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.