Sunday, December 21, 2014

Back to Barcenas


Dear Family,

As you have all known I have had changes from the last time we talked and it looks like that I have come back to Barcenas again!! Just a different part of it haha know I am just in the higher part not the lower one like last time but it's the same ward and everything so I get to see my old converts which is just awesome!!! Don't even know if you guys remember Barcenas for so many areas I have had haha but it was the second one after my first. It was also the very last change of my trainer Elder Osegura now miseal haha but it was pretty dang sad haha we cried in the changes hah but he was one of the best Elders I know for sure.

But know I am with a new companion his name is Elder Fulmer haha another gringo!! What is up with that and he is from the same group as the elder that I trained and from the same place to only like 5 minutes apart Ogden Utah baby!!! It does feel like I am training though his Spanish needs....some help but he is a great Elder and we are doing just fine my Spanish is getting a little worse for all of these north American companions that I am having haha. We are working with some people to get baptized this week and the next so if you could pray for

            Irma
             Andres and Andrea
             Eliseo
             Rosemarie
             Solestre and her family

thanks but yeah my Christmas package did arrive thanks mommy!!!! I'll try to wait for Christmas to open it. 
But thanks dad for the quotes I had some questions about personal revelation and following the promptings of the spirit.


But to answer the question for mom the answer is that God has blessed me more then I deserve and I still don't get how I do it becuase I'm not that amazing of a Elder.

But I don't have anything else to say this week other that I love you all a lot and don't be afraid to open your mouths and share the gift that we have which is the true gospel of Jesus Christ

Love Elder Toma

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Changes this week. . .

Dear Family,

If you can understand the header haha yep it looks like I have changes and I am going somewhere new.  Don't know where if I had to put money on it I would say the coast but we will see.  Also something awesome, My  companion is training!!!  This doesn't happen much in the mission.  Most missionaries don't or move up so fast.  This is the first time I have seen it in since I have been here.   I am so proud of that guy he is going to be awesome.

Thank you all for the birthdays., yes I ate cake it was awesome and somehow everybody knew that it was my birthday and some of my converts even wrote me and sent cards which was just the best.    I think the best gift I got were 2 miracle baptisms and a lot of investigators assisting that was just great for me because it made me feel that God remembered me that day.

We had a fun Christmas activity and there we met a family that is just golden other Elders invited them to go to this activity and they came! and later we set up a appointment with them and invited them to come to church and they did!!   It was  a super awesome gift but my companion will be the one to take advantage of it haha.  But  the real miracle this week was two more baptisms the first one is named Monica.  She has been talking to the missionaries for over a year!!   She just came up to us one day and said she wanted to be baptized so we taught her and baptized her on my birthday.  

Oh if you were wondering why i have a devil pinata its because my birthday is on the day of the devil where they set on fire and burn like devil pinata and trash so they did it as a joke haha 
The second  is a girl named Carolina she is part of a family that we have been teaching for awhile and baptized one of the girls but she has been really nervous about being baptized and the day of her interview she just disappeared and she wasn't answering her cell phone or anything!!  We were just running around everywhere just trying to find her but we couldn't.   We kept praying that night that she could just come to church just so that we could help her and the next day that prayer was answered she came but not only that she wanted to get baptized and she was!! So that was just on one of the best birthdays that I have had, I am very grateful to have been here in this area.

For Christmas day we are going to Skype you but I will tell you more of  the details and all that later because they haven't said anymore haha.


But I love you all talk to you later

Elder Toma  

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Dear Family,

So this week has yet been another week of just baptism whoooaaa!! ME and my companion have been blessed abundantly this change hah and I am happy that my companion can feel this success at a early time in his mission and learn how to keep getting it so that he always will have this drive  to keep going.

It's been great being with him I love training it's pretty fun and funny but I have a feeling that I will be leaving this change so the next email will be me in a different area I think. But back to the baptism we had 4 great baptism this week!! This change I have really been seeing how the lord prepares everyone for their specific time and people really can change to the point that they are someone new my testimony really in the atonement has gone up dramatically and I am so grateful for the gift that my savior has given me to become the kind of person that my father can be proud of. And in the end reach the point where he wants me and believes that I can get.
But for this week we are just trying to be prepare to finish of the change with 2 more baptisms their names are Carloina and Monica so pleases pray for them.
For thanksgiving we didn't do much we just ate a ton of pizza and cake haha was pretty good LOVE THANKSGIVING!!

And yes I am turning 20 this Sunday and to me that is very old and I still feel like I am a 18 year old snot nose punk. and it is so weird that it is already Christmas again  but I love Christmas and this time of the year even though it is still super hot here all year long haha unless I go to the mountains again. the church has come out with a new video that they want us to share with everyone it's called HE IS THE GIFT so you can go watch it on youtube on the 7 it will just be that which is really cool but also on a web site that is chrsitmas.mormon.org it's a really good video on how we should focus more on Christ and how he is our gift from God.

I have really been focusing on how to make myself even better at following and receiving revelation to the point that it is more easier then just seeing and listening and it is hard!!! I think God starts you off with baby steps and tests you to really see if you are willing to follow his promptings  and then it just becomes better and better till you do reach that point it definitely is a skill and based on your worthiness.



But I love you all

Elder Toma

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The sun will come out tomorrow

Dear Family,

So for this week we just were fighting like mad men to get these baptisms for this week but it seemed like everything was against us so I really tried to help my companion this week learn about patience
 and hope and faith that the sun will come out tomorrow.

But it did seem  like we weren't going to have any baptism though everything was just going all the wrong way and we could see that Satan was definitely attacking not only us but the whole mission we seem to be struggling as a mission right now don't really know exactly why but it makes me feel bad for my President because of how much stress he must have right now. But we I have found that when you truly have the faith that God will do his part but on HIS time we will do it and it is happening know we did have a miracle baptism of a girl that had been talking to the missionaries for over a year!!! But my companion and I really focused on her and what she really needs and what is stopping her and we helped her through it and the Spirit always does the rest and now she got baptized and it makes me happy because her sister was baptized almost a year ago but has been staying faithful the whole time and I hate seeing members that are alone without the support of their family so now she has her sister too. But at first we didn't know if she was going to get baptized because her mom wasn't giving permission!!! But we had a very very powerful lesson with her about how God loves us and will guide us when we look for him and she just started crying when we asked her if she felt that God was trying to guide her daughters and her and she said yes and gave permission for her to get baptized and we are now working with the mom I just love the spirit!!
And know we are seeing the fruits of our labors because we are going to try and baptize 5 people this week and we need all the prayers we can get because every single one of them has been a pure miracle and un planned for  really but that they are going to get baptized so please pray for
1.            Jocilyn and Mindy Jal
2.            Carolina Reys
3.            Melisa Dabila
4.            Cristina and Monica Sian
5.            Pablo and Esperanza Reys 

But we also had a wedding and those are always the best when you get those and we have no idea what we are going to be doing for Thanksgiving this year because they don't celebrate it here!! I think we are just going to hang out as a district and eat together like Dominos or something haha

But it sounds like you are all doing really well its weird that I turn 20 don't feel like it at all haha and that Christmas is all ready coming again it feels like yesterday I was in Santa Barbara celebrating my first one  the time just goes now and its weird how everything changes the more time you start to get everything is just weird haha but I love it


Love you all

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I love the mission and I am grateful that I decided to go

Dear Family,

Well this week was yet another week of miracles. it's a little overwhelming and there really aren't words to explain how grateful you get for them. We had another baptism that wasn't planned.  We just went in there asked if she wanted to get baptized because she had gone to church more than once and she said yes. She is a young smart girl named Danlia. and her father and mother and sister will be getting baptized this change as well.

This week I have personally been seeing the power of the atonement and the real desire that everyone has to change. We have been talking to a lot of investigators and they have all made mistakes in the past but they all want to be cleaned and have a fresh start and it has been a privilege to help and teach them how to do it and where to point their focus to. But I think really the best part for me in a mission is really getting to see people change and be cleansed from their past and it is incredible to get to see and have that  experience  for yourself. and I love the quote that dad shared about how that God won't look at or ability but for at availability then at our dependability and later he will increase our capability and I have found that to be completely true in the mission.

This month we have put as a goal to baptize as a mission 400 for the month of November but right now as it is we are very low for this number and the assistants come and start to try and encourage everybody to have faith and not doubt and that this is revelation from God given to our president and I feel that we can complete the goal but that every missionary has to follow those four steps of availability dependability and then he will increase or capacity and I have seen when we first show the Lord that we are ready for anything and then show that we are doing everything we can that is when he will increase us so that we can complete his purpose. so please pray for us that we can complete this goal and see this miracle.  
I love the mission and I am grateful that I decided to go.

 Love

Elder Toma

Sunday, November 9, 2014

God wants to bless us

Dear Family!!
This week has been awesome week I received my kid his name is Elder Bell he is from Orem Utah. He is a really great missionary and is going to make a amazing one it really is a honor to train especially in this mission.

 But we also saw more miracles we had a baptism!!!! Which we didn't even plan for we were just working and I got the impression that we should visit a investigator that had been talking to the missionaries for over a year!! and she had been waiting so long to get baptized because the other missionaries wanted that she could get married to the man of here children. but the problem is that she is from Salvador and doesn't have her papers so its super complicated to get them. But not only that I began to talk to her and really ask her what she wanted and she told me she wanted to get baptized and then I asked her if she really wanted to get married to this guy and she said no not at all and turned out that he wasn't even living there anymore and they hadn't been a intimate couple for over 14 years so I called the elders and they gave permission and she was baptized that Sunday and we had a miracle baptism.

I am beginning to see that God wants to bless us we just have to go to him and put our trust in him and make covenants with him in our prayers every night and that is the difference between and normal prayer and a fervent pray or a powerful one like it says in the scriptures I love the example of this in Enos 1:2-5 and How first he had the desire in his heart to know the mysteries of God  and second he began to pour out his souls and speak with him and listen and make covenants with him based upon the promptings of the Spirit and more importantly he lived and kept his covenants and desired for more when he finally received answers and blessing that were in his heart.
Elder Toma and Elder Bell
and that we should always follow these 5 steps so that we have powerful prayers not just normal ones were we talking and then just go to bed or get up and do the normal day routine.
that we need to follow these five steps every time

1.Desire
2.Speak
3.Listen 
4. Make convents
5. Live them
  
and that's how you progress get to know your father and receive blessing and miracles. 

And I know that it works because I do it every single day and have witnessed the difference.
But there is also knew that our mission is doing we have 4 assistants know 2 that are normal and 2 that only travel around the mission to teach and help missionaries to complete their purpose better and we have the chance to work with them and one of them is my trainer elder osegura so I went and did divisions with him and that was really really fun to be able to work with him again probably for the last time because he finishes in December. But the mission is just getting crazier and crazier as President is changing more things but it's cool to see the difference.




But I love you all

Elder Toma

Sunday, November 2, 2014

I thank God every day

Dear family and friends...and everybody else,

This week was absolutely incredible and I thank God every day and night for it.

So to begin my companion and I put as a goal 10 baptism for the change but the thing is one that's a lot for a change but two its ridiculously a lot for a change of only 4 weeks!!! But I felt that it was what we should put.

So me and my companion began to work hard and be as obedient as possible. And the weeks went by and we had challenges we had set up weddings and they all fell through our investigators would drink or something would happen that would stop them to be baptized but then we had a miracle of baptizing the Lima family which was four then we only faulted 6 more and we had a family that was already to go and a couple of others that could do it.
  
But that week that we were planning to have these 6 baptisms they all fell through except for two because of drinking or something happening Satan was really fighting in this week. But then we had the miracles.

Me and my companion went to a members house were we found a young man that we had seen in the church every single Sunday but my companion  said that he is sure that he is a member but I went ahead and asked him and he said no!!! then I asked him why not and he said it's because his family didn't give him permission but he had just turned 18 that last month. So we invited him to be baptized and he said yes!! So we taught him everything and he was baptized that following week. 

The second miracle we had planned to baptize a man that is part of the family lima but when we came he was super drunk so we knew that he couldn't do it that week. But then his sister who was just baptized came up to us and told us that his daughter that was 10 years old felt that the church was true and wanted to be baptized and she had come to church 2 times already! so we could see that hand  of the lord in this moment the father couldn't be baptized but the daughter could so we taught her as well everything and she was baptized.

Then we had our family that we found on a bus!! That's my first bus contact that I have ever had that was baptized they are incredible this family. But their daughters had doubts and it came to the point that they didn't want to talk to us they liked going to church and knew everything but didn't want to be pressured. And if they weren't going to be baptized we wouldn't get 10 baptisms but one day on Friday the day before they would have their interviews the father wanted to meet with us and talk about his daughters. And he just starts asking us what should we do and we started to plan on how we could help them so that they could all be baptized as a family. So we met with the daughters and we talked with them  and the sprit helped us in this moment and we had a powerful lesson and we got them to say that yes they would come and have their interviews. after we left the father sent us a message that said I don't know what you guys did or said  but they have changed dramatically and they want to do it now thank you my family is a lot happier for what you have done. and we had the blessing of having this family be baptized.

And we had the miracle of having 10 baptisms  exactly for this change and I know that it was the Lord that did it not us we were just his hands in this moment. And my mission president told me that he knew that me and my companion were going to complete this goal that's why he sent me here.
 but my current companion is named Elder Cabellero he is from Honduras and has only 8 months in the mission but he will be leaving this change and I will be training haha and I already know that it will be a gringo so we will see what happens in this crazy change. 

But hah my Spanish is good I just work on learning random words now but yeah the Mayan slaughtered my Spanish and English for awhile but its normal again thank goodness.  But I hope everything is all good with your guys Braden is turning into a gorilla and I hope Conner is doing really well and keeps killing it in his studies.

Love you all


Elder Toma

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A bus contact. . .

Dear Family,

This week was a super sweet week we went to Antigua for zone pday AGAIN!!!

But it was all good.  We ate good food there it's like the only place expect for the capital that actually has food that you would say is food.

We also for district pday went to go to a park were they do replicas of parts of Guatemala that was cool we also played football which you know that I love and I saw some of my converts from Barcenas there that was cool to. 

We also had the privilege of have 4 baptism of a family that is super pillas!! It was a good Sunday that day. And we are trying to be having 6 more this week. Of another family and a young man and girl.

The family is straight up gold which is just the best and you are always thanking God for families like that because they are a gift. They were a bus contact because here we get on the buses and just start shouting and telling everyone that we are going to pass by and ask for your directions and some give us there directions but its super rare that they actually get baptized!! It's the first for me but it shows you that every contact is a contact of faith.







We also had a crazy experience so in this family hat we just baptized there is a man and he has come to church with us and wants to be baptized but he has a problem with alcohol and he drank that Sunday when we passed by for them he was drunk and crying because he knew what he did was wrong and I was just telling him that it is okay we are going to help you but you should go to sleep right now and later we will talk to you. So without him we wouldn't be completing a goal me and my companion put which is 10 baptism for this change but then the mom came up to us and told us that the daughter wants to get baptized so we will be baptizing his daughter this week and I know it's because God is helping us and answering our prayers because of the sacrifices and hard work that we are doing. 

But next week we will be having changes so who know what will happen if I stay or go haha with me you never know.

But see you all till next week love you 

Elder Toma

Please pray for them. . .

Dear family!! 

Well like the title says we are just seeing a ton of miracles here we are having sky rocket numbers!!

We are working with the members EVERDAY we had over 41 lessons just with members!!
And we were blessed to have over 13 come to church so that's 13 baptisms me and my companion are hoping to have over 10 baptism by the end of October and 2 of them are families which is just the best. were I am at is very close to Villa Nueva and Villa Hermosa. and it is a very new area because the ward was split like 3 months ago so its brand new.

We also had interviews with President which are always the best and he told me in just three words why he pulled me out of Santiago WE NEED YOU haha and nothing more. But I have found that the church is only run on by revelation and nothing more without it we could do NOTHING.

All I ever think about anymore is the mission the mission and the mission and work work and work  I don't even remember the things I learned in school anymore haha.

But everything is going great here a cool story that happened is that we had planned last week a wedding and baptism but the problem is that the girl is under age needs permission and its super complicated because she is legally under the name of her aunt not her mother so the aunt has to sign and giver copies of documents but she is CRAZY and doesn't want to!! Was super frustrating I still don't get people sometimes. And they can't do it right now until she turns 18 but.. We found one of their cousins one day and my companion thought that he was a member until we asked him and he said that he wasn't!! And he has come to church every Sunday and knows everything so we are going to bath him next week haha. And we have a family that all are members except their daughter because she has to be married and now the husband wants to get married and she will be baptized this week Wahoo another baptism!!!

So the names of the people that will be getting baptized this week are
Carmen
Gloria
Elmer
Mirna
and Melisa
and the next week
Kevin
Blanca
Asusena
Lesli 
Erick
David Fernando

please pray for every single one of them so that they can be baptized and confirmed
But I hope everything is all is good with you guys

Love you see you next week.

Elder Toma

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Transferred to the city: Asiol

Dear Family,

So as you guys can read I have been sent to the city again which is just the complete opposite from the mountains haha.  It's called Asiol. . . I don't know what that means. But I am also in a zone where they baptize, but right now it's kind of in the gutter, but President straight told me that's why I am going there. . . to baptize haha (that's no pressure)

My companion is named Elder Caballero.  He is from Honduras. I have had like 3 from there now haha. But he is great only has 7 months but he works hard and has a big heart.

We are working like animals here and sweating a lot while you guys are freezing a lot.  We are searching and praying for faith that we can find and baptize because right now in the mission they are really focusing on saying that we are not here anymore to plant seeds but to cultivate the harvest, to search for the sheep not the goats.

But I really liked the themes of the conference about putting our trust in the prophets and personal revelation and that's what is really going to decided our courses and destinies in life.  It was cool to be able to hear people in their native tongues especially the one that was speaking Chinese haha. 

We are hoping to baptize a family this week and a young man so it's just miraculous and we are hoping that they can keep coming because we have a lot more that are ready to be baptized as well. It's crazy because this change is only 4 weeks so it's like there is no time at all!!

But I know that the Lord will guide us when we pray with faith and  make covenants with him to have a potente oraciĆ³n (powerful prayer).

But I love you all haha I don't have much else to say this week, maybe more the next.  It gets hard to write now haha .

Elder Toma  



Sunday, October 5, 2014

CHANGES!!!!!!! CAMBIOS HAY CAMBIOS

Well family,

As you can read from the headline, yes there are changes but you will not believe them haha.

So it seems like that I will be the one leaving.  It was incredibly surprising to hear.  Everybody thought it was an error and I just thought that it was a joke the leaders were playing on us.  But no, it's the truth. My poor companion will be staying and I will be going. I am the first elder to be leaving Santiago so fast.  As you know you have to learn the language and culture and all that and that takes time, so usually you can't do changes here, but I guess President wants to.  I was a little sad that I would be leaving.  I wanted to continue learning the language and we have a ton of baptisms all ready to go!!

But I guess my companion will have to take care of them. And I am ready to go where the Lord wants me to go and do what he wants me to do. So tomorrow I will be going to changes and receive my new assignment so next week you will all know what happened. I'm definitely asking the President why he pulled me out so fast.
So we did have a miracle. . . we had a baptism of  a complete family. It was incredible because at first she didn't want to be baptized (the mom) But we had a very powerful lesson with her and she said yes and was baptized this last Saturday and confirmed Sunday. Also a crazy thing that happened is that I conducted the sacrament meeting which was a first haha it was pretty cool.
So to answer questions, first I love President Markham.  He is super outgoing and energetic and very very nice.  I feel that I can be more open with him than my last one. He also teaches very well and knows how to teach by the spirit which I know is what he does as well for changes.  He is a very inspired guy.
Second question, yeah the food here is normal.  It's a little touristy here so there's nice places to eat haha (that's why I got fatter).  Most people here really like hearing about faith and the ability to repent the problem with them is to act upon it or in other words BE BAPTIZED.

So first I know this is the true Church of God with the authority to not only offer salvation to men but EXALTATION. We are here to be tested but also to grow and to become more like our Savior and Father in Heaven. And that the ability to change and be forgiven is the GREATEST miracle of all. And that everything -- Church, Sunday school, the scriptures are all guides for us to prepare and enter the HOUSE OF THE LORD not just the HOUSE OF PRAYER like every Sunday. Everything that we have is to help us to get in there and be worthy of it because it is in the Temple that we can know our real potential, who we are what we need and to know our God.

The mission is the most enriching, most developing experience that you can have and there is nothing like it. It's a moment for YOU to give a offering to the Lord and really isn't a sacrifice but a privilege. If you do it right you won't come back the same but begin to find out who you really are and what God WANTS YOU TO BE. But like they always say you have to complete 2 years for it to be the BEST 2 years and I still have a lot to learn.

But the change you not only see in yourself but in others is something that will become sacred to you and like it says in the scriptures how great of joy you will have if you but save one soul. I testify that that is true. And that there is literal power in the scriptures it's the mantel of God that we have to be able to be healed. . .spiritually and physically. 



But love you all have a good week

Elder Toma

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Pray for us!

Hey family  and friends!

So me and my companion got to go to the temple in Xela or Quetzakltenago.  The only elders in our mission to do it!!
This week was another week of just cool experiences.
Our baptism last week  

First off thanks dad for the answers. I figured out most of it, but the article from the First Presidency was interesting and about the titles and names as well.

But that's super weird that Braden is driving around now.  Guess he can take me to places when I get back becuase I feel scared to drive now, it's been so long haha.

One year mark!
And with sister Toma that's sweet your training.  Just keep killing it.  The only thing I have to say is make sure your companion thinks you are perfect and to be a perfect example because she will become just like you in everything that YOU do. 

But for this week pray for us we are trying to have 2 baptism this week.  The only problem is that one can't speak Spanish and the other is scared of what the people will say and treat her if she is baptized.  It's just how it is here in Santiago the people judge and treat you like garbage.

Got to ride in a boat 

But we also did something super cool this week for zone pday we went to a place called Bosque de Corazon or (heart of the forest) and it's a crazy place where they have a bunch of swings and games that are made in trees.  We also will be having changes this Wednesday and I'm pretty positive that my companion is leaving so should be interesting (helps when your trainer is the assistant).

You can see that a lot of houses are under water because the lake is getting bigger every year it's crazy!


But love you all see you next week! 

Elder Toma









Sunday, September 21, 2014

We are here to declare repentance to everyone

This week has been yet another week of miracles we had another baptism this week. And we are hoping to be baptizing a family also this week. Wahoo. It's so unheard of here in Santiago of the success that we are having but my companion and I know that it is the Lord more than us.  We are just working the way He wants.

Another miracle is that we also found a BUNCH of new investigators in like only one day!! And EVERY single one went to church. What?! That was a first in Santiago history --  9 investigators coming to church.  It's just incredible the miracles and blessing we are having right now.

But for this week we traveled a lot.  We had our meetings as a zone and also a special conference with one of the area seventy Elder Orchoa it was a really good conference and I learned a lot there. 

One thing I learned is that we are here to declare repentance to everyone and for them to know that and to help them to change not just be converted and that's how we are going to baptize more and they are going to stay as well in the church. But it was hard we like didn't sleep the whole week.  We were so dead haha but we received a ton of blessings for it.

So yes if people were wondering I will be complete a year in like 3 days which is just ridiculous and I don't really think about it the time is just crazy fast and it just makes me work even faster because the time is precious but more importantly it isn't my time to begin with it's the Lords.

But is Sister Toma a trainer now?  I didn't really get it in her email.

My time here in Santiago has been amazing and I feel that I have grown and changed the most here in Santiago  and it is just a incredible opportunity to work here and I will never forget it. And one thing that's has stuck out to me is something m president told me in my interview to go here is that you were pre ordained to go to this area and that certain people are waiting for you there. And I feel more blessed to be here then the people I have met its just really hard to explain Santiago you just have to live here haha  but it really is incredible to live with the pure descendants of Lehi and it is EVEN crazier to be learning their language which is really super close to Hebrew I listened to two girls from Israel yesterday and it sounds the same just a little higher pitched its CRAZY.


Love Elder Toma

Thursday, September 11, 2014

This week has been a great week of miracles!


Dear Family,

This week has been a great week of miracles.

The first miracle is that our President let us go to the other temple here in Guatemala.   This has NEVER been done before.   We were the very first ones.   So that was just awesome.   We also took some converts with us which was even cooler.  But it was super weird because only the first councilor which has is only  21 years old  came with us with a bunch of women because it was a Relief Society activity.   We had to guide and plan a lot of this activity in Santiago.   We are a part of the Presidency which just puts a lot  more stress on us.    You learn a lot and you get close with the members.    I can't send the pictures this week becuase I am using a bad computer that is super old!!   But next week I'll do it.

 This week we are going to be having a baptism again!!! The sister of the girl that we baptized will be baptized this Saturday and confirmed with her sister the next day which is Sunday.   At first she didn't want to do it becuase she felt alone.    Her mom won't be able to get baptized until the 28.   While we were listening to her concerns an  impression came to me to just be bold and say that she can be baptized this Saturday and confirmed this Sunday and I did and she accepted!!   I can't say how many times the Sprit has helped in my lesson every time really,  and its always the best.   So were looking forward to that this week.

Some weird stuff that is happening is  that I am doing splits with one of the guys that entered with me and is now my zone leader.   That's pretty weird  haha  . And who knows what we  are going to do if I have to teach in Tzutujil.     They haven't done splits here for over a year so it's really weird that we are doing them this time.   But it will be fun. Also a funny thing that happened my companion and I were asked to bless a car haha.   That was a first for the both of us.   We didn't even know how to do it haha.  So we just offered a pray and stuff like that haha.   The things people will ask you to do here.

It's crazy how fast changes are starting to go.  I don't know if my companion has changes,  will have to see.   It's possible but I don't think it will happen.   Its Santiago you have to change your mind to accept that you will be here for the minimum of 5 changes.   It's a crazy assignment but I am happy that I am here and I have changed and grown a lot from it.  Thank you mom and dad for your letters and stories to help me and guide me.

I love you and I hope everything is going good back home. Until next week

Love

Elder Toma

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Naq chikela

Dear family!!

Well if you were wondering what the title means it means (who knows) ha-ha

But everything is going great here we had another miracle baptism!! Yeahhh we're catching fire here.
And here name is Dalia she just turned 11 yesterday and we are also hoping to baptize her sister and mom this week so pray for them their names are Jospha and Lorena.

But we also had 7 investigators come to church which is like the first time in like 5 months or more!!! We are just seeing blessing every day. It really is cool. I saw that in one of the photos of Sister Toma that she skyped you is that right? Its super weird that school already starts up again I remember like 4 emails ago it was just getting out.

We are also finding A TON of people positive that are progressing and we are hoping to be seeing a lot of success here in Santiago. it just goes to show that yes there are people out there that are waiting for the opportunity to hear the truth you just have to go out and find them even if it means getting beat up a little bit. One thing I have been thinking about a lot lately is kindness. So the girl that we baptized it was her birthday yesterday right so me and my companion decided to go buy a cake for her and celebrate her birthday for like 10 minutes. We com
e to find out that she has never celebrated her birthday ever in her life and she is turning 11. One thing is that they are very poor and don't have a lot of money and second every time she asked her father if they could celebrate it he would say that yeah sure we will do it but then he never does (because he forgets). That is terrible and really a tragedy to see. And when we brought the cake over and the soda the smile and joy that was on her face was priceless.

What we did was not something over the top or something that was really that big we just should a little bit of kindness and love and that is what made all of the difference.


The Lord does not ask us to have to do many things that are really too big or hard (depending on your attitude) But he does ask and invite us. To show love to one another. And that can easily be done through kindness you don't have to go out and do something ridiculous. But there is always someone that can need your help whatever it might be. Our mission leader is blind so he cannot move around a lot on his own but every Sunday on of the members goes and gets him to go to church and we always invite him to come with us to visit people so that he can complete his calling as a mission  leader.
If everyone was just a little more thoughtful of everyone else around them the world would be different but sometimes we think we have no time or the thing we are doing is more important or that it has to get done right now or the worst excuse someone else will take care of it. But we should always remember there is always time to help someone in need because that time is for the lord like it says in Mosiah 2:17  we are really only in the service in the lord and really the person that is going to get the most out of it is yourself. So I invite everyone this week to go out and to do just 1 act of service or kindness  for someone just 1 thing and you will really see what the lord wants from everyone of us as children and servants of God.

But I love you all everything is cool here in Santiago it's still crazy but you kind of get use to the craziness in a weird way. Hope you all have a good week

Love

Elder Toma

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Utz Awech

Dear Family,

week changes have passed and i am still here in Santiago (no surprise will be here maybe till February) But to answer dad's question to say hi in Tzutujil is Utz awech.
Haha and you won't say it right because it's like English the way you spell it but it is different than how you say it.

Well we have definitely just been receiving blessing after blessing.  We are hopefully going to have a baptism of 3 this week!!! A family! We found them through old records that are in the area book and we decided to visit them and it turned out to be super positive and now they are wanting to be baptized! We also found a guy that is super super cool! His name is Francisco and we were planning to visit one of his neighbors but they weren't home so we decided to contact and the first house that we decided to contact was his and he said come on in (which is super weird in Santiago) And he turned out to be a super pillas guy he told us of part of his life story that he used to be in gangs and take a ton of drugs and sell it and just playing in the world until one time he and his friend wanted to by some drugs to use but they didn't have any money so they waited and looked around and they saw a woman that they knew had a ton of money and they robbed her and tried to run for it but while they were trying to get away they ended up being put right in the middle and waiting for them on each side were the police the army and a mob with machetes and fire to kill and burn them ( that's what they do here).   So with that they knew they were done for but his friend and him threw the stuff away and started to pray like crazy and while they were praying somehow inches from them the mob passed by and he said after that he gave it all up and he moved here to Santiago. But his son got really sick and had to go to the hospital and during this time he began to pray and tell God that he would do his will and he wants to change and that he could help him to it. and literally the next day we knocked on his door.

 And another cool thing that happened is that he has kept a Book of Mormon that an Australian gave to him 15 years ago! Becuase every time he wanted to toss it or burn it or something he would get a feeling that he shouldn't and that he needs to keep it So I have seen that God really does prepare people IN HIS Time and that we just have to be worthy and ready for when he would guide us to these people that are ready like with us and now we are teaching him and he wants to come to church with us and I think he will be getting baptized with his family which is like one of the first complete families to be baptized in like a year maybe.

But say thanks and hi for everyone for me.

I love you all

Elder Toma

Obedience equals the right for blessings

Dear Family,

This has been a amazing week for us here in Santiago. First off we had to travel for like the whole week to go to our meetings and Zone trainings and because our area is the farthest away we have to get up at like 3 to go.  Ugh that killed doing that for three days straight.

So we didn't have a lot of time to go out and really work in our area but we somehow managed it and we actually did pretty good for the week which was awesome.  More blessing to come. It has been an interesting change with my companion.  I remember coming to this area the first day and my companion was just telling me all about this area and was a little down because of how much pressure there is here and how complicated it is as well and that he hasn't had a baptism here since he got here. But I felt that I should tell him to not to worry about it we are going to kill it here and we are going to baptize more than anything. I have been blessed in my mission of baptizing every change except for my first month of training and not every missionary can say that even in this mission.

But for this change for a moment I really thought that we were not going to baptize and that did upset me but I also was trying to accept it and just do the will of God and it will always be on his time but I have learned the importance to keep going and working hard no matter the situation good or bad. And we have been blessed literally the very last day of changes we had a baptism and not only that he is the first man to be baptized here since 2012. God does watch out for his children but always remember that obedience= the right for blessing and miracles but that doesn't mean you will always get them in the way you want or expect but the will come.

It has been great to work in a area like this and just to see the changes that are taking place here in Santiago no matter how crazy it is here but also a privilege to really work with the pure descendants of Lehi and complete the prophecies that are recorded in the book of Mormon.
But also I don't have changes obviously hah I will be here for a while that's one of the rules but neither does my companion which is the first time that I won't have changes and also a companion for more than 1 change which is really weird!! But it should be interesting .  But i am fine I am trying to change my mind to accept that I will be here for more than 3 changes. And I just completed 11 months in the mission TODAY..... the mission is going by too fast.  By next month I will have a year.  It is stressing me out haha but I am loving it.

Love you all and have fun in the real world haha 

Love 

Elder Toma

Saturday, August 16, 2014

We are seeing miracles!

Dear Family and friends and everybody else,

This week has been incredible for me we have been seeing A TON of miracles.  First we had 4 people come to church this week which hasn't happened here in Santiago for more than like 5 months! We have set some baptismal dates.  We are starting to work with the branch here and it's starting to get better. and one of the biggest for me is that we thought we weren't going to have a baptism this change -- the first change that I have had since my very first one that I haven't had a baptism --  and that discouraged me becuase one of my goals is to baptize every change on my mission.

But I have seen that the Lord is merciful and if you truly do your part and are always worthy,  that is when the miracles come and we will be having a baptism this week and not only that it's a man and there hasn't been a baptism of a man here for more than a year!! That's  another miracle.
I have been learning a lot like Sister Toma said, about being grateful ALWAYS and I love the talk by President Uchtdorf where he talks about how we can put aside the bitter cup of resentment and drink from the goblet of Gratitude and that is completely true.  When you truly understand that problems and trials are for the better it's a lot easier to be grateful for the little things and the big ones too. Also I have been thinking again of love and reading a talk by President Monson about how we can't truly love God if we don't love our neighbor and I love a scripture that is in James that explains how can you love God that you have never seen and hate your neighbor that you see every day and that has been helping me see past the faults of the people here in Santiago and to treat them differently even when they are treating me like garbage. 

And one thing I am grateful for is that I am in the hardest and most tiring area in all of the mission with no one really around you but your companion.  That has also been making realize how grateful I am for my companion and I told him that because I couldn't be here alone -- you would go crazy and leave. But also for the opportunity too be a part of this mission.   I don't know if I have said this before but the 12 Apostles and Seventy have told our Presidents before that our mission is the best mission in all of Central America including Mexico and one of the best missions in all of the world and that they are watching us and to get that kind of credit from the 12 Apostles and Seventy that are over all of Central America is incredible to me, a lot of pressure for my President haha,  but for us it's a privilege,  the mission is a privilege not a sacrifice like some might think.

That's cool that dad is teaching at education week.  Doesn't one of the apostles also give a talk or something? 

Oh also something that happened this week for the first time.   I saw a full funeral and its A LOT different here. One of the members died so we did the funeral in the church and one thing they do is they carry the coffin all the way to the burial site so you just see a ton of people walking in the street following the coffin that the guys carry on their shoulders.  Then they go to the site and the girls begin to cry like CRAZY and wail and scream and everything.  It's like HELL haha and when they try to put the coffin in the sepulcher becuase its all above ground here,  the girls start freaking out and try to stop them.   it's insane haha guys have to grab them and take them away haha the truth is I was a little sad becuase some of them don't really get the plan of salvation and there was no real respect but I liked the talks at the funeral  service they taught really well about the plan of salvation but that's what is happening here in Santiago.   We have changes next week but I doubt that we have changes here so who cares haha 

But love you all

Elder Toma 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Progress in a new assignment

Dear Family,

Well this week has been pretty tough to be honest we aren't really finding and new investigators nobody wants to come to church with us and the fecha that we had is having problems with alcohol so we are hoping to baptize him later on.
  
It definitely has been a humbling experience here and I have been learning a lot from that and it is helping to change even more to be more of the missionary the Lord wants for me but suffering is definitely not easy that's for sure. The language is hard because there aren't to many books that you can use to study from and the use there throat a TON!! It's like Hebrew actually. My new companion is named Elder Ortega and he is from Nicaragua and he can speak in like 4 languages!! So he is a pro with learning languages so he has been helping a lot to learn this one.
  
There are some very strong members here but then there are a lot that have a lot of problems and that is part of the challenges here because the people here don't really trust us that much here. so references and working with members here is super crucial if we want to baptize.

  But we do our emails here in Santiago or in San Lucas were our district is because we switch every other week on were we will go because its not close at all from Santiago to san Lucas. But we have to go shopping in Patulul which is really weird because its like 15 minutes away from my first area and that's were I use to shop before. But we have a lady that cooks for us but Sundays we don't have anyone so we have to cook ourselves but I want to change that. And ha-ha I never have had to do my own laundry there is always someone that will do it  we don't have time for that.
  
But here in Santiago its cooler and the clouds are super low here because we are in the mountains so it gets foggy sometimes but it can get a little warmer here as well when the sun is out. But we had interviews for the first time with President Markam and it is a lot different then how Pres. Brough did them haha it will be interesting working with President Markham he is a lot more energetic and outgoing and different. But it took like 2 hours to get ot the place that we are going to do interviews that's why we are writing today not tomorrow because its like all day long pretty much. And we had to get up at like 1230 to do all of our studies and everything so I am like dying right now haha. But love you all pray for me and my companion that we can have a baptism here.

Love

Elder Toma