Elder Davis B Cox

Elder Davis B 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