Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 31, 2013
Happy New Year
Friends and Family,

Christmas came and went with the wonderful baptismal service of Eric Martinez. President Chambers and the APs came to the baptism, and it was full of the spirit. I'll include some pictures later on.

Each of us are blessed with Extraordinary Gifts. Perhaps society will not notice these abilities, but God does, because he helped you develop them before this life. We grew up with Him and came to know him very well. We grew, and learned with His divine help, until it was time for us to take the trip down to Earth to apply what we had learned in an environment without His help. He asks us to serve others, using the gifts we have been given, and bring them happiness.

To tap into these divine attributes that we inherited from our heavenly Father, we must follow His guide lines or commandments. He has drawn the map for us and simply asks us to follow it. It is full of turns and twists, and at times we may not understand where we are lead to, but He does, and so as we follow His principles, we will obtain heavenly treasures "where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt" (Matthew 6:20).  We must unleash our potential by putting for our own efforts.

Once again, I’ll preach about Goal setting, as the new year is upon us. We must set a vision of what we want to accomplish, then a smaller term goal that allows progress toward that vision, and then make a plan of how we will achieve that goal.

A man named Roger Bannister truly did just that. He had a vision to head to the Olympics and win a gold medal in the mile run. He went with hopes, and ended up getting 4th, coming home humiliated, and depressed. He said he would not run anymore, with his eyes set on graduating from medical school, which required much study. His coach asked him to reconsider, saying that he would be the one who could break the 4 minute mark in the mile, which at this time had not been done. Roger Bannister decided to develop a will of iron. He knew he would need to study 6-8 hours each day for medical school, train for 4 hours a day, sleep from 9-10 hours each day to be in top shape and eat the healthiest foods. He did just that, and when the day came, he ran a record 3:59.4 minute mile, making him a worldwide star.
This man had a vision, set some goals, and made plans and rigorously stuck to his plans, and achieved greatness. The same is possible for us, as we commit to rigorously stick to the commandments we have been given, so that we too may achieve greatness.
May you all have a wonderful new year, and set goals appropriate to who you all are, children of God.

with love,
-Elder Toborg

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

December 24, 2013
Friends and Family, Merry CHRISTmas!!

I've had a wonderful time on my mission as a representative of Christ. Each day, my companion and I go out and testify of Christ and his divine mission to save us from death and sin. We cannot live after this life without him. This is a wonderful time to celebrate the birth of Christ. Don't be bashful about sharing the message of him with others, and inviting them to come to His church! 

As missionaries, we have Christmas day set aside to collect the conversion stories of our recent converts. It's a wonderful testimony to others who have not yet made the decision to join the church to see how the spirit touched the lives of other. From what i've seen on my mission, the only time people become truly converted is when they pray and ask God for themselves, meaning, asking a specific question. "God, is the Book of Mormon true?" (requires a yes or no answer!) and the promise of Moroni in Moroni 10:3-5 in the Book of Mormon is that if we ask with a sincere heart, having real intent and faith in Christ, we will receive an answer from the Holy Ghost that these things are true. Old or young, tall or small, everyone must ask for themselves.

I also have the fortune to stay in Kearns for another 6 weeks, as transfers came and went with few changes. 

We had the baptism of Brandon Hernandez last Saturday, and tomorrow we will have the baptism of Eric Martinez, grandson of Concepcion martinez who was baptized in November. His dad will be performing the ordinance, and this will almost complete the whole family, Grandma down to grandson, with just one more son who hasn't joined the church yet. 

Today is going to be D-day, we have 5 dinners scheduled tonight, and we'll see if Elder Clark and I can survive the night.. 

I included a picture of some of the Elders from my Zone, there names are (starting from the bottom left and going up clock-wise):
Elder Moreira from Spain
Elder Alpin from Michigan 
Elder Flack from New Mexico
Elder Whiting from Arizona
Elder Bridge from Canada
Elder Clark from Ohio
Elder Villarreal from Oklahoma
Elder Gonzalez from St. George Utah

Thank you all so much for your support, letters and some packages! I feel your love, no matter how far you may be. I'm excited for my sister Jessica Freeman who will be moving to Arizona soon! 

Merry Christmas! See you soon Mom, Dad and Christie! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 16, 2013
One Year in Kearns
Friends and Family,

On 12/12/12 I came into the city of Kearns as a timid, unlearned missionary. As 12/12/13 passed, marking a year in this wonderful city, though still unlearned, I have learned some things. Day by day I work on being a bold declarer of the word of God, not fearing man but serving God only, for he is whom we ought to serve (Acts 5:29). 

I spent a couple days in celebration, you could say. For lunch on the 12th I went to Tipo Tacos, the famous taco stand, as well as my favorite panadería (bakery) the Panadería de Mexico 

The next day was E. Villarreal's birthday, so we headed down to Rancho Market (Mexican Grocery store) for some Molcajete. Molcajete, as the picture shows, is a boiling cauldron of cheese, napal (cactus), chicken, beef, onions and shrimp. It's delicious, and fed the 6 of us well. I included some other pictures as well of Rancho Market, which we hear from some members, that there is a Rancho Market in Provo now. I'll get to enjoy this food at college too after the mission! Wohoo! 

This week has been a roller coaster of emotions in the missionary work. We've had some wonderful miracles, included the decision by Eric Martinez, grandson of Concepción who was baptized in November, decide he wants to be baptized on Christmas day. So we'll have a wonderful baptismal service on the day we celebrate Christ's birth. Also, this Saturday we'll have the baptism of Brandon Hernandez, son of Patricia, who is excited for his baptism on the 21st. We're also teaching a man named Antonio who moved in with a member family. We invited him to be baptized on Christmas day as well, and he's going to pray about it. 

This Wednesday are transfers, and I’ve been here for 6 months. I'm praying that I stay here! However, I will always follow my leaders, and face the same way as the Savior, and I will go where He wants me to go. 

Oh yes, also, we had a flat tire this week and our investigator Esteban (in the picture) helped us put our dinky spare on. I fit in now with everyone else in Kearns who has been driving on their spare tires forever C: 

Love you all! 
-Elder Toborg

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013

Friends and Family,
As of yesterday, I can now say that I ate menudo. Menudo is a dish that Hispanics, mostly Mexican's, eat. It consists of: Intestines. It is the dish that all missionaries fear, and Elder Clark and I ate the whole thing. (see pictures).

This week was an eventful week. The week's unique events started with a 9 hour meeting with Brother Wade who is Director of Operations in the Missionary Department for the world and Bro. Ware who is in charge of the Referral Center for the world. They taught us about the doctrine of Christ, and how we are teaching people three basic principles in our three first lessons.

1: Revelation. We teach people that God has, does and will reveal things to people through revelation. We help people start receiving their own revelation through prayer.

2: Atonement. We teach the Plan of Salvation (also known as the plan of happiness), how it is all centered on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and why we must apply that in our lives.

3: The Way. We teach about Faith in Jesus Christ and his Atonement, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and remaining faithful until the end of their lives; or in other words, how we apply the saving power of the atonement in our lives. 

The next day, we had the opportunity (Elder Clark and I) to teach our first Zone Training Meeting. This is a new training tool that the Church started this month, and it consists of us teaching and helping our zone practice for 2-3 hours once a month. It truly was a revelatory experience, and I believe our zone profited greatly from the training.

We live in the basement apartment
This week as well, we spent a large amount of time digging ourselves out of over a foot of snow that we got in Kearns. It's been between 3-8 degrees this whole week, which has been a nice blessing because all of the Hispanics we teach are in their houses now due to the slack in work outside due to the elements. 

We also had the privilege of attending a performance called "Luz de las Naciones" performed in the tabernacle by various Spanish wards and branches in the valley. I'll describe this more next week when I have pictures (on my companion's camera!). 

The work of the Lord goes onward, and I'm grateful to be a part of it. I'm thankful for the scriptures and the hidden treasures I’m beginning to find each day in studying them deeply. This is the church of Jesus Christ, and I am one of His representatives. I know this to be His work, His church, and His glory. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

-Elder Toborg

Monday, December 2, 2013

December 2, 2013

Families and Friends!

This week, I've developed a wonder appreciation for the scriptures! They really do contain the mysteries of God. Sometimes, I wish He would make them clearer, and they do become clear the more we study! Over the past weeks, I’ve been studying King Benjamin's discourse given to his people in the Book of Mormon in Mosiah Chapters 2-5. I finally finished chapter 5, and found some important insights in 4 and 5.

In Chapter 3, King Benjamin teaches his people the instruction he received from an Angel. I can't imagine what that experience must have been like! In chapter 4, his people are humbled and ready to receive more instruction, and so King Benjamin goes into detail about the Gospel of Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End). In verse 9, he expounds Faith, in 10, he describes changing, or repenting, and becoming humble. In Alma 32:16 we find that "being humble" means being baptized without stubbornness of heart. Going back to vs. 6 we find enduring to the end. There are a lot more mysteries to be found, so start looking! (Vs. 5 is all about baptism too.)

This Thanksgiving weekend, I was looking forward to having a nice round of Hispanic Thanksgiving food; however the two meals we ate happened to be Americanized meals… Turkey and stuffing, etc. So nothing too special happened on Thanksgiving, just gaining weight as always. 

On Tuesday, we went down to Temple Square with Alice and her boyfriend Julio. Alice is getting ready to be baptized on the 15th, and has a strong desire. The only hold up is marriage, and they've been thinking about it for a while. Alice has been a great miracle; she was attending our ward for a while before she came up to us and said, "I want to be baptized." I love the Lord!

Christmas time is here, and it's time to think about Christ! Keep him in mind as you share this wonderful time with friends and family. Love you all!

-Elder Toborg