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, October 27, 2015

Another week gone... {Week 15}

Elder Cook didn't have much time today, so this is all we got:

Question:  1.  Do you ever get to go sight seeing on your P-day?  Or isn't there anything close to really sight see?  What do you do on your P-day?  Do you get to play any sports with the other missionaries?  Or do anything fun?

1. Kinda.. But there are no sights to see.. haha seriously I don't know why anyone would ever come here... I don't think they do actually... It's not really a touristy place, maybe in the capital, but not where I'm at.  We go into the city of Castelar and do Cyber (computers), buy our groceries, go to the bank... maybe go shopping... Today I actually bought Jett an Argentine soccer outfit that Elder Paskett is going to take home with him (He's leaving in 3 weeks).  He's going to bring stuff that I want to get to you guys!!  So look forward to that!  Today we actually have a zone activity... I haven't had one before, but we are going to the Castelar chapel and playing volleyball and ping pong with the whole zone!

This is my zone in Castelar

Question 2.  Do you exercise everyday?  If so, what do you do?

2. Yes every day but Sunday... ummm it's hard... haha I usually take laps around the inside of the pench ( we have a big pench).  And then we have a jump rope too and we just do push ups and sit ups and things... idk it's hard to be creative haha.  We are thinking about trying to do yoga in the sun room that we have on one of the mornings! haha

We made banana bread for a family we are teaching

Question 3. Have you been able to listen to your music?

3. Yes it's been great!!  Actually I wish I would have brought more... if you could actually get a flash drive and put songs from the band "We Are They" and "Nashville Tribute Band" and other good, upbeat christian or missionary songs and send them to me that would be AWESOME!!  But they have to be in (.mp3) format which means that at the end of the song its says (.mp3) not .mp4 or any other thing.. idk.   If you can then that would be good, but if not then its fine!
We found a taco packet from America in our pench and made tacos!  Soo good

Question 4.   Have you been able to listen to General Conference?  If so, what is your favorite talk?

4.  Yes... ALL OF THEM!  Sorry I don't have time for any others... and I can't even write a whole big email...but I LOVE President Robertson!  He is seriously the best!!  And I also love my comp!  He is SUPER funny!  He reminds me of when Brykelle is in her funny, crazy mood when she rants about nothing and things. haha He's hilarious!!  We are seriously best friends now and I'm super sad that he is leaving!!

We are feeding the missionaries this Tuesday, so this is what he told me...

Love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We sent him with a bunch of packets in his suitcases that he could open on celebration days, since we can't send him any packages!  Here is his first celebration one that he opened from us.  100 days as a missionary!!!

Thanks so much!! I loved the package and your guys' letters!

100 days as a missionary!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

{Week 14}

Okkk so this week was super good!  Elder Paskett and I are always trying to mix up our routine a little bit everyday because we do the same thing basically everyday haha.  But it’s really good!  Spanish is coming along a TON!  I can understand almost completely what people are saying... now I’m just trying to get speaking down.  There are always challenges in each week, but there are also always miracles!  I learned that I need to be searching for miracles DAILY because they are always there!  Lately we have been trying really hard to find news.  We’ve been seriously trying to talk to every person we come into contact with.. It was kinda intimidating at first, but like even on the buses that we take almost daily we announce that we have a message to share with people that will help their lives, and give them cards.  We have found so much success by doing this.  I always thought that people would see us as annoying salesmen and probably some do, but I have noticted that the people here have been really receptive to us!

Something that I learned this week…  I've been studying a lot about humility!  I learned that seriously the downfall in society is pride!  That is the biggest characteristic of satan!  I’ve been working super hard to figure out how I can be more humble as a missionary.  Something that me and Elder Paskett have learned and talked about is COMPARISON triggers pride, and GRATITUDE triggers Humility!!  So I would like to invite you all to figure out how you can be more grateful in your everyday lives!!  Which leads us to become more humble, which is one of the more important attributes of Christ!  Something that I decided to start doing for this week is to only offer prayers of gratitude.  I learned this in seminary around Thanksgiving time and it seriously makes such a huge difference!!  If we just pray in gratitude and don’t ask for blessings, we will be more blessed!  God knows exactly what blessings that we need!  When we show him that we are grateful, he is way more willing to bless us!!  So that is my challenge to you guys this week.. and I have found that it’s pretty tough!  We are so used to asking for blessings in our prayers because that’s what we have always done.  But for this week, I challenge you to only offer prayers of thanks and forgiveness.  Try not to ask for ANYTHING!  If you do this, I KNOW that God will bless you with the things that you would have asked and even more!

This week we have been teaching this awesome family who is really interested in the church!  They have really been needed peace in their lives and they think that they have finally found it here in the church!  Their names are Claudia and Pedro, and they have a son, Elias.  They are super capo!! (Spanish word for stud..  haha all the Argentine missionaries use it.) They accepted to be baptized in November but they are "juntado" which means they are living together and not married, so that’s a little wall that we have to climb over but I have faith that they will be able to be baptized.  Seriously EVERYONE in Argentina is Juntando!  It’s super frustrating!!!!  They don’t really believe in marriage here... mostly because you can’t really get a divorce... something to do with the court systems, but it takes like 10 plus years to get a divorce so to be safe none of them get married!!  haha Anyways, thanks for all of your love and support!!  I hope that you all try and be extra grateful this week!!

Love Elder Cook

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

{Week 13}

So this is all we got from Elder Cook today!  He didn’t have time to write a big email, but he had time to answer some questions.  Oh and also, he was able to download General Conference to his flash drive to listen to.  YAY!!!!!!

   Question:  Did you transfer to a new area or get a new companion?  Tell us more about it.
1. I am in the same area with the same comp., but he is dying this transfer (going home).  So next transfer I'll get a new comp. and probably be leading my area because we dont really do "white washes”, which is where they take both missionaries out.. unless there is a problem.  So I’ll probably be leading my area with a new comp.!!  I’m super stressed for that!  So pray for me to get a good comp.  haha
We found a nice restaurant like Starbucks
   Question:  I am going to send you a Halloween package through the Argentina company.  I listed his choices and asked him what to send.  This was his response:
2. Oh yay!  Thanks so much!  Goldfish, pretzels, nutella, kitkats, mac and cheese, everything else I can buy here.

   Question:  How has the weather been?  Do you sleep with you sleeping bag or is your bench warm?  Have you figured out was to eat/cook better so you are not starving?
3. The weather has been better, it is spring right now, but it is still super cold!
Right now I use my sleeping bag and it stresses me out to think of how I'm going to pack it back up again.  Yeah I’ve been eating... kinda haha I eat ramen noodles, hard like Kelle taught me when I was younger.   haha Probably every day... Also we have this awesome ward memeber that is super rich and whenever he thinks about the missionaries, he sends us food!  He probably sends us dinner 3 times a week.   He asks us to call him so he can send us food when we are hungry.  He is so nice!  I love him!! haha His name is Hermano Nuñez but we call him Papi Nuñez!  He's amazing!
Going to General Conference in Moron
Question:  What has been a funny experience this week?
4. Umm I'm not sure.... We have a lot.  But a  couple of weeks ago, a dog peed on Elder Paskett’s leg and it was super funny!!!

When I was sick I put bags of cold milk on my belly haha
Question:  What has been a spiritual experience this week?
5. Spiritual experience… Okay, so we had lunch with this member who is super poor!  I always hate going over to his house because it’s so dirty and he doesn’t have a sink so nothing really gets washed and like all the silverware and stuff are just rinsed…They don’t really use soap here… Anyways, it stresses me out every time... THE DIRTIEST PLACE, but I realized I'm just super prideful and I need to get over that!  Because he is so nice and after we ate he started to share his testimony and he started crying, thanking us for what we do, because he was so greatful for the missionaries that taught him and brought him to the gospel.  He said that we need to go out there and find more people who are searching for the gospel like he was.. Seriously all he has is the gospel… He doesn’t have a family and lives alone… All that he looks forward to is church and giving lunch to the missionaries… So I felt super bad that I felt that ways towards his house, because I know he’s giving us all he has!  I love him!  I realized I needed to be way more humble.

   Question:  The hardest thing for you this week?

6. I don’t know either haha. A lot of things are hard... maybe lately just being “America sick"  not just homesick but America sick haha
Watching like 20 minutes of General Conference in English
 Question:  The best thing that happened to you this week?
7. Sacrament meeting!  It is always the best thing of the week!  I love it so much!
Kelle- My bad haircut here. Help me haha

  Love Elder Cook

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

First Transfer Done! {Week 12}

Wow I can’t believe that I’ve already been in Argentina for 6 weeks!  It’s crazy!  So conference was great!  I hope you all got to watch it.  If not, go watch it on lds.org haha.  So this week was a lucha haha.  We had a lot of things go wrong.  Elder Paskett and I were both sick throwing up for 2 days in the pench, which was no fun, but we got over that.  We were in charge of holding a noche de hogar (family home evening) for our ward on Friday.  It was supposed to be on the family.  So we decided to do an activity with cookies.  We made bad cookies with no sugar and a ton of salt and gave them to them at the beginning of the lesson, which represented a family that hasn’t put in all the right ingredients (found in The Family Proclamation).  Then we had a lesson and taught about the different ingredients we need and gave them good cookies that the Hermana’s made.  Haha it was really fun but the stuggle was so real with us trying to make the cookies!  First of all we didnt even know how.. we just started pouring flour, water, salt, eggs, and milk into a bowl and started mixing it.  hahaha We dumped a whole bag of salt in.  We didn’t have a recipe so we just guessed on everything.  Then our oven is warmed by fire and there’s no temperature settings, so we were hoping that they would just cook.   They ended up being really salty, flattened rolls with m&ms in them!  haha I guess we accomplished what we were trying to do though, because we were trying to make horrible ones... Luckily the Hermana’s were in charge of the good ones.  

Then of course the highlight of the week was General Conference!  I was super excited for it because Elder Paskett was telling me that they always have an English room for the missionaries to watch it.  But of course, my luck.. they didn’t!  I was super bummed haha. But I was actually able to understand a lot of it.  Something that was really cool is during the hymns that everyone stands and sings together, they of course have it broadcasted in English, with English subtitles on the screen.  But everyone in the stake center grabbed hymn books and sang it in Spanish.  So it was really really powerful to hear the English and Spanish being sang at the same time!  Really neat experience!  Then we were told that they were going to try to get an English room for us for Sunday and we got there, and they had one, but they couldn’t figure out how to set it up!  So we ended up listening to half of it in Spanish and watching half of it in English on someone’s Ipad! haha  I’ll send pics.  All of the yankee missionaries (that’s what they call americans here, but it’s pronounced Shahnkee) were all huddled around the Ipad haha.  

Something that I’ve learned this week is that I need to be a consecrated missionary!  That is the key.  “There are many good and even great missionaries in every mission but there are only a handfull of consecrated missionaries."  There is an amazing talk that we are reading about it and one thing that me and Elder Paskett have been trying to do to help us be more consecrated, is talk to EVERYONE and have a "24 hour smile!”  I have seen this has made SUCH A DIFFERENCE!  Even if we are discouraged or we aren’t having a very good day, when we just force a smile as we are walking down the street, it just ends up actually MAKING YOU HAPPY!  And people see you and are more likely be drawn to you and want to talk because they can see your happiness radiating!  Also it’s a promise that we will be led to those who are prepared to receive the gosepel if we open our mouths and our happy. 

 So.. this Sunday we left the morning session to go get an investigator to come and watch the afternoon session with us.  I realized that I wasn’t smiling as I was walking so I started too.  We walked for a couple blocks and then I started to turn left down a road.  I had no idea why because I knew where we were walking too.  I was confused and I turned back to keep going where we were headed but I saw this red house.  The moment I saw it, I knew that I needed to go knock on it.  I told Elder Paskett that I didn’t know why my body just turned that way, but I knew that we needed to go talk to whoever lived in that red house.  So we did and it turns out it was a single lady that was baptized 10 or so years back that is struggling with 2 kids.  She has been inactive probably since she was baptized, but I know that she needs the gospel in her life right now!  I know that the Spirit directed me to her house because I was opening my mouth and because I was trying to be happy.  We are going to teach her this week!  I’m super excited!
I know that when we do the things that we have been asked by God, he will direct our paths.

Well, I hope that you all have an awesome week!  Love you all!

Elder Cook