Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Then came the hurracane

and after a week of sun, then came our hurracane. and right now it is raining TORRENTIALLY!! We had to leave our area to find a computer garage with internet, that's why I am late. sorry, but all is well. 

On Mon, Jun 29, 2015 at 5:56 PM, Sariah Cook <sariah.cook@myldsmail.net> wrote:
hOLa familia!!! 

This week has been a little unordinary.... my companion has gotten really sick. It has been extremely hot here in Tapachula this week with an unbearing sun blazing above our heads. hermana zamora started to get really dizzy and she had all the signs of dehydration. i told her to drink more water but she doesn't drink a lot. she was really dehydrated and we went to the doctor. They hospitilized her and they gave her 4 bags of IV's.... It was really bad. I worked in our area during the day with a member (sarita) and then i stayed the night with her in the hospital....

The doctor was enjoying it because I taught his doctor vibrato the whole time were there... ha ha. luckily I had brought my violin. the doctor's wife made us dinner, breakfast, and lunch the next day. She takes care of all the missionaries that come to stay the night there. 

We came home the next day and she started to feel pain in all of her bones and joints.... that is how the chincuncungya starts. So we returned back to the doctor the next day and the doctor diagnosed her with the chincuncungya. he gave her one week of rest. and so since Wednesday i have been a missionary without my companion, and it has been really difficult. sara is an awesome member who always accompanies us- you guys know that because she is in ALL of the photos that I send. She has learned a lot accompanying us in the past few months but it's not the same as having your companion. so she has been my companion this week while my companion stays with the members, and I am basically training her... ha ha. 

it's been a little scary to be honest, all of this that has happened with my companion. I don't know what will happen, I'm just going to press forward in faith. I arrived to tapachula in the ideal time for the chincuncungya, it is a miracle from God that I haven't gotten it yet. It's only here in tapachula and along the coast of Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador because the mosquito loves the humidity. The illness is in the blood of a person and the mosquito is the transmitter. i now have a higher risk of getting it if the same mosquito bites me that just bit my companion... how comforting right?? but I know that God is protecting me and if i get it, let His will be done and not mine.

but the work continues to move forward here because God's hand is always near. Lupita came back to church on Sunday!!!! We were so excited!! She seems unaffected by her parents and I know she will continue forward in faith.

We haven't seen Cristian still, we have been unable to schedule an appointment with him until tonight. If all goes as planned he will be a miracle and will be baptized this Friday

i don't know if you guys remember Jose.... the little 8 year old boy whose parents drink a lot. Well, we taught him yesterday and his parents have finally given him permission to be baptized!!!!!!! If all goes well, he will also be baptized this friday. i will never forget one time when we were teaching him the plan of salvation and when we talked of baptism and the celestial kingdom, and he said he wanted to be baptized... 

aylin is progressing sooooo well. she told us she knows the book of mormon is true. she watched the restoration and was writing down quotes that she liked. she now has come to church 3 sunday's in a row. Her husband just came for vacations, and he came to church with her. they have had lots of problems and he drinks a lot. she told me that she wants to separate from him in order to be baptized. Because even though he doesn't live with her, he visits her every 6 months and it wouldn't be good to get baptized now and then get back up with him after her baptism. She knows she has to decide now if she wants to be baptized. she understands really well everything and I love her so much. 

I love you family don't worry about me.

hermana cook 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Would you give your life for your companion?


WOw lots of things have happened in this week and the least I can say is the Lord is protecting us, and angels are near. 

We have found a beatiful family of 7 that just showed up to church on Sunday :) :) We were so excited (exclamation point- my keyboard won't let me) A member had invited them to church and they came... We visited them Sunday night and it was a beautiful lesson. The mom and dad are both from Guatemala, and they aren't married (what a surprise) but we are willing and happy to teach them and keep them coming to church. THe little boy named Daniel learned how to pray so fast and said a beautiful prayer. You know that the people have less economically than others when they have hammocks instead of chairs or a couch. The husband is looking for work and I am pretty sure it would be very hard economically for them to get married. 

But we found a WALKING BAPTISM... a driving baptism... We were contacting a girl in the street when suddenly someone pulled up in a car and called out for us. We finished contacting the girl and went over to the car. He told us his name is Christian and that he had just moved to Xochimilco just before getting baptized in another ward. He asked us where the chapel was and at what time it starts. And we were just BREATHLESS :) EXCLAMATION POINT. We have an appointment with him this week and if all goes as planned he'll be baptized on July 3rd.....

We haven't seen Lupita in church for 2 Sundays... I think she desanimo un poco. We tried searching for her the other day but she wasn't home. She is in our prayers and we hope that she won't lose hope. 

Hermana Zamora is very special. She tells me that she knows her time in this life will be very short, but that she doesn't worry. She tells me that if something were to happen to her here in the mission, that I must go and talk to her family that she was happy and peaceful before parting. When she told me that I just went into the bathroom and cried. I have come to love her a lot and it was really hard for me to hear that from her. Afterwards she told me something that I will never forget. She told me that she is ready to give her life for her companions. And it made me think if I would be willing to do the same...

The next day were walking on the side of the road when a combi (van like thing that transports people) swerved over to our side of the road and I saw it before it came that it was going to hit my companion, Hermana Zamora. I couldn't yell or anything, but I suddenly felt strength and I was able to grab my companion and move her out of the way before the combi hit her. It came so fast I don't know how I else I did it. I know that angels were there helping me to do it. I didn't give my life for her but I saved her. SHe said she felt the air so close when the combi passed her.

We should always be willing to give our lives for those we love, because that is what Jesus Christ said. It is the greatest act of love we can give. 

Also when you know that someone's time here on the earth is short it makes you love them so much more.

I love you family and I hope that you are all doing well. COngratulations on the honey


HErmana COok 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Can you say LOCO?

Hola familia!! 

Please forgive me about not writing last week. I will tell you what happened... On the Saturday before last Monday, we recieved a call from our district leader telling us that they would be taking Hermana Robles out of the area for special transfers. Well, this was very hard for Hermana Robles and me because it was her first transfer. She had spent 5 months here when we recieved the call and she loves the members here and the members love her. We spent Saturday packing her things and saying goodbye to all the members and we cried and cried and cried. It was sad... But President George has sent me another companion, Hermana Zamora from Torreon, Cuajila Mexico. She is full of excitement and I am excited to work with her. She will be my 8th companion in the mission... I never seem to be able to spend more than 2 months with one companion! But I am learning a lot from each on

Well here is the story with Lupita. She is 14 years old. Jaime invited her to church because they are really good friends and she started to come. She now has her 5 attendances and she came to our ward activity on Saturday night, it was a talent night that was very successful. I will send pics. She has many great friends in the church as well. Her family is very catholic. We have taught her almost everything there is to teach but her parents will not sign her baptismal cedula. I can't seem to remember what cedula is in english... sorry. But she has asked her parents for permission and they say that it is too fast to be baptized and that she shouldn't be playing with God. They say she needs more time. We have talked to her parents and they told us the same. Her mom isn't as stubborn as her dad, and we had her convinced until her dad came out. The elders came out to giver her the interview but instead they asked her if they could talk to her parents. She told them that she knows that they will say know and that it'd be better if she talked to them again herself. We talked to her about faith for about an hour but she doesn't want to get baptized and then be living in rebelion against her dad. I don't blame her, although I want with all my heart for her to be baptized I don't think there is anything else we can do. 

I just don't want her too much desperation that she stops coming to church. Our only hope is all the friends she has in the church.... that is what will keep her strong. Please pray for LUpita.

We have found another young girl named Aylin, 16 years old with a baby girl. Her husband is 29 and works in the marines. He visits Aylin twice a year. She says she is used to living alone. She lives in the house next to her mother-in-law. The story with her is  MIRACLE. We found her on the side of the street listening to rap with her baby girl. We contacted her and gave her the first pamphlet of the restoration. When we returned to teach her, she had read the whole pamphlet, and had found 2 BOOKS OF MORMON in her house.... God works in mysterious ways.... and had started to read the book!!!! We were thrilled and basically she taught us the restoration. It was a beautiful lesson and she has a lot of potential, the only problem is her husband... She came to the activity that we had and she came to church the next day. She knows Jaime and lupita because they invited her to church!!!! I love WARD MISSIONARY WORK!!!  I always thought inviting someone to church before my mission was a scary thing. Now I realize how silly that was. The worse they can say is no and that's it. THe best that can happen is they come to church and get BAPTIZED!! 

Mariana has changed. Ever since the day when her neighbor told her that the book of mormon isn't the same as the bible she hasn't let us in her house. And her husband doesn't let her come to church. 

Alfredo has disappeared. We can't find him and he doesn't show up to appointments or to church. We have had quite a few stumbling blocks but we keep going and keep relying on the Lord to help us find those who the Lord has chosen. What helps me is when it rains. I LOVE IT. I just stand there and think about how God has been so generous to let me come to this beautiful place. 


I don't know if I told you about the one time when we were wading through the streets of water when some lady that we didn't know invited us in to wait through the storm. We got in and wanted to teach a lesson but we found out later that she is Jehovah's Witness, and that's why she disappeared so fast after inviting us in. We just sat in her front room and waited out the storm but she was no where to be found.... Little by little she might open up her heart to us because we contacted her the other day and thanked her for letting us in to pass the storm. 

My new companion fell down the stairs when she first started her mission over a year ago. She broke a tendon or something like that. She returned to her house to have surgery and rest. She just barely returned to the mission, and she has almost 4 months the second time around. Although she has a lot of pain in her knees, she is a joy to be with and never complains. Her mother died right before she left on the mission the first time, and both her grandparents died when she was in the mission. Also her best friend from where she lives died as well. She has had trial after trial but I have only seen a great big smile on her face. President George and the Doctor here in Tapachula are worried that they will have to send her home for her pain that she is having. It is strong. THe doctor gave her injections to help and we have been going to the house of a member where the grandma knows how to inject. She has been injecting my companion every other day. We'll see if that helps her...

Well I love you family and when the storm is looking dark, remember there are blue skies right above the clouds. I love you and keep reading the book of mormon together. 


Hermana Cook 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hey Familia!

Hey Familia!! 

It's so interesting to be in a place where there is so much of two different things. Here iniquity and sin abound, but in the same moment there are God-fearing and God-serving people. It's so extremely strange. But I LOVE IT! 

I wanted to tell you a little bit more about Teresa. She didn't come to church this Sunday, I imagine for the same reason- the four little girls she is raising. But we visited her and we had a beautiful lesson. Like almost all the people, she believed that Jehovah is God (Heavenly Father) as it always says in the Bible.(It's been a LONG WHILE since she has been to church...) But we shared with her the scriptures that Grandma Holley sent to me and she UNDERSTOOD!!!! We were so happy. Once we explain that Jesus Christ is the God of the earth and the God of the Old Testament usually they understand. She knows A LOT about the Bible. Whenever she is not helping one of the four girls, she is reading her bible. I agree with you mom, that you can feel the heart beat of God in any person who LOVES God and shows Him through their actions. I have felt the heart beat of God here in Mexico very strongly in many different people and throughout my life.

10 of Teresa's children died throughout the years, and right now 4 are living. All 4 are alcoholics. When I listen to Teresa talk about God and about the Bible, it's something I can't explain with words. She is so humble, so wise, so full of Godliness. There is not a jealous bone in her body. She knows no envy. Although she is about 70 years old she is so beautiful to me. Her spirit is pure and I feel the heart beat of God in her. 

We have had some trials with Mariana's husband this past week. Mariana asked him if he would like to get married so that she might be baptized, and he said no. We haven't been able to talk to him- we tried but we were able to tell really quick that he doesn't want to talk with us and he told us he had to leave. Mariana looked very sad and told us she couldn't come to church on Sunday. And she didn't come. We were heart broken and frankly we don't know what to do. We have been doing a lot of praying and I believe in miracles. When we left her house the day that her husband said no, something told me that everything was going to be okay. The day before that day, we went searching for the requirements to be married in Guatemala, and one of them is that she needs her DPI (I think it's like your social security or driver's liscence) and she lost hers. So many things have been getting in the way! Since my companion is from Guatemala, she started looking up how to get Mariana a DPI. We will stop at nothing because we know that with God all things are possible. 

Sometimes I think if I could help these people see their potential they would be overwhelmed. But I know that it is our light, not our darkness that truly frightens us. It is what truly lies within us that we fear to let shine. Why? Who knows. IT is silly. Why should we have to shrink to make others feel comfortable? There is nothing enlightened about that... and there is a quote that says something like this but I can't remember who said it. 

So let go, and let GOD make you into what you were destined to become. Not man. 

We found a 15 year old named Alfredo. He came to us and told us he wants to quite smoking. But he says it's super hard and can't seem to. (I learned from mom that smoking is harder to quite than other drugs and now I'm seeing it) We taught him the plan of salvation and he said he would like to be baptized. But he has many problems as well with his family. I will let you know how it goes with him.

Lupita has now come 4 times to church, and she just needs to come to church 5 times to be baptized. She told us today that she wants to be baptized and that she believes everything that we have told her. She told us that we always say that we know this or that is true becomes we have faith in God. She always gives the most beautiful prayers asking God to protect us. Almost everyone who prays in the lessons prays for us. IT is beautiful and I have seen the protection it has brought.

The other day it was storming and we were walking in the street. A huge black and gray dog appeared OUT OF NO WHERE and attacked us barking wildly. I was sooooo scared. He had a metal chain around his neck but it was not fastened to ANYTHING. It was as if he had BROKEN AWAY from where he had been chained. I was praying so hard and we kept walking really fast and my companion was looking around for rocks but there was NOTHING. He stopped barking for one second and then started AGAIN right behind us. I prayed more and as we looked back HE WAS GONE. I am not kidding- no where to be found. We have past by that same spot many times since but he is not there. I know God is protecting us and that the prayers of my family are ANSWERED. 

Please, please, don't for one minute doubt the love that God has for you. Because if you do, you have BOUGHT IN TO FALSE DOCTRINE. God's love is not dependent on your actions. God's love is constant and I think it grows even more. 

I love you family, 

Hermana Cook 
P.S.remember that life is really all about God and His Son Jesus Christ and serving them.

P.P.S. The new dress is a dress I bought in Villaflores at a little shop. They import ALL the clothes from the United States even though there is NO one tall enough to fit into it but me!! :) I'm so lucky. I love you momma.