Thank you guys so much for all the birthday wishes! It was an amazing day. Mom was worried that I wasn't going to get my package in time because it was moving a little slower than the last. Little did she know we had mission council perfectly on the 26th. My comp also surprised me with a cake and everyone sang. It was a joyous occasion that even ended with a face-full of cake. Yesterday we ate MORE cake with an awesome family as we celebrated both Elder Torres and I's birthday. It was a great day to turn 21. ''One year older and more or less wiser, too,'' as my son Elder Johnson would say.
Now we finally begin the last week of the cycle and Elder Turnbull and I's last week as comps before he heads back to good 'ole Canada. Lots of cliffhangers this week. Like, who will be my next comp? Will I get to see Elder Turnbull cry? Will I cry? How many days/hours will it take for me to finish all the candy my family sent me? So many questions and so many answers to said questions to be given at a later day (if I remember).
For lack of time and concentration, I will end this update with an invitation.
¡ILUMINA EL MUNDO! LIGHT THE WORLD!!
''Therefore, what manner of men ought ye to be? Verily I say unto you, even as I am.'' 3 Nephi 27:27
Find out how you can be more like Christ and light the world with His love this December here: mormon.org
Now 21-year-old Elder Foust
¡Feliz Día de Acción de Gracias! Holy Gatos! How in the world are we near the end of November? Can time just like, chill for a second. It has finally cooled down here in Mexico. I actually wake up pretty cold and have to turn on the heater every once in a while. It worries Elder Turnbull a bit because the Great White North in December might just be a little colder. I'm so glad that I'm returning in the Summer. We still walk around without jackets and hats and people think we are insane. At least I'm wearing shoes in the cold now, right Mom? No, but I am loving resting my red hot chili pepper face from the burning sun for a tad bit.
It was unfortunate that the only day it was actually hot was on Friday when we had a zone service project planned. We helped build part of a house that a part member family has on top of the mountain. It is literally on the last street. Basically our work consisted of digging out several ditches, laying out the ground work for part of the foundation to the house. It was hot and there was a LOT of dirt. Luckily, there was a lot of us and delcious tacos waiting for us after. Ooohh, and this hermana knows how to make delicious steak tacos. They are cooked so perfectly over a fire and served with fried onions, nopales, and an amazing habanero salsa. Worth it. It was also a ton of fun to do it as a zone. Great experience.
Saturday was full of baptisms. Not ours, the hermanas'. We still helped get everything organized for the service. They were 5 little kids from 9-14 years old. Elder Lynch did the baptisms and Elder Turnbull and I did the confirmations in church on Sunday. They are pretty awesome kids and it was great to be a part of that experience.
I of course have more to say but such little time. Things have been just going to fast and everyday there is something new and exciting. I am super grateful for every experience I have had and every experience I will have here in Mexico. Just the other night as we were coming down the mountain on our way home I just looked out into the sea of lights down in the valley. Sometimes there are interesting days and I forget just how blessed I am to be here. However, in that moment I just felt so grateful. I'm in Mexico, I'm a missionary and I'm so happy to be able to say that.
Have an amazing week, coman bien!
Writing bright and early today because we have an awesome zone activity planned. (9:00 AM) The church has some property in the Iztaccíhuatl-Popocatépetl National Park. It's a forested area near the mountains and I've heard it's incredible. We're heading over there for the day to have our missionary meetings then obviously to play and eat hamburgers after. I'm pretty excited and will definitely have pictures ready for next week.
This week we were visited by an Area Seventy, Elder Jesus Alfonso Ortiz Tirado and his wife. It was an amazing experience! We had a zone conference on Thursday with half the mission. President and Sister Stutznegger focused on the attributes of a disciple of Christ what we must do in order to become one. After, Elder Ortiz and his wife focused on a similiar subject, what are our goals in life and the importance of being contiually faithful. I definitely felt the conference's focus helped me more as an individual follower of Christ and what I must do to fulfill the plan that God has for me. I have concentrated a lot who I am and who I want to become and what are the changes necessary to make it happen. On Saturday, we had another meeting with them as Zone Leaders. It pretty much was the same theme but with an emphasis on leadership and how Christ's example can help us become greater leaders. Basically, my heart and mind has been full of ideas and overwhelming feelings for the past few days! I probably would have exploded but luckily was able to work out a lot of ideas in my journal and with my comp. Elder and Sister Ortiz are awesome and incredible examples of faith, love, and dedication. Definitely grateful for their wonderful visit.
I have of course some more crazy, awesome news to share with everyone but no time because I'm going to spend the day with crazy, awesome people doing crazy, awesome things. So, have an crazy, awesome week.
Hopefully you all had a wonderful Halloween! I sure enjoyed Halloween and Dia de los Muertos here. We had to go in on Monday and Wednesday night early because people were getting a little bit too crazy, but all is well and my stomach is happily filled with Pan de Muerto. Because of all the festivities work was a bit harder. We contacted, but couldn't meet with a lot of our investigators due to holiday plans and vacations. For November 2nd we used the theme of family history to contact which was fun despite not having as much success as we would have wanted from it. I did realize thought that I am going to start a tradition of celebrating Day of the Dead by doing family history and sharing stories with my family about our ancestors. I´m even going to have 'ofrendas' of my ancestors favorite things and such. I think it will be an awesome tradition.
Things have been pretty good here in Ixtapaluca. We have been working really hard and have been finding new people to teach every week. The only problem is getting them to church. We have some awesome investigators that have an incredible desire to be baptize. They are even fulfilling their other commitments of reading and praying. For the past couple weeks we have committed them to attend church but somehow end up with few or no investigators in church. It's definitely hard. Yesterday I was just praying and praying that they could make the sacrifice and take this step of faith. At the end of sacrament meeting I realized they weren't going ot come and felt heartbroken. However, I did realize that our little House of Prayer seemed to be pretty packed with people. I was praying and praying for people to come to church and they did! Maybe they weren't investigators but there were a lot of members we haven't seen in a long time and it was the greatest attendance we have had so far in church. The best part is that it was testimony meeting and hearing how most of the less active members bearing their testimonies bore witness that something was lacking in their lives by not going to church. I felt strengthened and inspired by their words and realized in a very different way, the Lord had answered by prayers. That helped mend my partially broken heart.
Well, I love ya'll, it's November (HOW!¿¡?) so have an awesome start to November!
To email Elder Foust, his address is: firstname.lastname@example.org