Elder Hunter Wayne Cook
Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission
C.C. No. 92
1702 Ciudadela
Buenos Aires

Elder Cook’s mission cannot receive packages from the U.S. :(

Friday, July 31, 2015

July 30, 2015 {Week 2}

Hola!  So this week was kinda rough. jaja  So our whole district was SOOOOOOO EXHAUSTED!  Probably from being our first week or something. But it was all good.  During some of our Spanish lessons I was seriously fighting so hard not to fall asleep!  Whenever I closed my eyes even for like just the prayer or something I would have to hurry and catch myself or pull my arm hairs because I was falling asleep!  They gave us this whole lesson on anxiety and stress and what to do when we are experiencing it and how to limit it.  haha It was really funny because they said the two biggest things were SLEEP and I cant remember the other one, but they just kept talking about if we get enough sleep we'll be fine.  Everyone thought that was really ironic cause they don't let us sleep! haha  Our days are seriously so jammed pack that we are doing something every minute of every day from 6:30 to the moment the lights are turned off!  Everyone in my room is always rushing to finish writing in their journal and we never finish before we have to turn the lights out, so I never get to write all that I want haha.  Even P-day is stressful.. we have a certain time we are supposed to do laundry and we can write letters or do whatever we want for the rest of the time.  Me and my companion plan out our P-days tho because time is SO PRECIOUS! haha I have to allot the amount of time that I will spend writing each letter! haha It's not too fun.

This is where I spend 9 hours of my day!..haha
Sundays are the best tho!  This Sunday we had a huge spiritual experience in our District meeting when we were talking about the power of the Atonement.  Our branch president, President Shallenburger and his wife were also in our meeting and every single person in the room including them were in tears!  We realized how important the atonement actually is in our life and how much reliance we need to have on the Savior.  In 1 Nephi 3:7 it says that God will provide "a way" for us to accomplish all that we need to do and all that he commands us.  The way is the Savior.  (John 14:6).   But we have to rely soley upon the Savior in what we do or we will fail!  Think about how many times Nephi and this brothers tried to get the plates.. Every time they tried to do it with their own strength they FAILED!  I think the Lord was teaching them a lesson on how important it is to rely on Him.. Because the only way that they were able to succeed and get the plates were when the Lord helped Nephi and placed Laban into his hands.  WE CAN DO NOTHING WITHOUT CHRIST!  HE IS THE WAY!  

(Hunter's mission is not able to receive packages once he is in Argentina. We have [my mother has] been working very hard to send him enough packages in these next few weeks to make up for the lack of packages he can receive for two years once he leaves the MTC haha) 
Thanks for all the food and packages! Everyone is jealous! haha I have more than everyone in my district combined!
I was getting really stressed on Sunday and Monday because we had to teach 4 people on Monday.  2 member lessons, and 2 investigator lessons.  Of course all in Spanish.  Seriously I am so jealous of anyone who is going English speaking cause it would be SO MUCH EASIER!   I have so much to say but I can’t cause I dont know how! haha  Anyways I was really nervous cause I didn't know what we should teach about and my companion is really funny.... he just goes with the flow and doesn’t need a plan.  I am completely opposite.  I need to know actually what I’m going to teach and how I'm going to teach it.  I found out that this is NOT THE WAY!  We need to have a lesson plan and what we want to get across to our investigators, but we need to be more focused on weaving our lessons around the needs of that exact investigator.  The biggest things that we can do as missionaries is LISTEN!  We need to be like those dumb Ken Garff signs on the freeway with the huge ears and no mouth!  Listening and truly caring is the KEY! Cause when we listen we understand the needs of that person and the spirit can lead us to what we need to tell them and how.  Our very best lesson yet has been when we prayed to know how we could help our investigator and how we could meet his needs.. Instead of thinking what we were going to teach we studied doctrince and principles that we thought he needed in his life.  Then we went in and just LISTENED to him.  By listening to him we were able to know exactly how to help him and exactly what he needed to hear.  Not thru us but thru the spirit!  The SPIRIT is so crucial.  In this lesson I felt like the spirit taught... I dont even remember what I said but we could feel the spirit so powerful!  We invited the investigator, Julio to pray and the spirit flooded the room!  I realized the scripture is true... this is just a paraphrase "think ye not before hand what ye should say but treasure up in your minds the words of life, and it will be given you in the very moment what you should say!"  This is so true!  I have also been able to have Spanish just flow out of my mouth without realizing what I was saying.  The gift of tounges is so real!  By now I feel like I can understand 80-90% of what people speak.  I can also basically say what I need to say by working around the words I dont know.

Yes..missionaries can fly
I love Mi Distrito!  Seriously we are like one big family! There were some companionships that were struggling and Elder Mercier and I were able to counsel them and they have been doing a lot better.  They are super funny too!  I have found that the Lord has blessed my eyes to be open to know the needs of every member of my district.  I have been able to know what to say and how to help them with their struggles.  

Lastly, I love my roommates!  Elder Smith, Rasmussen and Mercier are the best!  We have became such close friends!  Elder Rasmussen and I are kind of the same... we are super organized and have to have our beds tucked in tight and have everything in order with a schedule.  hahaha Thanks mom for teaching me to be organized.  I really didn't noticed how much I cared until I started living with others and taking care of myself haha. I need my room to be clean! haha
My favorite roommates-Left to Right:  Elder Smith, Elder Rasmussen, Elder Mercier, Elder Cook
Well I have to go!  We are going to the temple today at 2:00!  I love the temple!  I challenge all of you who are reading this to go to the temple more often!  The temple is the place and source of power and strength, thru going to the temple I promise that life will be easier and you will be happier!  

Don't let the looks deceive you...the only good thing is the caffeine free coke! (Which I drink everyday! haha)

Love you all!

Elder Cook

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


Hola Familia!!  WOWWWWWWW! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY SOOOOO MUCH! Thank you all so much for sending me the packages and dear elders!  Please send more!  Also, let my friends know about the dear elder thing.   Its nice to get letters the same day you send them!  So I have soooo much to tell you guys but we only get an hour for email and we are trying to be 100% obedient!  I might be sending you all hand written letters if I don’t have enough time.  So my first day was CRAZY! When the elder whisked me away the first thing we did was go get my name tags.  Then, there was like 500 different tables with different papers and keys and access cards etc.  Then they took me to the bookstore where I got a giant 15 pound bag with supplies and books in spanish and english!  I felt bad cause the elder helping me was carrying all my heavy luggage, and I live on the top floor and there is no elevators so I felt really bad haha.  Then we went to the classroom that I will be spending basically all my time in for the next 6 weeks.  The hermana teacher only spoke in spanish and it was really hard to understand!  Everyone in the classroom was the people who are in my district for the next 6 weeks.  I met my companion, Elder Mercier(Mercy-A) he's awesome!  I don't think I could’ve gotten a better companero!  

The teacher only spoke in spanish for the next 5 hours.  Yeah so side note, I found out that they put me in the intermediate spanish class???!!! So hard!  I'm the most behind out of everyone in my district with spanish.  Almost all of them took AP spanish this year!  I didn't have time to open any of the letters in the "open now" packet the first night but I was able to open them throughout the week cause we were literally busy the whole day.  I only had about 10 minutes to get ready for bed and write in my journal before "lights out". The spirit here is seriously SOOO STRONG!!  The first two days I struggled with spanish and understanding but now I'm to the point where I understand almost all of what someone is saying to me!  It's just hard for me to speak back.  

Last Thursday we had interviews with our branch presidency and then after he called me to be the District Leader!!  I was really nervous and didn't really want to be because I felt like I had soo much stuff to do and didn't have time.  We had to prepare to teach a lesson on Thursday and Friday completely in spanish, prepare a talk for sacrament meeting, and me and Elder Mercier were assigned to teach priesthood on Sunday too!  I felt like I had so much stuff on my plate and I couldn't handle the responsibility of being in charge of everyone.  District Leaders are responsible for the whole district, conduct interviews with the senior companions, conducts meetings, make sure everyone is doing okay, reports to branch presidency, etc.  I accepted tho of course.  I'm soo glad that I did!  It has been the best experience!  Thursday night one of the Hermanas, in our district, Hermana Beidler, was struggling and asked me if I could give her a blessing, I did and I was really nervous cause the branch presidency was there listening.  The spirit was SOOO STRONG!
The priesthood is REAL! She told me later that she has felt 100 X better. I love my district! I seriously feel like we have been best friends with each other for our whole lives! On Friday I told the district that we should set goals together so we set goals.  I challenged everyone to be 100% obedient and everyone accepted the invitation!  We have been doing all that we can do to be 100% obedient!  On our temple walk on Sunday we even walked the long way cause the sign said "please don’t walk on the grass”  haha all of the other missionaries probably think we are crazy but I know that we are being blessed with miracles because of it!  I have learned more spanish in the past week than I have in 3 years in school.  
Left to right:  Elder Bates, Elder Malovich, Elder Mercier, Elder Cook, Elder Smith, Elder Rasmussen
Hermana Rounsville, Hermana Beidler, Hermana Peck
By Friday I could pray completely in spanish and it’s cool cause all of our prayers everyday, which is a lot, (waking up, gym, breakfast, class, ending class, lunch, class, ending class, dinner, study time, nighttime, companionship prayer etc.) are ALL 100% in spanish! I can basically say anything I want in my prayers because of what I've learned so far!  THE GIFT OF TOUNGES IS REAL!  My roommates are Elder Mercier, of course, who is from Oceanside, CA, he is AWESOME! He is going to Cordoba, Argentina.  I seriously couldn’t have asked for a better comp.  He has the same mindset as me and strives to please the Lord.  He was actually an ordinance worker at the San Diego Temple before he came on his mission.  He graduated in 2014.  He's becoming to be one of my best friends!  Also in my room is Elder Rasmussen from Draper, who is going to Santiago Chile, and Elder Smith, from Virginia who is going to Sydney Australia!  WE all leave the same day!  I know that we were all meant to be here together.  All of us had crazy circumstances which led us to entering the MTC at this time.  My companion was supposed to be in the advanced 2 week course that started on July 1 but they rescheduled him for July 15 intermediate randomly.  For me my mission call took forever and I didn't get into BYU summer term.  The others had similar circumstances but I can’t remember exactly.  They are really cool and everyone in our district is here for the right reasons.  

It's sad to see other missionaries in our zone (floor) who aren't obedient.  They all stay up past bedtime and are playing games and stuff in the hall.  One night they were being so loud during (quiet time 10:15-10:30) my companion asked them if they could be quieter so that we could feel the spirit.  Guess who was the ones being loud?  THE ZONE LEADERS! AHHH hahaha  The other Elders in our distrito are Elder Schwartz (going to Orlando, FL) and Elder Malovich (going to Southern Argentina I forgot the name) who are both from SLC.  They are awesome too.  Our district is the only ones that are obedient and I'm grateful that I was blessed to be in it.  The hermanas in our district are Hermana Beidler from Virginia (going to California somewhere) Hermana Peck from Arizona (who is going to Cordoba, Argentina) and Hermana Rounsville from New Mexico (who is going to Cordoba, Argentina). They are amazing and always have the spirit.  Seriously tho I LOVE THE MTC!  The spirit here is so strong!  One of the Elders in our room was telling us about a talk one of the general authorities gave about how special the MTC is and how he said something about angels who are constantly on the rooftops of the buildings guarding us!!!  When I get in bed I hate taking off my name tag cuz I love seeing my name next to Christ’s.  I love knowing that I am a representative of him!  I seriously can't go to sleep sometimes because I'm so happy!  I just can't stop smiling!  
Where we spend 9 hours of our day
It's funny because since we are in class so much only speaking spanish (9 hours a day) we forget how to speak English sometimes! hahah We also usually teach 2 lessons a day.  100% spanish!  The first one was pretty rough but we have gotten a lot better!  Our investigators are Antonio, and Alan.  Antonio is a fake investigator, but we think Alan is real cause people have told us that and he doesn't wear garments....  So kinda intimidating.  We learned that as missionaries we need to be fluent in 3 languages, english, spanish, and the language of the spirit!  The language of the spirit is the MOST IMPORTANT!  We had a very humbling experience and lesson when we were teaching Antonio.  We were teaching about baptism but were having a hard time speaking. There was silence and I felt like I needed to ask him if he would pray for us, to know if the church was true right there!  He did!  The spirit immediately flooded the room!  We realized it didn't matter what we were saying or what we were trying to say in spanish, but that the only language we need to be fluent in is in the spirit!  Even tho are spanish was horrible it was the most powerful feeling!  On Tuesday, Hermana Peck y Hermana Rounsville were getting a cold.  They asked us to give them blessings.  I was able to anoint the oil for Hermana Rounsville and mi companero gave the blessing.  Then with Hermana Peck we switched roles.  SERIOUSLY I CANNOT DESCRIBE THE POWER THAT WE FELT!  Almost all of us were in tears after the blessings. I didn't even know what I said but I know that God put all the words into my mouth!  I can't describe it!  I LOVE THIS GOSPEL SO MUCH!  I LOVE BEING A MISIONERO!  Sorry I have no time! I will send you guys all personalized letters in the mail!  Sorry!  LOVE YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH!  I couldn’t be in a better place.  Its funny we all say that we are not in Provo, but in a whole different world.  On our temple walk we saw a family and we were like oh yeah I forgot that there are children in the world! hahaha I get to go to the temple today @ 2! I got to go!  

P.S. The food here sucks!  Me and Elder Mercier eat either cereal, PBJ sandwiches, or starve haha.  We have only gotten like 2 decent meals.  But it’s all good!
Thanks for the real food, please send more!!
-Elder Cook

It's Official!!!

On Wednesday, July 15, 2015 we dropped Elder Hunter Cook off at the Provo Missionary Training Center (MTC).  That morning he was extremely anxious and excited to get there and get started. On our way, we were able to stop at the Provo Temple to say our goodbyes and take some pictures.   At 12:40 pm we left the temple and all piled into the car to drop him off.  We were able to give him some hugs and say our goodbyes as he was whisked away, to begin his two year journey as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints!!