Thursday, July 28, 2016

First E-Mail Received from Elder Copeland - July 27, 2016

Hi, Dad!

I just arrived at the England MTC.  They told us to e-mail our parents as soon as we got here to let you guys know we got here safely.  I don't even know Mom's e-mail, so please let me know what hers is as soon as possible so that I can e-mail her, too.  

 Mission President of Scotland/Ireland Mission - President and Sister Donaldson
The Scotland/Ireland Missionary Training Center

The flights were really good.  Thanks for getting me that exit seat.

England is pretty and the weather here is perfect--nice and cool like I like it!  

I need to go soon.  I hope you guys are doing well and having so much fun in Orlando!

Love, Elder Copeland


Setting Apart as a Missionary and Leaving for the Airport - July 25 and 26, 2016

Elder Copeland was officially set apart as a missionary by his Stake President, President Taylor.  This is the priesthood ordinance of giving authority to members called to labor in specific responsibilities.  It is done by those having the proper priesthood authority and by the laying on of hands.  He was given a beautiful blessing and many promises were made if he would devote these next two years to the Lord and be obedient in all his responsibilities.
President Taylor on the night he set Elder Copeland apart as a missionary.  Also present in the setting apart were Melchizedek Priesthood Holders:  Grandpa George Copeland and Grandpa Scott Harmer.
 Elder Copeland with his family, including his dog, Harley.
Elder Copeland and his mother.
 Grandparents Scott and Patrice Harmer
Grandparents George and Laura Copeland

 Prior to the setting apart, Elder Copeland spent his last Family Home Evening with his family at a picnic in the park. 
 That evening, Elder Copeland, along with his family and grandparents enjoyed sitting in their front yard together watching the firework display put on by . . .
his younger brother, Brady, and one of his best friends.

Time for Good-byes
 The next morning, bright and early, Elder Copeland's friend, Kat, was so kind to bring hot muffins and fruit for the family to eat prior to leaving for the airport.  Since Elder Copeland would be attending the Missionary Training Center in England, he would be going straight to the airport from his home. 
 Leaving behind his wonderful home . . .
 and heading into the terminal.

 Picking up his ticket.
Family and friends who came to wish Elder Copeland off.  He was feeling a little sad that he didn't have his missionary badge yet, but he would be picking that up in England at the Mission Home there.

Elder Copeland was his Uncle Ryan who came to see him off.
 Then, all too soon it was time to say "Good-bye" for two years.  First to his mother . . .
 and then to his father.
  Now a big hug for his sister with his younger brother looking up to him.
 They had such tender feelings for their brother.

 Good-bye to his friend, Kat, who has been so supportive of Elder Copeland in this decision to serve a mission.

Good-bye to Grandpa George (and Grandma Laura)
Then, he looked away . . .
 And he was off--although he won't see his family or friends for two years, may only e-mail  home once a week, and may only call home twice a year (on Christmas and Mothers' Day), we all know this is one of the most growing times in a young man's life.  By serving the Lord and serving his fellowmen, which he will do the next two years, he will grow and become the person that the Lord wants him to be.  We all will miss him, but we wish him well and will continually pray for him in all he does in this worthy work.

Farewell Party - July 24, 2016

A wonderful farewell party was held at the Copeland home on Sunday afternoon after Elder Copeland spoke in Sacrament Meeting on July 24, 2016.  Many family and friends were in attendance.
 This is Ernesto who was Elder Copeland's father's first missionary companion when they were in the Italy Catania Mission in 1991-1993.  They have stayed close friends through all these years.  Ernesto now owns a restaurant in Provo, Utah, and said he wanted to cook some Italian food for the farewell party.  
The food was absolutely wonderful and a great hit with all who came!

Elder Copeland with his cousin, Kade, who will be the next missionary in the Copeland family in a year.
Elder Copeland with his Great-grandpa Stoler.

Elder Copeland with his sister, Jenna.
Elder Copeland's both sets of grandparents:  Copelands and Harmers

And when all the clean-up was going on, here is Carter with the entire Copeland family's friend, Sandy, since when his father was young.  She had helped out so much during the get-together and was still there cleaning up right to the end!

This was such a wonderful day of family and friends wishing Elder Copeland well as he serves the Lord for the next two years.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Speaking in Sacrament Meeting - July 24, 2016

Elder Copeland bore his testimony in his Alpine 11th Ward Sacrament Meeting on July 24, 2016.  He, also, talked about how the Mormon pioneers came into the Salt Lake Valley 169 years ago today.  They left beautiful homes, their land, furniture, valuables, and sometimes even other family members who didn't feel the same way as they did about the gospel.  When they could afford it, they came by covered wagons pulled by oxen or horses.  

When they couldn't afford it, they pulled handcarts carrying only the barest of essentials.  He told of how he had just returned from going on a Mormon historical tour called "Originations" with 100 of his classmates from Lone Peak High School.  They were able to cross the 2,000 miles in air-conditioned buses, with good beds at night and plenty of food--quite a different way than the pioneers did it.  But at each stop along the way that was so important in the lives of the pioneers clear back to the Sacred Grove where Joseph Smith offered his first vocal prayer to find out which church he should join, Elder Copeland said he felt so close to the Lord and realized how important those pioneers were in making sure they were able to offer the gospel to their posterity.  Elder Copeland is thrilled to be offering the gospel to the people in Scotland/Ireland so that they might help themselves and their posterity have the blessings and happiness the gospel brings.   It was such a great talk that he gave, truly from his heart.
 Elder Copeland with his brother and dad after Sacrament Meeting.
 Elder Copeland with his parents.
Elder Copeland with his mother.
 Elder Copeland with his Grandparents George and Laura Copeland.