Wednesday, January 29, 2014

January 29, 2014 David of Santa Barbara

Dear family,

For this week we did a lot of cleaning!  We definitely needed it. It can get really gross when you have two missionaries living together ha ha.
Elder Toma in Santa Barbara
We had our confirmations this week and it was a really good experience.  The girl I baptized said she felt really funny and can't describe the feeling she had and that just put a smile to my face. We have been working hard with some of our investigators and we have the potential during the next six weeks to baptize a lot here in Santa Barbara. I've have gotten the nickname of David of Santa Barbara because they haven't had  a baptism for 4 months here until I came which is ridiculous here so we are just taking on the impossible and watching miracles here.

We have been traveling a lot this week throughout Santa Barbara.  It's huge out here! I haven't been to even half of it. But it is so beautiful here also it's like half coast and half mountains.  It's really cool.

We found a man that was very very sick and the family doesn't know what to do for him.  None of the doctors know what is wrong so we gave him a blessing. I really like when we go out and do stuff like that. There are a lot of things that are like that here where people just have a lot of problems and you just can't do anything about it. 

This is what we drive in a lot they are called TUK TUKS 
Wow it is so weird to me that it is so cold there at home because here it's crazy hot! I eat stuff and just walk it all off. . . and sweat it all off.  Today we are going to be having iguana yummy! I have lost a lot of weight.  Everyone tells me.  I found out I weigh 170 pounds now.

It's really good with my new companion.  He is a little more serious but he is also funny and I'm enjoying it with him.  We hit it off really fast. Douglas [my previous baptism] is doing good.  He blessed the sacrament 2 weeks ago and we are now working with his family to try and baptize them.

Next week we should be having a wedding so wish us luck!!! Hope everything is good at home.

Love Elder Toma 

Friday, January 24, 2014

January 23, 2014 A very special visitor

Dear Family, 

So this week has been a full and crazy one.  We had some baptism this week with two young girls that I have been working with for a while so we were really happy for that. This week we had changes and I got a new companion and am still in Santa Barbara. I guess I have more work to do here.  My new companion's name is Elder Viellos.  He is from Ecuador and it's a bit confusing but he was the companion of my last companion, Elder Breinholt, who dropped down from being a zone leader in Antigua to finish my training and left him and now Elder Viellos dropped from being zone leader in Antigua to be my senior companion.  So it's just a circle right now and my first trainer is the zone leader of my last trainer so it's all weird haha.  

We got a special treat this week. Elder Quentin L. Cook came and talked with us and it was really really good.  We got to shake his hand and other general authorities' hands as well. It was fun I got to see a lot of people I was in the CCM with but are in other missions. His talk was about loving the people and your companion and your president and the Lord and how we should focus on that and how the Twelve and President receive revelation for each missionary and how it works.  It was really good. I also sent off a package so tell me when you get it. And mom I wrote a letter but I have a goal to specifically write to you every week responding to your letters so you can email me everything and I will print it off and then write you back by hand. 

But everything is good.  It's going by so fast.  It's really weird but every day I try to make a fun day.  I'm trying to see this as a privilege more than a sacrifice of my two years because
it really is a privilege and what I am doing is incredible and there's nothing like it.

I love you all have a good week. 

Love Elder Toma 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

January 14, 2014

Dear Family, 

This week has been really fun and good We are going to be having two baptisms this week; two girls that I have been working with for awhile.  You might reamer one of them, Karen and the other is her sister, Anai.  So that was a blessing that this is actually going to happen.  I am really excited and happy for them.

It's weird that training for me ends next week and who knows if I will stay or go but I'm positive that something is going to happen.  Two gringos don't last long together here. I think my days are numbered here in Santa Barbara. Changes are this Tuesday.  We will be having a conference next week as well where Elder Quentin L. Cook will be coming to talk with us so I'm excited for that. And because things are going to be crazy I won't be emailing until Thursday of next week. 

So for this week we just worked hard, got two baptismal dates and the one from last week and marrying a old couple next week and baptizing them (IF I'm here).  I don't remember if I said but that one fell through so will see what we do with him and his mom.  The mom has issues and he has to go to school every Sunday because it's cheaper so we will see what we do with him. 

But for P-Day we went to Panajachel!! It was awesome.  That is where the Lake Atitlan is and what they believe is the waters of Mormon.  It was really cold there because it's in the mountains and it's surrounded by volcanoes and is a big tourist attraction so a lot of gringos live there.  It was weird seeing them and funny because most gringos that live outside of the states are kind of weird. But I pretty much bought everyone there souvenirs.  Now I just have to hold on to everything for two years haha, and the rest is for me now. 
But it was really fun doing that and seeing that.  It is my goal to return here very soon after my mission with the rest of the family of course. 

What is going on with everyone in the family?  

The language is coming really well little by little every day.  My testimony just grows everyday too.  But yeah it's weird that I will have a new mission president this year.  I don't really want a new one; I really, really like the one I have now.  

Elder Toma

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

January 7, 2014

January 7, 2014
Hola Familia! 

Well this week was a bit interesting now; our baptism didn't go through. We had some problems with them so now we just need to love them and work harder.  We do have a couple that we are trying to get married so we can baptize them.  They're like in their 70's.  Other than that nothing else really happened. 
It's really hot here now.   It's their summer time here so we don't have much rain, just sun. 

It's crazy that my training will be done in like 2 weeks. I don't feel like I'm in training right now.  But I hope I don't get transferred just yet ha ha because we have a lot of baptisms that are coming up, specifically the family of my first baptism, Douglas. 
 Wow! Kinzie going to Germany -- that really through me off for sure.   I thought she would go state-side. But the truth is missions aren't easy and I haven't said anything about the hard stuff that has happened (nether will I)  or any of the crazy or scary things so mom won't have a heart attack.   But I  know we have the hard times because the Lord wants us to learn and I know that it is through him that all things are made possible.   When we do all that we can and try to be perfect and exact in all things and work the hardest you can the Lord is obligated to help us and bless us.  Always have that faith and hope that it will be ok and it will get better.   There is always end to the tunnel, that I can definitely testify to.  It seems hard at the time but you look back and you wonder why it seemed not as bad as you thought or felt at that time.   Interesting huh. This mission is crazy though and I love it and the people are crazy too haha  but I love them as well. And if you really want to  help someone you got to understand them and right now I'm trying to become one of them 100% Chapin, which is a nickname for Guatemalan!

 Elder Toma 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

December 30, 2013 Elder Toma's First Christmas in Guatemala

Dear Family, 

Man do I miss Asian food and so many others things.  When I get home I will have a list of things I want as soon as I get off the plane. 

But for Christmas this year we spent it with some families and did a Christmas activity and ate tamales and punch.  Punch is like a fruit drink that has all kinds of fruit in it and they put cinnamon in it and drink it hot or cold.  It's pretty good and then Christmas morning we went into the next town to eat lunch with our district at a senior companion's home.  We had turkey and stuffing and everything I dream off every night including, yes. . . home made pumpkin pie!! It was amazing. But then after we ate we just relaxed and then at 5 we worked.


This is a tamale and this is when a little hispano baby has brownies for the first time in his life (he is a member's kid)

It felt weird talking with you all [on Christmas day] and I noticed that it's getting hard to express myself in English which I guess is a good thing. I heard the voice message thing.  Connor sounds so different, it's weird.

But this week we should be having two baptisms and for this month maybe over 10 so please pray for us because some of them are struggling right now and Satan is being the guy he is and playing hard so were trying to fight it. But we have faith that it will pull through.  My companion said these two baptisms will be the hardest and craziest ones he has ever had so we're hoping.

[Pictures] Some Christmas piƱatas and some of the family we eat with every lunch and helping them peel corn for tortillas

Love Elder Toma