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. :(

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Hello Argentina!! {8.25.15}

Love you!  I'm still going to ARGENTINA!!! THANKS SO MUCH FOR YOUR PRAYERS ABOUT MY VISA!! I have grown so close to my district.  They are my family now too.  I feel the EXACT same way leaving here as i did leaving you guys to come in the MTC.  I haven't really had an appetite, like when we ate at Cafe Rio haha... but its all good cause i know that the Lord is with me.  I just am so close to these people. They are my brothers and sisters.  It's sad to say goodbye.  The most bitter sweet all over again!!! Well I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!
-Elder Cook
Our favorite teacher, Hermana Lamb!  She has literally changed my life!
We were thrilled to be able to speak with Elder Cook yesterday from the airport. His flight left SLC yesterday afternoon, and he arrived in Buenos Aires, Argentina this morning at around 9:00 am ART (they are 3 hours ahead of us).  It was great to hear from his mission president this morning letting us know he made it safely!! :) 
Dear Family and Friends of Elder Hunter Wayne Cook,
 We are writing to inform you that your missionary, Elder Cook, has arrived safely in the Argentina Buenos Aires West Mission. We have enjoyed becoming acquainted with him and are excited to be serving together.
 Thank you for the sacrifices you are making at home to have a missionary in the field. We know the Lord blesses and cares for the families of the missionaries.
 Warmest regards,         
President David P. Robertson and Hermana Julie Robertson
Buenos Aires, Argentina Temple

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Last Week At The MTC!! {Week 5}

Argentina Bound!!

So crazy that this is my last week!!! It doesn't seem real!  Also, as of today I am going to Argentina on Monday!  So, I believe that means I GOT MY VISA!!!  But that could change.... So cross your fingers... this week has been really crazy! 

First of all today is super crazy cuz we are trying to wash all of our clothes, get haircuts, email, pack, and go do a session….I literally have no time so sorry if this is a little short...

   First off, I LOVE SUNDAYS!... I have found like my good friend Mckenna Kirby always told me, Sundays are the day that gives you the boost and the spiritual charge to get you thru the next week..  You have to rely on Sundays!  Never forget the importance of going to all 3 church meetings with a desire to learn and feel the Spirit... because when we do, we will get our spiritual charge that will allow us to get thru the next week!  GO TO CHURCH!!!!  I promise it will  benefit you tremendously!  
This is how the MTC makes us feel most of the time...Stressed haha
On Sunday, we get to go to movies.. this week we went and saw “The Character of Christ" for the second time.  They only show it here at the MTC because of promises meant only for missionaries... it was given by Elder Bednar.  It seriously is so good and talks about how we need to turn outward and not inward.  Because Christ ALWAYS turned outward!!
Also, on Sunday we had an awesome devotional!  We had a MISSIONARY CONCERT basically hahaha. The Nashville Tribute Band came and played for the devotional and the Spirit was so strong!  Look them up!  They are a really good mormon band.  
My district and where we're all going
One thing that I’ve learned here at the the MTC is how important LOVE is!  I truly believe that love is the most powerful motivating force in the entire universe!  Through a sincere love, which is a gift from God, we can literally change the world and do anything!  

On Monday, we gave a bunch of lessons again and we got to do another skype lesson.  This time it was a lady from Buenos Aires West!!  Her name was Jimena.  It was a really cool experience to talk with a native that is where I’m going!  But the bad part is Argentina Spanish is not the Spanish I learned here at the MTC!  They speak so fast with a "sha" and they talk in "vos”  I literally understood like 10% of what she was saying, so that really freaked me out.  Because here I got to the point where I could understand basically everything.  But I’m nervous for the Argentina Spanish!!  So pray for me haha.  
Argentina clan
I also came to the realization this week that this mission is going to go by so fast!  On Tuesday night I started crying because I realized how fast the time was going.  I CANNOT LET ONE SECOND of the Lord’s time go by unnoticed.  I only have less than 23 months left to live this way and to only focus on others and the gospel.  I cannot let one person go by without opening my mouth and talking to them.  The time is running out and I’m already getting anxiety about coming home.  I feel I don’t have enough time to preach the gospel.  In a devotional we learned about how the people who we teach are going to remember us for eternities!  They will never forget who introduced them to this glad message!  I want to help everyone I come into contact with Come Unto Christ.  I can’t put it in words the love, joy, and power I feel from this gospel and THE ATONEMENT!  Seriously use the atonement daily!  It is such a source of POWER AND STRENGTH!  Without it I wouldn't have been able to make it these past 6 weeks.  
All the books I'm supposed to somehow pack...
Midnight snack 
I also learned something because I always feel like I need to be perfect, so to all the perfectionists out there listen up... Jesus Christ wasn't perfect because He strove to be, He wasn’t perfect because He was a perfectionist.  He was perfect because He was a God, and because He was the greatest example of LOVE!  So my challenge to all you out there this week, is to try to place others before yourself and try your best to show LOVE to EVERYONE!  
Sorry this has been short.. I have so much more I would love to say but I don’t have time!!!!!!

LOVE YOU ALL!  Remember Christ, remember His atonement and use it EVERY DAY.   It’s NOT JUST FOR SINS!  And have LOVE FOR EVERYONE!  
Elder Cook

Friday, August 14, 2015

Week 5 According to the MTC!!! {Week 4}

So its so crazy!! This is our fifth week and on Monday we start our last week (the 6th week). They count the Wednesday when I got here until that Sunday 1 week.  Also WE GET OUR TRAVEL PLANS TOMORROW!!  I'm so excited!  I really hope that my visa has went through and I’ll be able to go to Argentina!  

This week was just like the other ones..  I just want to get into the field! jaja  So this week we committed two of our investigators, Sami, and Alan to baptism!  So that was pretty cool.  Even tho they are fake... jaja Elder Mercier and I were actually called as Zone Leaders also!  We are over 4 districts.  Today has been really crazy actually because while we were emailing home, we got a phone call(zone leaders have cell phones) informing us that one of the new elders that came in yesterday was admitted into the hospital last night.  So we have spent our whole day arranging for people to stay with his companion (who didn't get any sleep because he was at the hosptial all night) so he could get some rest today.  We were also instructed to go to the travel office to schedule us a bus over to the hospital so we could be with the Elder and so we had to meet with one of the counselors to the President of the MTC who had to call our branch president and say that we couldn't do that because he would be in surgery all day.... so we’ve had a crazy day.  I didn't realize all that the zone leaders are in charge of.  We are literally the eyes and ears for the branch presidency.  
This is us with our investigator Alan...Monday is our last lesson with him :(
Something that I learned this week is that just becauase we are set apart as missionaries, doesn’t mean that we will always have the Spirit with us.  We have to be constantly working for it!  We have been set apart and serioulsy this is one of the only opportunities in our life that we could seriously ALWAYS have the Spirit guiding us and directing us because of the lifestyle which we now live.  We can literally leave babylon (the world) behind completely and focus on Christ and God for the next two years.  But it is our choice.  We HAVE TO take advantage of the precious time that we have as missionaries to be representatives of Jesus Christ at ALL TIMES!  Also it is super important that we have the Spirit always with us always guiding what we say for our investigators  We don't know all the needs of our investigators, we dont know what they have went through in their lives, BUT GOD DOES!  This is why it is so crucial.  God knows his children PERFECTLY and knows exactly what they need to hear.  This is why we need to be constantly in tune with the Spirit so God can let us know what our investigators need to hear.

I had another eye opening experience this week.  On one of the nights I had a dream about home and about my mom (love you mom!) and I woke up feeling superrrr home sick.  I felt super trunky the whole first part of the day.  Then, as I bore my testimony in a district meeting, something came to my mind.  I realized that the way that I missed my family right at that moment was nothing compared to what pepole might feel when one of their family members die.  I felt like I really wanted to see my family but I realized that those who don't have a knowledge of this gospel would have that exact feeling only 100X worse, because they think that they will never see them again!  This really opened my eyes and made me realize that whenever I miss my family, I need to think of those who REALLY MISS their family and think that they will never see them again.
District photo
Oh also, so I might have already told you, but Monday is usually our busiest day!  We usually teach 4 different people.  This time the member that we got to teach was over skype!  We got to skype a native lady that was living in Panama!  It was cool to see how much I could actually understand and how much I was able to speak to her!  It was an awesome experience.  Some people in my district were able to skype people in Argentina and I was jealous.  jaja

It’s crazy how close that I have grown with my district!  We all feel like we have all known each other our whole entire lives!  Since our premortal lives!(we actually probalby did jaja)  But anyways I’m just super grateful for all of the friendships that I have been able to make.  We always talk about how we are all going to be friends forever and how were going to have many district reunions when we all get back..  I guess what do you expect when you are with the same people for almost 16 hours a day for 6 weeks! jaja On Tueday night we got to go to our apartments a little early so we all brought our food out and there are tables outside our buildings and had a little fiesta!  Thanks mom for the chips and queso and doughnuts. They were the highlight! jaja
Our fiesta
Yesterday I had a really cool experience.  During class, Hermana Lamb, our teacher, asked us to all get out our Spanish BOM and start reading together as a class.  Usually we get to have our English ones out too, to figure out what it’s saying, but this time she said Spanish solomente!  So for the first 4 verses I was confused.  Then I really tried hard and prayed that I would be able to understand.  WOWWW the spirit was so strong!  I was able to understand what we were reading and the whole time my heart was on FIRE!!   I got the strongest feeling that God really does want me to learn this language and I know that the gift of tounges is real!  It was such an amazing experience and I thanked Hermana Lamb after.   The only time that I struggle is when I doubt in myself.  I learned that faith and doubt CANNOT COEXIST!  God cannot work thru our doubt, the gift of tounges won’t come if we are doubting in ourselves. 
Just doing laundry again!!
Well I’m running out of time... we have been running around all day and now it’s nice to know that we get to go to the temple and relax a little.  Well I hope you all have an awesome week! 

Love you all!
Elder Cook

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Halfway Done!! {Week 3}

Wow... where have the days went?  Literally the days have flown by!!!!   I feel like I just barely got here!  Now my distirct is the second oldest in our zone!  On Tuesday we will be the senior district!  So weird!!!  So much happened this week.  Being a missionary especially in the MTC is kinda an emotional, spiritual, and physical roller coaster haha. One day you feel so amazing and feel like you can do anything, then the next you feel like garbage and dont have any energy.  Its kinda rough but I just have to remember that “I can do all things through Christ which strengthenth me."  Our P-days end at 6pm so last Thursday mi companero y yo taught our investigator Sami who is our teacher Hermana Lamb..  It went so well!  That day in the temple we were praying to know her needs and how we could apapt our lesson to meet her needs.  We went into the lesson with the strongest spirit!  We taught about Christ's atonement and our dependance on him. The spirit was the strongest it has ever been in any of our lessons and we litterally teach about twice a day and sometimes 4 times.  We connected really well and I truly felt a love for Sami and wanted to help her!  Afterwards she came up to me and my companion and said that it was the best lesson that she has ever had taught to her in all the time that she has worked at the MTC!  She said in some points she was forgetting that she was acting as an investigator because the things that we were saying were applying directly to her as herself and what she needed in her life!  This boosted our confidence a lot.  Of course it wasn't because of us.  The spirit was the teacher.  We were just the mouth pieces!  
Mi favorito distrito, minus Elder Schwartz who couldn't make it on the walk.

Here at the MTC I see miracles daily.  There have been so many experiences that have positively impacted my life!  Sometimes I struggle with doubt in my ability to teach and to speak the language and I usually get really nervous before we go and teach but there have been SO MANY tender mercies!  This is truly sacred ground.  I have felt the power of angels around me helping me.  There are unseen forces constantly with those who are seeking to do the Lord’s work.  I know that my ancestors are here with me helping me through all the difficult times.  Don't think the MTC is all fun and games.. Like I said it is a huge roller coaster haha, and I wouldn't be able to stay on the roller coaster if it wasn't for the help of my Savior, and those guardian angels, and all of your guys’ prayers, so thank you so much!  I want you all to realize the deep love that Heavenly Father has for each one of you personally.  There are not even words to describe.  I testify that when we ask God SINCERELY, and DILIGENTLY seek Him, He WILL come to us.  It’s a promise.  God always keeps His promises.  Also, please read the BOM every day!  You will be amazed by the power that you get from it.  I have seen that here at the MTC and with the investigators that we have taught.  

We walk by this statue every time we go do our laundry and feel a special bond, because we are always carrying our clothes like him....hahaha

On Sunday, we had mission conference, which is a huge conference with everyone in the MTC where the MTC presidency speak.  There were over 2,700 in attendance!  So crazy!  It was one of the best meetings I have been to.  There were so many things that were said that answered my prayers and applied directly to me!  I love Sundays!!  It’s the one day of the week that I don't feel stressed.  Even P-days are stressful but Sundays are the best!  We have a MTC wide devotional every Sunday night and then we get to go to a movie.. This week my district went to the Joseph Smith movie.  This Sunday was really awesome tho cuz we had mission conference in the morning, then church, then a devotion from Sheri Dew at night.  She is the lady that you see on the Deseret Book commercials who is like the CEO or something.  Anyways, her address was AMAZING!  We also get the chance to get devotionals on every Tuesday night too!  This tuesday was very special!  President Russell M. Nelson came to speak to us.  ME and my district joined the MTC choir so we could sing for him.. It was also broadcasted to all of the other MTC's around the world!  I’ve never sang for that many people before! haha.  It was a really awesome experience!  The spirit in the whole entire meeting was completey different from all of the other devotionals that I have been too.  Even the opening prayer was so powerful I was almost in tears haha.  It was cool to think that he could be the next prophet because he is now the President of the Quorum of the Twelve.  

Here's my zone.  I love my branch presidency.  All of them have a special place in my heart

So the past week I had noticed that my language speaking skills were dropping.  I realized that I wasn't qualifying for the gift of tounges because I wasn't putting in enough effort to learn the language as I should have been doing.  I made new goals and I have already seen such a drastic change.  This is another witness to me of the gift of tounges.  I made it a goal to SYL (speak your language) so only speak Spanish as much as I can.  Then when I’m trying to say something and I don’t know how, to write it down and look it up.. It’s not too fun to carry a dictionary everywhere you go, but it is worth it!  I had a language assessment yesterday and the guy told me that I was at a 4.  The scores are 1-7  1: knowing little to none and 7: native speaker... so I guess I’m half fluent? haha.  He said that if I committed to speak only Spanish for the next 3 weeks that I could be at a 6!  I know I can only do this with the Lord.  With the Lord everthing is possible!  There is no limit to how high you can succeed.  The only limits that exist are the ones that you place for yourself because of doubt and undedication.  I’m getting really good at understanding what people are saying and teaching the lessons in Spanish.  I don't have to have planned out phrases anymore of what I want to say.  They just come.  And when I dont know how to say something I can usually work around it by saying what I do know how to say.

I have seen so many people from PG here!  It's so awesome to be able to see familiar faces!  Quaid told me that he got reassigned to Mesa, AZ because his visa didnt get approved... That made me really nervous about mine! haha So please pray that I will get my visa!  I just want to get to Argentina!  I’m soooooooooooooo EXCITED! I just want to go out there right now!  
Elder Cook and Elder Freeman- Elder Freeman is in my same building...we talk usually every day

Thanks for your prayers and for your support!
Love you tons!

Elder Cook

P.S.  Thanks to all those who have sent me letters or dear elders.. It really means a lot.  I love hearing from you and about whats going on.  I’ll try and reply to you asap.