Monday, December 30, 2013

Have Patience my Daughter, You're Doing Fine!

This week has again, been very difficult, but it has been a time of learning for Hermana Castleton and I.  I felt more discouraged than usual this past Friday, so I decided to look up scriptures for prosperity and try to find a key or pattern to prosperity, or progression.  What I found was really quite interesting.  In times where people were not being prosperous, they were being humbled and taught.  I have found this to be true in my life as well!  It is so cool to see patterns of thousands of years ago, still apply to our lives in 2013.

I am learning to rely on the Lord a lot more than I ever had in my other sector.  Also, while reading in Alma I thought I heard Heavenly Father say to me, ¨Have patience my daughter, you´re doing fine,¨ Which brought tears to my eyes and made me feel horrible for thinking that Heavenly Father wasn´t aware of our feelings of failure.  Hermana Castleton and I have felt so discouraged this week, but after this experience and learning to rely on the Lord, it has been the most rewarding feeling.  I am also learning that just because we are working hard and being obedient, this alone doesn´t always bring immediate success.  We have to be humble and have A LOT of patience as well.  I hope this letter doesn't seem too negative.  I am really happy to be here.  I love it, but sometimes it´s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you´re in the middle of a trial.  Our bishop also is not happy with us because we asked to have our meeting outside, since no other women could attend the meeting. (it's a rule that there has to be 3 Hermana's in a room with men.)  He decided that it was better if we didn´t go to the meeting in the end, because he told us he was not going to have a meeting outside to accommodate the situation.  He told us, and the elders, that it is better to bend some rules a little and be more flexible.  I wish he supported the rules a little bit better because it makes it SO much harder not to have the support of the bishop.  And I wish he realized that, without being obedient, we can't receive all the blessings possible. 

BUT GOOD NEWS! :)  Our investigator, Marco, went to church this week with his 5 year old daughter and they stayed all three hours and seemed to really enjoy it.  Francisca was going to go but when she showed up a bee stung her right in the eyeball, and her eye swelled up so she had to leave, which is understandable, lol, but so sad :(

I hope we are able to find more people that want to be taught, and progress. 
Skype Picture!
Talking to the family was so great on Christmas day.  I love you guys so much!!!  Luckily I didn't get too home sick afterwords and we were able to get right to work after we ended the skype call.

Family I really do miss you!  We taught a powerful lesson on families last night and it made me realize that families are one of the most important things we have in this life.  You guys are all so awesome and I can't wait to get home and give you all a BIG BEAR HUG :) 
Hope you all have a happy new year!! 
♥♥♥ xoox
Hermana Cook

PS.  I have lots of pictures to send but the computer I am using won't allow me to send them :(
"Skype Time" with Hermana Cook and Castleton
This is from Danielle's Mother:  It has been so special during this time in Danielle's mission because I have been able to get to know Danielle's companion's mother, Wendy Castleton, and I am privileged to be able to read Danielle's companions, Whitney Castleton's, emails along side Danielle's emails.  Whitney said the most kind things about Danielle and I had to share what she said.  What a blessing it is to see these girls get to share, grow and learn from each other. 

Hermana Castleton and me!
The following is what Whiney said about Danielle:  Looking back at the time I've had in the sector I'm in, El Parron, I feel rather...not depressed.  Discouraged.  It's a bit difficult not to feel disseminated when I feel like I've accomplished close to nothing.  But, God planned well.  As He always does because His plan is perfect.  He knew this point would come and that is why He sent Hermana Cook.  He knew I would need her strength, power, attitude and love.  I need her example. Yesterday she acted as my momentary psychiatrist at a time I felt hopeless and pointless.  She helped me to recognize my importance and my proposito (purpose) here.  Because I have one.  I just lost sight of it for a bit.  She helped me realize that Jesus wants to relieve my cargas (my burdens).  He was sent to be the redeemer of my soul and He has certainly proved that He is.  He is Almighty and Todopoderoso.  He wants to help us.  We just need to keep our focus solely in His glory and that is when we have success.

Hermana Cook and I. We sprayed the window with fake snow...
Eating Christmas Dinner with
The young men's president in our ward

Texas Sheet Cake made in the most ghetto way possible
Presents from Hermana Ricks
Zona: La Cisterna

Monday, December 23, 2013


FAMILY!!!! MERRYYY CHRISTMASSS♥ So I miss you guys a lot but as much as I miss you guys, this Christmas will definitely be one of the most memorable in my life. (: My mission family here helps keep me from getting too home sick. We've been picking up on our lessons and finding new people to teach which is so great. People are always a little more willing to listen to two gringas who are far from their families this time of year (: Christmas is a great teaching tool, I would love to use it all year round but I feel like after the holiday it wouldn't be as effective :(

The story of the birth of Jesus Christ found in Luchas 2 is a miraculous one.  President was telling us at our Christmas Party that in some ways, the nativity of Christ has been sanitized to the point that we do not even consider the reality of the circumstances.  From birth, Christ’s life was a rugged one. Born in a stable shared with some farm animals and laid to rest in a feeding trough.  His birth was without the conveniences of even the average home back then.  He was an unwelcome guest.  There was no room for him in the inn.  While still young, he was whisked away to a far country to save his life, a perilous journey in great haste and fear, a trip which was undoubtedly hard for the new infant and his caring mother.  He had a most unusual life as a child.  He was visited by special visitors of other religious traditions who understood the prophesies of his birth and sought him out.  There is nothing in the Bible that says that the visitors from the East were kings, or that there were three, or that they were all men, or that one of them was black.  It is clear that they were teachers and spiritual leaders.  It wasn’t until much later when Christianity became the religion of the Roman Empire that they were cast as royalty.  The Magi sought the future King of the Jews by inquiring of Herod.  Herod then uses this information to order the killing of innocent children.  It is a bloody story that is never depicted in our Christmas pageants, yet it gives us important insights.  It is remarkable that Jesus gave his life for all of us, including those children that gave their lives for Him.  Clearly, as a young Jewish boy, Jesus would have been aware of this slaughter.  It may have been a contributing factor to his unlimited capacity for sympathizing with the suffering of others.  We never really go past the cute story of Jesus, which I absolutely love, but we do need to remember Jesus never had an easy life.  It was not easy for him.  That is why Elder Holland always says he thinks that it is never easy for us, especially as missionaries.  I love Christmas and being on a mission has opened up windows of questions and answers about our Savior :) I love it...

But on an upbeat, we did have your mission Christmas party and it was CRAZY!  I was one of the team captains for all the sports!!! bahaah!!! Funny cause sports is not my thing but it was a BLAST. We enjoyed playing soccer, football, frisbee, basketball, and volleyball and finished up with watching Remember the Titans.  This was the first time I have seen this movie and I LOVED IT.  Can't wait to watch it in English. haha.  We also had a devotional from presidente and Hermana Cook and exchanged gifts.  I decided to regift my pink Christmas Tree and OF COURSE and elder got it HAAHHAHA.  I have pics ;) I ended up with and AWESOME authentic Chilean bag that was like hand knitted.  It looks way cool.  We had such a fun time.

This week we found 2 nuevos and taught them some lessons and have 2 baptismal dates for the 19th. Juan Carlos, who is reading the Book of Mormon and says prayers like a member. I love love love his prayers!  We're hoping to start teaching his wife as well!! And Also Marco and his family, the ones we found that one day after contacting for 7 hours straight!  They came to the Ward Christmas party and their little girl, Antonia lovessss us. it's so cute.  She is 5 and she loves Dora so I was able to give her the stickers Debbie Williams gave me before I left and she loves them!!  Thank you Debbie ❤️

Yes, We are continuing to see miracles in this sector.  Hermana Castleton is doing great and we are striving to be diligent in all that we do.  We were still a little sick this week but we got through it! We made cute matching shirts for the Christmas Party and I'll send pics of those in a bit :))  Hope everyone is enjoying their week!  It's so hot down here and I'm loving it!!  It's like 100 degrees this week and I have a really attractive shoe tan ! woohoooo!! Pics are on the way

Teeny your tractor is lovely and attractive! 

Miss you family!  The 1st if the next month marks 5 months here!!  So crazy.  Well I love you all have a great Christmas see you in 2 daysss!!! 

Hermana Cook :)

Monday, December 16, 2013

This week has been a struggle..sickness is no fun

Tracking in the subway!  Way cool pic!
This week was very difficult.  We tracked door to door at least 4 to 5 hours every day and I feel like this sector is struggling a bit, so we have planned a fast with the elders in our ward this week, which brings me a lot of peace.  Hermana Castleton and I were sick for like 3 days but we persevered through it somehow!, and I am sure we will start to see miracles based on our diligence and patience :)  We have been blessed by finding a new family who seem to be very receptive and I am so grateful for the diligence of my companion and how well we support each other.
But this sector has been harder to find people to teach than I thought it was going to be, but we are grateful for the things that we have learned in the finding process.  Answers from my personal study sessions have come to me in door contacts, and I feel as we contact my testimony is growing A LOT. This I am very grateful for.  I love feeling the Holy Ghost teach us things as we testify to others.  I just hope we will find people that are prepared to be taught and baptized.  This letter is kind of short because all that really happened was contacting and teaching menos activos (less active members), who are all sweethearts, they just don't want to come to church!!  Blessings come from going to church and every one needs blessings.. SO JUST GO TO CHURCH!!  lol that's my advice to you all this week.  Go to church.  Learn something new.  Touch lives and share comments in church.  Reflect on the savior. Listen to the sacrament prayer♥ ENJOY YOURSELF THERE  :)  Oh and my Hermana Castleton is so sweet.  I just am loving being her companion♥
DAY 1 together! Making a ghetto box for Christmas presents!
That's all. I love you.
I love the Gospel
I love Chile
I love being fat
I love Christmas lights
I love church :)
Stay classy and have a super sassy week ♥ xoxoxo

Found this awesome bush so I took a picture with it!

Another cool bush!

its like super fer reals!

Hermana Castleton and dog laying in weird position
Hermana Castleton dropped her toast
out the window and the bush caught it!
We thought it was funny so I took a pic!!

Hermana Castleton and I on our first day
and we were up the night before so we look tired!!! yay!!

We Love to See the Temple! ♥

yyeah buddy! Elder Stewart and Elder Alcaras riding in the Limo of Chile

Our attractive shoe tans!
Mine is the bottom one with pink toe nails, whoopee!!

PAINTING FIGHT.. I mean SERVICE for a 91 year old lady!

PAINTING SERVICE for a 91 year old lady!
Hermana Castleton with the cute puppies!