Semana Cincuenta Tres: Forget Myself and Go to Work

Hola!! Sorry I didn`t write last week... This week I have more time.  We are here in San Jose!  President told us a week ago that we would come a day early to San Jose before the big mission conference tomorrow because he is giving brunch to all the zones that reached their goals in April!  And thats us!! Wahoo!! So we bought our tickets for the 3 a.m. bus.  Then Sunday rolled around and the assistants called saying that actually... we aren`t invited to the brunch because they bought us pizza when we watched Meet the Mormons.  It was a rip off haha.  So now we are in San Jose all day with nothing to do (and no brunch).  Perhaps I shall buy souvenirs today :)

It has been a great great week!  On Monday we did divisions and the Servers took me to visit Pedro`s family with the family Morales in Bagases (the family that lives and hour and a half away that came to district conference) We got there and waited... and waited... but Pedro didnt show.  And his family wasn`t home.  and they didn`t answer.  It was a bummer because we went all the way down there.  Turns out he had been out drinking..... how sad.

Tuesday we visited with Alicia (daughter of Angelita... the old lady that does Noche de Hogar alone every Monday) and felt powerfully that we should challenge her to be baptized that very week.  (she knows the church is true and went for like a year but now goes to a different church) .  She said she would pray about it.... but later on she avoided the subject :)  

On Wednesday we did divisions.  My companion went to Santa Cruz with Sister Gibson and I stayed here with Sister Diaz.  They were GREAT divisions.  Sister Diaz is a truly consecrated missionary.  And together we worked VERY hard.  Used our time wisely.. opened our mouths to EVERYONE... and we finished the day with average numbers but  feeling GREAT because I know we really did all we could.  We had a great day... including a lesson where they accepted a baptismal date but at the end refused to give us their phone number and said it would be best if we didn`t visit them again.. weird.  Then a sister that accepted to be baptized but wouldnt accept a date and wouldn't even accept the commitment to pray.  weird.  :)  Then we saw a man in the street in a white shirt and tie and we said, "Are you Mormon???? Do you wanna be?? When can we come visit your family so that you can all be Mormon?¨ Haha.  it was awesome.  He accepted a visit for the following day.  We visited Leda... she has decided to separate from her husband (well... partner)... which means she can be baptized!! But she is going to move to another area :(  then we visited Norma and we finally figured out why she is so hesitant to be baptized.  She has diabetes and lupus and lots of problems and sores on her feet and legs.  She is just self conscious that people will see her!  So the next day we brought her baptismal clothes so she could try them on.  She came out VERY excited and feeling beautiful... we helped her understand that she truly is a daughter of God.  What a blessing that we have that knowledge... so many people don`t even know their worth!

Thursday we were still in divisions.. we visited the man that looked like a Mormon and he and his cousin and friend all accepted baptismal dates.  They are GREAT!  We visited Ester and helped her make a plan for when she will get married... tentatively we are planning on July 14th... she just has to propose to her husband first ;)  At night we went to an appt. we had with a referral.. but he wasnt there... so we started walking by the church and he showed up RIGHT IN FRONT of the church!! What a miracle!! His name is Kenneth.  We gave him a tour and taught him the restoration by the baptismal font.  He has studied EVERY major religion and has the belief that religion causes barrier.  But he has a great heart and wants to just serve his whole life.  I know he will get baptized it will just be a process... I think if he reads the Book of Mormon his testimony will be solidified.  

Friday we finished the divisions and headed to Capulin to search for some less actives.  Hermano Carlos bought us Subway.  Seriously I love Subway.  it tastes so much like home.

Saturday we had piano lessons but no one camethis week.  So we helped prepare a wedding and they asked me to play the wedding march (in other parts of the world you have to be married civily by a lawyer and then you can be sealed)  We went later to a baptism of the other sisters and they asked me to sing.  Then we left the church and a member from another branch was outside crying.  She was all bummed because she is old now and ever since she got home from her mission everyone bugs her about getting married and she still hasnt found anyone and is lonely.  We cheered her up :)  

On Sunday no one came to church.  Just Francisco (hijo de Ester) but he is member... SO WE THOUGHT!! He has passed The Sacrament and all but today President Lezama said that they have searched and searched and called Salt Lake but can't find his record... so we will be baptizing him on Saturday :)  My companion was sick today and we had to leave church early.  But in the bathroom I met an older woman who is gringa from Arizona and she started crying on my shoulder when I told her I speak English.  She came here all alone to try it out for a year but isn't gonna last three months.  I told her I truly know how she feels... it is SO hard to try to understand people and communicate and get used to the food and the culture and the dirt and the bugs... she cried and cried then we decided to be friends.  I hope she is okay after all!  Then we headed to do some visits and we met a family that is REALLY great.  The daughter is thirteen and is named Rochel.  she has some disabilities.. many... and can't sit down.  She is always laying down on her stomach. Her arms are all twisted up and has had surgeries her whole life.  But she has the most beautiful smile... and we taught her about her individual worth and the blessings of the gospel... she broke down crying.  It was a beautiful lesson.  They didn't accept right now to be baptized but I know they will be..  They are very special!

Well it was a really great week.  Tomorrow will be the last meeting with President.  It is so sad but all is well in Zion.  It makes me laugh sometimes that the Lord has to teach me the SAME lesson again and again and again.  I wrote a while back about enduring to the end and how I am just so tired and it is hard to get used to everything and blah blah blah.  Well the answer is clear.  FORGET MYSELF AND GO TO WORK!! That is always the answer.  And I always forget it so quickly.  I am sure that once we can all finally remember and put into practice all the principles of the gospel... we will be living celestial lives.  Until then... I shall strive to just remember a little better so He doesn`t have to remind me quite so much.

I love you all so much.  Just a shout out to all those daddies out there... Tyson Trace JD... and MY DADDY!! The best of them all.  I hope you all know how special this man is.  If you see him give him a hug for me.  And a kiss on the cheek.  He is my hero.

Until next week!! 

Love, Hermana Cook

For my Daddy

Thank You Awesome 2nd Ward Young Women!!

Semana Cincuenta Uno: I wouldn't trade this time for the world

My oh my how time flies!!! I completed a year this week!!! My roommates were so cute and made me a ¨¨cake¨¨ (really just crackers that I bought with a candle in the middle.  We dont have that much money haha:) I love the mission and am so grateful for all the growth I´ve experienced!!! While writing in my journal on the year mark I felt deeply impressed that the reason the Lord wanted me to serve a mission wasn´t for all that I was going to do in the work... really my impact hasn´t been that big... it was because of the great change that the Lord wanted to come to pass in me!  I am so incredibly grateful and wouldn´t trade this time for the world!

Well, this week was kind of a bummer.  Diana and Michael... those I love so very much... Separated for good this week.  When calling them individually, Michael said he wouldn´t go back to church until God performed a miracle and got him back with his wife... and Diana said she needed a break and would call us when she was ready.  I bawled like a baby.  I love them so so so much and it just breaks my heart when people don´t realize that God can´t just perform a miracle without them doing their part!  In this time of crisis and trial... the thing they need is the gospel!! They can´t take a break from the only thing that can save them!!  I pray that one day this couple will realize these things and will be able to make this important step of baptism and conversion in the one and only true church upon the face of the earth.  

Almost all our other investigators are kind of in the same boat..... Those that were progressing greatly took some steps back and we kind of feel like we´ve got no one.  The Elders Quorum President introduced us to a family (that lives an hour away so the Servers had to take us en carro to visit them) but they are great!  They came to Stake Conference this Sunday and loved it!  And that was a HUGE blessing and sacrifice because they had to take a bus at 6 a.m. to get here in time for 8 o'clock priesthood session.  The downside is that they are not doing well financially and dont have the funds to get here every week... and we cant pay for them every week because when we leave they will be out of luck.  But it is great to find people will to act and sacrifice!

Leda also came to Stake Conference!  Have I talked to her before?? My comp and I have been fasting to know who we should focus on this month... and during that fast is when everyone stopped progressing and told us no more... except for Leda.  She came to Stake Conference and was full of tears as she heard President Wilkinson and Elder Alonso talk.  It was interesting because the majority of the talks were about Ward councils yet she felt the spirit and knows that this church is true.  We will be going to family night with her tonight... and I THINK she is already married which is a MIRACLE!!  Ester bailed.  As well as everyone else.  But her husband joined us for a lesson on family history and they spent the night looking up their ancestors and looking at pictures of temples!!! They need to be married still but maybe that family will be a focus this month too!

Basically the week was full of ups and downs as always.  I am constantly amazed at how much I learn in such a short time in this work.  I am SO BLESSED.

I love you all more than words.  Thank you for all your love and prayers and worries and support for me, my companion, and my investigators.  We are forever grateful.

Love Always,

Hermanita Galletita

ps... I was in charge of a childrens choir with all the primary kids... we start the sunday general stake conference session.  it was beautiful and they all call me Hermanita Galletita and I love it.  Many of the same kids come to my piano class.  I am so grateful to be able to use these things to help the kids... they are the cutest.

pps... In this stake... I mean DISTRICT conference... they announced that Guanacaste will at long last become a STAKE!! It is such a blessing!!!!!! This means that now all these members can have a patriarch!! They can have temple recommend interviews HERE and not wait for President Wilkinson to come from San Jose!!! I am so grateful!!! Hooray!

We got to go to African Safari for P-day today.  Gringo members own it and let us go for free!!