Monday, February 9, 2015

Elder Cook Week One Hundred

I have pictures but I´m probably just going to give them to you when I get home.  In a weekish :) We are doing great!  Yes, my shoes will last. We married and baptized our family on Friday!!!  It was literally a miracle.  I´ll tell you a little about it!  So we´ve been going crazy this week getting all the papers together, and took it all over to the alcaldia in Ajuterique, a little pueblo about 30 minutes outside Comayagua. They told us there that there was one more paper that the family had to take out before everything was good.  We told the family about it and they went out to get it from a court house.  They came back, and told us that there could be some delays, there was some kind of problem.  We all were pretty crushed especially after all the work we had already put into this wedding.  But we decided to just go down there since it was already set up and see what would happen.  So we got to Ajuterique, sat down and turned in the papers that we had and hoped for the best.  The lady came right in and started up the wedding!  Elder Long and I looked at each other super shocked but tried not to let it show.  In the end, they got married!  We don´t know exactly how or why she forgot about that paper but we sure prayed hard the night before, so we know Heavenly Father wanted that family baptized.
I´m going all out this week! 

Love you  

Elder Cook

Monday, February 2, 2015

Elder Cook Week Ninety-Nine

Comayagua Zone with Elder Alonzo of the Seventy
Hey Familia!

Man we just had the most spiritually packed week ever!  It started out on Monday when we played a sick game of ball with all Gringos (that´s basically a spiritual experience for me).  Tuesday we had a rockn´ leaders meeting where we presented our goals for February.  We started announcing our goals each week and the room went super silent.  Everyone thought we were crazy for having such high goals but once we finished President Fortuna backed us up.  It was way cool and now the whole mission is watching to see if we can do it, so our whole zone is pumped!  

This week, Elder Alonso from the Seventy came!!  Ah man I can hardly even describe how huge of an impact he made on us, and especially me.  On Friday he, along with Pres Fortuna talked to our zone along with 3 other zones.  I had to direct the meeting, which was fine until I looked down after the two and a half hour bus ride to the temple and realized I forgot to shine my shoes after the assistants had sent out a message reminding us to.  So I borrowed Elder Taylor´s size 11 shoes [Elder Cook wears a size 14] and rocked those for a couple hours.  So the theme of the meeting was how we can touch the mantel of the Lord and repentance.  I learned so much in those couple of hours that I know will change my life.  The biggest thing that impacted me from what he said was probably how much Christ wants to forgive us.  I really felt His love for us and all of God´s children.  It literally doesn´t matter what we do, how many times we do it, or to whatever degree it´s done, He is there with outstretched arms to help.  We can NEVER think for one second that we can´t repent or that we aren´t worthy to.  It´s why He came here!  He suffered unimaginable pain in the Garden of Gethsemane for one purpose, to stop ours.  His sacrifice is infinite and eternal and welcomes everyone. It´s so hard to describe the feelings and all that I learned there, but I will give you my witness that Jesus Christ is our Savior.  I know He is.  There is no doubt in my mind that God lives and He sent His Son for us, because He loves us.  This is His church and He leads it!  He is directly at the head of it, guiding every single one of the inspired leaders that we have, personally and through revelation.  When we got out of the meeting and back to our area, I just wanted to teach EVERYONE about repentance!  As it says in the Book of Mormon, the truth has been restored to bring us back to know the True Redeemer.  Our church is the only true church on the face of the earth and is the only one that can really bring us closer to Christ, because it´s the only one that teaches truly who He is and what He taught.

We also had an awesome Zone Leader meeting with Elder Alonso on Saturday where he taught us how to be true leaders, like Christ was.  I will never forget that lesson and we´ve already started implementing it in what we do and have seen amazing results. 

Then on Sunday, we had another meeting of like three and a half hours with all the bishops and branch presidents and another seventy (Elder Ocampo).  The meeting was to help out a little with their goals and what they can improve on.  We´re going to go all out these last couple of weeks!  My goal for the next two weeks is that every person in all of Piedras Bonitas and part of Comayagua will be converted.  Be afraid Satan.

Love, Elder Cook

Monday, January 26, 2015

Elder Cook Week Ninety-Eight

Hey Familia!

Man it´s so weird being outside the city!  We are only about 2 hours outside of Tegucigalpa but that makes a huge difference.  All this week we´ve been trying to help a family, that another set of missionaries in our district are teaching, get married and baptized.  It´s literally taken all the time, effort, sweat, prayers, and marriage knowledge of all 6 of us in the district to do it!  So this is what went down.

Monday we went out to Siguatapeque and played some intense games of soccer.  That ate up a ton of our time getting out there and getting back, so we had no time to do anything else (except eat an amazing American burger at a place we found buried in Comayagua).  By the way cousins, I will kick your cans in soccer any day of the week when I´m back.  They don´t call me the White Latino when I´m playing for nothing.

The family that the Elders were trying to get married is AMAZING!  Seriously the most chosen family I´ve ever seen in my whole mission, but there was one problem.  They were from the Mosquitia.  I´m not even going to explain how difficult it is to help people get married when they’re from there, but let´s just say they had to take a plane and a boat to get to where they lived just to take out a paper saying they are really single.  When Elders find a family from there normally, they put a fecha [baptism date] with them for about 6 months in advance.  Anyways, we´ve been working on the marriage for about a month now.  So all week we were calling as many lawyers as we could find and the family was calling all the contacts they had out in la Mosquitia to try to get this done.  So Wednesday, the Elders called us and said the family had a family member that worked in the alcaldia [mayor’s office] there, and they had sent the papers by plane and we had to go to the airport in Tegucigalpa to get them.  So we took off running to Tegucigalpa in the first bus we could find.  The problem was, we were super low on money at this point, so we had just enough to take a bus to Tegucigalpa and then another to the airport.  About 2 hours later and 60 Lempiras poorer, we took a couple steps off the bus when the Elders call us.  They told us that the papers weren´t actually going to get there until Thursday.  

Thursday I went with Elder Zamora this time out to Tegucigalpa, because the papers coming in were under my name and he knew a lawyer that lived near there that would get the wedding done pretty cheap.  So we headed out and got to the airport.  The flight that it was coming on they said wasn´t coming in until 4pm that night and there weren´t any papers on it.  We freaked out and made some calls, and figured out that it was from a different company, and picked them up.  Then some random Gringo comes up to us and starts talking.  He asked where we were from, and I said Mesa.  He asked if I was a Toro.  He said he used to live there and even played ball back in the day with the Mt View bball coach Ernst!  We were pretty pumped to talk to a gringo and he even bought us food from the airport!  We died at how much he spent, could´ve fed a Honduran family for a month for just two little things.  Then we left and turned in the papers to the lawyer.  We realized at about 4:30 that the last bus leaving for Comayagua left at 4:30.  We flipped and went to the bus stop.  As we arrived, I looked over and said, ¨hey, isn´t that the bus?¨ We looked at each other and took off sprinting.  Let me tell you, I haven´t sprinted in about 2 years but Elder Zamora and I gave it a good try, so we didn´t quite run down the bus.  We took the walk of shame back to the bus stop.  Everyone just watched the dumb Gringos sprinting several blocks and laughed as we got back.  We thought we´d have to stay the night in Tegucigalpa, but long story short we found another bus and got home at about 7pm. 

Anyways, the family got married and baptized and are pumped to get sealed in the temple.  We all feel great for what we did and even better to know that they´re on the way back to living with our Heavenly Father again as a family.  Everyone said it was impossible that the family was getting married, but I know without a doubt Heavenly Father was in control and it was amazing the things that just fell into place for them.  1 Nefi 3:7 

Love you!
Elder Cook

Nephi 3:7
And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Elder Cook Week Ninety-Seven

Love you tons sorry no time to write today, we had to go out to Siguatapeque. 

Love you!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Elder Cook Week Ninety-Six

Hey Familia!

Man what an awesome week!!  I got my new companion, Elder Long from Chicago, he´s a super sick kid [Brooklyn says sick means cool] that was in the Air Force Academy before the mission and played on the baseball team there.  We´re having a ton of fun together.  We are pumping up the zone big time and have thought of a ton of new ideas to start breaking some records out here.  One of them that we came up with is Enero Madness, where it´s like a tournament this month for the best companionship in the zone and everyone´s going to have a bracket.  And today we´re starting a huge movement that will bring a ton of success next month, where we have to have 10 lessons, 15 contacts and a new family every day!  Everyone´s super stoked and ready to work hard.

We also had a baptism on Saturday!  We´ve been working with her for a little over a month.  She´s awesome and is excited to have a calling in the church, as soon as her baby is born.

We also went out to a pueblo this week to help a couple get their papers to be married and their wedding will come next week!!!  The husband is awesome we love him so much.  He´s got a lot of spunk.  He absolutely LOVES going to church every Sunday and talks about it all the time and is super excited about getting baptized!

Love you guys, everything is great!  Loving every second of the mission.

Elder Cook

Monday, January 5, 2015

Elder Cook Week Ninety-Five

Hey Familia,

¿Uté a guoch?  “How’s it going” We started teaching a familia from a little pueblo in Guatemala and they’re helping me learn  Kiché.  We had a great week!  Our schedule got changed up so that Monday we only left our house to write home and New Year’s Eve we didn’t leave the house because it was too dangerous that night.  Friday we had a rockn’ zone meeting where we got everyone super pumped up about January to complete their goals.  Saturday we went about an hour on bus out to a little pueblo to visit our recent convert, only to get right back on the bus when we found out he went out to the mountains to work.  

Famililia update:  They’re totally getting baptized.  The dad has felt the spirit so much it’s incredible!  He knows exactly what it is and how to recognize it.  After the principios del evangelico class he came up and told me “gracias hermono por traerme a la iglesia verdadera.”  Man I love that man!  But as much as he wanted so bad to be baptized he’s still struggling with the whole marriage concept.  He had made a vow when his first wife died that he would never get married again.  So we had a lesson today with the branch president, and it went perfectly.  His daughter’s mom wants to and has always wanted to get married.  We explained the necessity of getting married to be able to follow Christ.   Anyways they both are happy and ready to get married!!!  Wohoo! So tomorrow we’re starting up the papers.   Also before President Romero left the dad offered to give a house he owned out in a pueblo somewhere to the church.  Love that guy! 

Awesome activity we had in the park in Comayagua. We talked to everyone!
Some people were scared seeing so many Mormons in one place! 

I’ve learned something huge in my mission that I also talked about in the zone meeting.  I don’t really know how to say it in English, but everything depends on our want or a better word, maybe, is desire.   If we want something bad enough, and our desire is righteous, we will get it.  And that’s a concept that at the same time motivates and scares me.  If we want to go to the celestial kingdom, we will go there.  We’ll strive enough to get there.  If we want to help more people to be baptized, we can do it.  We’ll start talking to more people and inviting more of our friends to church.  If we want to have a testimony of the gospel, we’ll have it.  We’ll start reading the scriptures more, praying harder, and going to church with more intent and of course what goes along with it is faith.  Faith is not a passive word, its pure action.  If I have faith that I’ll be playing in the NBA someday, I’m going to be sitting around all day watching tv.  I’m going to be out working 24/7 exercising and practicing basketball to get there.  And if I have faith in Christ I’m not going to be sleeping in on Sunday.  I’m going to go to church, keep the commandments, apply His teachings, and follow his example.  So, you put those two together, faith and desire and you have a powerful combination.   We will be able to accomplish anything we put our minds to! As long as we are always humble and relying on the Lords help.  And if you don’t have a desire, increase your faith.  And if you don’t have faith, increase your desire to have faith, especially in the gospel.  If you don’t feel close to God, find the desire and have faith.  He’s never far away, and He’s always waiting for you with open arms. 


Elder Cook 

PS We tried to play duck duck goose as a zone at the meeting, I was rolling on the floor laughing.  Let’s just say a lot of Elders left that game with rug burns, tears in their pants, injured bodies, and broken egos.  I never knew duck duck goose could be so competitive!