Monday, March 27, 2017

Week 34 - March 27, 2017

What's up, fam!  

It's good to hear from you all today :)  Can you believe that it's been 8 months since I left?! Also, huge shoutout to my cuz, Kade, getting called to serve in Ecuador Quito North Mission with my best friend, Elder Johnson!  Get ready for some serious heat haha! 

This week was a long one, time is a crazy concept on a mission.  I'll go through my week now, though, the best I can remember.

Tuesday:  We slept over at the Zone Leaders, woke up at 4 am, and hopped on a bus with the rest of Belfast Zone to Dublin for All Ireland!  It was a shorter Conference, but we received some great instruction from President Donaldson about planning effectively with the new missionary schedule.  I wasn't able to get any photos of Dublin :(  But I did get to see some Elders I hadn't seen for a while, that was well good!  Afterwards we hopped on the bus back to our areas.  That was about the entire day.
 Elder Copeland explained, "The first one is a bit of cheek for you guys haha ;)"
 "Another church in Lisborn."
 "At a member's home, am I in the Brazil mission now?"

Wednesday:  We had a pretty interesting day aha, Started off with a great lesson with Kirstie.  She still is having issues with her parents supporting her, so we gotta keep praying for a miracle for her!  Afterwards, we went to go GQ on Bow street, all was going well, the same as usual.  Just trying to get people to stop and talk to us, and then this lad comes up and starts having a decent conversation with me.  He was a Born Again Christian, but had some good questions I was helping him understand.  All of a sudden this old man jumps into our conversation and begins to go absolutely psycho on me, and not only that, but the other lad gets hyped up with him as well and they both start going at me!  I have never felt such darkness and hatred in a man than I did from him.  There is no point in going through all that he said, but it wasn't very nice to say the least.  I just held my tongue and testified of the truth of the Book Of Mormon and Joseph Smith to them.  That didn't stop them though, and I just stood there taking it.  Nigel Jackson who is one of my favorite members in the world came up behind me and put his arm on my shoulder and told these guys to go away, and they ran so quickly it was hilarious!  But I was pretty shaken up.  I didn't know anyone could have so much hate against me.  I actually just stood there in tears after they walked away. The Jacksons took us to Burger King though which was really nice of them haha.  The rest of the day we went finding, I was struggling.  Questioning why I was here, what I was doing, realizing how much I missed you guys, just struggling.  I finally just got down on my knees and prayed out loud, and felt such a peace and love from my Heavenly Father that it was okay, and that he loved me.  Still a bit upset about that day.
(Elder Copeland's mother received this notification from the wife of Nigel Jackson, who Elder Copeland referred to as running off the two unpleasant men in the above incident.  It made the entire family so proud of how Elder Copeland handled this very unsettling situation.  Amazing that he still has such a huge smile on even though he was so shaken inside!)
Thursday:  Lots of finding, little success.  We had our interviews with President Donaldson. I talked to him for a little bit but he has so many missionaries he has to take care of and run around two countries, I really didn't want to give him any more of a burden aha, so we just talked about some good scriptures to study and what not.  We had Book Of Mormon class in the evening.  We taught Alma 48, and how great of an example Moroni is in our lives.  It motivated me to take that example as well with the hard week, to put my faith in God and truly humble myself.

Friday:  A full day of finding, not a single person was interested.  But hey, good weather here now at least! 

Saturday:  Another day of finding, nothing.  We had a great lesson with Mannie and another one with Andrew though.  Thankful for the people in this ward and their support.  Especially Mark, such a good guy.  It's hard because you can feel really alone on a mission, and having some friends in the ward makes all the difference, and you guys at home giving me that support each week, I wouldn't be able to continue every week if it wasn't for you.  Thank you.

Sunday:  Today was the UK's Mothers Day!  They had a special Mothers' Day service and gave flowers to all of the Mums.  Kirstie wasn't able to come, her parents wouldn't let her. Candice and her fam came to church!  She enjoyed it, but she said she isn't ready for next Friday to be baptized, bummer.  But we will see her this week and figure something out! Gotta have Faith.  I missed you a lot, Mum.  Can't wait to talk to you guys in a few weeks. 

So that was my week.  We were going to go to Shanes Castle today, but our alarm got messed up and we were exhausted, so just went grocery shopping and did e-mailing today. 

 Elder Copeland, "We also had dinner with the Smyths tonight!  They're legends!  Great start to the week! :)"

I am excited for Conference, I could really use that spiritual boost to keep working hard. Happy the week is over, ready for the next one!  I love you all and will talk to you soon :)
Elder Copeland
 (Another special happening this week was when Elder Copeland's mother congratulated Elder Copeland and Elder Nelson's recent convert, Man Kong Choi.  He replied to her congratulations with the following:  "Aw, thank you.  Your son is so awesome and you should be proud of him!  He is a legend!)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Week 33 - March 20, 2017

Hiya, guys!  

Glad to see you all had a fun week.  Before I email about my week, MY BACK IS OKAY!!  It's feeling a lot better and I don't look like I need a cane anymore, whatta miracle !  Thank you for all the love and prayers sent my way, it means a lot :) 

This week was longgg, glad to say it's over.  But I learned a lot through the Spirit and am looking forward to the week ahead!  Elder Nelson and I will be here for another 5 weeks, which is great!  I love Lisburn!  Anyways, I'll go through the week now.
 (Elder Copeland writes: 
"Here are a few wee pics of Lisburn since I didn't take many photos this week.  I'll be better next week!")

Tuesday:  We had a pretty solid day of finding.  We were able to teach Kirstie as well.  We wrote her parents letters to try and explain to them how we don't have all these crazy beliefs and rituals and what-not that people told them we did.  We also went to the Physio for my back.  It was good!  I had a pretty cool girl who studied in Dublin and was engaged fix me all up and pop my body and push on all these weird pressure points and what not.  That was good!  She was giving me all these sweet places to propose to my wife one day in Ireland.  It was funny!  Mannie went to Priesthood with Mark, as well, which was sweet! 

Wednesday:  Another day of finding!  We are just trying to build up the teaching pool for the transfer ahead of us!  This really nice older lady in the ward took us to a Chippys and got us these massive burgers and chips, then ice cream afterwards.  We were dying!  Lisburn feeds us too much! ;) 

Thursday:  More finding, we had a great lesson with Recent Convert, Mike, though!  He loves the Elders, and he ordered pizza when he had us over and just wanted to hang with us, such a good guy!  I got to teach the Book of Mormon Class this week, and I taught a lesson on Alma 47 (shout out to Barbs for it ).  It talks a lot about a really wicked man named Amalickiah and how he does a lot of bad to become the king of the Lamanites.  I referred it to us in our own lives, and how King A is Satan.  He wants us to come down from our hill of protection and join with him, and how he throw anything he can in our paths to coming closer to our Heavenly Father.  Read the chapter!  It will make more sense then I hope I sort of did there haha!

Friday:  Today was St. Patrick's day, which wasn't as exciting as I thought it was going to be because we are in the North!  We were told we were not allowed near any town centers or large groups of people, so that meant chapping the entire day.. wooooo...  We did have a great experience though.  Mark asked us to go over and talk to his father-in-law who lives in Lisburn.  He used to be a temple president and is good friends with ELDER HOLLAND AND THE PROPHET WAAA!  He was telling us all of these incredible experiences he has had with these men, and how they love Aberdeen and Lisburn and have had some cool stories here.  It was really needed.  This week we had been trying to find some motivation, but I'll be honest, it isn't the greatest fun walking around in the rain every single day for 8 or so hours and getting rejected most of the time.  At the end of our wee chat, I felt inspired to ask him to leave us with a prayer.  He said one of the most beautiful prayers I have EVER heard in my life.  I was hit HARD with the Spirit and was just bawling my eyes out.  We left and I gave him a massive hug and told him thank you so much, and all he did was keep thanking us for coming.  So I would say this St. Patrick's day was one of my favourites, and besides, not many people can say they've lived in Ireland ;)

Saturday:  Lots more finding!  We went over to Candice's home in the evening and had a lesson.  We brought Mannie along with us, flippen legend!  Candice was telling us how she doesn't know if she's ready just yet for this week, even though she is the most prepared person we have ever taught.  We explained to her how we don't want her to feel rushed in any way at all!  She is thinking next week before conference she will do it.  Pray for her to be ready! 

Sunday:  A great Sunday!  Candice and her whole fam came to church, they loved it!  We had planning afterwards, then later on in the evening we went over to Mark's and shared a wee spiritual message for some YSA Cottage party they were having.  It was good fun!

That was my week the best I can remember.  It was a tough one for some reason.  I think just my back hurting and not really seeing a ton of progress with finding new people was putting me down.  But just putting our trust in the Lord and remembering our purpose as missionaries is what helps.  I am excited for this week coming ahead!  We have our All Ireland Conference Tomorrow, so we will be staying with some other Elders in the City tonight.  We also have interviews with President on Thursday, sweet!  I am grateful to be here, although its tough, although I want to just quit sometimes, I put my faith and trust in God and he helps me get through it!  I love you all and will talk to you soon! :)
Elder Copeland 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Week 32 - March 13, 2017

Hiya, everyone! 

It was good to hear from you all.  This week was chaos.  I am pretty exhausted as well, but everything worked out how it was suppose to, and that is all that matters!  I'll go through the days best I can remember! 

Tuesday:  Had a great District Meeting, talked about our areas and what we need to do to continue to see success in them!  Went over and had a lesson with Kirstie.  She explained to us how her parents had begun to have doubts about her being baptized because they had been told anti- things from a Minister about what Mormons do...which was all false.  We later on had a great lesson with Mannie though.  Did lots of finding and continued to set up all the baptism! 

Wednesday:  Lots of lessons set up!  About half way through the day, my back started to just cramp up as we were sitting in a coffee shop teaching lessons.  I don't know what I did to it, but the rest of the day I was just in a ton of pain.. Just teaching all day though!

Thursday:  Super busy day!  Had an incredibly spiritual lesson with Candice as always! Then had a disappointing lesson with Kirstie... She told us her parents would not allow her to be baptized now.  They got really antied.  I was really upset :/  Satan was working over-time this week.  But we still had her and Mannie's Baptismal interviews and they went well. Kirstie said that she still wants to be baptized.  It might just take more time now.  She turns 18 in two weeks though.  Later on, had Ward Coordination and Book of Mormon Class in the evening!  My back was killing me all day. 

Friday:  A lot of finding and preparing for the baptism of Mannie for tomorrow!  Back still killing.  But we had a great lesson with Mannie in the evening! 

Saturday:  Today was the day! We prepared all of the baptism and made sure everything was good to go.  The baptism was great!  I was privileged to be able to baptize him.  I remember after Mannie got out, all he kept saying was, '"I'm clean, I'm finally clean."  I was overcome with the Spirit and couldn't help but cry and give him a big hug.  What a miracle to see another son of Heavenly Father come closer to him in his life here on earth!

By the end of the night, I just had to lay down and not move because I was wrecked haha!

Sunday:  Mannie was confirmed at church by Elder Nelson.  It was great!  Candice, being the legend that she is, got up and bore her testimony and said how excited she is to be baptized and how God has been leading her on this pathway to come closer to him.  AHHH We were pumped!  After church, we had our planning and my back was on fire, so I called Sister Donaldson to set up some kind of doctors' appointment for this week. 

Overall a great week,  There was definitely some challenges and tough parts, but I am thankful for the miracles we were able to have!  I'm sorry this email is all over the place.  I don't have a ton of time left before we got to get going!  This week should be a lot of finding. I pray we can find people who are prepared to receive the gospel and that my back can get sorted out!  I love you all and will talk to you soon! :)

Elder Copeland

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Week 31 - March 6, 2017

Hiya, guys

Somehow another week is down already.  Time is honestly just a blur at this point.  We had an incredible week though, the lord is blessing Elder Nelson and I more then I could ever imagine!  This week we were able to see his hand in all of our work and I am grateful for the miracles he has given me.

Tuesday:  We had District Meeting in the city.  It was really good, talked about the new missionary schedule some more and how obedience to it will bring forth the blessings of the Lord.  Afterwards, we had a great lesson with Kirstie, then some GQ'ing, then another great lesson with Mannie!  Then some chapping, still waiting to get let in to a house off of that haha.  Let's just say that's not my favorite thing to do.  We only do it at night for an hour or so though, nay bad!

Wednesday:  We had some more lessons!  We started off the day teaching Amy.  She hadn't read any of the Book of Mormon or prayed, so we read with her and explained the importance of it.  She said she would read and pray by the next time we meet!  We then taught RC Thomas the Stop-Smoking Program.  As of TODAY, he is 5 days clean!!!  It really works!  We then traveled out to an older man named John, not sure if I have talked about him before.  We had a great lesson on the Book of Mormon and he accepted to really read and pray about it and come back to us this week with his results.  We then taught Mannie in the evening, which went well as always, and afterwards taught Kerri.  Kerri was suppose to start the Stop-Smoking Program, but refused to do it.  She then said she was thinking about going back to the Church of Ireland.  I don't think I handled it the best, but I asked her if she believed it was the true church of God on the earth today?  She didn't reply, so I began to testify how I KNOW this church is the true church of God.  We finished up the night chapping afterwards.

Thursday:  We taught Kirstie in the morning, had another great lesson with her!  We then got on a bus out to Newcastle where some members live.  They took us around a wee bit for our lunch break and we had a great time with them. 

(Newcastle:  Just some pics of us going around for a wee bit.  We weren't there long enough to really explore anything!")

 (William Percy French was one of Ireland's foremost songwriters and entertainers in his day. In more recent times, he has become recognized for his watercolor paintings as well.) 
 (The rock formations look like the outline of a head.)

 We Gq'd later on.  We then had our Book of Mormon class in the evening.  I was able to teach this week.  I taught on Alma 17, and really broke this chapter down, and I LOVE IT!  This chapter is all about missionary work and everything these men did to prepare for their missions, and the blessings and miracles they were able to see because of it!  It was well good!

Friday:  Today we went on exchanges with the Portadown Elders in our area!  I went with Elder Kitchen.  We started off the day heading over the the Johnsons' to teach Candice with them.  We had a very sacred, powerful lesson with her, that I really don't even think I should share on the computer because I will always hold it so deeply to my heart.  Very few times in my life had I felt the Spirit as powerful as in this lesson.  To summarize though, Candice has been being taught for 15 years by missionaries, who have prepared her little by little, for the decision she made this day.  She decided that it is time to get baptized for good, and now on the 24th or 25th of MARCH!!  Agh, I can't even describe how amazing this experience was, but when I was testifying of temples of God I was crying pretty bad haha.  We all were.  I love the Johnsons and I love Candice so much.  It's incredible how much love you have for these people as you serve them.  Never have I had so much happiness in my life.  After Candice, we had another lesson with Jorgia, Mannie, Andrew, and then finally a less-active named Ian.  Such a great exchange!

Saturday:  We had another lesson with Candace at the Johnsons'.  We watched the Restoration movie and had a wee lesson on the Book of Mormon afterwards.  It went great.  We then Gq'd for the rest of the day and found some new potentials for this coming week to teach!

Sunday:  Today was Stake Conference!  We headed over to Hollywood Ward to watch a broadcast from some Europe Area Leaders and from Elder Ballard!  They taught us how to reach out and love one another more as the Saviour did for us, and to strive to go the extra mile in helping those who maybe don't even say they need it!  It was a great conference.  We were able to take Kirstie with us as well, and after the Conference, she says, "I want to be baptized right now, why wait?"  AH... WHAT?!?!?  YES!!!  We told her that Mannie was planning on being baptized on the 11th, and she said she wants to be baptized then as well! Mannie was all for it as well once we told him!  So... this week we will be having two BAPTISMS.  Mannie has asked me to baptize him, and Kirstie has asked Elder Nelson to baptize her.   WOWOOWOWO!  WE ARE EXCITED TO SAY THE LEAST! 

I hope this e-mail made some decent sense, pretty much it was a week of miracles straight from Heavenly Father.  We are beyond pumped for this weekend.  We have a lot of planning to do to make sure it all runs smoothly, but I know that it is all in God's hands as well :)  

I am so thankful to be a missionary.  I have never been at a happier, healthier place in my life, and it's through serving others with love that I have been able to feel this way.  Thank you all for the continued love and support you have shown me.  It has gotten me through some low points out here, because its tough!  But Salvation NEVER was an easy journey!  I hope you all have a brilliant week and remember to look back on what the Savior has done in your own individual lives!  I'll talk to you all soon!  The 11th is also moves call almost forgot, this transfer is a blur.  I am hoping we both stay in Lisburn, but we will see!  I'll talk to you guys soon!

Love Elder Cope 😁