Week 15; February 24, 2014: Sick companion, service and zone conference

Hello!

So unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot to report on because not a whole lot got done this week. Tuesday night, I went on exchanges. Not a whole lot went on in the other area. We pulled weeds in the morning and then visited a few members in the afternoon. The exchange was supposed to end on Wednesday night, but it ended up lasting two nights because it wasn’t planned very well as far as coordinating rides. So I didn’t get home until about Thursday morning. And then Thursday, there was a long zone conference that lasted from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Then Friday, we did service for a recently moved-in family named the Moon’s. They moved into the house that the Weight’s (the family we helped move out last Saturday at 7AM) moved out of. They’re super missionary minded and have already gotten to know pretty much all their neighbors, so that’s really good.

Then Saturday, Elder Bailey got really sick and so we had to just stay at home for the day, which really sucked. Then Sunday, we went to the Bella Via Ward in the morning and Elder Bailey was still extremely sick, so we had to head home early and stayed in the home until about 6:00 PM because he was so bored that he didn’t care how he was feeling, he wanted to head out of the hosue. He got a blessing and is feeling a little bit better now, so hopefully we’ll be able to get more accomplished this week.

We also have not been able to contact Craig Shipley at all, so that’s been pretty discouraging. We’re going to spend every single day this week just knocking on his door after lunch and just hoping that we eventually get in contact with him. It’s just really discouraging because we got our hopes up from hearing the call that he wanted to get baptized as soon as possible and we still haven’t been able to get in with him. *sigh* That’s missionary work for ya, I guess. Apart from that though, this transfer has easily been the best transfer of my mission just basing it solely on whether or not I’m happy, so that’s good. Anyway, hope you all have a great week! Love, Elder Foxx

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Week 14; Feb. 17, 2014: A Carton of Ice Cream and a Bachelor Pad

(Email #1)

I’m super depressed and angry and I hate everything.
The end.

ElderFoxxFunny

 

(Note from family: The email and picture above totally cracked us up. If you know Skyler, you know his sense of humor… ROFL!!! Now for his “real” email…)

(Email #2)
Hello!

So unfortunately, we haven’t been able to get a lesson in with Craig Shipley. We tried contacting him all week and we didn’t get a hold of him until Saturday night and it sounds like he’s now working nights and sleeping during days because of training for work he has to do so he told us that all of next week isn’t going to work. So it sounds like we won’t get to teach him until next week, which kind of sucks.
However, here’s some really good news!

So two weeks ago, the Bella Via ward has been telling us of this less-active guy who lives in a house and nobody has been able to contact them. So we knock on the door and he answers right then and there and we were able to get a return appointment for the next week.

So we went back this last Wednesday and stopped by to get to know him. We enter the house and it is a total bachelor’s pad. Seriously, you walk into the door and there’s a pool table, a bar with beer on the tap, a flat-screen TV, darts, and stickers and posters everywhere, and a huge surround sound system. In fact, the very first thing he does when he welcomes us in is offers us a beer. Anyway, so we got talking to him and he flat-out told us what his story was. He served his mission (I think in Argentina) and then got sent home early and hasn’t been to church since. He is divorced and has three kids (an 18-year old son, a 14-year old son, and a daughter in between) He told us he’s not interested in coming back to church and he’ll back in his own time, but he invited us over to have dinner the next day so we can get to know his sons because he wants us to get to know them, not to teach them anything, but just to hang out. So he has a huge respect for missionaries because of his experience as a missionary.

We come back the very next night and we meet his kids. The 18-year old was downstairs playing Battlefield 4 on the PS4 (gosh, that feels weird to say) and we tried talking to him and get to know him. At first, the kids were pretty quiet but as we just talked to them and hung out, they really grew to like us. We ended up playing Volleyball and talking about movies and joking around and everything. And the dad played some metal songs in his surround sound and then as a joke started playing Called to Serve, which was pretty hilarious. But it was weird because the guy kept trying to get us to break every rule in the book. He continually offered us beer, tried to get us to leave the mission boundaries and told us he wanted to take us to flagstaff, etc. So it was feeling pretty weird, but we just chose to role with it and be as obedient as possible while also just trying to be their friends. In the end, it was super successful because we gained a good relationship with him and his kids AND he told us to invite our whole zone over to his home on Monday (today) so he can feed all the missionaries and they can come over and play volleyball. And when we were about to leave the house, the 14-year old yelled “Wait!” and ran downstairs to give us a handshake and fistpump. So just from that alone, we know that it was very successful. We’re confident that the kids are going to be key in working with the family. It’s going to be a slow process, but this should lead to good things.

Apart from that, Elder Bailey and I decided to make it a personal goal to try and get in 5 hours of service per week. And so we went around making sure that all the members knew we were looking for service. We prayed a lot about it and on the very next day (Wednesday) we were able to get 5 hours of service that day. We were able to do service for someone in the sister’s area who is moving out. The sisters weren’t able to do the service because they had to work at the temple, so they delegated to their district leaders, who then delegated to Elder Smith and Elder Ault (two Elders that live with us) and so all four of us decided to head over there. It was a LOT of work. We were moving out all kinds of stuff. Lots of heavy furniture, glass, cupboards, etc. It was super duper heavy! It’s a miracle we were able to get it all out. I can’t imagine sisters being able to do this at all, I’ll be totally honest. But the guy was super nice and offered us Taco Bell at the end.

We then were able to do more service on Saturday and helped a family in one of our wards move out on 7AM. Although that was super quick and we cleaned out the house by 8AM because a LOT of people showed up to help. But anyway, lots of service this week and we’re hoping this keeps up.

We then got to go to the Temple Open-House on Saturday night (February 15th) with the Watson’s. It is so weird that the Open-house is over now. My entire mission has been building up to this open-house and now it’s already over. It feels so weird. What are we going to do for proselyting anymore? All I know how to do is invite people to the temple! lol

Anyway, it’s been a really great week. It’s been weird adjusting to this new area because nobody has a filter here (seriously, NOBODY has a filter here), but I’ve really grown to love it really quick. And I love my companion and everyone in the house and everything. This transfer has been great!

Anyway, I hope everyone has a great week! Love you all!

Love,
Elder Foxx

Temple1 Temple2 Temple3

Week 13; Feb. 10, 2014: Off to a great start!

Hello!

So the first half of the week was pretty much spent saying goodbye to various members of the wards. Unfortunately, a lot of them were either not home or had to leave soon so I couldn’t take pictures of everyone. But still, I was able to take a few pictures. Leaving the area kind of left me with mixed feelings. At one side, I was ready for something new, but on the other hand, I was really going to miss the people there.

So a bit of a backstory before I get into transfers. Last Monday, Elder Parsons actually approached me and told me he knew who my next companion is and what my next area is and he told me he is really excited. So I thought it was weird that he already knew. And he also told me that my companion already knows that I would be with him, so I thought that was weird. Then throughout the week, Elder Ward (one of the Elders that lives with us) was bugging me about how he also knew who I was going to be with and where I was going. And then one of my zone leaders (Elder Wind) also knew… so it seemed like just about everyone knew what was happening to me except forme. I was getting super anxious and a little annoyed, haha!

So Wednesday happens and the moment that they announce the name, “Elder Bailey” it just clicked to me that Elder Bailey was the first missionary that Elder Parsons trained. So I knew immediately when they said his name that I was going to be companions with him. And sure enough, my name was then announced and we were companions. So I finally found out why Elder Parsons was super excited. Because his two sons are now companions.

So I went from the Gilbert Zone down to the Desert Ridge zone, which is technically in Mesa and is at the border of the mission. It’s funny because we actually have to go out of the mission to go to the nearest Walmart in our area.

It’s been a little weird adjusting to the new area since this is the first time I have been transferred to another area so I kind of feel like I’m “starting over” in a sense. The two wards that we cover (the Bella Via ward and Santa Rita ward) are very far apart from each other, so there is a lot of biking we’ve had to do. This area feels very different than the last area I was in. I think everyone here is way more goofy and loose than the last area I was in. Which isn’t bad, but there’s definitely a noticeable difference.

In other news, it sounds like there’s going to be a baptism soon. There’s this guy named Craig Shipley who has a less-active wife and has been investigating the church for several years and has gone through about 3-4 different sets of missionaries in the past. But we got a call a couple days ago and apparently he went through the temple open-house and it just hit him right there that he needs to be baptized. And he wanted to get baptized this upcoming Saturday, but we won’t be able to meet with him until Wednesday and even though he’s been taught all the lessons before, we still need to make sure he understands everything and whatnot so I don’t think it’ll happen this Saturday. Still, it’s pretty exciting.

Elder Bailey and I are getting along great. He’s a huge goofball and fun to be around with. Loves to quote movies and songs all the time. Can be a little too goofy at times, but I don’t foresee any problems with this companionship whatsoever. Actually day one of this transfer has pretty much been a total opposite of day one of last transfer (whereas last transfer, I was thinking, “this is going to be a loooong transfer…” and this one I was thinking, “this is going to be a good transfer!”)

Anyway, so things have been going pretty good. Hope you guys have had a great week!

Love, Elder Foxx

Pictures…

Elder Foxx, Elder Parsons, Elder Baker

Elder Foxx, Elder Parsons, and Elder Baker (Val Vista Ward)

Elder Foxx, Elder Parsons, and Elder Baker (Val Vista Ward)2

Gilbert Zone-

(Back) Elder Hill, Elder Balzer, Elder Davis

(Middle) Sister Linford, Sister Wilstenheum (not sure if correct spelling), Elder Jewkes, Elder Ward, Elder Caldwell, Elder McBride, Elder Lilywhite, Elder Whitecar, Elder Rich

(Front) Elder Foxx

Gilbert Zone

Brother Allen (Saratoga Ward Mission Leader)Brother Allen (Ward Mission Leader for Saratoga Ward)

Reynolds Family

Reynold's family

Elder Bailey and Elder Foxx

Elder Bailey and Elder Foxx

Brother Goodman (Val Vista Ward Mission Leader)Brother Goodman (Ward Mission Leader for Val Vista Ward)

Gilbert Temple at Night

GilbertTempleNight2

GilbertTempleNight close up GilbertTempleNight

Week 12; February 3, 2013: FINALLY, A GOOD WEEK!

So as I said last time, we had a scheduled appointment with an investigator last Monday and luckily it still went through. He is a 13-year old kid named Eric who has a lot of LDS friends and pretty much already decided that he wants to be a member. His parents were not sure at first, but after going through the temple, they became super supportive. So we had the lesson with Eric and with his mom Darsi. We basically asked her to listen in on the discussion just so she knows what Eric is getting into. We taught the Restoration of the Gospel and at the start of the lesson, Darsi was pretty much there just to be supportive to Eric, but wasn’t interested in learning much about the church herself. But by the end of the lesson, she got really interested and we were able to commit both Eric and her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. So the lesson went really, really well and that just made the whole day. That lesson sparked the excitement about doing missionary work that I wanted to have.

Then Tuesday, we were able to go to the Gilbert Temple with a family and it went really well. It was absolutely gorgeous and the spirit was very strong there! Everytime people talk about the Gilbert Temple, they almost always talk about either the Baptismal font or the Celestial Room, and I can see why because they are both very impressive. The family that we went with really enjoyed it too, and what was funny was that the nonmember had no questions about it whatsoever, but the mother of the family asked about why the Angel Moroni was pointed a certain way. I was actually surprised that I remembered it had to do with the Second Coming where Christ would appear again and so it had to point to that certain direction, so that was what I explained to her. Anyway, we all really enjoyed it!

Then unfortunately, not a lot happened on Wednesday and Thursday. But Friday, I went on exchanges with Elder Ward (one of the Elders that lives in the same house as us) and we actually had a “First Discussion” lesson with an investigator and we taught the Restoration. It went really well as well and when we asked her to give a closing prayer, she actually couldn’t compose herself and started breaking down in tears as she was praying. Her husband tried to act like he wasn’t all interested and was just supportive for his wife, but with the questions he asked and the way he seemed, I think he’s more interested than he leads on. He asked quite a few random questions that had nothing to do with the lesson, such as Jesus drinking wine (we haven’t mentioned the word of wisdom until after he asked that) and then asked if Michael Jackson was Mormon. He’s not a part of any particular religion, he pretty much just takes what he likes about other religions and makes his own personal belief based off of that and many of his beliefs are very close to what we believe in the church so I could see him becoming a member given the right time and the right scenario.

So that was pretty much the highlight of the week. Unfortunately, not a lot got done during any of the other days of the week, but just those three days were well worth it.

As far as what’s happening to me, I’m going to be extending in this mini-mission for another 6 weeks. Transfer calls came last night and I’m leaving the area and Elder Whitecar is staying. He was happy and started singing a song about me having to pack up and leave. *sigh* Anyway, so I’m going to have a different address soon enough, so I’ll let you know what that is next week. Soooo yeah, doesn’t look like things are going exactly as planned as far as thinking that I’d get the full-time call by now, but oh well.
Anyway, I hope everyone has a great week!

Love,
Elder Foxx

Week 11: January 27, 2014: Another discouraging week

Hello! Well, I hate to say it again, but this week has been pretty discouraging. We FINALLY had stuff that was set and planned out to do throughout the week. Tuesday in particular, we had a lot of stuff planned out and a lot of appointments to get to. So I was actually pretty excited to actually get to do stuff on Tuesday… and what happens? My companion tells me the morning of that I’m going on exchanges… and apparently he planned on exchanges happening for an entire week and didn’t think to tell me until the morning of. Sooooo that was frustrating.

And while I was on exchanges, the Elder that I was with had nothing going on with his area. We spent the day going around trying to contact people who weren’t home, and then our dinner appointment cancelled. Then at the end of the exchange, my companion tells me that I’m going on exchanges again… And then on the second exchange, I was with an Elder who was totally unmotivated to do anything and pretty much took a nap a good majority of the time. So I didn’t have anything to do then.So I had to go on exchanges two days in a row without any advance notice, in which I really didn’t get anything accomplished in those two days. And then when I return from that exchange, I find out that all the appointments went really well AND we obtained an investigator. His name is Eric and he’s 13 years old and pretty much wants to get baptized. Even his parents said, “Yeah, I don’t think we’ll ever be members of your church, but our son’s probably going to be joining you guys soon.” So he’s pretty golden from the sounds of it. So we had a teaching appointment that Friday at 4PM… and we show up. And his parents aren’t home and they had to reschedule. They rescheduled for today at 4PM, so I’m really hoping this finally happens. And we also had two appointments to share a temple presentation with some nonmembers today… and yesterday, we got phone calls and both of them cancelled.

Oh, but there was one good thing that happened! My companion FINALLY had a change of heart and we were able to invite the Poblano’s to the temple for tomorrow (Tuesday) at 3PM and we’ll be able to go with them because Sister Poblano has a nonmember brother and his girlfriend who are also tagging along. So I’m SOOO excited for that to finally happen! I’m just praying that nothing goes wrong and nothing cancels.So yeah, that’s pretty much what the week was. I wish I had better things to share, but it’s been a struggle. I am really excited to get to the Gilbert Temple, so I really hope everything works out!

Anyway, hope everyone has a great week!

Love, Elder Foxx