Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Week

I GET TO SKYPE HOME ON WEDNESDAY & I'M SO STINKIN' EXCITED!!!!!!!!! CAN YOU TELL FROM ALL THE BIG LETTERS??!? THIS IS MY ONLY WAY TO SHOW MY EXCITEMENT THROUGH TYPING :) also, thank you to everyone who wrote me this week..i got on my email and saw the number 67 in my inbox and just about passed out!!! you're all great <3
They are sending me home
^i met with president this week because i needed a little "pick me up". he proceeded to tell me that before transfers he actually had me moved to a different area with a different companion, but when he went to finalize it all he said just couldn't move me. he knew i needed to stay in diamond bar and with sister havens. ever since i have been determined to figure out why it is that the lord wanted me to stay here. is there a person here that only i, sister toolan, would be able to touch? is there something sister havens has to teach me, or vise versa? ever since he told me that i am GUNHO about getting out and finding people!!
Christmas party
^in honor of being fed a grand total of SEVEN times on saturday  i have decided to change the words to i hope they call me on a mission to:
 "i love that i am on my mission, but now i've grown a pound or two...." #truestory

^one thing i'm trying to work on right now is actually ACCEPTING compliments. i'm really bad at believing the nice things people say to me, but maybe if i learn to just say thank you and go about my life i'll actually start believing it :) sometimes it's the little things in life that are holding us down like this, so that's why it's important to try and improve yourself every single day. you just gotta be better than you were yesterday!
My fab friend Miguel
^my favorite part of this week was the fact that we finally had some opportunity to do service. we were able to help a less active family set up for a huge family party they were having and later that day after we had gone over for a few hours we got a text from the wife saying "If you want to come around 2 just in case that would be awesome. My sister in law (who isn't a member) loved you guys. You have no idea how horrible a week this was. To have your help was truly a blessing in more ways than you will know. Thank you so much." i started thinking about how much sister havens and my hands helped in getting that party put together in time. it didn't seem like a lot at the time, but the 4 extra hands made it HAPPEN. so of course, being a missionary, i related it back to the gospel. theres 80,000 missionaries out right now...but think about how much more would get done if each and every one of us pitched in "our hands" and started sharing the gospel to our friends and loved ones? how much more missionary and temple work would get done?!?!? people! it's time to get out there and share what you know to be true with anyone and everyone!!! we are ridding people of so many blessings when we don't share our message with them. 

^on saturday we got invited to big birthday party with a Polynesian family in the ward and it was a BLAST. while we were there one of the little babies fell in LOVE with me and wanted nothing but for me to hold her...which i cant...because i'm a missionary..and it made me sad...and also get a little bit of baby fever, but that's besides the point...(:  this little girl was falling out of her aunts arms to try and get me to hold her hahah. even though i couldn't hold her i decided i'd take a picture with her...notice how she is holding my hand. she did for like 15 mins. 
She loves me!
^last night our whole zone got to carol at a members house while this little "christmas light block party" was going on. it was so much fun & it made me happy to sing the night away. you knooooow i love singin :) we handed out over 300 pass along cards!!! such a neat missionary experience!

^sunday i prayed ALL day to heavenly father asking for help in finding new people to teach. around 3 in the afternoon we received TWO referrals of people who had asked to talk to missionaries on, HELLO! talk about amazing. 

i am thankful for this christmas away from home and for how much it's made me see the bigger picture and true meaning of it all. HAPPY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE. i love and miss you all.
Granny and LaLa sent me a Christmas tree!  You may see your face on the tree:)

sister toolan
So excited!

Monday, December 16, 2013

First Transfer

^want to know the best way to get homesick as a missionary? GET SICK. monday night i woke up sick as a dog and the chaos continued until about wednesday morning. all five sister missionaries in the ward ended up getting it and we couldn't figure out where we got it! come to find out, it was being passed around the whole ward and we got it from eating with a family sunday night. it was HORRIBLE. it made me soooo homesick because all i wanted was my momma to hold my hair while i was throwing up and feeling like death lol. i felt beyond pathetic that got so bad that at one point i got in the shower, layed on the ground and tried to sleep while the water was running on me. i was so cold, tired and sick so that was the only way to make things work hahah. luckily everyone in the ward was super helpful and tended to our every need and i, sister toolan, am alive & well today :) i NEVER want to get sick again, especially on the mission lol.
Happy Sunday!
^this week i recieved a plethora of free things :D and yall knooooow i was excited to save a pretty penny!!! a woman from the ward gave me this really pretty navy blue straight skirt that fit perfectly :) and a woman we met gave me some crazy cool socks that i can wear at night when my feettsiiies get cold :) i am SET.
Free socks
Chino Zone with their beanies
^i finally met sister hicks from alabama at our mission christmas devotional friday! she is the cutest thing & her country accent makes me so happy. while we were at the devo we got some presents and in them was a bennie..a sister in one of the wards close around made 210 beenies for ALL the missionaries so we would get a present for amazing. people do the darndest things & are so full of love. what a kind woman. think of all the work that went into makes those!!!!
Sister Hicks

^brother kilburn made his famous chocolate pancakes for us yesterday....5 pounds later..............they are sooooo good though -_-

Famous Kilburn pancake chefs
^i pulled a jeri toolan this weekend at the ward christmas party. it was then that i realized i am indeed her daughter and that she has taught me a few things :p the women were in charge of bringing desserts and more than planned ended up showing a LOT more than planned and there was NOT even dessert to go around. so of course everyone is freaking out saying "crap, we don't have enough. this is horrible. of course this would happen!" and i went up to the one in charge and just very sweetly said "what can i do to help? would you like us to run up to the store and get a few things??" she was SO happy and let us go get stuff. we practically saved the party :p hahah jk, but seriously. i realized that my mom has taught me how to 1. help and 2. problem solve and do what i can to fix what's going on around me. i was so thankful at that moment that my mom has been a wonderful example to me. whattaa gal.
-our recent convert, summer, has been doing the sweetest things for us lately :) she lives in the same complex as us and has been leaving cute little notes on our door everynight. she is so amazing & sweet. she is like one of our bestfriends now :)
Summers letter
sorry i didn't get to write much this week, it's been a crazy pday & there's no time left :(
-hugs- sister toolan

$2 skirt from Goodwill....holla!!!!!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Learning To Depend On The Lord

it is finally starting to feel like winter here in ole' California and I'm not sure if i like it or not!!! luckily, I'm not in Utah/rexburg with all the snow though, so i think i can handle it for now :p this week i was given so many opportunities to learn:

^every week on tuesday we have district meetings and at those meetings we have "trainings" which are like 3o mins lessons given by the more experienced missionaries...or so i thought. monday NIGHT at 9:30 my district leader called me and asked me to do the training for our meeting the next morning at 10:30, so i didn't say anything back for a min. being in complete and utter shock, then finally said yes and hung up. i immediately dropped to my knees and started crying and asking the Lord for help. i was so confused as to why IIII of all missionaries was asked to teach. i mean, seriously?! i am a brand new missionary who hasn't even finished her training or anything and you want me to teach allllll these missionaries who already know what they are doing?!?! after praying for a while and just asking for the confidence to make it through the training the next day i realized that this was exactly what i, sister toolan needed. i needed to have this opportunity to step up to the plate and learn how to rely on the Lord and to gain trust in myself that i can do hard things. i went to district meeting and taught my training without shaking or even turning red in the face :) later someone came up to me and said that through my training i had answered a question to their prayers lately. i went up to elder hyer and told him thank you for making me stretch by teaching. i know that if we do all we can do that the lord will make up for the rest. i hadn't planned on saying what i had to answer that missionary's prayer, but the lord was with me, and because of that miracles happen. i know that the lord inspired elder hyer to ask me to teach for a reason and that's being He knows me better than i know myself.

^because of my puerto rican friend i now love eating rice and tuna for together...rice and tuna...WHAT THE HECK! it's just so good and addicting though :)

^the holy ghost is such an important part of missionary work. it is VITAL actually. in one of our lessons this week with an investigator i learned this. she was sitting there talking to us and asking questions and i knew she wanted to know for herself if it was true or not but i couldn't figure out how to help her. about 15 mins later, right as the lesson was ending something hit me! i asked "jenna, how have you felt today as we have taught you about the plan of salvation?" she said "i feel really really good and happy." and i very bodly said "jenna, the reason you feel that way is because this message is true. you lived with God before this and you knew what His plan was for you. you knew what we taught you today before you ever even came to earth and so Heavenly Father is helping you remember those things through this. you feel good and happy because you know it's true." she sat there and started to cry and it finally made sense to her. i couldn't believe what had just happened. the holy ghost prompted me and helped me know what to say to her so that she could have peace. it was amazing. teaching by the spirit is the only way to teach. i am thankful i learned that so early in the mission.

^"He who allows himself to get upset now has twice the job." Choose to be happy no matter what. Life is so much more enjoyable when you choose to do this :)
3 R's of Choice:
-Right of Choice
-Responsibility of Choice
-Results of our Choices

^i have my fingers crossed that i don't end up getting transferred next monday. i LOVE diamond bar! some of the members here have taught me so many things, like sister Spence. i hope one day that i can be talked about the way she is talked about. she is an amazing woman who puts all her trust in the lord and doesn't question the things that happen to her because she knows who is in control. she is so happy & positive. not to mention if I'm still here, she is feeding us for Christmas and she is one of my most favorite people to eat with!! :) i love her!
i know that i was sent to diamond bar to meet some of these incredible people.

One of my favorites..Sister Spence

to whomever sent me my "miracle box" this week. i love you.

every monday morning us sisters wash our 2 cars and the 2 cars of the members that let us wash our cars at their houses. so we practically have a cash wash business going every monday morning, come on by if ya need your cars washed :p

It was freezing washing cars:)

sister toolan

I make a pretty cute Christmas tree if I do say so myself!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Missing y'all on Thanksgiving

so many things to say, so little time :(
p-days are crazzzzzy. it's hard to find time for everything you need to do, but I'm alive & happy and that's what counts :) I've decided that today I'm going to add some really random things in here, but hopefully it'll keep you interested lol.
^i got told that i look like Barbara Streisand when she was young this week...that's  new one..luckily she said it was a compliment haha
^SUMMER GOT BAPTIZED SATURDAY :D i had the opportunity to teach her the whole time she was learning and it was amazing to see the changes in her from that first appointment to her baptism. we met with her Friday night and she was glowing. she knew she was doing the right thing. while we were going over the schedule for the next day and she goes "hey, can i talk at my baptism??" we were like heeck yeah! so after she got baptized she got up in front of everyone and says "i just wanted to say thank you to Sister Toolan and sister havens for teaching me about the church. i love you guys and thank you everyone who came!" it was THE sweetest thing ever. at that moment i realized, even if this is the last baptism i have before i go home, it will have been enough. to hear that being said made the horrible week i had worth it. it became real to me at that moment that i am a missionary. i only have 17 more months to do this! i got to get to work!!

Summer and her mom

^if anyone gets a letter from me with a johnny cash stamp on it, I'm going to apologize in advance lol. i went to the post office and they only had like 3 different stamps i could choose from and the other two just weren't workin' for me. on the bright side of things my daddy loves johnny cash so it makes me smile every time i go to use one :)
^i just about when GHETT-TOE on the lady working at McDonald's this week. I'm a missionary, therefore, i am broke. so i paid for my meal and when i look in the bag she had given me like 6 fries!!! THE NERVE. hah jk, you know me though, i love my food so i got kinda heated. then i realized i wear a name tag now and am a representative for Christ so i don't need to cause any scenes. i wasn't actually mad, but i did turn ghetto for a little bit. it gave my comp and i something to laugh about for a while :p
I do love to eat!

 this week was...not easy. I'm not going to lie and make it seem like everything is always smiles & giggles. it's not. it's missionary WORK. it's WORK. it's hard. this week was hard emotionally for me. on top of everything going on, it was thanksgiving, my favorite holiday. things were getting hard with my companion and i asked "what can i do to make this work? what can i do better? i want to know these things so that i can learn from them and grow. i want to better myself so i can be the best daughter, sister, mother, wife i can be. please tell me." but my comp is super easy going so she couldn't ever think of anything, but i KNOW I'm not perfect so i knew there was something i could do better. finally, i took it to the lord. i prayed and prayed asking him to help me recognize the things i could do better and the things i need to work on. after a few days the thought occurred to me: "sister toolan. you are HORRIBLE at communication. especially with those that you spend a lot of time with." not even a day later my comp goes "so the only thing i can think of is maybe talk to me more, like communicate with me more."
i am thankful for a loving heavenly father who not only hears our prayers, but answers them.
^i now know a woman. also now know that she is married to her cousin...guess it doesn't just happen in the south, huh? hahah jk. it got me pretty tickled though :p
^this week i was reading about King Noah and it made me realize how much of an impact our friends have in our life. this can be a good or bad thing. when it comes to friends i always think of this saying "if it doesn't help you grow, let it go." just food for thought.

hugs- sister toolan