Monday, February 3, 2014

Feb. 2, 2014    
Rags to Riches                       
Friends and Family,

I got transferred! On Tuesday afternoon, I learned that I would be saying goodbye to my home town of 14 months, Kearns Utah, and packing my bags to head off to the Riverton 22nd branch. I made some quick stops by some people before I left, and we also got in with a family of 6 before I left, but they didn't have time for a lesson unfortunately. Elder Moreira will be taking my spot as a zone leader in Kearns West (He's the Elder from Spain who was serving in Western Hills 8th before). 

Elder Smith - staying in Kearns 
My new area is a LOT different. Before, I covered about 3/4's of a mile squared, in each of my areas in Kearns. This new area is similar to the one I had in Sandy, big, spread apart, and full of wealthy people. I cover the entire city of Riverton and the city of Bluffdale, which covers 7 English stakes. We live in, well, quite honestly, a mansion. I included a picture of the front of the house; we live in their 4 story garage, which isn't even a part of the house. Their garage doors are bigger than any house in Kearns. There are 6 bathrooms in the garage alone (we live on the 3rd floor, going up a big spiral staircase, 2 kitchens, 4 showers, and... well only 1 room! Interesting layout, and that's just the garage; I haven't been in her actual house! There is also a full size basketball court outside which I’m looking forward to using in the summer time. What a blessing it is to live in such a nice place! There are a lot of mansions that are similar. The only downside is the giant parties that go on that make a lot of noise. She, Sister Anderson (former Mayor of Bluffdale), has an indoor pool with water fountains that faces our living area, and it gets quite noisy sometimes!

There are plenty of Hispanic people around here, they're just spread farther apart, and we use different means to find. We've been "neighborhood hopping" where we knock a couple doors, ask them which Hispanics live in the neighborhood, and thus find out about the whole neighborhood without knocking all the doors.

On Thursday, the day after I arrived in the area, we started teaching the Navarrete family. This family includes the Dad, Lorenzo, Mom, Carlita, and their 5 kids: Maria, Veronica, Angie, Kasandra, and Chencho. They're a great family, and they we were able to invite them to prepare for baptism on the 22nd of February, to which the parents showed some surprise but all the daughters accepted readily. When Sunday rolled around, we had the family who came to the lesson with us stop by to take them to church. They didn't want to go... So, looks like there is some more teaching to do! (We had gone the night before and given Lorenzo a new white shirt, tie and pants so he could have some church clothes!). They'll be baptized, but perhaps it will take them a little more time. 
My new Companion is Elder Henderson from LA California (the exact city is Camarillo). He's been in the mission for 11 months, and was actually assigned to the Monarre, Mexico mission where he was for 9 months. He had some Kidney stones and had to come back to the US for surgery and was re-assigned to this mission. He's been in this area for 3 weeks, and so we're both getting to know the area together. His Spanish is great, seeing as he was in Mexico, and we've been having a blast together! He's studying to be a pilot, and already has his Private Pilot's license). 
I'm already getting a strong relationship with the members in the branch. Most of them in this area are from South America. Ecuador, Venezuela, Peru, Chile. There are hardly any Mexicans here which is much different than Kearns, where 70% of them were from Mexico! I'm finding I have to get rid of my Mexican Spanish habits when I speak!

I love the Lord and His work. I'm going full blast, 110% in these last months, and there is a lot of work to do! Take care, everyone! And a special Birthday shout-out to my Dad whose birthday is on the 6th of Feb!

-Elder Toborg             

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