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