Elder Davis B Cox

Elder Davis B Cox

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Tuesday February 16, 2016 - Love God, love your family, live the gospel, and work hard. God will provide the rest.

This week our main man Pierre got surgery. And since our Swahili isn't quite fluent yet, we weren't able to teach Africans very much this week. But they still fed us so we ate more African food! But we are going to teach Pacifique and his family today with Pierre. They're amazing they're so prepared and humble and love the gospel and the Book of Mormon so much. Every time I teach or talk to them I am reminded at how simple life can be amidst all the craziness of the world: 

Love God, love your family, live the gospel, and work hard. God will provide the rest.

This week in my studies I decided to study Alma 5 in depth. As I read through the chapter I wrote down every question that was asked that applied to me. I wrote down 34 questions. I went through and I asked myself each of those questions. Some of them are very simple, but many of them are very deep and ask things that make me realize I can always improve. Because all the questions are based on us becoming more Christlike, and we can all always improve at that. 

This week on my hump day we took a road trip to Davenport to get my companions retainer fixed and my chipped tooth from Hannibal fixed. There's a dentist there who works on missionaries for free. I love how no matter where we are in the world, we're all a church family, brothers and sisters and we're always watching out for each other. 

Lastly I just found out about Sister Sadie Wells this week from several of my emails. Most of you probably already know and are reaching out to her and her family but my heart and prayers go out to them. I know that she is being welcomed with loving arms on the other side and she is doing the exact same thing she was doing right before she left us, sharing the gospel of love and peace with our brothers and sisters. 

Love you all,
Elder Cox

Monday February 8, 2016 - Go and Do!

This week was super crazy busy. Monday we had P-day then had to do some last minute paperwork. Tuesday we were supposed to have MLC but it got moved because of this "Storm of the decade" blizzard that we were supposed to get. People were hyping us up that we were supposed to get 14+ inches with blizzard conditions. So everyone we had appointments with cancelled that day because they said the storm was going to be too crazy. Which doesn't even make sense because all they have to do is stay in their house and we come to them, so we were pretty frustrated about that. Then the storm ended up only being like 2 inches of snow and some slush. It was pretty lame.

Wednesday we had interviews with Pres. and Sister Jensen which was sweet! I love having interviews with them because I love talking to them then they took me and Elder Sessions out to lunch afterwards and President Jensen is probably the smartest and funniest man I've ever met. Then we drove out to the Mt. Vernon branch, then 30 minutes past that to interview Dameon for baptism. Then Thursday we had MLC most the day then moved the sisters into a new apartment that night. So basically we didn't get to be in our area until Friday. 

On the bright side we had everyone at church again this week! Except their dad wasn't there so we had 9 African kids who we were basically in charge of. I can't wait to have kids and bring them to sacrament meeting... But it was great and they are all doing great. And we set a new date with Jonathan and Jaheim so they are going to be baptized on February 27th and we're super excited for them. We taught them the Word of Wisdom this week and they were pretty shocked that Tea and Coffee were bad. But as soon as they found out it was against God's commandments they said they would definitely not drink it anymore. They're the biggest 13 year old studs.

"Spiritual light rarely comes to those who sit in darkness waiting for someone to flip a switch"
We have to go and act on the faith that we have to receive greater spiritual light. It doesn't just come from sitting there. Similar to my quote last week Go and Do!

Love you all have a great week
I won't be emailing next week until Tuesday because of the Holiday.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Monday February 8, 2016 - One year Week and a new missionary name tag!

This missionary name tag is very special and of great significance. First and foremost, it indicates being a representative of Christ. It is a reminder of the miracle that Elder Davis Cox is serving a mission in Iowa, loving every minute of it, having so many tender mercies, and his health sustained enough that he has been out one year this week! If you look closely you will see that this new name tag is in the Swahili language of Africa. Incredible, yes, he is learning and teaching the gospel in the Swahili language...in Iowa. There is more to the story. Courtney and I were reflecting back on a time over a year ago, as this picture came today. As Davis was going through the process of getting cleared by all the medical doctors to be able to serve an LDS mission, he was unwavering and strong in explaining to them that he had faith enough to suspend his treatment for two years. When asked one day, (by a doctor who thought he would get to choose where he served), where he will be going, he firmly said, "Africa!" For more than the obvious reasons, I had an audible gasp, and a quick but gentle statement of, "I'm sorry bud, but I don't think Africa is in your future." I'm learning not to question the faith and determination of the amazing relationship between Davis and Christ. So you see this name tag reminds me of tender mercies, the faith of a boy that is beating the odds to BECOME a man that is serving his Heavenly Father and bringing people into the gospel.  Davis "chose" Africa and now a part of Africa is choosing Davis!   
December 2015 letter from Davis "This week I discovered why I came on a mission. Well one of the many reasons, because there are 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."
Mungu Aku Bariki  (God Bless You)
Elder Cox

Saturday, February 6, 2016

February 3, 2016 - Transfer Week

So this week was transfer week and Elder Ottesen left the house :( but it's ok because Elder Hansen came here and he's a stud. He's fresh out of the MTC and had a lost puppy look on his face when he walked in the door but he's adjusting well. We'll break him in today at P-day ball.

Other than that this week was a lot like last week. Teaching lots of people from Africa and getting rides for everyone to church. Which led to the craziest and most stressful Sunday of my whole mission, probably my whole life because we had 14 people come to church and 13 of them only speak about 10 words of English. But at the end of the day it was great to see how happy they were and to see them have spiritual experiences at church. Dad sent me a thought that helped explain my thought process that night: 

"The more we obsess about our difficulties, our struggles, our doubts, and our fears, the more difficult things can become. But the more we focus on our final heavenly destination and on the joys of following the disciple’s path—loving God, serving our neighbor—the more likely we are to successfully navigate through times of trouble and turbulence."

It was pretty easy and tempting in the moment to focus on the storm of craziness and confusion all around me and to get frustrated. But when I remembered the reason I was doing this was to help others feel the spirit, experience the gospel, and be able to receive the ordinance of baptism, the storm seemed pretty small comparatively.

We also had a great conversation with this guy last night who believed in reincarnation and was convinced that in his previous life he was a 7 foot tall lion hunter in Africa. He told us his strategies for hunting lions on the Sahara. And he also believed that his cat was a reincarnated leprechaun. That conversation helped lighten our moods for the night hahaha. 

Quote for the day inspired by Momma Cox: 

"There are no freebies. If you are not willing to pay the price needed for success, you will pay the price of failure."

This quote is truer than true. Everybody wants success but too many sit in idleness and are not willing to pay the price, hard work, diligence, perseverance, etc. that is needed for success. 
"Go and do it"- Nephi

Love ya all