Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tick . . . . Tock . . . Tick . . Tock . TickTock

Hola Familia,

            This week has been so crazy. Time goes by so fast it is unreal, I can’t even believe it in the first place ha ha. Last P-day we played soccer with our district and that was way fun. Other than that we just knocked on doors ha ha. We try and talk to as many people as we possibly can. We have meetings with our district all the time. It is nice to see other missionaries. A lot of the appointments that we set up fall through. Which is so sad, I wished that they would all work out and that the people would be able to hear our message. I love to study in the morning and learn more of the doctrine.
            One of our investigators became sick and had to go the hospital. We went to the hospital to visit but were unable to find him. The hospital was filthy. I can’t believe the situations there compared to those that we have in the states. It is unreal how people in Peru live and how humble they are.
            Part of our area is so far way that we have to take a bus there. It is where our laundry is done. The people are very poor but seem more than willing to accept the gospel. Church is always so nice to be at. It is fun to see when our investigators come to Church and keep their promises. But it is frustrating when they don’t come. We only had 3 people come this past week to Church. We do have a couple of investigators that will most likely have a baptismal date for some time in Septiembre (September).

            This past Sunday we ate at the Bishop’s house, geez I have never eaten so much food. It was so good. I didn’t eat dinner that night or breakfast the next morning because I ate so much. But the food here is good and nothing else has made me sick yet ha ha. I will be able to hike anywhere in church shoes after this ha ha. It is like going straight up mountains. We pretty much eat chicken, rice and potatoes all the time. Pretty much every day is the same. I like it though, it is nice to be able to spend time talking with people. My Spanish is coming along but I do wish I could speak better. I can understand a lot more than I am able to speak. They all talk too fast but it will come, I know that. Thank you so much for all the support. Everyone take care.

Love, Elder Cooley

Arequipa Flag

Interesting Facts about Arequipa

Population: 844,000 
Elevation: 8,268 feet 
Average Winter Temperature: 60 degrees F 
Average Summer Temperature: 58 degrees F

Thursday, August 21, 2014


Hola Familia,

Well I finally made it to Arequipa. The city is amazing and I know that this is where I am supposed to be. I really love everything about it so far. The flight was really short and then we went around the city a little while to see everything.

My companion’s name is Elder Snyder and he is from Ohio. He has been on his mission for 23 months so I will only have him as a trainer for 6 weeks instead of 12, which will be interesting. He is really good at speaking Spanish and is teaching me a ton. He is a lot like me and we get along really well. This week has been rough in the sense of trying to speak Spanish, but I know that the Lord will help me. We live in a tiny room in a weird complex. We sleep in bunk beds and share a bathroom with someone we have yet to meet. The water pressure is awful.  The heater on the showerhead works pretty well but it is nothing like the states.

The food here is amazing. I have finally got diarrhea ha ha. We have a pesionista that cooks all three meals for us, which is really nice. It was my companion’s birthday on Tuesday so we have eaten a lot of cake, which is so good.

The area that I am in is the Hunter Arequipa Daniel Alcides Carrion barrio (neighborhood). The days have been flying by and I want them to slow down. It is a very hilly area and walking is pretty much hiking everywhere ha ha. Which is nice but hard work. We are up in the mountains kind of. It is very dirty but nicer then Lima. I am so grateful to live in the states. It is insane to see how some people live. But they are so happy and so nice and we always get food and soda when we teach the familias (families). I definitely view the world different now.

We are both brand new to this area and the missionaries before us did not do a good job. So we have been working hard to contact and get used to all the people. We did have 8 people come to church this week, which is great for the area. We have a baptism set up for the 13 of September, for Quterio and Junio. They are older and need to get married but they don’t have enough money to get married. Then we have been teaching a family which will most likely get baptized, Angelica, Milagros and Guerrimo, and Pablo. That is one thing, remembering names is so hard and pronunciation is near impossible. We have also been teaching Gonzolo, he is 20 and really interested. The people are more than willing to hear our message about the truth. I can’t say much but I know that the spirit talks through me to the people. I just wish I could say exactly what I want to say when I want to say it. We have been teaching a lot of less active members also.  We are working 100% of the time, which keeps my mind busy.

Just know that I am doing great and am loving being out in the field. Thank you guys for everything and the spirit you bring is amazing. I miss you but it is so worth it. I still pray for you everyday. Have fun this next week can’t wait to hear about the deer hunt.

I love you all and thanks for everything,

Elder Cooley

Friday, August 15, 2014

Arequipa Arrival

He is there!!!

We received the following pictures on Wednesday from the Mission home in Arequipa. 

Friday, August 8, 2014

Semana 5

Hola Familia,
Scripture Cases
This week has been a wonderful week with many great times. These past 5 weeks have gone by so fast. The days are long but the weeks are incredibly fast. Last Wednesday we got new roommates; Elder Bodily is from Lehi, Utah and Elder Asay is from Texas. They are a nice change from having Latinos in our room although I wish that they were still in our room because they really helped a lot with the language. The Latinos are so nice. We get new ones in every 2 weeks and all are incredible.
On Thursday and Friday I finally went to Interpol and Migracions. It was way sketchy, there were wild cats running around and finger printing was interesting. My picture was not straight and I look like a killer. I have heard that a lot of missionaries don’t get their I.D. till quite some time into their mission. Also some have to fly to Ecuador to renew their visas. After we got done we were able to go to Pizza Hut and eat some pizza. I have never wanted pizza hut in my life so badly. Saturday was nothing really to great just a ton of studying, the usual day. Sundays are by far the best day of the week, besides P-day. We listened to a talk by Elder Richard G Scott. He talked on how to communicate with Dios (God). He said "Pray even when you have no desire to pray.” That is so powerful. Praying is essential and Satan doesn’t want you to pray because of the comfort received from of our loving Heavenly Father. Sometimes we won’t get a answer right away but that time is to let us struggle, to let us grow, and to increase our faith. Fasting 24 hours on Sunday was awesome. I challenge everyone to try it, but make sure you have a purpose to fast. It is very helpful and prayers really are answered. Monday was another great day and I got to go outside of the compound to exchange the last of my American money. On Tuesday we had Elder Wadell from the Quorum of the 70 in the South American area come and talk to us. He is serving till 2029. He had a really good message. It was about how the whole purpose of missionary work is to get people to enter the temple and baptism was not nearly as important. Obedience is key and to I have been trying really hard to follow the rules and be the best missionary as I possibly can be. He said as soon as you accepted your call from the 1st Presidency you made a covenant with the Lord to complete your mission. After the talk I was able to participate in two blessings and the spirit was extremely strong. On Wednesday nothing spectacular happened. The food is good but so many carbs, I just feel like I am going to pop. But it is awesome I am glad for everything.
Today is finally P-day, we went out shopping which is always a blast; we were able to wear street clothes because the temple was closed. Then we trekked to McDonalds and I got yogurt ha ha. It didn’t look good but I need to drop some lbs. After that I did all my laundry. I love to be able to do my laundry ha ha. Then I just started to pack my bags and get organized for the upcoming week.
The CCM is awesome; it is pretty much always cloudy and dirty. But I am starting to really enjoy the CCM and Peru. I could never live here but the people are so nice and such a pleasure to be around. The spirit is strong here. There are difficult times but I know that this is what I am supposed to be doing, and prayer is my strength. I know that this gospel is true from the bottom of my heart. It is such a blessing to have all the people in my district. I love to sit and talk with them about life. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and if you diligently seek in it for answers you will find them. I love listening to Prophets and they are inspired and speak from God. Just remember that I pray for each and every one of you every night.  You should just look for the chance to serve somebody and become stronger in the gospel.
I hope everyone back home is doing amazing and can’t wait to hear from everyone. I will fly out early Tuesday morning and will probably email you Monday night or when we get to Arequipa Tuesday. Pray and study I love you all so so much.
Elder Cooley

Dylan also mentioned the two talks below as incredible and suggested we look them up. 

None Were With Him 
By: Elder Jeffery R. Holland  (Click for the link)

The Gospel and the Scientific View: How the Earth Came to Be 
By: F. Kent Nielsen  (Click for the link)

Ancient City

Jesus at Machu Piccu 
Bus Ride