Week 86; June 29, 2015: Full Circle

So this was pretty interesting. Transfers happened and I am now with Elder Grayson who has been out for 16 months and is from Sammamish, Washington. And I am back in the Desert Ridge zone over in Mesa. We cover the Desert Valley ward and the Santa Rita ward, the same ward Elder Bailey and I covered when I was just three months out. Oh, and we live in the Persimmon house… Again.

It is a little odd being here again, especially in Santa Rita ward and in the Persimmon house. It has been over 15 months since I was last here, so I can see just how much things have changed and how much things have stayed the same. One of the things that has stayed the same is that the work is a little slow still. It is just difficult because this area is on the edge of the mission and so some people who may be interested end up usually being outside the mission. Still, there are a few potentials to work with and the members are pretty missionary minded overall, so it is not like the area is completely dead or anything like that.

It is still Summer though, haha… Pretty hot, nobody outside and a lot of times most people are not home either, so it is still slow in that regard. I forgot how bad summers were here when it came to missionary work. Ah well. This too shall pass.

Nothing particularly exciting happened except on Saturday morning, the stake was putting on this family history festival and asked a bunch of missionaries to be involved in helping out. I don’t feel like we really helped that much… We were kind of just there for the sake of being there and if anyone had questions we were to help… But it was fun nonetheless, so there’s that.

Then today this morning on P-Day, we celebrated the Arizona Gilbert Mission’s 2-Year Anniversary. Just like last year, we played water games and competitions and stuff like that. And then this Wednesday July 1 on the day the mission itself was created, we will all do a session at the Temple and have a general authority speak to us. It was weird today though… Even transfer meeting was weird… I look around at the missionaries and I hardly recognize anyone anymore. Most of the missionaries I have known are “dead” and even more will be “dead” in 5 weeks… That is soooo weird.

Anyway, all is well. Hope you all have a great week and have a Happy 4th of July!!! God Bless America!

Love, Elder Foxx

Elder Sites, Jack Rhodes, %22Mama Rhodes,%22 Elder Foxx

Elder Sites, Jack Rhodes, “Mama Rhodes,” Elder Foxx

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With Wesley Esparza

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Last Lesson with Leslie

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Elder Conover ran over a dead snake with his bike without even realizing it.

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Part 1 of snake…

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Part 2 of snake…

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2 year mission celebration

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Water Games

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2 year mission celebration

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Bella Vista Zone Front: Sister Bleak, Sister Bullilan, Elder Faber, Elder Ficklin, Elder Smith, Elder VanSkyhawk Back: Elder Foxx, Elder Throckmorton, Elder Conover, Elder Brenneman, Sister and Elder Catmull

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June Transfer Day

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Gilbert Mission

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Elder Foxx with new companion Elder Grayson

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Elder Foxx and Elder Grayson

Week 85; June 22, 2015: Blessings of the Priesthood

So this week was a little long… Summer is here and it is here to stay. And really not a whole lot of teaching opportunities happened. Either people cancelled or people just weren’t home and nobody was outside… so it was a little discouraging. Nonetheless, there were still some cool things that happened.

Wednesday at 4:00 PM, we had a lesson with Leslie, his sister, two little brothers, and their godmother who came to visit for a few days. We had the lesson at the church building and it went pretty well. We began just by trying to establish expectations and getting to know them and their background a little better. And something that was pretty key with the family – especially the sister was the passing of their father who was LDS before passing away. The sister in particular talked about how it is hard not to just point the finger at God and ask, “Why?” and that she is trying to get over it and realize that there’s a reason. And so we explained how the Gospel is there to bless our families and to unite us and that through the Gospel and through ordinances done under the authority of the Priesthood that families can be united eternally beyond the grave.

We talk about how God is our Father in Heaven, how the Gospel blesses us, and how God shares the Gospel to us through his Prophets who are given Priesthood authority. We talked a lot about Priesthood authority and making sure they understood it, especially since Leslie now has the Priesthood and as such could Baptize his family if they so choose to be Baptized. We share with them the Book of Mormon and invite them to read its contents and pray to know if it is true. And then we left with the commitment, “When you receive an answer that things are true, will you follow the example of the Savior and be Baptized under that Priesthood authority?” And of course, the godmother says, “Well, I’ve already been Baptized…” and what was funny is then the sister said, “Yeah, I mean, I already have been Baptized too, but shoot, I wanna get Baptized again!” So that was pretty cool to hear. The sister is extremely receptive. Once we get Leslie to start bringing her to church with him, she will progress towards the Gospel extremely fast, I don’t doubt it.

It was interesting because halfway through the lesson, President Nattress shows up (he was running a little late), so that was pretty interesting to have the Mission President in on the lessons. Overall though, he seemed pretty silent during the whole lesson – kind of just listening in on the discussion, which was a little intimidating to us, not gonna lie. But he was just trying to just sit back and take the role of any other member we would invite to a lesson and just let us teach and not overstep his bounds or speak unless asked to speak, which was kind of interesting. Still, it’s pretty cool because when I asked President a question about how the Priesthood has blessed his life, he brought up how because Jesus Christ layed his hands on his apostles, and those apostles layed their hands on Joseph Smith, and he layed his hands on others, and etc. that Leslie – through receiving that same Priesthood has a direct line of authority to Jesus Christ. So it was as if the Savior himself were Baptizing you. And they all – including the godmother – thought that was really cool. It was cool because at the end of the lesson when we were all leaving, the godmother even said, “I’m so glad I was here, I really needed to hear this.” And those are just the perfect words for missionaries to hear. In the midst of the hard times and the long, hot days where it feels that nothing is going anywhere, those are the words that make it all worth it and remind us of why we are here.

With all that said, we just got transfer calls last night… and (Surprise!) I’m getting transferred! No idea where I am going as usual, so that’ll be interesting to see. I don’t have much longer left, so as weird as it is to think, this next area could potentially be my final area of the mission. I don’t know, we’ll see what happens. Anyway, it’s been fun down here while it’s lasted. And it’s been cool. I’ve really been able to see a lot of things grow and change while being here. Lot of miracles have happened, which is sweet!

Anyway, hope all of you had a great week! And Happy Belated Father’s Day to all the fathers out there! God Bless!

Love, Elder Foxx

 

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“Da Crew”

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“Fare thee well, Sunray House!”

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“Da House”

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“Da Garage”

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“Da couch”

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“Da boxing bag and dart board”

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Elder Inlayo!!!! (13 months, Canada)

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Elder Conover!!!! (12 months, Logan Utah)

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Elder Sites!!!! (4 months, Chicago)

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We saw this tree branch fall… why it fell? No idea. There was no wind or anything, it just fell.

Week 84; June 15, 2015: Two New Investigators

It’s been a bit of an interesting week. There were a lot of slow days and lots of appointments have been cancelling and things like that, so it’s been a little discouraging for quite a bit of it. A lot of the less-active miracles we saw last week didn’t necessarily happen this week. In fact, this Sunday was probably the least attended when it came to less-actives and investigators and recent-converts… shoot, even just regular active members too.

Although it was kind of a weird Sunday for less-actives, recent-converts, and investigators to come to anyway. They made a lot of switch-ups around and released both the 1st and 2nd Counselors of the Bishopric and the 1st Counselor became the new Young Men’s President, the Elders Quorum President got released and became the 1st Counselor and the Assistant Ward Mission Leader became the 2nd Counselor… and as for now, we still don’t have a new Elders Quorum President. And so a lot of the Sacrament meeting was the releasing and sustaining of callings and then the previous Counselor in the bishopric and the new Counselor in the bishopric and the stake president giving talks about these callings. Soooo yeah, that was quite the surprise.

We did have a pretty cool miracle though. We now got two new investigators. They live in the same street as us just down the road and they were just found through typical street contacting. Bob and Arianna are a younger couple and at first when talking, they were interested in what the Temple was all about. So we shared the Temple Presentation and Elder Conover felt impressed to talk in detail about how families can be together forever through the sealing ordinance and they really liked it. Bob asked what makes us different from any other church like the Catholic church. So we talked about the Priesthood authority and how it was restored and taught a little bit about the Restoration and then gave them a Book of Mormon. They said they’d read and pray about it and that they’d do it with an open mind. And after asking, “When you come to know these things are true, will you be Baptized?” they said yes. So they seem pretty solid. And it’s cool because they live literally right nextdoor to a member of the Elders Quorum Presidency, they live just down the street from where we live, the next street over from the Relief Society President, and about two to three other active members that I can think of, so this makes things really convenient.

But anyway, that’s kind of the basic jist of what’s happened this week. Miracles still coming, which is great! This is the last week of the transfer though, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens. Exactly a week from today, we’ll know what’s going on, so I’ll be sure to let you all know.

Anyway, hope you all have a great day and God bless!

Love, Elder Foxx


If you missed the video of Elder Foxx’s traditional pants burning video, click here.

Week 83; June 8, 2015: Sickness, Injuries and Bike Problems

So this week was filled with sicknesses, injuries, and lots of bike problems in this household. All of us except for one have had this happened out of the four Elders that are in this house. My allergies have been kicking up and Elder Conover’s has been even worse with massive sinus infections that have been keeping us in. And all of us are having foot problems. Elder Conover is going to need to get an ingrown toenail removed, I’ve been having this wart problem where the doctor needs to freeze parts of the skin and cut it out, and another missionary got a sprain recently. And Elder Conover hasn’t had his bike for the past two weeks (the pedals of his bike locked up and he couldn’t ride them anymore and so a member took them to take care of them because I guess this member worked on his bike before and something that he did caused his pedals to act that way… don’t remember the exact details), so he’s been having to borrow another bike from a member of the ward. And then on Wednesday, one of the spokes on my back tire broke off and started rubbing against the rim and has been bending the rim, making it dangerous to ride. So we had to go all the way over to Bikes Direct down in Queen Creek and have them take care of it. So then we had to go and borrow another bike so I had transportation. Finally today, the back tire is all taken care of so my bike is in good working condition again and HOPEFULLY (crossing our fingers here) Elder Conover will get his bike back tonight.

So needless to say, it’s been a bit of a hectic week and not a whole lot was able to get done. Nevertheless, there were still some cool miracles that happened. We have a total of seven less-actives that went to church on Sunday, so that was really cool to see. It was crazy on Sunday though because my entire time in this area, we’ve been warned by the members that when summer hits, everyone just goes out of town (a lot of people that live here are also snowbirds, which doesn’t help) and attendance just drops down… and they weren’t kidding. It was crazy, I want to say it was about 50% less of people that attended this Sunday. It was pretty much Branch size, it was crazy. On the bright side though, we were able to see members that normally don’t attend start attending, so that is always cool to see.

It’s been a pretty rainy week last week, which was pretty nice. I wasn’t expecting it, but hey, I’ll take the break from the rain. The only downside to it is that once the rain is gone, then it’s just the bright sun beating on you on top of extra added humidity that came in from the rain. Still, rain is always appreciated.

That’s about all I have to update on this week. Hope that you all have a great week! God Bless!

Love, Elder Foxx

Week 82; June 1, 2015: Small World

Hello everyone!

So this has been a bit of an interesting week. So last week, we had Leslie Gatlin’s baptism and everything and it went really well and President Nattress even shows up at the Baptism and shares some remarks. Well, exactly a week ago on Monday night, we get a phone call from President Nattress. And he says that he didn’t realize it while he was at the Baptism, but his son actually goes to the same school as Leslie’s sister who is about to be a Senior and they know each other. So President said he’d like him and his son to be a part of the lessons and be a part of teaching the whole family and maybe sometime in the future, even have a couple lessons at the mission home.

…Well, you don’t get that phone call everyday, that’s for sure. So now we have our Mission President wanting to be a fellowship for this family. That’s pretty crazy to think! We’re still trying to work everything out, but that’s going to be really interesting.

For the most part throughout the week has been a bit of a struggle with having doors open up. And it doesn’t help much with the heat turning up, haha. Summer’s now starting to kick in again. It’s funny, we live with a missionary who’s pretty green (been out for three months) and so this is his first time going through an Arizona summer and he is MISERABLE. We keep having to break it to him that this isn’t even the hottest it gets.

We did have a few less-active visits. Some going better than others. We also have one investigator who hasn’t been progressing a whole lot, but is now interested in seeing “Meet the Mormons” at the Mesa Visitor’s Center, so we’re planning on going to that this week. That’s pretty exciting.

On Sunday, Leslie Gatlin had received the Aaronic Priesthood and has been ordained to the office of Priest. He’s going down the fast track! Hopefully we can start giving him opportunities to use that Priesthood such as blessing and passing the sacrament. What also is cool is that if we start getting the rest of the family going, Leslie can now actually Baptize them himself. That would be really cool. But the next immediate step is getting him a Temple Recommend to start doing some Baptisms for the Dead.

Anyway, that’s pretty much what’s been going on here. Hope that you all have a great week!

Love, Elder Foxx