Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Week 90 - April 15, 2019

Dear Family,
Has been a pretty good week.  We were able to get some stuff done here in Atacames. We have a bunch of potential which makes me super excited for this next coming transfer.  This week we were able to visit a couple named Italo and Dorris.  Italo’s mom is a member and lives right next to her.  We mentioned last week how much we loved shrimp and he told us that he was a chef and that we had to try his food. so we got there in the morning at 11 and he told us that he made us a giant, GIANT plate of shrimp and it was so dang good.  But it was so much food, and he didn’t realize that we had to eat with the members an hour later who as well gave us so much food.  I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so much food in my life.  But the good news is that the food here in the coast is actually super good.

As well, we were able to visit Jessica and Israel this week.  Honestly, they are so amazing.  We were able to teach them about baptism and they told us that they want to be baptized. Later, we explained that they had to get married, and they told us we shouldn’t worry, that they are going to get married in a month.  So, we are super excited for them.  As well, the sister of Jessica was there so we were able to teach her, too. At the beginning, she didn’t really understand our message but we came back and explained it again and she understood everything.  She told us that she wants the missionaries to visit her in her house.  So we are hoping that the missionaries over there can help her out.

But, I think the highlight of the week is this Sunday when our convert Willans bore his testimony.  He got up there with his little tooth on his bottom gum and said, "I know God lives and I love him, amen."  He didn’t just say it, he was like sucking the microphone and screaming, but the testimony came from the heart and it was such a special moment.

This week, I was able to study some things from the Bible that I really like. Here they are…

In Proverbs 12:15  “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes; but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.”

Proverbs 29:18  “Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.”

Proverbs 28:20  "Ä faithful man shall abound with blessings…”

Proverbs 20:22  “Say not thou, I will compense evil; but wait on the Lord, and he shall save thee.”

Proverbs 17:17  "Ä friend loveth at all times…”

Proverbs 8:35  “For whoso findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favour of the Lord”

Honestly not the craziest week besides the fact that we had changes.  We found out that my companion, Elder Soriano, is going to leave and that I’m going to be training a new missionary.  I’m super excited to be able to finish the mission training here in Atacames!!

Love you all, Elder Copeland

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Week 89 - April 8, 2019

Dear Family,

Well, I guess another 7 days went by, wow.... This honestly was a pretty boring week.  My companion got his wisdom teeth out and we were stuck in the house for two days... As well, we had two days of General Conference so we basically lost four days in the sector.  But we were still able to get some stuff down and help some people out.

Some of the experiences that we could have this week were with Italo and Doris.  Italo is the son of a member and Doris is his girlfriend.  We have been trying to visit him for quite some time, and we were finally able to find him in his house this week.  He is a fisherman, so he's always out fishing so it's super hard to find him.  But we went this week and talked about the Book of Mormon and baptism and the both of them accepted the baptismal invitation and came to conference this week.  Such a big blessing.  He has so much potential, we just need to help them figure some things out so that they can get married!!

As well, we passed by Israel and Jessica and they are doing awesome and told us that they feel good about getting married the 1st of May!  We taught them Alma 32 and how we need to plant the seed and they told us that they feel so much more happy because the things that we have been teaching them are true. Haha  It was such an amazing and special lesson.  They are so amazing.

Last, but not least, we were able to pass by and visit an investigator named Cristian.  His three kids are all members and are awesome.  He let us know that his wife had told him that she didn't want to be with him anymore.  He explained how hard it was for him and his kids.  It was so sad to see how it is affecting his family.  We shared some of the things that we learned from General Conference and helped him out a little bit.  He told us that if he and his wife don't get back together, he wants to get baptized.  He has been coming to church for quite some time now and he says he's ready.  So, we'll see what happens this next coming week and see what happens with him and his family...

I loved General Conference.  I really hope that everyone was able to watch it with true purpose.  I feel like they talked a lot about the family, having spiritual sanctuary, repentance, and temples.  I hope that we can truly accept the invitations that the Apostles and Prophets gave to us  and apply them during these next coming weeks. Some of the things that caught my attention were...

From President Eyring.  "Alma the Younger remembered his father's faith.  As he was racked with torment, he remembered of what his father had taught him of a Christ."  He, also, said, "The family that prays together stays together."  In Priesthood, he talked about supporting our leaders and sustaining and praying for them.

From Neil A. Anderson:  "Focus on what you have and not what you don't have..."

I like what David P. Homer said about how mountain climbers have a death zone where when they arrive to a certain point, they are not able to breathe anymore.  Later, he compared it to how our Spirit as well has a "death zone" and if we are too long in places of danger, it loses its power.

From Elder Holland:  "Bring more tears of sorrow and pain at his feet.  Every Sunday." and the "Bread of Forgiveness."  I loved basically his entire talk. 

But more than anything, the talk of President Nelson during Priesthood session.  "Daily repentance is the pathway to purity and purity is power."  Also, when he said, "The Lord needs men eager to repent."

Such an amazing weekend with so many other things that we can put into practice to become better disciples of Christ.

Also, this week I have had a lot of time to read the scriptures because my companion had to take out his wisdom teeth. But I don't think there is any verse that gives me more hope, excitement, goosebumps, love, etc., than when I read in  Enos 1:27:  "And I soon go to the place of my rest, which is with my Redeemer; for I know that in him I shall rest. And I rejoice in the day when my mortal shall put on immortality, and shall stand before HIM; than shall I see HIS face with pleasure, and he will say unto me; COME unto ME, ye blessed, there is a place prepared for you in the mansions of my Father."  WOW, just imagine that moment when we see Christ and he tells us that... How amazing will that be??  We must always realize all of the things that Enos went through to gain that testimony.  In verse 2, it says, "I will tell you of the 'wrestle' which I had before God."  As well, in verse 4 where his "soul hungered" and he "cried unto him in MIGHTY prayer."  

Later, he prayed for his loved ones and his enemies, Then he left to teach them or in other words he acted on his desires.  He didn't just wait for the Lord to preform a miracle. He prayed all day and night.  In 17, he says that he kept his "covenant" so his "soul would rest."  He did all of these things until the day that he died.  Then he received the confirmation that he would have a "place prepared in the mansion of his Father."  Such an amazing chapter!  Even more amazing when you think that we will enjoy this moment together as a family...

Never forget that there's no limit in telling someone that you love them!

Elder Copeland 

Week 88 - April 1, 2019

Dear Family,

Well, this week was an excellent week.  On Saturday, we had the baptism of Willians Poso and the Bautista Family (Antonio, Abraham, and Juan.)  And wow, it was amazing!  It was such an amazing special experience to see all of them get baptized.  

Later, they all shared their testimony and it was super special when Willians shared his testimony.  He is kind of a bold guy, but when he shared his testimony, he just teared up and it was such a special moment.  I wish I could describe it better, but words can't describe how amazing it was!:)  On Sunday, we had the confirmation of all of them and it, as well, was super special.  We were able to have a bunch of new investigators come this week, as well.  We finished the week off great, super excited to see what we can do this next week, too!
Not only was that the good news of the week, this week we visited Jessica and Israel and their family.  We went with a member and it turns out that they were already good friends and they got along super well and got them super excited to go to church--more importantly to get married.  We talked about when they could get married on Wednesday, and they said that they would talk and think about it.  Out of nowhere, on Saturday they came up and told us that they are planning to get married in the beginning of May!  As well, that they want to get baptized later on in that week!!  Such a miracle, we are seeing so many miracles here in Atacames.  Israel and Jessica will be a big help to the Branch.  They are both so amazing and willing to help everyone.  I'm so excited how they continue to progress!!
As well, we were able to have inter-changes with the Zone Leaders.  I went with Elder Vega, again haha.  It's always a good time when we get to go and work together.  We were able to have a pretty good day and find some new investigators.  As well, we taught one of the girls they have with a date for baptism, and she was awesome, so that was a pretty good highlight of the week!
This week in the Book of Mormon I read in Helaman.  A part that caught my attention was in Chapter 6:17:  "For behold, the Lord had blessed them so long with the riches of the world that they had not been stirred up to anger, to wars, nor to bloodshed; therefore they began to set their hearts upon their riches; yea, they began to seek to get gain that they might be lifted up one above another; therefore they began to commit secret murders, and to rob and to plunder, that they might get gain."  I find it interesting that the Lord blessed them basically too much that they decided to sin...  WE all receive blessings in this life, some more than others but I believe that this scripture teaches us how important it is to recognize the blessings that the Lord has given us.  What are the blessings that you received this week?  Write them down and give thanks to Him for everything he has given you.
Love, Elder Co-pa-lan