Monday, March 28, 2016

Monday, March 28, 2016

Hello Family and Friends!!!!

HAPPY EASTER!!!!! Or "Semana Santa" as they say here in Peru. Here they celebrate the whole week and Thursday through Sunday is a holiday.:) I hope you all enjoyed it and were able to have your testimonies strengthened of the reality of the Savior`s atonement and resurrection. This week has truly been very special for me as I tried every day to study about and think of the Savior. I had begun to feel like my relationship with my Savior was becoming a little distant. Sometimes it can be so easy to let the gospel lose it`s wonder if we aren`t careful and if we don`t continually strengthen our testimonies through meaningful, spiritual experiences.

I recognized that this week needed to be a special one and that I wanted to use this "semana santa" or Easter to really draw closer to him again. Every day I studied about what he did in that particular day of the week over 2 centuries ago and tried to turn my thoughts to him throughout the day. Every time I mentioned his name or testified of him or his gospel I tried to really feel it. Wow, it was a beautiful week for me and it all culminated with a very special and spiritual Easter Sunday. That morning I once again read the question of the angel to Mary at the tomb, "Why seek ye the living amongst the dead? He is not here, But IS RISEN." (Luke 24: 5-6) What a beautiful statement of hope and joy. He is risen.

 I loved the Savior`s own testimony as we said to his apostles, "Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Handle me and see for a spirit hath not flesh and bones as ye see me have." (Luke 24: 39) I remember reading the story of Thomas who doubted until he saw the Lord in person. However, the Lord, in his great love, gave him the testimony he needed with the words, "Reach hither thy finger and behold my hands, and reach hither thy hand and thrust it into my side and be not faithless, but believing." What a beautiful invitation that the Lord extends to each of us. I especially loved his words that followed. "Thomas, because thou hast seen me thou hast believed. Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet believed." (John 20: 27-29) That statement from the Lord made me think. I have never seen the Savior with my mortal eyes, but do I really believe that he lives and is the Savior of the world? As I reflected and prayed the spirit confirmed to my heart once again that yes, I do believe. I know he is my savior and that HE IS RISEN. And because he rose from the grave, I will too. My family, friends, loved ones, we can all see each other again and live in happiness in his presence as long as we follow his example and are faithful in what he has commanded us to do. I finished with the last verses in John, "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written, that ye MIGHT BELEIVE that Jesus is the Christ, the son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name. I love my Savior and can`t wait until the day that I will be able to fall at his feet and bathe them with my tears of gratitude. My hope is to live worthy to be prepared for that day. 

Another spiritual feast came on Saturday night as we had the opportunity to listen to the General Women`s conference! I love love love this meeting and I always leave with a heart and to-do list full. :) This conference was centered so much on service and love for one another. It really struck me how simple the messages were, yet how powerful. I had the spirit testify to my heart that this is exactly what I need to focus on now in my life and what will truly help us as women to be the daughters of God and contributors of his Kingdom here on earth that he needs us to be. I can`t wait to listen to more counsel from our prophets and apostles this coming week in General Conference. I hope everyone has plans to watch and has prepared questions you want answered and guidance you need. I know that as we prepare ourselves to receive revelation from the Lord that he will grant it to us. 

This week was also the last week of the transfer and yesterday we received our new assignments. (They have started telling us earlier so we can prepare so now you won`t have to wait a week to hear what happened.) I will be leaving my area and going to a new area called Campoy to be a sister leader with Hermana Suarez from Ecuador. She will be my 3rd companion from Ecuador and I’ve been in the same zone as her before so I feel like I know her a little already. :) I`m excited and have received my confirmation from the spirit that it`s where I need to go. I am very sad to leave Monterrico because I have truly come to love so many people here. I`ve seen miracles daily in my life, the life of the members, and the life of our investigators. I`ve felt joy I didn`t know was possible and seen the Lord about his work. The greatest feeling is knowing that I’ve been able to be an instrument in his hands, however small it may have been. I`m excited for the new adventure that awaits in Campoy and to come to love the people there as well as the sweet sisters we will be able to serve. I`ve heard great things about Hna. Suarez and am very excited to come to love her even more and learn from her. I`m sad to leave my sweet companions. I`ve enjoyed our 3 musketeers so much :) But I know we all have learned what we needed to from one another and grown so much together. Now it`s time to see what else the Lord has in store for us. 

Transfers.  bye Monterrico!

With my companions up on diente do oro

Our sweet sisters in our zone.

Please keep praying for L... and F.... We invited L to be baptized this week but she still says she needs time. We don`t know exactly what more she needs to help her make the decision but she is feeling the spirit and loving the gospel more and more. She has also gotten into family history to help F... prepare names to go to the temple and has just fallen in love with it. (Reminds me of someone else I;) We are hoping that will be a big help for her testimony. :) F... leaves for Germany to study on the 5th of April and will stay there until he finishes school. He is going to live with a family of members which will be really good for him, but I’ll sure miss him. He`s such a good kid. His birthday is on April 9th and it is also the day he will go to the temple and be baptized for his dad. How special. :)

Z... is still doing well and has received the answer that the church is true...but she is still having a hard time accepting it. :) We are going to keep working with her but please keep her in your prayers. 

Please keep praying for C... V... as well. He is a less active member that has returned to the church but is the only member of his family and doesn`t have much support from them. His wife is basically against it and it makes things hard for him. But he is so strong and I know he`ll make it through. 

I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week. Enjoy General Conference, I`m sooooo excited to hear what the Lord wants us to hear. Please pray for me with this new transfer!! Love you all! :)

Much love,

Hermana Cox

The 3 musketeers eating lunch in bed! 

At the church with our less active member E... She is the best. 

Monday, March 21, 2016

Monday, March 21, 2016

Hello my dear Friends and Family!

Yes, week 6 is here again...however this is a special transfer with 7 weeks instead of 6 so it still isn´t the last! We had an awesome week and found some awesome new investigators. I saw many miracles as always and tender mercies of the Lord. We got to do a service project for a less active member which was spur of the moment. Our whole area is super rich, but there is one part that is a huge hill of sand and many people have built little houses on it. It is a very humble area and our less active member was concerned she couldn´t come to church because she didn´t have water. We told her that wouldn´t be an obstacle and volunteered to help her carry water up from her uncle´s house. It was a lot harder than we thought it would be and by the time we made it to the house I think we had more water on our skirts and in our shoes than in the big buckets, but it was a fun little service we could do for her. It also helped me remember how grateful I am for the little things we have like running water and drinking water on demand. 

I am soooooo excited for this Easter week and hope you all enjoy learning more about and testifying of the Savior´s resurrection. I know I will! I´m out of time.  Sorry this was so short. We had to give the big report on all the sisters and that usually takes up a bunch of time.

But love you all so much and hope you have a great week!!! Find a way to remember the Savior every day and use this special week to draw even closer to him and strengthen your testimony of his atonement and resurrection. It is the most important message to the world. I love you all!

Hermana Cox

Monday, March 14, 2016

Monday, March 14, 2016

Hello, Hello! 

So I guess I’ll start out with the big event of the week...on Thursday we were able to have a multi-mission conference with Elder Lynn G. Robbins of the presidency of the Seventy as well as Elder Uceda, our area president. Wow, wow, wow how I loved it. I received so much guidance and direction from the spirit and had specific names of investigators come to mind as he shared thoughts and teachings with us. It was amazing how the Lord was able to answer all of my questions and concerns through one of his servants. I also loved the things Elder and Sister Uceda shared with us. They talked a lot about who we are really becoming as missionaries and that just as important as our to-do list as missionaries is our to-be list. So beautiful to remember that everything we are doing in this time is preparing us to be servants of the Lord later on in life, especially with our future responsibilities as parents and spouses. I´ll admit it was one of the trunkiest (means makes us think of life back home after the mission) conferences I’ve been to in the mission, however, I loved seeing how everything relates and is part of God´s great plan for our lives. It really helped me to think about what I’ve learned in these 13 months here and what else the Lord needs me to learn and do in the 5 months remaining. I know it is going to fly by and that scares me to death. But I am also confident that the Lord has a plan for me and if I am diligent in searching for what he wants me to do, I will be able to return home without regrets. Lots of great inspiration. :) 

A few things he shared that I loved:
-Love is a commandment. We are commanded to love all people but we must also recognize that love is a choice. It is impossible to "fall out of love" with our spouse if we are both putting in a conscious effort. It is a decision we make to love someone. 

-We cannot force obedience. The word Discipline comes from the same stem as Disciple which means a pupil or learner. When we discipline, it should be to teach. As parents we will be tempted to try to force our children to be obedient, but we must not do that. The only way to change someone is to do it from the inside out. Alma 31:5 shows how the only way to change someone is teaching them the doctrine and word of God. Elder Packer has said that the study the gospel will improve behavior even faster than the study of behavior will improve behavior. 

-He taught the principle of perspective and attitude by sharing the experience of Nephi and his family. 1 Nephi 17:20 Laman and Lemuel always saw the glass half empty and focused on their trials and challenges. 1 Nephi 17:2 Nephi went through the exact same experience in the desert and recognized that the glass was definitely not full, they still had challenges, but he saw it half full and decided to focus on the blessings of the Lord. 

It was an awesome conference and I wish I could share everything but I’m out of time. :) 

Update on F..., I mentioned that he hadn´t come to church because he had tried fasting and got sick. We visited him this week and asked him what happened and he told us that he had ended up fasting 3 meals instead of just 2!! Somehow he misunderstood us when we were explaining that he could start with a half-fast to get used to things but ended up doing a "One and a half" fast. Poor kid, but he just laughed it off and told us he is now confident he can do a normal fast next month. :) He is such a good kid and has so much desire to be exactly obedient. Please pray for his mom L... who we are also trying to teach and help be baptized. She is softening little by little but needs prayers. 

And now the moment my family has been waiting to hear my whole mission...............................this week I ate QuĂ­!!! (Guinea Pig) Hahaha, I thought I was going to make it through my whole mission without eating it because it isn´t common here in Lima, more in the provinces. But I did try a little bit this week at our pensionista´s mom´s birthday and it was actually pretty good. I didn´t see the whole body and head and everything so that made it easier, but I can now say I´m a real Peruvian. :) 

Please pray for C... and his family, L..., Z... (almost agreed to be baptized!), E... who needs to repent and come back to church, O... and A... that he can heal and they can accept the gospel,  and that we can find new investigators!

I love you so much and hope you have a wonderful week!!!!! Remember this week to see the glass half full and choose to love!! :) 

Hermana Cox
Monday, March 7, 2016

What a great week! We had so much going on and I felt like we were constantly on the go...I love it! Out investigator J... was baptized on Saturday which was of course the highlight of the week. He was so ready and shared a beautiful testimony afterwards. His wife is a member but he used to be agnostic. Now he has a strong testimony and even came with us to visit another investigator we are working with the day before his baptism to share his testimony with her. It was awesome! He`ll make a great leader in the church and I know the Lord has big plans or him. what a beautiful feeling it is to be an instrument in the Lord`s hands and see him work miracles through us. I sent some pics (finally) so you can see his big smile when he got out of the font. :) 

This week I also got the fun treat of doing interchanges with Hermana Bergeson!!!! I`m her Sister leader so she came and worked in my area with me and one of my companions went and worked with her companion. It was so fun to catch up with her and remember all the fun times we had together. She is wonderful and I am so glad we are forever friends. 

Division with Hermana Bergeson this week!!!

Well since last week`s letter was a little bit of a "reality check, mission life isn`t always easy", I thought it would be fun to share a lot of the random, funny things that happen here...which there are so many things. :) Missionary work is also super fun and we do so many crazy things I never could have imagined I’d do. Haha, here goes. :)

This week I ate liver...not even sure from what animal...but it actually wasn`t too bad.

We were contacting a man and he started walking away so I tried to hurry and spit out something before he left and totally stumbled over all my words. But then to make things better right as I turned around to walk away with my comps I ran right into a pole. Yep, nailed it...literally. :) We got a good laugh.

On Sunday F... didn`t come to church and we were worried so we called him after the meetings and his mom answered. She said he hadn`t come because he was feeling a little sick to his stomach...she said he tried fasting for the first time. Oh no...I guess it didn`t go so well. Haha poor thing! 15 year old boys and fasting don`t click so well I guess. We have a lesson with him today so we`ll make sure he`s doing alright. :)

Hermana Martinez is learning a lot of English right now and we`ve been trying to practice a lot. It`s good for me because I am remembering my English...however it gets pretty confusing in my mind with the two languages. So we now speak fluent Spanglish in our companionship and we have had so many funny mix-ups this week and word vomits that just leave us laughing. 

It was really a great week and I am loving the work. Please pray for Z..., L..., O... and A..., C..., Family R..., C..., B..., and that we can find new investigators!

I love this work so much and I am so grateful for the spirit that leads and guides us in every aspect of the work. We had 2 divisions this week and they were both really important and I had some pretty big responsibilities to complete with them. But as I humbled myself and just tried to let the spirit work through me, I felt that the Lord was able to help me accomplish what I needed to and the spirit taught and helped the sisters more than I could have myself. The enabling power of the atonement is just as real as it`s redemptive power. It means that if I give my 100% then the Lord will give His and that is enough to accomplish any miracle. 

Thank you for all the love and support! 

Hermana Cox

Some typical peruvian food. The second one is a seafood dish...yep that`s right dad, i`m eating seafood here. :)

this is`s the famous dish of Peru...but we can`t eat it. :) It`s raw fish with lime and other seasonings. I`ve heard it`s delicious but who knows!

a cool fruit here called a tuna...haha not the fish. :)

Monday, February 29, 2016

Hola Todos!!!!!! 

Wow, what a week! So much going on! I have about 5 minutes to write this email so it may be short, but I’ll do my best. 

First of all, this week we received a little surprise package...a new companion!!!  Haha, now we are in a trio of 3 missionaries. It is a little crazy but we are super excited to see all the work we will be able to get done with 3. We can now do splits almost every day and divide and conquer our area...I’m super excited!!! Her name is Hermana Terry from Ogden Utah and she`s the best. :)

To be honest this week was a little rough...we didn`t have as much success as we were hoping for as far as our indicators go, I got sick on Saturday night and Sunday, there was a miscommunication at church when we were going to give a training to the ward in Sunday school but the teacher wasn`t informed by the bishop so she got all upset and yelled at us and said some mean things.  We found out about some problems the sisters are having that we need to correct and help them with this next week, lots of HOT days walking in the sun, etc.

The mission isn`t the easiest thing at times, but what I learned this week is that the Lord gives us our daily manna, our daily miracles and blessings that keep us going. If we aren`t looking for them we could miss them and only see the hard things, but if we have a humble heart and are trying to look for the good we can find it everywhere. I don`t usually like to share the hard things that happen, but I’m learning that sometimes it`s good to recognize them so that we can see how merciful and kind the Lord is to us. I love him so much and know he will carry me every day and help us with whatever problem or challenge arises. No more time to write but I love you all and hope you have an excellent week! Please pray for J... who gets baptized this Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!! Love you!!!

Hermana Cox

Monday, March 7, 2016

Monday, February 22, 2016

Hola Familia y Amigos!!!

Well this week was another amazing one!!!! However, I`m going to skip right to the most exciting part....F... GOT BAPTIZED!!!!!! Wahooooooooo! Wow, I can`t even describe how excited I’ve been all week and how incredible the day of the baptism was. F... had his interview on Friday with our district leader and he came out just smiling and saying, "I passed!! I`m getting baptized!!!" We had a little lesson with him after to talk about how he felt and answer any questions he had and he could hardly contain his excitement. He told us he was feeling the Holy Ghost more than ever cute!! Then on Saturday he showed up a little nervous but still excited and so many ward members came too to support him. Every baptism is stressful and there is always something that goes wrong, but I’ve learned to just enjoy it and laugh about it later. :) F... ended up having to be baptized 3 times and Hermana Martinez and I were dying! Haha, the first time the hermano who was baptizing him said the prayer wrong, the second time he didn`t go all the way under, and then finally the third time everything went well. :) Afterwards we ran to the other side of the font to talk with F... as he was coming out and he was just beaming and said he didn`t even feel the cold anymore. :) Haha. We told him he was "super baptized" now and he told us that he just felt so clean and pure inside. Afterwards he shared his testimony and shared about how he had been so depressed and lost after his dad died 2 years ago and had stopped believing in God, yet in just a short amount of time he said that God has healed him of his pain and sadness and he believes in God, in Jesus Christ, and that the church is really the true church on the earth. He is such an incredible example to me and I have developed such a great love for this little boy!!!! 

Then on Sunday he showed up at the church for his confirmation in a white shirt and slacks (he had always just worn jeans and a t-shirt before) and brought a tie too! He didn`t know how to tie it so a hermano in our ward helped him, but it was adorable and he looked so grown up and like an official member of the church. The ward has been a great support for him and he is planning on starting seminary as well. He is so happy and we have seen a complete change in him. The gospel is incredible and really is the key to happiness. I still can`t thank my Heavenly Father enough for this beautiful experience of finding and teaching F.... He tells us we were an answer to his prayers but really it`s the other way around, he was an answer to our prayers.

There has not been a baptism in our area for over 1.5 years but Hermana Martinez and I knew that there were people here who were prepared and ready to accept the gospel. It hasn`t been easy, but he is evidence that the Lord works miracles and answers the prayers of his missionaries as well as his children who are searching for the truth. I love F... and I can`t wait to see him continue to progress in the gospel and in his testimony of the Savior. Even if he were the only person I saw baptized on my mission it would be worth it and I would do it all again. :)

My scripture for the week is Alma 29:10. That is how I feel with F...!! Wow, this work is so true and beautiful! Thank you for all your prayers and please continue to include F... and his mom. Also J... and Z... who have goals to be baptized in March!! Familia R..., C... V..., L..., and A... could also use prayers. 

No more time, but I love you all and hope that you have a great week. The gospel is true and it brings us more joy than we can imagine. Keep doing the little things and don`t let the gospel lose its wonder and beauty. 

Hermana Cox
Monday, February 15, 2016

Buenos Dias! I know that I say it every week, but this week was one of so many miracles!!! I`ll be honest and say that I have been a little stressed with combining the two areas and getting to know all the investigators, less-actives, and converts that the other sisters were teaching. The area is huge and we`ve been having to divide it into sections and focus on one section per day because there is no time to visit everywhere. But we are getting the hang of things and the ward has been awesome with helping us. I think my biggest worry is just that we are going to lose contact with people during this process and won`t be able to visit everyone as often as we would like. However, the Lord has been very clear this week that he is using this experience to teach me the importance of relying on him and trusting his timing and wisdom. He knows who is really ready and he will lead us to them. Yes, we have a huge responsibility but this is the Lord`s work and he knows what he is doing. I have no doubt he will guide us and help people progress. I am not the person who converts the people, that`s the spirit`s job. As long as I am doing my best and being a worthy and obedient instrument in the Lord`s hands, I have no need to worry that things will go exactly as he has planned. 

The Giant map of our area....

One miracle happened when we went to visit one of the investigators from the new area named Z.... The sisters had told us that they had plans to teach her about the plan of salvation because she had a lot of questions about it. We got there and spent a little time getting to know her and she told us she had a desire to learn more about the doctrine of eternal families and how it’s possible. So, we started explaining a little about the plan of salvation as planned but we just didn`t feel like it was satisfying her need or really reaching her. Then my companion started mentioning faith and asked her if she had faith in Jesus Christ. Surprisingly she told us that it was something that was very difficult for her. Her family raised her saying that God didn`t really exist and it was just something people made up that isn`t real. BUT, she told us that she had a desire to believe and that is why she had contacted the missionaries. Hermana Martinez and I felt like Ammon with King Lamoni as we started explaining who God was and our relationship with him. We explained what faith was and why it is necessary to develop our faith in Jesus Christ. We read Alma 32 with her about the seed and how we need to nurture it so it grows little by little. She asked us what she could do to strengthen her faith so we started talking a little bit about repentance which also interested her a lot because of some things that have happened in her past. It was beautiful to testify of the Savior and how repentance is only possible through him. Then came the explanation of the covenant of baptism. After explaining a little bit, we were out of time and needed to leave for another appointment but my companion and I both felt so strongly that we needed to invite her to be baptized. We did and she said, ¨Wow, I can`t believe I’m accepting this, but yes. I think I want to be baptized.¨  We had planned to invite her to be baptized the 27th of February if she accepted but as Hermana Martinez extended the baptismal date it came out the 5th of March. As soon as she said it Z... just gasped and said, ¨Wait, are you serious?¨ She started crying and explained that this date was very special to her for some personal reason that she didn`t explain, but said that she felt that God had put that date in our minds to invite her. She told us it was perfect and that that was the date she wanted to make this special covenant with God. I felt tears come to my eyes as well and just testified to her of God`s love and that the choice she was making would bless her life more than anything else. It was incredible and the spirit was so strong. It was amazing to see the sprit control that lesson and take her from not even sure if God existed to having the spirt confirm to her heart that this is true and that she should be baptized to make this covenant with him. She came to church yesterday with her sister and is still progressing well. 

We have F...`s baptism this Saturday and I am soooo excited!!! He is so ready and is just a little miracle for us. Please pray for him lots this week as Satan always tries to sneak his way in when the baptismal date gets close. Also please pray for J... and C... who also will be baptized in a few weeks! I don`t have more time, but hope you all have a wonderful week! 

HAPPY VALENTINE`S DAY!!!!!! Love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hermana Cox

My cute companion decorated the room for Valentine`s day/my year mark while I was sleeping. :)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Transfers are here again!!! I swear every transfer is going by faster and faster!!! This time we received our transfers in the morning so I can actually tell you what is happening before it happens and not the week after :) HERMANA MARTINEZ AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHER!!!! I am so excited and we are both so grateful to have more time together. I love her so much and feel that we have made so much progress together. The catch however, is that they are taking out the other sisters who shared our ward and leaving it all to us. Ok let me explain something.....our ward is GIANT!!!! Our area was already huge (the biggest area I’ve had so far) and now it has at least doubled in size...about an hour bus ride from one side to another. It is huge and we will be spending pday today with the other sisters trying to get all the info we can about all the people in their area so we can visit them and get to know their area. We are so excited but also very nervous. We will be trying to get all the help we can from members and especially from the Lord. We`ll be able to do it with the Lord`s help but it will be a lot of work. Please send prayers our way. :) 

This week was a little harder as far as missionary work goes, however, we were able to see fruits of our labors this transfer. On Saturday we attended the sealing of the R... family in our ward! They were less-active members that the ward assigned us to activate and prepare to enter the temple. They passed through so many challenges in the process that I can`t even imagine how they made it through. But finally they were able to enter the temple and accomplish their goal of being sealed for time and all eternity. It was so special to be there with them after all that had happened and the many visits where we just sat and listened to them cry and tell us about all that was going on. But then to see them in the temple kneeling across the alter and watch them as they made grand and sacred promises to each other and to the Lord. It was also Hermana Martinez`s first time seeing a sealing and I`ll never forget her face after we finished...completely in awe. I`ve only seen one before this and it was over a year ago so it was a great reminder of those incredible blessings and promises that God is willing to grant us if we will just be faithful and do our part. The gospel is truly a gift of love to us from our Father and I’m so grateful to live in a time where it has been fully restored to the earth for us to enjoy.

This week we also rescued a less active member the ward has been working with for almost a year and to make it even more special, her daughter was baptized and confirmed this week as well. Her daughter is 8 years old and turns 9 in two weeks so it`s not a baptism for us, but we have been teaching her all the lessons with her mom and it still felt like a great accomplishment for us to see her enter the waters of baptism. Grand miracles and blessings that are occurring here in Monterrico and we know it is just the beginning and there are many more to come. 

I know this is the work of the Lord and I have enjoyed every moment of my service here in Peru. It`s not always easy, but it`s something I wouldn`t trade for all the treasure in the world. I know that God is a loving and merciful Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ is his beloved son and our savior. I love them both so much and am so grateful to live in this time that the gospel has been restored upon the earth in its fullness. 

Thank you for all the love and support!!! I love you all so much!!! :)

Hermana Cox