Saturday, December 28, 2013

Una Semana en Tijuana

Hello everyone!

I have quite a bit to write about, and I am grateful for all of you sending me emails and so much more. Thank you for your support.  So in the final days in the MTC I went to Main campus for In-Field Orientation, where I learned a lot and are already applying much here in the Miramar area. The next day I bid my fantastic teachers at the MTC goodbye, and packed away my class materials. I may have mentioned this in the last letter, but the last few days I was in a trio, and because I already moved aparments to arrange for room, I was packed ready to leave for a week.  
The travel to Tijuana was way fun! There was 24 new missionaries from the Provo MTC, and about 4 more from Mexico. Those from Provo left the MTC at 6:30ish in the morning, took the train to the airport, flew(!) to San Diego where our Mission President was waiting.  We then took a caravan of vans across the border, and learned very quickly how crazy Mexican Drivers are.
My companion's name is Elder Jiménez, and we are assigned to a region next to Tijuana, which covers Miramar, Mirador, and Los Rachos in the canyon, which is about a hill and a half of the classic landscape of California.  We can see San Diego from the Street in front of our apartment. Everyday we eat a meal at a member's house. We often eat soup and then a dish of rice, beans, and some carne followed by postre, but we have had Chicken Noodle soup from a cup, hamburgers, ricemilk, and I just finished a Mexican Chinese lunch. Hopefully soon I will eat some cactus or fish. Our area is unique, about half of the roads are paved.  The canyon area is where we spend most of our time.  Most of the stairs there are made of tires, there is always an annoying Tortilla truck playing somewhere in the background, and when it rained it was a blast getting from one side of the filthy stream that divides Los Ranchos to the other. The houses at the top and far side of the hill are made of concrete, and the low ceiling homes of the makeshift homes are very quaint and intersting. Todo me parece bonito! Elder Jiménez and I have half of the Ward, while two other elders have the area from the other side of the canyon to the Playas, where the Hermana companionship has. From what I've picked up, That is the Beverly Hills equivilant of nearby.  Centro Tijuana is to the East of us a ways.
We teach all sorts of people. The Bishop has a huge house down the street from the Capilla, the churchhouse, and it is way fun to clamber through the in and outs of Los Ranchos to teach 9 year old boys, menosactivos, a timid lady on the other side of the gorge, or to find a house in the weirdest place.  The streets are not straight, the houses are in random places, and I have difficulty distinguishing the difference between the grafiti and the streets. We have not had any baptisms, but we have made some big commitments from investigadores. Most times the families are crazier than the amount of dogs roaming around. The miembros have been very supportive, and a good number of them have faimly who moved to Utah or nearby.  Even though my Spanish cannot keep up yet with the people, it is hilarious to see what everyone has incommon. How families treat one another, sarcasm, how half of the things here are U.S. Products, and the interests are also closely follow those of my friends. The district leader was interested when we saw a calender from one of our investigators who works at the theatres. There are some good movies coming, keep an eye out. 
My Companion is incredible. I am his first trainee, and he has been here for four months. He is from the Estado de Mexico, in a city south of the Capital. He really loves the music he brought on his Ipod, which is what else than The Piano Guys, Les Mis, The EFY Medly, and other LDS intruamentals. He is organized and humble, and I aplaude him for his efforts to teach a lesson with my limited knowledge of the language.  He learned some english, and in the morning we practice learning language as part of the extra time.  As for me, I am loving it.  The temperture here in Diciembre is like it is in Utah around Sept-Oct. The Humidity has not bothered me, but it is strange to see my breath in the morning when it is this warm.
This past week is was an Elder Tepox's birthday, and we spent some time at a member's eating cake before we returned to the apartment.  On Wednesday night the ward celebrated the Posada, and we brought some menosactivos and investigadores as we watched The Polar Express in Spanish, and I had the chance to see the ward as a whole.  With Navidiad this week, we are taking half a P-Day today and half a day on the 25, only on the account of most of the town is vacationing.  A world where there is no snow for christmas, that is one way to some up tha area. 
I love you all and I am grateful for the chance to come out and serve the Lord. I know I need to write more, and I will send picture and verify my address next week, but I am pretty sure the one you have Mom is right. Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, happy New Year, y buenos años nuevos!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hasta luego MTC

My time here at the MTC is just about finished!  I have had a wonderful learning experience here spiritually and I have enjoyed learning the language.  Thank you for the package! I apologize I am sending this letter late, but I plan on writing much more next chance I get.  I am saving my present until Christmas, I hope it will be good.  Tomorrow I leave to Tijuana, and my flight leaves much later than most missionaries at 11:17.  I will call Dad in the morning while I'm at the Airport, around 8:45-10ish. Thank you for telling me the details about Kenzie's accident, I am glad to hear she is doing so much better.  I want to thank Nikki for being so kind and helpful here at the MTC, it was nice seeing a familiar face.  How are the holidays been going for everyone? The Truck sounds like it is giving you a lot of problems, Dad, I pray you can still work things out between vehicles and travel. I wish I could write more, but I need to go.  I wish everyone a happy holidays, and I will write before Christmas! Thank you Mom and Dad for you love and support in my life, thank you to my sisters for the joy they give me!


Elder Tobler

The above letter was sent Sunday December 15th. Sorry for the late update. When he talked with Mark on Monday his spirits were high and he was very eager to get into the field. We can't wait to hear from him again.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

2 new letters and a picture

This picture and letter wasn't sent on Nov 21 as is was suppose to so I received it on the 27th with a second letter. The Lord really know when we need extra blessings and support.

Dear Family,

I assisted yesterday in welcoming new recruits to the Lord's army.  I reflected on the story of the Army of Helaman this past week, and how these young boys can not only match but surpass the abilities of and legion that may stand in their way.  I really enjoy the Provo Temple, and it is so fun here whether I am working or I am just among those in my zone.  I have seen a few missionaries I recognize, and I have heard through my District leader that the mothers of those in my district all know each other.  I am attaching a few pictures of us to show how much fun we are having.  I gotta go but I will write more. 

Elder Tobler

Dear Family,

Just a few hours after writing the letter last week, I received the package of cinnamon rolls!  Last night, I had the opportunity to sing in the MTC Choir.  There is a large group of missionaries departing for Tijuana, many of them the same day.  On Sunday I was informed that I will be made Zone Leader since our current Elders in that position are leaving to Argentina next week. McKenzie Everett Gave me a haircut yesterday, I hope you see the picture she'll send you.
I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving!  I am grateful for all of my family, my grandparents, little cousins (and the one [older] cousin).  I am grateful for my coaches, particularly Coach White, Brian, and Coach Henslee,  and I am grateful for the physical and mental endurance they have forged me into. I am grateful for my influential teachers, throughout the years, both in school and in church.  I reflect on your lessons when I study and read passages of scripture you discussed with me.  I am grateful for my neighbors, bosses, and my Calculus teacher for teaching me how to work hard.  To reiterate I am grateful for my parents, and my three very different but very amazing three little sisters, Kenzie, Cami, and Livi. 

Best of luck, until next Thursday!

Elder Tobler

Thursday, November 14, 2013

1st Letter Home

Hola mi familia!

The MTC has been great so far!  All of the Spanish missions are in the West Campus that used to belong to BYU.  The first few days are always the most interesting, but now that I have settled into the groove everything has been grand.  I have seen Aunt Nikki in the Cafeteria and I have seen a few friends who entered the same day as me around the campuses.  If Brother Halloran is still wondering why he might be seeing missionaries walking around Provo at 8:30 at night, it is because we have to walk back to our apartment from the devotional on the main campus.  All of the rooms are converted from the dorms, which makes it seem like we are always in the same room.  The food tastes fine, but is a little... weird.  The eating schedule is very close together, with a late breakfast, a little bit early lunch and a WAY early dinner.  I share the apartment with my whole district, with a companionship in every room.  There are working on trying to finish moving in before winter.  My companion is Elder Scholes (sho-ls), or Elder Skulls.  He is the only one in the district that is also from Utah, he grew up in Hyrum.  It was interesting, actually, we sat right by each other on the bus to our campus on the first day before we knew we were companions.  My District Leader is from outside of Spokane, there are Two from Arizona, and one from Pocatello. We have already said farewell to the Zone Leaders who were here when we arrived.  I still wish I could run a bit more, but street basketball is always fun.  My Spanish has been going very fast, and I thank Sra. W, Sra. Halverson, and Coach Fletcher for giving me a head start!

I hope Kenzie is okay, and I hope everyone at home is handling life alright.  I received your letter the other day, thank Livi for the picture.  I heard about the storm in the Phillipeans from L Tom Perry this past week.  I wish the best of luck to those who are effected.  Thank you everyone for helping me get here.  I gotta go, but I will write again next week!


Elder Tobler

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Today's The Day!

Hello Everyone!  This is James.  I am so excited to leave this afternoon to the Missionary Training Center in Provo.  I had that "first day of school" feeling, I woke up at 4:30 and could not go back to sleep.  Last night I was set apart as a missionary, with my family to share the experience with me.  My bags are packed, my spirit is ready, and I go in preparation to serve and preach to the people in Tijuana the Lord has prepared for me.  Thank you everyone who supports me and given me opportunities of service, wisdom, love, and friendship.  I will apply the shared testimonies and the knowledge you have given me in my servitude to the Lord in these next two years.

I am very excited, ready, and grateful.
Elder James Tobler