Setente y dos: There is nothing sweeter than missionary work!

Goodness gracious, can you believe how time FLIES??  

I think this week was one of the best of my whole mission.  Well I don't know they have all been great... but this week was very special.  It was SACRIFICE WEEK!  So we woke up early and headed out to work at 7 a.m.  I am SO grateful to be able to finish this way... truly feeling like I have given my ALL.  Sacrificing food and sleep and whatever necessary to work in the service of the Lord.  Every single day we were guided to people that were ready to receive us.  Whether for our own area or a different area in the district, I truly felt that I was an instrument in the Lord´s hands... and that is my FAVORITE feeling.  There is nothing sweeter than feeling the spirit testify through you... than feeling such love for people you have never met before.... than knowing that the Lord sent you exactly to this specific person... basically there is nothing sweeter than MISSIONARY WORK!!!! But none of those great things will end.  I promise to keep serving in this way forever!

On Friday I had the chance to go to the temple.  That was a very sacred experience.  I was able to leave feeling great peace for the service I have rendered in this country.  

I got home Saturday afternoon and went right to work decorating for the WEDDING!  It ended up really pretty... There was quite a bit of stress because the cake got there late... the lawyer got there late.... the BRIDE got there late... but in the end it was BEAUTIFUL!  I felt so blessed to have been part of it.  They had a little fiesta afterwards and we had to kick them out because it was missionary curfew :)  But we had a HUGE surprise that day.  Did I tell you all about Daniel?  He is a muchacho we met through a recent convert.  He went to conference and another time to church and had been progressing pretty well. But last Sunday he didn't come to church and kind of disappeared.  Well on Saturday he called us and said, ´´Today is my baptism right???´´ We were quite shocked!  We explained that he would have to have an interview first but he said he could do it at 6 and be baptized after the wedding at 8.  And so it happened!  But of course, he got to the church for his interview late... so the Elder interviewed him during the wedding... then it was so stressful doing the wedding and the baptism at the same time so we talked to him about changing it for Sunday morning with Randal´s baptism.  Well he just wouldn´t have that.  He was set on being baptized on the fecha we had extended... which is AWESOME!  So we went ahead with it.  I felt like we were in 27 Dresses... going from one event back to the other.  But it was a very spiritual baptism and I am SO grateful for such an opportunity.

On Sunday we had to go early to clean the church and prepare for Randal´s baptism.... 7:30 had come around and Randal still hadn´t showed.  ...7:40... so we called a taxi and rushed to his house.  They were ALL sleeping.  We tried to wake them up and get them to the baptism... but they were too behind.  :(  They promised to get ready quickly and come to be baptized at 12... They got there at 10 and said they wanted to wait until 6 to be baptized.  Nombres we were experiencing a little bit of stress.  :)  We finally arranged everything and finished our meetings.  I was asked to sing the musical number I did with the other two sisters in the sacrament meeting at 1... then we went to say goodbye to Algunas familias.  Then we rushed to the church again.... 5:50... still no Randal... 6:05... nada.... FINALLY llegó a las 6:30.. The sunday night meeting started at 7.  We got right to it and had a VERY spiritual meeting and ordinance.  Then went right on to confirm him in the evening meeting.  It was a little stressful but I really don't know why I stress!! It is ALL in the hands of the Lord.  He is in charge of everything.  Everything works out :)  

I am SO grateful to have been part of this work.  In the evening meeting, The Bishop had all the missionaries that were finishing their missions or transferring to another area share their testimonies and to finish the meeting all the missionaries sang ´´Placentero nos es trabajar´´ (a hymn only in the Spanish hymnbook) and EVERYONE in the ward started bawling.  It was so sweet to see just how many people we can impact without even knowing it.  We took many pictures with many people... everyone was SO sweet and gave me many gifts. I have just been spoiled rotten.  

Today we woke up early and headed out to San Jose.  I had my last interview with President... Today I will be working here in Escazu.  Tomorrow I possibly have the chance to visit my old area in Tejar!  Then Wednesday at 5 we have our last supper and Thursday in the morning I am out of here :(

I am so incredibly grateful for the chance to serve a full-time mission.  It is the best decision I have ever made and the greatest blessing I have ever received.  I will never forget these people I have met and loved here.  For those that are considering serving a mission.. I can only say.. DO IT!! You will NEVER regret it.  It is rough but there will never be something that you can´t handle with the help of the Lord.  For those that are not members of the church... I invite you to learn more!!!! I promise you that this is the only place that can truly bring eternal joy to you and your family.  If you have questions and concerns, I am happy to talk with you :)  For those that are members... PLEASE do these little things to strengthen your testimony daily.  NEVER LET GO of that iron rod.  Hold FAST CONTINUALLY!  This IS the truth. DO NOT doubt it.  No matter what the world it saying.  Just seek an answer from the spirit and then NEVER doubt it.  To my family... I thank you all soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo very much.  I have been so incredibly blessed to have the parents and family members that tI have.  Thank you for your love, prayers, and support.  

I truly love each and every one of you.  I testify that the gospel is true.. that God is our Father... that Christ LIVES and that through Him, we too can have eternal life.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints WAS restored by the prophet Joseph Smith.  A prophet leads and guides the church today.  THis is the ONLY place that has the priesthood authority to perform the ordinances necessary for salvation.  I love this gospel.  I love this work.  I love Costa Rica.. and I love you!  

I will see you on Thursday... sending all my love..

Sister Cook 

Saying goodbye at the 3 am bus

4 generations! Hermana Santos (Cassidy's hija), Hermana Cook, Hermana Garcia (Cassidy's first hija), Hermana Garcia's Hija, and her hija!

Baptism of Randall Nov 8, 2015

Baptism of Daniel Nov 7, 2015

Temple trip of all the "dying" missionaries

Wedding of Randall and Jessica, Nov 7, 2015


Home at last!

Receiving her Mission Pin for baptizing a family (completing the family of Randall and Jessica)

Hermana Laboriel, Mission President's Wife



Setente y uno: Every day we see little miracles

Randal and Jessica are just the BEST!! Randal passed his interview... everything is going great for the wedding... we are working hard and they are SO prepared.  I am so blessed to have been part of uniting this family for time and all eternity!  

Hermana Fowler has a parasite (or maybe several) :) and is currently in the hospital... on Sunday we did divisions and I stayed home for half the day with her the poor thing.  Lets just say none of us are EVER eating meat again... and we also ´´fired´´ our cook and are going to start cooking at home.

Oh ya I remember something that happened this week!  I had to go to San Jose to renew my cedula even though it expires just FIVE days before I leave the country!! Bummer.  

The rest was normal... preaching the gospel daily :)  Every single day we see little miracles and tender mercies... Every single day I feel this influence of the S
pirit in my life.  Every single day I find new ways I can improve and become more like my Savior.  I am HEARTBROKEN that this is all going to end soon...  Last week the YSA stake sent me a letter with a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland.. It´s the talk where he says, ´´What I need, Peter, are disciples.  And I need them forever.´´ This talk really impacted me.  I truly am a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Not just in Costa Rica.  Not just for 18 months.  FOREVER!  My whole life is dedicated to serving my Lord and my God.   

Well folks.  Here I am.  Starting my last real week in the mission.  I am so sad to be leaving all these people I have come to love so much.  But I am very much looking forward to the way I can serve Heavenly Father for eternities on end.  I love you, dear family. And I will see you soon :)

love, Sister Cook


Semana Setenta: This is the treasure - eternal life

Hello All!! It has been another amazing week in the Work of the Lord.  What a blessing to be part of it!

Highlights...

on Tuesday we taught Jessica... Randal wasn´t there.  She told us that they had talked about it and had decided to wait to be married until next year :( :( we were heart broken.  But we had brought with us a beautiful picture of the temple that we had signed with our names and theirs and the date of their wedding... the 7th of november 2015 and their sealing.. 7th of november 2016.... she stared and stared at that picture of the temple... which stands for everything she as a member of the church wants in her life.. and said, ´´I´ll talk to him.´´

On Wednesday and Thursday we couldn´t teach anyone because we headed to San Jose for a mission conference with Elder Duncan, the President of Area.  It was an AMAZING conference.  I received so many answers.  First of all Elder Duncan came to greet me and tell me that Elder and Sister Lloyd say hi!  What a treat!  Then Sister Hubler and Sister Fowler and I did a musical number-  Oh my Father to the tune of Come thou fount of ever blessing.  The Lord has been blessing me with my talents in the mission.. everything changes when your intent isn´t to impress.. but to bring the spirit.  I made up the piano part without music and it was kind of pretty!  I tried to send a bit to mom from President´s ipad but I dont know if it worked.  The conference was truly amazing.  Some themes were:The Savior... The WHOLE reason I am here is to serve my Lord and to bring others to Him.  Sometimes we make everything so complicated... but I just need to help others strengthen their faith in Christ.  He said our vision for the mission should simply be to have a firm testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ.  He also talked about how every single person in the world has a specific plan.. maybe we find one person that is ready to be baptized today.. and his neighbor isn't ready until June of 2017.  Okay!  So what are we going to do to help them progress towards that date?  Maybe this December we will share a video of Christ with them.  Maybe in January we will bring them friendship cookies.  Maybe in February we will invite them to Family Night... maybe in June of 2016 we will invite them to a church activity.. etc.  I just loved that because I think I got so upset thinking I´m not baptizing I´m not baptizing... so okay!  I´m not finding those that are ready today.  But everyone I find will be ready at one point!  What am I doing to help them progress in their specific plans?  What are we doing at home to help our nonmember friends progress and strengthen their faith in Christ?  Maybe we have those neighbors or family members that we think will NEVER accept the gospel.  We should pray to know what their specific plan is... WHEN they will accept... right now... later this year... in five years.... and then make specific GOALS and PLANS to help them progress in that specific plan.  I just loved it.  He also talked a lot about how this mission is NOT about me.  If I´m not baptizing and I´m bummed about it.. get over it!  It has nothing to do about me!  It has to do with My Savior and my brothers and sisters here that NEED what I have.  He taught us more effective ways to teach with members and we applied everything with Randal and Jessica and it was a HUGE success.....

That lesson took place on Friday.  We taught them in a member's house... we had previously visited the members that day to describe the lesson we were going to teach (word of wisdom and law of chastity).  We started by talking about the temple picture we had given them and what it represents.. then we took a framed picture of the temple off the members wall and had the member explain how much it means to her... as we finished all that we told them to throw the picture and break it and step on it and destroy it.  They were seriously appalled and said they could never do it.  We asked why and they explained that it was something so sacred and meaningful that they could never defile it.  At that point the member shared 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 that talks about our bodies being temples.  We proceeded to teach them two commandments that specify what we put in our bodies and how we use our bodies.  It was very effective and they commited to live these important commandments.  Then we asked them... without pushing or influencing or insisting... ´´Hermanos, when do YOU want to be married and baptized to be able to keep these important commandments?´´... they looked at the temple... and at each other... then said, ´´the seventh.´´ :) :) I was SO grateful.... As Elder Duncan told us... when we teach people the treasure... when we stop just telling what they have to do and what they are doing wrong... and show them the blessings of living the gospel... they will want to come to church.. they will want to be married.. they will want to be baptized.

This gospel is TRUE.  It is true... Elder Duncan said that everyone always said ´´This church is true´´ he said what does that really mean??? The true church??? All the churches teach true things... all the churches help others come unto Christ.  The GOSPEL is true.  The ONLY difference is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the ONLY church that has the authority of God to perform the ordinances essential to salvation.  When we teach them that... when we help people understand how essential a baptism, sealing, etc. is... they will WANT to come.  This is the treasure... eternal life.  And it is only possible through this gospel and the authority found in this church.

I LOVE this gospel.  I am so grateful for the chance to serve my Heavenly Father.  This is HIS work.  It has nothing to do with me... but it is such a privilege to be an instrument in His hands.  I love you all, I cannot believe I will see you so soon.  I will keep giving it my ALL until I am home  (and then keep going in different ways!!) :)  I love you so very much and miss you all.... I pray that you will all come closer to our Savior this week.... all we do is for Him.

Love, Sister Cook

Semana Sesente y Nueve: I don't want it to ever ever end

It´s been another great week in the obra misional!  We found several new investigators... several other investigators dropped us or disappeared... it´s been raining quite a bit (it rains when I DON'T bring my umbrella.. if I´ve got it it never rains) :)... my companion is doing well and my roommates are great.. I´ve had some trials and some great spiritual experiences.   I´d like to just give an update on the biggest miracle of the week.

A few weeks ago a member came to work with her boyfriend that she lives with.  He isn´t a member.  We quickly put an appointment with them.  But the appointment fell through and every time we tried to call they were busy or didn´t answer.  But ever single time we went to Pueblo Nuevo they would come to mind.  This Saturday we decided to try one more time.  They answered and invited us over!  We started out the visit getting to know them.  They are a very sweet couple.. Randal and Jessica.  She has been a member since she was 15 or so and he has just been getting to know the church through her for five months.  He is friends with the WHOLE ward council which is pretty helpful.  He works at a hotel which is usually the WORST for investigators because their schedule is awful and they can never come to church.  But he has worked there for a long time so he actually has a great schedule and has two weeks of vacations right now.  We asked them what they most desire in life... they said to be sealed together in the temple.  Now THAT is an investigator that is prepared!  We testified that they can be sealed together and invited him to be baptized on the seventh of November.  He said of course!  Now here´s the problem... they don´t have the funds to have a wedding so soon and he is a little prideful and doesn´t want to accept help.  But the whole ward council is so willing to donate old suits or dresses or to make the cake!  We are searching for a lawyer that can marry them really cheap... and we are DEFINITELY willing to sell arroz con leche in the street to help... They are SUCH  sweet couple and are now coming to church every week.  We taught the restoration and he is accepting it all without doubt.  T
hey are now praying together and reading the Book of Mormon.  This has TRULY been a miracle... to find someone truly prepared!  I am just praying and praying and fasting SO hard that they will accept the help we are offering and be married on the 7th!  I know he will be spiritually prepared... and I KNOW that if they are trying to keep the commandments Heavenly Father WILL help them!  Please keep them in your prayers... tomorrow we will be teaching the word of wisdom.. I am pretty sure he drinks coffee.  I love them so much and am SO grateful that the Lord has trusted me with this great calling... I love serving.  I love it so much.  I love this country and I love every person I meet.  I love my companions.  I love just waking up in the morning and feeling happy every single day to be able to get up and serve.  I don´t want it to ever ever end.  I love this.

Thank you so much for all you do.  Please pray for Randal and Jessica.  I have seen so many miracles... but the majority aren´t completed... I just KNOW that this couple will be baptized.  They are ready!  please keep them in your prayers...

I love you all!!!

Love, Sister Cook

Semana Sesente y Ocho: Sacrifice Week

Well this was just about the BEST week ever and the HARDEST week since I started the mission!!!!  Here´s the lowdown on Sacrifice Week..

We wake up at 5.. get ready eat breakfast and study personally.  

At 7 we go out and for two hours we contact EVERYONE we see.  About 100+ daily.  We would sing on park benches... stand in front of a bus and testify to everyone... cross the street just to talk to someone.. until 9 o clock.

Then at 9-12 we knock and knock and knock doors with lots of faith to find new investigators. (I saw more rejection than I have seen in a loooooong time... the first day not one person let us in and they were quite rude... it was a little rough. but great as well!)

At 12 we have twenty minutes to eat a sack lunch.

Then we head out until 4 to work in the area of one of the companionships in our district.  The whole district goes and contacts houses to try to find them new families to teach.  It was so cool to see such unity and to be able to help eachother find several new families!

Then from 4-9 we can work normally with our normal investigators and recent converts.  

It.  Was.  Hard.  After talking to so many people and knocking so many houses... well we ran out of houses to knock :)  and So many people were ruder than I thought they were here in Liberia (this area has usually been so nice) And physically it was EXHAUSTING.  The other sisters in the house got the stomach flu... my companion killed her knees and couldnt work the last day so she stayed with a member and I hit the pavement. It was so tiring. And I am so tan :)  But it was the best thing I´ve ever done.  It is such a fulfilling feeling to know that I have given EVERYTHING to the Lord. That literally every minute is spent searching for His children that are ready for His message.  

The morning of the last day I read a story in Ether 6 about the ships and the people of Jared.  It said that they were blown from the top of the sea to the bottom closed in these little ships for 344 days.  I´m guessing that seemed like a LONG time enduring LOTS of trials.  That´s kind of how I felt for this short week :)  But the best part is that is said that THE LORD blew the winds.  It was HIM that was giving them these trials and storms for so long... but that He was blowing them towards the promised land.  I truly believe the same is true for each of us.  Though it may seem like years that we are being blown through stormy seas... I know that the Lord is truly blowing us to our own promised land.  We experienced a bit of that.  Finishing of the week we found two GREAT families.  One remembers that missionaries visited her dad years and years ago when she was a little girl... and the other is a very cute couple that had been having marriage problems.. they were separated for a month and a half and when we found them they had had one week together again.  We got there and just testified to them of how the gospel strengthens families and marriages and they said that they knew God sent us to them for their specific needs.  Today we have Noche de Hogar with them.  They are great (Antonio and Jennifer).  Also on Sunday Rosa´s ex pareja, Gerardo, came to church.  Looks like he will start investigating to be able to be with her again.  We will be teaching him tonight as well.

I love missionary work.  Sometimes I feel so bad because all our baptisms are falling and sometimes it feels like I am not reaching what the Lord expects of me.  But I DO know that I am giving it my all and will keep trying to improve every single day.  I can feel peace and know that I am a successful missionary knowing that I am truly consecrated and trying my best to improve every minute.  I love love love this work.

Oh ya!  Also my birthday was THE BEST!!!!! I love love love these girls I live with.  I woke up Saturday morning and the sisters had decorated the wall with ´´21 things we love about Hermana Cook´´ some of which included..´´you teach powerfully by the spirit´´... ´´you believe everything we say´´....´´you are pinteresty and crafty´´.... and ´´´you feel like every decision will change your life´´.  Haha.. it was so cute... then they sent me to shower and get ready while they prepared a surprise breakfast of pancakes and strawberries (I dont know WHERE they found strawberries) and ice cream!! :)  They are just the sweetest.  Then they took me to a surprise lunch at Mejicanito... then at night they had a surprise gathering at Rosa´s house with a cake with my name on it.  They are just the best and I love them SO MUCH!  I am so grateful....

On Sunday an elderly sister stood to bear her testimony... instead of testifying of the Savior... she testified about me :)  haha I was soooo embarrassed and hid behind the piano while she gave a dedicatory speech about me and my talents for my birthday..... :)  It was nice... but not quite appropriate for testimony meeting :)  Then at night the meeting had already started and I went to fix the numbers for the hymns.  I sat at the piano and saw the missionaries laughing and sister fowler motioned to my skirt....... my zipper was ALL THE WAY down in the back.  yep.  Everyone in the congregation saw my covenants.

So anyways it was a pretty awesome week :)  hard but worth it.  I know the Lord is preparing people every day for us to find and teach.  He loves us.  He loves each of His children.  And I am so blessed to be part of this work.  

I love each of you and am so grateful for all the birthday wishes!!!!! I love you all!

love, Sister Cook 

I had a wonderful birthday thanks to these girls!












Semana Sesente y Cieta : My mission will NEVER end!

I am so sorry, I lost track of time today!! I will just give you some updates...

Jenny kind of lied to us it turns out :(  she said that she had moved to San Roque (a different ward) to live with her mom... but she had told us that her mom died........... then we got to her house and she was there... as if she never left... but said that she comes and goes... and now is avoiding us and we just dont know... it is so sad :(  people have NO idea how much we pray for them and love them... :(

The best high light was CONFERENCE!!!!! I LOOOOOOVE CONFERENCE!!  We had the most beautiful miracle and had three investigators at the conference!!! Jennifer and Josselyne came!!!!! YAAAAAAY!! I am so grateful.  I just love them and know that they can have a conversion through the conference.. the church is SO true.

Also our ward is doing something awesome called family missionaries.  Every week three families are selected and given a giant missionary plaque to display in the house.  Their job is to work with the missionaries for the week.  They open the house so we can bring investigators over for lessons... they meet and fellowship investigators... they go out with us to do visits.... and give references.. It is AWESOME!! It makes many people that have never participated become very active in missionary work.. they then share their spiritual experiences and select the next family missionaries.  I love it!! We should do something like that at home!

My time is quickly coming to an end.  In internet and also in the mission :)  But a big impression that I had in conference is that my mission is NEVER ending!  Ever!  In Costa Rica, yes.  But the Lord has SO much He needs me to do.  There are SO many people He needs me to serve and love.  My job is to become as Christlike as I possibly can so that He can call upon at any minute to do any job He need.s  My whole life is to serve my Heavenly Father... so my mission will never end.  I am so happy.

I love you all!!! Next week I will have an AWESOME letter to write.  This week is called ´´Sacrifice Week´´.  We will be waking up at five and leaving to preach at 7 in the morning until 9 at night.  We will not be going to our cook´s house to eat.. just taking a sandwich.  we are going to do crazy things like talking to 175 people daily and going as a zone to contact every house in the area.  We have been told to get creative with our talents to Hermana Hubler and I will be standing one a park bench and singing hymns with her ukelele while the other sisters contact the listeners.  It will be AWESOME and you can expect a great email next week.

Thank you so much for all your love and Birthday wishes!!! I love you all so much!!!!

love, Sister Cook
We are spoiled missionaries!


My sweet companion

Our ward building





Semana Sesente y Sies: If God wants

Well it was another great week in la obra misional!!

On Monday the WHOLE TOWN was in the centro with these little paper lanterns they make to celebrate independence day.  EVERYONE cancelled our appts. because the kids get marked for attendance with their lanterns... we finally found a recent convert couple without children in the parade so we shared a message with them.  They had a friend over that isn't a member and he accepted a baptismal date and cried!  It was beautiful...there is a reason all our appts. fell through!

Tuesday is the REAL Independence day.  All the kids have to participate in a marching band for each school in the whoooole province.  They march around in the sun for hours and hours.  I got a little teary thinking of my baby sister that does that too..... :)  

Wednesday was awesome!! We found several new investigators.. we have been so blessed to be able to find FAMILIES!  They ALL committed to come to church and to be baptized.  We are so blessed.  I love being a missionary.  My family has received so many blessings thanks to this gospel and I see the families here and ache for them to accept the gospel so they too can receive things blessings!! I love this gospel and I love being a missionary.

Thursday we met another new family... they make and sell donuts in the neighborhood (and they are GOOD and only cost 20 cents!... I may have bought several... but it is for a good cause!! to help this family... the people here are pretty creative and make all kinds of things to sell so they can pay for things for school and living... I have to support.  And they were delicious) :)  Poor hermana Rosa broke her tooth eating Chicharron.  She has gone through so much in the past few months and now she has a big hole in her face the poor thing :)  But we got a good laugh at it and are trying to help her find a cheap dentist to fix it.  I will be avoiding chicharron from now on.  

Friday was good!  We went to meet with Luis (the new investigator we found on Monday) but we were quite disappointed... turns out he had just been released from prison when we found him at the house of those members... he stole from the members and went running to keep selling drugs :( :( :( it is SO sad... he was going to change his life :(  Then we went to Comunidad... it POURED rain which is quite unlike Liberia so of course we didnt have an umbrella and we got soaked :) But it was an effective day teaching less actives and finding some new investigators in Comunidad.  I love my area I am so blessed to be here.  The field is LITERALLY white.  Literally.

Saturday was good!! We went to Kukamunga to confirm with all our investigators that they would be coming to church and we confirmed with FIFTEEN PEOPLE that they would be coming and had plans to come pick them all up!!!

Sunday... we started with MUCH faith... I just KNEW we could finally reach our goal through the Lord´s help of having at least 8 investigators at church!!!  We woke up early and hiked up the mountain to Kukamunga.  We confirmed once again with eleven investigators that they would come.  Then we found Lidieth.. who had told us on the phone that she was too sick to get out of bed... and there she was laughing and talking and running around with the neighbor lady and her children.  We caught her in the lie.  And told her that we were there to take her to church.  We got her children ready and called a taxi and she went to church :)  No one else came :(  I dont get it!  They all outright lie to us... they said they were coming!  that they were getting ready!! And they ALL say ´´Si Dios quiere!!´´ which means ´´ if God wants!´´ which basically means no.  Which is so sad because God DOES want them to go to church!!!  Ah man... we will keep trying.. At church I met some gringos! They are always so sweet and always want to send a picture to my mommy :)  so nice.  A couple of them even knew Uncle Stan!  They said he is a great man... I agreed and said that his little brother is too! :)

So overall it was a great week!! I am having many spiritual experiences daily and am SO ready to just hit the pavement and give it ALL I´ve got!  There are only 7 weeks left and I canNOT end this work until I have accomplished everything the Lord wants from me!  I am so grateful to be able to serve my Heavenly Father.

I love you all!  I can´t explain how much I miss you all.  I hope you know how special you are and how much I pray for you!  I hope you have the best week ever..

In the words of the ticos... pura vida :)

Love, Hermana Cook

Semana Sesenta y Cinco: I am a happy missionary.

Hi family and friends!!! 

I am a happy missionary.  I am just gonna give a few highlights of the week...

I don´t know if I have told you but I have a new best friend!! Her name is Sister Fowler and she is the greatest.  She is gringa and is from Bountiful.  She is Sister Loza´s companion so we live in the same house and it is the HUGEST BLESSING!! I´ve never had a gringa comp but this is the closest I´ll get and it is the best.  Well on Martes we had divisions!  She is my sister training leader so she came to my area to work with me.  She is SO full of faith.  We started out the day praying to be able to find three new families that have already been to church once.  We went out to work as I always do... diligently obediently faithfully.. but we also had SO much fun :)  Seriously I love her... when we finished the day we realized that we had found THREE new families and EVERY SINGLE ONE had been to church at least once!!! Do you all realize that Heavenly Answers our prayers!!??? He truly does!! IT just blows my mind.  The next day I studied Helaman 10 and 11 and I saw it proven there as well!  THe Lord WANTS to bless us... he wants to help us!  And if we are righteous and obedient and our desires are righteous... He will give us what we want and need!  I love my Heavenly Father... and also Sister Fowler.

On Wednesday I started teaching piano lessons again!  I sent a pic.  It is fun to be able to serve others in so many ways.  I really do love to serve... I love to be able to use my talents and abilities to bless others... I am just so blessed people.  I love my Heavenly Father.

Thursday was AWESOME too!  In Every single lesson that we had we found new investigators!!!! As I said before, when our desires are righteous and we are working hard with faith... of COURSE Heavenly Father will bless us!! I love HIm and this gospel so much.

On Friday we did divisions and I went to Coco with the Bishop and ward mission leader and his wife and my comp went to Comunidad with Heidy.  We had a great day and were able to visit many inactive members.  We are going to activate every soul!!! How many less actives do we have in our ward unit?  I am coming to help activate them.

Saturday we taught some english classes.. And all our other lessons included finding more new investigators!! We are SO BLESSED!!  I love this work..

On Sunday we had 16 investigators completely confirmed and set on coming to church.  Even Rosa Herba!  Oh ya.. on Wednesday we went to tell her we weren´t going to keep teaching her... but she told us she wants to get BAPTIZED and completely committed to come to church.  Well she didn´t come :(  I don´t understand people.  We were set on having all those 16 in church.  So we woke up early and at 7 we left and set out hiking up the mountain to bring the world to church.  We ended up with one... :)  But hey!  One is better than zero!! And this one soul is a beautiful daughter of God named Jennifer that truly needs the gospel so I am so happy she came to church.  

Now it is the 14th of Sept... the 15th is a HUGE day because its the 4th of July!!! Apparently Guanacaste celebrates all out so I will be sure to send pictures next week.  


I just hope you all realized just how blessed we are.  We may not be the richest people in the world but we have SO MANY THINGS... seriously.  In the worldly sense we are SO much richer than these sweet ticos and in that sense we are truly blessed.... but in a spiritual sense I can not even BEGIN to explain the blessings we have.  Do you realize that there are people that DON´T KNOW that they can pray to their Heavenly Father?? There are people that DON´T KNOW how to have a happy family?? Or that they CAN have a happy family?? I just want each of you to take a look around at the immense way that Heavenly Father has blessed us.  He loves us so much.... And I TRULY love Him and am honored to be serving His mission.

I love you all,

Sister Cook

My new companion Sister B from Guatemala 

Excelente Maestra

Semana Sesenta y Cuatro: Monkeys and Marimbas

Hola!  So I never found my other planner (my PLANNer not my journal.. no worries) :)  so my companion lent me her planner from the MTC and I put it in a case I had bought at the beginning of my mission... aaaaaand I lost that too.  I guess this is one of those moments that mom would say, ´´where is your head you space cadette?!?!´´ haha... woops.  I am still working on that  :) 

But this week was glorious.  Truly.  Actually it was so weird because I numbers were REALLY low... But we had been working normal and we saw so many miracles... yet the key indicators did not reflec that.  Woops.  Well we evaluated what we need to improve and have set goals to do so... but seriously this week I just... I love being a missionary.

Last Monday they took away our p-day because my comp had to go to the Panama embassy during the week.  So we had to work normal and it was actually so hard to focus.  I had to repent a lot.. Then on Tuesday we went to Kukamunga to visit Katherine!  She is preparing for her baptism on Saturday. While there we met her non member 19  year old cousin Hellen.  She seems like a member already!  She is great and we are working to help her be baptized in September.  Then we started down the mountain and found a family of four!  They actually have a lot of potential.  Then we finally found Nuria.. we watched the Restoration and the DVD skipped and broke RIGHT at the first vision!! Satanás!!! But she agreed to pray to know if Joseoph Smith was a prophet.  We finished in Pueblo Nuevo with Jennifer.  Oh how I love her.  She is progressing so well.  When we got there and asked if she had read the Book of Mormon her brothers said, ´´she reads that thing EVERY DAY!´´ :)  It was sweet. Then we ended the night with Rosa and the chicos (Eli Elian and Elias.. have I already told you about this family?) Turns out her husband has come back so she WON'T be baptized on Saturday :(  So sad.  But good that he came back I guess.

Wednesday was... I don't remember.

Thursday we took the five and a half hour bus to San Jose.. just so my comp could sign a paper... then we headed back (6 hours!)  I got sick in the curvy mountain roads (though the ride is BEAUTIFUL!  very green and jungly) In the office... they asked me what airport I want to go to so they could buy my plane ticket... it is getting real!!

Friday... oooooh Friday... it was glorious!  We started out in Kukamunga for Katherine´s interview.  To get there you have to go up a big dusty hill/mountain and in the one o'clock sun it is BRUTAL!  After the interview we had an appt. in Pueblo Nuevo at the bottom of the mountain.  After that we had another appt at the top of Kukamunga otra vez!  (i know, bad planning).  So we were ALMOST to the top when suddenly we got a test from Rosa that said, ´´Hermanas, Soy Rosa.  El 5 de Sept me bautizo.´´ we screamed and ran dooown the hill, through Pueblo Nuevo, through Moracia, until we got to Chorotega where Rosa lives.  Turns out her ´´husband´´ finally left for good so now she can finally be baptized!!!  We helped her see that there is no reason to wait for next week when we have a baptism planned tomorrow!  With tears in her eys she said yes!  Her sweet boys kissed her and hugged her.  She is SUCH  a SPECIAL woman!  This is what I love about missionary work...

Saturday.. Today Rosa Maria Serrano Rodriguez and Katherine Pamela Juarez Morera were baptized!  Rosa´s son Eli baptized her and Katherine´s dad baptized her.  IT was beautiful!  Afterwards Rosa shared a tearful testimony.. I am SO grateful to be part of her conversion!  Leda was going to be baptized too... we were at the church waiting for two hours but she never showed :(  it was so so sad.. I don´t know why.  I love her so much and I´ve been so excited that she could receive her first ordinance!  We will keep trying to contact her.

Sunday... another amazing day.  In the morning we stood by the door greeting everyone that entered and I suddenly got really sentimental and teary because I just LOVE those people... I love the members.. I love Liberia... and I loooooooooooooooooooooove serving a mission.  I don´t want to go home.  I mean I do... but man I just love it here.  Then we went out searching for new investigators... our goal was pretty lofty... ten!  We only found three... but those three we found TRULY needed us.  We had prayed to be guided to someone that really needed the gospel and we found three.  I just love being part of this work..  Then at 4:30 Marjori and her son and her friend were baptized!!! Three souls all because we opened our mouths in the super market!  They weren´t technically OUR baptisms (well they aren´t anyone´s baptisms... they are the Lord´s baptisms!!) but we just felt so happy to see them baptized.  Then in the night meeting they were confirmed.  I just love being a missionary.  Today I just felt so fulfilled and happy to be doing this work.  Man I love this.


Thank you so much for loving me... I feel your love from here and can´t wait to be with you again.  I miss you all and hope you have the best week ever!!!

love sister cook

Sister Santos

Sister Fowler

Monkeys!!!



Marimbas

McDonalds with President Laboriel

Semana Sesenta y Tres: I don't want to go home

Hola!  So I never found my other planner (my planner not my journal.. no worries) :)  So my companion lent me her planner from the MTC and I put it in a case I had bought at the beginning of my mission... aaaaaand I lost that too.  I guess this is one of those moments that mom would say, ´´where is your head you space cadette?!?!´´ haha... woops.  I am still working on that  :) 

But this week was glorious.  Truly.  Actually it was so weird because I numbers were REALLY low... But we had been working normal and we saw so many miracles... yet the key indicators did not reflect that.  Woops.  Well we evaluated what we need to improve and have set goals to do so... but seriously this week I just... I love being a missionary.

Last Monday they took away our p-day because my comp had to go to the Panama embassy during the week.  So we had to work normal and it was actually so hard to focus.  I had to repent a lot.. Then on Tuesday we went to Kukamunga to visit Katherine!  She is preparing for her baptism on Saturday. While there we met her non member 19  year old cousin Hellen.  She seems like a member already!  She is great and we are working to help her be baptized in September.  Then we started down the mountain and found a family of four!  They actually have a lot of potential.  Then we finally found Nuria.. we watched the Restoration and the DVD skipped and broke RIGHT at the first vision!! Satanás!!! But she agreed to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet.  We finished in Pueblo Nuevo with Jennifer.  Oh how I love her.  She is progressing so well.  When we got there and asked if she had read the Book of Mormon her brothers said, ´´she reads that thing EVERY DAY!´´ :)  it was sweet. Then we ended the night with Rosa and the chicos (Eli Elian and Elias.. have I already told you about this family?) Turns out her husband has come back so she WON'T be baptized on SAutrday :(  So sad.  But good that he came back I guess.

Wednesday was... I don't remember.

Thursday we took the five and a half hour bus to San Jose.. just so my comp could sign a paper... then we headed back (6 hours!)  I got sick in the curvy mountain roads (though the ride is BEAUTIFUL!  very green and jungly) In the office... they asked me what airport I want to go to so they could buy my plane ticket... it is getting real!!

Friday... oooooh Friday... it was glorious!  We started out in Kukamunga for Katherine´s interview.  To get there you have to go up a big dusty hill/mountain and in the one o'clock sun it is BRUTAL!  After the interview we had an appt. in Pueblo Nuevo at the bottom of the mountain.  After that we had another appt at the top of Kukamunga otra vez!  (i know, bad planning).  So we were ALMOST to the top when suddenly we got a text from Rosa that said, ´´Hermanas, Soy Rosa.  El 5 de Sept me bautizo.´´ We screamed and ran dooown the hill, through Pueblo Nuevo, through Moracia, until we got tot Chorotega where Rosa lives.  Turns out her ´´husband´´ finally left for good so now she can finally be baptized!!!  We helped her see that there is no reason to wait for next week when we have a baptism planned tomorrow!  With tears in her eys she said yes!  Her sweet boys kissed her and hugged her.  She is SUCH  a SPECIAL woman!  This is what I love about missionary work...

Saturday.. Today Rosa Maria Serrano Rodriguez and Katherine Pamela Juarez Morera were baptized!  Rosa´s son Eli baptized her and Katherine´s dad baptized her.  IT was beautiful!  Afterwards Rosa shared a tearful testimony.. I am SO grateful to be part of her conversion!  Leda was going to be baptized too... we were at the church waiting for two hours but she never showed :(  it was so so sad.. I don´t know why.  I love her so much and I´ve been so excited that she could receive her first ordinance!  We will keep trying to contact her.

Sunday... another amazing day.  In the morning we stood by the door greeting everyone that entered and I suddenly got really sentimental and teary because I just LOVE those people... I love the members.. I love Liberia... and I loooooooooooooooooooooove serving a mission.  I don´t want to go home.  I mean I do... but man I just love it here.  Then we went out searching for new investigators... our goal was pretty lofty... ten!  We only found three... but those three we found TRULY needed us.  We had prayed to be guided to someone that really needed the gospel and we found three.  I just love being part of this work..  Then at 4:30 Marjori and her son and her friend were baptized!!! Three souls all because we opened our mouths in the super market!  They weren´t technically OUR baptisms (well they aren´t anyone´s baptisms... they are the Lord´s baptisms!!) but we just felt so happy to see them baptized.  Then in the night meeting they were confirmed.  I just love being a missionary.  Today I just felt so fulfilled and happy to be doing this work.  Man I love this.


Thank you so much for loving me... I feel your love from here and can´t wait to be with you again.  I miss you all and hope you have the best week ever!!!

Love Sister Cook


Me and Sister Fowler cutting the cake for the baptism

Rosa's Beautiful family


Katherine was baptized by her Father

Treat Time

Semana Sesenta y Dos: Kathrin Pamela and Leda

Hola Buenas!!! Come están?? It was so fun to hear about the family week that you had and I can´t wait to be with you for the next one.  

The work is moving along here in Costa Rica!  We had another good week with ups and downs...  one of the downs is that I lost my planner in the bank (with the pretty leather cover with my name engraved on it) :( :(  Entonces I don´t reeeeallly remember EVERYTHING that happened this week haha.  Here are some random updates.

While searching for some less actives in San Rafael a.k.a Kukamunga (so called because it is way out in the middle of no where) we found an ACTIVE family with a nine year old daughter that has not yet been baptized.  So we will be baptizing her on Saturday at six :)  Her name is Katherin Pamela.  Very cute girl!  And a great blessing from our Heavenly Father to help us reach our goals.

Leda will also be baptized on Saturday at six.  Do you remember her?? She was SO great but couldn´t be baptized because she lived with her pareja.. well in the middle of the night she decided to keep the commandments and left him!  But that meant she had to move to Avangaras... which is far.  But still in our area!  So now she can be baptized!  But she can only come to Liberia ever 15 days because she can´t pay for the bus so much... but we worked it out so she can have this great opportunity!

Rosa... not Rosa herba... Rosa 2.  (everyone and their dog is named Rosa here.  Or Maria.  Or Rosa Maria de los Angeles..) Rosa 2 was an investigator of Hnas Contreras and Flores... then of Flores and Loza... then when they split the areas she became ours!  She is just the best woman in the world... her three sons were baptized but she couldn´t because she lived with her pareja.  She comes to church weekly and even pays her tithing!! Well this week her pareja left her which was so so sad...  we ran to her aid to comfort her and help her count her many blessings.. (it is interesting that as a missionary I have given more marriage counsel and advice than ever in my life and obviously I have no experience in that!  The spirit sure helps us have the words... and the real trick is that whatever problem or challenge we have... the answer, counsel, and advice, is live the gospel!)  But now she is realizing that she too can FINALLY be baptized!  So... Saturday at six!  Saturday will be such a blessed day.

This week we had a special video conference with PRESIDENT RUSSELL M. NELSON!  It was so great.  IT was great.  we were taught that in all situations we should CHOOSE JOY!  We were also taught some ways to have greater success in la obra misional.. how to work with members... fourteen topics that we should master in the gospel.. and even some marriage advice!  :)  He gave us a blessing.. envoking the power of his apostleship.. blessing us in the work and blessing our FAMILIES!  So know that you have been blessed by an  apostle of God.

Then there was a conference for all women of the church 18 and above with Sister Wendy Nelson (his wife).  Wow, she is a cool woman!  She is so smart and has written several books and was the president of the BYU Womens Conference.  
I´m sure what I am going to share you have heard before but I loved it.  She said that we can all do a little three day experimento... where every day for three days we choose one thing wherein we can by ´holy´She said we can all say  ´´ what would a holy woman do?  How would a holy woman wake up?   How would a holy woman do the laundry?  Make dinner?  Study the scriptures? Clean the house? Be with her children? Speak to her husband?´´ etc.  She then explained that for every single one of our weaknesses, there is a counter gift of the spirit for whcih we can pray and fast for to change one by one our weaknesses and REALLY make them strengths.  SHe said that all the gifts of the spirit listed in the scriptures are only suggestions and that there are many many more.  My invitation to my dear family is that every one can do this challenge!  Every day for three days look for one activity in which you can be ´holy´.  How would a holy many complete his responsibilities at work?   How would a holy girl act in school?  How would a holy boy obey his mom?  etc.. you can all apply it to yourselves.. hasta Cal!  :)  Oh and Finley too I guess.. he can talk and stuff right?  My oh my.  Anyways.. there were some scriptures she shared but I wrote them in my planner which is lost.. so just look for ways to be a little holier this week :)

I sure do love you all.  I can´t even explain it.  Like I said, ups and downs this week.  Spiritual experiences daily and also many frustrations and sad moments... but this IS the work of the Lord.  And it is a PRIVILEGE to be part of it.  I will forever be grateful and will do whatever it takes to please my Heavenly Father.

I wish you all the best week ever... especially happy birthdays to Kate and Les.  I love you all and will see you so soon!  Have a great week!


Straightening Rosa's hair

A FHE game designed by the Elders


Semana Sesenta y Uno: Seriously family I love you all so much

Here´s the biggy.  You will have to forgive me again... I got a little carried away in all my personal emails to you all.  I just can NOT get over how blessed I am.  I can not get over it.  I just want to cry and give thanks to my Heavenly Father and to ustedes all day long and not even say anything about my week.  You are the GREATEST BLESSING I COULD EVER HAVE ASKED FOR and I can not get over how blessed I am.... goodness I love you all so much.  Thank you for the love and support.. for your prayers and for your emails.  I am also praying for all of you and wish you the best in this week to come.  

This week was good!  I dont remember much....... but it was Día de la Madre!!  So we had a party and I MC-ed.  I was kinda awesome and the ward had a great time.  We played games and sang songs and the works.  

Then on Sunday I spoke on families.  No one in the world has a family like ours.  I am so blessed.

Other things happened but I don't remember.......Oh today is cambios!  I am still here to finish the training of my sweet comp Sister Santos. That´s one cambio mas (six weeks) then I will only have one more change... six weeks more!  It is FLYING by but I am so grateful for every minute.

Not many fruits yet but that is a okay.  I am so happy to be serving the Lord.  He has blessed me so much I can´t even explain it... and I will labor away all my days to thank Him.

Seriously family I love you all so much.  I just don´t even have the words to express it.  Just please stay faithful.  Please keep doing what you are all already doing and never stop.  We can only get better every day.  I LOVE YOU ALL!  Have the best week ever,

Hermana Cook 

Matching in Grey

Head Shoulders Knees and Toes

We love the Wilkinsons!!