Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Finales de Febrero

Hola Familia,

Wow how crazy is it that Febrero (February) is almost over. I am getting close to the double digit mark ha ha. My mission has just flown by. I can’t believe that I have been living in Peru for almost 10 months. It is just mind blowing. Sometimes it is hard to think that this is just a short time in my life ha ha.

Well this week was awesome, we had interviews with Presidente (Mission President) this past week. We were able to talk with Presidente, his wife and the assistants and it was awesome. I love talking to Presidente; I always learn something from him. After the meeting we will be doing more activities to strengthen the Branch and to help the youth in the branch. It is just so hard and Satan has such temptation here and the youth just get lost. It is not a very strong part of the Church in this area. And I think that if we can strengthen the youth we will have success. Overall I am excited and looking forward to what I can do with the members here.

We have been really focusing on Raul this week. It is cool to see how he has come back to the Church. Now he can see the blessings that the Church brings and how much it can help him to be a better person. He really has the desire to be a better member and to just keep working harder and harder. Then we have been working with Ruben some more and he needs to see that the Church will help him and any other way will not bring him happiness (Spanish version). Then we have been teaching a ton of less active members and hopefully the seed that we plant will help them come back to Church and to become better and better. Overall I am grateful for how hard this area is. It is so hard but I have learned so much. I know that I am here for a reason and I just need to find that reason.

This week I read a talk, “The 4 Steps on the Stairway to Heaven” by Dan Clark and it is awesome. I suggest all of you guys to read it and see what it has to offer.

Well some awesome experiences that I had this week. I helped kill a pig and skin it ha ha. Our Pensionista needed money for her son’s school supplies so they killed a pig and sold the meat ha ha. 

Then I made homemade Twixbars and cinnamon poppers, my creations. I also made homemade apple pie ha ha. 

Apple Pie

The Apple Pie I Made

Noche Misional (Mission Night)

Making Homemade Twix Bars

Cinnamon Rolls
Yesterday I also made cinnamon rolls and we went to the beach in Camana, which was really fun.

The Beach in Camana

I am so grateful to be in Peru on my mission. I hope that I can be better each and everyday that I am here and learn something new.  I hope that all of you have a great week.

I love you all,
Elder Cooley

1. Favorite scripture?

2. Who are you interviewing for baptism?
An investigator for the other Elder in my district.

3. What did the coke with milk taste like? Was it normal milk or evaporated milk?
It was awesome and it is coke with evaporated milk.

4. How is the mission prep for Ruben going?
It is not going good. He is struggling with choosing to work on Sundays, so we are helping him to stop working on Sundays.

5. How is Elder Holden doing?
He is doing great and we are just loving life.

6. What is your favorite p-day activity?
My favorite P-day activity is to cook ha ha.

7. What is your favorite hymn to sing in Spanish?
I Need Thee Every Hour (English) (Spanish)

8. Is it really humid there?  How does the humidity compare to other places that you have been?
It is so humid and I just sweat like crazy in our room ha ha. It is decently humid compared to other places.

9. How often do you have Zone Conferences?
We have Zone Conference every month in the first week.

10. What is your apartment address? Or what is the general location of it in Aplao?
It is right by a plaza and just behind a bank. I will look for the address.

Lunch with Elizabeth

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Finding the Will of the Lord

Hola Familia,

From the Currant Bush Article
Wow this week has been such a great week to learn and find the will of the Lord in my life.

Great articles about the will of the Lord:
Waiting upon the Lord: Will Be Done -Elder Robert D. Hales (Spanish version)
The Currant Bush -Elder Hugh B. Brown 

This week I was able to have one of the most powerful experiences that I have had in a while. So on Saturday and Sunday we fasted. We had some pretty specific things that we were fasting for, hoping that we could have some success. Well Saturday was a really slow day and very disappointing. We didn’t have too much success. It was a long hard day of work, just trying to find anyone that was home ha ha. Then we went to church on Sunday and nobody that we need to be there came to church. It was awful so we were just like well this fast was hard and we didn’t really see or understand the purpose. After coming home from church we ended our fast and then went to lunch. Then we got there and our Pensionista was crying and she and her husband had gotten into a fight and she was just so sad. We had a super spiritual talk with her and I gave one of the most sacred blessings that I have ever given. Later we were at another lesson and got a call that Valerie had run away and so we ended the lesson and went to see how Raul was doing. We just talked with him, listened to him and we also gave him a blessing (Priesthood Blessings) (Spanish version). Wow I haven’t felt the spirit so strong in a while. We learned that the Lord always provides a way and prepares us to be able to succeed in this life. Even thought we ended our fast we were spiritually prepared to handle these difficult situations. 

I had my first baptism interview this week also. It was so cool and also so spiritual. Like we taught her a little bit before the interview then we started the interview. The whole feeling was so serious and I could feel the help of God to ask her the questions and answer her questions and worries that she had before getting baptized. It was so awesome.

Overall this week was not too fruitful but the experiences that I had were amazing and I know that I need to learn something from every thing that happens to me.

I was able to cook a bunch this week ha ha. I made lemon bars, biscuits, pancakes, flan, tacos, hummus, which was awful, and peanut butter ha ha. I love cooking and learning new things.

Lemon Bars




I love all you guys for everything that you all do for me. I love reading the scriptures and hearing what you are all doing for me. I hope that each of you can find out something in this week to enjoy and to be a better person.

I love you all,
Elder Cooley


1. Favorite scripture?
Alma 7:15

2. What is your favorite thing about the culture of Peru?
Everyone is a lot more laid back and they just enjoy life more.

3. Which one of the cakes did you get smashed in your face? (It looked like the one that had two flags.) Why?

The one with the flag and also the white one in the night.

4. Do they eat a lot of seafood there?
Not really, just ceviche and crawdad.

5. What keeps you motivated?
The missionary work and the joy that I feel when I work my hardest are what keep me motivated.

6. Is your companion feeling better this week?
He is doing a lot better which is really nice.

7. Have you seen a monkey?
I have seen a couple monkeys; one was in the passenger seat of a car ha ha.

8. Do the farmers in Aplao have horses?
Some have horses but everyone just walks everywhere.

9. How do you sleep? Is it really hot while you are trying to sleep?
I sleep great and it is so hot that I sleep with a fan every night ha ha.

10. Are the bugs big there?
They are tiny and super annoying. It itches so badly when they bite you ha ha.

11. What is your favorite fruit to eat out there?
My favorite fruit is called Lucuma. It is only found in Peru and Chile.

12. What is the yummiest native food?
Either ricoto relleno or duck.

13. Do the Peruvians ride llamas?
They do in the outback ha ha but not in the city.

Birthday Again

Cake for me and another Sister


Coke and Milk

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Cake, Cake, and More Cake! (Plus a duck)

Hola Family,

Well this week was awesome and I have to say the birthday was amazing ha ha. Well my companion has been sick for the majority of the week; so we spent a lot of time in our room. I did have the opportunity to read about 30 chapters in the Book of Mormon and just learned a ton. I advise everyone to read Alma 5 and tell me what you think; it is pretty amazing yet hard to read. Well on Tuesday we celebrated our Pensionista’s birthday and it was tremendous and we bought her some presents. She loved them and it was a really cool day for her. She hasn’t had a birthday party for many years so we made it really fun for her. 

Happy Birthday

Birthday Lunch

Presents we gave her

Then on Wednesday we had a Zone Conference and I got a cake there with the Zone. We got back really late and so we didn’t get much done that day. I went on divisions with another Elder and so we were able to teach some people that night.

Thursday was my birthday and it was awesome. My Pensionista made me a special breakfast and then we went to a planning meeting for the week. After planning, all six missionaries came up to my Pensionista’s house. We had the duck that I killed earlier that week and a cake that she made for me. Later we went to visit some people and an investigator bought me a huge piece of cake, it was great. Then we went back up and my Pensionista threw a surprise party for me in the night with another cake and she gave me some presents. It was the best birthday that I could think of. I am so grateful for her and all that she does for me.

Another cake

Add caption


Birthday Lunch

Lunch Surprise

Birthday Party



I made éclairs by hand and they actually turned out pretty good. I was super pleased with them. Then I made a shortbread chocolate thing for a member, which turned out great as well. I also cooked pancakes ha ha. Then members love me to cook for them.

This week even with the little time that we had to work we were able to get baptismal dates for two investigators. So hopefully this month we have two baptisms. We just have to see how it goes. Overall I love how things are coming along. I was really stressed yesterday and then I realized that I need to enjoy the time I have left and continue to work hard.

Overall this week was awesome and I am so grateful for the nineteen years that I have been on the earth. I have learned a ton and work harder and harder each day to learn something new and to make the most of the life that God has given me. I hope that all of you can see the progress you have made in your life and are learning something new each and every day. Do the small and simple things and everything will fall into place.

I love you all and hope that you all have a great week and continue to love life.

Les Amo,
Elder Cooley


1. How was your birthday?
It was so awesome and a wonderful experience.

2. Did you get the birthday package?
I did not get the birthday package yet.
3. Why is lesson 3 your favorite missionary lesson to teach?
It just always gives people hope and gets them excited about baptism.

4. Why did you get cards from Hermana Olga’s daughter?
She gave us cards because we rescued her and brought her back to the church.

5. What is your favorite scripture this week?
2 Nephi 4:35

6. Have you done any service projects recently?
We have not because my companion was super sick with a stomach infection.

7. Do you have a recipe that you follow for the tortillas (if so you should send me a picture of it)?
I do but I just add a certain amount of stuff now ha ha. I am learning to cook without recipes ha ha.

8. Do you play soccer often?
We play soccer sometimes, but really not that much ha ha.

9. What do you typically eat in a day? For breakfast, lunch, and dinner?
For breakfast: eggs avocado, fruit, and BREAD everyday. We just have different combinations. For lunch: chicken, rice and potatoes in different forms ha ha. For dinner: Jello stuff, fruit and something small.


Monday, February 2, 2015

7 down . . . 17 to go

Hola Familia,

Well this week has been awesome and I have learned a ton. We were able to do a ton of awesome things. I am just loving life.

This week was really good and we were able to get a bunch done. We had a large number of members come to church and that was awesome. I was able to give a great lesson on how to love your companion and how to have a better relationship with God and Jesus Christ. The other District Leader and I were talking before and we planned the same lesson. It is crazy to see how we can receive revelation and know what our districts needs. We went hiking last P-day with investigators looking for old Incan ruins and graves. We didn’t find anything but we did have a great time and ended up climbing a very high mountain. I was the first one up if you wanted to know ha ha :) 


This week we were invited to eat with an inactive family in the middle of nowhere. They were a little different, they have been living by themselves for a little to long ha ha. It was fun to see how people just live off the land. Then we went to Huatiapa to serve a member with his mango trees. We helped him out all day. Then we ate mangos and had a ton of fruit with him, bad idea ha ha. 

Getting Mangos


When we came back and we killed another duck, which was fun. I know how to make arroz con pato. I love learning all the new ways to cook and to expand my horizon. 


Arroz con Pato

Peeling duck

Later my companion became really sick. So all Saturday and then Sunday we were in our room while he was getting over his illness. I was able to read a lot and it is incredible what the scriptures do for us. They have the answers that we really need. I also worked on my family and got a ton of stuff done in the pamphlet. 

Overall it was a great week. I just love doing the work of the Lord. I try everyday to be a little better and to help at least one person each and everyday. I just love how the Lord will guide us to reach our potential. The love that we have for people is essential. I was reading in Jesus the Christ about how to magnify our Sabbath day and how important it is to always work on following the example of Christ.

This is all I have for this week I love you all so much. Just remember that everything happens for a reason and that we need to accept the will of the Lord. Try and help people always and love life.

Les Amo,
Elder Cooley


1. What are you plans for your birthday?
To celebrate it at the house of my Pensionista and to work normal.

2. Do the missionaries there have any traditions? (Like cake, ice cream, etc.)
I will get a cake at our Zone meeting and that is about it.

3. Do you need a hat? Ha ha that way you won’t have to use a towel.
Ha ha i will get a hat, but the towel works really well.

4. Favorite scripture?
Favorite scripture is Mosiah 12 about Abinadi in the prison.

5. What is your favorite missionary lesson to teach?
Lesson 3

6. Who is Percy?
He is a investigator and he is awesome.

7. Why did you eat so many Haribo gummy bears?
Ha ha to test out the stories of the devil bears.

8. How involved will you and your companion be with the establishment of the seminary and institute?
We will find and enroll people and help bring them to the lessons.

9. What does a prickly pear taste like?
It is like a watermelon with seeds that are hard.

Tunas (Prickly Pears) for Breakfast

10. Since you have a phone can you use that to contact members?
Yeah we can use it to contact members.

Cards from Hermana Olga's daughter

Sweet Potato


Bus Riding