Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Aug 26, 2013
This week was focused on working, like always. 

The leadership (zone leaders and sister training leaders) had a meeting at 6 am in the morning in regards to how we can "fix" the mission. We have been going down in baptisms as a mission, and there is no excuse for it. Our missionaries are just not working. So what did we decide was the problem? We still don't know, but most of it was the mindset of working too much with less actives and not finding. It all starts with the leadership, so E. Julian E. Olsen and I went out and found 9 new investigators this week and had 10 people on date for baptism. Talking to everyone leads to gaining the Lord's trust which leads to him giving us success. WE DO NOTHING, the Lord does it all. Just remember that when you're afraid to share the gospel with someone, you don't do anything anyway, it's all up to the Lord, but you can stop his work if you don't act. So you're either on God's team or you’re not. ACT. Still my favorite word. We have another meeting at 6 am tomorrow; we'd better figure this thing out soon!

Of the investigators we're working with, the most hopeful is the Rascón family. They were invited by the Branch President's wife who only knew them for a week. They're ready to be baptized. Elias Rascón, the father, was already offering his cement service for free to anyone in the church who needed it. They were taught a year ago and were very closed. The Lord worked on this family and now they're ready to accept the gospel! They have two children under 8, but baptizing this couple will be a spectacular miracle. They're on date for the 15th of September.

We also found the Guillen family, a typical catholic house-hold where they depend on the father to make the choices. Sadly, the father was not at the lesson, and we taught the mother and two of her 25+ year old children. They responded well, and accepted the invitation to baptism. I don't think they knew exactly what they were saying yes too... because they didn't come to church the next day and won't answer the door when they're home. We'll just have to get in with the father!

Soto Family was another 3 who we found this week, they have a 20 year old son who was baptized, and still have a 14 year old and the parents who are not members yet. They know it's true, they just are frightened of other influences such as the prospect of quitting drinking and smoking. The mother said: "I was baptized 2 years ago in a Christian church, but things just don't make sense. Your church has everything that Christ's church had... you have a quorum of the 70, you baptize for the dead, you have temples, you anoint with oil, you believe in works... isn't that interesting?" Hmm yes that is interesting, maybe it's because it's the church of Jesus Christ. She'll get baptized with her husband, once they read the Book of Mormon and pray about it. It's the only way people can be converted, no matter how many facts they have!

We're working with various other people, but these families are the ones we're most hopeful for. Families are ordained of God, because they're more fun to teach!

I love this work, keep looking for ways to teach others!

- Elder Toborg

Monday, August 19, 2013

Aug. 19, 2013            
This week was CRAZY! In a good way. 

I'll start at the end of last P-day, where E. Smith, E. Moreira from Spain, E. Hall and I went hiking up in Little Cottonwood Canyon. It was beautiful up there, and it reminded me strongly of Washington. We drove for about an hour, staying on the exact boarder of our mission, all the way to the farthest east our mission goes, up up up higher and higher in the canyon. It felt great to get away from the city for the first time in 14 months. I was bounding around on rocks, just full of the fresh mountain air. Ah, what a nice relaxing time. We had some fun up at Secret Lake, hidden at the top of our 2 mile hike. We later saw a moose and the vaults where the church keeps all of their records safely guarded underground. I'm glad I got that 3 hour break, because what awaited me in transfer calls has taken away plenty of my sleep now.

We received transfer calls a day early, as to why I’m not sure, but this was the first transfers that President Chambers had done. E. Hall was called to serve in Draper, English speaking. He was quite angry to receive his transfer, even though he had been telling me for 2 months how ready he was to leave the area. I now know he's quite happy in Draper, living in a mansion with his own personal gym. I am staying in my area, which is now being turned into a zone leader area. My senior zone leader companion is Elder Julian from Spokane Washington. He knows how to light a place on fire! We are the zone leaders of "Kearns West," implying that Kearns
is now split between east and west. Elder Birch is the senior zone leader of Kearns East. The best part about transfers was the fact that Elder Talentino, AP, mixed up our zones and Elder Julian and I were zone leaders of Kearns East for a day... We got to know the districts, the people, got them supplies, and after a hard day of moving bicycles, got a call at 10:29 saying that we were actually the zone leaders of the other zone. How fun! Kearns East is stacked, great missionaries, all elders, ready to go, great experienced district leaders! Kearns West, we have four sets of sisters, 3 brand new district leaders (including Elder Smith my old companion who is
still in Western Hills 8th, pushing 9 months there), and to top it all off with a cherry, we got a visa waiter named Elder Olsen who will be living with us in our 1 room house. 

Boy, was my mindset sour at 10:29 that night, thinking about how we had to train all three district leaders and we were basically a Relief Society with 8 sisters. The following week thankfully changed my mind set. Our district leaders are ready to learn, doing alright. Sisters can reach people in ways that elders cannot, and though it's harder to train them since we cannot do exchanges, and companionship studies has to be done in a chapel with them, they'll do great. Elder Julian lit our area on fire. We didn't teach as much as we'd like, but we found two families on Sunday night, the Rascón and the Soto family, both which are on date for September 15th for baptism. The Rascóns, Elias and Carmen, were invited by the sister missionaries and our branch president to come to church that day. The sisters in our area (Sister Rogers and Sister Williams) who work English were assigned to speak to our Spanish branch (odd) and we were assigned to speak at one of their English wards. I don't know how the stake assigns things, but it worked out great! Elias felt the spirit during the sisters’ talks, and they were just begging to be baptized. The Soto family we found later after church, learning that one of their sons was baptized. We had a nice chat with the father, Jorge, and with his other son, Jorge. Yes, they're both named Jorge. They're more hesitant, but willing to learn more and pray about the 15th of September for baptism. 

I'm just so happy, I’ve found that when I have more to do, I’m much more filled with the spirit and with joy. I love this work; I know it's true; I haven't given up my life for some cunningly devised fable. This is God's work, and we can all know by reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. I have done this, so I know. As Christ's apostles said when they first met the savior "come and see" (John 1:39,46). Behold, He stands at the door and knocks, and if any man hears His voice and opens the door, He will sup with you, and you with Him. (Rev 3:20). Please let Him in! Help others let Him in to their lives.

-Elder Toborg-

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Aug. 12, 2013
Elder Arnold of the Seventy

Elder Arnold of the Seventy came and spoke to our mission in something called a "mission tour." This comprised of three zones meeting at a time to listen to Elder Arnold speak to us on various topics for about 4 hours. He is truly an inspired man. He began by taking the leadership through Numbers 11 where Moses breaks down and asks the Lord to kill him since he's done with the impatient people of Israel (See verse 15). The Lord basically tells him to "Man Up" and repent (verse 18). Elder Arnold then taught the group as a whole about the difference between standards (a set, expected to reach number) and goals (something you set, and you strive your hardest to reach).

He asked us to "open our scopes" of our goals, giving the example of a question his mission president asked him.
"What do you want to do after the mission?" E. Arnold was asked, who then replied,
"Get married in the temple" to which is mission president responded,
"NO, you're going to find a women who you be at your side through every calling, every hardship and everything life has to throw at you. She will be a celestial women, not just someone who you marry in the temple."

This was an example of opening the scopes of our goals, making our goals more specific. Mastering goal setting and accomplishing is vital to our growth both spiritually and physically.

There were many other things which E. Arnold spoke to us about, but the most significant to me was at the end when E. Arnold stated he would be interviewing certain Elders, and I was chosen to be one of them. In the interview, Elder Arnold got a complete read on what kind of person I was through simple questions such as, "What is your job?" "How long have you been out?" "If you could change one thing, what would it be?" I learned much from his responses as I pondered over the interview later. You could say he spoke in parables, to not tell me the answer until I was ready. Thankfully I recorded it in my journal, and have been studying it for a while. BE SURE YOU WRITE IN YOUR JOURNAL! It helps you remember things you learn C:

This week, we took the Nogales family to temple square for a tour. We brought the less-active mother, her 4 kids, and our investigator Jose, who is the husband. Also with us was the Cardenas family of 4 who came along. The tour went well, Jose said, "I'll try," when invited to be baptized on the 24th. He has a lot of addictions to overcome; so if he doesn't show commitment soon, we'll have to leave him for a time period.

Transfers are tomorrow. Kearns zone will be split in half. We find out what that means exactly tonight. All I know is that there will be a lot of changes. Whatever the Lord wants, that's where I'll go!

You are all great! Keep being great. That's why I write you each week!

Until we read again, 

-Elder Toborg

Monday, August 5, 2013

Aug 5, 2013

 This week, Luis Hernandez was baptized on Sunday. He was ready to hop in the water, and wow did he need it… Just like we all do! The night before the baptism, we had the chance to talk with Luis about his past. We found out that he has led a very tough life. He started his story off by telling us how he had to grow drugs at the age of 9 in Mexico to get by. He told us the stories of how his family is abusive, misunderstanding, and his life in a gang. What a wonderful way he has now to turn his life around as he takes care of his wife, and soon to be child. He's a prime example of how the Gospel changes families forever. 

I had revelation while talking with Luis about his life; that how can a person hope to progress spiritually when you can't feel the spirit through the thicket of turmoil in life. The purpose of the commandments is to allow us all to feel the Holy Ghost, act on the things we feel and hear, and then to eventually learn everything and become as our Father. I am disabled from achieving this when I do something insignificant, let alone go through those trials. This life is a time to prepare, we can only prepare when we can focus on God. 

There have been a lot of rumors going around Kearns that areas will be split in two to allow more missionaries to come in. This means that the Zone will be too large for 2 zone leaders to handle, which means Kearns might be split...
To make this a good situation, my old companion Elder Birch came up with the idea of having a Spanish Kearns and an English Kearns zone. Zones are normally spilt into areas by geography such as "West Jordan West, West Jordan Central and West Jordan East" being three of our zones. Spanish Kearns makes so much more sense: exchanges would be effective; we could talk about the needs of our investigators in Spanish, practice in Spanish. I hope this goes through! 

I'm so excited to hear that Elder Wong is coming home. It's hard to believe it's his time now. I recall him being out a year when I was in the MTC. 

The Kingdom of God moves forth. We have two more people lined up for baptism on the 17th and 18th; Jose Nogales and Poli. They both came to church, and were smiling, which is always rare among Hispanics (see photo of group of people, the one being baptized and his wife aren't smiling!) Both Jose and Poli have one this in common: spectacular gardens. They both have corn, wheat, apples and pair trees growing in their yards. Poli has a massive array of sunflowers, while Jose has a cherry tree and a vegetable patch. It makes me want to do gardening, until I hear how much time they spend on their yards.. about 2 hours a day. mmm... I’ll buy my apples. Though when I’m older I’m definitely having a garden like that. 

Well, not much else to report. This week we'll be having a "mission tour" at the mission office for the new area Seventy over our mission. Another Seventy that I get to meet, I think Seventies are as common as bishops now! They are great men, all of which know how to reach success in every aspect of life, spiritual and temporal.

Until you read my email again and I get no replies,

-Elder Toborg