Monday, August 29, 2016

I am just so excited this probably makes no sense!

Hello Family and Friends!
This week with another tornado warning, I felt at peace being in the church building. Looking outside was as if I was standing behind a giant waterfall. The rain came down in buckets! It was great. The Holy Ghost is there to comfort us, and it did just that.
This week we heard from Elder Hamula from the seventy and he taught us so many great things. One thing that I learned from the Spirit was the importance of having faith in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and the true desires of our heart. If we truly desire to do God's will and have faith in Him then through our faith miracles can be truly manifested. The next day in my studies I had my "5,000 trains" running through my head of things that I desired, so I thought to write as many as I could down to make sense of it all. One desire that I had was to be an instrument in God's hand in helping others make changes in their lives that will bring them closer to Jesus Christ and his atonement. By the end of the week, I decided to reflect on the positives rather than the negatives and by doing so I was able to recognize the change in families that we have been teaching. They are changing and excited to take their next step with Heavenly Father through Jesus Christ. Ah! It is so cool to be a witness to people working through hard things and becoming essentially happier.
This letter is probably too vague to understand, but I hope through the Spirit you will understand what I am trying to convey. As we change, we are repenting, and repenting is the greatest thing ever! Ah, I just get so excited about repentance every time I think about it! It is so painful to change and it can be frustrating and overwhelming, but through Jesus Christ we can be lifted from our burdens and make great CHANGE!
Side story, this week we had someone call us, that once again had a high consumption of alcohol in that moment, and told us over the phone that we couldn't change him. I thought about that and knew he was right, we couldn't change him. So we asked him, "Who can help  you change?" and he told us only God could. We were grateful that he understood that we were not there to change him but to only invite him to come unto Christ so that he could change through our Savior Jesus Christ.
See, I am getting excited all over again by just reflecting a little bit on repentance!
If we want to know anything then we should pray and ask God and He will answer, I can promise that! I don't know when or how but I know the answer will be for our benefit in the long run.
I sure love you all!
Thank you so much for your love and support!

Matthew 7: 7-12
Mosiah 5: 2-5

Sister Cook

Here are just a few pictures with a few of my new friends.

 Do What is Right; Let the Consequence Follow

Hello Family and Friends,
I am not sure if life can have a dull moment. Maybe some experiences are not as lively as others, but over all I think life can get pretty exciting. This week the events seemed to never end.

Sister Nelson and I got proposed to; we declined.
A man consumed too much alcohol and started to yell at us; we left promptly.
Had the opportunity to sit next two 4 cute kids under the age of 9 in Sacrament meeting; I grew an appreciation for parents. 
We acted out David and Goliath with a young family; they are excited to read the scriptures.
I thought we lost contact with someone we love; we found them!
Testified of Jesus Christ; someone wants to learn of him.

Picture 1
We helped someone move, we then changed back into our dress clothes and forgot our dress shoes. We figured this didn't look right so we went back for our shoes!
Have a wonderful week!
Good luck to everyone that is going back to school! You are in my prayers.

Shaky and ready to Change

Hello Family and Friends,
Yesterday, in Sacrament meeting, we sang Nearer My God to Thee with the Elders, the ward mission leader and two other girls from the ward.  I don't know what it is, but when I perform I get shaky. Sister Nelson had to hold the Hymn book before it shook out of my hand. Overall, it went really well, and I am grateful for any opportunity to strengthen my shaky weaknesses.
I loved hearing from President and Sister Welch this week at our first Zone Conference with them. The thing that really stuck out to me was repentance. Do we fully understand what it means to repent? I notice when someone is truly repenting because of the change of heart they are experiencing. I have witnessed over and over again people having a change of heart as they incorporate prayer, scripture reading, and attending church into their life or anything else that turns them to God. It is through Jesus Christ that we can change (repent). I love when people decide to do good things out of their love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It is a personal choice and we have been given the gift from God to choose for ourselves. Aw, it is just so neat to see it in action!
Well, it was just another week of walking and talking!
Have a MARVELOUS WEEK and go make a good change!
Picture 1: Sister Nelson and I with Sister Welch

Should I do it?
Hello Family and Friends!
Oh, man, I just love hearing the miracles from you all! It sounds like a lot of good things are going on back home! YAY! That makes me happy.

(If you haven't been the receiver of good things lately, then be patient, love others for their success right now, and prepare for your bright future with faithin Christ. I promise it gets better!)

So I am running short on time, but I just want to share with you this thought. Yesterday, I was flipping through the new Ensign for this month and I came across a talk by Elder Bednar. I read the title and I felt like I should read the talk but then I fought with that counter-thought.
"Maybe it would be boring and not be any interest to me"
"Why should I waste my time on it?"
 Then I thought, how sometimes in life the times we don't want to do something is when we REALLY SHOULD DO IT! (clarification: to do good things, not things that will risk our lives for the worse)
I knew that it wouldn't be bad or condemning to my soul. So, why not read a talk from an apostle? I began to read, and yes I got REALLY EXCITED! (Thank goodness, I didn't act on  that second thought) This is the talk I have been looking for! 

Rewind, my third year in college there was a devotional with Elder Bednar speaking to the Young Single Adults. He told a story that impacted me for the better. I loved the message that he had to share because it helped me through a lot of things in my life and the things I was going through at that time.
Back to me reading the article yesterday, it was that same talk! I forgot about it recently and it wasn't until I read it that the Spirit brought back a lot of good things to my remembrance (John 14:26-27)
I love when Heavenly Father does that, He sends us great reminders through the Holy Ghost.
I am glad that I didn't get lazy and not read that talk or I would have never discovered something greater.
Here is the link to it for anyone that would like to read it.
Go make the best this week!
(No pictures, again, because I forgot my cord.)
Sister Cook

 5,000 Trains

Hello Family and Friends,
Something that I am coming to realize about myself is that I have thousands of thoughts always running through my mind. I have been apologizing to Sister Nelson for my "5,000 trains" always going (she is so good to me). So MANY thoughts keep running through my mind that when I talk I am not sure if it all makes sense. This pertains to me writing this letter right now. I have so many things that I want to share and testify of but to release my 5,000 train of thoughts would be overwhelming and I don't want any train wrecks. Plus, trying to cram all thoughts down right now would become disorganized and a mess.
Ah-ha, I will write a quick bullet point of things and then attach a lot more pictures than two because I finally have access to loading pictures.
- We got to teach the Junior and Senior Primary kids yesterday and it melted my heart! They made me laugh and I couldn't stop smiling from their bright spirits.
- We have been teaching a lady English and we realize that we are not fully equipped so we are going to help her find classes to learn and then we can continue teaching her about the gospel.
-  This week has been exhausting and tiring but I continue to be uplifted by Jesus Christ. It is through him that we can find relief. Of course we need to have faith in him, have real intent as we seek him, and are willing to change through him.
- The other day we were tired of being exhausted and rejected so in the car (I remember a sister I served around in the past made a "miracle wall" in her apartment.) So we decided to make a mini version in the car. Through out the day, as we drove around, I would write down the grace and miracles that we witnessed every hour. By the end of the day it was fun to see the dashboard filled with post-it notes of good things. I am learning that through trying times we can still endure to the end and enjoy the journey. It is all made possible by our Savior, Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice.
- I keep reflecting on ALL the areas that I have served so far, and ALL the companions I have had, and ALL the people I have met, and I am just in awe. I can't put it to words, but everyone has touched my life in some way. I think of ALL you back home and I am in awe that God would put you all in my life. I can't express how much I love you all. Thank you so much for your support, your testimonies, and for making me laugh.
Have a wonderful week!

Picture 1:

She is preparing for a mission! We love her so much! She is basically my sister. (Picture credit: Her 5 year old sister) 

Picture 2:

Mini Miracle Wall In our car! 

Picture 3:


Picture 4

Beautiful Indiana!  I love it here!

This is quick and random but I love you all!

Dear Family and Friends,
I am STAYING in the great Columbia City Ward with Sister Nelson!! My heart is overjoyed right now! Sister Nelson and I are super excited because this new transfer is going to be so GREAT!

This week has been so marvelous, I have been loving to discover my purpose in this area with Sister Nelson. We continue to find and discover God's will for us.
Unfortunately, I don't have time to write out an email for the week and my picture converter is broken (that is why I haven't sent pictures for the past month). 
I just want you all to know that I love you so much! Thank you for your love and support.
I pray that you all will have a wonderful week! Go make the best of it.

I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to this earth in its fullness. I know that we have a modern day prophet to lead and guide us in these last days. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer.
I sure love you all and I am grateful to be out here.
Sister Cook
I found a picture on my email of my zone from this past transfer. We had an activity on Preparation Day. They are so wonderful!

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