Elder Andrew D. Cook entered the MTC on January 15, 2014. I am excited to update as I know how he is doing, especially posting his mass emails.

Writing & Shipping information is found in the right hand column.

There is also a link to a few different translators to help us guess what Andrew said. :D Sometimes I get a better idea when I remove his ! from a word.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Letters to the Family

I won't share his letters word for word when they are just to us.

I was so excited that we got snail mail!!!! There were 4 letters included. I'm including a picture of one because it is just so Andrew do this.
Sneakers is our dog.

We found a translator at: http://www.tagalogtranslate.com/translate.php I don't know if it is the best but at least we can figure out some of what he says. :)

One word for you: guro, which he uses often, is teacher or instructor.

He did write that he sees Elder R. Hulick who is also from our ward. We are looking forward to seeing the picture of the two of them with Elder S. Anderson. Elder Anderson is also from our ward and is pictured with the young men on another post.

For those of you who know us well you will know our views on phantom rules. He's really excited about his guro, Brother Mace, because he is also a breaker of phantom rules!

He says he is already struggling to remember English. :) He is super busy and although it is really hard, he also really loves it.

His testimony at the end of my personal letter was very touching and moves me to tears, not hard to do. There is a strong message of truth and love in his words.

This mom is both excited and missing her son more right now.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Week 2

Elder Andrew D. Cook wrote again. It is awesome to hear from him.

um well, i have alot to write about
our guro is pretty much a future apostle,
the devotionals are AMAZING
we have been named the zion district, but it wasnt us who came up with that so im pretty proud. after a week the rest of the branch is already gone, so we have a whole new branch wednesday including another elder cook. im the cool one.
choir is the most spiritual experience EVER!!!!
the preach my gospel says: the highest form of intelligence is being able to take an extremely complicated concept and make it simple enough for a child to understand," our teacher said "when you feel like it is too hard to make a sentence because tagolog forces you to become simple, remember, tagolog is your strength not your weakness!
another interesting point. people seem to think that jesus will take your yoke and make it easy for you to lift, REMEMBER it says take HIS yoke upon YOU because that makes it easy to lift
choir has sooooo many spiritual stories and touching experiences i cant posibley compile it in one email a week, and yet its an option thing to go to.
the mtc is part of the temple acording to the dedication. it is the most amazing feeling when we walk back from the temple. you leave temple grounds, and hit the road and the good feelings get a lot weaker, then you step foot through the mtc gate and the feelings are back. i mean we always have the holy ghost with us, but the difference noticable when there is a protester standing just outside.
there are so many supplies that we needed but werent on the list, fortunatly its actually cheaper to buy them at the mtc bookstore then in a walmart or target because of the missionary discount!
my branch president called my mission president a "rogue mission president" and wont let us mail our shoes or coats home. oh well. i think i may be able to send my shoes, but i guess ill just have to live with the jacket. although our guro said his went moldy sitting in the closet for two years. its okay, it wont fit me when i get home anyway :D
i know that God loves me and called me on a mission. i Know that my family and friends will be blessed through my service in ways we cant anticipate. i know that i was called by God through a living prophet, and that he called us one by one just as the lord touched the stones of jared. (look up the Character of Christ by Elder Bednar if you can; it rocks!) i know that the atonement is real and all you have to do is accept it and repent and all your sorrows will be eased. although the people rejected the prophets in ancient times, and our Father took his authority back to preserve it, i know that the gospel has been restored through a prophet and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and has ALL the answers to ANY question. try it some time, just ask a spiritual question, and pick ONE chapter. you'll find the answer without fail. then try reading the whole book, only marking answers to that question. its works. i know this because i have prayed abouy it, and you will know too if you pray as well.
sa pangilan ni Jesucristo amen. 
spiritually, Elder Cook.
Vincit Omnia Veritas
Elder A. Cook

Monday, January 20, 2014

Letter from Sister Sowby of the Branch Presidency at the MTC

This lovely letter was sent to mom's with two pictures of our boys. Elder Anderson is from our ward. It's really fun to share with his mom the excitement of sending missionaries to the same mission on the same day.

Dear parents,

My husband and I serve with a Tagalog branch presidency at the MTC. It was our privilege tonight to meet what is going to be the best new district at the MTC! You parents have obviously done a good job of raising these young men. We look forward to working with them; our Sundays are always something to look forward to!

I'm especially glad to welcome some pianists, Elders Perkins and Dougal, and a vocalist, Elder Mikesell. The entire district will be singing in the choir for devotional next Tuesday night:-) Elder Youngerman was called as district leader.

L-R in the photos: Elders Dougal, Curtis, Youngerman, Anderson, Perkins, Mikesell, and Cook. (The only thing that could be better is the addition of sisters:-)

Sister Sowby
American Fork, UT

The First Letter to the Masses

It's funny. As a person I can get pretty bugged by lack of punctuation, capitals and proper spelling. As a mom of a missionary it doesn't matter. It's just great to hear from him.

whelp, the mtc is about the hardest thing i have ever done. i think about having six weeks to learn tagolog and start crying. but then i look back at the last 4 days and how much i have learned and realize: i learned more in four days that in my years of french study in school. the gift of tongues is so real. the FBI  comes once a year to figure out how we learn so quickly. i hope someday they catch on. so there are investigators walking around with gold name tags. some people say they are real investigators, but the teacher told us they all have temple recommends. i havent been focusing on them though, because we have an "investigator" assigned to us who only speaks tagalog. ahhh! its not so bad when we prepare a lesson, but then she askes a question that leads to a whole new lesson and we just have to read strait out of a dictionary.
noone can figure out how to get their pictures to email so i will try again next week.
i have two companions. Elder Dougal and Elder Perkins, I was named senior companion. ha ha its just because my name comes first in the alphabet. but oh wait! the philippinos dont have a letter c! our trio gets along very well and we have the cleanest room. also our district is pretty much the only one that follows the rules. im glad to be a part of that!
i am so proud to be an Elder, in a district of all Elders, sisters are generally more obedient, but we are firm in the faith. only two people get called Elder. general authorities and missionaries, and as Elder Bednar says: Apostles with a big A and apostles with a little a.
i dont know how much more i can write other than i can only email monday, but write letters every day and dear elder has same day letter delivery.

my current address is:

 Elder Andrew David Cook
2007 N 900 E Unit  47
Provo UT 84602
notice the feb26? thats the day i head out, i think i need to go to the gym and go for a run, so ill write next week and mahala po ka ang tayo!
Vincit Omnia Veritas
Elder A. Cook