Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Monday, June 27, 2016

Hola Hola! Here we are again on a beautiful Monday morning in Lima, Peru! Can I just say how grateful I am to be here in Villa Alegre?!!! This area is amazing! This ward has so much potential and I am so excited to be working with Hermana Mendoza. This week was a little crazy because we are now the only missionaries in this ward (before there were Elders too) which means we are now working two areas and combining them. We are maintaining our area and then trying to get to know the other part of the ward where the Elders were and keep moving forward with all their people. They did a great job leaving us a list of the most important investigators, less active members, and converts and a description of what they need to keep progressing. We were able to visit almost every one of them this week and get to know these amazing people. The members came with us to show us around almost every day and we have received so much support from them and our ward mission leader.

There are so many prepared investigators here...and FAMILIES!!!! I love teaching the gospel to entire families and seeing the blessings and changes that come into their lives. We have 2 families that are needing to have the parents get married before they can be baptized but they are both willing and we are in the process. I am so excited to see their progress and have the opportunity to help them come to their Savior. 

Please pray for J... G... (keep progressing towards baptism), C..., H..., and their kids (Get married and progress towards baptism), A... and G... (get married so they can get baptized), O... and N... (Also get married so they can be baptized), S... (Permission from her parents to be baptized), E... and N... (Activate them), C... (come to church and want to be baptized), and just all our investigators, less actives, and converts...now there are double. :) 

It was a really crazy, busy week but that´s how I like it. :) I need to have lots going on to keep me from being trunky...Today I officially completed 17 months in the mission. I can´t believe how time has flown and how much has happened in so short a time. But it´s been an amazing journey and I wouldn´t trade these experiences for the world. So far I’m doing really well and just feel so much motivation and desire to work hard and enjoy every moment. Sometimes I feel a little bit of the sadness creep in as I remember that this incredible adventure is coming to an end, but then I remember that it really doesn´t end after I step off the plane. I truly feel that I’ve become a missionary and have been converted into a true disciple of Jesus Christ. It doesn´t mean I´m perfect or that I´ll be able to keep doing all the things I do here for the Lord, but I know that when we have a true desire to serve the Lord and give our lives to him that he will provide us opportunities to keep helping others and keep sharing the gospel with all those around us. This is only the beginning...the training ground for life. :) 

I hope you are all doing well and seeing so many miracles every day. Don´t forget to read the Book of Mormon every day. That is one of the biggest things I´ve been able to see here is the difference in the members who are reading and studying faithfully every day and progress and continue growing, and those who don´t and slowly become weaker and Satan tries to make his way into their lives. The Book of Mormon is our greatest tool in conversion. I know that´s true. :) I love you all so much!!!! Have an awesome day!!! Hurrah for Israel!!!
Monday, June 20, 2016

Well, we are back to transfer time again. I can´t believe how fast these 6 weeks have gone. I´m starting to enter into panic with how fast time is flying. It was an awesome week full of miracles and tender mercies of the Lord as always.

This week we got to go to the temple and I really enjoyed going and feeling the spirit that is there. This will be my last time getting to go to the temple here as a missionary so it was a little bitter-sweet. As I sat in the celestial room my mind went back in time to the first time I entered this temple when I first got to the MTC. I remember feeling so nervous, so afraid, so far out of my comfort zone. But I remember praying and just crying, telling the Lord all my worries and feeling such peace and comfort knowing that he would be with me every step of the way. And then sitting there on Tuesday I was amazed to see how far I’ve come and how quickly the time has gone. I realized that I now felt so comfortable here and with my calling as a missionary. I´m not a perfect missionary and I still have so much I need to improve (I better hurry and get on that), but I know that the Lord kept his promise and was with me every step of the way. It´s been quite the journey and I´ve changed so much, but I know that it´s exactly what I’ve needed in my life to draw me even closer to my Savior. I love him so much. I´m so grateful for the time I’ve had here and I left ready and motivated to give my all this last transfer. Oh how I love this work. 

Last trip to the temple! I love this place more than I can express. 

I was hoping to get to stay here in my area to finish with my sweet Hermana Vaca, but I guess the Lord has other plans for us both. I will be leaving and headed back to Surco! That was my 2nd zone so it will be fun to go back there. I will be in a different ward, but sharing the church building with my old San Roque ward! Hopefully I´ll get to see some of my sweet members there. :) My companion is Hermana Mendoza from Bolivia I believe. I was her sister leader a while ago and did divisions with her one time but I´m excited to get to know her even better. :) I won´t be a Hermana leader this transfer which will be a nice break, but I do believe we are opening an area which is always an adventure. I´m sad to be leaving, but excited for the new adventure. I´m excited to see what the Lord has in store for us there. 

Thank you for those who sent me their testimonies, I loved reading them. I would still love to receive more from those who would like to send me theirs. I hope you all have a wonderful week and never forget to have spiritual experiences every day. On Sunday our teacher talked a lot about how important it is to constantly have spiritual experiences so that we can keep progressing and growing spiritually. That´s the whole point of this life but it´s so easy to get distracted by the things of the world. In the end none of that really matters, but the conversion we obtain and the relationship we develop with the Lord is a treasure we get to take with us. 

I love you all so much!! Have a great week!!

The sisters in our trunky meeting! We had our self-reliance meeting where they talk about college, jobs, family, goals, and everything to prepare us to return to the real world...how strange. It was actually really cool and I learned a lot. :)

Happy Father´s Day all!!!

Monday, June 14, 2016

Dear Friends and Family,

What an incredible week. I can`t believe how much revelation I received and how much I could feel the spirit in one week. It was a pretty crazy one for us with 3 zone meetings, Elder Rasband, and then a Family History activity we put on for the converts in our stake. Literally every day this week we had some kind of activity and responsibility. But where the Lord asks much of us, he always gives us the strength and power we need to complete what we need to in his service. I really felt that this week. 

Our meeting with Elder Rasband is something I will never forget. Being able to shake his hand and look into his eyes was such a neat experience for me. I didn`t feel some kind of electric shock or powerful spiritual impression, rather I felt sincerity and the pure love of Christ radiating from him. I felt that love the whole meeting and his humility, sincerity, and true devotion to the Lord impacted me more than anything else. I went with a few questions in my mind and heart and I received answers to many through the words spoken and through impressions of the spirit. One of the questions that I had really been pondering in my heart and wanted to ask him was this, "Elder Rasband, you are called to be a special witness of Jesus Christ. To be that kind of witness, I`m sure you must really need to know the Savior and be close to him. What has helped you the most in your life to develop that relationship with the Savior and what advice would you give us as youth about how to strengthen that relationship throughout our lives?"  I loved what Sister Moore from the CCM said, that this ability to be a special witness has come because of Elder Rasband`s pure desire to take upon him the name of Christ in all he does and serve him until the end. It`s the accumulation of all the little things the gospel teaches us, but behind all we DO must burn that great DESIRE to know the Savior, serve him, and take upon us his name. Do what he would do, say what he would say, be who he wants us to be at all times and in all things and in all places. I also loved how he talked about following our first impression. I`ve been trying to put that into practice this week and have found that it`s so true! So often I receive an impression from the spirit but then begin to question if it`s really from him or just my own mind and then I overanalyze the whole situation. I have found that if something comes to my mind and it is something good, why not just do it. Why wait for a big spiritual impression if the spirit of the Lord is that spirit that constantly entices us to do good and serve God. The first prompting is from the spirit, the doubting and debating that follows is either our own natural man or the enticements of the adversary. Something else that really impacted me about what he said was his pure and powerful testimony he bore at the end of his message. He said that although there were still many responsibilities of his calling he still did not feel adequate to fill yet, the responsibility he did feel 100% sure about what his call to testify of Christ. He bore such a powerful testimony that he lives and is our Savior. But what struck me most is that he said that he knew with absolute surety because he could feel a burning in his heart and continues to feel it every time he testifies. He asked us if we too could feel the burning at that moment and I could have sworn my heart was going to explode out of my chest. I felt that burning that feels my whole heart with joy and sends chills down my whole body. He told us it was the exact same for him. That feeling is how he knows, that confirmation of the spirit, not by any other way. I realized that it was the same for me. I KNOW that Jesus Christ lives and is my Savior. I knew it before I came to this earth and I`m so grateful that the Lord has testified to my heart again and given me the opportunity to know in this life also so that I can share that testimony and witness with all those I come in contact with. I left that meeting with the same testimony I entered with, nothing new was taught. But I left with that testimony rekindled and strengthened until it glowed like a bonfire. I want to strive to feel that every day and never stop testifying of what I know and what I feel. This time we have as missionaries is so short, but I know that it is a preparation for even more after. The things I am doing now are preparing me for a life of dedicated discipleship to my Lord and King. I have been able to see that so clearly and it has become the pure and only desire of my heart. I`m here because I love him and want to serve him. And I will live every day of my life for that same reason. What a beautiful, unforgettable experience with a true and living apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. 

Hope you all have a marvelous week. Keep serving, keep doing good, strengthen you testimony through scripture and prayer every single day. The Lord loves us all and we should never forget to take a moment and feel that. :) Then go out and share it with everyone we know! I would love to hear your testimonies as well. Those who have time and would like to I would love for you to email me and share with me your testimony of the Savior so I can read them every morning as I wake up. Nothing can motivate us to share the gospel more than hearing the testimonies of others. :)

Con Amor,

Hermana Cox

Our twinner dresses

Our pensionista made us ceviche de pota...pota is octopus! It was a crazy meal but i actually kind of liked it. :) Pretty fun...

Package from Home

Monday, June 6, 2016

Another great week here in paradise! It´s gotten pretty cold lately and we live in a tiny 4th floor room which makes it even colder. :) But we are doing well and finding a lot of great people. Please keep praying for M... N... and J..., A..., and the O... family. They are all amazing and so prepared. I have no time, but please pray for us this week with a big week of trainings, zone meetings, A VISIT FROM AN APOSTLE OF GOD!!!, and a family history activity we are in charge of. Elder Rasband will be coming on Thursday and I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. It´ll be an incredible experience. I am so happy and loving every day. Thank you for all the thoughts and prayers. I love you all so much!

Friday, June 24, 2016

Monday, May 30, 2016

Half way through the transfer already!!! It was a great week though but each one is flying by faster and faster! We have been worried about a lot of the recent converts in our area and because there are a good amount, it has been hard to visit all of them each week. We lost contact with a few and they stopped coming to church as well. We really worried about it and realized that we needed to focus on strengthening and helping our converts and asked for the Lord´s help. This week we were able to contact almost every single one and have lessons with them. One of our converts, J..., who was baptized about  2 months ago hadn´t come to church for 4 weeks because of work and complications at home but we included him in our prayers and even our fast this week and he came to church out of nowhere! He told us a little bit about what was going on and that he was afraid to come back to church because of what everyone would say but promised he was going to start coming to church again. The moment I saw him walk in my heart filled with joy and I couldn´t help but have a huge smile on my face. Every soul is precious to the Lord and he loves them all so much. As missionaries he lets us feel a little taste of that great love. :) It was such a big miracle for us. 

We have also been working with the direcciones disconocidas and have had success in finding families and individuals who are in need of help and humble and prepared to come back to the fold. We´ve also found many great contacts and new investigators as we´ve been searching. The Lord is blessing us so much. 

This week we found some awesome new investigators from Colombia! The mom, M... N..., has been really worried about her youngest son because he is being led away by some bad influences and has started drinking lots of alcohol. She saw the church one night and felt something special and told herself that she would go and visit. So last Sunday on her way to the market she passed by and walked inside to see when the meetings started. She found a member of our ward and gave the member her information so that we could go and visit her. We called and visited her this week and had 2 awesome lessons. The first one she told us about the problems in her family and asked how she could fast. The member she talked to told her that fasting and praying would help her with her problems. We explained how to fast and the power it has and invited her to do it. When we came back a few days later she told us that she had fasted for the 24 hours and didn´t even feel hunger or thirst. She said that she never read the bible very much because she didn´t really understand but that night she was up until 3 in the morning reading it and receiving answers. It was amazing. She is a woman of great faith and very willing to act. Her daughter J... has been listening as well and they both came to church on Sunday and have accepted a baptismal goal for the first of July. We are so excited for them and can´t wait to keep helping them receive answers, help, and draw nearer to the Lord. 

Some fun news of the week, I ate a whole fish...literally the whole fish put in the pan and fried and then placed on my plate. Head, gills, fins and all. I ate it all and even the eyeball, just to say I did. Wow, I’ve changed so much. Haha, Peru has brought out my adventurous side. :)

Love you all and hope you have a wonderful week. Thank you for all the love and prayers. This week I challenge you to pick a conference talk from last conference to study again and then pray about how you can apply it this week. Then look for opportunities to share it with someone else that may need that message as well. Love you all! Please keep praying for us!:)

Fun little highschool reunion this week for pday! How crazy! :)

Pday and happy 16 months! Can you believe it? I can´t...

Monday, May 23, 2016

Wow, it´s gotten so cold this week! It came so suddenly and seems to have scared everyone into their houses and beds. :) It´s been another great week that has flown by much quicker than I can imagine. It was a tougher week in our area and we ended up having a lot of lessons in the street trying to find new investigators. But we also saw so many miracles and blessings. I know that there are prepared children of God out there waiting and prepared to receive the message of the gospel, we just need to keep searching and following the spirit. I know the Lord is true to his promises and if we just keep working our hardest, he will bless us for our efforts. The Lord is so good and he just waits for us to exercise the needed faith so he can work his miracles.

I know this week we are going to find escogidos, I just feel it! De hecho, we have found amazing people and another whole family came to church this Sunday! Another referral from members too! E..., F..., and their three kids. We are super excited about them and the ward was incredible. They got to church a little late and came and sat in the back. After the meeting ended before we could even get to the back of the chapel to talk to them we had ward members run up to us telling us that a family of investigators was here (they all wanted to be the first ones to give us the referral even though they were already our investigators) and members were already taking the kids to their classes and offering to go with them. We almost didn´t even get to talk to them. :) This ward is incredible that way! They had members with them the whole morning and we basically didn´t do anything during all of church until the end when we asked them how it went. So exciting!! :) Little miracles every Sunday!!  I love this ward so much, they are seriously my family. I could probably move back to Peru and live here my whole life. 

I am out of time, but we are doing well and working hard! Please pray for us and for our investigators. E..., F..., C..., D..., K..., A..., B..., M..., and all the converts who have been baptized as well. J... needs a lot of prayers right now, he is the first one who got baptized when I got to this area. 

Have a great week and enjoy finishing up school. Love you all!!

Hermana Cox