WEEK 63 (Sagbayan)

November 27, 2016


Man did I miss you all this week. It was sad but a great week nonetheless. I will say, me and Sister Anderson (two Americans mind you) were sitting in weekly planning talking about our area and all of sudden I was like "wait, when's Thanksgiving?!?!?" and whatta ya know... we had completely missed it. I forgot Thanksgiving!!! Which is saying a lot for my favorite holiday :( we quickly tried to make some mashed potatoes and green beans..  But I'd say yours were way more spectacular.

Other news! Apple and Jecelle were baptized!! It was wonderful!! Their service was so sweet and they had the biggest smiles on their faces and gave sweet testimonies. They were both very influenced by the example of their classmate, Mariel Viodor who is a 1 year member here, before we even met them. You never know who is influenced by your example. Super cool, they had both been searching for some sort of guidance in their life. So happy they found it. 
(16) Apple's family has had some tough struggles- she was pretty much caught in a war of her mother and siblings and always felt suicidal/ alone . She is an avid reader of the Bible (she is so smart) and has always had questions about religion.. it wasn't until she started reading the Book of Mormon (already in Alma) and letting us teach her that her questions were answered. I will not be surprised if she serves a mission someday. 

Jecelle (17) is the youngest in her family and her parents are so kind, but they are always working. She loves to dance and is so small and cute! She had been to church before years ago with the elders and loved it but didn't have anyone to really fellowship her. She always says she just felt so at peace and happy when she went to church or around Mormons.  None of her family was able to come to her baptism but she was crying tears of joy with all the youth and members that came and supported her. 

I love them and grateful I have them in my life. 

Also since Sister Bell is gone, guess who's teaching seminary.... us!!  hehe it's so fun!  Especially in Bisaya. We are studying Acts right now- wow its fun. 


WEEK 62 (Sagbayan)

November 20, 2016

Hi family!
Things are so great here in Sagbayan. I am intrigued to see how the branch does without the Bells. It will be good for all of us... sometimes I feel like the Bells make it almost too easy, but I will definitely miss them.  We have two baptisms this weekend. Two youths, at first I was hesitant to really push baptism because their families are not progressing yet, but I quickly realized that was wrong. These girls are very ready and I am so excited for them. They have a great support system with the youth here and each other.  They come to church every Sunday by themselves because they love it and feel the Spirit. I think it is only a matter of before their families will follow.  With the new Elders I split all our areas --we both will have areas close to center and areas far away, so it's pretty equal.  I think it will work well.  Sister Anderson and I will be visiting the recent converts from the previous sisters' area and some less active members because they are women. So we will stay pretty busy.  We have another baptismal date for December 17 also, mother of Brother Jandayan. We are also always trying to find find find those who the Lord has prepared.... 

Elder Cook was awesome! he really just got up there and talked to us about missionary work, like he was talking to a friend, it was fun to listen too and pretty powerful- his wife was the cutest too! I loved it, also loved seeing all the missionaries. It's powerful to see.

This morning we played soccer and then made Buko (coconut drink) juice with the elders and some youth and Brother Jandayan.. But of course I forgot my camera so no pics of Elder Minoc climbing up the coconut tree like nobody's business. #goals. 

 Well not much to add but I love you all and I am so excited for Christmas to skype! 
Amping kanunay!! 
Sister Cook 

Here's some pics of my weekend..

WEEK 61 (Sagbayan)

November 16, 2016

Wohoo, transfers done and I'm still in Sagbayan!! YAY!  No surprises there cause I'm still training.. But still I am very happy, because you never know.... 

Christmas in Sagbayan! We are so happy. The other sisters got pulled out and replaced with elders so we will busy helping with some of their recent converts. Busy busy busy, just how I like it.

Sister Anderson and I are doing great. We love our area and have been always on the go looking for new investigators. Apple and Jezel are doing awesome, they will be baptized together next weekend! We are excited for them, and love them a lot.

Tomorrow Elder Cook of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles is coming to our mission- I am so excited to meet him! Everyone here thinks we are related...  
I'll just send pictures- they will better explain our week. 

Found this little guy in my bed.  All those years catching lizards with Matt paid off

Trisome before transfers

Relief Society of Sagbayan

Jamaica - she rode bikes and worked with us all day hehe luv her

when your camera is stolen.. love it!
baboy (pig) feast!    

Good Ice Cream (it's very rare here)!

Puppy face!
Puppy butt!

WEEK 60 (Sagbayan)

November 6, 2016

Happy Kalag-Kalag!!
Wohoo All Saints Day or Kalag Kalag this past week. Interesting holiday where everyone spends lots of time at graves giving offerings to their dead.
Halloween was good too!! All the Sagbayan missionaries went to Sister Bell's and we had pumpkin pancakes decorated as jack-o-lanterns hehe it was fun. 



We have two awesome progressing investigators right now. Apple and Jezelle.. they are both friends with Mariel a youth in our branch and are so amazing. We love working with them! Also this week we met with Elder Haynie.. he's a member of the Seventy and he propelled our mission into "Finding Scattered Israel."  
That is our job here to find those who are ready. Everyone is so nice here and will let you in and hear your message.. but that's just time wasting if they don't keep commitments. Our job is to talk to as many as possible, to always be finding so that we can find those ready to act on the message, to gather lost Israel. Like the Jandayans. It was great because I have always been white washing that is something I have gotten good at- finding. But hearing Elder Haynie just inspired me to work ever harder at it.  He shared about the growth of the church here in the Philippines... the first missionaries came here in 1961.. and already there are over 750,000 members !!!  That's crazy fast and I know will just keep growing. Our mission too is so different since I got here- I have loved witnessing the change that comes when missionaries decided to be obedient and diligent. It's beautiful.
On Sunday Brother Jandayan blessed the sacrament and Jacob and Joaquin passed it. It was awesome :)
I really feel like i know my purpose as a missionary and I love every second of it. I know and love the people here and I love this gospel.
gihigugma tika - time flies.
from the beautiful isles of the sea ;


) sister cook