Monday, July 17, 2017

Shoulder to shoulder

Hello Everyone!

It has been crazy here.  I think that is my life theme, things just get crazier.

So this past week we went to Guanacaste again, Las Juntas, Bagaces, and Upala, where the hurricane Otto hit a couple months back. I love working with the ground level missionaries. It is so much better than being in the office. All of these areas are groups, that is they are just starting off, so there is a lot of work to do. We had six good days of sleeping on the floor, it´s like a camp out with out the marshmellows.

My Pday has changed back to Mondays!

Our job as traveling assistants is to go and get to know the missionaries, and see how we can help them, from a shoulder to shoulder perspective, working with them. We want these missionaries to have the best experiences of their lives, and knowing them better helps us to really see what they need, and how to help them. It doesn't necessarily mean that they are going to get what they want, but what they need. For example, when we do transfers with president, it helps when you know a person, I have heard, and agree with it to a certain point that information precedes revelation, which is to say that we should study it out in our mind, and do our best to get to a conclusion, and then we ask the Lord about it.

I love you all!

Untarnishedly,

Elder Noah M. Toney








Traveling



A member friend

Elder Lopez

My comp and I


My son


Friday, July 14, 2017

Light

Howdy Everyone!

I had a rather beautiful visit to the temple this week. What most impressed me and also caused me to wonder was the subject of  Light. There are many things that I do not understand, many things that confuse me, and yet more things that are difficult for me. But as I sat studying and enjoying the Light, there was one particular lesson that was impressed on my soul and mind; and that is the Love I have for the Light. I love the Light. I admire it. I want more of it in my life. There are so many aspects of life that represent many of my fundamental beliefs and desires. Honesty: Light reveals. Safety: Light relieves. Warmth: Light Comforts. Growth: Light nourishes. Of all of these, that which is most close to my heart is honesty. I love honesty and abhor lying, hiding, cheating. I love the freedom and power that honesty, or truth, gives you. To live without fear. To be able to grow and change (repentance). Light is relief, knowing that I know what is inside me, being almost painfully conscious of who I am and what I have done, and knowing that God knows the same or more, and does not condemn me.  Rather, He assures me of how important and loved I am. The absolute safety and trust that it yields because we are on the same page.  While the world might not accept me, might reject me and hate me for my weaknesses, He does not!  There will always be at least one person who has got your back. And often many more that you do not see or believe.

As I sat there in plain wonder, I understood something about myself.  For all of my flaws, and many they may be, I desire to have light in my life. I wanted to drink in all of the light that surrounded me, and keep it with me always.

Anyways.

It has been an interesting week as we make the companion switch, and as my new companion and I decide how we are going to do this. It should be interesting and we got a taste of it when we did exchanges with a pair of elders yesterday, I think that it is going to be amazing. Being with the other missionaries is wonderful.  Generally, the higher you get in the leadership, the more prideful everyone gets haha including yourself. If you want to be humble, surround yourself with humble people. There are a whole lot of changes in the mission that are happening, I think that we are understanding that we are not here to have a leadership title, we are first and foremost missionaries, representatives of Jesus Christ, sent to a world in need to extend the blessing of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Too many missionaries get caught up in a race to be recognized leaders. We lose our focus. I´m learning that when we´ve got the right focus, or priorities, everything is better. I think it´s really good for a missionary who is a leader to get dropped down for a while, when one has more responsibility, for example, and you ask him to serve in a different capacity, the which they might consider lesser, one has a mandatory reality check; what is really important? Did I do something wrong? Did I have the right motives? What would I have changed? I think that it is a good opportunity for reflection. The rest follows. Focus on the missionaries, let them do their work, don´t micromanage, trust that they will do a good job, be worried for them, Happy people work well. Correct principles taught and priorities established, correct behavior and nature reaped.

The mission is changing. The missionaries are constantly telling us how things have changed. That is good, the missionaries are happy. As for me, I´m gonna go rambo missionary until September haha, which is to say, when we were seriously considering the idea of traveling assistants, I kinda imagined something like Rambo, where they just throw me out there and we go from place to place, teaching missionaries, helping out, and then leaving, no office meetings, no home base, no lengthy reports, just goin hard. People ask, "Hey what happened to the traveling assistants?" "I dunno, I think I saw them in Santa Cruz but then I heard that they were in Puntarenas" "I heard they baptized someone in Heredia" That kinda thing. I figured that we´d just kind of show up at the airport when we finished and it was time to go home.

Alas that is not how things work. But I still like the idea.

We´re having a pretty good go of it, I enjoy being with my new companion a bunch, he´s a really good guy.

Good stuff.

Scintillatingly,

Elder Noah M. Toney
A lot of missionaries, a lot of Subway!

Stick Pull

The bloodline of the trainers

All of the Americans in the mission, we outnumber by more than half all of the other nacionalities. An Apostle came to visit.

Elder Montgomery

Elder Latu, he's from Tonga

Our mission