Monday, April 8, 2013

The Best 2 days Ever!!!

So if I were to ask myself before the mission that I would completely enjoy 10 full hours of old guys in suits and ties talking, I would have thought that was crazy!! But now, my 2nd conference in the mission I savored every minute of those 10 hours that we got to watch General Conference. I absolutely loved the talks by Elder Holland and Elder Uchtdorf in the priesthood session. I´ll share a quote that I liked ¨Even though we´re far from perfect doesn´t mean that we can lower the expectations¨ I think that the best and most important thing that I learned from this conference is that you can´t make big changes all at once. Small and simple acts of obedience will make the big changes over time. I feel that a lot of the times I want to make huge changes to make myself tons better, but it´s not like that. Little by little and one step at a time. Honestly haha that was just about the best birthday present I have had EVER. Lol I have had some pretty darn good ones over the years but I just felt sooo grateful that on my birthday I got to sit in an air conditioned room and listen to the words of the prophet and apĆ³stoles. It was an awesome birthday even though there was no cake (or chocolate pie in my case lol), presents, or family. Just 3 of my other gringo buddies and conference haha in English of course! We had a great time Sunday too. The relief society president brought lunch for the 4 missionaries in our ward and we had a little picnic there on the grass of the Stake Center and ate chicken and rice. I also got to meet just about all of the missionaries in the 2 zones here in Cucuta as well. It was a really great weekend and I hope that even when I am home I can get this much out of a general conference. It just gives you a huge spiritual upboost and re-excites you to go and kick some butt being a missionary and be happy doing it. 
Anyways ma, I´m not sure where you’re getting your info but it is definitely  hotter than 85 here! Last week we stopped for a water break at a members house and his thermometer read 38 degrees celcius in the shade, I think thats like more than 100. And my little thermometer always is in between 31 and 33 in the mornings in the house which is like 89 to 95 I think (it has farenheit  but I always keep it on celcius). So I found out that in the night times that if you put water in the freezer then you soak your garment in the water and put it on to go to sleep it helps a lot! then when I wake up at night to go get another drink its all the way dry lol. But I am used to it now lol I still sweat like crazy though, you should see my shirt collars lol. 
Anyways I have had a great time in my new area working and all that jazz.  The people are a lot nicer here and last week someone even invited us into his home. That was a new experience haha, He is jehovahs witness but he didn’t want to fight with us or anything he just wanted to share with us what he was reading in his watchtower magazine lol, but then we taught him the Book of Mormon and he loves to read so he is in the process of reading a little bit. It was also cool cause he´s kind of an older dude, and I have never taught someone like that before. Also in our area we have like a really poor part and then to get back up to the main part we had to hike up a little hill thing but it´s like pure jungle and it´s pretty sweet. I´ll have to take my camera next time and take some pics and send them to you. As for this week you´ll only get pics of my sweet scripture cases and one of our gringo conference party. LOVE YOU ALL!!!!! .

-Elder Crook

Monday, April 1, 2013

Stop Wishing me Happy Birthday I don't Want to Turn 20

Well haha I didn´t tell you what happened to Elder Escobar lol. He´s still there back in Tunja.  He hasn´t gotten his visa yet and honestly I think he´ll have to wait a couple more months. BUT I have an awesome new companion in Elder Santillan from Ecuador, we´re honestly like almost the same person lol. He is AWESOME:) and is the 2nd comp that I have had that I can joke around with and really be myself. In sacrament meeting, I gave him some of my patented femur grabs and clavicle crushers, it continued from there in gospel principles with those elbow knocks that me and dad always give each other when we have our face resting on our hands. Then it even got to wet willys in priesthood. Yeah he didn´t know what one of those was lol, but we are kicking some butt here now. We have a couple people that could potentially be baptized but this week we are going to focus on finding lots and lots more people. But first off last week started off real slow. The day after I wrote you guys I got pretty sick and was throwing up pretty much all morning so we didn´t go to work that day and the next day I was still feeling like crap so we didn´t do a whole ton of things this last week. Haha funny sidenote, I am district leader now and had to cancel our first meeting cause I was throwing up.  I have hermanas in the district and they got MAD! I was a little thrown off and luckily I didn´t have any choice heated words with them cause that would have been bad lol (I held my tongue and let the hermana chew me out for not letting her know earlier lol, even when I called them right after I had started to upchuck) but then I commented that to my comp and he´s just like,¨oh....thats pretty normal lol¨ So I´m going to try my best to get along with them lol.  Also when I said it was hot, it´s not like anything I haven´t ever seen before cause I´ve lived in Utah, but the thing that was hard to get used to was the house, which is hotter than outside usually. I have my little thermometer and it´s usually around 95 degrees in the house which makes it quite hard to sleep at night. I thought it was weird that there wasn´t any blankets in the house but now I know why. I sleep in my garments on my bed with no sheets, blankets or anything and never get cold. We have a fan blowing full blast all night lol. Haha and the showers are cool too, there´s only one knob that is marked F for ( friĆ³) lol. So it kinda feels like when you go swimming and the air around you is hot but the water is cold. Showers are about my favorite thing here lol. But other than that I have gotten used to the hotness and now I quite like it. Oh and everyone we meet gives us cold water lol, at first I was like thanks but holy crap I am going to have to pee like 50 times during the day today, but nope it all goes out as sweat lol, so YES we do drink a ton of water here ma and YES I am very conciencious about applying sunscreen to my poor white skin. OH also I broke out in zits horribly the first couple days, I think it was from sweating so much lol, but my guatemalan buddy who lives in the same house saw me popping em and told me that he has the same problem and that he drinks aloe vera juice to get rid of his zits lol. He has a few aloe vera leave things and he just takes all of the stuff inside (the stuff you use for sunburns) and then mixes it with water and drinks it lol. I did it a couple times but I have my doubts that it actually helped. My zits have pretty much all completley gone away by now so I´m happy.
Well other than that I don´t have a whole lot to say, except for that I am back to that happy go-lucky Elder that I was:) Yeah there was a family back in Tunja that I did/gave everything that I possibly could so that they could get baptized but things just didn´t work out and I was very very bummed, to the point where it was affecting everything else that I was doing there and even my letters I think. I feel like the last few weeks I haven´t been a very good writer to you guys. BUT now I feel better and still am a little bummed but better and with the attitude to work hard and kick some butt here in Cucuta with ol Santy. 
Anyways I have got to get going, but thank you all for your letters and for wishing me a happy birthday even though  I´m not at all thrilled to turn 20, I´m already an old fart! I have 5 more days left of my teenage life and it’s not like you can do anything really tennagey when you are representing Jesus lol, so heads up for when I turn 21 in a year. DON¨T WISH ME A HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! haha but really thank you mom, dad, toots, grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles that have wished me a happy b-day, I love you all like crazy!!!! Well I got to go, but shay you can get started on making scooter gang jackets for me, you and dad then one day in the near future we can all go wreak havoc with our scooter friends in the mean streets of MINGUS PARK:)  

-Elder Crook

The Hottest Room on Earth - Mar. 26

Wellll first of all congrats to big ol Lane Wayment! thats got to be pretty exiting for all of their fam to be getting ready for his wedding, Also to Todd who I´m sure will be leaving right after he turns 18:) I love the Wayment family and thanks for sendin me those e-mails it´s really cool ro see whats going on up in your neck of the woods.
Speaking of woods lol I got transfered up north tooooooooooo..............................CUCUTA! We finished out the week there in Tunja and at around 11:30 at night they called me and said to pack my bags cause I was headed to Cucuta. Well it took me about until 2.30 in the morning to pack my bags and get some sleep. Then we had to get up at 6 so I coud leave to Bogota at 7. Moises and Melinda might be asking why I didnt just go straight to Bucarramunga and then to Cucuta from there and that is a VERY GOOD QUESTION. It would have taken about 6 hours off the journey. But so anyways I woke up and went to Bogota whuch is a 3 hour ride , then from there, me and a few other missionaries went to Bucurramunga which the road passes through Tunja. From Bogota to buccuramunga is about 11 hours and we left there at 12 in the afternoon, then we got to Bucca at about 11 and left to Cucuta at 12. Then we got into Cucuta at 6 in the morning. Man that was the worst freaking trip I´ve ever been on. Those busses are the most uncomfortable things ever! So I got here at 6 in the morning and immediatley started to sweat. AT 6 IN THE MORNING. Then we got to the house and it was even hotter inside, I honestly just about died, O didnt thing ut would affect me that much but it has been. So I went in and went right to sleep on my bed cause I was really tired. Then I woke up at 9:30 and the heat hit me like a wall. It´s making me all light headed and woosy and I just have to get used to it lol. 9 months in tierra fria will do that to ya, so it was a big change. Honestly I don´t think I´ve stopped sweating since I´ve gotten here. Right now I´m sitting in the internet and it has like 20 million fans going bu they are just blowing hot air lol. But anyways my new comp is named Elder Santillan and he´s from Ecuador, he has the exact same time as me in the mission cause we started on the same day and is pretty cool. I still havent got to know him very well yet exept for the basics. But Cucuta looks like a really really awesome place and I really exited I just have to get used to the heat. I know I sound like a big whiner but it´s really kickin my butt lol. I´ve been drinkin lots of water though which is good.
Shay,way to go on your race and I hope you can make your season to where you can peak at state so you can smoke everyone there. But way to go and I will continue to pray for you and your season, keep me up to date k!
Well i´m sure you guys are at good ol mount bachelor right now enjoying the snow, gotta send me pics! Here we don´t have spring breaks we have semana santa or holy week. When we were going to church last sunday we saw some guys coming out of the catholic church in ku klux klan uniforms carrying flags and banners and stuff. I can´t lie it scared me a bit, but I think it´s just a thing that the catholic church does down here to Celebrate. anyways I will be sending you guys some pictures for sure next week of my first p-day here in Cucuta. But right now all I fell like doing is going and jumping in an ice bath lol, then going to sleep some more. But I LOVE YOU ALL SOO DARN MUCH!!!!!! hope you guys have a great spring break and that everyone is safe:) LOVE YOU ALL

-Elder crook

Just another p-day in the life of the studliest missionary there ever was - 3-18-13

So yes it turns out that we did sleep in the temple. It wasn`t actually in the temple.  They have like a hotel thing for the people who have to travel far to go to sessions and whatnot. It`s more like the MTC here though, one room had 3 bunkbeds and we slept 6 missionaries to a room. It was tons of fun and I got to see Elder Albrect and Elder Da Silva.  It`s weird after about 4 and a half months here in Tunja, I know hardly anyone  in the Bogota Zones.  Elder Albrect who is in Bogota now knew like everyone, lol but it was tons of fun! Elder D only has 3 months left in his mish, then he`ll be headin back to Brazil.  But it made me feel good to hear him say that I was one of his favorite companions. Then Albrecht and I, I swear will be like best friends for life, he`s freaking awesome and we both have like the same personalities. But anyways we got to hear from Elder Marcus B. Nash. I remembered him from the last conference cause I loved his talk and especially his quote,” your future is as bright as your faith.” He was really cool and yes I took notes in Spanish. It was funny cause the General authorities always invite us to come and shake their hands before the meeting starts. So in the MTC we had a guy named Elder Wadell speak to us and we all gave him hugs. The next one was Elder Christofferson.  When I went in to give him a hug, he denied me hardcore and I felt kinda stupid. So this time I was thinking, “Alright a good firm handshake will do”,  but no, he went in to give me a hug and I half denied him, half hugged him and it just ended up being a weird half hug with one of my arms caught in between us lol. Oh also I was the first one up to give him a handshake so just about half the mission saw it lol. But it was all good. Although I was all geared up to have a push-up contest with both ol man Andelin and Bro. Nash but it never happened. I can do around 90 straight now. Anyways after that we`ve just had a normal week just working hard and having a little bit of fun. There was a marriage of some of the investigators of the other Elders here and the daughter asked me if I could play the “marche nupcial” or the marriage song for her parents when they walked down the aisle. So I had it all ready to go, I was gonna start out with the one that’s just all chords and it gets louder and louder than halfway through switch to, “Here comes the bride, big fat and wide´ but turns out that it’s against church policy to play that song in the Chapel, so  I was off the hook and they just played some soft music while walking I guess (I wasn`t in the ceremony because we left to go have a lesson and missed it all) but that was fun.
Oh also I gotta tell you guys something, I think I`m becoming more like dad lol. I thought that being here would make me be a little more calm and under control and not fly of the handle as much, but no. I won`t bore you with all the details, but our district leader told me that it was against the rules to have a baptismal interview outside of the church.  That’s not true. I was a bit ticked cause our investigator lives in a pueblo that is 45 minutes away and we had everything ready to go out there to interview him. So when he told me this I got kinda mad and asked how he knew that.  He said the zone leaders told him.  I basically told him that the zone leaders don`t know squat and to get his mission handbook out with me and read the page about baptismal interviews. He started to argue and I started to yell a little bit and then decided to cool it and talk to president. So I talked to president about it, and he told me it was fine of course then asked me to call the dude. I`m pretty sure it was to give him a butt chewin. I know that was kind of a small thing so I told myself I need to be a calmer, nicer, more polite person, and I´m working on it lol. Just wanted to share that with you guys cause I remember coming home from school one day and the first thing I heard was dad screaming on the phone at the direct tv guy lol.  Can`t lie pa, I`m still scared of ya when you’re a yellin, man.   You don`t even have to pinky pin me. I`ll lay down and pin myself lol, then I`ll go and have to change my  pantaloons cause they`d be all wet with fear urine. 
Anyways that was my week, hope you guys are all doin well with work, school, filling callings, HOME TEACHING WITH OL FARTS;) and trackin it up. Shay go kick some butt for me out there, who knows if I can even make it around the track without collapsing. But keep working hard and tell me how it went, I`ll be prayin for ya!  

-Elder Crook