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