Wednesday, January 21, 2015

With Sacrifices Comes Blessings

This is Ben & he wrote:  I'm a friend of your
sweet daughter Hermana Cook
Well this week, is my last week, and last week Hermana Olson and I got really sick, we had to stay in the house for 5 days--- It was not the ideal way to spend the week but we are doing much better and we have seen blessings. For example, the one day that we went out to work, even though we were sick as a dog, we found an inactive member that recently had her toe amputated and needed a blessing... The elders came and gave her a blessing and she felt impelled to repent and come back to Christ. It was a MIRACLE. Also, funny story.... So there was a pen that broke and the ink got all over my comps hands and we asked a guy on the other side of the street, who was pushing a food cart, for napkins, and while talking to us, he almost got hit by a bus and a dead persons car ( I forgot what they are called in English but the car that carries the coffin of the dead person) at the same time and the Lord literally put a barrier around him and he didn’t get hit by either one and he didn’t get mad at us for talking to him either.. and then this drunk guy was yelling at him AND us, and started threatening things and yelling bad words, but the cart pusher guy (Mario) got some food from his cart and lovingly handed it to him, and the guy left us alone. Why am I telling you this story? Because this just conveys the love that Chileans have for others... This man, Mario, almost got hit by 2 cars and had a dunk guy yell at him... and he did not get frustrated, he said no bad words and ended all the turmoil with SIMPLE yet heart touching tasks: Giving the alcoholic some food and us some napkins and water. We were able to share some scriptures with him and he was receptive. He did not live in our sector so we got his dirreccion and had to pass it to the office... but it made me realize that the small acts we do really matter. This situation could have been really hectic and dangerous but through a few small acts, the situation changed dramatically. If we really do what’s right, we see blessings and miracles and the Lord will protect and walks with us. I know as a missionary we have had angles surround, guard and guide us and that Heavenly Father is never far. Mario and Maria Teresa will be getting baptized soon and are doing quite well. Hernan called us at 3 AM last night and told us that he was reading the Book of Mormon and FINALLY after 3 months has received his answer through a very spiritual dream that he wants to tell us later today... It’s these miraculous and hard weeks that I want to be a missionary forever. The Lord is aware of every one of us and all we have to do is put our best effort forward, be honest and loving, and follow the example of Christ, so we can have a clean and honest conciencia before God on our personal Judgment day. With sacrifices come blessings.  If we didn’t sacrifice this day, and would have decided to just stay in bed, we would have missed these miracles and the acompaia del espiritu en nuestra semana. We are so blessed. I am looking forward to a good week (: Sad to come home but... ready to put in practice what i have learned here. Wish I could write more, but the miracles and blessings and love I have can’t be written right now. (: But I know that life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes more downs than ups…but the ups remind us that God hears our prayers and is mindful of us, and the downs are to remind us of the life of Jesus Christ, and the sacrifices HE made for us... The people here have been such a blessing in my life.  Familita I will see you in a few days. Keep praying.(: hang in there this week and we will see you sooon!
Hermana Cook

ttfn (ta ta for now) 
Ben wrote:  Danielle Cook I will miss you heaps, you are a great
person and friend, thanks for coming here to bring us happiness.
See you soon. I will try go to Las Vegas.. I promise!!

 Danielle and her Companion going around to all her areas to say "Goodby" 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Final Testimony

I GAVE MY FINAL TESTIMONY :( this is really it. I have two weeks. I never thought Id be here. I cant describe all that is going through my head right now.. including when I went to the doctors office, they told me I need to brush up on my English because I have lost it 0_o well..... anyway::  During my last Zone Conferencia I was thinking of coarse about the time all 8 of us had had (The 8 hermanas who all came together) and how fast time flies and how looking back life seems too short. Daddy always sends me a monthly scripture to ponder about so I am basically going to be sending what he taught me and rewording it because I thought it was inspirational. He sent me with Alma 37: Verse 41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey; so, here is a vital factor in our lives, for us on missions now and for after and always, especially in light (like Hermana Cook, president`s wife taught us) that Satan is real, and is fighting with everything he has for the souls of mankind. The Lord is Hastening His work and so is Satan... In order for us to keep him out of our lives, because we certainly will be tempted in ways we cannot see, is to always be faithful in not only reading and really escudriñar las escrituras and pondering their meaning and apply them to our modern lives & having spent many months among some very choice people of our Heavenly Father and having gained a testimony of what it takes to try and keep a spotless and happy life, I have made a personal covenant that everyday i will study and ponder the scriptures in combination with personal prayers. I know Heavenly Father has been with me on my mission. During the day I feel full of energy and don't think about going home but every night I cannot help but cry my self to sleep at the thought that one more day has gone by and its one day màs cerca to the day when I will have to leave my Chilean friends, brothers, sisters and family behind. It is a lot harder than I ever imagined... I went to the doctor again cause my head is being annoyed. (pretty sure its just stress) and then Hermana Olson got hit with the flu! the opposicion is real!!!

Jorge updates: He is amazing. He saved 2 peoples lives guided by the spirit he told us. Mario is progressing. He hasn't missed church in 6 weeks (He has a baptism date but we will probably have to change it because... we prayed and the answer was that we need to change his fecha).
Other investigators : all are progressing and going to church and reading... two have fechas and the others are waiting for an answer ♥ We have been so blessed. 
I love my Comp, I love this long, hard, life changing work, and I love this Barrio, La Blanca. 
See you all in 2 weeks. 
have a super sassy day.
love you all

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

I love This Work and I Am So Grateful I Have Been Called Here to Chile

This week went really well. Despite the horribly awkward Zone meeting we had this past Monday, things have been going well. Hermana Olson and I are working more with the Bishop and investigators and have seen many positive experiences♥ We contacted a lot again this week and helped finish paint the house that we had been working on for the past few weeks with the Elders. (and got paint in my eye and went blind for like 4 hours!!!!! it was horrible but terribly funny)  We also taught a new contact some English who works in an international hotel and said that a lot of North Americans were really rude and pesado when she struggled saying things in English. As we helped and talked to her she had had a opinion de gringos changed a bit and she began to tell us that her grandma had passed away the day before, and we were able to tell her where her grandma was and that she would be able to see her again. It was a real tender mercy moment. This week I had an excellent experience with fasting. I had been studying about it and preparing as this was my last fast and testimony meeting here in Chile, and I came to the realization that the point of fasting is really to understand the will of our Heavenly Father and so my companion and I prayed to understand His will for us in our last few weeks. We felt that we just need to love the Chilean people, and set aside some of the expectations that WE may have for them and see what Heavenly Father needs of us, and that we need to perseverar.  I personally have felt the hand of the Lord in showing us many of their greatest qualities. I have grown a love for how much they do give. many give even when they don't have any to give. I love them. During the day I am thankful to be a missionary and I have been blessed with energy, but at night I cry thinking that one more day has gone by and I am one more day closer to leaving the people I have been so close to and have grown to love very much. I try not to let those thoughts enter but at night I am left to think about how much I love this work and I am so grateful I have been called here to Chile. 

Well, we have an investigator and we have been teaching him for 2-3 months and he is a 34 year old and a 20 year drug addict. He has progressed and changed so much and has not done drugs since the first lesson we had with him and has a fecha (date) for the 17th of this month. He has gone to church 4 times and during the lessons he uses 2 Book of Mormons. One being from a friend (that he received 5 years ago, that is so warn out the title has been eroded off) and the new one that we gave and dedicated to him.. He uses the one from his friend to mark and ask questions and the other one to read and keep clean looking. He told us this week that a few years back he dressed up like a Mormon and used the Book of Mormon from a friend to go into the jails and sell weed. He would put the drugs in the pages of the Book of Mormon to hide them. He had tears in his eyes and began to explain to us that he feels ashamed that what had helped him do bad things before, is now helping him and saving his life and changing who he used to be. Her reads every day and sends us texts when he does not understand. He has changed so much. I can only hope he progresses and the temptation or withdrawals he has will be over come. I am amazed at the changes the Book of Mormon brings to our lives and the lives of the people we share it with. Family dear I am grateful for you. I am so happy that you have been spiritually progressing with mission calls, bendiciones patriarcales (patriarchal blessings) and reading every day. you are great examples to me. We have a great ward and we have been blessed. hope you have a great week. take care! 
Have a super sassy week!!
♥Hermana Cook

LOVE YOU xoxoxooxx