Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Conference is like CHRISTMAS!

Oct. 7, 2013
I'm so glad that you got your present! And I'm super happy that you liked it :) Hopefully one of these days I will get to center Philly and get you a shirt! :)
You should know that because next Monday is a holiday, I probably wont be emailing you until Tuesday... So don't be disappointed if you don't get an email Monday. We don't spend the whole day at the library on P-day, we have lots of other things that we need to get done. We usually get to the library at about 10:30 and then leave at 12ish and then we go back home and write letters eat lunch and then we go and do something fun! Last week we just watched a movie... but today is zone unity day, so we are going to play kickball or volleyball with our zone. We have a laundry machine at our apartment, so we try to do all of our laundry in the morning when we get up.
It sounds like you guys have had a fun week! I had no clue it was homecoming last week! that must have been fun! And it sounds like dad is going to have fun on his adventure in Alabama. Those turkey meetings! haha!
This week has been pretty good. We don't have a whole lot of investigators right now, so we do a lot of tracting... This week we made some invitations for conference and went around inviting some people to come to conference. We also got some sidewalk chalk and went and "advertised" that way as well!
Brinda, the one who is getting baptized cancelled on us for the next 2 weeks because her sister is in the hospital and she wants to be with her until she is released. So now we are going to have to move her date to the end of November. But as long as she gets baptized then all is well. We have been having a hard time figuring out how she is going to get baptized because she has really bad arthritis in her knees, she is like 6' 2", and she probably weighs 300+lbs But I'm sure that we will be able to figure out what we should do.
So funny story! We went to a less actives house for dinner this week and she asked her daughter to say the prayer (her daughter is 4) and so this little girl stands up and she starts the prayer: "I pledge allegiance to the flag." She recited the entire pledge of allegiance for us. She told us that she learned that prayer at school! haha! Our whole day was made just by that!
Conference was AMAZING! It is like Christmas for missionaries! My favorite talk was Elder Christofferson, I think that he is starting to become my favorite speaker. He is so bold! There were so many talks where I was thinking of some of my investigators and some ward members where I was hoping that they were listening! Conference truly had some incredibly inspired messages! I feel like the theme for conference was about our role. It talked about women and their roles in the family and in the priesthood and the members and their role in missionary work and even those who have disabilities (Elder Holland did great on that!). It makes me think how much we really have to stand up in this sit down world. I loved being a missionary and hearing President Monson right at the beginning saying that now is the time for members and missionaries to work together in the vineyard of the lord! Members make ALL the difference! I would encourage you to be looking for opportunities to do missionary work! Tell dad that while he is in Alabama that he needs to make a new friend that is a nonmember and then introduce them to the gospel! Always have a prayer in your heart and search for opportunities! Because not only have I been called to the work of Salvation, but so have you! 
I just love conference so much! there was a lot of things that I really needed to hear and I hope that everyone else that listened to conference got something to.
There is a book that the missionaries in my mission have been reading, it is called The Power of Everyday Missionaries. could you send that to me please?
But everything is going great! Can't wait to hear from you again soon!
Sister Cox

The Work is Moving Forward!

MOM (& Dad & Family),
Everything is going great out here! I can't believe that I have already been gone for a month! AHHH! It's going way too fast!!! By the end of this transfer I will have been out for 2 months!
This week has been awesome! I got to teach 2 more lessons this week. One to a guy in his late 20s (who is completely obsessed with his job), his name is Sonny. We had a member present with that one and I don't think that she completely understood what she was supposed to be doing... Our plan was to teach him about the Plan of Salvation but the member kind of took off on a random tangent about callings and service and to make things even better, Sonny went off on his own tangent about work. It was a mess, but we are meeting with him again hopefully this week and we will have a different member present.
I also got to teach another lesson to an older black lady probably in her late 50s. Her name is Brinda and she is the sweetest lady ever! And guess what? She's getting baptized! I extended the invitation to be baptized and she accepted! We set the date at Oct13, but we will have to change the date so that she can make it to church once (conference doesn't count) before she gets baptized. But I am SOOO EXCITED! My first Baptism! YAY!
So apparently there is this big thing going on about sisters being allowed to go into the conference center for the priesthood session... We went to a members home for dinner and we got on the subject of the priesthood and the ladies that were there have some really strong oppinions about the matter. One of them said that the church is so feminist and before the long the church is going to have to let sisters have the priesthood, or at least have that available for them. Us sisters really had to defend the church and our standards. I just wanted to say, the only reason that you see the world changing (priesthood for women in catholic church) is because we don't change our doctrine. We may change some standards (such as missionary age) but not our doctrine. I am perfectly fine not holding the priesthood! If you think about it, if women had the priesthood then we wouldn't need a man. We would be able to take care of things all on our own. It was just ridiculous hearing about all of this.
I got to go to the general relief society meeting this week. I love it! I loved how the topic seemed to roll around keeping our covenants. As a missionary, yeah I keep my covenants, but it really helped to understand how I can help others and what I can do to help them keep their covenants.
I am so excited for conference! We will be meeting at the church and will watch conference there. I don't think that they broadcast it on TV out here, so the only way to watch it is through the internet or at the church. So, I will let you know how that goes. I guess that the ward is bringing food for us to eat during conference too. yay! I'm just not excited to sit on those benches for long periods of time...
It sounds like everything is going great for you back home! I love hearing how everyone is doing! 
I've attached a couple of pictures. I hope that they get to you! Oh and just so you know we drive on the most dangerous road in the country everyday! haha! Philly drivers are crazy, but we are always safe and follow the rules :) Although we did J-walk a lot yesterday...
I love you so much! And I hope to get a few letters soon? Maybe that's just wishful thinking though.
But I will talk to you soon!
Sister Jess Cox

I'm in Philly!

*Sept. 23, 2013
MOM!!! I guess that President Anderson already sent you my info... but I am in PHILLY! North Philadelphia in a ward called Pennypack. Which includes North Philly and Bensalem! I'm in the Ghetto! (That was on my list of places to be while out here!) The area I'm in was actually just opened to sister missionaries the transfer before! Everyone is always telling me how lucky I am to be in the Pennypack ward and to have such great "moms" aka my trainers. They all tell me that pennypack is like the celestial kingdom, even though it has a lot of problems... There are 2 other sets of elders with us in Pennypack and they are AMAZING! My trainers are Sister Kenzie Hall and Sister Kellyn Williams I LOVE THEM SO MUCH! I really lucked out with how great of everything is for me! (Sister Williams and I decided that we are going to be the 1st sister missionaries to open up Camden! It's going to happen!)
On the 1st day in the field they put me to work right away! We went to a big apartment complex and went to a referral... it was a couple of guys who were going to college and they hit on us sooo bad!! It was a little weird. And then as we were walking along we ran into a couple of gay guys... that in and of itself was interesting... one of them tried to give me a hug! IT WAS SO WIERD! The next day we went to district meeting and it turns out that the "referral" and the "gay guys" were elders from my district! They recorded everything and because of that there wasn't really an awkward "Hi, I'm the new missionary." I just got right into the roll of things!
I got to teach my first lesson this week to a referral that the elders got for us. She told them that her name was Christian, but when we got there we found out that her real name is Ellan. She is CRAZY! She claims to have a perfect relationship with God, so there is nothing that we can offer her (later she said that she could see that we might have something to offer her...). She believes that we are all God- like we make up God. She believes in Reincarnation. She just is in a really interesting situation. Everything that she said she contradicted herself. But the key is to see her as she can become, not how she is right now.
My apartment is actually one of the nicer ones... I'm on the couch for the moment though... Hopefully I will get a bed soon. the size of our apartment is probably about half of the garden all together... we don't know where we are going to fit my bed once it gets here...
A lot of what I've done while out here is mainly going to find people on the ward list. Because this is still a relatively new area, we have a lot of things that we need to get done. But I have been able to meet a lot of the ward members. One of them, Sister Johnson (A recent convert, who is black) is soo funny! She was looking at the pictures in the back of the BOM and she saw the picture of the NK Whitney Store... she thought it was the NK Whiskey store! She was all sorts of confused because she knows that that is where the revelation for the WOW came from. haha!
We got to go to YW the first night that I got here. And the next day we got to play volleyball! It was so much fun especially because its not a competitive environment. Everything that we do is for the ward, mainly we are trying to reach all of the Less Actives in the ward. there was one house that we stopped at where their door was wide open and we knocked, we could hear them inside, but they wouldn't answer. But what are you going to do? At some points I have felt a lot like a salesman, but its not that bad.
Oh I almost forgot! I taught the lady that I was riding on the plane with from Minneapolis to Philly. I taught her with Elder Cowley who was sitting by me during the flight (probably the only time that I will ever be able to teach with an elder until I am married.) We gave her the BOM and she said she would read it! It was so cool!
I am so glad to hear that everything is going well! I love hearing how everything is going back home! Be sure to let the kids know that I am rooting for them while they are out playing in their games! Oh and tell Grandpa WAY TO GO! haha! I love you so much and I can't wait to hear from you again next week! LOVE YOU!
Sister Cox
4405 Bristol Rd #1B
Trevose, PA 19053

Way to go Grandpa! haha!
My first Sunday my comps had to speak, but somehow I got off the hook... So I sat down by the elders and their new convert who just got confirmed yesterday! I went to the gospel doctrines class and I think there was only 10 of us in there and half were missionaries. Then we went to Relief Society. Once church was over we went out and proselyted some more. Oh and we went through the ward list and tried to organize every thing with all of the other elders.
So you know how they announced that we could give tours of the church? Well, they gave us sisters and the district leader a key so that's how it happens (if you're wondering).
We do have a car which is good because we have a BIG area, but I don't like it as much because you don't have the opportunity to go out and talk to people on the street as much. I did pass the test to drive, but because I am a new missionary, they ask that I wait for about a month until I know the area well enough and know the traffic well enough to drive. There are some pretty crazy drivers out here! Everyone is always honking their horn.
I have caught onto a little bit of their slang here. they don't say water, they say whutter... haha! Its actually a lot of fun out here! Oh and they say yous a lot too. The accent isn't too different from Sanpete... depending on who you talk to. There are definitely a lot of different cultures out here so I get to hear all sorts of funny accents!
I love Philly so much and I feel like they have adopted me right in!

She Has Arrived


18 September 2013

Parents of: Sister Cox 

       332 West 600 North
       Manti, UT 84642

This week Sister Anderson and I have had the thrill of welcoming your daughter to the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission. She has arrived safely and we have enjoyed becoming acquainted with her .

Yesterday, Sister Cox was assigned his first companion and trainer, Sister 
   .  Below is their address; we invite you to please write or email  Sister Cox weekly with positive, uplifting information and experiences to encourage her in her missionary efforts.  Your expressions of love and interest in her will not only bless her life here in Philadelphia, but will cement relationships of trust forever.  As instructed by the leaders of the Church, we ask that you not telephone or visit Sister Cox during her mission unless I have been informed in advance.  She will have my permission to call on Mother's Day and Christmas.  You should feel free to contact Sister Anderson (new mission president's wife) at any time.  Email is my preference, but if the need is urgent call the Church operator in Salt Lake (801-240-1000) and they will know how to contact me.


We know the Lord will bless you as He does all who make the necessary sacrifices to allow their loved ones to serve in these great callings.  If we can ever be of any service or assistance to you or your daughter, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thank you for the privilege of serving with Sister Cox.

Best personal regards,

T. Gary AndersonPresident, Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission

Sister Jessica Cox

4405 Bristol Rd. #1BTrevose, PA 19053USA

Tomorrow is Monday, and then I'm off to Philly

Sept. 15, 2013 
We are allowed to e-mail our parents today. They wanted us to let you know that we can call you while at the airport. I already told you that we report to the travel office at 2:30amand then it's going to take about an hour to get to the airport and possibly another hour to check luggage and go through security and everything. So be expecting a call at about 4:30 am. I can't wait to talk to you before I leave for Philly. It will be the last to talk to you until Christmas! Thanks for sending me that package with my retainer and patriarchal blessing in it. Oh and for all of the fun little gifts in it too! It made my day :) 
I am so excited to finally go to Philly, I am going to miss my district and zone and companion a lot! We have seriously gotten so close, but I guess that's what happens when you spend so much time with so many wonderful pictures. We got to go and walk around the temple today and our whole district color coordinated! It was fun! I wish I was at a computer that would allow me to load pictures to show you... but it was way fun!
I wish I had more time to e-mail you, but I will talk to you soon!!! 
Sister Cox <3


*Letter written at MTC on Sept. 11, 2013
Dear Family,
I LOVE YOU!  I think I already told you thanks for the package....but Thanks again!  You saved the day!  All of us sisters really have been enjoying it.  Thanks for the jacket!  I remember looking at that at Sam's!  haha!  Just as a little FYI if you want to send me another letter in the mail, I wouldn't send it after Friday.  But Dear elder should be fine through Sunday(maybe Monday morning).
   That is soo funny what happened to Grandpa!  Haha!  Tell him way to go for me!  I did write a letter to them, but I don't think grandma would like it if I told grandpa way to go in that letter.
   You will have to let me know when Dylan gets his call!  I'm excited to hear where he is going!
   So the exact info on my travel is:
Sept. 17, 2013
2:30 am:  Report to the MTC Travel Office
Calling time
6:00 am:  Fly out from SLC airport
9:38 am:  Arrive at Minneapolis, MN
More calling time?
10:45 am:  Fly out from Minneapolis, MN
2:18 pm:  Arrive at Philadelphia, PA
   I really hope you don't mind if I end up calling super early in the morning.  I will try not to call earlier than 4:30... but I won't make any promises.
   I got all my laundrey, emails/letters, & cleaned my room today.  While cleaning our room, Sister Manson was vacuuming & the vacuum exploded all over my bed!  We got it all cleaned up, but it was really funny!
   Anyways, I love you all lots & I hope to hear from you soon!
Love always,
Sister Cox
P.S.  Tell Spencer,Mikaela, & Dad that I haven't heard from the yet & I really want to:)

The MTC is amazing!!

*Email sent on Sept 11, 2013 from the MTC - The only P-day Sister Cox had in the MTC.
MOM!!!! (and family)
The MTC is amazing!! I think I already told you about my companion Sister Reyes. She is from Las Vegas and I love her to death!!! She is such a cutie! If I get the chance I will have to send you some pictures! Sister Reyes is always trying to scare me, and she actually does a pretty good job at it too, she got me really bad while we were doing our service project on Monday. We were vacuuming and I didn't know she was done, and then all of the sudden she popped out of no where. The sisters in my district all share the same room. there are 3 bunkbeds to a room (6 beds) and 4 of us, so we definitely aren't too crowded. The sisters in my district are Sister Reyes and I, and Sister Manson (from Mesa Arizona) who is our sister training leader, and Sister Steadman (from Sandy). We are all going to Philly! We call ourselves the Philly 4! We have 4 Elders in our district. Elder Brown who is our district leader, Elder Steel, Elder Llewelyn, and Elder Whitney. they are all going to Arcadia California. We've only been here for a week and already we feel like a family! It is so cool being able to hear all of their insights and their stories! Oh and funny story, the elders found a "narnia hole" in their room and in it was an armadillo!! haha! 
I got to go to the temple this morning with my zone. It was really neat! This was my first time watching the video and it was really good, but not quite what I was expecting. We stayed in the same room for the whole time which was kind of weird for me... but I LOVED being able to go to the temple! I get the feeling that it is going to be quite a while before I get to go to the temple again... :( We got to eat breakfast at the temple though and it turned out pretty good!
We get new missionaries today! woohoo! Its so weird thinking that I have only been here for a week and now I'm the "old" missionary. When I first came here, the other missionaries seemed so much older and so much wiser than any of us newbies, but in all reality they were exactly the same age as us. I wonder if we will look that way to the missionaries coming in today. The new district that is coming into our zone today are all going to Missouri! there will be 5 Elders and 5 Sisters! We went and decorated the new sisters door to help them feel welcome here at the MTC.
So this is supposedly "top secret" but there is going to be a sister missionary choir for the relief society broadcast coming up here soon, too bad I will be out of the MTC by then... but oh well. I have been able to participate in the choir and I LOVE it! This week we sang Where Can I Turn For Peace? but unfortunately I wasn't able to perform it with the rest of the choir... there wasn't enough seats for us... but it's probably for the better, I haven't had much of a voice lately. I caught a bit of a cold from one of the sisters in my district and so I've been sneezing and I can't always talk... But don't worry, I'm ok! I went to the book store and got some stuff to help me get over it.
My teachers here are Sister Looney (who I absolutely LOVE! I feel like I can relate to her really well, she just got off her mission about 6 months ago) and Brother Adjei (Ahd-Jay is how you say it. He is from Ghanna and has the coolest accent ever. Got to love those African people!!) 
Thank you by the way for the package! It was such a cool surprise to get more than just my bag (which is great by the way, THANK YOU!) I don't know whose idea it was to send that funny flower thing and all the candy, but thanks from the sisters and from me, it really made our day!
We started teaching an investigator yesterday! I don't know if it was real or not, but it felt really real to me! And she was one TOUGH COOKIE! We went into the lesson planning on teaching her about the restoration and the Book of Mormon just to find out that she doesn't even believe in the Bible! But she does believe in God so that gives us at least something to work with...
My last day at the MTC is Monday. If I end up having some time, I may e-mail you again, but otherwise, don't expect an email until the following week :( I report to the MTC travel office at 2:30am on Tuesday and my flight leaves at 6:30am for Minnesota then we have a 1 hour layover... So, I would probably call at the SLC airport... but it would be around 5 or5:30 when I call... you will have to send me a letter to let me know if you want me to call or not... I know that would be really early. But yeah, that is the plan!
The food here is surprisingly pretty good. But they feed you a lot too. They give us all you can eat ice-cream on Sundays and Wednesdays. It's kind of fun.
You will have to tell the Rasmussen's that Elder Hendricks is in my zone and he is actually my zone leader! cool right? We have a large group of people coming to Philly there are 21 of us new missionaries headed on Tuesday.
Oh and I don't know if you have done this already, but there is a page on facebook that you can join. It is called the Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission. One of the teachers here at the MTC went to Philly and he took a picture of the sisters in my district and posted it on that page. You will just have to check it out when you get a chance... or just get on my facebook...
I love you lots!!! Hope to talk to you soon!!!
Sister Cox

the computer wont let me upload pictures... sorry :/
Oh mom if its possible could you shrink my patriarchal blessing and laminate it for me? I'm trying to get some pictures sent to you... So keep checking your e-mail!
Here are a few pictures of me and my comp and the sisters in my district and my district... I will try to send more...

Just some pictures from our temple walk on Sunday. The one with a whole bunch of people in it is my zone. and then the other one with the 3 elders is everyone in my zone that is going to Philly. I wish i had more time to email... but I have to go! Love you so much!!!
Sister Cox

First letter from the MTC:)

(Written letter sent in the mail-received Sept. 7, 2013)
Dear Family
   The MTC is AWESOME!  I can't believe how much I am learning & growing already!  The days do seem to go REALLY Long though.  My companion is Sister Erika Reyes.  She is from Las Vegas, she has a twin sister who was here at the MTC(they look like twins, but my comp. has brown hair & her twin is blonde!) who is now a visa waiter in the SLC South mission.  There are 4 sisters in my district & 4 elders.  We have the best district ever!  In my zone there are 12 elders & us 4 sisters.
   We just met with our branch president tonight & I have been assigned as the designated pianist.  I was also appointed as SENIOR Companion!  Woohoo!
   I'm learning so much & the spirit really is my constant companion!  As much as I really do love the MTC, the days seem so long.  I will be excited to finally get to Philadelphia!
   I will have 1 P-day which will be on Wednesday.  Writing this letter is the only acception to P-day.
   Going through some of my things I noticed that I forgot my retainer & my patriarchal blessing.  Would you please mail those to me as well as some mints?  We aren't allowed to chew gum in public...but we can have mints!
   How is everyone doing back home?  Soccer?  Football?  School?  Work?  Anything exciting going on?
   I'm loving feeling the spirit all the time & I love everything I have been learning!  We say so many prayers throughout the day, it's so hard to even put a number on it, but it works!  I begin teaching my investigator tomorrow whose name is Jessica!  Funny right?  I'll have to tell you more later when I have more time to write!
   I hope you all know that I love you & that I am praying for you!  You are the best family in the world & I wouldn't want to share all of eternity with any other amazing people.  Anyway, love you lots!
Love always,
Sister Cox