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!