Monday, December 31, 2018

Week 75 - December 31, 2018

Happy New YEAR!!  2019! 

Super crazy!  I can't believe that this year has already finished.  It was awesome being able to talk to you guys this week, especially Otto.  He's so dang cute...

Honestly, not much has happened this week.  It was kind of a rough week for us to find our investigators, also, to find new ones for all of the holidays that are going on.  There have been so many people here in Otavalo for the holidays, it's insane.  Otavalo has a giant market of clothes and honestly there are thousands of people here buying clothes every day and night.  It's so awesome.

But the highlight this week is that we went to Quito to go and do divisions with the Assistants.  I was with Elder Harris the whole day and honestly, it was super fun.  It was fun to talk about the MTC together and to see how much that we have changed since the MTC.  We were able to have some really good lessons with some investigators of theirs.  But overall, just a good day.

This week I was able to finish the Book of Mormon as well. Honestly, I love the Book of Mormon so much.  It makes me so happy!  I learn so much from it.  Its teachings are for us. Read it and you'll know that it is true.

Well, that's honestly everything that happened this week.  I was able to talk to you guys this week as well, so that's kind of why this E-mail is a little shorter.  But I hope that you have a good New Year.  2019, I can't believe it's already here... Enjoy the Holidays. 

Also, I found some pictures from about a year ago that I thought got deleted, but it turns out that they're all good.  So I'll send those!  Love, Elder Copeland

Week 74 - December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas!! 

Wow!  Super weird that Christmas is already here.  Hope you guys enjoyed Mexico.  I'm almost positive that Otavalo is more beautiful.

Christmas in the mission is honestly a time super special.  To me, it doesn't even feel like Christmas at all.  It just feels like another day.  But the difference here is that I feel so much closer to my Saviour.  It's such an amazing feeling, I love it.  I hope you guys could do something to Light the World this year.

This week though, honestly, was nothing special... We didn't have that much success.  We were outside of our sector for a majority of the time.  We were able to visit the Tocagon family, and they basically told us that they don't want to change their religion... Kind of a bummer, but what can you do?!   But we were able to pass by and visit Alex, our investigator with a date, and he is so awesome.  He is progressing a ton.  We taught him the Plan of Salvation, and he is super excited for his baptism.

As well, this week we were able to go to the mission house for a special Zone Conference.  It was awesome!  It was centered on the true reason of Christmas.  Sister Murphy talked about how Christ is the Light of the World, and I never really understood what it actually meant.  But, it is so true and so amazing all the things that Christ can light in our lives. But something that I love is that when we accept Christ as our Saviour, we as well, can be a light.  Like it says in 3 Nephi 15, "And ye are a light unto this people..." Light the World this week!

This week to Light the World, we went to two really crowded places here in Otavalo and sang Christmas carols as a ward. Honestly, it was so amazing.  We were passing out Books of Mormon and Liahonas that we wrapped up and highlighted our favorite verse.  We got a big crowed to watch us and started handing them out.  It was so amazing to see the joy the people had on their face but even more amazing to be looking around at the people that we gifted Books of Mormon to and they were reading their book!  Later on, they came by and asked us to come and visit them.  Such an amazing way to invite the Spirit.

This week, we had divisions with the Elders from Cotacachi.  I was able to go over to their sector and teach some of their investigators that have a baptismal date, and wow they are super cool.  They are a Venezuelan family and have a lot of faith.  We were able to teach them about Obedience and how constantly keeping the commandments is what brings us the blessings.  I hope that they can continue in their path to baptism.

On Saturday, we had to help out our stake and the future missionaries of our stake.  We had a mini-MTC with all of the future missionaries, and it was actually pretty fun.  We brought them to our sectors and had them contact people and help us teach lessons.  Honestly, pretty cool to be able to see how excited they were to be teaching people!

Final thought.  I was reading in Mormon this week and honestly, it's such an amazing part of the Book of Mormon. There are some key parts here.  I think one of my favorite parts is after the destruction of the Nephites, we hear that Moroni is the last Nephite that is alive.  He says in Mormon 8:5 "... and ore I have none, for I am alone.  My father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and I have not friends nor whither to go; and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not."  How hard would that be?  Moroni basically lived his entire life in war and running away alone. He basically didn't have anybody.  I love his example.  I want to be more like him.  If you ever have a bad day, read the last two chapters of Mormon, 8 and 9.  Have the best Christmas ever.  See you tomorrow!:)

Elder Copeland.

Elder Copeland got to call his family on Christmas Day.
He was so excited to meet his new little nephew, Otto.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Week 73 - December 17, 2018


I don't even know where to start this week... Without doubt one of the craziest weeks in the mission so far.  This week we have been able to see some miracles here in our sector, but wow, it was a hard week!  But, we started off the new change with some great experiences.

Let's start with probably the craziest stories of the missions so far... The Adversary was attacking us super hard this week in every aspect.  First off, we weren't able to visit some of our investigators with baptismal dates. Second, our SIM card in our phone burned out and didn't allow us to do calls. As well, we didn't have hot water for the baptism.  Back to the story.  

The baptism we had this Saturday was the baptism of Jose Maigua.  Keep in mind--he is 75 years old and doesn't speak a lot of Spanish.  We had the baptism scheduled for 4 pm, but we were unable to make any calls with any of the leaders because our phone didn't work.  Luckily, a member lent his phone to us for a little bit so that we could do some calls so that we could have hot water in the font as well to get people to come.  So, we figured that out and went and filled up the font, but the water was so gross.  It honestly looked like pee. But there was nothing that we could to do change that.  So, we just left it there haha.  

As it finally got to 4 pm, we were just sitting there in the chapel waiting for Jose Maigua to get there and we were there for about 40 minutes.  We just couldn't find him... Another problem that we had is that we didn't know where he lived, so we couldn't just stop by and pick him up.  So we went and asked one of his friends where he lived and he said he didn't know exactly, but he knew that he lived in a place called Rey Loma (King Hill).   

So Elder Fernandez and I decided that we were just going to go and look for him in a place that we had never been.  I don't know if you guys know what it's like running at 10,000 feet, but man it's hard.  But, we went running up one of the steepest hills that you'd ever seen and finally made it to Rey Loma, basically gasping for air.  When we got there, we just went asking literally everybody if they knew Jose and not a single person knew.  We told ourselves that it was just a hopeless cause and that we'd never find him, but we thought that we'd ask one more person.  We went and asked a woman and she said that she knew Jose and that he lived even higher up on the hill.  We went running up the hill hoping that maybe we would be able to find his house or something like that.  I don't know how, but honestly I felt like I could have run forever despite the fact that we were above 10,000 feet!   

We went and made it to the higher part of the hill, but the problem was is that is like a farm town so there weren't a lot of people to ask.  After like 10 minutes, we found a person and she directed us to the house of Jose.  We knocked on the door and found Jose!!  It was such a miracle!  We took a taxi down to the chapel and had the baptism!  Wow!  It was so amazing!  I truly understood the words of Alma when he said, "Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, the Lord comforted us, and said:  Go amongst thy brethern, the Lamanites (or REY LOMA) and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success," (Alma 26:27) or when Nephi says,  "And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do."  Such a testimony builder!   We truly were guided by the Spirit this day, and were able to see God work miracles.

As well, this week we were able to put on some more baptismal dates on some investigators that we have.  One of them is named Alex.  He is 20 years old and is a reference that we received from some Elders in the mission.  Wow, is he is prepared!  He is super excited to come to church and everything.  He is progressing a ton and we were able to put a baptismal date on him for January.

Every week as a Zone, we have had the goal to do service in a new sector.  This week we went over to Punyaro and did service in the famous cemetery.  We just went to clean everything up, and there were so many people.  We got to meet a lot of cool people.  As well, we were meeting this guy that was digging up this grave and we asked him what he was doing.  He told us that he was digging up a hole for someone that just died and wanted to be buried in that spot.  I guess they don't use caskets here to bury the dead because he was just digging up old people's clothes and dead bones haha.  It was so gross.  He said he was going to throw the clothes away and just put the bones back in the hole with the new body that was going to come in.  
This week, I was reading in the Book of Helaman.  It's honestly a super interesting book.  I think without doubt that Helaman 5 is one of the best chapters in the Book of Mormon.  We learn about Nephi and Lehi teaching the Lamanites in the fire.  A part interesting to me is that while there is is cloud of darkness, they heard the Spirit three times.  It took until the 3rd time that they could actually understand what the Spirit was telling them.  I wonder how many times had they actually heard that voice tell them they should repent.  It's so important in our lives to learn how we can understand the Spirit the first time.  Also, to understand that the Spirit doesn't only teach the righteous like the Nephites, but as well, the wicked, like the Lamanites.  And like Nephi and Lehi, they helped them understand the voice that speaks to them.  It's also important to be able to help others recognize the voice of the Spirit.  Like the Lamanites, help them become true Disciples of God.
Crazy week, love you all.  Elder Copeland

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Week 72 - December 10, 2018

Dear Family,

Well, another transfer under the belt.  Super weird how that change already went by.  We got changes and found out that Elder Fernandez is going to be staying with me!  I'm honestly super excited for him.  He's honestly a great missionary and a great friend, so we are super excited for this next coming change that we have.  We feel like we can do great things.

This week was honestly a great learning week for me.  We had many miracles happen in our sector as well, we had some heartbreakers.  We'll start with all of the good that we saw. On Tuesday, we had Mission Council.  Wow!  It was awesome!  It got me super excited for the work and that we have so much potential here in our Zone.  As well, it taught me about the importance of our calling and of prayer.  Also, Christmas here in the mission--it's a super unique Christmas that instead of giving presents to the kids, we just give them happiness.  I love being a missionary.

This Wednesday, I was with Elder Plata.  He is also from Bolivia.  Honestly, he's a great guy.  We had an excellent day. We just went out with so much faith and it was a great testimony builder.  We went and just contacted, and the people were accepting us.  We went contacting in the mountains and we were able to find a really cool family. They were cleaning up their farm of corn, and we asked if we could help them. They said that we could, so we just started cleaning everything up in their farm hahah.  After, we were able to teach them a message from the Book of Mormon.  It was a super good way to find people.  Just by offering to help people out.  As well, we were able to meet an eternal investigator.  But we had a great lesson with her.  I believe that it will help us a lot with her so that she can be baptized.

As well, we were able to do some service this week, which was a great time.  We went to a sector called Carabuela.  I'm pretty sure that there are more pigs than people there haha. It's such an interesting sector.  But we were able to clean about a super dirty street..

This Friday, I went on divisions with Elder Stallings.  He is a new missionary from Herriman, Utah.  He is super cool.  We were able to visit some old investigators that we have.  As well, this week our investigator Jose Maygua passed his interview to be baptized.  He is 75 years old and doesn't really speak Spanish... But he is going to be getting baptized this week.  We are hoping that he doesn't die or anything like that haha.  But it was such a miracle that he could get to this point.  So, I believe that at this point, the Lord will continue to bless him.

Our investigators are progressing super well and we were able to receive some super good references.  We are going to have a lot of good future lessons this week and see what we can do to help them.  Overall, great week.  Can't believe that Christmas is right around the corner.  So crazy.  Love you all!

Elder Copeland

Friday, December 7, 2018

Week 71 - December 3, 2018

Dear Family,

This week pretty long, to be honest.  We spent a lot of time outside of our sector because we had divisions with the Assistants in Quito.  So, I was able to go with Elder Vega and wow!  I don't think I've had a harder day in the mission haha. Everybody was rejecting us. They were yelling and just treating us super badly.  It was a good learning lesson for us though.

As well, this week I went and did divisions with Elder Bracken in Cotacachi.  While I was in the offices, I saw Elder Bracken start his mission and I went out contacting with him.  It's crazy to see how much he has improved in his short time in the mission.  But Cotacachi is a very interesting sector there are a bunch of Americans there from the states.  It's a place where a bunch of people go to retire.  So, we went and had a lesson with the Stirling family and it was only in English.  It was super weird.  They're all members.  They came here to help build up the church, such amazing people.  The husband brought his whole family which includes 4 kids, the oldest being 12.  They are here going to school learning Spanish and a lot more.  Such an amazing family.

As well, we were able to listen to our prophet yesterday.  I love listening to his words.  He is such an amazing example. I loved how he talked about the four gifts that Christ has given to everybody.  First, Love- the ability to love everybody as well as to be loved.  Second, Forgiveness-  the chance that we have to forgive someone that has hurt us, or the joy we feel when somebody we have hurt decides to forgive us. Third, Repentance- the ability to change from bad to good. Lastly, Eternal Life-  to know that we have the chance to live the way God lives.  I loved these four answers because here in the mission I have truly learned that with these four things, you can be happy.

Sorry for the short email.  Honestly, not too much happened this week.  Kind of a hard week, to be honest.  We weren't able to visit a lot of our investigators that have baptismal dates because we weren't in our sector for that much time. As well, this Sunday I got sick, so it was just kind of a long week.  But, I know that this next coming week will be better. It's the last week of changes, so we'll have to see what happens.

Just wait for the Fotos haah.