Sunday, November 23, 2014

The pizza eating challenge

Baptism photo
Okay so first things first: I ate a pizza. Here's the story:
I ate a big pizza.
Okay but really, there's this place called Venezios that sells pizza, right? Well apparently they have a pizza-eating challenge that includes you and a friend eating a 24-inch "party pizza" in under an hour. If you complete the challenge you get a free t-shirt, and your picture on the wall of the restaurant. We went out to eat there with a recent convert and he said he always wanted to do it but no one was ever man enough to accept the challenge. Having my bowels filled with mercy I accepted the challenge, soon to have my bowels filled with pizza instead. Long story short, we did it. We ate the whole pizza in 31 minutes. I even wrote "" at the top of our picture before it was put on the wall. Really what I'm getting at is, I'm awesome.

We had MLC this week again. Man, I swear there's an MLC every week. Truthfully, we're in the latter part of November and it's just that time again. Weird. Six quick weeks! Anyway, the analogy was made of missionary work to a war. Christ is our leader and we're all fighting sin and the adversary, etc. Pretty cool. Not much more to it!

So uh, yeah, Bailey got baptized. That was pretty legit! Her family was suuuper mean about it, but she did it anyway! Props to her. It was a great service and holy cow, you should've heard her testimony. She straight-up wrote a talk and shared it at her baptism. It was soo legit. I don't know how to describe it other than she gets it. She's on par with any of us with her understanding of the gospel, I think. Pretty awesome!

Other than that all our investigators either got baptized or completely stopped contact with us for the past few weeks. I guess we're back to square 1 with a pretty dry teaching pool and a lot of finding to do. I have high hopes about the Christmas season though! Hopefully people will understand that the Spirit of Christmas is the Spirit of Christ. I think we can "sell" them on the fact that we can have that feeling with us all the time. Way cool blessing!

OH YEAH! I almost forgot about the Temple dedication! We watched all 3 sessions at the Institute building yesterday and it was super legit. Bailey even got to go, and Jodie was there too! Way cool experience for them. I remember not too long ago saying very similar things about a recent convert Karen and her being able to watch the Gilbert Temple dedication. Deja vu. Man how time flies! Anyway, we got to hear from President Uchtdorf and Monson as well as Elder Oaks, Elder Robins (one of my favorites) and others. Good stuff.

Welp... that's all folks. The church is true! Love ya.

-Elder Cox

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Here's a picture we took at the Phoenix Temple open house. Yes, it's just a backdrop picture. Pretty classy though!
Sup family?

Our ward had another baptism! It was an investigator the sisters were teaching named Katie. Katie's legit! She's actually the person who referred that cool jazz bass kid Gabe. She referred him long before she was even baptized. Also awesome, last month she bore her testimony on fast Sunday. How cool is that?! She wasn't even a member yet and she got up there and testified of how she knew the gospel was true. Our converts have been preeeetty legit as of late.

Speaking of legit converts, Bailey is getting baptized this weekend! We're super stoked for her too. She has been involved in the ward choir and has played special musical numbers at church and other peoples' baptisms since waaay before she was a member! Seriously, our investigators are just members... that... aren't baptized. Anyway, she's really excited! She still hasn't talked to her parents about it, and we aren't sure when she's going to, but we're leaving that up to her. We pray for the best!

To add to our awesome investigators being awesome, Gabe said the closing prayer for Elder's Quorum last week. So... that's pretty legit too.

Jodie is still doing way good! She had a lot of concerns about going to the temple for baptisms and we did everything we could to resolve them. We didn't think she was convinced, but turns out she had an interview with the Bishop and we're pretty sure she went last week. Super cool! Usually after baptism we teach the "new member lessons" which is just the same 5 lessons retaught. We started those last week, and instead of us teaching her the Restoration, we role-played her teaching us and we pretended to be nonmembers! Sweet right? To top it all off, we gave her a hard-copy Preach My Gospel. Last week she texted us as she was hanging out with her friend and telling us how she got her to accept a Book of Mormon! She was talking about Creation and Genesis with her friend, then tied in Agency, somehow brought up Moroni 10, and her friend accepted it. What the heck? We told her we might as well give her a nametag. She even gave her friend a "will you" commitment invitation to read every day. I don't even know what else to say. Just "wow".

We got a couple other people that are awesome! We get a lot of referrals, which is always good. Member work is just the way to go!

As for me, I'm still great of course. We literally have the coveted spot of the mission. Being in University ward, in the Tempe YSA zone. Super legit. Our zone also doubled in size after transfers. Usually President would have each set of Zone Leaders be in a YSA ward, and they would be in charge of whatever zone is in their area. Things are changing recently where President wants to have ZL's for every Stake in the mission. So, since the YSA wards are in the YSA stake, they changed things around. Essentially, everyone in our zone is either a District Leader, Sister Training Leader, former Zone Leader, or a brand new trainee. Isn't that legit? Such a powerhouse. We were looking at our zone during planning and realized that 7 of the Elders are former ZL's and going home within 2 transfers. Anyway, I guess all I'm saying is... it's legit. I don't anticipate having too many issues within the zone. We are so blessed!

Anywho... that's all folks. Have a great week!

-Elder Cox
The angel of death has passed by me! I finally get to stay! Looks like it's another 6 weeks of ASU! Elder Erikson is staying as well, but our third, Elder Baker, is training somewhere else... So that's a bummer.

I don't even know where to begin this week. Can you believe that it's already November? What the heck? I swear it's still August. Probably because up until today it's been 90 degrees still. Today it finally got a super cold 62 degrees. We're wearing sweaters. I'm not joking. It's freezing. I'm going to die next winter.

Let's see here... had a pretty good week. Lots of our cool investigators have flaked SO hard this week, which is lame, but we did get to teach some people. Sterling has especially been off the radar, but we'll get him. Something weird happens when you put people on date for baptism. Satan just attacks them immediately and you just have to fight for their souls for the next few weeks. It's crazy! He'll make it though!

As for Halloween, you guess it mom! We just went around party-hopping at all the wild parties on ASU campus. It was crazy! Not really though. We had to be in our apartment by 5:00 so... you can imagine how the evening went. Actually, you probably wouldn't guess. My roommates all wanted to go to the apartment gym and work out for 2 hours. For me, the 5:30 workout is good enough. So I went to another missionary apartment and played Clue. It was SO wild. I guessed Mrs. White in the Study with the Pipe, but she actually did it with the wrench. Life in the mission can be so hard sometimes! :'(

Haha we had fun. We were also fasting for Bailey on Halloween. She is going to talk to her parents about her baptism really soon. They're not super supportive so we're hoping she can have the Spirit tell her what to say and that her parents would be receptive. Hoping for the best!

Saturday we actually did go to a party. With the whole "JustServe" thing going (have I talked about that? Probably not. Look it up) we volunteered for the ASU day of service to help set up for the Homecoming Block party that they had before ASU's homecoming game against the U of U. So that was pretty fun. It reminded me a lot of Murray's Arts Fest. It was super weird because we were all just in normal clothes with our nametags on just going around helping people set stuff up. It was pretty legit though! I wish we could've gone to the game but, no dice. ASU won though, in case anyone was wondering. ;) We got a picture with Sparky, the ASU mascot before we left though. Pretty sweeeet.

Other than that, we're meeting with Gabe again tomorrow. Last week we asked him why he wasn't baptized (pretty much just straight up) and the only reason he gave is because he feels like he doesn't know enough people, and that his family would be un-supportive. So we asked him to pray about a baptismal date and get back to us. Hopefully that will happen tomorrow!

Janette accepted baptism for the 22nd as well, but we're pretty much for sure going to have to pass her off to someone else. Darn!

Drew wasn't there on Sunday, so no update on him.

I dunno, other than that I'm just SUPER stoked about staying here. This ward is the bessst. With transfers, two of our sisters are going to train. Sister Lin is a missionary from Taiwan and speaks Chinese. We just happen to have like 4 visa-waiters coming to our mission that are headed to Taiwan! So we're certain that her and the sister she lives with are both going to train the Chinese visa-waiters. We're going to have our own little Chinese zone. Ni Hao!

The church is true. We got to hear from Elder Uchtdorf and Christofferson on a Stake Conference broadcast yesterday. Super cool! The Phoenix temple is getting dedicated in two weeks. Big things here in AZ folks. Big things. The work is hastening! Jump on the train before it takes off without you!