Week 99: September 28, 2015: A Good Week Overall

So this has been a very interesting week. Overall, it’s been good. A little stressful in some areas, but overall everything is good.

Tuesday and Wednesday were pretty much shot because Elder Sites had to have foot surgery on Tuesday (he had a surgery to remove an ingrown toenail last week and this appointment was them killing the root so it doesn’t grow back), so Tuesday and Wednesday he was a little out of commission. On Wednesday, Elder Grayson’s new companion – Elder Barr was sick and they had a lesson that day, so Elder Grayson and I went on exchanges. So that was kind of funny. We only get away from being companions for a week and then the dynamic duo is back again for a day, lol! So we taught another lesson with Quinn that morning and did a few other things throughout the day. It was funny because a lot of members were thinking, “I thought you got transferred.” And I’d have to explain that I did, but that I just got transferred to the Madero and Desert Ridge wards and that we are just on exchanges, haha. So that’s kind of funny.

Thursday, Elder Sites and I were able to work all day, which was good. It started off as kind of a slower day (mornings until about 2-3ish are usually rough) but something cool happened. So we had been told by another member about someone in the ward that recently had surgery and it would be good for us to stop by for support to see how they are doing. And for some odd reason, my mind kept mixing up the name of this family with the name of another family in the ward. So we stop by this other family named the Arrington’s and find out very quickly this wasn’t the family that I thought it was. But we stopped by and come to find out that they are finalizing the process of adopting four girls – all of which are between the ages of 9 and 13 and so they want us to come over every Monday evening (starting October 5th) to teach them all the lessons and then have them baptized in November and then sealed to the parents about a week after that.

So that’s pretty cool! I never thought that mixing up the names of people we were planning on stopping by could ever be anything close to inspired, haha. So we are pretty much guaranteed to see four people get baptized in November.

Then there is also another lady named Sandra who has been coming to church pretty regularly for a couple months with her kids. None of them are members of the church. It started with a member in the ward who works with her invited her to church and she had been coming regularly ever since. However, she has held off on taking the missionary lessons for some reason or another. So time passes by and she’s been very active, her kids have actively come both to church and activities such as mutual and have enjoyed it… but for some reason there was hesitance in taking the lessons.

Now one of the things I love about the Madero ward is how well they have been able to utilize the ward missionaries they have. What they have done is that they have had two of the sisters in the ward that are ward missionaries go to have visits with Sandra to give her a small idea of what the missionary lessons will be like – by talking various Gospel conversations. On Thursday we were informed that the last visit they had with her went very well – they talked about various different topics (such as what the church’s stance was of the “rapture”) and they talked and explained how a lot of their questions could be answered in the lesson called the plan of salvation – which is a lesson that the full-time missionaries teach and she seemed to open up. So we got the green light to approach her on Sunday and talk to her (before we were not).

And so we talked on Sunday and later that night, we got some perspective on what exactly happened throughout that day. So we talked to her right after Gospel Principles class (and the lesson was on “Missionary work,” haha). So first off, it turns out that that morning, one of the members invited her over to have family home evening on September 28 – today. Then she takes Gospel Principles class and it’s all about missionary work. Then we approach her and get a time set up to have a lesson Tuesday evening. Then immediately after, another member invited her and us to come over to her place to watch the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference. So in retrospective, she had been slammed with tons of invites, which is kind of funny – but it’s really cool. So we are going to see her tonight for F.H.E., tomorrow for a lesson, and then Sunday for General Conference. So she’ll be seeing the missionaries quite a bit this week, haha. So that should be good.

So yeah, that is this week in a nutshell. Anyway, things are going well here. Hope you all have a great week and God bless!

Love, Elder Foxx

Week 98: September 21, 2015: Inter-zone’d

TRANSFERS!!!

Welp. This is pretty darn hilarious. I got inter-zone’d. I’m still in the Desert Ridge zone. In fact, I’m still in the Desert Ridge stake… and I’m in the same District. I moved from the Santa Rita and Desert Valley wards to the Madero and Desert Ridge wards. My last area and current area literally touch. So that’s pretty funny. I didn’t move far at all. I do live in a different home though.

So I am with Elder Sites, who is from Chicago and has been out for 7 and a half months. I have known this kid ever since he was a month and a half out down in San Tan Valley in the Bella Vista zone. And we’ve been in the same zone ever since. Crazy stuff.

Anyway, not a whole lot I have to update on beyond that. The work is pretty slow down here, there isn’t a whole lot going on. The only “investigator” we have is an athiest who is fine with us coming over and chatting about things, but doesn’t really believe in God. He has met on and off with missionaries in the past. The last visit we had we talked about myriad of things such as praying and things like that. He talked about how he just has a hard time with a lot of things in organized religion, such as the Bible being a book that had been handed down for so many years and changed to whatever’s people’s ideas area and he is lead to believe that all of it is just stories and things like that. He also asked “What do ya guys feel about other religions, are they all bogus or something?” And so we talked about how every group of religion will have some form of truth in it or another and that there is a reason for that. Because all of them at one point or another formed off of the original church that Christ himself established anciently. So we talked about the apostasy and the importance of prophets and how it is true that there have been parts of the Bible that have been altered or changed, which then led to talking about the restoration and the importance of the Book of Mormon. Soooo this guy has met with missionaries on and off for a while and somehow never got a Book of Mormon. (lolwut?) So we gave him one. He said he’ll skim through it, so we’ll see.

So the work’s pretty slow right now. But it’ll get better. There’s a lot that’s going to need to happen for it to get better, but it will. We’ve been trying to get to know the members more and build up trust and talk to more and more people in general. We’ve been able to hand out a few copies of the Book of Mormon, so hopefully things come of it. We haven’t really come across anyone who is super interested or anything, but we’ll see what happens.

Anyway, that’s about it. It was kind of funny because I was thinking before transfers about how much I’m going to miss my last area and everything and here I am just up the street, haha. It’s pretty funny. But I hope you all have a great week!

Love, Elder Foxx

P.S. My coming home date got moved to December 17th…

You can find Elder Foxx’s updated address here.

 Elder Foxx using the force
Elder Grayson, Elder Foxx, Jacob Boyd (Desert Valley)

Elder Grayson, Elder Foxx, Jacob Boyd (Desert Valley)

Elder Grayson, Elder Foxx, Jacob Boyd (Desert Valley)2

Elder Grayson, Elder Foxx, Jacob Boyd (Desert Valley)

The Boyd Family (Desert Valley)

The Boyd Family (Desert Valley)

Elder Sites and Elder Foxx

Elder Sites and Elder Foxx

Katelyn Evans, Christopher Burke, Elder Foxx (Desert Valley)

Katelyn Evans, Christopher Burke, Elder Foxx (Desert Valley)

Ken Hart (Desert Valley)

Ken Hart (Desert Valley)

Lane Henney (Desert Valley)

Lane Henney (Desert Valley)

Quinn (Santa Rita)

Quinn (Santa Rita)

Brother Moon (Santa Rita)

Brother Moon (Santa Rita)

Week 97: September 14, 2015: House Sick but Pushed On

Well, this past week was rather interesting. The entire house for the week was sick, so that was a disappointment. Everyone was just getting a really bad case of the cold. I don’t know how it originally started, but the rest of us got it from Elder Martin, I believe (he was the first one showing signs of illness) and just over time none of us were feeling good. So that wasn’t fun. In fact, we’re only just now starting to get over it a little bit.

Despite this, we went and did a little bit of stuff. We were going to fight the illness as much as we can and get as much done as possible. We were able to have a lesson with Quinn and Christopher (Quinn wasn’t doing too well though, he was having a hard day so we didn’t teach him a whole lot), which was good.

We also stopped by a member and found out that there are two girls ages 10 and 7 that are attending primary with another family in the ward, but the girl’s parents aren’t members of the church. So we went by Bishop’s (and hilariously walked into a BYU football game party hosted at the place with several members of the ward, so we had to distract Bishop from that for about a minute) to ask if they knew anything about them. Then we went to the family that has apparently been taking the kids and asked what they knew about the family dynamic and things such as that. So then we finally stop by the home of the girls, knock on their door, and talk to the dad. We said we heard that they have been attending church and asked if the family would like to hear about what it is that they are learning at church. And amazingly enough, he said, “Yeah, is there a number I could call you guys on? We’re having dinner right now, but another time would be great.” So that’s really exciting, especially for that ward because the Desert Valley ward has been struggling for quite a bit as far as having a decent teaching pool.

Anyway, that’s kind of the overall jist of what’s been going on this week. Transfer calls were supposed to be last night… buuuut they still haven’t come. So I have no idea what’s going on yet. I’ll let you guys know if I stay or go, but HOPEFULLY calls will get here soon.

(Edited to add: So we just barely got transfer calls now… aaaaaand I am being transferred! Time for another area. Considering I’m down to my final two transfers, my next area is more than likely to be my final area. I’ll be very surprised if it isn’t. But anyway, it’ll be interesting to see what lies around the corner.)

Hope you all have a great week and God Bless!

Love, Elder Foxx

IMG_5997

(Picture came through text from the Skousen family- “We love your son! Elder Foxx is a great missionary”)

Week 96: September 7, 2015: Happy Labor Day!

So this week has been much better. We have been able to get in with more people that we were teaching and have had more opportunities throughout the week.

Thursday, we had a lesson with Quinn (Santa Rita) and then a lesson with Christopher (Desert Valley). This day was just interesting because we happened to have had one of the zone leaders go on exchanges with us aaand… yeeeeah, it was interesting. Let’s just say I have a massive pet peeve about going on exchanges and the person who is with you tries to take over the area that is not his to take over. Anyway, regardless, it was good.

Quinn is a very quiet and shy kid and so he doesn’t say a whole lot. He comes to church most Sundays with the rest of the family he’s living with us, but even though he’s at church, he’s not AT church (mentally). But anyway, we were going to teach him the Restoration and exactly how the Book of Mormon came to our hands in this day. So we start to head on over and we have about 10 minutes before the lesson starts and we’re already just down the street. So as we bike, we find one of the priests in the ward in the garage with the garage door open working on a school project. We asked if he would be available to come with us to a lesson just up the street right then and there and he was able to. So that was really cool. He (Derek) and Quinn really connected well and Derek spoke when he felt necessary to and answered any questions we would ask him very well, so he did really good.

Now, on the flip-side to that lesson, it turns out that our zone leaders split off to be in a trio with Elder Grayson and I and then the other went with Elders in the other District. And before the exchange they made a bet with each other that they would put someone on date to be baptized by the end of the day. So this Elder asks us before the lesson if we thinks he would say yes to baptism. And we said, “Well, he probably would say yes just to say, but that wouldn’t mean he actually would want to. He would just do it just because everyone wants him to and he doesn’t look at it as that big of a deal.” Regardless, this Elder decides to invite him to be Baptized and says, “If you read and pray to know if the book is true and it is true, will you be Baptized?” After a moment, he said, “Yeeeeah… um… sure. Yeah, I guess. Yeah.” And then the Elder said, “We’ve been thinking about it and praying about and agree that you can be ready by September 26th. Will you be Baptized on that day if this is true?” Okay, first of all, we did NOT talk about a date or pray about it and second of all, putting someone on date by saying, “If the Book is true, will you be Baptized on that day” shouldn’t count on the statistic for “On Date.” Because if you ask, “Well, if this is true, will you be Baptized?” Of course, they’ll say yes. But that’s on conditioned terms, that’s not a solid, “they will be Baptized on that date” which is the purpose of the statistic. But whatever, the Elder got what he wanted and won the bet.

So despite all that, the lesson was still good. The best part was easily that we managed to get Derek to go over there because we have tried to find a Priest to get over there for a while since Quinn is a shy kid and just doesn’t have a whole lot of friends, so this should help him a lot.

Then we had a lesson with Christopher, which went well overall. The end commitment was to have them read the Book of Mormon together as a couple (him and Katelyn) to start reading scriptures as a family and building that habit. Christopher’s just such an interesting situation though… I’m kind of irritated because he really should already be Baptized, but they just keep putting it off because they want to wait until they get married in October (and that’s a whole other story that I won’t get into)… *sigh* Anyway, the lesson went pretty well overall though. Christopher still has that desire to continue in the church and everything, which is good.

On Friday, we had a cool miracle. At night, we stopped by Chris Cooley and *SURPRISE* not only did he answer, but so did his fiancé Heather. That was HUGE. So we talked for a bit, asked if he had a chance to read the Book of Mormon much. Turns out he is now in 2nd Nephi, so that was cool to hear. However, it turns out he hasn’t been praying about it. So we emphasized prayer a lot. Then after talking about prayer for a while, we asked Heather about her experience of prayer is and then the subject completely took a 180 and turned on her. She’s been inactive for many, many years and has just been going through a LOT of struggles since her late teenage years. I won’t go into details about what happened and it is really irritating that it had to happen, but her overall testimony has been shaking in that she feels that God has and is punishing her for something she doesn’t know. Ultimately, I had to tell her, “God is not punishing you. What happened was the results of the actions of another person. That was not God.” and she broke down and just kept asking, “Why?” Why did this have to happen? When she was trying everything she could to be good, why? It was hard to get it through to her, but finally I just bore testimony of the Savior. That Christ had literally done nothing wrong. He followed God’s commandments with exactness… and that was followed by mocking, ridicule, being spit upon, and crucified, and to top it all off, he literally was abandoned when the Father withdrew His spirit from him. But Christ did that and went through all that because He loves us. Because He loves you. And He had to know how the rest of us felt, how we all feel. And ultimately, holding down these feelings is only going to damage ourselves. We need to lay our burdens at the feet of the Savior. It was a very powerful meeting and it was one of my favorite in my mission where I just felt the spirit speak through me. The words just came out. And it was cool because Chris was able to provide some insight in order to help as well. As the conversation continued, we eventually asked if she would like visiting teachers or if it would be already if we introduced her to the Relief Society President and she said she would need to think about it. But we have another appointment with them this Thursday evening.

It’s going to be tough trying to help them, but it is something that I hope can happen. He is very much prepared for the Gospel and she is desiring that relief that only the Gospel can give her, yet something is stopping her from doing it. I hope that things will continue to go well there.

Then towards the end of the night after checking out a new neighborhood development in our area, we went over to Circle K to grab a drink (plus, you come across some interesting people to talk to at Circle K by the end of the night, lol) and an employee at Venezia’s Pizza just behind the Circle K came in and told us to stop by right then and there and grab some pizza on him. It was about 8:25 at the time, so we had a little bit of time, so we went ahead and got some pizza and outside one of the employees was taking a break. So we sat down and talking with him for a little bit and before we could say a whole lot, he headed back to work. So we finished and a lot of other members that were there grabbed our attention and so we weren’t able to see the employee for a little bit and kept trying to find him again, but it seemed that everything was getting in our way. Finally, before we left, one of the employees was a member and we asked if she would give this Book of Mormon to him and say it was from us. She thanked us and said she’s been trying to find a way to give him one for a while, so we told her she’s free to add her testimony to it and sign it or whatever she’d like. And one of the members that was there offered to give us a ride home so we managed to make it back before curfew. So whether or not that will lead somewhere far, who knows. But it was kind of cool just that we were at that place at that exact time. Can’t help but think it wasn’t just coincidence.

The next day, something cool that happened was that we stopped by Bishop Ridd’s for dinner and as we were leaving asked if there were any other members or anyone he thought of that would be good for us to stop by. He mentioned the name of a family (the Kennedy’s) that we could have sworn have moved out already. But we stopped by anyway and there are two guys pouring cement. We asked if they were the residents and if there were any Kennedy’s. They didn’t know of any Kennedy’s and they’ve lived for just about three months. But we asked them if they needed any help and they kept saying, “You really don’t have to.” but we persisted and helped. We ended up helping them from 6:45 to 8:50 and along the way just talked about the Gospel. One of them it turns out, his mother was a member but they were never all that active growing up so he was never Baptized or anything like that. So he’s a little familiar with the church. He and his wife live at the house and temporarily the other guy (who is a long childhood friend) is living with them too. We asked if they were very religious at all and Chris (the owner of the house) said they weren’t, but that they might attend a church sometime in the future when they start having kids and raise them in a church. There were a lot of questions and discussions on varying different subjects, which was cool. We’ll be going by there again to finish the work and they said we are welcome to stop by anytime for water or anything like that. We plan on giving them a Book of Mormon when there’s less of a risk of cement messing everything up, haha, and we invited them to church (they didn’t come to church, but eh, persistent inviting I guess).

So it has been a good week overall. Things are going well. Hope you all have a great Labor Day and God bless!

Love, Elder Foxx