Friday, June 22, 2012

June 22, 2012

 Hey Everyone!

 I've seen two new batches of missionaries entering the MTC, and I feel as though I'm an expert at the MTC; except that little "language" thing that I always am working on.

I hope the birthday celebrations went well Mom, sorry I couldn't be there, but the Lord has called me, and I shall do his work.

Tomorrow (Saturday the 23rd), the new Mission Presidents will be arriving at the MTC, and along with them, ALL twelve of the apostles and all three of the First Presidency throughout the week will make appearances; apparently they like to teach Mission Presidents well. The chances of meeting an apostles will sadly be very low, as they now have separate places for the apostles to eat, to walk, and we're not allowed in their building. I guess I can look forward to some good devotionals though! The Houston Texas Mission (4 of the Elders in my district of 8 are going there) is going to get a new Mission President, so they get to go to a special class to meet him and have dinner with him.

Good to hear from Justen's letters! I can relate so much more to them already, just being in the MTC! Wow he's going to be at his hump day (1 year) so soon! and only 1 month until Kevin and Mike are in the MTC with me! I'm still so bummed that I won't see Pete.

I definitely am improving; Our teachers are starting to speak faster and only in Spanish, however English comes out if all 8 of us give back blank stares. I couldn't have asked for a better district, we support each other very well and we don't seem to have any problems.

Send questions you have on Dear Elder, there's not much that differs now, day to day, at the MTC; the days are beginning to blurr together. Personal study, language study by yourself, 6 hour classes, gym time, eat, sleep, repeat etc..Now I know why Elders can't wait to get out into the mission field! But for now, I'll accept people cooking my food for me and cleaning my dishes.

I'm so glad to be doing the Lord's work, and I hope to continue to become a more efficient tool in his hand as I continue to grow.

That's all for now! Love you all and thank you for your support and prayers

-Elder Toborg

June 15, 2012

Hey Everyone!

I've officially passed my first week and a couple of days at the MTC, and wow time is flying by!

I'm understanding most of everything I hear from my teachers in class in Spanish: so that's great! However.. they speak nice and neat, nice and slow, and nice and simple. I tried talking to a native Spanish speaker (who is going to my mission!) and I couldn't even understand, "?Conoces ese elder?" (Do you know that elder?)

I'm sorry to hear I missed Kyle's talk, I'm sure wishing I had Kyle's linguistic abilities right now! but I know with hard work and the gift of tongues, I'll get there!

We finished teaching 5 lessons to an "investigator" named Cezar Jimenez; the first lesson was on our second day at the MTC and had all of our nerves rattling. We didn't get much progress with him until the final lesson, were my companion (Elder Bay) recited from memory Joseph Smith's first vision in Spanish, the spirit was strong and he accepted a challenge to baptism! Then... the next day Cezar walks into the class room... after teaching him for a week we find out he's our second Spanish teacher! Hermano Barnard.

It's great to hear about all of the moves back in Washington. Congratulations on the house selling Mary! Glad to hear that the Blacks will be moving back into the ward.

Eating healthy is extremely difficult here at the MTC, one of the teachers said he gained 50lbs in the 3 weeks he was here.. and I can see why; I have to get an average of 3-4 plates of food, take off all the unhealthy nonsense, and mash together any spec of healthy food to create a some-what healthy dish. So most of the time I end up consuming a far too generous amount of grease injected hamburgers or deep fried mystery meat. (Note: No need to send any baked goods to me, every elder receives a voluptuous amount of these and thus there is an enormous surplus of baked goods floating around the hall. Candy is a rare commodity in my room though!) So far I've only gained .9 pounds in this week at the MTC (they have industrial scales we can weigh ourselves on during service projects, I think our entire district weighs about 1400 pounds).

As a district, we do a service project every Tuesday morning, so far it looks like I'm back at Matthew's, as I'm stocking cereal and condiments in the back storage room. We also get to help prepare food, which I'd rather not have seen how they mass produce the things i put inside my body, but there's not much you can do about that!

I ran out of garments (10 pairs) on my first official full week and had to purchase 3 more pairs; so make sure you come with at least 12 pairs to the MTC Peter! You will use two pairs a day (gym + morning change).

So sorry I'm going to miss out on Fathers day, Love you Dad! Wish I could Skye you since mother's day isn't for another 11 months, but rules are rules, and there are quite a lot of those here at the MTC. Obedience is the most stressed value here, and the point was brought up during a district meeting: "You pray all day for investigators or for the Spirit to help you convert people. If you can't even get out bed on time, or get to bed on time, or follow the little rules, do you think Christ will trust you enough with one of his precious souls that has the potential of become a god or goddess?" - Elder Case, district leader. I'm glad you and mom kept me busy and taught me how to work hard, because a mission sure is hard work. I am grateful for all the work they give us, we don't have time to think about how much we're doing or what we're missing out on!

I love receiving letters from Dear Elder, Mom, please post the link/directions to Dear Elder on my facebook, i don't have anyone's address's so i can't write them, and dear elder is just a simple email!

My new favorite literature is Jesus the Christ by James E. Talmage, but sadly i only have about 10 minutes a day to read it, but so far I've loved what I've read!

Went to the Provo temple today for the first time, the session was great, they have a separate floor for the Elder's clothing/changing since we go there so often. On my way out I ran into none other than Cami and Rachael Schiel!

My testimony is certainly increasing very rapidly, since not only do I learn it in Spanish, but first I take it to heart in English, so I can develop essentially two testimonies of everything I learn.

I'm very blessed to be here on a mission, and i hope to bless the lives of my Family and those who I teach!

Hurrah for Israel!

Love you all very much, and I keep you in my prayers, whatever language that may be.

-Elder Toborg

June 9, 2012
Hey Everyone!

I'm on my fourth day in the mission field, at the MTC currently, and so far, wow there is so much work!

I'll begin by answering the questions you sent me mom:

My companion is Elder Bay, from Portland Oregon, and his Spanish is better than mine, however not much.

My District contains 8 Elders. No one else in the entire MTC that I've met so far is going to Salt Lake City South, Spanish or English speaking.

All the Elders on my floor are state-side Spanish speakers, besides a few foreign. Most of the people are going to Houston, Texas. My companion is going to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I've been over indulging on the same unlimited food (minus NO SPINACH!) as the Cannon Center.

When we head to class, we have the same teacher each time, Brother Wood, who only speaks in Spanish. I've been placed in the "intermediate" class, and so everyone in class is not fluent in the language, but understands the concepts of conjugating and some vocabulary. I'm happy to say I can visualize all the stories he tells us, even though I can't quite understand every word he says. Every now and then, we get 1 hour of independent language study, but overall you never study the language with a teacher, you just use the language. So far I can understand most everything, however when I speak, I cannot remember the correct verbs to use.
Sleep is the most covetous thing in the MTC, and though we get a little under 8 hours a day, it still doesn't seem like enough, and everyone drifts off every once and a while during personal study (which we get about 2-3 hours a day of to study language, or gospel).

My P-Day is actually Friday. We go to the temple at 6:30 (7:00 session) in the morning, which means less sleep. However, everyone says its the best part of the week, so I'm looking forward to going next week.

We get about one hour a day to use the computers for "TALL" (Technology assisted Language Learning) which allows us to hear the Spanish being spoken, as well as record our voice and hear ourselves by playing it back to us. We're not allowed to listen to any music in any form here at the MTC so singing acapela hymns become our only source of music.

Thank you all for the Dear Elder letters I received, I got one from Dad, Mom and Jessica, it was nice to get 3 letters on the first day we collected mail. Besides constant exhaustion, the MTC is great and the spirit is always so strong everywhere I go.

Well my time is short, if you have any questions just Dear-Elder them to me! Love you all and thank you for your support!

-Elder Toborg