Monday, April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014
Friends and Family,

Time is getting short! I had my last transfer this last Wednesday, I’m still with my companion from El Salvador, Elder Tamacas, and we had a couple new sisters come into the district.

Elder Tamacas and I had a wonderful week helping Andres Alvarado progress toward Baptism. We took him to a baptism down in Kearns of a family of 4 who were baptized. He felt the spirit strongly, and all of the people who spoke at the service seemed to be talking directly to him! After the service, he said that not only does he want to be baptized, but he wants his 13 year old son to start coming to church and get baptized as well. The Sunday after, Andres walked in with two of his sons and a friend. We happened to have President Felts, second counselor in the mission presidency at the sacrament meeting, and his eyes got big when he saw all the people who walked in! It was great.
We're still working with Lorenzo Navarrete. We found out he has never prayed to know if these things are true, a huge explanation as to why he is not progressing. Only God can tell him, not us!

I had a wonderful experience studying how the Bible and Book of Mormon support each other. In Amos 3:7 we learn the importance of Prophets. The Book of Mormon has the testimony of a Prophet found in Jacob 4:4-6 about the same importance. The Apostasy, or falling away from the truth, is spelled out clearly in the new testament in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, and 2 Timothy 4:3-4, and the prophesies of a Restoration of the truth in Acts 3:19-21, which was fulfilled in 1820 by the Prophet Joseph Smith. Also, in the Old Testament, Isaiah saw the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Isaiah 29:4 speaks of a nation speaking from the ground, which applies to the Nephite record written on plates of metal, buried in the ground until the Angel Moroni showed Joseph Smith their location. Isaiah also speaks of a man who is learned who would want to translate that record, but he could not read a sealed book. (Isaiah 29:11-12). This was fulfilled in JSH 1:63-65. There are many things still yet to come to pass, we must continue studying the scriptures with all diligence! I love the scriptures! If anyone teaches you not to study, or to pray, or to come unto Christ, they are of the Devil, for "Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually" (Moroni 7:12). 

I love you all! Time is short till we meet again!

-Elder Toborg

Included is a picture of my former district before transfers. From left to right:

Elders Mahrt, Na(bottom), Tamacas, Toborg, Sisters Johnstone, Gough, Wight, Wheldon

Monday, April 21, 2014

April 21, 2014
Easter Sunday
I know through the Power of the Holy Ghost that Christ did rise from the Dead.
We will live again. Death has no sting. 
Dear Friends and Family,

How grateful I am for the opportunity to send a message to you all each week. This Wednesday starts the last 6 week period of my mission, or transfer. I'll most likely stay in the area I’m already in, with the same companion. We're finding the good and hard times, and they all are for our experience and progression. 

I'd like to share a special experience I had this Easter Sunday. Each morning, as missionaries, we start off the day by studying the scriptures for an hour by ourselves. I chose on this special morning to read about Christ's resurrection, and about what happened on the original Easter morning. I chose to read the account given by Elder James E. Talmage, as given in Chapter 37 of his book "Jesus The Christ." As I read of his resurrection and declaration that he must ascend to His God, and our God (John 20:28), that the glorious hope of returning to live with our Heavenly Father is now realized. This Atonement, which includes his suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, death on the cross, and resurrection, gives us access to forgiveness on the day of judgment when we will be "judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to [our] works" (Revelation 20:12). Through Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, we can again live with our families forever! How great is that! I know through the Power of the Holy Ghost that Christ did rise from the Dead. We will live again. Death has no sting. 

We brought Andres to church, and he enjoyed his experience. I was disappointed in the small numbers that attended to worship God on Easter Sunday, instead they were out worshiping other gods such as camping, hunting and other activities that commonly desecrate the Lord's holy day. It was a great experience for those who were there! 

This past week, Elder Tamacas and I took one of our former investigators, Gregorio Rivera, the horse jockey from Puerto Rico, downtown to Temple Square. He loved his experience there, and said often that he felt he was "in another world." That man can feel the spirit! He accepted to be baptized, however he moved to Delaware, were he will be for 6 months. We've been following up on him so he can make that sacred covenant as soon as possible! We didn't bring our cameras down town, but we got a picture afterward.

I love you all! Happy Easter again, always remember what Christ has done, and what he expects you to do. 

-Elder Toborg

Monday, April 14, 2014

April 14, 2014
We’re a Ward!
Friends and Family,

What a packed week! Many major events happened that I’m excited to talk about. The first, being the title of this email, is that our Spanish Branch became a Ward! This means that the branch, or congregation of members, increased enough to be considered a larger congregation known as a "ward". We have the same leadership, and we're excited to continue to add to the membership of the ward. This is the first time this has happened in one of the areas I have been in.

Sealing of Maria & Edgar Carvajal in the Salt Lake Temple
The second significant event was the sealing of Maria Carvajal with her Husband Edgar in the Salt Lake City temple (see picture, couple on the left). The sealer spoke to them of the wonderful promises and blessings that come with following the commandments. In the same room, Maria's sister, Michelle, was sealed to her husband Aram, who was baptized a year and a half ago (see picture, couple on the right). What an incredible experience to see young families being bound for all time and eternity, and not to be separated at death, as normal marriage states.

That same day, 14 other couples were married. It was spectacular to see the joy on everyone's faces during all of the celebrations. I should have more pictures later when the photographer, Brother Bair, sends them to us all. 

On our walk downtown, Elder Smith and I talked to a wide variety of people. One was a student here from South Korea studying business administration and English. I've also met a lady from Kenya, Africa on the train between our mission and downtown. Next time you sit on public transportation, talk to the person next to you, you'll be surprised what you learn! 

As far as investigators are concerned, Lorenzo Navarrete came to church and stayed for all 3 hours for the first time. He loved it, his family loved him being there, I’ll keep you posted on his progression in the Gospel! We also had another humble man, Andres, attend church. He recently had a work related accident that rang up an $80,000 medical bill, which his work would not accept to compensate or pay for. These events have made him humble, and he's been willing to listen to us. As of now, he's progressing toward baptism on the 27th of April.

Transfers are coming up on the 23rd; Elder Tamacas and I are wondering if he'll leave, since President has been hinting at making him a Senior Companion. Hopefully we stay together! I'm becoming the "old missionary," it's an odd experience. 

Love you all! Check out this great message about Easter. Happy celebration of Christ's resurrection this upcoming Sunday!

-Elder Toborg

Friday, April 11, 2014

April 7, 2014 

Conference Weekend
Friends and Family!

This wonderful weekend, we had the opportunity to listen to the Prophet and 12 Apostles. What an inspiring conference, we were blasted away at the start by Elder Holland’s strong admonishing to be firm in our Faith, and the calm, sweet words of President Monson as he encourages us to have courage, and love one another as God has commanded us. 

I had th
Joseph Smith Memorial building
e opportunity to attend the Sunday morning General session of Conference. I was chosen to be the group leader to take around 15 missionaries down town. I was assigned by the Assistants to the President to meet at the UTA Trax station at 6:30 in the morning. Receiving no other instruction, the group and I met bright and early in the morning. Upon arriving, we found that the Trax did not even start running for more than an hour. I was utterly confused, until a giant van, followed by the Assistants’ truck pulled up. "We're taking the van," AP Tafengatoto said in his strong Tongan accent. So, we took the van downtown! We arrived around 7am; with 2 hours to spare, we waited for a while outside in the 30 degree weather. At 8am, the Joseph Smith Memorial building opened, and we were able to take some pictures, including of the temple from the 10th floor of the building. My friend, Elder Villarreal, made a great pose with the temple in the background. 
Conference was excellent. I'm pretty sure I saw someone from my Freshman year at BYU, but I’m not sure... I've forgotten names and faces being away for so long!

I invite you all to review conference on Print it out now, and begin making notes of things that you can apply in your lives. The general authorities are not softening their blows now. They are preparing us for things to come, and strongly inviting us to be agents that ACT and not agents that are acted upon, as Elder Bednar stated. 

This week as well brought the exciting event of the live endowment session of a recent convert from Kearns a year ago (picture included). Maria Fernanda Cruz-Carvajal, went with her husband, sister and brother in-law, to receive their endowments in the Jordan River Temple. I felt a spirit of joy stronger than I did when I went in for myself! The covenants we make in the temple have a renewed meaning when I see someone making them for the first time! The couples will be sealed for all time and eternity in the Salt Lake City temple this Saturday the 12th, thus taking the sting death would have had, had they only been married "until death do [they] part." 
I'm quite anxious for upcoming events, seeing as my mission will be coming to a close at the beginning of June. My plans as of now are to return home for two weeks, and then begin studies at BYU Provo on June 23rd. 

10th Flr Joseph Smith Memorial Blg
I know for myself that Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet of God. The evidence of this is the Book of Mormon, an ancient "text teeming with literary and Semitic complexity" that has a "powerful witness of Jesus Christ" and has caused a "profound spiritual impact...on what is now tens of millions of readers" (Holland). That book is an anchor for my moral and spiritual beliefs, and I will hold fast, continually making connections with it and the Bible, for the both testify of Christ, and go hand in hand. I know God speaks today, for he has the power, he loves us, and we need Him. 

-Elder Toborg    (Elder Jeffery R. Holland, October 2009 Conference

Music & the Spoken Word
Elders Belliston and Carlyle

Elders Villarreal and Moreira