Monday, November 24, 2014

So I hit my six month mark!

Hey ya'll!

So this was a busy and crazy week, adjusting to a new area and a new companion! We had a lot of stuff go on! Ya'll ready for this?!

Monday was transfer day. We were up at 6 and out the door at 7 to head down to the 18th St. building so I could get on a van to go down south. We were on the van for a long time (2-3 hours) and we ended up driving through my new area, just like last transfer! When we got to the transfer spot in Medford, there were actually a ton of missionaries that I actually recognized and knew! Elder Peas, a senior missionary, took my stuff back to Central Point and it turns out, he did a lot of work in North Dakota! After we unloaded my things, we went grocery shopping at Wal-Mart and then headed to the stake center to email. After dinner we tried to see a couple of potential investigators that we have but no one answered the door.

Tuesday we walked down to the temple to go help with the grounds!
On the way there, the ZL's texted us and told us that Elder Galloway had district leader training so that delayed us doing service for a little bit. We pulled out a bush and worked on getting all these annoying little plants out so the grounds crew could plant some new plants. On the way back to our apartment, we had two appointments cancel so I took the time to unpack all my stuff before heading out. We tried to contact people up until dinner but we didn't quite see the people we wanted to. We did stumble on a member of the ward who is less-active while looking for an investigator! After dinner we had a couple of lessons set up with members so we could really get to know the ward. We had a blast with the Cop***'s, talking about the gospel and other things! We shared the "You Never Know" video and they really enjoyed it. We then ended our night with the Day family. We had a missionary-specific lesson set up for them and we had some awesome discussions about missionary work as a member and other things!

Wednesday we got on the bikes and biked to the east side of our area to try to set up appointments with some potential investigators. Unfortunately, they either were not interested or had moved out and not interested haha! We then biked over to a neighborhood closer to our apartment and tried seeing some members to set up a family home evening with them but they were not home either! It is almost as if people work during the day haha! :) After lunch we went on foot to the west side of our area. On our way there, we walked past a group of high schoolers and one of them looked at my bag (which I had strapped around my waist to help my back) and said "nice fanny pack!", thinking that he would get a reaction or something I don't know! I just laughed and said thanks! We then talked to an investigator who said she was too busy at the moment for missionaries to come by. Bummer! As we were heading to our appointment with a guy named Jay, the sisters pulled up and gave us a referral! Our lesson with Jay went well! He is a big dude covered in tattoos but he is an awesome guy! He had some big dogs too! We read some scriptures with him and invited him to the baptism the sisters were having on Saturday but his kids have a wrestling tournament that whole weekend. After we taught Jay, we went to the Twin Creeks neighborhood to see some members and set up FHE's with them. We had dinner with an older couple who were actually engaged when the husband was called to serve a mission! I thought that was pretty cool! After dinner, Brother Ped*** drove us to another member's house who let us in but had to get going to Mutual. We had an appointment with a couple in the ward in an hour so we went and street contacted on the way to their home. We walked past a basketball court and there was a guy shooting a basketball in the light drizzle. We talked to him and shot hoops with him for a couple of minutes. Although he wasn't interested in our message, we hope that we nourished a seed that was already planted by missionaries he had met before! The family home evening we had with the Goe*** family was awesome! Brother Goe*** was going to the temple for the first time Thursday and so we were able to talk to him and Sister Goe*** about their conversions!

Thursday we had weekly planning so that took up our morning. We had an appointment set up with a member to come over and introduce ourselves to him so we hopped on the bikes and biked over to his home. Brother Skin*** was pretty cool! He served in the Vietnam War! Anyways, on our way back, I noticed my pedal wasn't rotating as it should have. It got worse as we got closer to the freeway and I noticed that the pedal was stripping the crank bar! I was praying the whole time that my pedal would stay in long enough to get over the freeway and we were about less than a block away when it finally popped off. Luckily, we have an investigator who works on bikes and has fixed Elder Galloway's bike before for cheap so we are taking that to him on Saturday. We left our bikes at the apartment and walked over to see Dana. We watched President Eyring's talk at the Vatican Summit and talked about how the world is changing according to the wishes of the people and not the Lord. We went back to the apartment and got changed into our suits for preparation for stake correlation. The stake president shared a pretty cool story about his mission in Scotland and we talked about the work in the Central Point zone/stake. When Elder Galloway and I walked out, the member who was going to the temple with the 
Goe***  and had to cancel dinner was standing there with a pizza and some root beer! We did a dry run for the baptism on Saturday and it is going to be interesting to see how it works out! Nikki, the sister who is getting dunked, has severe MS and so we are having to take a lot of precautions and safety measures to ensure her safety. Elder Galloway was supposed to interview her at 7 but she could not make it so we had correlation to finish our night.

Friday I hit my six month mark! Holy cow the time has flown by. We had district meeting in the morning and it was Elder Galloway's first ever district meeting as a district leader and he knocked it out of the park! We talked a lot about how we could work better with the members and also the ward councils. We went to Sonic for lunch! Oh I was SO excited! We have the only Sonic in our mission if I remember correctly! After lunch we came back to the apartment and I burned an old tie that I found in a closet here in Central Point. It didn't burn very well though but that is ok! I still burned a tie at my six month mark! After the burning of the tie, we went to Nikki's home for her baptismal interview. She had quite the collection of country music, especially George Strait! Afterwards, Elder Peas needed help moving a couch from a widowed sister's home. It took a little longer than we expected (we had to take the door and the legs off) and so it took us right to dinner. While we were there, we got a call from an officer saying that there were shots fired at the apartment complex across the street and was asking if we could check for bullet holes in our apartment! Apparently some lady got into a fight with her boyfriend and tried killing herself... she missed herself five times! Luckily, we did not have any bullet holes in our apartment. Dinner took longer than expected so we only had a short window at the end of the night to go try talk to people. It got really rainy so we took shelter for a couple of minutes at the Abby's pizza town. We have an investigator that we normally see Friday's but we couldn't see him.

Saturday was pretty dang awesome. We went to the Calvary Temple Church food pantry and helped deliver the food to the people's cars. It was awesome hearing the members of this church telling us how much they appreciate us helping them out! While we were there, Elder Peas called and asked us to help move another couch from the sister's home. We did it much faster than we did the other night and then had lunch with Adam B. He got reactivated a while ago and is now looking to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood! We shared D&C 84 with him, a couple chapters in the Gospel Principles book, and a Mormon Message! He got super pumped up to progress in the Church!! We walked back to our apartment and got dressed for Nikki's baptism! We had a light dinner with the Sta***'s and while we were there, Brother Sta*** asked his neighbor, who fixes bikes for St. Vincent de Pauls, if he could fix my bike and he said yes! We had to leave early to get to Medford because the font is bigger and better there so we arrived at the stake center at 5:30 and we were one of the first ones. Elder Galloway and I got dressed and man I was getting nervous! This was my first time being in the font for a baptism! Nikki showed up and she got dressed in no time for pictures. We had meticulously planned out how the baptism was going to go, especially with getting her in the font. Well, I witnessed a miracle. Not only did she walk into the font, she walked out of the font (with help, but we were planning on carrying her up and down the stairs). In the font, she had this big smile on her face and I knew she was feeling the Spirit. She is such a sweet spirit. The Bishop was talking about how she was able to walk and be able to be baptized and she said something I will probably never forget. She looked up and said "Yes, I did it. I believe!". It was a brief testimony but to hear her say that with everything that the MS is doing to her body was powerful. We came to Central Point and went to a fireside that was being held at our church building. A young man named Luis Be*** was talking about his experiences growing up in Africa and watching his mom, dad, and older brother all die. His brother was preparing to serve a mission and that made Luis curious. He got baptized and his brother served until he got sick and ended up passing away. It was amazing to hear his story and his faith in the gospel. He had gone through so much yet was adopted by a LDS family in Arizona, went to BYU (and I swear I had him in a class or saw him at the Y) and even went on a mission to the California Ventura Mission (he said it was paradise and the Riverside mission was close to paradise!). It was an amazing opportunity to hear from him.

Sunday morning Brother Sta*** came to our place and picked up us and our bikes to get them to his neighbor who fixes bikes. It looked as though I was going to get out of this without paying a penny but the crank bar he had didn't fit on my bike. We had lunch and had some time to get ready for church. When we got to the church, we greeted people at the door. When we got the programs to hand out, I looked at it and saw that they had misspelled my name, spelling it with an O at the end instead of an I! To make it worse, the Bishop pronounced my name the way it was spelled in the program over the pulpit! It was Invitation Sunday so all the missionaries got to speak. I spoke about faith and I thought it was a pretty good talk! After three hours of hearing the gospel and trying to help people pronounce my last name, church ended and we went back to the apartment. We walked pretty much the rest of the day. We tried to see one of our progressing investigators but he wasn't home but we were able to catch another one of our investigators and taught them a little bit about prayer and man it was a good time for it! They had just lost a friend and needed prayers and comfort so we were able to help them out.

It has been a great first week here in the Central Point 2nd Ward! I am so grateful to be here! I love being on a mission soo much! It is blessing my life immensely and I hope I am a blessing to the members and the bishopric! I know that this church is true! My Savior and Redeemer lives! There is no doubt!

Love you all! Hope you have a fantastic week!

Elder Tonini

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