Monday, March 31, 2014

This gospel is perfectly organized and if we magnify the assignments we are given, it makes the Kingdom of God that much stronger

So this week... I realized missionaries are a lot of things.  We are the activities committee, someone for the members to confide in, counselors, gospel teachers, FHE (family home evening) committee, scriptorians, wedding preparers, piano players (my comp, not me!), tissues, English teachers, plan B`s for Sunday talks, and Chefs.  Granted, none could be done with out the members (: I realized this week how important it is to magnify your calling.  Because where someone lacks, another has to pick up for it; causing burdens on them and their families.  I feel that is one of the biggest reasons some of the past bishops here have gone inactive.  The burdens that others are not willing to carry get placed on someone else.  Wards are really a big huge family, and every one has their part.  This gospel is perfectly organized and if we magnify the assignments we are given, it makes the Kingdom of God that much stronger and our burdens really are made lighter.  Our Heavenly Father confides in us and trusts us with each calling and assignment we are given.  Our assignments come DIRECTLY FROM GOD through the line of authority (: that is so cool.  Being worthy and willing to accept these calls, we need to remember GOD always has a way that we can accomplish and magnify these assignments, if we feel the burden (or the assignment) is TOO heavy.  We do not understand the helping part of the atonement. (: Nefi (Nephi) teaches us that through our Savior, anything is possible; nothing is impossible ♥

We reactivated a family this week HOORAYYYYYYYY!!!!!! (:  They haven't gone to church in a year and started coming little by little, and two of them have callings in the Relief Society Presidency YAY!!  We are seeing big miracles in this small sector.  Granted, progress is slow, but it is clearly evident (: 
My companion and I are having so much fun.  She is a bouncy ray of sunshine and I'm so glad I get to train her.  I always have said the only two things I will pray for in a trainee/companion is that they have a desire to work and are obedient.  The rest of the things are just perks for me! 

We had 3 people come up to us this week and ask to be taught.  One of which literally chased us down, Alejandro Vial, waving his folleto (brochure) in the air asking us to explain Joseph Smith to him... He told me I gave the folleto (brochure) to him a month ago and he read it and he doesn't understand it.  Granted, he had a bottle of alcohol in his hand, but all I could do was smile as we explained this story of Joseph Smith and told Alejandro he was a son of a loving Heavenly Father.  He smiled, kissed me WITH OUT PERMISSION and we set up an appointment for the Elders to go back and teach him.  He doesn't live in our sector so we had to pass his reference on, darn, but that was just one fun miracle and tender mercy we had this week ♥  My comp told me she would not have given him the time of day with the bottle in his hand, and this started a mini life lecture about how people can change from black to white.  These are my favorite lectures because not only are there cool changing stories in the Bible and Book of Mormon, I have seen it in people here.  It's fun to see as you go through out your life, the odd experiences you have in the past, are actually GIVEN to you sometimes to prepare you for other things you have to do in your life.  The Lord is so organized, and knows us so well personally (: So fun.

Well, our sector is doing well!  We are having trouble finding some of the families we found but hopefully with time, if the Lord allows us, we will find them again!  This week was rough, but worked well with all the strength we had.(:

Well family, love you mucho!  This week will be fun because we have a universal theme this week of PROPHETS!  I AM SO EXCITED FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!! WOOHOO!!  Also, instead of maybe weekly updates, or in addition to them, you could write me and tell me personal revelation you have received in scripture studies, prayers or church (: 

Okay.  Have a super sassy seman! xoxoxoxox
♥Hermana Danielle Cook

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I hope I am never too busy for the Lord!

So this week was super difficult but extremely humbling.  We had stake conference and we had at least 7 less active member attend!!!  One in which does not believe in Eternal Life.  She is the funniest and most fun less active we are teaching (: She jokingly got really mad at us because the first thing Presidente Cook talked about in the conference is Eternal Life and she thinks we wrote him a letter to write a talk specifically for her!  We told her that talk was actually about the urgency to share the gospel with people around us, but the spirit translated it into eternal life, which is true. Presidente didn’t say a single thing about Eternal life lol the Holy Ghost just spoke it to her (: There were a lot of personal mini miracles that happened this week that I cannot type for everyone to read.  Ask me when I come home!  Just know that the power of specific prayers are real.  We need to obey every commandment exactly, which is something I did NOT understand at all before my mission.  So if I come home with nothing but that.. My life is changed  Our investigators, Francisca Juan and Claudia are doing good.  Progressing well, but Satan is working hard and strong on them, as well as the spirit.  Hopefully they will use their agency wisely.

We are going to the temple this week and had a bunch of things to do yesterday, hence why we are writing for today, so sorry about that (:  

This week I also had a big realization.  People like to be falsely busy.  Every less active and half of our investigators like to be ``too busy. `` Too busy to read, too busy to go to church, too busy to progress.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!  You had to go to the store.... ALL DAY?? that’s your excuse... They really like the excuse of ``I was super tired after I went to the Ferria (a huge street garage sale) so I came home to rest and just didn’t have time`` I believe the ferria was organized by the Devil.  It’s on Sunday, everything is magically cheap, and it’s DURING CHURCH. AHHHHHH.  But there is also one on Saturday, but people like to be ``too busy`` so they go on Sunday.  People, in reality, have a lot of extra time... but they look for things to say that they are too busy; I hope I am never too busy for the Lord. 

He will come again one day, and I want to be prepared and make time now.  And when I come home, I don’t want my habits to change.  Daddy you are a good example of that.  I always wondered why and how you developed the habit of 2 hour early scripture study in the morning and then I realized you served a mission haha

Well, sorry it’s short, but I guess they usually are.  Hermana Taylor is precious and doing well.  She is progressing really well and adapting fine!  I can’t believe we’ve almost had one cambio (change) together.  She is fantastic (: 

Well bye bye
Love you guys to the edge of the moon and back
xxoxoox Hermanita Cook

Monday, March 17, 2014

Faith and fear cannot live together. It’s like light and dark. You have to choose.

SO there was an earth quake in the middle of the night last week and it was a 5.5 or something like that and it woke me up and I was thinking about jumping out of bed but something kept me super calm and I just stayed there and we swayed back and forth for a bit.  I was scared for about 2 nights after that and had trouble sleeping but we all know perfectly well where fear comes from.  My mom and Valerie have made that VERY clear.  Faith and fear cannot live together.  It’s like light and dark. You have to choose.

This week has been FULL of miracles.  We taught a less active this week and she told us that the Book of Mormon is not true because Gold is not as hard as rocks and that the Book of Mormon should have been written in stone... It’s kind of interesting what thoughts Satan puts into people´s minds to keep them in the darkness.  This, for one, is definitely not true; and second, this doesn’t even have anything to do pertaining with the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.  It could have been written on a marshmallows.  The fact is that it is true.  Prophets wrote it, Joseph Smith translated it, and we can’t deny the peaceful feeling we receive when we read it.  I am starting to get a little more straight forward with people when I teach and it has been a lot more effective.  This lady was convinced she did not want to come to church and she wasn’t about to change her mind any time soon... I felt BLOCKED completely when we left her house that night.  I felt she didn’t absorb a single thing we said, or a single thing we read with her.  She told us eternal life doesn’t exist and commandments, like the word of wisdom doesn’t matter.  Hermana Taylor and I decided to sing her a song "Did you think to pray" and we left with that, and a prayer.  The next day, about 2 minutes after the prayer to begin sacrament meeting started, she walked in with her husband.  I cried.  Then, Juanito gave a talk about ETERNAL LIFE and in Relief Society they talked about the Book of Mormon.  Then at the end of Relief Society, all the Hermanas asked about her and she told them that she has been inactive for 20 years and she believes all churches are the same.  The wonderful Hermana Rybak and Garrido (The Hermana with the Down syndrome child) set it very straight for this less active.  They told her she wouldn’t find joy and a sister hood like they have here and Hermana Ryback said were going to pray and fast for you because we love you and want you here.  And all Ortencia could do at this moment was smile... MILAGROS (MIRICLES) I never cried this much in church before. It was amorosa (lovely)  

Well we still have 3 fetchas (dates) for April 12.  We found a family that is progressing greatly. Francisca, Juan and Claudia. (:  Francisca is in a wheel chair and is very close to her Heavenly Father. I love them way so much!   Also we found another family out of a pure miracle.  We decided to contact while a family was cooking us lunch instead of just waiting in the house for 20 minutes and we found two 30 year old cousins that invited us to their house the next day and we taught their family of 5. I HOPE AND PRAY THEY PROGRESS (:

We have just seen miracles. President has been pushing the theme of Urgencia (urgency) and we have been trying to apply it better.  And we are seeing miracles.

With Hermana Taylor
Hermana Taylor is doing great.  She is willing to work and obedient.  Those are the only 2 things I asked for in a trainee. I am so blessed (:  Heavenly Father is very aware of me and the desires of my heart.  This week was so fun and full of progression.   Hope all is well at home.  Things are great here.

Have a super Sassy Semana (week) and remember Heavenly Father is mindful of you.

Hermana Taylor,  Elder Schelden and I

Teeny:  my district leader was singing SHE THINKS MY TRACTORS SEXY all the way up the mountain in San Cristobal today.  lol He’s so great,  Elder Schelden. (: by the way we hiked this mountain where they have a HUGE statue of the Virgin Mary and we had a blast.  
Huge statue of Virgin Mary
kay, bessitos!
Hermana COOK!
Elders in our mission

Myself, Hermana Taylor, Castleton and others
Somos Bonitas
About ready to have lunch
Elders in our mission

Monday, March 10, 2014



We had 12 of our less actives come to church and 6 of the Elders´ that came to church this week. Our assistance in the church went from about 42 to 65 this week. The members of El Parrón are kicking into gear and we have seen milagros (miracles) ♥

Funny story...we live on the second floor and last Monday I was cleaning out the bread crumbs from my backpack.  Thinking I had gotten everything out of by backpack, I flipped my backpack upside down and shook it over the balcony of our apartment, and very gracefully and majestically our cell phone plummeted to its death.  So we have been without a cell phone for a week and I realized... technology is a blessing.  I miss our 10 dollar cell phone!  But we actually had to rely on the Lord a lot more than usual this week and ended up doing a lot more 2 minute prayers in the streets that people would be there when we showed up at there house.  One time, at one point I said a short pleading prayer to Heavenly Father to let the phone work so I could call our family investigators (Francisca, Claudia and Juan) and the phone worked just long enough for me to tell them who I was and set up an appointment for the next week because they were out of town this week. That was a miracle!!   If that call would not have worked, we would have gone by the house and no one would have answered, since they were on vacation, and I probably would have crossed them off our list as not interested.  God is a loving God of miracles!  Our phone has not worked since and was not working before that. (: Cool huh??

Another funny story.... So the Elders have been getting a lot of really good references for us, and so being the lovely Elders that they are, they decided to pass us along a really great one, who lives 45 minutes away on the opposite end of the sector.  So we plan, and take the time to walk all the way over there, we knock on the door... and out comes a SUPER FLAMING feminine man, named Pedro, who I have actually met before and know he has no desire to be baptized into this church.  So, later that night I called the Elders and told them that he was actually really receptive and wants to go to church tomorrow and we asked if they would go pick him up.  So they walked all the way to the Granja (farm) where he lives, and guess what; he wasn't there (: bahahah don't worry we made a truce never to do that again and Elder Burhoe is going to make me a sandwich to apologize.  But it was way funny.  Love our elders!!! Elder Burhoe and Tafor from Colombia. 

On a more serious note, I can't even type all the miracles we have seen this week.  Mondays are such a great reflection day.  We taught Francisca and her mom, Cloudia, this past week.  After teaching the restoration, she asked us questions about baby baptism and we explained to her that the purpose of baptism is to cleanse us of or sins and that baby's don't have sin.  She then told us that she had a baby that lived only 4 days, but was baptized on his second day, and she said she was glad he was saved.
I asked her if she really believed in her heart that Jesus would not accept babies into his kingdom that have no power to choose to be baptized, and she sat there for a second and she said, no I think Jesus would feel bad for the baby and accept him.  Long story short, we ended up teaching parts of the Plan of Salvation and the Doctrine of Christ and by the end Francisca and her daughter both had watery eyes.  Claudia told us that she was going to not let us come back because she had been told we only worship Joseph Smith and we have a lot of crazy beliefs, but she said that what we told her makes too much sense and she wants to learn more.  I hope she reads and prays about the Libro De Mormón (Book of Mormon) and receives an answer and I really hope her husband is there tonight so we can teach them as a family. 

We found 6 new investigators and we hope and pray they will progress.  Going to church seems to be a really hard thing for people to do here but I know if they act in their faith they will see the blessings that come from living this gospel ♥ 

I love being a trainer.  I remember looking at my trainer how Hermana Tayor has been saying she looks at me...that we know all the scriptures and know what to teach and that we have really good Spanish and that it's easier for us now. 

I realize that I was super wrong and did not give my trainer enough credit.  It is so hard having someone depend on you for everything.  I hope and pray I can be just as good of a trainer as Hermana Leavitt was for me!  Because in reality, trainers don't actually know a lot.  Just enough so that we barely get by.  I have relied on the Lord for so much more than before and I feel like I am saying that in every change but its so true! ♥

Anyways, this work is hard, I am tired and I wouldn't trade this experience for anything in the world♥

Have a super sassy semana 
Hermanita Cook

Monday, March 3, 2014

Treat every day like it’s the last day!!

HI FAMILY!! I feel like it’s been a while (:

Hermana Castleton..Love her with all my heart!
This week was full of crazy feelings I have never felt before, like EVER.  I have received a lot of revelation from my Padre Celestial... oops.  That would be Heavenly Father.  Hermana Castleton and I shared a very heartfelt last prayer and stayed up pretty late talking.  In this prayer we told Heavenly Father all that we had done together, all we had accomplished, and the things we want to do better. Hermana Castleton and I will most definitely be friends for life.  I love her with all my heart :)

My Last Day with Hermana Castleton

This week it occurred to me we have a lot of ``lasts´´... last day of school, last day of work, last CHANCES.  As I watched Hermana Castleton on her last day in our sector together, she worked the hardest I have seen her work.  She persevered to the end!  We tend to do that I feel... Last day of school we look good for pictures and smile and it is almost impossible to have a bad day, last day of work, I remember I worked super-fast and sufficient.  Lasts to me, are just important as firsts.  They both leave a lasting impression.  I had the strong impression that I need to work like that.... but EVERY DAY.  Treat every day like it’s the last day of my life. haha funny, two country songs came to my mind (: but anyways... it’s true.  We should live every day like it might be our last.  Work hard, smile, suffer with joy and love love love. 

My new companion in the yellow shirt

So my new compañera, mi hija (daughter), hermana Taylor, Liberty Taylor, she is a gem! So cute, tall and beautiful! She has a strong testimony and 2 years of Spanish! haha  We are learning a lot from each other and we have had a really good week. 
Me and Hermana Taylor

I am definitely developing attributes of charity and patience.  I didn’t realize how hard it is to teach how to teach!  There is actually a form to this missionary work that I didn’t realize before until I had to teach it! haha my poor trainer.  I didn’t realize how much she had taught me.  Hermana Leavitt really was my mama on my mission! haha  It’s such a fun experience I can’t even explain it.  Studies become deeper and prayers become longer, every day. 

Our investigators:  We went by Juan Carlos´ house to tell him we have taught all we can teach him and he has to do the rest and act in his faith and that when he is ready to act and keep commitments, we will be more than happy and would love to help him every step of the way, but for now, we decided to leave him alone.  It broke my heart to tell him that. (Obviously it was a little smoother and worded differently but that was the gist.) and the day after we said that, I felt prompted to invite him to Maria's baptism, WHICH WAS BEAUTIFUL BY THE WAY, and so I called him... and he went. and he loved it. and he is going to decide this week if he wants to try and keep commitments and progress towards a baptism, or if he wants to continue being Catholic, so pray for him.  I don’t want him baptized if he’s not ready though. We already are working with over 30 less actives.  We don’t want any more!  Firm testimonies come first, so pray for that (:

Maria Gonzalez: taught her the plan of salvation in the street, we found her 3 weeks later, taught her the first lesson, and she agreed to a fecha for the 29th of March. (: But we are going to have to make it a bit later because she didn’t make it to church this week :((  We are hoping she is able to keep the commitments she makes with us  She is a doll and we are trying to invite her husband to come listen to us but he doesn’t believe in God... but wears a cross around his neck. lol  He is very smart like Grandpa Fisher.  We like him but he doesn’t believe in God for right now.  So prayers would be lovely!

David our awesome door man in our apartment!
This is DAVID!  Our awesome door man in our apartment.  He's super fantastic and is getting lessons and reading the book of Mormon!  He is quitting his job on the 15th :( We will miss him!!!  We will be sending the missionaries to his house so he can continue to progress and gain a better relationship with Heavenly Father! (:

This semana (week) was a big growing week for me.  I love my mission and all that I am learning.  We also go to listen to an Area 70 this week. it was super great.  His name is Elder Evans and HE WAS SPECTACULAR.  My pen was going the whole time, I was afraid I was going to run out of ink!

As we speak there is an Evanjelico singing very loud about who knows what.... They are feeling the urgencia (urgency) of saving souls too..... But there kind of not doing it correctly.  ANYWAYS.  I love you all precious family.  Hope you have a super sassy semana (week)! 10 more fast Sundays.

Hermanita Cook!
Our whole zone!
Our zone activity