WEEK 55 (Sagbayan)

September 25, 2016

hello hello,
Before I get into it I just want to say to all, everything is good, there is no need to worry or concern because I am in the uphill climb and have already been blessed so much!! ayaw kabelaka....
So on Friday after our wonderful zone conference I started feeling a little queasy...  We had a huge movie night that night where we projected a movie outside in order to attract people to our church and find some new potential investigators. It went really well, and Sister Monteras and I were talking up a storm to everyone we saw!! But the whole time I kinda felt like I was in a daze--I don't know I was overly hyper or spastic and just raging with heat.  I should have gone home but we waited until it was over... When I got home I had a raging fever and a whole lot of other symptoms and it turns out I got Dengue fever.  And lemme just say- I thought it was the end (and I had a mild case!! ).  For the rest of the weekend I was on my bed barely able to move...  Honestly, I don't really wanna go into it but I was freaking out that I would be sent home.  One time I looked in the mirror and I looked like a corpse I'm not even joking.  I am so grateful that I had Sister Monteras, Sister Bell and the STLs so close to help me and Elder Bell was able to give me a priesthood blessing. And I am so lucky usually the fever lasts 3-5 days broke after 2 and I skipped out on the whole body rash (thank goodness) but man the mosquitos are nasty little critters.

Now I am doing well--back to my normal self just weak and have absolutely no appetite whatsoever (so weird for me!  lol) But all is well.  I am grateful that I had such a small dose when I know other missionaries have suffered more.
The week leading up to that was great! the Jandayan's are super progressing--every morning they do family study and prayer and they take turns picking a subject out of the gospel principal books and talk about as a family--it's amazing. Then Sunday nights they do family scripture chases!!  It makes it very easy for us because when we go to teach them a principal they have usually already studied it together!!  They are so beautiful and went with the branch to district conference (which I was bummed to miss :/)  But still they had a great time!

We also have a few youth investigators who are classmates with a young woman who joined.. The most progressing right now is named Apple!  She'ss 16 and is so sweet!  I love the Anober and Umbangs- we are practicing a song to all sing in sacrament soon together and they are all excited.  I am anxious to get out and work again.  Staying indoors for awhile gets to ya..

Transfers are next week and we know there are gonna be some changes here--Sis. Monteras is done with her training so that technically means I should go, but we will pray for a miracle cause I don't wanna be done here!!! 

I love you all--and really missed you this past week.  But I am definitely not ready to come home.  It's scary how fast the time is going!!

enjoy a few pics from our district activity!
I Saw a TARSIER- and it is super weird looking... the cartoons make them look way cuter and not like ET..




WEEK 54 (Sagbayan)

September 18, 2016

Hello Friends and Family!!!

This week has been remarkable. I know I said when I began training Sister Monteras that we would experience miracles and we really have. Not only has the Jandayan family been progressing...brother insists on paying tithing every week even though he's not yet a member and their kids join every activity and have already announced to everyone they are now Mormon. I am so grateful we get the opportunity to teach them. Also, another family we met through them came to church on Sunday!!  It's so awesome, we didn't expect it as much because they seemed hesitant when we invited them Saturday night. But nope--they were all there and I think really enjoyed it!  We taught them about the restoration and Joseph Smith and Brother Charito had a question about where was the fruits of his labor as a prophet (he is super familiar with the bible) and we shared a little bit about the Book of Mormon.  Turns out he and his wife had found an old Book of Mormon once and took it home because it looked like a book of God. He had looked at it a little but didn't understand who Nephi and all the other prophets were... But they could never get themselves to get rid of it. So after we explained he jumped right up and said he would start studying it!!  It was so amazing. The Book of Mormon is really the best book--I cherish my time I have to study it while serving.. and I'm grateful that I have it in my life.

Our sacrament meeting was so full that I had to keep going upstairs to get more and more chairs.  Nothing could wipe the smile off my face!! I was so happy! I still am so happy. We had total 9 investigators at church.  I love the two familes, Jandayan and Pigtie and also the Umbangs, Anober, Racoma (members in our area)  The people here in Sagbayan are my family... The thing that makes me sad it that transfers are only in two weeks... I realize that Sis. Monteras is finished with her training and should be receiving a follow-up trainer...but hopefully I can just be her follow-up too!!!  I cant believe that I am already a year in--it has definitely been the fastest yet most rewarding year of my entire life. I am so happy here and can't imagine my life anywhere or doing anything else.
I love being a missionary. I love the Philippines. I love this Gospel
Thanks for your support and prayers- Love you all!! hapit na ang Pasko #skype
Sister Cook
The Jandayan family (missing their 5 year old daughter Jonah bell whose sleeping in the corner hehe)
Tacos to celebrate my one year mark!
Jamycah and Jacob Jandayan...they are the funniest!!! 14 and 13 and best Friends (remind me of Matt and Cam when they were younger)
My and my anak, Sis. Monteras

WEEK 53 (Sagbayan)

September 11, 2016

YES, it's September here so Christmas begins!! haha.  Well I don't know where to start....

So first off, I know without a shadow of a doubt that the Lord is the master of this work. For a long time me and Sister Monteras had no success in our area... it was hard, But then last Monday we both went to try and find a former investigator and we were led to the most beautiful family I have ever met. The Jandayan Family. Sister Floy told us she was "Born Again" and we asked if we could share a message with her and her family.  She immediately called her husband Fidel and we proceeded to share a brief message about how the restored gospel would help their family.  It was a normal lesson- but at the end when we asked brother to pray the Spirit was overwhelming.. His prayer brought us all to tears.

We went back a week later and it was the coolest lesson I have ever taught in my life. They had both read the entire pamphlet and had tons of questions. We taught about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon.. Long story short they ALL came to church and their oldest daughter Jaimyach 13 even came with me all day on Sunday when I went on splits with another young woman.  They shared with us earlier that when they moved to Sagbayan, brother did not like the church and he stopped going, and slowly all the kids too, until it was only sister... She had been praying for a way for her family to come back to God.. praying and praying. And then we showed up and asked to share a message for her family.... and then they all came to church and even though it's hard for her to leave her commitments of her church (she was secretary and the pastor keeps visiting her) but she knows that this is the truth because her family all came to church together. And all I can say about this is I have never been so happy in my life.  All I can think about is this family.  I love them so much and I'm so so so grateful that we get the opportunity to teach them and help them learn how they can be together forever. You know in my setting apart blessing to be a missionary it says that angels will be in your home as I am serving... every night I pray that includes the Jandayan family also. 

Ever since we found them- investigators are pouring in. So many opportunities are flooding in. I cant describe my joy. The blessings of obedience and diligence are real. I love being here so much. I know I am already a year in but I never want to leave.... It's going by so fast, but everyday I witness miracles and I just love the Philippines and this work so much.  And I really really love Sagbayan. 

So on another note.. the most ironic thing of my entire life happened to me on Saturday... I fell into the ocean. Yes you read right, I slid right down the stairs and fell right into the salty sea. No one could believe the irony.. I'm always joking that I'm gonna "fall" in, and then I did.  Too bad I was in to much pain to enjoy it... haha. my companions and Sis. Bell got a kick out of it. 

I have lots more to say but no time. Just know how happy I am and how much I know this church is true. I am continually seeing it bless these people in the isles of the sea and bless my life. 
love you all!!! 

WEEK 52 (Sagbayan)

September 4, 2016

Well first week of second transfer in Sagbayan Bohol. Rainy season has officially started... we all got stuck in the rain twice this week and got soaking wet.  It was pretty funny!!!

 One time it was raining so hard I couldn't even see in front of me and I had no umbrella. Every umbrella I buy here breaks in like a week haha. 

So I guess they finally decided that our camping house with a CR with no door wasn't good for four sisters so we moved!! Our new house is brand new and so nice I feel like I'm in a hotel sometimes... it has tile and a flushing toilet and a shower head. It's too weird. But nice!!  But we moved on a Saturday morning and the next day I woke up and was so sore I was like what the heck-- then I was pretty embarrassed to realize I was so sore from moving a few boxes.... I guess a year of mission life will do that to ya.. 

Oh but before we moved we had this huge dried fish given to us by one of our investigators and we forgot about it and it started stinking so I just chucked it out the window... and then for the next 3 or 4 days we had this like wild pack of dogs living outside our house... it was crazy!! I felt like I was watching wolves on discovery channel.. so good thing we moved haha.


The Bells had a new bike made for our mission and guess who is the guinea pig- meee!  It's great! pretty much a beach cruiser with gears. and not pink! haha

Well life is good. Despite challenges I'm loving life as a missionary here in the Philippines and I honestly cant imagine it any different! I think I'll stay here forever!! I have been studying Alma 26:12 and trying to memorize it in Bisaya because it is just so beautiful and true. I am nothing without the Lord's help- he helps my weaknesses become strengths.  I think everyday I find a new weakness but everyday I find a new way to rely on the Lord and trust in Him. I am so lucky to have all that I have. I am lucky to have a family who loves me, I am lucky to have had the childhood I had. But most of all I'm lucky of my knowledge of the Gospel and my relationship with Heavenly Father- nothing in the world would I trade for that. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon- we don't have to be confused or lost here on earth. There is a plan for us, The true church of Christ is on this Earth today. A true prophet of God guides us today. 

I love being able to teach about it everyday- because when people do accept, and when they do realize our message is true, the result is everlasting joy.  

gihiguma tika! amping mu diha! 
sister cook

 " Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever. "

Cute boys drew me a picture!  JonJon and Jonvic

Cute Alexis...child of our investigator