Thursday, April 24, 2014

True conversion has always been and will forever be through the Spirit

Bunas Familia!!!

So much, it feels like has already happened.  I said goodbye to one of my companions  from Ecuador I was with in Santa Barbara.  He left for home  and I received a new companion from Ecuador ha-ha.  His name is Elder Martinez I find that my President likes to pair people that are opposites together most of the time. He has been in the mission for about 19 months so he's kind of old. But it was interesting my President wanted to talk to me and I had  a meeting with him after changes and he told me that he was praying for who could help this Elder to be better and more diligent and I guess my name came up ha-ha so he told me that this is why I am with him to help him to be a better leader.  Hopefully I have learned what those three Elders I had in the beginning really helped me know how to work and what to do in all situations so for now President wants me to help other Elders that are slacking that have had much time to be able to be leaders and grow.

But this week we had more baptisms!!! Two men.  One that has a story all his own that I will have to share someday. But also we had some hard times.  Familia Lopez isn't doing so well. The husband drank and I found him in the street drunk so I helped him home and his wife was crying (because she doesn't want him drinking and also that she was embarrassed that I found him like this) And that he doesn't want to really do anything anymore and the wife likes everything about the church but she believes that we only talk about Joseph Smith and nothing else and that's what holds her back that and she has been drinking coffee. And I remember sitting there very upset and not knowing what to do and I have been learning a lot this week about how it's not about what words you say, beauty or charisma or if you are a powerful teacher or not but what really gets them to listen and act and continue is the Spirit.  It's that simple.  Many missionaries have this problem that they have to teach amazingly when the secret is all they have to do is just bring the Spirit and it provides.  Yes we need to continue to get better with teaching and listening all that but their conversion isn't through the teaching or the words because there are many people that can speak pretty especially here like the pastors. But true conversion has always been and will  forever be through the Spirit because that is the teacher and testifier to the heart and there is nothing more powerful than that. And with them that is what I really have been trying to do and they are better now.  Our job is to teach yes but more to invite and challenge for them to act and receive for themselves. 

For Easter we did nothing.  The Catholics have their stuff that they do ha-ha its like nothing you have ever seen. MY care package did arrive thank you I already ate all of the Oreos ha-ha and most of the chocolate ha-ha.

 But I love you all hope everything is good.  Guatemala is the CRAZIEST place in the world but I absolutely love it!!!!!

Elder Toma

Sunday, April 20, 2014

That's when we see miracles

Dear Family, 

Well this week actually was a bit rough dang!! But it is what it is.  None of our baptisms went through either because they didn't pass there interviews or we couldn't find them or something!! But hopefully,  I am praying, that everyone can be baptized this Sunday.  But all of our investigators are doing well.  The family that you were talking about mom is familia Lopez Monson and they are awesome.  They will be baptized this Sunday.  They had a little bit of a problem with coffee but they're good now.  The problem is everyone here drinks and they eats tortillas.  You would be surprised how many say I can't go to church because I have to make tortillas.

Also everyone here has dreams and believes in dreams and one of our investigators that will be baptized this week had a dream where he saw the tree of life but he has never seen or heard about that.

This week there will be what is called Semana Santa or Holy week for the Catholics where they carry a statue of Jesus and Marry around the city and have crosses painted on their face and all that good stuff.

I will be having changes tomorrow with my companion and he will be leaving and I will be staying so that should be fun.  I have been to every change my whole mission haha. What's up with that?  But I  definitely learned a lot during this change and a lot about how to be better and to continue to improve and follow the rules and commandments with EXACTNESS.  There is a difference and at General conference almost all of the talks were about following the commandments and doing what you're supposed to. That's when we see the miracles.

It's a little weird that my mission president will be leaving in only two changes, maybe less than that.  I don't know how I feel about that.  He has definitely helped me more than I thought was possible. So next time I will be having a new companion and hopefully more baptisms.  I just feel so busy all the time is just craziness. But next time I will have a new companiero and hopefully more baptisms.  I love you.  The mission is the greatest!!!! and the more you learn the more you just love it all.

Love Elder Toma

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I absolutely LOVE GUATEMALA and the people!

Dear Family,

All is really well as always. It seems right now we are really busy.  We hopefully will end this change with more baptisms this week.  This change went by so fast! It's just craziness.   I feel like there is no time for anything ever!  Supposedly I will be working with my President this week so that should be exciting.  It's weird that he leaves in like 2 months.

We got to watch General Conference in the Stake Center and then later in our church and ALL of it was in Spanish!!!! But luckily I can understand it now.  YESSS!!! But at the Stake conference they also had a room for English which was much better. It definitely is better in English just I like to hear the actual voices of the speakers.  I really liked General Conference I don't know which was my favorite talk. I liked a lot of them.  A lot was about obedience. But I really liked Elder Holland's talk about Jesus Christ being a soft God or an Easy God and that's how people want him to be because nobody wants a God that demands much. I liked that a lot because that's how people are here.  They talk of Jesus like they know him but they know nothing about him;  that he is just all lovey dovey and forgiving and yeah that's all true, he taught with love but he also taught the truth that if your eye offends you pull it out that if you break my commandments after knowing me it's better that you never did.  If people really want to know God they have to keep his commandments (1 John 2:3-4) That he came here to make people better, that they can follow his path that is narrow and straight and not to say, "All is well is Zion!"  Because that is false and there's only one person that wants you to believe that.

Man we have had some headaches with some investigators.  One hermana we talked to for a long time.   She has a lot of problems and just trying to get her to realize how to fix them and that she doesn't want to get baptized right now and this and that . And another that just doesn't  want to do anything anymore so really just trying to listen to them and figure it out what they need. Back in the day when you had to serve a mission how did you teach was it all scripted or did you do it all yourselves?  

Ugh next week we will see what will happen with changes.

If I will leave or stay or get someone new or what

One of our baptisms went through this week which was just a miracle.  She has been talking to the missionaries for over a year including one of my companions. And my companion and I have only been talking to her for over a week.  But she was definitely ready. Her name is Karol and she is 23 years old. We have definitely been blessed.  We have had baptisms every single week

In answer to Conner's question:  I absolutely LOVE GUAEMALA and the people.  I have had over 15 baptisms by now.   I have also included some pictures of my apartment now.

Love you all!!

Elder Toma

Sunday, April 6, 2014