Monday, February 23, 2015

Birthday Week (Week 11)

Had a great birthday! Thanks for all the Birthday Wishes! I got quite a few of them so I'm really happy that everyone remembered. My companion and the 2 other Spanish Elders in the area had a little surprise party for me. The other elders bought a little cake (like a 4 piece cake) and a gallon of Ice Cream to celebrate. We played Settlers of Catan (sweet board game if anyone didn't know) and watched Church movies (literally the only movies we can watch). They slept over too! Super fun and simple way to celebrate.  

We have had an interesting week. We weren't able to teach a whole lot of people but when we were able to teach, it went really really awesome. I was able to say a lot more than usual and really feel that what I was saying was what I was supposed to say. Usually I kinda question myself but I didn't do that a whole lot this week. I was also able to teach a (small) lesson all by myself. It was in English, but it's a start.

Also on my birthday, a lot of missionaries were able to go to the Winter Quarters Temple, which is the temple in Omaha. It's a really beautiful place and I reallllly love being able to go the temple again. It was a really special experience to know that I was helping those that have passed on to have an opportunity to progress and become closer to salvation for themselves. Here's a picture of the missionaries that all were able to go (minus like 2 or 4 who had to leave really fast):
*it didn't come through in the email but I'll edit it in when I can*
(Elder Wilson is the one that is just behind me btw. I'm on the very left if you forgot what i look like)

It was super awesome this week. The only problem I've been having is being able to talk to Elder Wilson a lot. I just have constant communication issues i guess. I just don't feel comfortable talking to him but I think it's just because I feel so outclassed. He is like an expert missionary and I just got out here. Kinda intimidating, but we've both been helping each other out. It's a part of missionary and future life that I will need to be used to anyways. My Spanish is improving. I've been using it more and more outside of lessons which makes it easier when I am in a lesson.

Doing great and loving it out here! Miss you all a tiny bit!

Elder Cox

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

First Baptism... I Helped.

Day late, dollar short (Week 10)

To start, the libraries were closed during President's Day so we had to do emails today. (also, finally can send pictures! but I don't have many to send. Only 1 today, but I'll have more next time)

There is a lot of awesome things that happened this week!  First and foremost, We had a Baptism! It was on the 14th (Valentine's day) We didn't even know that this would happen until Wednesday. Emily is the name of the girl that got baptized and we have been teaching her and her mom for a long time. Her mom got baptized about a year and a half ago and Emily was kind of taught during that time. But last Wednesday, she asked us when was the soonest she could be baptized. Through lots of calls for scheduling the church building for use for the baptism (there were supposed to be like 3 other things going on; there was only the people for her baptism), we were able to set the baptism up and it went super well. Not a lot of people were there but that's what Emily wanted. I'm really happy we were able to do it on Valentine's Day because that's what she wanted. The day is now extra special to her. Also, it is like a missionary's dream for someone to ask when they can get baptized. Super awesome.

Second awesome thing: a brother of someone who has been listening to the missionaries for a long time (like 4 years almost) just got out of jail and has been listening to us teach too. He was in jail for drug possession (I think). He is a really spiritual guy and, so far, is really interested in what we have to say. The funny thing is that the first time we went to meet him, I wasn't actually there to meet him. I was on exchanges with someone to do the interview for baptism for the aforementioned Emily. Best Part: it was apparently all in Spanish and the Elder that was with my companion doesn't speak any Spanish. Fun times.

Third awesome thing: My birthday is in 3 days (the 20th)! That's about it lol.

Been really awesome. Spanish, although is hard to understand and speak, is really fun to learn and to try to use more. I have really been able to advance my ability in speaking it. The only problem I have is self confidence in my Spanish ability. Sometimes I fear that what I will say will come out wrong or not be said the right way. It's really difficult sometimes, especially when I have to use what is called Subjunctive, which English doesn't have. It makes things much clearer in Spanish but is hard to get use to using. It's coming though. Just gotta keep going and believing that I can do this. Gotta have faith that through Christ, I can do all. (Philippans 4:13)

Have a good week everyone! I know that I will :P
Elder Cox

Monday, February 9, 2015

Week 9!

I almost can't believe it's been 9 weeks! But then I remember that I spent 6 weeks in Mexico lol. Also, the computer/the email service is still not letting me send pictures! I'll keep trying. I wanted to send a few for all of you guys.

This week has been kinda weird. We've done a lot, but I don't feel like we have. It's only because I went on exchanges again (exchanges=changing companions for a day or just for a few hours) 3 times this week. The first time, Wednesday, was for the entire day. Elder Wilson and his temporary companion visited some people but I was in a different area visiting people. So it doesn't really feel like I did a whole lotta work, but I still did work. It's weird. The next day, i swapped with the other spanish missionaries and taught a guy that we had found the week before. He Is from El Salvador and as a child was trained as a soldier for their Civil War. Because of that, he is missing half of is right foot. Pretty crazy. But I and my temporary companion, Elder Draper, taught him and his son and I think they really liked our message. 

The next day, Elder Wilson had a leadership meeting so I went with 2 other missionaries who had companions doing the same thing and we just like sat around because all of their Investigators (people who are being taught) were all unavailable. Eventually, one called us up to help him move some furniture but that's all we really did for about 4 hours. Kinda sucked. I wanted to do stuff and so did the missionaries I was with, but there was nothing to do. Most of the time, there is something to do. There aren't many times where we just sit around, so those times just feel weird.

We've been working with a lot of people and I think we are really helping them. A lot of them have been in gangs or affected by gang activity (there are some big mexican based gangs in omaha but they only do stuff at night so we aren't in any danger). Just by teaching them that God loves them and God wants them to love others, I see a change in the way they talk, and they often tell us that they feel better. It makes me want to help even more people feel better. I just wanna spread the love, man!

Been real good here. Take care back home everyone! Miss you guys!

Elder Cox

Monday, February 2, 2015

2 Feet of Snow! (Week 8)

questions that were asked: I cover like 12 english areas but there it is 1 Spanish area with a congregation that contains only Spanish members and I am attending that ward. Snow, as stated in the title was like 2 feet in some places. On sunday, we couldn't use our car (by order of the leaders in our zone) but we still half-walk, half-driven by a member to the church building and that member to clean up snow, and the that member fed us some awesome sandwiches. I would send pictures but i didn't take any. It'll still be here so i'll get some pictures and try to send them. This email service doesn't like sending my pictures.

this week has been pretty awesome. on thursday, we had a spanish conference, in which all 24 spanish missionaries in the Nebraska Omaha Mission gathered for training and instruction from leaders. It was sweet to see everyone and I understood like 75% of what they were saying! It felt good. Still a little unconfident in my Spanish ability but i'm trying! That is what counts (well trying and then getting better because of that trying). Thankfully, I haven't met any Cubans, who leave out like half of a sentence apparently. I'm blessed for that.

The day before the Spanish Conference, we had exchanges with another set of missionaries. Exchanges is when one set of missionaries comes to another set's area and helps them out for a day. I was with Elder Anderson, who was pretty cool and was learning spanish even though he had been on a mission for 15 months. He was called to speak English originally but was changed to Spanish like 5 months ago. Pretty crazy thought. We did some foot work (because the other too had the car) and met quite a few interesting people. Some hispanic lady was Terrified of us, but when we explained we were "the Jesus people" (as elder anderson put it) she was much less scared. It's the suit, i swear.

Me and Elder Wilson (my companion) have had like 2 days where we had to stay inside for quite awhile because elder wilson was sick with the flu. Luckily, he is better now and we can devote ourselves to this cause. Miss you all! (but not really, too busy working to miss you lol)

Elder Cox