Monday, December 22, 2014

“Christmas time is about giving. God gave His son. The Son gave Hislife.”

I have no earthly clue where to start this off at. This week was UN-BE-LIEVABLE.

Monday- While I was standing in line at Target I saw two girls signing to one another. I got really nervous because I wanted to talk/sign to them, but I hadn’t communicated back and forth with someone in a long time so I didn’t know if I’d remember anything. I said a prayer, put my trust in Heavenly Father and away we got to talking. I know Heavenly Father made that possible. I gave her a ‘He Is The Gift; card and she said she’d watch the video :) I am so thankful I served in Bear Valley, as hard as it was for me at times, because I LOVE ASL. I can’t wait to go to school and learn more!

Tuesday- When we stopped by Jan’Ines to go over some things she started to ask us some questions making sure it was alright that she was doing certain things. She goes “Im just trying to make sure I ain’t doin’ nothing I ain’t supposed to be doin, ya feel me?” It was so cute to see her efforts in wanting to be obedient to Heavenly Fathers commandments. I wish I were more like that at times. She loves the gospel, she sees what it is doing for her life and she wants to do what she can to keep it that way. 
We went caroling with other missionaries in our zone…in the rain! It was awesome! Caroling has been softening people’s hearts like crazy.

Wednesday- Before we went to our missionary Christmas party we had a lesson with an investigator. In this lesson (I don’t even know if you’d call it that) she sat there and tore apart the pamphlet we had left her with all of these bible verses that had nothing to do with anything, wouldn’t allow us to talk and kept saying “the Aaronic priesthood is NOT on the earth today!” This lesson was reallllly hard for me because if there is one thing that I’ve gained a testimony of on my mission, it’s the priesthood. It made me legitimately SAD for her. We knew leaving that lesson that she obviously was NOT prepared for the gospel at this time and there is no point in going back because you can’t teach someone who doesn’t want to learn; it won’t get you anywhere. We felt good knowing that no effort is wasted though. I know that missionaries will come along someday, the right ones, in the right timing and that it will finally make sense to her. I love the priesthood. I loved knowing that after that lesson, because I’ve worked hard on my testimony while being here, that it wasn’t shaken at the slightest. I still know the truth. I still know, through the Holy Ghost that this is Jesus Christ’s church on the earth today. Man, I am so blessed.  

COOL THOUGH: every single day I write a daily personal goal for myself. I didn’t realize this til Thursday, but my daily goal this day was “NO CONTENTION.” It was interesting to me that the day my goal was no contention was the day that 1. We met with this woman who bashed with us, yet we had to end by hugging her, loving her and politely leaving and 2. It was the day I had to see a LOT of missionaries, both elders/sisters that I don’t particularly care for and because of this goal I was able to overcome not liking them and show love. Man.
Elder Olsen
Anywho, the Christmas party was soooooooooooo much fun!!! I got to say goodbye to a few good friends. One of my favorite elders who hates taking pictures even took a few with me…miracle! Haha. Sister Hobbs said this which stuck with me “Christmas time is about giving. God gave His son. The Son gave His life.” Think about that. 

Thursday- We had a lesson with Jan’Ine about temples. Boy, do I love the temple. I can’t wait to live in Utah and have tons all around me. That’s practically why Heavenly Father helped me realize I need to be in Utah. Temples. My favorite place. :) Jan’Ine passed her baptism interview! We went caroling with a family in the ward and had a grand ole’ time. At one point we stopped at a members house and she asked us to go sing to her neighbor, someone we have taught in the past but had to stop because the wife didn’t like “Mormons”. Well, when we went (which was totally a prompting on the members part) he was asleep, so the wife had to listen. She loved it. It warmed her up to us a little. After that the next day I guess the man went over to the members house and in tears in his eyes said no one had ever been caroling at his house, that he was OVER COME with emotions knowing we had and said he wants to be baptized. Uhm. Wow. 
Village Ward Missionaries

After caroling they took us to this cool house where the lights were synced up with a radio station. It. Was. Awesome. We got out and danced around a little. It made me miss Elder Coburn. He is my dancin’ buddy. It was a party and a half!

Friday- During my personal studies I realized that being on a mission and having a companion truly do prepare you in all ways to have an eternal companion someday. We learn that companion prayer/study/planning is essential and the power of unity. WOW. Heavenly Father is helping prepare me for a very healthy relationship someday. Nothing like I’ve ever had before, that’s forsure. 
CRAZY PART OF THIS LETTER THOUGH: Alright, so Jan’Ine started getting sick on Thursday. We figured she would get better, however this night while on the phone with her we realized she was getting worse. Well….the baptism was supposed to be the next night…so when we hung up sister Van Heel goes “the reasonable thing to do would be cancel the baptism and let everyone know…” but we both agreed that we didn’t feel we needed to cancel it. At all. We felt CRAZY. Here this woman is, sick as a dog, and there we are telling her she is still getting baptized lol. While telling her this (7:15ish at night) I looked at Van Heel and said “we gotta start fasting. Right now.” And we did. The rest of the night was bizarre. We prayed like crazy. We knew that Heavenly Father was going to take control of the situation and that He wanted her to be baptized the next night. I have never been so confident in the Lord and a prompting my whole life. It felt GREAT to finally have so much faith in the Lord. …………………….so then……

Saturday- We wake up, do studies, (while doing studies I was reading an old journal entry and the very 1st one I read talked of the miracles that come from fasting and included an experience from Diamond Bar. It was almost Gods way of saying ‘you aren’t crazy. This CAN happen and you’re doing the right thing!”) go to Squash Farm to do service…hard physical work….while we are fasting lol….Heavenly Father helped us leave at perfect timing because right when we got home to start getting ready Jan’Ine called and was needing help…so we got in the car, drove over, started making her food (she hadn’t eaten in 2 days from being sick)….WHILE FASTING lol…cleaned up her kitchen, shared some words of encouragement, went back took 30 mins to get ready to go prepare for the baptism, did everything we needed to at the church and then she got there. We prayed so much, so sincerely and with so much faith all day. When it came time for the baptism to begin everything went perfectly. She felt fine, was able to enjoy it, the spirit was super strong and she was SO happy she went through with it. We were even able to sing our song without messing up and our throat drying out…since we had been fasting all day…haha I left that baptism with a stronger testimony of: the power of fasting, prayer and faith. Heavenly Father taught me that day. More than usual. An experience I will never forget. 

Sunday- Members kept coming up to us and saying how much they enjoyed Jan’Ines baptism and how strong the spirit was. YAY! Heavenly Father helped us pull it off. Church was great, we had an investigator who’d been ignoring us show up and asked us for forgiveness. :’) precious. We had lunch with a less active man and his active family. He didn’t come out until the end and said “I felt it would be rewarding to come out and join you and it was.” We got like two referrals from members that day saying their friends are ready to take the lessons and get baptized. I swear. We don’t even do anything here, the ward just always provides us with great people to teach/love. I am so blessed. Too blessed. 

This week is going to be busy. We are throwing a wedding, having a baptism, it’s Christmas so I’m FaceTimin’ home, we have carolin’ to do…BUSY BUSY BUSY. Just the way I like it :) I love you all. I love Christmas on the mission, it’s the best thing ever. MAN! Make sure and smile at everyone you see. Enjoy life. 
Sister Toolan
Charlotte giving me counsel

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