Plot twist…AGAIN!

Mom’s pre-post: Dana has been in a three-some for 2 weeks waiting for transfers again. She has been living and serving with the Spanish sister missionaries. She would love love love some mail, so write her if you can! Her address is included in the ‘About’ section of the blog. The entire fall until now has been filled with what she refers to as ‘Plot Twists’ and from what this letter suggests, another twist is in the works.

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January 21, 2015

YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO BELIEVE THIS: I AM TRAINING AGAIN. WHAAAAAAAT?! ARFHQWJSADFOWEFASDLFKWOEURLWEKRJWOEIF.

PT called me on Thursday night and asked me if I would train again…here’s how the conversation went:
PT: Hello Sister Cobb! How’re you doing?
S. Cobb: I’m great PT! Thanks for sending me here! I love my companions and this area and I’m learning Spanish!
PT: That’s great Sister Cobb. I’m glad to hear that. Now, we’ve been praying about transfers, and we feel that Heavenly Father wants you to train another new missionary.
S. Cobb: (jaw dropped…shocked facial expression) …really?
PT: Really. Heavenly Father needs you to train this new missionary. Will you do it?
S. Cobb: (quickly composes self) Yes, of course President!
Then we exchanged pleasantries, he reassured me (A LOT) and then we hung up. Then I laid on the floor for a really long time, because I was scared to death! My first thought, “NO WAY. THEY’RE TRUSTING ME WITH ANOTHER MISSIONARY?! What if I kill her too?!”
My companions were laughing at me because I was so scared. So there you have it. For some reason, Heavenly Father is trusting me to train another new missionary! Back-to-back training. This is utter craziness! I am being ย transferred back into Eatontown (third time’s the charm, right?). That means I will be there for 5 transfers total. (7.5 months)
Here is one over-arching lesson I have learned on my mission: how to rely on the Atonement. Before I came out on my mission, I never truly felt weak. I never felt like I wasn’t up to a certain challenge. I had a specific set of skills, talents, and gifts that Heavenly Father used to help me grow and help others. And when I didn’t quite measure up, the Lord stepped in and helped me do what needed to be done. On a mission, I have felt weak. There have been moments where I truly had nothing to give and couldn’t do anything without the Savior. In those moments, I had to rely on the Savior completely because there was nothing else I could do. I know that Jesus IS the Christ. I know that He lived and died for us. He truly is the Redeemer and the Savior of the world, and I love Him with all my heart. Without Him, we are nothing. With Him, all things are possible. I am so grateful to be here. I LOVE being a missionary. There is nothing greater ๐Ÿ™‚
Serving in the Spanish branch has been amazing. I gave a talk in Spanish on Sunday! It was about Christ-like attributes, and it wasn’t half bad! Everyone said they could understand me, so that’s a good thing (I was praying for el don de lengua for myself and the gift of interpretation of tongues for everyone in the congregation!). I wrote it out in English and then had Sister Caetano and Sister Palmer help me translate it. Overall, it was super fun and super scary! I even told a joke in Spanish and they laughed. It made me feel pretty good about myself, ha. Other fun moments as a Spanish sister: eating cow heart (not as gross as you might think it is!), bearing my testimony in Spanish, contacting in Spanish (I walk up to people, stop them and say hi and then turn to my companions to take over :)), and mis companieras. Sister Palmer and Sister Becker are truly an answer to prayers. I know that Heavenly Father picks out our companions each transfer, and I also know that He plans for emergency transfers too! They are ANGELS! It’s amazing to see how the Lord is truly in the details. He plans things out SO far in advance and gives us the comfort we need in the way that we need. I love my Father in Heaven so much!
Well, family… I think I just rambled on, rather aimlessly… I hope that makes sense. I love you all! Thanks for keeping me in your prayers. You are in mine!
xoxo,
Hermana Cobb
Picture One: This is our goofball, Hermana Becker. She finishes training tomorrow, so she’s mi hijita!IMG_0471
Picture Two: These are the hermanas! Hermana Becker, Hermana Palmer, Hermana Ivie, and Hermana Caetano. IMG_0533 (2)I have been companions with every single one of them over the past two transfers! I love dees hermanas.

Best. Birthday. Ever.

November 10, 2014
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Wow. Can I just say that I have the world’s greatest family and friends? My birthday was like a love explosion. Thank you to everyone for remembering my birthday and sending me love and packages and letters! I honestly wasn’t expecting it, because it doesn’t seem like a big deal to me (I know, you heard me, Mom. I still love birthdays, but mine isn’t important. I prefer celebrating everyone else’s!)Joe and Kirsten sent me the funniest package (I can grow my own Christmas tree now! His name is Bruce the Spruce). Mom, Dad, and Lizzy, thank you for your package as well! Our apartment now resembles an art museum. I have the three pieces from Dad, as well as Lizzy’s painting. I called Sister Taylor to tell her about the latest framed art work, and she thought it was hilarious. She’s a huge fan of Dad and how he periodically sends me art so that our apartment isn’t “drab”. Also, the surprise pizza being delivered to our apartment was hilarious and delicious. The lady had even written happy birthday on the box. You are the best! Mac and Caroline, I’m pretty sure I know where that pearl came from! Thank you thank you! Elder Karlinsey, thanks for your package! The jewelry is really pretty, and Sister Williams and I had so much fun trying to eat your Chinese candy with the chopsticks. Ann Marie also sent me a card (I don’t know how she remembers my birthday every year. She’s the best though – these two sisters are going to go out and celebrate at Five Guys now, thanks to Ammer!). Gramma, thanks for your card and for the milkshakes! Basically, all of you are wonderful. Thank you for thinking of me. Sister Williams took a picture of the aftermath of our little birthday party. In case you were wondering, the look on my face is my, “I feel really loved right now” face. It’s not even about the gifts. Your thoughtfulness, love, and support mean the world to me.

This whole week has been pretty tough. It was almost like a scene from The Best Two Years. Knock – slam. Walk – pouring rain. Appointments – not home. DSCF2911We don’t have a lot of people to teach, and we got a few doors slammed in our faces. I’m so proud of Sister Williams for persevering through it. We determined to keep working hard, even though we aren’t seeing a lot of the success most missionaries expect. I’m pretty used to it at this point. When people reject us, it hurts; however, it doesn’t hurt because they have injured our own personal feelings. It hurts because they don’t know what they are doing. They don’t understand what they are saying “no” to. They don’t know that they are shutting the door on the true gospel of Jesus Christ. We try to share the joy of the gospel with everyone we meet, but some people aren’t ready for it yet. DSCF2907Oh well. That’s why we keep trying. Everyone deserves the chance to hear about the restored gospel.

Interestingly enough, November 8th was my favorite day of the week (not because it happened to be my birthday… it really was an amazing day. Heavenly Father poured down some heavenly birthday presents on us.) It was like a break from the storm (literally… the “noreaster” had finally left and we saw a rainbow!). It started off on an amazing note – teaching. We finally got to teach someone! We went over to a less active’s home. Her name is Sister W, and she is a character. She feeds us figs and seaweed and has an enormous pet pig. His name is Barbeque, and she feeds him bacon (she thinks it’s hilarious). We had a sweet lesson with her and her grandson, R. R isn’t baptized (his parents aren’t members), but he loves the missionaries and always sits in on our lessons. He’s a pretty spiritual little guy though.

After that, all of the missionaries in our area met at the church to go on a contacting blitz! It was a blast. We went contacting around Monmouth University and then in Asbury Park. Asbury Park used to be in our area, but the sisters are no longer allowed to go there because the ward petitioned to get us out. It’s pretty dangerous, even during the day (I know some sisters who almost got kidnapped there). We got to talk to this really neat woman who asked us a lot of questions, like, “Will I ever see my mom again?” and “What happens to us after we die?”. She was really interested and invited us to come back and teach her! We gave her to the elders though, because she lives in Asbury Park. We also contacted a sweet Spanish woman who wants to know more about eternal families! She also invited us back, but we gave her to the Spanish elders because we don’t really speak Spanish. All in all, we got to talk to a lot of people about the gospel. It was so fun.

On Saturday, we had another appointment to teach A! Hooray! A is one of the sweetest, most prepared people I have ever met. She was texting us all week about how much she was loving the Book of Mormon (She enjoyed 3 Nephi 11 so much that she read chapter 10 and chapter 12 as well!) During our lesson, SHE taught US about the gospel of Jesus Christ and how important repentance and baptism were for her. She is really excited to be baptized! We taught her about the Restoration, and Sister Williams got to share the first vision for the first time on her mission! When she recited the first vision for A, the Spirit completely filled up the room. It was powerful, and A could feel it. It was one the most spiritual Restoration lesson I have ever been a part of. Sister Williams is a clear teacher and is so sincere. After the lesson, we invited A to pray to know if the Book of Mormon was true, only to find out that she had already prayed about it and knew it was! Honestly, we haven’t taught her anything – it was all the Lord. He is the ultimate teacher and guide. We are merely his instruments.

Here comes the best part of the day (actually the entire week). SOMEONE PROPOSED TO ME. Yes. You read that correctly. I got proposed to on my birthday. On my mission. It made my life. Sister Williams and I went to go and give one of our new investigators a copy of The Restoration video, and we met him outside. Oh, his name is D, by the way. After we explained what the video was about, D started asking us a lot of questions about our personal lives and the rules about dating… he wanted to know if we were allowed to date, what our rules were about chastity, and if I could ever consider him as someone I would like to have that kind of relationship with. It was very awkward. It was also very funny.IMG_0049

It took everything I had (and a lot of prayers) to keep myself from laughing from the awkwardness. I let my sweet little trainee answer his questions… I’m sure she loved that! She assured him that our uniforms never come off (those were her exact words) and that we don’t date until after our missions. D was very understanding, but didn’t seem to fully get what she was saying (or he was in denial). He asked if I would want to marry him and if we could grab dinner sometime this week! He was even kind enough to invite Sister Williams to tag along for our dinner date. Well, we told him no, again, but he still didn’t give up completely! He asked to be the first in line for as soon as I get home from my mission. He also told me that if I ever change my mind before I get home, he’ll be waiting for me. He was really disappointed by the “handshake-only” rule, too. I wish I could describe the scene in all of its sweet and hilarious glory (he really is a nice guy), but I can’t. It was definitely the highlight of my birthday though.

That night, our recent convert C invited us out to dinner. She is such a humble and giving person. I always feel bad when members take us out for meals or buy us anything, but I know that they will be blessed for serving us. If anyone deserves blessings, it’s C. She was baptized in May, has more trials than any person should have to endure, and loves the Lord. She is so faithful and determined to keep her family rooted in the gospel.

All day long, Heavenly Father showered us with blessings. It was a miraculous and happy day. Do you know what was the greatest birthday gift I received? This next year. I get to spend my 20th year in the service of my God. Every day, I get to wake up and share His gospel and His love. I get to invite and help His children come closer to Him. Is there anything greater? I don’t think so. I feel truly blessed to have been called to serve a mission. I never expected to serve, but I will ALWAYS be grateful for this opportunity. No work is more important or more joyful than this.

I love you all dearly!

xoxo,

Sister Cobb

I’m a Momma!

November 3, 2014

Ladies and gentlemen…

I am the proud mother of SISTER WILLIAMS! *insert cheering and dancing*IMG_0020
Needless to say, I already love her to death. Seriously, I think I might suffocate her with my love. I had to rein it in a little bit when we first met so that I wouldn’t overwhelm her.
Sister Williams is from Boise, Idaho. We had tons of fun on the night of mischief and on Halloween (mission rules – we had to stay inside). We carved pumpkins, made caramel apples, watched Legacy, finger painted, and made popsicle stick temples. It was a blast. We are having so much fun and working hard out here! I absolutely adore her. The full story of our companionship is actually really neat, so I’ll tell you more about it.
As you know, I have been more than a little worried about training a new missionary. I’m still ridiculously new and inexperienced, and I don’t feel qualified to be a trainer! I’ve been praying A LOT for comfort and counsel as to how I should train her and what we need to do to be successful in our area. I’m really having to rely on the Lord, because I don’t know anything; however, it’s amazing what the Lord will tell us if we just ask. He is always ready to comfort us and give us the counsel and heavenly help that we need (D&C 42:61). Last week, I managed to get Sister Gilchrest (a very nice, cookie baking senior sister) to share two things with me: her peanut butter cookie recipe and the list of incoming missionaries. Well, the second I glanced at the list of new missionaries, the name “Williams” literally leapt off the page at me. It was amazing. I just knew that Sister Williams was going to be my trainee, even before I discovered that she was an English speaking sister! Here’s how President decides on the trainer/trainee companionships: On Tuesday, before transfer conference, all of us go into a huge room and eat lunch. He goes into another room and prays with the assistants to know how he should pair the companionships. He receives that revelation, comes back out, and then announces the companionships. On Tuesday, Sister Dubon and I drove up to Morristown for the “Meet Your Trainers” meeting with all of the trainees! As soon as we got into the room with all of the scared-looking trainees, I scoured the place for Sister Williams. I marched right up to her, gave her a huge hug (it took her WAY off guard, ha), and pulled her into lunch with me. Of course, I didn’t tell her I was her trainer. That would just ruin the surprise. When President Taggart announced my name and called Sister Williams to be my trainee, I wasn’t surprised at all! Knowing that Sister Williams really was supposed to be my companion was very comforting. I know that the Lord does bless and inspire the priesthood holders who lead this church. I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ and that His priesthood has been restored to the earth once more. I know that this is His work and His glory, and I am so grateful that Sister Williams and I get to be a part of it!
Our first night in Eatontown was really fun. I am pretty sure Sister Williams was scared to death (I’m not sure if it was of me or of being on a mission…) and wondering what in the world she got herself into. We didn’t even unpack before we went out to go and meet the good people of Eatontown! It was quite the adventure. The next day, we went out contacting on the boardwalk at Bradley Beach (which was super fun, by the way… we met all of these really cool people), had dinner at our recent convert’s house, and met with the Bishop.
Proudest moment of my entire life: Sister Williams’ first contact! It was her first full day in the mission field, and she went for it all by herself! She was SO brave and started talking to this man named Howard while we were grocery shopping. He about talked her ear off (people in Jersey LOVE to talk), and she listened patiently and wove the gospel into the conversation. She was a pro. The look on her face after the contact was over was absolutely priceless: it was a mixture of shock, joy, pride, and adrenaline. We did a little happy dance in the juice isle of Shop-rite to celebrate.
On Saturday, we had interviews with President and Sister Taggart. Wow, I just love them. I’m actually friends with them (as a result of all of our hospital adventures last transfer), so it was great to be able to meet with them. President Taggart gave me some really inspired advice for our area and for Sister Williams. He challenged us to use the power of faith to find the prepared people in our area. Right after interviews, we went to our favorite trailer park in Eatontown (it’s also the only trailer park I am aware of…) to meet with some old investigators. They weren’t home, but I felt strongly that we needed to go and visit another former investigator, A. It’s a miracle we even know about A. She was meeting with the missionaries two years ago and even had a baptism date, but disappeared right before. Last transfer, while Sister Fjerstad and I were teaching G and D, A walked into their trailer! As soon as she saw us, she said, “Wait! I used to meet with you! I think I still have my Book of Mormon. I finally feel ready to come closer to God, and I want to meet with you again!” Amazing, right? Well, we never got to see her again before we got doubled out.
Anyways, while Sister Williams and I were driving to see A, I told her that she was going to invite A to be baptized. She had a terrified look on her face. We stopped outside of A’s, and I asked Sister Williams, “Do you have faith?” She replied, “Yes?”. “No, Sister Williams. Do you have faith?” She paused. After a minute of thinking, she looked at me again, this time with confidence, and said, “YES”. I nodded. We prayed in our car, and then walked through the rain to knock on A’s door.
When we knocked on her door, a man answered (we later learned that it was her boyfriend, A. He invited us in immediately and called for A. She came out of a back room, saw us, and gave us enormous hugs. She was so excited we’d come back to see her! It was amazing. We sang, “I am a Child of God” with her and A, and by the end of it, she was in tears. A told us that she could feel the Spirit and that she wanted to feel this way all the time. Sister Williams bravely charged forward and promised A that she could feel that way all the time. She testified of baptism and the gift of the Holy Ghost and invited A to be baptized… and A said yes! I don’t know who was more excited – A or Sister Williams! A wants to start meeting with us too, so we’re hoping to have a wedding and two baptisms this month. Miracles miracles miracles!
Being doubled back in to Eatontown has been a very interesting and spiritual experience. We are both new to the area, which I am now seeing as a blessing. We get the opportunity to rely completely on the Lord and set the tone for the missionary work in our area (just in case you were wondering, exactly obedient and hard-working happen to be our way of doing missionary work). It’s been amazing to see how the Lord blesses us as we work as diligently and obediently as we can. We’re already seeing miracles, and it is not a result of our talents or abilities. It is the Lord’s power and goodness that is making this work possible.
To quote Sister Williams (the best trainee in the whole world): “I like being a missionary! This is fun.”ย Being a missionary makes me so happy. I LOVE being a missionary. I love the Lord, I love His gospel, and I love you all.
Hugs,
Sister Cobb
Picture One: Meet Sister Williams! This was the moment my baby was born (a.k.a. President announced our companionship, we ran into the middle of the gym and hugged, while everyone cheered.. it was pretty epic)!
Picture Two: Meet all of my companions from the last 6 weeks (minus Sister Fjerstad)! Sister Taylor, Sister Rogers, Sister Williams, Sister Houghton, and Sister Dubon.

I’m Training!

October 27, 2014

GUESS WHAT I’M TRAINING! I know I already told you this, but I felt the need to say it again. I’M TRAINING! Ah, I can’t believe it! I’m so excited. IMG_0002Sister Dubon is training too! She’s getting transferred though, so we won’t be able to raise our babies together. So sad.

We went up to the mission home on Friday for a Trainer’s training meeting, but I don’t actually feel trained to train. They spend some time telling you about how sacred and important your calling is, give you a tiny “packet” (although it’s so small that it barely deserves to be called that), and set you free. It’s pretty amazing. We’re getting “doubled in” to Eatontown (which means that we are both new to the area… it’s pretty scary because neither of us know anything about Eatontown!ย  Well, actually, I know about every pharmacy, urgent care, and hospital within a 30 mile radius of Ocean… that’s about it. Usually, they don’t like to double in missionaries because it makes the work difficult. You have to start from scratch, instead of having another missionary show you everything first.) I’m looking forward to it though, because I know we’ll learn a lot. We’ll have to rely completely on the Lord, because neither of us will know anything! Also, I think it will help my trainee learn faster and feel as equally important as me. Our address is going to remain the same.
My trainee is flying to Jersey right now, and I’ll get to meet her tomorrow! I seriously cannot wait to meet her. We’re going to be best friends. On Mischief Night and Halloween, missionaries have to be in their apartments by 6 pm… I’m planning on having a Halloween party with her. We’re going to bond over pumpkin carving and caramel apples. I also already made her a “Welcome to New Jersey” Halloween package, decorated the apartment, and planned out her training study schedule for the next week. She is going to be the best missionary Jersey has ever seen (as long as I don’t mess her up). I think I might be going a little overboard with excitement.IMG_0006
This past week has been pretty crazy because Sister Houghton is dying (dying = her mission is ending tomorrow). Dying missionaries go on tons of fun trips, like visiting the Manhattan Temple and the Statue of Liberty. Sister Rogers and I got to go on an exchange to Jersey City (the city areas are the most coveted areas in the mission… I’m not sure why, but I think it has something to do with how sketchy and diverse it is)! It was great to be out on the streets contacting people from random countries and teaching the Jersey City investigators. SO FUN.
One of our less actives, Sister R, is AMAZING. Seriously. This woman fell as far away from the church as it is possible to fall, but is making tons of progress. She has been meeting with the sisters for months and months, but her progress really started to accelerate in the last few weeks (I’m so lucky that I got to be here for it!) She has been reading the Book of Mormon everyday, and actually reads more than I do! She prays, she comes to church, she participates in all of the activities, completely quit smoking, and she LOVES who she’s becoming. The difference in her is astounding. The gospel really does change lives. She wrote down her testimony about repentance for me this week, and it is priceless to me. I love her so much.
On Sunday, Sister Houghton and I gave talks in church about our missions. It was such a wonderful Sunday. The Spirit really guided my talk (which is a GREAT because, trust me, I’m not that good on my own), and I hope it touched someone’s heart. I’m quite sad to be leaving Freehold – I love this ward! They have been so loving and kind to me. The wards in Jersey are great.
Love,
Sister Cobb,
Picture One: This is a picture of my JOY when President Taggart called me to formally extend my calling as trainer.
Picture Two: Some of my BEST friends on the mission! Sister Detrinidad (came in with me!), Sister Dubon, and Sister Mortenson (friend from BYU who also came in with me!) We are all training together! YAY!

…this Huge Wave of Love straight from Heaven…

October 21, 2014

Dearest family,

Hello! Ah, I just love you all so much! You are the greatest. I love being a member of the Cobb family. Are you all happy? I am, and I hope you are too.
WOW. Mom told me I have been out for 5 months. Are you serious?! I don’t really keep track of time, because it flies by so quickly. You’re joking. 5 months?! NO WAY. It feels like I have only been here a week, but it also feels like I’ve been here for years at the same time. Weird. What does it feel like to you? I really can’t wrap my head around the idea of 5 months. That is insane.
We visit this amazing less active grandpa named Joe, and he asked me to give Mom and Dad this message: “Tell your parents that you met someone in New Jersey who appreciates their sacrifice for supporting you on your mission. They are sacrificing your company for 18 months, and they don’t get to be with you. Tell them that someone in New Jersey is grateful for them. They are blessed to have a daughter like you who has given everything to come out here and preach the gospel, and they will be blessed for their sacrifice.” Joe’s pretty great, isn’t he? He is only less active because he can’t drive himself to church (he has slight dementia), and his daughter can’t take him very often. He is the sweetest old man in the entire world though! He calls us his “babies” and makes us call him when we get home so that he knows we arrived home safely. He’s so cute ๐Ÿ™‚
The Freehold ward is absolutely amazing! It’s a Spanish AND English ward (isn’t that cool?), and an elder translates all of the meetings into Spanish that the ward members can listen to using headphones. Also, there is a Cobb family in this ward! I am Sister Cobb #2 ๐Ÿ™‚ We have compared family trees, and they don’t think we’re related.IMG_0733
They seem pretty great though, so I wouldn’t mind being related to them! The ward is so missionary minded and has really welcomed me in. It’s fun, because all of the Jersey wards love their missionaries. I don’t know if I was just oblivious or what, but I never really paid attention to the missionaries in our ward/stake! I didn’t know them very well, which is kind of sad. All of the ward members already know me and have shown me a lot of love, even though I’ve only been here a week! (I’ll probably only be here one more week, which makes me sad! I don’t want to leave this area!). I heard there’s a trio of sisters in the Ahwatukee ward right now… that’s such a crazy coincidence! PLEASE go and love them and give them a million hugs from me.
Well, transfer number three is drawing to a close, and it has been the craziest experience of my life. Honestly, the past six weeks have been really hard, and yet they have also been so joyful. Right now, I’m kind of feeling like a crazy person with all of these emotions running through me. I only told you the details about one of the scariest nights of this transfer… That scene repeated itself a few other times, if that gives you any idea of what this transfer has been like. Heavenly Father has definitely given me a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience – that’s for sure! The strongest emotion going on right now is gratitude. I feel so much gratitude to my Father in Heaven for this amazing experience. I am thankful that He loves me enough to give me this time here in Jersey. Serving a mission is the most fulfilling and joyful thing I have ever done. I am so grateful to be here! I am so HAPPY to be here. I have never been happier in my entire life. Despite everything that goes on, I always have a smile on my face and I am always finding an opportunity to laugh. I know that Heavenly Father is blessing me with happiness here, and I am grateful for it! We spend everyday serving the Lord and loving his children. My only desire and responsibility is to LOVE people! All day long! How great is that? We love people and share with them the most precious gift in the world: the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I love being a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am already dreading the day when I have to take my name tag off and come home! (Don’t get me wrong family, I love you and miss you a lot!). Even though that day will eventually come, my name tag will always be on my heart. I am going to be a missionary for my Savior every day of my life.
Let me tell you about a really sweet experience I had this week.ย IMG_0751
Sister Houghton, Sister Rogers, and I were visiting a wonderful old lady in our ward, Sister S. She lives in an old folks home, has Alzheimer’s, and loves the Gospel. We visit her every week (well, that’s what they tell me… I’ve only been here a week!) to read the Book of Mormon with her. As we were about to leave her, I held her hand and told her how much I loved her (which is a lot by the way… I can’t explain it, but I love EVERYONE so much! It’s such a neat blessing). I squeezed her hand and reminded her about how much Heavenly Father loves her, and as I did so, I was overcome by this huge wave of love straight from heaven. It filled me up completely, and I could tell that she felt it too. It was so powerful.
It reminds me of something that Jeffery R. Holland said about Heavenly Father’s love: “Above all, never lose faith in your Father in Heaven, who loves you more than you can comprehend”.
I know that’s true. Heavenly Father loves each of us, more than we can comprehend, and desires for our happiness. He knows each of us individually. He knows our needs, concerns, circumstances, and desires. I have felt His love for His children in Jersey, and I have felt His love for me personally. I know it changes hearts, because it has most certainly changed mine.
I love you all so much! Never, ever forget that!
xoxo,
Sister Cobb
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ZONE 11! These missionaries are absolutely crazy, but I love them so much! We’ve been through some pretty insane experiences together, so it feels more like a family than a zone. I love it.
Picture one: Our investigator, Sy, is the CUTEST old man in the whole world! He is Jewish and absolutely loves the Book of Mormon!
IMG_0731 He is still working on whether or not Jesus Christ is His Savior, but he’ll get there! He really wants to know, so I know that Heavenly Father will answer his prayers when he is ready. On Friday, he played the saxophone for us and let us hold it! He was so funny. After he played, he said, “Okay, I need you to be honest with me… how did I sound? It’s been so long since I’ve played, so it’s okay if I sounded really awful!”. The thing is, he was amazing! He is a rockstar with a saxophone.

I have joined the ranks of the homeless missionaries!

October 14, 2014
Hello!

Sorry I haven’t written until just now – I literally have zero control over what happens to me, so there isn’t a whole lot I could do about it. Just so you know, I won’t be able to write next week until Tuesday, so don’t get worried!

WOW it sounds like it’s a great week to be a part of the Cobb family! Congratulations Joe and Kirsten! Yay for love and eternal marriages! Just so you two know, there was a semi-wedding reception for you here in Jersey on Saturday! Our trio made chocolate cake and danced around our apartment. It’s almost like we were actually celebrating together ๐Ÿ™‚ Kirsten, you looked GORGEOUS. I seriously can’t get over your dress! It beats sister missionary clothes, that’s for sure! Ho ho, you were looking pretty snazzy yourself. Also, Mac and Caroline’s engagement photos are beautiful. I’m pretty biased, but I’d say we are one good lookin’ family. Nice job parents.

This has been a crazy week! I spent most of it homeless, which is quite an interesting experience. I have slept in a couple of different missionary apartments and the mission home, but never my home home (although I don’t really have a home home either…). It’s kind of weird if you really think about it.

On Tuesday, Sister Dubon and I tore apart Eatontown as a Spanglish companionship, and it was so fun! I love Sister Dubon. The president called us “soul mates”, if that gives you any idea of how well we get along and what crazy experiences we’ve been through together. That night, we had dinner at a Mexican family’s house in Red Bank. They were so nice! All of the Hispanic families I’ve met and taught here are the nicest people ever. They also make really good food. Yum. Oh, and we walked out to Carlos’ Cake Shop after dinner! Yes, that’s the bakery in the TV show Cake Boss, and yes, it’s amazing.IMG_0698
The elders who work there promised me that they would bring me Carlos’ bakery sweets anytime I need it, because they feel really bad for me and they are super nice. Elder Nelson is also my district leader, so I think he feels a sense of responsibility for my well-being. It’s actually really great. (Tangent: All of the elders have been so awesome this transfer! They’ve stayed all night in the hospital with us, given us priesthood blessings, they call us at night to play us primary songs on the guitar, bring by food for our sicklings, and keep us laughing the whole time. Honestly, our whole zone feels like a great big family. We’ve been through so many crazy things together! I serve with some of the world’s greatest and most selfless missionaries) We walked back to the Hispanic family’s home to eat our sweets, when Sister Fjerstad called me from the mission home. She was in tears and told me that she was going home on Thursday. I may or may not have lost it for a few minutes in their backyard. Sister Dubon and I walked back inside (I’m sure my face was red and puffy… I haven’t quite mastered the “single glistening tear” thing yet, ha), and the mother of the family reached straight for me and held my hand for the rest of the night! She can barely speak English, but she can speak the language of comfort! I love that sister, and I don’t even know her name. After we left their home, Sister Dubon and I raced home to pack up all of Sister Fjerstad’s belongings. We didn’t sleep that night, but it was worth it for Sister Fjerstad!
On Wednesday morning, we drove back up to Morristown for Specialized Training (it’s a meeting for all of the greenies in the mission), and then all four of us spent the night at the mission home. The next morning Sister Taggart, and I drove Sister Fjerstad to the airport to drop her off. There is something wrong about leaving your companion at the airport and driving home without her. It’s not right, and I didn’t like it one bit. Thursday was the weirdest day in the world, because I didn’t have a home OR a companion! Ha, in an interview with President, he told me he had no idea what to do with me! There are only two weeks left of the transfer, he didn’t want to close my area, I’m being “greenie busted” (first transfer out of training), and there wasn’t a great place for me to go for the rest of the transfer. You know how in the scriptures, the Savior tells his disciples not to worry about where they will sleep or what they will eat? They were homeless missionaries too! The Savior was essentially homeless Himself as well. I feel like my homelessness has made me a part of some sort of elite, homeless missionary club. It’s kind of cool, actually. I feel like I’m breaking all sorts of mission records (but not the usual, baptism kind).

In another interview with President, he told me the scariest, most exciting news in the entire world! I’M TRAINING NEXT TRANSFER! It’s terrifying, because my new little trainee and I will essentially be doubled into Eatontown (meaning that we are both new to the area, since I know nothing about it). Being doubled in is not an easy thing! Ah! Also, it has been an entire month since I have done real missionary work, and I am completely out of practice! I’m the one who needs to be trained! I don’t even know if I remember how to be a missionary anymore, and usually, they only call the best missionaries to train! What are they doing, calling ME as a trainer?! They take it pretty seriously out here. Trainers are responsible for teaching their trainees how to be hard-working and obedient servants of the Lord. A missionary’s training affects the rest of their missions and lives. Can you see why I’m slightly concerned? ๐Ÿ™‚ As scared as I am, I also know that it’s the will of the Lord. These past three transfers have really taught me how to seek and receive personal revelation. At the end of my last transfer in Sparta, I was praying one night and received the impression that I would be training during my fourth transfer. President Taggart just confirmed that prompting. I’m super excited and super nervous. Ha, maybe this is Heavenly Father’s way of “re-training” me. It’ll be a greenie training a greenie. I’ve been praying and preparing for this next transfer for quite sometime, and I’m excited to see what happens. Hopefully, my new companion isn’t completely worried about my lack of experience. She goes into the MTC tomorrow, so send some prayers her way! Yay! I love her already, and I can’t wait to meet her.

More good news! I am no longer a completely homeless missionary though! I’ve been temporarily reassigned (again!) to the Freehold area. It’s just left and slightly inland of my old Eatontown area. I’m in a trio now with Sister Houghton and Sister Rogers! They are both excellent missionaries, and it’s been fun to serve with them. It’s been super weird to be a normal missionary though! Going to bed at 10:30, nightly planning, teaching lessons, and companionship studies feel slightly foreign to me. That sounds really bad, but I promise I tried to be obedient this transfer! It just got a little tricky towards the end there… It hasn’t been too hard to get back into normal missionary life though, which is a huge blessing! I need to be ready for next transfer!

We do a lot of work with less actives in this area, and I already love these people! This morning, we taught a lesson to this wonderful woman, Sister P. She is just starting to enter back into activity, and is LOVING the Book of Mormon! She is finishing it for the first time tonight, and it’s so fun to hear her share her favorite verses and her testimony. There is a very real light that enters into someone’s eyes when they are feeling the Spirit for the first time or after a long period of time. It’s one of my favorite parts about teaching. When people feel the Spirit, you can see it in their eyes, and it’s a beautiful thing.

Ha, Sister Houghton had an awful case of lice this transfer, which we finally eradicated yesterday. On my first night in the area, they told me that she had lice and I burst out laughing.IMG_0718
OF COURSE my new companion would have lice! It’s probably the only medical issue I haven’t dealt with this transfer! Honestly, I don’t think very many things could faze me anymore… I mostly just think it’s funny. Heavenly Father has a sense of humor, that’s for sure. On Saturday night, we had to make an emergency pharmacy run to get this extremely rare and expensive lice poison for our hair. We all had to get treated because she has a pretty crazy case of lice! The hair poison (they called it “lotion”) was $260 a bottle (the mission bought them, don’t worry mom and dad!) and it was 78% alcohol! We had to drench our hair in the nastiness and let it sit in our hair for 12 hours. I still smell like alcohol… ha. We had a lice poison party and did a lice dance (much like a rain dance) to destroy the lice. We call ourselves the Lice Slayers, and we’re pretty good at what we do because the lice are GONE! Yay! No lice for any of us!

Yesterday, there was a sister missionary party for all of the sisters in our mission. It was SO fun! We did yoga (my favorite), did facials, ate girl food, sang songs, and had a total girls day. The best part was that I got to see Sister Taylor! It made me so happy ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s all for now! I love you oodles and noodles!

xoxo,

Sister Cobb, the Lice Slayer

Unexpected Lessons about Life

September 29, 2014
Greetings dear ones!

This week has been such a happy week, and I am grateful that I get to be out here serving the Lord! Sister Fjerstad and I spent most of the week inside. We ventured out every couple of days to the mailbox or to the pharmacy, but that was about it! We got some serious bonding time in, that’s for sure.
Thank you for all of your prayers and fasts on behalf of Sister Fjerstad! You all are the best. Combined faith is a powerful thing. So on top of whatever is going horribly wrong with her body (we aren’t sure what is), she also caught a nasty tonsil infection this week. Honestly, I think the world is out to get my companion! I am incredibly grateful that I had so many throat infections and that I got my tonsils removed… I know exactly how she’s feeling and how to help her. It is such a blessing.
Miracle of the week (one of many): On Tuesday, Sister Fjerstad’s health took a drastic turn for the worse. The thing is, she doesn’t like telling me how bad it is, so I have to rely a lot of the Spirit to help me know what to do. I mentioned this last week, but my Sister Fjerstad Sixth Sense is so cool. The Spirit always helps me know what’s going wrong in her body and how bad it is. It’s gotten to the point where I know exactly where her pain is and what her pain level is without her having to tell me anything. So on Tuesday night, Sister Fjerstad was feeling awful right as we were going to bed. Stabbing pains in her stomach, intense nausea, nightmares, bloody noses – you name it, and she’s got it. I wanted to stay up with her and take care of her, but I was completely exhausted from staying up with her every other night. There was no way I could stay awake for another minute, but I knew that she would need me that night. As I was saying my nightly prayer, I prayed that Heavenly Father would wake me up when Sister Fjerstad needed me. I went to sleep, knowing that Heavenly Father would take care of her and wake me up when I was needed. I fell asleep in seconds. Then, I woke up suddenly at midnight. I turned over to look for Sister Fjerstad (our beds are pushed together so I can just reach over and help her), but she was missing. I got out of bed, went straight to the bathroom, and found her on the bathroom floor. She had been throwing up and was crying. As soon as I saw her, I said a million prayers of gratitude. I sat on the floor with her while she was sick, brushing her hair and singing hymns. It was a profoundly spiritual moment. We stayed in there for a long time, until she felt strong enough to literally crawl back into our room. I picked her up, helped her back into bed, and tickled her arms until she fell asleep again. It felt a lot like my tonsillectomy in May, except I was the caretaker this time.
ย I am incredibly grateful that Heavenly Father is giving me this opportunity to love and serve Sister Fjerstad. Honestly, she is one of the most wonderful people I know. She is such a joyful person! Even when she is feeling awful, she’s smiling and laughing. You all would love her. She is EXACTLY like MarKee Crone! It’s actually pretty crazy. It’s like being companions with another one of my best friends, and I love it!
We live in the same apartment complex as the Spanish sisters assigned to our area, and it’s a blast! Sister Dubon and Sister Caetano are such awesome missionaries, and we’ve become fast friends. Sad day though, Sister Fjerstad got Sister Caetano sick! Disease is striking the Eatontown sisters! Ah! On Thursday, Sister Fjerstad and Sister Caetano were both too sick to do anything, so we decided to have a sick party! Sister Fjerstad and I zombied our way over to the Spanish sisters’ apartment Thursday morning, and we stayed there all day. Sister Fjerstad climbed right into Sister Dubon’s bed, and their apartment turned into a makeshift hospital. I made banana pancakes for everyone, and Sister Dubon and I spent the day being nurses! It was really hilarious and fun.

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The sick bed.

On Friday, no one was getting any better, so we decided to go on an exchange. Sister Dubon and I NEEDED to leave the apartment and get some fresh air (and sanity), so our district leader let us go on a temporary exchange. We went and taught one of our less actives and two people in their area. I wore my Spanish nametag and everything, so everyone started talking to me in Spanish. The problem is, I don’t really speak Spanish… I understand a surprising amount, but my vocabulary is pretty limited. However, I do know how to say, “I know what my companion said is true”, so that was fun to drop in to the lessons. It felt amazing to get out and teach, even though it was only for a couple of hours.
Being a missionary is so fun! You get to help people feel the love of God and help them grow their faith in Christ. I love it. I also love being able to take care of my companion, though. I am learning that sometimes, your companion is more important than your area. Honestly, it hasn’t bothered me once that we can’t go outside and teach. For some reason, I haven’t felt the pressing need to get out and teach. I just feel this huge amount of concern and compassion for Sister Fjerstad! And before you all go thinking I am a saint (I know, that was your first thought), I have to give all the credit for that to the Savior. He has softened my heart, helped me to love the circumstances we are in, and to love my companion. Sister Fjerstad has become one of my best friends (I seem to be making a lot of those on my mission – it’s amazing!) in such a short amount of time. I am learning to love people in a completely different way than I usually do. When you spend all of your time serving someone who truly needs you, you grow to love them in a deeper, more charitable way. I am grateful for this, because, boy, do I need charity! I have been praying for Heavenly Father to help me be more charitable (I desperately need it), and He has given me this transfer to learn how! It’s great. Sister Fjerstad and I have TONS of fun together, and we have grown so close (helping your companion while she throws up in the bathroom is quite the bonding experience!). Missions teach you a lot of lessons about the gospel, but it also teaches you a lot of unexpected lessons about life.
On Saturday, we were SO blessed to be able to go to the church to watch the General Womens Broadcast. Seriously, that meeting was AMAZING! President Uchtdorf gave a killer talk. If any of you haven’t listened to it, you should. Actually, all of the talks were great. They were all about going to the temple and making and keeping covenants. We are so blessed to have temples on the earth. In them, we are able to feel God’s love, make covenants with him, and be sealed to our families for eternity! It is the most wonderful blessing in the entire universe. Anyway, when we walked out of the church building, we found that someone had completely toilet papered our car!IMG_0581
As it turns out, the Spanish sisters tp’ed the Zone Leaders car, who then recycled and tp’ed our car. It was so funny. We got them back though by tp-ing the Spanish sisters car and blaming the Zone Leaders. So far, no one knows our involvement, but we may have started a small war.
Sunday was an awesome day. We weren’t able to go to church that day, but the Spanish elders came over to administer the sacrament. It was amazing to be able to feel the Spirit that comes when we renew our baptismal covenants in our small apartment! What a blessing.
I now spend one hour practicing the piano/keyboard every day, and it is the greatest thing ever. I’m working my way through all of the hymn books, song by song. We have so much fun with it. Thank you! It was super funny when it arrived, because of the efficiency of the whole thing. I got it in less than two days! It had Poppa Cobb written all over it. Thank you for the incredibly thoughtful packages! They were full of sparkly things, stationary, and music. You know me so well.
I love you all so very much! You are always in my prayers. Have a jolly, joyful week!
xoxo,
Sister Dana