Sunday, November 20, 2011

A Temple Coincidence

This is a recent excerpt from man's journal who met Elder McCook last month while visiting the area that he served in a long time ago. He lives here in the valley. ---

"When we were in England, we attended the Yeovil Ward with Margaret and Bruce (members he helped bring into the church). There were two missionaries and one was from Tempe and had just started his mission. I got his name and phone number and told him I would call his mom and report that he is doing well and had a good companion. I forgot about that commitment for several weeks and for some reason recalled the promise a couple of weeks ago, but the note with his name and phone was not to be found. I felt bad that I had made the promise and could not follow through.

On Friday, we went to the Temple to do initiatories. My wife was going to do the work for my recently departed Aunt Yvonne who we knew well and was never active in the church. However, the line in that part of the Temple was too long…over an hour wait. We decided to do sealing instead. Yvonne can wait another week.

During the sealing session, one of the couples was quite young…in their twenties. I heard their name and wondered where I had heard it before. I began to wonder if that was the name of the Elder I forgot. The man sorta looked like this Elder. So at the end of the session, I inquired. Sure enough. This was Elder McCook’s brother!! I was able to give him the report and told him to tell his parents that their missionary was off to a good start. My conscience was soothed.

Are there any coincidences?"

Excerpts from Elder McCook's Mormon Profile

I love my family, friends, music and my religion. I'm currently serving a mission in England!

I am from Arizona serving a two year mission for the Church in England. I left a life of friends, opportunity, family, and education for this short thread of eternity to tell people about something I have a firm belief in. I really enjoy listening to and playing music. I sing, play classical & electric guitar, piano, euphonium & trombone. I did a year at the University studying Civil Engineering, and I'll return to that when I'm off my mission. I like to think, and love to read. I love having good ole fun sometimes, perhaps ice blocking (only choice in Arizona), roller coasters, and just having a laugh. I am under the influence of the spirit of Elijah; I love doing family history work for my ancestors. I've got English, Scottish, Canadian, Danish, and of course, American ancestry. I love life, the experiences I embrace, the hardships as well as the happy times. Being a member of this Church and understanding the doctrines of God brings purpose and fulfillment to my experience on this earth in preparation for a much longer lasting life. I love being a missionary and sharing this with others!

As most people of this Church, I was born a member. I am thankful to God for this, as I've been given a fullness of the knowledge of the gospel to help me in times of difficulty as well as times of joy. Many people ask if I've been born a member, and the apparent answer is 'yes', but the real answer is that "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God," (1 John 5:1) and in the words of the Savior himself that "Except a man be born of the water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God" (John 3:5). So was I born into a family that taught the principles of our Church and was lovingly guided by parents who knew the gospel of Jesus Christ? Answer: Yes. But there are two life events at which I was tested to see if my individual soul accepted this. It was being baptized, and deciding to serve a mission for two years. I had to really decide if I was to be born of God and accept the atonement of Jesus Christ. It was a trial of faith. As I exercised faith, and repented or re-turned towards God and applied the principles given in the Book of Mormon, and felt the converting power of the Holy Ghost, I came to a knowledge of the truth, because by the power of the Holy Ghost, you and I and all of us may know the truth of all things. I came to a realization that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is his revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints the Lord's kingdom once again established on the earth. None other power than the Holy Ghost can convince me of this. I would invite all to take up this invitation to read the Book of Mormon, for in it contains the words of God given for our day, and is a sure witness of Christ's reality and divinity. It will truly bring you and I closer to God.

I live my faith right now by going out and knocking doors and talking to people a few hours out of the day, strengthening those who have fallen from the truth, and essentially inviting others to come unto Christ. I have decided to do this for 2 years as a missionary because of my knowledge of the truthfulness of the gospel and the joyfulness it can bring everyone.

I've also previously had opportunities to serve in priesthood capacities, home teaching, which is visiting people in the Church and uplifting them, and as a primary teacher, or teacher for children under the age of 12. I love opportunities to serve.

Elder McCook has the opportunity to visit wonderful and historic
buildings like Wells Cathedral. Here is the interior.

Exterior of Wells Cathedral

Practicing a door approach with a modern missionary card and a 130-year bible?!

Big smiles on rainy day.