Monday, December 24, 2012

It's a Tip Top Tupper Kind of Christmas

Haha you guys like the title? I remember Shay would love that song during Christmas and plug her microphone into the kareoke machine and sing that song at the top of her lungs:) So it was great to call you guys even if it was for like 3 minutes:) Sounds like Christmas is in full swing up there in Oregon. Hey you should send me a picture of Gages new SUV sounds like it´s pretty cool. How is he? is he enjoying the time home or is he a little shell shocked still? I know that he left everything in the field and it´s probably a big change to be back home. Man send me a letter!!! remember  I send you 2 or 3 when I was at BYU so that would be sweet of you could return the favor bro and tell me how your Christmas was and tell me how your doin up there at BYU. I´m sure it´s gotta be freezin there lol. I love you bro and hope the best for ya in BYU! have a blast:)
So I´ll continue from where I left of last week when I was in the internet in Bogota with my best bud Elder albrect. After that, we went to a tie shop and I bought 2 sick ties for like 9 bucks! one that shines in the sunlight like a fish!! haha then we went to sleep at the secretaries house for the night and got up early to go a session in the temple. It was really awesome cause I understood pretty much everything:) it was so great! I was with my brother in the mission elder veil who is also from Oregon:) We´re the only 2 here from Oregon! After that we went to eat lunch in the bottom of the temple then went to the chapel and got capacitated by the assistents on how to be better Trainers and al that. Then came the BIG moment, meeting our kids! Elder Veil was so nervous it was hilarious lol. I had picked a Dominican Rebublic kid out of the midst of newbies and told him that was mine lol. I´ve always wanted to have a real black guy as a companion. i hope thats not racist lol I have always just wanted to have one of those guys from the Dominican lol. So my name got called and i got matched up with Elder escobar (which wasnt the dominican lol) but he´s from Bogota and going to Mission Mexico Mexico city North. SOOOO I´ll only have him for 1 change I think, he´s just waiting for his visa and sent it in quite a while ago. So I was talking  to our zone leader and he said that I´d probably be training again here after this change. There has been a few more missionaries coming in now that the age has dropped. So we´ll have to see what happens. After that we came back to Tunja to work for a day then we went back to Bogota to have our other capacitacion/Christmas lunch with president and all of the missionaries that are serving in Bogota. Ya I saw my still most favorite comp Elder Da Silva and also all of the people in my old zone in Suba. It was awesome and I met new missionaries that are just sweet as well. It was about the funnest time that I had had in quite a while. I just love to be in Bogota and loved to be with all my mish buddies, me and Albrecht are definitley hooking up after the mish, we have become such good friends!
Alright so then we came back and got right to work!! it´s so awesome to have a companion who is exited and likes to work!! honestly the days fly by when your workin hard and givin all you´ve got to the lord! Then we you do this, he rewards you with the opportunity to see peoples lives change right before your eyes as they become converted to Christ!:) I´m very sure that in this change and the next we´ll have a few baptisms! Then on friday night we had our ward Christmas party, there were like 6 of our investigators there! Also i was eating my food and there were no tables, so i was eating and talking to some members when my cake starts to slip off my lap. I reach to save it and my big plate of food fell off my lap! it got all over my pants and there were even some mashed potatoes in my shoe. Everyone was laughing and me and giving my crap for it but I wasn´t phased lol, I´ve been teased all my life by my dear ol dad so I just joked along with them and got another plate lol.
So Shay how did you end school? All A´s? alright I gotta go Love you and merry Christmas!!!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Newfound Sense of Fatherhood

Newfound Sense of Fatherhood – Dec. 17, 2012

ALright Alright Alright. Weeellll I have quite a few new changes in my missionary life that I  will tell you about but FIRST I would like to congratulate one of my best and oldest friends GAGE PALLO for serving an honorable full 2 year mission. Man he is a stud!! I am so excited for him in his future endeavors after the mish and I am equally excited for Nicole and Aaron who have such an awesome son!!! I have to say that I have some pretty big shoes to fill. Literally his feet are huge lol like if he goes skiing with you guys I don´t even think that he´d have to rent any, just wax those big ol feet and your good to go! But really the example he has set for me is honestly more than I can describe in words. Todavia me falta muuucho tiempo y aun mas trabajo para llegar a ser como el grande indominable ex Elder Pallo. If shay can´t translate that OR DAD with his mad pokito spanish skills you’ll just have to drag Gage over to the computer. Oh ya dad its poquito not pokito yes papa I HAVE been writing in spanish as well as talking. So anyways, from the botom of my heart Gage, thank you:) 
ALRIGHTY well if your wondering where I´m writing this e-mail right now i´m back in Bogota. BUT I haven’t been transferred, yup I´m going to have a kid this next change. Yup I never thought I would have a kid at 19 years of age but ya know you just gotta take what life throws at ya, I don´t even know who the mother is yet (BROMA) but ya. I totally thought I  would have one more change with Elder Ortiz and kill him, so not even caring to stay up and hear about the changes I went to bed. Then at 11-o-clock my compa woke me up from downstairs yelling COMPA COMPA VEN POR ACÁ TU VAS A ENTRENAR!!! so yup that was when I got the news that I am going to be training for these next 12 weeks con mi querido hijo. Obviously after that I couldn’t get to sleep at all thinking about how crazy the president must be and how in the heck am I going to even teach this kid one thing lol. Honestly I am really excited and a little bit nervous at the same time. There’s a lot of feelings swirling around in me right now so that’s why this letter is called a newfound feeling of fatherhood. I think it´s pretty catchy:) But mas que nada I am really excited because I know a new missionary will bring a different excitement to the work and he will actually want to work sooooo I think that these next few months are going to be super awesome!!! I have high hopes. 
So anyways I´m here in Bogota sitting next to my VERY best friend here in the mission Elder Albrect. He was my comp for 3 weeks in Bogota, if you can´t remember who he is he´s the tall red head kid in my pics from when I started. Yup we got here at 12 and the assistents told us we had the whole day to do whatever we want here in Bogota. Go figure I am the only one that has served in this humongous city (I am with 3 other elders from the zone who are also going to train) so not wanting to get lost, stolen, or spend a lot of money, I  just called up my buddy Albrecht (who is serving here in Bogy) and took a bus to his house and we´ve just been hangin out all night!!!!! It  has beeen so tight to see him again. Tomorrow we´re going to the temple at 10 then I think we´ll have a meeting with president and then wait the whole day for the newbies to get out of the ccm,  have their interviews and then we´ll get assigned our new comps, and then I´ll head back to Tunja sometime tomorow night. Only to come back here Wednesday night and stay the night so we can get up and go to this Christmas thing that we have for all the areas close to Bogota. SOOO lots of bus rides and traveling. 
So pappy your letters just get funnier and funnier.  I don´t even care anymore if people think I am weird for laughing out loud at the computer. About 5 minutes ago I had tears in my eyes and was about to die from hyperventilation. Also I would absolutey love to hear all about your mission pa.  I’ve realized that I’ve never really asked you about it. I know that’s just cause I had never gone on one myself but now I  really wanna know!! Also just to let you know I LOVE COLOMBIAN HOT CHOCOLATE :) 
So I am really running out of time but I want to tell you a little story that I will DEFINATLEY tell you when we skype. I can´t write as good as I can explain myself in words. But anyways we went and did some service last Saturday. We were supposed to be building a second floor on to a less active/non-member family but when we got there this guy who is the husband and father of the family took us to go cut and haul some trees to where they were working on the house (I still don’t know why he needed the trees and after this experience I don’t care to know) but anyways he took us on a hike over the mountain that there house is on and down the other side about half way (BY the way the top of the mountain you can see for miles and it was beautiful) anyways the old guy starts to hack away at a tree that I´d say the base is like 12 inches in diameter.  From the first hack I can tell that he´s not very experienced in tree cutting and it fell down the hill. Then he told us to go haul it up the hill.  It’s like 25 feet long and probably weighs  like 200 pounds so we did that and it was sooo hard, by this time I was a little upset so I told him to give me the axe and I´ll cut the final tree. Well yup the tree fell UP the hill this time so it was a lot easier. Boy I tell you what,  Tony Meline would be SOO proud of me:) Then we  had to haul these wet  trees halfway up the mountain and down it too. I was kinda ticked for one because I felt like I lost a little strength and for 2 the old man was pretty much yelling at us to go. Anyways I know that wasn’t a good explanation but just ask me about it when we skype. Oh also I´m not sure what time you guys want to skype? i can do it the 24th at night or the 26th at night too so whenever you guys want. AND plan for an hour and a half cause thats what our zone leaders told us!!! LOVE YOU GUYS SOOOOOO MUCH!!!
Ps. Shay send my retainer, (hope it still fits;)

      Elder Crook (B.A, S.C, E.D)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Farms and Failed Attempts at Christmas

Farms and Failed Attempts at Christmas – Dec. 10 (Kody’s letter)

Hey Hey Hey! Have I ever told you guys just how much I LOVE reading your letters:) Haha so I read dad’s letter too fast last week and wrote you guys that my old skype account worked but then I printed it out and read that he told me to make a new account, so I made a new account and my name is elderkodyeldurocrook. El Duro here is like slang for stud, so yeah thats what it means lol. But then I read your e-mails that said you guys made a new skype, soooooo I just added my new skype account with your new skype account and yup I´ve got a cute new picture and everything:) I´m SUUUUPPPpeEEEEERRRRR excited to talk with you guys, it´s probably not gonna be on the 25th cause I´m pretty sure all the internets will be closed. Sooooooo who knows maybe the 24th or 26th, depends on what the president says or what my comp wants to do. Oh yeah we´ll have a Christmas devotional/dinner thing for all the missionaries close to Bogota, with president and all so I´m looking forward to that. But I will let you know more on when I´ll be calling you vale;) listo entonces bueno, I´m doing just fine here and have gotten over my little bout of sickness. It lasted about 2 days and now I feel fine. The members here are super nice, one of the days I went to lunch and told the hermana that I was really sorry but I just didn’t feel like eating lunch. She had her husband run to the pharmacy and buy me a stomach pill and then buy some celery to make an aromatic drink. I´m not sure it helped but it really felt good that she was worried for me. And I really do think that the coke helps so I´m going to put that in my memory bank for next time lol. 
PA: You are just too funny in your letters, haha you can move in with me anytime, anyday lol. I´m glad to hear the ol truck’s running now and that my bike still works:) (MAN DO I MISS THAT THING) Haha the other day a guy pulled out on to the street on his dirt bike and popped a wheelie in the street and sped away. Honestly I almost cried lol, it probably was the closest I´ve been on my mission to shed a tear. I’M SERIOUS!!!!! It not only reminded me of what a great bike I have but  of all the awesome times we spent cruising the streets of Coos Bay together:) 
MA: haha yesssss I am starting to appreciate more the little things in life, really if there´s one thing that I can say that I have learned up and to this point on my mish it´s how to find the good in everything.  I have always been a happy kid but now I am starting to try and cherish this special time I have here more. And I hope I can carry that always on through my life. I sure love you and I hope you can feel peace and not miss me so much this Christmas. I will do my best to not miss you guys lol so it´s a deal:) 
Well this week was quite a bit better:) we have in our area little pueblos that are outside of Tunja. One is called Samaca, and the other Oicata. Man are they B E A UTIFUL! Our ward has members in both of these smaller towns and they are both about 45 min outside of Tunja. Which says a lot about these members, they have to sacrifice A LOT to just go to church, which is a great testimony builder to me that if these people can go to church when It’s really, really far then we as missionaries can find people that will go to church when it´s not as far as these pueblos. So I will send pictures of both of these little towns. Haha the dirt road litterally ended at the members house in Oicata. She lives on a farm and we actually got to do a little farmwork:) we watered the cows BABY:) it was fun:) Then in Samaca there’s a member who owns a coal mine. I guess there’s a lot of Coal there in Samaca so he´s got a little business and it sounds really cool and interesting. He invited us back this next p-day to take a tour of the mines and to have a barbeque tooo. That sounds awesome BUT we have changes so if one of the 4 elders here gets changed then we all have to stay and wait for the new elder to arrive, so it´s probable that we won’t be going there next Monday. But we will be going back in the near future to take a tour of the mines. So that was really fun to go to those towns and check out the countryside. It is really beautiful:)
Well as for the failed attempts at Christmas there was really only one, but I´ll tell you about the 2 Christmas experiences I had ( or didnt Have lol) Well the night of lights or whatever you called it there was a bust for us. (It´s actually called dia de las velas) or day of the candles. So it’s always on the 7th of December, so we were working on that day and had just got out of a lesson where the investigators had asked us if we were gonna light candles.  We said SI CLARO cause we had a member there in our lesson and we asked him if we could light them with him. He said we could then later, he told us it was the 8th. So we went to another lesson and then home and realized everyone had there candles out. So we missed out on that, but next year:) next year I´ll write my name with candles and light them all!!! The other attempt at Christmas was where we decorated a tree of an investigator. It´s a Charlie Brown BABY!!! hah you´ll have to look at the picture that I will send. I love you soooooooo much and I sure hope that next Monday i will be writing you here in Tunja, I´m 99 percent sure that I´ll stay but one never knows. LOVE YOU GUYS SOOOOOO STINKIN MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
                      Elder Crook:)

Monday, December 3, 2012



Hey it sounds like we are on the same wavelength there!! Before I logged into my e-mail I logged into my skype account!! Looks like I don´t really have to do anything new only log on and call! The only thing I´m worried about is the internet connection and if it will be good enough. But we are GOOD TO GO BABY!!! We´ll be skypin at the end of the month!!! Can you tell I´m super excited!!!!!!! and I know you guys are too:) Anyways I wasn´t going to tell you about the majority of my week but mom asked tons of q´s in her letter so I feel obligated to tell you other than just ignoring them lol. Mom said she loves hearing it all so I´ll tell all good and bad.
MOM: we HAD serious investigators, a family of 3 -  a mom, daughter and her niece that had baptismal dates for next Saturday, turns out they moved to Meddellin today :( But that’s alright I know they´ll find the church there and get baptized.  By the way the niece was the girl who asked me what she needed to do to go on a mission. So I´m sure that God will direct them to the nearest chapel in Meddellin. Besides for them, we have one 24 year old guy who has a date for the 16th which is the last week of the changes. So I will be SUPER happy if he is baptized and confirmed.  His name is Nelson and I see him as a future elders quorum president, but we´ll just have to see. As for the special moments I had this week......yeah I ate a plate of this rice/seafood stuff and it immediately made me sick, yeah like throwing up all night sick. It really sucks to be sick we all know that, but what sucks more is to be sick and not have anyone to take take of you.  I had to imagine your voice telling me to just sip on some sprite and eat a little bread lol. Well that lasted from Thursday night to Saturday, where I felt decent enough to go and try to work. Then on Sunday I  wasnt feeling any better when an idea popped into my mind to drink coke. I remember someone saying that if you just drink coke after every meal, then you will be fine. And HEY IT WORKED! I feel great today and ready to go out there and get em! Yeah we´ve got our work cut out for us these last 2 weeks, so maybe we can have some new investigators and baptismal dates going into the next change, I´ll let you know how it goes:) Oh and I feel the same as you about how my mission has seemed. Sometimes it´s felt like I´ve just been a missionary my whole life and I will keep on being a missionary until I die and other times it feels like woah! I  just got here, Woah! I really don’t have that much time to be a missionary and all that good stuff. 
Well that was just kinda the bad stuff that happened this week, just to let you know I am still doing great and I feel great too:) I got the best compliment from a member this week and I thought I´d share it with you. Oh he knows Moises too (haha go figure) but we were talking about missionaries that get trunky and all that Jazz ( he´s a return missionary from Peru) and he´s like you know something Elder Crook, I just love how you enjoy every stupid moment of your mission. You’re not like some of the others, I can just tell you are having the time of your life here. That was great to hear from a member return missionary.  He is awesome! Oh and his family grew up in Sogamoso and they know Moises. They are named Don Jorge Rodriguez, Ronny Rodriguez, and Ariel Rodriguez. I think Moises might know them. Yeah they feed us lunch every Saturday! 
Ok well, I don’t have a lot of time left so I´ll end my letter with the highlight of my week. We had a talent show this week and that’s why my letter is titled what it is, we did synchronized swimming:) but out of water, all we did was get 2 blue bed sheets and set them up in front of us and then we were behind it and did a little choreographed dance thing. In my opinion it was the best of the show!! It was soooo much fun reallllly funny and just a blast, I have a video but it´s just to big to send to you guys, but I´ll send it with Moises and Melinda! Oh also our dance was choreographed to the titanic theme song lol, so it was really dramatic and that made it all the more funny. Heck yeah we busted out a few moves behind the blue sheets lol, it was awesome!!!! 
I sure love you guys and can´t wait to SEE and TALK to you this Christmas, by the way dad, I want the whole towing story even though by just reading it I about died here in my chair laughing. Well until next week:)

                         Elder Crook

Monday, November 26, 2012

The 2 Things I am Most Thankful For

Well, well, well it sure sounds like you guys had a great Thanksgiving this year. It makes me really happy to know that you guys are doing great up there in Oregon!
So I can´t lie.  I woke up on Thursday morning,  rolled out of bead, and did a halfhearted workout, made my breakfast halfheartedly, showered and was studying by 8.   All the while thinking, “man my family is making food right now, watching some football, the Macys parade and enjoying the day together. I was feeling pretty sorry for myself lol. Then I noticed a plan of salvation pamphlet on my study desk and I picked it up and started reading. I noticed all the photos of the happy families and after I had read/skimmed the whole thing I just felt sooooooooooooo blessed. The lonely feelings went away and were filled with joy and happiness because of 2 things: 1 is my awesome family that I have that loves me and supports me 100 percent, and 2 is this amazing gospel that we have. Being here in Colombia has made me realize even more how blessed I am to have these 2 things. A WHOLE ENTIRE family that is sealed for eternity and the WHOLE ENTIRE gospel that gives us our purpose here in this life. THANK YOU DAD for being a worthy priesthood holder who keeps his sacred covenants, THANK YOU MOM for being the very best example of faith and strength in the gospel, and THANK YOU SHAY for just being your goofy self who sets her standards high and works so darn hard to achieve her goals. Haha so after all of this it was time to leave for the day and we always leave with a prayer and after bear our testimonies. On Thursday my testimony was: I know that Tunja, Colombia is the very best place I can be right now, even though my family is sitting at the table eating turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and CRANBERRY SAUCE ( you all know that’s my favorite:). I know that someone needs the light we have to brighten their life and maybe it can even make them as happy as it has made me and my family. haha yup that was my testimony for the day. Oh and our lunch waaaaaasssssssss, you guessed it RICE!! VEGGIES!! BEANS!! and a special surprise in the beans there were pigs feet lol. I ate it with a big ol´ grin on my face cause I just know that of all the Thanksgivings I will have in my life, I will probably remember this one best! Then really after lunch,  I forgot all about Thanksgiving cause it was just another normal day for us. Now dad had a few q´s for me so  I´ll answer them. 
DAD: Yup I just live with my comp from Paraguay. So I speak English once in a while with Elder Guillete who is the other elder here in Tunja.  but I´d say about 2 or 3 times a week, mostly on p-day though. But about now I can say almost anything I want, I can joke and express myself which to me is the most important, and of course I can teach all the lessons without help anymore. But still I understand about 65 to 70 percent of the things that people are saying, but for the most part I get the gist, and can carry on a conversation. As for my favorite foods here in Colombia I LOVE platanoes.   When I first got here I hated the things lol but now I can’t get enough of them. Also the 2 best meals I´ve had here are fried fish, only the costenos make it and I´ve only had it twice. But they fry the whole entire fish and it is SOOOO GOOD, some of the best fish that I´ve had. Also there is also a common dish from the city Medellin called la bandera paisa.  Its beans, they’re kinda like mexican beans but they have a different flavor with rice and a fried egg on top, patacones (which are fried platanoes) and a big ol´ sausage lol, that’s real good too. Also I am having an awesome time here.  We hope to have 2 baptisms here in a few weeks. And no there are no problems whatsoever, and really if there was one thing about being a missionary that I can really say that I´m good at it would be getting along with my companions.  I can’t say I´m that great at anything else but I can say that I´m good at being a friend and a companion. 
Well I´m gonna end my letter with the adventurous little p-day we had today (no we didn’t go to playa blanca) I guess I´m notorious for saying that we are gonna do something sweet the next p-day and then not doing it.  So from now on I´m not gonna tell you guys till after lol, just so I don’t jinx myself. But anyways almost always we do p-days with the other elders from Tunja sur. After eating at a pizzeria we wanted to go play mini golf, soo I guess there is a golf course here that supposedly has ¨mini golf¨ so we told the taxi driver to take us to the golf course with mini golf.  He said there is only one place here in Tunja so we were like ok sweet lets go. So he takes us out of the city of Tunja and into rural Colombia, I have to say that it is sooooooo beautiful, after about 10 minutes I ask the taxista if he is sure there is mini golf at this place or just normal golf, cause obviously he´s taking us to a huge Golf course, he reassured me so we kept on going. We finally got there and he points to the putting green where you can practice and says mira! mini golf! to add to this failed attempt at putt putt golf the course was closed lol. Then the driver says 20 mil! we payed reluctantly and then opted to walk back cause we definitely couldn’t afford another 20 mil cab ride. But actually it turned out to be really awesome cause we took some great pictures in the places we found, everyone was kinda bummed but I was running around exploring and I came upon a shotgun shooting range! That was cool and we found what looked like an abandoned caddy shack that had the MOST beautiful view I have ever seen.  The pictures I´ll send just don’t do it justice. Then we walked all the way back into town which took us about 2 hours lol, I tried to ask for rides back into Tunja but the only people that stopped had sand and animals in the back on their trucks lol, so we walked the whole way. It was fun though!! haha, well until next week I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

                          -Elder Crook

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Monday, November 19, 2012

I Can't Believe You're Going to Mexico without Me!!

First of all I would like to say congrats to Colton! I already wrote the Elliots a letters but I´m SUPER excited for that kid!! I can’t wait to see and hear the things that are in store for him there. Haha this morning I had the thought ¨hey Colton might have gotten his call, wait nooo his papers couldn’t  have gotten back that fast¨ but sweet bro!! I don’t wanna get all touchy feely but when I read¨Mexico, Mexico City East¨ I felt a huge wave of tingles and clapped my hands real loud and half shouted cause I was so excited.   Yeah then everyone here in this little Podunk  internet cafe looked at me weird. But by now I just half expect that look from people. I guess the nametag/suit/super white skin and red hair isn’t really what people think is normal here lol. 
DAD: We walk EVERYWHERE cause we´re cheap and you have to pay for the busses here. There is no free public transportation only busses that cost mil tres cientos which is roughly like 60 or 70 cents. The area is huge, we have one half of the city and the other Elders have the other half.  As for the tanks, I assume they are for water but I´m not sure, if I remember I´ll ask. Oh yeah dad the people here in our area are really rich, the standard of living is quite a bit higher here than in Suba in Bogota. As for the people, in the richer part I heard that they are all just retired business people with businesses in Bogota. I´ve met a few professors in our ward too. Yes the way we teach is changing!!! We focus on Jesus Christ and his atonement. It used to be the restoration and Joseph Smith but it is Jesus now. The mission had a conference of leaders about 2 months ago when I was fresh out of the MTC. The mission leaders of the whole world, who advise the missionary work worldwide, came and had a conference with all the zone and district leaders. They changed things up a bit, now every lesson we have, every contact we make we focus on Jesus, nothing else, not the church, not the restoration,  just Jesus. SO I have really been studying the Bible hard. I started in Matthew and studied the Sermon on the Mount and now I am just finishing the book of Matthew. I´m not sure if there will be anymore changes but this has seemed to work really well. Also with Elder Suarez- right after he went to the conference, he said that they told the missionaries to knock on a door first and only ask that as servants of God could we bless your home. So as we bless the home we ask special blessing and if they ask us to come back that means they are ready to hear the message. I´m not sure if that really panned out cause no one else other than Suarez has told me that. So I haven’t been doing it. Oooh I guess we are all in for some interesting times, man all I could think about when I heard about Obama getting re-elected was what you told us about when people support those small groups of wickedness until it becomes  a huge group of wickedness that is supported by the government and everything - then we will see God’s wrath. It was something like that, at least that’s all I can remember. As for all that stuff I have a favorite scripture,  Ephesians 6:12 - which is about putting on the armor of God and how we are not fighting a physical battle shedding blood, but a battle against an increasingly darkening world.
MOM: How can you be going to Mexico without your favorite son? haha man that sounds awesome.  You guys better send me tons of pictures!! oh and Bend too dangit! Haha I´m glad you guys get to get out of the house and have some fun! Thanks for the gravy recipe and I’ll tell you how our little Colombian dia de gracias goes:) Have a great thanksgiving!!
SHAY: Keep workin hard guurrrll, haha good luck with all your tests and things.
Well next p-day we should be going to a beach called playa blanca.  It’s not for sure yet but if I have anything to do about it,  we´ll be going!! I´ll send you some sweet pics, Well I have to go but I sure love you guys and will be looking forward to your next letters!
             Elder Crook

Monday, November 12, 2012


YEAH for all you Gringos out there reading this it`s pronounced Toongha. And yes It is soooo BEAUTIFUL:) man the scenery is awesome here. It`s a city of about 125,000 people I think, I asked a member and she told me around there. So it`s big, but way smaller than Bogota, man it kinda reminds me of Henefer, Utah but everything is green. The city is in the bottom of a valley and there are pretty big mountains/hills around us. In the city there is 1 ward and 2 sets of missionaries. I sent you a pic of us 4, the other Elders are in the area of Tunja South, and we are in the north called Tunja Unicentro.There is one chapel here and about 150 members that come to church. But this last Sunday there were hardly any, like 50 lol. We have investigators and members that live on top of a huge hill that you can see the entire city and the other hill/mountain across the valley. So far I have only been up there at night but I will figure out the Panorama function on my camara and hopefully send you guys some sweet pics. And yes Tunja is super high, higher than Bogota. And one of the coolest things is that when there are no clouds in the sky at night, there are MILLIONS OF STARS!!! One night we were walking on a dirt road in pure pitch black on the crest of one of the mountains that encircle the town (yea I know kinda Sketchy lol) The only light we had was the light on the cell phone, but we turned that off for a bit, stopped and just gazed up at all the stars. Man was it beautiful, especially cause we were away from the lights of the city. Images like that I will never , ever forget! And of course it`s kind of pointless to take a picture of stars lol so sorry you guys can’t see it. But there were literally millions of stars! More than I`ve ever seen before. Anyways so we live in an apartment just us 2, it`s HUGE -  bigger than the apt. in Suba that roomed  4 of us. But at night it’s kinda lonely - my comps a pretty quiet, chill guy so I`ve just been going to bed early almost every night, which is nice to have some extra sleep. Oh yeah ok so more about him. He`s from Paraguay and I guess Paraguay has a native language named Guarany or something like that. There are 8 different dialects of this language and he speaks 6 of them, not to mention Spanish and Portuguese. I told him there was only enough room in my brain for 2 languages. And he did actually play on the Paraguayan national team for 3 years. He`s 24 and has 2 months left in his mission. He has been a member all his life but didn’t have plans to serve a mission, just play soccer. But he decided that he needed a change in his life at age 22 and sent his papers in for a mission. 
Anyways the people here are just like in Bogota, so contacting has been pretty rough for us, but we have a few really great investigators and one of them (who is 18) told me that she wants to be a sister missionary! So we`ll see how that plays out, haha - she has to be baptized first, then we will see from there. But it’s not at all like Jordan where we had a mountain of eternal investigators and regular investigators. Like every Sunday we´d have at least 10 investigators in the chapel. This Sunday we had a big FAT 0. I was kind of mad with myself. But my comp told me that it’s really hard to get our investigators to church cause the chapel is in the other area and REALLY far. But I´m not making excuses(only that one lol). But I am having a great time here and the members are also really cool!! so far we´ve gotten a few references that might just be golden, but once again we´ll have to see. 
So I want to end with congratulating Shay. She is pretty  amazing. WAY TO GO TOOTS!!! LOVE yeah and a little story of mine: Well you know how I like pancakes and they are pretty cheap here, also I like nice warm syrup. So one morning I was just doing my normal thing and making my pancakes. I put my syrup in the microwave to warm it, I usually always put it in for 30 seconds but for some reason I hit an extra 0 that made it 3 minutes. So I put it in not realizing the extra time, and started to wash my dishes (yeah I´m soooo obedient) well it got to be about a minute and I heard this whizzing sound. OH CRAP I thought, my syrup. So I opened the microwave (bad idea) there was syrup exploding everywhere! so I shut the door and watched the bottle warp and explode lol. It was awesome but It sucked to clean and now I have mix and no syrup. 
Well I gotta go but mom, yes Nasa as in the space company (what other kind of NASA is there lol?) and the motorcycle was of a members that I took the picture. LOVE YOU GUYS!!!

               Elder Crook

Monday, November 5, 2012

CAMBIOS: They'll knock the wind right out of ya!!

Well if you’re wondering where I´m sitting right now, I´m in Tunja, Colombia. It´s not Sogamoso but its pretty close, like 30-45 minutes I think. (Ask Moises he probably knows better) But it´s supposedley the coldest part of the mission. To me it feels the same as Bogota but I think it might get a little bit colder during the nights .Ok so I broke the big news.  Now i´m going to tell you about my best week yet that I´ve had in the mission. 
Well last Sunday we were expecting to have a baptism of one of our investigators named Karen, but we were really working hard with another girl named Leidy (yeah I know Lady lol but its a common name down here) She has been one of our eternal investigators that just was too scared to make commitments. So in our lesson on Sunday we just decided to put it in the Lord’s hands and let him do what He does best: answer prayers. So the whole time we just talked about prayer, and beat it like a dead horse over and over. Well it came to be Monday night and we got a call from her(around 10) saying that she had prayed, opened the bible to a random page and found her answer. You can´t even imagine how happy we were, me and Da Silva were jumping all around the house and screaming like little girls lol. saying things like ¨wow God really answers prayers, and  the Book of Mormon is true!! It really is. So that was just about one of the happiest moments of my mission. So yup we had 2 baptisms last Saturday. But I´m sure not done yet.   Wednesday we had the interview with Leidy and she PASSED! haha and it was also Halloween, so we went out trick or treating lol. Here to say trick or treat they say ¨quiero paz, quiero amor, quiero dulces por favor¨ or I want peace, I want love,  I want candies please. Lol sounds better in spanish. But anyways we took sweet pictures with some guys in the street like an indian and pirates haha. And people (members and investigators gave us tons of candy!!) haha just what I like. So yeah that was Wednesday,  Halloween night. Then Friday night we had interviews of the other areas which took all night until like 10:30 which was not good lol. Because Saturday morning me and Da Silva had to wake up at 5 in the morning to fill up the font (and no we didn’t use the kitchen with buckets lol GAGE) haha but we got there to fill it cause the baptism was at 9 in the morning. It was the only time that Karen could be baptized that day. Haha so after we got there, I laid on the benches in the chapel and slept for an hour, and left a giant drool spot on the cushion. I tried to clean it but I think it stained it lol. So at 8 we went and ate breakfast at a bakery and then at 9 had the baptism. It was the best baptism I have ever been in, She shared her testimony afterwards and how she has had a tough life but this is the best thing she has ever done. I felt the spirit so strong and I just can´t believe how much my testimony has grown because of my investigators. Then we had another garage sale for the young women lol. And during the night we had 5 other baptisms. The other area had 4 and we had one. The baptism of Leidy. It was soooooo great. Oh another thing is that all our investigators have chosen Elder Da Silva to baptize them but every service we have had they chose me to give a talk lol, So I have given a few talks before the baptisms during this change. Man then we had the testimony meeting of a lifetime! All of the recent converts went up and bore the BEST testimonies and one of our investigators too. We told them all that we would bear our testimonies first if they would do it too. Haha it sure worked! I can remember back home I would never bear my testimony during Fast Sunday. But now I´m doing it in SPANISH! Its a great feeling. I have never felt so much love for other people in my life. Goodness gracious I love my ward with all my heart, from all the members to all of the investigators I can feel Christ’s love for me.  It’s just something you can´t describe.
Then came the cambios...I had been praying like crazy to God to let us both stay in the area for one more change, we have been on fire! But we got back to the house last night and I learned that Elder Da Silva is going to  be Zone Leader of the zone that we were in, and I get sent to Tunja,  about 3-4 hours outside of Bogota. Man it hit me like a steamroller. Knowing that I probably  won’t ever be back in the ward that I started in. But I am also exited for this change. My new comp is Elder Ortiz from Paraguay (he was selected to tryout for the Paraguayan national soccer team) and I think I might kill him. Mission speaking that is.  He’s way cool but he’s only got 2 more changes so I´m pretty sure I´ll be his comp when he dies. And I think I´ll spend Christmas here which is good cause my area is more or less pretty close to Sogamoso. So today wasn’t much of a p-day.  I just got up at 6 (yeah i went to bed at 2 last night cause that’s when I got finished packing) and got on a bus at 10 and got here in Tunja at 4, yeah I was alone on the bus for most of the way but I felt like a boss cause I´m a gringo in Colombia that can get around on his own (haha all I had to do was get off the bus at the right stop lol) but hey THIS IS COLOMBIA.  Oh mom can you buy a Nasa size S shirt and a Fresno bulldogs hat for Elder Da Silva? You can take money out of my account,  I dont care.  I just want to get him something for Christmas because he really is like my best friend here. I love him to death so if you could do that I would really appreciate it. Oh let me know what happens with Coltons papers. AND WAY TO GO SHAYLEN YOU ARE SO AWESOME!!! KEEP IT UP BABY!!! I love you all sooooooo very much and am very very very exited to start a new cambio in a new area with yet another new Comp!!! Love you guys soooooo  much!!

                                       -Elder Crook

Monday, October 29, 2012

Another week in Colombia!!!

Well first of all I want to congratulate Gage for getting into BYU!!!!!! That’s awesome dude! and Happy Birthday man! November 3rd (no I didnt forget lol). And way to go SHAY!!! going back to XC state:) Dad told me about how you were scared the night before and what you said about Monica Anderson, Hilarious:) I sure love you guys lots! Better tell me how state goes and how you break the top 10 K:) So no we didn’t go to the museum of Gold cause I guess it’s not open today, and I really didn’t wanna change our p-day again cause we have to much of a busy week. Soo we haven’t done much of anything today, I just watched a church movie after exercising and studying. And I´m not sure what we´ll do after writing, it´s just kind of been a lazy  p-day for us. But I wasn’t surprised when you told me it had been raining there for a while lol, it’s about that time of the year. But I was really surprised at the weather here this week, it has been sooo sunny and nice lol, like not a cloud in the sky and just awesome weather. The first picture I sent is a picture of me on top of a huge hill overlooking all of our area. Yeah if you look in the background our area is all the buildings until the big skyscraper things more or less. And there’s a lot more to the left of that that doesn’t show in the picture. As for the other one, that is me standing on a ladder yelling through a makeshift megaphone for people to come to our great garage sale for the young women. Ya I only did it for a few minutes, basically just to get the picture but I´m sure people were wondering why there was a gringo shouting in his gringo spanish about a garage sale lol. It was fun though, we helped set up the stands and the church has 2 big tent things that no one could figure out how to set up. So I put my camping skills to work and set them up with my companion. As for the stuff that was being sold, things were pretty scarce, but it was fun lol and I guess it was for the young women but there was only 1 young woman there. Then after that we headed to the baptism we had (this was on saturday) And baptized the 13 year old son of one of our best investigator families. We had hoped that they would be married so they could all get baptized on the same day, but the marriage papers are taking a verryy veryy long time to arrive here. So we went ahead and baptized their son. I hope by some miracle that those papers can get here cause they are so ready. The Father has been drinking his whole life, but when we told him if he reads the Book of Mormon that the desire to drink will cease and never come back. So we left that promise, knowing that he has trouble reading but trusting in the lord. That was about 5 weeks ago, and now he´s on page 200. It has been the biggest change I have seen yet in my mission. So we are very excited for them:) 
Yup dad we still recite D&C 4 in English and Spanish every Zone conference, and if I am ever a leader, I think I´m gonna start every meeting with that too. And thanks for all the good advice you give me, I don’t think I´ll ever stop asking for that lol:) Oh and they do have Halloween here.  We have been advised to be in the house early Wednesday cause Its pretty big here. And its not just one day, I have seen people in costumes all of this last week. Oh and Shay I think Dia de los muertos is only in Mexico y bien hecho en su clase de español, nada pero la mejor de mi hermana lol;) 
Oh mom yea we have portable dvd players in our house to watch church movies and listen to church music. SO yea I just want cds, nothing in Mp3 format. But also if there’s room with the Garcias, can you send Jesus The Christ too? I sure love you lots!
Alright guys I should go, but tell me when Colton gets his call. I´m kinda excited for that:) Love you SOOOOOOOOOO much!!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Colombian Pride

Hey Hey Hey! its another P-day:) Well yes dad our plans for the museum of Gold and the president’s house have been delayed a bit. We had a zone activity today so we had to push back the plans another week. Hopefully we´ll make the trip next week, being our last p-day of this cambio. But Pa thanks for the ideas on our 14 yr old investigator named German.   Well we did exactly what you said.  I told my comp that if he gets baptized and we leave the area, he´s never going to go to church, so I told him that we needed to work with the mom for baptism as well. Unfortunately that didn’t work, at first she was interested in the plan of salvation and where we go after this life. But then she talked with a Catholic Priest. Her job is taking pictures.  She takes pics of just about anything including catholic baptisms. So the priest told her that if she lets the Mormons in her home he won’t let her take pictures of the baptisms. So she told us to never come back to her house again and that no one was interested in our message. In my mind we tried everything, so we can’t really go back now.  It’s kind of frustrating but it’s not the first time we´ve had a baptismal date scheduled and it falls through. Alright enough of that lol. Aside from that, everything has been great! I have one semi-funny story for you guys this week. It´s kinda like the one Gage had in his letter about his comp spilling his food everywhere. So I was at lunch on Friday (we always have lunch at the same members house on Friday) and trying to cut my meat that had fat about an inch thick on the bottom. The meat slipped under the immense amount of pressure I was putting on it (yeah I´m strong;) lol) and made everything else fly off my plate onto the glass table, vegetables and all. Haha I wasnt as lucky as Gages comp though cause I had to clean up my mess and still eat it all (It wasn’t bad) but then Elder Da Silva took my plate and was like "Oohhh my son doesn’t know how to cut his food, here let me do it for ya.  He cut my meat all nice for me and even cut most of the fat off too. It was super funny then he told me I eat like a child which is probably right lol. The good thing was that there was only one kid there and he's like 16 so obviously he didn’t care and just thought it was funny, which was lucky for me. Haha just to let you know that was the first time that that has ever happened before. 
Anyways I made a smokin hot deal with the man at the soccer shop:) I got 2 jerseys for 30 bucks, WITH my name on both of them and a number on one. I felt pretty proud of myself lol. I bought the countries team which is just Colombia with my name and number on the back, and one of the city teams here in Bogota, they´re named the Millionarios and I got my name on the back, there was no room for a number cause of the sponsers on the back, I dont have a picture with this one yet but its freakin sweet! I had to get it in an XL cause my Colombia one is an L and its super tight on me which I don’t care for. I think they run a little bit small. 
Shaylen holy cow! way to go in your last race!! I´m sure exited for your districts this Wednesday and I´m sure you are too. I´ll be prayin for ya!! Dang the season went by  fast though. Haha in 2 weeks you’ll be doin winter track huh;) Kick some butt though, I´ll be rootin for yeah here in Colombia!!
Hey pa, is BYU´s football team as good as they were last year? cause they beat OSU last year or is OSU just good this year lol. Oh and sounds like another classic win by Manning and another classic choke by the Chargers;) 
Mom glad to hear you liked the pictures of the temple, I have lots of other sweet ones but those will have to do for now. I absolutely love going it´s sooooo cool in Spanish:) There is such a spirit there where you can just relax and think. I´m also glad that your primary program’s going well, it sounds like you´ve been real busy with your calling.  I sure love you and hope that you have another great crazy week:)
ALright lastly I´ll talk about our p-day today.  I was kinda bummed that we had to stay in the area and just play games but it was actually really really fun with all of the zone there.  Me and Da Silva wore our Colombia jerseys with beanies and sweet glasses (yeah he gave me them to wear) so yeah we were lookin pretty fly lol. We just played soccer and basketball all day oh dad! haha I dont know if I´ve grown at all but I can grab the rim now:) I was pretty proud of myself haha. It was funny cause my comp is a couple inches taller than me but he good barely touch it and I could grab and hang. But the pics are all of today, the new zone, me and my comp, and me, my comp and the gringo zone leader that lives in the house with us. Oh and ignore the wet spot on my butt lol I didn’t wet myself I just sat on the wet grass. Well hopefully next week you guys will have the privilege to look at pictures from the Gold Museum, and the Presidents house. But until then..........
                                                       Lots of love:)
                                                                              -Elder Crook

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Some Peoples Mothers Make Me Mad

Hey guys! so yeah we changed our p-day to today so we would be able to go to the temple. It was soooo awesome and great:) We went through a session and then took pictures for a while.  I understood quite a bit more this time and I think I got more out of it  too.  I remember my first session in  the Bogota temple.  I pretty much slept  the whole time cause I didn’t understand anything. There was a guy in our same session from Iowa, I was talking to him for a little bit after the session and found out that he is a lawyer for the Air Force. Haha he was about to leave but you know me I took advantage of him and asked a few questions about his career and how he liked being in the Air Force. He said in his opinion it was the best way to go to get school paid  for and has a great job that lets him travel the world. So I think the Air Force might definitely be an option for me when I go back to school.
Haha,  Dad my comp Elder D commented on my P-day clothes too. He told me they were super feo lol but I didn’t care I was just happy to be in normal clothes....which really aren’t normal clothes for me any more lol. Well nothing that exciting happened this week. I don’t really have any funny or cool stories to tell. But I`ll tell you about our day on Friday which was probably the most interesting. Well one of our favorite members of the ward was getting married to another one of our favorite members. They always have us over for lunch at least once a week and the lady is Costeno or from the coast so she cooks really good! but anyways while they were getting sealed we got called to go and help set up the reception in the church. We had a really busy day planned and during lunch the relief  society president called us and just told us to cancel all of our plans cause she really needed help. Well it sure would have been nice to have known  before but I guess the church is like that in all parts of the world.  But anyways, the relief society president’s house is a good 30 minute walk from the chapel. We had to carry ten tables from her house to the chapel, all of the food she had made (she is like the best cook in Colombia) and some of the instruments for the band to play. It took us like five hours of straight walking, then when we were done with that another member saw us and said ELDERS – you’re  gonna come help us carry the flowers! uhhhhh ok. Luckily their house wasn’t as far away as the other one. So we finally got everything in place and situated. I`m sure that the Enaou wedding reception wouldn’t have happened if it weren’t for us 2 big ol missionaries lol. But it was super awesome, they brought in a live band with huge speakers they use in concerts and it was probably just a little bit too loud to be a church function but thats ok lol. Soo like everyone was dancing and we were sitting at the table eating our food, haha well not everyone was dancing cause there were 2 girls about our age sitting at one of the other tables. They weren’t members so I`m sure they didn’t know that missionaries couldn’t dance. All they saw was a super handsome American lol and Brazillian. They were staring us down and it was kinda awkward so we got up and left but they followed us lol. Elder Da Silva was like "Hold me back compa cause I can’t help myself,  I really wanna dance!" I did lol, but I busted out a few moves of my own in the kitchen where we were helping serve people. Then I guess the pressure got too much for him cause right out of the blue he was like ALRIGHT we're leaving! We did have an appointment so we left a little bit early. It has been raining here quite a bit so when we left the party it was pouring so hard, like as hard as the time when Jed and Jenny came down for spring break and it rained all weekend. Luckily I had dads coat so I was fine and dry, but Elder D. didn’t have anything and by the time we arrived he was soaked to the bone lol. But I prefer this weather over really,  really hot so I´m good.   I guess all the rain that the youth prayed for to not come came here to Colombia.
But It sounds like you are doin good Shay:) I´m glad you won another race and I.m glad you actually like those church dances, Dad I guess if she at least likes the church dances she might be ok;) haha I hated those dances they were horrible for me. The funnest one I think I went to was when me,  Gage and Andrew went and watched a movie in our church clothes. Haha I hope Gage is reading this cause I´m sure he remembers that but Gage. Si hay un meta para bautismos ahora, es 153 bautismos cada cambio, no se porque 153 pero eso es la meta. Y tenas significa como intense o algo así, hay mucho jerga aquí y realmente no se que significa en ingles solo cuando a usar lol. Disfrutar su nuevo área suena como usted le encanta.
Well if you’re  wondering why the title of this letter is ¨some peoples mothers make me mad¨ its cause we were supposed to have 2 baptisms but we only had one. The lady we baptized is super awesome and she is soooo strong in the church.  She has a little boy named Mauricio and he is the one I took the picture with. He is the sweetest little boy ever. But anyways we were supposed to baptize a 14 yr old kid too. We had the signature of his mom to baptize him and everything, but when I went to pick him up with a member his mom wouldn’t let him get baptized. I started to argue that she had already signed and that she had a great kid who’s  looking for the things of God and not for the things of the world like all of the other kids. But she wouldn’t have it.  I finally had to cool it and leave cause I didn’t want to argue with the mom and make her mad.  It wasn’t a good way to start the day but it got a lot better with church and the other baptism after the meetings. In that aspect I love the mission, cause you can have a horrible downfall and be so mad, sad, and feeling sorry for yourself,  but then right after that you have to go visit with another person and forget about the bad and just be a happy , carefree missionary. But hopefully we´ll keep working with him and his mom and he´ll get baptized. 
HEY PA HAVE FUN RIDIN MOTORCYLCES WITHOUT ME! I hope it doesn’t rain on ya, just pray for the rain to come here, I can take it for you:)
Ok mom so you asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Really I can’t think of a whole lot except for maybe a little bit of money to buy souvenirs down here. I haven’t spent all that much, you know me I always get kind of scared to spend my money, but I’m only here for 2 short years so I want to have some things from Colombia. Also I would tell you to send me some new pants cause I absolutely hate every pair I own. They are like an inch too short for one, and are not tapered at all so I look like a chubby , fat munchkin in high waters when I wear them. But I got them all fitted by a guy for like 15 bucks, they look sooooooo much better now. Oh one other thing, any kind of church music I WANT. We are able to listen to music by the church so send me CDS!!! if you can find the ones you gave me from last Christmas that would be great, I also really would like the singles ward soundtrack, I want to listen to the grandpa song lol. It’s always fun when grandpa comes when grandpa comes HOORRAAAYYY. OHHH and a cd by Stephanie Mabie she has a few songs on the lds efy page and I love every one of them, I know I´ve got kind of a weird thing for her music but that and any others that you think I would like. haha love you guys sooooo stinkin much! have a great week and I´ll talk to ya next Monday!

                                      -Elder Crook

Monday, October 8, 2012

My amazing, awesome and beautiful sister!!!

Wow Shay, I can’t believe how different you look to me after only being gone for 4 months. I was like "holy crap" when I saw your picture and Elder Da Silva looked over and told me "Por que su hermana es tan bonita y usted es feo" (why is your sister so beautiful and you're so ugly.) Yea he's a funny guy but he's right! Shay you just keep being yourself and don't change for anything k! Honestly I'm going to repeat Nicole’s words to you that she told me in her email. This just couldn’t have happened to a better person. Man honestly one of the toughest things about being out here so far away from home is that I can’t be right there with ya watching ya grow up into an awesome young adult. I love ya Shay and just get used to dad always pestering you about boys and all that good stuff:) It’s just a part of life;) Oh and puuuuhhhhlllleaaaaasssee tell mom that the sweatshirt you wore of mine with the cut off sleeves is called a party vest. She's soooooo out of the loop lol. But keep that thing nice so I can wear it when I get back K!!
Alright so we had to push the museum of Gold back to next week cause we don’t have a lot of money and don’t want to pay lol. But next money is the assignation when we get our 80 dollars. yea assignation is every 15 days so I have to budget lol. But anyways we went to a park here in our zone that is really close. It is pretty hi up so we could see all of Bogota again and it was way sweeet. We went with hermanas that showed us the way. The one hermana in the purple shirt named Hermana Suarez from Argentina was pestering me so much because she wanted to be my mom lol, I told her I didn’t want any girls in my family but she wouldn’t have any of it and kept asking and asking to be my mom. So to make her mad I told her that I wanted her daughter (yes she is training) Hermana Ramirez of Mexico to be my mom so she would be my grandma lol. SO I have a mom and grandma now even though I am one cambio older than my mom Hermana Ramirez. So I took pictures with them and sent them to you. Haha does all that make sense? I sure hope it does but they are way fun to hang out with. Haha whenever they call us or I call them I always talk in the worst Gringo accent I can muster lol. 
So I did get to watch conference in English, yes every session! It was sooooooooo great! Me and Elder Deaton just sat in a room all by ourselves and watched and took notes and talked. Hey so when is Colton going on his mission? He could leave right away I’m sure. You guys will have to keep me updated I have to say that I liked the Saturday session more. I loved both talks by Elder Uchtdorf on Saturday. Me and Elder Deaton were laughing soo hard cause Elder Uchtdorf ALWAYS talks about planes. I also loved the talk that D. Todd Christofferson gave in the priesthood session with Elder Eyrings talk coming in at a close second. But my two favorites were Uchtdorfs Saturday afternoon. where he talked about being happy. Something he said applied soo well to the mission cause there are a lot of us missionaries that are serving only just to get it over with. He said why are we always looking to when things are ending? Why not enjoy the ride and the things we have and are doing now? I gotta admit, its super hard not to think about going home, but then I think really? what do I have to look forward to after I’m back with my family...more  school and being stressed out 100 times more than I am now. So yeah I think about home, Its impossible not to. But I am really really really loving my time here. 
Dad I’m not sure I like the countertops:/ lol maybe if I were there in person my opinion would change but from the pictures I prefer the old crappy laminate ones lol. and FREAK you mole story was hilarious, I just about died here in the internet cafe. but I have a story that WON'T make you jealous: So Elder Da Silva got fleas last week, definitely from Elder Suarez who didn’t tell me that he had fleas. He wasn’t as clean as he could have been. BUT the good thing is that I didn’t get one flea bite, I don’t know how cause our beds our like 2 feet apart but I didn’t get them lol. So we called the health lady of the mission and she sent a guy to fumigate the house. Yeah he was pretty covered in flea bites so the guy went to town fumigating. When he was done everything in our room was soaked with his flea killing pesticide. So we had to hang everything up, our sheets,  blankets,  pillowcases,  everything. That night I slept on just a mattress with almost every article of clothing I have on. It was the worst night of sleep ever lol. But what was funny was that he fumigated the 2 other Elders Room too and we didn’t know about it. So when they got back home at 9 all their stuff was soaked too. We were laughing so hard at them because they were really upset. You guys might think that was kinda gross and nasty but I think it’s awesome. Our house got fumigated by a guy that had a suit that looked like darth vader. Oh and I’m pretty sure I didn’t lose any brain cells or have some toxic disease lol. I’m still normal, and all the stupid fleas are dead. 
Well I sure love you guys, love hearing from ya, love looking at the pics, and love laughing at all your great stories from home. Oh and Thanks Melanie for the letter! keep me up to date K!

                                                 -Elder Crook:)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Brazilians are Legit!!!

Ok hello everyone!! I just got back from a great day at MONSERATTE!! Boy can I tell you that my companion is a lot different from Elder Suarez. I really liked Elder Suarez but he is VERY straight laced and very strict. Which was good for me cause now I know how to work and study hard and really know how to use all of my day and not waste a minute. But we butted heads a little bit on p-days cause I wanted to go do stuff and he....well I’m not going to talk about our problems lol. But he was a really awesome dad for me and I love him. But Elder Da Silva is sooooo soooo sooo cool. He has an amazing story.  He was baptized like 2 years ago and when he had a year in the church he left for the mission. He is one of the first Brazillians here in the mission as well. He has read the bible various times and really knows a lot of biblical knowledge. So we are always having awesome in depth biblical conversations and I love it sooo much. He also was asked to be a member of the stone masons in Brazil so he knows quite a bit about them and told me he’s been in their temple. But anyways he’s such a jokester, a member asked me how much time I had left in the mission and he responded...An Eternity Hermana, an eternity. Reminded me of something dad would say to me to poke fun. But our lessons are filled with excitement and happiness and he really is a great teacher and makes me want to be just like him. He has become like my best friend here and yes dad we have to communicate in Spanish only. Elder Suarez spoke broken English so when I didn’t understand something he could explain it for the most part. But the only English Elder Da Silva knows is from American music. Oh did I tell you he was a  punk  before the mission. He showed me pictures with long hair, skinny jeans and a nose piercing. He looked straight out of a punk rock band. So we talk music a lot too. But usually when I really don’t understand something he can understand me if I speak to him in basic English. So guess what!! my Spanish has really come along, I feel comfortable talking on the phone, talking in the stores, and of course talking to our investigators and members. My next goal is to get really good at teaching all the lessons and trying to put my touch on things, cause it’s still kinda hard to really put my personality into things but I know it will come.....i have an eternity to learn this stuff!!! Its been a long long process but my Spanish is doing great. I live with another fellow Gringo from California and when he met me he thought I had a year in the mission cause of my Spanish, so that made me feel good:) 
Alright dad I really had to laugh at all your stories:) the Zombie Apocalypse, your bike (by the way I rode my bike the last 2 days of college on just the rim!) and of course the countertops. I can remember when we were re doing the driveway and putting in those steps next to it, we worked all day filling the spaces with sand and stomping on the stones so they were jusssssssstttttttt right:) and afterwords we`d re do them again cause they weren’t perfect, personally I couldn’t tell a difference but I just kept on helping my dear old dad:) I felt a twinge of guilt or something like that for you when you said it has been frustrating for you, and I really wish I could help you with your project cause when I look back at all the good times we have had I really love remembering all of our projects:) AND DANGIT NACHO GOT ERASED FROM THE TV!!! I AM REALLLYYY SAADDD. 
Mom haha thanks for your stories about the kindergarten kids.  Sometimes I wish I could be a kindergartener again living life in ignorance not worrying about anything other than having fun. It amazes me how children, no matter what their circumstances are in life, always are laughing, playing and have a smile on their face. You can imagine that I have seen some places here where the kids don’t have all they need, and are placed in quite rough families, but for the most part they are happy. Haha Im glad you have got to go with Shay to do her Homecoming activities and look for dresses, I really am proud of her and she is growing up too fast I think. I kinda want her to go back to the days she just wore sweatshirts and b-ball shorts:) but oh well haha. WAY TO GO though sweetie on running another great race with all of the elite girls, I didn’t get a letter from you dangit!!!  I hope you didn’t go and cry after I reminded you to wear deodorant and not eat beans before your activities. LOVE YA TOOTS:) 
Ok wow this letter is turning into a novel lol but we went to Monseratte today (it was my second time, but my compas first) but we decided to hike up the mountain so we didn’t have to pay for the trolley. It was almost 3000 meters like straight up. there were straight stairs almost the whole way up. We got some awesome pics but boy was I sweatin lol, yess dad I know Im a wuss and a doughboy but it was a little harder than I expected in a full suit and backpack too. But we got to the top ( I kinda felt like Rocky) and enjoyed the view and bought a few souveniers and planned our next p-day activity, which will be going to the museum of gold and the house of the president of Colombia. Oh I also saw some of the pictures on my background of my laptop in person. Like the giant Catholic church and the statue of a man with all the graffiti on it, If you look on my computer you will know which one. I was so excited to see it and I will send you pics next week! CON MUCHO AMOR

                     -Elder Crook