Week 81; May 25, 2015: Answers to Prayers

This week has been a bit of an odd one throughout the majority of it, however there were many blessings that payed off in the end.

Wednesday, we had Interviews with our Mission President. (so basically the Mission President would interview each missionary in the zone and in the meantime there would be trainings by the assistants, zone leaders, and vehicle and housing coordinators). Then on Thursday, we had our early-morning trip to the Gilbert Temple. It was good to be at the Temple as always. But I had really been struggling with a lot of things and have really been praying and seeking for help and guidance as I was in the Temple… I have been doing that for a long, long time now and felt like I haven’t been able to get any answers, which was frustrating. Then on Friday, just before the Weekly Planning meeting started, one of the senior missionaries, Elder Catmull shared a story he felt impressed to share with us. He said he asked President during interviews on Wednesday if it would be appropriate to share because he felt highly impressed that he needed to share this for someone in specific and he had no idea who it was. And while he said everything he was saying, I knew exactly that the person he needed to speak to was me. The story he shared and everything involved in it and the things he testified of related exactly to me and was exactly what I needed to hear and was an answer to the many times I have gone to the Temple and have prayed and sought for guidance. I know that the Lord does indeed answer prayers and he often answers them through the people he surrounds us with. The answer may not come right away, in fact it usually doesn’t, and that’s where the Christlike attribute of patience comes into play… but it will come. And that’s why it is so important that people follow the impressions of the Holy Ghost… because you may just be the answer to someone’s prayer.

Leslie's baptism

Saturday was a really good day. Leslie is now Baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And it was a really good Baptism. Bishop Hoffman Baptized him and on the following Sunday confirmed him and gave him the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It’s been really cool working with Leslie and see him get to this point. His family was there too, which was great to see. His step-mom, his younger sister, and two younger brothers. The talks were great and the spirit was strong. Afterwards, there were refreshments provided near the serving area just to talk for a little bit – nothing too special – and the ward really stepped up in fellowshipping and friendshipping and socializing with Leslie and his family. It was a pretty cool miracle. Leslie’s sister actually asked her mom if she could start attending this church because she was really touched and really felt something at the Baptism. As you can imagine, that’s something that every missionary loves to hear.

And Sunday was also good too. This Baptism really helped the ward out a lot and everything seems to be having sort of a dramatic change, which is good. We’ll be meeting with Leslie again tonight to go over the new member lessons and we plan on having him receive the Aaronic Priesthood and be ordained to the office of Priest this next Sunday and then soon after take him to the Temple to have him do Baptisms for the Dead. Really exciting stuff is ahead.

And now that I have my camera with me, I can start uploading things again. So a couple weeks ago, I hit my 18-month mark in the mission and continuing on with the tradition – burned some slacks. Hopefully I can get the video uploaded today because these computers are RIDICULOUSLY slow.

Anyway, I hope that you all have a wonderful day and a great week! God Bless!

Love, Elder Foxx

 

(Elder Foxx couldn’t get the video to upload so we will have to wait to see the burning of the slacks…)

Week 80; May 18, 2015: 18 Months

Well, it’s the start of a new transfer. Elder Conover and I are staying here, so nothing new in that regards. Officially hit eighteen months last week and so now all the sisters that came out with me are home. That’s kind of weird. Had the traditional landmark bonfire, but didn’t bring my camera with me so I don’t have anything to share in that regards. It’s been kind of an interesting day today.

I wish I could say there were some pretty cool experiences that happened this week, but it’s been a pretty discouraging week. I won’t go into too much detail, but a lot of things have just been getting in the way of things, so it’s been kind of hard. The adversary is still trying to push and push as he always does. Nothing really new there. There’s a reason why they say “endure to the end” because life is tough and it’s hard, but we just got to push through it and can’t give up. Being on a mission, I’ve learned a lot about life… A LOT about life. Which is one of the benefits of serving is all the things that you do learn… and then the other benefit being in how much you get to see the lives of others blessed. This upcoming Saturday will be Leslie’s Baptism, which will be really exciting to see. He’s excited, but a little nervous, which is really natural… but I think it will be really good for the ward to see a convert Baptism and get them more excited about missionary work.

Well, don’t have a whole lot else to say. Hardships will come, but the church is still true. Have a great week everyone!

Love, Elder Foxx

Week 79; May 11, 2015: Happy Mother’s Day!

Happy Belated Mother’s Day to all the Mother’s out there!

This past week, I can’t think of anything in particular to share. Not a whole lot of people have been answering the door, which isn’t fun. It seems on average for every 10 doors knocked, about 2 people answer. It’s been hard to get in contact with people and get a hold of them, but nonetheless all is well. Everyone is healthy again, so that’s good. Mother’s Day was yesterday, so that was nice getting to use Skype again and seeing how out-of-touch with programs I am whenever I see Skype and I think, “What the heck did they do to this thing? I don’t even know how to use this anymore!”

I don’t have a whole lot to say except that I have learned a lot the past several weeks. About the world and about the Gospel and about people – human nature and everything. Missions are probably the most interesting thing in the world. You learn a LOT about people around you and you learn a lot about yourself… and in turn, you learn a lot about God and his Son, Jesus Christ.

Something I have discovered with talking to people on the street or entering into people’s homes, even if they are inactive members, is how dark the world is today because people have lost hope. We all experience hardships in this life and sometimes when experiencing those hardships, it is easy to point the blame to God. When people get to that point, they stop believing that God loves them. And they would rather have a God that doesn’t exist than a God that doesn’t love them, so it leads them to choose not to believe in Him at all. It is a tragedy I have seen and am seeing countless times. It’s a tragedy I have felt in my own life when I forget the doctrine that God loves me. In 1 John 4: 7-11, it reads:

” 7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another. ”

The very first principle we teach people as Missionaries is that “God is our Loving Heavenly Father.” It’s the very first principle for a reason. It’s crucial to their understanding and desire to come unto the Savior. Only by knowing and understanding this can we continue on. Too many people forget this principle in their lives or because hardships come into their life, they refuse to believe in this principle and thereby choose to refuse to believe in God. When we do that, we only damage ourselves. But that is why the church is here. God works His miracles through His servants. Each of us need to share God’s love to those around us and show them that we do have a God who Lives. We have a Savior who Lives and knows and understands us completely and as such can be there for us each and every day. “During the Good, the Bad, the In-between, He Is Here.” This is my testimony that I know Christ Lives and that He is the way to Salvation. He Restored His Church upon the earth so that we may be able to come and Find Him, and I pray that we do so in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Love, Elder Foxx

Watch Video message from Elder Foxx (this is when he was Skyping with us on Mother’s Day)

 

Week 78; May 4, 2015: Something Going Around

Not a whole lot ended up happening this week. We had a lot of sick days. Friday and Sunday, everyone in the house except for Elder Conover was sick and had to stay in, so that sucked. Lots of throwing up… I think there’s just something spreading around because a couple other missionaries were previously sick and so were a few people in the area that we’ve stopped by… Everyone feels fine now, so hopefully all will go well.

On Tuesday afternoon, we went to an investigator – Ms. Meadows home and pulled weeds in the backyard. She is a school teacher and a LOT of kids from the ward either have her as a teacher or have had her as a teacher at one point, so she has lots of connections. She’s been meeting with missionaries for a while, but hopefully we can get her pushed into the right direction. She had to leave shortly after we were finished, so we didn’t get to share much, but just from some of the things she is saying, we can tell that the spirit is working with her.

Wednesday was zone conference, which included the Bella Vista zone (our zone), Ironwood zone, San Tan zone, Queen Creek zone, and Florence zone. Pretty much the South-East half of the mission. A lot of it focused on goal setting and having a set vision. President talked about making sure that we have a “30 Day Plan,” “60 Day Plan,” and “90 Day Plan” for people in our area that can be prepared for Baptism, so that way we have a vision and know how to set goals and make plans to continually find and teach new investigators.

They also hinted at a new program that the church is introducing into the mission. Pretty much “Adjusting to life back home” is what it is. When you enter the mission, you go through this 12-week training process of “Adjusting to Missionary Life.” And now apparently they’re going to start doing something like that for your last 12 weeks of your mission to adjusting back to life outside of the mission. Which is actually pretty funny because it’s something that I’ve joked about being a thing for months and months and now it legitimately is actually about to be a thing. Now idea how it’s going to work, they didn’t really talk about that. My guess is that it’ll be about setting goals for school, work, and also how to keep up good habits that we’ve built in the mission to keep us centered in the Gospel. That’s just my guess, we’ll see what happens.

Wednesday evening, we had another lesson with Leslie and he’s still right on track. We taught him about Fasting, Tithing, and Fast Offerings and he has no issues with any of those commandments, so that’s pretty cool. He’s super easy to teach, it’s pretty nice, but also a little weird. I’m always used to coming across a concern of some sorts, but lessons with him is literally just teach the doctrine, promise blessings, give commitment, ask if they have any questions, end with prayer.

And that’s pretty much the sum of what went on this week. Hopefully none of us get sick again. Transfers will happen in about a week from now. I’m not expecting anything too big, but you never really know with transfers so we’ll see.

Hope you all have a great week!

Love, Elder Foxx