Week 110: December 14, 2015: Last Letter

Well, Saturday has officially marked my 25 months of being a full-time missionary. 25 months have come and gone. It’s a strange thing to suppose. Never thought I would reach this point, that’s for sure.

To sum up the week, we had our lesson with Sandra Tuesday evening, which has been the first time in about three weeks that we met with her. We had the lesson in the Richen’s home and we also had brother Hale with us during the lesson as well. We started off by sharing “A Savior is Born” and based the lesson around the “Why” of Christ’s birth and taught of His pre-ordained mission as the Savior and Redeemer of the world, His earthly mission and His atonement, and why that is important. We taught this more for Makayla and Abel’s understanding’s sake than Sandra’s. But we later on share the other video that is also on christmas.mormon.org which is “Why we need a Savior.” We invited them to attend the Mesa Temple lights and if all goes well, we should be going with them tonight after 6:30 PM.

Wednesday was Transfer meeting and I believe that this was truly inspired. So I am only here for an additional week, so I am now in a trio with Elder Sites… and Elder Wolfe. Yup. They put the “Wolf” and the “Fox” together. I am convinced that this was inspired. Elder Wolfe has been out for three months and is from Denver, Colorado. And he’s really awesome. He and Elder Sites will be good together.

Overall, this week we have seen a couple of cool miracles. We have tracted into a few people that have potential to be real investigators, which is great. Friday after Weekly planning, Elder Wolfe and Elder Sites had to go to a new missionary meeting from 1:00-4:00 PM and so I just went on splits with a priest and did work, which was a lot of fun. Nothing too miraculous, but it was just good, fun, missionary work. And we just picked up three new investigators Sunday night. How that came is we have been trying to get in and meet with the Menarchin’s (potential investigators in Desert Ridge ward) for the longest time and we came by Sunday evening and their oldest daughter who is in college – Autumn – answered the door and she was the one that got Baptized several months ago. And so she walks outside and starts talking to us for a bit, and then the mom walks out too and we start talking for a bit and then she says, “Well, dinner is now ready and you are more than welcome to join us if you’d like.” We certainly did not turn down that opportunity, so we came in and had dinner with them and asked if we could share a message with them afterwards. We start by sharing, “A Savior Is Born” and bearing testimonies of the Savior and reading scriptures on Christ from the Book of Mormon. We follow-up on if they read the Book of Mormon and they have not yet. So we invited them to read Alma chapter 7 as a family and to pray about it and pray about the Book of Mormon to find out if it is true. The nice thing is that Autumn is staying there for at least a month since she is on Winter break from college now so she will be there to encourage and everything. Autumn talked to us after the meeting and was shocked and had no idea her mother or siblings would be as interested as they were. Just goes to show that you really never know until you invite and ask.

We’ve got a good last few days lined up. We got the Temple lights tonight, we got a lesson with Sandra tomorrow night, and I’ll be going on a lot of exchanges/splits with other missionaries/priests. Should be good!

It’s crazy to think that I am just at the end though. It’s almost sad. I truly understand why missionaries refer to going home as “dying” now. Because it isn’t dying, it is far from it, but man, it certainly does feel like dying. It’s just the pressure of how little time there really is. As I reflect on my mission, it is hard to believe I am where I’m at. It has been a roller coaster of up’s and down’s and it has taught me so much about life. It seems like there has always been a spiritual battle leading up to this even back when I was first working on submitting my papers to go on a mission. Despite the battles, I know that God has been ever merciful unto me and unto all those around me. And He always is there. Christ’s Arm of Mercy is extended towards ALL who will simply come unto Him.

I have a testimony of this Gospel and of Christ’s Restored Church here upon the earth. I know that we do have Prophets that are led and guided by our Savior, Jesus Christ. He truly is at the helm. We live in a time as prophesied in which good would be called evil and evil would be called good and because God loves us, he communicates to us this day. There is a lot of misery and a lot of sadness that comes with the world that can sometimes be associated with happiness. But wickedness never was happiness. The only way to find true and everlasting happiness is through acceptance of the Gospel which Christ taught.

Throughout my mission, I have met many, many, many people that have fallen away, have apostatized, or have lost their testimony in God. And the overall theme I find with these people is that something has happened in their life, whether it is a terrible tragedy or a lot of stress or what have you, that has caused them to forget the fundamental doctrine that God loves them and is their Heavenly Father. The Adversary tells them they are not loved, they are not cared for, and that leads them to stop believing in God altogether; because they would rather have no God at all than a God that doesn’t love them. And thus by turning away from them, all they feel is bitterness and sadness… even dreams get affected by it. By turning away from God, they end up turning away from the One who could heal them.

Never turn away from God. That is the absolute worst thing anyone can do in times of difficulty. God loves you. He loves each and every one of us. He knows you by name. That is why he provided a Savior for us. That is why He has given us the ability to pray. And He wants us to pray and to communicate with Him. And He will answer your prayers. We just need to patient in His timing, but He DOES answer them. And when the answer does come, we MUST be obedient to the prompting of the Holy Ghost. With His guidance, we can overcome all things. I know that is true because I have experienced it myself. I know that the Savior is there for us. That He will guide us and protect us in all things. This Christmas Season, let us remember that He is the gift God gave to us, and let us ask ourselves, “What gift will I give to the Savior?” As you do so and as you act upon that question, you will be blessed. I know that Jesus Christ lives today. And because He lives, we too shall live. And this I say in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Merry Christmas everyone!

Love, Elder Foxx

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Back: Elder Grayson, Elder Martin, Elder Barr, Elder Conover, Elder Sites, Elder Marler, Elder Foxx Front: Elder Briscoe (got transferred from Australia because his visa expired), Sister Olsen, Sister Junod, Sister Cowan, Sister Wells

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“Your son and his companions at church today. He is excited to see you soon. He has been an awesome missionary and we will miss him.” Pam Walton, Madero Ward

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Elder Foxx, Jacob Boyd, Elder Sites, Elder Grayson, Elder Barr

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Elder Wolfe, Elder Foxx, Elder Sites

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My milk expires when I do… 😦

Week 109: December 7, 2015: It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas

So this week has been quite the blur. We haven’t been able to get a hold of Sandra for the longest time , but luckily she did text back to us and we FINALLY have a lesson set for next Tuesday evening. And she and her two kids were there at church yesterday, which was great to see.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere we go. Decorations are going up like crazy and it seems that this year a lot of people have gone the easier route and have chosen to purchase lasers to just shine on their houses. And just about everywhere we go, we are trying to share the message that A Savior Was Born for each and every one of us and what that means to us.

Friday morning was the Departure Temple trip for the missionaries departing in December. Aaaaand I missed it. The session was at 10:00 AM and the plan was to have someone ride me there at 9:15. He got there at 9:22 and then we got at the parking lot at 9:55. We booked it in and of course there’s a long line to scan in the temple recommend. And then when we go to change clothes, the person I was with forgot to bring white temple pants. So needless to say, the session already started by the time we got there, which stressed me and depressed probably a lot more than it should have. We ended up just going to the 10:45 AM session, but completely missed seeing all the other missionaries and the mission president and his wife and all that. So that was sort of a bitter-sweet moment.

Saturday was interesting. Elder Grayson and I had a little power exchange in the morning and we helped the Moon’s from Santa Rita ward move out. That was an interesting experience that just put everything in full-circle. Back in February 2014, Elder Bailey and I helped move that family in and now in December 2015, Elder Grayson and I help move them out.

Later in the night, we had Madero ward’s Christmas party. It started off as a service by putting together these children’s kits full of blankets, stuffed animals, picture-books, and toothbrushes for needy families. Then there was a dinner and it ended with a skit. We invited a lot of people and a couple of them seemed really solid that they were coming, but then we didn’t see anybody there that we invited, so that was disappointing.

Yesterday was my last Fast Sunday as a full-time Missionary, so I couldn’t help but go up to the pulpit and bear my testimony. It’s weird that time has come this far… the question I get asked is no longer, “How long have you been out?” or “How long until you go home?” It’s a matter of “How many days do you have left?” That is so weird that I am at this point.

Transfer calls came and I’m being transferred for my last week as a missionary… just kidding. As you can expect, nothing is really happening. At transfer meeting, Elder Sites and I will be in a trio for a little bit until I get home. It’s interesting, they’re barely touching the zone this transfer. The only people being transferred in our zone is Elder Shively and Sister Cowan. That’s it. Anyway, it’ll be interesting. Tonight I’ll be going to the Nattress’s home for the departure dinner. It’s crazy to think I’m at that point. It’s so odd… there’s almost like a small hint of fear that comes with going home. Not like I’m afraid of something happening… but… I dunno. It’s very similar to the anxiety and fear that was there before I left for my mission.

Anyway, I hope that all of you have a wonderful week! I hope that all of us will be able to remember the spirit of Christmas this year. I know that Christ was born because of His pre-ordained Mission to save us from our sins and our sorrows. And I know that it is through Him and through obedience to His restored Gospel that we can feel of that love in His fulness and have a desire to share it with others.

Love you all! Be safe! Elder Foxx