Elder Davis B Cox

Elder Davis B Cox

Monday, March 30, 2015

Monday March 30, 2015 - Conference Week!!

I'm so excited for conference this week!!! I loved conference weekend when I was back home too, but out here in the mission field conference weekend is like Superbowl Sunday. I'm PUMPED!
I'm also pumped for the #BecauseHeLives video that came out on Saturday! On Easter Sunday the church is going to be the only ad on Youtube and It will be that video so if you haven't seen it already go watch it! And tell everyone you know to watch it on Easter! If you're as big a cry baby as me it will bring tears to your eyes when you see Jesus standing there in white. Every time. No matter how many times I see it.

This week has been a testing one to say the least. So many crazy things have been happening to us and to people around us. I'll summarize it by telling you what happened Thursday.

So in the morning we woke up with a missed phone call from Dan at 1 a.m. and we found out later that day that his mom had passed away late that night. Then we went to go see Ryan and Chastity and teach them the about the Plan of Salvation, which they had a TON of questions about, but as soon as we got there they told us they had talked to some people and learned that we grew horns and stuff and told us not to come back. Then on the way back another one of our new investigators told us that her dad is Pagan and that we should cancel the appointment we made. Then we called Maurice and he told us he wasn't interested anymore. Then we went and helped Coreana move and while we were there she got a phone call that her sister has cancer.

Then we went to go visit a referral we got. By this time of the day we were obviously pretty depressed but we were really excited to have this referral so when we pulled up to the house I was drinking a drink and I was reading the back of the can and I just got super excited for some reason and was like "Elder I just drank 200% of my Daily Values of Riboflavin! Let's do this!" Then we said a prayer and went and knocked on the door and some grumpy bald dude answered the door in his boxers and one long red sock on and told us to go away. But we asked if the lady who's name we had lived there and we couldn't meet with her then because she was sick but we are going back to talk with her today so it all worked out. And me and Elder Lords now make riboflavin jokes everywhere we go. I don't even know what riboflavin is.

Then to finish off the day we went to go teach Jackie the stop smoking workshop and the first thing she told us was that her sister-in-law had just died. It was a bad Thursday. But the morale of the story is not how bad Thursday was, the morale of the story is that if we keep having faith and don't give up, Christ will help us through it. And my testimony of that was strengthened by this Thursday because by the next night, Friday we had:

- Talked to Ryan and Chastity and helped them realize the things they heard were false and we are meeting with them again.
- Were able to give Dan a blessing last night to comfort him for the loss of his mom and have one of the most spiritual experiences of my mission.
- Teach Jackie the stop smoking workshop and commit her to stop smoking as well as show her the "Mountains to Climb" Mormon message to help her.
- Find out that the grumpy dude in the boxers doesn't even live there and the lady we went to see is actually very interested in learning about the gospel.

Don't tell God how big your storm is.
Tell your storm how big God is.

Love Elder Cox

I am in the Easter Lake West area. It's just south of Des Moines, it technically is still mostly Des Moines and a couple other small towns.

Love you all and I love the quotes. President Jensen always tells us "Love them to pieces". That's his famous quote, whether he's talking about investigators, other missionaries, anybody. He tells us to love them to pieces. And he is probably the most loving person I've ever met so he's a good example of that.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

March 23 2015 - Hola!

Me and Elder Peterson

Highlight of this week was I got to go on exchanges with Elder Peterson, one of our zone leaders, and he is also Spanish speaking. So I got to be in a Spanish area for a day and go to Spanish lessons and sit there and smile and nod my head and pretend like I knew what was going on, then shake their hand at the end and say gracias in my best Spanish accent but I butchered it every time. I did get some good authentic Mexican food tho. I can't remember what they were called but it was like this homemade tortilla thing with beans and cheese and a ton of Mexican spices and stuff on it. Then we had this drink I think it was called an orchata? It was like rice milk with cinnamon and stuff in it and that was super good.

As we were planning for the next day Elder Peterson told me that there were 3 different people named Juan that we were going to go see the next day. After doing language study in the morning and learning how to say Somos misionaros de la Iglesia de Jesu Cristo de los Santos de  los ultimos dias. And I had like a 30 second conversation with one guy in Spanish with the tiny bit of Spanish I know  until he said a word I didn't know. I know Courtney is going to be so proud even though I just totally butchered all of that spelling as well. Then we went to talk to the Juan's. We knocked on all 3 doors, but no Juan answered.

Hahaha man I'm so funny. That was a true story tho. We did a lot of finding and knocking this week to try and find some new people to teach and came across Ryan and Chastity. They are a super cool 20 year old couple who aren't married yet (So we have to teach Chastity the law of chastity) and have a 10 month old daughter. They almost didn't let us in and the door was about 2 inches from closing when Chastity asked us what we believed about the second coming. So we talked for a minute and they ended up letting us in and being the most spiritually prepared people I have ever met to receive the gospel. They are only 20 and live in a tiny little apartment but the  first thing I saw hanging on their wall was a Faith, Family, Home sign. They're awesome, and Ryan is a music producer and makes some of the beats for Rick Ross so if any of you want a mix tape I'll have him hook you up.

I found this way cool video this week on lds.org called Heavenly Father, Earthly Father. Probably my favorite short church video that I have ever seen so if you haven't seen it then you should go watch it! So cool!

Also another cool thing that is happening later this week is the #BecauseHeLives Easter video is coming out on March 28! It's kind of like the He Is The Gift video that they put out for Christmas and we got to see it this week as missionaries and it is so good! So watch that one for family home evening or something.

Love you all
Elder Cox

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

March 16, 2015 - Awkward Missionary Life

This is what I was talking about the hills here. This is the constant view you can never see more than a couple hundred yards in any direction.

My camera didn't get it very good but this was probably the coolest colored sunset I've ever seen. It's just missing some mountains.


And this is how you know you are in Thugville
downtown Des Moines.

Something happened this week that shattered my entire universe.
I discovered that I have become an awkward missionary.
So, we were driving back from New Trainer meeting in Iowa City. Elder Lords was driving one of the mission mini vans (this story is so much better because we were in a mini van), I was sitting shotgun and there were 4 other missionaries in the backseat. So 6 Elders just crusin I-80 in the middle of nowhere cornfields, talkin bout good churchy stuff, when a car full of college age looking girls pulls up along side us. All the school's spring break had just started that day so I'm pretty sure they were driving to spring break cuz they had their car all packed up.
I waved at them at first because I thought it was the sister missionaries, the girl driving looked just like Sister Tambasco. So they drove along side us and were like waving and trying to give us their numbers and stuff, and I didn't know what to do and I was the only one they could really see cuz the back windows were tinted. So I panicked and was like "Elder! girls! Help what do I do?" ( Kind of jokingly but really kind of not) and we just decided to kind of ignore them and look forward after we waved and said hi to be nice. After a while we all decided to hold a book of Mormon up to the window. They ended up following us and bobbing and weaving cars to try to stay next to us... all the way from Iowa City to Des Moines, which is a 2 hour drive. They even got off the same exit as us. But we lost them at a stop light because Elder Lords put that minivan peddle to the ground.

We met with Jackie a couple times this week and committed her to living the word of wisdom! Which is huge because she has smoked for like 40 years. But she is really excited and says she will do anything to be able to get baptized. It is so cool to see how strong her desire is to change and do what is right. She has shown me what missionaries mean when they come home and say they love the people. I have grown to love her so much and care so much about her life in the short 2 weeks I've known here it is amazing how the spirit brings people closer together as we try to come closer to God.

A couple nights ago  we were looking through our area book and found a former investigator record of a lady named Darlene and went to contact her. The paper said she believed in aliens and a ton of weird superstitious stuff, and that Joseph Smith saw aliens. But we decided to try by and she let us in as soon as we knocked on the door and we got to talk to her. She was one of the most normal people I have met here. She lived in a house, so it was the first time I had met with someone in a house, most people here live in small apartments or trailer parks there aren't many houses. I'll keep you updated on her she was a super nice lady. And she has a house in Athens, Greece she asked us if we wanted to buy so I'll see if I can save up enough MSF.

Love you all so much.
Elder Cox

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Q and A's March 9, 2015

1. Emails:at bottom, 1. Thank you
2.  How are meds going?2. Great haven't missed any yet
3.  How are Pres and Sister Jensen?3. They are awesome. Haven't talked to them much since I stayed with them when I first got here but he's awesome! Most loving man I've ever met in my life
4. Have you talked labs yet? I promise I won't ask you every time how you are and how meds are going, if you just keep on top of telling me whats happening when it happens.....DEAL!4. Haven't yet but I've seen plasma donation and health care stuff around so I'm sure I can find one pretty easy I'm only about 15 minutes from downtown Des Moines.
5. How and what have you been eating?5. We get fed by members dinner about 3-4 times a week. Nothin weird yet just like pizza, lasagna, last night we had elk steak and BBQ'd shrimp skewers. We've been fed pretty good
6 what are all the details of you companion?6. He's way cool. I really don't think I've ever met anyone that has as much in common as he and I . He played baseball and football. Same positions as me: outfielder, outside linebacker and running back. We love talking about cars together. We get along awesome!
7.How is IOWA? weather?7. It was freezing when I got here but now it's nice and in the 50's and all the snow is basically melted except the piles.
8. How are your warts?  Do you need oregano? or do you think DNCB still.  Don't let them get big again.8. All of them are completely 100% gone. even the one on my thumb. you can't even tell where they were. miracles do happen.  (this made me cry for Davis.  Due to his compromised immune system, he has had a hard time fighting any virus/bacterial infections, which included warts of unusual proportions, which for 3 years have required every 3-5 weeks some sort of burning, freezing, cutting out, cauterizing etc., just to keep them under control. Bandaids have been worn every day for years.  Although minor in comparison to some of the trials he has seen, none the less very inconvenient, painful and annoying. What a tender mercy for this boy)
9. mail the invoice with your next letter and I will take care of it.  Just donate or use the extra linens, it would cost $30 to send it home!9. ok
I'll just send my email to the list that you sent me so don't worry about putting them on the blog list or anything. Thank you love you

March 9, 2015 - DeZ MoineZ

Spiritual thought! I really like this quote but I couldn't find it before:
“The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature. …
“Yes, Christ changes men, and changed men can change the world.”

Me and my 2nd MTC district 
(taken by a 7 foot tall dude so it was a good angle)

Iowa Des Moines Mission Arrivals were met by 
President and Sister Jensen 

Elder Olsen, Elder Lords(My comp), Me

#1 Lesson learned this week: Old people take their Bingo SERIOUSLY. And they have no filter. So we volunteer at this rest home every Tuesday and help them out with Bingo and setting up and passing out prizes and stuff. I was helping out this one lady who couldn't hear very good and showing her which numbers they were calling out. She was trying to talk to me the whole time about the randomest stuff, and since she can't hear very much she was basically yelling the whole time and I was sitting right next to her. Apparently you're supposed to be quiet during Bingo so everyone else can turn up their hearing aids and hear the numbers, so everyone was getting mad at her and telling her to be quiet. They were brutal! Yelling stuff like "Shut up you're annoying!" "You can't come next time" and "Get some hearing aids grandma" (that one coming from a 93 year old lady)

Also whoever it was that told me Iowa was flat as a pancake should have to pay me $1 or something. Cuz this place is the farthest thing from flat I've ever been in my life. You're either going uphill or your going downhill. There is no flat. And you can never see for farther than 1/4 mile in any direction cuz there's hills everywhere.

I had a few cool tender mercies this week. The first one was Davon. He's an African American guy from Chicago that has a little 1 1/2 year old son, DJ,  that we found while knocking.
Quick little side note: most interesting thing I've found out about myself while in the mission so far: I LOVE KNOCKING. Before I came out that was one of the things I was probably most nervous about, but I love it. I've decided there's 2 things that can happen. 1. They answer and you get to meet some of the COOLEST people in the world. or 2. They answer and say/do something really weird and awkard or really mean or something that you and your companion just end up laughing about as you walk to the next door. or I guess there is a 3rd. 3. Your companion or you says something really awkard.. Like Elder Lords asking this girl if her parents were home and she ended up being the mom(I'll give it to him she did look like she was 14 not 25) And those are the funniest ones
Anyway Davon. He didn't answer until we had walked away, then he finally answered and we got to talk to him. He said he was Christian and already been saved. But long story short we got talking to him and ended up teaching him the restoration. He was way cool about learning something new and had a ton of questions. By the end he told us he believes we were sent to him for a reason. That he was at a point in his life where he needed to decide to turn right or to turn left. We asked him to say a prayer at the end of our lesson and in his prayer he said "Thank for giving me the feeling to open the door, even though I never open the door. And be able to hear what I have been waiting for even though I didn't know I was waiting for it."
It is amazing how the Lord prepares people.

Coreana's baptism
Also cool end of the week. Coreana got baptized! It was super cool to see my first baptism while out here in the field and to see how much it meant to her. Right before it started she just started streaming tears and she didn't know why. The spirit.

love you
Love Elder Cox

Monday, March 2, 2015

March 2, 2015 - The Real World - Des Moines Iowa

        Man. I have no words to even describe this last week.

I'll start out on Wednesday we woke up at 2:45 a.m. to get everthing packed and be on the bus ready to go to the airport at 3:30. There was 9 people on our bus. 8 of us going to Des Moines then some kid going to Texas or something who had to fly alone. Poor kid. So once everyone got on the bus everyone was super excited for about 5 minutes, then everyone passed out cuz it was 3 in the morning and we were all dead even before that. I couldn't sleep on the bus because it was a loud and bumpy bus and when I tried to sleep I kept bashing my head against the window.
Since everyone was asleep and it was quiet I decided to just say a prayer and pray for help on the journey I was about to embark on. I ended up praying for 40 minutes and only stopped when we arrived at the airport. It was the most amazing prayer experience I have ever had and I don't remember ever feeling as close to Heavenly Father as when I was thanking him for all the opportunities I have already had and all the opportunities I was about to have to serve him, and praying FERVENTLY for his help. Because I need it.
When we landed, President and Sister Jensen were there to greet us. President Jensen is HILARIOUS!! He hugs everyone and has made it a mission thing to hug. So whenever we see other Elders we hug instead of shaking their hand(still don't hug sisters though). It was really weird at first to hug everyone, but it's really cool and makes us super close as a district.
So my trainer/ first comp is Elder Lords. He's way sweet. He's from Rexburg Idaho and plays football and baseball so me and him have a lot in common.
I have officially taught my first lesson, knocked my first door (which was gently slammed in my face), all that good stuff. I still feel pretty confused a lot but I feel like I'm starting to get the hang of things. Relying on the Holy Ghost really does bring on a whole new meaning out here. You have to rely on it 200% or nothing happens.
First crazy food experience: After district meeting we went to a place called Fighting Burrito. Their burritos put Beto's to shame (size and taste) but the crazy part was their hot sauces. Elder Withing( our district leader) and I, tried their 2 hottest sauces. One of them was called Wanza's Wicked temptation. The other one was a Ghost Pepper sauce. The only way I can explain how hot that stuff was: Let's just say Elder Withing was unable to leave his apartment the rest of the day. And my mouth still doesn't feel right. Don't try Ghost Pepper sauce.
The mission is amazing. I have already felt and seen so many things out here that are increasing my faith and changing people's lives. This gospel is 100% true and can bring miracles.
The Church is true.
The Book is blue.

Love Elder Cox