Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 2013

This week was how missionary work should always be. On Thursday, I ran around all night doing interviews for those being baptized, all throughout Kearns Zone. On Saturday, our district had 8 baptisms, to which our mission president, President Chambers, showed up to one of them (a family of 4 that Elder Smith and Elder Moreira baptized in my old area Western Hills 8). Then, Sunday, we had our baptism of Carlos Ortuño, who was so excited. Next week, Luis Hernandez will be being baptized in our area. There is nothing more sacred than viewing people receiving a remission of their sins for the first time.

This past Sunday the 28th, we also had the unique opportunity to have Elder Doxie of the Seventy attend our Ward Council. He made some good comments while we did a shortened version of ward council, and then began an hour-long training on how we have the resources to bring people back into the Gospel and the Church. He had everyone suggest ways that we can bring a specific family into the gospel, and anytime someone made a comment, he had them come up and stand next to someone who represented the less-active person. In the end, we had 12 people from the council standing up next to the "less-active." We were then told to move in close around the person, and he questioned the "less-active" if he could fall with so many people squeezed so tight around him. It was a great visual aid to display the fact that it takes a lot of people to keep someone from falling, but that it is possible. Elder Doxie attended our Sacrament meeting then, which was a farewell talk for a sister leaving on her mission. It was fun to see our Stake President, President Metcaff, nervous for once, who was also present at all of these meetings. 

Recent experiences involving those under my stewardship have led me to the realization that we must have the spirit at all times, to help us be quick to observe, and then be able to discern. Elder Hall and I taught the gospel principals class about spiritual gifts on Sunday to the new and non-members, and as we taught, my mind was opened to how much the spirit will guide us, and give to us, if we let it. 

This past Thursday, we had a leadership training for District leaders. I was very happy to see many of my old friends in the mission who were under me who are now in leadership. All I want is for every single person in this mission to become a leader, for it teaches lessons that one cannot learn anywhere else. We learned about applying the scriptures to ourselves, getting expectations from others, and then setting our expectations that we are going to see people daily, ask them to read, pray and go to church, and then invite them on a specific date to be baptized. With my experiences with President Chambers, I've learned that all he does is trust and love you, until you give him any reason to do otherwise. This is a very wise way to roll, because as you trust others, they will give you trust back. 

I love you all, and wish you all the best! 

Grace and Peace be unto you all from beautiful feet who are upon this mountain of Utah (Mosiah 15:15-17). 

- E. Toborg - 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 22, 2013

The Spirit of God

This week, we had a miracle.
Well, we have miracles every week, some are smaller than others. 

This week, we took Carlos to Temple Square to have a tour around the temple grounds. We had the perfect sister missionary who did the tour. Carlos likes to talk, a lot. This sister, every time Carlos got off topic, said statements such as "we're going to not talk about that right now, and we're going to focus on what we're talking about right now!" Carlos is a humble guy, so he took it well. We got to a point where I tried to ask Carlos to be baptized but he started talking over me. This kind temple sister then said, "This elder is going to ask you a question, and you're going to answer." I then asked Carlos to be baptized next Sunday, and he said yes!

This morning, one of our old investigators gave us a call, Luis Hernandez, and said he wanted to meet with us tonight. We'll see how committed he is to being baptized.

We had a branch party this last Friday. Elder Hall and I showed up early to help cook, and then were able to greet the non-members and investigators as they came. It was a great turn out, we had three investigators come and a non-member family. Lots of less actives came as well. I think the Church should invest in more Latino parties... The way most of these parties go, however, is having an endless supply of food, and turning the Hispanic music up so loud that no one can talk, just eat and listen. I guess that's how they like it...

Our Spanish branch, Park Ridge, was selected to have Elder Doxie of the area Seventy at our next ward council. This is a miracle in itself, seeing as our branch only has ward council once a month, and because of this event we can have two ward councils this month! Ward council should really happen every week... but I guess this is progress. Elder Doxie speaks fluent Spanish, so I’m excited to hear what counsel he has for the ward. 

Last Saturday, the 20th, an old investigator from my last area was baptized. Her name is Norma Ortega, and she has been an active-nonmember for 7 months. Her husband finally got his divorce papers in from his previous marriage, and they were married 2 days later, finally allowing her to be baptized. It was a great reunion, with the APs showing up, since Elder Talentino taught her. Also, an RM elder Burkhart, came up from BYU, Elder Talentino's old companion and my old zone leader. Sadly, another elder took my camera on accident and I don't have any pictures, but I’ll get some soon!

The Spirit of God is the only way one can come to know the truth of these things. Proof won't do it. Don't look for proof, look for an answer the way God says it will come. I know this work is the Lord’s. Keep finding more non-members to bring to the gospel!

Love you all. 

-Elder Toborg-
July 15, 2013


This week, I’ve learned to develop the Christ-like attribute of patience. It seems that every person in this area likes to have the last word, to prove to themselves that they are justified in their sins. Well, I’ve quickly learned that they are not elect and to hold my tongue. Testify and get out of there! The Lord sees these efforts, and has blessed us with continual non-members coming to church. Right now, we're focused on a very kind man named Carlos. Carlos just moved in after working 2 years as a truck driver. He has many, many stories to tell us about how he used to be abounding in wealth, until people tried to kill him, and then he goes into the story of how he received an answer from God saying "use your knowledge!" After that, he proceeded to tell us about how he cured himself from many diseases and ailments, half of which I’m not sure are true, but he's such a sweet guy; he wouldn't have any reason to tell fibs. Right now, Carlos admits his lack of knowledge about anything pertaining to the Gospel, and is working toward a baptismal date of the 27th. He has a lot of pride from worldly knowledge to lower, but we'll help him repent and open the gate that leads to eternal life. 

We're also working with a 19 y/o who is married to a member. He came to church last week and stated, "I want to be baptized now!" His name is Luis Hernandez, and I actually taught him 4 months ago on an exchange. He's changed a lot, but not quite enough. He didn't want to come to church this week, which really shows his desires to be baptized or not. His wife is expecting a child, and we're hoping that this will motivate him to get going. Luis is an Americanized Mexican who prefers English more than Spanish, but who wants to go to the ward of his wife which is our branch. 

Martin Pisan is another wonderful man we've been working with. He's 32, been single his whole life, and thinks he can find a wife at church. Well, at least he comes to church? He was working on being baptized on the 14th, then the 21st, and now the 27th. He hasn't been progressing too well, and it's because he won't put forth any effort on his own time. We had a great lesson about repentance with him, and in his closing prayer he asked for forgiveness for his mistakes. He lives with a recent convert, Jaime Cuevas, who seems to be discovering his own testimony for the first time as well.

Our area is doing alright, and I’m even more excited for my old area, Western Hills 8th, which is in my district. My old companion Elder Smith is still there, and they just married a husband and wife together and will be baptizing the whole family of 5 on the 27th. They've had miracle after miracle with this family, and it all comes from their diligence and obedience. Elder Smith is training a native from Ecuador who speaks very little English. It's great to have Elders and investigators from all around the world! 

This past week, we got to attend an endowment session in the Jordan River temple. I'm very grateful that my perspectives and desires to learn in the temple have increased, so that I don't have any urges to sleep :) I'm still amazed at how I can learn something new every time I’m in the temple.

Mission life is still the same with President Chambers as it was with President Miller. The Gospel is still the same with Thomas S. Monson as it was with Gordon B. Hinckley. Jesus Christ's church is still the same as when it was established with Adam, Christ himself, and now. I know this church is led by Christ. I know the Thomas S. Monson holds the priesthood keys to speak with Christ and receive revelation. I know that personal revelation is real, and that we must work VERY VERY VERY VERY diligently for the Spirit to receive this revelation. 

-Elder Toborg-
July 8, 2013

4th of July means two things for Utah.
Fireworks from July 3rd- July 8th at 10:31 (we go to bed at 10:30)  
More beer drinking for Hispanics

I become increasingly saddened to see the world focus more and more on itself. There are too many people that we talk to now who say "I'm catholic but I don't need to go to church I can do my own thing." Church? Who cares about going to church if you don't even remember who Jesus Christ or God are!? They even turn religion into a building with 4 walls a roof and a giant cross somewhere inside of it. Things of this world don't last. Recent encounters have taught me that things of this world will break, bodies will be shattered, but our souls will live on, and they can live on in happiness or in misery (2 Nephi 2:27).

This 4th of July, we met as a mission and got to review some of the new dress standards that God has established for missionaries. One of the biggest ones: NO MORE BACKPACKS. We have to use "side bags" now, because they're more professional. There are also more restrictions on the type of ties we can use, but we can use a more broad range of colors. Everything new that is allowed now, I've seen missionaries already wearing, so I believe these changes were so that missionaries could still qualify for 100% obedience and have the spirit with them ;) 

Elder Smith, my old companion
During these mission conferences on holidays, we have the opportunity to view a movie, however the movies that were chosen by President Chamber's 13 year old son Sam were quite.. absurd. So I spent my time playing basketball with the Tongans, who do not play nice at all. I'm lucky I didn't get hurt! There is now a new "type" of basketball. There's school ball, which is fair, there are rules and people are kind to each other. Church ball, where all Christ-like attributes seem to go out the window and everyone is allowed to be rude, and then there's mission ball, which includes punching, kicking, fowling of all sorts, anything to get the bright orange piece of leather into the bright orange metal hoop. I'm glad I don't live in Tonga. 

Elder Wade, in the district
My area of the Park Ridge branch in the Kearns West stake is picking up. Many people have come up to us saying "I guess the dry streak is over!" What dry streak? The only dry streak you can have is of your faith. 20, 40, 100 years from now, two missionaries will be walking the same neighborhood, and they will still baptize. Faith really is critical in every aspect of our lives. 

Elder Hall and I have also been going around, teaching recent converts and members about the commandment to share the gospel. The more you share the gospel, the more converted you will be yourself. I'm already pondering ways to share the gospel.. If I could suggest some to you all, I'd say, at the minimum, like the page on Facebook, and share some of the hyperlinks to the videos they have there. Maybe just one video a week.. All you do is press "CTL+C" and "CTL+V" copy and paste. BAM, you just kept a commandment from your Heavenly Father. 

I love you all, and the work is going well here. Take care! 
-Elder Toborg-

Monday, July 1, 2013

Onward, Ever Onward!

July 1, 2013   
Washington, and wherever else you might be,
Kearns, it's 100+ degrees here. The asphalt melts and sticks to your shoes. I've found the more asphalt you have stuck to your feet, the more baptisms you get, because this week has been one wild ride of miracles! 
Elder Hall from Kentucky

I arrived at my area last week, with 0 investigators for the last 6 weeks in the area. Within 3 days, the Lord led us to 4 people who accepted a baptismal date. When Sunday rolled around, two of them were no shows, but no worries, the Lord provided two non-members to come to church, in addition to the investigators we had. That makes 6 people found that week. We're continuing to work with them all, and some are progressing more than others, but I know the Lord provides when you hit the asphalt and WORK. 
Work is what fixes things that don't work anymore. Work is how the kingdom of God moves along. Work, or a synonym, Action, is how we obtain forgiveness of our sins, and lift others to come unto the kingdom of god. Action is how we receive revelation for our own salvation, and for the salvation of others. The Work of Salvation, the title of the world wide broadcast last week, is just that, WORK! Now it's up to everyone on this earth to put for their works, their actions, to bring someone to church, share the gospel with someone, or at the minimal, smile at someone who isn't smiling. 
In John 9:4; the Savior gives us some clear insight on why we need to work NOW. "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." The hour to act is almost up, and how great shall be our joy if we bring but one soul unto the kingdom of God, and an ever greater joy comes as we bring more souls. (D&C 18:15-16).
I'm trying to get the members to work here in Utah, where they have it, possibly, the easiest. I implore all of you to do your part, to invite someone to church, to meet with the missionaries, or any other of the many methods possible. Perhaps just "liking" the Church's Facebook page would bring someone to the Gospel.
Love is the way to overcome fear. (1 John 4:18). If you are afraid to share the gospel, develop more love for the Savior, and for your fellow men. Then it becomes easy :)
To you all, I give my love,
-Elder Toborg
As far as it goes being a Zone Leader, here's how Assistant Talentino put it:

"There are 20 zone leaders, only 4 of them are Spanish speaking. President was going to put you in Draper as a zone leader, which is an English area, but I've been in Draper now and there is not a soul here to speak Spanish to, so I kept you in a Spanish area."

In essence, Assistant Talentino saved me from losing my Spanish :) I'm completely happy with what has passed this last transfer, I just feel bad for my zone leaders now because I know how much time they miss being actual missionaries. 

June 24.2013

NO, we are not using Facebook for missionary work. Yet... So far everyone here in Utah is buzzing about missionaries using media to find and contact investigators. Not true for Kearns! It's Mexico outside, all we do is say hola and we have 50 people to talk to :) But, we still need the help of the members. EVERY member is a missionary! Everyone is on a mission until they die, and that mission is to be an example to others! 

Well, it was a sad sight to see President Miller speak to us for the last time at the World Wide Training broadcast. He spoke mostly of how much he cares for each of us, and that no matter what our mistakes are, he truly loves us. He compared it to how our Heavenly Father feels. 

Sister Miller counseled us on our lives after the mission, including the exhortation to use our spare time wisely. She related the following story about her son:

Sister Miller's Son flew to Pennsylvania and, before his interview in the afternoon, wanted to tour one of the museums. He got up earlier, and arrived to the museum to find it closed. When he turned around he saw a ragged old man asking for money. Fearing what he would do with just money, he took the man across the street and bought him a sandwich and talked with him for a while. When time was up, he said goodbye to this man and headed to his interview. There he faced 6 very prominent people in the school who started by asking him one question: "Mr. Miller, what did you do with your spare time this morning?" Both he and Sister Miller believe it was because of that experience he had with the homeless man, and that he had gotten up early that day, set him apart to let him into the school.

Along with all of this, transfers happened. I was relieved to hear that my stewardship had gotten a little smaller, and that I would be remaining in Kearns. I am now in the Park Ridge Branch, just a couple blocks north of all 3 of my last areas. This means I've served in 4/5 of all the Spanish areas in Kearns. I'm once again leading the same district I was leading 3 months previously, District 1 in Kearns. Our new zone leader with my old companion Elder Birch is Elder Barkdull, a zone leader since the day he was born basically. He's been out 14 months, and 11 months of that have been as a zone leader. He really knows his stuff!

My new companion is Elder Kevin Hall from Kentucky. He came out the same day I did, and all he likes to do is fish. Time to let him fish for men, not fish! My new area is as white and ready to harvest as ever. There haven't been any investigators or lessons in the area for 6 weeks, which means this is one plump mango ready to squeeze. In the 2 days I’ve been here we've already found 2 people. Time to get baptizing! 

We do not get to meet our new mission president for a while. The zone leaders will meet him on June 27th (Happy Birthday to my older sister Jessica!) which is when the mission officially splits.

I'll talk more about the district later. Things are going well!

Love you all!
Go find, missionaries only teach!

-Elder Toborg