Sunday, January 30, 2011
Somehow, I've been inspired and supported by Elder Cook. He has really motivated me in my research. Last General Conference he gave this talk Let There Be Light! I loved how he talked about the community and the need for good people to speak up and be heard. I felt like he was talking directly to me. At the time, I'd been working on my first article for my dissertation on caring and caring communities. Publishing an article is no easy task. I felt discouraged by all the feedback I was getting from my committee and I felt like the process was very difficult for me. Then, when I heard this talk, it just helped give me the extra energy I needed to continue. This talk helped me realize how important my message was and how important it was for me to get it published and out for others to read. My article has now been submitted and is in review. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it will be accepted for publication.
Well, that is not all about Elder Cook. Last Sunday, my first Sunday here, I was told that Stake Conference was going to be today and that Elder Cook would be speaking. I was also told to get to the stake building early so I could ensure a good seat for myself. I did just that and I learned so much from Elder Cook. He talked about the man who had faith but pleaded with the Lord to "help thou my unbelief". He talked about the woman with the issue of blood, my favorite story in the scriptures. But beyond his message, I felt great comfort to see someone I recognized from my past. Funny that it would be Elder Cook, but in a sea of new faces and new places and cold weather, I have learned to value anything that feels remotely familiar. Just seeing Elder Cook and feeling the spirit he brought to the meeting reminded me of all the General Conference meetings I've been to and the Christmas devotionals in which I've also been able to partake of that same spirit. However, on this occasion, I did not take that spirit or that familiarity for granted. I was so happy and comforted to feel the way I've felt so many times back home. Here is a picture I took of Elder Cook after he shook my hand. I didn't have the courage to ask him for a picture with me. Maybe next time...