Monday, December 22, 2014

Oh look! I can see Christmas from here!

Hey everyone!

Monday was P-Day! We decided to go window shopping at the mall just to change things up a bit. After we did that and had lunch, we went to the stake center to email and play some basketball. We had dinner around 5:30 and then head off to a FHE we were doing with the Elder Quorum's president and his family. That pretty much finished up our night!

Tuesday was super slow! We had temple service in the morning and this time it did not involve digging out bushes! The sister that guides us had brought a whole bunch of fresh dirt and we unloaded it in the opposite corner of where all the dirt was. It was a pain to do so because the grass was still pretty wet and it made pushing a wheelbarrow a workout! We then loaded the debris from last week into the back of the truck where the dirt was before. We did some Facebook at the church before heading on home to shower and eat lunch. We had a pretty full afternoon set up but we weren't really able to get in and see anybody except for Gene. He was a referral from the sisters that we had talked to once before but only at the doorstep. This time, right as we were about to knock on the door, he opened it up and let us in! Although we were only able to talk to him for a few short minutes, we were able to invite him to the ward Christmas party and get to know to him! We had dinner at the Nad***'s and it was a super fun time! From riding on scooters to Sprite being spilt everywhere, it made for a great dinner! And, as a bonus, we had some AWESOME steak! We went over to the deVill****'s for a Family home evening and that went great! We had a lot of great insight from Adonis, the family's recently returned missionary from Brazil! Elder Galloway did an interview for the Gold Hill elders at the end of the night.

Wednesday wasn't as slow as Tuesday was but was still pretty slow! We tried seeing a couple of our potential investigators in the north part of our area but neither one of them was home. However, we were able to talk to two of the other potential's we had planned on seeing and we were able to give them an invitation to the ward Christmas party. After lunch, pretty much nothing went as planned. No one was home and we had a couple of appointments fall through so we spent most of our afternoon tying to find people to talk to! Right before dinner, Brother Huef*** asked us if we could help him with a blessing for a member in the ward and we gladly accepted. The member has a ton of faith, as he is suffering huge problems resulting from diabetes. It was humbling to be a part of that wonderful blessing. We then tried to share a message with the Cole***'s but we were only able to share an invitation with them about the ward Christmas party.

Thursday we had good ol' weekly planning in the morning. After lunch we had several lessons set up and we were super stoked to teach them! However, Jay H. wasn't really able to talk to us because he was running behind on some errands and other plans so we were only able to talk to him for a few minutes. However, we were able to share a "Joy to The World" DVD with him and he said he would watch it! Since we had a little time before our next lesson, we decided to go try a less-active named John. As we were heading over there, we saw a man holding a garbage can about 30 yards ahead of us. We made eye contact and, just to be polite, we raised our hands in greeting and he yelled "No thank you!"! Haha it was quite a laugh considering we were just waving to him! John wasn't interested in seeing us so we headed over to Jay P.'s retirement home (complex?) for our lesson with him and Brother Stamps. We got there and we waited.... and waited...and waited...and waited. Jay P. was no where to be seen! Finally, we went to the front and found Brother Stamps talking to another member of the Church that lived in that building. As we tried to figure out our plan of action, Jay P. found us! As it turns out, we had our times wrong and he thought we were 30 minutes late while we thought we were right on time! Because of this mishap, we were only able to talk to him a few short minutes about he had read since our last visit. He told us that he had read the whole Restoration pamphlet and he said that he felt like it was true! It was so cool to hear him say that! We read the introduction to the Book of Mormon with him and then left him Joseph Smith's First vision to read. Although he says he won't be baptized anytime soon, I feel that he is a lot closer than he realizes to making those steps! We saw a couple of less active members after Jay and then had a wonderful dinner with the Froelich's. The reason it was so great was that they gave Elder Galloway and I a lot of good information and tips about college and work! It was good to hear these pointers, especially since I have no idea what I want to do when I go back to school! After dinner we tried seeing a couple of people but we didn't have much success so we Facebooked before correlation!

Friday we had district meeting in the morning. We had a great lesson from Elder Galloway about the "Book of Mormon POWER LESSON"! It was a great teaching moment and I took a lot away from it. At the end of our district meeting, some of the members came in and sang "Mary did you know"! It was a beautiful rendition and it was a great way to end district meeting. After a short presentation from the zone leaders and while we were talking with some of the other missionaries in our zone, a man who lived in the Central Point 1st ward boundary came in and said he wanted to be baptized! It took the 1st ward elders by surprise and all of us as well! After lunch we did an exchange and Elder Porter was my companion for a day in my area! With it raining pretty heavily, we decided to walk around. It gave us a chance to talk and really get to know one another so that was pretty awesome. We were able to share a Christmas message with Brother Meadows. It brought a smile to my face seeing him talk about going home to his brother for Christmas! We tried contacting an investigator that I haven't had a chance to meet yet but he was not available. After dinner we had a FHE with the Severson's to get them pumped up about doing missionary work as members! It went really well for the most part haha! We managed to set up a time with Angelo and his son Spencer to talk about taking the missionary lessons, which is a complete miracle since they are always super busy! Afterwards we tried doing some Facebook tracting to end our night.

Saturday we had the opportunity to help out at the Calvary Temple Food Pantry. We exchanged back before lunch so Elder Galloway and I could head over to the Medford pear farm to help out a member in the ward. The pear farm had a new gas line put in and we ended up pulling rocks out of the stickiest clay I have ever been in! At the end of it all, Elder Galloway and I had over 15 pounds of clay stuck to each boot! I hadn't gotten that dirty in a very long time! We helped unload the rocks at Brother Heady's father's home and went back to the apartment to get ready for the ward Christmas party. The meal was unusual for me to have at a ward Christmas party; we had soup and bread in place of ham and potatoes and salad. Despite the meal change, we were able to sit with Angelo and his family and talk to them about the missionary discussions (the mother and 11 year old are already baptized) and see if we could start it with them. Spencer was all for it and wants to be baptized! Sweet! We are so excited to start teaching them in the upcoming weeks!

Sunday was pretty interesting! We thought we were going to have ward council in the morning but as we waited for what felt like forever, we realized that Bishop and most of the ward council were out of town! So we sat there at the church for an hour and a half waiting for our sacrament meeting! Thank goodness for iPad's to read Ensign articles! While we were sitting there, a little kid from the Gold Hill ward climbed up into a chair and pulled the fire alarm! Oh man it was pretty crazy watching people scramble out of the chapel to go outside! Fortunately the bishopric got it figured out and the sacrament resumed. We had an AMAZING Christmas program and we had Angelo and Spencer there for it so that was awesome. After church we headed to dinner on foot and enjoyed the unusual warm weather! We shared a lesson with Brad and although we had a great lesson, he went on a tangent about what is going on with homeless vets and the situations with cops and stuff. All we could do was nod and agree since we do not discuss politics haha!

Alrighty, I love all of y'all so much! I am so grateful for the wonderful Christmas spirit that is in the air and I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. I can't believe this is my first Christmas on the mission! And I get to Skype home! AH I CAN'T WAIT!!!

Until next week! Next week is transfers week so just be careful of that if you are sending any mail to me via my address instead of the mission office address. More than likely I will be staying but who knows but the Lord!

I love ya! There is no doubt!

Elder Jacob R. Tonini
Sent from my iPad

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