Week 20; March 31, 2014: Teaching, getting the youth involved

There’s not a whole lot to update this week as far as the missionary work goes, sad to say. Although we did get to do some service for a guy named Chris Jennings. We went to Brother Levi and he walked us over to his neighbor across the street with us and knocked on the door and introduced us and he said, “Alright, so the missionaries need something to do and they can either preach to you or they can do your yard.” He chose for us to do his yard lol

Normally he would do it himself, but he has been having some major back problems and wouldn’t be able to do it so it’s a good thing we came. We mowed his backlawn, got rid of the dead lemons that were littered all over the place and pulled the weeds. The whole time we were saying “thank you” for letting us do service and he kept going, “Stop thanking me, you’re the ones who did the work, I need to be thanking you.” So as we were talking, he’s gotten to know us and what it is that we do as missionaries and he really liked the idea of us going around and doing service for people when we can’t teach. He’s a pretty cool guy and honestly apart from his smoking habbit, I could see him being a member.

We have also been trying something that we have been thinking about doing for a while and that is to teach the youth the missionary lessons. (especially the older ones that are preparing to serve missions) The idea is that we would teach the youth the lessons, and then get the youth to teach the lessons to their family, and then eventually the end-end goal would be to get the youth to be able to take us out on splits to visit their friends and have all three of us teach and they would be super prepared for when they go on a mission. We have been able to teach two families the “Restoration of the Gospel” and it is the first time Elder Bailey and I have ever taught together (we haven’t even done role-plays this entire transfer)… with all that being said, we teach pretty well together. We are both able to balance out however much each person says and our transitions worked pretty well. I was surprised considering that these are the only two times either of us have ever taught each other. Hopefully, this continues to go well.

Apart from that, most of what else happened this week was me getting ready for the temple. It was really weird because I spent the good first half of the day without Elder Bailey. So here I was, by myself with my parents, still wearing the name badge and all… That was probably the weirdest part. Especially when we went to stores and of course I’m still a missionary and everyone can see that, yet I’m by myself with my parents. The weirdest part of the day was coming back to the house to get a couple of T-shirts from my drawer from my room. It was really difficult being there. I felt soooo weird. lol Anyway, it was still good to get that done again. And we were able to go to Waffle House, which I missed SO much! So I’ll be going to the temple on April 4th, which is really exciting. I’m looking forward to going there.

We also celebrated Elder Smith’s birthday on Friday (which I took pictures of and a video of him blowing out the candles). He just turned nineteen. Yup. We are living in the days when missionaries have a birthday when they turn nineteen lol. Anyway, so the sisters made a carrot cake and cookies and we all went as a zone to have lunch at Subway. So that was a pretty fun day as well. (see pictures)

Anyway, that’s about it. Hope everyone has a great week!

Love,
Elder Foxx

Pictures!

Elder Foxx in front of the Belle Via fountain…

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Celebrating Elder Smith’s birthday…

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Picture of rattlesnake (from last week’s post)…

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Service…

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Zone…

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Week 19; March 24: Rattle Snake Surprise

So this last Wednesday was transfers and not a whole lot changed in my zone. Elder Warner, Elder Ault, and Sister Holcomb were the only missionaries who left and then Elder Baker, Elder McGraw, and Sister Ball came in. So I’m still here with Elder Bailey for this transfer.

Not a whole lot happened this week beyond Friday night and opening up the full-time mission call to the Arizona Gilbert Mission. I still think it’s weird that I’ll be flying all the way to Provo just to come back, but ah well. It’ll be good. I appreciate everyone for coming, it was great seeing you again and I look forward to going to the Gilbert Temple soon!
Saturday, something fun did happen though. One thing that our mission president has trying to get us do is come up with “outlandish finding ideas” (finding people to teach). So Elder Bailey came up with this idea of playing instruments and singing to church hymns an hour before a neighborhood party starts. The idea grew from the 4 people that live in our house to the whole entire zone. So on Saturday from 3:30 – 5:00, we all stood by the park and just played different church hymns. Elder Bailey and Elder McGraw played Guitar, Elder Duval played Ukulele, and Elder Smith played Violin. Interesting mix of instruments, I know lol. Not a whole lot came of it, but it was fun. And it got us out there and got us seen by people which is the main reason President wanted us to come up with outlandish finding ideas to begin with is to get us seen.

And then this morning, something exciting came up. We offered to pull our neighbor’s weeds and so we go pull them and there was this one weed that just wasn’t going out (it was underneath a rock). So we push the rock and we find a baby rattle snake. So Elder Smith decides to catch it and put it in a jar and put it in the kitchen table… except he didn’t close the lid all the way. So at about 9:00 AM, Elder Smith and Elder McGraw were already outside of the house so it was just me and Elder Bailey. And we walk by the table and we notice that the jar is empty. Then we move stuff around the table and there was the snake just slithering by the table. It ends up slithering out and going all over the floor. It took us forever, but we were able to catch it. But rather than killing it, Elder Bailey just let the snake go in our backyard. Sooo yeah, we have a rattle snake in our backyard now just wandering around lol. I saw it slid over the wall so it’s probably bugging someone else’s backyard now.

I never got to take a picture of the rattle snake, but Elder Bailey is going to send me the pictures he took later on tonight and then I’ll send it to you.

Anyway, so that’s what happened this week. Again, it was great seeing you all again and I look forward to seeing you again at the Temple. Hope you guys all have a great week!

Love,
Elder Foxx

Update: Here is the picture of the rattlesnake…

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Full Time Mission Call!

Elder Foxx received his full time mission call…

Elder Bailey and the Zone leaders were thrilled that Elder Foxx will finish his mission in Gilbert. Elder Bailey told us that he and other missionaries in their zone as well as members in the wards they serve have been praying that Elder Foxx would receive his call to serve in Gilbert. We are excited for this next phase in Elder Foxx’s mission.

Elder Foxx will report the MTC on April 16th, but will continue serving in his current area until he leaves for Provo.

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Week 18; March 17: Making Lemonade

Hello!

So this past week, we have continued to do some more service. Lots of yard work and the like, but there was one day when me and Elder Baley used caulking guns for the shelves for the Dane’s and also moved in some new drawers they got upstairs. So that’s what that picture is all about.

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We also had dinner one day with the Gissel’s. The dad was out of town so it was just the mother, her kids, and then a friend who became a member about three months ago named Jordan. It was pretty cool to hear their conversion story because both Sister Gissel and Jordan are converts. Jordan pretty much said that he never heard of a mormon until he started dating this girl and then he googled what a Mormon was and amazingly enough actually went to an article on mormon.org about Joseph Smith. And so he totally related to the confusion Joseph Smith had about all the different churches and started praying about it, getting a Book of Mormon, and then taking missionary discussions. We had navaho tacos for dinner and then they took us to this Waffle truck that was out in the middle of the street called “Waffle Love,” where they put in every single sugary thing on a waffle. I had a chocolate chip waffle that had chocolate syrup on top of it and then had bananas, whipped cream, and then strawberries on top. (they took a picture of it and texted it to you guys, but I don’t know if you got it or not) Afterwards, none of us felt too good but it was worth it!

The Gissel’s little girl ended up throwing up twice that night. First in the middle of the opening prayer before dinner and then second after they drove us back from Waffle Love. So we gave her a blessing as well as Jordan because he was recovering from a leg surgery. Turns out it was not only the first blessing he’s recieved, but it was the first time he has ever seen a blessing take place. So that kind of put on a little bit of pressure!

Then we went on exchanges with one of the zone leaders, Elder Duval (from Alaska) and I had to lead out the area. In the morning, we pulled weeds and mowed the lawn for the Watson’s (only their 8-year old son Porter and 13-year old son Jackson were home)

So we were working and Porter was outside digging (just for fun, I guess) and then the conversation came up about swimming and Elder Duval mentioned he can’t swim. So here’s how the conversation goes:

Porter: What? You can’t swim? How come?

Me: Well, you gotta remember he’s from Alaska.

Elder Duval: Yeah, all the water there’s frozen.

Porter: Oh. Well, welcome to America, now you can swim!

We could not hold our laughter. Anyway, we then tried stopping by a bunch of names that weren’t home. But we did stop by these girls on the street who asked us if we could buy some lemonade from their lemonade stand. So we talk to them for a bit and find out that they are members from another ward and we end up leaving them with Mesa Easter Pageant invitations and told them to start handing those out to everyone that comes to buy some lemonade lol! Whether or not that actually went anywhere, I don’t know, but I’d like to think that we got 20 OYM’s from that experience, haha!

As far as my mission call goes, I haven’t heard a single darn thing and neither has President. We’re still waiting on Salt Lake…… and transfers are this Wednesday…… sooooo yeah, not too happy about that. I wish I could give better news in regards that, but I literally know nothing and Salt Lake isn’t telling President anything either apparently. Hopefully we’ll find out soon, but I’ve been saying that for how long now? *sigh* I’m pretty sure that we’ll find out SOMETHING by tomorrow just because it’s the last day of the transfer.

Anyway, I hope you all have had a great week and will have a great week this week!

Love, Elder Foxx

Week 17; March 10, 2014: It’s a Jungle!

Hello!

So this week went by pretty fast. Not entirely sure why, but it did. We continue to do lots of service for people. Most of it has been yard work. It’s kind of funny because the first transfer, a lot of the service we did was indoor work such as tiling and whatnot and now this transfer, we’re doing a lot of outdoor work… right when alergy season hits. That part hasn’t been too fun.

There was one nonmember we were able to do service for when I was on exchanges with Elder Olkjer (District Leader). He said that we were going to pull weeds and I figured, “Okay, that’s pretty easy, this’ll get done quick.” …It was a JUNGLE in her backyard. Oh my goodness, it was a jungle. And all the weeds had sticky hairs and thorns on them and neither of us had gloves so we had to pull them barehanded. We worked for about 4 hours on that yard and I think we got about 25% of the weeds back there. There was a TON.

There was one interesting time when a mailman randomly drives and pulls up to us and asks us a question about Matthew 20:24-30 and asked, “So Jesus basically says that marriage is in this world only. And I even read the Joseph Smith translation thing and it said the same thing so how do you then justify the whole eternal marriage thing?” And so I explained to him that the chapter heading read “worldly marriage endures in this life only” and explained that marriage can only be eternal through the priesthood and then referenced the scripture in Matthew Chapter 16 (I think?) talking about how things that are bound on earth shall be bound on heaven because of the keys that Christ gave to his apostles. We talked a little bit more and I guess the guy actually lives in Scottsdale and obviously he’s had experience with LDS people and possibly missionaries in the past. I don’t know if he’s being taught at all or anything, but we asked if we could refer missionaries to him and he never really gave us a straight answer.

Anyway, so beyond that, not a whole lot to report. Excpet on Friday, me, Elder Bailey, and the Zone leaders went to the mission office to fill out assessments about me and how I am as a missionary. So the last thing that I heard from the mission president is that our part (the Arizona Gilbert Mission’s part) is done and so now we’re just waiting on Salt Lake. So from what it sounds like, I should be getting a call soon. My guess would probably be by the end of this week. Hopefully. We’ll see what happens. But basically all I know is that the mission’s part in reporting to Salt Lake is now done.

That’s about all I have to report on. I hope you have a great week this week and a great time at the cruise!

Love,

Elder Foxx

Week 16; March 3, 2014: Arrested! & Gilbert Temple Celebration/Dedication

Email #1

Soooooo remember when I was talking about this less-active guy who wanted to get us to Flagstaff and tried to get us to break the rules and everything?

Well, I’m not allowed to say specifically what happened, but there needs to be an Emergency Transfer because Elder Bailey got arrested. Sooo my address is going to change and everything. Yeah, fun.
Arrested
(Note from family: Above was a joke in case you weren’t sure…)

Email #2:

Hello!

So if there needs to be clarification on the last email, we went to a member’s home for dinner and he had handcuffs, a gun, and a beating stick that cops use. So he dropped us off at the park to play Ultimate Frisbee with a bunch of the youth as well as two other missionaries and we took that picture.

Anyway, this week has consisted of doing a lot of service. I’m pretty sure we’ve gotten at least 11 or 12 hours of service this week, which is good. One trick that Elder Bailey and I have noticed is that most members won’t let us do service for them unless we say “We need to get 5 hours of service a week” and make it sound like it’s required of us. Then they actually let us do stuff, ha ha! We’ve been doing lots of yard work this week. Saturday in particular was a full day because we did weeding from 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM (the rain helped A LOT) and then from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM we dug trenches all around this guy’s backyard (again, the rain helped A LOT) Then we had dinner and then we went to the Stake Center to watch the Youth Cultural Celebration.

The Cultural Celebration was pretty cool. There was a LOT of youth… I mean, DANG, there was a lot of youth! And it was pouring rain the whole entire night. It was kind of cool though because the moment that President Monson appears and the kids start cheering, the rain stops completely. And then when the cultural celebration actually started, the rain dumped on them again. Considering the amount of time the kids had to practice, they all did a fantastic job. The whole thing was pretty cheesy, but I was able to feel the spirit and it got me more excited about being a missionary, which was good.

Then Sunday was of course the dedication of the Gilbert Temple and we attended all three sessions. I have to say it’s weird that the temple is finally dedicated and everything. My entire time serving in the Gilbert Mission has been building up to that temple… and now it’s complete. And I only have a couple more weeks until the end of this transfer, so in a way the dedication of that temple sort of marks the nearing of the end of my time here in Gilbert. So in a way, I’m kind of glad I had this extension just so I could be here for both the Cultural Celebration and the Temple Dedication.

That’s about all I have to say. I haven’t really heard much about my mission call other than that I know President Nattress has been talking with Salt Lake a lot. It sounds like he wants to go on exchanges sometime this week, so I’ll probably hear something later on this week about what’s going to happen.

Anyway, hope you all have a great week! Thanks for all the emails you send, I really appreciate them!

Love, Elder Foxx!