Monday, February 11, 2013

Elder & Sister Cooks advice, it's great for everyone!!

Dear Everyone,
We had a great week, found 2 more married families, were visited by a member of The First Quorum of the Seventy (incredible!), and have been asked by President Kretly to take him on a split with us this week.  =)  The work's going well.
Elder Carl B. Cook of The First Quorum of the Seventy (also the 1st Counselor in our Area Presidency) paid our wonderful mission a visit this past weekend along with his wonderful wife.  It was so inspired and exactly what the doctor ordered.  I learned so much that I wouldn't even know where to begin explaining it all.  Suffice it to say that my experiences with Elder and Sister Cook have made me a better missionary, a better equipped teacher, a humbler seeker or obedience, and a person more prepared for life after the mission.  I know that it's not my place to say this, but I believe that Elder Cook is the sort of man that will one day be an Apostle.  He...  Changed my life over the past 3 days.
One thing they both really focused on was the importance of love in a marriage and family.  He shared with us some counsel given him by President Packer:  Love your wives more.  It doesn't matter how well you're treating them, they deserve better.  It was very beautiful and inspiring to see how unified the two of them were.  They spoke on the importance of The Book of Mormon in the home, of doing things together, of being one flesh, of "peculiar behavior" (such as doing yard work and other chores around the house together), running simple errands together just for the sake of being together, and always focusing on loving one another.  "In a righteous people," he told us, "husbands love their wives and wives love their husbands and husbands and wives love their children--in that order."  He went on to explain that husbands should allow their wives to love them more by loving them more.  He said that as the Priesthood head of the family it is our duty to love our wives first and that all else would stem from that.  We can never do enough to value our wives as the daughters of God that they are.  Another example he brought up was Doctrine and Covenants 25.  He read the first 5 verses and made the observation that Joseph Smith was likely one of the busiest men to have ever lived.  He was Restoring the true church!  There was a lot to do.  We will likely never be quite that busy.  And still, it was important to the Lord that Joseph and Emma spent time together.  It hit me really hard.  I want to seek for reasons to be with my wife (when that time comes) and not away from her.
Elder Cook also had a lot of good things to say about Angola.  He told us that he felt that he had never met so great a volume of Elders with so much potential and that the Lord had chosen well for this pioneering time in Angola.  He foresees a stake here in less than a year-and-a-half.  He told us of The First Presidency and The Quorum of the Twelve's great personal care for Angola and that they expect many good things.

I was able to see and speak at length with Elder Borden!  I've missed him.  He and all the other Lubango Elders came up to see President Kretly and Elder Cook.

President Kretly and Elder Cook both got to meet one of our families--Agosto and Cesarina.  In fact, President Kretly and his wife are going to go teach them and another family (AndrĂ© and Helena) with us on Tuesday night!  We're way excited.
We'll also be sitting with 2 new families this week who seem interested in our message.  We're excited for the opportunity to help so many people come unto Christ during this exciting time of our mission.
On the 16th we'll be baptizing Maritza!  She's so excited and so ready.  We should see more baptisms on the 23rd of February and the 9th of March.  =)  More to come!
I love you all and hope that life is treating you as well as it is me.  I'm loving my mission and almost extended it this week--then the Spirit told me "no" and I had to accept it.  Oh well.  Let's all do His will.  =)
Have a great week--I know I will,

Elder Eckman

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for posting this (and the other emails as well). Our son didn't add the specifics of what Elder Cook taught in his email, and it was nice to get another perspective. And we totally understand your son's feeling of "this man could very well be an apostle some day" because we've felt that way for over 20 years. (Once upon a time he was our bishop.) I'm looking forward to the report of how their visits on Tuesday go; what an awesome opportunity! Anyway, have a wonderful day!