May 3, 2018


Del Rio, Texas


Elder Toone

Zone Leader

Hello Everyone!
I had a great week here in Del Rio and have some good things to say as well!
My time here in Del Rio has been STELLAR!!!!!!!!! The members are grand, but the ward doesn't exist.... It is two branches here. One in English and the other is in Spanish. The food is good. Here we eat a good amount of Mexican food but also a lot of american food like burgers and steak. We eat a good amount of Asian food too for some reason... but i have no idea why. Members just like to get fancy and make fun dishes. But, all of it has been great so i have no complaints! The members feed us a really good amount, but there are some nights we just eat at the apartment like sandwiches or if i feel fancy we cook chicken and have it with rice. It is a little bit of everything!
That is crazy that Calli had her farewell today! She is going to love the mission and it will be one of the best decisions that she has ever made! That is crazy that the Prysbyla's are already back! It sounds like it would've been a hard mission, but one full of opportunities for learning right? They are the nicest people and great examples of missionary service!
I love that talk from conference! We all need to work together in order to prepare the earth for the saviors second coming! That is a big part of what we do as missionaries and members! I gave a talk yesterday about member missionary work, and how it is important to make sure that those we serve feel that we genuinely love them as the Savior would love them! I love the quote that i remember dad telling me, "No one cares what you know, until they know that you care." That has always stuck with me and helped me to focus first on loving the people and serving them. And then, helping them to receive the restored gospel. Truly it is by loving and serving that people are really converted! Yes, the doctrine is nice, but it is how we feel and what the spirit is telling us that truly matters.
I have been able to get around and meet a lot of the members! I have already participated in sacrament meeting twice. One to play the piano, and now i had to give a talk! The first counselor of the presidency called us like 20 minutes before and asked if I would speak since one of his speakers cancelled. So, yep.... i had to speak but it went well. I felt bad because i think he just wanted me to give like a 5 minute talk, but i gave like 12.... ooops! We have been working with a lot of really promising people here in Del Rio, and everyone loves to have us over. But, I want to talk about two (maybe three) specifically.
First, Alexis. So Alexis is the son of a recent convert of about 6 months. Her and her daughter converted and have been super solid in coming to church, but Alexis just was not ready 6 months ago. Well, we went over to talk with the mom about going to the temple for baptisms and such, when lo and behold Alexis was there for the visit! We got the chance to talk with him and kind of see where his intentions were. Surprisingly enough, he was talking about having more lessons and wanting to be baptized! What???? So we have now met two times since then, but the first one was more a drop by since he was leaving. This last time we met, we invited him to be baptized on June 9th and to be honest.... he was a little hesitant! So, we all bowed our heads and prayed right there what he should do and if June 9th is the correct decision! We told him to continue to pray about it, and think about if he thinks that that is the date our Heavenly Father wants him to be baptized! So, that was our final invitation. To pray about that date and read in the Book of Mormon each day so that he can feel that peace and comfort that he feels when we come by and that can come through the study of the Book of Mormon. We are super excited for Alexis and know that he is going to be baptized. We just need to help him be more confident and recognize the change that he has already made, because he has totally made a 180 turn around from about 6 months ago!
Second, we are working with one of the young women in the branch to teach one of her friends Martin. She has been friends with Martin for about 2 years now and they both graduated from high school in the past year. We have talked with her in what she thinks would be good with Martin and she told us to take it a little slow. The past missionaries kind of rushed into things and it pushed him farther away because he wants it to be his decision, WHICH IT IS!!! So we met with Martin on Saturday and had a great lesson. We talked about just the basics of the gospel like how God is our loving Heavenly Father. And that Jesus Christ is his son. We talked about how we all make mistakes but through the gospel and the atonement of Jesus Christ we can all be forgiven for these things, because we will never be perfect. We talked about as he learns more, he will learn to make promises with God, or also called covenants, that will bless his life and help him to fully reap the blessings of the gospel. And just kind of How to Begin Teaching from Preach My Gospel. It was sooo good! He has been coming to church for about a year so he has a great knowledge of the gospel already and just wants to fill in the little gaps that are blurry like priesthood keys and more on the plan of salvation! The young woman's (that is working with us) dad said something super great. We had the lesson at their house, and near the end he talked about how if we receive answers we are looking for, we need to act on the them. That is our way of showing faith in Gods plan and his ability to give us answers! So it went really well and we plan of continuing to work with Martin to hopefully have him baptized here soon. But, it is all up to how fast he is ready to be baptized.
We found a family named the Compians. They are so sweet and we have had one solid lesson with them already. The elders met him on the streets right before i got here and set up a time to go back because he was super interested in eternal families. We went back and taught him AND his wife about eternal families and how we can be an eternal family! The mission has been really focusing on things called connections to Heaven. There are 3 of them, and they are: Priesthood for the father to bless family and kids, Eternal Families, Cleansed from sin. It was so cool to see how the Compians' eyes lit up when we talked about how they can be an eternal family and see those who have already passed away! We talked about the Book of Mormon a little with them and told them that they can find all the answers they are looking for in it! The Book of Mormon is so powerful and I am so grateful for the revelation that we have and can receive through it each and every day!
All in all, I AM LOVING DEL RIO, BUT EVEN MORE TEXAS! It is great and i feel so blessed to work with so many good missionaries and people here.
Thank you for all your love and support. It means so much to me that I have such amazing friends and family.
Have a great week!


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