Cleaning a hoarder's house, getting "recharged" on top of the Pyramid of the Moon and a great lesson on the blessings of hard work...
Santos gatos, these past few weeks have been absolutely insane. Basically, I'm here with Elder Durham and we have been working and running around like crazy. Literally not stop action since I have been here in Paraíso. However, amidst all this maddness have been some incredible experiences.
I was unable to write last week because we went to Teotihuacan...again! I think it was my fourth time visiting these amazing ancient ruins. We went for 2 reasons 1) Elder Durham has never been (I know, crazy) 2) My trainer and 'dad' here in the mission, Elder Kleven, came back to visit for a few days and wanted to go with us! It was cool/weird to see him again since he has been back home for over a year now. It was also interesting because we went on the 21 of March which is just in time for the Spring Equinox Celebration they have each year. Basically TONS AND TONS of people show up wearing white to climb the pyramids. Once on top, they raise their arms in the air and 'recharge' their energy for the year. On top of the Pyramid of the Moon someone started a meditation circle that I gladly joined for a few glorious minutes. I was definitely in my element. The only fallback was that it took waaayyy too long to climb the Pyramid of the Sun because of all the people. However, it was definitely a unique experience and now I know to come back in a year, dressed in white, ready for my next recharge.
Elder Kleven came back at this time for a much greater reason that to just recharge. One of our converts from Pantitlan entered the temple for her endowments last Saturday. She was baptized in November 2015 and has finally made this incredible next step. Elder Durham also had a convert who was baptized around the same time, in the same ward which scheduled her entrance date at the same time! It was a Pantitlan Ward reunion for sure. The session was to start at 10:00 on Saturday and in typical Elder Foust fashion we made it just in time after a taxi, a van, another taxi, and a dead sprint to the temple. Nothing like arriving at the temple doors like a fiery, red, sweating tomato. However.....It was all worth it. This was a life-changing moment for me. I have never felt so close to heaven in my life.
Woah...okay, breath. Well 2 weeks ago we spent our Saturday in the temple dressed in white and this past Saturday we spent it in a disgusting house covered with inches of dirt and THOUSANDS of spiders. Big difference...REALLY BIG DIFFERENCE! So, have any of you seen the show Hoarders? Well, I've got the sequel series: Hoarders: Mexican Infierno. Honestly, I think I have PTSD. There are just some things you can't unsee. Let's just say that it took us and the entire zone a lot longer than we thought. Eventually it was almost time for the food and we had to send all the elders back to their areas. By this time we finally finished cleaning the house and just had to organize and throw away all of the things we took out of it. But, we would have to do it alone. To make things better, it started pouring down rain. Rain and garbage don't usually mix. We definitely were not expecting to spend the entire day there and we had a lot of appointments with a lot of future investigators. However, we both felt we needed to stay and get the job done. The hermana has a lot of disabilities and her husband just had a heart attack last week. The house might have been atrocious but helping these wonderful hermanos was way worth it. So, we canceled a lot of our citas and stayed. However, the Lord always has a plan. As we were finishing up, the family of the hermana came home to see our hardwork. All of them have seen and spoken with the elders but none of them were members. By the end we were laughing, talking, and eventually teaching all 7 of them!
The entire week we have been working hard to find people to teach with little success. However, just this weekend we found several families and other individuals that already have a baptismal date! People we have never met, literally arrived at the church on Sunday wanting to learn more. And we thought it would be a failure of a week. After church services we were telling an hermana in our ward of the experience and she shared with us a valuable lesson. She told us to never stop working, never stop trying because God sees all of it! Maybe we don't see the fruits of our labors in that very moment but the Lord will always see and will always remember and will always bless us. Perhaps not in the way we expect, but normally a whole lot better. So...work hard, be patient. God loves you!
To email Elder Foust, his address is: firstname.lastname@example.org