WEEK 7 (MTC)



 October 28, 2015

Holy smokes!  This week I had my last Sunday in America, my last dinner in America [Dad edit: for 16 months]!  So weird to think that haha! 

I did have an amazing last week in the MTC though. Last night, at our last devotional, Neil Anderson one of the apostles spoke and the spirit was so strong. He talked a lot about the amazing sacrifice the Savior made for us- and related it to how a mission can be sacrifice for us as well. He shared this message with us:

Anyways- there is no where else I want to be but here, and I felt an overwhelming confirmation that this is the best place for me. That there are people in the Philippines Cebu East Mission waiting to hear about this beautiful Gospel. This Gospel that is such an important part of my life.

I love This church and I am stoked to be serving right now!!  I can feel myself becoming better and better each day.  It's hard to say goodbye to my friends and life here, but I am too excited to feel sad for long...
Love you all
Sister Cook 

WEEK 6 (MTC)

October 23, 2015

Wohoo!! I can make it - the end is in sight!!  We have our flight plans and I leave on Thursday at 3:30 a.m. yaa!!!  We have a layover at LAX and Hong Kong. There are gonna be like 50 missionaries all going to Philippines so it's gonna be a partay!

We have been able to teach Filipino Members over Skype the past two weeks and it just makes me really excited to go!! It is also fun practicing the language (although hard).  I hope I won't be too lost when I get over there.
This week is going by so slowwwwwwly.

My district also did an English fast the other day (no English speaking all day)-- it was exhausting!!! But fun to realize how much we actually know!

The highlight of my week was tonight!!!  This guy that goes to BYU and works at the gym here brought me, Sister Prudencio and some guys in our zone In-N-Out tonight -- I almost cried it was so delicious.

Well- I'll be able to email on Wednesday!!!  So talk to you all then!

Luv You!!

WEEK 5 (MTC)

October 16, 2015

Pamilya ug Amigas!

This week was spiritually awesome but physically draining- Me and a few district members were finally hit by the dreaded MTC bug, but I am starting to get better so its all good!!

Just a thought that one of my Cebuano teachers shared with me this week that I have been thinking a lot about.

I have been working and hoping to Be the best missionary I can be. To Be the missionary that God wants me to be, so I can best accomplish my purpose. But I don't want to Be her I want to Become her. I want to become her who serves and loves because that is who she is, to become a disciple of Jesus Christ and emulate him in every way-- not just to fulfill a role.

I thought about this a lot when I learned about the word "Ma-himo" in Cebuano- it means "Can Become" I can't do it alone but I know I Can become her, through the help of my Savior.

It reminds me of the parable of the Bicycle by Stephen Robinson. He talks about his daughter who decides she wants to buy a bicycle. He tells her to save up her money so that she can buy one. For the next couple of months he provided chores that she could do in order to make money. When she had a big jar full of all she had made and thought to be enough they went to the bike store. Instantly she saw a beautiful blue bike and ran up to look at it. Upon looking at the price tag she started to cry and cry. When her dad asked her what was wrong she says " I'll never have enough, no matter how long I save". Her dad smiled at her and said "give me what you have, and I'll make up the rest"

This story perfectly exemplifies our Savior's love!!  We will never be perfect- but by Christ's Grace and love we can be good enough to live with him again! But he doesn't just wait till we fail to help us, he is helping, guiding, providing us "chores with rewards" and support along the way, all because he loves us.  Don't just believe in Christ, but Believe him-- Believe him when he says he will help you, love you and guide you.

I love you all you guys and I am grateful for the support and love you show me!!

So as I have said before my roommate Sister Neemia is from Samoa and she takes her food (cookies especially) very seriously. So Aunt Tiff sent me some spicy Wasibi peas and Sister Neemia did NOT like them.... hahaah soooo I thought it would be funny to put some in her popcorn and cookies and She freaked out!!!! it was hilarious! she was screamin Oh yuck YUCK!! and she calls the peas "Bumblebees" cause they sting her tongue
also at dinner one night I placed a cherry tomato in her glass of coke without her looking and then raised my glass for a cheers and so she started drinking as she drank the tomato came into her view and, she spat the coke that she had in her mouth all over Elder Capo and Elder Lockheart.. i'm laughing as I type this... but it was seriously so funny. she wasn't mad. she was laughing too- we all prank each other and it's great but Sister Neemia's reactions are priceless. We all call her Na'nay (mom) cause she sings us Samoan lullabies and sews our clothes.

I am grateful to have such good roomies cause they make me laugh and forget about difficulties.
I love you all--- one more full more week here then I am off to the Philippines!!! so send letters now ;)

yours truly,
sister cookie



Temple walk on Sundays!




some roomies and I enjoying delicious chips and salsa sent by the one and only kennakat <33333




WEEK 4 (MTC)

October 9, 2015

Kumusta!!

Wow this week felt like forever- but I made it to P-day so all is well. I loved conference, seriously Saturday was amazing!!! I think every missionary was in tears on Holland's talk- I know my district was.  Everyone should take 15 mins and watch this- no matter what your religion- it is beautiful. And I love you mom!!!! 


Anyways, one of the best nights I have had here was when Grammy sent our district caramel apples!!!  It was also Sister Rossuns birthday, so last Friday we just had a party and ate unhealthy food and got all hyper from the sugar haha closest thing to a "Friday Night" at the MTC.  But it was awesome because Sis Osumo and Elder Tauba had never tried caramel apples before! 

Also I am teaching more and more lessons- I am getting better too!  Yesterday I went off on a tangent in our lesson about the Plan of Salvation all in Cebuano - literally don't remember what I said but hey- our  "investigator" understood it so that was cool!!!  I am starting to be more confident- sending me the notes from my setting apart blessing really helped. 

This week I thought a lot about the Filipino people- I spent like 30 mins one night talking about my experience last time. I love them so much! Just thinking back to the amazing people I met last time makes me cry! I am so excited to go serve them!!  And it gives me more motivation to become better and work harder at Cebuano

Some of my favorite people I have met here are Polynesian! I want to be Polynesian haha they are the coolest people! Sister Neemia is from Samoa and she is my roommate- she is the sweetest girl and hilarious- she also has a least 12 cookies a day because they're her favorite.  The funny thing is all the ways she figures out how to smuggle them out of the caf. And then Elder Tauba from Fiji is hilarious!! And he is famous in Fiji!!  He played national volleyball there and is the spokesman/welcome voice at the Fijian airport!!  He is so cool, and I will for sure be going to visit them both someday cause who wouldn't want to go to Fiji and Samoa.

 **Highlight to this week was after conference my roommates and I went to Samoan translation room and we just sung hymns- we sung "how great thou art" and we were singing in English and they were all singing in Samoan and I just started crying- the spirit was so strong and I felt so blessed to be part of a church where there are faithful and beautiful members all over the world!  How lucky am I to be able to get know some of them! 

Also BYU Vocal Point came for a devotional this week- they were so good (and good-looking... but like hey I hardly noticed) 
 
Love you all- I'm halfway done here at the MTC!  Wohooo- I'll have my flight plans next p-day :O !! 
Ryryyy



 



Sis. Osumo's first caramel apple
(also featuring Elder O'Rullian's foot)



one day i went insane from sitting for so long- 
so me and sis russon just danced while 
elder guertler played the piano for like an hour 
haha it felt awesome. 
















us and Sister Samon's singing!! 








WEEK 3 (MTC)

October 2, 2015

HI Hi family and amigos,

Fam bam thanks so much for the package!!!  I loved all the cute little letters and some people in my district had never experienced Trader Joe's goodness so that was heavenly. <333

This week went by fast! and I have lots of funny stories haha oh boy.

This week we had an awesome devotional and I sang in the choir.  In the practice beforehand they were shooting the camera angles and I was accidentally sitting on the super super high soprano row...ya, mistake.  But on the highest note of the entire song (which I obviously just mouthed because I can't sing) the camera froze right on my face.  For like 3 mins!! I didn't notice for a little bit but when I did, I watched (along with 1000 missionaries) as my face turn to a tomato, and then I started laughing and trying to move my face out of the way and, wow.  It was super awkward.  Afterwards they put a picture of Goofy on the screens and said "don't be goofy on camera" ughhh I felt people looking at me after the whole ordeal. Luckily for the actual devotional I knew it was gonna point at me so I didn't look at all and it went fine. But that entire night kids came up to me saying they saw me on camera...  My district got a kick out of it.

Also on Tuesday Sister Osumo and I had the opportunity to teach RM's who served Cebuano speaking missions. It was actually pretty fun and I thought it went well until at the end of the last one. I was sorta bearing my testimony about the Priesthood and in my mind I meant to say "I am grateful that my Dad and Brother hold the priesthood and I always want Priesthood holders in my life" something like that... but it came out as " I want the Priesthood." Sooo I could tell I said something wrong by the look on his face. hahaha

Then on Wednesday Sis. Prudenico and I tried going to this workout class for sisters the MTC offers in the morning... I dont think I have ever laughed so hard in my life. It was supposed to be all cardio and it turned out to be Napoleon Dynamite in female form teaching us dance. Literally it was the weirdest thing I have ever witnessed and we were the only ones there so we couldn't leave.... yaa, pretty funny.  Just imagine Squidward's dancing in Spongebob and that was what we had to do...

Also my roommates have all finally met grumpy morning Ryan. They get a kick out of messing with me.

Things with my companion are great!! We know each other pretty well now so thats fun. Took her awhile to get used to my hair being wavy.  She always says "I watch you brush you hair yet it still looks like you just got out of bed..." we love each other lots.  She is very caring and loving and helps me a ton!!

If you guys want to listen to something amazing--watch Mo-tab sing "Come Thou Font" from Elder Scott's funeral. It was beautiful.

** Highlight to my days are lunchtime because my companion and I sit with the senior missionaries and I just love talking to them.. I met the couple who left today for my mission! They are the sweetest and will take great care of me :)))

Sometimes I have a really hard time being here because I feel who am I to be doing all this, like I can barely understand my own testimony at times.  Plus I feel so spiritually behind compared to some of the elders and sisters here- I just hope I can learn enough to help and serve the Filipinos in Cebu.

I have the coolest zone! I am excited to fly to the Philippines with all 41 of them!!! About a month to gooo....

Well I miss home the beach and all of you guys- I am grateful for your prayers and love

Till next week xoxoxo

sista cook

Ps. my district and teachers all call me Cookie and Elder Gregory (he is from London) calls me Sister Chef haha it sounds so funny in his accent.
 My District--all going to the Philippines

 Senior missionaries brought donuts for the District!
Sisters Prudencio, Davis, Osumo and me!!
Short now, but I'll finally be tall when
I get to the Philippines!





















Roomie teaching us Samoan dancing