Monday, January 12, 2015

Hot Dog

January 12, 2015

Hello Family!

Another good week here in Lazaro Cardenas!! Its still hot and still the promised land. We found some pretty sweet new investigators and our terrific three all came to church this Sunday and are still on for the next three weeks.

This week was another busy one. Our zone had interviews with the President so Elder Raya and I were really busy on Tuesday organizing all of that. We love to see the elders walk out of the office with a big cheesy smile on their face. Not too many come out with tears ;) haha.

This week we made hot dogs for the Mondragon family in our ward. They always give us a ton so we try to pay them back as much as we can. We ended up eating 60 hot dogs!! Everything was happy and dandy until we went home and no buses passed by and we had to run home to get home on time. Coming down the home stretch was real rough. I almost had another puking story for my mission but I kept it all in.

Everything is going well here with us!!

Have a great week!!


Elder Del Toro

found this little guy protecting the back yard.

Monday, January 5, 2015

French Toast or Bust

January 5, 2014

Yooohooo!! Hello family!

Same story, different monday. Everything continues to go well here in Lazaro Cardenas. We were only in our area 3 days this week but it was actually one of our best weeks we have had here. The work continues to progress. We have a baptism scheduled for the 24th of January for a lady named Alicia and for the 7th of february for a lady named Josefina. Alicias husband is playing hard to get with this whole baptism thing but we are hoping that he will be baptized on the 31st of January. If our plans go good I think we will just leave the water in the font for 3 weeks!! :)

Elder Raya and I went over to a members house on new years morning and made french toast. Elder Raya tried to tell me that that doesnt fly here but I was persistent... I dont think they really liked it :P I think they probably pulled out the beans and tortillas when we left. But I ate 6 pieces so I was happy. We got invited over for a special lunch later that day and they grilled some huge fish. We ate dinner with a family later that night and they gave us tomales. Gotta start the new year off right, right?

Pedro Fernandez (the guy who was baptized last week) is doing great. He came with us twice this past week to visit some of our other investigators. He is a reading machine. I think he already knows more than my companion and I combined. He said that he talked to his mom on the phone last week and she asked him if she could have his cane that he used to use as a souvenir. He told her sorry because he had already given it to Elder Del Toro! She was sad but saw that it was only fair. He had used it for 18 years and took it everywhere. It even breaks down into two pieces for an easy to store feature. Im pretty proud of it if you cant tell :)

All is well my friendcitos!!
Have a great week!

Elder Del Toro

A Christmas Miracle

December 29, 2014

Hello Family Everyone!

Hope everyone had a great Christmas!! It was one of the best Christmas I have ever had. Im sure ill remember this one for the rest of my life.

Talking to the family on skype was awesome on Christmas Eve!! It was great to hear their voices and be together again. After that phone call is when the problems started coming our way. We were at the church so we went to fill of the baptismal font because Pedro´s baptism was going to be the next day. We turned on the water and nothing came out. We found out that the water company here in Lazaro Cardenas was on strike and there was absolutely no water. But there is another chapel here in Lazaro so we decided to have it there. Christmas morning we showed up at the other church and there was no water!! So we asked the mission president if we could baptize Pedro in the ocean. He said to try to get a water tank to drop off water at the church. Well it was Christmas so nobody was working. So we called the mission president back and told him and he told us the baptism would have to wait until the next day. We were heartbroken. Mostly because Pedro was so excited to be baptized on Christmas because he doesnt have family to be with. So we moped around for a little bit and then decided to pray and then built up the courage to tell the mission president that Pedro really needed to be baptized that day. The mission president told us Pedro could be baptized in a river but we couldnt get in the water! He didnt have to tell us twice! We took off running to Pedro´s house to tell him the great news. He was very grateful and gave me a christmas gift. It was the cane that he used when he came to church for the first time. When he walked out of the church that day, he walked out with the cane over his shoulder and hasnt used it since. Its a christmas gift I will cherish forever :)

I love this work. It´s the most rewarding thing I have ever done. 
Happy New Years!


Elder Del Toro

A White Christmas

December 22, 2014

Hello friends and family!!

Merry Christmas! Elder Raya and I are probably most excited out of anyone in the world for christmas. Even though it is still hot here in Lazaro Cardenas, it looks like we will be having a white christmas here. Pedro Fernandez is going to be baptized on Christmas day!! We are both super excited but Elder Raya can hardly contain himself, it is his first baptism in his mission and he will be the one to baptize Pedro!! We are going to go to the store to find him some white pants today! I think it is going to be one of the most memorable Christmas we have had because our Christmas packages didn't get here yet so we will be focused 100% on the true meaning a Christmas.

Other than that, the work continues to progress here in Lazaro. This week flew  by because our zone had a meeting in Morelia this week and then my companion and I had a meeting in Guadalajara this weekend. We were in a bus for 26 hours this past week!!

Elder Raya and I are getting along great and we are working super hard. I pretty much have to jog to keep up with his super long steps. And we usually end up sprinting to get home on time at nights and to get to lessons. People always stop in the street and watch us run by with puzzled looks. Hurrah for Israel!!

Love you all!!

Elder Del Toro

Elder Del Toro... I just peed my pants

December 15, 2014

Another week has flown by.

Let me tell you all a little bit about Elder Raya. He is a way cool guy. He is from Mexicali, Baja California. He went to high school in a city in the US so he speaks english. We usually use it as code language in buses and stuff like that :) He is an amazing piano player, he is super tall, and he is a great companion. We get along super well.

This week we had a mission conference in Guadalajara with the apostol Russell M. Nelson. It was a great conference and Elder Raya and I left ready to baptize all of Lazaro Cardenas. We are going to get right to it this week. At the conference I got to see my old companion, Elder Gonzalez, and the bishop from my first area. It was awesome to hear how the work is going there!!

So the other day Elder Raya and I were on our way back to our house and we stopped by a little store to buy so food. I was buying the food and talking to the store owner and the lady started chuckling and I looked back and my companion was doing the potty dance. She took a while to give me my change and when I turned around Elder Raya was standing there calmly with his hands on his hips shaking his head. He said, "Elder Del Toro, I just peed my pants". And we started laughing so hard together. At least he had the guts to tell me.

Hope you are all doing great!!


Elder Del Toro


Breathe Easy

December 8, 2014

Hello my friendcitos!!

Another busy week here in the mother land!! Elder Solorzano and I had a meeting in Guadalajara this week and a special devotional in the mission presidents house. There was a little talent devotional and yes, I did play the harmonica. I figured out that when I get nervouse I breath fast or something because about half way through silent night i ran completely out of breath and had to take like three breaths to finish the song. Everyone thought it was great though. or at least thats what they told me!! :) When we got back to our house after traveling to Guadalajara, we found a baby iguana in our bathroom!! It surprised my companion when he was using the bathroom!! haha.

We have transfers!! Elder Solorzano is going to finish his two last transfers of his mission training a new missionary in Guadalajara. He had to leave at 1:30 this morning so I am with another companionship in my zone waiting for my new companion to arrive. His name is Elder Raya. Last month the President told us that the area 70 in mexico said that the newer missionaries were going to start being leaders faster and the older missionaries were going to be the ones to train new missionaries. And he wasnt just a kidding! Elder Raya just finished his training, so he has about 3 months as a missionary and he is already called to be a zone leader. I am super excited, he must be an excellent missionary!! Ill tell you more about him next week.

Love you all!! Have an awesome week!

Elder Del Toro

My New-Found Talent

December 1, 2014

Hola familia :)

Another hot week here in Lazaro Cardenas! I was telling my companion that a lot of people from the US like to go to Mexico for Christmas break to get out of the snow and cold weather. How lucky am I for being here?!

We had another good week of work here in our area. It went by super fast because I was on divisions for two days with another American Elder from black foot idaho. We talked about hunting and fishing and football. He is also planning on going to Boise State after his mission!! We sang "My country tis of Thee" to start out our studies on thanksgiving and ended it with a "Murica!!!" at the end. It never gets old. I do the same thing every time I go on divisions with another American Elder.

I guess I have failed to inform you all of my new talent that I have developed. About two months ago I bought a harmonica from a music store and started to learn how to play it. I can play about 10 hymns with it. I am practicing all of the Christmas songs :) its going to be a sweet tool this month!!

Our investigators are doing great. Pedro Fernandez continues to be amazed by the gospel. He told us that he studies the book of mormon and a couple other books we gave him for 4 hours a day. What a stud. He also found out that his aunt who lives in Morelia is a member of the church and that his mother is also starting to learn from the missionaries.

Next week is transfers already!! Elder Solorzano and I are hoping we get to serve together another transfer but he has been here for 6 months so we are thinking he might get the boot.

All is well, my amigos. Have a great week.

Elder Del Toro

Happy Thanksgiving!!

November 25, 2014

Hello Everyone!!

Another awesome week in Lazaro Cardenas. We had to travel to Guadalajara this weekend for a meeting and got back late last night. I got to see Elder Gonzalez! We were giddy when we saw eachother haha. He is now training a new missionary. Before the meeting in Guadalajara, a few other American Elders and I played a quick game of football in front of this mission offices to get that turkey bull tradition in.

This week went well. We met some new people to teach and have been working hard to continue to help our investigators prepare for baptism.

Our meeting in Guadalajara was awesome. It was for all the zone leaders in the mission and the President shared the plan for the month of December. The Church is having a huge Christmas plan about the gift of the Son of God, Jesus Christ. There is a video in youtube and there will be advertisements in Times Square for the whole month of December and the video will be featured in Youtube December 7 as the head of the Youtube page. We are also receiving special pass along cards and other materials for this Christmas deal. The President mentioned that prophesy is being fulfilled that the Gospel is being heard in every Nation, tongue, and people through the technology that there is today. We had a zone meeting this morning sharing with the missionaries this plan for December and I think they all think they have a big baby for a zone leader now.. I kind of broke down when I shared my testimony that the worth of souls is great unto God. Its amazing to me that so much time effort and money is being put into the effort to bring the message of the restored gospel to every person in the world. I love the Gospel and I love sharing it. I am thankful for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who was sent to this world by our loving Heavenly Father so that we can return to Him once more.

Happy thanksgiving, everyone!

Elder Del Toro


November 17, 2014

Hola mis compadres!!

Elder Solorzano and I had another great week!! The highlights this week was the baptism of Alejandra, finding a guy named Pedro, mine and Elder Solorzano´s birthdays, and a tarantula in our house!!

Alejandras baptism was so sweet. Her husband Eric, who was baptized last week, received the Aaronic Priesthood and was able to baptize his wife this week. It was such a happy day for them. We went to pick them up before the baptism with a member and there was nobody home. We started panicking and thought that Alejandra must have gotten nervous and bailed. We decided to go to the chapel and there they were waiting for us!! They said that they thought we had forgotten or something and they didnt want to be late!!
We are teaching a new guy named Pedro. He came to church last sunday with a friend who had invited him and so we went and visited him last week and he said that coming to church changed his life. He had been an alcoholic for 40 years and since last sunday he hasnt had any alcohol. He said it makes him sick just thinking about it!! He came to church with a cane last week and yesterday he came to church without it and we asked him why he doesnt use his cane anymore and he said he hasnt never felt so good in his life. He invited everyone at church to his baptism that is scheduled for december 13. He is what we call a golden investigator. He said he wants to come with us to visit some of the other people we are teaching to share his testimony. We are seeing so many miracles here.

Elder Solorzano´s birthday is today and we also had a zone activity so we made a cake and shared it with everyone. It was a hit!

Earlier last week I woke up in the middle of the night to my companion screaming! he had gotten up to use the bathroom and when he turned on the light he found a tarantula on the wall!!! We put it in a cereal box and when back to sleep and in the morning it was gone!! it could be anywhere.... haha.
We are doing great!! And we are loving the work!!
Have a great week!

Elder Del Toro

Tortilla Thieves

November 10, 2014

Hello Everyone :)

We had a great week here in Lazaro Cardenas. Eric was baptized along with one of his friends, Jose Manuel, that was taught by the sister missionaries in our ward. Erics wife Alejandra liked the baptism and all but said she thinks that the baptism seems a little dangerous!! One of Eric´s friends from the ward baptized him and it was a pretty violent dunk. haha. But we are hoping that Eric will be able to baptize his wife this weekend or the next. I found another Edward Del Toro look alike. He is one of our investigators who is preparing to be baptized at the end of november. He looks just like my dad!! Ill take a picture with him soon and send it home.

So we have had some thieves in our house!! We woke up the other day to find a package of tortillas ripped open! We sleep with our back door open because its pretty hot and the rats came in and ate our tortillas. Thats just disrespectful here. You dont just go around and eat another mans tortillas!! We are going to by some mouse traps today.

We are staying busy and working hard in here Lazaro Cardenas!! Thanks for all the birthday wishes :) Ill be sure to eat lots of mexican candy for all of you!
Have a great week!!

Elder Del Toro

Welcome to the Jungle

November 3, 2014

Hello Friends and Family!!

First of all, I am so excited and so proud of my little brother for his decision to serve a mission and I am so excited that he will be coming to mexico!! They say that "chula es puebla" or puebla is beautiful. So excited!! I almost kissed my companion when I read where Ethan was going!!

Here I am in Lazaro Cardenas! And my gosh it is hot!!!! I've never been in this kind of heat in my whole life. Its so hot and so humid. I sweat like a pig every day. My handkerchiefs have turned into my best friends. And it really is like a jungle here! There are a ton of palm trees and banana trees and lots of other jungle type things. There are a lot of iguanas here!! We have a couple that like to hang out behind our house. They've told me that they make a mean mole de iguana. I'm dying to try it. My companion is a pretty cool guy. He is from the state of Oaxaca here in mexico and he has 4 months left in his mission. He was a trumpet player before his mission and he was a convert when he was 16 years old. He also has an older brother in another mission in mexico.

We had our zone meeting this week! We didn't have a ton of success last month but the goal is that every companionship in the zone has a baptism in November. There are 22 missionaries in the zone. There are 6 companionships here in Lazaro and 5 companionships in Zhijuatanjejo, which is in the state of Guerrero. The best part about this zone is that it is the only zone in the mission that you never have to wear your suit!!

It looks like we will be having a baptism next week!! His name is Eric. He is 25 years old, has a wife and a baby, and is super excited for his baptism! His wife, Alejandra is 16 (yes, they are married) is a little unsure about baptism but we are hoping that after she sees her husband get baptized, she will be more excited and we are hoping that her husband can baptize her the following week. We have some other sweet investigators that are preparing for baptism too.

All is well, all is well.
Have a great week!

Goodbye Tlaquepaque

October 27, 2014

Hello everyone¡¡

This email might turn out a little rough, I am currently in a bus
heading to muy new área. And this little device attatched to the back
of the seat of the person in front of me doesnt like english. I have
been assigned to be a zone leader in the Lázaro Cárdenas zone in
michoacan. I hear it is one of the prettiest zones in the mission. It
is on the coast of Michoacán. It is an 8 hour bus ride from the
mission offices. I will meet my new companion in about 5 more hours,
his name es elder selorzano. I hear he is a great missionary. My last
week in tlaquepaque was great ¡¡ we had 10 of our investigators come
to church. It was a great last sunday in tlaquepaque. I am sad to
leave that area, there is going to be a baptism every week of
november. But I found out that elder bowen (my companion from the MTC)
is moving in to that area to be companions with Elder Calzada so with
those two, Tlaquepaque es in good hands :) I will get to my área
tonight, tomorrow we will travel back to the mission offices for a
meeting on wednesday, and thursday we will travel back to Lázaro
Cárdenas for the zone meeting. I will travel 24 hours from today
through Thursday. Good thing i brought a good book ¡¡ ;) well, I hope
everyone is doing great. Have a great week¡¡


Elder Del Toro

Elder Caña

October 20, 2014

Hello family :)

Another good week here in Mexico!! Im already back to the point where every week feels about the same. Our investigators are doing pretty good. This week was kind of a rough turn-out at church. We were pretty bummed the the Gutierrez family wasnt able to come but they are still doing awesome, they have been sending us with some of their neighbors so they can hear about the Gospel too.

We had a sweet experience earlier this week. We were working in a little town called Arvento (its the town that has a bunch of different colored houses) and it was getting late but we knew we had to visit one more family that the Bishop asked us to visit because we only get to go to this town once a week because it is far away. So we were looking everywhere for the house and running all over the place asking people where the street was and we finally found it and the family welcomed us in. We sat down and a minute later someone knocked on the door and when they answered it, it was a young man breathing super heavy and said "I need to talk to the Elders". So they welcomed him in as well and he said that he saw us walking super far away and was running to try to catch up and yelling but we didnt hear him but he saw which appartment we went into and followed us. He was baptized a year ago in a different state but moved shortly after and had given his book of mormon to a friend and hadnt seen the missionaries and didnt know where the church was. So he asked us for a book of mormon and when he gave it to him he gave it a great big hug and was super happy that he could read it again. He is 20 years old and said that he wants to leave everything behind and go on a mission in a year. We were so glad that we went to that last visit so we could meet that guy.

At the end of church on sunday a guy name Brother Prado found me and said that I needed to find his wife and that she was looking everywhere for me. So me and my companion hurried and looked around the church and found her and she said "Elder Caña!! We brought you your favorite treat!!". Her husband sells "caña" (cane) and whenever they feed us he brings a bag of caña home and I go crazy over the stuff. Its like a sugar cane but a different type. They said they have never seen anybody eat so much of the stuff and they thought I would be having withdrawls going a whole week without it. So they call me Elder Caña now!!

Have a great week!!

Elder Caña

A Word of Wisdom

October 13, 2014

Hello friends and family!!

Another great week here in the promised land :) Week 4 of the transfer was good to Elder Calzada and I. We are getting along really great and we are working super hard. We again found some awesome people to teach this week and had quite a few of the people we are teaching come to church this week. We got a couple good rain storms this week but if its not raining, its really hot!!

We are teaching a family, whose name is Gutierrez and they are so sweet. The mom and dad are older and most of their kids already have kids and they all meet at their parents house 2 or 3 nights a week to listen to our lessons. 5 of them came to church this week and we are working super hard to get the whole family to church soon. Antonio, who was baptized last week, is doing great. He quit smoking the week before his baptism and now he said he cant even stand the smell of his friends smoking. I find myself throwing my fist into the air and yelling "YES!!!!" all the time. Small victories.

So about the subject title... Our ward is awesome, there really are some sweet people, but some of them bring up the darndest things during Priesthood!! Out of the three regular Sundays that I have been here, the revelation that was given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Word of Wisdom, gets brought up every single class! And there's nothing weird about that, but every time we talk about it, everyone gets into an argument about whether eating too much spicy food is breaking the word of wisdom. I think it is so funny!! Especially when the bretheren say things like "your wives already know how macho you are, just take it easy on the chilis when you eat!" hahaha. Viva Mexico.

Love you all!! Be happy :)

Public Violation

October 6, 2014

Hello family!!

This week was a great week!! General conference was definitely the highlight of it all. I liked a lot of the talks, I cant say that I had a favorite, but Jeffrey R. Holland`s talk was the talk that stuck out most to me.
The baptism went great too!! It was after the last session of conference on sunday and a lot of people stuck around to support Antonio. He and his family was very emotional. It was so touching to watching them all crying together in a group hug. We are very excited for them. He is the whiter guy and the other guy is the Elders quorum president.

We also have been finding some great people to teach! We talked to one guy in a bus the other day and invited him to conference and by golly there he was on sunday!! We were kind of surprised but we had prayed for a miracle that morning before we left the house so that was an awesome experience to see that the Lord is aware of us here in Tlaquepaque :)

My fun story this week is with public transportation. This morning we had to get up early and go down town so I could sign my viza and in the mornings the buses are always packed because everyone is going to work and school and stuff. So a bus passed and it opened its door to let us in. All the seats were taken and the isle was comletely filled with people standing. Even the stairs were taken! But behind it all we heard the driver yell "get in if you can!". We looked at eachother, shrugged our shoulders and stepped onto the very bottom step and grabbed onto the rail inside the bus. The door closed, jamming us up against the backs of the people on the second step with my companions bag outside of the bus, and we road for at least a half hour like that, smashed between other people and the door. I told my companion it was more like public violation rather than public transportation. When the door opened I fell out of the bus with sweat pouring down my face. Viva mexico!!

Have a great week... NO!!! MAKE IT A GREAT WEEK!!

Elder Del Toro

"Leave your homemade fishing pole and follow me" Mat 4:18-22

September 29, 2014

Hello again everyone!

This week was another good one. We found a bunch of new people to teach this week and have been seeing some miracles here in Tlaquepaque. One of our investigators, Antonio, has been investigating the church for a while now because his wife and two kids are members. Its kind of a crazy story, but he got in an accident like 5 years ago and pretty much forgot who he was.. So his family thought that he had left them but really he didn't remember who they were! so a year later he found out where they were living and went and found them! In that time his family had listened to the missionaries and had been baptized. The only problem was that he and his wife were not married so he could not be baptized until they were civilly married! And to make a long story short, the man is a newly wed and will be baptized this Sunday!!! Whoooo!!!

There is a lake in our area and every time we have walked past it I think how bad I just want go fishing!! So I asked a ton of members in our ward if they had fishing poles and nobody did!! So I decided to take matters into my own hands. Today was preparation day where we have time to do other things so we made a fishing pole!! We used a broomstick and string and a safety pin for the hook! I got Elder Calzada so excited to go fishing because he has never gone in his whole life. We even got a member in our ward to come with.. But the only bad thing is we didn't catch one single fish. I think there is a reason Jesus told his apostles to leave their nets and follow him... because missionary work is so much better than that tom foolery!!

We also did some service this week for a family in our ward. They needed a bunch of cinder blocks and piles of rock moved so we helped them with that. It was a nightmare.. My companion and the dad of this family had to turn over every single rock, kill all of the centipedes and spiders, and then pick it up and move it. It was pretty funny though. They said you look big and tough picking up rocks with spiders on them until they bite you and you die. I guess I got off easy this time!!

Love you all!!

Elder Del Toro

Ant Farm

September 22, 2014

Hola amigos y mi familia :)

I think I am doing a pretty good job adjusting to the whole Mexican thing. It didn`t take me long at all, actually. For some reason, there have been ants everywhere!! On my arms during lessons, on my bed, in our house, and one day I left my toothbrush out on the counter and they were on that too!! But I really realized how much I have adjusted back to living the Mexican lifestyle when we went to the store Saturday night to by some sweet bread to eat for breakfast the next day. I started looking at the tray of bread and there were ants everywhere!!! I was like sweet caroline, these better be two for one!! hahaha. They weren't, I paid full price.
Boy, is it great to be a missionary :) I got to talk to the mission president this week! I gave him a great big hug. He pulled me aside and said it was great to have me back and said elder Del Toro, "your companion needs your enthusiasm and love for the work, your district needs your enthusiasm and love for the work, and your ward needs your enthusiasm and love for the work... they told you that you are district leader right?" Uhh no, president. "you will do great, they need your love and enthusiasm for the work". haha. So I am trying trying to love and be as enthused as I can about the work as I can!!

Our area is HUGE!! we walk a ton and take a lot of buses. We don't have a lot going on right now but there is a ton of potential here. And the ward is pretty awesome too. Its like twice the size of the other wards I have been in, so it will be nice to have a lot of members to work with.

Elder Calzada is a pretty cool guy. He is a full grown man! 24 years old!! haha. He likes to do kick boxing and karate and stuff like that so I think we will be pretty safe! We get along pretty good so far. We don't have a ton in common but we don't dislike each other either. He does need a little enthusiasm for the work though haha. Super good guy though.

And well, thats me!! Thanks for all the support.


Elder Del Toro

A couple pictures of beautiful Tlaquepaque.
And we can play soccer on preparation days now!! We had a shootout on the goal that some of the kids in our neighborhood built.