Tuesday, March 27, 2018
Hellooooo, 8 Months today! So crazy...
Monday. Today after Pday, we went to go visit a less active and it turns out that some of her family members aren't members and she told us that she wants us to talk to them another day. After, we walked up to Vivianna's house and just went to talk to her, and it was such a good lesson. She is so awesome! She is progressing so much.
Tuesday. Today we started the day off at the District Meeting and it was pretty good. I'm starting to get a little more used to having to give them. After, we had to stop by one of our investigator's house and drop her because she was just not progressing, so we had to tell her that we won't come back until she starts progressing. It was sad. It's always the worst having to drop investigators. After, we received a reference from some members that live so far away. So, we went to the house of them and their reference that they gave us lives even farther up. Way farther up! We took this random dirt road to get to her house in the middle of no where. But we taught her and her sister and she is awesome. They accepted the baptismal invitation. It was so cool! The members are some of my favorite people ever.
Wednesday. Today, we started the day off having interviews with President Murphey. They are always such a good experience to be able to talk to him. He's such an amazing man, I'm so lucky that I'm able to have him as my president. He has taught me so much. After the interview, many of our appointments fell through and we ended up contacting for a good amount of time with have very little success. But to finish the day, we were able to invite some members to visit with Vivianna and Elvis and we were able to talk about Lehi's dream with them. They loved it and it was such a good lesson. It helped them understand our purpose a little bit better.
Thursday. Today we had to go look for a different apartment. President told us that he's going to bring two more missionaries here in Cayamabe. So he told us to put some time into finding a new apartment for them. We spent a lot of the day contacting but had some pretty good success. We were able to find some futures. We finished the day teaching Blanca and Edgar. We were teaching them and it was going so well. The Spirit was so strong and then we heard a knock on the door. The mom of Edgar walked in and started yelling and asking us why we were here and that we can't be there. She, also, included "they don't know anything" hahaha. It was so awful! It took away the Spirit so fast. After she left, we talked to them about how there is always an opposition. Edgar was tearing up because he was so confused and embarrassed. They are so awesome. I'm hoping that they can find a way to keep listening to us and be baptized.
Friday. Today we had a division with the Zone Leaders Elder Castagno (Rexburg, Idaho) and Elder Haslam (Montana). They are honestly the best! They are so fun to be with. We walked in the house and they were playing a mini piano and dancing hahha. But during the division, I went with Elder Haslam and we just went trying to find their investigators and nobody was there. Soooo, we ended up just contacting. But in the middle of the day, we got a call from the Relief Society to come and help them with a skit that they were doing. So Elder Haslam and I went to be Joseph Smith and John Taylor haha. It was so funny. Everybody was so stressed that it had to be perfect. After, we had a training to help the members invite their friends to come to church.
Saturday. We stayed in Otavalo for a little bit longer to help with some service. So we picked up garbage in the giant field. It was so gross. We came back and went back to go teach Luz (the one that lives really far away). It was such a good lesson. We were able to talk about the Plan of Salvation with her. We were also able to put a baptismal date on her. We came back in the night time to teach Vivianna. We finished all of the lessons with her, so we asked her if she felt like she was ready for her baptism on the 7th and she told us that she needs more time. It was so frustrating because I know that she is ready to be baptized. So we talked to her and she decided only a couple more months.
Sunday. Today we got up and went to church and Vivianna and Elvis came to church and they both left early. I got pretty frustrated because nobody said a single word to them the entire time they were there. It was so frustrating. After, we went to go visit this one girl and she probably has the worst life I've ever seen. She is 22 years old and has 3 kids, one of them being really sick. She also lives with her boyfriend that is 38... She was telling us about some of the problems that she has in her life, and it is so awful. I felt so bad for her. We ended the lesson with her nephew saying the prayer, and his prayer was 8 minutes long haha. In his prayer, he asked God if he can help his grandma find the person that killed her bird so that he can have justice from God haha. He, also, said that he knows the Book of Mormon is true and he has yet to read a page from the Book haha. But I'm hoping that the gospel can bless her life. After, we were walking to our next appointment and we were on this dark dirt road. While we were walking, we heard a bunch of footsteps behind us and because it was dark it was hard to see what it was. It got closer and it was about 15 wild horses that were chasing us. We then heard one of the guys that was riding one of the horses yelling, "Be careful!" So Elder Ton and I just started running and made it out alive haha, but it was so scary.
Book of Mormon. At the end of this week, we are going to be celebrating the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It says in Alma 7:11: "And he shall go forth suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people." Always remember whenever you feel like you're the "only one," Christ came here so that you are not. During this week, read and learn about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Love, Elder Copeland
Some pretty great graffiti!
Wednesday, March 21, 2018
Monday. Today after P day was the first time in the mission where nobody accepted us. We had three appointments that all fell through and after that we just contacted and just got rejected and rejected again. But yeah, what can you do?!
Tuesday. Today we started the day of doing a Mornita. As the District Leader, you are supposed to do one with every companionship that is in your District and you basically just see how they are doing and talk to them about their plans and goals. We had one with Elder Beckstead (Arizona) and Elder Chable (Mexico). It was awesome to be able to talk to them about some things. After, we had a District Council and we talked about what we can do better to find some more investigators. I'm getting more used to giving the Council now. After, I did Divisions with Elder Chable. He came with me to Cayambe and we had a pretty solid day. We started the day off contacting and were able to find one guy. After, we had a lesson with Vivianna and her partner. They came over to the chapel and talked with us and the Branch President. It was such a good lesson. Vivianna was telling us that she doesn't want to live with him for right now, but she wants to help him by being a good friend and being a good mom. Elvis (the partner) wants to be back with her so bad, but she just doesn't want to. It was kind of sad. But he wants so bad to change. At the end, we asked him to say a prayer and it was his first one ever. He just started balling-- the Spirit was so strong. After, we went up to Fam Cabezes and talked to them about their desires from listening to us and they just weren't ready. Adamari told us that she thinks that the Catholic Church is true, and honestly, it sucked so bad. It's hard to hear that they think another church is true especially if you know they could have done more to know. But you just got to know that you did your part and that there's nothing else you could do...
Wednesday. Today we had another lesson with the missionary from the other church. The last time that we went, he kind of destroyed us. We didn't know what to say, but this time we were prepared. He just did not want to accept the Book of Mormon. He just thinks that the Bible is all and that we don't need more words of God. We just kept on talking about how we need the Book of Mormon, and we didn't know how to respond... Haha it was so awesome. After, we went to a Branch Council and we had to force the Branch to start helping us a little more in the mission work. It was perfect. We had about an hour and half conversation about what we are going to do now. We set up some Family Nights with some members and also a couple activities in the next couple weeks. To end the day, we went to the house of Mishell and talked to her about missionary work and how she can be a missionary here, and she told us that she is thinking about serving a mission. So yeah, that was pretty cool haha.
Thursday. Today we did another Division and this time Elder Reatagui (Peru) came here to Cayambe with me. We had a pretty solid day. We found this guy and he was telling us that he wants to hear about the Book of Mormon, but he still loves being with women and drinking coffee haha. It was so weird. After, we were able to stop by a family that we haven't visited in a while. They told us that they are moving to Canada. She went off about how horrible Ecuador is and that how its on the same path as Venezuela. Haha I don't think it's that bad, but she told us that she wants to try and get baptized before she leaves for Canada. After, we went up to a family that we have been teaching little by little, and we had a really good lesson about the Plan of Salvation. They were really interested, so we invited them to be baptized and they accepted the date. They told us that they are a little scared because everyone in their family is Catholic, but we shared some good scriptures to help them feel a little better about being baptized. It was awesome that we were able to put some more people on with a date.
Friday. Wow this day haha. Such a wild day. We started the day going off going to a house of a pastor. To explain, this guy is very old and pretty weird haha. He doesn't live with anyone, but he says that he has a boyfriend (God) haha. We got to his house and he told us that he is trying to become a prophet, so he told us that what he does sometimes, he goes to a river and bathes himself haha. He told us that last week he was bathing himself in the river and God's face appeared in front of him and was talking to him. After, he said that the devil came to tempt him so what he had to do is run out of the river and grab the Bible to be protected hahaha. After, he was telling us that he can read dreams and when I heard that, I to took advantage of this situation. So I asked if he could help me and he says of course... So I had to make up in my head some dreams. The first one I made up was that I was with my girlfriend in a park and we were playing, and he stopped me and asked me if their was flowers, and I said yes. He told me that it means that she loves me. After, I told him that we went onto a boat on the lake. He told me that the lake means that she was crying for me and the reasons we were on a boat is because she wants to travel to me haha. After I said, "Then why did she break up with me after?" He said, "It's because she actually wants you more than ever right now." HAHA. After, I told him that something really strange happened at the end of the dream... That after she broke up with me, 2000 babies started falling from the sky hahaha. He told me it's because God was sending my girlfriend and I angels to get us back together. AHAH This dude is so weird. But don't worry, these dreams are not real. The next dream I told him was that I was Superman in a giant city saving people, but I told him that I was only saving women and children. He stopped me again and said what color of skin did the women have. I responded and said, "50% white, 25% brown, 25% black." He said, "Oh no, the black and brown women were trying to take away your power, they are demons" HAHAHA I asked him, "What about the White?" He replied, "Oh yeah, those are angels." I asked him after, "Wait. Why was I like Superman in this dream?" He told me that its because "You have a lot of power in God and that you will become a prophet." Haha Elder Ton and I just started laughing, but he was dead serious. After, I told him at the end of the dream, it turned into a nightmare because 1000 pigs, cows, and chickens came and started eating me. He was shocked and said, "Those chickens were sent from God (angles) and the cows and pigs were (devils) trying to stop me from becoming a prophet." Haha After all of this, we had a great lesson with him about the Book of Mormon haha. After the lesson, we were walking to another appointment. This dude was walking and selling ice Cream and asked us, "What do you offer?" and we told him that we're missionaries and a little about the Book of Mormon. He then told us that his apartment was really close and he wanted us to come. All of a sudden, I got a really bad feeling about it. I asked him if we we're going to share something about God... and he said that we really wouldn't be talking too much... We asked him what we were going to talk about and he said to us, "Well I'm GAY" HAHAHAHHA What the heck?! You can just put the things together and see that he didn't actually want to listen to a message from us. So Elder Ton and I honestly just ran away. It was so scary. We found out later this day that this guy is an awful person, but I don't need to write the things that he does haha. After this experience we went to the chapel to have a lesson with Elvis, the boyfriend of Vivianna and we talked to him about the restoration of the gospel and he told us that he was happy to know that there is a prophet that is living. He told us that he was so grateful to be able to hear that he can change his life and become a better person. We invited him to be baptized and he was kind of scared, but we told him how we were here to help him and that really this is going to be the decision to change his life. So he accepted! It was such a solid lesson. That was basically the end of the crazy day hahaha.
Saturday. Honestly, today nothing special happened. We found one girl in the morning that couldn't really understand my Spanish haha, but she wants to learn more about the Book of Mormon, so that's good. Sometimes it's still a little bit frustrating because I feel like I have improved so much in Spanish and some people just can't understand me haha, but it just takes time. After we went from door to door and looked for everyone so that we could invite them to an activity that we had in the Branch. They watched "Coco" and talked about family history, but we were not able to watch the movie. It was kind of frustrating because we had investigators that I wanted to sit by and talk to. But to end this day, we were walking to our house and some dude, mad at the world, was standing on his balcony and decided that it would be a good idea to throw a bag of about 10 potatoes at me. It drilled me directly in the chest. It hurt so bad haha. But what can you do...
Sunday. Today also was not really anything special. Vivianna and Elvis came to church for the first hour and then they just left out of no where with out saying anything and she hasn't answered her phone so I'm a little scared for that. After we went to a lesson with Danny and Veronica and we read the chapter of Enos and after Danny asked about 100 questions for us. He is so excited for general conference so that he can listen to a prophet and apostales. After we just went to Fam Trujillo and talked to them and they're still doing awesome. But other than that that was pretty much our day.
Monday. Today we went to the waterfalls of Carihaco. It was straight jungle. It was so beautiful.
Book of Mormon. I've been reading all of the wars in Alma, and I read the part about how Helaman is preparing the 2000 stripling warriors to battle. In chapter 53:20-21, it is describing what kind of young men these 2000 warriors were. It says, "20: And they were all YOUNG MEN, and they were exceedingly VALIANT for COURAGE, and also for STRENGTH and ACTIVITY; but behold, this was not all- -they were men who were TRUE at ALL TIMES in WHATSOEVER thing they were entrusted. 21: Yea, they were men of TRUTH and SOBERNESS, for they had been TAUGHT to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him." Later in chapter 56:47, it says, "Yea, they had been TAUGHT by their mothers, that if they did not doubt, God would deliver them." And again in chapter 57:26 "Because of their exceeding faith in that which they have been TAUGHT to believe." These verses show me that the real reason that the Stripling Warriors were so amazing is because they had been taught by their Parents. It shows me the importance of really teaching your kids to keep the commandments of God. I'm so blessed to have the best parents in the world to teach me to believe and be faithful.
Photos of the waterfalls today.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Hope all is going well at home. Wanted to start with a shout out to my Mom. Love you Mom!
Monday. Today after going to the lake, we went and visited a family that was going to get baptized and now we have to push pack the date. The little kids got put into a soccer league that plays on Sunday until the end of April, which was kind of frustrating. But after them, we went looking for everybody and nobody was there. They all disappeared or something--it was really weird. So we did some contacting at night, running into Catholics that didn't want to listen to us haha.
Tuesday. Today was probably one of the longest days of the mission so far haha. We started off with doing the District Council, and it was awesome. I'm getting more used to giving the Council now, which I'm starting to love to give. After, had one of the hardest days. We had a great day set up and everything fell through. We didn't have an appointment with anyone until 8... We contacted and looked for some other investigators for the other 8 hours haha. My feet were dying. I just wanted to sit down, but nobody really accepted us. We've been doing a new thing that for us to be able to count a new investigator, they have to accept the baptismal invitation. It's been really hard being able for people to accept the baptismal invitation. So, it's been really hard to find some people with good potential and that actually accept the baptismal question in the first time at their door. But at 8, we finally got to our first appointment and it was with Fam Cabezes. We came to their house just to come and answered all of their questions. It was a solid lesson. It helped them feel better for their baptism.
Wednesday. Today we had a Zone Conference in Otavalo that was unreal. We talked a lot about the story of the Sons of Mosiah. It's such a good story, and have I been able to go back and look at it so many times and it has helped me so much in the mission. Sister Murphy taught us so much about how and what they did to be better missionaries. I was, also, able to some of my buddies, Elder Ayuso, Elder Millett, Elder Johnson, and Elder Bogren. It was so awesome to see all of them. The only Companion that was not there was Elder Harris. I was pretty sad about that.
All of Elder Copeland's companions--except Elder Harris, who he was sad not to see.
Afterwards, we got back to our sector and went and taught a family about Alma 32 and how they can really know if the message that we are teaching them is actually real. They loved it! They were asking us why they didn't know about our church before and a bunch of stuff like that. So we invited them to be baptized and they accepted!! I'm so excited for them and hoping and praying that they continue to progress.
Thursday. Today I was able to do a division with Elder Campbell. He's from Idaho and he's such a good guy. He's got about 1 year and a half in the mission, but this was my first Division as a District Leader, so I was pretty nervous, to be honest. We started off the day awesome. We went contacting for a little bit and found this one guy and we asked him if he's ever heard of the Book of Mormon. He told us that he has one... We asked him how and he told us that he found it in a trash can about 5 years ago and he has no idea what it really is but he loves to read it and thinks that it's such an awesome story. So he told us that we need to come back another day because he didn't have time at the moment. But I think that it's such a cool story that we were able to find this guy that has been waiting for 5 years to know the importance of this Book. I'm so excited to go back. After, we were able to visit one of our investigators that is 15 years old and has a kid that's a 1.5 years old. We talked to her and she told us that she wants to get baptized, so we talked about ideas of what she can do to get baptized. She's so awesome. I hope that she can actually find a way to get baptized. After, we talked to Juan and he told us that he also wants to get baptized, but he has a problem because he's not married. So we spent a lot of time making a plan for him to get married. The people here are honestly so amazing. I hope that we will be able to find a way for them to get married.
Friday. Today was a good day. We didn't have really anything planned for the afternoon, so we went contacting and found some awesome people. We found this guy that his parent used to beat him. We presented the Book of Mormon and he was so excited to know more about the Book of Mormon and was really excited to read it. After, we went to the house of one of our investigators and it turns out that her aunt died and she was so sad. So we talked a lot about the Plan of Salvation with them to help them feel a little better. After, we had a lesson with Vivianna, and she decided that she needed to move her baptism date back because she did not feel ready for the 24th. We were able to talk to her more about what she needs to do to feel more prepared for the 7th of April.
Saturday. Today we started the day off going up to Otavalo so that I could do my first baptismal interview as a District Leader. I was so terrified. I didn't know if my Spanish was going to be good enough, but the Lord blessed me so much and it was such a good testimony builder. The Lord blesses you when you need it. After the interview, we went to the house of our mommita. I always tell her that her hamburgers are the best when it's just more rice and chicken, and she always laughs at the joke. But we got there and she actually made us hamburgers, and they were actually pretty good. They're like one of my favorite families on the planet. After, we had this lesson with this guy. He's a Christian, but he's studying about Atheism. So we talked to him and gave him a Book of Mormon and he read some. Then he went off on us... We watched some Anti-Mormon stuff about Joseph Smith and Temples and he just went off on us. Hahahah he got mad at us because on the card we have a picture of Jesus Christ HAHA. It was such a joke! I started just laughing at him and he got mad saying that he's better than us and that he should be on a mission instead of us. But yeah that was fun HAHA! After, we went by some of our investigators and they didn't have any time for us, so we just contacted. At night, it's almost impossible to contact and have someone talk to us.
Sunday. Today, we were able to have Vivianna come to church and she brought her old boyfriend that she doesn't live with anymore. I guess something bad happened with them, but she told us that he really needs help and she just wants to help him. She's so awesome. After church, we went to lunch and I had to eat the hooves of a COW. Oh my gosh! It was so awful! I could see the hairs on the meat that I was eating! Then we had to stop by Family Cabezes and see why they didn't come and it was because they were sleeping. I got so frustrated with them because their baptisimal date fell through because they were sleeping. But yeah, welcome to the mission haha! But after them, we had a lot of good things happen. We talked to Danny and Veronica and they told us that they are planning on getting married so that can be baptized. After, we taught her neighbor and she accepted the baptismal invitation. But a cool thing that happened todayl I had this feeling to go and visit this old investigator that stopped listening to the missionaries. We stopped by and talked to them and they were so happy to see us and they told us that they need us to come back. Not only that, but they're a family of 9!! It was so awesome! I'm so excited to go back and talk to them more.
Monday. Today we just went to a really old tree. We had to hike up to it and yeah it's old and cool.
Book of Mormon. This week i was able to keep reading in Alma and I was reading Alma 36. It's about Alma telling his story of conversion and how he was still able to repent of his sins. He was an awful person, but he changed his life. I looked at it how even his friends and family were able to forgive him. That's even a bigger part of repentance is to be able to forgive others. So my invitation with everyone is to forgive someone for something that they have done wrong in the past. It may change their life... Love you all!
Love, Elder Copeland
Tuesday, March 6, 2018
Hello, Family and Friends!!
Wanted to start this week out with a big shout-out to Taylor and Ellie!!! I can’t believe that they are pregnant!! Not only that, but they’re having a baby boy!! Oh my gosh! I’ve never been more excited in my life!! If you see them, give them the biggest hug for me. And tell the baby that his favorite Uncle we be home soon… hahah!
No but really I’m still here in the mission and I’m loving it. So, if you’re still reading this, this is what happened this week.
Monday: After Pday and running around the lake, we had a family night with some members in our Branch and her neighbor. We got there and her house is so small. I had to sit down on a little bucket. Also, Fam Trujillo was there and they helped us so much. It has been so cool to be able to see their progress since their baptism in December. We got to teach the neighbor and her little boy about the Book of Mormon and they loved it. They thought that it was so cool that there were really more scriptures to read. It was an awesome lesson with them. But the hardest part was getting back to the house. My legs were so tired from the hike before, and my companion literally was dying. He almost didn’t make it haha!
Tuesday. Today we started the day going off to District Council. I had to give the meeting again and it is still pretty weird having to do it. It takes a good amount of work, to be honest. I had to give it on the importance of the Book of Mormon. It’s weird how much we talk about it and every time we do, I learn something new. The Book of Mormon is one of the most important things that we have here on earth. After that, we had a day of every lesson falling through, so we had to contact for hours haha. But, towards the end of the day, we were able to teach one of our new investigators named Vivianna. She's so cool! She was telling us that when she just looks at the Book of Mormon, she feels so much peace… Haha what_ It was so cool! So, we invited her to be baptized on the 24th of March!!!! She’s honestly the best.
Wednesday. Today we started the day going over the lesson with one of our investigators, and he is honestly so weird. He wanted us to teach his kids, but he only had 15 minutes so we had to hurry. He talked for every single second of it haha. It drove me crazy, but we were able to get a little bit in about the importance of the Book of Mormon. After honestly every single thing fell though that we planned, we found this really long road that is straight uphill. We decided to contact it and we were able to find some great people! Took a lot of walking and blistered feet, but it was all worth it. To finish the day, we went to visit Hna Mishell (she just recently got baptized) and talked to her about the importance of missionary work and some of the stories of Alma, and honestly, it was unreal! She started tearing up about the importance of helping others. Ahh it was so amazing!
Thursday. Today we got up early and just went to visit an investigator that we found some time ago. She was not there, so we just decided to contact her neighbor, and she was so cool. She told us that we needed to come back to teach them more. It’s honestly the best experience ever hearing that. After this, we contacted forever in the rain and yeah we weren’t able to find too much success today. But after a little bit, I had to go to Otavalo so that I could travel to Quito with some of the other District Leaders in the mission. President told all of us that we were going to have a meeting in Quito only for the District Leaders. Soooo, we went to Quito and on the bus I was able to sit be a lady that was so awesome. She had a little girl that kept playing My Little Pony with me haha. But I ended up talking to her for awhile and it turns out that she lives in my sector. So, we had a good talk about her life and about the Church and she was honestly so cool. She told us that we can come and visit her, so I’m really excited for that. After about an hour more, we got into Quito and stayed at the house of some other missionaries and ordered some Pizza haha!
Friday. We started the day off today with the District Leader Meeting, and honestly, it was unbelievable. President Murphy is the best mission President in the world. We drove back to Cayambe and had a lesson with Fam Cabezes. They have wanted to be baptized for awhile, so we just had to be really direct with them and we put a baptismal date on them. So, I’m really hoping that they make it this time!
Saturday. In the morning, we had a couple of lessons that fell through, so we just decided to contact again. We found this one lady that used to listen to the missionaries and used to go to church every once in awhile. So we asked her if she wanted to come back. She went off for about 30 minutes about how when she went to church once and they were reading a passage together, when it got to her turn to read, they jumped her and another member read instead of her haha. So now she doesn’t want to come back to church. But ya mismo… After, we stopped by an Investigator's that Elder Millett and I found forever ago. But he really stopped progressing, so we stopped visiting him. We passed by and read the chapter of Enos, and we asked him to say the prayer to finish the lesson and in the lesson and he said in his prayer that he knows that the church is true and that the Book of Mormon is true. Also, that we were sent to him to save him haha! It was so cool. A miracle. After, we finished the day off visiting a family that we’ve been kind of teaching and we had a great lesson with them about the Plan of Salvation.
Sunday… After having this great week, you are always sitting in Sacrament meeting just hoping that all of them are going to come to church. And today we were looking at the door the whole time and no one walked in. It’s the worst days of the mission when nobody comes to church, but you just got to know that you did all that you could to get them to come and they had their own agency not to come. More importantly, that the Lord will bless you the next week to have more people come next week. Other than that, we had some other good lessons today.
Book of Mormon. I’ve been reading in the Book of Alma and I came to a part that I love and wanted to share. It’s in Alma 31. In this chapter, Alma is going to visit the wicked Zoramites and they are so evil that it hurts Alma's soul. He says a prayer to Heavenly Father to help these people that they can forget about their pride. And at the end of his prayer it says in verse 37, “And after that they did separate themselves one from another, taking no thought for themselves what they should eat, or what they should drink, or what they should put on." I love the statement, “taking no thought to themselves.” They didn’t want anything more than to just help these people become better people. Don’t forget to read your scriptures. Elder Copeland
Elder Copeland liked this dog.
And he LOVES puppies!