Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Muh Cow

September 24, 2013

Hello Everyone :)

Another great week in the promised land!! I was in Guadalajara all day yesterday signing my visa and got back late last night so I didn´t get the chance to write. But all is well! I left Sunday afternoon and stayed the night with some other Elders in Guadalajara and then the next day we had to go take pictures, fingerprints, and sign. It would have been pretty boring but Elder Bowen was also there!!! It was so nice to catch up and see how he is doing. We talked for hours! One of the first things I asked him is how his family is doing.. He said, "ah they´re doin awesome! Babysittin a muh cow righ now and she´s givin em trouble, so they´re stayin busy" Hahahahaha. Elder Bowen is the best. I was also able to retrieve my alarm clock that I forgot in Guadalajara the first day of the mission. They only bad part was that I forgot my flip flops there this time :( This morning I put grocery bags on my feet for the shower. It actually worked out pretty well, they got filled with water so I poured a little soap in there and did a little dance. Probably the cleanest my feet have ever been!! But I am planning and buying more flip flops today.
This week I learned so much!! We had zone conference with the Mission President as well as all the bishops, mission leaders, and stake presidency members. We really bonded with our leaders and worked together to set some new goals. President Camarillo spoke to us about finding people. He said that we as missionaries don´t really do the finding and if we take credit for finding people we have it all wrong. He spoke to us about how if we are working are hardest and doing all the right things the Lord is going to put people in our path who are ready to hear the Gospel. I loved that so much. As we put our faith and trust in the Lord and are obedient we are going to have people to teach. This week we gained 2 new investigators! We went to visit an inactive member in the ward and her father and 10 year old son were there are interested in our message. Lucia is excited to come back to church and her father and son are very prepared to hear our message.
I am loving every day of my mission. I can´t imagine myself anywhere else at this time. Love you all! thank for the support :)

Elder Del Toro

 Elder Bowen and Elder Del Toro eating some donuts!

 Elder Del Toro in the auto on his way home from Guadalajara

"Splash flip flops TM"

Monday, September 23, 2013

Bulls Eye

September 16, 2013

Hello friends and family :)

It is crazy that I have been out for over 3 months now!! 1/8 of the way done already and I feel like a just got here. This week was pretty awesome. We taught a lot of people and had some good times along the way.

I find my self saying "Clasico" very often. There are just so many classic moments here in Mexico! You just don´t see police armed with paintball guns for crowd control anywhere else. You just cant find a family of 4 on one scooter anywhere else but here. Things like that crack me up all the time. But this week there was one of the more "clasico momentos" that I have seen here in Mexico. We were in a camion, which is basically a public transportation bus. There were no more seats so I stood holding the rail and I looked down and saw an eye looking right back at me. I just about puked. This guy had a baseball cap with a cow or pig eye sitting on the brim. It had been cut out and still had the flesh attatched the back and was just sitting there on his hat.. (picture attatched)... I couldn´t believe it. We were with the other Elders in our district and poor Elder Medrano the new missionary just about lost the pan dulce that he was eating. It was an instant classic. Flies swarming around and everything. I took the picture from the hip without flash so it´s not great but I think you can get the idea.

This week was so great. I think my favorite part was noche mexicano. It was a stake activity and it was so cool to see all the outfits, mustaches, and a bunch of dances. Before the activity started we gave tours to people who had never been to one of our church buildings before. The chapel in our stake center is the most beautiful I have ever seen. It is absolutely gorgeous. That was my favortite part of the tours, when we walked into the chapel and the whole mood just changes. There is just a sweet spirit when we testify of what we believe in the chapel. The rest of the night was a lot of fun as well. There were performances of mexican dances with the big colorful dresses and tight mexican pants for the men. It was so fun to see how spirited everyone was with their red, green and white. Overall I gained a lot of love for the Mexican culture.

My favorite lesson this week was with a guy named Rodo. We went to teach a family of siblings in the ward, there are 3 brothers and their sister who live together while they are studying here in Morelia. Rodo was studying for an exam with the oldest brother when we came over so he joined in with us. The lesson turned into a lesson completely for Rodo. He had never heard of God or Jesus Christ and was super interested in what we had to say. It was so interesting to hear his beliefs and he had awesome questions. Things that I had never even thought of before. It was a very powerful lesson about how God is our Heavenly Father and how he sent His son to atone for our sins. Most people we teach have a belief in God, but Rodo didn´t so the lesson was so much different than any other I have taught. We promised him that he can know that there is a God who loves and knows him personally. He doesnt live in our area so the other Elders will teach him but I was so thankful to have that opportunity to teach him.

All is well, all is well :)


Elder Del Toro

Monday, September 9, 2013

Good Health

September 9, 2013

This week has been a rainy one. It has rained every day for the past two weeks :P I thought I got out of the rain when we left Washington but I´m right back with it. Better rain than scorching hot i guess! I am still losing weight, I have lost about 15 pounds since the MTC. I might just come back a 125 pounder! haha.
Everything is going so great in Morelia, Michoacan. We are working hard and having some fun. It seems like a lot of funny things happened this week. One thing that I thought was really funny happened at English classes. It was all members who showed up so we were learning how to pray in English. One of the things they wanted to learn how to say was Te agradecemos para buena salud, or  "We thank thee for good health". The only problem is that they dont really have the "th" sound in Spanish so they were saying "We thank thee for good hell". I dont know why I thought it was so funny but they just kept practicing saying Good Health and chanting "Good Hell! Good Hell!" By the end of the class they were pronouncing Health perfect.
We had the baptism on Saturday! She was glowing, she was so excited and so happy. For whatever reason while we were filling up the baptismal font the water shut completely off and would not come back on. There was about a foot of water in the font so we had to make do. Elder Elizondo did the baptism. It took 5 times for her to finally go completely under the water. The final solution was her sitting with her legs straight out and Elder Elizondo on his knees dunking her back. Everyone who was there was getting into it. "her knee didnt go under!" "Her foot!" In Spanish of course. It was a relief when she finally went completely under. Its a good thing she is a tiny 11 year old, or I think we would have had to have people sit in the font for the water level to raise.
My favorite lesson this week was with Martin. He is doing so great. He has come to church the past two Sundays and just loves when we teach him. We taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, especially about the Sacrifice that Jesus Christ made for us and how we can repent and be clean once again. Everything is just making sense with him again. He had forgotten a lot of things because he hadnt been to church in a really long time but during our lessons he will start remembering things and just start teaching the lesson himself. One thing that he said that really struck me is that he can always feel the Spirit enter into his home whenever we come over to teaching. That just really touched me that we have the help of the Lord every time we teach. I have been learning the importance of the Holy Ghost the past couple weeks. Our whole goal is to help other people feel the comfort of the Holy Ghost because that is what changes peoples hearts, not us.
I am learning so much every week. I love Morelia and I love being a missionary :)

Elder Del Toro

 Everybody loves churros!
A home of one of the members in the area.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Man bag

September 2, 2013

I experienced an awesome miracle this week that strengthened my testimony. We have been teaching a 12 year old girl named Alexa who has a dad who would not sign the babtism papers. Alexa´s mom is a less active member and wanted her daughter to be baptized but the hold up was the dad. Elder Elizondo has been teaching her for 5 months but never had the chance to talk to her dad. His wife said he didnt want his daughter to be baptized and he didnt want to talk to us either.  Finally this week we ran into him. He walked in the front door and walked past the room we were in. I just about jumped out of my chair when I saw him! I was way pumped that we finally had the chance but Elder Elizondo told me to calm down. We finished the lesson and he was in the shower. His wife said that he was going to go somewhere after he got out of the shower and Elder E was like dang maybe we can come back another day.. ANOTHER DAY!?!?! We had a chance of lifetime right in front of us. Elder E was terrified of this guy. He said oh well we can have the bishop come talk to him later today, and Alexa´s mom was like yeah thats probably better. A thought ran through my mind. It wasn´t you are a full grown man, you can do this.. It wasn´t oh no my spanish isnt good enough. It was "You are called by a Prophet of God to be a representative of Jesus Christ". I told Alexa´s mom just that, that we are called by a Prophet of God and that we have the authority to say what the Lord wants. So we waited in the hallway inbetween the shower room and his room. He stepped out and I walked up and shook his hand and introduced myself. He was a little taken back. He only had a towell around his waist. So he said he would get changed and then we would talk. It seemed like forever but he finally came out and Elder Elizondo made some small talk. I think for one of the first times Elder E ran out of words to say and looked at me. I told him about the importance of baptism and how his daughter is ready for that step. I talked to him for about 5 minutes. My spanish wasnt perfect but it was better than I had ever talked. When I asked if he would agreed to let his daughter be baptized he replied, "Claro que si". I think all our jaws dropped. I am so thankful for that experience and that I was able to have the words and the courage to talk to him. I am so thankful for the guidance of the Holy Ghost missionaries receive to know what to say. Alexa will be baptized this saturday. After what seems like a zillion lessons, she can finally make that baptismal covenant with her Heavenly Father.

Everything is so good. My spanish is starting to improve very rapidly. I feel like I understand just about everything now. I think I am just about fluent in the Gospel. I am half way done with my infield training! 6 weeks down, 6 to go. I am loving every day of my mission.

Our president informed us that we will be using side bags starting in October. I bought a nice leather bag today. I really like it but I am still getting used to the idea of having my little purse. I will send a picture next week when I am a little more confident about it.

Love you all,

Elder Del Toro