Monday, June 20, 2016

Never underestimate the good

My new zone leader, Elder Vorwaller
Thinking on my past couple of weeks, I`m filled with a lot of different emotions, the small triumphs and the big failures, the frustration and the gratitude, the discoveries, the yet-unanswered questions, happiness and sadness. I feel like I`m living a life of opposites, but far from disliking the fact, I find that I quite enjoy it. My successes are painted neon by my failures, marking that although I sure did mess up a lot (a lot) There were a lot of things good that we did. There is a scripture in the book of Mormon that says if we didn't have bad things in life, we wouldn't appreciate, or even understand and enjoy, the good things.

I have now been in Santa Cruz for all of Alfredo's family, birthdays, even his mom!
I had an experience this last week that kinda put things in perspective for me. We baptized Keilor and Yolanda about two months ago. After the baptism it was a little hard to get out to see them, and unfortunately they weren't coming to church very often. The change they had worked so hard to make, was slowly being undone. To give a little background, K and Y always say how before the started learning about this church they always fought, never at peace. And how as they started to learn, things began to Change. Keilor specifically did a 180, he went from drinking and partying and who knows what, to a man who forsook all of that to have a better family. About a month ago we were able to start visiting them more frequently, and they started coming back to church. One Monday, after a family home evening in the house of Alfredo, we were bringing them home, (a member was helping us out) Keilor said something that gave me pause. As members of this church, we go to church for many reasons, but primarily it is to partake of the Sacrament. After your baptism, the sacrament is like your weekly opportunity to be washed up. \

To cleanse all of the bad stuff. When you don`t take it, the bad stuff sticks to you, and accumulates. That is what was happening to Keilor. Seeing him after he had missed lots of Sundays was a shock. All of the wonderful light that he had at his baptism had fled. But by returning to the church, you could see a black and white difference. As he told me on the ride home how he had begun to feel the change, I realized that this is all worth it, everything we do, if only having helped this one family be happy. I had the privilege to ordain Keilor to the priesthood this past Sunday. I would have preferred that a member do it, but he asked. Notwithstanding, it was a privilege to do it.

Unfortunately, I know that I haven`t done this story justice. But it is a miracle in my eyes. Never underestimate the good you can do in a life. If you help even one person, count yourself lucky. Also to those who are members, you are indispensable to the missionaries. Much of the success we had with Keilor and Yolanda had to do with exceptional members who helped us.

Love Noah

Making Tortillas

Food, glorious food!

 Keilor and Yolanda!!!!

I'm sitting in a beach chair in the middle of the congregration

It's worth it

Hello Everyone,

We had a LOT of rain this past week. I got SOAKED. It was cool the first time, but it lost its novelty mighty fast, wet feet? no bueno. It just ain't cool. I bought another pair of shoes. Someone here handmade them for fifty bucks. They`re pretty nifty.

We also had a baptism! A young man named Keneth, he is the nephew of the muchacha we baptized last week. His mom really wants to be baptized, but sadly there are complications. Yesterday (Sunday) was wonderful because seven of the eight people that I have baptized in Santa Cruz came to church. And let me tell you, that is a marvelous feeling. Knowing that what is being done through me is helping. Seeing the change in the lives of these people I love so darn much.

It`s worth it.
Can you guess which shoes are mine?

Time is a demon, dominate it if you can, cooperate with it if you have to, run from it if you can`t.


Elder Noah M. Toney

Sunday, June 5, 2016


Hello Everyone!

My first district
Big News! Transfers is today, And I`m still in Santa Cruz! Wooohooo. I`ll end up having almost nine months here. Really it just makes me laugh. I know people so well here, I love the ward, and luckily the ward loves me (I hope). Pretty much nothing has changed with me, but a BUNCH changed in the mission, 12 missionaries finished their missions. Here in Santa Cruz I`m to continue as District Leader. I feel much better this time around, which is not to say that I feel I should depend on the Lord less, rather now I can focus on depending on Him better, rather then being stressed out of my gourd. As a leader I have come to recognize that I have some strengths and weaknesses. I`m very good with the people side of things, I love my missionaries, and they know it. So when I have to correct them (something I really do not enjoy) generally they work hard at changing. They know I want the best for them. On the other hand, I'm an awful administrator. Numbers, documents, names. I don`t like that part so much. This transfer I`m going to change that. Organization helps.
My zone

I also achieved a life long goal. Returning from Liberia via bus, I was so tired that I fell asleep standing up. Scared the bejeepers outta me, and my companion too. But all was well.

I am also discovering something, that is the power of listening. And it`s just that, listening is pure power, whether our intentions are good or bad, good listening skills really empower us. From listening we gain understanding and knowledge, and with those two things you gain influence. The ability to really help someone. Inversely you are also able to hurt, but that side doesn't interest me as much. Do your self a favor, learn how to listen. It really opens your world. Be it you spouse, child, best friend, worst enemy, or God. Learning to listen will better your life. Its bettering mine.

African Safari
I could expound on that all day.

Love you all,


Elder Noah M. Toney

My zone leader

Baptism, family of Ana

My convert, Yolanda