Monday, March 25, 2013

 March 25, 2013

Welcome to Spring, Friends and Family!

Spinach smoothie
Utah welcomed us to spring by snowing on the 20th of March, the 21st, and the 22nd. Snow snow snow, we got about 8 inches in total, but thankfully the sun comes out and cleans it all up. Snow or not, we hit the bicycles and keep teaching. We've got one solid baptism coming up this weekend, Junior Camarca, who's 20 years old and just got married to a member. He's a perfect example of humbling oneself before God, and taking the step of baptism without complete knowledge. He's also a perfect example of why we finish High School; every time we meet him he's complaining about how his feet hurt from his yard-work jobs he does all day. Sure makes me grateful for all the schooling I’ve taken.

On Saturday morning, the English elders in my district had a baptism of two boys, who were baptized by there once less-active father. It was great to see how the whole ward showed up to support them. This is an excellent example of real growth in the Kingdom of God. Now they just need to get the non-member Mom baptized! Afterward, we had Navaho tacos at their house (their house is quite nice, and is across the street from Kearns: there are no nice houses in Kearns). It was nice to be eating a non-Hispanic taco for once; Navaho tacos are just scones without the sugar, so we put chili on top.

So far in our mission, the month of March has been really tough on everyone; except Kearns Zone! We're projecting 31 baptisms as a zone, and already have 20 for this month. Some of the other zones are projecting 3 baptisms with only 2 so far. I believe it's all because of our zone leaders, Elder Talentino from Ohio, and Elder Swainston from California (heading home in 2 weeks). They really know how to lead us, their mind set is right, and they lead the example with 6 baptisms in the last 4 weeks already. I feel as though we're sitting on cushions during a time of great depression; all we can do is keep moving forward!

As March comes to a close, we're one month closer to having a new mission president. So far I’ve seen evidence that President Miller is "trunky" in a couple of ways: 1) He changed the 6am wake up time to 6:30am, though most of the mission still gets up at 6am, including Kearns zone. 2) He brought back something called Zone Workout, where the entire zone gets together in the morning to play sports. This was canceled for a long time due to injuries of people getting too competitive, but it's back now! 3) He hasn't done interviews this transfer, which indicates that he's working hard with higher-up authority to get the mission split and new mission president ready to take over. I guess number three isn't him being trunky, but it's a sign that change is soon to come.

I'm excited to hear this upcoming General Conference. I'm hoping they open up China, or bring to pass some sort of change with similar magnitude as the missionary age change. It's a wonderful time to be in the full church cause 24/7.

The picture is the miracle baptism we had with Maria last week

If you want to see more pictures, you can check my blog or my Facebook. Hopefully my mom updates those sites ;)

Take care everyone! Enjoy spring! Spread the Gospel!


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

March 18, 2013

MIRACLES HAPPEN, once in a while, if you believeeeeee.

The sisters in my district told me that song is from princess diaries. I have no clue where I got it from, all I know is that we had.. A miracle baptism yesterday.

We got a call at 3pm on Saturday while I was on a mini-exchange with Elder Hernandez from my district; it was our ward mission leader saying "one of the members' records got lost, so she'll be baptized tomorrow at 6pm." Lost records = convert baptism = miracle baptism within 24 hours of receiving the news. The assistants sent out a voicemail to the entire mission about the miracle, it's great to be on the receiving end of a miracle, rather than just hearing about other people's miracles.

We're pushing for 30 baptisms this week as a zone, and one of our zone leaders is going home, so we're pushing really hard to get there. So far we're at 14. This week the zone leaders baptized a family of 4, and I got to interview them all. It was quite an interesting interview because we had to wait for the parents to show up, and they didn't arrive until 9:50pm. We got into our house at 10:40 that night... but as Elder Maughan says, the zone leaders see the rules as guidelines, so they let it slide.

That very next morning, we had an emergency meeting at 7am, for the whole zone. We had to all scramble to get to the zone building by 7am, and then all they did was check our planners to make sure we had done our weekly planning session and then they let us go. (Apparently people had not been doing their weekly planning).

We have two baptisms planned for the 30th, Jorge (a 45 year old who definitely has the light of Christ in him now) and Junior (a 20 year old who got married to a member about 2 weeks ago, and is ready to be baptized now that he is keeping the law of chastity). We're excited. The district is doing well, we've had  at least one or more baptisms each week. I'm always aware of everyone's investigators, how each lesson went, and then I relay the information back to the zone leaders each night. I hardly have time to think about my own area! That's why I just dump the load of our area on my companion ;)

What else happened this week... Had two 24 hour exchanges with E. Salmon and E. Swainston (zone leader). Elder Swainston and I had a blast. We got to fast that day, and we were searching hard for miracles. We got to teach an Iraqi family. They fed us really delicious homemade chocolate cake, and then told us "if we changed religion they'd chop our heads off :)" (yes, with a smile). So we said "peace" and kept looking for more families. E. Swainston is the zone leader heading home in 3 weeks, and he's focused on finding those last people to baptize before he heads home.

 I hear in Washington the mission president spoke at Stake Conference. That must be an amazing experience, because whenever our mission president speaks, it's spectacular. Mission presidents sure speak by the power of the Holy Ghost. That's why their talks are so amazing.

Speaking of talks, E. Smith and I got roped into speaking at an English ward on Sunday. Wow, my old ways of saying 30 second talks are over. Now it’s the opposite, there is never enough time to speak. We only had 6 minutes each, but I took 6 minutes and 1 second. Elder Jay E Jensen did that in general conference, going over 6 seconds, and they sent him a letter saying "thank you so much for your talk, we are aware you went over 6 seconds which takes away from President Hinckley's time." *Bam* shot through the heart. Well at least I’m fine-tuning my ability to speak.

We haven't heard word yet if we're going to be going to General Conference yet. I hope so though, seeing as last time there were people out for only 3 months who went, and now I have about 7 months in the field. We'll see.

Time to go to a zone BBQ. PEACE!

The church is true! Say your prayers (2 Nephi 32:8-9)

-Elder Toborg-

March 11, 2013

Friends and Family!

The ice age is over here in Utah. All the snow has melted. In fact, we've even been getting some rain.

E. Smith and I use our bikes from 2-5pm and then we switch to the car when the temperatures go down, hopefully that will combat all this food that's getting shoved into me.

There were some changes in our mission, one was worldwide, and that is that we can now email anyone and everyone during P-day. For me, this means that I can email Mr. Elder Maughan whom is located down South, south, south, in a place where mail doesn't make it past the Gangs. Also this means if you email me, I can email you back :) So no more mailing and never hearing from me again, which I’m known to do because I’m still working on the attribute of organization.

This week my companion E. Smith received some sobering news, and that was that if he doesn't improve his Spanish by the end of this transfer, he's going to be switched to the English assignment. Apparently there are too many Spanish elders and not enough Spanish areas. We've been hitting Spanish hard this week. Sure makes me grateful that the Lord blessed me with all the situations to help me learn Spanish as fast as needed. I still am not fluent in any means, but I’m beginning to understand most of the things people say to me. Level 2: I can understand Spanish on the phone. The only thing people need to feel is the Spirit, but being able to understand them when they say "my Dad died and so I hate God now" helps us teach to their needs.

It's great to hear about the people who are getting ready to leave on their missions, it will be the hardest work you will ever do, but it will be the most rewarding ever. As I look back on my time, I wouldn't trade it for anything, and that's because I earned it; known in the scriptures as trial by fire.

I learned a valuable lesson this week from my Zone Leaders. That is, help people learn for themselves. Ask questions until they answer the question themselves. God did it with Adam, my mission president did it with me, and the zone leaders have learned how to do it with me. Now I’m learning how to help my district teach themselves. If in the end they can't get the answer, you send them to Preach My Gospel or the scriptures. It's a great way to learn.

The best way to learn is to apply all the things you learn to your own life (1 Nephi 19:23). Re-read the Book of Mormon with a problem in mind, and watch as it speaks directly to you.

My District is going wild so it's time to go now,

Take care everyone!

-Elder Toborg-

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

March 4, 2013
Changes, again
Hello Family and Friends,
This week was crazy, because we had to go back and forth and around and over and back and through to get everyone emailing this week. The reason it's different now is because we have two more members of the district. Sisters. They're wonderful people, and they do a lot of missionary work, but their communication skills are high pitched and whimsical. It's great having more responsibility.... makes the work… fun. We had two baptisms in the district this week, and we taught more lessons this week than ever, so things are pushing along. In our area, we had a rough week, but we ended it well, and we have two people on the road to baptism.
One of them is Sylvia Acartal who can't seem to get charity into her life. So we've been helping her establish a vision of having love in her life again, a goal of baptism for the 23rd, and a plan of reading, praying, and going to church.
Vision, Goal, Plan.
We get hammered hard in the mission about vision, goals and plans. Elder Smith and I figured, if it helps missionaries, it will help our investigators. So now we give everyone a vision, a goal and a plan to accomplish that goal and reach their vision. It's going well so far!

This week we got to have a lesson on studying the scriptures by Elder Jay E. Jensen, who just got released from the presidency of the First Quorum of the Seventy. He knows his stuff.

It's great to hear that Elder Maughan has sisters in his district, because he describes them as acting pretty much the same way as the sisters in my district too. So we'll both deal with the trial at the same time.
Note, Elder Maughan, the next step from DL companion is becoming DL, so get ready, impressive, striking, red head.

Elder Lopez from El Salvador got transferred out of my district and now we have Elder Hernandez from Mexico, from the state Hidalgo. (No clue where that is, but my geography has improved, I know where most Hispanic countries are in general).

This is the last transfer of one of my Zone leaders, Elder Swainsten. He's a great elder, and he's baptizing like crazy this week. His area has about 14 baptisms planned this month alone, and the transfer goes into April a little. My other zone leader, Elder Talentino, is probably going to become an AP either of this mission or of the new one. He became a zone leader at around 7 months into his mission, and he's barely going to hit 1 year now. His example can make a missionary wonder: "If I had worked harder, could I have reached up to the success that Elder Talentino has seen already?" I'm just grateful to not be a zone leader, their work load is so grand, but stress comes when you sign away your agency with your mission papers.

March already... March Madness brings to mind one word starting with a "B" and that word is...


We've been focusing a lot as a mission on "real growth," aka having the kingdom of God growing, and not having empty Less Active numbers. We've been hitting less actives hard lately. When Elder Clayton of the 70 who announced the mission split was here, a missionary asked "should we REALLY focus on Less Actives as much as baptizing?" and he answered: "well, we want the non-member in 10,000,000 years to be in the Celestial Kingdom, and where do we want the less active to be in 10,000,000 years? The Celestial kingdom. So Elder, does that answer your question?" Sadly that elder began to back talk saying, "no but really, baptisms are more important right?" It was an interesting scene: a Tongan arguing with a general authority. Only in Utah...

Oh yeah speaking about only in Utah, today while shopping, the TV program on in the manicure place was a talk by Elder Oaks. Only in Utah...

Love you all.
-Elder Toborg-