Monday, January 26, 2015

First 5 days in Nebraska (Week 7)

Ok, so to start it off, I had a great 2 flights from Mexico City to Dallas, and from Dallas to Omaha. The 4 of us from Mexico City (me, and Elders Barton, Phillips, and McBride) meet there with 14 other missionaries from the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah(which is the main one). They were all pretty awesome and we spent 2 days with them watching presentations and safety videos for Wednesday and Thursday. Also on Thursday, We went out with a set of missionaries to do some field work! We did about an hour and a half of Tracting (knocking door to door to see if people are interested. not the most effective missionary work but it is something we do). didn't find anyone new but it was still good to get a bit of experience before the actual field. (side note: stayed at a sweeeeet hotel those two nights)

Thursday night, we met at the home of the mission president and got our areas. I am in the Omaha North Spanish area, which covers like 12 English areas in North and Eastern Omaha. It's pretty awesome here so far. My companion/trainer is Elder Wilson, who has been out for like a little more than a year. He's a tall guy and is super cool. Our apartment is only like 2 rooms (if you count like a sliver of a kitchen then it is 3) and is only a bit larger than my parent's Master Bedroom. Maybe even the same size. but it's big enough for the two of us. (Editor's note: the master bedroom is huge, 20'x20')

My first Sunday here was pretty confusing, since it is all in Spanish and I only understood like maybe 55% of what was said. but I got the basis that the people are trying to be more unified, which is awesome. We're gonna help them do that by meeting with them often and helping them teach each other. We are gonna teach those who aren't coming to church as often (less-active members) and have active members come with us to help them have friends at church. It's gonna be kinda hard but it's gonna be so #worthit.

The people that we have taught so far have been pretty awesome. Mostly we've taught in English but we've had like 3 in Spanish too. some shorter than others, and one in half Spanish, half English! I don't speak a whole lot yet, mostly cuz I don't know their circumstances yet, but I do try to help them as much as I can. I've been talking more and more and helping my companion help those we are teaching and I'm only getting better at it and better at Spanish! I really can't wait until I am able to help everyone in their own language, the way the Lord wants me to.

My address is:
Elder Andrew Cox
1301 S.31st St. #6
Omaha, NE 68117

At that address, you can send me physical mail only if you want to (letters only). I'll be at this address for at least 3 months. It goes right to my apartment. 

I'm happy to be here in Nebraska and to be serving Jesus Christ in this calling. I don't really miss you all but that's cuz I'm trying really hard not to miss you. ;P

Elder Cox

P.S. Only gone 1 night without a dinner from a member so far. And that's cuz the family we were going to visit had the flu.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Elder Cox with his MTC group

Last week in the Mexico! (Week 6)

This week has been pretty crazy and fun. I'mma start by just saying that me, my companion, and 2 other missionaries are the only missionaries left in our casa (house) since monday at like 2 a.m. We all had the brilliant idea of quickly grabbing all of their blankets and pillows before maintence took them. We now have about 50 blankets and 12 pillows arranged in a bed on the floor (no pics, last time I tried sending pics the email didn't send). We just keep jumping off the top bunk and landing on the now soft ground. It's great.

Our teacher, Hermano Kolob Hernandez (kolob being like the coolest name ever), made us a paper lantern, like in Tangled just more plain. It was awesome! But, we lit it and once it was ready, it didn't quite make it very far off the ground. It ended up getting stuck in a tree, still on fire. It eventually fell, we put the fire out, and made ourselves scarce, since it was in front of the house of the MTC President. It was like so exciting. Then we had a tie trade that night. (a bunch of élders come to a casa and bring ties that they wanna trade. you barter and trade for better, more interesting ties. it's super fun. having one more tonight.)

This last week has also been pretty sad. Since me and others in my casa leave last, we don't have as many people that we know to hang with today. It's all just the "younger" missionaries (relative term, since we are all about the same age anyways), which is fine, but i already miss those who have left. But i really can't wait to leave. I'm so excited to serve those in the Nebraska Omaha Mission. I can't wait to have my winter clothes and CD player which are hopefully waiting for me there (i bought the Church Hymns in spanish for 53 pesos so like 4 dollars and i can't wait to listen to those along with the CDs my brother gave me from his mission)

I feel like i'm just about ready. My spanish needs some more time, but there is literally not enough time in the MTC to become sufficiently trained in speaking a foreign language fluently. They give you enough time to know how to teach yourself in the field and get you with a strong basis. I mentioned in the last email that there were people that were struggling and someone asked me if i was one of them. I wasn't having any problems, other than i keep getting food on my clothes! ugh.

I can't wait to be in Nebraska tomorrow! it's gonna be awesome!

Miss you all,

√Člder Cox

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ok, let's try this again!

Apparently, last week my group email didn't send even though it is totally in my sent file. So here it is:

This week was pretty cool, if I say so myself. Had a group of missionaries in my zone leave. 6 Elders and 4 Hermanas (sister missionaries). They were all awesome examples of missionaries and some of the greatest people I met here in the Missionary Training Center.

Basic info recap: Food is still pretty good.
There is some construction being done on some sidewalks cuz the trees are messing with the sidewalk (pssh, darn nature messing up our awesome sidewalks).
The people in my district (there is 10 including me) are like all going through problems with sickness, anxiety, and not quite learning the language. It's pretty crazy. But they are all going through it and still doing their best to prepare to serve their missions. It's pretty inspiring. 2 of them that were having it pretty bad were thinking of going home but, through prayer, they were able to know what they needed to do which was stay here. Reallly inspiring for me. I don't wanna go home yet, so don't worry about me :P

This week we had what is called TRC (don't know what it stands for) for the first time. TRC is when volunteers from the city come and get taught by the missionaries and then give us some feed back. Me and my companion had a man named Gaspar. He said he had been a missionary years ago and now had stopped going to church. He wanted to talk to someone about it (i think. He was talking fast and I'm not that good at understanding fast talkers in Spanish). We taught him some and I really felt like we made a difference in his life. It makes me SUPER EXCITED for the real mission field.

We have had some great talks about obedience and diligence in the Mission Field, and i'm so excited for it. Only 2 weeks and I'll be in Omaha!

I'm glad for all the emails you have sent me and I'm really glad for the opportunity to serve a mission.

Love and miss you all! 

Elder Cox 

Now onto this week's email (this is gonna look super long isn't it)

Had some more missionaries leave from my zone leave today/yesterday. 6 Elders and 2 Hermanas. Another set of amazing people that are gonna do an AMAZING JOB serving the Lord in Ecuador, Long Beach Cali, and Everett Washington. They were some of the best examples of how the Lord prepares those people that He calls.

It's really crazy to think that I've already been here 1 day shy of 5 weeks. It feels like I've been here for months and at the same time that I've been here like 1 week. I'll be getting my flight info soon but I'm pretty sure I am leaving here next week early in the morning. It's gonna be SUPER COLD up in Omaha. But I can't wait.

Food and people are still as good as ever, but the food doesn't like me. I've had 2 drinks slip from my hands and get all over my nice white shirts. But like it says in Isaiah 1:18 "though your sins (shirts) be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow." But seriously, they washed out and became white in the washer so I'm not sad about it.

Learning and teaching in Spanish is crazy. Just 5 weeks ago I couldn't hold any conversation in Spanish. Now I can hold my own in a 20-40 minute lesson and help people in their native language. Can't wait to go freeeeeeeze in Nebraska! Sorry for the unknown-to-me error of last week's email.

Love y'all! (¡Te amo ustedes!)

Elder Cox 

Sunday, January 11, 2015