Monday, January 27, 2014

Tot ziens Magic 3... Hallo DYNAMIC DUO

Lieve Familie,

                         "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning how to dance in the rain"

            Momma thank you for this inspiring quote.. After finishing this email I am immediately going to go out side and do that "Harlem Shake" dance in the street by myself. Wait.. then again maybe Elder Thomas will join me? Yup"hij is beneden" WAHOOOOO!

            Well what can I say about this week..

                  It’s been a good overall week. Actually a lot of amazing things happened for us this week as we watched some of the seeds that we have planted grow. This last week Jasmin (the new member that we have been working with.. found her on the train a while ago) and Barrie (who was recently baptized a couple months ago by us)  both attended the temple for the first time and participated in doing baptisms for the dead. So amazing to see the progress that the two have made and what a blessing it is to be apart of their journey. Things with Ethyln have been going so good and she truly is such an angel and once again I just feel so blessed to be apart of this journey with her. We also have a new investigator named Dirk who is one awesome old man and just like everybody on this earth, he needs the gospel in his life. Hopefully this week we will be able to find some new investigators and work really hard with the members of the ward.
               SOOOO....De Magic 3 is officially over which leaves just the Dynamic Duo to stay alive together for another couple of weeks. After spending the night in the Mission Home all together for one last time, it was very sad and hard to say goodbye to Elder Alade this morning inside the Schipol Airport. He is one amazing Elder and an amazing friend. I am very excited for him and so grateful for the friendship that we now have.  SOOO TAKE GOOD CARE OF HIM TODAY FAMILY!! hahah  But on a brighter note of the whole Schipol Airport situation...- After saying goodbye to Elder Alade, Elder Thomas and I were able to have a pretty chill and relaxing time with President and Zuster Robinson as we enjoyed a delicious Burger King Breakfast burrito together at 5 in the morning and then we were left in the Airport by ourselves because President had to go straight to the office. So Elder Thomas and I said YOLO and bought first class tickets to Paris....... SIKE! hahah but we did go out and took some selfies in front of the big "IAMSTERDAM" sign, which was HARTSIKKE LEUK!!

                    Well familie I have came to the conclusion that our Heavenly Fathers plan for us is something that we will never truly understand, but something truly amazing. As I think about the things I have learned and the people I have met just these past months, I truly feel so blessed. A mission is about the people you come in contact with and the friendships you make. I have made some strong friendships with not only my 2 amazing companions, but also with many members here in the Ward Den Haag and through these friendships I have truly been able to not only see miracles happen, but to feel the Savior's love. He is behind everything and the plan that our Heavenly Father has is a perfect plan that is hard to understand, but beautiful to realize. I love you all so so so so so so much and miss you guys like crazy. You people are my motivation and mean the world to me. Be safe, have fun, and always remember...

             ENJOY TO THE END

    -Elder Cook(ie)

ps: LEKKER!!!!!!!!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014


Lieve Familie,
               Well familie it is the final countdown here for Elder Alade and I hope that you are all excited to see him this up coming Monday. I have been giving him all the details about each and every one of you and just getting him really pumped up to meet you all. He is super excited and I'm not going to lie, I'm a little jealous. Hahah but I have no worries that you all will take really good care of him.

              So familie where to even begin about this week: It has been just another week full of miracles here with "The Magic 3". It really amazes me just how real our Heavenly Fathers plan is. My testimony this week has absolutely grown regarding our Heavenly Fathers plan and it is actually scaring me. I have found myself somehow in "the right place at the right time" on so many occasions this past week. I really just don’t even know how to describe it or put it into words.
              One day we were biking in the pouring rain (very typical) and had nothing really planned for the day besides a few look-ups. Well after biking in the midst of this awful cold rain for about 30 minutes I had the strongest feeling to turn my bike around and start biking the opposite direction. It was freezing and "the Magic 3" were soaked- but we did it anyway and turned around. As we were retracing our steps a persons name came to mind for us to go look up so we all made the decision to bike to this guy's house. After upon arriving at his house we found that no one was home and, due to the weather, not a single person was even on the street to contact. It was then that we all remembered that there was lady we have tried several times to make contact with for the past 4 weeks or so but every time we have gone by she just gives us the typical "come back another time" or is never home. Well she lived really close by and we decided to give it a last chance. Well we rang her bell and what do you know, she let us right in. Once inside her apartment she began to tell us how she has been in a lot of pain because of a surgery that she just went through and has found herself extremely depressed from having to go to the hospital almost everyday. She then told us that she has been praying the past week for us to come by and the whole day. Turns out that she just finished her prayer when we rung on her bell.  It was just a confirmation for me that the Lord has a plan for everyone.
Honestly, I don’t even know how to describe it family but it was an amazing moment and she really needed some help that day. We ended up giving her the whole first lesson and a book of Mormon and most importantly... we made her day. This story probably sounds lame but I think it is, just because I can't really explain it and also because I am awful at putting all this onto paper.. hahaah but anyways it was awesome and a real testimony builder!

             Other things from the week... well Ethlyn has been amazing and honestly I can’t even write what has happened between us and her into an email because it is just so special. Our appointment with her this week was the strongest and most spiritual appointment I have ever had on my whole mission. And I really mean that. The spirit was so strong and it left us all crying our eyes out like little girls.

            I wish I was better at this whole email thing family, or had more time to actually think about what to write. The experiences here have been absolutely life changing and there are some things I just cannot share. But all I do know is that I love this gospel and I love the plan that our Heavenly Father has for us. His plan is perfect and even though we have our tough moments or bumps on the way, eventually we will look back and realize just how blessed we were during those tough times.


-Elder Cook(ie)
Oh ps: on Saturday we went and played indoor beach volleyball with some of the Muntinga's and OOOH MIJ HEMELJE it was freakin awesome!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

7 MONTHS!!!!!

Lieve Familie,

                Sorry for the late email this week, yesterday we found ourselves extremely busy and didn’t even have time to email! I could only imagine how worried you were mom- going through a whole Monday without my email, but don’t worry I AM OKAY AND LOVING LIFE!!
                Well where to begin this week.. I'm not even sure.

               Last week we had an awesome appointment with Jasmine. She truly is a blessing from the Lord and is so amazing and fun to teach. We reviewed with her the Restoration and the spirit was so strong. At the end of the lesson Jasmine opened up to us and it truly was a humbling moment. The lesson ended with us giving her a blessing and let me just tell you all that my testimony has grown so much from the power of a blessing. The past week Elder Thomas, Alade, and I have found ourselves giving a couple of blessings and each one has been so spiritual and so amazing. Last Sunday we had a miracle as we gave an investigator from the sister missionaries a blessing and following the blessing she decided to change her baptismal date from sometime in April to January 25th.. So in other words, in two weeks. The power of blessings is REAL!
              SO COOL. hahahah

              Well honestly I can’t even remember all the things that happened this last week because it just flew by and I have really just loved every single day here in Den Haag and with my companions. However many of you talked about one of my favorite talks "Come What May, and Love It" in your emails this week and it really got me thinking again of all the many things I love and am thankful for. I really am thankful for so many things in my life. Being thankful and truly learning the understanding of ''come what may and love it'' is a life changer. I definitely cannot tell you that I completely understand it, but I can definitely tell you all that it has had a major impact on my mission.
                The mission is just absolutely unexplainable-anyone who is on a mission or has been on a mission can probably agree- you have so many ups and so so so many downs. Its the greatest experience ever and one of the hardest. It’s also probably one of the most emotional experiences ever, with tears of both sadness and joy. And also one of the most humbling experiences ever. It really is just unexplainable. But..... People.. I LOVE MY MISSION. I haven't loved every second of it, but I have loved every little bit of it. It really is awesome and everything that has happened thus far I have learned to love it. "Come what may and Love it'' is a total mind shift in which you are always thinking positive and striving to do better for others. It has brought so much happiness to your life as you learn how to ALWAYS BE THANKFUL. It is a mind shift and one of the greatest mind shifts ever.


       -Elder Cooooook (ie)

                          ENJOY TO THE END

Monday, January 6, 2014

WIJ BLIVEN!!! Week 30!

Lieve Familie,

                     Well Familie transfers happened......
   Last night we got the phone call and were told that Elder Thomas, Elder Alade, and I were all going to stay together for the next transfer here in Den Haag! Honestly it was the best news ever. So great in fact that after we received the news we broke out going crazy inside our apartment and eventually had the neighbors on our door telling us to be quite.. hahah But yes we are all so happy to be staying together and all staying in Den Haag because we have seen so many miracles together and all have big plans for this up coming transfer!
       So about the week!!!!! -Well family let me just tell you all the New Years here is literally WORLD WAR 8!! It’s CRAZZZYYYY! I have so many videos and wish that I could send them, but I haven’t really figured that part out yet... haha seriously though it is crazy here. We actually were told to be inside our apartment by 4 pm on new years eve because it is so dangerous to be outside and well it was seriously dangerous, crazy, and AWESOME! There was big bomb fires in the middle of the streets, fireworks going off like crazy, cars got blown up, couldn’t even sleep because of all the crazy noise... lets just say- IT WAS AWESOME!!

       K now about missionary work- this week we saw so many miracles and blessings from the Lord. First we set a baptismal date with a new investigator we found last week for the 2nd of February! Her name is Margaret and she is from Uganda and has been here for about 7 months She is actually our neighbor and one day we decided to just put a pass a long card in her mailbox with our phone number on it and well the next Sunday she called us asking if we could take her to church. I think she took the advice from Lil' Jon of "If you're scared... GO TO CHURCH" because she is definitely a little shy and scared of Nederland, but feels safe and loved inside the church here.

      Another Miracle for the week is one day we were doing "bell ups" (going along the door) and we got let into this apartment. Turns out we ended up giving a first lesson to this family with 5 little kids! It truly was a very special and miracle moment because it rarely happens to be let in here in Nederland. The wife definitely was more positive towards us and the message of the restoration, but they all accepted the Book of Mormon and Moroni's challenge. It was exciting and we are looking forward to returning!

       Another Miracle- The other day we decided to spend a good amount of time looking up less actives and we came across a whole less active family. It was actually truly amazing because it was the last family we decided to look up and a last minute decision. Turns out the Mom just passed away last year and ever since then the Sister from her has been praying for help. This lady told us we were answers to her prayers when she saw us at the door. She began to tear up and told us that her sister (the one who passed away) sent us to her- truly amazing to see how the Lord works in His "mysterious ways".

       My last and most "bijzonder" miracle for this week..  well family remember Jasmine?? Yesterday at Church we had fast and testimony meeting and guess what.. Jasmine bore her testimony! It truly was so amazing for us as missionaries to see the influence the spirit and the Lord has on her now. She asked all 3 of us to go up to the stand with her and all bear our testimonies. It was so special for me to be standing on the stand with Jasmine and my two companions and have all 4 of us bare our testimonies one after another. Jasmine is awesome and its crazy for me to think that it all began with simply meeting her on the train 3 weeks ago.
     Well Family those are just a few of the many miracles from this week. It really has been an amazing week and so many blessings have come from it. I am so grateful to be staying here in Den Haag with Elder Thomas and Elder Alade as my companions- we have even received a nickname from some of the members here in Den Haag and also our investigators, "DE MAGIC 3" ! hahah Familie I love you all so much and miss you guys like crazy!!! You guys are my motivation and drive to just keep going and never giving up. I love my mission and I love you guys all so much. Remember..

ENJOY TO THE END in all things, never endure, and look at the blessings of each day. I AM SO THANKFUL.

-Elder Cooooook(ie)

Doing Missionary work (Cutting my boy George's hair)
This is New Years Eve outside of our apartment in Nederland.. WORLD WAR 8! 
Play volleyball all day with some of the members from the Ward.