Monday, July 25, 2011

Elder Cox's Fourth Letter from Tampico

News from Mars...

There is life here on Mars. Or at least Mexico feels like it. It's a whole other world here. ha ha. But there is life here. Sorry about last week and not writing. All is well. Let me explain.
Last week we decided to go to Centro Tampico to buy some post it notes and other office supplies.  Stuff to help with our planning and coordinating schedules with members in our lessons. So we took off to go to the office because Elder Gonzalez needed to be reimbursed for his rent money so he could have some money to buy the supplies. It was so nice because the office has ac. Okay a little jealous of the office missionaries. They work half the day in ac., get a car, and they have ac and a washing machine at their apartment. Not too  shabby... Elder Gonzalez and I on the other hand get a fan, walk everywhere, and work almost all day in the sun. ha ha. But I enjoy it. I get to talk to more people and see more people change and come unto baptism than being cramped into a large office with ac and comfy chairs. Ya I definitely have the better end of the deal. ha ha. So anyway at the office I was able to pick up a package that my parents had sent me. That was a nice surprise. Thank you so much.

 Then after we grabbed another bus and headed to downtown Tampico. I'm glad that's not my area. I think that would be rough. There are a lot of stores and glamor. Some rich and a lot of poor people. I have never seen so many shoe stores in one area. I think I saw more shoe stores in one hour than I have in my entire life. It was definitely an interesting experience. So once we got there guess what I saw. Something that just made me feel like a kid on Christmas with a giant present. McDonald's MacDonald's Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut! Yes, I sang that song when I saw a KFC and a Pizza Hut right next to each other. I wanted some KFC sooo bad. I convinced my comp to go and it was muy caro. (expensive). But sooo worth it. I felt all happy inside. Best hamburger I have ever had in my life!  It's funny how i never thought that KFC would ever do that to me but it definitely made my whole month. ha ha. Elder Gonzalez had his first hamburger at KFC. He liked it. Oh other things that are firsts for him.  I can't remember if I told you but a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and pancakes. I made both of those and he is now addicted to peanut butter especially on pancakes with syrup. Oh, it's the simple things in life that just make the world go round. Who would have thought when I get home at night I look forward to having a Pb&j sandwich with milk. It just tastes sooo good and even reminds me of my midnight snacks back at home. I used have a pb&j sandwich with my dad at night just because it was convenient, cheap and tastes pretty good. One problem here is the peanut butter is expensive. So it's a nice treat every once in a while. I will treat myself to a pb&j sandwich with a glass of milk. ha ha. I would never have thought that would be a treat for me...
So anyway after finding what we needed we grabbed a bus and headed back home. By this time we were running out of time. We got to the cyber at about 5:30ish and had to write our mission president before 6 or else he would skin us alive. And then we had a district meeting at 6. So we only wrote our letters and headed to our meeting. And that is why I didn't have time to write last week. I'm sorry. All is well.

This week has been great. I had an interesting experience with a family that got baptized last Saturday.  I believe it was Tuesday or Wednesday we stopped by their house to see how things were going. The mom was in tears, the 2 children 14 and 18 were silent and the father come to find out was around in the back of the house. I could not for the life of me understand what was going on.  I was so confused. So come to find out later they had a misunderstanding and I believe he slammed the door and didn't know his wife was right behind him and it hit her and she thought this and he thought that. And it was mess to be right in the middle of it all and not know what was going on. Luckily I have an awesome companion, Elder Gonzalez.  He was able to talk to them and get them all in as a family sitting down talking. At this moment I was still confused as to what made this all happen because I couldn't understand everything they were saying. But I thought to ask the father Juan if he loves his wife Maria. I was like that's weird. Of course he does. Well I got the thought again. Okay I asked the question to him and then to her. And he said of course I do and gave her a big hug and the same from her. Come to find out each person was wondering that question in their head if the other person did. It was a big mess. But after that we had a prayer and it was wonderful.  The feelings of the Spirit in the home after that. You could feel the love the Savior has for this family that moment. They were just having trials of their faith. I really believe Satan did not want them to be baptized and was trying everything he could to stop it. Last week she lost her job. but she did not falter in her faith and knew that all would be well. They had marital problems, but after that they did not falter and even grew closer together as a family. After that night things just felt so warm and comfortable like they were family. Their faith is truly amazing to me. The first time we taught them about the word of wisdom Maria was drinking 4 or 5 cups of coffee a day. That night she said she would quit and she hasn't drank a cup since. The same with all of them. They all quit their addictions and dropped everything to follow the Savior. Truly a testimony builder for me.

 Saturday came and it was time for their baptism. Elder Gonzalez and I went to go fill up the font in the morning and clean the church. No one cleans it and so whenever we have baptisms we clean it so that it will be clean for our investigators and members that show up. The baptism was at 4pm and the family showed up and one other family showed...the ward mission leader and his family. We had asked them to give talks so they would show up. We were trying to have a better turn out than last time. We didn't have any members show up. It was kind of sad. So this time it was about 4:30 and we started and we had more people trickle in. Even our mission president and his wife came. That was a special treat. The baptism had a few hiccups but over all it was nice to feel of the Spirit afterward. I love seeing their faces after they come out of the water and the before and after pictures. I think I see a difference in those that prepare themselves for this moment in their lives. Truly a blessing to see the whole family be baptized and make the first step to eternal life. In 1 year they promised they would be going to the temple and Elder Gonzalez and I can go and see that happen. I cant wait. It'll be another wonderful spiritual experience. And in 1 year I will be able to understand all of what is going on at the temple. when I went a few weeks ago I was pretty lost in Spanish. ha ha.
Sunday came and went so fast. President and Sister Call came to our Sacrament Meeting and were able to see the confirmations of the family. And it was another surprise that we had an excellent turn out of members there. I think it was because they heard the mission president was coming on Saturday and Sunday that we had members present but that's just a guess. I like to think that it wasn't that, but they wanted to come because they love coming to church. Two great things I love about church are the Spirit felt there and the comfy chairs and ac. Oh boy! It's a nice treat to have ac. Best 3 hours of the week are spent at church with ac. ha ha.

well that was about the highlight of my week. I got a few questions and I will try to answer them.
My mission is a walking mission. It's very large and we walk everywhere. Occasionally we will take a taxi or bus if we are in a hurry and have money or we are leaving our area. We probably cover 10 to 15 miles a day. Our church is right next to the airport if anyone has looked at the Tampico area. We are north of the airport. Yup that's my area touching the airport. It's pretty fun.

The best is when you get in a car or taxi and fit more people than you normally would in a car. For instance one Sunday we were going around getting investigators to come to church. One investigator had a car which is pretty rare. Only 3 people in the ward have cars. There were 5 adults and 5 children total and were going to take a taxi and their car to the church. They insisted that all could fit into the car and not to get a taxi. Needless to say we fit 5 adults and 5 children in a small car. This is normal. last Saturday we got into a taxi and fit 6 adults in a small Nissan just to save money and time. ha ha. It's a lot of fun. I take it as an adventure and something new. It's exciting and fun to be doing something different and and be on the Lord's errand for 2 years. I absolutely love it.!

At this time I can't remember anymore questions. But if you have any please send them and I will do my best to answer them and keep you all informed. I forget a lot of what I want to say once I sit down at the computer and write.
Oh so one funny thing is I'm learning quotes from movies in Spanish. So when I get home and everyone will be quoting movies in English I'll quote them in Spanish for you. This week Elder Gonzalez and I have been quoting Shrek. I'll say the phrase in English and he will say the phrase in Spanish. My favorite is ya meríto. It's like Are we there yet? Well to the best of the translation I can give in English. It's when Donkey is asking if they are at Far Far Away yet. So I say that a lot to my comp. ¿ya meríto? No, Burro...
Oh the fun times as a missionary. I am absolutely loving my mission and I am so grateful to be here at this time and at this place. I can see the blessings everyday of why I am here at this time at this place. I wouldn't have it any other way. I love you all so much and thank you for you prayers and everything you have done for me. I can feel your love. Thank you.

Love always,

Elder Cox

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