Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Week 66 - October 29, 2018

Dear Family,

Well I'm back here in Otavalo!!  As I rolled in, I was able to see a member from Cayambe, which was a warm welcome. I'm super excited.  I'm here with Elder Fernandez.  He is from Cochapamba, Boliva.  I already know him super well because he, as well, was in the offices.  But basically, the only thing that has happened these past two days is that I just said bye to all the members.  I love them so  much.  I'll be sending a lot of fotos of the goodbye.  Love you so much! I will now be writing on Monday again.  Love, Elder Copeland

Photos below of special people who Elder Copeland will never forget!

Week 65 - October 27, 2018

Dear Family,

Well my time here in the offices came to an end... I can't even believe it.  It went by so fast.  It was one of the best learning experiences and five months that I have had in my life.  I was able to learn so much from being here in the offices.  But to be honest, I'm excited to get back in the field and find more children of God.

This week, honestly, went by so fast so I'll try and see if I remember anything... First off, we had a lesson with Ximena Ponce, one of our investigators with a baptismal date!!  We went and taught her the Plan of Salvation, and it went well.  She loved it and was able to show a little more progress which we are super excited for.  She is working hard.  We are hoping that she will continue to read the Book of Mormon everyday.  She is super awesome though.  She is so excited to go to church this week so that she can see all of her friends again.

As well, we were able to pass by Sofia's house which ended up being great.  We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and invited her to accept the Prophet's invitation and finish the Book of Mormon by the end of the year!  She accepted and is still doing awesome and staying on the covenant path.

But most importantly, this week we had the baptism of Jhonny Pico!!:) ,We were able to see some little miracles with Jhonny this past week. ,Last night, Friday, we got a call from Jhonny's daughter. ,She lives in the Coast about 6 hours away from Quito, maybe more.  And she told us that she wanted to surprise her dad and come up to his baptism but that she needed a place to stay.  We were calling everybody to see where they could stay, and basically the end of the night, we walked upstairs to our neighbors and they said yes!!  Such a miracle, they were able to witness the baptism of their father/grandpa!  Honestly, a big testimony builder for me that a member of the Church would take in some strangers into her house so that they could be a part of his baptism!:)  The baptism went super well though, but wow it was stressful... We got a call at 9 in the morning saying that the font was barley working... So we booked it over there to try and see what the problem was and we couldn't figure it out... So basically we just grabbed every bucket in the chapel and went to a little water storage and started filling up the font as much as we could... Haha such a pain.. But it was all worth it.  I think one of the most memorable moments of my life is when his daughter and her family walked in and surprised him... He had no idea they were going to travel up to see him be baptized.  And when they walked in he just started crying and gave them the biggest hug ever.  Honestly, such an amazing experience.  I am so happy for him. Thanks for all of your prayers back home!:)  He was super prepared for his baptism and everything went great!!

As well, this week I read a lot in the Book of Mormon, basically the last three books.... But I find it interesting to see the difference between the Jaredites and the Nephites.  In the book of Ether, we learn about the Jaredites and their time here in the Americas.  In the rest of the Book of Mormon, we learn about the Nephites and their time here in the Americas.  Basically in the time of the Jaredites, they were a wicked people most of the time.

They were so wicked that every one of them was taken off the earth.  And we see the Nephites that they prospered in the land for a very long time. They were a little more righteous people.  They kept the commandments of God and when they didn't keep the commandments, they would start keeping them two is that the Nephites had the Brass Plates, or in other words they had the Scriptures.  The Jaredites did have a little scripture but not too much.  They had more Prophets that were teaching them.  But I believe that the Nephites were able to teach, live, hear, and apply the Gospel because they had more scriptures. Today, we have even more than the Brass Plates. We have the New Testament, the Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants, Pearl of Great Price, living Prophets... We are so blessed today.  I know that like the Nephites, if we live, teach, hear, and apply the teachings of these scriptures, we as well will prosper in the land!:)

Also, I just got changes.  I'm going back up to Otavalo, in Imabaya.  I'm going to be the Zone Leader with Elder Fernandez!

Saying Bye to Elder Soto

Elder Copeland

Monday, October 22, 2018

Week 64 - October 20, 2018

This week is already over wow... Haha! 

It went by so fast, I can't even believe it... But this was quite an interesting week...

Let's start with the weird stuff.  After church on Sunday, we got a call from Hna. Murphy, and she told us that she needed us to go to the hospital with her... There was an Elder that got super sick and had to get put in the emergency room.  So we went with Hna. Murphy and got to meet Elder Fenton.  It turns out that his companion stayed in his sector, so we had to be his companion for the day.  So, we basically just sat in the hospital for 7 hours haha.  At night time, we got another Elder to replace him so we got to go sleep, then head back to the hospital for another 7 hours... Long story short, after three days in the hospital, Elder Fenton had to go back home, so we had to, also, drop him off in the airport.  It was super sad to see because he didn't get to see all of the miracles of the mission.  He only had one month.  But I hope he gets felling better, he's a super good guy!

As well, we got to go and teach Jhonny this week and wow every week he gets cooler and cooler.  Such an amazing guy.  He, also, had his baptismal interview and he passed which was super cool.  He should be getting baptized this next coming Saturday!!:)  We are super excited for him and are hoping that we can have a super good baptismal service this next coming week.  His kids told us that they are coming from the coast to see their dad be baptized!

We were, also, able to visit Ximena again and she is doing awesome.  She told us that she was able to read for a little bit and that she loved it.  We went with a member and they are basically the same person, so it worked out perfectly.  We taught her about the Restoration and she loved it so much. So, we invited her to read and ask God if it is true as well we invited her to be baptized, and she accepted!!:)  She will be baptized on the 24th of November!

As well, this week we passed by Guilliana, and honestly it was kind of frustrating... She just doesn't know what to do. She is super confused about the Word of Wisdom and doesn't believe that it is bad to drink coffee.  We told her like 100 times that she has to at least try and see that it is a commandment of God, and she just doesn't know...:/ Please pray for her so that she can live the Word of Wisdom and so that she can be baptized.  She is one of the most amazing people that I know.

Today we were able to participate in a devotional for missionaries that President Russell M Nelson did.  Sadly, it was in Peru, but were able to watch a live broadcast.  It was so amazing... One thing that I loved is that he explained that perfection is not living here on earth without mistakes, but is when we change from mortals, to immortals through the Atonement of Christ.  It was such an amazing chance to be able to listen to the prophet today/!!

This week I had a lot of time to read in the Book of Mormon because I spent a lot of time in the hospital haha...Mostly in 3rd Nephi and 4th Nephi... I think that I have already shared so much about 3rd Nephi, but it was a big blessing as well because I was able to learn a lot from it.  Something that stood out to me was in the Book of 4th Nephi... This chapter to me is a chapter super interesting because it is about 400 years of writings in one chapter... It describes how the people were in this time in verse 16:  "There could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God," which makes sense because they had just seen Christ with their own eyes and saw all of the miracles that he did.  As well, it explains that they were all keeping the commandments of God, so it doesn't surprise me that much, because they were all doing what they should do.  But something that I love in this chapter is that Christ left them his Church... Not only that, but it is the same church that we are in today.  It describes in verse 14 that Christ made his church with disciples and that when they died, Christ called more disciples... Kind of like what we saw six months ago when Russell M Nelson was called to be our Prophet... As well, it says in verse 17 that there was no manner of -ites, or in other words (Mormons, Catholic, etc.) but that they were one, "Children of Christ."  That is one of the things that Russell M Nelson was talking about this past week is that we aren't Mormons but we are children of God and that this is his Church... It explains how blessed they were for keeping the commandments of God as well as not having contention... But shortly after, the people began to do their own thing and started to deny the true Church of God.  It says in verse 27 that the people began to create their own churches that talked about Christ, but did not teach his Gospel... Slowly after that, the Church of Christ was basically destroyed... The reason why is because what it says later on in 38 and 39, because they did not teach their children to keep the commandments and do the things that make us happy.  But they did the opposite.. They taught them to hate each other and God... To me it is very shocking and sad how fast the people could lose the happiness that they had... Satan is real and can destroy us so easily.  We must REMEMBER to follow the words of the prophets, especially from the ones that we just heard a week ago.  It is super important that we can apply the new teachings of the Prophet and that we can have a household where the Spirit can dwell and that we can teach our children the love God has for us... I hope that every one of us can always remember so that we can have the happiness that the Nephites did have so that our children as well can have the same happiness.  Love you all so much.

Elder Copeland

Sunday, October 14, 2018

Week 63 - October 13, 2018

Well, another week here in the mission. 

Honestly, not the craziest week of the mission, but nothing to complain about…

We started of the week with visiting a reference from Cayambe, my old sector!  We went to go and talk to her and wow she was so prepared.  She has felt super sad lately because she lives alone.  Her daughters are grown up and don’t live with her.  Also, her husband cheated on her and left her.  So we came just planning to teach her the normal lesson about the Restoration and stuff which was awesome.  But we had to change everything up and honestly it was amazing the lesson that we had with her.  She told us that she has been needing an answer for a very long time, and she finally received it.  We were so shocked to have received such a miracle… Such a blessing.
As well this week, we were able to visit Jhonny and I don’t know if I’ve ever met some body so prepared in my life for baptism.  We asked him the other day how he was doing with the Word of Wisdom and he looked at us with like a disgusted face and said, "Are you kidding?" You know that I’m not drinking coffee because I know that the Lord commanded us to avoid it.  Hahaha he is so awesome, such a cool guy.  He is progressing super well. We just got off the phone with his daughters that live far away, and they told us that they will be able to come up to see his baptism.  I’m so excited to see them.  They are such amazing people.
This week we were also able to pass by and teach Guilliana and it didn’t start off very well… She told us that she is not willing to take away coffee or anything like that.  We were pretty bugged about it to be honest, but we started talking about obedience and how we need to keep God’s commandments because we love him.  We showed her the video, “The hope of God's Light,” and it was perfect for her… She learned what she had to do, and told us that she would leave behind coffee for a week.  So we are super excited for that.  I believe that we will be able to put a baptismal date on her next week, which will be awesome!!
This week passed by so fast, it was crazy… My time here in the offices is almost done, which is awesome, but sad at the same time… I loved General Conference this past week and learned  so many things.  I loved Elder Rasband's talk on fear.  As well, how they talked a lot about staying on the covenant path.  Study their words and all will be well.  Sorry for the boring email, just that type of week this week haha.
Elder Copeland

Some photos of our P-day

Monday, October 8, 2018

Week 62 - October 6, 2018

Dear Family,

Another week down, so weird they just go faster and faster.... It's honestly going by so fast, I can't even believe it... Today was kind of a weird P-Day.  We didn't really have a P-Day.  We basically just watched conference.  But wow!  It was so amazing.  Such a blessing to know that we have a prophet to guide us today.  So many amazing talks.  I hope you can all study them and APPLY them.

But first off, we had some good things happen.  We had a family night with Sofia and a couple of the members in the house of Sofia.  We finally got to meet and teach her sister, Cynthia.  She is 19 years old and is kind of like Sofia.  She has had a pretty hard life.  So we were able to talk about the importance of families, and it was super spiritual!!  She was interested, as well.  We are hoping that she will be able to progress as well!!  So amazing!

We had Mission Council this Tuesday.  As always, it was amazing.  We got to learn a lot from President and Hermana Murphy, especially about the importance of leadership as well as the importance of following up with people.  The training of Hermana Murphy always stands out to me, about as leaders we need to be the ones guiding the mission as well as be good followers.  The best leaders in the world are, also, the best followers.  If we know how to follow the right people such as, Christ, the Prophet, Mission Presidents, parents, etc., we will become better leaders in our lives.  Super interesting point as well as something super important.

Our investigators this week were kind of hard to get a hold of, but we were able to pass by and catch up with them and see how they are doing.  Amazingly, they are all doing great and progressing super well.  They are learning a lot and progressing towards baptism.  We invited both Jhonny and Aldair to leave coffee behind so that they will be able to be baptized.  They accepted and have both told us that thanks to prayer and scripture reading, they now don't feel the need to drink coffee.  Hahah such a miracle and amazing testimony builder.

I know this week is General Conference, but here is a quote from Elder Holland in some talk that he gave a while ago... " I do not think that all who choose wrong roads perish; but their rescue consists in being put back on the right road.  A mathematical sum incorrectly worked can be put right; but only by going back till you find the error and then working from that point.  It will never be corrected by simply going on. Evil can be undone, but it cannot develop into good, worlds without end.  Time does not heal it."  Such an amazing thought, I hope that we can all remember that there is always a way back.  Love this quote so much.

Love you all so much, thanks for everything.  Elder Copeland

Monday, October 1, 2018

Week 61 - September 29, 2018

Hello, Family,
Well this week was a lot faster and better than the past week… Hahaha we actually got to sleep on a normal sleeping schedule.  Elder Mayberry and I are getting along great and getting the hang of things now as companions! This week had some great experiences in our sector and just being able to study the scriptures.

First off, this Sunday we had Stake Conference and it was amazing.  One of the Seventy came, Elder Guardia from Venezuela!  Wow! He was unbelievable!  He got everyone super excited and gave an amazing talk about missionary work, as well as President and Hermana Murphy.  They did an amazing job on their talks.  We were a little sad to see that Giulliana didn’t come.  I’ll explain why later… But we were able to see Aldair, Jhonny, Miguel, and all my converts there, especially because Sofia brought her sister Cynthia!!  We have been trying to teach Cynthia for a very long time but she is either always working or hasn’t been very interested… BUT she came this week and loved it.  The closing hymn made her cry.  So we are excited to be able to start teaching her again!!  Such a miracle!  We were, also, able to present Aldair and Jhonny to president.  Aldair mentioned that he has desires to serve a mission!!  Such an amazing day!!

This Tuesday we had Zone Conference, as well, and we focused a lot on Book of Mormon and the power that it has.  More importantly, we focused on doing the small and simple things like it says in Alma 37:41 “…por motive de que se efectuaron estos Milagros por medios pequeños, se les manifestaron obras marvillosas.”  Super to understand and put in practice the small things into our lives, because they will créate everyday miracles.  One of those small things that we can do is read the Book of Mormon, so it tied in perfect to Zone Conference!

As well, this week we were able to pass by some of our investigators.  With Aldair, we were able to talk about the commandments and the importance of living them.  He told us that it shouldn’t be too big of a problem for him to live the Word of Wisdom, but he is a little scared for his baptism.  He asked us to keep him in his prayers and help him remember to read the scriptures so that he can be baptized on the 13th of October!  As well, we passed by Jhonny and wow he is doing great!  He has been reading every night with his daughter  on the phone.  In his prayer, he asked God to bless him so that he could be baptized.  So amazing!

This Thursday, I had interchanges with Elder Soto, my best friend.  We had so much  fun.  While we were contacting people's houses, we decided to ask them if we could sing them a hymn.  Some of them told us yes and we just starting singing to them at their door haha so fun!  As well, we stopped by Guilliana, and she was so sad.  She has been struggling super bad in her job, in her family life, and basically every aspect of her life.  And wow we taught one of the best lessons that I have ever seen to her.  We taught about the importance of the gospel and that the gospel is supposed to bring us happiness IF we truly live it, IF!  But she just told us how grateful she was after that.  She could be reminded of the importance of our message.  Super cool experience!!

That was basically it this week.  Super good week.  It's always good to hear that BYU is winning again.  Love how every sports team I love is killing it while Im here in Ecuador!!!  SO COOL!!  Lets go Red Sox, BYU, Jazz, and Eagles!!  Haha  But I invite you guys to look for something to do this week so that you can bless other's lives with the Gospel.  Look for those who are not members of the church and try and bless their life in some ways.  Or set a goal to try and give away one Book of Mormon every single month! There are people that need it, and you guys need to be the ones to help them!!

As well, some of my favorite members, Humberto and Katiusca, are getting sealed in the temple this week, which is one of the coolest things I’ve ever heard. They invited me to come, but obviously I cant because the temple is in Guayaquil, which is about eight hours away.  But, wow!  I am so beyond excited  for them! 

Love, Elder Copeland

the world smallest banana