Monday, November 25, 2013

Loving the missionary life

As of saturday i've been out 1 month! 1 month down, 17 more to go :p and TODAY is one month til i get to skype home!!! YAAAY! i am seriously so excited!
^saturday not only was my 1 month, but also a very special day for me & my comp. it was the day that our 2 little investigators got baptized. the weather couldn't have been any more perfect. it was gorgeous. i got to give a talk on the holy ghost and then all 5 of us sisters sang a musical number for it. they were SO happy for their big days and the spirit was so strong. there were so many people that had been waiting for the day that they'd get baptized and it finally came! i had a smile on my face all day :)
Happy Baptism Day with Sister Havens!

The two little girls were baptized!
^people getting baptized isn't the ONLY thing that makes missionaries happy. there is a family in the ward who is SUPER less active and hasn't gone to church in yearrrrrrrsss. we have been stopping by and visiting with them more often and sunday i turned around and saw them walking into church..i can't even explain to you the feeling that i had. i was SO happy. i started to tear up (you know me. -_-) i couldn't believe they were there but i was so glad they were. what makes ME happy as a missionary is seeing people come unto Christ. seeing people remember the importance that he once was in there life and wanting to change. seeing how much a family can and will change through doing the things the lord wants them to do. it makes me happy when people find out for themselves JUST how true this church is. This IS the Lords true church on the earth today and it makes me happy telling people about it and giving them the opportunity to find out for themselves the truthfulness of it. i love being a missionary. i can't stress it enough.
^this week my trainer and a few others had to go to a meeting in that left me and three other "greenies" by ourselves for the day. it was sister stouffer (my comp. from the MTC), sister cardona and i. we were so nervous about how the day would go, especially since iiii would be driving us hahah. me and California driving do NOT mix :p we were also scared because we didn't have anyone there to do all the work for us this time, it was up to US to go find people to talk to. luckily, with all of us encouraging another we were able to get a lot done..i even contacted for my first time...6 people!!!! i was so proud of myself. i think all of us really needed that day to ourselves to realize we ARE good missionaries and can do this, we just need to be confident and know the Lord is watching over us.
^we finallllllly got to do some service this week! we helped knit hats for babies :) i was surprised at how well mine turned out because we alllll know i ain't no homemaker, okkkkk!
My hat

The sisters and our hats

I am so proud of my hat
^there is a lady in the ward who is 90ish years old, blind and sweet as can be. her name is grandma june & we go see her at least once a week. she is the most precious thing& always kisses your neck when she hugs you :') she will sit there and just hold my hand for forever as she is tellin us about life and how she bought her house for $10,000 60 years ago hahah. i love her. it's like getting to go visit my grandma's :)
^the ward here is having like 34862398562983 ward christmas parties..i think i might die of excessive eating.
Hanging out at the bishops house

Hanging out in the library
^people notice my accent here more than anywhere else i've ever been lol. i say yall and they FLIIIP. i love the south :)
^i got a ton of letters this week & i appreciated every single one of them. thank you to anyone that has sent anything. they make me feel so much love and i need it. yall are the best <3
^i added a picture in here to show you all that i haven't changed a bit hahahah. enjoy :)
Still a goob!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-HUGS- sister toolan

Sister Toolan is learning to braid her own hair:)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Crazy P-Day

it's been quiiiiite the morning already lol. we woke up bright and early (6:30 just like every day) and went to wash our car since it's pday..get back, in the bathroom ready to shower and the power goes out!!! so we are like it's cool, we can just flip the breaker...NO. everything was out, so i didn't care just showered in the dark, ya know, typical day on the missssh hahha. so we call the other sisters in our ward (oh yeah, forgot to tell you there are 5 sisters in our ward lol, whoops :p) and tell them we are coming over to do laundry and finish getting ready and such and they say it's fine. we take the walk of shame with all our laundry, lettering materials, things to get ready for the day with, ect. to the car, put it all in and get ready to head out..but we forgot about one big important thing...we live in a gated area..which is GREAT because it's super safe, but when the power is out it's REALLY bad because you're LOCKED in. hahahah my companion and i got so darn tickled over that we could hardly stand it. it was such a funny start to our wonderful pday :)

Diamond Bar Missionaries
^the best thing ever happened the other day: the first night i was here in cali i had to teach a lesson to these 2 young girls who were interesting in getting baptized. they were/are spectacular! they know so much about the church and understand everything so perfectly! after a few more times of teaching them we set up the baptismal date, nov. 30th YAY! so we started asking them who they wanted to talk at the baptism, the songs they wanted to sing and the people they wanted to pray. brother arnold goes "who do you want to give the talk on the holy ghost?" and the sweet little 10 year old looks down, thinks, then looks straight at me and says "i want sister toolan too!!" it brought THE biggest smile to my face. it made me think: you know what? being a missionary is hard. it's demanding. people are mean. it's a lot of work. but this right here...THIS is what makes all the bad things worth it. How grateful i am to get to be apart of these little girls big day this coming up weekend. thinking about it just makes me happy :)
Loving the headband I got her for Christmas - Toni Bludworth hooked me up!  She is still taking selfies:)
^at zone meeting this week one of the elders brought up a really great point. he ask all 20ish of us misisonaries "how many of you have family who you wish you could go home and teach the gospel to RIGHT now??" everyone raised their hands.."how many of you have less active member family who you wish you could go home and help make them feeled loved again and get them back to church?" everyone raised their hands...then he goes "well you know what? we are ALL brothers and sisters. these people here in california are your family and you should love every one of them enough that you share the message of jesus christ with them. you need to take care of the people here just like you hope the missionaries back home are taking care of the people you love." i was like WOW. how amazing. i never even thought of it that way. i am done being scared to talk to people here because i am NOT passing up the chance of someone being able to come closer to christ because of the message i have to share with them. the church has made me WAY too happy to not want to tell everyone of my brothers and sisters in cali about it.
Sister Cardona from Puerto Rico (the 2 "greenies" or new missionaries)
^take a min. to think about this: do we want to be covenant people or a convenient people? do we want to do the right thing only when it's convenient for us to do so, or do we want to remember christ always be doing the things he's asked? do we only go to church when it's good for our schedules or do we make church the center of our schedule and work around it? do we talk to the kid who has no friends because no one is there to make fun of us for befriending him, or do we go out of our way to be nice even though it embarrassing? are we a covenant people or a convenient people?
neat thinnngs happenin:
^my comp has the tendency to talk in her sleep. a lot. it's so funny though, the other night i woke up to her teaching one of the missionary Discussions in her sleep. at the end she invited me to be baptized hahaha i was sooooo confused until i realized what was going on. it was a fun topic to talk about when we were running the next morning :p
^want to know why i think anyone and everyone who has the chance to go to EFY should? becuase like the church, it makes the world so small! i was at the mission office this week and the secutary goes "do you know chase wills?" and i was like huuuuh? she then went on telling me how he called the office that very morning asking if there was a katie toolan in the mission and when he found out there was he was like COOOOOOL please tell her i say hello the next time you see her, hopefully we can run into eachother!! (he did that because since he is an elder and i'm a sister in the same mission we can't email or anything, so this was his way of communication!) HOW COOL. she showed me a picture of him then it hit me! i knew him!! i went to EFY with him for years!!! we became good friends because of it and now we are in the same mission and will probably see eachother at some point!! COOL.
^new motto: don't complain if ya ain't willin' to change!! i mean, commmeooon yall, you know it's true.
^everynight when the members feed us they are literally having to add on a whole new family, there's 5 of us!!! hahah it's a big party everynight when we get together and eat :) there hasn't been a night that one of us hasn't cried from laughing so hard yet hahaha. when you're a missionary, the dumbest things bring you the greatest joy hahah
A great scripture that got me through the week: Alma 37: 36-37
36 Yea, and acry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy bdoings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy cthoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
 37 aCounsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for bgood; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the cmorning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
sister toolan

Monday, November 11, 2013

I am in Caliiiiiiii

welp. I'M IN CALLLLLI. i lalalove it here! it's everything i thought it'd be and more :p
for starters I just everyone to know this: as a missionary, i now officially HATE federal holidays -___- our p-days are on mondays and because that's usually when federal hoildays are that shortens our emailing time by 2 hours AND made this week exceptionally long...i haven't have a pday since LAST friday. like 11 days ago...i'm dying over huuuur!
so traveling to california was quite the experience. there were 9-11 of us missionaries all traveling together, each of us with two big suitcases, one carry on and our "bags". HOLY COW. talk about stressful lol, and on top of that it was SNOWING. but luckily it didn't snow too much (at the MTC in utah) up until that day, which i was juuuusttt fine with considering i can't stand snow. i like to think of it as heavenly father answering my prayers lol :)
Utah Snow - last day
i got to meet my mission president and his wife and they are such wonderful people. i can tell that i'm going to learn a loooot from them. they were so sweet. they are like my parents away from home. (i'm in good hands mom, don't worry <3) to prove that they are just the best, here's a story. sister hobbs came up to me that first moment meeting her and said "you and i have a friend in common!!" i soon realized she was talking about ashley clark (hermana clark) and said "oooh yesss! :)" she then said "i'm gunna let you make a special phone call here in a little." i got sooooooo excited :) she let me call her and talk to her for a little bit and it was so great to hear her voice again!! we aren't serving anywhere close to eachother but she is still here and like her dad told me while i was visiting this summer "i'll see her when i most need it. when i am most homesick and sad." i truly believe that. heavenly father has my back.
First Night in Caliiiiii
my new companion (for at least the next 6 weeks): sister havens! she is from virginia and has been out for 6 months. she is super loud and fun, she keeps me going when i get tired lol. she has already been in this area (diamond bar) for over a month so she knows everyone and how everything works here which is really nice. she is also a craazzzzzy driver hahah (don't worry, i got permission to tell you all this ;p) i love it!
where i live: i live WITH a member!! sister howard :) which i lo0o0o0ve. my companion and i have our own rooom and she has made space for us everywhere in the house. it's really nice because it's like living at home in a way. like i kinda have a "mom" to come home to everynight and talk to, it's very convienant. plus, sister howard is a SAINT. sweetest lady ever. she loves us and i already love her. plus, we are teaching someone in her complex so it's very easy and doesn't waste miles :p OH YEAH: if you haven't picked up already, we have a car..and a niiiice one at that lol. we do walk a lot still though. which helps with exercise except for the fact that i have a blister now :( boooo. lol
the ward here is amaazing as well! everyone is so excited about missionary work and we get fed EVERY night, which for a missionary is the best thing ever. no joke, our meal calendar is full all the way to december lol. this ward kindof reminds me of crestview 2nd ward when i was in 10th grade and we were ON FIRE about sharing the gospel. that was such a good time in my life and for everyone as well i'm sure. it makes such a big difference for misisonaries when the ward is supporting them and helping tend to them! i'm gratfeul to have come from such a good ward :)
we have 3 baptisms coming up here at the end of november!!! it's crazy how much you grow to love someone in such a short period of time. i love even the people i meet on the side of the street and share the gospel with because i want them so badly to know the things i know from being a member of this church and know the happiness it can bring to their lives!!! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. and i know how importnant my job is.
some fun-ISH things:
number 1 reason why i feel i was sent to diamond bar??? I PASS BY "CRESTVIEW STREET" EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. it makes me sooooo happy :D i love having a little bit of home here with me :) (ps, the street signs here are so fancy and nice...i'm thinking crestview needs to step up it's game because these things light up and everything lol, super nice!!)
Crestview St.
every night when my comp and i are laying in bed about to go to bed we do a list of "likes". we say things we like about the other one. example: "sister havens, i like how much you like missionary work." or "i like that you like to dance like an idiot in the makes me not feel as weird ;p" it's such an uplifting thing to do & makes even a rough day end on a good note. it's something i want to do someday when i'm's a good idea. i "like" doing it :)
there is a family that we've been teaching who have a little girl. the things she says and the facial expressions she makes remind me so much of sweet little cambell :) one night she actually made me tear up (with a huge smile on my face of couse) because it reminded me so much of her!!! i love seeing that family if you can imagine :)
MOM! that package you send me was BANNNG UPP! it made me proud to be your daughter lol. i don't know if you did some hard core "pinteresting" or something for that, but whatever you did IT WORKED. i actually have been using stuff from that constantly. you're the best. and i'm glad you picked out monster inc. bandaids...since i got blisters and have been having to use them, the kids love em' :p
love you all, hugs! -sister toolan
Tia (roommate from BYUI) & I were sad to say goodbye at the MTC
Goodbye MTC

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Y'ALL. this time next week i'll be in caaaalllllliiiiiii, HOLLA! i can't believe my MTC time is almost up already (deff not complaining though lol). this week has been filled with so many different things, emotions, experiences, lessons, etc. 

^one thing that's hard to do as a missionary is follow the rules. sometimes you find yourself justifying everything and thinking you're above the rules...buuuuuut, we are missionaries. we knew the rules when we signed up and that's what is expected out of us. SO: it finally hit me. Jesus Christ is the PERFECT example of exact obedience and we, as missionaries, are representing the Savior which is why WE are expected to act and follow the rules with EXACT obedience. obviously i'm not perfect, none of us are, but i'm trying to keep that in mind when i want to break a "dumb rule". 

^MOM: i get to call you Tuesday morning when i get to the airport so i advise you to be near and dear to your phone 7:45-11...OR ELSE: no phone for a whole month. Get it? Got it? GOOD. hahah jk, but seriously i can only call like 2 times before all my "mins" will be used up. getting old school on ya over here!

^EVERYONE: it was made known to me this week that if we go to church with questions (doesn't matter how many) in our heart, the Lord will provide an answer for us. So, my goal for you all is to think of something you have a question about, it could be anything, and have it in your heart on Sunday when you go to church and pray and pray and pray about it..we can do it together :)

^one of my comps got sick this weekend and we had to take a "shuttle bus" outside of our little MTC bubble and go to the pharmacy. it felt sooooo weird at first to be in the real world lol especially with a NAME TAG on eeeeeppp :D but then something neat happened while we were waiting outside for our driver to pick us this point of the week we were alllll feeling like it was going to be impossible to ever teach someone a lesson or to get our message across. it was just a stressful time in the week. buuuut, while sitting outside a woman came up and goes "hey! it's not pday! haah just kidding, i'm so happy to see you sisters! where are you going?!" by this point she is hugging us, talking away and just having a great time. at the end of talking with her (thinking she is a member...i mean, come's utah people) she goes "you know? you sisters are an answer to my prayer..i haven't been to church in 6 years and have been wondering whether or not i should return...i know now that i should :)" i was like HALLELUJAH. IT'S NOT GOING TO BE A CRAZY AS I THINK ONCE I GET IN THE REAL WORLD. I GOT THIS. which, with the Lords help, I really do "got this".

^having comps 24/7 makes you a little crazy, but in a good way. just last night i was able to have a "personal growth" moment. i kiiiinndaaa snapped at my comp for something she was doing and realized soon after i was going to have to apologize for...which is NOT my strong suit...i mean commeeooon people, Jeri Toolan is my mother!!! aha i love ya, mom! so i prayed and prayed to heavenly father asking him to help humble me and to be able to approach her in a nice, loving way.....well...i did! i said i was sorry!!! it felt so good :) it made ME happy. i'm happy to know that not only can i forgive people and be forgiven by them, but that Heavenly Father can forgive me for every single mistake i made. he loves us. he wants us to pray to him and open our hearts out to him. he wants us to repent. i love him. 

^we got to go to the temple this morning! it was so refreshing :) mom & dad...i expect you to get back to the temple within 1 month and report back to me! k????? 


^while eating dinner this week i go (for some odd reason which i don't know lol) "i feel like i'm a mermaid right now eating under the sea..." and my comp after staring and then starting to crack up goes "and IIII feel like you're high right now!" hahaha only. me

^THEN i say a few days later in complete seriousness...."man, i wish i could learn how to speak braille."............................................really? where do i think these things?

^i did some math: if i was getting paid (min. wage even)  for ever hour i've been up and working here at the MTC, by now i would have earned $1084.50!!!!! DANG GINA!!!!!

i love you all and hope you're having a great week! it's the weekend so (insert my super ghetto voice) don't get toooo craaaayzeee yaaa hearrrrrr? lol

Companions on Sunday

 I love Sister Reaman!

Katie's purpose

Katie's idea for new sisters - SLT

Provo Temple - AM

Sister Reaman - BYUI Roomate