Friday, July 1, 2016

WELCOME HOME ELDER COOLEY!!!

Elder Cooley is home at last! 
He's Exhausted but full of energy, smiling & being smothered in love!!!
It's so good to have him home again.
As a mother I'm so grateful for the life lessons and experiences learned a mission offers, the sacrifice and service humbly given and that he is now home.
 It brings a feeling of wholeness back into our family.
 Shane's homecoming address is July 10th at 11:00 at our church on Cherry lane.
 Ya'alls welcome to join us.

video


Monday, June 20, 2016

10 Days to Go.

This week might be a short letter because I will be home in ten days haha. It feels weird to say that and it hadn't  hit reality until four days ago. I am actually struggling with these last weeks because it is all that I have known for the past 2 years and I am about to leave it all. I also find it harder to be motivated thus making my days feel a little bit longer when I go out. I feel like life will hit pretty hard but I am excited because I will be able to set new goals and reach for new heights. It is also an awesome experience at the same time. We went to Zone Training Meeting this week and since it was my last meeting they asked me to stand and share my experiences with my testimony. A lot of members are having us over also because I am going home and they want to feed us and have a little celebration. I will miss the culture more than anything in my mission.

We got a call from some of my old friends in the Albany ward and they came down to see me before I left and we had some awesome food that they cooked. I am going to miss them a lot. Maybe it wont be long until I see all of these people though because Louisiana is so close and still state side and they might actually be moving to Utah. We also have been invited to a big cook out because I am going home at the previous stake presidents house. I love the people here. 

Our Hispanic investigator's name is Alejandro De La Cruz. He has been busy along with a lot of our other people this week and couldn't see him. We will see him this week and bring a member with us that is from Costa Rica.

I will see y'all in 10 days:):) I hope y'all have a good week.
Much love, 

Elder Cooley

Monday, June 6, 2016

24 days to go!

How is everyone doing? I have had a very good week. This area is awesome and we are always being supported by the ward. It still amazes me how many people are in this ward. We walk into sacrament and I am constantly seeing people that I don't know and I am constantly meeting new people. They are very friendly and are awesome at fellow shipping those that we bring to sacrament. We brought two Chinese folks to church the other day. The husband is very smart and he talks to us about the study of religion all the time. He came to church and was shocked at how the church is run and how nobody gets paid and there are great amounts of good that's being done still.
The ward here got a new bishopric and has changed a lot of callings this week. The bishop is moving to Texas and they called his first counselor as the new Bishop. The bishops son also received his mission call and we went over to say congrats. He is going to Washington Spokane English speaking. They were discussing how he would get to the Provo MTC and the joke came up that he could stay with me in Utah and I could drop him off haha. It is weird to think that I will be home before he enters the MTC. Time flies family and friends... 24 days to go.

The English elders had a baptism this week. The lady's husband was baptized a few months ago and she decided to go through with it also. 

We found a cool new Hispanic dude and he is very receptive to us sharing with him. He is from the Dominican Republic and he has a cool accent. We will be going by to see him this week again. There aren't a lot of Hispanics here in Lafayette but we see a few. We have a lot of members that speak Spanish because the ADT security salesman are here and all of them are return missionaries. We have them speak to the Hispanic people that we bring to church and it is very helpful.

This week has felt very regular and I don't have much to say. It seems like the closer I get to the end of my mission the harder it is to write my emails. We are seeing some awesome people and we are staying busy but other than that I don't have much to say. Feel free to ask me any questions if y'all want and I would be happy to answer them.

Much Love,
Elder Cooley

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

30 days left!!!!


Hello family and friends,
I had an awesome week this week. We went fishing all day yesterday and caught some bass. I had an awesome time. I love fishing... I cant explain myself enough by saying I love fishing because Louisiana raises fishing to a whole new level. I got some sun and had a good time. After fishing we went to a craw fish boil to end our P-day. I cant think of a better day haha:)
I only have 30 days left on my mission. I have been enjoying this area a lot and plus it keeps me busy. I am very happy that I got moved  to a new area to end my mission because it will keep me busy and non-trunky because I am constantly meeting new people. There are a lot of people in this ward. There are 964 people on our ward roster and 326 were at church this week. There is always something to do haha;) 
2 years has gone fast and 30 more days will go even faster. I feel very exhausted and worn out haha. I remember getting off of the plane, riding to the church for transfer meeting and thinking to myself "I dont know if I can do this for 23 more months". The funny thing about this is that I still feel like that even with 30 days left. I feel very blessed for these experiences in my life. I would never trade these experiences; I know that they will serve me for the rest of my life.
I have been asked a few times what I will miss the most when I leave and my answer would have to be the culture. They have also asked me what I have missed the most about home and I would have to say I miss being able to put actions behind what I want to pursue in my life. Yes I still do that on my mission but it isn't balanced. I am working on a lot of spiritual and mental goals out here but I cant wait for being able to balance them all out and take direct action in my life. I have a dream and a vision of what I want to create in my life and It hurts not being able to work on all of it.

One of our Hispanic families moved out this week to follow the work that they found in Texas. When we had found her she had all ready read up to 3rd Nephi in the Book of Mormon and had a lot of questions. We did our best while she was here and I hope she has continued with the missionaries in Texas. We are visiting with some other very cool people and I will let y'all know more if anything comes about.
Well family and friends, I don't have anything else to write about but I hope that all of you have a wonderful week.
Much love,
Elder Cooley

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Elder Cooley has discovered- SMILING ;)

I had an awesome week and I am doing good. We have transfers today and Elder Peterson and I are being doubled out haha. They are losing a lot of elders and especially Spanish elders so they they want the new ZL's to be ready for the next wave that will come in. Elder Peterson is staying in New Orleans zone but I am being moved out to who knows where haha... I will let y'all know next week as to where I am moved.

I only have 6 weeks left and I feel like I have been learning So much. I discovered this crazy new concept these past few weeks... its called "smiling" hahahaha. I have been trying to work on my people skills and this gives me a great desire to talk to everyone if I get the chance. I love seeing how people act and react and it is amazing to see how society works as a whole. Have you ever noticed that it is rare to see someone that doesn't have a gloomy face? Life's circumstances have conformed them into who they are being and it should be the other way around!

Everyone wants to feel significant. This "Fact" is why people do a lot of what they do. This is why a lady screams and rants and rages in line while at the grocery store because the register isn't working. Either she wants to feel significant to the people in the store or she wants to feel significant in some other odd twisted way. For whatever reason, why she acts like this can be attributed with how she feels. I too would rant and rage at a cash register in public if I didn't feel significant enough in my life. This is also why kids do drugs, adults separate in marriages and many more examples that I could very easily think of. 

The reason I talk about this is because of one question that I want to ask; Can you imagine what a benefit it would be to your life if you felt very significant and made everyone else around you feel significant? You could go through the worst things possible but because you felt significant and had meaning behind your suffering you were able to endure and live through it; the Holocausts and POW camps are great examples of this. Most of your life problems could be solved by finding who doesn't feel significant enough. The impact that we have on other people can be HUGE and even life changing. If a store manager walked up and made the crazy lady screaming at the cashier feel more significant by paying more special attention to her and being sincere while doing it then the problem would most likely stop and even more so maybe even take a complete U turn because she was so pleased about how she was taken care of.

 The reason behind this paragraph is to prove to you that you can make a bigger impact in the world than you think. A simple start is to become one of the rare few that smiles instead of having a gloomy face all the time. If you were able to make everyone feel significant around you Imagine the success you could have in every endeavor that you pursued let alone an increase in your own self significance! Go out into the world and make every life moment worth it for yourself and everyone around you. I am not saying to go and be an entertainer on a stage because that will become exhausting. I am saying that every action you do towards others reflects what you think of yourself and who you are. I am saying to become a better you by helping others do the same. If you want others to be interested in you then you should become More interested in others and stop thinking about yourself. 

I have been So highly blessed to be working with so many people out here in Louisiana on a mission, but, the mission doesn't stop here. A person doesn't have to be a missionary to work and learn with people. The one thing that a person needs to start this process is initiative. Shake your life up, face your fears and go out into the world not knowing what is going to happen next. The most awesome thing about 'certainty' and 'uncertainty' is that it will help you take risks. If things go south then it will fire you up to do better. If things go good then it will inspire you to do more. If you cant have prosperity then pray for adversity because you will either become better because of 'inspiration' or 'desperation'!

I love you family and friends. Remember that love is the friend and that fear is the enemy so keep your friends close but your enemies closer because the enemy will drive you to 'action' and 'decisions' that need to be made in life. Face your fears and live your life to the greatest.

Much Love, 
Elder Cooley

Monday, April 25, 2016

The Rubber Band Game

I have had a good week this week. We tried a lot of doors this week and not a lot of people answered. Hahaha I have to laugh at those moments when people look through the blinds straight into your eyes and still don't answer. Also When the kid answers the door and has a full conversation with his mom and comes back and tells us that his parents aren't home. Or the moments when you get to a house at the exact moment someone is coming home from work and you knock their door as soon as he walks inside but he still doesn't answer haha. Those moments actually make me laugh and make me appreciate the good moments that much more! Those moments make me appreciate the contrast between light and darkness and the principle that You can CHOOSE which one you are going to be. 

Our zone is doing very well and some of the slower areas are getting better. Our area is pretty slow so we need to switch things up or something. We had some good moments and it was awesome to see some people show up to church that are now progressing. A man that I was visiting at the start of my mission came to church and we talked for a while. I haven't seen him in almost 2 years so that feels weird to say. He is a less active friend that took a break from coming to church because he didn't feel supported at all. He had heart surgery and the bishop stopped by with a box of chocolates and no one else came by. After that his wife died and no one visited him. After that his son died and no one came to visit him. He said in a testimony that he was offended but he knew that the church helped him to better himself so he came back. He has more trust is God and Jesus Christ then the flesh of man.

Do you remember the rubber band and close pin game? One of the nights that we came in from working we had two elders with us and we started to shoot Q-tips from my exercise bands. One thing led to another and we started launching red beans and anything that we could find at each other from across the apartment. it was really fun and everyone said that they haven't had that much fun in a long time haha. It is very important to go out and work but to have fun is VERY important also. To love what you do is very powerful. Make the best out of your days, get rid of doubt and worry and get things done. If you do not love what you do then you need to strip everything away and review the basics so that you can find the problem. Most often you will find the problem and realize that it is yourself; haha I have done that many times. A change in knowledge is a powerful force that changes our perspectives; it is swift to change our actions and attitude.

The Sisters in our area are going to have a baptism this week on Saturday.

Life is good and I can NEVER Complain! I feel good and hope to have the same influence on others. 
Have an awesome week family and friends. 

With much LOVE from,

Elder Cooley

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Time flies

We had a good week this week. We found a few new people and are planning to go back this week. I enjoy going out and talking to people, It really gives you a lot of experiences through out your day. It is interesting to see how people treat you and to observe how they live. 
We also went on exchanges with the assistants to the President. We found a few people with them and we also did some service hours. It feels weird to be with other missionaries sometimes because it makes me realize how long I have been gone for; I am one of the oldest in the mission. Time flies. 

We have zone conference tomorrow but we don't have to instruct this time. We show up at the church and have our car inspections and then have our meeting. 

"So live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!" -Viktor E. Frankl.

 "It doesn't matter how long you live, but HOW you live" I hope that I can one day fully grasp this and use it to come closer to God and my Neighbor.

-Elder Cooley

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Enduring Well

Hey fam, I am doing good and am hanging in there! I have had a good week and I feel good. So I am with the same companion as a ZL in Metairie. We are moving apartments this week. Our Ac went out and when we opened our Ac box and we found black mold all over and up into the dry wall. The apartment had been painting over it to avoid law suits and having to do reconstruction. This would explain why we don't feel good and are always tired lately. We got out of there and we all ready feel better from not sleeping in there.

We went and had a nice lesson with Fernando again. He is doing AWESOME with not drinking. I am very happy for him. He has completely turned his life around and knows the dangers of how easy it would be to slip again. 

We have had a less active friend of ours come back to church these past two weeks. He said that he wanted to get back into church and do better. He was a missionary in Texas. We work a lot with less active people. I don't like to go around and tell people how to live their lives but I am all about telling people that there is hope and there is always a way. Life is hard but there is no excuse for a bad attitude and a pessimistic tragedy. Life can always be turned into a learning experience and we can always seek to change if we need and want to. An optimistic tragedy is a powerful way to live through your life struggles. 

I'm sorry to hear about the shoulder injuries this past week. I can testify of how important helmets are. I have also been in the same spot of not being able to lift my arms. Take time with your recovery. 

I have been doing good and I am trying to endure well. I know that my emails are pretty short but it is hard to write sometimes. We go out and visit people but It feels boring and too regular to write y'all about it. we are doing good though and are looking for the good in the world, don't worry about me:) I know my mom hates me saying that because parents will always worry for their family but I am doing good. Life is good.

I love you family and friends. Have a wonderful week. 

Elder Cooley

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Have you noticed Elder Cooley Never Complains! -Momma Cooley

Like the usual I can not complain. I know that nothing belongs to me except for my attitude and how I react to the daily situations of my life. I know that I am nothing, as to my strength I am weak. I believe in a God that cares and catches the same vision that I have in my life. I believe in a loving savior. With how bad the world can get at times we are so blessed to have what we have. 

These past few days have felt strange, I don't sleep as well anymore. last night I laid there until 1:00 when I could finally fall asleep. I think that a lot is on my mind and it keeps me bright eyed until I can actually get some real rack time. I wake up and do my studies but it just doesn't feel the same. Life is good though and I am moving forward. I try hard to progress every day in some way or the other. I love reading the 23 psalms, in fact I have it memorized and love thinking about it. It is an outline to me for a humble yet strong life.

One of my friends out here just recently had his mom pass away. He said that he cant sleep either... boy do I feel small compared to that trial, but I guess we all have our own struggles that cant be compared to others. He asked me to draw him a picture of him and his mom as an angle sitting next to him. I drew him a rough draft and will be putting my spare time towards drawing him a good one. I really feel for the kid.

We met a new guy this week that is interested in having Bible studies with us and learning more about the church. He has never been interested in church before and said that he is envious of people that are able to live that kind o life style. We will be going over thee to visit with him more and see what questions he has. 

We went to the Book of Mormon play that was in town all this week and handed out books and cards to everyone. We had some good results from it and had fun. At first everyone thought that we were the cast for the play and once we told them that we were real missionaries they got a kick out of it and wanted to talk to us about the church. that play gets the church a lot of positive feed back.

We have had a lot of good visits this week and had a good time. I look forward to another great week and hope that y'all do too. 
Love Elder Cooley

Monday, March 7, 2016

Crawfish Boil... and Awesome News!

Hello Family and Friends,
That is some awesome news this week! I knew that I would one day get an email about Jesse and Kim's family. Congrats! I will be home for that date. I am happy for y'all. 

This week I went to a craw fish boil in Albany after the Giachetti family's temple sealing. we had an awesome time and had some GOOD food. I love that family. I think that they have had the biggest influence and most support for me in my mission out here. I saw some fire flies that night also... they were probably the last ones that I will see for a while seeing that I live in New Orleans. I played baseball, kickball and football the entire time with their kids and  all of the young adults there. It was all a blast and brought back some good memories. I saw a lot of friends that I haven't seen for a while.

I have been In contact with Fernando a lot since I am living in New Orleans again. He quite drinking completely with even more help from a different church and he is trying to start his own business now. He has come a long ways from when we were first with him. He is very happy and you can see the difference in him too. He has his own car now and does a lot of service for the other church such as driving their church bus and translating during their masses. He has also been a highlight to my mission and is a very good friend to me now.

I hope that y'all have an awesome week. 
Love,
Elder Cooley
Life is good.

Monday, February 29, 2016

Survived the Storm

I am fine from the storm. It was crazy amount of rain though. It was the most rain I have seen since I have been down here. I have heard from other missionaries that the Tornado was pretty crazy. Everyone in our mission is safe and sound though. I feel sorry for the families that lost someone to something so unexpected like that.

We made some more Gumbo this week. I am getting ready for my home coming cooking hahaha:) I have found that the brand of sausage that you use makes a huge difference so I will have to see if it is accessible in Utah or if I am going to have to order it. Mom might thing it is spicy... its not though. haha

We went back to the families house where we gave the special needs kid a blessing and we had a lesson with them. During that lesson we realized how special he really is because There was another investigator there and he was asking some questions that had nothing to do with building a testimony. There was a contentious feeling in the room during those questions and Jordan was screaming and throwing stuff so we asked if we could start with a prayer before we actually shared a scripture. Jordan (the special needs kid) folded his arms for the prayer but was still being loud. We shared a scripture about Jesus Christ in the bible and Jordan's character completely changed once we started reading and discussing Christ and the principle we learn from his life and his teachings.   He sat there calmly and didn't say a word or make a noise. The Man also had nothing to say after that and it shut up all of his questions or any arguments. We had an awesome lesson and left with a better feeling in the house.

We had some fun drunk lady we taught this week... well... not really taught but discussed life with her haha. 

We did a bunch of service for a cancer fundraiser at a marathon. It is a tour that has 30 races and concerts follow the races as a tour. We changed peoples corals according to their running times and improvements, gave out t shirts and put together metals. There were a lot of awesome people there and we had a lot of fun. We worked along side a bunch of teens that were sent to boot camp because of bad behavior and were trying to shape up. A lot of them were cool and actually trying to change and get their life together.

We went on visits with our bishop this week and had a good time. We have been extending commitments to our ward council to get things moving. We want them to be going out with the missionaries in their area once a week. Once we can get that commitment filled then we will move on to having the ward council finding people to fill their assignment to go out with missionaries. We can get some accountability, action and inspiration to get stuff done.

Well I love You family and friends. Have a good week.
Elder Cooley 

Monday, February 22, 2016

Life Is Good.

Hello family and friends,
 I had a good week this week. How have y'all been? It was a slow week this week. It felt like everyone we tried didn't answer this week or they couldn't visit with us at that time. We were able to visit with people throughout the week but it was definitely a lot slower. 

Joel Cardenas had his mission farewell this week and he called me to tell me how it went. They said that they missed me a lot but that they were doing great. We are going to go to the airport really early in the morning to say goodbye to Joel as he leaves for Mexico on his mission for 2 years. He wanted us to be there. He sounds excited and we talked about the mission life for a while on the phone. I also talked to Sister Cardenas (his Mom) and she wanted to tell my mom that she said hi. She likes you a lot mom and she hasn't even met you yet. I want to see if she can come and visit in Utah one of these days. She would love that.

Two of my favorite people on the mission are getting sealed in the temple on March 5th so I will be going up there to support them and they are having a giant craw fish boil afterwards. I am excited to return to Albany to say whats up to my friends. One of the members is driving down to New Orleans to pick us up so that we can attend the marriage. 

We learned how to make Gumbo from scratch this week. All I have to say is that Gumbo will never be the same for me. We were impressed with ourselves. We even made our own Roux and stuff like that. We also have learned how to make jambalaya and how to fry foods. When I come home I will have to load my suitcases with spices and sauces that you cant buy in Utah. I will have to see if you can order the Cajun meets online so that we can still use them in Utah haha. Mom would it be possible that I could cook for everyone at my homecoming? I want to make everyone Gumbo. It would probably be a lot cheaper than the sandwiches you did last time also. Gumbo was created during the great depression and was a poor people food just like Po-Boy sandwiches. Just let me know what you think.

I am starting to feel better again. I think that I will start getting up early and working out again.

Something that I have been doing for my studies is for my notes I draw them and connect ideas and scriptures to my drawings. for example I can draw a tree with roots and fruit and I can connect a lot of different scriptures to that. I have a little black booklet that I carry around that has all of my thoughts written down and a bunch of stuff like that including a budget plan that I have not started yet hah. 

I hope that y'all have a wonderful week. I love y'all.
Elder Cooley
Life Is Good.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Smooth seas never made a skilled sailor.

Hey family, There are a lot of missionaries at the church wanting to email and the libraries have been closed because of Mardi Graw.

We had our Zone Training Meeting this week and everything went as planned. We gave an instruction and had some good responses from it. 

This week has been awesome and there are parades everywhere. We went downtown in New Orleans where the parades get huge and it was crazy! The entire city is packed full of people and parades weave through the buildings. It is a huge party and everyone is drinking. There were three people next to us that got pit pocketed. We put our wallets in the chest pockets of our coats so that people couldn't get them. It is the craziest thing ever. I think that Mardi Graw isn't what people outside of Louisiana think it is. Parades of all sorts for two weeks straight.

We did service for 3-4 hours the other day and I loved it. We were cutting down plantain trees with machetes. It was a lot of fun cutting down the trees. After all of the fun part was done we started hauling branches. After an hour and a half of cleaning up logs and branches other missionaries wanted to quit and come back another day to finish. I didn't want to leave the ladies yard a mess with a half-assed job. I told them that we could do it and that we were going to finish.
 If you are able to roll up your sleeves and do things right the first time with small things (such as a service project) then you will be able to do that with big events in your life and overcome great barriers in your life. Pay attention to the details. A man is made up of the small details and will only realize the results years down the road. We got the entire job done. We all felt a satisfying tiredness that only comes from doing hard work. Our satisfaction in life will only come from our work and not holding still. 


Smooth seas never made a skilled sailor.
Have an awesome week Family and friends.
Elder Cooley


Monday, February 8, 2016

Have a Blessed Week

Like usual... I had a good week this week with visits and meetings. We went on exchanges up in Baton Rouge with the APs and we also went to a meeting that was conducted by Elder Rasband and 2 of the seventies. He talked about names a lot and how much names matter.

I bought some new running shoes before I ever got that package so I will be sending some stuff back home so that you can return them. I enjoyed your package and the pictures and notes included. I had a good b day.

We walked a lot in our area this week. We didint have anymore miles to use with our car and we didnt want to be bad examples to our zone with going over the miles that we are permitted to use so we walked our are for three days. I love walking around because it allows you to enjoy the moment more and see what is going on around you in the world.

While walking this week we ran into Mardi Graw parades Every night. They are all over the place and they are usually on main roads so it shuts down a lot of traffic. The parades are awesome down here, you just have to be careful around them and which street they are on and what time of day they are held; It all depends.

We have MLC this week up in Baton Rouge with all of the leadership of the mission. There is slight potential of a new Assistant to the President so I don't look forward to the increased level of butt kissing that there is going to be. Other than that I look forward to seeing what President has to say to us. I don't say much in those meetings because I never really have anything to say about the matter. Quick to hear, Slow to speak and slow to wrath.

We had a stake baptism this week with a little girl that had just turned eight. We had taught her the lessons leading up to the baptism. It was a nice baptism and everything went smoothly. We had no hot water so we were boiling water before the baptism and got the temperature of the faunt up.

Some of the other missionaries found some armor of God book marks out here and asked me If I know a Judy Cooley haha. Yep... she is my mom. They ask "is that why you know how to draw?" Small world isnt it?

I have had a good week and look forward to another. We will also be conducting a Zone Training Meeting this week that we need to prepare for. 

Thank you family and friends for all of your support. Have a blessed week.
Elder Cooley
p.s. Any Bountiful Brave alumni you might recognize who Shane is with-
Rulon McKay who lives in Louisana 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

"If you love Jesus can I get an AMEN!!"

I have had a good week this week. 
We went and sang at the Martil Luther King day gathering at a baptist Church. MLK day is crazy down here. I remember telling y'all last year that it was the most black people that I have ever seen in my life. We walked in the MLK parade on Monday and it was the same craziness as last year. Through all of my experiences with people in the south I can tell you that they scream and shout for their Savior and lord Jesus Christ. They are not shy about praising God. As we walked down the parade we yelled "If you love Jesus can I get an AMEN!!" Everyone would scream AMEN! while clapping. MLK is huge down here and schools come down from all over to walk in the parade and dance.

One of our good friends that is an investigator had his mom just pass away and we have been going over there a lot. He said that he takes one day at a time and that us coming over makes a big influence in his days and weeks.

In the last days men's hearts shall fail them. How deep rooted is your belief? How great of an effect does it have on your actions? Will Your heart fail you? We had a lesson with a pastor about this subject because he asked for our beliefs about it. It is a very interesting thing to think about and study about. When all is stripped and gone... what will be left of you and what kind of person are you in your heart?


​We went and set up an appointment with a lady and two minutes later we returned to our car to see that it was lifted up onto a tow truck haha. We had a chat with the guy and pointed out that we parked in a Visitors parking spot. He told us we need visitor parking passes and we asked him "what is the point of a visitors spot if you need a pass?" We also pointed out that they didn't have signs that were posted well and that didn't explain AT ALL that you needed a special pass. Our President called them and argued our case also. We asked him to just put the car down because we had only been gone for two minutes. We argued that if we came out to our car while someone was robbing it then we wouldn't just say "Oh you beet us to it so we will let you finish robbing it!" Tow truck companies rob people like crazy and are not very kind haha. It is a pitiful way of getting money out of people. We had to pay a fine and drive all the way to down town New Orleans to pick up our car.

This week has been eventful and good. I hope y'all have a blessed week.
Elder Cooley 

Monday, January 11, 2016

The BIG EASY

Hello family and friends.
I just got moved and it has been my first week as a zone leader in New Orleans... I love it. I don't know how to explain it but I just feel different down here. It might just be because my entire day is taught in Spanish once again or that I am with my MTC comp again but I don't know. It was awesome seeing everyone that I had left in the NOLA 2nd ward. It felt like a home coming saying hi to everyone and having to go up and share my testimony during sacrament meeting.

I don't feel any different as a Zone Leader and being a zone leader is even easier than being District Leader. We are over more people but we don't have to hold a meeting with them every week like a District Leaders does. One difference is that I have felt the way that I need to carry myself change so that I can be a better example. Also instead of exchanges we will be having the companionships come to our area for one night and we will be double working the area. I Have learned a lot from Elder Peterson and he is an awesome example. His Spanish has gotten Amazing since the MTC! 

I am also serving with an Elder here named Elder Bown that was served in Albany with me. He is such a stud.

This morning was my first time shaving with a straight razor. It is different and a little bit on the sketchy side but I will get better and faster at it. 

This week it felt like everyone we tried to go visit weren't home. We had some good times and visits with people including an older gentleman that came to sacrament. We ended the week with visiting the old 2nd counselor that has recently gone inactive. We had some heart to heart with him and have found that he has been hurt. He loves the church but feels like whenever he keeps going back he just keeps getting bit. We focused on Empathy and putting ourselves in his situation because it would be VERY EASY to walk in there and chastise the man. After the lesson I can honestly say that he is one of the most Christlike beings that I have met... he has just been hurt a lot.
At times we are able to accept facts and figures but we still get a gut feeling that says "something doesn't feel right." This is because we are human beings and we are able to connect everything that we come in contact with with an emotion. This man accepts the church and the facts and figures that he is less active and needs to go back but he has a build up of hurt feelings connected with going to church. It is EASY to say.. "Oh people aren't perfect so don't get butt hurt so easily by other peoples mistakes and ignorance"... but would that be the Christlike thing to say to him?
A wise Mail man would find a new rout after being bitten by a dog at a specific house. If a tree in the desert didn't offer enough shade for you to rest under then you would keep looking for a different tree. If someone insults you and you return the gesture then you both fall into a repeated cycle of insults that no one can win. The only way to win is to be the bigger man and walk away from the conflict... that is what he has done. We are going to keep seeing him and do the best thing we can for him... love him and offer him shade. We just hope that we can help him understand that the importance of going to church in the first place is the Sacrament. If you are going to endure anything then endure it for the sacrifice that the savior gave to us.

We are going down to the french market today for all of the new people that have never been before. That is where all of the crazy people cultivate and try to sell and steel things haha. Hopefully we see some more funny crazies today. 

Well fam and friends... I love y'all and hope you all have a great week.
Elder Cooley

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Movin to New Orleans

Hello family how are y'all doing? 
I have had a good week this week and I feel good. I got transfer calls and have been called to be a Zone Leader in New Orleans Metairie. I will be comps with my Mexico MTC companion too! His name is Elder Peterson. I feel inadequate and asked president if he was sure that he had the right guy. He chatted with me for a bit about my testimony and gave me some motivation to go through with the calling. I am nervous but I feel that it is Gods way of telling me "stay focused for the last quarter of your mission". I will need to be more thorough in my scheduling and be disciplined with myself in certain different area.. (Luck is not real... it is merely being prepared for moments of opportunity). 

We spent a lot of time with a recovering alcoholic this week. she is doing great and is trying hard. I cant even imagine what she has gone through in life. She fell into drinking after her son was murdered by her own father and she has been struggling ever since. We go over there to eat a lot because she says it is her way of contributing, giving back and serving. The purpose to growing ANYTHING is so that there can be more contribution. Only you determine what is grown and where/how you choose contribute. Just like growing to many vegetables in your garden and not knowing a place or someone to share them with.... It will all just go to waste. There is little purpose to your life if you are not making and distributing contributions... it will all just go to waste.

We were in the middle of a lesson the other day when fire trucks came up to the apartment across the street from us. The apartment was smoking like crazy and the firemen went in to check it out. They ended up bringing out the oven which was straight black and melted. I bet that got expensive! I find it funny that all the people come outside to see and they stay there a while to watch. 


This is Rico Francis. He ​is awesome! He has an awesome family. He is the only church member in his family but he has a cool story of how he got baptized. At age 16 he used to sneak out of his house, jump his fence and run down the road to be picked up for church in the morning. This is because his mom forbade him to meet with those Crazy Mormons! He also would tell her that he was going to the catholic mass but would then go to early morning seminary and mutual instead. His mom is fine with it now and actually attended his baptism. He is a big support on the branch down here and is the Elders Quorum President. 

I have learned so much from every area that I have served in and I look forward to more. I know that I have to keep moving to grow and feel good; it is a paradox. 

I hope that y'all have a good week and a happy new year.
Love Elder Cooley