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)