Monday, April 20, 2015

Monday, April 20, 2015
Hola familia y amigos!

Yep, I`ve officially finished my first transfer in the field! I can`t believe how fast the time has gone, it`s amazing. We find out today whether or not we are going to have transfers or what´s going to happen but both Hermana Ramirez and I feel like she might go. She`s been in Mayorazgo for almost 5 months. But that means that if she does go, I will be leading the area....what?! I will have another trainer to finish up my training but I’ll be the one who knows the area and the people and has to lead everything. Pray for me a lot this week, no matter what happens. But it`s been an amazing 6 weeks and I’ve learned so much.  It`s incredible. Especially from my wonderful companion, she`s the best.

(Hermana Ramirez and I with the little puppy of Rosita, our recent convert)

(A recent convert named Mirium, the one who I bawled with in the lesson my first week or so. :) And her little grandson, Jordi.) 

 I don`t have a ton of time this week but I’ll share a few stories :) 

First of all, our adventure for the week :) First a landslide, then an earthquake, and this week we had no lights for 2 days! Wahooo! Haha!  It`s not really a problem during the day because in the morning we have plenty of windows for natural light and we are gone during the day proselyting, but we spent two nights with flashlights (Thank you dad for telling me to pack 2 of them, they really came in handy :). The first night we had a little Noche de Hogar with the Hermanas there in the dark and it was really fun. One of the Hermanas taught us how to Cha cha :) 

The other cool story I want to share is about our investigator Dinna. She is the sister of a recent convert named Rosita and visits her every weekend here in Mayorazgo but lives in another place. She is trying to move here and we have been teaching her on the weekends when she comes to visit. We invited her to be baptized a few weeks back but she wasn`t too keen on the idea and jokingly told us that maybe in about 10 years she would do it. But then this week we had a lesson with her where she told us that she has been thinking a lot about baptism and feels like it`s what she needs to do. We were thrilled and invited her to commit to May 3rd to be baptized. She said she would think about it and then we helped her say her first prayer as well which was awesome. She is from a little town on the provinces of Peru and speaks Ketchua (I have no idea how to spell it) but is learning Spanish. Then we had another lesson with her this weekend and she told us that she had had a dream. She said she was standing in a grassy field and Jesus Christ was standing in front of her in a white robe with His arms outstretched towards her. She said she felt that He was saying, ¨Come to me¨. How awesome is that!!!! She has a lot of fears about being baptized because it is a huge change in her life but we are trying to help her and teach her all she needs to know to make the decision. It was so awesome to hear about her answer and also gave me a lot of reassurance to know that God really is helping us in the work and will respond to those who are earnestly seeking him. We are His servants, here to speak in His name. It gave me a big confidence boost that we are doing His will and He is backing us up as His missionaries. Miracles. :)

The language is coming along really well and I feel better and better each day. The gift of tongues is so real! I know I’ve said it before but It is amazing how much I`ve learned in the time I’ve been here there is no way it is me. I`m doing so well and learning so much. I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week. Miracles every day, I wish I had time to tell you about them all! Pray for me a lot this week, it should be a great one! Also our recent converts: Rosita, Ruth, Leyner, Fernando, and Elisa. Menos Activos: Lina, Raùl, Paùla, and Mirium. And our investigators: Beatty, Silvia, Dinna, Rosio, Justina, and Maritza. We are going to invite Beatty to be baptized this week! 

Love you all so much! Thank you for all the support, love, and prayers. I feel it:) Hurrah for Israel!!

Hermana Cox

Last pday we went bowling! Super fun and reminded me of home )

(Our pday last week, road trip to centro de Lima, a bunch of shops and stuff. This is our whole Zone)

And then we ate at Burger King after... :)

(Some pics of my area)

The food! The food here is amazing, especially all the breads and fruits. We have a huge plate of fruit in our kitchen of all sorts)

 (This is the meal from our pensionista we ate last night. She is amazing and makes things a little more pizza and nutella crepes in this pic)

(This fruit is called a granadilla, the one I told you about earlier. This picture doesn`t do it justice but it pretty much is a hard outer shell with a liner of foamy feeling stuff and then the actual fruit part looks like snot covered seeds...but it`s yummy! ;)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Monday, April 13, 2015

Familia y Amigos!

Ok the time here is going by so fast I can`t even believe it! Another week has already gone by! One more week of my first transfer! What?! But it was an awesome week for sure! We have been working really hard to find people to teach and are seeing many miracles. The members are awesome and are helping out a ton and we ended up having 7 of our investigators come to church yesterday!!! So stressful, but so awesome. :) We also have an investigator who told us this week she wants to be baptized! 2 weeks ago we couldn`t get her to take our lessons seriously and she told us we could baptize her in 10 years and now she is praying about a baptismal date...miracles!! :) The Lord can soften and change hearts faster and better than anyone else I know ;) Please pray for her, Dinna Gonzales. We also have some other investigators whom we have a lot of hope in! Please pray for Silvia, Rosio, Justina, Beatty, Natalie, and Celinda. Also Raul, Lina, and Paula who are menos activos we are working with right now. 

And to make the week even better we got to go to a baptism yesterday!!! We have Elders, the APs, who are serving in our ward too and a lady they have been teaching got baptized yesterday. It was so amazing to hear her testimony and feel the spirit there. She`s only been taking the lessons for 1 month, she is definitely golden! I can`t wait to see the people we are teaching in her place soon enough!! 

We`ve also been studying a lot about the Book of Mormon this week and the power it has in conversion. It is amazing how reading the BOM can bring the spirit so strongly and testify to the hearts and minds of the reader that it`s true. It is the keystone of our religion and our greatest tool in conversion. Challenge for the week: Read the BOM every day and pray to know how to better study it and apply the teachings in your life. I have started to improve my study and have felt the difference of the spirit throughout my day. I LOVE THE BOM!!! :) 

Overall, a really great week and another great one to come, I can feel it! My Spanish is improving like crazy, the gift of tongues is so real!!! And I am feeling so much more confident and loving every day more and more. I`ve gotten through the hardest month and now I feel like I am finally becoming the missionary the Lord wants me to be. :) Being a missionary is the best!!! 

Love you all! Have a great week!! Read the BOM, pray always, look for the miracles in everyday life, and learn how to love the gospel more and more every day. :) Lots of love!

Hermana Cox

Monday, April 6, 2015

Wow, another week come and gone! Every week goes by faster and faster, it`s crazy! So many things to tell about this week! This week was Semana Santa here in Peru, in their culture, which is dominantly catholic, they celebrate the entire week and have big parties and stuff to celebrate and remember Christ. Most people either travel to visit family or stay and have all their family come visit them so it was a little harder to have lessons this week. But the lessons we did have were awesome and it absolutely loved getting to testify of Christ and that he lived, died, and lived again for us. It was amazing to be his missionary during this special time of the year. :)

And what made it even better was that we got to listen to conference!!! Wow, I love conference!! It was amazing to listen to our beloved prophet and the leaders of the church teach us about Christ, the Family, personal conversion, and so many other things. It was also really cool to be able to listen with the perspective of a missionary. Not only was I receiving revelation for myself, but I had the names of our investigators and other people we are working with running through my head and was able to find messages that will help them as well.

I loved the huge focus on the family, it`s really soooooo important. I`m learning that the greatest joys and happiness are found within the family, but that also means that the greatest sadness and hurt comes from Satan`s influences to destroy the family. The culture here is so family oriented, yet there are so many people struggling with family problems and concerns and it causes them so much heartache and sadness. We had at least 2 or 3 lessons this week were we just sat and cried with the person we were teaching and they explained the challenges they are facing, all related to the family. Satan is launching a full force attack on this key unit but we are so blessed to know the importance and have the tools to combat him and fortify our own families.

I`m also learning to develop true charity for the people here and I work with them, teach them, cry with them, laugh with them, and just do my best to help them let the Savior into their lives and live the gospel to find joy and happiness. It truly is an amazing blessing to be a missionary and have the commission to testify of Christ, our Savior, and bring others to him. 

This week one of our most promising investigators moved to another area which was really sad, but hopefully we can get the missionaries to her there as well and she can continue to progress. Please pray for her, Olinda, and her sister, Celinda, that we just found this week who needs a lot of help as well. Also for Silvia, we are going to invite her to be baptized this week so hopefully she will accept and we can continue to help her progress. Also Octavia, Carolina, Raul, Lina, Dina, and Maritza. 

When we contact it is almost always on the streets as we are walking around, it`s hard to go door to door because everyone lives in apartments that are stacked on top of each other and there is a big door or gate at the bottom and you have to push a button to speak to whoever you are trying to reach and then they can unlock the door from inside. So it`s not really effective to contact that way. But everyone is always out and about outside their house so it`s not too difficult to find people to talk to. Very different from back home. The people here are also really friendly for the most part which is nice and even if they aren`t interested they`ll still talk to you and take whatever you give them :)

We live with another companionship of sisters in our apartment but we also have people stay the night every once in a while if they are leaving or entering the mission or some other random thing because our apartment is big and really close to the offices. So it`s fun :)

It`s still pretty hot here but everyone has been saying it`s not normal. We are in fall but the weather is still the same as when I got here. I`ve gotten used to it though and just accepted the fact that I’m constantly sweating. It really doesn’t bother me :)

This week I felt my first temblo! (Earthquake) It was really little but still super crazy since I’ve never felt one before. My comp said this is the 3rd one she`s felt and she`s been here for 8 months. It was the strangest feeling to just feel the floor wobble and look outside to see everything rattling a little bit, but really it was so tiny. :) 

Also another cool fact, one of the new 70s that was called in conference, Nelson Ardilla, was the Mission president here in my mission before President Boswell! So cool! And another one that was called used to be the stake president here in La Molina. The people here were so excited :) 

Love you all so much! Hope you had a wonderful week and felt the wonder and joy of the Savior`s life and the miracle of his resurrection. May we keep him in our hearts always :)

Hemana Cox

Monday, March 30, 2015

Hola Hola!!!!

Wow, another week come and gone here in beautiful Peru! I can`t believe how fast the time is flying here! I hit my two month mark on Friday and can`t even believe it!

(2 month mark! My comp made me cute little signs :)

This week was a little crazy due to a huge Huayco, mudslide, that happened in an area called

Chosika in our mission. It was a devastating thing for the town and all the missionaries were evacuated. One of my friends from the CCM was in the area and saw the whole thing happen. They were all a little in shock but all the missionaries were safe. They told us of so many little miracles! My friend, Elder Jessen, and his comp were walking down the street on p-day and decided randomly to cross over to another street. They said they felt the ground rumble and then saw the mudslide come raging down the street they had just been on. They ran through about waist deep water to get away but made it safely to higher ground. My friend told me he is sure they would have gotten caught by the mudslide for sure if they had stayed on the street because it came so fast. But the Lord protects his missionaries and they were safe and able to help others get to safety as well. A bunch of the sisters came and stayed in our apartment because it is super close to the mission offices and stuff and has extra beds so they showed us all their pics and it`s crazy all the damage it caused. So we had another sister with us for 2 days, Hermana De Castillo from Canada and that was really fun! Then they all got reassigned to new areas.

 (These pictures were taken from the internet)

(A pic of my comp and I with our comp Hermana de Castillo who was in Chosica so she was our comp for 2 days before she got moved to a new area. She was in Kelsey Lee`s ward in Canada, how crazy is that!!!!)

The work has been progressing here, we`ve found some more people to teach and have some investigators who we have a lot of hope for. We worked hard on listening to the spirit and teaching by the spirit. Asking lots of questions and just listening to the people we are teaching is so important and we were able to find out the needs of so many people and help show them how the gospel really can bless their lives. It was beautiful to watch the spirit help us ask the right questions, say the right things, and help them open their hearts in a way we wouldn`t have been able to otherwise.

(My companion and I in front of our apartment)

Then we got to watch women`s conference on Saturday! It was so good and I actually understood a lot of it in Spanish which was a huge blessing! It was all about families and how important they are. Which of course made me cry because I am so far away from my family and won`t see them for another 16 months, but it made me so grateful to know that my family is eternal and gave me a greater desire to share the gospel with families here in Peru so they can have that same reassurance and hope that they can be with their family forever after this life. So beautiful.

I`m so excited for General Conference this week too! It`s going to be amazing and I’m excited to get to hear from our Prophet and the leaders of our church. What a huge blessing to get to hear the Lord`s voice and will for us through his servants. I`ve been amazed at the love the people here have for the prophet. We`ve been trying to get a lot of people excited about conference and they just can`t wait to hear what will be said. Hearing them talk about how much the prophet means to them and their desire to follow him is inspiring :)

And Easter!!! SO many good things coming up this week! Here they celebrate the whole week at semana santa and I hear it`s a little crazy so I’m excited to see what they do! I`m so excited to get to share my knowledge that I know Christ lives and loves us all. If you haven`t watched the video the church put out for Easter do it! It`s called gracias a que el vive in Spanish....something like “Because He Lives” in English I think. It`s amazing! I know he lives. I know he loves me. I know because he lives I can too and I have his help every day of my life. I can`t wait to share this message this week! I love being a missionary!!!! :) 

Have a great week and remember how much I love you all and how much the Lord loves you! Remember Christ this week in everything you do and what you can do because He lives. :)

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Cox

(My comps from the CCM I got to see my first p-day because we had a special p-day for all the Hermanas in the mission.)

 (View from my back window of my apartment)

 (View from my front window of my apartment)

 (View of the inside of my apartment)

 (Other Hermanas in my zone)