Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Monday, March 23, 2015

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Wow, what a week! It feels so nice to be writing in English! I love English :) SO much Spanish this week! But it`s good and I’m actually feeling somewhat confident in my ability to express myself. I was able to help a lot more in lessons and communicating with people. The gift of tongues is real!! 

Thank you for your prayers, especially if you prayed that we could find new people to teach...because we did!!! Yay!!! It really was a miracle to find the people we did. We found a girl named Olinda who is 18 and has a little 2 year old baby. She lives with her boyfriend but they are thinking about separating which she is scared about. She is so sweet and came to church with us this week!!! She also accepted to be baptized but not a date yet, please pray for her. We also found another lady named Jovanah when we were walking down the street to another appointment. She was walking with a lady my comp knew so while my comp talked to the other lady I talked to her. She was super quiet and timid but I tried to ask how her day went and stuff like that. She said she was really sad and having a hard time and then stopped and turned to me and said I need one of your prayers, please pray for me. So we stopped right there in the street and said a prayer for her all together. She moved here by herself to work and is having a hard time adjusting and feeling at ease. We taught her a little about prayer and have another lesson with her this week. Please pray for her too. And for Maritza, another one of our investigators. She is an older lady that is so sweet and nice and always gives us chocolate or ice-cream when we come visit. The hard thing with her is she has some strange beliefs...as in she believes in aliens, fairies, Merlin the Wizard, Santa Clause, spirits, everything you could name and she tells us pretty crazy stories every time that she swears really happened. But she has great faith in Jesus Christ and we have hope that as she continues to learn; then those other beliefs will slowly be left behind. The nice thing though is that she has absolutely no problem believing that Jesus Christ and God appeared to Joseph Smith and restored the church and that angels ministered to him and all that stuff that sometimes others have a hard time understanding! Haha oh the people I’ve met here :) You can also pray for Dina, Raul, Mirium, Melba, and Eva :)

This week above anything else I learned what it really means to be a missionary. I thought I had an idea before, and I sort of did, but I had some very humbling teaching experiences this week that really helped me realize what it means when I put on my name tag and say I`m a representative of Jesus Christ. I don`t even know how many lessons we had this week where I sat across from someone who was truly suffering and really needed help. The people here are very open and tell you everything which is good but also hard sometimes. The biggest moment was when we were sitting with Mirium, a recent convert, and she was telling us about all these problems she is having in her family. Her oldest daughter is 18 with 2 kids from 2 different men and her current boyfriend is living with them. Her other children watch her example and are starting to get into trouble as well. She has to take care of everyone and her daughter`s kids because she just doesn`t understand responsibility yet. She was just crying and crying and I felt prompted to share a scripture with her in D&C section 121 when Joseph is in Liberty Jail and crying to the Lord for help. I read her the comforting words of the Lord, “My son, peace be unto thy soul. Thine adversities and thine afflictions will be but a small moment, and then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high.”   I completely lost it. Right in the middle of reading I just broke down and started crying with her. I realized that the Lord was using me to comfort her even though I can`t speak the language perfectly and even though I couldn`t understand everything that was going on. I cried for her, I cried for me, I cried for all the people we have been teaching who are struggling, and something changed in me. I realized that the Lord was comforting me in those words as well and that because of the experiences and difficulties I am having to go through to be a missionary, I can now have more empathy for these people and really tell them that the Lord is with them and will help them because I have experienced it myself. I was talking about it with my companion after and she said something really profound. She told me that to be a representative of Christ is a big deal. People trust us with all their worries and concerns and expect us to have answers and to help them. It`s a huge blessing but also and huge responsibility. These are precious souls of our Heavenly Father who he loves and desires to help. I`m here to bring them peace and hope and love, just as the Savior would if he were here. I`m not here for me, I’m here to help others. That really changed my outlook and gave me a new desire to learn and work hard and find more people that are searching for hope and need the gospel. I can`t have fear or reservation to share my message because everyone needs it and it’s what I’ve been called by a prophet and our Savior to do. Huge learning experience for me.

I also gave away my first skirt this week! Our investigator Olinda didn`t have one so I gave one to her to wear to church with us. It was very humbling and felt so good to be able to help someone. :) 

Please know I’m doing well and learning so much. Missions are hard and taxing in every single way, but the good outweighs the bad and the miracles and tender mercies make every hard moment worth it. I love you all so much. Thank you for all of the support and love, I really do feel it. 

Hermana Cox

Monday, March 16, 2015

Wednesday, March 16, 2015

Hola Familia Y Amigos!!!

Wow, wow, wow! So much to say and so little time! I don`t even know where to start. Well I got into the field on Tuesday and got my new companion, Hermana Ramirez, from Mexico. She has been out for 7 months and really is so great. It`s a little hard to communicate sometimes with the language barrier but she knows a little English and is so patient with me. I`m really so lucky to have her.

 My first day was pretty overwhelming, not going to lie. New house, new people, new language, new schedule, new food, new everything. It`s a lot to take in but luckily we got right to work so I didn`t really have time to think too much about it. :) This week we have been teaching like crazy, 37 lecciones este semana!!! Wow, the mission goal is 25 per week so we definitely met that goal this week. It was really good for me to just jump right into teaching and practicing my Spanish. It`s a lot of work and I have a headache every night from focusing so hard all day long on trying to understand and speak. It`s coming poco a poco, little by little. Sorry for the Spanglish, it just sort of comes out now that I`ve been surrounded by Spanish completely. :) I`ve gotten to the point that I can understand almost the whole conversation, even if I don`t know certain words I can figure them out by context clues. It`s still not enough to feel super confident jumping into the conversation because it`s easy to miss key words but I’ve gotten really good at smiling and nodding at the right times. :) My comp helps explain things as well which is so kind of her. Speaking is the hard part, especially non gospel topics because that`s all we really learned in the CCM. But it`s getting better every day. 

The people here are amazing and so humble. Also very talkative, they will tell you just about anything, even if you didn`t ask for it. :) It`s so fun to interact with them and see their culture. Very family oriented and lots of kisses and hugs :) Our area is apparently one of the richer, nicer areas so we do a lot of work with the less actives and recent converts. But we have one investigator,Dina, that I got to invite to be baptized yesterday!!! She agreed, but hasn`t committed to a date yet. Please pray for her heart to be softened and that she can have a desire to learn. Her sister is a recent convert in our ward and that`s how we met her so hopefully she can help a lot as well. I am in Mayorazgo right now which is like 5 min. from the temple. Our apartment is probably 2 min. walk from the temple which is so fun. I already miss being able to go every week...but we get to go every 3 months which is a huge blessing. The living conditions vary a lot here. I`ve been in houses that look like a nice apartment back in the states and houses up on the hill that literally have dirt floors, and piece of metal as a roof, and hardly any furniture but some wooden chairs and a table. It`s really humbling and makes me realize how blessed we really are. Yet they are so happy and it doesn`t even seem to bother them that they wear the same clothes every day, are covered in dirt, and have flies all around. Also dogs everywhere....lots of dogs. Kylee would be in Heaven ;) Super friendly but probably not the cleanest. :) 

The food is delicious...usually. I`ll be honest a lot of the time I honestly have no idea what I’m eating, but I just don`t think about it and go for it. :) I`ve only found a hair in my food once so far and usually not too many bones and other crunchy things. :) Mosquitos are crazy here at night, I’ve got 20 bites at the moment, 18 of which are on my legs and feet. Good thing we got all those shots before I came ;) Lots of weird bugs I’ve never seen, and cockroaches around at night, and huge flies. But it`s all part of the experience and even though it`s nothing like what I’m used to it really hasn`t bothered me which is a real blessing. It`s really hot here, I’m constantly sweating...constantly :) But I’ve just gotten used to that as well. :)

The kids are always out running around in the streets and playing in the dirt.  They are super friendly and always ask for candy when we walk by...I should probably stop carrying candy in my bag but they are just so cute.  I can`t resist! I have a few special handshakes with some of them and I am currently having a competition with one of our recent converts, Leyner, (11) to see who can memorize the first 4 articles of faith in Spanish first.  Haha, the kids are the best. Speaking of which, I wanted to tell you about one girl I met a few days ago named Hillary. She is also 11 years old and the only member in her family, at least that`s active. She comes to church by herself every week, riding the crazy bus system with her scripture bag and hymn book, and is just so faithful and wants to be good. We taught her this week about the Santa Cena (sacrament) to help her Faith in God requirement. Then yesterday she sat by me in church and during the sacrament she pulled out the pamphlet we gave her and started reading about the sacrament and then pulled out her faith in God to study that too. It was so precious! Then we had a 70 come and speak to us in our ward which was awesome! It was in Spanish so I didn`t understand it all but I’m pretty sure it was fantastic :) I watched her pull out her little Tinkerbelle notebook and she took notes on the speakers the whole time. It was adorable and was just another testament of the faith of the members here. I could tell story after story of people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had but there`s just not time. Wow, I love these people already :) 

I`ve really learned so much this week it`s amazing. It`s been so hard. So, so hard. I`ve definitely had my ups and then lots of downs. Everything is different and I feel so inadequate not being able to speak and not knowing what I’m supposed to be doing. But It`s been a huge test of my faith and especially of my ability to rely on and trust in the Lord. I wake up and plead that He`ll help me through the day, pray all day long, pray in lessons that I can understand and speak, pray that our investigators will feel the spirit and understand what we are teaching, pray for my companion to be strong and have patience with me, then go home and pray with a heart full of gratitude that I made it through another day. My relationship with my Heavenly Father is growing exponentially. I`ve learned this week that sometimes the Lord has to show us how WEAK we are so that we can discover how STONG He is. D&C 123:17 says that we must cheerfully do all things that lie in our power and then stand still to see the salvation of God. I`ve seen that this week so much. I can`t do this alone, there is no way. I have to rely on him. And thankfully this is His work and he really wants to be involved in it and help me and all of us missionaries. His love is real and his grace is sufficient. I love him so much and I’m so glad he`s given me the opportunity to share his love with the People of Peru cada dia, every day! I am so lucky. A missionary in the CCM told me something that I`ve found to be very true. On a mission the hard outnumbers the good, but the good outweighs the hard. Missions are so hard in so many ways, and I’m only just starting to see it. But the experiences I’m having and things I’m learning and people I’m meeting outweigh any of the hard I have to experience. It`s not easy, but it`s so worth it. 

Sorry it was another email of scattered thoughts and information...I need to figure out how to write these more organized :) There`s just so much going through my head and it comes out as a bunch of word vomit, but hopefully it makes sense. :) I love you all so much! Thank you for the thoughts and prayers.  I feel them and I need them. Please pray for our investigators! Dina, Nalia, Raul, Alejandra, Estuardo. These are the ones we`re focusing on at the moment but you can pray for them all in general too. Love you love you love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hope you have a wonderful week, I know I’m going to here in Peru :)

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Cox

(Sorry.  No pictures this week.  She ran out of time to send any.  I'm anxious to see her companion and beautiful Peru.  Hopefully next week.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I don´t have much time, but we are allowed to hurry and shoot a quick email to let you know I made it to the mission safely. I am serving in an area really close to La Molina, which is where the temple and CCM are. Our apartment is probably 2 min. away from the temple and is the nicest apartment in the whole mission...which is awesome, except that now I will have the best to begin with and things will get worse from there. But the living conditions really haven’t bothered me too much which is really nice. My companion is great, I love her already! Her name is Hernama Ramírez. She is from Mexico but speaks a little English which will be helpful as I'm learning. She is so sweet and has such a kind heart. We'll get along great, I’m sure of it.

My last week in the CCM was great, lots of packing and saying goodbyes though so I’m a little excited to have moved on now. We had the opportunity to go tracting on Saturday which was amazing.   I wish I could say more!!!   And then today has been an amazing first day también! Sorry my Spanglish is coming out, I’ve been hearing and speaking Spanish all day! We met up with the mission at the chapel and I got to see Elder Kolton Pierson, Elder Taylor Griffin, and Elder Nick Batty which was so fun. Great to see familiar faces! Then we had some training and we were off!

We took everything to the apartment and then went to the grocery store to buy breakfast for the week. While there we started talking to one of the workers there and had a whole lesson with her right there in the isle of the store! I couldn’t understand everything but I could understand the jist of what was going on. Then I also gave her a BOM!!! First BOM placement!! Yay!!! It was so cool. Then we spent the rest of the day visiting less actives and contacting a little. I’ve been doing pretty ok with teaching in Spanish and my comp is really good at helping me and letting me speak. The members here are so strong and amazing! I can already tell this is going to be a great transfer and I love the people already.

I don’t have much time but please know I’m doing great and loving it. I'll definitely be a little lost and confused for the first few weeks but it'll get better every day and I am confident that the Lord will be there to help me. I love you all so much! Thank you for your support! Keep praying for me and know I pray for you every night too!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Cox

Monday, March 9, 2015

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hola de Peru!!!!

Wow, another week has flown by! This will actually be my last time emailing for two weeks because I leave for the field next Tuesday and don´t get a p-day that week. So the next time I email will be the 18th I believe! Wish me luck!!

It´s been a pretty good week, just trying to work as hard as I can. I set a bunch of language goals this week to help keep me on track and that has been really good for me. I feel like I have been overloaded with learning the language and now if I want to get any better I really just need to practice. So I’m excited to get out in the field and be able to start that! We get to go tracting on Saturday to get a feel for how it will be so that will be nice to see how well I end up doing when I try and communicate with people on the street! I´m excited to do that but a little nervous too. I´m glad we get this opportunity though, it´ll help me with the transition into the field for sure.

I´m really excited to begin this adventure for real, but to be honest it terrifies me as well. I can carry a decent conversation in Spanish and teach the lessons, but it´ll be so different once I’m trying to speak as fast as the natives. I hope I get a companion that I can work well with and who will be very patient with me because it´ll take some time before I think I’ll feel totally sure of myself when speaking. But then again, that´s the best way to learn so I’m excited to just get going. I´m expecting these next few weeks to be pretty exhausting and hard, but I also know for sure that Heavenly Father will be with me every step of the way and will give me that strength to do whatever it is he needs me to. When I went to the temple this morning that was weighing on my mind a lot but by the end I just felt so much love and assurance that the Lord will not leave me. He sent me here because he knows me and knows what I can do here. I just need to rely on Him every day and I know I will be able to make it through and fall in love with being a missionary all over again. Pray for me lots, but know I will be working my hardest and trying to enjoy every moment.

I´ve also been thinking about my time here at the CCM throughout the week. It´s been amazing and amazingly hard all at the same time. :) But the top 5 things I think I’ve learned here at the CCM are:

1. OBEDIENCE. Our president here and his wife are very strict and we all learned very quickly that absolute obedience is necessary if you want to have a happy stay here at the CCM. It was hard at first because I was still getting used to all the new rules as a missionary but I have come to realize how important it is to be obedient and show the Lord we love his commandments. I´ve also seen the power and blessings that come from being strictly obedient to all the rules.

2. I´ve learned how to get along with so many people who are so different than I am. Not everyone here is exactly the same, even though we all have strict rules we have to abide by. My companions are amazing but we are very different in our culture, our thinking, and our behavior. It´s been hard but also very rewarding as the Lord has been teaching me how to love and work with so many different kinds of people. I know it´s a skill that will bless me in the mission field and in life.

(My district)

3. Focus and diligence are key as a missionary. I´ve talked about it before but it´s so easy, especially in the CCM, to slack off or not take studying and learning seriously. As I’ve put forth my effort to make the most of the time I have here to learn, I’ve seen the Lord bless me and quicken my understanding.

4. I´ve learned the importance of the Spirit in everything we do. The spirit is key to missionary work and we can´t do anything without it. Lessons, studying, speaking, following promptings, and everything is nothing without the spirit as a guide. My relationship with Him has improved so much and I can´t wait for it to get even better!

5. Lastly, I’ve seen God´s love and support of me more than ever as I try to improve myself and draw closer to Him each day. I love how close I feel to Him and the relationship we are gaining. I know so strongly that He loves me and is here for me always. He also loves the people of Peru and wants me to do all I can to help them come to Him as well.  I can´t wait to share this love, His love, with them.

I know that was a lot of pensamientos (thoughts) but that´s really what most of this week was for me. I guess I can share a few funny stories. :) One day we were outside teaching and I had sat on an edge that happened to be very wet. When I stood up it totally looked like I had peed my pants pretty heavily...awkward! At least I caught it really fast and my teacher let me go up and change. :) Than today at the temple I set my stuff down to go take a picture and saw a slug. I took a picture because I thought it looked cool and then went to take pics. Then when I came back for my camera case I found that the slug had crawled all over it and left a big trail of slime all over. >That was gross, but pretty funny as well. :) Then last night when I was using the sink to wash my hands a beetle crawled up the drain and into the sink...that was exciting!  The beetles here are pretty cool but nice and big...So many things to get used to :)

(Peru, Lima Temple)

(My Slug Friend)

My scripture for the week is Mormon 9. It´s an amazing chapter on miracles and it just reminded more of how many miracles are all around us that we don´t even realize. I also believe we don´t take advantage of all the miracles God is willing to perform in our lives if we will only ask him and have faith. I challenge you to read it and look for all the blessing promised in the chapter, it´s amazing!

I love you all so much!!! >Thank you for the prayers, I really feel them strengthening me. And know I’m praying for you too! Wish me luck next week! Talk to you in two!! :)

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Cox

(The Distribution Center)