Sunday, October 19, 2014

Music and Spanish related?


I LOVE YOU!! And I love the pics you send that captures our family in its natural habitat !! :) 

Okay for starters, this week has been about making connections between Spanish and Music. First of all, here's a quote that I love, "the difference between the skilled and the unskilled lies in the FUNDAMENTALS." The same is true for both missionary work and playing the violin!! Our growth in the gospel is all about our foundation, or our testimony to start. Also you all know how important it is to have a foundation of good technique on the violin before you can start playing more difficult pieces of music. One thing that has been very hard for me here is that we can't listen to music in our dorms. period. And so, I listen to music in my head. But I also replay my lessons in Spanish and different phrases I know in my head, just like music. Hasse once told me that when you're memorizing a concerto, a lot of it is done away from the instrument- it's done in your head. You play through the whole concerto in your head, and that's when you know you've mastered it. So that's what I've been doing with my Spanish- playing through my lessons in my head. It has been so neat to connect my previous life with different aspects of being a missionary! 

Also, look up the Music and the Spoken Word that was broadcast on October 12, because there is the most beautiful song with AWESOME chords!! I don't know if it's just because I've been separated for music so long that I loved it so much or what, but it is called, "The Song of David." (or something like that) Note to self: look this up when I get home.

A few days ago for a devotional in the big auditorium all 2,000 missionaries sang "the battle hymn of the republic!" It was so powerful, I wish you all could have been there to witness that. 

My branch president's wife's tradition is that every time she speaks to us missionaries, she closes with the same three points (and in the same tone of voice- it's powerful). These are the points: 1. Work harder than anyone else! You will see others and you will think they are working hard, but you will say to yourself, "no, they don't know how to work. I know how to work." 2. Love. Love like you have never loved before. Learn about love. CRAZY- EVERYONE JUST WANTS TO BE LOVED! 3. Have fun, smile, and enjoy the gospel!! And when you close your testimonies, always remember in WHOSE name you will end with!! I thought that was neat, and wondered if you could pick three statements of advice to give the missionaries, what would they be?

Also, I encourage you all to watch the video, "Because of Him." It was very neat. The missionaries here were let in on a secret of a big surprise campaign that the church technology department is working on for Christmas, be aware that it's coming up and that is going to be really neat. The church is working in ways now that I thought never were possible.

Now for my investigators whom I love... My companion and I have been teaching Emilia, who doesn't even believe in God. It is more difficult than I thought, but when we listen to the spirit and ask Emilia questions, that is what is important. Bearing testimony like Elder Holley the younger said with the spirit is what moves people to action. Also, it is important that you know the ways in which you feel the spirit. And help your investigators identify what they are feeling. "Este es el espiritu santo!!!" Here are some of the ways I feel the spirit. Think about some of the ways that you feel the spirit, and talk about it in family home evening!! 

- A fiery feeling in my soul- happiness

- A thought or phrase in my mind that leads me to action

- A flashback to the pre-earth life

- A tingly feeling throughout

- Occupies my mind with enlightenment and presses on my feelings- thinking for hours or days

- As I write in my journal, the spirit will prompt me to write something more or write something different than I had planned. I look back at my journal and realize my entries are inspired. 

- An overwhelming feelign of God's love for me and all people

- My whole self shakes and I am moved to say something or do something important- it doesn't stop until I do.

- I cry

- A prompting to pray about something specific or talk to someone. Sometimes what the spirit asks us to do is out of our comfort zone but it's always worth it.

Our other investigator's name is Jacob. He enjoys the good life- partying and dancing. We have taught him the restoration and the plan of salvation, and WE CALLED HIM TO REPENTANCE!! WE HAD HIM ON HIS KNEES!!! Although we are still not sure if He truly believes in God, I think it was a step of faith for him to pray with us for "perdon" as it is in Spanish, or forgiveness. 

Our other investigator, Maribel, IS GETTING BAPTIZED (she is not a real investigator, she is a member acting like an investigator) !! We love her so much and she told us she would sneak in some Spanish cookies for us called "biscochitos..." or something. ha ha. She is from Mexico and she loves us so much!! I shared the story with Maribel about when I was babysitting and Spencer had the bow stuck around his neck and I had a feeling to cut the string- it was the Holy Ghost.

Also, the other day in class the teacher asked us what "Hosanna" means and I was able to share en espanol what it means (Save Us) and I also shared about how Grandma has palm leaves in her home and the significance of that. It was very neat and my teacher LOVED IT!! 

Dad, I'm sorry I wasn't able to host, they have to pick your district... and sadly enough we were just picked for next week and not this week!! But I will look for Sister Stokes, I have already been looking at all the new missionaries with their orange dots on their tags.  

Also, my companion and I love to clean toilets- it's our favorite service. Last time we did it I sang mission impossible the entire time, and we sneaked around from stall to stall with black gloves like we were on a secret mission. IT WAS SERIOUSLY SO FUN!! We would pass the cleaners underneath the stalls in rhythm with my singing and danced around with charlies angels... I know it sounds silly but it was a blast. We probably have cleaned about 100 toilets together! :)

I played my violin for my four Hermana's, just not for the missionaries yet, I'll keep you updated. They all loved it, I played their favorite songs :) Right now we are arranging for our district to sing come thou fount with me on the violin and another Elder on the piano. It's going to be great!! 

The MTC has been a great experience and I have learned a lot here about my testimony, Spanish, and just to embrace the gospel. May God be with you till we meet again, and I CANNOT WAIT TO BE ON THAT PLANE TO MEXICO!!! As every day goes by, I become more calm and I feel more safe about it, I know God will be with me, I feel that.

I love you familia!!!

Dios Velocidad!! (It means God Speed, it's what Grandpa Holley said to me just before I left and now I say it to all the missionaries that I say "hola" to, which is everyone I say walking around on campus :) ) 

Hermana Cook

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