Thursday, October 31, 2013

It´s late, they´re old, and it cannot be

October 28, 2013

Hello everyone!

Sometimes I feel like life just can´t get any better and then each week I feel more and more content!! Life is so great :) This week was so awesome. Elder Gonzalez and I are learning a ton, teaching a ton, and having a ton of fun.

We had some good times and some rough times this week but the good times definitely outweighed the rough. This week I really learned that obedience is everything. We had a lesson scheduled for 8:30pm so we got permission to get home at 9:30 and we brought our Bishop. Things got real spiritual real quick and we needed to go but the bishop and our investigator kept talking and we ended up getting back at 9:40 so we had to call the President. I was super nervous and I explained what happened and everything and then he started to talk to me in English. That is the worst.. He said that we had made a promise to get home at a certain hour and that we had broken that promise and were disobedient and that I need to be more responsible as a senior companion. Ah man, I felt so bad after that conversation. It was broken English and very to the point and it hit me. I just felt like crying!! haha I don´t know why I was so torn up about it. So I was kind of moping around during planning and then after, Elder Gonzalez set me straight. He was like look Elder, we were working hard and doing our best and we arrived late. The Lord knows we were trying our best, we know we were trying our best, so stop worrying so much, we are going to wake up tomorrow and keep working hard! He told me that he still had a ton of respect for me and knew that it wasn´t my fault. Wow, what an excellent guy, that Elder Gonzalez. He really picked me up and we had a great rest of the week.

We had a really funny experience this week. We went to Hermano Corona´s house to watch the Restoration video with him and his family. We started the video at 7 and they are a bit old so it didn´t work out so well. He was so excited, he invited all of his kids to watch it and everything but about 15 minutes in people started falling asleep. Every single one of them fell asleep at one point in the video. We just put our palms to our forehead and said "no puede ser". We find ourselves saying that a lot. "It cannot be" haha.

We also had some very spiritual lessons this week. My favorite was with a guy named Miguel. He is brothers with a guy in our ward and lives in a different state but happened to be there when we stopped by. He believed in God but not that we lived with him before this life or that we can return with him one day. We talked about our relationship with God and he just kept telling us that we cannot know that. We shared the scripture in Abraham 3:22-23... such a classic. it talks about how God showed Abraham the inteligences that were organized before the earth and how we lived as spirits with him. He read it putting his name in place of "Abraham" and then just stared at it for like 3 minutes. We just watched him and waited. He finally looked up and then said "wow". The lesson was so much different after that. He wanted to know so much more of what we believe and he was so shocked that we had another book like the bible that was a record of the people of the Americas when Christ came to the earth. Unfortunately he doesn´t live in our area but it was such a great lesson and he is going to start meeting with the missionaries where he lives.
We have a baptism scheduled for the 16th of November for Ramon, and Cosme the following week. They are doing awesome :)

Everything is awesome here in Morelia :)

Love you all,

Elder Del Toro

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dame tú gelatina

October 22, 2013

What a great week in the Mission :) Elder Gonzalez and I are best buds. We have all sorts of energy and enthusiasm for the work. We work like dogs every day and are usually running home at night to get in on time. We are always laughing and having a good time along the way.

This week Elder Gonzalez got robbed for the first time... Not really, but kind of. We were visting a member in the ward who owns a bakery and she had given us a gelatina (jello). We were standing there talking to her at the front of her little shop and this drunk guy came up behind us and told us to give him our gelatina. It was some good gelatina so I played the ol gringo trick, I said "Mi no hablar spanish señor" and so he looked at Elder Gonzalez and Elder Gonzalez just said no, so we turned around and started talking to the member again. He just stood there for a while and then tapped Elder Gonzalez on the shoulder and said "Dame tú gelatina" (give me your gelatina) and we just kept talking. The guy stood there and then tugged on Elder Gonzalez´s sleeve and said "Dame tú gelatina!!". By this time I was shoveling down my gelatina and laughing at Elder Gonzalez. The sister told him to hand it over to the guy so Elder Gonzalez gave him his half eaten gelatina and the guy went away happy. Poor Elder Gonzalez, getting robbed his first week and all haha :)

This week was pretty awesome with the work. I had to go to two days of meetings but I learned a ton and President Camarillo, like always, said some really inspiring things. He really stressed that we should be talking to everyone. He said that we shouldn´t be talking to every person but that we should be talking to everyone. I really like that. There is a big difference. We don´t run every person down that we see and try to share a message with them but whenever we have an opportunity like in a taxi or combi we try to start conversations and share our testimonies. It is super hard at first but we have been practicing and trying to talk to a lot more people. The thing that I have realized is that I´m not talking as Kadyn Del Toro, I am talking as a representative of Jesus Christ and there is no need to be scared of someone saying no or anything like that because we do as we are told and have faith that some people are going to accept the message.

We also had some great lessons with investigators and Elder Gonzalez set his first baptismal date. We were with a guy named Cosme who was an investigator before I got here but had a tough situation so stoped taking the lessons. We went to visit him and he had changed a lot and was super receptive to our message. And the end of the lesson we started talking about baptism and how it is so important in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and then I gave Elder Gonzalez the nod. The nod means to ask him if he will follow the example of Jesus Christ by being baptized by someone who holds the Priesthood authority of God. So Elder G asked Cosme to read a scripture about baptism and then started whispering to me to extend the baptismal invitation. I just shook my head and gave him the A-OK. So he asked him the question and Cosme said yes!! Elder Gonzalez looked way surprised and then just had a huge cheesy grin on his face. Elder Gonzalez was super excited after the lesson and said he is never going to forget that day.

I´m loving life right now :) I am so happy here on my mission.


 Elder Del Toro

photos: how Elder G and I stay awake during weekly planning... also, I slept in my hammock 3 times this week!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

It's a Boy!!

October 16, 2013

Hello family and friends,

So a lot has changed this past week! I finished four month´s in the mission, I finished "the first 12 weeks infield training program", and I had a son.

Last Saturday I got a call from the Mission President congratulating me on finishing up my in field training. He then informed me that I would be doing it again, only this time the Lord had called me to be a trainer. I had to make sure he was talking to the right Elder.. I said "President, this is Elder Del Toro... Are you sure I am going to train?". He just laughed and said he would see me Tuesday. Oh boy. I was in shock and the next two nights I slept terrible because I could not stop thinking about it. So I went to Guadalajara Monday and stayed the night there with some other Elders and then Tuesday morning we had a training before we received our new Elders. President Camarillo talked about how some of us might be wondering why we were there. He said that we would not be there if the Lord did´t trust that we could accomplish the assignment that we had been given. He said a lot of other wise things and I felt like he was talking directly to me. By the end I felt confident and ready.. still a little nervous, as I am now, but I know that the Lord will be there on my side every step of the way.

We met up with all the new missionaries that just finished up at the Missionary Training Center and then had another meeting with the President. He started announcing the assignments and I could not keep my hands from shaking. Finally he announced my name and then announced that I would be serving with Elder Gonzalez. We gave each other a big hug, sat down, and I knew that everything would be ok. Elder Gonzalez is way cool. He comes from Guanajuato, Mexico. He played american football at the LDS school in Mexico City before it became a new MTC. He loves the outdoors. He likes to fish, shoot rabbits, and exercise. He also loves the drive his Jeep. He said he won a video contest with his Jeep. It was a 30 second video of him driving his Jeep and he took 5th and won a bunch of cool stuff. He is overall just a way cool guy. We get along great so far, and I can already tell we are going to be good buds. He is super ready to work. We are both way pumped to start working together.

At the end of the meeting we had together, we sang "I´ll go where you want me to go" in Spanish. It really touched me. The words are so great and I was just thinking how willing Elder Gonzalez is, 15 days into his mission to go with some white Elder who does not know Spanish. I know I am still pretty new, but the new missionaries just really inspire me. When they arrive here in the mission they are so unsure and scared, but at the same time, so ready and excited to go wherever the Lord calls them to serve. Elder Gonzalez threw his arm around my shoulder after the meeting and said "sé que esté el compañero para mi Elder Del Toro" or "I know you are the companion for me". In the mission when you become a trainer, you become a papá and the elder you are training is your hijo. I´m way excited to be with my nuevo hijo. I´m thinking we will be more like brothers because he will be training me just as much as I am training him.

I love being a missionary!!!!!!!!!


Elder Del Toro

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

¡Puedo tratar ésta?

October 7, 2013

Hola Todos :)

This week was another good one! Conference was so good!! There was something special about being a missionary and listening to conference. It was different than any other conference I have listened to. For us missionaries conference is like a rock concert. We were pumped all week and showed up early, tailgated, and had an after party. Ok maybe not all that, but we did have a ton of mexican food from our ward in between sessions. There are 5 American Elders from our stake and we all watched conference along with one Mexican elder who understands english well enough to watch it in english. Almost all the American Elders and the Mexicans who know good english watch it in english. There is just nothing like hearing the prophets voice. I did watch half a session in spanish and understood everything, but its just not the same. Wow!! All of the talks were so good!! I kept thinking, "if only the whole world could watch this...". I had a lot of favorite talks but one that really stuck out to me was Elder Bednar´s talk about tithing. There were so many about missionary work but I just really loved his talk. He talked about how the Lord blesses us in small but significant ways. That was what I liked most, how sometimes we don´t really see the blessings that the Lord puts in our lives that are so significant. Sure, there are those huge blessings that come right all at once and are easy to notice, but there are so many others that sometimes we just don´t realize. I know that the Lord blesses each and every one of us with small but significant blessings, and I am trying to pay closer attention to the "tender mercies" that the Lord puts in my life.

So we were doing a little shopping for preparation day today and we always have to stay in our "church clothes" when we do stuff like that and this guy came up to me and said, "Puedo tratar ésta?" which is like can I try this on? and I was super confused and whenever I am super confused I say either "si", "no", or "está bien". So I chose "no" and he looked at me like, "are you kidding me?"... so I said, "oh, pues si, está bien" and he said "gracias" and then just stood there looking at me. Then I finally realized that he thought I worked in the store because I had my dress clothes on. I started laughing and explained to him that I didn´t work there. Elder Elizondo and I thought that it was really funny that people could just be looking at us in stores like wow what a lame worker, he is just looking at all the stuff.

Our investigators are doing pretty good! Alejandro and Martha came to one of the sessions of conference. We are hoping that Pedro can still keep getting fired up enough about the Book of Mormon to read it. And we have some really awesome investigators who are making a lot of progress in the gospel. Martin Cruz, my favorite inactive, hasn´t missed a day at chuch since we visited him. He has been asked to serve in the Elders Quorum presidency, so we are super excited for him.

This may or may not be the last week Elder Elizondo and I serving together. He thinks he will get transfered and I´m not sure.. We will find out this weekend and if he does get transfered, I will get a new companion a week from today.

I´m loving life here in Morelia :) Serving a mission has been the best choice I have ever made.


Elder Del Toro

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ

September 30, 2013

This week was probably my favorite week my mission. We had some of the most spiritual and uplifting lessons that I have ever been apart of. Elder Elizondo and I are getting along great. We have really made a 180 in our friendship/companionship. I think it just took a while to figure out our differences and we both had to adjust a bit but now we are two peas in a pod! for the most part! haha. But it has made such a difference in our teaching and all aspects of the mission. I can honestly say that I would love to serve another transfer with Elder Elizondo. We have two weeks before transfers. Elder E has been in this area for almost 7 months so is likely that he will get transferred either this transfer and if not, almost for sure the next. I think I will be here in Prados Verdes for a while. But we still have two more weeks to see what happens.

I feel like I don´t really have any funny stories or crazy things that happened this week, but we had some amazing lessons and overall it was just a spiritual week. One of the lessons was with a guy names Pedro. Pedro is 23 and is the step son of one of our investigators. He had been in one of the lessons before but after that he usually just went and watched TV whenever we came over. This week we went by to teach Alejandro and he Pedro answered the door and told us that Alejandro wasnt home. So I said Pedro, would you like us to share a message with you? He hesitated and didn´t really know what to say and then said I guess if you want. So I said great, and I walk right in and sat down on the couch. The lesson started out a little rough. He has a hard time keeping on track with the lesson. He knows a ton about the Bible and sometimes will just get on a tangent about stuff that he has heard or something. But we started teaching the message of the Restoration and he was hooked. He loved the history of the life of Joseph Smith and everything just made sense to him of why a restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was necessary. I have never in my life seen someone so excited about hearing about The Book of Mormon. We started reading the introduction, we asked him to read the first paragraph and he was like wow!! and then he just kept reading. He read line by line, reading each 2 or 3 times to completely understand it before he would move on. He read out loud and we just watched and listened to his expressions. By the end of the introduction he was bouncing up and down in his seat because he was so amazed. We read the promise in Moroni 10 and he said the he new that the Book of Mormon was written by Prophets of God and that it was translated by the the power of God through the Prophet Joseph Smith. WOW!! Pedro was so prepared to hear about the Gospel. He asked us when he could be baptized at the end of the lesson. We had another lesson with him on Saturday and a separate lesson with his step dad that same day and both lessons were so great. And then they attended church along with Pedro´s mom and cousin! Alejandro felt right at home. haha. He was going up to people shaking hands and asking how they are doing. He was just so happy!! Marta, Pedro´s mom was amazed that the Prophet of God and his Apostles are going to speak next weekend. She said she isn´t going to miss it for anything. That family is so awesome. I am so excited to continue teaching them and help them come unto Christ.

This Sunday I was also asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting! I was a little nervous but once I was up there I felt much more comfortable. I think it went alright! I hope everyone understood me!!
Everything is great :) I am having a blast sharing the Gospel with the people of Mexico


Elder Del Toro