Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Monday, September 21, 2015

Familia y Amigos,

Wow, what an excellent week! It started out with an awesome P-day hearing from my family and receiving support and love from them. I was especially touched by some news from my mom about an aunt I have who has always been a shining example to me. Her name is Sherri and right now she is battling stage 4 cancer in her brain, eye, and spine. On Monday my mom told me that they´ve now found it spreading into her lungs. We found out about her cancer before I came on the mission and I told my mom to keep me updated on how she was doing. Even though she is fighting for her life, her attitude is exemplary. She has completely put her life in the Lord´s hands and is using this trial as an opportunity to learn and grow closer to the Lord. She frequently posts about her faith, how it´s helping her to continue on every day, and the things she is learning from this whole experience. She always talks about "her miracle" and really believes that the Lord can heal her. This week however, my mom sent me what she has written recently about how she´s doing. My aunt talked about how for so long she has had such firm faith that God would provide her "her miracle" and she would be able to beat this cancer, however recently she has been realizing that the miracle has been happening all along. She talked about how her relationship with Christ has increased dramatically, she understands the atonement in a whole new light, and most of all she has seen that she herself has completely changed and is becoming more and more like Christ. She said that for her, this is the greatest miracle of all. 

It reminded me of a quote that I have from Elder Dallin H. Oaks that says, 

"Changing bodies or protecting temples are miracles, but an even greater miracle is a mighty change of heart by a son or daughter of God. A change of heart, including new attitudes, priorities, and desires is greater and more important than any miracle involving the body. I repeat, the body will be resurrected in any event, but a change affecting what the scriptures call the "heart" of a spirit son or daughter of God is a change whose effect is eternal. If of the right kind, the change opens the door to the process of repentance that cleanses us to dwell in the presence of God. It introduces the perspective and priorities that lead us to make the choices that qualify us for eternal life, "the greatest of all the gifts of God."

 It got me thinking so much about how good God is and how great his plan is. Then we got to go and listen to Elder Godoy from the 70 on Wednesday talk about our worth and potential as missionaries and as children of God, and about how we should not only be in the process of changing lives of others, but of our own, it really made a profound impact on me. Then to add the cherry on top, we got to go to the temple with the ward on Friday and bring our recent convert as well as 2 more from the other Hermanas. What a beautiful experience to bring these precious souls to the house of God and let them taste of the joy that is there and what they can feel as they continue on this path and draw closer to him. As I sat and talked with L..., our recent convert, she kept expressing to me how happy she was but yet how sad that she hadn´t accepted the gospel into her life sooner. Almost all of her kids are members and she just recently decided it was her turn to join the church. It´s so amazing to see the love and mercy God has for each one of his children and the great plan he has for each of us. We are here to become like him, to grow, to learn, to change. And that is the greatest miracle of all, the most important miracle to him. 

I love being a missionary and I receive so much joy from seeing the changes in the lives of the people. We really saw miracles this week and know the Lord is with us in our work. Please keep praying for J...y, J..., and Y.... Also I... Q... and her family. They are recently activated members and she is separated from her husband and struggling to make ends meet. And it doesn´t help that her husband keeps coming around to cause trouble. 

Hope you all have a great week! Remember to keep the eternal perspective in mind and look for how the Lord is working his miracles in your life. How is he changing you and how are you becoming the person he created you to be. Love you all!!!

Hermana Cox

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Monday, September 14, 2015
Hola Familia y Amigos!!!!

Well this week flew by! Lots of difficult moments but also many many miracles. I´m realizing more and more that there is so much more to this life than I think we really understand. Lately I’ve had a lot of little teaching moments where the spirit has whispered to my heart and helped me step back to see the bigger picture, to understand a little better this great plan of happiness he has prepared for us. We visit so many people every day and each one is so different with problems and challenges that are so unique to them, however, God´s plan is still the same. The gospel is still the answer. It´s something I am coming to understand more and more in the mission and it never ceases to amaze me how good the Lord is. How perfect is his plan. How great is his love and desire to see us succeed. I can´t really describe my feelings in words. :) 

I´ve been slacking on my stories lately so I’ll try and tell a little more about some of our investigators. :)

Yesterday we went to visit a lady named M.... She works for a lady who feeds the missionaries so that is how she came in contact with the church. She said that every now and then she eats along with the Elders and talks with them and that they have really helped her with some problems she has now in her life. She talked about how much peace she felt around them and that she was looking for that in her life. The Elders passed us the referral and we got to go visit her yesterday. She also has a son named C... who is 12 and she wants him to listen with her. We just talked for a while about her experience with the Elders and then shared a scripture with her in John 16:33 about the peace that Christ gives us. She started crying and told us this is really what she wants in her life. We invited her to be baptized and she said she would pray about it and let us know how she feels as we continue teaching her. Please pray for her. :) 

We are also teaching a boy named J... who is the son of a less active woman. Before I got here the missionaries were teaching him and he didn´t want to hear anything from them. He sat super bored at the table, made rude comments about how what the missionaries were saying didn´t matter to him and that he didn´t even believe in God. But as we´ve really tried to change our way of teaching and try to understand him more and why he responds the way he does, the spirit has helped us know how to reach him. He had some close family members pass away recently and he is hurting. We were able to find this out and help him realize the love God has for him and process the situation better. He is now coming to church and has almost accepted a baptismal date for October. Please keep praying for him as well as his family. 

Yesterday President Boswell (our mission president) came to speak in our ward which was really fun to see him. We are clear out on the edge of the mission so we don´t get to see him as often as I used to in my other areas. But the first speakers left lots of time for him...40 min. to speak so he called on me to give a talk before he spoke. Luckily I had something prepared and it went well but it was fun to get to speak with him. He´s a great man and is such a blessing for me here. 

Just another week of searching for souls and being led by the spirit to those who are searching for the truth. In our area we basically live on the side of a huge hill so everything is either up or down...but usually up. :) Lots of stairs that we climb every day...usually 2 or 3 times. And the past few days we´ve been looking for service opportunities and helping people carry bags and other things up to their houses at the top of the hill. Let’s just say my legs and arms are getting huge...probably partially from the climbing and the other part from all the rice we eat every day. :) I have pictures but my computer isn´t working well today so I’ll try to send them next week. 

Love you all so much. Thank you for all the love and support. I know the Lord loves us and is very aware of every single thing we are going through. He wants to help us and teach us. This week I read Elder Uchtdorf´s talk from this past conference about the Gift of Grace. Wow, I learned so much. It´s not God´s plan to try and erase all our sins so that we will be clean and be able to enter his presence. If that were the goal then what is the point of coming to a fallen, sinful world? His plan is much greater than that. He sent us here to learn and grow. And because of his grace, we will not just be clean again, but overcome our weaknesses, learn, and become someone different. Become like him. His grace gives us power to move forward, not to rewind and undue. I invite you all to read his talk and really ponder about what his grace means to you and how you can access it´s power in your life. 

Love you all, Hurrah for Israel!

Hermana Cox

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hola Familia y Amigos!!!

This week flew by but at the same time I feel like so much happened. I´m still getting used to things here in my new area, but loving it more and more every day. I am learning soooo much here, especially with being a trainer. As soon as you have to be the teacher you realize all the things you still don´t know or do perfectly. :) But I’ve been spending a lot of time on my knees and then on my feet trying to do what the Lord wants. It´s a continual process of learning and then teaching what we´ve learned. But I love the things that the Lord has been teaching me and helping me accomplish.

Hermana Saracho is great. We are very very different, but we were able to really have a breakthrough this week in our relationship and it´s gotten so much better. Lots of patience, love, and humility. I know we are together for a reason and that we will both touch each other´s lives for the better. Please keep praying for us and for the people we are teaching. 

This week we started off a little rough and weren´t having a lot of success, but the Lord always blesses us as we don´t give up and keep giving everything we have. This week we found so many people who really need us and the gospel in their lives. We´ve been really trying to focus on using lots of inspired questions in our lessons and using the spirit to help us find out what the people really need. We´ve seen miracles and had so many lessons where the investigator just breaks down crying and tells us all. The spirit knows what the people need, we don´t. Our job is to be receptive and willing to listen so that he can communicate the message to us and help us know what to say.

I know this is really short, but I’m out of time. Seeing miracles every day. Keep praying for us here in Chosica! Thank you for all the love and support, I really feel it and it strengthens me to keep going. Got a fun little package from my family with some sweet messages from my ward that really lifted my spirits. Thank you so much. :) Love you all and hope all is well. Trust in the Lord and rely on his strength when you don´t feel that you have your own. 

Hermana Cox

 New outfit mom sent in my package.  I love it!!!

 Thought you´d enjoy some pics of the new area. Much poorer and dirtier than my other areas, but I love it. :)