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, August 17, 2015

Mass Emails from July 27, Aug 10 and Aug 17

Note from mom:

I have been having a hard time keeping up on email in general and then I've really gotten behind. I have over 700 unread emails. Sadly, as I was cleaning Andrew's room up for my girls to move in, I neglected to read his emails. lol I guess we can't all be perfect.

His emails have confused me a little bit. They are coming as replies vs individual letters so I am not really sure what to post.

Here is July 27, what I assume was meant for the mass emails.

we had zone meeting, and the ward members gave me stress. they like to gossip, and asked me to tell the other missionaries some pretty mean things. not fun.

We went on Exchanges. apparently, the mission has redefined what Elder Bowen asked us to do. It is now no longer "testify to 30 people" but "teach 40 lessons." They specifically told us we do NOT need to testify to 30 people, if we teach 40 lessons a week. also the word 'testify', I am told, means "Hi, I am Elder Doe. this is a pass along card. It has our strange message on the website. call our number. bye!"  Although, I don't see this as testifying, it is still more than doing nothing, so I can't complain. I am told, since the 40 lesson plan happened, our mission's overall baptisms have PLUMMETED! sad, sad news. BUT I don't have to worry about what anyone else does, as long as I do what the Lord expects right?

Both my companion and I got sick the same day, with different sickness, so I guess that was a sign "stay inside today Elders" In fact, (He gave me permission to say) my companion defecated in his trousers. dalawang basis... sigh...

We had interviews with President. I love that guy so much. He doesn't usually give great personal advice, but I can tell he cares, because he says things like "Elder Cook, I really enjoy your weekly letters. I like how you never come to me with problems to solve, but you always tell me how you made your own solutions."

we made a camp fire on our roof when the power went out. don't worry, Our house is 100 % pure concrete. there was no danger of house fire. especially since we were all boyscouts... (hehe)

AND BlesmeLord who was just baptised, recieved the Aaronic priesthood. #ETTE!

And Finally, today, we went to the Ma-Cho taoist temple before emailing. our mission has 2 Taoist temples in the boundaries, which is cool, because the only other places that do are the capitol, and cebu. just picture Chinese pagoda and feng-shui gardens. Really peacefull and serine. They don't consider them selves a religious temple though... occasionally they allow the Catholics to hold mass there. There is an AMAZING view deck hike, which is on TOP of the mountain. on one side you see the Baguio mountain range, and on the other side, you see the China sea, (or San Fernando Bay) the two best places in the mission! :D I really felt zen. not quite the Spirit, but zen is nice too. 

have a great week! love you all! ingat!

August 10

This week, for my mass email, I will just send what I sent to my mission president:

Cook, Andrew David

Hello po President.
Last week, the computer gave me errors, but this week, I'm able to email you just fine. 
This week, I have really felt the power of the Atonement, and gained A LOT from my personal studies. 
The Book of Mormon always gives me hope. I can feel a sharp increase in my Light :D
I have mostly studied the Doctrine and Covenants. I have learned a lot of great verses about missionary work. and Spiritual gifts.

In the sacrament, I visualized a man being pulled by someone else into a filthy river. this is how I felt before. No matter how hard I try to fulfill my purpose, I feel like the other missionaries, (who are a little less dedicated) try to pull me down to their level. After partaking of the sacrament, and asking for help through the Atonement, the image changed. I now visualize the same two people at the river, but instead of the one trying to drag the other in, I visualize, the one outside trying to help the other out of the river. of course, the current is still strong. the water is trying to sweep both of them away, but the stronger a foundation the one has on the rock of his redeemer, no power under hell can overpower them!

This is all. thanks for all you do for us! ingat po.
Well, I did draw some nifty little pictures to describe what was in my head, but I don't have a scanner, so I will just use this instead: 

Have a great week! I love you all!  Thanks for being great!

August 17

  • I have had the bestest week ever! I took a self evaluation. am I acheiving what I want to be a achieving? no. am I becoming what I want to be? yes. I am becoming more sanctified. am I doing what the Lord expects of me? I think... yes. I realized that I was setting my expectations higher than Father actually was. that is why I was getting frustrated. because the Lord would not allow his work to fail. so if I am failing, then I must not be trying to achieve what the Lord wants. HE understands that there are many factors. HE understands that my companion is not ready to teach 40 lessons. So He is not mad at me, because He knows I WOULD be doing it right under different circumstances. He knows I am putting in more effort than I am actually physically capable of!

    When I realized this. all the stress went away :D and then I started studying. I learned the most amazing things this week! I have really torn apart the Doctrine and Covenants. I am sure you have noticed by know the way I study. I have  been looking for the most absolute basic Truth. every time I put my eyes to a book, I study with the goal of "increasing in Light" because If I can light up a room, just by walking in, then people will HAVE to believe what I say! And when I say "the gospel makes me happy!" they will believe me because they see how happy I am!
    As I have increased in Light, I can almost see it! I feel less heavy. and the very very first thing I notice when I wake up is the Holy Ghost. it's the best good morning ever!
    what have a I learned you ask? I learned: Covenants are actually a SUB-CATAGORY! I thought covenants were the most important thing, but it actually gets even simpler! covenants are a part of "celestial law"
    what we want to achieve in this life is being worthy to return to Father, and If we want to dwell in His presence, then we need to abide Celestial Burnings, and the way to do that is be purified. if we want to be pure, we have to live celestial Law. so one law is covenants, another law is obedience. the FIRST law is obedience actually! another law is charity. another law is faith. another law is hope. there are lots of laws.

  • in addition to the Doctrines and Covenants, I have been reading the institute manual for Doctrines of the Gospel because my goal is to study super simple doctrines. here are a couple of quotes to support what I have said :D

    “When Zion descends from above, Zion will also ascend from beneath, and be prepared to associate with those from above. The people will be so perfected and purified, ennobled, exalted, and dignified in their feelings and so truly humble and most worthy, virtuous and intelligent that they will be fit, when caught up, to associate with that Zion that shall come down from God out of heaven” (John Taylor, in Journal of Discourses, 10:147).

    “Jesus will never receive the Zion of God unless its people are united according to celestial law, for all who go into the presence of God have to go there by this law. Enoch had to practice this law, and we shall have to do the same if we are ever accepted of God as he was. It has been promised that the New Jerusalem will be built up in our day and generation, and it will have to be done by the United Order of Zion and according to celestial law” (Wilford Woodruff, in Journal of Discourses, 17:250).

    “The people of the city of Enoch, because of their integrity and faithfulness, were as pilgrims and strangers on the earth. This is due to the fact that they were living the celestial law in a telestial world, and all were of one mind, perfectly obedient to all commandments of the Lord. When Christ comes, these people will be returned to the earth again, for this is their eternal abode” (Joseph Fielding Smith,Church History and Modern Revelation, 1:195).

  • “But there is another most significant use of the term by which the Church of God is called Zion, comprising, according to the Lord’s own definition, ‘the pure in heart.’ (D&C 97:21.)” (Harold B. Lee, in Conference Report, Oct. 1968, 61–62).
  • but this is my absolute favorite quote:
  • "the future is bright, and Latter-day Saints have every reason to be optimistic.... It might be well to remind ourselves that Enoch and his people established Zion in their day, also a time of great wickedness. We will do the same." (Doctirnes of the Gospel: student manual)

    This is my favorite, because even if every other missionary in the whole world is not living worthy to have that name tag, I can still be more like Christ, and by extension, my Father in Heaven.
well, that is all! have a wonderful week! -Elder Cook