Week 49; October 13, 2014: Baptism

So this was one crazy week!

So on Monday night, we get a text from the zone leaders to come to one of the church buildings on Tuesday at 1:00 PM. Why? Because President Nattress was showing the whole zone the movie, “Meet the Mormons” before the movie even releases in theaters. He told us how it was an assignment by the First Presidency to show all the missionaries the movie so that they know exactly what is in it and what to tell people about it. The movie was really good, so I definitely recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet. I know it’s only on specific movie theaters, and you can find out exactly where/how to watch it in this website below:

http://meetthemormons.com/

Then on Wednesday, Elder McGonigal and I were getting finished with studies and were about to head out…… when all of a sudden, we see a big truck full of suitcases, bins, and furniture pull into our backyard. *Surprise!* We got two new room-mates and nobody gave us any notice!

So what happened was that there were four missionaries living in this house known as “The Happy House” (because it was located on Happy Rd) and it has been a home for missionaries for over nine years. And they just recently shut it down and they had a small guest house for two of the Elders to live in, but they had nowhere else to put the other two in. So they moved those Elders (Elder MacFarlene and Elder Petty) into our house. And our house has since then been extremely messy because they have nowhere to put their stuff except in the living room. Our house has one small bedroom and one bathroom (one toilet and one shower). Which works fine for two missionaries, but for four, it’s a bit of a struggle. So we had to spend all morning until about 1:00 PM just moving stuff in and re-arranging stuff in the house. They put in two new beds into our small bedroom and combined my and Elder McGonigal’s beds into a bunk-bed so there would be room. So that was a little frustrating.

Then on Thursday morning, our whole zone was going to go to the Happy House to help the Housing coordinators clean out the house. And let me tell you, there is a big reason they shut down this home. It is SUPER old and dusty. There were spider webs everywhere, dust and cracks on the walls, broken and ruined couches and chairs, scorpions, spiders, and ants everywhere, etc. it was BAD!

Then after we are done cleaning the Happy House, we get a call from the Assistants saying that they were coming in 20 minutes to take away our car. What happened was that there were some sisters in another zone who got their car backed into and that car got ruined. So they ended up taking our car. Apparently, there were about 10-15 wrecks the last month and a half. It’s insane! They’re supposed to be ordering more cars in, so the idea is that we’ll get the car back in about a week or two, but I’m kind of skeptical.

So it’s been a pretty insane week… but then Saturday at 2:00 PM was the Baptism for the Alex, Pam, and Alex (10-year old son) Chadwick. Brother Mabee (the ward mission leader for Seville) performed the baptisms and me and Elder McGonigal did the witnessing. It was really exciting! I’ll be honest, at the beginning of the transfer, I wasn’t too sure what would happen with them because the first three weeks I was in the area, things kept coming up that prevented them from coming to church and from meeting with us. But since then, things have been going great. Elder Thibodeaux (Elder McGonigal’s previous companion) gave a talk on Baptism and Sister Mabee gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. The baptism had a lot of attendance.

And then Sunday was their confirmation. And it was a really great experience. Since it was fast and testimony meeting, the time soon came for the congregation to come up and bear their testimonies. Brother Chadwick came up and talked about their story for how they came here. He talked about how he grew up Catholic and when starting a family would sample several different churches. And he had a co-worker named Grant Kelly (LDS member) who would talk religion with him. Finally, Grant Kelly invited the Chadwick’s to the Gilbert Temple open-house and then to the Mesa Temple Visitor’s Center. Elder Thibodeaux and Elder McGonigal got the referral the next day and knocked on the door and have been teaching them ever since. About two months ago, Grant Kelly sadly passed away. But it was because of his example and because he was willing to invite and share that which was precious to him, it changed a family and brought them much happiness. Brother Chadwick got a little emotional towards the end of his talk and was almost at the verge of tears when he closed. He told us afterwards, “That wasn’t supposed to happen.”

That was probably the best Fast and Testimony meeting I had ever been to. It was really great seeing the Chadwick’s progress so far in just the short six weeks I’ve been in this area. The spirit was so strong! I won’t lie, there have been several times in my mission where I have been discouraged… big time. I have questioned to myself why I was out here and why I am away from the things I used to enjoy at home just to be surrounded by feelings of inadequacy and having nothing but my weaknesses exposed. I have struggled a lot in that for the past 5 months… but seeing the process in which the Chadwick’s have progressed to make it this far and that they are excited to continue learning has done more to inspire me and encourage me in being out here in the mission more than anything else. I have had the privilege of playing a small part in someone else’s life and the choices they have made. The feelings of an accomplishment like that cannot be described. I feel that after all the heartaches, the struggles, and all of the hours and hours of praying (I am not kidding, a lot of prayers before I have gone to bed have lasted nearly an hour), that things are finally brighter. I still feel overwhelmed by my weaknesses… but it feels that I am reassured that those don’t matter. And that I just need to carry on and keep doing my best… I will keep the memory of the Chadwick’s baptism and confirmation in my heart… because I know that is something that will help carry me through the rest of the hard times that will happen in my mission. And this all happened yesterday on October 12th. It was eleven months ago from that date that I first started my mission.

Transfer calls came last night at 10:15 PM (which is relatively early compared to the transfer calls the past few transfers)… and this zone is getting destroyed. Literally every single companionship except for the sisters and except for Elder McGonigal and I have a missionary leaving. Yup. Me and Elder McGonigal are staying together for another six weeks! Which probably means I’ll be in this area for a little while. This will be Elder McGonigal’s last six weeks as a missionary… it’s weird. By the time he finishes, I’ll have been out on my mission for a year. It’ll be weird… but still, things are great!

Love, Elder Foxx

Chadwick's Baptism

Elder Thibodeaux, Elder Foxx, Elder McGonigal, Alex Chadwick II, Pam Chadwick, Alex Chadwick, Brother Mabee, Sister Mabee

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