Tuesday, February 23, 2016
You know that feeling when you have given your ALL 100% for 3 1/2 months straight and you haven't even slowed down for a minute, and then all of the sudden your whole body decides to hate you and make you slow down? IT IS THE WUURST.
Hermana Bjork and I were hit with an overwhelming bought of the flu and balloon brains this week so our loving Sister Mission President sternly commanded us to stay within our apartment for 4 days!!! It was an outrage, we have souls to save. Ain't nobody got time for resting.
But, like the obedient Hermanas we are, we complied and stayed in.
Let me tell ya.... One can only watch The Testaments and church movies from the 80's so many times before it gets OLLLDDDDD. I think the church could use a couple classes on how to make their movies slightly less cheesy. But that is just my 2 cents. We entertained ourselves by doing oatmeal
Hermana Bjork, the poor dear, was absolutely delirious one day when I thought I was better. We got home from Salvation Army service and the poor thing was just a mess.President straight up told her that she belonged with the Walking Dead! The Poor Dear she fell asleep for 4 hours while I baked bread and bleached the apartment. Later, we were sentenced to the doctors office (horror!!) and we obediently went. But don't tell anyone that we might have left right after Sister Bjork got her vitals done (the doc was taking too long). After contacting the folks in the waiting room, there was no way we were waiting around anymore.
So Herman Bjork and I are DONE with staying in and this week, you had better believe that we will be busier than bees as we bring souls unto the salvation. I know that the Lord carries all who are willing to serve Him. I definitely count on that promise much more than I can say.
Sorry for the lack of report and excitement this week but I hope you all are happy and healthy!
Stay Safe & God Speed.
Love, Hermana Tober
Here are a few highlights from this weeks episode of the walking dead.
Monday, February 15, 2016
February has never been so warm! Could it be possible that I might develop a tan?? Can this guera get a little color? I hope so! The phrase "tenemos mucho color verdad?" is already finding itself a familiar groove on my tongue.
This week began as any other and by Tuesday evening, we knew we were in for it. Yet another week of complete and utter rejection and refusal. Don't people realize that this is the Lord we are serving and their salvation is at stake?? For Heavens Sake.. HOWEVER.. This week we were blessed with a FAMILY! Whoott!! This lovely family is already super involved in their own church (Harvest is the nemesis of all the missionaries here in Cali) but they have been listening and we had an insanely powerful lesson with them this week. Despite our difficult team up, the spirit reigned supreme and everyone was touched. No matter how much we were rejected, and that only two planned lessons worked out, we achieved the mission Standard of Excellence. Blessings!
Okay so this week in effort to contact some less actives, we had to resort to extreme measures. Most of the homes here in MoVal are gated off from the street. Each individual house has a fence that encompassed their whole driveway, yard, and basically all entrance access. Great for us right? So this week, we dropped by to try and find a way to contact these folks. The second we walked up to the metal gate we heard the familiar sound of quickly approaching dogs. In a matter of seconds we had 2 ferocious pit bulls barking, foaming, and slamming themselves violently against the iron bars that preserved our lives. Shocked, my companion and I leaped back as these beasts howled and snapped at us with volumes loud enough to raise the dead. Fleetingly, we hoped that the ruckus would call attention to their masters.. but alas, our pounding on the gate, calls, and "Helllllloooooooooo!"'s (mixed with all the noise the dogs were making) made not a difference in the world. Uhh! We resorted to writing about 10 little pink sticky notes that had our info and pleas to call us back. We wadded the sticky notes and threw them into the yard, aiming at the hood of the only car in the driveway. Some of our notes bounced off onto the pavement and the possessed creatures pounced on our notes and gobbled them up. RUDE! So we made more, and a war began. Throwing notes to the car, and the dogs mercilessly chewing up our efforts. We had a couple successful notes land on the car and we also stuffed a few into the keyhole of the gate. Feeling slightly triumphant for the moment, I unwisely got right in to the face of the nastiest pit-bull and hollered right along with it. That animal DID NOT like the taste of it's own medicine and it freaked out. Poor thing was already at a level 10 so when I responded the way I did, it shook lividly and bore all of it's teeth.Not too smart on my part... but poor dogs probably have the spirits of the devil in them. Good Grief, I sure hope Blanca appreciates our efforts to contact her....
Bugs under a microscope. SO, for the first time in the history of ever, our MISSION PRESIDENT decided to go out with the Sister missionaries. Specifically, US! OH my GOODNESS! Hermana Bjork and I were to teach a lesson with President and Sister Mullen, take them to MCM with us, and also plan for the next day together. Can yall believe that? President in our little apartment room planning what to do to save the souls in Moreno Valley. We about fainted. Then we kicked it into gear. Saturday night goes as follows:
We met President and Sister Mullen at our church to have a lesson with one of our progressing investigators.... WHO DID NOT SHOW UP. (This is the goober who drinks goat milk and gets sleepy.) For the love of Pete! So we did our best to distract and entertain our leaders despite the severely embarrassing situation. So as our solid, perfect, and angel of a back up plan, we went and visited a recent convert named Elsa. By the way, driving with your president behind you takes road stress to a whole other level. Anyway, we had a BOMB lesson with darling Elsa about the Sacrament. The spirit was so strong and I am grateful for that experience. After that, President and Sister Mullen followed us to our ward missionary meeting. The poor ward missionaries were a nervous wreck. What made it worse is that we forgot to tell them that President was coming and they were pitching their new plan to help the ward get more baptisms. Yet it was so wonderful as President sat there quietly watching us live our missionary lives. At 9 o'clock we drove carefully home to our humble apartment where we bowed them in and seated them while we proceeded to plan. It was the strangest experience. We sat there on the floor by our magic white board and tried our hardest to show our beloved president that we are actually good missionaries. It literally felt like we were being studied like bugs under a microscope. However, President is absolutely adorable and we love him so much so after a couple adjustments everything went well. After we wished them a good night, Hermana Bjork and I fell against the door in relief. PHEWWWW... Not that we had anything to change or hide, it was just a little bit stressful having our President so closely monitoring everything. Haha!
Well, sorry for the long winded stories, but it was a stressful, busy and spiritual week. I am loving this mission so much.
Everyone, Stay Safe & God Speed.
Love, Hermana Tobler
Sunday, February 14, 2016
Pues..... Hola, Hi, and everything in between.
Whilst the harsh grips of winter are still stronger than steel back in Utah- Here in Riverside, we are speedily exiting spring and moving quickly in to the early stages of summer. The wannabe mountains are dotted with tufts of green and fields are beginning to show sighs of growth. The words "verde" and "California" are not typically used together but (for now), we are enjoying the lush beauty. Days are becoming hot and heavy with the heat of summer and nights are balmy with warm breezes. The oxygen that we breathe everyday is rich with the scent of Mexican spiced meats, new plants, and weed. (Depending on where we walk of course). Life couldn't be better here in MoVal Cali and here is why:
TRANSFERS?! Oh no!! My darling trainer and I just love each other so so much. She is honestly one of the most incredible people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. Hermana Bjork is a wonderful teacher and has been the best trainer. I was dreading the fact that she might be moved for her last transfer of her mission. (TEARS) So, Saturday night, whilst drowning our sorrows and nervousness in FroYO, We received the call. YES! We will both stay!! I will be the one to kill off my trainer, she and I will get to be companions for nearly 5 months. WOW! We are both so jazzed for the coming transfer and you better believe that we are going to baptized at least 100 people. We also decided that if I teach her how to cook, she will teach me how to fight. She has a black belt in Karate and also did street fighting for years. I am so stoked. Perhaps Rocky Balboa is my spirit animal?
Castidad.... EW. Sometimes members can be little pills. This week, Hermana Bjork, the other Hermanas and I went to our dinner appointment in the home of a member. It was my turn to give the dinner lesson and it was the first day that Hermana Bjork and I were launching our "pornography awareness" message. I began by cutting directly to what we would be talking about, because naturally all members know what the Law of Chastity is right? Wrong. The merciless Hermano proceeded to give me a run for my money as I gave my 100% effort in to explaining what the Law of Chastity is, in the clearest way. I stressed the importance, that like Christ, we too need to be white and pure. To which her replied: "Como? Porque soy moreno!" (How? Because I am brown!) At this point, I finally noticed that all the other sisters were laughing so hard that they had tears streaming down their cheeks. The WHOLE TIME the Hermano knew exactly what I was talking about, he just wanted to make me uncomfortable and explain the Law of Chastity. Well that sure is humbling. I still am a bit miffed that the other Hermanas didn't let me in on the joke. However... I am glad that at my expense, weekly entertainment was provided.
Miracles!! So the Lord really provides ways for his missionaries to accomplish their work. This week Hermana Bjork and I were hit by an onslaught of cancellations. Nearly EVERY CITA cancelled and it really threw a wrench in things. Still, we kept at it and continued to try to hit our goals. Lots of member present lessons, new investigators, and progressing investigators at church are only a few of the blessings we received. We were able to achieve the new and intensified "Mission Standard Goal" and that was huge for us. I truly believe in the phrase so eloquently stated by Maria in The Sound of Music, "Where God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window". I believe that.
So apparently synchronized horse dancing is a thing... A BIG thing. In Mexico. We picked up a DARLING 19 year old investigator named Delia this week. She moved here from Mexico 6 months ago to study marketing. SO COOL. Back home she did this horse dancing stuff- she showed us videos on YouTube and it is pretty swell. I suggest you look it up! She was SO open and she asked us so many questions about serving a mission. She even told us that it was something she might want to do! You can imagine our excitement. We are so excited to teach her and get her baptized this transfer. Through the Spirit, Hermana Bjork and I DO WORK.
I love you all so much. Always remember that missionary work is a call to everyone. There is something everybody can do.
Stay Safe & God Speed
Stay Safe & God Speed
Love, Hermana Tobler
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
Hello hello hello!
What a busy week it has been. My companion is a Sister Training Leader and therefore has to go on a lot of exchanges. So I have been left to take care of the area with the new sister. Scary! Thank goodness the deary is a native Venezuelan and can already speak Spanish fluently. (PHEW!) Our work was really blessed this week and we saw some amazing changes in people.
FUNNY STORY TIME!
Okay so we have this interesting investigator that kind of creeps us out. We love the guy but the fact that he sends us emojis and good morning texts is a little off putting. Julio is about 35 ish and has been quietly receiving all the lessons. He is on date, reading his B.O.M. and praying... BUT he is not attending church. This past week Hermana Bjork and I texted him (very frustratedly), Why we did not see him sitting in a pew for the past 3 Sundays...(que paso?!) The first Sunday we taught him, the poor, shy, dear took three steps into the lobby, and because he didn't see us right away, booked it outta there quick. So we are a little exasperated with the guy. This time however, he offered an excuse that went far beyond "oh I was busy", "oh I had work", "oh I was just too tired"... No this excuse belongs in a league of it's own.
"I really like to drink goat milk on the weekends. But it makes me sleepy. But I really like it. So I will keep drinking it because it has lots of good vitamins."
That was his legit excuse guys. Needless to say, we told him we would call 6 times every half hour so he would be awake. Goodness sakes. (SMH)
Spiritual Experience Story:
So this past month has been a bit of an emotional roller-coaster for the Nuevo ward here in Moreno Valley. The spouse of one of the members was diagnosed with the late stages of liver cancer. She has been coming to church on and off for years but has never been baptized. Upon discovering that she might not make it much longer than a few months, the sweet sister knew she had to make a choice about her baptism. The other sisters serving in our ward were in charge of her area and they taught her all 5 lessons in a week. She attended church one more time last week and it was so sad to see her so yellow and sickly. Despite her waiting until the end to be baptized, It is clear that she has had a testimony of the truthfulness of this gospel for a long time. The sister was baptized yesterday and life is good. What a PACKED, SPIRITUAL, and HUMBLING baptism it was. I feel lucky to have been a part of it.
In case y'all didn't know, I have a testimony that this is the only true church in the world. I see miracles everyday. There is no way that I would give up a year and a half of my life to spread a lie.
Here are a few photos of our proselyting adventures this week. I LOVE MOVAL <3
Stay Safe and God Speed Everyone!
Love, Hermana Tobler