Sunday, January 12, 2014

"All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good." D&C 122:7
Once again, much has come to pass this week. So much. 
Remember that one time I was in a 3 some?? Yeah...well I’m not anymore. 
I got another companion sent home. :l
Just teasing. Chiste chiste!! ;) One of the girls in our zone broke her pinkie finger and has to stay for 3 more weeks. Her district left on Monday, so she got put with us :) Poor thing ;) Just kidding. 

But her staying with us was a real test of my faith. And it still is...but I’m pulling through.
Here's why-
I've had soooo many companion changes since I've been here. haha I even made a joke to them that know one can stay with me for longer than a week...which has proven to be true so far. Coincidence??? ("I think not!!) Anywho so I'm in my 3 some happy and loving life when President Dittmar comes over and says, "as you know, Hermana  Benally will be staying with us for 3 more weeks. Hermana Andelin, you will be her companion." At that moment, my heart sunk and I had an overwhelming fear come upon me. Hna. Andelin is pretty much fluent in French and took 2 semesters of it at BYU and is SO GOOD AT IT!!! She is by far the most fluent of anyone here. Like our whole zone...and probably anyone at the MTC. She is the reason why our lessons were going well, why we were able to understand what our "investigators" were saying, etc. She was the back bone. And now she would not be our companion any more. I really did feel sick to my stomach. I was also nervous about Hna Skeen. I was replacing her original companion!! She had to be feeling even worse. Maybe even angry. As I was feeling sad and sickened, I kept reminding myself about how I had read about faith last week. I needed to have faith. I think my theme scripture has become DC 122:7 "all these things shall give thee experience and be for thy good." I needed to have faith. And ironically enough, that morning I had prayed and fasted for increased faith. I told the Lord that I wanted to have more faith in Him and that I was ready and willing to accept His will for me. (The jokester. )

Since it was fast Sunday, we had a mission conference. AMAZING!! Everything I needed to hear. I cried....but I was sneaky about it so no one knew ;) I would love to share EVERYTHING that was said and shared, but there is no time!! Basically everything I needed to hear: have faith, don't take council from your fears, we can do hard things, look to him in every thought, I’ll do what you want me to do dear lord, God will not fail us if we are obedient, plus so much more. It was such a blessing and tender mercy :') 
Skip to Tuesday. We have a new teacher, Hermano Bruce (small world, he served in Argentina with Jessica, he knows Derek because he was in the mission his parents were mission presidents over, and he knows Aunt Lynette...he said she is really nice and even made him snicker doodles once. Cray-cray :) Anyway...he is our new investigator as well. So first time teaching him with my "new" companion it was just short of a disaster. We tried to prepare but there was just this wall that was between us. I didn't feel like she had helped to prepare the lesson, she seemed SO annoyed at everything I did, whenever I asked her opinion on stuff she would just say "I don't care" or "whatever" or "it's fine." I was trying so hard not to cry.  So we go in the lesson, I pretty much forget everything I’m trying to say, and it was just awkward and the spirit wasn't there. Terrible. 
So all day we're trying to plan for our lesson for Wednesday for "Luis" our other teacher, Hermano Passantino. We, (mostly me) decided we should teach about the Atonement. Our previous lesson was about the plan of salvation so we were going to focus on that. So we are trying to plan our lesson and it is just SUPER awkward. She's not talking, I'm just rambling and trying to make small talk and yeah. Disaster. And my heart and soul hurt. It just felt like I was suffocating. I had a thought to just stop our "planning" and ask her how she was feeling. What she was thinking. We were having no progress in our planning and I wanted to scream. So an hour passes by and nothing. No progress on anything. So I finally get up the courage to just ask her how she is, how she is feeling about Hna. Andelin not being with us, etc. At first she was kinda like "what do you mean...?" So then I just told her how I was feeling and how I felt so inadequate and sorry that I didn't know Spanish and that I'm sorry I wasn't Hna. Andelin etc. It was CRAZY how much everything changed. She told me how she felt, we talked about how we study best, how we prepare, etc. It was night and day. I felt the distance between us melt. We made goals that could help us be better in Spanish and other things, and yeah. Just crazy. I knew it was the Lord that had put that thought into my head to ask her how she was doing and how she felt. I was dumb to wait over an hour to actually act on the prompting. But I’m just grateful that I did in the end. 

Skip to Wednesday. We have our lesson with Luis. We are still nervous because Hna Andelin wasn't going to be with us and we were actually going to have to talk during our lesson. SCARY!!! Since the day before we had come together in unity a lot more, we were less afraid. We hadn't finished our lesson completely, but we both know the general idea. Before we knocked on the door, we prayed together and it was fabulous. I told her that everything was going to be alright, we just needed to have the Spirit there and have faith. Our lesson was far from perfect. I forgot a lot of the words and phrases I had studied, but when I stumbled, Hna Skeen picked it up. When she struggled, I had something to say. One of the many tender mercies in that lesson was when we had Luis read a scripture (Alma 7:11-12, 14) 
 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and aafflictions andbtemptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will ctake upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.  
 12 And he will take upon him adeath, that he may bloose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to csuccor his people according to their infirmities.
  14 Now I say unto you that ye must arepent, and be born again; for the Spirit saith if ye are not born again ye cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven; therefore come and be baptized unto repentance, that ye may be washed from your sins, that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, who is mighty to save and to cleanse from all unrighteousness.
He then asked us what a word meant. We looked at it and had NO idea. We knew what the scripture was talking about, but we had NO idea which word he meant. All the sudden I remembered my English scriptures and a note I had written in there. "Succor" means to run to. I knew that was the word he was talking about. So I was able to explain it to him. It was so amazing. THEN it was time for us to ask if he would be baptized. He told us no again because he still hadn't gone to church. I was like...ok, fine. Next week then. Well Hna. Skeen just kept asking about it and said "will you prepare to be baptized....." anywho, long story short, he said he would!!!!!!!! He told us he was so grateful for our Savior and the things he had done for us. We both bore our testimonies to him and yeah. It was amazing. We ended our lesson, we got Luis to say the prayer then we left. We were both so happy. We came out into the kitchen where we had studied and knelt down and said a grateful prayer. We would not have been able to do anything in there without the Lord's help!! He blessed us with his spirit, understanding, unity, love, etc. It was so amazing. 

Night and day when there is unity with your companion. 
I am so glad that the Lord has blessed me with the opportunity to be companions with Hna. Skeen. Even though I was scared and nervous, it has really helped me grow...and I’m still growing!!! I know even though it's hard, all these things will give me experience and be for my good. I know that. 

I love this Gospel. I'm SO grateful for my Savior and His atonement. I know he has felt EVERYTHING I am going through. He loves me and I know He is helping me. I'm grateful for the Spirit too!!! Such a blessing. So amazing. Faith is so important. Please have it. We really are blessed when we put ALL our faith in God and Jesus. It is scary. It is hard. But he will not leave us hanging. “All these things will give us experience and be for our good. 
I know  that. And I’m trying to live it. 

Love you all!!!!!

Hermana Cook

p.s. thanks for all your prayers!!! oh and we are going to the temple today!!!! 1:30 session is ours!! woot woot
p.p.s. I had so many other tender mercies this week...those were just the ones I had time for. I am so blessed!!!!

Thank you SO MUCH FOR YOUR PACKAGE AND LETTERS!!!! I NEVER GET SICK OF GETTING “DEAR ELDER” LETTERS AND PACKAGES (although some of the elders in my zone get tired of me getting packages ;) hahaha it was so funny. When I got my package slip at lunch, someone was like "you got another package?!?!" and then his companion  was like "when does she NOT get a package?" I told them "when I don't ask." So thanks...but you're making everyone jealous of me ;) hahahah but that's their problem..not mine ;)

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