Sunday, November 20, 2016

One of the biggest lessons I learned this week is this: When you work hard, you are happy. Period.

A lot more happened this week than last week, thank GOODNESS! I'll start off on Monday. On Monday of last week we went to two different families homes for Family Home Evening, and it was awesome! The family home evenings here are WAY cooler than the ones in Vegas because they get like five families together and just play games and do tons of fun stuff!

Our super fun family home evening
Then Tuesday was actually a super dull day. We taught like 3 lessons and just didn't really do much. That was the day I finally decided that I just needed to talk to Elder Perkins about all of the time we were wasting, but I didn't know how to bring it up in a nice manner yet, so I just kept my mouth shut. But we did teach Jose today, which was nice. If you all remember, Jose was the guy who had a really huge smoking problem, but as of now, he hasn’t smoked in over a month, so that's really amazing! But he's kinda weird about it. He said that he quit smoking because he wanted to get baptized, but now he's saying he doesn't know for sure yet if this church is true, so we don't really know where to go with him. But he did say that every time we come and teach him he feels so much happier and so enlightened, so I definitely have hopes for him.

Wednesday was an interesting day. I don't remember much from it, but I remember that Elder Perkins finally talked me and the two Zone leaders that live with us to play a super fun nerdy game.  I really didn't want to cause, you know, I'm not a nerd and stuff, but I did it because he seemed super excited about it. And honestly, I have not laughed so hard since leaving home as I did playing that game with everybody. For some reason it was just hilarious, and we all cried laughing like 6 times. Honestly it was SUPER relieving, I really needed a good laugh, and for some reason, that nerdy game was able to be pretty fun.

OKAY NOW THURSDAY! Sorry, it's not that exciting, I just wanted to type in all caps. Anyways, today we went tracting for like two hours. Tracting (For those of you who don't know) is just going door to door and asking people if they wanna hear our message. In the states, tracting is pretty ineffective from what I hear, but over here it's insanely effective - probably one in every 5 people let us in to teach (mainly because we are white, but hey, whatever works). We got tons of success that day, and I and Elder Perkins made it a goal to do at least one hour of tracting every day, which will hopefully get us a little busier. Today I also told him that we were wasting way too much time just talking to people for fun, and he actually agreed. So instead of staying at people's home for 2 or 3 hours, we decided that we needed to make our visits about 30 minutes each. I was so glad that he was able to agree with me and not get upset that I thought we were wasting time.

And those are really the only key things I wanted to touch on from this week. The Philippines is becoming a lot easier to live in surprisingly. I made it a goal to talk less trash about the Philippines (Because I used to talk bad about this place a lot, just cause it's so easy to) and that goal has helped me be a lot happier here!

Elder Perkins & I riding on top of a Jeepney 
(cause that's how we get around here) dude,
 the transportation is so unsafe here, but its 
so much fun.  It costs like 50 cents to get to
 a place an hour away
One of the biggest lessons I learned this week is this: When you work hard, you are happy. Period. Working hard keeps your mind away from worry, away from useless problems, and it keeps your mind thinking about how you can help other people. And that's not just on the mission either! I remember at home, when I was working hard (And not having a bad attitude about it) I was so happy, especially when I was working with my dad. (Shout out to dad for being the best dude ever). So if I'm gonna stay happy here, all I gotta do is work, it's just that easy!

Alright that's all for this week! I’ll send some pictures separate from this email to all of you! I love you all, always do your best and great things will come of it!

Love,
Elder Austin Cook

Me and Elder Downing. Hes from Gilbert Arizona
 and is seriously my favorite guy out here
P.S.  Oh also, I remembered a story from my past this week that I thought I would share with you.

I remember when Landon and I were young (back when we would hang out with Cory and Colton like every dang day) and I was telling you how rich and stuff they were and blah blah blah. I was talking about how they had a TV in their room, they had a pool table, arcade games, a theater, a pool, etc. And then you just said "Yeah but we have something that's worth more than all of that combined that THEY don't even have: The gospel!"  You probably didn’t think much of saying that, but seriously when you told me that, I was like "DUDE OH MY GOSH SHES SO RIGHT." And ever since then, I've always looked at the gospel like the pearl of great price that it is. So I just wanted to thank you for that :)

picture of the letter that Margie wrote me! Shes so funny.
My camera has a setting that highlights 
the color red and turns everything else 
black and white. I guess my face was 
red enough to capture





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