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, October 21, 2013

15. Gilbert AZ

21 October 2013

So I'm halfway done with my second transfer out in the field. And I celebrated my 100th day out in the field. Woot. Things are going so well here in Gilbert Arizona, and I have to let you know, and this is going to sound a bit strange, but I'm not ready to leave. I would love to spend another transfer or two here before I leave, but that can only mean one thing. I must be leaving for Brazil this transfer. I'm have been getting quite depressed at the thought of leaving so soon. There are so many families and projects I am working on and am so invested in that it would break my heart to have to leave already. I NEVER thought I would be feeling like this, but sure enough....

So this week has been mostly dedicated to teaching J and her kids. We met on Monday night, Friday night, Sunday night and we are meeting tonight as well. The kids are progressing well and they should be baptized soon. J is going to take a little longer I think, but she really enjoys speaking with us and she says that she knows the things we are telling her are true. She's a very intelligent woman who has searched and study the Bible for years. Shes looking for concrete evidence that book the Book of Mormon and the Bible do indeed testify of each other. She also wants to know what give the apostles there "badge of authority" in regards to the priesthood. She doesnt completely understand how these men who live in the world could indeed be in fact prophets. She agrees with the Jospeh Smith story, but shes a little more hestitant to the prophets there after.

The P family have been AMAZING through all of this. They really are my home away from home. I believe mom has been talking to her quite a bit. [Indeed I have, see my comments below.] Shes a pretty crafty lady herself so you guys will make great friends anywho. We are planning on going to the Mesa temple visitor center here soon. fun stuf! We are also having Halloween night over at their house along with j and a less active member that we have been trying to meet in ANOTHER ward that we cover. Yeah. Told you the P family was amazing. They even help us with members not of their ward. They had no idea we covered her ward as well and that we've been stopping by their house EVERY week with no success. We finally got to talk to her a bit last night.

A lot of other miracoulous things have taken place this week. I truly can't believe the members here. They are so involved in missionary work and they are really an inspiration to me. Last night we had a fireside for the ENTIRE mission. President Nattress wanted EVERY single companionship to be there. The catch is that you can only come if you bring investigators, recent converts or less actives. We took up a whole row. I really shouldn't be bragging, but its just a testimony to me about how blessed our area is, how awesome the P's are, and how hard we really are working. Elder H and I make a great team. We both have a lot of faith and desire ... and its working. I just cant describe in words how happy I am right now. Every now and then I do miss some things, but I know how much my mission is beginning to mean for me and my life. There is NOWHERE I'd rather be right now than here in Gilbert.

I love my mission.
I love all of you!

Elder siebers

[So, as most/all of you know, Cooper is our only son and the first missionary to leave our house.  We are kind of new to this whole missionary parent thing.  I am learning so much!  

We have had the missionaries that were assigned to Canton in our home for YEARS... I mean YEARS.  We were so excited in 1998 when missionaries were assigned to our town, as we had not previously had them.  When the kids were little we had them over for dinner all the time.  But, as the kids got older, we got busier AND our little ward had grown such that there were now LOTS of families who could enjoy the company of our missionaries.... so I only have myself to blame when I admit that we haven't had them in our home that much in the last couple of years.  But all that is going to change...

If you go back to this post you will remember that a "mom" in Gilbert sent me a photo and text about 3 days after Cooper arrived in Gilbert.  We hadn't even heard from him yet ourselves.  It was such a great thing to wake up one morning and see this photo of my son and his new companion.... and it truly moved me to tears that another mom 2500 miles away had had the sense to be so kind as to take this photo and ask Elder Siebers for his mom's phone number.  Sister P is a great woman I am sure of it.  I am sure she comes by this naturally.  But in a sense we are also sharing all of this experience together as her own 19 year old son is serving a mission in North Dakota.  (Arizona boy called to North Dakota,  New England boy called to Rio with a stop in AZ- sometimes I have to wonder about the Lord's sense of humor.)  Anyway, Sister P is going through the exact same things we are- missing her own son who has been out less than a year, and looking forward to these once a week emails on Mondays.  

Last Friday I received a text from her asking me what Cooper's favorite snacks treats were.  She fed him and Elder H pizza that night and then sent them home with ALL of their favorites- but she didn't let them leave until she had a photo to send to the moms again.

THIS is why Cooper calls her and her family his "home away from home".  

This is what it means to be a ward family, a Church family, all united in the Gospel, all sisters and brothers, children of our Heavenly Father.]

Elder Siebers and Elder H.

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