Monday, February 25, 2013

Feb. 25, 2013

Garden gnomes hanging out in the snow

This week was CRazzy. As in, we found out a lot of changes that are going to happen.

It all started with a fun night, Thursday, down at the mission office with the Church Service Missionaries, or the senior couples that work in our area. This was a meeting for Spanish elders only, and how they could more effectively use the "daily dose" English program. (The way in which the CSM missionary couples teach English, called Daily Dose, opens up another route to share the gospel). After the meeting, our CSM missionaries, Elder and Sister Bair took us out to Kneaders, a really fancy dessert place, where we got fruit smoothies. It's a personal triumph to choose the "healthiest" thing in a room full of cake and pastries.

Elder & Sis. Clayton (First Quorum of the Seventies) and Pres. & Sis. Miller
The very next day, we went down to the mission office again for a surprise mission conference. (Mission conference is where the entire mission gets together, normally they only happen on days such as 4th of July, Christmas, New Year’s etc..). There, we heard from Elder Clayton, member of the presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He told us some very inspiring things about missionary work and how we can be better. He then switched the conversation to "change" and how there was some upcoming events he needed to tell us about. These changes were the 58 new missions that I’m sure you've heard about by now. One of those would be the change in our mission president. President Miller will be replaced on July 1st by Robert E. Chambers, who was a former teacher at BYU-I. With that change, comes the Salt Lake City East Mission, which will come from ours. They’re taking a chunk out of our mission... again. I didn't realize how much change happened when the Central and West Missions took chunks out of ours, but now I realize I could be going to a different mission in July. Not only that, but as a current District Leader, that just guarantees I’ll be in leadership for the rest of my mission. Just so you know, Leadership = less hair. Not a good thing. Although at the same time, as a leader you sure don't have time to waste, you are a much more efficient missionary.

Baptism of Juan Alejandre (with E. Smith)
We were all very sad to hear of Pres. Miller's replacement, but then we realize we still have a good four months with him, so we'll make that time count! To make it count, we had another baptism last night of Juan Alejandre. He's a very accepting person, and with the recent passing of his father, he was ready to be baptized. We still have a lot of work to do with him though. Elder Clayton told us to not only look for people to baptize, but also for real growth in the Kingdom of God. This means, don't add people to the Bishop's welfare load, find people who can be leaders and take the church further. It's very hard to find people similar to that, because it seems anyone with that knowledge has too much pride to sacrifice their current habits for God. We're working with one Ramiero Rivera who has potential to be a leader in the church; however his SUPER Catholic mother-in-law who lives with him is preventing any real progress in him.

This week I didn't need to go on any exchanges, which was a nice rest being able to stay in my own area the whole week. The onslaught starts tonight with another exchange. (Exchange is a 24 hour switch of companions so that you can teach/learn from other people, called "diversions" in the South American missions).

Dogs hanging out in the sun
Dogs hanging out on the roof
Its fun to hear about the changes in people's lives, my mother updated me with her "monthly facebook stalking update." Most of everything was "so and so is going on a mission" times 10. I'm excited for Ben to go to an Asia mission, Spanish is great, but let’s get some other languages in the mix.

I've included some pictures of the seasonal changes here in Utah. There are some quite interesting things to see as you explore every inch of a .75 square mile area, while having a car. I feel as though I live in everyone's backyard, because that’s where we go to find the Hispanics living in the basements. What I’ve found is that everyone has an awfully old house on the outside, and a very modern, nice looking house on the inside (for the most part). Everyone, though, is in debt for their shiny new cars. One night we came outside from a lesson to a crowd gathered around our mission car and a Mazda RX-8 Sports car. My first thought was that they hit us (it was snowing outside) but they hit a curb and broke their axel in half and the car was just chillin' near ours. When the driver got out, a 20~ year old who you could tell spends too much on cigarettes and I just felt bad that he would be hurting financially because of the debt he got himself into. With that being said, I’ll buy a nice shiny car like that, when I’m 55 and I’ve sold my 4 companies.

Love you all!

Elder Toborg
Hope charity and love with an eye single to the glory of God qualify him for the work.

Here’s the latest from home and from stocking E. Daniel's FB page:
Both Courtney and Rachelle Dotson are engaged.
Stephanie Hiltscher is “in a relationship” with Chandler Balkman (small world).
Hailey Bush is going to Japan Fufuoka on Jun 26
Lauren Mickelson is going to Brazil Florianopolis Mission on July 3
Jonathan Peckham has malaria (on his mission in Mozambique)- apparently he was warned he’d get one of two diseases and this was one.
Alex Johnson is in the MTC going to Chile Santiago.

Brianna Vail is going to Brazil São Paulo Interlagos Mission on July 17. (Interestingly, Jennifer Riding, new in our ward, is going to the same mission. Jennifer’s sister, Allison (who Dad wants you to meet ;) ) is going to Brazil Manaus about the same time that Christy Corbitt goes to Sao Paulo East.)

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