Monday, September 19, 2016

Departing Missionaries, FJM BLOG

SEPTEMBER 5-6, 2016

 Back Row, left to right:  Elders Murdock, Holt, Riley, Toolson, Averett, McAlister, and Ferrier
Front Row:  Sisters Newberry, Clemens, Gagnon, and Jones.

What amazing adults they have become!!  They all have grown in ways that the Lord is well pleased.  Be kind to them as they adjust to life at home.  They have served the Lord well and now are making changes that will seem foreign to them.  Listen to their experiences and the feelings they are experiencing.  The more they talk, the faster they will adjust.  We love them all and pray that they can take the things learned here in the mission field and make a successful and happy life?  President and Sister Lee

        St. Augustine- The Oldest Town in the United States

Being on the Beach is strange for these missionaries who have not been on a beach for 18 months to 2 years.  I'm sure it is a quite a sight to see these missions there.  The people just watch them in wonder.

 The Matanza Fort

The Last Night in the Mission Field

What a joy to watch Elder Riley lead "Called to Serve."  He is very animated as he leads.  We love it.

 Sister Jones leads our amazing resitations along with signing it.  She has been one of our "signing" missionaries for our deaf area in St. Augustine.

No one will forget the beautiful music played by Elder Averett who taught himself how to play while he was on his mission. 

Music and singing before departing to the various Senior Couples and Assistants home.
Oh How Lovely Was the Morning to the tune of "If you could Hie to Kolob."

 Getting on the Airplane for home.  Mixed emotions.  It is bitter sweet for these missionaries.  They are happy to be going home to see their families but sad to leave the mission.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Last Letter

August 29, 2016

Hey Y'all!

  Welp. Another week in the life. It's been a great one, lots of miracles,  I guess I'll be seeing y'all next Tuesday! I'll just send home some pictures so you can see what I'm up to!
Love y'all!

All my posterity in the mission
Elder Kautai, Elder Leota, Elder Coy, David, Elder Smith, Elder Hosking

 Me and Elder Smith 

Gainesville Zone

Our trade-off sleeping arrangements 

My sleeping arrangements til I head home. I love it. 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

August 2016 Zone Conference AND Hurricane Hermine--FJM BLOG


Back Row:  Elders Free, McAlister, Andrus, Marchant, Toolson, Botalla, Altamirano, Guinup, Day Ferrier Hunt.
Second Row: Elders Foust, Smith, Leota, Kautai, Clark, Peterson, Hardy, Spencer, Pacella, Knight, Rivera, McMullin, Arave, and Brooke.  Front Row:  Sisters Stowell, Olson, Hansen, Rickenbacker, Stoddard, Lee, President Lee, Sisters Tofilau,  Warr, Barton, Doxey, and Randle.


The Missionaries are proud to say they lived through Hurricane Hermine

The Hurricane getting ready to hit land.  This is September 1st Thursday night at 9:42 p.m

 September 1st Thursday at 11:38 p.m.

September 2, 2016 at 12:37 a.m.

Hurricane Hermine by 4:02 a.m.

Monday, August 15, 2016

The Work is Hastening!

August 15, 2016

Hey Y'all!
    This week was great! Tuesday we had a trade-off and I went with Elder Hardy in our area. They have trade-offs back to the old way here so both areas are being worked again (if that even makes any sense at all) and it was blast. We literally spent all day in the ghetto since that's the only area I know pretty well so far. We taught like 4 people though which was great! I REFUSE to teach less than 4 on a trade-off. It was tons of fun! I'll attach a picture of him (he is sitting closest to me on the stage) We biked our hearts out. 

Wednesday we had interviews with President Lee from about 11 to 4. I got to see Elder P Smith (my last companion) and we went out to lunch with them. Interviews definitely gave me a lot more direction for what I need to do.

Thursday we had some huge miracles. We drove out to an area and started biking around. We found an awesome lady named Melissa who was super pumped about listening! And we had 2 in church yesterday!!! Woo!!! Solid week. Love y'all! The work is hastening!

Elder Marchant,David, Elder Guinup

Elder Marchant, Elder Guinup, Elder Hardy, David

Life is Good. God is Good. I'm still Kickin'

August 8, 2016

Hey Y'all!

This week has been great! Not much too report. I'm super pooped all the time... Which is a good thing. Life is good. God is good. I'm still kickin. 

Probably the funniest thing that happened this week was that we were teaching a recent convert here and he was majorly out of it because of some medicine he was taking so he was
OUT cold for the whole lesson haha!  We taught his dad.

Elder Toolson

A Killer Last Transfer

August 1, 2016

Hey Y'all!

    This week has been super great! I'm down here all settled in Ocala with Elder Marchant now. It's going to be a killer last transfer. I already know it. It kind of stinks/is awesome that I'm just a regular missionary now. I've always been in or around leadership my entire mission until now. It's great though because I can "relax" and focus all of my efforts on our area and ways to improve it. 

Monday and Tuesday last I basically spent all day saying goodbye to people in Gville. Did I mention I love Gainesville 5th ward? Because I do. I'm seriously going to miss everyone so much. But off to new adventures. We transferred Tuesday night instead of the usual Wednesday for reasons I'm too lazy to go into right now. Nothing super notable happened this week. Just average missionary work. 

We are in a car share so we bike Monday through Thursday. I just about died after 2 days because Ocala is ALL hills. But on the plus side my legs are getting huge haha 

On Thursday I hit a car... I've had really, really close calls my entire mission but this was the first time I actually made solid contact with a car haha. Don't worry I'm fine though. I'll attach a picture. This lady had stopped at a stop sign and I was coming downhill pretty quick. It looked like I was clear so I was flying, but then she started to inch out into the crosswalk and I got destroyed. Pretty crazy stuff.

Ocala is a nice blend of country and city down here. The people are civilized but not TOO civilized, which is nice. There are tons of old people in our ward (and Ocala in general, it's a HUGE retirement town I guess) which is quite the change from the young adult and young parent crowd we worked with in Gainesville. But yeah, here's to another week! 

Love y'all!

me hitting the car 

Me and Bro. Jolley (my old WML)

Me and Emmanuel 

Me and Josh 

Me and Lisa 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

July MLC and Zone Conference--FJM BLOG


Learning Leadership Skills
The Leadership Pattern
Christ-like Love with High Expectations
The Learning Pattern

1. Prepare to Learn  2. Interact to Edify  3. Invite to act

The Florida Jacksonville Leadership Council
Back row: Elders, Coy, Karren Geist, Smith, Britsch, Gregory, Curran, Toolson, Ward, Bangerter, McAlister Dusenberry, Beard, and Daly.

Front row: Sisters Gibb, McGregor, Webb, Hansen, Rigby, Lee, President Lee, Sister Stowell, Mansfield, Ruesch, Broderick, and Grissom.

    Elders Geist, Toolson, Smith, Dusenberry, and McAlister

Assistant to the President Beard on the right front teaching
Left to Right:  Elder Toolson, Smith, Britsch, and Gregory.

Back Row: Elders Spencer, Knight, Coy, Hardy, Ferrier, Goates, Foust, Stoker, Leota, Toolson, Kautai, Smith, Guinup, Andrus, Riley, Beard
Middle Row: Elders Rivera, Hunt, Day, Arave, Boyson, Botalla, Pacella, Clark, Bladen, Altimarano, Marchant, Brook
Front Row: Sisters Doxey, Barton, Olsen, Malm, Rickenbacker, Tu'ivailala, Tofilau, Warr, 

Stowell, Mansfield

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Moving to Ocala

July 25, 2016

Hey Y'all!
     Wow. What a week. It feels like an eternity all packed into 7 little days. So much has happened. First of all, I'm moving! Yep. I got transferred. For my very last transfer. But that's okay. I'm headed down to Ocala 1st ward which is still in the Gville zone. That means I have spent half of my mission in the beautiful, beautiful Gainesville Zone. I love it. I already know my companion Elder Marchant pretty well and am excited to work with him. He is a work horse and we are going to crush it this transfer. Baptize nations. I will miss this ward and area so so bad. I LOVE these people and this is tied for my favorite, if not my favorite area. Love this ward so much. Awesome people. Awesome investigators. But off to Ocala I go. 

Last Monday we had Debra's baptism interview and it went great! We sat and talked with Frank while it happened. 

Tuesday we went to a district meeting in Chiefland and went on an exchange afterward with the Cross City Elders. District was powerful and the tradeoff was great. It took me back to the good ol' days when I used to serve in the Styx. We drove around and taught some amazing people and it was really good to get to know and work with the elders there. 

Wednesday we drove straight back and went the YSA district's District Meeting. It was Elder Stoker's "funeral" if you don't remember, me and him have served around each other for a majority of our missions and he is only a transfer older than me. It was weird and is weird watching him approach death... 

Thursday we had our own district meeting and that went great also. We are currently having a competition that whoever invites the most people to baptism gets the "baptismal truck"--some kids toy that's our trophy for it (we won by the way :) )

Saturday Debra got baptized!!! It was great and a good spiritual experience. We served at Farmshare that morning and drove up to High Springs. It was so much fun and that is when President Lee called me and told me that I am getting released. Since then we have been saying goodbye to a few people. 

Below are some people that I always talk about. I took a goodbye picture with Sheila (who came to church yesterday!!!) and the Grants. I'm going to miss them both. 

Love y'all and have an awesome week! 

P.S: Mom, the Grant's are huge Walking Dead fans and they bought a knock off of Michone's katana and I got to hold it! Thought you'd appreciate it.

Elder Toolson

 Elder Toolson and Sheila

Elder Toolson and the Grant's

The Katana

 I have no idea
Debra's Baptism

Gainesville District

 Elder Stoker's Funeral

Top: Sister Tofilau, Sister Warr. Middle: 
David, Bottom: Elder Smith

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Hope Y'all are Great Fellowshippers

July 18, 2016

Hey y'all! 

This week has been good. I actually have some good pictures this week to remember what I did. Wednesday we did some service at Sis. May's and I got to wear this awesome hat that she bought in China.

Thursday we had our Zone Meeting and that went great. I gave a training being quick to observe based off of Mormon 1:2 and it actually went pretty good. It was a great, spiritually uplifting experience and I came away having learned something new. I LOVE our zone right now. They are so awesome and just a ton of great elders and sisters. Below is a picture of them and us with the STL's in the zone (sister training leaders , they are kind of like sister zone leaders...)

Saturday was crazy. We woke up and went to do a Farmshare in Waldo. It was way fun and we all grabbed lunch at Wendy's afterwards with a former member of our mission presidency. We came straight back and spent some time helping Frank (a member) set up for his wedding to his new wife Debra (our investigator). The wedding was awesome and a small affair done at the institute. It was pretty country since her family is from Interlachen, so it was a wear your nicest pair of cowboy boots kind of occasion, which I loved. Debra is getting baptized this Saturday!!! Woo!! She gets interviewed tonight and hopefully the rest is cake from there!

Yesterday was so great too. We are teaching a man named Josh and called him to see if he was coming to church but he didn't pick up the phone.  So we were super bummed and headed to ward council and decided to go knock down his door afterwards. We woke him up and he almost made an excuse but he caught himself and was just like, yeah guys, give me like 2 mins. To get dressed.and he AND his girlfriend came, and our ward destroyed (in a good way) them with the amount of fellowship they got, it was so great to see it happen. Hope y'all are great fellowshippers haha. It was an awesome week. Love the ward, love the work. Love y'all!

Elder Toolson

Elder Toolson

Gainesville Zone

Elder Toolson, Elder Smith, Sister Mansfield, Sister Stowell

Lunch after doing service for Farmshare

Farmshare Service

Frank and Debra, Elder Toolson, Elder Smith