Monday, August 27, 2012


Alright guys I'm sorry that my last letter was kind of all over the place but I forgot to take notes in my journal and go off of that. But First of all I am so happy to hear from you guys and that you are doing well. Dad how was your motorcycle ride. Mom how is work. And Shay I’m so freaking jealous of you that you get to swim, jump off rocks hurt yourself and all that good stuff. Let me know how school is going, XC and all your other activities like journalism and stuff. I sure love you all!
Ok so first I want to reitterate that Bogota is literally crazy. Crossing the streets is like a human game of frogger and just when you think the busses can’t get anymore full, there are still more people that squeeze on . I usually end up squished against a window or something like that. We get about 80 bucks every 2 weeks so I am doing pretty good with food. We eat lunches with members and outside of that I pretty much live off eggs, pancakes and top ramen. Shay if I could find Pasta Roni here I would totally be eating that like every night. We usually eat a big lunch and work through dinner then eat when we get home around 9 or 930. There have been some funny things that have happened to us lol. Like yesterdays lunch. Everything was pretty good except for this vegetable salad. haha you guys know how much I like vegetables. So I had finished everything but the salad and the sister said elder! eat your salad. It reminded me of 2 things, 1 dad always yelling at me to eat my food or he’d set the timer and 2 from napolean dynomite when napolean says Tina!! eat the Food! so I had a good chuckle. I could tell my comp didnt like it either but he ate his like a champ. Lol I ate it all and my face was sore afterwards trying not to grimace, and also gag it back up on the plate lol. Other funnies are that one lady we contacted said are you guys ready to jump out of the second floor if I let you come over. Because God gives missionaries wings and sometimes my door is locked. I didnt really understand what she was trying to say, but I think she was a little loco. Also we made a sign that said,” your family can live together forever” for one of our contacting activities. We asked a man to read it who always is joking with us missionaries but will never listen to our message. Anyways when he read it he said, su taverno esta abierto. your tavern is open. I about fell down on the street dying with laughter and I seriously couldn’t control myself for a good 5 minutes. It was freakin hilarious. Oh! also I forgot to mention in my last letter that Elder D. Todd Christopherson came and spoke to the Bogota north and south missions and also all the kids in the mtc. This was on Saturday so we got to go back to the Mtc for the conference. It was awesome and I got to shake his hand! Then he also spoke on Sunday at our stake center. I liked his Sunday talk better because a lady in front of me that I was talking with before the meeting started translating it for me in her broken English. Yes even though I dont want to admit it I am still not fluent. But I got to see Elder Albrecht again who was probably my best friend in the Mtc, also Elder hill, they were my favorites from the MTC. 
Ok so I got to baptize my first person on saturday night!! I was so nervous cause she had a hard name to pronounce and I didnt want to mess up. But all went well except for I forgot to shut my eyes while saying the baptism prayer. Afterwards I was soooo happy and it was just an awesome night. Elder Suarez baptized a 16 yr old kid named Christian, he is gonna be a missionary in 3 years and he is so awesome. I baptized a lady named Sandra, she has 2 little girls Daniela and Gabriela and they are so cute! I have a great time trying to communicate with her because she is from the coast and speaks really fast lol. Oh I also learned something. Everything that can go wrong at a baptism will go wrong. We forgot that our investigators needed to have the holy ghost confimed on them in the same day because this last Sunday we couldnt do it because of the apostle. We needed a member of the bishopric to be present and on top of all that there was absolutey no hot water at all. The water in the font was frigid. Probably, the closest thing I'll get to baptizing someone in a lake or the ocean. So we started about an hour late but all went well after that. It was such a great night that I will never ever forget. 
I love you guys soooo Much, You too shay! I pray for you every night! Oh dad, can you send me a leg workout that I can do without any weights. that would be awesome. ok im gonna attach some pictures so you guys can see what Ive been up to. 

                                         Elder Crook

Monday, August 20, 2012

Adventures of the Gringo and Peruvian

Ok SOOOOO im sure your all wondering where im serving but surprise! Im still in Bogota serving in the area Jordan(prounounced hordan). Its soooooo legit and I just love it. I have a comp named elder suarez and he is from peru. He is my trainor and I absolutley love him. Well I`ll first start where i left off 2 weeks ago. We went proselyting in Bogota south and that was way sweet. But nothing really exiting happened. then after that we got ready to leave the CCm and left tuesday morning. One of my pics i sent was of our gringo district in the Colombia CCM 3 of them went to Barranqilla so they left super early. Then us bogota northers left at around 8 and then had interviews with the president who is awesome by the way. And then ate the first homecooked meal in 2 months cooked by sister Andelin it was sooooo good lol. then it was off our areas. By this time i didnt know where i was going or who my comp would be but we all walked into the chapel full of our trainors and I saw an elder and just knew he was going to be my trainor. I told Elder Albrecht and when Pres Andelin called my name he called the name of the Elder I had picked out. It was awesome, Elder Albrecht was like WOW how did you know. Haha i guess i just knew lol. But he is such a hard worker and you all know that I am definitley gonna keep up with him. I didnt ever unpack we just dropped my stuff off and went straight to work. Bogota is sooo freaking crazy, its as loud as heck so when we talk with people in the streets its so hard to hear and let alone understand. There is always music playing....haha I didnt know how I was gonna live without music but I think i listen to more here than i ever have in my life. they mostly play latino hip hop but every now and again I hear a song i know and i cant lie, sometimes I bob my head to it and sing a long in my head. but elder suarez does it too so I think its ok lol. But man is it a change!! holy cow the streets are always filled with people and busses and motorcyles weaving thier way through, my 1st full day I seriously almost got hit by a taxi because I think they dont care if they hit people or not. I saw a guy fall on his bicycle and a taxi wizzed literrally inches past him. But all is well!! Oh let me tell you about the busses. The one we always ride is called the alimentador and it is free. SOOO that means it is always maxed out with people. Most of the time me and Elder Suarez are practically hanging out the door. haha the first time I rode it my button in my back pants pocket got caught in the door so when it shut (they shut violently) it yanked me back and I thought for sure I would end up in the street but I didnt lol. It just ripped my buttonoff lol, bye bye button. But the thing I was most surprised about was that on saturday night there is hardly a soul in the street, the are all out partying. I was astonished lol. Oh my goodness Iam sitting in the internet cafe and a song by deaf Leapord came on. Ohhhh im in heaven right now. Have you ever needed someone so bad!!! have you ever wanted someone you can`t have!! oh boy that was very unmissionary like but iam getting to the missionary stuff.

We have 5 scheduled baptisms in the next 2 weeks!! Only 1 of them is from the last companisnship of Elder Suarez. So that means that I have invited 4 progressing investigotors to baptism. It is so crazy how many people have just been looking for something like this gospel for their whole lives.
Anna, Andres, And Monica. I contacted this family my first night in Colombia. haha elder suarez mad it my goal to contact someone and get an appt, adress and telephono all by myslef. So i did  it and they said yess!! the next day when we stopped by thier house to visit, Elder suarez told me he had contacted this hous and that monica was interested but since there was no parents home he couldnt teach her. I couldnt believe it because I had contacted their mom on the whole other side of town. god definitley wanted us to go to that house again. so on the first lesson we felt they were ready and Andres 11 and Monica 16 are getting baptized!!! on the 7 of september. Anna the mom needs to get married first which I hope she will because she really has a desire to become a member.
Flor and Carol. We had had such a bad day my first full day out, got yelled at, someone tryed to take my money. He more like asked for it and when I just stared at him he ran away but then we came to this golden door. We knoocked and I said to Elder suarez Este es la puerta de oro. This is the golden door. he said this is the golden family. and when they opened the door he straight away asked if he could use the bathroom. by this time i guess he really needed to go. then we got a return appt and Flor the mom is getting baptized on the 7 as well. (The 7 is only if the attned church 3 straight times in a row which so far so good)

I really wish i could tell you more but I have to email the president and I have 5 minutes left of my hour, we have 2 baptisms this saturday so next monday I will send you the pics. I love you guys soooooooo sooooooo much and want to let you know that I am doing amazing.

                         Elder Crook

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

ultimo semana

Thanks Adam! I really enjoyed your letter and am glad to hear the new baby is doing well as well as her Momma. Thx for sharing some of those scriptures with me but seriosly, you don´t have to flatter me by saying I´m not weak cause I´m weak in just about everything right now lol, but I like Ether 12;27 where it says the Lord gives you weaknesses that they may be made strong. So I have a lot of work to do but I know I can be a strong missionary someday lol. But Thanks again for the mail. I love hearing from you guys.
Haha mom Im glad you commented on the efy music cause it kinda gave me a little chuckle to hear you listen to those songs while running. However I do like walking in sunlight but I like another song by the same artist and its called your light. This one sounds even more like taylor swift and it might just be my favorite. Dad, Im glad to hear shay is back to being an ol stubborn hefer like usuall;) She sounded so happy in her last letter I forgot that about her. We all love you though Shay, You have such a Sweet sweet spirit lol. Anyways I think it took about a week here in the Colombian CCM to surpass my high school knowlege and know I feel like I´m a decent ways further than I was in high school. In sacrament every week the president announces who will be talking right on the spot. So this week I got to bless the sacrament (haven´t done this since I was home) and give a 5 minute discurso on service (which I have´t done since college). It went good and I think all the latinos were surprised cause after they were all like oooohhhhhhhh you talk so good lol it was funny, and I even managed to throw in a chiste (joke) while I was speaking. All I said was ¨this missionary is VERY exited to serve the colombians¨¨ Latinos will laugh at everything so they busted up, i tied it into my service topic so i thought it was kinda goofy but i wasn´t expecting them to laugh. Also I was in a lesson with a latino as an investigator and he told me he was a carpinter, so i was like ohhhhh just like Jesus right? he couldn´t stop laughing for a good 2 minutes and neither could my latino comp I was teaching with. So you guys prolly think that was just dumb and stupid when I said those words but the latinos just have a different sense of humor. (This I know because all of their chistes are horrible lol). Anyways My comp for proselyting 2 sats ago said I could prolly be decently fluent with 3 months in the field, he said I could talk better than any of his american comps the tricky part is understanding. So Im hoping by at least christmas I will be pretty well off.
I´m glad to hear Davis´ got moved all good and that the garage floor looks better now than it did. It was also good to hear that Jed was thinkin of me and that he is nice enough to give some money. Well tell Jed and Coach Ainsworth hi for me if you see or talk to them any more. Oh I almost forgot we get to go proselyte again this saturday in the Bogota South area of Bogota!! I´m pretty exited cause saturday will prolly be the only time I´m out of my mission for the next 2 years.
Ok so we leave the CCM next tuesday morning and then I have no clue what is gonna happen after that. I´ve heard from other missionaries that Bucaramenga could be my first area cause thats were a lot of the new missionaries go, but I have no idea this being the first tranfer for our new mission pres. Also I´m not sure if I´ll get a chance to e-mail next week or not. Everyone says that P days are mondays so if that is the case you will get an e-mail from me in 2 mondays from now. This is all just my speculation though so I could be wrong. anyways expect pictures form me!!!! I will finally be able to send them so I will try to send a lot and a vid from on the top of monserrate. Also I love to recieve pictures from you guys no matter what they are. I dont know if you saw the picture of gage by the cookie monster car but it freaking made my day! Thanks for sending that Nicole:) I´m glad to see gage is doin well and i´m sure he´s a stud right about now. Love you all like crazy!!!

                                                                                     -Elder Crook

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

I was born in the MTC

Alright so i don´t have a whole lot to say this week, there has been lots of changes and I´m liking some and disliking the others. Last sunday in church I understood almost every word, ecxept for the latinos who speak like 1000 miles an hour, I can only catch a word here or there or when they try to catch thier breath. So my understanding is getting better but my speaking is staying the same I think. I can teach all the lessons decentley but now i have been trying to bring some of my personality into the lessons because I know if i teach with exitement and happiness I know people will be more receptive. It´s just extremely hard to express myself or crack a little joke here and there, but I´m working on it. Also it feels as if I have lived my whole life here in the Colombia CCM, and dad CCM stands for Cento de CApitacion Misioneros or somethin close to that and it is interchangeable with MTC. but I did finish the BOM this week and am now gonna try to finish Jesus the Christ by the time I leave cause I don´t have a copy. Anyways yes we did ride the tram to the top of monserrate and it was sooooo cool. My ears were poppin like crazy, haha and on the way down we were with some people that found out we were american missionaries and started filming us in the tram, it was weird but whatever. I have actually learned a lot about different religions here because all of our teachers are converts and yes they are all colombian and won´t speak english to us. So I have talked to them about Catholics and jehovahs witnesses, one of our teachers was even studying to become a Catholic priest and then he met 2 missionaries. Pretty amazing, I love all of my teachers and I think they really like teaching the Americans too. Also we have been getting practice being investigators for the new Latin group. It is so funny to see how far we´ve come in teaching skills. I know that we made the exact same mistakes our first week and it´s just great to see that we´ve actually been making progress. So in my first lesson being an investigator the Latino companionship asked me what they could have done better and all I said was ¨What is my name? and then told them not to worry.
So Way To Freaking Go Shay!! I got tingles runnin down my back when you said you won! I´m real proud of you for that. I hope you´ve been having an awesome time in Utah and it sounds like some crazy weather, tell both grandparetns I love them and I hope you learned a whole lot from that camp for next season. Just wanna let you know that I´ve been praying for you lots lately, I know that junior and senior years I definitley grew a lot and had waaaaaayyyyyy more fun then freshman and sophmore years. Remember that I sure love you lots and am expecting to hear from you every week now that you´re busy summer is com ing to an end. Even if its just a few sentances i wanna Know!!!
I am actually counting down the days untill i´m into the field and it can´t come fast enough. I know there will be a steep steep learning curve and that it´s gonna be stinking hard for the first few months till I can get a grasp of the language but I just wanna get out there and try to do some actuall work. I know that I can definitley make up for my lack of knowlege and the language if I just give everything over to the spirit and throw myself into the work, which is what i´m planning to do.

                                             Elder Crook