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