Sunday, January 26, 2014

"Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy." 2 Nephi 2:25

 “Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.”  2 Nephi 2:25
To no ones surprise, time is short today. Idk what it is about an hour...but it's hard to read lots of emails and then write one....oh well :) This week has been a week... Every minute was crazy slow. But the days have just at the speed of sound. So crazy loco. 
So first off, last week I forgot to inform you that I went to salt lake and got my visa!!! hooray, I will be for sure leaving to Mexico on Feb.3!!!!
Wow. wow. wow.
Just typing that makes me feel all sorts of nervous and excitement!!

Since I don't have lots of time on email left, I’ll just write about some lessons I’ve learned this week (and although I’ve learned them...I’m still trying to apply them. It's very much a work in progress). 

There are SO many AMAZING examples here.
Like so many. I know I’ve already said this...probably too much even, but my teacher, Hermano Passantino is like the greatest human being. Ever! I am humbled every day from his experiences and how he teaches. He definitely is on his way to being a prophet. Well one day, when we were all stressed and looking like we wanted to cry, he just decided to pretty much skip the lesson he had planned and tell us stories. He told us a bunch about his mission in Argentina. The more stories he would tell, the more I would feel SO bad for not being a better student. For not being a better person. A better missionary!! Like I really was beating myself up mentally because of how good he is!! Well later as I was pondering on his amazingness (I know it isn’t a word, but it describes him), I had a thought come to my head, “God has blessed me with SO many good people around me, not to make me feel bad and stupid, but to help better myself!!! He doesn't want their goodness to bring me lower, he puts them in my life to make me better!!”   Sometimes when there are really nice and outgoing people around me, I have a strange temptation to be jealous of them. But that is not right. I just need to look at the good things about them and then try and emulate those things!!! So yeah...even though this is a lesson I should have learned looooooooooong ago...I am relearning it this week as well :) So don't beat yourselves up because you think someone is better than you, just work on becoming better :)
This is kind of like the first.
Because of the many many good examples I have around me, I often just wish that I was like them. I wish I was a good example, a good leader, a good friend, a better missionary, etc. Well I came to realize that if I want to be all of those things...I need to DO all of those things. I can't just wish I was nice and friendly to everyone and not be. I can't be someone that loves everyone if I don't love. If I want to be someone that is patient with others around me, then I need to be patient. I need to speak with kindness. Like I know this is like common sense...but it's some sense I’m coming to get more of while being here. So yeah...if you want to be better...THEN BE BETTER. You can't be better by staying the same. 
Every Sunday after our devotionals, we come back to West campus and they have some church movies/devotionals playing. This Sunday we decided to go to the Joseph Smith video again. I ALWAYS love that movie. Well as the movie was coming to a close, I just had a VERY overwhelming feeling of gratitude for Joseph Smith!!! Because of him, I am here on a mission!!! Because of him I have the knowledge that Jesus is my Savior, he died for me, I can repent and become clean, I can have the gift of the 
Holy Ghost, and I can return to live with God again. Because of his sacrifice, I have happiness. I was thinking about how great that was, another thought came into my head. What am I going to do differently as a result of that? Yeah, being grateful is good and all...but what am I going to do to change? What am I going to do as a result of his sacrifice? Having gratitude is not enough. We need to change!!! I need to change. When I got home, I wrote in my journal things to work on...I challenge all of you to find something(s) to work on. Yeah, you're grateful for Joseph Smith and the gospel...but now what? What are you going to do to change? How does his sacrifice, and the sacrifice of our Savior change us?
Being happy. 
Like I was saying, because of Joseph Smith (and more importantly our Savior), I have the ability to be happy because of the knowledge I have. But, for some reason, I get discouraged a lot and then I’m sad. This is not right!!! This message and gospel I’m going to be sharing is all about happiness. "The plan of happiness." 2 Nephi 2:25 aAdam bfell that men might be; and men care, that they might have djoy“  We are here to have joy and be happy!!! I had to make a conscious effort this week to be happy even when things went wrong. When my lesson was a TOTAL failure, when I felt dumb not being able to speak the things I wanted, when I felt like all of my preparations and studying was for nothing. I choose my attitude!!! All of those things are SO so so so so so unimportant in the grand scheme of things. I shouldn't let a failed lesson (or two...or five...) make me sad when the message I’m trying to share is about happiness. Kinda hypocritical of me ;)

So anywho....those are some of my lessons this week. There were SO Many more...but my time is up. 

I received some fantastic letters this week. Very inspired. So thank you to everyone that took time to follow that inspiration!!! 

I love all of you SO MUCH!!!
Love love love you!!!

Hermana Cook

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