Sunday, September 27, 2015

White shirt and tie :)

HOLA FAMILIA!!
 
Guess who came to church with a White shirt and tie? COLOCHO!! We were so excited to see him. He is only 8 years old and came to church! We stopped by for him and rode to church with a member. He LOVED it and guessed and asked me afterwards the requirements to serve  a misión! Everything was a success. His mom wanted to come with him, but she has chincunguya and is very sick right now. We hope she gets better and can come with us this coming Sunday. The two of them are progressing very nicely.
 
This week they opened a chapel near by and my companion and I went to teach along with other missionaries at the open house. It was a really neat experience. We taught the plan of salavation and we had 5 investigators in our room. One of the hermana's said that she wished she would have had the góspel in her life earlier so that she wouldn't have made so many mistakes.
 
We also had 3 other investigators come to church this week, Keyla, Belen, and Miguel. The two hermanita's want to be baptized but again, we need to talk to their dad so that he can give them permission. Miguel is Belen's girlfriend and has started listening to us as well.
 
This week another dog with rabies attaked us- my poor companion screamed and I said a prayer out loud and it was as if we had a Wall in front of us and the dog couldn't touch us.
 
We went without running wáter in our house about 2 days and had to buy an extra drinking tub to be able to shower.
 
This week the attendance in our Ward raised up to 86.... when we came there was a humble 55. We were so happy to see so many of the less actives come- the ones that we have been visiting constantly. All the work that we do comes to fruition in church on Sunday, but we couldn't have done it without the Lord. The members have taken us in and love us- we have never really gone a p-day without eating in the house of a member. The bishop shared his testimony on Sunday and started to cry when he was talking about "his daughters" the hermana's.
 
Even the Ward has suffered for many reasons- gossiping and Elder's falling in love with hermana's of the Ward, I think we have found the remidy- charity. We just go about serving and visiting and Little by Little the Ward is reconstructing itself and that is what president asked us.
 
Well i love yo family, gracee, i want an email of your missionary experiences because i will share them with the members here!
 
love, hermana cook  

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Mexico City Temple

This week they rededicated the temple of Mexico City and we went to see it broadcasted live!! It was AWESOME!
 
I liked something that one of the setenta said. Some foreign dignatory came to see it in the open house and asked the setenta, "where is the sacrifice?"
 
The setenta then explained the sacrifices that we as latter day saints offer to go to the temple. He explained a Little about the law of Moses and how it changed when Christ came. It was really neat. Elder Holland started his talk in spanish and I LOVED IT! He spoke great spanish and talked about the sealing keys that Elijah restored. Before, all the saints in Mexico had to go to the temple in Mesa Arizona to be sealed, but now there are temples in the whole country of Mexico.
 
We have been working with Colocho, and turns out that his mom LOVES to listen too. IT was really neat. She said she is going to buy a skirt to come to church this Sunday! The two of them accepted a baptismal date. I played the violin for them and Colocho's face lit right up and he was intrigued. I let him play my violin. This violin has become really special for me because I let all the MExican children touch the bow hair and play it and everything... ha ha. They are really chosen of the Lord and we are excited to work with them.
 
More than anything my companion and I have been getting in the doors of some hermana's who are less actives. There are lots of problems in this Ward with everybody gossiping and offending and so we have been teaching and doing what we can. 4 of the less active hermana's have invited us over to eat or have dessert on P-day... we are gaining an AWESOME relationship with them.
 
We had an activity in the park in Chiapa de Corzo this week. I played my violin and the other hermana's of our zone contacted. IT was really beautiful and the hermana's of Chiapa de Corzo have lots of people to visit now :)
 
I love you mommy, que el Señor le bendiga mientras no este Papa.
 
Vaya con Dios y Hurrah for Israel!!! Pray for my compa because she hasn't gotten better even though she recieved a blessing.
 
HErmana COok
 
p.s. the bishop LOVES having us in his Ward, he says we are his angels and that we can help unite the Ward. His wife is a sweetheart and her sons preach with us. THey are always inviting us over to eat or to have some exotic fruit.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Price of Truth

HOLA FAMILiA!! 


Congratz on getting asked to homecoming debby!!! I know you will have a BLAST with Britton :)



Some would look at us as missionaries living in Mexico (or anywhere in the world) and say we live poor. Little do they know is that we live the richest lives that there are to live. 



We see what the world cannot. We teach what the world doesn't understand. What most would call crazy we do. We make sacrifices that the world doesn't. And we feel what the world tunes out. 



And as the woman in the street mocks us for walking under a brutal sun, telling us why we shouldn't do it and why someone should pay us to do it, you, and only you will know why in your heart. We as missionaries do it all for God. We love Him. And we love His children. The lessons we learn in the streets are far more priceless than any salary, position, or fame in the world. 



Why?



Because when we have an investigator, only 14 years old who comes to the door with tears in his eyes, his family yelling profanities at him, and beating him because he is listening to the message that we share, our hearts break. 



Thus is the story of hermano Julio. We taught him for the first time on September 1st. He was golden, the spirit was so strong, his heart had changed because we told him of a boy like himself who in 1820 found God and His Son Jesus Christ in a grove of trees. The member who was with us, also 14 years old, gave him the book of mormon that he used when he would go to preach with the Elders. He gave it to hermano Julio all marked up and really special. When we told of the experience of Joseph Smith, everyone was silent. Hermano Julio accepted baptism and pleaded in his prayer that he could make it to church with us that Sunday. Everything was beautiful. 



We went back to find Julio and when he came to the door it was obvious that he had just been beaten up. His family yelled and he humbly told us he wasn't available in that moment but that he'd been reading the book of mormon and prayed to know it was true- and that he had recieved an answer. He said he wanted to be baptized again but that he wasn't going to be able to come to church on Sunday



Well yesterday arrived and we saw hermana Julio in the street. He then could open up and tell us more because his family wasn't there to bug him. He told us that he has to go to the catholic church because it is the wish of his parents.He seemed complacently sad and only looked to the ground like he had the very first day we met him. We encouraged him to search for the missioanries and the church when he is 18 and to be baptized. He said he would and then walked away.



And then I was sad. This is what we as missionaries have to walk through. This is what we as missionaries see that the world can't see. How much does one have to suffer to have the truth? We hardly know what we really have.



What hermano Julio taught me was humility. The whole experience reminded me of the meekness and humility of the Savior. The Savior went like a lamb to the slaughter, and opened not his mouth.



Oh, the pain I felt when I saw his humble face, knowing that for our visits he had been beaten. May God bless this poor boy that he can one day rejoice in the true gospel with a forever family.



This week Hermana Mendez and I passed through some experiences that drew us nearer. We were walking in the street and it was getting dark and rainy. We started to smell gas... We kept walking and as it got stronger I knew we needed to run. We saw a family running franticly from their house, and all the neighbors too. We started to cough and I could hear the sound of gas spilling out of a gas tank. I shouted at my companion and we started to run for the other direction. My mind flashed back to the experience that dad always tells about tear gas in New GUinea... in some way i was living the same thing. 



We ran and found safety in a little fruit stand about a half mile away. The ambulance got there about 30 minutes later- they aren't very quick here. I don't know what ended up happening to the family but we haven't gone back to where it happened.



The next day when we got to the house we had left the shower nob on and our house was filled with water... Noah had arrived but we hadn't listened.. ha ha. HEre in Grijalva our water is on rations. One day there is water and one day there isn't. So there we are, sweeping out water for about an hour and a half, mopping it all about and sweating like dogs. ha ha.



Believe it or not my companion has been pretty sick to the stomach these past 3 weeks. She has been taking medicine that the doctor told her but nothing seems to be working. We just keep marching forward and hoping on.



We had 2 investigators at church, 2 young girls who want to be baptized, but what do you know, their dad is catholic and he doesn't like the idea.



Really quick I wanted to tell you guys, when I left Xochimilico, we had gotten into the house of a less active older lady. She was married to her husband in the temple and her husband is active but she is not. We were able to get in because I brought my violin with me. When i left the husband thanked me with tears in his eyes and said the misionaries hadn't entered in that house for years. 



This week we ate cow utter.. a little tough but not bad.



I loveyou family, pray for hermano julio



hermana cook 


Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Colocho!

hola familia!!


we are doing great here in the new area :) I love my new companion and we are getting along really well.



So we have about 4 or 5 colonias (little towns) outside of our main town that are part of our area. We set foot in one of them called "refugio" to eat with a member who lives there. It was the first time that hermana's from the church have set foot there. It was beautiful... the hermana that we ate with was a preacher for the pentacost church for 21 years. Her story is AMAZING. She says the earliest memories she has is preaching the gospel in the streets and all the people would gather around to hear. She said that as she grew she learned the bible from cover to cover. She said that when you enter the doors of the pentacost church, you just get down on your knees and start to pray for 1 hour. Everything is completely silent, and if there is a baby crying or making any type of noise, you have to leave or they will escort you out.



She said that they went to a pentacost event with some Chinese people and a bunch of pentacost-goers. ha ha. As you know, in the pentacost church they are all about the holy ghost, and when they touch your head you have to fall over like you were "influenced." ha ha I had a pentacost lady tell me once in the street, "oh how i would LOVE to have you FEEL the holy ghost..." ayyy no... weird. And so the pentacost hermana said to herself, i am going to see if i really FEEL the holy ghost when they come by to touch my head... when they got to her, she just stood there because she didn't feel anything... all of the people cuaght in the act of falling to the floor... so she resigned as a preacher and her son started taking her to our church. she loved it, and within 2 months the elders had her convinced and she was baptized. She has been through the temple. she also told us that she loves the bible more than the book of mormon.



So this week we found a little hermanito named Justo, but he told us to call him "colocho." ha ha. we laughed so much. this little guy is on fire! he loves what we teach him. he asks meaningful questions, like, was satan disguised as a serpent in the garden of eden? he is catholic and loves to go to church. but he accepted a baptismal date for the 10th of october and asked us what he needs to do to be able to be baptized. he wants us to stop by to teach him every day. he told us that when he was little he wrote and sang songs to worship God and would sing them to Him through his window. it touched my heart and really he would make a great mormon. i think he is about 12 years old. 

My poor former companion is in the hospital again.......bit by a scorpion!


the family who we found... well turns out the dad drinks a lot but the wife wants to be baptized. she said she is willign to be the first in her family to be baptized. it is so beautiful lessons with her because she accepts everything we say like a little child. she has a lot of faith and knows it's true.


Hermana Zamora made these for my birthday!


thannks for the birthday wishes! i also went on that rope swing SUPER HIGH at the wilkonson's, only we went earlier in the year and the water was FREEZING. but it gave me a heart attack but i loved it. 



dad i get reminded of your mission stories all the time- in my othér area, they were always asking me to make brownies,  i made quite a few batches. and there are machetes to clean out all the grass- like those bush knives and they croutch down to cut the grass



an hermano of the ward told me that the grand river here is the river sidon and that captain moroni martched through these hills and i believe him :)



i love you family,





hermana cook