Monday, February 23, 2015

Family History is more powerful than I realized!

Monday- Mamu, my favorite little Filipino grandma gave me a hair cut :) Got free samples of food at Target (which was perfect because we were starving lol) and got a new investigator. That’s really all that happened. 
My amazing new bed!

Tuesday- A lady in the ward hooked us up with a blender! I haven’t had one in like 5 months now haha. So I’ve been smoothie-ing it UP baby! 

You must be thinking “wow. Her week sounds sooooooo eventful thus far…” it gets better lol

Wednesday- Got lectured by a less active lady on marriage and how we have to “train our husband. Not before but not too long AFTER getting married how to clean up his own mess.” Good gravy. 

There is a woman sister Van Heel and I met with only a few times that is less active and it’s always super awkward when we go over because she has a huge pool table in the center of the living room so when you talk it’s across the table and it’s just really annoying. Anywho. We went over this day, she automatically let us in and my view on the pool table changed! While talking to her, her husband who just found out he doesn’t have much longer to live and isn’t a member came out and started talking to me. Because of this huge pool table Sis. Brentlinger and I were able to have two separate lessons with two separate people in the SAME room all in like 20 mins. Hahah it was AWESOME. 
Tevins family (the boy that got baptized last week) told him they want us to start coming over and teaching them weekly….uhm…..HECK YES! 
Caught a family at home that I’ve been trying to for 4 stinkin’ months. Heavenly Father literally led us to their house. It was incredible.

Thursday- Got to do some secret acts of service! That’s always the best :) Also, the family we had dinner with that night gave us Claim Jumper Chocolate Silk Pie….aka MY FAVORITE! So this day was just all around fantastic.

Friday- Before you go and judge me after reading this next sentence, I’d have you know YOU decided to be my friend even though you know I’m strange… much as I hate to admit it, I had Hannah Montanna cravings this day. Everything I heard lead me back to a HM song hahahah. I kept this out of my head as much as I could! We had a long day of planning, which made me really hyper, which made sis B realize the crazy she has to put up with for another 10 weeks haha. Oh wale. 

Saturday- We knocked a little bit more than usual this day and met an awesome man. He went from “what are you doing here??” to by the end loving us and giving us more marriage advise. He said marry someone who is 1. Smart 2. Has to go work outside when you say to 3. Has a sense of humor and 4. Has a job. Whatta guy. We also met a “lost Recent convert” of 6 months ago from Arizona. The neatest part was that we literally had time to knock ONE door before dinner and HIS was the one Heavenly Father led us to. He talked about how much he was disssapointed in himself and how much he wasn’t living right. We reassured him that that’s what the gospel is all about and just encouraged him to do better. He said he wouldn’t be at church this week buuuuuuuut,

Sunday- walked into church and he was THERE! He came! It was such a sweet surprise. I don’t even really know this guy, but I love him and am so excited for his progress :) a man in the ward helped Jan’Ine out with some of her family history and when he gave her what he’d found. She started BAWLING talking about how “he found my dad! He found my brother!!” family history is more powerful than I reazlied. It also rained and was SUPER windy! We felt like models all day ;p 
Super windy day!

Quotes from this lovely week:
A little 4 year old girl at dinner that kept raising her hand (like she was in school) to talk looked at me and goes “I really like it when you smile…” 
As we walked out of the house after she sighed “Man, I just wanna have a sleepover with them!” hahah <3

While Ashley white, my lds gangsta, (yes, I know you’re reading this right now Ashley which I why I said that hahah) was holding her little girl she says “’re my favorite!!” the little girl looks at her mom then points to me and says “oh. Well she’s MY favorite..” phahahhahahahaha. That’s right. Total domination right there! 

Sorry I didn’t give you more about this week. Just know it was awesome, we worked super hard and saw super miracles. I know that Heavenly Father loves us, imperfections and all. I know there is nothing we could do that would even make that love for us change. Love yall tooooooooo much! 
Sister Toolan
Hot chocolate on a cold windy wet night

Throwing it back to the MTC days!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sister Brentlinger is in the HOUUUUUUUSSSSEEEEE!!!!!!!!

Wow. It doesn’t even feel like it’s been a week since I was emailing you last. Time is going way too quickly. I do NOT like it.

Let me start by saying we found out Sunday that we would be moving out of Sister Moffetts home into the elders old apartment. I was sad because I love living with a member, but also excited to have my own place again….UNTIL….we stepped foot into the apartment. That place was SICK NASTY! So, pretty much, all Hermana Hansen (my temporary comp until I got to pick up Sister Brentlinger on Wednesday..oh yeah…that’s my new companions name :D) and I did Monday night and Tuesday after our missionary meeting was DEEP CLEAN that place. It’s safe to say that more than a few times the thought “man, if this is what living with a man is like I’m goooooood….i don’t need any of that!” came to mind. EW. I mean, come on!!! I’m still grossed out. Whatever though, we made it look/smell nice so that when my new missionary got there she wouldn’t be scared hahha. Plus, the elders living there before us left cute little mints/chocolate on the night stand for us, so..they tried…lol

the elders found this, wrote on it and left it for me to find in the apartment....haha!

Monday- Got to email back and forth with my old companion Sis. Havens for a while and that was such a blessing. I didn’t realize how much I needed her that day, but I did. Heavenly Father has seriously blessed me too much with great people. Had to say goodbye to Sister Van Heel and that made me sad. However, I couldn’t quit laughing because she made a deal with me earlier in our companionship that when she got a new companion she was going to wear this UGLY turtleneck on her 1st day meeting her to scare her…and…she did haha. The whole drive down I couldn’t quit laughing. She is so brave, hilarious and ridiculous. I miss her.

Tuesday- Heavenly Father helped us not run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. Man. He keeps a close eye on us missionaries haha. So thankful for that. Like I said, cleaned this whole day. I’d rather not speak of it any more haha.
BUT! Due to moving into a new place I have an AWESOME bed. I have slept on springs (trying to be the nice companion at times where a good bed was available lol) my entire mission. It’s a hospital bed, so I can move it up and down and it will even massage aka: vibrate if I ask it to hahaha. Wow. I haven’t slept so good my whole mission. Tender mercy.

Wednesday- I GOT MY NEW MISSIONARY: SISTER BRENTLINGER! She is from Georgia, so now we have 2 southerners in a companionship…dang gina. This could get cray! She is super cute. So willing to learn and be taught by Heavenly Father. She is going to make these last two transfers a piece of cake (companion wise). She is giving me more desire to work harder and to be more obedient. I LOVE IT. I was actually quite terrified to be training, but now I see Gods hand in it all. As usual. :)

Thursday- My dog Tevin got baptized!!!! While moving I found a new pair of jeans that fit perfectly! HAAY! That’s about it haha.

Something that struck my heart very strongly was a tid-bit from a talk Elder Robert D. Hales gave. I’d like yall to reallllly think about what he says:
“In my youth I learned an important lesson about how our actions may limit our freedom. One day my father assigned me to varnish a wooden floor. I made the choice to begin at the door and work my way into the room. When I was almost finished, I realized I had left myself no way to get out. There was no window or door on the other side. I had literally painted myself into a corner. I had no place to go. I was stuck.
Whenever we disobey, we spiritually paint ourselves into a corner and are captive to our choices. Though we are spiritually stuck, there is always a way back. Like repentance, turning around and walking across a newly varnished floor means more work—a lot of resanding and refinishing! Returning to the Lord isn’t easy, but it is worth it.
As we understand the challenge of repenting, we appreciate the blessings of the Holy Ghost to guide our agency and Heavenly Father, who gives us commandments and strengthens and sustains us in keeping them. We also understand how obedience to the commandments ultimately protects our agency.”

Friday- For the first time on my mission (because Sister Brentlinger was game!) I got to use music in my missionary work. We, when knocking doors, would just sing a hymn. The spirit was evident every single time. There is no way that any of the people we sang to could deny that. It was nice to switch things up a bit and try new things. We had some pretty powerful lessons that day. I’m so excited for my new sister because unlike most of the new missionaries, she is in an area where we are blessed to have teaching appointments. The best way to learn to be a good teacher is to teach.

Saturday- Valentines day. Yeah. It couldn’t have been super annoying but we were busy all day with single people, so it was good hahah. We had lunch outside with some people and I GOT A SUNBURN! Not bad or anything, just a little red on my shoulders and I know I’m weird, but that stuff makes me so happy :) I love the sun. I guess that’s what I get for being raised in Florida.

Sunday- I felt a lot of Gods love for me at church. That’s always a blessing.

Try to not consult with others this week. Instead, consult all things with the Lord. Watch how much nicer things work out for you that way. Don’t forget that miracles lie right outside your comfort zone. Go to church. Be happy about the life you have been given. As a wise friend once told me “Your attitude and your gratitude affect your altitude.” I love yall. The Savior loves yall. Til next week..

Sister Toolan
Super cool braid a youth did with my huuuuuur

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Change is NOT my strength!

After a super long week of ‘Transfer Trauma” aka: worrying about transfer calls on Saturday, I found out what’s happenin’ with my life for at least the next 6 weeks ;p I will be training a new Sister Missionary. I guess there was only 1 english speaking sister coming and I was the lucky one to get her! I don’t pick her up til Wednesday though because she is still learning in Provo at the MTC, so no pictures for now! I am really excited though. And I’m REALLY excited to be staying in Village Ward, although, going back to Diamond Bar has always been the dream hehe.

Cool things from the last 2 weeks?
1.       After a ton of time here I finally got a picture with my boiiiiii Mark! (Winco produce man)
2.       It rained a little :)
3.       Got to go to the temple. Those days are always my favorites! I also got to see a few people from Diamond Bar there which made me happy happy happy!
4.       Before going to a family’s home in the ward that I’m not too fond of we were at Chris’s house. It was dark and we were talking about some things with him when this man and woman walked by. He instantly asked if we had a Book of Mormon he could go give them, we gave him one and off he went. It was super humbling for me to see because IIIIIIIIIIIIIII should have been the one running to them to give them a BOM, yet I was letting them walk by. I know Heavenly Father was humbling me for a reason. Because of that when we went to that family’s house for dinner for the first time ever I was able to feel love for them, which is KEY. It made our time there MUCH more pleasant and I was thankful for God helping me get off my pedestal  for a little. 
5.       Almost witnessed a kidnapping. Don’t worry. I’m safe and life is good. It was pretty cool though.
6.       When visiting a member family the little 6 year old boy started to cry when we were having our lesson and the mom told us “Sorry, something he cries because he misses Heavenly Father so much…” OH MY WORD. PRESH.
7.       Our neighbor (who must not be from here) actually came over, introduced himself and shook our hand. I liked that southern hospitality comin’ out in ole’ Apple Valley. It was refreshing. 
8.       After dinner one night I had a craving for Ice-Cream and I NEVER get a craving for ice cream, if I’m fiinna eat a dessert I want to EAT it, not have something like that. Anywho, back to the story. So we go to Rite Aid to get some and while we do this one guy working there ask US where we are from, what church, yaydayaydayayda, then, even ask US for a card. Then we meet a lost less active from the area who said he needs to get back to church and stuff. It was neat to see that Heavenly Father will guide people to you if you are willing to share His message. I know Heavenly Father, as silly as it sounds, gave me that craving so we could go meet His children that needed help.

Random things from the last little bit?
1.       My ‘weezzing laugh’ (ben, you should know what I’m talking about :p) is starting to come back out again. Oh boy.
2.       A little 4 year old, when saying bye to us and missing a few words here and there, said “thank you for eating us!!” <3 
3.       Super Bowl Sunday is the hardest day for missionary work out of allllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll the ‘holidays’. That is all.
4.       I’ve reached the point where when asked how long I’ve been out I say “eeh. A little over a year.” I never thought I would, but here we are. 
5.       We had 3 full course meals in the time span of 12 pm-6 pm one night. I still feel sick. 
6.       Sister Van Heel and I made a music video. Yes, you read right, a music video. To church music, because that is all we get to listen to hahah but a music video indeed. I am going to miss her a lot. Seriously, missions are awful when it comes to having to say goodbye all the time. It’s horrible. So worth it its not even funny though. 
The "after" - video production
7.       COOLEST THING OF MY LIFE! Well, it would be even cooler if you knew all of the circumstances but I don’t have time to write it all out. Point blank, we went to Panda Express for lunch with some sisters (literally like 6 elders showed up during the whole process) and while there a woman sitting behind us tapped on my shoulder and while handing me her fortune cookie asked “can you tell me what this means?” It read something along the lines of: a messenger will soon bring you tidings of good joy. She looked at us and said “Do you have tidings of good joy??” our mouths were DROPPED. We gave her a restoration pamphlet with our phone numbers on it, talked a little and went back to life. When she went to leave she came over and said “thank you for being my angels. Have a great day.” It was INSANE. Heavenly Father really doesn’t need us out here to do His work. He could do it on His own like I witnessed many times this week, but He is so gracious and lets us experience the ride with Him. Missionary work brings the most joy anything can bring into our lives. That’s why missions are the best and why I am so darn happy all the time. AAAH! 

That’s about all the things I have to update you on for the last 2 weeks. HAPPY VALENTINES DAY TO YOU ALL. Don’t get to mushy, spend too much money or post too many pictures. I know it’s V-Day and all….but….Sick. This is such a foreign holiday for us missionaries haha. Love y'all. 
Sister Moffett

Sister Toolan
Happy, Happy, Happy!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

15 Months in the!!!!!!

I need yall to know that when I write these things I am going super fast and trying way too hard to help you feel like you’re here with me getting to experience it all, therefore, I am really sorry if at times things are spelt way wrong, things don’t make sense because I copy/pasted wrong just any of the above. I promise I’m not stupid haha. Just on a little time crunch :p PRETTY GREAT WEEK I’M FIXIN’ TO TELL YOU ABOUT!!!!!

Monday- WE DID ZONE YOGA, BABY! It was…so funny. You had 2 sisters and 10 elders trying to keep up with the yoga video and it was awesome. I had a blast! Probably one of the best p-day activities I’ve ever done on my mission hah. 

There is a family in the area that the wife is a less active member and the husband/grandson aren’t members that we go visit ever few weeks. Well this night was the non member husband’s birthday. When we visited them earlier in the month they said no one had ever caroled to them their whole lives and so we decided “what the heck?? Lets carol/sing happy birthday to him”! And we did exactly that. We asked some elders to come join us, made some birthday cupcakes for him and sang our little hearts out. It. Was. Incredible. The man about cried. The wife hugged and kissed us all…elders included hah poor things and went onnnnnnn and oooooonnnnn about how much they loved it. The man said that was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for him. It made me happy, but a little sad too. Think about it. That literally took 10 mins to help make someone’s day. It didn’t inconvenience/hurt us a lick! Yet, sometimes we all get so caught up in our own lives that we forget there are people to help, love and lift up just by simple acts of kindness. We just need to slow down a little and think of people more. 
By way of miracle (as usual. Heavenly Father is so good to us) when pulling through the parking lot of Stater Bros we saw a member from our ward walking, stopped and said hi and figured out his car was broken down and he had to walk there to get groceries for his wife and kids and was gunna have to walk them all back. Before van Heel was still sick and not needing to do much that night we were able to wait while he shopped and take his groceries home in our Jeep for him. I know Heavenly Father put us in his path to ease some of the burdens he was luggin’ around with him. I love service. 

Tuesday- really the only thing news worthy of this day was that when I went to snuggle up with Ribbert (my frog)  like I do every night I felt cotton and I knew that only meant something awful…I was right. He ripped :( I was so sad. I seriously slept so badly that night ahaha. Pathetic. Don’t worry..the sun starts to finally come back out again in my life later in the week ;p
OH: it hit me that if there’s times where WE don’t give up on people and we have such a limited perspective, think about how easy it is for our Father in Heaven to hang onto us knowing our eternal potential. 

Wednesday- One of the older men that we teach said to us in all seriousness “Well, I’m not Moses, but I’m right up there!!!” hahaha. I’m grateful for funny people, senses of humor and laughter :) these people in the desert are cray.
I was able to call a sweet woman in the ward and ask her to fix Ribbert for me. AND SHE DID! In like 15 mins haha. So domestic. I have slept MUCH better since then :) 
We had an appointment with the family we caroled to on Monday night and I’m not joking when I say they couldn’t stop talking about the whole thing. I know that there will come a day when that man will remember the spirit he felt that night as we all sang and he will get baptized. I just know it. That’s something sister Van Heel really has helped me with; having faith in people and their potential. Thankful for the lady! 

Thursday- for whatever reason I was extremmmmmellllllly tired this day and we had 2 lessons back to back with older women who literally just talk the whole time. All I know is prayer helped keep me awake because I was legitimately worried I would fall asleep on them ha. Luckily, I ‘ve never had that happen so far on my mission and don’t plan on it! 
We had a Relief Society activity with all the women in the ward and it was so much fun. We got to know each other really well and that’s much needed. Especially when it comes to women. We’re just like that for whatever reason haha. 

Friday- IT WAS MY 15 MONTH MARK!!! The day started out great by us getting a new investigator! She is amazing. She loves her family. She recognizes the spirit when we are over and she is going to do great things for her family’s life by learning about the gospel. BEING A MISSIONARY IS SO FULFILLING. I can’t even start to explain. AAH.

We had our last lesson with Isaiah and Sarah in their room on their bed like we always so. They are in Oregon now. It was really sad to say goodbye to them. I’ve learned that life is so full of goodbyes it isn’t even funny. We’re really excited for them though, just sad because we will miss them :( 

For the most part this day was really good….except for the fact that around 5ish I got a phone call I was hoping would never come….i got the phone call asking about where I’ll be flying into when I go home because they were purchasing the tickets…..holy smokes. Seriously? I wanted to cry. I wanted to say “eeeh. Don’t worry about it. I’m actually just gunna stay out here a little longer if that’s okay with yall??” but I couldn’t. So, for your information I will be flying home May 4th. Star Wars Day. “May the FOURTH be with you.” Hahah. 

Saturday- a super special day for me. Marlee, a little girl that I taught in my last 2 areas (Woodys granddaughter) got baptized this night BY WOODY! And I was granted permission to go. It was…too neat. Getting to watch Woody, who I was able to watch get baptized only 7 months ago, have his 1st baptism and it be his sweet granddaughter was absolutely beautiful. He did great. Sister Cauble got to come too, so you know I loooooved seeing her :) 

Sunday- We had ward conference! It was the 1st one I’ve had on my mission and I ate it up! I learned so much. One of the women introduced herself to Jan’Ine and Des’Ray and asked “so you’ve been studying with the sisters??” and Des’Ray goes “eeh…no…it’s not really studying anymore. It’s like…family time!” it was the cutest thing ever. I really do feel like I’ve met more of my “family” by being here on my mission. I love these people. 
We had a member in the ward give us another referral to go meet/teach. We asked him how he always has so many people to give us and he told us that every single week he hands out 10 Book of Mormons a WEEK!!!!! He said he made a promise with God a while back and he’s kept his side of the deal ever since. How incredible? He knows how the gospel has changed his life so he isn’t afraid to tell it to/share it with ANYone. I think we all wish we could be a little more like him. I know I sure do. I love this place. 

It was a great week. I know that my time is starting to run short and that means I have to work harder than ever. OOOOOOOOH: next week I get to go to the temple. You have no clue how pumped I am. I hope you all find some time to spend in your scriptures this week. As in…make the time. No excuses! I promise you’ll be happy you did. I love yall.
Sister Toolan

<3 them!

Sister Cauble