Wednesday, February 17, 2016

The pope says hi

Hola Familia,

Elder Dallin H. Oaks front and center!  I am 3rd row back, on the right, on the end. 

I'm just a hankerin' fer some meat!

On Saturday I had the opportunity to play with the choir for Elder Dallin H. Oaks, L Whitney Clayton, Elder Reyes and Elder Walker of the seventy and their wives. What a neat experience. Hermana George wrote my obligato part and gave it to me about 5 minutes before Elder Oaks was to enter. Elder Lambert (on the piano) and I practiced really quite quick and then we sat down... ha ha. I was expecting to feel nervous but I have never felt so much peace when Elder Oaks walked in. We played I stand all amazed and wow did the choir sould beautiful.

Elder Oaks said that this was the only time that he has returned to the same mission twice. Elder Oaks talked about the prepartion that we need to teach. I think this applies to all gospel teachers in the church. Put the information in your mind, and then the spirit will draw from that information in the moment needed. He quoted, "You prepare as if everything depends on you. After, you pray like everything depends on the Lord." 

These are some of the Elders that I flew here to Mexico with in 2014

He also said something very interesting. He said that he will never deny that other churches have authority. Only that our church has the restored priesthood of God and no other church does. We perform sacred acts that "are valid beyond death." And other churches are always saying, "till death do you part." He talked about the visit of the pope being a very positive experience to unite people as families and that Elder de Oyos was invited to atttend the meeting in the national palace with the pope (and that's why he wasn't with us). He said that it was a very good thing for church recognizement among world authorites (a political thing I suppose). That was also very interesting. 


This morning we went up on the roof to see the pope pass by in front of our house. All of the people were lined up as far as you could see with banners of the virgen de Guadalupe and hats and all the people vending confections ha ha. It was pretty neat. My companion and I got pretty excited to see the pope. He waved to us :) We were sure to be wearing proudly our tags and we contacted the other people on the roof ha ha. 

This week my companions knees have been getting worse, she came to Sancristobal with bad knees and it doesn't help that every Sunday we have to climb a mountain to go eat with an hermana. When we got there last week she layed down in the hermana's bed and put her feet up. But her grandson got home to eat and my companion got really embarassed ha ha. WE have an appointment lined up for Thursday.

I think we were in our area for a total of 10 hours this week. We have been running to Tuxtla and Comitan doing meetings and exchanges with the hermana's at every second. 

Remember Hermana Zamora? She finished her mission on crutches!

I think the most rewarding thing we saw this week was a less active family get to church together. We have been visiting them continually, and I would like to think that we have gained their  confidence and helped them in that process of coming back. The dad was excommunicated from the church, according to what I've heard he was in the bishopric and was framed for robbing money from the church together with the bishop and first counselor. He and his wife both served missions. He is SUCH  a nice guy. I couldn't believe it when I heard it. To see him and his wife together at church on Sunday was a miracle for me, because in all my 3.5 months in Sancristobal I have never seen him in church. 

There is an hermana Limon whom I love and I went on exchanges with her. She is 27 years old and she shared with me her story of how she almost got married and then discovered that he was not the one because she really didn't love him, she was just going to marry him because he was such a good guy and everyone was pressuring her. She told me of the decision of telling her parents that she was going on a mission, what she knew she should have done a long time ago. She is an AMAZING woman and the whole time she just shared with me counsel for my coming home. What a blessing that was. 

Remember Hermana Mendez?

Something that she shared with me really hit me. She said that every missionary has their "test of fire." For some it's patience, for others pride, for others sickness, and for others one of the attributes that Jesus Christ has. I think for me the biggest one that I have come to understand better (among many other things) and one that I will work on my whole life is charity. It's love. It is doing things because you LOVE the Lord and you LOVE His Children. Not just doing it to do it. When I work with my heart, I consecrate my actions unto God and I qualify for the grace of God. When I work to work only, everything I do is in vain. 

We should go through this life doing things for LOVE. If we don't do it with our heart, it is in VAIN. 

I finished reading the book of mormon this week and prayed to know if it is true. It is a question that we should never stop asking. I felt peace all the weekend long, especially when Elder Oaks came. I invite you family, to ask God if the book of mormon is true, and I promise you as a representative of His Son that you will feel your answer as it describes in Galations 5: 22-23. You don't need ot wait until you finish it, you can ask on the first page, in the wars in Alma, or in Moroni's promise but the answer will come. I have grown to love the book of mormon SO much.

Mom, I am feeling GREAT I am not sure if I need to see a gastro doctor. I think I could use some pills or something to clean out my intestines but I don't know because I feel great. Okay sometimes I get a rumbling in my tummy but that's normal right? h aha. When I had about 5 months in the mission they gave the whole mission pills to clean out whatever parasite but since that time I haven't taken a single pill to clean out anythign. It might be time again. 



HErmana Cook 

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