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

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