Monday, January 19, 2015

Feeling thankful in January!

Before I tell you anything about my week I gotta let you know that this whole week I was just overcome with gratitude. I don’t know what it was, but I was. I felt so my joy, love for my Savior just everything was good!! I know I am so crazily blessed and that me being on a mission is one of the biggest blessings Heavenly Father could ever give me. That trusts He’s had to put in me makes me so wonderful. I love Him. 

Monday- Sister Van Heel and I put on a mud mask one night after leaving a dinner where they gave us left over cucumbers to ‘treat ourselves with a spa night’. #classy “Other than that, that’s about it!” as one of the people we teach here would say :p

Tuesday- after almost 4 months of 24/7 with Sister Van Heel I realized how we think SO differently a lot of the time. She is super like “I love chaos. I work really well under stress and I like everything to be hectic.” That’s just how she works. And then there’s me…who loves order and tradition, things staying the same and having a schedule hahha. We are so very different, but luckily we work super well together. It helped me understand how our companionship works a little bit better though :)
Oh…for whatever reason I had a moment where before going to bed I just bust out dancing. I missed dancing a lot for whatever reason this night. Hahaha. Boy, oh boy. 

Wednesday- We had zone conference and it was awesome! I always love getting together with other missionaries. The spirit is just so strong. Some things I took away from the meeting??
·         We can’t help someone physically until we help them spiritually.
·         God can do what He wants with us…we’re disobedient? He can punish us in any way He pleases. Yet, because He’s so loving/merciful He gives us the least amount possible. He is so good to us.
·         We love Jesus Christ and so as members of His church we want to bring Him things HE loves and wants, therefore we show Him our love by bringing more of Hid children unto Him. 
·         IF WE ALWAYS DO WHAT WE’VE ALWAYS DONE THEN WE WILL ALWAYS GET WHAT WE’VE ALWAYS GOT. Think about it people. If you want your life to be going a different way then you’re going to have to change things up and figure out a better way to go about things. Living the gospel of Jesus Christ will ALWAYS bring forth the results that we want/need in this life. It requires effort though. 
·         You can only be efficient in relationships, not effective. 

Thursday- Our recent converts called and in their voicemail said “Hey, this is brother and Sister Garcia” it was adorable. So adorable.
ONE OF THE WORST QUESTIONS TO BE ASKED AS A MISSIONARY: what would you like me to make for dinner when you come??? Man. So many choices. So much pressure. Haha. 

Friday- Our Zone Leaders brought us donuts after having a conversation with them where I told them I am a ‘donut connoisseur’ ever since being companions with Sister Treadwell. I thought that was really nice. I think listening is something we are really bad at as humans nowadays. But when we actually take a min to do so, we can really help someone out. Sister Van Heel gave me the bright idea to unscrew my camera to try and fix it and I LISTENED TO HER haha. Luckily, it didn’t break any more than it already is hahah. 

Saturday- We had to sing at a baptism this night and Sister Van Heel woke up without much voice. I became really appreciative for my experience down in Diamond Bar around this time last year when it came time for Guillermos baptism where I had to not only give a talk, but sing also and I got sick. Heavenly Father literally gave me a voice to do everything and then RIGHT after I finished singing I lost my voice for like 3 days. SO CRAZY. Because of that experience though it made it really easy for me to put trust/have faith that the Lord would provide a way for Sister Van Heel and I to sing. You’ll be happy to know that we did it and she sounded fantastic, as always :) 

Sunday- since church doesn’t start til 1 oclock in the afternoon now we get to do our studies and such before we leave for the day which makes things nice. Well, this morning I was thinking about how I hadn’t gone to church with a question in mind for a while and that I needed to. So I thought of something and started to pray heavily over it. It was weird though because by 9 AM during my personal study I had already received an answer to it? I was like…hmm…that was strange, I guess I’ll just keep my mind open at church too so if He has more to let me know…come to find out after a few meetings van Heel still wasn’t feeling well and had a fever so we had to stay home from church. Later that night it hit me how perfect Gods plan is for us. He knew that I had a serious question in mind that I needed an answer to. He also knew that even though we wanted to, we would NOT be going to church (where I planned on getting this answer) so He provided a way for me to get it during my studies. He is so great. I love Him. 

Due to Sister Van Heel being sick like 3 days this week and us having to stay inside it gave me plenty of time to 1. Practice the piano and 2. Study up/practice ASL. Needless to say, I did NOT get bored at all the whole time haha. That stuff will seriously work your mind. Especially if you aren’t really good at it to begin with. 
Mom, I can’t wait to blow you away with how much better I’ve gotten at the piano since my mission :) 

I LOVE YALL BUNCHES AND BUNCHES ALL I GOT. I love getting to tell you allllllll about my week. This is the best time of my life. Don’t forget to listen to people, love people and stay busy in things that actually matter this week. Yall daaaaaa besssstttttttt ;p
Sister Toolan

Add sister ellis, my MTC companion :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Rough week ended up on a high note!

Next week is a federal holiday which means I’ll little time to tell you about my life, so this week is going to be me telling you anything and everything I have time for haha. Sorry not sorry in advance :) oh and if the beginning of my week seems a little depressing, I promise it got better and I’m happy now haha.

Monday-Typical pday stuff. Only thing really exciting during that time was getting to see Mark, my friend I made at WinCo the day I found out pops passed away, so like 6ish months ago? Since I didn’t move very far away from Hesperia coming to Apple Valley we still shop at the same places which is awesome because that guy is MY DAWG! He said every Monday when he starts seeing the first ‘wave of missionaries comin’ in” that he gets excited because he knows in the “second wave of it all we finna come in!!!!” you know, sometimes you just gotta love people into the gospel. And that’s perfectly fine :)

HILARIOUS MOMENT: we were having dinner at ashleys house (don’t worry, she gave me permission to make her famous by using her name on here ;p) and her daughter woke up from sleeping and was crying so she was holding her while eating, you know, being a bomb mom and all..well, mid conversation Ashley screams “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH…it’s WARM…and WET!!!!!!!” we look around really confused? As she gets off the stool, soaking wet on the she walked away (gagging) we saw the huge puddle of pee under the stool and just DIED LAUGHING hahahahah. She had to take a shower and we had to clean the mess hahaha. We laughed about that the rest of the week. Too priceless. YAY. Can’t wait to be a mom and have that kind of stuff happen to me!!!! Haha.

Tuesday- I was praying in the shower (kinda strange, but that’s where I have my very best prayers. I guess that’s just where my mind is clear and open ha) and I was just in tears saying sorry to Heavenly Father for all the things ‘wrong’ with me. Then I realized that He sent me down here with handpicked flaws and imperfections so that I’d stay busy at all times getting to work on myself. He trusted me to not allow satan to tear me down therefore giving me MORE to have to fix. I understood finally that He loves me. He know I’m trying. 

We had dinner with a part member family that we’ve been getting invited over to a lot lately. Usually when it comes time for our message the non member husband will leave and go outside to work. Well, after weeks of loving him, getting to know him and being patient it came time for our message and instead of going outside he sat in the living room acting like he wasn’t listening, but he totally was!!! It made me feel like our time over there hasn’t been a waste but has really helped soften his heart. He isn’t getting baptized tomorrow or anything, but he is making baby steps, and that’s all the Lord wants from us :) while we were there we had a debate on Coke vs. Pepsi and VERY confidently I said “yeah….my papa is a Pepsi girl!!” it was great. Honestly the confidence made it that much better. 

Wednesday- I was in a lot of physical pain this day, but life moved on. We had a really cool experience with our recent converts Isaiah and Sarah while having a lesson with their friend. Out of the blue they both just started bearing such great testimony of how great they’ve felt since baptism. They are going through a lot right now and they recognize that without having been baptized and received the Holy Ghost they would be so lost and confused with everything. We, as members of the church, don’t realize how blessed we are daily to have the gift of the Holy Ghost always present in our life. They inspire me. All the people that I’ve taught have. 

This night was..pretty emotional for me. I’ve just been carrying a lot of unneeded weight on my shoulders for a while. So after already saying my prayer and laying down to go to sleep something happened and I was just over come with sadness. Complete sadness. I knew as a few mins went by that it was getting worse and within my head I just yelled out to Heavenly Father “I need you to put your arms around me…now!!!” a few seconds later I caught my breathe, calmed down a ton and felt at peace. When I called out for arms (because I didn’t know what else could help or how to think for a little) He helped me with what I really needed. Even when we don’t know how/what we are feeling, as long as we make an attempt to tell Him, He will understand and help us. 

Thursday- I poured my heart out to God in looooooooong sincere prayer and ever since I’ve been doing GREAT! Crazy what I little prayer can do for ya. Other than getting a letter from my favorite pen pal not too much happened this day. 

WAIT: I received great news this day. We were told by the man over cars in our mission that we had to go get an oil change and to block out 1 ½ -2 hours for it. We knew what building it was and that we would literally just be sitting doing nothing propductive during the time, so after asking our leaders we got permission to go spend time with the Woodies (my Recent convert from Bear Valley ward). I THOUGHT I HAD DIED AND GONE TO HEAVEN.

Friday- we got to spend good quality time with the Woodies and it was just what I needed after having such a hard time this week. Woody is solid. He is going to the temple for the 1st time in a few weeks :) when I went to leave and was hugging sister woody I saw that she had taped up the picture of her and I on her night stand. I bout started to cry. I’m thankful to know that I’ve at least semi touched the people that have impacted my life for good. I love them. We went on exchanges that night and sister Green and I stayed up wayyyyyy too late talking haha. #sistermissionaryprobz 

Wait, I also made my best banana bread I’ve made yet this night. And that’s sayin’ something considering my last one was a hit ;p

Saturday- I had to ‘break up’ with one of our investigators that we’ve been teaching the whole time I’ve been here and it bout broke my dern heart. Blah. Exchanges were good. Had too much fun, as usual. Lots of miracles occurred. I learned that day that I have mastered the art of mimicking Sister Van Heel hahaha. Shes a hoot. Love her. 

Sunday- one of our elders investigators asked us to sing “How Great Thou Art” at his baptism this Saturday. It was too sweet. I’m thankful I’ve been able to use the talent of music Heavenly Father has given me so much on my mission. I’m mostly grateful that He’s allowed my talent(s) to improve and not go to waste. IT RAINED A GOOD PORTION OF THE DAY. It’s so funny because we all pray for rain here in cali then when it finally comes everyone just complains about it. NOT THIS GIRL. I lurrvvvvvv it! 

All in all it was a great week. It went by really quick which to me means we worked our tails off! I love this area. I love that my testimony gets stronger every single day. I love that we have the Gospel of Jesus Christ on the earth today to give us the hope that we all so desperately need. I love my Savior. 

Stay classy and not too sassy, everyone ;p
Sister Toolan
My favorite picture of Sister Cauble and I
Throw back to when I wouldn't let Sister Havens hug me...not even for a picture! #tbm (missionaries don't have to wait for thursday to do a throwback)

Monday, January 5, 2015

I know God places me in the exact place to help those in need

OH MY WORD! I know I haven’t written yall anything since LAST YEAR and I am soooooo sorry!!!! (go ahead..roll your eyes and fake laugh…just like we had to do about a million times this week when we’d hear that joke haha). I do hope everyone had a fantastic New Year’s though. 

You should check out this video. It’ll give ya a good laugh and even some inspiration. 

Lets dive into the week real quick like.

Monday- it was the first time in like 7 months that we didn’t have to carpool with other sisters so it was a tad bit lonely and much more quite but we got done with pday stuff with 2 hours to spare so we were in heaven just gettin’ to sit and relax hahah. Other than that there wasn’t too much special about that day.

Tuesday- IT SNOWED!!!!!!! I’m not even joking. It totally did. It started with cute little flurries then lasted a few hours. It never stuck, but it was still really pretty and made sister Van Heel happy, so I was happy. Some members in the ward had heard me talk about loving sparkling grape juice so they called us over to their house and gave us some for NYE :) While sitting in a meeting I had a feeling that we needed to try harder to get in contact with some of the recent converts in the area. We got home and between me bringing it up and Van Heel following the spirit in knowing what to say in the messages TWO of them responded to us for the 1st time since I’ve been here. We were so happy we did that. 
Happy NYE!

Wednesday- one of the less actives we teach taught US a lesson while visiting her. She talked about how this year she was going to be focused on “positive progression” and it taught me a lot. We just need to positive about the way things are going, even if we are falling behind a little. This was deff an answer to prayers since up til that point I had been struggling a lot for a few days with feeling like I was falling backwards in progression rather than forward and as a missionary, that really was taking a tole on me. So she really helped me see that we have to be find  the little victories and let that be enough :) it also took me back to a talk I had read a while ago that said something like this :
‘Peter, when sinking into the water didn’t go “No thank you, I will swim to the shore. I sank myself, so I must save myself.” That’s just ridiculous. Yet, sometimes we do that.’ We, at times, spiritually drown ourselves because we aren’t willing to seek out loving and strong arms to rescue us. We just have to allow the Savior to help us. 

Thursday- We went to help out a little old lady in the ward with some house work that morning and upon arriving she was surprised because I guess there was a miscommunication and she thought we weren’t coming til Saturday. Well, after a little bit of talking to us she just started to cry and cry about all the things happening in her life: her husband being in the hospital for like 3 weeks now, her best friend passing away a few days prior, just so much. During all the crying she goes “I know that Heavenly Father sent you here to me today. I just needed to cry. Thank you for listening.” I was a mess. It was so sweet. I really do know that God puts us, His servants, where we need to be and when we need to be there. He knows the needs of allllll His children and will do whatever to give them the comfort they need. 
OH. My camera broke this day, super sad and depressing. No worries, it still takes pictures I just can’t see them on the broken screen haha. Good thing I don’t have tooooooo much longer. I do wish it coulda just hung on a few more months though -_- I’m not bitter or anything…no..never. 

Friday- we went to the funeral of the friend I previously talked about by request of our bishop here. We had randomly visited her two weeks before she passed away because no one had seen her at church recently. She came the Sunday before she got in a wreck and passed. Crazy stuff. Anyways, because I didn’t know her very well I figured the funeral wouldn’t be too hard for me. Boy, was I wrong. As soon as it started all I could think about was the fact that pops passed away a few months ago since me being out on my mission and how I wasn’t there for his funeral. I felt the pain my family surly had felt that day. I got frustrated with myself at one point because I was a mess and was thinking ‘WHY?! You’re a missionary. You know Gods loving plan for us. You know where he is.” So I prayed that I’d get some help…a few mins later my prayer was answered through music. He had always been able to touch me through music. I love it. We sang “I believe in Christ” and “How Great Thou Art” and I realized I have a Savior who made it possible for me to be with my family for forever and that I needed to just be happy. So I was. :) The day was made a ton better when we were able to go down the hill for something and got CHICKFILA BABY!!!!!!!! Oh and at dinner that night the little 3 year old boy was trying so hard to pull me down and kiss me after hugging me hahahah. The mom was cracking up. Dang. 

Saturday- I was able to get a priesthood blessing that morning which was exactly that. A blessing. I seriously love the priesthood. I know that through that power Heavenly Father can speak to us. It truly helped liven up my spirits! 
FUNNY: we were visiting this one couple that goes to our church and the lady (who has dementia) randomly goes “Well, I believe in the Holy Spirit and in the holy Catholic Church!!” her husband was like “Charlotte, WE’RE MORMON!” hahahahhaa. It was beautiful. 

Sunday- A little 6 year old passed notes with me during church. It was probably the cutest thing ever. See. A few weeks ago I was having problems with old men hitting on me, this week it was the underaggeeddd hahah.Sunday school which gave us a good laugh. Something I did get out of church though: a lot of times we are so eager/excited to get to our goal that we miss the beauty in the path traveled to get there. So much refining happens IN the process.  
Lets just hope next week the mid-aged don’t start up haha. Bob Marley was quoted in

Things are going well. I sat by a really good friend today while attempting to write this which then led to a ton of distracting and not focusing, so if this was all sorta jumbled…I’m sorry. Haha. Just know that I love yall. Miss yall. And i’m doin’ just fine!!!! Stay golden, pony boys. Oh yeah, and for those not priviledged enough to already see these, heres our Christmas pictures from this year ;p
Sister Toolan