Elder Davis B Cox

Elder Davis B Cox

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

August 14, 2016 - The Roller coaster

So as missionaries we teach people everyday that the Old Testament is like a roller coaster. There's a high point when people are following the prophet, prospering, etc. Then they get prideful, reject the prophet, stone them, drop down to apostasy. Over and over and over. 

Missions are a lot like a roller coaster too. Last week was definitely one of the higher points of my mission. We were teaching tons everyday, Michaela came to church, new awesome missionary minded medical students were moving into the ward and being bomb fellow shippers already. Then this week was kinda not so much. Had probably 9/10 appointments fall through everyday this week. But still tons of miracles!

This week I was on exchanges with Elder Mattice on Thursday (my 18 month mark, finished my sister mission as I got reminded several times) and we taught a guy named Dewitt. He knew the bible super well, prayed a ton (even had a extra bedroom that he kept zero furniture in that he called his prayer room) but had never found a church that taught all the things he believed in. Come to find out several of his "can't fit into a church" beliefs are common LDS beliefs (Heavenly Father and Christ are separate, there is more than just Heaven and Hell, Christs church should have apostles, etc.) It was amazing to see how even though he had not believed in organized religion for quite a while, the Lord had been preparing him through his spiritual experiences of reading and praying to give him even more truth!

Also got back in contact with Chris and Tarah. Taught them the Word of Wisdom which they accepted amazingly and we are teaching them the Stop smoking workshop tonight with a sweet member their friends with. They're getting married Sept 18th by bishop and baptized the next Saturday! They're going ring shopping this week so Elder Devenport and I had a super fun time with them getting pumped about that. 

Vocal Point is in Des Moines right now. They have a concert tomorrow but they're doing a fireside tonight at the Stake Center so that will be sweet! We're also going to the Iowa State Fair tomorrow with some of the other missionaries. It's been talked up quite a bit by the Iowans and apparently is ranked like 2nd best State Fair in the country? So that will be sweet and hopefully I'll take enough pictures there to make up for me this being the only picture I've taken all week... :)

Love you all,
Love Elder Cox

August 21, 2016 - Sabbath Day Miracles

Well I am getting to email a little late today because this day has been so full of the most amazing miracles. Here we go!

1. We were sitting in sacrament meeting with Chris and Tarah, and Bro. Henderson peaked his head in and said there was a man in the hall who just showed up and wanted to take the discussions. So we stepped out and there was a few Chinese young adults in the foyer. One of them (Ming) had just barely come from China and didn't speak English but had been going to church over in China with one of his friends. We set up a lesson to teach them after church @ 2:00. 

2. Same story with Ming & Crew, but another miracle. So once we got back to Sunday School we texted all the missionaries in the Des Moines area to find someone who spoke Mandarin so we could teach Ming. Turns out Brother Liu, in the bishopric in one of the other wards, is from China. So we stepped out and called him and he was able to come to the lesson. Ran to the mission office really quick and picked up Mandarin supplies Resto pamphlets and BoM's. Had an AMAZING lesson with them in the chapel overflow at 2 and they want to be baptized and are going to come to church next week!

3. Chris and Tarah came to church this morning! Chris said he woke up this morning and just felt really good that he was going to be coming to church and "felt Jesus' love very strong". 

4. After sacrament they talked with Bishop about him marrying them so they're getting married Sep 18th! Then baptized the next Saturday!

5. After Sacrament they also met Bro. Stieler, who has a son with a similar mental disability and was able to give them a lot of peace about bringing their son to church. 

6. While they were talking the Primary President walked up and introduced herself and also reassured them of bringing their kids that they would be taken care of. Chris and Tarah said it was an answer to their prayers and are bringing the whole family next week!

7. A man from Nigeria named Bronson showed up to church today. His family joined the church about 10 years ago in Africa and his dad is a bishop over there and he's super solid. He brought his Fiancee Laura with him and she wants to be taught and baptized!

8. Bronson also brought another close friend, Gloria, who also loved church and wants to be taught and have her and her kids be baptized!

9. This one happened yesterday but still a miracle. So if you remember a few months ago in Cedar Rapids Elder Sessions and I were teaching a lady named Christy. She quit smoking right before I left and was on date to be baptized a few weeks later. But she fell off and got lost and moved to Iowa City. A few weeks ago Elder Sessions gets transferred to Iowa City, runs into her, starts teaching her again, and yesterday she was baptized!!

 Elder Devenport and I were able to drive out and go to her baptism as well as a family that got baptized yesterday that Elder Devenport taught. God's hand was so visible this week I'm just filled, overflowing with gratitude right now. I love being a missionary!!

Love you all have a great week!
Love Elder Cox

I should just end it right there on that spiritual high, but I also have tons of pictures from this week! We went to the State Fair on Monday, so you know the first picture I'm going to send from that is going to have some DEEP FRIED BUTTER!!

1500 pound pumpkin

 3000 pound bull

Tiny little pony

Deep Fried Oreos (Heaven!)

The last Quincy Squad pictures that will ever be taken.
Tambasco and Grow are goin home :(
Went out to Lunch with Travis & his parents after Rosario's baptism.
Best lookout over a city I've ever found in Iowa, out over Iowa City.

July 31, 2016 - Someone is Praying for You!

Hi there Elder Cox, 

Seriously again where has the month gone. This week has been FULL. Emily went to girls camp on tuesday morning...Dad left out of town tuesday night, Ben went to teachers camp Wednesday morning I worked all day at the clinic, came home and recovered the house from getting everyone packed. Worked at 7 am Thursday, then dad came home, then work and such and meetings and then I worked at the Bake shop on Friday, then Emily came home, then Ryan came home Saturday morning, a party for his return and birthday with friends, then Ben came home from camp, then a wedding reception, then Ryan took a good hit to the head and neck from a 40 foot cliff back-dive gone wrong.  He is home moving slow and everyone else is at church right now!!!
How was your week?
Jake H came home this week and gave his homecoming today.  Looks good, did great! He spoke about the different answers that we get from our prayers.  Yes, wait or no.  He relayed several experiences of these answers from his mission.  
Zac J comes home in 2 weeks, Morell is home and Logan and Cody in a few weeks.  I have to admit that I have cried as I hug your friends upon their return.  It just makes me so tender that you are still out and not home, but so grateful that you are still out and not home and makes me once again feel of the intensity of emotions in having you return!  I know, I know,  I am a big crier, They all just laugh at me as usual and then hug me again! I just love all these boys and all that you have been through. 

I wanted to share an experience with you. I was trying really hard to get to the temple this past week while everyone was gone, as you can see, the time was limited.  I wanted to go on Thrusday afternoon. The time just for some reason didn't work out.  When I realized I didn't have enough time to drive, attend and then drive home before I needed to be to a meeting in the evening, I prayed that I could use the 2 hours that I did have left serving someone.  I texted one of our neighbors that came to mind. no response. Ok.  I called Meg, No answer. okay.  My time was passing.  I decided to just take a chance and walk over to this neighbor that I had texted.  I went inside, after the kids let me in.  She looked at me and said, "I just got your text but my phone is not working to text back, but what's up?  I said," I have some time and I wanted to spend it here, what do you need?"  She said,  "oh, I am fine!"  I got started talking to the kids, then turned around to see her in tears and announcing that she was fine, but going to take a break, get a drink and go for a drive with Sister Cox.  We had a needed drive to Fiiz and an even more needed 1 1/2 hour counseling and empowering conversation. She thanked me for being the answer to an early prayer that day. 
She left feeling like she would handle the next issue that would surely come just a little better now and I left feeling like Heavenly Father knows just what she needed and just what I needed. Answers to prayers are available.  Sometimes we just need to ask and even more we need to listen and then take action.

I love you, MOM

Wow that's awesome. I have half my mass email written and that's literally exactly what I've had on my mind a lot this week. The title I wrote for my email is "Someone's praying for you". Then I just read this and was like wow, my mom is so in tune with the Spirit, I love you!

So I know you all want to know what the Tower of Invincibility is. So you can either wait til the end or skip down to the pictures and see that it's a real thing.

This week was great Sam got confirmed! He's such a stud he's going to get the priesthood hopefully in 2 weeks and be passing the sacrament and coming out teaching with us. He's a humble spiritual BEAST. 
We also had an amazing lesson with Kay this week. She is the lady we are teaching from Thailand who is waiting for First Presidency approval to be baptized (It's gonna come soon). She told us her full conversion story. From finding a BoM in prison (which she read and learned English from) as well as a History of the Church book which she read. Once she got out of prison she said she needed a bible so her sister's friend found a link for a free bible online and the next day Elder Lords and Elder Banta got a media referral text and showed up on her doorstep with a bible. The rest is history, she's read up to 3 Nephi (twice, in Thai and English), had all the missionary lessons and been to church 17 times. I love conversion stories.

Before I get to the Tower of Invincibility I have to explain the first part of the subject line, which is super cool. 
This week Elder Devenport and I were giving a training to about 32 missionaries from every zone in the mission. At the end we were bearing our testimonies and I just had this very strong impression to just start promising a blessing and the words would be put in my mouth. What ended up coming out was the Spirit (not me) promising every missionary in that room that somebody in their area was praying for them to come knock on their door. Whether they were praying for God to send them a church, praying for guidance, whatever it was. Someone was praying for them.

I've had very few times in my life where the Spirit has confirmed the words I said as strongly as that, a few times on my mission, once in college when I was giving a blessing. It's a humbling feeling and those are each moments that I will never forget. 

This week we were on exchanges down in Fairfield after a meeting and there was a woman walking about a block ahead of us. She turned to walk across the road and saw us behind her out of the corner of her eye. Usually this is the point where people start speed walking as fast as they can. But this lady pulled out her phone and started walking a little slower (waiting for us to catch up to her) once we got up to her we started talking to her and she said "You're the Elders right? I met with some missionaries a while ago but didn't listen to them as much as I should've. But now I'm going through some tough times and want to start meeting with you again." There's so many prepared people everywhere!

Alright now speaking of Fairfield that leads to the Tower of Invincibility... So Fairfield Iowa is the Transcendental Meditation capital of the world. If you want to know what that involves just go to Youtube and type in "Yogic flying". Ya. So here's some pictures of the big gold domes that they "fly" in and the Tower of Invincibility. Super interesting stuff, I learned a lot about a new culture :)

Stayed at the Love's sweet house in the middle of the cornfields of
for a night and got some apricots.

Also got to go on exchanges while in Cedar Rapids and have dinner with the Pitchforth's! 
(they knew I was coming so they made the famous PMS cake. Heaven)

And see Austin!

Monday, August 15, 2016

August 7, 2016 - Best testimony Meeting Ever!

Today was such a sweet day!! We had hands down THE best testimony meeting I've been to my whole mission, probably my whole life. There was so many great testimonies, starting off with the Stake Presidents. Then 2 of our Recent Converts in the ward, Sam who just got baptized 3 weeks ago, and Hannah who just got baptized a month and half ago, got up and both gave SUPER powerful testimonies about how learning the gospel, being baptized, and being members of the Church has helped them realize their divine worth and how much Heavenly Father loves them. They both expressed so much gratitude for the missionaries and the members in their lives I felt once again the Spirit saying that there are so many people out there looking for the gospel, praying for it. It's all of our duties to bring it to them.

This week I was humbled and awestruck at the success we were able to have. At the beginning of the week Elder Devenport and I kind of felt like we were white washing the area (Since Elder Lords and I were out of town basically the whole transfer before and had only had 4 full days in our area). We had recently baptized all of our progressing investigators and were kind of starting over fresh. So we studied Ch. 9 of Preach my Gospel "Having the faith to find". Went out to work and put our trust in the Lord that there was prepared souls. And were super blessed with so many people who wanted to hear the gospel. Our teaching pool went from 8 people on Tuesday to 23 people now! A few were able to come to church and we're super excited for what these upcoming weeks are going to bring!

We also taught the Gospel Principles class today since our Ward Mission Leader was out of town. The lesson was on Fasting and even though there was only about 8 people in the class it was awesome. It was especially cool because we are fasting today with one of our investigators Jiovan. He is visiting his family (the coolest member family in the world the McPherson's) from Jamaica and goes home next Friday. He's come to church the last 5 weeks and is thinking about being baptized before he goes back to Jamaica but was struggling with the decision. He was in the class today and made some awesome comments about fasting, so we'll find out tonight what his answer is!

I didn't take any pictures this week but here's a few from some of the Zone Training Meetings we went to last week that people with other cameras emailed me :) And the departing missionaries when we all stayed in a members home in Nauvoo after the pageant.

Love ya have a great week!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

July 24, 2016 - Sam was baptized and Patience was confirmed!

"Best Day of Sam's Life!" Sam was baptized and Patience was confirmed
This week has been crazy with transfers going on but it ended with a bang with Sam getting baptized on Saturday! He was super prepared and one of the most humble people I ever taught. His only concern came after we taught him the Law of Tithing. He was concerned that he wouldn't be able to fully commit and fully contribute as a covenant baptized member of the Church because he was currently between jobs so didn't have any income to pay tithing. We assured him the Lord understands and we know that he is willing. He was excited to pay fast offerings to contribute to the poor and needy even though his circumstances aren't the best right now.

Other than that we set a date for Chris and Tarah to get married! Marriage Sep 10, Baptism Sep 17! That seems like an eternity away but it's comin in hot it's crazy how fast July is going by. 

Hearing the incoming missionaries and departing missionaries testimonies is always my favorite part of transfer week. I learn so much every time, hear so many amazing missionary and conversion stories. But the most powerful testimonies are always those that are focused on Jesus Christ and the Atonement. Everything else is an appendage to that. 

Dropping off Elder Lords at the airport at 5 a.m. Saying goodbye to Elder Lords was tough. When you've been companions with someone twice and get along that well it's hard to have him leave. But I'll be visiting him up in Rexburg sometime and hopefully he doesn't get married before I get home so I can be his best man. 

Love you all have a great week!

Best day of Sam's life!