Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mike Cook

Our family now resides in Lehi, Utah after almost 7 years of school in Kentucky. Mike is an orthodontist and has recently purchased a practice in Sandy. Stephanie is an RN and keeps up on her skills as a nurse. Our greatest joys have come from raising our beautiful children, Tanner (4) and Brynlee (1). It seems that each day we gain a deeper understanding of the love that our Heavenly Father must have for us, his children.
Since it is nearly impossible to think of only one favorite memory, I just want to thank my Heavenly Father for the privilege of having so many faith-promoting experiences all throughout my 2 years in Italy. The ups and downs of that short period are amazing: some days were definitely trying…. I would lose my keys in a sewer grate, get “mace” sprayed at me on the subway, or I would find myself in the back of an ambulance after my companion went over the handlebars and knocked teeth out (sorry Anziano Sommers!)
Yet other days I felt the most incredible feelings of peace…. participating in the baptisms of a family of six, learning from the example of wonderful leaders such as Pres. Clegg, Elder Castellani, etc and watching miracles unfold after giving Priesthood blessings of comfort or healing. I would not trade anything for experiences which taught me to recognize the Spirit and the understanding/testimony I gained of the simplicity and truthfulness of the Plan of Salvation. I still remember talking about the gospel for 6 hours straight to a kind lady on our plane to Milano, learning so much from each of my companions, and having wonderful zone conferences with leaders like Elder Gene R. Cook which taught me life-long lessons I treasure still today.
I’ll always cherish the heart-felt discussions I had with President Clegg in interviews, with those wonderful Italians who gave 100% in trying to live and keep sacred covenants, and many of you, my beloved colleagues, with whom I had the privilege of crossing paths and sharing the journey. Vi voglio bene