Monday, November 17, 2014

Elder Cook!!!

Elder Cook with the missionaries in the north
A beautiful day turned to a rainstorm in a hurry
With Irma Fernanda who loves to teach with the sister missionaries
Ola minha familia!!

Okay first of all I am seriously so happy for Brookie!! Isn´t the temple amazing?? I literally miss it but every time I think of the covenants I made there I want to work harder so the people here in Portugal can have a temple. This week has been amazing!!

On Tuesday we had divisions with our Sister Training Leaders. A sister from Brazil named Sister Correa stayed in Gaia with sister Torres and I and then Sister Fuertes went to their area. So we had our divisions. First of all it was pretty cool to be with 2 Portuguese speakers for 24 hours, but I seriously learned so much. Sister Correa and I talked about how there was a study done by the church about how many times recent converts heard about the gospel before they were baptized and the average number is 8. Eight times from members and missionaries before they accept to learn more or come to church. So, when we would contact people and they didn't want anything, we would say alright they just need to be contacted 7 more times :-). It made everything more positive and made me realize that they are not completely rejecting our message of Jesus Christ but they are just not spiritually ready right now. I have already had so much joy in this work. I love my Savior and his work. We truly are his hands and we are all he has. 

One funny story. On Friday night we had our ward activity and we had 8 Elders there because they stayed the night at our district leaders house. Well, they were all joking around because some of them have 3 weeks left so they were talking about girls and dates. Anyways you all know me... I have trouble keeping things to myself when I hear not so intelligent things. Haha Anyways lets just say that I am still known as the sassy sister. Haha And I was speaking in Portuguese. The Elders are lucky that I am not speaking English right now. Haha

Okay now about Elder Cook!!! Awe he is amazing. We all traveled to Porto about a 30 minute metro ride and then a 15 minute walk to a capela there. It is pretty fun traveling in a big group of missionaries. Anyways we had about 40 missionaries there and Elder Cook and his wife wanted to meet all of us. It was so cool! I literally learned so much. He was so loving and said how much he and the Quorum of The 12 and the First Presidency pray for the missionaries. And he said missionaries we are in this together!! This is the Lords work and we are his hands! He also talked about when President Hinckley called him into his office in 2007 on a Thursday night (I think shortly after we met him at that stake conference) and extended the calling to be an apostle. Elder Cook said he asked President Hinckley, "Couldn't The Lord  have found someone better than me?" And President Hinckley said, "I don't want to hear any of that." Anyways he told us this because he felt completely overwhelmed. That Saturday he would be sustained an Apostle and give a talk in General Conference. He said I talked to my wife and said honey we are in BIG trouble. And he said that they both wept. Well he also said that he prayed and the impression came to him... "what does an Apostle do?" And he thought well they are a witness of Jesus Christ and then he thought, well I have been since I was baptized so I can continue to do that now. He told us that he felt an overwhelming sense of peace and love and not because of his own personal ability but because of the love he has for the Savior and for the strengthening Power of the Atonement. 

He shared so much more about that we need to change our thoughts and beliefs and overcome ourselves. He also said Elders and Sisters I know this isn't Mexico or Brazil.  I understand that there are a few more baptisms there. But more faith equals more success, so have more faith. The people of Portugal need a temple here. We need to double our numbers here. He told us that after every transfer or once we leave an area it must be stronger than how we found it. The young men and young women should want to serve missions because of you and the Bishop should have complete trust in you. It was seriously amazing. He ended by leaving a blessing with us. He said I know you have left behind families and loved ones, and you miss them. But I promise you that what you are doing here on your mission will effect them for good and they will be blessed and protected. And not only them, but your future family will be blessed daily for your service here. The spirit was seriously so strong. So guys, just know an Apostle of Christ left a blessings for you guys to strengthen you. On Sunday we went back to Stake Conference to here him speak and he spoke a lot about strengthening families and to always have prayers morning and night and family home evening. 

I know he is an apostle of The Lord. We are so blessed to be members of this gospel. He also talked about how we need to teach people, not lessons. He said you need to feel what your investigator is feeling. In the past (a few days ago) I always thought, well if you believe the Church is true then quit smoking or get married. But now I am really trying to feel the way others feel. For example, I like chocolate a lot, but I'm not addicted to it but I expect others to change when I am not willing to stop eating chocolate or have more patience with companions. Anyways, sorry if this doesn't make any sense. I am having trouble writing some words an English, weird.... Haha

I love you all so much!!! I am so blessed to be a member of this gospel. I know it is true. This is Christ's church. Don't be afraid to share the gospel! I love you all so much. Be safe and have a great week.

Sister Lacey

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