Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Good week this week! Happy Easter! We had dinner with a member family and had fish and honey (separately) because that's what Jesus ate after he was resurrected. I couldn't help but feel a little guilty of the past 19 years, because I feel like I've never really thought about the Atonement during Easter. Usually I find my basket and play video games or something. Having Easter on my mission kind of put things into perspective, I guess in a similar way that a mission Christmas does. It really helps focus thoughts on the Savior! We have a lot of really awesome people we're teaching. It's kind-of funny to see what obstacles are put in our way trying to help these people enter the covenant of baptism. We compare "solid" people to low-hanging fruit. If you're going to pluck fruit from a tree you aren't going to get a ladder and try to get the ones from the top that aren't even ripe yet, you're going to find the lowest one, and pick it. Same for investigators. It's just funny because a lot of our "low-hanging fruit" seems to have wasp nests right next to them. It's interesting to see what barriers need to be overcome. It just goes to show that the price of salvation doesn't come easy! It's all very worth it though. It wouldn't be any fun if all we did was walk around the bottom of the tree and pluck off fruit without any opposition! That's the thrill of the game! So I'm re-learning the importance of members in missionary work. It really makes so much of a difference. It's like walking around and trying to pick wasp-protected fruit, but you have a bee-keeper walking along with you. You see, you aren't always going to be at that same tree. At some point the mission president calls you and you have to go tend another tree. The bee-keeper though, is always going to be tending that--... alright, this analogy isn't working anymore. You get the point! Anyway, we've noticed that if we exercise the faith and bring a member out with us even if we have no lessons scheduled, God will always provide! Even if our appointment cancels, we almost always find someone to teach, and we help that member have a good missionary experience! Super fun! Not a whole lot more to report on this week! It's been awesome, and I still love this work. This area is BOOMIN and I'm super excited to be a part of it! This part of Laveen has been pretty uncultivated over the past couple years, and so to have a couple of fiery, go-get-em Elders in this area is a very good thing. It also helps that our Ward Mission Leader is one of the best I've ever seen. This really is the place to be! The more I study and learn the more I understand that absolutely everything goes back to one simple and eternal truth: That Jesus Christ is our Savior. That's it. That's the secret. That's the "good news" of the Gospel! I'm glad that I can share that with those around me, and I hope y'all are doing the same! Love you! -Elder Cox

Monday, April 14, 2014

This week has been a bit of a slower one, but it was still awesome! We went to an Indian "Five Tribes Treaty Celebration" thing and that was cool. I completely forgot about what the history behind it was, but one of the Native American members invited us to go so we went! We were introduce to a bunch of people and even saw some of our investigators and less-active members there, so it was really good! Not only that, but we got free snowcones and frybread. Frybread is the stuff you have Navajo tacos on. Suuuuper good. I'm definitely going to learn how to make some dang good Navajo tacos! I had a pretty good experience last night. We went to visit one of our investigators and she said she was busy, come back tomorrow. The end! No just kidding! We talked to her and she said to come back tomorrow, but there was a guy leaning on a car in the driveway of the house next to our investigator. At first I didn't really think anything of it and I just opened the car door and tossed my backpack inside. Before I even closed the car door, I felt the Spirit chew me out a little bit. He basically told me, "What the heck are you doing? That guy OBVIOUSLY needs the gospel!" It's not super often that the Spirit will "yell" at you, so to speak. But, I ignored the prompting and went and got ice cream. Kidding, once again. So we talk to the guy and he told us that his wife had passed away in December, and he was still having a really rough time with it. Apparently he had met with missionaries previously in California as well. Obviously, we shared with him the doctrine of eternal families, and cheered him up and set up an appointment. Not only was this a good experience for me in following a prompting of the Spirit, but it also really put in perspective how awesome the Plan of Salvation is. The simple fact that we're going to be together forever as a family is just awesome. I'm super grateful to have that knowledge that we'll all be together "hangin out" on the other side. Other than that, like I say, it was sort of a slow week. We had 14 lessons cancel on us this week, but of course nothing gets ol' Elder Cox down! This week is going to be super awesome, and the Lord will provide! Hope y'all have a great week! Love you! -Elder Cox

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Conference was good! I'm not being transferred, neither is my companion! Woot! As far as Conference goes, one of the talks that really stood out to me was Elder Ballard's talk about missionary work! (Go figure). I'm thrilled for his invitation for members of the church to study Preach My Gospel. How awesome would it be to have members already know the content of the lessons before we even invite them to help us teach. We would hardly even have to prepare them! We would just tell them what lesson we're going to teach and what we're going to ask the investigator to do by the end of the lesson. They bear powerful testimony, become their friend, and BAM. BAPTISMS! He said something about family members emailing their missionaries about what they learned in Preach My Gospel. I think that would be pretty neat! The other talk I liked was about family history and such. I forgot who gave the talk, but it was a good one! I have wanted to do family history and temple work ever since coming out on the mission. I don't know why, but I guess the Spirit of Elijah is burning within me. I only hope that it can remain with me after I get home so I can consistently do it. Anyway, during the talk I remember thinking how awesome it is to be able to go to the Temple and have the work done for our ancestors! Super awesome! So we went by a Former Investigator family this week. I don't know why we went, but we put them in our plans and went by. It was a family and Elder Wilcox and I had visited several times and they always just kind-of blew us off. We went by again and knocked on the door and they weren't home. Cool story huh? Just kidding! So we're looking at our plans in front of their house wondering what to do next, because most of our "backup plans" had been exhausted and we weren't sure where to go next. As we were contemplating and praying about where to go, lo and behold the family pulls into the driveway! We talked to Sister Melendez (the mom) and she asked us why we stopped coming by. I reminded her that she told us that she'd give us a call, and then she never did. We were talking and she told us that her son is going through a rebellious stage right now. They were praying for guidance on what to do and how to help their son and they thought of "the Mormons". God, being who He is, helped us be an answer to their prayer. It's such a great feeling! To make a long story short, we've taught them several lessons and they're progressing towards a date for baptism! WOO! Our investigator Mark is still doing really well. We haven't been able to set a date for baptism yet because his fiance doesn't want us to pressure him into it. I guess I can understand that. He's still doing really well and reading and they're even having FHE every week! How legit is that?! He's pretty legit. Welp, that's all the news for this week. Thomas S. Monson is the prophet! Fact. I sustain him. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to listen to his counsel as well as that of our other church leadership. The keys of the Priesthood were, in fact, restored to the prophet Joseph Smith. I know this! Therefore, the church is true! Hope y'all have a great week! -Elder Cox

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

First off, I got some more pictures this week! I'm trying to get better about taking pictures and such, so I did that this week. When we walked out of our house the other day, we saw this way sweet tropical bird-looking thing! I dunno, Taylor is probably like "yeah whatever, I saw like a million of those" but it was cool to us! It landed on my bike too while we were chasing it around. The other picture is of my companion holding a giant turtle that a less-active member has on the reservation. Enjoy!
Not a super ton to report on this week! I finished the Book of Mormon challenge yesterday! I'm planning on reading through the Old Testament next, and I'm really excited about it. The Book of Mormon is a really good book. Almost every time I read I can feel a sweet peace. I know it's true! I'm glad to have had the opportunity to read through it again! Other than that news, is just the usual stuff about the people we're teaching!: I don't know if I've ever mentioned Prossy. Prossy is super solid and awesomely golden. She's read to Alma in the Book of Mormon, she knows it's true, and loves it! The only reason she isn't baptized yet is because her husband is super Catholic and really doesn't support her decision to be baptized. Darn. But we've been praying and fasting and praying some more and we're just hoping that his heart can be softened! Mark came to church again! Mark is a super solid guy as well. He really feels like this is the right direction that he wants to take his life. He's reading the Book of Mormon and even having FHE with his Fiance who is a returning member! It's only a matter of time before he's baptized. Hopefully in April! Those are the really cool people that we're working with right now. Anyone else is either flaky or super brand new so we haven't really worked with them yet! This area is way awesome though. Love it here! Uhmm, yeah that's about it! Love y'all! -Elder Cox