Monday, December 30, 2013

Different cultures sure make for a fun time for Christmas

Wow what a Christmas season. Different cultures sure make for a fun time for Christmas. One thing that i for sure can say is a lot of meat was shared this last week. Not only for Christmas but for the whole week. All the members wanted to share a bit of the Christmas spirit with us. For actual Christmas though we celebrated more like we would celebrate New Years. We wait until midnight then hugs are shared and presents are unwrapped and Pan Ducle is eaten by everyone as the Fire works are launched off into the sky. It was quite a wonderful experience for me. Then it all ended with a nice sweet call to my parents the next day. Ahhh what a chirstmas. Not only that but we all were blessed with the spirit of Christmas because we as missionaries get the opportunity to center all that we do in Christ. As we were going around we did all that we could to center what we taught around Christ, which isn't hard when you represent the Church that he Established. Anyway, i just couldn't be just happy all this week and continuing on into the new year. We also had an interesting experience this week with a little bit of a change. We had an activity this week made by our Zone Leaders. We did a zone wide exchange, but not an exchange of companionships but a change of areas. I worked in the city of Cordoba for a day basically. It was crazy. I wasn't down town by all means but the paved streets of the city have a very different feeling than the dirt streets of Rio Segundo. I did learn a few things in my time in another area, but it was a bit strange to not be in my area for a day. I was sure happy to see Rio Segundo by the end of the day. This week is going to be special for us all as well. With the new year approaching the mission has focused all of us in the fact of making plans and goals. Our president wants us to make goals for the next year, our missions, and for our plans after the mission as well. It is crazy to think that i have only been on the mission for 9 months but to think this time next year i will be close to finishing. I can´t believe what time has flown and what i have already learned and experienced my time in Florida and here with my little time in Argentina. But the thing is that as we all know is that Goals are actually an amazing way to focus all of us in a way that is unheard of. I know this letter is short, but really i have not much to say. Christmas was amazing, i loved every moment. The spirit that it brought was amazing to see. This week though i want to ask everybody to make a few goals. I was taught something really cool in the mtc. When we make goals make them specific for different aspects of your life. A Physical, Spiritual, and Companionship goal. I know not all of us have the opportunity to make all of these goals, but i challenge everyone to make a goal, write it down and keep it in a place where you will actually be able to see it. I love you all and i hope you have a happy new year.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Oh the Christmas season as a missionary

Oh the Christmas season as a missionary. I still am having a hard time that it is Christmas already. I remember last Christmas was all about the preparations for the mission. Nothing but luggage, clothes, and the things that a person would need to leave for a mission. And now i am here in Argentina, speaking Spanish, serving the lord officially. my mind has been blown just thinking about the time that has flown by since the beginning of my mission. So many people met, so many lives changed, and so many people who have seen what Christ can really do for them. Oh freak....Christmas is a time to really ponder about the wonderful gifts that the Lord has given to you in the last year. I have been blessed for sure by being able to serve a mission for him. I am so glad i have the opportunity to serve him with all that i have. Well this week has sure been an interesting one. Everyone is preparing for the Christmas seasons. Live nativities every night and some type of Christmas concerts. It is hard not to realize that Christmas is just around the corner. We were also blessed this week with a mission Christmas conference. All of the mission was there celebrating Christmas Together. 240 people all gathered to celebrate Christ. A lot of Soccer, gift giving, and a lot of getting to see close friends and reuniting old relationships. I was able to see the whole district from the MTC again. We talked about how it was in our other missions, how it is different here, and how weird it is to think of where we are at right now. It was a good time for every one. Santa Claus even showed up to the party, or should i say Papa Noel. We all received a gift from the mission. It was a good time for us all. For the work side of things we worked our butts off as hard as we could. We were able to find two new people this week which we are super excited for. They both are super open to us about how they feel, what they are looking for, and questions that they have about the message that we share. Neither of them were able to make it to church this week, but we are still super excited for the fire that is found within these people. Anyway, this week has been super awesome and i can´t wait to see what things are to come with this week. Especially with Christmas actually being this week. I love you all and i hope all of you have a merry Christmas this week. LOVE YOU! Elder Cook

Monday, December 16, 2013

I am not a summer type of person

Ahhh what a week. Let me just start off with one thing. I am not a summer type of person. We have been in a heat and sun filled week and walking outside for the good part of the hottest times of the day can sure take a toll on you. Especially when the members start asking for service. Lets just say, no matter how much sun block i have put on so far, i am still a deep fried tomato, I am really starting to laugh at the tan line i have received on my mission. I am not even half way done and i am quite shocked. Other than the heat this week has sure flown by fast. We have had a lot of different things happen this week. First off a bunch of random meetings and then two exchanges during the week and a lot of work and service. We have been spending a lot of our time trying to find some solid investigators than the ones that we already have. We have been getting a lot of help from our President on ways to find, but still we find ourselves knocking a lot of doors. The other part of the work though is the service we do. We have had two opportunities to do service for one of our members who is building on to his house. We started last transfer by helping build a gigantic hole for his bathroom. We just build a shade structure for the front of his house the day before and now we are flattening out a piece of his property so he can add on another piece for another room. Super fun doing it, but the sun burns tend to get the best of me. Though the best part of the service was afterwards the member provided us an Asado. I love asados. The thing is, the amount of meat that they cook here is insane. 6 people ate 5 kilos of meat. To get a better perspective of this, that is about 10.5 pounds of meat. This week i have also really gotten to know a lot of the people i live with and my companion. They are all super crazy but i still love them all. It is for sure a different culture down here and i have seen it from living with three native Latinos. This week i for sure got to know the other companionship a bit more too because i went on exchanges with Elder Vasquez and Elder Garcia this week which made for a good time to get to know them a little better. We sure are having a good time together in the Pension. Well, i am quite excited for the weeks to come because Christmas is getting nearer and nearer. People around here are thinking more and more about Jesus and his birth. We are trying to take this spirit and spread it all around Rio Segundo. We have organized as a branch that we will go caroling around Rio Segundo and possibly Pilar. I am quite excited but we will see what happens. The stories from last year points to the fact that we will be eaten by Mosquitos but that really isn´t important. I love you all and i hope that everyone´s week is filled with love, peace, and joy that comes from this special time of season. Love you all!

Monday, December 9, 2013

one of the most interesting weeks i have had in my mission yet

Hola ! well everybody this week has been one of the most interesting weeks i have had in my mission yet. We had a lot of time to get to know each other this week because we were trapped in our house for some time. First reason was there was some civil disturbance in the city of Cordoba and it made it so all the missionaries had to stay in their apartments for a while. There were some missionaries who were stuck for days in their apartment, but for us we were only affected for a few hours because our small little town of Rio Segundo didn´t really have any problems. The other was we had a freaking huge storm yesterday which kept us in the house. It was a huge wind storm. Dirt flying everywhere. We tried to work in it for a few minutes but after a few minutes and a text from our leaders saying take shelter until it calms down we called it a night. What a crazy week. Even with all this crazy stuff though i am really enjoying my new transfer so far. Very different for sure, but i am loving it all the same. The first thing i would like to comment on is my Companion, Elder Aquino. Elder Aquino and I think very much a like when it comes down to getting the work done which is always nice to have in a companionship almost complete unity. We actually find ourselves thinking a like in a lot of ways too. Our unity in lessons is crazy. We will both have thoughts of scriptures and things to help our investigators at the same time. For example last Monday we had a lesson with an Investigator that had a baptism date but is having doubts right now, well we started talking to him and it basically was our second lesson together as a companionship, and next thing you know We are sharing the same scriptures and thinking in the same way. Elder Aquino and I are working out well together and we are having fun while at it. I don´t think there is a moment where we aren´t laughing at each other or at something. My companion is truly awesome. Other than that we have had a super good week in the fact that we are having really good lessons with the people that we are teaching now. We haven´t really found anyone new recently but we are seeing a lot of progress in those that we have. It is crazy to see how much closer to Christ they become just with one lesson. We had a lesson two days ago with an investigator and the smile that was on his face just by talking about the Gospel is an amazing feeling. I know that i am here to help work miracles in this area and Christ has put me here to do it. I am a tool in the Hands of the Master Worksman. Anyway i love you all. I am getting excited as Christmas is getting closer. The birth of Christ YAY!! This week think of Something like a blessing that comes through having a relationship with Christ and his Gospel. I Love You!!! Elder Cook

Monday, December 2, 2013

the Lord is continuing to give me reasons to love my missions

Wow, another transfer has passed by and it seems as if the Lord is continuing to give me reasons to love my missions. Elder Mayne was called to a different part of Cordoba which means i have a new companion. His name is Elder Aquino. He is from Paraguay and speaks hardly any English, he wants me to start teaching him though. He has only 5 months in the mission but i mean that isn´t much less then what i really have. It is weird to say though that i am the second oldest missionary in the aspect of the mission, but i am the youngest in actual age. Next fun part about this transfer is that out of the four missionaries that were here before with me, all 3 left. I am the only original missionary here now. I have three new people to the area and two of them are white washing the other side of Rio. It is crazy, i am trying to help them start there area off as hard they can but it doesn't really do much since all i know is from what the other missionaries told me. The craziest part of it all though is the fact that i am the only English Speaker out of all four of us. SOLO GRINGO! I am hoping that this will help my Spanish out a ton...and i am pretty sure it will. Anyways this week, although crazy was one of the most miracle filled last weeks i have ever had as a missionary. It was super cool. The experience i would like to share is of a guy named Hector. He is an investigator of a lot of years. he has read the book of Mormon and doctrine and covenants and pearl of great price 3 times cover to cover. He knows a lot about what we share and what our church is about. Missionaries really haven´t had a lot of success with him but i asked Elder Mayne if we could go try him one day to see how he was doing. Well when we went to talk to him he ended up telling us that he had a stroke the Friday before and was recuperating quite well, but during this time had received the sign that he himself needed to be baptized in our church. We were stunned. We invited him to church this Sunday and we are trying to see if we can see him baptized before the end of the year. He is a super cool guy and truly has a strong testimony of the things he knows. Also some cool news of the week. It hailed on us yesterday. Who knew hail would come in the Spring time. The crazy part is that the hail only lasted for about 3 minutes and the storm in total for about 15. The storm we had reminded me a lot of like what the storms were like in Florida. The rain come down in buckets and then after 5 minutes it was gone. Flooded a lot of the dirt streets but non the less, still quite an adventurous little Sunday we had. Anyway, i don´t have a lot much more time to write, but i do know that i am loving it here in Argentina. I am super excited to get to know my new companions and my new room mates. It will for sure be an interesting Transfer, but i feel like us four will be together for quite a bit of time. I love you all and i am hoping everyone is enjoying the nice cold weather of winter in Utah. Merry first part of the Christmas Season.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Oh man time flies way too fast

Oh man time flies way too fast. The transfer is going into its final week and speculations are flying around to who will leave and who will stay. We are all pretty sure both of us newbies of Argentina are going to be staying in Rio Segundo, but both of us are no where near sure if our companions will stay or not. We will be getting the calls this Saturday night so we will have to see. This week was for sure a crazy one. We had a lot of different things that made it so we were not in our area but to me it was all a bit of fun for a bit. I learned a lot. For example this last Monday after preparation Day we had a Zone activity where we were challenged to go out and Contact people in ways that would overcome our fears. Each way had a point value and who ever had the most points at the end of the night would get a kilo of Ice Cream. We didn´t win but it sure was fun trying to figure out ways to stop a car in the middle of the street to contact them. We were trying to find a place where we could start singing hymns to a group of people but time reached an end before we could do it. Also another really cool thing happened this week. We ended up setting up a Lunch appointment with our Branch President. One of the things about him is that he doesn´t live in our area. He lives about an Hour away basically in the city of Cordoba. Well we asked him if we could go over for lunch and have a meeting to talk about the efforts on our side of Rio Segundo. Well lets just say it was one of the best lunches I have had yet. Our president is the owner of a meat factory so he ended up bringing meat to cook for an Asado. Ohhhh it was so good. I am continuing to find that Argentina has some of the most amazing food. I was even able to try out morcilla(blood sausage) i am actually quite a fan of it, as long as it is from pig and cold. I am not a fan of it cooked. It was also a good meeting, but my first asado sure made for a great day. We have had a super good time together my companion and I. This last Wednesday we had a day filled with service opportunities. We finished up a 3 and half metro hole that we are helping a member build for his bathroom. We have been building this thing for the past 3 weeks and finally he said he would be done with it. After that we went and made cinnamon rolls with our neighbors of the church. a bakery called El Chileno. It was a super good time because during this time we had some time to talk to him about the message we have and also he introduced us to his friend while they were cooking so we were able to teach his friend during that time was well. Some cool experiences come out of service. Anyway, i have been super excited because this week is Dia De Gracias, or thanksgiving. Yeah they don´t really celebrate it here, but i have found my own personal ways to keep the spirit alive in my heart. I have truly been tankful for everything that i have and been voicing it to my companion and to my heavenly father during my prayers. It is a great time to be thankful for what we have, and i am super thankful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ that we have. I have seen it bring comfort in time of sorrow, strength in the time of weakness, and the help to change from worse to amazing. I know of the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and it is something of greatness. I know Christ established this Gospel for us, and when we follow his example we will find true happiness. I love you all and Happy thanksgiving. From Elder Cook PS i can´t send pictures this week i will send them the next love you all

Monday, November 18, 2013

We have had nothing but work work work this week

What a week. We have had nothing but work work work this week. The surprising thing was last week we learned that we had surprise Zone Conference this last week. IT WAS SUPER COOL. I loved it This zone conference was one of the coolest experiences that i have ever had on my mission yet. It made me fall in love with my President and his Wife. After this i can´t help but realize how much they love their missionaries and wanting the best for us and the mission. During this conference the stuff they told us just made me realize so much i could do to help out the area. We are going out and starting to share the Christmas Message as a contacting strategy because of this Zone Conference. We haven´t had a lot of super good success in getting in doors recently and with our Presidents motto of "You Fix It" has struck my companion and i donw to the core to thinking about what we can do to help our area the most. Another cool part of this week was we were able to go help out in making Empenadas for the Panderia next door to our church. they taught my companion and i how to make three different types of empanada's. The Arebes(Triangle empanadas special to Cordoba) ones are so far my favorite. the best part of them is the fact is the meat isn't cooked like most of them. It is cooked with tomatoes and peppers in lemon and then cooks in the lemon juice for hours. That is where the siesta comes in handy. Make them in the morning let them soak in the juice until the night where they can bake them. Crazy. I am making notes so i can come back and make them when i get back so we can enjoy the taste of Cordoba empanadas. Other interesting things that happened was the fact that we had exchanges this week with the zone leaders. They are super cool. We split up our area in half and the zone leaders did splits with us and we went and conquered the area for the day. Four missionaries working a super small area of Rio Segundo. It was super cool though because that day we just saw sooo many miracles of people just ready to accept the Gospel of Christ in their lives. My companion and I are finally getting in the swing of things here in the new area but we just keep learning together as the time goes on. Like this last weekly planning session we were trying to figure out what we could do in our contacts to make them better and open up the hearts of those who just don´t want to listen at first. During this session we took it to the lord and learned that the way that we could truly help this are is by service and taking advantage of the Christmas season that is coming in full swing down here(Even though the 80 degree weather doesn´t make it feel like it). We are going to start sharing the wonderful birth of Jesus Christ down here in Argentina and hoping that it gets us out into the eyes of the area not as Jehovah Witnesses and also as friends in Christ. We will see how that goes. also something fun. I gave my first talk completely in Spanish in Church this last Sunday. We knew that two of us were going to give talks this last Sunday but we didn´t know which two out of the four of us in the ward. So all four of us prepared talks just in case but then 5 minutes before sacrament we were told that both me and Elder Swaintson(the other new elder to the area) were the chosen speakers. Super cool. It was a cool experience just to see where i was at in my Spanish and also just a super cool experience to see how much the Lord is willing to help those who ask. The gift of tongues is real people. Well i love you all and i can testify to you all that the Work is truly hastening and as President Monson said "The Time is Now" there is no better time then now to help those who need it. I love you all. Elder Cook

Monday, November 11, 2013

I am tired to the bone

Wow, what a week. I am tired to the bone but the Lord sure just keeps me moving forward. Opening up an area is sure one of the hardest things i have done so far, but the lord blesses us with so many tools that we can almost feel overwhelmed with what we have in front of us. This week has been super cool though, lots of finding but none the less productive. Our Branch President has a list made up of 60 potentials of people that were contacted in one day. He has given us direction to basically hit up this list as many times as we can. It can sometimes be tiring to try and talk to the same people every day, but we have seen miracles from it. For example one of the ladies that were from the list Came to church yesterday. We weren't even thinking that she would come because of what she told us in the last visit with her, but she came. It made both me and my comps day. Other than that this week has ben super wet week. We have had a lot of rain which makes for some muddy roads and a fun time. My coat sure has come in hand more than one occasion. The rain here is weird because what will happen is it all starts off with just a mist. You walk through and after being outside for 30 minutes you will find yourself wet so we talk our coats to keep everything dry. The thing that makes it worse is that if that wetness gets inside the apartment, it stays humid in the apartment. We have found that our books and papers are starting to wrinkle in our apartment. We try to keep the fans going all through the night and when we are gone to keep it from being too humid. So This week also has been a super cool week for me and my comp because we saw a spark arise out of the ward this week. We received more member help than ever before this week. We were just sitting at church and members were just piling on us to come over to there house or just asking if we could come with them to meet one of their friends or just to tell us one of their friends are interested. It was so cool. We may have not seen super good fruits out of tracting, but we did see some super cool miracles in the ways of the members. Another cool miracle we saw was figuring that god places you in certain places for a reason. So on Saturday we were trying to find a less active member before a member meal that we had. We had about an hour before and we had made plans to see this less active at one of two spots her house or her business. She wasn´t at either, so we went to our back up plans which were tract. We tracted a few doors not a lot of success. We then knocked one door and this man opens the door we ask to share the message and he welcoming said yes come on in. We sat down had a talk with him and his daughter, and the spirit just was so strong. Truly shows the work of the lord. He put us in the place of the less active members house not so we could teach her, but to teach him. I love this work and i know that i have seen the hand of the lord push me up and push me forward. Even when my feet and body want to stop and even ask myself "how am i walking" i know it is the lord that is keeping me going. When we keep doing what we need to do, we will be able to walk and not faint run and not be weary. I love you all. Hasta el próxima semana. Se Amo. Elder Cook

Monday, November 4, 2013

So first off. I am loving it here in Rio Segundo

So first off. I am loving it here in Rio Segundo. We split up the area this week officially and we are working hard to get this area established and rolling. Elder Mayne and I have truly been like work horses. We work all day to find, teach and baptize in an area with only 3 members and before last week, no investigators. We now have 15 Investigators and half of those came from one find. It was so cool, because what happened was we were walking down the street one night trying to find some people to teach. We passed by this group of people that were chillin outside, drinking their Mate, which is very common in Rio Segundo after 7 o'clock. Well we passed them the first time but i had a feeling we should go talk so i went back, we started talking and we talked for an hour and a half. That hour and a half was filled with teaching the gospel and just talking about life and why two gringos were walking around in Argentina. There were 7 people there and two different families and they all wanted to hear from us again. It is so cool. You see miracles like that every day out on the mission. Other than that we have just been working super hard to establish our area this last week. My Companion and I are also working really well together. It is so crazy because even as we are both pretty new into the mission we are working our hardest and coming to see some fo the greatest miracles of both of our missions. Elder Mayne is a super cool elder too. As we walk and talk about our lives we find that we have a lot in common with each other. Sometimes too much it gets scary. We both are here for the same reasons and it almost seems that we are both here to just learn and grow from each other. We work in Harmony and work like work horses. We get the job done. I look at what we have done together in this last week, and i just cant help but be amazed and what happens when two young men come together and put their faith in the lord to put them in the places where they need to be. Then we get together and celebrate our hard work with Asado al Horno or Salted steak cooked in the oven for a long period of time, Elder Mayne is telling me that what we had was good, but the true asados are where you see yourself gaining weight but you don't care because it is just too delicious. Other adventures of the week...So today actually we came down in to Centro Cordoba where everything Cordoba is located. It is like a gigantic shopping mall. We saw street performers, gigantic catholic cathedrals, and went shopping in some of the coolest stores. I haven't bought anything too special yet but i am feeling more Latino now that i own three fútbol jerseys . They are super cheap down here. Also something that happened this week was the little rain storm we had. nothing like in Florida, but with only dirt roads and lots of rain makes for a really muddy day. I still had a great time and everything. Just really dirty. We even had to help a member displace the lake in front of his house. YAY! Anyway i love you all and i am loving my time here! till next time. Elder Cook

Monday, October 28, 2013

Argentina is SO COOL!

Hello from the Southern Part of the Hemisphere! Argentina is SO COOL! I am falling in love with the culture here with only being here for a few days. The flight and travel was long. i think i didn´t get to Cordoba until Thursday late afternoon. We stopped off in Buenos Aires because we had to talk about some of the Visa stuff that is happening. I only have a 90 day visa for Argentina. But this is a decision made by the church to get all the Visa Waiters into Argentina, and it worked. 42 Visa Waiters came into Argentina in one day. Crazy. The mission opened up 22 new areas just to fit us all into the mission. Any way, i have only 90 days here, but the thing is during those 90 days they are going to try to change my visa status to a kind of residency, they didn´t give us everything, but all i know is that they are working super hard to make sure that we can stay here. So To the Work. I was called to Open up a new area called Rio Segundo 2. Or One half of an area that was already established. The great thing is my Companion Elder Mayne, has been in Rio Segundo for the past 5 months of his Mission. We are getting along so well. He is super cool and pretty much awesome. We get along together so well. The best part is, that we are both From Utah and both about the same times in our mission. We are feeling up to the challenge of opening up this area, and just can´t wait to see what we have in store for us, and we know the Lord has a lot for us. We will with the other Elders who Cover the other half of Rio Segundo. It makes for some super fun down time when you have four elders living together. We have a lot of fun together. Especially since the last couple of days, we hadn´t figured out how to split the area, so we went in a group of four to every visit so both me and the other Visa Waiter that is new, could meet all the investigators because we didn´t know how to split the area. It made for some cool conversations because a lot of people started asking questions of why 4 guys were walking around Rio Segundo in White shirts and ties. Met a lot of cool people that way. Also the thing that i really like about this mission is that most of the areas that you serve in are walking areas. I am in a walking ara right now and it is super cool. I love walking you get to meet so many people. Legs get a little sore at night, but i just love it. I really just hit the pillow and i am out. I Love it here. I truly do feel as if i am finally Home. So another best part about being here is the Food. OHHH man the food here is sooo good. I have had a lot of Empanadas, Carne, and a sandwich called a Lomito. SUPER good. I have been told that some of the best food in the mission can be found here in Rio Segundo. I am super happy. i haven´t had my First Asada yet, but everyone has offered it to us so i am guessing that i will be having one of those soon. I will tell you all about that when that time comes around. Other than that, i don´t know much to say. The Food is Great, The People are great, My companion is Amazing, and i couldn´t be anymore happier to be where i am right now. I love it here and i knew that it might take a while to be where i am at, but i know that i am supposed to be here at this time. Florida was amazing and i loved it, but i also just can´t help but feel as if i am at home. When i flew over Cordoba i almost couldn´t just hlep but feel the spirit to know that someone in this city is looking for the Gospel, and i might be the person to bring it to them. I am sorry that i don´t have any pictures this week. I will be sending them all next week. I love you all and i hope that you all have an amazing week, i know i will! From Elder Cook

Monday, October 21, 2013

So the good ole last week in Florida

So the good ole last week in Florida. Man... i can't believe i am actually going to Argentina. I have been anxiously awaiting this day for a while now. I will be heading out this Wednesday night for a long flight out to Buenos Aires. It will be super cool though. It may be a late night flight but i am just excited because when you sleep it comes faster. The hope is i can sleep. Anyway, This week has been the perfect farewell week that i could have asked for. The best part was Yesterday we had my first Baptism of my mission. YAY. It was a little 9 year old of a returning family to the Church. They had been less active for a couple years and had during that time their son had turned to the age of nine. We prepared them a little bit longer and then everything was ready for their kid, Anthony, to be baptized. It was such a cool experience. As we prepared everything for the Baptism i was just happy to see everything work out. When the baptism was done, i just couldn't' stop smiling for him, his family, and just fort he fact that this family is now back in the together again, knowing that they can be together forever. I love this family and i am super excited to see them one more time before i leave. Another cool thing of this week was we had the biggest activity of the year this last week as well. It is called Noche de Hispanidad. Or Hispanic Night. We had representatives from every country bringing bits and pieces of there culture for a one night showcase and buffet basically. Well Surprise for me was we as missionaries were asked to represent The United States. I was asked to sing the national anthem the day before the activity. That was fun. Haha. After that we were able to watch "Michael Jackson" dance for a bit, then we had the Primary kids dance and also we were able to have the Relief Society do a dance that had every single country that our ward had to offer. We did the math and we basically have every country except for Costa Rica and Paraguay in our Ward. It is SO COOL. The food was just so good too. I am sorry that i didn't get any pictures of that, but is was for a good reason because i was just way to hungry, and by the time i thought about it, all the food was devoured. We had soo many people there to experience this event. Members and Non-Members alike. It was just so cool to see everyone coming together to experience their heritage. Well other than that I am getting into the swing of things. Spanish is coming along and i am hoping for the same feeling when i land in Argentina. I love you all and i hope that this week is filled with Miracles. I love you and i hope for the best. From Elder Cook

Monday, October 14, 2013

AHHH so for those who don't know this will be my final full week in Florida. I am so excited to get down into Argentina but it also is so sad because i will be leaving the great and wonderful Florida that i have grown so close too during the last 6 months. I have learned to love the culture of the people, the wards, starting to get used to the weather, and finally getting in the grove of the work. Hopefully though my time here is the preparation that i needed before getting into Argentina. So Last week was super crazy. We had so much stuff going on. Temple Service, Interviews with President, me getting my Visa, meetings all over the place and finally coming to the end where We are preparing for the next week coming up. We are going to be so busy as well. We prepped this week to be one of the busiest weeks that we could ever have so that we could both end this transfer leaving nothing behind. We have a huge ward activity coming up for this Friday which is supposed to be the biggest ward activity of the year. It is going to be so fun. Lots of food, lots of cultures, and best of all great opportunities for Members to bring friends and introduce them to the Church. We are hoping for a super good turn out on both sides of the board, or at least that is what the members have told us. Anyway i want to share something that i really liked about this week. It has been super cool because with all of our investigators we have re-pushed listening to conference again, and even have had the opportunity to sit down with a few of them and watch a few of the talks. the one very popular one that we have found to help most of them was the Talk given by Uchtdorf given on Saturday. I absolutely love this talk. I know as a missionary i am not really doubting what i am sharing, but i have found so much inspiration on how i can help those i am teaching resolve those little doubts that they have. Everyone has doubts and they may bot be about the church, or they may just be a doubt on their self worth, Just remember having a true testimony of Christ and what he has done for us will conquer any doubts that we have than any other thing. I invite everyone to watch it. I love you all and i hope that everyone has an awesome and miracle filled week. I will send one more email for Florida next week then i am off to the wonderful land of Argentina. Just remember everyone DON"T SEND MAIL. From Elder Cook

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Hey Everybody,
    I just got out of my interview with President Berry and i just received some great news. I am leaving for Argentina on the 23rd of this month. I was told to write this email to send a notice to everyone saying Don't Send ANY Mail to Me at the Florida Orlando address. I love you all and i will talk to all on Monday.
  Elder Cook

Monday, October 7, 2013

such a good ending to the week

Ahhh such a good ending to the week. Conference has always been that charge that you need to just feel energized for missionary work. I took some advice from my companion and had entered into Conference this time around more prepared than i think i have ever been before. Spiritually, mentally, and physically. It was just a really cool experience for me. One of my favorite quotes from conference was from Uchtdorf. "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith" I know that in this moment i really don't need it because i am on a mission and my testimony has never been stronger, but i know that as i teach i can use that to better help my investigators know that our faith, if established, can face all challenges. Doubt the doubts before you doubt your faith.
  Well we had a really cool experience this last week. We were going out this last friday to chilis because we were going out to celebrate in a way for the week that we had. As we had entered we were sat down by a guy who said to us "Come on elders follow me" We were quite surprised that he knew us by Elder. Well we were sat down and he told us that he had been raised in the Church in Idaho, moved down to Florida when he was fifteen and had since then become less active. His wife is a non-member and has her own church. He is the General Manager as well at the Chilis and usually works sundays so he himself can't make it to Church often. Well after that point lets just say it was such a cool experience. We were treated so well. The GM, Matt, made sure that we were taken care of. It was just a cool experience. The thing is that you never know where the Lord will put you when he needs you. Especially as missionaries i have seen that the Lord puts me in places a lot just to affect a person once in their lives. To give them that help they need at that moment. I know that Matt may not be full reactivated because he saw us a Chilis, but what he may have needed was to see that he still had a care for the Church, just to see the representatives of Jesus Christ. Just a cool little experience.
   Other than that, I finally got some news on the Visa this week. We got a call this last wednesday from the Office missionaries and they told me that they had received some paper work for me to do. It was a renewal for the FBI clearance and another visa paper. I am not forgotten. I had to get my Fingerprints redone and then sign some more paper work. I am hoping that this means i will be moving out soon and it means that they haven't forgotten about me here in Florida. I know I still have some time to wait here, but i know that the Lord is putting me here more than just to wait. He is having me work my heart out to get me ready for whatever is ahead.
  I love you all and i hope to you all enjoyed Conference as much as i did. Just remember that we need to do more than just listen, but to get the must out of what we listened is going home and applying them in our daily lives. I love you all and i hope that you all have a wonderful miracle filled week.
  From Elder Cook

Monday, September 30, 2013

AHHHH! October is here!

AHHHH! October is here! i can't even believe it. General Conference is coming up this week and to think i was in the MTC when the last broadcast happened. I can't believe it. I just feel like this mission is going to disappear like a blink of an eye. The days can seem long, the weeks go by way to fast, and the months just no longer exist.
 I am super excited for General Conference this week. We have just been getting everyone ready for it. Members, investigators, and Less Actives. Everyone. It is so cool to just to recognize the blessings that come from it. We have the wonderful opportunity to listen to a living Prophet. We are so blessed to get that.
So this last week we had the wonderful opportunity to do Temple Service. Which is really just us doing the yard work for the temple. Which in Florida, is quite easy. Weed Pulling is just a matter of fighting the amount of them, and mowing the lawn is only bad if the sun is out and shining. I had the opportunity to mow the lawn this last week and i had to say it was such a cool experience. You have the opportunity to just walk around the temple by yourself for a bit. We were allowed to be by ourselves just because it needed to be done. Still sight and sound from the other guy doing the mowing, but i mean mowing is kind of the thing where you aren't as social as the other possible jobs. I kind of liked it. Especially since it started raining, well more like a slight drizzle. It felt fantastic.
   Well being with Elder Baugh in this area has been a super huge blessing. Him and I have gotten to know each other super well. I wanted to write about an experience that i had with him this last week. Well we have been out of miles on our car this whole week so we have been sticking to bikes all week. Well this last week we had a scheduled appointment with some investigators of ours. Well about two miles away from their house, Elder Baugh's tire went flat. We decided that since we are only 2 miles away, we would just walk the rest fo the way. Well, God was testing to see how diligent we were that he sent a rain storm down on us. We started walking in Ankle deep water heading up a hill do our appointment. There was a point where i thought it would have been better just to turn around and wait out the storm at McDonalds, but Elder Baugh just kept walking. No matter what it was. He showed me what true diligence was. No matter what, he was willing to walk the hill, to teach these people. It truly showed me something that i don't think i had seen truly. Especially since when we got there the couple only had 5 minutes to be taught before heading out to a doctors appointment. It was a good and humbling experience.
 Well, i don't have that much time left before i have to get off the computer, but i love you all. Every single one of you. I hope that this week you will all enjoy conference as much as i know that i will. I am just getting super pumped up for the talks and revelation that i might receive. Thank you all for the love that you are sending. I feel it. Thank you and i love you all so much.
     Elder Cook

Monday, September 23, 2013

i wanted to expound on a little miracle that happened just yesterday

So i don't have too much time to write because of some other things that i have been required of us today before we emailed the family, but i just want every one to know that i am still safe. The rain storms are coming in this week but they only seem to last about 30 minutes, then die off. Yesterday we had just finished up church and we were about to leave when we realized that it was dumping outside. We would have been drenched if we would have ran out, but we decided to wait a bit to let it die down, it did thank goodness.
  Well i wanted to expound on a little miracle that happened just yesterday. Well this last week we have not had a lot of success with either finding people or teaching people. It actually came down to where all our solid investigators couldnt' meet us and all our members canceled on us. AGH! We just went out to tract the majority of the time, and it didn't give us a lot of results. But the Lord blesses hard work and diligence. Yesterday we were going to church when we got a text message to get to church right away. Apparently their was a set of English missionaries who had been working with a member to get him involved in Missionary work and he promised that he would start talking to his neighbor. Well yesterday that neighbor followed him to church without him knowing and sat in on the ward. She is Guatamalan and we hope to be seeing her this week. She was so willing to meet with us and hopefully meet with her family as well. Super cool miracels that happen everyday! Love being a missionary!
   Well, Other than that this week upcoming week is goign to be super cool. We in this zone have the opprotunity to help with the temple grounds every once in a while and our districts turn is this next thursday. I love doing service at the temple. May not get to go inside but hey atleast i get to look at the wonderful beauties of the design from the outside. Cool part is though i get to do that on a regular basis because our church building is right across the street from the temple. I haven't been able to get any good pictures, but some will be coming soon.
  Another cool thing about this area is the ward is just so awesome. I love this ward. They invite the missioanries to everything! We are able to go to basically every ward activity and it it truly helps gain trust in the ward. It is also a great opprotunity to have investigators come and meet the ward. We are playing Soccer on Saturdays and that is always fun. Not the best player but i am learning. We also were invited to a wedding reception this last week. Super fun. And we had a members kid get baptized yesterday. Another super cool experience.
   I love the work and i have only been shown miracles while i have been out here. I am getting super excited to hear General conference this next week. It is all anyone is talkign about. Always cool to listen to Prophets.
    I love you all and i hope that everyone sees a miracle in their life this week. It isn't hard when you actually think about it. If anything just write a posotive thing about what may have happened in your day and you may just see that a miracle happened. It works. I love this Gospel!
   From your friendly neighborhood missionary,
      Elder Cook

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

  Well, This week has been filled with meeting new people, new members, and new investigators. I have come into a Ward that had already been worked very hard and have been blessed with 5 investigators already working towards Baptism. One of them finally received a date just Yesterday in fact!  There was a less-active family that missionaries have been working with and it ended up being that one of their Kids was 9 years old. Well missionaries have been teaching this 9 year old kid for about 4 months now and the family is coming back to church and their child wants to be Baptized. Just yesterday we confirmed a date for the 20th of October which is super awesome. It is super cool to see miracles like that.  We have two other couples that we are teaching and Elder Baugh was quite surprised to see a change in them since the last time he had seen them. He said that this transfer they probably will both be baptized. It is super cool to see the Lord’s hand in preparing those who are ready to receive the Gospel. Sharing this happiness is just one of the bonuses of being a missionary.
  Besides all that, it has been a super cool week. As I told everyone last week I was transferred into a new area in the Orlando Mission, still Spanish speaking. One of the cool opportunities though that I had this week was to get to meet a lot of the Ward Members before Sunday came rolling around. First off they had a Ward party the first night I was there so I got to meet the Bishop, the Ward Mission leader, and a majority of the Ward Members in one night. Then we had another Ward activity on Friday where I got to get to know the members that I had met on Tuesday a little better. The cool thing was, I was speaking a lot more Spanish and understanding more Spanish than I had realized in the past. The part that made me realize this the most was when Sunday came around. The ward that I am serving in now is a complete Spanish Ward which made for an interesting Sunday. Nothing but Spanish all around me. It was interesting though because when it started, it threw me off for a second. Then as I listened I had realized how much of it I was actually understanding. Then they asked all the new missionaries in the ward to stand up and bare their testimonies to the Ward so they could get to know us. Well I got up and was quite surprised on how confident I was when I started speaking. I bore my testimony and sat down. It was one of those profound moments when you know this Church is true because the Gift of Tongues was blessing my life. True Gifts of the Spirit right there.
   Anyway, another thing that made for an interesting week was the fact that Elder Baugh and I are setting up our area at the moment. Last transfer they had made this Ward into one area just because of a lack of Spanish missionaries, but this transfer they split it back into two with us on the West side and a set of Sister missionaries on the East side. The Ward has been so accepting of these Sister Missionaries it is insane to watch their love pour out. The first ward party I was talking about, well they were there and the Ward just couldn't stop talking to them. They were taking pictures with them and everything. They were sure welcomed into the ward.
   Anyways, other than that I don't know what much to say. I am super loving the area I’ve moved to.  I am excited to be With Elder Baugh again. (He was one of the missionaries that welcomed me to Florida as one of my first companions and we get along great) We are going to have fun. Work our hearts out and just go out and make sure we are doing the things the Lord wants us to do. I love you all and I hope that this week everyone can see a miracle in their life. I promise everybody that they are there and they happen around all of us every day, we just have to notice them.

   Elder Cameron Cook

(Sorry no pictures this week, with the whole move I couldn't find the card reader, and to answer your question, my mailing address is still the same since it's to the mission home.  We aren't supposed to have the mail sent to our actual door address because we aren't home to receive packages.  So the Satellite Drive one is still the correct one to use for snail mail)

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Lord knows where i need to go

So, i am still in Florida. Probably will be for a while longer. The Lord knows where i need to go and now he has told me to go to a different ward here in Florida. I will be heading up to the Windyridge Ward. I will be going back up with my old companion Elder Baugh again. He called me this morning to set some things up and give me a rundown of what was going on in the Area. I am super excited because i will be in an All Spanish ward, i get to have an opprotunity to serve next to the Orlando temple, and i get to be in an awesome area. I have heard only good things about the Windyridge area. Still keeping in the Spanish work though. Always good.
   This week has been a super crazy week. With Transfers coming up everyone is on the antsy side of things. Especially me because if i was going to hear anything about the Visa it was this week. I didn't hear anything but one thing, Elder Politio(My companion) was training next transfer. This meant that either we were going to be a Three-Man again, or i was leaving. Well, they took our third bed the week before and we hadn't heard about anything of getting a new one. This just meant i was probably going to leave. So we tried our hardest to make this a good week. I have grown to love Elder Polito and it will be sad to see him go. We may have had some rough spots, but what companionship doesn't. You learn to grow from each other.
  This last week i saw a couple of cool miracles. One specifically on exchanges with my District Leader. We were going to go teach a lady that i had tracted into on another exchange the day before. Well we went to go teach her and she let us in. Even had her two daughters sit down and listen to us. We started teaching her and learned that she was of the Hindu Religion. She listened intently to our lesson and after wards she basically told us that she believed every word we told her and we got a return appointment. Return appointment for the English Elders of course. It was a super cool lesson and super cool. Goes to show that the lord is continually preparing his Children.
   Other than that we had a few cool experiences this week. I had three exchanges both of which were with Elder Child. He is a Visa waiter as well waiting to go to Cordoba as well. He isn't taking this Reassignment very well. Partly because he was reassigned to an English area. I know that can be hard. I am very blessed to be where i am and to be serving where i am.
  I love all of you and i will be trying to get back to you a little more next week when i have a little more time. Transfer days are always a little hectic.
       Elder Cook

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hey family!

Hey familly!

    Well, this week has been super good but somewhat slow. As we approach the end of this transfer the Visa question starts popping up again. The members are starting to ask even more and more. My district leader is guessing that i am out of the area which probably means i would be out to Argentina. I am starting to wonder myself, but i am starting to not care as much as i am starting to just get more and more into the work.

  The one cool thing that i am really excited to talk about is our one super positive investigator Iris. She is getting baptized on the 20th of this month which is super exciting for her. We have been teaching her all the lessons again and she has expressed a deeper desire and understanding of the Gospel which is super cool. As i see it, i might not be here to see it, but i am just super excited for her. She doesn't like change though which just makes things super hard for anyone to come in.

 So this week wasn't super eventful though. We got a new car last week and this week we were able to drive in it for five straight days this week. It made for a pretty fun week to not have a van but to have a nice new ford fusion.

  This last week we had our District P-day and we went bowling which was super fun and got permision to watch 17 miracles which as always brings to memory of my ancestors and all the wonderful things that i have that sacrificed for the church. It makes me even prouder to know that i am out here spreading the gospel that my ancestors sacrificed for.

Well, i am super sorry but i don't know what else to write. It was a super good week. We worked hard. Met our goals. Then partied with our new car.

I love you all i am going to try to come a little more prepared this next week with a little more exciting news. Week 5 of transfers is usually slow for everybody so i apologize. Florida continues to be rainy, humid, and really not too exciting.

Elder Cook

 The leave your mark banner was somethign mad by our mission president. i will always be a part of the Florida Orlando mission forever. I left my finger print on it. Yay!

The family is a family from Guadamala who are only here for a short time. The woman is here till October. The man(her brother) left. It was super sad to see them go. I only knew them for a week. Love is such a weird thing on the mission. You end up loving and caring for so many people in such a short ammount of time.

The one with all the missionaries is us at the bowling alley.

Beautiful sunset in Florida.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Well, this week has been pretty weird.

 Well, this week has been pretty weird. Elder Meza had left us this last thrusday which meant that it is only me and Elder Polito. I am in my first regular companionship since i have been in the MTC. It has been super interesting since Elder Meza has gone because Elder Polito and I have truly gotten to know each other more in these last 4 days than since the beginning of the transfer. Crazy
   Anyway it has been a super good week this week. We taught a super cool person this last week. Her name is Carol and we found her by knocking her door last week and were finally able to get into her house and teach her this week. It was a super good lesson. We were able to teach her the full restoration, teach basically her whole family, and get to know her a lot better. After that fact, we invited her and her family to be baptized. Well Carol basically just told us right out that she can't even remember being baptized and knows that it is super important and would love to get baptized again by true authority. Super cool! Super excited to start seeing her on a weekly basis. One of those cool things that happen during missionary work is you meet some of the coolest people out and about.
   Well i had the impressions to share a quick spiritual thought that came to mind to me yesterday as we were teaching one of the members in our Ward. He was basically talking about how one of his favorite quotes from a movie that i related back to the phrase in the church as Enduring to the End. Well as i was trying to think of a scripture, i came upon one that i found in the Book of Mormon a while back it is 1 Nephi 22:31 which says "Wherefore, ye need not suppose that I and my father are the only ones that have testified, and also taught them. Wherefore,  if ye shall be obedient to the commandments, and endure to the end, ye shall be saved at the last day. And thus it is. Amen" I have been thinking a lot about this these last couple of weeks. A lot of the people that i see or talk to have been going or have gone through a lot in their life. The thing is, is we are there to help them move on from the past with a new objective in life. We give them new opportunities and new options to help "endure to the end". I have seen the miracles in the lives of many people when they put more reliance on Jesus Christ than anyone else. People honestly endure. I love the fact that Jesus Christ suffered for us to endure, that is why we can rely on him. Anyway, I invite anyone who may be going through something rough, new, trying, or even just stressful to turn to the lord. Ask for some comfort, guidance, and maybe just help lifting the load. He is there to help us. I know that to be true. He has helped me in more ways than one since i have gotten out here. I have grown a lot, and i have seen a lot. I love my Savior. I know he he is here with us on this earth. entonces yo se que mi salvador esta aqui con todas las personas. ha sentido que mi salvador me esta ayudando en muchas maneras. Porque mi Salvador sufrio para mi y para ustedes. Gracias para sus oraciones para la obra y para mi y mi companero. Yo estoy agredecido para el amor que siento porque yo se que es parte de mi familia y las otras personas quien estan orando para la obra misional. Espero que ustedes sienten el amor de nuestro Padre y nuestro Salvador. Gracias para todos.
  Te Amo!
        Elder Cook

Monday, August 19, 2013

Hey every body!

Hey every body. We had such a crazy week this week. So much has happened i don't know what to start with. One thing though that is kind of weird-ing me out that Elder Meza is leaving this week. He leaves for home on thursday. Super weird thought. Seeing him pack up all his stuff and basically finishing off his mission is just one of those experiences that is just weird to watch from a distance. I am still really new into this mission and he has already served the two years. He has been a great example though of how to be near the end of your mission. I find that i have seen a few examples of Elders who just can't find a balance. I'll miss him.
   So this week we have had a super cool week. First off, we had a couple super cool experiences. We first got a Baptismal date with one of our investigators that I started teaching my first transfer here. Her name is Iris Luna and she is super cool. We started teaching her from a find off the street and we just set a baptismal date with her for the end of this transfer. i super hope i get to see her baptized before this week. She is super prepared and super excited for baptism. She is just not excited for the fact that one day i will leave. She doesn't like the fact of change in her life. It made me a little sad to see her hurt so much by just the fact that i would be leaving. The thing is that we have a solid friendship for her that has super helped her out. We will be seeing her a couple times this week to keep preparing her for baptism and then she will be ready. It is so cool to see the changes in peoples lives. One of the many blessings of being a missionary.
   Other than that we got another super prepared member find this week. We were invited over for dinner this last week to a Sister Solano(a converted Jehovahs Witness) where she asked us to give a blessing to one of her long time friends. He is a non member and we asked if we could come back and start teaching him about the church. He accepted the invitation and when we went to go teach him we learned not only was he interested in the church, but he had already started reading the Book of Mormon and was half way done with it. He is a super cool guy. We wants to get baptized but wants his whole family to be taught first before he accepts a date. It was a miracle find for us and we are super excited to start teaching him. Funny part of the meeting was when we asked if he was a member when we gave the blessing Sister Solano said "no but he will be."
  Other than that, the week has been super cool. We have talked to so many people. We have put our focus to finding a family to teach and from that we have been super blessed. We have gotten closer has a companionship. It is going to be weird without Elder Meza. Elder Polito and I are super excited to start working together to get this area back up to miracle land. I am loving it here in Florida and as the days pass by, it makes things super hard to imagine that i will be leaving. I love the people of Florida, especially the people here. An experience that i had this week kind of showed me that as missionaries you learn to love people really fast. We met this Guatemalan lady who was visiting here for her Daughter. She was a super active member down in Guatemala and was super excited to have us over for dinner. Well we were over there twice and she told us she was going back to Guatemala. It hurt us all so bad to have to say goodbye to her. We have only known her for 3 weeks and when we say our official goodbyes tonight, it will be hard.  Leaving this area will be hard. i have gotten to know and love this ward, the people, and the area. I guess it just happens when you connect your spirit with your emotions. Elder Meza says that is one thing that he could tell about me.
   Anyway, sorry this letter is so short, we have been super busy this P-day because it is the only day Elder Meza has to finish everything that he has to do. I love you all and i can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me for this upcoming week. We have Zone Conference, Elder Meza leaving, and some more miracles being revealed to us. I love you all and i hope that all this week is filled with love and guidance.
      Elder Cook


Monday, August 12, 2013

Primero-Todavia Estoy en Florida

Primero-Todavia Estoy en Florida
          Yes i am still here. I know it is getting old for a lot of people to hear this, but i am letting everyone know that i haven't heard anything. Probably won't until the end of this transfer. I know it sucks for everyone but i still live and i am learning to love this place...except for the humidity. I don't think i will ever love the humidity.
       Other than that this week has been so good. A lot of this week has been tracting doors which makes for a pretty good week, but it is always awkward with three people. We have started to make door contacting with only 2 people because it almost feels like a mob at the door if we have three. We had a really interesting door contact this last week where we were invited into this man's house. He seemed super nice and it is always nice to enter into a home after a long morning of tracting. Well let us just say he tried to convert us to his gospel where the Ten Commandments where written on tablets the shape of a heart and and that the last prophet was John the Baptist. Yeah it was pretty interesting. Especially since he started just directing all the questions he had to me. In was so strange. We decided to leave and then left us with a prayer saying that he had changed the direction of our mission and everything. Another one was when we tracted into a deaf man who kept pointing to me outlining a speedo and doing the swimming action. Yeah it was crazy. We had a lot of fun lessons. I can start to see the crazy stories come to life in my mind of the other missionaries. The stories and miracles are always in abundance on a mission.
   So This was my second week with my new companions and it is quite strange because one of them is leaving in two weeks. Elder Meza was basically done with his mission and this was supposed to be his last transfer. Well, basically he talked to president and got approved to go home two weeks early so he could attend school. Once he leaves we are going to fight to get the other visa waiter from our ward into our companionship so that he can get into the Spanish work instead of being in English. Which just means that i will have some more changes. Though Elder Meza is leaving it will be super hard to say goodbye to him. He has taught me a lot about missionary work in general. He has been my example and kind of a vision of what i want to be as a missionary. I finally have seen an example of balance in the life of a missionary and i feel that if i just follow his advice that he has given me so far and then just take it through the rest of the way. Elder Polito and Elder Meza and I are having so much fun together. This last week we actually built a Chicken Coop for service for the Rangel Family(Recent Converts). It was so fun, but just looking at it now is just awesome because i helped make a chicken coop. It is so cool too because this transfer is flying by. After this week we are half way done with the transfer which is just abnormal, at least for me.
  Another cool thing that happened this week was seeing a rocket fly off into space. We were driving off after our correlation meeting and we saw this red dot fly off into the sky. Elder Polito told us that is was a personal rocket being launched off. We watched it go off an we tried to take a picture of it but all i could get was a red dot on my camera so i hope that it suffices enough to let you all know that in Florida i have seen Disney, Rockets go off into space, and alligators. All you need out of Florida and more. We also saw this car that said shufflin on its license plate. Yup pretty awesome.
   So cool experience of the week was this last Tuesday. So as i mentioned before we have another Visa Waiter who is officially in the English Elder's area. Well we thought of this brilliant plan to take him to a Spanish lesson just so he could get back into the Spanish experience. Well, we found a perfect opportunity to take him. We had English/ Spanish class collide right over a few lessons that we had planned so we asked if we could split up the two tri-panionships and make 3 companionships for the night. Well i took Elder Childs(The other Visa Waiter) to a lesson while the other two stayed at the classes. Well it was good for both of us because he had a chance to speak Spanish and i had the opportunity to not rely on my native companions. Well we were only planning on it being a member lesson, well what actually happened was the member is renting out a room to a non-member family who ended up wanting to listen to the message and continue to listen to it. We got to teach a new family and then were able to get a return appointment. Elder Childs didn't even realize that the other family was a non member until after the lesson. He was so happy. We hope to be putting him into Spanish work soon.
   I love you all family and i am so thankful for all the prayers and love that i know i have received from you. Thanks for the letters! I love you all.
      Se Amo,
         Elder Cook


Monday, August 5, 2013

this last week has been soo much knocking doors

Wow, what a week it has been. So this last week has been soo much knocking doors. We have had very little success with our teaching pool lately so we have made it a focus of ours to start finding some more people. Gladly some of our people have been through members which is always the best, but we still are finding through our own efforts. We were just going down the list of people to see. Most of the time they weren't home or they just didn't answer the door, but we did find some really cool people. One of which was quite a miracle find. We ran into a puerto rican while knocking and told us he was a Jehovah's witness which usually makes for a fun contact, but the even cooler part was that he just wanted to learn about what we believed. We basically gave him the whole lesson on the restoration and he was totally accepting it all. Even got a information to meet back with him. He was a super cool guy. The only bad thing was is we are going to have to hand him off because if we go on teaching him and his family, they mainly speak english so we will be handing them off to the English elders in our ward. Oh well, still spreading the gospel which is the thing that truly matters.
   Other than that, we had a super cool miracle happen to us just yesterday. We were following up on a member referral that was given to us last transfer. Well lets just say it wasn't a huge success for us as missionaries. We then do what we usually do when we have time to spare which is tract the area. We were knocking doors all through this circle when we came upon this door that we were just treating as a regular door  contact. The lady answered the door and was super open and welcoming to us. We were quite happy to think we may have just found a miracle find in this neighborhood. We then learned when talking to her that she was a member that was baptized a few years ago and had just moved into this house two weeks ago. We then continued to talk to her and were invited into her house.  The miracle about it was that we started to give her an impromptu lesson about trials and patience and she then cut in the middle of us and asked how we found her. Well we told her that we just happened to knock on her door but she was originally part of later plans that we had made. So either way we were planning on stopping by. She then just started telling us why she moved down to Florida and that she was suffering really bad from some trials that she herself was going through. It was crazy on how the spirit had guided us to knock her door and to meet with her, then guide us to talk to her about patience through trials.
  Other than that, this week has been super fun. I have been introducing my Two new companions to the area. Their names are Elder Politio and Elder Meza. Both are amazing spanish speakers. They both spoke spanish before the mission and basically are native speakers. I feel so behind some times, but then i just laugh when people look dumbfounded when i start to speak to them in Spanish. I even taught a member this last week and i was trying to place where i knew him from. Well let us just say it struck me that he was my first lesson that i ever taught on the field. I was so surprised on how much i could understand him and then reply to what he had questions with. I can't even imagine what i might be like in Argentina. That is of course when i get there. I love you all. thank you so much for the letters that you send me and the encouragement that i feel from your prayers. Know that i pray for you all too. I love you and i know that our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, loves you too. I know he loves you because he died for you all. I know that as i have started this mission, i have seen the miracles of the love of christ in the lives of many. I love you all and i hope that this next week is filled with many miracles.
  Te Amo
     Elder Cook

Monday, July 29, 2013

having a rough time still just finding the elect who are truly are prepared for the Gospel

So, once again not much happened. Things are going on as normal for the week. We go out, talk to people, having a rough time still just finding the elect who are truly are prepared for the Gospel, and then we go to sleep,wake up, and do it all over again. The life of a missionary right. The good thing is, this area might be having a rough patch right now but i feel that this next transfer will be one of great success. The reason i mention this is tomorrow both of my companions are leaving to different areas this transfer and I am getting two new ones. Leading the area basically. This will be quite a fun transfer. I will be sending pictures of my new companions probably next week because i haven't even met them yet.
   Other than that, Other things that happened this week was once again it rained alot. We have figured that it is a nightly thing now where we will have rain for about an hour starting around 4:45 to 6. This last week we were also having some problems with both Elder Baugh's and Elder Giraldo's bike and the car so it was just difficult to get out and about this week. We figured out rides to get to our appointments when needed and other than that we just had to wait for the car to be fixed. Oh the greatness of being in car share. The fun thing was when we weren't having problems with our bikes it rained on us a ton so we were drenched basically for the majority of our nights.
 Speaking of which, I am still in Florida and probably will be for another transfer. These last transfers it has followed a pretty good pattern with visa waiters. 9 came in with me than after that transfer 4 left on the P-day before transfers, then this transfer 2 more left today. I feel like they like sending them out on Preparation days right before transfers. So i am starting to feel that this one is my last one, but that just means that the Lord needs me here.
  I am sorry this one is so short but I just don't know what to write about. Not a lot happened this week, but i feel a good week coming up. New views and new attitudes. I also don't have any pictures for this week just because it wasn't on my mind. I will try to get some out to you all next week. I love you all. 
      Elder Cook