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

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