Week 90; July 27; 2015: Thanks for the B-day Wishes!

LAST MONDAY OF JULY!

Summer is almost halfway over… and soon we will enter into August… and then just enduring through August and all will be well!

Anyway, so last week was good! We had another lesson with Christopher and this time it was about Temples in general. The ordinances in the temple performed both for the living and the dead as well as a big emphasis on the Sealing ordinance since that is what he and his fiance should be setting a goal towards. The lesson was received very well and it was revealed that this has been something he and his fiance have talked about before and they very much are setting this goal to get sealed when they are able to, so that’s good.

Wednesday, we had FHE hosted by a Senior couple in the mission. Just kind of another typical FHE of the spiritual thought, games, etc. So that was fun. And at the end of the night, we finally got in with an investigator we have been trying to get into for the longest time but due to health problems haven’t been able to. It ended up being a 2-hour conversation, but in the end he’s going the right direction. He’s an older man named Ken who is a Mason. So that’s been interesting. A lot of the conversation was him kind of monologing, haha, but it was good. Experiences in the past have finally helped him realize that there is something to this Gospel and to this church. Particularly when he was in the Gilbert Temple Open-House and in the celestial room, he felt something that overcame him and he could not describe what it was. It was so foreign to him and he knew that it wasn’t just a reaction in his body or anything like that, but that there was something very real being felt there. He’s a very interesting man, but he seems to be a lot more open than in the past, it seems. Conversations with him are interesting, but we should be able to meet more regularly.

Those have kind of been the big sum-ups of a lot of what has happened. My companion hasn’t been feeling too good, so not a whole lot has been able to happen. Nonetheless, things are going well.

Thanks to everyone for the Birthday wishes! I really appreciate it! I am now 21! So now I can legally do all things that mormons wouldn’t do anyway. YAAAY!!!

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week!

Love, Elder Foxx

P.S. My release date will be on December 8th. Just so you know when officially it is.

Week 89; July 20, 2015: Continuing the Work!

Happy Summer!

So Monday evening, we taught Christopher the Law of Chastity (we were scheduled to teach it sooner, but it just didn’t work out). We started out by reviewing The Family: A Proclamation to the World and went through the Law of Chastity pamphlet, which underlines a lot of what the Law of Chastity consists of and why it was important. What was really cool was that when we were asking for understanding to see what he understood about the Law of Chastity, he said that he believes it is more than just sexual purity, but purity altogether in word, deed, and action, which includes clean language and things like that. And he asked what would be appropriate in a work situation where he is surrounded by people with unclean language. We did not expect this at all and it really shows just how prepared for the Gospel he is because he already believes and knows about this. We didn’t teach him about that at all, he already knew – or rather the Spirit brought to him his remembrance of things he knew long before coming to this world. It was really cool to see. And what was funny was that the following Sunday in Gospel Principles, guess what the lesson was on? The Law of Chastity. Haha! Seems like we keep talking about this law a lot lately, haha!

Wednesday was zone conference… which if I’m to be completely honest, I felt was the longest zone conference I have ever been a part of. I don’t know, it was just that they focused way too much on things that I just felt were common sense. All of President Nattress’s training was cool. He talked about “Lock Your Heart…” A LOT, which was kind of funny. Again, I still think the mixed signals of “lock your heart” and “think now about finding your eternal companion” are a little odd. But whateves. The part I felt just went way too long was when the assistants were going over “The Image of a Missionary” and just basic things about missionary conduct and things like that… I don’t know, a lot of those missionaries were just making really ridiculous comments on the whole thing. Come on, people! It’s common sense! Just think, “If I saw a missionary do this back at home, what would I think of the missionaries?” and you will probably be fine. I don’t know, they just spent way too much time on that one point and I had a really hard time paying attention.

I’m hoping the next zone conference will go a lot better… it’s weird though because at the end of that day, it literally just occurred to me that I only have one more zone conference in my mission… that’s weeeeeeird.

Thursday, we went on exchanges. I left the area to be with Elder Spencer and Elder Schroder went with Elder Grayson. It was quite the packed day. We taught the Plan of Salvation twice that day – once with an investigator and another with a recent-convert. Both lessons went really cool. The investigator they have is kind of on a time crunch because she is only in town for a few weeks and then will move back to Georgia, so the plan is to teach all the lessons really quick and then Baptize her on Tuesday, the day before she leaves (it’s a really long story regarding the situation, but basically she’s been wanting to get Baptized for YEARS and because of parental issues and other issues, it just hasn’t been able to happen).

Friday, we stopped by Brian again and managed to catch him at home. We talked and asked if he had a chance to go through The Family: A Proclamation to the World. And he talked about how he did and he read it with his 17-year old granddaughter who is living with them and she didn’t like it very much, haha. But we talked a lot about the fulfilling of prophecy of “good being called evil and evil good” and signs of the times and things like that… and then it got a little political, which kind of figures, haha. He asked us about how since the church really teaches about being prepared for disasters – such as having food storage, he asked if we had a stance on owning weapons. And that was an interesting conversation, but we tied it back to the Book of Mormon and how while the church doesn’t have an official stance saying we should or we shouldn’t own them, the story of Captain Moroni from the Book of Mormon encourages us to stand for what’s right and protect those freedoms and our families and our religion and things like that. He thought it was rather interesting and what was way cool was that we offered him a Book of Mormon and he said, “Wait, you have one?” And we said, “Yeah, would you like one?” And he said, “Well, sure, yeah, thank you so much!” and was really excited about it and anxious to read it. We talked about Moroni’s promise at the end of the Book of Mormon and challenged him to read and pray about it and said we would meet up with him later to follow-up and he agreed. He seemed really excited about having it – he really wasn’t expecting us to just give it to him. That was just super cool to see! It’s rare when you see real, genuine interest out of people and that was just a really cool moment.

Sunday right after church, we taught Christopher the Word of Wisdom and as can be expected, there were not issues regarding living that law, so that’s good. Beyond that, we went to Bishop’s home in the Santa Rita ward since his son recently returned from his mission last week and talked a lot about missionary work. The son is really pumped and ready to continue with the missionary work, which was great to see!

Anyway, that’s pretty the major things that happened this week! Hope you all have a great week!

Love, Elder Foxx

Elder Grayson and Elder Foxx

19245103924_6590730b24_o 19679784900_0745d1f966_o 19681164209_e27ddbb70c_o 19841573636_85187607e6_o 19867776555_6e3f8befda_o

Week 88; July 13, 2015: Knocking on Doors

So this week was pretty cool.

On Tuesday after District Meeting, we tracted a particular street in the Santa Rita neighborhood at around 4 in the afternoon. And we started knocking and of course, a lot of the doors were a no-answer considering that it is summer. And then we were about to walk across to the other side when Elder Grayson just kept feeling weird… he kept feeling like he didn’t want to knock on that side for some particular reason. It didn’t feel like the spirit prompting him though and he admitted that he felt like Satan was tempting him not to go down that road. So we choose to go down the road despite that temptation and knock on a few more doors.

Finally, this one guy answers and his name is Brian. We do the typical, “Hi, we’re the LDS missionaries sharing a message about Jesus Christ” schpeel and we asked him if he was of a particular faith. He replied, “Eh, not really, probably, uh, non-denominational christian. We were attending this one church over there, but you see, we don’t support the whole same-sex marriage thing and now that church changed their policy and currently does, so… we’re now on the search for a new church to go to.” Now what was really cool about this was that we were planning that very evening to teach the Law of Chastity to one of our investigators, so earlier that day we made copies of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. So we just so happened to have had it at the right time at the right place and explained to him that this is what the prophet and apostles have said concerning the matter and concerning the doctrine of the family. He really liked it, but said he was busy at the moment but said that we could come by again (preferably in evenings)

And it was then that we realized why Elder Grayson was tempted not to knock those doors. The adversary did not want us meeting Brian. We then knock just two doors down later and this guy comes out with long black hair, jeans, and a cigarette in hand. Again, we introduce ourselves and then he reveals himself to actually be a member of the church. He, too, had to leave soon, but asked if we stopped by another day. So it’ll be interesting to see how that goes.

Then the next day on Wednesday, we went on splits with a Priest in Desert Valley ward and knocked on some more doors for the most part. There were a lot of rejections and so forth and finally we knock on this one door. This guy named Doug answers and we introduce himself and asked if we could share a message of Jesus Christ or even offer a prayer for them right then and there and he said “now’s not a good time.” Then we asked if we could borrow some trash bags and clean up his front yard (which was full of these pods that fell from the trees and it was just littered EVERYWHERE). He was taken back by it and said, “You don’t have to do that.”, but we insisted and all three of us were out helping clean out the pods and throwing them in trash bags.

Then about 20 minutes later, his wife comes out on the phone with his aunt, who is a member of the church. After the phone call and during the service, we got to know her a little bit better. We found out she grew up in Salt Lake and moved to Arizona a while ago, so she has some family members that are LDS. She also said that they haven’t been attending any sort of church in a while now just because of how busy they’ve been, they just never got around to it. The church building that Desert Valley meets at is a brand new church building, so she was telling us how her aunt was calling and said she wants to come down and visit and attending that church with her when she comes down. So of course, I invite her and told her what time the ward met and said we’d love to see her there and she appreciated that invitation. A bunch of other questions came up as well, including why we don’t Baptize infants, what the Temple is all about, how missions work, etc. So we talked about quite a few stuff and told her that as missionaries, we teach these lessons about the Gospel of Christ and about what exactly it is that we believed and invited her if she would like us to come over. She said they’d be out of town the rest of the week until Wednesday the 15th, but would like to have us over.

Anyway, so those were probably the big highlights of the week. We got a couple solid potentials, so that’s always great. Oh, and yesterday after church we taught Christopher the Law of Tithing and the lesson went great. Said he’d live it, so that’s always a relief (lol)

But yeah, this has been a pretty good week. Hope that all of you have a great week!

Love, Elder Foxx

Week 87; July 6, 2015: Happy Independence Day!

Happy Belated Independence Day everyone!

So this last week, we had a couple stuff happen. Last Monday, we had the P-Day activity that I already mentioned and then Wednesday, July 1st, was the official 2nd year anniversary for the Arizona Gilbert Mission. We all went to the Temple that morning and then had a devotional with Elder Tillman from the Seventy and his wife. It was interesting hearing the talks. His talk was pretty all over the place – he just seemed so passionate about the Gospel that he couldn’t necessarily focus on one subject for more than five minutes. Overall though, the theme that I got out of the two talks was that Heavenly Father recognizes and knows all of our needs and will respond to each of them one by one and that we should not worry about whatever may come in the future so long as we are obedient to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to what the modern-day prophets and apostles have counseled us to do. And they also read (which this was an assignment by the First Presidency to read this in all the wards of all the stakes of the entire church, so you may or may not have heard it already) a statement by the First Presidency regarding the Supreme Court’s ruling to allow same-sex marriage in all of the United States. Essentially the message is that God’s standards have no changed. Even though the world can create its own laws and exceptions, it doesn’t and cannot over-rule God’s standards and the church’s stance will forever remain the same as it has been.

We also taught the Plan of Salvation to this investigator named Christopher. So the story with him is that he is engaged with the oldest daughter of a member-family in our ward and is planning on getting married in October. So he decided to take the discussions to learn about the church, but has made it very clear that while he thinks the church is good, he will not join unless he knows for sure that it is the correct path. And so we reviewed what he has been reading in the Book of Mormon and we went over Lehi’s vision of the Tree of Life and then taught the Plan of Salvation. He is now at the point where he has the desire to get Baptized, and so the plan is to have him Baptized by the end of the month, which is super exciting!

4th of July, not a whole lot happened. We did service for some members just digging and wheel-borrowing some dirt and then had burgers for lunch. And we had an early curfew at about 6:00 (it doesn’t get dark until 8:00 PM really, but whateves). We planned the Game of Life that night and rolled up our blinds and watched the neighbor’s fireworks (or what little we could see that weren’t covered by houses and trees)

And now we have lost two apostles of the Lord, L. Tom Perry, and Boyd K. Packer. They will be very much missed. This upcoming General Conference is going to be interesting with two new apostles on board. I don’t think we have had any of the Quorum of First Presidency pass away since Gordon B. Hinckley… could be wrong though.

Anyway, that’s about it for this week’s report. Happy Belated Independence Day! And God Bless America!

Love, Elder Foxx