Monday, March 25, 2013

Letter 39, (Ruston, LA)

Hey everyone!
What an amazingly exhausting week to say the least. Monday and Tuesday were great days for being a missionary. Very normal, knocking doors and teaching lessons, and what not! Found some people to teach, and it was great. Then Wednesday we loaded up in the car and drove for a half hour to Monroe for Zone Conference. And what an AMAZING conference it was! The whole conference was taught by president and the assistants, and the main idea of the conference was "spiritual grit." Spiritual Grit was defined by president as "our, the missionaries, ability to move on and get over it." I loved to see this attitude from president, teaching us to "just get over it!" And man I needed to hear that message. Its not that I have been depressed or nothin, but I have been struggling a bit. It was a great conference to say the least! The week finished out pretty normal, just blessings like crazy! Wish I had time to share all but I don't! Congrats to Elder Wade and Larsen on leaving so soon! Love you guys, see you soon!
~Elder Maddox

Monday, March 18, 2013

Letter #38 (Ruston, LA)

What up everyone!
So I think that the only words that could describe the events of this week would be "Oh My Gosh." Which is surprising because I was sick all week!! But on Thursday we had a dinner appointment with the sisters just down the road from Karl "the Mailman" Malone. Now from day one here in Ruston people have been telling us to just go over there and try to knock on his door and he would let us in. Now, I was pretty sure that he, Karl, was a super nice guy, but people, THIS IS KARL MALONE. Like one of my child hood heros. Like half of "Stockton-to-Malone." I am not going to just go over and knock on his door. I mean buzz him at his gate, his house is fenced in! But a couple of weeks ago we met this super nice lady at Karl's restaurant who turned out to be his wife who gave us the O.K., so we went for it. And wouldn't you know it, we got in!! And not only did we get in, but we sat in Karl Malones living room and talked about almost everything. For an hour and a half! By the time that we left I felt like I had a close friend in Karl Malone. His and his wife's personalities are such that we, the missionaries, all felt like if we ever needed anything, we could go to the Malone house! Real cool. And that, arguably, wasn't the highlight of our week! So because I was a bit under the weather, Elder Rose and I couldn't go out too much. But miraculasly, three of our investigators showed up at church! It was a tender mercy from the Lord to say the least. But because of my sickness, I was able to read the Book Of Mormon a lot! And it was so amazing to take that time and read through so much of it. It was an additional testimony strengthener for me, and helped to reemphasized to me that what I am doing is the Lords work! Gosh I love my mission!
~Elder Maddox

Friday, March 15, 2013

A New Picture!

       I love when I am just going about my day and I receive a text or an email from someone I don't know, sending me a note or picture of my son!  It is so awesome to hear how Steven has touched some one's life. I think he is an incredible person but it sure is amazing to hear it from others.  I am grateful for the experiences he is having and for the great people he has been able to meet.  Each one has touched his life in countless ways.  I am thankful to each person who has taken the time to show such kindness to my son.  Last night, as I going to do another load of laundry, I received a text with a new picture of Elder Maddox he looks so happy and that made me happy too!  

Monday, March 11, 2013

Letter #37 (Ruston, LA)

Whats up everybody!
Another incredible week that was filled with miracle after miracle! While, yes mom, I have taken the time to write them down in my journal, if I was to take the time here to type them all out then we would be here for A LONG TIME! But I will talk to something that was taught to me this week that took me up till now to learn.
So something that I have struggled with my whole mission is inviting people to be baptized on the first visit with faith. I don't know if it was fear or just didn't think about it, but very rarely did I ever do it. But this week I decided to try to invite EVERY TIME. Now this was something that Elder Larsen, who is one of my very good friends out here, is very good at and has been encouraging me to become better at it, and this week I took his advice. And what a change it has had on myself. See I think what my problem was, is that I was always waiting around for the Spirit to say "Invite them." This should never have been the case. Because the Spirit should never have to say it because the Apostles have already said it! But because of this new found idea, thats not novel or anything, the area assigned to Elder Rose and I is thriving. It has renewed our energy and we are destroying right now! great feeling!
~Elder Maddox

Monday, March 4, 2013

Letter #36 (Ruston,LA)

Hey everyone!
Another crazy fast week, and another fast one. This week transfers came and went, and wouldn't you know it! I am staying! Glad to still be here in Ruston where the field is white already to harvest! But back to the awesome week! I had a very cool experience that I wish to share
So on Wednesday we were at Rasing Cane's, a place that sells the most delicious chicken fingers ever, with a bunch of missionaries when a man approached Elder Rose, my greenie. He started off just small talking with him but then he started to go all Anti-Mormon on him. Now Elder Rose has been out for a good amount of time, but he is still fresh, so when he looked at me with eyes the size of McDonald's sausage patties, I took pity on him, and went to go see if I couldn't help address some of the "concerns" this gentlemen was bombarding Elder Rose with. As soon as I went over and introduced myself, he quickly turned all of his attention to me thinking me to be the "leader" as he put it. As Elder Rose quietly stepped into the background, John, not his real name, started to go off on his "save all mormon's from their selves" monologue. Now usually I am pretty good about holding my tongue and just letting these anti-mormoners get all their anger out on me, and that was the case this time but with a little twist. See John went on for a good twenty minutes with no sign of stopping. So quickly and quietly I prayed and said "God, give me something to confound this man. You promised me in the scriptures it would happen, and I need some help right about now." All the sudden the most amazing question popped into my mind. I interrupted him in the middle of one of his tangents, and asked "John, have you even read the Book of Mormon?" Suddenly, he lost all steam. He looked at me speechless. He had no answer for me. He remained silent for about ten seconds, and I allowed the Spirit to work on him. After those ten seconds passed, I looked at him and bore my witness that the Book of Mormon was true, gave him a copy, and told him that after he had read it, if he still wished to argue with me that it wasn't true, then my number was on the inside cover, and we could do this all over again. He was furious. He realized that he had no answer for me, for what I shared was true. He stormed out of the restaurant calling me all kinds of names and telling me that the next life wasn't lookin too good for me. All the other missionaries, who were sitting down couldn't stop laughing at the experience. All they saw was him going off on me, then saw him get real quiet, then pick up his stuff and storm out! They loved it. And so did I. It proved too me that God will give us what we need, right as we need it as long as we live worthy of these promises!
In the words of one of the best missionaries I know "keep it holy"!!
~Elder Maddox!