Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Week 44 - May 29, 2018

Double Digits!

Dear Family,

Tuesday.  Today we started the new week going over to the Tolita )a sector= and having a little Zone meeting.  Our Zone leaders organized a little message about our plans for this next coming change.  After, we had our District Meeting with our new district.  I´m so excited for my new district.  It´s just a bunch of young guys that are excited to work!  After, we had a lesson with some new people that we found last week.  And we were really excited they showed us a little bit of potential.  So we got there and taught them about the Restoration of the Gospel.  They were all excited and participating in the lesson, and we asked them when we can come back and the girl basically said, "You aren´t coming back.  We have our own church.  We did our part listening to you and now you can go HAHA."  Such a dagger to the heart. But it´s all good because after we went over to the house of one of our investigators and were able to put a baptismal date on her.  She told us that she thinks that it is time to be baptized.  She just needs an answer.  So we put her together a little plan to understand more and get her that answer!  After that, we went and taught this one guy from another church about how we need the Book of Mormon, and there was so many distractions it was so dang frustrating.  We were never able to get the Spirit in the room ugh.  But we left him with a good promise.  We finished the day talking to Paola and how if they want to get married, they have to actually do something with their life.  But yeah, they just need a job so that they can provide for their kid.  She´s so ready for baptism, it´s a joke.  She only needs to get married haha. The frustration as a missionary.

Wednesday.  Today we had some plans to go out and visit with a member and visit her friends.  We went out and none of them were there haha.  So that was kind of a bummer. After, we just went contacting.  We found two guys.  One of them was so cool, and I have a lot of hope for him.  His name is Erik.  He was working, and he broke his leg )It´s so gross= and he was just sitting at home.  So we knocked on his door and he was excited to listen to us.  We taught him about the Book of Mormon, and he was so excited to hear about it.  So I'm really excited for this next week to be able to talk with him again.  After the lessons, we were in the street going back home and this one guy in the street was begging us to give him money haha, but I told him that I have something better and gave him a Book of Mormon.  He didn´t accept it haha. Almost a miracle haha.

Thursday.  Today we had inter-changes and I was with Elder Mostacero.  He´s from Peru and has a solid eight days in the mission.  The poor guy haha.  We started the day off going to Karalis and Alejandra in the morning, and I was so direct with them.  I basically just told them, "Hey, we are having a baptism on the 23 of July, and we are going to baptize you guys."  They were scared at first, but I helped them understand more about what we are going to do to help them.  And they accepted!!  It´s about time that they got a baptismal date.  So that was a great event that happened today.  After, we went to look for some investigators and they weren´t there, so we contacted.  We found this one girl that was so awesome.  She used to listen to the missionaries and had a baptismal date.  She was so excited to talk to us again. We had a long conversation about what happened before.  So, I´m really excited to teach her again.  After, we stopped by Karen's to see what the heck has been going on with her. She just isn't really progressing a lot.  I don´t know what else we can do with her... But you can only hope with some people.  After, we went and visited a family that are old investigators.  They were so cool.  Their oldest kid is so cool. He understands everything.  We passed through lesson one and he basically taught the lesson for us.  We got really excited because they promised us that they were going to come to the church, but nope haha.  They didn´t show up! Welcome to the mission!

Friday. Today we didn´t have too much that happened.  We went and had another invasion in Forestal again, so we went to help the new Elders open up the sector.  So we went over there and were able to teach some new investigators and help them out over there.  After, we had a bunch of lessons planned out and every single one of them fell through haha. We had a Family Night with Bishop which also fell through because his friend forgot about it.  So we passed by some investigators, and still I don´t know why they don´t get baptized or come to church.  They have so much potential and they are so cool, they just don´t come to church on Sunday.  So frustrating because they are so cool and I want to help them out, but they just don´t do their part haha.

Saturday.  Today, without doubt, was one of the hardest days of the mission.  We had the perfect day planned, and it just didn't happen hahaha.  We had plans to visit so many investigators that had potential to progress, and they weren´t home, so we spent the day basically contacting the whole day.  Plus, the people were extra aggressive today.  I don´t know why, but they did not want anything to do with us.  The only thing positive that  happened to us today is we were able to visit Jessica again, but this time with members.  It helped us so much to have members with us.  She opened up a lot and showed a lot more progress, which was great! But other than that, we were in the heat knocking dem houses looking for somebody to bless! 

Sunday.  Today, we went to church and we had one investigator come... Later, we ended up going to a different class for the 2nd hour so we had nobody to teach during the 2nd hour.  It was so weird and pretty disappointing, to be honest.  But we did everything we could do get people to come to church... After we had lunch and a grandma came to up to us that was crazy.  The people here are really open and just say what they think.  She was talking to my companion and asked him if he had a girlfriend before the mission, and she stopped him and said, "Oh, nobody with that face would have a girlfriend..."  It was so brutal.  She was so mean, and after all of this, she asked us for a Priesthood blessing haha. Later on today, we went to go and visit some converts to see how they are, which was pretty fun.  After, we had a couple of lessons with some members and both of the lessons fell through... HAHAH  It was just one of those weeks.  But we were walking to our house to finish the day, and I saw a couple sitting outside the house.  I told my comp that we had to go and talk to them.  So we went to go and talk to them and they are from Venezuela and they have lived here for one year.  They were talking about how hard it was for them to leave there.  We shared a really small message with them, and they were so grateful for the small message.  He asked us when we were going to come back and when we are in the church Sundays so he can come!  MIRACLE!!  It gave me so much peace after all of the things that happened this week.

This week was one of the weeks that was pretty hard for me. We had so many people with potential, and it just all didn´t work out.  It reminded me of the story of Alma in Chapter 8 of Alma.  Alma was preaching in Ammonihah and the people were casting him out, spitting on him, never listening to him. It says in verse 10 that he had to ¨wrestle¨with God in prayer. It got to the point where he decided to leave Ammonihah, but an angel stopped him and prepared somebody for him.  After this experience of being beat down, he rose up and was stronger, strong enough to bring 1000s of souls to God.  I have no idea if the Venezuelans are the Miracle, but I do know that the Lord is preparing a miracle here in Codesa, Ecuador!!  Love you all so much!  Elder Copeland

​​​​​​Some pics from today​

Monday, May 21, 2018

Week 43 - May 21, 2018

Another week!

I hope everything is going well for everyone back at home.  It's always fun hearing about the new mission calls.  I´m so excited for all you guys to get into the mission field.  This week I received a new companion.  His name is Elder Rengifo from Peru.  He´s new to the mission.  He only has three months out.  He´s so funny and awesome; also, really shy.  But I´m really excited for this change with him.

Monday.  Today for P'day we sold Rice with Milk the entire day for one of our investigators to gain some money for marriage.  It was fun.  We got her enough money to get married, but after, she postponed the marriage with her husband.  So that was kind of bummer.

Tuesday.  Today we received a reference from our friend, Bismark, to go and visit this one girl.  So he showed us where she lives, and oh my gosh, it was one of the poorest houses that I´ve ever seen in my life.  They (Marilu and Emily) basically live in mud.  They bathe in the river, which is right below their house.  We were able to teach them a little bit about the Plan of Salvation, and it was good.  They are really shy, so we didn´t get a lot from them.  A real eye opener for me.  I hope that we can give them a little more hope in their life.  After, we taught an investigator that we taught from awhile ago )Dannila.=  She had a baptismal date about five years ago, and it fell through, so we taught her about the Restoration, and it was perfect.  After, we spent some time contacting and were able to find some investigators.  We finished the day with Karen.  We've been working really hard with her since her baptismal date fell through.  We taught her about how she has to start reading the Book of Mormon again.  It´s so frustrating that she's just not doing the things that she was doing before.  But we are working really hard with her.

Wednesday.  Today we started the day off with the Zone Leaders coming to our house in the morning, and they were just talking to us about some of the things that we can do better.  After we had a bunch of lessons fall through, so we ended up contacting a lot today.  We were able to find )Jessica= she´s the mom of member in our ward.  We taught her about the Plan of Salvation, and she accepted the baptismal invitation.  During the lesson, there was a fight between two dudes a couple houses down the street.  Haha it was hilarious--just two drunk dudes yelling at each other.

Thursday.  Today we had so many things that fell through. But we did finally get to teach Karalys for the first time in forever.  And it was like the first time that we had a good lesson with her in forever.  We finished the day talking to Paola with the bishop and it was one of the better lessons that I´ve had in the mission.  The Bishop shared his thoughts, and they were perfect for Paola and her situation.  During the prayer, Paola started to tear up.  Ahhhh it was perfect!

Friday.  Today we went out early to visit some people in the morning and the lessons fell through haha, so we just ended up contacting.  Later on, we had a bunch of lessons.  We were able to teach Marilu and Emily again, and this time they opened up a lot to us.  We, also, got to meet more of her kids.  I could see a little bit more hope in the eyes of Marilu this time.  It was a great lesson with them.  It´s hard to teach them because they are unable to read, so we have to use pictures and stuff haha.  After, we taught one of our old investigators again, and it was good.  We ended the night with a family night with some member and her husband who we are teaching.  And their daughter, Valentine, was in charge of the family night, and it was adorable haha.  We had three prayers and three hymns haha.  It was such a good night with them.

Saturday.  Today we had almost a lesson for every hour of the day lined up, and we ended up only having two lessons haha.  We had another one with Karalys and Alejandra and answered their questions about the church.  We later looked for investigators for quite some time and only ended finding Family de La Cruz in the night.  When we got there, the first thing I saw on the ground was a beer.  It got me so sad, but they said the they almost never drink beer and when they do, it´s only one bottle.  It was still pretty dang frustrating haha. That basically puts together in words how today was for us. Walking in the burning heat with some blistered feet hahah. Wow!  I love the mission!

Sunday.  Today we went to church, and after, I got really sick.  So basically nothing happened.  We passed by some houses, and that is basically it haha.
Our activity today.

Love, Elder Copeland

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Week 42 - May 14, 2018


Love you, Mommy.  I know that I already talked to some of you guys yesterday, but... This is what happened week!

Tuesday.  Today we had a lesson with Karen, and we talked to her about a lot of things.  We came with a member and her boyfriend who is already member.  We talked to her about how she could recognize the Spirit, and it was going good and we asked her boyfriend how he has felt the Spirit before in his life.  So that was a bummer hearing that from a member and it didn´t help us at all teach Karen.  After, we stopped by and taught Paola, and we were a little nervous that maybe she changed her mind about her baptism and her wedding and we got everything set up.  She´s really excited. She will be getting married May 21st and now has a baptismal date for the June 2nd.  She´s such a good example of faith to me.  After, we went to a birthday party of some of our investigators and we were in charge of the food so we cooked some Burritos.  I had a little kid try and take a photo of it, but he didn´t press hard enough on the button, so I don´t have a picture now.  Sorry...

Wednesday.  Today I had interchanges with Elder Miranda )Bolivia.=  He came over to our sector and it was pretty fun. We had a day that was kind of rough, but we were able to get some things done.  We had a lesson with one of our recent converts and his brother was there, and wow the dude was so rude!  He started the conversation bashing on USA and Bolivia, then he starting talking bad about the church.  Haha it was really interesting but we made it through and were able to teach Felix about the importance of Family History.  That was basically our day though, and about every single lesson fell through.

Thursday.  Today we started the day off going to do some service for a member in the other ward.  We had to carry some things over to their little store that they have haha. After, we went and visited Bismark and it was pretty cool.  We have been talking to him about D/C and he´s really interested in it.  I don´t know how else we can help the guy get baptized though.  Then, after we had another day of lessons falling through.  Besides one, we passed by and she struggles with reading.  We had to explain again to her how we read the scriptures and how there are chapters and verses.  I told her that she had to read Chapter 2... and she read, "Chapter 2," and she thought that she did such a good job and yeah it was awesome.  But that is not what I meant haha.  

Friday.  Today we started off going to fill out the baptismal paper of Danna and Ninoska.  We were able to teach them about baptism a little more.  After, we went and visited family Sosa and they are so awesome.  I told their little kids that I´m from Africa and that I speak African, and they have believed me for a whole month now haha.  They always ask me to speak African and I just say jibberish and do weird sounds and they think that it is so funny haha.  But the parents understand everything and want to be baptized, but they just don´t want to come church every Sunday.  So, it´s the biggest bummer because they also came to the activity that we had at night.  But I´m hoping for a miracle for them.  After, the Elders from Aire Libre have had a problem with something, so I had to go over to their sector and teach one of their investigators with Elder Ellsworth.  After, I came back here to our sector and we had an activity in the church for Mothers'
Day.  Obispo asked me 10 seconds before the activity that I had to give a thought about mothers, so I basically just was up there for 5 minutes bragging about Mom.  Haha but it was a fun activity.  We were able to have some investigators come, which was awesome.

Saturday.  Today, I had an interview of an investigator in Aire Libre.  Her name is Myra.  She's 26 years old, and she was really cool.  She was really nervous for the interview, so it was pretty awkward haha, but she did pass her interview and it was all good.  After, we came back and were able to finally teach one of our investigators that we have been looking for, for the last four weeks.  So that was a blessing.  After, we had the baptism of Danna and Ninoska, and it was so amazing.  I say the same thing every time when we have baptisms.  It´s because it´s just without doubt one of the best feelings on the planet.  Being able to see children of God trust in him.  It was such a good night.  

After, we found out about transfers and my companion is leaving and I´m going to receive some guy from Peru!  So, I´ll let you know more about him in the future haha. 

Sunday. Today was the confirmation of Danna and Ninoska, and it was all good.  Another great experience to be a part of. We spent the rest of the day saying bye to our investigators with my comp.  Also, I got to call my family.  It was such a great experience.  It helped me a lot to keep pushing to be better and work harder.  But ,that was basically my week. 

Book of Mormon.  This week, I was able to finish the Book of Mormon.  I did a study for the past four months about the Book of Mormon, looking for each time that the people fell into temptation.  I studied how we can avoid temptation, the blessings we receive when we are obedient, and the consequences of when we aren´t obedient.  One thing that I learned is that it is not that hard to stay firm in the church.  We just need to be humble and have charity.  If you want a good example, read Moroni 7, the best chapter in the Book of Mormon.

A photo of the District

Family Night with Paola

Love you all, Elder Copeland

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Week 41 - May 7, 2018

Hello, Family! 

Wanted to start with a shout out to Hannah.  Her birthday was this past week.  Love and miss you so much, Hannah! Everyone can give her a big hug for me--besides any boys. Love you so much, Hannah!

Tuesday.  We started the day off with a District Council, which was so powerful.  I promised my district that if they all were able to find 15 people, I would buy them ice cream. They all got really excited, and we ended having a lot of really good ideas to change the way that we are doing things in our district.   
(Elder Copeland bought ice cream for his district because they met the goal of finding 15 people.  They were very excited about reaching the goal and, also, having ice cream!)

After, we had a lot of our appointments fall through, which was kind of rough, but we were able to end up finding some people.  One of the guys, while we were walking on the street, called us over and my companion said no because he was scared of him.  But I just felt like I had to talk to him, so we went and he told us some things about his life and how he was in jail about a year ago.  We ended up teaching him a great lesson about repentance!  The Spirit was so strong.  After, we stopped by a new convert and he was telling us how he´s going though a really hard time, and we tried to help him out.  He told us that he´s really struggling because his daughter's birthday is tomorrow and how he doesn´t even have enough money to buy her a cake... That hit me pretty hard, but I know that the Lord will bless him.

Wednesday.  Today we did what is called an Invasion.  It´s when all of the missionaries in one district go to one sector and just go and knock a bunch of houses.  So we went to the sector of Aire Libre and went and contacted some houses.  I went with Elder Fernandez, and we were able to find some cool people, but one of them was a great experience for me. We were knocking this guy's house and some old ladies yelled at us and told us that he´s a guy that doesn´t love God.  But we stayed at the door and waited for him, and he walked out and we asked if we could enter his house and teach him, and he told us to come in. So we went in and got to know him really well, and I asked if I could say anything in a prayer for him to start the message and he teared up and just said, "I just want to be able to see my son...¨ We taught an incredible lesson after, and he told us at the end that right when he saw us at the door, he knew that he had to let us teach him.  It was such a testimony builder.  After, we went and visited some of our investigators and were able to teach them more about baptism and get them ready for baptism. They are so smart, and I´m really excited for their baptism.

Thursday.  Today I had a division with Elder Fernandez, and he came her to my sector.  During the division, we also did another invasion.  We are able to find a decent amount of people here in our sector.  I was able to find some awesome people including a guy that used to live in my old sector, CAYAMBE!  That made me so happy just to hear about that place again.  We were able to teach them about the Book of Mormon, and he got pretty excited about it.  After, we went to the house of Karen and asked her how she is doing, but she is just doubting a lot.  We had one of the most spiritual lessons with her.  We just asked her if she could feel the Spirit, and she just denied everything.  It was so sad, because I know that the Spirit was there.  She is just really struggling because her mom is really Catholic and is making her doubt everything that she has received.  So that was kind of a bummer. 

Friday.  MAY THE 4TH BE WITH YOU!!  Haha I hope you guys had the best Star Wars day today.  I told my companion and he said he didn´t care about any movie that has space monkeys... Chewbaca is a Wookie, not a space monkey.... haha but after we had divisions with the Zone Leaders in their sector.  I went with Elder Ericksen )San Diego, California= and we went out to this part of their sector, and we had zero appointments confirmed.  But we ended up finding six people and putting a baptismal date on one of their investigators!!  It was such a good experience.  Elder Ericksen is a great missionary.  It was awesome to be with him for the day.

Saturday.  Today we got up early and played some basketball with the Zone Leaders.  My first time playing basketball in nine months and wow I am awful haha.  After, we were able to go back to our sector and talk to one of our investigators that really wants to get baptized but is not married.  We were able to talk about doing an activity to help her gain some money to get married and after baptized!  And she agreed!  AW I´m so happy for her.  After, we went to Forestal and did another invasion.  We were able to find 16 people in 2 hours there!!  It was so awesome.  It showed me that here if you want to have success, you just have to get up and go to work.  After the invasion, we went over to our chapel and were supposed to have the interviews of our two investigators, but they said that they wanted to attend the baptism of their friend first and the good thing is, is that the baptism of their friend was like 15 minutes away.  So we got to go see a baptism of four people in the Tolita.  After, they had their interview and passed with ease!  We ended the day looking for more people to find and just talking in the street to the people and were able to find a really cool family that used to listen to the missionaries about 20 years ago.  Another daily miracle!

Sunday.  We were able to have some of our investigators come to church today, which again was such a blessing.  After, we had a lesson with one of the guys that we found earlier this week, and he presented us to his wife and it was a great lesson.  He´s like the counselor of the Priest in his church.  But he thought that our message was very interesting and wants to continue listening to us in the future. After, we stopped by a less-active ex-missionary and talked to him about coming back to church.  I hope he does because the dude is hilarious.  After, we stopped by a family that aren´t all members.  We are trying to baptize the dad. We were able to watch a video with them.  We talked to them about how he needs to think about his family and how he can bless them.  So we are hoping that will be able to make him think a little more about baptism.

Photos:  At the beach again

Love, Elder Copeland

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Week 40 - April 30, 2018

Hello, friends and family! 

Hope everything is good back at home in the mission field! Pretty good week her in Esmeraldas, Ecuador!

Tuesday.  Today we were able to pass by the house of Paula again, and she just told us straight up that she really wants to get baptized.  She basically told us straight up what she has to do to get baptized.  And all it is, she has to get married. She wants to get married but her husband doesn't really care about the church (he's a member.)  So we talked to her about the power of prayer as a family and how that can help them as a family be united.  After, we had another lesson with Xomaira, and we were able to teach her some things about when Jesus came here to the Americas.  She loved it and finally accepted the baptismal question.  So that was an awesome lesson with her.  I'm excited to be able to teach her again.  We ended the day contacting for three hours haha. We couldn't find anybody...

Wednesday.  Today, early in the morning, we went to go and visit Danna and Ninoska so that we could help them get ready for their baptism.  They are starting to get really excited for their baptism, so that will be awesome!  After, we had to go to the terminal and get Elder Ellsworth because his companion had emergency changes to a different sector and Elder Ellsworth's new companion wasn't going to get to the sector until Friday, so Elder Ellsworth stayed with us until Friday.  We started off by contacting a reference that we received, and she was pretty cool.  She's from Columbia and almost got baptized about five years ago.  So I'm pretty excited about her.  WE ended the day talking to some of our investigators about the Book of Mormon.  They have had a lot of doubts about it, so we showed them how important it is and how they need to have it in their life.  It was such a good lesson.  The Spirit was really strong.

Thursday.  Today, we started off teaching this one new girl about the importance of Joseph Smith.  She has had lots of doubts, so we just promised her to read everyday for five minutes and she will gain a testimony.  After, we passed by Paula again and talked to her about a lot of things.  Her husband was with us this time, and we were able to talk about their relationship and how they need to get married. They both said that they want to get married!  So we are trying to set up an activity so that they can raise some money to get married.  The rest of the day was like any other day in the mission--looking for people to teach in the burning heat. BUT we were able to find one person this time, so I'm excited to be able to go back and teach her again.  Also, I completed 9 MONTHS here in the mission today.  Time is so crazy!  It goes by so fast.  I'm feeling a lot better with everything.  I'm used to the mission and the schedule now.  Spanish is still kind a pain, but I'm getting better every single day, which is good.  But more important, my testimony has grown so much.  Without doubt, this is the Church of Jesus Christ.

Friday. Today we had an appointment in the morning with a member to meet his family.  But it turns out that his family lives outside of our sector, so we won't be able to teach them, which was kind of a bummer.  After, we went to the terminal and waited for the Elder Mayberry, the new Elder in our district.  He ended up getting there pretty late.  So he and Elder Ellsworth went back over to their sector.  After, we went to the house of Karen and prepared her for her interview. S he has gotten really scared, but we were able to help her a lot.  We ended the day going to the mission call opening of a member.  He's going to be going to Guatemala South mission.  I'm so excited for him.  He's going to be such a good missionary.

Saturday.  Today we did a lot of verification with our investigators.  We passed by their houses and to make sure that they were reading and to remind them about church.  But we also passed by Bismark for the first time in a long time. He told us that he created a group for teenagers that have depression.  It's really cool and all, but I just don't understand the guy.  He told us that our church is the best church that there is on the planet.  But he doesn't want to be baptized hahah.  It's so confusing... After, we had the interview of Karen, and we were all excited for her and she did awesome, but she has to do another interview.  We talked to her about the interview after, and she said that she wants more time now.  So that was a dagger for us, because we know that she is ready.  She is just starting to doubt some parts of her testimony...

Sunday.  Today we had a Multi-Stake meeting.  So we had to go to the Stake Center and we were able to hear from the Area Presidency.  It was a great meeting.  I learned a lot from it.  After, we stopped by the house of Karen to see how she was feeling and she felt all good, and then her mom went crazy haha... Her mom is really Catholic but likes our church, and she just started yelling at us and Karen, saying that she has to learn more and that she doesn't understand what she is doing.  So now Karen is doubting even more than she was before... So that was really hard for us.  After, we stopped by another investigator that has been progressing, but he's too scared to be baptized, so we just talked to him about the importance of prayer.  I felt really good about the lesson and that it will help them as a family get closer.  After, we visited some old investigators and they were really excited to see the missionaries again, so I hope that can get them a little more excited to start progressing again.

Some yummy drink of some animal and dirt. 
At the beach.
Love, Elder Copeland