Elder Cooper Siebers has been called to serve a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He will serve for 24 months in the Brazil, Rio de Janeiro mission. He enters the Provo, Utah Missionary Training Center on 10 July 2013.

Monday, June 1, 2015

99. Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro

1 June 2015

Good morning family and friends, 

So this week was my official last week as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It was an incredible week and one that I'll never forget. We helped a sister move in the rain, weeded an entire yard, said goodbyes to many beloved investigators and members, and had some incredible progress with our investigators. 

The most memorable experience from this week was Sunday. It was a normal meeting all the way through. Bishop was the final speaker and at the end of his talk he invited Elder Evans and I to the front to share our testimonies. If you weren't there you missed the two of us get teary eyed :D Then afterwards, just about every single ward member came and gave us a hug and wished us well on in our travels. An Irmão got about 40 members together for  a "Till we Meet" chorus. Hugs were had, presents were given, tears were shed, and it really put the capstone on my time here in Rio das Ostras. 

There's so much to be told still, and many stories that will come up here in the next few weeks, I'm so excited to see you guys this week!!!!! See you real soon!!!

Elder Siebers

Monday, May 25, 2015

98. Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro

25 May 2015

Hey everyone, sorry for the late start this morning, weve kinda had a crazy week and today began in a search for a decent new LAN House to send emails. I realize I didnt send updates from last week, so I'll give some highlights real fast, even though two weeks ago already seems in the distant past....

I believe I sent a photo from the _____baptism. He was a another great story. I´ll sum it up. He appeared out of no where at church three weeks ago and we began teaching him that very week. Turns out his father has been a member for a very long time, well had been, anyways, he is 19 years old, just had his first child and recently he separated from his wife. He's going through an incredibly tough time. He remembered the church that his father participated and searched it out that Sunday. He was completely ready to receive the gospel and needs it so much durng this trying period of his life. The father lives here as well, we already met and talked with him. He knows he needs to come back but he needs to get some things back in order first. He was part of the bishopric after all... kinda a crazy story to be told later :D

So that was one major miracle, but it gets even better...

We also worked hard this week to prepare _______for her baptism yesterday. Sh'es the grandaughter of _____, and we´re currently teaching the entire family. I love them so much and they have literally become family to us. 

So that makes two huge miracles from this week. The third was the most impressive if you ask me.  We met ___ while we were teaching ___ and on one day we gave a brief introduction to our work, purpose as missionaries and the church in general. We invited her to participate and she kindly refused. She stated that she participates in [another church] and is content. We of course accepted her choice. 

About 2 weeks later I get a phone call from ___ and out of no where she had this immense desire to be baptized in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We RAN there immediately and began teaching all the lessons. She accepted everything we taught and expressed much of her complaints with her previous affiliation.  She also expressed her difficulty in changing over 17 years. While in the lesson she looked at us and said

"I dont want to be baptized on satuday... " We just looked at her with a sad look...

"I want to be baptized before" And we marked the day for the following day which was wednesday :D

I'm sorry the story isnt all nicely written, I'm typing as fast as I can to get everything in!

So this week was jsut overall... INTENSE. We were running around all week teaching, interviewing and we also had a move this week.... except this time it was our own.

So we moved. We have a new apartment, even further from our area. its on the top floor, 5th, and has an incredible view of the neighborhood and surrounding mountains. I'll send pics someday,,, or when I'm at home :D

Cleaning an old missionary house was NASTY, and we're still not done, we'll have to spend several hours to finish off the job this week. 

So thats pretty much the scoop on things. It still hasn't hit me that I'm coming home so soon, I'm just doing what I've always done. I think the best way to really take adventage of this last week is to just keep working. There are several appointments we made this week to visit beloved members and recent converts, it's going to be a great last week. 

The members this Sunday threw a churrasco for me which was AWESOME!

I love you all so much, and can't wait to see ya'll soon!

Elder Siebers

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

97. Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro

18 May 2015

[Well friends, this is what it has come to.  Cooper usually sends us a numbered update for the blog and then answers our personal emails as his time allows.  This week.  No numbered update.  I am not quite sure what to think of that.  How do you run this two year long marathon and then skip a checkpoint in the last quarter mile?  But we do know he is alive and well as I received the following from him personally.  -Oh, and Scott saw three charges on his card for McDonalds later that day. Clearly he has not lost sight of all that is important.]

So I'm pretty sure "trunky" came around as in packing your trunk or I guess suitcase. Something like that and it stuck. Trunky is that feeing of packing the suitcase and going home.

Still coughing, thinking today that it will never go away. I'm fine though, the fever has passed.

I watched riley's performance. It was incredible in video, I cant wait to actually see her live. She's amazing! What are her actual plans with all this?

So many things I want to comment on, but I remember that in two weeks we'll be able to talk about them in person so i'll just hold on  a bit longer! :D

[And so I give you- "Riley's performance"]

Monday, May 11, 2015

96. Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro

10 May 2015

[We had a fantastic LONG skype talk with Cooper yesterday!  Though suffering from a cold he seemed better than ever.  We discussed his re-entry desires- which include "no big parties, but lots of chicken pockets".  There are two companionships in this ward, so there are four of them in the apartment, at this last transfer, a friend from the MTC district- Elder Evans was assigned to Rio das Ostras, so they are now living together.  They arrived in Rio together back in November 2013, and in just over three weeks, they will fly to Atlanta together on their journey home. He seemed very excited to enjoy the last three weeks of his mission.  I can't believe we are this close!]

The final chapter began this week, and it certainly was written up quite poetic-ly. E. Evans made his epic return to Rio das Ostras. We came on the same flight from the States to Brazil, now we are going to finish the mission in the same area  and same house and then were gonna book it off on the same flight home. Nice ending.

The week was pretty difficult overall. I ended up catching a fever midweek and I managed to walk and visit some people but I just wasn't capable of working and teaching effectively so I did get some bed time in so I could recover quicker. 

We had some CRAZY experiences this week which will need further explanation here in a few weeks. Remind me to tell you guys about the time we taught ....

Strange email this week.... but the highlgiht was really talking to the family this week. I love you guys so much, and can't wait to see you all real soon!

Elder Siebers

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

95. Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro

5 May 2015


Wow. Where do I even begin with such an epic week? I´ll have to be brief about everything to be able to give a good summary of this weeks events. 

This week was our week in Trio, We dropped E. Hamilton off in Rio and spent the entire day traveling (Tuesday) We got back to work Wednesday covering the entire city of Rio das Ostras, covering all of our own investigators and those of Elder L. It was fun to be able to teach some of my friends from the English class. We had an incredible lesson with a woman named X from the English class. She is coming to church and this week heard about baptisms for the dead and was left very doubtful. We went to visit her and she asked us to explain for about it from the Bible. We gladly did so and she began to weep and explained how she didn't believe we were going to be able to show her. She began talking about the implication it would have in her life and of those she loves if it were a true doctrine. 

We worked until Saturday when we were to receive the phone call about transfers. nothing. We went to church not knowing about the transfer at all. We had so many of our investigators there , (mostly from the English class). We got the phone call finally at 6:20 in the evening that only Elder L was transferred. We left Rio das Ostras at 8 pm and arrived in Rio at midnight. We went to the support house (where missionaries from a far spend the night) and no one was there. I. love. adventure. So that's how we found ourselves in Rio Cumprido, a super dangerous part of Rio :D at midnight, stranded. Luckily there is another missionary house nearby, we got things figured out quickly and grabbed a taxi to Botafogo to spend the night. 20 missionaries in one house, 10 mattresses in total, I spent an awful night on the floor. 

Transfer meeting was yesterday bright and early. Junior from Madureira was there, and we talked for a good while about the ward.  Elder Evans is returning to Rio das Ostras (I took his place when I arrived here) and its going to be a great last 4 weeks! We had Famly home evening with Y (whom Elder Evans baptized) and his wife X and another family they are helping to get to know the gospel. He freaked out when Elder Evans appeared. It was AWESOME!!! 

Today is Tuesday. Its downpouring here. We are going to visit M and F to help them continue to grow and learn everything they possibly can. Then some other investigators we have in our teaching pool for the rest of the day. 

Mothers day arrived so quickly, I hadn't even realized that it was so near. We haven't really made plans yet because of all the transfer drama. I'm sorry i don't have any information as of now. It will most likely be after we have lunch on Sunday, 2:00-3:30 ish, also depending if we have to do it one at a time and so on. When I get better details, I'll send an email through the camera, with the time. (I'll try) If any problems, I log onto Skype through Facebook, I'll send a message to you guys and well figure it out on the spot. Just have FB open to be ready.

I love you guys soooo much!!!!!!!
Elder Siebers

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

94. Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro

27 April 2015

Good Morning everyone! I´ll be honest with you all. I feel like the last leaf on the tree,  being beaten by the wind, holding on while the winter approaches. I'm tired, beat, but this week, the sacrifices make it all worth it. The Lord truly prepares people to receive the gospel. X and Y were so open to the gospel. They felt the spirit with each passing day, didnt deny it and make the commitment with God to follow him. It doesnt get any better than that for a missionary. They already are excited to go to the temple next year. I told them I´ll try my best to be there. I look at their two your old daughter  and see a bright future. One where she will grow up with loving parents, and the gospel to orient her life. 

Last night I met the sister of one of our investigators, 15 years old and is living with a 23 year old man. Its those types of things that leave me reflecting deeply on the cruelty the world has to offer. When I was 15, I was still a child, played video games, sports, and messed around. Imagine having your innocent childhood taken away from you at such a young age. Thats not something you can get back. 

That's why when i see little X2, my heart swells that things will be entirely different for her. Her dad said to us, "I just want to be the best father for her that I can be" and now he has truth to become. 

My time has passed. It will be nice when we can talk without time restrictions :D

I love you all so much!

Elder Siebers

Thursday, April 23, 2015

93. Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro

21 April 2015

[In case you missed the facebook announcement- Elder Siebers comes home on Saturday June 6th!]

I'm currently seated in Carlos and Ritas home. We are going to feast on churracso here in a bit and I'm stoked! 

In other news, X, the mcdonalds employee and her two daughters were baptized this Saturday. That will always make for a legendary story. The ward is openly receiving all new faces into the ward and the word here is impressive. 

So we've been struggling to have our investigator progress, we've been working hard and God has blessed us with a new family. 

Maybe you will all remember a few weeks ago we met two families from Bahia and they invited us in to share a message. Well we lost contact with X and Ye after that and then last week they appeared at church. We went and taught them Wednesday, they like it so much we returned Thursday and Friday, they are reading for the Book of Mormon each day and are on board for their baptism this Saturday. Another great couple. They have an adorable 2 year old daughter. I'll send some photos this week. 

I love you all so much, off to eat  some churrasco!

Elder Siebers

P.S. just got done eating. They're the type of people who just keep piling food onto your plate. Everyone is stuffed with roasted sausage, beef, ribs, vinagrete, farofa, garlic bread, and roasted buffalo cheese.