Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hello my favorite family :)

Hello my favorite family :)
It seems as a missionary you get adopted into several families. Everyone wants to make you their child, and just love you and such (especially the larsens) but you all are definitely my favorite family. :)
This was an interest week, but it was good. Yes, I had the scope done on thursday. It really was... kinda horrible hahahaha. The nap was great when they put me under anesthesia, but it left me in pain and feeling sick for the next 3 days. In fact.. I was pretty sure whatever they did to me made my stomach worse. haha yay! They put me on a prescription called Omeprazole. I hate the idea of having to take it every day. I have been raised all my life to just... deal with it ya know? and not to take drugs. So this is foreign to me. I dunno. I am giving it a try though. TRYING to stay positive :)
So coming out of the anesthesia was FUNNY. I remember very little about it, so I will tell you. I remember opening my eyes and I was crying, and Sister Stedman was sitting right there... she said... oh, are you sad? I said... uhh... I don't really know. hahaha. I vaguely remember gagging or throwing up... maybe I just dreamed that... but it was probably when they were pulling that stupid tube out of my throat. haha. 
Then I guess the Dr. came in and showed me the pictures that they took of my throat and stomach... I don't remember them or what he said. And I guess he told me I needed to go have blood work done. It seriously is all a blur to me. I think I drank some water. My throat hurt after for like 2 days. Then I remember them asking me if I wanted someone to help me get dressed. I think the nurse helped me get dressed... cuz all of the sudden I was dressed. hahaha. Then all of the sudden I was in a wheelchair in front of sister howard. Then all of the sudden I was in the car and I was laying across the bench and I was crying hahahah. I seriously have no Idea how I was getting from point a to point b.... I think it was telaportation. Then We were at CVS and I was dropping of my prescription to be filled... then I was back in the car and Sister Larsen was talking to you on the phone. She told me everything you said and I dont even remember what it was. Luckily she took notes and showed me later. (I still have no IDea what those pictures look like or what they said they found from my scope...). If they find nothing then I guess they will just declare me and mentally insane and throw me in the loony bin... but seriously though. That's how I feel. Anyway. By the time we got home I hadn't eaten in almost 24 hours and so I was super hungry. I ate a sweet potato, it was the only thing that sounded good and was soft enough. Then I was like....okay lets go to our appointments! and Sister Howard said... uh... no sister cooley... you need to lay down.. I said... uhhh nah. I'm ok. then I stood up and my stomach hurt SO bad. and she said. Go lay down now! haha so I did and I passed out for 40 minutes. Then we went and taught a lesson... which We probably shouldn't have because I was super out of it and I think I offended my Hispanic investigators... so I have some repairing to do I think. dang it. except I don't remember what I said. But I didn't tell them I had just had a procedure.. so maybe I will explain that when I see them tomorrow and apologize. Hopefully all will be well.
We had a set back with them. They have a lot of concerns, and the language barrier is so frustrating. It was humbling that's for sure. So we are working on a solution. Once again I have learned that this is not about me.. that this is GODS work, and the only way for it to WORK is to do it HIS way!!! silly me. think I would learn that by now.

Mom, thank you for your gratitude thoughts in your email. That was just what I needed. You have always been sooo good at that. Always remembering to see the good, to be grateful. I hope one day I can be just like you :)

Sarah, I am SOO glad you finally told the family about the baby! It has been eating me up inside! haha and I am glad that it is a boy so that you can have an easier time naming him. Girl names were hard right? AH I am sooo excited for another nephew!!! :) Ultrasound pics?? Did you tell the family in a special way?
Kimberly... your turn! haha jk jk. 

Sister Howard has become such a good friend. I love her so much. She has helped me through so much. :) She is always super eager to learn and to improve and to teach and be obedient. We are both helping each other to be better people. :)

I know I have so much to be grateful for. Thank you for ALWAYS helping me to remember that. I think that is the key to me getting better. To focus on the things I am grateful for. I have been writing in my journal a lot, and the more that I journal about things I am grateful for and about the type of person that I want to become, the better I feel. I know that Heavenly father only wants me to think good thoughts about myself. And that the not good thoughts are not thoughts of the spirit. I know Satan wants me to be discouraged and to just give up. But God doesn't want me to. The Savior never gave up. He taught us how to endure. He taught us how to turn to Heavenly Father, to walk by faith rather than by sight, to remember God, to remember our blessings and our covenants... and to submit to Heavenly Father's will.

I am trying. :) That is what we are asked to do. To try and try again. I sure love you all so much. Thank you so much for praying for me and always cheering me on. :) I hope you each know how much I love you and look up to you. 
Love Always!
Running hard at 212. 4th Missionary FOREVER!

    Tuesday, October 28, 2014

    A drop in the Ocean

    Hey familia! 
    How goes it? I am writing you today because I wasnt able to yesterday. I have had a long week... It felt long but wow it is all ready over. We had one day this week that I swear we tried to visit every single person on our list and that we could think of.... Guess how many doors we got into? Zero!!!!!!!!
    Thats okay though; You are not a true missionary unless you have had some sort of day like that. We had to bike so much (I like that part) and we didnt have one lesson. We scheduled a lot and said hi to some people at the door step but nada.
    We went to the WW2 museum which is HUGE. It is like three buildings of just a maze of history. I will be very honest.... I loved it but I did not have a good time. It made me not want to be on a mission. you know how much I look up to military. I felt stressed and couldn't think of the reason for in which I was out here. I am doing great now but it was just a heavy moment. I know that if I'm ever going to do something worth my time and going to help the world and myself the most is HERE on a mission. That is where I should be. The military isn't going anywhere and what would America be without god in the first place? In god we trust... I am still serving it because where there is god there will be liberty. 
    I have honestly learned so much on my mission all ready. So much more planned out, organized, diligent with my time and work; I couldn't ask for a better experience to make me a better and more prepared person. That is one of the biggest reasons I would encourage someone to go on a mission... What else are you doing? when you get comfortable is when you stop growing. I like to think of holding my breath for this concept. If you were to hold your breath for 1 minute and it was easy would you ever progress? no, no you would not. It is when you feel that deep uncomfortable feeling in your lungs as you push yourself to the limit; That is when the true growing and improvement takes place. It is in the same way with stretching and everything in your life. 
    I just got back from District Meeting and I had to come up with an activity for our District and we ended up playing traveling pictionary. Man... there is no unity building that is better than that game. After we went to taco bell to grab a quick bite and we saw a man we like to talk to that is always there and is homeless. We had talked to him about the gospel and bout him food before but this time he looked a little better and was clean shaven. I said hello and told him he was looking better and good and bought him a lunch. I love service, He was so grateful and thanked my comp and I and said we have been sent from god. We plan on giving him some cloths next sat. and I hope he will be doing even better.
    I am so humbled to be out here and am humbled every day. I have a lot to work on and will continue to do so. 

    Take a hard look at yourself but not hard on yourself
    take a hard look at others so that you know where to go easy on them and help them improve.

    Next week is transfers, we have DM at the church 4 miles from our apartment. I am happy here; I think it should be the other way around... don't worry about me mom. I'm fine. my comp is probably going to have surgery on his shoulder out here (which will be a blessing) because his dad told him if he came home early he couldn't live with him. his mom is different but ya... he wants to stay out here. He is a dang good kid and said if he has to go home for it then he will just deal with the pain and stay out here for the work. what a stud. he will be blessed.

    Sorry for the long email haha... weird huh? love yall

    Elder Cooley

    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    1/2 done training

    Hey family!
    Transfers are this week, which means Sister Howard is 1/2 done with her training! Woo! It has been fun to watch her progression and growth, especially in her confidence and gospel knowledge. She is a really great girl. We get along super well and have a lot of fun together, especially when we tract. We have been doing a lot of tracting lately, but we have actually found some success doing it! We were waiting for Patricia and Miguel to get home yesterday and were tracting around their apartment complex. We met this lady named Marjorie and taught her about the Book of Mormon (she had heard about it and saw that they put the angel moroni on the temple) she said she wanted a Book of Mormon and we set up a return appointment. so that is cool :)

    Heavenly Father for some reason has really been testing Sister Howard and I the past week and a half... I think it is because Sister Howard was praying for patience.....I will blame her ;) jk. But goodness, it seemed like the harder we tried, the more our lessons fell through and we were left feeling like idiots, especially the times when we had asked members to come out with us. Its been fun to get more members involved. That is something that our ward is really struggling with. Nobody really has the means or desires it seems to help. But we keep inviting people. Some say yes, but it seems like the same 20% of the ward.. the same 20% that feed us and pick up people for us too. haha. Well, they will be blessed and we will keep trying to involve more people. But ya, lessons kept falling through and we would just get frustrated and discouraged about knowing where to go next. We would pray and pick somewhere... I think maybe we should have picked somewhere and then prayed to know if that was the right place.. I was thinking about that last night as I was praying. Study it out in your mind and then ask if it is correct.. not just.. tell me where to go..So perhaps that is the lesson that I needed to learn this week. To involve Heavenly Father more in every single plan. This is His work after all.

    We had such a wonderful miracle this week though.. well several actually.
    Patricia and Miguel Reyes are progressing so wonderfully to be baptized on November 15th. We were pretty worried about our lesson this week on the Word of Wisdom. Miguel drinks a lot of coffee. But as we taught the spirit was there. We testified that the church is true, and that Heavenly Father wants us to keep this commandment and will bless us for doing so. He said that he knows this is true. He said that he feels so deeply that God has something planned for him, and that he needs to keep the word of wisdom to do that. He said he would give up Coffee. oh man. Then... to close the lesson, we asked if he would say the prayer. Every other time we have asked he always says no that he isn't ready... well he finally agreed. He said the sweetest prayer. His FIRST prayer out loud EVER. like joseph smith! We stopped by yesterday to see how they are doing. He said he is really excited because he FINALLY got the next two sundays off of work. Huge blessing, huge miracle. :):) I hope that when he comes, he feels the spirit so strong and knows that he needs to be there, and then quits his first job or something works out so that he can be there EVERY sunday!
    I love them so much. I have LITERALLY seen them change since I first met them. When we first met them, they were really standoffish...flaky... miguel was really only there to translate for us.. but now, he is taking part in teaching patricia haha. :) He reads the Book of mormon every day and prays. Patricia keeps praying and reading to know if what we teach is true. I love it. Every time I go there, it makes me feel like I have purpose here. Like I have been making good use of my time. Like I could be a missionary forever. :)

    We also had a lesson with the BayGBoe Family this week. They are from West Africa. They are progressing to be baptized on November 22. They came to church yesterday, so that was nice. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ but we taught it very simply because there is somewhat of a language barrier. We taught it as if it were a treasure map... given to us from Jesus Christ. Faith is the starting point... we cant move anywhere on our treasure hunt without faith. then the steps along the way, repentance, baptism, like crossing a river, holy ghost, someone giving you a compass, and enduring to the end, continuing to pray and read and go to church and repent and have faith and take the sacrament.. etc. etc. They loved it. At the end, the 11 year old boy Ator wanted to say the prayer. He said thank you for November 22, I know it will be a really special and happy day for my family. aww so cute :) Both the kids really love primary. We havent got the husband to come to church yet. We will keep workin on it. We have two lessons set up with them for this coming week. 
    Something Crazy happened this morning though. We got done at the gym and were showering and getting ready and a lady in our ward who we visit weekly called. She was crying and could barely say a word. She said she was having a heart attack and I said "I will be there in two minutes!" Sister Howard and I left the house in our workout clothes and wet hair. We got there and she was in her car. About 2 minutes later the ambulence pulled up. Man it was crazy. The whole drive over there I was praying to remember how to do CPR... I am glad I didn't have to though. I talked to her on the phone a few hours ago and she sounded better. She was headed down to have a ECG or something done. I was seriously running on adrenaline all morning.. you know the fight or flight? It was nuts. Her apartment is FILLED with fast food trash, and so while she is at the hospital, Sister Howard and I are going to go clean it tonight. But gosh, it was so scary because she was tellling us to tell her daughter that she loved her and to call her sister etc. and told us that she loves us.. like she was dying or something. I don't know what I would have done if she died. It was scary. I am glad that she trusts us and loves us enough to be the people she called. I sure love her.

    I love the people here. I have made some very treasured friendships. I will be staying in White River 6 more weeks and then I will most likely be transferred.

    I love you all so much. Thank you for your fasts and prayers. I felt them, I truly did. They have helped me rededicate myself and be more diligent and more obedient. 

    I am so grateful for a family who loves and supports me and tells me to forget about myself. I pray for each of you. I know heavenly Father loves you so much. 

    123 Forever. 4th missionary (which I read that talks almost every day on the treadmill) running at 212 degrees. HOT HOT HOT

    Sister Megs

    Tuesday, October 21, 2014

    same old same old

    Hey fam! I seriously don't know what to write about. The days are starting to wrap together and go faster and faster. my weeks go by pretty fast and every once in a while you have something interesting happen. I have now collected $10.88 in change off the street haha. keep up this pace and im gonna be rich.
     So I heard some history about my mission. It used to be one of the most apostate missions. 9 to 6 years ago (I think it was 6) the entire new Orleans district was sent home from their missions and two people were excommunicated. that is just an idea of how bad it was. Missionaries would go wakeboarding or play Xbox and drink beer. Bad huh!
    It is hard to be exactly obedient. I work at it and am getting a lot better at it. Going to bed at 10:30 instead of 11:00 just has never seemed like a big deal to me but I Know it maters. It is the small stuff that is hard but makes all the difference. I just need to make sure that I never get comfortable because that is when you fall into daily routines and certain habits. I need to be on edge and doing my best.
    I had a fun Saturday this week. We woke up early and dig chest and legs at the gym and then went on a bike ride with the scouts fort their biking merit badge. We biked 15 miles and we (The fit missionaries) flew the entire way and biked over that 15 miles because we went back and forth to stay with the scouts. Later that day we rode all around to appointments and I would have to say that in total we biked around 40 miles that day haha. I feel good out here. I work out and eat well.
    Talk about giving back to scouting... I have been to every scouting bike ride and we are always seeing the scouts and helping them to try to get their eagle. I guess I was meant to get my eagle and help these kids get theirs too.
    I think I agree with the saying of missionary work  "burn the south and do baptisms for the dead" haha. I feel like so many people turned us down or stopped talking to us this week. We crossed two people off of our list because they would look through their blinds and not answer... I can see you!!! I just want to kick their door down every time I see that.
    The ice cream trucks around here drive around playing rap music haha its pretty funny. I love the ghetto. You see new things every day. Our apartment and pretty much every house in new Orleans is infested with cockroaches haha. If you have big roaches you are safe but the little ones means you have an infestation... we have little ones. We always whip them with rags in the mornings, its actually pretty fun. We never have a problem with them though... they aren't hurting anybody. Im at least not bothered by them.
    Thank you so much for your packages and mail; I enjoy them.
    let me know if you have questions... love yall.

    Elder Cooley

    Thank you Lisa Carter!
    Her and her son visited his old mission Louisiana and took Shane to lunch.          
                                                          Shane with Rulon MacKay- a LDS in Louisana that his mom attended Bountiful High with, what a small world!

    Monday, October 13, 2014

    Hey :)
    This week was long, I will be honest! haha. On tuesday Sister Howard and I had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. Sister Howard go to go work on Campus and Sister Hales and I worked in my area for the day. We tracted in the pouring rain and then had some solid lessons in the afternoon. 
    We taught **** and ***** Keeping the Sabbath day Holy. He had never heard of it before. He asked..."Well what should I do? I HAVE to work sundays.. it is a seniority thing... once you work there for 10 years, you get your sundays off... I have only been there 7..." 
    We then talked about faith for awhile. Why would Heavenly Father NOT want you to keep a commandment? Why would he NOT help you keep it? It reminded me of when I wanted to play a championship soccer game on a sunday in Denver. I remember dad told me to pray about it... so I did, and I played the game. It was the most horrible game ever. And I felt horrible and sick inside afterward. Then when I got home from Denver, I remember talking to dad about the game... I said... I dunno, I guess I just felt that Heavenly Father said it was okay to play the game on sunday... and Dad said... Megan...Why would Heavenly Father tell you or give you permission to break one of his commandments when you could have kept it?
    That has always stuck with me. None of us are exempt. True, there are very different circumstances all around the world... but I truly believe that God loves his Children, and gives commandments for a reason... Why would he NOT provide a way for His children to keep ALL of them?
    I texted him and told him to read 1 Nephi 3:7. 
    He has such strong faith. It has been amazing to watch him and his wife and their daughter develop faith and understand truth and feel love. They will all be baptized soon. Tomorrow we are dropping the Word of Wisdom ball on them... eeeeeeeek. We told them last time that we were teaching the Lords law of health the next time we come over.. I know they both drink a lot of Coffee.... please please please pray for them, and for Sister Howard and I. We need it :)

    Last night was our monthly "Why I Believe" fireside. Anita was one of the speakers. She did a wonderful job. I am so lucky to get to take part and watch people come closer to Christ. It is such a divine responsibility to be a guide. I don't consider myself anything more than just an instrument there to say the words. The spirit does the teaching. Haha I am lucky that he can touch peoples hearts, because sometimes we mess up :)

    I've noticed this past week that Anxiety and faith/God's love cannot exist at the same time in one person. I am searching in prayer and scripture study each day to know how to trust him, to understand his will for me. for strength. To know how to apply the atonement. I have found great strength in prayer and I stay focused. Often it is sooo easy for me to wonder around in my mind during my prayers. But when I keep focused, I feel strength. I ask questions and then I listen. Ive been trying to make them more of conversations than just lists.
     Well. I love you all so much.
    Sister Howard and I have So much fun together each day. We love those we are teaching and we are doing our best to be better missionaries and more effective planners and teachers.

    I hope all is well at home.

    212 always.
    4th missionary

    Sister Cooley

    feelin the spirit!

    I have had a chill week. We were one lesson away from our goal this week. If this lady would have opened her door then we would have done it... dang:/ We went to a B-Day party this week and it was for the same kid we have dance battles with. He was supposed to have it at chucky cheeses but his dad spent all the money on beer. sad huh. We have had good lessons and are getting better at studies.
    We did service for Pasture Kimball this week and I think next week we will get the chance to go to his huge baptist church and they told us to be ready for some good music and feelin the spirit! man!! I can all ready see it now, Praise the lord!!! hahaha
    I love trying to make food from the Latinos and other cultures. We have made a few cakes and drinks. I love the cultures down here. I have noticed my Spanish was a little better this week. I have found that my idioma (language) and how well I speak all depends on my morning study.
    Elder Cooley

    Thursday, October 9, 2014

    Conference Weekend

    Hello Family!

    Good weekend eh? When President Monson got up and spoke, I had this pain/heat in my chest. I know he is a true prophet of God. I know that what each speaker said was from Heavenly Father and is how we can come closer to Christ and be more happy in our lives. 
    On Sunday I got a little overwhelmed. SO much said on what we need to change... and improve on... but I like what one speaker said... Small daily changes are much much easier than large course changes. So just take it step by step. I'm trying not to be overwhelmed or too hard on myself. Sometimes that is hard though haha

    Last Sunday we fasted that we might find a family to teach (1 nephi 8:12), as directed by our President and Elder Perkins. I couldn't believe how much that was emphasized in conference! I think I heard 1 nephi 8:12 quoted like 5 times! I know I am being directed by inspired men here in Indiana. They listen to the spirit and direct us accordingly. Heavenly Father needs and wants FAMILIES!

    Well that sunday, as we were fasting, we had one of our referrals come to church. I had received this referral a couple of days before Sis. Howard came here. We had tried several times to contact her and almost gave up. We decided to call one last time. She answered and said she wanted to come to church. She showed up the next day in sacrament meeting with her son and daughter. She said that her friend is investigating the church in Pennsylvania and told her that she needed to go to church. So she sought us out! She and her two kids stayed for all 3 meetings. I asked her if she has been taught anything about the gospel or the LDS church.. she said no, but that she attended church 2 times before at the eagle creek ward, and they told her she needed to to go the building closer to her. So we set up an appt. with her the following night. Her husband was there and two kids and they all participated in the lesson, answered questions and loved it. We extended a baptismal invitation and they all accepted. Her son volunteered to say the prayer at the end. It was a fun lesson. Then we went and saw them again on Friday and taught the Plan of Salvation. We hadnt realized at first, but basically this family only knows about Jesus Christ and what he did... and that is it. So we get to help them build their faith in the doctrines from the ground up! It is cool because they don't have any like set in stone conflicting beliefs. They are so wonderful and I love being with them. At the end we told them we had prayed about a baptism date, novermber 22, and asked them to prepare for that day. They accepted. Then we knelt, and each member of the family took a turn praying to know if that was the day they should be baptized. The spirit was so strong. I felt warm and at peace. They all said they felt good too. I hope they continue to ask questions and pray while we are away from them for a few days. 
    I always worry about that with my investigators. Obviously satan doesnt want them to make these changes or take these steps... We have maybe 1 or 2 days with them a week,, maybe some phone calls... and he and his demons have all of the rest of the time... Luckily Christ is more powerful. Luckily the light can ALWAYS push out the darkness. Luckily and thankfully... righteousness always prevails. We pray and pray and pray for them. 
    they came to conference at the church on sunday morning. It was so great to look back and see them there! I sure hope they felt the spirit. 

    I am grateful for conference and the ability to have them in print in a couple of days. I tried not to take extensive notes so I could just listen to the spirit and write down inspiration. So I can't wait to have every word in my hand. 

    Sister Howard is doing really well! When she first came out she had a DEATHLY fear of speaking in public. She didnt want to talk much in lessons. We are a lot alike in how we think and how we have been raised to expect a lot of ourselves. So she gets frustrated that she is not perfect at teaching yet haha. I keep telling her "line upon line" We are ALL still learning. She swam for BYU before she came on her mission and is learning to adjust to not being in a pool for hours every day. :) but I am amazed at the growth I have already seen in her. She teaches a lot now. She has a 'go get em' attitude. We have decided that our attitude every day will be JUST DO IT! sometimes things are hard or we are exhausted or whatever... but we just do it. :) We are finding ways to have fun and to make ourselves better each day.

    Well, I love you all. I hope you find ways to apply the atonement in your lives this week and let it change you. That's what its all about. Daily Changes.... oh and family :) I am so grateful for such a wonderful Family that is so supportive and has instilled in be correct principles and taught me the scriptures since birth!

    Love you forever. Thank you for your love and prayers. I will talk to ya next weeeeeek. boy how they days fly.

    212 always. 4th missionary.
    Love Sister Cooley

    Good Week

    Hey fam. How yall be makin out? I have had a good week. I would have to say that I feel like my eyes have been opened to a lot of my questions. Conference was a big help to that too. I can see a lot of my faults and what I need to work on. With me working on these I can now help others work on theirs. Get the beam out of my own eye before I try to get the mote out of my brothers right? I learned about cause and effect... There is always reasons behind why a person does something. Like if someone is being boastful or prideful then either they are convinced of it from success or haven't had success or have any hope for success therefore they have to talk themselves up. (fluff their feathers). I love studying this because it will help me a ton in life in looking past peoples differences. Take a hard look at yourself but don't be to hard on yourself... correct what you see so you can help others. Take a hard look at others so that you can go easier on them where they need it and also help them where they need it. It really does help pinpoint you becoming better and then helping others becoming better.
    So I went on exchanges with my District Leader (Elder Haynie) and he is a very short stalky dude... so anyways we were biking to conference and I stopped because I saw that this lady was about to pull out in front of me... then all the sudden Elder Haynie flys past me and goes in front of this car and gets NAILED!!!! hahahahaha He flew up onto the car hood and windshield and then when she stomped on the breaks he slammed to the ground haha. Probably was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. He was fine so its ok to laugh... but you should have seen the look on that ladies face!! She got out of the car screaming "Oh Jesus!" "Oh Jesus!" "Oh Jesus!" hahaha. It was like an explosion of a pasty white short stalky missionary on this ladies car hood. Everything was fine and we just went our separate ways but, man!! what a night. I am laughing while typing this email... Car can do damage even at low speed. I feel like being on a bullet bike has helped be more cautious out here. ha... A bullet bike is a blessing in my life, how about dat!? 
    I spent my time in the church for two days straight watching conference and I loved it. I was supposed to have two investigators come but some plans fell through... dang. They watched some at home though so that is good.
    It is a very different mission down here. We go out teaching or contacting and not a lot of people want to hear our message. Yes, I know it is like that everywhere but it is crazy how non exceptive they are in the south (They all just say that it is the same god, that they are saved, or that god will accept them how they are and that they don't have to do anything... ). Sometimes all we can do to make sure we are still working and showing the lord that we aren't wasting his time is to go down to the levy and talk to people about the gospel and it is rare if we get a contact. People just don't want to hear it because they go to their Baptist church every other month and believe that is all they have to do (It is a different mind set down here). Plus the Latinos get off to work at 6 and so after our studies it is hard to find lessons for the next few hours. no one is home, Mexicans have 12 hour days at work. 
    But I have learned that when the student is ready then the teacher will appear. That is how we are still filling our schedules and that is how we are pulling the highest numbers of lessons. I love to watch how our day lays out in front of us because God is with us and gives us people to teach. It is amazing.
    So as missionaries we are able to go fishing as long as it is with an investigator haha. I go fishing at 5 in the morning anyways (or workout) but why not try to make people feel like friends and loved and not just another number. That is a huge part in missionary work down here... Service and just being their friend; that's because it is so religiously diverse that all people feel like to other churches is another number. Friendship, love, and service is the pure love of Christ and the best way to convert. BUT! if you do not teach the doctrine... even the things that people take to be hard.... and if you don't make sure that person is ready then they "WILL" go inactive. We all have a great role to play in converting people (our brothers and sisters) to the gospel.
    There is so much to tell yall but not enough time,
    Love ya!
    4th missionary
    Elder Cooley

    Thursday, October 2, 2014



    This week was a good week and a hard week! On wednesday we had Elder Perkins from the 70 and his cute wife come and train us ALL day! 8am - 4pm. There wee 6 people from 100 or so missionaries that were called the night before and asked to come in early for an interview with Elder Perkins... I was one of them. It was cool to sit down with him, but it really wasn't what I was expecting it to be. He asked about my family and what I am studying in school. He asked me what he thought one thing our area needed to work on, I told him Members at our lessons with investigators. Then he said, Okay, the time is yours to ask me any question.... my mind was blank.....
    All I could think about was how to teach someone to teach... which I basically already knew the answer to... I felt bad that I hadn't come prepared to my interview with questions in mind for him. There I was standing in front of a 70, and unprepared. It made me think about how I show up to sacrament meeting, and other meetings. 

    Each meeting can and SHOULD always be a revelatory experience. It is not the speaker or the trainer or the teacher who will help you learn... it is the spirit. So, each lesson, each talk, and each study, I now have question. I was sort of doing this already anyway, but not I make sure I have a sincere question and say a sincere prayer. Without fail, your questions are answered. I had written down some questions and things I needed help with at the training, and I had all of those answered too. Since then I have done that at the GW broadcast, and in my studies. Its cool to feel like Heavenly Father is really teaching you and giving you specific answers. It makes the scriptures more meaningful, and it is also very humbling.

    Most of the answers to prayers and seeking that I received this week weren't what I was expecting... they were humbling. It's as if Heavenly Father were saying "Sister Cooley.... This is my work. I am in charge. Now, darling, Forget about yourself and just serve and love and everything will be ok."
    In the book Believing Christ, the beginning talks about his wife Janet, how she had been trying to save herself... trying to earn her way to the celestial kingdom, trying to buy her own grace. He told her that she needed to understand how much she desperately needs her savior, and needed to accept that she would never make it without him. 

    In my studies this morning I read Mosiah chapter 2, which just taught that same concept! along with Romans 3. 

    Sister Marriott also taught the same thing in her address on saturday night. Wow. Talk about heavenly father trying to get through to little stubborn megs. haha. So.. I've set some goals and am doing my best. That's all we can do right?

    Last night was a tuffie. I had one of those experiences again where an investigator breaks your heart... plus it didn't help that I had been fasting for 25 hours. This lady told us that she never would join the church and there was contention and I felt the spirit leave. and I ended up crying and... it just wasn't good. So after that meeting, we finally had dinner a 8:30 pm. Other than that, yesterday was really good haha.

    I love being a missionary. I have never had a stronger testimony and commitment to the Savior and to the beautiful plan that he has than I do today. I know when I get overwhelmed with the little details, that I can breath and know everything will be ok. He is there. His love never fades or goes away. It is only our own walls that get in our way. Never his. 

    So what are your walls that you have that keep you from experiencing the fullness of his love and blessings? I know what mine are. Find yours, and find a way to destroy those walls. It might be brick by brick (like mine is), it might be with a wrecking ball, but whatever it is, when you being to take it down, you will feel those rays of sunshine. Those walls have been blocking out the fullness of warmth and light. Yet they have always been there and always will. Just knock down your walls.

    I love you all so much. Thank you for your prayers and your love. I appreciate your letters and cards. They help me through each week. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the lessons each of you have helped me learn.

    123 forever
    4th missionary
    It's not fun unless you draw blood
    share till its gone
    when the going gets tough, the tough get going