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

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