Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Week 39 - April 23, 2018

Hello again, family and friends

The weeks here are going faster and faster every week.  It's so crazy how fast time goes by in the mission.  I'm loving it here so much.  Shoutout to Connor!   His birthday was yesterday.  Let him know how much you love him.  Don't know where I would be without him and his example.  I've been so blessed to have the best family ever.  Happy Birthday, Connor!  Love YOU!

Tuesday.  Today, we started the day off pretty well but frustrating at the same time.  We had our District Council, but some of the Elders showed up really late so we weren't able to take advantage of the whole time, which was kind of frustrating.  After, we had a couple lessons in the afternoon that were awesome.  We have been teaching this one nurse and she is so cool.  She understands everything so well. After, we went to a house of a girl that used to talk to the missionaries about 6 years ago, and we talked to her for awhile.  She honestly lives such a hard life.  I felt so bad for her.  I hope that she can keep progressing so that she can live a better life.  It's the best part about the gospel.  It doesn't matter what happens in our life.  If we live the gospel, we will always find happiness.  After, we finished the day teaching Diego, and he's got to be one of my favorite people I've met in the mission.  He's progressing so well.

Wednesday.  Today, I had divisions in Aire Libre with Elder Guerrero.  He's from my group.  We arrived the same day. He's from Ecuador.  But we went to visit some of their investigators and they are so awesome.  Their sector is really cool.  It's really hilly and is like a jungle with the trees and stuff.  It's always really cool to be able visit other sectors and see how much different they are.

Thursday.  Today, while we were contacting in the afternoon, we received a call from the Elders in Forestal, and they called us asking for help because one of the Elders was sick and couldn't leave the house, so we had to head over to their sector and help them teach a lesson.  We were able to put a baptismal date on one of their investigators, which was so awesome.  We got back to our sector in the pouring rain and just contacted for awhile.  It's usually really hard to find people while it's raining, but today we found someone.  That was so awesome. 

Friday.  Today, we started the day off doing service for some of the members in the other ward, which was really fun.  After, we went with some of the members in the ward and helped them feel what it's like to be a missionary again.  We contacted for about two hours, haha.  It was so long in the blazing heat!  l felt so bad for them, but it will help them a lot because they have no idea what they are about to walk into haha.  But at the same time, I'm so excited for them to go out and serve the Lord.

Saturday.  Today, we started the day off going to Tolita, the sector of the Zone Leaders to introduce them to Diego.  It turns out that we won't be able to baptize Diego here in our ward because he does not live in our sector.  So we received permission to be able to still teach him and he is still our investigator, he just will have to attend the other church.  It's kind of sad, but at the same time, I'm so happy how willing he was to be able to change wards.  After, we went to teach Alejandro and Karly.  They are so close to baptism.  We tried to put a baptismal date on them, but they were too scared to accept it, so that was pretty frustrating.  But that was alright because after we had a BAPTISM!!  Felix was baptized today and it was so amazing.  It was one of the best feelings on the planet being able to see him get baptized.  He brought all of his family that are not members to the baptism, and he's just so awesome.  All of the baptisms are unforgettable events. We were also able to have two baptisms of little 8-year-old girls in the ward, and one of them was so amazing.  She did a spiritual thought and sang a solo.  It was so adorable. Great day.

Sunday.  Today, we had the confirmation of Felix and it was so amazing again.  He was so happy at the confirmation.  We also had one of our investigators come to church and told us that she wants to get baptized.  It made me so happy.  But the problem is, is that she is not married and she lives with her boyfriend and she doesn't want to get married to him.  They have a kid together, so I feel like marriage should be a easy thing to do.  So that is something that I don't really understand hahah, but were are hoping to find a solution to help her get baptized.  Today, we also had lunch with one of our mommitas and the husband showed up drunk and he was so out of it.  He just kept asking me to speak in English, and he thought it was so funny.  We had some other awesome lessons today and were able to celebrate the birthday of one of the members, which was pretty fun.  To finish the day, we went to visit a recent convert and talk to her two daughters who never got baptized.  We were able to put a baptismal date on the both of them, which is so freaking awesome.  We have been able to work a lot with our investigators, and we are seeing a lot of blessings here in Propicia!  Great day today.

Book of Mormon.  I feel like every single week I find something in the Book of Mormon that I like better and better. This week I have been able to do a lot of studying in the time when Christ came to the Americas.  And I passed over some of the most impactful verses that I have ever read, in 3 Nephi 15:24 we read:  "But behold, ye have both heard my voice, and seen me; and ye are my sheep, and ye are numbered among those whom the Father hath given me."  WOW! Unreal!  Could you imagine being there in that situation!  They have been listening about Christ their entire life and they had so much faith, and Christ just told them how important they were to him.  This one verse is so powerful to me, and I immediately knew that the Book of Mormon was true.  Two chapters after we read about how Christ was about to return to his Father and he said a prayer for them, and the multitude was so grateful for the prayer.  It says, "So great was the joy."  The people just wanted a little bit more time with Christ.  And Christ says in 3 Nephi 17:20-21, "And they arose from the earth, and he said unto them: Blessed are ye because of your faith.  And now behold, my joy is full. 21 And when he had said these words, he wept, and the multitude bare record of it, and he took their little children, ONE by ONE, and blessed them, and prayed unto the father for them."  WOW!  Another incredible part of the Book of Mormon.  These verses show me how much Christ honestly loves us and shows us how much he cares for us.  He took every single one of their little ones and blessed all of them.  It says that there were about 2500 there.  He took time for every single one of them.  That for me is just amazing.  I challenge you guys to read 3 Nephi 17 as a family and give thanks to Heavenly Father for his son Jesus Christ, our Savior.

Some photos of the beach.

Love, Elder Copeland

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Week 38 - April 16, 2018

Hello again.

Tuesday.  Today, we started the day off early with a lesson with one of our investigators named Diego.  He's a younger  guy, but he's so awesome.  We were talking to him about what he's going to do after his baptism if he was going to stay active for ever, and he was direct and said that he wants to be baptized.  But later we found a problem that kind of sucks. He doesn't live in our sector, but he's always here visiting with his girlfriend, but we cannot baptize him until he either moves to our sector or the other missionaries teach him.  So that's been a pretty frustrating process.  I hope that we can find a solution to get him baptized.  After, we had a lesson with another young girl and her boyfriend.  He is a member but doesn´t want to come to church, but she does.  It´s so frustrating, but we taught her more about the Book of Mormon and she´s starting to progress a lot.  We just have to help them get married first.  To finish the day, we went to teach this one girl that we found the other day.  She was really cool.  She had a bunch of questions for us and she told us that she was going to come to church.  We ended up passing by an investigator's (Felix) house who has been out of town for awhile now because his mom passed away.  We passed by thinking that we were going to have to push back his baptism date because he would be sad, but he surprised us and told us that he wants to be baptized earlier!!  Haah I'm so excited for him.  He's so awesome.

Wednesday.  Today we brought two members with us the whole day to help prepare them for the mission.  Haha it was so fun.  We had a bunch of lessons fall through so we were able to pretty much show them the life of a missionary perfectly--walking door to door in the burning heat, just not being accepted by anyone.  But they battled through and were just dead by the end of the day.  Basically the  only lesson we had today was in the morning with some teenager, and we just talked more about the Book of Mormon with him. But he just barely got a new job and it´s going to be really hard for him to come to church...

Thursday.  Zone Conference was today so we were able to hear from President.  I've said it about 100 times that he is so amazing and I'll say it again.  He is the President on the planet, without doubt.  He is not only making us better missionaries but he is preparing us for the rest of our lives.  It's helped me so much.  

After the conference, we were able to pass by the house of Felix and talk to him more about baptism and what we have to do.  He was so excited.  He's a such a great guy.

Friday.  Today we passed by the house of Bismark again (the one who finished the Book of Mormon in a week) and talked to him about family search and he loved it.  He's hands down one of the most confusing guys I've ever met.  He believes the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but he does not want to get baptized.  He says he doesn't believe in religion, but if there was one that was true it would be our church... Haha he's so amazing, but it´s kind of frustrating because he knows everything is true, he just won´t take the next step.  After, we were finally able to find a family that we have been looking for since I've got here, and they are awesome, but it´s hard with them because the husband works in the Military and he doesn't really believe in God.  To finish the day,  we stopped again by Felix to prepare him for his baptismal interview Saturday. 

Saturday.  Today, before lunch, we stopped by this house of four sisters. They´re all so crazy, and we are working really hard with them to get them baptized.  After, we had the interview of Felix and he passed.  He was so happy.  I´m not going to lie.  I was a little nervous for him, but he did awesome in his interview.  After, we were able to find a new investigator and her daughter about how they will be able to see their husband-brother again and they got really interested.  We left them with some things that they need to do, and I´m really excited to return and see how they did. After, we finished the night with Karen, her mom, and her brother.  They are honestly so crazy.  Her mom is really Catholic and she just gets mad at us, but also believes that our church is true haha.  The people here in the coast are so interesting, but I love them so much. 

Sunday.  Today, we had a pretty good day.  We had some investigators come to church.  But in the second hour, we have a class for all of the new investigators and the new recent converts.  The mom of Karen got really frustrated in class and was getting frustrated, like the whole lesson.  We taught about repentance and she got really bugged.  It was so funny.  She and another member were arguing about repentance.  After, in the Elders Quorum, the teacher had no idea how to teach, so we just sat there and listened to somebody read in a Liahona about a message from a prophet.  Haha It's a different world here in the Coast.  After, we had a good day finding some investigators for the first time in awhile.  It was a pretty good day.  Some funny things happened during the day.  We were walking in the street and this little 6 year old girl yelled for us and we asked her about how her day was and she flipped us off and slammed the door shut haha.  After, we were in a lesson with some investigators and her little two-year-old girl was sitting on a chair just playing with her toy and all of the sudden we hear a bunch of liquid noise hit the ground.  The little girl was just peeing her pants just sitting there so innocent hahaha!  It was so disturbing!

Today, we didn't really do much.  I've been sick all day, so we just chilled in the house, but everything will be all good.

Book of Mormon.  I was reading in 1 Nephi 17 when Nephi is commanded to build a boat and how his brothers didn´t believe him.  His faith in this chapter is incredible for me.  I advise you to read this chapter and look for ways that you can apply the same mentality as Nephi.

Love, Elder Copeland

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Week 37 - April 9, 2018


Wow!  It is hot here... Haha!  You have no idea!  It's equivalent to Nicaragua hot.  It´s very humid here, and when there is sun, you don´t have a chance.  Complete different world here in the coast, but so awesome.  I´m so excited to be here!  The food here is so much better.  But one thing they do here is they give you a boiling hot soup every single lunch, and while you´re eating it, you´re just dripping in sweat haha.

Tuesday.  Today I was able to write you guys a little bit because I was not able to during Pday.  But after that, we were able to have some success.  We went and talked to some investigators, and they are so cool.  I´m still getting used to the accent here in the coast.  It´s really different. The people here are so accepting and awesome.  But one lesson that we had was with a family that half are members and others not.  They asked us to share a message at their house about the Spirit World because their brother died about four years ago on this day.  So we were able to share a message with them.  It was really cool. 

Wednesday.  Today we started the day off with a bat entering our house and trying to eat me.  I had to get a blanket and capture him.. Haha  It was so funny! 

My comp was freaking out.  His name is Elder Fernandez, he's from Mexico.  He is so awesome.  He´s a convert, he was baptized about two years ago, and now he´s here on the mission.  We were able to get rid of the bat.  After, we got out of the house and were able to find some new investigators. After awhile looking for some other investigators, we were able to talk to this family that has a baptismal date and they were so amazing.  The husband works in the Military, so it´s kind of hard to find them, but we talked to them for a little bit, and I´m so excited to get to know them a little better.

Thursday.  Today we spent most of the day at a park to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the church in Esmeraldas, and it was pretty cool.  We weren´t really celebrating, we just went contacting and looking for more people.  It´s really the only way we can celebrate as missionaries... looking for more people haha.  But after, we spent a lot of time looking for some investigators that were not there haha.  But we were able to end up finding some lessons later in the day.  We found this young couple that is so awesome.  We were able to talk to them about the importance of the Book of Mormon. They were such amazing people.  After, we were able to talk to this one guy that my companion has been teaching for a little.  He´s amazing!  He finished the Book of Mormon in a week and a half... Haha.  He loves it and knows that it is true, but he doesn´t want to be baptized right now... but honestly, he´s such a good guy.

Friday.  Today we had a lesson early in the morning with a young couple that was pretty cool.  The guy's grandma walked out and told us that we need to keep helping his kid because he doesn´t do anything with his life haha.  After this, we basically spent the rest of the day looking for people with a little success.

Saturday.  Today was a great day.  We had a lesson with a member's boyfriend, and he is so awesome.  He wants to get baptized and is pretty much ready.  He just has a situation where we have to wait a little bit longer for him to be baptized.  But after, we contacted and were able to find some awesome people.  To finish the day, we had another family night with some investigators, that was awesome.

Sunday.  My first Sunday here in the coast and it was very different.  Here in the coast, they need a lot of leadership help.   But the people honestly are so amazing, and it made me so excited to keep helping them here.  After, we had a great lesson with this one girl about Alma 32.  She told us that she really wants to get baptized, but she said that she doesn´t have the money to be married right now... It´s a big problem here.  Nobody is married.  It´s frustrating as a missionary, but I´m really excited to start helping her change her life. 

But life is all good here in the coast.  Not too crazy of a week. I hope that you all had a great Spring Break.  I know that here in Esmeraldas is way better then wherever you are in the world.

Today we went to the beach and played some kickball.

Usually I do a thought from the Book of Mormon, but I´ve been reading in the Bible as well.  I found a verse that I like a lot.  It´s in the book of Romans 8Ñ28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."  Everything will work for together for the good, to them that love God.  I love that line so much.  It´s my new motivation.  I´ve got it hanging on the wall to always remember.  God loves us and it´s such a blessing in our lives.  Everything will work out for the good! Don´t forget!  Love, Elder Copeland

 Yes, and a lizard, too!
Some cool fruit here!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Week 36 - April 3, 2018


My mom's birthday is this next Thursday, just so all of you know.  If you can all tell her how amazing she is and give her the biggest hug for me, that would be awesome.  Love you, Mom.  

It was a pretty good week for me here.  Also, having to deal with transfers.. Also, sorry I was not able to write yesterday.

Monday.  Today after Pday, we were able to pass by a family )Guatamal= for the first time in like 3 months.  They have been one of my favorite families in the mission, but they just never have time.  They are in a really hard situation, but we were able to talk about the Plan of Salvation a lot and tell them how they can be with their family again.  It made them so happy.  I´m really hoping that a lesson like this one can help them come to the church and really change their lives. After, we were able to pass by fam Madruñero and talk to them for awhile.  Wow!  I love them so much.

Tuesday.  Today for our District Council, we talked about the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  During this week, we are trying to focus everything that we do with the Atonement of Christ. After, we received a call from this guy that we met about five weeks ago.  He told us that he needed help for his daughter in English.  So we told him that we would love to.  He asked where we were and he came and picked us in his taxi with his family.  After, we were just talking in his car and he took us to get some Bizcochos ).  It's a really popular food here in Cayambe= and we were able to talk a lot about the church. We were able to finish the day talking to a family that has been a little inactive.  They are so cool.  I hope so badly that they can be reactivated.

Wednesday.  Today I had divisions with Elder Beckstead.  It was so fun.  He´s honestly one of my best friends, such a good guy.  But here in Cayambe, it´s been pretty hard this week because we are in a period when everyone is working a lot.  They all work in flowers and everyone is getting ready for Mothers Day.  If you didn´t know, about every flower in America that you buy is from here in Cayambe or Tabacundo, my sector.  So if you guys go and buy one, basically it´s from me.  But we spent the day looking for a lot of investigators that we weren´t able to find.  So we finally ended the day finding some old investigators that I taught forever ago.  It was a pretty fun day--always fun to be with other missionaries and learn from them.

Thursday.  Today was another pretty good day.  We are able to find this one girl that used to listen to the missionaries about 10 years go.  So we talked to her about Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the gospel.  I've honestly taught this lesson about 1000 times and nobody understood the listen better than she did.  We asked her what she got out of the lesson and she went off for about five minutes explaining everything.  It was so amazing.  After, we helped the girl that needed help in English.  They had to film us and she just asked me questions in English.  Haha it was so funny.  She had no idea what she was saying or what I said.  We ended the day talking to a family that not all of them are members. We were able to talk to them about the Atonement, also.  It´s such a fun topic to talk about.

Friday.  Today was honestly a really hard day.  We started off with trying to find one of our investigators and after awhile we finally found him so drunk... It was so sad.  We asked him what was going on and he told us how his girlfriend left him and went with someone else.  Now he hates his life.  It was so sad.  One of the worst and saddest things I've seen yet. But you can´t change their decisions in their life.  After this, we just went looking for our investigators and nobody was there.

Saturday.  Today we went up to Otavalo and watched conference.  I was able to watch in in English with some other Elders, which was so awesome.  Conference was so good!  Oh my gosh!  President Russell M. Nelson is without doubt a prophet of God.  I know that God guides his church through these men.  I´m so grateful for them and their words. I loved how much they talked about, the importance of temples and temple work.  At the end of the night, we also had to stay the night in Otavalo.  But more important we found out what was going to happen for transfers and it turns out that I´m..... Leaving Cayambe Ñ)  After almost 5 months there, I´m leaving.  I will be going to the COAST!!  I´m heading to a sector called Propicia.  I don´t know too much about it.  All I know is that it is extremely hot haha. 

Sunday. Today we finished watching more of conference and it was another two great sessions.  But the highlight for me was the new temples.. One IN RUSSIA!!  WHAT__ But even more important NICARAGUA!!  Shout out to Connor and TMac for working so hard there to get a temple there for those amazing people!  After, we returned to Cayambe and went and said bye to everyone.  Fam Cabascongo, Fam Trujillo, Fam Madruñero, and Fam Cholango.  And honestly, it was so hard, hands down one of the hardest things I´ve ever had to do.  I´m going to miss Cayambe so much.  But even more important, the people.  Those people changed my life forever, and I will never forget them.  I can´t wait to get back and see them.

Monday. Today, honestly, I have been traveling in a bus all day.  It took about 8 hours to get to my new sector.  I've only gotten to know a little about the sector since I've been here. We had a lesson to end the day with an investigator, and it was so awesome.  We were able to put a baptismal date on her.  The people here on the coast talk pretty different and a lot faster.  But now I´m so excited to be here!  Love, Elder Copeland

 Elder Harris and Elder Bogren with Elder Copeland
Elder Haslam and Elder Bogren with Elder Copeland 
Elder Copeland's District in Otavalo
 Watching Conference.

 Monica and
Pictures of some of the other many people Elder Copeland is going to miss in this area:
Fam Cabascongo, Mataeo, Fam Cholango, Fam Madruñero, Fam Trujillo.

Some party in Cayambe