Wednesday, December 24, 2014

December 23, 2014 ~ Week 44

Hello family & friends
and a Merry Christmas to all!!

This week was such a fantastic week.  We have been trying every home that has Christmas lights up and sharing the gospel with them.  People over here really respond well to the 'He Is the Gift' initiative.  We are so blessed to be able to use it to introduce the Restoration to people.

This week started off with a tradeoff that I went on with my Sister Training Leader who is serving over in Jullington Creek. I went over there for a day and had a wonderful dinner with the Bishop's family as well as we found three families to teach the gospel to. It really was a miracle night down in Jullington Creek, there are more non-receptive people there but there are also many people who are very ready to listen to the gospel.  We had so much fun that day.
In addition, we had our annual mission Christmas devotional up in Jacksonville so we had a very nice long drive up and back. Each Zone did a skit.  Our Zone did a 'Mock Zone Meeting'.  We hold zone meetings every month where we give trainings to one another and set goals.  My 'training' was with a Sister and we did ballet.  It was so very fun!   We had such a wonderful feast and then following, had a devotional.  During the Christmas devotional, there were 
readings from Luke 2, 1 Nephi 11, etc. along with special musical numbers.  The Spirit was very powerful there.  I was caught in a tender moment as I was sitting there pondering on the words that were spoken.  I had been feeling a little sad because I would be missing my family's Christmas tradition for the first time ever that has been held for years. I realized that this was my family's tradition. Exactly like it.  

We have so much fun but we also have a time to reflect and build our testimonies of Jesus Christ together.  This year it was with my mission family.

(I had also received the most special letters of my mission from my parents.  I cried.  I wanted to comment about them on our phone call, but here is fine too :) I loved them.  Every word that was said meant so much to me.  Dad your Christmas journal entries made me cry, that was so special)
The St. Augustine Ward also had such a beautiful Christmas devotional during Sacrament meeting.  I love the gospel and I love my Savior.  He is the greatest gift that I could have---It will never be stolen or taken away from me, It will never brake, It will never wear away...and the same is for you.  I hope that all of you recognize how special you are to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  Think and ponder on the
Savior's birth these next few days and you will truly feel a special Spirit. 

I wrote down many references to prophesies of the Jesus' birth:

Genesis 3:15, Numbers 24:17, Psalm 24:10, Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23, 2 Nephi 17:14, Isaiah 9:6, 2 Nephi 19:6, 
Micah 5:2, Matthew 2:6, Matthew 1:21, Luke 1-2, John 1:45, John 6:14, John 7:42, Acts 3:24, 1 Nephi 11:18, 
2 Nephi 25:19, Mosiah 3:8, Mosiah 13:33, Alma 7:10-15, Helaman 5:9, Helaman 8:22, Helaman 14:2, 3 Nephi 9:16

"Give' said the little stream"Love, Sister McCook

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