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


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