Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Dressed in Tzotzil


This week we had to move on with lots of investigadors, we pray that in the future they will remember what they felt through the spirit and return to investigating the church. 

This Sunday we had quite a few investigators in church, one hermana is named Ester. She married into a Tzotzil family and has adapted all their traditions. So as to help her feel more al gusto in church, we dressed up in Tzotzil with her!! She let us borrow her goat skin skirts and Tzotzil blouses, and we had a HAY DAY!! (see pics) There is a price to pay to get your investigators to church, and Hermana Juarez and I are willing to pay it! It was an honor for their family that we dressed up as they do, it really pleased them :) 

We had to let Mari go, she doesn't want to come to church, and she hasn't seemed to recognize or feel her answer, even though she has asked. 

Every day I love Chiapas more, I have just fallen in love with these people. I love speaking spanish, I love the food, I love my companion, I love our area, I love the members, I love our investigators, I love the grafiti on every wall, I LOVE IT ALL!! 

And i love and miss you family, know that I am praying for you all! 

I missed your email dad,


Hermana Cook 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Last of the Mohicans

and we felt an earthquake... pretty strong on Thursday. But we are all fine :9 

On Mon, Dec 21, 2015 at 12:24 PM, Sariah Cook <sariah.cook@myldsmail.net> wrote:

This week a few crazy things happened... ha ha my companion has bedbugs or flees, I am not sure WHAT they are and neither does the doctor. I gave her my cortizone cream and that has helped some what. We have sprayed the house and we are going to wash clothes and spray some more. This whole week they have been bighting my poor compa ALIVE. It's a miracle that they haven't jumped to my bed yet :) 

Javier has started going to another Christian church, where they teach everyone that you don't need a church you just need to turn your heart into God... We feel like he has been completely ripped out of our hands and he doesn't want anything. Well we told him that if he would have read the book of mormon and prayed he would have known. I think that he alone will start to realize, but not until after he has been involved in this christian church. 

Mari, Paty, nor Dulce came to church this week, we are giving it another week and I think it might be time to move on. 

We have found another BEAUTIFUL family that speaks Tzotzil and Spanish of 10!! The mom was a contact in the street and she led us to her house to present us to her kids. It was pretty neat. We all felt the spirit so strong in the lesson, and all those that could (8 years and older) accepted baptism. The mom cried the whole lesson and said she has lots of problems with her kids. We couldn't get to the bottom of it until we went last night and found the daughter, Rosi, home alone. We started to gain her confidence and she told us that she has quite a few addictions to drugs and alcohol. She is 17 and started at 16. Her brother, who is 18, is also struggling with the same. We offered to help her. She said she is not ready to accept God in her life because when she was younger she went to the catholic church and the pastor's wife called her a thief and blamed her for robbing 4,000 pesos (about 350 dollars). All her friends believed that she had done it, including her dad. (She also said that her dad beats her but that it's for her own good- to stop taking drugs.) She lost all the trust in the world. Afterwards, the pastor's wife found the money in her OWN purse. So Rosi hasn't been able to forget about that and says for that reason she doesn't want to return to ANY church. 

But we still have hope to help out the family, they are the family Ruiz, pray for them please :) 

We had an awesome activity the other night, I was able to play the violin in center street while the kids and families from the street took free pictures with Santa. We handed out free candy and balloons, and took down about 60 references (directions and names) and we had over 100 contacts. It was awesome! We were able to see the kids faces light up with wonder and hope and it just so neat to shine a luz in a world that is so dark. 

I had my violin with me that night, and we passed by a member who was playing all sorts of indian-type flutes in the main street with all sorts of cool sounds as entertainment. There was a few people gathered round listening. It was really beautiful music. We passed by and then my companion got really excited and convinced me to play a song with him. So we went back, I opened up my violin right there in the street and he asked me if I knew "last of the mohicans." I was like, THAT'S MY DAD'S FAVORITE SONG!! So we started to play. And then more and more and more people started to stop listen and everybody started to throw in a few pesos in the flute case.... it was AWESOME! My companion recorded it on my camera. It was a moment totally unplanned but I wish you guys could have been there... seriously it was really neat. 


Hermana cook 

Extra Pics!

Running on Faith

Hola Familia! 

This week was EXHAUSTINGLY fun! We had three different zone meetings to attend, and we ran from one to the other. It was also the choir performance of all the churches here in Sancristobal. We had hardly any time for proseliting... but we did have some beautiful experiences :) 

We taught Mari and her family this week, and we had a beautiful lesson thanks to the spirit and the gift of tongues. We read a little bit of the book of mormon with them because they hadn't read their assignment. We asked Mari if she would be able to understand better if we read to her in tzotzil or in spanish (she doesn't read either) and she said tzotzil. So my companion started to read to her in tzotzil but Mari told her that she wasn't understanding anything. So I started to read to her in tzotzil and she started to repeat back to me what it meant in spanish. It was WOW. I had read to the end of the introduction and she understood! It was really neat. We were so happy that she was able to understand because sometimes we feel like she only understands 60% of what we say. Nobody came to church yesterday because it was the dedication of the temple in Tiajuana- which was really neat. 

We discovered that Javier has started going to another church because his friend invited him. He doesn't answer the phone and he is NEVER home! We feel like he has slipped out of our hands! Please pray for him... he is the one who was set in stone to be baptized on the 19th of this month. 

Dulce came to the choir performance and she came with us to a family home evening with a member that was really neat. She is progressing nicely but is still iffy about baptism. She says she wants to wait for her boyfriend. 

Paty is doing great but her husband came with her to one of our lessons and talked the whole time about how the members don't reach out to others. It was really disheartening. I think he is making Paty's heart a little bit colder to the gospel. 

I feel like the only thing we had left to run on was faith this week. We were soooo tired, we got home one night from Chenalo at 10:30. The toilet was plugged, we had no clean garments, all of our numbers were low, and we slept through half an activity one morning with all the missionaries- we had no idea that it was going on. ha ha. We ran to the supermarket 5 minutes before another meeting to buy the refreshments, etc... Whatever. The most important thing to being a sucessful missionary is that you LOVE and that you feel the spirit testifying to your investigators through you. And that you REPENT and PROGRESS. 

Something funny.... We were eating lunch with a couple one day and they went into the kitchen to prepare the dessert. Everything was super quiet when all of the sudden we hear them kiss! ha ha. I could NOT hold it in and said, "ORALE" (it's like WOW in english) and they came out SOO embarassed, the hermano couldn't face the embarassment, took his ice cream, and climbed the stairs laughing. ha ha he never came back down until we were just leaving. HA! 

I love you family, I will send pics of the performance and of the missionary activity we had in the park. 

SKYPE: It's an option from the 23rd to the 28th... let me know when is best for you guys.



Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Charlas in Chenalo

Ha ha Hola Familia!! 

A "charla" is a lesson. This week my companion and I went up to Chenalo, where they really only speak Tzotzil. WOW. I was FASCINATED. These are truly LAMANITES. 

So we had to take a special taxi to get there and it's up in the mountains. There were a bunch of women walking along the mountain roads with all their goats following behind them. There will little kids with their beat-up backpacks walking along the freeway to school alone. All of them were dressed in Tzotzil... I wish I could send pictures but I really don't think they like getting pictures taken. They make skirts out of goat skin, they are black and super fluffy... they are very warm and cost quite a bit. I think they are adorable :) 

We had a meeting with the Chenalo zone leaders and we planned a zone activity SUPER cool to help excite the missionaries who are in the Chenalo zone to learn Tzotzil. The Elders and Hermana's there are struggling a little to learn it. My companion and I have had to travel a lot because we are the sister training leaders for 3 different zones, Sancristobal, Chenalo, and Comitan. We are going to have an x-Elder who was in the Tzotzil zone for 20 months come and talk to the missionaries in the zone so that they can get motivated to learn a little more Tzotzil. He left Chenalo speaking fluently. This Elder actually translated for Elder Bednar when he came to Chenalo from English to Tzotzil. I AM STOKED! 

The coolest ever is that we are learning to love their culture. The people in Chenalo are hard to baptize for their traditions and lack of understanding, but when they convert they are like the anti-nephi-lehites... that's why I called them lamanites. If theses aren't their descendants, WHO ARE? The most exciting is that we did divisions with the hermana's in Chenalo, and I was able to practice all the Tzotzil that I know (very little ha ha). To get in the door I had to speak Tzotzil.. it was like a trust thing. The mountains are GORGEOUS and I took lots of pictures I will send them. I was with Hermana Luis, and we were walking in the street when the most beautiful little girl waved to us like she had known us before. It was the most friendliest and heavenly things. You just never want them to end moments like these. That's when hermana luis told me, these are the lamanites. 

Sometimes I just ask myself if this is REAL... 

Our family Tzotzil came to church on SUNDAY!!!! We were sooo happy. We passed by for them before church and went all together in taxi. The hermana didn't tell us that she wasn't feeling well and came anyway because she had commited to come. So they left right after sacrament meeting. THe poor mom was practically vomitting. But wow, when they commit, they follow through. It's the GETTING them to commit that is a little difficult. We are praying and fasting that they will accept a baptismal date. 

Dulce and Javier haven't come to church for 2 Sunday's now, even though we have been visiting them and encouraging them. It might be time to move on and look for others who are ready. Dulce told us her life story...she says that her parents took away her daughter by trick because they weren't happy that she divorced her husband. So her 12 year old daughter is living with her parents and she is not happy. Who knows what really happened there. But she doesn't really want to get baptized because she wants to get together with another guy. 

Pati is coming along really nicely and understood well the restoration. She told us that the spirit is what we feel... I was just like, "wow, this is the first time an investigator has said the answer." She also came to church for the second time with her less active (reactivating) husband. 

My companion and I find it hard sometimes to concentrate ha ha when we are walking through the busy center, as christmas gets closer more shops open and the more people from all over the world come to visit. THe things they sale are sooo COOL and so CHEAP we are always looking at everything. I am just enchanted with this place! I am sure mom and sisters would be too. Dad and Talmage too :) 

This week we found another investigator, Laura who happens to want to learn violin. We will be teaching her the gospel and a little violin on the side. 

This Thursday is the music presentation with all the different churches, it is going to be held in the Sancristobal theatre. The choir is pretty good for chiapas, and I am excited to play. The bishop that plays the piano (he is actually president of the district san cristobal) plays super fluffy and fancy. He just adds in whatever he wants and whenever he wants. He's more of a soloist than an accompanist, because HE is the one directing the choir, and not the director. ha ha, what can we do? 

I love you family, I wish you a merry christmas and I hope to see you all soon in skype! I think we'll find out tomorrow when are we skyping.


hermana Cook