Saturday, September 28, 2013

FHE at the Mission Home

The first Sunday of most months, a "Family Home Evening" is held at the Mission Home. 

Because of space limits, missionaries may only attend if they bring an investigator, less-active member or new convert.

Sisters Balls and Kohler gave this lesson

using Elder Squires to assist with the demonstration.

Elders Brimhall and Shoemig explained the game.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

"Take Me Out to the Ballgame!"

In conjunction with Maryland's and Virginia's "Day of Service," a local area authority generously hosted both our mission and Washington D.C South at the Nationals game on Friday 9/18/13.

Between our two missions, we had several hundred energetic yet noticeably well-behaved missionaries in the stands.  We made quite an impression!

Elders Sum, Shelton, Chapman, Rushton, Arnett
and Sister Nakatsuka
Elders Carrera, Branning, Andrade and friends in back
Elders Lussier-Houle, Bledsoe, Fletcher and friends

Sisters Carcamo, Lavrentyeva and Owens in back
Sister Robertson and Jorgensen in the middle
Cassandra Miller bottom right

Elders Wood, Guerrero and Welch
Sister Schoemaker working her charm!  The ushers who were working our sections told us several times
that they had never been more impressed with such a big crowd of young people between 18 and 21.
Elder Peterson

Sister and Elder Porter

Elder Brown
Sister Nakatsuka with Sister Cooke in back,
Elders Sum and Arnett next to the President
with Sister Croese and our daughter, Carrie on his left

Our daughter Elizabeth (R)
with her friend from our ward, Cassandra Miller
Elders Andrade, Queen, Bledsoe, Nollet
  Sisters Tembo and Weber 

 Sisters Lavrentyeva, Cooke and Connelly

Elders Stevenson, Snow and Appiah
Elders Lussier-Houle, Queen, Fletcher, Bledsoe, Whitlock, Nollet and half of Jackman.

Carrie Cooke, Cassandra Miller, Elizabeth Cooke, Sisters Clement, Schoemaker and Cooke
Elders Arnett and Sum

 Most of us took the Metro to and from the stadium.

Shane Carver and our son Joe Cooke

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Great Talks by Great Missionaries

Here are just a few examples of some of the talks our fantastic missionaries give at the Visitors' Center.

Sister Croese

Elder Watts

Sister Kohler

Elder Treasure

Elder Cervantes

Monday, September 16, 2013

All Missionaries Safe and Accounted For

In the wake of this morning's shooting at the Navy Yard in downtown D.C., we want to assure families that all of our missionaries are safe and accounted for.  Those working in the affected area have been directed to stay in their apartments until law enforcement officials clear the area.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Preaching through MUSIC

This Mission has an ASTOUNDING amount of musical talent.

Many of our missionaries share their gifts generously to convey Gospel messages.

Here are a few examples:

Elders Arnett, Rushton, Fuller and Branning

Sisters Clement, Sottili and Robertson

Elder Seely

Sisters Jorgensen and Bullock

Elders Richards, Hansen, Peterson and Hart

Sisters Mendenhall and Clement

Elder Welch

Missionary Medley

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mission-Wide Book of Mormon Read

For the next three transfers (a period of about four and a half months), our mission will be reading the Book of Mormon together at the same pace so as to be unified as a mission as we focus on strengthening our testimonies.  We will be marking in three different colors the following themes:
the Atonement, the doctrine of Christ and the missionary purpose.

  Click here  to follow along or to join us in our reading schedule.
(I've recently adjusted this link to hopefully now open to the public.  Is it working?)

Monday, September 9, 2013

September's Arrivals

Welcome to Washington D.C. 

We started this group of arrivals with a new adventure, 
bringing them home from Reagan International Airport 
by means of the Washington, D.C, METRO. 
Each missionary was given their own metro card 
and taught how to use it. 
The DC Metro is exceptionally clean, punctual and safe.

Sister Saviano, Elders Rushforth,  Greding,  Hurford-Reynolds, Shelton,
Sisters Austin and Taggert

They were also each given a Book of Mormon and challenged to hand it out during the trip to the Mission Home.    

Some of them already succeeded.
Train Change!
Sister Saviano, the President, Elder Cannon, Elder Hurford-Reynolds is hidden behind Elder Rushforth,
Sister Austin, Sister Taggert, Elder Shelton and Elder Greding

Orientation, Dinner and Testimony Meeting at the Mission Home

Sister Pearson - Office Assistant
Sister Helene Doue Thornton - Caterer
Sister Lorenzana - Assistant to Sister Cooke

Sister Pearson and Elder Fisher (A.P.)
conduct orientation training

(L to R clockwise)  Pres and Sister Lorenzana (1st Counselor to the Pres)
Our daughters, Elizabeth and Carolyn at the end, then Sisters Saviano, Taggert and Austin

(L to R) Elders Shelton, Cannon, Hurford-Reynolds, Rushforth,
J.S. Armstrong (in black jacket - the President's Exec. Sec'y) and Elder Little

Traditional Trip to the Temple

Elders (L to R) Cannon, Shelton, Little, the President, Elders Greding, Rushforth, Hurfold-Reynolds
Sisters (on my left) Taggert, Saviano, Austin

The President and I are SO impressed with this new group of missionaries.
They are blessed to have been sent here, and we are blessed to add them to our family!

A parting note ...

This is a performance back in July by all our Sisters and ten of our Elders, singing a special Missionary Medley that was arranged by John Sanders for the Cooke family's farewell and was dedicated to the great missionaries of the Washington D.C. North Mission.
This number was performed at the Visitors' Center on the occasion of my husband's and my introductory fireside, entitled "Why I Believe."  With only one combined rehearsal, it was my first inkling into the level of musical talent we have in this missionary force!
(Bravo to Sister Nakatsuka who can be heard - albeit not seen - on the piano accompaniment!)

Friday, September 6, 2013

Farewell Festivities - with International Flare

This month we bid farewell to three fabulous missionaries:
                Sister Morotti from Italy, Elder Wery from Belgium and Elder Salanoa from Samoa.

(L to R)  Elder Eyring, Sister Morotti, Elder Salanoa, Sister Eyring, President Cooke, Elder Wery,
 Carolyn, Heather and Elizabeth Cooke

Because our mission has another exceptional Sister from Italy (who happens to be an excellent cook), we celebrated the conclusion of these three international missionaries' sojourns in Washington DC with a traditional Italian dinner - orchestrated by Sister Sottili (left) and assisted by Sisters Smith and Mendenhall (below).

Sister Morotti approves!

Sister Morotti
Elder Wery

Sister Sottili serving Elder Salanoa 

 (From the President at the top of the table clockwise:)  Sister and Elder Eyring, Sister Morotti
Sister Mendenhall, Sister Sottili, Elder Salanoa (already ready for seconds), Elder Wery and Sister Smith

(From bottom left clockwise:)  Our daughters Carolyn and Elizabeth,
Assistants Fisher, Branning, Miyasaki and Jelitto, and our son Joe

Part of the farewell tradition in this mission is to personalize a page for the President's family's scrapbook and to mark your favorite missionary scripture in the Cookes' designated standard works.

There's nothing like the spirit at a testimony meeting for valiant departing missionaries.

"God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again"

Presentation of the President's famous coins 

The next morning's trip to the departing gates of Reagan International Airport

 Sister Morotti and Elder Wery headed off for New York together where they would part ways for Italy and Belgium respectively.

When we reached Elder Salanoa's gate, he told the President he wanted to offer a traditional Samoan greeting as his final parting expression.  Then, without further to-do, he broke into a full-on "Haka."

You wonder how your mission can ever be the same when characters like these leave...
... and you realize that it never will be.

Thank heavens there's a new batch of fascinating missionaries on the way about every six weeks!