Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Peace Be Unto thy Soul

Hallo

This week was rainy and sunny and cold and warm, good days and not as good days. A few nights ago we left the window open during the night and just heard the rain fall outside. It was lovely.

Having the contrast of good and bad in life, yin and yang, easy and difficult has really helped me to understand God's plan for us all. It helps me to both to not only understand myself and our purpose in this life, but also my relationship with Jesus Christ.

One of the greatest examples to me in handling adversity was Joseph Smith. When he was in Liberty Jail for months, cold, weak, sick and wondering where God was, saying, "O God, where art thou?" He found hope through Heavenly Father's reply and His answer to Joseph's plea has often given me comfort as well:

D&C 121

"7 My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;

8 And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.

9 Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands."

May God give you the strength to not only endure but to endure things well my friends. I love you and I even though I am thousands of miles from many of you I stand by you, with a warm heart and small, but friendly hands:) Here is a link for the new restoration video that has been playing in the visitor centers everywhere but it's online now. Not as cool as the panoramic view that they have here but still so incredible. It's just a few minutes please watch it. https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/topics/joseph-smith?lang=eng

Music and the spoken word on Sunday we get to go once a transfer, we were on exchanges and I was with Sister Contreras from Chile and Sister Ueno from Japan! 

General Conference is this weekend, the new Easter video and message is coming out #princeofpeace March 31, and transfers will be happening next week. It is a good time to be alive.

B4 I go. This has always been one of my favourite scriptures.

2 Nephi 2:11
 11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.


Love,
Sister Cox

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Temple Square Perks: I had a wonderful surprise this week. My oldest sister and her family surprised me and I got to take them on a tour around Temple Square. Lately I have been feeling a little weird about seeing people I know/family because no other mission has that privilege. But they will be moving out of the country in the next little while and it was truly a blessing from Heavenly Father to get to see them before they head out on their new adventures. I love my family so much and am so grateful for what they have all done for me, for our family, and the examples that they are to me. Being the youngest has its perks, but I think having 6 older siblings to look up to, is definitely at the top of the list.
We had what is called MTC contacting. We get to be with Sisters who are going to different visitor centers all over the world to help them to have an idea of what missionary work is like at a visitor's center. The sister I was with is from Anchorage, AK and will be serving in the New Zealand Temple Visitor's Center. She truly has the fresh fire within her and she is kind of my soul sister. It was a wonderful afternoon/evening with Sister Howard. Everyone I meet from Alaska is so cool.

Since we are not part of a ward or branch we bring lunch and dinner to the square every day. These are the fridges where we keep food, and this is a photo depicting the struggle of finding said food in the abyss of shown fridge. Feat. Sister Gomes ♥ from Brazil.
Zone Conference: was this week and the APS and President gave an awesome training about talking to everyone, Duty, and doctrine on the restoration. From small things, great things are brought to pass. Think about a door hinge and the power that it has on the door and it's movement and reach. We never know how great of an effect one testimony, one Book of Mormon, one pass along card can do. 

Brain thoughts: This week during sacrament meeting I was reflecting on the week while looking at my wrinkled skirt. I thought about the Atonement and the change that is has on our lives. To get the wrinkles out of my skirt, it would not be an instantaneous change. No bippity boppity boo, rags to ballgown, snap of the fingers. I either have to steam the skirt or spend some time ironing each wrinkle. That's how it is with us. Fixing our little wrinkles, or big wrinkles is not going to happen in the blink of an eye. Anything that is changing from one state to another is going to take time. Liquid to solid or gas. Solid to liquid. Dough to bread. Weak to strong. Selfish to humble. Through Christ and His deep and eternal love we can find the hope and also the patience to continue to change not only our human behavior, but our human nature. (I remember a talk that says something about this but I can't find the talk, if someone knows please feel free to let me know.) 

MORE FLOWERS feat. companion
Square Story: This week on the square I met a man who broke his hip while skiing here. He shared his incredible experience with me and how it has changed his life for the better. He had a previously hectic and busy life and didn't take the time to really live it. But having this accident helped him to really take a step back, slow down and appreciate life and the beauty in it. (he loves backpacking, hiking, outdoors so we had a good chat about all of that and the gospel) But he had never been religious, only slightly spiritual. But being here in utah and having the accident he noticed what he was missing, what he wanted, and has continued to have experiences that have led him to know that he needs to be here in Utah and he needs to join the church and learn more about the gospel of Jesus Christ. I was amazed at the faith of this man and his willingness to follow a God he barely even knew yet. But he knew, being at temple square that it was right, and he felt the peace and it felt good. He said he will be back again so we will continue to be apart of his spiritual journey.

Whether it's in the mountains, at the Temple, in the quiet of the car, take some time to reflect on this life and the beauty of it and the love of the Savior. Who knows how those few moments could affect your life or the lives around you. #doorhinge

I love you all. xoxo

Sister Cox

Sister Srisakprathum (say that 5 times fast) Feat. Flowers. Look up the full name of Bangkok in Thailand, I'll be back from my mission by the time you figure out how to say the whole thing.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Cake-cophony

Buenas Dias! 
Pretty flowers pretty companion
Yesterday when we were walking home from the square there was a violinist playing beautifully on the corner. Not for money or anything, just to share her talents with the quiet city. It echoed everywhere. The great acoustics apparently aren't just limited to the Tabernacle, here on Temple Square;) Just as we were crossing the street there was a car that had the bass beats turned up and the rap and profanities were flying out the windows. It was so interesting to hear the cacophony of the different music and feelings that were associated with both. As I focused more on the sounds of the violin, I was able to tune out the squawking from the car. Don't get me wrong I will always dig base beats and the way they make you feel in a deep way. But I was able to think about the relationship and influence of the spirit and when we focus our thoughts and attention on its voice, we are able to put aside the desensitizing sounds of the world. Those things, sounds and voices don't disappear and it's not eliminated completely but our focus is better, we feel lifted up rather than down. Grateful for the ability we have to stay tuned into the right music, but that we also have the choice to do so and experience both so that we can gain the desire on our own to know which really will improve our lives. 
Sister Pierre Brazil, Sister Morales Peru and me and comp
Speaking of cake-cophony, yesterday was Sister Warrior's birthday we ate A LOT of cake:) and the happiness that exuded from her from receiving birthday surprises was like none I've ever seen. Made me want to give her a birthday every single day. She was like a little happy ball of sunshine. It's cool because her favourite colour is yellow. 

More flowers
The weather is beautiful here in downtown Salt Lake and the flowers are starting to blossom all over on Temple Square. The smells that are accompanied remind me of home and our lilac bushes. :) 


More flowers
The work is moving along well and I'm so glad that spring is here. My favorite season is the one in between. Change does good things to the soul.
When investigators don't answer our teaching center phone calls
Love you all xoxo, 
Sister Cox
 


Zone

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Peace and Blessins Ya'll

Soooo this week was full of a lot of cool things. Maybe because fast Sunday was this week. Maybe because we worked really hard. Maybe because God loves us. Maybe because there were more people on the square. Probably all of the above. Regardless, I feel happy and blessed and I would not like to be anywhere else but here on this mission. I love it. 

Square story: 
I am the worst at taking pictures. Thx Sisters Evaga and Cochain for sharing. These pics actually describe the mission, training, love of food here, etc...

A few days ago while at the desk in the South Visitor Center I met Bryan. He asked so many questions and we had a conversation that lasted probably almost a whole hour. It was brilliant. Sometimes on our missions I have no doubt we meet and teach people we knew before we came to this earth and he feels like one of them. It honestly almost felt too good to be true and part of me feels like he is just someone coming to the square, pretending to be someone interested but is actually just a con artist or a member being uncool with the Lord's time. <--these things actually happen a lot. But we have contacted him and he is still responding and he is on the right track reading the Book of Mormon and wanting to meet the missionaries so praying all goes well. 
Sister Blocker eats potatoes everyday, and this is the only knife that works for her. To each her own. Hahaha
Still trying to conquer that fear thing. It sneaks up in so many ways, example above. I've realized these past two transfers that we really can't eliminate fear from our lives. It is part of the human condition and really it moves us to do a lot of things. I've realized I don't need to get rid of fear, but learn how to master it. Use it as a tool to make this world a better place and honor the Savior. 

Quiet mornings in the Tabernacle when I get to sing like I'm a superstar with the perfect domed acoustics to back me up. (We took this only because there are no people in sight.)
This week studying the Book of Mormon I was reading in Helaman. Chapter 12 has so many good verses but it is so frustrating how many times the people go through these cycles. Prosperity and ease--->forget the Lord---->harden their hearts--->God sends something(famine, war, destruction) and they realize how much they need him and turn to Him. It really gets under my skin. But it helps me to realize that without challenges, it is easier for us dummy dumb dummyhead humans to forget how wonderful the Savior and our Heavenly Father are and how much they do for us. I know I have had a really good life, and the challenges in my life are very small in comparison to MANY. But I have been learning to really accept challenges and difficulties because I never want to forget the Lord. In your lives and challenges this week, try to embrace them my wonderful people. And turn to Jesus Christ. Because He really knows what we are feeling. I love Him and I love you all.

Have a wonderful week!

Xoxo,
Sister Cox



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The sleep talking adventures of Sister Cox continue. (my poor companions):

At the end of 2016, President Risenmay committed us all to say a prayer together as a companionship right before we go to bed before personal prayers and right when we wake up in the morning before personal prayers. My companion recently told me that in the first few weeks, I would wake up in the middle of the night and say very clearly almost as if I was awake, "okay companion, let's pray." She would then say the prayer because she thought it was time to get up but when she ended the prayer and said amen and received no reply from me, she realized I was just talking in my sleep...again. This happened multiple times. Another night she heard me teaching about the Book of Mormon because someone requested a Bible through mormon.org. There have been multiple other occurrences; I don't know how sister Guerrero gets any sleep at night. Sister Warrior is doing great. She cracks me up. Every night 2 things that she really doesn't like doing, 1. taking a shower, 2. taking her vitamins. She always prefaces these things by saying, "the drama of my life." In her Hispanic acthent hahha. Fun fact: In Spain they pronounce c and z as th, so their Spanish sounds like they have a lisp. Makes me laugh. Joy in the journey my friends, joy in the journey. 
Examples A and B and C that I am in surrounded by beautiful human beings everyday.

Another fun story to share with you all: 
Last week the fire alarm in our apartment building went off and everybody unloaded out into the cold, the fire department came and it was all because of a batch of burned brownies. Our apartment building is mainly composed of sister missionaries from Temple Square and then a bunch of old folks also serving at Temple Square. So it was kind of a funny sight to see everyone in their pjs, who are normally all dressed up in suits and dresses/skirts. It was interesting to observe how everyone reacted differently to the situation, because at first we didn't really know if it was a fire or not. Sister Clement our roommate, yelled to her companion "don't forget your name tag!" as they were rushing out the door, hahaha. Most of the Sisters grabbed their ipads and were actually recording the whole thing... I guess they'll have the memories of it all and luckily it was nothing dangerous or serious:) I didn't really have anything super important to grab but it gave me some relief realizing that the things I cared about as I was leaving were my people, especially my companion. I have been thinking more about how the material things that we have in life hold minimal value, and will only be with us for a temporary time. But the people we meet, our relationships, and our memories and knowledge are things we get to keep with us for a loooooooong time. So I think and hope that those are the things I want to safe-keep most, always. 
Yours truly, Sister Cox, a pioneer of the new age (family history center has some fun new interactive features)

This week has had days where VERY few people come to the square, and the only people to talk to are other sister missionaries or the plants. But there have also been days where the square is full of people. The main reason for visitors right now is either for business or skiing. I realized that I never really share about all of the AWESOME people that we get to meet everyday. This week we gave a tour  to a couple originally from Russia, now living in Chicago. It was definitely not a perfect tour but we really felt the spirit and I think they did too and I think that's why why they said yes to staying in contact with us. We gave a tour to a very, very baptist man from the south who loved debating and is sure that the Bible is the only book, and wanted to stay in contact to talk because he said wanted to just "speak for like 5 or 6 more hours with" us about Jesus, but he had a plane to catch. We met three guys who are living here in Utah who are evangelical and they were just super awesome and we had a really cool conversation about coexisting with the understanding of Jesus Christ at the center of it all. We took a tour in Spanish last week with a group of people from all over South America taking a tour of the country. It gave me such a strong testimony that God prepares who he brings here. I had such a wonderful connection with three of them that we are now in contact with. One has the same name as me from Argentina, one is a professor of nutrition (what I plan on continuing to study) from Venezuela, and the third is our age and he has friends who are members and has learned a bit about the church from them from Paraguay. They all took a Book of Mormon and want to learn more. Praying things continue to go well with them and all our investigators, that they will respond to our emails, and that they will meet with the missionaries near them. BTW I decided at the beginning of my mission not to share all of the baptisms we have so if you are ever interested to know more about those people feel free to email me directly, but I have felt coming here that it is the tiny little details of true conversion that occur over the whole span of our lifetime that are the most incredible. We get to be part of that with people everyday, sometimes their first initial contact with truth. Blessed. 

Sisters in my zone from Tonga and Cali. Look guys I'm glowing. We really are the angels of Temple Square. ;)
Okay sorry for the length today but I will just end with something I came across in studies this week in 1 Cor 12 and 13. It talks about charity and gifts that we are given through the spirit as disciples of Jesus Christ. Paul observed that the knowledge available in this life in incomplete compared to the perfect knowledge we will enjoy in the eternities. He gave the example of our current knowledge is like a reflection in a mirror and eternal knowledge is like seeing the same the same thing but experiencing it face to face. One day we will know all gifts. One day I will be able to speak all languages. So neat. Food for thought. 2 Nephi 32:3

Two conference talk recommendations that I read this week that were killer that really send a message straight to my soul: "Be Anxiously Engaged" By M. Russell Ballard and "Your Four Minutes" by Bary E Stevenson.

Love you all so so so so so much

Sister Cox