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.

Friday, August 30, 2013

7. Gilbert AZ

26 August 2013

So the first day we were welcomed to the mission by President Nattress. He just was called to be the president in July, and he's just beginning to figure things out for himself. He is a very nice guy though, and seems really down to earth about things. 

Anyway, We went through tons of orientation type things for the entire day. They were not prepared for us 6 visa waiters at all. We don't have financial cards, all our funds are being sent to our companions cards. Ugh. But they did buy us all brand new bikes which they are going to use for the visa waiters of the future. Very generous. The first night, Elder N and I were assigned to sleep at the B's. [This is a family in the ward, but I don't like to print names.]  It kinda felt like Youth Conference all over again. That was probably the best bed I'll sleep in for the next two years :(  When I woke up the next morning I heard the familiar voice of Micheal McLean. I told Sister B how my mom always played his music on our way to church. She said that her son actually tours with him. And I guess shes bffs with Cherri Call. [Mom should know who these peeps are]

So my companion is Elder P. He's from Spokane Washington, (and oddly enough he's really good friends with Sister C). Hes 24. He's been out for 5 months. This is his first time training.  He's still learning as much as I am. There aren't a lot of investigators to be had. We are trying our best to re-activate some people. The members are incredibly nice and I love having dinner with families. A favorite family  is the P family.   [Sister P sent you that picture of Elder P and me] They have a 15 and 10 year old boy who are way cool. And a daughter whose a senior in high school.

Yeah so the food has been great!

I love riding a bike. I know I won't be able to have this luxury in Brazil so Im enjoying it as much as I can now. Apparently I got here in the hottest part of the year. My first day was 113 degrees and it's been 105+ since. Its ok though, its really not as bad as I thought it would be. Good prep for Brazil.

One of the most eye opening experiences I've had so far was a teaching appointment we had with twin 7 year old girls. The mom and kids are less active but one of the girls really wants to get baptized. We are trying to teach the mom through her kids. In the MTC, and in Preach my Gospel, it explains how we should be able to teach our lessons, even so that a child would be able to understand them. Well this put us to the test. It's really hard to explain topics such as the Great Apostasy to a child. I struggled with words that I simply couldn't use anymore. Authority and Revelation were two that I remember the most.

Its been all good though. We live in a nice duplex with another set of missionaries.

Oh and one other crazy thing, Elder M was called to serve in the Spanish speaking areas here. I cant believe that. I haven't seen him since, but I hope hes doing ok. That would be so hard. [The reason Cooper thinks this would be hard is because Elder M. was also called to Rio.  He was in the MTC with Cooper to learn Portuguese and is now a visa waiter in Gilbert- assigned to speak Spanish!]

A missionary came home in the one of the wards we are serving in. He went to Charlotte North Carolina. We stopped by his coming home party last night and I asked him if he knew Elder F.. He said he did. Hes currently serving just outside of Charlotte. Cool Beans.

I think you got my address, hand it out to whomever wants it

829 East Park Av
Gilbert, Arizona 85234

I was thinking of last minute things I might want. (and these would be awesome, but don't worry about them, I can definitely live without them)

1. Just tons of Christmas music, I don't even know how this would be done, but I know Mom, she can find a way. Just the music we often listen to around Christmas time, so I can get all nostalgic when that time comes around  (David Archuleta and Sarah McLauglin and all that jazz.)

2. Do they make just D&C [Doctrine and Covenants] books, cause I want one. I don't like the way the quad looks, and I like marking them as their own books.

Again these are just some wants. I don't really NEED anything at this point.

Well I got 33 minutes left. Hope I hear from some of you.

[We continue to get these great surprises- Cooper and his companion at Gilbert families that are feeding them dinner.  It has helped so much to know that others are not only caring for him, but also caring for me (the mom) in making sure I know he is safe and happy.]

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