Monday, June 12, 2017

week 93

Hey! Things here were actually pretty tough this week. This member from Lomas keeps getting drunk, and he happens to be the member with the truck to take everybody to church, so because he gets drunk, nobody from there comes to church. Also because he gets drunk, both our fechas decided they didn't want to get baptized which was a bummer. We feel like if we can talk to him things will get better but he is never around when we show up. I'm just trying to figure out what to tell him. I want to explain to him how blessed he is to have his truck and that God has trusted him and needs him. Hopefully it will reach him somehow. Our Zone Leaders are coming over Thursday to go visit there with us, so hopefully they can help us out.  And then the couple we are trying to get married won't come to church and said they don't want to get married. It is just hard to see stuff fall through so close to going home, because now I don't think they will get to church enough times for me to see them baptized. So overall not the most successful week of my mission! With everything falling apart I feel like I have to at least try to fix things so it is not a disaster when the next missionary shows up. But it is ok, if I have learned one thing in my mission it is that sometimes we've just got to put it in the Lord's hands and He will take care of it, all we can do is our best. On the bright side the other missionaries here in Chisec have a girl named Lesly who is progressing really well, and we help them teach her sometimes so that is something to look forward to every week. 

I am starting to feel settled here and getting to know some people. One family we are close to is with a Hermana we call mama Lila because she makes us lunch every day and does our laundry and everything. Then there is another family we visit every Sunday, the mom's name is Hermana Suzena. She has a two daughters, Bradie and Suly, and a son named Leo. She was the first member in Chisec. I think she was baptized in Coban, and then she moved here and wanted the Church here so she got President Curtiss to send some missionaries in. Their family has a lot of problems, she just has a hard past and not a lot of money and all sorts of stuff, but she is awesome. We always try to visit them to show a video or a scripture or something. One goal I have before I leave is to strengthen the few members that are here. 

I am also really trying to help my companion. He's had some companions who weren't really motivated to work hard or learn the language, so I am seeing what I can do for him. He already has improved a lot! I'm hoping by the time I go home he will be ready to train if he has to. The missionaries in this district need help because of how tough the area is, so I am doing my best. But it is a good thing the Lord helps us out, because I have no clue what I am doing sometimes. 

This week definitely got me a little more excited to go home. We have Zone Conference on Wednesday and I will give my final testimony, which is weird. I won't really know anybody besides my companion and the other two guys in our district, my buddies from the Polochic are in a different zone. We will go to Coban and the Mission President will be there. That will be my last regular interview, then I will have my go-home interview here in a few weeks. My buddies all said they are going to travel down that last p-day to say goodbye to me so I feel loved haha. I am getting pretty nervous. I actually have been having a hard time sleeping because I keep having weird dreams about going home and then I wake up at like 2 or 3 and have a hard time falling back asleep. I feel like my life before the mission was a dream to be honest and I have been a missionary my whole life. The weirdest thing to think about is that I only have three emails left, maybe two if I don't email my last p-day. Oh also I am bummed because I guess that the temple will be closed when I am in the capital so I won't get to go there. I think Tuesday after all the new missionaries get here we go to the capital, then sleep in a hotel or motel or something, then leave early Wednesday. I just don't know what we are going to do the whole day on Tuesday now. I think there are some buildings we can go see, I just don't know how much time we will have. But I'm excited to eat some Wendy's because I hear there is one in the capital. I could spend all afternoon there and be happy! I imagine me and Elder Barney will stick together. He will probably be my companion until we part ways in the airport in LA. 

For our District meeting this week I talked about faith. I used Nephi as an example because of all the times he talks about doing things without knowing why and just trusting in the Lord. I mainly used 1 Nephi 4: 6-7 "And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do. Nevertheless I went forth..." and 1 Nephi 9:5 "Wherefore, the Lord hath commanded me to make these plates for a wise purpose in him, which purpose I know not."

The Ward Conference went well, we got like 15 members there so that was good. They really only talked about how parents can strengthen their youth and manage their use of technology, so not much applied to me, but it was still good! 

We are having a relaxing p-day in our area today which is nice because it gives me time to type up my goals. Whenever missionaries here go home we have to turn in a letter with at least three spiritual experiences from the mission, three spiritual and temporal goals for five years/ ten years, five positive attributes and five negative we see in ourselves, then five attributes you want in your future spouse and five attributes you will bring to your marriage. And President Faundez wants them in pretty early, it is stressful! For spiritual experiences I have five. The first is a baptism in my first area, not my first baptism because that was Rudy, the little boy. The second one is the one I will talk about, with Eguanio. That was when me and Elder Helton had like nothing going for us so we did a fast and prayer, and then one night a member knocked on our door and was like "this is Eguanio and he wants to be baptized," and we got to baptize him like three weeks later. The second is learning the languages and having the Lord's help with that. The third is Mario, just all of the changes that I saw him go through that he couldn't have made without the Savior. The fourth is the dope Priesthood blessing we gave to that lady in Teleman, the one who had the really sore throat. It was awesome to see the Lord heal her so quickly. The fifth is completing our goal when me and Elder Ibarra opened the new Zone. We definitely couldn't have done that without the Lord's help! Some of my personal goals for the future are to get married in the temple, continue to study and pray daily, attend the temple once a month throughout my life, work out at least four times a week, graduate from college... just normal stuff like that. 

My spiritual thought this week comes on faith. Obviously this hasn't been my favorite week of the mission, especially since I was kind of looking forward to some success at the end and it looks a little bleak. But I know that the Lord's thoughts are not mine and He has a plan. Maybe I don't understand it, but that's ok, I know things will work out here in the end. Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need to give us our best experience here on earth. 

I love all of you!
Love, Elder Toolson

1 comment:

  1. Dear Joe,
    You went through an amazing transformation when you first began your mission, and to me, just learning the new languages was absolutely amazing.
    I have read each of your updates that your mom has posted. I have felt your growth in the Lord, read about challenges, being ill, tired, disappointed at times... and then this is where you explain how you have been inspired by God and have witnessed our Holy Father's miracles... realized He has his hand in all... His presence is always felt.
    Joe, I thank you and your mom for sharing your updates, for I have learned and been inspired by you and the experiences you have shared. One thing I have noticed... you always find the positive, realizing that God is with you and that He has a plan.
    You are already beginning another transformation--- to go home. In so many ways, you are not the same young man that left home 2 years ago. You are a mature and renewed man. Going home will be wonderful! Leaving will be sad. Readjusting to life in America, in Manson, will be an adjustment. However, you know God is with you a dcwill help you through the transition.
    You will have memories of these past two years... the memories, and all you jade learned will always be with you, no matter where you are. My thoughts and prayers continue for a content departure, safe travels home, and smooth adjustment home.
    If you are ever back in the old neighborhood area, I'd love to treat you to lunch... your mom too! I just want to give you a hug fat Greek hug! God bless. Diane Conom