So, lately we've been doing a lot of contacts trying to find new people to teach. Our usual method includes offering our services to help the person clean, wash, do the dishes... stuff like that. The responses we get are great! Most the time they can never believe we really do that. "Men, doing our dishes? Never in my life have I heard of that.." One lady that we're actually teaching now, thought we were looking for work. She told us of an area were we could find jobs to do, and gave us twenty pesos to go buy some soda. It was pretty funny explaining to her that we don't want anything, just to help out.
One day, an investigator of ours told us about their tamarindo tree, and that they thought it had fruit at the top. Tamarindo is a weird pea-like fruit that they use to make juice, and grows on a huge tree that can reach about 30 ft high. I offered our services to collect the fruit for her, and she couldn't believe it either. To get my point across and let her know we were serious about the proposition, I took my tie off, ready to climb the tree until she convinced me I'd just get my shirt dirty and to come back in the morning in regular clothes. We did just that.
As I scaled this monster of a tree, each foot-hole taking me higher and higher, memories stored deep within the vaults of my mind flooded suddenly back into reality - memories of my childhood fear of heights. But it did not deter me. With fire in my eyes, and a mission to accomplish in my heart, I conquered my long hidden phobia of such things. That day, I stood taller than the tree I was in. I stood as a king.
Pretty funny actually... While i was in the tree, people would pass by and soon gather to gaze in wide wonder at the white boy in a tamarindo tree. I became somewhat of a spectacle of sorts. Searching for ripe fruit, going ever higher and higher, it was apparent that if there were any good and ready tamarindos in this tree, they had to have been on the very top. Well, I'm not exactly a small man, and there came a point were if I stepped on certain branches, I would be thrust down from my kingly throne very quickly, and I'd be better acquainted with the ground. So, my companion gave me a large stick, the likes of which rivaled Moses's staff. I'm sure I looked ridiculous, shaking branches, waving a big stick up in a tree. Soon Elder Valdes joined me in trying to find some of the fruit that wasn't green. In the end, we couldn't find any. We got down from the tree just after discovering a nest of wasps... I "R-U-N-N-O-F-T-E-D" before we ran into those fellas. One childhood fear per day is good enough.
I suppose the moral of the story is that many times, in the mission and out, we don't get to see the fruits of our labors. But perhaps some day in the future, that tree will be ready. And wether it be us, or someone else, it will be harvested.
In other news, we have a baptism this Saturday. This time around, we do get to see the fruits of our labors. His name is Luis Nery, and we've been teaching him since he was referred to us by his neighbor in the beginning of the first transfer I got here. He's a humble kid of 15, very intelligent and very eager in his approach to the gospel. He's so excited to be a member, and we're excited to witness it. I'll tell you how it goes next week.
Love you all, and have a good one.
Sorry there are no photos this week...