Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Week 1 - August 3, 2016

WOW!  I can't believe I've been here for a week now. 

It's gone by so incredibly fast and I have had already the coolest experiences ever.  I don't even know how to fit it all into one email, but I'll try my best to explain what happened every day, so bear with me if this first email's a little rough haha.

Wednesday- Me and about 30 other elders and sisters all landed in the Manchester airport after 15 hours of flying, where we were picked up by a huge bus and a lot of British Elders.  It was cool to be able to go through the Salt Lake City and Orlando Airports with all of these guys, and I became friends with a lot of them so quickly.  As soon as we arrived here, we were assigned our rooms, companions, and our District.   Our District's room has five other guys in it including me and it's pretty small!  We then were assigned our companions.  My companion's name is Elder Kroes (sounds like "Cruise," sort of) who is from Germany! There is soooo much I could talk about him because I've gotten to know him a LOT over this first week, but I'll try and simplify it.  Elder Kroes speaks pretty well in English and is a really intelligent guy.  He likes to read and write a lot and isn't a huge fan of the outdoors and sports, aka soccer here.  He knows so much about the gospel and can tell you any scripture you want to know off the top of his head.   We're pretty much opposite in many ways, but he is a great guy.  I love him and I'm going to keep trying my best to get closer to him!  Next, we were introduced to our District ( which the guys in my room are, and there are some sisters).  My district is the Ammon District and I was called to serve as our District Leader!!  I could talk about every single person in my district for hours already, but I'll just write a little bit about each of them. 
 The Ammon District
 The England Missionary Training Center
 Such beautiful surroundings.

Elder Cottle- He's from St. George serving to Manchester and likes the outdoors and is really easy to get along with.  I love him a lot.

Elder Chillpagiri- He's from India serving to Manchester,  and he is the nicest guy ever.  He never has been outside of his country, is such a funny guy, and I respect him a lot.  He speaks with the Indian accent, and he likes to act like he is Pi Patel and has a tiger named "Richard Parker" to make us all laugh haha.

Elder Calle Bungato- He is from Spain serving to Manchester and doesn't speak much English, but he always comes to me when he has a question about what a word means or how to say something properly.  He's a funny guy and has the biggest smile everI love him and we get along really well.

Elder Arias- He is from Colombia serving to Manchester and LOVES soccer!  He and Elder Calle talk a lot in Spanish and it's fun to mess around with them and speak a little Spanish with them.  He makes me laugh every day and I love him.

Elder Krous- I've talked a little about him.  Our group is trying to get him more involved since he doesn't like sports like we all do.  It will take time, but I already see improvement.

Sister Zimmerman- She is from Utah serving to Scotland/Ireland.  She was on her debate team at school.  

Sister Brousseau- She is from Utah, too, serving to Scotland/Ireland, and she has the kindest sweetest personality I've ever met.  I feel like I could tell her anything and she would just be there to support me haha. 

Sister Mejean- She is from France and is going to serve in Arizona but has been waiting for her Visa for almost a month now, so she's stuck here!  She's super funnyI get along with her well and the District really likes her experience and how much she helps us all out in learning how everything works at the Missionary Training Center.

I love my District so much, and it's awesome to lead these guys and help them out.  Being District Leader can be hard sometimes, and the extra responsibility and tasks I have to do can be tough.  But I'm working as hard as I can to be a good example to all of them and pray that I can continue to do that.

Thursday- We got to start our first lessons with our investigators today!  It's really cool what they have here.  They call it TRC.  It's rooms with cameras that record the lesson we teach with our investigators ( who are just teachers playing roles) so that we can see how well we are doing and what we need to improve on.  We've been studying for hours and hours a day to be able to teach to our investigators the lessons in preach my gospel! 

Friday- More lessons were taught and we had a really powerful lesson on prayer which helped us teach an investigator more about.  There wasn't too much else from today.  It went by so fast, I barely even remember it.

Saturday- We got to start Saturday off playing some soccer and my district KILLED IT. Elders Calle and Arias are unreal at soccer, and I just get the ball to them and they work magic.  Elder Kroes doesn't really like playing, but he comes and plays anyway because they want me to play and I can't if Elder Kroes leaves haha.  We had a few more lessons that day and other than that, nothing new!

Sunday- My District was in charge of the Sacrament for all the MTC.  What a cool experience to pass to all Elders and Sisters.  There's so many of us and it helps to know that everything I'm feeling here, so are the 96 others.   In addition, some of them are learning Greek and German on top of just the lessons.  I can only imagine how tough that must be!  After Sacrament, my District walked over to the temple two minute away and got a bunch of cool pictures of it.  We'll be able to go through it in two weeks after they are done cleaning it!


Monday- I can barely remember Monday other then the fact that we played more soccer, learned more lessons, taught more investigators, and ate more food.  I forgot to mention how much they feed us and holy cow, I'm so scared of gaining weight hereI know a guy who's put on 15 pounds in the 4 weeks hes been here, and I refuse to let myself go like that, so I have been trying to eat healthier and work out harder when I can.

Tuesday- Same as the other days, more and more lessons learned and investigators taught.  Elder Krous and I are starting to get our teaching together more smoothly and are working on bouncing the conversation back and forth between me, him, and our investigator.  It's 16 hour days of studying and it can get really boring and hard at some points, but I continue to try my best here!

I know this was a HUGE email and I am so sorry about that!  There is just so much to talk about in such a short amount of time that it's hard to decide what to put into this email and what to leave out.  I'll leave it with this though, The work is good and the studying is long. But I love the people so much and especially my District.  We are all brothers already and I don't know what I'm going to do without them next to me.  I'm working as hard as I can for myself, my District, and my investigators, so pray that I can continue to be motivated to do these things.  

I love you all so much and please send me letters and emails this weeki would really love some pictures from all of you mailed or emailed to me!  It's fun to talk about our families and friends with each other, so please do that :).  I love you all and I'll write to you again real soon!  Pray for the missionaries.  We're working really hard here!

Elder Copeland

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