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

Monday, July 22, 2013

Twinkies and gas, gasoline that is!

Hey Everybody!
     So this last week not a lot has happened. It rained a lot which means that we had to stay inside. It was just crazy. Just yesterday we had this huge storm just come out of no where. We were in our house for dinner and we just heard this huge CRASH. There was lightning just ride out side our complex basically. AHHH. The storm went on for an hour and a half. Lightning was flashing every 10 seconds. Maybe even less than that. Our room was shaking as the sound of thunder would hit our house. We would see flashes and the sound would be less than 2 seconds away. It was insane. It was probably the biggest Lightning storm i have seen while i was down here. It poured too. We were quite glad that we didn't have a dinner appointment set up for that day or we would have been done for.
   I wanted to share a quick experience of a contact that i had this week. We were on exchanges this last Tuesday with our District leader and he is really good about talking to Everyone. I was leading our group of bikes down the main road when i looked behind and both of my companions had disappeared. They had turned around and biked after a guy who had walked into a Gas Station parking lot. Well they were talking to him when a van pulled up at a pump and a guy walked out, saw us, and just kind of paced around with this look of I-want-to-talk-to-you. Well i pulled away from the group and started talking to him. He then asked me to pray for him. He told me a little bit of what was going on with his life and i was quite surprised to see how hard of a life he might have had. I said a prayer and then right after started teaching him. He had to leave after a few minutes but the crazy part was when it started raining again  later that day, we met with him in another gas station. We were taking shelter and he ended up coming in a few seconds later. That was crazy! I then took that opportunity to teach him basically about Priesthood authority and the need for baptism. It was crazy cool. He isn't my investigator because he speaks English but cool all the same.
   Other than that, i haven't heard anything about the Visa. Every body asks and all i can say is Todavia estoy esperando por mi visa, in English Still waiting for my visa. I don't know how long i will be here and some are starting to joke that i might just be finishing my mission here. Another joke is i would get my Visa the last day or week of my mission. I know it won't be like that, but i feel as if my time here is coming to a close, but we will see. The great thing about being here in Florida though is that i get the time to learn more Spanish. I have been feeling way more comfortable with my Spanish than i ever have before. I even got a compliment on how much my Spanish has improved since i got here into the ward. i only have been here for 3 months and i can have  a pretty decent conversation, i mean mostly about the Gospel but at least a conversation none the less.
    Well, i love you all. As Pioneer day approaches, think of your ancestry. That is what i have been doing. I mentioned this to my Mom, but i did that math and officially i am a 9th Generation Latter Day Saint. I am as old as they come, maybe not but i am one fo the few original families that stayed with Joseph Smith and then followed the church across the plains. Yup i know this church is true. Read a story or two about your ancestors this week, if you don't have one at hand, i challenge you to find one. I am pretty sure it wouldn't be hard to find with all the technology that we have.
   Also good news for everyone that i am pretty sure everybody knows already is the Twinkie is back. Yeah i just wanted to mention that. I saw them at the Walmart this last Monday and thought i was dreaming. I then found them, bought a box, and have been enjoying them for the past week. My companions have found me quite weird that i was so happy to see a box of Twinkies. I just am so happy to know that i have not tasted my last Twinkie for a while.
   I love you all. I think  about you all often.
          Elder Cook
   (The Picture of me is with me and my first box of Twinkies)

Monday, July 15, 2013

Wild (in) Florida

Hey Everybody!
   So this last week has been super crazy. We met our new mission president this last week at a Zone Conference. He gave us all these coins that are super cool. I don't have a picture of it but I carry it around in my white shirt pocket all the time so maybe one day ill take a picture. He is super cool. His name is President Berry. He lived in Draper Utah and he said he knew some Cooks and he just left it at that. He is super on top of things. He had these crazy transfers that have happened just yesterday. People were basically ET'ed(Emergency Transferred) with most of them exchanging today. It was super crazy. We had this companionship that lived in the same complex as us and one of them was freaking out yesterday because he got the call to be exchanged. One day i hope i might get that same call but to go to Argentina!
   This last Monday we went to Wild Florida which is basically a zoo for some crazy animals...mainly Alligators. The cool thing is, is that this place is owned by a member of the Church so missionaries get in free and get a discount at the gift shop. We were there for about an hour  and saw some gators, some watussi's, and even a ZeDonk. Which is a Zebra and a Donkey mix. I have a few pictures that i will be sending of some of the crazy things that i saw there. So you will be able to see a part of some of my adventures.
   So one crazy thing about this week was during our meet and greet with President Berry we were told that this Huge storm was going to come and get us so we would have to be super safe. Well we saw the storm come in on Saturday and we were freaking out because it looked menacing. We went immediately back to our house to make sure we weren't hit by anything to serious. Well....Let us just saw the look was bigger than its bite. It rained for an hour or so, but it wasn't anything too serious. We still stayed inside because of the lightning, but it was just way disappointing. 
   Nothing too exciting has happened this week. Still haven't heard anything about the Visa besides the fact of I might be staying here from a member who's brother had the same problem. His brother got his Visa three days before he was going to be staying there for his whole mission. I know the Lord will put me where the Lord needs me to do his work. I love this work and i see it affect the lives of the people i talk to. Even if they don't recognize it fully, i see it. The lord blesses us every day. My challenge for people this week is to just write down a list of the things you are thankful for. You would be surprised on as you update it through out the week you see the Lord working in your life and how much he truly has blessed you. Even if you only do it for a week, you truly see how you are blessed. 
  I love every body. Peace and Blessings to you all.
                 Elder Cameron Jay Cook

Monday, July 8, 2013

So first off, I got a hair cut today. It was about that time where my hair was just getting way to long for this weather. Bugs would always get into my hair and I just hated it. So finally got a hair cut done by the wonderful Elder Giraldo and now i hope that i won't be dying of the heat nearly as much as before.
  So nothing really much happened this week besides the fourth of July and that made a lot of things hard for everyone. Every one is out of town, everyone is super busy(Especially the Spanish people) and no one really likes the missionaries over when they have their extended family over. The cool thing was we had a really cool time with the members were were able to see and were able to stay up until 10:30 to watch fireworks and such. We had our ward and the Zone Leaders come with us the Kissimee lake side fire work show and it was pretty cool. We did some contacting here and there. Got a few potentials for our ward, and moved on to watching the Fire Works. We had a really fun time.
  So i kind of wanted to share a quick scripture for this message. I was reading in Habakkuk because i just had a strange feeling i should and i fell upon this scripture. It is Habakkuk 3:18-19
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation.
19 The Lord God is my strength, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. To the chief singer on my stringed instruments.

   I really liked this scripture because it truly just proves what the Lord can do for all of us, especially when feeling a little tired or exhausted. This last week has been really rough for our companionship. A lot of our investigators are stopping to progress and are becoming really flakey which scares us quite a bit on their true desires. I was truly tired this week. Then i found this scripture and found inspiration again. If i rejoiced in the Lord, he would carry me to the places where i couldn't do it myself. I finally found the energy that i needed to move forward. I am so thankful that i have the Lord to help lift me up. I can rely on him to move his children to progress and myself to a place where i can stand and declare his word to those who are ready to recieve it.
 I love this work and every day i witness the truth of why i am here.
       Elder Cook

Monday, July 1, 2013

Hola from Florida 7/01/2013

     So this last week has been crazy. Once again we were hit by a flash storm that just poured on us. We had just arrived at a potentials house when the clouds rolled in. We were just about done with the lesson when bam, lighting everywhere and it was pouring. We finished the lessons tried to call a ride but it didn't work out so we decided to bike it out. 13 minute bike ride home and we were soaked. The rain was absolutely crazy.
     Speaking of that lesson before it rained. He is a super positive investigator now. We had received him from a media referral from the MTC. He wanted a Book of Mormon. He had received a card from some missionaries while out working construction He called the number and now we are teaching him. He is super awesome. His name is Miguel Rodriguez and he has a family of his wife and two kids. We are super stoked to start teaching him. He says he wants to start involving his whole family in our lessons. He is super awesome already willing to be baptized and everything. If things go as planned we might be having a lot of baptisms soon. Yay!
  Also, we have been teaching this little 9 year old for a few couple weeks and it has been so cool to see him grow in the Gospel. Kids are just so amazing when it comes to these kinds of things. It also helps because the Mom and the kid’s siblings are already members so they have talked a lot about it with him. The only problem with him is that we just can't get the dad's approval to have him get baptized. We are hoping the dad softens his heart before the kid has to leave but if anything we have planted something within him that will hopefully soften the Dad's heart when he goes back to live with him in a few weeks.
    One crazy story for the week. So we were teaching one of our investigators about opposition from Satan when deciding to take the steps to repenting when her neighbor walked over and started cussing us out right in the middle of the lesson. She just said that our investigator shouldn't believe a single word that we were saying to her and that nothing we say is true. After she left our investigator told us that she wasn't even close to her and basically didn't even know her. HAHA it was so funny.
   Other news, I am still in Florida. Yup and probably will be for a while. Nothing else too exciting has happened this week besides the fact that I am feeling a lot more comfortable with listening to people in Spanish. I know that I am not perfect quite yet, but I am feeling a lot comfortable. I am able to participate more in the lessons because I am able to finally understand about 80 percent of what people are saying. I know that as I continue to work that the Lord will bless me with the ability to speak Spanish.
   I love this work and I have truly been blessed with the many miracles on this mission. I have been out for now 3 months and things are just speeding by. I know that this mission will be a precious gem. I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me in his work.
  Elder Cameron Jay Cook

So the first picture is of me right after the other storm.

2nd is of my bike...out of commission again. We went to go fix it today. It should be good to go with a quick fix. As good as new.