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, July 21, 2015


Well, this week, I got a phone call at 10:28 pm. I was almost asleep. "Elder Cook, will you accept the invitation to be District Leader?" "Why yes of course President." then I went to sleep.

We had members working with us for 5 out of 6 working days this week. That lead to some interesting adventures. for example: Yesterday, I helped pull in a GIANT fish net. It must have been 100 yards long. when it was all up on shore, there were 2 fish. they were about 4 inches long. I told my companion we should suggest throwing the nets on the other side of the boat, but he didn't think that was funny.

     Then on Saturday, we traveled to Tagudin, about 10 minutes away from my first area, to witness a baptism! It was from Elder Jones' last area. The services were held in a bamboo hut, and 4 people showed up. not even all the missionaries came! 
     We took the long 2 hour bus ride back to San Fernando, and I realized we forgot to stop at my favorite bakery. my only regret of my mission. I got very car sick, because the bus had no shocks to speak of! I didn't even get sick when we went to Manila, so this was strange.
     THEN later that afternoon, we attended ANOTHER baptism! BLESMELORD RAMOS! WOOT! it was really funny to see the contrast between baptisms. For one thing, the first baptism was held in a drinking water tank. the water was green. ha ha. the second baptism was the first ever time that we didn't have to remind the ward mission leader to fill up the tank! He also had the baptismal clothes ready BEFORE WE GOT THERE! 

The very last day of work, we got a fresh RM to come with us. She had a very powerful testimony. Our investigators pulled us aside after church, and told us how much they like her. Her family fed us dinner, and we taught about eternal marriage, then I shared some of the conversion stories from my mission. it was just a good Spiritual day.

I am having very fruitful personal studies now. I have made a very in-depth study of the Book of Mormon. one verse at a time. That combined with my appreciation for the Sacrament, and other Covenants, has made my week happy. The Spirit testifies of the Truth of the gospel.

It was a very good week. Oh! I learned how to make homemade veggie burgers. that will be useful when I come home! :D
Have a great week! I love you all! ingat kayo!

mas mass! haha (more from 7-13-2015)

I forgot to tell everyone about the lighthouse! we walked out to the lighthouse at the edge of our area to: 1. see it, and 2. try to teach the light house keeper. when we knocked on his door, and told him we have a message about Jesus Christ, he said "there is no Jesus Christ here. I am Catholic." It made us laugh as we walked home, (in a flash typhoon that came as we started walking) because most other Catholics I know DO believe in Christ... right?

7-13-2015 forwarded pictures

Note from mom: Andrew forwarded a couple of activity pictures that had been forwarded to him. You can play where's Andrew or see that he is a little to the right of the middle standing up except in the bottom pic in which there is only a forehead. :)

From: David Hennessey

Hello San Fernando Zone!

Here are the pictures from the Zone Activity in June at Kahuna Beach.

Have a great P-day!


Note from mom: Sorry for not posting this last week. I went out of town that day and am just getting back to things.

well, as this week went, We have seen much improvement in the companionship. We went from 2-4 appointments a day, to 6-8 which is a reflection of how much time we spend fishing . :)

there is this WAY cool book-boat docked in San Fernando. they are just a floating book store. and they are a Born Again group, so almost every book is bible related. they also do service projects and stuff to help the community. they also offer lunch, so we went and bought lunch. over priced.

we have had more member work than usual. that is all that happened really. transfers are this week so we'll see who the new guy in the house is.

We were supposed to have a baptism last Saturday, but because of the MASSIVE typhoon, that was delayed till THIS Saturday!
Yesterday, his father recieved the Aaronic priesthood, so that he may baptise his son, but Bless has already passed the interview, so it is a sure thing! (knock on kahoy)

I will tell his whole story. (though I have shared much of this before)
My very first week, I asked Elder Anota to take me to the active members. He only knew where the relief society president lived. so we arrived, and I told her "we will be returning on Thursday to teach you about the Atonment. please have a new friend here waiting for us. dinner is not necessary."
then we left. I tried this with a few other families when I met them at church, but all of them said "I am happy to feed you, but I have no one to introduce to you" oh well...

when we returned Thursday, sister Gaa, (the R.S.P.) introduced us to Romel Ramos. "This is my brother in law. He stopped going to church when he was twelve and is now born again. He has two sons who are not baptized. His wife left him while he worked abroad in Saudi, and she found a new boyfriend, so he moved back in with us until he goes back to Saudi next month. both of his children will be living with us!"

After teaching them the first lesson, BlessmeLord (his son) wanted to be baptized! (Christend did as well, but he is only 7) Brother Ramos and his children came to church that week and told us "For the first time religion makes sense. I never understood when I was a child, but I know that this is true now!" and they have not missed a week since, EVEN IN THE TYPHOON! (only about 20 people showed up!)

After learning about eternal families, brother Romel told us, "It is important for me to stay for my family, and raise them to the Lord. I will NOT be going abroad next month, and I will find a job here." I wish I could describe how much of a sacrifice this is! Imagine working for an oil company, and then multiplying your income by 45 (due to the conversion rate) and then giving that up to work work at... no where! He still hasn't found a job yet! (Fortunately the Gaa family is supporting them until he finds something!)

We invited Romel to prepare to receive the Priesthood, and baptize his own son. the only problem was coffee. It took him a few weeks to give it up, but President himself came and suggested a better way to invite for commitment, and... as I mentioned earlier, HE RECEIVED, YO!

I guess that His wife may have dumped her other boyfriend, because I just met her last week. It turns out that they actually met in church, back when he was a child, so she is a less active member as well! She lives in Manila, but if she comes to San Fernando to stay, we will get her active, and they will be sealed together forever!

I am just so happy, because I have seen so much change in their lives :D

I would like to tell you about Nora Porawan as well. She began investigation with her daughter Precious. When Elder Anota and I first met them, he told me he felt like he already knew them. They "looked familiar". HOWEVER when Finished the Restoration lessons, and told us they do not want to continue investigation. we visited again last Saturday with Elder Jones. Precious is A LOT more open then her mother is. As I left, I had a happy feeling that we planted seeds, which would sprout for other missionaries. (probably after Precious moved out from her mother's house) Then, as we were walking out, Precious said "Hey, I have a friend from Tagudin. He is a Mormon. Actually, he is my BEST friend." It turns out it is Elmer, the member who called president and got Elder Jones in trouble in the first place, so that he was emergency transferred here! Elmer also moved to San Fernando, and I think (despite Elder Jones' history) He will open a door for Precious! Isn't it crazy how people are connected?

That's all I have today, other than I want to bare my testimony of the Sacrament. before my mission, or even honestly before last month, I felt the Spirit very powerfully SOMETIMES at church, just like any normal day (as in it's always there but just not strong). but now I feel it EVERY TIME, conistently for 3 or 4 weeks. It's just like the temple. I can not wait for church every week.

I also have begun a thorough study of the Book of Mormon. I am taking it one verse at a time, until I feel sufficiently involved with the verse, and I move on to the next. most days I only read one chapter in my allotted time of a half hour.  I get my reading time by going to bed a half hour early, and waking up a half hour early (So we have changed the schedule from '10:30 to 6:30' to '10:00 to 6:00') I study for a half hour before I get ready. then we have normal studies starting at 8. I feel awesome. I got about ten times happier. It might just be that the skies are more blues (all the rain storms stopped for a day) or maybe I just noticed the sky more :D

The gospel is really my strength.

have a great week, I love you all! If I don't get to emailing you, it's because I spent a long time writing this, and I have 27 messages still in my inbox! love you all! ingat!

Monday, July 6, 2015


I have learned A LOT from the sacrament. I learned "If you can't have faith that the Atonment will change other people, how can you expect it to change you?" 
     My special assignment is still stressful, but this week I am studying repentance and forgiveness. 
     yesterday, we got hit with two typhoons at once. the floods were up to our knees after church, and flooded the chapel. The other elders wanted to walk home. I felt prompted distinctly NOT to. a few minutes later one of the other companionships rescued a lady and a baby washed away in the flood. after this I went out to help as well. there were some people stranded on a road island, but they refused to come in to the church. meh, their choice. 
​     ​after everyone was rescued, they wanted to walk home again. I told them I would not go, because I had a feeling. My companion said, "fine, but I am going with them."
     of course, as per handbook I immediatly reported to the zone leaders that my companion left without me, (skipping the district leader, because he was the one my companion was going with!) one of the zone leaders ran them down, and convinced them not to leave, and my companion would not speak to me for a few hours. 
     when we finally got authorization to leave the church, and we were no longer in ear shot of the members, he began cussing me out.
     we both apologized, but he still doesn't seem to want to talk to me. I studied by myself, and we haven't planned in a few days.
     as much as I want to tell President I am not in to the whole "special assignment" plan, I know that the revelation was inspired, and the Lord will qualify me for the work. I can't council God. I am sure He has MANY more lessons for me to learn. we'll see how this goes.
     at the very least, I still feel the Spirit, and that is what matters! I look for it more, when I am in a harsh enviroment. and Sacrament, has taken on a temple-like experience for me. when I realized it was not just "renewing baptisimal covenants" but a new and sepparate covenant every week, I really started paying more attention to how to Atonment and the sacrament are related. the sacrament gets me a Spiritual High that I really can't describe. I miss the temple a little bit less, because I get the same intense feeling.  I guess that is why they are called "high priests" no? (all though, the sacrament is not a replacement for the temple. I still REALLY miss the temple. I can't even tell you how often I ponder about it!)
     well this is all for this week, I have MANY emails of encouragement and support to reply to from last week. sorry for being such a downer. wish I could have been more uplifting last week, I hope you at least come to appreciate the Atonement a little more yourselves every day! love you all! bye!

Part 2

Oops! Forgot to tell the independance day shenanigans! For lunch, before fasting, we went to "pancake house" which is owned by the same guy as our favorite restaurant, so we were expecting awesome service and food. 
     I asked what was in the spanish omelete, and after 5 minutes of "umm......." the waiter finally replied "egg." Despite how many times we kept telling him to speak in Tagalog, the waiter just kept trying to speak in unintelligable, broken English. 
     Then the food arrived, and Elder jones had ordered a salad, which came with four pieces of iceburg lettace, although the menu said "mixed greens with alfalpha sprouts." when we gave them back the salad, and told them we just would be happier without it, a few minutes later the manager came out to yell at us. (we didn't tell her we are friends with the owner.) she said (in a nutshell) 'we are out of stock, you get what we give you, and we don't have to explain ourselves!' 
     after all this, the food was twice as much as any where else we have eaten (including the other nice restaurants) 
     It was really interesting to compare this event with the reason we went out to eat: Capitolism Day! Because our "forefathers" died in a war, we can complain about our orders, and if we dont want it, we can return it!
     I still love the Philippines more than they do. I won't lie, I was REALLY happy with the food I ordered. probably because I ordered something I knew wouldn't disappoint me ;) I got a rootbeer float too! rootbeer floats on the 4th of july! happy New Years everyone! (I mark my calander by this day, because of all the marching I did back in highschool :D) oh! p.s.! in 8 days, I will only have exactly six months left! have a great summer everyone! it's raining on my parade :D we didn't have any work yesterday for the storms! love you all. bye!