Saturday, September 26, 2015

Just 3 pics this week.....

Can you feel the humidity?

Will teach mom how to make arepas.

September 21, 2015 - week 75

Hola Everyone!!!

Stake Conference was incredible. The spirit that was there and the talks given reminded me that the Lord's hand is not just in missionary work; it is in every detail of His church. With the creation of our new stake, I know even more now that there are many people prepared here. We do not always know how they will come, but we know as we are exactly obedient and expecting excellence, we will find them. Elder Soares came and spoke and it was beautiful!

That was the case this week with one of our self-referrals and his family.

+He referred himself to He is so prepared to be baptized. We have gone over and taught him while his 23ish year old daughter and wife have been there, but they had yet to join us for the lessons. We had been inviting them and praying they would join, but to no avail... until Thursday! Both his wife and daughter sat down and listened to the Plan of Salvation. We left them their own copies of the Book of Mormon and pamphlets and a DVD on The Restoration. We are going back today to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ and get him committed to a baptismal date. Thursday's lesson was wonderful, and as we taught The Plan of Salvation, we introduced the 5 steps of the gospel and he was so amazed and impressed that THIS church has the gospel outlined exactly as he has found it in the Bible and no where else. Not in any other church... he knows he has finally found the truth.

+Miracle of the week: prayed hard and looked over our map Saturday in comp study. We chose a knocking spot, got there, weren't having much success, kind of bummed. But them we OYMd this man who had a car with a bunch of meat he was selling and we invited him to visit the website on the back of the Christ card and explained how this was about Christ's first church. We made a tiny bit of small talk and testified that God placed us in his path so he could learn more. I said, "I know that God placed us in your path so you can learn more about Christ's true and church and be a part of it. He said, "What do I need to do next?" OKAY King Lamoni answer right there. We talked about baptism and he interrupted and asked, "What is it that makes you two so happy?" It was as if the spirit was there telling him that the blessings of the gospel bring joy and he needed it. Before we could even ask for his information he was asking us for the church address and what the next step was for him. NEAT. That reminded me of the reason for testifying... because if they are elect, they will respond. We passed him to Aventura Beach (that's where he lives) and told them to tell us when he's baptized. Our encounter was celestial. No doubt that he has been prepared by God and will be baptized. Most powerful OYM response of my mission.

 Alma 18
14 Therefore Ammon turned himself unto the king, and said unto him: What wilt thou that I should do for thee, O king? And the king answered him not for the space of an hour, according to their time, for he knew not what he should say unto him.

 15 And it came to pass that Ammon said unto him again: What desirest thou of me? But the king answered him not.

 16 And it came to pass that Ammon, being filled with the Spirit of God, therefore he perceived the thoughts of the king. And he said unto him: Is it because thou hast heard that I defended thy servants and thy flocks, and slew seven of their brethren with the sling and with the sword, and smote off the arms of others, in order to defend thy flocks and thy servants; behold, is it this that causeth thy marvelings?

As I read Alma this morning, I realized the importance of inspired questions. Ammon's inspired, thoughtful question brought the spirit... and silence. Silence is so important in this work because it allows the spirit to teach our friends better than we can. After the silence and another question and pondering, Ammon was able to perceive his thoughts. Because of that, King Lamoni knew that Ammon was of God (of the "Great Spirit" in his words). This sparked a very simple lesson where Ammon, an amazing teacher, scaffolds on what the King knows and builds from there. These chapters are so rich with lessons for us missionaries. I know that as we pattern our style of teaching after the scriptures, and more importantly- the Savior's, we can do the Lord's work His way.

+Sister Edwards and I are doing fabulously! The time is flying, and we are soooo enjoying each other. We are relentless to find more elect people to teach. I know that the Lord blessed us with our family this week as Luis' family joined in on the discussions. However, with them being our primary investigators, I think this time is a time for me to teach Sister Edwards how to hold the standard of electness high. We will be blessed with our miracle soon.....I just know it. We just cannot doubt. By the end of this transfer, she will be a pro at only working with the elect.

Other things to report:
-Last week had my first face to cement experience while riding bikes. I fell and then slid across the sidewalk into the grass and was out of sight for a hot second and sister Edwards said, "Well that's something you never want to see, your comp's bike laying down on the sidewalk." We had a good laugh.
-We got POURED on for three days on bikes, sopping wet. Kept knocking, people thought we were crazy. One old Cuban lady ran upstairs and got us a towel, bless her heart. I use it to wipe my face and she stops me and says, "Um no, don't do that. It is not clean." Yeah as I used it I could smell that it was indeed dirty. We surmise it was either a bath mat or one of her cat's bed. To be determined. 

I know I say this all of the time, but I mean it... I am in love with this work. We have a front row seat to the greatest miracle of all time. We get to see our friends apply the atonement and grow closer to the Savior each day. I love life as a missionary.

Hermana McCormick

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Pics from Sept. 14

Happy Birthday, Hna. Edwards!

Week ending September 14

What an amazing week of finding, being on bikes in the heat, on our feet, knocking for hours that led Sister Edwards and me to talk about what we would do if one of us passed out haha just kidding it wasn't that hot. Okay actually it was but it was wonderful to be on the streets of Miami inviting others to come unto Christ. But really we biked into our area first thing of the day to knock and got to the first door, I put my hands on my hips and realized I had sweat all the way down to my hips. Shoulders to hips drenched. Don't ask about my hair. 

Since we just baptized our two solid investigators last week, we had the inevitable finding spree. In the weeks leading up to their baptisms, we tried our best to replenish our teaching pool early so we would not be in a drought, but we are only working with one investigator right now.

Our current investigator referred himself to about 2 weeks ago now, came to our missionary/investigator/RC activity at church, loved it. We went back and taught him with a member in his home that week. Came to the baptism on Sunday, then left for work. Hard to get a return appt with him so we dropped him. When you work with the elect, they basically schedule the next appt, so that was not a good sign. THEN last Friday, I guess he missed us because he RE-referred himself to We called, texted, went to his house, nothing. Sunday morning we "rounded him up" and he said he would not be able to come to church but had a "lot of questions"... curious or elect? Wasn’t sure if he was truly interested. We testified of church and left. I had the most distinct feeling in that lesson that things would work out with him. It was so easy to love him, listen to him, and speak in Spanish to him... the spirit was there. So we are driving away and I am drilling "ONLY WORK WITH THE ELECT OF THE ELECT" into Sister Edwards' head and she asked why we were working with him because she did not feel he was elect, etc. etc. I got a little frustrated because Sister Trebotich taught me well how to keep the standard high…..Anyway, I was bothered in my heart and was praying silently in my heart to know if it was my will to visit him or the Lord's. I was bummed walking into church with no one there (no investigators... because we had knocked for hours and prayed and slaved over our map and made it the most spiritual finding in the streets and finding of the finding spots) anyway, but had a peace in my heart the whole sacrament meeting knowing that God would provide. I did not believe, I knew. I just knew it because we had truly given it our all.....

+MIRACLE of the week.... sacrament meeting ends and miracle investigator at sacrament is behind us. Find out he is for the elders. That's okay because RIGHT NEXT TO HIM IS OUR INVESTIGATOR! I could hardly believe my eyes. He loved sacrament meeting and wants us to come teach his family tomorrow. I have the strongest feeling that he will be baptized this transfer.

Also, another beautiful miracle: one of our OYM miracles belongs to the elders but this cute Cuban couple is getting baptized!! Everyone thinks that we are teaching them because they always point to us when telling people why they’re at church and when they bear their testimony, but I do not think they understand they belong to the elders haha. Heck when the elders got whitewashed in here they did not even know they were theirs!

+3 family members and their mom: remember them? We received them as a member referral the same week we accidentally knocked into them, the father had been asking for sisters, not elders, then our boundaries got changed and there we were. Anyway, the father is the most elect of them all, but still needs time. Or so we thought, but then his member sister from Flagler came up to us yesterday and asked how we got him to church that one Sunday because he had not been since their 23 year old daughter was baptized when she was 8. And apparently he wants to come back to church and he uses this prayer guide card we gave him to bless the food now. Looks like we are going to keep working with him!

Alma 7:11-12 two of my favorites

 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose 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 succor his people according to their infirmities.

This struck me this week as I listened to a General Conference talk that explained that Christ could have known how to succor us based on revelation. However, he chose to suffer to understand how to extend mercy to us. I know that our Savior loves us so much, that it was not hard for Him to make that decision, but I know that the atonement is the single most selfless, merciful, beautiful gift that could ever be given.

Sister Edwards is doing well. For the main part of her training, we have been talking about how her mission has been just incredibly enjoyable. I know that this finding phase is trying her, but together we are studying about the balance between faith and works and are learning much. We are helping each other to press forward and not get discouraged. There is no time for that!

We love being your missionaries, on the Lord's errand. There is nothing better.

Thank you for your support and dad for the package! The last package!! NUTS. It did not disappoint, the KIND granola is so delicious.

Con amor,

Hermana McCormick

Sunday, September 13, 2015

A Beautiful Week - September 2-8, 2015

A great day!

Check out those gorgeous smiles!

More gorgeous smiles!

Cute! To be left in FLA....

September 8, 2015

Hello Everyone!

Both of our investigators were baptized on Sunday! It was a beautiful service filled with the Spirit. The mom of one of them bore her testimony and said that each prayer that she said morning and night for years had been answered when her son got baptized. I will never forget that testimony. When he came out of the waters of baptism, he explained that he literally felt a weight lifted off of his shoulders. I know this work is true.

Right now we are sacrificing and sanctifying ourselves to find our elect family that we will baptize. We know they are out there, and I love being unified with my companion on our focus and desire to find them. Makes the work far more enjoyable and gives me more confidence that the Lord will lead them to us.

Sister Edwards is still killing it. This week, I was impressed as I realized that she never complains or has anything negative to say. That makes this work far easier so I am working on becoming more like her. It was an incredible blessing to have found both of our investigators together, and to have been able to see both of them enter into the waters of baptism. 

12 week is going well. We study and role play together and we learn together... I really truly do not feel like I am training her. She is exactly obedient...always. It is the best! She and I are completely unified in enjoying each hour of the day and keeping our minds and conversations focused on our Savior and our missions. She is the best companion to finish my mission with. I love her with my whole heart!

Alma 26 is officially my favorite chapter in the Book of Mormon. It puts my thoughts regarding my mission into words:

16 Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.

This verse may be my favorite in all of the Book of Mormon. I truly cannot glory too much in God for giving me this precious mission experience. Words will never do it justice. 

I feel like I am starting to finally understand missionary work. The baptism was celestial. Just the opportunity to see two very dear friends be baptized was beyond description, thanks to the Lord.

I love this work! I love my Savior! And I love these 5 weeks that I have to represent the Lord Jesus Christ and bring others into the waters of baptism.

Con amor,
Hermana McCormick

Saturday, September 5, 2015