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.