So there is this park over in Queen Creek called, “Schnepf Farms” and it is particularly popular during the month of October. As I mentioned about a month and a half ago, the Schnepf family actually lives in our ward boundaries (but they attend a ward in Queen Creek). So we stopped by there a couple weeks ago and found out they have Schnepf Farms closed on Mondays. However, they were willing to have the entire zone over on P-Day! So that is what we did last Monday. And it was by far the coolest P-Day activity I have ever had in the mission, and to be honest, probably the coolest activity I ever will have in the mission! It was just like being in a mini amusement park. They took us on a train ride all around the park, went racing on these little carts with bike pedals and steering wheels on them, went to the shooting gallery, petting zoo, swing ride, roller coaster (which in reality, was extremely small, but we were acting like it was the greatest ride in the universe just because it’s the only time we’d get to ride on a coaster in the mission), a giant slide, a massive corn maze, etc. We all had a blast! And a few of the Elders had ropes that they were lassoing other Elders with. The Schnepf’s fed us hamburgers for dinner, all the water and soda there was free for us, it was awesome! It was easily the funnest P-Day I had ever had. 5:30 PM had never been so depressing before… I mean, 5:30 PM is usually depressing on any P-Day because it means P-Day is ending, but it was even more depressing with this activity. It was very cool!
On Tuesday, we had a lesson with Kerry and just continued teaching some of the lessons and commandments such as the Gospel of Jesus Christ and The Commandments such as Church attendance and things like that. Just continuing preparing her for baptism. She’s still on date for November 11th. We’ve also been going over some of the details for the baptism itself such as who is going to speak, songs that will be played, and who will perform the ordinance of baptism and confirmation (because we’ll need to confirm her on the day she gets baptized since the Sunday after November 11th is November 16th, which is the Phoenix Temple Dedication). It’s coming up quick. Just about 8 days from now. This is really exciting because she’s been investigating for over five years now and things seem like they’re finally coming together. She also asked me to perform the Baptism. She actually asked me if I would baptize her several weeks ago, but now that the day is approaching, I figured I might as well make it official since the baptism is becoming official. I was pretty taken back by the request and did not see it coming, but I will be happy to do it. So that’s exciting. Her whole family (two sons and husband) should be at the baptism, so that’ll be really good. Hoping that all goes well there.
On Tuesday night, the Seville ward had their big Trunk-Or-Treat event and they had the traditional Chilli and Cornbread contest. I can’t tell you how many Olaf and Elsa (from Frozen) costumes I saw that day. Can’t say I found that too surprising. But it was packed and there was a LOT of people there, I was pretty surprised. They had a bouncy house there for the kids and of course all the trucks out with their candy and everything. But I was really surprised how many people will there. It was pretty fun though.
Thursday was the Halloween activity for Seville Park ward. Brother Harris (ward missionary) has been coordinating this thing for over a month now. What it is was that it wasn’t a Trunk-Or-Treat, but they called it the “Seville Park Fall Festival” and made it more of a community event rather than advertised as a ward activity hosted by the church. So it was a huge effort to getting all the members to get to know their neighbors and invite their friends to this activity. They had games there for the kids, they had cupcakes, chilli, and cookies, homemade root beer, a bouncy house, music in the background, etc. We essentially went around just socializing and talking to people. One of the kids in the ward had a box of candy he didn’t know what to do with, so we just took the box and started going around to people offering candy. People seem way more open to talk to us when we’re holding out a box of candy in front of their face… maybe that should be a requirement for missionaries to bike around and offer people candy just to get them to talk to them, haha! It was really good though and there was a LOT of attendance of people who were not members of the church, which was excellent. It was kind of interesting because the closer the event was coming, we were all getting a little worried things were going to fall apart and not that many people would show up, but lots of people did. I think in part to that was because the Seville Park ward since the end of September has been doing a “40-Day Fast.” Basically, different families of the ward chose a day out of the 40 days available in which they would fast for missionary opportunities. And so for the past while, we have been trying to follow up with people on that, and it has been going really well. So I kind of feel that part of the big attendance was a result of the members participating in that fast and naturally becoming more missionary-minded. So the event was a big success. And it’s something they plan on making a yearly thing so that people can kind of look at it as a tradition as “Oh, October 30th is coming up and they’re going to have the Seville Park Fall Festival again!”
Friday was of course Halloween. And the rule for Halloween for missionaries is that we cannot be out proselyting on Halloween evening (mostly for safety reasons). So Friday is our regular Weekly Planning, so we had that from 10:30 to 1:30. And then from 2:00 – 4:00, we had lunch and played a couple of games. And a few weeks ago, President Nattress talked to the Gilbert Temple Presidency and how hardly anyone goes to the Temple on Halloween (which makes sense). So they made this arrangement where they would have all the missionaries in the mission go to the Gilbert Temple that night. So at 4:00 PM, we all went over to the Gilbert Temple and stayed there for the rest of the night. It was really cool. Because we had such a long time, they allowed us to do anything we’d have time to do. Endowments, Initiatories, Baptisms, Confirmations, Sealings (if you are participating as a child being sealed to parents), the whole thing. I also had time to do Endowments and Initiatories, but it was still pretty good. What was surprising was that there was a family that was there that got their own Endowments that night. On a Halloween night of all times. That was pretty interesting. But anyway, Halloween was fun.
On Saturday, we finally met with the Chadwick’s again and they’re still doing good. We actually had an appointment to meet with them Wednesday, but they had to cancel because Bishop wanted to meet with them that night (welp, that’s a pretty good reason lol). And so we asked how they were doing and found out that Bishop was trying to get Brother Chadwick prepared to receive the Aaronic Priesthood, so that’s great. We’re hoping to be get Brother and Sister Chadwick Limited-Use Temple Recommends so that we could go with them to do Baptisms for the dead before Elder McGonigal finishes his mission, so hopefully all goes well with that.
Anyway, so all is well over here. It’s weird that I’m hitting up Week 4 of the transfer. It’s even weirder for Elder McGonigal. I feel so bad for him because the typical question people ask missionaries is “Where are you from?” and “How long have you been out?” And so people are always teasing him and giving him crap about how much longer he has left. It’s weird for him because now when people ask him how long he has left, it has now gone to “3 weeks.” Certain people get mixed reactions, (some making the claim that he’s trunky right off the bat, some saying, “Oh, that’s exciting, you’re going home soon!”, etc.) Course, he’s usually able to thwart people’s idea that he’s trunky when he mentions that he extended and could have been home back in October, haha. Ah, missions are funny.
Anyway, everything’s going good. Hope that all of you have a great week!
Love, Elder Foxx