Monday, October 20, 2014

Helium, Snickerdoodles, and Missionary Work

October 20, 2014

Just a normal P-day for the most part. We got some slick new haircuts and saw Brother Barber at the Wal-mart. We gave Sister Hart a blessing (she's been sick) and we also saw Katie that night. Haha mom she told me you commented on her Facebook page! Oh my gosh... 

We went out to McDonald's for lunch with Katie, and went over to Brother Burkett's house to help him cover his greenhouse for the winter. We started for maybe ten minutes and it starts down pouring, so we go inside and we're just like, it's Florida, it'll pass in like 15 minutes. So almost 2 hours later were still talking to Brother Burkett and we're finally like screw it we'll do it another day. So we left and tried to visit a few other people but no luck. There's always basketball on Tuesday so we went to that and called it for the day.

I went on a trade off with the zone leaders in Lake City today, me and Elder Francom. We traded right after district meeting that morning. We dropped off his bike to get a tune-up and grabbed some Wendy's and headed to some member's home, the Strattons, to Facebook. We went out knocking some doors and of course more people will turn you down then accept you but we managed to find a lady who seemed interested and then another family of five! We did that until dinner time and went back to the Strattons for dinner and brought one of their investigators, Sandy. Probably the coolest person ever. All the missionaries in Lake City are homies with him and he lives right underneath the apartment. So we had dinner and watched a couple of Mormon Messages with them. We went to visit another investigator, Desiree and taught her tithing. And by then it was 9 so we headed back.

Well I got back from my trade-off in Lake City around 10 in the morning and found out that trade-off reports are due this Saturday not the next like we thought, so we called MacClenny and asked if they could do a late trade-off at like 4:00 that afternoon and thank goodness they could.  So me and Elder Lane did our weekly service at the food pantry and traded up but this time I was taking the lead in Starke with Elder Sharp. So we traded and I drove us back to Starke. We tried visiting a ton of different people. Tamra is apparently out of town.  We stopped in on the Smiths and talked to their daughter for maybe 5 minutes who said both her parents were super sick in bed.  We dropped in on Kim and Jerry who were on their way out to some local thing going so we talked to them for like 2 minutes too. So we tried visiting some potential's. We finally ended up finding this lady Cheri who was super nice and gave us a drink of water and some fruit! We'll try and go back soon and try and teach the restoration to them. We had a super good dinner at the Chisms (ham and okra). Well, the ham was good. I found out that I did not like okra, like at all. But yeah the Chisms are sweet and Brother Chism says he needs us to come bless his house because some strange crap has been going on so,that'll be interesting...

We met up at a random gas station this morning and traded back and headed straight to this trainer/trainee meeting in Mandarin (suburb in JAX) which lasted until about 2:00. It was super sweet seeing all of my "old" buddies from the MTC even though that was only like a month ago and I knew them for 2 weeks haha. My companion from the MTC, Elder Hadfield went home so that kind of stinks but it was nice seeing everyone else. We stopped in Fleming Island on the way home to visit a recent convert that Elder Lane wanted to check up on (he served there). So after that we headed back to Starke and got back around 4:00.  We Facebooked, had dinner, and visited Katie and played with her kids at the park.

We had a baptismal interview today with Avani who the sisters have been teaching and that went super good, so from there we went to the church and Facebooked and filled up the baptismal font. We didn't attend her baptism at 3:00 because we already made plans to go to Katie's kids birthday party which was awesome! We sucked helium and had cake and all that other good stuff that goes with birthday parties. We headed back to the baptism just in time for refreshments. Timed it perfect. Sister Underhill made some choice empanadas so we ate those while we cleaned up. We also stopped in on the Barbers, who were also having a birthday party that day. We wrapped up the night visiting Larry that night and he's doing great! We talked a ton about what he's been reading in the Book of Mormon and of course football because the Gators were playing that night.

We got up and had Ward Council super early at 7:30 and I was like half asleep. Near the end we had to leave early to pick up Kim and Jerry for church. Church was pretty much normal, Matt taught a super good lesson in priesthood about how if we stop doing the small things and let one brick house off of our house, it is so much easier to knock out the other bricks until they are all tumbling down the hill and you wonder how you got there. We came back and had some spaghetti that we picked up at church for lunch. We did studies and left to go visit Nick, who's an 8 year old kid that lives with his g-parents who aren't members. So we talked to Nick for a little bit and went to go see the Hinsons over in Lawtey, which is a decent 20 mins from Starke. So we visited them and they said they were having kind of a crazy night but that we could come back later. So we headed back to Starke and tried to visit Sister Busterna but she wasn't home. We went over to the Barbers for weekly scripture study and that's always super fun. They had some snicker doodles that blew my frikin mind.

I guess I should probably put something spiritual in this so, my favorite Mormon Message, I don't know if I told y'all is called The Will of God, based off the talk "As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten" by D. Todd Christofferson. So good I probably watch it like 3 times a day. I love this part, 
"How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done--that I should have done--that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?" “And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, ‘I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.’ The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness. …

“… And now, almost 50 years later, I look up to [God] and say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.’”

“As Many as I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten”

Some parts of that probably don't make sense until you read the talk but yeah. We'll probably share it with Katie sometime.

Hope y'all have a good week!
Elder Toolson

Here's some pictures 

(Lake on the way to Jacksonville for a meeting)

(One of the many swamps we see around here in Starke)

(The sunset in Lawtey visiting the Hinsons)

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