Saturday, August 27, 2016

The Lord is working here


This past Sunday we had 46 people in our itty bitty house. It`s pretty awesome, we see a lot of miracles that have nothing to do with us but shows us that the Lord is working here. My favorite part about being District Leader is two fold, 1) I`m connected. It`s a good balance between closeness, and fairness from the HQ, which is to say, there is pressure, but not too much, and I still hear a lot of what happens because I`m close to my leaders. 2) I am ALWAYS being challenged. Knowing that I have to be an example helps me a lot to work hard. I am in a constant phase of changing and learning, and being humbled. It keeps me from being too proud or too lazy. We are using the members more here, working with families. That helps a lot. In this area a lot of hard work is required.

Two funny stories about singing, a while back we were in the first lesson with a new investigator, as usual, we sang a hymn to start. Her two years old son starts sobbing inconsolably, pleading us to stop singing. I`m thinking, what the heck happened to you child? Why are you crying? I sound like an angel so quit that crying business. But then for almost all of the lesson, he cried. Saying "mommy are they gonna sing?" "No dear they won`t sing again" " Are you sure? I feel like they`re going to sing again" Nope she says, no more singing. My companion and I just sit there, baffled, trying not to laugh. Was it so darn bad haha? I still don`t know, but according to her, he cries like that every time someone sings. I have the lurking suspicion that we are just bad singers, Who knows?

Last night we were in the house of some recent converts. We started the lesson with a hymn, (you`d think we would have learned by now, but what can I say, We've got thick heads) I jokingly told one of the guys that was there that we were now going to listen to him sing, solo style. He surprised me by taking the hymnal. I say do you know the tune? Of course he tells me. I`m thinking "what is happening here?" So he starts singing the hymn, Love One Another. But with a completely different tune, (I`m pretty sure it was "Santa Maria"; but who knows)

I call that courage.

I have been learning a lot about patience. I learned something really interesting today. A good friend gave me some advice. The 100% of my companion may not be equal to my 100%. I shouldn't get frustrated because he doesn't move as fast as I do. I've always said that if patience is a virtue, I`m not virtuous. It appears that the Lord is bound and determined to help me be virtuous.

I love you all!


Elder Noah M. Toney
Ghetto pants reparation! We used staples :D

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Him whom I love, I chasten


Hey y'all!   I know I haven't written much lately, but things only speed up, they never slow down. There is absolutely too much that I would love to write about and too little time. Basically here we are working like crazy. I love being District Leader. I have a little bit more responsibility and a lot more opportunities to grow. I imagine that is very stressful to be a Zone Leader. All the same, from the moment I wake up (an hour early) to the moment I go to sleep, I am working. I love it, I love being involved. It can be hard, but I know that I have divine help that is making me better. Baby steps, right? I like being involved with the missionaries, knowing what is going on, and I love it when people correct me, That is: 1) a way in which they show me they care for me and want to help me and 2) an opportunity to do things better.

One of my Zone Leaders
Now the truth is, if I don´t trust in the person who is correcting me, I don´t respond nearly as well.  But if they do have my trust, I really do appreciate it. I am learning the truth in what the Lord has said, "Him whom I love, I chasten."  I get chastened a lot, so I suppose that means one of two things: 1) The Lord loves me, and 2) I still have a long (really long) way to go! It reminds me of what Papal Larkin told me one time, that he can't trust a man that is afraid to tell him how it is, even if it is contrary to what you want to hear. I prefer that too.

The countryside. There are a BUNCH of coffee plantations here!
Our little group is growing! The first Sunday I arrived we had ten people come, including us. The second, we had 23, last week we had 40, and yesterday we had 44, and that is with pue poaseños mind you, no griingos or people from other places. The truth is we have a really good group leader who is working hard, and a whole bunch of miracles. For example, we had six people who told us that they were going to come.  The morning of we called them and they said that they were on their way. And not a single one arrived. Instead the Lord blessed us with four people that we hadn't even planned for. I think He´s trying to tell me something, like "Hey, you hard-headed son of mine, I call the shots here, not you." It has been interesting. Every day is a fight to do things well.  Perhaps I coat things with sugar, making it sound like all is perfect. Well it isn't. Everyday is a fight and I am enemy number one.  Truthfully, I am the one that makes things so hard, but I´m stubborn, so I suffer for my stubbornness because sometimes I know what I should do, but I don´t do it. I struggle with patience. I have a great companion, but sometimes I feel like I´m his mother. And I don´t always have tolerance. Equally, I am impatient with myself; it is hard for me to accept my own faults. But I am learning. Slowly :) But I am happy. Very happy. Not every day, but that´s life.

Risk. I WON!!!! (Thank you Doc!)
Another miracle, Last week I didn't write. Here´s why. We were in San José because my comp had to go to the hospital (he is ok) When we were leaving Carls Junior (definitely not worth it, I felt awful afterwards--daggoned pictures look so good) As we were exiting, I saw my best friend from Guanacaste, Marvin Zuñiga. I was having a really bad day and it was absolutely God-sent to see him and be able to talk for a bit. There is a lot of pressure in Poás to have results and I was feeling a tad overwhelmed. And we talked for like four hours, so my fault, but it helped me a lot

Well I gots to go, but I love you all!


Elder Noah M. Toney

All of the District Leaders of Costa Rica