Elder Davis B Cox

Elder Davis B Cox

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Monday January 25, 2016 - Pacifique

So the first update is on the Kimararungu family I talked about last week. We taught them again this week along with their son (Pacifique) and daughter in law and their 7 kids. Then 10 of them came to church this week! It was a super stressful Sunday trying to arrange rides for 10 people who don't speak English, setting up the translators, helping them get to class. But it was probably the best Sunday of my mission!

2 great quotes from Pacifique this week:

1st Lesson
Pacifique: "How many members of the church are there"
Us: "Worldwide there's about 15 million."
Pacifique: "Make that 15 million and 9 because me, my wife and our 7 kids are joining"

Beginning of 2nd lesson
Us: "Do you guys have any questions from last time?"
Pacifique with concerned look on his face: "Yes one important question.."
Us: "What is it?"
Pacifique: "Me and my family need to know what day we can be baptize and join true Church."

They're an amazing family I love teaching them! We also ran into a lady named Shaelita this week who had been taught by missionaries in the past but she moved away and lost contact. But now, 10 years later, we knocked on her door the same week she was having the same trial she was having 10 years ago when the missionaries knocked on her door. It was a great testimony to me that no lesson we teach, no person we talk to on the street is ever a waste. Heavenly Father places us in some peoples paths to plant seeds for the future, and others to harvest the seed that has been planted and has been being prepared. 

This Wednesday we got to have the worldwide Training for Missionaries broadcast which was sweet! Elder Oaks, Anderson, and Bednar were all there and gave trainings as well as a few others. This was the first time they've done a worldwide broadcast to all the missionaries like this in like 10 years so it was cool. The main theme was about teaching repentance and baptizing. They taught a lot about how teaching repentance is a very important part of the gospel that we as missionaries sometimes skip over because we are very focused on baptism. And also how to teach people to learn and grow and have spiritual experiences on their own that lead to lasting conversion. My hand hurt from taking lots of pages worth of notes it was great.

This week is transfers. Me and Elder Sessions are both staying but we found out Elder Otteson is leaving the house and we're super sad. But I'm here for at least 6 more weeks hopefully more!

Love you all!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tuesday January 19, 2016 - Sharkeisha and Swahili‏

To start off thank you so much family for the package this week! It was a life saver! The rice heating bags and hand-warmers have been put to good use the last couple days as the windchill on Sunday we were told was -55. Needless to say it was pretty hard to get members to church, especially investigators. But it was still a great week and I made some great new memories and starting teaching some amazing new people.

On Sunday night we had our first full-blown Swahili lesson. Pierre Manirakiza came with us and introduced us to his African neighbors that just moved in. The Kimararungu family. They had no furniture yet and spoke no English but we had a great lesson in their humble apartment. Elder Sessions and I pulled out every Swahili phrase we knew and Pierre translated the rest. He testified of the Book of Mormon and the Priesthood so strongly and I could feel the spirit so strong, even though the only words I really caught were "Book of Mormon" and "Priesthood" and "True". We are going over today to teach them again and I'm really excited. It also got us a lot more pumped to learn Swahili faster.

We had a lot of meetings this week, an extra long MLC discussing a lot of the changes in the mission with transfers and exchanges. We no longer have a transfer meeting which is kinda sad because that's where I always got to see all the missionaries I've served around. We'll just go straight to our new area. And exchanges everyone will now go to the leaders area. District leaders to zone leaders area, Zone leaders to AP's area etc. Which Elder Sessions and I were pretty pumped about because we both served in Easter Lake, which is where the AP's are now so we get to go back there on exchanges now!

I went on exchanges with Elder Merrell this week. He went to the same high school as Sharkeisha!! Hahaha so that's why that's in the title because I got to hear a lot of funny stories during exchanges. 

I think the only pictures I took this week were of how cold it was so sorry there's no cool pictures.
Love you all!
Elder Cox

January 11,2016 - Mission Call Change

"Dear Elder Cox, you have been called to serve a mission in the IDMM... You will now prepare to teach in the Swahili language as well as English and will be serving the African community."

Alright they didn't actually change my call but I am now a Swahili speaking missionary. Starting this week I will have 60 minutes of studying the sweet language of Swahili! I'm super excited and I don't really know how we're going to do it President Jensen just said we'll figure it out. So far all we've done is check out a Swahili-English dictionary from the library and we have Swahili pamphlets and Book of Mormons so we're going to start there!

I wish we were having African weather here too but sadly we're not. A member told us it got down to -36 the other night and its chilly out there. January 9th was a big day for me because it was the first day I wore a scarf in public out proselyting. 

On Thursday we had our Christmas Zone conference and it was hilarious. Each district did a 3-5 minute skit about a Book of Mormon Story and there was Elders reenacting the daughter of Jared dancing in front of Kind Akish, doing the whip of course. To a missionary version of Moroni writing to Pahoran complaining that they were hogging all the cute sisters in the land of Des Moines and not spreading the love to the rest of the mission. In ours I galloped behind Captain Moroni the whole time clacking coconuts together like in Monte Python. There were some super creative ones they were hilarious!

We also got to watch Ephraims Rescue for Zone conference and I've never seen that before so that was sweet. 

We had a couple families at church this week which was awesome! And the Cedar Rapids ward is awesome and super loving so everyone felt super welcomed. Diana and Johnathan and Jaheim are especially doing super well. Johnathan and Jaheim are the 13 year old twins and they are STUDS both in life and in the gospel. They're going to be baptized in about a month.

The gospel is love and happiness. It brings love and happiness into peoples lives in a world where love and happiness are only dreamt about. I have a firm testimony of that the last couple weeks. The gospel changes peoples lives if we open our hearts to it and allow the Lord to guide us from there. 

Mungu Aku Bariki (God Bless You)

Elder Cox

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Manirakiza Family Baptism - Jan 4, 2016

Manirakiza baptism
This week I discovered why I came on a mission. Well one of the many reasons because there's a million but the Manirakiza family is definitely one of the biggest reasons. Pierre, the father, is the man who got baptized 2 weeks ago. Last week he received the priesthood and this week he baptized his wife, and 3 kids! 

One of the happiest moments of my life on behalf of someone else was when he baptized his daughter Tabitha, who just turned 8 last week, and she came up out of the water and he just hugged her and kissed her on the head and started crying.

This whole email is probably going to be about Pierre because he is so awesome. He is also president of the East African community in Cedar Rapids, which is over 1000 people, and he has started introducing people to us and the Book of Mormon. He told us on Saturday he wanted to start doing that and by that evening he had a couple people that wanted to come to church! He is a STUD member missionary! 

Anything else I say about this week will dim in comparison to that. New Years Eve was pretty fun we had to be in at 7 so we ordered Pizza and played sting pong with the other 2 elders that live with us. 
On Wednesday we took a roadtrip to Des Moines because we had to drop off Elder Swainston at the airport. If any of you run into Bailey Swainston in Provo tell him Elder Cox loves him he's a stud. 

I'll send pictures in a second I have to switch computers. Love you all Happy 2016 make it the best year of your life because it's be the best of mine!

Love Elder Cox

A roadtrip to Des Moines meant we had to stop for lunch of course at ZOMBIE BURGER!!!! This is 2 grilled cheese sandwiches with 2 burgers, 6 pieces of bacon, grilled onions and I can't even remember what else but it was amazing!

Ping pong in the house!

 The best African food I've tried yet! Even though it looks like green diarrhea on rice that stuff was amazing!



Christmas Week 2015

Christmas Week:
This week has been awesome. I guess I'll start off with Christmas. We woke up i the morning, opened presents (Thank you everyone for everything that was super fun!), played Uno and some of our other games we got with the other missionaries in the house. Then we went to a members for lunch, ate a thanksgiving turkey meal and some pie, went to Bishop Kilgore's and skyped our families which was awesome!, And went to the Dickson's and had Christmas dinner with them, one of their neighbors, and The Dopo's(An African family in the ward). And between those things stopping by members and sharing Christmas messages. 

And then one of my favorite parts of the day was we gathered up some of the gifts we'd been given ( a few small toys, games, lots of candy and food) and put it in a big bag and took it to the Manirakiza family. Their dad is Pierre the one who just got baptized and he had to quit his job to come to church so they are struggling financially a little. When the kids opened the door and we said we had a present 8 little African kids appeared out of no where and started sending tissue paper flying over our heads as they opened the bag of presents. It wasn't anything fancy but they were so pumped about it. That made my Christmas.

The missionary work flame is also catching in Cedar Rapids. It has always been here and the members are awesome at working with us, but since Elder Martino came and we have been working more with them on finding their friends who could use the gospel by asking who has recently had a life changing event like a birth or a death, a move, or even struggling with a teenager. People pull out their phones and start looking through their contacts and face book friends and think about whose life the gospel could bless. The answer of course is everyone, but those who have been prepared to receive it have started coming to the surface and it's amazing to see.

Also on Sunday Pierre received the Priesthood and is going to be baptizing his wife and 3 kids this Saturday. His daughter just turned 8 on Sunday. God definitely has had his hand in that families life and has been preparing them to be great contributors to the Kingdom of God. 

Love you all have a great New Year talk to ya in 2016
Love Elder Cox

This was the food from our primary's "Christmas for the Elders". Best day of my life
This is the only picture I got of opening presents. It's a meat and cheese package but you can't tell that because I'm a genius and held the package backwards so all you can see is the nutrition facts. And I'm also wearing my sweet new cashmere scarf. Thanks Courtney and McKay!

Hey everyone! So yesterday we didn't get to email because there was an ice storm so the library shut down so I'm emailing today. But I decided that since it's been a long time since I've actually sent pictures home (partly because my camera got stolen partly because I'm still terrible at taking pictures) I'll start off with pictures this week. For you mom.

And playing Uno Christmas morning

And this was our backyard this morning after the snow/ice storm. 2 days ago the grass was still green and it looked like September.