Sunday, October 16, 2016

Some places in the world, missionaries will go knocking doors for a whole week and get no success. Here we knock like three doors and we already have someone who wants to hear our message!

Okay so this week was pretty dang good, and so much happened! It's really tough to get it all into one email, actually it's impossible but I'll try and do I anyway.

So there are a couple of people we are teaching who I want to talk about. The first is Jose. I don't
Waiting for the bus. ( I dunno whats up with my hair there)
know if I mentioned him already, but he’s had a smoking problem, and last Tuesday was supposed to be his last day of smoking so he can be baptized, and he’s actually been doing really well with it! I really like teaching him, and he knows quite a bit of English as well, so he always tries to talk with me in English, just to be nice. Anyways, I started telling him the blessings that we receive from obeying Gods commandments in one of our lessons. I explained that even though I was terrified of going on a mission, I did it anyways because that is what Heavenly Father wants me to do. I told him that I can’t even begin to explain the blessings that I've already seen because of my willingness to serve; some blessings have come that I would have never expected to have come. After I was done sharing, he looked at me and said "I don't know what it is, but for some reason I can feel, in my heart, that everything you are saying is true." He seemed so confused that he could feel the truth in my words and I really thought it was amazing. Missionaries always have these stories, and I thought they just sugar coated them to make it sound better than it really is, but honestly, when the spirit speaks through you to others, there's just an unexplainable feeling of peace and happiness that you receive.

And then we have Yna and John Ray. I don't know if I said anything about them, but they both speak English pretty well, so I enjoy teaching them. Plus they are super nice and funny. Yna is 14 and John ray is 12. They are brother and sister and were recently baptized like a month ago. They aren't really reading the book of Mormon as much as they should, so I decided to take one of our planned lessons a different way and just read the book of Mormon with them. We just read first Nephi and they said they finally understood the stories in there, and they thanked me for helping them understand. Ever since then they have been reading the book of Mormon every day! Elder Perkins (My trainer) really likes me because he believes that since I am a fresh missionary and have no screw ups yet and am basically 100% obedient that the lord is blessing us with all of this success. Maybe that's the case, maybe not. Either or, I'm going to be trying my hardest to stay obedient.

Aside from the people we are teaching, this place is pretty strange and different from what I am use to and kind of gross. Nothing is ever clean: not the buildings, not the water, not the food, not the people. I straight up saw a kid pee into his hand and just drink it. I see grown people walking around with no pants on. This place is just a free for all where anything goes I guess. But the people actually are super nice. Some places in the world, missionaries will go knocking doors for a whole week and get no success. Here we knock like three doors and we already have someone who wants to hear our message! I’m not sure if it’s because of the people, or because we are white, but either or, they are open to what we have to say!!

I’ve been missing home and friends and family a lot this past little bit. Not enough to get depressed or anything, but I do miss home. Sometimes we will walk down a street and hear a song that reminds me of home, or see a sign or restaurant that they have in the states, and we just start reminiscing. It’s tough, but I know that it will get easier from here! People who have been here for even just a couple of months love it to death, and I just can’t wait for that to happen with me.

So that's all for this week really, nothing else really worth mentioning I don't think. But yeah, for the most part everything is all well with me! I haven't gotten a tapeworm yet so that's good. (At least I don't think I do) Anyways, Ill email again in another short week!! I love you all, take care!!

Elder Austin Russell Cook

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