Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30, 2013



This week has been a roller coaster. I'm limited on time so I’ll practice my ability to be brief, clear and simply.

Salvador Oregon was baptized this weekend. He was a miracle. We found him by setting up an appointment with a random Hispanic man on the doorstep of his cousin's house. When we returned, that man was not there, but Salvador was taking the trash out, and as we are commanded to talk to everyone, we talked to him, he accepted baptism right there on a lesson on his door step, and he was baptized 2 weeks later. The only thing he told us would prevent him from baptism was "I don't think I’m ready to go on a mission yet!" He's already planning on going on a mission. What an incredible young man. We had amazing support from the Family. 

This week was transfers, I'm still with Elder Julian; however our visa waiter companion got moved down the street to another area of Kearns. The zone stayed relatively the same, except one of our new district leaders is Elder Parks from Texas. I served with him in Sandy a while ago, and now I get to work with him again! We also received a different third companion, Elder Kulu, from California. This man is incredible. He grew up in the Tongan Crypt Gang of Oakland California. He told all of his life growing up in a gang, and how he changed. The spirit can change anyone. Elder Kulu has finished his mission, and will be going home today. He was with us for a week, because he is going to live with my former president, Bruce Miller. He is doing this to avoid going back to his old life. After we finished our day, at 10pm we sat on the roof with Elder Kulu and he shared some experiences with us. I love this elder and I wish him the best. 

Elder Maughan's funeral seems so spectacular. I wish so badly that I was there, I pray that everyone can feel Peter's love, and the Savior's as they seek his council in the scriptures. 

Elias and Carmen Rascón will be married this Friday and baptized on Sunday. They pushed it back for silly worldly reasons, but they've made up their mind. I hope this is final! 

I will be at the Saturday Afternoon session of General Conference; I’m so excited to hear from the prophets and apostles!

Love you all!

Monday, September 23, 2013

P-day diversions with Elder Julian, Wolsen,

E. Julian, Me, Bridge, Tritapoe, Olsen

Well, Family and Friends, despite recent events, life still moves forward. Tomorrow are transfers, and I feel that my 10 month spree in Kearns will continue! 

The Rascon family
Last week, we took Elias and Carmen Rascón and their family down to Temple Square to get them ready for the baptism. We later found out that they aren't married, even though they told us they were married. So their baptism will be postponed a week while we get them married! 

Poli doesn't really want to progress, so we'll leave him for a while. He went down town to see if he could get his citizenship, and we haven't seen him since (4 days ago) so we think he failed and is deported to Mexico. We told him he should have gotten baptized and it would have gone better! Who knows?

We are teaching a wonderful boy named Salvador. We found him on the 14th, and he will be baptized this Sunday. He's been learning fast, and we're excited for this miracle! We took him down to Temple Square this week. 

During one of my lessons, shortly after finding out about Peter Maughan's passing, my Spanish increased dramatically and I felt Peter's presence in the lesson. I know he's doing fine, and that God's plan is perfect. I'm going to continue to seek for Peter's help, along with the Spirit's, during my mission. If nothing else, Peter is a driving inspiration in my life, and he will continue to be so. 

Our mission as a whole is increasing in number and in spirit. We were quite discouraged as a mission (or so says the other zone leaders, since I never felt it!) and now we're turning around and baptizing more as a mission. Kearns, after its split, has been doing well collectively, and we're excited for these transfers and the changes that always come. 

I have begun to study Doctrine and Covenants. There are many promises made to every member of the church; I encourage everyone to study the D&C (If you've finished the book of Mormon already), and apply it to your own life. 

I love the Work, and I’m going to keep Working.                -Elder Toborg

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sept 16, 2013

What he taught me

Super Hero Elder Maughan
Peter Maughan was an incredible soul. Our loving Heavenly Father gave us him for 20 years, to learn from, and to be loved by him. He was my dearest friend, and one who I call my brother. He passed away yesterday while serving in the Veracruz, Mexico Mission as a full-time representative of Jesus Christ.
In this email, I will attempt to relate some of the things that I learned from him. 

He taught me patience in a world of Haste; to pause and observe. Dedication to others, he taught me well through his example. If he ever had malice towards others, I never could tell. Faith, hope, charity and love, these divine attributes Peter truly received from above. When we remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence, we can remember him. 
These attributes come from our Savior, Jesus Christ, and so many were taken to heart by Peter. As his name so rightly implies, Peter was a Rock in a shifting world of values. And now my friends, family, and all inhabitants of the earth, "Remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation...a foundation where on if men build they cannot fall" (Helaman 5:12). 
Elder Peter Maughan's commission as a representative of Jesus Christ was to "invite others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel through Faith in Jesus Christ, and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end" (Preach My Gospel 1). I know that he still has this commission, as revealed by a modern day prophet, Joseph F. Smith: "I beheld that the faithful elders of this dispensation, when they depart from mortal life, continue their labors in the preaching of the gospel of repentance and redemption, through the sacrifice of the Only Begotten Son of God, among those who are in darkness and under the bondage of sin in the great world of the spirits of the dead." (Doctrine & Covenants 138:57)

He taught me life, to live with friends and create bonds. These bonds supersede earthly ties, and extend into eternity. This is only possible through the restored priesthood authority of God. 

One may come to a knowledge of what Peter gave his life for through The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ. As the introduction states, "we invite all men everywhere to read The Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true."

Because this book is true, Jesus Christ lives. He overcame death and was resurrected. Because this book is true, Peter is in "a state of happiness, which is called paradise, a state of rest, a state of peace, where [he rests] from all [his] troubles and from all care and sorrow." (Alma 40:12) Because this book is true, Peter, along with every other soul, will someday resurrect, just as Christ did: "The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame" (Alma 40:23). 

He taught me how to hug. How to embrace so tightly that his love is squeezed right into your soul. Because The Book of Mormon is true, I will embrace him again.

He taught me temperance. How to taste of everything and not over indulge. 

He taught me sacrifice, as he spent time and resources helping others learn, grow and progress. He truly sought to exalt others over himself; never admitting accomplishments where he excelled over someone else. One of the highest forms of humility. 

I shall see Peter again, if I live the commandments God has put forth. I exhort all to search the scriptures, to have faith, repent, be baptized in the church of Jesus Christ, who is the only one with power to forgive sin. I love Peter. I love the Lord, and I will continue being his servant. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sept 9, 2013

By grace we are saved, and nothing we do will change that (Eph. 2:8-10). It is only through the merits and mercy of Jesus Christ that we have a hope of living with our God and our families once again. He has paid the price for us, an un-payable debt that we incur as we desecrate the commandments God has given us, whether voluntarily or involuntarily. I know for myself that Christ did this out of love, and a knowledge that we cannot be saved unless someone intervenes for us. I will forever love the Savior for that. The Lord Jesus Christ has asked us to keep the commandments to the best of our ability. He knows that keeping the commandments allows grace to change us. Through grace we are saved, and changed. We will want to keep the commandments; we will want to live as Christ lived. This change is necessary. If we believe we can live life without consequence, we are fooling ourselves. As Mormon bluntly states in Mormon 9:3-4, we will not want to live in the presence of a just and holy God if we have not had this change. We are not "earning" our way to heaven by keeping the commandments, we are learning Heaven. We are learning how Heaven runs, and upon what principles the priesthood governs. This process of change all starts with Faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end; the Gospel of Christ. This is what missionaries bring to the world.

At times, people will not accept this Gospel. It is and will always be their choice. Poli (first picture) had a wonderful dinner with us and expressed his concerns about not being baptized this weekend, telling us that he wants his wife to support him before he is baptized. He came to church after this lesson and continues to learn, yet this fear of his wife is something he can't seem to overcome. Christ tells us in Matthew 10:34-37 that he who is not willing to give up father or mother for His sake is not worthy of Him. I know Poli will make the right choice. 

The other four pictures are of a surprise supper we ran into with our investigator David. David is from Mexico, and is living with his brother Daniel Rodriguez who is a member in the branch. David is still overcoming the world, but what a great guy. He's only 21 years old, though he looks 30+. We were given Camarones en aguachile (literally meaning Shrimp in water with chile). Elder Olsen (Visa waiter in our trio waiting to go to Argentina) couldn't handle a single bite. Elder Julian and I foolishly ate the whole bowl which led to them giving us another bowl. David is so caught up in the world, but he recognizes that God can help us overcome out challenges. He is looking at a goal of baptism on the 29th. We'll see how it goes!

Elias and Carmen Rascón, a beautiful family we're teaching, chose not to come to church this week. We're still hoping to head down to temple square with the family. They have all the support anyone could ever need! They'll make great members. 

The Zone is increasing in enthusiasm, though we added a new key indicator (numbers that measure our work as missionaries for the week) of "Reactivation." Reactivation applies to less-active families to come to church 3/4 times in a month. This is supposed to help elders and sisters teach less-actives less, and move on if they're not going to progress. There has always been the problem of elders and sisters spending too much time with less-active families and wasting time teaching the same families that do not change for months and months. We are commanded to drop the seeds, pick up the sickle and baptize. I hope we can continue to focus on baptism. I hope grace changes them to want to baptize. There is no way to apply the saving grace of Christ without Baptism.

Love you all!

-Elder Toborg

Monday, September 2, 2013

Sept 2, 2013

A valuable resource. We never have enough of it, and yet we can expect an unlimited amount of it after this life. Time is short here on Earth, there is not enough time to do everything the Lord requires of us. I hope we can all learn to use it wisely. If we put our mind to it, we really can accomplish a lot in a small amount of time. 

This week, time didn't exist, or at least that is what it felt like. Two exchanges, one with Elder Lopez from El Salvador, and the other with Elder Villarreal in his area in Oquirrh. The later was very successful, and included walking in the pouring rain for an hour. There are people everywhere who are ready to be baptizedddd!

Elder Julian, senior companion, knows how to set people on fire with excitement. There are a couple pictures of him; he's always ready to go go go go go! What a spectacular example he's been, of what hard work can do and how one must be excited about the work all the time. His testimony of the Book of Mormon almost compares to that of the Prophets and Apostles. The Book of Mormon is true; I know this for myself, and so does Elder Julian. 

This week was full of teaching, the Rascón family is getting ready for baptism on the 15th and they're looking great. Lots of fellowship. Poli, next weekend, water for him. The zone is going for a goal of 23, and we'll make it!

Time is short, and this work must go onward, and you must all have a testimony of the Book of Mormon if you're to make it the end of your lives. 

I testify the Book of Mormon is true, and I’ll keep declaring it to the world here in Kearns. 

-Elder Toborg