Hola, Family and Friends,
I was debating to write to you in Spanish... but I don't know how many would like that... so I will stick with the old fashioned English. ha ha.
This week has been great. A lot of work. We have seen miracles in our lives. We had a great experience the other day. Elder Gonzales wanted to have the son of our ward mission leader come with us to a lesson and some tracting. His family is kind of inactive. its tough. So I was a little hesitant to ask the son to come with us. He's 13. I'll be honest I had little faith in him. But to my surprise he said yes and with a great attitude. So at that time we didn't have any appointments so Elder Gonzales asked if he had any friends around that weren't members that we could visit. He said that he had a friend from school we could try. We arrived there and there was a lot of people living there. Come to find out they were all family, some extended and some immediate of his friend. We ended up teaching 4 adults and his friend that is 13 or 14. After we were like Wow! that family is golden. They were so ready to hear the gospel. It's always a great time after a lesson when that happens. So we returned and because of conflicting schedules we taught some more people who lived there. There were about 5 or 6 that we have a lot of faith in and have baptismal dates for. It's just difficult to teach them all at once when the schedules conflict. It'll be a lot of fun though. I can't wait to see the miracle unfold before my eyes with this family.
We had a great experience last baptism with the family we baptized that changed our focus. It's truly a beautiful thing to see a whole family be baptized and in 1 year hopefully be sealed as a family. Our focus now is all about the Family. We are trying to find families to teach and God is blessing us with families. There are several families we are teaching now. I love it here because the family means so much to the people. Their culture is more family oriented. In the evening families are outside and enjoying eachother's company. Definitely a different feeling than a big city in the US. There are always ups and downs with every place, but for the majority of things I do enjoy it here.
A few days ago we had to go into the main part of Tampico where the office is. It's right next to the temple. Elder Gonzales had to switch out his knee braces he bought earlier. So we stopped by Walmart to see if they had the kind he needed. They didn't, but they did have something that I needed. A piece of home. It was so weird walking into Walmart. It was pretty much the same. And with that comes American food. The best American food I could think of: Skippy Natural Smooth Peanut Butter and Smuckers Raspberry Jam. Oh boy! It was Christmas for me. I just had to buy those 2 things. I was so happy to see those 2 things. I still haven't opened them yet. They're sitting in the kitchen 'til my birthday. It'll be my birthday present. ha ha.
So I have introduced Elder Gonzales to some of the most wonderful things I can cook. It's very limited, but I can make a few things. Such as a pb&j sandwich. It's very difficult I know. Takes years to learn. Pancakes and french toast. Three things he had never had before. Now he is officially addicted to peanut butter. Peanut butter with everything. Oh, how peanut butter makes the world go round. ha ha. He told me he can't wait to go to BYU and enjoy the American food there, snow, and beautiful Mormon girls. ha ha.
Well the sun is coming out now. It had been raining this morning. So it was a little cooler, but not much. Still sweating. As soon as it rains and the sun comes out it gets so hot. And hot and very humid... I have decided that I do not like humidity. I will not live in it after my mission. To the point it destroys everything. My books even have that wave in them like they have been wet and then dried yet they haven't gotten wet. Just the humidity. ha ha.
Well one thing that I never thought I would say honestly before the mission is that I love studying the scriptures. The best time of the day for me is in the morning when I sit down and start reading Preach My Gospel and the Scriptures. It's like each day I am reading it and there is so much that I learn. I think to myself, was that there before? No way... it's a wonderful experience to read the words of God each day. To have them and feast upon them. And I know I still am not feasting upon them. I hope one day I am feasting upon them like Nephi. He says he delights in the words of isaías. Feasting upon them. I still don't understand isaías yet, but maybe one day. ha ha. I can't even remember how to spell his name in English so that's why its in Spanish. I have gained a testimony of daily scripture study and the blessings and knowledge that can be gained from it. Truly a shield from the adversary. The mission has blessed my life in more ways than I can count. Truly the best thing I have ever done. And if there is anyone that is considering going, go. If there is anyone considering not going, do all in your power to go. Prepare now to go. There is so much that I wish I had done to prepare better for a mission. Read the scriptures daily, have daily personal prayer, and gain a testimony that is unshaken and go on a mission. It will bless your life in more ways than you will even know.
Thank you all so much for all you have done for me. I can feel your prayers each and every day. Thank you. I hope you can feel my prayers for you.
Elder James Cox