Monday, June 29, 2015

A Tradeoff, Meeting Masons, and Missionary Stuff

June 29, 2015

Hey y'all! 
     This week has been a killer one! Good stuff, all around. Monday night we saw Bro Murray and helped him move some furniture while we were there. Tuesday we had District Meeting. Oh yeah I totally gave a training the week before and forgot to tell y'all. I can talk FOREVER now. I ended up giving a 30-40 min training but it was fun. I don't know why but I enjoy doing that kind of stuff now. I'm totally giving one next week too. 

Anyways, Tuesday we had District Meeting and I had my trade-off with one of the leaders that day. So we had the meeting and then we all went out to KD's afterwards. It's basically tradition now. I forget if I've told y'all but KD, the owner and everyone else there loves us and feeds all the missionaries for free! They are probably some of my favorite people here and some I'll remember the most. 

I went with Elder Boyson to Kingsland and it was sweet. He's actually the first zone leader/ leader I've had that's younger than me, but only by a transfer. We went out with a member and poor Elder Boyson, his plans kept falling through, but that's the beauty of trade-offs not in your own area. I'm just sitting there clueless, but we eventually saw someone. We saw a couple more people before the night ended but it was pretty average as far as a regular day goes. We traded back in the morning and came back to our area. We got back and went out and had a lesson with Chuck and had to go fix our car key with the other Elders. They totally threw it in their dryer so they to had pay for it and we all had to go get a new one. We went to the Wasdins in 1st ward for dinner so that Elder Sunderland could interview one of their gators for baptism.

Thursday was a pretty average day. We had a couple lessons but the most interesting was this mason that we met doing yardwork. We did our regular thing and shared the restoration with him, and asked him about his mason stuff in return. He was super funny and friendly and had the longest name ever. I still can't remember it. 

Friday the highlight was going to dinner with the Wilkersons. We went to the Mexican Trailer with them and it was hilarious! Bro. Wilkerson had the entire restaurant up in fits with the things he said and his opera voice that he did, much to the embarrassment of his family and the enjoyment of the missionaries. 

Saturday I was pretty sick but we still managed to go to the Smiths for dinner. We talked a lot about the recent events and other church doctrine and stuff. Sunday was pretty fun. The best part of the day was dinner the 2nd week in a row with the Bennetts. We were all laughing our heads off the entire time and I ended up crying I was laughing so hard. They busted out the old baby books for us, which they said they'd never done before. It was great! This week was a good one!

Bonus: spiritual thought. So this topic has been on my mind a lot lately, especially with recent stuff. Follow the prophet. Follow his counsel. I watched a video clip of President Uchtdorf at a Guatemalan youth camp and and he gives them this counsel, "Simplify your life, be true to the gospel. Simplify your life, learn as much as you can, get a good education. Simplify your life, keep the commandments of God. It's that simple, and it's that great." 

Follow the prophet. It has never been convenient to follow the prophet's counsel and I don't believe it ever will be. Countless members of the church have died, because they, first of all, knew what they believed in, and second did not falter in their beliefs, even until death. Follow the prophet. Thomas S. Monson is meant to be the prophet at this time and at this place and if God wanted-it would be otherwise. So follow the prophet. He knows what's best for you and for the world. So, with that being said, learn all you can about the gospel and prayerfully make the decision for yourself. I have been studying the gospel for 2 hours a day, every day, and teaching it the rest of the day, every day, for 10 1/2 months and I still haven't even scratched the surface of what the gospel has to offer us. So, that's my words of wisdom for this week. 

I love every single one of you! Y'all have a good week.

▪️Elder Toolson▪️

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Painting and it's Hot.

June 25, 2015

Hey y'all!
This week's been a pretty good one. A lot of stuff happened this week. Some good days, some slow days, but that's how it goes. Tuesday was a fun one. We had dinner at the Fogles and the other Elders came along with us. They feed us probably the best food I've ever had. Oh my gosh, Sister Fogle's probably ruined several foods for me, nothing will ever be as good. 

Thursday was the best day this week! We had seven lessons that day! For perspective our next closest day to that was 2 lessons... But it was great! Everyone was home and we taught for days! We also did service for the Fogles this week and painted a trailer with this super sticky cement paint that was a pain to get off haha it was good though. We had a killer lesson with Patrick this week and taught him all the commandments and had Laura Beth (a Bennett) help us out with that. Turns out he already lives the word of wisdom! He also opened up about a ton of other stuff. This guy is golden! I'm gonna be so bummed if I get transferred before he gets baptized. But that's basically my week! 

Oh we also had a super fun dinner with the Bennetts yesterday. And we are going back next week haha good times. Also we were on bikes this week and it's HOT. to describe it in the words of a local citizen when we asked him how he was doing, " ITS HOT AS H***!" Haha we died laughing. Anyways y'all have a good week!

▪️Elder Toolson▪️

Monday, June 22, 2015

Spicy Chili, Tons of Service, and Awesome Trade Offs!

June 22, 2015

Hey Y'all!
     This week has been an awesome one! We saw a ton of people and had some miracles this week! Last P-Day was awful/a story. Elder Barcala has been building up this death chili for weeks and had "death"-Elder Barcala but in a much more real sense, like 5-6 different peppers and 2-3 different hot sauces. I threw up afterwards which was the first time in a long time that something actually made me do that. We also had deep fried Oreos and some ridiculously good burgers. I've attached a picture below. 

As for missionary work that night we visited this sweet old lady, Sis. Arnold, she has a pool that the ward always uses and is related to everyone (not a surprise). 

Tuesday was zone meeting! We went out to breakfast with me, the other Waycross Elders and Elder England. I try to make it a point to do it since Elder England is struggling with his companion.. Anyways we had zone meeting and it was pretty good, lots of spiritual nourishment. Later on we met this guy Darryl, and invited Patrick to come to dinner with us at the Musgroves and it went awesome! He's getting fellowshipped so durn good.

Wednesday, we had a ton of service, we had ridiculous amounts of service all week. We went at 9 in the morning to help out the Glossons get rid of some pecan wood/ get firewood for boys camp. So we did that until about 12 (side note pecan wood is ridiculous to cut and super heavy, my body got destroyed). We left for about an hour to help out KD a super cool restaurant owner guy who feeds us for free. We helped him move some furniture up to this loft and helped him move other furniture around to rip up carpet. He fed us and the gave us something to go to. So awesome. So we went back to cutting up wood and finally got that done by about 2:30That night we saw Brother Chapman and his friend who's a local pastor, Pastor Pascal. That was a pretty good lesson except for this random drunk neighbor just strolled on in and started using all sorts of profanity that I will not repeat in this email... I've never heard the S word and Jesus used so many times in the same sentence before, that was new. 

Thursday I was on the other side of Waycross with Elder Barcala and it was one of those all day service things. We cleaned up this horrendous house of this recent convert and we enlisted everyone to tackle this thing and we actually got a lot done! Might need to go back a third time though... I had a cockroach on my neck if that paints a vivid enough picture. We also helped out another lady move and it took like 4 hours it was crazy. This guy that helped had a truck bed that was like 2 in. Long (not really) so it took forever to move all her stuff. It was good though. We had dinner with Bro Hersey, this awesome member in the other Ward! It was fun. We finished the night seeing Brother Williams who is one of my favorite members in the other Ward. He always dresses better than pretty much everyone all the time. 

Friday was a slow day. The only notable thing that happened is that Brother Murray took us out to KFC at like 8:30. Saturday was definitely the best day his week. We had the best tradeoff ever with Bro Corbitt! It was so much fun. We visited Patrick and had a KILLER lesson with him. He gave us this note saying how awesome it was that he met us and that he feels the spirit! We also picked up a new investigator with him trying to visit this one guy and ended with the Wilkersons and Bro Corbitt and Bro Wilkerson were just having the time of their lives and I was in tears basically. It was like the funniest thing ever, I would have watched it on TV. Yesterday was pretty good too, Patrick came to church! Woo! We had some good lessons and got dinner from Sister Olivares in the ward! She cooks so so good! Yall have a blessed week!
L to R: Elder Toolson, ?, ?, Brother Wasdin (in white Apron), Becca, Elder Sunderland, Elder Barcala

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Great Missionary Experiences

June 10, 2015
Hey Y'all!
     This week has been a good one! I feel like my mind is starting to turn into mush. I've been on mental overload like half of the week and like a mental black hole the other half. People we saw a lot this week were Brother Murray and Patrick. Brother Murray's like the funniest old man ever and he lives right behind us so we see him sometimes when it rains super hard. Also, Patrick, I'm super excited about! We had three lessons with him and he is coming to everything! I was gone Tuesday but he came to volleyball and had a church tour afterwards with a member. He came to movie night Saturday and we had an awesome lesson, and then yesterday he came to the other Elder's baptism yesterday and at the end he was just like oh wow I'm speechless, words can't even describe. What time is church service next Sunday? And we were like 9:00 and he just says I'll be there, and then our jaws just dropped to the floor. It was awesome. That was probably the best part of this week. I was gone Tuesday and Thursday on tradeoffs, Tuesday in Jesup and Thursday on the other side of Waycross. Tuesday was awesome in Jesup with Elder Mellor. Brother Tire, a member up there, gave us a ride back and took us on a scenic route back haha. It was like a 45 min detour through the countryside with him giving us a tour of the countryside. It. Was. Awesome. We did service at a food pantry and it brought back memories of the good Ol' Starke days. We had a pretty good night. Thursday I was with Elder Davis on the other side of town. We had an awesome day. We saw this lady Tammy with a member who asked us all sorts of crazy questions about ISIS and angels and general things that were like right on the line of deep doctrine. It was fun though. We had a few other lessons that night and had dinner with a recent convert Bro. Wasdin out in Blackshear, which was awesome. He's an artist that I got to see baptized.  He was taught by the sisters a couple transfers back. He is super cool and feeds the missionaries all the time. Well, I guess that's about it for this week! Love y'all to death!

▪️Elder Toolson▪️

Monday, June 1, 2015

Gators and Such!

June 1, 2015
Hey y'all!

     This last week has been absolutely nuts. We have a ton of stuff to do and we are super overwhelmed with it all sometimes. We filled up an entire regular size whiteboard with all the stuff we need to do. But I still find time to have fun and enjoy myself. We've had a ton of drop lessons this week, which is basically just when we have a lesson and then drop the person. I think like four. But we found some awesome new people that are starting to progress. We're meeting with this guy Patrick right now and he's awesome! He's a younger guy and always gives us hugs when we leave. We invited him to volleyball that we have tomorrow and church too so we'll see how that goes. We had a pretty good lesson with him this week but need to start getting members involved. It's so much harder to bring people into the church and keep them there if you don't have a member involved to be their friend, etc. We did some service this past week also for Sister Johnson, a less active lady, with about 8-9 other people from the ward. It was less than half the size of our yard back home but took 3-4 hours still. She runs a thrift shop downtown and hoards a ton of stuff in her shop and it's all spread out around her backyard. Among the madness I found a stuffed tiger, an old Marlboro sign, a rotted wood dresser, and all sorts of other stuff. We took this mobile home anchor out of the ground that took like 45 minutes to dig out. Everyone kept laughing at us/ telling us we'd get it eventually and we did! We also went to Okefenokee last week and it was awesome! So worth it. I have a video of a gator for y'all. But all's good here in Waycross. Oh forgot to tell you last week I'm staying here with Elder Sunderland for another transfer! Woo!!!

Watch the right side for the alligator!

Believe it or not he's an Eagle Scout

Storm Ball