Monday, July 8, 2013

Welcome to the War, Elder

Another great week at the MTC :) my testimony grew so much this week and I think I am FINALLY becoming a full grown man!

This week I had the opportunity to host new missionaries that came in on Wednesday. It brought back flashbacks of when my fam dropped me off but I think we handled it fairly well compared to most of the people dropping off their missionary. Basically I just gave them a great big hug when they got out of the car, grabbed their luggage, took their picture for their family, and got them started at the MTC. I got to do this for 4 people and one of them happened to be David Leal, my old roommate at BSU. It was pretty cool to run into him and catch up. But the thing that got to me most was what this Elder said, who was also hosting. He looked a new elder in the eye and said "Welcome to the War, Elder"... At first I thought it was super funny but I started thinking about it and there is a lot of truth to what he said. In this world filled with temptation and evil from the adversary, it is all we can do to spread truth and happiness to people around the world. I wish you could see all of us missionaries together, chills run down your spine as you think about the power and potential of all these young men and women. I have a firm testimony that we are a royal army going around the world to spread the restored gospel. As I heard in one of our devotionals a few weeks back, "The power you have is the power to astonish this world". I love this work.

Our devotionals this week were so good, Brother Richardson from the general sunday school presidency talked to us about becoming truly converted. I loved his talk. He talked to us about how Heavenly Father has a plan for each of us to become much more than we could ever imagine ourselves. I also got to thinking how much I am being blessed as a missionary. Sure, I am serving the Lord, but he is serving me on my mission much more than I will ever be able to pay back.

Happy 4th of July!! I'm sure everyone had a good day but this was a 4th of July I will never forget. I spoke only in spanish the whole day! well almost, I let 3 english sentences slip and then at 8pm at the Independence Day devotional, I was just so proud to be an American I just had to start speaking English!! It was amazing that I could say almost everything I wanted to in spanish though. The devotional was about how our Founding Fathers paved the way for this country to host the restoration of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints. It was amazing, and then we watched the movie 17 miracles. After the movie we got to go outside, eat an ice cream bar, and watch the fireworks going on at the Stadium of Fire. I always thought I was supposed to live in the time of the Pioneers but while I was watching 17 miracles, I realized that the Lord put me on the earth when he did so I could be a missionary in the year 2013. What a blessing it is to be able to serve at this time. I love the work.

It sounds like Ethan and I are going to be sharing our secrets about missionary work. I was asked to serve as District Leader earlier last week, boy does that bring a lot of meetings. I swear yesterday was one of the busiest sundays I've ever had. I love serving my district though, I have a love for each one of the guys and I am so grateful to have the chance to get to know them better through interviews and being able to serve them however I can. Ethan, I can already tell that the most important thing about being in a missionary leadership position is to love them and lead by example. You are going to be great! You'll love the work.
It's crazy to think I've been here just about a month. The time just flies! I keep looking forward to Mexico but I know that I am going to need every minute of these next two weeks to prepare to be a real missionary. I am becoming a better teacher, my "espanish" is getting better every day, and I LOVE THE WORK!!


Elder Del Toro

 Elder Del Toro and Elder Bowen working on their Technology Assisted Language Learning

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