Friday, October 24, 2014

Pictures October 20, 2014 - Legendary Hermano Salomon

The Legendary Hermano Salomón.  I took a picture with the legendary Hermano Salomón.  Right before the photo he said "hold up let me make myself handsome first".  I think we look flawless in our pink clothes ;)
Also in the photo you will notice how sun-burnt I am.  I will go and buy some sunblock this afternoon.

October 20, 2014 ~ Week 16

Bienvenido a esto email!

As time goes by I feel that my Spanish is improving.  Although I have made but a small dent in the window of the language barrier, I have learned to become a really good listener.  If I do not listen to every word said then I am lost.  In a typical sentence, I can pick up some of the key words and put them together to gather an idea of what the topic of the discussion is.

Also this week me and Elder Garth Hunt (who is currently serving his mission in Mexico) were successfully able to email each other in complete Spanish.  I am thankful for him and for all of those that are supporting us.

It is getting hotter here in Camana, I’m not sure exactly what the temperature is but it is HOT.  Every day is a short sleeve kind of day. 

I have come to learn that summer in Peru can be described into 4 words- attack of the mosquitos.  Today I was able to count 20 bites on my legs :)  But there is another Hermana in my district from California and she counted 37 mosquito bites today!  She said her blood must  taste like dulce (or candy).  I would say my blood tastes like chicken and that is why she has almost double the amount of bites that I have.  Chicken is the main delicacy here in Peru.  Literally every other day we eat chicken.  Yesterday I dodged a bullet- when my pentionista asked if I wanted to eat the foot or the leg of the chicken for lunch…..You already know I replied with the leg.  However I feel that next time I should try the chicken foot.

You know the saying…. when in Peru do as Peruvians do.

Nos Vemos Entonces!
Elder McCook
Words of Week: La Pierna Por Favor (The Leg Please) 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

October 13, 2014 ~ Week 15

Remember the story of Daniel and the Lions Den from the Bible as you read this weekly letter.

"Be Lion Hearted"  -  Was my favorite quote from General Conference this past week.

General Conference was amazing!!! We all had the opportunity to hear what God wants His children to know.  In another 6 months time we will be able to hear more, but for now I will always remember to "Be Lion Hearted"

Lion Hearted as I wake up every day in a foreign country and speaking a second language with the objective to invite everyone to Come unto Christ.

Lion Hearted as I struggle with the language barrier and am not able to effortlessly express myself.

In this Den of life… God has given us our Lions because he trusts us to be Lion Hearted and not succumb to anything.

Of course it is hard. What would this life be without trials?

We understand peace, because we feel turmoil, Declared Dieter F. Uchtdorf this past General Conference.

As you live your lives remember to Be Lion Hearted in the Den of Life.
Chau till next week
Elder McCook

Words of the week: Be Lion Hearted - Esté Corazón de León

Pictures October 6, 2014 - animals

My mom asked me about the animals in are a few.

October 6, 2014 ~ Week 14

For this weekly letter I would like to talk about one of my investigators, Amelia C.  Amelia is 17 years old and lives in Cusco, Peru (about a 20 hour bus ride from Camana).  I first met Amelia about 2 weeks ago at church.  It was a normal Sunday, and about 60-90 people attend.  So when my companion and I see a new face at church, we introduced ourselves.  Amelia told us that this was her first time attending the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and that she was attending with her cousin, Nefi.   She is currently living with Nefi because she is studying for school here in Camana.  We then asked if she would like us (the missionaries) to visit her sometime in the week and talk to her more about the Church.  She agreed and a couple of days later Elder Atencio and I had the opportunity to teach her.

During the first lesson the Spirit was very strong, so we asked her if she would like to be baptized.  She happily said yes and agreed to the 18th of October to be her baptismal goal date.  The last time we taught Amelia was the 1st of October, and on that day she told me and my companion that she is going back to her home in Cusco on the 3rd of October and will return to Camana in November.  She asked if she could change her baptism date to November.  We were very excited to hear her say that.  We said our goodbyes and wished her a safe travel to her home in Cusco.  

However she would never take the 20 hour bus ride to Cusco.

A day later Elder Atencio and I received a phone call from a member of the church, who is a family friend of Amelia.  The member told us that Amelia collapsed at home and was rushed to the hospital.  She passed away 15 minutes later.  From what I was told, and what I could comprehend in Spanish; Amelia passed away from Cancer, she had Leukemia and nobody knew that she had Leukemia.

The last lesson that Elder Atencio and I taught her was about the Plan of Salvation and that Families can be together forever. 

Amelia has personally strengthened my testimony that God has a plan for all of us, and that right now Amelia is being taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the next world.

The church is true and people like Amelia make me soooo happy.

Elder McCook

Words of the week: families can live together forever - 
                                (las familias pueden vivir juntos para siempre)