Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Only 58 Ties On That Shoelace. No Big Deal:)

The One Where We Put Three People On Date

Hey everyone!

This is really weird emailing on a Tuesday! Hopefully y'all had a great Monday and that you have a fantastic Christmas planned because I know I do! 😁

Well, we had a super fantastic week that saw some miracles!

P-Day was good as always but ended with an interesting twist. We had a super delicious zone breakfast before P-Day got underway. We played our normal games and emailed before doing our shopping. We had dinner before going and trying to contact a couple of people. We got back to our apartment and on the way to the staircase, we felt prompted to go talk to the Caldw***'s about when trash was to come. We walked in right as Brother Caldw*** was telling Brian and Savannah that they should take the missionary lessons. Pretty good timing eh? Savannah had received some bad news and was in a low place but it brought her to the point where she wanted to take the lessons!

On Tuesday we spent a little bit of our day doing former finding before our lesson with Ron. He was feeling a little frustrated about the way his scripture study was going so we talked to him for a little bit about what he could do to improve his studies. We booked it over to the Hayden's for dinner and then we shared a message about doing scripture study with them. I had fun with it! We had them watch the first little bit of "Scripture Legacy" (if you haven't seen it, you need to!) and we watched it to the point of where Moroni dies (oops, spoiler alert). We then discussed how important it was for us to have the scriptures and that we need to devote the the time and energy to reading it. It was a fun lesson. During dinner, the Hay***'s little girl decided to use me as a jungle gym.. with her fingers covered in pizza sauce! We went to the Caldw***'s for our first real sit down lesson with Savannah and holy cow it was a crazy insane lesson! Someone was a bit tipsy (not going to say who haha), Brother Caldw*** went on a couple of random tangents, the member friend they invited to come and that I had some worry about was actually a huge help, AND a former missionary who served here showed up and ended up sitting in on the lesson. I think it was one of the craziest lessons I have been a part of! The coolest part of the lesson though was when the RM talked about baptism and I felt the urge to ask her to be baptized right then and there. She said yes and Elder Fleming almost fell out of his chair! It was awesome haha!

Wednesday morning we picked up the Newton Creek Elders and drove down to Grant's Pass for Specialized Training. There was snow all over the pass! We talked about all sorts of things, from vehicle safety to locking our hearts (thank goodness for President Kimball's talk haha), to looking at key indicators as people, not numbers. It was a pretty good training and afterwards we got pizza and took a quiz on our gospel knowledge. We also got a Christmas present from President and Sister Russell in the form of an OEM lapel pin that says "Fishers of Men" with the picture of Christ beckoning to Peter, James, and John on the shore. It is pretty awesome. We got back to Sutherlin in time to volunteer at the soup kitchen. Dinner was dropped off at our place and we gobbled it up before helping the ward with the float for the Christmas parade.

Thursday morning we were supposed to do weekly planning but Elder Fleming and I had a long heart-to-heart talk that needed to happen so we moved it to the next day. The zone leaders came up here and I went with Elder Wells on exchanges. We grabbed lunch before visiting a couple of potentials and knocking out a couple of doors in a trailer park. There was one door that we could smell the stench of weed before they even opened the door. What made that door approach fun was after they said no, we walked towards their carport and right as we passed the edge of their trailer, a huge dog let out a huge bark five feet from us! It scared the heck out of us! After we tracted for a little bit and found a couple of potentials, we drove out to Glide for a lesson with a golden internigator (one who has met with the missionaries for a long time). She comes to church each week and knows its true, she just won't get married to her ex who she is dating again. We retaught her the Restoration and it went really well. Elder Wells and I taught pretty well together and bore testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel. It was pretty awesome. The lady's ex-husband turned boyfriend sat in so he heard it all and felt the Spirit. If he didn't then that sucks for him because it was there! We tried contacting a couple of people after eating the dinner that a member dropped off us for us but that didn't work out so we got into service clothes and cleaned out the litter boxes at PetCo! It was a lot of fun.

Friday morning found us helping out the Melrose and Newton Creek Sisters with moving in one of the Melrose sisters into the Newton Creek Sisters' apartment. Sister Sowter, our sister from England, was ET'd to Grants Pass because of something that happened to the sisters down that way. I don't know all the details but that is ok! We took lunch at Taco Bell with Elder Fleming and Elder Earl before exchanging back. We did weekly planning before trying to contact people because all of our lessons fell through. Every single one.

Saturday was interesting. We helped out with the final float preparations before our lesson with Savannah. We thought it wasn't going to happen because after our lesson on Tuesday, a ton of stuff happened and we thought we weren't going to be teaching her but sure enough, she was there waiting for us! We talked about her baptismal date before talking about the Restoration. It made a lot of sense for her and she said she loved the idea of prophets! We also answered a question that she has had for a long time apparently about the relationship between God and Jesus Christ. After lunch, we had a couple of lessons set up but they fell through so we spent some time contacting people before our dinner with a part-member family. He cooked some dang good burgers and made some amazing potato salad! After sharing the "A Savior is Born" video with them, we dropped the car off at the apartment and walked over to the float! We had over 400 baggies filled with candy and pass along cards and we ran out before we got down the home stretch! It was a great time and we even won first place for non-profit organizations!

Sunday we had our Christmas program and Elder Fleming and I sang in the choir. We sang the three verses of Silent Night in English and then switched between Gallic, Portuguese, and German. It was a fun song, especially since I only had one Sunday to practice and I was sick! After church we had a lesson with Samantha and Chris and after talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them, they both committed to be baptized on January 9th by their grandpa! They both are so prepared! We participated in a potluck before stopping by the Griggs and sharing the "A Savior is Born" video with Lonnie, who isn't a member of the church. We had dinner way out in the boonies and after we came back, we talked with Savannah and the rest of the Caldw*** to end the night.

It's weird that I get to report about Monday twice in one email! We had interviews with President Russell in the morning and then we spent our day doing missionary work with little luck. At the request of the second counselor, we took some presents with us to dinner. We talked about having faith in Jesus Christ and watched President Hinckley's testimony of the Savior with the Hayd***. We taught Savannah about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she recommitted herself to be baptized on the 30th of January!

That was our week! We saw a lot of good things happen and we now have three people who are wanting to be baptized with a couple of other people on the horizon. I am so excited for Christmas! I know that Jesus Christ was born so that we could live with Him and Heavenly Father again. I know that Jesus lives!

I love you all and have a merry Christmas!

Elder Tonini

Monday, December 14, 2015

The One Where It Snows!

Hey hey hey! It's me again!

We had a pretty good week! It had some ups and downs but we overcame them and we were still able to teach and find some new people to teach! Monday was P-Day and our normal dinner at the Hay***'s. To spice up our lesson, we went over the Restoration and as we talked about Jesus Christ's earthly ministry, I pulled out my Rubik's cube and used it to explain the apostasy and the restoration. The kids loved it and I think it really helped them understand the Great Apostasy a lot better.

I don't even want to talk about Tuesday haha! Basically, we had over eight lessons scheduled and one by one they all fell through. Even our back up plans fell through! By the end of the night, we had dropped two potentials and had been dropped by our new investigator from the previous week. We decided to go see a guy named George before our lesson with Jackie and MAN that guy has some crazy ideas. He refuses to join any Christian church for two reasons. One is that he believes that the time frame isn't right for Christ to die on the Friday and then be resurrected on Sunday morning. The other reason is he believes that the Sabbath should be on Saturday still. He bashed with us over this the moment he opened his door! He also told us about when he was dragged to hell as a child... So yeah. We shared the video about why we need a Savior with Jackie and committed her to read her scriptures to end the night.

Wednesday morning we were out the door early to go to Roseburg so I could take Elder Flake and myself to Grants Pass for a district leader training meeting there. It was good, nothing much had changed from the last one I went to back in September or so. We grabbed lunch at Sonic before going back to Roseburg to switch back. We went with the Hart's to see a less active woman before spending the next hour contacting people. We volunteered at the soup kitchen that night and we tried to get a lesson set up with Betty but she is stacked all of December. A member brought us dinner at our apartment and then we taught Jackie again. We talked about her scripture reading and committed her to keep reading the Book of Mormon and to come to the ward Christmas party.

Thursday morning we had weekly planning. Towards the end of it, a member called us and asked if we could give her ten copies of the Book of Mormon for her Young Women's class and we gladly did! After lunch, we did a finding challenge with the Roseburg elders and we lost because we taught a former named Dana. We shared the A Savior is Born video and gave him a Book of Mormon. He said he would read it and agreed to a return appointment! We lost though so we had to get them ice cream on Friday. We gave Ron a blessing and taught him about enduring to the end. We spent the rest of the night at the Sim***'s home, eating dinner and sharing a message with them.

Friday morning we had ZTM and it went pretty well. We talked about OYMing and what we could do to be better missionaries. At the end of it, I got a package from Uncle Darren and Aunt Heidi! I don't have their email so you will have to thank them for me! We grabbed lunch before heading back into Sutherlin. We did't have much happen for us on Friday. No one wanted to talk to us and it was rough.

Saturday we helped out with the Christmas party and ate donuts before driving out to Oakland and talking with the Wel***. They are super cool family but have a hard time getting to church. We shared the A Savior is Born video and committed them to share it with their neighbors. We came back into Sutherlin and we went and talked with a non-member couple whose son is a member. They have been married for over 70 years! We had a good talk with them. They know so much about the church but don't want to offend other members of the family. We talked to Sister Learned and Sister Harris before heading off to the Christmas party. We had over 10 non-members there! It was a super good program too!

Sunday we woke up to snow on the ground! We had a super good church service before heading out to Roseburg for stake correlation. We came back and took lunch and then we had dinner shortly after at our apartment. While we were eating dinner, we felt like we needed to go talk to the Caldw***'s twin grandkids and as we were talking to them, they both said that they want to be baptized! I am super excited for Chris and Samantha!

That is how my week went! I love y'all! Oh and by the way, we have interviews next Monday so I will be able to email on Tuesday!

I love y'all!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, December 7, 2015

The One Where I Get Sick!

Hey everyone!

So we had a pretty good week...until the weekend haha!

Monday was transfer day! We had an interesting experience at Walmart... We OYM'd a guy in the store and then as we got to our car, he came up to us and asked us if we could give him a ride home because his roommates ditched him. For those who don't know, we can't give rides to people, not even investigators. We tell him this and he just blows up on us and started saying all this crap about how a true Christian would give him a ride home as he walked away. Nice guy right? We got to the church and emailed before heading into Sutherlin. We had dinner with a super awesome family! They are kinda sorta a part member family so we were able to teach a lesson using the #ASaviorIsBorn video. They have 7 kids so it made for an interesting lesson! We came back and I tried to get my Area book synced up but I wasn't put in the area yet so we came back and I spent some time unpacking.

Tuesday morning started off pretty well! We were just about to do companionship study when we got a phone call from a Utah number. It was a guy whose great aunt or something like that volunteers with us at the soup kitchen. He told us that she knew the Book of Mormon was true but was afraid to change. Hopefully we can start teaching her this week. We spent a good chunk of time going through the Area book and contacting some former investigators. We didn't have much luck but we did it until our lesson with Ronnie. He is a returning less active who is still learning the gospel. We talked about praying for strength and answered some questions that he had from reading Preach My Gospel. After dinner we contacted some investigators that hadn't been seen in awhile before sitting down with the new Bishop. He is super missionary minded and I'm super stoked to be able to work with him. We also talked with the new ward mission leader and he is fired up as well. It was pretty exciting to heard about some of things this ward has planned as far as missionary work goes!

Wednesday we did a lot of service work. We went to the local food pantry to help load up food for the people coming through. We had a fun conversation about the Word of Wisdom with some of the volunteers there. They were arguing about how it's about the caffeine but we cleared up that misconception. We got into our normal clothes and helped out Nephi (yes, that is his actual name) with some blackberry bushes. We got dressed back into our normal proselyting clothes and we drove out to Oakland to go do some finding. We talked to a recent convert and her non-member kids and shared the Christmas video with them and then we talked with a member before coming back into Sutherlin. Other than that, we just organized our area and tried to contact as many people as we could.

Thursday morning we did weekly planning before going back out to Oakland to visit a couple of formers. We got a lesson set up with someone who apparently used to be a member but then got their name removed because she didn't like the church very much I guess! So that will be an interesting lesson. We spent some time finding before going and seeing a semi-less active family out in the boonies. We talked about forgiveness and gave one of the daughters a blessing all the while eating pizza and me sweating up a storm! It was SO HOT yet Elder Fleming just sat there in his jacket all nice and cool. North Dakotans man!

Friday morning we left Sutherlin to go to district meeting. It was a pretty decent first district meeting. I only have one other companionship in my district so I had to make due. We focused on the Book of Mormon and how we can use it more effectively in our teaching. We grabbed lunch in Roseburg before coming back out to Sutherlin to do some missionary work. Nephi picked us up for a lesson with two less active sisters. We had an interesting conversation with them. One of them felt like part of the Book of Mormon was pointless because of all the war chapters and we spent a good chunk of our time trying to help her find ways to study the scriptures. We once again spent a good chunk out of our day finding people and we were able to talk to a former named Dana who knew a lot of members in the ward and said that we could come back. We also went to a part member family and they said that we could come back in the morning the next day! It was a pretty solid night.

Saturday had its ups and downs. I didn't feel too good all morning but we managed to pick up a new investigator in the morning! Nick is rooming at the part members home and we shared the Christmas message with him and he accepted the invitation to learn more about Jesus Christ! Hopefully we can start teaching the actual family who lives in the home haha! We tracted for a little while after lunch and we ran into a less active who had NO idea he was a member. He even told us he didn't belong to a church even though we had his membership records. We didn't have too much luck tracting so we talked to a couple of members and figured out that we can't go door to door in one of the largest suburbs in our area... That sucked. After dinner, we tried to see Raja, an investigator that hasn't been taught in awhile, but he wasn't home. This whole time, my stomach was feeling super queasy and it got to the point where I told Elder Fleming that I couldn't handle being out and about so we went home early. I'm glad we did because I ended up blowing chunks....twice. So much fun. First time I have been sick on the mission! It was a good run haha!

Sunday I woke up feeling like my back was used for a punching bag! I was feeling better though, thanks in part to a blessing that Elder Felming gave me Saturday night. I was able to sit through ward council, choir, and church! I felt super drained though so we didn't get too much done before dinner. Dinner was super fun! We watched part of the Christmas devotional and had dinner before taking part of their giant White Elephant! We had 31 people doing it! I got stuck with Poptarts and Elder Fleming got some IBC Root Beer. It was a jolly good time! We came back to Sutherlin and updated our area book before calling it a night.

Well, that's my week! It was a pretty good first week in Sutherlin and it is only going to pick up from here! I know that the Church is true and that Jesus Christ lives! There is no doubt! #ASaviorIsBorn

Love ya!
Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving and #ASaviorisBorn

Hey everyone!

So this won't be a very long email. I am currently sitting on the transfer van heading down to Roseburg! I am going to be with Elder Fleming in Sutherlin. I am still a district leader so this will make eight transfers in leadership. It is going to be a jolly good time. But to kinda recap this week, this was a pretty rough week for Elder Bowers and I. We had a ton of lessons set up for this week but one by one they all canceled. It made me so frustrated that I couldn't leave Springfield 3rd on a high note. We were still able to teach William and Richard, Brother Halford, and a couple of other people.

Thanksgiving was pretty awesome though. We started off our morning doing Turkey Bowl and it was so much fun! Afterwards I was told I had game by one of the members! I had gotten picked last so I just did work and caught almost every ball thrown to me! We got cleaned up and we took 4th ward to the mission home so one of them could do an interview with President Russell. While we were waiting there, I saw a piece of paper on the kitchen table that had the new transfer information! Apparently I am going home on May 24th instead of May 17th! I am going to be serving a full two year mission haha! We got back to Springfield in time for our Thanksgiving feast with the Bolanders and a ton of other people! There was so much good food! We then did a white elephant and played a couple of games!

That's all I got to report!

However, I do want to mention some of the things I am grateful for!

  1. My family and friends for all the support they have given to me over the last 18 months 
  2. The gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope that it has brought into my life 
  3. Food. 'nuff said. 
  4. Being able to have a roof over my head and a way to get around 
  5. The Atonement 
  6. The companions that I have had on my mission. I have learned so much from them and so much about myself 
  7. Baseball! 
  8. My church leaders 
  9. The example of my ancestors 
  10. Being able to go to the temple quarterly 
There are so many things that I am thankful for but I kept the limit to ten! I love you all and thank you for all your support! Keep sharing the gospel! #ASaviorIsBorn

Love ya!
Elder Tonini

With Elders Adams and Webb 

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, November 23, 2015

The One Where We find All Week and Go To Fuddruckers!

Hey everyone!

So despite all the cancelations and the other things that we had going on this week, we had a pretty solid week!

Monday was P-Day! We didn't do anything too crazy! We hung out at the church and emailed until 1st Ward Elders came and took us shopping. We tried contacting people after dinner but we didn't have much success.

Tuesday was fantastic. We met up with 4th Ward Elders and the Zone Leaders at the church and then Brother Clay*** and his wife drove us to Portland for our temple trip! I was not expecting being able to go back so soon but it was nice, especially with the upcoming transfer. We had a good session and after making a Deseret Book stop, the Clayton's took us to Fuddruckers (I have no idea how to spell it haha!). It has probably since one of my last high school away games that I had Fuddruckers. We got back and changed in time for dinner. We had correlation before going with our ward mission leader to go see a less-active family. We watched a video of President Monson bearing his testimony of the Savior and we were able to add ours to it as well. Despite the craziness of the kids, the Spirit was there!

Wednesday morning found us out in Walterville chopping wood again. Unfortunately, the fun ended when the last axe broke. They were old and going to break anyways so the less-active told us not to worry about it if it happened. We got back into Springfield and got cleaned up to go into Eugene to run some errands for the zone. We got back and I went with Elder Adams to go teach Georgia one last time before they take full responsibility for her. The reason they didn't this lesson is because Elder Adams was concerned she was going to ask some questions that she had hinted at in the last lesson and wanted me to be there if those questions came up. Thankfully, they didn't come up and we had a super powerful lesson with her. Unfortunately, she didn't accept our invitation to be baptized but I know she will one day! After we got our companions back, Elder Bowers and I did training and took dinner before our lesson with David and Leighanne. We watched the second half of the movie "How Rare a Possession" and they were actually pretty into it! It probably also helped that both kids were fast asleep! We talked about what Parley P. Pratt and Vincenzo Di Francesca went through and did when they received a witness of the Book of Mormon. We committed them to read a verse a day and they accepted. I almost had to break some kneecaps but they accepted.

Thursday was another good day for us. The 4th Ward Elders dropped us off at Hometown Buffet so they could take the car to Roseburg and so that I could have lunch with Sister Pope and her brother Allen! They were able to tell me so many stories about Grandpa Ben and Allen even gave me a dog tag of sorts for Howard Tonini, a brother of Benjamin's! It was such an awesome experience. The zone leaders came and picked us up so we could go on a day exchange. President Russell is trying this new thing where missionaries from different areas go into one area and tract all day long. Well, we went out with the Spanish missionaries! Elder Adams and I tracted almost all afternoon and found two new investigators! Tyler is retired Air Force and although he is somewhat agnostic, he said that he would read the whole Book of Mormon before we came back! Austin was the other investigator we picked up. She (yes, Austin is a woman) seemed pretty open to the idea of having an eternal family so we got a return appointment for Wednesday. We had dinner in Santa Clara and gave a blessing to someone out there before coming back into Springfield and tracting until the end of the night.

We had district meeting and training Friday morning and then we hopped on the bus to go pull more weeds for Bonnie. Hopefully we can start sharing the message of the Gospel with her. We got dressed in proselyting clothes and Brother Whi*** picked us up because we missed the bus. We talked about all sorts of things with him but we tried to focus it on having love and charity to those around us. We had a super fun dinner where we played a game called Pie Faced when we finished up our meal. You will have to check the videos out. The zone leaders dropped us off at Traci and Dwayne's right before our member got there. We had a really good lesson about the Law of Chastity and Dwayne and Traci said they would look into what they could do so they could be living the Law of Chastity. Our member was a huge help in this lesson! He was a former bishop so he had some really valuable insight that we did not have!

Saturday the zone leaders picked us up so we could go help out at the home food storage center. A non-LDS church group was coming in and the people at the home food storage center wanted us to be there. They were a friendly bunch and we got along quite well! We did our weekly planning after lunch before hopping on the bus to go to our lesson with the new investigators we had met on Sunday. Drake, one of the young adults in the ward, ran late because of his truck battery and after the investigators canceled on us, his battery died again! I was given the wonderful opportunity to push start his truck! It was a lot of fun! We visited with Brother Half*** and read some of Hebrews with him before taking dinner and doing training to end our night.

Sunday we got out of the apartment early so we could show up for a correlation meeting that ended up not happening! After church, we went with Marcus and Monica to see a lady that the Spanish missionaries had tracted into to see if we could teach her but she wasn't feeling good. Marcus ended up taking us to his place and BBQing for us. It was super good. By the time we got done with that, we had to plan and do training.

That is how our week went! We have a lot of good things going this next week! Thank you so much for all your prayers and your love. It is greatly appreciated! :)

I know that this church is true! I know that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet on the earth! I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God alongside the Bible. There is no doubt!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, November 16, 2015

The One Where We Serve All Week!

Hey everyone!

This was a fun week for us! We had a lot going on so let's get going!

Monday was an okay P-Day. The other missionaries that we share the car with didn't show up until 3 o'clock... So we did some quick shopping and such before coming home and eating a pizza that a member dropped off to us for dinner. I did two baptismal interviews that took up the rest of our night!

Tuesday morning saw us out the door early to go to a service project at one of the local parks. We cleared away some weeds and such that had popped up along the banks of the Willamette River. We had some good discussions with the park lady named Vanessa that was working with us. We even managed to work some gospel topics into our conversation! We went back to our area and had lunch with Sister Pope at the local pizza buffet place. She was telling me that Grandpa Ben would come to Grants Pass, Oregon to come pick blackberries to make it into jam! I need to make sure I have these stories recorded before I leave this area! We got cleaned up and then drove into Eugene for some errands at the mission office. We taught Robert Wh*** about humility before dinner. We had correlation and then I went on splits with the Streb***. We managed to contact an investigator that hasn't been taught in forever and then we talked to the De Lu***'s about the investigator and they gave us a referral for a family that has expressed interest in home food storage!

Wednesday morning we went to another service project, this time for the lady that we chopped wood for last week. We had a couple companionships out there and we got a lot of work done. We got back into normal missionary attire and I went with Elder Adams of the 4th Ward to go teach a referral named Georgia. She had called Elder Bowers and I right before the 4th Elders got her information through the Areabook. When we showed up, I recognized her as a lady that Elder Bowers and I had OYM'd at one of the bus stops almost 9 weeks ago! That was a pretty neat experience seeing how just trying to talk to as many people can bring blessings. We talked to her about her thoughts on "Finding Faith in Christ" before diving into the Plan of Salvation. It all made sense for her, which was pretty awesome. She had some questions about Joseph Smith so we will be focusing on the Restoration next time! Outside of that, we didn't have much go for us. We had a couple of lessons cancel so we tried contacting as people as we could.

Thursday started off with us at a tire place getting new tires for our Cruze. Thankfully it didn't take super long so after our lunch at 5 Guys (first time in 18 months!), we were able to get our weekly planning started. We helped set up chairs and tables for a Relief Society activity before meeting up with Jaydaquin. We talked about making the right choices using a new Mormon Message for Youth. He really enjoyed it and we committed him to keep reading the scriptures and praying. We had a lesson with David and Leighanne to wrap up our night. They didn't do the commitment that we left them so after watching the story of Parley P. Pratt on "How Rare a Possession", we recommitted them to read the introduction to the Book of Mormon. Hopefully they do it this time around!

Friday we had zone training meeting. It was probably one of my more favorite ones! We heard a lot from a whole range of missionaries. I learned a lot and it was a good meeting that allowed me to refocus and become even more determined to finish strong. After ZTM and lunch, we bussed over to a lady named Bonnie's house and we pulled weeds for her. This was after she insisted feeding us lunch and telling her caretaker we are her "boys"! Unfortunately that ran us a little late so we were late getting to our lesson with Brother Whi***. He brought it up and mentioned how he thought it would be best if we only met once a week! That made my day! He is a good guy but we could be doing more missionary work if we met with him once a week. We stopped by Jaydaquin's and we ended up going on a walk with him. He has had a rough two weeks and was feeling pretty down. We talked to him about how God is his loving Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ took upon Himself his sins and his pains. We had a really good talk with him. After dinner we met up with William and talked to him about the talk that he is supposed to be working on and challenged him to get it done!

Saturday morning the zone leaders picked us up to go do a service project at the park in our area. Vanessa was there again so she put us to work immediately! We were weeding but she decided that we were more needed shoveling wet sand out of a water feature. That was fun stuff! Afterwards, we got pizza so that was a bonus. We had a whole day planned for finding but we ended up going to Brian and Paola's baptism because we were asked to say the prayers. We got a ride from the Eugene zone leaders back to our apartment and it was only when we got back that I realized my keys were missing! We had no way to get in our apartment! We ended up going to McDonald's and updating the Areabook on the iPad before going to dinner with the Half***'s. We read scriptures with them and Brother Half*** had some questions that we were able to answer. He took us home afterwards and we did training at the 4th Ward Elders' apartment.

Sunday morning we didn't have any meetings so we walked over to Jaydaquin's and tried to get him to church but his mom grounded him because he didn't ask.. It was weird. Church itself was pretty interesting. We talked about the law of chastity and it seemed to always go back to the new Handbook policy haha! After church we took a short lunch before going out and knocking doors. We didn't have much luck until the last door. I noticed that the car had a zombie stick figure family on the back and it said "My stick figure family ate yours" and so when John opened the door, I asked him, "Is this your car?". He said "Yeah?.." and I mentioned how I liked it and it broke the ice with him. We asked him if he thought he could be with his family for eternity and that opened him up! We left him with a plan of salvation pamphlet and a prayer! It was so cool! After dinner the zone leaders picked us up and we went to Priesthood Preview for the stake. They had asked us to sing "Called to Serve" and so we did! We got a ride home from the Gall***'s and then we updated our lessons at the church before calling it a night.

That was my week! I can't believe that I hit 18 months this week. Time is just starting to fly by and I hope and pray that I can keep moving and keep trucking on! I am so grateful for the time that I have had to be a missionary and as I approach the last six months, I am going to give my all to the Lord. There is no better time than the present!

I love all of y'all! Thank you for your prayers and your love!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, November 9, 2015

We Fam!

Monday we had P-Day! We had an awesome dinner and FHE with the first counselor in the ward and his family. We did this flour game where you basically cut sides off a packed thing of flour (like a sand castle) and whoever knocks the penny that is on top off, they have to go after it with their mouth! It was loads of fun!

Tuesday morning we had Elder Parker with us from Oak Ridge while his companion was over at a district leader training meeting. We went and tried to contact some people but no one was around so we came back to take lunch. We were sitting in the car debating on what we wanted to do when a cop pulls in and start walking over to my window! It scared me a little bit but thankfully I was not in trouble. Instead, he just want to know if I knew anything about a stolen car that was left in our parking lot. That was exciting haha. Some other missionaries owed us lunch so they took us to Taco Bell before we took off for a service project. We took the 4th Ward Elders to a less active's home in the 5th Ward area and we chopped wood for her for almost 3 hours. Needless to say, I was sore and tired when we got home and cleaned up! After dinner I was supposed to go see Tim on splits but a friend of his went to the hospital so I went with Elder Strech and Brother De Luna to go see Brayan and Paula, the couple that the Spanish Elders have on date. Paula wasn't feeling good and she need some medicine because of her pregnancy so Brother De Lu*** took us and Brayan to a pharmacy so he could get it filled. By the time we got done with it all, our day was done!

Wednesday morning we drove over to the Salg***'s for lunch before going out and trying to contact as many people as we could. We went over to Brother Half***'s home and read some scriptures with him. He is doing a lot better, especially with the turn around in events that have been happening to him! We drove over to JaydaQuin's home and had a good visit with him. We really focused on going to church and the reason why we go. It was super good, even though we had to bounce a ball between the three of us during most of it. We were able to get him to focus in on Elder Holland's video of always remembering him and we committed him to come to church. That night, we had a good visit with David and Leighanne. We have been struggling with getting them to have a desire to come to church and progressing in the gospel so we are focusing on things that would help them with that. We read a little bit of the introduction to the Book of Mormon and left them the testimony of the Witnesses to read. Hopefully they actually did it this week!

Thursday was slow for us. We had weekly planning that took all morning and then we had a lesson with William in the early afternoon. We found out he didn't do his reading (wasn't hard to figure out; he told us right off the bat) so we acted devastated (like what Elder Holland tells us to do!) and taught him about reading the scriptures. We left him the story of the Stripling warriors to read and both his grandpa and mom took note of the assignment so he should do it this week. After William, we just went out and tried to find people to teach. We tracted for a little bit and went through our potentials list but no one was home or interested. We were able to visit Tim in the evening and talk with him about his friend who was in the hospital before calling it a night.

Friday was pretty awesome! We had zone conference in Eugene and we received instruction from President Russell and Elder Marcus B. Nash and their wives. I learned so much and everything that was talked about was something that I really needed to hear. It was amazing to see those prayers get answered. We talked about enduring to the end with fire, the power of the the Book of Mormon, and about being obedient. It was super good. We also had a great Q&A with him to end it. We got back into Springfield just in time for our lesson with Robert Wh*** and talked to him about being humble. It was an okay lesson, he got off topic a ton again but he got the gist of it. We walked over to dinner and the member's daughter invited her non-member boyfriend over for dinner! We shared President Monson's testimony of the Savior and all four missionaries bore testimony of Jesus Christ and the spirit was super strong! After dinner though I was feeling super sick to my stomach but I managed to push through and teach Traci and Dwayne about following the prophet. He still really wants to be baptized but it's almost to that point where he has to start making some decisions about living some of the commandments!

Saturday morning the zone leaders came and picked us up for training over at the church. It went pretty well. I had some fun role plays for some of the younger missionaries that I based off experiences from my mission. We took lunch before going and telling Jaydaquin that we got him a ride for church and then visiting Brother Half***. I went on a temporary exchange with Elder Adams to go visit a referral that both us and the 4th Ward received haha! We spent 30 minutes wandering around in the rain trying to find this lady's house before we went to one of the members in 3rd Ward and had him look it up on his phone. When we finally found it, the apartment looked dark and no one answered the door. We left a "Finding Faith in Christ" DVD and a note on her door. We took a break at Taco Bell and had a good talk before going back with our companions. Although we didn't have any lessons happen, Saturday was probably one of my best days OYMing! We rode on the bus about six times and I handed out all the pictures of Christ that I had and everyone we talked to either was part of the church, met with missionaries, or had lived in Monahans! It was so awesome!

Sunday was crazy hah! Brother Boo*** texted us and informed us that PEC got moved up to 9 and we needed to do correlation. When we got the text, it was already 8:30! The zone leaders picked us up and we had a short correlation meeting before PEC. Due to the small space, Elder Strech and Elder Bowers went to PEC and Elder Adams (the Spanish one) and I talked for a long while. When they got out of PEC, we went into the chapel and started saying our hellos. I saw Sister Bat*** and went to ask her if she talked to David and Leighanne. There was another sister sitting right next to her and I shook her hand as well. She looked at my name tag and this is the kind of conversation that followed;

Sister: "Elder Tonini?"

Me: "Yes ma'am?"

Sister: "Who is your father?"

Me: "Uhh... Greg Tonini?"

Sister: "Are you related to Daryl (my grandpa)?"

Me: 😳"Yes?..."

Sister: "My mother was your grandpa George's cousin!"

I GOT EXTENDED FAMILY IN THIS WARD!!! It was so awesome! Sister Pope is this good sister's name and she comes from the Nelson side of the Tonini line. She is taking us out to lunch on Tuesday so we can talk more! It was so cool. We skipped priesthood because we got special permission to go march in the Veterans Day parade with a member who had a truck for the Mormon Battalion. We got soaked but it was a ton of fun. We probably would've been able to pass out more cards if we had candy and cards in bags! I was supposed to do a baptismal interview afterwards but it didn't happen. We tried contacting people but it didn't go so well so we did training to end the night!

I love you all! I know that the Church is true! There is no doubt


Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, November 2, 2015

The One Where We Talk About Bigfoot....

Hey everyone!

This was a little bit of a rougher week for Elder Bowers and me. We didn't have everything go as planned this week! But we testified and invited people to come to Christ so that is what counts!

Monday was pretty much the usual P-Day. Elder Bowers and I cleaned our apartment and got everything we needed to done at our apartment before we headed out for the day. We got emails done before going over to Walmart and doing some grocery shopping and chilling at the mall. We got back in time for dinner before go I out and contacting people. We talked to Brother Half*** for a little bit. We had a good talk with him, especially about some of the things that he is struggling with right now. We got a lesson set up for later on in the week and then we called it a night.

Tuesday we started it off by going into Eugene to go to the mission office to drop some pants off and to pick up a couple of things for the missionaries in the zone (we did really well on miles this month haha!). We came back into Springfield only to turn around and go help 2nd Ward Elders clean their apartment. They white washed into the area and opened an apartment that was already infested with bedbugs so we lathered up with deet and got the place ready to be taken care of. After throwing our clothes in the wash and getting cleaned up, we had our lesson with Robert Whi***. He went off into his own world but we talked about virtue so hopefully that helped him. The Spanish missionaries met us at the church and we went over to dinner with the Youngers. We had correlation and splits afterwards and I went and taught Tim and Courtney with the Streb***. It went pretty well! I connected with Tim's love for nature and built up on that, talking about coming closer to God. I left them Enos to read (because of Enos being a bow hunter) and set up a time to come back. Elder Bowers and I did training to end the night.

Wednesday morning started off with a text from Shawn, the guy we talked to in the park a couple of weeks ago. He said that he wanted to meet up so we got a lesson set up for later in the day. The zone leaders came over and did companionship study with us before we took off for lunch at the Salg***'s. We went over to the church and waited for Shawn to show up but he never did so we did a car inspection before going on a temporary exchange. One of the 4th Ward Elders was sick so I stayed with the sick missionary and studied Lehi's dream of the tree of life while Elder Bowers and the other missionary went out and tracked and taught JayDaQuin. We drove 2nd Ward Elders around before our dinner over at the Bishop's storehouse. We then talked with David and Leighanne about their experience at church. They had a decent one, they loved the fellowship but they had some difficulty with the fast and testimony meeting. They did say that they would come for a normal church service so that was awesome!

Thursday was rough. We had weekly planning but that dragged on because of some things that kept popping up. We then were told that 4th Ward Elders were going to be borrowing our car so that through our plans for the day out the window! It also didn't help that our lesson with Brother Half*** got pushed back. We had a good visit with Brother Half*** though and we talked a lot about the restoration of the gospel and we left him the blueprint of Christ's true church talk by Elder Callister. We had dinner with a widow and Bishop Bla*** before going to the Gam***'s for a lesson with William. We made it short and to the point. We talked about Daniel in the Lion's den and tied that in with him and how he has to build his faith in Christ and it will help him through the tough times. He actually paid attention which was really nice haha!

I don't even want to talk about Friday haha! District meeting went really well but the lesson we had right after was terrible. We had a good start but then the member we were with started confusing the heck out of our investigators and then he started talking about how Cain is Bigfoot.....Needless to say, we got dropped after the lesson, mainly because we couldn't answer one of the investigator's questions of Noah and Ezekiel. I was pretty furious though and then it didn't help that Brother Whi*** didn't show up either! We had a fantastic time with the Birds***'s though! We had some really awesome spiritual discussions with them and then they gave us a ton of food! We did training to wrap up our day.

Saturday was Halloween! One of the sisters in my district is from the Philippines and never carved a pumpkin before so during lunch we had a pumpkin carving party at the lunch! We had a ton of fun! Brother Half*** came and picked us up for stake conference. We got to meet Elder Echo Hawk of the Seventy and then had an awesome Saturday session! President Lowery of the mission presidency talked about member missionary work and it was so awesome! We then stayed inside all night long. It was a good bonding time for Elder Bowers and I.

Sunday we had stake conference. Brother Ud*** picked us up for that and it was pretty awesome. Elder Echo Hawk gave an awesome talk and afterwards we stood in the circle as Brother Ud*** got ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood! It was super cool. Outside of that, nothing much went our way except for dinner and correlation at Brother Boo***'s

I love y'all! I can't believe it is already November! Thank you for all your support and your prayers! Have a good week and remember, the church is true, the book is blue, and Moroni is always on the ball!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, October 26, 2015

Let's Just Go Back and Forth Between Eugene All Week!

Hey everyone!

This was a pretty fun week. Thankfully, no one wrecked their bikes so that was good!

Monday was transfer Monday and like I mentioned last week, I am staying in Springfield 3rd Ward with Elder Bowers! We are in a car share now so we spent the day with the 1st Ward Elders. The zone leaders called us and asked if we could come in and get some luggage from the transfer spot so we drove in and filled our car to the brim with stuff! I also got to see Elder Taito before he left to go home so that was pretty awesome! We got back and unloaded our car just in time to get to dinner. We spent our night trying to contact people but we weren't really successful.

Tuesday was exciting. We started off our morning with our phone being blown up by the AP's and President Russell asking us where the zone leaders were! We ended up doing a mini manhunt for them but it turns out that their phone was left in the car... So that was fun. We went to McDonald's and we ended up teaching a man named Raymond for almost an hour and a half about the Plan of Salvation. It was a super cool experience. We had a lesson with Robert Whi*** and it went ok. We were actually able to get a message across to him so that was good. We did the Christlike attribute activity found in Preach My Gospel and it gives us something to teach him. That was pretty much our day.

Wednesday we didn't have a whole lot happen. The highlight from Wednesday was we got to take out two of the newest missionaries in the OEM! Unfortunately, by the time we got back to our area, we only had 5 minutes so we had them bear their testimony to a less active we are working with before taking back into Eugene. When we got back, my head was pounding so hard I couldn't even think straight so I went to be early!

Thursday we drove all the way into Eugene again, this time to welcome the new missionaries into the mission. We sang a song for them (EFY Medley) and then we unloaded the new missionaries luggage into the church building. By the time we got all that done and got back into Springfield and did our weekly planning, it was almost time for dinner! We had dinner with the Perk*** and they had their non-member neighbors there as well! We shared with them a little bit about what we believe and while Rod is very scientific minded at this time, his wife Kathy seems pretty open! We are looking forward to being able to work with them! We then drove over to David and Leighanne's house and we had a heart to heart with them. We asked them why they thought we invited them to come to church and we had a good discussion about that. We were able to squeeze a commitment out of them to come to church.

Friday we drove back into Eugene ONCE again for a specialized training. It was super good and I learned a lot from it. We talked about obedience and listening to the Holy Ghost so I enjoyed it a lot. I helped the zone leaders with new DL training before our lesson with Robert Whi***. We talked about diligence and we struggled with keeping his attention. We tried contacting people until our lesson with Dwayne and Traci. We went over the Restoration and it went pretty well. Elder Bowers blood sugar levels were wacky though so that made it fun haha! Dwayne is super solid, we just got to get him to come to church.

Saturday we had new missionary training at the church and then we helped the zone leaders with some of their zone leader responsibilities before going back and taking lunch. We were excited to be able to have a Saturday where the Ducks weren't playing so we geared up to go tracting all afternoon but we ended up talking to this lady named Bonnie for almost an hour! We had a good talk with her and we left her with a Plan of Salvation pamphlet. We had an awesome dinner but it went a little long and by the time we got to the Half***'s they were getting ready for bed! It was a fun night haha!

Sunday was a day of miracles! David and Leighanne actually came to church! It was so awesome! They even stayed for second hour because our ward mission leader's kid grabbed Chandler by the vest and took him to nursery! After church I had stake correlation to attend and then we spent our night doing training!

I love you all! Have a good week y'all!

Elder Tonini

Monday, October 19, 2015

The One where Dwayne Goes on Date for Baptism!

Hey everyone!

This was a good week for me and Elder Bowers!

On Monday, we had a zone activity where we hiked up to Spencer's Butte in Eugene. It was a super fun hike. We had a pizza party and then we emailed to finish out P-Day. We stopped by a less active's home and tried to contact some other people but that didn't work out very well.

On Tuesday we had a lesson with Brother Whi*** and it was an interesting one. He had a couple of questions so we were prepped for those. When we got into the lesson though, it turned into somewhat of a cry fest. He was feeling pretty down and felt like he didn't have the love that he needed. He grew up in a place where he had to be hard and he felt like he was still being hard. We talked to him and taught him about the power of Christ's love and the power of the Atonement. It was a long lesson but it was good for him. We missed splits because of an appointment so we did training to end the night.

On Wednesday, we headed out to the Salg***'s for lunch. We had an extra Elder who came up from Klamath Falls so that made it a party! After lunch, we were going to walk to the bike store so Elder Bowers could get the things he needed for his bike but Marcus took all of us there! Elder Bowers got a light for his bike and new pedals. We caught the bus back and while we were waiting for the bus, a guy walked up to us and right off the bat we knew something was wrong. He started acting aggressive to us and throwing expletives at us and then would be pleasant again. It felt like forever but the bus finally got there and he got off before we did. We later found it he is an inactive member... Weird. We decided to go contact Jaydaquin but he was cleaning so we tried visiting some potentials in the area. On the way back from one, Elder Bowers felt as though we needed to cut through the park and there we talked to a guy named Shawn. He has very little knowledge about Jesus Christ and when he saw us, he felt like he needed to talk to us. We taught him a little bit about Jesus Christ and we left him with a Book of Mormon and a Plan of Salvation pamphlet. It was a super cool OYM! We got back to our apartment to grab the bikes and that's when our night almost took a turn for the worst. Elder Bowers was turning onto Main St when his chain popped off and his bike slid out from underneath him and he ate pavement. Luckily, the cars behind him were able to stop and he got out without a scratch. We visited with the Half***'s before going over to David and Leighanne's to share a message with them.

On Thursday we did weekly planning and training before heading out for the day. Well, we tried. I go to pump up my tires and I discover that the stem had ripped off the inner-tube. So we got a ride from Brother Half*** and we picked up a new one. By the time we were out and about, we only had time to visit with Jaydaquin and share a message about Jesus Christ with him before dinner. We stopped by Tim and Courtney's to see if they read the pamphlet that we left them. Unfortunately they didn't so we watched a video that was a brief overview of the Plan of Salvation and recommitted them to read it.

On Friday we had the last district meeting of the transfer. It was super good! We talked about planning and making sure that we set goals before we do our planning! After lunch we had another lesson with Robert about love before going to Chinese buffet with a member in the ward and his family! We talked about his mission and he has some awesome stories haha! We had a lesson with Dwayne and Traci and it went super well! We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Dwayne accepted an invitation to be baptized on December 12th! I hope that he will follow through on that!

Nothing much happened over the weekend. We had transfer calls (we are staying together for one more at least) and then we had the Harvest Festival/Chili Cook-off. Sunday was good but we didn't have any investigators come... We need to find more people to teach!

I love you all! Thank you for all your prayers and your love! Keep on being kingdom builders!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, October 12, 2015

Hiking Spencer's Butte!

Spencer Butte is a prominent landmark in Lane County, Oregon, United States, on the southern edge of Eugene, with an elevation of 2,058 feet. Spencer Butte is accessible from Spencer Butte Park and has several hiking trails to the summit. Wikipedia

Did You Know That Eugene Is Ranked As The Least Religious City In The US?

Hey everyone!

So this was a good week for us! We were able to teach quite a bit so that's awesome!

Monday was P-Day. We weren't able to get much done in the evening because Elder Bower's bike conked out on us.

Tuesday the district leaders were invited to go to MLC so that's where I was! All of MLC was about finding and some new things were introduced during this MLC. I really learned a lot about how I could be a better finder! By the time it was over, it was time for dinner though haha! We headed over to the church to go on splits and our ward mission leader came out with us. We went out and attempted to contact a recent convert who was engaged to a member in the ward. He wasn't at the members home but we talked to her mom and her non-member boyfriend. We had a super good conversation but the boyfriend is going to be interesting to work with!

Wednesday the 4th Ward Elders took us over to the church for a correlation meeting for ZTM. Afterwards, we went over to the Salg***'s for lunch and we were able to provide some service for them. In their convenience store, they don't have any shelves for their number one selling item; alcohol. So, Elder Perrine and I helped Marcus put together a set of shelves to make it easier to move it all and Elder Bowers and Elder Strech went and did missionary work! We watched a talk from General Conference with Marcus and Monica before heading back to our place to do training. We then had a lesson with Brother Whi*** and we talked about the importance of controlling our thoughts and the things we say. We really cracked down on that with him because sometimes the things he says detracts from the Spirit and we have been working hard to help him understand the importance of the Spirit. The zone leaders took us over to the Half***'s for dinner and afterwards we read scriptures with Brother Half***. He took us back to our apartment and we got out bikes to go see David and Leighanne. We shared the talk about ponderizing the scriptures and invited them to do that. The thought had come to us to share that scripture because they are lacking in their spiritual progression and if we could get them to do that, that would be the jumpstart they needed.

Thursday morning was spent in planning for zone training meeting and doing weekly planning. We pretty much spent all day trying to find people but we didn't have success. We had a weird experience that afternoon while trying to find people before dinner. We biked over to a certain street and when we got there, we just didn't feel right but we didn't feel any impressions to go anywhere else... So we just tried to contact the people we had in our areabook before taking dinner. We had a funny experience right before our lesson with Tim and Courtney. We knocked on an inactive's door and a lady started talking to us... through her bathroom window. He wasn't home so we started heading over to Tim and Courtney's apartment complex and as we were walking, a girl yelled out "I love you guys!". That was a nice change compare to most of the nonsense that we get haha! We then tried to contact a potential but his grandmother said he wasn't home. She then asked us how we knew her grandson and we told her that he had talked to missionaries in the past and she told us that he said he was always confused when we came by because he hadn't talked to the Elders ever; he had only talked to the Sister missionaries! We then went to Tim and Courtney's place and as the conversation went on, we started talking about the Roseburg shooting. That lead to a conversation about why bad things happen to good people and we shared a little bit about the Plan of Salvation. It was a super good lesson but they got distracted at the end because of their cat... The 4th Ward Elders picked us up and we finalized our plans for ZTM before calling it a night.

Friday morning we had training and then we dove into ZTM! It was a super good ZTM! Me and Elder Eldridge did a super good job of teaching about teaching when we find people. There was a statistic that we shared that shows that while Provo/Orem are the most religious cities based on church attendance and members living what is taught, Eugene, Oregon is tied with Boulder, Colorado for being the least religious cities! Fun stuff haha! After ZTM, we exchanged with 1st Ward and Elder Huntsman came into my area. After lunch we headed out to go teach Brother Whi***. On the way to the church, we OYM'd a guy named Jesse and he seems pretty interested. We watched Elder Christofferson's talk with Brother Whi*** before taking dinner. We went contacting before our lesson with Traci and Dwayne. It went super well! Dwayne didn't do the reading because of his sight so we read Alma 40 with them. We had a discussion about how Jesus Christ is the only way back to live with our Heavenly Father and we asked him to be baptized when he came to know that the things we were teaching him were true. Without hesitating, he said yes! He just needs to start coming to church and he is golden!

Saturday morning we went to the church to do an iPad check before trying to see Jesse. He turned out not to be home so we went back to the apartment and waited for our companions to show up. After that, we contacted people until about 3 and went home to do training when the Duck game started and also to take dinner right after. Right as we got home, it started pouring buckets! Luckily it was over by the time we finished everything up! Other than that, we just tried contacting people all night!

Sunday we had church, lunch, and then we went out and tried contacting people! We ended up helping a lady move some groceries into her home and we left her with a picture of Christ and our number. We visited Brother Half*** on a hunch and it turned out he need some support! He took us to dinner and afterwards we did training to end the night.

That's all I got! Thanks for all you do for me! I know that this church is true!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, October 5, 2015

Time Flies When You Hear The Prophets and Apostles Speak!

Hey everyone!

Yes, it is me. I'm still alive. Barely, but I'm still here. It was a decent week that ended with General Conference so that made it all the more awesome!

Monday was the normal P-Day festivities. We went into Eugene to do some shopping and I got a sweet Columbia rain jacket! We then got dressed in normal people clothing and headed off to Heyward Field for some football with the Eugene zone! It was super fun being able to hang out with some of my mission friends for a little bit! We got home and got redressed in our normal missionary attire and went to a pizza place with a member and his family for dinner. After dinner I just got super sick... I couldn't be away from the toilet for a long period of time so we ended up being home all night. It really stunk.

Tuesday morning I was feeling a lot better (thanks to the mess I had bought the night before) so we headed up to Brother Ud***'s with the ZL's for lunch and some service! He has another house that he rents out and the last renter just wrecked the place so we helped him out! I painted some closet shutter looking things while everyone else either painted or moved dirt around. By the time that we got finished with that, we had to go to the church for our lesson with Brother Wh***. He talked a ton like always but we were still able to share a message about General Conference. After dinner with the Dur***'s (Brother Dur*** served around Hobbs, New Mexico!), we went out and splits and the ward missionary that I went out with and I did work! We got in all the doors that we knocked on and got some lessons set up with a recent convert and an investigator that hasn't been taught in a long time! The investigator even accepted an invitation to watch General Conference with their member neighbors!

Wednesday morning we did some training before heading out to the Salg***'s for lunch with the zone leaders. The zone leaders were running out of miles for the month so I was planning on grabbing our bus passes so we could tract in that area before heading back towards the other side of our area. Well, guess who forgot the bus passes? Yup, me. So we ended up walking home and contacting people on the way back. We were able to OYM a lady smoking outside her house and talked to a guy leaning on a tree for about 20 minutes. It was super fun. We even ran into the zone leaders who were tracting as well and we ended up using Taco Bell for a pitstop. We went over to JaydaQuin's house but he was about to head out the door for football practice so we threw the ball with him and played a punting game! After dinner, we showed up for a lesson with Tim and Courtney and although they forgot, we were still able to share a message about eternal families with them. We then biked over to David and Leighanne's home and shared a message about prophets! We were able to commit them to watch conference with the Dixon's in the ward! We were having such a good conversation that we didn't get home until 9:45..... oops.

Thursday was crazy. We had heard that we were having interviews on Friday and so I was wondering when district meeting was going to be when the zone leaders called us and told us that district meeting was going to be that morning! It ended up being a pretty good district meeting and I got to use a basketball for part of it so that was pretty fun :) We grabbed lunch before going over to a recent convert named David and talking with him for a little bit. He's a super cool guy who has some health issues but that doesn't stop him from fulfilling his calling as an indexing worker! We rode the bus home afterwards and did weekly planning until dinner. We then had a lesson with a 12 year old recent convert. That was a super interesting lesson... He feels like God is interfering with his planning and that he is thinking about quitting the Church... He got baptized two months ago! And he is twelve! Anyways... I felt so frustrated during the lesson so we taught him about prayer and told him to pray and ask if he made the right decision and then afterwards Elder Bowers and I got DQ and updated our area book while eating Blizzards! It was a weird night. On top of that, we heard about the shooting that happened in Roseburg... Thankfully, no missionaries were there!

Friday morning we had interviews with President Russell. We had some specialized training about the Sabbath Day and also iPad usage. President Russell is cracking down hard on stating our purpose when we turn on the iPad because of something that happened that made President Russell's heart heavy with sadness... Sister Russell then went through our Area Book while President did interviews. By the time we were done and out of there, it was almost 1! After lunch, we tried to see JaydaQuin before Brother Wh*** but he wasn't home. We then taught Brother Wh*** about how the new apostles were going to be called and he really liked that. We had dinner at our place before going out and trying to contact people. We weren't doing it for very long before the zone leaders called us and asked to go with them to a blessing. By the time we got it taken care of, the night was over.

Saturday was General Conference! Elder Bowers and I didn't have anyone to watch it with so we watched it in the Relief Society room and we pulled in the comfy foyer chairs for it! I love what was said in those sessions! It was super cool being able to sustain the new apostles as well! I really enjoyed the talks:) The zone leaders picked us up and drove us to the stake center for the priesthood session. I don't have my notes so I can't exactly convey any thoughts that I had but I thoroughly enjoyed it! The members in our ward took us to Denny's afterwards! I wish I could've done our Sonic tradition though!

Sunday was awesome yet stunk. None of our investigators came so we just hung out with some of the members for the two sessions. I was really worried about President Monson during that morning session... I did love the idea of "ponderizing" :) I am doing it right now! We had dinner over at our ward mission leaders house and then we did training to end the night!

That's all I got! I love y'all! I know that the church is true! There is no doubt, especially after this weekend!

Love y'all!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, September 28, 2015

What I Do When I'm On Exchanges...

...and my companion is doing his language studies.

Bonus Temple Pictures

Elder Tonini has always had a wonderful eye for photography, especially at the temple.  Here are some additional photos from his trip to the Portland Temple:

The One Where I Ride The Bus!

Hey everyone!

This was a good week for Elder Bowers and me! We didn't teach a whole lot but we had a ton of fun doing it!

Monday was the good 'ol normal P-Day activities! We went to the mall and hung out there and then went to the church to go email. We walked over to dinner and then we headed out to go contact some potentials and other investigators that we have in our area book. We attempted to contact a family that was investigating the church at one point or another and the father told us that he wasn't going to entertain us and that he really didn't want us to come by. Nice guy. Not! We basically spent the rest of our night.

Tuesday morning we spent doing training and other things before lunch. We headed off to go contact some people but we always seemed to leave something behind at the apartment. Luckily for us, the zone leaders needed something from us and we gave it to them in return for a ride. We tried to contact JayDaQuin but he wasn't home. We were looking through our areabook for someone to go contact and JayDaQuin happened to pull up as we were doing that! We taught him outside and despite him being totally hyped up on sugar, we were able to have a lesson about charity. He is a super good kid who wants to know who God is. He told us some stuff about his old church and we talked to him about our missions and what it is like. It was super fun stuff. We had a lesson with Robert Wh*** before going back to our apartment for dinner. We then went on splits with a guy named Jacob and we went to go teach a guy who is technically outside of our area but he forgot about our lesson so we went back to the church and waited for Elder Bowers to get back.

Wednesday was crazy! We did some training about finding people to teach before going with the Spanish Elders for lunch at the Salgado's store. Elder Strech and Elder Perrine had a lesson with Marcus and Monica, some recent converts that are going through the new member lessons, so Elder Bowers and I spent the next area in that area contacting people. We didn't have any luck unfortunately. We got a ride home and we weekly planned due to the temple trip on Thursday. After we weekly planned, our day got a whole lot more interesting! Instead of riding our bikes, we took the bus! We bussed on over to the west side and contacted a lady named Latefah and she said that we could call her sometime this week and get a lesson set up with her. We also talked to an investigator named Alyssa and she said we could come back Friday. We got on the bus to go back to the east side of the area and at one stop, this guy almost got on the bus and started yelling and swearing at the bus driver! It was crazy! We got dinner at the church before getting on the bus (yeah, we rode the bus a TON that day) and went over to an investigators home. Thankfully they were home so we were able to get a lesson set up for the next day. We caught the bus over to David and Leighanne's home and had a lesson about the Atonement. It went well, it has just been tough being able to have the Spirit while we are there due to screaming children and things like that. We got back on the bus to go home and man it was so sketchy... Everyone was staring at us and all the lights were off! It was a fun bus ride haha!

Thursday was something that I needed; a trip to the Portland temple! I haven't been at the Portland temple in over a year! It was a super good session. Something that was cool was that there was a man there who was confined to a wheelchair and it sounded as though he was on an iron lung or something. Despite his limited physical abilities and limited speech capability, he was still able to go through the session! It was a neat experience and a good reminder that I shouldn't have any excuse for not going to the temple. Another cool experience happened after the session. I walked out of the dressing room and there stood President and Sister Young, the former mission president and his wife! I couldn't believe it! It was good being able to introduce them to Elder Bowers and telling him how my mission was going! We got back from Portland in time for dinner and then we had a lesson with Tim and Courtney. We talked about trials and enduring to the end and it went pretty well!

Friday Elder Strech and Elder Perrine picked us up for training/district meeting. The district meeting went pretty well, and I taught my portion using a CES devotional talk from Tad R. Callister. Afterwards, I went on exchanges to the Spanish area with Elder Strech. We went and knocked a couple of doors and we talked to a guy named Alan. He seemed pretty interested in the message that we had so we were going to give him the Book of Mormon that Elder Strech had but it turned out to be misprinted! Luckily, I had one in my bag so it all worked out. We then headed over to Marcus and Monica's place to watch the talk called "Sleeping through the Restoration" by President Uchtdorf. After dinner we had a couple of lessons planned but they ended up falling through so we went tracting in a trailer park. We taught a kid named Alfonso about the Plan of Salvation but other than that, we didn't have much luck. To end our night, Elder Strech did language study and I studied out of Gospel library.

Saturday morning Elder Strech and I attended to some zone leader business that Elder Strech had to get taken care of. We exchanged back at lunch time and then we spent pretty much all day contacting people. We weren't really able to teach anyone though so that was a bummer... We were able to contact a referral that we had received so that was pretty sweet!

Sunday was Fast and Testimony meeting. We had some awesome testimonies and I loved the Spirit that was there! We came back and exchanged with 4th ward so Elder Eldridge and I could go to Stake Correlation with the zone leaders. We had some good discussion with President Ennis about the work in the area so that was good. We got back and exchanged back to bike over to dinner. We didn't leave until a little later than we thought so we went to the church and did some training to end the night.

That is how my week went! I love y'all and thank you for all the love, support, and prayers!

Elder Tonini

Monday, September 21, 2015

Pictures from this last week!

Elder Perrine and the Inferno Burger!

Chilling during lunch at the recent convert's house!

Me and Elder Perrine's 64 oz drinks!

The One Where I Have Meetings For Days!

Hey everyone!

So, we had a ton of meetings this week. We managed to get some missionary work in though so that is pretty sweet!:)

Monday was the normal P-Day festivities. We went to the mall and window shopped for a little bit before going back to our area. We then spent pretty much all night contacting people in our area book.

Tuesday morning we did some training before going to the church and setting up Elder Bowers' Facebook at the church. The zone leaders picked us up from the church and we had a lesson with a returning, less-active member named Brother Ud***. He fed us lunch and then we read through the Articles of Faith with him. He had some questions that we were able to answer. He is a great guy who wants to get back on the right path! We then spent the rest of our day biking and trying to contact people but with little luck. The members that we were supposed to have dinner with had to cancel but they gave us 20 bucks so we went with the zone leaders to Giant Burger! Elder Perrine and Elder Bowers both got the Inferno burger! It basically has jalapeños and habanero peppers cooked into it! After dinner we went to correlation before going on splits. I went with Gregorio to visit a couple of people that the bishop asked us to visit. We struck out with one lady but we were able to schedule a return appointment with another!

Wednesday we got haircuts and then we weekly planned. Just like in days previous, we just went out and contacted people. We were able to see David and Leighanne at the end of the night. We were able to schedule a church tour with David and Leighanne for Friday.

Thursday was crazy! We got the Springfield stake center set up for zone conference for four different zones and right before it got started, we were told that we got set up at the wrong building! So we pulled everything down and got everything set up at the other building in 30 minutes. It was pretty impressive. Zone conference was pretty awesome! The AP's, President Russell, and President Cropper went over our purpose as missionaries. I really enjoyed President Russell's segment about repentance. We then had a short meeting afterwards for district leaders, zone leaders, and STLs (Sister Training Leaders) before going back to our areas. We gave a blessing after dinner and then we went to the church and contacted some people in our area book to end the night.

Friday we were out early to go to Winston for a district leader training meeting. Elder Workman took me, Elder Perrine, Elder Strech, and Elder Eldridge there. We had so much fun haha! When we got to Winston, we got down to business. The AP's went over our duties as district leaders and we watched some videos that President Russell and the AP's made. It was a good meeting and we set up some new things for the district leaders to do at district meeting. We hung out at the mission office and the Spanish missionaries got a new phone. We got back in Springfield and I found out that our 4 o'clock appointment fell through. We headed back to the apartment so I could change out of my suit and we headed off to dinner. We did a church tour with David and Leighanne and it was AWESOME! The members that came with us basically did the whole thing and the tour brought back memories to Leighanne, who hasn't been back to the church in a long time. We then bolted for our lesson with Traci. Her non-member boyfriend was there and we taught them about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It went really well! We really felt guided in what we said and hopefully the Spirit hit home with them.

Saturday we went to the church and watched the dedication of the Melchizedek Priesthood restoration site. It was super cool to watch and to hear the dedicatory prayer by President Russell M. Nelson. We had training afterwards and then we went off to a barbecue at a recent converts house. It was SO good! We then contacted people pretty much all day. Unfortunately we didn't have much luck once again.

Sunday was the Primary program. It went really well! I just wish that our investigators were there haha! The zone leaders took us home and we tried some hot sauce that Elder Bowers had and MAN it was hot! I have videos of us doing it! We had an early dinner that ended up dragging on. We walked back to our apartment afterwards and grabbed our bikes to do some work on the west side of our mission. We weren't able to contact anyone so we biked over to the east side and ran into Jaydaquin, our 12 year old investigator. We had a fun time with him, racing him on bikes and stuff! We got a lesson set up with him before we went to the church and synced up to end the week!

That is all I got! I love y'all so much! Thank you for all that you do! I know that the Church is true and that the Book of Mormon is true!

Elder Tonini

Monday, September 14, 2015

The One where I start training!

Hey everyone!

So this was a crazy insane week. You ready?

Monday I was on the transfer van pretty much all afternoon. I left Medford around noon and I didn't get to Eugene until about 4. We emailed at the 18th Street building for a little bit before heading over to my new area. I moved into my new apartment and then we went out with the zone leaders for dinner and a lesson with a less active. We had some authentic Mexican food so that was pretty sweet.

Tuesday we didn't do a whole lot. We tried! Elder Strech and I were able to teach a black guy named Dimitri and a recent convert named Robert. But outside of that, we didn't get much done. We had dinner with a pretty cool family so that was awesome. They had some pretty hot sauce for the enchiladas! I was sweating a little bit!

Wednesday was pretty cool. The zone leaders picked Elder Adams and me up and we went to lunch at a member's convenience store. We had some delicious homemade burritos and she gave us a drink and ice cream. The zone leaders had a lesson there so Elder Adams and I went off on foot to try and figure out the area a little bit. While we were doing that, we OYM'd a guy named Jake. Although he wasn't interested at the time, it was still a pretty fun OYM. He was from New Jersey and we had a good conversation about the east coast. The zone leaders picked us up after that and took us to the church so we could take a survey on the iPad. We then got picked up by the Oakridge Elders and they took us to the stake center for trainer training. It was a pretty good training meeting. It really helped me look back at my time when I was being trained and what I can do to help my trainee!

Thursday morning we drove to the 18th street building and practiced singing the EFY melody before the new missionaries showed up. We sung the song and then the office staff instructed the new missionaries about all the stuff non-missionary related. And then, the moment came when I got my trainee! His name is Elder Bowers from West Jordan, Utah. We did some iPad training before heading back to Springfield. We did some grocery shopping and then we contacted people before a member picked us up for dinner. He took us to some hole in the wall Chinese place that was super good. We then worked on organizing the area before doing some training to end the night.

Friday was an adventure. Elder Bowers and I biked over to the church for new missionary training in the morning and we were graced with a visit from President and Sister Russell! I then taught my first district meeting in forever and it went pretty well despite it being pretty much all videos. What happened after district meeting changed the whole course of the day. We headed off on our bikes and not even one minute into it, Elder Bowers' derailer snapped off as he changed gears (and he ended up flying over his handlebars! He scraped up his knee and tore a hole in his new pants but other than that, he was relatively unhurt. The zone leaders were leaving about the same time so they fit his bike into the back of their Corolla and we went to the bike store to get it fixed. We got dropped off at our apartment and we walked to the church for our lesson with Robert. He ended up talking a whole bunch but we were able to fit a lesson in with him. We then walked all the way back and took dinner. We then went out with the zone leaders and Elder Perrine and I taught a part member family named Leighanne and David. They are super sweet! We taught them about the importance of scripture study and invited them to come to church.

Saturday we volunteered at the bishop's store house and helped move orders to people's cars. We got some helium balloons and has some fun :) We then spent all day contacting people until dinner with the Christen*** family. They are so fun! And the burgers were super good! We then went to the church and did Elder Bower's online training.

Sunday we went to church and then spent all day contacting. We didn't have much luck but we have a good week ahead of us!

That is all I have! I love y'all and thank you for all that you do and for your prayers!

Love y'all!

Elder Tonini