Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Teaching with Pres

Hello Everyone,

I had a fun experience yesterday: One of my missionaries has kidney stones. Had, actually, because Saturday they operated on him and luckily he didn't have to go home. It was a relatively small surgery and actually they didn't cut him open at all....suffice it to say that I am NEVER going another day without drinking tons of water. *shudder* Anyways, I was on splits with him so that his companion, who is a new missionary, didn't have to be cooped up in the house. We went to a ward baptism because we had to be in the chapel anyway for the Christmas devotional. And president shows up!  Sometimes I miss being far away from the mission home, because when you live more than five hours away from headquarters, no one ever shows up unannounced.  Actually, no one shows up ever!  After the service, while the participants were getting dried and dressed, my mission president leans over and says, "You should be taking advantage of this time to teach the Plan of Salvation (which basically teaches Gods recipe for our happiness).  You got lucky because Elder Brassanini (SeƱor kidney stones) can´t do very much."  For those that don't know my president, he seems very stern.  When he says things, it kind of makes you wet yourself a little, especially since I have rarely talked with president.  Since I´m a "leader" and should know these things, I pipe up and say, "Hey president, you wanna teach with me then?" In the moment before I said that I thought, "snapple, what do I do?" and "by golly have I got an idea" So we taught, and it was a lot of fun. I think it went over well with him, but I couldn't tell if he was angry or pleased based on his face. It was hard to tell.

Out of time. I love you all.


Elder Noah M. Toney
We went to the temple to see one of my converts and an old friend

Sunday, December 4, 2016

We loved them

Howdy Howdy,

I am not entirely sure that I have informed all of you where I currently am working.  My home is now in Flores de Heredia. It would be a grave understatement to say that it has been an eventful week. My new companion and I are doing really well. We get along super well, it seems like we are always laughing, I swear, I have never laughed so hard so often in all of my mission. He has been in Costa Rica awhile, so he has a lot of experience.  That means I get to learn a lot. We are both new at what we are doing, but our plan is to be as close and united as possible so that we can unite our zone. The area is really nice--the members make us dinner every single day it is so strange.   I have not eaten so much in all of my mission. The ward is so organized and the members all help us out!! It´s a lot different here than in my other areas, so I´m changing my strategy a bit.

I think it can be said that at this point in the journey we can recognize that Elder Toney has the tendency of writing one good email for every four or five negligent emails. Sorry!

These past two weeks have been the happiest of my mission. I feel...good. Starting out here in Flowers,  (I just love the literality of Spanish, and yes I do believe I just invented a word) I realized that I was feeling rather strange, and I couldn't quite identify the source. In analyzing the why, I found out something huge and rather personal. I felt a lack of self resentment. I believe that I am finally able to forgive myself for my mistakes. I know that it is probably hard to understand for someone who isn't me, but I have felt an intense resentment towards myself for so many years, based on my weaknesses. The absence of that poison brings me so much peace, and for the first time in years, years, and years, I feel hope. Real hope. I honestly believe now that maybe I´ll be okay, that I´ll turn out all right, that I am not forever destined to be a bad person who hurts those around him. I forgive myself for being human, and I love my Savior for helping me overcome that.

Being a Zone Leader is exhilarating, and absolutely exhausting. When we came here as Zone Leaders, things were pretty bad. The zone was the lowest in the mission. The missionaries weren't united. But this past week we all pulled together and worked like our lives depended on it. This past week was the week of miracles (previously known as the week of sacrifice) My companion and I worked like crazy to plan things, because the past zone leaders hadn't planned anything. We set some really high goals, with the prize being a trip to the temple, (which is unheard of here). Although we didn't meet the numerical goal, the real prize was seeing the light in the missionaries' eyes. We served them, we got to know them, we loved them. One thing we did every morning before we left to work was to gather in one of the chapels. My companion and I taught them, encouraged them, then we played games together for a short while. Then during lunch, we all ate together. This is something we can only do during this week. And to be truthful, our little zone was leading the mission in various categories. Our goal is to have this zone be a family, as it says in Matthew 12:48-50.

As a zone leader, we convey A LOT of information. That is basically our role, moving it all along. We talk with the district leaders and help them grow. We talk a lot more with our mission president.  Funny story--last Saturday he showed up at our apartment! THANK GOODNESS he didn't know where we live, because he had to call first to get directions. We cleaned so dang fast!

Things are going well, the zone is getting better. My companion is awesome. I love you all!


Elder Noah M. Toney

We hade a half pund of meat and a bunch of fries IT HURT SO BAD BUT WE DID IT.

The mother of one of the missionaries in my past district