Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Letter #7

This week has been nothing but crazy to say the least. And I apologize for my tardiness in writing this letter, but due to Memorial Day, the public library was closed. But back to the week of craze! Last week we had a little competition between all the districts in the Shreveport Zone to see which District could find the most new investigators. A new investigator is an individual who you teach a lesson to, and set up a specific return appointment. So Elder Spangler and I set out to beat everyone else single handily. We talked to EVERYONE who we saw on the street, and by the end of the week had 8 new investigators, which Elder Spangler tells me is really good! Just not good enough to win the competition:( See the rules were that each district would be avraged out, and the other companionships in our districts struggled this week, and couldn't find anyone new to teach. But I guess the bright side to our loss, if there is such a thing, is that we have 8 new people to teach this week!! Epic! So because our mission is really pushing setting people with baptisimal dates on the first visit, we now have 4 people set up to baptized on the 28th of june! Pretty cool. Its hard to believe that I'm a missionary. Every morning, I have to remind myself that this is who I am now, but I will say this. My P-day cloths are starting to feel akward to have on. I feel boarderline naked without the collar of my white shirt hitting me high on the neck! Its crazy to think Im already a month and a half in to this thing. Time is an interesting thing when your a missionary. Everyday goes by so fast. Every time I check my watch, it feels like I'm late. There feels like there is so much to do but so little time to finish it. Two years will fly by. Two years will be just a flash of time.
Elder Maddox

Monday, May 21, 2012

Letter #6 Shreveport, Louisiana

Hey world,
So this week has been nothing but finding for elder Spangler and I. Since we have absolutly no investigators due to us opening a new area, we have been tracting like crazy! Since Wednesday of last week we handed out 20 Book of Mormons, which I'm being told is pretty flippin good! Haha this week has been nothing but joy to say the least. We get to head into downtown quite often and we have met some of the craziest people I have ever met! But the Lord has blessed Elder Spangler and I in more ways than I could write down in the short time I have. But one of those miracles is too cool to ignore. As we were tracting, we met a young man named Luke. Luke is a Christian, but does not belong to any one faith. He knows Christ and has done a lot of studying on him. So on the street, Elder Spangler and I dove into the first lesson the Restoration of the Gospel. As soon as we finished with the Jospeh Smith story he looked at us and said "I know what you just told me is true. I don't know how, but I do" How amazing is that? That was Friday, and we now have our return appointment for Monday night at 5! I will let you know how it goes! The church is true! The work is going forward regardless of how much the world will try to rebel against us. The Lord is on our side, so how can we lose?

~Elder Maddox

A Night In The Mission Home

I was so excited to see that the Mississippi Jackson Blog was updated again and I found more pictures of Elder Maddox so I thought I would share...  ~Lisa

MONDAY, MAY 14, 2012 ~Pres. Tucker's Blog

"After spending the afternoon in orientation and having their first opportunity to be a missionary in Mississippi, the missionaries came to the mission home for the night before traveling to their new areas the following day."

Elder Maddox with the Mission President and his wife.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Letter #5 (First Area)

       Imagine my surprise when I just finished updating Steven's blog having to use his Mission President's blog info because he hadn't written yet and realize that I have a new email from him! Our first letter from Jackson Mississippi, where the Mission Home is (the hub of this mission, his mission takes in 4 states). He was there just long enough for his interview, a hot meal and a comfy bed and then off to his first area...but I will let him tell you about that!

Greetings from Shreveport, Louisiana!!

Wow what a crazy few days the last few days have turned out to be!! From the M.T.C. in Provo Utah to Jackson, Mississippi, to now being in Shreveport, Louisiana, the last few days have been nothing short of amazing, but lets start at the beginning! So Monday morning at 3 in the A.M. district 3A, headed to to the Jackson, Mississippi Mission, awoke to start the adventure of a life time! In order to make our 7:50 flight we had to leave the M.T.C. by 4, thus the early waking up time. So at 4, we boarded a bus bound for S.L.C International airport and quickly boarded our flight with Atlanta, Georgia as the destination. We arrived in Atlanta at about 2 o'clock local time and had about a 2 hour layover where we all got to try out our new found missionary skills. Unfortunately none of us had any luck do to our "greeniess", but with spirits high, we jumped on our final plane to Jackson Mississippi! Upon arriving in Jackson we were greeted by our A.P.'s Elder Spangler and Elder Garrett. After getting our bags, President and Sister Tucker met us with the mission van and trailer. After a brief hug, with the President, we're not allowed to hug sisters;), and yes Mom, a picture, we jumped in the van and drove to the Brandon Stake Center, about 10 minutes away from the airport. Upon arriving, we had our first real meal since leaving home that was prepared by Sister Tucker, and went through a pretty in depth orientation on how the mission operates! During that time, the president took each Elder and Sister out and did our welcome interview, you know, the one where he looks on your soul to see who should be your trainer? Ya, it made me feel like he was trying to know everything about me in a matter of minutes, which of coarse he was!! Haha awesome right? Anyway, back to the story! Shortly after my interview, I was companioned off to one of the local missionaries, Elder Burt, who took me on my first real tracting session ever! No one cared to hear the message we had to share, so we went home with nothing to show for the day... But the day wasn't over. After my failed attempt at knocking doors, we loaded up in one of the mission cars and headed to the mission home that's located in a little suburb of Jackson. The home was BEAUTIFUL, and we got to sleep on real bed's, not the cardboard they make you sleep on in the M.T.C. But before bed time, one very important event had to take place. The placement of the new missionaries with their respectable trainers. So they had name cards of all the new missionaries, and of all the trainers, and we had to try to guess who our trainer would be. I guessed Elder Spangler, who was being released as A.P. for his final 3 months of his mission, and I was dead on! Now is where it gets crazy. Elder Spangler and I were tasked with opening a new area of the mission, that hadn't been established. Shreveport Downtown! Talk about feelings of inadequicy, knowing that I had just stepped off the airplane, and now was being asked to help open up a new area for the Mission. And that was just Monday! Tuesday was nothing too crazy just driving out to our area, about 5 hours away from Jackson, and getting set up in our new apartment. We did however have a few hours to go and tract, and Elder Spangler showed me how to do it! He placed a Book of Mormon on just our second door answered, and not only placed it, but got a return date for Thursday night, and yes, they will be feeding us! This place is amazing, and the people are even more so! I'm sitting in the library right now, and there are some of the most amazing, old, church's here, and yes once again mother, pictures will come. But today,Wednesday Elder Spangler gave me the reins, and I placed my first Book Of Mormon, and yes, I too got a return appointment for Monday so we will see how that goes! I can't tell you how excited I am to be in this new area. People here are all so willing to listen to our message, no matter their faith! The next 6 months that I will be here will be absolutely amazing, I have no doubt of that. I finally have an address which is:

Elder Steven Maddox
3644 Beckham Drive
Shreveport Louisiana 71104

I don't know that Dear Elder works out here, so anyone wishing to write to me had better do it the old fashioned way, by a stamp and envelope! Love to hear from everyone, and I will do my best to respond, but my number one priority now is to help the work go forward, so forgive me if it takes a while for a response. This area is truly hand picked by the Lord, and Shreveport Downtown is "white ready to harvest!" It is becoming weirder and weirder to hear  myself called by any name other than Elder. I am so thankful to be here in this area right now. I love the State, I love the people, and I love my area. I can not wait for both my friends and family who have their calls to experience the overwhelming joy I have as I write this. The church is true, and the Lord is truly my Shepard!

~Elder Maddox

Elder Maddox Arrives In Mississippi!

With the beauty of Blogs, I am now able to stalk my missionary son via the computer!!!  While I have not yet officially heard from him personally through the mail I was able to find him on the Mississippi Jackson Mission Blog that his mission president keeps. How awesome is that!  Not only am I keeping a blog for my son but so is his mission president!  I am so glad to know he has made it safely and didn't loose his luggage this time!  So here are a few of the pictures that I found on the blog spot...

"It was a beautiful day for twelve amazing missionaries to arrive.  Welcome Elders Murdoch, Bradshaw, Palmieri, Green, Bytheway, Flint, Thomas, Maddox, Saunders, Hamp and
 ( Pres. & Sis. Tucker)  Sisters Talakai and Tomlinson."

"After getting all the luggage we held to tradition and put everyone on the elevator for a photo" 

Elder Madox in back center with red and white tie!!!
Elder Maddox center back to us with MTC companion Flint

Monday, May 14, 2012

First Phone Call Home!!! (Atlanta, GA)

For those of you unfamiliar to an LDS Misson, the missionaries may write home and friends once a week and may call home twice a year, on Mother's Day and Christmas.  They are also allowed to call from the airport when they travel from the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah to the area they will be serving their 2 year mission in.  If they happen to be in the MTC on either Mother's Day or Christmas they do not get to call home.  But in Steven's case he flew to Mississippi the day after Mother's Day so while I didn't get a phone call yesterday I received TWO today!!!  He called at 6:30 this morning from the Salt Lake Airport so he could talk to all of his brothers and sisters before they left for school.  And he called me a few hours later during his layover in Atlanta, GA.  It was so good to hear from him!  He was very excited to talk to each of his siblings but by the time he got to the last, his 6 year old sister Katrina, he was very choked up.  (I love that he misses each of them so much)    He told me that during his almost 3 weeks in the MTC that he saw at least 15 or more young men that he knew from home.  He said that Elder Brennan Stratton is doing great and is having an amazing time like himself.  He also saw Elder Braden Day and even got to participate in a blessing for Elder Day after he injured his shoulder playing sports. Steven said he has had so many amazing experiences while he has been there.  Elder Maddox sounds happy and ready to accomplish great things.  It made me feel so good to hear his cheerful voice and positive attitude.  I have updated his mailing address on the blog.  He loves receiving letters and is grateful to everyone who writes him.  ~Lisa

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Letter #4 (MTC)

What up outside world!!
It feels like I have been here since the start of time!! But at the same time, its crazy to think my stint here at the MTC is almost expired! I got my travel plans! As of monday at 3 p.m. o'clock (mississippi time) I will be in the field! Crazy to think! So here is my schedule. Monday morning I wake up at 3 in the a.m., get all the rest of my stuff together, and then be at the travel office at 3:30. We, my distict, then load up in a bus, and drive up to SLC international!! Then fly to Atlanta, then over to Jackson. Family, I'm not too sure on when I will be able to call, so keep phones on you, and answer if its not a number you recgonize, especially dad;) So ya pretty crazy. Although I love it here, teaching everyday and spending time with my district, its pushing my sanity levels being here doing the same thing all day everyday but what can you do right.
I got to listen to Elder D. Todd Christofferson yesterday!! It was abslolutly amazing to hear an Apostle of the Lord speak to us. He taught on how we as missionaries can attain the true love of Christ that each and every missionary, not only needs to, but should have. It was crazy because that is exactly what I have been trying to figure out for the last few days!! Never before have I recieved such an obvious answer to a prayer, like I did last night. Amazing things happen here, and I can't wait for all my friends and family who have calls, or are waiting for calls, to experience all of the cool experiences that have been happening! Its impossible to go anywhere here without feeling the spirit! Cousins, this next part is for you. Attend the temple as much as you can before you come to the MTC. The once a week for an hour that you get here just dosen't satistify your needs. Get in all that you can while on the outside! Can't wait to read your letters when you get here!
To all the friends and family that have written me letters, thank you so much! I have very limited time each day to write, so please forgive me for not responding in a quick manner! But keep them coming, I love hearing from each and every one of you! These next few days will be crazy! Amazing things are done by the missionaries here, and I'm so proud to be apart of that! Love you all!!  
           ~Elder Maddox

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Letter #3 (MTC)

Wow!  I got an email yesterday and a letter in the mail today with an SD card in it full of pictures and a page listing what every picture is of!  Yay Elder Maddox.  That's my boy! (I did offer cash for pictures before he left) so here are a few of the pictures!  I am one happy Mamma today!  ~Lisa

Elders Maddox & Bradshaw
Elder Flint and Elder Maddox MTC companions

Elder Maddox

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Letter #2 (MTC)

Hey World,

The MTC, is by far the most amazing, and the most difficult thing I have done so far. The highs, and the lows, have been in an abundance as of late, but this is where I need to be! This place is absolutly amazing.

So far, I have been issued a companion, Elder Flint, and him and I have hit it off! We are apart of a district of 9 missionaries all going to Jackson, Mississippi, and all of us are doing amazing. It feels to weird to be writing letters to those who I know are back at home, because the MTC has completly taken over me. It feels like this is where I have been, and what I have been doing for my whole life, and it seems like you all should know how I'm doing. I don't know how to really explain it, but it makes sense in my head! The church is true, and to my cousins who are getting ready to serve, this is a very real battle were stepping into, prepair as such. o and jeff, half of my zone is going to your mission!! They are awesome elders who you will love! The church is true! I know that because in one week I have spent 56+ hours in a class room, and I love it. If not for the Lord, I couldn't have done that. Know that I am where I need to be! This place is honestly amazing! Sorry for the short note, but I don't feel the need to go into detail about my classroom study:) If anyone wishes to get into contact with me, the best way is via, it is instant, and will appear in my mail box that day. Make sure your address is attached so that I can write you, with pen and paper, back! My box number is 306, and my departure date is may 14! Love you all!
       ~Elder Maddox