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

Monday, June 6, 2016

This Week Was Wonderful

It really was an awesome week. 

We met a really good guy this week named Juan. He is just this cool guy from Mexico with a really nice family. We really hope to be able to see him again. He works like an hour and 15 minutes away and doesn't have a set schedule for leaving work so he is not always going to be easy to find but we will see him again. He was cool and had a lot of faith.

We went to Omaha and had a meeting with our Mission President and all the other Zone Leaders. It was awesome. We are going to focus, as a mission, on talking more about the authority of the Priesthood that was lost but then restored to Joseph Smith when we talk to people. It's gonna be good. We were also taught the doctrine of Justice, Love, and Mercy in an awesome study session with our Mission President. It was enlightening. Then we left and we are going to prepare to train our zone on these topics. It's gonna be awesome!

Otherwise this week wasn't really that amazing. It is just kind of slow right now. My companion's last sunday will be this week so that's exciting for him. He's gonna start packing and such, so he will probably be a bit distracted from now on but it won't be too bad.

I hope you all have a great week!

Elder Cox