Thursday, August 25, 2016

My First Week in the MTC and it Turns out I am one of the District Leaders

Hey everybody!! I've been in the MTC now for about 8 days and its going great! On my first day here, it was really great because I was SURROUNDED by missionaries all greeting me and saying "WELCOME TO THE MTC ELDER!" It was really nice and comforting. We started out with classes right off the flippin bat, which I thought was great. The classes are pretty much just 3-6 hour long language classes (the 6 hour long classes get broken up into two 3 hour classes) I like the classes and the language is coming a lot better than I thought it would! Everyone is learning Tagalog so fast, it’s crazy! The meals are crazy because you can literally eat anything you want but SOMEHOW I've stayed at the same weight. I've been trying to be conscious about how much i eat, and despite all the lack of physical activity we do here, I'm doing pretty good! And the spirit that can be felt here is awesome. They do devotionals every now and then, and I love them! I can already feel myself becoming better every day.

Decided to Join the Choir
So at the end of the first or second day (I don't remember, the days are all the same here, so they just kinda blend together) all of the new missionaries in my zone were interviewed for like 5 minutes to just talk to some of the branch presidency to get to know them. Turns out that interview was actually to see who the district leaders were going to be, and turns out I'm now one of them. I was super confused because honestly i thought there were like 3 other guys that i met in the first day who would have done better than me, but I guess I just gotta do my best with it.

My district is great! They all get along, and are all pretty dang obedient. I only have to remind them to stay on track every now and then. There's only one guy who I don't seem to click with, and I should have expected that that one guy would be my companion! To be completely honest, I don’t understand him at all- his sense of humor, his quirks, his comments, or even his work habits. He actually is the only lazy one in the bunch and always wants to go against the rules. Despite all of this, however, I'm able to handle him pretty well, and sometimes enjoy his presence. And I think I’m doing a good job with him because he said I'm probably going to be the best companion he has on his mission. I know that figuring him out and how to click with him is going to take time, and I know that I’m going to grow a lot from it as well.
My district

That’s pretty much it from this week! But just a quick thought that one of my roommates shared with me that I thought was pretty interesting! He told me a story and this is how it goes:
There was once a man who wanted to climb an insanely high and desolate mountain that no man had ever climbed before. He was determined to be the first. He trained for months, and finally decided to conquer the mountain. After finally getting to the top, he finds a little pool of water, and in that pool of water he finds a stopwatch. He heads down the mountain and wonders how on earth a stopwatch was at the top of a mountain that no one had ever climbed before! He takes it to scientists, and they decide that the most logical answer is that over millions and millions of years, the winds and waters and elements moved in just a way to create every part of that stopwatch, and after millions and millions more years, those same elements coincidentally moved all the parts perfectly together.

Our service project of cleaning the bathrooms
Instead of just accepting the fact that someone had made it there before him, he makes up a ludicrous theory of the elements and doing it. My roommate said it’s the same thing with recognizing there is a God. People would rather turn to a theory that the universe just coincidentally lined every single particle perfectly by itself, than just accept the simple fact that there is a God who created everything.

Just something I wanted so share :) Anyways, I love you all and hope the best for all of you! Ill email next week with more awesomeness!!

Elder Austin Cook 

Elder brown is just so happy that he forgot to get his typhoid shot
My companion
my companion

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

This Place is Great, I love it and cant wait to see what else it has in store

So about 1.5-2 hours after we drop Austin off at the MTC, Austin is allowed to email us. Of course we get notice right away and email for awhile.  These emails ease our hearts knowing he is feeling good about being there

Austins first email from MTC

he lets us know he can stay on for a few

Love Russ email to Austin, but really love Austins response  haha

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Hotel before dropping me off at the Provo MTC and Me saying "See ya in 2 Years"

Passing time with my sisters before we leave for the MTC
 Our family left Tuesday August 16, 2016 to drive Austin up to Provo and spend the evening and morning with him before he had to report to the MTC at 12:30 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2016.  It was a beautiful Wednesday morning.  We ate breakfast at the hotel and drove to the Provo Temple to take pictures with Austin.  Such a bitter sweet day.  It is always hard to let go of each of the children but we wouldn't have it anyother way.  The Lord sacrificed much when he allowed Austin to come into our family and now we much sacrifice to turn him back over to the Lord for two years.  Our family is so blessed.  We love you Austin ♥

Chit chat before we leave hotel room 

Leaving Hotel Room 

Man, its bright out here!

Provo temple parking lot
Here we are

I love my sisters Brooklyn and Danielle ♥

Short walk up to temple to take more photos

I believe she will miss me the most

I have loved the support of Danielle since she served a mission in Chile

My dad my biggest supporter

My mom, my biggest fan

My awesome family.

Families are forever; sad we are missing my brother,
Elder Landon Cook, who is serving in Melbourne Australia

Overlooking Provo City from the Temple

Getting closer to my 12:30 report time at the MTC

I have to say... I have a lot on my mind

A sweet hug from Brooklyn

Happy smiles from Danielle

I dont think my mom wanted to let go

making sure everythings was A-ok

I love my mom

I love my dad

Doing all I could from breaking down

Arrival at the MTC:  My Host was Elder Amson

One last hug from dad

This is it folks!

Mom wont let go until she gave me a kiss!

Being silly with my baby sister

A few more tears before I walk into the MTC

Love this sister of mine!

Until we meet again!  I ♥ you all!

My setting apart as an Elder

Austin's appointment to be set apart as a missionary was scheduled Tuesday morning Aug 26th at 8:30 am the day before he reported to the MTC in Provo.  Our Stake President Robert Harper gave me a beautiful blessing.  Also... so glad my Grandma Fisher was there too :)

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Filippino Dinner and Games with the Lefevres

Brooklyn, Austin, Kent & Jason Lefevre
Sunday evening after Austin's Sunday talk and open house, Fraser Lefevre invited out family over for a Filipino dinner and the some Filipino games.  We spent about 2.5 hours over their house that evening.  We had a great time.  Jeremy and Fraser even sang How Great thou Art in Tagalog while Austin played the piano.

Yummy Filipino Cuisine
Danielle, Brooklyn and Austin
Austin, Brooklyn, Danielle, Kent and Jason Lefevre and Haydin
Playing games played in the Philippines
Christine Levefre and Danielle

Grandma Fisher and Christine Lefevre
Russell and Haydin Rudolph 
Haydin Rudolph Playing Filipino Games
Kent Lefevre
Kent Lefevre
Jeremy and Fraser Lefevre singing and Austin on piano