Monday, July 28, 2014

I Love Being A Missionary!!!!!!

First and foremost. AWKWARD MOMENT WHEN I TALK ABOUT AVOCADAS BEING A VEGTABLE WHEN IT’S TOTALLY A FRUIT. So let me correct myself now: Avo’s should be Calis state FRUIT! Hahaha, only me :)
Getting to hang with Elder Morgan that I told you about last week
Alright, now onto the good stuff! This week has been incredible. I can’t believe it was only a few days ago that I was able to hug my family around their necks. That was one of the neatest experiences EVER. The week flew by. I can’t believe we are already in week 3 of the 6 week transfer. I am sorry but I honestly don’t think words will be able to describe how wonderful things went. I love the temple.

PROOF THAT HEAVENLY FATHER WILL DO WHAT HE HAS TO DO TO HELP HIS CHILDREN FIND THE TRUTH WHEN THEY ARE READY: Monday we were standing in line to return something at Ross (can I just say that I DESPISE shopping. It’s not even funny. It’s miserable. Anywho!) and I see this family signing. I look at Trizzy (my gangster name for Sister Treadwell) and go YOU NEED TO GO TALK TO THEM. Well, we thought of every excuse in the book to not do it and finally they were walking out of the store. As they walked away a voice said “Sister Toolan, you’ve been praying to find a family to teach and you’re letting one walk away as we speak…” I looked at trizzy and just started running…we LITERALLY ran after these people. We talked to him a little, he was way nice, he asked if we had a contact card but we didn’t given the circumstances (won’t ever make that mistake again) and we left 1. Feeling so good. And 2. Feeling sad because we thought we’d never see him again..
WELL….Wednesday we were trying to figure out who to see and thought of this deaf woman we hadn’t seen in a while but were a little spectical because she didn’t have a phone for us to contact her on and she lives far away (we only get so many miles allotted to us each month) but went ahead over. When we get there one of the deaf members of our ward who we hadn’t seen in like a month had JUST pulled in, the girl had JUST woken up and was so excited to see us and then…..drumroll please……as we are talking to her the garage door swings open and I look away quickly and think “hmm…that face looked familiar..where have I..??” then it hit!! Then IIII hit Sis Treadwell (mid convo with the girl) and am like “SISTER TREADWELL THAT IS THE MAN FROM ROSS. HE IS HERE RIGHT NOW!! WE HAVE TO GO SEE HIM!!!!” We went..well ran…again to talk to him, got to give him a contact card and invite him to church. It was so amazing. I left in awe. I couldn’t believe how perfect Heavenly Fathers plan is. We must follow those prompting that we get from the Spirit WHEN we get them. I will remember that experience the rest of my mission. I have no idea if they will ever even come to church, but I know I have proved to Heavenly Father that I’m willing to open my mouth and share the gospel.
Cracking up with Johnny!
I am thoroughly convinced that Heavenly Father has a sense of humor. I’ve always thought that, but this week He gave me even more reason to believe it. Our district had asked us what they could pray for us about and we told them we had been having issues with our services on Sundays not going so well and to pray for that. Trizzy and I kept praying that we would have good speakers and lessons so our investigators would be able to enjoy it and feel the spirit. Well, what would ya know: Saturday comes and we get a call asking to both speak in sacrament meeting the next day, for 20 mins a piece.Saturday was JAMMED pack so we had ZERO time to prepare and right as we started to before church started an investigator and his wife walked in so we never got to. It ended up going really well and I bore my testimony from the pulpit in sign. The deaf members were so happy. And luckily, I made it without bawlin’ like a baby lol. I realized I never need to ask for that again, because Heavenly Father will send me the whole “oh, you want a better sacrament meeting? How about I get YOU to give the talk and go through the stress of it all then??” hahahha. He’s a good one :)

Sister Treadwell and I get called “TnT” now! Oh, and I also getting called “Sister Toolan-Fish” little kids are the best. Speaking of names, a woman in the ward made us the cutest little plaques with our names on it. It was so sweet.

I know that one of the reasons I was sent to this area/ward/zone was the learn communication. I have realized just how crucial it is to have. I know that it’s something I haven’t always been the best at, but while being here I’ve had to get over it and put up with the awkwardness and just do it. Communication ends up being the error to all issues. Like everything could be solved if we would do that, and do it with love and sincere desire to help. I know this will help me not only in the rest of my mission but also when I get home and start dating, get married, have children, the whole thang.

I don’t know why I haven’t already told yall about this one man that we are teaching but he used to have cancer and so he had to get a trache and it’s been holding him back from baptism. Well he has surgery today and will be able to talk again and will get to be baptized at the end of the month!! It’s a miracle. He is so excited. He’s been waiting for this day for a while.

Going to the temple was indescribable. I left WAY tired from all the spiritualness that went on that day, but I left so happy. I felt the Savior close to me. I felt His love for my family and I. it wasn’t hard saying bye to them because I know no matter what now we will be together forever. Plus: I only have 9 months left…it’s going to FLY. Maybe I will have more time to explain next week.  I’m running late. SORRY:(

Can’t wait to hear from you all soon. You’re the best. Love you lots.
Sister Toolan!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Avocados EVERYWHERE!!!!!!!!!

I have come to the conclusion that if there were a State Vegetable for California it would, without a doubt, be an avocado. I have never seen people use it so much in my entire life lol. To help you understand why I think it’s so crazy and how I realized California had a serious problem: You can even get it on your stuff at fat food places….whoops, meant*FAST food, but that’s funny and accurate so we’ll keep it :p I’m not complainin’ though….I LOVE AVOCADO NOW. 

Monday- Not too much happened. It was so nice to not have to pack everything up and get transferred.
Good thing that stood out to me this week:
I know that the purpose I have as a missionary is to “Invite other to come unto Christ” but there is another purpose. My purpose is to be so completely converted to the gospel that I never have to worry about falling away. I know that we need ONE convert…ourselves. And everything after that is a success. D&C 18:16 And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!
WE ARE THE ONE SOUL. We can’t convert someone beyond our own conversion, so we must always be working on strengthening our testimony.

Tuesday- We had a BANGUP meal at the Woodys. Homemade fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, country gravy, pineapple upside down cake..The whole shebang! :) He spoils us. He is so amazing. We came over the other day and he was super tired because he had been up since 4:30 in the morning on reading talks and such. He even ordered himself a Preach My Gospel during the whole thing. He is adorable. I told him I’m gunna pray to marry a guy like him someday..Sister Woody goes “be careful what you pray for!!!” hahah.
BEST MOMENT OF THE DAY: we went to the church to go to an ASL class and while walking past the gym I look in, make eye contact with two of my favorite elders who I haven’t seen since Chino, so in a blink of an eye we were ALL runnnnnnnnnnnning to meet each other in the foyer without ever saying a word hahah. It was one of those super dramatic moments! We all just started spouting out “what?!? You’re here?!?! I’m here?!?! No way!!! This is a dream come true!!!” hahah we aren’t in the same zone, but we meet at the same building on Sundays so I will see them a ton. They are so much fun. I’m thankful for the friendships I have gained on the mission. :)

Wednesday- We walked and talked a lot to people this day. Sister Treadwell and I decided this week that we since we have been pretty busy the past 2 transfers we’ve gotten out of the habit of talking to everyone, which we are supposed to be doing. So we wanted to really work on doing that more this transfer. Well, we go to Sizzler at 5 to meet this 70 year old woman for dinner, and she kinda falls asleep (we think) and stands us up lol. Like homegirl never showed, so we went over to Flame Broiler to eat. While there a miracle happened!!! Sister Treadwell saw this woman walk in signing and told me, well I was like “UHM. GO TALK TO HER!” but she wanted to wait a little and I was like nooooooooo, we have to go now. I would totally do it myself but I can only speak so much ASL lol. So after annoying her enough we start to talk to them and find out it’s the SON who’s deaf and he went to school with one of our deaf recent converts. His mom asked US for the address to our church so that they can come one day. They were so excited to know we had multiple deaf members. They no joke left like RIGHT after that, never ordered or anything. I was so glad we were able to act on that prompting and talk to them when we did.
Also, Sister Winkler (one of the deaf members here that teaches us ASL every week and who is VERY blunt ) complimented my sign at the deaf event that night. I literally almost started crying lol. We were all in shock that she said something so nice to me about it. It made me feel good :)
Sister Toolan & Sister Treadwell
Thursday- It was just a really nice day out. People were super awkward when we would knock their doors. It was great! Oh, a 5 year old stud kissed my hand hahah. His dad was like “you aren’t allowed to kiss missionaries!!!” and he goes….YES I CAN!!!!

Friday- I got to meet with President Hobbs for a little which was so nice. I love that man. I wish I knew how to express to him my gratitude for allowing my family to come this week, but I have no idea how to. He is so wonderful.
On Fridays all missionaries (here at least) have “Weekly Planning” but since Sister Treadwell and I decided to go outside and lay out (in our skirts and everything obviously) we thought it’d be appropriate to say we had “Weekly Tanning” ;p I got to bond with a 20 year old with autism and Cerebral Palsy and it reminded me how much I ADORE special needs children. Goodness. Talk about soft spot in my heart.

Saturday- We had 2 investigators go to a baptism with us in the morning and one of them even committed to baptism during it!! They loved it and help the spirit for sure. Got to help set up and attend a wedding reception for a couple in our ward that we are super close to. It was such a great time. It was annoying though because it made me all giddy inside about getting married someday lol, I swear everything you do on a mission always leads back to marriage and it gets old! Haha. They looked so happy and the parents of them both looked even happier. It made anxious to see my parents face the day I get sealed to a worthy priesthood holder for time and all eternity. AND TO JUST SEE MY FAMILIES FACES IN LIKE NO TIME!!!
Mr. & Mrs. Rauma
Sunday- It was stressful. Not gunna lie. As a missionary it’s almost impossible to enjoying church because all you’re doing the whole time is freaking out worrying about your investigators that have come. You worry if they are getting fellowshipped or not, if they are bored out of their mind or feeling the spirit, if they will even show up to begin with!! It was nice though because Sister Treadwell and I felt so loved that day. We had so many people coming up to us that had been out of town during transfer craziness who were excited we both stayed, one woman wanted us to come over so she could make us a necklace for keepsake and for us to remember her by, just lots of great things!

Funny moment: I get home and realize me name tag isn’t I start looking around everywhere to find it and I can NOT find it. I start freaking out, like where could I have left that thing!! Come to find out a little stinker 5 year old had stolen off me without me even knowing it at dinner and the mom found it hahah. #jacked. Can’t trust anyone nowadays :p

Bishop Stokes called me to ask if I’d play at a baptism this week, and although I told him a better piano player to ask, I felt honored that he asked and also blessed that I knew enough to where I could have played if it came down to it. I am thankful for my talents even if they aren’t the best and are just having to improve slowly. I am thankful for progress, in worldly, but more importantly spiritual matters.

I can’t wait to update yall on how this week goes. I hit half way on my mission, get sealed to my family, so many big and exciting things!! YAY! Keep smiling :) Be compassionate, a hard worker and optimistic!  Love yall.
Sister Toolan
Muh gurl Rachel

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hesperia is starting look GOOD on me!

I feel as though I should take the time to explain to you all what will be happening to me and my family here in a few days. This blog might require a little more reading/watching, but I know you’ll learn something new :)

Ok, so my family is coming out next week and we will be going to the Redlands, California temple to be sealed as a family for time and all eternity. Let me start by saying in our Missionary Handbook aka our book of rules it states “Visits from family members, friends, and acquaintances are against Church policy. The impact of such visits may extend far beyond the visit itself, both before and after the visit and among other missionaries. It can often take some time for missionaries to refocus on their callings and their work. While expressing your love and desire to share your experiences with them after you have been released, help those who may want to visit you to understand the importance of maintaining singleness of heart and mind on the work of the Lord.”

The very first day I got to California I was in an interview with my mission president and he asked me what were some things he should know about me and I responded with a few things but started with “Well, I love my family. I am so excited to be here and I’m ready to give it my all, but I want these 18 months to fly so that I can get home and be sealed in the temple to my family.” He asked what the situation was and without hesitation said “If you’re family can make it happen, they can come here and be sealed.” So from day one of being here I knew this was a possibility.

Now, some of you may be wondering what being sealed to your family means… explains it like this:
“Family relationships can last forever—not just for this life.

Just as some of life’s sweetest joys can come through family associations, the loss of a beloved family member can be a source of our deepest sorrows.

Jesus Christ gave power to His disciples to seal families together forever when He said, “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:19).

Death does not need to be the end of our relationships with cherished loved ones. The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith that the “same sociality which exists among us here will exist among us there [in eternity], only it will be coupled with eternal glory” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:2).

Family members who accept the Atonement of Jesus Christ and follow His example can be together forever through sacred ordinances performed in God’s holy temples. These ordinances seal a husband and wife together for all eternity and children to their parents as an eternal family. (See: “The Family: A Proclamation to the World”)”

In our religion, family is so very important and central to everything. Heavenly Father did not send us here to learn to love our families, to strengthen those relationships just for it all to end. He loves us so much that in His plan He made it where we could be together forever.

Check out this video

I am so thankful for how perfect the Lords plan is. I have always heard  when the apostles pray about where to send you on your mission the biggest factor is who your mission president will be. I know that I got sent to a mission in the states and to THIS mission because President Hobbs would allow this to happen without me even having to ask. It’s not every day that you hear about something like this happening while ON a mission. I feel incredibly blessed, as I always do. I know that everything leading up to this moment has prepared my family and I. I love this church. I love the blessings that come from being a member. I love that Heavenly Father is involved in the details of our lives.
Sunset in Hesperia

Interesting things that happened last week?
-Went to a car wash on Monday and the vacuum ate my favorite pair of socks….true story. I was so sad hahah
-This 4 year old in the ward has a crush on Sister Treadwell and I and kept calling us and leaving us the most adorable voicemails EVER.
-I HELD A SNAKE. Almost cried from being so nervous, but I did it. I’m tellin ya’ I’m trying to be a daredevil on the mission!

-TOTALLY got hit on HARD by a 70 year old man. It was creepy.
-The Elders in our ward were having a bad day so Sister Treadwell and I bought them icecream :)

-Helped plant flowers in a woman’s yard…I think I might really enjoy gardening someday!!
-Gave away a Korean Book of Mormon.
Penny Love!
-Played Uno for the first time in my life and 100% DOMINATED. Yes, I won. And errrrone was super jelllly ;p
The District

CRAZY STORY. So, we live at a very nice place, but we kindof live by a sketchy street…that possibly has gangs on it, but whatever it ain’t no biggie….UNTIL…I was lying awake not able to sleep Saturday night and around 11:18 started hearing noises that sounded like gun shots…I got scared but tried to convince myself it was just late fireworks…well it kept on…I woke up Treadwell and the noices continued. We got really scared and I was in tears just because I didn’t feel safe and there wasn’t much we could do. Before long there were police sirens and fire truck noises going crazy, so we called our Zone Learders (it’s like 12:30 by this point) and they pretty much just say buck up haha. So we dropped to our knees and prayed and prayed. Good news is we woke up alive on Sunday and the church is still true. It wasn’t a fun experience though.

This week I have realized again that not everyone is very pleasant and there are always going to be those people you just have to “kill with kindness”. Anywho, I gotta go do some things, so keep it real homies. Til next week…
Sister Toolan

Monday, July 7, 2014

Sister Toolan Is Getting WILD & CRAZY On Us!

I’m going to warn you, this one might be a long one, but it’s deff worth reading. We had a ton of fun things happen this week!! Sorry for all of the pictures too, but you just can’t pass up snappin’ all the good times :) Shall we start from the beginning??

Monday- Sister Treadwell and I didn’t have to car pool with any other sisters this week and we had a few extra miles for the month so we decided to go to Scandia (family fun place) and ride this one ride that they have at Big Kahunas back home. Dakota and I (please note Dakota Scott (which two t’s) Woodward that I said “Dakota and I” and that I think about you often!) had gone on it a few years ago so I knew it’d be fun. We called ahead to make sure it wasn’t too expensive and were so excited to go. So we get there and start to pay and the lady goes “Oh, it’s free for you.” We were like….uhhhh?? what?? She went on to tell us that it’s owned/ran by Mormons so all missionaries get in free!!!! We knew from that moment on that it was going to be a DARN good day. We go ride the “sky screamer” and Sister Treadwell was FLIPPING out yelling “I HATE YOU SISTER TOOLAN! I HATE YOU!!!!” Then by the end she was screaming “I LOVE YOU SISTER TOOLAN!!!!!” hahah it’s so funny because I’ve been making her come out of her shell lately and it’s been a blast. Needless to say, it was awesome. 
And we still had tickets left so we went around riding all the rides like little kids in hog heaven!! We rode the bumper cars then the bumper boats. While on the bumper boats we were with 2 little boys and the SOAKED us. Like we had stood in a shower for 5 mins then got out. Only difference is there’s no humidity here so we were semi dry in like 40 mins haha. We get done there, get in the car and Treadwell goes “The only thing that could make this day better is rolling down the windows and blasting…church music!” hahah #missionaryprobz. About ½ way to the church she goes “Wait. Was doing the bumper boats apostate? Did we just break a huge rule???” HAHAHAH we started dying laughing. We were so caught up in a happy high that we totally blew over the fact that that was a water sport and 100% against the missionary rules!!! So we get to the church and the sprinklers are going so we decide to go run through the sprinklers a few mins to have a good excuse as to why we are wet to all the other missionaries :p Literally was THE best pday I’ve ever had and wouldn’t change it for the world.
New watch I bought from getting so wet: $10
Dippin’ Dots at Scandia: $3.50
Realizing we had broken a huge rule way after the fact: PRICELESS.

Tuesday- Some of our deaf members in the ward decided on impulse to get married all of the sudden. So Treadwell had to go interpret the whole thing. I never thought I would be attending a wedding on my mission, nonetheless a deaf one! It was so sweet. They were so nervous but excited :) One of the deaf little girls was sitting next to me and when it came time for them to kiss I kept messing with her about what they were about to do, then when they finally did she was so grossed out haahha. Oh, to be a 9 year old again hahah.

Wednesday- Found a new investigator which was nice!! Other than that it was an alright day.

Thursday- One of our investigators during her prayer goes “Thank you Heavenly Father for sending me the groovesome, awesome, twosome!” talking about us missionaries hahaha. It took everything in me NOT to laugh during that prayer. The good news is we committed her to baptism and she said yes!!!! Then Sister Woody (crazy as ever!! Love that woman) called us “Two men on a treadmill” she said that helps her remember “Toolan and Treadwell” haha. It was a day full of laughs :)

Friday- HAPPPPPPY 4TH OF JULY ERRONE!! I quite possibly had THE best 4th of July on my mission EVER. Which is good because it’s my only one I’ll have as a missionary haha. We wake up and someone invites us over for breakfast. It was tasty. Went to another members and figured out some ways to help the people in the ward here. Sister Treadwell was able to pop my neck, which never happens. Had a wonderful lesson with our 84 year old investigator.THEN THE REAL FUN BEGAN! We went, along with two other sisters, to a family’s house in our ward for dinner. We were told to wear jeans and such because we’d be helping with water balloons. We go, have wonderful food, good conversation, then the water wars begin. I swear I was like THE only one out of all the missionaries getting water poured on them and stuff hahah it was so funny. I realized as we were sitting there around the pool eating how hard it’s always been on the missionaries back home who we invite over and just have to watch us swim, but all members know missionaries aren’t allowed to do that, especially Return Missionaries (RM), right?? WRONG! Since we were all so wet we decided to go stand by the pool and take pictures so we could send it home joking that we got in…and while over there 3 RMs’ push all of the sisters into the pool but me…I get away, but another RM catches me and THROWS me in!!! th of july ever. Then we went home (had to be in by 6 due to heavy drinking on this holiday) and blew bubbles with all the neighborhood kids hahha. :) Only thing I can say negative about this day?? NO HOMEMADE ICECREAM!!!! Seriously. I got spoiled being raised in the south with that all the time. I missed it so much.
We were all in such shock and I am pretty sure I forgot how to swim for that little bit hahah. It didn’t help that we were in jeans, vans, watches, all that good stuff. It was so heavy!!! IT WAS AWESOME THOUGH. And I’m not mad at all hahaha, so worth it. Best 4th!

Saturday- There was an earthquake again!!! It was cool. Sister Treadwell and I decided to have a sleepover in our living room as well. I seriously will always love those things.

Sunday- We got asked to teach a class in church last minute and I realized then that I have changed. I was totally calm. Didn’t get too nervous and was able to fill the whole time. The old Sister Toolan would have had a nervous breakdown!!! I was thankful to finally see some improvement in myself. Sometimes that is really hard to see…easy to see in others, but hard in ourselves.

Sorry I don’t have time to write any of my spiritual moments from the week, I promise I had them! I just had too many stories to tell. Moral of the story: Me and water did NOT get along this week. It kept getting me in trouble without me knowing it. I will leave you with this though, it’s a video about how the first Sister Missionaries were able to go out and how it all started. Pretty cool if you ask me!!
OOH! And as I was looking at my pictures today to see which ones to send home I saw this picture that I hadn’t taken…Sister Treadwell had. She took a picture of her journal entry from the other night so I could see it…she was sneaky :p but too sweet. Love her.
 Transfers are this week. WE find out Saturday and I honestly have NO idea what will happen. Wouldn’t matter anyways, I’m never right at those things hahah. I love yall. Stay happy, happy, happy!!!
Sister Toolan