Elder Davis B Cox

Elder Davis B Cox

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

March 28, 2016 - The Lord has blessed me with a small bladder‏

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you all had a great Easter Week and Easter Sunday yesterday remembering our Savior Jesus Christ and all he did for us so that we could have perfect resurrected bodies and return to live with him. I don't know about you but I can't wait to have a perfect body.

This week was great! We got to go on exchanges with the AP's this week in Des Moines. That was super exciting because they are serving in the Easter Lake ward (My first area) and Elder Lords (my trainer) is one of the AP's! So I was able to go back and see a lot of people who we had worked with, that are now baptized! As well as Eunice and her family who were baptized while I was there. 

It was amazing to see how much the gospel influence had changed these people's lives in the last year. In Michelle's apartment where there used to be ashtrays on the table by the couch, there was now a stack of Ensigns. Where there used to be music or T.V. playing in the background, there was Vocal Point singing. It was SO COOL to see how much happier she was. 

So now for the meaning of the subject line. So Saturday morning we had coordination and then we went and stopped by to see a few people. That morning I had POUNDED the water during studies so by the time coordination got over, I had to  pee really bad. So we pulled over at the nearest gas station and walked inside and I hear a Lil Wayne raspy voice say "Wassup Elders!" It was or boy Trae! We had lost contact with him because he moved out of his girlfriends house but he was super solid. Then we just randomly walk in, meet up with him, get his new phone number, set up a lesson. The Lord definitely directed our path. And that's like the 3rd time that's happened because I've had to pee so I now consider it a blessing.

So I just have one last experience I'd like to share from Easter yesterday. We had fast and testimony meeting and about halfway through a 6 year old boy gets up and stands on the step stool and says "I want to bear my testimony.. that fasting on Easter is hard... Really hard.. But don't give up (then he got a serious look on his face) Don't ever get up!" Then he sat down.

Everyone in the congregation chuckled a bit, and I did too, but I thought what an amazing lesson we just learned from a 6 year old. He was giving up Easter candy (probably a high priority for 6 year olds) to fast and remember the Savior on this special day. His parents had instilled in him that worshipping the Savior is a higher priority than worldly things, chocolate, jelly beans or
whatever it might be. For us older people: friends, sports, TV, whatever it might be. The Savior and the Gospel and our families should be our #1 priority. 

Love you all,
Elder Cox

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday March 21, 2016 - Master, where shall I work today?

This week was super busy but SAWEET! I'll start off with some of our miracle people we found this week then talk about going down to Nauvoo.

We found 2 amazing part-member families this week who have both recently moved in.

The first one is Sam. He is from Liberia and his wife Sophie and 2 kids were baptized about a year ago in the Des Moines ward(right next to Easter Lake where I was serving). Sam was living in Massachusetts at the time but last week they all moved together to Cedar Rapids. Sophie saw the sister missionaries walking down the street and told them to come over to her house, but their address was in our area so we got to go over. We got there and introduced ourselves and Sophie said "My husband needs missionaries to teach him so he can be baptized." 2 days later he came to stake conference, listened to Elder Martino and loved it and is getting baptized April 16th!

Then Mandy. Her family recently moved here from Kansas. Her husband is a member and she was taking lessons in Kansas and was about to be baptized, but the missionaries got white washed out and the new missionaries never came out to their house in the middle of nowhere. But as soon as they got to CR they found the church, went on Sunday, ran into the Sisters and set up an appointment, but once again in our area :) So we went over and the first thing she said when we walked in is; "can you guys help me be baptized."

So probably the 2 biggest miracle investigators of my entire mission, both on the same day. God is blessing us so much. I'm so excited for both of them to complete their families in the gospel.

On Friday we had Zone Training meeting and President and Sister Jensen came. After that we had the opportunity to drive down to Nauvoo and clean the temple, which is one of the most spiritual experiences ever. If you ever get assigned to clean the temple DO IT.
We cleaned the spiral staircase, got down under the baptismal font and dusted off the oxen, then got to go up 5 more sets of spiral staircases to the very top of the bell tower, right to the base of angel Moroni. 

Now I'm not the biggest fan of cleaning, but just as always in the temple, the entire time was extremely peaceful and serene. I had a lot of time to ponder as I carefully cleaned every step up to the top floor of the temple. I said many prayers along the way and had one of the most amazing conversations with Heavenly Father that I've ever experienced through prayer. I felt extremely grateful for the opportunity that I had to clean His house, to tend that tiny part of the vineyard. I can bear sure and firm testimony that our Father guides us and gives us answers to the questions of our soul when we are in His service. 

Master, where shall I work today?
My love flowed warm and free.
He pointed out a tiny spot
And said, tend that for me.

I answered quickly, oh no, not there, 
Not any one could see
No matter how well my work was done;
Not that little spot for me.

When He spoke He was not stern, 
But He answered me tenderly,
Little one, search that heart of thine;
Are you working for them or for me?
Nazareth was just a little place.
And so was Galilee.

Love Elder Cox

Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday 14, 2016 - Follow the Word of Wisdom

Haha I am terrible at taking pictures I've set so many goals to take more. And I fail every week. Here's a couple I finally did take this last week though. They're pretty random but I jumped on a few opportunities to take some pictures so hopefully I'll start getting better.

Mt. Vernon district meeting.
playing water pong in the house with the other elders on P-day

Remodeling the Mulherin's kitchen.

So I hate to start off on a bad note. But the baptism of Pacifique and his family didn't happen this week :( It was a busy week and we stopped in every day to check in on them and make sure they were doing good and speaking our brutally simple Swahili. Then Friday night came and we went over at 8:45 to make sure they remember to bring towels and clothes the following morning for the baptism. We walked through the front door (African culture = knock and walk in) and found them breaking the word of wisdom :( It crushed our little missionary hearts more than anything on either of our missions so far. But the good news is that they knew that it was bad, they knew they needed to repent and not do it again, so they will be being baptized soon here in the upcoming weeks. 

Other than that family we didn't teach very many lessons, we had a few investigators drop us. All the ones that didn't drop us forgot to change their clocks for daylight savings time so they didn't make it to church. But there's an awesome part member family that just moved into the ward and the wife basically approached us and said she wants to be baptized so that doesn't happen every day! The Lord blesses us with tender mercies even when the world falls apart.

So yesterday Elder Sessions and I were driving down the road by the college and we saw tons of people walking around in green St. Patricks shirts and costumes. The further we drove the crazier the costumes got. Like this thing made the HOWL at Utah State look tame. I asked Elder Sessions what day today was. March 13th. 

So of course we got out and started walking around talking to people trying to figure out what was going on and taking advantage of the fact that there was dozens of people out walking around that we could invite to hear the gospel! Well. We soon found out that it was "St. Patricks Day Bar & Pub 5k". So people dressed up. Got a map. Followed this "5k" route from bar to bar around Cedar Rapids getting sloshed drunk at each one then stumbling down the street to the next bar. Needless to say not very many people were interested but we got some pretty funny things yelled at us. 
Follow the Word of Wisdom. 

Let your light so shine.
"When a candle lighteth another, it loses no light itself."

Love you all have a great St. Patricks week. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Monday March 7, 2016 - Staying in Cedar Rapids!

So biggest news is that we got transfer calls this morning and I'm staying here in Cedar Rapids for the 4th transfer, with Elder Sessions for the 3rd. We were super pumped I was getting nervous I might leave. The best part it that I get to stay to see Pacifique, his wife, 4 kids, and grandpa be baptized on Saturday! They are an amazing family, they are who we originally started learning Swahili to be able to teach. So hopefully I will have an update on that next week!

Most of this week was spent working with that family. Took several days of trying to get them interviewed since it took someone to interpret and trying to arrange their schedules was crazy. During one of our comp studies me and Elder Sessions made a "gospel jeopardy" for our 11 year old investigator Austin. There's 5 sections (5 missionary lessons) with 5 questions each. It's been amazing to see the growth in that kid I pray that his fathers heart will be softened so I can see him get baptized here.

On Wednesday we blitzed our area with Elder Winn and Elder Pauga, Elder Pauga and Elder Sessions went to most of the lessons we had scheduled for that day, so me and Elder Winn got to knocking basically all day. We went knocking in a higher class neighborhood than we normally go (A member picked the neighborhood we knocked). 

We knocked close to 100 doors and didn't get 1 person who let us in. There's been few days on my mission I've felt as rejected and unwanted as I did on that day. But for some reason I was still just really happy all day. The Lord blesses us when we work hard. 

I want to end this email with a quote by Henry B. Eyring. It's pretty long but it's helped shape my mission. It's helped motivated me in hard times, reminded me that no matter what happens I am a disciple and follower of Jesus Christ. And I can't be swayed.

"I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast, I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won't look back, let up, slow down or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished & done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap living, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, promotions, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, recognized, praised, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My pace is set, my gate is fast, and my goal is Heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my Mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided, or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go until He comes, give until I drop, preach all I know and work until He stops me. And when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My Banner is clear!" 

If there is anyway to explain my passion I feel for this work and my love for my Savior, it's this quote right here. My Mission is clear, my Banner is clear, my goal is Heaven. 

Love you all.
Elder Cox

Monday February 22, 2016 - Knowledge and Truth and Light!

This week has flown by super fast. We've had a lot of work this week starting some new things and trying to find some new people to teach. It just seems to be that part of the cycle where there have been several people unfortunately fall out of the teaching pool.
We starting teaching Breanna this week. I think I wrote about her a few weeks ago. We knocked into her about 3 months ago and she seemed semi-interested. Tried by a few times and she couldn't ever really meet so we stopped trying by. Then about 3 or 4 weeks ago we walked by her in the parking lot and just talked to her. It was a Saturday night and she said it was an answer to her prayers that we ran into her again. She had this feeling that her and her kids needed to start getting back into a church, but she didn't know which church to go to. (sound like Joseph Smith?) So of course she prayed about it and later that day walked by us in the parking lot. She just got a new job this week so will hopefully be coming to church every week from now on. Our first lesson with her was super awesome and she related to Joseph Smith a lot about being confused about which church to go to. 
We also taught a lady named Dierra this week. After we taught her and invited her to baptism, she had several concerns: already been baptized, her church only holds baptismal services every 4 weeks so she didn't know if the date we extended to her would work. Obviously there was some confusion. We spent about 15 minutes correcting some confusion, answering questions, straightening out some doctrine, it even led to us basically teaching the Plan of Salvation. While we were there it hit me that the gospel of Jesus Christ literally has answers to everything. I may not know them all but He does. And as we were answering her concerns I felt as if my mouth was being filled, just like we've been promised it will be in D&C. 
Confusion is not God's way, Knowledge and truth and light are His way.

Love you all have a great week Hope it's warming up there as much as it is here!