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, November 24, 2014

72. Alcantara, Rio de Janeiro

24 November 2014

WOOOOOOOOOOOOO, this week was well beyond belief. This entire week was dedicated to preparing X for his upcoming baptism on Saturday. Things went without a hitch! I'm so grateful to be a missionary at this time in my life, not only to help others come to the truth of the restored gospel, but for my own personal conversion to the gospel as well. Through the experience we witnessed with X, my testimony in sincere prayer and fasting were solidified. I witnessed people with faith, people with sincere desire, calling upon our God,  to receive a testimony of His truth. Frankly, I'm speechless to the matter, and my mind has been left to reflect these past few days about it all. We will continue to teach Y and the gang, they are coming along. They also have desire to know if all these things are true. They've just haven't quite acted upon that desire yet. The formula is simple. Read. Attend Church. Pray and Ask, and these things will be made manifest unto those who do so with real intent and that have even just the smallest seedling of faith.

I have a lot of photos, but I don't have a method of sending them today. I'll try to work on that some more. The baptism was excellent. The bishop, the first counselor, the Elder's Quorum president, a recent convert, some other recent converts, and an investigator all attended! Elder L came and preformed the ordinance and also Elder E, his new comp. So it was awesome to see my MTC bud again!

Things are going swell here, the work continues, the members here are stoked to work alongside with us, and we´ll just keep on working here! Don't worry about me one bit!
I love you all so much and hope you all have an awesome Thanksgiving!!!!

Elder Siebers

PS.  I'm so excited for the package. Our zone leaders were in the mission office and they called me saying, "Elder Siebers, your package is too big for us.  We can bring it to you if your are in NEED but we would have to sacrifice the packages of the other elders of the zone because its sooo big!" This Saturday is one more opportunity to receive a package so all should work out this time! 

[Here's a shout out to some great people who used to live here in Canton, and recently moved to Idaho.  I am not even sure if they knew Cooper very well as he was at college most of the time they lived here.  They had an opportunity to go to Rio last month and asked if they could hand deliver some items to the Mission home there.  Considering that a large flat rate box through the only "authorized and recommended" postal system costs $80, has a 20 pound limit and takes 4-6 weeks to get there, if it gets there at all- I jumped on the offer.  My poor friend in Idaho.  The most efficient way to get it to her was to order a bunch of stuff on Amazon - Prime of course!  I have no idea how much I even sent, probably a large suitcase worth.  They were able to hand it off to the missionaries who live in the Mission home two weeks ago.  It was simply the nicest gesture to offer to this missionary mom.  This family has a couple of boys who will likely serve missions of their own one day and I truly believe that someone will pay this forward for this family.  Thank you Ps!]

Monday, November 17, 2014

71. Alcantara, Rio de Janeiro

17 November 2014

HEY EVERYONE, sorry for the late start today! Today was transfer day. I'll get into the details later!
I want to testify to all who read that God truly does exist and he has taught us clearly through the scriptures about the ways we can call upon his almighty help to bless our own lives and the lives of others. 
This week we had an incredible experience with one of our investigators. X had been keeping all the commitments we left with him, reading the Book of Mormon, praying, and going to church and still had not received that witness that these things are true. Elder L and I prayed for him frequently, and on Friday we fasted so that he could receive and recognize his answer. On Sunday he came to church and we taught him after. Get this. On that very Friday he dreamed he was in a white room, looking into a mirror. He saw a bunch of chairs and a painting on his side and a voice that told him to listen to his heart and to do what is right. We hadn't taught him yet about temples, but we taught him Sunday and he was stunned. That's not all folks... Saturday he had another dream that he was being baptized by E. . We had a incredible and spiritual lesson and we marked his baptism for this Saturday.

A Sealing Room in an LDS Temple- where marriages are performed for time and all eternity.
So, transfers was kinda crazy, we didn't get the call until 10:00 last night. and turns out E. L was transferred. Yeah.... we called X and he and his neighbors, whom we are teaching also (Y and the gang), they came and visited us and X called off the baptism. I kept my faith up and I talked with President this morning to get permission for E. L to come on Saturday to baptize him and he permitted it. Tonight were going to teach X to get things all planned out. 
I'm kicking it here in Alcantara. E. L is starting his fourth transfer in the mission and going to his 4th area!  I love that guy so much and it's been awesome to have a comp like him! He's now with Elder Evans from the MTC in Cabo Frio. I'm now with one more Brazilian, Elder R from Rondônia. I knew him a bit from the Madureira Zone. In other news, Sister Tingey from the MTC goes home this week and becomes the first of us to finish. It was hard watching her give her final testimony, I cant believe how fast the time has flown by!!!!!!!

Teaching Geneology in the Family History Center
Well there's just a small part of this hectic week I had. I love you guys so much and hope you have an awesome week. I know I will!

Elder Siebers
The closest temple to Rio- Campinas, Brazil.  

P.S Got word today that J and T are all set to head to the temple in January!!!!!  [J and T are a couple that were baptized back in January and Cooper has been able to stay in touch with them although he is in a different area.  Once a person has been a member for a year, they can have their civil weddings sealed for time and eternity in the temple.  This is why Cooper is so happy for them.]

Thursday, November 13, 2014

70. Alcantara, Rio de Janeiro

10 November 2014

Hey Everyone, I hope everyone is having a swell day! This week was just insane! We worked a ton, the heat was intense, we had some ups and downs but at the end of the week we had some miracles!
This weeks highlight goes to X. I don't believe that I've mentioned him up to this point. We got to know him a few weeks ago through one of his friends we were teaching. We originally just met him and invited him to church but we frequently ran into him on the street so we began teaching him! He's very intelligent and had already attended various faiths including that of our own. He just wants to be happy but has the thought in his mind that he isn't able to stop some of the things that he loves to do. Well we taught him several times this week sitting in front of the shop where he works, about faith, repentance, the atonement. Saturday night rolled around and we had marked to teach him. His grandmother told us that he left early that morning and hadn't seen or heard from him all day. We made one final attempt to find him around 8:00 pm and encountered his cousin who stalled us just long enough.  He came home with his shirt in hand around 8:20. . We reminded him of church the following morning at 9:00 am, he said he was gonna be there. Sunday morning came around and during Elders quorum [meeting], he entered the room! He actually enjoyed church! He talked about how it's completely different than what he's used to, but he noticed a warm atmosphere and genuinely good people. He told us how he just wants to be happy, and we're striving our best to help him find that happiness and hope. We taught him the Plan of Salvation after church and he was impressed by the doctrine and the overall logic of the plan in accordance with the scriptures. He told us how on Saturday he went his way in to the local Favela to [return to a bad habit] and was threatened at gun point which he said really opened his eyes to the fragility of this life.
Other than that we are teaching another incredible family that all of the kids went to church yesterday minus the mom, but shes working on it. Things should work out that they can be getting baptized here at the end of the month!

Life is awesome, the work is hard, but there's nothing better than helping another on their way!
Elder Siebers

Monday, November 3, 2014

69. Alcantara, Rio de Janeiro

3 November 2014
This was another solid week for us here in Alcantara! It was another strange feeling to be completely secluded from major holidays like Halloween, the strangest  part was that I didn't even feel like it happened. But, I hope you had a Happy Halloween!
The highlight this week goes to X. We had left to teach some investigators with our Ward Mission Leader. We had just left a lesson and were planning our next stop when we received a phone call from him. The call didn't come through right, and he attempted twice more to call. We were close to his house so I said "Vamos lá!" We had initially marked for 7:30 that night so we thought he may have just wanted to remark to cancel the lesson. We got there in 2 minutes and his look on his face when we got there so quickly was priceless. He informed us that he had been reading Moroni 10:32-33 and felt the need to talk to us sooner. The night before he had read and had incredible desire to show up at the chapel but didn't because he didn't know if anyone would be there.. (we were....) We had an incredible lesson with him and confirmed that once more he had felt the Spirit that urged him to come unto Christ and believe in the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Thats really all for the big news here. I love this ward, this area and my awesome companion so things are going swimmingly!

(NOT the hospital where Cooper was treated last month.)

I love all of you so much!
Have a great week!

Elder Siebers