Monday, October 27, 2014

Mystery Meat . . . Yum!

Loaded Taxi Ride
Hola Familia,

This week hasn’t been too exciting. We had two people that we reactivated, they weren’t attending church and now they are. It is cool to see the change that this gospel brings to people, and how much happier they are when they are in the gospel. 

This week I cooked a ton ha ha. I cooked French toast and homemade vanilla syrup for my Companion, the other elders that we eat with and the family of the Pensionista. Then my Companion taught me how to cook fired bananas, there is a different type of banana that you slice and fry and it is so good (plantains). Then I cooked meat patties, I don’t really know what kind of meat it was ha ha. but they were good.

We had a very successful missionary night. We had two families that are investigating the church come and they really liked it. It is awesome that our investigators are progressing in the church. We have the family of Mirian, Joel and their son Fabian. We also have a family, where the mom is a member and her children want to be baptized. Candy, Anythony, Diana, and Luis. I love seeing them want to follow the commandments and become more like Christ in their lives. I don’t know why but our mission is having troubles. I think that we just need to work harder and harder and then the success will come however, I love the mission in Arequipa.

Games in Church
We teach a lot of less active and non-active members. In our ward and area there are 800 members and only about 80 attend and 50 are really active ha ha. SO... the work of reactivating people is huge. It is quite hard though. The doctrine of persevering until the end is so important. This life is a time to prepare and progress to become perfect, our church is for the perfecting of saints and we need to always remember that. We are not perfect and we can become better and better each day. Also the importance of this life is unimaginable and we need to always remember this and strive to be better each day. I just love this gospel. 

This week is the end of the exchange. So I might be changed to a new area but I don’t know for sure. I hope that I don’t transfer.  This week we are changing our room and Pensionista so we can live and eat at the same house and  also to be in the boundaries of our ward.  So this coming week will be exciting. Also WOW Halloween is this week, we will stay inside for Halloween because the streets will be full of drunks ha ha.

Well this is all for this week. Have an awesome week and I look forward to see what has happened in another week of your guys’ life. Have fun. I love you all. I pray for you guys always.

I love everyone,
Elder Cooley


1. Where do you email from?  Do you have to pay for the Internet time?
We email as a Zone in an Internet cafe a member owns. Yeah for two hours it is 2 soles or 80 cents

2. Have you received your package yet?
I have not received any packages yet ha ha.

3. Do most places in your area have running water?
Yeah most places have running water, but hot running water is nonexistent ha ha.

4. What movie did you watch last P-day?  What was it about?
We watched Brother Bear in Spanish ha ha.

5. Did you bring the cake for the investigator’s birthday or did they get it somewhere else?
A member brought the cake for the party and it was really good.

6. What has been your favorite service activity so far in Arequipa?
Favorite service has been building stairs up the side of a mountain ha ha.

7. Will your companion get anything for Christmas?  Did he get anything last year?
I don’t know, I haven’t asked him but usually with Latinos they don’t get packages that often.

8. How is the overall environment there towards missionaries?  Are they welcoming or abrasive?
People love missionaries and are always really accepting. They love a nice tall American to bring in their house.

9. Since you never seem to have funny stories . . . ha ha ha. Tell me an interesting story.
Funny story, so this week we were teaching a lesson to a family about the word of wisdom. We asked if anyone has an addiction with any substance and the sister pointed at her brother and said he has an addiction to mayo because he is overweight.

10. Do you have to duck your head to fit under the shower?
Not the shower but pretty much everything else in Peru I have to duck my head. I finally was electrocuted this past week.

11. What is a simple rule that you live by day to day?
Always trust the Holy Ghost, whenever I feel a prompting I follow it.

12. How often do you visit the mission home?

I have only been to the mission home once.



Attempt of a Pyramid

Using the Bus Sunroofs


The Ugliest Dog Ever, Native to Peru

Watch Out, Funny Sign

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Ask & Receive; Seek & Find; Knock & It Will Be Opened

Hola Familia,

This week has been really great and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time. I love hearing about each and every one of your lives. It always makes me smile and remember all the good times that I have had with all of you. This week was awesome. 

We watched a movie on P-day and just hung out with the Zone. Then on Thursday we had a mission wide fast to bring more success. The mission is struggling right now and our numbers are really low. It is hard in this mission at this time. I liked this scripture about fasting, Alma 5:46. Just remember the power of fasting and what it can do for you in everyday life.

Investigator's Birthday
On Tuesday I had 7 pieces of cake it was awful ha ha. People always give you more and more, so I have learned to eat really slow ha ha. We had a birthday party for an investigator. She is really old and the family has no money, it was her first party with a cake ever. It breaks my heart; she has really bad arthritis so she can’t work. But she loves hearing about the gospel. We found the family this week just by knocking on doors. The mom is not active and the 5 kids are not baptized. They are awesome and I think they will be baptized at the beginning of next month. It is so amazing when you can see the change in the hearts of your investigators.

Another Birthday
I had the opportunity to go on exchanges with another Gringo in our zone. He doesn’t speak any Spanish. It was fun teaching people and being the person in charge but it was quite interesting. Some of the coolest experiences are when we can help members and others with their problems. The trust people have in us is so cool and people tell us everything. I love serving people to show the love that I have for them. It is so hard when people don’t want to change and stop progressing, but we just need to keep working with them.

It is pretty awesome in Peru. Sometimes I don’t even feel like I am in Peru but then WOW I realize I have been in Peru for 4 months. The time is just flying by; I want it to go slower. I have so much to do and I don’t know how in two years I can accomplish it all. Every night I think about how I can be a better person so the next day I can be that improved person. Every night when I write in my journal I am starting to write things down that I learned in the day and apply a scripture to it. Remember God always listens to your prayers. 3 Nephi 14:8.

I love you all thanks so much for all the support and everything that you all do. 

I love you all,
Elder Cooley

Cactus Fruit

1. What does the cactus fruit taste like?  What type of texture does it have?
The tuna fruit tasted like a form of watermelon and has the same texture.

2. Do you ever get to have iced drinks there?
I have had about 2 iced drinks down here ha ha. Everything is always hot to kill all the bugs.

3. Tell me a funny, exciting, or amazing story from last week.
This week we had a fast as a mission. We had a devotional before we ended it and wow it was such a powerful experience that is for sure.

Alf Alfa Drink
4. Where did you get the Alf Alfa drink from? Did you drink it?  What did it taste like?
The Alf Alfa drink was from this old grandma that has a garden. Yea I drank it, and it was really good ha ha.

5. What is your Pensionista’s name?  
Our Pensionista’s name is Hermana Gina, she is the best and her family is awesome.

6. Do they take siestas in Peru?
Some people do and others don’t but lunch is the biggest meal of the day.

7. Is there a story from the States (camping, baseball, life, etc.) that you share with the Peruvians that they find amazing or unbelievable?
Just everything about the States they find amazing ha ha and they really enjoy asking me questions.

8. What do you do on a typical p-day?
A typical P-day is writing everyone, eating and playing soccer with our zone ha ha.

9. How do you feel being so much taller than everyone around you?
I feel normal now ha ha. Nothing in Peru is meant for a white Gringo that is anything over 5’ 10” ha ha.

10.  How has your Jack Black lip balm been?
The lip balm is great. I use it a ton because the very dry climate here so it is quite handy. I haven’t even finished one yet.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Conference Trending Worldwide #ldsconf

Hola family,

This week has been pretty exciting. 

The beginning of this week was good, my companion was in Lima and so I had a member with me for two days. That meant that I was the head companion so I lead what and how we did things. It was really hard but I enjoyed it. It definitely tested my Spanish skills and I just really want to learn the language ha ha. We were able to teach some good lessons and be really productive. Our investigators are coming along really well; they are all progressing. We are getting more lessons each week. The numbers in our mission are really low; the work of the Lord is definitely changing this area. We focus a lot on less active members and bringing people back into the church. One of our families attended Conference at the Stake Center, they are doing really good and I know that they are going to be really strong members in the church. Our Pensionista's dog had six babies one morning. I was lucky enough to see the birth of one puppy ha ha. They are so cute. We had two birthdays this week. Birthdays are a big deal here ha ha they all dance and have so much cake. It was fun my companion and I are doing well and I enjoy him. We are getting along really well and starting to finally have success.

Investigator's Birthday

Wow I really took Conference for granted when I was home. I don’t think I ever have taken notes this in depth before. Conference was only shown at the Stake Center in Spanish, but the Gringos of our Zone were blessed to be able to watch it in English. It was such a powerful experience to have all of us watching it together. I really loved all the talks so much. I think that my favorite was Dieter F Uchtdorf’s talk Saturday morning. Also I really liked when Elder Carlos A. Godoy said that you need to look and read your patriarchal blessing and see if we are really fulfilling it every day (The Lord Has A Plan For Us!). Families were a huge topic which is so important in this life.

Zone after Conference

I know that this church is true. I know that every single principal of this church is true. The importance of this life is insane, we need to take every possible step to progress to return with our Heavenly Father. That needs to be in our minds every single day. We need to never forget the ways of the Lord. Don’t walk the same way Jesus walked, but Walk As Jesus Walked. I love Conference and all the blessings that we receive from our Prophets.

Thank you all so much for the support and the prayers. God hears and answers every child’s prayers.

I love y´all,
Elder Cooley


1. For these Numbers 348792 steps 108.82 miles how long were you gathering data?
These steps are from the last time that I sent you numbers. I started counting when I got to Arequipa so the total is 353,858 steps and 109.739 miles first time and then 348,972 steps and 108.82 miles next. So the total steps while have been in Arequipa is 702,810 which is equal to 218.559 miles.

2. Did you hear conference yet (or read it)?  Favorite talk?
I did watch Conference and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf gave my favorite talk on the Saturday morning session. Receiving A Testimony Of Light And Truth

3. Favorite scripture this past week?
Favorite scripture is 1 Nephi 3:7

4. How are your conversations with investigators going?
Conversations are going really good, of course they are too in depth but I can understand most of them.

5. Do you have another funny story?  What happened?  (I love to hear your funny stories!)
Funny stories umm . . . not this week ha ha

6. How long has your companion been out in the mission?
He has been out for 14 months.

7. Do they celebrate Halloween in Peru?
I don’t know if we celebrate Halloween or not ha ha.

8. Are you close to the mountains?
I am close to rock hills ha ha, no mountains.

9. Is it hard to go back and forth between Spanish and English?
Not too much because, I speak Spanish the entire week and then write in Spanish.

10. Have you tried Inca Kola? How was it?  Did you like that or regular Coke better?
I love Inca Kola it is really good. But soda is annoying because we have it so much.

11. Have you tried Canchita? (Unpopped popcorn of Peru)
Yes I have and it is called Tostada here. Wow, it is awesome.


Alf Alfa Drink Thing

My Companion and I

Epic Toilet

Cactus Fruit (tuna)

Cactus Cake

Another Sunset