Tuesday, December 30, 2014

We are staying in Apple Valley....baby!

HOLY HECTIC WEEK! We had a WEDDING, a BAPTISM, a TRANSFERS DAY and a CHRISTMAS all in a 7 day period. Whew. CRAAAY. I realize that some of you probably skim through these post and if you see something interesting, you’ll stop and read…but I want you to know how important all these stories are to me. Some, even sacred. These are the experiences I’m having that are shaping me into the Katie Toolan I always needed to be, they are things that have touched my heart so deeply that I’ll never be able to forget them. I adore my mission. On to the week though……

Monday- It finally hit me that the story I shared last week about the woman pretty much bashing us and saying the priesthood wasn’t on the earth totallllllllly prepared sister Van Heel and I for the craziness of Jan’Ines baptism. Maybe you don’t see how it relates, but someday we can sit down and talk about it:p We went to Big Bear again this day to have a little missionary Christmas party. It was fun. I was the one driving so I didn’t get carsick. Thank heavens. We got a little lost on the way back, but because prayer always saves the day we found our way back on the path haha. Not too much this day.

Tuesday- Sister Van Heel and I made 4 cakes in preparation for the wedding on Wednesday. We baked and then the member we live with decorated it (she does professional cakes for work!) so it turned out GORGEOUS. It was my 14 month mark, so I celebrated by allowing myself to have a Vanilla Coke at dinner :p DRINK OF THE CHAMPIONS. 

Wednesday- ISAIAH AND SARAH GOT MARRIED. We went over bright and early to do Sarahs hair…ok…fine….sister Van Heel did it…you KNOW I’m not gifted in that manner haha. So many people came to support then, even on Christmas Eve day, which warmed my heart. They were both so nervous, it was adorable. When it came time to ‘walk down the aisle’ Sarah grabbed ahold of Sister Van Heel and i…so there ya have it…I got to walk someone down the aisle at there wedding. One and only time. On my mission! So cool!

And it was sweet because I got to hold the side where her nub is so it made me think of daddy! The coolest part was knowing that they were taking this huge step in their life all so they could get baptized a few days later. No, you don’t have to be married to get baptized, but you do if you are living together. The ward REALLY came together on this whole thing. We were able to throw them a little mini reception after and everything to make it special and a day to remember. It went perfect. I had to hold one of the elders hand during the prayer at dinner that night and it was……awkward to say the least lol. If you have served a mission before you’ll understand my pain. Oh. I also had the hiccups stinkin 4 times this day. Did you reallllllly need to know that? Not at all. That night Sister Van Heel and I turned on some Christmas music and tried to straight DANCE for 30 mins without stopping. It was hard. I’m pretty sure the member we live with thinks we are psycho..and she might be right lol. We are dorks. However, we have some pretty awesome moves!!!!

Thursday- CHRISTMAS BABY!!!!!!! We spent this day with a lot of members in the ward that we love, so that’s always nice. Getting to call home was so great :) it’s weird seeing how much everyone has changed, grown up and to know it was my last time getting to call home on the mission. The next time I’d be able to I’ll be HOME! Whatttttttttttttt? Jan’Ine made us the cutest little slippers for a present. I will be keepin’ those things the rest of my life! After giving this guy a “He Is the Gift” card he yelled “Thanks. By the way..I think you’re pretty hot!!!” Oh goodness….day in the life of a sister missionary.
 We went caroling again in our area and had an enjoyable time. It was neat because every time we went and caroled as a zone people would just “oooh and aww” over our singing, which honestly wasn’t even that good lol; however, the spirit was with us, angels were with us helping touch the hearts of many so people felt it. I love angels. 
Exhausted from opening presents
 Friday- One of our investigators committed to baptism. Pretty good belated-Christmas present! Drank celery soda for the first time in my life. A different investigator asked for forgiveness for the time she had missed with us because of putting other things of more importance in a prayer…so humbling. She missed the spirit she feels when we come. 

Ok, so while on my mission I’ve still been quite self-critical at times, but nothing like I was back home. I can look at myself in the mirror and find some type of beauty in it, even though I’m not a perfect twig or something. I realized that part of the reason is because I’m not back home where every 2 mins I see pictures of all my ‘friends’ ½ naked in bathing suits/next to nothing clothing. I do not have to constantly see these ‘perfect bodies’ then see me. I needed to come on my mission to gain some self-worth. I don’t have a perfect body, but I have the perfect gospel in my life which allows me to have eternal joy, not just temporary happiness. 

Saturday- Even though the baptism ended up starting 25 mins late, it was a beautiful service. ISAIAH AND SARAH ARE FINALLY BAPTIZED AFTER LIKE A YEAR OF BEING TAUGHT!!!!!!!! Yaaaaaay! They brought a ton of non members who all loved it. Sister Van Heel played the piano and an elder and I sang a special music number. After one the friends complimented it and we were like “don’t worry Josh, we’ll do something special for your baptism too!!” and he didn’t fight it!!!! He is gettin’ dunked!! Lol. Found out Sister Van Heel and I are staying together another transfer in the Village ward. I feel extremely blessed.
Baptism Day!
 Sunday- Nothing too tooooooo special. Church was good, had to say goodbye to some of my favorite sisters who….should actually be home right now. Whoa.  I did think a lot about goals this day though after reading a talk in the Ensign. When setting goals:
1.       Know what God wants for you. “Scriptures/talks are an effective mirror we can hold up for self-examination. We should ASK God what goals we should set. I mean, He does know a liiiiiiiil bit more than us, dontcha think? 
2.       Know that God can help you succed.
3.       Know God loves you, even if you feel you have failed. Even if you don’t reach your goals perfectly, you still grow from the efforts of trying to get there. So it’s all good it the hood, my playas!
Miss BELL....so FANCY!

I hope you all enjoyed Christmas as much as I did. Don’t forget to buy a bottle of sparkling grape juice this week to bring in the New Years right!!!!!! ;p do it in memory of your favorite sister missionary serving in California right now!! I love yall. 
Sister Toolan
Sister Johnson and I

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