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.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

March 24, 2014 letter

This week has been incredibly... interesting. 

I'll start with something a bit light hearted (Brother Bytheway once said "being light minded is bad. never make fun of spiritual things. being light hearted is good. always be happy and make jokes" I think he also quoted a prophet, but I don't have the book on me"); 

Pens are so much better quality here! There are these super fine point pilots (they make the g2) and they are the missionary staple here! 

I found out the letter I got from my mission president was actually not from President Balledos. They are just recycled from the last mission president who is now in urdanetta. It wouldn't be a big deal, but The rules are different from the letter, for example, crocks are not really allowed, (but we do wear rubber shoes) and he really didn't care if we listened to music or played video games before the mission. It was still good for me to read the Book of Mormon in 2 months, and I recommend everyone do it as quickly as possible. In fact, Elder Bednar, recommends buying a new cheap paperback, reading it quickly, with one question in mind. and putting it on the book shelf. By the time you are his age, you should have 400. 

I bought a smaller bag, even though I love mine. It ripped in a week. I am back to my giant bag, and I still love it. I think I will just ignore the other missionaries, and keep loving it :D 

I ate my last protein bar from Grandma yesterday. I wish I had suit case to bring all of them, but I left half in the MTC. It's too bad, they were very comforting. I just make american food on my own sometimes, and we all feel a little less stressed. 

The Permetherine was a waste of money.  It is not really available here unless  we have it mailed from home, or we get tiny bottles for killing bugs when we see them. we also don't have a filtered sink. We just have a bottle with a built in filter that lasts six months. They are wonderful, and you can buy them for food storage on the church website, from the online distribution center. That's two more things that are different from the president's letter then what we actually do. 

I discovered in section 89, that using alcohol for washing is recommended. Everyone carries hand sanitizer here, but it is very different from the stuff in the states. It is so much better. It's a spray, and smells really good! 

I am out of tabs for marking my scriptures. They were color coded for preach my gospel and I only need 4 more :C maybe I'll find them in an office supply store here. 

On sundays they feed us lunch before ward council. Last week I told them I like fish better than chicken when they kept trying to tell me only Filipinos could eat fish, until one of the native missionaries showed me how to get the bones out, and told them to leave me alone. This week they brought me in a fish, just for me and teased me for several hours about not liking chicken (which is of course not what I meant, I just like fish MORE) Oh well. R

Sunday was actually pretty annoying because the bishop surprised us with HALF DAY MISSION! which was not on the schedule. So, we had to wait for several hours at the church, for everything to get organized. then we had time to go to 2 appointments, and our golden investigator's dad was drunk. She didn't know it though, and so that lesson was screwed up. We had to go BACK to the church to close the half day mission, which is actually a really good idea. The members in the ward all come and teach the less active members, with the missionaries. The only problem is, that they taught everyone we had scheduled for without us, so we had to hours to do nothing but find. The problem is, Filipinos go to bed at six, or get drunk. so we literally did nothing for 2 hours. we tried hard, but we got nothing done. S

With all the frustration this week, something really really amazing came out of it. I had a new investigator. We both felt like we should go talk to this gentleman. We just teach him the first lesson right then and there. He would not pray, and I did not get a chance to ask him why. I think I mentioned this in my last email. It was the most spiritual lesson of my mission, up until that point. It set the new standard. But here's the thing, Elder Gemmel, the New Zealander in our apartment was being really hard on himself. He's worried he will not be able to resist temptations when he gets home. I shared a scripture from D and C 133: 30 and 31.

30 ... the children of Ephraim, my servants.
 31 And the boundaries of the everlasting ahills shall tremble at their presence.

Well the thing is, this scripture was actually for me. When we taught the 2nd lesson to brother Freddy, again, he wouldn't pray at the end, again. Suddenly the scripture echoed in my mind, as it were the voice of someone else. I replied, what would you have me do? "Jordan" one word came to mind, and I immediately remembered he said his wife was abroad in Jordan. I began speaking, about how he wants to hear his wife, and he loves to hear the sound of her voice, and Our Father is the same way, but he doesn't have a phone. Prayer is a conversation, and He wants to hear from him. As I spoke, it was my voice, and I knew I was saying the words, But it sounded like it came from somewhere else. I felt like the world was shaking. He was speechless for at least a minute. Then he replied "what are the steps to prayer again?" I was filled with the most overwhelming joy I have had in my life. I knew the Lord was sharing his joy with me for being a faithful servant. As soon as we left, my companion said "That was INCREDDIBLE!"
I get shaky just remembering it. Again, We set a new bar for our lessons. We strive for the spirit to be like that in every lesson.

Dear Josie, I erased the Code. I'll have to write it again later for you. 

Whelp, anyway I'm on my way to a waterfall, I'll let you know how it goes :D

The picture is Nino. He's going to be my first baptism. His mom is a member.

Vincit Omnia Veritas
Elder A. Cook