Monday, April 28, 2014

YUP. Week 46!

Lieve familie,

          So this email I really have no idea where to begin because this week has seriously been a crazy roller coaster ride of emotions and just hard hard work. This past week Elder Argueta and I found ourselves being workaholics as far as the missionary work goes. I think that it was one of the hardest working weeks of my mission. In church yesterday I could barely keep my eyes open just because of how exhausted I was from the whole week- I was physically, mentally, and spiritually exhausted and this is why.

          Physically exhausted because Elder Argueta and I have spent literally every single day on our bikes, biking a minimal of 60 kilometers per day looking people up, knocking on doors, trying to keep good contact with investigators, and going to appointments. I love biking. Every single night though we were so tired that we wouldn’t even say one thing to another, but instead just crawl into our beds at like 10'o clock and fall asleep.

Mentally tired because we have just been getting messed around with and humbled as far as the missionary work goes. Our Phone has been broken the entire week so we have had no real way to contact anyone, which has been so stressful. We have been working sooooo soooo hard and just when we think things are going great.. BAM!..Things with our investigators all the sudden take the wrong turn. So now we are just thinking.. Really?. Come on! For example Patrick couldn’t come to church yesterday because of his health and then last night we got the most surprising text message saying that he wants to stop everything with us... seriously it has been a mental and emotional roller coaster for us Elders here in Kortrijk!  But yeah we have no idea why we got this message from Patrick and His wife Mimi, but tonight Elder Argueta plan on going over to see what is going on. Pray for us:)

         And Spiritually tired because this week I have never born my testimony so strong before during appointments, nor felt the spirit working on me so hard to lead and guide me about what to say and do. Yesterday we were asked by some more members in the branch if we could give them blessings and really I am just so grateful that I have this chance to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. But IT HAS BEEN EXHAUSTING AND A CRAZY WEEK.

         So now I am sitting here on a Monday- the begining of a new week - just thinking and hoping/praying that this week will be just as great as the last one.. hahah

         On a much brighter note I am learning more and more about the way our Heavenly Father works and just being humbled every single day. I am grateful to be here and I am grateful to have these many chances to learn to grow. As for this upcoming week thankfully we have Temple Conference, which means I will finally have the chance to go to the Temple and figure some things out with the Lord. We will also be spending a day or two in Den Haag... so you could say that I am pretty darn excited to see my friends there!

           I love you all with my full heart. The Lord gives us all our free agency to choose for ourselves how we want to act. I do not like the free agency of others... but I am grateful for my own free agency and that I can always choose to be happy no matter what circumstances I may be in. The Gospel Of Jesus Christ is the definition of TRUE HAPPINESS.

-Elder Cook
As for the photos... yeah last p-day we got to hit up the amusement park that is here in Kortrijk for the next week. See if you can find me on the ride.... hahah it was CRAZZZYY!

Monday, April 21, 2014


Lieve Familie,

               What a special weekend it was for everyone who believes in Christ around the world. To say that I am grateful for the event that took place this last weekend just about 2000 years ago would be an understatement. No matter what I say or try to say... well it just isn’t enough. It is something so truly amazing and I am so truly eternally grateful- so grateful that as I think upon it my heart begins to swell with such great love and compassion for my Savior and Redeemer and one of my best friends Jesus Christ. So amazing that through him we have eternal families and can have eternal life. Gosh I love that man! 

                Well this last week was actually just a blur.. I seriously can’t even remember much. The only thing that I can really is remember is the fact that Patrick and (drum roll please)... His wife, Mimi, both came to church! Yes finally his wife, Mimi, came to church! It’s was so awesome and tonight I am hoping that we can throw down a baptismal date with her. I really do love this family and to have the privilege and opportunity to teach them and watch them just feed off and accept the gospel has been so humbling and a big testimony booster for me. This week we plan on teaching Tithing... which is going to be hard and gonna require a lot of faith, but that is what the gospel and life is all about- having faith that everything will be okay as you put your trust in the Lord. So this week they will be needing a lot of prayers:) 

              As far as the members go here in Kortrijk I just feel so blessed and grateful to have the privilege to serve them and grow really strong relationships with them. I have grown some really good strong relationships here with the members and I just know that it is going to be hard to leave them in the future. One of the members here who also happens to be in the Stake Presidency has seen/noticed that I have an obsession with road bikes- so he wants to plan on going on a ride together when Mom and Dad come pick me up. I told him that I'm going to kick his neck off. hahah Kortrijk will definitely be an extremely sacred/holy ground for me on my mission so this place will always be in my heart! 

           Family, Friends, other people who waste their time reading my emails... just know that I miss you all so much. I miss you more then I miss a McDank at McDonalds. Seriously my love and appreciation for each and every one of you is indescribable and is something that I hold so close to my heart. The love I have for you guys will never go away. The love I have for you all is so real and so special to me. I love you all and so does the Lord Jesus Christ for he gave his own life for each and everyone of us. His love is indescribable and I am so grateful to have knowledge and faith that because of him eternal families are possible and that one-day we will all be able to return back to his presence and live in endless joy and happiness and never EVER have to say goodbye. Just imagine.. Never ever having to say goodbye. I am so grateful for that. 

LOVE YOU ALL WITH ALL MY HEART! Be safe this week and party like its hot:)

    -Elder Coooook

Tuesday, April 15, 2014


Lieve Familie,

          Families. I just love that word and gosh I love you guys so much.

So unfortunately today I only have 15 minutes to write this email so sorry if it is short but I will do my best.
           Since the big move/Transfer of coming to a new country, different language, and just everything being new; as you could imagine- I have had many questions for the Man upstairs and have been looking for answers. I found myself asking the good'ol original dumb question, that a lot of us frequently ask, of WHY. WHY the move? WHY the change? WHY?  It has been a crazy, hard, emotional time here in Kortrijk, but my answer to these "why" questions is simple- because this is what I need.

          My testimony these past months has been growing more than I could ever imagine. This past week I found myself sitting in front of families (one being a new family that we found with 7 children) teaching with convincing power. I never thought that the gospel of Jesus Christ really would be this real to me right now. I have always told people who ask me the 1 million dollar question- "Sooo why did you choose to serve a mission?" that the real reason I came on my mission was to find out why I needed to go on a mission. I came with a little testimony and it’s amazing what can happen if you let that little seed be planted in your heart and let it grow. (Alma 32).   My testimony has grown and I cannot deny it. The Gospel is amazing and to have a family that is eternal is so real and I am so grateful to have one. I LOVE YOU GUYS!! WAAAAHHHOOOO

          As far as the missionary work here goes...everything is going grand and I am so grateful to be a part of the work here in Kortrijk. We have changed Patrick’s baptism to the 3 of May- that way his wife has time to think about being baptized also. This week we are teaching 4 families and it is so humbling to have opportunities like that. Time to bring these people the love of the GOSPEL! JA JA!! LEKKER!!!

        I wish I had more time to write to you all, but just know that I truly love each and everyone of you guys with my whole heart and soul. You all mean the world to me and I am eternal grateful for the love that we all have together! LOVE YOU ALL!!

           -Elder Coooook

Monday, April 7, 2014

Good'OL Kortrijk

Lieve Familie,

            Wow what a week and what a weekend it has been. My heart is full of gratefulness and love towards our beloved Prophets and Church Leaders that we have and for their inspiring words. This was my 2nd Conference weekend I have experienced since being on my mission and I’d be lying if I said that it has been so easy to listen to them and not think of you guys. I felt the spirit so strong and was so comforted several times through out the Conference. I also had my thoughts and prayers thinking upon you guys and just hoping that you all were safe and listening to the beautiful messages of families being together forever and to always love one another. It truly was a great weekend for me and I just want you all to know that I spent most of last night on my knees thanking the Lord for each one of you and telling him just how much I love you and miss you guys so much. Gosh I love you all and am so grateful for each one of you. Mom, Dad, Candace, Winston, Nora, Jake, Brookie, Henry, Carly, Chloe, and all the other people- (close friends and other family members) just know that I love you all. I love you all with my entire heart and soul. You people are so special to me and know that you all are always in my prayers.

Well this week was good and I'm ready for a new week. Patrick is still going strong for baptism and we have now made a schedule to go to him and his wife 2 times a week to help them prepare for baptism. Pray for them please. We are also now teaching a young couple that we have found named Vroni and Pedro with two young children. That has been really humbling and teaching the plan of Salvation with them and telling that families can be together forever brought tears to my eyes. So the work here is still going on. Just got to stay positive and trust in the Lord and I am grateful for the investigators that we have.

           This may be bad to say; and I am saying this in a positive way- but Kortrijk I feel has kind of been my "Liberty Jail" experience thus far in my mission. It has been humbling. It has been stressful. It has been lonely. It has had so many crazy and heavy emotions... and it has also been the best 8/9 weeks thus far on my mission. The love that I have has grown for these members and also for the certain people we are teaching is so real. Just like President Monson said "Actually love is the very essence of the gospel and Jesus Christ is our exemplar". My love has grown so much and it has not been a walk in the park to develop it here in Kortrijk- its been a process and I know that it is not going to get easier, in fact I know that there is still much required and expected of me, but I do know that Love is the key to everything. With love comes patience, with love comes long suffering, with love comes understanding, with love comes gratefulness, etc. Everything truly revolves around love. I love my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Sometimes we may have a misunderstanding or two because His timing is definitely not the same timing that I had in mind or sometimes He likes to throw curveballs when I was expecting a pitch right down the middle, but I know that He loves me. And my love for Him has been growing ever since I stepped foot into my mission. Life is hard peeps and thankfully one day our journey here on earth will end, but love; and I mean REAL LOVE (John 15:13), is perfect and has no ending.

             My love for you all is real and also for my Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. Work on your love peeps. If you don’t know how to love- learn how to! And if you have trouble learning how to love... well just do your best to "kill everyone with kindness"! LOVE YOU ALL!  ENJOY TO THE END

           -Elder Coooooook

Soooo photos...  on Saturday we rode 60 kilometers on our bikes. 40 with the members of the branch (I had my lekker Hawaiian shirt on! I'm still my goofy self PROMISE)
                      Spring is coming... BEAUTIFUL!


Here is a picture of patrick.. He is behind me on the bike! YA YA!