospel. It is so true.

I love you, each of you. Thank you for your prayers and your love. 

212 FOREVER
4th missionary
I have no Brakes, I CANNOT and WILL NOT STOP!

Love Sister Cooley