Monday, May 26, 2014

Do You Love Me?

I can’t believe I’ve already been in Hesperia 6 weeks already. The Transfers keep going by faster and faster…I do NOT like it! I love being here. As in California. Not Hesperia. Hesperia hasn’t quite grown on me yet haha. Anywho.
Sister Toolan & Packer at Zone Conference
Sister Treadwell goes “do you remember snoring last night??” I was like….nooooo??? (I was sick last week and so because I was stopped up I guess I was snoring) She continues “well I kept saying ‘Sister Toolan you’re snoring’ because it was keeping me awake and NOTHING was changing ..then I finally go ‘KATIE you’re snoring’ and as soon as I did that you just stopped!” hahahha it was hilarious. I guess I only like to go by Katie in my sleep.

Us Sisters got asked to sing in sacrament meeting this week so literally the day before we go and practice a song we had never even heard of, got up and sang it at church then afterwards got asked if we would sing at this little girls baptism this coming up weekend lol. I guess it’s safe to say that we put on quite the show :p JK! But I love that Heavenly Father is allowing me to use the gifts/talents He gave me on my mission.
Tahauri Family
Alright so usually when you find people to teach as missionaries it’s the husbands that are all against it and not willing to let their wife get baptized…we have the OPPOSITE problem up here in Hesperia.  We have so many men up here that are wanting to get baptized but the wives are all like “heck no, immma use my manipulative powers to not allow this very righteous thing to happen!” it blows my mind, I’m like people: why would you want to stop your husband from doing something that will make him a waaaaaaaaaaaay better man before?
The Famous Woody's
 Something that I thought of this week: I wonder if the reason we are given so many signs of the second coming of our Savior is Heavenly Fathers way of giving us even more chances to take advantage of the atonement and repent before it happens. Like Him going “look, it’s coming. You better get your act together before it’s too late!”

Food for thought: If the gospel is true, why aren’t we true to the gospel?
We are so blessed to have the knowledge of the gospel in our lives, yet we deny ourselves of the many blessings that come from it by falling away. If we know the church is true then we should be striving to be our best selves every single day. I know that I got a huge wake up call about that this week. We had Zone Conference with President Hobbs and while there he showed us this video clip:

The whole time I kept hearing “Katie, do you love me..Do you love me more than you love all of this?” I realized that if I truly do love Him like I say I do then I would quit slackin’ off and get to work so that I can defend His faith and feed His lambs. I realized there was a loooooot of room for improvement in my obedience in mission rules. I went home PUMPED about changing and since have done a lot of that. I feel so happy. I know the Lord blesses us when we obey, especially when it’s hard to obey.
It comes down to this: If our love for the Savior hasn’t driven us to change then we do NOT understand what He has done for us and we aren’t convert unto Him.

We went and saw this 63 year old black woman this week and when leaving said “thank you so much for letting us stop by and see you!!” she, very loudly goes “hey, thanks for coming to see me, it’s good to be seen…HAAAAAAAAAAAY” hahahahah I was rollin’.

I don’t have too much time to write today, so I’ll have to just fill ya in on anything important next week! LOVE YOU GUYS. Pray. Pray so much. Talk more to Heavenly Father than you do anyone else.
Sister Toolan
Sister Toolan still taking selfies...<3!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Animal Style @ In-N-Out

We all know the saying “A journey of 1000 miles starts with one step!” I have seen how true that can be on my mission. It can be applied to anything. When we break/justify 1 thing (sin especially) it can lead us down a road we don’t want, and didn’t plan on going down. We think that breaking one little rule won’t hurt, but because we broke that one it makes the second one easier to justify and so on. We have to make sure all of our steps are pointing us towards returning, worthily, to Heavenly Father. We have to be who He wants us to be. Who He needs us to be.  When we put the Lord first everything will fall into place and the rest will fall out of our lives. We do things that He wants us to do because we love Him and He has asked us to do so.
Someone literally bruised my hand shaking it so hard:(

Some things you might not know about me:

·          I have a hard time sleeping on Sunday nights because I’m so antsy about getting to email home on Monday.

·          I read a talk from the Ensign (church magazine) every morning while I eat breakfast.

·          I’ve learned how to play the piano a ton better since being on my mission. It’s still not great, but way better than before.

·          I’m known for calling people “noobs” in the mission. It’s just my thing. Lol

·          I like being cold when I go to sleep. Hot houses=no Bueno.

·          My hair parts a different way like every single day. It helps me get used to change with I despise. :)

·          I don’t sneeze out loud. Yes, I know it’s dangerous and my head could explode, but my brain has trained itself to do it haha.

Another one of my favorites: we call a woman this week to figure out when would be best to come by and she goes “uhm. I talked to my pastor and he said it’s not a good idea for me to meet with yall anymore.” ARE YOU SERIOUS? WELL NO DUH YOUR PASTOR DOESN’T THINK IT’S A GOOD IDEA. HE WANTS YOUR MONEY BY COMING TO HIS CHURCH. People. Have you ever thought that YOU can make your own decisions. Frustrating. But it’s cool :)

We helped THE funniest woman in the world ever move this week. When I bent over to pick something up she goes “oooooooooh good gracious baby got BACK! Work them hips gurl. OWN IT!” she was cracking me up. We found some GEMS while helping her clean and she actually gave us a ton of stuff. I left with new skirts, shirts, toilet paper, paper towels, ziplock bags, water bottles….look, don’t judge. I’m a broke missionary and she wasn’t gunna take it with her all the way to Idaho so I might as well help her not feel wasteful :p
Rockin’ the huge fur coat during the move!
Sister Groce is a doll!
Last night 4 of us missionaries got asked this question by our mission president at a fireside:

"What is 1 thing you wish you would've done before your mission?" These were the 4 answers given:

- I wish I would've learned to pray. to honestly depend on my savior. I wish I would've understood that going to my mom or my best friend was NOTHING compared to going to the source of all truth. That through learning to rely on Him I could be happiest.

-I wish I would have shared the gospel more with the ones around me that I loved. I wish I would've understood that this is THE only way to return back to Heavenly Father and that there are more people willing and searching for the truth than meets the eye.

-I wish I would have learned to see the daily miracles in my life.

-and this was mine, although I was going to say the 1st two but they got taken before my turn :p
I wish I would've spent time on things that actually mattered. I wish I would have spent more time with my family and friends actually TALKING to them and making memories instead of being on Instagram, Facebook and texting. I wish I would have paid more attention in all of my classes (School included), getting actual good information, than trying to sneak my phone. I wish I would have understood that when my parents and leaders at church got on my case, they were doing it because they loved me and saw the potential in me that I didn't see in myself.

I truly do think that we need to re-evaluate where our time and attention get turned to. I am grateful I am on a mission learning things I want to change/be better at when I get home. Everything I am learning here is preparing me to be a better Katie Toolan and future wife/mom/ect.

Ladies and gentleman, it is announcement time. I, Katie Toolan, who eats all things plainer than jane tried my very first “animal style” hamburger and fries at In-N-Out. 1. Be jealous that I have those close around and you don’t. 2. Be proud that I stepped out of my comfort zone. 3. If you have no idea what I’m talking about…google is a beautiful thing haha. Good things are happening here :) lol 

Not toooooo much happened this week. We had more service this week than I did the whole  6 months I was in Diamond Bar lol. I loved it! Keep ya heads up, don't forget to take a shower everyday and tell your parents you love em :)
Sister Toolan

Only in the high desert………..

Monday, May 5, 2014

Day by Day Update

HOWDY HOWDY YALL! I’m gunna switch things up a little bit today.

Monday- Most stressful day of the week for a missionary lol. Did the usual, studies, cleaned the apartment, went through a car wash, emailed errrrrbody, practiced piano at church, went to Winco for the first time and bought loooooots of goodies :) Then we had dinner with one of the families in the ward that both the parents are deaf. It’s so cool because in these types of lessons I’ll just give the whole lesson and Sister Treadwell will translate everything. It was cute because the mom gave me my name in sign (you have to get it from a deaf person, that’s the rule I guess? Lol) and she gave me mine because she said she loved my huge rosy cheeks :) cute huh? 

Speaking of my huge/high cheeks reminds me of a REALLY random time in the car with Sister Havens. I was looking in the mirror fixing myself and I got so tickled at my cheeks lol, it was there that I decided I will one day, when I’m old, be “Mrs.Claus” at a mall during Christmas time! Oh man, the things that you think about as a missionary hahah.

Also, I decided I’d work the system this night. We aren’t allowed to set kids in our laps as missionaries but this cute little one kept climbing in my lap and crying wanting me to hold her, so I’d just pick her up and set her right next to me <3

Tuesday- This was one of my most treasured days so far on my mission. Had a wonderful personal study, went to District Meeting (my district leader brought us Mega Stuffed Oreos so you KNOW it was a party! :p) Had lunch with an old man who wants to learned more about the church and set up an appointment with a woman we haven’t been able to get ahold of for a while. It was neat because we were sitting in our car making some calls and I looked up and saw an older woman doing some yard work. I was prompted to go over and offer help, so we did. After a few mins of being there she realized we were missionaries and said “I should’ve known..I could feel God with you girls!” She was so happy to talk to us for a while and said we could come back sometime. After writing in my journal that night I realized this: my day was full of revelation/spiritual promptings for me. I have grown so much. I’m not a perfect teacher but I’m way more confident than ever and I haven’t been scared to be bold lately. I know Heavenly Father is shaping me into who He wants me to be. It was so nice to reflect on my day and see how much the Lord had played a part in it.

Wednesday- Nothing too special. Oh wait…I did find the biggest mailbox EVER. And got ridiculous hats for our service project Friday. That’s about it though.

Thursday- Got taken to our second buffet of the week for dinner. I thought I would explode. Lets face it though, even if you’re stuffed you HAVE to have the fried bread dunked in sugar….maybe like 3 or 4...either way it’s like a sin to leave without getting some!! Luckily after that we went over to this one apartment complex we go to a lot and there were like 8 little black kids out playing basketball and football and they asked us to join. IT WAS SO FUN/CUTE! They were teaching us how to properly thrown a football and stuff. We ended up getting into a huge water fight and meeting the moms of all the kids…they each said we could come over sometime and share a message :) We were also given 2 referrals from an INVESTIGATOR! He was like “uhm…yeah, you need to go visit these people. They need Jesus and even more important they need to hear what yall have. It’s special!” hahaha. It was a great day!

Friday- we had a HUGE service project with the zone. 19 missionaries + one gigantic backyard = lots of laughs and good times. One thing I’m loving about being here is that we have a ton more service to do, which is the best. The rest of the night we were stuck inside because all the dirt from service got Sister Treadwell congested and stuff. Ew.

Saturday- GOT TWO MORE REFFERALS! People. Let me lay it down for you really quick. Members’ being involved with the missionaries is crucial. Our mission has a statistic that 1 out of every 40 investigator us missionaries find on our own efforts get baptized, but 1 out of every THREE get baptized when it’s a referral given through a member. There are more people out there ready and well prepared by the Lord to hear our unique message to the world than we think. Don’t be scared. Asked the Lord for help and SHARE THE GOSPEL.
Anywho, there is a 70 year old man here who has been through like 9 sets of missionaries and will never commit to a baptism date because he feels he doesn’t know enough. We went over, had one of the most spiritual lessons I’ve ever been in. I explained to Him that he does know enough, more than enough to get baptized and that once he is baptized and receives the gift of the Hold Ghost he will be able to understand and comprehend SO much more. That’s one of the blessings of having the Holy Ghost. We set a date with him and asked him to pray and ask Heavenly Father if that was a reasonable/good date. He said a beautiful prayer and when he asked if it was a good date and if he was prepared enough he started to cry. The spirit was so strong. This is what it’s all about.
Oh, and we went to ANOTHER buffet..grand total= 3 buffets in one week, 15 lbs gained. 

Sunday- Sister Treadwell woke up even more sick than before so we didn’t get to go to church….first timei’ve missed church in a whiiiile lol. I felt really out of place. Out of boredom i: watched all like 4 hours of the District, painted my nails, deeeeep cleaned the kitchen, read my scriptures like crazy, took a nice 2 hour nap, and wrote a good amount of letters. It’s so hard being stuck at home as a missionary. COMPLETE BOREDOM. Makes you grateful though and ready to work :)

I also realized how much better this companionship has been so far simply because we have taken the time to really get to know each other. It’s amazing how much you grow to love someone just by understanding their life and why they do the things they do. It also takes YOU having to open up as well. I think that I’ve been so busy wanting to seem strong and happy in past companionships that I failed to let them know I was scared, hurt, lonely at times, and THAT’s when we could’ve grown.  If anything I have recognized that THIS is the way to have a working companionship. I’ve just learned a lot this week lol.

It was a short in a long way kinda week lol. As a missionary the days go by slow but the weeks go by fast! I am sorry for boring you with information you probably didn’t care about today, but I cared so I shared haha. The High Desert hasn’t grown on me yet, but I’m trying to allow it to lol. So until then I’m just truckin’ along!
I am SO excited to FaceTime home this week on Mothers Day. YOU DON’T EVEN UNDERSTAND. :)))))))) see yall on Sunday <3
Sister Toolan

Sister Toolan & Treadwell

Our awkward “missionaries can’t touch” picture!