Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Letter #34 (Ruston, LA)

Whats up world??
Alright so a change of scenery has taken place! I left Arkansas and got put back into Louisiana to open up Ruston to Elders. For those of you who are Jazz fans, you will find this cool. Ruston is home to none other than Karl "the mail man" Malone, and rumor has it that he enjoys having the missionaries over for the occasional dinner, so I will make sure to get some pictures during that dinner appointment. In addition to opening up Ruston, President McDounough has given me the opportunity to train again. Elder Rose is an 18 year old missionary from Richfield Utah, and is very excited to get going. Although I always enjoy going to new area's and meeting new people, leaving Ashdown was a bit difficult for me. So many memories, so many friendships took place in my three months up there, and truly, I was expecting a bit more time, maybe another transfer or two. Leaving was difficult, I found myself questioning if I had done all that I could, if I couldn't had worked just a little bit harder. I guess you start to get a bit sentimental when life changes huh? But the most amazing thing happened as Elder Jasperson and I were leaving. I felt the Spirit like crazy, testifying to me that it was indeed my time to go, and more than that, that I had done what I was supposed to accomplish there. What an amazing feeling to know I had fulfilled my mission, at least a few months of it, and to know Christ was pleased with my progress. What a blessing that was. I am really looking forward to these next couple of months with Elder Rose here in Ruston, and hope that when the time comes, that same Spirit will say "well done thy good and faithful servant."
          ~Elder Maddox

Monday, January 7, 2013

Letter #33 (Ashdown, AR)

So first of all I apologize for missing last week's letter, but it was New Years Eve, and our day was booked!! We only had about 20 minutes to use the computer at a members because our little library was closed. So I will make up for two weeks I guess. I guess I need to start at Christmas cause that was the last anyone heard of me. Well after talking to the family for a while, I got a little emotional, and a little homesick. Which is to be expected I guess. It was weird to see everyone living their life, and to see that everyone was still the same, but just a little older. Travis was still goofy, the girls cute as ever, and even though Big Al was as tall as momma, he was still little big Al. But like I was saying, emotions were right on the surface. And then something amazing happened. A tender mercy to say the least. I walked outside and there was about 6 inches of snow on the ground. Now here in Arkansas, that doesn't happen. Maybe an inch or two that will stick till the morning. Not a Utah storm. When I saw the snow, it was almost as if God was giving me a little bit of home. Something to make me realize that while home feels far away, I wasn't alone. It was amazing to be able to have a snowball fight, and to have something to take my mind off of missing the family.
The second thing that I wanted to talk about is the outpouring of love and support from both family members and friends. It seemed that everyday we had multiple letters and multiple packages. The mail lady was pretty amazed just how much we received. It amazed us as well. I will do my best at responding to letters, but as my family can attest too, I am not the best and writing back. But thats a perfect resolution, so letter may be flying! Once again I love you, I pray for you, and I hope this new year is one of learning, and one of happiness. The way I see it, the world didn't end in December, so every day from here on in is a gift!
Elder Maddox