Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Zone Leader and a new Companion

Hey Family and Friends!!!
   Man!! What a week!! This has been one of the best weeks of my mission. My new companion Elder Shiner is the man and we have such a blast together!! My area is so sweet!! We have 2 Baptisms lined up for this week and the week after that and we will have a high possibility of 2 more!! Our apartment is by far the best apartment I've ever had!! It's 2 stories and it has wifi!! haha. I love being a zone leader! We also have a full time car. We have a solid ward as well. We have almost every night filled with dinners. I've never had this many dinners. This transfer is just too good to be true. I love it!!

Tuesday: We had an awesome transfer meeting. Lots of fun and I got to see a lot of the my friends. I'm getting to know more and more of the missionaries and I love it. I hope that these people will be lifelong friends. Drove to Cookeville after and got to know Elder Shiner and some other Elders in our zone. Got to the apartment and went to the Zitting's house for dinner. Then we went to the Barrett family's house. Megan the daughter is getting baptized this Saturday and her mom is getting baptized next week. They are both super excited for their baptism. The dad is a member and the other daughter is just beginning to take interest in the lessons.

Wednesday: Went up to Livingston to switch with the elders up there. Elder Fisher is the District Leader up there. I got to see him again and talk to him a bunch. Elder Fisher has one transfer left!! CRAZY!! He went with Elder Shiner to Cookeville and I went with his companions, Elder Blackburn and Hansen. We had a good time together. We taught a bunch of investigators and less actives. Livingston just became a Branch. It was awesome.

Thursday: We switched back in the morning. Went and saw a bunch of people throughout the area. We are teaching a bunch of really solid people. It's great!! We went to a part member house and we taught the mom the Plan of Salvation. The daughters are already members and the mom is looking to be baptized really soon. She just has a boyfriend and she needs to get married soon cause he is living with her.

Friday: We had a great weekly planning session. I got to know the area better. We were at the church planning when we got this call from a guy named, Ron. He was super interested and wanted to come by and get a Book of Mormon. We told him that we were at the church and we would love to give him one, so he just came by in like 10 min and we gave him copy and taught him the Restoration and gave him a church tour. It was awesome!! He is going to read it and we are going to set up a time to come teach him and his family. Later that night we had a super solid lesson with a less active family.

Saturday: It was a pretty good day. We tracted some houses and we talked with a bunch of less actives.

Sunday: Had a great first Sunday.  I was able to meet a bunch of the ward members. They are so great. Talked to a bunch of less actives and investigators after Church. It was a pretty great week.

Thank you so much for all that you've done. I love and miss you guys so much!! I love my mission!! Have a great week!!

-Love Elder Cottam

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

President Andersen's first baptism.

Oh I forgot to tell you that President Andersen baptized Peter!!President's first baptism on the mission. 
We feel special!! Haha

July 14, 2014
Hey Mom!!
I'm doing fantastic!! I'm super excited to be a Zone Leader!! I was so grateful to President for giving me the privilege to serve as a ZL. My new companion is Elder Shiner. I've only met him a little bit, but I've only heard great things about him. I have a really good feeling that this is going to be one of my most favorite areas. I'm not a big fan of Green Hills, but I definitely learned a lot and I'm grateful for the opportunity. I will miss Elder Peterson a lot though. He has been one of the best companions. I talked with the previous missionary today about the area and he said it's pretty solid. I feel that I was here in Green Hills for a good amount of time. For Zone Leaders, the mission has about 8 Zones and 2 ZL's per zone and they have a couple Districts in each Zone. So Elder Shiner and I help the District Leaders and we plan for Zone Meeting and Zone Conference. We work a lot with the Stake President as well. We also go on exchanges with all the District Leaders and the Assistants to President go on exchanges with us. It will be a great learning opportunity and a lot of fun. I'm stoked!!!
Peter's baptism went perfectly!! We were so happy for him. He was confirmed yesterday and you could see a glow in his eyes. It's sad to leave him, but I was grateful to see him be baptized before I left. Peter is such a great guy and he is so funny. He loves the Lord so much and he loves the church. 

So really sad news.... Elder Roney has to go home early... He was doing some service with a member and he got smacked in the head really good. Had to be rushed to the ER. His skull didn't get cracked, but it opened his skin up pretty good. If you go on Facebook to Elder Roney's profile you might be able to see the post about it. I was really bummed to hear about it. He said that he is going to come back for sure though. I said my goodbye today. We needed to go to the mission office in Brentwood to pick up his companion until transfers. He will come back though. 

Thank you so much for all you do mom. I love you so much!! I won't be able to get out that many emails today because we were running around earlier and we have a lot to do for transfers. I also got to write you a letter for your 21st birthday coming up ;) ;) I wish I could be there to party with you momma. I really do love and miss you. You're the bestest. I got the package!! Thank you!! I'll see you soon!!
-Love Elder Cottam

Saturday, July 12, 2014


We sure do miss this boy! 

Peter was baptized!

We got a text today from a member in Elder Cottam's ward with this picture of Peter and Elder Cottam. The text told us that Peter was baptized today!  It also said that Elder Cottam is being transferred on Tuesday to Cookville, Tennessee.  He is going to be a Zone Leader.  Way to go Elder Cottam!


This is Timmy.  A fantastic guy!!

A Better Week!

July 7, 2014
Hey Family & Friends!!!
This week was a lot better than last week!! We were able to teach a bunch of lessons and help a lot of our investigators progress!! Peter is still planning on being baptized this Saturday and we are super pumped!! We had a fantastic lesson with him yesterday!! We had President come with us and be part of the lesson in the last hour of church. We feel that that was the changing lesson for Peter. We talked about Baptism after and we really helped him understand the importance of it and after that we were telling the whole ward and he was excited!! We showed him the font and he really enjoyed it. We still have more lessons to teach him, but hopefully we can get them all covered through the week. Peter is such a great guy and he really loves the Lord.
Monday: We did the normal pday thing and we tried to go out and find some people that night, but we didn't have any success.
Tuesday: I had a leadership training meeting to go to that took up most of the day. It was a fantastic meeting and I learned a lot!! We have solid leaders in our mission and we are really progressing. We have a bunch of goals for the mission for the year and we have been kind of low in the past couple months, but June we had the 3rd highest month in the history of the mission!! We see a lot of progress and potential in the upcoming months!! The only downside to the day was, Elder Peterson had to be with 2 new missionaries and since they didn't have bus passes, they had to tract a bunch of houses for most of the time. They got a lot done and found a lot of people, but it was rough. After dinner, we went up to area 4 and talked to a guy named, James. James has been progressing really well. We've taught him the first 3 lessons and he really likes it. He is just busy and his wife doesn't want to listen, so we have to kind of work around that. Hopefully we can help him come to church with his family. Him and Peter will be the biggest focus in the next transfer.
Wednesday & Thursday: We had a pretty solid District Meeting. I had a new Hermana give a training for the first time and she did a great job. We switched with the zone leaders after that for exchanges. I went to Antioch with Elder Harris (Different Elder Harris, we have about 3 in our mission haha). Elder Loveless came to Green Hills with Elder Peterson. We had a good exchange. It took up most of Wednesday and Thursday. Elder Harris is a great guy. He's from Orem, UT and he loves to play lacrosse. He had a couple mini lacrosse sticks in their apartment and we tossed it around a couple times. I learned a lot from him and I hope I helped him as well. Elder Peterson and Elder Loveless had a pretty good time in Green Hills. Elder Loveless was pretty impressed with how well we ran our area. They were able to have a pretty good lesson with Tyson.
Friday: We helped a member move to start of the day. It was pretty easy because we had a lot of help. We did our weekly planning. Then met some people down by the Green Hills mall. We went in for the night and we tried to see some fireworks, but couldn't see anything. Probably the worst 4th of July ever, but you know... whatever! haha. Elder Peterson and I had a pretty fun night.
Saturday: We went up to the North side of our area and we were able to meet a lot of new people. We met this awesome couple, Anthony and Winoa. We talked to them for a little bit about what we believe and about the Book of Mormon. They said they would use it for some of their personal studies. They also gave us a bottle of water... Thank goodness!! haha. It was pretty hot. Well, it's hot everyday!! haha. After dinner, we went up to area 4 and had a bunch of solid lessons. Met this one funny guy named, Tiger. haha. He changed Elder Peterson's name to Dixter because he thought he was a pretty funny guy. haha.
Sunday: We had an interesting Sunday. haha. Started off kind of rough because one of our members was giving us a ride to pick up Peter and bring him to church and they got a call from their grandson's boyfriend and he broke up with him and then punched him and it was a whole lot of drama... haha. Yeah there is too much to explain, so I hope you enjoyed that sneak peak. haha. Other than that, we had a great lesson with Peter. Met some cool people after church. Had dinner with the Myler Family. Tyson knows Bro Myler, so they invited him over for dinner. Tyson is so cool. We love teaching him. He makes us laugh every time we go over. haha.
Thanks for reading my emails. I hope you guys enjoyed! I love and miss you guys so much!! I hope you have a wonderful week!! Stay classy.
-Love Elder Cottam

Rough Week.....

June 30, 2014
Hey Family and Friends!!
This week has been a rough one, but you have those every once in awhile. Haha. We're all good now!! The Green Hills area is moving forward. We are finally starting to see a lot of progression in the people we teach and we love it!!

Monday: We had a great exchange. We went on splits with Bro Aros and Bro Myler. Bro Aros was the only one we were supposed to go out with, but since we had a set appointment with a guy named, Tyson, we had Bro Myler come with us because he knew Tyson from work. Great connection!! Elder Peterson went with Bro Myler to see Tyson and they had a great lesson with him. I went all over Nashville with Bro Aros. Too many people weren't home of course, but we were able to have two lessons with Fred and Victor. Victor and Bro Aros really connected because they are both Hispanic. It was a good day. On the way home, I asked Bro Aros if he had ate at the "Mellow Mushroom" (pizza place) and he said he hadn't, but then he was like, "Should we grab a pizza??" I was like sure!! Haha. So we came back to Elder Peterson and Bro Myler with a giant pizza. It was pretty great.

Tuesday: We met this awesome lady named, Ellie. (Wow!! I'm finding a bunch of people with similar names) We went to the bus stop and she was sitting there. We start talking to her and it turns out that she had a bunch of Mormon friends and she had 2 copies of the Book of Mormon. We start talking with her and getting to know her. She is really sweet. She speaks English perfectly, but she is Hispanic.  She is just super busy with work because she is a nurse at Vanderbilt. We got her information and we told her about the awesome Spanish Sister missionaries. She was super excited. The sisters called us yesterday and said they set up an appointment with her and they are excited. After dinner, we had a super powerful lesson with Andrea. We taught her the Plan of Salvation. It went really well!! She really enjoyed it and she said that it makes sense.

Wednesday: We had a really great District Meeting! Elder Peterson gave a fantastic training on using the scriptures when we teach. It was so funny!! Then the rest of the day was pretty slow. We had an interesting lesson with Peter. We taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it went well, but then he had a struggle with understanding Adam and Eve and God's plan for them. He wanted to move his baptismal date to he 12th of July. Hopefully everything will iron out.

Thursday: We met this really cool guy named, Jacob. (God is pretty funny with all the people I met). Jacob is in his 20's and he is a gamer. Elder Peterson really connected well because Elder Peterson loves video games. Elder Peterson needed to go to the dentist, but that was a bad situation because he guy was a jerk and they couldn't really help him. Then we went to California pizza with a couple members. It was pretty good, but super expensive. Lucky we had the member with us. Haha. We had a good exchange with Bro Lambert. Saw some cool people and taught James the Plan of Salvation

Friday: Worst day ever. So the past couple days, Elder Peterson an I have been getting these red bites on our legs. We didn't know if they were mosquito bites, or spider bites, or bed bug bites, or what. We talked to Sis Andersen the night before and she told us to call Sis Johnson. We called her Friday morning after we got done with our service project. She we thinking it was most likely bed bugs. So she had us go home and clean the place and take all our sheets and clothes and put them in a bag. Elder and Sister Johnson went to Walmart and got a bunch of stuff and grabbed a couple things and then came over to evaluate the situation. We spent most of the day cleaning and washing laundry, and getting supplies and all that junk. The Johnson's were so nice to us though. They helped us with everything. We've been watching closely and we haven't really had more bites. We weren't even sure if they were bed but bites. They looked like them, b we looked really closely on our mattress and couldn't find any. It was just a mess of a situation.

Saturday: We did our Weekly Planning session since we had to run around all day. We found a lot of new people and had some decent lessons later that night.

Sunday: We had a good Church service. We spent the last hour of Church with Peter and a member. We showed him the Restoration video. He enjoyed it, but he is still trying to figure out some things.

Crazy week, but we made it through it. Thanks for reading my emails and for supporting me. I hope all of you are well. I love and miss you so much. Have an awesome week!

-Love Elder Cottam

Pictures of Nashville

June 23, 2014
Hey Family & Friends!!
This week has been fantastic!! It flew by!! We had a lot of help from our members to go out with us on exchanges and we saw a bunch of people. Peter is still progressing towards baptism. We are figuring out a place to meet him, so that it's easier to teach him.​ Elder Peterson is a lot of fun and we always have a blast together.
Monday: We had a fun Pday.  Just the normal stuff. It's always relaxing. We went out with a member to see a couple people. Bro Denny has only been a member for about a year now, but he is solid!! We had a couple lessons here and there, but we'll take it. Exchanges never go as planned. haha.

Tuesday: We went downtown to have a lesson with Peter. Met a cool guy named Loyd on the bus and talked to him on the bus. We met Peter outside this little business. We got to know him better and just talked about his life. We tried to teach him about the Plan of Salvation, but the lesson was all over the place. haha. We went up to the North part of Nashville and met up with Beverly & Paulette. They are just these two nice older ladies. We sat outside and taught them the Restoration. Some guy passed by the fenced and asked for some money because he was really hungry, so Beverly offered two pieces of bread and a piece of bologna, but then he turned his story into needing money for his brother to get a slice of pizza... What?! He probably just wanted money for drugs. We had a good lesson and committed them to read and pray. Beverly seemed really interested, but Paulette was a little distracted. haha. Later that night we went out with Bro Spencer. We saw this guy named, Tyson. haha. Crazy stuff. Anyways, he reminds me of Chet Mauchley and someone else, but I can't figure it out. haha. We had a great lesson with him on the Restoration. He is a doctor at Vanderbilt, so he's pretty busy, but hopefully our next lesson goes well. We also had a solid lesson with Steven & Breea. We mainly talked about Apostles because Steven doesn't think we need Apostles today. It went really well. He is basically stuck on that because he thought there was a scripture that says no more Apostles after Christ, but we will figure that out tomorrow because we are going back. 
Wednesday: Pretty slow day. We had a great District Meeting. We tracted around Vanderbilt. Super hot!!! Went to dinner with Sister Tanner. She took us to Cheesecake Factory. Delicious!! Then, we tracted some more. Found this awesome girl named, Fantashia. Elder Peterson started talking to her on the bus and taught her the Restoration. It went really well.
Thursday: Most of the day was spent in Franklin at Zone Conference. It was great. Had awesome training's and talked with a lot of missionaries. Went out with Bro Booker and saw Andrea. We had a great lesson with her on the Priesthood and the Restoration. She really enjoys learning and she loves having us stop by. Hopefully we can have the YSA sister missionaries really connect with her.
Friday: Oh man... Friday was a crazy day!! How do I even explain what happened... haha. We started off the day like normal and we did some weekly planning, but we had to go up to the north side because we met this girl named, Clemmie. She wanted us to come back and listen in on her class. She said it was with some teenagers that were struggling/ going down the wrong path. She wanted us to come and listen, then give our message to them. So, we go down there and we knock on the door and no one answers, so we knock 2 more times and a guy finally answers. He wasn't sure what we were doing, but he called Clemmie and she told him to take us out to the back. We went through the house to the backyard and they had this mini house. We went inside and there's a bunch of teenagers sitting in a circle. We were like, "what is this?" Then, we go further in the room and realize that there is a camera and a guy with a big microphone!! We asked the guy, "What is this? Why is there a camera??" He said, "Oh this is for Clemmie's documentary" It was weird, but we were like, "Okay!!" haha. So we sit down and start to realize it's like a "recovery program". These kids needed some motivational boost and they were trying to keep them out of trouble. We basically went around and answered questions like, "How does it make you feel when you are put in a situation where you can't be yourself" or "How does someone need to gain your respect". It was pretty great!! It was a fun experience for us. Later that night we got caught up in a confusing funeral, but I'll have to explain that one later!! haha!
Saturday: We finished weekly planning. We also tracted a bunch of houses for most of the day and saw a bunch of people that lived by them.
Sunday: We had a great lesson with Peter after Church. We taught him the Plan of Salvation with Bro Smith in an empty classroom. We talked with Zack and Connie after that and had a really powerful Plan of Salvation with them as well. We had an awkward dinner with the Estevez family because we mis-communicated and ended up interrupting their soccer game. haha.

Good crazy week!!

Thanks for everything!! I love ya!! I miss ya!! Thanks for being patient. Have an awesome week!!
-Love Elder Cottam

Mid week Text!

June 16, 2014

Hey Family & Friends!!!
We had a pretty solid week!! We had a bunch of lessons and we found a lot of new people to teach. We are focusing on having a lot of them attending church. Hopefully it all works out. We have been having a big boost in the member help and hopefully we can start to move things forward. Elder Peterson is a fantastic companion. He has such a strong testimony and he really works hard.

Monday: We did the normal stuff for the morning and emailing. Went to Noodles and Company for lunch. Then, we went to the Green Hills Mall and looked around the stores. I bought this really cool "Fusion" watch. I love it. I still have my old one, but I was looking for something a little different. Then, we tried to find some iPad cases, but they just had rip off cases at the stands and the Apple store is way too expensive. We weren't looking too hard. We went and bought some groceries and headed back up to the apartment. We went out to the Middle Vanderbilt area and tracted for the rest of the day. We contacted this nice girl named, Molly. She was pretty interested and we passed her off to the Young Single Adult Sister Missionaries. Hopefully it goes well. We also contacted Peter by phone to set up an appointment. He was pretty busy throughout the week, but we just said that we would have a lesson with him after church. We talked with him for a little bit and found that he had been reading the Book of Mormon and really enjoyed it.
Tuesday: We had a pretty successful day. We went up to the North Side and met a bunch of new people to teach. We came back and had dinner and went to the North part of Vanderbilt. We taught a couple people there and we found this really cool guy named James. It was a pretty good day.
Wednesday: We had a pretty good District Meeting. I haven't been doing to well with the training's I've been giving. I've kind of been in a slump, but I think the next couple meetings will go well. We went to Facebook after. We did a lot of back and forth between where we wanted to go. We were picked up for dinner by President Andersen. Sister Andersen made us a wonderful dinner and we had a great Plan of Salvation lesson with them. I was so grateful to Sister Andersen for taking our picture and sending it to you guys. We went out with President Andersen after to see a couple of our investigators. Of course when President was with us, not too many people answered. We were able to talk to this guy named, Jay and set up a return appointment. We talked with a couple other people that night.
Thursday: We had a solid day on Thursday!! We went up to the North Side and contacted a bunch of people and set up a bunch of return appointments. It went really well. We came back and had dinner. We went to a different area and tried to see a couple people, but not too many were home.

Friday: We helped the Little Pantry that Could. They needed a lot of help this time because they got a large supply of food. We helped carry the food from the truck to the room and we helped them put the food on the shelf and get it ready for Saturday when the homeless come get it. Came back and weekly planned. That night we met a bunch of new people and set up a couple return appoitments.
Saturday: It wasn't too great of a day. We tried to go up to the North-West Side and see a bunch of people, but most of them weren't home. Tried to got to a different area after dinner, but not much success.
Sunday: Peter came to church!! He wants to come every Sunday, but sometimes we have a hard time getting him a ride. Hopefully we can work out a good system. After church, we taught Peter the Restoration and committed him to being baptized on July 5th!!! It was a super powerful lesson and Peter really enjoyed it. We are teaching him tomorrow and hopefully we can have more amazing lessons with him. Had dinner with the Thompson Family. They are so incredible. They are super nice and they want to be involved with missionary work. Went out with Bro Estevez after that to see some people, but of course, a ton of people weren't home. We were able to have an interesting lesson with a guy named, Johnny. He just likes to talk though. haha. Oh Johnny...
It was a great week. Thanks for reading my emails and supporting me in all that I do. I love and miss all of you!! Have a great week!! See ya soon!!
-Love Elder Cottam

We got this text from Tyson's mission president! 

Along with these Pictures!

Elder Peterson

June 9, 2014

​Hey Mom!!
I'm doing fantastic!! My new companion is way legit!! He is so funny and such a strong missionary. He has gone through a lot in his life and in the mission, but he is a fighter. He is already one of my most favorite companions. He is a little crazy sometimes, but he is cool. We get a long really well. He is exactly obedient as well and that helps a bunch!! He is from Afton, Wyoming. He is a character. He wants to go into graphic design or computer programming when he is done with his mission. He came out with Elder Harris. He was in the same MTC room as him.

I better go.  Enjoy all the pictures!

Love, Elder Cottam