Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 16, 2015 ~ Week 72 ~ Pictures

The Huntendo Zone
We had our zone conference this past week.
28 awesome missionaries

Star Wars 7 selfie.  Who in their world is Kyro Ren?

Selfie after Andres baptism!!
U of A tie because its game day

Andre posed with his mother, at his baptism!!

November 16, 2015 ~ Week 72

Huntendo finished up this past week with 3 confirmations and 1 rescue.  Andre our investigator was baptized, he is the only member from his family but his cousins are members and they introduced us to Andre about 2 months ago.  Andre has been attending church every single week.

Changes were this past week and we had about 9 changes just from our zone and so this whole morning we have been busy with sending
missionaries to their new areas.


Elder McCook

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

November 9, 2015 ~ Week 71 ~ Pictures

Casual locuras in the tourist stores in Arequipa.

November 9, 2015 ~ Week 71

This past week La Zona Huntendo finished off the second 
week of November with 0 confirmations and 5 rescues.

Andre was supposed to be baptized this past Saturday but 
couldn’t do it because he was working and he says he wants to be baptized on a Saturday evening so he choose the date for this upcoming weekend.
We had a rescue, his name is Douglas, he is 13 years old 
and he lives with his grandma and she is active, his mom 
is less active but we are still trying to even get an appointment with her.

This past week we also went to the mission house with the 
rest of the Zone Leaders and Sister Leaders to have a mission council meeting in which this Tuesday we will report to 
the whole zone and have a zone council meeting.  
28 missionaries plus lunch it will be awesome.

Transfers are on Saturday.

Yesterday at church all the people that went to the temple 
for the first time got to share their testimony, it was nice.

Elder McCook

November 2, 2015 ~ Week 70

Huntendo finished off the first week of November with 2 confirmations and 2 rescues.

On Sunday I turned 16 months old in the mission, I think I’ll go buy a Vanilla Coke to celebrate.  My companion turned 22 months old today, but he hasn’t been talking about going home much, he just asks for my advice about situations he thinks he will face once he goes back home.  It’s been fun getting to know him.

Andre wants to get baptized on Saturday, he passed his interview and he’s an awesome man in search of Jesus Christ’s Church.

Our ward drove 17 hours in a bus to get to Lima to go to the temple.  They left on Friday and came back Sunday in the evening.  There were only 44 members at church for that reason and the Bishop was the only one on the stand.

A handful of our rescues and converts went to the temple for the first time to do baptisms.  Also a convert family went to go and be sealed!!!  We are going to go visit them this week to go see how it was, but from what we have heard from the members who were in their session is that
the husband and wife were absolutely in love that day, hand in hand.

I sent a picture a couple of weeks back of the husband, remember Marcos?  He went to be sealed and to also baptize for his family.

The church is true, families are forever.

Elder McCook

October 26, 2015 ~ Week 69 ~ Pictures

The weather is changing in Arequipa!!

This is Mount Misty 

October 26, 2015 ~ Week 69

Having yesterday be the last Sunday in October the best zone in the world; Huntendo finished up October with 6 confirmations and 17 rescues.
Elder Pascual and I had a rescue this past week as well, her name is Irina, she’s awesome.

We also travelled over to Mollendo this past week to see how the District leaders are doing over there.
Elder Pascual was in a trio in one area, and I got to hit up my old area with Elder Agudelo and the district leader Elder Franco.  It was funny because whenever the door was opened for our appointments the member or investigator would ignore the missionaries and just be so happy that I came on down, they were surprised.

Yesterday there was a special regional conference only for Peru and Bolivia, Elder Andersen from the Quorum of the Twelve and other General Authorities gave talks through a live satellite transmission.  The talks were great, however, I liked my Stake President’s talk the most.  President Molero is one of the most powerful Peruvian members I have ever met.  At the end of the month every month we meet up with him and President Zobrist, the Stake Mission Leader, and the Stake Family History leader.

This Saturday is Halloween; I’ve been trying to look for a plastic bloody arm that I could use but I haven’t had any luck yet. (Dad edit – it was the best costume ever for Halloween when Skye was 12.  We tied a plastic bloody arm on his chest and he carried around a plastic hatchet with fake blood everywhere.  I waited 12 years to be able to do that and the wife/daughters were out of town so they couldn’t stop us!)

Elder McCook

October 19, 2015 ~ Week 68 ~ Pictures

Ya boy Elder McCook is killing it out here in Arequipa, that

church has started to produce Elder McCook action


(NOT TRUE, this is a one of a kind toy a member made for


This is the whole product that a Sister made for me

It is a pictures frame and in the middle I can put a photo!!

La Gran Zona Huntendo.  28 fantastic missionaries

Mollendo October 2015

Olive baptized his best friend and our old investigator

Alessandro this 
past week!!

Selfie right after the baptism!!

Every Saturday I wear the Gran U of A tie

cause Saturday is game day and baptism day

October 19, 2015 ~ Week 68

The Gran Zona Huntendo finished the week with 4 confirmations and 6 rescues.

On Tuesday 16 of us headed over to meet the other 12 missionaries in Mollendo, for training, we do that once a month. I loved it.  Not a long blog letter this week, I spent too much time sending pictures over the very  s…l...o...w...  internet, so enjoy them.


Elder McCook

October 12, 2015 ~ Week 67 ~ Pictures

Marcos, will be going to the temple at the end of the month,

for his 
own sealing and to be baptized for his father

Cristian's birthday lunch

October 12, 2015 ~ Week 67

So la gran zona de Huntendo finished up the week with 0 confirmations and  7 Rescues!!

Elder Pascual and I had an eventful week, we have been helping a lot of members do their temple work, so its sweet, there’s a Peruvian man who is in charge of the family history work for the Hunter Stake and he and his wife lived in Utah for 20 years and now they live here and
they are awesome, he is working with President Zobrist and with the whole Hunter Zone to get our converts and rescues to go to Lima in the beginning of December, right when they put the temple lights up.  They will be going to the temple and bringing their own names!!!
Our goal is to fill up 2 buses of 54 people each (so 108 altogether)!!
The Hunter stake will be an example for the entire area because no other zone in Arequipa or in any other mission has ever done something like this in Peru, so it’s a lot of pressure but what we need to do is get the converts and rescues to fill up their “My Family” booklets.  If they do that and print their names, they get to go to Lima for free, and just maybe us missionaries will get to go to Lima with them as well.

This past week we had our mission conference as well and it was awesome to be able to see all my old friends again.  Elder Pascual and I have our work cut out for us, we are so excited to work with Mollendo now, we are the only zone in Arequipa that is working with another zone that is outside of Arequipa.

Tomorrow we will be heading out to Mollendo to have our zone conference with all 28 missionaries.  It’s going to be sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet.

Elder McCook

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

October 5, 2015 ~ Week 66 ~ Pictures

Elder Pascual and I helped the Navarro family with a

fundraiser, I was 
in charge of coating the chicken in flour.
I am a pro.

We had a sweet family home evening with the Navarro

family, and their 
son in the middle is preparing to go to Piura

in Peru for his 

They invited us to the lunch... I love Black

Socosani, its like coke but Peruvian.

October 5, 2015 ~ Week 66

Thanks for all the Disneyland pictures, all the Latin missionaries want me to take them to Disneyland when I get back home, I tell them to learn English first then I’ll take them.  Seems like a pretty good tradeoff to me.

After conference Saturday night there was a baptism.  Afterwards we got the changes, and what happened is that the mission Arequipa, Peru went from 15 zones, to 9.   A lot of zone leaders are now district leaders or senior companions, but I’ll continue as a Zone Leaders with my companion, however instead of being 16 missionaries in our zone, we are now 28.  We combined with Mollendo, yeah that’s right, my old zone!  I was there for 6 months as a district leader and I’m so excited to be with them and get to work with the whole zone this time.  There are no Zone Leaders in Mollendo, just 2 district leaders and then 2 district leaders over here in Hunter.  We will be working a lot with the District Leaders as were not able to go to Mollendo every week (3 hours bus ride.  I use to say to President Zobrist, that he has got to look out for the Hunter Zone, (cause we on the up and up) but now I tell him to look out for HUNTENDO.  That’s the names of Hunter and Mollendo combined.

Love y’all

Elder McCook

September 28, 2015 ~ Week 65

As September comes to a close the great zone hunter finished up the week with 1 confirmation and 2 rescues to finish up the month with 6 confirmations and 9 rescues...

On Monday Elder Lorenzo and I were just roaming through the Plaze de Armas, the Plaza de Armas is actually a super touristy place and I feel like I see gringos all the time and I just want to say “hi” but
then I overhear them talking in Swedish or something so I can’t really say “hi”.

We were roaming and this American couple said “hello Elders!” That took us by surprise, so we got to chatting and they are the Marriott’s and the husband served his mission in Arequipa sometime in 2000 and ever since the Arequipa temple date was announced they decided to move over here to Peru and wait for it.  In the meantime they own a bakery place with pizza and burgers and donuts.
They live right across the street from the only Family History Center in the whole mission and it turned out great because we had a Family History and learning English training this past Thursday for the zone missionaries, so with permission from President and with everyone in the zone bringing money, we got to eat pizza and had the best donuts of 2015.  Sweet maquina these things were so good, and the last time I ate  donut was almost over a year ago...

Thank you Brother and Sister Marriott!
During this training we learned how to help the members send names to the temple and how to do their families history.  There is now a new church program on how to learn English.  It’s a super sweet program and if I was born speaking Spanish and wanted to learn English I would learn English.

My companion on the other hand is a pretty funny Peruvian.  He doesn’t have any motivation to learn English and so it’s kind of awkward when people ask him if he has learned it yet and he says no.  Being bilingual
is so cool.  The other day I was talking on the phone in English then I hung up and started speaking Spanish. que padre.

I’m stoked for this weekend with the General Conference sessions that will be going on.  Oh yeah the ironic part about being a missionary is
that you are always the last one to find out if an apostle passed away.

This week is changes and president Zobrist said that there will be a bunch of changes.  That will be awesome!!

Elder McCook

September 21, 2015 ~ Week 64 ~ pictures

Sunday morning baptisms in the zone!!

Sweet waterfall pic

Casual hawk picture

Edgar Herrera (one of my old investigators from March)

got baptized 
2 weeks ago!

I had the opportunity to go to his service because the

missionaries in 
my zone baptized him!

I'm not sure what this is but I wanted a picture with it

September 21, 2015 ~ Week 64

La Gran Zona Hunter finished the week off with 2 confirmations and 5 rescues! ¡sweet style!

Let’s start with Monday.  After writing we headed out to go and wait for a private bus which would pick us up and we would tour Arequipa.  The bus showed up and only had 12 seats... we have a total of 16 people in this zone..( I’ve noticed as a zone leader that if something like that then it’s always the zone leader’s fault).
After thinking what we could do, all the Latin missionaries bailed out on the tour so us gringos had a sweet time touring Arequipa.  That’s where my pictures come from.

Tuesday I went on divisions with an Elder to figure out the desires of some of his eternal investigators.  I don’t really have any stories about that however that night we agreed to do some sweet service in the morning.  Now in my mission I have made cement, sanded walls, and painted them too, I’ve moved loads of dirt but what we did was the hardest thing in my entire mission.  We show up at 6 in the morning to a forest and this dude is using an electric chain saw to chop down trees and then chop the bark.  Our job was to put the bark on our backs and walk it over to the truck.  We did that for two hours, I was actually surprised I could do it.  In the missionary handbook it says not to do service that will tire you out for the rest of the day.  After the project it was fun to work, but what was bugging me was all the bug bites I received on my legs.  It was like Camana all over again....

Sunday I gave a surprise talk but it was awesome and it makes me so happy for when I get back home and will give talks in church cause I used to be so nervous but now it’s not so bad.  Elder Pascual and I had a sweet week and sacrament meeting was awesome.  In the morning the Sister missionaries had 2 baptisms and then church started.  I was so excited with how many people came to church and that are investigating the church or are less active and are coming back.  In the evening our Bishop invited us to go to a funeral of a sister who was super active but as she got sicker went less active, and she passed away yesterday.  

Straight after the funeral we went with the bishop and other people to go and give a blessing in a hospital to this sister who on my first Sunday here would call me Bishop McCook.  apparently I look like a
Bishop... idk she’s 79 and a super sweet lady who has also been strong in the gospel despite being the only member in all of her family.  It was the first time in my whole mission going inside of a hospital and it was like the very first episode from the walking dead. There are patients and beds in the hall way and there are about 7 sick patients per room.  We eventually found her and gave her a blessing.  It was my first time doing that and I didn’t feel uncomfortable, but people were looking at us ever since we stepped foot in that hospital, I wasn’t too sure if they were looking and my arm or my missionary atire.  Either way it was an interesting experience.

Love y’all, all of y’all

Elder McCook