Wednesday, November 6, 2013

2 Months Today!

Nov. 4, 2013
Hey Mom!
Can you believe that I have been out for 2 months today? Crazy right? Its going way too fast!
How was Halloween for everyone? What did everyone dress up as? Did you do anything fun? I was super excited to get your letter! I got it on the 2nd, so just shy of Halloween.
Things here have been going pretty well. We weren't able to get in to Sonny or Brenda this week, but we were able to go and meet with a lot of the less-active members! Which is really good, it is so important to take care of the members that we already have before we can get more.
So, funny story... we went to go and teach a part member family. And the entrance to their apartment (like the hallway before you get to their apartment) stunk soooo bad! We got in there and they wouldn't tell us what it was, only that it wasn't from them... but it was bothering us so at the end of the lesson (we taught them about language and had them squeeze all of the toothpaste out of the tube and then try to put it back in- the point was that it is hard to take back what you have already said. It was a cool lesson) we begged them to tell us what the smell was. I had actually guessed that it was a dead animal, and then Sister Williams said "or a dead person" then we looked at Brooke (the member & the mom) and she was just looking at us... then she said that their downstairs neighbor was found in his bed and that he had been there, dead, for about a week! It was disgusting! You seriously can't even breath in that hallway! We ran and held our breath all the way until we were outside.
We went and taught a less active family, the Siffles, to see why they haven't been going to church. And basically what Hank had told us is that he has some deep doctrine issues with the Bible. He believes that Jesus isn't the God of the Old Testament, and that the Holy Ghost isn't his own person, but he is literally the spirit of God... He denied the Holy Ghost. I have never seen or heard of something like this. We tried to explain things to him, but he didn't want an answer to his questions, so all we could do is listen to him and bare testimony of what we know to be true. We tried to get out of there as soon as possible because the spirit was not there. And he was getting really fired up. It was so sad to see how they were progressing and coming back to the church and then all of the sudden they have this huge problem come up. WHY?!?!!
Halloween was so much fun! We did have to be in early, but we definitely made the most of our night. We had our own little Halloween party! We hung some doughnuts from the ceiling fan and ate them without our hands. We were going to bob for apples, but we didn't have a bucket big enough... but we played some games and had a fun night!
How did creating a family mission plan go? What date did you pick to share someone with the missionaries? What is your plan of action?
I love you so much! Thanks for all that you do for me! I am so blessed to have such an amazing family who loves and supports me! Seeing some of the people out here really makes me happy to know that I was raised in this church. What a blessing it is to have been raised in a community like Manti with such amazing people!
I love you so much!
Sister Jessica Cox

***Jessica usually will email back and forth with me(Tricia) every Monday morning for about a half an hour and she will answer questions and give a little more info.  Today as we emailed back and forth, she mentioned that in a couple of weeks, ALL of the missionaries in her mission will be getting ipads.  Each companionship will also get an iphone.  I thought that was pretty amazing!  (Apple is making bank on the church$$$:)  She will also be able to use facebook as soon as her "training" is over.  The missionaries use facebook quite a bit to teach and find people to teach, so it will be fun to watch for her to post as a Sister missionary:).  It is amazing how technology is used for such good and to help further the work.  It is also amazing that Satan takes everything that is so good and can turn it in to something that is so bad!!  Just reminds us that we always have to be on our toes:)
Fall in Pennsylvania

Halloween party in the apartment!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Happy Halloween!

Oct. 28, 2013
Thank you so much for the greenie package! haha it made my day! But you do know that I'm not actually a "greenie" I am a GOLDEN :) But even then my comps always tell me how "pre-trained" I am, so I don't even count. I got my boots last week and my coat and the book came just a couple days ago.
I am so happy that you forwarded that email to Jason & Sheryl. I don't think that I sent the picture of us together, so I will send that with this email.
That's so fun that your Primary Program was yesterday! Ours is going to be next sunday! I am sooo excited! Speaking of church, all of us missionaries in the ward did a musical number. Transfers are tomorrow, but we are staying in a trio (it isn't normal to stay in a trio for more than one transfer). 2 of the elders in our ward are leaving and so as their send off we sang Love is Spoken Here... some of the elders are a little tone deaf... but us sisters sounded so good!!! I can't remember if I told you about Sister Johnson, the relief society president, but she has family in sterling and is from somewhere nearby... I can't remember where. But her parents came out to visit and her mom says that she is going to call you! I don't know how though, cause I didn't give her your number, but she says that she is going to call.
My investigators are doing GREAT! We haven't been able to get in and talk to Brinda in a while, but Brenda is doing great! She is coming to church, reading the scriptures, saying her prayers, she is super excited for her baptism and so are we! her family isn't super supportive, but she keeps telling us that she is a big girl and can make her own decisions. So we aren't worried about her. Oh, GUESS WHAT?! We got another baptismal date!!!! Sonny is getting baptized on Dec 8! Well, we set it as a goal. But it counts! A date has been set! So, we are now preparing 2 people to be baptized!!!! yay!!! And to think that a couple of weeks ago we were thinking about dropping him. The lord works in mysterious ways!
My daily schedule... well, we wake up every morning at 6:30 and exercise until 7 and then we prepare for the day. from 8-11 we study (we have an extra hour because I am still pretty new). then we spend the day out and about teaching and finding. We come home at 9 to plan for the following day and then write in our journals and get ready for bed.
Right now I am in Alma. I  just finished reading the story of Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty. I love that story, but there is also a lot more to it than just that. I have found that one verse that meant something totally different to me at one time means something else right now. EVERYTHING THAT I READ APPLIES TO MISSIONARY WORK!!! it is so crazy but so cool!!!
Center city last week was so much fun! We went to this cool T-shirt store where they can print you out a shirt for only $5, then we went to love park (super cool), then on to the rocky stairs, the temple (its above ground now!!!), and then we stopped by the liberty bell and all that stuff right there. It was so cool! We took the train and rode septa all day! It was so fun, but if we didn't have the Elders there, we would be completely lost! I don't know how you can map out where the buses take you. We did ride the subway too. I almost want to be a "septa missionary" just for the experience of it.
Oh hey guess what? We will be getting ipads before the end of the year! super crazy right? I am so excited, there is so much more that we can do with technology. it is so much easier to be able to pull up a video, and then we will have our schedules on them, ward list and everything! It will be sooo nice!
But everything is going better than great right now!
I love you so much!
Sister Jess Cox
 LOVE park
 Sister Meeks & Sister Cox
 LOVE park

Philadelphia Temple.......above ground now:)
 P-day with the Elders at City Center
 Sister Hall
 Sister Williams, Sister Cox, Sister Hall

This week has been great!

Oct. 21, 2013
Hey MOM & family!!
This week has been great! You know that investigator that I told you we had met last week? Her name is Brenda Ladd. She is such a cute lady! We got a voice mail from her telling us that she had gone to the church on Sunday, but then she got too scared to come in! So she sat in the parking lot and watched others go in and then ended up just going home. We met with her again on Saturday and she has committed to baptism!!! The date that we set is for November 24! Yay!!!! And she even made it to church yesterday! She keeps on telling me how much she has learned in so short of a time! She has been reading the Book of Mormon and she LOVES it! SHE IS GOLDEN!!! I'm so excited! When we went and met with her on Saturday she called us her little angels!
Church yesterday was really interesting. There was a ton of people there! The chapel was almost full (not full enough to open the curtain, but still pretty full). In Sunday School, one of the Elder's investigators came... he is a blind guy and so he get a lot of his information by listening to these weird radio stations... He spoke up a lot during class about how Obama is the Anti-Christ and all of this crazy stuff... it was a little weird, I would say that it was the most interesting Sunday school class I have ever been in, especially since I was sitting by Brenda telling her that what he is saying isn't true... It was fun?
We are going to Center Philly today for P-day! I am so excited! We will be going to Love park, run up the Rocky stairs, visit the Comcast center, independence hall, and whatever else we can hit! I am super excited!
We went and helped with the activity day girls stake activity and we talked about deep beauty to them. It was super fun! We had them make those little books, like the one that Sadie had sent me a while ago, and we had everyone in each of the groups write something about that person that makes them beautiful in their books. It was fun! And thanks Sadie for the great idea ;)
Dad! Way to go!!! That lady sounds like she was crazy! But it sounds like you definitely planted a seed there! And if you didn't plant a seed in her heart, then you definitely made a difference in someone's life on that plane!
It sounds like there has been some super fun stuff going on at home! Its so fun hearing how everyone is doing! Oh and thanks for the letters! they were so cute! I told my companions that you don't like lined paper for letters and they just had to laugh. They do say that it is cute though :) Sister Williams is doing ok. We are going to have to go to the doctors for some tests here soon... but we hope that everything will be figured out here shortly.
As for Christmas... I might have to think about it a little more... but I would like a curling iron. I'm not a huge fan of curling my hair with a straightener all the time, so that would be fun. I will have to let you know if I think of anything else.
We went on exchanges this week with the sister trainers. I went with Sister Meeks who is Jason and Sheryl's niece! You will have to tell them that I like her a lot and that we had a good conversation about how much we love the Vernon family :) Sister Meeks is such a sweetie! We had a great day together!
So we have a ward Halloween party and I am going as Sister Williams! We got a wig and everything! haha! it's going to be great! And then the elders want to do a costume party next P-day! it's going to be great!
But everything is going great here! I'm just loving the life of a missionary!
Sister Jess Cox

The one picture of just me is what I look like today! haha!
Then there is one with me and some of the activity girls
Then there is one with me and the 2 Elder Larson's (the one sitting by me is a visa waiter in his brother's mission! and then the other one is one of the assistants to the Pres and will be leaving for home next week!)

P-day on Tuesday:)!

Email sent on Tues. Oct. 15, 2013
Its so weird having P-day on Tuesday! I feel all messed up! I'm so glad to hear that everyone is doing well!
This week has been a really busy week. Last Tuesday was golden (we are called golden's not greenies) re-training so we went farther North to a small town I can't remember if its called Hometown or Hazleton... but we went there and the scenery was gorgeous! Its so different from the scenery! they are actually starting to get some colors out in the country... but the city is still pretty green.
Wednesday we got the car inspected and we weren't even in our area so we couldn't go proselyting... we went to starbucks and got hot chocolate instead. And then we went and met up with the other Elders in our ward and we updated the ward list.
Thursday we went to Morrisville for district mtg. At district mtg we are supposed to do role plays, but we go and do what we call live-action role-plays. They split us off into different companionships and I went with Sister Palmer... She is so quiet... so it was pretty much me doing all the work. Then we had district lunch at ihop. it was pretty fun. The rest of the day was a little more difficult... Elder Allgaeir went home. I don't know why he went home none of us even saw it coming. We just had gotten a test from him saying "I've got some things to take care of. You sisters are awesome!" Whatever it is, I am actually really glad that he had the courage to go home. Things on this end of missionaries going home are so much different, I am honestly glad that he is getting things taken care of rather than working unworthily in the field.
Friday we met with Sonny and we got a different member to come with us and it went so much better!!! He didn't commit to baptism, but he did say that when he came to know that it was true that he would be baptized. So there is hope! We also got a new investigator this week! her name in Brenda Ladd. She just moved here and is looking for a church and her friend who lives in Florida recommended that she joins are church. I have a really good feeling about her :) She wants to join a church that is service oriented, so we told her that is us! That is our religion! That same day we stopped by some investigators house. Their names are Mike and Connie. They are the sweetest old people ever! I don't know why they aren't baptized! Their house is crazy! she has little figurines everywhere!!! Maybe the next time I go over I can get a picture and show you it was crazy!
Saturday was pretty good... except sister Williams has stomach issues and was a little grumpy. She's had these issues for a while and the doctor has her on a dairy free diet right now and then on Saturday she will go on a Gluten and Wheat free diet... but we already know that neither of those things are what's wrong with her. I guess we will just listen to the doctor...
Sunday I spoke in church. It was a super easy topic, I had to speak on missionary work & a little bit about my decision to serve a mission. that was fun. Then we went to dinner at the Menezes home (We have a dinner just about every night.) they are such a cute family! They invited us over for Thanksgiving! haha! I think it's funny that they scheduled that with us so far in advance. I'm super excited though! It's going to be great!
Yesterday was just a normal day... just not normal for Monday. We went and did some stop by's and almost got a new investigator. They aren't considered a new investigator until they schedule an appointment for us to come back and meet with them. This lady was trying so hard to remember her schedule, but asked that we call her later to figure it out. so almost, but not quite.
Today we are going to carve some pumpkins! I'm so excited! We are making pie too! I'm looking forward to my new coat and boots! yay!
Dad have fun in Alabama! If you see Sister Sami Ross there tell her I say hello ;) haha!
I love and miss you all so much! I hope you've been getting my letters!
Lots of Love from Philly!!!
Sister Jess Cox
My scripture is in D&C The one that I had Kenny and Kori put on my pictures about service... its something along the lines of I called you servants for the world's sake... I can't remember the reference off the top of my head