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, December 22, 2014

76. Alcantara, Rio de Janeiro

22 December 2014

Well everyone, I can't believe how quickly Christmas has arrived once more. It's hard to imagine that classic Christmas atmosphere that I grew up with and love, with this 100 degree plus weather and beaming sun. But that's just the way it is, I wouldn't rather be anywhere else at this time in my life than where I am! 

So this week was......intense. 

[Cooper shared with us a very long story about a man they have been teaching for weeks.  I would love to share it with you all because there are so many great lessons in the things that have transpired.  However, I really feel that I must protect this person's privacy. 

I can paraphrase this part-  Our missionaries today commonly use Family Search to teach people how to find information about their ancestors.   If you are not familiar with Family Search, it is essentially the same as Ancestry.com, except that it is free- for everyone.  A few weeks ago Elder Siebers and his companion showed this man how to log in to Family Search and start looking for his ancestors. This was the first time this man had EVER been on the internet- which I imagine is hard for many of us to believe or relate to.  He doesn't have a smartphone, or a even a cell phone, or even a landline phone.  He was fascinated by Family Search and the idea of learning about his family.  However, a few days later when he shared his excitement with a "friend", this man his told him that "hackers had stolen all of his personal information and put it online."  This man has had a troublesome past and has no understanding of the internet.  He thinks the kind little woman volunteering in the Family History Center is the culprit/hacker and he is mad and and he is struggling over whether or not he can continue to talk to the missionaries.]

Although he LOVES so many of the members of the ward he cant seem to get over this one sister and unfortunately its costing him his eternal happiness. And yes. We told him that directly.. and many others things in a loving and caring manner. 

I've been reflecting on this unfortunate circumstance for a while now. How often do we let simple things get in the way of our happiness? Why do we tend to focus on one small bad thing compared to thousands of uplifting things? 

That poor sister who has NO idea that any of this has even happened, she was just trying to do her best in fulfilling her calling, she couldn't have predicted any of this, and she made the most out of it that she could. While someone else has felt deceived by her actions. How often do we do something that offends others and we don't even realize? It doesn't even have to be anything wrong. This sister is voluntarily making a weekly trip and hour away to help others and someone ignorantly judged her for deception. Although others may be in the wrong, could there be others in our lives who have misjudged our actions and intentions and turned away from us? 

Life is interesting. 

I love you all so much. And I hope you all have a Merry Christmas. Make the most of it. and remember the very first present that was given to us..Jesus Christ and the hope of eternal happiness. 

Elder Siebers

We've been sharing a recent church video "He is the Gift" with everyone and I encourage y'all to check it out as well! 

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