Monday, August 31, 2015

This second week of training was one that was quite difficult I'd say. We had a lot of good times but also some not so fun ones. Anyways,

To start, we had zone conference on Thursday. It was really instructive. A zone conference is where 2 to 4 zones worth of missionaries (70-150 ish) all meet up and get instructions from the Mission President, his wife, and the APs (Assistants to the President). This time was a very awesome opportunity, cuz it was the first Zone Conference with President Gardner, which is out mission president now and has been for about 2 months. He is really awesome. Recently he instructed us to memorize 12 scriptures and then we would receive a prize. Apparently the prize is having the chance to watch the Nebraska Cornhusker's starting season game Vs. BYU on this saturday! It's pretty crazy how the mission president is allowing this! But, he reasoned "The entire state is gonna shut down for the game anyways, so watch the games and then go do your work afterwards." It is really shocking, but that is the way president Gardner is gonna work I guess. It's gonna be real good, even though I don't like football that much. 

Anyway, this week was an awesome opportunity to see the Lord's work in action. At Zone Conference, we learned how to better use the Pamphlets that we have to explain what we are teaching. It helps us teach with clarity and helps others understand what we are teaching better. Since that training on how to use the pamphlets, Elder Wiltbank and I have used it every single day. It's AMAZING. It makes for much shorter lessons and much more effective lessons too. It really helps me to see that President Gardner is being lead by God in our training.

Yeah, so it's been really good. Through the use of the pamphlets, we got 6 new people to teach this week! Usually, we get like 2 or 3. It's so awesome! 

Have a good week everyone! 

Elder Cox

By the way, i really tried to take more pictures but I kinda failed. So, I will take a picture a day this week around Norfolk and the surrounding areas. I will do it! For now, here's a selfie with Elder Wiltbank, my companion.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Biggest Opportunity of my Life

Ok, so maybe not the biggest but it's really huge. I'm training! Training in the mission means that I have the opportunity to be companions with a BRAND NEW missionary, right from the Missionary Training Center. It's a huge responsibility that isn't given to everyone. It is a quite heavy responsibility too! The Mission president, President Gardner, Told us that "Training is the most important leadership position in the entire mission. Trainers set up a new missionaries entire life. The mission itself sets up a person for their life. Having a great trainer allows missionaries to have a great mission and a subsequent great life." THAT'S A LOT OF RESPNSIBITITY! It's a real blessing to know that God trusts me so much that he has allowed me to train a new missionary. His name is Elder Wiltbank from Safford, Arizona, which is like 3 hours east of the capital of Arizona. He is super awesome and really willing just to go out and work. 

I was not expecting to get a new companion this transfer, much less expecting to train lol. Elder Pearson and I had a really good time together. There is really so much to talk about that I don't even know where to start. Right! So, Elder Pearson and I got a call from some really fast talking Spanish lady to help her learn English. We made an appointment and were able to meet with her. Her name is Almarosa (translation Rose Soul or Pink Soul, which is really cool). She has some really weird last names that I don't remember lol. But she is quite the person. She had our number from last year, when my trainer, Elder Wilson was around. He and his companion were doing English classes at the time and she was too busy with school to take lessons. She instead decided to do them this year. It is quite exciting to be able to teach English! It's gonna be flippin' hard but really awesome too! She also has a lot of questions about God and our church but she basically said "English first, church later" so that'll be fun. 

Anyways, I am having a great time right now! It's gonna be hard (and it kinda is already) to have a new missionary but it's a responsibility that I will be ready to bear! Love you all! I hope to hear from you guys soon!

Elder Cox

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


So, we had some meetings this week. First off, we had Spanish Conference! This is where all the Spanish missionaries in the mission come together and have some special training in Spanish and such. It is always an awesome time. We had to drive 2 hours to get there and 2 hours to get back. It was really far. Second, we had Zone Training. All the missionaries around a central point (Sioux City, Iowa for me) meet together and have some special training. It was really good and I got to see some missionaries for the last time, because they are going home. It was nice to see them and such. I'll include some pictures in this e-mail or subsequent e-mails.

So this week felt like it was only half of a week, because of the meetings but they were all good meetings so I didn't really mind it. But it was a pretty disappointing week. We had like at least 3 people that we had recently found or found a while ago "drop us". "Drop us" means that they decided to stop having us come over and teach them, or they tell us that through their actions, like being inside the house where we can see them and not answering the door (happened like 2 times this week). It's not very fun when that happens but what can we do about it? It's their choice, and we will respect it. Anyways, the bright side is that now we have more time to find new people to teach. 

I'm not really sure what else to say on this one. It's overall been a pretty great week, just without any stories or anything to tell. I guess I'll just close out by saying this: It doesn't matter if nothing works out; the thing that matters is that I am doing all that I can to serve my Savior and that is enough for me. The truly important thing is that I am striving to follow the Spirit of God in my day to day life and He will lead me where I need to go if I trust him and follow him.

Have a great week!

Elder Cox

P.S. Picture is of Spanish Conference
Zone Training

Monday, August 10, 2015

Week of Good

This week was almost awful. 

The end.

Just kidding! Ha, I don't think I tricked anybody. This week had some things happen that were pretty good and some that were less good. Overall, good week. The less good things: We found out that 3 of the people that we teach are not going to be able to see us anymore. They were 3 cousins who were all like brothers. The oldest, Pedro, was reading and praying and was gonna come to church. the other two, Pedro(2nd) and Jesus, were pretty much following his example. But, on Thursday we found out that Pedro had moved back to Guatemala to go to the hospital there for a heart condition and will probably be there for the rest of his life. The other 2 are now going to move out of state because Pedro moved to Guatemala. And that's gonna be like whenever they can find the right place to live, which will be soon apparently. It's crazy! It all happened like really quickly too! It's rough though. Now we gotta find a lot of new people to teach. 

The good thing that happened is what I really liked about this week. We had exchanges with our missionary leaders (who are spanish Elders!). The 2 of them came down to Norfolk and I went with an Elder named Elder Neuenswander. Imagine trying to a Spanish-Speaker to say that name. He goes by Elder Swan, to make it easy. We had a pretty fun day together. While we were working, we didn't have anyone that wanted to talk to us at that point in time, only got people saying that they were available on a different day or different time. Until after dinner. We found some Latino men moving a couch into a truck. We asked them if they needed help but they said no. So we headed into some apartments that were close by and headed up to the top floor to start tracting. We were followed up by a Latino women, which happened to be visiting the top floor apartment. Elder Swan and I talked to them and found out that she used to see the sister missionaries that used to be in the area. She moved and now we found her. That's not the end of the story!

This is the fun part. We were passed by a Latino man who was entering the apartment (we were talking just at the doorway) and the women became distracted by what was now coming to pass inside the apartment. The man had come inside to take quick measurements of the back screen door of the apartment. We soon realized that this man was one of the ones that we had seen moving a couch earlier. We came inside and asked if we could help. This time they said yes. They were gonna move the couch from the back of the truck up about 25 feet to the back deck of the apartment. there was only 3 guys and they were gonna try to do it. We helped them and were able to do it. It was hard, even with all 5 of us. I feel like we nearly saved their lives by being there lol. It was an awesome little experience cuz the women invited us to come to her home and talk to her about our message. 

Overall, it was a good week. Hope you all have a good week too!

Elder Cox

Monday, August 3, 2015

What is a missionary?

To start off, a brief explanation of how my week was. This week was pretty normal but in different ways. We have been meeting a lot of new people that want to listen to us and it's awesome. We've had some people that don't want to listen to us anymore and that is the opposite of awesome. Kinda really sucks when that happens. But, we've been able to find people to replace these people so it's all good. I've also completely gotten over my sickness that I had, which is super awesome. I hope that next week or so I will have a lot of information to tell you guys about the people we found and how they are doing. I figure I'll do that when we see them twice, just so I know them better. So yeah.

The reason I titled this email as "What is a Missionary?" because I kinda just realized that some people might not know exactly what a missionary is. So, I'mma explain it.
A missionary is a preacher. Straight up. In our church, missionaries go in Companionships, where there is 2 missionaries together to help and support each other. As missionaries, there are a lot of things we do. Here are some of those things:
1. We teach people about Jesus Christ, our church, The Commandments that God has given us, etc. We do this to prepare them to be baptized, which is the only way that one can be saved and enter into heaven. This is every day from about 11-9 p.m. 6 days a week. Mondays, we get to e-mail our family and friends (that's right now) and just have fun until 6 p.m.; then it is back to teaching and stuff.
2. We find people to teach. We do this in a lot of ways, like have members of our church tell us which friends they want us to see. But that isn't always how it happens. We subsequently turn to other ways of finding people. One popular way is to do what is called Tracting, which is going door to door and seeing if people want to learn. Not too effective, but It's not a waste of time. We try people that past missionaries were teaching but stopped for whatever reason. We find people on the street and talk to them about our church and stuff. We do this when we aren't teaching, cuz you can't teach if you have nobody to teach.
3. We study every morning. We have from 8-9 a.m. to read the scriptures and lessons personally to learn more for ourselves. Then, we have from 9-10 a.m. to study with our companion and to prepare lessons for people, help ourselves become better, etc. This is all to prepare ourselves for the day. For me and my companion, we have another hour of study from 10-11 a.m. to study Spanish, cuz we were called to our Mission to speak Spanish and we need to improve always.

I felt like I needed to summarize what I do as a missionary. So now you guys can know what I've been doing these past 8 months. Yeah, it's been about 8 months. 

Hope you all have a great week!

Elder Cox