Monday, January 27, 2014

3 Month Mark

i hit my "i've been a missionary for 3 months now" mark this past week, or as us missionaries say, it was my birthday :D obviouuusslly since it was a special occasion we decided it was 100% necessary to celebrate!! so we went to chick-fil-a :) and right after we ordered a random man came up and paid for our meal!!! it made me sit back and think: man, the lord really is good to his missionaries<3 
although i'm sure my mom has already blasted it all over facebook (hahah i love you momma) i thought i should tell you how transfers went this week. out of the four sister missionaries in the diamond bar ward i am the ONLY one staying. yesterday having to watch them say goodbye to everyone broke my heart. that will be me some day. #missionaryprobz not gunna lie, it'll be really weird for a little bit because i'm only used to having THEM around and i'm also not used to being the one that knows the most about the area...because i'm not sure i know all that much lol.
Last Sunday together
my new companion is sister hansen from georgia/utah :) she has been out 6 months but since i already know the area iiii will be the one driving us around for a little lol. speaking of which, it was a MIRACLE that we found our way back to diamond bar after making the transfer switches in rancho this morning. whew. the fun begins. 

I GOT TO SEE ASHLEY CLARK TODAY FINALLYYYYYY :) it was quite the pleasant surprise! too bad i'm a noob and forgot to take a picture with her -__- 

i got to have a really neat experience last week. there is an elder here who on numerous occasions has hurt my feelings and embarrassed me in front of people (not on purpose or anything, but lets be real, boys/elders do NOT think and have lots of growing up to do lol), but i never told him. it got to the point that i did NOT want to be around him in any way, shape or form. sister havens knew he upset me and made me cry so she straight up went to him and called him out about how he needs to be more sensitive to sisters (because he's done it to multiple people) and yaydayadayayda. well, as time went on i kneeeew i needed to fix the problem. every time i'd read my scriptures my thoughts would be directed back to forgiveness. then i watched a WONDERFUL mormon message and i knew that i HAD to talk to him. i saw him and just said "elder ___, i just want you to know that i dooon't hate you and i think you're a great missionary. i'm not mad at you. it's okay." and his face literally had the most innocent, peaceful look. he reached out to shake my hand and with so much relief in his voice said "thank you so much sister toolan. you have no idea how much i appreciate it." i realized then and there that THAT'S why holding grudges is so bad. when we forgive others we are allowing our self to be happy. we are being more like our savior. we are focusing on the more important things in life. forgiving that elder gave me just as much, if not more, peace of mind than it did him. surely this is why the lord expects us to forgive. 

Matthew 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 

we can't expect heavenly father to forgive us for our daily mistakes if we aren't willing, our self, to forgive others. when it's hard to find the strength to forgive someone who has done you wrong, turn to the lord. ask for his help in trying to make peace. he WILL help you. he WANTS to help you. 
so goal for this week??? i want you ALL to think of someone you have a grudge with..the first person that came to you mind...go to the lord about the situation and make it better. become more like the savior and forgive them just like he does every. single. day. for you. allow yourself to be free and happy. 

found a PURPLE house in diamond bar this week....totally out of place and not cute. but hey, whatever floats your boat!
Selfie Sunday

it's going to be an interesting week for me with all this change and all, so keep me in your prayers if ya would :) i love you all and hope this made some kind of difference in your life. 
sister toolan 
Brown girls are so gorgous

Katie gets a fixed amount of money every month.  I thought it would be fun to send her some toilet paper….and she loved it!  I have submitted my application in for Mom of the Year!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Katie is loving her some Jenna!

alright, so to sum up jennas baptism in one word for you: perfect. i don't think i've ever smiled so much in my entire life :) that woman is near and dear to my heart. 
since we only had a week to plan everything out for it, it was a little hectic but it all came together and was amazing. jenna was SO excited and nervous about everything; it was the cutest thing i've ever seen! she was walking around in her white jumpsuit with black heels on..hilarious! she didn't want the water in the font to be cold so we were boiling HUGE pots of water one after another and throwing them in there lol. 
Jenna, her daughters and her brother Arnold

all of her family was there and it's a good thing because the spirit was strong. bishop got up and said to her husband "you need to follow the wonderful example of your wife so that you can baptize your own children when the time comes." i wish i could be that bold sometimes. it was powerful. 
a ton of people from the ward came to support her and she was justa beaming :) they had cookies and little snacks for everyone to have since it was AFTER church at 1. i love this ward and how much they help us missionaries. 
oh, president and sister hobbs even ended up coming!!! 
Jenna in her heels!

my favorite thing is when we ring the doorbell at jenna house and the kids look outside and scream "mooooom, church girls are here!!!" hahah you ain't playin we're here :))

i don't have a lot of time to write today...federal holidays are the worrrrst :( so this funny poem my comp showed me can explain mission life almost perfectly:
A mission is a strange experience
It is a trial and a test.
A mission throws at you the worst
Yet, teaches you the best.
I've never been so happy,
I've never been so depressed.
I've never felt so forsaken,
I've never felt so blessed.
I've never been so confused,
Things have never been so clear.
I've never felt my Heavenly Father so distant,
He's never been so near.
I've never been so discouraged,
I've never been so full of hope.
I feel I could go on for forever,
I think I've come to the end of my rope.
I've never had it quite so easy,
I've never had it quite so tough.
Things have never been so smooth,
Things have never been so rough.
I've never traveled through more valleys,
I've never ascended more peaks.
I've never met so many nice people.
I've never met so many freaks!
I've never had so many ups,
I've never had so many downs.
I've never worn so many smiles,
I've never had so many frowns.
I've never been so lonely,
I've never had so many friends.
BOY, I hope this is over soon,
GOSH, I hope this never ends.
random dream i had this week: i went to get a bowl for cereal in the cabinet and the bowls were no where to be found. sister howard (the member we live with) had MOVED all the cabinets around and i was tiiiiicked. seriously. i woke up sweatin' i was so mad hahah. yall know me and how much i HATE change hahha...speaking of which..

it's the last week of the transfer so we will be runnin' around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to see everyone we need to just in case we get moved. oh dear. i really love diamond bar & don't want to go :( good thing the lord knows more than me and will place me where i need to be though :) 

i wish i had more time to tell you all about my week, but luckily there's always next week :p love you guys!
sister toolan

PS: i met a member of the girl band "5th Harmony" at a church activity this week....she is MORMON!! who'd thunk it?!?! hahah only in california. 

Monday, January 13, 2014


before i start rambling on about all the things i got into this week i want to challenge YOU to do something. if we have any pictures together i want you to go pick out your favorite one of us (it can even be embarrassing on my behalf :p) print it out and send it to me via letter! don't worry, my address is just a little to the right of what you're reading ;p i lalalalove looking at old pictures so this would be the best thing ever! ok, that is all on that now. <3
Drinking hot chocolate parents sent for Christmas

this week was like an emotional roller coaster ride with LOTS of ups and LOTS of downs. for example:
^i'm pretty sure that i've mastered the art of being broken up with and breaking up with people. as a missionary you'll be teaching someone for weeks and then out of the blue they are like "JK (just kidding). you're probably just wasting your time. we don't want to meet with you anymore." and you just walk out of the house super confused and disappointed. OR you realize that the only reason you're being invited back over time and time again is because the people enjoy your company so we have to go in and say "look, this is our purpose as missionaries. it's to bring YOU closer to christ and if you aren't willing to do these things then we aren't going to be able to come back over again.." then you get no return appt. and you're just like allrriiiighhhty then..looks like we will be knockin' some doors tomorrow to find more people to teach lol. it's all good though, all this dating prep will be nice when i get off the mission, right? ;p

^I FINISHED THE BOOK OF MORMON THIS WEEK. i started over again around the middle of november and finally finished it :) it's amazing to me how every single time i read that book i get a confirmation that it's true. i think it's important to realize that we are all human and imperfect; just because i've read it before doesn't mean that at times i don't doubt..which is why we must constantly be nourishing our testimony.

^we have recently been teaching a 24 year old male from italy! he is super smart and has the coolest accent. he is living here going to school and just living his dreams. he is super nice and great but the other night he texted us and the message read as follows  "oh and sister toolan: you are beautiful inside and outside :) i think i like you. you don't need to reply to this text." hahahahha i just looked at the phone and a few things went through my head: 1. greaaaaat, now we aren't going to get to teach him anymore..guess we have to give him to the YSA missionaries #lame 2. hey! i'll take this as a compliment!!! guess i'll be able to pick up italian men after the mission ;p #SCORE #hollaforadollahoneybooboo 3. must have been the darn brownies i made him for his birthday a few weeks ago #browniepoints #literally

^a polynesian man came up to me after church yesterday and told me i had a beautiful voice and he heard me loud and proud during church :) coming from him it was really flattering :)

^it was a crazy week of thinking one of our investigators, jenna, was going to break up with us. she called us one day saying she didn't think this was right for her. i started doubting the lord and wondering why he was letting this happen to us after all the hard work we had put into teaching her. we rushed over to figure out what was going on and she said she had seen some stuff on the internet about us that freaked her out..he were like HELLO. BAD SOURCE OF INFORMATION..unless it was, that website is 100% accurate and amazing :) so we helped her understand no, we aren't a cult and no, we aren't racist. ANYONE can be a member. she was really relieved. i left disappointed in myself for doubting the lord and his perfect plan for every one of his children. it was a wake up call for me. 
we came back a few days later and decided to reteach her about the restoration and joseph smith. we showed her the restoration DVD and the spirit was so strong. after she goes "yeah, you can tell that isn't just a story, like it's FACT." sister havens and i were like "do you hear what you just said?!?!!" hahah a couple mins later she goes "so when can i get baptized?!" :))))))))) she is the cutest thing and her faith and trust in the lord inspires me. she is getting baptized this sunday at 1 and i couldn't be more excited :D 
^my companion and i together makes for a good time. we had one woman in TEARS from laughing so hard this week and her son goes "the other day when you guys came over my cheeks hurt from smiling/laughing so much!" hahah i guess i'm still the same ole' goofy katie :)

i can't believe how fast this past transfer has gone!! we find out next Saturday whether or not we are leaving and if so who our new companions will be. should be exciting!!! or nerve wracking if you're me...#worrywart.
i love you all and so thankful you take the time to read all of my adventures. you're great.
Love you, gotta go!
sister toolan
Beautiful California

Monday, January 6, 2014

Ending 2013 with a BANG!

i am going to apologize in advance for the extremely long blog post today. oh wait, jk. #sorrynotsorry. i didn't get to write home last week because we got to go to the redlands temple, so this will consist of 2 weeks worth of information :) 
Temple trip with the zone

^we don't have to have an attitude of gratitude just around the holidays, it can be a permanent thing. as a matter of fact, it SHOULD be a permanent thing. try and recognize the constant tender mercies of the lord in your life every day and then thank him for them :) you will be so much happier :) i promise. 

^on christmas we went to a less active members home to see how they were doing and such and before we left we said "hey, can we share a thought with you really quick?" and before we had time to open up our scriptures the man of the house goes "after WE share a thought with you!!" he then opened up to Moroni 8:3 
I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite a goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end. 
he looks us in the face and says "we just want you sisters to know that we are always mindful of you and you're in our prayers every night. thank you for everything." and by this point you knowwww i was needin' a tissue. how amazing? i love the people here. 

^as a missionary, i read from the scriptures at least an hour a day, if not more, and i am so thankful for that. reading from the book of mormon everyday has made me realize JUST how true it is. elder holland said this concerning the BOM "No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so.” couldn't have said it better myself. 

^i went on my very first "exchange" last week and it was GREAT! i got to stay in my area with a temporary companion and i got to do all the planning and driving for the day! it made me see that i really do know more than i think about my area AND missionary work. it boosted my confidence level and was exactly what i needed at the time. i know that i am continuing to learn more and more every day. i read my journal entries from the first fe days on the mission and can see just how much i've grown (spiritually, not physically...but i might have grown a little bit in that aspect as well ;p) just in the past 2 months. all thanks to the mission :) 

^a REALLY cool thing happened this week!!!! we were planning for a lesson with a single man and thinking about who we could take with us (since we couldn't teach him alone, you know, rules and all :p) and for some random reason a less active woman's name came to mind..i didn't say anything and kept trying to think but this woman was IN my head for good. finally i told sister havens "i'm thinking maybe we should take this sister". we asked her the next morning and she agreed. we were kind of nervous because we didn't know exactly what she would say during the lesson but i knew inviting her was a propmting from the lord and that everything would be okay. homegirl ended up BEARING HER TESTIMONY the whole time and talking about how much she has seen a difference in her home since she has started coming back to church. 1. that lesson would NOT have gone as good as it did without her! 2. i'm almost convinced that that lesson was more for HER than the guy we were teaching and 3. it was a great lesson to me that the lord knows what he is doing more so that i do. he knew she needed to be there to recognize how important the church is to her. she needed to bear her testimony to remember that she even had one. it was amazing. sister havens and i got in the car after and just went "HOLY HONK! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!?! THAT WAS AWESOME!!!" hahah :) 

^i think it's important to realize that people will ALWAYS be watching us and what we do. i have always loved the saying "live your life in such a way that those who don't know Him, but know you, will want to know Him because they know you." people allll through my life have asked "what is it about you that is so different? why are you so happy all the time??" the answer to that is simple: it's because i am a member of the church of jesus christ of latter-day saints and i know what i'm here on the earth to accomplish and where i'm going after my time here is up. i am happy because i know my family can be together for forever. i am happy because of my relationship with my father in heaven. 

No caption needed
^new years eve was just like any other!! oh wait...except for the fact that we had to be in the house by 6...and in bed at 10:30......oh well, we still had sparkling grape juice and it was a PAR-TAY! i deff missed my friends a lot this night, but we made the best of what we had :) 
Comfy robe, scriptures and sparkling grape juice to bring in 2014

anywho, sorry if i bored you with all of my stories this week. i hope you all had a safe & fab christmas break! :) love you!!!
sister toolan