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

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Fourth of July and a Richly Rewarding Week

July 4, 2016

The reason why I didn't write today.

July 11, 2016

Hey Y'all!

This week has been really good. Richly rewarding, and a lot of good spiritual experiences. Monday I was sick.... That morning we had a ward 4th of July breakfast and it was SO FUN. I seriously love this Ward so much, probably tied for my favorite one right now.

We were playing ultimate frisbee with a couple of members and someone threw the frisbee in the woods, so I was like, "hey! I'll get it!" And apparently I disturbed a nest of Yellow Jackets. So for the first time in my life I got stung by yellow jackets....7 times. I got destroyed. But the ward was great and went out and bought me some medicine and a couple of Sprites. Again, love this ward. But yeah. 

Tuesday we had a district meeting in Ocala and that was awesome as always. We had the get to know you game show and they called me and Elder Smith up. I did a baptismal interview after for some Elders, and it was tough. The candidate was mentally slow but still accountable enough to be baptized, so I had to make it very very simple for him. I was really grateful for the spirit during it. Based off of the answers that he verbally gave, I probably wouldn't have passed him, but the entire time the spirit was essentially smacking me in the face telling me that I needed to pass him because he knew it was true. It was awesome. We all went out to eat and headed back. We taught a few people and saw Sheila. We convinced her daughter to feed us "soul food". It was SO GOOD. 

Wednesday we drove up to JAX for MLC (mission leadership council) and it was way good. We had some good trainings and it was President and Sister Lee's very first MLC so it was way good. The spirit was really strong and I learned a lot. We went on tradeoffs with the AP's after. Me and Elder Beard preached the gospel in Mandarin (the AP area). We had some good people that we taught. We taught a man named Jason. He's kind of hippie and I've taught him before on a tradeoff and I just love teaching him. He has these crazy, out there, concepts, that just throw me off so bad and I love it. It's really refreshing to have no idea what the investigator will say, because by now I can usually guess what direction they are going to take it. So, we also had dinner with an eternigator of theirs, Tom, and Tom is a super cool guy and the cherry on top--he cooks like a champ.

We went to a district meeting in Mandarin Thursday morning and got to see some Elders that used to be in our zone so that was great. One of them that used to be here is actually a District Leader over there now. We finished up and drove back to Gainesville. We traded back off and hit the ground running. We had Elders Quorum tradeoffs that night and I went with our Elders Quorum President to visit a less active
family and we tried to visit Sheila but she didn't answer.

Friday our proselyting time got destroyed. We had weekly planning and then had to take our car in for an oil change and tire rotation and to get some new tires, so it took awhile. By the end of the night we got the chance to go over and see a part member family (their kid isn't baptized) and we taught the plan of salvation using some of their sidewalk chalk. It was great.

Saturday was way busy too. We had Farmshare in the morning in a town called Archer. In case I haven't explained, Farmshare is a food distribution agency that gives food to those who need it and we help them run the tables and carry people's bags to their cars. So yeah. We came back to Gainesville and went to the Stake Picnic for Pioneer Day and ate a ton of food and helped clean up. We came out of it with like 80+ hot dogs and like 25 hamburgers. Needless to say I've been a happy camper the past couple of days. We made a few other visits that days and got In contact with a few investigators to round up for church.

Yesterday was great to. We had 2 'gators in church and went and ate our soul food after. We went out to see Emmanuel and a few others and had a good night.

Another awesome week. I'm really trying to be more focused than ever before. So don't talk to me about coming home unless it's absolutely critical to my well being!!!! Thanks. I'm on this super intense study program called "3 months to master disciple" and I'll finish the BOM, NT,and PMG twice before the end of my mission. Love y'all and have an Amazing week!

Elder Toolson

Elder Smith and ElderToolson

 MLC with President and Sister Lee

Soul Food

Goodbye President and Sister Craig. Hello President and Sister Lee.

June 27, 2016

Hey Y'all! This week was INSANE. So much crazy stuff happened I don't even know where to start, so I'll just start with Wednesday and hope I remember everything else as I go.

Wednesday we had a tradeoff with the Williston Elders, Elder Riley and Elder Altamirano. Elder Riley came out the same time as me so I've basically been waiting to go on a tradeoff with him my whole mission. So they came and we did service for an investigator. We thought it went really well and we actually got a lot done. We sorted out her boxes and stuff. But later on she sent us some super angry texts and stuff, morning and night, and has now officially "washed her hands of us" but hey it was a good crazy experience! 

After that we changed and split up. Me and Elder Riley were on bikes and we tore it up! We taught some less active's kids (he wasn't answering, so we found his kids outside) so these kids are playing with their foam weapons and things. SO, we taught them a short lesson and right in the middle of it, I had a bloody nose and it was crazy. I had to stop it with my hands and ended up looking like a serial killer by the end of it all (blood all over my face). Also, Elder Riley didn't feel too good so we said a prayer and went to an investigators home to get some water and see if that would help. She was home! And Elder Riley pounded like 10 cups of water. We ate at Taco Bell, taught a recent convert, and knocked doors. We were supposed to help a member bring some furniture over to a another member's house, but the member didn't get back until  9:00 and at this point we are already 20 min. away from the house on bikes. SO, we loaded up and drove over with a bookshelf mattress  and box spring. We unloaded and ended up getting back way late at like 9:50 that night. 

The next day we got up and got ready and had our departing conference with President and Sister Craig. I'll miss them a ton and they have truly helped shape my life, but I'm excited to turn the new leaf to have President Lee here. We had a district meeting after and went to the YSA district's district meeting. It was great and super spiritual. 

We had a tradeoff with Elder Boyson, me, Elder Marchant after and I went down to Ocala with Elder Boyson. We had a blast, and another crazy tradeoff. We went to go see this member referral who ended up being this super old guy who had Alzheimer's or something. And he had a super loud roommate that I somehow got roped into pushed around and he kept forgetting where he wanted to go haha. Old people... Gotta love em. The highlight was when one was trying to turn the TV off and there were 3 TVs and he kept clicking the remote turning on and off the wrong TV but he had no clue and he was dead set on the one consistently on. He was like swearin under his breath and saying the remote's broken and everything. It was hilarious! 

We taught a part member family after that and taught a few other investigators that night. That day we got back to Gainesville and planned and had a few people to see that night, and we were both SO tired and just ready for bed. But we get a call from the Chiefland Elders at 9:15 saying that an Elder is going into the ER and the companion (who was calling) wanted company all night. So went in. ALL NIGHT. We got into the hospital at 10 and left at about 5 that morning. Awesome miracle though! We got there and one of our investigators was also there. So while we were waiting we got to talk to him and pretty much taught him a lesson at 3 in the morning in the ER. What a week y'all. 

Sheila came to church yesterday! I need to get a picture with her... But yeah. President Lee arrives today and takes over tomorrow. It's going to be a CRAZY couple of weeks. Love y'all dearly!

Elder Toolson 

P.s: my account reset... So I just added pretty much everyone I knew.... Just email if you don't care about my week and want me to stop haha

Goodbye President and Sister Craig

Hello President and Sister Lee

 Waiting in the ER with Elder Smith, Elder Hunt, 
and Elder Toolson

Gainesville District Interviews