Monday, April 18, 2016

Plan of Salvation

Hello family,

Everything is going well.  Another week down!  Wow it is crazy how fast time is going by.  I am halfway though the transfer with my companion Elder Agine.  It is going awesome; we are having a lot of success and fun.  This week was an interesting week, a lot of weird things happened by it was good. 

Monday was a good day.  So on Monday we went to my old area in Hunter and ate with a family there.  It was really cool.  We hung out with the missionaries there for a little bit.  Then we went back to our area to get ready for family home evenings (Spanish version) that night.  So we went on divisions and I went with one member and my companion went with another member.  It was really cool we visited with this family and we talked about forgiveness (Spanish version) and how forgiveness is essential to be happy.  The Vega family is a really awesome family and you can tell that they are happy. 

On Tuesday we had a Zone Conference so that is when my companion and I do a conference with the Zone on the things that we learn and experiences that we had.  It was cool and it went well and we got to see a lot of Elders.  We came back and ate lunch.  Then we had a meeting with the Stake President and Mission President and talked to them to see how we are doing and what we can do better. 

Wednesday was the longest day of my entire life.  I went with an Elder that is having some troubles on his mission.  He is not doing too hot and doesn’t want to be in Peru.  So my companion went with his companion and he came to my area with me.  So it was a very long day.  He didn’t really want to be with me.  We got to teach a lot of lessons.  It was interesting to be able to get to know people and see what they do.  We have a lot of success. We had a really cool lesson.  So my Pensionista’s dad is not a member, his name is Pablo.  We went and taught him for the first time and it was a really spiritual lesson.  He is 84 and his wife passed away a year ago.  We were sitting there and my Pensionista started crying because she knows that they need to be sealed to be an eternal family (Spanish version).  So we taught him and he is open and ready to listen to us so that he can be sealed in the temple with his wife and live with her forever.  That is why we are here on earth to make eternal families.  Then we ended divisions and my companion came back.

On Thursday we had a really awesome lesson with some less actives.  They haven’t gone to church in 10 years but we went and talked to them and they are ready to go.  We will see where that goes.  It was really cool.

On Friday we went up to Los Olivos and taught the family.  It was amazing and they made pasta tardine, it is like a noodle casserole thing.  It is really good.  After eating we came back and ate another lunch so we ate two lunches that day haha.  We had a really cool lesson with some members that night.  It was a hard night and there wasn’t a lot of people but it was good.

Saturday we helped a kid on a mission who is in the Ward that we are in and is going on a mission in like three weeks.  Here in Peru when you don’t have money you do a thing called a pollata.  You sell a bunch of tickets and you make a bunch of fried chicken.  So it is like a BBQ thing but it is a little more expensive because it is about helping the kid.  We helped him.  They sold a ton of chicken, which was cool.  We came back and started our fast, which was also cool.  I love fasting.  We had an awesome lesson with a lady named Julia.  She was a contact that we had.  We went and started talking to her and we found out that her son died.  We were able to share about the plan of salvation and that she can live with her son again and that he is in the spirit world.

Sunday was good we had church.  There was a bunch of people at church and it was fast and testimony meeting.  After I went with a member on divisions named Carlos and he is a member that was inactive and we helped him get rescued.  My companion went with another member.  It was really cool we got to visit some families and it was fun

Everything is going great.  I am happy.  I got bit by a dog this morning walking back from the gym while walking by this car and the dog came out of nowhere and just bit me in the ankle.  Other that that it was good.

This week should be good we have a lot of lessons planned and people to visit, which I am excited about.

Have a great week,
See you
Elder Cooley

2 More Months!

Hola familia,

I will start of will telling you why I came on my mission.  I have been thinking about it a lot this week.  The things that happened when I got sick, when I went home and why I came back out again on my mission to finish the last 6 months when I could have just stopped and finished.  I came on the mission initially because I knew that it is what I needed to do.  I knew that from what has happened in my life and the person that I was and what the gospel did for me to make me who I am now.  I owe my life to this gospel.  I owe everything to the atonement of Jesus Christ (Spanish version), for him suffering for my sins (Spanish version) and the mistakes that I have made so often and all the hard times that I had.  I am not perfect.  It was a hard couple of years but through the repentance (Spanish version) process I know that people can become clean again.  I know that and that it why I am out here.  I got my testimony of this gospel though repentance and through changing my life by the atonement of Jesus Christ.  That is why I am out here.  I love this gospel and I love sharing it with people.  I love how happy it has made me.  I know that it makes anybody that wants to live it happy.  I work hard so that I can pay the debt that I have to him.

Yea so this week was an awesome week; we had a bunch of success and fun.  Elder Agine and I are doing great and getting along well.  We are teaching a ton and working really hard.  He pushes me a ton.  It is really fun.  I love being with him.  I love the area and we are working hard to improve the area and a little by little it will get keep getting better.  It is just like life a little by little and you will become better if you keep working hard. 

So this week was hard.  We had two days where we didn’t teach anybody.  We went with members but we just couldn’t find anybody and it was just a hard two days.  But the other days of the week we found a ton of people and families, which was awesome.  We were also able to put a baptismal date on John Gonzales, the 15th of May.  We had a bunch of cool lessons this week.

We did a really cool service project.  We went with some other Elders to the top of a hill and moved some dirt and helped this lady clean some stuff in her house.  So we were coming down in a bus.  We got off the bus and were walking to get back to our area to change and somebody whistles at us so we turn around and it is this little old lady with her little food stand.  So we go back and its like ten in the morning.  She asked how we were doing and who we were, we said that we were missionaries but in our street clothes because we were just doing service.  She told us to sit down and she gave us breakfast: some juice and a whole bunch of bread to take with us.  It was super nice of her and very random.  We saw what charity (Spanish version) was and the real meaning of giving.  I know that she doesn’t have much and she works so hard but she was so willing and it really impacted me.

After that we had our leadership council.  That is where all the Zone Leaders, Mission President, Assistants and the Sister Leaders get together and talk about the things that we need to do better in the mission, things that we need to change, and things that need to get done.  It was really cool.  It happened Wednesday night and Thursday morning.

The gospel is super cool because you can teach people and see the hope from the gospel change them, make them better, and make them want to become more like Christ.  It makes them start in the way to become perfect.  Everybody gets super happy and smiley when we come.  You can tell that the Holy Ghost (Spanish version) is there teaching and preaching to them.  We had lunch with the Ocone family and asked for some references.  We ate a noddle casserole it contains: noodles, milk, cheese, and eggs.  It is really good and I really liked it and ate a whole bunch.  They are a really cool family.  Their son is leaving on a mission in a month so we talked with them and they are sad but it will be good.

This week was voting so there is a new President of Peru.  So there are two laws when voting here: you can’t meet as a group, so for us we can’t have church, and you can’t drink alcohol.  It is called the dry law.  So you can’t drink alcohol and you can’t meet as a group.  Hence we didn’t have church Sunday and we didn’t see any drunks, which was a first.  It was pretty interesting.  We went and visited a bunch of new people.  We went up to the family Pararez and we taught them all because they were all here to vote.  In order to vote you have to go back to where you were originally from or where your papers are from to vote.  So it is like if I lived in Utah then I was living in Minnesota I would have to go all the way back to Utah to vote.  If you don’t go back to vote you get fined.  A lot of people were traveling and so not a lot of people were home but we went and taught them. 

Honestly it was a really good week.  I am super happy with everything that has gone by and all the help that we had.  We also had interviews with the President and his assistants as a zone.  It was cool to talk to the President and see what he thinks about everything.  It was a fun day.

Everything is going great in the area.  Time is passing by way too fast.  But I’m just trying to make the most of it.  Make sure that you keep reading and praying.  Just do the little things and everything will be better.  Some time the stuff in the world comes by really fast and misguides us and blinds us.  Make sure that if you didn’t watch conference that you go back and watch it.  Well I hope that you all have a great week.  I’ll have a great week of course haha.

Well you guys have a great week and I love you so much.

Elder Cooley

General Conference

Hello familia

Everything is going great.  This week has been amazing, my new companion is great he is from Medellin, Colombia.  He is 19 years old and he likes business.  We are going to be business partners haha.  He is a great missionary and we are having a ton of fun in this area.  We are seeing a ton of miracles this week and I am super excited.  So he got here on Monday and we got to send all the new missionaries around to all the new areas in our zone we did that all morning.  Then we ate lunch and went back to our area.  That night we had a awesome lesson with the Vega family.  They are super great and you can see that doing the little things; for example having Family Home Evening each week is helping them reactivate and strengthen them in the gospel.  The little things that we do are so important.

On Tuesday we had our district meeting.  I had my interview for the University of Utah that was cool and it went by fast.  I guess we will see what they say about that.  So we had an awesome experience this week. Last week when I was on divisions with Elder Rosco one lady called us while we were walking and we went and started talking to her.  She is a member from Puno which is really far away, about 8 hours.  She has been living here for a year and doesn’t know where the chapel is.  She is living with her partner they are not married yet.  We started talking to her and got another a lesson with her and we went back but she wasn’t there.  This week we decided to go back again with my new companion.  She left but her partner was there and we decided to teach him.  So we started teaching him and he is ready to be baptized (Spanish version) and he told us that he wants to be baptized and get married (Spanish version).  He wants to change his life so he can be a better example for his little boy and help out his family.  Their names are Heidi and Arnon.  So we started teaching him; he was super excited and we were stoked.  Everything went really well that night.

On Wednesday we went and did service with Hermana Solidad.  It was up in the middle of nowhere.  We went and moved a ton of dirt but it was awesome.  We went with four other elders and had a great day working hard for a couple of hours.  Then we had lunch, it was a spaghetti bake with chicken.  Once we got ready we went out and started teaching people.  We had another awesome day; we found another investigator named Katie and her mom Abdulia.  After we had an awesome Family Home Evening with the Ocone family.  We taught them about the restoration (Spanish version), how the church was restored in these latter days, and how Joseph Smith (Spanish version) was a prophet and how he was essential for this restoration. 

Thursday we went and cleaned out a room because one area closed down.  When we came back we had to move another set of missionaries to a different room.  We had a really cool lesson with Jefferson.  We taught him for a while and he is doing well, he just has a lot of doubts.  It is good to have doubts but sometimes you just need to have faith.  When the doubts (Spanish version) outweigh the faith that is not good.  Your faith is everything.  Then we had an awesome Family Home Evening with the Alupanki family.  We taught about the atonement (Spanish version).  We were planning on teaching them about the family but based on what they were saying before the lesson my companion and I both felt that we needed to talk about the atonement, so we did.  It was a super spiritual lesson. 

We went and talked to Heidi and Arnon again on Friday.  Then we went and talked to the government place and got all the papers they need to be married.  They are ready to go they just need to get some more papers from Puno; they are going to travel this week to go and get them.  It is super cool to see their dedication.  Then we went and visited with the family and talked about marriage and how sometimes the blessings come right now and sometimes they take a little longer and sometimes they only come when we are in heaven.  It was really cool. 

General Conference! (Spanish version) How awesome was it?  I really liked General Conference this time.  It is cool there is going to be another temple in Lima.  That’s awesome and everybody is really excited about it.  I learned a lot about families, parents, children, the priesthood and the restoration.  It was super cool.  I really liked the priesthood session.  Elder Eyring (Spanish version) and Elder Uchtdorf (Spanish version) both talked in it.  They talked about the power of the priesthood and how this priesthood is the same priesthood that Jesus Christ had and how it can do the same miracles.  I really liked the talk (Spanish version) by our Prophet Thomas S. Monson about how the choices that we make today will decide where we go and what we become later in life.

Saturday I went and bought one kilo of peanuts and ate them all in one day.  My stomach hurt so badly.  I don’t think that I will be eating peanuts for a while.  After the priesthood session we went and got something to eat with the members and other missionaries and got some ice cream.  This week I realized that there are a lot of things that I need to do better.  There are a lot of things that I am missing as a person and as a missionary.  I had some pretty long prayers on my knees, long talks with God.  I know that He will help me and guide me in what I need to do to improve and be more worthy to represent Jesus Christ.  When a person understands the gospel more they will understand how far from perfection they really are.  That is why I love this gospel; there is so much that we need to do and so many things that we need to better in our lives.  We need to help other people.  To be forgiven we have to forgive (Spanish version).

I hope that you watched conference; I know that it is revelation from God.  It is like Jesus Christ is talking to us.  So if you didn’t watch it all go back and watch it (Spanish version).  I know that these messages and talks were meant for us; to guide us and help us becomes better people.
This week was awesome I am super excited and stoked to be here.

I love you so much,

Elder Cooley

Sunday, April 3, 2016


Hello family,

How is everything going?  Well right now it’s the last night of change and my companion is leaving.  So I’m getting a new companion; his name is Elder Holguin.  He is from Columbia and has been in the mission field for just over a year.  It’ll be a lot of fun; he seems very energetic and ready to work.  We are excited.  Hopefully we can do a bunch of cool stuff in this area and help out the ward.

Elder Beales and I at Yura
On Monday we went to a place called Yura.  It’s a tiny town and has an awesome waterfall.  It reminded me of a slot canyon just like down in southern Utah.  It was fun and around 30 of us went to another Zone.  We had a fun time and it was a great experience.

Then we had some sweet family home evenings.  We tried to visit more families this week to try and change things up and help out the ward more.  We were able to teach this one family and get a reference for their mom who is a nonmember.  So we are going to go back and teach her some more.  Their family is really good.  They came from Lima and you can tell that they have a bunch of struggles.  We are trying to help them out and keep them excited. 

Then we were on divisions and I was back with Elder Rosano, my companion in Moquegua.  We had a fun day.  We were able to teach some people.  We walked to this one part of the area super far away.  We walked there and the only family there was not home so we walked higher and higher by Misti.  We sat there and talked for a while and then came back down and taught the family. We taught another family that night and we had a good division.  It was good to just talk with him and see how he was feeling about the mission and everything. 

So it is holy week to just remember Easter (Spanish version) and the Resurrection (Spanish version).  It is not great I guess you could say.  They just have a bunch of traditions from the Catholics.  They go to twelve different churches for each of the apostles, they eat a whole bunch of different kind of food, they don’t eat meat, and it is the one time of year that they fast here.  They fast for only five hours.  Everybody climbs the hills and mountains and carries a rock with them.  The rock represents their sins.  If they carry the rock with them to the top without dropping it then their sins are forgiven.  It is really interesting.  Also some people believe that Christ died on Friday and went up to heaven so there is no sin on those couple days and they do some really wild stuff. 

Our Pensionista went to Puno, which is really far from Arequipa on Thursday and Friday so we didn’t have anywhere to eat for lunch.  We were on our own to find a place to eat.  On Thursday we found a member and helped him cook this soup for Holy Friday.  It was really good; it was all just seafood and it’s just a really good soup.  We also made fried squid.  It was fun to learn how to cook some more things and be with their family.  It was a great experience.  Friday we ate another soup, which was fish because they don’t eat meat.  It was fun; we were with them a while. 

Fire: Cooked marshmallows and hot dogs for around 60 people.
We also did a service project.  We painted a person’s house and it took one and a half hours.  That night we had an activity so we had to go get everything ready.  It turned out really well.  It was a fire with s’mores and hot dogs at a member’s house.  There were around 50 people there; it was a good turnout and I was really happy. 

On Saturday we went and cleaned up in the morning.  In the afternoon we went to go buy the tickets for the missionaries that are leaving our zone.  My companion is leaving so he went and said goodbye to some families.  We had pizza that night and it was a good night.

On Sunday we went and had adobo with a family.  It’s a type of soup that you eat in them morning.  Then we came back and helped cook and then went to church.  After church we came back and had a goodbye party for my companion.  It was really fun and a good experience and I’m super happy to be here. 

This week it was a good week and now we have a whole bunch of stuff to do coming week.  We have to clean out some rooms for missionaries that won’t be here and we have to reorganize the Zone.  It’s going to be very interesting but I’m excited and I just need to keep working hard and keep doing everything right and it’ll all turn out good.

I love you all so much.

Hopefully everything goes well with you guys tomorrow and you have a great day. 
Elder Cooley
Central y Paucarpata

Pauracapata Zone

Pauracapata Zone

Pauracapata Zone



The Leon Family

Yet another ugly dog! Haha

Semana santa for chupe de viernes

Jose & Abraham wanted to say goodbye; so we had pizza.

Pastel de tallarin y rocoto relleno
Made by Mama Cali