Monday, June 27, 2016

Final Week

Really Bad Cold

President & Hermana Crickmore

We apologize for the lack of updates for Hermana Cox.  She has been extremely busy and we only get a sentence or two most weeks as to how she is doing.  

Courtney has spent the last two months in the town of Ozumba and will finish her mission there. It is a town of about 25,000.  She is again near "Popo", the huge volcano. She is 40 miles southeast of Mexico City.  She is in the high elevations again, similar to earlier in her mission.  The weather is much cooler this time of year.  We have included a picture which will illustrate the change in temperature and being under the weather!  She has continued to train other missionaries while in Ozumba but this was the last new area she will assist in opening on her mission.  

Here are a couple of stories/thoughts from Courtney over the past month ...

1) Regarding Ozumba, she says, "It's really cool.  It's a little hard to find places because the houses have no numbers on them.  This reminds me of Eastland and it rains a lot."

2) We found a less active sister who has 4 boys and the oldest can go on a mission in two years. When I told them we were going to read a scripture they all ran to the bookshelf and said what page,  what page, and when we told them they can invite their friends to church the littlest one jumped up with his fists in the air and said yes!!!! The oldest has been trying to help his mom come back to church but they have a lot of obstacles.  I wish I could have taken a picture of his face when we came to his house. I think he was grateful. We will see them again this week.

3) I really do love the people here, that is something that I will never lack is love for this people. Yesterday, I was throwing up all morning, I think I threw up like 6 or 7 times. I think it’s because I drank milk that was bad. It wasn't past the expiration date but my compa said it tasted bad. I hate being sick on the mission, but I am feeling better. This week, we had a sick lesson with an investigator.  We met him on the street and he showed us where his house was and asked us to come back the next day. When we came back, the first thing he asked was where was church and at what time. He has passed through a lot of trials in his life and he wants to repent. He was crying as he told us about what he had gone through and my compa and I cried with him. He is very prepared and we are super excited to teach him. This week, we did a contacting activity with the zone and they split us up with different companions. When I got back with my daughter(a sister she previously trained), she said "I contacted just like you did and they accepted!"  It was really cute and it made my little mom heart happy. 

We have included some recent pictures and a video!

Courtney arrives home on Tuesday, July 5th.  Her homecoming (and Dallin's farewell - Honduras San Pedro Sula West Mission) will both be on Sunday, July 10th @ 11:00 am at the Guilford Building (1525 Guilford, Henderson, Nevada 89014 - behind Green Valley High School next to the baseball fields).  We would love to see you there!

We are grateful for you taking time and effort to support Courtney!

The Cox's

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Week 61 - 67 – It’s Been A Long Time

A few months ago, Courtney’s mission underwent boundary changes.  It is our understanding from her emails that she has been busy moving every six weeks and opening new areas.  Her emails have been brief, but here is a quick update.  Thank you for continuing to write and support her!

 3/14 – Summary:  She said, “We enjoyed our multi-zone conference this week.  I am really excited that Ernesto, from our last area was baptized and that President Crickmore gave us permission to attend the baptism.  It was beautiful.”

 3/21 and 3/28 – Summary:  We spent a small amount of time trying to figure out her classes for Fall when she returns to BYU.  We want to thank her friend, Lauren Bowler, for helping her get everything dialed in for the Fall!

 4/4 – Summary:  Courtney says, “With the new training and opening new areas, I really haven’t had time to do anything.  I did love Conference though.  It was so nice just to hear the voices of the prophets and apostles and know that they are of God.”  She further said that she was not going to transfer this week, but was going to train a new missionary.  She said she enjoyed opening areas but is looking forward to staying in one place and training.

 Hermana Ramos from Monterrey, Mexico.   “She is super cute.”

4/11 - Summary:  We asked her about her new companion that she is training.  She says, “We are doing very well.  We are getting to know our new area very well, too.  We are finding more and more people to teach.  We have one investigator who is really ready for baptism but her boyfriend does not want to get married.  We fasted for her and asked her to fast with us.  When we met her for her lesson, she said she fasted for the first time and she is already seeing changes in her boyfriend.  We also had two less active members attend church this week.  One of them served a mission.  He has not been to church for a while and his wife is not a member of the church.  We are hoping he will set a good example for her.  We went exploring in some of the little towns this week.  Some of them are an hour away.  I asked these two random people when we left our apartment if they knew where the town was and they were going to the same town!  They showed us where all the colonies are and even helped us find the house we were looking for, it was a miracle!  We have seen a miracle every day this week.”  I also asked her to give me a fun fact for the week, and she says, “A member is making us special shampoo made with herbs from her garden!”

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Week 58 - Transfered

Hermana Phenix and I are now in Oaxtepec, Morelos. It is close to Cocoyoc. We are in President and Hermana Crickmore's ward and they are taking us out to eat on Friday. There is also a general authority in this ward, but we haven't met him yet. Our house is brand new and beautiful. My comp and I both cried when we saw the bathroom. We also were given a cell phone – it's a big touch screen smart phone. We are in one of the coolest areas in the mission because we have a town called Tlayacapan. They call it the “magic town” because it is very touristy and old fashioned. They have lots of shows/performances and sites to visit. There is an old Catholic church with mummies and other museums/shopping. The people here have more money, so their hearts are more closed to the gospel. When we got here, we didn't have any investigators. But, we found some this week. Martha is a mom of 3 and when we finished our 1st lesson with her and invited her to be baptized, she said yes! When we asked her why, she said that she felt really good and she felt that Christ was in the room with us. Also, a man named Pedro contacted us on the street. When we went to visit him, we found out that he is dating a girl that has three daughters who are members of the church. He and his girlfriend both said they wanted to make changes in their lives and want to start a new life with baptism. We have seen a lot of miracles this week as far as transportation/directions. God honestly sends angels to protect and help us. The other night we returned to the house after a meeting with our mission leader to find a group of guys outside our door, one of whom tried to hug me earlier that day. We decided to walk around the block and say a prayer. As we were walking, our mission leader appeared out of the middle of nowhere and said he felt he needed to come look for us. So he took a bus to our house and found us in the street. He walked us home and everything was fine.

P.S. Elder Clayton and Elder Pieper came to speak to us and they shook our hands. It was pretty intense.

P.S.S. It was so hard to say goodbye to Yautepec! But we get to go there every Monday for the district meeting so we are going with Hermano Baca today (our old mission leader) to go eat tacos.

Week - 56 Lessons Learned

Today I complete one year in the mission. It's interesting to think that I have lived in Mexico for one year! Everyday I discover new things about the gospel, myself, and my relationship with God. I am not a perfect missionary or a perfect person. But I think the Lord loves me enough to allow me to pass through this refining process, that will last the rest of my life. It is good we have the Atonement, so we can change, become new again, and know we are never alone in the process. I have been reflecting on the experiences I have had this past year. A few of the things I have learned:

The Book of Mormon answers the questions/doubts of the heart, God speaks to his children in dreams, love is a language, those that have the least give the most, little children pray for the weakness and sins of their parents, God is found in quiet places, the heavens cry with us, priesthood power is stronger than Satan's power, when we change our focus from worldly consequences to eternal consequences – God sends miracles, the traditions of our fathers should not always be trusted, someone on their phone during the sacrament does not understand Christ's Atonement, covenants change countenances, when it rains it pours, chosen leaders act on revelation-not convenience, obedience earns respect, the Lord knows what we can handle, goodbyes are hard-but we they are not forever, the blessings come after we endure hard things, the Lord prepares hearts, looks are deceiving, virtue loveth virtue and light cleaveth unto light, the Lord entrusts souls unto those he can trust, the amount of unity in a companionship, relationship or family determines the magnitude of the spirit in a companionship, relationship, or family, if you don't live the law of chastity your relationship will not function, gifts of the Spirit do exist, the mysteries of God are unfolded to those who ponder, in a progressing marriage – there must be found two principles - mercy and justice - and they must be governed equally, we have to fight for the things we love, the Lord hears the cries of his daughters, there are always signs, the temple can change the life of a family, counting our blessings leads to important understanding, Satan understands our weaknesses – and that is something we must always remember, priesthood blessings are words God has been waiting to tell you, heartfelt testimonies touch hearts and leave lasting impacts, forgiveness is difficult-but it's not a choice, in our preparation to be Gods & Goddesses we must learn self reliance.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 55 - One Year Anniversary!

We found so many new investigators this week, we had seven at church! We have had a ton of work and I really love the people and my companion. I can't believe it has been a year! I have learned so many things here. It will be hard to leave this country. The Lord loves me and he protects me! It is the best!!!

Week 52-54 - Arcos Antiguos

 Hermana Phenix, Me, & President Crickmore

Road Trip - Hermana Blanco and I

This week, Courtney included journal entries with random thoughts from two separate days. Some of it is hard to understand and choppy but here we go ….

Day 1:

Today was awesome. First, we ate in Arcos Antiguos and it is so fresh.  Every little gated community has a pool. I want to buy a house there. We visited a family. They bought this chicken that had a sweet BBQ sauce that was so good that I ate the skin, which I never do in Mexico. Their kitchen is so pretty and their bathroom … I just sat in there for a minute and cried a little on the inside. After living here for almost a year, a nice modern house sounds so good. It would be a big blessing.

Second, we had a lesson with Pam Campos Mendoza and the spirit was so strong. We taught the restoration and shared our testimonies of Joseph Smith. The Hermana wanted us to sing by ourselves to end the lesson, so we sang “Be Still Thy Soul” in English. It was really cool.  When we ended, the spirit was like “boom” and the Hermana was like “great message, sisters.” Ernesto said he prayed to know if Joseph Smith was a true Prophet, and he was able to sleep that night, which he said never happens.

Third, we were outside of a door, waiting for a Hermana to come out and my companion just started hitting this random dog with her pen and saying, “apurate, apurate!”(get a move on) and I was like, “Hermana, what are you doing?” And she said, “This dog is walking so slow!” The dog later passed us in the street and she yelled, “Walk, walk” and hitting it with her pen again. A guy rode by on his bike and I could tell he was like “What is she doing?” It is such a comfort to know that we have the truth. (We have no idea what this means … we are just typing what she has written !!)

A scripture … Alma 18:35 - And a portion of that Spirit dwelleth in me, which giveth me knowledge, and also power according to my faith and desires which are in God.

Day 2:

Today was a cool day. Homero, Lupita, and Ernesto came to church. Homero taught the Sunday school class for jovenes (youth) and it was pretty good. He teaches like a good American teacher. I think he learned from his American companions. He will be a good dad. We talked about studying the scriptures. We did a role play and after he told the youth, “I know you're not reading your scriptures because your actions show it.” We read in 2 Ne 1:14-15 when Lehi is saying his final words. I like when he says, “I am encircled about eternally in the arms of his love.”

We helped the youth do missionary role plays and it was so fun. Homero asked the class, “Who here wants to serve a mission?” Two of the girls kinda raised their hand, and then ERNESTO RAISED HIS HAND!!! AHHH!! Homero saw him and it totally shocked. He was like, “Wow, that's news to me.” It was like a little moment !

Relief Society was good because Vania taught the class and it was great! After church, we played the piano and sang with Homero and Ernesto because the Bishop was in an interview.

Our recent division with the new sisters means that we get to keep our investigators! Yes!! We went to a NDH in Arcos Antiguos because all of our lessons canceled and it was good we went because it was the birthday of the hermana and only two other sisters showed up. Hermana Phenix wasn't feel well so she threw up. Now she feels better. Finally, we had a lesson with our other investigators, Melissa and Axel. I asked Axel if he wanted to be baptized and he was like, “I don't know, like I just don't know if I'm ready?” He's been attending church for months and knows a lot about the church. He will be baptized soon. Melissa wants to also, but has obstacles to overcome.

PS – Look up Arcos Antiguos, San Carlos, Morelos on the internet!

The following week:

This week was crazy. Our leaders called us this morning and said that we have to prepare ourselves because the volcano is going to explode!!! We found so many new people to teach this week who are honestly so prepared to accept this message. One guy told us he had never felt the love of God in his life and he accepted to be baptized. I think the hardest thing this week was that our mission leader has a family who are not members. We are teaching them. When he got home off his mission, his mom lost their house and he slept literally under the stars for months until he had enough money to put up four walls for his mom to have a house. He is 22!! He was like, “Hermanas, I need you guys to help my family!” Talk about stress!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Week 51 – Adios Tecalco y Hola Cuautla!

Hermana Blanco & Hermana Martinez

           Hermano Martinez, Hermano Martinez (Harold - Ward Mission Leader),                                                                        Hermana Blanco, Me, & Hermana Martinez

This week was a little different because we had changes on Thursday.  We have new areas in the mission.

On Monday, we went to play basketball in a real gymnasium with 9 elders and about 20 youth.  One of the young men in our ward plays on a club team.  He was able to get us in and we played for a few hours.  I had a few nice shots from the outside!  After that, we went to a hermana’s house with some of the Elders to eat breakfast.  On the way home to Tecalco, there was a lady selling flowers and one of the Elders bought me flowers for my birthday.  It was very nice of him b/c his companions were like, “You don’t even have money for food, why are you buying flowers?”  After breakfast, we played UNO and this other card game that I don’t know what it is called.  It was so fun.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we worked and visited.  Wednesday night, a brother bought pizza for my birthday and invited the Elders and a young man named Jorge that always accompanies the missionaries.  We also went to our mission leader’s house to say goodbye.  They took pictures with us.  My companion had asked for a blessing from our mission leader earlier in the week.  I don’t ask for blessings very often but I felt prompted to ask.  I am kind of prejudiced to my dad’s blessings.  However, I was feeling a little stressed about opening a new area and so I asked Hermano Harold for a blessing.  The blessings lasted like 10 minutes.  I think I will remember it as one of the really cool experiences of my mission.  He said things that I really needed to hear.  Things I had been praying and thinking about for a while and had not received clear understanding about.  He said that I would be blessed to only look back to see things that I had improved upon.  That was something I needed to hear because sometimes I look back and think “Ah, I did that wrong” or “I could have done that better.”  It isn’t necessarily bad but sometimes I stress over it and Satan can use it to discourage and distract me.  I was really happy to hear those words and know they were coming from the Lord.  He also said, “I can see that God has given you a lot of blessings and that he has more in store for me.”  I wondered if that meant he saw that with his spiritual eyes or was it something he observed being with us.  I have realized on the mission that the Lord has blessed me so much.  When I say that, I mostly refer to my family.  I have a really cool family.

Thursday morning as we were getting ready, Jorge came to say goodbye.  Jorge is a youth that would accompany us and he is crazy good at teaching.  He has a gift for teaching and talking but like to the point where our investigators were left with their mouths hanging open.  He has the knowledge of an 80 year old general authority.  Ah … we love him lots and we will miss him!

A few minutes later, Hermano Harold showed up to say goodbye and give us some last minute advice.  He said, “Hermanas, who am I going to hang out with now?”  (Hermano Harold is the ward mission leader in one of the wards that Courtney is serving in.  He recently returned home from his mission 2 months ago.)  We were with his family for Christmas and New Years and he accompanied us often.  We were like, “It is time for you to make more friends and to find a girlfriend.”  We pray for him that he will find good ones soon.

The family that lives in front of us came to say goodbye.  It was nice of them.  I am going to miss the grandmother because she always told funny stories and checked on us. 

When we went to Cuautla, we traveled in a bus.  As we were going, it was quiet because the view was changing into something we don’t see very often.  GREEN!  We got to the stake center and it had palm trees and it looked like a little resort.  We went with the sisters to our area and they showed us around and then they left the next morning.  Our area is HUGE!   To get to our lessons we walk so much and it is HOT!  I have blisters all over my feet.  It sounds ridiculous but sometimes my body hurts so bad from the sun and walking and carrying my bag that I just want to cry.  I feel like I am on the trek again.

Our house is very RAD!  It reminds me of a chilled pad in Costa Rica J.  I’ll send pics soon.  The bathroom has no door.  It is great, the people here accept our contacts!  I have asked for directions all day long and they help us!  It is so cool.  I love Mexico!

This Sunday we spoke in church and we taught gospel principles.  Our investigator cried in Gospel Principles today when we were talking about God’s love.  She said that when she was little she prayed for a brother, but her Mom was having trouble having children.  She prayed and prayed and her Mom was able to have a son, and she had a brother.  Her brother is also an investigator and he was sitting next to her.  It was like “Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh!”  We taught another family on Saturday and helped her children with their English homework.  She was so happy that she accompanied us all day today.  We visited another family and he was like “I feel so happy, can you come visit our family every week?”  We contacted a woman in the street and she gave us free horchata and tacos.  SCORE!

We are sad to leave our old area and excited for our new area at the same time.  We are ready to work!!  Thank you for your prayers, letters, and support!   I love you!  

Hermana Cox

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Weeks 47-50 Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano

Chalco Mission
Hermana Blanco(Peru), Me, & Hermano Martinez (Ward Mission Leader)

Christmas Night at Hermano Martinez's
I taught everyone how to play Uno, American Style or how the Johnson Family plays (lightning speed).
They loved it!

Here, they celebrate New Years by having big dinners and they dance and light fireworks all night.  I was able to play bball for a couple hours and then we ate a huge dinner with the family of our mission leader.  Today, we played bball in a real gym with like 30 jovenes and elders.  It was good to play on a real court.  We had to say goodbye to our investigators.  I have changes coming.  They are closing Tecalco.  The members are great and they will be able to do the work on their own !!   We have one that we have been teaching and she started crying and it was hard. She was the one that said she had to go to the mountain to pray. Her prayers are the most sincere things I have ever heard. Its like she is sitting in the presence of God when she says them. She hasn't received an answer yet, but she is definitely looking for the truth and I know she will find it. I am going to Cuatla with an American companion and I am still a training leader. The areas of the mission have changed and I will be opening this new area.  It is suppose to be a really great city.  Love you !!