Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tea goes in the Trash

So this week, we brought over Sister G, to go see J and we had planned on teaching her about Temples, so of course we brought out the new pamphlets and were flipping back and forth in there. I will never forget her reaction when I told her that she could be sealed to her family forever, and that families are literally forever because that is how God intended it to be. It was amazing and so much emotion swept over all of us because the Spirit was testifying of it so strongly! Words don't do it justice. She's not even married, but you can tell how much she loves her family! After jumping from several different principles and very important things to know, we were about to end, and then she pulled out some of her fancy tea. Sister G leaned close to me and asked me if we had taught the Word of Wisdom yet. We said no, and that we were going to teach it next week. I did not want to overwhelm with because we had already taught her so much. But I realized that those who have been prepared by the Lord for the gospel, can't have "too much" and Sister G knew that and was planning on being very good friends with her and wanted her to know her standards. So, we told her about the Word of Wisdom. Sister G boldly told her that we didn't drink tea, she pick them up and started to get rid of them without us asking. She just caught on and knew what the Lord wanted her to do. The Spirit is real! 

A few days later, a.k.a. Sunday, we went down to the country part of Independence and saw Ms TK, and right before we walked in there, we had no idea of what we were going to teach her, so we decided that unless something popped up, that we would just read the Book of Mormon and were unsure of what commitment to leave with her. We were going discuss it more once I parked the car. But we couldn't because Ms TK's brother was out in his yard (people here usually live on the same property as the rest of their family and don't go far) and he, as a Jehovah Witness had some questions for us. Now I have run into him about half a dozen times. But this time, we were easily able to get through without without talking about his theories. Then we finally able to get to Ms TK's trailor and she offered us some of her soup, and we politely declined and then she offered us some tea. I told her boldly, being inspired by Sister G, about how we don't drink that unless it is herbal. She told us it was, and I was okay with getting it, and then she got it, and it was a big brand Green Tea. She claimed that it was herbal and we had to clearly explain to her that it was not, and that it was legit tea because it was from a legit tea plant, not some herbs in water (referring to mint, lemon, etc.). We then went over D&C 89 and talked about the blessings from following the Word of Wisdom, such as having health in our naval, and marrow in our bones, receiving "wisdom and great treasures of knowledge; even hidden treasures" [I think this means to getting answers to questions that we have been having, such as things in the scriptures, or things to do with our lives or the lives of others], and we wont be weary, and "not be faint." I think that the most important one is that "the destroying angel shall pass by them, as the children of Israel, and not slay them." I know that keeping the Word of Wisdom is a very important commandment to keep, and it shows our gratitude for our precious bodies that our Heavenly Father gave us. I know that there is a reason, that we may not completely understand of why we need to stay away from tea, coffee, tobacco, and other illegal and addictive substances, but if we keep our faith in God, then we will be blessed. Don't like your immediate desires keep you away from your eternal goals. And if you think that you are too old to have it make any difference in our life, then remember to do it for the Lord, not for yourself. After the lesson, we gave back the tea, and told her that we were not going to drink it. Then she said, "I do." We are going back to recommit her to it. I hope that one day she truly understands the blessings that it brings. 

Anyways, this week has been very nice weather wise in the 60's. We haven't had any tornado warnings in the past few days, so we can say that we're pretty safe! I love you all!!

Sister Toomey

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Safe from being transferred...

I'm safe from being transferred and now I get more time in the promised land with Sister Hyer!!! You have now idea of how happy I am! 

Highlights: J, who started her LDS investigation in California came to church!! You have no idea of how big of a deal that it!! I think a lot had to do with a branch fast for missionary work the other Sunday. We had another member pick her up, and then she surprisingly brought her young niece with her, and that made everyone in Primary excited, and hakuna matata! Everyone in the branch loves her! And she kind of reminds me of Veronica :D

We have been working with lots of less-active members in this area, and I have just loved to be with all of these people!

Also, there was a former investigator who had been on my mind, and I prayed about whether or not to go see him again and of course, it was a yes and I knew that I needed to see him before the end of the transfer. So we saw him, and he couldn't read a note that a member had left for him a few weeks prior. So we read it to him, and then he was excited that the member was going to start teaching him how to read! This kind of reminds me of what Kent is teaching Hannah.

I saw this on LDS.org and loved it! It's all about the pure love that we get from Jesus Christ!

I hope you got something out of this! Love ya!
Sister Toomey

Monday, January 23, 2017

Waffle House!

Mom's Note: She sent this on 17 Jan 2017.


So, long story short, yesterday was Martin L. King Jr. day yesterday, and almost everything was closed, and that is why I am emailing today and it will be like this again next week because of transfers. We will see what will happen. 

On Saturday night, we went to Waffle House, and I always think that I will just have a nice, peaceful meal, but whenever I think that, it doesn't happen. And honestly, I love it. So we go in, and I didn't quite remember the etiquette, so I asked if we could just sit anywhere, and of course they said, "ya" (I haven't been there in several months). So we picked a booth and the waitress, who was grateful that we sat in her section of the restaurant, quickly came up to us and asked us if it was our first time in Waffle House, and we both said that we hadn't been there in a very long time. We ordered after looking over entire menu, which is very unusual for Louisiana. Locals typically know what they want as soon as they walk into a restaurant. So, we got out pecan waffles and hashbrowns, and then of course, an old couple who was sitting in the next booth over started talking to us as they were leaving the restaurant. The man specifically asked us where we live, and since his wife was still talking, I was listening to her, and talked with her, and when she was done talking, he asked us where we lived again. I said Amite, and it did not satisfy him. He looked so offended, and then proceeded to tell us where his office was. Well, this got the attention of the entire restaurant, especially the workers. ALL the workers. So, after the old couple left, the workers started talking to us and one of the cooks told us that he thinking about becoming a Mormon. It was the best! So we taught 5/7's of Waffle House.

Also, we have gotten 2 more wonderful investigators, and we pray that one of them will be able to be baptized next month. Amite is just blooming!
P.S. Eat some waffles

I love y'all!! 
Sister Toomey

1 Dead Car Battery = 3 Souls

Mom's Note: She sent this on 9 Jan 2017.

If you read the title, there is a big story behind it. So we were out tracting in the country, and we were driving between houses because of the long distance, and we were turning the car on and off a lot. So, we stop in front of this one house, and we were about to get out, until this guy with dreads(Baptist) asks us if we need any help with our car, but not about to miss an opportunity, I tell him that we are missionaries. He freaked out and told us about this guy who loves missionaries(non-denomination) and he gave us his card, and I kept the battery going, but not the engine, and all of a sudden TIWI said, "Possible Low Battery." I didn't even know TIWI could know that. Afterwards, I tried to move my car forward, and the engine wouldn't start. Well, the guy was right next to the car still, and then offers to jump start our car. So we agreed and quickly the rest of his family jumps out of the car with the jumper cables and we pop the hood and they do everything else, and bang! The car started and we drove away. We then prayed about whether or not we should still see a member up in that direction because normally we work in the opposite direction, and we felt like we should see her, so we went there and didn't have any more car troubles (Her story may continue next week). Then we called Elder Jensen, who is in charge of all the cars in the mission and told him about what happened, and he told us that we could have our battery checked at Auto Zone, so we went there, and luckily it wasn't too far away, and also another long story short, the guy told us that our battery needed to be replaced and while he was fixing it, he told us about his life and we taught him a little about the Spirit World and gave him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and talked about God's plan until his boss told him to go back inside. <https://www.mormon.org/beliefs/plan-of-salvation> It was awesome! And that is how 3 souls were touched because of 1 dead battery. 

Also, we had Denham Springs stake conference, and of course, a 70 came (aparently he has been here a lot since the flood) and I got to shake his hand. Pretty cool guy. 

Also, on the first day of the cold front, we were put on lock-down, because of the cold and other weather disaster warnings. It didn't snow in our area, but it snowed on the opposite side of the mission, which is very rare. 

So, I was looking for the new name of the next LBRM President after hearing that he played BYU football in the 70's. I will be ending the last 2 transfers (about 3 months) of my mission with him. Then I found this, and thought that it might be worth sharing, and FYI, I don't hear a single thing about politics. I barely found out who won a few months ago. 

Love Ya!!
Sister Toomey


Mom's Note: She sent this on 2 Jan 2017.

Hello Everyone! Aparently it's an Italian tradition to eat black-eyed-peas and cabbage on New Years day. Lets face it, the people here in Louisiana will take any excuse to eat lots of food. 

We tracted into a woman, whose house we almost didn't go to, and she told us that she was busy and to come back another time. A few houses later, we walk back to our car in the heavy rain, and as soon as we both go in, this lady pulls up in her car next to us and asks us if we are the missionaries who just knocked on her door. Of course, we said yes, and we went back to her trailer and she asked us, then she told us that her husband was a Pentecostal minister and that she was also a Baptist and Jehovah Witness. It was very interesting. She questioned our purpose as missionaries, and then she told us that we were so pure in heart,  that she would not have to bless her house after we left. We offered to help out with any future church service projects. 

The following photo reminds me of a quote by Abraham Lincoln that goes somehwhere along the lines of, "You are as happy as you make up your mind to be." It was quoted in general Conference last April.

I love y'all!
Sister Toomey

Baptism on Christmas!

Mom's Note: She sent this on 26 Dec 2016.
Hello! I hope that y'all had a Blessed Christmas! A few weeks ago, I prayed to God and asked for a baptism for Christmas, and then I totally forgot about it. But like always, I try to commit everyone possible to baptism. So, about a dozen days ago, Sister Hyer and I were talking to our mission president, and we were discussing L, and long story short, we knew that we should have her baptized sooner rather than later, so we offered to her mom to have her baptized on Christmas Eve, and then finish off the baptism by "fire" (receiving the Holy Ghost, a member of the Godhead as a constant companion) on Sunday, Christmas day. She accepted after discussing it with her husband, who works out of town, and BANG it happened. It was a beautiful baptism, and we had about 50 people attend! That is almost double the size of our branch! Some of the other missionaries in our district even brought investigators, and it was all rainbows and butterflies! But, my favorite part, was just feeling the Spirit (or Holy Ghost) so strongly because I live for those moments! I think that some hearts will be changed after watching the baptism. 

After the baptism on Christmas Eve, we went out tracting, and the first 4 houses that we went to would not deny our Christmas message with the #LIGHTtheWORLD. It was so cool and a tender mercy! Down the street, these young teenage girls yelled from their carport (wall-less garage) for us to come over to them, and of course we did and they wanted to go to church tomorrow with us. But, they wanted to be picked up by our church bus; and the problem is that we don't have a church bus like many of the baptist churches down here. So, we told them that we would see them on Tuesday.

After L's confirmation, we ate, and of course I, of all people, got food poisoning. So I spent the majority of my Christmas at our apartment. We had other people who we had promised to go see and had to postpone our visit. I prayed a lot to just be able to drive the car to the members house, so at least my companion could Skype her family. And I really wanted to Skype my family, so later that night, we went to Skype my family, and as soon as I Skyped my family, I felt better for the rest of the evening. It's crazy how it all worked out. 

I hope y'all had a Merry and Christmas and I hope that y'all have a Happy New year!!! Love you!

Sister Toomey

Sister Hyer, L, and Me
L and her family
us literally filling up the font

It's December!!

Mom's Note: she sent this on 13 Dec 2016.

Hey Y'all!! Today was transfer call day, and I found out that I get the opportunity to stay in Amite for another 6 weeks!! But...I'm getting a new companion. Sister Scott has officially finished training and will transferred to another part of Louisiana.  I got to Skype my family's wedding and finally get to meet my new siblings. 

In case you lost my address(It's starting to get pretty cold here + 100% humidity *cough cough*)🎅🐪🐊
10453 Pinelands Dr. Apt. A
Amite, LA 70422

This week we have spent a lot of time finding. We meet a teenager who told us that he wanted to be a Pastor when he was older. I told him that he could do that in our church. I didn't tell him that all callings are unpaid or anything. I gave him a Restoration pamphlet and told him to read it, and if he was still interested, then to give us a call. The strange thing about being here in the Bible Belt is that being a Pastor is actually a career, outside of our church. If I had to guess there are probably 2-3x as many churches than stores in Louisiana. 

We started to teach a 9 year old, L, and she loves church and everything! She will probably be baptized in the next few months. 

One family tradition that I always loved was reading the 12 days of Christmas with my family! Below is a nice link to one of the many different scriptures that you could read. This one is different from the one that I grew up reading, but it still is pretty awesome! 

I love all of you!

Sister Toomey