Monday, July 13, 2015

July 6, 2015 ~ Week 72 (Week 6 Whitehouse Ward)


Dear Family & Friends,

I began my week on Monday night after the work was finished for the day with a phone call from President Craig saying that we will be going on an open-ended trade off with a companionship in Orange Park.  So there we went, packing my bags like the speed of lightening and off we were.  It was a nice 30 minute drive into the Orange Park area.

I was able to serve with Sister Linton who was just finishing up her training.  I enjoyed that opportunity to serve with her and train her the final week.  I was with her all the way up until Saturday morning.  One of my favorite miracles that we had was on Friday.  We walked out of a member's home and noticed a woman watering her plants.  We found her name was Ida and we asked her if she has ever had an opportunity to learn about the Book of Mormon.  She said that she had but the interesting part is that she just moved from New York where she was given a Book of Mormon.  When she made the move, she couldn't find her Book of Mormon and has been searching for one ever since.  We had the member, Alice, standing there across the way share her testimony of the Book of Mormon with her neighbor friend Ida and Ida was very excited to ask questions to Alice as well as learn the restored gospel from us.  After this beautiful teaching moment, we talked with Alice and she mentioned that she couldn't believe that someone right across from her has been looking for a Book of Mormon for that long and she hadn't talked with her. That was an eye opener for me as well.  I wonder how many people that I lived by in Arizona were searching for the Book of Mormon and I just didn't talk with them.  I am looking forward to meeting them :)

I have gained a greater appreciation for technology this week as Sister Sandberg and I had to prepare a Mission Leadership Council training over the phone because we were on this long trade off.

Sister Sandberg and I were jumping for joy when we finally were able to be together again on the 4th of July.  What a happy day!  We spent the day teaching, doing service, finding people, and knocking doors. There really are a lot of wonderful people out here in the world that have their own story, and great beliefs and values of the gospel.

We had a ward activity that was suppose to be at the lake, but we were rained out so we enjoyed a BBQ inside the Church and afterwards when the rain calmed, we were able to enjoy fireworks.

I had a great insight in the Book of Mormon on Sunday reading in 1 Nephi 10 with the focus on helping others to repent.  As I read a verse towards the end, it talks about how "no unclean thing can dwell with God" who is our Father in Heaven.  I pondered and I thought about my relationship with my dad.  Both my parents are my inspirations and I love them.  I thought about what it would be like to not live with my dad again; it was a very sad feeling.  Now in context with the scripture, if we aren't repenting daily-choosing to change and become, then we cannot live with our Heavenly Father who created us.  That thought, too made me sad, but how grateful I am for a Savior who understands and will help us to change when we fall short.  It's one of Heavenly Father's expressions of love towards us His children.

Well, as you know tomorrow is transfers and I am sad to say that Sister Sandberg is leaving me to go be a trainer in the St. Johns Rivers area in Southern Jax.  We had so much fun together these past six weeks.  I learned a lot from her.  She relies on the Spirit for creativity, she establishes her purpose and invites EVERYONE to be baptized, she knows how to love others like the Savior, and she always, always puts others in front of herself.

I do know who my new companion is because I've been on two tradeoffs with her!  It is Sister Clay!! :) She will be my 10th and final companion in the mission field.
What a great 6 weeks to look forward to!

Love, Sister McCook

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