Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lots of changes, lots of love!

Hola Familia!!



So for the last week of this transfer, President asked me to work with
an Hermana Garcia in an area called Juarez (it's in the city of
Tuxtla). Hermana Garcia's companion fell and broke a tendon in her
foot and has to get surgery, so she will be down for a while. So for
this week I will be working with Hermana Garcia. And actually, this is
the last week of her mission. President said he trusts me and so he
moves me where he needs me. I am not sure about transfers yet (which
are at the end of this week), but President said he is thinking of
putting me back in Villaflores. I would LOVE that. There is a lot of
work to do there, and most of all it is where my heart is.



I have loved the time I have spent in Teran with Hermana Julianna. I
enjoyed myself and I learned a lot being an hermana capacitadora
(sister training leader). I was able to go on 2 exchanges with 2
different hermana's in 2 different areas (Jobo and Real de Bosque). I
helped them as best I could with their investigators, problems with
their companions, and other such matters. I learned that loving more
people just makes your heart bigger. Also that sometimes you can't
solve every problem of every person. But you can love, listen, and
serve them. With the time I spent in Teran, we were able to excite the
mission leader and "reactivate" him to work. I got to know the bishop
of the ward really well (and his wife and son). I became really good
friends with them. Also he is the doctor of the mission and has helped
me a lot with my foot, because Teran is where he lives and his house
is close to ours. Also we had 2 baptisms, and on Sunday, Jose blessed
the sacrament!! It is an amazing thing to have your convert become so
active in the church. He did an excellent job and I felt the spirit
very strong. I feel sad leaving behind Tania, Deborah, and Mauricio,
but I know they are in good hands with Hermana Juliana and Hermana
Coronado.



So I got a little sick this past week (vomiting and the mix), I think
it was something I ate. I also think I was a little dehydrated because
it has become super super hot down here. But I am feeling better today
and today is my first day in Juarez. I am excited to work with Hermana
Garcia here in Juarez for 1 week. And then.... hopefully I can return
to Villaflores. I found out that my convert Octavio is having a little
bit of a hard time, and that he is listening to other missionaries who
are from the church Jehovah Witness. So I want to help him out and
talk with him a little.

I was able to see Hermana Allende this past week and she thanked me
for helping her get out of her depression. Sometimes the hardest
companions turn out to be your best companions. Also, we had a
missionary activity and went to the zoo and watched meet the mormons.
It was super fun and I will send pics. Also I will
send pics of my exchanges as a STL.



Love,

Hermana Cook

I also wanted to tell you really quick....We contacted a girl the other day sitting on the steps at a park.  She looked so sad and like she had been crying.  The spirit told me to give her a hug.  And so I did.  I told her that she has a Father in Heaven who loves her.  And she just cried.  Sometimes people just need a hug.  Also the other day when I was in Jobo, I met a little boy named Benjamin, and we got along really well.  When I came home that night, he had made a tres leche cake for me and my companion!  It was the sweetest thing ever!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Jesucrist Vive!

Hola familia!! 

So we taught the plan of salvation to Deborah and Mauricio (the young couple I told you about last time) and they understood it really well. We went with the bishop and his wife becaue they are young too. I was so happy to see that they are now good friends now. IT's so great! Deborah is still trying to grasp the fact that we were spirits before this life but we are going to clear that all up today

I had a very interesting experience on friday. We went to teach Jose, the brother we baptized last week, and instead we found his mom home. So we were able to teach her a little bit. (Also one thing you should know is that Jose's older brother, Victor, was also baptized about 3 or 4 years ago). So anyway, we found out that their mother is very loyal to the catholic faith, and she has been her entire life, along with her parents and family. She expressed to us how she had come to know God and some of her spiritual experiences as well. She opened up to us a lot. She told us that when her sons were baptized into our church, they didn't want to say the catholic prayer anymore. Well suddenly the spirit filled my soul and heart, and I felt o sad for her. Just imagine if you were catholic, and both of your sons were baptized into another religion. It was a selfless act of her just to let the missionaries into her house! So I told her that I don't know how she feels but that I imagine that it's extremely difficult to have two of your sons convert to another religion when you love another religion with all your heart. Then the spirit told me to say that I know that the love of a mother for her children is so strong because I have seen it in my life with my mother. And by this point I was weeping and I could barely get out what I wanted to say. I told her that I have 3 siblings and that I know that my mother loves us so much. After this moment that I shared with her, I had the guts (and the spirit) to ask her if she wanted to listen to oour message so that she could know for herself why her sons converted. 

I don't know if it's her fear of discovering the message is true and having to change her life, or her pride, but something is holding her back. She told us no. Nevertheless, I know that one day she will accept the message and be united with her sons in the faith and for eternity. 

Also, this week we found a 19 year old girl named Tania. WE found out that she has attended church before and she loves it a lot. It was a beautiful lesson. She doesn't know where her parents are, and she lives with her 2 other siblings in a tiny upstairs apartment. She has a sort of psychological problem and she needs help. She needs Jesus Christ. And don't we all? 

So we read to her the story of Alma the younger and invited her to baptism. We gave her the baptismal interview questions but he said she hasn't repented of all her past transgressions. We invited her to repent, but she said no and that it would be too hard. And so I told her that Alma the younger, during this awful moment, remembered something that his father had said of Jesus Christ coming to redeem the world. And he grasped on to this one speck of hope. When I said those words, I still remember her facial expression. Her eyebrows raised in awe and curiosity. What a privelege I have to be able to tell others about Jesus Christ. And that through him, she can be healed. And although she didn't accept our invitation to repent, she definitely has the same hope to think about, that she, like Alma the Younger has a Savior who came to redeem her. What a joy we have as missionaries. I can't wait to see the miracle of forgiveness work in her life. I will keep you updated on her. 

Jesucrist vive! (Jesus Christ lives!)

I love you familia,

Hermana Cook.


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Teran

I am so excited to be here in Teran with Hermana Juliana!! The city of Tuxtla is very different than Villaflores, but I love it just the same. I have discovered a Little more diversity here in the city, and there are actually some people here who DON'T believe in God. And it psyched me out. I encountered my first atheist on the combie. (its a fast moving van that is the mode of transportation here in the city) He said he didn't  believe in God when I asked him and I was shocked. So I just testified that I know that God and Jesús Christ live. ANd I know it made him think a Little bit...


 

We baptized 2 people this week!! One of them is named Jose, and the other is named Anna Karen. Anna Karen is 12 years old, and I love her so much. We have a special connection. I arrived here in Teran at the beginning of this week and I was amazed at the knowledge she has of the góspel. She has a strong testimony and the spirit burned inside of me and told me that she needed to be baptized on Saturday. So we prayed right there in her tiny house if she should be baptized. I will never forget what she said after we finished the prayer, "Yo siento bien bonita y muy feliz." (She said she felt beautiful and so happy). She knew she needed to be baptized on Saturday. So we went back every day up until her  baptism and taught her all we could. She was baptized on Saturday and confirmed yesterday!! She has been coming to church all this time, although her parents are both less actives. She is strong and independent and she also wants to serve a misión!!



Jose is 19, and although I only have 1 week here in Teran, I actually have taught him quite a bit with hermana juliana when we had intercambios. He has had a long road of repentance, but I have seen his countenance change every lesson we taught. He was baptized and is now PREPARING TO SERVE A MISSION!! We are ecstatic about his choice to serve.



I am now in the same Ward as LULU!!! I hope you remember her. Well, I knew there was a reason that we needed to prepare her to enter the temple, because her daughter Lizbeth is enganged!!! She is getting married in May and we are working with Lulu so that she can enter with her duaghter in may. She has come to church every Sunday ever since she promised me, and I am so happy.



We found a new couple who are seraching for the truth. When we were teaching prophets, the wife asked, "So wwhere is the prophet today?" And were so happy because she understood!! And when we were teaching the priesthood, her husband said, "So baptism in other churches is nothing more than a bath?" Wow. They actually understand and it is the most satisfying feeling.



Well I love you family

 

Love Hermana cook

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Slow Motion

Hola Familia!! 
 



Talmage I can't believe you are learning to ride a unicylce!! Because it is one of the most popular things here in Mexico!! So here in the city of Tuxtla, if you are driving your car and you get stopped by a stop light, immediately all these people start running out into the rows of the cars, begging for pesos, food, and saling things, car to car. Also, these guys start getting up on these really tall unicycles, and JUGGLING MACHETES AT THE SAME TIME!!! AND FIRE!! It's crazy. Talmage please don't get any ideas..... They put on a show to make money. Also a fun fact, here in the city of Tuxtla at noon every day, the hauntingly beautiful tune of Ave Maria plays from the clock tower. That will give you an idea that this city is definitely dominated by catholocism. Also there's a cross on the mountain overlooking the city. 



I was able to see one of my converts, Mirna, at a stake young women activity. She looked so happy with her group of friends from the branch in Villaflores. I was sooo happy to see others fellowshipping her, because the missionaries can't do it all alone. 



So this Hermana showed up to the mission home. And she just happened to be a physical therapist. And she just happened to be my angel. She got me out walking again. She helped me walk correctly. She gave me exercises to help strengthen my knees and feet. And then she left back to her area. But she came because her companion happened to be sick, and so during that time she helped me with my recuperation. I know she came because mom has been fasting for me. I love you mom.



I SAW MEET THE MORMONS!! Wow I loved it! I cried in the part where Bishnu (in Katmandu) greets his father by falling down and touching his head to his feet. I thought that was just so beautiful and respectful. If found it intersting to think that I want to do that same thing when I meet my Father in Heaven and Jesus Christ. We all need to respect our parents in the same way. I love you daddy and mommy. Thank you for being married in the temple, and being together, and not having problems with alcohol, drugs, inactivity in the church, and other very very sad things that you have avoided. Thank you. 



So I am returning back to work today, in an area called Teran. It is here in the city of Tuxtla. I am going to work as a sister training leader with Hermana Juliana. Hermana Coronado, the companion of Sister Juliana just had knee surgery and now she needs to rest in the mission home. So I am going with Hermana Juliana in the time that Hermana Coronada will be recuperating. After that I don't know what I will do, president hasn't decided yet. Well anyway, I wanted to tell you an experience that I had. Hermana Juliana and I were waiting in this little tiny hospital room for Hermana Coronado's surgery to finish. I was trying to study my scriptures but I dark feeling started to set into me. I felt lonely. I felt sad that I had not been able to work in the past 3 weeks. I felt a little mad that I had to fall. I couldn't understand why Heavenly Father would let it happen to me when I was sent here to be a missionary and to work. Well Hermana Juliana and I decided to leave the sad dark room and go contacting. Well I had the most sweet and glorious moment. We were walking up a hill. I looked behind me from where we had walked from at the bottom of the hill. And as I turned my head around to face forward again, everyone and everything around me seemed to slow down, until everything was moving in slo-motion. Even Hermana Juliana seemed to be walking so slowly. I saw the palm trees against the pink and orange sky. I felt a perfect peace enter my soul. I heard music in my head that seemed to orchestrate this moment. And then, these words came into my mind, "Soy representante de Jesucristo." (translation: I am a representative of Jesus Christ.) The words seemed to echo in my mind when all at once the slo-motion stopped and we had made it to the top of the hill. We were walking in real time again. And I was amazed. And dazzled. I kept walking and then contacted another lady. The very first thing I said to her was, "Soy representante de Jesucristo." And she just looked at me. And although no one excpeted our message as we contacted that day, I was sooo happy, because I knew that I was standing tall with Jesus Christ. And God loves me. 



Well family, I love you so much. 



Love, 

Hermana Cook