Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Week 5 - August 26, 2017


Haha this will probably be another short email because basically every single day here is the same and not much happened this week.  This week we finished up our TRC with Danilla, so that was pretty sad because we loved teaching her so much.  She was such a good lady.
 (Elder Copeland's District)
 (Quito North Missionaries)
I can now somewhat participate in the lessons now with my Spanglish.  But my Spanish is getting a little better day by day.  It's still hard to get the hang of it, but I'm improving each day.  You just got to be patient and work your butt off, to be honest.  
We, also, got our travel plans yesterday, which made me so excited to go to Ecuador.  I honestly am freaking out, but it's going to be amazing.  We talked to some member that helped us out in our TRC that went to our mission.  All he was talking about was how amazing it was, and he said that he was going to give us names of some of his less-active converts, so that made me even more excited.  I haven't even been to Ecuador yet and I already love it.  Our flight leaves at 9:55 a.m. to Atlanta then from Atlanta to Quito!!  
We, also, had a member of the Seventy come and talk to us, and he did so well.  He made his talk fun to listen to.  It was about the importance of the Book of Mormon. The devotionals are the best part of the week.  
Can't believe I got one month down.  Good luck to everyone with school starting and football (Kota and Ty).  Also, today is sad being the first BYU football game in a long time.  Go Cougs!

Love, Elder Copeland

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Week 4 - August 19, 2017

Another week at the MTC and the days still pretty much feel the same .  There is not that big of a difference in the days. 

Not too much happened this week, to be honest.  But we did get to see two more apostles.  We got to see Elder M. Russell Ballard, and his talk was so good.  He talked about how we, as missionaries, need to focus on the missions and kind of not focus too much about what is going on at home.  I can tell a lot of missionaries need to hear it.  We also got to hear from Elder Neil L Anderson, and his talk was unreal--one of the best talks that I have heard.  He talked about how there are so  many people out there in every country waiting to hear the gospel, and that they need us there.  It was so good.  The spirit was so strong.  It made me want to be a better missionary and made me want to push myself even more.  It's true though.  There's so many people out there that did not get to grow up with all of the things that I got to grow up with, so why would I not take time out of my life to help those people.  

We also taught another TRC this week, and it was really good.  Elder Harris and I did so well.  My Spanish is coming along a little more.  I'm still not very good, but I know that it will come eventually.  It's not on my timing, it's more on the Lord's timing.  Honestly, other than that, not too much happened. 

 (Elder Copeland with his former Bishop, John Peterson.)

 (Elder Conner Prosser going to the Argentina Mendoza Mission, Elder Copeland going to the Ecuador Quito North Mission, and Elder Jimmy MeKeon going to the Missouri Mission.  All best friends in high school.)
Some of my good friends left to the mission field which was sad.  Elder Trenkle and Elder Lesuer are going to Ecuador Guaquil North.  Then also my best bud, Elder Prosser, left to Argentina Mendoza.  Going to miss seeing them so much in the MTC.  But I only have like 16 more days here, which is crazy.  Time is starting to fly.  Love you all so much. 

(Elder Lesuer and Elder Trenkle)
 (Elder Copeland with Elder Nipko, who he says is "my role model.")

Elder Copeland

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Week 3 - August 12, 2017

What a week here at the MTC again haha. 

I still love it here, but I am so beyond sick of the food that I am eating everyday.  Another week that not much happened though.  

Sunday was Fast Sunday and we fasted forever, but it was all worth it in the end, because at the end of the day Elder BEDNAR came and did a Q&A with all of the missionaries.  It was so cool.  He ended it by blessing every missionary so that the Holy Ghost will comfort us and let us know that all of us can do it.  The Spirit was so strong.  It was one of the best things that I've been a part of. 

Then the next day was probably the worst day so far. Everything went wrong.  We had our first TRC, and we did so bad we couldn't say anything that we wanted to say.  It was so frustrating, but I just moved on to the next day and it got better.  Then we had a TRC on Thursday and I did so much better.  I could say a lot more and the Spirit was so strong. We had a lesson planned for Constanza (TRC Investigator), and she completely changed the topic about how Joseph Smith saw Angle Moroni, but we did so good answering the question.  It was so cool.  

So the next TRC visit that we had was the biggest testimony builder.  We talked about how families can be forever and she loved it.  We talked about our families and her family that is in Chile.  We then showed the video of Christ getting baptized.  After that, I shared my testimony on Christ and how he is the perfect example to us and that we will bless us with an eternal family.   She started crying.  I couldn't believe it!  My testimony was all in Spanish--almost perfect--and I don't know how I said half of the stuff.  I then asked her if she wanted to get baptized and she said yes.  The Spirit was so strong, and she told my companion and me that she has never had such a good lesson.  Then she took a picture with us.  It was unreal.  It helped me know that el don de lenguas (Gift of Tongues) is real and that I can do this. 

And then Saturday, I was sitting in class and I walked out and saw T-BONE (Trevin Rothwell) and he told me that my whole family was here, so I was watching for them for awhile and then I saw my whole family.  (They had come for the Missionary Training Center Tour.)  It was so awesome being able to see them.  Everyone kept asking me if I was sad about seeing my family and I said, "No, it was just a testimony builder for me to know that I'm supposed to be here."

  (Elder Copeland with his parents.)

(Elder Copeland with his sisters, Lauren and Hannah)

 (Elder Copeland with his cousins, Brady and Jenna, and Aunt Kim)

I love my mission and even though there are bad days, it's all worth it in the end, because the second you feel the Spirit, all doubt and anger goes away.  

Don't forget to read the scriptures, not just the Book of Mormon, but just stories from all of the books.  In 2 Nephi 29: 8, it says, "Wherefore murmur ye, because that ye shall receive more of my word?  Know ye not that the testimony of two nations is a witness unto you that I am god, that I remember one nation like unto another?  Wherefore, I speak the same words unto one nation like unto another.  And when the two nations shall run together the testimony of the two nations shall run together also."  The Bible and the Book of Mormon run together.  I love that we often forget all of the answers in the Bible, Pearl of Great Price, and Doctrine and Covenants. 

Love you all, the Church is true.
Elder Copeland

P.S.  Also, Elder Booth and I started a "No Fat Club" on our floor so that we don't keep gaining weight.  I've gained 2 lbs already.  So we run laps in our dorms.  And that's good news!



Saturday, August 5, 2017

Week 2 - August 5, 2017

What a week! 

To be honest though, the weeks here just blend into one day and you can barely remember anything that happened that specific day. 

But Sunday was an awesome day!  We had a devotional and then watched a video of a talk from Elder Bednar and it was honestly incredible!  It was a talk that you can only listen to in the MTC.  It was about having a testimony is not enough to stay in the church. "You need to be converted to Christ" and you have to have Christ's attributes into your daily routine.  I felt the Spirit so strong and it made me have a different purpose as a missionary. 

Other then that, not much has happened this week.  Just learning more day by day.  Thank goodness I have the coolest people on the planet in my district.  

 (Some of Elder Copeland's best buds.  From left to right:  Elder Harris, Quito North; Elder Bogren, Quito North; Elder McClees, Quito North; Elder Trenkle, Guyaquil North; and
Elder Booth, Guyaquil West.   Ecuador is getting some good Elders!)

It's been a week of ups and downs, some really hard times where I felt like I couldn't learn the language.  So one night I got down on my knees and prayed for like ten minutes and I tried to say as much as I could in Spanish.  I asked for some help specifically with patience and with the ability to learn the language. 

The next day we were studying for our next lesson and I was searching for some scriptures about prayer, and I accidentally went to this scripture Mosiah 23:10.  It says, "Nevertheless, after much tribulation, the Lord did hear my cries, and did answer my prayers, and has made me an instrument in his hands in bringing so many of you to a knowledge of his truth."  It was such a relief to me and I instantly felt peace as I read that scripture.  Knowing that Heavenly Father knows that I am struggling, but he, also, knows that because of this I will  be a better "instrument" in His hands.  Just a reminder that it's not my work, its the Lord's work and that he will prepare me the way that I need to be prepared so that I can bring "many unto the knowledge of his truth."  It was the biggest testimony builder that Heavenly Father hears my prayers and loves me. 

If you guys are preparing for a mission, read the stories of the sons of Mosiah.  I've been reading them and they are my idols.  I know that they had their problems on their mission, but they did everything they could to serve the Lord and I'm going to do the same.  So I challenge you guys to read a couple of those chapters each night.  Daily scripture study is essential to leaving a happy life. 

Also, if you get the chance to get a tour of the MTC, you should do it.   The new buildings are amazing!  Each floor has a mural and they are the most beautiful things ever.  I'll include what some of them look like. 

Thank you all for your prayers.  I can feel them.  La iglesia es veradero.

Elder Copeland
2 Nephi 22:2

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Week 1 - July 29, 2017

Hola, Everyone!

Wow!  What a first couple days it has been.  My P-day will be on Saturdays, and I can e-mail all day on my i-Pad that I have at the MTC.

My companion's name is Elder Harris from Pleasant Grove.  He is a very good guy.  I like him a lot.  
Our district is awesome.  We hangout all the time.  It's me, Elder Harris (same mission), Elder McClesse (same mission), Elder Myers (same mission), Elder Pollock (Guiaquil), and Elder Bogren (same mission).  They're all so cool.  I love them so much.  Our main goal is just to make the MTC as fun as possible and try and work as hard as we can while we are at it.


Class is very hard especially when everyone in my class is unreal at Spanish.  We already gave our first lesson and it was close to impossible.  I tried to read something form "Preach my Gospel" and it was hard to do that.  I also had to read my testimony out loud and that was also really hard.  But the fact that I can already say prayers (kinda) in Spanish and read my testimony is crazy.  I am the only guy in my Zone that didn't take Spanish before the MTC so I'm just trying to catch up.  I'm pretty much studying all of the time.  But I know that the gift of tongues is real and that I will be able to figure out this language.


The days are long here, but I love them and it helps strengthen my testimony every day.  I love this gospel and the church is true.  Kind of a short email because I've only been here for four days now.  I'll try and send pictures later.  Also, I'd love to see pictures of everyone.  Love you all.  If you know of anyone that wants to join my weekly email, let me know. 

Love, Elder Copeland

(Some of the volunteer missionaries in the MTC have taken pictures of Elder Copeland and passed them along to his family.  Sister Rhonda Redding, Elder Copeland, and Elder Harris who is Elder Copeland's companion.)
(A family friend, Christine, is also, a volunteer at the MTC, Christine, took this pic.  She told his family  that he loves the MTC and is so happy there.)

First E-Mail Received from Elder Copeland - July 26, 2017

Hey, Mom and Dad,

Just wanted to say that I made it and that I am doing awesome.  Right as I walked in, I got to see so many people that I know and it was so awesome and such a relief to see them. 
 (Sister Suzie Lundell, a greeter for the new missionaries, sent Elder Copeland's family these pictures on his first day in the MTC.)
I walked in my classroom and all they were speaking was Spanish, and I had no clue what was going on.  It was awful.  My companion is Elder Harris, he is from Pleasant Grove.  I haven't really got to meet him yet, but he seems cool.  The Spirit is already so strong here, and I can already feel it.  I can't wait to learn more about the language and my Savior. 

Tell everyone I love them.  Love you both so much.

Elder Copeland

Leaving for the MTC - July 26, 2017

Although Elder Copeland was supposed to go to the Colombia Missionary Training Center, it had to be changed to the Mexico Training Center because the Colombia MTC was too filled up at the time with missionaries.  However, the Mexico MTC didn't work out either because Elder Copeland's Visa arrived too late.  Everything worked out well anyway because now he would be attending the MTC right there in Provo which had just opened up a giant new addition that would be an excellent place to learn about teaching, service, and the Spanish language, which Elder Copeland would need to know in Ecuador.

Prior to taking him to the MTC, some of the family members went for a pizza lunch.

 After eating lunch, Elder Copeland's Uncle Cameron and Aunt Anne and their children said good-bye for two years.

 Big hugs from Gavin and Mason.
 Then he said good-bye to his Uncle Craig and Aunt Cassie and their three children. 
 It was especially hard for Kennedy to say good-bye to Elder Copeland.  She had become so attached to him (and vice-versa) in the days leading up to his leaving.
 Riley said he wasn't going to let him go.
 We then drove over to a grassy area in front of the Provo Temple to take a few last pictures with Elder Copeland.

 And then, all too soon, it was time for the grandparents to say "good-bye."  What a wonderful grandson Elder Copeland is.  We are all going to miss him for two years, but couldn't be prouder of the choice he has made to serve this mission.  Good-bye to Grandpa Copeland . . .
 and Grandma Copeland.

Then came the hardest part of all.  His family drove him to the Missionary Training Center where they would say good-bye for two years.
Their car is met by missionaries who help the new missionaries with their luggage and show them where they need to go.
Everyone gives one last hug.  This is a very emotional time for a family--and definitely the missionary!



 And he's off--although he won't see his family or friends for two years, may only e-mail  home once a week, and may only call home twice a year (on Christmas and Mothers' Day), we all know this is one of the most growing times in a young man's life.  By serving the Lord and serving his fellowmen, which he will do the next two years, he will grow and become the person that the Lord wants him to be.  We all will miss this dynamic young man, his loving personality, and the way he reaches out to everyone--especially little children--but, we wish him well and will continually pray for him in all he does in this worthy work.