Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Prayer Rotation

Preach my Gospel says that we should have daily contact with our investigators for like a week before their baptism. Before I had taught anyone with a baptismal date I thought that was crazy. Then I understood it. Now we are working so overtime on someone that we are in contact like every three hours.

AHHHH. My head might fall off. But it's all good. She is doing good. Sister Smith knows more than I do but she says to take her word for it that our investigator is on a much better path now that she used to be. Every three hours we call and have a prayer with her whole family. It's awkward but missionaries are made for awkward. And it seems to be helping.

I don't know what else to say about this week because I feel like all that I've done is pray... We did get a referral to go up to Castleberry, Alabama (outside our zone) to teach an investigator's sister. Since it was in a random backwoods city that none of the missionaries in that area have even heard of, we got permission to head up into the Mobile North Zone (the only zone in the mission that does not and has never since it's creation last summer had any sister missionaries) and we taught a lesson to a lady in Castleberry! So this may or may not be true be we are just going to say that it's so that Sister Smith and I are currently the only sisters in the mission who have ever taught a lesson in the Mobile North Zone. 

So those are the exciting breakthroughs this week. Also I finished the book of Joshua and started reading Judges. Never read Judges. Violent as heck. Judges 3... about plunging the dagger into the dirt-fat of Eglon. Oh boy hehe.

Hope to have good news about Renee next week. Her baptismal date is Saturday!

Love ya to pieces.

-Sister Laura Cooper

Friday, March 21, 2014

Talking up a Storm

I feel like most of my week happened yesterday. Let's see if I can retrace everything else that has happened...

Well, the entire group got together on Monday night to have family home evening. It was cute. Seriously the Brewton group is so cute.

We walked around a ton because we like to look for people outside to talk to instead of trying to pull them out of their houses. We met this lady with a giant house and a bunch of foster teens and we kind of want to baptize the entire family.

Yesterday I was welcomed into the group by being asked to speak in Sacrament for 25 minutes and being asked to teach Young Women's immediately after. So I spoke on Pres Eyring's April '13 Priesthood Session talk "We Are One" about being united in our purpose to bring ourselves and others more fully into the Gospel. There is a promise made in that talk that if we are unified and do all we can to sanctify ourselves and others, that tiny groups (like Brewton) will become wards with caring bishops, stakes of Zion, and that one day upon their hills will be a temple.



Let's do it.

But the craziest thing that happened this week was that during Coordination meeting before church a tornado touched down on the outskirts of Brewton! There was this crazy warm thunderstorm going on and then all the sudden during the meeting, all five missionary phones erupted into "BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR" "TORNADO WARNING" "BRRRRRRRRRRRRR" "TAKE SHELTER" "BRRRRRRRRRRR"

I didn't get to see it though because we were in Jay at the time, but it must have been pretty close because the Jay elders and sisters got the same warning as us. So that was pretty exciting. I think it was a small one (Brewton was still there when we got back), but exciting none the less.

Of course, and I'm sure this will impress my dad, after the tornado warning came out, and the branch mission leader suggested we move to the chapel for the meeting, where there wasn't any windows, we all left the relief society room, headed for the chapel.

And all 8 young missionaries (yes, myself included) made a simultaneous detour out the front door to frolick in the pouring rain and high wind and look for the tornado.

Yes, it seems if all of my friends jumped out of a church into a tornado I would do it too. Excellent. :P :D

Love you, my peeps!
-Sister Laura Cooper

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Where the Nice Road Ends

Welcome to Alabama, my happy followers! I am all settled (basically) into my new place in East Brewton. My companion is Sister Smith. (Not our mission president's wife, but that would be sweet). Sister Smith is an expert on the Lower Alabama backwoods. She's been serving in this area since I came into the field in August.
The Brewton area, I'm quickly learning, is very unique. I've never been in an area like it before (in like my whole life, not just my whole mission life). We are not big enough to be a ward or a branch... so we are a group! We are the Brewton Area GROUP, nested with the Jay, FL branch. We cross the stateline like 3 times a week on average. :D :D Such a strange place; I'm so excited. There are like 5 regular attendees of Sacrament meeting--three of them are recent converts. Then there's missionaries and sometimes a member of the Jay Branch Presidency.

How did I get so lucky?
I'm still learning how to work an area as unique as this, and trying to learn my way around. It is actually nice, for the record, to have a companion that knows the area. And I was worried.
The members here have crazy strong faith unto willingness to believe in something so uncommon, and come to church at a weird time of day (2 pm) in the city of Brewton Civic Center, instead of just going to one of the million corner churches that they could more easily choose. I can't wait to get to know them all better (which will probably take like a week because there aren't very many to know).
For our closing scripture let me search the realms of
This is what I love about the backwoods--ever since the days of DeFuniak

Alma 32:6-- And now when Alma heard this, he turned him about, his face immediately towards him, and he beheld with great joy; for he beheld that their aafflictions had truly bhumbledthem, and that they were in a cpreparation to hear the word.

People who live out in no man's land and don't have a lots of fits and fancy surrounding them, people who sometimes only have a little--they are humble and willing to learn. Such are the strong little converts in this group. And we are hoping to get more soon!
That's all for this week. Where Florida meets Alabama, the nice road ends, the potholed road begins, and Brewton adventures continue!
Sister Laura Cooper

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


I got transferred (the normal way this time!) to Brewton, Alabama. It's part of the Jay Branch. Elder Smellie, who recently came from there told me that it's awesome and that Brewton is really close to having a branch of it's own. So I might not be opening a proselyting area this time, but maybe I'll get to be there for the opening of a whole new congregation. Awesome sauce. I'm always down for an adventure.

Ok so as for the rest of the week. Basically we had some good breakthroughs with some part member families. The Barcos and the Suddeths. Both are young families with two kids, a super interested nonmember mom and a less active dad, and both have active extended family. Brother Barco's active sister just moved into the ward and she is super cool. She and Sister Barco are very close and such closeness helped the whole family to come to church yesterday! Righteous! The Suddeths are awesome too. They are very patriotic military people. One baby named Lillian America and another named Liberty. We helped them get set up to call bishop and have newborn Liberty blessed. The active brother is coming in to do the blessing. Hopefully this one sunday of required church attendance will help them build a habit. I don't know though. I'm sad I won't be around to see that, just like I'm sad that I missed out on a baptism the defuniak sisters had on saturday of a part member family we were trying to work with when I left. But the work moves on without ya, that's just how it works!
I am nervous, but I'm excited and can't wait to see what lies ahead. My companion is named Sister Smith. I guess we all have to have Elder or Sister Smith as a companion at one point in our missions or another. I've always wondered if they get asked a lot by investigators if they are related to Joseph Smith. I guess I'm finding out.
See ya in Bama! Roll tide?
-Sister Laura Cooper
P.S. Letters written to Palm Blvd in Niceville won't get to me anymore, and I don't know the new address yet, but feel free to write me at the mission home address until next week!
Sister Laura Cooper
1535 Killearn Center Blvd
Tallahassee, FL