Thursday, October 29, 2015

Drinking Beer on the Mission

October 26, 2015

Hey Y'all!
     I think last week my letter was super detailed for the first part of the week but not so much the next part. In case your wondering why, I went bowling and we had to leave. We went to this really ghetto place called Alley Gatorz.  It was mega fun and our lane broke like a billion times, but hey it was super cheap so. We rode with AJ, a recent convert from the YSA and he and Michael (also from the YSA) were determined to show me via the jukebox all the songs I've missed in the past year and whatever months.... anyways it was a blast. 

Tuesday we had district meeting and I went on a very lively trade off with Elder Rodriguez. It was a super fun day, and we found this sign in this person's driveway and took a picture with it. Ill attach it. We ate dinner at a member's house too. We also found this guy at 9 and taught him about a 45 min. lesson so we didn't get back until about 10 that night. 

Wednesday was awesome. I still spent like half the day with Elder Rodriguez and the moment the alarm goes off in the morning I just hear him scream at the top of his lungs, and it scared the heck out of me. He told, "Elder Toolson, when you get up in the morning you just got to scream, then you'll be up for sure." haha We went out around 10 and did some service at a member's house and cleaned out a chicken coop and shoveled some compost piles. I miss the country so much. It was a breath of fresh air. We went to this place I wanted to go to called Bev's Better Burgers. It was so good. I got a double double. We came back and traded back off. That night we had Book of Mormon class and the sisters were teaching and we got off on some crazy word of wisdom issue for about half an hour and I was super tired. But I'm the only missionary who isn't a greenie in the ward. So the sisters passed the buck to me and I had to to answer it and get everyone back on track... pretty tiring day. 

Thursday, was a pretty up and down day. We had 3 people drop us that day so that was super sad, but we also found 3 new people so it all worked out. We had dinner with the Aagards that night and Sis. Aagard's son just got back from a mission and he is awesome so we'll probably take him out with us soon. 

Friday was an Archer trip and we had our final lesson with Ron, who dropped us the day before. I'm going to miss him a bunch. We also saw Howard that night and I got pictures with both of them so you know the people I'm talking about.

Saturday, most of the day was taken up doing this stake activity for all the youth. Basically we all got our recent converts and investigators to come and all of the youth in the stake learned how to teach and practiced teaching our investigators and recent converts. It was lots of fun to see how nervous they were and remember how nervous I used to be. At one point this teacher from our ward said, " So are these like real investigators?" 
us: "yes" 
"why are you letting US teach them?!?" hahaha it was hilarious. That night we got a ride home with the 3rd ward elders but had to go give a blessing to someone first. I had actually met this lady before, her name is Sister Fragoso and she is probably the funniest lady ever. She basically shoved food down our throats for an hour and made us drink a pitcher of this juice and introduced us to "mormon beer". I don't even know how to explain it... and then she showed us her "mormon coffee" and she also gave us some pumpkin delights to eat. At one point she said, "here we are drinking beer and coffee and we don't even have to repent for church tomorrow!" I just about lost it when she said that,
it was so funny. 

Yesterday, during sacrament something fantastic happened. So we have this pro organist who loves playing more than anyone I've ever seen. So during the opening hymn after the second verse, he just goes off on the organ solo for a solid minute before moving on and our chorister was SO confused and just about everyone in the chapel was wondering what on earth was happening. We had dinner with the Yaedes that night and and they gave us "frozen hot chocolate" for desert. It blew my mind, but it was super good. Can't wait for this upcoming week. Love y'all!!

Elder Toolson

(Note:  There were no attached pictures)

My Crazy Week

October 19, 2015

Hey Y'all!
     This week has been a great one! Last p-day my email was a little short... whoops. We had a "district" p-day at the stake center which basically turned into a zone p-day haha. There were about thirty missionaries there plus a bunch of members from the YSA came and we all played volleyball. I mostly sat off to the side and talked all day because I got to see Elder Sunderland again! I miss that man. So we basically just talked all day and he caught me up on how Waycross is doing and stuff. It was pretty nice. That P-day ended way too fast. 

Anyway, on Tuesday, we had a Zone meeting over at the institute and President and Sister Craig came. They have been coming to the past several, I think because almost every companionship in our zone is either training or with a greenie. After zone meeting we all went out to lunch at the Ocean Buffet which is legendary around here. It's this super good asian buffet and we got to eat with everyone. The highlight was probably about halfway through when Elder Geist (a missionary on the other side of town) just yells at everyone to be quiet, and we start to hear this tune over the radio, and then Elder Geist just starts singing along because it turns out they were playing "Jesus, O Thou Great Jehovah" over the radio. I thought it was hilarious they were playing church hymns at the Asian buffet. Also side note, something else I about died laughing at is that the 3rd ward Elders were telling us about this members background info and it said this guy believed he was called to be a destroying angel haha. Oh my gosh. 

On Wednesday we biked out into the boonies trying to find some less-actives, we were moderately successful, and we stopped to take a selfie with some horses in the process so it was definitely worth it (don't worry I'll attach it). We met with a recent convert that day and she was being super funny the entire time. she was talking about this Christian book store that hates the Mormons around here and she said if she went in there and they told her she wasn't Christian she would say, "I'm more Christian than you!" that made my day haha. And we taught Book of Mormon class that night. When we got back that night Elder Smith just looked at me and said, " We biked a marathon today..." so I guess we biked 26 miles.

Thursday we knocked into this guy Colton. He's about 17 or so. Anyways he is so golden. He opens the door and we teach the whole restoration right there on his doorstep and then we asked if there would be a better time to come back and teach him a little bit more, and he says, "Well I got some time now" so we basically go in and ask him if he has any questions and they were all about the plan of salvation, so we ended up teaching him that too and then we figured we might as well just go for it and invite him to baptism so we did. He hasn't committed to a date yet, but we'll see. So yeah we basically just taught the first 3 lessons all in one. It was pretty great. We had dinner with the Dahls that night and they gave us cheesecake...super good. We also went out with Bro Lee (our ward mission leader) and saw a couple of less-actives that night. 

Friday we went out to Archer and saw a bunch of people. I guess I was feeling adventurous or something but at the end of the lesson with this Less-active I asked him what plant that was on his front porch and he said it was a plant with super hot peppers. I guess I didn't believe him sooo I ate one. It burned my mouth and I had to hold back tears for like 30 mins. It was terrible but worth the experience. I also totally gave a couple to the sisters yesterday. They are going to hate me... We ate at this super sketchy restaurant in Archer called Los Avinas, and it was actually some of the best mexican I've ever had. We also went out and saw this crazy guy Harold. During the lessons he said if we feel something biting us it's probably fleas... I think that paints a picture pretty well of the situation we were in. 

Saturday we biked about a million miles and had a super powerful lesson with this investigator at the Burger King. And yesterday we had a pretty good church and we had dinner with the Christensens. They fed us spare ribs and they were so darn good. We had a last minute lesson before we were about to head in and called it a week! Love all of you!

Elder Toolson

Sunday, October 18, 2015

A Short Note

October 12, 2015

Hey Y'all!
     This week has been a good one! Last Monday we were at the institute most of the day. Usually on the first and last 

p day all the missionaries gather at the institute so it was a lot of fun--about 20 or so missionaries there, pretty packed house. That night we knocked doors ( we've been doing a lot of that this week) and met this awesome guy, Rick. We went and saw another less active family that night too. On Tuesday, I had a trade off with Elder Caputo and we taught like 6 lessons that day-- pretty awesome. I was sick like half the week but I worked anyways... we had some interesting tracting days and ran into some crazy stuff. I don't have a lot of time, basically our whole zone is playing volleyball. 
Love y'all! 

Elder Toolson

the mickey mouse house

a random field we accidentally biked into.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Armadillos and Guns Blazing

October 5, 2015

Hey Y'all!

It's been a great week this week! Lots and lots has happened. Sorry you didn't get my e-mail last week. Something must have messed up but I still have it I think so I'll send it after this one. 

Last Tuesday was P-day (Wednesday was transfers this week and me and Elder Smith are staying together, not a shocker since he is in training...) SO Tuesday EVERYONE goes to the institute building to say our last goodbyes and such. Transfer Tuesdays are always fun. That night we drove out to Newberry (a small town on the edge of Gville) to have dinner with some members, the Browns. It was pretty good and we tried to find some people for the rest of the night. 

Wednesday was good, but exhausting. I got up on Andrea's roof and blew all of the leaves and branches off. I also trimmed up a lot of her trees while I was up there and then we drove out to Howard's to mow his lawn. I was so exhausted, but still having fun. AND then that night, the sisters were supposed to teach Book of Mormon class, but they told us they would be late and to cover the first couple of minutes, which wasn't too bad. But then in the middle of class, we get a text saying they won't be coming, So we had to teach the Book of Mormon class on the fly. It went pretty well and Elder Smith got to practice his "winging it" skills. 

Thursday was super busy and we had a district meeting with our entirely new district basically. It was pretty good. We took Elder Thompson and his trainee Elder Colemere out shopping and to lunch. We ate at this hole in the wall place called Golden Buddha. It was super good. We had dinner at the Andersen's that night and went and saw Nancy with Bro. Christensen. We had an awesome lesson and headed home for the night. On our way into our apartment we saw an armadillo and both of us started flipping out. Not that big of a deal, but we never see an alive armadillo ever, just a bunch of dead ones all over the place. So it was nice. 

Friday we weekly planned and went out to Archer that night. We went and saw Ron and took Bro Lee (our ward mission leader) with us. Our lesson with Ron was really exhausting for me. We were supposed to talk about tithing, but he came out guns blazing with some Word of Wisdom issues and Elder Smith had never experienced this before so he didn't know what to say and Bro Lee was just the member along for the ride. So it was an interesting lesson. 

Saturday and Sunday were general conference days. My bike has a flat (again), so I rode a children's bike without a seat the 4 miles to the church and then back.... my legs are trashed right now. But it was good. I learned a lot, my favorite thing would probably have to be ponderizing the scriptures. I thought that was awesome. Y'all have a good week!

Elder Toolson

David's sweet ride

Creating Memories with his Greenie

David Mowing

Transfer Tuesday?

A Spiritual Smackdown

September 29, 2015

Last week's email I meant to send.

Hey y'all!
        This week has been great! we taught a TON of people this week, almost got twice as many lessons as we did last week so that's good. Last Monday we had dinner at the Frank's house and knocked some doors that night. We ran into these people who talked about their ducks for a solid 15 min., so that was fun. 

Tuesday I got to go to High Springs with Elder Hartvigsen! We actually temporarily came back to Gainesville to help this member get a sleeper sofa (the sofa with a bed inside of it) into the back of his SUV, so that was intense. I basically destroyed my back in the process, good gracious. It's okay though because he treated us to Wendy's after. We did normal missionary stuff most of the day. I was Really tired so I picked up some junk food at a gas station to keep me going haha. That was my last exchange with Elder Hartvigsen though because both he and Elder Purcell are leaving, so that's super sad. Basically our entire district is leaving... the only companionship that hasn't changed is me and Elder Smith, so it'll be an interesting one this transfer. 

On Wednesday, we did service for Bro. and Sis. Willingham. We picked up sticks around their huge yard and got to feed their pet chicken. They call it Black Beauty and I thinks it's the funniest thing ever. This chicken comes in the house at night and is basically an indoor/outdoor pet chicken. Anyways, we had dinner with the Dahl's and taught Book of Mormon class that night to everyone. It was on Alma 8-12, where Alma and Amulek team up and lay a spiritual smackdown on everyone in town and especially Zeezrom. Some good chapters.... 

Thursday I was on my death bed (not really) but I was super sick. I usually get really mad that I'm sick about half way or so through the day because it's boring as all get out. So I sucked it up and went out anyways :) We went to the Valentine's that night for dinner and they had a non-member friend over there too. Good thing we went. 

Friday we planned for the next week and knocked into this lady Debbie. She had met missionaries 20 years ago, but she either forgot or it wasn't us because she thought we didn't believe in the Holy Spirit... we cleared that one up and invited her to church. We actually set up a "church swap" with her and agreed to go to her church if she came to ours. 

On Saturday, we helped a member move out of the ward, and went out to Archer that day. We tried tracking down a bunch of names and saw Howard that night. Sunday Debbie did end up coming to church and it was one of the most powerful fast and testimony meetings I've ever been in. If I could choose the one day I wanted everyone to show up to church, it was this one. So we went to Debbie's church that night around 7. She goes to what's called "The Greenhouse" church over at University of Florida. It was pretty intense. I had a ton of fun. There was a mega loud christian rock band up front and people waving their hands in the air and screaming hallelujah in my ear, it was great! And then Preacher Mike came and gave us a sermon on joy and quoted Philippians quite a bit. It was a good experience for me to get a perspective on the way these people believe. 

Yesterday, was a pretty uneventful day, other than the fact I got to stand about five feet away from this super huge eagle ( I didn't get any closer because I thought it would claw my face off...) but yeah, I'll attach the picture. 

One huge revelation I had this morning was in Mosiah 2:34. I forget if I've told you or not, but I'm doing a Book of Mormon read through on the Atonement, and just decided a couple days ago to start a power scripture wall, just short powerful scriptures I find. It said, " are eternally indebted to your heavenly father, to render him all that you have and are;" 

It's my privilege to even try and pay him back by being in his service these 2 years and the rest of my life. I love my Heavenly Father and I love all of you. Have a good week! 

Elder Toolson

David and his Eagle (Jim thinks it's a Falcon)

Power Scripture Wall

 Florida University Stadium (David is in the corner on the right)

David doing his Florida University Gator Clap