Elder Davis B Cox

Elder Davis B Cox

Sunday, December 4, 2016

December 4, 2016 - This Week!

Alright this week is going to be short but I'm about to overload y'all with pictures so it'll make up for it.

This week:
Monday: P-day. My companion and I convinced the zone to go out in a random field and play EGG DODGE BALL. Many pictures attached. One of the funnest P-days of my mission.

Tuesday: Went on exchanges with Elder Robley he's a stud and we found some amazing people and taught Wes, Connie, Kay, and an awesome part member family Tammi and Dan. Dan is super cool and knows that it's all true so we're going to help him be baptized! After this exchange I felt an even greater flame inside me that I just want to share this message with everybody I see!

Wednesday: Helped the Sisters move because they had a creeper stalker. Des Moines always keeps ya on your toes. Then knocked doors.

Thursday: Went on exchanges with Elder Leavy, from Fairfield so got to hear some stories about how they're converting meditators down there. Once again met some amazing people and had a blast. Missionary work is a blast.

Friday-Saturday-Today: Missionary work. Big news though: Elmo is back in town from Texas for a week and he bore his testimony today and it was like seeing a lost brother I love that guy so much! 

And of course with this Christmas initiative it's been amazing to talk to everybody about giving service and trying to be like Christ. I have yet to introduce it to one person who didn't think it was absolutely amazing that the Church was putting that much of an effort into helping people remember the true meaning of Christmas. Awesome missionary opportunity if anyone is looking for a way to spread the gospel light! #LightTheWorld

Love you 

Here we go

Egg dodge ball (any difference between 3 and 4?) :)

                                          Departing missionaries facial night

Elder Leavy

Elder Robley

December 4, 2016 - Thanksgiving pics

Thanksgiving at the Katzenbach home

Some of my favorite  people ever! Brother Fred, Brother Marshall, Sister Hannah.
And my boy Jestino.

Jestino the most fly 2 year old African boy ever.

 Only picture at McPherson's, after 2nd dinner guitar hymn jam sesh.

Took our investigator Wes some pie since he worked during Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 28, 2016

November 27, 2016 - Thanksgiving

Man this week has been awesome! I'm going to start off with the confession that I forgot my camera at home today so don't have any pictures from thanksgiving to send but I think Sister Katzenbach already sent most of them home to mom :)

This week was crazy busy in a really good way. We had transfers on Monday, departing missionaries fly out Tuesday, and incoming missionaries come in on Wednesday. Then on Thursday for Thanksgiving we went to the Katzenbach's for lunch which was amazing. They invited 3 African Recent converts (Hannah, Fred, and Marshall) over and a solid African family (the Bundu's) from the ward so it was a party. Some of my favorite people in the whole world. 

Then we had dinner at the McPherson's, a Jamaican family in the ward, with a family from another ward and a couple other recent converts Alex and Phillip. Now that I've been in this ward for over half my mission these people are like family! After we finished eating there we went downstairs and as Elder Jakubczak and I lay on the floor unable to move. Literally if I would've tried to move bad things would've happened. Brother Pymm shredded some hymns on the electric guitar as we all sang along then went around in a circle and said what we were grateful for.

When we got around to Brother Pymm (who is a doctor) he said that he was grateful for Tracheal cilia. The things in our throats that protect us from getting things lodged in our throats apparently. He was grateful for that at the moment because his 1 year old had a cold and his tracheal cilia were getting the mucus out of his throat. I thought it was pretty funny and we all laughed about it but it's so true. There are so many things to be grateful for and every single thing is a gift from God. From how our amazing bodies are made to the gospel to a warm car to drive around to Jesus Christ. All given to us by a loving Heavenly Father.

Then to finish off the week Wes came to church again and is a STUD. He texts us to set up our next appointments if we forget to. Allieu came to church, sweet 9 year old kid who's mom was baptized 2 years ago but he was never baptized. And we had a random part member family show up who we will hopefully be teaching! Church was full of miracles! Plus Elder Jakubczak and I taught Sunday School on Eternal Marriage so that was a miracle itself.

Then right before we came here we knocked into an awesome Sudanese family of 6 who let us in to teach them and live right down the street from the church! So next week I'll tell you about how Mousa, Akir, Adout, Majok, Adaw, and Athiehg came to church!

Love you all have a great week!
And thank you family so much for the card this week love you and miss you all!
Love Elder Cox

Saturday, November 26, 2016

November 20, 2016 - A visit from Elder Anderson - The Pride Cycle

This week was awesome! I don't think I've ever taken so many pages of notes in 1 week and learned so much in such a short amount of time. I'll share my favorite part in just a minutes but probably what amazed me most about Elder Andersen was just his ability to stand up and train for like 2 hours with no notes at all. He knows so many scriptures and quotes that the Spirit can just draw from his knowledge, it was amazing. 
We had the mission tour on Thursday in Iowa City, followed by an MLC with Elder Andersen, then the mission tour in Des Moines on Friday. When we got there on Friday I was expecting to learn the same things as I did the day before, but to my surprise Elder Andersen got up and gave a completely different training than the day before. Followed by  an hour and a half of open question/answer.

Probably the favorite thing I learned from Elder Andersen (and this fits in well with this week) was about how we can get out of the "Pride Cycle".
He drew the pride cycle on the board so imagine a circular clock: 12:00-Pride, 2:00- when we're prideful we alienate the spirit, 4:00- Failure, 6:00- Humility, 8:00- invite Spirit, 10:00 Success, 12:00 back to pride. 
But then he taught us something very important that I've never thought of, he taught us that there's 2 places in this cycle that we can get off: Success and Failure. 
Failure: If after failure, instead of being humbled we decide to be offended or angry, we get off the cycle and, as the clock-wise arrows are going at that point, we go down. And we all know what's down.
Success: However, if when we succeed, we give gratitude and are thankful for our success and blessings, we get off and, as the clock-wise arrows are going at that point, continue upwards. 

I thought this would be a good thought to share this week for obvious reasons. This is a time of year when we have thanksgiving and express our gratitude for the blessings we have. We are SO blessed it is unreal. And I hope this week and always we can express our gratitude and always continue upwards. 
I am grateful for you family and for all that you do for me and supporting me even though you haven't seen my face for 21 months! You're amazing! And I'm so extremely grateful for this gospel and for the brothers and sisters that I have out here in Iowa to spend these 2 years serving. They've touched my life way more than I could have ever imagined. 

Have a great week! Don't let your dads eat pie!

Love Elder Cox
Stake Conference split

Helping gather supplies to send to Liberia.

November 10, 2016- Heavenly Father knows His children.

Hey family, 
So we're on emailing today Friday because this weekend getting ready for transfers and mission tour is crazy busy :) Super fun stuff. Sorry to catch you all off guard.

This week has been awesome as we were able  to have exchanges in our area twice. We got to go and find some super cool people. It never ceases to amaze me how the Lord can place us in people's path, knocking on people's door who have had so many preparatory experiences in their life. And sometimes He even has us knock on someones door who is long-time inactive member but has recently started thinking about coming back... then Boom. Missionaries at their door. Heavenly Father knows His children.

Teaching Wes at the Katzenbach home!

I asked Heidi to geive Elder Cox an "Air Hug"for me-and it was caught on film!
We are still working with Wes, he is doing great we had an awesome lesson with him in the Katzenbach's home this week and have dinner in their home tonight with him and another lesson. He's into the Isaiah chapters of 2 Nephi so we're praying for him :) He is getting baptized December 17th.
Our favorite little African girl Reyna is also doing great and now has a baptism date of December 10th. (I told her it was 1 day after my birthday so we would throw a party together).

We also met a super sweet prepared family this week while I was on exchanges. The mom's name was Verna and while Elder Martin told her about the message we share about the Restoration and how we have a prophet here on the Earth she was amazed and just kept saying "Really?"  Their families are very faithful believers and have been bouncing around from church to church but said they just always feel something was missing. They're coming to church this week and I know that hole will be filled.

Love you all. Have a great week.  I'm sure next time I email you I will blow you up with all I learned from the General Authority coming to teach us this week Elder Andersen! (of the Seventy)

-Elder Cox

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November 6, 2016 - The A-team, one-by-one.

This week we have been praying and working super hard to find people to teach and help come to church because for the past 2 weeks our teaching pool has been dwindling. But this week we were amazingly blessed and found some sweet new people. All from super different backgrounds but all prepared to receive the restored gospel!

Wes- I don't know what we did right to meet Wes. So he went to Basic training over the summer in South Carolina where a few of the people he met and became friends with were Mormon. He attended church with them several times and they gave him a small, pocket copy of the Book of Mormon. Fast forward 3 or 4 months, he's been reading his BoM and now in 2 Nephi and sees the Spanish Elders in a gas station and walks up to them and says "Hey I've been looking for the missionaries around here, I want to join your church."
Tender mercy the spanish elders don't teach English so they handed him off to us and we had an amazing restoration lesson with him then a church tour the next day. He basically knows everything and is super ready and will be baptized in about a month.

Reyna- Reyna is the 10 year old daughter of a Liberian lady who moved into the ward about 4 months ago. Her mom is super awesome and has a great testimony and we just found out Thursday that Reyna wasn't baptized! So we went over and had a lesson about baptism and Reyna is super excited to be baptized now!

Wilma- We were referred to Wilma yesterday and went over and met with her. Her story is very long so I'll shorten it. She's 79 years old, lost her husband 3 years ago to cancer, and lost a son to suicide 3 months ago, and is looking for her purpose in life. She's essentially been meeting with missionaries and been closely associated with the church for like 50 years, but was never baptized due to mostly her husband. But she has a Book of Mormon and has been reading it and I think the doctrine of eternal families means more to her now than ever before. 

This week I have been amazed that no matter what stage of life we are in, Christ is there. Instead of normal church today we had an area broadcast and we got to hear from Elder Rasband. He talked about how the gospel is on a one-by-one basis. We are baptized one by one, confirmed one by one, partake of the sacrament one by one. Jesus Christ suffered for us. One by one.
Heavenly Father loves each of his children one by one.

Love you family,
Elder Cox

Sunday, October 30, 2016

October 30, 2016 - New Mount Pisgah Stake

Found out today that in 3 weeks they will be splitting the Des Moines Stake and creating a new "Mount Pisgah" Stake. When they announced it in sacrament everyone looked around like whaaaaaaat. Especially since we're one of the wards on the edge closer to Mt. Pisgah so we'll probably be part of the new stake!

And since the zones and districts are aligned with the stakes usually, that means our mission is probably going to be opening up a new zone or something so that will be fun :) If anybody is a wizard at Excel spreadsheets and formulas feel free to give me some pointers.

This week we got to go to meetings in Quincy (Promised land), Fairfield (Meditator capital of the world), and Ankeny (basically Utah). While we were down in Quincy I got to stop by one of my favorite family's of all time the Voelkels! The meetings were awesome I learned so much about The Book of Mormon and it's importance in missionary work and it's importance in the the the world! It literally changed history it's amazing. I've had the Spirit witness to me so many times on my mission that the Book of Mormon is true. I tell people on the doorstep all the time "This Book is the reason I am here in Iowa right now". Because if people know that the Book of Mormon is true: they know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that the Church and Gospel are restored and we have a prophet here on the Earth today! I love how simple it is.

Hope you all have a great week this week!
Love Elder Cox 

By: Emily Cox
My Greatest Accomplishment
As I waited on stage for the show to start, I could feel my heart beating in my chest and the humid air around me, as everyone was nervous about starting in front of a crowd.  When it was the song before Maddi and I were supposed to go on, we were both very nervous and very hot as we read over our lines again and again. The song before us ends and we walk onto the stage.
As we walked on stage, Maddi and I tried to be calm because we didn't want to mess up our parts.  We start to say our speaking parts before the song starts and it is very hard to speak with a tasty gummy worm in your mouth and with the feeling of butterflies in your stomach, but when I saw my parents, friends and family, I felt a little better and didn't mess up once on my lines. Then the music started to begin, and the butterflies started to come back. It seems like there are billions of people in the crowd now and that the lights are even brighter. As Maddi starts to sing her Timone parts, then it is my turn to say my parts. As I sing the slow part at the first of the song I can feel the squishy pillow in my costume to make me look fat like Pumbaa, and I start to lose the scared sensation because I am kind of laughing at myself now.  Then Maddi says her part, "When he was a young wart hog!" And then right at that moment I built up all of my energy and strength in my vocal cords so that I could sing my loudest and burst out, "WHEN I WAS A YOUNG WART HOOOOOGGGGG!"  I had just sang the loudest I had ever sung in my entire life! I was so proud of myself and the crowd laughed more then they had the whole entire show. The rest of the show went great because of that one moment that I was brave enough to show what I could do and I even made people laugh about it too. If I wouldn't have done that any louder than I had, I would have felt bad that I let the crowd down first of all and it made me feel great about all of the other different parts that I would sing in the rest of the show!
I had the time of my life as Maddi and I lead the little kids around the stage during the instrumental part of Akuna Mata ta and we both totally forgot that we were in front of a huge crowd of people and just had fun with it like we had at practice. Maddi and I were kind of sad that the song ended, but we both knew that it wouldn't be the last time that we sang that song together. And it also wouldn't be the last time I would sing that loud either.
I do not know what made all of the weird, scary, stressed feelings go away at just the right moment. It might have been because the looks on my friends and family's faces, maybe something else that I don’t' remember, or just my own self confidence, but, I am glad that I had done what made me memorable and the fun person. It was one of my greatest  accomplishments.

Dear Davis, 
I wanted to send this story about "My Greatest Accomplishment" because it taught me a lot more about how you can do great things when you are brave enough to do them and Christ and Heavenly Father help a lot when it comes to these kinds of things. The other day as I said my personal prayer at night, the questions popped into my head. "What would I do without going to church?" and "What would I do if I didn't know about the Plan of Salvation?" I am very glad that our parents had us grow up in the church, because without it things would be pretty hard, I think. The Gospel and the power of prayer have helped our family through so many hard things in life.  And with church at the begining of every week, it keeps me going throughout the week and helps me keep Christ in my mind.  And I am also very glad that we know when our loved ones pass on to the next life, that we will be able to see them again. This also ties into missionary work too! I am glad that you get to teach the people of Iowa so that they can get to know about the Gospel and they won't have to live without this wonderful gift that we already have.
I love you sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo(times never ending) much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope you have a great Sunday!


 Hey Emmi!
That's an awesome story! Do I get to see a picture of you dressed up as Pumba? Sounds like you killed it and thanks for your testimony at the end too that was awesome! Those same questions that popped into your head the other night are the same questions that people all around the world have all the time, and questions that I've had. I love how in the Gospel and in the restored church there's an answer to every question we have here on Earth, and most importantly about Heavenly Father's plan for us. 
Love you little sister thanks for being a great example to me of happiness!

Love Elder Cox

October 23, 2016 - Heavenly Father keeps track of all of his children.

After a long, somewhat slower week of lots of cancelled appointments (19 cancelled appointments, 2 actually went through) and hours of finding and praying to find people to teach: another super cool miracle! God is so great and knows just we needed to make our week awesome.
So we were pulling out of a trailer park and stopped to let a lady walk in front of us. As she was walking I was thinking: That lady looks familiar. Then it clicked. Jakubczak started rolling forward but I yelled stop the car! As I rolled down the window and flagged down none other than Coreana G!
For anybody that has an amazing memory, Coreana was the very first person I helped be baptized on my mission. Only about 3 weeks out. Then a few weeks after her baptism she moved to Texas randomly and dropped off the face of the Earth and everybody thought she had gone to Mexico and didn't know what to do with her records to keep track of her. Then all the sudden, 19 months later, there she is walking across the road. 
She told me was that when she moved into her new house a few months ago the first thing she did was put the picture of Her, Elder Lords and I at her baptism front and center above her T.V. 

It was the greatest feeling ever and the Spirit definitely taught me that Heavenly Father keeps track of all of his children. 

We also took a roadtrip out to Dubuque on Thursday to drop off Elder Covington, a Marshallese speaking Elder who flew in a different day than everybody else. So in our 3 1/2 hours there and 3 1/2 hours back we had to pull over a few times and stretch and take some cool pics with the fall colors. Elder J has a nice photography camera :)

October 9 2016 - ELMO is Baptized!

I hope everybody can just FEEL the energy that is going into this email right now because I am just excited and happy out of my mind!

Elmo was baptized yesterday and confirmed today and it has just been a raining down of enthusiasm from Heaven. You kind of have to meet Elmo to understand but this guy is just ON FIRE for the gospel. So of course today I'm going to share his story. 

4 weeks and couple days ago our Ward Mission Leader who works with Elmo at felt prompted to give him a Book of Mormon. Elmo loved it. A few days later he invited him to Kay's baptism where we met him for the first time. He came and loved it and felt the Spirit, then after came to lunch at the Katzenbach's with us where he essentially was taught the basics of all 5 of the missionary lessons over an hour period including the Word of Wisdom, Articles of Faith, and at the end Bro. Katzenbach gave him a priesthood blessing. He had lots of awesome questions. He is hands down the most intelligent person I've ever taught and seen be baptized on my mission this guy remembers everything!

Over the next couple weeks as Elmo learned about the gospel Satan tried to do everything he could to stop him. Didn't work. Elmo's a stud. He knows the stories of Alma the younger, King Benjamin, Alma talking to his sons, Ether 12, and the tree of life like the back of his hand. He even ordered his own quad from Deseret industries last week but wouldn't open it until he got baptized. I'm telling you. On fire.

After he was baptized he bore his testimony at his baptism service and just talked about how awesome the gospel is. About how ever since he's had the fullness of the gospel in his life he hasn't been able to stop smiling. Even through all the crazy hard things he's gone through the past week he says he's been the happiest he's ever been his whole life.

AND going back to Elder Oaks talk about using technology to spread the gospel. Elmo's super big into snap chat and he's been sharing the gospel/Book of Mormon with all of his friends. He took snap chat videos before and after his baptism and put them on his story. He said by the end of the day he had 3 friends who want to be baptized! Watch out missionaries in Texas here we come with them referrals!

We also got to go to the Nauvoo temple and Carthage Jail this week. Carthage was super cool to go through the visitor's center and take a tour of the jail. You feel the spirit testifying of individual things so strongly it's hard to explain. I walked out of that jail with a renewed unwavering testimony that the Book of Mormon is true beyond a shadow of a doubt!

Love you all hope you have a great week. Thanks for all you do for me, especially the things you do that I can't see. :) 
-Elder Cox

Brother Katzenbach and Elmo

And this here is a new dance move Elder Devenport and I created on a
long and lonesome road trip. It's called the BAP! (Similar to the dab but cooler for baptism day)

Sister Katzenbach, me, Elmo, Elder Devenport, Brother Katzenbach

Back row, Elder Devenport, ELMO, Elder Cox, Elder Jakubczak, Elder Merrell
Front row; Elder Rocha, and Elder Gunderson

Sunday, October 9, 2016

October 2, 2016 - Not much time!

Hey don't have very much time tonight, since it was conference today and we had a couple other appointments so email time just kept getting pushed back more and more! Then Elder Devenport and I went knocking to reach our weekly goal of talking to people. Now it's 8:30 :)

But it's ok because I have pictures.

I'll save most my thoughts about conference for next week because it was so good but I loved the focuses of MISSIONARY WORK, Joy, The Book of Mormon, Repentance. There was tons of great focuses but those were the biggest ones I got out of it. I especially loved the focus on always being amazed by the awesomeness of the gospel. President Uchtdorf's first talk Saturday morning was probably my favorite of the whole conference.

I got the BYU basketball player in our mission, Zach Seljaas, to eat a ghost pepper this week at a meeting that was pretty great.

Elmo is getting baptized this Saturday!! He is hands down the most prepared/enthusiastic person I have taught my entire mission. He's pumped to get the priesthood and help us pass the sacrament!

Since Elder Devenport is going home next week I found out who my new companion will be! It's Elder Jakubczak! I served around him in Quincy for 3 transfers and I'm super pumped to have him probably be my very last companion for my last 3 transfers. We'll pick him up tomorrow and be in a trio til next Friday.

Love you all here's some pictures. Enjoy.
Elder Cox

-Pizza with Elmo in a sick conference room on the 5th floor of Wells Fargo

Set up the projector in President Badger's basement to watch a session of conference. This picture somehow contorted everyone's faces?

-Exchanges with Elder Madsen and Jackson

Sunday, September 25, 2016

September 25, 2016 - Orange Julius and Little Caesar's

This week was awesome. I had a lot of learning and humbling experiences so I thought I'd share a couple of them. 

But first off and more important than me, update on our amazing investigators!
Elmo: Is on fire! He reads the Book of Mormon every single day and comprehends what he reads better than anyone I've ever taught. After he read Mosiah 2 he told us the story of King Benjamin perfectly and so energetically! Elder Devenport and I decided he needs to make a YouTube Channel where he just tells Book of Mormon Stories in his own words. "Now we got our boy King Benjamin over here, he's getting all old and frail and what-not and wants to talk to alls the people before he dies. So my man King Benjamin builds this STUUUPID high tower so everybody can hear him. But you know, can't no old man talk that loud so he had them write down what he said..." 
Elmo is the man!

Laura and Brownson are getting married this Wednesday then she's getting baptized the week after General Conference!!

Aaliyah, the Liberian lady we ran into, who moved from Utah right as she was about to be baptized, is doing good and her son just turned 8 a few days ago! Music to a missionary's ears :)

Alrighty now what I learned this week.  In our training that we gave at zone conference this week we trained on finding and overcoming the fear of Opening our Mouths. We used the example/parable about "Crossing the Rubicon". Basically about how when Julius Caesar crossed the Rubicon River to march on Rome, that was his point of decision. He had made his decision and there was no going back. 

Well, we committed all the missionaries to go and buy either an Orange Julius or Little Caesar's pizza, "cuz Julius Caesar", and to look into each others' eyes as they sipped on the Orange Julius and commit to each other to talk to everyone they saw. The lesson I learned from this was that as soon as Elder Devenport and I walked out of Orange Julius we were presented with several opportunities to open our mouths that were pretty awkward. And if we hadn't have already made the decision to talk to everybody it probably would've been pretty easy to walk past the 15 year old girl who was sitting down, with earphones in, looking at her phone. But if we would've just walked by she wouldn't have referred us to her family and they wouldn't have Restoration pamphlets in their home. 

The same can be said about any gospel principle/standard. If we make up our minds that we will live the gospel, keep the commandments, keep our standards. Then when the moment of trial comes the decision is much easier. "The die has been cast."

Love you all 
Elder Cox

Took a picture this week :)

September 18, 2016 - Elmo is STUD!

First off I want to give a shoutout to my trainer and my last companion Elder Lords who got engaged this week! Less than 2 months, settin a high bar. Atta boy. 
Elder lords came back to visit and baptize Kay!

Second off let me just reemphasize: Elmo is a STUD. So he's the man last week, who I wrote about, that our Ward Mission Leader brought to Kay's baptism then church. He came to church again today, loved it. We gave him a reading assignment on Thursday for 2 Nephi 31 for our appointment tonight, he's read it 3 times so that he could know it super well for the lesson. Today in church we showed him Ezekiel 17:16-17 where it talks about the stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph becoming one in our hands. Right as soon as he finished reading it before we could even explain what a "stick" was or anything, he grabbed his quad that a member gave him and said "Boom,I got it right here, here's the one stick! That's so dope!" (Yes mom he uses the word dope all the time, and Sister Katzenbach told him it was ok :) 

Elmo is so prepared it's amazing. Today in Elders' Quorum, the lesson was mainly on FHE. When they asked for experiences of FHE that had helped people in their lives Elmo was the first to raise his hand and talk about how when he was little his mom set aside 1 night a week (Wednesday) to have bible study together as a family and play a board game (and she would apply the bible scriptures to the board game, like honesty and charity in Monopoly) Then he said "I know it's not the same as in this church because ours was on Wednesdays and we didn't have the Book of Mormon, but the principle is true, we bond with our family as we spend time with them learning the gospel."

This guy needs to be baptized!!!
This photo was taken by Sister Katsenbach hile they taught Elmo in their home

 Well, anything I share after that will just be boring, so I'll leave at that for this week. Hope you're all doing great love you all!

Elder Cox

Alma 27:27 And they were among the people of Nephi, and also numbered among the people who wereof the church of God. And they were also distinguished for their zeal towards Godand 
also towards men; for they were perfectly honest and upright in all things; and they were firm in 
the faith of Christ,  even unto the end.

Have a zeal for the gospel like Elmo!