Tuesday, November 11th was the Baptism of Kerry Kenney. She had been investigating the church for over five years and that day had finally come. She went through several sisters, loads of zone leaders (a few of which eventually became assistants to the President), and she finally recognized the importance of entering into this covenant and followed the promptings of the spirit to do so. When me and Elder McGonigal were meeting with her, she already decided very early on that she wanted me to Baptize her. It was a very humbling experience. It was a really good Baptismal service. The room was PACKED of people that she knew either from the Book Club she’s a part of, the Facebook group “Higley Friends,” or just from investigating for over five years. And her husband and her two sons were there as well, which is good. I think I could honestly say that if every single person who said they were going to be at the Baptism actually did end up going or had the chance to, we would have had to meet at the Chapel due to all the people that would be there. But we managed to cram it down to the Relief Society room (barely). When the Baptism itself was going on, I’ll be honest, it took me about three times to get it right. I just couldn’t get her completely immersed in the water, haha! It was pretty embarrassing, but we just kept doing it until it was correct. After the Baptism though, Kerry told me I did a good job and that it was actually good because then her sons really understood the importance of the ordinance and that it had to be done correctly.
Wednesday, November 12th, was our zone’s turn to attend to the Gilbert Temple for an Endowment Session. We attended the 7:00 AM session, so it was pretty early. But it was really good, the spirit was definitely there. Then afterwards, we went to Kneader’s for Breakfast and we all had the “Bottomless Cinnamon French Toast” since you could get free refills of those. And it turned into a massive eating contest. I was only able to eat five of them, so it got pinned down to Elder Anderson (Elder in the other district) versus Elder Van Skyhawk (zone leader). And the results was that Elder Anderson was able to eat seven of them and Elder Van Skyhawk had him beat by eight. It was insane!
Then to end the night off, we started a fire in the fire pit that we recently got. November 12th, 2013 was the day I started the Mission. So at that day, I officially turned a year. And as tradition to the Mission Field, I burned one of my shirts to celebrate this mark of achievement! It was a pretty cool fire! Once the shirt got in there, the flames just shot up. It was really cool, and the stars were out in the night sky and there was a cool breeze outside, so it was the perfect scenery to have a fire.
The next day, we visited with the Chadwick’s to see if we could set up a time for them to go to the Temple to do Baptisms for the Dead. They expressed that they wanted to take their own family names to the Temple, so we are coordinating with the Family History Consultant of that ward so that he could introduce them to familysearch.org and Genealogy work. Our goal is to get them to the Temple before Elder McGonigal finishes his mission.
Friday, we finally got the official word on who is covering what wards and Elder McGonigal and I are now covering all three of the Seville Wards. Seville, Seville Park, and the new Seville Groves ward. Which is what we figured would happen. So in a sense, we didn’t really lose anyone that we wouldn’t get to see since all the members that did get moved from Seville Ward ended up moving to Seville Groves Ward. And then a good 60-70% of the new Seville Groves ward came from the Sister’s area. So on Friday, which was our planning meeting, we were re-arranging all the different papers of investigators, less-actives, recent-converts, etc. according to the new wards and which missionaries cover which wards. We wanted to get a new Area Book for the Seville Groves ward as soon as possible, but we checked on lds.org and they said they would create the new ward directories last Tuesday or Wednesday, but they still haven’t updated them yet. I really hope they update them soon because that’s kind of essential for us knowing what to do and where to go right now.
Saturday was of course the Phoenix Temple Cultural Celebration, which we got to watch at the San Tan Stake Center. Didn’t quite have the soaking wet look that the Gilbert Temple Cultural Celebration did, but it was still really cool, haha! I really liked the song that celebrated the military and you would see members from the First President stand up when it was their song going on. I was trying to see if I could recognize some of the youth, but the projector we were watching it on wasn’t the best quality (and they wouldn’t turn off the lights, which made it even harder to see), but I knew that there had to have been some youth that I knew that participated in it. But everyone looked like they were having fun and they all did a great job!
Sunday was then the Dedication of the Phoenix Temple. Both Kerry Kenney and the Chadwick’s were able to make it, which is great. It was a great dedication! We watched both the 10:00 AM and the 1:00 PM sessions since we had Kerry attending the 10:00 and the Chadwick’s attending the 1:00. Both sessions were great. President Monson spoke and gave the dedicatory prayer in the first session and then in the second session it was President Uchtdorf. It’s really cool to see that there is now a Temple closer to home than having to travel all the way to Mesa or Gilbert from Goodyear. So that’ll be really nice to have that when I’m finished with the mission, so the Temple will be easily accessible. If there’s one habit I really want to keep having that I’ve done on the Mission, it is attend the Temple often. We get to go to the Temple at least once a transfer (every six weeks) and it is definitely something we look forward to, so I want to keep that going and be able to attend the Temple at least once a month, if not more. That night, there was a New Member Fireside which only had about two speakers talk about their conversion story and then the rest of the time was turned to the Arizona Gilbert Mission Choir’s performance.
So this week was pretty good. Got a Baptism, went to the Temple, and we now have a new Temple in Phoenix. Not bad for a Year Mark!
Hope you all have a wonderful week!
Love, Elder Foxx
1 year shirt burning tradition…