Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Monday, November 23, 2015

Hello Friends and Family!

Last day together before transfers! I`ll miss this sweet girl!

Well I decided that from now on I’m not going to try and predict what is going to happen with transfers because every time I do the farthest thing from what I thought happens. I was hoping to stay in Chosica another transfer with Hermana Chavez, but I guess the Lord has another plan for me...or a really big sense of humor. :) On Monday I received news that I was to be transferred to Monterrico where I will be serving as an Hermana Leader. I was completely shocked by the news and a little overwhelmed, but also very excited. I know that I feel very unprepared and have so many faults and weaknesses I still need to work on, but I know that the Lord will support and strengthen me in this responsibility.

Monterrico is part of the Santa Patricia Zone which is where I started my mission. It`s super fun to be back here again, but also strange to be coming back as an Hermana Leader. My area, Monterrico, literally means ¨rich mountain¨ and it`s very true. Our area is huge and super commercialized. The houses that are here are all big rich apartment buildings which makes the work a little harder. There is also a huge part of our area that we aren’t allowed to enter because it`s where  the rich and famous people of Peru live... very different than Chosica. :) But it does mean that the ward is well established and there are amazing members here. I was excited to spend Christmas in the humble dirt hills of Peru but I guess it`ll be fun to spend it here as well. The members are awesome and are always giving us food...here comes the 15 pounds for the Holidays. :)

My companion is Hermana Verdezoto from Ecuador as well. She is awesome and we already get along so well. However, this transfer I will be killing her (missionary term meaning that she is finishing her mission this transfer) which means I’ve got one transfer to learn everything and then next transfer I’ll probably be training a new sister who comes to replace her. We have 16 sisters in our care and are responsible for their well being, helping them, loving them, doing divisions with them, making sure they are progressing as well as their areas. We have a bunch of meetings and activities we participate in, especially during the Christmas season. We also just recently had our area split so we are basically opening our area from scratch. Lots of finding new people to teach and help. It`s all a big shock and I feel a little overwhelmed, but I know the Lord will help me and guide me to do what he has called me to do. The Lord knows us individually and calls us in our imperfections to do his work. He`s been working with imperfect human beings and using them to bring about his great work since the beginning of the world and I know he knows how to do his job. My only responsibility now is to forget myself and all the reasons I may not be able to do all he has planned and just be receptive to the spirit so that I can be an instrument in his hands and he can direct me to do what he needs. We`ve already seen miracles and I know we`ll see even more. 

I`m out of time, but I love you all and I love this work. It`s absolutely amazing and there is nowhere else I’d rather be. I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving and remember how incredibly blessed we all are, especially for the gospel in our lives. Stay strong, come to know Christ, serve him with all your heart. This church is true and I know it is led by our Savior Jesus Christ through his living prophet Pres. Monson. Share this blessing with someone this Christmas season. :)

Please send prayers for F..., our investigator with a baptismal date, R... and her daughter who are reactivating, my companion and I, and all the sisters in our care. Love you all so much!! 

Hermana Cox

A recent convert from Chosica. She is the best but is struggling a little right now with finding work and helping her family come to church. They are all members but inactive. Please pray for her. 

Some fun flowers we have here. Super pretty, no?

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Monday, November 16, 2015

Well, here I am again finishing up another transfer. It´s gone by so quickly I can´t even believe it. But so much has happened and I’ve learned so much. I see miracles every day and I pray that I will never lose my wonder and gratitude for what the Lord gives us every day. 

Interviews with President Boswell

I don´t have much time but this transfer has been amazing and has taught me so much about the power and importance of this work. As I shared last week, my testimony of the Restoration has solidified and my trust in the prophet and all the Lord´s chosen servants. I KNOW that President Monson is called of God and that he receives revelation from God for our day. Many things will happen in these last days and Satan is working harder than ever. I´ve seen evidence of that more than ever in my mission. But we will never be led astray if we follow the prophets. Our thoughts not God´s thoughts and he knows what´s best. Yet he wants us to understand and be able to trust in his will. If we have a question, he has given us the resources to find answers and receive revelation and confirmation if we search with real intent. We are agents and the Lord will guide us as we search diligently to know his will. I´ve learned that in my mission and especially this transfer.

I´m out of time, but a little miracle of the week. We were trying to find a lady we had contacted and weren’t sure where she lived for sure. We tried knocking on a door and a woman answered. She was washing her clothes and didn´t really want to talk to us, but we were persistent and tried to share a little message with her, even though she wasn´t the woman we were looking for. As we kept talking she realized that we were "Mormons" and got super excited. She told us she has friends who are members and one time was at their house when the Elders came and shared a message with them. She let us in and we were able to talk with her and her 3 kids. She is super excited and we invited them to be baptized which they accepted. Now we just need to get them to come to church and they are golden. The Lord works in mysterious ways. :) 

Love you all and hope you have a great week. We´ll see where I’m writing from next week...hopefully still here in Chosica!!!!

Love you all so much!

Hermana Cox

 Our cookout for pday...Peruvian style :)

Carne y puree de papas (meat and mashed potatoes) The mashed potatoes are American style. :) Here in Peru they are really runny and smooth. 

This is a picture of Hermana Cox waving to her mom (me) as we were emailing back and forth on Monday.  It was awesome to communicate like we were texting.  Love this girl

Monday, November 9, 2015

Monday, November 09, 2015

Hola Familia y Amigos!!!!

So my email will be short, but it was an awesome week. The Lord is working with us and we are seeing miracles. This week my testimony of the Restoration has increased and I´ve felt more than ever the beauty of it all. In my personal studies I’ve searched, pondered, and prayed to better understand the significance and then as I’ve spent time teaching about prophets, the apostasy, and the miracle of the Restoration and the coming forth of the Book of Mormon.   I’ve felt the spirit testify to my heart over and over again of it’s reality and wonder. We are SOO blessed to live in this time when the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored through a prophet and we are led and guided by prophets and apostles who receive revelation directly from Jesus Christ. The BOM is a treasure, temples are a grand blessing and the church is rolling forth into all the world so that all can participate and feel for themselves the beauty and wonder of the work of God. Wow, I love this work. It´s a miracle every day. If you don´t have a testimony of Joseph Smith, the Restoration, or the Book of Mormon, I challenge you to study about it in Preach my Gospel and the scriptures. It´s incredible.

Keep praying for us here, especially for the ward. Lots of apostasy and trying to teach and guide the members, but little by little they are strengthening their testimonies and learning the doctrine. :)

We also did a fun service project for our recent convert...not cleaning the sewer. :) We painted her house! Super fun and a nice change of routine. :) 

Love you all!!!! Have a wonderful week! I love my Savior and I know this is his work. Until next week! Please pray for J... and M... still, B... and L...that they can come to church, S... that she can keep progressing toward her baptism and come to church, B... and M... that they can keep progressing, the familia C... that they can read the BOM together as a family and prepare to be sealed in the temple, and M... that she can come to church as well and that her mom can let her participate. 

Love you so much!!!

Hermana Cox

Our twinning Peru Jerseys :)

Monday, November 2, 2015

Hola Amigos y Familia!!!

Wow, what a week for us here in El Sol!!!! One I will definitely never forget! This past week Hermana Samuels and I both completed 9 months in the mission (hard to believe) and both got to celebrate with our first baptism. I´ve always been transferred before baptisms in my other areas and don´t know what´s happened to my investigators but this is the first baptism that I’ll actually be here for and had a big part in preparing him. Hermana Samuels and her companion baptized a man named J... on Thursday and Hermana Chavez and I had J... baptism on Friday. It was a week of a lot of stressing and planning and preparing, but the results were worth every effort.  It´s amazing to finally see the fruits of all those months of working and inviting and to see a soul accept the gospel and come unto Christ. 

J... is very special to us and I feel honored to have been a part of this grand step in his life. He is the son of a less-active member and his father is not a member. He is 12 years old but very intelligent and mature for his age. The missionaries have been working with him for a long time to help him make the decision to be baptized and finally he was ready to make that step. When I first met him he wanted nothing to do with the missionaries and when his mom made him come and sit in on the lessons he complained and wouldn´t pay attention, announcing over and over how bored he was. But little by little we were able to connect with him and help him develop an interest in the gospel. He began to pray, to read the BOM, to come to church more frequently, and we saw a huge change in him. He went from telling us he didn´t even believe in God, to offering beautiful prayers in our lessons, asking the Lord to bless him with the faith necessary to be baptized. J... has always had a little fear of baptism because his mom told him of how she had to be baptized 3 times because she kept coming up out of the water and how it was cold. He was really nervous about it but worked up his faith to do it. The day of his baptism we made sure the water was nice and warm for him and talked him through what would happen. Unfortunately, our mission leader who was supposed to be directing didn´t show up for more than an hour so as we tried to entertain the family with hymns, testimonies, Mormon messages, and anything else we could think of...the water got nice and cold. Our mission leader finally got there with another member to be the witnesses and we started the program. But as soon as J... entered the water he refused to go any farther. Hermana Chavez and I tried to talk him through it and help him work up the courage to ease into the cold water. He was shaking so badly, partly because of the cold but partly because he was so nervous of getting in the water. But finally with a lot of prayer he got all the way in and his uncle baptized him...however he tried to do it a little too fast and he didn´t go all the way under. But J... was so brave and let him do it again, even though that had been his fear. But the 2nd time was perfect and J... came out of the font shaking, but smiling. He was so brave and had so much faith to trust the Lord and take this big step, even though he had so much fear. What an example for me. Then on Sunday he was confirmed and received the Holy Ghost which was also so special. What a great feeling, it motivates me to work harder and find even more people who are ready to accept the gospel and enter the waters of baptism. It´s been a long wait and a little hard at times not seeing the results of all my efforts, but if I had to work another 9 months just to have one more baptism like J... I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. You can´t put a price on things like that and every sacrifice and effort is worth it. 

Also, we celebrated Halloween! And when I say we, I mean us 3 north American sisters in our room...because PerĂº doesn´t really do Halloween like we do. :) There were a few kids that dressed up and went to the park for pictures and candy but mostly people were talking about how it is the holiday of the devil and we shouldn´t celebrate it. Lots of churches and people here are against it. So we decided to quietly celebrate in our room by dressing up (as much as missionaries can) and doing a trunk or treat out of our suitcases. Super fun and I’ll send pics next week. :) 

Halloween! I´m Minnie mouse, Hermana Samuels is a dalmation, and Hermana Ekins is an Indian woman....it´s as creative as we could get as missionaries. :) 

My "trunk" for our trunk or treat. :)

My candy loot...Not quite as big as other years, but still super fun. :)

My Calabanza! Pumpkin...well orange because that´s what I could find. :) 

Please pray for S..., an investigator 17 years old who has accepted baptism. D... M... who needs to come to church. B... who also needs to come to church and receive an answer about whether or not she should be baptized. J... and M... that they can stay strong and active in the church and continue progressing. And M... and B... who are friends of J... and are investigating now too. 

I love you all so much and hope that you are all doing well. The year is flying by but I am loving and enjoying every day here in paradise. :) I know the Savior loves us and that it is only through following his example that we may be saved and enjoy eternal happiness as families. I love him and I love his work. (2 Nephi 31:17) My ponderize scripture of the week. :)

Hermana Cox

Our Pday at El Bosque :)

More of pday at el bosque

Here are pics of our pday at "El Bosque" (The forrest). It´s a beautiful country club with a pool, all sorts of sports, a lake, and tons of space to run and explore. Super fun and we all really enjoyed it. We also had a bbq peruvian style. A huge slab of cow on a grill with a bunch of potatoes. :) Super yummy and a nice break from the usual rice and chicken. :)