Monday, July 16, 2018

Week 51 - July 14, 2018

Hello, Friends and Family

Honestly, this week was not the craziest thing ever.  I'm going to try and keep my letters as interesting as I possibly can during my time here in the offices.

We started this week off with a killer Sunday.  We had a record of five investigators at church.  The ward has been helping us out a ton here.  The missionaries haven't had five investigators at church in almost the past two years, which is crazy.  It's even harder that we spend most of the time in the offices.  We were able to visit some recent converts in the night time and it was great.  They were all from Venezuela, and we just talked to them and taught one of their new friends.  It was pretty cool.  She didn't want to listen to us at first because she told us that she just thought that our church was for rich people and racist.  We explained the Book of Mormon and she got extremely interested.  We answered all of her doubts, and she got super interested and excited to learn more and read the Book of Mormon.

This week has been a pretty busy week for me in the offices. My comp just basically just leaves me to do what I should normally do and I'm not completely used to everything yet, so it's been pretty stressful.  But it should only take a week or two more to be able to get everything down.  But it's been a great experience up to this point.  One of my favorite parts is that we get to know President Murphy even better, and more importantly is that sometimes Sister Murphy brings in cookies!!  Haha

Also, I was able to do an interchange with our Zone Leader, Elder Christensen.  It was pretty cool because he used to be in my district when I was in Cayambe.  So it was a good time to be able to catch up on the mission before he heads out at the end of the change.  We contacted basically the entire day... But something cool that happened is that I got my first new investigator contacting houses here in my new sector. Haha it took about three weeks, but miracles happen!

Our investigator, Sofia, showed us that it is impossible to have a perfect investigator.  We found out that she has a problem with the Word of Wisdom... But she gave us a lot of hope.  She explained to us how she has been trying to leave it for the past two months and has only fallen like four times. She has been working super hard and we have gotten such good support from the ward to help her out, which is such a blessing.  We were able to meet her friend that introduced her to the church.  He's a returned missionary.  He served in Brazil, and he got home about a year ago... But the sad part is that he is already less-active and isn't the best example for Sofia.  It was kind of sad that I had to see that a missionary could end up like that.  But we passed by the next day with our ward mission leader, and she opened up to us a ton.  We got her going again and she got super excited again.  She got really excited to set up a plan on how we can avoid all of these temptations that she has been having with the Word of Wisdom.

Honestly, not the most exciting week that I've had in the mission.  Today we just went to the chapel and played some ping pong for the first time in about a year.  If you are wondering if I won, I did... Haha Love you all.  Elder Copeland

And a throw back to last week with Pres Murphy 

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Week 50 - July 7, 2018


Congrats to Ellie and Taylor for having their first baby!! I couldn't be happier for them, more for me because I know I'm his favorite uncle!  Love you Otteson!!

Wow!  Kind of a little crazy of a week!  We've had a lot of stuff do to in the office and in the field!  Also, Ellie had her baby, like I mentioned before.  I'm super sad that I couldn't be there, to be honest.  But I know I'm where I'm supposed to be.  Otteson will have to wait just one year more.  Also, it was the 4th of July!  I hope you all enjoyed your 4th of July.  In the offices, we don't have any Mamitas, so we basically eat out always.  So on the 4th of July, we went BIG and got really good hamburgers!  It was so great!  

I felt like such an American.  There was unlimited fries and drinks!  There wasn't that many fireworks, which was kind of a bummer... but everything is going good for me here in the mission.  I feel like I'm just in the groove of the mission.  Weeks just pass by super fast.  It's honestly kind of sad.  I want time to slow down more so that I can still enjoy the mission while I can.  I'm so beyond grateful for the mission, without a doubt the best decision my life.  I've felt the love of Christ stronger than ever being able to see people's lives change.

This week has been kind of rough for us to be honest.  When I got called to Ecuador, I thought that it would be super easy to baptize and to find people.  But wow!  This sector has been really difficult for us.  As of right now, we only have one investigator (Sofia), and I'm not going to complain.  She is super super cool and such a miracle.  But the rest of the time, we just contact or go in the offices the whole day.  The office work is kind of fun.  It's kind of cool being able to see how the church works to keep a mission working.  But wow, contacting in this sector is super hard.  Nobody has been even letting us talk to them.  We went to a giant park one day and contacted about everybody that we saw and just nothing for a good amount of time.  But after about an hour and a half, we went and found three Venezuelans at the park playing baseball.  It was just like a little baseball field, the only one in Ecuador.  One of them had a Giants hat, so I told them about how Seth got drafted by them and they got really interested.  Then they asked us to play a little bit with them, so we got to bat, pitch, and play in the field.  These guys were actually really good.  They played professional in Venezuela but had to move because of the things that have happened there.  So after awhile, my companion was pitching and the Venezuelan guy ripped one right into the ribs of my Ccomp!  HAHA it had to be one of the funniest things I've ever seen.  My comp couldn't breath or anything.  It was super funny.  You had to be there to see it.  

But the good thing that we did was get their contact info to go and visit them, so that was pretty good.

Some other good things that happened this week is we were able to meet with our Bishop on Sunday.  It was a completely different house than all of my other Bishops.  He has a really good job and has visited hundreds of places around the world.  He is super cool and we talked to him about what we need to do to help him in his ward.  It was super effective and got a lot done.   While we were there, he gave us some Guarana, a Brazilian drink that we brought back from Brazil. Reminded me so much when we went down as a family.

We had only one lesson this entire week, it was with Sofia. We passed by and taught her about the Word of Wisdom.  We were really nervous that Sofia would have a problem with wine and coffee, so we taught her the commandment and she had a couple questions.  She told us that one of her friends already taught her the Word of Wisdom so she had already stopped drinking coffee and wine for an entire week!! Haha she is honestly such a miracle!

Also, this week we had our Leadership Council.  President only invites the Zone Leaders and the Secretaries to see what we can do better as a mission in general.  It was really great.  President taught us a lot of really good things.  It was cool, as well, because I was able to see Elder Harris again as well as Elder Vega and Haslam.  I missed those guys so much.  

Also, this week we were able to go to Zone Conference.  I was able to see a lot of my old buddies which was cool, like Elder Palmar, my first District Leader.  President taught us some great things about how we can be better missionaries.  It was a lot of time in meetings, but they were great.

 Elder Palmar and Elder Copeland
 Elder Copeland and Elder Haslam

Today for P-day we went crazy and hiked to the top of Pinchincha.  

It is right above Quito and you take a gondola about half way up and you can see basically all of Quito! Quito is hands down one of the most beautiful cities that I've seen.  Seeing it from up there was so beautiful.  After, we decided to keep going until we got to the tippy top.  It was one of the hardest hikes that I've ever done. We were about 15,000 feet above sea level, so it was super hard to breath and it was very cold.  We had to climb up sand hills, rock climb, and so many more things.  It was one of the best feelings that I've ever had in my life when we got to the top. We just pushed ourselves super hard.  It definitely paid off in the end, which was great.

As well this week, I was able to read about the Anti-Nephi-Lehites--one of the best stories in the Book of Mormon.  They were such horrible people, but than they because converted to Christ.  Often we judge people from things that we hear about them, but if this group of people was able to change, I believe that anyone could change.  They were willing to lose their lives than to sin again.  The best gift that Christ ever gave to me and to all of us, is that we can CHANGE.  He made it possible for the sinners of the world, including us, to be better tomorrow and the next day.  And if we did do something bad today, well we have tomorrow to be better! How amazing is our Savior Jesus Christ!  Love, Elder Copeland

Week 49 - June 30, 2018

Hey, Family!

Well, I wasn't able to write you Monday too much, but I hope that you guys realized that I now will be writing every Saturday at about this hour.  I'm probably going to have to change the format of how I do my letters because in the offices the days are very different than how they were before. Honestly, they kind of feel the same.  But I love it here so much in the offices.  It's a complete different lifestyle than it has been in any other sector so far.  As the Finance Secretary, I'm in charge of a good amount of things.  It's pretty stressful because I have to do almost everything perfect because a lot of the things that I do are very important and confidential.  I have to do all of the payments of every missionary, house, medical stuff and basically everything that goes on in the mission that you don't even realize as a normal missionary.  But it's honestly been super fun up to this point.

Elder Ross is my new comp.  He is from Spokane, Washington.  He's a really good guy.  We have gotten along really well.  He has been the financial secretary for the past five months, so he already knows the system really well.  He's been helping me out and training me to be the next secretary.  He's a great guy.  I've really enjoyed being with him up to this point.  Not only that, he is from my same group, so we will be celebrating one year together!  Also, with me going to the offices for these next six months, that means that next transfer Elder Myers is going to be my next companion, another Elder from my group! 

The sector that we are in is called Iñaquito.  It has been one of the hardest sectors in the entire mission for the past couple years.  It is like exactly in the middle of Quito.  All of the people here actually have really good money.  There are definitely a lot of good things about this sector.  First, we have by far the best house in the mission.  It honestly is a joke how nice it is.  We have three showers, a really nice kitchen, and about 35 beds.  We always have to use it when we have meetings in Quito, so there are always missionaries staying at our house.  A bunch of missionaries were at our house this week, so we basically slept like 8 hours in 3 days. It was so hard.  I was always super tired this week.  Also, our sector has the best food in the mission.  We have a bunch of restaurants that are super good.  Also, we were able to see a tender mercy this week.  We got a reference from the Sister Missionaries this week named Sofia.  We went to meet her this week, and she is such a miracle.  She is already super prepared and talking about how excited she is to keep listening to us.  Honestly, she is one of the biggest miracles in the mission that I've seen.  Also, I met a guy in my ward that served in the same mission as Collin Magee.  He's so cool. We also have a super cool ward mission leader.  It makes me super excited to be here. 

Also, this week a lot of great missionaries went home... Elder Johnson, Elder Morton, Elder Welch, Elder George and so many more.  It was honestly super sad to say bye to them. They are some of the best missionaries that I have ever met. The night before they finished, they all stayed in our house, so it was awesome.  We stayed up basically all night just talking to them.  But something cool is that I was able to see Elder Johnson and his family.  They delivered a package for me, which was such a great blessing.

There have been some tough days as well here.  Because of everyone being rich here in our sector, it has been super hard to contact.  One day, we contacted about 50 houses and not a single person even listened to us... Not a single person.  It was pretty frustrating to be honest.  But I can say that I know that we did our part.  Also, we do spend a little bit of time in the office, so it's hard to go out and contact and teach people everyday.  But I've been super happy, and I've loved every second of my time here so far.

Today we went to the Zoo.  Now that I have P-day on Saturday, the Zoo is open!  It was actually super fun!  I forgot how much I love zoos haha.  Reminded me of when the Bird in Australia was attacking mom haha.  But here's some pics from the zoo.

Thanks for everything.  Love you all so much!  Elder Copeland