Tuesday, February 23, 2016

#onedaytwomiracles

Hola Familia!! 

So they have extended this transfer until the 21st of March.... I know you're all going to die waiting ha ha and so am I. For all of the Latinos they have extended their MTC stay to 3 weeks instead of 2. 

But don't worry, this way I'll be able to go to the baptism in the river in Chenalo the 19th of March. I've also heard around that you have to wait around in the mission home about 3 or 4 days to get home... don't ask me why- I think I'm going to visit my other areas and say goodbye and probably play a lot of violin with Hermana George. They still haven't told me anything about plane tickets or dates. This is just what I've heard. 

On Wednesday we experienced two miracles- two miracles in ONE day!! Our zone put a goal of finding 3 people per companionship to baptize before February ends.Hermana Cuica and I fasted and prayed that day to find those who were ready. To my mind came an old investigator named Max. He's 9. We visited him 1 time when Hermana Juarez was here, about 3 months ago. In that time his parents (both members) had lots of work and they didn't support him in his decision to get baptized, they didn't have time. 

So we decided to go and see if things had changed. When we got there, his uncle opened the door (he is our mission leader x misionary) and said, "hermana's I have good news, Max is going to get baptized." And I was just like, "WHAT?" ha ha. How did he know that that is what we had come for. His parents came out and chatted us up on Max's baptism and they kind of "woke up" and realized that he was the only one in their family that wasn't baptized because they weren't working so much as they were back in November and December. WOW. Max is getting baptized this Saturday, the 27th. 
 
 

 
We called the Elder asking for Max's baptismal interview.

 
 
 
Then we went to see Eric, I am sure you will remember he is the one from the hindu shop. (The one we spent hours for painting...) I thought all the work we had done was in vain and that he wasn't going to progress right now. Actually, he has over 3 years listening to all the missionaries that have come and gone. But he has never gotten baptized. So we went and invited him to be baptized on the 27th. And he accepted!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And again, I was just like, "WHAT?" He was like, "with one condition. If you can convince my wife that we aren't going to Ecuador to see her family until after the 27th, I will get baptized. Because we were going to go earlier than the 27th" 
 
 

 
That was the hard part... His wife is from Ecuador, and she has been here in Mexico for quite some years and she wants to go and visit her family (imagine it- like me :) ) So we went and asked Kristina (Eric's wife and member) if she would wait to go to Ecuador until after her husband gets baptized. When we told her that her husband wanted to get baptized she didn't believe us and said she was going to ask her husband, ha ha. She has waited quite a while for this day. What a beautiful response she gave, "I will support him with all my heart.... even though I wasn't expecting this." ha ha she has a little bit of a serious character and I was a little worried that we wouldn't convince her but I see now that she really loves her husband and for that reason she is willing to wait a few more days. 

And so we called the Elder asking for Eric's baptismal interview... ha ha the Elder laughed.

IT WAS SO COOL.

Asi es que este Sabado se van a bautizar dos almas. HURRAH FOR ISRAEL! 

I will surely send pics of the baptisms. 
 
 

 
We have an investigator who gave us roses, one for me and one for my companion. Well he pretty much fell in love with my companion ha ha. He came to church on Sunday, we'll send him the ward missionaries and see if he still comes to church. He's a preacher, never been married...

We also found another little family, the husband drinks a lot and the wife works with 5 kids. They hardly have anything. La hermana is named Regina, she is really humble and accepted baptism and everything. We'll see how she progresses, she speaks sental, another dialect here. 

Well, sending you all my love from Chiapas. 

 I LOVE YOU FAMILY,

Hermana Cook 


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The pope says hi

Hola Familia,



Elder Dallin H. Oaks front and center!  I am 3rd row back, on the right, on the end. 

I'm just a hankerin' fer some meat!



On Saturday I had the opportunity to play with the choir for Elder Dallin H. Oaks, L Whitney Clayton, Elder Reyes and Elder Walker of the seventy and their wives. What a neat experience. Hermana George wrote my obligato part and gave it to me about 5 minutes before Elder Oaks was to enter. Elder Lambert (on the piano) and I practiced really quite quick and then we sat down... ha ha. I was expecting to feel nervous but I have never felt so much peace when Elder Oaks walked in. We played I stand all amazed and wow did the choir sould beautiful.



Elder Oaks said that this was the only time that he has returned to the same mission twice. Elder Oaks talked about the prepartion that we need to teach. I think this applies to all gospel teachers in the church. Put the information in your mind, and then the spirit will draw from that information in the moment needed. He quoted, "You prepare as if everything depends on you. After, you pray like everything depends on the Lord." 

These are some of the Elders that I flew here to Mexico with in 2014


He also said something very interesting. He said that he will never deny that other churches have authority. Only that our church has the restored priesthood of God and no other church does. We perform sacred acts that "are valid beyond death." And other churches are always saying, "till death do you part." He talked about the visit of the pope being a very positive experience to unite people as families and that Elder de Oyos was invited to atttend the meeting in the national palace with the pope (and that's why he wasn't with us). He said that it was a very good thing for church recognizement among world authorites (a political thing I suppose). That was also very interesting. 


 
 
 

This morning we went up on the roof to see the pope pass by in front of our house. All of the people were lined up as far as you could see with banners of the virgen de Guadalupe and hats and all the people vending confections ha ha. It was pretty neat. My companion and I got pretty excited to see the pope. He waved to us :) We were sure to be wearing proudly our tags and we contacted the other people on the roof ha ha. 



This week my companions knees have been getting worse, she came to Sancristobal with bad knees and it doesn't help that every Sunday we have to climb a mountain to go eat with an hermana. When we got there last week she layed down in the hermana's bed and put her feet up. But her grandson got home to eat and my companion got really embarassed ha ha. WE have an appointment lined up for Thursday.



I think we were in our area for a total of 10 hours this week. We have been running to Tuxtla and Comitan doing meetings and exchanges with the hermana's at every second. 

Remember Hermana Zamora? She finished her mission on crutches!


I think the most rewarding thing we saw this week was a less active family get to church together. We have been visiting them continually, and I would like to think that we have gained their  confidence and helped them in that process of coming back. The dad was excommunicated from the church, according to what I've heard he was in the bishopric and was framed for robbing money from the church together with the bishop and first counselor. He and his wife both served missions. He is SUCH  a nice guy. I couldn't believe it when I heard it. To see him and his wife together at church on Sunday was a miracle for me, because in all my 3.5 months in Sancristobal I have never seen him in church. 




There is an hermana Limon whom I love and I went on exchanges with her. She is 27 years old and she shared with me her story of how she almost got married and then discovered that he was not the one because she really didn't love him, she was just going to marry him because he was such a good guy and everyone was pressuring her. She told me of the decision of telling her parents that she was going on a mission, what she knew she should have done a long time ago. She is an AMAZING woman and the whole time she just shared with me counsel for my coming home. What a blessing that was. 

Remember Hermana Mendez?


Something that she shared with me really hit me. She said that every missionary has their "test of fire." For some it's patience, for others pride, for others sickness, and for others one of the attributes that Jesus Christ has. I think for me the biggest one that I have come to understand better (among many other things) and one that I will work on my whole life is charity. It's love. It is doing things because you LOVE the Lord and you LOVE His Children. Not just doing it to do it. When I work with my heart, I consecrate my actions unto God and I qualify for the grace of God. When I work to work only, everything I do is in vain. 




We should go through this life doing things for LOVE. If we don't do it with our heart, it is in VAIN. 



I finished reading the book of mormon this week and prayed to know if it is true. It is a question that we should never stop asking. I felt peace all the weekend long, especially when Elder Oaks came. I invite you family, to ask God if the book of mormon is true, and I promise you as a representative of His Son that you will feel your answer as it describes in Galations 5: 22-23. You don't need ot wait until you finish it, you can ask on the first page, in the wars in Alma, or in Moroni's promise but the answer will come. I have grown to love the book of mormon SO much.



Mom, I am feeling GREAT I am not sure if I need to see a gastro doctor. I think I could use some pills or something to clean out my intestines but I don't know because I feel great. Okay sometimes I get a rumbling in my tummy but that's normal right? h aha. When I had about 5 months in the mission they gave the whole mission pills to clean out whatever parasite but since that time I haven't taken a single pill to clean out anythign. It might be time again. 



 



Love,



HErmana Cook 










Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Pope visits Sancristobal

Hola familia!! 


Les amo un buen!! This week has been really quite crazy, I recieved my new companion, Hermana Cuica from the state of Mexico. I have found that I miss a lot Hermana Juarez... but we are pressing forward :) I know that Hermana Cuica is good for me!



Hermana Cuica got here on Tuesday and she gets really cold here, haha, I am sure she will adjust to the climate with time. She was in one of the hottest areas of the mission, Tonala. One hermana less-active crocheted scarves for us. This week we have been working in 2 areas because one of the missionaries went to the mission home for foot problems. The hermana that stayed in the area feels alone and has been working with members and us the whole week... I know how that feels ha ha. 



We went to see Karito, she says that she is still reading the book of mormon and saying her prayers even though the Elders haven't gotten to see her yet. It was quite an intense lesson with her parents, we started teaching the commandments and they were like, "I like this." And so Karito's mom told us why she hasn't let Karito go to church for the past few weeks, because she has a boyfriend. So her mom said okay Karito, right now, in front of us and in front of the missionaries you will tell us if you are going to drop your boyfriend. If you choose to do so, we will let you go to church. If not, no. And Karito only cried and said she didn't know. 



We said we would come back on Sunday to see how she was going with her decision. When we got there she told us that she wasn't going to come, and maybe the next week. My heart breaks but God's plan is agency. Her boyfriend supposedly already has 2 kids with another gal and he is 21. She is 14.... Aaaah NO. We have been praying and fasting that we can help her see REALITY. 



Her parents still don't belive she was telling the truth for an experience she had a while back, I will tell you all about it when I get home :) 



We are still working with the Lopez family, their two daughters are members, but their parents aren't. They come to church almost every week and want to be baptized. We talked to a judge who is a member, and she says that the divorce will take time, about 4 months. Meanwhile we can only help them press forward. Their names are Karmen and Rafael Lopez. 



We went to Chenalo again to help the Elders with an activity, they're always bugging us to help them out... ha ha :) It was pretty neat, we did a rescue activity in Pantelo where all the missionaries worked like crazy for a few hours in the rain. It's like living in a CLOUD there. My companion and I went with the President of the rama there and his wife, it was good we did because they speak pure Tzotzil there. I spoke all that I could and did the rest in spanish. One hermana accepted baptsimal date for the 19th of March (the mass baptism in the river in chenalo) and we were so happy. 



We rode in the back of a truck to get to Pantalo and Elder Reyes and Elder Flores were like, get your violin out and play!! Ha ha so I played in the back of the truck and we contacted all the tzotzil ha ha it was so cool. We got them all laughing.



This saturday elder Oaks is visiting the mission again, I will be playing the violin AGAIN h aha we'll see if he remembers me ha ha. 



The catholic pope is coming to visit Sancristobal, I am not sure if I will be able to write you guys next week, the whole city will be shut down (transportation, stores, etc) because it is the first time he visits this city. It will be a SHOW. They are expecting lots of indigenous people, 90,000 to be coming to visit. They haven't let us know if we will be able to preach that day(s) but I am sure that God will protect us. If we have a baptism in this catholic city it will be a MIRACLE. ha ha. 



I love you family,



Hermana Cook