A little of this and a little of that and a LOT of rain. And my thoughts about Faith.

Yes. This last week there was a Bagyo, which means typhoon. It wasn’t super terrible here. We just got a lot of rain. For a whole week straight. There were two nights were I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep because of the loudness of the rain and because the thunder sounded like it was going off right outside out door so… ya… that was fun. We didn’t really get flooding here, Manilla got the worst of it. People keep saying that we are supposed to start another Bagyo today. And everyone keeps saying that we will be getting rain almost everyday until December… :/ I don’t mind the rain so much, it’s the being wet all the time that wears on me. But it’s all good. I am super happy to be here.

Training seems to be going well. Sis Feinga is adjusting really well. And she is super awesome. She is trying to OYM on her own and she is always involved in the lessons. Even if its just a line or two or extending commitments. I really love her! I think I already said this, but she is from Tonga. She has long beautiful curly hair. She is really funny. Kinda quiet, but just AWESOME!!!

So this week I’m going to talk about faith. Our mission president asked us to read the Book of Mormon with a focus on faith. I have hundreds of scriptures about faith written down in my study notebook. And then he asked that we write a one page paper on faith and I am going to share my "paper" with you.

When I started writing this summary on faith some questions came to my mind. 1) What is Faith? 2) How do we obtain Faith? 3) Once we have faith what do we need to do to keep it? 4) Why is it important that we have faith?

1) What is Faith? Faith is hope. You cannot have faith without hope or hope without faith. The two go hand in hand. Faith is hoping for things we can’t see. It is having a hope that there is a Savior of the world who atoned for our sins, pains, and weaknesses.

2) How do we obtain faith? In Alma 37:27 it say all we need is a desire to believe, and that’s a good starting point. A desire to know is essential but then we have to do something. We need to act on the smallest particle of faith and then we will receive that witness. We will receive faith.

3) Once we have faith, what do we need to do to keep it? Rarely is word faith used on its’ own in the Book of Mormon. It is usually accompanied with words such as repentance, prayer, fasting, believing, doing the will of the Lord, Etc… To maintain and grow out faith we have to do something! We all know that faith without works is dead. Meaning if we don’t act in some way then it is not true faith. I think of faith like a muscle. Use it or lose it. People with moderate amounts of muscle generally work out hard everyday to keep them strong. But as soon as they stop the muscles start to atrophy. Healthy people usually have a decent amount of muscle, so it is with faith, the more we work it, the more we use it, the more it will grow and strengthen, allowing us to become spiritually strong.

4) Why is it important that we have faith? I think that the biggest reason that we need faith is because the Lord has said that he works miracles among the children of men, "according to their faith." So miracles can mean different things to different people. Here in the mission we consider it a miracle sometimes to get people to come to church. And ever baptism is definitely a miraculous event orchestrated by God. For people who are not missionaries, miracles might be as simple as passing that exam that you have studied weeks for and are dreading and you are relying on the Lord with all you have. Some might consider it a miracle to wake up every morning, or when you are holding a new born baby in your arms. The list of miracles goes on and on, but none would happen without faith. I know that without faith, one very young man could not have been an instrument for the Lord in bringing about the greatest Miracle in this dispensation, the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the translation of the Book of Mormon.

Faith is not a perfect knowledge. If we has a perfect knowledge there would be no more need fore faith. In Ether 3:19 after the Brother of Jared saw Jesus Christ it says, "He had faith no longer, he knew, nothing doubting." Christ is sometimes referred to as the author and finisher of our faith. Meaning that only through Christ can we obtain faith and only through Him can we overcome our need for faith. So I guess my really short definition of faith is, "A hope and love for Jesus Christ and leads us to do acts that bring us closer to him and will sustain us until that time when he will show himself unto us and we will know, nothing doubting, that he is the Christ, Our Savior, and The Redeemer of all mankind."

This has been a really great assignment for me, I love reading the Book of Mormon but it meant so much more to me when I was searching and pondering the meaning of specific verses. I would like to encourage all of you to read the Book of Mormon with a specific topic in mind. It will help you better understand and appreciate the importance of that topic. I love you all, and I hope you are all doing well. Until next time.

Sister Mary Christina Cox

cox.christina

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HELLOOOOOOO!!!!!

Hi everyone! How are you all doing in America? Are you getting rain? We are here. It has been raining since yesterday and everything is very wet. There are trenches on the sides of the road that are supposed to help with flooding and there is one in front of our apartment, we were surprised to look out the window this morning and see that it was overflowing. The rain has slowed down to a drizzle for now but it keeps picking up and then slowing down so we will see how long this misting lasts.

On Thursday I went to the mission home with Sis. Taobure and I got to pick up my trainee. Her name is Sis Feinga. She is from Tonga, and (thankfully!!) she speaks English very well. She is super awesome and is doing great with OYM-ing. It took me a couple weeks to feel comfortable to really talk to people. But she is great at just jumping right in. Her Tagalog in minimal but she talks! It’s awesome! It’s been interesting teaching most of our investigators in Tagalog, with us both being fairly new. But we are handling it. 🙂 I think I’ve said it before but I will say it again, I definitely believe in the Gift of Tongues.

This week we didn’t really get a whole lot of lessons, but we did really good with OYM’s and we got 4 new potential investigators. I’m really sorry folks but I think this week it is going to be really short, I’m super tired, and my brain is not functioning at top speed and I forgot to write talking points in my planner. OOOOOOooooo. I could talk about my planner. I love it! We plan out every thing from when we wake up to when we go to bed and it helps us to be so productive and I write practically everything in my planner to remember things (like what I’m going to tell everyone about every week). There are key indicators and we have daily and weekly goals and we plan every day and we spend a couple hours every Thursday planning for the next upcoming week and if the planning sessions are done right then the week is awesome. I am a firm believer of planning. Even the Lord planned. In Moses, it says that the God’s planned the creation of the earth and everything in it. So, its kinda important to plan diba? Ok now I’m rambling!

Have a good night! or day! or whatever sentiment fits!

Love ya all!!

Sister Mary Christina Cox

cox.mary

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4 months? What? Ano ba yan?

So ya, I’ve officailly been away from home 4 months, that includes MTC time. So I have been in the Philippines for not quite three months. This last week was good. We went to San Pablo for a training meeting on how to train. 🙂 I like saying that. 🙂 it makes me smile. It was really good for me though. It made me realize how much work is supposed to go into training and I found out about some things that are supposed to be done in training that I didn’t know, like companions are supposed to do Language study together! WHAT?!?! Shocked. So I know now. I know lots of things that are supposed to be done in training and I will do my very best to do them. I guess my goal for training is to give this new missionary a good foundation for the rest of her mission. I want it to start right so that it will be easier to keep going right. I’m feeling better about training. I know that the Lord Qualifies those whom he calls. We just have to work to be worthy of his help.

Last week I forgot about everything that I was going to talk about because my mind was blown! So just a couple things from the last few weeks. I have decided that I don’t like sticky traps for rodents. If they have poison on them to the rodents die then ok I think I could use them. But when the little mouse is struggling to free itself and it has little goodbers in the corners of its eyes and it looks like it’s been crying, I just can’t handle it! I can kill mice but not when they are helpless and sad looking. I made sister Taobure take care of them. We caught two in a 24 hour period, I really hope they didn’t have a nest somewhere tho. ugh.

And, yesterday, Sister Francis and Sister Atata left. Sister Francis is done with her mission and was super excited to be going back to Pakistan and Sister Atata has some health issues and will go home to Kirabati to finish her mission. It was hard to see them leave! We had only lived together for one transfer but we were really like sisters! Sister Francis keeps saying that I need to come to her wedding in Pakistan and I said, "OK!!! but you have to wait until I am done with my mission or I can’t come." So we have a plan, she will go home and work and look for her guy and she will wait to get married until December of 2015 I told her she could get married sooner than that but she wants to be married in December and if it were December 2014 I really don’t think that I would be able to go. 🙂 It sounds like a lot of fun tho.

And funny story of the week. We went to visit a member and when he saw me he said,"You’ve been reduced!" I guess it’s official, I’m losing weight. But it really made me laugh because I had never heard it said like that before.

We got several new investigators this week and we are doing more work and I am starting to feel more like a missionary and it’s just awesome. I am really starting to almost like OYM-ing. It’s terrifying sometimes, but it’s great practice for the language, and it’s just fun to talk to people.

I hope you are all doing great. I super love ya!

Sister Mary Christina Cox

cox.mary

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HYPERVENTILATING!!!

So I have news, I don’t know yet if it is good or bad.. I just got an email telling me that I am going to be training this next transfer, which starts on August 15th…. I feel faint… (fainting) ok not really, but really?! I know that I can do it, but only with a lot of help from the Lord. I am feeling a little better with every passing minute. I’m going to be ok and my anak (child, that’s what trainees are called) will be awesome and it will be a good experience for both of us. Yes, this is going to be awesome! Ok!

This week was good. We had a ward counsel meeting and we discussed the Ward Mission Plan, if your ward does not have a War Mission Plan, you should definitely get one. And we have been teaching the ward members too. Here in Lipa the bishopric came up with a goal of 27 baptisms in one year. Last year the missionaries didn’t even get half of that. So we are really trying to get the members involved in missionary work. We have these cute little papers called the Family Mission Plan, it has goals for them to set like: How many people will your family refer to the missionaries in a month, and how many times in a week will you talk to people about the gospel, and how many baptisms with your family accomplish and in how much time. It’s pretty awesome and a lot of the members are getting really excited. It’s awesome! I think I will send Family Mission Plan papers to my family.

I had things that I was going to talk about but they are all lost right now. I’m just kind of in shock. A good kind of shock, don’t worry. Anyway, stay strong! I love you and miss you all! Read, Pray, Be Obedient! Do these things and I promise the Lord will bless you!

Love always

Sister Mary Christina Cox

cox.mary

OOOOoooo….. I have a couple of shout outs this week. Happy Birthday to my mother! And I also want to make a shout out to a random person who found my blog on the internet and took the time to email me and send words of encouragement, so Thank You Kaitlin!

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