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, April 21, 2014

41. Madureira, Rio de Janeiro

21 April 2014

Hello everyone, I hope you all had an awesome Easter! 

This week was full of good work and progress with old and new investigators. 

Here´s an update on what I've been up to!

We taught E once more this week, she was the contact I did back in January. She has a good heart and is open to listening, but she really isn't getting the message. We've explained the Restoration and the Book of Mormon several times already and she doesn't understand it. She was flipping through the pages this week of the Book of Mormon and asked... "Wait, Wheres Matthew?" We explained again the Book of Mormon, but she doesn't understand. I know that as a teacher, we must have patience and seek to better our teaching methods, but we are kinda of at a loss at this point. We´re trying to help her visit the church, because we know she´ll feel the difference although she may not know exactly why, the spirit will guide and testify to her the truth. But, she doesn't want to walk there. Well keep trying with her so keep her in your prayers. 

M, who went to church last week, is in an interesting situation.  She left us to talk to her boyfriend. I hadn't planned anything up to this point, but I knew one thing going in, that if you want to have people open up and learn how to help them, you have to ask questions, listen, discern and ask another question. I thank the spirit for helping me quide what turned out to be a great open talk about their family and about himself. This family is holding onto one string before falling apart and we expressed that if there is ANYTHING that can help, its the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the application thereof in the family setting. He went from having "no hope" as he explained to us at the beginning to, "yes, i believe in a God of miracles, and it's possible". The best thing that fell out of his mouth was "I can change". We got persmission to return to their home once, twice if possible, a week to help their family. It's going to be a long process, but its going to be priceless. I have a lot of faith and hope for this family, and I know its all going to work out. I'm so excited to help this family, it's going to be unlike anything I have ever done, and for the first time, while talking to him, I really understood HOW the gospel blesses the families.

The gospel of Jesus Christ is a straight path as we say. The husband and wife are two individuals, but have one family to take care of. When one yields to other desires and places them above the family's well being, problems occur. The Gospel, when applied and set above everything for both the husband and wife, creates a perfect formula in order to develop a happy family.

We recieved a media referal from LDS.org on Monday. We went and visited A on Tuesday. She was online and came across a summary of the Book of Mormon and said she was really curious. Two weeks later we showed up, taught her the first lesson. She loved it and wanted her boyfriend to hear. On Saturday he came down from Nova Iguaçu to hear the message as well. She already believes the Book of Mormon is the word of God and accepted the baptismal invite for when she learns a bit more about the message. They agreed to visit the church, but never showed up, but I know they will soon. 

It's been an awesome transfer here in Madureira, being senior and a trainer has been a great blessing to me. I push harder and strive harder to have success, and help my investigators. In the past five weeks we went from a dry dry DRY area to now 7 investigators progressing.  I've learned a ton, and really excited for the future. Sadly enough, I was revisited last night by the SAME feelings I had in Gilbert last November at the thought of leaving my area in a week. This was the first time that's happened for me in Madureira, and for the first time, I'm hoping I get to kick it here in Madureira a bit longer. (It's not that I wanted to leave before, but this time there is severe depression at the thought of leaving.)

Also we recieved HUGE news about our district. This district as been comprised of Madureira, Bento Ribeiro and Sulacap for a VERY LONG time and this week we received news that Bento Ribero AND Sulacap are dividing and we will recieve two more pairs of missionaries. Also the Sulacap elders are moving houses and we are going to move into their much more comfortable home... that is if I stay of course.  It all makes sense, it doesn't feel right to be transferred this upcoming week, but for that reason it makes all sense that I will. Thats the way tranfers work.  I totally understand the will of the Lord, I will be pleased to go wherever he sends me. If I hadn't left Gilbert when I did I wouldn't have been able to play a part in the J and T story. 

So thats an update from me. Loving the work and loving helping people come unto Christ!

Elder Siebers

[On a more humorous note... later in the day I received an email from Cooper with a photo attachment.  The subject was "PHOTO: Mom, you aren't going to like this". I knew what that meant, it meant that it was a photo of him doing something dangerous- like this:

Or this:

Or this:

Or this:

So you can imagine how frustrated I was when my phone was taking FOREVER to download and open the photo.  ....




Finally it came through and I just had to chuckle:

Phew... okay... that I can handle.  See... boys prepare their moms for missions just as much as moms prepare their sons.]

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