Monday, October 28, 2013

October 28, 2013

Okay, so yeah, transfers!  To answer Mom's questions:  The new area and companion are great!  I am in Laveen, which is actually the same zone I was in before.  My companion is Elder Francis, and is the new district leader of our district.  He is way awesome.  He's from San Diego and has been out 5-6 months.  My old area, Maryvale (sometimes called scary-vale :P ) has been "whitewashed".  Yes, they sent two new missionaries in the area and they are actually sister missionaries!  Pretty interesting.  Especially because the senior companion is someone I was in the MTC with, and she has a brand-new sister, and is taking over an area she hasn't been in.  Definitely a lot on her plate!

As far as Trailside (my new area) goes, it's really small.  It's only about a square mile and a half.  It's a really nice area though, full of super nice houses.  Well, probably just seem "super nice" compared to Maryvale.  With it being so small, we don't really have many investigators.  It's more Less-Active work here apparently.  Which is just fine!  Our apartment is smaller than my room was at home.  I'll see if I can attach a picture of it, but we fit two beds, two desks, a fridge and a tiny table in it.  It's pretty comical.  We don't have an oven, but we do have a microwave so that's a bonus!  It's at a member's house, and is just a room that has a separate entrance.  It's fun though.  Elder Francis and I get along super well so I don't anticipate any frustration coming from the lack of space.  

Story time!  So in Maryvale we were teaching a part-member family.  The mom was a member, and all her kids and "husband" were non-members.  She has two kids that are baptismal age:  Phoenix, who has long blonde hair down to the small of his back and is 10 I think, and his younger brother Trinity.  We hadn't been able to set them on a baptismal date before we left, because we figured we'd want the father to be baptized with them, and he and his "wife" have to actually get married first.  Anyway, they're super super interested but we told them that we were being transferred.  The super sweet part came when the mother of the family (who is the member) when we told her we were leaving just thanked us so much for what we had done for her and her family.  She said that we "changed [their] lives".  That is a sweet "OH YEAH" moment for sure.  Changing lives one lesson at a time.  Game time.

Along with saying good-byes, it was surprisingly harder than I thought it would be!  I definitely grew to love the people of Maryvale.  It's amazing how fast you can love people so much.  It's definitely because of the service too.  One of our zone leaders, Elder Murphey, always says that if he doesn't love someone, he just serves them until he does.  For some people he says "I had to serve them a lot before I grew to love them."  Way sweet attitude to have.  I can see it working as I continue to serve as well.

Speaking of Elder Murphey, I bought his guitar!  He got it while he was serving down by the border, and a member family went to mexico and picked it up for him.  I bought it for 30 bucks and it's a sweet classical guitar.  I'm way excited!

Funny that you should mention stories about following promptings of the spirit, because I have a story for you too!:
It was 8:00 on Saturday night, and Trailside is full of super young couples with crazy amounts of kids.  There are probably 50 kids under...6 in the ward.  It's basically full of people the same age as my older brothers.  So, 8:00 is actually the equivalent of like 3 a.m. apparently, and Bishop doesn't want us just dropped in on people unannounced at 8:00 at night.  So, it was 8:00 and all our plans fell through and Elder Francis was wondering what we should do next.  I suggested we pray about it.  So we did.  We prayed, and gave the Lord options of who we could go see, and asked which would be the best.  We both got the same answer.  Super sweet.  So we go over to this lady's house and it turns out that she wasn't home.  Elder Francis just left a not and said "I guess that was the reason we came over here."  Tsk Tsk.  To leave a note?  Unacceptable.  I told him that there was definitely someone we need to find over in this area.  We ride to this other less-active member's house and it has a foreclosure lock on it... whatever.  We knock anyway.  No answer.  (That would be a cool story if they did)  Still cool though, because as we were riding away, I saw a guy standing in his driveway.  The only person we had seen outside all night.  I turned back to Elder Francis and said "Game Time!".  Yep, this kid (Juan) was who we were sent to see!  We taught him a lesson and he even prayed with us right there in the street.  We scheduled a follow-up appointment.  Just like that, we have a new investigator.  Super cool.

Another story!  There is a guy named Michael Reid who Elder Francis has been working with here for a while was disfellowshipped at some point earlier in his life.  Well, this guy made a covenant with the Lord that he would do whatever it takes to regain his full membership and priesthood.  So he did.  He's been meeting with the missionaries regularly and had a meeting with the Stake President yesterday.  He was able to bless the sacrament the same day.  Just goes to show the incredible power of the Atonement.  No matter where anyone is in life, whether they're the "vilest of sinners", there's always hope.  Way sweet.  

Other than that, I realized how much I miss Jazz music and jamming and stuff.  Luckily I got a guitar so I can satiate that appetite at least a little bit.  Also, the member family we live with has a sweet grand piano, and they said I'm welcome to use it any time.  To further satiate my hunger for jazz, I decided I'm going to make jazz arrangements of church hymns.  Already started, and it's going to be sweet.  Now I just need my hands on a bass... and two other guys to play with.  My hymns are coming along though.  I can actually read fairly well.  I can't play up to tempo mind you, but I don't have to pick out each note individually anymore.  I'll just have to keep playing the awesome piano that's in our house on p-days and stuff.  Sweet.

That's all!

-Elder Cox

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