Monday, November 28, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving, I'm dying!

So, in mission lingo, when a missionary "dies" it means they go home. so that's me! 

Also, in mission lingo, a "trunky" missionary is a missionary who is packing or thinking about home too much. That's also me! Lol. I am already packed, that's why.

This week was great. Thanksgiving was packed full of food. We had a lunch with our bishop at 2 (in which I ate 2 plates). Then we ate with another family in the ward at 5 (1 plate). Lastly, we ate with yet another family (1 plate). Then!!!!! On Saturday, We had a second Thanksgiving day. We ate with Robin and her family (2 plates) and with another family who don't come to church too often (2 plates). Fridaymorning and Sunday all day I was not feeling too well. Probably because I ate WAY to much. So that was bad. I still feel kinda woosy today but that's not bad at all.

I can't wait to talk to all y'all through facebook soon!

Elder Cox

Editor's Note: The below photo was taken in December 2014 just before Elder Cox left for his mission.

Monday, November 21, 2016

The COLD!

It is cold now. It's been like less than 20 degrees every morning now. My hands are getting really cold if I don't have gloves on. But I have nice gloves. It snowed like 4 inches on Friday. And we were supposed to drive an hour south to Sioux City to pick up supplies but that didn't happen at all. We made it like 8 minutes south but we were slipping quite a bit so we stopped and turned around. That was scary.

Otherwise, this week was really good. We had the opportunity to talk to quite a few new people. They all seem pretty interested. We had quite an interesting experience with one of those new people. She literally invited us in "to argue and debate religious beliefs". So that was kinda not pleasant. But it went well. Then we went back on Saturday and she had printed 2 5-page documents against our church. So we had VERY LONG discussion with her and she came to terms with our beliefs and just opposes like 2 of them because we couldn't "prove it from the bible". So yeah. She is not really willing to change her mind and open her heart, so that was interesting.

I am still enjoying my mission! It is sad though, because now I have less than 10 days until I have to leave my mission and move on. It will be cool to move on and get to life, but i want my mission to be longer!

Love y'all!

Elder Cox

Monday, November 14, 2016

The Long E-mail

I told y'all that I would make up for last week's short e-mail. Here I go!

On Monday, after I e-mailed last time, we did a jam session with an investigator of ours named Mark. Elder Clark and he jammed on guitar and I just messed around on a nearby keyboard. It was awesome though. Mark then took us to Burger King and we were just talking and stuff. I asked him where he had lived and he said that he lived in Benson, AZ, which is where my family lived like 9 years ago now. So that was awesome.

On Tuesday, We helped this old lady, whose house is like full to the ceiling with junk and also super useful stuff, begin to clear her living room. There were literally so many boxes of stuff that we didn't know that there was a couch and 2 chairs underneath all this stuff. Then we went to Marshall, MN, to work up there all that day. It's like almost 2 hours north east of Sioux Falls, SD. It was cool up there. I was with Elder Sandberg, who is new to the mission. They have a lot of different cultured people that are going to school in the College up there. It's cool to see all the culture.

On Wednesday, we went to Brookings, SD for a meeting and then I stayed there the rest of the day with Elder Larsen, who is training a new missionary. He is funny. We had an awesome day. Someone bought us pizza, so that was the best. Brookings is another college town and it is pretty packed with cars during class time. We could barely park the car!

On Thursday, we returned to Sioux Falls and had a meeting with all the local missionary leaders and our Mission President and his assistants. It was awesome. Then I was with one of the assistants to the President for the day! His name was Elder Karl. We used the Spirit a lot to help us while trying to find people to teach and found a huge birthday party of Hispanics and then a rehearsal of a Hispanic kids group getting ready to sing for a Hispanic church with their families! We tried to get in there to talk to people but couldn't get far. We got like 3 peoples information to talk to their families. And then their neighbors were Hispanic too! it was great. They were pretty anti other churches too. But it was awesome. I love Hispanics!

On Friday, we had an awesome time. We taught Mercedes' soon-to-be-Step-Father, Myron, and he really liked it! We had dinner with an awesome family and had Robin and her family over as well and taught her about fasting. Then we saw Hirut, the lady from ethiopia. She has been to church like almost everyweek recently! it's awesome! Then, we saw a family who haven't been to church for a while called the Makinson family and we had someone who was baptized like a few months ago come with us. They hit it off immediately! They are both native american, they both shave their heads, they both like football, they have like everything in common! It was super cool!

Hirut, Myron, and the Makinson family all came to church!!!! It was sick!!! We had a great week.

I hope this find y'all well!

Elder Cox

Monday, November 7, 2016

Baptism!

This week was awesome! Mercedes Klein was baptized on Saturday! She was so happy! She was just like "I feel so clean!" So yeah.

Otherwise, this week was kind of boring. Most of the week was spent getting ready for the baptism and teaching her the rest of what she needed to know. We taught Robin and her family but she was not able to come to church, because she woke up with a migraine on Sunday. So that is really sad.  But I really like it up here still. Fall is really beautiful.

This e-mail is kind of short today, but I'll make next week's email extra long to make up for it, ok?

Love y'all!

Elder Cox

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Festivals, sickness, and...a Cruze?

So this week was good for some and not so good for others.

The Good: So our investigator Mercedes is going to get baptized this week! We are so stoked!!! We met with her mom for the first time and they all came to church together this week. Mercedes would usually come with a different family because hers was unable to come but now they are all together! It's awesome. She is super ready and super excited. I'm super excited too! 

Not so Good: Robin and her family were all sick this last week so they won't be able to be baptized on the 12th (because they didn't come to church) but that's ok. They are still on track to be baptized in a few weeks. Now we have time to talk to every part of the family individually and work with them to help them progress! It'll be good.

Cruze? I just put that in there because we have a different car for the week. There is a car that needs to be driven to Omaha tomorrow so we swapped with those missionaries for the week. We normally drive a Chevy Equinox but this week we had a Chevy Cruze. So yeah.

This week we had a Spooky Dinner with a member of the ward. I have pictures. And last week we had a Rainbow dinner with them and I have pictures of that too! I will send them.

I'm doing good up here overall. My companion already wishes that I was gone (but I think he is being sarcastic...He is always sarcastic). But yeah, it is good. Time is ticking down, and that is making me nervous but I'm not too worried.

Love Y'all!

Elder Cox
Spooky Dinner

Rainbow Dinner

Dessert for the Halloween dinner

Also, we had a sweet Halloween Festival and I was a pumpkin. My companion was an Asian man.

Mission Map


Monday, October 24, 2016

Transfers are done! IT'S THE FINAL COUNTDOWN!

I wasn't transferred. I am staying here in Sioux Falls, South Dakota until the end of my mission. And it is awesome.

So this week was amazing. We had a great week. So, I told you vaguely about a family who really wants to get baptized. Now I will tell more. The Berg Family: the mom is named Robin. The kids are Ashtyn (14), Kate (12), and Micheal (10). They are awesome. They investigated in the past and really liked the church. They lived about an hour away from Sioux Falls and were going to a small congregation. She really liked having that church family feeling and really wanted to be baptized! But she was unable to because her husband was strongly against it. So, she didn't get baptized then. Now, they are living in Baltic, South Dakota (which is a small town about 25 miles north of Sioux Falls) and Robin is divorced. She and the kids live out there in a house that they just bought. The reason we even knew about her was because she requested for missionaries to come to her house and to teach her family! She said that she was feeling lost, so she called one of the former missionaries that taught her before and asked how she can get missionaries over to her house again. So we came! We saw them like 4 times this week lol. On Tuesday, we took a member over there to put some doors into her house (we just stood around and watched him do his work).Friday, we went and taught the family with a member who just got home from his mission. Saturday, she and her daughters came to the church to have a church tour. Sunday, she (alone) came to church because her kids were scared of being judged (Ashtyn has short, dyed hair). But, after church, she got the kids and we went to our Ward Mission Leader's house to have lunch and to watch the movie "Meet the Mormons". It was great! They all loved it!Tonight, we are going to go out to a member's farm and have a hayride and a spiritual message with treats with the family too! They are loving everything! It's awesome! They really want to be baptized on the 12 of this month!

Not much else happened this week. Merecedes is going to be baptized on the 5th of November and we have worked with her this week too. But the Berg Family is our like major focus. 

Love y'all! I hope you have a good week!

Elder Cox

Monday, October 17, 2016

This week has been great!

So that person that I said before requested online for us to come is awesome! We met with their family 3 times this week and they reallllllyyy want to be baptized! They are set to be baptized on the 12 November! So they are really excited! They also thought it would be hard to get baptized. We said "You need to live the commandments, desire to be baptized, and come to church 3 Sundays in a row." She said "That's all?" That's the first time I've ever had anyone respond that way! Also, she asked if she could see her dogs in heaven. We responded "Yes." She celebrated! HAHA. She just loves everything that she hears about our church. It's great.

Also, another person who is set for baptism for the 5th of November came to church this Sunday with her whole family! Normally we have to find her a ride and her mom doesn't want to come. But they all came; Merecedes (which is the one set for baptism), Tina (her mom), her 2 siblings, and TIna's fiancee! It was awesome! 

It has been an awesome week! So yeah. That's about it I guess. 

Transfers are in 2 days! I hope that I don't leave! But it's been a great 2 transfers up here in Sioux Falls. I will let you know what happens!

Love y'all!

Elder Cox

Monday, October 10, 2016

This week was wet.

Alliteration!

So this week really was wet. It rained A TON on Tuesday, thoroughly soaking me and Elder Clark. Our jackets apparently aren't water proof. We found that out the hard way. 

We had a great week though. We had Zone Training on Thursday, so all the missionaries in the surrounding areas came in and we taught them. It was good. 

This week, we have found more Hispanics that I've ever found in the last 9 weeks combined here is Sioux Falls. We have talked to like 7 of them and they all seem interested, 2 of them even let us teach them right there when we met them! It's been awesome. 

Otherwise, this week hasn't been the most exciting. We've seen a lot of awesome things happen though. We have found a few good families, one of which asked online for missionaries to come and help them to get closer to Christ. it was awesome. They live like 20 minutes outside of town but they are super solid and we are going to see them again on Tuesday with one of the members of the ward. We found someone who is just getting out of a halfway house and starting to establish her life. She, of her own accord, asked us to teach her after we were talking to some of her friends nearby. It was awesome.

So yeah. I just got the notice through e-mail, that I will be starting something called MyPlan, which I've heard terrible things about (jk). It's what missionaries who are going home start doing to make plans for the After-Mission Life. so that's terrifying. I didn't think that I would get that e-mail for like another 2 weeks. so that's no fun. Luckily, I don't start it until next week or the week after, so that's good. I just didn't expect a notification.

I hope you all had a great week!

Elder Cox

Monday, October 3, 2016

Lots of Revelation

So the word revelation denotes receiving communication from God. It is received through the Holy Spirit of God and is of great worth to everyone! So, this week, there were two special things that happened to help me receive revelation.

First: Mission Leadership Council, which is something that I've gone to before many times and is always so useful to me as a leader over my missionaries

Second: General Conference. So, twice a year the Prophet and Apostles do a big, 12 hour total broadcast for all the members of the church. They give talks about important doctrine and it's application to us as children of God, especially specific to our day and age. This Broadcast is called General Conference. It is always a special time of the year and helps me through 6 months until the next General Conference. It is always special to hear the Words of God directly through his called servants.

This week was really slow for us. We only had like 4 days basically to work because Friday was MLC, and Saturdayand Sunday were full of Conference, which was worth it! But we only were able to meet with a choice few people this week. We met with Hirut (who I have mentioned before) and she is doing great. She never seems to be able to come to church but she has decided that she isn't even going to tell us that she is going to come because she will come no matter what the next few weeks! It's awesome! She is committed to the cause! I really liked that! Otherwise, we found out one of the people that we are teaching that likes to go to church may be moving out of Sioux Falls! Sadness, but we are going to pray for her.

I really like it up here! It is really awesome. It isn't cold yet, which is good. But I hear it is on the way soon. :(

Love y'all!

Elder Cox 

Monday, September 26, 2016

This week was bomb.

The Highlights first: We found a bunch of new investigators! The first one is named Susan. She is someone that we talked to in an African Weave store when we were teaching her daughter. We got her information and then we visited her and eventually she was home! She really wants to be the best Christian possible so we told her that this was the best way to do that.
The second and third ones are an awesome family that moved from one side of town to our side of town. It is perfect! So they are Native American of the Lakota Sioux tribe and they are pretty ready for the message that we bring. So that's good. 
The fourth through sixth are another awesome family who have been in our side of town for a while but they are ones that I never really talked. I've talked to the mom before but I did not know that her children have not been baptized! So her 14 year old daughter realllly wants to be baptized and we are excited to help her with that!

Otherwise, so other events were this: We got hit by a native man. We were just talking to some kids outside and this man walks past us and just smacks our shoulders saying "have fun". It is a kinda sketchy part of town though. Another strange event is that I had like MAJOR deja vu even though I have literally never been to this place before. We were trying to contact this person who speaks spanish and I vividly remembered seeing the house number, my companion to my left, a van in the reflection of the screen door, and the words "2 months" in my head. It was weird. But yeah.

Love y'all!

Elder Cox

P.S. We went to the sioux falls last monday. Here is our selfie!


Monday, September 19, 2016

It's already Monday?

Man this week went by right quick. But it has been a RIGHTEOUS WEEK!

So we found some good people to teach this week. One of them is named John. He is awesome. He was taught by missionaries before and he said that he is reading the Book of Mormon and praying about it every day. So that is awesome. He really wants to know if this is the true church. It will be awesome to work with him more. 
Another one that we found is the daughter of a member who hasn't been to church in a while. Her daughter totally wants to be baptized and it is awesome. 
Yet Another one is named George. His wife requested online for a free copy of the Holy Bible. But she doesn't want to listen to us much. He is pretty interested though. It's pretty cool to see that happen. 

This week we had a very special meeting. one of the General Authorities of our church came and visited us. His name is Elder Falabela. He is from Mexico. He instructed us on awesome missionary things and I had to translate from Spanish to English for his wife who is from Honduras. It was hard but good. I also sang for everyone there. I sang "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing". It was good. 

Because of the meeting on Friday we couldn't do much on that day. then also, we had to drive down to omaha on saturday to meet with him as mission leadership. So i felt like we didn't have any time to do missionary work, because those 2 days are our busiest days usually. 

Love y'all!

Monday, September 12, 2016

Transfers! I'm with Elder Clark!

So transfers were this week. I didn't get moved, but Elder Anderson did. He is now in Gretna, NE and Elder Clark came up from Lincoln, NE to be with me in Sioux Falls! So that's awesome. He is really funny and we do so many things that are like the SAME. We both tend to use "thee" and thou" when joking around and now we often have lightsaber fights with the lightsabers that he has. This will be a fun transfer.

This week was pretty awesome too! We have talked to a lot of people but not many of them are home when we try to talk to them again. But we met an awesome women named Ashley. She is someone that was talked to before by missionaries that I had only met once. But she is awesome. She recognized that this world doesn't have guidance. As we talked about prophets and how there were none for a long time she just stopped us and asked "Do you think that there are prophets today?" She was very pleased when we said that there is a prophet today and that she could know that it is truth from God. She mentioned that she doesn't know if she can 100% accept this right now but we just assured her that God will help her have the right timing and that we do not know God's timing most of the time. He usually comes when we aren't expecting it. So Ashley is awesome. She said that she would work towards October 8th to be baptized and it seems that she will make it. I'm really excited to go back and talk to her.

Otherwise, this week was kind of disappointing to me, just because there are people that Elder Anderson and I were teaching that don't really want us to come back and keep teaching them. And we aren't finding very many people that actually want us to teach them. There was a man who is of the Islamic faith who like yelled at us, saying "that book(the bible) never says that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God," and "I know the Bible better than anyone. You must read the Holy Quran." The next day, we found the verse of John 10:36 "Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God." I know that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that all men must come unto him or they cannot be saved in the Kingdom of God. The Spirit of God has told me that these things are true and that I have been forgiven of my sins. And if I keep of this path I can be saved with my family and live in God's presence forever.

Elder Cox

Monday, September 5, 2016

HEY

Hi. 

This week was good! we had some good days and we met some awesome people! We went and knocked on some doors and found some people to teach. Besides that, we talked to some members of our ward who are passing through a hard time and we invited them to come back to church and to feel of the spirit that is found there. And they did! She even bore her testimony in the meeting about how she found out that the church was true! It was awesome, mostly because she has a personality disorder and is struggling with depression so it is very hard for her to even go to church. But she went! So that's good

Then, just like last week, Saturday was full of people to see and it was good! We had lunch with a member who's wife is not a member and then we went to the church for a lesson with someone that we met on Friday. She didn't show up because of a family emergency. Than we had a talk with a member that was with us for the lesson and she gave us some suggestions on people we could see, which was awesome. We then met with someone who I had never met before but she was being taught like 3 months ago. She had a loooooot of questions. Then, we watched a church movie with Hirut! She loved it. She said that she will think about being baptized, which is a good step. there are a lot of things going on in her life, so it might take some time. 

But yeah. Transfers are this week. So that's fun.

Love you all!

Elder Cox

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Week of Darns.

So here is the week:

Monday was kinda lame but we did see some good people. One of them was in an African Weave store. She is called Monica and she has been talked to by the missionaries before. She started crying and wouldn't tell us why she was crying. So we shared a message and left. I hope she is all good. 

Tuesday: We weren't about to talk to like anyone. No one let us in/was available. 

Wednesday: I was with an elder named Elder Campbell and we were in his area (which is another part of Sioux Falls) and we talked to a family who just recently got baptized. They were cool. And then again, like no one wanted to talk to us. 

Thursday: We went to a meeting in Brookings, South Dakota and then I interviewed someone for baptism. She is so ready it's awesome. Then we met with Yanira (the Spanish Investigator) and she is stiiiillll aweeeessssooommmeeee!!!! She had a dream recently about baptism for the dead, which something that our church believes in and said that she knows it is true! So that's soooooo AWESOME! 

Friday: We gave a man a blessing that randomly like died after a race but was revived and is now in recovery. Then we plannend for the week. Then I met a man named Ayele. He was affected a lot by the Ethiopian-Italian War. but he loves Jesus. So we talked to him about Jesus. 

Saturday: We saw like a bunch of people! but.....

Sunday: no one came to church :(

That's like not a fun week. But it was good. We met some other people on Sunday that we can meet with during this week. So that's really good. 

Love you all!

Elder Cox


1st pic: Clouds!



2nd pic: Downtown Sioux Falls from a different Elder's apartment


Monday, August 22, 2016

This week was tiring.

So, as usual, we had exchanges this week. But this week they were especially difficult for me. Mostly because I had to be the one who stayed in Sioux Falls, even though I don't really know the area too well. My Companion was out in other areas and it was for 2 days in a row. It was pretty bad honestly. I got lost at least like 5 times each day. But we had some great days. 

So Hirut has been busy the last 2 weekends with some previous thing that she agreed to do for her old church. But i'm really excited, because she could potentially be baptized in 12 days! As long as she still decides to do so, she can totally do so next Saturday! It's crazy awesome! 

Also, the only Spanish investigator that I told you about last Monday will be returning to Sioux City on Saturday (if I understood her correctly). SO SAD! MY SPANISH WILL NOW DWINDLE. T.T (that's me crying). I'm pretty sad about it too, because she is so awesome! She will one day get baptized. 

Otherwise, we went to a wedding! The daughter of a member here in the Ward got married and we were invited! It had good food. that's about it. I really didn't know the member but I got to see some matrimony! 

We gave a blessing to a recently born baby girl. She will have to be flown to St. Paul, Minnesota for open heart surgery. It's so special that God has given his power to man so that parents can receive divine help in a situation that they can do nothing to improve on their own.

So yeah, that was the week. I really wanted to send homes some pictures but I did not remember to bring my SD card adapter, so i'll need to bring it next week. I got some sweet pictures of us playing tennis and some sweet pictures of the clouds around here. 

Have a great week! Love y'all!

Elder Cox

Monday, August 15, 2016

Zone Conference Week!

This week was good. We had Zone Conference! All the missionaries around Sioux City and Sioux Falls all went to Sioux City and had a big meeting. It was awesome. We talked about how we can change ourselves and how that is so necessary for us to become the missionaries we need to be. It was awesome. Then we talked about how the Book of Mormon is the only way anyone can know that our message is true and how we need to make sure that we help people understand that. It was awesome. Then, we play some softball together! I attached a picture of us after our softball game. It was fun, especially because I got to see all the missionaries that we around me for like forever it feels.

Otherwise, this week was pretty slow. We Talked to a few people this week but not many people were available this week. Hirut had something she had to do this Sunday so she wasn't at church this week. And no one else that we invited came. Kinda sad. 

I'm gonna tell y'all about the like only person we teach that speaks Spanish. Her name is Yanira. She is awesome. She lives in Sioux City but is up here in Sioux Falls because her husband had a stroke and is receiving medical attention here. She is reading a lot in the Book of Mormon and loves it so far. When she was first found, she told the missionaries that she already believed that Jesus Christ visited the Americas, just as the Book of Mormon teaches us. And she loves everything that she has been taught so she is awesome. there is also a Columbian family that is connecting very well as her friends here. She often has to go to Sioux City for the weekend but she is really wanting to go to church.

I'm doing good overall up here in the North. I like it and the people are nice. I'm glad that I was sent up here!

Love y'all!

Elder Cox


Monday, August 8, 2016

Let it go!

So, this week was awesome. We had MLC (Mission Leadership Council) where all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders are trained by the Mission President, his Wife ,and his Assistants on how we can help the mission. This time, Sister Gardner (Mission President's wife) had us all think of something in our past and let it go. and then we did let it go! Literally, she had us take yellow balloons and go outside to let them go all at once. We did that and watched as our former problems or worries just floated away. It was quite a refreshing experience. For me, I had to let go of Sioux City, the place where I had been for so many months. I kept just being sad that I felt that I didn't do much there or hurt because people rejected me there a lot. So it brought me a lot of peace to Let it go. 

Otherwise, we had a really awesome thing this week. As a mission, we spent Thursday night from 6 pm to 9 pm specifically finding new people to teach. We set some awesome goals. As a mission, we had 109 people say that they would get baptized, we passed out 281 copies of the Book of Mormon, and we taught 308 people. THAT'S HUGE! it was awesome! we had 1 person agree to baptism, passed out 3 copies of the Book of Mormon and taught 3 people. Just our small amount was multiplied like almost 100 fold by the 89 other companionships.  It is amazing what can happen when we put our faith into our work!

Otherwise, we had another lesson with Hirut, the one I mentioned last time. We helped her understand that she is already so ready for baptism! Because she really is. She only has 2 things: to stop drinking coffee and to continue to come to church. And then, SHE CAME AGAIN TO CHURCH! She loved the first time and now she returned and loved it again! She is awesome. She is just concerned about her daughter down in Ethiopia and wants to make sure that she is safe. But God will provide!

I hope you all have a good week! I like it up here in Sioux Falls so far and am really excited to keep working! Love y'all

Elder Cox

P.S. the picture is of me saying good bye to a family who loves the St. Louis Cardinals. They were awesome




Monday, August 1, 2016

TRANSFERED!!! 4th Area: Sioux Falls, South Dakota

So I got transferred. I am now in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. It's like an hour and 15 minutes north from Sioux City. And so far, I really like it here. It is MUCH cleaner and nice than Sioux City. Everyone calls Sioux City "Sewer City". Sioux Falls is also much bigger. I'm now with Elder Anderson. He is from Brigham City, Utah and has been out for about 14 months. I knew him before because he served in Sioux City a while ago. also, I'M A ZEBRA! That means that in my companionship, I am the only one that speaks Spanish. Elder Anderson only speaks english. Plus, we are going to be teaching mostly English Speakers and if they speak Spanish, I'll have to teach alone. That's a bit scary. But it's all good. 

so yeah. I have met a few of the people we teach and they are all awesome. They are mostly from Africa and understand English like perfectly but have trouble speaking English many times. So it is like learning another language. That language is Broken English. But these people all love Jesus and want to follow him. so it's awesome to see the faith that they have. 

One that I met is named Hirut. She is from Ethiopia and her daughter, Rahel, was baptized about 6 months ago. We went over there and watch the movie Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration, which is all about the event in the early history of our church. We wanted to help her understand all the many things that people have sacrificed to follow this church because they knew it was true. We found out later that she has already seen it, but we had her ask herself as she watched "why would they go through this?" She recognized how this could be the most important thing and she agreed to be baptized on August 27th. Then she came to church for the 2nd time ever. It was AWESOME!!!!

So far it is great up here. I will keep you guys informed on all that happens. 

Love y'all!

Elder Cox

Pic: Elder Anderson and I

Monday, July 25, 2016

A memorable week!

This week was SWEET! I'mma tell y'all why!

So on Tuesday, we were in Omaha on exchanges with the Assistants to the President. It was an awesome time down there. I met a family that just had their 2 sons baptized last weekend and they are awesome. Then, something very special happened. We had dinner at our Mission President's house. It was a super special occasion, because he had some young men passing through from his home are of Bountiful, Utah. He took that opportunity to have them go with missionaries and spend 3 hours that night working as missionaries! The one that we (elder Olsen and I) took was named Rafael Guerrero and he was awesome. We had a blast doing the work and meet some people that really needed to hear us. For example, we met a nice man named Dante. He was just getting out of someone's car and heading into his house when we stopped him and talked to him. He said that he didn't believe in God. We asked him why and he simply stated that he has tried everything to reach out to God and didn't feel that he was there (he was even a monk at one point). I then simply offered the Book of Mormon and testified that it was the way that I knew God was real. He seemed pretty short on time but we were able to talk to him for about 20 minutes total and the whole time he was basically asking for more. It was a very unique and special experience for my mission. And there was about 3 other times were the same kind of thing happened of someone not being that interested at first eventually listening to our message for a while. I loved that day!

That very next day, Wednesday, we had an awesome lesson with a man named Jose Angel. He is an old man from El Salvador who is amazingly humble and really just wants to join our church. It's honestly awesome. He accepts like everything we say and then thanks us for the 5th time in 10 minutes for caring about him. He is going to get baptized, once his fiancee gets here from El Salvador and they get married. 

Then, yesterday, we were trying some people from a list of names from like 7 years ago and we met a man from El Salvador who took the missionary lessons just a mere 20 YEARS AGO AND STILL REMEMBERS EVERYTHING AND ALREADY KNOWS THAT IT IS TRUE! It's amazing!! and once he gets back from vacation he wants to get baptized! WOWOWOWOWOWOWOW.

And all these awesome things are happening while this is my last week here in Sioux City. It's crazy. It's like a 100% chance that I'm getting transferred in 2 days but I don't know where yet. I hope somewhere cool!

Love you all!

Elder Cox

Monday, July 18, 2016

This week was a GOOD week.

So, recently we have been really struggling with our finding of new people to teach. It's really quite frustrating sometimes. BUT! This week, we found a total of 7 new people to teach! That's awesome. It's something that we have really been trying to do. It's really awesome to see how the Lord has blessed us for trying harder and harder. 

One of the ones we met is named Ricky (well Ricardo but he goes by Ricky). He speaks both English and Spanish. And he is awesome. He loves talking to anyone of any religion because he loves learning more. He has met with us before and this time we were able to talk a lot about how we can know that the things we teach are true. He has prayed before to know but has not received an answer that they are true. So we are going to work with him on that. It will be awesome! 

An other one of the people we met is named Jose Angel. He lives about 40 minutes west of Sioux City in a little town called Wakefield, Nebraska, where the only stores are the gas station and a Dollar General (just built too! lol). His wife died 6 years ago and he is about to be married to a sister of one of our very active members. He is so excited to have a wife again lol and is just waiting . But he is soooooo willing to do everything we ask him to do. He loved church yesterday and the week before (that's where we met him) and he wants to keep coming. He is an awesomely humble guy. 

And I just recently passed 9 months in total that I've been here in Sioux City and a little more than a year since I've been really close to Sioux City. I've grown to love these people and it's been a really fun opportunity to learn and grow as well. 

I love ya'll! Have a great week!

Elder Cox

Monday, July 11, 2016

Buenos Dias!

Man, this morning we had to translate for 3 and a half ours because one of the Members of our Branch had to get an eye exam. so that's why I'm e-mailing so late in the day. so I need to be fast.

This week was honestly kind of frustrating. We had to go down to Norfolk again and then also go to O'Neill, Nebraska both to help the missionaries down there. There are quite a few missionaries here going through some hard times in their missions. But it's awesome that we are able to be here to help them. So that's good. 

So we had 2 days where we weren't in Sioux City like at all. Like only for 2 hours to visit people on Friday. It wasn't fun. And, because of this, we haven't really been able to find like anyone who is ready to listen to us for more than once. They love to have us over once but after that, they don't really want us to come back to badly. So it is frustrating. We are working hard but we seem to lack something. We haven't figured out what that something is.

The good news is that Pete, one of our investigators is reading and stuff! So it is really awesome! 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Week of Stress and HAPPY AMERICA DAY!

This last week we had something really special: Spanish Conference! It's where all of the Spanish Missionaries in our Mission come together and get trained by the Spanish Leaders and usually a guest who knows a lot about Spanish and how to be a missionary. Surprise! I'm one of the Spanish Leaders that had to give part of the Conference and plan and coordinate it all. So last time I had ever felt so stressed out involved a week with Spanish Conference all on it's own. This time, I was not able to sleep well for 2 days before, we had a 4 hour Leadership Meeting before the Conference AND the fire alarm in the Castle went off at 1:30 AM that morning. I hadn't even fallen asleep and so I don't think that I even fell asleep before 3:30 am, making me have like maybe 2 hours of sleep (we had to get up at 5 to be in Omaha for the meeting). So I know that it was only through the grace of God that it all worked out and that I didn't feel tired at all during the Conference. Before: verrrrrryyyy tired. After: kinda. MIRACLES, i tell you, MIRACLES.

So yeah. That's the high point of the week. otherwise, yesterday was AMERICA DAY! WOOOOH!!! We had an awesome ward picnic and ate some good food. We can't light off fireworks as missionaries but we had a good time watching them from the castle window. it was awesome. Merry Independence Day!

I hope you all had a great week and that you all enjoy FREEDOM!!!!

Elder Cox

Monday, June 27, 2016

My Boy Got Cut!

So that sounds super dramatic but he got some moles surgically removed this morning. Fun Facts. I just needed a good title too. 

This week was good. Recently we have been struggling to find new people to teach. Like we will meet a lot of people but like none of them actually are that interested. So we didn't really have any that we were going to count as people that we teach. Like we have had 0 for the past almost 3 weeks. Until yesterday! We were going to have 1 last lesson with someone who I have taught like 3 times before. And the rest of their family was there! They are really funny and love to have a laugh. We taught them and then they invited us to have a grill this Saturday for lunch! They really enjoyed having come over. And they have known missionaries before (in fact my first companion here in Sioux City taught them last) but it has been since I got here that they haven't seen or talked to missionaries. So it's awesome. 

Otherwise, this week was pretty normal. But Saturday was AWFUL. You won't quite understand why, but let me tell you. So, as missionaries we get food from members of our congregation like 5-7 times a week (here in Sioux at least) and it is good, greasy, authentic Hispanic food. And Hispanics LOVE to stuff you full. They always say "Comen mas! Quieren mas?" (meaning "Eat more! Do you want more?"). And occasionally, even if you say no, they give you more anyways. So Saturday, we had breakfast with a member set up, a lunch in a smaller town set up, AND a dinner set up. So it was already going to be a LOT of food. THEN, after breakfast but before lunch, a family offered us food right before a lesson and they just KEPT insisting. So we had like 3 tacos to satisfy them. So this was the total food consumed by me and my companion: 9 Pancakes, 6 eggs, 14 tacos (of a good size), and 2 tortas (mexican sandwiches). We were just like destroyed because we ate so much. We barely at anything on sunday and now we are starting to feel just a bit hungry. We sacrificed much for those that we taught XD. But yeah. The pains.

Anyways, that was a long story. I hope you are all doing good! Luckily, not every day has been in the 90s here and I hope that it continues that way.

Love y'all!

Elder Cox

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Change.........



So I'm still in Sioux City. And I have a different companion! It's not a new companion, cuz it's a companion that I had before again!!!!!!!!!!! 

IT'S ELDER WILTBANK! The one that I left to come up here to Sioux City only about 8 months ago! It's pretty crazy man. I'm including an old picture because I let Elder Jensen borrow my camera for a bit and he's gonna send it back to me. But yeah! He's my boy! The "Father and Son" are back together! (in the mission, when someone trains a missionary they refer to it as "having a kid" so Elder Wiltbank is my "son" lol)

So yeah, it's been an interesting week. I got him on Wednesday and that's when Elder Jensen left. We found some reallllllllllyy nice people while trying to contact someone that a member told us to go try and we got some papaya (which we both dislike) from this nice man named Esdras. He just let us in right when we knocked and fed us some mangoes too. He is awesomely nice. 

Then, on Thursday, we got a text from our Mission President asking us if we could go to Norfolk that day to do an exchange with a missionary who was struggling with motivation. We will call him Elder Doe. I had the opportunity to spend all day with Elder Doe and to help him through that time. The companionship had been majorly reject 3 times within 5 minutes and that just started a downward spiral for them. The other missionary had already started to be motivated and hopeful again but Elder Doe just said he kept getting caught up in doubts, fear of what others would end up saying, etc. so he wasn't motivated. We had a great day and we taught some awesome lessons together. One of the best occasions was when we pulled up to someone's house, we didn't really know what we needed to teach. So we just quickly talked about the family and made a little plan for the lesson. Elder Doe then said, as I was looking up a scripture, "I'm really glad we stopped to make this lesson plan. The husband of this family just got home, so now we can go in." It was awesome. Then, I gave him some advice to help him out during his prayers and studies, and this can help everyone. When praying, just start with 5 minutes of gratitude to God. Then, repeat a positive phrase 10 times to God. Then continue the pray how ever you want. When studying, begin with a prayer asking God for the answer to a specific question. Write down the question and pay attention to your feelings and thoughts as you study. By the end of the exchange, Elder Doe felt that the Spirit of God had touched his heart and he again had hope and motivation to go out and do God's work. He said that the prayer and study advice helped him the most and that is how the spirit of God was able to help him. He now feels that he has sufficient resources to fight off or prevent this lack of motivation the next time it comes, as this wasn't the first time that it has happened either. It was awesome to see that it wasn't what I said that mattered but what he was told by the Spirit of God

So yeah. That was a very key experience that i never want to forget from my mission. I truly saw the Atonement of Jesus Christ and The Spirit of God help that missionary to feel comforted and motivated. And I know that this can happen to all of us as we go through our lives. The Spirit of God can touch our hearts if we reach out to him and seek.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder Cox

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Last Week of My Companion

So yeah this was Elder Jensen's last week in his mission! He has had a great mission. We have spent a forth of our mission together, which is a LLLLOOONNNGGG TIME. But he is awesome. He is a friend of my soul now. 

Anyways, this week has been pretty good. We've met some awesome people and there are some people that we haven't been able to see. But it happens. There has been 4 days straight now of like 95 to 100 degrees and there are lots of mosquitoes and flies just bugging us. But it was still a great week. We were asked to help a family out by casting an evil spirit out of their home. It was kinda creepy but it was a good experience to have with that family. I really felt the Spirit of God there and the wife and daughter of the family felt it too. It was awesome. 

One of the people that we teach invited us out to lunch at a place called Fuji Bay. It's a sushi restaurant. It was sooooooo goooood! But we forgot to take pictures. T.T But this person, named Pete, is the husband of one of our members. He is a truck driver, which means that he is gone like alllllll week except for 2 days, Thursday and Friday. But he told us that he got a local job and that he is quitting his other job! Which is sooooooo AWESOME! That means he can come to church with his family and can meet with us more. It's an awesome thing that shows a lot of progress with him. It shows progress because he has gotten a local job before but never quit his old job. He just took a vacation so he could try out the new job. He didn't like the new one so he went back to the old job. But now it's different. YAY! lol. So yeah. That's some awesome progress. 

Saturday night, we had a big cultural event! We had tons of people bring in food from different countries and cultural (such as spain, africa, tonga, etc.). There was like over 100 people that came! IT WAS SOOO SUCCESSFUL. So yeah. I'll include a picture from the clean up that we took.

I hope you all have a good week! I'll be sure to have lots of good pictures next week of my new companion!

Elder Cox