The Dragon

March 28, 2011

Time has flown by. I’m a 1/4 of the way through my mission. Its hard
to imagine. But I’ll keep on pushing forward, fighting, winning =)
Elder Lush finally got over a hovering sickness. This week was
interesting. Elder Lush and I have felt that something was off. My
demeanor had changed; the light of Christ was not shinning in the way
that it should shine from every missionary. I felt that . I noticed it
but I decided that I just needed to humble myself more and change
something in my missionary work. President Sargis (Ayvasyan) said,
“You cannot preach his gospel with your worries”. Elder Lush asked me
what was wrong  and so I talked to him about how it has been hard for
me picking up all of his slack. The Lord provided us with an
opportunity to walk  and talk on the way back from an appointment,
that had fallen through.  It was a 45 minute walk. As I spoke about my
feelings I began to realize that I had allowed Satan to put thoughts
into my heart. Elder Lush and I were not united because of my pride.
It was hard for me to pick up all of the missionary work while Elder
Lush was sick and frankly lazy, but I didn’t speak up and so it ate
away at my soul. I had filled out all of the Progress Records for the
Branch and our investigators. I was getting up in the mornings and
studying for investigators alone. I felt alone and I let myself step
onto the “Pedestal of Worthiness” and  the “Pedestal of Hard Work”
(I’ll talk more about these later)
We worked out the balance and we discussed that changes that needed
to be made for the work to flourish, for the spirit to be with us.  In
that moment or counsel and discussion we felt that things in Ashtarak
shifted, literally we stopped and we felt that the air in Ashtarak had
shifted. The Lord immediately started to bless the people here, after
that we were busy carrying out the work powerfully. The night, nearly
at the end of that walk, I saw Aram (Orurgyan). The man that got
baptized in December, the one who had gone to Russia and returned, my
wonderful friend… yes that one. I spoke with him. I told him that I
knew, he knew the path. I told him we had missed him, we loved him and
we were only there to help. He felt the spirit, we felt the spirit. It
was a short but unforgettable feeling. The days following were busy
and the spirit really guided us. The Lord blessed us with two
promising, new investigators. Anush (Abrahamyan) got baptized.  We
feel that her sister wants to hear the message and will be coming back
to Ashtarak in a week.
The day after speaking with Aram I had another experience. It was
dark, the wind was blowing, our appointment had fallen through so
Elder Lush and I said a prayer. We sat and waited. I closed my eyes
and my mind was running through all of the people we could possibly go
see but I was focusing on my heart. The Spirit speaks with our hearts
(or in other words our spirit). I was thinking of many names with my
brain but only one name was written on my heart. It was an old women
named Olga, an old investigator. She had told Elder Reece and I about
a month ago that she was scared, she didn’t want to get baptized. She
would say more than that. I didn’t know why but I had that faint
feeling. My brain almost overpowered my heart and my feelings but we
went to Olga’s house. We ended up having one of the most spiritual
meetings with her and the spirit answered her questions and calmed her
fears. Questions and fears that we knew nothing about. We learned in
the course of our lesson that she didn’t fully understand baptism. She
miss understood. She thought that baptism meant we died and were
resurrected. She was so relieved to find out that such an important
ordinance was performed in 2-3 feet of water.  She is now back on
track. She cannot wait to be baptized and receive the Holy  Ghost.
One of the big lessons that I learned this week was that Satan
“seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.”(2 Nephi
2:28).  We are fighting a battle. When we forget that, he makes his
attack. This week he snuck into my thoughts. He created an environment
where I could not preach Christ’s Gospel with Christ’s love. For part
of this week I was just like any other missionary of any other faith.
I was preaching truths, but truth without love has no effect on the
hearts of men. I was preaching from my knowledge, by myself, without
the spirit. I can’t do The Lord’s work without his spirit. I pray that
the Lord will forgive me. I spoke to three people the week without
love. I hope that the Lord will let me make it up. I hope I can one
day I can show those two men and that woman the Love that they
See life is a battle. We can be happy and safe but that will require
work and a careful eye. Winning a war doesn’t happen by speaking about
the “Good Old Days”. Surviving the winter doesn’t happen by discussing
how beautiful the spring is, or by counting how many fluffy bunnies
are hopping around. Don’t get me wrong, “we are that we might have
joy”. We were created to experience joy and happiness but we can never
forget that the enemy of all righteousness never sleeps. Satan is a
The Master Thieve, The Assassin, The Tyrant of all tyrants, The Con
Artist of all con artists, a psychologist, a linguist, a lawyer, a
doctor, A hypnotist, His memory is perfect, his wisdom is the result
of thousands of years of trial and error and the only thing that can
deliver us from his hands is God’s Love.
The only thing that he is missing is the most powerful force in the
universe…Love. God manifested his love in the Sacrifice of his Only
Begotten Son.  Christ is the Light and the Life and the Love of the
world. It is only by his love and mercy that we can repent of our
sins, release the chains of hell and find everlasting joy with our
Alma 34:39-40
39Yea, and I also exhort you, my brethren, that ye be watchful unto
prayer continually, that ye may not be led away by the temptations of
the devil, that he may not overpower you, that ye may not become his
subjects at the last day; for behold, he rewardeth you no good thing.
40And now my beloved brethren, I would exhort you to have patience,
and that ye bear with all manner of afflictions;

When we find joy in small things, when we shrug off our irritations,
when we smile, when we forget about ourselves, when we purely seek the
welfare of others Satan loses his grip. The clouds of sorrow and the
storms of temptation are pierced and parted. Satan only has power
according to the amount of love that fills our loves, specifically the
love of God.

With Love and Concern
Elder Cook

Last week for P-day we went to a Dolphin Show and an Armenian
Apostolic Church. They were both fasinating.
1) In the City
2)Passing through an amusment park
3)The Sisters in the District
5)Sargis Ayvasya, Elli Harutsiunova, Monica, Arevik Abrahamyan, Anush
Abrahamyan, Anush (small and in the pink), Lidia Harutsiunova, Levon,
Elder Cook, Elder Lush.
6) A birthday cake for Anush and Me (I’m turning 20 and she is newly born 0)

This entry was posted in Ashtarak, Baptism & Confirmation, Elder Lush and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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