Monday, June 26, 2017

week 95

Hey! We had a pretty decent week this week, we got our couple all prepared for baptism and marriage. It looks like they will be married on Wednesday and baptized on Saturday if everything goes smoothly. The baptism will be in a river if we can find one with enough water, if not we will do it in Coban at the pila (baptismal font.)

Everyone from Lomas made it out to church and we hit an all time high of 40 in attendance which is pretty good! We have a Relief Society president and then like 4 or 5 members who will give talks for us so that isn't too bad. They do a good job of dividing up the limpieza (maintenance.) The members would like to have a branch, but I think the problem is sacerdocio (Priesthood holders) right now. I don't know how much is needed, but they have like five men that are worthy Aaronic Priesthood holders and I don't know if they have any Melchizedek. The problem is they want their own group in Lomas, and most of our sacerdocio is in Lomas, so if they divide then we are in trouble.

Everything is good with my companion, we get along real well and stuff. This week will be nice and busy, we will visit Pedro and Maria tomorrow to go over marriage details, Wednesday we will be here in Coban again to get them married, Thursday is our day to find all of our new investigators for the week, Friday we will be in Lomas, Saturday is the baptism, Sunday is my last day in Chisec so it will be spent saying goodbyes and packing, Monday is my last interview and Family Home Evening with President Faundez, Tuesday I go to the capital, and Wednesday...well you already know haha. So I will be nice and busy until I get home which is good! 

I will do my best to answer your questions now.

1. I hopefully have improved on a lot of spiritual things, but one thing that jumps out to me is I have a very strong testimony about fasting and prayer now. Every time I have done a fast for success or a miracle or anything, it has been answered within a few days.
2. A physical strength that has improved on my mission ...let's see. The first thing I was going to say was bowel control haha but I don't think that's exactly what you are looking for. I think I have gotten at least a little better at just kind of buckling down and doing something even when I really don't want to, cause that's what a lot of the mission is.
3. Something that I feel confident about now is sharing the gospel with anyone. Before I was pretty nervous but now I definitely have no problem talking about the church and stuff (at least in Q'eqchi'.)
4. For something I wish I could do over, I don't know if there is one specific thing, but I know there have been days in my mission where maybe I could have worked harder, or been more obedient, or a better person, so I wish I could go back and do that better.
5. Something I feel really good about is my relationship with our Savior. I have never had such confidence in Him or felt Him so close.
6. A time I felt very sad that jumps out is when Mario's family in Teleman was going through such a rough patch, and there have been many other times with other investigators or members in a similar situation.
7. A time on my mission when I felt overwhelmingly happy is probably just anytime that I have been able to be in the baptismal pila with someone, there is no other feeling like that in the world.
8. A time I have felt scared, let's see. Probably like 90% of my mission haha, but one time that jumps out is in my first few weeks in Canlun when that guy asked us to go pray at his dying dad's house. I was really inexperienced in Q'eqchi' so I had no clue what to expect.
9. Um, a time my heart felt full of love... oh! One time I remember is when I was on divisions in Se'ritk'iche and these Nazerenos were bashing on us. They said we were only on missions for ourselves and all this poop. I started off really angrily explaining about leaving our homes and families and stuff, but then out of the blue I just felt a lot of love for those people and told them that really we are here because we love them. 
10. For what I will miss the most, I will definitely miss the people more than anything, they are part of my family now.
11. Foods I will miss, I think my favorite thing they make here you can do in the states as well. It is just eggs, beans, fried platanos and tortillas. Also the Isomax juice, I drink it every day. And I hope I get one more caldo before I go home, I could probably ask mama Lila to make us one.
12. Lets see, the thing I'm most excited for about coming home other than seeing football! I can't wait to get home and watch some good college football and NFL as well!

I don't even feel like coming home is real to be honest. I think I am more nervous and sad to go home than I was to leave it. I don't know if that's good thing.

Right now we are just in Coban, we came down to get the marriage papers, so it is a good day. We will probably just write then head back to our area, it is a pretty tranquilo day today. Oh and some news, I weighed myself today and I am down to 165! I don't think I have been this light since my sophomore year.

Lets see, a quick spiritual experience from this week is from our visit to Lomas. When we were there the old man, the grandpa of the family, started asking me about temple work. He is one of the first members from Lomas and he is amazing. He is like super old, but even if there isn't a truck to go to church on Sundays he will get up at 4 to make the walk if he has to. When we were talking he started crying and explained that his brother had never known the gospel and died recently and he wanted to do his work. And the Spirit was so strong and the Lord helped me be able to explain to him that he would see his brother again, and he could do his temple work and his brother would have an opportunity to receive the gospel as well. 
I love you!
Love, Elder Toolson
malaj ut laj Toolok


  1. Dear Joe,
    Once again, your words move me deeply.
    You have educated and ministered to the people of this part of the world.
    In doing so, you have educated yourself as well as those of us at home.
    When I read your updates I am humbled by your humility, your oneness with God, your positive attitude, perseverance, and your caring, loving, blessed perspective... you have truly given of yourself to the people of this land. In so doing, you have received the most magnificent gift of all- intensifying your faith and trust in God, in a manner you probably didn't realize could be achieved when you first began this journey.
    I am very excited for you and your family, that you will be coming home. I know and understand a bit about transitions to home after being in a completely different culture- a new land. Take your time re-acclimating to home life. You have a great support system and you have God, who will help you with the transition. My thoughts and prayers are with you Joe.
    May God's protection be with you as you begin this journey home. Safe travels and God bless.
    Diane Conom