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.

Monday, February 17, 2014

February 17, letter from Andrew

Kamusta! So they events of this week have been exceedingly interesting.

I'll start by prefacing, pwease write! i only have a week left!
The laundry is pretty much a party. There is a rebellious elder who brought a ukelele, and while charming at first, he apparently only knows 3 chords.
He seems to understand that most songs follow the I-V-vi-IV progression, however he happens to be singing songs that don't... ha ha ha ha ha

So I have learned more about English in the MTC then I ever did in school :D
For example, who can tell me what a gerand is?

There was a talk our first week here, that was brought to memory recently.
A Mission President asked his missionary (who was not having much luck) what he was sacrificing for his mission.
The missionary replied "two years, my family, my friends"
"No," said the President "that is what everyone is sacrificing, what are YOU sacrificing"

This entailed some deep contemplative thought on my part.

I have learned in the last six weeks that planning can be a very spiritual experience. The whole goal is to have a vision for the next 24 hours. I think I have started to get the hang of it.

Our teacher said "If you haven't noticed by now, you never will get any rest on your mission. You will always wake up tired. when you decide to use your free time for relaxation you will not get anything out of it, i promise. so use your free time for spiritual growth, and the Lord will give you rest, and you will be so much better off!"

I then spent the next few hours contemplating the difference between meditation, (which is recommended and effective) and resting, (which is useless)

Guess what I discovered! Meditation is the best way to plan! The whole point is clarifying your thoughts, and seeking inspiration, (or in other words VISION!)

so let me tie in my last point. If I'm not using free time for relaxation, what am i using it for? This is the perfect opportunity to sacrifice something! My branch president recommended sacrificing p-day. I think this is silly though, even the Lord rested on the seventh day, and p stands for preparation, which is sorely needed, or the entire week will fail. I mean you cant just go into combat with no battle plan. oh wait, did I just tie all three principals together? ha ha ha The church is so true!

Another exciting even this week was just this last Sunday. Elder Holland's son spoke. He shared stories from Joseph Smith's life that you have probably never heard. For example, the Typhoid infection that attacked his leg began in his shoulder. They lanced a WHOLE QUART of matter from the infection! also, when they moved to Palmyra (because a business rival of Joseph Smith senior stole his entire shipment and they went broke and lost their land) the gentle man who was driving them kicked our beloved prophet off the wagon so he could pick up two sisters to ride on the wagon next to him. Joseph had to walk, from New Hampshire to New York BEFORE the infection healed. He laid in a pool of his own blood in the snow when an unnamed stranger carried him the last stretch of the way.

Later, when Martin Harris lost the manuscript, and Joseph's first son, named after his deceased brother, also died, and Emma herself almost died when she got sick over the grief, (too many concentric commas!) Joseph made the trek back to New Hampshire. He was malnurished and sick when another unnamed stranger walked him back, refusing to leave his side.

Did I mention this is the first time the choir has sung on a Sunday in the MTC, it was Sister Holland's birthday, and Elder Holland gave the introduction for his son?
My favorite part is when a return missionary in the institute choir that came (Matthew Holland is the president of UVU) sang the whole song "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief" in costume! it was beautiful!

Oh also in sacrament meeting I gave talk in Tagolog from memory! A Philippino girl in our branch said it was perfect grammar so I'm excited for next week!

well I'm out of time! Mahal ko kayo! INGAT KAYO!

Vincit Omnia Veritas
Elder A. Cook