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, May 26, 2014

May 25, 2014

so. this week
I was not transferred. Neither was Elder Karch! BUT this transfer is completely different. We actually have been getting lessons! these girls have been playing uno with us. (not in our house, we don't break the rules. don't worry) but I am a missionary twenty four seven. so I gave the oldest one a pamphlet, and explained it. when I asked the next day if she read it, she said "it was SO BEAUTIFUL!" I think that is a good reaction. We got a few good referrals. we went with the Bishop's niece to her best friend. the Guy who came with us (ward mission leader) kept cutting me off mid sentence. The gentleman almost didn't invite us back, but we had his best friend there, so that helped.
The best lesson, was when we taught the Elder's Quorum President's wife.
She is not a member, but it was clear how important family is to her, And that's what our church is all about! The spirit was so strong, and As I think I said last week, It does not matter how well I teach, because they don't learn anything from me. It only matters how well I invite The Spirit. because He's the real teacher!

A cat snuck in in the night, and ate our food, (all our noodles and bread) and shredded one pair of my underwear.
dumb cat.

my last roommates killed the last bat that came in our house. This set caught it, and removed it peacefully. that was awesome!

I am officially done with training! it's been 4 months. and now I work one more hour a day. the Language clicked (again). I started practicing with recordings that talk way faster than people do. that has helped more that anything.
This will make a big difference, because in just one hour, and being schedules to go out earlier in the morning, and study during nap time, We get so many more lessons in! we have been having two problems: one, no lessons, and two: when we do have lessons, we teach lessons not people. I intend to change this.
moroni 10:32 has answered a question of mine. HOW do we follow God's commandments, when we have so many bad infulences. This scripture was given me by the Bishop's niece who is preparing to serve a mission. It is a perfect scripture to back advice given me by the Stake President in my ward before leaving, quoting president Uchtdorf. JUST STOP. any time you have temptation. just deny it. it's easier than you think.

well, thanks for all the love and support! ingat ang mga pamilya ko! mahal ko kayo!
Vincit Omnia Veritas
Elder A. Cook

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


So! Adventure week!

It is crazy how fast time flies! I can hardly believe the MTC was only six weeks! It felt like a year! and I can hardly believe this transfer has been six weeks! It felt like 2 or three days!
I will probably get a new companion. In fact I will likely be transferred to a new area this Friday! But if I stay another transfer that is great too! :D

This last monday, my companion got his hair cut.
 He asked for "mas conte" on top, and they started thinning. So he tried "mas maliit" and they started thinning again. "no no! mas maliit sa taas! (shorter ON TOP)" "are you sure?" "yes! like a quarter inch shorter!" "are you SURE?!" "YES!" bzzt! they made it a quarter inch all around. he is pretty much bald. ironically, the zone leaders, ap's, and mission president all came by our house this week, and none of them got mad at him.

Then my watch broke. ugh...
Then my favorite pen broke. *sigh*

then we had an FHE with the less active family I mentioned last week. We finally figured out how to get through to them! It is important to have fun, but they needed to see it is important to us to actually teach. So we started having family home evenings, with lessons FIRST. They started coming to church! It was incredibly fun though! I think we are their favorite Elders now :D we will find out if they talk about us a lot to the next Elders!

Then we got invited to a wedding. wow. we expected to go for the lunch only, but our invite was together with the less active mentioned in the last paragraph. what we didn't know is she is very wealthy. she payed for the wedding ALONG WITH THE GOVERNOR! so, we were made honored guests, and we couldn't leave part way through. It was really nifty to hear a catholic pastor. He said hallelujia, praise the Lord, and hello?! often. it was kind of funny. He was talking about "Facebook friending" the bride and groom. However the food was absolutely fabulous. The weddings are just slightly different from some of our church's traditions, and it was very surprising to me.

as President said: "There is no such thing as free lunch."
The wedding was delicious, but I got RIDICULOUSLY sick! I was up all night being sick, and then sleeping all day. my companion occupied himself learning to throw cards and rubix cube (just so happened it's the 40th anniversary of the cube today) poor guy. He even made me an egg. I could only eat half. 

but I got a new watch!

I learned some really great things in the PMG. first, "People wont care how much you know, until they know how much you care." advice from Elder Holland. We applied this to our less active family, AND IT WORKED!

and the next thing I learned.
a man went fishing, left at 6:30 am and returned at 8 pm
he caught one fish.
another man went fishing at 6:30 am and returned at 8 pm, but he caught 12 fishes!
what's the difference here? The first fisherman left on time, but spent many hours traveling, he stopped for breakfast, and stopped for lunch, snack and dinner. all together, he spent 2 hours with his hook in the water.
the Second fisherman packed a lunch the night before, woke up early for breakfast, and ate after he came home. with traveling he spent 12 HOURS with his hook in the water.

I have really seen the juxtaposition of a very successful transfer, and a very minimally successful transfer. I will hold on to this lesson!

Thanks for all your love and support! I love emails and letters! INGAT!

Vincit Omnia Veritas
Elder A. Cook

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

Hey everyone this is mom speaking. I had the grand opportunity to speak with Elder Cook on the phone for a half hour Sunday night. It was just before noon his time, Monday.

He sounded AWESOME! He sounds like he is doing really well. He talked a lot about the food and vegetation. He also mentioned a horrible spider. OOOOOOOHHHHHH yuck!

It's crazy to think that he's been out 1/6 of his mission. 4 months as of tomorrow. I miss him a lot and yet the time is flying by.

Our connection was really good. There were only a couple of times I didn't understand him. When he spoke Tagalog and when the motorcycles rode by.

He says that they are thought on as weird because they walk more than the people. The people ride motorcycles more than anything. Funny thoughts. His area is more business and definitely a city.

Lots of fun. Nothing really spiritual shared on the phone call. Maybe for Christmas that will be the case.


Please forward this email to everyone you think is interested! (especially you sarah, I haven't got the whole singles ward on the email list yet, just you. oh and matt and sister de jesus still owe me for those concert tickets remind them please, and if you can give the money to my mom?)

Dear Friends and family:
This week, I GOT 3 LESSONS! this is an all time record low!
I was feeling relatively stressed this week, but not so bad. I found some more exploding seeds, so apparently the rain hadn't taken them all out, and that relieved some stress.
But I read in doctrine and covenants chapter 38 verses 10 through 15, and that really really helped! It just gave me hope to know that God remembers me. I have been spending half of study on the Book of Mormon, and the other half on D&C. It is definitely revelation for missionaries, and MODERN people. :D 
It's hard to stay virtuous in some environments, but when you make your voice heard, it helps. I just say "hey, I don't want to talk about this" and they usually sulk off to some corner.
I also got a ton of letters! A sister missionary from the MTC wrote me about how she thought a spider was cute, and everyone told me I shouldn't write her anymore, because she is insane. I don't think that's so bad... I just don't want them in my apartment! they don't really bite here, in fact, kids play with them like toys! 
I got to call my Mommy! It was sooo good to hear her voice! I have been out a 3rd of a year now! IT GOES SOOOOOO FAST! I cant believe it! I will be home in no time, so I have to make the best of it while I am still here! My friend in Malaysia talked about brownies to celebrate his one year mark. I think I will do the same! I have been making a list of things unique to the Philippines, and I am excited to share that with you some day soon. Maybenext monday. The zone leader "borrowed" my p-day shirt, but he promised to bring it back later today, so that will be nice!
Back to my Mom, I just can't believe how different the united states is! I almost forgot!

Just remember to nightly plan, and Also study the scriptures every day! the Book of Mormon will get you closer to God than any other book dow. (sinabi ni brother Joseph Smith) and I know this to  be true, because it is my number one stress reliever. If you have enough faith, the answer is ALWAYS there for you. You just have to trust the Holy Ghost to answer your prayer and bring to mind the right chapter! INGAT! MAHAL KAYO!
Vincit Omnia Veritas
Elder A. Cook


*Note: for some reason I didn't post this last week.*

Okay, so first news: I can only talk to my Mom on mother's day. No other family unfortunately. I feel bad for my roommate, He can only chose his mom or his step mom, but not both :(

This week I discovered the local flora. There is a kind of plant called "dragon seed" when you get it wet, it explodes! I was super excited to play with these, but as fate would have it, I learned about them on the first day of rainy season. so they are all gone just like that!

the next is makahiat, or shy leaf. when you poke it, they fold up, as if they are shy! after a couple minutes they go back to normal. talk about cool!

As I just mentioned: RAINY SEASON STARTS! unfortunatly, crocks are bawal, (forbidden) even though the president's letter suggests them, so I had to get new waterproof dress shoes. oh well, At least I got the crocks on sale. 

for all you nerds who love firefly: today our taxi van had a stegosaurus and a t-rex on the dash board and i thought: "curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!"

I have gone a whole week only eating fish, because it is very inexpensive, and the members keep feeding it us!
the bones are annoying but i'm quickly getting skilled.

please excuse the capitalization errors, i only have minutes left.

we had my first fhe here! if you lose the game, you have to do a punishment here. I love cultural things like that! it was soooo much fun. I quickly learned the word for spoon and fork through one of the games, "this is a spoon" and we had tie police! i'll explain when i have more time!

finally, for those of you who are worried about me,
I was having a really hard week. but I remembered something my councilor at lds family services had said about meditation. I started taking personal study time every night and it made all the difference!
I stopped looking like a board becuase i was so tense!
but most importantly I had my first super spiritual lesson in a long time. It was the restoration. It reminded me why im here. I just have to figure out why I had that every day last transfer, and only once this transfer.

I love the restoration. I always feel so good! and the movie the testaments makes me cry! "Chiao! the savior has come! stay here..." ha ha

I love you all! remember: the church is true!


Vincit Omnia Veritas
Elder A. Cook

Saturday, May 3, 2014


(I'm sorry I didn't get this posted sooner.)

This week has been rather... eventful.
we'll start with Monday. We went on a wild goose chase, looking for a Yugioh cards last p-day. The top broke, and my companion was in for a new hobby. We found a hidden whole in the wall store, when we got smart and finally asked a kid where to locate these cards.
It was cool to find a store that stocks other stores. we can buy en mass our favorite snacks, and pay a fraction of the price! ha ha.

Wednesday was 2 of my kabahay's 6 month mark. my companion, and his batch. they bought a case of energy drinks, and stayed up til 2 after drinking 10 each. I would like you all to know I was far to smart to participate.
This week I have been learning how to progress and become more Christ-like despite my environment. I am constantly trying to go up. but sometimes the world just wants to drag you down. I have found it helps to read the Book of Mormon. I love that book! It defiantly will keep it's promise and bring you closer to Christ!

Thursday we didn't do any work. My companion got sick. I wonder why...
to be perfectly fair, an investigator gave him dog meat, on top of what was already in his stomach. that's okay, I guess, because I needed the sleep. There has been a funeral this last week, which means 24 blaring music, and gambling. for a whole week.

the energy drink that they drank, had a contest, collect caps, get a shirt. the store next to us has been giving us the caps from other customers. we collected 120 in 4 days. then we went to redeem it, earlier this p-day. and they are all out of stock. whew! lots of caps we have now!

earlier this Monday, we had a zone activity. 
we had a talent show, that everyone was required to participate in, with the rest of their apartment.
the sisters sang a hymn, and then did the cup song thing, and rapped the hymn for the last verse.
one group did a rap about Joseph Smith while someone hummed armies of Helaman. 
one group did a 4 man push up. that was cool!
obviously my roommates did not learn a lesson, because they insisted we "do the milk challenge"
2 liters of milk in 2 minutes. now remember: milk isn't refrigerated here...
Sooooo.... I was supposed to participate. but I am not stupid. my body is a temple. So after many jives from my roommates, I held the stopwatch. 
immediately after, all the pacific islanders did a hakka. The Maaori hakka is sooooooo cool. one of my roommates led it. he was the only one who finished the milk. I thought for sure he wouldn't even be able to make it on the stage. but then HE WAS SCARY! IT WAS LIKE THE MILK THING DIDN'T EVEN HAPPEN! He immediately went out side after it was finished. I can see why it is a war dance, and the Maaori were the best warriors. (taga New Zealand for those of you who don't know)

I have read Jacob through Mosiah this week. some of my favorite verses. The feeling I get when I read makes all of life worth it. Even if I cant feel this way 24/7, It is beautiful for that 1 hour of personal study every day!

Thanks for all your love and support! I know the Lord will bless you, If you ask him. He wants to! all you have to do is ask!
Love you all! ingat!
Vincit Omnia Veritas
Elder A. Cook