Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Missions teach you what you need to learn

Buenas Familia!!!!!!! 

Everything here is going very well.   My companion  and I are just going all over the place.  We have become so busy.   It can be a little frustrating, with what little time we have in the day!   We have been blessed with more baptisms which were complete miracles.   We  will be having 4 more this Sunday as well.   I have found how much the Holy Ghost and the Lord really do guide you in what you say and how you teach !  They also guide you in what you are supposed to do for your investigators as well.   One of our investigators that was baptized  last week we had to really fight for.   He just kept saying that he wasn't sure.   He is 14 years old and the  lessons that we had with him were just incredible and completely guided by the Spirit.  I could  see in his eyes that we were answering things about him that he knew we didn't know and because of that and praying he was baptized.

The people here are nice and if you really want to know how it is here with the living conditions we actually  live in a nice gated community but.....our house is okay.   There are  more cockroaches then you could ever imagine even AFTER CLEANING TWICE.   There was a flood or in the house next to us.   It ended up leaking into our house so everything got wet.   It was fun waking up to that.   It is weird that I have been out for 6 months now..  Spanish doesn't even phase me anymore.   It's really weird when I teach everything is like one big blur of events haha.

I can't believe that Kinze is about to leave for Germany. 

Baptisms aren't the most important thing [on a mission].   It's what you get out of it that really counts.    It reminds me of the story with Ammon and Aaron.   Ammon had a ton of success and Aaron was getting beat up whipped and naked in a dungeon and yet they were both incredible missionaries.  Missions are very individual.  They teach us what we need to learn. 

Love you all!!

Elder Toma

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

My new area: It is so blessed!

Dear Family,

The work out here is just insane.  I almost can't keep up with it.   It's just a big blessing to me and my companion.  We had two baptism already last week,  and this week we will have four more, maybe more.  There is a lot more to come.  Right now this area is just blessed.   We are setting

 dates with everyone we meet.   It's just crazy haha.   The ward out here is a lot bigger then my first and there are a lot of good members  that we go out with and try to use to help us.  I don't know anything about a volcanoes out here. 
I haven't seen anything but there is a crazy path that we have to take with a sketchy bridge and ladder that I need to take a picture of.

Thanks for the pictures I gave out a lot of my pictures because everyone from my last area wanted one.  My new companion is good.  He is a lot different from my other companions.   All of my other companions where seasoned and ready to go home or have been  Zone leaders at some time in their mission.   My new companion is  a lot more passive and doesn't  know as much as my old companions but  that's fine by me because during my time with him I realized that those three have trained me right up to be able to do everything I need to do and I try to let him be the leader more than me.  I try not to  correct him or tell him what might be a better way because he is the senior companion,  but I do try to help him.  Right now Elders don't move up to senior  very fast because there are  not a lot of us.  Before, like a year ago you would become a senior companion in 5 months or less.  Now it's more like 7 or 8 maybe a year just depends.
We met a incredible family.  My companion has the gift of being able to know where to go and who to talk to and what door to knock on.    We knocked on this random door for no reason and here comes a family and they reluctantly let us in.    We began teaching them the first lesson on the Restoration.  The husband comes in a little later and he sits down and listens.    By the end of it I felt that I needed to ask the mother how she  was feeling about our message and she just began to weep and weep and she explains to us that before we came she was yelling at her daughter and saying bad words and saying that God doesn't answer prayers.  She continued to explain that she  has been praying for answers in her life and for God to help her and right before we came she asked from help from God,   Two minutes later we knocked on the door and she knew before we said anything that He answered her prayers for help.   For a  long time she hasn't believed that God answers prayers or was willing to help her.  I mentioned before that  she was yelling and saying bad things to her daughter just before we came.  At this point both her and her daughters were crying.   She explained to us that for a long time her pastors weren't helping her with her problems or giving her answers that she needed and that she felt that something was missing.  She told us that  our message answered everything for her, and that it was what she needed and had  asked for.   She knew  that  we were sent by God and that we were her to help her and her family.  She told us how her husband drinks and is a mess.   We asked him to pray and during his prayer he began to cry and ask for forgiveness and to be better.   It was a day of  miracles.  The next visit we asked if they would prayed to know that our message  was true and the mother said that she already knew it was true, and the same with the father and the daughters and the son.   So they all have dates to be baptized.   I have a testimony that  first God will guide you to people that are ready to hear the message and second, He really does tell you what to say and your mouth really is filled with words and it is just incredible to look back and to realize it.

Love you all,

Elder Toma

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hunter's Second Area: Barcenas

Dear Family,

So last time I said that I had changes (transfers)

. . . Well I am now in the Capital of Guatemala in a place called Barcenas in the Zone Villa Nueva and it is DIFFERENT! There's actual civilization here! kind of. . . well at least a Mcdonalds and Walmart. But I am now part of a ward that's a lot different.  There are a ton more members and it just feels more organized and actual work is getting done. It's really cold here or at least compared to the coast.  haha but with that there is a ton more insects and you don't want to know how it is where we live.  haha that's all Ill say about it. But I also have a new companion named Elder Gonzalez he is from Honduras so my second Hondurano.

But I have learned a lot about the difference in the companions I have had.  My first three were or are Zone leaders.  Two out of the three have either left or are about to leave this next change. And just how much I have learned from them and how much it has prepared me to just go and hit the ground running with out too much hardship in trying to figure things out because they showed me the answers or the ways. So I am just grateful that I could have those companions when I just began and all the different things I learned from each one.

Well  hopefully already we will be having three baptism here in Barcenas and a lot more to come if we are blessed which I hope so.  I have seen the miracles in my life and that God has blessed me, why at times I don't know. 

But I have to leave don't have more time to write.  Love you all!

Elder Toma

I'm transferring. Saying goodbye is hard! March 4, 2014

Dear Family ,

Well I have announcement. . . . I am being transferred tomorrow! It has been a pretty sad week. We were so close to baptizing a family that I have been working with forever and became very close to.  Literally a day away but they got sick and now I have to leave! But the important thing is that they get baptized which I know they will. It has been very hard to accept that I am leaving Santa Barbara.  It's where I began and have definitely changed the most,  probably the most in my entire life. Having to say goodbye to my investigators and my converts and the members of the ward I have come close to will be hard.  Some of them are like my family.

 But I know that it is part of the mission and that I have more to learn and more people to help elsewhere. Santa Barbara will always be special to me for a lot of reasons. My last companion Elder Vallejos became very close and he ends his mission this next change coming up.  I have been blessed with amazing companions that all know what they are doing. Me and Elder Vallejos have so many people that are all ready to go and just have to wait for their date to be baptized and he gets to harvest it all with someone else!! Haha but it's fine just as long as the ward is progressing and the area is moving forward I am happy.

 I'm not looking forward to having to tell people I'm leaving (I've waited till last minute) because I just don't want to say it.  But I am definitely am  going to get all their contact information the problem here is not to many people have anything like emails or facebook so it can be hard and sending things to them is almost impossible so this should be interesting.

The rainy season has begun again and its already storming like crazy and everyone says that this is nothing wow .

It's also staring to get get hot here again hopefully I get sent to the mountains where its nice and cool.
Next week ill tell you were I am at and who i am with love you all!!

Elder Toma