Wednesday, June 25, 2014

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Hi I'm Madyson

About Me

I am a full-time missionary for 18 months! I have been called to serve in the Florida Jacksonville mission and it is the greatest experience of my life! I have met and am still meeting some of the most wonderful people. I know that the Lord needs me to serve in this area at this time. College has been put to the side until I return, but I would like to become a nurse. I love trying new things like food, sports, recreational activities, etc. My main hobby is dancing. I've be trained in many styles of dance since the age of 3 like; Jazz, Lyrical, Contemporary, Ballet, Pointe, Acro, etc. I enjoy it so much.

Why I am a Mormon

I was born into the covenant and raised by faithful parents who taught me the gospel, brought me to church, and taught me how to live righteously. I was baptized when I was 8 years old and confirmed a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I will always remember that special day. In my middle school and high school years, I maintained my standards by keeping the guidelines in the For The Strength of Youth pamphlet. I have a testimony that those guidelines were made for the youth, and also adults, for this day in time. I love reading the Book of Mormon. There is so much information to take in. Every time I read, I feel the Holy Ghost in my life more, I find applications for my life and how I can grow closer to my Father in heaven, and strengthen my faith in Jesus Christ. My testimony is strengthened and I know Jesus Christ lives and that I can live with my Father in heaven again. I know that the Book of Mormon was written for these Latter Days and that Joseph Smith translated it. I love being a member of this church because I have a testimony that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is true. I know that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ in the sacred grove, restored this church and translated the Book of Mormon. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is the prophet of this church in these Latter Days and that he receives revelation from our Heavenly Father to lead and guide us. I know that the commandments can keep me on the straight and narrow path back to my Father in Heaven. I know that families can be together forever. I am so excited to be a servant of the Lord and bring others into the Gospel. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the first, most important thing in my life.

How I live my faith

As a missionary, my purpose is to find and teach all people who desire to know of the gospel of Jesus Christ and help them to come unto him. I want everyone to know how much this Gospel can bring the most exquisite happiness to their lives as it has to mine. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's church that is once again on the Earth. I find and teach others during all hours of the day and into the night to help them to know for themselves that this is Jesus Christ's church. I participate in any ward service projects or activities. A ward service project may include cleaning up litter in a park or desert area and improving it's appearance. It is completely voluntary but it is so much fun to work with so many people who also like to improve the community. Serving others reminds me of the perfect example of Jesus Christ, who went throughout his entire life here on Earth serving others. I want to become more like him and help others to follow his example and taste of the joys of serving their friends. Ward activitites are so much fun. Ward activities are a great way to get to know your ward family, make life long friends, learn about their interests, and feel the Spirit. When I graduated high school, I received a calling in my ward. I was given a calling to teach the gospel of Jesus Christ to 5 year olds in the primary. It is so wonderful to see these sweet children grow in their knowledge of the Savior and also the Book of Mormon stories. They are so smart and so eager to learn.

 Check out! It's a great website to get to know others and how the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has changed their lives. You can even create your own profile. You can also find answers to a wide variety of questions.

May 28, 2014

June 3,2014

"Love is the very essence of the gospel, and Jesus Christ is our Exemplar. His life was a legacy of love. The sick He healed; the downtrodden He lifted; the sinner He saved. At the end the angry mob took His life. And yet there rings from Golgotha's hill the words: 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do'--a crowning expression in mortality of compassion and love." -President Thomas S. Monson
I know that the love that the Savior has for each of us is unconditional and that we can all find true joy from the gospel of Jesus Christ.

June 10, 2014

I 'Discovered the Book' when my faithful parents gave me a Book of Mormon to take to Primary every Sunday, before I even knew how to read. They taught me the importance and power that comes from this book at a very young age and it has carried with me throughout my entire life. This is why I'm serving a mission, because I know that the Book of Mormon is true and I know that any person who reads it will know of the exquisite joy that comes from studying it. #DiscoverTheBook

June 17, 2014

I love searching the book anywhere that is peaceful and can have personal time studying the words of Christ. One of my favorite 'AHA' moments that I have had in the Book of Mormon is in 3 Nephi 12:48 "Therefore I would that ye should be per...fect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect." I love this counsel that Jesus Christ gives. The word perfect means to 'strive to become' or 'complete'. It is impossible for us to ever be perfect here on Earth, but we are asked to be our best and through Jesus Christ we can. Perfection is an Eternal Goal. #SearchTheBook #CalledtoShare

June 25, 2014

As a young girl, I was encouraged and taught the importance of balancing everything that I aspire to do in life including precious time to study from the Book the Mormon. This is how I #livethebook This is one of the reasons why I came out here to serve a mission, because I know the Book of Mormon is true.


Week 18 ~ June 24, 2014

Hello family and friends!

This week is transfers! Yesterday was the night for the big conference call that all of the 250 missionaries get on to find out if they were being moved to a different area in Jacksonville or not. All day yesterday I was thinking about the possibilities of either getting a new companion or both a new area and companion because Sister Call and I have been with each other for 4 1/2 months. I was so grateful that our day was filled with many opportunities to teach and meet with members, because I was able to put the thought of transfer calls in the back of my mind. Sure enough came the time for transfer calls and the big news is that Sister Call and I are staying together in the Fleming Island 2nd Ward for another 6 weeks!!!! Whoa! Best news ever. I love Fleming Island and I love serving with Sister Call!

This week was the Jax West Stake Conference. Sister Call spoke in the Saturday night session and her talk was phenomenal. There was something that President Craig said about the Book of Mormon that really stuck out to me that I wanted to share with you. 

"Don't you wonder what would happen if we treated our Book of Mormon like we treat our cell phone?

What if we carried it around in our purses or pockets? 

What if we turned back to get it if we forgot it?

What if we flipped through it several times a day?

What if we spent an hour or more using it every day?

What if we used it to receive messages from the 'text'?

What if we treated it like we couldn't live without it?

What if we gave it to kids as gifts?

What if we used it as we travelled?

What if we used it in case of an emergency?

Unlike our cell phones, one Plan fits all, unlimited usage. No roaming charges. You always have reception. No weak signals and we don't have to worry about our Book of Mormon being disconnected, because our Savior already paid the bill."

This is one of the goals that I made right when I began my mission, for when I come home in 2015. To study from the Book of Mormon just as much as I use my phone. I realized right then when I came out that when I was not a missionary, I had been spending too much time on my phone when I had it. It is possible to balance every little thing in life. Whenever we need answers, turn to the Book of Mormon, Heavenly Father is our first source. I find all of my answers from reading and praying about the Book of Mormon.

I love the Book of Mormon. I love it because I feel closer to the Savior. Anyone who reads and prays about the Book of Mormon can feel the most exquisite love from our Father in Heaven and have hope because of Jesus Christ. I finished reading it and have begun reading it again. The Book of Mormon is true. 

There were the craziest storms this week. Power went out in almost every neighborhood in Fleming Island. We were at the library parking lot about to leave and all of a sudden there was a down pour. Even when our windshield wipers were on full speed, we still could not see anything. The thunder was cracking. And then it started hailing. The size of small stones. That confused me. The temperature went from 95 to 75 in five minutes. And after the storm, there was steam coming from the road. I can live with this, except we were kinda stuck in our car.

This Sunday we are going to have a Family History fireside. We are so excited for this! To help everyone begin or continue their family tree and find their ancestors. I can't wait to tell you all about this. It's such an exciting time. The Spirit of Elijah is real. Families can be together forever, through Heavenly Father's Plan. 

I love being a missionary!

Love, Sister McCook

Sister McCook and her companion Sister Call.  They have been companions for the past 4 months.


Monday, June 16, 2014

Week 17 ~ June 16, 2014

Dear family and friends,

Happy Fathers Day!

There is a family who has been praying for missionary opportunities and sure enough, Heavenly Father answered their prayers with a missionary opportunity. They both felt impressed to invite their friend Nancy to learn more about the gospel, how, why, and what they believe. She accepted. They were planning on visiting her one night and they called us up asking for a scripture from the Book of Mormon about hope in the world. The first scripture that came to mind was Ether 12:4 "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the should of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." They went to her home and shared that scripture with her and she asked when she could come to church with them. She did come, and the word she described with how she felt when she attending was very peaceful. Church truly is a place where everyone can feel peace. When someone reads the Book of Mormon. It does the same.

If there's one thing out of the many that I love to do, it would be to share my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I had that opportunity while teaching a lesson yesterday. He wanted to know of experiences that Sister Call and I have had with the Book of Mormon. The feeling that I have whenever I study and pray from the Book of Mormon is indescribable. A feeling overcome with warmth throughout my heart. A witness by the power of the Holy Ghost that this record is true. And the best part is that we get to hold this record in our hands and study it today. We get to have our own experiences, or 'AHA' moments in the Book of Mormon. Know of things that we didn't know before. Relate to the people within the Book of Mormon even though it is a record written over 2500 years ago. I love the Book of Mormon with all my heart.

I would like to share with you all the miracle of the week. Family history has really sparked an interest with everyone that we talk with; people are drawn in to how they can find their ancestors and where they came from. It is the Spirit of Elijah that touches their hearts. They have this hunger to learn more about their family. Sister Call and I did a family history presentation with a member at a nursing home. It was the first time that we had ever done this before so we did not know how it would go because we don't know very much about family history; but we knew that if we put our faith and trust in the Lord, that all things would work out in the way that they were suppose to. The member hooked up her computer to a flat screen TV and pulled up family search. She asked the nice man, who is a survivor of WWII and was part of D-Day, what his father's name was. After finding his information on family search and pulling up a Census record from the 1900s, this man was able to find his family for the first time ever and the excitement that he had was the happiest thing to watch. Soon after, nurses were coming in and insisting that we search for their family members and it became a frenzy of finding family names! The Spirit was there. They asked us to come back and the elderly people were mentioning that this family history would be the talk of the nursing home. My testimony of family history has grown so much. It is so fun to do your own family history work, but there is something special about helping others do their own family history work. I encourage all of you to start now or continue on with where you're at with family history, on 

'Discover the Book' on facebook was incredible! Don't forget to do 'Search the Book' tomorrow. Share your testimonies of the Book of Mormon. 

 Expect a letter from me on Tuesday because next week is transfers. Already! That was fast.

I find myself saying that phrase frequently. Missions fly by too fast.

Love, Sister McCook

Monday, June 9, 2014

Week 16 ~ June 9, 2014

Hello Family and Friends!

This week has been pretty wonderful. I have found yet another joy about missionary work. There are infinite joys to be discovered when sharing the gospel with others whether you are a missionary or a member missionary. This joy is laughter. With all of the combining emotions that the life of a missionary has to offer, there needs to be a good balance of laughter. When there is a good balance of that, the days are happier, more positive, and filled with more things to be grateful for. Like President Uchtdorf said, "Gratitude is the catalyst to all Christ like attributes." His words are true!

We had our lesson on the Plan of Salvation with Walt in a member’s home which went very well. The Spirit was so strong. It was one of my favorite lessons I have had the opportunity to teach. I have a testimony on working with the members. We need them in order to help others to progress. They are the best fellowship because missionaries are temporary in the areas they serve in, but members are there to stay.

There is also something else extraordinary that is happening right now. We had a meeting in the Jax West Zone and we were informed of this. The Florida Jacksonville Mission has created an event called "Discover the Book" to spread the word to everyone of the Book of Mormon through online efforts on Facebook. It is a fun thing to become a part of! The event starts tomorrow, June 10, but you can find it on Facebook right now and become a part of it. It is a wonderful way to share your testimony with everyone of how you 'Discovered the Book' of Mormon. The instructions are simple. You can find them on this link! 

Become a part of this event and invite your friends and family to join in this event too. I can promise you that your testimony of the Book of Mormon will touch the hearts of many of your friends online! This is the best. 

I read a scripture the other day during personal study about how we can continue to 'Discover the Book'.
3 Nephi 23:1 "And now, behold, I say unto you, that ye ought to search these things. Yea, a commandment I give unto you that ye search these things diligently."
Jesus Christ is speaking. He teaches us to search the scriptures diligently. To 'Search' means to meditate, study, heed, ponder. That is how we can Discover the Book of Mormon. Ahhhhh I love the scriptures so much.

Also, Ryan's baptism was exciting! At the last minute, Sister Call and I were asked to teach the Restoration to everyone. It was a great experience. Teaching is so fun because every teaching experience is different, even though we teach the same principles every time. 

Yesterday night was a pretty scary storm. This is thunder that I have never heard before. Right when the lightning strikes, the thunder would BOOM and shake the apartment. In addition to that, the power went out for about a minute while Sister Call and I were eating Tagalong Girl Scout cookies that I had been saving for months and finally got the chance to eat them, it was pitch black.

I love all of you.

Sister Mccook

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 15 ~ June 2, 2014

We had a very great miracle with Walt.  We have wanted to introduce Walt to the Plan of Salvation for weeks. I just knew without a doubt that it is exactly what he needs to have an even greater understanding of the fullness of joy that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has to offer. It seemed like for the past couple months that it just wasn't the right time even though I wanted so much to share it with him. We visited with him on Thursday while Jackie was talking with another member who happened to come over to their home at the same time. Walt finally revealed to us what he wanted to know most. His question was, "I just want to know what my purpose is, why I'm still alive?" (He was in a car accident and the Doctors were certain that he wouldn't make it, but he did. He is very healthy!) The Spirit was so strong in the room. I asked him if he believed that God had a plan for him. He said yes. I asked him if he's ever heard of the Plan of Happiness? He said no, but he is really interested to hear more about it. We promised him that he would be able to know of his purpose here on Earth. I am so thrilled to be able to teach Walt the Plan of Salvation after weeks of wanting to. It was all on the Lord's timing. Heavenly Father's plan is perfect and I know that His plan gives each of us our purpose. Having the knowledge of how we can return to live with Heavenly Father again with our families eternally. He has provided us with a way, it is through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and obedience to his teachings that we can! It truly is the Plan of Happiness.

Creature of the week:  Every day I see Cardinals. They are my favorite bird. In Tucson I would see maybe one cardinal a year. Here I see at least ten a day. They are beautiful birds.

Today I was reading in the Book of Mormon. Jesus Christ teaches how we can receive answers to our questions. He gives us a simple formula. 3 Nephi 14:7-8 7- Ask, and it shall be given unto you; seek, and he shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you. 8- For everyone that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened unto you. We have to do our part in praying to Heavenly Father asking him a question that we desire to know the answer to, asking Him for guidance. We then do all we can to seek for the answer. In the scriptures, an experience, General Conference talks, etc. And then when we think we found the answer, we ask in prayer, knocking, telling Heavenly Father what we have found from diligently studying. If it be
right, the answer will be "opened unto you". It's a promise. Heavenly Father is willing to give us the answers to our questions, if we are willing to do our part. I love the Book of Mormon, there is so much to learn and the best part is that we will never ever stop learning from it. I know that my faith in Jesus Christ has been strengthened in the Book of Mormon.

This upcoming week is a very exciting week for the Fleming Island 2nd ward. Ryan, who has been investigating and coming to church for the past two years, is getting baptized this Thursday! The members have been really working with him and taking him under their wing. We were blessed to be able to teach him. I love my ward.

I love you all and am thinking of you!

Love, Sister McCook