WEEK 21 (Loon, Bohol)

January 31, 2016


Kumusta...

Wow- ya ok i was meant for Bohol--it is absolutely beautiful here and I kinda sometimes feel like I am living in a dream when I am trekking around.  My area of Loon is huge!!  Like huge huge, so it is a big challenge to white wash because Sister Panorel and I have no idea where to go. Also, being in a small branch is different- I love it because the members are strong but missionaries really help in church... I spoke yesterday-- ya, wow.... first talk in Bisaya.  Difficult.  But we are getting help from members to find our way around.  Also I forgot my camera (oops) but our house is the cutest little one roomer.. I love it.  I have always wanted to live in a one room house, so dream fulfilled.

A lot of Loon was destroyed in a huge earthquake in 2013, so there is still a lot of wreckage and broken roads and houses everywhere which is sad and sometimes makes travel difficult.  Also, riding buses here is like the most fun thing... it's like a combination of going way too fast for such a big vehicle to riding Indiana Jones at Disneyland.... free amusement park ride.

My companion doesn't speak english surprisingly, so that's a good change for me--also sometimes exhausting.  But she is so cute and from Mindanao. I pray that we will be able to find some new investigators soon- the area book is bare from lack of people.  Also, found out in Lilo-an that some of the Flores' will be getting baptized!  That makes me so happy, but also sad that I had to leave them :/ transfers are hard. 

gtg ttynw (talk to you next week ) 

Sister Cook


WEEK 20 (Lilo-an)

January 26, 2016

Wow, so much to say!!

First off, we are in the middle of a typhoon so it has been raining and windy nonstop since Sunday! Wow the mud is crazy and I have already been through one umbrella, but hey nothing is too tough for my Tevas. The work continues :))) 

Also big big news!!  I am transferring! crazy crazy. I was so sure that I was staying (normal for your follow up to stay) that I wasn't paying attention during transfer calls and when the zone leaders told me I assumed that they were joking.... 5 minutes later I realized that they weren't joking... (ahha embarrassing I like jumped up and said "wait I'm transferring?!?! in the middle of the meeting.. classic) anyways!!!

I am going to Loon, Bohol!! The infamous island of Bohol!!! How cool does that sound- Loon (pronounced loh-ohn not loooon..  Yup, made that mistake in front of everyone too #american...) is by the ocean but supposedly pretty bukid and rural in the mountains so i am stoked... but also so sad to leave my family here in Liloan...  Also it's a slightly different dialect of Bisaya so, yay haha.. 
I am little nervous because I will be whitewashing again.. (that's what Sister Tubola and I did at first here in Liloan--when both missionaries come into an area at the same time.  It's hard because you have to figure out the entire area all on your own and usually find all new investigators).  So pray for me... Also sad because I won't get mail as fast, but exciting to go teach and help on another island.
I am supposed to leave tomorrow but I'm not sure about that with the typhoon and all.

Sige! Highlight for sure of the week! Na'nay Lourdes baptism!!! OH my it was awesome to see her baptized.. but also an experience. The font at our church was broken so the APs came and drove everyone to the mission home and she was baptized in the mission home pool! haha that was a first for Pres. Tanner but the Spirit was the there. Poor Nay was so tired after the whole ordeal but it definitely was a baptism to remember. It was amazing to see.. honestly she was one of the first people I tracted and no one expected her to be this receptive- but wow! She wanted it and I watched her change... I love her so and will miss her. But I'll see her on my way home (all missionaries depart from Lilo-an.. perk for sure)

Well thank you for you support and prayers.  As each week goes by I become more and more confident in my purpose here and more and more reliant on my Heavenly Father.  He loves us all so much!!!! I see it everyday. 

Love you,
 Sister Cook 

ps i have lots of pictures for you!! Goodbyes make for prime picture taking opportunities. 
Muddy roads and lots of rain!

My store!




More rain and mud...

Yum delicious! 



Fried fishy


Me and Cecilia!


Last FHE with the Modenendos
 



Me and InIn




 


 


Me and Sister Mara.  She was less active when I got here but not anymore.  She lives near Na'Nay and has really taken her under her wing...love her!

Baptism of Sister Na'nay Lourdes
  

WEEK 19 (Lilo-an)



January 20, 2016

Hi! 

So I was able to go to the temple this week, thats why my p-day is Wednesday. It was awesome, so peaceful and a beautiful temple in a busy, crazy city. 

We have been very busy here, which is the best! Good news too- Na'nay Lourdes, one of my first investigators is getting baptized this Saturday!!  I am so excited and so is the ward- everyone is super invested in her and so it will be a beautiful day! I am excited for her too- she doesn't have a family (her husband died and her only daughter kinda just left her) so I am excited for her to have a ward family. She doesn't have much to do so she just plows through the Book of Mormon.  It's awesome.  I have a very deep love for her and how kind/ humble she is.
Lourdes in her house with cute little Mia, her kitty. Don't you just love her!! I had to take a pic by surprise cause she won't smile in posed pictures! haha

Sister Herdegen and I are almost done-- tracting has been pretty easy cause at this point anyone will let us in because we are both American, so we have taught a lot.  Not sure how many will progress but it has still been a good experience. This is my last full week in training, praying I'll stay in Liloan next week after transfers.  I do not want to leave Karen and her Family- she is coming so far. Last night we did a big Family Home Evening with the elders and it was so fun, taught a lesson and played some funny games. I lost and had to share a talent...  I couldn't think of anything so I told them I could touch my tongue to my nose and they all freaked out... so that was my "talent" everyone wanted pictures...  kinda funny (thanks mom ;) 

Also funny.. I don't know what it is with me and getting soaked here but this week in my apartment I turned on the shower and the whole thing fell off the wall... haha water was spraying everywhere for like two hours and I was soaked again... and that means... bucket showers! wohooo! I'm a pro now- who needs a shower head anyways?

 sige sige well i love reading your emails- everyone keep updating me with your lives! 
 I have been studying a lot about Christ lately, I teach a lot of people who believe our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are the same person- this makes me so sad... We don't just have one person who loves us unconditionally- but two!! And our Father loves us so much he sent his firstborn son, a son who was willing, to die and to suffer for every single one of us. It's a lot to take in sometimes, when you think about all the people in the world.. and to think of how hard that was for Christ. To know that even He prayed and asked his Father for another way... but despite it all, despite all the pain and suffering- he went through it all. All for us. It is beautiful and I pray we can all feel and see his love in the world around us everyday.

 Love you all,
Sister Cook (I think everyone finally ran out of nicknames for me)  



Selfie :)))

FHE with Karen and Elders (red dots part of the game)


One of my favorite pictures with my favorite kids!
       






WEEK 18 (Lilo-an)

January 10, 2016

Wow this transfer is halfway over already! I am almost done with training ah! 

Well yesterday I showed up at the Flores' house soaking wet and muddy because of course I was tapul-an (lazy) and didn't bring an umbrella.  We got caught out in the bukid in a huge storm... ya they laughed because I tried to use a banana leaf for cover, but I was soaked.... Doesn't matter because we still taught and they are still awesome!! Even though it has been a slow progression because we can only teach them on Sundays they all are progressing!!! Bryan their oldest son has read the BOM everyday and hopefully they will all come to church on Sunday!  That would be amazing.  I love them.

This week flew by- we were busy busy..
Today I found actual green romaine lettuce at market today, and even though it was expensive I bought it and will probably cry with happiness because I thought I was going to go my whole mission without eating a real salad. God answers prayers.  If only I could buy "being fluent" in Bisaya at the market too.... 

Sorry again I forgot my camera... 

I love my families here in Lilo-an, I love the Savior and this Church, and I love all of you!  amping till next week !!! 

WEEK 17 (Lilo-an)

January 3, 2016

Happy New Year!!

I actually had trouble believing it was already 2016.  2015 went by so fast. But 2016 is my full year her in the Philippines. Ha, New Year's was insanity here... at 11:50 I was woke up because everyone that owned a vehicle was just blaring their horns for a solid 10-15 minutes... Then -- there are no rules for anything here, especially not fireworks -- at 12 everywhere in the sky was lit up by different fireworks.  It was pretty cool, but very loud when firework are right outside your window.  New Year's Day the entire city was asleep-- but we still were able to teach a lot! 
Also all sorts of holiday goodies/treats have come out these past two weeks and, guess what?  Most are made of rice!!!  So that has been sometimes yummy sometimes just weird haha. 

I had an awesome week with all our investigators.  Good new mom-- we were finally able to meet up and teach Cecilia a lot this week and she is progressing so well!!! She loves church and the Book of Mormon, we taught her about the Book of Mormon and when we went back she had started her own study journal and loved the passages we had given her. It was a cool experience- the same with Karen, we taught her about the Book of Mormon and since then she has been actively reading it and finding her own answers in her reading. It's beautiful- Sister Herdegen and I have really have learned and believe how important the Book of Mormon is for the lives and the conversion of our investigators.  That book is the biggest blessing that we have- I love giving it to people because I know that if they read it, their lives will be changed for the better.

We met with the Floras family again last night and gave them all copies- I truly hope and pray they will read because I love them all so much. Arnie (the dad) really expressed to us his confusion. His whole life he has been Catholic and he just has believed whatever because of tradition- but he knows their is a God and he prays every night. So listening to our message, (about the Restoration, Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father as separate beings, the foundations of the Gospel, Book of Mormon) it all makes so much sense to him, yet he doesn't know what to believe anymore.  I really truly encouraged and asked him to pray to know the truth- pray to God and ask-- that's all we can do and should do! And I know if he does that he will get an answer. Keep him in your prayers-- he is a wonderful man and father. 

This week has been great in the work.  My and comp and I have achieved all of our goals and feel very exhausted this P-day, so that is fulfilling. I was able to watch a Disney movie and eat yummy food on New Year's Eve with my zone, so that was fun. 

Sometimes I feel like I am improving a lot with Bisyia, but sometimes I feel like not at all.  It's a hard process and I struggle, but I trust it will come. 

I miss you all thanks for you support and love.  I love all of your emails!  Also, sorry, I have lots of fun pics but I forgot my camera!!! oops next week. 

luv sister cook (or as many Filipinos have pointed out only one letter away from sister cool :)