Week 103: October 26, 2015: Surgery went well

So this has been an interesting week. Monday was another lesson with the Arrington’s girls that we’ve been teaching. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and two of the primary teachers over there present for the lesson. So something we found out is the one of the girls went to a family in Glendale and they are also LDS, interestingly enough. So we are just teaching three of them now, which I think I mentioned last time.

Tuesday we had another lesson with Sandra and her kids. We had the lesson in the Hunt’s home this time around. Brother and Sister Hunt were Makayla’s (Sandra’s 14-year old girl) ma and pa during Trek and the ages of the Hunt’s kids matches the ages of Sandra’s kids, so we thought that would be good. So we finished teaching the Plan of Salvation and afterwards we just followed up on some specific commitments related to prayer and we asked Makayla if she had prayed asking directly if God is really there and if He is real and she admitted that she didn’t do it out of fear of something terrible happening like a car accident or some crazy event. So she’s afraid of getting a catastrophic event as an “answer” for some reason, so we talked about that for a bit and tried to resolve that concern. It was really good to have brother and sister Hunt there to help as well. We then followed up with Sandra and asked about praying concerning the living situation and she says she hasn’t done that, kind of also for fear out of what the answer may be, she doesn’t know what to do as far as moving out or anything like that and she and her fiance don’t have a date due to “credit issues”, etc. And so sister Hunt read her 1 Nephi 3:7 (which we coincidentally read to her a few lessons ago when the situation was first brought up) and explained that when God asks us to do something, He will provide the way. So we extended the same invitation again and she said she’d pray about it.

Then I had foot surgery – using a needling technique and so that put my out of commission for a while. He had to numb me up hardcore and after seeing what my foot looked like that night after taking all the wrappings off, I am REALLY glad he did because that could have been a Halloween costume right then and there just looking at the image of the foot. But it’s healing up pretty quickly and by Friday afternoon I was able to regularly walk on it and by Saturday, we biked in it.

Then Saturday was the wedding of Christopher Burke and Katelyn Evans (Desert Valley ward – my last area). So THAT finally happened. Christopher’s Baptism is going to be next Thursday. I’m still a little upset at how pushed off it keeps getting (to be honest, he should have just been Baptized back in August), but whatever. It should be happening soon, so the stress from that can be done and over with. It was really weird being at the wedding though. It was held at the church building at Ray rd and I don’t know, we just really felt super out of place. But eh, they looked happy. A little stressed, but happy.

Beyond that there wasn’t a whole lot that happened a part from a TON of mission politics and drama that happened last night and this morning. I won’t give any specific details on it, but let’s just say I really, really, really, really, really, really, really cannot stand most zone leaders in this mission and this is probably one of the most immature and irresponsible things I have seen them do. Regardless, we FINALLY got info on transfer calls. Elder Sites and I are staying together, which I figured. I wasn’t anticipating anything happening on our end.

But anyway, despite how stressed I have been since last night and today, this week should be a fun one. Wednesday will be transfer meeting, Thursday night is Desert Ridge’s Fall Festival, Friday night is Madero’s Trunk or Treat, and then Saturday is Halloween. Next thing we know it’ll already be November. Time flies.

Anyway, I hope you all have a great week and have a safe and Happy Halloween!

Love, Elder Foxx

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Week 102: October 19, 2015: Lots of Rain!

Well, we got ourselves three straight days of rain the past few days! I’m thinking the warmth of Arizona is finally ending! Yaaaaay!

So Monday evening, we taught another lesson with the Arrington’s adopted girls and taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That was fun. We stopped by the Arrington’s a few days later to ask them about a part-member family we heard about in the other ward they cover that apparently had association with them and as we met, we discovered that one of the four girls just went to another family. So now it is only three that we are teaching, which is a little disappointing. It was crazy to hear just where these girls have come from and the experiences they’ve had growing up. It’s a miracle they are as stable as they are (and they ARE pretty normal) with half the stuff they went through. So that’s quite a miracle for them just to be able to be here in a good home with a good family where the Gospel is present. That’s huge.

Tuesday and Thursday we had lessons with Sandra and her kids. Tuesday, we finally finished the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the principles and ordinances of Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End. Both these lessons were in another’s member’s home – just trying to get the ward involved, which has been really cool to see it all work out. We taught the first half of the Plan of Salvation on Thursday (which was planned – I knew well ahead of time that we wouldn’t have much time to teach anything beyond the first half, haha). It’s been interesting because we’re trying to find a balance of being able to teach all three of them – her and her kids on an equal basis. Her 14-year old daughter is struggling with even developing a faith in God to begin with, so that’s something we’re trying to overcome and so we’re trying to get more and more of the girls her age out to the lessons. We should be having the next lesson this upcoming Tuesday in a member’s home – which members were the ma and pa for the daughter’s group in Trek the previous week (and the kids’ age match up perfectly too – a 17-year old boy, 14 year old daughter and 11-year old boy), so hoping that will help.

And of course, yesterday, Saturday, and Friday it rained each day. Sunday night in particular it rained HARD over here, it was crazy. Hoping that this tri-fecta of rain will keep the area finally cool and it can start feeling like winter is actually coming.

The spirit of Halloween is now all around! It’s crazy to think that’s just over a week and a half. And transfer calls are next week. Now that’s weird to think. Time’s just been flying. I feel like I’ve only been in this area for three weeks or something, it’s just crazy. I’m not anticipating anything for transfer calls, but we’ll see.

Hope you all have a wonderful week!

Love, Elder Foxx

Week 101: October 12, 2015: Teaching and Carving Pumpkins

So Monday evening, we taught our first lesson with the four little girls that the Arrington’s are adopting. It was a little different teaching it this way because we essentially taught the entire family (which consists of about 8 adopted children, 1 child by blood, and two parents, so it was a full house) so it was more like teaching a lesson in primary or something and just having the kids raise their hands and answer a bunch of different questions and teaching using the pictures on the pamphlets we had. So that was fun.

Tuesday, we had another lesson with Sandra. And that morning, I just felt prompted that we needed to teach The Gospel of Jesus Christ (being that through Christ we can be cleansed from sin, living the principles of Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End) It was interesting because it was over an hour long lesson and we only covered really Faith and Repentance, which is unusual from my experience because I feel it is usually the quickest lesson we go through. But there were just a lot of interesting conversations and there were a couple of concerns that she was having. One of them being her current living situation (she is living with her fiancé but they are not yet married and there is currently no exact marriage date yet), which she actually brought up to us because apparently she had heard that from another member that she couldn’t get Baptized until that happens. So then she’s talking about how now that she knows that, she is feeling all this guilt, but at the same time with their current situation, it’s not the most logical or easiest thing to just suddenly change the living situation, and so she’s been really frustrated with that. So that’s been interesting. It’s kind of a tough situation. On the bright side, she said that her prayers have been getting better and that she feels more comfortable with praying, so a lot of the difficulty is hopping over that obstacle.

We had F.H.A. on Wednesday at the Catmull’s, which is always fun. Nothing too particular to say about that.

Other than that, it was kind of a “meh” week overall. I don’t really know why. Nothing really hard or terrible has happened, there’s just been this mood in the air of just feeling very… “meh.” It’s weird. Halloween’s coming up soon, which is strange to think about. We’re starting to see all the decorations come up both inside the houses and outside, so that’s cool to see. This morning for P-Day, we gathered together at a member’s home and carved pumpkins, so that was fun.

But yeah, that’s kind of all I have to say about this week. Hope that you all have a wonderful week!

Love, Elder Foxx

Mission1

Elder Foxx, Jacob Boyd, Elder Conover, Elder Martin, Elder Grayson, Elder Shively, Elder Sites, Elder Barr, Elder Mauclair, Sister Bacon, Sister Cowan, Sister Rigby, Sister Wells

Mission2

The line of Pumpkins

Mission3

My Pumpkin (The Triforce from Zelda) #rushed #Pumpkingutswouldn’tgetout

Mission4

The line of Pumpkins

Week 100: October 5, 2015: Surgery Ahead

So Monday evening, we had FHE with the Richen’s with Sandra and her kids over as well. That was a lot of fun to participate in. The message was on the Savior’s parable of the sheep and the goats and listing nice things that we’ve done for others that was really like doing nice things for the Savior.

Then Tuesday was an interesting day. I had to see President/Doctor Hale for minor foot surgery on Tuesday. I’ve been having cryogenic surgery on my toe for the past few months to get rid of this issue and nothing’s been happening, so he was going to try a different procedure this day. But after he asked me if I had any appointments and I told him we had a lesson that night at 6:30, he changed the procedure back to the cryogenic surgery and told me to come back in about 3 weeks and make sure I have absolutely no appointments the day of the surgery and the day after because it will put me out of commission for a bit.

So Tuesday, we mostly just stayed and rested because I couldn’t do much. We got a ride to the 6:30 appointment and had the lesson with Sandra and her kids. It was a very interesting lesson. The kids didn’t speak much and felt very awkward (I asked if they thought we were intimidating and they flat-out said yes, haha). So that was interesting… but apart from that, it went well. Sandra understands everything very well and commited to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. So far, she has been very happy with her experience in the church thus far, which is good. She had a few concerns about prayer and other things. The people we had at the lesson was a young couple – the husband being a recent convert, and they helped a lot with resolving her concerns and helping with answering her questions too.

Thursday, we had zone conference just about all day, haha. A lot of the training consisted of working with the ward council and with the members of the area and defining what we can do to help the wards and stakes catch the same “vision” of missionary work. He defined three different phases of wards. Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3 (or good, better, and best). Phase 1 is a ward that does relatively well as far as missionary work and teaching goes, but the missionaries are doing all the work and have little to no support. It’s good because the missionaries are working… but the work is slammed down all on their shoulders. A Phase 2 ward is a ward in which the members catch the idea that they should help out the missionaries as the missionaries do the work. A Phase 3 ward is when the overall idea and atmosphere is that the missionaries help the members in fulfilling their responsibilities. The idea of “we have someone that is willing to hear the Gospel, we need the missionaries to help us to teach them and receive a testimony.” So we talked about what we could do to help our areas and wards become phase 3 wards and help the members of our area and the ward council catch the same vision.

It was interesting to be there though because there were 5 zones total (including our’s) there… aaaaand I barely recognize anyone anymore. The mission is too green. All the missionaries I used to know are pretty much gone. It’s weird to think though… that was my last zone conference in the mission. Now that’s weird.

Then we saw Sandra again at the Sunday Afternoon session of conference. It was interesting. It was the first conference session I’ve ever seen in a member’s home and not in a stake center. But they really enjoyed it. As we were there, we were able to follow up on the reading of the Book of Mormon and she’s been doing it, but she has a hard time retaining a lot of what she’s learning and reading. So we talked for a bit about that and so did the members that were there. We have our next lesson with her this Tuesday evening, so hopefully that will go well.

Conference was really good. It was different not seeing President Packer, Elder Perry, and Elder Scott. The last time we had any of the brethren pass away before those three was President Hinckley, I believe. But there were a lot of revelatory experiences in conference. One of the talks that I was impressed upon was the talk by Elder Lawrence (?) of the seventy about how when we pray and seek what it is that we may lack or what it is that we can work on that the Holy Ghost will answer to us and it may not be an answer we have ever considered. But it is important to be obedient to the Holy Ghost because God knows more than we and it is there that we can improve, and as we follow the promptings of the Holy Ghost, we will have the Holy Ghost as a constant companionship.

So this has been a pretty good week. It’ll be good when the conference talks become easily available online to be able to listen to them and read them and study them more fully. I hope that we can always do what is necessary to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost. I’m grateful that we have prophets and apostles in our day that can receive inspiration for the entire human family. I hope everyone has a great week and God bless!

Love, Elder Foxx

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

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