Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry Christmas!

10 year old: So . . . your last name is Fox? That must mean . . . do you like the Youtube video, "what does the Fox say?"

20 year old: Your last name is Fox? . . . . "What does the FOX say??"

Elder Houghton: What do you think, Sister Fox? . . . What does the Fox say?

Cell phone in Ward Council: "What does the FOX say??"

40 year old: Your last name is Fox? My kids would love that. They love the video "What does the Fox say?"

4 year old: What's your name?
Me: Sister Fox!
Sister Schwab: What does the Fox say?
4 year old: . . .ring ding ding ding ding ding

40 year old: Your last name is Fox? "What does the FOX say??" . . . Do you get that a lot?

Yes. Yes I do.

Hello Family and Friends!! Merry Christmas!! It is the most wonderful time of the year! And this was such a good week! I'm so excited to talk about it! This is gonna be fun!

Monday- President Irion approved "Ephraim's Rescue" so we watched it together as a district. Overall, I found it to be a very touching movie. You do have to muscle past some cheesy acting at the beginning. And just to put a little more realistic spin on one of the scenes, confounding a preacher is NOT that easy. Just speaking from experience. ;) And did anyone notice that they play the Life and Death theme from Lost in the background? They totally do. I would recognize that piece of music anywhere. Anyway. I wasn't too fond of the first half but the second half was really really good. So good movie overall. That is my critique. I should write for a newspaper.

Tuesday- Um. . . I don't remember. I do remember having a church tour that people were supposed to come to but nobody showed up. We had a great lesson together as a ward council though. And we got cookies! So . . . bonus. Then Sister Schwab and I exchanged with the sisters in South Pittsburg. Funny story. I went on exchanges with Sister DeHoyos up in Kingsport last transfer, so I was supposed to get her companion. Due to miscommunication, Sister DeHoyos was the one who ended up packing her bags and coming up to Hixson. I didn't tell her though. Didn't want to embarass her. So we did exchanges with the wrong companions! It was really funny! But it must have been for a reason. I really love Sister DeHoyos, she is an amazing missionary! She is an incredible teacher; it was fun learning from her style. We had a little miracle doing . . . Christmas caroling!! I know, right?? We were trying to find a less-active member and we found a really beat-up driveway in the middle of the woods filled with holes. Impossible for a car to drive up. We couldn't see the house at the top. But I had the feeling we should brave the driveway. So we parked the car and hiked up that beaten-down Tennessean driveway to find Sister Marceaux, a convert to the church who absolutely loves missionaries! We sang to her and she loved it. She loves the church and has a really strong testimony. Her husband is very much Baptist and is not interested in the church at all, and she has no means to get to church. But she gets the sacrament every week and people take notes for her every Sunday. I love how faithful she is. She showed us a little tree she planted several years ago on the day of her baptism. It is completely shrouded by other trees, and yet it is growing abnormally fast for the amount of light and nourishment it receives. She said the tree is a symbol of her faith. Though shrouded by roadblocks in her life, her faith continues to grow uninterrupted. It was so touching to hear her testimony. What an incredibly faithful saint! She wants to have us over to teach her husband sometime. One day his heart will be softened, I know it!

Thursday was zone meeting! It was the best zone meeting ever! I say that about every zone meeting. Probably because it keeps getting better and better! Woohoo!! This one was focused on Chapter 9 of Preach My Gospel: Finding. We talked about OYMing (Open Your Mouth, basically means you should talk to everyone you see and not be afraid to do it). That is something I need to work on. We've been getting better, though! That's how we found Tori! She was walking her dog. OYMing leads to miracles. We also talked about finding through Family history, which is something the missionaries in this mission never really do. That has yielded some pretty good results too; we used that finding tool just a couple days ago. Everybody may not be interested in the church, but mostly everyone is interested in discovering their roots. We also received a training on developing the faith to find; that one came from the assistants. In between each training there were little skits by the zone leaders. They were super corny but also quite funny; they illustrated all the different finding techniques in scenarios involving the Grinch. Yeup. They eventually baptized him because they got him interested in Family history. Turns out he's related to Esau. ;)

Then we gave a training!! It was my first training my whole mission! I have been wanting to give a training at Zone Meeting since day 1. And when I became a Sister Training Leader I was excited because I thought they would have us train a ton. Not so. But! Sister Schwab and I finally got to give a training at this one! And it felt so good! We trained on the importance of working with members. We talked about the best way to get members excited about missionary work is to teach them the purpose of the Gospel. Going back to Elder Corbridge, the reason missionaries are out teaching the gospel in the first place is to bring souls to Christ by helping them access the Atonement through the ordinances of the restored Gospel. This is something we need to teach members too. If everyone truly understood the blessings of eternal life and the reality of the Atonement and the Plan of Salvation, we would all be tirelessly teaching the Gospel to our friends. That was the core of the training we gave. We had an awesome object lesson at the beginning that I don't have enough time to write about, that's something we can cover on Wednesday. I felt really good about it! And we even got positive feedback from the zone leaders! Disclaimer: I love them. Bless their hearts. But it's really difficult to get positive feedback from them. So it was extra validating when they said they really liked it! Points!!!

Then we had the Christmas party and interviews! I hadn't been interviewed by President since June, so it was really fun to talk to him again. I love interviews with him. We talked a lot about my companionship with Sister Schwab and the blessing it has been in my life and in the lives of the sisters we serve. I seriously feel so blessed to be Sister Schwab's companion. She and I are definitely going to be lifelong friends!
The Christmas party was fun! We did our skit (How the Grinch Stole Christmas--Missionary style!) Sister Schwab was Sister Lou Who. Guess who I was? Max the dog. But. . . Max the Fox. Sister Fox the Fox. I don't know what I was. I just hauled the Grinch around the stage while he stole all the Missionaries' supplies. It was pretty clever if I do say so myself, and I can say that because a sister in our district wrote it. I'll send y'all the script sometime!

Thank you so much for your packages!! Merry Christmas to me!! Y'all are the best. Mom, was it you who sent the month supply of Cliff Bars?? Because that just made my heart leap for joy!! We put all our presents under our little tree and it looks pretty good! We're so excited to go at them on Wednesday! Woohoo!!

Friday we did power-ups with Dayton and Chatt Branch. Sister Schwab went to Chatt Branch and I went to Dayton. I think I prefer Dayton, as much as I love downtown Chattanooga. I'm not much of a city person. It was fun! That was the last exchange/power up of the transfer! So now we get two whole weeks to ourselves in our own area! Woohoo! Merry Christmas to us!!

Saturday we had 3 dinner appointments. That's right. 3. Remember when I said that I would never double-book dinner again? I failed miserably and triple-booked. But didn't have the heart to cancel on anyone. So I fed myself lunch and then we get a call from Tori asking us if we were available to go to early dinner. So we went to Chilis with her and taught her the Word of Wisdom. She accepted it without hesitation! I just love her! She is so humble and willing to do what God wants her to do. Such a good lesson! And we had a little tender mercy; someone paid for our meal! We didn't run into any members while we were there or anything, so I was really surprised that someone reached out and paid for it. I just love the South! People are so nice and Christlike here. So many strong Christian people. I love it!
After Chilis we went straight to dinner appointment #2 with a family in the ward. They made us pot roast, mashed potatoes, and homemade pecan cake. That was so incredibly delicious. He kept telling me to eat more. I told him I couldn't but I tried my best! For just eating at Chilis I felt like eating as much as I did was quite the feat. It was delicious!
After that we went to dinner appiontment #3 and I was just about fit to burst. We had a huge Christmas dinner--homemade rolls, casserole, salad, and pumpkin pie. I was surprised that I didn't explode. I am never booking 3 dinners back to back ever again. But all three were perfectly delicious! And after #3 we gathered around the piano and sang Christmas hymns. That is my favorite tradition! And we get to do it again tonight! I am way excited! I love Christmas!! Can't ya tell??

Yesterday started out kind of sad, but it turned into a tender mercy. Tori didn't make it to church again so we are going to have to push her date. It ended up being kind of good though; I can explain why on Wednesday. After Church we did our weekly planning because we virtually had no time the rest of the week, and then we went out and caroled. We met some incredible families last night! Holy cow! I love the South! We caroled to a less-active's house and walked away with handfuls of chocolate. Then we caroled to their neighbors and walked away with homemade chocolate chip cookies. Then we caroled to another less active's and walked away with biscuits. The South would be the death of me if Sister Schwab didn't own the Insanity DVDs. I just love people here! And we got a new investigator! We caroled to a part-member family and their son told us to go see his best friend. At first we couldn't find the house and it was getting late. But we had the feeling we should keep trying. So we finally found it and knocked on the door. His friend wasn't home, but the mom was. We caroled to her and she was so excited to have carolers at her house! Several times that night people told us that nobody carols anymore. We're keeping it alive!! I asked her if she went to church anywhere and she said that their family is actually looking for one. They invited us back! Woohoo!!! The Church is true!

And this is starting to get particularly long and time is running short. I love you all so much and I'm excited to talk to you on Wednesday! I hope you know that I love this Gospel. I love bringing souls to Christ. No work is greater or of more importance than this. The Lord truly is preparing the minds and hearts of His children and is hastening His work. We see that every single day. Around every corner is a hungry soul waiting for the Gospel. We just need to recognize them once we see them and have the courage to share it. I know that this church is true and that it will continue to fill the earth. Lives will be blessed as we reach out in love and share the gospel with friends and family. As we seek to build up the lives of others, whether they be members, non-members, or less actives, we will bless thousands of lives. This Gospel is a message of hope and happiness to the world. Let's go out and share it!!

Love you all so much! Talk to ya on Wednesday!

-Sister Fox

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