Transferred to Ixtapaluca, conducting a great Zone Conference and "LIVING ON A MOUNTAIN!" ( and it's not a monastery, we checked)...
Holy changes!!! I'm sorry that I haven't kept you all updated but there has been a dramatic change of events! I'm in Ixtapaluca! Yep, I said goodbye to good 'ole Villada and now I am currently on the side of a mountain on the frontier of our mission. My new area is part of an 'unofficial' branch that was formed about 4 months ago and is currently having its Sunday services in a 'Casa de Oracion' (House of Prayer). It's a member's home that transforms every Sunday into a little church building. It's pretty awesome!
The people here are great and my fellow missionaries in this zone are amazing. The only interesting thing that I still have to get used to is that I LIVE ON A MOUNTAIN! (Already mentioned it, and overreacting) BUT I LIVE ON A MOUNTAIN! I mean in comparison to my old areas, which were completely flat, it's a pretty big change. This first day was probably the roughest. My comp, Elder Turnbull from Toronto, Canada (totally cool and awesome and Candadian), helped me wheel my incredibly heavy suitcases up to our house. We were in our suits, the sun was blazing, and we live pretty far up that mountain! There were so many times that I thought we were there, but nope!! Higher and further and sweatier. After a little over a week, I'm getting more accustomed to it. Especially since the majority of our investigators live even higher than we do. Funny how that works right? The views are incredible though. We get to look at a beautiful, green valley and breathtaking mountains/volcanoes everyday. We can also see pretty much our entire mission and downtown. Makes the climb a bit easier.
Last week also included all of the craziness of September 15, Mexican Independence Day! I mean, it wasn't too crazy for us since we were inside for that entire time. Stayed in the house from Thursday night to Saturday morning. Made for a great day of studying and cleaning. Plus, we enjoyed all the left over Pozole the days after. Everything is worth it for pozole.
The 15th also gave us the opportunity to plan for Zone Conference on Tuesday. We taught a workshop on the talk ''Becoming a Preach My Gospel Missionary'' by Elder David A. Bednar. We felt prepared and it went really well. Overall, the conference was awesome. Focusing on being, ''anxiously engaged'' and staying motivated especially when the going gets tough. Something essential in order to reach our true potential. Pres. Stutz definitely turned into the high-energy highschool football coach that was exactly what we needed to leave the conference inspired (and ready to climb a mountain!).
This crazy week of transition ended perfectly with our trip to the temple today. These changes definitely caught me by a bit of a surprise and it definitely has not settled down since then but life is incredible and I know I'm exactly where I am supposed to be. This area is going to give me the perfect opportunity to reach my true potential. I mean I have to give it my all! Yesterday I completed 14 months! Times a 'tickin away!
con muchísimo amor y piernas doloridas,
How's everyone doing? Hopefully good. I´m good. I'm just, you know, here in Mexico livin the dream. This week was super good because we ended it with a baptism! It obviously was an amazing experience but in typical Elder Foust fashion, it wasn't without a bunch of random obstacles.
So Saturday, day of the baptism, we run to the church early in the morning to get the baptism font all ready for the service at 11:30. My experience in preparing for a baptism here in the mission has always been interesting so I knew that today probably wouldn't be without it's fair amount of difficulties. We arrive at the scene and within 15 min this is the situation. 1) The font is full of dirty water 2)The pump to get the dirty water out doesn't work properly 3) No one has keyes to open the boiler so that we have warm water. Well to fix problems #1 and 2 we take buckets and slowly and tiringly scoop out all the dirty water. Yes, bucketful by bucketful we drained the entire font. I was beyond exhausted after that. Finally, I start cleaning. However, it was difficult without being able to drain the water. Luckily, Elder Keyes came to help with English classes and brought all his wonderful Canadian wisdom as well. The pump did work, it was just broken in a way that we couldn't prime it properly. However, he reminds us that we can suck on the pipe to provide sufficient pressure to get the water to drain. Not many willing volunteers to suck out disgusting water from a rusty old pipe, so I accepted the role. So I start doing it and I'm scared to get a mouthful of the remaining dirty water from the font but Keyes just tells me to, ¨listen¨ for when the water comes. A few minutes and a mouthful of brown water later, I fail to ¨listen¨ to the water as it comes. Anything for a baptism right? Elder Keyes also found the key to the boiler in the closet so that I could have my first slightly warm baptism. Well started off interestingly, but gracias to Elder Keyes. We were perfectly prepared for our baptism. God bless Canada!
The service went amazingly well! Our investigator is the only one from her family that is a member or that was getting to know the church so she came alone to her baptism. Fortunely, we had great support from the ward and ward leaders and they definitely helped her feel loved, special, and welcome in the ward. It's a great blessing to have awesome people who are willing to help and serve their fellow man. Especially in a moment as special as this. The next day she was confirmed and made the newest member of the ward! I can't wait to see her progress and growth in the church. I know that she'll be strong and help a lot of people with her brave example. It was an amazing weekend.
So, great experiences and wonderful miracles are happeing here in Mexico! It's awesome to witness the hand of the Lord bless the lives of so many people! I love you guys so much and hope you have an amazing week!
con mucho amor,
To email Elder Foust, his address is: firstname.lastname@example.org