Elder Davis B Cox

Elder Davis B Cox

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday July 27, 2015 - He will create you a masterpiece!

So this week I just have a short little thought that I've been working on a lot this week. I've been reading a talk called the 4th missionary. It talks about to become the best missionary we possible can, we need to be consecrated, give our will to the Lord and let him change us. 
"Surrender your will to Him unconditionally. Trust in Him. He will create of you a masterpiece. You will create of you only a smudge."

I feel I have changed so much on my mission already and I am changing more and more each day. So I have been studying a lot about it lately and have come to learn more about gifts of the spirit. Moroni 10:8-18. Every good gift comes from Christ.
As I've learned that I have learned that trying to develop Christlike attributes, the attributes of becoming a better person or missionary, begins with praying for that attribute. If we give our will to Him, he can change our hearts and desires, give us gifts, to become more like him.

I don't know why I had the impression to give this thought this week instead of the normal email and tell y'all what I did, but I hope it helps someone because it's helped me a lot. 
Love you all,
Elder Cox

Monday, July 20, 2015

Monday July 20 - Storms, Quincy, Nauvoo pageant and church history galore!

This week has been a crazy different one from normal missionary work. Started off last Monday night there was a huge windstorm that destroyed Quincy. Trees smashed houses and cars and roofs got blown off and tons of crazy stuff. On Thursday and Saturday we got to go up to Quincy, put on Mormon Helping Hands vests and walk around the city and help people cut up and get rid of all the trees that are everywhere and help clear out some flooded basements etc. It was fun and great to be able to see how many people were willing to serve. Also, as we were carrying logs the mayor of Quincy drove by and stopped and asked who we were and we explained to him that we were missionaries and with the Mormon Helping Hands people and he took a picture with us and put it on his Facebook. So we're basically famous now. 
Another cool thing that happened this week was the Nauvoo Pageant! On Friday we had Zone Conference in Nauvoo at the Stake Center right by the temple which was super cool. The best part about Zone conference was that President Jensen got the cast of the British Pageant to come and perform a scene for us and the actors of Wilford Woodroof, Heber C. Kimball, and a few others gave a speech/training that was given there in Nauvoo to the original Quorum of the Seventy as they went out to serve their missions. The spirit that was in that room was so strong literally words cannot explain it. I was one of the most spiritual experiences I've ever had not only on my mission but in my entire life. 
After ZC we had our P-day in Nauvoo so we walked around to the shops. Saw some of the historic Joseph Smith sites and temple. It was so cool! I chose a bad week to lose my camera charger and have a dead camera. But I had some of the other missionaries take some pictures of me so I'm waiting for those to be sent to me :) 
That night we got to go to the British Pageant, which was amazing! Again the spirit in Nauvoo as the actors talk about the people they represent is so strong I almost cried. Almost. At the end of the Pageant they had all the missionaries come up from the crowd and sing Called to Serve and a few other songs with the cast. 
This week has been so amazing and so many amazing experiences! I'm so glad I am able to serve my mission in an area with so much church history. The spirit of the saints here on the sacred ground in Nauvoo and this area makes me so grateful for all that they did for us. For how strong their faith was to be able to endure through their hardships out here and be able to build the city of Nauvoo right here by the river (FYI-the mosquitoes here make the mosquitoes back home look like fruit flies). 
The strength of those saints strengthens my testimony that this church IS true. And that I will do whatever it takes to share that with my brothers and sisters and press forward in the faith.
Love you all 
Elder Cox
I ran into "Nurse Penny" from PCMC  hemotology/oncology.  She was traveling here from Utah
with The Nauvoo Pageant bagpipe band.

The next day we ended up together on a service group to clean up after the BIG storm.

Here's one of the pictures I do have of a tree that crushed a house.

Clean up missionaries with Mormon Helping Hands

Monday, July 13, 2015

Monday July 13, 2015 - Hannibal week 2

Alright so this is my first full email time in like 3 weeks so hopefully I'll actually be able to write an email that makes sense :)
It's been crazy trying to get used to this new area, I went from one of the biggest city areas in the mission straight to the boonies of Missouri so everything is super spread out and there is a lot of driving. We started teaching these awesome kids this week out in a town called Kinderhook Illinois, population 240, and they live on a HUGE corn farm! Their names are Devon, Tallie, and James. Devon is 12 and he is the smartest kid I think I've ever met. We met them on Friday and were able to teach them and Devon said "Alright so how long before we can be baptized?" He's so excited. Then I talked to him on the phone last night and asked him how praying and reading the BoM is going and he told me he read about how the Nephites taught the Lamanites the gospel and then baptized them and how excited he was to be able to do that too, and that when he was praying he felt a super peaceful feeling that made him have a big smile on his face and he didn't know why. It was the coolest phone call I've ever had I just wanted to hug him through the phone!
We also got to go up to the Nauvoo pageant this week kind of. We weren't allowed to stay to the pageant unless we went with a member because President Jensen didn't want us out driving home super late, but we got to go and walk around and talk to people during the country fair before the pageant and meet members and nonmembers. And hopefully we'll get to stay up there either this week or next week and actually be part of the pageant!
We have also been listening to the Bill Carpenter story this week in the car as we drive. (You guys should listen to it it's an awesome talk) Bill Carpenter is a guy who was studying to become a catholic priest but then became a Mormon and came on a mission here to Iowa. He has a super awesome conversion story and some super cool experiences out here in the missionfield! But one that stuck out to me was when he was teaching this lady named Lovetta. They went and taught her and she ended up being baptized. A short while after she was baptized she received her Patriarchal Blessing, and in that blessing she was told that she would have joined the church 25 years ago if the missionary who got his to that area would have gone on his mission, but he didn't accept his call. 
I always heard that the Lord prepares you for those that you will teach on your mission, but when I heard that part of his story and then as I thought back on the people that I have been privileged to teach on my mission so far, the spirit testified so strongly to me that that is true. That I have been prepared for certain people. That the missionaries around me have been prepared for certain people. That those people have been prepared for the Gospel. And most importantly that the spirit is going to lead us to those people. 
This gospel changes lives. The only source of true and lasting happiness is the gospel and the the values and principles it teaches us in this life. That's the entire purpose Heavenly Father gave us these things is so that we could learn how to live life to the fullest! How to be able to enjoy our families and the experiences of life in the best possible way and how to avoid those things that will destroy all that.,
Love you family,
Love Elder Cox

Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday July 6, 2015 - Greetings from Hannibal Missouri, home of Mark Twain!

So I have been transferred here to the Hannibal Branch the most Southern part of the mission. I can see the Mississippi River right when I walk out my front door. And the "home of Mark Twain" part is serious around here. Every single diner, hotel, gas station, pizza delivery, tourist attraction, construction company, etc., you name it, it's named after Mark Twain. Or Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer.
Missouri is sweet it's super different from Des Moines! I went from the big city to small town and now have the largest geographical area in the mission. It hasn't seemed like too much of a small town this weekend because it was Tom Sawyer Days, so everyone and they're dog was at the park across the street from our apartment partying the 3rd, 4th, and 5th.
Cool thing about our apartment. The building we live in used to be a bank, but then was remodeled into apartments. But our bedroom is the room that used to be the bank vault! So the walls are 2 foot thick cement and when you close the door it's so dark in there you can't see your hand right in front of your face.
My new companion is Elder Baetz. He's from Bountiful so we get to talk about good old Davis County. I forgot my card reader but I'll send pictures next week.
So I am actually writing this from the Quincy Illinois Library right now on our way up to Nauvoo for the evening. A sweet part about the new area I'm in is that we get to help out with the Nauvoo Pageant!! It's sweet we are going up to get trained on some of the things to do tonight and then the Pageant starts tomorrow So I'll definitely have an update on that next week and hopefully some pictures.
Love you all hope you had a great 4th!
Elder Cox

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June 29, 2015 - Eunice's Baptism!

This week has definitely been one of the busiest craziest weirdest happiest weeks of my mission.
I'll start with the best news: Eunice was baptized on Saturday! It was a super happy day for her and so cool to be able to be a part of it. It was kind of bittersweet though because her kids were not able to be baptized with her. We found out the day of their interviews that their father had called that morning from Africa and told the kids that they can't get baptized. It was one of the saddest parts of my mission so far to have little 8 year old Nancy come and tell me that she can't be baptized. But we are still working with them and hopefully will be able to talk to their father and I know that one day his heart will be softened enough for them to be baptized.
Another part that added to the craziness this week was the Tornado/Thunderstorm that we had on Wednesday evening. I was on exchanges with Elder Akaka (Spanish speaking so I just sat there and nodded the whole lesson again) and we came out of a dinner appointment to a green sky with some crazy thunder. We looked at our phone and had a message from President Jensen saying there was Tornados touching down in our zone and to have all the missionaries get home and get to cover. So while we raced home in the hardest rain I've ever seen we were calling and texting everyone in our zone.
We ended up getting over 8 inches of rain overnight, which I'm pretty sure is like more that Utah has gotten in the last couple years combined. And it flooded everything. There was roads underwater and parking lots where all you could see was the roofs of cars. I'll try to attach a video I took of Fleur Drive, which is now Fleur River. And there's not supposed to be a river anywhere close to there.
And then lastly of all I got some bad news this morning. I'm being transferred this week :( It's a weird feeling I feel like I'm leaving home again. But just like when I left home I know that the Lord needs me somewhere else but it's been heartbreaking already to say goodbye to the people here. Don't know where I'm going yet but I'll let y'all know next week.
Love you all
Love Elder Cox
It wouldn't let me attach the video but here's a picture of the now like 400 foot wide river going across Fleur and the park.