Monday, November 25, 2013


Lieve Familie,
             Well familie what a week it was here in Den Haag and it looks like i'll be staying here for another 6 weeks!! (thank heavens)! Transfer calls were last night and I am so grateful that our phone never even rang. So in otherwords Elder Thomas and I will be staying together and finish training Elder Alade before he bounces to the good'ol zoo (mtc) in Provo.
              I am so happy that I will finally be staying in a place longer then one transfer and even though it's absolutely freezing here, I'm so glad that the place I'm staying is Den Haag! Den Haag really is such a blessed city and I love the ward here. I have been able to make such good friends with the Members here and especially some of the kids, I mean all the kids here in the ward call me "Elder Coookie" hahaha pretty funny!
          But about the week- this week was full of so many ups and downs (as usual). The week started off with going to my sweet angel Zuster Barries house to check up on how she is doing now that she is baptized. She taught me how to make some LEKKER African food (Mom you would be so proud of my cooking skills now) and honestly everyday I see her she just makes my day so happy! I truly am so grateful for her. She is already making plans on coming to America in the 2015 summer and staying with us.... hahah she is awesome!
              The next day we had zone training in Leiden so I finally got to put on my absolute netjes European Suit! LOOOOKINN FRESHHHH! hahah and then on Thursday we got the opportunity to teach Ethlyn, who is now one of my absolute best friends! Ethlyn's story truly is amazing and I would tell it but I don't want to take up 10 pages on here... But anyways it was probably one of the most spiritual lessons i've ever had. By the time we were gonna say the closing prayer, the room was absolutely quiet and the spirit just took over. A baptismal date will be coming up soon!
               The next day we had a good run in with the "J Dubs" (Jehovah Witness') and well it was interesting. Nothing else more to be said about that.. hahah. But it did just make me realize how grateful I am for the knowledge I have about the Book of Mormon and the Plan of Salvation. 
              Oh and I must say one more thing about investigators.. we got a call on Saturday night from a member about teaching their little brother. Well we got a new 9 year old investigator named Eshmal and he is soooo cool! He such a little stud and so funny. We taught him the Restoration and looks like he's gonna be getting baptized in the next month or so! SUPER BLESSED AHHHHHH! Miracle from the Lord right there.
              Now the news you've all been waiting to hear... THE TURKEY BOWL! It was up in Amsterdam, so I got to spend the entire day there and I must say that Amsterdam is my dream city to serve in! But yesss.. The Nederland Turkey Bowl was last Saturday and it was pretty dang fun. It was pretty relaxed since there was a lot of people there who don't even understand the game of Football, but still fun! President Robinson and I were going at it all day and I'm gonna be honest- for a 55-65 year old man, he's got some game! hahah It was nice to put on the good 'ol cleats and relive the glorious High School days....... HA! blahhhhhh! And speaking of High School, shout out the EHS football team. Keep your heads up boys and just remember to be grateful for having that chance to play because not very many teams even get a chance to play in a game that big.
             Thanksgiving this week huh... "Well lesss putta nother, SHRIMP ON DA BOBBIE"!! 
Thanksgiving, what a great American Holiday. A holiday all about giving thanks, being grateful, and showing your love for one another. How blessed and unblessed are we Americans.. I mean we're blessed to have another holiday, another day off of work, and a day to spend time with our families. But how unblessed are we, that we have to have a holiday to remind us to give thanks. COME ONNNN! hahaha Thanksgiving is really such a blessed time of the year and I'm really gonna be thinking about you all this Thursday. I am so grateful for each and everyone of you. I'm grateful for having three beautiful sisters who I absolutely love and an older brother who will always be there for me. I'm am so grateful for you Mom and Dad. You two really have no idea how grateful I am. I'm eternally grateful. Gosh family I love you guys so much and miss you all. Take the time this week to not only be grateful for one another, but also for your Father in Heaven and His plan. Afterall, it was His plan to put us together as a family and it is through His plan that we will be together forever. 
"Ik ben heel erg dankbaar daarvoor"
           -Elder Cooooookie


Monday, November 18, 2013


 Mijn Geliefde Familie,
       Wow what a week it was. Such a stressful, but rewarding week thats for sure. From all the emails I recieved I'm guessing you all want to know about the baptism this week and before I get there I just want to say -
Familie ik ben op mijn zending bijna 6 mandan nu. Elke dag is een echt practige geweest, so veel wonderen dat mij hulp om door de dag te gaan. Ik ben heel erg dankbaar voor mijn beproeving dat ik gehad heb. Ik hou van mijn zending en hou ik van jullie ook. Streker Door Strijd is juist en iedereen moeten tot het einde genieten :)
         Soo the baptism... Well everyone Mariama Barrie was baptized! It truly was the most humbling experience of my life.
Just a little background information on her - Barrie was a Muslim and has one of the craziest life stories I have ever heard. For those of you who dont know, going from Muslim to Christian is quite the change and it takes a strong testimony and A WHOLE TON of faith.
        The baptism was so amazing, but I must tell you all the full story because it is actually extremely funny. Before the baptism we went to go fill the font up and last time we filled it up it took about 2 hours and it still wasn't full all the way. So this time we thought: "Hey lets just turn the water on and then come back in about 2 hours or so" - super smart right? Yeeeeeaaaaaaaaaa NO. Hahahah well we came back about two hours later (an hour before the baptism) to turn the water off and clean up the ward a little. As we entered into the church building we found ourselves stepping into about 2 inches of water... WE FLOODED THE MAIN FLOOR OF THE CHURCH! hahah the baptism font filled up so fast that it overflowed and we ended up having just one huge swimming pool on the main floor on the church! Of course we were freaking out and we just keep on saying "Well looks like were gonna be getting transfered out of Den Haag now" haha. Luckly no damage was done and Elder Alade, Thomas, and I were able to make it look somewhat clean and decent before everyone got there. hahaha I just couldn't stop laughing the whole time cleaning up and thinking about how stupid we were! AHHHHH!
     But as for the baptismal service itself; it was absolutely amazing. I had the opportunity to be in the water with Barrie and baptize her - truly a humbling experience. The spirit was so strong and tears of joy were definitely shed. It honestly was beautiful and something i'll never forget. Yesterday Barrie recieved the Holy Ghost and once again the spirit was so strong that it brought many people, including myself, to tears. What a joy it is to not only see the life of someone change for the better, but to also be a part of it. I am truly grateful for the friendship and love Barrie and I have for one another. I am also so grateful for Barrie and the example she has set for so many people, including me. She really is an angel and I can't wait to keep on being apart of her journey as she now sets her goal to one day go to the Temple.
        Familie as you can see it's been another spritual week here for me in Nederland. It's these sort of experiences that keep me going out here, it's finding the next Hernandes, the next Barrie, or simple just bringing the gospel into someone else's life. Truly a humbling and grateful experience. I am grateful for my blessings and know that one of the greatest blessings I have ever recieved is you guys. I am eternally grateful for each and everyone of you. I love you all so much. You guys are my inspiration and light at the end of the tunnel.
Enjoy to the End
-Elder Coook(ie)

Ps: This Saturday we're having a "Turkey Bowl"  against the missionaries... So looks like imma about to go good'ol #8 ON ALL THESE FOOOOLS OUT HURRR IN NEDERLAND!!! WAAAAAHOOOOOO!!!!

Monday, November 11, 2013


 Mijn Geliefde Familie,
         Familie what a week it has been! Can you believe I have been out on my mission now for 5 months?! Holy tatter tots. Time has been absolutely flying by. I feel like I was just in the Zoo (MTC) like last week!! But then again... yeah it still feels like it's been 5 months. haha Before I begin to tell you all about the wonderful and exciting life of missionary work, Ik moet ites naar jullie zeggen- en dat is dat ik so zeer dankbaar ben voor jullie. (I am so grateful for you guys) Today I opened up my 5 month package and it just about brought me to tears because of how much love I have for all of you! So seriously thank you so much. I love you guys like crazzzzzy.
        Well this week.. where to begin. I am in a "threesome companionship" LEKKER TOCH?! Last Tuesday Elder Thomas and I got a call saying that we are going to be training a new Elder from Nederland who is waiting on his visa to go to Atlanta, Georgia. His name is Elder Alade and let me just tell you.. I have a new companion who looks exactly like WILL SMITH! Oh and he speaks perfect dutch. Let me say though that it has been fun and also a humbling experience. Elder Aleda will be with us anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 weeks and then he'll be heading to the good'ol MTC in Provo. So thats been a good/fun experience. He speaks perfect dutch so it's fun to be able to always speak dutch with someone all day:) Also just this weekend we had Stake Conference here and OH MY GOSH IT WAS AMAZING! It was all about members and missionaries working together.
       Other then that we have had a pretty bummer week as far as our investigators. Dennis and Ethlyn both canceled on us and Kelt kind of dropped us, so it's been a humble week. But I did title this email "time to go swimming" because this Saturday I'll be going swimming.... IN THE BAPTISM FONT! haha Barry, our angel and miracle of this transfer, will be getting baptized this Saturday and I will have the opportunity to do the Ordinance. I am super excited and just extremely grateful for the opportunity! On Wednesday Barry cooked us FUFU which is some real African food (pretty interesting) and then she asked us what our plans were for after our missions- well Mommy and Daddy I told her about how in 18 months or so you guys would most likely come and pick me up.. and how the first person we will be visiting will be her. SHE LOST IT! haha she just started freaking out and crying so hard and was so excited! hahaha it was pretty darn funny! So yeah lets just say that her and I have a really strong and close relationship and we are both looking forward to this Saturday!! WE BE DOOPEN! LEKKER!
       So familie that's the highlights of this week and overall it was a pretty good week. We still find every single day for like 4 hours, but I've learned to just have fun with it and not let people get me down. Familie and Friends Thanksgiving is coming up and I encourage everyone to really take each day and look at things they are grateful for. I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR YOU GUYS.
     Ik hou van jullie so veel. Ik heb so veel dingen op mijn zending gelerd en de belangrijkster ding dat ik hier glerd hebt is dankbaarheid. Dankbaar zijn. Verget nooit al de kleinje dingen die wij in onze leven hebben ontvangten. Verget mij nooit :) en verget nooit uw vader in de hemel en zijn plan voor ons en al de liefde Hij voor ons heeft.
    I love you guys so much.
     -Elder Cook
        "Geniete tot het einde"

                                                             ps: only 7 weeks until skype....

Elder Aleda and I
My New Winter Jacket ;)  LEKKER

Dankbaarheid (Gratitude)

Monday, November 4, 2013


    OOOH Mijn Geliefde Familie, Ik hou van jullie so veel! Jullie zijn mijn inspiratie om zending werk te doen. Ik denk over jullie elke dag en jullie zijn al tijd binnen mij hart!
      Family and friends this week was absolutely a roller coaster. IT WAS AWESOME!! As you all know last week was an absolute spiritual high for me and I felt like I was on cloud nineeeeeee. Which means this week has been a week of just blahhh feelings and just desiring for the spirit again. But a lot of cool things did happen and I always feel blessed.
    We had some bomb appointments this week with our top 3 investigators and did, as always, have lots of findings. It's pretty incredible when I look back to my first week or so in the mission field and contacting absolutely sucked and I couldn't even speak or say anything I wanted to towards people on the street or at the door. Now contacting is one of my favorite things to do! Everyday we probably spend 4 hours contacting on the streets or knocking doors because, well... this is Europe.. people are quite difficult here and you definitely don't have much to work with. haha but now I love contacting because honestly familie, I LOVE THE DUTCH LANGUAGE! I think I'm finally at the point where I can just about say what I want in Dutch and finally speak with confidence and be myself (which is the most important). It has been pretty fun. Even in this crappy weather we have over here, where I haven't even seen the sun once this week and it has now rained every single day. It's rough, but I wouldn't change it for the world!! WAHOOOOO~!
      But our investigators.. well we have a girl named Barry who we are baptizing on November 16! Super excited. We have been working hard to keep her on the right path and she just can't wait to go swimming (baptized)! We also have Ethlyn who is an absolute angel and there is no doubt that we are going to get a baptismal date with her this transfer! (She has been investigating the church for almost a year now.) And then of course we have my good'ol kingdom builder Kelt, who unfortunately was super sick this week so we couldn't teach him, but he did come to church!
     Now for the miracle this week... Family we set ANOTHER baptismal date this week! I'm not sure what exactly it is with the success we're having right now, but all I know is that I am working my butt off! haha His name is Dennis and he is a very very successful fashion designer (successful business man Dad..). We had an appointment with him and taught him the first lesson and then showed him the short Restoration film about good'ol Joseph Smith. At the end of the film Dennis was just about in tears. You all know me... I was not gonna let this opportunity go by, so we started to bare our testimonies hard and the spirit filled the room. We invited him to be baptized on December 14 and he accepted with tears in his eyes. After we got on our knees and he said one of the most sincere heart felt closing prayers I've ever heard in my life. The spirit was there and after the appointment I just started running down the street like a retard because I was so happy! hahah
     Family I can't tell you how much my testimony has grown these last 5 months. It really is unreal. I love you guys so much and truly am so grateful for everything you have done for me. Keep the faith back home and always remember that you are always in someone's heart and prayers here in Europe. LOVE YOU!
   -Elder Cook
       "Enjoy to the End"
Ps: Once again I promise I'm not a nerdy missionary... today I'm rolling around in my tall t-shirt with the bull dawg on it and drinkin ma RED BULL!! YEAAAA!!!

Spider Cupcakes!