Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Week 48 - June 25, 2018

Hellos, Fam!! 

So another change went down and you can kind of tell that I'm not in the Coast in any more... I left and I'm heading to the Offices in Quito!!  It will be really different from past 11 months.  I'll be going as the Finance Secretary with Elder Ross!!  Elder Ross is, also, from my group, so that will be so fun!  He is from Spokane, Washington.  Also, I will NOT have PDAY on MONDAY any more, I will be able to write you guys every SATURDAY!  I'm super excited for another chapter of the mission!  It's sad to see a lot of the old missionaries leave like Elder Johnson, Elder Morton, Elder George, and so many more. They are some of the best missionaries that I know.  But everything is good.  I'm super excited for these next four changes in the offices.  But I'll let you guys know how I finished my last week here in the Coast!

Tuesday. Today we were able to have our District Meeting in the morning.  
After, we got back to our sector and contacted for a little bit.  We were able to find these two guys that were super interested in the Book of Mormon.  It was a great lesson.  After, we went and taught this one guy named Jackson.  He's a great guy and we taught him about the Restoration.  But what happened is that he honestly was just not that interested in the message, so that was kind of bummer.  We finished the day going to visit a reference and his family that we received.  We talked to him about the family and he told us that he wants to keep learning more because he has had a drinking problem.  He told us that he needs us to come back so that we can help him out.  It was actually really cool to be able to see how a message of the family can help someone want to change.

Wednesday.  Today we went out and contacted before lunch in the farthest place that we could.  We were able to find this single mom and some of her kids.  They were super cool. Also, we were able to talk to Paola and put another marriage date on her, so that was pretty cool.  Also, she accepted a baptismal date.  So she's starting to progress really well. After, we kept going and found this less-active family that hasn't come to church in like two years.  It was a cool little miracle because they have been waiting for the missionaries for a long time.  After, we were able to teach the guy that we found about one week ago.  His name is Ediin.  He loves to talk about all of the old rappers like Tupac with me haha.  He's super cool.  We taught him about the Restoration and he loved it.  He told his brother and friends that they had to come and listen to us as well, and they all loved it, as well. After we went and talked to Geovanni, the guy that we poured his beer down the sink, and were able to check up on him and teach him about he gospel of Jesus Christ.  He's doing well and improving every single day.

Thursday.  Today we went and had a Moronita with the Elders from Forestal.  It was awesome! It was nice to be able to catch up with them.  After, we went and talked to a recent convert about her doubts and her questions.  It was a super spiritual lesson.  We talked about the importance of the covenant that we did with God when we got baptized.  After, we went and talked to Bladimer and his daughter about baptism and how they need to prepare themselves for their baptism.

Friday.  Today I had interchanges with Elder Moody )Riverton, Utah.= It was super awesome.  I learned a lot from him.  He's only got six more weeks in his mission.  We were able to visit the less-actives that we found the other day, and we taught his wife and daughter.  It was a pretty good lesson, and I really hope that they will be able to come back to church.  Also, we were able to talk to Eddi and we put a baptismal date on him.  He was really excited.  We asked him how he was going to be able to leave beer and stuff like that, and he was very positive about it and said that he doesn't feel the need to drink.  It was such a great lesson.

Saturday.  Today was the day of changes and man it was really stressful for me.  We were able to visit some converts. While we were talking to some investigators, we got a phone call from President and he told me that he needed me in the offices.  It's been really hard to baptize in the offices because we don't have a lot of time to contact.  Also, we are in the hardest sector in the mission.  But he told me that he trusts me and knows that we will be able to baptize.  The rest of the day we started saying bye to a lot of the members and investigators.
 Lots of good-byes!

Sunday.  Today we went to church, ate lunch, said bye to a couple people, and the rest of the day I was traveling to Quito!  Elder Copeland
Elder Copeland was excited to see a very good family friend's name on the Mission flag--Lauren LeFrandt.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Week 47 - June 18, 2018

The Life!

First, I have to start this week off with two big shout outs to my little sis, Lauren, who just turned 18 on the 14th!!  Feliz Cumpliaños!  

Also, Happy Fathers Day!  Thanks, Dad, for being the best dad on the planet.  Honestly don´t know where I would be without you.

Tuesday.  Today we started the day off going to the District Meeting.  After we came back and had some good lessons with our investigators.  We were able to talk to Xiomara about her baptism and how she feels about it.  She told us that she's doubting a lot of things, so we told her to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.  After, we went and taught Jessica a bunch of things so that she can get ready for her baptism.  It was a pretty good lesson, but it was a lot of information. But she did well and learned a lot.  We then went to the house of Family de la Cruz.  We watched a video and it was like the first time that we could feel the Spirit in their house.  It was so strong.  I really hope that it will make a bigger impact on them.

Wednesday.  Today we had interchanges and I went over to the sector of Elder Mayberry )Arizona.= It was such a good time to be with him.  He´s so fun.  We were able to visit a lot of their investigators, and they are really awesome.  We were contacting and we knocked on this door and within 2 seconds, the man told us to come in.  We talked to him about the Book of Mormon and he was interested in it, but then 
he asked us if we were one of the churches that only say that our church is true.  And we got kind of nervous because sometimes people get really bugged when we say that, so we had to explain it really slowly and in a way that he could understand.  After, he told us to come back and that he wants to learn more.  It was actually such a cool lesson.  In the sector of Aire Libre, the Bishop sells hamburgers and one of them is called the Tsunami.  It is giant!  All of the missionaries have the challenge to see if they can eat the whole thing.  Yes, I was able to finish it. 

Thursday.  Today we had a lot of lessons fall through.  We ended up contacting for a very long time.  This one guy let us in and just started drinking in front of us and his daughters.  It was so sad.  After a little bit, we just basically left because it was just so dumb.  We were, also, able to find this really cool guy and we shared the Book of Mormon with him.  He was really interested.  It was such a great lesson.  We finished the day talking with Jessica again.  We finished up all of the lessons, and we got her all set up for her baptismal interview.

Friday.  Today was a pretty weird day.  We had to go to Xiomara in the morning to see if she got her answer about what she should do.  We got there and she told us that she does not want to get baptized... Heartbreaker... SO that sucked, she said that she just doesn't feel like she needs to be baptized again... So we basically just told her that she didn't understand baptism.  But she told us that she only wants us to come over and visit her.  So we left her and told her that we need to teach the people that want to change. After, we went and taught Paola, and it went so good with her.  We taught her some more commandments and she still understands super well.  After, we went to go and check on Jessica to see if she was ready for her interview and she just told us that she is not going to get baptized next week... It was like a shot to the heart when I heard that. She told us that she wasn't ready and that she needs more time to think about it.  I feel like that's been one of the hardest parts about the mission for me is that we can't change the agency of other people.  We can put in 100% of our effort and do everything that we can to help someone, but sometimes they just don´t want to change.  But at least one good thing happened today.  We went to the house of Rocio, Danna, and Ninoska and it was pretty cool.  We had a family night and Danna ) who just got baptized about a month ago= gave the message.  It was pretty to cool to see one of my converts share what they have learned.

Saturday.  Today I was pretty frustrated with our investigators because a lot of them just don´t want to change. So we basically spent the entire time into finding new investigators.  We were able to find a lot of cool investigators that I hope will end up have some potential in the future.  After, we were talking with our ward mission leader and we got a call from the other sector that they needed to use our chapel so that they could have a baptism.  Their chapel ran out of water and they needed to use our baptismal font, so we had to leave and help them get the font ready for their baptism.  Also, another thing that happened in the middle of this.  We were supposed to have a big activity in the church to find new investigators, and the bishop called me like 30 minutes before and told us that we aren't going to have the activity anymore... So that kind of sucked because we had been inviting our investigators there for the entire week and than it just went down the drain...

Sunday.  Today started off awful... None of our investigators came to church.  There are not a lot of things worse than that--especially when we worked so dang hard this week.  But after, we went to go and visit Rocio and her family again and her brother was there, Giovanni.  He was a little drunk. When he saw us, he just started crying telling us that he needs our help and that he wants to change so bad.  So we taught him a little bit with the rest of his family, and we got him really excited so that he was able to change.  We set up a plan for him so that he could avoid the temptation of beer. To make things short, we ended the lesson pouring the beer down the sink after hugging and cheering haha.  It was actually a pretty cool lesson and I hope that he can just change... after, we had a couple good lessons with some investigators and some members. 

Also, a pretty cool experience happened this past week.  The other Sunday we were walking home to the house and this guy from across the street yelled for us and said, "MORMONS!  HOW ARE YOU BROTHERS?!" in English.  So we went over and talked to him and it turns out he was born in Nicaragua, then after a little he moved to California, after that Mexico, after that Costa Rico, and after that ECUADOR.  He is Jewish and told us all about his beliefs, and we just sat there and listened to him.  He told us that he was looking for a place to buy an apartment and we told him where he could.  He called me two days later and told me he found an apartment in a different sector, so I passed his number over to Elder Morton that works over there.  They went and taught him two times and the guy told us that he was really confused about all of his beliefs and that our message makes so much sense.  He is now reading the Book of Mormon, going to church, and listening to the missionaries so that one day he can get baptized.  Super cool experience.  He is one of the kindest guys that I've ever met.  Love, Elder Copeland

Some Homies

Me walking up a hill

The Zone at the Beach. 

Elder Morton's last P'day.  One of my best friends ever.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Week 46 - June 11, 2018

Another week here in Ecuador... 

Tuesday.  Today was a little bit crazy.  We had a lot of lessons set up and they basically fell through.  So I've been trying to help  my comp talk more with the people because he is really scared.  So we just started talking to every single person on the street.  We ended up finding eight people!  It was pretty cool.  The last two weeks we've been getting rejected a lot, but today we didn't get rejected at all.  Also, we had a lesson with Xiomara, and a member came with us.  I've been having my comp take over the situation in the lessons more, and he started off and he went sooo out of order I was so confused... The member asked us after what happened, and I didn´t have an answer because it was so confusing haha.  But that was basically it for today.  We found a lot of people, which was really awesome.

Wednesday.  Today we started off going to Alejandra and Karelis and taught some of the commandments.  They had no problem at all.  We later went and taught Paola about a lot of the churches and the difference between every single one of them.  It was actually a pretty cool lesson.  I've never had a lesson like that.  Later, we went to visit Marilu and she just wants to have a better life, so we taught her some more about the Book of Mormon and other truths, but it´s really hard to help her when she can't read.  Also, it's really hard when her husband and kid just started smoking right in front of us.  It's so sad.  After, we stopped by and taught Jessica and it was great.  She feels good about her baptism and other things like that.  She´s progressing really well.  We taught her about some of the commandments, and she didn't have any problems.

Thursday.  Today we started trying something new.  We tried contacting our neighbors.  Usually, when we contact, we contact really far away.  So we started contacting and were able to find some great people. It's funny.  Sometimes we think that the best investigators will be the ones that live the farthest away or the last house on the street.  But sometimes it´s the ones that are closest to you.  After, we went to go and teach Xiomara again and it was really rough. We taught the Word of Wisdom and she has a huge problem with coffee. She says that she wants to stop but doesn't believe that she can.  Ugh! It´s so frustrating because she's ready for baptism but we will probably have to change her date now...

Friday.  Today we went and had an interchange with the Zone Leaders!  We went to their sector and basically contacted the entire day.  We only had one lesson the entire day haha.  I went out with Elder Hoyos who's from Bolivia.  It was pretty fun to be able to see more parts of Ecuador.  But honestly nothing special happened today haha.

Saturday.  Today we went and taught Karelis and Alejandra and it sucked hahah.  They are so prepared for their baptism and we told them that about 100 times.  So we told them that they were going to have their interview this next coming week.  They told us that they didn't want to get baptized and they are not ready... It was so frustrating because they are more than ready.  So for now, they are not getting baptized... After, we went contacting and found some cool people.  Also, we talked to Paola about tithing.  She had a doubt at the beginning of the lesson, but at the end of the lesson, she loved it.  It was actually pretty cool to see the Spirit testify to her during the lesson.

Sunday.  Today we were able to have a good amount of investigators come to church.  We were hoping for a miracle with Alejandra, but no she didn't come haha.  But we were able to have a couple others come, which was good.  After, we found one of our investigators for the first time in six weeks haha.  It was so good to see him.  After, we talked to Bismark for a very long time.  We talked to him about his doubts he has with the church.  We went and cleared all of the doubts that he had.  It was pretty fun.  He's such a cool guy.  After, we went contacting in the street and found a couple that is actually married for like the first time here in the coast.  Later, we passed by some investigators and shared the story of Nephi and the broken bow.  It's got to be one of my favorite stories ever.  He´s the best example ever of a disciple of Christ.  I love how in this story everyone is complaining about how hard it was for them, but Nephi just goes and makes his own bow and gets food for his family. Then his family was all happy and thanked the Lord.  
I feel like we do the same honestly.  We just wait and complain for the miracle instead of going out and getting it ourselves.  We were walking home after and this Jew from California called for us and we went and talked to him for a really long time.  It was pretty interesting.  We was talking about his religion and it was different because it was like the first time that I've heard someone talk in English for awhile.

Yeah, that is basically it.  Nothing special happened this week.  A couple heart breakers, but you get used to those really fast.  Love, Elder Copeland

Said bye to my first shoes


Week 45 - June 4, 2018

Happy Graduation to Lauren, 
So crazy you´re already done with high school.  Have fun with the real life hahaha. 

Tuesday.  Today we had a lesson with one of our investigators, Xiomera, that has been going through a really hard time.  We talked to her about her purpose here in the world, and she understood really well and loved it.  Later, I got the feeling to invite her to baptized, and she's had doubts about baptism before.  But we invited her and she had zero doubts about baptism, and we were able to put a date on her!!  She accepted the baptismal date, and she´s really excited to keep learning.  But other than that, not too much happened.  We went and talked to some of our investigators and contacted some houses.

Wednesday.  Today we had divisions and I stayed here with Elder Melendez (Peru.)  We were able to talk to some of our other investigators with a baptismal date (Alejandra and Karelis), and we went and did a good check up on them to see how they are doing on their progress.  After, we went and taught Marilu.  She´s the girl that we taught the other week that has honestly nothing.  It´s so sad.  We taught her how to pray today and during her prayer she just repeated what I said.  At the end, she just starting tearing up.  I just want her and her kids to have a better life, it´s so sad.  After, we went to visit some investigator that we haven´t visited in such a long time.  We just went to see how she was doing and we were just talking to her for a long time about her doubts of the church.  It was actually pretty cool, because she has never opened up to us before.  Just talking to her about her life helped her opened up.  I hope that it will help her get baptized one day.

Thursday.  Today was a very busy day.  We went by and talked to Paola about how she needs to keep going and working hard so that she can keep hold of her testimony.  We are still praying that she will get married with her husband soon.  After, we went back and visited Xiomera and talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  She did really well and still showed us some good progress.  She is super awesome, and I hope that she will continue to make it to her baptismal date.  After, we went and talked with Jessica, another investigator with a baptismal date.  Ahh today was really busy.  We were jumping from house to house, but we were able to get a lot of work done today.

Friday.  Today we had our Zone Conference with President Murphy!  It was another awesome Zone Conference.  The Zone Conferences always come at the perfect time and help me so much.  We talked a lot about keeping our excitement going as a mission and that we have a lot of potential.  Not only that, but Elder Bogren and I had to give a training in front of all of the missionaries and President.  If you would have told me that about eight months ago that Elder Bogren and I were training other  missionaries together, I would have laughed so hard and took it as a joke.  But yeah, it happened. It was a good experience, and I learned a lot from it. 
Elder Mckinnion 
and Elder Morton at their last Zone Conference

After the Zone Conference, we went to visit one of our investigators.  He is the one we found the other week that broke his leg.  We visited him and read 3 Nephi 11 about when Christ came to the Americas, and it was such a good lesson.  We talked to him about baptism after, and he accepted, but the problem is that we have to talk to his wife and she never is in the house.  So we have to try and find a time to also talk to her.  Finished the day visiting some investigators that want to get baptized but aren´t married yet... Haha.  It´s so frustrating and they are waiting for their baby to be born first.  So it´s basically just a waiting game with them.

Saturday.  Today we started the morning off going to our interviews with President Murphy.  I love every single one of my interviews and honestly every chance that I have to talk to President.  Such an amazing man.  After, my companion got sick and we basically spent almost the rest of the day in the house.  I got really bored and asked him if he was good enough to go out for one visit and we did.  We went and visited the Venezuelan that we found the past week.  He was awesome.  We taught him about the Restoration and he loved it.  It was one of the better lessons that I've had.  But we found out that he´s not MARRIED.  So we can´t really do much with him until they can figure out a way to get married without their visas.

Sunday.  Today we had the Stake Conference and we were able to have a couple of our investigators come.  President Murphy was also able to talk to them as well.  Haha It was so funny because it was the least professional thing that I have ever seen.  President just looked at me and started laughing. After, we went out and just started looking for people in the street and found these cool guys.  We taught them about the Book of Mormon.  They were really interested in it, so we asked them if we could come back and he´s going on a vacation and won´t be back for another three weeks:(.  We were also able to visit Family Sosa, and it turns out that the dad got in a serious accident.  He was changing the oil of his motorcycle and it sparked and burnt his thumb.  They showed us some pictures and wow!  One of the grossest things I've ever seen.  Hopefully, he gets that better.  If not, they said they will have to amputate it... So awful.  We finished the day talking to Karen and her mom.  Her mom got going again about how she doesn't like Joseph Smith and I just told her that he was somebody that made it so that we can learn more of Christ.  It´s so frustrating because she just doesn´t understand. 

Basically, not too much crazy happened.  Hope all is going well for you guys at home.  Enjoy your summer break!  Elder Copeland

At the Beach today

Nice window pic!