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