Tuesday, March 13, 2012


This is Proof that Elder Cooley has eaten bugs!

   This week was Nuts! Or should I say ANTS! I've had a good time watching my companion eat new things lately, like Jackfruit, Matooke, Posho, Chapati and PawPaw. This time I got to Join in the fun!
  We were at a Less Active Families home and we smelt something sweet while we were teaching. After the lesson we went outside and the smell was stronger. I walked over to the Kitchen, (kitchens are not inside the houses) and i saw a pot on the cooker. It was dark in the kitchen so i couldn't see what was in it, but it smelled sweet, almost like a brown sugar smell. When i finally got a good look at it i realized it wasn't food. It was BUGS!!! I kinda freaked out a little bit. They told me that they were "white ants". These Ants are not your usual everyday sidewalk ants. These are huge!!! You can see by the pictures.
 Now that you see how big they are, you must be wondering, "What do you do with a big bowl of Cooked ants?" Well, YOU EAT THEM!!!
  Doesn't this just look great?
 Ants aren't that bad! They look disgusting and if i was back home I would never even think of eating one. I didn't just grab the spoon and start eating either. I waited till I saw the members eat some and then realized that it was okay. I then dug in! Ants are very expensive here because they are known as a "delicacy". Rich people eat them when they have guests over! (kinda like cheesecake ;)
Don't Forget to Watch me Eating ANTS!

Monday, March 5, 2012

March 4th Baptisms!

 Elder Terry, Moses, Yazid, Elder Cooley

Senkumba Moses and Njala Yazid!!! These two guys are POWERFUL!!!  We have been teaching them for the past 3 weeks. They are both referrals from a YSA in the ward (just got his mission call to Sierra Leone) named Vincent. 
Moses is extremely incredible. He truly has a testimony and understands the Gospel! Friday, before he was baptized, took him with us to teach a lesson to an investigator. He bore powerful testimony of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.
 Yazid has been investigating for almost a year. He didn’t' use to come to church very often, but he was always at Institute and Seminary. He gained his testimony there. He was supposed to be baptized last June, but I guess he wasn't ready then. I think it was just a matter of time and being around members that helped prepare him for this weekend.
 They were both baptized on Sunday! It was a really spiritual experience. One of my favorite baptisms on my mission so far! Moses bore his testimony in sacrament meeting, and Yazid later after the baptism along with Moses again. It’s incredible the change that has come to them and the testimony they have gained through the spirit! They both want to serve missions in the next year and are willing to do everything it takes to make that happen. I know they are converted to the Gospel and will continue to increase in their conversion.
  This is the reason I came on my mission. To do this work and to see this happiness in peoples lives. Its Incredible how much my testimony has grown and changed in the past 16 months, and even more in the past 2 months since Ive been here in Mukono. I love this Church, I love the Book of Mormon and I love my Savior Jesus Christ for giving me this opportunity to be this happy.

Monday, February 27, 2012

February 27, 2012

 First, Last Monday we took a vacation to Jinja (the source of the Nile). It was Elder Briggs birthday so he wanted to go eat at a members home in his old area. It was fun, they sell Dr. Pepper in Jinja! The only place in the country, so i bought a 24 pack! . Since a 24 pack of Dr. Pepper is so bulky and Taxi's are so small, it was kinda hard to carry it home, but it was worth it. I also made the sacrifice of my name tag falling off sometime in the taxi and i didn't notice till the next day. Now im Nameless....
   The rest of the week was really really good. We were supposed to meet with R and Y on Tuesday. Something happened to R, he never showed up, but we read Alma 32 with Y(i don't know if i told you last week, Y is muslim), this really helped her strengthen her faith and at least have a desire to believe.
 We met with them again Friday, we taught the plan of salvation and focused a lot on Eternal families. I think Y enjoyed it more than R! They committed to come to church on Sunday. Sure enough on Sunday, they were both there! Wow, could i say that i was so relieved! They even sat by each other (unusual for Ugandans to sit as families at church). Sunday school, R basically taught it, Y had all the questions! It was awesome! Y went to Relief Society, R came to Elders Quorum. R was asked to say the closing prayer. After church, Y's smile could have circled the world! She had the best day of her life! They asked that we come to there home that
evening. We did. We had planned to teach a little more on the fall and about agency and the Atonement. As soon as we got there, the spirit told us to watch "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" This was good cuz we hadn't yet taught Y about the Restoration. That went super well, and unlike a typical Ugandan, they watched the whole thing without getting up once!
 Before we started the lesson, they told us how amazing church was, R told us that the first time he had come to church, Y didn't like it. As soon as he got home, she said he was  a different man and she wanted to meet us. We have met since then. She came Sunday to see what was so amazing about it. She told us that she had a better time then she expected! R said that all day after church till we came they just sat, them two together and talked and laughed. He said he hasn't felt that good in a long time if ever! We testified that what they were feeling was the Spirit and that feeling could be with them when they recieve the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I really think that Y's faith is growing, she absolutely loves us coming over! I feel great when im there as well.  Besides them, we had an amazing day yesterday. i don't know what im doing different or if its cuz of my new companion, but we had 14 investigators at church!!!! Wow!!! We had two full families and a part family! Plus a bunch of other people. It was the best feeling ever! Even the Sisters asked me what was going on, i didn't know what they were talking about. They said that they have never seen me smile so much my entire mission, i didn't think anything of it until they asked how many Investigators i had at church and said that was the reason i was so happy.

 The other family we had at church was P and A. They also came last week. Something cool about them is this week after one of our lessons, P asked us a question that every missionary wants to be asked. No, it wasn't "can i be baptized" (he asked that last week), it was " Me and my wife want to get married, can we do that in your church?" Heck yes  you can! We hadn't even talked to them about it yet. We set them up an appointment with Bishop after church cuz he knows more details then us. They met, but we didnt' have a chance to folllow up on P or Bishop. Its hard to teach them cuz P knows little English and can't read cuz he has bad eyes, and A doesnt' know Luganda.
 That is the exciting news this week! It was good and im excited this coming week, i hope that we will be able to set dates with them all.
 Elder Cooley

Thursday, February 23, 2012

In Mukono!

It's been a few months since I, mom, updated this.  Matt is in Mukono.  He is a district leader and is now training a new missionary again.
Matt says:
Anyways, this week was good, we set some dates with a few more people, found 13 new investigators and had a whopping 10 investigators at sacrament!!! Wow! Could I ask for a better week? I Submit that I cannot!
I hope the work continues to go like this. Last night I had a real eye opener. So did my companion. We visited R and Y. They are investigators. R told us why he hadn't been coming to church for the last two weeks and then told us his entire life story. It was good for my companion to hear it and understand what africa is like. It was good for me to hear it cuz it reaffirmed my testimony and why I'm here. I couldn't help but just tell him how much I loved him and wanted to help him, but that I knew if I coudn't do anything, the gospel always would. That Jesus Christ knows every pain and affliction he has gone through and has sent us as his servants to share with him and give him hope for a brighter future! It was truly an amazing night.
I love it here! There is no where I'd rather be at this time. This is where the Lord wants me, I think I'm finally getting the hang of this mission thing.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

K, well, the drive up here to Heaven was nice. Long, but nice.
The house is nice, i live in a house with just my companion. The other four elder, Elder Cheney (on his last transfer) his companion Elder Maumbe(came out with me) , Elder Anderson (his third transfer) he is training Elder Ngqoyiya! (i dare you to try and say that right!!!!) The Frost's also live next door to them.(they are the senior couple missionaries here in Gulu)
Gulu is more like hell then heaven. it is SO HOT here!!!!! im dying! i haven't sweat this bad since... EVER!!! but its fun.
There are 150 recent converts here and about 170 people in the branch! Ya, its fun! everyone i see is a recent convert! try counting how many come to church each week, especially when you are with someone who has only been there for 1 transfer and doesn't know anyone either! its okay though. i think i can handle it. about 97 percent of them are active! its great!
This week there were only 5 baptisms in the branch. that was a low for Gulu. that is just a little taste about how accepting and humble the Acholi people are.
Acholi, that is the tribe up here, its also the language they speak. I was finally getting to the point were i could fluently understand Luganda and was able to communicate with nearly every single Bugandan that i found and i get transferred up here where there is a total different language!!!! Acholi! I'm sure I'll get used to it though. i don't know if you remember about Lira, but people up here talk really really good English! its insane! I love it! i actually feel like im talking to an adult now instead of a child!
Im going to have fun here! i hope i stay for a while!

Monday, June 27, 2011

June 13, 2011

Well, this week was a lot different than any week ive ever experienced in my life. But what else is new? So as you know from last week i was made Zone Leader. The youngest one on the mission. Its not so hard, yet. I got transferred to the Kabowa Zone, this includes the areas of Masaka, Entebbe, Kajjansi and Kabowa. i have 4 districts the zone. Each District Leader is training a new missionary, and i am also training a new missionary!!! My third one!!! No, that doesn't mean im a solo Zone Leader. we are training him together. he is supposed to go to Ethiopia but he doesn't have his visa and they are having troubles trying to get it. My companion is Elder Jorgensen. He is from Manti. he is about an inch taller than me. we are the tallest companionship in the mission. No one is gonna mess with us! we are training a kid named Elder Lee. he is from West Point, near Antelope Island!
My last companion, Elder Flinders took over as district leader! he is going to do awesome! he isn't training but his companion is 18 months on mission and is from Alpine. named Elder Stevens. Elder Flinders is an awesome leader, thats why he was made DL at 2 months on mission!
Now about the work here! So, i got here and there isn't really a teaching pool. basically no one, just like when i got back to Nsambya, so all week we have been tracting, finding finding finding, we are mainly looking for families. Uganda seems to lack that feature so its very hard. Kabowa is a ward. this is the place where the church first came when it came to uganda! its the oldest branch/ward in the country, along with Kololo. So they have deep roots and some second generation members!!! they are somehow organized. as organized as a Ugandan ward can get! the sacrament attendance is around 120. they also don't fit in there chapel. (the Kampala stake needs to get on top of things and start finding new places to have church). Kabowa is known for its chior. not only in the church but in the community and country. its like a Mini-all black Mo-Tab!! they are amazing! id put them up against the Tabernacle Chior!!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Boil!!

Wednesday was another killer day in the field!
the end of the night was somehow bothersome, i had a large pimple in my nose and it was really really hurting, i also had a runny nose and so it made it even more painful to blow my nose. my whole lip hurt and began to swell. not very big though. (at the time i thought i was huge!) i took pictures.
Thursday Morning. Zone Conference at the mission home. well, there was a problem. my lip doubled in size over night, also doubled in pain. my face began to swell!!! o no!!! what is happening to me? my lips are getting huge! well... i asked my dandy district to give me a blessing, so they humbly did so, i then called the mission nurse and she told me exactly what mess i got myself into.
So, you know those huge nasty boils the engulf someones leg and looks like a worm is living inside of them and is really just disgusting looking and you hope to never see one in real life???? WELL DON'T WORRY!!! its not one of those nasty boils on my leg... its one of those nasty boils... ON MY FACE!!!! thats what she diagnosed it as!
o great! now is have a nasty boil on my face! what now? Well, she told me to go to the mission home like planned and the AP's would have medication for me. so i did.
we got there and everyone laughed. including me! i thought it was funny. i could make even funnier looking faces now! Even President laughed at me..and then he got serious and started worrying like a mom would! He double dosed me on the pills and sent me upstairs to sleep for the entire day!
well i gave my training first and then went up! got served lunch in bed by sister Jackson! then Sister Harris spend the day driving all the way from Jinja to come and check it out. she got there and told me a few more instructions! the rest of the day consisted of me sleeping and icing this fetching huge fat face of mine!
i couldn't sleep cuz of symptoms of a fat face making it hard to breath! so i spent the night praying and icing my face! the rest of the next day consisted of the same thing! all day friday i did that.

Saturday morning. had a couple hours of sleep last night. lip doubled in size! which is like quadruple the size its originally supposed to be!!!!
i felt fine, just didn't look fine! I coudn't eat, cuz my lip enveloped my mouth so nothing but air and water through a straw could get through. i took more medication and i began to feel very very sick.
i went to sleep. elder Kendall called Sister Harris and she told us i needed to go to the Hospital. The mission Driver, Godfrey, Came to get us and drove us to the hospital.
well, the doc told me some things and then told me what he was going to do. he was gonna squeeze all the crap out of my face out of a little hole just inside my nose where to original pimple began.
(for those who don't like graphic images and blood and stuff, don't read on.)
well, ill let the pics explain what happened next. he numbed my face, (NOT) and squeezed about a half cup of crap out. and no, none of the swelling went down. but it did feel better after!
well, after we got home from the hospital, my face was just leaking!!! all night and all day the next and still today! basically, my lip began to shrink. Sunday i was still big. but today it is almost back to normal. don't worry, the mission is taking care of me. i might have made it sound worse than it really is.