Monday, April 6, 2015

April 6, 2015 ~ Week 59 (Week 5 Mandarin 1st Ward)

Hello Family & Friends and...
Happy Easter!  185th anniversary of the Church of Jesus Christ being restored to the Earth.  What a special day.

I think I say that every week is the Best Week Ever.  This is one of the top best weeks.  Everything worked out in the way that it needed to.

We have a Mission Leadership Council once a month where missionary leaders from all over the mission come together and receive trainings from President Craig, Sister Craig, the Assistants to the President, and Sister Kloepfer & I.  Yes, we gave a training!  It was my very first time giving a training in front of all of these amazing leaders--actually, phenomenal.  The best of the mission.  But it was so much fun because they are all my best friends, so when you can look at it as giving a training to your best friends, the "nervous" or "scary" aspect before getting up there, goes away.  We gave a training on the 'Daily Planning Session'.  To sharpen up the skills of our planning so that we can have an intricate planning session that the Prophet and Apostles have directed us to.  I learned so much from preparing and giving this training.  How we plan and prepare for our day shows the Savior how much we love Him.  Because the surrounding focus of our plans throughout the day are, inviting others to come unto Christ by helping them receive His restored gospel and eventually into baptism. (Alma 37:37,41) Since everything in the mission life prepares us for post mission life, I will plan to find at least one person to share the gospel with everyday when I return home.  That is one way I can show my love towards the Savior and my friends.

I was also able to go on a tradeoff with Sister Anderson in the Lake Butler Ward area.  Oh how I loved being there for one whole day.  It's more of a country land with less stoplights than the fingers on my two hands.  It reminded me a lot about St. Johns where Great Grandma lives.  The people there are so friendly, every single one of them.  I walked into the Church during a night where there was Young Women's and a Book of Mormon class.  Every person there made me feel so welcomed.  I felt like I was on top of the world for a day because everyone wanted to know my name and make me feel so welcomed, but not only that, they wanted to know who I was, what is my life like.  The little children, youth, adults.  I had never felt like that before, so instantly.  I realized right then and there that this is how they were with every new face.  I witnessed it.  These people were radiating the light of Christ and you could tell they loved their Savior and honored their covenants because of the way they treated each other they did not know.  I am going to follow their example and bring that Spirit of love and welcome into the lives of people I don't know in my Church ward because it made ALL the difference.  This is also one of the fastest growing Wards in the mission.  I know it's because Heavenly Father trusts this Ward.

I could go on and on about General Conference this past weekend.  The Spirit I felt was incredible, the sessions flew by so quickly.  I had written down four questions and all of them were answered through the words that were spoken and the Spirit that I felt.  I thought it was so neat that Elder Wilford W. Andersen combined two of the personality traits that make me who I am.  The gospel and dance.  It was neat to be able to learn the gospel in my language of dance.  I like how he said, "The dance steps of the gospel are in the mind.  The music of the gospel is the joy felt in the heart."  In dance, knowing the dance combination is great!  We can practice and practice it and have it perfect....and never perform it.  But knowing it and sharing it shows how much you love it because you're communicating a message to others through this talent. Likewise, knowing the gospel is great!  But if we don't live it, then we won't ever grow in experience.  It is like we are hiding the light we have been given.  We won't understand our purpose as sons and daughters in the covenant trying to be like Jesus.

There are so many things I learned.  But this I know, that President Thomas S. Monson is the current Prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  That Jesus Christ is at the head of this Church, who speaks to President Monson and leads him to help us in every step of the way.  I have been called by a prophet, and in the Savior's command to teach His restored gospel to the people here in Jacksonville.  I love it.

Have a great week!
Love, Sister McCook

1. I did mom's General Conference tradition for Sunday and made crepes
early in the morning.

2. That is Sharra's family.  They came all the way from Arlington just to eat
lunch with Sister Kloepfer and I. It was very nice of them to do that.

3. Because He Lives

4. The famous 'blue wall' in Lake Butler

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