Phoenix Arizona Temple

Phoenix Arizona Temple

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October 29, 2013

So best news ever!!!! Lots of miracles happened this week. I don't know why I never knew this, but I guess boys have to have the Aaronic Priesthood before they can go to the temple? No one told me! So on Thursday we were able to see our brand-new convert, Charles, get the priesthood!!!! 4 days after his baptism!!!!! Then he went to the temple on Saturday and had an amazing experience:) We set a baptism date with that lady who you called and sent you the picture, Becky Crowther, step-son, Jerome:) He's getting baptized on the 9th! He's so ready, it's awesome:) We got a phone call last week from a missionary couple serving in Kayenta (however you spell that) who told us about a woman in a nursing home who wasn't a member and wanted a blessing. The reception was bad so we didn't get a lot of information, and then completely forgot. It came back to me that we needed to find this woman! So we went to a nursing home that wasn't housing her, but we signed up to volunteer someday:) Then on Saturday we went to another nursing home to see if she was there, and she was! She was a Navajo woman in a wheelchair sitting out in the hallway in front of the medicine counter. And she doesn't understand English....just Navajo. She didn't know what we were saying and we didn't know what she was saying! We called our District Leader to come give her a blessing and wheeled her into her room. We asked her if she wanted a blessing and she made a motion with her hands like a priesthood holder lays his hands on a recipient, and then started to stroke her head! It was awesome! She knew who we were and knew what she wanted:) We're positive she felt the Spirit really strong! Then she started talking to us a bunch and we didn't know what to do so we wheeled her back into the hallway and said goodbye. It was really cool, though! So! Yesterday I was in Paulden all day :) I was with a sister named Sister (Hermana) Stanley and she looks and acts just like Annie Sangster! Can you email me some pictures of Annie so I can show Sister Stanley? :) But she is so fun and I loved my time there. It was really windy! And there are only a few paved roads, and I had to drive. They had a Chevrolet Colorado and it was really fun to drive! Especially because the roads were terrible so I just had to rip through the bumps and holes. It was a great day, though:) I guess to answer your questions, I will be pretty sad to leave Flagstaff, but it will be nice to have a change. The work is the same all over, but change is fun, so I'm excited :) Well, that's about all. Love you so so so much! Now we don't have to go through Flagstaff after my mission for me to show you around, you saw it already :) hahaha Love, Kady

Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21, 2013

Hey Mom! I'm glad you all had a good week :) We sure did!!! We had a baptism on Saturday! FINALLY!!!! It was so great :) His name is Charles and his Methodist parents flew in from Michigan to come see him! It was great :) They were a little skeptical at first, but at the end of his baptism they were smiling and laughing and telling Bishop that they were so pleased about the community of the LDS Church :) His dad thanked me for taking care of him :) But seriously, Charles is the best :) He's really funny and reminds me of JD! He likes to read comics and relates the things he learns about the gospel to movies all the time. At his baptism he bore his testimony and said that the gospel is like the movie Hook. You can probably guess how he made that connection. He's totally a wonk :) Just like JD!!! It's been fun teaching him :) We're going to the Mesa temple on Saturday! We're taking Charles to the Family History Center this week to prepare family names and then to the temple to do baptisms for them :) I'm so excited!!!! We have to sacrifice our P-day for it. So we're having 2 P-days this week and no P-day next week. Weird. But I'll still be able to email you on Monday :) We've been so blessed lately! Our hard work is beginning to show results :) We have a few investigators and are planning on having a few more this week! It's so exciting! We have a really great one name Jerome and he is so ready for baptism! It's exciting :) He probably only needs about 3 weeks :) The cool thing is that we are also teaching 2 formers! We had dinner with our friend, Ben, and he brought his friend, Marc, who took the lessons last year. Because we got to talk to him for an hour we were able to set up an appointment with him and start teaching him! It's so exciting! I think I told you about the other one? His name is Terrence and he took the lessons 2 years ago but has been coming to Church almost every week! We called him and set up an appointment and he agreed to keep meeting with us. Last week we set a date with him for November 16th! So many miracles :) We've also started meeting with less-active members. I'm so happy when we're busy! Sometimes we're not busy and it stresses me out sooooo bad! But I thought of this quote this morning "there's no growing in a comfort zone and there's no comfort in a growing zone." Even though I'm really uncomfortable all the time, it's when I can fill our days with meaningful activities that we are able to grow. We don't always have something to do but when we get through the day and make goals to not have days like that again, that's when you know I've grown a little :) Anyway, that's enough of that. I hope all is well for you at home! Please let me know what kinds of things you're all doing to be member missionaries :) Love you, Mom! You're the best :) -Kady

Monday, October 14, 2013

October 14, 2013

Okay, let me tell you a little story. It's pretty awesome :) If you know anything about the Preach My Gospel handbook, Chapter 9 is on finding people. Sister Connell and I were using the Ideas for Study and Application in the back of the chapter on page 172 in our companion study yesterday morning. One of the suggestions says, "Imagine that you and your companion are transferred into a new area. You find the area book in good condition, but you have no investigators. What would you do to add people to your teaching pool as rapidly as possible? Make plans to implement some of these ideas today." We talked a little bit, throwing out some ideas, and then came up with the idea to teach Sunday School. We thought, "what if we could teach TODAY?!" I got really excited and texted our Ward Mission Leader. This is the conversation we had via text: Us: Who's teaching Sunday School today? WML: I don't know, [the person in charge of today's class] hasn't told me anything. Unless he's already gone [on his mission]. In which he should have told me. Us: Oh man! If he's on his mission already, can we teach Sunday School today? WML: Honestly I was thinking that yesterday. I just didn't tell you. You were already my back up. I'm glad we are all on the same page! Then guess what we did? WE TAUGHT SUNDAY SCHOOL YESTERDAY!!!!! I was so excited all morning, I couldn't contain it :) We went through the Restoration Pamphlet with everyone and let them each keep a copy. Then we went through some of the paragraphs in Chapter 9 that we'd studied, like "The Importance of Members" and "Go About Doing Good" sections. We even used another one of the Ideas for Study and Application at the end of the chapter to invite the members to make a list of people they could share the gospel with and then to prayerfully select on to invite by next month :) I was so pumped!!! Coolest thing ever. Now that's how you "add people to your teaching pool as rapidly as possible" :) Then! We had a lesson during Relief Society and now we have a new investigator!!! Crazzzzzzzzy!!!! Best Sunday ever :) I also told Dad about another great story from yesterday, so you can ask him to read it to you :) I don't know if he shares my letters to him with you? The other day we were going through our list of Formers, and found one who had taken the lessons two years ago but has been coming to Church consistently since then! We met with him and invited him to continue the lessons and he agreed. We asked him why he didn't want to be baptized and he gave some reasons. We read some scriptures about why it's important to be baptized and he said "actually, a few days ago I was thinking about it, and I think I want to be baptized." What?! Are you serious! So many miracles this week it's not even funny!!! It only snowed that one day. And it melted faster than it fell so it was only snowy in the morning! It snowed long enough to attack me at the gas pump! We went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders this weekend. I was in Prescott on Saturday. I love Prescott! I would be happy to be transferred there someday :) I love the story about Kelly :) Made me laugh so hard! And I got a letter from her last week :) Probably won't have time for shopping if you send me money on Christmas. But don't have a heart attack, you do a fine job picking out clothes for me :) And the candy corn soda was not very good...but it's expected! Thanks for the love :) haha Love you Mom! Hope you have a good week :) BE GOOD ;) -Kady

Friday, October 11, 2013

October 7, 2013

Kelly wrote me? She must have forgotten to send it because I haven't gotten a letter from her. I watched all 4 sessions of conference at the Welcome Center. We were "allowed" to watch the Relief Society broadcast 15 minutes after it started so I was really sad about missing that. I learned from that experience that if it seems like a good idea and the Spirit is telling me I should do something, if I don't necessarily "get permission" yet, I should do it until I'm told not to. Not in all situations, but I could only be mad at myself for not going. If I had gone to the beginning and our zone leaders told us we weren't permitted to go, we could just say "oops" and then leave early. But instead I waited around and ended up missing the whole thing for no reason. I was REALLY upset at first until I decided to not be angry at my leaders for not caring about the sisters (blah blah blah pity me, sister missionaries are so dramatic!) because I could only be mad at myself for not taking action in my own life. Lesson learned! Last Monday, I was waiting for Sister Connell to finish on the computer at the library and I looked up and saw the homeless person that was baptized in June! Once the Elders were transferred, he disappeared. Now he calls us and asks us to set up appointments with him again:) I know that that is one of the reasons why I am still in Flagstaff, no one else knows him or would have recognized him, he would have been lost. Especially because he wants to move to Kingman soon and then no one would have found him! Well I shouldn't say that, the Lord would put him or someone in a place to bring him back eventually, but I know that Sister Connell and I can do that right now! It's so exciting!! Over the weekend, I was caught up in serious reflection about my life. It gets pretty deep, so I don't think I want to email it home to the whole world, so I might tell you about it when I get home someday. But starting with Friday's zone meeting all the way until this morning's personal study, I was pondering so deeply the life I have lived and am living. It was weird. It was kind of like an out-of-body experience where I was just observing myself. I didn't talk much, I was really thoughtful. But I've come to a conclusion and am ready to start applying the things I learned from this experience and from General Conference to my life. I know that sounds weird, but I would have to explain to you what happened and this doesn't feel like the place, especially when I don't know who reads these letters... but speaking of General Conference! I loved it!!!! I wrote about it on Liken, and I would like everyone to share what they liked, too:) Well, it was a rough week for indicators. We lost contact with one of our investigators as she lost her phone on her trip to Boston and another one of our investigators "set us aside." But we still have an incredible investigator well on his way to baptism on the 19th! This baptism is a long-time-coming for Sister Connell, YSA 1st ward, and me. It will be such a relief to see the results of our efforts! We have been doing some less-active reactivation work mostly, and it has been rewarding to have them come back, so I'm not complaining. Missionary work just wears me out sometimes. Well, all the time. Still not complaining! D&C 123:13 "we should waste and wear out our lives in bringing...light" to all the people of Flagstaff, whether they are active members, less-active members, or not-yet members! ANYWAY, really done this time. I love you so much! Thanks for all the emails:) Sorry you felt bad all last week! I got it this time! -Kady

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

September 30, 2013

There's a member in the ward who lives in South Jordan and she's going home on Wednesday so she said she could bring stuff down for me :) I don't really need anything, but I was hoping to send some stuff home that doesn't work for me; clothes that don't fit the guidelines. So I'm going to give her your number if that's okay :) I have had such a crazy spiritual week! I can't even begin to tell you how much I have grown in even just the past 2 days. The heavens are definitely kept open to missionaries. Let me tell you a story :) It's gotten REALLY cold in Flagstaff. Our heater wasn't working...and I had a pretty terrible night on Friday night. It was cold like when you're camping in late May or early June and your sleeping bag is too big so every time you turn over you are all icy and have to try to warm up the bag before you can get back to sleep. That's how I was all my bed. So Saturday morning, we called our awesome District Leader and he said he'd come by during the day to look at it for us. He asked us to leave the door unlocked and he'd lock it behind them when they left. We left for the morning and drove a couple of blocks away when I just felt like we needed to lock the door. So we went straight back, but we went up a street we don't normally go up. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a man playing the guitar in front of a house. I kept driving a little, but felt like we should go talk to him. I decided to, reluctantly. I pulled over, sighed really big, and in an irritated tone said to Sister Connell, "there's a man back there and we need to talk to him." We walked back the block and a half that it took me to drive down before I decided to listen to my prompting. We walk up to him and just start out with, "hey! We saw you playing the guitar and wanted to come listen!" He was shy about it and just asked us where we're from. We said, "we're from Utah, we're on our missions." He asked, "like ministry?" "Well, kind of, we talk to people about Jesus Christ and help them to develop more faith in Him." Then he went into detail about his own religious background explaining about how he doesn't know what to believe and that he and his wife have been hurt by members of different churches. I pulled out a copy of the Book of Mormon I had in my bag and asked him if he'd ever read it. He hadn't. I turned to the Introduction and showed him the first paragraph that explains that the Book of Mormon contains the fullness of the gospel, as does the Bible (which he reads). Then I showed him the last two paragraphs and explained that if he read and prayed about the Book of Mormon that Heavenly Father would help him to know for himself if it is true. That's the part he liked. He said, "most people tell you what to believe. I like that you are saying we can know for ourselves." He also said that he felt good when we were talking with each other. He went inside for a minute and came out with his wife and asked me to introduce the Book of Mormon the same way to her. They were both really excited to take the Book and to read it together! We got his name and number and gave him as a referral to the Elders. They said they set up an appointment with him for tomorrow and that he's already read the entire first book of Nephi! What a miracle, right?! And this kind of stuff has been happening constantly for us! I know that the Spirit is REAL! The Church is TRUE! Well, that's my best story. I'm pretty sad to not have a very long letter from you. I guess I know how you feel now! Hope everything's okay with you and the family! I love you a lot :) -Kady

September 24, 2013

Your trip sounds like a lot of fun! And those pictures are pretty :) I hope it was a fun anniversary for you:) So...transfers. I'M STAYING IN FLAGSTAFF! Can you believe it? Weird! I'll be here, still, until at least the 3rd of November. I think it's pretty crazy. But I'm really, really happy about it. I would have been sad to not see our investigators through to baptism. And we have two baptisms scheduled for October 12th! We're really excited about it:) The Sister's Specialized Training (they get mad when you call it "Sister's Conference") was pretty fun. They did hair and makeup and pedicures and I opted out of those activities. I have been soooooooo basic with my hair! I don't know if you've noticed, but my hair has been in a braid or ponytail every day and occasionally a bun. It's because I'm trying to grow out my hair so I haven't been working too hard to do anything with it. And because I've been growing it out and the last two times I got it cut here the girl cut it shorter than I wanted to, instead of going somewhere else (and potentially paying for it...) I cut my own hair a few weeks ago. I don't know if I told you that. One day I got out of the shower and looked at my sad, dead hair and just took my paper cutting scissors and cut the ends off. So now I have a bad haircut! That's another good reason that I wear it in a ponytail, braid, or sometimes bun. I think I've probably talked about this before, but I had such a great experience the other day following my impressions! We were going to a Potential Investigator's apartment and I glanced over and saw a girl sitting on her deck by herself. I thought "we should talk to her" but then I thought "we should talk to everyone, and there are plenty of people that we just don't end up talking to." But....then I felt bad, "what if the Spirit is telling me to talk to her and I'm ignoring it? Plus, what's the harm in just going over there?" So...we did. And we ended up having a great conversation with her! She gave us her number and said we could come back to teach her :) I'm getting pretty brave :) Another thing that I've noticed about myself is that I've become very bold. I tell people exactly how it is. It's true about missionary work and just life! If someone bothered me before, like my roommates or something, I wouldn't really bring it up. I'd just let the person do what they do and get over it, even if it ended up bothering me really bad. But now I just tell people "that bothers me." I can't believe it! But with missionary work, I seriously just tell it how it is. There was this time that a boy hadn't been coming to Church. We went to his house to talk to him and he said he's just been hurt and not sure if he trusts God anymore. I was being sensitive to his concerns and I was also being sensitive to the Spirit and said "well, you have two options; turn away from God or turn towards Him to get you through this. I think it's time you start coming back to Church." Then he did! Now he comes every week and we see him at the Welcome Center almost every day! It's the craziest thing. I do that kind of thing all the time. Especially when we talk about the Law of Chastity. I'm not going to beat around the bush about that! Anyway, I'm getting really tired of my clothes. I'm also kind of running out of clothes....I feel like they're slowly disappearing. I give some away and send some home and don't get any more. I'm not saying this for you to send me clothes or money, just so you know that 7 months of the same 4 outfits is getting pretty old. I didn't bring my journal again today.... Let me tell you this crazy story! So remember when I was telling you about our investigator who went to the baptism and said "I'm ready for my interview" ? Maybe I didn't tell you, but she disappeared for a week and we didn't know where she was! We were soooo scared! But then she came back out of no where and apparently she'd taken a spur of the moment vacation to Michigan for the week! Now she's back on track and we'll get her baptized in October :) Sorry I can't really remember anything else. Did you already get the plaque? Please don't! But if it's too late I came up with a funny idea :) If it's also not too late, I'd like my scripture to be Matthew 6:22 ;) Anyway. I'm all out of ideas. Sorry I'm a loser! Love you, Mom :) -Kady

September 16, 2013

I wrote Kelly and said "maybe now that you're a missionary you'll realize how much you want letters and you might actually start writing me" :) Is it weird to have 2 daughters on missions? I can't believe she's a missionary already! What the! So how is/was your cruise? Sounds like it should be a lot of fun anyway :) Except the Alaska part. That's cold. It's been really cold here! The rain has become pretty chilly. It's definitely not summer anymore in Flagstaff! I potentially only have one more week here :( Sister Connell will be officially trained on Monday so that means she won't need me anymore :( Which means I might get TRANSFERRED! I'm so sad! I don't want to leave Flagstaff :( Oh well, maybe I'll get transferred to Black Canyon City ;) Yes, the journals arrived safe and sound :) I was worried they might get ruined in the rain, but the UPS guy brought it to us! It was cool because he even used the doorbell! No one comes to our apartment so no one uses the doorbell. It was an historic moment for us :) hahaha Anyway! On to INTERESTING stuff. Sorry I ramble like you ;) So this week was great! The other sisters had a baptism on Saturday and our 2 progressing investigators came! It was seriously the best baptism I've ever gone to. They could both feel the Spirit SO STRONG that they both got really excited to get baptized! But then neither of them came to Church due to family issues (one girl had family issues with her grandpa and her car and the other went home to say goodbye to the family dog they were putting down over the weekend). But we had a less-active member and her friend come to Church at least! They both loved it :) We have an appointment with her friend so we're excited to start teaching her :) We locked ourselves out of our apartment on Saturday. That was cool. We had a trainer/trainee meeting on Tuesday. I love meetings :) I'm one of those weird people I guess! I just love them because it's so organized and everyone comes together to feel the Spirit and to learn new things we can do better. It's one of my top 5 favorite things about the mission! I don't know what the other 4 are. One of them is teaching people. I just threw that out there... One day this week, we forgot to bring food with us for lunch so we went to Panda Express, then we had 2 dinner appointments and neither of them happened, so we called one of our members who said to call if we don't have a dinner appointment and he took us to Carl's Jr. and we had kid meals with the chicken stars :) Then I ate some pizza at the Welcome Center. I never thought I would train my body to eat so healthy that eating out twice, kind of three times, would cause me to be in so much pain when I went in for the night! I guess that's a good thing? I don't know what to say. Sorry. I even brought my journal! I guess I'll stop giving silly details about the nonsensical things we did this week and share with you some of the things I've been learning in my studies :) Oh! This week we taught the Word of Wisdom lesson and it was my first time teaching it to someone that wasn't living it already :) It was cool. I made Sister Connell commit her, she was scared, but as her trainer I felt that she should do it :) Now we're helping someone quit smoking! It's so exciting! I figured out why it's important to study for others instead of for myself! Normally, it would make sense to study for myself because I need to know what I'm talking about so that I can teach better, right? Well, it works a lot better when I study for others. This is why! The things I study are the things I think about during the day. So many times I've been in a situation where I'm having a conversation with someone and the things I think about to say are the things I had just studied either that morning or a few mornings before. So, when I tried it out and studied for appointments, not only was I able to call upon information that was pertinent for the situation, but I was able to tie the same things into other things I was doing that day! Let me explain myself. So I was studying missionary work and service to have that be the focus of the "spiritual thought" we share when we have dinner with members or when we pray with them. In one day, I used the service section of True to the Faith at dinner, 2 visits with members, and at the 12-Step addiction recovery group, and I also tied it into Mosiah 2:41 and part of the conference talk I had "RANDOMLY" (caps because I didn't pick it for any reason and in quotes because I know I was led by the Spirit to read it) by Elder Perry "Obedience to Law is Liberty" (which has become my new favorite talk from last conference (can you believe it's almost conference again??? I'm so excited!!!)). It's crazy how the things I learn become the exact thing I need to use in my teaching!!! Well, that's enough of that. Love you! Hope you have a great week!! -Kady (can't say Sister Tolley anymore!!!)

September 9, 2013

Oh my goodness, that picture of Kelly is HILARIOUS!!! So, I forgot my journal again. But this time I have more time so I will try to be more interesting! If you haven't already paid for the plaque, I decided I don't want another one anymore! But if you have paid for it already, then I guess you can just use the 3 Nephi scripture. I seriously just sat here for 20 minutes trying to decide on a new scripture and gave myself a headache. I hope you didn't already get the new plaque! The people who write me regularly are Dad, you, my friend Sister Toyn from the New Mexico mission, an Elder serving in Virginia who I've never met, and Tony Markus :) So I get enough letters! No one writes me from home! Sometimes I get letters from grandparents, but I have no friends writing me except missionaries! Things are better now that school is in :) We have some great investigators! We might still not have any baptisms coming up soon for some different reasons, but at least we have some progressing investigators that we're excited about :) We had an exchange with the sisters in Sedona this week. They work in a trio and one of the sisters stayed with me in Flagstaff for the day. Sister Connell had a rough time in Sedona....I guess they live in a mortuary and they took her to the freezer and she saw a bunch of bodies. If I ever serve in Sedona we are MOVING. I refuse to live in a place like that! But my exchange up here was great :) Yesterday was really nice :) We had a great dinner with some of the girls in our ward. They made a delicious chicken teriyaki in a crock pot! Sister Connell's mom sent her a bunch of cake mixes and we brought the chocolate one over and we all made cake together :) We also made a quick frosting, but Sister Connell and I had to leave before the cake was done, so they brought it to our fireside and we all ate it in the kitchen! It was funny :) The other day we cleaned this lady's house who we met at the 12 Step Program. We didn't have a lot of time so we just scrubbed one of her bathrooms and helped her son clean his room. It was a wreck! But we got it spotless :) I always love doing that! There's so much satisfaction in taking something dirty and making it perfect :) Oh, apparently Annie Duncan commented on a Facebook post that and Elder's mom in my zone, Elder Starr, put up and they have no relation, and neither do we! Yeah, he just told me that. Fun fact haha :) It has been rainy and cold the past couple of days. Today I'm wearing a cardigan and scarf and my boots! It's crazy! This morning we woke up to rain and I tied 3 socks together and then tied them to my head to keep my ears warm! It's crazy! But I love it :) It's going to get cold too fast here....this morning I had "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" stuck in my head :) It's only raining, it shouldn't snow for another month! Let me tell you about the stupid thing I said at Church yesterday. There were these two girls who were both wearing 6 or 7 inch heels and I said "wow, those shoes make you both really tall!" One of them said, "yeah, we call ourselves the Twin Towers." Without thinking about it, I popped off with "well, you know what happened to those..." I was really embarrassed and walked away! All of you should read the Book of Mormon with me and comment when you want to on Facebook on our Liken page :) Please? I think that would be so fun! And a good way to make sure we're all reading the Book of Mormon every day :) I'm not doing this for me, I'm doing it for you! Not just you as in Mom and the family, but for everyone to help us all read! I'm sure there are things I could tell you about my week, but I'm sorry I forgot my journal :( But I will tell you that my testimony has increased this week on working hard and forgetting yourself. I feel like I was spending a little too much time earlier this week worried about myself and not enough about the people like, "what am I doing wrong? What do I need to do better? How could I have made this thing happen?" When really I need to think, "what does this person need to progress? What does she need to know to have a testimony of the Book of Mormon? How can she feel the love of the ward members and her Heavenly Father?" I need to turn OUTWARD instead of looking at myself so much. As I focus on building the people that I'm serving, I will automatically improve myself. The best way to learn is to teach, the best way to feel taken care of is to serve, the best way to feel loved is to love, and the best way to be better is to help other reach their potential. Well, I sure love you, Mom :) Thanks for always making sure there's an email waiting for me when I log on :) You're the best! Love you tons! And the rest of the hooligans :) -Kady

September 3, 2013

I didn't remember to bring my journal today and I only have an hour online so I hope this isn't a stinky letter like usual! Just so I don't forget, I haven't even opened the battery operated alarm clock you sent me so I can send it back to you :) We just use the alarm on our cell phone to get up! And I don't like the kind that tick, which is the kind you bought me. I'll send it home! First of all, I think it's funny that you said that I'm better off as a missionary to not miss my family as much as people like Preston Sharp because I have been away at school before, but so was Preston! hahahahaha so that didn't work :) Anyway! So we had a pretty interesting week. We met a girl who we started teaching early in the week, then she kept cancelling appointments with us....and then she moved to Tucson. It was crazy! Oh well :) But it ended up being a miracle because Sister Connell and I were planning this AWESOME lesson with another one of our investigators, using the white board and a bunch of visual aids and things :) But she ended up having a headache and asked us to come to her house we told our member who was going to come, who is also our ward mission leader, that he didn't need to come anymore and we would just hurry over to her house. We had to completely change our lesson plan! So we decided to try to teach the same lesson we did with the girl who moved. It ended up being our best lesson ever! We invited the Spirit so strongly! It was amazing :) We went on companion exchanges with our Sister Trainer Leaders. I always love exchanges :) tonight we're going on another exchange with the sisters who serve in Sedona :) I always learn so much! It's pretty much guaranteed that Sister Connell and I will be staying in Flagstaff together for another transfer after this. It was pretty obviously hinted at us yesterday. I'm REALLY happy about it :) Lately I've had the best experiences receiving personal revelation! It's pretty much, like, every day. I'd tell you all my experiences but I'm running out of time! I'll just give you one. I probably told you this already, and I'm getting frustrated with this email program, or else I would check to make sure I'm not repeating myself. So Sister Connell was praying for inspiration of new ideas we can use to find more investigators at the institute. WHILE SHE WAS PRAYING I came up with the idea for a Book of Mormon discussion group! We would meet every day or every other day at a certain time to read chapters of the Book of Mormon together and apply it to our lives! I told her about the idea and she came up with a brilliant idea to make it a group on Facebook! In the next couple of days we're going to organize it and make it happen :) It's called "Liken" because we liken the scriptures to ourselves :) and also because we're likin' the Book of Mormon ;) Please join the page! And tell everyone! We'll talk about the Book of Mormon together with everyone around the world! That's our dream for it anyway :) But it's just absolutely amazing to me that we would be in the process of praying for inspiration and receiving it at the exact same time! It's been happening all the time lately :) Well, that's about all I have time for today. Sorry! I'll repent and do better next week :) LOVE YOU!!!! Tell Kelly congratulations for me and give everyone a big hug :) -Kady

August 26, 2013

I brought my journal with me so I could come up with something better to write you this week! Sheesh! (Speaking of my journal, I'm running out of pages again :) Can I please get another one? You've gotten me a red and blue one so far if you want to surprise me with a new color :) Also, I was wondering if it isn't too much to ask if you could send me 2? I want to give one to Sister Connell, but it's okay if not! Thanks and love you!) Well! Let me tell you about Tuesday :) This story is pretty cool! So, one of our members has a friend named Kayla who said she was interested in learning about the Church! So we set up a lunch appointment for Tuesday at Subway...mmmm Subway :) Anyway, she asked if she could bring her dad, and we're thinking, sweet! Two investigators in a day! (Not that we could teach her dad anyway, but that's not the point). We're waiting for them to come and everything, then when they get there they ask if we want to sit outside or inside. We say, outside is fine, and they sit down. Umm... "Did you want to eat anything?" No they did not. That's a pretty weird lunch appointment if you ask me. I was excited about Subway! Okay, okay back to the story. So they sit down and pull out a couple of different copies and versions of the Bible. Uh oh. We were thinking we would introduce ourselves, do some How To Begin Teaching (page 176 of Preach My Gospel, just some get-to-know-you get-to-know-us pointers) and talk a little bit about the beginning of the first lesson. No, no, they were prepared for an intense discussion. ALRIGHT! This is how it went. Kayla wanted to learn more about the Church and her dad came out of obligation as the head of the household to see what his daughter is getting herself into, essentially. What happened was some back and forth Bible...well I wouldn't say bashing...but it was kind of like polite, calm bashing. I pulled out the Book of Mormon and they would have none of that, so we were going back and forth in the Bible. It was crazy! They were trying to prove in Ephesians and 2 Timothy and Titus about how works are in vain and only by God' grace will we be saved. True, but James says faith without works is dead. How can we have faith if we don't do good works? I wasn't entirely prepared for that one so I had to let it go, but I've been studying grace versus works and have some SOLID scriptures to back myself up next time! Anyway, this is where it got CRAZY! So, he was trying to prove to us in Galatians how there are no prophets after Christ and if they claim to preach His word and that they are prophets than they are actually anti-Christs. he was actually getting a tad heated when he started talking about Joseph Smith (he brought the big guy up by the way). I had been studying the evidences of the Restoration in the Book of Mormon and I had an awesome experience with 2 Nephi 27 which refers to Isaiah 29. In my personal study a few days prior, I had decided to read that chapter in Isaiah. It didn't make a whole lot of sense. Then I read 2 Nephi 26 and 27 and then went back to Isaiah 29 and it made clear sense! In my "banter" with Kayla's dad, I decided to be brave and show him that in Isaiah, it prophesies of Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the Restoration. I. CONFOUNDED. HIM. It was AWESOME! He said, "that's interesting, I'll have to study that, mind if I say a closing prayer?" Then he prayed and got in his van real quick :) Yep, it was pretty cool. We also got a great new investigator this week! Her name is Alex and she's really knowledgeable in the LDS Church because she was taken to Church with her grandpa as a little girl but isn't baptized :) She's amazing! She came to Church with us yesterday and we're really excited about teaching her :) Sooooo.. to answer some of your questions. Yes, I am on Facebook! What the!? Anyway, I'm to use it for missionary purposes only, so for communication with friends and family on matters that aren't gospel related, writing letters and emails is the standard. But! I can of course add people as friends, whoever, around the whole world! So your friend can add me if she wants. In a situation where I could be strengthening people at home, I can teach them. For example, any non-member friends that I have who want to learn about the Church or any less-active friends who need help coming back. There's an Elder in my mission who has a non-member father who he has been TEACHING on Facebook with his returned missionary BROTHER. There are some limits to what I can do, but no limits at all when it comes to sharing the gospel. One Elder has a page that he created for his family to share their studies together so he can help prepare his younger siblings for their missions. But this isn't a way to be sneaky and talk more, as long as there is a righteous objective and it helps me fulfill my purpose as a missionary, everything is game! :) Yes I am getting along great with my companion :) She's awesome! And hilarious. She keeps asking me about my family and wants to meet Kelly way bad because she feels like they would be great friends :) There hasn't been any problems with the Elders. We've all been able to work together just fine :) I've grown so much in the past week, it's ridiculous. I have been trying to work on my faith, trying to be better at relying wholly on the Lord and it has been AMAZING my experiences. There have been times where my natural instinct and common sense would cause me to doubt, but as I've been focusing on my faith, I've been moving forward anyway and seeing such miracles. Small miracles like being able to find the home of someone who invited us to dinner when we were a half hour late and had forgotten the map at home. Other miracles like studying something, completely unplanned and led by the Spirit, to have it reiterated in Zone Conference and over and over again during my day. And big miracles like finding Alex and having her come to Church with us. Something I've learned about miracles is that it's a lot like when people don't know how to recognize the Spirit. I've heard pretty much everyone I know tell me that now or previously they had struggled to learn the difference between their own thoughts and the promptings of the Spirit. The answer is, if it's righteous, IT IS FROM THE SPIRIT, and that it doesn't matter anyway. The same thing is true about miracles! It's so easy to say, "oh that was a coincidence" or to just disregard the things that happen that commonly shouldn't happen. EVERYTHING IS A MIRACLE!! Small, big, normal-seeming...I have learned to recognize the MIRACLES that happen in my life and that is what has helped my faith to grow and to trust God. I shouldn't be able to do (this or that), but if I pray for it and have full faith in it, it will happen. End of story. Well, that's my wisdom for today. I hope you all have a great week! It's been raining like CRAZY here lately! I love it :) LOVE YOU! -Kady

August 19, 2013

Sorry that my letters are apparently too short! I don't know what to say, my weeks are all the same! And I can only write to you on Monday so I can't keep an ongoing letter throughout the week, sorry. I write in my journal every night, if you want you can read it when I get home I guess! There was a baptism on Saturday for the other sisters. We were planning on going, in fact we were part of the program! And then.....we missed it. But it was for a good reason because we were having a lesson with a boy we met the other day named Thatcher! He's now our new investigator! Also, that same day, we found a less-active boy that we didn't even mean to find. His records aren't here so no one even knew he was there, we just went to talk to a group of people and he happened to be just inside! It was crazy :) Then that night we went over to a girl's house who said we could come back (we met her trying to see if a former investigator who once lived there still did, the answer is no..) and we had a discussion. She is very opinionated, though, so I don't know how much she is willing to learn and open to change, but she wants us back (maybe she was just saying that to be nice, but we're coming back anyway ;) ). School starts next week so everyone will be moving back this weekend. It's very exciting :) Summers are slow in singles wards, but at least now we will have a lot more work to be doing and a lot more members to help us! Well, that book you were talking about is not part of the approved missionary library. I was really happy to get letters from Vic and Livi! I bought one of those nametags that clip on instead of the magnet or the pin. I like it a lot better :) We took one of our recent converts, Callie, to the Family History Center on Wednesday! She was able to put some of her family's names into the system and soon she'll be able to take those names to the temple :) When I took that Family History Institute class last year, I didn't really like doing family history work. But since I've been on my mission and have studied it a few times and have been able to see the blessings of doing it for other people who don't have grandmas who do it for the whole family, I can really see how important it is that we try to do our family history! I don't know how helpful I can be, but maybe I could do it for other people someday. I really miss the temple. I wish I could go every week! But my mission isn't about me and this time is long enough to make it a sacrifice but short enough that it's not really a sacrifice at all. It's kind of putting "endure to the end" into perspective for me. I'm not saying I hate my mission or anything, but I am saying that it's starting to be a trial for me to have been serving in the same place for so long. It will be different when school starts and all the students come, but it's all becoming a little too familiar to me. I would be happy to be transferred somewhere new every transfer! Of course, I'm saying that now, but I have a friend from the Farmington mission who has been transferred every transfer and it is really hard for her. So, I'm not complaining, and I potentially only have 5 more weeks in Flagstaff and could get sent to the hottest place in the mission, which is everywhere else in the mission! Life is good, days are long, but things are going well here. Sorry I'm not good at writing long letters. Love you! -Sister Tolley

August 13, 2013

Soooooooo.....I'm staying in Flagstaff another transfer! And Sister Connell and I are staying companions :) She's probably bummed, but I'm so relieved! Things are about to get AWESOME here! I wouldn't want to miss the start of Fall semester at NAU! We're going to make sure we have almost too much work to do :) this will be great :) I'm glad the time is going fast for you. For me it seems not fast and not slow. But it does feel like I've been on my mission forever, and that I've been in Flagstaff FOREVER. That's another reason I'm glad I'm not being transferred yet, because I have a feeling that once I switch to a new area my mission will FLY by! :( It's done me some good so far. Straightened me out. I definitely recommend it for everyone. I improved in areas that I didn't even know needed to be improved! I thought I was a good person...but no! I was terrible! That's why I want my mission to stay slow and steady because I have a lot left to learn and only 13 more months to learn it! Well, then the rest of my life, but at least here all my weaknesses are out in front of me so obviously that it's almost humiliating so I can't hide behind them and act like I'm fine without even realizing it. Sorry if that didn't make sense, all I'm saying is I hope I come home (in a looooonnnngg time) a much better person than when I left. On that note, I'm sorry for treating all of you badly. Especially you, Mom. I am a huge BRAT! I am so selfish! But I'm getting better :) "Nevertheless, the Lord God showeth us our weakness that we may know that it is by His grace, and His great condescensions unto the children of men, that we have power to do these things." Jacob 4-7 And yes, you can link my page to my Facebook page. I will do that eventually, too :) when I'm on FACEBOOK! Crazy! Still don't know when, but a member of our Mission Presidency came this weekend to talk with our Stake Presidency about it, so it's official :) official-er.... My suggestions to Kelly are to have low-maintenance clothing, something she can just slip on and be comfortable in all day. My companions have all had dresses, and it's great, but the skirt and shirt combinations provide more outfit options, and dresses (to me) don't seem as professional. If she goes on there is a way to look at dress and grooming standards for missionaries. She should wear colorful things, but still look professional, nicer than if she was going to Church. Something that is emphasized in this mission is to still look like a missionary at Church so you can still be recognized even though everyone is in the same attire. I was going to send home my cardigan sweaters because it's WAY too hot to want to wear them, but in this mission we are required to wear a blazer or cardigan sweater to all of our meetings, including Church meetings. That might just be a preference for here, but it's a good idea I think! The shoes we got for me were at Famous Footwear, and we just got a pair of black and a pair of brown shoes of the same brand and style called "Natural Soul by Naturalizer" and they have been the BEST shoes ever! They only hurt the very first day in the MTC and it only hurt on the top of my foot from rubbing and then it's been perfect ever since! And the soul is thick so they aren't wearing out, and it's more comfortable to wear them with those no-show socks. The only thing I wish we would have bought for me is more button-up style shirts. I feel most comfortable in those, probably because it makes me look more professional, so Kelly might not feel the same way, but if I were her, you can't go wrong with button-up shirts! And skirts with prints aren't the best idea. I've gotten rid of all my printed skirts by now... I think that's really awesome you had the missionaries over :) I only remember them being over one time and I can't even remember why or what they did or anything. But when I go home, I'm going to treat the missionaries so well! I'm going to feed them all the time, give them tons of referrals! I have to pay it forward, this ward is so good to us! So, the work is picking up a bit here. We have some potentials that we're really excited about :) We also have an investigator that is opening up a lot! It's really exciting :) Does Dad have the Preach My Gospel DVDs? They're really great! He should watch them with his Mission Prep class :) We watch parts of it every day and it always teaches us or reminds us of things that are exactly what we need that day! It's amazing :) It's kind of cheesy sometimes, the Sister missionaries are great missionaries, but they are kind of silly sometimes. I recommend it though :) Thanks for the email and for everyone writing me this week :) I can't wait to get all their letters! I love you, Mom :) See you soon! (or in a REALLY LONG TIME) :) -Kady

August 5, 2013

How would you and the rest of the family like to be a part of my mission? I have some exciting news! By the end of the month (I don't know exactly when, so don't ask), our whole mission will be on Facebook. We will be using it as a missionary tool, so I won't be using like I would if I were home, and it won't replace my email time (we can't message each other during the week, I will just be communicating with you the same way). BUT, let's say, for example, Victoria has a friend she wants to talk to about the Church. If she plans a time that I will be online, then Victoria and I can "chat" with her friend and teach a lesson. Soon we will be able to also use Skype and we can teach lessons with people on Skype around the world. Texting has become a tool to talk to people all over as well, where before we could only text people in our area. That really opens up the world. When Kelly goes on her mission, she and I can teach a lesson together whether that person is here, there, or in another country, such as China. The thing that we were asked to remember about this news is that in congruence to the June 23rd broadcast, we are fulfilling a prophesy in Matthew 24:14 which says "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations;and then shall the end come." Mom, we are able to use these tools and devices to preach to everyone all over the world. The end is near!!!!! And with this new responsibility, not only do I want to make sure I don't get distracted, but I want to use it to allow you to be a part of my mission with me! This is a tool we're asked to use not only now and for the next 14 months, but for the rest of our lives. But, it can be a distraction, so our President asked us to send you these links. This one for all my friends, family, and anyone who might get excited about me being on Facebook soon: So...yeah, I'm pretty excited :) We can talk about it more next week! There are endless possibilities!!!! Anyway! Things are going pretty well for me these days. We have a new investigator named Hisini from Sri Lanka! She's Buddhist, so that makes it difficult. But she said her first prayer to God with us! It was beautiful :) We went down to the valley (that's what everyone says when they mean they go down to Phoenix or one of the cities surrounding the area) for a trainer/trainee meeting, and it was HOT! I feel so blessed to be in beautiful Flagstaff where it usually only gets to around 85 and then cools off in the rain :) Sister Connell is amazing. I love her so much! She and I have become really close. I feel like I can say anything to her, I can be very blunt with her and she can be blunt with me which is great! I hate when I have to be careful around people. I mean, of course we're nice to each other! But I don't have to be worried about what I say to her, I can just talk! It's very refreshing :) She's really getting comfortable with the mission life. I keep thinking of things I should be teaching her and should have been doing with her, so I hope I didn't mess her up too bad so far! Transfers are next week, so I'll be online on Tuesday instead of Monday :) This letter is lame...sorry. Did you get the memory card that I sent last week? Did Victoria like the ring? Does she wear it every day? :) Well, I love you!!! Talk to you soon :) -Kady

July 29, 2013

This week has been crazy! We went on exchanges with the Sister Trainer Leaders, which is done differently in this mission. One of the STLs came and stayed with Sister Connell and I went to Peoria for 24 hours with the other STL, Sister Larson :) It was so fun! Everyone said I had it easy because it was ONLY 106 degrees out. I'm used to it being no higher than 85 and then cooling off with rain every day! But it actually wasn't that bad. It was weird to be standing still and sweating, though! It's such a dry heat in the valley, way worse than Utah! But it was really fun! I got some tips and pointers on how to be a Phoenix missionary, which was great :) And I served in a trio with Sister Larson's companion, Sister Barnett :) It was so fun! On Thursday we moved to a new apartment! It's great! Sister Connell and I sleep on mattresses :) So, let me describe our old place, which is where the other sisters still live: One bedroom with a walk-in closet, one small bathroom with a sink, toilet, and bath shower, and a kitchen/study/living room. Now our apartment has only 2 sisters and this is what we've got: One bedroom, one small bathroom, a study room, living room, 5 closets, and a large kitchen with a washer and dryer :) I love it!!!! I only have a couple of complaints. Elders lived in it before so it is DISGUSTING. But it's a work in progress and I seriously love it so much! For district meeting, we watched The Work of Salvation video, which is the broadcast they had for the church about missionary work a while ago. I watched it for the Flagstaff district meeting and the Peoria district meeting, so twice this week, three times total :) But it was so good!!! I loved it all three times! I have been considering that I was called to be on a mission at this time because if I were home when this broadcast came out, I would have only seen it that one time and wouldn't have done anything about it. But because I am a missionary and it means so much to me that we have member involvement in the work, I think that this news will effect the rest of my life. I am so motivated to be part of this change! As a suggestion, and Dad doesn't have to do this by any means, maybe watching the Work of Salvation with his Mission Prep class? It's 2 hours, but I think it's really important! And there are these links we looked up and they are really good, too. I recommend everyone looking them up! They have to do with The Work of Salvation: Anyway :) On Saturday, we helped with a wedding reception. The husband and wife were both Mormon, but they had a Catholic wedding. I guess the husband doens't want to come back to church because he gets paid to play the piano for the Catholics. Anyway! Sister Connell and I helped prepare the food in the kitchen behind the scenes. One pot of stuff was cold so we stirred it on the stove. I had never seen something quite like it, it was a stew with bacon and hotdogs and beans in a thin, red liquid that when you stirred it, the liquid turned muddy brown. I swear, it was hotdog surprise on a whole new level. But it was fun and we got a lot of GOOD food out of it, plus some wedding cake :) I told President today that I want to have my release date be October next year. Just so ya know :) I have a funny story to tell you. Sister Connell isn't afraid of killing bugs....with her hands! So I go to her for all of my bug problems. There was a skinny but long spider on the ceiling and I asked her to kill it so she got a random hocky stick and was about to kill it, but said "it's not hurting us, let's just leave it alone." Then she said she finally got a pet and decided to name it Donald. Then next morning, Donald was gone. Well I don't know why a spider would stay in one spot for very long. But this morning, I was in the bathroom and I felt something fall onto my arm. I shook it off really quick and it landed on the sink. I thought it was a hairball, but it was a skinnny, long, dead spider! It fell off my body! Donald slept with me last night and I killed him! Serves him right! Well, that's my week. Things are going well :) I'm just loving life! Transfers are in 2 weeks and I hope I stay in Flagstaff! School is starting soon and we will be so busy as missionaries!!! Anyway :) Love you! Talk to you soon :) -Sister K. Tolley

July 22, 2013

I'm sorry you had car problems. If it makes you feel better, which I don't think it would, I actually think this will make you feel worse, we got a parking fine yesterday. I was just following the example of everyone else in the neighborhood! I had the car parked up on the curb in front of our house and got an $83 fine for parking on the sidewalk. I was just doing what I'd seen others do and I really didn't know it was against the law. The streets are one-way so I thought it was better that I get my car out of the way than to block the whole street by parking in the road, but apparently that's how they like it in Flagstaff. I'm going to call our vehicle coordinator in a bit and tell him about it, but I am pretty sure I'll have to pay for it myself. I'm really sorry :( Especially if you check my bank account and see how much I spent last week at a Native American shop. I'm sooooo sorry :( I feel really, really bad about it! I promise I will be smarter and this will never happen again. I think it's a good idea to talk up the weirdness of the temple. A reaction like "that wasn't as weird as I thought" is way better than thinking it was the weirdest thing ever and being really confused and troubled by it all. That's probably the way to do it. But I'm so glad Kelly is endowed! That's sweet! I bet they offer to do the sessions in Korean, she could probably rent a set of headphones or something :) I don't know if I told you this before, but a Phoenix mission rule is that we aren't supposed to go tracting. So finding has been pretty hard! When they divided the YSA, it wasn't a fair split. We have been working really hard at trying to build the 1st ward teaching pool back up. Our finding efforts mostly come from going to members's houses and visiting them and asking for referrals. It will be a few weeks before things start to pick up like they were, I think. But we're getting there! I'm really enjoying being a part of the Phoenix mission. The things that I've already been learning are incredible! I feel like I'm a brand new missionary! Well I still am, but I mean fresh off the plane :) I feel like the past few weeks in this new mission has helped me grow so much! Almost as if the last month of my mission in Phoenix I've learned just as much as the first 4 months of my mission in Farmington! I was definitely designed to be a Phoenix missionary. This is right, and it's perfect! I hope I'm here for the full 12-weeks of training. In a few weeks the school semester will start and there will be tons of people! And if I do stay, I'll be here until the middle of September and it should be a little cooler in other parts of the mission so it will be more comfortable in the valley wherever I get transferred :) So I will have been here for almost 7 months! Which will also be the longest time I will spend in any one area. Which is great because Flagstaff is the BEST place to serve :) It was the best in the Farmington mission and now it's the best in the Phoenix mission :) It's ultimately the best!!! Life is pretty great overall. The only thing is that we still live with the other sisters. That's all I'm going to say about that :) Something that I've learned this week is the power of vocal prayers. It's actually something that I've learned just this weekend! By my zone leaders, we were encouraged to speak our morning prayers to open our personal studies. It can be awkward with 3 other sisters in the room, but I tried it by just whispering, plus the fan is right by me which makes it even easier :) I usually like to pray outloud. Sometimes when I pray in my mind, my thoughts mix in with my prayer and it becomes a jumbled mess. The past 3 mornings in a row, I gave it a try and 2 out of the 3 mornings I received personal revelation from it! When I pray outloud, my words become my prayer which allows me to be more thoughtful of the things I want in my prayer, and it also has allowed the Spirit to be in my thoughts instead of being mixed in with the craziness! I hope that makes sense. But I have received so much revelation in the past week from having organized prayers and organized studies! I was starting to get really excited when Sister Connell and I were studying Family History that I was almost to the point of being out of control. I am not one to get excited about Family History! But I have been so filled with the Spirit when I organize myself better. I don't know if I'm just rambling or if this does make sense, but basically I have gained a testimony of having better focus and organization, and by praying outloud. Well, I love you and miss you! I hope you have a great week and I hope that you can get out to the rec center and that your car runs better :) For Victoria, you should get her a chinese finger trap and some jacks from the games at Jungle Jims for me :) haha I don't know! But did she get that box of stuff I sent home with Sister Goodman a few weeks ago? Anyway, love you :) -Sister Tolley

July 15, 2013

I am so sorry for writing the worst email in the world last week! It bothered me all week long :( I will never do that again no matter how terrible I feel! And don't worry, I didn't spend the day inside. I worked through it, which is probably why I was sick for 9 days! Oh well, it's all over now :) except that Sister Connell is getting sick......... Things are going really well in Flagstaff. We still share an apartment which is not always fun, but sometimes it is! I sleep on a roll up mat on the floor and my companion sleeps on the couch, but we're not complaining because we get the desks while the other sisters study on a card table :) AND! I didn't tell you this last week but Sister Connell and I get to drive a brand new car! It's a 2014 Jeep Compass and when we got it, it only had 28 miles on it :) It's SWEET! The other Sisters are mad, but they put me in charge of figuring it out! I could have been greedy and kept the new phone but I let them have it! What would any person do when faced with the option of having a brand new car and phone? At least I was nice :) Anyway! Sister Connell is great. She's all I could ever ask for in a trainee! She's not too needy and she respects me and wants to learn from me. I've learned so much from her! She's from Bountiful :) Zach, who was my first baptism :) , was ordained to the priesthood yesterday!!!!!! I was sooooo excited :) :) :) why wasn't I invited to be part of JD's ordination? Also, which this has nothing to do with anything, my back has been hurting me a lot and it is like one giant knot. I think I need to get a full-body massage when I get home. We have one new investigator in 1st ward! He's awesome :) His name is Taylor and he's really eccentric and Catholic, but he always says that he loves Mormons and thinks our religion is just "beautiful" and he likes the community that LDS people create for themselves. So we'll see how it goes :) We spend a lot of our time strengthening relationships with members so far. It's making us a lot closer and on the same page as far as missionary efforts! So I have a decision to make, and I want you to help me! I have to consider my departure date next year. I have to know by August 1 (of this year) what I decide. So my original departure date in the Farmington mission was September 10th, 2014. The closest date of departure in the Phoenix mission to that is August 26th, 2014. But I have the option of instead going home on October 7th, 2014. I'm leaning more towards the October date, but I wanted to know what you think? I will consider it before making a final decision, but that's what I have to think about for now! I just love life. I don't really know what else to say, but life is great :) Training isn't too bad, I just wish we had more lessons to teach! But Sister Connell is great and I don't think she'll have a hard time at all in lessons. Anyway, I hope you have a great week and I hope all the other 7 people you live with have a good week, too, even though I never hear from them! Just sayin! Love you lots :) -Sister Tolley

July 8, 2013

I'm glad you didn't buy me a backpack yet, because we aren't allowed to have backpacks in this mission. My new companion is Sister Connell from Bountiful. We all live in the same place and it's REALLY squishy. I can't wait for one of us to move, just sayin. I'm over the 1st ward now. It's pretty great. All of our investigators were in 2nd ward, though, so we have to start from scratch. Sorry this letter is short and unenthusiastic. I have a cold and am not really in the mood for writing today. Love you, have fun at girl's camp. -Sister Tolley

July 2, 2013

So in case you were freaking out yesterday that I didn't write you, not saying you were, but just in case, a tradition in the Phoenix mission is that on transfer weeks our preparation days are on Tuesdays. So next Monday will be back to normal :) Are you ready for the exciting news? Well as you may know, as of yesterday, I am a missionary in the Arizona Phoenix mission :) But! Here's the crazy part!!! Sister Summerhays and I are both staying in Flagstaff, but she will be getting a new companion and I will be training!!!! We're splitting the YSA in half! One of us will be over the 1st ward and one of us over the 2nd!!!! I'm so excited!!! But so nervous.... We had a training meeting yesterday in Phoenix (over 100 degrees, really glad I'm staying in Flagstaff for at least 6 more weeks) and President Taylor put a lot of stress on the responsibilities of trainers....I can't believe it! I'm the only missionary in Flagstaff coming in from the Farmington mission that is training. I really didn't think any of us would because President Taylor doesn't know us at all! But I know now more than ever that the Lord's hand is in everything that we do. So you shouldn't write to the Farmington address anymore, but I'm still at the Flagstaff address....for now. I'll let you know what all changes! We had a really good week. We have a new investigator that after we shared with her Joseph Smith's experience, she said "that is the most honest story I have ever heard." The Spirit was so strong! It was the best first lesson I have ever been in! She agreed to reading and praying and being baptized!!!! So I haven't purchased a back pack. I probably won't...but if you would kindly buy one for me that would be great! I just don't really know what I'm looking for. But I just don't want it to be very flashy, and at the same time I don't want it to be really ugly...if you could just find a functional, plain backpack that would be great :) I don't want a hiking backpack with lots of straps, basically just a bag I can put my scriptures and a folder in that rests on both shoulders at the same time. You don't have to, but if you're buying one for Kelly you could buy one for me at the same time :) Anyway, that's my life :) Happily still in Flagstaff! Even though it is raining and we washed our car today :( But monsoon season is coming up!!!! Way better than 120 degree weather!!!! :) Love you so so much!!!! -Sister Tolley

June 24, 2013

This week was pretty great :) I don't know if I told you about this before, but the new calling for sisters (Sister Trainer Leaders) is in effect here so we had two sisters come and do exchanges with us Wednesday-Friday morning :) It's sometimes nice to have a different perspective on missionary work, especially from more seasoned missionaries. AND we had a baptism on Saturday! Her name is Jeni and she's amazing! If I didn't tell you that already. She's incredible. Ah! I just love her so much! Being a missionary is so great because I get to make some really good friends! My investigators, the members, my companions, everyone! I just love life :) Sister Summerhays's best friends is Maddie Rawle! Did I tell you that already? Crazy huh??? Well, I don't have any information on Phoenix. I don't want to sound mean, but it really is starting to bother me that you ask me these same questions every week that I don't have the answer to. When I know what's happening, I will tell you. We are probably meeting the new president though. I think he's coming to our district meeting so I will get all the information from him then! Last week, we were doing a service project filling bags with sand to put up a wall to prevent floods when monsoon season hits. The Elders left us in their trucks so we walked over to a flee market and I bought the cutest skirt ever! Did you see that Mission President seminar last night? If you didn't then you need to! It was awesome :) It made me excited to go home so that I can be a member missionary! haha but really, it was the greatest thing I've ever seen to get the members of this church amped about missionary work! Watch it and you'll never be the same again. Well I hope so anyway! It really is true. I can't do anything as a missionary without the help of the members! Missionaries come and go, but the members can become the foundation! There's only so much I can do! Members find, and missionaries teach. It's not "missionary work" it's making friends!!!! Sorry I'm not very interesting.... That's about all I got. Well I love you! Tell the squirts they need to write me!!! I'm glad you're all doing well. Thanks for the quote, I actually have it memorized :) Love you lots!!! -Sister Tolley

June 17, 2013

Last week was pretty good. This week will be awesome! Jeni is getting baptized on Saturday!!!!!! The thing I LOVE about working with the YSA and only 8 hours from home is that these people are my age, and we're close enough in proximity to be real friends after! I know that the friends other missionaries make are real, too, so that's not what I mean, but I just mean that we will go to the movies and out to lunch and things :) Jeni is seriously one of my closest friends I've ever had! Close like roommates at college close! It will be interesting when people see us together and say, "how did you two meet?" "Oh, I just taught her the missionary lessons!" It's awesome :) THIS IS THE BEST MISSION IN THE WORLD!!! For Sisters anyway, Elders don't work with YSA. We set a goal as a zone to find 50 new investigators by the end of the transfer, and last week, Sister Summerhays and I got 3 :) I love goals! Making goals is so rewarding! It makes me want to work so hard! I know it's not life or death, but it's great for motivation. This week I want to focus more on making goals instead of just letting them happen. I gave the Elders the chocolate :) they were very happy! But they melted and kind of exploded all over the inside of my box, so I wouldn't want you to send chocolate anymore if that's okay :) Even though everyone else is jealous now that I gave chocolate to only my Zone Leaders! I told them, no. So don't worry about buying 12 more truffles for the rest of my zone! haha :) Thanks for the watch and hymn book! Sister Summerhays loves the CD. It's growing on me, too :) A little fruity, but catchy! Do you think I should send home my cardigans, boots, and other coat? I definitely don't need them anymore! But apparently Kelly doesn't need them either, so you could have them or hold on to them for me? I will wear them, just not right now :) But you can have them! We are going to be part of the Youth Conference next week :) I don't know what we're doing yet, but it should be fun! Also, next week is the last week of this transfer, which means it's the last week of this mission for me. Did you find out if I will get a new plaque or not? It's not a big deal, I guess, but I'm spending most of my mission in Phoenix so that's what I'd prefer it say! It's okay the way it is though. Well Mom, I love you a lot :) You're the best!!!! Emailing you and writing Dad are what I look forward to for my P-Day :) I could do without the rest of it, but I'm always so excited to write you! Until next week!! -Sister Tolley

June 10, 2013

So! My new companion is Sister Summerhays and she has been out one transfer longer than I have. She was serving in Joseph City. She's from Cottonwood Heights and she is HILARIOUS! We got along from the second we introduced ourselves :) It feels like we've known each other way longer than a week! I am so blessed to have good companions like I have :) Speaking of that, I had an interesting week! Sister Harrah and I drove to Joseph City and Sister Summerhays's companion went with her to Farmington with our car and I stayed in Joseph City for 24 hours. It was sweet :) We walked around and said bye to people and had some interesting lessons. They've had 0 baptisms in the last 4 months. And we've had 5 in the YSA in the last 3!! There was a cute little girl who thought my hymn book was cool so I let her have it. Can I have a new one sent to me? I like it in green please :) We had a crazy week! We got the chapel reserved for Jeni's baptism on the 22nd :) We had set a date with a girl named Emily, but she wants to move it, but she is totally getting baptized! There's no way she's not! She came to the Book of Mormon institute class on Wednesday and was answering questions and giving insights! She's incredible!!!!!! We love her so much! I had an interesting experience. We had an investigator who had a date set and everything, who came into our lesson with 3 really hard questions. I had to ask if we could take these questions and think about them and get back to her the next day, and we just popped in the Restoration video. The next morning, I studied SO HARD to find answers to her questions. I was really nervous that I would be incapable because I've never studied like that before. But, using all my available resources, including the Bible, Bible Dictionary, Topical Guide, True to the Faith, and we even called President Batt, and we were able to find some solid answers to her questions. I was starting to get really excited for our lesson! Then at our appointment, we start to address some of her questions and she interrupts us to tell us that she is just not sure about the church. She doesn't know if she believes in our church or her parents' church, our prophet or their prophet, the Book of Mormon or not...and ultimately told us she doesn't want to meet with us right now. She promised to read and pray and says she still wants to come to church on occasion and to activities at the institute, but she dropped us this weekend. I was really, really disappointed. But I am also really grateful that I had that experience to test my ability to study and rely on the scriptures to find any answer to any question! Well, that's about all I got. I don't know anything else about the Phoenix mission except that my president is President Taylor starting July 1st. Can I get a new plaque? If so, I want it to have 3 Nephi 5:13 if that's okay! But I found a funny scripture for Victoria this week :) Matthew 23:24 says "Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel." hahaha :) And I don't have any requests for my package :) THANK YOU! Love you, love you, love you!!!!!! -Sister Tolley

June 3, 2013

AHH!!! I can't believe it!!! Korea????!!!! Is she scared? Or excited? I would be scared out of my mind!!!! I'm just grateful that I'm speaking English and in America :) But that is so so so so so so so exciting!!!!!!!!!! And that is incredible about JD! Wow, what a kid. I knew he was special! The Lord favors him, I just know it :) Love him! Anyway, so the dreaded transfer news.........I'M STAYING IN FLAGSTAFF! Which means I'm going to the Phoenix mission starting July 1st! And Sister being transferred today. Her dream has always been to go on the reservation, but they closed it to sisters, until this transfer. She's opening Window Rock (on the reservation, if you don't know where that is) and she's also training!!! She's really nervous but I think she'll do great :) So let me tell you what the plan is for today. Sister Harrah and I are going to drive to Joseph City. My new companion is currently serving there. Sister Harrah will take my companion's companion to Farmington with the car as they are both training. I will stay in Joseph City tonight. Then tomorrow, when all the trainees are assigned to their trainers, Sister Harrah will be given a truck and sent to Window Rock, and the other Joseph City sister will bring our car back to us. She will train in Joseph City and I will take my new companion back to Flagstaff, never to see Sister Harrah or Farmington again. Pretty dramatic, but pretty true! Sister Harrah and I have had a sad last week together.... But! We are having some amazing things happen! We have two girls on date for baptism and potentially two or three more that we'll set dates with this week!!! Hopefully I stay in Flagstaff through the Summer, so I can see these baptisms through, but also because I REALLY don't want to go to Phoenix until it cools down! Speaking of that, I might need to get new clothes sent to me. I have too many long sleeved shirts and cardigans! Is it cold where Kelly is? She can have some of my stuff! I'll also need to send home my coats and boots. Not going to have much of a cold winter! Unless I get transferred back to/don't leave Flagstaff which has more snow than I'm used to! And I'll need a backpack. My bag is breaking on the straps, and I might be on a bike. But I can get one, so don't feel like you have to get one for me! I will request a New Missionary Packet whatever they're called, so I can kind of know what I need. Thanks for the package! It came just in time! I needed a journal almost desperately! And thanks for the oil :) And the socks! You're the best!!!! Well, I'm almost out of time for this week. LOVE YOU LOVE YOU LOVE YOU!!!! -Sister K. Tolley (because soon you'll have emails from Sister R. Tolley!!!!!)

May 28, 2013

Happy Memorial Day! Since the library was closed yesterday, I am writing you today. Unnecessary comment, but I hope you weren't too worried not hearing from me at the usual time :) I had a list of things I wanted to tell you, but I forgot my list!!! So this should be interesting. First of all, I think I am going to give a couple of things to a sister who will be in South Jordan on Sunday. Her name is Sister Goodman and she lives down the street and lets us do laundry at her house. She offered to take some things home for me :) I guess if you don't text her this weekend then she gets to keep all my stuff :) Just kidding, but could you get that from her please? And thank you :) Also, I am on my last pair of contacts, but I didn't look at my prescription, so I will tell you again next week I guess. Saturday is the big day! We get to know who is staying and who is going to the Phoenix mission.......the good news is that we have another baptism to look forward to! His name is Cordell and he's from the homeless shelter, so Sister Harrah and I didn't teach him, but our ward is putting the baptism together for him since that's the ward he'll be going to. Does that make sense? I wanted to tell you a lot of things, but I can't remember... Oh! But I found out the other day in my personal study that my birthday is Joseph and Emma Smith's wedding anniversary! :) Also, Sister Harrah's sister sent her a package with this chocolate whipped Jif peanut butter spread....and it's AMAZING! You need to buy it. When you put it on bread, suddenly, bread becomes candy. We put it on EVERYTHING! We had it on waffles for breakfast, I made a delicious peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch, and we snack on it with everything! You need to try it..... I'm also going to need a new journal soon. I don't think I have more than a week's worth of pages left. And if you want to have my pictures from this transfer, you will need to send my old memory card back so I can send the one I have! Just saying! There was so much I wanted to say... I'm upset. But we have two investigators with baptism dates! One on June 22nd named Jeni and another on June 29th named Charity! They are both really great girls :) Jeni is 24 and really girly! She wears lots of perfume and lots of pink. She's really bubbly and silly and easy to be friends with :) Charity is 19 and everyone thought she was a member already! She's also pretty easy to be friends with, she's really outgoing and sporty, she's going to school to be a firefighter. They are both INCREDIBLE people! My favorite part about being a missionary is all the people I get to love and help :) Well, that's about all I can remember from my list. I love you so much! -Sister Tolley

May 20, 2013

Wow, your trip sounds so fun! Too bad I had a better week than you. I'm serious! WE HAD A BAPTISM!!! Her name is Callie Davis and she's pretty amazing :) I can hardly describe how great she is! She was so ready for baptism before we even met her. But she stunned me even more when I asked her if she was excited to be baptized and she said "no, it needs to happen. I'm way more excited to get confirmed!" WHO SAYS THAT?? People who get it, that's who! And I take ZERO credit for getting her to baptism. Our lessons were just checklist items for her because she already knew all the things she needed to and has had years of preparation from the Lord that we became the means to getting her to baptism. We became friends along the way, but besides the fact that it's necessary to have the missionary discussions, she did not need us at all. I was so impressed at how ready she was! Yes, school is out. Most people are gone for the break but a lot of people came home, too. Lots of kids go to BYU Provo that are from Flagstaff so we still have some members...and people to find! But it is quieter around here. We've had to tract some places in the Elders's areas. But we've had a lot of fun doing it! We were able to tract a neighborhood with houses! We felt like real missionaries :) Not that knocking on apartment doors isn't "real" but it was just a nice change. We met a boy named Danny that we talked to for about a half hour about God. His parents raised him athiest but found God on his own so he has a lot of weird, made up notions about Him and about Christ. But it's okay! We had a good conversation and we will probably see him again :) Sister Harrah is HILARIOUS! She would probably get too embarrassed if I told you some of the things she says and does, but I'll tell you one of the more mild ones. Last night when we were praying together, she saw an ant walking towards me so she smooshed it into the carpet. Later she said, "did you pick up the ant?" I said, "no, did you?" She said, "ew, what do you expect me to pick it up with?" I said, "your fingers?" And she said, "who do you think I am? George of the Jungle?" I could not stop laughing FOREVER! (Please tell me if that's not actually funny, I don't know if I have a missionary sense of humor when I think things that aren't funny, are, like everyone else in my zone! haha!) But we had a pretty good week. Lots of laughs. We unclogged our bathroom sink today and I almost DIED! I've never done that before but had seen someone else do it so I just went in with a bucket unscrewing stuff. NASTY! We've also had some spiders. last night there was a tricky one that Sister Harrah couldn't keep under the jar. We Raid-ed our apartment today, too! I'm just freaked out because of the wild turanchulas, however you spell that. I've never seen one, yet, but people say they're in the woods, but guess where I live, IN THE WOODS!!! And everywhere I go is IN THE WOODS!!! I'm pretty scared, and I have nightmares that they're in our house and crawling over my feet when I wash my face in the sink. But that's probably not going to happen! And we aren't going to the temple until June, I think. But anyway, everything is great :) I only have potentially 2 more weeks with Sister Harrah :( :( :( But we'll see! Love you Mom :) -Sister Tolley

May 13, 2013

Hey Mom! Have fun in California!!! I guess I don't have anything to say, either. We just talked! Sister Harrah and I made a goal of talking to 80 people about the gospel this week, and we talked to 82! It's a mission-wide goal to have 70 per week, ideally 10 per day, and it's hard to even get 70, but we got 82! :) We have a baptism this week on Friday :) Callie Davis, the BEST investigator ever born! She was ready to get baptized before she even met us. I am so excited for her! This will be an exciting week for us :) and she will be the first baptism that I have where I taught the investigator from the beginning to the end! Well, I guess that's about it. Sorry this is REALLY short!! I'm fine, Flagstaff is incredible, everything is going well. Let me know how your trip is!!! -Sister Tolley

May 6, 2013

Man, that Kelly....she needs to just DO stuff! Did she like the pin I got her? :) I can't believe that girl thinks she won't get married! OH MY GOODNESS she is TOTALLY getting married before me!!!! She had better explain him to me, or I will be chapped! And I really need my temple bag. I don't know when we're going to the temple, but it will be pretty soon! This isn't frustrating to me, yet, but I won't know anything about Phoenix until June 2nd whether I'm staying in Flagstaff or not, and I won't be in the Phoenix mission until July 1st. Flagstaff is the only area switching to Phoenix, so if I'm in Flagstaff next transfer, I'll be in the Phoenix mission starting July. So, I guess I'll tell you about my week! Sister Harrah and I knocked on a lot of doors. We recorded inviting 78 people to learn about the gospel, and 78 people said no thanks. Well, maybe 15, I can remember a few rude people. But for the first time someone swore at us! Said our religion is a load of....junk. And he wasn't too mean, just telling us how he felt I guess. Our car is pretty broken. We spent a lot of time at Jiffy Lube, then Big O Tires, then the Cheverolet dealership having them look at it. We might not have a car for a few days this week. I guess that Evaporation something broken.. I have no idea. But it's a part they have to order that should be in tomorrow. I guess it will be fun for us to ride the bus around :) And walk...........I noticed my calves are getting pretty toned from all the walking! ;) Did I tell you about Callie? Well, she's incredible. She's our only investigator that's progressing at the moment. On Saturday night, she was house-sitting alone with the family's dog and someone was trying to break into the house at 2 am! She went out to see who it was and it was some drunk college student who thought it was his house and was trying to get in. She had to call the police to have him removed from the porch!!! And this weekend was Stake Conference. She came to the General Session yesterday and said that coming to these things (church, meetings, activities) reaffirms her confidence that this is what she needs to do with her life; be a member of the church! Her parents said they won't be supporting her at her baptism. But she was still excited and willing to bump it FORWARD! Instead of being baptized on the 25th she's scheduled for next Saturday, the 18th!!! We're soooo excited!!! :) So Stake Conference. In the Adult Session (which we were permitted to attend because Callie went with us :) Best investigator ever!) our mission president, President Batt, and his wife spoke! They came down for interviews. Which by the way, he alloted 15 minutes for each missionary and we only took 5. He said how's your family? Fine. How are you? Great. How's the work? Excellent. Any questions for me? No. Okay, mind if I close with a prayer? I guess I'm pretty low-maintenance! Anyway, we went to all 3 sessions which was great :) And the General Authority was Elder Gifford Nielson! He's amazing! I loved listening to him :) He's really funny and engaging! It was a good weekend. And we finally met with Josh! He was an investigator that we'd found tracting, in March! We met with him 3 times then didn't see him for a month! But we finally saw him on Saturday and read from 3 Nephi with him. We talked a lot about baptism and he says he'll think about it. He says he'll read and pray and ponder why he wants to be baptized, besides the fact that it's a commandment. He's great :) I think he's Sister Harrah's favorite, she's been praying SO hard for him! Anyway, that's my life. I thought it was a great week! But after writing about it, I guess it was pretty boring. I could tell you all the funny things that Sister Harrah does and all the fun times we had! But she'd be really embarrassed. I'll read it to you out of my journal some day :) That's all I guess. I'll keep a list of things to tell you for next week. Love you!!! :) And I don't think you need to tell me to "be good" just saying! :) -Sister Tolley

April 29, 2013

I can't believe I've been out 2 months! I'm a ninth of the way done with my mission :) haha actually my first month went by really slow, but the second went by so fast! This week went by fast! Yesterday it hit me that today would be Preparation Day, I can't believe it's here again already! But I had the BEST week! Let me just tell you. So we had a baptism :) :) :) His name is Zach Petersen and his the GREATEST! I love him so much! Am I allowed to say that? He really is the best guy ever though :) I cried a little when he came up out of the water :) He's changed so much since the first time we met with him! Ah! I could go on and on! I wish you could meet him :) We also set 2 baptism dates this week! One with a girl named Callie who is amazing! We've had two lessons with her and every time we testify of something, she testifies right back! Our first meeting, she was in 2nd Nephi already and told us she has a testimony of Joseph Smith!!! What?!! So we extended the invitation to be baptized on May 25th :) I have full confidence she WILL be baptized at the end of next month! The other girl we met last week is named Bree. She was telling us about how she is committed to learning about the church and wants to be a part of it soon. She and her mom have been researching it and reading the Book of Mormon together online! And she goes to church with her friends in Phoenix all the time. We asked her to be baptized on May 25th, also, and in our first lesson. At first she was really shocked! But the more she thought about it, she said she likes to have a deadline so she can have something to work towards. I'm less confident in Bree, but I have the feeling we'll have two baptisms on the 25th!!!! I can't believe how blessed we are! So the non-mission related stuff :) One of our Institute teachers, Brother Martin, who isn't the youngest guy, was out riding longboards in the institute (Welcome Center) parking lot with these two kids from the wards. He was telling us how he had just learned and how easy it was. So he talked me into trying. They say you lean to turn, but I had to pick up the board and change directions to turn. But they said it's easy when you get to the downhill. I was going so fast! They said move back and forth to slow down, I can't even turn! I think I was speeding myself up! I was headed straight for the curb! I don't know if I fell off or lost my balance or abandoned ship, because I didn't hit the curb, but I did fall off backwards! If I had hit the curb, I might have landed safely in the bushes, but I might have knocked myself out on the fire hydrant and broken the board. But I cut up my knee and elbow, ruined one of my socks, scuffed up the top of one of my shoes, and potentially ruined my yellow cardigan! It didn't hurt though, at least! It was just embarrassing because my skirt flew over my head and I was laying on the ground like an old woman with my garments showing! It was crazy. Another thing I wanted to ask you about was the soda machines at restaurants around there? At 5 Guys here in Flagstaff, there is the CRAZIEST soda fountain I've ever seen! It's touch screen and it gives you probably 30 different coke product options and when you select one you get at least 8 different flavor options! It's incredible! I was just wondering if there were any where we live. Sister Harrah and I get a soda a few times a week :) ALSO! There is this sweet girl named Soraya Ririe in one of the wards who is really nice and cute and is my little friend :) She's under 5 feet tall and always has random, funny things to say to me :) She never wears her shoes and is an AMAZING pianist! She's adorable :) Anyway, she looked me up on Facebook and found out we have a mutual friend. Most random thing I've ever heard of, but she knows Elder Sharp! I guess he dated her best friend when he was at BYU last semester! Crazy huh? I couldn't believe it! So weird! But surprisingly, there are so many people who know where Herriman is! Sister Harrah lives in Syracuse and doesn't even know where Herriman is! But last night I met a lady at this Stake Fireside on temples (incredible fireside) who said she is moving in with her daughter and son-in-law in Herriman! And so many other people have family there, have worked there, lived there for a while, or know someone who lives there! I can't believe it! And I do have a question. Did you get my Associate's Degrees? Well, I guess that's about it. There's plenty more I could tell you, but I can't think of anything! Except I'm sad that Dad didn't write me this week :( But ask any question you'd like and I'll tell you all the good stuff about my mission! It's not all great, but pretty much it is :) I'll tell you about the hard stuff, the annoying stuff, the missionary gossip, and all that when I get home ;) Love you so much!!!! Tell me where Kelly goes!!!!! -Sister Tolley

April 22, 2013

Well, I'm staying in Flagstaff for at least 6 more weeks! And so is Sister Harrah, which is nice. Her trainer was transferred after 7 weeks so I'm her 3rd companion, and I will be one she's had the longest! At least 12 weeks, probably not any more than that. If she stays ANOTHER transfer, she will have been in Flagstaff for more than 6 months! Probably not happening. Anyway! I'm really sad that Mariah didn't get a letter from me. I drew her pictures every week! Or I had the Elders help me. That makes me so sad! But no one is getting letters from me this week, I'm sorry, but I didn't get any so I have nothing to reply to! Can you help them make their letters more interesting? It's hard for me to come up with stuff when they aren't telling me anything or asking me any questions... I got my package. We haven't used the P90X yet, maybe we're lazy, but we also haven't gotten it approved from President yet. Can I tell you that running in Flagstaff is so hard! It makes my heart cramp up because I can't breathe! And Sister Harrah likes the music you sent me. There's one song in particular that we listen to multiple times a day :) But can I ask that you burn a few CDs for me? I just know that on my iTunes account I have two full albums I bought on iTunes that I would like on CDs. It's okay if it's inconvenient and it's not urgent, but the albums from Paul Cardall would be nice. And I also decided I really love Josh Groban so if you, and Vic :), could help me get some of his music? Really, it's not a big deal, so don't feel like you have to! Grandma and Grandpa Tolley emailed me. I just read it. Grandpa was mowing the lawn! I want to write them today. I've had an envelope with a stamp and their names on it for 2 weeks, I just need to fill it! Watch Kelly get married first, like she keeps saying I will :) HAHA! This week was CRAZY! I had quite the experiences. But I'll tell you about it backwards! Yesterday, we were tracting, and this guy answered the door and started challenging us. It was the first "Bible-bash" I'd ever gotten myself into. He was trying to say that he believed in science, not God, and was trying to disprove me with the law of gravity. It was weird. Just because there's gravity doesn't mean there isn't a God who makes it all possible! He was just being rude, though, because he was saying stuff about beer and Lamanites, too. That was interesting. And the other day there was this other house we knocked on. We heard them laughing really loud before we went up to the door. Sister Harrah was worried they were drunk because it was Friday night. When we told them who we were, they invited us in to sit on their couch and visit with them! We were in there for 20 minutes talking about the church and missionary work and about their interesting Chinese deserts. The two girls were from China and there were two boys who were white. The one was a Roman Catholic and kept saying everything about our church was "beautiful." But on Saturday, the Institute had an all day activity called "Rent-A-Puppy" where the humane society brought four of the cutest little puppies that people could pay $5 to play with for a half hour at a time. It was so cute! I got some sun, but it's embarrassing because it's only 4 inches up my ankle and on the inside of my forearms... It was a great day anyway :) Okay, here's the crazy part. NO ONE WILL BELIEVE THIS! But I, Sister Tolley, donated blood on Wednesday!!!!!!!!!! I really wasn't going to. Sister Harrah was one of the first appointments. I was in the room, of course, but I sat in a chair that faced the wall the whole time. I was very uncomfortable! But we were asked to be there the whole time (we have some institute council members who like to keep us busy, as if we aren't busy enough, but it's fine! We do what they ask). This girl in one of the wards kept demanding that I donate. She kept calling me a baby and said she'd hold my hand the whole time. She actually signed me up. Doesn't mean I'm going to do it! But then the lady came out and had me go back for testing. I can get my blood tested and still back out! By the way, my whole life I thought my blood type was A- but it turns out it's really B- which is crazy! Anyway, she pricked my finger to test it and I started to cry. Not because it hurt, I'm not THAT big of a baby! But because of the sight of blood. Who knew? I'm scared of blood. Actually I did know that. But the lady had me sit in the chair. Her name was Susan. She reassured me that she's very experienced. But she also told me that I don't have to donate if I don't want to. Hanna, the girl who signed me up, sat by me and started "talking" with me, but she was really distracting me! I started freaking out! Get me out of this chair! But before I knew it, the lady had a needle in my arm. I was FREAKING OUT! And it was worse than I imagined. It didn't hurt and even though I wasn't doing what the nurse was telling me to do to keep my muscles circulated, I felt fine. No headache, no dizziness, nothing. But I cried really hard the whole time. And for some time after! It literally traumatized me. Now I know! I really do have a fear of blood and especially of donating it. Sorry, that was a long non-mission related story. But let me tell you another one! This morning, my district went to what they call the "lava-tubes" which turned out to be a cold and scary cave. It was weird! There was a big hole in the ground and before you even got in the cave there was at least a 20 degree drop in temperature and ice all around the entrance. It was fun, though. I almost killed myself. But I'm just being dramatic. I really almost twisted my ankle a few times, though! Anyway, I guess this is a lame letter this week. I should write down the spiritual experiences I want to share in my letters from now on. Love you Mom!!!! -Sister Tolley P.S. Did Dad get the letter where I asked him about the lady who knows Grandpa Tolley? Just wondering what happened with that information, if he told him, and if he knows her?