Monday, January 25, 2016

week 21

This week was full of good and bad things, as every week is for missionaries, haha. Interviews went really well so that was awesome! President Curtiss just told me to be firm if I have to, which I'm not actually that good at, so that's something I need to work on. Hermana Curtiss gave me cincho because I had parasites and amoebas at the same time. I think my worms are dead but I havent seen them, which hopefully means they disolved and I passed them.

Something that was a huge bummer is we showed up to teach Jose Domingo's family and he was really really drunk...and none of them came to church...Elder Quiroz wants to drop them but I am hoping we can keep working with them a little bit longer because I think that there is potential.

But a good thing that happened is that we had three investigators who had never been to church come this week! So that is a true testimony that even when Heavenly Father tries us, he blesses us too! I guess that is kind of my spiritual thought this week, because that is something that is really comforting in life.

The computers are really struggling, so I am going to try to send some picture and call it good.

With Jose Domingo's family
Nester and his mukuy, who decided not to leave
The three investigators who came to church
RIP first pair of shoes
My District Leader, Elder Gonsalez, hit his one year mark on my six month mark. We followed tradition - I burned a tie and he burned a shirt

Well, I hope you all have a good week and I love all of you!

Love, Elder Toolson

Monday, January 18, 2016

week 20

Hey, so guess what... I am back in Coban today! When my tests came in, all they said was that I tested positive and I had to come back for another test. So for a couple days I thought I just had parasites, then I got to Zone Meeting and my Zone Leader (Elder Tims) looked at me and was like "dude you got worms." I said "oh yeah, I already know, I have parasites." And he said "no, you have straight worms in your stomach - like tapeworms growing." So that was kind of surprising. But I got my medicine and they told me I should pass them any day now (not really looking forward to that.) We left the mountains around 3 am and got here at 7:30ish. I am kind of tired haha. Also I have to poop in that stupid cup three times so we have to stay the night here. We are staying with the ZLs. They aren't my ZLs because we are in Coban, but they have both been my ZLs before. Do you remember Elder Kortsen? That is who I am with. I like working with him. We just hit up the plaza and what not. We will probably do divisions with the ZL's later.
As for our investigators, it was kind of a weird week. We put a fecha (set a baptismal date) with all of Jose Domingo's family this week so that was awesome! But then none of them came to church....and then Nester told us he was going to Piten until May. So if they continue to pursue the church, we won't be here to see, which was pretty sad to hear. My week was a little rough, but I think it is one of those growing experiences I hear about haha. Hopefully as we keep looking we can find more people!
We were able to find somewhere around 15 this week, but none of them came to church so...darn. We have interviews this week with our Mission President so hopefully I can get some advice from him. Our numbers this last week were terrible because we traveled so much for Zone Meeting and medical stuff. It is kind of aggravating.
The Zone Meeting was just for the missionaries in our zone and the ZLs. Lots of talk about needing to work harder. Also they said it is really important to have enthusiasm, so I thought that was a good thought.

It's kind of a bummer because the Polochik actually has a bad reputation with missionaries. In the mountains it is really easy to justify not being super obedient as long as you work hard, but the truth is there is no excuse. To stay focused, I just think back to what my Mission President in the CCM told me on my first day: "Be the type of missinary your mom thinks you are." It is like the Stripling Warriors, they were true because of their moms. When I think of you (mom and dad), and the people here, it is not that hard to choose.

My spiritual thought this week is just how I can't believe how much I have grown to love the people. Everyone always says you love people you serve, and I told myself I did this whole time. But I don't think I really realized how much I love them until Nester said he was leaving and the Jose Domingo family didn't come to church. It was really fairly heartbreaking. But I am grateful to be given this opportunity to do this most blessed service. Missionaries can use all the blessings we can get, but its more blessings for other people because the only reason we are here is to serve. So I guess when Heavenly Father blesses missionaries He is just blessing everyone else!

I love all of you!

Elder Toolson

Monday, January 11, 2016

week 19

Hey! This week was pretty good! We have a new family that we have been teaching and four out of the six of them came to church, so that was awesome! The parents are in their 50s or 60s, and all their kids except one are in their twentys. And they speak Spanish! Unfortunately Nester and his mukuy didn't come so we will have to see what's up with that.

Right now we are in Coban waiting to hear about our parasite tests so we will see what happens with that. We went to the office and saw all the Elders in Coban. I saw my old buddy from the CCM and Hermana Curttiss (Mission President's wife) so that was fun. After we write we will go to the plaza to buy whatever American food we can find haha. Maybe buy some pens and notebooks for study, just stuff that we can't buy in the mountains. Then we'll head out. I haven't slept since 6:00 am yesterday so sorry if my emails don't make sense. We had to leave at 1:00 am for Coban, and we broke down several times so we ended up traveling for like 8 hours. It was fairly exhausting, and we won't even make it back to our area tonight, so that's a bummer too. We will spend the night in La Tinta. Our area is literally the second most far away area in the Polochic from Coban so it is kind of a bummer. But I will get to see Elder Helton and McEntee in La Tinta so that will be fun.

It was another exciting week with my companion. He asked me if I ate a lot before the mission and I said yes and he said maybe that's why I am fat. So that's how our conversations go eh.

We had a baptism in the rama this week (that means it wasn't someone we found, but a little eight year old girl from the Branch who we helped teach a bit) so that was way cool as well!

I just want to bear a quick testimony on the power of prayer, because me and my companion were praying real hard that our new family would make it to church. Sunday morning it was raining super hard. That normally means that people that live close don't even come, let alone investigators that live 45 minutes up the mountain. But they made it! I know that the Lord answers our prayers if we sincerely and humbly ask. I love all of you!
Love, Elder Toolson

Sunday, January 10, 2016

week 18

Hey! I'm glad to hear everything is going pretty well! The vast majority of this week has been a little rough but also very spiritual which is awesome. I have been pretty sick since last Tuesday. I got really sick because this lady fed us poch (basically hardened dough...its not very good haha) that was bad on New Year's Eve. So I just kind of spent New Year's day sick and sleeping. I don't think I ever really got rid of the parasites last time, hopefully I can get it figured out. Last time I had to do two different types of pills, I think it changes for whatever type of parasites you have. I am just glad we can still work! Every time it was time to go out and work, I pretty much automatically received the strength I needed! It was sweet! It"s like the symptoms were still there, but they didn't bother me as much. Next week Elder Quiroz and I are going to Coban for parasite tests, along with Elder Reed. I just hate going to Coban, it is the worst. I would rather just eat in El Estor because they have better food here than Coban. Also cities stress me out, too many people!
Another awesome thing that happened, we got one of our investigators named Nester and his mukuy to come to church, and this morning we got all of their paperwork to get them married! We are pretty excited about that. I don't think we have had a member come out with us, or give us a reference, my entire time in Sepamak. Dad asked how the callings work in the Branch, and I'm not really sure how it works to be honest. We teach the youth and another guy teaches primary. All the adults combine. I haven't seen any manuals; normally my companion comes up with the lessons. Most of the time we only have two hours of church. We had our first correlation meeting since I have been in Sepamak yesterday. It was...interesting to say in the least. It was supposed to start at 2, but started at 4. One person would talk for a really long time, then another would tell the person that their idea would never work, and then they would go off. That just kind of happened until Quiroz and I had to leave haha.
Oh yeah! We didn't get transferred! We just found out yesterday; it will be ok. My companion is pretty controlling but I can deal with that. Everything has to be his way or its wrong - how I cook, how I study,where we go and what we do. He is just the type of guy who has to have his way. Like we walked up the mountain to go get investigators for church and we were close to someone named Romona, and I said we should go bring her too. He said no, and I said we should at least try, and he said he didn't want to walk that far and she probably wouldn't come anyways and started walking again. But it is better than it sounds. I'm just glad I am kind of a laid back guy haha or we would bump heads a lot. He only has this change and another one left, so I might kill him. (Editor's note - missionaries say they "killed" someone if they are the last missionary they serve with.) But he also has a lot of time in Sepamak, so I don't know. Elder Gonsolez (my old District Leader in Santo Domingo) is my DL again. I'm really hyped about that!

Dad also asked about our weather - I am never sure what I am going to get haha, it might be really rainy or really hot. It changes daily.
I have been studying in the end of Second Nephi and beginning of Jacob. I like Second Nephi 31 because a missionary can pretty much teach all of lesson three with that chapter alone haha.
I've stopped studying in Spanish. I just do English and Kekchi now. My Zone Leader said I should just focus on Kekchi because that is the language of the people I am teaching, I thought that sounded pretty smart. It is coming along. I just have no confidence in myself so I never try talking. I need to talk more, but Quiroz knows it really well... and really loves to talk, haha.
My spiritual thought this week comes from 1st Corinthians 10:13 "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." I am pretty sure I have already sent something like this, but it was a real faith builder this week. As me and my companion were struggling, we knew that the Lord will help us bear our burdens.
Ninaw naq li iglees re jesukristo a´an tzaqal yaal. (I know the Church of Jesus Christ is true)
Ut lix hu laj mormon a´an li raatin re dios (I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God)
Ninnaw laj josesmith kiril li qachoxahil yuwa ut li jesukristo ut li dios kixboq laj josesmith jo´profeet
(I know that Joseph Smith saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and God called him to be a Prophet)
ninnaw wan jun profeet sa li ruchichoh anjwan (I know there is a Prophet on earth today)
ninnaw li jesukristo a´an li qakolonel (I know Jesus is our Savior)

I love all of you.

Love, Elder Toolson