Semana Cincuenta Cieta: This church IS true

At last I am writing you a big email :)  Y'all deserve a good update of my week :)  So here it is!

On Monday we went to Noche de Hogar with the familia Morales... We went to take the bus and found a nice Canadian couple (members!) that were lost.  We just happened to be taking the same bus so we helped them get to their hotel!  But the bus driver passed our stop so he left us out by the airport................ in the middle of no where in the dark.  Haha.  But he gave us a refund!  So we finally found our way to the family´s house and had a lovely lesson.

Tuesday... We taught our prostitute investigator... She says she wants to change but we can´t really tell...  Then Rosa.. (did I tell you about her?  She was a reference from a recent convert named Denis that talks like a Hindu but in Spanish who painted me a cool typical Costa Rican dolphin thing... well Rosa is great and sells ´´Herbalife´´ look into it.)  She accepted a baptismal date for the 8th of August!  Then we contacted her neighbors and they also accepted baptismal dates for the 22nd of August.  Then I had to go play the piano for the STAKE choir... thats right!! on Sunday will be the first STAKE conference in the history of Liberia!


Visited with Ester... she decided to get married on 19 of Sept!! YAY!  Gloriana wants to be baptized but Ester´s mom says she has to do her first communion before she can be baptized :(  ah man.  Leda is doing great... she quit drinking coffee and is so close to separating from her boyfriend.  Then Noche De Rama and... well when we left we got a notice that an Elder had passed away that day.  He fell asleep and never woke up.  We were quite impacted... I didn't know him but we all starting thinking about how each one of us could die at any minute.... for us I felt fine.. I would LOVE to be closer to my Heavenly Father... what just killed me was thinking about his family... anyway the point is that we were a bit shooken up.  We hadn´t found any nuevos yet and we only had one hour more to work... So Hermana Santos and I prayed in the street for the elder and his family, for comfort, and the ability to focus on the work for one hour more and find SOMEBODY that needed the gospel.  No one received us for that hour so we started home.  Then we both stopped in front of a house... I knew we had to knock it.  So we upped and buenased and a young mother came out... I said, ´´We are missionaries representatives of Jesus Christ and He has sent us here to your house.  I don´t know why but we just felt we needed to knock your door.´´ She started to cry and cry and cry and said that all day long she had been praying for help and now she knows that God hears prayers.  It was so impacting... God heard HER prayer and he heard OUR prayer.  I am so grateful for that experience.  We taught her a small message (because it was late!) and scheduled an appt. for Tuesday.


Rosa made us a yummy lunch and we taught her about the Word of Wisdom.  She sells all things naturally and luckily doesn´t drink coffee.  She also says she doesn´t drink the teas that are against the Word of Wisdom but she sells these herbalife teas that are a little fishy.... she serves them to us and I just don't know if they are okay or not.  I sure hope so because I drank it!  Then we visited Mauricio.  Do you remember him?  Oh wait.  I didnt tell you.  Well, I told you in a letter I sent home. We brought Hermano Carlos to the lesson and afterwards Carlos invited him to accompany him to the church for some things.. then we brought him to a baptism of the other sisters that night!! It was awesome!! That´s what we need from all the members!


This week we have been pretty low with nuevos.  We were working SO hard to visit everyone to prepare them for their baptisms in August and present members to them so they come to church and everything, and well we were always out of time to find nuevos.  So today we decided to put all our faith out there... we had a few citas fijas but for the other time we just wrote where we would be and prayed and prayed that the Lord would put people in our path.  So we started out.. and ALL our citas fijas fell.  :)  So we contacted people in the street and houses ALL DAY LONG  (very ineffective.. with 14 months I should know better but we didn't know what else to do and had lots of faith... our goal for nuevos was 10.  I knew we were going to find them!!) So we walked... and talked... and walked... and contacted... and.. well... everyone rejected us:)  At 8 o'clock FINALLY  a woman invited us in to sit down... we hadn't sat all day!!!!!  By the end of the day we found 4 nuevos... but the other three were like.. half news because they just allowed us to share a BRIEF message standing in front of their gate... We didn't reach the goal but hey.  The Lord did bless us with some new investigators.  But man did our feet hurt when we got home!! Next week we will be working better with the members so that we don´t have to repeat this day.. my poor hija... :)

Today was another Choir day.. my the choir sure sounds lovely.  Latin voices are beautiful.  ....... Ah man it is so bad!  The poor things never even learned the hymns right.  Oh well, the spirit is what counts :)  Then the other sisters had a baptism and then we visited Norma and Mauricio.  They are set to come tomorrow to church!  Norma, Mauricio, Leda, Rosa, Ester and Gloriana, and Shameli are ALL fijo to come to church!  We have worked SO hard to introduce them all to members and help them feel confident and have spiritual expereinces in the week so that they will come tomorrow!  It is the first stake conference so it would be AWESOME if they came!!


No one came.  :(  bueno.. Leda came and Gloriana came.  Rosa didn´t answer us or open the door.. Mauricio tampoco... Norma tampoco... Shameli tampoco... Ester said she was busy.  AAaaaa when will these people get it?????  So sad..  But it is okay. The Lord blessed us with two.  That´s more than last week.  We set out once again to reach a high goal of nuevos... and we were practically walking in circles.  We found two nuevos instantly that were... locas... seriously.  But hey they wanted to learn more  (I think they may live in the street).  They need the gospel too.  At night we shared a message with Hermano Carlos and he had bought us subway :)  SO NICE!  

Well, that was the week.  Now we are here... another Monday!  It is flyin by.  I am SO GRATEFUL that I am training.  Mi hija (pronounced ee huh... not hee haw) :) is Hermana Santos (de los ultimos dias) and she is an angel.  We get along GREAT and she works hard... it's like she already has six months.. she knows all the lessons has great ideas... seriously she is a gift from Heavenly Father for my last few months.  She is keeping me focused because I am missing you all more and more... I will be home November 12 it looks like!  But I am grateful I still have four more months to work work work and serve the Lord!  This church IS true.  Never ever doubt it.  Love you all!

Sista Cook

At the temple welcoming the new missionaries

I love Hermana Santos

I finally saw monkeys!

My last leadership counsel 

Semana Cincuenta Seis: I love the temple

I poorly managed my time again... Forgive me!! The next week I shall write the big email FIRST.....

Well this week was the BEST WEEK OF MY MISSION... Well, I dont know.  But it was awesome!

On Monday I headed to San Jose to wait for mi hija to come... I was assigned to work two days in... TEJAR!!! I visited some converts... Marco and Faiker... and it just was so incredible to see their progress in these four months and to see that I truly have been able to make a difference in the lives of some people.  What a huge blessing..

Then on Wednesday we went to the TEMPLE!! and did a session!!! How glorious, I hadn´t been in seven months.  I LOVE the temple.  Then on the temple steps we were assigned our hijos.... mi hija es Hermana Santos (de los ultimos días) from Panama!  She is so cute and sweet and SO powerful in sharing the gospel.

We had a good hard week!! updates to come!! I saw monkeys just walking around doing our visits!! I had NEVER NOTICED THEM BEFORE!! spiritual lesson... sometimes there are little wonders in our lives and we never ever notice.  haha.  


Hermana Santos of Panama

Semana Cincuenta Cinco: I will receive my hija

Howdy ya'll!!  What a strange day.  I am writing you from San Jose (SURPRISE) and I only have five minutes left of internet because... well we started reeeeally late so we need to go to work.  Heres the sitch...
Friday we went to San Jose for the Consejo de Liderazgo and we met President Laboriel!! He is GREAT!! Very different from Pres Wilkinson but super great.  He is REALLY disciplined, we can't drink coke or much pop at all... and we have to memorize all the Articles of Faith, the prophets of the latter days, the current apostles, the order of the books in the Book of Mormon, the scripture masteries, etc.  everything really.  I memorized all thirteen articles on the bus home. It kind of feels like an army sometimes but I love it.  He has SO much energy and urgency for the work and is also SO loving.  On Saturday he came to Guanacaste and we all had our interviews.  I expressed to him my desire to truly end my mission giving it ALL I've got and to be able to feel how I felt when I trained and he said, ´´I promise you that you will  NEVER forget these 4.5 months.´´
Today are cambios.  And I guess that's the big news.  I have changes!  Well... kind of..... my prayers have truly been answered.  I have been praying for a LOOOOONG time that I can end my mission training.  Well.... I´M GONNA TRAIN AGAIN!!! I cannot begin to explain how grateful I am.  So here is how it happened.  Hermana Loza changed rooms and is now companions with Hermana Flores because Hermana Contreras is ending her mission today.  I am staying in my area and will train.  Now Hermana Loza and Flores are the Sister Training Leaders.  Sister Loza also was the trainer of Hermana Flores so now they are together again!  So this week I will receive my hija.... I will train her for two changes then have one change left!  I am ready to give it ALL I'VE GOT and serve the Lord as a completely consecrated missionary.  I love this mission!!!!

Semana Cincuenta Quatro: Good-bye President Wilkinson

Hooooola everyone!!! How goes it in Zion?

Well I have had another great week.

Monday we went to San Jose... you heard a bit about that last week.   After we did internet we went to the mall... I went in Forever 21.  It was the weirdest experience I have had in a long time.  My have the styles changed in just 13 months!! It made me so excited yet a little freaked out haha.  It was just weird.  Also I put on a pair of high heels and felt beautiful.  My legs aren't that ugly after all haha.  

Tuesday we had our last Mission Conference in the history of the Mission San Jose Costa Rica.  President Wilkinson gave an INCREDIBLE talk.  He spoke about the 7 spiritual essentials... that if we commit to these seven things we will NEVER be inactive.  We will never face a disciplinary council... etc.  I am not going to share them now because I am preparing an awesome Family Home Evening lesson when I come home :)  It was a great meeting... afterwards President hugged each one of us (even the sisters!) :)  and we all cried and cried.  I told President that he has truly changed my life... and he said he did nothing.. it was all the Lord... but that it was a privilege to be part of it.  I hope you can meet him and Sister Wilkinson soon.  THey are truly INCREDIBLE.  It was fun to see all my friends in the whole mission... Elder Zibin, Macias, Fisher.. Hermana Garcia (mi hija!!!!!!) and Ortiz and Tripp and Davidson and Bratt and everyone.  It was so fun and I love them all.  Now that the misison is split I will probably never see lots of them again! Headed home on the bus and got home around 9:30.

Wednesday... Nothing too exciting.  Did I right about Kaylor before? Well today we met his mom, Denise.  Turns out the missionaries visited her when she was thirteen and she went to a baptism and everything!  It was a great lesson.

Thursday... we taught Lili (the girl that works at the chicken restaurant next door to our apartment).. she had a break at work so we taught her the Restoration... afterwards we invited her to pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet and she said, ´´I already believe it.´´ It was so great!  She is 16 and would progress a lot more if she wasn't always working.  If we can help her come to church she will be baptized this month! (July)

Friday we had the interview for Francisco (stepson of Ester that we reactivated through teaching his stepmom)... did I tell you about that last week?  They were going to advance Fran in the priesthood but couldnt find his records... they searched in Salt Lake and never found them... so we had to baptize him again!  My companion and I were thinking... how would it be to return home from the mission and have them say, ´´Sorry, we cant find your records... you need to be baptized again.´´ ah man.  Well I guess this is an example of ´´the church is perfect, the people aren´t´´ Somewhere someone failed to submit his record in the system and for that we had an interview for Fran on Friday.  Meanwhile, we visited with Ester. She is just a rockstar I love her so much.  In her prayer she said, ´´I thank thee, Father, that I know that this is the only true church and that every day it is confirmed more... thank you that Fran can be baptized again so he can receive thy priesthood and serve a mission.´´ I just love her.  They are supporting Fran a ton so he can serve a mission.  He is 17.  We gave him a tie from Pres Wilkinson and nosotras that he can only use in his mission.  Then we taught Denise and Kaylor the Restoration... she had some doubts but I know by praying and studying the Book of Mormon she will receive her answer.  Its just true.

Saturday was Lauriano Francisco Mora Mora´s baptism.  It was a crazy day.  We got to the church early to teach piano... then helped a little to set up for the talent show... went home to study.. eat lunch... then back to decorate for the talent show... have the beautiful baptism (none of the members we asked to help came...)... then had the talent show!  It was a crazy day all in the church but it was fun.  In the talent show I sang Let it Go again like I did a year ago in San Jose.. then at the end all the missionaries did a skit about missionary work.  It was like a silent movie so I set the mood with several different piano pieces.  I am so grateful for music and the way I have been able to use it!

Sunday... well we had had a good week..... but had only found ONE new investigator... one of the nights (I forgot which) we spent almost the whole day just searching!! Knocking doors, visiting members, less actives, recent converts, asking referrals from EVERYONE and... nothing.  we went to the appointments we had and no one opened the door.  Everyone hid.  (We literally saw them hide haha).  Maria.. Linda´s mom... saw us and we stopped int he street to saludarla and she waved and looked down and passed right by.  It was so sad.  It was actually a week of looooots of rejection.  But thats okay.. that's how it goes :)  So Sunday we had fast and were praying for a miracle so we could find some people to teach- we generally find 15 every week.  We have some great sisters in the branch that did divisions with us and... AAAA i am out of time.  Ah man.  well the miracle is that we found six nuevos!! It wasnt our goal but I really saw the hand of the Lord guiding us and helping us feel encouragement even though we had had a rough week.  Every day we have rejection and bummer situations... but the blessing are so great that I can never complain!! Heavenly Father is blessing us so much.  I love this work.   I love you all so much and I wish you all the BEST WEEK EVER!!!

Love, Hermana Cook