Monday, December 30, 2013

Wow! What a week!

Elder Cottam will be on Facebook soon.  This is his profile picture. If he adds you as a friend you can see all of his mission posts.  

Hey Family and Friends!!
  Wow!! What a week!! I had a fantastic Christmas and I hope you guys had a fantastic one as well. I loved seeing you guys!! It brought warmeth to my heart and it has been a big motivation to do even better since that day!! Thank you so much for all the packages, and letters that were full of love. I truly enjoy everything you guys give to me and I can never repay you. I hope the letters that I send back to you tell you of my love for you guys. I am so blessed to have you guys in my life!!
  This week has been kind of slow because a lot of people have been busy, due to the Holidays. We had two really good lessons with Jay and Seldon. They are our top two investigators. We went to Seldon's house on Thursday and we had a really cool "Testimony Lesson". Brother Aherns was with us and he took up most of the time with his conversion story and his testimony. We feel Seldon really enjoyed it. Seldon is making a lot of progress. Brother Aherns had a great night. haha. We have also been teaching Jay about the Word of Wisdom. He likes to smoke a pipe and drink coffee. We committed him to keep the Word of Wisdom for a couple days and we would come back and see how he was doing. He did pretty good, but he could only go about a day. Sister Aherns gave us this substitute for coffee called, "Pero". Hopefully it works for him.
  By the way, we tracted into this really nice mom last week. She let us in and we told her about the Book of Mormon and told her some of our beliefs. We read some of the Articles of Faith. We think she has really good potential. The best part is, her name is Jenny. So now we are teaching a Kendra and a Jenny.... haha... Now we are looking for some Bradys and we will be set!! haha. I love it!!
  We had a pretty sweet week and are planning on another awesome week this week!! We have a fun Pday planned for today. We plan on going bowling. Then on Tuesday, we will go inside at 6pm because it's New Years Eve. Then we have the ENTIRE day off for New Years. We are having a huge party in Hopkinsville with our Zone. IT WILL BE A BLAST!! Then on Thursday, we have district meeting and I have a pretty sweet training planned!! Then on Friday, we are going to Tennessee for a "Trainer-Trainee" meeting. So, we have a pretty busy week, but it should be fun!!
  Thank you so much for all you guys do. I hope you have a fantastic New Year!! I hope your week goes well! I love and miss you guys!!
-Love Elder Cottam

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas Skype

We got to talk to Elder Cottam on Christmas through Skype.  We didn't have a very good connection so we didn't get to see him very clearly.  It was still so fun to kind of see his cute face and hear his voice.  We got to talk to him a few different times with different family members there.  It was awesome!!  It is hard though, so I can understand why we only get to do it a few times while he is gone.  It definitely makes us miss him so much!  At my grandpa's house we were able to hook it up to the big TV so we could all see him.  Here are a few of the pictures we got while we were talking to him.  

This is Elder Cottam's excited face!!

Here he is talking to his 
Grandma and Grandpa Beck!

  I love my mission!!! Like always, haha :D This week has been a crazy week, but we've had a very successful week.
  So you guys heard with my last email about me being District leader and being a Trainer!! I was so stoked when President called me and told me that I was going to train, then he also added District leader and I was blown away!! My new "Trainee" is Elder Roney! He is awesome! He is exactly obedient and he works hard. We've had a lot of success. It was a pretty crazy week trying to get into the swing of things, but we've got things started and now we are moving forward.
  Elder Roney is from Provo, Utah!! He is about 6'3". I always get the tall companions. He is a cowboy... haha. He even has an accent sometimes!!  I asked him what he thought about being called to this mission and he said that he loved it!! haha.
  The past couple days, I've been showing him the mission life and trying my best to teach him the life of a missionary. He is so funny and he listens really well to me. He doesn't question why we do things, he just gets up and does the work. I love it! He is a hard worker and we've got along really well. He is still a little shy at the door, but we are working to have "Comp Unity". Our lessons have been going really well and we are both learning a lot.
  I love training a new missionary and I'm grateful for the opportunity President Anderson has given. I'm learning so much and I love learning how others share the Gospel. I expect a lot of great things in the future!
  So, Elder Roney's first day was quite the experience. We started the day off with district meeting. (Every Wednesday is district meeting) I've got to know my district and we had a great meeting. Some of the missionaries were new and some of them stayed. We all learned a lot and felt the Spirit. The rest of the day I was introducing him to some of our members and some of our investigators. That night we went to Jay's house. Jay is an older gentleman that we found on one of the first weeks I was in the area. So, we've been teaching Jay for a long time. Jay is a little hard to teach cause he can't really see very well and he gets distracted really easy... haha. So, recently we've been going over and reading the Book of Mormon with him. Elder Roney and I went over and read with him and started talking to him a little bit. We ended up inviting him to be baptized, but he said that he has already been baptized, so we talked with him more and explained that the Priesthood is very important with baptism. Then he said that we wouldn't mind being baptized again!!!! We set a date with him for January 4th!!!!! It was awesome!!!! Jay still has a lot to understand, but we feel he can come to know the truth of the Gospel.
  Anyways, awesome week!! Thanks for all the support and love! I loved all the packages and letters that I've received!! It will take me awhile to write to you guys back, so be patient with me. haha. I love you guys!! I can't wait to see you on Christmas!! Thanks for being awesome! I love and miss you so much!! See you soon!
-Love Elder Cottam
P.S. Not too happy with all the presents you guys sent me... I told you not to send me that much... hahaha Thanks for everything, I haven't opened them yet. LOVE YA!


Hey Family and Friends!
  Man what a week!! Crazy stuff has been happening!! This is the last week of the transfer. It is Elder Fincher's last few days as a missionary and he has taught me a lot. Elder Fincher has been a great missionary and a fantastic companion to me. I'm sad that he is leaving and I will miss him. He will do well with the rest of his life and I know that he will go far in the Gospel.

  Well Transfer Calls came on Saturday... and I've got some big news for you guys. But I'm going to make you wait. haha. So, since Elder Fincher is going home, I knew for sure that I was going to get a new companion. I didn't know if I was going to stay in Marion and get a new companion or move to another area. So, transfer calls are pretty intense stuff. My district got moved around quite a bit. We have 5 missionaries coming into our District. It's going to be a crazy adventure getting to know them. Our District has 5 sets of missionaries and 2 sets of senior missionaries. We have a really big District.

  We've had a crazy past week. Elder Fincher was super "trunky" this past week, but we've stayed pretty focused and we've accomplished quite a bit. We are making progress with quite a bit of our investigators. We are teaching a guy named Seldon. We have really spiritual lessons with him. He just needs time to take all the information that we give him and soak it all in. haha. We've asked him to pray to Heavenly Father and find out for himself. I love going to his house. The Spirit is so strong.

  We are still teaching the girl named Kendra. We had a really great lesson with her and her friend last week. She is reading the Book of Mormon and making a lot of progress. The only thing that's hard with her is we need members to be present. We don't have a ton of members in our Princeton Branch, but we are making a lot of progress. More and more people are coming to Church and it's so cool to see the progress of our little church.

  We are still teaching Jay. He is an older gentleman. He can't see very well, so we go over and read scriptures with him on a weekly basis. He loves having us over.

  I love seeing the progression of so many people. It feels me with joy to see them come closer to Christ. I love sharing the gospel and I love being a missionary. I love it all!! I'm having so much fun. I really am. You guys have helped me so much. I love all the support and I treasure everything that I get from you guys. I am received so many packages and letters!! Elder Fincher is super jealous!! haha. It will take me awhile to write everyone back. Please be patient with me. 

  Okay, I'll finally tell you about my transfer call.  I"M GOING TO TRAIN A NEW MISSIONARY!!!! and I"M GOING TO BE DISTRICT LEADER!!! AHHHHH!!! hahaha. I'm so excited and so privileged to train and be a district leader. I can't wait to get into the swing of things.

  I'll explain more later. Right now I'm at our Transfer Breakfast and we are about to start. Thanks for all the love and support!! I'll talk to you guys soon. Sorry I didn't get to write very many of you. It will be a crazy day today and we won't have a lot of time. I love you guys! I miss you guys. I'll see you soon!!

-Love Elder Cottam

P.S.  I'M STAYING IN MARION!!! Sorry, I forgot to add that! 
In Elder Cottam's last letter he said he was stuck inside for almost three full days because of bad weather!  These random and crazy pictures were the result of that!  Enjoy!
 Snow Fun!


What is he eating??
Banana pancakes gone wrong!

Really Random!!

Driving around Marion

And the best for last..........

Hopefully they don't have anymore 
bad weather! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Ice Storm

Hey Family and Friends!
  I hope all is well for all of you. I am so excited to see you on Christmas! I can't wait! Thanks for all the letters and emails. I treasure all of them and I hope that I've responded to all of you.
  Last week was a crazy one! haha. On Thursday, Elder Fincher wasn't feeling to good and so we had to go inside pretty early. Then Friday through Sunday we had an "Ice Storm". It wasn't too bad compared to Utah weather, but Marion isn't used to this stuff. We had a lot of freezing rain and the roads were pretty slick. President Anderson told us to stay in if the weather got bad. So we stayed in for about 3 days straight! We went out a couple times to go to the store or just to get out of the house. We couldn't do any missionary work though. We just spent the time inside sleeping or writing letters or creating games to make us less bored. haha. We also made some crazy videos for you guys. I'll send you them soon. It was kind of nice to relax and take a day off, but then when it turned into a couple days, it was pretty boring. Elder Fincher and I had fun and now we are back into "normal" life. The weather is still pretty cold outside, but the ice is clearing up.
  Luckily we got to drive drive down to Princeton yesterday for the Christmas Devotional. It was a really good Devotional. I love how they can change the stage to fit the event. It was really good to get out of the house.
  Well I don't have a lot to say this time because we didn't do that much this week because of the storm. I hope you guys are doing well. I miss you a bunch. I love ya! I can't wait until Christmas!
-Love Elder Cottam

Monday, December 2, 2013

Crazy week!

Hey Family and Friends!
  This past week has been a crazy one. It has gone by so fast. Time flies when you're a missionary!! In 9 days I'll hit my 3 month mark!! It's pretty crazy. It feels like I've been here for only a couple weeks. haha. Thanks for all the love and support that you guys always give me.  I continue to love my mission each and everyday. I will never stop loving my mission. I love serving the Lord and I love feeling the Spirit.
 So much has happened this week. I need to explain it day by day.
  District Pday. We only had a couple minutes to email in the beginning of the day and that's why I lacked in my emails last week. So after emails, we drove down to Hopkinsville and had our District Pday. We had a lot of fun. We ate food, played games, played a couple sports in the gym, and laughed our heads off. haha. I love my district. They will never replace you guys, but I consider them my family. They are serving Heavenly Father and they all love doing it. Just like me. I love being around a bunch of people that believe in the same thing as me. Being a missionary is legit! After Pday we got a couple of groceries and headed back to our areas. Every transfer the District leader switches with the other Elders of our area and we go on "Exchanges". They help us get to know our district and get used to other areas. Elder Fincher is our district leader, so he went to Hopkinsville with Elder Ackroyd and his companion, Elder Motes came with me to Marion.
  Elder Motes and I had an awesome time. We found a lot of new people and we really worked well with each other. Elder Motes is from Arizona. He wrestled for 3 years in High School at heavy weight. He isn't like most heavy weights, he is super strong and in shape. haha. So, after an awesome day of missionary work together, we decided to duke it out the last night. Exchanges only last a couple days. Usually Monday night to Wednesday. Anyways, Elder Motes and I came in for the night and we decided to wrestle. haha. I got a couple of moves on him, but he was pretty strong. I ended up taking a bad shot on him and he "sat" on me the rest of the time. haha. We had fun and we had some pretty good carpet burns. Elder Motes is an awesome missionary.
  Elder Motes and I had an awesome lesson with a progressing investigator on Tuesday. This guy is making so much progress and we are feeling the Spirit so strong in each lesson. He knows that the Church is true, he just needs time to take it all in. I love this investigator.
Wednesday: (MISSY'S BIRTHDAY!!!)
  Wednesday was the day of interviews with President Anderson. Elder Motes and I went to Hopkinsville again and spent most of the day there. While President is interviewing our District, we get some "training" from the assistants. (Elder Byington and Elder King) (By the way, Elder King wrestled in California! haha. He looks like a wrestler too... Dad will know what I'm talking about) So, the trainings went well and my interview with President was awesome. I love President and Sister Anderson. They are so loving and they do so much for us. After interviews, Elder Fincher switched back and we went back to Marion.
Thursday: (Happy Thanksgiving)
  So much food.... haha. The people in the south really know how to eat... hahaha. Don't worry, I still weigh 150, just like I started. Elder Fincher and I were invited to the Marion Baptist Church for a lunch they were giving to the community. It was really good. We met an investigator there and we talked with them while we ate. They had more desserts than the regular meal. haha. Then we drove down to a members house in Kuttawa. The Aherns fed us dinner and they had some of their family over too. Sis. Aherns really knows how to cook. They are a nice family and they do so much for us.
  Well those were the four big days. I had a lot of fun and it was definetely a different week than normal. haha. As a missionary you don't really have a "normal" week. Today we get to go bowling with a member for part of our pday! We are super excited!!
  Well I hope you enjoyed my email. Thanks for taking time to read it. I hope that you guys know that I love ya and that I'm always thinking about ya. You help me to keep moving forward and you help me to be a better missionary. Thanks for all your love and support. I am so grateful for the example you are to me. I love you, and I miss you. I can't wait to see you at Christmas! It's so close!! See you soon!
-Love Elder Cottam

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Thanksgiving in the field.

I got a text from an unknown number on Thanksgiving.  It said, "Check your email. -Elder Cottam's amazing members phone." I immediately checked my email, but didn't see anything in my inbox.  
Then I checked my junk mail and found this......

Elder Cottam loves you!

The wonderful members who fed Tyson and his companion sent us this cute picture!  It made my day. If she hadn't of sent me that text, I would of missed this email.  I emailed her back, thanking her for feeding him and for the picture.  She sent this email back to me...

"You are very welcome.  It is a joy to have the Elders to dinner and my husband loves going out with them visiting our investigators.  Elder Cottam is so dedicated and is a pleasure to be around.  A great "Son". 
You are blessed."

I love hearing that the people in Tyson's mission think he is as amazing as I do.  
I am truly grateful for this sweet message!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

"Elder Cottam's Devil".....

 We've been waiting to hear about Tyson's sleep walking.  
He does it a lot.  
We told him to warn his companions about it, but he didn't.  
POOR Elder Fincher!! 

Hey Family and Friends!
  I hope everything is going well for you guys! My mission is so much fun. Spreading the Gospel is one of the most rewarding things you can do. I love bringing the Spirit to someone.  I love when I explain the Gospel to someone and it just makes sense!  Thanks for all the support! You guys build me up! I love all the letters/ emails!

  The missionary work is going great! It's a little slow right now, but that's how it is when you open an area. We are having some really good lessons with a couple people. I love it! I love sharing the Gospel. I'm having a blast!
  Day to day life as a missionary... hmmm.... I don't think we ever have a normal day. haha. But it's always fun. Elder Fincher and I have so much fun together.  We have so much in common. We've been talking about all the "new stuff" that has come out while he has been gone and it's pretty funny to hear what he knows.  I want to know about the things that I'm missing. But it doesn't matter, it's good for me to be away from the world for a couple years. Crazy world!

  So, last week was pretty fun. Elder Fincher had his 21st birthday on the 22nd. It's funny how old everyone is here. So many missionaries are in there 20's, and they just call me the baby of the family. haha. I love still being 18... I still got my life ahead of me... Just Kidding. Anyways, we had a blast for his birthday. We went to this Italian Grill in Marion and had an awesome lunch! My birthday present to him was buying lunch.  It's so hard to look around for real gifts while on my mission. So if you guys get gifts from me, I want to apologize for the poor quality of the gifts. haha. I hope my letters warm your heart and do the job. Then we went to dinner at a member's house and we had hamburgers with fries. I really am in Kentucky! The members were so sweet to us and they baked Elder Fincher a birthday cake! I also texted everyone in our district and told them to call him and scream and sing happy birthday.... haha!  He wasn't too happy about that, but I know that he felt good about everyone thinking about him. He was totally happy throughout the day and I felt good that I did my job.

  Now I have to tell you about my sleep walking... hahaha... I guess I do it more then I think. Most of the time I get up and I go around the house and Elder Fincher says that I walk funny and I mumble a lot! Some of the stories he tells me, I don't believe, but I don't have a lot of evidence against him. haha. So, this one time, I woke him up by yelling, "Why did ya take the last one?!" then I fell back to sleep and mumbled something. Then Elder Fincher said that he woke up and I wasn't in my bed... then he hears me come out of the bathroom and I started to walk towards him and he held out his hand cause he thought I would attack him or fall on him... haha, then I just stared at him and he told me that I had no "Light" in my face... whatever that means! So, I continued to stare at him and then I sat down on my bed and put my shoes on... haha... Crazy stuff. We both call it "Elder Cottam's Devil" haha... Another time he said that he woke up when he heard are front door close. I guess I locked the screen door and the normal door, then walked away in a weird walk... hahaha. I don't think that I left the house, I've never done that, but I don't know why I was looking outside.  That was the start of last week. The past couple days I've been sleeping "normal". I haven't been sleep walking. I haven't done it since I had a dream about President Monson. In my dream I was talking to him, then he gave me a hug, and then it kind of faded off... haha is that crazy or what?
  I hope you guys enjoyed this email. I know that I enjoyed writing it! I am having so much fun on my mission! Thanks for everything!! I love you guys so much! I miss you with all my heart!
-Love Elder Cottam

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Tornado warning......

Hey Family & Friends!
  It was an interesting week with a lot of craziness. haha. Our ward got super nervous for a tornado warning they received from the news. They also thought there would be an ice storm. haha. So, they canceled Church on Sunday and Elder Fincher an I had to stay inside for most of the day. It turned out to be nothing. There was a flash rain storm for a couple minutes and the sirens went off a couple times, but other than that, it wasn't that bad. I got to write a ton of letters to you guys, so it was a pretty productive day for me. haha. The areas around us got a little bit of the crazy tornadoes, but I haven't heard of anything too bad. But then again, I'm a missionary and I miss a lot of the news. haha. Oh well.
  Elder Fincher and I are doing really well together and we are making a lot of progress in Marion. We haven't been placing nearly the amount we placed in the first transfer, but we have been getting a lot of really good second visits.
  The branch gave us a really nice "Thanksgiving" dinner on Saturday. There were a lot of people there and we brought two investigators with us. They had a great time and I did as well. I'm not really sure why they did it so early, but I can't complain. haha.
  Well I'm sorry that I don't have a ton to talk about. I'm still loving the missionary life. It is so much fun. I love sharing the Gospel with the people of Marion. The work is really moving forward. I love and miss you guys so much! I'll see ya soon.
-Love Elder Cottam

 Elder Cottam met up with his companion and some of the sister missionaries from the MTC.

 Elder Cottam in the "Pimped" out van.

 Secret Handshake?!

This is Elder Cottam's new companion Elder Fincher!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My mission is the best. Yep....that sums it up!

Hey Friends and Family!
  My mission is the best. Yep...that sums it up... haha... To start off, I want to say sorry for not writing any of you on MondayMonday was Veterans Day and the libraries were closed. I was going to write you on Tuesday, but we had a big Zone Conference. So...that's why I'm writing you TODAY. haha. I don't know what I'll write in this email because I have so much to share with you guys, but I'll try my best. (_Here we go_) (AKA Mike Dunning quote) (Probably the greatest convert in the world!!)
  Anyways, I just want everyone to know that I am having so much fun on my mission. I love every single second. The Spirit is amazing. I love teaching about the Spirit and I love the fact that I'm surrounded by so many wonderful missionaries. They have so much happiness in their life and they LOVE and LIVE the gospel each and everyday. They have taught me so much. This Gospel has brought me so much happiness. I LOVE and LIVE the gospel each and everyday. I LOVE IT! I am learning so much. These people in Kentucky and Tennessee are truly remarkable people. I love them with all my heart. Especially President and Sister Anderson. They have so much love. They have such strong faith and they are so funny! Especially President Anderson. haha. You CANNOT have a bad day when you're around these people. You just can't! haha. Sister Anderson is a sweetheart. Everyone loves her. It's impossible NOT to love her. Mission life is fantastic. Happiness comes with perspective. (Mormon 7:7) (Favorite Scripture!!)
  Last week we had transfers. Elder Fisher was called to Mayfield, Kentucky (not very far away). President Anderson said that he has been doing a fantastic job with training new missionaries. (I TOTALLY AGREE). So, President Anderson gave me Elder Fincher to do the rest of my "training" haha. I was sad that Elder Fisher had to go, but I am loving Elder Fincher. He is so funny and he is completely obedient. We are doing so well together and we learn from each other each and everyday.
Elder Fincher (I see what you did there President Anderson. haha.)
-From New Mexico
-Loves Dirt Bikes
-He turns 21 really soon. 
(By the way, Elder Fisher is older than Brady. When I found out, I was blown away!! haha.)
-About 6' 3"
-Wants to go into Massage Therapy or Food Nutrition (I don't know why, but my companions have similarities to Brady. haha.)
-Likes spicy food
-Loves movies
-Has helped me realize that you miss a lot of stuff when your gone. haha. I listed a bunch of popular movies that he has never seen. haha. I knew it was going to happen. I just don't know what I'm missing. haha.
-This is his last transfer!! In missionary terms: "I'm killing off my Step-Dad"
Missionary Terms (haha. I just had to explain)
-Dad (First Trainer) (Usually trains you for the full 12 weeks of "training")
-Step-Dad (Only if your Dad leaves you, like me...)
-Killing (If you are with someone and that transfer, they go home)
-Brother (If your Dad trains another.) (I have about 3 Brothers and 2 Step-Brothers. haha.)
-Step-Brother (If your Step-Dad trains another missionary)
-Cousin (Don't ASK!) (haha. Just Kidding.)
Don't you LOVE the missionary terms. haha. Yeah I know...this is the work of a bunch of bored missionaries. haha. You gotta love it!
  Anyways... I don't even know how that happened. Oh well... Elder Fincher is fantastic. Elder Fincher has helped me out with a lot of things. I was sick and tired of eating bad things and I wanted to learn more about healthier foods. So, Elder Fincher has helped me understand the basics of eating better. It's really easy too. Small and simple changes have really helped! I don't know how to describe the changes, but I know that it is helping a bunch! I will still eat dessert and stuff. haha. I couldn't live without that!
  This past week has been mainly transfers and getting Elder Fincher acquainted with Marion. Marion is so much fun. We are teaching a bunch of people and we have 2 really good progressing investigators. They are so close!! I am so happy with how the lessons have been going with them. They are reading the Book of Mormon, they are praying, and they are learning from the Spirit. One of our progressing investigators is coming to church. I love it!
  Well that's all for today. I will tell you more next week. Thanks for all the support! Thanks for all the love. Thanks for all the letters and emails. Please be patient with me in responding. I am trying my best. I love you guys. I miss you so much.
-Love Elder Cottam

Just a Note from Elder Cottam's Mom:  
As of November 11th, Elder Cottam has been out for 2 months!  
Only 22 more to go!

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Tyson had a very busy Monday, so we didn't get an email.  
We got a letter instead on Thursday.  Here it is.  
He had a very big change this week.  

Hey Family,
  Well, I am writing you guys a letter because we're having a transfer breakfast today.  I will still email you if I can, but I won't get much time today.  This week has been pretty crazy. I've been through one complete transfer.  There are 16 transfers total, so I only have to go through it 15 more times. Well, I have some important news to share with you before I talk about my week.  Since this is the end of the transfer, President  Anderson tells us if we are staying in the same area or going to a new one.  Well, Elder Fisher and I though we would stay together because I'm still training and we just opened Marion.  We were wrong... Elder Fisher is leaving me!  I am staying in Marion and getting a new trainer.  My new companion's name is Elder Fincher.  Very similar name.  haha.  He also looks similar. haha.  This will be his last transfer.  I hope I like him.  I've only heard good things about him.  I'm super excited. 

  Ethan's baptism was amazing!!  The spirit was so strong.  I could feel Heavenly Father's love for Ethan.  We both felt so much peace,  I was so grateful that he chose me to baptize him.  It meant the world to me.  Now it wasn't the perfect baptism (I had to shove him completely under), but the Holy Ghost testified of the truth.  I wish you guys could of been there.  But I felt your love and prayers. 

  For the past 2 weeks, Elder Fisher and I have been church "hopping".  We went to 3 different churches.  We have been going to their Bible Study.  We want to try to gain a friendship with them.  We didn't want them to feel like we hated them.  The bible studies have been different, but I am learning more about the bible.  I'm also seeing why we can't have "modern English/modern language" bibles.  It creates confusion between which translation is correct.  The vocabulary is so important.  Making sure we have the correct translation is so important.  I have found it very interesting, while I've been coming to bible studies, how many different copies or translations of the bible they have throughout their church.  I don't mean to mock or disagree with other churches.  I love them.  They are good people and they truly love Christ.  I love hearing their testimonies. 

  Regular missionary life.  What is regular missionary life?  haha.  Each day is a miracle and exciting in it's own way.  I love being a missionary.  I love the gospel.  I love being a servant of the Lord.   I love wearing the missionary name tag.  Each night we plan out the next day and I've realize every single day is different but unique. 

Subject Change- President and Sister Anderson are amazing! They are so nice to us.  They do so much for us.  I feel their love everyday.  They would do anything for us.  President Anderson is so funny.  He will jump into any game we are playing.  He tells the best jokes.  We always have the best time when we are around them. 

  For p-day today we played Frisbee with a ward member at Cadiz park.  So much fun!  We also went to an antique shop.  So fun.  We did this because we have an Elder who is leaving today.  :( 

  Well, I've got to go.  I miss you guys and love you so much.  Thank you for all the letters, email, and packages.  I love them so much.  Especially the packages.  I hope you enjoyed this crazy letter of mine. haha.  Love you and miss you. Thanks for everything. 

Love always.
Elder Cottam

Some random pictures.  
That is not Tyson's new companion.  That is the Elder that is going home.  

Monday, October 28, 2013

Pictures only!

 Tyson spent this P-Day trying to catch up on emails to everyone else.  We were so anxious to hear about how the baptism went, but all we got was this quick note and a few pictures.  

 The baptism was incredible! I loved every minute of it. The Spirit was so strong and I was so blessed for the chance to baptize him.  
-Elder Cottam

This pictures is of Tyson wearing the Halloween tie 
Lauren's grandma bought for her to send to him. 
It even makes scary sounds!

Until next week....... 


Monday, October 21, 2013

Life as a Missionary!

  Here is the email we received from Tyson today!  

Hey Family and Friends!
  Thanks for all the support. Thanks for all the love. It means a lot to me. I am trying my best to write you guys back. I hope you know that I love ALL of you. I think about you everyday. You guys make me a better man. I am learning so much. Missionary life is completely different than everyone thinks it is. haha. But it's a blast at the same time.
  Last week we taught a total of 21 lessons and we have 8 new potential investigators. The people of Marion are very nice to us and I'm truly learning how to love the people. I want to get to know them. I'm not here to push religion on someone. I'm here to invite. I'm here to love. I'm here to build upon their faith in Christ. There are so many people with a strong Christian Faith. I love it! They just have a hard time with "Change". The fact is, were not trying to change them. We are trying to build upon their faith. As soon as people realize this, they open up.
  The members in Princeton Branch are so loving. They know what TRUE conversion is and they are trying their best to follow Christ. They have blessed my life in so many ways. I love the support they give to us. They don't have a lot of members, but they are growing! I love helping a small branch/ ward. I want to come back in a couple years and I want to see multiple churches and multiple branches/ wards. I KNOW that this can be done. The members are willing to help in any way possible. Their testimonies have strengthened my testimony in so many ways. They know true Humility. They know true Happiness. They want to share it. Can we say that we are the same?
  Elder Fisher and I received a referral from this Lady one time. She wasn't interested, but she knew a guy across the street who "needs Christ in his life". So we went over and found this couple. It wasn't the "guy" she was talking about, but we still got to know them a little bit. Well on the next visit... we asked them to be baptized. They said yes! BUT... sadly....the next visit, they had talked with their preacher and they said that they are set in their ways. Darn! We will still talk to them once in awhile, but we don't know. It was still a learning experience for all of us!
  Elder Fisher and I cover the Marion Area, the Fredonia Area, the Kuttawa Area, and the areas in the middle. haha. We have a lot to cover, but we are making progress! The Sisters cover Princeton and Cadiz. (Only 2 Areas, but we share about the same amount as them) Well guess what...? The Sisters have been teaching a guy named Ethan for a couple weeks or so and he has been coming to Church for the past 2 weeks... He has prayed... He has read the Book of Mormon (a little bit haha)... He knows it's true... He has prayed about Baptism. The Sisters received a text this morning and Ethan wants to be baptized this Saturday!!!! The best part... he asked ME to baptize him!!!! My First Baptism!!!! I've got to know him a little bit when he has come to Church. He is a nice guy! I am so excited to baptize him! I know that I didn't teach him, but I still think that it's pretty awesome!!
  We are also teaching an old guy named, "Jay Landers". He is making a lot of progress. The spirit is there more and more. We also met 2 guys named, "Ricky and Ricky" haha. Yes they have the same last name! haha. We are hoping to make a lot of progress with these guys! We are also talking to a girl named, "KENDRA" but we need a member because she is a single mom. I totally have a good feeling about here! haha. Small world.
  Well I hope everything is going well! I love and miss all of you! Thanks for all the support. I love all the letters and emails. I love you!
-Love Elder Cottam

P.S. I am completely safe, happy, fed, and having fun while on my mission. 
(He sent this just to his mom!)

Here are some pictures from the last few weeks!
 These were taken at the Ham Festival in Cadiz, KY.

 His apartment. It looks really nice!

The scenery!

Monday, October 14, 2013

3rd week in Marion!

Hey Family!
  The past month has been a crazy adventure! I couldn't do it without your help and your prayers. Thanks for all the support and letters. I wish that I could take a whole day and write to each one of you, but I just don't have the time. I am trying my best to write you guys back. Thanks for all the emails and letters. They warm my heart!
  Well Missionary Life is pretty intense! I am trying my best to be Obedient with Exactness and I have a fantastic trainer! Elder Fisher has taught me so much and I am so blessed to have him in my life!  We get along great! He is the best! I am so grateful to have a trainer that is so obedient! I have learned so much from him. We teach each other and we have a great time together. He is so funny! The Lord knew that we would work well together.

Well right now, we are just trying to contact the less active members in Marion, but we aren't finding very many of them. Either they aren't home, wrong address, or they have moved. That's okay though cause we are finding a lot of people to talk to. They are full of love in Marion. They just have a hard time changing, but we have a good feeling about this area. We don't have a ton of progressing investigators, but we are just starting out with the basics. It is cool to see how the Church expands. I can't wait to get a Family Home Evening started. If we can do that, we should be set. We are finding a lot of potential investigators. The prayers from you guys have helped a lot. I pray for you guys all the time!
  The food is... well, we don't have a member in Marion, so we haven't had too many members feeding us dinner. But that is okay! We have $125.00 per month to spend on food and every PDay we get to buy groceries for the house. I have to watch what I get, but I can find a lot of basic foods. I am using my money well and I am getting 3 meals every day. We also ate at the local restaurants in Princeton since it took awhile to get a place in Marion. The places are pretty much the same as in Utah. The members also take us out to eat when we are in Princeton. They have given us so much and we are so blessed to have them in our lives. 

  We recently went to the Ham Festival in Cadiz, KY. We had a TON of success. We had so much help and support from the Ward and so much help from other missionaries in the District. This was a 2 day Fair. The results are:
-95+ Copies of the Book of Mormon
-3500 Pass Along Cards
-222 Surveys given out
-15 Lessons Taught
-20 Members
-8 Sets of Missionaries (4 Sets each day) (Elder Fisher and I did both days..Tired... haha)

  We had a lot of success with that. Salt Lake contacted the First Counselor and he told us that the Church was so proud and so blown away with the numbers we produced!

 After the first day, the members that helped with the booth also took us out to Cadiz Restaurant. It was a buffet style restaurant and it had SO much food. That was the first time I had "real" Kentucky Fried Chicken. haha. It tasted the same. haha. So you don't have to worry about the food. I also tried my first Deep Fried Pizza!!! and Deep Fried Candy Bar!!! (Snickers) The candy bar was so DELICIOUS!!! haha. Don't worry Lauren, I still weigh 150 and I work out every morning. We also walk a lot!  SO I'M NOT GETTING FAT! haha.  I love you guys! I miss you!
-Love Elder Cottam

These are the only pictures we received from Tyson this week.  I guess Elder Fisher had to sleep on the floor the first few nights.  Now he has a bed!  The Senior Missionaries made sure they have everything they need. Tyson said it was taking too long to upload pictures, so he is sending us his photo card.  Hopefully we will have more pictures by the end of the week!


Monday, October 7, 2013

2nd week in Marion, KY

Tyson didn't send any pictures this week, but we did
get a great email.  Enjoy!

   I'm doing pretty great! I miss my Family and Friends a lot though. Each day is like a roller coaster, but each day gets better and better! Kentucky is a pretty interesting place! haha Especially Marion! It only has about 3,200 people! Dad said that there was about 220,000, but that is far off! haha! This is the smallest town that I've been in by far! I love the people here. They are so nice to us. They have a ton of Baptist here! haha. They haven't read the Book of Mormon, but they still take it from us when we offer it to them. We have been teaching a lot of lessons from the door step of their house and we are leading our zone with the amount of Book of Mormons we give out, but the only hard part is getting the second lesson. We have a bunch of potential investigators, but it's hard to contact them again. We have only been in Marion for a week, so we are doing pretty good. Especially for opening up a new area! I never knew how hard it was to open up a new area, but I am ready for the challenge! I am learning a lot from Elder Fisher! He is 23 and he has been out for a year!
  Conference was fantastic! It made me feel like I was at home again! I loved all the talks and I loved hearing from the Prophet! We had to drive down to the Princeton church because that is the only church we have around us! haha. The members that go to the church are really nice and they have a lot of love. We spent most of the day in Princeton on Saturday and Sunday. Conference was a little different, but still had the same spirit and it still helped my testimony grow!

   I will try to get you pictures as soon as possible. Today is a half P-Day because we are having the zone P-Day on Thursday and we will play dodge ball and lots of other fun games. Today I only have an hour and a half for computers. I didn't really write an experience letter this time. I'm just emailing everyone back. Things are still a little hectic here, so give me a second to get caught up. I promise that my letters will be better once I get used to being here. Can you believe that I've almost been on my mission for a month? 4 days and it will be a month! Crazy stuff!
   I love and miss all of you! I love the emails. I've received only one letter. I'm fine with that cause I know that it is expensive to send a letter. I still would like a letter from you guys every once in awhile! It was the letter from you about Jackson's blog. I loved what he said. I will learn from him! 

  I think about you guys all the time! I love you!
-Love Elder Cottam