Thursday, February 12, 2015

February 9, 2015 ~ Week 51 (Week 6 Arlington)

Week 6 Arlington

Happy Valentine’s Day Family & Friends!
This week was one huge blur.  Everything just happened so fast and there was a lot of lack of sleep due to this special opportunity that I was a part of to share my testimony of the Book of Mormon to the people in Downtown Jacksonville going to the Book of Mormon musical.
This is how it went each night on Wednesday (super cold and rainy), Friday (bone chilly), and Saturday (COLD). Sunday, nice and Sunny :) was different; we could be outside all day and constantly be talking with someone. 12 missionaries packed into the "Missionary Van" to drive to downtown.  

We had a plan on where everyone was standing so that we wouldn't bombard people with pass along cards.  Usually if people had received a pass along card, I would share my simple testimony to them.  Everything was just so quick because people were moving and moving fast.  There were times where people would stop and listen.  I'll share experiences of that down later.  The show was starting at 7:30, so we arrived there about an hour early to hand out special pass along cards where people could download the Book of Mormon on their phone and read it while they are waiting for it to begin, as well as an opportunity to come to a huge church tour on Sunday evening.  At the 28 minute mark, we were sure that we were by the front because a good number of people walk out of the show due to vulgarity so we would give them a copy of the Book of Mormon and show them what it was really about.  A beautiful witness of Jesus Christ that has changed my life and I know can change others lives.  We would then go inside the Omni hotel and be there until intermission because there was absolutely no one outside.  We would do Facebook work.  After intermission, we go back inside and do more Facebook, until the end....Which was my favorite part!  We stuffed our bags and arms with as many copies of the Book of Mormon as we could carry, and when people came flooding out, my copies of the Book of Mormon were gone within minutes.  There were so many people who were curious.  It was so sad when I would run out of copies to give them, but that didn't stop any of us from sharing still!  We found a lot of people who wanted to learn more.  It was a great opportunity to find people to teach on Facebook as well.

I'll tell you about a few of the people that I found:
Mohammed--found sitting in his car.  Has read every single book from the different religions, EXCEPT for the Book of Mormon.  Miracle!  He wants the missionaries to come over and he wants us to check if there is a Book of Mormon in any of these languages-Persian, Arabic, Pastoon, Hindi, Sohily, Punjabi, Urdu. Pretty neat!
Sarah- I was on a tradeoff with Sister Pasko, one of the other Sisters who was also participating with us anyway!  We found these two sisters who were actually walking out of another orchestra going on in the same building.  They had left early and we got there in time to talk with them.  We told them about the Book of Mormon and I was prompted to say something to Sarah about the Book of Mormon helping me through high school and it turns out she was actually in high school and I had no idea!  She was excited to read it and I will be able to teach her on Facebook.
Dusti- We were on the corner of Pearl and Water Street across from the Towns hall.  Sister Murray was talking to people on one side of the sidewalk and I was talking with people on the other side.  I was looking around everywhere for people to talk with and I just happened to turn around and there was a woman walking behind me.  I caught her attention and walked up to her to invite her to learn about the Book of Mormon.  She said that she was actually looking for a tangible copy of the Book of Mormon. Although unable to meet with the missionaries until June due to her moving around a lot, I will be able to teach her on Facebook until then. Miracle!
I even met someone from Ohio who was just passing by.  He gave me all of his information for missionaries to come teach him.

There are so many more stories and experiences I could go on and on about the miracles, but along with the miracles, come the other side of missionary life as well.  We would be standing on the corner of a stop light, and groups of people would purposely cut corners to avoid Sister Murray and I.  Multiple times I would have to shout out, "It's a green light!" Because there were cars coming and they all would have gotten ran over.  They would stop in their path and I would run out and go get them anyway!  It was unbelievable to me.  Even the parents with children would rather get ran over then have to suffer standing next to a smiling Sister Missionary.  In addition, there was quite a bit of individual persecution that I received.  Some of the most powerful experiences that I had were standing up for my Savior.
All in all, it strengthened my testimony immensely of the power, conviction, and conversion that the Book of Mormon and the Spirit combined will give.  This Book is an instruction Book for families.  It shows us everything that we need to do and become to be happy and return to live with God.  It was translated by the gift and power of God through a humble, chosen prophet who just wanted to obey the Lord.  The fullness of Jesus Christ's gospel is contained in it.  It shows the miracles and experiences that we can have when we access the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  I love the Book of Mormon.  I know it is true.
Love, Sister McCook

Our adventures made it into the newspaper:

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