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.