Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Transfer week

Hey Family & Friends!!
  I have had a fantastic week! We just got back from an awesome transfer breakfast at Elder & Sister Bishop's house. We got to see a lot of our zone and we had some delicious food. Loved it!
  This week has been full of excitement. Had some really good lessons with Seldon, Tim & Trudy, Kendra, and Bill. They are all making progress in learning more about the Gospel. We also had an awesome soup activity at the church on Saturday. We had Tim, Trudy, and Bill come down to enjoy the activity. Tim & Trudy are a really nice couple and they are really interested in our church. They enjoyed the activity a lot and we got to know them a lot more! Tim & Trudy are really close to baptism and we feel they will make a lot of progress really soon. Bill enjoyed it as well. It was a huge success!
  The Princeton Elders also had a baptism this Sunday. Judy has been an investigator in the Princeton area for a long time, but always had the problem of smoking. She was finally able to quit smoking and be baptized yesterday. A bunch of sisters that have been teaching her in the past came up and saw her baptism. Mike even flew in from Colorado!! I missed having Mike around and it was so cool to see him and talk with him again. He is such a great guy!! I wish he was still living in Kentucky, but he is doing well on his adventures! haha.
  Since I'm the District Leader, I was able to interview Judy for her baptism and it was incredible! Her testimony of this Gospel is so strong! It has truly blessed her life. Her life has truly changed for the better. She had so much happiness and peace when I was interviewing her and she had an overwhelming glow about her when she was baptized. It was such a neat experience. She has gone through so much in her life and it was amazing to see how Jesus Christ could heal her. Yesterday was a fantastic day!
  Well you guys have probably heard that I'm staying in Marion with Elder Roney!! I was so happy to hear that we were staying. Elder Roney is a great companion and he works hard. We have done a lot of great things in Marion and we continue to make improvements! We hope to have 3 baptisms this transfer. Tim & Trudy are the closest. They know that the Book of Mormon is true and they are making a lot of progress!! Kendra also knows that the Book of Mormon is true. She loves reading and she loves learning more. I can't wait to see what happens in the Princeton Branch. We are also looking at getting a building up in Marion so we can have family home evening and hopefully sacrament. I'm so excited!! We are making a lot of progress!! Transfers also shook things up by replacing the Princeton Elders with Sisters again and moving the Elders down to Cadiz!!! Now we will have 3 sets of missionaries in the Princeton Branch. Right now the Cadiz Elders (Elder Lofthouse & Elder Short) have to go down to Tennessee for a "brief" time while they wait for another Elder to take their place. So, they will be in a "trio". It's a long story, but hopefully they're not down there too long.
  Oh how I love being a missionary!! I love seeing the progress of an area. Hopefully I can stay long enough to see the baptisms start. So excited!!
  Thank you so much for all that you do! I love you guys so much and I miss you so much! This Church is true!
-Love Elder Cottam

Christmas Pictures

 Christmas Fun

Christmas Jammies

Presents from home!

My week

Hey Family & Friends!! 

  Well I'm writing to you today because the library was closed yesterday because of Martin Luther King Jr day. So, it wasn't the best Pday because I couldn't write to you guys, but we got a lot accomplished yesterday and we had a lot of fun.
  Yesterday we did the normal routine, with personal studies and companion studies, then we went to library to find sadness because it was closed, so we decided to go to ShopKo and check out a couple things there. I bought some scripture tabs, and that was about it. haha. We were looking at a couple other items, but decided against it. I found a better way of marking my scriptures and also making tabs, so that's why I got new tabs. After walking around ShopKo, we went back to our house and decided to clean it. After a deep clean of our place we wrote our letters and mailed them off. I hope that my letters have been getting to you guys. I've been writing quite a bit of letters. Thank you so much for all the letters you've sent me. We went down to Princeton after that. We needed to go to Walmart and we wanted to go bowling again. We had a lot of fun bowling with the Princeton Elders. After that we did some shopping at Walmart. I finally bought a Gamin GPS. It is really nice and I will use it a lot throughout my mission. Thanks Mom and Dad!! We came back up to Marion after that and got everything situated and had dinner. Then we went out and tried to contact some people. We didn't get a lot of success, but we scheduled an appointment with a potential investigator.

   Now I'll tell you about last week:
  Tuesday we went down to Princeton for Family Home Evening and for an exchange with the Hopkinsville Elders. Elder Motes and Elder Smith are in the Hopkinsville area. Elder Motes went with Elder Roney and I went with Elder Smith to Hopkinsville. Hopkinsville is a lot bigger than Princeton and Marion!! haha. There are a lot more members in Hopkinsville. haha. That's were our stake center is. The Elders also have the best apartment throughout the mission. Everyone in our mission calls it," The Tashmahal". haha. It's super nice and super big!! The former stake president is a dentist and he has a really nice office in Hopkinsville. His family built an apartment right on top of it and they lived there while their house was being built, so they just let the Elders live there now. I loved staying there! haha. We switched Tuesday night.

  Wednesday was the full day of the exchange. The exchange went okay, Elder Smith is new to the area. We tried to contact a lot of potentials, but they weren't home. We had a good time and we learned a lot from each other. We got a call from the Elder Roney and Elder Motes that night and they had set a date with a family we were teaching!! Elder Roney and I received a teaching record from the Princeton Elders. Tim and Trudy have had missionaries in the past, but then the missionaries stopped teaching them, then started again, then stopped again. So, Elder Roney and I went to see them a couple times, but it was just their son that answered. So on Saturday (1-11-14) we went over at a later time and we finally had Tim and Trudy home. So we set up an appointment for Wednesday and Elder Roney and Elder Motes went over and had a lot of success with them!! They were wondering why the missionaries had stopped coming, but they still had been reading from the Book of Mormon and Trudy and been keeping a study journal. Elder Roney said that the lesson went really well and he thinks they are ready for baptism!! They were able to answer a lot of Tim's questions and Tim got really into the lesson. We were going to come over again this Saturday (1-18-14) but they had a family member pass away unexpectedly and had to drive to a different town. It was pretty sad. But luckily we have an appointment set up with them for tomorrow. (1-22-14) Super excited!! They have a date set for early February!!
  Thursday we switched back and went to Zone Conference in Clarksville, TN. It was a great Zone Conference and they had really good trainings. I really enjoyed Sister Anderson's training on treasuring the scriptures. I have learned to have a greater appreciation for my scriptures and I love learning so much from them each and everyday. Later that night we went to Sheldon's house and had a fantastic lesson with him. We always have an awesome lesson with Sheldon. He just won't pray. He will pray for anything else, but he won't pray to ask if it is true or not. He is reading the Book of Mormon and loves it though!! I'm excited to see him this Thursday. We will show him the restoration video and talk about Prophets. He was so interested in Joseph Smith's story!! Love it!!
  Friday was a great day as well!! We had weekly planning for most of the day. We got everything organized and we got our area book up to date. We bought this whiteboard and we have all our investigators on there, all our less active members and all our potential investigators on there. I love it!! We have a much better system for planning now and it is working really well.
  Saturday we went out with the Aherns on an exchange. That was a crazy adventure. We usually go with them on an exchange once a week and it's always a crazy story when we go with them. You would have to meet the Aherns to find out what I'm talking about with them. haha. Elder Roney found that out the first time meeting them!! haha. They are so nice to us and they do so much for us. We went to an investigators house and we talked with him and had great lesson. His name is Bill. Bill is an excommunicated member, but he wants to come back. He is making a lot of progress and he still has a strong testimony of the church. The only thing that's stopping him from coming back is his health. He is having a really hard time keeping food down, but he is making progress. Hopefully he starts to feel better. He is one of the nicest guys I've met. We go over to his little house all the time.
  Sunday was a pretty good Sabbath. It was nice and peaceful. After church we went and contacted 2 people and set up return appointments with them. Hopefully they go well. I see a lot of potential in these people.
  Marion is really moving along!! I took picture of our whiteboard and I'll send it to you guys. We have so many people that we are working with and they are making a lot of progress. Right now we are working on getting a little building up in Marion so we can hold sacrament and other little meetings. Once we get that, a ton of progress will follow!! I'm so excited for the work that is being done here. All I want is in a couple years to follow up with how Marion is coming along and see that it has become a branch or small ward!! That would be awesome!! We can easily see that happening and I can't wait! I love being a missionary!! 
   Thanks for all the support and love. You guys are the best! Keep the letters/ emails coming! I'll do my best to write you back. I love and miss you guys so much!!
-Love Elder Cottam

 Smoothie Popsicle! 

Monday, January 13, 2014

A pretty crazy week.......

Hey Family and Friends!!
  Man we have had a crazy week so far. haha. A lot of fun and a lot of progress with our investigators. We haven't had any new baptismal dates, but our investigators are making a lot of progress. As soon as we get somewhere to meet in Marion, we will be able to start family home evenings, sacrament meetings, and other fun activities. We really feel that once we get that, we will see a lot of baptisms and a lot of people learning about the Gospel. I love it!! You know, our weekly report to our zone leaders hasn't been the best we've done in a week, but it's not about numbers. Elder Roney and I are really making progress and we are really working hard. I feel an overwhelming sense of peace for the work we've done. Elder Roney has done a fantastic job. He has learned a lot and I have learned a lot from him. We both enjoy having each other around and we are getting a lot better at working in unity. He listens to my direction and he is obedient with exactness. I love him already. He is such a character sometimes. haha. I am having so much fun and I continue to enjoy being a missionary. I love sharing the Gospel with others and I love teaching them about the Book of Mormon. The more I read and study the Book of Mormon, the more I realize the truthfulness it contains. I have never come to understand the Book of Mormon more than I do right now. I have so much to learn and study and I love that I have so much to read and think about. Each and everyday I find more and more things to read and pray about. I love that I have a book that has endless things to study and ponder about. I love how it applies so much to me personally.
  This week was a pretty crazy week. haha. Elder Roney and I went on an exchange with Elder Short and Elder Lofthouse. They are in Princeton now. They replaced the sisters that were there. They are pretty funny Elders and they pretty unique. haha. Elder Lofthouse came up to Marion, while I went down to Princeton with Elder Short. We switched Friday night and we switched back at Church on Sunday. It's pretty funny, we all come from Utah and he lives pretty close to us. Elder Short lives in Herriman. It was a pretty cool "small world" moment when we first met each other cause he said that he worked at the District in the movie theather, so I asked him a couple names and he asked me if I knew a couple people and we ended up both knowing the Barlow twins. haha. We also knew Megan Judd. It was a pretty cool moment to talk about some people we knew. Anyways, the exchange was filled with crazy stuff. (More on Elder Roney's side haha) I helped Elder Short with getting the branch member list up to date. Elder Lofthouse ate a ton of my food... wasn't too happy about that. Now Elder Roney are trying to recover the crazy day. haha. Let's just say, Elder Roney and I are glad we are companions.
  Our investigators are doing pretty good, it will just take them some time until they know this Church is true. Hopefully they sincerely pray to Heavenly Father and find out soon. I love our investigators and I love the people of Marion. They are so kind and geneuine. I'm also finding a lot of success on Facebook. It's really easy to link others to different sources. The work is really moving forward!
  Thank you so much for all that you guys do. Keep the emails and letters coming. I love and miss you so much and I'm always praying for you guys. Thanks for all of your prayers. I can truly feel them and I can feel your love and support. You're the best! Love ya!
-Love Elder Cottam

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Super COLD!!

Hey Family and Friends!!
  Man it's super cold in Kentucky!! haha. The weather was in the single digits yesterday. The library was closed yesterday, so we are emailing today. Thank you for being patient.
  We've had a crazy week. We had a fantastic New Year. We got to sleep in for once as well!! A whole 15 extra minutes!! YES!! haha. I know, not that much. We had to get up at 6:45 because we had to drive down to Princeton, then to Hopkinsville for a Zone Pday. We got to play a bunch of games and hang out with a bunch of missionaries. It was a blast!! The best part of the whole day was... PING PONG!!!!! Elder Smith (Senior Missionary) brought the net, some paddles, and some ping pong balls. IT WAS LEGIT!! The stake center already had a table. We need to get a ping pong table at our stake center!! haha. I just want all of you to know, I totally dominated on the field!! We had a ton of missionaries come and none of them could take me. Elder Smith was pretty good himself and he got pretty upset when I beat him. haha. It felt really good to play ping pong. It felt like I was playing grandpa when I was playing Elder Smith. I loved every minute of it.
  So most of the day we played games, ate food, and chatted it up. We are allowed one full day off as a missionary and they make New Years that day. It was pretty sweet. We were also allowed to watch one Disney Movie. They gave us 3 choices for all of the zone to pick from. I picked Wreck it Ralph, but the vote went to Monster's University. I was so upset. haha. But I loved watching it anyways.
  I also got to give my first baptismal interview as a District Leader!! The Hopkinsville Elders has a guy named Chris. He is super cool. He is has a strong testimony and he just got baptized on Sunday. I wish I could've seen the baptism, but it was too far away for us to drive. I got to talk to him about his reasoning for joining the church and it was such a cool experience. I loved it!!
  The rest of the week went okay. Elder Roney and I went on an exchange with the Zone Leaders. That was pretty cool. Elder Laufiso came to Marion and I went with Elder Weed to Clarksville. It was the first time that I have done missionary work outside of Marion. haha. All the other exchanges in the past have been my companion going to another area and I stay in Marion. The work is really different being in an area like ClarksvilleClarksville is really big!! haha. It was definitely a twist. Elder Weed and I had a great time. Elder Weed is so funny. He is a great missionary and a fun Zone Leader. haha.
  The next day we switched back and Elder Roney and I had a Trainer/ Trainee meeting in Tennessee. The only problem was, the morning that we were going to switch back and drive to Tennessee, I got super sick. I got this weird bug for the whole day. I couldn't keep anything down. We still drove down, but it wasn't fun. Elder Roney participated, but I just layed down in a classroom in the church. It wasn't a fun day at all. Luckily it only was for a day and I felt better the next day. President and Sister Anderson took such great care of me though. They did all they could to help. Even though they were still helping out with the meeting, when they switched to go to another room, they came and made sure I was doing okay. They are amazing. I love them so much.
  The next couple days went pretty good. Yesterday on Pday we wrote a bunch of letters, went to a couple stores, and just relaxed. It was a pretty good day. Cold, but good. haha.
  As you guys have seen, I'm a Facebook Missionary. The Church has found a lot of success when obedient missionaries are online. I have had the privilege to be accepted to use it. I hope to be friends with all of you. I can't message you or anything like that while I'm on, but I hope you enjoy my post. The work is really moving forward.
  Our investigators are progressing, but slowly. Jay is still working on Baptism, but he doesn't want to quit smoking. He has been coming to church and he loves it, but that's about it. Sheldon loves having us come over. He always feeds us something when we are over. haha. Elder Roney and Elder Laufiso saw him last Thursday and they said they had a great lesson with him. We love going to his house and sharing a message to him. It's a lot for him to take in, but he will understand soon enough. Kendra is still reading the Book of Mormon, but she is pretty busy. She loves having us over and she is learning a lot from the Book of Mormon. She is pretty awesome! I really enjoy her name :D haha. We just started teaching a kid named Dylan. We met his family a couple weeks back. He seems interested. Facebook has allowed me to give him links to,, and other websites. I love using Facebook. It really helps move the work forward.
  Thank you so much for all the letters/emails. Keep them coming!! I love you guys. I'm having a lot of fun!! I'm learning so much about this amazing Gospel. I wish I could show you how much I'm learning. This Gospel is true!! I love being a servant of the Lord. I love having your support. It helps me so much!!! I love and miss all of you so much.
-Love Elder Cottam