Tuesday, August 27, 2013

They came to me this morning with notes and lots of hugs and kisses.

All the Latinos absolutely LOVE me because I am always asking how they are and talking to them and joking with them.  I had 6 elders say "HERMANA COOOK we need photos with you!!"  I have never even talked to them this entire time I have been here!!  LOL they love my blond hair and they always say they like how my companion and I are smiling all the time!

I feel so much love from my roommates and the Latinos.  They say how much they will miss me when they leave.  I can't believe how the language barrier disappears when the love and spirit are present.  They came to me this morning with notes and lots of hugs and kisses.  They wrote how they love me so much and how happy I am and how much I served   them by doing little things.  I love Latinos and the spirit.                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Hermana Colil loved me the most.  She is the one I stayed up til 12:30 am last week and painted her nails and tried to help her to feel not so sad.  She is sad a lot and cries but I just always give her hugs because that is the best way to communicate with her.  She was just home sick and talked about missing her family a lot.  She bawled and held onto me before she left for the field this morning.  Latinos are only at the CCM (MTC) for three weeks because they already know the language.  They all left for the field at 6 am this morning.  I love Hermana Colil.  I felt bad for her because many of the people in the MTC seemed a bit bothered by her missing her family and crying a lot.

My companion Hermana Clearwater (the tall one from Argentina) just loves me and brought me some fruit she had bought one day because I told her how much I missed fruit!!  She is soo thoughtful!

I love you all...Keep saying your prayers and pray that I will learn Spanish!  xoxoxooxoxo

Hermana Cook (:
My super crazy note

This is my Mission Presidents at the CCM (They look like grandma and grandpa Fisher) :)

Hermana Castleton is the first young lady I took a picture with.  She is a great woman and absolutely stunning.  She was quiet at first, but I could feel the strong spirit radiating off of her so I always tried to be by her.  I like her a lot!

Hermana Colis Nails I painted ♥

 This is an old church they were restoring!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I ate my first Chilean cookie!

Hey family.  I love you guys so much!  Not much to tell from this week, it was the same as last week except that I have been improving a lot. Spanish is still suffering a bit but I'm honestly not even bothered by it. I know I will be able to speak the language soon. Every one tells me it doesn't really even come until the second month and not to worry and I've had a lot of comforting feelings that i will be fine.

I ate my first Chilean cookie!  Look at the Chilean money!  its so pretty!  Some of the money here has an owl on it... I hate owls but it made me think how Tate loves owls so I hugged the money.  Sounds super childish but it brought me comfort.  500 pesos is one dollar, so we like joke that we have 1000 pesos in our pocket at all times.  It makes us feel wealthy. heehee

All I've eaten here is rice pasta and chicken.
It's been super great.  I miss mommy's cooking but I've lost 8 pounds so holla at that!

I've had many tender mercies happen this week so I went out and got a notebook to write all the tender mercies that happen out here and I'm going to share a few with you.  INSERT SMILEY FACE HERE cause I don't know how to get them on Spanish keyboards..

This week it rained twice.  This was a tender mercy to me because I felt like I was at the beach and it relaxed me and I felt Heavenly Father's love with each drop.
I say words wrong and it ends up being a District joke!  I was trying to say [what can you learn from this? but accidentally said '' what can you learn from bear'' this was a tender mercy because I was feeling a little flustered but with the laughing of my class and companion and help they showed me I felt so much happier.

I memorized the objective and the first prayer in Spanish. YUP.  I did it.  I would like to say I did it all by myself but that would be obviously lying to my family and to Heavenly Father because through your prayers and testimonies I was able to do this.

I saw the moon for the first time in 2 weeks.  I've been looking for it every night but it's so foggy here you rarely see it and last night me and Hermana Clearwater came out of our personal study session and stared at it for a good solid 5 minutes. I thought of you mommy!!

I saw pink flowers two days ago.  Pink flowers are my favorite happy object.
Also this week the missionaries that were here before we got here.. meaning all the Latinos and our roommates left the CCM and will be going out to the real mission field!  I never knew how much love you could have for someone that doesn't even speak the same language as you.  I had to communicate through a lot of actions and mistakes with my words but they loved to watch me try to explain things then help me say and understand. They are such loving people.  I'll miss them so much but I know I'll see them again so I can thank them properly with real Spanish sincerity.  I love this gospel. Christ lives. I know after 3 days the disciples went to check the tomb and Christ was not there.  He had risen.  Joseph Smith restored this gospel and sealed it with his life. I know that Moroni saw our day and wrote those scriptures for us and selfishly for me particularly.  I love you mommy, daddy, Landon, teeny and Brooklyn!!

These were only a few tender mercies that I wanted to share but through out the week I will be writing letters to you and taking pictures of the letters and sending them to you.  I want to write back to all of your letters you wrote me last week so I'm going to take the time to do that now.

Here is a picture of Hermana Clearwater, Hermana Pederson and Hermana Albrechtsen !  I love this place.  We may look like we goofed off a lot but that's only for about 10 to 15 minutes max each day.  We work hard and its stressful but we make time to smile and make memories along our studies.

Love you all!  Hermana Cook ♥

Dove Chocolate that Hna Clearwater always gave everyone at the beginning of class. This one says "Take a bath."

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

We had our first missionary discussions

So please forgive me again for punctuation.  We have about 45 minuets to read our emails and type so grammar isn't in the forefront of my mind.

(me negro is like a compliment in Chile by the way, its like saying : what's up buddy!!) It's muy grasioso.. (funny) heehee

Okay, so there is a temple in Santiago and it's in my back yard :)  You can look up pictures and see what it looks like.  It's super teeny, but beautiful none the less, and I get to see it every day all the time!  I love it.  We get to go through a Spanish session tomorrow and I'm super excited !!  Spanish is super hard and I've kept positive the entire time even though I am the slowest learner in my district.  I am in district 9 which happens to be my favorite number which is a BONUS!!
So I got so stressed the first day here I ground my teeth all night and I had lock jaw the next morning.  But I wasn't even upset about it.   I kind of almost pretended to forget my mouth hurt and focused on learning and pretty much it went away after the second day! yay!  Ive slept very nice here and I'm so glad I had an extra blanket because it helps me sleep much better and I LOVE the dog we got at the DI.

I've had rice and chicken every day for lunch and dinner and we get cereal for breakfast and toast and ham, so I'm kind of tired of that but that's OKAY!  I'm grateful for food.

Basically how I have been learning and memorizing things in Spanish is through doing sign language Haydin taught me  I almost cried two days ago because I cant speak as well as everyone else.  So after I pleaded with Heavenly Father on how I should memorize these big long scriptures. He told me to use sign language and so I listened and WALLAH I memorized most of the first vision and our missionary objective. yay! Thanks for all the prayers by the way  I can feel them when I'm upset, which I'm not upset often, but the stress does get to you but i love it!!  Ive lost six pounds this week because I'm tired of the food so I don't eat that much so that's kind of nice.  But i'll put weight back on when I'm out probably because its ALL CARBS!

So we had an awesome district meeting on the third day we were here and when the speaker was talking about how we were prepared for this generation I thought how the prophets have prepared you (mom and dad) to teach us these things.  Having scripture studies, FHE, making us go to church etc.. was preparing us (especially us women) to be ready when the age change came and because of that I also can teach the gospel more quickly and fervently.  I love you both for that.

So I also learned with memorization; if you memorize things for your investigators, you memorize things a little easier compared to if you're trying to memorize them for yourself.  For example; if you pray to Heavenly Father to help you memorize something to teach your investigator and you think of them while memorizing the passage, you'll do it with more love in your heart, which I think helps the message stick in your mind!

Oh and by the way.... the men are twice as adorable when you walk around the corner and you see them kneeling in a companionship in the middle of the hallway saying their
prayers.  SO precious.

Fast Sundays are awesome.  We fast for a full 24 hours and the entire sacrament is in Spanish so you have to kind of make up what they are saying as they speak so it gets you thinking about a lot of things!!!

We had our first missionary discussions (they were with our teachers but they pretend to be an investigator that they had converted on their missions so its like real) and I am so blessed to have a companion that took a year in Spanish before she came up here because with out Hermana Clearwater I´d be so lost!!! But it's hard to sit and listen to her and the investigator talk and know what they're saying and the holy ghost is telling you to say something but you can't because you don't speak Spanish just yet!!   I got so emotional the first time because I wanted to tell them that their Heavenly Father loved them and through the atonement they could feel peace and happiness.  But I couldn't so I just listened.  That made me want to learn the language SOOO badly though.  The CCM (MTC in Spanish) has such inspired teaching methods.  By the way all of our teachers got off of their missions within the past year and a half, so they're pretty awesome and inspired as well.

Another thing I learned is not to slouch!  It puts you right to sleep.  A really good Sunday movie to watch is called LEGACY.  It's an awesome pioneer movie and we watched it on Sunday :)) so it will put the TV to some good use.

I also found out that there are 200 to 250 missionaries in my mission which is one of the smallest missions in the world!  It's 16 miles by 8 miles so there will be about 2 to 3 pairs of missionaries in each ward.  That's crazy.  A lot of people are inactive here so that's what we will be doing a lot of the time is reactivating these people.  woohoo!!

PLEASE PLEASE pray that I will be able to quickly learn the language.   I'm making note cards later today because I'm not sure what else to do!  I know it's only been a week but I want to speak to people so badly. I know so much that they don't know yet.  I feel so greedy holding it all inside.  I'm grateful I love everyone so easily because I can tell it's going to be hard.  People here are nice but not super patient all of the time!  But it will be fine :)

One more cool thing: there's a ton of 18 year old elders here!  Some boys here came to the CCM super immature and loud and would lean back in their chairs and seem to have the worst ADHD I've ever seen! but after 2 to 3 days, these boys straightened up and you could
at least read their testimonies on their faces.  Change is inevitable here!  It's crazy.. they open doors now and are getting better despite some things they still have to work on,  know they'll be awesome MEN someday. They're precious.  Love all the Elders!!

This letter has been painfully random and I'm sorry! They're is so much good things happening here that I wish I could elaborate more, but this will have to do for now.

Additional notes and random funnies:

Being blond in Santiago Chile is really funny. 
Blonds never open doors

Blonds feel like celebrities because you have tone of people taking pictures of you, even while they're driving

I love pan!! Which means bread in Spanish

I haven't cried once

I only got discouraged for a total of 4 hours two days ago because I couldn't speak to our investigators!!
My spelling is worse than before because I'm trying to remember which is the spelling for Spanish and English!!

I love President Tew because he is worthy to hold the priesthood and be my stake president to give me such a wonderful blessing

I love saying 10 to 15 minute prayers 

Revelation is a frequent thing even if they're teensy thoughts
I look terrible with red lipstick
Sin and fish sound almost the same in Spanish and I mix them up a lot : pecado:sin  pescado: fish

Mommy I loved the pictures of you and Brooke.  Makes me miss you both :)   Can't read all the emails so  took pics of them and will read and respond eventually!  Daddy read parts of your email because I couldn't resist, but couldn't read it all.  Love you tons.  Hope your job is going well.  I'll be praying for you.

love always
Danielle N Cook
I'll type my testimony next time in Spanish because i just don't have time right now!  But I do have a testimony.. I promise.  KAY ADIOS.