Monday, April 28, 2014

6 Months!!!!!!!

Holy smokes. I have never in my life spent as much time on my knees praying as I did this last week! It was a mixture of a lot of things. It was just hard being back to knowing NO one again. Not even the missionaries I’m serving around. I understand though that this is an opportunity to grow. To learn. President Monson puts it perfectly:

“Our Heavenly Father, who gives us so much to delight in, also knows that we learn and grow and become stronger as we face and survive the trials through which we must pass. We know that there are times when we will experience heartbreaking sorrow, when we will grieve, and when we may be tested to our limits. However, such difficulties allow us to change for the better, to rebuild our lives in the way our Heavenly Father teaches us, and to become something different from what we were—better than we were, more understanding than we were, more empathetic than we were, with stronger testimonies than we had before.
This should be our purpose—to persevere and endure, yes, but also to become more spiritually refined as we make our way through sunshine and sorrow. Were it not for challenges to overcome and problems to solve, we would remain much as we are, with little or no progress toward our goal of eternal life. The poet expressed much the same thought in these words:
Good timber does not grow with ease,
The stronger wind, the stronger trees.
The further sky, the greater length.
The more the storm, the more the strength.
By sun and cold, by rain and snow,
In trees and men good timbers grow.

I also struggled this week with feeling unworthy to be here. Since being out I’ve had so many things pop into my head. Past mistakes, mess ups, sins. I was/am constantly getting them out of my head and not entertaining the thoughts, but it still got me thinking. I finally poured my heart out to the Lord and asked to know if I had truly been forgiven of my past. Right after I began my personal studies and opened to this scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 25:3

Behold, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou art an elect lady, whom I have called.

Wow. I can’t even put into words how I felt when I read this. I knew that it was the Lords way of telling me I was just fine and that I have been called to preach the gospel to the people here in California.
Mormon Helping Hands this week:)

One of the biggest tender mercies this week was on Monday right after I’d gotten to Hesperia. I was at the library emailing and my trainer (Sister Havens) emailed asking where I was. I told her then she asked which library I was out very franticly. I told her and she goes “ME TOO! We had to come down here to fix our car today!!!” I turned around and there she and Sister Richardson were. I was in tears being so overwhelmed at the time and Heavenly Father sent them as a way of telling me He was very aware of how I was feeling and that He would do all in His power to help me. 

We have a lot more people to teach here so we are staying busy! The ward is ¼ deaf, so my companion does sign language and interprets during meetings and lessons. It is SO neat. I am learning a little bit of ASL and loving it. The deaf members of the ward have SUCH strong testimonies.

Sister Treadwell and I.  Everyone says we look like sisters?
Some things about Hesperia? It’s brown. It’s comedy because you’ll see little patches of green in people’s yards and you’re just like: no. it just doesn’t even fit in. It’s windy as all get out here!!! I’m constantly feeling like a model. Mainly because I’m just super hot and rockin’ it…I can’t help I was born that way…..but I guess the wind plays a part in that too :p

The people here are very interesting and different. I’m learning to love it. One man we met this week showed us his pet piranha..yes, you read right, piranha. Like fish that will eat you or whatever and he goes “dawg. Don’t rat me out to the feds or nothing. They be coming and takin’ my zoo away! Some Mexican smuggled it for me…dang. I can’t believe I just sold myself out to yall” hahahaha. It’s been a funny time so far. :)
My new little friends
 Oh yeah, I hit my 6 month mark on the 23rd :) WHOA NELLY! It does NOT seem like I’ve bene out half a year! It also doesn’t seem like 4 months since I’ve talked to my family! No worries though, Mothers Day isn’t too far away :) I love you all and hope you’re constantly striving to do better. Don’t forget to read your scriptures and say your prayers. It’s amazing how those are the two ways we can best communicate with our Father in Heaven and that He sent us here with EVERYthing we needed to be successful. I love the gospel. Feed the missionaries, especially on Sundays. Send me letters. 

Sister Toolan

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