Thursday, September 1, 2016

I will definitely come back as AUSTIN FLIPPIN RUSSELL COOK

So a lot of the stuff here is pretty routine and the days just blend together. Sometimes it feels like I just got here yesterday, while other days it feels like I've been here for 6 months. But I'm still loving it! There's just not much to write about since every day is almost the same. But I'll try and write something worth while.

I'll start off with my companion. He's pretty much the exact same, but I've learned how to deal with him real easy. He just likes to be ignored, and to sit there and do nothing. At first I tried to get him to do stuff, but I've learned it's easier to just let the little guy be himself. He doesn't study the language at all, so during lessons and stuff I take over while he does nothing since the lesson has to be in 100% Tagalog, which I'm okay with now. In fact, I kinda like teaching the lesson by myself. He's actually going to therapy now because the teacher notices all of his dark "Kill myself, kill you, kill babies" comments, so I guess that's a step in the right direction!

The language was super hard to understand at first, but this last week something just clicked and now I understand how it works so much better, and can learn it significantly faster! Sometimes it's hard when we aren't allowed to speak English in lessons and I'm trying to get my point across but no matter what I do I just can't. But I know that it will all come in time!

So I've had this worry that I'll change so much on my mission, that by the time I come back, I will just be an unrecognizable robot of boringness. It literally has been my biggest concern and worry probably ever since Danielle left on her mission. I've been praying so hard for comfort for this and that I won't change too much but I was still just so distraught. Then one night me and Elder J_____ were playing mini soccer in his room. Elder J_____ isn't in my district, but I hang around him a lot of the time. He's super disobedient, and honestly not the best missionary, but he's hilarious and I love the kid. Anyways, I had told my problem/worry to my roommates and stuff, but everyone gave me answers that still left me worrying that I was going to change in a negative way on my mission. But while playing soccer with Elder J_____, I voiced my concern to him. His answer was "Elder Cook, that's literally the stupidest thing I've ever heard." He went on to say (not in these exact words) that God has sent me to the Philippines, not to change who I am, but BECAUSE of who I am. He sent me for ME. He sent me to change the people of the Philippines who I serve through my abilities, talents, and capacities. If I were to change, my mission would be pointless. Sure I'm going to come back changed in the sense of having a higher ability to love and serve, but I will definitely come back as AUSTIN FLIPPIN RUSSELL COOK.
Beautiful Provo temple in the evening

I did think it was interesting that the answer to my prayers came from Elder J_____: A disobedient, rowdy missionary. But I'm glad that I did get an answer FINALLY!

Anyways, I love you all! I'm doing my best for all of you and I'm gonna do the best that I can do, and be the best that I can be. I'll talk to you all next week!!

Elder Austin Cook

I found my cousin Jake's best friend here at the MTC, 
I sat next to him during choir and we talked the whole time, 
I was so glad to finally catch up with him love that kid

Inline image 1
My companion just printed it out from somewhere and drew on it. 
He did it to everyone in our room...Don't ask my why?

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