Setente y uno: Every day we see little miracles

Randal and Jessica are just the BEST!! Randal passed his interview... everything is going great for the wedding... we are working hard and they are SO prepared.  I am so blessed to have been part of uniting this family for time and all eternity!  

Hermana Fowler has a parasite (or maybe several) :) and is currently in the hospital... on Sunday we did divisions and I stayed home for half the day with her the poor thing.  Lets just say none of us are EVER eating meat again... and we also ´´fired´´ our cook and are going to start cooking at home.

Oh ya I remember something that happened this week!  I had to go to San Jose to renew my cedula even though it expires just FIVE days before I leave the country!! Bummer.  

The rest was normal... preaching the gospel daily :)  Every single day we see little miracles and tender mercies... Every single day I feel this influence of the S
pirit in my life.  Every single day I find new ways I can improve and become more like my Savior.  I am HEARTBROKEN that this is all going to end soon...  Last week the YSA stake sent me a letter with a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland.. It´s the talk where he says, ´´What I need, Peter, are disciples.  And I need them forever.´´ This talk really impacted me.  I truly am a disciple of Jesus Christ.  Not just in Costa Rica.  Not just for 18 months.  FOREVER!  My whole life is dedicated to serving my Lord and my God.   

Well folks.  Here I am.  Starting my last real week in the mission.  I am so sad to be leaving all these people I have come to love so much.  But I am very much looking forward to the way I can serve Heavenly Father for eternities on end.  I love you, dear family. And I will see you soon :)

love, Sister Cook

Semana Setenta: This is the treasure - eternal life

Hello All!! It has been another amazing week in the Work of the Lord.  What a blessing to be part of it!


on Tuesday we taught Jessica... Randal wasn´t there.  She told us that they had talked about it and had decided to wait to be married until next year :( :( we were heart broken.  But we had brought with us a beautiful picture of the temple that we had signed with our names and theirs and the date of their wedding... the 7th of november 2015 and their sealing.. 7th of november 2016.... she stared and stared at that picture of the temple... which stands for everything she as a member of the church wants in her life.. and said, ´´I´ll talk to him.´´

On Wednesday and Thursday we couldn´t teach anyone because we headed to San Jose for a mission conference with Elder Duncan, the President of Area.  It was an AMAZING conference.  I received so many answers.  First of all Elder Duncan came to greet me and tell me that Elder and Sister Lloyd say hi!  What a treat!  Then Sister Hubler and Sister Fowler and I did a musical number-  Oh my Father to the tune of Come thou fount of ever blessing.  The Lord has been blessing me with my talents in the mission.. everything changes when your intent isn´t to impress.. but to bring the spirit.  I made up the piano part without music and it was kind of pretty!  I tried to send a bit to mom from President´s ipad but I dont know if it worked.  The conference was truly amazing.  Some themes were:The Savior... The WHOLE reason I am here is to serve my Lord and to bring others to Him.  Sometimes we make everything so complicated... but I just need to help others strengthen their faith in Christ.  He said our vision for the mission should simply be to have a firm testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ.  He also talked about how every single person in the world has a specific plan.. maybe we find one person that is ready to be baptized today.. and his neighbor isn't ready until June of 2017.  Okay!  So what are we going to do to help them progress towards that date?  Maybe this December we will share a video of Christ with them.  Maybe in January we will bring them friendship cookies.  Maybe in February we will invite them to Family Night... maybe in June of 2016 we will invite them to a church activity.. etc.  I just loved that because I think I got so upset thinking I´m not baptizing I´m not baptizing... so okay!  I´m not finding those that are ready today.  But everyone I find will be ready at one point!  What am I doing to help them progress in their specific plans?  What are we doing at home to help our nonmember friends progress and strengthen their faith in Christ?  Maybe we have those neighbors or family members that we think will NEVER accept the gospel.  We should pray to know what their specific plan is... WHEN they will accept... right now... later this year... in five years.... and then make specific GOALS and PLANS to help them progress in that specific plan.  I just loved it.  He also talked a lot about how this mission is NOT about me.  If I´m not baptizing and I´m bummed about it.. get over it!  It has nothing to do about me!  It has to do with My Savior and my brothers and sisters here that NEED what I have.  He taught us more effective ways to teach with members and we applied everything with Randal and Jessica and it was a HUGE success.....

That lesson took place on Friday.  We taught them in a member's house... we had previously visited the members that day to describe the lesson we were going to teach (word of wisdom and law of chastity).  We started by talking about the temple picture we had given them and what it represents.. then we took a framed picture of the temple off the members wall and had the member explain how much it means to her... as we finished all that we told them to throw the picture and break it and step on it and destroy it.  They were seriously appalled and said they could never do it.  We asked why and they explained that it was something so sacred and meaningful that they could never defile it.  At that point the member shared 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 that talks about our bodies being temples.  We proceeded to teach them two commandments that specify what we put in our bodies and how we use our bodies.  It was very effective and they commited to live these important commandments.  Then we asked them... without pushing or influencing or insisting... ´´Hermanos, when do YOU want to be married and baptized to be able to keep these important commandments?´´... they looked at the temple... and at each other... then said, ´´the seventh.´´ :) :) I was SO grateful.... As Elder Duncan told us... when we teach people the treasure... when we stop just telling what they have to do and what they are doing wrong... and show them the blessings of living the gospel... they will want to come to church.. they will want to be married.. they will want to be baptized.

This gospel is TRUE.  It is true... Elder Duncan said that everyone always said ´´This church is true´´ he said what does that really mean??? The true church??? All the churches teach true things... all the churches help others come unto Christ.  The GOSPEL is true.  The ONLY difference is that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the ONLY church that has the authority of God to perform the ordinances essential to salvation.  When we teach them that... when we help people understand how essential a baptism, sealing, etc. is... they will WANT to come.  This is the treasure... eternal life.  And it is only possible through this gospel and the authority found in this church.

I LOVE this gospel.  I am so grateful for the chance to serve my Heavenly Father.  This is HIS work.  It has nothing to do with me... but it is such a privilege to be an instrument in His hands.  I love you all, I cannot believe I will see you so soon.  I will keep giving it my ALL until I am home  (and then keep going in different ways!!) :)  I love you so very much and miss you all.... I pray that you will all come closer to our Savior this week.... all we do is for Him.

Love, Sister Cook