Monday, September 28, 2015

BAUTISMO! (translation: BAPTISM!)

So on Saturday, we had a baptism! I mentioned it last week and it happened! It was awesome! We lot more people show up than we thought we would. I talked about the Holy Ghost during the baptismal service and I think I did ok. Jasmin is the name of the person who got baptized. We did the baptism in Spanglish, because there was a lot of people that spoke only english there and her parents who don't speak English were there. It was really super-duper-diddily awesome! She also invited some of her friends, who aren't members to come and the mom of this family was crying during the actual baptism. I know I could feel the Holy Ghost there, telling us all that this was truly a life changing event happening here. I know that the Holy Ghost was testifying to her that baptism is the way that we can get closer to our Father in Heaven.

With that baptism, we had a super epic week! Normally in a week, we set the goal to find like 3 new people to teach. But, this week, we found 10! THAT'S A CRAZY NUMBER! It's been a real blessing to see that we can find so many people. We've been working really hard to reach what are called the Standards of Excellence. Those are certain goals our mission leaders give to try and reach every week. They are not easy to get, but it is possible. They are numbers like how many lessons we get, non-members at church, people that have a date set for baptism, etc. These numbers measure how much effort we are putting forth and basically tell us how many people are accepting our message, and it correspondes to how many people we invite to accept our message. Even if we have low numbers, we can still be very successful. The numbers just show how much success the Lord is giving us and how many people we are able to help. It's weird to explain. But, we didn't get it this week. We are closer than we have ever been, but there is one thing that we can't control: Peoples choices. If they choose not to come to church, we can't force them too. We can only invite. But, I know that we can get these standards. It's something that Elder Wiltbank and I really wanna achieve. And we know the Lord can help us achieve this goal. 

Anyway, I'm doing well. I hope you all are too. Love you all!!

Elder Cox

Monday, September 21, 2015


Overall, this week wasn't too exciting. But, I have some exciting news: this Saturday, we are going to have a baptism! It's really exciting! I have told you guys about Jasmin. She is the niece of a family in the ward from Mexico. She grew up in California and her grandmother took her to our church for a very long time. She was gonna be baptized when she was a lot younger but her mom didn't approve it. So, after about like 10 years now, she can make her own choice whether to be baptized or not. And she chose to do it. And it's gonna be this Saturday! I'm really excited. She asked Elder Wiltbank to baptize her, and he is happier than a woodchuck in a wood pile to do so! It's pretty great being out here. I get to help people change their lives and make decisions that will bring them closer to their Heavenly Father. It's a huge priviledge. 

So, yesterday, a women named Elizabeth came to our church. She lives in a place called West Point, which is 45 minutes away from Norfolk, which is where the church is. We've met with her twice and committed her to be baptized on October 24th. We didn't really expect her to come to church yet, even though we invited her. Usually, people don't start coming until like 4 visits. But she surprised us with a phone call, and told us that she didn't know where the church building is. We met her at a different church parking lot and then she followed us to our church. We introduced her to one of the Spanish families and then she was introduced to all the Spanish families. She went to the Sunday School class that we have in Spanish and was immediately friend-shipped by all of them. She had a great time. She said that she would be back next week and she received an invitation to come over to one of the family's houses if she was in Norfolk that week. It was awesome to see how well the members of the congregation were able to see that she needed someone to talk to and just embraced her immediately. I could really see the love of God working within the families and Elizabeth too. I really liked to see that so perfectly.

Have a great week!

Elder Cox

Monday, September 14, 2015

A week and a fight!

Ok, so the fight doesn't involve me. It involves 2 Orb Weaver spiders. Elder Stoker (english speaking missionary serving in the same city as me) was taught by a polynesian companion how to catch and then fight Orb Weaver spiders. It's actually really intense. The picture included is when one spider beat the other one and then wrapped it up to eat later. Really wicked sick guys. Like, It was intense. Anyways, other than that, there were no other fights. Yet.

So this week, we spent 1 day in Sioux City, Iowa. We have meetings there pretty often and this time, we had 2 meetings: one on Wednesday and one on Thursday. Wednesday, we had Trainer-Trainee Meeting, which was for all the missionaries that are training new missionaries and the ones that are new missionaries. It was really good. We created a vision, goal, and plan for each of our companions and got advice on how to help them become the missionary they need to be. It was sweet. Thursday, we had Zone Training. It was really sweet.

Otherwise, this week was a really normal, but very productive week! We were able to see a lot of people and had a lot of lessons with new people too, even though we spent an entire day in Sioux City. While we were in Sioux City, I got to be with my old companion, Elder Jensen! It was super awesome. He and I got to teach together again. We found some people who were from Iraq and were Shiite Muslims. They were super nice and had a few stories to tell. The military was really helping out over there when they were there. They say that the news is very unreliable. Really nice opportunity to get a look at a bit of their beliefs too. It was super awesome. Then, we visited someone who is of the Seventh Day Adventists. It was a really good experience too, because I saw that their religion has a lot of truth to it. They are just realllllllllyyy adamant about the Sabbath day being Saturday. Otherwise, their religion is pretty darn similar to the one I belong to. It's a big thing too; all religions have truth in them. And they are all trying their best to be right by God. But I testify that the complete truth has been restored by Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith. It's what I believe with all my heart. I wouldn't be out here if I didn't know that this is true. And I will continue to be out here until I am released because I want to share this truth with everyone that I can. 

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Cox  

Monday, September 7, 2015

TV watching was allowed once and it felt weird.

So I watched the BYU Vs. Cornhusker football game, which was an amazing game of football. As mentioned last week, we were allowed to do that by our mission president. But it was weird. normally, as a missionary, we are not allowed to watch any form of entertainment, because it distracts us from our work as a missionary. But our mission president had us do it because most of the state was gonna be watching the game anyways so yeah. It was a great game and a great time with family we were too. (Picture of me and Elder Wiltbank during game included at end). Good times.

Otherwise, this week was pretty awesome. We have someone who is preparing to be baptized. Her name is Jasmine. She is a student at Wayne State College and she is living with a her aunt and uncle who are members of our church. She has gone to church with her grandma for like most of her life and she basically knows everything already. Her grandma wanted her to be baptized when she was younger but her mom didn't let her be baptized. Now, she is old enough to choose for herself and she wants to learn and be baptized! It's really awesome. 

We also received a referral from a family in our church for someone that the wife of the family sees at work all the time (a referral is when someone gives us the address of someone that they know to go see them and see if they want to be taught). We went and saw this referral last night. This man's name is Brunel and he is from Haiti. He moved from Haiti to Mexico when the big earthquake happened in Haiti. He learn Spanish is mexico and began to take college classes in pharmacy until he had to move to America. He lived in Texas and then Madison, Nebraska (which is a town 16 minutes outside of Norfolk). Now he lives in norfolk and works at the Tyson meat processing plant. He knows english pretty well and spanish like perfectly, even though it is his 2nd language. He's super nice and I can't wait to talk to him more over the next few weeks. 

This morning, I was reading in the Book of Mormon, as I do everyday, and I found a scripture that says exactly how I feel about my mission/life. I wanna share it with you guys. Alma 29:9 "I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy." This is what I am doing. I am trying my best to be an instrument in the Hands of God. Whether I'm a triangle or a tuba, a violin or a mandolin, I just want as effective as possible. I wanted to share that with all of you and tell you that we can all do that too.

Elder Cox

This is what driving from town to town looks like in Nebraska.

There are a lot of apartments in Norfolk. Like half of the city lives in apartment complexes. And this is how I am most of the time (btw I'm holding an english Book of Mormon and a Spanish one cuz most latinos live in apartments but so do a lot of non-spanish speakers)