Sunday, August 25, 2013

Leaving the MTC

hey there
Hey I did get my assignment this week.  Any guesses?  I am going to be leaving the MTC on Monday. We all got our travel visas somehow for Argentina.  They are just travel visas though so they only last for 90 days and then if we don't get them by then I'm not quite sure what is going to happen. Good news, eh? 
Strange it's already been 6 weeks right? It's real weird.  We have all these new districts and kids coming up and asking you where this place is or how to say this in spanish and I just laugh because I have no clue... I got Dan's first week letter.  Sounds pretty rough but sweet.  He told me that things are hard but they are getting better.  I feel that it is the same way for all of those coming into the MTC.  A couple tips for those rookies.  Use the free box every week.  Why pay for the stuff that you are just gonna throw out when you can take somebody else's that they didn't even start to use, ya know? Here is another one--wake up 10 to 15 minutes early on sundays for those who want a shower cause there are more people waiting in line than there are when you are trying to get to the front of a twilight concert. It's a straight up zoo. 
This week was pretty normal.  Kinda sad.  We had to say goodbye to 2 of our teachers today so we were pretty bummed about that whole deal.  We taught a columbian guy over skype and it was freakin hard cause columbians cut off their S's so there were words that we knew but they didn't sound familiar cause he just kept cutting of his s's.  We did door approaches yesterday and the first time we kicked trash and it made me stoked to get out of the MTC...  Ya that is pretty much the life here in the MTC.  I'm excited to leave the MTC but it's gonna be pretty sad. 
I love you guys.  I hope that everything is going well.  

A Way Sweet Sunset


Alright well... 
Strange to think I'm going on my 5th week right now right?  In a week and a half I will be on my way outta here, but without my visa there is a slight chance that I could end up in texas haha...  I think I will get my reassignment next wednesday or thursday...  Any guesses?  I have a feeling that part of my district will be going to Illinois or Alabama for some strange reason.  We will see if I call it right.  
Thanks for the packages.  I feel like its Christmas every time I get one. Thanks for the pep talks all of you who have given me them.  It is pretty hard some days and it is just good to hear some positive thoughts for once, ya know?
I heard from one of the leaders of our group that a lot of Utah is on fire? what is going on?  I thought it was just a way sweet sunset.  

Well... This week was way fast.  We had some good lessons.  The language is coming along better but still hard.  We listened to a way good talk from Elder R. Scott.  We went to the temple today and that's about it.  My district is sweet.  I'm the oldest by like 9 months but they are all cool guys.  A little crazy at times but still way great guys.  
This week I got a couple packages, and then a kid who literally got a package from his family every single day the whole six weeks he was here left and gave us like 4 boxes of just huge bags of candy, and nuts, and balls, frisbees, games, etc.... So I went from not too much to living like a king haha. 
For some reason I have been dreaming like crazy since I have been here and I guess it is getting worse cause 2 nights ago I said "No Entre... the last time I did that my toes got cut off...." haha at least I'm dreaming in spanglish, right?
Well, I love you all.  Thanks for helping me get through the MTC.
Talk to ya later


Friday, August 9, 2013

Is that the bulletproof alarm clock?

Hey there everyone.  Thanks for the packages, they are great.  This week was the exact same as last week.  My spanish is getting better but a couple of times in our lessons this week I kept on asking "Cree en Dias?" (Do you believe in God) and then the guy just looked at me and so I repeated my question a couple of times, It wasn't until my companero asked me "what are you trying to say?  You have just been asking him do you believe in Days over and over" haha ya... it wasn't until then that I realized god is Dios and days is Dias... That's pretty much how it has been.  I kicked trash one day and was so stoked and then the next day I didn't understand a single word.  My companion is way good at the piano so it is making me want to learn the guitar or piano even more when I get home or maybe out here in the field haha. 
How is the family?  Thanks for the letters that have been sent so far it helps me get through some of the rough dayz. My new email is

This week we watched a performance of a violinist who went to Juliard haha it reminded me of the watkins and Megs a lot.  My teacher is super into working out so we have been talking about a workout routine so when I get home I can get back in shape haha.  
Well some funny things this week.  My roommates keep on telling me that I keep on yelling in my sleep and start talking about how to teach, haha. You can guess what is on my mind.  Also for some reason I have been having really strange dreams pretty much every night.  Also this week I guess when it was time to wake up I asked "Is that the bulletproof alarm clock that the sisters gave us?"  Sorry that you had to deal with that when I was younger, mom and dad.
I sat next to tanner yesterday, way fun.  We saw danny boy off this week.  It was way cool. I'm gonna miss the guy. Well that's it from me. 
Love you guys.


Elder Cook Update!

Here is Brad's first letter from the MTC! Capitalization and needed periods, commas, and general grammar errors have been added or fixed :) Well, most of them. I could only change so much without feeling like I was re-writing his letter! This letter is dated July 9, 2013.

....The MTC is really fun and my first day was probably one of the longest days I have had in my life...So on Wednesday when you dropped me off, I walked around with a host and he showed me around. At first it was all confusing where everything is but now I have it down like a pro. Later that day I met my companion and his name is Elder Nishimoto. At first I thought that he wasn't going to be able to speak English which scared me a little but then I met him and he is from Seattle, Washington and we are getting along great. Well yeah the first day was pretty uneventful, sorry mom but there is just not enough time for me to write ever single detail. But the next day we had our first classroom session and it was great. Long, but great. There is just so much to learn here in the MTC and I feel like they don't give us enough time to prepare for lessons, but it is getting easier. Also on Thursday we got the chance to teach our first MTC investigator which was just out classroom teacher but they couldn't help us at all and they were pretty good at acting. It was pretty scary. The rest of Thursday was just classroom and studying until we had a 4th of July devotional and it was a good experience. They had really good speakers and after we were able to watch a movie and we watched 17 Miracles so that was good. The movie ended around 10 and after that everyone went outside and watched the stadium of fire fireworks and they were good but I was just so tired that whole day that I just wanted to go to bed the whole time. On Friday me and my companion were assigned to be zone leaders so that is good I guess. We have to do a lot of stuff along with studying so it is very stressful sometimes but it always turns out great. Friday was just classroom and meeting our branch presidents and they are really nice and helpful. I remember that weekend being really stressful because there was just so much to do and so little time. We were able to practice teaching our MTC investigators and it was still scary but we did alright. I remember the whole weekend that we were just trying to get to Sunday because it was a more relaxing day.....Sunday was great and we had a Sunday devotional with two amazing speakers, then we watched Elder Bednar talk on a video and both of those experiences were really good and I enjoy devotionals all the time because the MTC gets really good speakers. Monday we taught our first TRC investigator which is more like real life. These investigators are paid to stay at the MTC all day and stay in character of how we teach them and some are actually non-members so it is pretty scary to think that we are teaching real non-members. But long story short, we went in to our first lesson and followed the spirit and it turned out great. It got very emotional in there. But yeah Tuesdays are my p-days and that is today for me and we have another devotional today. We leave Monday at 3.30 and p-days are Mondays in the field.

This next letter is Brad's 2nd P-Day outside of the MTC, Brad is currently in the Farmington, New Mexico 7th Ward and this letter is dated July 29, 2013.

Well hello everyone! How is everyone doing? I miss you all and I hope everything is going good!....This last week was a good one! Well to start off, the guy that I committed to be baptized is doing very well! He went to church yesterday again and he loves it! We have to stop by almost everyday to check on how he is doing with getting over his addiction! And so far he is doing great! He is still on date for August 31. So hopefully it goes well. But we have 4 others who are on date but our main focus is Jamie right now because he is showing the most progression. I get to lead the first lesson now to give me practice which is pretty scary because its the real deal but so far it has been going well! We had 18 lessons this past week which is really good for our area and we had 3 at church yesterday! But yeah we are doing a lot of hard work and it is really tiring but I am getting used to the schedule and now I have a lot more energy! Also I have started memorizing a scripture a day!! So far I am at three memorized so hopefully I can keep it up! Ha but yesterday it was raining really hard and we were riding our bikes in it and it was really muddy and so my white shirt from yesterday has mud all over it from the tires flicking muddy water on us! We were soaking wet when we got to our appointment and then when we got there it was really sunny and there was a rainbow in the background so I took a picture! It's hard to tell on the picture but my shirt was really dirty and we were soaking wet! Also another cool thing is that I am already starting to learn Navajo! We get a half-hour each day to study Navajo and we have some members helping us out with the language also. It's really hard though and it doesn't make much sense. But it is cool!....Everything is going well here and I'm loving it!....Anyway love everyone and I miss you all!!!!!
Elder Cook

Soaking wet with a beautiful rainbow!

Brad with his first companion, Elder Taylor


Monday, August 5, 2013

Andy farewell video

A little something I whipped up.

Andy's 2nd week in MTC

hellooo everyone...  

Welll....nothin to exciting this week...  Will you guys help me get some of my friends emails and addresses cause I can't write anybody until I get their addresses...  Will somebody send me the lyrics to Sitting at the dock of the bay and to any of the newsies songs?  That is what has been stuck in my head besides called to serve him but I'm learning how to cover that up cause everybody just sings that 24/7 around here.  I don't think I have gone a single day without hearing it...  Thanks for the package everybody. 

this week has been pretty average...  Wake up, workout, eat, go to class, eat, go to class, eat, go to class, sleep...  pretty much every day.  I am loving the letters and also do you guys think that you could send me a couple pictures of the t-ball team shrunk down like to the wallet sizes?  Did you guys know that one of the t-ball teams parents wrote me?  haha so dang nice... Sare I would like one of your great and spacious building pictures, if possible, also some pictures of like some animals so that I can learn to doodle them?  Haha I know super random but I have some boring dayzzz here.  

I am going to go stake out and watch for tanner today.  I looked around and found the russians and I found out where tan is going to be staying so tell mark and julie that i will help the little guy under my wing.  

Well spanish is coming along well,  I had no clue what to say to investigators the first couple of days but now I can pipe in every once in a while haha.  It's so dang hard but If I listen I know what they are saying like 70 percent of the time.  Conjugatons are killing me but I will get them sooner or later.  

Danny boy kimball leaves for Mexico so I am going to go visit him this sunday and try and get some snacks and whatnot for him, do it just like we used to up at Utah State haha.  Anyways this is how my week is going.  
Love you guys.  I miss you every day.  I hope things are well, Love you guys.

Your hombre,

Andy's first MTC letter home (should be dated 24 July 2013)

This week was good.  Really hard at the beginning. and I was pretty frustrated at the language because when we would go into a lesson to teach in spanish the guy would talk and I would just look at my companion and ask "did you understand any of that?"  My companion is a copy of sky duke the first day I was here I heard at least 7 tall jokes about him.  He is 6'7" and kinda quiet until you start talking to him then he cracks some jokes and whatnot.  he is great at spanish which is great and not so great cause i kinda bank on him a little bit to much but I am learning a lot from him.  I am kinda learning how to piece together a sentence.  ya.... remember those 2 years of spanish that I took?  haha i do not think they have helped me at all so far.  I remember the most random things but not the most vital words.  I feel like we have been doing something at all times of the day.  You wake up, run to something, run to something else, shovel breakfast and lunch in your mouth,  run to something else, run to dinner, shovel dinner in your mouth, run to our room which is actually an oven.  And then run home and sleep.  It's weird though... even though I am so dang tired for the first time in my life I can't fall asleep as soon as I hit my pillow.  It is really really weird...  
Well... We had 10 elders in our district at the beginning of the week and they are all ballers.  we didn't all have everything in common but they were pretty easy to get along with.  Yesterday 3 kids that I really liked from California, Georgia, and Texas all tested out of the beginning spanish and into the intermediate.  The one that I really got along with from california almost got transferred into the advanced class which means that he would be leaving in 7 days instead of 5 more weeks.  haha that would be crazy... Anyways, one of them was the district leader so they had to choose a new one yesterday...
I have seen Danny here a couple of times and we were able to work out some sort of schedule.  Tan comes in next week and I ran into shaun today. 
Everybody has started calling me Conejito or Lindo.  Conejito is little bunny because of all of the fruit and veggies that I'm eating and Lindo is pretty cause they think i'm a pretty boy haha. 
The district was joining the choir so I did too.  Pops I'm sorry I never did it with you when I was younger I actually kinda like it.
Thanks for the letters.  The first week was pretty rough but they definitely made it better.  Sorry for having both sets of car keys in the MTC.  haha... my bad.

Love Andy