Hello! My name is Sister McCook. I am a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Serving in the Florida Jacksonville Mission for 18 months. I will be returning August 2015. As a missionary, I teach the gospel of Jesus Christ and invite all to draw nearer to him. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. If you have any questions about what Mormons believe in, please feel free to look at lds.org and mormon.org. I love being a missionary!
I love the MTC! Every day I feel the spirit. From the moment I walked in and received my name tag it was so special and REAL. WOW!! I am a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. After I had dropped off my suitcases in my residence hall, I was lead to my classroom where I would be "living" at for the next two weeks. There I met my district and teachers. My District consisted of Elder Hale, Elder Lewis, Sister Pexton, Sister Andrus, and Sister Thorley. Sister Thorley was supposed to be my companion, but she did not make it. So I joined in with Sister Pexton and Sister Andrus who are both from Utah and are going to the New Jersey Morristown mission. We live together in the same room. Sister Pexton is a ballerina who was accepted into the Department of Ballet at U of U and Sister Andrus loves to play the cello and is a beautiful singer. They are wonderful!! We instantly connected the first day. My district is so close. We have the most spiritual discussions and continue to lift each other up everyday. They inspire me so much. Brother Starkie and Brother Tiatia are my teachers. They are fabulous and help me to improve each day. I have met life-long friends who are so inspiring and it's great seeing so many people who are here for the same reason I am.
Can I just say that time flies here. There is a strict schedule whereby to follow and no matter what I am constantly doing something whether it be classes, teaching, eating, studying, etc.! But I love it so much! I'm so thankful for the daily schedule. Except for the food. The first couple of days were okay but now I have lost my appetite. Don't worry, I'm still eating! The days are blending together so it is hard to remember things. My flight to Jacksonville leaves at 7:10 and I have a layover in Atlanta, GA. I arrive at about 2:45. Be ready to answer your phone mom and dad because I am allowed to call you at the airport around 6 I think! I am so excited I just want to get out in the field already!!
My MTC Branch President is President Brown and he reminds me of Grandpa so much. He is so spiritual and his wife Sister Brown is such an inspiration to me.
I was assigned to be the Sister Missionary Training Leader in my zone consisting of 8 elders and 3 sisters including me. It is a huge responsibility and I am learning so much. There are so many meetings held on Sunday primarily about the needs of my zone. There are 4 sister missionaries coming into the MTC on Wednesday and I can't wait to show them how amazing the MTC is and that they are so awesome.
The lessons I have been learning are so incredible. On Saturday in one of my classes, I realized something as I had been learning how to teach the gospel. I had not been learning these lessons in the perspective of my investigators, but for myself. I was definitely chastised by the spirit and it was kind of like a wake up call. That I am helping others come unto Christ. But I know what I need to do. This work is hard, but it is so rewarding and I have a lot of improving and work to do. I asked for a Priesthood blessing from Elder Lewis and it was the most comforting thing knowing that I am adequate enough to be a good teacher.
Sunday has been my favorite day so far. Sacrament meeting was incredible. There was a talk about repentance given by Sister Thompson from my branch presidency. She emphasized the importance of daily repentance because there could be so many little things we make mistakes on each day and we forget about it. It is always good to remember that the Savior is here welcoming all with open arms and His atonement is so important to me because I am not perfect, I always have things to work on.
Today was my P-Day. I woke up and my sister companions and I attended a session at the temple at 7:40. It was so wonderful to be able to wake up and that be the first thing I do. Utah is SO COLD! The Provo, UT Temple is so gorgeous and I have taken so many pictures there. It has been great catching up on the things I need to do today but there's always so much to do that sometimes it is hard to keep track. But it is definitely preparing me for the field!
I love this work and I love the gospel. I can't wait to get out there and share it with others. If you get the time, watch "The Character of Christ" Christmas Devotional given by Elder Bednar. He is an incredible man called of God and knows how to touch the hearts of not only missionaries, but everyone.
I love you so much Mom, Dad, Jadeyn, and Skye! <3 I love hearing from you and how you are doing with everything. Thank you for your emails DAD! I wish I had more time to actually take the time to write out everything, but as I continue to send more emails, I'll get better!
Love, Sister McCook
P.S. keep a lookout on the mail this week. you should be receiving a letter from me in the mail.
Also I really need a watch. That's the only thing! Thank you so much.