Saturday, February 28, 2015

Run AWAY!!

Hey fam damily! Que tal?
so our refried bean has a baptismal date, March 14th. This time we didn't give him a date but he asked us for one. That's great huh! That is the type of desire that I want my investigators to have. It reminds me of Pa saying that when a person wants to go on a mission then he will know because they push him as a bishop to get the papers done and they desire it more than him.

Yesterday I walked outside with a wrinkled shirt on and it was instantly damp and unwrinkled haha. The heat and humidity is coming back. The bugs are coming back too, You can here that it is summer because of the constant hissing of the Locust in the Trees and brush.
There are trucks with giant loud spray machines that drive through the neighborhoods spraying for mosquitos and they have flashing yellow lights and are they leave a giant cloud of smoke behind them everywhere they go. When we are biking and we see one... Run AWAY!! we bike a different way, but if there aren't other streets to hurry and turn down you try to outrun it... haha It doesn't work every time and you are left violated in the smoke coughing and disgusted.
I can just see the drivers of those trucks laughing every time they do it to us too haha.

So I started doing translating for our sacrament meetings... I have never felt like a deer in the headlights that much in a long time. It is weird because I can understand them just fine but translating it to English you have to switch your words around and think about how they are saying it and you get left behind on what they are saying. It will help my Spanish a lot so I am going to try to translate at every meeting now.

So I was right... there were panties and all sorts of stuff being thrown out for mardi Graw and I guess Some elders got flashed too haha. It depends what parade you are at and who you are standing by. I didn't thought so we're good. there are a lot of weirdoes and alcohol so its like world cup on steroids haha. We will have to get the gang together and go to mardi graw every year huh? I have pictures I will have to send you later today or next time. I usually hate parades but this was pretty fun.

We have been going to a trampoline park every p day lately and I love it. The owner goes to our church. It will never be as good as Provo's Lower get air, but it is fun. We have it rented out for two hours for FREE next zone Pday. Benefits of serving stateside....
I had a good week. We had Zone Conference this week with Elder Kopischke of the 70. Right after when we were biking home we stopped and helped this lady out weeding her garden. (it was pretty messy and she looked pretty stressed) She was surprised because we were young men in our white shirts and ties doing something that young men usually don't do. We weeded and talked with her the entire time (she is a paramedic; I showed her that I was certified in EMR and she asked me why I wasn't doing that instead and I told her that I am here to serve the lord first and then I am joining the Marines.) 
We kept talking with her after weeding and we were able to use what Elder Kopischke taught that day and testify more boldly and invite more. She started crying and telling us how hard of a time she has been going through with her sons health and learning disabilities, and her own health too. She said that she was crying all that morning and that she was just diagnosed with lupus and she asked "why does god give me so many trials?" We were able to have a lesson and a prayer with her and she said that she was going to come to church. I know that out all of the people we could have stopped and talked to on the way home that she was the that need us most. Not coincidence.

If there is one highlight that I like about church, it would be that there is a plan and that it puts my thoughts at ease. I don't worry.

Love you fam.
Elder Cooley

Monday, February 16, 2015

Missionary work and Mardi Gras

Hello familia. Espero que todo esta bien en Layton.
I had a pretty good week this week. Just regular missionary work but that's what I'm here for right? Work slows down for Mardi Gras so we spend a lot of time biking around, parades and talking to drunk people.
The parades here are quite different and you don't get salt taffies and candy. It also depends where your at; you have to be careful which ones you go to also. They throw out beads (obviously), candy, panties, and condoms hahah.... a bit different right? But like I said, it depends where you go. You can be at family friendly parade and still catch thongs.
We are going to a lot of parades tomorrow because the work is dead and all of the members are there, Actually they are the ones that are taking us. We will be at the church in downtown for a BBQ of 300lbs of carne asadas and all parades after that.
So we went to Walmart the other night to hurry and grab something. We saw ten cop cars fly in and everyone had to get out because of a bomb threat I guess.
 After that a member took us to pizza hut and bought us a pizza, but then he had to leave for valentines day. He left us waiting there for our pizzas and while we were waiting some black dude walked in and stood there looking at the menu. He had a beer in his hand and then looked right at me and said.. "so.. will you buy me a pizza?" haha I laughed and said no. He asked me for change too.. "do you have like two dollars or something/" He said that he didn't have money so I asked him, If you don't have money then how did you buy your beer? he stared at me blankly and didn't respond haha. We offered him a quarter because that's all we had on us; He turned it down! (there are always black people asking for your change here) I told him that I would give him a slice of my pizza though and he agreed with that.
We stood outside and talked with him for a little haha. Once we gave him some pizza he told us "see I told you!... just like Martin Luther King taught... Free at last, Free at last, thank God almighty everything is free at last!" hahahah I laughed and said that he said something close to that.
You cant even Understand some people down here (literally), that black guy was speakin hood jybe the entire time. He kept saying "the dagger shop" referring to the bar next door. He said that he was a child of god (Im glad he knows that) But he also said that Jesus was a fisher of men with the gospel but that he is a fisher of the ladies. hahahaha New Orleans.
We are hitting our goals with lessons more and more. I don't know how this week will go but we will see. We are going to try to see Our friend with the drinking problem. He is doing a lot better now. He has a job and is working on himself.
We have an FHE with our refried bean tonight. He still wants to be baptized so now it is just a matter of setting up another date with him and answering any other questions que el tiene.
My Spanish feels good. I can understand to the point where I don't really have to translate it to English in my head anymore. But there are always those beans from Cuba that speak really fast or other people that have thick accents and slurs. You always run into someone new that you cant really understand... that's what learning is though. One moment you will understand word for word in a conversation and the next lesson you will only get the just of what they are talking about or wont understand at all. At least I can get the just of those ones or that I am doing my best right?
I am having a good time. I have no room to complain. If I ever do complain in my head then it is usually because of me and something that I can do better at. Life is good. If it is bad then you just aren't looking at it right. Ya it is hard but there are different ways you can go about doing hard work. Remember that Nephi and Laman and Lemuel all went on the same journey, except for that Nephi simply had confidence and a good attitude. It is all a matter of decision. There is no complicated formula for success or happiness... You just decide. Make a choice and don't leave it to a matter of fate. Life will shape you into something... Make sure that it is something that you want.
Thank you family and friends for everything! Love ya.
Elder Cooley

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Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hello fam! How is everyone?
We had a baptism this week of Jenny Urbina. She is the daughter of an awesome family in the ward. We had the opportunity to go over a lot to teach her and make sure that she was ready to make a covenant with God. We always have FHE at their house too. Their other daughter is married to Aaron Hatch who served in the Ogden Utah Mission. We get along very well, our personalities match up perfectly. Our ward would be weak without that large family.

We have been teaching Nelson more and more. He has a strong desire to be baptized and come closer to God. He canceled his first date because he had some questions he wanted answered first. I am happy, I don't want to baptize anyone that isn't ready. What is the point if they just fell away right after?
We teach him English all the time too. Haha he brought up the subject the other day about racist words. Haha. he wanted to know so if anyone called him it. The entire lesson he was laughing and saying Beaner a lot after that.

Our friend with the drinking problem has progressed. I have found that with addictions it has to be a one time decision to quit. White/Black.. drink or don't drink. You can NOT ease out of it. BUT.... It is very hard to build up that courage to make that decision. You can dose down before that big step. Mosiah 4:27- And see that all these things are done in wisdom and order; for it isnot requisite that man should run faster than he has strength. And again, it is expedient that he should be diligent, that thereby he might win the prize; therefore, all things must be done inorder”. Jump to soon. Our investigator, he has changed little at a time and now he is saying that a lot of things that he would do before don't even look desirable. We have helped him find his why. We asked him to pray about it and that date to stop drinking and the strength to do so. I know once he stops his whole life will turn around.

I have been writing and filling up a notebook of my studies pretty fast. I have been filling a book about How to begin teaching and how to teach and find people. I can definitely say that my teaching and finding has increased a lot. I have also found that simply, If you do your little part then the lord does the rest.

I Wrote this.
The parable of the meat cutter.
At home from time to time I would have my friends dad that was a meat cutter sharpen some of my knives. He had the sharpest knives I have ever felt. He sharpened them very frequently and with precision on a stone. This got them sharp knocking off rough edges to make the blades perfect.
Now... it is obvious that you need a sharp knife for this job so that you can do it right, cutting meat the right way, in the right sizes and within the right timing. With a sharp knife it is safer, more precise and you can do your job with more swift effectiveness than a dull knife.
The lord is the meat cutter... and we are his knives. Are you sharp? Do you do the necessary repeated actions everyday to be sharp? Such things as prayer, reading the scriptures, and going to church? Are we kept by the lords side going to and from the job so that he can use us for his great work?
(related to any life situation) A meat cutter Prepares meat to be cut just like the lord prepares people to learn and be taught, he prepares life situations, trials etc... The question is though.... are we sharp and ready to cut and be effective in that time of need? Are we effective tools in the lords hands or dull knives that need to be worked on? (the beautiful thing is that the lord will spend personal time on each person to make them and keep them sharp)

As a missionary I have noticed that all of the success that I have had was simply by me just being personally sharp. The lord Uses us as Instruments in his hands. (A tool doesn't do anything accept take the shape that is needed) I felt like I didn't have to do anything accept for simply being there and doing my part. Doctrine and Covenants 4- the field is white and ready to harvest. If you have the desire then you are called to the work.

If you have the desire to do something (this pertains to anything in life) then you will get sharp... And if you are sharp then the lord will use you to cut. Where are your desires and where are they taking you? Are you putting in the necessary amount of repeated actions to become what you want.. to be used for what you want to do?

Love you fam... I hope everything is well.

Elder Cooley