Monday, June 30, 2014

Such a Slow Week!

So like the subject says, this week was pretty stinking slow so this won't be a long email!

It rained pretty much all week....

Tuesday and Wednesday we had almost nothing happen! We talked to a guy named Cameron at the bus stop and he had a lot of awesome questions but we only had time to give him a Book of Mormon and a card before he had to get on the bus. We had doors slammed in our faces all day and we spent time working with members and less actives.

Thursday we went and pruned a tree for this great grandma named Birdy. We had our dinner cancel while we were there and she gave us 20 bucks for burrito babies at La Rockita! And I mean burrito babies!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Facebook Post - Captain Moroni

One of my heroes is Captain Moroni. He was the captain over the Nephite army towards the end of the book of Alma in the Book of Mormon. He was such an awesome leader and man that "if all men had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever; yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men" (Alma 48:17). He's one of my heroes because he stands up for what he believes in and is willing to defend his beliefs. In the picture, he is holding the Title of Liberty, where he wrote what his beliefs and what he would fight for when those beliefs were threatened. We live in a world where everyone's beliefs are being torn down and we need to be willing to stand up for what we believe in. Stand up and be a Moroni!

Monday, June 23, 2014

One Month Mark!

I can't believe it has been a month since I entered the MTC! I love being out in the field:) the people for the most part are great! You ready to hear about me week? I don't think so!

Monday was good until our lesson that night. We worked on a song for zone conference and played basketball until we had to head back to get ready for dinner. Oregon State has some sweet facilities! Anyways, we had a lesson with Jonathan set up for that night. However, he decided that although he believed in the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith, he just couldn't stop drinking coffee and smoking among other things. We were super bummed to say the least.

Tuesday we did exchanges with the Zone Leaders. We tried to see Ted and Kayla but they weren't home. Our dinner appointment fell through so Sister Nielsen made us pancakes and buttermilk syrup to take home. We read some scriptures with Charlie (a recent convert) and he is pretty solid! We went tracting that night and we knocked on the door of this one house and I glanced though the window and I saw a Children's Songbook on a piano! It was a widow in our ward! We'll we didn't know that until she asked us to come in and Elder Anderson asked if her husband was home and she told us "I don't have a husband. He's dead!". I was like ummmm ok? Haha!

Wednesday morning we went over to see Bob to see how his nephew was doing. Our prayers were answered and the nephew was out of the hospital (although they don't know what's wrong with his heart). He was super grateful and it sure strengthened my testimony of prayer! After we exchanged back, me and Elder Flora were walking when a member and his wife from Junction City stopped us and wanted to treat us to ice cream at DQ. When we got to DQ (it took us a little while since we were walking), there was a four-car accident! That might we had an awesome lesson with the Ericksons, one of the families in our ward.

Thursday was Elder Flora's one year mark! Some lady gave us money on Monday (she ran off before we could even react) so we went to a local diner to celebrate! I got a haircut from Mel and we worked on getting a stump out for one of our less actives. We had a lesson with Brad P**** and his family. He went to church for 19 years as a non-member and was only baptized a little while ago! We talked about the Title of Liberty and then he helped us wash our car because Philomath doesn't have a car wash place and we didn't have a hose!

Friday was bittersweet. It was President and Sister Young's last zone conference with us. He talked a lot about being equally yoked with our companion and we need to be Nephi and Ammon-like missionaries. We practiced different role plays and had a testimony meeting before saying our good byes. After zone conference we had a lesson set up with Ted but it fell through. However, he told us that if he was in Philomath on Sunday he would come to church!

Saturday was by far the best day of the week!! It marked my first month as a missionary and we had some awesome experiences. We decided to take a different route from what we usually do after teaching Adrian so we were walking past this out and this lady comes running out and asking us if we were Mormons. We told Jennifer that we were and she asked us for a Book of Mormon. She asked us when our services were and other questions that made our jaws drop! I had never had someone ask us how to join our church! It turns out that she was contemplating what direction she needed to go with her life and she happened to look out her window and see us walking by! Although we had to turn her over to the sisters, the sisters had a referral for us! It was so cool

Sunday was packed full of meetings! I don't know how Dad does it! We had both Jennifer and Mitchell (the investigator that the sisters had for us) come to church and stay for all three hours! After church we had a lesson with Mitchell and he told us a lot about his life and his feelings about church. Something funny that happened during Elders quorum was when the ward mission leader was talking about doing a fishing trip as a quorum (we can't go obviously) and Brother Mooney called it a "cocaine fishing trip"! Haha oops! We also helped Jennifer out with something so it was a good day! We also tried to see a referral from a non-member but the house he was talking about was the home of a guy who LOVES to bash with missionaries.

We have been reading out of the war chapters in the Book of Mormon because of a speech done by John Bytheway that Elder Flora listened to. It really applies to our day because we are constantly battling for our freedom from temptation and sin. I love Captain Moroni! I only wish I could be as faithful as he was. I love this gospel and I love being a missionary!

I love you all and I miss all of y'all!

Elder Tonini

Monday, June 16, 2014

Week Dos

Man has it been a crazy week!!

We went on exchanges on Tuesday and I ended up in Corvallis with Elder Reid. It was my first day on a bike and I about died! It wasn't too bad until the end. We met some interesting people! One guy said he couldn't believe in Christ because he thinks that no one can have "superpowers". We also met this crazy old lady who believes in what we do and had Mormon pioneers but isn't a member... Weird haha!!

Wednesday I went back to Philomath and the Elder who was with Elder Flora left his iPad so after we tracted we changed his wallpapers and what not :) we really didn't have much going on!

Thursday was interesting to say the least. We tracted up on this hill and the three people who opened the door had either bought a Book of Mormon or has read it! So we had a guy stop us on the road last week and wanted us to stop by. We stopped by right after his daughters went back to his ex-wife's home and he was pretty emotional and open to us. Stan gladly took a Book of Mormon and said he would try to make it to church sometime!

Friday was full of training and meetings followed by another exchange. I took over the area with Elder Thacker, who is a Spanish missionary. We had a ton of visits fall through but we did manage to see one of our less actives! We also had a lot of doors slammed in our faces but it's all good :)

Saturday was so slow! We had some appointments and tracted but not a lot came out of it...

Sunday was pretty good! We had church and after lunch we tried to go see someone but they weren't home. On the way back we stopped to talk to the lady who lives across the way from us and we ended up talking a lot about the Book of Mormon and gave her one!! We also had a good talk with Sister Nielsen about keeping our head up :) She's pretty awesome and makes sure we are well fed!

I love you all and happy Father's Day!

Elder Tonini
Sent from my iPad

Monday, June 9, 2014

First Week in the Field

Hey y'all!!

I don't think you are ready for this!

So Monday and Tuesday were pretty boring. We had pretty much done all of our classes and stuff so we just helped out our other district in their teaching stuff. We also took a lot of time to pack and clean so we could get ready for Oregon!

Wednesday I woke up at 5 and we headed down to the cafeteria for a small breakfast before going to the bus. We hopped onto the FrontRunner and took it to SLC, where we caught the Traks to the airport. There, we had like an hour and a half to kill so I made calls home (and Dad never picked up!!! Come on Pops!!) Anyway, as we were getting ready to board, we realized that we were missing two of our 11 sisters! Turns out they had gone to another terminal and were just making phone calls. They just caught the plane. Very scary moment! Plane ride went smooth and we landed in Eugene without incident. There we met President Young and Sister Young and the two AP's. We loaded up a trailer and traveled to the stake center in Eugene, where the trainers sang and did some recitations. We had a pulled pork lunch before we started receiving some training and having interviews with President. After the interviews, we got our iPads! We are a Facebook mission so we can be on Facebook! Pretty sweet! But don't try to contact me on there! I cannot respond back! Anyways, Elder Flora was chosen to be my trainer in the Philomath area. He is from Idaho and has some offers to play basketball. He's a pretty fun guy to be around! We headed up to Philomath and got some food before falling asleep.

Thursday was interesting. I got yelled at! Some guy asked us if we were Jehovah's Witnesses and we told him we were Mormons. The moment we said that, he started yelling at us about grace and how we don't have to do anything to be saved. He needs to read Brad Wilcox's talk on grace! Anyways, we went tracting and we stumbled into a less active! He isn't ready to come back to church (that is what he told us) but is thinking about it. He didn't want to be taught but when we asked if we could leave him with a prayer and asked if he needed us to pray for something, he did. Turns out, his nephew in Brownsville, Texas, had gone into the hospital that morning for heart surgery and it wasn't looking good. Pretty small miracle!

Friday we had Zone Training Meeting all morning and tried to tract but we didn't have anything go. We actually had a guy stop us while he was driving and wanted us to stop by! We invited him to church but he didn't come.

Saturday was good and bad. We had a high schooler yell very obscene things at us and someone stuck chewed gum on our windshield. We talked to two recent converts, Charley and Robin. We had a good lesson with Charley and we were starting to talk to Robin about his conversion story before he got distracted!

Sunday we had meetings all morning and I learned very quickly what it meant to be a missionary! I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting! No rest for the weary! We had a good gospel principles class about tithing and some investigators and less actives asked some really good questions. After church we had lunch with a family in the ward before going and talking to Robin and Dave Y****, a less active who came to church and is trying to get home to Alaska. The cool part was that I felt prompted to ask Robin, who was baptized in November, if he was preparing himself for the temple. As it turned out, he had a lot of questions that we were able to write down and study up on so we can start preparing him for that!

Mom asked me some questions so I will try to answer them real quick.

  • Haven't ridden my bike. We put it together but the town is small enough to walk most places and we have a car. 
  • The weather is nice but can get a little hot! 
  • Elder Flora is awesome! We have already had a lot of fun times together, from him doing nasal cleansing to him losing it because TiWi (our car's voice that tells him what to do) said he went 80 in a twenty! That was super fun! :) (He didn't by the way. We weren't even in the area it said we were and it's impossible to do so!) 
  • Church was awesome! Lots of good people! 
  • The apartment is small and its ok I guess! It's in an ok part of town I guess! 
  • It's small population-wise but a lot of people live in the hills! 
  • They are either super friendly, friendly, or really rude 
  • We have a small teaching pool... We are trying are hardest to make it expand!
Sorry this is so late.. We had inspections this morning and it threw our whole schedule out of whack! I sure do love you all and thank you for all the prayers


Elder Tonini

Friday, June 6, 2014

Text Message From Member

Received this tonight...

Your son is an amazing elder already.  We are excited to have him in oregon.  It is beautiful here and he is lucky to be serving in the best ward ever.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Report from Mission Home

From:      Oregon Eugene Mission
Date:       Jun 5, 2014 6:17 PM
Subject:  Elder Tonini
To:           Raena Tonini

We are so happy to have your missionary here with us in the Oregon Eugene Mission.  We had great fun getting to know them yesterday.  They are going to be awesome missionaries!
We have attached four pictures for you.  One of the entire group of new incoming missionaries, one of your missionary, one with their very first companion and one with President Young and Sister Young.  Please know the prayerfully chosen "trainer companion" will take very good care of your missionary.  The first few weeks of training will be some of the greatest weeks of their mission!

President Young is a wonderfully spiritual and loving mission president.  He takes great care in watching over his missionaries so please know that your missionary is in very good hands!
Thanks for sending them our way!
PS: Don't forget to look at President and Sister Young's blog at for happenings in the mission.

Sister Kleinman

Monday, June 2, 2014

Week Dos: A week of learning!


This has definitely been a learning week! I feel more prepared for my mission than anything before! It has been a good week but I am feeling sick with a head cold or allergies or something.

So Tuesday was pretty awesome! We met with Chad, our real-life investigator that afternoon! We spent most of our first lesson talking and getting to know him and he is a cool dude! He has a Book of Mormon but we are going to have a hard time or any other missionary with him because he likes to focus on the beheadings and stuff haha... We also had our Tuesday night devotional and Elder Russell M. Nelson and his wife spoke!

Wednesday was not the best day.. I had a rough time with my companion, just trying to adjust to our styles of teaching and living so we have somewhat worked that out. We meet with the new district and, as zone leaders, we had a guideline to follow but I was the only one who bothered to read the manual so it got crazy.. but the new district is pretty awesome! In fact, they are going to the DC South mission! So they will maybe be near the Romney's.

Thursday was when I started to get sick... fun... It was also the first time that our teacher/"investigator" Brother Cowdin didn't evaluate us. But the best part was when we went to see Chad. He wasn't there but we ended up teaching a woman named Michelle from Arizona who just got there!! She really took a liking to us and we ended up setting up an appointment for Friday!

Friday was our in-field orientation day! We spent almost our entire day learning how to interact with the members, using goals and planning, contacting, basically all the nitty-gritty stuff of missionary work! The MTC employees put on a play for us that was actually pretty entertaining! However, it was the lesson with Michelle that took the cake! She has doubts about being here and feels as though she is wasting her time and our time, mainly because she is struggling with finding out for herself who Christ is. Lots of tears were shed and she is gonna stay and try to find herself! We are meeting with her tonight! I also learned an important lesson about staying focused. Our district was starting to get restless during companion study and after 20 minutes of that our teacher Brother Sebesta (who usually goes outside during comp study) came and took us on a field trip. We walked around for about 5 minutes in silence and wrote down what we heard. After we came in, he started asking us what we heard and then he proceeded to tell us what he heard coming from our classroom. He said that we should take more time with the Spirit than talking about things of the world.

Saturday was a "meh" kind of day. Our teacher wasn't there so we couldn't teach him and our investigator had a family emergency so except for an impromptu door approach, we were in class all day long.

Sunday was Fast Sunday but with me being sick, my branch presidency wanted me to stay hydrated so I did as much as I could. We had leadership training (about being an example) and then went off to mission conference. The MTC presidency and their wives spoke about the worth of souls, being obedient, and working to the fullest. We had an awesome testimony meeting and district meeting! I love my zone and district! I also had my departure interview! After walking around the temple, we ate (about time we did) and went to the departure devotional. The biggest thing that stood out to me was what President Nally said about what we need to do in the mission field. He gave us six pieces of advice

  • Love your companions 
  • Write in journal
  • Missions are HARD
  • Spirit's job is to convert, not ours
  • Increase testimony of Joseph Smith

  • Pretty good advice I'd say!
    That night we had our Sunday night devotional. The director of proselyting for the church spent most of his talk talking about how the early church was spread and I was confused until he said that the church was spread through social networking! Pretty cool analogy! The one thing that hit me hard was the video we watched. It was Character of Christ, a talk by Elder Bednar to the MTC. He compared the cookie monster to the natural man (I WANT COOKIE! I WANT BAPTISM NOW!) and how we should turn out instead of in in times of distress. Pretty deep talk.

    And this morning was pretty crazy! So we missed a temple session because we were waiting on some elders from our zone and we are sitting in the chapel and Kyle and Christie Christiansen were in my session! She is about to give birth to their fourth child and were visiting Kyle's parents in Utah. Also, Kyle's parents know Elder Provstgaard's family! Small world eh? Also, three of our eight missionaries left this morning for Toronto! 

    Well I love you all! I am grateful to be serving my Lord and Savior! There are gonna be pictures so stay tuned!


    Elder Tonini