The roller coaster life of a missionary... busy with great investigators and then plumbing problems.
Another crazy, crazy week in Chimalhuacan, State of Mexico (googlemap it si quieres). The incredible blessings from last week definitely have not stopped this week! We have been very blessed with plenty of work and people to teach. We even had an awesome service project with our zone and an other, plus a ward activity where we took people to the temple visitor's center. Also, we've had tons of rain to help cool us down and save us from the heat for a few days. Of course the rain did have some not-so-good side effects and I may or may not have been a little sick. BUT! With the ups, there has got to be a few downs.
So like I said, the work has been great and we're actually preparing for a couple baptisms this week and next! SUPER EXCITED FOR THAT! It'll be the first baptism in a while. It's just perfect. Plus, we have so many citas, it's hard to fit everyone in throughout the week! We've also had some great lessons and experiences, too. Like, I think I had the best contact I've ever had on my mission. We knocked on the door, she answered, Johnson taught a little bit about families and she let us come in. Not too common for them to let us in that very moment and so quickly, but wait....there's more! She asks us to sit then yells for her mom and sister. Right when her mom sees us she says, ¨finally¨ and starts to cry a little bit. That has definitely not happened yet. I figured she had already met with missionaries or had an experience with the church before, but no. She didn't even know who we were exactly or what church we belonged to. BUT! She told us she knows God sent us and that we were exactly what her family needed. Sadly, this amazing lady doesn´t actually live here, but wants us to send the missionaries over to her home. Luckily though, her family wants to listen and we are definitely excited to teach them.
The rain was gladly recieved after last week's miserable heat. However, it rained like... a lot. And alllll that excess water caused some pretty terrible problems with our plumbing. Problems such as, our shower erupting with....stuff and us having to clean it and get things fixed up a bit. It was a pretty crappy experience. Also, accompanied with the rain one day was a bit of hail and high winds. We got soaked and hailed on, but I love storms and it made me think of home. The crazy change of temperature must of weakened my defenses too, because Thursday I woke up a little sick. I didn't feel good at all and sleep most of the morning. By lunch, I thought I was finally good and left to eat a little then work. However, I was really not okay after all and got sick all over again. I've been lucky so far in my mission and really haven't been sick so I guess it was just my time.
ANYWAY! It was another great, interesting week as usual. Next week we are heading to the temple on Wednesday so I won't write on Monday (thought I'd give a heads up this time). You'll all just have to wait a tiny bit longer!
Love you guys!!!
An AMAZING week with investigators coming to church, training with leaders and learning a "new" language...
Ok. So this week was AMAZING! Probably one of the best weeks I've had so far in the mission. This week was one big 'ole grand blessing from the Lord. We needed new investigators...BAM! At least one everyday and they are incredibly prepared people. We needed to know how to get these wonderful people to church....BOOM! We had amazing training sessions with our leaders twice this week focusing on just that, helping people come to church on Sunday. We have literally been given everything that we've asked for. Okay then! The Lord did His part, now it'sour time to do our part and help these people feel the Spirit of the Lord and grow closer to Him. Seriously though.....It was a great, successful week that definitely made me so grateful to be a missionary and see so clearly how the Lord can direct our lives.
Well, the work is amazing and spirits are higher than ever.
A definite highlight of the week was doing divisions with the zone leaders. We both went over to their area early to study (eat delicious, mouthwatering tacos for breakfast) and work with them after. We separated, Elder Johnson left with Elder Gibson and I with Elder Figueroa. It was incredible. Elder Figs is an amazing missionary and awesome person in general. I learned so much and had fun talking with him all day. I was a little nervious when I found out we would do division with the zone leaders. However, it turned out to be a great experience.
Another interesting thing that has been happening to me is that I can't speak, well...any language now. My mind is a big 'ole bowl of english and spanish and I speak one thinking the other and speak a dangerous amount of spanglish. Someone told me that there is an awkward stage in your mission where this happens, so hopefully it passes fast. Mainly because I keep making a fool out of myself in lessons. Yesterday, I was teaching an investigator how to pray and I said loud and clear "Heavenly Father" in english and the rest in spanish. What's worse is that I kind of continued because I THOUGHT I SPOKE SPANISH BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT I WAS THINKING! Elder Johnson and the investigator just laughed at me. Also, one time there was this long pause in a lesson and I start the discussion again by saying "BUUUUUT..." Long and drawn out like. The investigator didn't realize and I just played it off and continued going on. It's very frustrating...I JUST WANT TO BE CURED!! Especially because it just gives Johnson more reasons to make fun of me...
Well then, great week in the work, interesting week in the spanglish mind of Elder Foust. I love you all and hope you have a great week!
(I'm so sorry for that...) Well, this week went fast and overall pretty well. We're working hard and finding more people every week. Now the key is to find people who are truly interested and want to come to church! We work hard, we find, we teach, and we commit, but Sunday morning comes and pocos investigators make it. It has definitely been our focus these past week. It's a little disheartening to work so hard during the week and be disappointed during the services on Sunday. HOWEVER! YA NO MÂS!! We have great lessons, great experiences and I know with diligence and lots of patience, we will see the fruits of our labors someday. Working hard, planting seeds. Sometimes it's pretty easy to be discouraged. Especially when I'm training and can't really blame Elder Johnson because he's pretty great at everything (if anyone tells him that I will find you). Normally I'm pretty optimistic but missions are hard and there's this guy called Sàtanas that really doesn't like anything we're doing here. My optimism has been tried like never before and I still have a long way to go in Mexico (and in life in general) so I'll just have to fight harder than ever.
Other than that our only truly interesting and super-crazy busy day was Saturday. In the morning we taught a group of youth (youthz...) a bit about missionary work and what they could do to prepare now. It was a stake youth activity where the youth recieved mission calls and trained at the MTC where we were their teachers. Our entire zone went and we each had our own class of about 30. It went super well and I loved teaching them. After that, we had our english class but all the rooms were taken for the activity so we had our class outside in the shade. We had to cancel last week for conference and didn't want to kill the whole english class idea before it really got going. Everyone seemed to like it and we got another reference this week so they're really paying off! After a busy morning, we had an afternoon/night full of lessons. It was a tiring, but incredibly rewarding day.
Anyways...besides burning away into nothingness everyday in the hot, mexican sun, things are going good. I love you all and miss you this much! (I promise it's a lot). Hopefully you all have an amazing week and enjoy life without an eternal sunburn!
The weeks are just flying by! Last week we finished the cycle and Elder Johnson hit the halfway mark of his training. I have a feeling that this next half is going to be even faster than the last and before you know it I'll be changing once again. It will be a really sad day and I wish I could stay one more cycle, but I just ain't feelin like it'll happen. We'll have to wait and see.
Anyway, this week was a good week. We found a lot of great people who seem really eager to learn more about the gospel. We even found an entire family which is truly amazing because we haven't taught too many complete families. I'm super excited to continue working with them especially since I'm all rejuvenated and inspired from conference!
Obviously General Conference was the highlight of the week. We had a few technical difficulties watching the broadcast at the church building due to a weak signal, so we weren't able to watch a few talks from certain sessions. We did enjoy the rest of the talks and definitely learned plenty. The themes that stuck out to me the most were: ¨Rescuing¨ people who may have lost their way, Love, and the Atonement. So, I thought a lot about these 3 topics and then thought of an overall theme of the entire conference and every session. Something like this:
In this life there are plenty people who are in need of being rescued. Friends and family who don't know of the gospel, people who have fallen away from the church and its teachings, or most likely ourselves, trying to follow the right path in a world of opposition and tribulation. We are truly rescued when we find the true Gospel of Christ, live His teachings and follow His example. Key in our discipleship is to remain on this path, Christ's path, and bring as many people along as we can. But how? Through charity, the pure love of Christ. With love as our motivation we can have the ability to serve, to teach, to uplift, to forgive, to be patient, to be better and to continue on this path of happiness. It is in our efforts to obtain and demonstrate this love that we rescue and are rescued. However, there are times where it is not only hard to have and show this love to others, but to actually feel this love ourselves. The times where we are broken hearted and discouraged and feel no desire to continue, no hope to improve. That is when we need to rembember the first great truth of all eternity as taught by Elder Holland in his talk yesterday, ¨Is that God loves us with all of His heart, might, mind and strength. That love is the foundation stone of eternity and it should be the foundation stone of our daily life¨ With that knowledge and with the enabling power of the Atonement, the greatest act of love known to man, yes you can, yes you will.
Translating it from spanish and having random connection errors may have made me completely misinterpret the entire conference, but I still know that these things are true. I am so thankful to have a living prophet and apostles on the earth today to reveal and clarify these sacred truths for us. I know that they are truly called of called and they help lead Christ's true church.
If you missed conference or want to find your own theme, be sure to watch all the sessions and talks on lds.org
some of my favorites are:
To email Elder Foust, his address is: firstname.lastname@example.org