Monday, November 7, 2016

A trembling parent 11/7/16

Hola Hermanos!

como estan?! Bien? que bueno. 

SO this week was absolutely NUTs. Life consisted of a bunch of meetings in Riverside, emergency exchanges, hardly seeing my companions at all, and of course being blessed greatly. 

Things are going really well for the work and we have 2 investigators that are progressing to be baptized on the 20th of November. I am SO STOKED. It has been a struggle to get permission to teach them and I am absolutely overjoyed that we are moving forward now. But of course we cant release our breath until the baptism actually happens. #holdingoutonfaith

A few things came to my attention this week. I was sitting in sacrament yesterday and I was struck by the amount members there are in my ward and wards in the past that are the only active members in their families. There are so many who are faithfully attending alone, there are older couples that have recently returned to faith after years of excuses, and young people that have waded through the consequences of rebellion and repentance. A variety of people from these categories bore heart wrenching testimonies of how they regret that they couldn't have all their family with them. They cry because their children are not active in the church because they weren't diligent in teaching them, they cry because they joined the church later on and their children and spouses dont want any part of the gospel. The lost years are coming back to bite them even though they have changed, repented and have be forgiven by Christ. I was reminded of Lehi, the Book of Mormon prophet who begged his children to "hear the words of a trembling parent" and hearken to the teachings of Jesus Christ and stay firm in the faith. I know that growing up in the gospel is a blessing that so many take for granted, myself included, but now I understand how absolutely vital it is that we stay STRONG. We cannot afford to let go of the iron rod- even for a second. As the rising generation, I know it is our responsibility to be obedient and do everything we possibly can to be able to be worthy of the blessings we are promised. It broke my heart to see the pain of these wonderful members who are suffering from familiy members whose hearts will not be softened. Although it is difficult now, I have faith that one day, they will come back to the fold and that the the diligence of these members will bless their families in the eternities. 

Anyway, those are just my thoughts.

Hmm.. What else happened this week...?

So we kind of live in the hood and my comps and I have started what we call the valle vista dumpster photo series. Literally people throw away the most bizarre things. Because we park our trusty Corolla by the dumpsters we get a nice long look (and whiff) at all the goods. Yum. 

Okay here is a photo of my lovely BOSS STL companion, she is literally the most awesome sister missionary in the mission. MLC with her was bliss and this crazy transfer of a million exchanges will be great. 

Overall! Life is dandy, I love the work, the trials are worth it and the Lord loves His missionaries so we are doing just fine. 

Hope you all have a fantastic week. 
Be Safe&GodSpeed.

Love, Hermana Tobler

My mouth is really hot! ouch! spicy! chile! 10/31/16

Good Mornin' friends and family!

Miracles happen in amazing ways! My miracle of the week came when I received a text on Friday informing me that another one of the people I taught in Jurupa was going to get baptized! Here is Vanessa's crazy story... So upon receiving a referral for "Yolonda", Hermana Gomez, Babb, and I passed by her home a few times to contact her. On one of the occasions, her daughter answered the door and let us come in and share the message. She was open and accepting but we felt a little strange because she has a much younger mind than her 21 year old body. After returning a few times with Hermana Gomez and finding that her mom, Yolonda wasn't interested, we decided we should either pause Vanessa or pass her off to the YSA Elders. So... We invited the AWESOME YSA Elders over for a pass off lesson and it went SO WELL. They worked with her in a way that we couldn't and it was a real testimony to me that she was meant to be taught by the Elders in the YSA ward. Spanish missionaries are just not meant to teach people who prefer English, it is not our stewardship. As a result to passing her off, she blossomed and progressed very quickly. Although her mental disability provided a few hurdles, her mom was very supportive. Vanessa was baptized yesterday and it was beautiful. After the baptism, the YSA Relief Society President told Vanessa that she would be given the calling to be a Visiting Teacher. Poor dear got suuuuper nervous... after the service she asked me quietly if I thought she could really be a teacher. My heart almost popped in my chest because I have a testimony that God qualifies whom He calls. The missionaries are a perfect example. I took the opportunity to bear my testimony of the gift of the Holy Ghost and and how will help her magnify her calling. It brought me a lot of joy. I know she will be great. 

Also, this week, we had the pleasure of eating dinner with a really sweet Hermana and her family. He husband treated us to some salsa that he hand ground especially for us. IT WAS SO SPICY! I thought my amazing Mexican companion had trained me to eat spicy... NOT SO! It was kind of hilarious as the meal progressed, all of us were sweating, crying and our noses were running faster than a river. But of course they kept scooping the salsa all over everything because that's just how they roll. I LOVE LATINOS!

Oh! This is our new companionship! Hermana Schooff is from Nebraska and she is probably the MOST prepared missionary I have ever met. Every day I feel even worse for my trainer and all she put up with. Bless her. 

Well I hope yall have a great week and get lots of Candy!
Be safe &Godspeed!

Love, Hermana Tobler

Specific prayers... ARE A THING!! 10/24/16

WHELP~ Yellow from the Golden Coast! 

Actually I am not on the golden coast part of the Golden Coast but California still sends you it's greetings. We were baking this week before the sky decided to dump on us. Basically, the sky is raining buckets and I think that rain will never cease to feel like a miracle. BRING ON THE COLD WEATHER. I am so ready to make more use out of my rain boots. 

Okay so specific prayers are something we learned about in the MTC. Basically they are prayers with specific details that you have faith that the Lord will carry out.. IF it is His will. While I have tried saying prayers in the past, I had yet to have one that is in line with The Lord's will. But now I can say that I have!! 

So Sunday night we had some members come out with us and we went by to visit a super promising potential family named Norberto that we had but they weren't home. We ended up going and having a different lesson with a basher who was convinced we didnt know the name of our own prophet, John Smith. "Excuse me senor, I have no idea what I am talking about.." So after that terribly exausting lesson, we let the members go and we went back out on our own. 

After spitting off, we were still a little unsure about our plans and how to use our last hour of the evening effectively. Hermana Jensen suggested that we pray for direction and guidance. So we did! While I was saying the prayer, the name of the promising potential we had tried earlier popped into my mind. After closing the prayer I was unsure of whether that was just my brain being silly or if it was a spiritual prompting. I shared these concerns with Hermana Jensen and from there we decided to say a confirming specific prayer to help us know what to do. As Hermana Jensen said the prayer I felt a warmth and peace come upon me and I felt very certain that we should go by and see Norberto (the potential). So we went! Turns out that they had barely come back from the store when we stopped by again and they quickly stopped everything they were doing to gather the family and listen to us. We picked up both the parents and two of their sons as investigators and taught a tiny bit of the Restoration due to shortness of time. I was SO PLEASED. I have never had such a specific prayer answered like this and my testimony was solidified in knowing that the Spirit REALLY DOES put words into our minds. AH my mind was blown! I am so grateful that I was able to receive that spiritual guidance. I needed it and they needed it. 


Also this week we got a the transfer verdict. HERMANA JENSEN AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHA! But she will also be training! So we will be another TRIO! Crazzyyyyy... So now I have a new STL companion from an English area but it's all good. I trust that our leaders are following the Lord's plans for our mission. 
 Here are some pics!

I love you all! Have a great week!
Be Safe&God Speed.
Love, Hermana Tobler

Thursday, November 3, 2016

never.... forget... the cena... 10/17/16


Ugh so this week was a mixture of extreme stress and also some good things. 
A few things that brought on the dose of stress included President Mullen coming out to work with us this week and see how we are applying new concepts from General Conference that we are using in our mission. YIKES! We taught Oscar and a family in our ward and from what I am aware of, we did a good job and PASSED the test. Phewww.... 

Another stressful event! So long stroy short, our dinner schedule got mixed up and during the middle of splits we got a call from an exceedingly sorrowful member who made us this huge dinner and had been waiting for us to come. WE HAD NO IDEA! Her name wasnt even on our calendar! After much driving, calling, and rescheduling, we drove across our whole area, which is about 15 miles, to her house in the boonies. On the way we made plans to grovel and beg for forgiveness. SO part of that action was sacrificing our stomachs and eating all she placed in front of us. As delicious as it was, I would have been happy with just the little bowl of arroz con leche that she served us for dessert. I thought I was going to POP! We ended up not making it to MCM and so that in itself was also an issue. Lesson to be learned... Never mess up your dinner calendar or you will hurt all night. Ouch. 

Okay my heart literally broke when on exchanges we went by to see Gloria. (our cancer investigator)  We have been trying for weeks to get in with her but she has been gone or very sick. She was home so we knocked on the door and called her name to let her know we were there. The door was literally open and we could see her kids hiding from us! After some awkward silence, one of the kids said that her mom wasn't feeling well. I knew in that moment that things werent going to work out at the present time and we couldn't keep coming by. I was so sad... I literally held that little woman in my arms while she cried last week! I hope it is nothing that we did wrong but I feel like it is our fault. Seriously, I would have errupted in tears if I didnt have the sweet strippling warrior with me on exchanges. Sometimes the work is really hard. It isnt the labor, its the heart break..

Well I hope you all have a great week!
Stay Safe&God Speed.

Love, Hermana Tobler

Good Morning and Good Night 10/10/16

Welp. Nose to the grindstone literally ALL WEEK THIS WEEK!!! However, by the time P-day comes I am too busy to rest so lately I have been crashing during lunchtime. It is absolutely beautiful to conk out for a solid 45 minutes. Wow how boring is that for me to be talking about sleep? I'll get into the good stuff.

Glorrriiiiaaaaa *cue lamenting sigh..* The poor darling has literally been going through SO MUCH. Her cancer is spreading from her brain to her lungs and it has been nearly impossible to meet with her. I dont want to let her go because she needs the gospel in her life now more than ever before. Truly one of the hardest parts of missionary work is that fact that the people that have the most apparent potential and the ones you love the most are sometimes not quite ready. Giving those people back to the Lord is torture but I trust that they will be found again and they will be baptized. One can only hope. 

Yesterday we experienced a miracle. Sister Jensen and I were a little frustrated because in all our efforts to find this week, we had not picked a single investigator. BAH! Sunday evening we were driving around and praying fervently before we went somewhere new. After awhile of no successful finding, we were able to find a member to come with us for an appointment we had at 7. The man wasn't there so we felt prompted to go try a couple that we had already tried earlier that day. Since nobody was home when we tried we decided to call them. They answered the phone and said that we could come by and share a short message with them. WHOO HOO! We went and had a short and powerful lesson with this man and his wife. The man (a cute little Mexican cowboy) has some serious addictions to alcohol and smoking and truly wants to change. He sees the importance of quitting to save his own life, have a happier marriage and gain the trust of his children. They both told us how badly they want to fix their situation and change. The easiest part for us was to wholeheartedly testify that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is a real thing and through the enabling power we can lean on the strength of the Lord. Now we just have to get them going and help them through the beautiful and miraculous process of REPENTANCE. Side note, I LOVE talking about repentance. It makes me so happy! Literally this concept is so misunderstood by many. I am happy to know that it is a time a turning to Christ, miraculous change, and opening hearts. I LOVE IT. 

Well some of these photos are some that I have been trying to send for weeks. ENJOY! 

Hope you all have a fantastic week!
Be Safe&God Speed.

Love, Hermana Tobler​

For the love of Pete! 10/03/16

So... Basically I have about 5,712 things to write about but I am just going to have to downsize a little bit.. First off!

Last Monday our zone went on a lovely hike up in Idylwild and literally, I have not seen pine trees or breathed fresh air in a good long while so it was divine! We saw some nice vistas and more beautiful pine trees. Ah so fresh.
Here are some pictures of the hike.

OSCAR- One of our investigators is progressing very rapidly, especially in the scriptures. We started teaching Oscar because he is currently renting a room from a member in our ward. He has a lot of questions but was pretty straight with us when he said that he didn't want to convert so we shouldn't waste our time with him. Because no time spent helping others come unto Christ is wasted, we brushed off his repeated attempts to get rid of us. We could feel something special with him. This past week we had a follow up lesson with him to see how his reading was going in the Book of Mormon. Last time he didn't read so we determined to get him on board. We sat down and he began by saying that he had read a little. WHOO HOO!! After our cheers he proceeded to tell us in detail a description of all that he had read in the first 7 chapters of the Book of Mormon. He talked about all of Nephi's trials and lessons he learned form the Lord and he also overcame the typical concern of Nephi's encounter with Laban. Typically investigators find it difficult to accept that God would command someone to kill another. However, Oscar saw the logic and the necessity for this action and followed through the instructions of the Holy Ghost. Let me say... We were BLOWN AWAY!! I was over the moon for a solid 3 hours after that! The little pill didn't come to conference but we will get him.

So I had the opportunity to go be a REAL missionary for a day... ON BIKE!! WHoo!! I finally got to fulfill my life long dream of peddling around and spreading the gospel. Although my backside was annoyed, I ripped my skirt and I almost ate it several times, I had such a great time. Exchanges provide and excellent opportunity to help other missionaries and also gain empathy and understanding for what they go through. I feel blessed to have been able to "peddle a mile in their shoes".

Little highlight moment happened this week when Sister Jensen and I found this cute little Mexican couple sitting on their porch this week while seeking with faith. The husband was lounging in his cowboy boots and mustache, smoking a cigarette and drinking a Bud Light. His little wife dressed in scrubs was writing on a notepad furiously. On initial contact we thought she was his nurse trying to get him to listen to her. LOL. However, after we explained our message, the man asked us if our message would help him quit smoking and drinking. We told him yes!! All things are possible through Jesus Christ and His Atonement. The Man then held up his cigarette and sincerely asked us to help teach him how to beat his addictions. WHOO! I have never taught the Word of Wisdom first lesson before but this week we will see how it goes! They were definitely a HUGE BLESSING to find.

Conference was absolutely FANTASTIC. Truly Conference is vacation for missionaries. I was so rejuvenated with spiritual instruction and I loved how much everyone stressed the importance of missionary work and learning the doctrine. I have a testimony that we will only be able to survive as families in this world if we have a strong and concrete understanding of the doctrine of Jesus Christ. 

Multi-zone Conference was also this week. (Talk about spiritual high). The Spirit taught me a lot about the enabling power of the Atonement and the gift of Grace. For the first time, this concept clicked for me. I know that in the "Strength of the Lord, we can do all things" and that is because of Christ's Atonement. Through His strength we are able and capable to do things were never thought we could do. I can testify that I have seen that manifest in my own life as I have been a missionary. My mouth has been filled, my body has been given strength, and I have felt clarity and understanding flow over me as I have been on the Lord's errand. I know that as we put our faith in Christ and this enabling power, we will be able to accomplish the impossible. I know that to be true.

Last thing!! This week I got to try a Bolivian staple : cunepas- a cheese and yuca flour bread roll thing. It was yum. 

Also, our trio died this week and that was very unfortunate. #andthenthereweretwo #arehastagsstillathing?

Well that is all this week folks! Thanks for everything!!

Have a fabulous week! 

Stay Safe&God Speed.

Love, Hermana Tober

Okay my pictures did NOT load and I am sad because they are great. I will figure it out next week for sure!!