Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A little watery 3/21/16

Hi Hi Hi!

Not too much to report this week other than that Cali just keeps getting hotter. The only consolation that I am receiving from this is the slight tan that is starting to make it's appearance. Pale people have to notice the little things.

Two weeks ago, while contacting we met a nice quiet lady shuffling through her mail box. She said she would be interested to hear our message and invited us back another time. The darling woman, named Martha, actually lives in the garage of the home that we saw her at, and as a result, it took us a little time to find her. Her humble circumstances, mixed with her story of a recent and tragic divorce,easily pulled the spirit into the lesson. She shared with us that she feels all alone in the world and her children is all she has and all they have is her. She believes that we were sent to her home for a reason.  

I am convinced that the spirit has a way of touching peoples hearts and probing people to share their stories. I know that the Spirit puts us in people's paths for a reason. I love this work.

This week was Ward Conference for the Nuevo ward and we had the pleasure of being addressed by Stake Leaders. Having anyone speak in English in our Stake is kind of a problem because everyone has to either listen to the talks though headsets and an interpreter, or an interpreter will stand next to the speaker and translate sentence by sentence. It is kind of hard and distracting but also amazing because the Spirit still testifies of truth and everyone still understands. 

The Relief Society was especially funny because the Stake leaders were so watery, flustered and emotional. SO different than how it usually is in English wards. Dang I miss white people! haha just kidding I love my Latinos. 

Thanks for all the love and support you all send me!
Stay Safe & God Speed

Love, Hermana Tobler

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Jurassic Park and Hamburgers 3/14/2016


Hello framily! I hope that everything is going well on the home front and all of you are lovin' life. Life is so good and so precious. I am grateful for mine. Being on a mission causes me to wonder everyday, (why on earth?) was I so lucky to be born into the gospel. There are so many people without it and I see the gospel as the greatest treasure anyone could ever have... So why was I born into it?? If anything though, this realization and gratitude spurs my desire to keep doing the work and spreading what I know to be true. 

Let's cut to one of the SALTIEST contacts I have ever received. Hermana Bjork and I were out walking and talking on the street when we came upon a man, who appeared to be working on his car. We ventured into the contact and boldly invited him to learn more about Jesus Christ.

He looked at us and smiled... "and to what purpose?" He asked.

We then testified about the joy of knowing Christ and the blessings of the gospel, which he interrupted in saying that he was Buddhist and definitely not interested.

The real salt came when we asked for a referral...

"Do you know anyone who needs help right now or would be interested in learning more about how to come closer to Christ?"

To which he responded:

"What do you even mean? Why are you bothering people? You say you're here for your church? You guys are too naive to realize this but they are just using you. Churches take too much from their youth-- (we interjected that we sent ourselves and this was OUR desire)-- don't you know that the world does not need missionaries anymore?? We have the internet. Nobody is going to listen to you guys so GO HOME. Get out while you can. Go back to your parents and live your lives. There isn't anyone in this world or California especially, who will listen to you. GO HOME."

Yeeeeetttt.... Tell that to our recent convert who just served us dinner... shocked and shaken, we bid him good luck on fixing his car, to which he replied shaking his head and smiling like we were stupid little children "it isnt even broken". 

What?.. Well have a nice day darn it!

Can you believe that?? Missionaries receive this kind of rejection everyday but this time it hit especially hard. It reminded me of the time in the New Testament when Peter contradicted Christ and tried to suade him from accomplishing the Atonement. To such things Christ rebuked him severely. Peter had no right to try to tempt Christ from fulfilling  the most important act in the whole world. I kind of felt like rebuking this little man.. "How dare you try to distract me from my calling and suggest that I go home?" 

Hopefully he accepts the gospel one day... maybe far away.. but one day...

On a funnier note... a few minutes later we met another man who told us very seriously that "if we want to feel the Holy Spirit, we need to 'Eat God' - because it says so in the Bible. We need to eat God, just like a hamburger."


Later that week we had another experience whilst walking and talking on the street again.

We were walking through a nicer neighborhood at the base of a mountain and found a heavily gated yard. Intrigued, we stepped a little closer and observed little cameras everywhere, perched on huge, 6 foot iron bars that protected the jungle like yard from the dangers of the outside world. I wondered why such a pretty area of lush bushes and palm trees and nice bark was so heavily guarded. As I was thinking about this, my eyes fell on a lonely little orange ball. 

"Awhh"- I said to my comp, "-a lost ball that will never be returned... how sad!"

Seconds later, I heard a rustling of feet, many feet, and I am ashamed to say that the first thing that I thought of was that the raptors from Jurassic Park were coming to eat me. However, despite my jump to conclusions, I was NOT prepared for the three striped greyhounds that came spriniting towards us. GIANT DOGS.. or horses? (Why is it always dogs?) 

I hollered and took off running as they barked and snarled at us. Oh my goodness, I was terrified!

So that was that and I learned a lot of other things this week. I am grateful to be out serving and have the chance to be rejected for Christ. It is a blessing.
I love the work!
Have a great week all, 
Stay Safe & God Speed
Love, Hermana Tobler

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Give me your hands 3/7/16

This week was a bit of a downer and I am ready for some serious sunshine. Even the sky is raining and that NEVER happens down here. Too many insincere folks this week and our most legit investigator didn't show up to church. We have decided to clean out our entire teaching pool and start fresh this week. Hopefully we will see some fruit. 

This past Monday, my wonderful mission President held one of his his special cross-fit sessions that he does every three months. When President Mullen came into the mission, he was disturbed with how poorly the elders were taking care of their weight gain... SO he took matters into his own hands and holds cross fit sessions for us. 
This particular cross fit, my zone decided to be all cool and get matching shirts and outfits so we could look "tough". We drove up in a fleet of Corollas and marched right into the church gym.. ready for pain. We were feeling pretty good about things until we hit 200 push-ups and out President lapped us twice calling "Come on SLOW-VAL" Haha... It was a good humbling experience and my arms hurt for days so that was lovely. 

Walking out on the calle this week we stumbled upon a woman who was more than ready to share her story with us. Upon asking her if she would like to hear a message about Jesus Christ, she said promptly "give me your hands".. 


She held out here hands and we hesitantly placed ours in hers. She then launched into a story that hit very close to home for me. She told us that she used to hate God, the Bible, and church in general. She didnt believe anything until one fateful Mothers Day 5 years ago. Her 2 year old daughter fell in their swimming pool and drowned. The woman told us that she pulled her daughter out of the pool and prayed for the first time, for a miracle to save her daughter. Summer, her daughter, survived but as a result has severe brain damage. After this experience, this lady became SO DEDICATED to spreading the Christian word, and that God is a God of miracles. I was in shock with this story and I couldn't help but want to share more about how (through the plan of salvation) she could be with her daughter forever after she passes). Unfortunately, the woman was very stuck in her church and was NOT interested in moving. It makes me sad when people find peace and joy in one faith, but they are not aware of how much MORE they could have when they Come unto Christ through faith, repentance and baptism by the correct authority. It is very sad actually.

Anyway! Today is 5 months out for me and I feel like I have been on my mission forever. I love it so much and I know that what we teach is TRUE.
Love you all!
Stay Safe & God Speed.

Love, Hermana Tobler