Monday, December 15, 2014

Santa visited Cali!

Apple Valley A Zone
I’m going to be honest with you right now. I. am. TIRED. I’ve had Return Missionaries tell me that when they got home they just crashed for like a week and didn’t get out of bed. Now, as great as that sounds, I know that won’t happen to me; I got too many people to see, so little time! However, sleep and rest sounds good about now. DON’T WORRY. I’m not getting trunky (a term missionaries use. A elder I serve with describes it as this.
Trunky: a strong desire to return home; in an extreme sense, it’s like your trunks are already packed for the flight home). 
I’m still working hard as ever, hence why I’m tired :p 

Monday- I was in a TON of pain this day, it was so bad that I started not saying anything right because my mind was just somewhere else haha. For example: we (us and the Sisters we carpool with) went to McDonalds to get Van Heel something to eat and while trying to get the receipt/give the Drive-Thru worker a “He Is The Gift” card and meaning to say “Thank you” for him handing me back the card I go, very loudly and happy “HELLO!’s this. Video.” He just goes “Wow.” Like what the heck are you smoking!??! Me: “Watch it.” 
HAHAHAHAHAH we laughed so hard about that for a while. As embarrassing as it was, the Lord knew my efforts were sincere and He’ll make up for all my weaknesses/flaws hah. It kept happening to me the rest of the day. I was very thankful the next morning when I woke up pain free :p

Tuesday- One of our investigators while reading the 10 commandments from the Book of Mormon goes “HOLD UP. The Bible done went and cussed on us!!!” HAHA :)
While at our missionary meeting I realized that maybe all the talk of “Hastening the Work” within the church isn’t quite about bringing more people into the church, but to get everyone to learn their part and how to work together. 

John 17:21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
The Lord just wants us to be unified. All of us. All of His children.

Wednesday- Our investigator that has a nub like daddy gave Sister Van Heel and I “BFF” necklaces <3 it was too stinkin’ precious. Her and her fiancé are seriously better missionaries than I am and they aren’t even baptized yet. That’s what I love about the gospel. It changes people, and when it changes people (always in a good way) they/we get excited and want everyone to know about it! 
I finally got a picture with her:)

One thing Sister Van Heel helped me understand this night was that because we have such a big area, with SO many people to work with (most of them having super serious issues) we gotta be praying more for the spirit. We have to be even more obedient than ever so that Heavenly Father can provide us with the Spirit that we so desperately need to help these people. I love companions. 

Thursday- I, Katie Toolan, helped with a little remodeling. I was over there workin’ some magic on the electric power saw cuttin’ some tile! I kept wishing the whole time that mom and dad could be there to see me, they wouldn’t believe their eyes!!! See, even if yall thought you didn’t teach me ANYTHING, ya did :p However, I’m still going to let you be the pros with a house when I have one! YOU ARE THE MASTERS! 

Friday- Woke up, took a nice run in the rain for exercise :) it was splendid. Of course, the one day it rained we had to go ‘down the hill’ for something. I was praying like crazy that we wouldn’t get in a wreck. Heavenly Father helped us arrive safely AND on time. He is always looking out for us :)

We had dinner with an older member family and our investigators and while there Jan’Ine (invest.) says “UH. I’m finna have to approve of the man you marry. Ain’t just no average joe  gettin’ to take you from me!!” Then the member wife decided SHE will provide me with the recipes for the man, and the man member says he will lock the gun for me when I introduce him so he’ll know not to mess around! He also kept going onnnnnnnn and onnnnnn about how I just had “the cutest accent ever.” Old men. Gotta love em!

Saturday- We had our ward Christmas party. It was a waffle breakfast with a little program. We got there early to help at 8 and never really sat down til we left and went home. SO many people showed up. A lot of the members had invited non-member friends and some of the people we are working with came, it was awesome. We didn’t have time to talk to everyone! At one point towards the end one of the families we had invited showed up and by that point there was no more food left. It was a family of 7. Sister Van Heel and I ran straight to the car and went to Stater Bros, bought some waffle mix, came back and fixed up waffle galore for them (and a few others who showed up late as well). I was super thankful for the members that were really patient with us having to dirty back up the kitchen to help this family feel loved. It made me think about last year when I was in Diamond Bar and we didn’t have enough dessert for everyone at the party so Sister Havens and I did the same thing. Man. I guess missionaries are just here to save the Christmas parties for everyone :p hahha. 
Santa came

We were so worn out after all the stress/running around/helping that when we got home for our lunch break we just crashed. Much needed!
We had a few lessons that day and in one I got invited to a video game date with a 7 year olds boy after the mission. LOL. Sister Van Heel invited the husband of a woman we are teaching to sit in on our lesson and he said yes! She is such a good little missionary!!

Our view from church Sunday

Let me start off by saying that Saturday night I made some chocolate chip Banana bread and when I woke up there was a note for me from the member we live with “GOOD BREAD!” written on it. She makes cakes for a living and is a really good cook so I took that as a huge compliment :p Things were going well. We got to church and found out some of our investigators had gotten offended at the party Saturday and they were LIVID. They were legit ready to fight this woman if she walked into church (luckily, she didn’t end up showing up…blessing? I think YES.) There were a lot of other things going on that I shouldn’t write about, but moral of the story? We were SO lost as to what we needed to do. We were scared, confused, overwhelmed. At one point I realized that there are times when we OVERplan which then gets in the way of the spirit. It wasn’t until Sister Van Heel and I calmed down, took it all to the Lord, humbled ourselves by realizing there was NO way we could do this on our own that it all worked out. Heavenly Father provided us with the words to say, the compassion to show and the knowledge of what His children needed as we went and visited with people. 
Sarah and Isaiah are getting married on the 24th and baptized on the 27th. Sarah called and asked us to do her hair for her wedding! TOO SPECAIL! I love it. We had 9 investigators at church this day. We were blown away. 

AWKWARD MOMENT WITH MORE OLD MEN: while at church I was standing talking to this one older gentleman and another one comes up and says “Hey. Why are you talking to my girlfriend?” (talking about ME-__-) the one I was talking to goes “What? She told me she was MY girlfriend??!” I stood there awkwardly as they talked about how pretty of a face I had and how there had to be at least 15 boys waitin’ on me back home……AWK! TOTAL AWK. I feel like everyone and their mother talked to us about dating/marriage this week. It was…strange. It’s always a tad uncomfortable/nerve-racking talking about that stuff to people as a missionary. It’s like you aren’t supposed to be thinking about it, however everything you’re currently doing is preparing you for it and it’s the goal afterall. Mixed emotions haha.  

I overheard a conversation at church that day that really hit me. The bishop was talking to the father of a 14 year old boy and said “you know, you have a really GREAT kid.” And the dad goes “I know I do….now we just gotta help him see that..” I, being me, started to cry. How sad. Why is it that we, who are sons and daughters of the most Supreme Being of the world don’t see how much we are worth? That is something I’ve struggled at my whole life, but I know that coming on a mission has helped me more than anything to see how much the Lord loves and trusts us. I just hate to think that there are kids/teenagers walking around feeling the way I felt at that point of my life. YOU ARE SO WONDERFUL I CAN’T EVEN PUT IT INTO WORDS. We all are. Don’t forget about that. 

Oh, and before I end this, since we’ve been getting this a lot lately: MORMONS ARE ALLOWED TO DRINK SODA. We can even drink caffeine if we’d like lol. Some members of the church may opt not to do so, but it never says anywhere that it’s ‘against the rules’ or something haha. Just thought I’d clarify. 

I hope you all have a fantastic week. Keep making goals/changes in your life to become a better person. Believe in yourself. Find your confidence/strength in the Lord. I love yall.
Sister Toolan


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