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, June 29, 2015

Mass 6-29-2015

8 in the morning, Elder Anota gets a phone call: "you have to be packed and ready to go by 10 am. Elder Cook is being given a special assignment companion." Half way through the transfer! fortunately for Elder Anota, he never unpacked.

  My new companion is Elder Jones. He was in the MTC with me! (but in a different class) He got in some trouble with some bad Elders, and they influenced him to play video games in the computer shop every day. My official assignment is to make sure he wakes up at 6:30 every morning.

  We used to have a "standard of excellence" which was 7 lessons with a member present, and 6 other investigator lessons taught, with 12 lessons to less actives. President threw this out the window. we now have to teach 40 lessons a week, and it doesn't matter WHO we teach, just lessons. this is NOT good because now missionaries are teaching JUST active members, and the leaders tell us we don't need to teach with member presents any more. the sisters in our district taught 41 investigator lessons WITHOUT a member present!

  Gordon B Hinckley even gave a talk on this https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1999/04/find-the-lambs-feed-the-sheep?lang=eng (notice he refers to a better way) and in another talk said approximately 'a plan to work with members is INFINITY more effective than any tracting plan you can come up with.'

  Now this would not be such a big deal, because I can focus on working with members by myself even if the rest of the mission doesn't, EXCEPT FOR ONE SMALL (I lied, it's a really big) PROBLEM.

  President has told Elder Jones, if he does not reach this 40 lesson plan as my companion he WILL be sent home. It is my calling, and assignment, to make sure he does not get sent home. so last Friday, it was 5 o'clock in the afternoon, and we had not taught a single lesson, and I was just about pulling my hair out. He calmly says "why are you so stressed? It's just a bad day" when I told him, that this one bad day could get him sent home, he didn't believe me! Then we got home, and the district leader said "did you hear the news? Elder Guiod got sent home because he didn't testify to 30 people every day, after covenanting with president that he would." after hearing that, Elder Jones looked at me with wide eyes, suddenly understanding why I was so stressed.

  Elder Jones was such a perfectly obedient missionary before for the first 16 months of his mission, but the pasuway (disobedient) elders have a process they call "poisoning by degrees." it is said, "even the hardest stones get worn away by dripping water." I think he has repented. I think he wants to be obedient again.

  The hard part is our roommates. As soon as Elder Anota left, one elder told me they put on an obedient face for new missionaries so they don't get corrupted right away, but since he has been gone, the change was almost immediate! the very first day we came home, the other elders were listening to Babylonian music in their "civilian clothes".

  I am sorry if this letter is not too uplifting. I am stressed.  I can hardly sleep at night. I don't know what to do.

Monday, June 22, 2015


I had written a big long letter out, but I couldn't go home to go get it, we just came right to email from the zone activity.

so Happy Father's day! I wrote a nice little bit about Father's day, and the importance of celestial covenants, so just pretend you are edified :P

In fact, I learned a TON this week, I made a lesson plan for teaching how to make lesson plans, and I was EDIFIED by the Spirit (and we rejoiced together!) and now I suddenly realized how ALL the teaching skills fit together into one lesson plan! I would love to describe it to you, but I haven't finished writing it up yet.

I have not seen as much success in my whole mission as I have in the last 6 weeks. I still haven't saved the world thirty people at a time, but I have instead made the quality of my lessons SOOOOOO much better. I feel like I understand the doctrine better my self. as in, I KNEW the doctrine before, and my knowledge hasn't increased per say, but it just seems to be more a PART of me :D in Tagalog I would say unawan vs naintindihin but you English speakers just can't get this :P I will just write out a bit more about lesson plans, and send it to all my missionary friends. It helped me a lot. It's kind of amazing how everything just fits together!

yesterday we had the most successful FHE ever. And BlessmeLord Ramos is all finished with the lessons, and his dad was supposed to be interviewed to be made a priest, but for some reason the interview was cancelled. HOWEVER Brother Ramos sr. bore his testimony, and it was Father's day, and I feel like that was the first time I have felt the Spirit from the closing remarks of an FHE. Maganda.

Actually, madyo trunky na ako. Everywhere I turn they are talking about covenants, and marriage, and Families, And fathers, and in the last transfer, I have heard at least 4-5 general authorities tell us not to wait to finish our schooling before getting married... I think I finally have a plan for what I want to do when I get home. (like they told us to make in the MTC!) at the very least I don't feel a stupor of thought :P

oh, by the way, our zone activity was just hanging out at the beach, nothing amazing! have a great week! love you all!

Part 2 sent in second email

Oh! I forgot to mention, my companion and I have started a campaign to teach "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" to all our less active families. We will be going through all the principles listed and teaching one lesson at a time. First is Faith, then Prayer, Repentance, Forgiveness... etc. have a read! here's something to get your studies started:
Faith is the foundation of a successful family: Helaman 5:12
Next week, I will get you a quote about how there was never any couple that prayed together every day, that couldn't work out any problem.

President Balledos came to our district meeting, and gave some GREAT advice about extending commitments, (which went into my lesson plan) like I said, Even though there have not yet been any baptisms (I haven't been here long enough for someone to be baptized) there are for sure CONVERSIONS because my teaching skills have gotten soooo much better, and the Spirit can testify more! Elder Anderson (quoting Elder Scott) told us that missionaries in the Philippines need to teach more THOROUGHLY in order to convert, not just baptize. 

There was one sister I was a little peeved at because she was constantly chastising everyone for things that are not actually rules. I prepared my self to kindly explain how I felt, but then I over heard her telling someone how she "thinks that Elder Cook is probably her best friend in the mission, because he always tries to look for the Spirit"  well now, I couldn't stay irritated at that now could I?! :P I still might need to discuss this with her, because it is causing a bit of hurt feeling with my roommates, but I know she is trying hard to do what is right, and I am too. 

I am happy always. San Fernando is so beautiful! I can't explain why. I probably have deal with worse disobedience here, than any other time in my mission, but I am just happy now.
something just clicked. It must have to do with my better understanding of the Gospel Doctrines :D basta happy lang ako! 

Have a great week! Lots of love!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mass Letter 6-15-2015

Andrew sent a copy of their zone photo during the Mission Tour with Elder Bowen.

Please note I intend to type up what he requests. When that is done I will include a link for you to download. His letter:

I wrote something I want you to share with everyone you know! I know you are all busy, but if anyone has time to type, It would look much nicer typed up before you share with your friends, compared to my poor handwriting!
funny story #GiftOfTongues I went to a restaurant this morning, and an Australian came in. I started casual conversation, and asked where he was from. He said "I am Australian." I said "Oh, very nice. I am American." He laughed. "You don't sound American! Did you grow up here?" I replied "No I have been here a long time though! almost two years!" He laughed again! "I have been here FIVE years, and I STILL don't speak a lick." I then was about to testify of our, message, when I couldn't remember how to speak English. #StuporOfThought Two languages in a year and a half. It really is a miracle! #SignsFollowTheBelievers!

Monday, June 8, 2015


NEW TRANSFER I am still in San Fernando, with the same companion another 6 weeks. actually President just announced that six months is the MINIMUM time in an area now, so this will probably be my LAST area. (I might have 1 more)

I didn't write a letter out, because I really didn't have anything to write. I am a little stressed, because we still haven't been testifying as much as I would like too. we had a discussion during companionship inventory. Elder Anota told me he does not want to spend time meeting new people, because our schedule is already "too full" of the people we have already met. those people also tell us "just come back next time. I am busy right now..." not to mention sleeping for 2 hours of proselyting time doesn't really sound like he's too concerned about our schedule... I don't really want to complain. I learned a LOT last transfer.

hope you all have a great week! I love you all. Do everything in your power to follow Christ. It's the only way to lasting happiness! :D ingat!

Monday, June 1, 2015


I got Sweeney Todd style shaved, but I am not dead, so I guess that not a very scary concept after all :D
I got my watch back after two weeks of leaving it with president so he could claim the warranty so he could get it fixed. I missed knowing what time it is!
I bought another pen! that will seem more significant if you read the attachment :D
and that is all :D