Monday, March 30, 2015

Service Pt.2!

So we totally went to the Zoo but I didn't bring my camera. I feel ashamed. But it was super cool! I'm 100% sure I'm going to go again in like a few months but for now, no pics. This week I will have my camera on me like always so I'll make sure to pull it out and take some pictures. The Omaha Zoo is the number 1 zoo in the country so it was pretty sweet. Although it does not have the amount of animals as the St. Louis Zoo, the exhibits are AMAZING. There is an huge dome for the desert creatures with a basement that is a swamp. Then there is a building that is 100% an artificial rain-forest. It's super sweet! One part had bats flying alllllll around! It was so super sweet! The gorilla building was also super cool and, as other missionaries told me, usually whenever we turned our backs on one of the Silver Backed Gorillas he would charge the glass and hit it full force! But, he looked super depressed when we went there. One of the smaller ones did it 2 after like 20 minutes of trying lol. Super awesome. Plus, next summer, they are opening an Africa area so I hope to be able to at that time too.

This week we did the UNO (University of Nebraska at Omaha) Seven Days of Service twice: thursday and friday. Thursday we helped clear 2 empty house lots of trash for refugee's from Sudan and Burma to make a community garden for them to become self-sufficent. It was super fun but super sad to see all the garbage that had come just from the winter. We found like 11 big black trash bags full of them and then 9 big paper bags of yard waste. We also found a dead cat in the midst of that. Crazy. Friday, we helped a company called Good360 package shirts and diapers to be shipped to charities nation wide. Huggies diapers were packaged into much bigger packages and old nike shirts were put 25 per box into like 300 boxes. It was totally fun but kinda boring at the same time. (No, I didn't take pictures [more shame to me] but you can look up Southern Sudan on facebook and you might be able to see some pics that they took of us with other people.)

We also had a baptism! Bryan (of whom I talked about like 2 e-mails ago on week 13) was baptized! It was a super awesome experience! He had a bunch of his family there and they all enjoyed it too. You could just feel his happiness radiating and filling like the entire church building. It was amazing to see how happy he was. He knows already how much following Jesus Christ has blessed his life and he is hoping that he can help his family get those blessings too!

So, with Easter right around the corner, there is a new video that I wanna link you all to (i can even watch it and it's awesome!). It's and I give you all the assignment to at least watch it. It's super sweet. Well, hope you all have an awesome Easter! Love you all! (no homo)

Elder Cox

I will list the people in the pictures from left to right and then give a small explanation. 

1st: Bryan's wife Claudia, Bryan, Elder Wilson, me. This was the baptism this last week.

2nd: Elder Barton, me, Bryan, Claudia, Elder Wilson, Elder Draper, Landon (at Elder Draper's feet, son of Bryan and Claudia), Sister Grubbs, Sister Kennion. Draper and Barton are the Omaha Spanish South Elders. Grubbs and Kennion are the Omaha Spanish Sisters and they cover the west part of Omaha.

3rd: Claudia, Bryan, Sister Willis, Sister Savage, me, Elder Wilson. This one is at the Mormon Trial Center at Winter Quarters. It's a big part of Mormon history when the Early Mormons were pushed out of Illinois and They stopped where Northern Omaha is now and called it Winter Quarters back then. Fun facts! The two sisters in the picture were the two that gave us the tour and such.

1st: The first 5 people are the family of Alexandra of whom I don't know all the names for, Alexandra, Elder Wilson, Me. This was the baptism that was 2 weeks ago. 

2nd: Elder Wilson, Me, Sister Kennion, Sister Grubbs. Right after doing the Seven days of Service on friday.

Monday, March 23, 2015


This week felt really short lol. Feels like today should be Friday! But it's Monday. And today, we are going to the Zoo! A bunch of missionaries are gonna be coming with us and we're gonna have an awesome time! The Omaha Zoo is like the Number 1 Zoo in the nation so I'm really excited. I'll have to tell you guys all about it next e-mail.
On Wednesday, we had Zone Training, which was awesome and was all about loving the people and having charity for others. It was really nice to hear what everyone thought about it too. Everyone had something to say and it helped me understand that I need to have love for everyone. One way that we can love people is by serving them. And Elder Wilson and I were able to do some service on Friday! We helped this older lady, who is a friend of a member (member's name is Brother Miranda), move a bunch of her stuff out of her apartment to her new house and to a storage unit. Her new house was a beautiful ranch house just outta Omaha. I wish I had brought my camera to take pictures. It was really awesome to be able to help someone with something like that.
We don't get a lot of opportunities to do service. This week, however, will have a lot of service. Brother Miranda works at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) as a Spanish professor. Like 13 years ago, he  set up a week of service every year, during UNO's spring break. He calls it 7 Days Of Service. Every morning of this week people come to the campus early to sign up and have a small breakfast and them get on buses to go to the area where they will be helping out in. They then get lunch and it's over by like 1:30. We'll be doing this like 2 or 3 times this week and it'll be awesome!
On Saturday, we had a baptism! Alexandra, 10 years old, got baptized and I totally didn't get a picture (I really need to work on that), but I can get it from the mom or something for next week. It was a really awesome experience because her family, her grandma, and her aunt were able to come and see. She was super excited too. She chose Elder Wilson to baptize her and it was a super spiritual experience. She was smiling so much and so was her family. I love being able to see that happiness in people's lives!

Overall, things are getting better! I feel like I still have communication problems but I'm learning. My Spanish is coming along too! I translated all of church on Sunday from Spanish to English for Bryan! I only didn't understand some of the parts so I just told him all I understood and what he was trying to accomplish by it, so I don't think I did that bad lol. Loving it here!
Missing you all, at least a little bit.
Elder Cox

Monday, March 16, 2015

Week of Learning

This week has been pretty sweet. Been doing some training online, had a Zone Conference (like every missionary in the area comes and we hear from our leaders about how we can be better. There are like 50-70 missionaries in Omaha so it was super sweet), and Elder Wilson has been helping learn how to call people, plan, and teach more effectively. I feel like I've come really far since the beginning of my mission, but I know that I still have a ways to go. This next week is gonna be really sweet to in learning how to be a more efficient missionary. Can't wait!
One of the things we did this week was plan an activity at the church building for our members to meet people that are investigating the church and people that don't really come to church. One of the things we know that helps people be more comfortable coming to church and learning is when they have a friend to be with (instead just us weird missionaries). We invited a ton of people (this is where I learned how to talk on the phone/invite people better) and had a super awesome time, even though the people we invited that are not members were all not able to come because of reasons (not all very good ones either lol). It's something we are gonna try to do like every week to help ward members have fun and get to know those who need friends. I think it's really gonna help the people we teach see that Mormons can have fun too! XD
This week has been pretty good with lessons too. This week, Bryan (the guy from last e-mail) actually accepted our invitation to be baptized in 2 weeks! (28th of March) He said he will struggle to give up smoking, drinking beer, and coffee (our church believe we should be free from all physical addiction) but that he would try. We gave him a blessing to help him and he said that would prepare for the 28th the be baptized, meaning he would give all of those up. It's crazy to see the changes that have happened with him just over the past few weeks. We started teaching him only like the 17th of February. Since that time, he has already told us of times that his perspective has changed and he has seen situations differently. He knows that our message has already changed his life in small ways that can help him be a better example to his family, which is the most important thing to him. It's just awesome to be able to be part of that in someone's life.
It's been awesome out here. All the snow is gone and today it is 93 degrees! It's ridiculous! But I'm really loving it out here. Didn't think I'd be so excited to in Nebraska XD

Stay golden, everyone! Love you all!

Elder Cox

Monday, March 9, 2015

Sweet Week (week 13)

Well this week felt like it was totally short. I feel like it has only been 3 days, so this e-mail might be short. 

I'll start with what we did last Monday cuz it was soooo awesome. WE WENT ICE SKATING! There is a Sister Missionary who went home this week and she wanted one last really fun day. Monday is the only day we have to do non-church stuff so plans were made for the Ice Skating. So the sister that was leaving, her companion, me, my companion, the Spanish south Elders (my area is the Spanish north), and 2 Spanish Elders in a town right outside of Omaha called Fremont, which is where this Sister was serving, all went to the YMCA in Fremont, where there is free skating like every Monday from like 1-5. The skate rental isn't free (only like 6 bucks tho) so we all went up there and had an awesome time playing tag on the ice and just skating around (I don't have a picture sadly. I forgot my camera). And then, my companionship (so me and Elder Wilson) and the Spanish south elders all had dinner at the Bishop's house (bishop is the leader of a congregation, kinda like a pastor in most other churches). It was sweet! Pancakes and other breakfast foods for dinner plus cookies for dessert. Most of the time our dinners are Mexican or other South American foods but breakfast for dinner works too!

The rest of the week was awesome, but in different ways. We have 2 people that are preparing to be baptized this month! I'll tell you about one of them now, and the other next week. One of them is the daughter of a member who had been to church maybe a few times the last few years. But, her daughter had the desire to go to church and be baptized so we are teaching her and helping her and her family to all get closer to God and preparing the daughter to be baptized as well. It's really awesome to see the change in her and her mom (the daughter is only 10 years old btw). Just by asking us to help her and teach her, she already understands a lot of things about the church that adults understand. The understanding is at a simpler level, but it's still an understanding about how God and Jesus Christ can help her in her life. And if she can understand it, it shows me that I can help others of any age understand it as well.

There is also a person who is preparing to be baptized next month is the husband of a member who came back to church about a year ago after not going like at all for years. This husband, his name is Bryan has heard about the church since she started going again but he has never really been interested until now. Sister Missionaries had taught Bryan but since he didn't have a huge desire to learn, he didn't really remember anything about what they had taught. He remembered the fact that one of the things we believe is that we should not drink alcohol, smoke, do other drugs, drink coffee or tea. But, he only remembers that because he smokes and drinks. But he has seen that the situation in his life is not optimal and wants to help his family stay together. He sees that his 15-ish year old daughter is not really going the way he thinks is right and wants to be a better example to her. For this reason, he wants to see if joining our church would help he become the father he wants to be. It's awesome to see how he wants to be better for his family, not just for himself. 

I know that Bryan can become a better person through this church because I've become a better person through this church. Through reading the Bible, reading the Book of Mormon, through going to church, through praying, and through having faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and the Redeemer of the world, I've been able to communicate better with other people. I've been able to be out here in Omaha and stay out here. Without prayer or my faith, I wouldn't have even come out here, nor would I have stayed. I've gotten pretty discouraged because of my communication issues with my companion and other people too and i've only gotten through it because of prayer. I know that God heard my prayers and sent me an answer in the form of my leaders coming over on Saturday giving me advice and helping me work through it. It's really the greatest thing that happened this week.

I hope you all have a good week!

Elder Cox

Monday, March 2, 2015

Communication is Key! (Week 12)

So, as the title suggests, I've been able to improve my communication skills! Elder Wilson and I are now able to talk and make jokes like we've known each other for a month! (which we have lol) It just took me looking at myself and wondering why I didn't think I could talk to him and realizing that I had constructed this notion that he didn't want to help me. Once we started talking, I came to realize that helping me is one of the things we wanted to do most. But, he is making me ask for his help. This may seem unhelpful but by having to ask first, I, for myself, am realizing how much I need help. And by asking, I'm becoming more willing to be help. I recognizing that this is super hard, and I can do it. But, if I try to do it alone, I will fail. Gotta not only rely on God, but on those God has put in my life. (Sidenote: I've also been much more comfortable speaking Spanish to him and he's helping me with word choice, sentence structure, pronunciation and overall confidence. Good stuff.)

In terms of the work, there is a lot to do here. It's hard to find time in the day to see everyone we need to see. It also doesn't help that a lot of the people we try to meet with are having troubles that stop them from being able to meet with us at the times we had appointments. Car trouble, siblings in rehab (well that's only 1 case but still), called in for work, etc. It's been hard to get to see everyone. But, we have had a few where we prayed and asked for the meeting to happen, and it did! Just delayed like an hour and a half. But it still happened, even though the chance of it happening was like slim. And it was a great meeting. Really helped the person and us see how God blesses his children. 

Overall, this week has been eventful yet uneventful. We got more snow, but not enough to cause us trouble. Nearly slipped once or twice but that's about it. Today though, we are going Ice Skating! Some missionaries are leaving to go home this week (they finished their missions) and there is a place outside of Omaha that has free Ice Skating today. So a bunch of missionaries are gonna go out there. It's gonna be great! 

Hope you all have a good week! About 1.49% of me is missing all of you! ;)

Elder Cox