More spiritual Sunday services, getting caught in a downpour and learning to properly stab his companion in the...
Ok, ya les dije que cada semana digo algo de que la misión se va tan rápido y me siento tan extraño y blah blah blah. Pero, ésta semana voy a decirlo in español! La misión se va de volada!
This week has been hot, wet, and full work. We still haven't found anyone new to really teach in a while, but we're working hard to fix that. Luckily the zone is having greater success than we are. We did however see a lot of awesome changes in our ward and stake! We've been focusing a lot on making the church services on Sunday a more spiritual and uplifting experience and I have definitely felt the difference these past few weeks. We've also seen a drastic change in the attendance at church. The members have definitely recognized the difference and we've seen a lot of less-active families return to church. Our goal now is to help create more unity in the ward and help the members feel comfortable to invite nonmember friends and family. There's also plenty of activities and things planned to create missionary opportunities for the members. Hopefully these successes in the ward and stake make for future successes in our work and finding more people to teach. So, things are looking good and the future looks bright here in barrio Villada.
On Tuesday my comp and I went to the hospital. He's had some back pain that has been bugging him for a few weeks so we went to get some tests done to see what's happening with him. We'll head back this week to go over the results with the doctor. Meanwhile, they gave him several medications to help with the pain. Several medications administered via injection. And an injection requires someone's help and that someone is me. I have always had the interest of stabbing people with needles (sounds weirder than I thought) and have been trained to stab properly. The location of the injections is also what makes it interesting. Let's just say it's an opportunity to bond as a companionship.
Other than that, the week has been chill. We had Mission Council on Friday. We also got completely soaked on Friday. When we returned to our area after the meeting we searched for some old investigators and it just poured and poured. It was also pretty cold. The funny thing is that we knocked on a door asking for a particular old investigator in the middle of an all out downpour. He tells us that they moved out shouting, I try to contact him (obviously hopefully for a bit of sympathy). He listens for a while and when we ask to come in he just says, ¨I'm busy¨ and shuts the door. Soaking wet and just rejected, Elder Onofre and I just laugh because we're soaking wet and just got rejected. I love being a missionary.
Marking one year in the field, an interview with Pres Stutzenegger and a "big 'ole bowl of Pozole"...
Today is August 22, 2016 and the day that I complete 13 months here on the mission! Technically a year from today I was still in the CCM so the 1st of September will be the one year anniversary of arriving in the actual mission field. It's crazy how we're already heading into September though!!! Also, I really I say ''It's crazy'' and then how fast the time is going every. single. email. But, it really is just that crazy to me how fast the time is going and the first thing I think of everytime I start an email. So, sorry not sorry.
Other than the time and my obsession with it. This week truly was amazing for one reason in particular. Interviews!!! President Stutznegger is a pretty amazing person and 5-10 minutes with amazing people makes you pretty happy and loving life! I love interviews, I look forward to them, and I leave them excited, happy, and full of light and love. Many thoughts, many feelings but all of them are good. It's also fun to get together as a zone and learn a lot of new things about missionary work. While the elders were in their interviews, we had a training session given by the assistants. We too taught a small part of the session so we were thinking and planning exactly what we were going to do all week. Changed the plan like 5 times but it ended up turning out pretty well. It was also awesome to see Hermana Stutz doing super well after all her surgeries. She is a pretty amazing and powerful woman so no wonder that she is already full of energy and ready to go. Hopefully, she'll have health problem free last year here in Mexico.
So an amazing day with amazing people. It seemed impossible for the week to get any better until the Hermana who we ate with on Sunday pulls out a big 'ole bowl of Pozole. ¡No manches, casi morí! After 3 bowls of what basically is ambrosia from the gods, I knew I finished a great week. Then she promised to give us an entire pot of arroz con leche this Friday. Yes, I am on the brink of tears because God is good. Have a great week everyone!
Well, this week has been pretty good. Really nothing too exciting. Sorry. We've been working really hard to find new people to teach. Same 'ole, same 'ole. We did find an awesome family of four that want to be baptized and sealed in the temple!!! (I guess that is a little exciting) Yep, they're actually references from a family in the ward. They invited them to their son's baptism and then to a family home evening. We came to the family home evening and helped share the message. We also find out the the dad is an inactive member and has always loved and believed in the church but fell away for most of his life. His wife and two sons aren't though and are super excited to learn more and have the desire to be baptized. It's also awesome because the family in the ward is helping us out a lot. After the FHE we made plans to head to the Temple Visitor's Center on Tuesday. We went and it was incredible. The only problem is that they have to be legally married first. However, they have this amazing desire and goal to be an eternal family and are willing to do what it takes to make it a reality. I love teaching entire families and witnessing incredible miracles. Definitely a highlight of the week.
So, now you see how easy it is to help an entire family have the desire to be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity. A simple invitation, a follow-up, contact with the missionaries and shazaam!!! It might not work every time. BUT! It is worth the effort to try. One of the greatest blessings we saw out of this experience was the excitement and joy we saw in the family from the ward who started it all. The testimony of every member in that family was strengthened as they truly took part in this missionary experience. Every participant is blessed and a change is made in their heart. So...participate! Take part in the Lord's work and witness the miracles wrought in your life, the life of your family and the lives of those around you.
Another great week here in Mexico. Hopefully you guys are enjoying life back home (especially those who head off to school very soon). Time is a'flyin and Elder Foust is dyin...because the olympics are going on and my soul is a'cryin. Record them for me please...Also make amazing, funny/witty, professional-sounding commentaries as I also like to do when I watch them. I mean the olympics do in fact make everyone a professional commentator in anything from gymnastics to synchronized swimming. Uhhh...I love the mission.
So this week has not been so crazy. I mean I did get a new comp and a bunch of new elders in the zone, but it has been pretty chill. Obviously there`s still plenty of work to do, though.
SO! Guess who`s my new comp?! Elder Onofre, my beautiful friend from Ecuador! Yep, the same Elder Onofre who lived with us in Arboleda for about 6 weeks. It`s kinda nice not to have to go through that whole ¨getting to know each other¨phase. Hopefully it gives us more time to focus on getting to work and seeing success in the zone.
I also have another ghost from Arboleda back to haunt me...Mi hijo, Johnson! Yep, only one cycle apart and now we`re in the same zone. His comp is a district leader too, so I see him a lot...great...He told me it would happen some day. Just another example of how the Lord tests us.
This week I also found some awesome ideas for my wedding. Not like it`s happening soon or anything, but ideas like these take years of careful planning. So, the family of one of our converts is from Oaxaca (southern part of Mexico) and they truly know how to throw a party. Basically a wedding party there lasts for 2 weeks. The whole town or village is invited and participates and they have some awesome traditions. My favorite by far is this type of parade they do. Basically there`s a big ole band that plays music throughout the entire town and people slowly start to join and party with them. They also parade around with a bunch of animals too. Cows, chickens, pigs, etc. Basically that`s the food. Yep, they parade what they`re going to eat throughout the streets. Literally a living menu. But! The best part of this whole parade by far is...The Turkey. Yes, a real life turkey. So, a very special person is given the honor of carrying the turkey on its shoulders while parading through the streets. Wait, that`s not all! They are also making the turkey drink taquila in order to get it drunk. A DRUNK TURKEY!! THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT EVERY WEDDING NEEDS!!! I`m sure this isn`t as exciting for many of you as it is for me, but just know that from this point on I refuse to have a drunken turkey-less wedding (sorry/not sorry mom and dad).
Well, I`m sure you are all glad to hear that Mexico is inspiring me with such wonderful ideas. It truly is a magical land. I love it so much.
Have an amazing week, love you all!!!
It has been a wonderful week of small and wonderful miracles! Mainly miracles as far as work is concerned. Normally the last week of the cycle seems pretty slow and the energy kind of dies out, BUT! This week was great! Plans were made, goals were set, and spirits were lifted. It's just the perfect situation to make any missionary happy do what they're doing.
The zone did great and we saw a lot of success, but Elder Choc and I had an incredible week. We did divisions twice again this week, but the days we did have together were awesome. We found a lot of new people to teach this week and had amazing lessons with each one of them. Remember also, that it's Elder Choc's last week here on the mission, so we had to make it a great one.
We had one lesson on Saturday that by far was the highlight of the week. It was an appointment with a girl we contacted earlier in the week. We actually didn't think she would be there because we knocked on her door and talked to her without her actually opening the door. Normally by how much the door is opened we can measure their level of interest so obviously the odds of her being there and accepting us seemed pretty slim to us. However, she was there andwas interested. Her mom came in and asked us questions and then listened to us as well. The environment was perfect. They truly wanted to know what our message was about and asked questions, participated. It felt comfortable and easy to give the lesson which (in case you didn't know) doesnt always happen the first lesson. The spirit was so strong and it was just perfect. It was especially powerful as we explained the First Vision of Joseph Smith with them. As I shared Joseph's experience and testified of it's truthfulness, my heart burned and I felt so much happiness and love. Love for the two people we were teaching, love for my amazing companion Elder Choc, and love for my Heavenly Father for letting me be apart of this wonderful experience. We committed them to come to church the next day (they came too!!!!) then we left. Walking to our next cita Elder Choc tells me, ''As you taught the First Vision, it hit me. This was the last time I'll teach the Restoration as a missionary.'' I didn't even notice, but he even cried a bit in the lesson. I'm so glad that his last lesson with investigators was an awesome experience and that I was given the opportunity to be a part of it.
So, Elder Choc heads home and the entire zone basically has changes. Yep, I'll have to get to know an entire new group of elders including two new district leaders (and my comp as well of course). It has been a crazy week and I know I'm about to have another one. Pero, así es la misión. Thanks for all your love and support, you guys are amazing and I love and miss every one of you! Have an amazing week!
To email Elder Foust, his address is: firstname.lastname@example.org