Elder Davis B Cox

Elder Davis B Cox

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Aoril 25, 2016 - Back in Des Moines!

Hey everybody! So I'm getting on super late today and don't have much time, so if I didn't respond back to you personally this week I'll be sure to do it next week.

I'm back in Des Moines. In the Des Moines ward. We share a building with Easter Lake so I was able to see a lot of people I know yesterday at church. It's awesome! I'm super excited to be here. Also we drive the transfer van, a big 12 passenger van here, so that's fun to see the looks we get from people. My new companion is Elder Chase. He's from West Haven. Super stud missionary probably best missionary I've ever been companions with so I'm super excited. 

So I have a lot of pictures that I took in Cedar Rapids... But I'm looking everywhere on this computer and there's no place for an SD card like there was at the computers in Cedar Rapids, so I guess you will all have to wait until next week to see all the amazing people there and my new creeper van here.

Well have a great week and I'll see you on Skype in a week and 6 days family!!!!

Love Elder Cox

Monday April 19, 2016 - Sam got Baptized!

Sam Cole got baptized! And good news he didn't even have to get married first because his marriage in Africa is actually legal here in the U.S. So we didn't have to worry about getting that done before Saturday. Saturday was such a great day. Sam is such a prepared person and he and his family were so happy. After Sam was baptized we were both in the bathroom changing and I asked him how he felt. "SO SO GOOD ELDER COX! So clean!!" (I had to baptize him twice because he didn't go all the way under the first time so I pulled the age old "you're double clean" and he thought that was super funny)

When we walked out Sophie (Sam's wife who got baptized a year ago in Des Moines) gave me a little half hug and said, "now 1 year until we can go to the temple and be sealed." I was so happy for their family. It's so amazing when somebody has the vision of being sealed together in the temple. Baptism is definitely a big step in the gospel of Jesus Christ, but those covenants are helping him prepare for more covenants he will make in a year from now that will have such an eternal impact for him and his family.

So I don't know if I'm getting transferred this week or not, but most likely yes. It will be super sad to leave Cedar Rapids. I've met so many amazing people here. I told a few of their stories last week but there are so many I will be sad to leave. But I'll save that for next week when I have pictures with those people. This week I did take a picture with Chris Brown though! He's one of the ones I talked about last week. When I told him I was leaving he told me "well Elder Cox, I know you've done a lot of good here but I know for sure you've got one success right here." And he gave me a hug.

It definitely wasn't me that converted Chris Brown. He had some amazing spiritual experiences with prayer and followed the spiritual promptings he received. The Spirit converted him. And I am so grateful I have the opportunity to be an instrument in the spirit's hand in this great work and to see people's lives be blessed and changed by Christ.

Love you all have a great week
Love Elder Cox

Monday, April 11, 2016

Monday April12, 2016 - Dream job! Need to get Sam Married!

Dear Davis,
We had an amazing fast and testimony meeting today.  There are so many people being asked to endure so many BIG things. One sister in our ward is still just struggling so much with her heath and they cannot find anything to treat. She talked of how some days when she can't see and is falling and can't read, walk or drive that she has been questioning whether or not she is enduring well.  She shared her testimony of discovering that physically she is not doing well, but that enduring well to the end to her meant that she would be able to maintain her testimony through it all and in the end be able to share that love and faith in Christ with others.  Amazing...people are amazing!
There is this new show on BYU TV where a guy gets to drop a pen on a map and then goes to wherever it lands and searches out people to tell their "story"!  I WANT this job...The first episode I watched was a lady that was at first very excited to see them, because her husband loved their show, she called her husband to come home from work,10 minutes away, as a surprise because the camera crew was all there. It was funny because as he drove up, he just kept driving by. He does love their show, but he wasn't ready to tell his story. So the lady asked if they wanted to take a casserole dish back to her neighbor a few miles away and talk with them?
So this new family, when approached was unsure of their story being any thing special.  Seriously, she talked of their kids, their neighborhood and was just very humble when she "mentioned" that her husband had donated a kidney!  The even more amazing part of their story was that several years back they had come upon hard times, they started interviewing the husband and he started telling the story that he wasn't in the church at the time that his family was struggling, he was having a hard time finding work, and one day he decided he needed to go and serve. He went to the hospital, and as he was serving had the impression that he needed to donate a kidney. He started the process which is lengthy and long to donate a kidney... just open donation, no one in particular that he knew needed one or that he could be a match for. The day that he was to donate he met a teen-aged kid that needed the kidney after three years of dialysis. He donated the kidney, the kid is now a man with three children and a family living a great life. They are good friends to this day. 

The man was very humble in telling his story and how once he did serve and donate the kidney, that after that he was able to provide for his family and find jobs and they were now living in a beautiful home and doing very well. So amazing right. So inspiring to me.  I would just love to travel the world listening to people's stories!
The other job that I really want.. I met a man that is a financial adviser. He has three older-in age siblings as clients that live on a farm. They have never been married and live in the same house that they were born in, they are each worth several million dollars from a well run family farm and business.  They live humbly and he financially advises them how to give away their money each year. He helps them invest to make more money and sell off their land. They give away millions each year. I want that job too! Wouldn't that be amazing! 

I think you are amazing.  I hope that you are sharing your story and faith in enduring well to inspire and encourage others who might be struggling.  No two trials are the same, however, the need for the peace of the atonement is universally felt, whether for peace from sins or being sinned against, of discouragement or loss of faith,m there are similarities that can bind people to one another and the atonement.

All my love, MOM

So my mom emailed me about a show on BYU-TV where a guy gets to go around the world and ask people their story and hear about the amazing things people do. Dream job right? 

I'm lucky because I get the chance to basically be the host of that show but without camera's. Every person's home we go into and teach I get to ask them their life story. It's amazing I get to see the amazing trials that people go through as well as the things that people do. So I'd like to share some of those today.

4 days ago we chased a lady down from across the street in the rain to ask her if she'd ever talked to missionaries before. She had Mormon friends and respects our church a lot. In the 5 minutes of standing there in the cold getting to know her she told us how Christlike service has shaped her life. She is about 60 right now and has adopted 4 teenage children from orphanages in Chicago. When they first got there they were trouble children who didn't trust anybody in the world. They are now all on the honor roll at their high school, all play a musical instrument, and they are being recognized as 4 of like 20 kids in Iowa for outstanding improvement and are going on a trip to Europe. Those kids lives have been completely changed by this 1 Christlike woman.

Pierre never ceases to amaze me. He is a refugee from Burundi. Speaks 6 languages and is the president of the African community here in CR. Every waking minute of the day he is not working he is helping African people or teaching them the gospel. Usually both at the same time. The other day he asked us for help moving in his new table and chairs. I asked him where his old table went, he had a nice table. He told me there was a family that just moved here from Congo so he gave it away to them. He has 4 adopted children who are in a refugee camp in Kenya right now, surrounded by wars and gunshots everyday and he is working on getting them over here to America to be safe. 

Chris is an investigator that we are teaching right now. He grew up in Chicago. He was dropped off on a street corner when he was 12 years old and told good luck with life. He sold drugs as 13 year old to be able to feed himself. He is now 32. He moved here to CR to get away from the Chicago lifestyle, but within the last year has gone through a divorce and several other life changing events. He has been praying for God to lead him to good people and help him find his way back. We talked to him in front of a KFC downtown, taught him that Saturday at the Library, and he came to General Conference the next day. He said he knew when he heard the prophet speak that this was his answer to his prayer. That God still loves him and hasn't forgotten him. Yesterday at church he had over 20 people walk up to him, introduce themselves, and tell him they were glad he was there. He knows he has found where God wants him to be. 

Man I could write pages and pages of stories that I have heard over the last 14 months. They almost all relate to the same principles we teach in the restoration: God is our LOVING Heavenly Father, He blesses individuals and families as we live the gospel, He sent his son Jesus Christ so that we could overcome the pain and sadness and sin of this life and have peace in this life and joy in eternity. I love the gospel.

This week Sam will be getting baptized on Saturday! But he and Sophie are only tribally married... And they need to be legally married to get baptized... So we're going to get him married on Friday and baptized on Saturday!! Pray for him and us! I'll have another great week to report next week!

Love you all go out and serve somebody this week! You could be the one their waiting for to answer their prayers.

Love Elder Cox

“The sure way to peace and happiness in this life and life hereafter is to serve the Lord today and every day.”—President Marion G. Romney

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April 2016 Conference Weekend

Zone Conf

The Pitchforth's and the Hecht's. 2 of the families we watched conference with.

Wow this week has been so packed full of so many things I've learned. We had Zone conference on Thursday the General conference. I love learning the gospel just as much as I love teaching it!

I'll start off with an update about our investigators then move on to things I learned with the time I have left. 

Sam Cole is doing amazing. He came and played basketball with us last P-day and he's a beast. He's like 6'4 and used to be able to dunk it he says. He met with Bishop Kilgore this last week and they talked about how after he's baptized he can start working toward the temple to be sealed to his family a year after he's baptized. So he's super pumped to be baptized April 16th so he can start the countdown of when they can be sealed together!!

We also started teaching Chris Brown this week. Taught him Saturday morning here at the library and then he came to conference yesterday. He was real excited about the idea of having a prophet here on Earth and then when we told him he could come watch him the next day he said it was a dream come true. He's gonna follow the prophet foreva-eva-eva and eva-eva-eva and eva-eva-eva! (Sorry bad Chris Brown joke, we've been making them all week.)

Elder Sessions and I gave a training at Zone Conference about commitments, We titled it "Commitment keeping investigators BECOME covenant keeping members". As always we learned more studying and preparing for it than I'm sure anyone else got out of it, but the idea was reinforced by many talks in conference that the reason and purpose for the things we do in the gospel is to help us BECOME what Heavenly Father wants us to become. More Christlike. 

Then General Conference. Man. I should just photocopy my notes and send them home there was so much I learned. But I'll leave the Ensign for that. Some of my favorite's were Elder Hallstrom's about our identity as a Child of God, Elder Bednar's about always retaining a remission of our sins through understanding the relationship between Baptism, the Holy Ghost, and Sacrament.

And my personal favorite for this session was President Monson's 2 brief but POWERFUL testimonies. Sunday morning we had a prophet of God expound to us the purpose of life in about 5 minutes, bear his firm, confident, unwavering testimony of the truthfulness of it, and sit down. Such a powerful lesson about the simple truths of the gospel and the power of testimony. 

I know that he is a prophet. I felt the spirit bear testimony of it to me as sure as I'm typing these words. Follow the prophet.

Love you all 
Love Elder Cox

"You can have what you want, or you can have something better."