Monday, August 24, 2015

Wow! What a fast week it has been! Nothing to crazy to report from this week. I can't believe that it is already Monday. Today is the 24th which means that this marks my 2nd month being out on a mission! CRAZY!  I love it out here. I love all the people and the lessons that I am constantly learning each day. As I submit myself to God's Will everyday I find myself growing and learning more and more. The days that I am stubborn and not willing to do that... Ha, well I bet you can imagine my kind of days. Yay, for learning!
Yesterday was Stake Conference and it was truly amazing! We had one of our investigators sitting right with us. Oh it was such a good meeting and all the messages that were shared. The Stake President gave great insight on 1 Nephi. He talked about how Lehi took his family across the wilderness on a journey to get to the promise land and  they all had trials and afflictions. It is apart of God's plan to have those trials in our life. As we grow and learn to rely on him during those times we are strengthened in Him. Nephi is a great example of how to endure through those trials. Laman and Lemuel have a harder time in understanding why they have to deal with their afflictions as they journey to the Promised Land. I guess it is all about perspective. It is how we look at things. We all have our free agency to decide on how to cope and deal with our everyday situations. Our end goal is to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and through our trials we can grow closer by living the gospel of Jesus Christ. Everyday focus on faith, repentance, our baptismal covenant, listening to the Holy Gost, and enduring to the end.
Of course I can't speak with the same power as the speakers did yesterday. It was just so neat to be in a ward with so many converts and members that are not perfect (because unfortunately none of us are perfect yet) but that are trying everyday to be more Christ like.
Well it has been a quick and awesome week but I love you all so much! I hope that you are all enjoying life and the adventures that you are taking right now!! Good luck to everyone!
Thank you for the love and support!
Love Sister Cook
1.Beth got her call! She is going to California, Bakersfield!! YAY!!!!!! She is going to make such an awesome missionary. She is truly amazing and such a great example. She is always out with us and always helping us out in our crazy situations! I don't know what we will do when she leaves.
2. THIS MADE MY DAY! Lady bug is of course one of my many "bug" nicknames from growing up. I guess you could say it is my mini mascot. Anyways, during my scripture study in the morning this little ladybug decided to pop up. Weird but cool!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

August 17, 2015

Yesterday, in the morning, the Sister over Primary came and asked if we would be a substitute teacher for CTR 6 class. I about died! OF COURSE! CTR 6 are the 1st and 2nd graders. My heart melted. I felt back in my zone! It was so fun to sit during singing/ sharing time with the little kids. Seriously, little kids say the funniest things! I about died. I was trying so hard to not laugh. Anytime a picture was held up of any prophet or anyone that we were learning about the sunbeams (which I think they are 3 and 4 years old?) would shout out, "JESUS!" Another little kid was trying to get the teachers attention to answer her question by answering, "But I know where Jesus lives!" and then he proceeded to say things that I wish I could remember, but of course his answer didn't have to do with what she was saying. Oh but they were just so cute! It wasn't chaotic. They were well behaved but loud. Oh my element. 
Speaking of teaching, doesn't school start soon? I wish the best to everyone starting school! My kiddo's will be starting 7th grade! Wow. So crazy! Good luck to everyone out there!
This week has been an absolute blur! Nothing too crazy and exciting but so much to do. 
I have really appreciated the time that I get to study in the morning. It is a calm time for me to study and learn more. A scripture that I really appreciate that I came across this week is in D&C section 76 verse 19:
"And while we meditated upon these things, the Lord touched the eyes of our understandings and they were opened, and the glory of the Lord shone round about." 
I looked up the definition of meditation and it is "a continuous thought. To think about doing something."
I never thought of meditation that way. It has made me change the way that I study my scriptures. I have been trying harder to continue thinking about the things that I can do. What things can I do each day that will improve my life and the lives around me? This has made me to reflect on a lot of change that I need to make! 
Have a wonderful week everyone! 
I love you all so much! I hope everything is going well. 
Sister Cook

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015

Hey everyone!
Wow! What a WEEK! I am still trying to wrap my brain around everything that is happening here this week. I am seeing so many miracles! God is good. I owe all that has happened to Him. I can't take credit for anything.   Thank you so much for all your love, support and prayers! I really appreciate it!
This week I decided to focus on the word "Repentance." Did any of you cringe when you read that word? I know that I did. I don't like how it has a negative conatation. I decided to study and apply it to my life this week. I love this word now! I get the most peace from it when I think about how it is a way to turn closer to God. When I think of it that way then it makes sense to me. Everyday I need to find ways to turn closer to God. What things do I need to do to create a better relationship with my Heavenly Father. What a week it has been and I am so grateful for His love and kindness. He loves all of us. I know that with every fiber in me.
I just love the people out here in Ohio! AH. They are so great.
The kiddos out here start school on WEDNESDAY!!! I was thinking about everyone back in Utah getting ready for school. Enjoy your last few weeks of Summer! Have so much fun! I love you all! God bless you.
Here are a couple pictures for the week.
The pictures of the Sunflower field was a great tender mercy. It has been my favorite field to drive by and then I soon found out that it was the front yard to one of our members yard! I am now slightly obsessed with sunflowers.
THE RAIN HERE IS CRAZY! It is so GREAT! The other day it rained all day and didn't stop. Another day we had a hail storm. In our area the hail got up to the size of marbles! Don't worry I didn't get hit by them. I am safe.
Sister Cook 

August 3, 2015

First off let me just say, TOMATOES! I LOVE tomatoes. I have this crazy addiction to them...especially if they are fresh from the garden. I didn't realize how obsessed I was with them until I received packages of my favorite kind in the mail from my mom in the MTC. I then realized I had a slight problem. Anyways, the other day I received a tender mercy while we were at a members house for dinner. She had a tomato garden! YAY! We were eating some for dinner and then she found out my love for them from my companion. So she quickly grabbed a grocery sack and filled it full! AAA! My heart was overwhelmed with love. So now our fridge is spilling out with tomatoes (don't be jealous mom.)
Well the other day we were having a pretty rough day (I promise this will not turn into a complaining letter or sob story.)  I assume anyone that has come from a previous mission, sales job, dating or any other form of getting rejected can hopefully relate.
So on Friday my companion and I made it a goal to talk to every person that we encountered. We went walking and literally talked to everyone in our path. By the end of the night we were tired and exhausted. Not one person was interested. We had 30 minutes to go before we could head into our apartment and we were walking with our heads hung low and our hearts feeling pretty broken. Passing a couple cars down we saw a lady jump out of her car and start screaming! We happened to pass her car at the time she was screaming "Get it out! Get it out!" We quickly assessed the situation and realized she had a bug in her car. I quickly asked if I had permission to go in her car to get it out for her. (Let me quickly inform you native Utahans....those that are not familiar with the Ohio land...BUGS tons and tons of BUGS. The variety is huge!)  So I quickly take my shoe off hop into her car and there in front of me is a huge flying bug....I don't want to be dramatic but it was the size of a....hmmmm ok my brain is drawing a blank. But it was big. I then realized that I got myself into a predicament.Gah! I started praying, "please give me strength to get this bug out of this ladies car!" The lady had every reason in the book to be afraid. Finally the bug flew out. *Phew*. We then talked with the lady and she was so sweet. She found out we were mormons and she went off and explained how much she admired us and what we do. We shared a brief message with her and got to see her again yesterday. It was great.
Even though this week has been filled with a lot of rejection more than I can count. My companion and I have started to say all the blessings from each day. We then realize that there are a lot of good things going on. There truly is opposition in ALL things. We have to experience the negative to experience the positive. I am learning to apply that to any situation that I encounter. The scripture that I have been repeating in my head over and over again is in John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, I give unto you. Neither let your heart be troubled nor let it be afraid." PEACE we all need peace in our life.
It is possible to feel peace even during times of pain, sorrow and rejection.
Well I love you all!
Enjoy your last month of SUMMER!
Sister Cook
Here are pictures of some amazing ladies that have blessed my life!
My companion Sister Witherspoon
Sister Armstrong
and Beth!
I am learning so much from everyone out here.