Monday, July 20, 2015

July 20, 2015 ~ Week 55

Remember Cornelio?

We have been passing by his house almost every day to check on him and also because he said that on the 15th of July his 2 children who are
members of the church that live in Utah would be in Peru.
Last night after one of our appointments we passed by Cornelio’s house to see if he was home,  we rang the bell and out comes a nice woman who was his daughter.  I have been waiting eagerly to talk to his children and when the moment finally arrived I had no idea what to say, in English or Spanish.
Last night we got to know his daughter and her husband who are both Peruvians but live in Bountiful, Utah in the 5th ward.  They are converts and were sealed in the temple.  They are
visiting and supporting their father and will be here until the 29th.
As we were talking, Cornelio left to go answer the phone, he came back and told me that his son wanted to talk to me.
On the phone I heard the voice of a man who lives in Layton, Utah and has not been able to visit his father yet because of passport problems, but his voice was filled with love and he asked me
to give his father a blessing.
The spirit was strong and that moment was real.
This past week I was able to work a lot on my mi familia pamphlet and it is seriously the best.
I love family history.  This Thursday we will be traveling to a mission conference and there we will be talking more as a mission about family history and about obedience.
Families are forever.  The church of Jesus Christ has every step and
every ordinance ready for every worthy member.
Elder McCook

words of the week: Bendición de salud- Health Blessing
                                hijo- son

Monday, July 13, 2015

July 13, 2015 ~ Week 54 Pictures

We made some tacos at a members house after playing a district wide soccer game

July 13, 2015 ~ Week 54

This past Saturday we received the phone call to know who in the Mollendo zone received a change (transfer), 6 missionaries are leaving and 6 are coming, I myself will be staying in Matarani for the next six weeks!


Elder Agudelo Hafor has brought some sweet ideas to the table on how to improve member/missionary work and this past Sunday we presented them to the branch.  The ideas included a sheet of paper for signups to get more lessons with members present and a mission plan for the branch so they can understand our goals as missionaries.

I’m excited to see how these ideas will play out because in my 4 months here we manage maybe like 2 or 5 lessons with a member present and about 10 or 15 other lessons a week.  So stay tuned to see how the plan will be executed.

This past week before we made tacos at a member’s house we all went to Mollendo to play soccer at the chapel.  We were able to have a member who is returning back to church come with us, it was a sweet activity but the member who was with us from Matarani, his shoes fell apart and ripped.  I’m almost done with my "My Family" pamphlet that the church has made for family history!  When I finish I will send a photo. 


Elder McCook

words of the week:  shoe- zapato
                                sheet- hoja
                                my family- mi familia

July 6, 2015 ~ Week 53

My new companion arrived last week in the night time!  His name is Elder Agudelo, he is from Columbia and he is 19 years old.  He has been serving in the mission for 4 months and I am his 2nd companion in his 2nd area.  He has been a member for 5 years now and is the only member
in his entire family.

I have a lot of respect for him because of that last sentence “being the only member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints” in his family of 9 people.

While working this week, we are getting to know the parents of the kids who are members of the tribe that I talked about last week, we are finding new investigators and getting Matarani to progress.  Nancy and Julio attended church yesterday and whenever I talk with them they just feel like a mix of talking to my grandparents, and also the Zufelt’s and Condor family who are from my home ward that I used to home teach.

Older members who recognize their purpose in our Heavenly Fathers plan and how they can contribute are the best!

The official changes (transfers) are next week so we shall see if I will be able to be in Matarani for another 6 weeks or if the Lord has called me elsewhere!  But until then thank you for all the support, prays, and letter in this past year!

Elder McCook

words of the week- Matarani has potential- Matarani tiene potencial

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

June 29, 2015 ~ Week 52 ~ pictures

With our branch mission leader after church

This amazing family came to church for the first time in 5 years!

This past Saturday was amazing!  After the "white night" at the church as a zone we went to eat dinner and Ricardo came with us!!

June 29, 2015 ~ Week 52

First off, huge shout out to Cheyenne Housler on making
her first covenant with our Heavenly Father and 
being baptized this past  weekend!

We also had a baptism this past weekend but allow me 
share  what happened on Monday to build up to that special day.  
We celebrated my birthday last Monday by going to this sweet private beach and as we were there some workers from the beach shore restaurant brought out and gave us some free chicken nuggets and soda without us even asking.  Then in the night after some lessons we went back to the pentionista’s house where my face got dunked in the cake, a McCook family tradition. 

The week went on and we were doing things to get Ricardo ready 
for his baptism.  

Then there were a few problems.  Ricardo is a young single adult from Cuzco that lives here in Matarani.  He came to work and has no family here.  Anyway this Hermana member of the church took him in and has been taking care of him and she’s kind of like his grandmother / mother now.  She’s been in bad health! At the end of the day we went to go do his interview we ended up carrying her out of the house on a stretcher to an ambulance!  He was devastated, and didn’t want to talk, so we just sat there with him and I just said a few things to help him out.
Before I left I gave him a big hug and told him it would all be ok and that we would come back the next day.  It was a sad experience but amazing.  The 
next day we left from the tribe and went to find an old investigator and we found Ricardo!  I’ll tell you about the tribe in a minute.  But we found Ricardo!!  We asked him if we could come over!  And he said yeah!  So we went to his house and were chilling with him chatting Quechua and English and such just learning words, having a good time!  He looks at us ( this is Friday night, the day before his baptism) and anyway he says so am I going to be baptized?? And we were like.  Yeah!  If you still want to!
And he goes!  Yeah!!  So immediately we got to planning what needed to happen!  He still had to have an interview and we needed to get things in line  and planned and people invited but everything just went smooth!!  We called the zone leaders and they came over on Saturday and did his interview and everything went smooth!!  He got baptized on Saturday!!

The next morning is Sunday and we get woken up by our President de Rama.  He forgot to 
assign people to talk so he asked us if we could.  We told him yes and then about twenty minutes later we got another call from the zone leaders saying that Elder Alvey is being transferred over to Arequipa to go and be secretary of materials for the whole mission, so if you send me a package Elder Alvey will get it first then send it my direction.  Now for the tribe! I’ll tell you about that!!  We found a group of like 6 kids playing marbles and we’ve been teaching them!! Their names are Kevin, Miguel, Ruebeño Andy (and these two brothers names are classic) Jet Lee, and John Cina, hahahha its incredible!

They’re so fun!  And smart!!  It’s incredible!  We asked them 
what they wanted to call our little gang and they said “los misioneros de Dios”!! 

Which translates to “the missionaries of God” !! And they absolutely love us!!  We played marbles with them and they loved it.  They want to play soccer now!  Then there’s Cornelio. This story is incredible.  One day as we were walking we saw 
this old man sweeping his front porch so we decided to go and talk to him.  We started talking to him and we found out that he has a kid that’s a member of the church and a daughter also and they both live in Utah!! We wanted to visit him again but never found him. So we kind of had put him on the side.  Until the 
other night I felt like we should go and see him.   The following 
day we went on divisions so I will now copy and paste the experience Elder Alvey had" we went to the house of Cornelio and there was a tent outside the house. They usually do that when someone dies.  So I said to the Elder Loor I’ll bet ya someone died!  We get to the house and a lady inside says “the brothers are here”!  Then a lady comes out named Martha and she says 
thanks for coming I’m glad someone sent you. I was confused.  I 
told her no one sent us we just came here.  She said someone must have sent you.  Because mom just passed away and for sure my brother who is from your religion called you and sent you here.  I looked at her and said no one sent us here.  I’ve never talked to your brother or anyone about you and we didn’t know 
your mother died we just felt like  we should come over.  I think the lord sent us here.  She was really surprised and let 
us come in.  Then when we got in there they asked me to lead  in a prayer.  I just prayed. Said whatever came to my mind.  Anyway afterward they began to ask us if we knew the brother and such and we obviously knew nothing and they were just amazed. and they came to the conclusion that the Lord sent us because their brother couldn’t come.  He is having problems with his passport.  And I think they’re right!  It was incredible.  We shared with them that the death isn’t the end and that one day we will see our loved ones again.  Then we finished with a prayer and left.  It was so cool!!  Sad because they don't completely understand but cool because the way the lord works!!"

Elder Alvey 
is leaving and going to Arequipa as I said so within these next few days I’ll get a new companion but as for now things are great!!

Elder McCook

June 22, 2015 ~ Week 51 ~ pictures

1) It's a tradition in Peru to smash eggs on the head when it is their birthday.

2) There was no running water at the house, so I used the neighbors sink outside of her house to wash my head.
Got dunked in my birthday cake.

Jumping for joy after a successful temple dedication.

With Carlos Zenteno and the top that we bought and decorated for him!

June 22, 2015 ~ Week 51

Happy 19th birthday to me!

Next week I will have been serving a full year in the mission field.   I don’t know if I could ever deliver a masterpiece reflection email that could describe 1 year of a new life in the mission field.

Maybe that’s why there are 52 other emails on my blog that my mom (it’s actually dad) edits every week because I forget how to spell words in English and this Spanish computer underlines every English word I write.

The list of things that I like about Peru, or the Peruvian traditions, is pretty short.  I appreciate a lot of the things here, but you know what?  Peru taught me that Christ should be your fountain of happiness.  Not the food, your companion, the people you teach, or the internet every Monday.  Nothing temporal should be a fountain of happiness because your fountain will just drain out. Eventually you will have a new companion, new pentionista and a new area, but Christ will always be there because He Lives.

As for this past week:
Peru gave the best father’s day gift yesterday as a city called Trujillo had a temple dedicated.  President Uchtdorf and Elder Bednar came down, and although they had a translator with them to translate their English to Spanish, I could understand them perfectly in English, so that was nice.

Yesterday we just stayed the whole day in Mollendo and attended the temple dedications and also last night I got to have a baptismal interview with a husband, for he and his wife will be baptized this Saturday the 27th.  The zone is planning to have another white night; also Elder Alvery and I are planning for Ricardo to also be baptized this day, so please pray for him.  The story about Ricardo is a long one, but basically he is from Cusco, and in Cusco all they talk is Quechua, it’s an old language that is slowly going out as Peru is becoming more industrialized.
So Ricardo is learning to speak Spanish because is birth language is Quechua.
Elder Alvey and are trying to speak Spanish cause our birth language is English.  God works in mysterious ways but here we are with Ricardo.  Pray for him!

Ill be sending some more birthday photos and info next week!

Elder McCook

words of the week: temple dedication- dedicación del templo
                               happy birthday- feliz cumpleaños
                               happy fathers day- feliz día del padre
                               one year- un año
                               Christ- Cristo