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, March 30, 2015

90. Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro

30 March 2015

So this week was good, but also really disappointing... we had tons of great appointments set up that managed to fall through. We did have some great lessons but we don't really have anyone that is truly progressing towards baptism... The good news is the english class is thriving!!!! We had to expand our classroom and we had incredible fruits, they all live in the other area which is a shame, but I'm happy either way, we're all on the same team right?

the "Team"

There was a mother and daughter from the english class that went to church.  There was X, his wife and her mother, whom talked to me at the post office who went to church. There was Y and her three kids who we met at McDonalds whom went to church again and are on date to be baptized April 11th!!!!   That's 8 people, whom we found but belong to the other area :DDDD  So happy though! 

In total the other companionship had 13 investigators at church (incredible!!! ) and we had two.  But we'll count our blessings :D This ward is outstanding, we are going through an epic age of growth. Bishop is focused on expanding our smaller chapel and the stake encouraged him to have an attendance of 170 to do so. I've been here for 3 months and in this time to attendance has raised constantly each week, 120, 130, 140, 150, 160 last week and we hit a new record, 168 this week. massive ward!!! The members are working, we're reactivating and bringing new people each week,... it cant get any better that this!!! 

Just working :D

I love you guys so much!!!!

Elder Siebers

Monday, March 23, 2015

89. Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro

23 March 2015

Hey everyone, sorry if it seemed like I had been transferred seeing as I didn't enter this morning. [Cooper usually emails in the morning, except on the Mondays when he gets transferred, then we don't hear from him until late Monday or even Tuesday.  So I was starting to wonder.] We went to the LAN House and the system was entirely shut down and the man told us to return after lunch. So here´s the news. It seems President is serious about this whole 6 month in each area thing, and all four of us are staying here in Rio das Ostras! In the entire zone, only 2 of 14 elders were transferred. Times are changing!

I'm excited to be staying, seeing as we have some incredible potential for this transfer! 

So this week was pretty interesting. I just wanted to recap one of the most incredible days I have ever had. Tuesday was a pretty normal day, the sun was shining, we left home with some plans for the day as well as some errands to run. It seemed just like any other day, but for some reason everyone wanted to talk to us for some reason. We probably had about 10 different moments where someone stopped us on the street to know who we were, what we do, or if we could give money :/ I caved in two Phillipiane girls who wanted a church donation, whom didn't even speak portuguese and spoke in broken english to us. But those weren't even the highlights. We had to run to the post office, and we were a bit unsure about it because there's always a huge line and it takes about an hour to get in and out of there, we decided to go. In that hour, a man talked to my comp while in line and marked a day to teach him, a young woman and her uncle asked me about the Book of Mormon while I stood by the exit and she asked how much it costs. We went straight to her home after the post office and shared the restoration and wow it was a lesson. Smart people, with good questions, we´ll see where it goes. Also in the post office and older gentleman asked me about the English class and went this week!!! 

That doesn't even top the day off. So get this, (you guys are gonna loved this story, its almost too good to be true) That night we were kinda hungry and McDonalds has a new promotion for a triple bacon burger for 6, 50 reias, roughy 2.50. So yeah we went and we were joking on the way there that it would be funny if someone stopped to talk to us in McDonalds. We ordered, sat down and ate, and on our way out while throwing out the trash and employee started talking to us. She moved from Bahia a few weeks ago, has a relative in the church, and is looking for a church for her three young children to grow up in...... yep. So, unfortunely she lives in the other elders area, but they are teaching her and she went to church this Sunday!!!! YEEEEESS! We may or may not pass by McDonalds this week just to followup with her and give her some extra support! :D Miracles do happen :D

So that's all for now really

Love you all, 

Elder Siebers

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

88. Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro

16 March 2015

Well everyone, things just cant get any better right now! This week was almost completly focused on the getting X and her grandson prepared for their baptism saturday. We spent the week visiting members and planning the baptismal meeting. Saturday came around faster than usual and overall the baptism was a great success! We had in attendance about 35 people including members, nonmember family and friends of X, whom we will be looking to teach this week, and some other investigators from Rio das Ostras 2. We also had someone from the English Class show up which was awesome!!!! She was so prepared and needed the gospel in her life at this time, she has more hope for the future, her soul has been calmed. 

So early this week, I finally received what we call "Ligação da Morte" (death phone call), Elder G. Morales asked me which airport I would like to arrive at. Bradley International Airport was the response. Elder G.Morales also just left from Madureira and informed me on some interesting news. Apparently the are reforming the Stake,  the ward mission leader is currently serving as bishop of three combined wards for the time being. 

And Even better news!!!! My good friend is now Elders Quorum President and he and his wife are booked for the next carpool to the temple to be sealed.

I'm as happy as a clam.

I love you all so much! Hope ya´ll have a great week!

Elder Siebers

Sunday, March 15, 2015

87. Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro

9 March 2015

Well, I´ll call that a week! 

This week was INCREDIBLE. I´ll start by briefly mentioning an incredible multi zone conference we had in Macaé this week with President Cabral. I wont have time to go into detail about all that was said, but President Cabral is one of the most incredible, driven, and largest visionaries I have ever met. He doesn't have a limit, he just wants us to do more and more, and its quite inspiring. He´s pushing the entire mission to new limits and to new potentials and we are having more results than ever! We immediately put into application some of the techniques that were taught there and we had incredible results this week. We began to invite EVERYONE we possibly could to church this week and followup constantly until they fulfilled with their commitments. This Sunday, X, her grandson (whom are going to be baptized this Saturday), X2 (my first student from our english class), X3, Y and X4 (whom we met for this first time this week) X5, Y2 and X6 all came to church. We had ever more people confirmed to be there, but some didn't make it! The chapel was exploding with new faces, especially since the other companionship had 6 more as well! 

Update on our english class. When I arrived here during the holiday season, we had one student. She came the first 2 or 3 weeks alone, and we had a good time learning! Then the class started to grow each and every week until this week we hit 20! We made plans with a member here who lived in the states and teaches english and she's gonna run to course now so that the switch in missionaries doesn't hault the course like in the past. Also that we could better get the members involved! 

Miracle from the week. We were searching for a referral we received this week. A partially drunken man on the road asks if we are 'the mormons'. Yes we are. And he promptly invited us into his home where we proceeded to teach two families from Bahia. They both moved here recently and have always wanted to know more about the church. We dropped a summary of the Restoration and invited them to church this Sunday. They said they would go, but didn't come. I felt sincere desire though, so i know they'll be there this week around! 

So yeah, that's about it for this week. One more in the books. Its gonna be another great week here! Hope it is for ya´ll as well.

Elder Siebers

P.S President has received instruction from Thomas S. Monson that missionaries should stay in there areas for at least 5-6 months. Finally that has been in place after hearing it almost two years ago from E. Anderson in Gilbert. I may finish my time in Rio das Ostras, that would be a dream come true!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

86. Rio das Ostras, Rio de Janeiro

2 March 2015

Good morning everyone. I am doing well. Today we woke up to a clouded sky, which always makes me grateful that today I won't be as sun scorched as usual. 

We had a busy week. We are working a ton in an area called Aquarius, which is about 30 minutes by bus away from the chapel. We are teaching several progressing investigators, we received a good amount of referrals there as well, so weve been heading there almost every day these days. We are so excited about several investigators that are on date and keeping commintments. We were so excited for this week because X and Y were on board for this Saturday, but neither of them were able to come to church this week, so well have to remark them for the next week and see where they are at this week. 

We had a great lesson with Y2 this week. We had planned a specific lesson to help her with a question she has about being rebaptized for the third time, but as we began the lesson she opened up for the first time and began talling us about several spiritual experiences she has had recently. She is dating an returned missionary, they went to visit his uncle, a patriarch, in January and she received a blessing from him. She explained how she is seeing the promises of that blessing being fulfilled and add in some recent prayers being answered. She accpeted a baptismal date for the end of March and it was a great lesson. 

This week ahead, it appears we will have another Zone Conference in Macaé and Elder Aidukaitus will be present. Im pumped

I love you all so much ,and hope you all have a great week! 

Elder Siebers