Elder Davis B Cox

Elder Davis B Cox

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Monday December 21, 2015 - Pierre was baptized!

This week Pierre was baptized! It was an amazing service. I told a little of Pierre's conversion story before but he has one of the coolest conversion stories and now one of the strongest testimonies I have ever met. He gained a testimony of the Book of Mormon literally over night as he listened to Book of Mormon on audio during a night shift. Over 50 chapters in one night. After meeting with missionaries for almost a year and as soon as that happened he was all in. And he loves the gospel.
He also has a super cool testimony of the priesthood because last Sunday his leg and hip were hurting and they have been for a while, but during church it was tingling really bad and went numb so he asked if we could give him a blessing. During that blessing I felt really prompted to command his Sciatic nerve to be healed. I probably spelled that wrong because I don't even really know what a sciatic nerve is, but a few days later we got a text from him that I'll never forget. it said:
"Guys hello last Sunday you anointed me about my left leg now I fell better I am agree with priesthood authority is from Lord Jesus Christ because is healing oil never seen miracle"
He's African so it didn't make 100% sense.. But it was really cool. 
I also have a new companion Elder Sessions!
Love you all have a great Christmas! Remember the true meaning of Christmas. To remember Christ and how he can change us, just like he changed Pierre and like he's changed me. I know that he was born and that He lives today.

And I'll see you in a few days family!!

Love Elder Cox

Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015 - Elder Martino in IOWA

This week was awesome in so many ways! First of all Elder Martino came and we had a Zone Conference and MLC with him. I don't think I've ever written so fast because I was just trying to write down all the wisdom that he was just laying down. He gave 4 hours worth of trainings total without looking at a single note and blowing my mind the entire time.

The most important thing I learned from Elder Martino was the importance of members in missionary work. He told us that about 1/1000 people we talk to on the streets end up being baptized. While 2/3 people who are invited by their member friend and taught in a member's home are baptized. Why? Because of the spirit that is able to be present so much more abundantly in member's homes! It was very inspiring and really motivated me to get to know the members better in this new area so that they trust me to teach their friends. 

He also bore his testimony of the Atonement which was one of the coolest experience I've had on my mission. His personal witness was so powerful and sure. As part of his testimony he also told the story of Agnes Caldwell, a 9 year old pioneer girl in a handcart company caught in the cold snow, with almost frost bitten frozen feet. 

The rescue group that came for their group took all the old and unable to walk in the wagons and started towards Utah, while Agnes and other small kids ran alongside hoping to be offered a ride. All the kids eventually gave up until Agnes was the last one. The driver looked down at her and said "do you want a ride?" Still running she said yes and the man grabbed her hand and sped up the horses and made her run. She thought the man was terrible for doing this with the pain of every step of her frozen feet. After what seemed like miles to her the man stopped, picked her up, wrapped her in a blanket and put her in the wagon. She later realized that by making her run, the man had saved her feet and probably her life by helping her blood get flowing before she came in the wagon.

He compared this to the trials we face in life and how our all knowing Father allows us to go through trials not to punish us or torture us, but because that is what is best for our lives and will give us the strength to keep going on later. 

I've pondered that a lot as I've met with many different kinds of people on my mission. One thing I have noticed is a universal trait of successful people is that they grow from hard things. A universal trait of less successful people is allowing their situation/circumstances to be an excuse not to grow. To take the easy way.

Elder Martino had us, during personal study the next day, write down in our journal attributes we wanted in our wife/marriage that we saw in President and Sister Jensen's marriage (they are the best couple of all time, general authorities and everyone comment all the time how great their marriage is). It made me think about marriage a little bit which was weird because that's an eternity away, but it made me mostly think about the type of people I want to surround myself with. President Jensen says he married someone smarter and more motivated that him, even though he's a rocket scientist for NASA and a genius, so that they would push each other to be better their whole lives. Those are the kind of people I wish to associate with as well.

This email has been a lot of just amazing spiritual things that I've personally learned this week so sorry if no one else feels this applies to them.. but it applies to us all because it's about Christ, but next week hopefully I will be able to report on Pierre Manirakiza being baptized and my new companion that I will get this Thursday!

Love you all!
Elder Cox

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 5, 2015 - #ASaviorisBorn

I wanted to start off thanking everyone for the birthday emails and letters! If I haven't emailed you back this week I for sure will next week because email time is short but they all made my day!
This week has been fantastic. We have been so blessed and seen so many miracles this week.  Elder Ellis and I both agreed that this was one of our best weeks on our mission on a lot of different levels.

This Friday and Saturday we had the Cedar Rapids Nativity which was SWEET! If any of you have seen The District it was like the Luaoh (I don't know how to spell that) missionary event but Christmas version and on STEROIDS! The members here are sweet and they went all out. There were hundreds of nativities from the community set up in the gym, live music from different churches bands and choirs throughout the day, church tours, cookies, and over 2,200 people ended up coming. And hundreds of them ended up leaving with a church DVD with our number on the back so we're hoping to get some phone calls soon :) There are several conversion stories of people coming to the nativity in past years, feeling the spirit so strong in the church, and ending up investigating and joining.

Also the First Presidency Christmas Devotional last night was the BOMB!
And I forgot to mention it last week but the Church's Christmas initiative this year, #ASaviorIsBorn is amazing. If you haven't watched the video yet watch it and share it with everyone you know. The spirit behind little children telling the story of the birth of Jesus Christ is so powerful. 

This week we were able to have Pierre Manirakiza feed us fufu again and also come to church! Which is awesome because now he will be able to be baptized on December 19th which he is so excited about! He is a great man. He is from Burundi Africa and is supporting his family here as well as 4 adopted children who still live in Africa. He works so many hours a week but still makes gospel and service a priority. He is president of the African Society and helps refugees get a start once they get here, and he has a van that he bought with his own money and lets anyone use it for "God's errand": going to church, church activities, visiting someone at hospital, anything in the service of God. He just hangs the keys to it on the wall and lets anyone in the community take it. He is a great example of charity. 

This week Elder Martino of the Seventy is coming on a mission tour on my birthday on Wednesday so I'm sure I'm going to have some sweet things to write about next week! 
Love you all!
Elder Cox

Monday, November 30, 2015

November 2015 Thanksgiving!

This week was SO GOOD! I'm going to start off with the temporal then save the spiritual best for last.
Thanksgiving day: 
SO much food was eaten. We had a dinner/lunch at the Crone's at 2:00 which was amazing food and the best pies I've ever eaten in my life! She had home made pumpkin, Blueberry, lemon meringue, and my new favorite pie of all time: Icecream pumpkin pie. Pumpkin pie with melted ice cream mixed into it then poured into a pie crust and frozen. It was Celestial pie.
Then we had dinner at the Hodgman's(Stake President's) at 4:00. They had our whole zone over to their house so there was 14 missionaries and so much food. I literally ate so much I had hot flashes. Then more pie and eggnog.
I gained 8.5 pounds new thanksgiving record. Good luck beating that one Ryan and Ben.

We had a lot of multi-language lessons again this week, translating from French and Swahili to English and back again, hearing prayers in different languages. I've said it multiple times but it never ceases to amaze me how someone will be saying a prayer in a language that I don't know and I will be able to feel the spirit so strong and be able to know what they're asking for. 

We also have an awesome kid that we're working with named Austin. He's 11 and is so excited to be baptized. I've loved being able to teach a kid again because we get to to object lessons, draw the plan of salvation on the whiteboard, play Gospel of Jesus Christ ground is lava. And the spirit is still there teaching him eternal truths. 

Love you all,
Elder Cox

Friday, November 27, 2015

November-Thanksgiving week - 2015

This Week I finally experienced my first taste of Iowa winter. 12 degrees is a lot colder when it's 95% humidity outside but as long as it snows it's all good because then people are outside playing in the snow and then we can talk to people!

This week has been a really fun week and we have met some sweet people. We have new investigators this week from Congo, Burundi, Haiti, Phillipines, and Nepal. I still don't get why everyone comes to Iowa but they do. And they are amazing humble people. 

Last night we were over at the bishops house and they had a really cool Thanksgiving tradition they did. On the fridge they had a calendar for November and there's a piece of cardstock in each of the days. At the end of each day they get together and they each say one thing they're thankful for and write it on the piece of paper. They've been doing it for 5 years now so each night they also read what they were thankful for on that days for each of the last 5 years. They included us last night and it got me thinking about things I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful for Jesus Christ
I'm thankful for the cleansing power of the sacrament
I'm thankful for my family even though they're far away
I'm thankful for Memories we share with others
I'm thankful for my companion so I don't get lonely
I'm thankful for The delicious Peanut Butter pie we had last night
I'm thankful for Amazing members that help the missionaries
I'm thankful for technology so I can talk with people I love
I'm thankful for this opportunity I have to share the gospel
I'm thankful for gifts of the spirit

And so many other things. We were talking to an 88 year old member of our ward who was feeding us dinner and we asked her what her favorite time period of her life was. As she pondered and we talked about different periods of life she's gone through in her long life, she decided that it was the time since she has been a member of the church. She was a convert and she said "I don't really remember much about before I learned the gospel and joined the church, It's like life started when I was baptized."
Being born again is a literal saying. 

Love you all Happy Thanksgiving!
Love Elder Cox

"If you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?"
I spy Elder Cox

The Stake President had 10 missionaries from the zone over and we're eating and playing games.

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16, 2015 - Cedar Rapids Week 2

This week was awesome! Fredy and Tenneh got baptized here in Cedar Rapids. Our mission president says it takes atleast 17 miracles for every convert baptism to happen and it's so true. But it's such a happy day when it does happen.

I would send pictures but this week I have a legit excuse. Our car got broken into and they took all of our stuff including my camera so no pictures.

But everything is going well besides that in Cedar Rapids. We had a super busy week. Me and Elder Ellis are becoming trilingual with speaking Swahili and French to half our investigators. We have to have a translator for some of them and it's super fun teaching.

One spiritual moment that was pretty cool. We were teaching Christiane, who only speaks French, and Sister Beauregard was translating. They had been talking for a while about who knows what, And all the sudden I had a feeling to read Moroni 10:3-5 with him. So I pulled out our French Livre de Mormon and turned there and had Sister Beauregard read it. Later found out that that fit perfectly into the conversation and answered his question. I don't have the gift of tongues yet but I think that's the second best thing.

Love you all hope the snow is treating you well in Utah!
Love Elder Cox

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

November 9, 2015 - Cedar Rapids IOWA

So I thought I was going to have a long time to write an awesome long letter about how amazing Cedar Rapids is but it's going to be a short quick one.
-So I'm in Cedar Rapids 2nd ward.
-My New companion is Elder Ellis He's awesome. He's from Sandy, been out 16 months and he's a stud!
-Cedar Rapids is awesome! We have a ton of African investigators! And I've already eaten Fufu and casava here so I am loving life so much!
- We are teaching the Manirakiza family and they are super fun and super happy all the time.
- We are also teaching a few families from Nepal, The Kahrka's and also the Khardka's. We are watching Meet the Mormons with all of them so that they can see Bishnu and know that they don't have to change their culture to know the truth. That's an inspired movie.
- We live in the only house in the whole mission where 4 Elders live together and it is the bomb! Me, Elder Ellis, Elder Otteson, and Elder Swainston are the funniest quadpanionship that there has ever been. I've cried laughing like 8 times since I've been here.
- I love missionary work. I love the Book of Mormon and the opportunity I have to bear testimony of it every single day and help people come closer to Jesus Christ. And I love the spirit because without it I would have no idea what I am doing, but with it I seem to have somewhat of an idea.

Hakuna Matata
Elder Cox

Saturday, November 7, 2015

November 2, 2015 - Leaving Hannibal

Saturday Elder Baxter and I got a very sad phone call that I will be leaving Hannibal. But President Jensen through a few curve balls in there. I am going to be a zone leader now and Elder Baxter is going to train a new missionary and he's just barely finishing training! There's a zone leader opening in Quincy and President told me I'd be pretty close to Hannibal so I'm praying I go to Quincy that would be sweet!

This week has been an interesting one full of saying goodbye's, Halloween fun stuff, and getting rid of bed bugs. Hate those things.

On Halloween and the night before Halloween (beggars night out here) we had to be in our apartments by 6:00. The first night me and Elder Baxter did a puzzle of the Nauvoo temple. FUN right. Actual Halloween night was a lot more exciting because we got invited to the Voelkels Halloween Party! It was the Voelkels, the Sherwoods, and the Jepsons, which all together have like 20 something kids so it was awesome! Plus when all the kids got back from trick or treating they all wanted to give a few pieces of their candy to the missionaries(its like tithing right?) So me and Elder Baxter got on sugar rush with the kids.

Saying goodbye to people wasn't fun, there are so many awesome families here in the Branch I felt like I was leaving my home ward again. But I knew and they knew that the Lord needs me somewhere else.

This week at church Neva got confirmed! And we were also able to have one of our investigator families the Charletons there. They felt the spirit super strong during testimony meeting. The dad and the teenage girls even teared up a little. 

I love you all and I'll let you know next week where I end up! And mom if you still talk with Sister Voelkel and Sister Jepson tell them I love their families and I'm going to miss them all.

Love Elder Cox

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.

It turns what we have into enough, and more.
It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity.
It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.
Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.
- Melody Beattie

Dear Elder Cox,
I always love when November begins.  It is a month of many changes in the season.  The weather and the beginning of the holiday spirit in the air.  I love the spirit of gratitude and just loved this quote.  I do not know Melody Beatie, however, I think she is pretty smart!
I am so grateful for your spirit as a missionary.  As I talk about you to others that are struggling having their sons or daughters out on missions and how much they miss them etc, i am even more grateful for the example that you are emulating throughout our immediate family and beyond.  Don't get me wrong we miss having your handsome face and contagious laugh around all the time, but we too are being spiritually lifted in having this missionary experience along with you. I was reminded of your gentle strength as you kept your hope and determined attitude throughout being sick a few weeks ago.  I appreciate that you have developed the ability to look past minor bumps in the path.  I love that you are enjoying serving so many people and I know that they will forever remember your service. I am grateful for you as our oldest son and the example that you are setting as such an amazing trend for not just our kids but many others with so many things that you do and are.  I am grateful that you did so well in school.  You may not see it all the time, however, your younger siblings are always trying to live up to the example you have set.  (FYI -Ryan is hoping for a 34 on the ACT) Your shout out to Ben for the soccer goal seriously made him smile so big and meant so much to him, and Emily well, she will always have such a special place for the attention that you gave to her as a big brother.  I  am so grateful that you and Courtney have stayed close as your lives are moving forward. I am excited for you to have met McKay and know that you will feel as we do when you get to know him, that he is just one of us!  
I am so grateful that I have had the opportunity to be your mom in this life.  Raising you has truly been such a privilege.  You have been a sweet and adventurous boy from the get go.  I look back at photos over the years and I am so grateful for our family times and memories.  The good and the not so good times all add up to growth and love.  We are so blessed. I am so grateful for the man that you are becoming.  I will forever cherish the bond that we share.  You are incredible and your strength and will inspire me.  
As life progresses, I am increasingly grateful for a loving Heavenly Father and devoted Savior that guide my every day. I am thankful for the opportunity to be a member of this amazing gospel.  I value the Holy Ghost in  my life.  I truly cannot imagine life without the spirit guiding my thoughts and actions.  All my hopes are founded on the plan of salvation and the many promises that Heavenly Father freely give to His children when they are obedient.  I am grateful for Joseph Smith and his determination to follow through. I am thankful for the Book of Mormon and for all those that have gone before us.  I hope to leave a legacy of love and obedience.  

May you have a month of gratitude!
All my love, admiration and gratitude for you,
Love, Mom

Mom, thank you so much for this thought. My feelings have been everywhere the last couple days, and I'm usually not a very emotional person so it's been draining. But this helped me be able to settle down and put everything back into perspective. Lately I have been very tired during my morning prayers, I've drifted off a couple of times and lost my train of thought, but whenever I do that I start telling Heavenly Father things that I'm grateful for. As I do so EVERYTIME he blesses me with energy, clears my mind, and uplifts my spirit. And that quote explained it perfectly. Gratitude changes bad to good, and good to better. And it changes us. 
And I am starting to be a lot more accepting of change lately as well. As I have realized that I am not as good at a lot things as I thought I was. I always try to have a healthy discontent with myself so that I am always striving to improve.
Tell everyone my love. Tell them they are all great examples to me and I am so grateful for each of their individual contributions into who I am today. I am who I am because of my family and my parents and am eternally grateful for that. 
Love Elder Cox

Monday, November 2, 2015

October 31, 2015 - Halloween in Hannibal

The Voelkel Crew minus a few kids and Bro Voelkel
Bobbin' for apples

Voelkel, Sherwood and Jepson Family Party

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

October 26, 2015 - Nauvoo Temple, The Plan in Chalk and A Baptism in Hannibal

I say this way too often but this was the happiest week of my mission. They just keep getting better. 
But this week is going to be hard to beat.

Starting off with Wednesday, We went to the Nauvoo Temple again!! Cole Bair (biggest stud muffin of ALL TIME) was working as an ordinance worker for the night so we got to be in the temple for like 5 hours, do 2 sessions, tour the baptismal font, and be spiritually uplifted as high as I have ever been. It was amazing and the feelings that I felt and wrote in my journal that night I will remember for the rest of my life. I was able to feel of the saving power of the atonement and the importance of those ordinances that we were performing. The importance of them to those we were performing them for.

Thursday we went on exchanges up in Quincy and I got to teach a 9 year old girl named Mattelyn. Cutest little girl in the world and we had THEE greatest, funnest, and most spiritual Plan of Salvation lesson I've ever had. We drew it out with chalk on her driveway and as we drew it she would walk over it and go through the Plan. When we started talking about the Celestial Kingdom She said "ooh that sounds SOOOO amazing I want to go there right now!!" Then, as her dad, who was a convert, started tenderly  explaining to her about how their whole family wanted to go there together one day, tear  of joy came to his eyes. She went up and hugged him and asked "Daddy will you baptize me so we can all go there together."  That is moment I will never forget.

Last but not least we had a baptism yesterday! Neva got baptized right after church and it was amazing. There was so much love in the room it was literally tangible as member after member got up and told Neva how grateful they were that she made the decision to be baptized and how she has become part of the family. Neva's mom, who isn't a member, was there at the church for the first time and you could see the joy in her eyes as she saw the love these people have for her daughter. The love of Christ is so strong, so penetrating, and so changing if we let it into our hearts. 

I love you all so much and know that I am still happier than I have ever been!
Love Elder Cox

P.S. Shout out to Ben for scoring the winning goal of his last soccer game of the season!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Monday October 19,2015 - Armor Up!

Elder Davis,

Guten morgen!

I had a great breakfast with Bishop Smith and Joel this morning and we talked about changes we are going to make to the Young Men's and Adult classes of Warrior training.  It made me think of how important it is every day to armor up against the temptations we all face.  They also asked me to say 'Hello' to you.

Ephesians 6:11-17

 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

 13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

A story for the ages from a talk by one of my favorite apostles...

"I should like to give you from the scriptures some examples which show how those who are clothed in such armor, which means keeping all the commandments of God, are able to withstand the adversary, or their enemies. Let me tell you about David (see 1 Sam. 17).

"The Philistines were at war with Israel, and Goliath, the Philistine, was challenging Israel to send a man to fight him, with the understanding that the losers would be slaves of the conquerors.

"We are told that Goliath had a helmet of brass upon his head and was armed with a coat of mail; that he had brass upon his legs and between his shoulders; that the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; that his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron; and a shield bearer went before him.

"On the other hand, when David agreed to meet the Philistine he took only his staff and chose five smooth stones out of the brook and put them in his shepherd’s bag.

"When Goliath saw this young man the Israelites had sent to challenge him, he was disdainful and said: “Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.

“'Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.

“'This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; … that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.” (1 Sam. 17:44–46.)

"Then David, clothed with the armor of God, took a stone from his bag and, with his sling, shot it into the forehead of Goliath, an unprotected part of his body, and he fell dead."

(N. Eldon Tanner, “Put on the Whole Armor of God” April 1979 general conference.) 

Clothe yourself every day with the Armor of God, and you shall not fear!  I love you dearly, and pray for you and your companion always!


Your Dad

That story/talk is Awesome I love it! I use Ephesians 6 as well as the Armor of God coin that Bishop and Joel gave me, as well as all the knowledge they gave me about putting on the Armor of God every day here out in the mission. And I teach a lesson about it probably at least once a week, usually to members or to a youth group. I feel that power as a missionary. That I am armored and protected against so many things that I don't need to fear much. They only thing I need to fear is something that I would do to weaken the armor from the inside. And that is a good feeling knowing that I am in control. I am the architect of my own destiny. Not some pathetic little demon trying to hit me from the outside as Joel would say.

Love you Dad!
Elder Cox

Cool Blue Bridge in Quincy over the Mississippi!

Molly Dog!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Monday October 19, 2015-"I'm Happy!"

This week during 12 week study me and Elder Baxter were watching The District and there was a part where Elder Moreno was making a video diary and he says (paraphrasing) "I'm tired. I'm so tired, but I'm so happy. I don't even know why I'm happy. I'm so happy it kind of weirds me out sometimes."

That is about how I feel right now. I'm so happy and I really don't know why and I have a big huge smile on my face right now as I'm reading every one's emails and hearing about Ryan and Courtney's adventures that they've been going on and getting to hear how the gospel is blessing everyone everywhere. I'M SO HAPPY. 

This week has probably been the busiest week of my mission and possibly my entire life. It felt like we were just non-stop from morning studies til we came in at 9:30. I don't even think we took meal breaks this week I don't even remember but we've seen so many cool miracles.

First news Neva is getting baptized this week! She passed her baptismal interview and is ready to go. Green hair and all. 

Cindy and Katana are also getting baptized this week. They're up in Quincy but I got to go interview them and get to know them more on Friday and they are such an example of people who are being prepared by the Lord. Katana is 9 and she has a little brother that's 7 who is going to get baptized in a couple months and he is legit thee smartest kid I've ever met. He's read like the whole book of Mormon already and reads through all the huge words and names better than I can.

This week we also had stake conference. One of the speakers was related to the lady who wrote I am a Child of God. He told the story of how it was written and I don't have time to write the whole story, and I don't remember all the details. But basically there was 2 women who were assigned to write the song. One lived in LA and the other in Salt Lake. This was back before there was fast communication so they wrote letters, but the Sister in LA felt she needed to go to Salt Lake City. So she took a copy of the words she had written and when she arrived in Salt Lake, Her words were the exact same words as the other Sister. Revelation. It was awesome look up the story!

I loved the emails I got from you Mom and from Courtney. They were both about Christlike attributes. Elder Swainston last night asked me the most important thing I've learned on my mission. I thought about it and thought about how my faith has grown, how my diligence has been strengthened, how my knowledge and patience have increased, and how I have more love and charity for people. The most important thing I have learned on my mission, and the most important thing I will keep on learning for the rest of my entire life is becoming more Christlike. Not just doing more Christlike things, or saying Christlike sayings, those things are a start. But Becoming brings us to a whole other level of discipleship.

I love you all, Have a great week and be happy because life is so good. And God is good.

Love Elder Cox

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Monday October 13, 2015

So I'm emailing today because yesterday was a holiday. I didn't know what holiday until I got on email today and saw happy Columbus day. So happy Columbus day yesterday everyone!

So this week has been a super jam packed busy week! Lots of exchanges, lots of meetings, lots of lessons and every hour we weren't teaching a lesson we were helping somebody move. 
Some miracles this week:

David- He's a super buff war vet who is paralyzed from the waist down so he's in a wheel chair and we see him everywhere. Yesterday he wheeled across the street to talk to us and we ended up teaching him and inviting him to baptism right there and he said yes with tears in his eyes. It was so cool to see a guy like that cry.

Met some people from Layton that go to Davis High that were visiting Nauvoo and decided to come to our branch on Sunday. They told me that there's a Smith's right by my house now?

We went on a hike yesterday (which I didn't think would amount to much in Illinois because it's flat as a pancake) But it ended up being super cool. We went through a forest then followed a riverbed until we found a cave with a waterfall coming out of the ceiling and frogs all over inside. And yes I finally took pictures for you Mom :)

Love you all,
Elder Cox

Larry the Possum

Cave Frogs


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October 5, 2015 - The Spirit of Nauvoo/Conference weekend!

This week I finally got to go through the Nauvoo temple!!!  It was worth the wait, and seriously one of the best days of my life.   There is so much church history there that the temple workers know about and in the lobby they have temple clothes from 1846 and pictures of Joseph and Emma. 
When I went up for the Pageant that the spirit in Nauvoo is super strong. That spirit is magnified more and more the closer you get to the temple. And when you get inside you just feel amazing!
I had a lot of very strong personal insights and revelations gained from the temple visit, but one of the biggest truths I was reminded of was that this is a gospel of love. The love you feel from the temple workers is always tangible. The love for my fellow missionary brothers that were there with me is unbreakable. And when we all got dressed in white and were waiting in the chapel to begin our session, I looked around (we sat on the very back row) and saw that everyone but the missionaries was a husband and wife couple. And every single husband, whether in their 20's or 90 years old, had his arm around his wife as we sat there listening to softly played hymns on the piano.
It hit me so hard that this is it. This is the goal. Families being together all dressed in white. The love of Jesus Christ drawing us all closer to each other and closer to Him. That is the purpose of missionaries, to bring others this joy. That is the purpose of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, to bring happiness. That is the purpose of life! To have joy and happiness with our families and prepare to have eternal life with our Father in Heaven and our eternal family.
On the drive home from the temple it was me, the other 4 missionaries and Brother Bair. Someone randomly started singing Savior Redeemer and we all joined in. We ended up singing hymns for the next 45 minutes and the spirit was just flooding the car.

CONFERENCE: This weekend has been so amazing and fulfilling. I want to start off by saying I don't know if I can pick a favorite talk because there were so many awesome ones, but one of my favorite parts was the children's choir for the Saturday afternoon session! That was so cool! They were so little but they sang with the spirit and with so much power!
I also really loved Elder Lawrence of the Seventy's talk about "What Lack I yet?". What is keeping us from progression. Since that time I have prayed and asked Father what I need to improve on and I got a few very customized answers from the spirit that I didn't really expect. And I hope I keep receiving more things I can improve as I keep asking because I love being rebuked so that I can grow more.
Elder Bednar's finishing thoughts remembering those apostles who had passed was a perfect way to end the conference and remember those great men of God. Those last messages they shared had decades upon decades of experience and wisdom behind them, yet they were so simple. 
God delights in plainness is probably the biggest thing I learned this conference.
Love, Elder Cox

Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday September 28, 2015

Carthage Jail, located in Carthage, Illinois, was the location of the murder of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and his brother Hyrum by a mob of approximately 150 men.

I am looking forward to conference so much it's like Christmas week! We are in charge of setting the broadcast up at the church and we will get to watch all 5 sessions there! We are definitely blessed to be able to partake of the words of the prophets and blessed with the technology that brings it to so many far away. 
Fall hasn't quit started here in Hannibal. There was one day that had a crisp morning, but it's still hot and muggy and everything is still very green. I haven't gotten the postcards from the cabin yet but I am excited to be able to remember that place. I sent a package home this morning with a few things for the kids in it and I included a postcard of the Nauvoo temple in there. We got to go that this last week and it was amazing. I'll include more details in my big email. 
Love you!
Elder Cox

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Monday September 21, 2015 - Our church needs a bus!

So best news ever came yesterday! We have a branch mission leader now!! We were so pumped when we found out, plus the fact that it's Brother Roisum who is already like our best friend in the branch made it so much better and he has so many ideas for uniting missionaries and members that is going to help the work so much.

We have been working with a big family this week that are awesome. There's Nikisha, Kaseana, Alia, Desean, Tatiana, Cameron, and Neila.
Awkward story about them so yesterday we were going over to pick them up for church with 2 members coming so that they could fit all of them in their cars. As we pulled up to their house, so did a United Pentacostal Church bus and all the kids got on that as we got out of the car. The bus driver hurried and got them on the bus and drove away. Knife in the heart. Again. But no worries we talked to them about it and their for sure all coming next week. They pinky promised us. Our church needs to start investing in a church bus.

Miracles of the week:
- I'm not sick anymore
- We didn't get eaten by this spider that came out of our shower drain
- watched a motorcycle t-bone a car about 2 feet outside my drivers side window. The guy flew off did a flip and skidded for a while, but popped right up and still had his cigar in his mouth. But I think that was just adrenaline because he fell right back down after a step. But he ended up being alright.
- We met a lady named Tasha who is amazing and SO sincere
- We also met Scott who is another extremely sincere and truth seeking person.

So many more miracles but I'll keep it at that since I had a real long one last week.

Love Elder Cox

Using my oils...every day!

our dinner last night. Que-so from home, corn from Missouri -comment from home...ADD s veggie, corn is not a veggie, it's a grain, and I love the hamburger helper, Doritos and sprite in the background.
Elder Baxter and I went for a jog this morning and there was a cool fog over the Mississippi!

"Davis was worried about the spider, I am more worried about the look of that drain!"

Monday, September 21, 2015

Monday September 14, 2015 -Nowhere else we'd rather be!

So this week has been interesting. I have been sick with the plague all week which somewhat hindered the work and slowed us down, but we have been blessed with so many miracles this week.

First miracle story came with a lady named Debra. So we trying to chase down this guy who we had a prompting to talk to so we were speed walking down the street when I looked up on the porch of the house we were passing and there was a sad looking woman sitting on the porch rolling a cigarette. I said hi how are you doing and as soon as she responded "alright" I got punched in the face with a spiritual wall and stopped in my tracks. I asked her if we could come up and talk to her. She told us about the terrible situation she was in: broke, being abused, struggling with addiction, having suicidal thoughts, and if she didn't pay off some fines/bills by tomorrow she was going to prison. We  shared my favorite scripture about the Atonement: Alma 7:11-13. Just as we finished her ride pulled up and she told us she had to go, but said thank you for the thought. 
I didn't think too much of it until that night at about 10 me and Elder Baxter were just in the kitchen eating when we get a call from an unknown number. It was Debra and she was calling to thank us for the light we brought into her life that day. She told us she was so grateful we stopped and that she KNEW that what we shared with her was pure truth from God and that we were the messengers he had sent her that day. It was the most rewarding feeling I've ever felt to have someone thank us so sincerely for bringing the power of Christ into their lives. You will be hearing more about Debra.

I also just want everyone to know how much I love my mom. When I had to go to the hospital on Friday the first thing the nurse said was "I talked to your mom earlier today she told us you'd be coming" It brought a huge smile to my face and for the next hour the nurse got to hear all about Momma Cox and how awesome she is and how me and my mom came to have such an amazing relationship. The legendary love of Momma Cox is being spread in Missouri

This week through all of the rejection I have felt like Alma:"O That I were an angel and could have the wish of my heart that I might go forth and speak with the trump of God, with a voice to shake the earth... Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder" 
I wish I could speak with the voice of thunder, but I am so grateful for the power which I am given to declare repentance.

 Last night after Elder Baxter and I came in for the night completely exhausted and lay on the couch and floor, we randomly started talking about how there is nowhere else we would rather be right now. Not at college, not on a beach, not back at home. Laying here on the floor of our apartment sweaty and tired was the happiest place on Earth. I love being on a mission, I love Missouri, and I love Jesus Christ.

And I love you all

Love Elder Cox

Monday Sept 8, 2015

Emmi Happy Birthday (Tomorrow)

I love you and I miss you so much! From the pictures I have seen you have already grown up so much since I left. You still have to run and jump hug me when I get home though no matter how big you grow. You are a super talented little sister and I'm jealous of how musically talented you are especially. I wish that I could sing and play music so naturally like you do. That is going to be a big blessing later in your life especially if you decide to serve a mission. I hope you have a super fun birthday and my birthday present is going to be coming a little late, but be looking in the mail next week.
Love you Emmi

Love Elder Cox