Monday, November 25, 2013

November 25, 2013

Friends and Family,

This week has been a great time to reflect upon the visions and goals that the Lord has for each and everyone one of us. He wants us to become something great. In order to teach us, we must be humble. Humility includes accepting the will of God before our own will. At times we want to fight back with pride. Pride is saying "let my will be done, and not thine." The Lord will have a humble people, we can choose to be humble, or the Lord can compel us to be humble through our trials. Alma 32:16 states the blessing we can receive as we humble ourselves first. 

"Therefore, blessed are they who humble themselves without being compelled to be humble; or rather, in other words, blessed is he that believeth in the word of God, and is baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea, without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know, before they will believe."

I love the emphasis the scriptures have on Baptism! We really can't progress anywhere until we've been forgiven of our mistakes, and tasted of the Savior's love. Once this happens, our eyes can be opened to the mysteries of the Lord, this certainly has happened to me on my mission as i repent daily.

This week we had two of the Godoy family members come, Allan and Cindy, who are both on date to be baptized on the 14th. They're conversion has been amazing. Their mother is less-active, and knows very little about the gospel, so we're re-teaching her with his family. We have high hopes for this family!

This Sunday, to everyone's surprise, our Branch President, President Salazar, was released after serving for 5 months. He's the best Branch President/Bishop i've ever seen. He's so loving and kind. We're not sure why he was released, perhaps because he had a full time job, full time school and was a branch president. We're going to keep working closely with him!

I've attached a wonderful picture that represents Kearns to me. This is the Lord's work and I'm excited to keep working! 

                                                                                                           - Elder Toborg

Monday, November 18, 2013

November 18, 2013

Friends and Family,

This week we had the wonderful opportunity of baptizing ConcepciĆ³n Calderon Garduno. She was insistent that I perform the ordinance, which we try to avoid, because we as missionaries leave, but the people in the branch stay. The emotions caused by the spirit were very strong, and we're hoping that her grandson, Eric, will want to follow suit. (He's the one in the picture trying to grab his Mom's face! Jokester, just like his father).

We're continuing to have more success as we work through the members; I encourage each of you to be a missionary by inviting your friends to hear about the gospel. Take out your phone, and invite every non-member you have to meet with the missionaries to hear more about the restored Gospel, and I’m sure you'll be surprised at how many will say yes!

Elder Julian got to come down from Draper to see the baptism; it was a wonderful time for everyone!

We ate dinner beforehand at the Tovar's home. They fed us a salmon soup with shrimp. I had never seen salmon in a soup before, and the taste reminded me of Washington.

Recently, I have been reviewing the talks given at General Conference in October. There are many gems that I have found, and the one I'd like to share is by Elder Jeffery R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and his talk entitled, "Like a broken Vessel."

Elder Holland began by directing his comments at all those who felt depressed or down spirited. I know he was speaking to those out there who are thinking about ending their life in this world, as to hope for some relief. We have the relief, it's right here, in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the one who can heal any wound or make fair any situation.

I particularly loved his comments on having "Square shoulders and positive thinking." There are many hardships in life, and most of them we can handle if we will hold ourselves high, and see the potential in ourselves. Elder Holland went on to say that we if are presented with the bitter cup, be strong and drink it, and wait for better times. We can be firm in the moment, and as we rely on the Lord, he will strengthen us.

I know Christ lives, and we will live again as well. Let us humble ourselves and come to Him.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Elder Toborg.

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013
I’m still in Kearns!

Well, Family and Friends,

Transfers came and went. Transfers are times when missionaries get mixed up, whether it be in a new area or stay in the area with a different companion. I got to stay! I'm still in the Kearns West Stake, meaning that this December I will hit a year in the city of Kearns. It's been a blessed time! 

My companion, Elder Julian, didn't have such luck. He was called early in the morning of transfers to be the new Assistant to the President, replacing Elder Talentino who had been one of the two assistants for 6 months. Elder Talentino was also my companion when he received the call, so I’m seeing a pattern here; fair warning to my new companion, Elder Sean Clark from Ohio. He's been out 15 months and the members of our ward say his Spanish sounds as though he learned it from Spain. 

Other changes include an elder from Spain, Elder Moreira, who is now one of our district leaders. He was in my district 3 months ago with Elder Smith in the Western Hills 8th area, and was sent to the English assignment to learn English. Now he's back in his old area as a district leader, and it's been a blast working with him!

As far as our area is concerned, it's been booming! The members have really picked it up in our branch. Sister Tovar, from Mexico, invited a certain family for 2 months to come to church. This week, she saw the fruits of her labors! The Reyes family came, all 6 of them, and they were very pleased with what they felt and experienced at church. We're going to start teaching them this week! 

Also, we took our investigator ConcepciĆ³n down town to Temple Square. She is a 70 year old Catholic grandmother who thought she would never change. One day, she told us, she woke up and realized, "You know… babies really don't have a sin when they're born! My church has been teaching me wrong! I need to get baptized!" She'll be baptized next weekend! 

We're working with another man named Sergio, from Cuba. He's had a very rough life, but he is ready for the gospel. He came to church, and as soon as he entered the doors, he knelt down and drew a cross in the air with his hand and stood back up, which was pretty humorous in the moment! He's a very colorful guy, and I’m excited to see the change the gospel brings in his life. He also has 3 boys ages 19, 16, and 12, and they're very interested in the gospel. His wife might be a concern, but we hope to teach her too!

On Thursday, Elder Clark and I had the opportunity to teach English for the first time. It's very difficult to explain why things are the way they are in English…. Those who showed up consisted of various ward members, a non-member Esteban who is married to the branch president's sister, and a less-active, Eduardo, who we invited earlier that week. In all there were about 23 people. We had them take a test, which took them 2 hours to complete as a team. Next week we'll have some more structure to the program, bringing in the senior couple missionaries who teach English on a 1 on 1 basis known as the "daily dose" program. We'll see how it goes!

The work is moving forward, and I love it! Kearns is as dirty as ever, and I hope to stay here another 7 months!

Love you all!

-Elder Toborg

Monday, November 4, 2013

Nov 4, 2013

Here is a picture of Salvador Oregon's family
who we took to temple square a couple weeks ago.
It's a picture fitting for Halloween!
Friends and Family,

I find myself wrapped up in the wonderful emails that you have been sending me, I love seeing pictures of things that have been going on. Thank you for your support, and I feel your love! 

This upcoming Wednesday is transfer day. I've been feeling for a while now that my 11 month splurge in the city of Kearns is coming to an end, though I'd love to stay! I know lots of changes will happen this transfer, and I'm ready to learn and grow from the new people I meet, and new situations I find myself in. 

This past Wednesday, I attended our monthly Mission Leadership Council, comprising of all the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders. Here are some insights that our key holder, President Chambers, taught us:

Coming to Earth, with the ability to choose, known as agency, was the only way we could gain the experience necessary to become what God would have us become. When we lived with God as spirits before this life, our agency was influenced by God's presence. I imagine it was easier to choose the right when we could see God face to face! 

To perpetuate further growth, God created Adam and Eve as the first spirits who would receive a physical body. They lived on Earth in the presence of God, and were given certain commandments to obey. Eventually, Adam and Eve chose to disobey one of the commandments, the eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, and had to be cast out of God's presence. 

This places us in the circumstance we are in now. God gave more commandments to his children to lead them back to Him. God's plan was never to only "save" us, meaning that we would live in comfort with him again with a glorified and perfect body in heaven. God's plan is to exalt us, meaning we can become similar to Him. The only way to do this is for us to gain experience through our choices. Experience is crucial. We fall, get up, learn, grow, repeat. Someday, in eternity, we will master every part of life, and become perfect like God. This process cannot be achieved in this life, thus demanding the necessity of our resurrection and continued growth after this life. 

Yes, we will have more time after this life, but don't take this time lightly. If we do not keep God's commandments, we can disqualify ourselves for increased learning. We also learn from the prophet Joseph Smith, Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. (Doctrine and Covenants, 130: 19-19). 

Let us keep using our agency to keep the commandments, starting with baptism to cleanse us of our mistakes. Everything we go through is for our growth and learning! 

In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Elder Toborg

Here is a picture of Salvador Oregon's family who we took to temple square a couple weeks ago. It's a picture fitting for Halloween!