Monday, April 29, 2013

A shared sunset over the SLC valley with Elder Toborg
as Mom & Dad came to Utah for Jessica's BYU graduation.

4/29/2013

Salutations.

A few of us got to attend the Oquirrh Temple to do an endowment session; A special prayer was said blessing the missionaries in the room for double the baptisms. We're going to get double the baptisms in the Kearns Zone for May! Pray for miracles.

Miracles happen all of the time; such as the Spanish family of 3 that we found last night and committed to baptism on the 25th of May. Their daughter is 7 and turns 8 on the 23rd, perfect timing. The father, Jose, is so very humble, and is a manager at Chic-Fil-A, which missionaries love because they give us 50% off.

We also had a miracle with one of our investigators, Freddy Quintana, who has had 10 felonies in his life time and just got off parole. He explained to us in detail how he used to love "sticking people with shanks" in federal prison, and people would die all the time. He connected the two sentences to make it seem that he killed people all the time, but he clarified later "oh no I’ve never taken a life, they always got medical attention right after I stuck them." The miracle of this is: he can still be baptized. When we deal with murder... the process is a little different, so we're grateful he's only an ex drug dealer/weapon dealer, and has never killed anyone. Christ can clean him, and he sure has made a 360 degree change, supporting his family of 3 even with a broken hand.

Today I get to go golfing with some of the other zone leaders. Golf is for people ages 50+ who can't move anymore. I hope you infer how I feel about golf.

We spent all of Saturday stopping by Bishops helping them have effective ward councils. 2/5 Bishops get it. The others, not so much. The reason the church is failing in Utah is because of in-effective Ward Councils. The Ward Council is supposed to be a return and report on assignments given, and further assignments given for the following week, with missionary work discussed at the beginning (Handbook 2, page 18). Our mission president, the other mission presidents in the valley, the stake presidents in the valley and 3 Apostles met for a special meeting regarding the "Tsunami" coming into Utah. We still don't know what that means, but I hope it's something positive.

We ate some very special food this week. Our dinner on Saturday was with a less-active from Spain who made us "Paella" which is a dish with rice, chicken, beef, muscles, and some various vegetables. While the paella was sizzling, he fed us some strange raw bacon looking thing called Jamon Cerano. The drink he gave us is usually made with wine, but through his grace he used cranberry juice instead. It was pretty delicious.

The second exotic meal we had was from Peru on Sunday night. We went over to Ronnie and Tamera Reeve's house to eat with her family from Peru. (Ronnie and his son Kaydon are being baptized on May 4th). They fed us deep-fried fish, with papa a la guancayina, which are sliced potatoes with special sauce (similar to fri sauce). It was delicious, so we ate a ton. Then they brought out the Arroz con Leche, which is white rice mixed with: Whole milk, 2% milk, condensed milk, evaporated milk, straight cream, and then whip cream. It was also delicious. I now know that i am NOT lactose-intolerant, because I had no side effects after eating this thick milk creation.

Heading out to Baptize.

I invite you all to invite your friends to come to church and be saved; otherwise they're condemned to a never ending torment.

with Love

-Elder Toborg-

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


4/22/2013

Tired,

That's how one may describe how I feel after this week. We were fortunate enough to go on two 24 hour exchanges this week. For those who don't know what exchanges are, it’s when you switch companions to help teach missionaries. You have to give it 110%, and after every exchange, the Holy Ghost has licked up every drop of energy you had.

All is well.

The Lord, fortunately, gives us more strength as well. Depend on him, and our problems go away. The more we focus on the Zone, the more success we get in our own area...still a mystery how that works, but I’m fine with it!


Jorge Luis Anica de la Rosa
This week we had two baptismal services. The first was for Jorge Luis Anica de la Rosa, from Mexico. This guy is black, blacker than night. He was found in an obscure ally-way, hood up, smoking drugs. Here he is, recovering smoker/Meth addicted, washed clean by the waters of baptism on 4/20. He's about 25 years old and married to a less active, or.. previous less active (she paid her tithing yesterday!). There has been a lot of growth in that home. The wife described her experience of having the Holy Ghost out of her life for almost 15 years, and now feeling it enter into the house when she accepts the gospel, she can feel the difference.

Eddy Alexander Gonzalez, Jr.
The second baptismal service was for Eddy Alexander Gonzalez Jr. His mother has been less active, and now has been coming back. The next step is the non-member dad, Eddy. Once he gets married to his mother, in the water for him! His main fear is coming to church... too many frightening Utah people at church i guess. Or maybe it's because no one says hi... Please say hi to anyone you don't know. Oh and it's a commandment from God too (D&C 88:81).

We've been working a lot lately through bishops. Now I cover both English and Spanish, and when we cover English in Utah, we have 5-12 wards in one stake. We have 5 wards and 1 Spanish branch. The bishops have a lot to learn about giving assignments and returning and reporting (which is all you're supposed to do in ward council - general conference April 2013), but we've gotten some really golden referrals from them.

One of these referrals was a part-member family, the Reeves. Oh Boy are they prepared to hear the gospel! Ronnie & Kaydon, Dad and 13 y/o son, started planning their baptism the moment after we invited them to be baptized! They'll be getting dunked on May 4th, oh it makes me happy every time we teach them! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL FAMILY! This is what the gospel is about, teaching families.

We almost had a baptism set up for Cinco de Mayo in the Spanish branch, but he got evicted from his house and moved out of the mission... Can't say we didn't try.

This week was also tiring, because of the mass amounts of teaching we did. Our mission president sets a "standard of excellence" for our key indicators, or the numbers we turn in to show our weeks labors. This standard is almost impossible to reach, but if you do reach it, it means you’re doing something right. Our mission's standard of excellence is to have 1 baptism 1 confirmation, 21 lessons with a member present, and 4 new investigators, with the average in the mission being 5 lessons with a member present. This week Elder Talentino and I reached those 21 member present lesson and so now i can slap a gold star on my ego.

Also, to all you Weros, or "white people"
Don't fall asleep in sacrament meeting.

We got to speak in one of the English wards as the main speakers, and I had to say very clearly and boldly the word "baptism" many times to wake people up.

Problem? Sleeping.
Answer? Take notes, fast, come prepared to learn, come with a question you need answered, don't sit in a comfy position, and then account to your spouse/family what you learned afterward.
Problem solved.

Love you all!

-Elder Toborg-

4/15/2013

What the Change?

The Lord works in mysterious ways. 

This week started off as usual. Preparation day, a day that wears the mask of joy and relaxation, but underneath is the cleaning, the moving, the shopping. The chores. Around 4-6pm we finish up and played some basketball with the Zone. Elder Swainston is heading home, his trunky-ness was spreading all throughout. He needed to be down at the mission home by 6am the next day, and so did my companion Elder Lopez, so I swapped and went with the remaining zone leader, Elder Talentino. That next morning, Elder Talentino as Zone leader received transfer calls, and I was just along as his companion. Little did I know...
Zone Leaders: Elder Talentino, Elder Swainston, Elder Toborg

The transfers come in the form of an Email, which E. Talentino opened, eager to find who his new zone leader companion would be. He scanned quickly, then looked over at me and smiled, saying "welcome to the team baby!" and with a high five pointed that I was his new companion. 

What the Zone Leader? I was appointed to watch over a portion of Kearns Zone as a district leader just 3 months ago. It's an almost overwhelming responsibility to look over 20+ missionaries in the highest baptizing zone in our mission at this point. But. No time to complain, we're too busy working. 

This week has been a roller coaster of events. I now work in the Kearns Utah Stake, which includes 6 wards in English, and one Spanish branch. We do most of our work in Spanish, but this week some of the bishops gave us some good referrals which lead to two part-member families who we'll be helping their husbands get baptized in May. It's odd working with 6 bishops as well as a branch president now. A main key to helping others grow is to help them discover answers for themselves. E. Talentino is the master at this, and even helped a bishop realize what he needed to change to fix his ward during a ward council. I look forward to working with E. Talentino, a 6'3 college basketball player from Ohio. 

With transfers, we now have the four tallest people in the mission; E. Theodosis 6'7, E. Bennett 6'6, E. Johnston 6'5, E. Talentino 6'3. We're called the Kearns Dunkers. We dunk in the baptismal font, and on the hoop. Well, at least i do the first one. 

Elder Swainston left with flying colors, literally. We burned most of his old possessions in an old trash can. Attached are some pictures of the event. I now live in a fancy basement. We don't have a kitchen, but we have our own fridge. A blessing in itself. 

Stress is increasing; now I know why RMs lose hair... and gain weight. 

As Zone leader, I get to get people's mail every P-day... so I’m going to go do that now. Follow the Savior, he's the only one who can uphold us through our trials and tribulations. Keep studying the talks from this past conference. There is a lot that we can't catch the first time around. Pay attention to the ward council and ward mission leader responsibilities, it affects everyone! 

PEACE

-Elder Toborg-

April 8, 2013
General Conference was off the HOOK!
All of the General Authorities talked a boat load about missionary work, I hope you all paid attention! If not, it's ok, because President Monson commanded ... err... invited... us all to re-read and study the talks that were said, so make sure you do that! I know I sure will.
Elder Matthew Griffin (Ogden Mission) 
 -childhood friend from Austin, TX-
"by chance" we sat by each other at Conference
I had the opportunity to go down to the conference center for the Sunday afternoon session (that’s right, going to conference live on the mission, how could I
have done that if I were in Russia!?). There I met a childhood friend, Elder Matthew Griffin, who was serving in the Ogden mission, and with whom I was friends in Austin Texas for a couple of years at the age of 4~6. We began to relate our missionary experiences together, talked a little bit of Spanish together, and then he decided that my mission was better because we got nicer cars to drive. Well, I found ups to his mission as well, like the fact that they cover Wyoming and Idaho. We then enjoyed seeing Elder Holland blast us with the spirit live, as well as many protesters who were outside.
I was companions that day with Elder Niupalou, who was assigned to make sure all the missionaries got to down town. On our way back, he lost some of the Tongan elders, and we had to go search through down town salt lake for them, because he knows they like to get into mischief. Of course, it seemed as though the whole Hawaiian island decided to come to conference, because E. Niupalou found many cousins and family as we made our search. The poly people sure are great! They're a bundle of energy.
E. Niupalou, E. Swainston, E. H.
As great as general conference was, we weren't able to get any of our investigators to watch it on Saturday or Sunday. A big letdown, but now we have much source material to teach them once we get back for a lesson.
Transfers are this week, and this time I’m honestly not sure at what's going to happen. Since Kearns outdid all of the other nine zones this month for baptisms, President Miller is most likely going to massacre the zone and send everyone to different parts to help lift the whole mission. This leaves our Zone Leader Elder Talentino in a pit, he's been a zone leader in Kearns for 6+ months, and every time he gets a new companion, they finish their 2 years and head home. This is happening this transfer again, and so E. Talentino is once again going to re-build the Kearns zone to success. He's quite a role-model.
Well, we don't have to wear suit coats 24/7 anymore, but today we got dumped on by the rain so we had to put jackets on anyway. My old summer pants still fit with ease, which is a great sign. I suspect that if I don't start biking more, they won't fit as well, due to the fact that our land lady loves to bake all sorts of buttery goodies. To my shock, I found out she worked for weight-watchers for 31 years. There is no weight watching now. All I need to do is fast every time I walk into her kitchen... Or store my food downstairs so I never have to go into her kitchen. It's similar to Kevin Nye's house: always a delicious goodie laying out on the counter.
No pictures this week, but I’ll be more diligent in taking them. Random people have some pictures from conference, hopefully I’ll be able to pilfer them somehow. Congratulations to the missionaries returning/heading out. It's going to be a change in life no matter what.
Keep looking for opportunities to share the gospel with your friends. Each of us can be a missionary, perhaps, within our families. Everyone must have a less-active or non-member in their family. Do what you can to bring them back! and use the missionaries too, they've got time to help you, and they sure want to!
Lots of Love to everyone!
 -Elder Toborg-


Monday, April 1, 2013



Baptism of Jorge Macias
Baptism of Junior
April 1, 2013

Que Tal!
 
This month was amazing. We had so many baptisms, especially in our zone, Kearns. I had the opportunity to have two baptismal services this weekend. The first was for Junior, who was baptized on the 29th, completing a basment full of convert husbands to life time member wives (3 couples in total). We had a lot of people at Junior's baptism. His member mom brought a whole bunch of Pasole, which is mexican soup, consisting of corn and meat. Junior had the best shoes of any investigator that i've baptized, there's a picture displaying this. His baptismal water was freezing cold, and because it was so cold Junior said he'd never forgive.

The second baptism was for Jorge Macias, a 40 year old who's family is in Mexico. He's an example of real growth; he can add a lot to the church. He shows up to church every week in a full suit, and the bishop kept showing interest in him. He's already excited to watch General conference, and learn more about the priesthood which he will recieve soon.

We had to move out of our land lady's, Sister Brown's, house, due to her children coming home from military service. She supposedly used to cook for the missionaries all the time, and seeing as she's samoan, i believe it. However i can say after 3 months with her, she never made me food once. I guess she didn't like me. Perhaps it's due to the fact that i would kick her very annoying cross-eyed cat who would rub itself on us all the time. Now we're in Sister Kraft's house, which is a death trap because sister Kraft is known by all missionaries as the cookie-making lady, and yes her cookies are delicious. I'll resist as long as i can!

When we moved in, we got a third companion (my third three-some) Elder Lopez, from West Jordan. He's waiting for a visa to Argentina. It's not transfers, but since he was living there before, they just left him and had him switch companionships. Now there are 9 missionaries in my district. Well, they say if we didn't have weight to carry, then we'd become weak.

Our area is now in a sluff. 0 investigators. We've baptized everyone in this 1/2 sq mile area. Well, not yet, but we're working on it. Time to hit the pavment and find more!

Pictures are worth a 1000 words so i included many pictures and few words this time.

Love you All! The church is true, i checked. And you can check too by reading and praying about the book of mormon

-Elder Toborg-