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!!!! 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!