Semana Treinta: Feliz Navidad

I am getting really bad at managing my time on emails... I´m already almost out of time and I have 60 pictures to send!!

So briefly... it was SO NICE to see you all and talk to you all for Christmas!!!  It´s so nice to just know that all is well at home and then focus again in the work!  :)  

EASTON... this week a parrot came and bit my foot!!!

DAD... how do you explain how people have experiences of being healed by people... that don´t have the priesthood?

MOM... Happy Happy birthday!!! I love you!!! In Costa Rica... if it is your birthday they break an egg on your head.... so everyone do that to mom!  :)

This week was miraculous!! Natalia got home from her vacation on Saturda... her fecha baptismal was for Sunday..... we hadn´t had time to teach her practically anything.  She had read ALL the pamphlets on her trip and prayed about them all... so we went to visit her and she had a testimony of all of them and we held a mini interview and she was prepared for all the questions!  So we went through with it and she was baptized on Sunday the 28th as a birthday present to my mom! Ha. The best part was that her husband... Ronney... was there.  He had been drinking all morning.  At the end of the baptism he told the bishop "I need to do this too... I need to be baptized... And I want you to baptize me" and they hugged and is was great.  But then he left the baptism and drank again.  :(  He´s got a rough weakness but I KNOW he can change!!!!! It just might take some time.... but Natalia will be there to help him!  And we will too!!!

I love you all so much.  I wish you a FELIZ NAVIDAD y PROSPERO AÑO Y FELICIDAD!!! We will talk soon!  pictures coming hopefully!


I invited this little girl to sing with us

We have the same skirts

New District

Friends from La Paz

More La Paz

Hermana Davidson

Mi Hija


Hermana Wilkinson



Old District

La Paz

Ronney, Natalia, Obispo Morales

Y sus dos chiquitos Ian y Isaac

We forgot the plug at the bottom

Missionaries can't be in water

Check out that foot tan line

Christmas Day

Cookies. . . every ingredient is different here

I was really happy

Our Christmas Tree


Semana Veintinueve: The whole world goes to the beach

Hola mi familia!! I hate to disappoint you again... but my email this week is short :)  We are actually really low on investigators this week.  In Costa Rica... for the last two or three weeks of December... and the first week or two of January... THE WHOLE WORLD goes to the beach.  So we are left without many people to teach. But that's okay!! We will keep searching in faith and serving in other ways until we find the chosen ones!

This week many great things happened though!  First of all... we have an investigator named Natalia.  She is great and her husband is an alcoholic but is also great and wants to change.  We taught Natalia the restoration this week and the lesson was SO rough because we were exhausted and ill and weren't paying much attention... and worse... her kids were CRAZY so one of us always had to be taking care of them to keep them quiet.. so then it would be our turn to talk and we weren't sure what had already been said :)  It was bad.  Seriously.  Then at the end we invited her to pray right there and that to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet.... she had been a little hesitant and wasn't really believing our lesson.... but she prayed.  She asked specifically if Joseph Smith was a true prophet and then stopped... the spirit literally SHOT down... it was like something bright was in front of us... Hermana Munoz said she even opened her eyes to see if an angel was there or something... afterwards Natalia explained it exactly in that way and said she KNOWs Joseph Smith was a prophet!!!! It is so great!! The sad thing is that she is out of town for this week (with all the other Ticos... at the beach)  But she is really progressing and we hope to see her baptism soon!!  Her husband also accepted a baptismal date and is really excited and animated about the decision every time we talk to him... but then he doesn't do anything to reach his goal.. but we are going to keep working with him and have the bishop visit him after Christmas and we will be seeing an eternal family soon!!!

We also had a ward activity this week.  I was asked to sing... they had me sing a song called te hallare mi querido amigo... it is about how we all promised people in the spirit world that we would find them here and share the gospel with them.  I don't know if it is doctrinally correct... but it is a touching thought and a lovely song!  I sang it without accompaniment and I am sick again so I had some nice cracks in my voice but that's okay.  Apparently they were all very amazed because I have now been asked to sing silent night in Sacrament Meeting.  I am happy to share my talents and help others feel the spirit!  Also there was a rumor going around that I was in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  I had to stop that.  :)

The BEST part of the week was the Christmas Devotional with President.  We all headed to the stake center and I was able to see my old friends from La Paz!! (my old zone) I am so grateful to know so many great people!  Then President spoke to us... it was the MOST spiritual talk I have heard here in Costa Rica!!! He talked about three lessons we can learn from the Christmas Story... First... the parable of.... aaaaaa I am almost out of time!!!!!!!! Okay well I guess I will be telling you bout the three lessons of the Christmas story in two days when we TALK ON SKYPE! 

But the most important part of that meeting is that President announced that the First Presidency has informed us that in July 2015.... The Costa Rica San Jose mission will no longer exist.... Instead... we will see the Costa Rica San Jose EAST mission and the Costa Rica San Jose WEST mission!! That's right folks!! We have made so much progress that they are splitting the mission!! That measn that instead of 250 missionaries in my little country... there will be 500!!!  This July we will have 2 new Mission Presidents...almost EVERYONE will be training...we are part of History!!!  Also it is super cool because the First Presidency said that every missionary will be personally assigned by an apostle to the East or West mission... it's not just whatever side you are already on... it is all inspired... it's like getting a new call!! :)  This is really really cool and I am so happy to be part of it!!!!

Then we all went to the temple... the session used the old video... I like the new ones.. but I LOVE the temple so so so so sooooooo much and am so grateful for the chance to go!! The name I did was from Alajuela Costa Rica so that is cool too!! Still doing work for my area!  :)

Okay I am definitely out of time.  thank you ALL for you love and support.  I am SO excited to talk to you all in two days!!! 

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND FELIZ NAVIDAD!! (also look up the video of the three tenors singing feliz navidad.... I like to sing it like them and the ticos think Im hilarious)

p.s. I have A MILLION pictures.... next time!

Semana Veintiocho: It is practically Utah

Hola todos!!! The big email this week once again is not so big... this week has been crazy.  It feels like about three monhts in one week!  I didn´t have time to write in my journal a single day and well... now i don´t remember what happened jaja!  

Basically I love the area.  I did mention that it is richer than Gravilias... but really there are parts just like Dos Cercas... and there are parts much nicer... that´s basically Costa Rica for you.  Shacks and mansions all together!  I do have to tell you all that I am ashamed I made such a fuss at the beginning of my mission about how different it is here... seriously it is practically Utah.  It is practically the same.  The bugs aren´t bad and it isnt that dirty or different.  Costa Rica is one of.. if not THE... nicest countries in central america... it is really nice and I love it a lot.  It is practically Utah.

We are so close to the airport.  One part of the area is literally so close you can feel the  planes passing!  We are starting to recognize certain planes for their sounds and have our favorites. 

My new calling is great!  We get to know all of the sisters and I pray a lot to know how I can help them!! I love the work.  Truly!!

One thing I love love love love love is that the people here are just as amazing as the people in Desamparados... After some time in Desampa... the people started to remind me of the people I love in Utah.  Now the people here remind me of the people I love in Desampa!  No matter where we go... all are children of God.  ALL need the gospel.  All have amazing qualities and I am so blessed to be able to get to know so many people.  

Christmas is fast approaching!!  I will give many more details of the current investigators and things in a few days when we skype!!  I have actually been praying a lot to know how this skype call can be a spiritual uplifting experience for us all.  I love you all and am so so so so so excited to talk to you!! Thank you for your prayers and love.  FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!

Love, Hermana Cook

Semana Vientisiete: My First Transfer

Hola Familia y Amigos!! Les quiero montón!  I´m so happy to hear that everyone is doing well... minus the trips to the ER and all those sickies... I sure love you all and pray for you often!!

Well.  This week was a doozy.  Because of unforseen events which I will soon disclose... I do not have my journal with me or my old planner.. so I can´t remember what happened all week jaja.  But I will do my best to just fill you in with the most important things...

This week it was difficult to not think about Cambios.  Hermana Garcia and I worked really hard to act like they didn´t exist... because who knows what would happen!  If I didn´t have cambios... I would have almost 9 months in Gravilias.  Half my mission!  Which is okay if that´s what the Lord wants!  :)  So we just worked our little buns off.  

Then Sunday came along.... the day that change calls come... and I was just a little ball of anxiety (why do we have that in our family???)  Part of me wanted a change... a change of scenery... new people... new experiences... and part of me NEVER wanted to leave Gravilias.  I LOVE that ward.  I love so many things abou that little place and especially the people.  So I knew that whatever happened with changes would be okay.  We headed to help at ward choir... I am trying to use my talents to help the ward :)   I play the piano and also teach them to lead music and give a few tips and opinions :)  They have a lot of spirit :)  (but Christmas music here is dumb.  That´s okay though) :)  Anyway... they all asked me.. "Hermana Cook, when are changes?? maybe we won´t have a pianist!" We said that changes were today but that we 
hadn´t heard anything.  Then a sister in the ward whose son is serving here said that her son already got change calls so they are probably over and I am staying!! We all cheered and hugged.  Then my comp looked at the phone.  "We missed a call from Zona!!".. the whole ward gasped (quite dramatic right??) 

So we left the room to call them back... and sure enough.... I have cambios!!!! I am being sent to Tejar, Alejuela.. but not only that... I have been assigned as an Hermana Especialista (Sister Training Leader or a Zone Leader for the Hermanas).  I was shocked!! I only have 6 months in the mission!! I don´t know how to be a leader of all the sisters that have way more time than me!  I felt a little similar to the time when I was called to be a Trainer... but this time was different.  This time I felt full of the faith and confidence that if this is what the Lord wants me to do then I absolutely can do it... and I can do it awesomely.  These last three months as a trainer... my faith has grown SO much.  And I am so excited for this new opportunity.  As changes came nearer... I prayed and prayed that Heavenly Father would give me the opprtunity that would change me, help me grow, and learn the most.  I am confident that this is it :)  Here´s to great things in Alejuela!!

When we went back in the room everyone cried and hugged me and told me not to leave.  :(  IT was so sad but really sweet!  I love that ward and have gotten to know so many great people.  But I am sure there are great people in Alejuela too!! :)  

The next day we had to go to the house of President to eat breakfast because our zone reached all our goals this month.  While there... President told me that my Bishop called him and begged him not to take me :)  President told him that while he´d love to let me stay... the Lord wants me elsewhere.  I know that is true and that this is where He wants me!!!  

So now I am here in my new area... Tejar de Alejuela.  My companionS (trio once again!) are Hermana Muñoz (who ends her mission in four weeks... hence the trio... we will be a normal companionship in four weeks) and Hermana Ortiz who has 5 months in the mission... the same as me minus the MTC.  They are great and I´ve already learned SO much from them!

Our house is AMAZING!! We have a couch.  and it is clean!  The area is beautiful.  It is still very cityish.  Even more than Gravilias I think.... but it is a CLEAN city... and the people here are rich.  It´s kind of shocking!  Also the area is like... practically the airport.  So all day and night planes take off soooooooooo close I can see every window!  

I´m a little nervous for this new responsibility... but so grateful for the trust my Father in Heaven and President have in me! And for the chance to grow and change and learn!  I love serving as a missionary and love all of you!!!

Oh ya... a little miracle from my first night in the area... last night was crazy... Hermana Muñoz hadn´t paid the light so we didn´t have any... and our phone died... and our appts weren´t there... so we decided to visit a member but there is only one bus left at that hour and we didn´t know if we would get it.  So we prayed that the bus would pass... we said amen... crossed the street... and the last bus passed at that minute!!! Oh how I love the tender mercies of the Lord!  look for them in your life this week!!

Love you all!!
Love, Hermana Cook

Semana Vientiseis: This week. . . this glorious week!!

I am so blessed.  I love this work!  This week was GREAT!!! 


After internet... we felt like visiting Katia.  She is the most interesting case.  She is Catholic and tells us she is not going to change and has her own beliefs.  Yet.... she KNOWS Joseph Smith was a prophet and believes in our doctrine and loves our culture.  She always says "If I wasn´t Catholic it would be so easy to join your church!"  What an awful excuse!  :)  So we spent a lot of time talking about authority and straight up asked her if the proper authority was in her church.  She didn´t answer for a long time.. then said laughing, "see, this is the point I didn´t want to reach!!" We committed her to pray specifically about the authority.  She says she is scared to change what she has always done and doesn´t want to distance herself from her family.  But we will help her through it all!  She will be baptized I know it!  Then her daughter came... I think she will be baptized too!

Then we visited Mariana... she is still progressing for her baptism!

Then we headed to church so I could play the piano for the ward choir.  Then Israel.. He is also going strong!!  His mom still hasn´t signed :(  But we have faith that she will!

Lastly we visited Marlon.  Satan is attacking him this week... but not with what we thought it would be!  But again... we know he will be baptized!

Today we are fasting for the four baptisms and also to know our new inspired goal for December.  l Iove the mission!


I had so much fun with Hermana Garcia today.  She´s my pal.  I´m trying to convince her to go to BYU after the mission so we can be friends.

At night we had divisions with Ana Rivera and her sister Antonietta.  Hermana Garcia visited Mariana (she drank coffee!! Nooo!! But she is so innocent... She said her aunt made her, but promised to repent and not do it again) and israel (his mom lost the paper to sign!! Maybe it was on purpose)  and Ana Munoz (taught the word of wisdom... we love Ana).  I visited with Antonietta Marlon (he and his family talked for an hour and a half) invited a bunch more people to the big open house on Friday.. and visited Ana Munoz too jaja!  (she committed again to reading and then gave me a free packpack to use until my other one is fixed because I was carrying all my stuff in my arms)  Then home again home again jiggity jog.  I just really love this.


HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!  It was a little sad to be away from the family today but I am SO grateful to be here serving the Lord!  I am truly blessed.  I also ate two frozen burritos for Thanksgiving so.  It´s awesome :)  But it isn´t too rough because it doesn´t feel like Thanksgiving or Christmas here... it feels like summer still.  So its all good :)  

Today we visited Evida to invite her to the Open House tomorrow.. and Mario for the same.  Then Ana Munoz.  I love her.  Then Marlon... todo bien.. he is so ready for his baptism!  He sure scared us though... he slept over at his ex-wifes house... aaaaa... he withstood the temptations but we had a very stern lesson on AVOIDING temptation in the first place.  Satan is trying to stop these four baptisms but he can´t do it!  Then Hermana Fallas said "Happy thanksgiving!  I have turkey for you!" HA!  Actually they were buffalo wild wings Costa Rica style but they were delicious!  I eat everything here by the way y'all.  Fish.  Clams.  TOMATOES.  Meat on the bones.  Everything.  And for that I´m gordita.  But thats okay :)  Then we headed to Israel and GOT HIS MOM'S SIGNATURE!! WOOO!!  His baptism is very fijo.  All of them are!  Even Daniel and Mariana!  we called them and invited them to fast with us tomorrow.  Everyone is so set and I am so happy!


Today I officially complete SIX MONTHS in the mission!!  Crazy. 

What a day most stressful and hard :)  First we had Kiosco... Hermano Lascarez came to help invite people for the Open House tonight.  He is a great ward mission leader and I´m so grateful for his help in the work!  Then we were off to lunch with Nurita and Isabel.  We ate way late because they were Black Friday shopping (did you know they have that here??) Hermana Nuria started crying thinknig about transfers... (the next transfers are this Sunday......... eek)  It was so sweet.  I truly love them!  Then we were off to work before the four interviews!  Mariana at 4:00... Marlon at 4:15... Israel at 4:30 and Daniel at 4:45.  Then the Casa Abierta at 6:00!  We visited 8 people... but no one was home.  So we headed to the church and waited for the investigators to get there.  Mariana got there at 4:15 and the elders interviewed her at 4:20... everything was great!  She left... no Marlon... at 4:45 he finally came... 5:00.. no Israel.. no Daniel... 5:15.. Marlon STILL in the interview... finally at 5:30 Israel came but Marlon was still in the interview... at 5:45 they finished and israel headed in.  Everything good with him... but no Daniel!  We call him again aaaaaaand he said that he cant come and can't even be baptized because he has to work  :(  noooo!  I told him Satan was trying to stop his baptism and he has to sacrifice to receive blessings.  He said he would do everyting possible but didn´t sound like it was going to happen :(  So we decided he could come Sunday before the meetings to be baptized and confirmed right after then go to work.  Hope it works.  Also turns out Marlon had some complications in the interview and needs a second one with a counselor of president.  Aaaa we are praying so hard for him.  He has truly repented so I have faith that he can be baptized!  Oh ya... earlier we found Margarita and Rodrigo and they said our church is lacking in heart, praying, and shouting and singing.  But the doctrine is great.  So they are going to a different church. Anyway after all this it was time for the open house.  We only had five investigators there and only a couple members :(  but Ana Munoz came wth her daughter!  The Casa Abierta was really beautiful... the ward counsel worked REALLY hard and did a great job!  It was awesome to see them all working together for the obra misional!  I hope it continues!! Even though it was only for five peple :)


Today was the BEST day ever!  It was absolutely crazy.  All day we were running around like crazies getting everything ready and everyONE ready for the baptisms.  Finally we got a hold of Daniel... he says he is not getting baptized.  I talked to him for half an hour on the phone to help him with his doubts but it turns out he just doesn´t have a testimony and was only doing it for the pretty member he wanted to date.  It was so sad.  Ok so we will have three out of the four baptisms.  That´s okay.  Whatever is the Lord's will!

Marlon still had to pass his second interview.  We went to the church with him and PRESIDENT himself came to interview him!  Afterwards they came out with the HUGEST smiles.. I just had to take a picture it was the best.  The joy of TRUE repentance!!  At 6:00 we had the baptisms. Israel and Marlon came in white shirts and ties looking all handsome and worthy.  And sweet Mariana was the first one there.  And guess who else came?? PRESIDENT!!  Wow pressure.  But we had worked REALLY hard to organize the service well.  It was the most organized that I´d done!  We sang the favorite hymns of the converts and it was SO spiritual.  We had a little testimony meeting and Marlon and Israel shared theirs... Israel´s mom was crying!  And after the meeting israel sat and just cried for a while.  While they changed I had everyone write their testimonies on pretty paper I made and then we made them each a pretty little book with everyone's testimonies like in our ward.  It was so spiritual and SO great!  the ward supported a ton and I am SO grateful for this opportunity!!

Then we cleaned up and SPRINTED to Dos Cercas so the elders could help us get Arturo to allow Melani to be confirmed... we gave her an alarm clock to help her wake up and everything!  

What a BEAUTIFUL crazy day.  My favorite yet.  How glorious to be part of the conversion of three... no FOUR con Melani.. souls!


I just love this.  Today the three were confirmed... but Melani didn't come.  So afterwards we prayed and got permission for the bishop to confirm her in his house.  Arturo said we had fifteen minutes and we caught the bishop right before he left to work!  FOUR CONFIRMATIONS!   With that... the mission reached 200 baptisms which is the most we´ve had in the history of the mission!  We have seen so many milagros and I am SO grateful to be part of this great work at this great time.  The Lord is hastening the work... and we have got to catch up!!!  The area president told us as a commandment from the Lord to double our baptisms... and we are going to do it!! I LOVE the gospel and I LOVE this work.

There is more that happened but I am out of time and want to send pictures!  Love you all.  THANK YOU for the love and support and prayers.  I am so blessed!!

Hermana Cook




Jef wrote this - it is so cute!

Gifts from a ward member - Gabby

Open House - Relief Society

Open House - Young Women

Open House - Primary

Open House - Family History

Open House - Elders Quorum

Open House - Young Men

Obra Misional

Happy Thanksgiving burritos

House Tour:  my bed

Our room - four beds




More stairs

Hall - Jesus is turned around

Scary Jesus carving

Three more beds

Another bathroom

Another bedroom
Another Bedroom


More beds

Study Area

Our little friend Copito

My organizing skills