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