Thursday, July 31, 2014

Sister Megan Cooley- Loving Life!

Hey :).
This week was sort of rough. It was like a whirlwind. At the beginning of the week, we do weekly planning, and at the end we set personal goals, and companionship goals. Sister Hunt and I both felt the need to set the personal goal of being positive and not having negative thoughts. Well... I will tell you something right now... whenever you set a goal, whether it is charity, patience, humility.... you will be blessed with many many opportunities to develop and achieve that goal. fact.
We were slammed with a lot of negative things. 
***** and ***** got anit-ed **** husband ***, who has been out of the picture for awhile and suddenly wants to come back... but only if they can go to the same church.... and won't even consider the "mormons." whaaaa? haha. Anyway. We met with her on Thursday and talked over some of her concerns. She brought up some anti stuff that she had read on the internet.. like Joseph Smith killing a man in carthage jail.. that one made me chuckle. Seriously people will write or say anything to demoralize and demean Joseph Smith and this church. It is such an evidence to me that The Church Is True. 
Mom, I was thinking about what you said about wanting to do more missionary work. We work A LOT with the less actives and recent converts in the ward. seriously, sometimes I think this wad is barely holding on because of the amount of less actives. But we visit, or try to visit as many as we can. Yesterday was amazing. Sacrament meeting was PACKED! It made me SO happy because last Sunday was EMPTY! Most of the time, people come to church less and less because they don't feel noticed or important or wanted or comfortable. And those feelings might come because they have sinned or because they took something the wrong way or because they have poor self esteem, or whatever, but the fact is, they feel that way, and they need to be rescued. I used to get frustrated with less actives who felt like nobody cared about them at church, but what it comes down to is, though there are people who need more nourishment than others, everyone needs to feel loved. Maslow's Hierarchy of needs states that the need to feel loved and safe and wanted must happen before any sort of progression. Now isn't that interesting. When we visit less actives, we get to know them, an we develop a friendship with them first. of course we always share a spiritual thought. But the more and more that we see them and the more and more they come to love us, then we can be more bold with them.
There is a lady named **** that we have been working with since I got here. It used to be that we couldnt even get into her home. She would be home but she wouldnt answer her door. Well, we finally got into her home and did some service for her, and all of the sudden she answers our texts and calls and lets us come in to talk. Then we do more service. and always tell her we love her. This past Saturday we went to lunch with her. We felt we needed to be bold with her about church attendance. She seriously has such a strong testimony, and we can't understand what is keeping her from church. So we just asked. We talked about the importance of the sacrament. One that that is SO key when inviting less actives to church... we said sister ****... the ward needs you. she was like... what? why? We explained that people needed her testimony and her love. That the ward was getting smaller. less people were coming. We need her strength. 
guess who showed up the church the next day.... Sister *****. Sat in the front row. stayed for the classes. We visited her later that night and talked about what she thought. She said it felt good to take the sacrament. She felt that every talk and lesson was talking directly to her. I think that is because her spirit was STARVING. seriously. She hadn't come to church since Easter, and then months before then. We talked to her about the temple (she used to work in the temple) and she said she wants to be ready and worthy for when the Carmel temple is dedicated. I think this temple is going to be such an amazing missionary opportunity. It already is.
Well I love you all. Thank you for your letters and your support. I love being a missionary. I love to study every morning and feel my testimony deepen and grow. I know this church is true. I know that Sister Hunt and  I are led by the spirit as we live worthy of it. I am happy and healthy and loving life. I miss you all but know that I would be bored to tears in provo, doing no good. :)
Peace out you weirdos. I freakin love you so much. thanks for your prayers. I can feel them!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Loving it! Mexico style

Hey fam! I am doing great! I love it here:) I am understanding, getting faster, and better at Spanish every day. I have all ready taught 12 lessons in Spanish and 4 of those have been without notes. I will send you a picture with my teacher next week, he is the nicest, funniest little Mexican I know. We joke around all the time and get along very well. Whenever he talks to you you can just tell he cares about you. I have learned some valuable lessons here all ready, it is amazing at how much you can learn in such little time. One of the biggest lessons is that it is the spirit that teaches and that one small degree of obedience can change the entire way my day goes. I love it. I am so glad I took three years in Jr. high. I don't know how I remember so much but I love the language!
I love my zone! We all get along pretty well. ALL of the workers are so nice here! I have never met a nicer janitor in the whole world! They are so happy and say hi to everyone. I feel very happy on my mission and am loving it.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nephilims???? What?

Hello World. (sometimes I pretend that my blog has become famous because everyone loves my humor...PSYCH)

This week flew by. It was good and hard and sad and hard and amazing and funny and hard. 

On tuesday we got to teach the Achievement day girls about Physical Fitness. We did circuits and taught basic movements, then did some fun 1/2 Tabatas. They loved it. their moms all came and told us they had so much fun. On August 5th we are teaching them again, but we are teaching Nutrition this time. They will all be vegetarians by the time I am through with them.... HAHA jk jk jk. I'll probably end up teaching something like eat vegetables..not candy. But we are going to make them Green smoothies too. :)

On Friday we had interviews with president, they went really well. super short. I told him the first night in the mission home that he would never have to worry about me, that I would always be obedient and work hard. I think that's why it was short. haha Sister Hunt is a great trainer and we do what we are supposed to do. No problems.
After interviews we had to go get our car fixed. We are in that stupid Toyota dealership place for FOUR hours. I was about to go crazy,... but believe it or not.. I am learning to be patient. hahah so I was fine. For the first 2 hours we started talking with a man sitting next to us about God and he said he knew about Joseph smith. Then the man across from us joined in , and then the lady across the room. Pretty soon we had the entire waiting room involved in a gospel discussion! There was a non-denominational Christian, a Methodist, and a 7th day Adventist, and us! It was really spiritual and REALLY Cool. Two of them received a book of mormon like... 10 years ago. They still have it. We told them to read it. We also gave them mormon.orgcards. My favorite part of the discussion is we all went around and bore testimony of why we loved our religion and why we believed in God and stuff. It was so cool. 

I think I told you that we are teaching a Jehovah's Witness right? so we were teaching her the plan of salvation this week, and we got her to say she believed that we lived with God before this life! Honestly its amazing what is going on here. haha. But oh man, she took this crazy random tangent and started talking about how her favorite thing in the bible is the Nephilims..... sister hunt and I just looked at each other and said huh? the what? she's all " WHAAAaatt! Y'all never heard of the nephilims?!" then she proceeded to read us several passages from her JW bible about the nephilims. (giants) They are apparently the evil spirits who follow satan who had sex with the beautiful daughters of man who grew into Giants...... Riiiiiiiggghhhtttt.... okay okay okay. hahahaha. It was hard not to laugh. 

Okay Well. I love you all so much. 
I hope you are doing well, and are happy. 
I pray for you each individually every night. 
Please know that I am happy. I am so blessed to be an instrument in the lords hand. To be directed in every way by him, to those who have been prepared to hear the message of the gospel.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Vive en Mexico!

Hey family! 
I love it in Mexico! This place is poppin! There is always
something crazy going on. Everyone is so friendly and says hello..
that's at least in the CCM. At night all I hear is WAAAY loud traffic,
everyone takes their pipes off or straight pipes their cars so they
are way loud, I guess they think it is cool or something. There are
loud booms that come from up the city; I don't know why, but they are
fireworks and they are going off 24/7 I will wake up in the middle of
the night and hear them all the way into the morning. Don't you people
ever sleep! haha I love it! My companions name is Elder
Peterson and he is from utah too. Our zone is really cool and nice.
The gift of tongues is real. 
At first I could pick up a few words and kind of understand but now I can carry
on a discussion with Jorge without notes. I have noticed big time also
that when we are teaching it is just filling in questions and helping
them understand the doctrine... but when we testify and share
experiences, that is when the real teaching is done. I have found it
interesting and pretty cool that we come here to learn the gospel, we
come here to learn the language, but the thing that we end up learning
the most is that its not about us. I have loved the power of the
spirit here. sometimes you get discouraged and can feel it... that is
because where fear and doubt is faith can not be. I work hard to be
confident and learn the lessons, especially in Spanish. 
I have learned more in three days here than three years in jr. high with Mrs. Krebs hahah
It is the funnest and coolest experience though!
 Love you... Working hard... 212° Elder Cooley

Thursday, July 17, 2014

With eyes wide open.

He said, "we expect and want members to be actively doing something, every day to prepare the hearts of their family and friends to receive the gospel. That does not mean that we have to give pamphlets or share testimony or invite them to church every day or even at all for awhile. But it is being a kind friend, a good example, inviting them to play basketball at the church, inviting them to a ward activity, having lunch with them, etc. etc." All of those small acts, plant seeds. They open hearts, and eventually they open doors to the missionaries. This work is MEMBER LED. We cannot do it without members of the church to invite their friends, to fellowship the investigators, and to continue to love and befriend the new converts and reactivated. 
We don't have the best member involvement in our ward...yet. However, from our training, sister Hunt and I both felt very inspired to change the way that we go about missionary work. We have decided to set up appointments with members, to teach them how to be missionaries, and to talk to them about it. One thing they trained us was not to be a burden to members, but like PMG says, to strengthen their faith in the missionaries and in missionary work, in order that they may have the desire to be a part of it. it honestly is essential. I think that this next general conference will have another huge push for member involvement. 

..Something funny that happened yesterday... This lady got up to say the closing prayer. She began her prayer and said how grateful she was that we had heard so much about genealogy and family history work, and how she knew we all needed to be more involved. then she said..."haha I started doing my family history work when I was... oh about 14. I just felt like I needed to do it. I worked on it for several years and finally thought, oh I am done! and here I am, 55 years later, still doing it!! haha so I know, nobody is done, even when you think you are! You can do cousins and friends and so many people that need help.." at this point I am thinking...what the heck....did I just think this was a prayer and its really another talk?.. I was so confused, so I opened my eyes and looked up at her and her eyes were open and she was looking out at the crowd!!!! HAHAHA I looked over at sister Hunt and she had opened her eyes too. We looked at each other and it took all we had in us not to bust up laughing. And then, as if she remembered she was supposed to be praying, she closed her eyes and started talking like a prayer again. Oh man,  it was the best part of my day yesterday. hahaha.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Elder Cooley- First day as a Missionary began bright and early 4am at the airport. He's now in Mexico City at the MTC for the next 6 weeks! He's off and running- not looking back! (literally) We Love him- couldn't be prouder and we're a big gooey mess! But we know he's in God's army now! Go strong son!
Hey fam!! I love it here! There have all ready been cool instances where I have been paired up with elders going to baton rouge and I also went through getting to the MTC with my friend Ben Richards. Mexico is awesome and is cooler than I expected. When we were leaving the airport the bus driver shot a crazy gap (I had my doubts that we were going to make it)  and all of us cheered when he successfully maneuvered the bus, plus the roads are horrible and the speed bumps send you flying out of your bus seat haha:) The roads are full of crazy drivers. The food is beans rice and tortillas... cereal will probably get me through this though. Everyone is way friendly here... a little to friendly. I love it here and there is nothing to worry about. I will be safe and work my but off. I love you. 212° 
"Trust in the Lord with ALL thine Heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and He shall direct the paths." Proverbs 3: 5-6

Shrinking Muscles? Growing Heart!

So this week we started teaching a FAMILY! an actual family. Sister Hunt says this is the first family she has taught. She keeps saying... man I dont know how all of this stuff is happening, haha this never happens. It is a single mother and her three children. They are SO Cute! The mom grew up christian and went to church all of the time. Jesus Christ has always been a part of her life. But once she got married she kind of just stopped going to church. Now she has these adorable kids. They went and saw the Son of God movie together and the kids were asking SO many questions. She realized that she had never really taught them anything except to pray. So she began teaching them some stuff. and she realized that she wanted them to go to the church that was true, the church the mirrored what Christ established when he was on the earth. (WHAAATT?? haha perfect right?) So she works for a man in our ward and started asking him questions. He did a great job in answering some of them and then referred her to us and us to her. Our first lesson was on the restoration. The spirit was really strong. All of the kids sat and listened and we included them by asking them questions. At one point, when we were talking about the first vision, the mom was pretty teary eyed. She likes to read and asked for her own copy of the Book of Mormon. All of them came to church on sunday and sat next to us. The kids, even the 4 year old, behaved well. The kids loved primary too. haha it was fun.

Sister Hunt and I have exchanges tomorrow with the sister Training leaders. They are campus missionaries at IUPUI, so we will be PC'ing on campus tomorrow. I will be with Sister Gill, She is super fun and cool, so I am excited. 
Wednesday, Sister Hunt and I were selected to attend a specialized MLC. I guess the mission department from SLC is coming out to do a special training. They selected 8 companionships from the mission to go. We are so blessed. It is in carmel, which is about 45 minutes away from west indy. We are riding down with the STL's, so that will be fun. I am excited to receive some guidance. I know that I need a lot of work as a missionary, and I have SO much to learn. Im getting better at talking to people, and tracting, and opening my mouth. However, I still need to work on that confidence. 

We ran the canal again this morning. This time the Elders joined us. Haha I think they all hate running.... We just laugh at them. Its so weird.. all of my muscle is disappearing. my arms are shrinking. haha sister Hunts just laughs and says... oh just you wait. great. lol. as long as I am shrinking and not expanding, I will be ok :)
We have made it a tradition now to run the canal every p-day. On the other days we do running and circuits with jump rope, burpees, squats, abs, etc. I am so glad that Sister Hunt likes to work out. One day last week we just went for a walk in the morning because we were both so tired and sore haha. So don't worry, we are taking care of ourselves. 

Thank you all for the emails and letters and advice and love and scriptures. It means the world to me that you think of me as you study and pray. I know that you love me. I know that you miss me, and that is awesome. I miss you all too, but I know that if I was home I would just be a bum, not progressing at all, watching netflix, hanging out at the gym, being grumpy. hahaha. No Bueno. I know I am doing what is right for me, and what is right for the Lord. I can't even begin to tell you how this mission has stretched me just socially. You know how I am sort of introverted? Like.. when people invite me to things I don't usually go? haha well that is NOT an option here. If you get invited to something you pretty much have to go. I usually have a few minutes of anxiety and dread. and think... crap.. I really dont want to go. I'd rather spend my pday doing this or this... but then we go, and I have a good attitude and I have a good time! I'm learning to be social! haha aren't you proud of me?

Well, I think that is all that I have to say.... :).

I hope you all know how much  I love you. I really appreciate all the emails and letters and packages. They give me such a boost. They help me recharge. 

Today I studied Faith during my personal study. One thing that stuck out to me in the Bible Dictionary passage on faith is about how God has revealed to us his perfect character than we may confidently place our faith in him. I love that. What reason do we have to doubt in a God that is always there, always fair, always listening, all knowing, all loving, always honest? And throughout the scriptures, there is never anything that contradicts those characteristics. Isnt that comforting? Even when the world screams at us that God is unknowable, or there is no evidence of a God, we know they are wrong. Look around you, look up, look at the mountains and the flowers and the trees. Look at the function of your amazing bodies! How could all of that be chance? I love what you said dad, about moses 7. The Lord loves us so much. Sure, I may never perfectly understand his power or things like that. But I have felt that love, and for now, that is enough. Everything beautiful and light and good sings of Gods love for his Children.

Remember that you are loved, watched over, and protected. Continue faithful. Be diligent and obedient and you will see miracles in your life.

I love you all so much. I am so glad we have been sealed in the temple for eternity. I am so lucky to be able to testify of that to families here. 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Megan's 1 month mark

I cannot even tell you how excited I am to email every week. Sister Hunt always asks me what I want to do for P-day... I just say... eh I don't care as long as I get to email. :) 

This week just FLEW by. Its so crazy because every single day feels like an eternity, but the weeks feel like minutes. So the trick is getting through the day. ;) We taught 32 lessons this week. 
We had some cool miracles this week... we were just LED to people. So we have this goal of tracting at least 2 doors every day. We usually have appointments all day and have little need or time to tract. But last night, we hadnt knocked our two doors yet. So we just drove to this apartment complex that was on our way to the Larsen's, and parked. We didnt even know this apartment existed. We knocked on this lady's door and she answered. She spoke poor english, and spanish. Luckily I know a little bit so we could have a conversation. She was crying and saying how Christ sent us here and how she had been praying for a church and we were her angels and she told us a story about how christ healed her and it was SO cool. We told her that there were spanish elders we could bring with us next time and she was so excited. We showed her the Book of Mormon and she was just crying saying how she never ever answers her door, but she felt like she should answer it, and there we were, talking of Jesus Christ. I am excited to see where this goes. it was such a cool experience to have the lord working through me.