Monday, February 24, 2014


Lieve Famile,

Well for the whole mission a new transfer has begun and it was time for everybody to set new goals. For Elder Argueta and I, it was just another week of missionary work and not having to worry at all about transfers. But this did give us the opportunity to sit down and make new goals for the upcoming 6 weeks here in Kortrijk. For the entire mission it has been a typical routine of sitting down with your companion and making goals for the whole transfer, goals such as: Baptisms, Baptismal Dates, Lessons given, etc. Well I’ve always wanted to try something different with this aspect of missionary work because I HATE numbers and the difference should be to make commitments with our Heavenly Father. Instead of just writing down a number and saying ¨hey lets go for that¨ but to actually write down on paper commitments saying that we are going to do this every single day to eventually reach our goals. It was super cool to kind of change things up and make those commitments with our Heavenly Father to do things daily. We ended up making 5 very strong commitments and we know that as we do these things everyday we are going to see Miracles here in Kortrijk and help the members of this Branch.
As for this week and the work here in Kortrijk.. nothing too exciting happened. At the end of every single day I find myself being exhausted from knocking so many doors and biking so far (45 kilometers on Zaterdag).  It’s been some rough, but good missionary work. Extremely humbling. My French doesn’t exist and my Vlaams is only getting more and more girly every single day. BUT we have now begun a teaching pool here, which has gotten the members of the Branch extremely excited. We still have to get some people to come to church though so we still have a lot of work to do. The members are starting to warm up to us and we are now on the path to make some solid relationships with the awesome members here. Actually this week we made appointments with members for just about everyday to eat- so that was very exciting! Just have to be yourself around them and make fun of them in a good way... that’s what I do! hahah

But yeah things are starting to pick up which is good and I'm excited to see what’s going to happen this upcoming week. Tomorrow we have our big appointment with Siarah (our miracle right now) so I really am just praying and hoping that it'll be a good one! Sorry that I don’t really have much to say this week, but I do appreciate the emails that I am receiving! PRAY FOR US PLEASE!!

LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH AND MISS YOU GUYS LIKE CRAZY!! My testimony definitely has grown and just remember it is all about L.O.V.E. Love truly is the reason why I am on my mission.


-Elder Cook

Tuesday, February 18, 2014


¨Happiness is only real when shared¨

Lieve Famile,

               Where to even begin.. How about the visitors that I received on Saturday.. yup Petra Chardon (the mother from Elder Alade) and Elder Alade's two good friends came and visited me here in Kortrijk!! Gosh it was so amazing and awesome. 
We ended up spending the majority of the afternoon and evening with them eating lekker pizza hut and just crackin good'ol jokes with one another. It seriously was the perfect way to end my week and was something that I really needed. Gosh I love those people and I am so grateful for them!

             But YEAH...This week. Well it was long, hard working, tiring, exhausting, and just full of more change. It’s amazing how much really changes between Nederland en BelgiĆ«. You’d think that they would be pretty much the same (there is still a lot of similarities)  but there really is a big change! It’s CRAZZYY! As I said last email the language is now ¨Flames¨ , which is just another crazy dialect of the Nederlands that is very difficult to understand, (and also sounds pretty darn girly if you ask me) but pretty much half the people here speak French also!! So that’s been pretty new for me-hearing french every single day. There is no ward here, just a branch of about 30 active members or so. That was new for me especially coming from Den Haag with a huge Ward. Kortrijk itself is one of the biggest areas in our mission that two missionaries can cover- so we find ourselves biking for hours everyday (the other day 30 kilometers) so my butt gets pretty sore, but I’ll be staying in good shape;). Kortrijk is also the most southern (if that’s a word?) part of our mission. So instead of seeing missionaries like every single day..; the closest missionaries to us are a train ride away and well... we are pretty much just out here chillin alone! Its every missionaries dream let me tell ya!! hahaha.  but it really is such a blessing to serve here and really learn how to rely on the Lord. It's time to really get back to the basics of missionary work and help these awesome members with whatever they need help with!  
              As I just said ¨back to the basics¨ of missionary work- Elder Argueta and I have been doing just that. We have been knocking doors for close to 4-5 hours everyday, which isn’t the greatest, but we were told that the only way to get some respect down here from the members was to bring investigators to the church. So doing contacting and finding everyday has been extremely humbling for us and its a good thing though that I enjoy it. The best part about it, besides using ridiculous ways to start a contact, is finding someone who actually lets us in... and that is exactly what Elder Argueta and I found. Family if you could please pray for Siarah. The other day we were knocking doors for hours and right when were about to give up.. we found one who at first didn’t want anything to do with us, but then softened her heart and let us in. I wont get too much into detail, but it was a very humbling moment for me as we had the chance to sit down in a house and teach this Belgium Mother about The Restoration of the Church. It was amazing to give strong testimony and feel the spirit entering into the room. Looking back at that experience I would have gone and knocked another 500 more doors just to have another chance to bear testimony and feel the spirit like I did. So humbling and so rewarding.

             There really isn’t much else to say. We got to find/create a teaching pool around here and build up more relationships with the members. So we got some work to do and people to find. Don’t forget us in your prayers please!

           I love you all so much and miss you guys like crazy. Happiness is only real when shared-- Share your happiness this week people! Share it with each other, with your friends, or just with someone. We all have a reason to be happy. LOVE YOU GUYS!!!


-Elder Cook

(Pictures from Gr. Alexandra Brinkers)

Tuesday, February 11, 2014



Lieve Familie,
   Well let’s just start this week’s email off with a big WOW. Nope that’s not big enough... OOOH MIJ HEMELLLLLLLL!! Still not big enough, but it will have to do.

              Talk about a week to remember and a week to forget.

Goodbyes in Den Haag were just as hard as saying goodbye to you guys on the curb at the MTC. I really can’t even explain how hard it was. You say goodbye to everyone and do your best to act all tough and then BAM!!.. You end up just breaking down 5 minutes after saying goodbye. But yeah... tough times create strong people ¨TOCH¨?!?!  SOOOO First off, I am safe and sound here in Kortrijk, Belgium- no harm or accident on the way down (besides some bumps and bruises on Bruce)- so that is a great blessing. My new companion is Elder Argueta who is a transfer or so behind me and is from good'ol North Carolina. He is a pretty chill guy who has had a good testimony his whole life and loves the gospel. He will definitely be good to help me with all the many weaknesses I have as a missionary. So that is another great blessing!  Kortrijk is definitely A LOT different then Den Haag, actually Belgium in general is a WHOLE lot different then Nederland and I am not gonna lie.. I miss Nederland! BUT ¨ALLES KOMT GOED¨!

The language here is crazy- I went from understanding about 80% of all conversations back down to 40%. It is the dialect they use and I must also be honest and say it just sounds ridiculous and kind of hilarious because everyone sounds like a girl.. It’s a weird dialect that is for sure! Since we are white washing and trying to “rebuild” the relationship between the ward members and the missionaries here, Elder Argueta and I have found ourselves back to the basics of missionary work; knocking doors for hours after hours, contacting people/ doing look ups, and just praying for help from the Lord. We’ve mainly spent most of our time finding/contacting on the street/ or going door to door which definitely may not be the most effective work, but the only way to build this relationship up with the ward is to bring people to church. Ps: did I forget to mention that the church I go to every Sunday now is in France? oh well, yeah it is, so that is a little different also. hahahah

So a lot of things have changed for me this past week and has kind of put me back into the “feeling like a greenie mode again” BUT “alles komt goed.” There is a reason why Elder Argueta and I are here and we just have to keep going with trust in our Heavenly Father. Change is good- it opens you up and forces you to get out of your comfort zone (even if some of us think we don’t have one). Change is scary, but it also gives you the chance to grow and really learn in a way that not so many people have the opportunity to do so. This change has been really hard for me; my heart definitely is really broken from leaving Den Haag, but everything will be good.
After all the Lord did say: ¨My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure { ENJOY} it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.¨   
SOOO ALLES KOMT GOED EN GEWOON DOEN. ooooh and never forget to


With Love, 

            -Elder Cook (koekje erbij;))

Ps: even the keyboard I am using is a French keyboard and it is sooooo annoying!!!
Pics: saying goodbye to some of the people who I am so thankful for.



Tuesday, February 4, 2014



Lieve Familie,

            Wow. I am honestly speechless and a little teary eyed right now due to the phone call that Elder Thomas and I just received. President Robinson has just informed us that we will both be leaving the beloved city of Den Haag on an emergency transfer. Elder Thomas will be going to a city called Tiel which is by the border of the Nederlands and Belgium and I, Elder Cook, will be going to the farthest south point of the mission to a little city called Kortrijk in Belgium. Seriously speechless. No one will be replacing us here in Den Haag so looks like were giving all of our wonderful investigators and friends to the other missionaries here.
            I will not get into much detail about it, but something has happened in Kortrijk regarding the missionaries and the work down there. All I can say is that it hasn't been going good. So I have been called, along with my new younger companion Elder Argueta, to go white wash it and change it around. President has given this assignment very seriously to us and not gonna lie, that mantel (or responsibility) that was placed on my shoulders when I got set apart..- yeah it just got a lot heavier. But yah know what.. "GEWOON DOEN".  The only thing that I know about the area, besides that they are struggling really bad, is that the language is completely different. "Flemish" is what I will be learning and also a some French... so YEAH...  just another one of those great test that the Lord has given to me.
            This is definitely a big change full of excitement and also tears. I am seriously going to miss being here in Den Haag, it is easy for me to say that this has not only been "Holy Ground"  for me and a very special place, but also to say that I love the people here. The Ward here really is awesome and I have learned to love many of the members here. These past 4 months, or however long I have been here, I have seriously made amazing, never ending, friendships and bonds with people who have had a serious impact in my life. I am going to miss beloved Barrie, Ethlyn, Dirk, Dennis, Albert, and etc. I am also going to miss the amazing members here. GOSH there are soo many great members here, I can’t even explain it. Den Haag is a special place for me and I am already looking forward to coming back in the future.

             But familie this isn't gonna stop anything because even though the country, language, companion, and ward will be different, it's still the Lord's work. It's not my work, it's not anyone else's work, actually who cares who is even doing the work.. it is the Lord's work and He is behind this and has a plan for everything. GOOD THINGS TAKE TIME and the amazing time I have had here in Den Haag and the amazing time I had with the Magic 3 and also the dynamic duo all took some time. And it is all in His time.  There is no doubt in my mind that there are more friendships to be made down in Kortrijk and people who need to hear the gospel. His plan really is crazy and unexpected, but it is perfect; and He knows what He is doing and is preparing a way to accomplish his works (1 Nephi 9:6).  KORTRIJK... WEEE COMINNNNN BABYYYY!! 

Love you all so much! Keep me in your prayers.

            -Elder Coook(ie)
Ps: Hier is mij nieuw adres

Jan Persijnstraat 20 B3 bus 1
Kortrijk 8500