Monday, March 2, 2015

Well this will be the last time in a while were i will have the opportunity to email as a missionary

  Well this will be the last time in a while were i will have the opportunity to email as a missionary. 
  So i was thinking of what i would be putting in this last email and i have had a real big difficulty of what i could write. The good thing is that this last week has been one of the most interesting weeks that i have had here on my mission.
   So i think i have told all of you that it seems to rain a lot here, well this week it has sure passed all the norms of usual rain storms. San Francisco flooded! YAY! well not really i don't think we should be celebrating that but we have had some real big problems due to flooding this last week. Some of the small town close to us are still under about 3 feet of water and some towns are evacuated because the town is completely under water. This part of Argentina is not really well planned so when they have problems with flooding they just send it to other small towns. So not only do the small towns get there own rain but the rain of everywhere else. San Francisco was only flooded for about a day and a half. The rain started coming down on Tuesday night and didn't stop until Wednesday in the afternoon. We were officially not able to leave that day but we had a lunch so we were able to go out and trudge through the flooded streets to get to the lunch. I have a few videos that i will be sharign when i get home. The few pictures i do have ill send.
    Anyways what i think that i could do now and what i think i would like to do so that those who may ever read this email may know of the testimony that i have received while serving the lord for the last two years.
    Two years may seem like a long time for a lot of people. They can do a lot of things. A lot of opportunities have slipped away because of the decision that i took two years ago. Not only that i decided to leave to a foreign country where i would have to learn a completely new language and just hope that i would be able to communicate with them. But something that i do know is that the opportunity that i took at this moment in my life was the best two years that i have experienced as of now.
   I have seen a lot of things during these two years. And for those who have been reading the blog maybe you have read a lot of what i have seen. But the things that i have seen of a lot further than just material belongings and experiences that are funny or maybe fin interesting, but go a lot deeper to a spiritual conversion that has made me the better man and missionary that i needed to become. I am more of a man who trusts in God instead of trusting in his own abilities. I have become a man who rarely before doing anything turns to his knees and to his god before he does any sort of decision. I have become a man who knows what true sacrifice is. I have become a man who now knows what it meant for our father in heaven to sacrifice his only son so that i may have to opportunity to be  happy. And not only that i have now become a man who knows how to truly apply the atonement of Jesus Christ in my life.
   These things that i have listed are a few of the things that maybe i have become, but truly i think the thing that i learned the most was just the fact the i truly learned how to forget myself and just serve those around me. I stopped thinking about what maybe i would want or need but just to look at my companion and the people around me and thinking to myself "how i can i serve this person today" This change of thought has made me a true disciple of Jesus Christ. I will follow him until i die.
    At this moment in my life i have made a covenant with my god and savior to never leave behind the things that i learned these last 2 years. It has been a lot and to put it all into this letter would probably make it  a lot longer than it would need to be. But what i know is true and i know that these 2 years have been the best two years. I loved the mission and i'm hoping that the day i get home i will be able to put my shoulder to the wheel again and continue to work in this great work of my father that is in heaven. I know that i can be just as Nephi was in the days of old and respond to whatever call of service and say "i will go and do the things the lord commanded" i know that i have been called to serve and now that the time is over i will have to continue in the service in a different form. I know that my savior lives and i know he has helped me in every possible way. I love you all and until next Wednesday!
     Elder Cameron Jay Cook

Monday, February 23, 2015

we just had a load of surprises thrown at us in the blink of an eye

 well this week had to be a very interesting one because we just had a load of surprises thrown at us in the blink of an eye. Monday morning we were told that we would have to do informes this week which just means that i have to do my job as district leader and tell presidente about the district. Well i couldn't do that because i hadn't done an exchange with one of the elders so we had to do a quick exchange there from Tuesday to Wednesday so that i would be able to complete my job. 
Exchanges for me are really fun because i get to take a nice bus ride to a little town called Arroyito. The bus we take is like taking a plane. Nice seats a movie that usually is going on and a nice quite rumble of the engines. It makes for a fun ride. But it was a super cool exchange because on of the elders has quick make root beer extract. and lets just say 3 Americans that have all desires to remember something from home we made root beer floats that night to celebrate the exchange.
   After the exchange we had to travel to Cordoba to have a conference with Elder Gonzalez. He is the area president for south america south area. it was super cool to hear from a general authority. We are very blessed in this mission to hear from sooo many people. The weirdest part was to see every single one of my companions. It was hardest to say goodbye to my Latin comps. Thye are the ones that i probably will never be able to see again. Or at least the hardest people to speak to after but we still hope and i am going to try my hardest to keep in contact.
   This week we also had a baptism in the ward of a young mother who truly was converted to the gospel. She had left a lot of things behind and i know that with all my heart i was very blessed to have seen the big changes. I may not have been the biggest part of her conversion but i know that i was blessed to see faith in action and a true change in the heart of a woman who has gone through so much. I love the gospel for that. we see so many things.
  I love you all!
  Elder Cook

Monday, February 16, 2015


   well alright so carnaval isn't as near as big here as in other places. TO be honest we think Carnaval is just a place where people party and just live as it says in 2 Nephi "Eat Drink and be Merry for Tomorrow we Die" but here it is just a day to be absolutely lazy and have another reason to not go to work. IT is amazing how a whole city will shut down just because of a national holiday. Not even super markets stay open for these type of things. I miss my 24 hr open stores....
   This week has been one of the most rewarding and happier moments of my mission. These last couple of weeks we have been trying to prepare some things to make our last couple weeks be really worth it. We set up a branch mission plan and it has sure had its results. We have been recevieng member refereneces like crazy. People are creating lists of 5 to 10 people that we didn't even ask for. They just already have them thought of and are ready to help the missionaries find. 
  Another thing that has happened this week was that I was calling one of my old areas this last week and it came up to the topic of a less active family that i was teaching while i was over there. They had a 22 year old son that i became really good freinds with. To be honest the whole family were good friends of mine, but when i talked about the family they told me that the eldest son is now preparing to go on a mission. I shot up inot the air and i think i almost hit my head on our ceiling. We had been trying so hard with that family and to hear that they are now going to send a missionary out into the field just makes me the happiest guy on earth. I truly felt the promise which reads in DnC 18 "15 And if it so be that yoshould labor all your days icrying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shalbe your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!
 16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that yohave brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!"
I have truly felt the joy that is promised of sharing the gospel with others and seeing the work of the lord progressing as it is brought to every nation and people. I love this work and at times liek these i cant imagine being anywhere else. At times like these i wish i could be a missionary my whole life, but the lord as his time and he has his ways. His thought are not my thoughts and his ways not my ways. I love this work and i am going to take advantage of every moment that i have here as a missionary. I love you all and i hope that you have a wonderful week!
   Elder Cook

Monday, February 9, 2015

A week of things to do and probably could have done a lot more

 A week of things to do and probably could have done a lot more.
    First off, A week of more rain. Tuesday and Sunday we were swarmed in by the rain. Tuesday was the worst because it wasn't like the usual rain that we have here in San Francisco. So the pattern of the rain here is usually like 1 or 2 hours of rain and then the sun comes out and we all die because of the heat and the humidity. But Tuesday the rain was just going on all day long. Which was a blessing but at the same time a terrible thing. I have come to learn that Argentina does not have any sort of draining system that isn't just moving the water to other places of the city. Everyone here is just willing to tell you that we live in a gigantic hole. The water just flows right in to San Francisco and there is no way for it to leave. We have ended up walking through a few rivers on our way through the streets.
  It was funny because on Tuesday we had planned to work in the ares that is absolutely horrible on rainy days because the main street seriously becomes a river and it is all just pure mud as you fight through the streets. As we got to the street we were thinking of how we were going to cross. We then had a gigantic blessing because a man showed up on his motorcycle and took us across the river. It was super cool. First time being on a motorcycle for a bit and also just cool to be ferried across a river on a motorcycle was an interesting idea.
   Another thing that happened this week was for sure the amount of meetings that we ended up having. It was amazing that almost every night we had some sort of meeting that took our night away from working out on the streets. With the new year we have a lot of meetings that talk about what they are going to do different this year and the hope is to see a stake by the end of the year, or at least a branch that is strong enough to be a ward by the end of the year. We have the people and we have the will power but the only thing now is that we stick to our guns and we start what we have finished.
   I am super excited for this next week. We have some good plans and some really good lessons set up with the people that matter. I love you all and i hope that everything goes well for the week!
        Elder Cook

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

One week leads more to the other

So one week leads more to the other i think would be a good title for this last week. The first week of the transfer we have been trying to apply a lot of things from the one before and we went to a lot of members houses to get some references and maybe have the opportunity to get new investigators. Through that we finally were able to get to know our Elders Quorum president who has been super busy these last 3 months. When we finally got to meet with him he told us how much he has on his plate and he asked us for help in visiting members as well as getting our own list of families to visit. He asked us as well to act as counselors to help with the activities and specifically the family history side of his responsibilities. It has made things super interesting because for the next two weeks we have nothing but pure reunions for the next 2 weeks. It makes me realize how much i have learned about how the church runs here on the mission.
   Talking about family history, the district and the mission have put a huge focus on family history and has made sure that we can help others get theirs started and just through exploring i have learned a ton and i have also realized how much i should have learned this a long time ago. Maybe i just wasn't listening but i feel bad that i don't know as much as i probably should. I have a huge bloodline of pioneers in my blood, but some people i would have never guessed were converts when i thought they were members their whole life. I know now the importance of that and i hope to do a little bit of repenting when i get home.
   Well i really don't know what to write. I am running out of more and more ideas and my desire to share the small little things just comes to a close as i think that a lot of this could be shared in a later day. But anyways i love you all and i hope that everyone has just an amazing week!
   Elder Cook

Monday, January 26, 2015

I have started my last transfer as of today

So it is official...i have started my last transfer as of today. The last six weeks of the mission has started and i dont feel any different. I was walkign aroudn today and jsut filling out my planner and as i got to the end i reaized that this would be the last one i woudl have to prepare. It was weird because through out this week we have been mentally preparing one of the people that we were living with to go home this week. You could tell that it was on his mind a lot and that the mission is just an amazing experience and something hard to leave behind, the people and place that you have grown to love especially. Finally it came down to last night and you just finally come to realize how much you love the mission and that i want these next 6 weeks to be some of the best weeks that i have had on my mission and from what it seems like we as a companionship we might do it. 
   i am stll with Elder Chuquipoma. We are getting more and mroe open with eachother and more and more liek firends. I have dfenitly been privileged to have him as a companion, especially to be his first compaion here on the misison. I feel bad that he will be my last companion but i feel like we are both learning a lot from this experience. 
   Somethign that was cool this week though is that my companion adn i became official  bakers again this week and we ended up doing a service for some investigators cooking home made bread and a doughnut like sweet called bolas de frayle. We were there cooking with them for the whole morning and they then left right after to go out adn sell it. These people are super nice to us and tonight they are offering us a asado because they feel like we are cool people and that we have already become friends so he invited us over.  
   So i am sorry that i don't have too much time this week but i just know that my mind is still a little fired from not getting a ton load of sleep just because i stayed up helping the other elder get his stuff done and making sure he had cleaned out everything that he was going to leave behind. I may have only slept a good solid 2 hours but i know what i was able to feel and see in that missionary is what exactly i needed to make sure that these last couple weeks for me are going to be the best! 
   I love you all and i hope for the best!
           Elder Cook

Monday, January 19, 2015

Another Tuesday email

 Another Tuesday email! yeah i know it seems bad that i have sent sooo many Tuesday emails here in San Fran, but it isn't my fault. With the parties and all that stuff in December but yesterday we had a storm that knocked out all the power in San Fran for the majority of the day. It went off at about 2 in the afternoon until 10 at night so there was no way we were all able to get our emails out this week.
   Talking about the weather this week, lets just say it has been one of the hardest weeks of my life. This week we have had hot weather. On Sunday it rained which means we always have a ton of humidity, the worst part is that sometimes after a rain storm we only have to wait a few more days and we will have another storm or maybe just a cold wind to wipe out all of the humidity, but this week we didn't have anything. It seems that we were swimming more than anything else. It made somethings just super hard, especially for my comp who cant really stand anything of just hot weather. It has been affecting alot the speed he walks and jsut the ammount of time he talks in a lesson, the hotter it is the less he talks.
   So there was a major miracle that we had this week that i wanted to tell you guys about. So about a week ago my comp went out on exchanges with one of the Zone Leaders and they found a person buying some sweets on the streets and they invited us over to their house. We went over and it is a family of about 10 people all of which are super interested. This week we will be helping them with a service to cook some of their sweets on Saturday and then on Monday they are going to be "paying us back" with a barbecue. My comp went to go see them again last night and they said that they feel that there is something different about us and he feels like we are already his friends even though we have passed by twice. It is amazing how sometimes there are just certain people who you need to find at a certain time.
   Another miracle, WE HAD SOMEONE SHOW UP TO CHURCH! It has been a long time since we as a companionship have had someone had church.This Saturday we had a lesson with a family that we had found that live out in the boonies of our area. We hardly work over there jsut because the peopel are a little more humble and usually cant get to church without a lot of help. But We had a very strong spiritual lesson and the dad came. We ahd a future preisthood holder come. It is amazing how the lord blesses us with hrad work. IT has been rough but we see the fruits. I love the mission.
   I love you all and i just love the mission. I truly enjoy every day and every minute, even though i come home just drenching wet from the sweat and the humidity in the air, i don't care because i come home satisfied and feel the approval of God in my life.
  Until Next Week!
        Elder Cook

Monday, January 12, 2015

I was in Arroyito the first half of the week

Well lets start with the beginning of the week, I was in Arroyito the first half of the week. As a district leader i have the opportunities to have exchanges with the elders and i always love that part of the calling because you see a lot of miracles. While i was their we found a Colombian family and they ended up giving us lunch only after a door contact. It was super cool and they ended up being super nice and that was only one miracle of the day. The second one was somethign that i realized after a lesson. I was walking away from a lesson feeling as normal as ever. My companion for the day looked to me and said, "I really liked the promise that you made at the end of the lesson." I thought about what i had said the whole lesson and i couldn't remember a single word of what i had said.´I just realized the truth of a promise that is made in the scriptures. The words will be placed in your mouth by the spirit in the moment that you need them. I haven't noticed it my whole mission but sometimes i just blame it on a train of thought, but really with learning a new language and trying to actually teach people about the gospel sometimes not a single word of a lesson has been mine but just the spirit speaking through me. I am the vessel and the spirit is the voice. I was very humbled and was very thankful for the two years that i have had to be that vessel after that day.
    Other than that this week has been pretty much a normal week. We keep finding people but it has been super hard to bring people to church these last couple of weeks. Mainly because it seems to me that Argentine people have a huge difficulty to get out of bed and walk to church when storms are on the horizon. And it hasn't helped that we have had a rain storm almost every Saturday or Sunday for the last 4 weeks. GRRR but yeah know part of the mission.
   So i already talked about how i like exchanges but another thing that i do like about being a district leader are baptismal interviews. I was able to do one this week for a girl that wants to get baptized. I cant tell too much about it but i can tell you what i felt during the time. It is a privilage to see the people truly bare their testimonies and how they feel. This girl had been through a lot and she had found that baptism is the only option that she seeks. and to share with me what it meant to her was amazing. I talked about Repentance with my district this week and it helped me realize what grand part of the work that we have to do when we call people to repentance. We are the call, we have to do it. It sucks sometimes but then you truly do see the blessings when they know that it is from God and that he is doing it because he loves us.
    Anyways i love the mission. I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. I love it
Elder Cook

Monday, January 5, 2015


       Yeah 2015 is here...that means a lot of things....that the mission is truly coming to an end....that scares me sometimes....i love the mission too much...i don't want to leave....
    The good thing about the new year is that you truly go into an introspection mode where you think of who you are and where you want to go in this life right. And as missionaries we truly think more about the spiritual side and how we are spiritually. IT was really interesting this week because what i truly felt was that i was figuring out how i could keep my spiritual goals but involve them to fit my goals that here in a bit will be more of what missionaries call Worldly goals. Our president is very good about us keeping our visions set forward so that we never are lost. I feel very good and i feel like what i am learning now is going to be worth more than anything else that i could ask for.
    Well we passed the new year with some very good friends of ours in the ward the Acosta Family. They are very kidn to the missionaries. One of their daughters especially just is so grateful for the missionaries. They were less active as of a year ago-but the missionaries have found them and started getting the whole family active again. They have become super excited and were even more excited to have us all four over at their house for New Years. They treated us like kings they had a us sit down as they finished up the food and then gave us some of the best food i have tried here in Argentina. They had an asado with what they call here a Picada which is just basically a buffet of appetizers. It was sooo good. i love the food here. I am absolutely surprised i haven't gained more weight than i have now.
   Anyway i am so grateful for this new year because it is just another year full of miracles and just hard work. I have a lot of goals to just finish out as strong as i possibly can and i am so excited that i can share it with the people i am right now. I love my companion. I love seeing a new missionary and how he has the faith to do pretty much everything. We have been working so hard and i am getting just so tired, but i continue on.
   I love you all and i hope that everyone had an amazing new year.
         Elder Cook