Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Praise the Lord! Sweet baby Jesus!

Hey fam! How yall makin out?! I am in Louisiana na! I LOVE it down here! This is my kind of place! I have met some hilarious people (like the black guy outside the airport yelling at me to get my shoes shined, or the black hood gangsta with a joint in his mouth that's flying down the street on a motor scooter that has a slanted wheel and about to fall of haha.) All i have to say is that there are some awesome people down here.
 I serve in a kind of ghetto area. I am in the outskirts of New Orleans... there is worse out there though. Everywhere I go there will be awesome and nice people though... at least when they’re not swerving at you when you’re biking on the side of the road. Yeah it happens... dang Baptists. It is filled with culture and everyone loves Jesus, I love it. It is the first time though that I only see non-Mormon churches and am the only white kid on the street haha.  
 We work with a lot of less actives down here, but we do have a family and also this guy named Ben that agreed to a baptismal date. Ben is golden! I have never seen a person convert so fast and strongly to the church. I love these people. Yes the work is a little slower then I expected but we are finding out ways to get through to people. I have heard of people going their entire mission with only one baptism.. Wow. I feel very blessed to have met these people all ready. (It’s not about the numbers)
 I learned how to teach in Spanish and now I need to get up to the speed that the Latinos are at. This Latino in church was speaking so fast I couldn't understand her and i thought her cabeza was going to explode. I was at a different ward at that time so I haven't even met the ward yet. In lessons it has been a little hard because I am trying to learn new vocab but I will get better at it, I have been blessed to all ready learn it this fast.
We get to go to a gym at 5:00 every morning and get swol. I wont get fat on my mission; I bike all day and work out for two hours every morning. All though one day we taught 4 times and we got fed each time... we would have offended them if we didn't eat so I thought I was going to get a blood clot and then explode by the end of the night. Plus its not just food but Louisiana food.
I have seen two gators down here and some cool stuff. I can’t wait to go out to the bayou some time with my district. My district is cool and I get along with my companion too. He is from Hawaii and he also lived in Utah for a while. I don't know what else to say more than that he is cool and we go well. I can tell there is a certain slack in the way some missionaries work though. I have noticed it in staying at member’s houses to long and little stuff like that. Its is hard some times because of things that come up (like my companions bike getting 3 flat tires in one week haha... its okay) but I will always remember that its not my time but the lords time. Even more importantly its not about the numbers but it is about the people.

Well I got to go! Love Yall!

Elder Cooley


This week was super humbling….
So on Wednesday we had district meeting, it went really well. We do a lot of role-plays and have training from different people in the district. Well, after DM, the Larsen’s asked us to go do a service project with them for a couple hours. There is a less active family in our ward, whose mother has been in and out of the hospital for 5 months. Well, she has two teenage boys at home. That’s it. Two teenage boys who don’t know how to clean, wash a dish, or do ANYTHING! She asked us if we would come clean her house for her while she was in the hospital... oh my heck. It was honestly my worst nightmare come true~! I walked into the house and the air was thick with the smell of sweat and mold and just... dirty. I looked around thinking oh.. This wont be too bad. The living room needed to be vacuumed and there was a lot of laundry to do. But then I walked into the kitchen... DIRTY DISHES filled EVERY square inch of the counter tops, stacked at least 2 feet high. Flies swarmed around some of them that had rotten food in them. Trash was scattered among the dishes, the trash can was full. I almost died right then. (You all know how one of my bigggggest things is filthy kitchens and fridges....) well guess who got assigned to the kitchen? Me, Sister Hunt and Elder Baker. Every so often one of us would gag and almost throw up and have to leave the room, but then we would come right back in like champs and keep washing. There was mold growing in several dishes, a dirty sock was stuck to the bottom of the sink (what?!), and their fryer was full of saturated, old, oil. Several times I almost had an anxiety attack. But... 3 hours later and every dish was washed and the counters were wiped. We didn’t get to the floor because we had to leave. The other elders were on bathroom duty... oh my heck... that's a whole other story. But I was very humbled as I faced this experience.... When you are asked to serve, you do it, even if you have to pray for charity the entire time hahaha. So after that I took a nice long shower.
The next day was my birthday. The Larsen’s came at night and decorated my door :) Sooooo sweet of them. Sister Hunt surprised me with a present that morning and I opened my birthday package. :) Loved it all, though I will say that that book made my cry like a little baby... why would you do that to me hahahaha Then we did some visits, and did Weekly planning.. woo. we plan for our week next week. it usually takes 3 hours. Then we had some more visits, and then had dinner with the Larsens. I asked if she would make spaghetti squash with sauce and zucchini and she did ::D Sppppooooiiiilllleeeedddd. I know. Then all my missionary friends met that night for our last hour at Sub Zero. The whole entire store sang to me :) I felt so loved. It was a good birthday. Then I read the letter that you sent.. And all the things that you all said you loved about me. I was crying to hard. You have no idea what it means to me, to have those I love most say such uplifting things. I love you all so much more. You are all my heroes. 
Well carol was baptized on Saturday. It was amazing :))) I love her so much. And then brother D'Angelo spoke at it too. He is soo sick, it makes me so sad. He loves when we come over because it is a distraction from his pain.

I love you all so much. Thank you for your constant prayers, your love, and your support. I enjoy all of your emails and letters and packages. They keep me going. 

Don't ever forget who you are. \

Running Hard. 212, 4th missionary

Sister Megan Cooley

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Elder Cooley is in Louisianna!

Hey fam! 
I have everything packed up and I am getting ready to go to the bus at 2:00 in the morning haha:) I have had a great week and feel strong. I know there is still so much to learn but I taught a lesson in Spanish today and I would have to say that I feel ready. In some of my lessons the people speak really fast and I know all of the grammar so it is just a matter of me trying to follow along and learning more vocab. I have to do a lot of scripture mastery too and I know that will help me a lot, there is always more you can do in learning the gospel.
I fasted for 34 hours on Sunday. I feel great, In all of the stories about Nephi, Ammon, and Moroni it says they are the way they are because of being exactly obedient, feasting upon the words of god, and praying and fasting a lot! I love this work. Everyday I see so many different reasons why god has us do certain things. Everything has a reason behind it to make us better; depending on how we react. 
I sure am going to miss the teachers here and all of the kind people. I did hear though that a lot of people are so nice in Louisiana. I am very excited. I have also heard about my president and I heard he is very funny and nice. There is also a kid here that told me some good areas and hobbies in Louisiana because he used to live there.
Today I got a lot of one on one language time with my teacher, it was great because I feel that much more comfortable with some things in the language. The CCM is great and I love it but I am starting to feel like a prisoner. I Cant wait to see how mexico city is like at night because of my buss ride. There isn't any law on traffic at night, I swear its like that anyways but I heard its a lot crazier;)
 I am pretty sure I get to go to the temple on wed. with the pres and his wife. I also cant wait to start teaching. I have two Libros de Mormon para the plain ride and pass along cards also. I will be with six other missionaries on the plane ride to Louisiana, hopefully I sit by someone else though. haha

I want to say thank you for all you guys have done for me. I am here today because of the examples and love you all have shown me! I love all of you and cant wait to tell all of you how the mission is.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


This week flew by... It is seriously hard for me right now to recall the details. Don't worry, I am writing in a journal every day, so I don't completely lose those memories. let see, lets see....
oh, So monday after we got done emailing you, we went to the fair! We rode all of the rides until we were sick, and then I ate a giant sweet potato... it was seriously as big as my head. But We had a good time, and it was a nice outlet to get my mind off some things that were really worrying me. I have to keep telling myself that I can't worry about things that I can't control. My mission president told me that all I can do is Pray and hope. so I do. 
Its interesting the things that you learn about yourself on a mission.. like how you pray, and what you believe and what you hope for, and what your true desires are. These are things that I never really thought about before...I think it was because the world was just too loud, I was constantly busy... praying was like a chore, something I HAD to do before I went to bed. Things change when you have time to ponder, and lots of time to pray and study. Pondering has become one of my favorite things hahaha
We have another baptism on saturday. Carol :) SHE IS THE BEST! She is the live in care taker for a  man in our ward named Vincent D'Angelo. He is SUPER sick - dying from bone cancer that has spread to his organs and throughout his body. He is a fighter though, and loves us to come over. They feed us all the time and have a huge garden, so it is fresh vegetables. good food. It is a home that feels more like home that anywhere else I've taught in Indiana. There is a sweet spirit there, We love them so much and are so excited for her to be baptized. I wish you could meet all of these people that I have come to love so much. Words cannot do them justice.
So Pres. Cleveland has been training the whole mission on doing 60 second restoration lessons. Last night Sister Hunt and I went tracting and decided to give it a try. I went first... GAH. even after so much practice, the first time is bad haha. But he was cool, and listened. Basically you dont even really ask them if they have time to share a message or anything like that, you just start right in on a 
restoration lesson and it literally takes 60 seconds. Then you find some way for it to be relevant to them... they need something to prick their hearts that what you just said to them is important. sometimes, when people are hard hearted and just say no no no, I want to shake them and say YES YES YES! This is REALITY! THIS IS LIFE! with this gospel, people leearn how to live, instead of merely surviving. Without a purpose, without a plan, life if merely to just be survived, and that is a depressing thought. 
I went to the temple on wednesday :) me and sister hunt and the larsens went to the Louisville temple 
and did a session. We got to see the new new new film (as sister larsen likes to call it). It was SO amazing to step into that building and feel a difference. I enjoyed every minute of the session. and felt such love and peace there. Its crazy what a difference that lifestyle and spirit makes when you attend the temple. A lady in our ward is CRAZY good at family history, and is like 1st generation member, so she has TONs of names. She gave both of us a name to take and even had a picture to go with it, so it was really cool to be able to do that for her.
We actually went and did family history with her on tuesday, and GUESS WHAT I FOUND!!!!!!! I found a woman on dads side of the family named Nancy Elizabeth Dobson. Originally she was added into family tree as Nancy Powell. She is William Powell the 3rd's husband, but she had NO information, no death date, no parents nothin. But with this womans help, I was able to find her on Ancestry.org. She is the 3rd wife of William Powell, and had lots of children, WHO ARENT EVEN LISTED on family search! So we have lots of work to do family!!! I printed off the cards at the temple for some of them. I will send them home, and You can all go do them. It will be another 6 months before I get to go to the temple again. I am so glad that we were all there together before we 
left. It is a memory that is really special to me. 
I love you all so much. Don't ever forget how loved you are. How REAL this gospel is. It is not just another religion. The world is SO SO far away from God. It is now a place of secularism, people are so into themselves and their bodies and their money and I think that is makes it so hard sometimes to believe in this plan.
The World needs the gospel. It needs each one of us to be examples, and to be missionaries! I love 
hearing all of your stories, and your righteous desires. You all inspire me and strengthen me. I love you so much.
Sister Megan Cooley

Monday, August 11, 2014

Almost There!

Hey fam! Whats up! I'm having a great time. I hope you like all of my pictures. Every day I am in the CCM I realize more and more that it is a giant prison. We have certain shower time, meal time, have a guard walk around with us all the time (companion), and it is heavily guarded. haha. I cant wait to get on the mission. I will tell you though that I love Mexico  In my idioma I have gotten to the point where I just need to hammer out pages of vocabulary because I know how to speak it but I need to know more vocabulary I can tell I am faster at it now but there will always be more i need to learn. I got to go to the temple today! it was cool. We didnt get to go in though because of work being done on it. I wake up at 5:40 every day. I love it. My companion and I go early and study spanish every day. I love it.. 
There is this huge 280lb kid that has been causing a lot of trouble in our casa and he is the district leader and should be a better example (plus it seems like he has anger problems). He has been pretty inappropriate, forgetting whos name is on his chest, and most of all he did something way messed up to me with my own property and without me knowing it. But anyways I ended up making the kid cry and his companion had to go out in the rain at 10:30 and find him. Dont worry though I still remember whose name is on my chest and didn't act out or hurt him. I just walked into his room and gave him a piece of my mind. I have never lectured someone like that before (It wasn't all me; so much of it was not my words). The sad part is that everyone in his district came up to me and thanked me and told me that it had been needed to be said. A 280lb kid with anger problems is not one of my worries in this life. At the beginning of the day when I heard the news of what he did I have NEVER felt more anger in my life. If I saw the kid in that moment he would probably be dead right now. But as I went throughout my day and thought about it, my mind changed (slowly). I was still angry but all of my days scripture studies pertained exactly to the situation. I read about captain Moroni and how he wasn't a man of bloodshed and also forgiving the first and second offense.( I cant explain to you how bad I wanted to punch that kid in the throat). He also said we should pray and feel sad for our enemies. I also read of Christ teaching to turn your cheek. I did my part by pondering and chose to take the higher road.... god always does his part after that. I think that i have learned that the most while being here. I can say this, that everything happens for a reason. God will not stand as someone disrespects his sons name. I have been studying for a situation in the future and didnt even know it. I hope the kid does better because what evidence i have against him could probably get him sent home. I think that if I am going to wear the name of Christ then I should handle situations as Christ would. (it is not about me) 
Moroni is my favorite part in the BOM. I want to be just like him. I have grown a stronger testimony this week and have come to know who I want to serve and who I love. I want to strive in every little moment to have that power from god with me. I have learned how to love, even in hard to love situations. I love being a representative of Jesus Christ.

This is the greatest work in the world.
                                 Hermano Vargus, my teacher
Running hard

Elder Cooley

Baptisms and Goats!!!

Hey Family!
I don't have much time but I will write quickly of my experiences this week!!

We received two new investigators this week. A guy named ***** who is recently our of prison and searching for hope and God, and a lady named *****. She is the daughter in law of one of our awesome members. ***** is going through a really hard time right now..... She totally needs the gospel, and because she is at such a low point in her life right now, she is very receptive. 
I am really grateful for the experiences I have had in overcoming my eating disorder. I truly am able to testify that through Christ, all things can be made right. Any wound can be healed. I told her that those thoughts do not come from God. Satan wants to destroy us. If he can get us thinking bad things about ourselves, to the point that we shut down, and cannot do good, then he wins. One cool thing that this book called 'Adjusting to missionary life' says to do is to write out our thoughts, the bad ones, and then to rewrite them how heavenly father or Christ would have them. Its something that I do sometimes when I feel really bad about my body (cuz as a missionary you seriously have little control over what happens to your body hahahah its a hard reality to face) 
for example... gosh I feel so disgusting..... rewrite it to... I may not feel good right now, but I know that Heavenly Father Loves me. My Spirit is growing and I am changing into the woman that heavenly Father needs me to be. ... Its a cool thing to teach people and it applies to much more than body image or mental problems hahaha.

The baptisms went really well! The spirit was so so strong. they all looked so amazing in White. 

Also on saturday we went to the state fair to do service for a lady named sister Foster.. She is literally a goat farmer... for about 2 hours we showed goats..... we walked goats around in a circle and had to adjust their legs to that their utters looked good.... hahahah weird huh? ya.. they kept trying to eat my shirt and my hair. I hate farm animals now. Im pretty sure I stepped in goat poop like 400 times.

Well I've got to go. I love you all so much. 
Sorry that this email is short.
But I am doing really well. I am happy and healthy. I know that Heavenly Father loves me and is blessing me. 

All of you... be strong. Be valiant. This life is so short, and all that matters is that we stay strong and follow the savior. That is ALL that matters. 

123 forever
4th missionary
Sister Megan Cooley 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Wedding Cake.....Definitely not a good career choice.


I LOVE getting your emails every week. They uplift me. You are all my very best friends.

This week was really great. Sister Hunt and I received two more referrals from members.. who are both now progressing investigators, one of which is on a baptismal date for August 23. Her name is Carol Case. She takes care of a man in our ward who is less active because he has stage 4 cancer and is dying. Anyway, he was baptized last year in April, and the whole time he was being taught, she was sitting in the kitchen, where she could still hear and would take notes! Now over a year later, she asked us to come and teach her. She is sooooo awesome. When I first met her, she was over at another member's house, Sister Leonard, and I totally thought she was already a member. She comes to the Adult Singles FHE every week and makes food for it and everything. Yesterday we went over to her house for a lesson and she had typed up all of her answers to the questions that are in the additional study in the back of the pamphlet. She seriously is so ready to be baptized. I am so excited. She has a huge garden in her yard and sent us home with tons of tomatoes, and cucumbers and a homemade vegetable soup. Yum. 
So Hope and Kenny got married on Saturday :) Finally. Sheesh. It was exhausting putting together a wedding. Just another confirmation that I am NOT having a reception. ever. waste of money. (sorry for all of those who read this and have had wedding receptions... I mean no disrespect. Weddings are super fun and all....... okay I am going to stop before I dig a deeper hole :) - ) hahah. But I volunteered to make the wedding cake! It was fun to dust off my SUPER rusty cake decorating skills. There is a member named Micky Cranney and she is super talented and she helped me make roses to put on the cake. but guess what... Indiana is HUMID! and guess what doesn't like humidity... wedding cake and frosting. Oh man. it was soooo stressful because the frosting was just absorbing water and getting gooey. I had to freeze it and re frost and whew... It was crazy. But it turned out really beautiful. But I WILL NEVER make cakes for a living. So stressful haha but I think Kenny and Hope liked it. They had fun at their wedding, dancing and stuff. We sat in the hall for most of the reception 
because they were playing music. But I think it was really good for our investigators and the ward members to see us being exactly obedient. It strengthens their trust in us. 
Anyway. This Saturday they will be baptized. They had their baptismal interviews yesterday and they all passed :) 
Last night Sister Hunt and I just sat on the floor in our room and talked for a half hour, just like good buddies. It was sooo good. I really love her. Whenever I have a hard day, we talk about it, and she says something like "Oh, I felt that same way my first three months" It makes me happy because I know I have something to look forward to because she is soo solid. I'm getting there, but Satan is relentless. He works harder on those who are working hard. True story. But its true dad, he only has power if we give it to him. Unfortunately, so many people here give it to him freely. He has so many people wound up in addictions and sin. It breaks my  heart. When we drive places, I watch people on the street and just think... do you know you a God's son? I hope some day that they will, before it is too late. 
I love to teach. When I am teaching and busy, that's when I feel most like myself, its when I feel most happy here. I know its because I am not focused on myself. LUKE 9:24. This mission has saved my spiritual life. I have really been finding out who the real Megan Cooley is. The one heavenly Father created me to be, not the one that Eating Disorder thoughts created me to be. I am finding myself a little more each day as I help others find the savior.

I love you all so much. Don't forget that this work is impossible without member missionaries. There are people all around each of you, who have wandered, or who have never known the way. Yours is the responsibility to bring them to the missionaries. That can be as simple as being their friend, inviting them to an FHE or ward activity, inviting them to a girls night. Whatever it is... do it. Then over time, when the time is right, they will be ready to accept the gospel. I promise. 

Do Good. I love you all. 
I know that Joesph Smith really did see God the Father and Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Ghost. I know that we too can receive a witness of their reality through that same power. I know that the Book of mormon is a REAL record, translated by that same power. I know that the truths restored have the power to change lives when applied and lived. I love it. I love this work because it takes work. Life is not about being complacent or having everything given to us. Salvation was not easy or free for the savior. Continue to climb, because climbing produces strength. Be strong.