Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Paper maps and JOY

o-Hi-o

Hello Family and Friends!

On Tuesday I sat in with all the other missionaries taking part of transfers during our transfer meeting. I was anxiously awaiting them to call my name. I was getting so NERVOUS! Where would I be going? Who is my new companion? The nerves got the best of me. I was shaking, hands all sweaty, and my thoughts were racing. 
Finally, they called my name, "In Greenville, Sister Cook will be training Sister King." 
AAA so many emotions. We got everything together, started driving away from the city and an hour later we came into the country. My new area is a cute little Branch that covers a lot of area! I have never been in a Branch before. 

My favorite is the church building. When we drove up to it, it shocked me at first. It is a humble little building with a huge steeple out on the front lawn (building too small to hold the steeple.) Walking in I feel like I am home. The spirit is strong and it looks the same but on a smaller scale.
The first few days we didn't have our GPS so a sweet member in the Branch gave us a paper map to use. Unfolding the map took up the whole dash board. I felt very savvy trying to navigate with it. 

The other night we had a great hour(s) of rejection. By the end of the night as we were leaving an area of some people we visited my cute companion said that we should go visit the door down the way. I asked her to start the conversation. She was hesitant and decided that we shouldn't go to the door. I smiled. I reassured her that I would be right there to back up the conversation. So we walked slowly to the door. She knocked on the door. A cute old lady opened the door and right after Sister King spoke the lady said, "I have been praying for you all day, come on in." 
What a beautiful miracle! 
I love in Ether 12:6 because it is after a trial of our faith do we witness the miracle. Our faith was increased and it continues to grow each day when we are thrown into the trials of life. 

I am so excited that it is Christmas. I love to reflect on our Savior, Jesus Christ. Yesterday, first Sunday here and we were asked to give a talk in Sacrament on Jesus Christ and Christmas.

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!

Thank you for all your love and support! I hope you continue to find ways to strengthen your faith.

Here is my new address:

297 Driftwood Dr.
Greenville, OH
45331

LOVE

Sister Cook 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Sloppy and good

o-Hi-o

Hello Family and Friends,

If you haven't figured this out yet, I am not a professional writer. My letters might come off choppy, sloppy, and vague. Each week I have a difficult time trying to think what to share. I want to be careful by not disclosing personal information and then at the same time I don't want to come across too vague. With so many events occurring everyday it is hard to write an email that can make sense and express everything. 
With that in mind, I just realized that I never mentioned my Thanksgiving from last week. Yes, Sister Clark and I were taken care of. A very sweet and wonderful family in the ward welcomed us into their home. It felt so good to be surrounded by loud kids running around and adults laughing with each other over random things. I felt right at home. 
This week is my last week of this transfer. IT IS DECEMBER. WOW. I still feel like it is July. I have been in Mason for almost 5 1/2 months. The people here are the SWEETEST and so respectful. I just love this place. 
We are teaching people from all around the world. It is so fun to be exposed to different cultures. People from Micronesia, Egypt, Africa, and many other places. One man we are teaching that is from Africa is so funny! He is always cracking a joke and his personality just lights up the room, you can't help but smile too. Oh he is such a great father and husband. Overall, that family is just so sweet! 

Well I will let you know next week if I am staying or going. 


I LOVE YOU ALL!
Thank you for your prayers and support. 

Picture:

Sister Clark and I went to the nursing home to visit a sister from our ward. Afterwards, Sister Clark had the great idea to sing some Christmas Carols to some other people. It was wonderful night. 

Thursday, December 3, 2015

o-Hi-o

Family and Friends!

The other day I was at a dinner and at the end of the meal we were saying our goodbyes when the youngest girl (4 years old) announced, "I can run faster than a cheetah!" and then she proceeded to show us by zooming around the dinner table really fast. 
She was screaming to make sure that we noticed her run like a cheetah. 
Seconds into her sprint, her older sister (6 years old) got excited by the noise and announced even louder than her sister, " I chase boys all day!" and then she proceeded to run in the opposite direction laughing really hard.

I couldn't stop laughing. They are such a cute and fun family to be around. 

At another home a boy, about 11 years old, looks at me and says, "You look really familiar" he ponders the thought for a second and then says, "Oh ya, you remind me of the guy on the corner with the afro."

I started to laugh because he reminded me of some of my 6th graders from last year...always saying something to get a laugh. It is not everyday I get that complement. 


Needless to say, this week has been a good week of laughter! My favorite talk is "Come What May and Love It" By Elder Wirthlin. 

Sister Clark and I have been laughing in all types of situations this week. 

I love the joy that comes from living this gospel.

I love seeing how the atonement changes lives for the better.

IT IS AMAZING! 

I am grateful for all of you for your love and support! 

LOVE YOU!

Sister Cook

Picture: Sister Breeze got to spend a whole day with us! She is amazing!





o-Hi-o

Hello Family and Friends!

Well on Friday we had the great opportunity to have Elder Randell K. Bennett (Quorum of the Seventy) come and talk to us missionaries. The Spirit is the true teacher and the Spirit during that meeting was SO STRONG. I know that he is called of God. I would try to reiterate the things that were said but I don't have the eloquence to do so. All I can say is that God truly calls these men to lead and guide us in these latter days. That night Sister Clark and I witnessed beautiful miracles as we went out to serve. 
 
Then the next morning I woke up flat on my back....sick... with the nasty virus going around. Let me tell you, being sick on the mission is the worst thing that can happen. Just how a teacher doesn't want to get sick during the school year.  I didn't want to be sick...who does? Nevertheless, I had many wonderful and sweet mothers from the ward take care of me. These women are such a great example to me. I don't know what I did to deserve their tender love and care, but they were so good to me and Sister Clark (so don't worry Mom, I was in good care!)  I was quarantined for the day and then by the next morning I had all the energy in the world to get up and go.  

I am so glad that I am healthy again. Woo. God's work must go on.

Instead of "Fake it til you make it" my quote of the week is "Faith it 'til you make it!"

It all starts with having FAITH!

During my struggles and trials I have recognized that I need to continue to build my faith. With faith I am able to find ways to turn more towards God. 

'Tis the season of Thanksgiving remember that the more gratitude that you express towards God the more blessings you will receive!

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!

Love,

Sister Cook

Monday, November 2, 2015

o-Hi-o

Hello Family and Friends,

Well I survived Halloween. They had us go in early so that people wouldn't mistake us as trick-or-treaters. Wouldn't want to give anyone the wrong idea!

My heart has been pulled at this week. It has been stretched to new degrees. On Friday, I shook hands, for the last time, with an older man that we have been teaching for the past couple of months. He moved out of Ohio the following morning for his work. This man has a brilliant mind. Let me simplify how brilliant he is by saying that he has two PhD's in something with science. Okay, okay I know you don't have to have a degree to be known as "brilliant" but that is my quick way of painting a picture of him for you. Because of his culture, he had no Christian background. He came with the desire to know for himself.
This man changed my life! 
The first or second time he met with us he told  us, "You have something I want. I jealous of what you have."
We were able to act as guides and help this father discover God for himself. Through the Holy Ghost we were able to teach him the things that he needs to know at this time in his life. I wish I could be more eloquent in my writing and explain the transformation that occurred within this man. My soul rejoices every single time I think about it. It is because of his desire that he was able to learn for himself and to have his own spiritual experiences (Don't be fooled and think this was a simple process, it has been a hard journey.) 

Goodbyes are hard. I think of a talk from President Uchtdorf when he said something to the fact that our spirits are not meant to say goodbye because our spirits are eternal (I think...Someone correct me if I am wrong.) I told this man that I would see him again. I am so excited for his future and the journey he is taking with God. 

Something that I love about being a missionary is that I am not forcing any principle or belief on anyone. We are simply inviting people to come learn and discover for themselves. God gave a great gift and that is free agency; we get to choose our thoughts and actions for ourselves.  

I love this gospel and the joy that it truly brings and the blessings that are in store for us all as we continue to learn of what those are. We should never stop learning. 

I love you all

Thank you for you love and support. 


Sister Cook

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


o-Hi-o!

Hello Friends and Family!

This letter will be short. 

We are busy, busy spreading God's word! To anyone that wants to hear.

This past week has been a great week of miracles. I love witnessing the hand of God in our lives, each day.

LOVE YOU!

Ps. Everyone should live in Ohio during the Fall time. 

Sister Cook

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

o-Hi-o

Hello Family and Friends!

This week we decided to shake things up a bit and do a lemonade stand to talk with people. FREE lemonade! Who could say no? Ok, don't answer that question. It was a delight to say the least. We waved and smiled at a lot of people, talked to others, and passed out cards. My favorite was a van that pulled up. I grabbed two cups of lemonade, walked up to their car and started to talk to them. After exchanging some words of getting to know them
I asked, "Would you like a picture of Jesus to take with you?" 
the driver responded, "No, I'm Christian."
 I giggled, "Me too!"

I then proceeded to tell them what church we were from and all of that. Nothing came from it but I did get a good laugh from it and they were very nice! That is what I love about Ohio. Everyone is respectful towards each other. 

One of the greatest things that I love to witness everyday is to see a persons faith increase. As we work and teach people to come unto Christ, the light within them strengthens. I love helping these people of Mason to come and learn of God's gospel and how it has been restored on the Earth again. This week as we faced rejection over and over again, I started to get down on myself and had a hard time. However, after much prayer I came to recognize that there is opposition in all things and it was my choice on what I wanted to focus on. I thought, "wait, I have been facing rejection for the past 3 months! Why am I being so hard on myself this week?" I then took a step back and recognized all the blessings from the week. There are people that are ready to take that next step towards their Heavenly Father. Changing perspective and focusing on blessings makes life a lot more peaceful. There is opposition in everything. It just depends on if we want to dwell on the negative and trials in our life. I have learned that I need to continue to move forward in faith. 

I invite you to find something this week to find the good in. It will bless your life. I promise. 

Love you all,

Sister Cook

Picture 1: At one of our New Member's home (She is someone that I LOVE WITH ALL MY HEART!!!!!)  Her fat cat decided to finally grace me with his presence. The gray one is the son and the tiny black one is the mommy cat!...the cats are not photogenic...it was impossible to get a good snap.

Picture 2: There we are at our cute lemonade stand, spreading the gospel!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

o-Hi-o

Words cannot even describe my love for this area and my companion. I LOVE training!....Actually I don't think I am training. She is well trained and we are running at the same pace. No...we are not running after people. That could potentially look scary. This past week we have been doing things to strengthen our companionship and also having God as our third companion. One thing that we started  at the beginning of our transfer is to memorize 20 faith scriptures that the mission president gave us. WOW. It has done so many wonders. It is so great to see the strength that comes from reading and studying the scriptures. In a sense we are Ponderizing! Each day we pick a new scripture to memorize and focus on. Anytime we are about to approach someone I find myself just reciting one of the scriptures in my head to give me strength to move forward. 

Each day there is always a miracle or tender mercy that occurs it just depends on our perspective if we recognize it. 


Here the faith scriptures that we have ponderized so far. If you get time,I invite you to also read and memorize these scriptures! They will give you great strength.

1. D&C 84:88
2. Isaiah 40:31
3. John 14:27
4. Philippians 4:13
5. Alma 26:27
6.Mark 9:23-24
7.Proverbs 3:5-6
8.John 16:33
9. Ether 12:27
10. Proverbs 23:7
11. Deuteronomy 31:6

I LOVE YOU ALL

Thank you so much for all your prayers, love and support. It truly is a blessing to have you all apart of my life. I feel so blessed.

Sister Cook

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Hello!

o-Hi-o


WOW! This past week has been my last week of my training as a new missionary. As of today, I am no longer a "Greenie" as some people would like to call it. Sadly, we just got the call that Sister Witherspoon will be going to a new area! We will no longer be companions. She has been a marvelous trainer to me. I couldn't have asked for someone better. Tomorrow, I will be going to transfers and will be meeting my new companion that I will be training! I know that I will only be able to take this next step in my mission with the help from Heavenly Father. I have so many emotions running through me right now and I should be freaking out; however, I can't help but feel this overwhelming peace. I think I will just focus on that feeling of peace because it is a lot better. Yep, I like peace. 





Well I will have to make this a short letter again because of all the things that are happening with transfers and other things. 

I just want you all to know that Heavenly Father and the Savior loves each one of you! I know that because I can feel His love for all of His children as I go out each day and meet new people. My heart is throbbing because I feel so much charity for everyone. I wish I could be eloquent in my words and describe it, but go find out for yourself! I promise that as you pray, read the scriptures and attend church you will feel the love of God wrap around you. Oh this gospel is so good!  

Well I love you all!


Sister Cook


Picture 1: Okay, check this out. We were knocking on a door and right there was this Praymantice (I don't know how to spell it) anyways, it was the size of my hand! 

Picture 2: Then I looked up right above it and saw the craziest looking spider! I am telling you, Ohio is bug central. 

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hello!
 
o-Hi-o
 
I am short with time today so I will just send pictures! 
 
They are worth 1,000 words!
 
Love you all! 
 
God bless you all!
 
 
Picture 1: A family in my ward has a picture of their grandpa in a tree reading a Book of Mormon. Over time they have been collecting pictures from missionaries that serve in their ward to do the same thing. I finally found a tree that I could climb in a skirt!
 
Picture 2: Painting with my sisters!
 
Picture 3: A meeting with my district! We look so proper. This district is a lot smaller than the one that I had at the MTC, but they are so great to work with! 
 
Picture 4: Last night as we had dinner in a members home the son plays the violin so he had me play his violin while Sister Witherspoon played the piano. It was so fun!! It felt like good old times when I was back home. 
 
Sister Cook

o-Hi-o
 
Hello! 
 
The other night as I was sleeping I had a very loud dream. I was standing next to a fire truck that had its siren going off. Next to this fire truck I had people gathered around and I was teaching them about the gospel with my scriptures in hand. Then the dream started to melt away and the siren was still loud and piercing to my ears. I slowly peered through my eyes into my dark room and only heard the alarm. I closed my eyes and the firetruck reappeared in my head. I was so tired that I couldn't tell what was reality. I then re opened my eyes again and this time I was more coharent. I noticed that the alarm sound was not in my dream.
 
"Are you awake, Sister Cook?" Sister Witherspoon asked in a quick tone.
"Ya...."I grumbled
"Do you hear that alarm?" She asked. 
 
It finally hit me. I bolted out of bed and ran towards the front of the apartment to see where the sound was coming from. Outside our apartment door is a white mega phone that alarms the tenants in our hallway. We grabbed the cell phone and ran outside to see what was going on. No one was outside. It was 2:45 AM and everything seemed normal around us besides that blaring alarm! No one was awake!  We were so confused on why no one else was up and why the alarm was going off. Could they not hear it? We didn't know what the alarm was for. We called the maintaince and the staff but got no answer. We then called the cops to have them come check it out. When they got there they checked everything out and asked why everyone was still sleeping. They informed us if it was a real fire we would have been the only ones safe at that moment. I first felt silly standing out there but talking with the cops I know we did the right thing. They were nice and understanding. I think the alarm had a malfunction in it. They got it fixed for us and we were able to go to bed. It was crazy! The next day I had so much energy.
 
Later that day I was thinking a lot about that alarm and that situation we were in. As we were teaching a lesson to a guy, that we have been meeting with for the past 3 weeks, he told us that we could be no service to him. He doesn't want a relationship with God because he doesn't want to pray to know for himself. We lovingly but boldly told him about how there is a Heavenly Father that loves him and wants to hear from him. No matter what we taught he was set in his ways. I loved working with him and it broke my heart that he didn't have that desire to know for himself. I was thinking how we are preparing to meet God on this earth and we go around teaching people and to prepare them. We are sounding the alarm to all those that want to hear. Not everyone is waking up to the alarm though. Either because they don't hear it or because they don't think it is important to wake up to. 
 
I love the people out here. Everyone is so good and amazing!
 
I love you all SO MUCH!
 
I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true and can bring blessings to all that want to hear and learn for themselves. 
 
Have a spectacular Week!
 
Love Sister Cook

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Hello!
It is raining SPIDERS! Above the door of our apartment we have so many different kinds of spiders. I would take a picture but it comes out blurry...but it is crazy! The other day we were walking out of the apartment and a big black blurry thing whacked me in the face. I swatted it away thinking it was  some type of flying bug...but no I looked on the ground and saw a HUGE brown spider....Yep I would have freaked out but I am now used to these creatures. I picked him up from his web and took him to a far away bush. My companion thought that I was crazy for not killing it. I learned from my mom that if it is not dangerous then it doesn't need to be killed (well I finally learned that lesson on my mission...I wasn't the best at that back home. You're welcome mom! I am finally following your teachings. Haha.) Now when we walk into the apartment we are always looking up to see which spider is closer to dropping on us. 
This past week has been another great week of learning! I have learned so much of our Savior's love. I love to do my scripture study in the morning because it gives me that extra strength to get through the day. I have been focusing a lot on Faith lately. I love the book of Ether because the brother of Jared is such a great example of that. Especially in chapter 12. Faith is so important to have because it gives us that hope to endure the day and to become better (and so much more that I will not expound on right now.) I didn't feel like my faith was strong the other day and so I was upset with everything. As I studied and prayed about it I was able to find answers in giving me that extra strength. I was able to apply Christ's atonement to make things better. I am so grateful for this gospel. I truly love serving a mission. I love being here and with the people. OH THE PEOPLE. I just love them. Apparently I am in a hard area...but I don't see it that way. I am just so grateful to be here. God has provided me the means to be here.
I love you all SO MUCH! Thank you again for all of your support and love! 
Have a wonderful week!
Love, Sister Cook


Picture 1: For an activity with the Zone we drew the Plan of Salvation, Restoration, and Gospel of Jesus Christ on the sidewalk. We talked with people that walked by. IT WAS AWESOME! I am a visual learner so it is easier to teach with pictures! Loved this day.
Picture 2: Here is a picture of the sisters in my zone! (I don't have the picture of the whole zone yet...but they are all FANTASTIC!) I love this zone.

Picture 1:
With Sister Call and Sister Nicol for exchanges! I love these girls. It was an awesome day to say the least! 
Picture 2: We were walking a long the street and I came across this house...I just felt inspired to take a picture it front of it...I can't imagine why I felt so inclined. 
(I wish I could upload all photos to one email...but it only allows 2 at a time...sorry for the explosion of emails! Love you!)



Tuesday, September 1, 2015




o-Hi-o!
I love the ward members out here. I have felt so welcomed and loved by them. They are always so willing to help out.
There is a lady in my ward and I like to consider as my grandma! I simply adore her! She is 89 years old and is always excited to come out and work with us when she gets the chance. She is dynamite! The other day she was with us at an appointment that we had with a nonmember and after we finished and got into the car I leaned back my head, closed my eyes, and expressed how tired I felt. Peeking my eyes open I saw her smiling from the front seat at me. 
"It's not quitting time, is it?" She said with a wink in her eye.
I laughed and sat up straight. Oh how right she was. It was definitely not quitting time! 
She also one time told Sister Witherspoon and I that "growing up was not for pansies!" I got a good laugh out of that. 
Ohio is great. I feel like I am home. 
God bless you all!
Love you all so much!
Love,
Sister Cook
Pictures:
1. My Sister Training Leaders: Sister Abrams and Sister Elmer!
2. Sister Elemer and I went on Exchanges! She is such a sweetie. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

o-Hi-o!
 
Wow! What a fast week it has been! Nothing to crazy to report from this week. I can't believe that it is already Monday. Today is the 24th which means that this marks my 2nd month being out on a mission! CRAZY!  I love it out here. I love all the people and the lessons that I am constantly learning each day. As I submit myself to God's Will everyday I find myself growing and learning more and more. The days that I am stubborn and not willing to do that... Ha, well I bet you can imagine my kind of days. Yay, for learning!
 
Yesterday was Stake Conference and it was truly amazing! We had one of our investigators sitting right with us. Oh it was such a good meeting and all the messages that were shared. The Stake President gave great insight on 1 Nephi. He talked about how Lehi took his family across the wilderness on a journey to get to the promise land and  they all had trials and afflictions. It is apart of God's plan to have those trials in our life. As we grow and learn to rely on him during those times we are strengthened in Him. Nephi is a great example of how to endure through those trials. Laman and Lemuel have a harder time in understanding why they have to deal with their afflictions as they journey to the Promised Land. I guess it is all about perspective. It is how we look at things. We all have our free agency to decide on how to cope and deal with our everyday situations. Our end goal is to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and through our trials we can grow closer by living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everyday focus on faith, repentance, our baptismal covenant, listening to the Holy Gost, and enduring to the end.
Of course I can't speak with the same power as the speakers did yesterday. It was just so neat to be in a ward with so many converts and members that are not perfect (because unfortunately none of us are perfect yet) but that are trying everyday to be more Christ like.
 
Well it has been a quick and awesome week but I love you all so much! I hope that you are all enjoying life and the adventures that you are taking right now!! Good luck to everyone!
 
Thank you for the love and support!
 
Love Sister Cook
 
Pictures:
 
1.Beth got her call! She is going to California, Bakersfield!! YAY!!!!!! She is going to make such an awesome missionary. She is truly amazing and such a great example. She is always out with us and always helping us out in our crazy situations! I don't know what we will do when she leaves.
 
2. THIS MADE MY DAY! Lady bug is of course one of my many "bug" nicknames from growing up. I guess you could say it is my mini mascot. Anyways, during my scripture study in the morning this little ladybug decided to pop up. Weird but cool!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 17, 2015

o-Hi-o
 
Yesterday, in the morning, the Sister over Primary came and asked if we would be a substitute teacher for CTR 6 class. I about died! OF COURSE! CTR 6 are the 1st and 2nd graders. My heart melted. I felt back in my zone! It was so fun to sit during singing/ sharing time with the little kids. Seriously, little kids say the funniest things! I about died. I was trying so hard to not laugh. Anytime a picture was held up of any prophet or anyone that we were learning about the sunbeams (which I think they are 3 and 4 years old?) would shout out, "JESUS!" Another little kid was trying to get the teachers attention to answer her question by answering, "But I know where Jesus lives!" and then he proceeded to say things that I wish I could remember, but of course his answer didn't have to do with what she was saying. Oh but they were just so cute! It wasn't chaotic. They were well behaved but loud. Oh my element. 
 
Speaking of teaching, doesn't school start soon? I wish the best to everyone starting school! My kiddo's will be starting 7th grade! Wow. So crazy! Good luck to everyone out there!
 
This week has been an absolute blur! Nothing too crazy and exciting but so much to do. 
 
I have really appreciated the time that I get to study in the morning. It is a calm time for me to study and learn more. A scripture that I really appreciate that I came across this week is in D&C section 76 verse 19:
 
"And while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about." 
 
I looked up the definition of meditation and it is "a continuous thought. To think about doing something."
 
I never thought of meditation that way. It has made me change the way that I study my scriptures. I have been trying harder to continue thinking about the things that I can do. What things can I do each day that will improve my life and the lives around me? This has made me to reflect on a lot of change that I need to make! 
 
Have a wonderful week everyone! 
 
I love you all so much! I hope everything is going well. 
 
 
Sister Cook

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015

o-Hi-o
 
 
Hey everyone!
 
Wow! What a WEEK! I am still trying to wrap my brain around everything that is happening here this week. I am seeing so many miracles! God is good. I owe all that has happened to Him. I can't take credit for anything.   Thank you so much for all your love, support and prayers! I really appreciate it!
 
 
This week I decided to focus on the word "Repentance." Did any of you cringe when you read that word? I know that I did. I don't like how it has a negative conatation. I decided to study and apply it to my life this week. I love this word now! I get the most peace from it when I think about how it is a way to turn closer to God. When I think of it that way then it makes sense to me. Everyday I need to find ways to turn closer to God. What things do I need to do to create a better relationship with my Heavenly Father. What a week it has been and I am so grateful for His love and kindness. He loves all of us. I know that with every fiber in me.
 
I just love the people out here in Ohio! AH. They are so great.
 
The kiddos out here start school on WEDNESDAY!!! I was thinking about everyone back in Utah getting ready for school. Enjoy your last few weeks of Summer! Have so much fun! I love you all! God bless you.
 
Here are a couple pictures for the week.
 
The pictures of the Sunflower field was a great tender mercy. It has been my favorite field to drive by and then I soon found out that it was the front yard to one of our members yard! I am now slightly obsessed with sunflowers.
 
THE RAIN HERE IS CRAZY! It is so GREAT! The other day it rained all day and didn't stop. Another day we had a hail storm. In our area the hail got up to the size of marbles! Don't worry I didn't get hit by them. I am safe.
 
LOVE YOU!
 
Sister Cook 

August 3, 2015

o-Hi-o!
 
 
HELLO!
 
First off let me just say, TOMATOES! I LOVE tomatoes. I have this crazy addiction to them...especially if they are fresh from the garden. I didn't realize how obsessed I was with them until I received packages of my favorite kind in the mail from my mom in the MTC. I then realized I had a slight problem. Anyways, the other day I received a tender mercy while we were at a members house for dinner. She had a tomato garden! YAY! We were eating some for dinner and then she found out my love for them from my companion. So she quickly grabbed a grocery sack and filled it full! AAA! My heart was overwhelmed with love. So now our fridge is spilling out with tomatoes (don't be jealous mom.)
 
 
Well the other day we were having a pretty rough day (I promise this will not turn into a complaining letter or sob story.)  I assume anyone that has come from a previous mission, sales job, dating or any other form of getting rejected can hopefully relate.
 
So on Friday my companion and I made it a goal to talk to every person that we encountered. We went walking and literally talked to everyone in our path. By the end of the night we were tired and exhausted. Not one person was interested. We had 30 minutes to go before we could head into our apartment and we were walking with our heads hung low and our hearts feeling pretty broken. Passing a couple cars down we saw a lady jump out of her car and start screaming! We happened to pass her car at the time she was screaming "Get it out! Get it out!" We quickly assessed the situation and realized she had a bug in her car. I quickly asked if I had permission to go in her car to get it out for her. (Let me quickly inform you native Utahans....those that are not familiar with the Ohio land...BUGS tons and tons of BUGS. The variety is huge!)  So I quickly take my shoe off hop into her car and there in front of me is a huge flying bug....I don't want to be dramatic but it was the size of a....hmmmm ok my brain is drawing a blank. But it was big. I then realized that I got myself into a predicament.Gah! I started praying, "please give me strength to get this bug out of this ladies car!" The lady had every reason in the book to be afraid. Finally the bug flew out. *Phew*. We then talked with the lady and she was so sweet. She found out we were mormons and she went off and explained how much she admired us and what we do. We shared a brief message with her and got to see her again yesterday. It was great.
 
Even though this week has been filled with a lot of rejection more than I can count. My companion and I have started to say all the blessings from each day. We then realize that there are a lot of good things going on. There truly is opposition in ALL things. We have to experience the negative to experience the positive. I am learning to apply that to any situation that I encounter. The scripture that I have been repeating in my head over and over again is in John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, I give unto you. Neither let your heart be troubled nor let it be afraid." PEACE we all need peace in our life.
It is possible to feel peace even during times of pain, sorrow and rejection.
 
Well I love you all!
 
Enjoy your last month of SUMMER!
 
Sister Cook
 
Here are pictures of some amazing ladies that have blessed my life!
 
My companion Sister Witherspoon
 
Sister Armstrong
 
and Beth!
 
I am learning so much from everyone out here.

 


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

1 month!

o-Hi-o!
Update: 1 month! WHAT? That is right, everyone, it has been one month (and a couple days) that I have been a full time missionary. Wow. They say that days feel like weeks and weeks feel like days. That statement has never been so true to me until now. I keep thinking I flew into Ohio last week. Hopefully you have all  been enjoying your summer break! 
Food: Well I was supposed to have an appointment this last week with one of my favorite investigators and he promised that he was going to make us frog legs! My companion was all over that idea. She loves them! I just smiled real big and thought to myself, "I am not a picky eater, I am not a picky eater, I am not a picky eater." I think I laughed a lot and smiled while he told us about this meal. Unfortunately, the meal got canceled (darn) so he said he would try for another night. I guess that gives my stomach a couple of more days to get ready....So look forward to that future story. 
Also, the heat here has been pretty hot! Even when it rains it is very warm/hot. Sister Witherspoon and I the other day went in to the gas station and got some UDF ice cream and as we left to go to our next appointment the ice cream melted in seconds! I only got one good solid bite and then the rest was warm melted milk. HA. I was desperate so I just chugged it. I didn't imagine Ohio could get this hot!
Thought:
I love the opportunity that we have to grow and learn. It is so wonderful to always have the opportunity to progress and get better at something. With challenge comes growth. It's easier said than done. As we set goals and try to reach and obtain them it takes faith and hope that we will persevere and eventually conquer it. A scripture that has helped me this week is in the Book of Mormon: Alma 58:10-11 (Go read it!) As we strive to become better and strengthen our weaknesses, it is through prayer to Heavenly Father that He can give us that peace. As we continue to have faith in Him we can have hope that He will deliver us out of any circumstance or help us to grow stronger. Keep strong everyone! 
Heavenly Father Loves you!
I forgot my camera this week but I will post pictures next week! Also I love you all! I appreciate all the love and support. I hope everything is going well for all of you!
Love,
Sister Cook

Monday, July 20, 2015

For the Beauty of the Earth




o-Hi-o
 
My love, so far, for this beautiful state of Ohio,
 
1. THUNDER STORMS! GAH! I love the sound of thunder. One night I woke up to it and it sounded like it was cracking my apartment in half. This thunder just keeps rolling and rolling. I can't get enough of them.
 
2. Fire Flies! It is a personal firework show every night. The grass and tress begin to light up. It is so peaceful and so pretty.
 
3. I have been dying to see a mountain but I am now getting distracted by these rolling green hills of trees. Everything is so green and lush.
 
4. The sunsets and sunrises have blood red suns! AA! So awesome.
 
5. The people! The people out here are amazing. They are so sweet, loving and understanding.
 
When I was in the MTC the hymn "For the Beauty of the Earth" popped in my mind. I never really knew it but I began to sing it a lot. Then I came out to Ohio and I was like, "WHOA! For the Beauty of the Earth!" God is truly amazing. This Earth is BEAUTIFUL!
 
Unfortunatley, I can't capture the beauty of Ohio on my camera.
 
Pic 2: Eating the famous Ohio Skyline Chili with Sister Christensen (It has either chocolate or cinamon in it..)
 
Pic 3: Eating the famous Graters Icecream with Sister Witherspoon
 
LOVE YOU ALL! God loves you!
 
Sister Cook

Monday, July 13, 2015

o-Hi-o!
 
Update: I made it to the beatiful state of Ohio! No mountains. Just rolling green hills. It is gorgeous here! I have two new companions Sister Christensen and Sister Witherspoon. Sister Christensen is only with us for a short time because she leaves to Salt Lake City West to serve the rest of her mission. Anyone in Magna, Tooele area look out for her! She is a firecracker. Sister Witherspoon and I are new to the area so the way we get people to remember our names is by saying, "she COOKs WITHERSPOON". Oh ya we are so clever. It is fun! I love these sisters. They are good to me.
 
Food: Alright my native Utahns. I don't know about you but when someone says shrimp I picture a small pink tail with sometimes a small hard shell at the tip. My second night in Ohio a family feed us traditional Chinesse food. IT WAS DELICIOUS. (Nothing like Panda Express...Mark you would appreciate this.) Well one of the dishes had shrimp in it. The dad told us, "Alright this is going to get messy and you have permission to spit out your food. I will first demonstrate how to eat shrimp." He then proceeds to pick up a huge piece of shimp. It was all shell, long legs, and head with its beady little eyes. He first ripped off the head and set it to the side (used to eat later), second he placed the shrimp with the legs in his mouth and bit off all the legs (this is were we got the permission to spit the legs out onto the plate.) Third, he took off the remaining shell and then popped it into his mouth. My mouth of course was jaw dropped. I then looked to the older gentleman to my left and he was just smiling and stuffing the whole shelled shrimp into his mouth and told me, "more nutritious." So I had the option of  deshelling the shrimp or just crunching through it. Yes, I deshelled it. Yes, I spit out the legs onto the plate. Yes, I loved it.
 
Environment: The most interesting place we taught someone a lesson was in a workout room. These Ohio rains come in and out quickly. We were in the park and the rains came in so we retreated to the only room open, the club house work out room. It was great! I learned the lesson that the spirit is the true teacher. Half the time I was yelling over the sound of the treadmill behind me. "GOD LOVES YOU" Haha. It was great.
 
Thought: It has only been a week but I recognize God's love for everyone. I think of my 6th grade kiddos and how much I loved each one for different reasons. I loved their different personalities and quirks. I am now walking around meeting so many different people. I feel like I have encountered people from different parts of the specturm. I LOVE THEM ALL. I love each one for different reasons. One I love for their intellectual insight. I love another because they are quiet, I love another because of the excitment they have and their dialogue, "ya dig it?" "Copy? Roger that, 10 4, over and out..." haha. Not everyone is friendly but I can see that God loves them and He has a plan for them. I might not get the opportunity to help them out but I know that, that is ok. This place is a melting pot of so many different and unique people. An adventure awaits. 
 
Love you all! 

Saturday, July 4, 2015


SURPRISE

hey y'all!!!

o-Hi-o

disclaimer: the left shift key that my brain is trained to use without thinking is broken!!! so the inner teacher in me is getting really upset with all of this bad punctuation. i have so much to do in this hour that i don't have time to worry about capitalizing my words correctly. so forgive me. 

ok i didn't know that i was going to be able to get on the computer before i fly out on monday...but SURPRISE!! i get to. so this is a surprise to you and me. i have not much to say so i will just post one picture....because this computer is being so......i can't say right now. ask me in 18 months. 

i seriously love my district!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i have only been with them for 11 days? anyways, they are my family. i am so sad to say good by to half of them. 

i am so excited to go to ohio!!!!!!!!!!! my heart is overwhelmed with love from everyone! i can't wait to bring others closer to Christ and witness the beauty of Gods plan. monday morning is the day! i have learned so much here. i am glad that i am here for only a short time...because i am anxious to get in the field! woooo!


i love you! God loves you! 

sister cook