Thursday, April 23, 2015

April 20, 2015 ~ Week 42

The riot has calmed down quite a bit so all of the missionaries have returned, all except for 2 elders.  They have received a transfer to another zone because the riot is using their area as their top secret preparation base.  For now the riot isn't bothering Mollendo or Matarani so now we are 12 Missionaries back in the Mollendo zone.

Transfer also happened and I will be here in Matarani 
for the next 6 weeks.  The district is changing up a bit and I don’t know who will be in my district.  I wish that I would have snapped a photo with my first district here in this zone however thanks to my procrastination and the riot I missed the shot.  Plus I broke my camera right before I left Camana 6 weeks ago. 

Peruvians are truly interesting people.  This past week quite a lot of natives have told us about their dreams and that they receive guidance through their dreams and then they ask us to share our opinion about their dreams.

Hope you all have a great week and dream on!


Elder McCook

Word of the week:  sueños- dreams

April 13, 2015 ~ Week 41

It is truly amazing as to what can happen in the span of 7 days in the mission Peru, Arequipa.

Monday and Tuesday were normal days however Wednesday at 6 in the morning we received a call from our zone leaders who were in Arequipa because of training and they called us to say that we need to pack up our things for 1 week because we are going to be in Arequipa until the riot settles down.  I was to notify my district that we would be evacuated from Matarani in 1 hour.  The call ended and I started doing my calls, until the Zone Leader called back saying that a man would pick us up in 20 minutes.  

Unshowered, because it’s so uncommon to have water in the 
mornings, we packed our things.  I packed what was most important to me as I grabbed 7 ties, 2 shirts, 2 pants, a sweater, my journals and electronic stuff, not knowing if I would return to my area in a week.

I kind of thought they were playing some kind of joke until 
Panchito showed up.  He is this awesome Peruvian who 
is in a Stake Presidency in Arequipa but he works for the 
mission and helps with emergency transfers.

He shows up and we haul off Nascar style, it was 
incredible how fast he drove.  We got to our 30 minute destination 
in like 15 minutes.  While in the car we saw police men everywhere with riot shields, apparently some war was gonna start in 12 hours. We eventually got in a minivan that took us 12 Elders to Arequipa and Panchito followed behind us with the sister missionaries.  We arrived at the mission home and just settled down for a bit.

President arrived and he split all the missionaries up.  
Elder Alvey and  I went to a zone in Arequipa called Manual Prado.  We did divisions for the rest of our time.  We would sleep, 
eat breakfast and dinner in the mission home and work with 
the other elders during the day.  I was paired up with Elder Turnblom for the time being, he is a great Elder from Utah and is 20 years old with 5 months in the mission.

We had a multi zone conference Friday morning.  It was great to see the missionaries from Camana and the zones in Arequipa.

Saturday morning President notified us that only 
4 missionaries will return to Mollendo for now; only the missionaries from Matarani. We went back to Matarani Saturday and as of right now the riot over in Matarani has settled down except we don’t have any power or water in our room.  

A nice member who also washes our clothes was kind enough to allow us to shower in her house today.  Some missionary areas have been closed down temporarily and I still see cops everywhere with their tear gas guns or something.

Elder McCook 

Monday, April 6, 2015

April 6, 2015 ~ Week 40 pictures

The Rama Matarani Fútbol Team.

April 6, 2015 ~ Week 40

Eating Lunch with The Leaders of Mollendo and the APs.

The Rama Matarani Fútbol Team.

This week was full of activities ~ Tuesday was our district meeting.  Wednesday was an all morning zone service project at our District President’s house, (a District President is like a Stake President.)  We shoveled dirt and moved bricks to build the foundation of his house.  Thursday the missionaries of Matarani were able to spend the morning at the beach for a district activity with all the members of the church, we had a great time playing soccer.  Friday morning was filled with planning, and finally General Conference arrived and that was the best!  I know we have a living prophet and he and his apostles receive revelation to touch the lives of us as Heavenly Father children.

My favorite quote was by Elder Larry M. Gibson who spoke of something his son told him, after completing a hard, all day running activity:

“That was the most difficult thing I have ever done in my life, and I will never, ever do it again—unless my son wants me to.”

I’m grateful for the example of my father and that one day my son will say that to me.

Have a great week!


Elder McCook

words of the week: Profeta - prophet

                               Conferencia General - General Conference

March 30, 2015 ~ Week 39

“Let’s start a riot” was the theme for this past week in Mollendo.
As I mentioned before in past week letters, the riots, or protests, have not ceased.

I have learned some nice new details however.

So apparently the riot was started because a mining company wanted to blow up a mountain to go mine and the natives didn’t want it to happen because it would contaminate the crops.
The water isn’t even 100 percent clean, so might as well save all the rice fields.

I haven’t seen much action but some Elders woke up to the smell of burning tractor tires in the middle of the road and cars have been destroyed, and yeah pretty much your everyday casual riot kind of things.

I remember 6 months ago in Camana how I wasn’t able to watch general conference live because of the elections and it looks like this week I won’t be able to watch it because of the riot.  Taxi drivers are not working because they don’t want their taxi’s to get flipped.   Which is a pretty logical reason to not work.

Edgar and his baptism date fell through this past week, he has been busy with work and we had a lesson with him and he chose his new date of the April 11th.

The new program and video the church made The #GraciasAQueElVive is absolutely sweet, excuse the Spanish I haven’t been able to watch the video in English but it’s just sweet and I love that I get to contact using this inspiring program for this month and for the rest of the year.

Have a great week. Enjoy General Conference.

Elder McCook

Words of the week: riot- huelga 

March 23, 2015 ~ Week 38 ~ Pics

Matarani has so many promising houses to knock on.

Guinea pig still tastes good!

March 23, 2015 ~ Week 38

Currently I am in Arequipa, because today we have training as District Leaders.  It will start today in the evening but I arrived last night because there was a rumor of a riot against the bus terminal.  There was a riot quite some time ago and I heard that the riot burned a terminal down. 

Anyways, I traveled last night and I slept comfortably in a hotel with another Elder who is the other district leader in our Zone.  This morning I had a hot shower and it felt so good after going almost 5 months without one.

This past week in Matarani, we have been teaching this one family, they are really sweet.  The mother’s name is Rosa and she is loving everything.  She has gone to the activities and church and just loves it.  She lives with her 3 children and her 16 year son got baptized a month ago and now she is more interested in the church.  My favorite one in the family is Charli, he is 25 and loves to fish and watch soccer.  He is such a swell guy.

A little more info about Matarani:
It’s a fisherman’s village, more than Camana, I wake up every morning and my view from the 4th story apartment window is just beautiful.  There are no beaches in Matarani, just ports where the fisherman work.  Fishing ends at 5 everyday and it’s kind of hard to find people to teach because they are all out fishing during the day. 

With that being said I am very grateful that I haven’t eaten a lot of fish.  My pentionista, who is a member, likes to mix things up a bit and in this past week I ate guinea pig for the 2nd time of the mission and I also got to eat octopus, it’s so good!!

Guinea Pig still taste good!

Elder McCook

Words of the week: octopus- pulpo 
                             Fisherman- pescador 

Matarani has so many promising houses to knock on.