WEEK 46 (Sagbayan)

 July 24, 2016

Hey hi hello

Well to make things short I am still struggling gamay with my area.  There are a lot of times where I just don't know where to go or what to do and now being a trainer I just feel pressured all the time. But I know it takes time for me get to know the area, people and find new investigators. We have been tracting a lot a lot this week- we have 19 new investigators so hopefully some of them will progress and we can keep them coming.  Some potential families as well, so I'll keep prayin! And the members here are awesome!! 

The bike rides here are so beautiful its insane!!! Such a different environment than Panglao but just as cool-- I mean I am riding through rice fields with jungles and carabaos and chocolate hills all around me (search chocolate hills on google- they are weird! ) But as cool as it is- it's also very exhausting.  It's like a roller coaster on the hills here. I felt so bad the first day of biking with Sister Monteras- she really died because it was so hilly- but she totally pushed through! 
The next day she said in comp study "I am not here to complain- I am here to work" ya put that on a plaque and frame it--atta girl--that's my anak haha.  But ya she is so awesome and I love her attitude. 
She still speaks mostly Tagalog but everyday she learns a little more Bisaya just like me. 

Gave a talk yesterday in church- talked about coming unto Christ and keeping him the center of our lives. I know that if we put him first always that always we will feel his help. I shared my favorite story of Jesus when Peter is walking on water and starts to doubt and Christ reaches out and saves him. Christ will reach out over and over again to save us and to help us- but it's up to us if we accept  and choose to follow him. 

I have had a semi tough week but I know if I continue to press forward with my eye centered on my goal to help other learn and accept Christ's true church in their lives- I can get through any struggle. 
I also had some really cool experiences where what I studied in personal study was exactly what I needed to say or share in one of our lessons- it was amazing. The Lord know what each one of these people need and I am just an instrument in his hands- We taught about Joseph Smith twice and both times I recited the 1st vision in Bisaya and talked about his beautiful story - the Spirit was so strong and I just know without a doubt that he was a true prophet called of our loving father in heaven and the Book of Mormon is evidence of it. Oh man I love that book- everyday I find a new verse or scripture that just speaks so beautifully to me and I know it's from God through his prophets. Well sorry to ramble but just thought I'd remind you all why I am here- to share this beautiful truth with this beautiful people in Bohol, Philippines. Sometimes when I get discouraged or homesick - I think of my testimony and I know I'm right where i need to be. 

Nahigugma ko sa inyo- ug nasayud ko nga kining simbahan ang tinood simbahan dinhi sa kailbutan. Wala'y lain. 
Sister Cook 

ps camera charger still in panglao sayang... but here are some pics from Sis. Monteras 



WEEK 45 (Sagbayan)

July 17, 2016

Well where do I begin??
I have been struggling a little bit with separation sadness from my friends and family in Panglao.  I honestly felt like I left home again.  It feels like my almost 5 months in Panglao was only a matter of days.  I can't describe how fast it felt.  Kinda scary.
My new area is in the mountains of Bohol, about 1 1/2 hours from the coast and we are talking jungle jungle. My living conditions pretty much went from living in paradise to camping.  It's funny.  But that's not really a problem, I'm a camper.  Yes I miss the smell of the ocean but there is always an adventure in the jungle and rain.  It was a little overwhelming at first when everyone was telling me oh you have all these RC's and so many potential yet we had no way  to find them... but after a few days of enlisting the help of the senior couple the Bells (mom you should follow their blog--he is about to become the branch president here in Sagbayan) and others we was able to find out where they lived and we have a small grasp of our huge area. My trainee Sister Monteras has been very supportive and patient throughout this process.  It makes me sad that there are no records--we will have to fix that of course. 

Another bonus.. haha the elders before had bikes soooo we will now have bikes again. Panglao won't be the only sisters with bikes anymore- I'm setting a trend! Sweet, cause our area is huge!! But its gonna be a little tougher biking up here in the hills and rice fields (rice fields are so beautiful!!) But nindot always nindot.
The branch is cool- lots of progression in the last few months.. I hope we can keep it up. We went out and started tracting on Sunday night and I think we will have a lot of potential. I truly believe that me and Sister Monteras will experience miracles this transfer.. i am excited to dive more into the work so I stop thinking about how much I miss Panglao.

Sister Monteras is awesome- and honestly like the sweetest person I have ever met.  I feel so lucky that I got her as my trainee... She is 24 from Manila and is pretty much the only member in her family. She says serving a mission is her dream so she is so happy to be here. That makes me smile because I love it!  She has such a desire to work and share the gospel and learn the language.. It's funny with the language because people start speaking to her in Bisaya assuming the Filipina knows and then I have to answer and the people are like what the... it's hilarious. But she'll pick it up quick being a Tagalog speaker.  It's hard sometimes because she is forced to speak English to me but it's good for her because that's something the Church really wants- everyone to know English. I'll hopefully pick up some Tagalog too!  I can understand some things so that's cool.  My Bisaya is pretty good now- of course it's never good enough for me, I always want to know more or be better.  It's weird how bad my English is when I write in my journal after a whole day of Bisaya haha the structure is all messed up.
love you lots <3
Sister cook 
no pictures cause i left my camera charger in Panglao.

WEEK 44 (Sagbayan)

July 13, 2016

Wow, hi.
So much has happened I don't even know where to start...I'll try chronologically. 

I met the new mission president and his wife, President Maughan.  They are awesome and are from Logan, Utah. 
The Cababahay's were baptized!!! Yes!! It was a beautiful day- seriously.. There were all together 8 baptisms for Panglao!! (Elders had a family too).  They were very happy too and I am so happy for them!! 


And we broke our personal records in teaching the most lessons in a week! yus!!

And now for the big news... unfortunately I did get transferred... and now i am also training a brand new sister, a greenie!  I had a feeling the morning before transfer calls that this was going to happen because I studied the story of Moses when he got called and God got mad because Moses was convinced he wasn't gonna be able to do it... Ya, I feel that way too.. Especially when I found out we will be whitewashing/opening an elders area in the mountains... now officially everyone calls me whitewash queen because I have whitewashed every one of my areas paiita.

But after many tearful goodbyes to my family in Panglao I got on a boat to Cebu to meet my new comp.. All the new members were very sad that I was leaving, and I was too.. but I have many many promises to return so.... I definitely plan on going through the temple with Anna Marie in March and maybe Nanay too next year when we visit together...  The Cababahay's made us a huge last dinner :( it was rough, I did not want to go but I know I needed to... but the hardest goodbye was probably with Sister Samoya.. .we have been through a lot together and became really close through our experiences and dedication to work hard. We really saw miracles in our area and with ourselves/investigators. 

So I am now transferred to Sagbayan.  It's in Calape Zone again (same zone as Loon) and I know it's very far in the mountains.  We don't even get to go there till tomorrow afternoon. So I'm sure it's going to be an adventure for me. I know the elders there had bikes so maybe we will use them again haha depends on my trainee.

My trainee is super cute. It feels weird because honestly it feels like I just got here and was in training, especially when I was able to go back to Lilo-an.  Her name is Sister Monteras and she is from Quezon City Manila, 24 years old... so she speaks Tagalog and some English.. so that's kinda hard... because I always speak to her in Bisaya and forget she can't understand and then she forgets that I can't understand Tagalog... whoever told me that they are similar was really wrong haha.. But i know she will pick up Bisaya way quicker than I did probably. I am a tad stressed, not gonna lie.  I don't know that I feel qualified and I'm worried that I won't live up to her expectations. I know how nervous she is and she is nervous about having an American trainer.  She has told me like 7 times that she has to eat rice everyday because she's afraid I don't eat it. she doesn't have anything to worry about there. I have really learned that the best way to break a barrier with a Filipina companion is through the food.. eat like a Filipina and they will love you!  And I have no problem with that since I love Filipino food. Although mom those American snacks you sent me were gone in 4 days sooo that was funny.. Sister Samoya loved almonds!! 
I am happy that I'll finally be Kabalay!! which means live in same house as other sisters!! the STLs and I love them both- Sister Ross and Sister Tatarata-Mahafaea (from Utah and Tahiti) I was already close with both of them so I'm happy. I hope my trainee will be ok!! I am also back with the senior couple the Bells :)) 

I am really nervous to train- but also kinda excited to push myself. Hopefully teaching Bisaya will help me learn more, and I hear that our area is really really progressing so that makes me happy (I don't think the elders were happy we were whitewashing it haha oops sorry) Elder Head (the AP right now- my first DL too ) told me its kinda an experiment to put sisters there so we will see how it goes. I am trying to keep my head on straight and not freak out too much. I am more scared about training than whitewashing.. I hope I can give her a good start to her mission and be a good example to her. Pres. Maughan was very direct with me and other trainers on how impressed his call to us as trainers and to put us with our new trainees. ( we are his first batch! ) So I know I am called by the Lord

So I'll have a little more to report on Monday after we have been able to work together a little more. But remember me in your prayers- I need confidence. It seems everyone else has way more confidence in me than I have in myself. But I have confidence in the Lord- if there is one thing I have learned on my mission it's that that the lord WILL accomplish his work. I just need to be obedient and work hard and he will qualify me. 

On another note.... Sis. Samoya and I finished our compainionship painting before transfers on the spirit world for Sister Rodita and it turned our awesome!! She loved it!  I painted the tree and light side and Samoya the pavilion and dark side.. hehe fun way to spend our p-day nights.

 Sister macabane had her baby girl and we visited her at the hospital!! baby Rascent, she is beautiful!! 


Me and my trainee (or anak.. I am now a mission nanay haha.. ) pointing to an area that Elder Head had to show me on the map oh boy. LEGGO

 I love you all and hope you have a good week!  The days are going so fast...when I'm done with training it will be October!! what the! 
Love, Sister Cook 


WEEK 43 (Panglao)

July 3, 2016

This week for me was still crazy as always but not nearly as bad as last week...only power outages still. 
The C's had been fighting again and were struggling with funds to get to church (always tension when money is tight) and Sister Samoya and I played marriage counselors accidentally a bit.  But brother decided that no matter what they would go to church next week even if they had to walk in the rain or shine. And they did! They were able to hitch a ride with the Macabnes yay and will be baptized on Saturday, swakas!! (finally :)

I have been in Panglao forever with Sis. Samoya- we know one of us is leaving next week :(  But it's needed; we need a fresh mind to come here and help find new investigators we feel like we have tracted everywhere!  But I'll be sad to split from Sis. Samoya.  I love that we have been together so long because I have a unity with her while teaching that I haven't experienced before. It's like we can read each others minds :)  It makes teaching so fun.

I am excited to meet the new mission pres tomorrow, (it just got moved a day)
trying to send pics and vids but this comp sucks!!! 

P-day hike.  Water was supposed to be blue but it just rained.  Probably good...lot less tempting!

Fortunata's Baptism

yumm pinoy spaghetti and chcoco cake for joy joy lofrancos 1st bday... they were happy campers 
(i made the spaghetti with anna marie by a fire .. now thats a good skill to have. )