Sunday, October 12, 2014

General Conference in the MTC!

Hola Familia!!! 
So... conference was amazing and I got a lot of insights to share!! First of all I LOVED the Spanish talks!! They ROCKED!! Dad, I thought it was interesting that Pres. Uchtdorf said that God will answer people's questions with dreams, visions, etc. I thought of those people you taught in New Guinea who said, "just wait for your dream." 

Also, Tad R. Callister told the story in the movie, "Gifted Hands!!" I couldn't believe it! We all love Ben Carson and his marvelous transformation from unlearned boy to masterful surgeon! Also, Gracee, Tad R. Callister said that Ben Carson's mom said, "successful people read!" AND THAT IS YOU TO THE TEE!! And momma, I love when he said that Ben Carson said, "My mother taught me." Because you are the one who has taught me!! YOU are a missionary right now because you are a mom!! 


Hugo E. Martinez, one of the Spanish speakers talked a little on Family history. How is that going for you Gracee? Have you been doing any lately?

Also, probably my favorite of the whole conference was that Thomas S. Monson invoked a blessing that effects me as a missionary!! He said, "May you who are away from your homes, RETURN HOME SAFELY." Wow! What a special moment that was for all the missionaries around the world. Mom and dad, you have nothing to worry about because God is going before my face and His angels ARE round about me- I can feel it every day. 

During conference i really focused on the spirit was telling me.  A lot of times it really had nothing to do with what the speaker was saying, oddly enough, although it sometimes did. I loved that Dallin H. Oaks said, "though we disagree, we should not be disagreeable... practice civility for differences of opinion...KINDNESS is POWERFUL." I think we should stand up for what we believe in, but be kind in the process. We should also acknowledge and listen to the other persons opinion is so as to understand more fully what the argument really is. I know I can work on having patience and remaining calm in these sort of situations. I'm learning about living with a companion. And IT IS NOT EASY!! ha ha. You have to be extremely patient and tolerant of all the little things that may annoy you. You have to choose to not let them annoy you, and sometimes that is very difficult. I love my companion and I appreciate what she has taught me about living with another person 24-7. Note to self: Hold companionship inventory (as highlighted in PMG) when I'm married!!!! Be a missionary and use missionary technics when I'm married!! Have my kids when they are in highschool learn how to use a daily planner instead of their cellular devices to plan out their days and weeks, and set goals to progress. 

Really quick my journal entry from October 5th... " I had a thought from the spirit this morning. Jeffrey R. Holland once said that the first 3 hours of your day as a missionary will make or break it, and essentially your mission. This means the 3 hours of personal, companionship, and language study. I was just enlightened as to HOW Heavenly Father wants me to allow Him to shape me and change me on my mission. And it will be during those precious hours of study- if I'm seeking, if I desire, and if I thirst for knowledge and am spiritually minded, this will be a time of GREAT SPIRITUAL ENLIGHTENMENT from the spirit. Never forget that!! Make your study of the gospel a sacred time, a time set apart from the world, a time of meditation. If you are tired, sad, worried, or sick, this is STILL the time to receive spiritual enlightenment!! This is one of the keys to becoming consecrated. 

Neil L. Andersen also talked about, "by your fruits ye shall know them..." I think this statement is a great rule of thumb to live by when looking for friends and eventually an eternal companion.

Pres. Uchtdorf said, "Gathering spiritual light is the QUEST of a LIFETIME." D. Todd Christofferson also said, "Take responsibility and GO TO WORK so that there is SOMETHING for God to HELP YOU WITH." If you feel you are at a standstill in your spiritual progression and conversion, do something about it. Feast upon the words of Christ as Robert D. Hales quoted!! Go on a personal quest and search the scriptures diligently, become a scriptorian, or in other words, one who knows and loves their scriptures!! And LIVES WHAT THEY LEARN! 

I also loved when Thomas S. Monson said that Christ taught us how to pray by giving us the Lord's prayer. Look it up it's beautiful- Matthew 6:9-13. 

We had a man named Via Sikahema come and speak to us! Talmage he played football for the GREENBAY PACKERS!! AND THIS GUY KNOWS HOW TO DO MISSIONARY WORK!! A few things I'll write down, is that having a member present (and FOOD) can really work magic!! I had an impression to encourage you guys to invite Barry over for dinner and just show him how the gospel is an integral part of your lives, when you bless the food, the pictures of Christ, and your smiles. You should be proud you're a mormon because that's what defines you!!! I wish I had time to tell you the un-fathomable stories he told me that he has had about missionary work outside of his mission. YOU ALL NEED TO BE MISSIONARIES. ACT LIKE THEM.

We also had the opportunity to watch the Joseph Smith movie which you all need to watch again it has been a while, I think the last time was at the end of our church history trip with Shay and Erin. It touched my heart and brought a few truths to light for me, one of them being that Satan was ACTUALLY there (in JSH it says an "actual being")  just before the first vision, and God allowed Joseph to have that trial because He is a fourth watch God. But we all know that He does come to the rescue. Also, what I truly want in life is an eternal companion who will live a consecrated life of missionary work and love with me!! I also delight in the beautiful phrase, "MILLIONS SHALL KNOW BROTHER JOSEPH AGAIN!!" And wow isn't that coming to life! 
After we watched the movie,  Elder Lyons rushed up to us wondering where his companion, Elder Vanbuskirk was. They had been separated from each other, and couldn't find each other. As soon as Elder L saw Elder V they rushed to each other and embraced and Elder V started to cry! it was truly brotherhood and it was so sweet!! Also Elder V got a candy package from his family for conference and on the package it was so funny it said, "The words of the prophet are as sweet as these candies. Feast on them!!" I thought it was hilarious since Elder V has eaten 17 ice cream sandwhiches in ONE DAY IN ONE SITTING!!! 

Also I loved the general yw meeting, we got to see it, especially the little Korean girls singing I love to see the temple!!! The last girl they zoomed in on looked like a little China doll!!! 

CONSOLATE... me and my companion talked to two members, girls, who were our age in ESPANOL AND PORTUGESE!!!! (at the frontrunner station!) I could understand bits and phrases of the portugese, enough to respond! They came to America from Brazil to learn English. 

Also, on frontrunner, we talked to a lady from HONDURAS!!! In Spanish!!!! IT WAS INCREDIBLE!!! i know it was no coincidence that we ran into these ladies. The lady from Honduras seemed saddened by her families inactivity in the church. We asked her all about her life and she seemed to open up towards us more at the end of the train ride. As she left she said, "pray for me." And so I did. The beautiful lady from Honduras. 

Daddy, also i have something I want you to look up and read, it reminds me of Talmage and you, it's called, "I stand all amazed" by Jeffrey R. Holland from the Liahona 1987, look it up on LDS.org, and read the story that is about 1/2 way through the talk. IT IS INCREDIBLE!!! President Doman, my branch president met with Jeffrey R. Holland for an hour just a few hours before we had a devotional with Pres Doman, and he said that this was the story that Pres. Holland shared!!! 

OKAY THIS IS A FEW HOURS LATER TODAY.... IT IS NOW 3.18 p.m. 
So I auditioned for a musical number here and they're super strict but I made it but I have to cut my song down to 4 and 1/2 minutes intead of 6 minutes, it's a poor wayfaring man of grief. Also today I got to play my violin for a minute and this Elder in my zone who just got here a week started to accompany me IMPROV!! OUT OF THE BLUE!! ANYTHING I PLAYED HE COULD ACCOMPANY ME!! I started playing Ashokan's Farewell and he just improvs the most beautiful accompaniment to it! It was incredible... I couldn't believe my ears. It was fun. But the accompanist I have right now for a poor wayfaring man is great too, he sight read it perfectly the first time I played it with him! Wow.

Today we escaped campus with permission and went and got a burger. Oh my goodness after 3 weeks of mtc food I rejoiced!! See the pic and you'll know. Also we went to Jamba and this lady paid for us out of the blue because we're missionaries!! It was so sweet!! 

Also an Elder Nielson came to speak (not the apostle) and he works with the church missionary stats. He said that our group of 2,000 missionaries will baptize 10,000 people or 3 whole stakes!!!!!! That's crazy. He also said that he sits in the room when the apostles assign the mission calls sometimes, and oftentimes they pick where you're going by choosing which mission president and wife they think you will get along with the most after reading your description!! It's CRAZY!! He also said they were expecting the missionary numbers to keep going down but it doesn't, it keeps INCREASING!!! 

I love you all so much, being a missionary is not easy but worth it, all you young girls reading this letter, I encourage you to start thinking now about missionary service!! 

I love you familia, and I miss you often.

DIOS VELOCIDAD!!

Hermana Cook

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