Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas week!

Hey, if you guys didn't already know, Christmas was this last week. Crazy right?! Lol. I had quite an awesome Christmas! I got a cool multi tool from my brother Charlie, a Doctor Who blanket from my brother Ammon, some shoe Insoles, candy, and other miscellaneous goodies and awesome things from my parents. It was super cool! 

So, this week, we had a great time. We saw some people that we don't always see and we were able to get some progress with them! We met with  a man named Rodolfo. I may have mentioned him before. He is the husband of a member and he is not a member. He is a really good guy. He has a great interest in learning about everything. He has studied a lot of different religions. He also gets worried very easily. He has not recently been doing what we have invited him to do, but this last week he promised us that he would (he usually just says yes). He promised us for the first time that he would read and then he said the prayer to end the lesson and prayed a different way than he had before. He prayed more sincerely and with more of his actual heart in the prayer. It was awesome! That's like the first time I've seen him do anything different. He read what we invited him to read like the very first time we taught him, but not much more since then. It's awesome when I get to see people start to change, to bring their life into harmony with the life God wants for them!

Otherwise, we were Santa this week! all of the presents for the Missionaries in our Zone were delivered to us and we then delivered them to those Missionaries! We had to drive an Hour and a Half south west to Norfolk and an hour and a half back on Wednesday and then an hour and a half east to Storm Lake on Thursday and another hour and a half back. Being Santa takes a lot of time, expecially when you don't have permission to drive Santa's Sleigh XD. All we got is a 2012 Chevy Colorado with a little black box that tells us to slow down if we start to go to fast. but, we did it safely and we got the presents there! 

I hope that you guys all had a great christmas! I hope you all know the true meaning of Christmas isn't just the presents and Santa, but The Only True Gift of Jesus Christ, the Son of God that God himself gave to the world, because He loves us.

Love you all!

Elder Cox

P.S. my companion is voting "Hilary Duff" for President. (he meant Hilary Clinton, and I'm not sure if he was serious or not)

Monday, December 21, 2015

that's all i have to say about that

This one is going to be a bit shorter than usual.

So, I have a new companion! His name is elder Peters! He was here in Sioux City for 9 months before he got moved to another area for like 4 months and now he is back! It's like no time at all to be gone and he already knows like a ton of people here, so it makes my life a bit easier.  He's really awesome, and It's gonna be a great time here in the Sioux city!!!

Otherwise, we haven't had a lot of progression with the people that we are teaching. A lot of those that we are teaching have continued to cancel appointments or other things got in the way so they aren't available. It's not too fun. I really wish it would stop happening, but I can't control what others do, and that's ok.  

So, yeah. Pretty mellow week. I called my family yesterday which was awesome. I called early because Otherwise I wouldn't have been able to talk to all my family and meet my future brother in law! (side note: I officially approve him for my sister to marry) So, that was super cool. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas! I hope that you all think of something you can give to God this christmas. He has given us so much, so we should all think of something that we can give to him. There is something for all of us to give!

I miss you all! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

Elder Cox

New Companion-Elder Peters
Zone Conference Photos

Monday, December 14, 2015

A Special Week

This has been quite the week. There are quite a few parts, so I'll number them:

1. Elder Ferry, my companion, left today. He is ending his mission, and so I'm just gonna be with some other missionaries in the area. We are gonna be having an epic week! And, I'll be doing a lot of work in their area, as well as my own area. It's gonna be great.  Unknown to them, they are both leaving. I'll be teaching the people that they are currently teaching, so It's good to have a bit a time here learning who they are. Elder Ferry and I had a lot less time than usual to be together, because instead of a 6 week time period before changes, it's a 5 week period. If it was 6 weeks, we would have changed people around on Christmas day, which would be bad, since missionaries get to call their families on Christmas day. 

2. Went back to Norfolk for a day! I was able to see a few of the people that I taught again and was able to say good bye to them lol. A few of those that I saw I wasn't able to say goodbye to. It's kinda sad, but now, goodbyes are said.

3. Ricardo. So, I may have mentioned Ricardo previously. He is the nephew of a member here and he is meeting with us. He really wants to get baptized, but is struggling with smoking and, until a few days ago, he was living with his girlfriend. He couldn't get married to her until he was divorced from his wife that he had when he was like 19. Those are two things that need to change to be able to be baptized. Recently he stopped meeting with us, because his girlfriend's mom died. On Thursday, we got a call from him that his girlfriend left and that he wanted to meet with us again. During our lesson on Friday, he decided, just agreed but decided, to be baptized. It's a big difference for missionaries. We invite and they can accept that invite. But, to hear someone say "I am going to be baptized" instead of "I'll get baptized" is really powerful to hear. He is doing awesome now and came to church yesterday, so he is well on his way to be baptized. It's awesome!

4. Temple trip. A very special thing that missionaries get to do sometimes is go to the temple with someone that they baptized earlier in their mission. Elder Ferry got to have that experience and I got to witness it. Someone that he baptized went to the temple. A temple is a house of God here on Earth. Church buildings are a special place where we got to worship God and all are invited, but a Temple is a place that only those that are worthy (or keeping God's commandments) are allowed to enter and we are instructed and make covenants (or 2 way promises) with God. It was even more special because it was all in Spanish! And I was able to understand it and learn a lot; I maybe even understood and learned more than if it was in English! It was awesome. I was also able to see a lot of the Spanish Ward Members in Omaha because they were helping out at the visitor's center right next to the temple. 

Such an awesome Week! It's been a real pleasure to serve with Elder Ferry and to have all of these wonderful experiences. I love it out here! Talk to you all next week!

Elder Cox

Monday, December 7, 2015

Week of the Big Meeting!

It wasn't actually that big of a meeting. It was Zone Training, which I've explained before as all the missionaries in a certain area getting together to be trained on how to be a better missionary. The difference for this time is that I was one of the ones doing the training! The Zone Leaders of the Zone that is meeting are the ones that talk to the rest of the missionaries. 
IT WAS VERY STRESSFUL. I really don't know why it was so stressful lol. I'm not really scared of public speaking. I was preparing for it and like the entire time that I was preparing, I just felt an overwhelming sense that I couldn't do this. I couldn't get rid of the feeling for a long time. But then, I did something that everyone can do to get help. I prayed. I asked God to help me. I was preparing to help His missionaries, so I got an answer to that prayer really quick. I felt that I would still feel overwhelmed, but they I would not be overwhelmed. I prepared for it and was ready when the time came. Then, Surprise, Surprise! Our mission president was there! He usually wouldn't come up to Sioux City for a Zone Training. He spoke to us a little bit and said about 75% of the things I would have said. So, I just went up there when it was my time and I was given, by God, the words I needed to say. I know that they were given by him because I really had no idea what I needed to talk about. I said a little bit of the stuff that I had prepared but I was given a question to ask. That question lead me to something that some of the other missionaries needed to hear. After the meeting was over, I had a few people say that they knew something that they really needed to do from my training. I know that God helped me with something as simple as talking in front of a group of people. 

Otherwise, this week was really cool. I got to go back to Norfolk for a bit to do an exchange with a missionary down there and got to say hi to a few folks that I knew. I don't have a whole lot to say about what else we are doing over here because we haven't been able to teach a lot of people. Like, out of the 10 set appointments we have throughout a week, like 3 go through. It's pretty frustrating but we've been able to talk to most of the people and have been able to get better times or to find other places to meet with them. It's been improving so next week will be filled with the people that we are working with. For now, I'll mention a man named Sergio. He's someone that was taught once before like 4 months ago. He is SUPER NICE! Like, he is just so friendly! We taught him the first lesson that we usually teach and he accepted the invitation to be baptized on January 2nd! We are seeing him again tonight so I can't wait for that. He also has a wife and kids so we are hoping the whole family can be involved!

Anyways, Life is doing real good out here. I'm loving it! On Thursday, December 10th, It'll be exactly 1 year since I left. It's crazy how fast that year has gone by!

I love you all!!!!!

Elder Cox