Monday, February 24, 2014


A mighty miracle has already taken place in my life this morning! We washed our car then to Target to get our shopping out of the way and then back home for juuust a quick minute. While we were home I felt like going ahead and writing a letter home (which I don’t usually do until after we go email). Right when I was done I went to get a stamp out of my wallet and realized my wallet was NOT in my purse…which meant I had left it at Target. In the shopping cart. Outisde. :O we left RIGHT then and headed back to see if we could find it. You KNOW I was praying like crazy the whole way there. I had alllll my debit/credit cards in there, stamps, $20 in cash, gift cards, my license, everything.
It wasn’t in any of the buggies (speaking of which: everyone out here makes fun of me for calling them buggies lol. #southerntwang) so we went inside straight to customer service. My wallet WAS there and NOTHING had been tampered with. We got back to the car and while I was saying my “thank you sooo much Heavenly Father” prayer I realized that it wasn’t coincidence that I decided to write a letter way before I usually do, or that we actually had the miles to be able to go back and check, or that He gave me yet another opportunity to put complete trust in Him. The Lord moves in mysterious ways.
Becca drew a picture of me....I didn't know my hand looked like a RAKE!

I HAVE BEEN OUT 4 MONTHS NOW. WHAT IN THE WORLD. WHERE DID TIME GO?! I also turn 20 in 2 weeks….uhhh………no. I am starting to feel old. This can’t be happening.
 I focused my studies a lot around faith this week. I see now that missionary work is all based on OUR faith as missionaries. Without it we won’t be able to accomplish much.

Moroni 7: 33 gave me a wake up call.  
33 And Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.

If I have faith in Christ, He will give me the power to do anything that is expedient to Him and I’m thinnnnkkkkiiiiing bringing souls unto Him is kiiiinda something He’d approve of. Just sayin’. So I just realized that I have GOT to have 110% trust in Him, do my part by being obedient and miracles will happen. It’s simple. Honestly, everything about life IS simple, we just complicate it.
Flashback to the MTC (Missionary Training Center).....I miss it:(

 Random side note: I’m at the library right now and someone keeps letting out stink bombs!!!! SERIOUSLY PEOPLE! SPARE US A LITTLE WHY DON’T YA?!!

 We got to District Meeting this week and our District Leader Elder Newton goes “allllright, we need to come up with a district name and I think I have a good one! After talking with Sister Toolan these past few weeks I see how hyped she always is about missionary work so I’m thinking ‘All the Hype! District!’ How bout it??”
Then we are sitting there having studies one morning and he had sent a text out to all 8 of us missionaries that read “This is it! We only need to find a few more people to reach our goal for the week. If you need to get hyped to0 find/call Sister Toolan!!” I was cracckkkking up! It was a huge compliment to me though. I have noticed these past two weeks that I’m falling more and more in love with being a missionary. I WANT to go out and find people instead of dreading it. I want to only use 30 mins of lunch instead of an hour because I want to get out and get to work.
Yes, I’m becoming “that” missionary :p My poor companion. She is going to hate me before this is all over. I just can’t help it. I see how important this work is.
Switched comps for the day!! Sister Cook is awesome :)
All this walking around trying to talk to people is making my freckles BLOSSOM. They are everywhere and none-hidable. It’s all good, I love freckles :)

Ok, food for thought for all you members and missionaries of the church out there reading this:
When everyone looks, everyone finds.
SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH EVERYONE. Allow the Lord to pour the blessings of doing so into your life.

Love yall.
Sister Toolan
I tried octopus this week.....

Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's Day 2014

A BIG HUGE THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO SENT ME MAIL/PACKAGES FOR VALENTINES DAY! :D  I realize more and more every single day how blessed I have been with the most amazing family/friends a girl could ever ask for. Why my? Why did I get so lucky? Thank you. Thank you for all the prayers, encouraging words, everything. You help keep me going.
Earl Reed #66 hooked a "Sister" up with a sweet Valentine!

I can definitely say that this week was MUCH better than last. This was the first week since I’ve been here that we got (drumroll please…..) TWO New Investigators!!! The most we ever got was 1 and even that was like every other week. 2 NI for some missions is way low, but for us it was a sign that indeed the Lord had been hearing our prayers for more opportunities to share the gospel.
Jenna made me a cute scarf and hat

 While we were talking to one of our investigators he got very serious and said “You know, baptism has been on my mind a lot lately. I love having you lovely ladies come over and teaching me about the gospel. It makes me happy. I see the difference in my life since I’ve met you. I go to work and I tell people I’ve been going to the Mormon church and when they start throwing crazy stuff at me about you I just say ‘no, you need these girls numbers. You need to talk to them! You don’t even know what you’re missing out on! I want everyone to know about the message you share.” And then the cutest thing I’ve ever heard came out of his mouth “You know? I feel like if you girls were only able to help just ONE person on your mission, that’d be a successful mission. I want to be that one for you.”
My face hurt leaving that appointment because I hadn’t been able to stop smiling the whole time :) It is crazy how much people can change when they finally hear the piece of information they’ve been missing their whole life; The gospel of Jesus Christ!
I <3 a good thrift shop find!

When Sister Havens and I were companions we were working with a ton of less active members. There was one in particular that we were able to get back to church after a long time of not coming. She came up to me at church on Sunday (with the cutest little smile on her face) and said “I just wanted to tell you that because you girls have been visiting me and getting me back to church, my son in Georgia is wanting missionaries to come to his house and teach his family. He wants to get back into the church as well. I tell you this because I want you to know that your work is blessing the lives of more people than just the ones here. Thank you for helping my family.”
I think as missionaries we put in a lot of hard work and then, most of the time, we don’t get to see the “fruits of our labors”. How neat will it be for us all when the day comes that we stand beside our loving Heavenly Father and Christ and get to actually SEE the affect we had on people here in this life. “By small and simple things are great things brought to pass.”:)

 You know what my FAVORITE thing to hear is? We will be knocking doors and trying to talk to people and when they hear we are Mormon they say “Oh, sorry. I’m not interested. We are Christian.” And I just have to hold back my “are you stinkin’ kidding me right now?!?” laugh and say “NO WAY! SO ARE WE!”
I love how people think we don’t believe in Christ when in fact our church is The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-Day Saints. No, we don’t worship Joseph Smith. No, we don’t grow a tail and horns at night when we get home. No, we don’t have 7 wives and practice polygamy. Yes, we believe in the one and only God you believe in and are trying our best to live up to Christ’s example just as you are.
It absolutely BLOWS my mind and how many things people hear on the street from people that aren't even OF our religion, and then believe. How about this? Instead of assuming and going off of everyone else’s opinion, why don’t YOU go to church one Sunday and see for yourself the kind of people we are and the things we talk about and do. And while you’re at it, go ahead and pray to know if it’s true or not. You have Gods word that He will tell you the answer.

Moroni 10:4-5
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

 This week I am going to get to work and get to work HARD. I am super crazy pumped. NOTHING is going to stop me…unless I get sick again…in which case that will totalllly stop me….but it’s cool because I’m healthy as an ox or whatever right now lol.
 Keep smiling. Keep the faith.
Sister Toolan
Super random purple house I told you about a couple of weeks ago

Monday, February 10, 2014

Honesty is the BEST policy!!!!!

Yeah, I’m gunna be 100% honest with you right now. This week was…uhhhm…pretty crappy? Yeah, that’s the best way I can put it. I don’t want to just write about all the great things happening because I’m still human, I still have really bad days & I still get discouraged just like the average joe. To kinda give you a better idea of why this week wasn’t the best:

Monday- didn’t meet with a single person.
Tuesday- didn’t have any lessons.
Wednesday- the one lesson we DID have planned….cancelled.
Thursday- the family we haven’t seen in like 2 weeks since they came to church cancelled on us..
Friday- yeah…I think you get the point by now.
It just was a very slow, rough week.

Now that I’m done with my negative-nancy rant I must tell you that there WAS good in my crummy week :) there always is!

I experienced a few of my “first as a missionary” kind of things.
1. I had to walk around and try to talk to people in the rain for the first time! It was such a blast. You’d think that people would feel bad for you walking around in the cold wet atmosphere and let you in, but no :) it made me feel like a TRUE missionary though lol. Oh, and back story: California is in some state of a drought and has been for a while. So the prophet of the church asked all the members in southern cali to fast on fast Sunday (feb. 2) for rain…and by golly, the Lord handed us some rain :) we aren’t like out of the drought or anything, but He sure did hear our prayers!

Don't pay attention to my awkward feet!

2. I left the apartment without my missionary tag for the first time. Or so I thought. Come to find out it was in my scripture bag the whole time -_- I felt so…naked…there..i said it..without it. I felt like a normal person, because I looked like one for the first time in a while and I did NOT like it. I like being a missionary :) 

While we were at district meeting this week our district leader asked what some of our problems as missionaries were. I, obviously, said comparing myself to others. He very boldy said (and take note of this everyone) “You literally CRIPPLE yourself when you compare yourself. Everytime you go to compare yourself you need to CATCH yourself.” So true. Heavenly Father just expects us to do our best, then He makes up for the rest.
Also, we got on the topic of how it’s a litttttle (more like very) awkward to talk to EVERYONE, since that’s what we are supposed to be doing and all as missionaries. Then by the end of it I had realized this though: The Lord places people (even ones that are uninterested and mean) in our path to see if He can even trust us to talk to everyone. If He can’t trust us to do that, how can He trust us with those who ARE ready? We must talk to EVERY one. It’s just part of it. We have to find people that He has been preparing because He has.

Sunday came and all the members kept coming up asking us “so do you have anyone coming to church today?!” and I felt soooooo pathetic saying “” it made me feel horrible because I knew in my heart we had worked our butts off to try and find people this week to teach and bring but yet it looked like we had just slacked off and been lazy. Well, I saw that jenna (our recent convert) was outside so I went to help her and when I walked out I saw George, her husband and ALL the kids there. George has NEVER come to church. He hasn’t even ever been open to the idea! Now the whole entire family was there!!! I was shocked. We walked in, sat down and I looked at bishop and just started to smile so big my face hurt…that shortly turned into tears and I could hear Heavenly Father say “See Katie. You have GOT to start trusting me. I promise you I know what I’m doing.” George loved church and Jenna was so happy to have her family there with her supporting her in what she knows is true. It ended my so called “crummy” week on the best note ever.

I know that I am going to have really good weeks. I also know that I’m going to have extremely hard weeks. But I’m thankful that the Lord trust me with all the trials He puts before me. I am thankful that He gives me opportunities to learn and to grow into the Katie Toolan He always knew I could be. I am thankful for the bad times..they make you more grateful for the good. I know this church is true. I know that the world is evil and crazy but with the gospel of Jesus Christ in our life we can get through it all; we can even do it with a smile on our face :)
I love giving gifts.....

But you gotta be on a budget....

sister toolan
Still taking selfies!!!!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Stay Golden, Pony Boys

Alright, mom and dad get a lot of questions about what exaccctly  i'm doing out here as a missionary, so i figured i'd just show you our daily schedule:
6:30 a.m.
Arise, pray, exercise (30 minutes), and prepare for the day.
7:30 a.m.
8:00 a.m.
Personal study: the Book of Mormon, other scriptures, doctrines of the missionary lessons, and other chapters from Preach My Gospel, the Missionary Handbook, and theMissionary Health Guide.
9:00 a.m.
Companion study: share what you have learned during personal study, prepare to teach, practice teaching, study chapters from Preach My Gospel, confirm plans for the day.
10:00 a.m.
Begin proselyting. Missionaries learning a language study that language for an additional 30 to 60 minutes, including planning language learning activities to use during the day.
Missionaries may take an hour for lunch and additional study, and an hour for dinner at times during the day that fit best with their proselyting. Normally dinner should be finished no later than 6:00 p.m.
9:00 p.m.
Return to living quarters (unless teaching a lesson; then return by 9:30) and plan the next day’s activities (30 minutes). Write in journal, prepare for bed, pray.
10:30 p.m.
Retire to bed.

so from the time we leave the house til the time we come back we are either 1. at meetings that we have with other missionaries 2. at lessons we have with investigators or 3. walking around, knocking doors trying to share our message about Christs true church on the earth today. it is AWESOME. 
Love me some Sister Edwards
My companion and I had a really neat experience last night. (I deffff wrote about it in my journal lol.) there is a family that came to church last week that we wanted to start teaching. So we go over Tuesday night and have a great lesson! They said they would be at church on Sunday. Well, as the week went on we would call to check on them and stuff and they’d never get back to us or anything so we decided we would drive over and try to see them. We went two separate nights and each time they weren’t home. So Sunday night we were trying to figure out who we should go see and they came to mind but we were a little hestitant because they live so far away and we didn’t want to drive all the way there just to not see them and waste the miles. (as missionaries we only get so many miles a month so we have to be careful lol) so I said “lets pray and ask heavenly father what we should do.” We prayed and just asked for help knowing whether or not to go. As we finished the prayer we sat in silence, thinking.... i felt very impressed that we should go see them. I thought, you know what? We had the faith last night to set a goal for 1 new investigator with hopes that THEY would be that 1, so we have to show heavenly father we have faith in Him and go. So we did….AND THEY WERE THERE :D we pulled up and saw lights on and tears filled my eyes. I was so happy to have been able to follow a prompting from the spirit. It made the ending of a pretty crappy weekend a little bit better.
Rocking the Red White & Blue
One of the less active families we have been working with has a little 5 year old. This week we went to see them and the mom goes “look at this. You’re gunna love it!” she started showing us pictures of the little girl all dressed up as a missionary with a handmade badge, and her scriptures in a lunch box ready to go!  I guess she said “I’m ready to go out and knock on the neighbors doors!” lol, how cute? I hope that one day that little girl will actually get to go on a mission and experience the joy that those little things, like that, bring. I love being a missionary!

Today is pray (Preparation Day) and a wonderful one at that because the elders washed our car for us this morning :D #suckers

I’ve been drinking 3 liters of water a day!!! I’ve also become best friends with the bathroom because of it…..but still! I’m being healthy! Stayin’ fit!

I love you all. Stay golden, pony boys.
Sister Toolan
Throw back to Christmas

Beautiful Cali