Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Week 83 - February 25, 2019

Well, to be honest, this week was not the craziest week in the mission.  We starting off the week having interviews with President Murphy.  Every time I have interviews with President, I learn so much more. We talked a lot about the importance of setting goals and how it will bless me the rest of my life.  But as well, we have changes this week, so we'll see what happens...

As well, we were able to do divisions with the Elders of Cotacachi.  I went with Elder Gerhart (Heriman, Utah) to his sector in Cotacachi.  We were able to teach an English class together and eat with the Americans that they live with.  They made us an American breakfast and, honestly, I didn't realize how much I missed American food.  It was so good haha.  But it ended up being a super good day.  We were able to find some new investigators together.

As well, this week we were able to get some good references from the members.  We found two families which ended up being super awesome.  The Ruiz family we were able to visit Thursday, and they are little crazy, but we were able to talk a lot about the Plan of Salvation.  It ended up being a great lesson, and we have another day to come back and teach them a little bit more.

As well, we went to the baptism of the Elders of Punyaro and it turns out that her whole family came and none of them are members.  It turns out that the dad is a Utah Jazz fan!!  Haha So we ended up talking a good amount about the NBA and he told us that he felt the Spirit in the baptism and wanted us to pass by their house and visit their family.  They are such an amazing family and have a bunch of potential to progress. Such a miracle, to be honest.  We are so excited to start 
teaching them.


Luis Caicedo is an investigator that we have with date and the rest of his family came with him to church! It was so nice to see that they could leave some things behind and come to church.  He is progressing a lot and is reading the Book of Mormon a lot.  He is doing great, and we are working hard to get him to his baptismal date!

This week, I was reading a talk from President Kimball and he is talking about a verse in Revelations 3:20 where it says, "Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup (or dine) with him, and he with me."  Elder Kimball made a comment about this verse saying, "One day (an artist named Holman Hunt) was showing his picture of 'Christ Knocking at the Door' to a friend when the friend suddenly exclaimed: 
'There is one thing wrong about your picture.' 

"'What is it?' inquired the artist.

"The door on which Jesus knocks has no handle,' replied his friend, 

"Ah,' responded Mr. Hunt, that is not a mistake, you see, this is the door to the human, it can only be opened from the inside.'

"And thus it is, Jesus may stand and knock, but each of us decides whether to open."

I was thinking about what I can to do open up my door (Heart) so that I can let Christ into my life.  And I realized that there is so much more that I can do to be able to accept the love of the Savior and let him bless my life.  It just depends on every one of us.  Think about that this week... What can you do to let the Lord into your life??

Elder Copeland

Week 82 - February 18, 2019

Well, as you guys already know, there was a pretty big change about the way I can communicate with you guys.  But, I'm still going to continue to do my weekly email.  I feel like at this point they are basically only for me haha.  But, I like to write my e-mails so that I don't forget all of the lessons that I've learned here in the mission.

This week was honestly a great week!  We had a some little miracles here.  The first one being Luis Caicedo.  He is a reference from the sister missionaries here in Otavalo.  We visited him twice this week, and it turns out that Luis's wife is a member of the Church and was baptized when she was 8 and went to church for 8 years and has been less-active for 15 years...  We got to the house, and they told us a lot about their life and the problems that they have had, and honestly, it was super sad to hear all of the things that have happened to their family... But, we shared a message with them and they told us that we were the angles that they had been praying for... They are so amazing.  Luis has already accepted a baptismal date for the end of March.  Honestly, such an amazing miracle that we found this week!!

As well, you're going to see we spent a lot of time in the farm this week.  Not only did we find a bunch of pigs and llamas, but, we were able to find a bunch of people, as well.  

We found a young couple that has a friend who is a member.  The husband is not very interested, but the wife is super interested.  Their kid was born paralyzed and it's been super hard for them.  As they heard our message, they got super excited to go to church and read the Book of Mormon.

As well, we went to a place that I've never been to before that is honestly super far away.  We were contacting up there and out of no where someone came up to us and asked us if she could come to church with her siblings.  She told us that she used to go to church with her dad and mom, but the dad passed away and the mom abandoned her and her four little brothers.  She is only 16 years old and dedicates her entire week to working for her siblings... Super sad, but we are hoping that we be able to find a way to be able to bless them!

But, I think the highlight from this week was being able to go down to Cayambe and visit some of my converts!!  Oh my, I didn't realize how much I missed them.  Luis Marcelo, now has the Melchezedec Priesthood.  Cristian will go on his mission in 6 months!  Michael now has the Priesthood, so he can pass the sacrament.  Jordan is going to get the Priesthood in one year!!  Wow!  They are the most amazing family ever!

I was reading in the Book of Mormon this week in the Book of Alma.  I love the story of Alma and Amulek and how they got to know each other and the type of missionaries they were. But, I noticed something important in Chapter 10.  This is right after Alma teaches the people of Ammonihah and is cast into prison.  Later in Chapter 10, Amulek gets up, (who is someone from Ammonihah), and shares his testimony about how listening to Alma has blessed him.  In verse 11, "For behold, he hath blessed mine house, he hath blessed me, and my women, and my children, and my father and my kinsfolk; yea, even all of my kindred hath he blessed and the blessing of the Lord hath rested upon us according to the words which he spoke."  After sharing his testimony, we see that in verse 12, "the people began to be astonished, seeing there was more than one witness who testified of the things whereof they were accused,..."  Having a second testimony helped Alma have more success in his mission.  As a missionary, sometimes I feel like we are like Alma testifying of amazing things that we believe in, but if we don't have Amulek or the members sharing their testimony, it makes it a lot harder for us to help the people come unto Christ.  Who are you going to share your testimony with this week??

Love you all, Elder Copeland

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Week 81 - February 11, 2019


Well, to start off--Edwin got baptized this week!!  It's about time that he gets baptized.  He has been with missionaries for so long and has had so many challenges and small things that didn't let him get baptized.  But he did it, and he gave his testimony after being baptized and it was such an amazing testimony.  Such an amazing experience to be able to see his progress and even better to able to see how happy he was when he got baptized!

As well, this week we had divisions with the Assistants in Quito.  It's always a good time to go back to Quito and to be with Elder Vega and Elder Harris.  Super weird looking back to when we all traveled here to Ecuador and now we are all here with less than 6 months... We have all changed so much.  But I went with Elder Vega for the day, and we actually had a great day!  We were able to visit an investigator that I found about a month ago that is super close to he baptism as well.  She has just been struggling to get her answer, so we were able to help her out with that.  But overall, a good day in Quito!

On Friday, we also had divisions with the Elders of Carabuela, Elder Stallings and Elder Ramierez.  I got to go with Elder Ramirez for the day.  He is a new missionary.  He's got about four months in the mission haha, but is great.  He is from Colombia.  We were able to have a great day, being able to find some new investigators and helping some others get closer to their baptism.  As well, we did some service in Otavalo just by cleaning the windows of all the little stores here.  It helped us out a lot!

This Sunday, we went by and visited Ruben and Veronica and to be honest, they have to be two of the best people that I have ever met... The good news is that they told us that they have been praying about it and have decided that they want to get married!!  Not only that, but they said that after they get married, they want to get baptized as well!!  Such a blessing!  Hopefully they can continue to progress and make it to their baptism in the future!!

We finally were able to visit Jakeline!  We were able to teach her, and she says her dad got super mad at Jakeline.  Now Jakeline's date is going to have to be put back a couple of weeks, sadly...Hopefully her dad can soften his heart so that Jakeline can receive the blessing of baptism. 

A thought that I have had during the week is in the Bible in 1 Samuel 15:24:  "And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord, and thy words:  because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice."  It got me thinking about the power of fear.  Like we heard in this past General Conference, fear is something that makes us weaker.  Saul feared or was scared about what the people would think about him, and for that  he did something that he shouldn't have done... We know what we must do, we must keep the commandments.  Do what the Lord needs us to do, we must "fear not" like it says in the scriptures and trust in our Savior, Jesus Christ.  I promise that this will be one of the biggest blessings that we can have in our own lives if we decide to learn today!  Love you all. Elder Copeland

Monday, February 4, 2019

Week 80 - February 4, 2019

Hello, Family,

This week was another great week here in Otavalo!   Honestly, it was a pretty long week with a lot of mixed emotions, but the good news is that everything turned out okay.  We started the week out with Mission Council in the house of President.  They're always so amazing!  We are able to learn so much about leadership.  I really liked the training of Sister Murphy.  She talked Discipleship.  She asked us a question, "Soldiers or Disciples?"  It really got me thinking about what the difference was.  We talked a lot about the difference especially how a Disciple is a lifetime calling as well, how it takes a lifetime to be able to be a true Disciple, while maybe a soldier is only a calling for an assigned time. There were a lot of other answers, to be honest.  But I loved what Sister Murphy said at the end.  "As a disciple, you are going to have to sacrifice a lot, but God has promised us that he will always, ALWAYS bless more than what we sacrifice." Keep learning about how we can be true disciples of Christ like Ammon, Peter, Alma, Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni!

As well, this week we had Zone Conference and we were able to learn even more from President and Sister Murphy. They talked a lot about how we don't need to fear, but that we need Love,Trust, and Do.  Also, they taught us a lot so that we can find more people to teach and help them come to Christ. 

So, this week we had a lot of meetings so we didn't have a bunch of time to be able to work in the field, which was kind of frustrating.  Also, I got sick again which was just another day that we lost...  we lost a lot of time but I think we worked hard enough to be able to get everything done that we needed to.

A little kid asked me to baptize him which was pretty fun.  

One of the miracles that we saw was being able to visit our recent convert Indy and his family.  I explained a little bit before about their situation.  Humberto is the dad of Indy.  He has lived a very hard life.  His wife passed away 6 months ago.  He lives alone with his five kids--the oldest being 19. Also, one of the kids has down syndrome, and honestly he's just not doing so well.  We felt like we had to go by and visit them, and we got there and he just started crying.  It was so sad to see him like that.  It truly was a miracle that we were able to visit him and give him a little more hope to keep going!  A really special experience.

As well, our investigator Edwin passed his baptismal interview, but not that's end of the story.  After passing his interview, we got a call at 9 PM from Edwin and he told us that he wasn't ready for baptism... We ran over to his house and when he saw us, he ran away haha... Later on, I called him and he answered and I had to explain to him that he was ready for baptism and that he had to pray.  After that, he hung up on me... Later on in the night, we got a message from Edwin saying that he prayed and that he felt like that he wanted to be baptized, such a scare to be honest.  But such a miracle that God answered ours and his prays...

Honestly, this week was just stressful, and I've been thinking and seeing how hard Satan works on the people here.  Not just investigators, but members, husbands, wives, recent converts, etc.  I see families get destroyed every single day, investigators lose their hope, members go in-active for things that are so simple to fix.  It honestly gets me kind of frustrated.  But, it also makes me realize the importance of the invitation that Nephi makes us in Nephi 32:8-9:  "Pray always."  It is so important that we are always praying to God and asking for the things that we need.  Such as, if we need health, we should keep the Word of Wisdom.  Or if we want a happier family, we should keep the law of chastity and the Sabbath day.  "Pray always" doesn't just mean to always be praying, rather it means that we should live our prayers so that the "evil spirit" has no power over us.  We must be prepared when the adversary attacks us, and we must keep the commandments so that it may be for the "welfare of thy soul."  This is one of the most important lessons that there is in this life.  We must always be prepared, for whatever comes.   Love, Elder Copeland

Week 79 - January 28, 2019

Well, I have a new companion!

 Elder Vidal!  He is from Lima, Peru!  He is a super cool guy, and we get a long super well.  It's definitely a change after being with Elder Fernandez for so long.  But Elder Vidal and I are super excited for this next couple weeks because we have a lot of potential here in Centenario!

This week I've honestly felt pretty sick.  I don't really know what I have, but today I do feel a little better, which is good! But we were able to have some pretty good experiences. This last week one of investigators basically disappeared and lives super far away.  But we decided that we needed to look for him.  We got on the bus and some how ended up finding him in the middle of no where, which was a big blessing because he has a lot of potential to get baptized.

As well, this week we taught Jakeline and she is doing awesome.  We taught her about some of the commandments, and she told us that she is willing do to whatever it takes to get baptized.  It's been such a miracle that basically came out of no where.  But we're super excited for her baptism coming up in these next couple weeks.

Something that was pretty rough is one of our investigators with a date for baptism fell through and we haven't been able to find him.  We're a little worried for him,  but I feel like everything is going to be okay!  This week we went and visited some members to try and get some references from them.  It worked out great.  We were able to get some great references that have a lot of potential to progress!

The best part about this week is that we have been able to teach some members about how they can be missionaries. We have been reading Helaman 6:1-5 and showing them how big of a blessing they are to the missionaries.  Also, we talked about how they need to be praying for missionary opportunities everyday to be able to bless more people here in Ecuador.  The people here are super excited to help us out with the mission work.  I'm super excited to see the results from showing the members how important they really are.

This week, I was reading in the Book of Mosiah learning about the teachings of King Benjamin.  As well, something that makes me super sad is to hear that people don't want to come to the church because someone in the church did something that they shouldn't have... I love one of his teachings that he teaches us in Mosiah 4:19-20:  "For behold, are we not all beggars?  Do we not all depend upon the same Being, even God, for all the substance which we have, for both food and raiment, and for gold, and for silver, and for all the riches which we have of every kind?  And behold, even at this time, ye have been calling on his name, and begging for a remission of your sins..."  As humans, I feel like sometimes what we do is that we instantly begin to judge others when we don't realize that we do the same thing.  I feel like King Benjamin said these things to warn us, to teach us that we have to be better.  I feel like this is a lesson very important to learn now so that we can become better disciples of Christ!

I love you all so much.  I'm trying super hard to be able to finish off my mission giving it all that I've got.  I love these people so much.  Pray for the people here to open up their hearts so that they can see the miracles in their lives!!

Love, Elder Copeland