Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Merry Tamales!! 12/28/15

Hello Hello!

SO good to hear from so many of you this Christmas season. I hope that you all ate plenty of treats, spent time with your family, and remembered the birth of our Savior.

The best part of Christmas is definitely Christ. Hermana Bjork was asked to accompany the primary last Sunday and it was so fun. We basically sat behind the piano, played a couple songs, got fed a bunch of treats, and watched Mr. Kruger's Christmas. It was definitely the best Sunday. 

This season has been a season of many tamales... I decided that I am not a large fan of them and I am not ever going to eat another one on purpose. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day literally consisted of us visiting members and investigators, being fed way too much food, and given more tamales than we could possibly eat.  On Christmas night, Hermana Bjork and I counted over 50 tamales that the ward members gave to the "poor starving missionaries". Holy. 

One little experience this week happened on Christmas Day... Hermana Bjork and I went to visit an investigator who had begged us to come over and eat some of her tamales on Christmas. When we pulled up to her home, we were immediately greeted with the loud wailing trumpets of Mexican music. The whole block got a taste of it. Gotta love this culture. :) Once ushered inside, we talked an socialized with the 3 women present. Then, one of the women had a grand idea to introduce us to her sons. Ummmm..... So we went out in to the back yard where they showed us a huge bubbling pot of chicharron. Basically homemade Pork Rinds. My inner vegan fainted at the sight. What made it worse was that there was a large group of men standing by this large pot... all of whom were eyeing us very creepily. Hermana Bjork and I were then introduced to 2 drunk Guatemalan men who were probably in their late 20's. Each of them tenderly shook our hands. It was very very uncomfortable and Hermana Bjork and I got out as fast as we could. It took several Mo-Tab songs to help rinse the ugly feeling that lingered after the visit. Ugh. Everything else about Christmas was just dandy though! I love this holiday!

I absolutely loved
face timing my family this week, it was such a joy. The family who let us use their iPad's had a dog the size of a horse and he looked over my shoulder throughout the whole call to make sure I was being obedient. It was very nice...

Anyways! I hope you all have a wonderful week and prepare for the wonderful new year we have ahead of us. 
Stay Safe and God Speed. Xx.

Love, Hermana Tobler

Monday, December 21, 2015

Murder and Torture (oh no!) 12/21/15


I am so very excited this week because Christmas is coming and I love this time of year. I am also sad because the days of blasting Josh Groban's Christmas album will soon end. TRAGEDY.

I think it might be wise to explain the subject for this weeks email.. Murder and torture are related to two specific events that happened this week. I can easily say, the Lord really protected Hermana Bjork and me this week. From serious rejection, to finding a drugged up man outside of our apartment, to enduring extreme torture in an organic food distribution, to being invited to a strip club...We have had some tales to tell. What a blessing it is to be on Lords errand. So here we go!

Earlier this week, while walking in a slighter nicer area, we came across a man who was VERY ANTI-LDS. After shutting us down rudely upon our invitation to share a Christmas video, we asked him innocently if he had had a bad experience with the church. He said NO, we just teach false doctrine and that nobody in their right mind should listen to us. Before we could respond, he launched into an in depth description of lies and false accusations about our faith. He even went as far as to mock the "burning in the bosom" feeling we can receive when the Holy Ghost testifies. Not cool man... My companion was very offended. We tried our best to stand our ground and we ended up just trying to testify over the sound of his insults. What a drag that conversation was. UGHH.

One night this week, after a long grueling day of more rejection and lost investigators, we stumbled wearily to our apartment. We stopped in our tracks when a man on a bike called out to us in greeting. He came over to us and it became clear that he was extremely high. We tried sharing our Christmas video and asked for an appointment to share more. However.. This guy wasn't really banging on all cylinders so he was dead set on asking us where we lived and when we could come see him. He asked us if we lived here in these apartments and we had to lie to him.. Straight up! He would not leave us be and we were both really concerned. Finally by some miracle, he drove off a few feet and watched us for awhile before taking off. CREEPY. After checking to see if the coast was clear we dashed into our apartment and dead-bolted the door. What a night!

Okay this is my favorite event this week because Hermana and I were SO PROTECTED. Our mission president has asked each companionship to walk and talk on the streets for an hour and a half a day. To fulfill this duty, we had to finish our walking and talking pretty late one night. My companion drove to a place that seemed pretty safe and we proceeded to walk the neighborhood. We like to find houses that have a lot of people outside that we can talk to , and one of these houses fell right into our path. WHaHoo! We introduced ourselves to a man working on his suburban while all of his buddies smoked week in the dark and dirty garage. Little did we know what we were getting into.. Instead of accepting our invitations, he extended his own to have us accompany him to the strip club..."then we could tell him all about our video there.." We ignored the comment and proceeded to ask for an appointment. For the next 20 minutes, the man and his extremely colorful vocabulary weaved a tale of near death experiences, being stabbed, shot, and homeless, he had nearly seen it all! He had done time, and had been living on the lowest of levels for the longest time. Surprisingly he knew the Bible pretty well, even if his version of Noah's story was a little skewed. He compared his life to Job and how all bad things were befalling him, including someone smashing out the windows in his car. But of course he was preparing his shot gun for revenge against the guy. (uhhh...)The craziest part about all of this was that the man was dead serious! When he finally let us talk, we testified about the reality and comfort of the atonement. The next thing we knew the man was in tears telling us about all of his suicide attempts and the horrors he has known. We gave the situation our best effort but we decided not to push our luck and we bugged out of there quick. It sure isn't every day you meet a murderer who scares you to death. 

Okay final little story.. we volunteered at the Salvation Army this week to help distribute donated food to families in need. Of course all of the donated food had to top of the line, organic, good quality food that I pay the big bucks for... Aghh I was in absolute agony. I was so tempted to fill a box to the brim of all my favorite brands and take it for myself. So selfish I know but I was really suffering. I overcame this trial and now I just look back and hope that the people REALLY APPRECIATE the quality of food they are getting!

Well I hope you all have a FANTASTIC CHRISTMAS, that you eat well and give much. I love each and every one of  you and I send you all my hugs and love. 
God Speed and Stay Safe!
Hermana Tobler

Monday, December 14, 2015

Keep on Sicken' that Sickle...! 12/14/15

Howdy y'all!

Wow what a week it has been. I am glad that most of you were amused with my dessert experience, I certainly was! I am working on getting more stealthy with my distaste for certain foods. I have also received a lot of advice on the subject so thank you all!

This past week has been pretty uneventful aside from a few things. 1! We got to go to the Red lands temple on Thursday. 2! We baptized our "Golden Investigator" Felipe. 3! I almost got eaten by several dogs. 4! My companion and I went dumpster diving. 5! We got to sing in a Samoan fireside!

So.. Lets talk temple! The first thing that I noticed about this temple was that it was absolutely darling, and that they cut the bottom of the angel Moroni's feet off.. I guess that the people who live by the temple like it better that way? It was a little weird. Aside from that , it was such a wonderful experience and I felt spiritually recharged afterwards. What a blessing it is to have temples so close by in Utah. No matter where you are, it feels like you are going home when you walk in those doors. 

FELIPE! Our precious little Felipe got baptized and we just adore him. The three Hermanas that taught him (I am included) got to sing a song for him. It was so fun. Baptisms are so rewarding. There is such an incredible spirit about seeing someone make that step, they are demonstrating that they are ready to become disciples of Christ. I hope everyone can be as motivated and excited about the gospel as a freshly baptized member is. 

Who let the dogs out?? I mean seriously... People need to try and encourage their animals not to go tearing after two innocent young ladies walking down the street. My goodness... We had one such experience where we were walking by some run-down homes in a sketchier area. That one Christmas song that goes "Bells will be ringing..!" was playing in the garage of one guy and my companion and I were thoroughly enjoying the song as we passed. The old man living at the home had a huge truck parked in the drive way that blocked the rest of the street and his yard from view. As we rounded the side of the truck, a GIGANTIC black dog jumped out at us! It was so big and it's bark was so loud and scary that my companion screeched and took off in one direction and I leapt into the road. Thankfully the vicious beast was secured with an oppressive thick chain... otherwise we would have been dog food for sure! The old man was just as grumpy as his dog and he completely ignored our greetings and walked inside. Oh well. After a solid 10 minutes my heart finally calmed down and we were both recovered. PHEW.

Unfortunately, this week my retainer got thrown away. I was absolutely distraught. So after church yesterday, I was very determined to find my retainer... I dragged my companion along and together we went dumpster diving. We waded through piles of rotten meat, clumps of hair, random food, diapers, and just about everything you can imagine. We didn't find the retainer so I am forced t assume that it wasn't meant to be. OH Welllll.... 

Last night was an interesting experience. We got to be a part of a Samoan missionary fireside. In the Samoan world  missionaries are so so special and they did a whole fireside for 2 departing missionaries. Samoans are so cool and they have the greatest voices. I was so impressed by their love and devotion to testimony through music. 

I hope you are all enjoying the festivities of Christmas. I for one am still getting used to Christmas lights on orange trees. I miss you all and I pray each and every one of you are well. Stay safe and God Speed.

Love, Hermana Tobler

Terrorist Attacks and Tres Leche 12/07/15

Hello Hello Hello!

Wow, 2 months out today! Crazy..! I am absolutely OVERJOYED to write to you all this week. This past week has been one of hard work and determination. We are preparing for another baptism this Thursday. Felipe is probably one of the cutest 74-year-old men I have ever seen. He looks very much like the old and criminal president of Mexico, dresses like a hipster, and says "mucho gusto" every time he sees a missionary (even though we have have taught him so many times).... In other words, he is precious and I am looking to adopt. My companion, Hermana Bjork is one of the hardest working missionaries I have ever met. Since becoming her companion I have never rested, and I wouldn't change that for anything. I am so blessed to have her. 

Alrighttyy.. Let's talk about food for a minute shall we? I must preface this by saying that the only way I have avoided becoming a blimp is through hard exercise everyday. This mission is actually nicknamed by all the missionaries as "the 20 lb mission"..... Uhmm yes, I believe it. I had a couple meals this week that caused me to consider waking up earlier to work out for longer. Haha! So quick story here.. Every night we are fed by a member. Sometimes it is a full on Mexican feast with rice, beans, salsa, tortillas, meats, and soups. Sometimes it is just a quesadilla. This particular night we were blessed with just one huge quesadilla and some veggies to eat. She also let us serve ourselves which NEVER HAPPENS. The sweet Hermana feeding us asked us to serve ourselves some pumpkin pie and we each took a tiny sliver. Phew, dessert was over. My buttons weren't bursting yet and I was hoping that we would be able to share our little lesson and leave before she fed us even more. However... after the lesson she brought pan out of her fridge... it made a huge "thud" as she set it on the table. My companion and I stared wide-eyed at the mystery before us. She lifted the plastic wrap covering the pan and to our deep concern began scooping up brick sized slices of cake. Now, this cake isn't just any old kind of cake. Tres Leche or "three milk" cake is wet, sticky, and dense. The generosity of the sister was so sweet and the members here serve the missionaries so much but sometimes they forget that we cant always eat as much as they want us to. Even though we try.. really hard. She proceeded to give us each a brick of tres leche and looked at us expectantly as we eyed this monstrous dessert. So we began. I made my way through about 1/3 of it before I resigned to the fact that it was just not going to happen. My companion and I grimaced as we both discreetly took a handful of napkins and placed them in our laps. For the next five minutes we took turns distracting the darling Hermana and scooping the cake into our napkins. What a nerve wracking chore! By the time we finished we each had a sticky and wet wad of napkins and cake. This probably won't be the first or last time we have to do this. :) I love the members here, they are so so so kind and loving. They do so much and contribute greatly to the success of the area.

Moreno Valley is going through their "winter" and the best way to describe it would be a "mild Utah fall". Celebrating the Christmas season with palm trees and short sleeves feels a little weird to be honest. But I love it! Most of the residential areas here in MO VAL are relatively nice and the people are very sweet. However, there are also some pretty sketch spots and my companion and I have had to make a run for the car a few times. There is a lot of racial diversity and on one street we could meet people from 5 different cultures. Wow! One thing about this area that causes the missionaries a little bit of grief is the fact that we get mistaken for Jehovah's Witnesses ALL THE TIME. As a result to this, people often respond in very rude and vulgar ways. I have never had the F word screamed at me this much in my life, I suppose there is a first time for everything! Haha!

San Bernardino this week, as I am sure you all know, suffered a terrorist attack. San Bernardino is about 30 minutes from where I am serving. I had the opportunity to meet with people who work there and needed strength after a traumatic day- What a great time to share the light and hope of the message of Jesus Christ. This event has been the talk of the town down here and I am grateful that we have the gospel to help comfort people. 

Well that is all for this week folks, thank you all so much for your love and support. I am so grateful to be a part of your lives. Always remember how much the Lord wants to be a part of our lives too! 
Merry Christmas and God Speed.

Hermana Tobler

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Hola Peeps!

WoWiE I can't believe I am leaving the CCM on Tuesday. Time is starting to fly by and I am really excited to get out into the field. You can only teach a fake investigator so much... I am really going to miss all the sweet sweet people I have met here. The teachers in the CCM are the best and I love them so much. However, my tolerance for the food here is just about capped. One can only eat cereal, salad, and bananas for so long! And yes, I have developed a reputation as the crazy Hermana who eats healthy. LOL. Despite all my complaints, Mexico has really grown on me and I feel like in the time I have been here I have become more humble, closer to my Savior, and slightly better at Spanish. I should also mention that I have developed somewhat of a skill in ping pong and I am getting better at volleyball. Whoop! Today we got bored of the ping pong table and decided to use the volleyball court to play ping pong. We broke the ball but it was so fun/weird/great.

This week was pretty low key and we have been focusing on wrapping up our studies and getting ready to leave. Last night all the Hermanas in my casa had a transfer journal party. We sat in the hallway, ate veggies straws and cried- (happy tears of course). I have to leave the CCM at 2:30 am and fly all day to get to Cali, it is going to be great, even if all the other Hermanas are leaving me for Chile. ;)  It will be strange to start all over again somewhere and be on my own as I work to improve my language. Speaking of language, I was asked to give a talk in sacrament meeting on Sunday and I was able to give the whole thing in Spanish! I feel so blessed and I know that if I were trying to learn Spanish without the Lord's help I would still be stuck at square one. Square one for me was learning that 'Hello' in Spanish is not 'Hula'.. Oh dear. 

Okay I had better explain the subject of my email... "Oochama cha cha" is from the movie Nacho Libre and is part of a song that plays when Nacho is riding his weird bike/motercycle/cart around. This week Hermana and I saw one of the cool "oochama cha cha" bikes that the landscaping crew uses and we couldn't resist taking a picture. The guy who drove it was watching us and looked SO CONFUSED. Why would two American missionaries be taking pictures with lawn care equipment?? Well... It was funny and that is all I have to say for myself.

Sorry for the short message but I hope you all have a fantastic week, stay safe, and show your gratitude this month. Love you all!

God Speed,

xx- Hermana Tobler

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

God Bless America... Land that I definitely love. (1 month down)

Holy Smokes...

1 month down, 17 to go. CrAzY? YES. Okay so I really appreciate America. Maybe it is the fact that I am NOT serving my mission in Mexico that causes me to pine after America, maybe it is just that the USA feels safe and happy and wonderful. Yo no se. But I am eager to get to Cali and start sharing this beautiful message with the Riverside folks.

This week was preeety decent. Hermana Krumholz and I are as thick as thieves and are loving life. This week we did a service project where we had to sweep water.... um yeah that was weird but I guess like everything in the CCM, there is a purpose. The weather here is so warm and lovely. It is hard to imagine Utah fall when you are living in such a green place. For TRC this week we had the chance to talk to a native 24 year old woman who has been a member for 4 months! The crazy part is that she is already preparing to serve a mission. She told us her favorite movie was "the Diary of Passion"... we were little confused until I realized she was talking about "the Notebook". It was nice to talk about Ryan Gosling for a few minutes.. HA! Sorry not Sorry!

Okay quick story of the week: This past Sunday, Hermana and I were walking back from our devotional and decided to walk through our old building where we used to study. On Sunday nights, all the lights are shut off in the hallways so it is pretty dark, As we walked down the hallway thinking of the good times we had had in that building, my universe collapsed on me as 20 missionaries jumped out screaming, and ran through us. We were in the wrong place at the wrong time- we were not the Hermanas they were trying to scare and it took about 20 minutes for my heart to recover and the Elders to stop apologizing. I was preparing to meet my maker in that moment. And yes, I am sure that wasn't the best missionary conduct on their part but Sunday nights are crazy around here.

I feel like I am slowly, but surely getting the hang of Spanish. We spend so much of our day studying the dear language and I feel like I can finally see a little progress. This week I bore my testimony in Spanish for my zone (without notes) and taught the law of chastity in Spanish. Wow, that is in awkward conversation in English.. Explaining the importance of having certain morals to to a guy who isn't married and is living with his girlfriend can be even more awkward! It went okay though so I feel pretty optimistic about doing it again. I've said it before and I will say it again, the gift of tongues is real and I am feeling the blessings of it everyday!

Fiesta!! While you all were enjoying your Halloween, 110% of Mexico was preparing for November 1st. Dia de Muerte, (day of the dead). While I totally respect other cultures, I can honestly say that my earplugs play a major role in my life. Those dear sweet Mexicans played their music, danced, sang, drank, ate, and blew stuff up all night long. It is actually super cool to hear them celebrating around us. The CCM is like a mini paradise city within a huge chaotic, and dirty city. Sometimes we see the festivities and we most definitely hear them. I know I am going to miss it when I leave.  

Speaking of leaving... I only have 2 more weeks here! I am going crazy with excitement and nervousness. Here are a few thoughts that I have about being a missionary for a month... 

It is strange how my mentality has changed. Normally I would be thinking about everything I have left behind a lot and everything that I am missing out on, but it is like my brain won't let me dwell on those things. Every time I try to think about it for too long, I am pulled back to the tasks at hand, it is incredible. I feel focused, and determined 22/7. The best way I can describe this mindset, is to compare it with "tunnel vision". All my missionary mind can think about is the work and I believe that is a blessing from the Lord. Cool eh?

We got a new district in our zone here and we love them, here is a picture of all of us today at Lunch. Here in Mexico, lunch is the biggest meal of the day. It makes so much more sense to eat the most in the middle of your day. 

Anyways! I hope you all have a fantastic week, I look forward to hearing from you and I treasure your letters. 

Stay Safe & God Speed. 

Love, Hermana Tobler 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

OCTOBLER Hurricane Survival 101

Howdy Ya'll!

I hope all of you are preparing for Halloween by making caramel apples, watching scary movies, and wearing cozy sweaters. Fall is my favorite time of year and Mexico's fall has consisted of sunny skies and no need to wear a jacket. I definitely miss fall in Utah!!

So as most of you know, Hurricane Patricia visited Mexico this past week and really stirred up the sky. We had a couple of exciting storms and the thunder was louder than I have ever heard it, it boomed all day for 2 days -reminding me of a very upset stomach! it is funny, you would think that after a rainstorm the air would smell fresh and clean right?? Wrong. Thanks to the pollution we have lovely metallic and acidic air. But we love it (kind of). We are all fine and the worst I had to suffer was a bad hair day from all the rain. I am very grateful. I haven't heard from anyone else but I hope that the hurricane didn't destroy too much. 

Things are going well for me down here, even if the Spanish is continually getting more advanced. I am so blessed to have great teachers. The Mexican teachers are hilarious! Most of them hardly know any English so that can get pretty funny. If you haven't heard a Mexican tell you he/she is "Santa Vaca flabbergasted" you need to put it on your bucket list. You will probably die laughing. I feel like my Spanish is getting better, however, nothing humbles you more than accidentally telling your investigator that your lesson is a "fish lesson"... The words fish, weights, sins, and past all sound so similar in Spanish... Needless to say, my companion and our investigator had a hard time recovering from that. Speaking of our investigator, this past week Hermana Krumholz and I had a interesting experience with our teacher/investigator. We came up to the door of the room where we practice our lessons. We saw Hermano Nugeda inside writing a review from the lesson before ours. We knocked tentatively on the door to see if he was ready for us. When he looked up, I literally almost jumped out of my skin. We must have alarmed him and he had removed his glasses,resulting in a very different image of our teacher. He is very brown and the skin around his eyes is even darker, resulting in a raccoon eye effect. So when he looked up at us he really resembled a terrorist. I hope that isn't racist because I love that man to death but he really put terror in our hearts. Of course we busted up laughing afterward and barely managed to teach a serious lesson.

Sundays in the CCM are almost as good as Christmas. We get to go to Santa Cena, Relief Society, and have a devotional. However, everyone is always most excited about movie night each Sunday. Everyone comes down to the auditorium and we get to watch a spiritual church movie. Let me tell ya... We all live for that movie. We have watched The Restoration: Joseph Smith Movie, Meet the Mormons and the Lamb of God. Good stuff. 

I know the gospel is true and I am loving my mission. Thank you all for your prayers and emails, I definitely appreciate it. Stay strong in the faith and keep moving forward. Remember, if you are having a bad day, serve someone. 

* "We rise by lifting others" *

Happy Halloween and Stay safe!!

Love , Hermana Tobler

Monday, October 26, 2015

SPANGLISH.... The stuff of life.

​Hola everyone!!

As I put week 2 behind me, I am forced to reflect on how much can happen in that short of time. Sometimes it feels like I am in paradise with all the parrots and palm trees. Other times I feel like this place resembles a prison. Just kidding but not really. Each day is so long I have a hard time remembering what happened that morning. However, I feel like I can give you all a brief run through of what it is like to be a missionary in the Mexico City MTC. 

Like all missionaries, we wake up at 6:30 in the morning and get ready for the day. We walk to the comedor and eat breakfast with all the missionaries. After breakfast we spend the rest of the morning studying Spanish, Preach my Gospel, Spanish, a little bit of Book of Mormon doctrine, Spanish, Spanish grammar, and Spanish application. By the time lunch rolls around our brains are a little fried. The rest of the afternoon is spent doing computer language study, more Spanish homework, and gym time. I seriously love gym time. Hermana Krumholz and I feel so loved because all the Elders in our district beg us to play volleyball with them, and we know they aren't begging because we are excellent players. I have to remind them on occasion that I got a 'C' on my serving test in Jr. High Gym. I have a great district. After gym we study more, eat dinner, and resume our classes. We have a night teachers that come and pour more Spanish into our overly exhausted minds. At 9:30 pm we all walk back to our casas' absolutely delirious. We have so much fun though and I really love the routine.

Quick funny story... In my last email I touched on how we are constantly dealing with cannons, fireworks and gunshots in the outside world. Sometimes they are REALLY LOUD. I usually jump a foot or two. This past week Hermana Krumholz and I were walking to the computer lab and an extremely loud cannon shot went off. I shouted "HECK!" and she shouted "HOLY FREAK!" simultaneously. After we recovered, we both looked at each other and laughed at our choice of words. We then committed to more dignified missionary vocabulary. It was quite the experience. I swear though, these Mexicans have no regard for a sleep schedule. Every day is a reason to party... Imagine the noise of the Fourth of July every night. Yes, that is Mexico City.

Tuesday nights are devotional nights and I had the privilege of participating in ours. I got to sing a Spanish hymn with 3 other girls, it was scary and fun. Yay for being an alto who can carry a tune (and that is it)! Being a pianist I am constantly being asked to play things so I am blessed every week with the opportunity to play all three hymns every sacrament meeting. I was also pegged with the responsibility to do a musical number so I ended up renting a violin from the hospital (yeah they store the violins in the infirmary, very weird) and playing a musical number as well. I probably would complain more but it is such a release to play my instrument!! Keep practicing kids!

Last little bit here.. Yesterday we had the chance to talk to local Mexico City members. Hermana Krumholz and I got to talk to a darling 9 year old girl name Pamela, and her sweet grandpa. She helped us with our Spanish and we were able to share a short message about the Book of Mormon with her. She was so precious. We also spoke to a amazing older lady who was a convert to the church, her name was Carmen. It is incredible to see how the church changes peoples' lives. It is such a blessing to be born into the gospel but I almost think that having the gospel later in life makes you appreciate it more. Does that make sense??

Anyways, sorry my message is shorter this week, I guess things are starting to normalize. I love and miss you all. 

Stay safe and God speed. 

Love, Hermana Tobler

Cannons, Honking, and Special K.. I'm not in Kansas anymore.

Hola Familia and Amigos!!

Wow it has been one crazy week here at the CCM- (Mexico MTC). 

I have no idea where I should start. 

First of all, Mexico is NOTHING like I have ever seen. Driving in Mexico city was one of the biggest overloads on my senses. People are everywhere, everything is FILTHY, and courteous driving is non-existent. I swear I had my hands clenched so tight through the entire drive. Imagine this... Hundreds of cars all traveling in one direction(it reminded me of a million ants trying to fit into one little hole), tiny narrow roads with no lane lines, people running in the street breathing fire and juggling kumquats, massive posters of underwear ads, grimy surfaces, dirty air, houses with matresses for walls, honking galore and no speed limits. Let's just say I was speechless. I am definitely not in Kansas anymore. 

BUT! The CCM is a whole different story. 80% Elders and 20% Hermanas... Absolutely gorgeous landscaping, gigantic palm trees, safe stone fences topped with razor wire, decent food (I will talk more about that later) and the SWEETEST people. Besides the background music of gunshots, cannons, sirens, and city noise, it feels like home. The water here is not safe to drink so all water is bottled or harvested from a special well the church owns. Everyone here is separated into districts, and there are 2-3 districts in a zone. There are 8 people in my district and I LOVE THEM!! Mi compenerra, Hermana Krumholz is absolutely amazing, and the rest of the district are literally my brothers. I don't think I have ever laughed as hard in my life. When you spend 16 hours a day studying Spanish, you tend to grow to love the people you work with. I am so blessed. Okay quick story... One of the Elders in my district is from Madison Florida, and he has one of the strongest southern accents I have heard. As part of learning Spanish right now, each companionship gets to work with an "investigator". For the past 9 days we have been teaching him the lessons IN SPANISH. (whoa!?) These guys who work with us are actually going to be our teachers later on and having us teach them is actually quite brilliant. Anyway, last night this southern Elder and his companion went to go teach Ignacio (our investigator, and yes I couldn't help but think of Nacho Libre) and made a quick baƱo stop. As they were deeply discussing their lesson, Elder Robinson walked into a stall, with unbuckled pants, and looked down to see one of the investigator teachers sitting on the toilet, cowering with his hands above his head!! Ah! The poor guy... Elder Robinson with his thick accent telling that story nearly sent me to the infirmary, I was dying. I am loving my people here and I am so grateful for that. I think that if I didn't love them so much I would fall apart because I miss everyone so much.

Spanish.... Spanish, Spanish, Spanish.... What a language. Our teachers here speak almost no English so you have to figure out what they are saying to survive. I have already learned so much and I can understand almost everything my teachers are saying and I learned so many words. My companion is so patient with me and helps me so much. She has had 4 years of Spanish so she is definitely the reason I am alive right now. I can now pray, read scriptures, and hold a very short conversation with someone. Let me tell you guys... The gift of tongues is real!!

The Mexico City Temple is an absolute dreammmm....If you have the chance, GO. I love it so much and I was so comforted to be there. I realized that it doesn't matter where you are, the church will always be the same.

Mexican food... My district is comprised of 6 elders and 2 hermanas, my testimony of young men having the biggest appetites has only increased. We started out loving the food but Hermana Krumholz and I are getting a little tired of beans, chicken, and tortillas. We usually end up eating a bowl of special K cereal and Nutella bread. (Bye bye diet). 

I only have one hour a week so please let me know how you are doing when you can. I will be on every Thursday in the afternoon. I love you all so much and hope you are well. The gospel is true and I am continually being blessed everyday by it. 

Love, Hermana Tobler

Sunday, October 4, 2015

"I'm going on an adventure!"

Hello family and friends,

As I prepare to embark on my journey to serve the Lord, I would like you all to know that I am so grateful for this opportunity. I am so excited and I know there will be so many blessings. I hope to stay in touch with you and hear about your lives from time to time.

Here's to a successful and exciting 18 months ahead of me!
Xx. - Jess