Monday, December 14, 2015

Pictures from 12.14.15 Email





A Savior is Born

Lately, as we knock doors and talk to people, we have been using the
new Christmas video "A Savior is Born" on our iPads to contact. It's
been the nicest tool! It's a great way to just catch their attention
and start a conversation about the Savior and their beliefs. It's such
an inspiring video people usually love it and it really breaks the
ice. It's interesting because sometimes when people answer the door
and we ask if we can share the video with them, they immediately get
freaked out and tell us they already have their religion and they
already found Christ and shut the door. I just think it's funny
because we are just asking if we can share an inspiring 2:00 clip
about the Savior with them for Christmas. I mean of course we'd love
to share more of our message specifically, but if they don't want to
listen to our message, then at least we'd love to show an inspiring
video about Christ. But I get it at the same time. People have their
preconceived idea of missionaries so it's understandable from their
viewpoint. (Still kind of ironic to me though. Haha) My favorite was
this cute lady who was outside with her teenage son yesterday and we
asked if we could share the video. She told us she was a devout
Catholic but she would still watch the Christmas video. Her sister
came out and they all watched it. When it ended she was like, "Awww,
that wasn't long enough! That what so beautiful I loved it! Thank you
for what you do and going around sharing this message." She was so
cute and so nice!
I love moments like that. When people make it clear they don't want
to hear us in a polite way but still "rejoice in Christ" with us and
find common ground that we all feel good about.

A flat tire, a sweaty face, and a few miracles

¡Hola mi familia!
I may not be a Spanish sister but I can pretend. :D This week has been
quite the adventure to say the least. It's been very trying and a
growing experience. Remember how last Monday I wrote that I had a sore
throat. Well, I woke up on Tuesday and it was a lot worse! I could
hardly talk and I felt really exhausted. My companion taught me the
importance of taking care of ourselves so we can fully do the Lords
work so we stayed in all day so I could rest. I didn't realize
how tired I was until I would pass out into a deep sleep for 2 hours
at a time. But my companion is the sweetest and just made me soup and
made me feel better about staying in because I was pretty stressed
about not being out. The next day I didn't feel that much better but I
didn't want to stay in. It was so cute, so we were at a Zone
Conference on Wed. and my throat was still pretty sore and my voice
was so hoarse. Half way through the meeting, Sister Pickup catches my
attention from the door and waved around a bag of cough drops. I asked
if she had any that morning and when she said she didn't, she dropped
us off at church for our meeting and went to the store to get me
some!!! She is so sweet!! It's been a pretty slow week and we haven't
had a ton to do. We got lost on Thursday trying to find our dinner
appointment and had a crazy time racing across time. Then Friday, Oh
Friday! That was a rough day. We were so excited to meet with our new
investigator Monts and had scheduled for Friday morning. I was already
in kind of a bad mood that morning because we hardly had ANYTHING
planned to do on Friday and that was frustrating me, and then on our
way to our discussion, my light on my helmet fell off when we were
crossing the intersection and my batteries flew everywhere, then my
jacket got caught in my tire and got it all black and dirty. Then
Monts wasn't home! :( don't worry, the story gets better. We go home
for lunch and planned on trying Monts afterwards. So on the way back,
drum roll please...my tire on my bike popped!! So we walked the rest
of the way to her apartment only for no answer, and had walked all the
way back to our house. There were some tender mercies along the way
though. It just so happened the ward mission leader of the 7th ward
(not a ward we cover) was driving through the parking lot next to us
when my bike tire popped so he offered his assistance. We didn't need
any at the time but it was a tender mercy just to know he was there.
Then a sister from the 3rd ward came over to give us a tube so we
could fix our tire. We fixed and THOUGHT it was all set so we started
heading off to our dinner appointment across town. As we started
going, my tire was getting flat again!! It was so hard to ride and we
were already running late for our appointment so Sister Byers was a
beast and "Tour de Franced" it to the members home for me (clearly
she's buffer than me). Dinner was fine and the members were kind
enough to take our bikes to the gas station to fill them up with air.
We continued on our night to our next appointment across town again
just to pull into the apartment complex parking lot and get a text
from the person saying we would have to reschedule. We hung out heads
and laughed. By the time we had biked from one end of the area to the
other three times during the day, we finally went home and ended the
day. It was crazy but it was a great learning experience just to
practice (notice how I say practice because I'm not good at it yet)
being positive in frustrating times. Saturday was pretty crazy too but
okay. We taught Seth and Lilian, our other new investigator, the
restoration. He is so awesome! He is very open minded and willing to
pray about what we have taught. He has a lot of great questions that
are so valid and really make me think and dig deep. It's great! I love
it!

I realized in church yesterday that I felt so weak and EXHAUSTED this
week because I really wasn't relying on the Lord. I was trying to rely
on my own strength and just make it to the end of the day. I was
praying for help or strength. I wasn't focusing on Christ and my
purpose as a missionary. I realized I need to pray for strength every
day. At first it might just be enough to get out of bed and start my
day, but over time as I have more faith, I will feel the strength to
get through my whole day and be able to teach with power. Small by
small. Line upon line. Precept upon precept.

D&C 64:33 has become a go to scripture for me. It's gooood! Go look it up. <3

Well know God is good and trying times are for our benefit.

Two quotes that I love (thanks Staci Castle):

"All crosses are easier to carry when we keep moving." -Elder Neil A. Maxwell

"There is divine purpose in the adversities we encounter every day.
They PREPARE, they PURGE, they PURIFY, and thus they bless." -Elder
James E. Faust

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

There is Always an Adventure Awaiting You

Over the past year in my life, I feel like my ambition for life has grown so much. I just want to become someone with an amazing life story by the way I live, learn, and understand the world. Traveling is so important to me. Ever since I was little, the strong desire to travel has always been within me. I've seen that desire come to life in the past year as I just realize how capable I am of doing that. I've always loved photography and I've always loved capturing and seeing Gods beautiful Earth. I think about the day Christ created the Earth, and how He made every part of it so different, so varying, so beautiful and I can't help but want to see it all. The world is like a book, and if you don't travel, you are just staying on the same page. I simply don't think you can get the whole story that way. I love knowing that there is a world (literally) of possibilities of adventures I can have and lessons this world can teach me. I am in control of the way I live my life and if I choose to follow my dreams. My dream is to travel, learn, and embrace this beautiful Earth and this beautiful life. 



CLICK HERE FOR MY VIDEO OF THIS SUMMERS ADVENTURE 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Having a Piece of Heaven on Earth


 A few weeks ago, I went through the temple for the very first time to receive my endowments. It was truly a beautiful day and it was an experience I'll remember forever. The temple is a very different place of worship than I was used to, I'll be honest, but I have always had a testimony of temples and their purpose so I am eager to learn more. The first time through was just taking a lot in. When you prepare to go for the first time, you may or may not have 1,455,657,888 people tell you that. But I will never forget how I felt. First, I felt privileged to be there. Second, I felt so loved by Heavenly Father and everyone around me. As the words of the temple workers were uttered to me the first time, I may not have understood everything, but I felt God's love. I knew He knew me, and I knew He was proud that I made it to His house. Third, I felt in awe. I felt in awe of how much I DO NOT know. Once I had gone to the temple, I felt like a whole other door of the gospel was opened to me as if showing me that there is SOOO much to this gospel and to the Plan of Salvation that I do not understand and may not til I have passed from this world. Overall, it was just a great day filled so full with the Spirit. As I have gone back, I have already gained a love of the temple and I want to go ALL the time. I wrote about this already in my last post, but the feeling of being able and worthy to enter into the Lord's house is so so good. Please oh please, never forget that you are NO EXCEPTION to the blessings awaiting you in the temple. Each person is meant to receive those blessings at some time or another and no matter where you are in your journey of life, you CAN come to the temple, if you choose to make it a priority. I promise you the blessings are worth facing whatever opposition you are dealt and I hope you will seek to find a testimony of the temple, so that no matter what storms blow against you, you will know there is a lighthouse worth pressing forward for. You are important to Heavenly Father and He wants to bless you with the promises of a joyful eternity. This Earth was created for such a divine purpose and I got such a strong glimpse of that, that day there in the temple. We are all daughters and sons of our Father in Heaven, and we can always count on Him to lead us through our lives. The temple is Heaven on Earth and the best place to get perspective on our lives. I can not wait to keep going back and can already see how it might bless my life forever.


Thursday, August 6, 2015

"I'll Go Inside Someday..."

If you think of the Mormons, most likely a beautiful, tall building comes to mind...the temple. This post is about the temple, but I don't want to waste a lot of space explaining the importance or purpose of the temple (as wonderful as they are and as much as I would like to). If you would like to know more information about the "Mormon Temples", click here

So last night I wrote in my journal about a powerful experience I had on Sunday. I had my temple interview with my bishop and at the end of the interview, he asked the all encompassing question, "do you find yourself worthy to enter into the house of the Lord?" I always feel hesitant to answer this question because even though I know I haven't done any major things wrong, really what I'm being asked is if I feel worthy enough to be in the presence of the Lord. I know that I am far too flawed and imperfect to be in the glorious presence of my Heavenly Father so I always feel conflicted when I answer. But in the moment when he asked me that, the Spirit completely washed over me and I began to feel this complete peace in my heart and I felt so whole and complete. The Spirit was telling me that, "Yes! You are worthy!" Now that doesn't mean I'm perfect. I'm far from it. But to me, that moment of complete peace and comfort meant that my constant efforts of choosing the right in all situations and striving to be virtuous in all things was not going unrecognized by my Father in Heaven. My friends, that feeling was AMAZINGLY to feel. I started to cry as my bishop had asked this question because I looked up at a painting he had of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in his office, and I felt like my conscience was completely clean before them.  I had nothing to hide or be ashamed of. Sure I have messed up, sure I have sinned in ways I am not proud of, and no you don't have to be "perfect" to be pure and worthy. The important part is repentance and coming to a point where you completely turn your heart to the Lord. I can promise you now, that ANY SACRIFICE is worth that feeling of peace and comfort knowing you are worthy to be in the presence of the Lord. Any path of repentance, no matter how hard it may seem, is worth being able to say that. Keep trying. Keep seeking after knowledge of our Lord and His house. Keep living the standards, though they are (trust me, I know) difficult at times. Make the temple your goal and you too will feel this joy that I describe. I want you to feel this way but more importantly, Heavenly Father wants YOU to feel this way because He loves you with an eternal, perfect, forgiving kind of love. Keep your eyes on the temple my friends, and do not give up on yourself. ❤️ 



Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Little Poem for Missionaries Everywhere

Written by yours truly <3

When you embrace the light 
It's a glorious feeling to know
The life you live is better 
And immediately begins to show 

You want to do the best you can
You want to live the truth 
In this you find your happiness 
And live it in your youth 

The day is nigh, when you shall hear
The whisper of His call
An invitation to do His work
Be strong, choose right, walk tall. 

With cheerfulness you'll answer,
Exclaim "Of course I'll come!
I will work to serve your children
Until my body's numb!"

In this He will delight 
And bless you oh so great
Especially because He knows
The struggling that awaits

Once you decide to go 
And you decide to make the climb
Expect the Devils company
In record breaking time

he will test your goodness
he might even break your heart
And with everything he has and knows, 
Start taring you apart

That serpent that would take your life
If was given the choice 
Finds joy in your discouragement 
In your sorrow, he'll rejoice

Soon you'll feel not good enough
You might even feel alone
Your testimony might shake a little 
You may be guilty prone 

Why is it right when you begin to feel
The surety of this trip,
Does all this opposition come
And make you lose your grip?

To answer this question simply
The bad is always there
As surely as the good moves forward
The devil sets his snares

But on the other side
Lies the Winner of it all
Trust the One who's victory
Will always catch your fall

Know that He is always there
Have faith to move ahead
As surely as you take each step 
Each one is divinely led

Press onward missionary
Especially when times get rough
Don't ever let the devil tell you 
You are not good enough 

Monday, June 29, 2015

You are Assigned to Labor in the...


Texas Dallas Mission
English Speaking
Provo MTC
November 11th, 2015


          Well Yee-haw Skip-a-dee-doo daw! I'm serving a mission in Dallas Texas! For me, a mission call has been a LONG time comin. I have wanted to for sure go on a mission since I was 14 years old and ever since, I dreamed of reading my mission call and the words it would say. I have had countless dreams of places I was called whether it was Italy, Michigan, Iowa, or the middle east to teach Al-Qaeda. None of those dreams came true as it turned out (I'm especially grateful about the Al-Qaeda one). Since I officially turned in my papers, the three week wait to receive my call was near painful. I JUST WANTED TO KNOW! So when I was at work and received a text from my mom with a picture of a pretty white envelope that had come in the mail, you can imagine my excitement. I told all my friends and had to wait till 8 that night to open it. My emotions were ALL over the place in the minutes leading up to my call opening. The moment I slid my finger through the top of the envelope to slit it open, my heart began to beat out of my chest. Naturally I couldn't hold it together when I read the words, "Dear Sister Cowper." I lost it... I'm surprised anyone understood what I said considering I was bawling the rest of the time. When I read the words, "Texas Dallas Mission," shock overcame me for two reasons. One, I totally thought I was going to some foreign, Spanish speaking country because I have taken six years of Spanish class. The second reason is because I am VERY familiar with the Dallas area considering that is where my siblings have lived for ten years and we have made several visits. I know Dallas well. But this made it all the more special. If you were there or watched the video, you heard me let out an obnoxious cry as I put my hand over my heart when I read exactly where it was I was going. In that moment, I knew Heavenly Father knows me. Whatever apostle it was that assigned my call doesn't know me personally. He had no idea that my siblings live in Dallas. He had no idea that I have been there and driven through my mission several, several times. But the Lord knew. Out of the 409 missions all across the world, I was called to the one I need to go to. You know, I was always afraid that if I was called state-side, that I would be bummed. But I don't think in those few minutes or hours after I opened my call, I ever felt disappointed. I just felt and knew that Dallas, Texas is where I am supposed to be. I know the Lord has prepared me for people there, and has prepared people there for me. It feels right. There is a feeling of possessiveness when I get to call the Texas Dallas mission MY mission. I am so excited to serve the people of Texas and do my very best to bring them to the truth of their loving Father in Heaven and their wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ. 



On the left is a picture of me and my other half Shelby. She has been my rock and my very best friend and I'm so excited to be a sister missionary with her. She has been called to serve in the Washington D.C. South mission.

On the right is a picture of my friend Daryl and I. Him and I are going to the exact same mission and let's just say when he showed up late and found out I was going to Dallas, he ran and picked me up off my feet and carried me across the lawn screaming, "YOU'RE GOING TO DALLAS!!!" Ha ha. I can't believe I'm going to the exact same mission as my stake mission prep buddy. Can't wait to give ya a solid handshake when I see ya in the field. ;)


My cute mums and I.


"TEXAS!"


Maddy's face = priceless