Week 95: August 31, 2015: Rough Week

This is going to be a bit of a shorter update. It’s been a bit of a rough week unfortunately, not a whole lot work-wise really happened. And the weather was a little on the rough side. We got caught out in the dust storm last weekend. That was interesting. It was a preeetty big dust storm. Lightning all around us, barely being able to keep our eyes open and when we were, we could barely see 6 feet in front of us… fun stuff.

I wish I could say there was something super miraculous or exciting, but I hold a lot of negative feelings about this last week in a LOT of regards – details of which I do not wish to disclose to the public blog.

Let me just end with that nonetheless, I love my mission, I’m glad to be out here, but just as much as life can suck and drama can exist outside of being a missionary, it is very much real and a reality within the mission. These things are used as teaching points often in our own lives, as hard and annoying as they may be. So I suppose that is just what I am going through right now. A learning experience.

God bless you all and have a wonderful week!

Love, Elder Foxx

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Week 94: August 24, 2015: 75 Degrees Never Felt So Good!

Well, the hot August month continues on… I’m ready for this transfer to be over. Because once this transfer is over, the weather will start cooling down again. Just a few more weeks.

So last Saturday, they checked the air conditioner and found out that the Compressor was broken so they wouldn’t be able to get it replaced until Monday or Tuesday. So Saturday night we started living with a member in the Highland Ridge ward (the one Elders Spencer and Martin cover) named Brother Frandsen, who used to house missionaries a while ago.

So we stayed over there for quite a while. It was fun, but it made it a lot harder to be productive because we would constantly need to go back to our real house to get stuff (we didn’t want to pack everything in the house and do a full-out move for just a couple-days-stay), so it was a little frustrating. We would go back to the house to see it still at 97-99 degrees… So the AC is supposed to get fixed either Monday or Tuesday. Well, Monday rolls on by and we don’t hear anything. Then Tuesday rolls by and we don’t hear anything, so we call them and they said they wouldn’t get it fixed until Wednesday or Thursday. I was getting a little irritated, but thankfully it did get fixed on Wednesday rather than Thursday. So we walk back into our normal house to a welcoming 75 degrees. Let me tell you, 75 degrees has NEVER felt so good!

We had a lesson with Christopher that was pretty basic. We had the movie “On the Lord’s Errand: The Life of Thomas S. Monson” and watched that and bore testimony about the current-day Prophet, which was good. He really enjoyed it.

We were also able to meet with Ken again, which is good. Visits with him are so very interesting because of previously stated reasons. The lesson went all over the place, starting with talks of wars and rumors of wars which then led to talks on the Second Coming, which then led to the Book of Mormon, which then led to church attendance, which then led to Temples, which then led to the Holy Ghost, which led back to church attendance. And some small-talk in between it all that would come up. It was an interesting visit. For the first time at the end of the lesson though, he committed to coming to church… and then he texts us Sunday morning saying he had a rough night last night and wouldn’t be able to attend. So that was frustrating.

But it’s been an interesting week. Not a whole lot got to really happen. Thankfully the AC is back up and running again, so all is well in that regards.

Hope you all have a great week! Stay cool!

Love, Elder Foxx

Frandsen Home

Elder Grayson, Elder Foxx, Elder Martin, Elder Spencer, Brother Frandsen

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Week 93: August 17, 2015: Heat Exhaustion

So this week has been one of the most interesting of my mission. It’s been a reeeeally long week.

Now with that said, here’s what was really good. So Monday, we had a lesson with the Majer’s again and we read 1 Nephi 1 with them and just read and explained verse by verse with an emphasis on the principles from the Restoration lesson (Gospel Blesses families, Prophets, Dispensations, Apostasy, Christ setting up church, etc.) So it went pretty good. She brought up some more concerns about the church and about the Book of Mormon. She’s always grown up hearing different things and being taught different things about this church and about the Book of Mormon that it’s hard for her to get past that a little bit. But she is at least willing to try, which is nice. She asked how she could “know if mormonism is correct,” because she was always taught it was wrong and things like that. So we explained that we, as missionaries, can talk and talk and talk and use scriptures and facts to try and prove our point, but ultimately the best way to find truth is to ask God Himself. So we told the story of Joseph Smith’s youth that led him to pray and receive an answer. Then I asked her, growing up Christian, what her experiences with prayer have been and how she has felt her prayers answered and she shared a really cool story about how her prayers always get answered – even if they are not necessarily the way she wanted them or the time she wanted them, but they do come. And so we did that so that she can get a clear vision of what she can expect from receiving answers to prayers and we brought it back to the Book of Mormon and the importance of praying to know if it is true. We also invited them to attend church. They said they couldn’t this Sunday (yesterday at the time of writing this). but that they might the next week. So crossing our fingers.

Tuesday, we went over to Quinn at 6:30 to have a lesson and he and the Thelin’s have been having a hard time with a relative in a difficult medical condition. And so it was a very emotional time for them, so we kept the lesson brief. But we taught the basic doctrine that God is our Loving Heavenly Father and that he knows us more than we can comprehend and that he has a plan for each and every one of us. And the center of that plan is Jesus Christ, and through Jesus Christ, it allows us to return to God’s presence after this life with our families for eternity so long as we remain obedient to His commandments. We talked about the importance of prayer and praying to God and had some of the members of the Thelin family bear testimony on the Gospel and the blessings that come from having it in their family. It was a very emotional time. But the cool thing was that yesterday on Sunday, we talked to Quinn who was outside in the foyer and found out that the relative is doing much, much better now (he was in a coma, but is now awake and is going through physical therapy) which was good to hear.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday was completely packed with doing service for a part-member family in Santa Rita ward that is moving out. So we’ve been doing things such as painting, packing, moving things in trailers, garages, etc. It was busy. And all in the middle of Summer.

Friday was our zone’s time to go to the Temple for the 7AM session. And you know how some members will have these weird experiences where things will just go wrong right before going to the Temple? Well, Thursday night we come home and we see the AC unit says 85 degrees. What?! We come to find that the AC was broken. We were thinking at first that it might have frozen over and that it would just take time, but that wasn’t the case. So we roll down all the windows and get as many portable fans as we could and slept through it (it was late, we really couldn’t do a whole lot, but man, it was IMPOSSIBLE to sleep).

So we go to the Temple and it was good and everything. Then we had a Weekly Planning session which lasting until 1:30 in the afternoon. Then we went back home to find it at a good 89 degrees. So we called the housing coordinators and they said they would have AC guy come to fix it the next day. So Friday night, we spend the night over in the apartments where Elders from the other District live. But we all had to be back at the house when the AC guy came, so we just spent the night and then went back to the house first thing in the morning on Saturday. So we were inside the house from 7:30 AM to 12:15 PM. The AC guy comes and it turns out the Compressor is broken and so they aren’t able to fix it until Monday or Tuesday. Then at 1:00 PM, we had to go back to the part-member family to do more service. And I was sweating hardcore in the house, it was ridiculous – especially when having to go to the restroom, it was insane. It was about 96 while we were in the house and we were in the house from 7:30 – 12:15. And I drank plenty of water as a result of it, but after having that and then needing to bike 4 miles to our area in the heat and not having any air conditioned areas to rest in, I just went completely out of it. I don’t even remember what was going on, but according to Elder Grayson, I was starting to swerve on my bike and I was starting to slowly close my eyes, so we got off the bikes and then walked to the service. Turns out I ended up getting pretty bad heat exhaustion and so they had me just lay down on the couch of the family’s home with the fans blowing right in my face with a wet rag and lots of water to cool me down. I felt bad because I couldn’t help out with the service at all, but it was just insane.

So Saturday evening, we made arrangements to stay in a member’s home in Elder Spencer and Martin’s ward for a few days until they can get the AC fixed. There was no way I was going back to the house after what had happened.

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So it’s been a really interesting week. The highest we saw it go was about 99 degrees… inside the house. It was just insane. And it was during the hottest days of the year, so that was perfect timing for the AC to go out. Really crossing my fingers that this all gets fixed and settled with ASAP. It really felt like not a whole lot happened this week, but maybe it’s just because I can’t remember doing much else besides service and dying in the heat. I’m ready for summer to end needless to say, haha.

Apart from that, it’s been a good week, hahaha! And I guess I wouldn’t be serving a mission in Arizona until I get a really good heat exhaustion story, haha! Anyway, hope you all have a great and safe week!

Love you all! Elder Foxx

Week 92; August 10, 2015: Keeping Busy

So Wednesday was Transfers! Elder Schroder (Lindon, Utah) who lived with us got transferred and now we have Elder Martin (Tooele, Utah) living with us. And one of the Sister missionaries in the other District got transferred and the Sister missionary in our District finished her mission. But overall, the Desert Ridge zone remained untouched.

After transfer meeting, we had dinner with a family that grew up in Columbia. Devon Ridd (Santa Rita ward bishop’s son who returned from a mission) came as well since he spoke Spanish. This family has a niece visiting from Columbia and will be staying here until December. She is not a member of the church and speaks very little English. After dinner, we shared “Because He Lives” in Spanish and the lesson was very interesting because we were talking and then the family would have to translate from English to Spanish to her and then translate her from Spanish to English to us. So that was interesting. We asked if she would like to take the lessons and she said yes. We then asked if she would like to be taught by the Spanish missionaries and she said no because it would give her an excuse to learn English better. We also found out she attended Singles ward and plans on regularly attending there.

So after that, we were kind of in a battle over what to do because if she’s already going to the Singles Ward, it makes a lot more sense to have the Singles Ward missionaries teach her, but then neither of those Elders speak or understand Spanish and as much as she said she’s fine with just English, the lessons would benefit her a lot more if there was at least someone in there who spoke Spanish. So I would rather just have it go to the Spanish missionaries, but it was just getting weird. But then all of a sudden we remembered that the singles ward is now co-covered by both the Elders and the Sisters. And Sister Bacon’s new companion as of that very day is Sister Hanson, who just came from Spanish-speaking. So that works out perfectly.

Then after dinner, we got a random text from an investigator we’ve been trying all of last transfer to get in with asking if we had time to come by. So we quickly rush over there and get in the home and it was a really great visit. We were able to see how things have been going, if he’s been able to read the Book of Mormon, questions he’s had about the church, etc. We talked about a lot of different things and somehow got into the subject about how he thought it was weird growing up and seeing other churches that believe in the Bible bash at each other, which was a perfect tie-in to the story of Joseph Smith’s youth which would like to the Restoration of the Gospel from God the Father and Jesus Christ to the Prophet Joseph and a clearer explanation of why it is so important to find out if the Book of Mormon is true. We have another lesson set for tonight, so that should be good.

Thursday we had dinner with a family who was also had someone living with them who is not a member of the church. His name is Quinn and he is 16 and in High School, and because of different circumstances will now be under guardianship by his aunt and uncle. And so he will be attending church with the rest of the family and we’ll be teaching him the lessons, so that should be good.

Friday was interesting just because of the sudden storm that happened. We were out in our bikes throughout the entire time and couldn’t get to someone actually at home until way later in the evening, so we were biking through the storm. And MAN was that a storm! The streets were nearly flooded with about a foot of rain and there was lightning and thundering going on all around us. It was like riding down a water slide at Wet N’ Wild or something, but with missionary clothing and bikes. There were a lot of cool lightning strikes that lit up the entire scenery. I only managed to record a little bit of it and even then it didn’t do it justice AT ALL and I was only able to record it when the rain was at a much calmer pace. This is why missionaries need Go-Pro’s whenever they bike. I’d have a lot of awesome footage!

Saturday was pretty much shot-down. We were doing service for a lady in our room-mates area helping her move from one home to a brand new home in a new housing development called Mulberry. Aaaaaand that’s pretty much all we did all day yesterday. From 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM. Shower, get dressed to pros in order to get to dinner appointment. Rush back after appointment, get dressed and then rush back to service and did that until 8:30 PM. By the end of it, we did a total of 10 hours worth of service. It was insaaaane! I was completely dead by the time Sunday rolled around.

So yeah, it’s been a pretty busy week. Which is obviously good, but man… those nights when I lay my head on that pillow and I swear that not even two minutes passes by and it’s already 6:30 AM…… Getting a lot of those this past week.  *sigh* Anyway, it’s been good though. Lots of good stuff happening.

Hope that everything goes well for all of you and you all have a great week! God Bless!

Love, Elder Foxx

Week 91; August 3, 2015: The Joys of Biking It

So last Monday night, we had an appointment set up for us by a member of the Bishopric to visit this part-member family. It is a young family who has a 7-month old daughter and a boy on the way. The father has been a member all his life but went inactive since he was 17 and his wife isn’t a member and they are currently attending a non-denominational christian church. So not really sure where to go (we weren’t given much information about this situation at all), we get to know them a little bit and their background and then ask to share the “Because He Lives” video. Right as we get the DVD in the laptop to watch, somehow the Book of Mormon came out and he said, “Yeah, she doesn’t like the Book of Mormon,” haha. Then we spent a lot of time talking about the Book of Mormon and resolving some concerns she had such as the typically thrown at us scripture found in Revelation 22 and Deuteronomy 4, why we need the Book of Mormon if we already have the Bible, what the difference is between the Bible and the Book of Mormon, what’s similar, etc. We were getting a little worried because at the beginning of the conversation, it sounded like it could have gone really sour really fast, but it went okay. Anyway, so after a long conversation and then we watched Because He Lives and they liked the video. We set another appointment for the following Monday (today) at 6:30 and left them with a Book of Mormon they could read and suddenly she seemed a little more open to at least give it a try… although she did give the concern about not being able to understand the language of the Book of Mormon or the regular Bible and that’s why she prefers the modern-day English translation. She asked if there was one for the Book of Mormon and we said, “Well… there’s a Children’s Book of Mormon with pictures in it” lol, “Well, that’s sad” her response was.

Anyway, so then we met with Ken Hart a couple days later… and it’s tough teaching Ken just because he is quite the talker. So getting a conversation focused on just one single topic without going off into the weeds is pretty tough. So we had an appointment with him at 2:30 in the afternoon and then we had an appointment with Brian at 4:00. Ken is in one end of the area in Desert Valley ward and Brian is all the way over in Santa Rita ward. So they are on the completely opposite ends of the area back to back, so it would be a long bike ride. So we were worried about getting the lesson short enough. And so basically I told Ken that we needed to leave at 3:00 – the theory being that if we tell him we need to leave at 3:00, we’d actually leave at about 3:30, haha. And that’s pretty much what happened. And we weren’t able to get much teaching in it at all and towards the end, I said (for the 3rd time) “We do need to get going, but something I think would be good is that in the lessons if we keep them focused on just one topic. Because in the Gospel, it’s easy to kind of go all over the place because there’s a lot to talk about – but if we focus on just one topic, we can learn all we can about that one subject.” He agreed and got a piece of paper and wrote down the subject of the next lesson, which would be “Prophets.” Anyway, so we get out of there at about 3:35 and we just BOOK IT all the way to Ken’s home. And it was a terrible bike ride because the wind kept blowing against us the entire ride over there, it was ridiculous. And so finally we get there – tired and exhausted – but we make it exactly at 4:00. Then we knock on the door… and nobody’s home. DANGNABIT! I was so mad, haha. We give him a call and eventually he calls back and explains that he had a sudden work schedule change and forgot to tell us. Oh man… I can’t help but laugh at it now, but I was furious when it happened.

We also had a lesson with Christopher this week. It was a pretty basic lesson. Just on keeping the 10 commandments with an emphasis on the Sabbath Day and the Sacrament. Nothing too exciting to say about it, the lessons are kind of standard now, lol. The only thing that sucked though was that after we taught this lesson, yesterday was the first Sunday that I’ve been in this area and he DIDN’T come to church. What? That’s kind of backwards.

Anyway, transfer calls came… aaaaaaaaaand we’re getting white-washed!

…Nah, I’m just kidding, we’re both staying. Got another six weeks down here, so that’s good. Anyway, that’s the biggest update I’ve got for this week. Hope you all have a great week and God Bless!

Love,
Elder Foxx
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