Monday, March 25, 2013

Elder Cox's Final Letter From Gonzalez and From Mexico

Dear Family and Friends,

What more can I say than what Paul said in 2 Timothy 4 that the time is now at hand.  He peleado la buena batalla, he acabado la carrera, he guardado la fe. 

I wish none other than to say at the end: Lord, like my shoes,  I wish to be used and worn out in the service of my God.  So that at the last and final day I might say the words that Paul said. And here are the words: Ye have done well my good and faithful servent. 

This is not the end, but yet the beginning for me.  I am not ending anything, but beginnig to build upon what I have learned and acquired.  Now is the time to apply and do. 

I love you all.  See you soon. 

Elder James Cox 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Elder Cox'x Sixth Letter From Aldama and Gonzalez

Dear family and friends,

Another week has come and gone.  I was just thinking last Monday, I know that very soon I´ll be right back here writing my family.  It seems like the weeks go by faster and faster.  It's true, somedays go by very slow, and you just can´t wait to have the day over.  But the truth is, the weeks fly by, and I feel like I blink and it's over.  Time does not wait for anyone.

We had a relatively good week.  It went by so fast I can't barely (Editor's note: don't you just love those double negatives..:) remember what we did. haha. We had some great lessons.

Right now as a mission we are focusing a lot on the reactivation of less active members.  As a mission last week we had almost 600 less actives attend church.  And it keeps going up.  We are seeing great growth here.  Pres Jordan wrote all the missionaries and told us that a stake president shared with him some very pleasant news as to what the missionaries are doing here.  he said Thanks for all the work that we are doing.  He has called a new bishop and 2 new counsilors that were all inactive.  He said that ward is finally starting to take form once more.  We have seen great growth here.  Three month ago there was an assistance of about 12 to 15 people.  Last Sunday we had 43 people.  Our little sacrament meeting was packed. :) 70 percent were less actives.  The work of the Lord is going forth boldly and to every nation.  It is growing so fast here.  I see how the Lord's hand is in this work.  We are having more and more missionaries come into the missions, and seeing more and more members coming back.  Truely the greatest time to live is in this age.  I'm so thankful to my Father in Heaven for letting me stay here for these 3 extra months.  I've been able to be a part of a work far bigger and greater than me.

A few weeks ago the first counselor was very worried about how he was going to be able to help the the single mothers and part families that need to be self sufficient.  How he was going to help them to find work to provide for their families.  I suggested that they start a vegetable garden with some fruit trees.  He thought about it and took it up with the branch president.  We got the a okay and today we started the garden.  Sadly what I thought would happen came to pass.  Nobody showed up to prepare the dirt (Editor's note: that old Little Red Hen Syndrome:).  We had the young man of the branch, my companion and I hacking and hoeing at the dirt all day.  We finally finished and planted the seeds.  Now we will see if the members come to help with the watering and weeding... well I don't think I will be here to see the final project, but it's the thought that counts.  I hope they send me pics when it all turns out.

Well that's about it.  I'm working hard and happy. :)

Elder Cox

Monday, March 18, 2013

Elder Cox's Fifth Letter From Aldama and Gonzalez

Hello friends and family,

I'm sitting here on the computer in Gonzalez thinking, what do I write?  I have the whole week to think about that, and I come up with a few things that I would like to write but, then when I get on the computer, I forget everything. :( 

Today is a beautiful day.  A little warm, but in the shade, the nice breeze feels great.  Can't beat that. (my keyboard is sticking a lot, it's driving me crazy)

Last week I was preparing one of my investigators for his baptismal interview.  Come to find out he had to have an interview with President.  So yesterday President came by ( Editor's note: I love Elder Cox's use of 'came by'.  The mission home is 3 hours away in Tampico..ha ha)  and they had a nice chat.  They set goals and it looks like he will be able to be baptized in September.  He said he wanted me to stop by in September so I could baptize him.  I told him I would get back to him on that. haha.  I  would love to come back someday. But with money and I know I will get busy with school and work. I don' know when, but hopefully next year.  That would sure be nice to come back and visit. :)

This week I was thinking about Adam and Eve.  I was thinking about their first few years after they partook of the the fruit of knowledge of good and evil.  How was their first 20 years like? (Editor's note:  Love that syntax!)  I'm with my comp 24/7 but at least there are other people to talk to when I want to talk to somebody else.  Or when I get married, at least there will be other people to talk to.  I feel really bad for Adam.  I'm sure he was like: is there anybody else on this planet to talk to? All she wants to talk about is the same things: clothes, food, and how good looking the movie stars are. (Editor's note: Which movie stars would those be?)  No, I'm just kidding.  But really how frustrating that would be wanting to have a conversation with someone other than your wife and not being able to.  Just saying, funny thought... (Editor's note: Certainly got a hoot out of me..:)

As far as the work here.  It's going well.  We are still working hard, Mom!  Don't think that I'm trunkie :P  We are seeing a few fruits of our labors.  And the rest will come later.  It might be that other missionaries see the fruits of our labors.  But that's ok.  Actually a missionary let me know a little while ago that they had a baptism for the work that I had done in the area.  In my first area I had contacted someone and he was doing awesome.  Then all the sudden he disappeared.  About a year and half later shows up and says he wants to be baptized.  He read the Book of Mormon like 2 times and the D & C before he was baptized.  He knows the Bible through and through.  He is just an awesome guy and a great help to the ward.  It made me feel good to know that the seeds that I sowed so long ago that at least one was reaped. 

The mission is going by faster and faster.  Mondays come faster and faster.  I feel like I blink and I'm sitting on the computer again writing to you saying that a week just went by when it felt like 1 or 2 days.  It's all gone by way too fast.  I guess in the moment at times one wants it to go by fast and it feels like time is just creeping by.  But it seems that always looking back, one realizes that time went by faster than they would have liked.  I feel like that is what has happened in my mission.  I guess at times I wanted it to go by faster. but then looking back, it's almost coming to an end. And it went by way too fast.  I almost dont want it to stop. 

Just some thoughts from a missionary in Mexico. 

I love you all and may God bless you.

Elder James Cox

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Elder Cox's Fourth Letter From Aldama and Gonzalez

Hey Family and Friends,

Things here are going well.  I`ve been traveling a lot.  I`m glad my family bought me a set of suitecases that had a small carring bag with it.  I have been using that a lot.  I fill it full of small clothes and a few other things needed and off we go.  We go over to Gonzalez for a couple days and get to work.  The ride over there takes 2 buses and usually takes anywhere to 1 to the extreme of 2 hours depending on how many stops it makes.  Here you can get on or off just about anywhere between start and finish of the route.  But I can`t complain, it usually has AC.  Just here we pack ourselves in worse than sardines. Haha. 

This last week we were in Gonzalez.  We had a good time.  We taught the husband of a woman that was recently baptized.  He will be getting baptized the 16 of March.  Great guy.  He is overcoming all kinds of obstacles right now.  His last vice is coffee.  He said he was planning on quitting that cold turkey last Saturday.  I know he can. 

We went to go teach a less active member that a member told us about.  He wasn't there, so we sat on the curb for a bit to wait to see if he would show up.  And what do you know a woman and her two little kids started to talk to us.  She asked us who we were and we began to talk to her.  Sadly we were running out of time and had to go to the other part of town for a lunch mtg.  So we quickly talked to her about the plan of salvation.  She was fascinated and wanted to know more about where her husband, grandmother and good friend were.  They had all recently passed away.  She said that she would be interested in hearing some more.  She has 5 children and a neighbor that would be interested also.  We challenged her to go to church and then had to run.  Later in the afternoon we came back to Aldama. 

Sunday we had the young women (there are just 2) present the New Beginnings thing they do.  It went well.  We had an investigator come to church here in Aldama.  She is planning on being baptized the 23 of March.  We also plan on challenging this family that we found in Gonzalez for the 30th.  It would be nice to finish strong and see a family be baptized. 

All is going well here.  It's getting warm here very quickly.  I wished you would send some of that cold and rainy weather down here.  Snow would be preferable.  Haha. 

Love you all. 

Elder Cox

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Elder Cox's Third Letter From Aldama

Hey family and friends,

All is well here.  We finally got a little of the rain that you sent our way.  Thanks.  Yesterday it sprinkled a little and today it's a sunny day with a few clouds out.  So it's a nice beautiful day out.

Today was transfers.  I didn't get transferred.  I'm staying here in Aldama with Elder Rivas again. And still covering Gonzalez.  It's been super fun juggling them both.  A lot of traveling... it's about an hour away from here.  But it's been fun because we have 2 baptisms planned for this next change in Gonzalez.  And two here in Aldama.  So it'll be alright.

Sunday I was called up all the sudden to speak because there was leftover time.  That's always fun. I've gotten really good at improv.  I spoke about the importance of a full tithe and a generous fast offerings.  What are some of the blessings.  My comp was told beforehand that he was going to speak and came prepared.  But mine was improv.  And I thought it was funny when a member came up and said Wow, you gave such and excellent talk.  So well prepared to me.  I almost laughed.  Nope 2 years of improv and on the spot, I've learned a little bit.  Now it's going to be fun when I get back. Because I won't be able to use my Spanish scriptures.  I'll have a hard time finding scriptures in the English set.  I'm sure that my bishop is just dying to call me up to talk.  I kind of escaped the farewell talk.  And I know that I can't get out of the homecoming one though.  God has a real sense of humor. I was able to get out of the farewell talk in Sacrament mtg, but man have I paid for it here in the mission.  I think I have spoken more times in Sacrament mtg and taught gospel principles class than not.    What I mean to say is, there have been very few Sundays that I haven't given a talk nor taught the lesson on my mission.  All because I didn't give a farewell talk.  No, I'm just kidding.  I have felt that my Heavenly Father has really helped me and prepared me for great things to come.

So anyway back to Aldama.  All is well here.  We were able to have success as I gathered the branch pres and his counselor in a mtg.  There we were able to come together on some ideas and  I hope that we are able to get the branch president excited about the missionary work.  Aldama really needs some help in that aspect.  We were finally able to get 5 families to visit that are inactive.  The branch presidency has promised to help us with them.  In that way we are really trying to work closely with the members to make this branch grow.  I would love to see 5 families be reactivated and in full fellowship before I go home.   And of course to see a few children of God be baptized.

Well that's about it from Aldama.  The work is moving forward.  Slowly but surely.  I'm excited and happy to be here.

I love you all and pray for you.

Elder James Cox

Monday, February 11, 2013

Elder Cox's Second Letter From Aldama

Hey family and friends,

Life is going good in the slow lane.  Things go at a slow pace on the ranch, but its fun.  I do enjoy it though.  Gives you time to think and enjoy the beauty that is all around. 

Some things that I like about Aldama are that there is really good fresh bread here and milk straight from the cow.  You can get a liter of milk and a pan dulce or sweet bread for 8 pesos. Can't beat that.  Oh, the little things in life. :)  I also like that there are a few baseball fields here.  They play more baseball than soccer here.  It reminds me of when I used to play years ago.  i do love that even though it is a little town the streets are paved.  That makes all the difference on your shoes.  But the best thing about here is the people.  Just down to earth people.  Sit down and let's just talk about life while sipping a lemonade.  Can't beat that.  They are just good people.  It's a nice warm feeling you get here.

Last week we went out to Gonzalez and enjoyed going to a little small ranch called Nuevo Progreso. (new progress).  The branch president took us out there and we taught a few people. (sadly we are not able to go back.  Now they have to come into town for us to teach them, but that's ok)  Anyway, we had a great discussion and enjoyed tamales afterward.  It was fun time. 

Sunday we had a great turn out.  I think I counted 12 people and that included the elders. Haha.  It's fun because they are all pretty close.  They welcome you in and have activities all the time.  And when they have activities there is always food.  Haha. :)  The food is pretty good here.  My branch president says that he has about 80 sheep or so.  And that he plans on bringing one in so we can have a bbq.  He also says that he plans on going hunting soon for jabalinas.  He says they taste pretty good.  Let's see if he hooks me up with some. :) 

Right now we are teaching a great family.  The mother is just coming back to church from being inactive for years.  And the daughters study in Tampico but visit on the weekends.  They seem to like going to church and learning more.  They even brought a friend to listen. We plan on having an activity this Saturday focusing on those that are not members.  It should be fun.  We hope they enjoy it. 

That's about it from Mexico.  All is well here.  I love you all.  Take care.


Elder James Cox

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Elder Cox's First Letter From Aldama

Hey family and friends,

So last week was pretty good.  We found several new investigators.  We were happy about that.

Saturday we were to eat with a sister but her son was sick.  So she said it would be easier to just give us money and we could pick a place to eat.  She dropped us off at a chinese buffet.  It's a pretty good one.  I like it.  I've eaten there once before.  But once my comp and I entered we noticed that it was full.  So we decided that we would hit up Sirloin.  Another buffet that is pretty good.  The sister gave us sufficient to eat pretty well.  So we grabbed a bus and headed over there.  We got there and realized that it was closed for good. :(  Bummer.  Se decided to go around the corner and just eat at the Panda Bowl.  That too was closed for good.  Bummer.  Well we came to the conclusion that it was just better to go to Carls jr and grab a hamburger.  So that's what we did.  It was pretty good. :) Sunday came around and my stomach was not feeling that good.  That afternoon I got sick.  So I have been sick since yesterday.  I'm just now feeling a little bit better.  I'm not light headed and throwing up anymore.  I think by tomorrow I will be at 100%.  I was just worried about the 2 1/2 hour bus ride that was waiting me.  But it was a smooth ride.  I got lucky and got a nice bus. :) haha.

Well so here I am now in Aldama.  Actually I will be covering Aldama and Gonzalez.  You can look those places up.  Little small towns.  About an hour a part.  Looks like I will be finishing my mission up on the ranch. Ha ha.  It should be fun.  Definitely a change from my last area.  Big mansions to little tin roofs.  I'm excited. :)  I've got to give it all I got and finish strong.

So that's the news from Mexico.  Not much.  Ha ha.

Love ya,

Elder James Cox