Monday, September 29, 2014

#BecauseOfHim WEEK 68!

Lieve Familie,

              I am grateful to be serving a full time mission.

      This week we saw many miracles and held, what I thought, one of the best zone trainings I have ever been apart of. All these miracles and great experiences happened due to the ''energy'' that people were feeling or in other words the Spirit of the Lord. The Holy Ghost is something many of us feel or even the Light of Christ is something we all experience daily in our lives, but the true matter is; many of us do not recognize it and are unaware of it or many of us (non-members) give it the name of ''energy''. Well the spirit is real and the fruits thereof are ''But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,..Meekness, temperance'' (Galatians 5:22-23) Search for it because that is the love of God and that is where true wisdom and true knowledge can be found.

       As I said however, this week was great. We had an amazing zone training in which we trained all our missionaries in our zone for a period of 4 hours. I learned a lot. We are now preparing another training coming up in 2 weeks (Temple conference) in which we will be training 3 zones in our mission at once for a period of 2 hours with some of the other leaders. It should be fun and I am very excited.

      This week was full of many exchanges, which gave me the privilege to serve side by side with amazing missionaries and learn much from them. It also opened up many teaching opportunities for me. This up coming week we have 4 exchanges planned within 5 days and are also giving another training on Saturday to our District Leaders.. So in other words it is just BUSY BUSY BUSY! But I wouldn’t have it any other way because we are all ''anxiously engaged in a good cause''.

        Family I would like to just touch real quick on a sensitive subject.. Exactly 7 years and 1 day ago Gram Gram passed away and left us to go return back to our Heavenly Father. I have been thinking a lot about my Grandma and how much of an impact she has made personally in my life. Accepting the nicknames such as; G-Unit, G-Slice, etc. and putting up with all of us as her grandchildren.. She truly was a great example of a pure and patient heart. To be honest I miss her a lot. Her picture is my bookmark for my personal scriptures so I see her beautiful smile every morning and I am always reminded of her un-relentless love. Well this last week I came across an article and a good friend of mine said the following after losing his brother on his mission...''I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true and because of this God isn't testing my faith, but he is testing my patience.''
         Death is never a test of faith because ''..there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ.'' (Mosiah 16:8) The grave hath no victory, the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ. Losing someone close to you is not easy, but never forget it is a of test of your patience. You will see each other again. Faith gives you Hope and I have a heart full of faith and hope to see Gram Gram (my grandma) again, but it is just a matter of being patient until then.
     I have learned so many things on my mission and have met so many people who have changed my life. I am grateful to be serving a full time mission.

      Peeps I love you all. Really I love you. Family you are my everything.
       Big Dude


Us following our zone training.

Monday, September 22, 2014


Lieve Familie,

             Wow. (Mission life makes you say ``wow´´ A LOT). What a crazzy busy week! It is great to be back in Eindhoven. I am not sure if you guys can all remember Harry Van De Sande?? But all I can say is that I LOVE BEING BACK WITH THAT MAN! Haha He is just awesome. Being back in Eindhoven so far as been so exciting but also very different and challenging. But if you’re not being challenged in life, then you’re really not meeting your potential right?? I am a firm believer in challenges and trial because you are ``Sterker door Strijd´´ (stronger through struggle)! Heavenly Father is great peeps.

            Elder Rudolph (my new companion) is from the northern part of the world.. A little place called Kaysville, Utah. He is a football player so in that aspect we have a lot in common. Did I mention that he played left tackle for Davis High School?? Sooo he is one big boy:) He is cool though and I am excited to build up a relationship with him.

          The past couple of days have just been crazy as we have been having Mission Leader Councils and also giving trainings. This week we will be giving our zone training in which we will spend 4 hours training all of the members of our zone. Our schedule is just booked and seriously it has just been stressful and super busyness (if that is a word)! Looking ahead at this transfer it looks like we will be going on 4 exchanges a week leaving me with barley any time to actually work here in Eindhoven besides on the weekends. It should be fun though as I have the privilege to work with so many new missionaries!

          Life is all about meeting people. I am so grateful for all the people I have met during my mission. Seriously I have met so many people who have just absolutely changed my life or made a major impact on me. I have been thinking a lot at how Heavenly Father arranges this all... people meeting people.. Because I know that He sends people to us or we are sent to certain people. He simply works miracles this way! But I have made my own personal goal and that is... God is sending people to me and putting them on my path; I am also sent to certain people and put upon their path- this path is the pathway back to our Heavenly Father. One day we will die, that is a part of Gods plan, but before then let us all work together to help others and ourselves return back to our Heavenly Father by bringing them the Pure Love of his son Jesus Christ. Christ is love. I love him. Help others and also ourselves to ``come unto Christ and be perfected in Him´´. He loves us; let us share this love with one another. Pay attention to the people you meet.

             As for love.... I love you guys. Seriously I.LOVE.YOU! I miss you also. But I know I am supposed to be here. Family is everything to me. You Mom, Dad, Candace, Winston, Nora, Leo, Jake, Brooke, Henry, Carly, and Chloe - you are my everything.

            Big Dude

(Ps: I don’t have any photos yet of here in Eindhoven..Sorry!)
(Pics are all of saying goodbyes in Emmen)


Monday, September 15, 2014

Eindhoven WEEK 66!

Lieve Familie,

      Soooo lets start off with the news... Elder Cook will be going back to Eindhoven! Yup that’s right I am getting transferred to go serve in Eindhoven. It is always hard to leave an area and get transferred, but I am really excited for this next assignment I have been given. If you guys can remember Eindhoven was my second area on my mission and I am stoked to be going back. Actually kind of crazy but exactly one year ago I was there... wow time flies soooo fast! My new companion will be Elder Rudolph. I have already informed him that I will be his Santa. So yeaaaah time to pack up all the bags again and have some more change!

  I think Elder Lovin is going to miss me. This past week we had many spiritual talks just about being here on the mission and I spent lots of time just comforting him and letting him know that everything is going to be alright and that the mission is the best possible place you can be right now in your life.

This last week we had visitors come into our mission. Elder Ballard came and also President Hallstrom. It was just absolutely amazing and I learned a lot. Elder Ballard is truly an apostle of Jesus Christ. Since they came we spent two days outside of Emmen pretty much traveling and also visiting people in Den Haag. It was just a great week overall. I seriously cannot complain. Great week to end on here in Emmen and I feel really good about leaving, the fact that I feel like I have done my fair share of work here and I am leaving this place better then I came. Soo we are staying happy and positive!

 Peeps the mission has changed my life. I definitely don’t feel like the same person and my perspective in life has changed. I have never felt so close to my friend and Savior Jesus Christ in my entire life. I feel the love of God constantly and with this feeling comes a constant feeling a joy, peace, and calmness. If there are any of you who are young or thinking about going on a mission... quit thinking and just go. It will be the best decision of your life.
 Faith, Hope, The Gospel of Jesus Christ is all about taking action and learning along the way. With fear comes doubt, but all fear and doubt can be over won with faith and hope. I know that God is real and that his love for us is a relentless love. A perfect love. Jesus Christ has become someone so important to me. He is my friend and has never left my side. My testimony has grown sooo much that it scares me, but I have felt what it is and I cannot deny it.

I love my mission but it is a love that I have learned to have. A love that I choose for and work for. It is a love that takes away all fear. It’s pretty darn powerful.

Nowwww I love you guys too. I love my family soo much and I miss you all so much. You guys are my everything. Be safe please and quit breaking your noses.... just go kick some necks off will ya?!?

I love you all!

  Big Dude

 Ps My new address is.....


Last pic is with Ethlyn.... she is all baptised now and soooo happy!
First time I've been able to see her since Den Haag!

Monday, September 8, 2014


Lieve Familie,

           Before I begin this email I would just like to give a shout out to all those who have been a part of this earthly journey with me. Those who have supported me and helped me become the person I am today. I am very grateful and I feel loved. You have all played a very important role in my life and if it wasn’t for you, I would not be where I am today. Especially you Mom and Dad. I thank you so much for teaching me everything I have needed to know thus far in my life. Without you two I would absolutely not be where I am today. I am eternally thankful for you two. I love you guys.

              What a week it has been and what a spiritual weekend. This past week we have just been blessed here in Emmen. This city is really turning into a teaching city I would say. Instead of spending many hours going along doors, we found ourselves teaching and always on the run. With teaching comes the chance to bear testimony and watch as people soften their hearts. We truly are all children of God. I just know that the Light of Christ is real- that there is a special light or a special energy that each and everyone of us has here on the Earth that bonds us all together. It is amazing to me when I can truly recognize it and realize that it is real. It gives me a different perspective. But yes we have seen great success lately and I know that we have been changing peoples lives.

           Yesterday was quite a spiritual day for me. After Fasting for a long period of time I participated in giving two Priesthood blessing (two salvings) on less actives who have been having some serious health and spiritual problems. Miracles did happen following both blessings and it was very humbling to be a part of. I have a strong belief in the power of the Priesthood. Then the night finished with an amazing lesson we had with a young couple, Kimberly (22) and Roy (25), where it is always just amazing to sit across the table from two Dutch people who are around the same age as you and share with them the Realness of Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. It was an awesome lesson and yeaa by the end of the day I was so exhausted- spiritually and physically!

          This week we will be having a mission conference with Elder Ballard. Yes Elder Ballard is coming. I am super excited and cannot wait. But first we will be taking a quick stop in Den Haag to visit some people in which I am also SUPER excited!  This is also the last full week of the transfer sooo next week I will be letting you know if there are any changes.

           Well family really short I just want to tell you all that I have been thinking a lot about the scriptures in Ether.

 "And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith. " (Ether 12:6)

We all receive no witness until after the trial of our faith.. We are all tested and trialed. That’s why we are here on the earth today. But I just want you all to know that I have been tested and trialed a lot during my mission, more then I thought I would, but because of this - the gospel and the way of living it has really became REAL to me. I know that the trials and hard times will keep on coming.. They will never end, but these trials and hard times are really just blessings in disguise. They have helped me see what is important in life and what/where true happiness is. You family are definitely a huge piece of that happiness.

          I love you all so much!! Have a great week and make the best of it. Smile, Laugh, Fart, Cry, Give someone a hug, I don’t know.. Just do your best and do what you know you should do. LOVEESSS!!

   Big Dude


Monday, September 1, 2014


Lieve Familie,

       Wow. Welcome to the world Leo my new nephew! You have just joined the best family EVER. Happy Anniversary Momma and Dad! 31 years strong. So proud and gosh do I love you guys sooooooo much! Right now... I feel so blessed! God is good:)

    Well family while you guys were all busy with school, sports, giving birth, and celebrating-- Your bro/son Jason was together with Elder McLovin doing the work of the Lord. This week we saw so many miracles and blessings. I can’t even write down the stories or the things we have seen. Last week included us giving the first lesson 3 times to new investigators and all 3 were seriously found through the spirit. It was also full of many appointments where we had the privilege of bearing testimony over the Love of God and His son Jesus Christ. Seriously it was a great, powerful, uplifting week! Our investigators are increasing and since being here in Emmen we have already re-activated 3 members. It has truly been a privilege to perform this labor of love and although it is hard and can be difficult, I am a firm believer in the Quote Mom gave me of  " Happiness is wherever YOU decide it will be". I have just decided that happiness is everywhere.

   This last Sunday I was the closing speaker in our Branch. I spoke mostly about time and making the best of it. For some reason the subject of "time" has really caught my attention recently. I think it is just because of how fast the time really is going by and how it is scaring me!!! I mean I am now an uncle to 3 little kids, it has now almost been 16 months since I came on my mission, and CHLOE IS GOING TO HOMECOMING?!?! (Since when did she get her braces off???!)  Seriously this time has been going by so fast and it just blows my mind. AAAHHHHHHH!

    But Fam just know that I am well aware of the time. I am also well aware that with time comes also change.. I would be lying to myself if I said that nothing has changed back at home when I know it has. And I would be lying to myself if I said I haven’t changed in the past year and months when I know that I have. Don’t worry all these changes are positive. These changes are positive because I know for a fact that we have all changed in coming closer to Our Heavenly Father and relying more on him and his plan. "ALLES HEEFT EEN REDEN" I am convinced that the Gospel is true because I have applied it and seen the change. The Lord doesn’t work in huge ways.. Just small and simple ways "" Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass..." (Alma 37:6).    2 years is small compared to a lifetime, but inside these 2 years the Lord is bring to pass great and marvelous things.

  I love you and miss you all. I hold you all daily in my prayers. Be safe, have a great week, and never forget the great words of BATMAN -  "Its not who you are underneath, its what you do that defines you"
Do your best folks!!

       Big Dude

 Enjoy to the End!!

Yeah... I had a pretty small blister...
Good thing I had DOCTOR LOVIN to fix me up ;)