[This is where I have edited out paragraphs of Cooper's letter about some of the people they are teaching. Suffice it to say they are working with people who have experienced all manner of difficulties in life- fatally ill family members, women pregnant with unwanted children, addictions, victims of serious crime, parents who have kids in prison for serious crimes, and at the end of the day- people who have given up in trusting another human and have truly lost hope in any kind of better life for themselves and their families.]
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, July 14, 2014
53. Itaborai, Rio de Janeiro
14 July 2014
Real World. Real Problems
*Mom and Dad this letter will be filled with some heavy details from our current investigators. Some editorial work may want to be done to protect these peoples personal lives, but i want you guys to know what im working with and and advice you can give me.
Being a missionary is unlike anything I have ever done. It's unlike any other experience that exists in this world. We work with any type of person who is willing to listen, and we work with them on a very personal level. In order to do such, it's very important that we show them that they can trust us, that we would not deceive them, that all we want to do is help in any way. The thing is, how do we get to that point? Most of our investigators are people who we stopped in the middle of the street, and are getting to know them for the first time. Teaching the necessities can be a difficult task when these people are still trying to decide whether they should let us into their lives. Truth be told, in my mission I haven't had too many investigators that completely opened to us, putting full trust in us to help them. To them, we are only 19 and 20 years old lads, what could we possibly have to offer?
This week proved to be one of the most intense weeks of my mission and my life. As the one year marked ticked, it seems as if the difficulty level of our investigators was turned up a notch. I got a very real sense this week of real people, with real lives, with real problems.
This world is full of real people, with real problems. As young representatives of Christ, we don't offer anything of our own make, but we offer the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ, the one and only true and lasting remedy to the problems of this world.
To end on a more happy note. Transfers are this week, we are both staying here and were are really excited to continue with our investigators! Elder N, my very good friend from the MTC was called to be the new Assistant to President. Craziness!
I love all you guys- always look for opportunities to be a real friend...someone who looks to learn and help someone through their trials, someone who listens with care and without a speck of judgement. These are always the best and most effective ways to help someone get to know their Savior and Redemeer, even Jesus Christ.
I love being a missionary.
I love helping people.
I love teaching the gospel of Christ.
I know He lives.