Saturday, October 26, 2013

Week 5 October 22, 2013

 October 22, 2013

First Guatemala is great it is pretty humid but I'm used to it from Virginia but others are having a hard time. It rains constantly here and the rain here is a lot and hard.  It's like the hardest rain we ever would get in Virginia and the people here think that's absolutely nothing. You see the poverty all around you even in the city which has more than half the population in it. And you definitely see the classes here from the poor and the wealthy.

In the CCM we study a lot! Whether it be gospel and teaching to the  language.  It was like school but only on a few subjects. We do teach people though every night in complete Spanish. It's a bit tiring and I'm definitely ready to get out there and do the real thing instead of sitting and reading about others doing it.

Last week we took a field trip to a map that is 99% accurate.  It really got me excited for my mission because I could really see what it is going to be like and look like.  It's all in the mountains except for the coast and we have the most volcanoes in our mission so that really excites me. I'll send you pictures when I can and when I get out on the mission I'll start sending letters to.

We also went to a market that had tons and tons of venders of just everything you can think of. I started to bargain with the venders to get everything as cheap as I can and I ended up getting everything for half off or a bundle package and pretty much getting something for free. It's definitely different here.  Me and my companion also met a guy you was at the market who seemed like he needed help.  We talked with him and we ended up giving him a Book of Mormon. One thing that is different here is that people will call you angels and that's what this man did to me and my companion.  He thanked u.  We told him to try to find a church near where he lives (if he even has a home) and that they will help him and he kept telling us that God sent us to him. It definitely feels good when you bring them closer to their Father and truly help them.

 I'm beginning to notice now it's getting harder to talk in English and especially writing and spelling so I'm sorry for that. Me and my companion went street contacting a couple days ago and it was SUPER hard.  It was hard to understand the people and nobody wanted to listen so that definitely humbled me and made me realize I still have a lot to learn.

 It's funny when you and Dad send me these scriptures because every time it's something I have studied recently or in the past.  It's crazy now that i think about it how much you get familiar with the scriptures and know where everything is. But everything is well here were on our last week and I think everyone in my district is ready to get out of here. We went to the temple really early this morning but it was good.   I'll miss being able to go every week to the temple. I met someone that I met at the CCM he was one of the first guys to leave when I got there and it was cool to see him again and ask him how it's been and see what it's like to be out for about a month now. He did tell me that there are a lot of missionaries here in Guatemala that do not follow the rules and get in trouble. And he said because of that it is hard. And that sometimes people get trainers that are one of those missionaries which they call (Apostales) missionaries and that makes me nervous.  I hope I get a trainer that works hard and is good.  But I can't wait to hear from you soon and see  how everything is going.

 Also find out if you can get me Sam's email and Scott's as well and also McCarthy's and AJ's or any of the cousins.

But we also heard a devotional from Elder Bednar who has to be one of the best apostles out there. He talked on how do we know if we are feeling the Spirit or we are being guided by it or if it is just us which is a great question because I know I ask that all the time and always question myself or wait or expect to feel some amazing thing. And I was a little surprised to what his answer was. His answer was that it doesn't matter. Just don't even worry about it. The Spirit guides the people that act and are not acted upon and will guide you when you are  moving not sitting. And that is what we needed to be worried about is just always being worthy to have the Spirit in our lives and show faith because that is when we will be used not when we are just sitting there waiting to feel something or being told to go to something. When we are prompted by the Spirit it can be something as simple as feeling uneasy or having something on your mind. The reality is there is no where that it says the Spirit is supposed to be some huge thing like fireworks. It's quite humble and subtle most of the time. We have to prove and show that we are willing to do whatever we are prompted to say or  act if we want to gain the trust of being prompted to do more or feel more. And even then it will not be a huge rush of energy going through you. It shouldn't have to be. And that is something that I will try to always explain to my investigators so that they can take their faith and go forward and after showing their faith receiving the power of confirmation that comes and the blessings and Spirit. Missionaries always want to feel the Spirit and have it with them constantly which makes it hard and discouraging at times. But it's important to understand that we need to act and do first always then the Spirit comes when you need it the most and for that time.


Elder Toma

Monday, October 14, 2013

Week 4 October 14, 2013

It has been good here and I have made friends with just about everyone (except the girls) avoid at all costs!
As far as care packages go, send anything especially beef jerky! They don't have that here.  You know what I love and like to eat.

I'm excited to leave the CCM.  It's sad to say goodbye to everyone you meet here but I'm ready to work and go out there and have an adventure. Guatemala is truly an amazing place. It's just so real when you see the ruins and see the cutlure and know that this is where the people of Nephi and the prophets were and lived. I love to hear from you keep me posted on the outside world. 
It has been crazy here just trying to learn as much as I can before leaving and go out there. . . only 2 weeks left! time flies so quickly here but I enjoy it. Missionaries leave on Tuesday mornings and new ones arrive Wednesday as well.  It is sad to see people go but I'm read to go as well. My companion is in the same mission as me so I get to be with him for a little while longer but it will be sad to say good bye we have gotten close. Sorry this is so short I haven't had enough time to write to everyone. I'll try and respond to you next week ugggghhh.
Love Elder Toma

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Week 3 October 6, 2013

Well I've already lost 15 pounds here ha ha and they feed us pretty well too. But the CCM has been very good.  It's crazy that we only have two weeks left.  Time flies here!

CCM September 2013 Sisters
It's funny how when you're on a mission you become obsessed with things you didn't care as much for at home. All of us were so excited for General Conference.  My favorite talk definitely had to be President Uchdorf's  second talk. I also enjoyed Elder Holland's talk.  He's my favorite. When one of the seventy talked about Guatemala we all cheered haha. Tell Kinze to email me.  I would like to hear from her.

CCM September 2013 Elders
I made a meta(goal) that I would speak only in Spanish from now on so it's getting harder to write and talk in English haha.  The gift of tongues is a real thing and excuse my spelling. It's hard to spell now too. I've been having a lot of personal revelation and answers to prayers that I have never experienced before. We get to go to the Temple every Tuesday and I really enjoy it. We got to go to Walmart last week for a field trip.  It's sad how excited we were for that but it was good. It's weird how we feel like we're in a bubble somehow especially when we go on travels like that and escape that bubble I can't wait to get out there and have a adventure in my mission.

CCM District September 2013
Me and my companion crush everyone else at basketball  and all the new people come and try and challenge us.  We're still undefeated (it's the only game people play here, that or soccer)
Haha for some reason everyone decided to have arm wrestling competition and there are big Tongans an Samoans here. Somehow, in spite of me losing muscle and weight I'm the current champion of arm wrestling with right and left arms. Everything is good just keeping trying to push forward and get better I can't wait to hear from you again tell me how the Broncos and Ravens are doing and our Country.

I prefer both emails and letters, so what is ever more convenient for everyone else.   I do like letters though. And with that you don't need to put Jesus pictures on the letters.  All they have to do is write Elder Toma on it and people know not to mess with it. And The Dear Elder works by going on a  Find my mission and write the letter.  They then print it off and give it to me. Feel free also to send me pictures of everything. I would like to see what's going on and what everything looks like and funny things to get a laugh. I'll try to send pictures when I get my camera back and am out there. 

Things are going well but the whole roller coaster thing is no joke.   It seems to be like that for everyone and you doubt yourself a lot especially when it comes to having to teach in a different language and you want to say something but you can't because you don't know how to.  It's frustrating.  And always wanting to feel the Spirit very strong but having to realize that's not how it is;  but wanting it anyways

I'm not very nostalgico (homesick) but I do miss everyone and things so tell people to send photos and care packages! Can't wait to hear from you all


Elder Toma