so this week has been one of those weeks that has defined my
mission. This week i have been a very spiritually and humbled state of
mind. I have had a real understanding of what it means to be in the
service of the lord. A true messenger and tool in his hands here in
Argentina. I feel as if this week is just one of the many reasons that
i had to be called exactly to this area. to get to know and become
such close friends to certain people.
To start off what was going on we start on wednesday morning.
Usually we have district meeting and as we have been helping one
investigator quit smoking we delayed the meeting to just an hour later
than it was supposed to be because the other elders needed to give the
daily morning dosage of cigarettes to their investigator. Anyways right
before we got started we got a text from a good friend in the ward
that his dad had just passed away that morning and that he was on his
way home to see what happened. We then soon after got a call from our
bishop to be assigned to be there the whole day to help out in any way
shape or form. even if that means keeping watch over the body while
the others do all the paperwork and set everything up.
While we were there we were being the spiritual guides through out
the morning. This family has been members for a long time. They are
really close friends to us so we just talked very casually with them.
As we learned more about the mans life that had died. He had been a
member of the church for about 50 years. One of the original pioneers
here in Cordoba. He had gone to church almost every Sunday and had one
of the strongest testimonies that i have ever seen. Willing to bear it
at any time or place. at 76 years old he was still willing to walk to
the chapel which is a good 4 miles away from where he lives. He shows
up early, does what he needs to do and completes with his duties in
As we watched over the body until we got the doctors signature to
confirm that he was dead you just felt a spirit watching over us. It
was different inside this mans house. It was colder than the rest of
the world. there was a different feeling there. I cant explain it too
well but one thing that i can say is that the feeling inside that
house as we looked and watched over his body was just and interesting
Finally comes the part that really impacted me the most. After
being there the whole day and basically until night time came.Our
bishop came over and asked us if we would be willing to take part of
the dressing of this man to prepare him for his burial. The four of us
and the bishop carefully and gently dressed this man in clean
garments, dressed him in his white temple clothes, and then finally
dressed him in the robes of the temple.I cannot explain the feelings
and emotions that were running through my head this whole time. Some
may be disgusted as even thinking of touching a dead man, but now this
moment was a very spiritual one. I had the opportunity to prepare this
man for the resurrection. This man was a faithful member of the church
for more than 50 years. He died a faithful member who is truly
rightful king and heir to the celestial kingdom. A member who died
wearing his garments.
I dont know if i have explained all the feelings that have come from
this moment but i will for sure never forget it.
Finally to end the week we had Sunday which was the day that kind of
just put the cherry on top of everything. I got a call on saturday
night to prepare a talk. I prepared one Sunday morning about trials
and how they really help us and how we are supposed to get blessings
from them. But i ended up falling across the story of My great great
grandpa thomas hilton who he and his wife saw the birth and death of 3
children while serving the lord in the samoan islands. They were a
young couple still at the moment. THey probably weren't even 25 yet.
And yet they suffered through and bore the afflictions and death of 3
children. As i prepared and finished my talk i felt very humbled to be
part of this heritage. A strong and faithful family that has endured
and suffered and yet still comes out saying I am a member of the
church of jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. And i am a missionary of
that church, a true representative of Jesus Christ.
To end this letter i tell you that i ended up not giving this talk.
The bishop instead took the time to speak and talk of the experience
that i have told all of you just now of the member dying. He then
thanked us all personally(the missionaries) and then invited us all to
just never lose that desire to serve. to love those who are in need
and do it at whatever the cost. To be a true representative of jesus
christ. He thanked us for our service and i couldn't help but just
think for the last 5 months that i have been here in this area and where
i am now.
I know this is the true church. I hope that i can be just like my
ancestors, just like this man that i barely knew but from a distance.
I want to be like them. I want to die with the name of this church on
my person. I want to die a representative. i want to die knowing that
i am worthy to wear the temple garments and that i can rise on the day
of resurrection on the right hand of god.
I love this church and i am so honored to be part of this work. The
Lords work. I send this to you all to show that i love what i am
doing. I cant imagine doing anything else. I love you all.
Elder Cook, Missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints