Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Hi. Detail alert.
Last Monday morning dawned bright and early, and so did the Preparation day craziness.
We emailed at the church, studied, ate lunch, and went shopping. Little did I know that this day would begin a nightmare of a week for my companion and me. Here is a little glimpse into the beginning of it.
Whilst out and about shopping, Hermana Jordan mentioned that she had been feeling pretty terrible all day and that her stomach was really bothering her. After trying several stores for a a bathroom and Pepto we hurried home so she could rest.
Pobrecita laid on the floor of our study room for a few hours in obvious discomfort and pain. Later she moved to the bathroom floor. I sat outside the open door for a long while, writing letters and waiting to be of service to my dear Sister.
While I sat waiting diligently, I heard a moan issue from the bathroom:
"Hermana, It is not getting any better".
I turned to see my companions head right there by the door, her brows all scrunched in the agony of her stomach. I stared at her sadly, not knowing what to do.
Then I heard an odd rushing noise, and with out a single hesitation. My comp threw herself into a seated position and lunged her body to the general direction of the toilet.
Hermana upchucked her breakfast, Panera sandwich and Pepto all over the bathroom floor.
There was no stopping the flood.
I patted her back and stroked her hair while she accomplished this task. Then I wiped off my shakey companion, and delivered her to her bed. She laid there silently while I cleaned up her barf and bleached the bathroom.
I bustled about the apartment for the rest of the evening. Cleaning, organizing and taking care of Hermana Jordan. She delivered another offering of stomach slime and I tried to eat my dinner out of her view and smell.
throughout all this, I tried to ignore the growing discomfort in my own stomach. As I sat down to finish writing my family letters, the sensations grew steadily worse. I hit the hay early as the nausea began. THe next 6 hours consisted of 4 torturous trips to the bathroom, dry heaving in between, and moving to different stations on the floor of our room. Finally at 2:15 am my stomach finally let me expel its contents into my trusty bowl. PHEW.. Relief. For 5 minutes.
My sweet comp took care of the horrific mess and I prepared for the next round. I dealt with it all for about 3 more hours before crashing asleep in the middle of the floor.
The rest of the week was horrible as we fought chills and fevers. Thankfully, we feel much better now.
So wash your hands children. You never know who might ruin your plans for a week.
On the brighter side of life, Jesse was confirmed and received the Aaronic Priesthood on Sunday. Hermana Jordan and I are so grateful to be working together. Although we have probably watched the Restoration and the Testaments more times than should be acceptable, it was a great week to be together.
I hope you are all enjoying this beautifully precious life we have and are aware of our Father's love for us.
Stay Safe & God Speed.
Love, Hermana Tobler
Monday, April 18, 2016
You guys probably have no idea how excited I have been about this baptism. I haven't expressed it too much because the worst thing ever is to be jilted at the font.
BUT we weren't and Jesse is well on his way to bring his eternal family together. (tears of joy)
I just want to quickly say that I know that the Lord works in mysterious ways. I have seen his hand in my life and on my mission more times than I can possibly count. I know that sometimes we go through periods of little success so that we appreciate the victories later on. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father works in patterns, he knows what he is doing and everything that happens to us is for a reason.
I am very grateful for the way in which Heavenly Father teaches his missionaries. I have learned so much from each of my companions and the ward I am serving. I love and adore my Mission President and I know for a fact that he is called of God. The gospel is true and the work of Salvation is the greatest work we can be doing.
** Sorry guys, baptisms make me emotional.
Tuesday, April 12, 2016
Hellloooooo! I mean Hi!
So on Thursday this past week... I.... hit... my... 6 Month Mark... and I am NOT HAPPY about it. There is no way that I am the missionary that I want to be and I am seriously concerned that I am beginning the 1 year countdown. Despite my feelings of sadness that 1/3 of the best part of my life is over, I have a few thoughts on the progress that I have seen.
6 months. 6 months of my life already given in service to the Lord. While I feel amazed at how far I was enabled to come, I am also extremely determined to be a better missionary than I have been. I feel like my life is changing drastically right now... most definitely for the better. At the beginning, I was bugged and prideful about having to be reminded to change to fit missionary standards, Now however, I am trying to humble myself and do my very best to be exactly obedient, and live so I can look back on my mission for the rest of eternity with satisfaction and peace. This time is precious and sacred. I believe that how I finish my mission will determine the rest of my life. This next year I am going to double my efforts and give it ALL I have. My focus has been reset on my purpose to bring souls unto Christ, while becoming fully converted myself.
Aside from the mind boggling fact that I have been living my life as Hermana Tobler for 6 months. We had some serious MIRACULOUS MOMENTS this week. WOW. Here goes:
My 1/2 companion Hermana Godoy and I were just finishing our lunch one day when we got a frantic telephone call. Because I am in charge of the phone this transfer, I picked up the call to a woman speaking 90 mph in the blessed language of SPANISH. For those who have had to learn a language, while in the process of learning, it takes every single ounce of my focus to understand about 70% of what the person is saying. With a little help from my native 1/2 companion, I learned that a woman had found our number online while desperately searching for people from a church to come help her. We prayed to know how we could help the woman, and felt that it was best for us to go visit her.
The home was relatively decent but pretty run down, and all of her four children were sitting outside playing with a ball. Each of them had dirt streaked skin, clothes that probably hadn't been washed in weeks and tangled greasy hair. My heart ached. She lead us inside her home and we were astonished to see absolutely nothing. Her home was completely empty of furniture, food, and hope. Except for a few black garbage bags in the corner, a box and 2 bar stools, there was nothing. She ushered us to sit and we perched precariously on the tiny stools. She sat on the box, and looked up at us hopelessly. Her eyes were heavy and unfocused with exhaustion, and tears streamed down her cheeks.
Her story goes as follows: Her husband had a relatively stable job for awhile but little by little his paycheck began to be cut. Soon, the family of 6 was living of $1,000 a month.. In California... Because his income was not nearly enough to pay for their needs, bills, and her dialysis treatment, they were in the process of being kicked out of their house. She told us that she never let the children inside because she didn't want them to be continually reminded of their circumstances. She said the police were due to come by any day to kick them out and after that she assured us that they had no place to go.
We listened in silence, and I wracked my brain and heart to think of something that would help this woman at this time. While our purpose does not entail providing for people's material needs, we were more than willing to offer spiritual encouragement. After a few humble words of testimony. Hermana Godoy and I invited the whole family inside to pray together. The children shyly shuffled into the room and we all knelt in the center of the bare living room. My companion offered a lovely prayer and we felt the strength and peace of the spirit wash over us. I felt a change come over the family as we prayed, and by the time we were finished, a few lines of worry had released their hold on Mellie's face. She still looked tired, scared, and stressed but there was a tiny light of hope in her eyes. I know that God will provide a miracle for them. I felt his love for this sweet family as we prayed together and I know that each of us are very important to our Father in Heaven. I am grateful to have had this beautiful and sacred experience.
Every Member a missionary. This story is a perfect example to me of why we need to be member missionaries. This darling old man, called our Bishop last week asking for us to come visit him because he had a friend who shared his testimony. Gerardo traveling a difficult path right now. He recently lost his dearest companion on the 30th of December. He is desperately lonely and absolutely heartbroken. Gerardo's friend shared with him his testimony on how the gospel enables us to be able to live with our families for eterninty. This simple act gave Gerardo hope that there was more to this life, and that God is aware of him.
My companion Hermana Jordan and I sat in his clean, well kept home and listened to Gerardo's story. Gerardo told us of his wife's quick passing to a heart attack, and the grueling difficulty of living a life completely solo after nearly 50 years of marrige. He grieved her loss of companionship and wept bitterly as he described his life without her. We felt impressed to share a bit of the plan of salvation with him and I can honestly say it was one of the most spiritual lessons of my life. The spirit was there and it testified that life continues and families are forever. Gerardo came to church this Sunday and loved every second. The ward wrapped him up in their arms and he is in good hands.
I AM SO THANKFUL FOR MIRACLES.
I LOVE MY MISSION
Stay Safe& God Speed
Love, Hermana Tobler
Sunday, April 10, 2016
As I am sure you can see, my name is a constant struggle from day to day. I have always loved my name, what it means to my family, as a goal of what I want to aspire to, and as I reminder that Swiss Chocolate is literally a part of my identity. However... unfortunately, this name is not as easy to pronounce in Spanish and seeing these darling people try to say my incredibly Eurpopean name is super sweet.. Awwww.....
Welp! I found out some Bad/Wonderful news... Maria, (the investigator I wrote of last time) is actually... BAPTIZED?! I know right??
You can imagine that distress slash happiness when we found out that our other golden turned out to be a dusty member that was baptized 30 years ago. So no baptism for us but we picked up her husband and are working on getting him in the game.
Tender little story time!
Pues.. Conference was BEAUUUTIIFFULLL.... I loved every second. I also loved the orange that I ate before the afternoon session began. I was finishing this lovely little fruit as we walked back to the parking lot of the stake center to grab my notebook in the car. As we emerged from the building we met 4 members of our ward coming in. I expressed an excited greeting and ran to hug/shake their hands before remembering that I was a sticky mess. Seeing my problem, one of the Hermanas grabbed a fresh water bottle, took my hands, and carefully rinsed them. Then another Hermana dug around in her bag for a clean napkin so I could dry my hands, and as I did so she said: "te queiro con todo mi corazon." Awwwwwwww....... Then I hugged them. :)
This experience is just one example of how much the members do for us as missionaries. I feel so blessed to serve in such a wonderful area. We are so well taken care of, it makes me feel like I am at home, away from home.
Not much more to report this week other than I am missin my other half (Hermana Bjork) desperately, but Hermana Jordan and I are working our buns off and getting this work DONE, so life is good.
I hope you all have a fantastic week!
Stay Safe& God Speed.
Love, Hermana Tobler
Good Morning Personas!
This week has been such an emotional roller costar and has also been one of the busiest weeks of my mission. Hermana Bjork is leaving today and so we gave our work 1000% percent this week.
I AM SO HAPPY because we saw some BEAUTIFUL fruit start to emerge from 4 months worth of labor. Hermana Bjork and I have been working very hard for a long time but we have not seen any physical progress. However, both of us have been humbled and reminded that this is the Lord's game, not ours, and we need to trust in his timing. Buuuttt... This week... MILAGROS! We met 2 incredible people that are SOLIDLY ready for baptism this month.
1) Jesus.. or "Jesse"- (great name right?;) )
This man is so hard core and cool. First of all, he is 6' 4'', covered in tats, and looks very serious. When we saw him at church one Sunday with his member wife and children, we had no idea that he was so ready. Jesse is a security guard and a police officer. He works in Hollywood a lot and often is part of the security team for concerts, the Oscars, and other famos people events. He told us that Leo DiCaprio is a pretty nice dude, Jack Black is a jerk (sorry Dad) and Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are not the brightest crayons in the box. HILARIOUS! He showed us lots of sweet pictures though- what an interesting job right?
Anyway.. spiritual matters... He told us straight up that he knows he needs to be baptized and sealed to his family and that is his biggest goal right now. Hermana Bjork and I were the perfect picture of shock and extreme joy.. I am sure of it. When do you ever get an investigator with that kind of a green light?? He set his own baptism date for the 17th of April and I am absolutely ecstatic. BLESSINGS!! ... finally someone solid. :)))
I laughed really hard when I realized that our most legit progressing investigators are named Jesus and Mary.. How perfect- perks of serving in Spanish Land USA!
This woman is a HOOT! She is in her 60's and lives with her 2 lazy daughters and nice hubby. She had a stroke not too long ago so her mouth doesn't move very well. However, that doesn't stop her from speaking very loudly. For those of you who are familiar with "Miranda Sings".. Maria speaks like her.. but in Spanish... and at maximum volume.. with only half of her mouth... AND I love her to death. The first thing she said to us when we came to contact her was " I want to be a Mormon!!! I want to be baptized!!" WHattttttttt?? She made her husband drive her to church and she arrived late with soaking wet hair from her shower and excited to listen. Maria LOVED church. She is so sweet and she is soaking up every word of the gospel. I adore the little doll and am anxiously awaiting April 24th!
SO MANY BLESSINGS THIS WEEK.... We picked up tons of new gators and I will be starting this next transfer with Hermana Jordan here in Moreno Valley. Looks like this will be almost 6 months in my cradle!
The Spanish language is thick with passionate, flowery, phrases and words that absolutely drip with emotion. So I blame the Spanish language for my mushy gushy message.
ODE TO MY COMPANION- My heart is so broken today because I love my Mama so so much. I am not looking forward to parting ways with her. She has helped me love this work, taught me everything I know, and has shown me how to love people better. I am thankful for her influence in my growth. I consider this past 4 and 1/2 months as the most precious and most enjoyable time of my life. Hermana Bjork is so special and sweet and has left such a beautiful legacy here in the California Riverside Mission. Thanks Mission Mama! <3
Well folks, I think that will be all. Wish me luck this week as I attempt to speak Spanish and learn to work without my trainer! Thanks for your continual love and support. LOVE and BLESSINGS!! Xx.
Stay Safe & God Speed,