Tuesday, June 19, 2012


I found these pictures of Steven on his Mission President's Blog from his last Zone Conference, June 2012.  I did not get a big email this week...hoping for a letter in a day or two, so these will have to do for now!  I did get a brief email letting me know that he no longer has a camera...or the photo card that was in the camera...I'm not really sure what became of the camera but knowing Boo...it could be as simple as; he inadvertently stepped on it where he neatly set it on the ground, or hey it fell into a volcano as he was passing it by or maybe he simply met someone who really needed a camera and gave them his...anyway no camera equals no pictures for mamma!  Thus the cash for pictures incentive program has been placed on hold (temporarily)  and a have resumed my cyber stalking for photos!  These are my latest finds...


Elder Maddox  sitting ( about 11:00) light blue tie

Shreveport Zone Conference   Elder Maddox is far right on front row 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Letter #9 (Shreveport, LA)

Life in Shreveport is nothing short of amazing. It is crazy to me to think that another week has already gone. It feels like I'm always in the library writing these letters, the week goes by so fast. Elder Spangler and I are still working as hard as we physically can. Every night we go home, plan, and are in bed by about 10! But every night were able to look up at the ceiling and tell the Lord that we gave it all for Him today, and we will be ready to do it again tomorrow. That is the key I think to the mission. Hard work. There truly is no substitute. Working hard is what will make the two years feel like a blink. Hard work is what will change the missionary the most. And ultimately, hard work will grant success. No amount of skills, or abilities will replace hard work. Know that when you put that black tag on each day, hard work is what is expected. Nothing less than your best is acceptable. As a missionary, you will be held accountable come judgement for those who you were given stewardship over. If you did all that you could to bring them closer to Christ, then you will be rewarded for your work, but if you as a missionary slacked off, and didn't take your mission serious, then you will be held accountable. Another thing that never stops amazing me is the maturity that a missionary is forced to gain quickly. For whatever reason people feel that the missionaries have the answers to all of life's questions. It seems they forget that I am only 19!! Haha crazy stuff!

This week Elder Spangler and I have been working a lot with our number one investigator Luke Regard. Luke is a 21 year old college student who already has faith in Christ. Elder Spangler and I are doing our best to help him draw closer to Christ through the Restored Gospel, and he is progressing very well. He has come to church in the last two weeks, and has a baptism date for June 29th which seems very attainable. He is very open minded and believes that Joseph Smith is a Prophet, and that God's true church is on the earth today, and he feels that he has found it. Lets hope that he doesn't get anti-ed. In the south, rather than teach lessons in their church, different church's will teach all about how the Mormons are all wrong! There are Methodist colleges down here that teach Anti-Mormon classes! Gotta love the South! I know I do! I attended my first crawdad boil this week at one of our investigators houses, and I have to say, very good! But a lot of work for small reward, but still, pretty good. Not much more to say other than to say this Church continues to amaze me! It is so cool that this gospel truly has EVERYTHING. Different parts of this Gospel mean so much to me at different times. This week has been the thought that families are together forever. That through the power of the Priesthood, we can be sealed to those who we love for time and all eternity. But going back to the idea that this Gospel can "morph" to your needs is due to the fact that our church is centered on Jesus Christ. Because Christ literally felt every sin, guilt, and pain, He knows how to help us endure to the end. Not only does He know, but He is all too willing to help if we allow Him into our lives. He will help us to grab the Iron Rod when it slips from our grasp. He will pick us up when we fall off the straight and narrow, and He will lead us from temptation. And when we need it, He will remind us of the piece of Gospel that we need in our lives at that point, that will help us to progress, and grow closer to him.
~Elder Maddox

Monday, June 4, 2012

Letter #8 (Shreveport, LA)

     We heard from Elder Maddox today it was brief but I was happy to get it!  He sounds amazing. He spends 3 hours a day studying!!! (That does my heart good!)   He is already saying "Y' all" and has a baptism scheduled for July 1st.  He really enjoys his new trainer, Elder Spangler. Steven says that "Elder Spangler knows everything!"  I am asked all the time; how I am doing and if the time is going fast or slow...  Well, I am so happy that he has chosen to serve a mission that it does help the sting of him being gone.  I have anticipated this since he was born and that helps too.  I miss having his fun personality in our home.  For me his first week was the easiest, I think because I was so excited for him.  But as the weeks went on it really sunk in that we wont be seeing him for 2 full years!  I am doing okay now butt I definitely have my moments; when I am writing him a letter, when I am counting heads to make sure everyone is there or when I need his help with something...  I still have to go through all 3 of my boys names to call the right one and he has been gone for weeks.  But just when I seem to be really down or miss him so bad that it hurts, I receive a tender mercy.  Even as I was updating this blog and missing him so much, I received a text from Tracey Barrow in Louisiana telling me that she had just fed the missionaries!  She said that Elder Maddox is doing great and she even sent a picture!  She said what great example the missionaries are to her 3 year old son! It's such a great feeling to know that my son is now setting the example for future generations.  Wow, how about that as an answer to my prayers. 
 I love technology and my missionary!!! 

Elder Maddox far left.  The little one...all 6 feet 200 pounds of him!
Well... imagine my surprise when a couple hours after my short email came I received the "real" weekly email.  It was written about the same time, the time stamps were the same, it just arrived much later so here it is...

       Crazy thought!
Alright, here is a crazy thought! Exactly one year ago from tomorrow is when I left for Savannah Georgia to go and sell alamarms! It feels like that was just yesterday when I had to say goodbye to my friends and family for that adventure. And just like my first journey into the south, my second trip is proving to be amazing!! This week we have been meeting with many of our investigators, quite often and this was the week of "signs". For whatever reason, many of the people whom we have been teaching found out this week that the church is true through some miracle or another. It would take me more than my allotted time of one hour at the library! Another weird thought is that I am entering into my 4th week as a missionary in Shreveport. It feels like I just got here! Time becomes irrelevant when you're in the service of your Lord! While two years is a scary amount of time to leave home, it will fly by, so to anyone who doesn't know if they can give two years, here is a quote for you "The Lord doesn't ask about your ability, only your availability; and, if you prove your dependability, the Lord will increase your capability." Spencer W. Kimball. The Lord will compensate for all that we lack if we put ourselves in a position to be uplifted by him. He doesn't care about what your skills may be, or even the lack there of, but He does care that you are willing to put His name on over your heart everyday, and endure more than you thought possible. If you are willing to do that for Him, willing to be called names, willing to be rejected, willing to be mocked, ridiculed, yelled at, cussed at, more tired than you thought possible, then, He will raise you up, and "increase your capability". Remember that Christ suffered for all of our sins. But He did so much more than that, He felt the pains, sorrow, guilt, and anguish that each of us has EVER felt. Because He felt it all, He knows how to help us cope with it all, and He is anxisouly waiting for you to call on Him.
~Elder Maddox