Monday, November 25, 2013

Happiness in a Nutshell

Well it´s honestly so good to get to hear from you guys every week. It´s weird because president just sent us the guidelines for talking to our families for Christmas. It just hit me BOOM! and made me super excited to get to see you guys again. Lots of things have changed since last Mother’s day and I am just so much more happy. SO 1 more month and we´re talkin! Haha well to start off yep dad you’re right about Elder Hicken´s dad.  He´s Greg Hicken the orthopedic surgeon from Logan. Did you know him well or not so much? I told him and we were both pretty surprised to realize that our dads might know each other. I know that I have said this before but he has become an awesome friend here in Suba and we spend every p-day together. It´s so funny because he was just telling me about the first hobbit movie and he got a kick out of how mom just kinda softly rejected the idea of going and watching THE 9:00 AM SESSION OF THE NEW HOBBIT. I think it´s funny that it´s at 9 o clock in the morning but maybe you guys could go and watch the 2 hobbits and then the full trilogy of the Lord of the Rings. There ain’t nothin bigger un that for a 25th year aniversary. Mom how can you not just resist that offer. Well whatever you do, I congratulate you for your wonderful marriage and amazing example you have been to us kids. 
Haha so pa I liked your quote, ¨the more miserable it is, the more you´ll remember it.¨ Well that was not the case this Thanksgiving, turns out I just completely forgot about the wonderful holiday (hence, one more step to achieving my true Colombian nationality). Until Elder Hicken told me Happy Thanksgiving.  We were doing a baptismal interview Thursday and I was just like DANG, it´s Thanksgiving. Then it didn´t even cross my mind again really until now. Even though last years will be more memorable with the pigs feet and beans, I liked this year because I didn´t even have one tiny bit of homesickness like I did last year. Which brings me to my next point:)
So it really is just wonderful and a truly amazing experience to be here.  One night last week after having a good busy day I was unusually tired, so after planning I went to my workout/clothes room and sat on my meditating box (the box of books of mormons I use to do toe raises on) I usually just sit there for a while and think back on the day we had. So I was engaged in this when a ginormous feeling of peace, happiness, tranquility, and just sheer joy came over me. It almost made me cry, but to let you all know I am not that sappy anymore lol. But I just reflected on when in the history of my life had I ever felt this same feeling. All of the memories had to do with our family. Memories of Dad coming back to our house in Utah after a long period spent in Oregon. Memories of waking you guys up early on Christmas, others of me getting home from college, or just those good plain old days when we were able to spend dinner together at the table. So Why I thought, If I´m a thousand miles away from my family and haven’t seen them in over a year am I feeling this way. And I tell you it´s because my relation with God and Jesus has gotten better, I have step by step gotten just a little closer to where they are and it´s an amazing feeling. Then I just couldn´t even imagine combining the 2 things, having my family close and the gospel that helps us come closer to Christ. Honestly I am little by little being able to understand more and more about happiness and peace with a whole lot more to go, but it´s awesome just to step back and enjoy the ride:)
So pa to answer your question about the buffe, I sure did gag;) haha I don´t know why sometimes I can´t control that reflex but I forced the half masticated food down my throat and unfortunately it got caught going down. So for a few minutes before I could get out of lunch I had a big lump thing in my esophagus that I couldn’t get out even with gulping a million times. I had to eat some bread afterwards lol. Other funny tidbits of my week are that there is always a cool old guy in the other ward that I talk to every Sunday morning. I met him a few weeks ago when he walked up to me and said Elder Crook! Do you like american football? in english, I very surprised said si haha. Then we started a very detailed conversation in both english and spanish about the NFL, haha he has been keeping me up to date on all of the sunday night and Monday night games. It was super funny because he told my comp that he schedules his family home evening before the game starts so he can be able to watch the whole thing. He is just about my favorite old guy in the world right now:)
So we had 2 baptisms last week and they turned out super well. They were references from a member and next month we will baptize the other daughter of the mom and her soon to be husband if they don´t move out of our ward. But the lady and her daughter got up afterwards and bore their testimonies on how they had received all different types of churches and missionaries in their home but they were really just waiting to hear our message. They are AWESOME!! Haha Elder Landa baptized the mom and I baptized the niña lol. Everyone was so worried about how Elder Landa is so small and skinny and they all thought he was going to drop the mom in the water, she is kind of tubby. But everything turned out fine, then I baptized the daughter who is skinnier than Landa (now thats saying something) and everyone after made fun of me for how fast and hard I did it. One even said it sounded like she did a belly flop when she entered in the water so it was a good funny experience.  Next time I guess I´ll be more gentle. 
Well next Monday is the changes again. Like dad says the time is just flying by faster and faster. President asked me in my last interview ¨how do you feel your progression is coming so far.¨ I just said well I feel like the time is going by way too fast and I am progressing way too slow. He then told me that I was probably doing a good job lol. So really the pace has really picked up since I hit the year, but I don´t think they´ll change me or my comp, we´re working way too good together. Also a shout out to Jed and Jenni and the boys, thanks for wrting me!!! really good to hear from you guys:) Love you grandma and grandpa Crook and Geddes and thank you Cindi for the nice letter that you sent. I love you all and really hope that everyone has a great week!!!
-Elder Crook

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