Friday, October 24, 2014

October 20, 2014 ~ Week 35

(Week 5 St. Augustine Ward)

This week was probably my favorite week from my mission so far.  It was the funniest week of my life.  The mission wide theme for this transfer is 'Grateful in any circumstance' and oh could this not be the most perfect theme for this week? I definitely learned this lesson is a greater degree
this week.  Hope you enjoy this haha.

It all began with our car having to be sent in to a repair shop last P-Day to get completely new parts due to past missionaries not taking it in for their car accidents.  Elder Rhoads said it would be done by Thursday, but it's Monday...haha.  So bikes became our best friend:) but we had so many lessons that we had to cancel some of them because of travel time.  This area is huge!  And our baptismal date family lives about 6 miles away haha so you can imagine traveling out there numerous times on our bikes.  So with each circumstance, we found something to be grateful for about it. It was the ONLY way that would carry me through this week.  For example, traveling to our investigator's home, while choosing to talk to everyone, we met some of the nicest people, more than usual plus we were biking off all of the candy and junk we would be eating
due to Halloween ha.  So GRATEFUL.

On Thursday, we were about to do Facebook because we haven't been able to do it in literally a busy!..but I felt like we needed to go to visit another family, instead of Facebook.  We met a really nice man, gave him a Book of Mormon, then one of his friends came up to me and asked if I was planning on riding with a flat tire. Confused, I looked down and sure enough, it was unridable.  At the moment of hardship, we were three miles from home and no members answering their phones.  We decided to walk on with our bikes and continued to talk to everyone. Met a nice man who was willing to pump up the bike tire, and we still made it to the investigator's home and it was an answer to her prayer that we came.  Whoa!  After meeting with them, we went to another investigator's home who fed us dinner and afterwards, my tire was flat again.  We were far from home.  The tire tube was punctured that is why it kept going flat.  I thought, is this a joke?  No car, now no bike, no members answering, and its Thursday.  Not even close to P-Day to get a new tire tube.  Then I thought, Sister Jeromchek's bike was still at the apartment.  She was my previous companion. So GRATEFUL! I have been able to ride her bike. God loves me.  This is not the end of the story haha.

On Friday we were suppose to have the tradeoff where both of the Sister Training Leaders come to St. Augustine.  So we planned a double day.  Literally both companionships had set teaching appointments from 3-9.  We just finished weekly planning about to do companionship inventory. An hour before we were suppose to have this tradeoff, the Sisters call us to cancel the tradeoff due to illness.  And so this transfer we wouldn't get a tradeoff because it's over.  For a moment, I thought are you serious?!  Especially since we are on bikes.  But, it all worked out, everything was taken care of.  It was still going to be the best day ever.  We were able to visit all of the people we needed to visit.

Then Saturday happens, it wasn't too bad until we received notice at 7:00 at night that we were going to have a meeting at 1:30 which meant that we needed to find a ride because our building is 45 minutes away and we have no car.  The nearest sister auxiliary leader that could take us lived quite far.  Not only that, we had a lunch appointment at 10:30.  I knew it would all work out.  The members feeding us said that the food was running a little late, we ended up eating at 11:30, GRATEFUL we were able to share a lesson with them before hand.  We got out of there at 12:05 and we needed to be at the Relief Society President's house by 1:00 to get to Ward council on time.  Her house was nine miles away.  So what did we do?  We hauled tail over there.  That's right. 9 MILES IN 55 MINUTES.  With the wind blowing against us the entire time. I thought I was going to die.  We made it there just in time to hop in the car and get to Ward council.  So GRATEFUL we even had a ride to get us there.  Plus the wind felt nice even though it was blowing against us.  Best day ever.  The members gave us a ride home.  So GRATEFUL for that because it was 7:00 by the time we even returned to St. Augustine and I was not going to be riding 9 miles in an hour again that's for sure. I  will go slower and talk to everyone. Funniest day of my life.  I think Heavenly Father was laughing with us this entire week.  I'm GRATEFUL that I have new muscles that I have never even seen before, just from biking so much.

On Wednesday, we received Priesthood blessings from our Bishop. I love Priesthood blessings. Bishop finishes with our Priesthood blessings and shares with us something. I believe this is the
cherry on top for this week of adventures. He had just found out that night
that our building will not be opened until September 2015. That is a super long time. 
It will be the greatest thing ever because God has a plan for this area and the members and investigators. Yes, it will be a challenge ten fold, but I know God will provide so many blessings to these faithful members who make the 45 minute long trip to attend church at 3:00. So GRATEFUL we even have a building to attend to and such wonderful members who are ready and willing to do anything.

I guess the point to all of this is that with each of these things, there was always a tender mercy granted and a blessing recognized because we made an effort to stay positive when circumstances seemed quite unbearable.  It turned out to be probably my favorite week of my mission because of how much fun we had and learning to be grateful in a different degree when
literally every plan we had went down the garbage.  It was the best!  God has a different way of doing things and 110% of the time, His plan is always better.  I was able to learn important lessons than I could not have otherwise learned if all of these things didn't happen.  Most of all, to be grateful in ANY circumstance, not just some.  There is always something to be grateful for in everything, even if it's a twig of positivity.  In every moment, choose to find something to be grateful for, your happiness and joy will be increased.  End.

I love you so much! I think about you and pray for you.
Talk to you Tuesday, next week is transfers!

Love, Sister McCook

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