Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 13 - October 31, 2016

Hey, everyone!

It was good to hear from you all.  I am glad you all had a safe and enjoyable week.  This week had a lot of ups and downs, but over all was really good!  We had loads of lessons, and I learned a lot.  I was a little homesick when I was sick haha, but every missionary is from time to time and it's okay.  It makes me want to work harder because I know at the time these two years look like the longest two years ever, but it will fly by so fast.  Just like it has already been 3 months, that is nuts!!  Anyways, here is my week best I can remember it.   It was long. 

 (Sorry I didn't take any photos this week, too busy and too sick haha, but I did take one right before here since we went to 5 Guys!  Elder Bradshaw took some funny pics of elder Corcoran and I being goofy.  Happy Halloween from Aberdeen :)

Tuesday:  We had our District Meeting, I learned a lot about the Spirit, the scriptures, and how these two years need to be years that I have ZERO regrets.  That just means I gotta work even harder then I am ;).  After that, we had a lesson with David, who is funny as always, he gave me a Scottish kids' story I will share with you guys.  "On Yonder Hill, there stood a coo.  Its Nae there noo, it must have Mooed."  (Try saying that in a Scottish accent, good luck haha)  Other than that, we GQ'd a lot, then at night went over to our church building, and helped the young men set up for the Halloween Party on Friday.  I started to feel a little sick, but it was alright.

Wednesday:  We had a pretty busy day.  We taught some new people, and then we taught Kate from Kenya.  She committed to getting baptized on the 12th of November!!  It's really exciting for us and means we got a lot of work to do with her, but I pray she can make the date!  We also taught another lesson with Pearl to help her make her date of the 6th!  Other than that, can't remember much, just was getting sicker and sicker.  All the missionaries in the SIM seem to be getting the same virus, where you have a really bad fever, and chills, and sore throat, for a few days.  I started getting it.

Thursday:  Another Busy Day!  We had Ward Coordination in the morning.  There is a new sister in our area named Sister Weber, and her companion is Sister Zimmerman from my original district in the MTC!  They both want to work really hard so that is good.  They share the same area and ward as us.  The Aberdeen Elders and the Zone Leaders go to the Stake Centre, I think I forgot to mention that forever ago.  But anyways, we taught some more lessons.  I was feeling like crap the entire day, but just kept working hard!

Friday:   Today was busy as well.  We were pretty busy every day because we have put in all the time and work to get all of our investigators, so it is really nice, way less time having to GQ.  We taught Vicky, Kate, Alice, Jonathan, and Pearl.  All went really well.  After our last lesson, we went over to the church for the Halloween party, but I was feeling real bad.  I just sat in the corner and tried to not move because I was in a ton of pain, but there is no point in complaining to you guys.  It is all good.  I have actually lost a ton of weight, I didn't really need to, but it is because we don't eat much and walk everything, everyday so that is a plus haha!  But by the end of the night, I had a fever of 105 and was freezing to death, but burning up and sweating to death.  I'm sure you guys know the feeling, no point in going into detail.  I just did not feel so hot, to say the least.

Saturday:  I woke up and was dying.  Elder Haynes, Peterson, Richey, Bain, and Bluttenberg were all sick as well.  I had to go over to Elder Richey's flat and we just laid in bed trying to get some rest the entire day.  It was a brutal day.  I don't really have much more to say.  Just was very sick.  Not fun.

Sunday:  We had stake Conference!  I was still dying, but decided I needed to go.  We were able to hear from President and Sister Donaldson, who were incredible.  And the former Mission Pres and his wife of the Greece Athens mission, might be one of the FEW missions harder then SIM, so respect to them.  We also taught Pearl again.  SHE IS GETTING BAPTIZED NEXT SUNDAY!  It was a real good day.  I learned a lot, but still dying haha.

Monday:  Today's schedule is a little different because it is HALLOWEEN!  HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!  I hope you all have such a good day today and get lots of candy for me, cause I won't be eating any of that haha.  We had our lesson in the morning today, where we taught John Howard.  He made a little video for you guys.  I hope you enjoy it, I was crying.  I still am pretty sick today, but that is alright.  A brand new five guys opened up today here in Aberdeen, there is only 50 in all the UK.  WHATTA  BLESSING!  It was real good!  Made me miss home a little, but I loved it.  I really don't have much more time, but I want you guys to know how grateful I am to be here.  It is the hardest thing I have ever done, but I have learned so much already and becoming the man I always wanted to be :)  I am so excited for Pearl's baptismI can't believe it's happening, such a miracle!  I am continuing to work hard here in Aberdeen.  Oh, also, Moves call is Sunday night I don't think Elder E is staying around, but I probably will.  Who knows what will happen though.   I will be able to e-mail you guys next Monday and let you know what is happening.  HAVE A GOOD WEEK.  I love you all!  Talk to you soon

Elder Copeland

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 12 - October 24, 2016

Another week down already, how?? AND, this week will be 3 months since I left home, WHAT?  

Time is pretty weird on a mission.  One week, it will feel like it drags on and on, but then the next week, it's over and I can barely remember it!?  Anyways, this was one of the best weeks of my mission so far!  We were able to see so many miracles, and I'll just get right into it now!

Tuesday:  We had our weekly district meeting.  President Donaldson actually came up to our district meeting and gave an instruction to us.  It was so good!  He taught us more about how district meetings should now be Schools of Excellence, and how we can learn more from the scriptures from digging deeper into them.  I really enjoyed his teachings, and I love that guy with all my heart.  I feel like I barely know him, but at the same time I feel like I know so much about him.  He is an incredible man and I look up to him and his example! After District meeting, we went on exchanges.  I went with Elder Bradshaw for the day.  We taught a lesson to a guy named Abraham who is getting his Phd in Divinity over at the University of Aberdeen.  I don't remember if I talked about him already, but, we had like a 2 hour lesson with him discussing works Vs. faith, and other deep things that started to hurt my head haha.  These Divinity students try to use big words to make us trip up on ourselves, but somehow, two 19-year-old guys can hold their ground and defend their faith with no knowledge than what we have learned on our missions so far haha.  The church is true!  We decided to drop Abraham.  There was no progress being made.  We then taught one of our investigators named Alice.  She is from Great Britain, studying here at the university.   We had a really solid lesson with her and she agreed to come to YSA with us the next day.  Other than that, we just Gq'd for the rest of the night.  It was fun, and Elder Bradshaw and I get along really well.  We just talk about sports all day.
Wednesday:  A super busy day (basically every day)!  We started out the day with a lesson with a guy named Michael, it was alright.  Then another lesson with David, then another lesson with Summer and her Divinity friend, which took forever, of course.  Then we had another lesson with Alice and walked with her to the Stake Centre for YSA.  She enjoyed it a lot!  Then we went back to our flat and had dinner and called it a day.  That is a really brief summary of my day, but to be honest, you guys can hear every single little detail when I get home, and I don't have a ton of time to email here haha.

Thursday:  Another really busy day!  Lesson after lesson, we just stand in front of the Uni Library and get on-the-spot lessons with people who have a little bit of time in between their lectures.  One of those lessons went really well with a girl named Delaine from the States. She agreed to come to church with us on Sunday, too, and learn more! 

Friday:  More lessons with lots of new investigators, all the way until dinner.  For dinner, we went over to the Dressels house again to see if Pearl had made her decision to get baptized yet or not.  Apparently she wanted to wait until the Dressels (her daughter and her son-in-law) got home from Dubai, which would be in a few months, to make her decision to get baptized though.  Long story short, after dinner, we taught her, and the Spirit was so strong, she decided right then and there to be baptized on the 6 of November.  That is TWO weeks away.  We will be meeting with her a lot this week to get her prepared.  I am so happy for her, and am so excited.  Highlight of my mission right there, and her story is pretty cool.  You will all get to hear it eventually :)  After that, we just went and taught some more, then called it a night!

Saturday:  Another day full of lessons.  This week we had 19 lessons, that is unreal!!  I don't really have time to get into details, but it was really good.  The days go by really fast when you're teaching all the time.

Sunday:  Ah man today was crazy.  We went over to ward coordination, then had church.  At church we had FOUR investigators there!  It was flippen crazy!!  Pearl, Alice, Delaine, and Kate all came and it was so good!  It was the primary program and they had the missionaries come and sing, "I Hope They Call Me on a Mission."  Man, that was embarrassing.  But church went really well.  We are meeting with all four of them this week and seeing how it went for them.

My week was pretty crazy, but so good!  We were able to see miracles every single day and I can't thank our Father in Heaven enough for everything he gives us.  As we continue to work hard, we will be blessed for it, and it WILL pay off!  Please pray for our friends who are working their way towards baptism.  I love you all so much and hope you had a great week. Remember to turn to our father for help, and he will be there, he always is. I wish I would have realized that at times before my mission, but that is why I am here!  I have come so much closer to him,and to the scriptures.  I love them!!  I also have been able to study my Bible pretty deeply, since we get into 'debates' from the students a lot haha.  It's good banter, and it only shows me how much more true our church is.  I love you guys!  Thanks for all you do!  Talk to you next week on Halloween!
Elder Copeland

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Week 11 - October 17, 2016

Hiya, everyone.  I hope you all had such a good week!  
This week for me was a lot better then the last one!  I am gonna be honest, as the weeks continue, time just blurs together more and more.  I've been out for 11 weeks already! How??  Anyways, it's good to hear you are all doing well.  I'll go through my week the best that I can remember it now.

Tuesday:  Today we got to go on exchanges with the Elders from Thurso!  They came down to go to All Scotland on Thursday with us.  I went With Elder McPherson from Utah, who only has six weeks left on his mission!  We had a pretty solid day!  We taught this university girl named Alice the Plan of Salvation.  She has been reading her Book of Mormon and had loads of good questions for us that we were able to answer.  She agreed to meet us again next week, so I should be seeing her tomorrow!   Then, we taught a guy named Abraham who is getting his PHD in Divinity at the University Of Aberdeen.  Long story short, we talked forever about Works V. Faith and my mind was fried haha.  I have learned so much about the Bible and I don't go into a lesson trying to Bible bash obviously, but I can defend the faith with ease at this point.  Only shows me more this church is true.  After that we just GQ'd for the rest of the day.  Elder McPherson gave me loads of good advice, and we had fun!
Wednesday:  Wednesday we were on exchanges again.  I was with Elder McPherson.  We GQ'd the entire day, and it was actually pretty fun, because when you're with other Elders, you learn the tricks and secrets they do while talking to people.  We had a dinner appointment with the Williamsons and it was good.

Thursday:  ALL SCOTLAND.  We woke up at 4 am and hopped on a train down to Edinburgh.  There, all the missionaries in Scotland were and so was President, to summarize it.  It was incredible!  I learned a whole lot from loads of people and especially President.  That man is an incredible disciple of Christ and a great role model for me.  We got home around 11 and the Buchan Elders slept over for the night.  I really have no time to write about it, but All Scotland was really good!

Friday:  Today was a blur!  We met up with a guy named Eugene, who was a pretty hard core Born Again, had a nice little chat with him.. then we met up with Ke who we have been teaching for a while who told us she would come to church and wanted to get baptized in three weeks!  After that we GQ'd for the rest of the day, until we went to dinner over at a member's home.  Brother and Sister Dressel are taking care of Sister Dressel's mother named Pearl, who has been coming to church for years and years but isn't baptized!  Long story short, we told her we would start teaching her and that we want her to get baptized so that she can start the journey and more importantly, be with her family forever and her husband who passed away.  Two people who have a date to get baptized at the end of the month!

Saturday:  Another solid day, it was really bad weather ( I mean it usually is, but it was worse this time) so we did all of our weekly planning, district planning, and had one lesson with a Recent Convert named MacDonnel.  A pretty basic day, long, but good.

Sunday:  Today we fasted for our two investigators with a date.  I gave a talk in church, I wrote down a little bit of the talk but the rest was just on the spot whatever I was feeling.  It went well.  I wish I had more time to talk about it, but I literally only have 10 minutes left to finish this email and email President, so I am sorry!  We taught a lesson with a Bahai guy.  It was weird.  He's all spiritual voodoo like, but then we just GQ'd for the rest of the day.  At the end of the night, Sister Dressel told us that Pearl wants us over for dinner again this week, and to learn more, so please pray that everything goes well with her!  Ke also texted us saying that she can't meet anymore.  She wanted to get baptized, but has to go back to China and was too afraid to tell us at church :/.  So it was a good and bad day in different ways, but that is about all I can remember.

I wish I had more time to write these out more detailed but I am trying my best.  I love you guys all so much and I pray that we can see miracles this week, just gotta keep working hard, be obedient, and we will be blessed!  I think the District is going to a castle now, if I do go I will send the pictures later!  I love you guys have a good week!
-Elder Copeland
 (Going to Slain's Castle on P-Day)


Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Week 10 - October 10, 2016

Hey guys, it was good to hear from you all!

I am glad you were safe in Florida and that the storm didn't hit you.  I hope you all had a great week. 

This week was probably the hardest week of my mission, to be honest.  Pretty much, every single one of our investigators dropped us, and we are starting back at square one.  I don't even want to talk about it much, so this might be a shorter email, but let's just say I am glad that it is over and am looking forward to this next one. 

Tuesday:  We had our District meeting for the week, and I learned a lot of good stuff about Faith/Works and what the differences are and the importance of them.  If you didn't know, a lot of other Christian churches believe all you gotta do is say you love Jesus, and you're saved and it's that easy.  And it is true, Jesus Christ has suffered for all mankind and has already saved us!  But, you still gotta do a bit of works if you want to inherit eternal glory. That was good.  We then headed over to the library, read the Book of Mormon with Vicky some more, and had lunch.  After lunch, we taught a new investigator named Alice from Britain.  The lesson went really well!  She agreed to read and meet with us again this coming week, so we will see how it goes.  After Alice, we had about three hours of GQ'ing up and down the streets, then went over to the church and had dinner with our Ward Mission leader named Leon and had Ward Coordination.  After that, we taught David how to pass the Sacrament so that he can start passing on Sundays!

Wednesday:  We went on exchanges with the other Aberdeen Elders.  I got to go with Elder Ritchie.  We didn't have a single lesson planned for the day, so we literally just GQ'd from sun up until sun down in their area.  Not a single person stopped and talked to us and agreed to have a lesson, that was tough.  But we were able to have some good talks and tried our best to make it as enjoyable as possible.  I did get some cool pics of some street art, too.

Thursday:  I was back with Elder Elsmore.  We only had one lesson with a guy named Adam, who is Bahai or however you spell it?!  Some crazy religion that accepts every religion as being right.  I don't even know.  The lesson sucked, he was nice and all, but he is not getting baptized any time soon haha.  After that, we GQ'd the entire day, which was hard, not a lot of success, then we went over to a dinner appointment we had.  Those two American Girls named Lauren and Lo that I talked about before made us a really good meal, and we had fun talking to them.  We tried to talk to them more about our church, and they said they love Mormons since they live in Cali and have a ton of friends, but they are not giving up Alcohol/Tea/Coffee.  So we taught them the Word of Wisdom, and they said they'll still have us over for dinner once in a while, and are really friendly, but not getting baptized any time soon either.

Friday:  We had our studies, then headed over to the Stake Centre for Zone leader Conference.  It went well, it was just for the ZL's and DL's all over our area, but I learned a lot from it.  I got my Halloween package you guys sent me, too!  THANK YOU so much!!  It was the highlight of my week!  I love getting them from you guys and thank you so much once again, I can't tell you how many times how thankful I am.  It really boosts my spirits haha and helps me remember I have people back home who still love me and are cheering me on, gets me through the hard days.  Other then that, we taught our less active John Howard which is always a good time, then GQ'd for the entire day trying to find some new people to teach!


Saturday:  Today was the HARDEST day of my mission.  Not a single lesson, we GQ'd the entire day with pretty much no success.  I really was beating myself up all day, too.  It's hard not to when you feel like the past seven weeks have been for nothing and all you do the entire day is think about it.  We did have a dinner appointment though with the guy Elder Corcoran and I found last week named Matt.  He is doing super solid, I really hope he gets baptized.  But, he is in the ZL's area and so they now get to teach him.  It's all about building the kingdom of God though, not who gets them in the water.  I gotta remember that haha.  In summary, a tough day.

Sunday:  We started off with Ward Coordination, where we told everyone that we want to serve the ward more, because that is something I felt like we were lacking on.  So this week, we should have some service which will be good.  Church was pretty good.  We were suppose to have four investigators come to church, and none showed up haha.  A little frustrating to say the least, especially when people can't progress without coming to church, but hopefully next week someone will come.   After church, there was a little "Munch and Mingle" which was good to get to know the ward better and offer more service.  After church, we GQ'd for a few hours, and had a lesson!  We taught two new people named Kim and Kat (That's pretty funny isn't it) who were from America, knew a little bit about Mormons, and were interested in hearing more.  We had a good lesson with them.  They told us they will meet again next week.  The only problem is they had a lot of concern about the church and our stand on gay people.  So we had to talk to them and discuss that a bit.  It was good though.  After their lesson, we GQ'd for the rest of the night and called it.

So that was my week as best as I can remember.  It was hard.  I seriously doubted myself a lot and questioned why I am here, because I feel like I have accomplished nothing haha. But I know if I keep being obedient and work as hard as I can, I will be able to see the miracles.  I miss you all a lot, thank you for the emails and pictures, they help.  I hope that we can have a better week, remember to thank God for everything he has given you.  We truly are so blessed.  People here have nothing at all to make them happy but beer and cigarettes, and are so messed up, it really has humbled me.  I love you guys, talk to you soon. 
-Elder Copeland

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 9 - October 3, 2016

How is everyone doing? 
I am so happy that you all had a great week filled with the Spirit and were able to hear from our leaders of the church!  Today is officially one transfer down (Six weeks)!  That means I only have 15/16 left here in the promised land of Scotland/Ireland.  It is CRAZY how fast time flies.  I am officially staying in Aberdeen for at least another transfer, and that pumps me up!  This place is pure gold, and we have high expectations for this transfer, lots of miracles are gonna occur as long as we are obedient and put our trust in the Lord.  I barely remember this week, and nothing too exciting happened except for the weekend of course. But I will try and write a little bit of what I did each day. 

Tuesday:  Had our studies, then headed off to the library.  We taught Pawel the importance of church and a little bit about Conference.  His mom came into town so he couldn't come sadly, but we hope to get him to church this coming weekend so that he can gain a testimony of the truth of this gospel!  After his lesson, we met up with eight other elders who were in town for their moves, and went and got lunch at this posh place called Nandos.  It was a good time.  I love getting to know all the guys on this mission, and the best part about hanging with other Elders is the crazy funny stories they tell.  We had another lesson with a new investigator named Ludwing, but he's a waster tbh..  He said he didn't even care to find out if God or the Book of Mormon is true, so I felt like we wasted our time..  We then headed over to our church and had ward coordination.  We need to work with the ward better.  That is something I know we can do because the only way we can get investigators to want to stay at our church is if the ward shows love and support towards them.

Wednesday:  Today was lots of lessons.  We taught five new investigators at the Uni (University) library.  It is a blessing to have the Uni right next to our flat.  These students are around my age, and pretty open to learning more about what we believe.  Usually when we have a lesson planned with someone, we sit at the cafĂ© inside the library, and they either bring a friend or someone will just come and sit down and want to listen to what we teach, too.  It is a lot of work, because they students have A LOT of question about Mormons, and sadly its usually a lot of anti-stuff they have heard that we clear up for them.  We continue to teach and give Book of Mormons out, but they wont flipping read the book.  What is the point of continuing to meet up with us and learn if you don't read the book we teach about?? Sorry, I don't want to rant haha, I try to be positive in these e-mails, but it is frustrating!

Thursday:  Today wasn't very exciting.  It was pouring rain (shocker) and we Gq'd for a long time, having not much success.  I got to go on a little exchange with our new ZL named Elder Corcoran though, because we were passing off one of our investigators to them.  Elder Corcoran is from Melbourne, Australia, and we were instant best friends.  Haha, since I was friends with the Wilsons back home and had all the Aussy slang, we were just throwing it around at each other and he was PUMPED that I had milo and Tim Tams haha! (BTW I am almost out of those, help!)   We had a good time teaching one of their investigators and Gq'ing.

Friday:  I can't really remember much from today haha.  Just lots of lessons with Uni students, lots of questions and doctrine being cleared up with them.  And sadly, a little bit of Bible bashing with some people who think they know everything.  I'll be honest, I have never finished reading the entire Bible.  I read it every day and am getting there, but I STILL know more about the Saviour then these guys who claim they know it so well do.  I don't know how anyone can't see how true this church is.  It blows my mind!  We don't want to throw it down on these guys, but sometimes you just gotta tell them straight up, and we do that.

Saturday:  Beginning of the day, just Gq'ing and lessons.  Later at night, we got to watch the Saturday Morning session LIVE at the Stake Centre!  I was so hyped!  I LOVEEE CONFERENCE.  Especially as a missionary.  I wish I could go back and tell my past self how much easier life would have been, if I would have just listened to the leaders of this church haha!  The most important thing I took out of it, is that our Heavenly Father LOVES us so much!  Because he loves us, he sent his son Jesus Christ to die for us.  All we need to do, is strive to become more like Christ in our every day lives, and work hard to endure to the end!!  After that session, we slept over at the Zl's flat and had fun talking about Conference.
Sunday:  We woke up and went over to the Stake Centre for a big breakfast the Priests had prepared!  It was unreal, then we watched the Priesthood Session of conference!  The leaders of this church have so much power in the words they speak.  The Spirit is strong, and I loved hearing how I can be a better Priesthood holder and do my part in bringing the gospel unto others.  We then watched the Saturday Afternoon session of Conference, I also loved it.  If you notice, they all talked a lot about Alma the younger.  I challenge everyone to read his story again, and to take from his experiences what you can do on your part to be a better servant of the Lord!  After that, we watched Sunday Morning Session LIVE!  I love watching it live.  Elder Bradshaw taught me to pray for the speakers as they speak and it makes it that much better!  I really wish I had more time to talk about what I learned, maybe I can next week but I just don't have the time--I'm sorry!  But just remember how important the Sacrament is, and the sacrifice Jesus made for all of us to be able to live with our families for eternity!

I am sorry I can't write more about everything, my time is up!  I really do try my best to write a little bit from each day, and hope that it all makes sense to you guys.  I just want to say how thankful I am to be a member of this church.  This truly is The Church of Jesus Christ and we are so blessed to have the fullness of the gospel back on the earth through our Prophet and his Apostles.  I hope you all have a great week and strive to become better. Please let me know how you guys are all doing.  I love to hear from you!  I love you guys!
 -Elder Copeland

 (Elder Copeland:  "We went Golfing later in the day!  Here is a few more pics, we used some ancient wooden clubs from a member haha.")