Monday, August 25, 2014

Last Sister Standing

It's now official-- I've been with Sister Lloyd longer than any other companion. It seems like everyone has to have their 4 transfer companion these days. I'm glad it's with her and not with someone crazy. Not that there's any crazy sisters in the FTM haha.

Once Thursday last week came around I realized just how much change there really was in the zone. Our DL we've had for 4 transfers is gone, his new comp has only been in the area two weeks and now he is training, one of our beloved STLs has moved elsewhere in the zone (not our STL anymore-wah!), the Jay Sisters changed, the Pace Sisters are no more, and yep! Sister Lloyd is like my only friend in the zone now it feels like! And the other Milton STL. She's pretty great. I have been assigned by Sister Lloyd to exchange with the new STL and break it to her that she has to be our BFF because we have lost our last one. I'll do my best.

This week we met with a couple people we street contacted. We've been doing family history with them, and one lady is really opening up to us. She's a full time grandma, and a long time widow. She's been through a lot in her life. We've just been visiting and doing family history with her, but we got more into religious discussion this week so we are hoping to start teaching her soon. Wish we had an iPad that we could just be like "here's a video that would uplift you!" but I guess we will have to be more creative than that.

Things are going good with our eternal gator Billy; he gets things really well. He makes me want to just blabber on and on while I'm teaching because we just don't have that many people here who understand what the heck we are talking about. He's just taking the actual steps into the church really slow I guess. We'll be praying for how we can help him.

Last crazy thing that happened with the transfer-- Elder Thackerary's trainee, is someone I know. We met in the MTC, but he went home after a few days. Now he's back out and in my area... and we have not got the fact that we know each other out in the open yet. But I can tell he recognizes me from his good old MTC district. :P Awkward haha!

Well, I'm speeding on to email more peeps and send more pics! Love ya followers!

-Sister Laura Cooper

Growing Roots Here

Well, I better not go around thinking that I've done talked to everyone in this town because SURPRISE! I'm staying here another round! This joins me in the ranks of one of the infamous 4 transfer companionships. Usually it happens to Sister Trainers. Maybe we are our own special kind of undercover sister trainer companionship. We teach at zone training by way of telepathy, and for exchanges we do overnight area blitzes with all the other sisters in the zone. Haha. Or we are just good comps for each other and we need to stay together a long time. Who knows.

I just became the missionary in the branch who has been here the longest. Not the longest out of all the missionaries ever, but the longest out of who we will have here in the upcoming transfer. We will have Elder Thackeray, his new companion, Sister Call and her new companion, Sister Lloyd, and me. I'm even older in the branch than the senior couple and senior couples never transfer!

Oh, and this makes one more transfer I have successfully avoided becoming a trio. Almost every sister has been in a trio for at least one transfer due to some bulging amounts of sisters and not enough areas for them. But I have avoided and continue to do so. :D

Well, back to the week! Last week during weekly planning, we chose to work as a companionship on humility. Sister Lloyd warned me that crazy things would happen if we did that, but I was like "let's do it!"

On Tuesday of this week, we came home from district meeting to find that we had no running water in the apartment. Some construction was being done down the street and the water had to be turned off for "no longer than an hour". Four hours passed and we still had no running water, except for a little sputtering every time we turned a faucet on. We called our landlord and the city of East Brewton and it took them like A WHOLE DAY to figure out what was wrong and fix it. So we had no water for 24 hours, except the emergency drinking water from the closet. That was humility part one.

The other major part of humility was our contacting this week. It was like Brewton had run dry of people to talk to. We only got like one new potential this week-- a fairly good one. We were frustrated though will all the walking and biking around and no one to talk to. Then humility really got some points because we saw this lady at the top of some porch stairs and we asked if we could talk to her. She said yes, so I quickly walked up the stairs and fell on my face. HA. Huuuuuumility.

Some great stuff still came out of this week. Our lesson with eternal investigator Billy was on prophets. The Spirit was definitely there, and even though he already knows so much about the church, he seemed to really connect with the basic truths of the Restoration! It was awesome.

This is a long blog haha. Peace out now. Boonies Forever.

-Sister Laura Cooper

Monday, August 11, 2014

Shaping and Sculpting

Me and Sister Lloyd have developed, sort of on accident, a little tradition of obtaining a childhood toy every transfer. First, we were stuck inside during that storm back in April, and we got Wonderlooms to make bracelets. Last transfer we each had to get a little nerf pistol because district activity was a Nerf War. This transfer we've decided to make it Play-Doh. We bought a few containers of Play-Doh and a few cutters that make animal shapes. Don't judge, there's nothing to do in Brewton on P-Day and we eat dinner alone most nights. This is how we keep morale high.

So anyway, as we've been sculpting away making farm animals and busts of ourselves and our BFFs the Sister Trainers, we've been also been shaping ourselves and our area. We have gone biking-finding-walking-time crazy. It's our favorite thing to do, and it's sometimes the most frustrating thing to do because we just can't find a soul to talk to. It is also scary because some people are just really creepy. We have to carry cards to give out that aren't filled out with our number, just in case we run into the crazies on the streets, which happens like at least once a week. But like I'm saying, all of this is making us more intensely into the work of the Lord. We find great joy in meeting awesome people like a few that we met this week who are like "When I lived somewhere else I knew people from your church and they were awesome, and I want to learn about my family, and I'm church shopping, ect."

As well, we have great angst over getting ourselves in yet another sketchy neighborhood with sketchy people out of which we must bike at great speeds.

It's worth it when we met prepared people. We found a sweet family this week. We stopped to talk to a lady sitting on her porch, and she has a husband and 5 kids. No one has that here haha. Everyone is like "I live here with my mom and my cousin Joe and my friend's nephew Pete, and my girlfriend". Whatever works for you I guess haha. :P But I do hope we can get to know this young-ish family and teach them. The mom told us she would really like to learn about her family history once the kids are back in school, and that when she's seen us out, she's known that we are Mormons and wanted to meet us.

The things that keep us going. :D Shaping orange and purple play doh cows and shaping the city of Brewton one day at a time

-Sister Laura Cooper

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Outta Nowhere

Some weeks you just never know what will happen next. Welcome to that week haha! We are still trying to focus on finding and talking to everyone. As usual, lots of random happenings came out of that. We met a lady named Vida (I like to call her Vida Min) who basically just said all of the right things. She is all about Christ and families, but she doesn't go to church right now. She wants to learn about her genealogy, but doesn't want to buy She's so cool. Hopefully we will get to work with her. 

More out of nowhereness. We had the 3rd emergency transfer in the area since I've been here. One of the elders had to go home for a medical problem, so we got a new elder in from FSU campus. The Lord keeps sending us missionaries from Tallahassee. They done don't like it out here in the boonies but whatevs. Hope he survives and isn't too shocked when the first person he talks to on  the street is one of the many town loonies haha.

One of the recent converts we visit, baptized before either of us got here, basically came to us as therapists and told us we are the only people that understand her. We weren't really sure what to do so we just let her cry it out for a while and told her Jesus loves her. She was back to semi normal the next time we saw her, so hopefully it helped some...Then yesterday out of nowhere our lady who walked in to sunday school last week came to all three hours this week. We visited her at her Avon booth on Saturday, but for obviously reasons couldn't do a lesson with her or anything. But then she totally made her way to church on sunday. We aren't sure if she is investigating or church hoping for fun but she did say we can start teaching her lessons and such. And she actually helped us set up the church before it started. The elders investigator came early and helped too. That made two nonmembers serving in the church. Score one for them.
Expecting the unexpected and more out here.
 -Sister Laura Cooper

Saturday, August 2, 2014

First Birthday

With the passing of Pioneer Day, I have hit a significant missionary landmark. I am 1 year old in mission time! Sister Lloyd and I had a wonderful birthday party on our roof. She got me a Frozen 1st Birthday card, a birthday cake milkshake, and loaned me her lighter so that we could burn a shirt. It's days like these when I wonder what I have done with my mission! Sometimes I think that a sister who has been out a year is so old! It's not like I don't feel like I've been out very long (well, sometimes I do) but it's like I want to do so many things with my mission and I don't have all the time in the world. Yikes moment. Better bunker down and work like crazy for my last 6 months.

We did a lot of talking to people this week (again!). I am literally walking through pairs of shoes! They get especially torn up when humidity showers rage through Brewton and I'm swimming along the flooded streets... Well, at least I'm wading from ankle up. Yeah the dress shoes don't like that. Some miracles because of it though. We got to sit down with a lady we met last week and start working with her a little bit. We've met a few people that either really want to do family history or check out our little Brewton congregation or whatnot.

And then there was the lady we waved at who somehow found the church on Sunday. Really can't explain that one.

Can't write too well right now, but hopefully I'll keep having miracles to share and not just crazy people stories! Love y'all!

-Sister Laura Cooper