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,
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