Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Final Week...


Turns out I did get a chance to email for a bit today, so I'll just write a few things that happened this week as well as some things I forgot to write from last week.

Last week I gave my "farewell" talk in the branch.  I told them that most missionaries only leave home once, but I'll be leaving home twice.  Yesterday they had Elder Bradford say the opening prayer, they had us both bless the sacrament, and they had me give the closing prayer.  The final hymn was "para siempre Dios este con Vos"...  Afterwards I got pictures with everybody and said my goodbyes.  It's kind of crazy to think that I'm actually leaving for good this time...

Last P day we went with a member who is in the Air Force onto the base to see the other part of the museum.  They had all of the past Air Force One planes that carried all of the past 15 or so presidents.  We got to walk onto all of them, which was pretty cool.

On Friday I had my departing interview with President.  He gave me a lot of really good advice for my life.  He and I both agree that I've changed a lot since the beginning of my mission.  It's kind of weird thinking that I met him in the MTC two years ago...

I got to go on an exchange back to Dayton 2 on Friday with Elder Seegmiller.  It was really great to see some of my friends from down there one more time.  

I found out that everyone likes to take missionaries out to eat when they're about to go home, especially if that missionary has lived in the area for nearly 2 years.  We got fed for just about every meal this week.  It was really crazy.

Speaking of eating, I ate probably my last weird thing on Saturday.  It was a raw, live oyster doused in valentina hot sauce and lime juice.  It wasn't too bad...

Yesterday we visited the familia Loza again, and we invited them to be baptized.  They haven't been too interested in it before, but this time the Spirit was there very strong and they told us that they would like to prepare to be baptized!  It was a great lesson, and a great experience to have in one of my last lessons.

Well, I think that's about it.  I'll close this final email by sharing my testimony.  I know that Jesus Christ is my savior.  I know that this is His work.  I know that the gospel is here to help us change and become more like Him.  It has changed me.  It has changed my fellow missionaries.  It has changed the members here.  It has changed the people I've taught.  I can't express how grateful I am to my Father in Heaven for giving me the opportunity to witness these changes and see the affects that the Savior's atonement can have on a person.  I know that God is my Heavenly Father.  I know that Joseph Smith was the instrument in the Lord's hands to bring about the restoration.  

See you in about 48 hours!


Elder Foote

Monday, May 18, 2015

Too Little Time....


This will be short because I am completely out of time.  We had a super busy week this past week and did all we could to get 10 people at church, but it all fell through at the last minute.  We were pretty disappointed about that, but we're shooting for it this week again!

Next week is a holiday and the library is going to be closed, so there is a small chance that we won't be able to email on Monday.  So this might be my last email.  But I'll try to send something next week.  But if not, I'll see you next Wednesday!  Have a great week!


Elder Foote

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Out With The Old....


Good talking to y'all ayer!  It's kind of funny we had the call only two weeks before me coming home. =)  But it was a good one!

This week I went to my final two zone meetings.  Every month we have a meeting with our English zone and the Spanish zone.  The Spanish zone meeting is always great because all of the Spanish missionaries in the mission (all 14 of us) gather and have the meeting in Spanish.  Over the past few months we've been getting new Spanish missionaries, and as I was at the meeting it was kind of nostalgic to look at the zone and see how much it's changed.  It's weird to think that in a few months it will be completely different.  It also made me think that I am literally training my replacement...

As a Spanish zone we had a goal this week to have 60 committed to church by Thursday.  We put a huge focus on church and ended up having 11 committed by Thursday night!  We continued to see them and keep them excited in between Thursday and Sunday, and we had 8 come to church!  That is the most that have ever come to church in this area in one week!  It was a miracle!

When I got here again with Elder Adams we tried a lot of people that I had taught here before.  Many of them had been dropped by other missionaries, but we decided to go and see if they had any more interest.  We stopped by the Losa family, and they were excited to see us.  We had a very spiritual experience with them right off the bat, and they said they'd like us to keep coming by.  I felt really good about them, so we put a big focus on them.  They started progressing, but they soon started tapering off a bit.  Not too much was happening with them.  After nearly two weeks of not being able to see them, we finally made contact again.  We had a member with us who also works long and difficult hours, and he testified of the blessings that have come to him and his family from attending church every Sunday.  His testimony touched them, and they agreed to come to church.  We kept following up, and on Sunday they showed up as a family just in time for sacrament meeting!  We found them nearly a year and a half ago, and it was so fulfilling to see them finally take that step and come to church!

The members were pretty excited to see so many people at church.  They swarmed them all after the meeting and made them feel very welcome.  Later we talked to one of the members and she talked about how she knows how important it is to fellowship the investigators because the missionaries leave after a while, but the members stay.  It is really exciting to see the members fulfilling their role in missionary work!

I have a testimony of Jesus Christ and His grace.  I know that the atonement really does provide and enabling power as Elder Bednar explains.  I know that as we do all we can, Christ helps us to do even more.  I know that He loves us and that He is the ultimate expression of our Heavenly Father's love for us.

Love you all!  Have a great week!


Elder Foote

Picture: me and some of the new Spanish missionaries

Monday, May 4, 2015

The Trio


Buenos dias!  (that means good morning...)

No les voy a mentir, this was a pretty busy week.  We are in the process of switching our focus from some of the families that had a lot of potential but are no longer progressing to some amazing new people we found.  We've got some sweet people we're working with.  So most of the people I have taught don't really know anything about their "religion", but one of these new families we've found is very devout in their religion.  That might sound like it would make things more difficult, but it's actually a good thing in this case because it means that when we explain the message of the restoration to them, they have questions and are very interested in what we say.  We had a great lesson with them this week about the Book of Mormon with our branch president.  We also stopped in one day and found them having a family barbecue outside, and they invited us right in and we got to talk to a lot of their family!  Turns they have a cousin who lives in Utah and is Mormon!  I'm super excited for these people!

This week we went on exchanges with our English zone leader, so we were in a trio for a day!  He (Elder Klodnicki) came into the mission when I had been out 1 transfer, and now we're both back in our first areas and he's my zone leader.  Kind of funny how things go full circle...  But anyways, he was called to go to Brazil, but ended up staying in our mission, so he knows Portuguese, which is kind of like Spanish.  So he was able to understand the majority of what happened during the day, and he even shared his testimony in Spanish and read a bit out of the Book of Mormon.  Champion!  But is was super nice being in a trio.  We could go anywhere we wanted and we had another person to testify with us.  So that was my trio experience for the mission.

I think last week or the week before I told you about how we went to contact a referral that was really far away in a city that I had never been to before?  Well, the member who gave us the referral texted us on Friday and said that her friend wanted to come to church!  We gave her the details and told her we would be waiting for them.  We didn't hear anything else about it.  We were 20 minutes into Sunday School (we have Sunday school first) when the door opened and they walked in!  This member had picked up her friend and had driven nearly a half hour to get to the church!  They both had a great experience, the member shared an powerful testimony in sacrament meeting, and I had the opportunity to give this investigator a blessing after the meeting.  It was a great experience.  It was such a great example of member missionary work. 

I don't really have too much else to say.  We taught a lot this week.  We're doing everything in our power to baptize in May and keep this area progressing.  People are starting to realize that I go home soon, and it's pretty funny to see their reactions.  Most people here see me as a permanent fixture of the branch, so it completely throws them off to hear that I'm leaving.  It throws me off too.

Have a good week!


Elder Foote

Picture: me and my friends the Sniders 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Manna From Heaven and a New Hope


That's a pretty big ward...  That's pretty exciting about Katie!

This was a week full of miracles!  We had a member call us up who lives far away on the edge of our area.  She is a fluent Spanish speaker from Mexico City, and she had a referral for us.  She has been teaching her friend about the gospel for a while now, and her friend finally agreed to have the missionaries over!  We made the trek out there and had a very powerful lesson with this member and her friend.  It was so exciting to get such a solid referral!  The friend is interested, and we'll be going back this week to teach her and her husband with this member.  It was so weird for me to contact this referral for a few reasons.  First, because it's so far away, it's in a city that I've heard many stories about, but never been to before.  I've pretty much been in the same place my whole mission, so going somewhere new was a really weird experience.  Second, this was a new Hispanic member that I had never met before.  Again, because I've been in the same place for quite a while, meeting a new Hispanic member was pretty weird.  But I'm super excited about this referral.  a general authority who came to our mission a long time ago called referrals "manna from heaven."

We went out this past week with our branch president.  Right at the beginning of our time out with him, our appointment ended up falling through.  We went to go try a man that we had met a few days before, and he turned out to be there and ready to listen.  He gathered his family and we taught a powerful lesson with our branch president to this family who had never heard from missionaries before.  I had been praying all day that we could have a good experience with Presidente while we were out with him, and we did!  This was also a significant lesson because this family lives in an area that used to have a lot of progressing investigators, but most of them have slowly lost interest.  So this was a new hope for the area finding this awesome family!

We also had a chapel tour this week with a family of 7!  They've been taught by missionaries for a while, but just a few weeks ago we picked them back up and have been helping to read again in the Book of Mormon.  In the past the Dad was never very interested in listening to us, but recently he has been asking us lots of questions, and he came to the chapel tour this past week and participated a lot!  We were able to get out a lot of their concerns as we talked with them at the font and in front of the sacrament table.  I've got high hopes for them!

This week I also began helping to fix up another house in Dayton with a member.  This is house number 3.  Dayton Spanish district is rebuilding Dayton one house at a time!

When I think back to how this area was when I first got here nearly two years ago, I can't even believe the difference.  Two years ago we didn't even dream of hitting 20 lessons.  Now we're hitting almost 30.  Before if we had 2 member presents it was considered a pretty good week.  Now we're shooting for 10.  Back then if we got 1 person to church we were ecstatic.  Now we're disappointed if only 2 come.  The work really is progressing here.  I've progressed.  I'm so glad that I was sent back here so I could see the changes that the Lord has made in this area and in me.

Have a great week!

Elder Foote  
Bicycle Crash Injuries
Wild, Rampant Rabbits in Ohio

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Si, yo hablo Spanish


Great to hear from you all! That's crazy about the snowstorm!  It's been raining here for basically a week straight...

This week was extremely busy.  When we got doubled in here it was definitely slow going trying to pick up all of the new investigators and get back into the swing of things, but now that we've built it up again, there's not enough time to do everything that needs to be done!

This week we saw miracles all over the place.  We had a focus as a zone this week to find lots of new investigators.  Many of the people we've been working with haven't been keeping very many commitments, so this focus was great for us to pick up some new people to focus on.  All week long we found ourselves in places where we were able to talk to people who seemed to really have interest in what we had to say.  We ran out of things to do one night with a member, so we went to try a potential investigator that we hadn't seen for weeks.  When we got there, he wasn't there, but his brother and sister-in-law were, and they were super solid and invited us over to their house to teach them!  We also were walking through a trailer park to an appointment and passed by a huge Mexican party.  We were kind of wary about stopping because of how many people there were and the types of beverages that were there... but we recognized one of our investigators there, so we stopped and talked to him.  They invited us to eat their carne asada, and as we ate we talked to a 17 year old kid who has a lot of potential, and he invited us back as well!  Really it was just a great week to find!

We also had an awesome tour of the chapel with Z-------, the husband of M-----, a recent convert.  President Vilches came and helped us out as well.  We took Z------- into the font, explained baptism to him, showed him how a baptism goes (AKA dry baptism), then invited him to be baptized on May 2.  In the past he has been very hesitant about any baptismal extension we've given him, but this time he was much more receptive, and we have high hopes that he'll be baptized in May!

We also extended baptism to the 3 daughters of the S----- family this week.  They have been reading in the Book of Mormon, and they all accepted!  Their Mom is on board too!  We later talked to the Dad about it, and it looks like it'll take a little while for him to be on board too...  But we passed by later in the week and had a great lesson with the whole family; it was the first time the Dad has sat in on a lesson!  Progress!

Really everything is going pretty well here.  There's lots to do, and because my time is limited, it's definitely crunch time for a few more baptisms to happen in this area.  We've got the potential, we've just got to keep giving it our all and I know it will come.

This week in Sunday School we talked about Christ proclaiming to the Jews that He was the Son of God, and I've been thinking a lot about that since.  I know that He is the Son of God.  I know that He is my Savior.  He came to Earth to give us the example to follow to return to live with our Father in Heaven.  I'm so grateful for all He did for me and for the help that He gives me every day.


Elder Foote 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Last Transfer....


That's right, the final transfer has arrived!  Crazy right?  Today we got transfer calls and I'll be finishing my mission here at home in Huber Heights. =)  

That's so amazing to hear about Dad getting to go to the baby blessing of the lady he baptized!  That made me super happy to hear!

Sorry about last week.  I was pretty bogged down with a lot of other things the last time I emailed.  Last month we drove quite a bit over our monthly allotment in order to make sure that A--- L--- was ready to get baptized, and then at the last second the baptism fell through.  Because we went over we were told that we had to have a few days this month in which we don't use our car, which is a pretty tough deal in this area.  But we've got it all figured out now, so I'm not too worried about it.

This week was a great week!  I have been working with a family off and on since February of last year, and this week they really made some progress!  We taught them a very powerful lesson about the doctrine of church, and we also helped them move.  I'm expecting to see a lot of progress from them pretty soon!  We also worked all week long to get the S----- family to church, and they came!  The mom works at a Mexican restaurant all week, so in order to see her we had to go eat at the restaurant...  But we sacrificed, and they came and had a great time!  We also got in touch again with an amazing family that we found right before I left this area last year.  We had a short lesson with them and the Spirit was super strong.  I'm really excited to go back to talk to them!

More about helping that family move.  Most Hispanics leave their Christmas lights up until the summer, if they take them down at all.  This family was one of those families.  So I generously offered to take down their Christmas lights for them.  So if you've been worrying about how Elder Foote has been handling not putting up or taking down Christmas lights for all this time, worry no longer!  I got a chance to use my skills! =)

We knocked the door of a potential that I used to know, and a different guy answered.  He looked kind of foreign, so I started speaking Spanish to him, but he stopped me and told me in broken English that he didn't speak Spanish.  He was from Afghanistan, and he had just gotten here 1 month ago!  He invited us in, and we talked to him for a few minutes.  As soon as he learned we were Christians he wasn't super interested to talk to us, but he was still super nice.  We asked if we could pray with him, and he said that they had already prayed...  But he was fine with us saying a prayer, so we did.  It was a pretty interesting encounter...

I found a scripture this week that I really like that I feel kind of sums up my mission a bit.  D&C 51:16-17.  16 And I consecrate unto them this land for a little season, until I, the Lord, shall provide for them otherwise, and command them to go hence;
 17 And the hour and the day is not given unto them, wherefore let them act upon this land as for years, and this shall turn unto them for their good.
Here the Lord tells the Saints that they would only be in Ohio for a short time.  They wouldn't be there to stay for generations.  But after He tells them that, He lets them know that they should act as if they'll be there for years, and that's how they'll make the most of their time there.  I of course thought about that in the context of my mission, but I think it applies to many different circumstances.  The principle that I got from those verses is that we should make the most of our time in whatever place/calling we're in.  That is how we will fulfill our purpose, by acting as if we will be where we are for a long time.

Well, hope you all have a great week!


Elder Foote