Friday, October 30, 2015

True Church? 17 points

Hola Familia,

How is everything going this week? 

This week has been super interesting but super awesome.  I would like to tell you about one of the most humbling experiences that I have had on my mission up to this point.  So we went to this family home evening last Monday and we invited this less active member that we have been working with and she came over.  Background info, she does not have that much money at all and she is a single mom with two little kids.  We went over to the house and started talking and she was doing something on the table and I asked what is going on.  When we started the night, she came over and made these really cool little card things.  Because she was so grateful that we are doing this noche de hogar (Family Home Evening) with her and it has been so cool.  Literally I was so sad because I knew that she probably didn’t have much more for food. But she gave to us because she knew it was important.

I have had some amazing experiences this week.  I don’t even know where to start.  I would like to talk also a little about 17 very important points that I have been studying this week.
  1. Christ organized the Church (Eph 4:11-14)
  2. The true church must bear the name of Jesus Christ (Eph 5:23)
  3. The true church must have a foundation of Apostles and Prophets (Eph 2:19-20)
  4. The true church must have the same organization as Christ's Church (Eph 4:11-14)
  5. The true church must claim divine authority (Heb 5:4-10)
  6. The true church must have no paid ministry (1 Cor 9:16-18; Acts 20:33-34; John 10:11-13)
  7. The true church must baptize by immersion (Matt 3:13-16)
  8. The true church must bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands (Acts 8:14-17)
  9. The true church must practice divine healing (Mark 3:14-15)
  10. The true church must teach that God and Jesus are separate and distinct individuals (John 17:11; 20:17)
  11. The true church must teach that God and Jesus have bodies of flesh and bone (Luke 23:36-39; Acts 1:9-11; Heb 1:1-3)
  12. The officers must be called by God (Heb 4:4; Ex 28:1; 40:13-16)
  13. The true church must claim revelation from God (Amos 3:7)
  14. The true church must be a missionary church (Matt 28:19-20)
  15. The true church must be a restored church (Acts 3:19-20)
  16. The true church must practice baptism for the dead (1Cor 15:16&29)
  17. "By their fruits ye shall know them." (Matt 7:20)
These are 17 points that the true church needs to really be the true church of God.  After Jesus Christ died and then the 12 Apostles died the true church was scattered and taken from the earth.  But through these 17 points in the Bible we can see which church is true. 

Family I love you guys so much.  This mission has really brought me to understand my meaning in life and what really is important.  I can say for certain that I know that this church is true without a doubt in my mind.  I know it is true because God has manifested the truth to me.  I would love to invite everyone to think about this life and ask am I doing all that I can do to be saved in the last day?

I love you all so much,

Elder Cooley

Little grandma

The Heat . . . Moquegua

Hola Familia,

This week has been great.  So right now my companion is Elder Rossano from South Carolina.  He is 23 years old and is awesome.  We get along great and we have been able to work super hard.  Moquegua is super hot ha ha.  But is great.  So we are super high in the mountains and we really meet some great people.

This week we have had a ton of success and were able to teach a ton of people.  We went to Arequipa on Wednesday and Thursday to the monthly leadership conference and it was great.  I learned a ton and am so excited to apply it to our Zone and see what we can do to help out the missionaries to accomplish their goals. 

I have learned a ton this week I would really love to talk about the plan of salvation today.  I have learned to love and admire this perfect plan that our Heavenly Father made for us.  I would like to challenge each of you guys to learn this plan and I can promise you that if you truly understand it you will change, for the better.  It has changed me and I know that if we understand the simple truths of God we can become better and more blessed.  Honestly from my personal experience, a person is scared to change because they 1) don’t know how to leave behind their bad habits or 2) they try to stop bad habits and don’t have anything good to fill in the new empty space or 3) they don’t understand the purpose of this life.

I love to help people learn how to have self-mastery.  When we can become masters of our self we really can do anything.  I know that this Gospel is true and that our Father loves us, his son atoned for our sins, we can repent and become clean again.  This is the only time in our pre-mortal, mortal, and post-mortal existence that we will be able to do the sacred ordinances for our eternal happiness.  We need to take advantage of it and follow the teachings of Jesus and do things before it becomes too late.

I love you all and think of the personal progress and the kind of life you would like to achieve in the next life.

Les amo,

Elder Cooley

Feather legged chicken


Hermana Herminia


Our faithful dalmation

Our area

Cristo blanco


Hola Familia,

Well I have been changed.  But it was a really interesting change.  So two Zones combined.  Ilo and Moquegua combined and now are one.  I will be Zone Leader of the two Zones with Elder Rossano.  He is from the Carolinas.  It will be so awesome.  I will let you know how Moquegua is this upcoming week when I have a week here.  Well overall everything is going great.  I love the mission and am super excited for the new changes in the mission.

This past week was awesome.  We were able to have a baptism on Friday night.  We did it that night before general conference which turned out great.  Her step dad or the mission leader of the Ward baptized her.  It turned out great.  I can say with all my heart that THIS Gospel changes people lives.  I know because I have seen people change their lives.  I love the mission for this reason.  We are instruments in the Lord’s hand to talk with this people and show that there is hope, a reason to live, and a purpose in this life.  I love it so much.  I have been studying a lot about the great plan of salvation.  I know that it is true and that it is the plan of God.

This General Conference was legendary.  Elder Cluff and I decided to fast for a couple reasons from Friday to Saturday night.  It was amazing.  Really the talks touched my heart.  I personally liked the talk of Elder Uchtdorf.  All of us, as members of the Church, need to make a conscientious effort to devote our energy and time to the things that truly matter, while uplifting our fellowmen and building the kingdom of God. 

What really matters is our life?  What is impeding us from progressing and ultimately being happy?  Think about your life and think about the things that you would like to get better at and do it nothing more. 

Overall I have been thinking a lot lately about the Gospel and its truth.  Maybe some are wondering how, where, or from whom has he gained this knowledge?  It is from diligent work and practice.  It is from trying over and over again to know that he lives and that he exists.  I know that everything will be good because he loves us.  We just need to keep getting better and better.  God gives commandments because he loves us, we obey commandments because we love him. John 14:15

I know that all the Prophets and Apostles and leader of the church are CALLED of GOD and are inspired and receive the revelation for us in these latter days.  I know because I have received a confirmation of this from the Holy Ghost.

I love you all so much,

Elder Cooley

General Conference snacks

Priesthood session ice cream

Pari family aka Pensionista

Rosales family




Lozano family

Lozano family


October is here!!

Hola Familia,

How is everyone doing this fantastic week?

This week was super interesting.  On Wednesday and Thursday we were in Arequipa and so we were not able to be in our area teaching and visiting people.  So we got done with the week on Sunday and we did not have many lessons or visits; it was super low actually.  Saturday because we were fasting I was just thinking a ton.  I became super sad and just felt like I have let the Lord down.  I just knew that I did not give him my all this week and I could have done more.  It was like we worked but just not how we should have.  It wasn’t like we were watching movies but all the lessons fell through and it was just a hard week. 

So I remember on Saturday night that I knelt down and cried and prayed and asked for forgiveness.  I promised that I would never work like that again.  I know that I am better and that I just need to work hard.  After that prayer I got up and felt super excited to go work and find the people searching for the gospel.  It was just amazing.  I would like to testify of the atonement.  I know that the atonement is real and that it is not only for people that sin, it is to give comfort and it will help you.  I know that God was sad with me but will give me the strength necessary to go forward and to be a better missionary.

This week we are going to have a baptism.  Abigail will be baptized on Friday before General Conference.  It will be so cool.  I have never had an investigator like her.  She really wants to learn about everything and is so ready.  The power of this Gospel is awesome and it changes people’s lives. 

If someone feels lost, sad, or has given up hope the Gospel will heal you and make you better. It will change your life.  If you apply the principles of this Gospel and do your part you will change.  I have seen it, I know it to be true.  I have seen the power of the priesthood; I have healed the sick and acted in his name.  I know these things are true because I have done my part.  I have so much to learn to be able to be ready for the final days, to stand guiltless in the last days.  I have so much but, I will be ready if I learn the little things. 

We cannot get to the top of the ladder without starting at the bottom.  This life is about progressing every single day.

I love you all so much and so happy to be here on the mission.  I hope that everything is going great and that you all are doing your part to be better.  Have a great week and I will talk with you guys next week.  Watch conference and learn form the latter day prophets that we have to guide us.

Les amo, 

Elder Cooley

Crawdad tortilla