Mexico, Puebla South Mission March 2015 - March 2017

Elder Ethan Del Toro
Mexico, Puebla South Mission
31 poniente #109 Interior 201
Col. Chula Vista, Puebla, Puebla
Mexico C.P. 72420

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Love Being a Missionary

August 24, 2015

Dear family,

I had an awesome week. Elder Romero went home after the changes meeting and his family came to pick him up so I got to meet all his family and eat one last meal with them before they headed home. But now my new companion is Elder Flores. He is 24 and is from Chile. Hes a really cool guy and we are really excited to work together. We have some great goals set for this next change and we are looking forward to keep progressing the work! We have some good laughs and also some good lessons. And he told me that I've been sleep talking teaching about baptism and inviting people to be baptized during the night. We're just set up for having a successful change haha.

The Mexico City temple is having their open house right now and so we has a couple investigators go to mexico with our ward to the temple open house. The temple has been closed for a little while so when I was in the MTC I wasn't able to go to it but the missionaries that are going into the MTC this upcoming change will be able to do a session in the temple and I want to go to the temple in Mexico City so bad! I'm hoping near the end of my mission Ill be able to go do a session.

Wow have we seen so many miracles in our area! We got a reference the other day for a girl that went to EFY in Mexico city with a friend and she wants to get baptized right away! We haven't been able to get a hold of her yet but we are going to go to her little Pueblo tomorrow to  contact her. And I'm not sure how it worked out, but our Zone Leaders told us that she can get baptized right away. We haven't met her yet but all we know is that she wants to get baptized and we're all about that!

I love being a missionary and I wouldn't rather be anywhere in the world than a missionary here in Mexico. Have a great week everyone!

Elder Del Toro

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

English Classes

Monday August 17, 2015

Hello family!

This week was another great one. I got invited to go back to my last area, Huejotzingo, to baptize one of my old investigators! I baptized Alejandra and the Elders quorum president baptized Carlos and it was a really sweet service. They have been taking the lessons for about 2 years and they couldn't get baptized and then finally they got baptized! There was so many people at the service and it was one of the best baptismal services I've been to. Also we baptized Paty! Moroni, one of the youth in our ward that has a mission call, baptized her. We had it at the stake center and there was 4 other baptisms in he same service.

We started teaching English classes last week! Me and Elder Winters have been teaching them and its been going pretty good. We've taught how to pray, how to meet somebody and the next class we are going to teach how to bear a testimony. We really like teaching them and we've gotten a few new investigators from it so we are going to continue them!

Elder Romero goes home tomorrow so hes been pretty excited. Ill be staying in the area and I will get a new companion.

Not too much else is going on! Im happy and I love being a missionary

Elder DT

1) Baptism of Clarlos y Alejandra
2) Me and Elder Winters teaching the English class
3) Baptism of Paty

A Special Invitation

Monday August 10, 2015

Things are going great! This week I got invited to go back to my old area and baptize one of my old investigators. I'm really excited about that Ill be able to baptize them. Its a little family and so if they decide to get sealed in a year in the temple, Ill be able to go to mexico city to see them get sealed! Also this weekend we have a baptism for one of our investigators named Paty. Her boyfriend that has a mission call is going to baptize her so we are really excited about that. This weekend is something special called a Noche Blanca. So everyone in the zone tries to put all of their baptismal dates for a specific date to get baptized in the stake center the same night. Right now they are planning on having 18 people get baptized that night from all the missionaries in the zone. We are super excited and Ill be sure to send some pictures next week. But everything is going pretty good! Ill write more next week today I'm not in my area because my companion had his last interview before he goes home so I'm on exchanges with some other elders here in their area to write.

Have a good week, I love you!

Elder DT

Baptisms and a Wedding

Monday August 3, 2015

Family and friends,

Things are going pretty well here in Puebla. Not too much new has happened this last week. We are going to have a couple baptisms before the end of the change so we're pretty excited about that! This week we had interviews with President Stellmon at the stake center and it went really good. He gave me some great spiritual insights and always pushes us to be better! Right now we are teaching this girl named Paty. She is the girlfriend to one of the youth in the ward that has his mission call. She is progressing really fast and we have a baptismal date for the 15 of August! Also we are still working with the family Conde to get married and then baptized. They came to church this last week and there is a Hermano in the ward that is going to pay for the wedding so we are trying to get them married soon and then the whole family get baptized.

Everything is going great and I love being a missionary!

Elder Del Toro

Hospital Rounds

Tuesday July 28, 2015

Hello familia!

This last week was another great one. This week I'm writing on a Tuesday because me and Elder Romero were in the hospital with Elder Winters who has been sick. We ended up going back and forth to the hospital 3 different times and if he is still sick by tonight, its my shift to go and stay in the hospital with him. But hes been feeling better so he should be released from the hospital tomorrow.

This last week I went on interchanges one day with Elder Ramirez. He is a funny little guy from Peru. Every time me and Elder Romero poke at him or joke with him he calls us racists. We're not sure why but hes a funny little guy. He is super tiny so the other day at the hospital, we were going up a couple floors to go visit Elder Winters and one of the security guards wouldn't let him go because you have to be 12 years old to go upstairs. He is 19 years old and he didn't like that one bit haha. But we had some good lessons and some good laughs.

We had a baptism for Mariana! She is a girl that was adopted into her aunts family recently and so now the family she is living with are members so she took the lessons from the missionaries for a little while and she was baptized this last week! Her uncle baptized her and it was a really sweet baptismal service.

Right now we are teaching a lot of awesome investigators and we are hoping to have a few more baptisms before the next changes meeting so we've been working really hard and doing everything we can do to progress the work. I've been really happy and I love what I'm doing. I wouldn't rather be anywhere else than being a missionary in Mexico.

Have a good week everyone!

Elder Del Toro

Twin Brothers

Monday July 20, 2015

Hola familia!

This week was another good one. Me and Elder Romero have been walking so much and working so hard we come home absolutely exhausted every single night. Earlier in the week one of the young men in our ward wanted to come and spend the whole day with us so he tagged along with us for the day. He came over and studied with us and went to our appointments throughout the day too. He was so excited to come with us and see what it was like to be a missionary. But I don't think he knew how hard it was going to be. As the day went on, he was talking about how he wanted to go home. Then at around 6 o'clock, he insisted on stopping by his mom's hair cutting place so we did. He begged his mom to not make him finish the day with us because he was so tired haha. Me and Elder Romero chuckled about it for the rest of the night just the two of us without the poor little guy. So something kind of funny happened, me and Elder Romero when to a baptism the other day for a investigator he taught a while back and there was this girl that I saw looking at me and my comp a little funny. And then a couple minutes later she came up to me and asked if I had a brother serving is the Guatalajara East mission and it turns out she served her mission in Guatalajara and knew my brother Kadyn from the mission. She said she was super confused because she said me and Kadyn look exactly the same and she knew he hadn't finished his mission yet so she was confused why he would be in Puebla! Everything is going great here in Cacalotepec. We have some awesome investigators that are preparing to be baptized soon so we are really excited.

Have a good week everyone!

Elder Del Toro

This is the little guy that spent the day with us. He even looks a little rattled up haha

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New area, New companion

Monday July 13, 2015

Hola familia!

A ton has happened this last week. Elder Conrad went home, new comp, new area and all of that. My new area is called Cacalotepec. Its a tiny pueblo out in the middle of no where but I really like it. My new companions name is Elder Romero. Hes from Mexico city and he is a really funny guy. We have a lot of good laughs and we've been working really hard together. Turns out he goes home after this next change! This will be my second of two companions that finish their missions with me.

This morning me and Elder Romero went to some sweet plazas here in Puebla for our p-day. One of the pictures is of me and Elder Romero there at one of the plazas. The zone that I'm in right now is a really well off area but my ward is a bit of a more poor area. But I really love it here. Compared to my last area, there is a lot less paved roads, a lot more mosquitoes and a lot more fields.

Right now we are working with the Conde family to get baptized. Its a family of 5 and they are all ready they just need to get married and then the whole family can get baptized. They are such a humble and loving family. The 5 of them all live in a house probably about the size of my room at home but they are all just so happy and content to be together as a family.

Also we are helping this girl in our ward to prepare to serve a mission. She is a recent convert and she is such a faithful member. She took the lessons for a year straight and couldn't get baptized because her parents wouldn't let her. When it came close to her 18th birthday her parents told her that if she got baptized they would disown her. She got baptized the day after her 18th birthday and she is now living with a family in the ward. Although she is just a recent convert, she wants to leave for her mission as soon as she turns 19. Shes been baptized for a couple months so we go over and teach her and the family shes living with sometimes so she can learn more about the gospel and start to prepare for a mission.

I really love my new area and love being a missionary. Have a good week everyone!

Elder Del Toro

1) The baptism me and Elder Conrad had right before he went home
2) Welcome to Cacalotepec
3) Me and Elder Romero at some of the plazas here in Puebla

Huge fridge, Tiny stairwell

Monday July 6, 2015

Hello family!

This week was another great one. This was Elder Conrad's last week in Mexico so we had a super good time. And I'm finally ending my training! Also turns out I have changes tomorrow so Ill be leaving Huejotzingo and going to another area in the mission.

This week it rained super hard! Two nights in a row we ended up running home through the rain without jackets and got absolutely soaked. And it was crazy because we could see our breath out in the rain! Who would have thought it would be so cold here when its so hot at home?

We had another baptism! We baptized Hermana Zuleyma this last Saturday. It was super awesome to have another baptism a couple days before Elder Conrad leaving so we were really excited. And then that night she was moving her house so we helped her move some stuff up 4 flights of stairs. We had to move a huge fridge up a tiny stairwell up 4 floors and man was that rough. We might have ruined her fridge but we got it up which was a miracle in itself.

Things have been going really good and I'm loving being a missionary!

Have a good week everyone!

Elder Del Toro

A little cool weather

Monday June 29, 2015

Hello family!

Sorry I wasn't able to send a group email home last week we had tons of stuff going on. And these next couple weeks wont be much better because my companion will be going home in a few weeks. But these last couple weeks have been awesome! And I have pictures! We have a newer rule in the mission that we can't take pictures on non p days so it gets tricky to find times to take pictures on one day of the week but I managed to get a couple.

We are sure enjoying literally half of the St. George temperature here. Right now in Huejotzingo its 50 F! Its been a little chilly and I'm not one to complain about a little cool weather.

I got a little sick about a week ago. The hermanas in our district gave us some cream cheese chocolate spread and I ate it up. But it turned about to be about a month old so I got pretty sick. And then a couple days after,  Elder Conrad got it pretty bad too. Hes been sick for about a week straight and he claims that Mexico is trying to get all it can out of him before he goes home. He thinks he has a bug so hes going to go on a detox thing this week hahaha.

We had a baptism! We baptized Rodrigo Flores. He is such an awesome guy. He has been through so much in his life and completely turned his life around and is now a member of the true church if Jesus Christ. We are so excited for him and now his next goal is to get the Priesthood! Elder Conrad baptized him and I had the opportunity to confirm him into the church.

Also we had a 8 hour zone conference combined with Cholula. It was really great but 8 hours of just listening to Spanish hurts your brain a little bit! The conference was really good though and we talked about a lot of really good stuff on being better missionaries.

And I'm writing so late because we spent most of the day in Puebla. Elder Condrad had an interview in Puebla and President got backed up on interviews so we ended up being there a little longer than we thought we thought.

Have a good week everyone!

Elder Del Toro

1) Me, Rodrigo, Elder Conrad and Rodrigo's good buddy in the ward, Hermano Cadena.
2) The district after a district meeting we had.

"Removing the Poison of an Unforgiving Spirit"

Monday June 15, 2015

Hello family!

This week was another great week. We are working hard and we are hoping to have a couple baptisms the next couple weeks! This last week was a pretty big service week. We had the opportunity to help lots of different people.

All of our investigators are progressing great. Rodrigo is going to be baptized this Saturday and then we have another investigator named Zuleyma the following week. We are really excited for the success we've been seeing and all of the awesome new people we are meeting.

We have another investigator who while we were teaching him, he told us he was having a hard time forgiving his father from what he did to him as a kid. I printed him out a talk from 1983 named "Removing the poison of an unforgiving spirit" by H. Burke Peterson. Its a talk that my dad showed me a while before I came out on my mission and me and my companion found it in Spanish and gave it to him. And that talk definitely touched his heart. He is talking to his dad again and he is continuing to progress. Although we may think that we don't have anyone whom we haven't forgiven, inside most of us still have unresolved grudges against others including myself. The part in it that touches me the most is when it talks about a polish father during world war II. It talks about how the Nazi solders lined up family: his wife, two daughters, and three sons against a wall and open fired on his family. He begged to die with them but they kept him alive. And that part of the story that strikes me the most, is that when observers noticed him, he seemed so peaceful and calm. But with further interrogation, they found out these horrible things that had happened to him. He chose from right then, to forgive those soldiers for these awful things that had happened. And wow what an example to me. At times in life, we chose to hold grudges against others but we never realize the damage it is doing to ourselves. Our savior was spat upon, mocked, beaten and also was scourged and crucified and while on the cross, he asked the father for the forgiveness of the roman soldiers who had crucified him. Jesus Christ is the greatest example of forgiveness and still continues to forgive us on conditions of repentance. Go to him in prayer for the strength to forgive others. I love my savior and thank him for the mercy he offers me and I look forward to the day when I may feel the prints in his hands and in his feet and wash his feet with my tears because of his eternal sacrifice. I love this gospel and I love my savior and redeemer, Jesus Christ.
Have a great week everyone.

Elder Del Toro

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Snow in June

Monday June 1, 2015

Hello family!

This week was another great one. Its been a little chilly here in Huejotzingo! The volcano got some snow and we've been a little cold. We're still without lights and now we're out of water! We went and we got a candle so we don't kill the battery on our phone and so now we have candles to find our way around at night haha.

This last week we started teaching an awesome new investigator! Her husband is an member but she is not and she has started taking the lessons with us recently. She is way awesome and so receptive to everything we are teaching her. The other day we had a lesson with them and we asked the husband how the Book of Mormon has blessed his life and he just began to cry. He bore such a strong testimony about the Book of Mormon and how much he wants the gospel for his wife. She accepted baptism but there are a few things we have to figure out

before she can get baptised but we are so excited for them.

We have so many people that are ready for baptism and we are just trying to help them get there! There is a lot of work to be done here in Puebla with so much potential and we are so excited to progress the growth that is happening here. Have a great week everyone!

Elder Del Toro

From the light of a Nokia phone

Monday May 25, 2015

Hello fam!

All is great here in Huejo. Me and Elder Conrad got our lights cut because the hermanas before us hadn't paid a light bill in a year. So they cracked down. We've been going the last week with the light off our little nokia phone haha.

Wow this last week we have seen miracle after miracle. One day me and Elder Conrad were walking down a main road with a member on our way to a lesson, and a guy just pulls over in his truck and asked us if we wanted a ride! At first we thought he was a member but after talking to us, he wasn't. He said he was just driving, and saw us walking and knew that we were missionaries of the true church and he had to pull over and talk to us. He said that he wants to get baptized as soon as possible and we were absolutely blown away! He lives in Puebla so the missionaries over there will be able to teach him but it was an awesome experience.

Also the investigators of ours that were trying to figure out his divorce to his other wife are finally going to be able to be baptized! They have been taking the missionary lessons for years and we helped them get a hold of a lawyer that is a member and so he just has to go into Puebla and sign a paper and they can be baptized! As soon as they got off the phone with the lawyer they asked us, "so when is the soonest we can be baptized?" And wow we are beyond excited for them. They are so ready so be baptized.

We are seeing so many different people's lives changed and we are so happy to be messengers of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ here in the latter days.

Have a good week everyone!

Elder Del Toro

1) Fitted with a new pin a bought that says "siempre unidos" or "forever united" and it has a Mexican and an american flag on it. Me and my comp got a pretty good kick out of it.
2) The licence plate says "I am a bull... are you?"
3) Our district after our meeting we had in Nealtican.

Rainy Season is Here

Monday May 18, 2015

Hello family!

This week was another good one. Not too much is changing here and everything is going great! And the famous Puebla rainy season has definately started. Its been a little off and on, but when it comes down, it comes down. And every time it starts pouring, me and Elder Conrad just happened to forget our rain jackets so we get absolutely dumped on haha.

Our mission had the oportunity to hear from Elder Pino of the quarum of the 70! He spoke on some awesome stuff for us to work on as a mission and the spirit was so strong durring the whole meating. Near the end, he showed us a talk from Bruce R. McConkie about the atonement of Jesus Christ that is called "the Purifying Power of Gethsemane". If you get a chance to look it up it is definately a new favorite of mine. It was President McConkie's final testimony as a prophet and it is such a powerful talk.

This next week we are having two more members of the 70 coming to speak to our mission! We are having Elder Christenson and Elder Pieper come speak to us.

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Del Toro

Monday, May 18, 2015

Fast food hits the spot

Monday May 11, 2015

Hello fam!

This week was a good one especially because I got to talk with my family over skype for mothers day! Ive only been out for a little over a couple months but it was awesome to catch up and hear about how much is going on at home.

Not too much different happened this week. Me and Elder Conrad got to go into Puebla for a doctors appointment and the city of Puebla was awesome! After the appointment we wen't and ate carl's jr. and got a crispy cream doughnut! Some classic american food definately hit the spot.

This week we get to go into Puebla and Elder Pino who spoke in conference is going to address our whole mission and talk to us about the talk he gave in conference! We are all way super excited!

I hope everyone has a good week!

Elder Del Toro

It's for the niños!

Monday May 4, 2015

Hello family!

This week has been a good one. Me and Elder Conrad have been working so hard but we didn't have a ton of success this last week. This week has been our hardest working week yet but we just had a hard time with the numbers we usually put up.

They had a holiday the other day "dia de los niños" and what a better reason to set off fireworks all night long above our apartment and throw back some family sized corronas. But I mean, its for the niños haha.

So the other day me and Elder Conrad were at this pueblo over closer by the volcano that is a secondary area of ours to go check out some references we got and no one was home at any of the references we got! We were pretty bummed but then this guy in a cake shop stopped us and wanted to talk to us. We was really interested about how like young guys like us go on missions and all that. Then he offered us some cake and man was it awesome. It totally made my day and now we are going to start to teach him the lessons this week.

If you guys haven't had a chance, you should look up the recent video the church made for easter. I'm not sure what its called in English but in Spanish its "gracias a que el vive" so in English its something like "thanks to that he lives". The church has been having us hand out tons of cards that have the link to the video on them and we have been having pretty good success with giving them out. We shared the video with one of our investigators during the lesson and man what a powerful lesson. He has been having trouble with faith and stuff like that and so we shared the video with him. Afterwards we bore our testimonies of Jesus Christ and the truthfulness of the gospel. That was by far the strongest I have felt the spirit on the mission. While I was bearing my testimony I just began to cry from being so overcome by the spirit.

I know that Christ lives and He loves us. Because of Him death has no sting, satan has no power, and the chains of death were broken forever so we are made free. I know that Christ suffered for each and every one of us so that we can live again. There is no greater display of love in the history of all time than when Christ took upon himself the sins, afflictions, and sufferings of the world. I know he did this because He loves us. I know this to be true and this is the great message we're sharing. I love this gospel and this great news I get to share every single day.

Have a good week everyone!

Elder Del Toro

1) Us and the sisters with this lady we helped paint her little business earlier this week.
2) This huge cemita I had the other day at our favorite taco place we like to go to.


Monday April 27, 2014

Hello family!

This week has definitely been a good one. There has been so much that happens from day to day I can't even fit it all into one email.

I love my area and the people that live here. Except for the part that when people see me and my companion, two young kids from utah, they love to scream out "Gueros!" like we don't already know it. That happens more times a week than I can count haha. There are a lot of cool members that are always willing to help the missionaries with the work and it helps us so much. And the food has been awesome! Some of the food the members will make for us for la comida is absolutely delicious. But it really just depends on the day and who you're eating with hahaha.

Me and Elder Conrad are working super hard in our area. Our area is an absolute gold mine with prime investigators to be baptized. One of our investigators, Rodrigo, is an awesome dude that is so ready for baptism. But he works about 84 hours a week so we're having a hard time getting him to church. Here there is a rule that an investigator needs to go to church a certain amount of times before they can be baptized so we've kind of ran into some problems with that. Another one of our investigators that has been to church more than enough times, is married to 2 different girls so hes not quite ready for baptism yet. We have so many investigators basically ready to be baptized we just have a couple obstacles we need to get past.

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary. The gospel is changing so many people's lives and I'm able to witness it. I see so many miracles happen from day to day and I know the Lord is hastening His work. I love this gospel and I love all of the blessings that come from it.

Everyone have a good week!

Elder Del Toro

1) thuggin waiting for the bus
2) a picture of the volcano Popocatepetl while it was smoking earlier this week
3) all of the missionaries of the Nealtican zone

Finally in Puebla

Monday April 20, 2015

Hello family!

Im finally in Puebla! I havent really had a chance to send out a group email in a little while so here it goes. Im really close to a city called Nealtican east of Puebla. And Im in a little pueblo called Huejotzingo. Here they speak a dialect of spanish called Nahuatl. Our area is as close as you can get to the volcano here in puebla! You can see the volcano really well here and it errupts about every couple days but it hasn´t errupted really bad in a little while.

My new companion is Elder Conrad! And yes he is an American! Hes from Sandy Utah and he has a little over a year on the mission. Today was actually his birthday and he turned 21. Hes a way awesome dude and we do really well together. We live in this really nice apartment together and its sweet! Our appartment in way nicer than any of the other elders and sisters because ours is rented from a member so we get a really good deal on it. Every day we eat the afternoon meal with member and I hevent had anything crazy yet. But this morning for breakfast, me and Elder Conrad went to a little tienda and bought some yogurt for his birthday and brought it to our casa. It looked a little funny, tasted a little funny, and smelt a little funny, but we ate it anyway because we paid a good ammount of pesos on it. And we are suffering because of it hahahaha.

There are a good amount of members and we have a pretty good member support for the missionary work. A lot of the members are willing to help us out quite a bit and a couple of them want to be our best friends. And the members absolutely love us! They will feed us till we are bursting at the seems and give us some more.

Our area is awesome and there is a lot of good potential for us here in Huejotzingo. Everyone have a good week!

Elder Del Toro

1) my mission president , Presidente Stellmon, and his wife
2) one of the catholic cathedrals that is pretty close to our house
3) Our district picture from when I was leaving the MTC

Sunday, April 19, 2015

I made it!

April 13, 2015

Arrived into Puebla! We made it into Puebla and they´re only giving us about 3 minutes to write, but I made it here and I'm safe :) I'll write a lot more next week during my p-day. Tonight I meet my new trainer and then I will head out to my new area tomorrow!

I love you all,

Elder Del Toro

Leaving soon

April 11, 2015

Hello family!

They´re giving us a little bit of time to write today because we don´t know when our next pday is! Things are going great. I leave the MTC at 5:30 in the morning on monday. We are dropping off some people at the mexico airport and then we are heading off the puebla! We took all of our assessments and we´re all ready to go.

Im not sure what the deal is about calling family but I might be able to call you guys on Monday. We are all going into the airport to exchange money so I might be able to give you a couple minute phone call in the airport but we´ll see! It will be sometime in the morning if I get the chance.

I love you guys! Next time you hear from me I'll be in Puebla!

Elder Del Toro

Last week in the MTC

April 8, 2015

Hola familia!

This week was another good one. This week is my last week here in the MTC so Ill be heading out to Puebla on Monday! We are all way stoked to get into the mission field.

Man what an awesome week having Easter and General Conference in the same weekend! Conference was a cool experience here in the MTC. There was so many good talks I can hardly pick a favorite one, but one that I really enjoyed was the talk given by Elder Holland. He told a story about these brothers who were out hiking in the caves out in Snow Canyon and were stranded at the bottom of a cliff. One brother was able to boost the other one over the cliff leaving the other brother still at the bottom of the cliff. The brother at the bottom told his younger brother to leave because he didn't want his brother to see him fall to his death as he was going to try to leap and pull himself out. He made the leap to reach to the top and could barely get his arms over the top and had nothing to grab onto while he started to slide back down off the cliff. He was about to fall to his death of about 40 feet straight down, and his brother barely grabbed his hand and pulled him out to save his life. Elder Holland related it to the atonement of Jesus Christ how the atonement is that helping hand to pull us out of the deep pit of misery. Without the atonement of Jesus Christ, we would all fall to our deaths and we would never have someone to save us from falling to the bottom. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that Jesus Christ suffered for our sins so that we may return to live with God again. He is my savior, my redeemer, my older brother, and my best friend. He loves us so much and wants to help us from falling to the bottom of the pit, we just need to extend our hand so He can pull us out.

Sometimes I like to ponder on the great and eternal sacrifice by our Savior. He suffered, bled and died for each and every one of us so that we may be saved. He willingly suffered so we can overcome death. "He lives to bless me with his love. He lives to plead for me above. He lives, my hungry soul to feed. He lives to bless in time of need."

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Del Toro

Monday, April 6, 2015

"How could things even get better?"

April 1, 2015

Hola familia!

We´re counting down the days here in the CCM! Its crazy I´ve already been here for 4 weeks. I´ll be heading into the mission field a week from this next Monday and I´m super pumped! The CCM gets a little old over time and we´re all just super excited to head out into the real world. No matter what other people will tell you, the CCM is basically a little part of the US right in the middle of mexico city. Its super weird I'm in mexico because it feels like I'm still in the states!

This last Sunday was fast Sunday and it was definitely an awesome experience to be here during one. Since our Zone is so small, we combined with a couple other zones for fast and testimony meeting. And the best part was, I understood everything! I got up and bore my testimony about how grateful I am to be out here and how grateful I am of our Savior Jesus Christ and how I know that this church is the true and restored church here in the latter days. Bearing your testimony in Spanish definitely has a different power to it and that was by far the strongest I've ever felt the spirit during a sacrament meeting.

Week number 4 is when the home sickness hits Ill be the first to admit. This last week was not an easy week. But I´m serving the Lord.. so how could things get even better?? Every single day I can feel the Lord blessing me and helping me along my way. Last week for a devotional we listened to a talk Elder Bednar gave to the Provo MTC last Christmas and I felt it to be so true. He talked about how he is in no way qualified to be a quorum of the 12 member but with the power of our Savior, all things can be made possible. He said in no way would any of us be anything without the strength of the Lord. And I definitely felt that this week. Even though all of us may seem so inadequate and so weak, it is through the power of our Savior and Redeemer can all things be made possible. If we could see the potential the Lord sees in us, we would never doubt ourselves or the strength and power of Him.

I love this gospel and I love being a missionary. Have a good week everyone!

Elder Del Toro

1) One of the meals that we had last week
2) All of the Elders in our district
3) Me and some of the other guys in our district with one of our teachers, Hermana Aguirre.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

The Hardest Thing But The Best Thing

March 25, 2015

Hello Fam!

This week was another good one here in the Mexico CCM! Its crazy how fast time goes by and how slow it goes by at the same time. The days feel like weeks and the weeks feel like days.

We didn´t get the new set of missionaries in our district this week like we were supposed to! It turns out we wont get them till the following Wednesday. Me and Elder Larkin were wondering how no one knows when the new missionaries are coming in when they get their calls at the least 3 months in advance! But we´re all really excited for the new district to be in our zone.

The days are starting to mesh together and not too much different happens from week to week.

This last week all of the elders staying in mexico for their missions had to go to the Mexican Consulate to get our visas renewed and it was awesome! We got our visas renewed and then they gave us some time to hang out for a little bit. The trip to the consulate was about an our and a half but the street tacos made it worth it! We all got some street tacos and they were literally the best tacos I have ever eaten. I got the tacos and then went down the street to a little store and bought a Coke and man did that his the spot :) On the way home to the CCM we drove through Mexico City Districto Federal and it was so cool! It was like the Las Vegas of Mexico and there was so much going on everywhere. I took tons of cool pictures of the buildings, fountains and statues. We also saw some of the ancient ruins they have down here. It felt so good to experience mexico a little bit because the MTC definitely doesn't feel like Mexico haha.

Every week we have this thing called TRC where we teach a little lesson to people who volunteer to come in and talk and hear a lesson. Me and Elder Larkin had our first TRC this week and man was I nervious! The investigators we teach from day to day are our teachers pretending to be investigators but this was real people! Luckily we didn´t get anyone who wasn´t a member because the guys that are in our house said that they got a non member and he was pretty hard with them. Our first lesson was with a girl that was 14 and she spoke wicked fast! Whenever she would talk me and Elder Larkin would look at each other having no idea what she was saying. She noticed we couldn´t really understand her and then she slowed down so we could teach our lesson and talk. Our second was a older guy who is a young mens leader here in Mexico City! He was a super cool guy and he spoke really clear spanish so that made it much easier on us! Our last was a little bit older lady who was baptized 6 weeks ago. And wow the spirit was so strong in the room talking to her! We talked a little bit about the atonement and shared some scriptures about the atonement and that was by far the best lesson me and Elder Larkin have taught. At the end I bore my testimony to her about the truthfulness of the gospel and how the atonement one of the greatest blessings we have on this earth and I began to cry part way through my testimony. When we finished we had gone way over in time that we were supposed to because we just enjoyed talking to her so much.

The mission is already one of the hardest things I have ever done but at the same time one of the best decisions I have ever made. I love this gospel and I know that my redeemer lives!

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Del Toro

1) Me and Elder Elder Cardon, an old friend from Tacoma Washington.
2) Me and Elder Pisiotta with our street tacos after renewing our visas.

1) a good picture of a fountain I took while driving through D.F.
2) Our classroom where we spend about 7 hours of our day in just this one room

I Know That My Redeemer Lives

March 18, 2015

Hello Fam!

Things are kind of slowing down here at the CCM and we´re getting on more of a set schedule. The CCM is desolate! This is the super slow time of the year when they don't have has many missionaries because most of the missionaries come in at the summer. The old zone leaders left last week so now it is only our district in our zone until the next group of American elders come in next Wednesday.

This week all the elders in our district fasted together. We fasted that we could have a better understanding of spanish and that we will be able to learn it better. And I have definitely noticed a difference! All of my prayers are in spanish, whenever I bear my testimony its in spanish and this last week I gave a 5 minute talk in sacrament meeting in spanish! And the best part is, Elder Larkin said I talk in spanish in my sleep! He said that in my sleep I was rambling on in spanish about how we needed to pray before our lessons we teach hahaha.

We finished teaching our first investigator Isaac this week. After we finished teaching him the last time, it turned out he knew english the whole time, he had served a mission less than a year ago and he is one of our new teachers! He brought in a cake and we celebrated on committing our first investigator to baptism. Now we have two new investigators we are teaching and they are both teachers here at the CCM. Their names are Guillermo and Merali. And our teachers are not taking it as easy on us as they were before. They ask way more questions and have so many other things going on in their lives. The other day when me and Elder Larkin taught Merali, we taught about the restoration without looking at any spanish books or pre written spanish phrases. We just talked to her in spanish and taught no problem! We were so impressed with ourselves and the spirit was so strong in the room while teaching her. Afterwards, she came up to us and told us how good of a job we did and how much of a difference shes seen in our spanish!

Every Tuesday we do a service project here on campus and me and the guys in my district went and helped fold clean sheets. We were talking to some of the workers there in spanish and they were super cool! All of them had served missions and they told us all a little bit about the missions we are going to. One of the guys said most likely in Puebla I´ll be having Tacos de chapulines! Yuck! Its a taco with marinated grasshoppers! I told them I like menudo (which is cow stomach lining in soup) and they said tacos de chapulines will be a walk in the park for me compared to menudo.

Last night we had a devotional from a area seventy. He didn't speak good english so they had a translator so we could understand what he was saying and get the most out of it that we could. He talked about a lot of stuff but the thing I liked most was that he talked about how scriptures were written on this side of the veil, but directed on the other side of the veil. I thought that was so true. Even just being here in the CCM my testimony has grown in scripture study. Any problems or questions we have, can be answered through scripture study. Any sort of doubt or lack of faith we have, can be solved through the scriptures. The Book of Mormon and the Bible are truly written for us in these latter days for guidance and direction.  At the end of the devotional this Hermana sang "I know that my redeemer lives" in spanish and it was absolutely beautiful. She did not look like she would be a good singer but I don't think there was a dry eye in the building. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, I know this church is true, I love this gospel and I know that God lives. Also I love being a missionary :)

I love you all,

Elder Del Toro

1) view of the city from the top of the Thomas S. Monson building.
2) the bikes all of the cleaning guys get around on
3) me, Elder Tams, and Elder Larkin

Bienvenidos a Mexico!

March 11, 2015

Hola familia!

Man this has been one heck of a week. It feels so good to be in the motherland already! My companions name is Elder Larkin and he is from Layton. We are pretty good buddies and we have a really good time! So much has happened this week I cant even hardly scratch the surface of what happened this week.

The first few days were really hard. We were so busy and we were living off hardly any sleep.  But as soon as soon as Sunday rolled around, the rest of the week was 100 times better. Sunday was such spirit filled and relaxing day. I was able to play the piano in priesthood and pass the sacrament during sacrament meeting. And the funny thing is, they give everyone a topic for sacrament meeting to prepare for and everyone has to prepare about a 5 minute talk in Spanish but you don't know who is speaking until mid sacrament meeting. And I had forgot to prepare a talk and so I was sitting in sacrament freaking out! I wouldn't have been able to wing it because it had to be in Spanish! But I was super glad I didn't get called on to speak and I'm definitely going to prepare a talk for this next Sunday.

I didnt know this before the mission but you have to teach an investigator in spanish on the third day! Man was that rough. Me and elder Larkin taught this investigator the first lesson from the little bit of spanish we had learned from the previous days. It actually went pretty good. Although the lesson was so simple and probably didn't even make sense, the spirit was so strong. At the end, me and Elder Larkin bore our testimonies to him in spanish about how much God loves him and how He has a plan for him and I could just feel the love God had for him. It really opened my eyes to the work that I am doing here and the importance of mission work. I am so grateful to be able to share this great message with such open and loving people. Now we teach an investigator every single day and soon twice a day!

Tuesday we had the opportunity to hear a devotional that was broadcasted from Provo to all of the MTCs throughout the world. We heard from Quinton L Cook and his wife about missionary work and I was truly inspired to be a better missionary. And the funny thing is, I saw Anthony Holt, who is in the Provo MTC, during the devotional because he was in the choir!  After the devotional, we went to our zone room where we talked about different things that were said during the devotional and it started pouring and hailing super hard. The power went out for a little bit and it was a huge storm with a ton of lightning. Me, Elder Larkin, and a few other Elders that live in our house all ran clear across the whole campus to get to our room. It just so happened that our zone room and our house are on completely opposite sides of the campus so we ran the full 3\4 of a mile to our house. The streets were flooded and the water was flooded to about halfway up my calves! When we got home we were completely drenched and freezing. It hailed so hard the grass looked like it had snowed!

This morning we got to go to the Mexico city temple! It was so beautiful. The temple is closed right now so we just went to the visitors center but it was still super awesome. It was so pretty there and we had a good time watching videos and taking pictures in the visitors center. As soon as we came home, we had lunch and during lunch President Gill came and talked to me and Elder Larkin and we are called to be the next zone leaders when the current zone leaders leave next week. We are so excited for our calling!

I love this gospel and I am so grateful to be a representative of Jesus Christ to share his gospel and to share of this joy we have.

Have a great week everyone!

Elder Del Toro

Finally in the Motherland

March 4, 2015

Hello Fam!

I finally got to Mexico and I could not be happier. The MTC is so beautiful and I am so excited to get started on my studies! My companion´s name is Elder Larken and he is from Layton Utah and he is an awesome guy. He played college soccer for a year and decided to serve a mission. We have such a good time and we get along really well.

Much love,

Elder Del Toro