Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Elder Cook: April Update

April 7, 2014
Good morning everyone! Things are going well here in Round Rock! We had an awesome week! First of all we got to watch General Conference so that was way good!! I learned a ton and i have so much to work on still! But all the talks were really good! That was just a spiritual boost for the next 6 months! But also we had a really good week with lessons. Also we were able to get 9 new investigators this week so that was really cool! We met this one family a couple of days ago and they let us share a message with all the kids and we taught them about the Restoration of the Gospel and they had a lot of good questions and they were excited for us to come back! Its a great feeling when you find someone that wants to learn of the truth! Satan is always working here though. Its really hard. But we are trying to place a Book of Mormon in every house and President Batt said that if there is a Book of Mormon in every house then it will displace the darkness here and bring the light! It was pretty cool! If only we had copies of the Book of Mormon! We ran out like 3 weeks ago and we still haven't got our order of like 30! Ha we will need more then that! But anyway things are going really well here! There has been some great things happening here! I am grateful to be out here at this time and i love all of you! Ha i miss you guys and i hope things are going well for all of you! I just want to thank all of you for the great examples you have been in my life! All of you! Anyway i have to get going! We are going on another hike today! Sorry no pictures this week. I dint have any new ones! But next week i will send some! Have a great week and i love you all!
Elder Bradley Cook
April 14, 2014
Good morning everyone! Well this week was a really great week! We had a lot of success!! We were able to have 21 lessons and 4 new investigators and a ton of good stuff happened this last week! It was just an awesome week! I was a little sick with a cold but i am a lot better now! But real quick we were able to go out to Round Rock on Friday and that is about 40 miles away from where we live. We hardly go out there because it puts a lot of miles on our truck and also we don't know like anyone out there. But we had a lot of good success there! And also a lot of people that didn't like us and told us to get off their property. But it was still way good! Also we met this one member of the church who hasn't gone in awhile and he had been reading the Book of Mormon in Navajo and that is way cool because most Navajo's cant read Navajo, they can only speak it. But he was way excited to see us and he was pretty cool! His name is Jimmy Winona! Anyway other than that it was just some regular lessons but it was the most this area has ever seen since i have been here! But yeah we are going to Canyon de Chelly this next Monday! Bishop Logan and his family are going to take us because they have the day off from school! We are way excited though! Anyway i have to go! Love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Cook
This was a hike we went on

A sweet sunrise behind the Church!
This was a hogan that no one lived at but it looked cool. A little blurry but we see a lot of Hogans out here. That is what a lot of people live in. They are really small. The poverty out here is bad in most places.

Ss on a hike and we found some random old house!
 April 21, 2014
Good evening everyone! Well this last week was pretty good! Easter was really good! How was everyone's Easter?? You should all check out the Easter message on if you haven't already seen it! Its called "Because of Him" and it is really good!So just a quick little summary of last week. We had a call from one of our investigators who was going through a pretty hard time and he said that he and his wife talked and they were asking about baptism! So that was pretty cool! He seemed pretty excited for that. His name is  Keith Smee and they are awesome! Also this Easter was really good! We were fed a lot! Also i am sending pictures of when we went to Canyon De Chelly (Shay)! We went there today! It was really fun! Our Bishop  took us with his family! So that was really fun and it was a really nice view! Also we have Zone Conference tomorrow so i am looking forward to that! We are leaving tonight to Window Rock then we are driving to Gallup the rest of the way in the morning! Anyway we have some pretty sweet investigators and we are excited to invite them all to be baptized! The Book of Mormon is so great and we wouldn't be able to do much work down here without it! I love reading the Book of Mormon every day! Ha i ordered a little one and that's all i carry with me now! I just use my other scriptures for studies now! Anyway sorry i have to go but i hope you all watch the Easter message and i love you all! Have a great week!
Elder Cook
 Pictures of Canyon De Chelly:

April 28, 2014
Well no new pictures this week! But this last week was great! We were able to find 9 new people to teach! We had zone conference this last Tuesday and that was really good! I learned a ton and a lot of problems out here is the ward doesn't do much so they talked about giving the keys back to Bishop and making sure he is involved with everything we do! So we started thinking of ways we could involve him more and then we had Stake Conference this last weekend and they talked about member missionary work and how it is a part of our baptismal covenants that we made to do missionary work! so that was pretty cool! But we talked to Bishop last night and he really wants to get involved now. We didn't have anything to do with it and it worked out really well! So the Bishop is going to be even more awesome now! Also we were able to see Billy this last week and he went through a really hard time and started doubting his faith and then he pulled through and he started praying and reading again so that is really good! He read like 8 chapters one day. He said that he couldn't put it down and so that was cool because the spirit was working on him really well! And there are a lot of great things that are happening now and we are really excited! I hope i stay another transfer or 2! That would be awesome! But today we are going to Lukachukai which is another Elders are and we are going to go fishing there with some fishing poles that an investigator is letting us borrow! And also we are going to have a BBQ there! There is snow up there so that will be awesome! Anyway have a great week and i know there is lot i missed but i don't have time! Ha there is always a lot that is happening and i will try to do my best to email it all! Ha anyway i love you all and enjoy your week! 
Elder Cook

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Week Full of Strangeness

I think that the title for this week comes from an Electric Light Orchestra song and it will explain itself in the end.

This week we had an agreement to learn from a member how to make a special Easter bread that they make here a lot.  Unfortunately we had a little miscommunication and I heard at 3 and she heard at 2.  So at 240 we got a call from here saying that she had been waiting for us at the church. So quick as a rabbit we "hopped" on our bikes and started heading to the church.  When we got halfway there I realized that we forgot our cameras. NOOOO!!!! So we turned around and started going back to the pench.  My companion was ahead of me and wanting to get the door opened faster I yelled to him "ELDER, IM GOING TO THROW MY KEYS OVER YOUR SHOULDER! GET READY TO CATCH THEM!"  So he stuck out his hand and I went for the wind up (underhand of course) and I threw the keys to Elder Flinders.  What I did not calculate was the bike handle and how far out it sticks...  And I drilled the bike handle with my hand.  As I went out of control and into the air I realized "man, it probably would have been the same if I had just opened up the door" and then when I finished that thought off I landed straight in the gutter.  The muddy gutter... with a good 10 people watching.  In the end I had to go back, grab some clothes, change, and all that bidness and then we went to go make some bread.  But hey, at least I had my helmet on, right?

Also this week there was a missionary who had never seen a real rubik cube in his life and when he saw mine he asked me if he could have it.  I told him that I would trade it for a knock off if he could get one.  So the next week we met up to trade it off.  I would always play with my rubik cube by tossing it over my shoulder, and not once in 3 years of having it have I dropped it.  When we were meeting up I was tossing it over my shoulder.  My pushups in the morning must really be doing a lot because right as we were about to hand it off I tossed it on my shoulder and it went a lot higher than anticipated and it slipped my grasp and when it hit the ground it shattered, like a glass mirror when someone ugly looks into it (Haha I couldn’t think of another comparison.  Sorry not my best one...)  Anyways the moral of the story is that I broke it and felt like a huge jerk.

This week was just a week full of strangeness.  I don’t know why but we felt like it was just a really really strange dream.  For example, one day we had a lot of set lessons and all of them fell through and then nobody was on the street to talk to, just a lot of fog. Then last night I don’t know what happened.  I fell asleep, like a brick (don’t worry everyone that’s normal) then I woke up at 11 and I had different clothes on and I also didn’t have my watch. I asked my companion if he had seen it or what was going on. He said that we will look for it in the morning and I went back to sleep.  At 11:15 I woke up again and there was a red light flashing in our room and the smoke alarm was going off and I was standing on the ground and I had my watch in my hand.  Haha I don’t know if I am possessed but I was just completely confused and tired so it already didn’t make sense to me.

Anyways, I love you all and I hope that you have a good day and a good week.

Elder Merkley

Let the Sisters Go First

Hey there.
Well this week was pretty dang sweet.  I don’t really remember where we were but we were getting on a train with some other missionaries and some older people at night.  I didn’t want to be a jerk and just shove my way on so I was letting the sisters go first.  So I was the last to get on the train.  When I started taking a step the doors just shut, without a warning, without a sound.  They all just shut. Luckily I was halfway through the door--literally halfway--so I squeezed part through and with the other missionaries pulling me I was able to get most of my body through the door before the train took off.  Haha dang trains.

Anyways this week we had a lot of sweet lessons. The first that I’m gonna explain is Neli y Geno. They are the Grandparents that kinda remind me of the Merkley Grandparents.  Geno told us that he is Catholic and will be forever and ever and will never change his mind.  We taught them and Neli told us that she will go to church and she convinced Geno to come and his response was "Alright, only if you have a taxi pick us up and drop us off. If not, I’m not going."  So he went to church and then the whole way home he was telling us how pleased he was with everything and how he loved church.
Then next time we visited them he asked us if it is a sin to be baptized in our church.  When we told him no he told us "good... I don’t want to be baptized but I was just wondering. Just in case I did want to one day."  He has some knee problems and cant walk so he just rides his bike everywhere. Haha I don’t really know how he does it but he does. 

Anyways, this week we were teaching them about the Blessings and Sacerdocio and he asked us if we could give them a blessing and if I could give it.  So I gave the blessing and things just went smoother than usual.  We said amen and he was crying.  It was the first time that anybody has cried during my blessings.  Haha usually I feel like they can’t understand any of it, but it looks it turned out well or it was so bad that he was crying. Lets just hope that it was the first. And also he told us that he wants to be baptized, woo!

This week we also did intercambios with other missionaries.  We went out into a little city called Las Flores.  It reminded me of a little Heber 3 hours away from where we were.  It was super sweet to go all the way out there but a little long if ya ask me. While I was there I saw a guy wearing a hat that Dmitri martin has when he is pretending to be Da Vinci.  

This week we also received a reference from the sister missionaries.  They told us that we have to pass for some guy named Julio Candia way far out there in our area.  So we thought about it and decided that we might as well.  We went the first time and nobody was there.  So then we went a second time and we found his son and his landlord. They invited us in to have some homemade bread from the brick oven and we started talking.  A little while later Julio came with an amiga. We started talking and he told us that he doesn’t believe in any churches but if we want to talk it is always better to learn a little bit more.  So we taught them and invited them to baptism and church and they accepted woo!  Also they invited us to come teach a couple of their friends and some kids that they invite every week to learn about God on Sunday and then eat some dinner and that we should invite some friends. So they went to church and after the first class he told us "Hey I want to be baptized.  I know that this church is true." My companion and I just looked at each other in absolute amazement.  Shocked we walked to our next class with our jaws hanging on the ground.

That night we went to his house and taught him and his sons and some other friends and things went well.  He told us "some things that I liked about your church or my church now too" and just a bunch of stuff like that.  They gave us a dang good Dutch oven dinner and we brought some banana bread and just had a great night.  As we were going home I told my companion that he is golden.  Then he told me that he is like the giant goose that lays golden eggs.  I don’t know why but I thought it was so dang funny and chuckled myself all the way home.

Anyways.  I will keep you updated.  I love you guys.  Have a good week.

Elder Andy Merkley

Kid Prophets

Hello everybody!  This week was yet again another good one here in Ezeiza with my companion Elder flinders.  We did all of the normal stuff in the week, woke up, worked out, ate some cereal and then studied and headed out.

This week we went to the store to buy us some stuff to make for lunch.  We ended up deciding on a Guiso or a soup with veggies and meat and noodles or rice.  We didn’t have that much money and we saw that the cow heart was only 18 pesos for a kilo.  After much convincing my companion he finally agreed to go in on it.   When we paid for it they plopped down a fresh cow heart about the size of 4 fists.  I don’t know why but when I was thinking about a cow heart I was thinking something like little chunks of meat that we could eat. Man was I wrong. We went to the pension and cut that bad boy open, really having no clue what the heck we were doing but in the end with 6 kinds of veggies and big chunks of good meat it was one of the "heartiest" meals I have ever had.  Man where do I come up with this stuff?

This week we had the determination to finally go to the hospital and talk with some of the people there.  It was super humbling and even though we didn’t teach too many people I thought that it was a super good use of our time.

Some of the people that we are teaching are named Neli y Geno.  They both are about 80 years old and just remind me so dang much of Grandpa Doug y Grandma Rhea—always joking and laughing and they love watching sports on the TV. Geno was super super hard and told us that he doesn’t want anything to do with our church but somehow we convinced him to come to the church last week. and then this week he asked us if its a sin to God if he gets baptized in our church, WOO!

Haha this week we were trying to explain what is a prophet. Or a man who can talk to God and somebody who shares what he says and teaches everyone else. When we asked him what he understood he told us "you are prophets to me."  So we tried explaining it again and when we asked if he understood he said, "So you are prophets and can talk with God."  So we tried explaining that a prophet sent us here and that we are below the direction of him.  Then he said "ohhh.... so you are kid prophets."

Yep. Good enough. Lets go with it.

Well. I love you all.  I hope that things are going good for everyone.  Good luck and I will talk to you soon.

Elder Merkley