Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Aug. 20, 2012
Salutations from Sandy

My Trainers: Elder Gomez and Elder Gonzalez

 Greetings friends and family!

It's great to hear from Mom and Dad through Email; I guess emailing me is the best way to communicate; I'm allowed to read all emails you send me, but I cannot reply unless it's by snail mail. So if you want a response from me that's not in this weekly email, snail mail would be the best way ;)

I'm getting into the habit of missionary work; I can already see that time really does fly, and that I’ve almost been in the field for two weeks now! To answer some questions that Mom had; I'm the only one who eats breakfast in the morning, my companions don't get ready fast enough and don't bother with eating breakfast (needless to say their gaining weight; breakfast is the most important meal to get your metabolism running!). Most of the time for lunch, we do all of our personal, companionship, and then language study, then eat lunch and start out for the day. This puts us at about 1pm before we even leave the house. (House being a member's basement; the wife is currently serving a service mission, but the father is an economics professor at BYU so he's preparing to go back to work soon). We always have a dinner prepared by a member; sometimes it falls through, but we always contact them the night before, so if they really can't do it, sometimes they just give us money to go out to eat. So far I've lost 2 pounds here in the Field, putting me at 172.8lbs; I plan to come home 175~ so I'm doing good so far! It's quite easy to not gain weight; sure we are fed every night, but that doesn't mean you have to eat like a pig for breakfast/lunch; dinner is only one meal! And the exercise is very important too.

We do have a large area, but we are never allowed to go to the mission office for mail; only zone leaders can pick up mail.

Some of these people are sure humble; the Hispanic population works all the time and yet they still live humbly. As of right now, we have two investigators with a baptismal date (both for August 26th): Frank (17 years old, his mom won't let him get baptized but we've challenged him to bare his testimony to his mother to show her how important the gospel is in his life), and Jaime Montoya. Jaime lives in the lower floor of a member’s house, and he really has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon already. Every law and ordinance we teach him, he accepts without hesitation because he knows that it is the word of God. It really is that simple; if people will just harken unto the challenge we give them, to pray and ask God, just them and Him, if the Book of Mormon is true, he will manifest the truth of the answer by the power of the Holy Ghost; of course more than not, people will not ask with a sincere heart, and real intent. I'd say that a "Hardened Heart" is the most prevalent obstacle preventing people from receiving an answer.

So many people brush our message off with statements such as "oh I'm already Catholic and I was baptized and now I preach the gospel just like you, and I know that I don't need anything else so have a good day bye" *door shut* The lesson I teach the most is the restoration; and they will even agree with everything we teach about the restoration... not really understanding what the restoration means; the fact that the sacred Priesthood, the same power that existed in Christ's time as found in the bible, which was lost after his ascension into heaven and the death of the apostles, is now once again restored on the earth, and we once again have the proper authority to baptize in the "name of the Father and of the Son of and of the Holy Ghost" (Matthew 28:19).

Anyway, I'm looking forward to two baptisms this week; Jaime will be baptized for sure; we're taking him down to Temple Square for a tour to strengthen his testimony. Frank needs permission from his mother, but if she doesn't allow him, he turns 18 in October. We have 5 other investigators; 4 of them all have problems with the law of Chastity, and need to get married or stop living together before they can get baptized. We taught one of the couples; Angel and Nereida (ages 50 and 40) the law of Chastity and you could see the guilt in their eyes as we taught, but once we presented repentance and baptism afterward, and the hope that they can become spotless (Isaiah 1:18), cleansed from all their sins and stand guiltless before the Father at the last day (3 Nephi 27:16).

Speaking of baptism and repentance (aka the Atonement of Jesus Christ); we had a zone meeting on Tuesday, in which we did role plays. The zone leader took the place of the investigator and the other 8 of us were the teachers; he would point at a different person who would teach him one sentence at a time. We started getting through lots of doctrine, but the "investigator" was not getting interested. The zone leader (elder Thomas) stopped us and said "our purpose is the invite others to come unto Christ, none of you have mentioned the atonement yet." So we began again, and this time we got him interested in matter of minutes by telling him of the fact he can become clean through Christ. Everyone has sinned and wants to get rid of that guilt; this is was Christ offers us, and only through him can we return to live with God again.

I hope all is going well back home, glad to hear the garden is doing well and wow it sounds hot in Washington!
I still haven’t gotten any letters, and I believe it's because the dearElder's are still being sent to the MTC, but I’ll probably get a mountain of them soon so keep sending! Thank you so much for the Green-y Package I got sent! It brightened my day for sure. I hope to answer any letters sent next week, if not, have patience, it's a Christ-like attribute ;)
If you ever have important information that needs to be answered in a week, email me :)

I love you all! Thank you for your support, you're all in my prayers!
-Elder Toborg

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