To Everything There is a Season, and a Time to Every Purpose Under the Heaven

May 23, 2011 – Gyumri, Week 1
To Everything There is a Season, and a Time to Every Purpose Under the Heaven  

So Elder Lush and I finished up our last week together really strong. We had an epic battle in our Arena (Which we made, which are really cool…)
The object is to stay on the pads that are laid out on the floor. We tied and then we posed for this picture. The winner gets the belt (see 2nd car).

I was sent up to Gyumri 1. The city is split into 3 for 3 sets of missionaries. We are in the North. The zone leaders are in the south of the city.
The Branch here is big, about 60 active members. We live in housing for the Russian military base. Our ward mission leader is an amazing man. He is blind so we walked with him to church. He has a memory like a computer. He is a gentle man but does not tolerate inefficiency. The last few days have been hard. Elder Frye was only in the area 4 days before I came. We are still trying to find our way around but I can already tell I’ll love this people. The people are more laid back here. They are easier to talk to. We do a lot more street contacting here. The members are great. We have a lot of priesthood holders who come with us to meetings so that we can visit the women in our area.

Elder Frye was the man who was in one of my BYU-I classes. The mission president feels that the Lord would like us to serve together. He is a humble man who wants to do what is right. I’m excited to serve with him. I think that we can perform some miracles here.

The District is great. We all get along for the most part and we see each other often. I have been pondering what the Lord would have the District hear during this upcoming district meeting. In the process I have received many insights and answers. What I have learned is so amazing about serving others is that you gain more from the service than those that you serve. For example I will be speaking about Christ’s example to Forgive one another and to Lose ourselves in the service of God. In this process I must live those principles and in living these principles I grow and become better. Becoming something great is more important than doing something great. A state of being has a constant effect on your surroundings whereas an act of greatness lasts only a moment and only has an effect on that which it was intended to affect.

That is why the Savior said “Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect.”

I know that if we can endure the hard times with joy and proper perspective we will cherish every minute of every day, but that constant joy is only found when we are constantly striving to become like the Savior.

I love you, I do,
Elder Cook

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