Saturday, December 23, 2017

18 month mountain


Yes you heard from me not too long ago and no I am not just randomly writing you on a Saturday afternoon because I feel like it. Our pday switched to today because Christmas will be on pday and we'll be skyping family, doing things as a mission, and we get out and do missionary work because Christmas.

I'll try to keep it brief because travels, family, and the joys of the season need your attention.

I just wanted to share what I shared with the mission in Sacrament meeting when I gave my talk weeks ago. I wrote it because I kept finding synonymous ideas and comparisons between missions and mountains.

I am hiking on an 18 month mountain.
It begins steep. 
It is a challenge to adjust, only because I didn't train before the journey, I had given no preparation, and had neglected a simple stretch.
I grow tired quickly because my heart cannot not keep up with my feet. It feels as though I have left it at the bottom of the mountain. 
I slowly adjust to the incline of the mountain. 
From the beginning I have been given guides to help.
One is a whisper. One is louder, Brazilian and walking next to me. 
She shares with me her weaknesses. I am very aware of mine. I am often sore and tired.  
I am grateful to walk up this mountain Side by side with a few others. We go Two by Two. 
Me and my hiking companion's muscles get stronger, especially as we find and help others on the trail.
When I am weak she shares her water. 
When she is unsure and unsteady I give her an arm to balance on. 
We keep each other from falling off the edge.
Eventually, My heart catches up as I realize where it needs to be. 
Right above my feet.
I put it In the hands of someone who knows me better than myself.
The pace of the climb becomes natural and even begins to feel routine. Like I had been going up this mountain for ages. I try not to complain. Because I see the blisters on others heels are much bigger than mine as they go up the mountain. 
I watch as those I had once walked side by side with, reach the top of the mountain and go back down. 
My mind drifts and wonders what is waiting at the top, or even the bottom of my own mountain.
But as I do so I begin to trip.
My focus returns to what is in front of me. One foot in front of the other..
As time continues and so does the hike, I find that with my experience, I need to be a guide for others. To strengthen them when they are weak. To teach them the things I have learned, to lift as I had been lifted.
I find my endurance to be greater than I had imagined or realized, and I am able to carry a pack or two that another can't carry on their own. And when there are times I can't even carry my own, I find that someone who has climbed this mountain before, and perfectly is there waiting for me to hand him my bags, my water, my sore muscles, my fear.
As I grow closer to the top, I look at how far I have come. But today I realize, it isn't just a climb up an 18 month mountain, it is the beginning of a foundation that must last much longer than 18 months.

I will forever love hiking, the Lord, & Christmas. I'm grateful to be serving Him again on a mission during this season, even when it is hard to be away from my own family. Because one of the greatest gifts we have been given from our loving Heavenly Father is the promise that if we do our best to follow the Savior, we can be with family forever. Here on my mission I get to allow others to see the blessings of that gift as well as the gift of the Atonement, given to us freely out of love. We can find a way to be happy even when we have days, or weeks or years filled with trials or the deep blues. That's not something you can just find under any old Christmas tree.

Joseph Smith's birthday is today, and because he faithfully acted in response to the knowledge and revelation he received from God we are able to receive these blessings of eternal life with our families through the priesthood and in sacred Temples all over the world. 
Our beloved prophet said,

"A man filled with the love of God, is not content with blessing his family alone but 
ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race." 

I know that is true because I have felt it. And I know this church is the true Church of Jesus Christ. What a blessing to be part of this marvelous work and a wonder. 
I love you all so much. Feel my hugs.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Just Keep Swimming

Okay so sorry my people for not writing in ages. Last week was transfers and our pday switched to Monday so we didn't have one last week. Everything is basically still the same. I'll be with Sister Evaga, with the assignment at welfare square till the end. Speaking of Welfare square, last Monday Donald Trump came to WS with Elder Eyring and Elder Nelson. No..we didn't take the President of the United States on a tour. I am okay with that. 

We thought of a new theme this transfer to help the sisters because of the crowds of people and focusing on the one individual. It's like an ocean and we want the sisters to focus on the right things, find the anchors to their souls and not just stay afloat. So we are encouraging them to, "Just keep swimming" and being focused on finding Nemo or finding the one person who really needs our help and testimonies. It's something that is helping me personally to continue to work hard these next couple weeks. 

Before transfer changes happened we had a Christmas breakfast as a zone in our jammies and I read Christmas stories to everyone. I felt like a little old lady grandma. "You are Special," and "The Christmas Orange." I love how much they tie into the gospel and apply to us as missionaries! Read them and weep my friends! Shoutout to my my sister and brother-in-law for sending me Christmas decorations so our home can be festive and homey.

Everyone I talk to here when I say I'm from North Dakota: "Oh this weather here is warm for you isn't it?" ha ha. But the nice warm air here in Salt Lake is full of service and Light the World is all over Temple Square and the earth. This past week, little kids came up to us while we were singing carols outside as a group and gave us candy canes. Sweetest thing. And yesterday a ward nearby brought our mission dinner and food bags for us to make our own dinners. That's huge because there are 198 sisters here. I see little things like this everyday and it makes me so happy that there are so many people still keeping the spirit of the Savior in the season. 

We also went to the Christmas devotional and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert at the conference center. Sutton Foster and Hugh Bonneville were guest performers. It was INCREDIBLE. There was a performance with 3 drummers playing "I saw three ships," with the Organist. Rattled my soul. Also Sutton Foster sang Sunshine on my Shoulder by John Denver. It was so beautiful I melted.

Elder Ballard came and spoke to us in Sacrament meeting. He said that when you wake up every morning I hope and pray that you do not murmur. That hit home for a lot of the sisters here, what many needed I think. He shared stories of the pioneers and reminded us of what the early members of the church went through. It's so easy to throw a pity party but it does no one any good. 
Also I've been thinking and seeing lately that anything we selfishly keep we really end up losing in the eternal aspect of things. But those things that we freely give, Heavenly Father will freely give his blessings to us. The concept of sacrifice has been a beautiful thing throughout this Christmas season. 
During our zone leader council this week, I got to Roleplay with president Risenmay so that was fun. He and sister Risenmay will be leaving two weeks before I go home so we are all soaking in the time we have left with them. 
I was studying about testimonies this week and came across the quote from president Thomas s monson: 
“Regarding one’s testimony, remember, that which one willingly shares he keeps, while that which he selfishly keeps he loses. … Teach and testify. There is no better combination.”
–Elder Thomas S. Monson
Service, sharing what we know to be true, light, Christmas oranges. It's all so much better when shared. 

Love you all, have a Merry Christmas! 
Sister Felix from Nigeria. In my zone and roommate, also secretly a troll doll hahah

Every Saturday Sister Evaga and I are with Sisters from the MTC going to different visitor center missions. They spend the day at Temple Square with other sisters to get a good experience. It was a small group this week so we took a foto.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Light the World

So to esplain the week I will probably just share with fotos..

1. A few inside scoops of my companion..sleeping. It's a talent if you ask me. We go to bed at 11:00pm during our Christmas schedule so this is a good explanation of what everyone has been feeling the past couple days...

2. For Thanksgiving we went to a family's home here in Salt Lake. There were so many cute crazy kids and lots of good food and they were so welcoming and sweet, so I felt right at home. We are so incredibly blessed to have this opportunity to still have Thanksgiving dinner even when our mission doesn't have a ward. Bless their souls. 

Also on Thanksgiving morning Elder Dallin H Oaks decided to visit the square so we all took a foto with him. Love that inspired, intelligent apostle of a man. Also, he has really soft hands.

3. She keeps me sane through the chaos of Christmas season :) 

And Sister Evaga is helping me to break my habit of biting my nails (I've tried to break this habit millions of times, it's true what they say...about breaking habits/making habits when you're a kid...)

So this is something we've decided to try out: GLOVES ALL THE TIME. Tbh It's kind of hard to 

4. Every night, our different zones will sing Christmas carols either in front of the Tabernacle or in front of the fountain on the square. Last year a sister in my zone fell in the fountain during the coldest part of winter hahaha, so we decided to stay near the Tab:) 

5. We went to the german Christmas market today up at "This is The Place," and we also bumped into President Uchtdorf. 

Trying to finish our Belgian Waffle before the picture. failed.  

6. Aaaaand some of the lights, much better in person. My ipad quality could be worse, could be better. 

ALSO, last but not least, there is another new Christmas video LIGHT THE WORLD. It's similar to last year but this year the theme is even more focused on service and the example of Jesus Christ. There is a calendar with scriptures and ideas that are given for each day once it officially starts Dec 1. (Download the Calendar here: Our mission President told us to make this the best Christmas we have ever had, and I plan to do that and I know that by serving and thinking outside myself, this is the best way to make that possible. My companion and I started doing it already and I have noticed a strength in our companionship and love for each other grow as we have been doing this. So I had a thought that I want to share with all of you people that I love so much: families and especially couples and those in a relationship I am inviting you to serve 25 ways EVERY DAY FOR THE 25 DAYS PRECEDING CHRISTMAS for those people in your life. I can promise you that your relationships will be strengthened and you will feel the love that God has for them. President Uchtdorf from the recent general conference said, 

"Those who love and serve God and fellowmen and humbly and actively participate in His work will see wondrous things happen in their lives and ithe lives of those they love. Doors that seemed shut will open." 

Jesus Christ is "the light and the life of the world; yea, a light that is endless, that can never be darkened; yea, and also a life which is endless..." (Mosiah 16:9 in the Book of Mormon) 
One match can light a bonfire my friends, be the one to carry and share the endless, eternal light of Jesus Christ.

Here is the link for the video and you can read more about it on as well:

#LightTheWorld #25waysin25days

Merry Christmas Season Everyone! May your month be full of Christmas Miracles.

Love, Sister Cox