Monday, May 26, 2014

New address:

Elder Dylan Cox
2155 S 55th St. #1010
Tempe, AZ
Thaaat's right. I'm now an ASU Mormon MIssionary! I will be serving in Tempe now. My companion is Elder Bressler from Rexburg, Idaho. He's a super cool guy! I can tell already that we'll get along just fine. So far being a zone leader isn't that bad, just some logistical stuff going on. I haven't really had to do a lot considering it's only been a couple days, but so far it's kind of fun! It's funny because one of my old zone leaders, Elder Jacobsen stepped down to train for his last transfer in his mission and he's actually in my zone. So I'm a zone leader to my old zone leader. Still don't know what President was thinking putting Elder Bressler and I in the YSA ward at ASU, but I promise I won't party too hard. It is summer here, so it's going to be different finding people because... everyone moved back home for the summer... but it should still be a success! The work here is absolutely 100% completely different than the other areas I've been in. Because our teaching pool is so... specific... being 18-30 year old unmarried people, we really have to rely on members referring us to their friends. It's a totally different beast of missionary work, but like I say. It should be fun! It's weird to think that my first day in the mission field we were dropped off at ASU campus and had to street contact. Now I'm back!

Remember my trainer, Elder Forson? When we were split up he actually came to this ward and that's when I went to Trailside. He had been here ever since, but he actually ended up being an Assistant to the President so I just came in and took his place. We live with the Assistants, so I'm living with Elder Forson and Elder Jurgensmeier (old zone leader) again. Crazy fun!

Because the Assistants are in my zone, I had the chance to interview one of their investigators for baptism! It was only my second interview I've ever given, and the first one was with a nine year old kid. It was a pretty interesting experience being able to do that.

The cool thing about ASU campus is that there is sooo much diversity. There are a TON of Chinese people that go to school here, so I've already had the chance a little bit to speak the tiny bits of Chinese that I know. Maybe I'll be able to learn more and baptize a bunch of Chinese people! I'll keep practicing my Chinese and who knows, maybe I'll be fluent by the time I get home. Probably not, but maybe?

It really is weird working here. In order to work on ASU you have to be yourself and not be a robotic type of missionary. It's a lot of fun, because really we just talk to people our same age about the gospel. I feel like I'm just a college student that wears a name-tag all day and talks to a bunch of cool kids about the gospel. Makes me feel hip and groovy hanging with the cool cats. Yo.

Other than that, not a whole lot to say. It's been a super crazy week with much more craziness ahead. More responsibility and challenge is always fun. I'm glad that God has blessed me with peace and patience that I have to be able to endure so well. Not that it's super hard or anything, but I know without his help I'd be... helpless! With him though, I'm conquering the world and it's great. I'm having a blast!

Love y'all! -Elder Cox
It's that time again. God still has a sense of humor, because apparently he thinks that I want to be a Zone Leader. He's wrong, but I'll do my best anyway! I'm finally leaving Phoenix zone after about 9 months of being here. It's been super awesome and I've made tons of missionary friends, met a lot of new people and I'm sad to leave this stake. At the same time, I'm ready for a change of scenery and another challenge. Should be fun! I'll let you know my address and stuff by next week.

Crazy to hear about the baby twins! Congratulations Liz! They look sssooooo cute! Just think, they'll be walking around and such by the time I get to meet them. Craazy! Super happy for you!!

In other news, I saw Brian on of my former investigators the other day at Stake Conference. It was awesome to see that guy. Honestly, I've never seen such a powerful testimony of the change that can be brought through the Atonement. Brian was a completely different person than when I was teaching him. It was so sweet to see a smile on his face and that he was surrounded by people that care about him. I love seeing the progress of people. Such a sweet moment! The Atonement really isn't a joke. It's real life stuff. It actually happened. I see it!

We've got a couple kids getting baptized this weekend. Unfortunately I won't be able to make it to the baptism due to transfers. Still really cool that they're finally able to be baptized. They're one of those that's just ssooo ready and they've been taking lessons from so many missionaries and now they're finally being baptized. Super good!

Other than that, the biggest news is that I'm leaving. We're having a couple family home evenings today, one with a part-member family and the other with the Price's and the Indian children as usual. I'm really going to miss this area, but like I say. God probably knows what he's doing. Good to hear everyone's doing well! The Gospel is true! The Atonement is real! The Book of Mormon is true! Love y'all! -Elder Cox

Monday, May 12, 2014

Since I talked to the fam yesterday, this letter should be quick! I realized that when you asked me if there were any new people I was teaching, that I could have elaborated more on the people we are still teaching. We aren't really teaching anyone new, but we have made some progress with some of the people we are teaching! Remember Marie from Haiti who only speaks French and Creole? Well we've been pretty frustrated at trying to teach her because it so difficult with the language barrier. Even with a translator there, it's almost impossible to know where she's at. We've been teaching her for a while and we've almost wanted to just give up, feeling that she hasn't gotten anywhere. We had a lesson with her on Friday and she told us that she's gotten to Alma in the Book of Mormon. She talked to our translator for a bit and he turns and tells us, "She says she's interested in baptism. She wants to get baptized in a month." What in the world?! Huge testament of the Book of Mormon for me. I feel like we literally haven't taught her anything or said anything to help her progress in the gospel. Literally all of her desire to be baptized comes from the Book of Mormon. How amazing is that? The Book of Mormon truly has converting power! We've been teaching an unbaptized youth named Dakota for a little while and he came to church today for the first time in years! I was so excited to see him and the rest of his family there! It'll only be a matter of time before we get him excited about accepting a baptismal date! Other good news is that Mark M. who we've been teaching for a while is getting married this weekend, so stay tuned for more news on him! The other Mark, Mark S. had his baby blessed last week. I'm not sure if I ever mentioned it, but they invited Elder Phillips and I to be a part of the blessing! It was a super cool experience! He also came to the church and played basketball with the Elder's Quorum on Saturday. Pretty awesome! Anyway, that's all folks! It was good seeing everyone yesterday! -Elder Cox
May 5 No surprise there. It gets hotter every day. The mornings are still at a cool 80 degrees or so, but pretty soon it'll be 100 every morning. The member we live with keeps his AC at a crisp, cold 85 degrees so I've started piling on extra sweaters and blankets to be able to deal with the chill! Well, not exactly. More like I rub ice on my face at 12:30 and drink lots of ice-water in the middle of the night. I ain't seen nothin' yet though! Craaaazy! This week was pretty similar to any other week! We had some really good trainings given by President Toone though. He went to a mission president's seminar thing that Elder Bednar was in charge of, and we got some really cool insight out of it. The main theme of it was, "Act, don't be acted upon". He told a story of Elder Bednar's son who was trying to do his home-teaching. Every month they'd go to this family's house and knock on the door and they wouldn't answer. They knew they were inside but they wouldn't come to the door. This happened month after month and finally Bednar Junior called Elder Bednar up and asked him for advice. Elder Bednar just told him to act and not be acted upon, and wouldn't give any advice more than that. After pondering for a moment, Bednar Junior bows his head with his home-teaching companion and offers a prayer, and uses his Melchizedek Priesthood to bless the home and the family. It's a pretty awesome story! It rings very true in missionary work as well. Moral of the story: Act. We were assigned to give a talk this upcoming Sunday for Mother's Day. I guess the bishopric thought it would be funny to assign us to talk about our Mom's to make us super trunky on Mother's day. But, I'm excited to tell my ward about my super awesome Mama and how super and awesome she is. Love you Mom! Sorry I don't have like tons of stories to tell. I think I've started taking those simple tender mercies and miracles for granted. I'll do better at looking for those instead of taking them for granted! Hope y'all have a good week! -Elder Cox
April 28 So funny story. We were out with one of our ward missionaries, brother Lines. I asked brother Lines what his favorite kind of music was, etc. etc. We got to talking and it turns out that brother Lines used to be a bass player. Naturally, I asked if he had a bass, and he does. He told me that he has a Fender P-bass, and described it as kind of a cream white with a white pickguard. I told him about my bass and started geeking out about bass stuff and he said "wow, you're really into this stuff aren't you?" "Uh, yeah. I don't play around when it comes to bass." He said something like "well, you can have my bass if you want!" "Absolutely not, I can't take that thing away from you!" He encouraged me by telling me that it's been stored in his closet for over 10 years, and he hasn't even taken it out of its case in that long. I continued to resist, but he ended up driving us over to his house. He brings the bass out and his 14-year-old daughter said that she had never even known that it existed. Long story short, he twisted my arm into taking his Fender P-bass. I very quickly remembered that Taylor had a bass fairly similar to it that was stolen. So Taylor, in like 16 months I got a bass you can have! It's not quite the same as yours though... It was made in Korea and it actually says "Squire" on it in fine print, so it's not quite the real deal. In any case, I have a bass for ya. It's all yours. Do you still play my bass? I hope you do. Someone has to :'( Other than that craziness, this week has been pretty routine! Such as it is with missionary life, there's not a whole lot of variety in the day-to-day work. The only real difference is the people you meet. And... when people give you basses. I'm loving the people here though. The people that we are teaching are super awesome and I love 'em. We're still trying to work with our ward members better to be able to find God's children that are ready to hear the gospel. It's a work in progress, but there really is a lot of potential here, so I'm excited to see it grow! Other than that, I really wish I could do family history work. I guess the Spirit of Elijah is just giving me a super hard time or something. In any case, keep doing family history work! It's super important! That's all I got for ya this week. Love y'all! Choose the right! Baptize 'err buddy! -Elder Cox