The "Fantastic Four" is no more, a surprise baptismal experience and a return to the House of Prayer on the side of a mountain...
Hardwork and Heartbreak. Seems like these will be common themes for the next few weeks. Last time I mentioned the alarming number of goodbyes I'll be having to make and this week it became a reality. Our Fantastic Four has been savagely ripped apart. Elder Arroyo and Elder Ibarra left us Friday afternoon and Tepalcates hasn't been the same since (Elder Roberts is still here and still great but he'll have his moment). We had the torturing privilege to accompany our brothers to the airport and say our goodbyes. Tears were shed all around. I have had such amazing companions here in the mission and these two were some of the best. I love them so much. They have helped me learn, laugh, and live so much more happier here in Mexico. Pure power from these two. I don't think they'll ever know just how great of an impact they´ve had on my life. However, I hope, no, I KNOW it won't be the last time I see them. They'll be doing bigger and better things, but I'll find them!
The Lord has definitely been aware of this sad change we've had and knowing that it is just the beginning, has wisely found wonderful ways to lift me up and keep me going. A few weeks back, I received notice that a family Elder Durham and I found in Palmitas was to be baptized. Through Durham's obsession with their dog, the mom invited us 'gringos' in to talk to them about the Gospel of Christ. Now this family was incredible and sadly I only spent a few short weeks with them before changing to Tepalcates. However, a few weeks later, some lessons and a whole lot of faith and love later, they were prepared to make their first covenant with God. Durham and I both came back for the baptism and I was surprised to know that I would be baptizing 1 of the 5. By surprised I mean I had no idea and brought no clothes or anything to baptize. Luckily, Elder Durham worked his magic and sneakily organized for Elder Roberts to bring all the essentials. It was a wonderful gift from a wonderful friend. The spirit was strong as this family, all women, made the decision to follow the example of Christ.
That experience alone would brighten even the darkest of days. However, the miracles were not meant to stop at that. THIS week I got a call from the elders back at the Casa de Oracion in Ixtapaluca. A couple good 'ole Elder Wolford and I found back in December made their decision to be baptized and the hermano wanted me to perform the ordinance. I loved that little House of Prayer and poured my heart out on that gigantic hill for 6 months. To be completely honest, at times I felt all that hardwork was in vane with little fruits to show of it. WIth thoughts like these passing through my mind more frequently just the week before, God gave me the best comfort a loving Father could give to a somewhat troubled son. That baptism last Saturday brought me so much peace. And taking place just a day after saying goodbye to some bestfriends made it that much more special. The Foust baptismal curse came back a little bit when the hermana was too scared to dunk her head underwater. We waited about 15 min in the water trying to help her relax. Elder Gonzalez who was performing the ordinance was a great sport and maintained his patience. Eventually I got in the font too and helped him and the hermana finish the baptism. The more the merrier!!
Tender mercies, yes. Lesson on patience, also yes. JUST DON'T STOP TRYING! The lessons will be learned and understood and the blessings will come. But, oh how we easily forget. I love you guys so much and am so grateful for your love and support. Have a great week!
To email Elder Foust, his address is: firstname.lastname@example.org