Setente y dos: There is nothing sweeter than missionary work!

Goodness gracious, can you believe how time FLIES??  

I think this week was one of the best of my whole mission.  Well I don't know they have all been great... but this week was very special.  It was SACRIFICE WEEK!  So we woke up early and headed out to work at 7 a.m.  I am SO grateful to be able to finish this way... truly feeling like I have given my ALL.  Sacrificing food and sleep and whatever necessary to work in the service of the Lord.  Every single day we were guided to people that were ready to receive us.  Whether for our own area or a different area in the district, I truly felt that I was an instrument in the Lord´s hands... and that is my FAVORITE feeling.  There is nothing sweeter than feeling the spirit testify through you... than feeling such love for people you have never met before.... than knowing that the Lord sent you exactly to this specific person... basically there is nothing sweeter than MISSIONARY WORK!!!! But none of those great things will end.  I promise to keep serving in this way forever!

On Friday I had the chance to go to the temple.  That was a very sacred experience.  I was able to leave feeling great peace for the service I have rendered in this country.  

I got home Saturday afternoon and went right to work decorating for the WEDDING!  It ended up really pretty... There was quite a bit of stress because the cake got there late... the lawyer got there late.... the BRIDE got there late... but in the end it was BEAUTIFUL!  I felt so blessed to have been part of it.  They had a little fiesta afterwards and we had to kick them out because it was missionary curfew :)  But we had a HUGE surprise that day.  Did I tell you all about Daniel?  He is a muchacho we met through a recent convert.  He went to conference and another time to church and had been progressing pretty well. But last Sunday he didn't come to church and kind of disappeared.  Well on Saturday he called us and said, ´´Today is my baptism right???´´ We were quite shocked!  We explained that he would have to have an interview first but he said he could do it at 6 and be baptized after the wedding at 8.  And so it happened!  But of course, he got to the church for his interview late... so the Elder interviewed him during the wedding... then it was so stressful doing the wedding and the baptism at the same time so we talked to him about changing it for Sunday morning with Randal´s baptism.  Well he just wouldn´t have that.  He was set on being baptized on the fecha we had extended... which is AWESOME!  So we went ahead with it.  I felt like we were in 27 Dresses... going from one event back to the other.  But it was a very spiritual baptism and I am SO grateful for such an opportunity.

On Sunday we had to go early to clean the church and prepare for Randal´s baptism.... 7:30 had come around and Randal still hadn´t showed.  ...7:40... so we called a taxi and rushed to his house.  They were ALL sleeping.  We tried to wake them up and get them to the baptism... but they were too behind.  :(  They promised to get ready quickly and come to be baptized at 12... They got there at 10 and said they wanted to wait until 6 to be baptized.  Nombres we were experiencing a little bit of stress.  :)  We finally arranged everything and finished our meetings.  I was asked to sing the musical number I did with the other two sisters in the sacrament meeting at 1... then we went to say goodbye to Algunas familias.  Then we rushed to the church again.... 5:50... still no Randal... 6:05... nada.... FINALLY lleg√≥ a las 6:30.. The sunday night meeting started at 7.  We got right to it and had a VERY spiritual meeting and ordinance.  Then went right on to confirm him in the evening meeting.  It was a little stressful but I really don't know why I stress!! It is ALL in the hands of the Lord.  He is in charge of everything.  Everything works out :)  

I am SO grateful to have been part of this work.  In the evening meeting, The Bishop had all the missionaries that were finishing their missions or transferring to another area share their testimonies and to finish the meeting all the missionaries sang ´´Placentero nos es trabajar´´ (a hymn only in the Spanish hymnbook) and EVERYONE in the ward started bawling.  It was so sweet to see just how many people we can impact without even knowing it.  We took many pictures with many people... everyone was SO sweet and gave me many gifts. I have just been spoiled rotten.  

Today we woke up early and headed out to San Jose.  I had my last interview with President... Today I will be working here in Escazu.  Tomorrow I possibly have the chance to visit my old area in Tejar!  Then Wednesday at 5 we have our last supper and Thursday in the morning I am out of here :(

I am so incredibly grateful for the chance to serve a full-time mission.  It is the best decision I have ever made and the greatest blessing I have ever received.  I will never forget these people I have met and loved here.  For those that are considering serving a mission.. I can only say.. DO IT!! You will NEVER regret it.  It is rough but there will never be something that you can´t handle with the help of the Lord.  For those that are not members of the church... I invite you to learn more!!!! I promise you that this is the only place that can truly bring eternal joy to you and your family.  If you have questions and concerns, I am happy to talk with you :)  For those that are members... PLEASE do these little things to strengthen your testimony daily.  NEVER LET GO of that iron rod.  Hold FAST CONTINUALLY!  This IS the truth. DO NOT doubt it.  No matter what the world it saying.  Just seek an answer from the spirit and then NEVER doubt it.  To my family... I thank you all soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo very much.  I have been so incredibly blessed to have the parents and family members that tI have.  Thank you for your love, prayers, and support.  

I truly love each and every one of you.  I testify that the gospel is true.. that God is our Father... that Christ LIVES and that through Him, we too can have eternal life.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints WAS restored by the prophet Joseph Smith.  A prophet leads and guides the church today.  THis is the ONLY place that has the priesthood authority to perform the ordinances necessary for salvation.  I love this gospel.  I love this work.  I love Costa Rica.. and I love you!  

I will see you on Thursday... sending all my love..

Sister Cook 

Saying goodbye at the 3 am bus

4 generations! Hermana Santos (Cassidy's hija), Hermana Cook, Hermana Garcia (Cassidy's first hija), Hermana Garcia's Hija, and her hija!

Baptism of Randall Nov 8, 2015

Baptism of Daniel Nov 7, 2015

Temple trip of all the "dying" missionaries

Wedding of Randall and Jessica, Nov 7, 2015

Home at last!

Receiving her Mission Pin for baptizing a family (completing the family of Randall and Jessica)

Hermana Laboriel, Mission President's Wife