Monday, January 26, 2015


Hey everyone!

I hope all of you had a great week! This was a super slow week for Elder Galloway and I and we were not able to see many people, investigators and members, so I will probably end up skipping the days where we just walked around and had no success.

Monday was the usual P-Day festivities. We hung out at the church with the other missionaries and emailed and played basketball for a little while. Elder Galloway and I had to cut out our P-Day short because of an FHE we had planned with Brother and Sister Will*** and their family. It went extremely well and we thought the kids loved it! Brother Will*** took us over to our apartment where Brother Froe*** was waiting to pick us up for dinner! After dinner they released the three dogs they had in a back room. The two they have were just normal black labs that want you to scratch their stomach forever. The dog that they were watching over would be described more as a horse. It was a big dog! He wasn't too friendly too strangers though so I wasn't able to play with him or get a picture.

Tuesday we had temple service in the morning. Elder Galloway and I were the first ones to arrive out of the three companionships who work on the temple so we had first pick of what we wanted to do. We volunteered to haul plant debris away while the ladies who were there with us clipped at bushes. I am glad that I brought my gloves because the bushes they were working on were rose bushes! It made for a great analogy about being prepared so you won't get pricked by a thorn! After awhile I helped the other elders pull out weed block and man that stuff is annoying! The weed block had all of the mud on it and if you moved the mud, it would just be somewhere else on the weed block! However, we were able to do it! Unfortunately, that was pretty much the highlight of the day. We did try to see people but nothing came to light.

Wednesday and Thursday morning were the slowest times out of the whole week so I won't bore you with the details of those days! The only highlight that we had was this OYM I had right outside our apartment. It was right after lunch and Elder Galloway and I were standing outside our apartment just talking about what we had planned up until dinner. While we were standing there, one of our neighbors from the complex across the alley walked over to us. He asked me if I could help him out with something. He was planning on proposing to his girlfriend and the mother of his two kids and had bought a sweet get up to do it in. However, he never wears ties and didn't know how to tie one. He tried learning how to tie a tie by watching YouTube tutorials but it was confusing. So he asked us (since we wear ties all the time) and we gladly helped. I yanked off my tie and went through it step by step with him. Hopefully he got it! Anyways, as he was thanking us, I gave him our card with our number on it and he took it! It was pretty neat being in that spot at that time.

Thursday afternoon Elder Galloway and I tried OYMing before dinner but no one was out and about walking. We had dinner with a member who was a pilot that flew private jets. He had some great advice for us and shared his story with us of what he went through just to be able to join the Church as a teenager. He even shared a mission story from his time in Minnesota. He had to open up a previously closed area with a new companion and he shared the hardships that happened. He was also one of the first members I have met where he went home at 18 months because the time of service was changed. After dinner (and a tupperware full of roast and potatoes), we headed out to correlation. We arrived to correlation a little wet and muddy! We were crossing at our usual crossing and in the dark I stepped into a small puddle. Although my shoes were caked with mud, my pants came out almost unscathed! Correlation was pretty good but confusing at times because we would end up with four different conversations in one room! Elder Galloway then got cold halfway through so he was wrapped up in a blanket and then received several more blankets because he was still cold!

Friday morning we had district meeting. It was a good one that helped us remember the importance of commitments and the importance of saying "will you" instead of "can/would you". You wouldn't propose by saying, "Can you marry me? If that is ok?" haha! :) The sisters brought European chocolate that they received from a member and it was pretty tasty! We did an exchange after lunch with the Gold Hill Elders. I went over to Gold Hill with Elder Madsen. We had actually been on exchanges during my time in the Corvallis zone so it was good being able to catch up with him. After we had arrived in Gold Hill and dropped my stuff off, we took off on foot to see some less actives and other people that he had planned on seeing before dinner. We tried but no one was around. On the way to see an excommunicated member in a trailer park, Elder Madsen had to go to the bathroom. Across the street from the trailer park was a gas station so we headed towards that. A man got out of the bathroom when we got there and Elder Madsen went in. Well, the man didn't hop in his truck right away... he just stood there and looked over at me. He finally asked how much water I had in my bag and I told him none. We kept talking about water until Elder Madsen got out. As we walked by him, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a couple of dollars and told us to go buy some water and then he drove away! Tender mercy right there! After trying to contact people, we walked back and got the truck to drive to dinner. Oh man it was a great dinner haha! The food was awesome and halfway through the meal, the member's grandson who lives with them came in. He is a Marine reservist and actually knows one of the return missionaries that lived in Philomath and always shared great insights with us! It was pretty cool to see the Gospel working in the grandson's life despite being in the Marines haha. We got back to the apartment and the Gold Hill ward mission leader came over and picked us up for a lesson with a man named Chris. He is a less active member who knows hardly anything about the Gospel but wants to learn. We shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ missionary discussion with him and the Spirit was just there and it was awesome. I was talking slowly and I knew what to say and how to say it. It was a pretty cool experience! After the lesson, Brother Vit** told us that he was going to buy us pizza for lunch tomorrow just because he wanted to! That was just an awesome way to end the day.

Saturday Elder Madsen and I took off on foot again to contact more people. Just like the day before, no one was home. We knocked on this one door and we could hear the man moving around in the trailer but he wouldn't open the door! Lame sauce! However, we had timed everything perfectly so we could go eat the pizza Brother Vit** had ordered! It was some dang good pizza! We went back to the apartment and I packed up my stuff so we could exchange back. After we exchanged back Elder Galloway and I worked our way towards the church, OYMing and contacting as many people as we could before the Elders Quorum Chili Cook-Off! It was an interesting one to say the least! The chili I had was good but I only had a little bit of chili. As a missionary, sometimes you get a certain meal a ton and recently it had been chili! Luckily, someone started making hot dogs so that filled me up. While we were there, Angelo called and told us they wouldn't be able to make it to church because of a family visit but said he would make it the following week with Spencer. That was a bummer but it is ok! The chili cook off took up the rest of the night, between the eating and cleaning up and working our way back to the apartment.

Sunday we had testimony meeting due to stake conference this coming weekend. Before the members started giving their testimonies, the Primary got up and sang "Savior". It was a beautiful way to start testimony meeting! It was pretty cool to see how our testimony meeting really took on the topic of forever families! After testimony meeting and Sunday school, we had a pretty awesome lesson in Elders Quorum. The brother who was giving the lesson had an awesome presentation and even managed to find a way to throw in a Muppets clip! The lesson was based off the talk about approaching the throne of God with confidence by Elder Jorg Klebingat. It really made me think and ponder. After church we tried seeing some of our less actives but no one was home so we had dinner before our lesson with Jay H. The family we had dinner with had a corn snake (according to Elder Galloway) and they let me hold it! It went through my belt loop and got stuck so Brother Ols** had to get him out of it. After our lesson with Jay H., we went over to Brad's apartment to share a message with them. They were in a down mood because one of the pastors at their church had passed away from pancreitis last week. We were able to share some scriptures with them and then we shared our message of a new year with them.

During the weekend I got a pretty bad cold! I only slept for maybe an hour and a half last night because I was hacking up a lung! Keep me in your prayers!

I love you all! I know that this church is true! There is no doubt!

Elder Tonini
“Do your duty, that is best. Leave unto the Lord the rest.”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mission Control, We Have a Baptismal Date Inbound

Hey everyone!

So we didn't have a lot go on for us this week so this is going to be a really short email.

Monday night was a disappointment with the Ducks losing! Although they lost, we had a great time with the bishop's family! We were able to do a FHE with their ENTIRE family, almost 20 people! It was pretty awesome!

Tuesday we were able to go do some temple service! We kept pulling out the kinickinick (I have no clue how to spell it) and we finally figured out a good system to get it out! After lunch Elder Galloway and I exchanged with the zone leaders. Elder Simpson came to our area and Elder Galloway went over there. We were out tracting and we knocked on this door and the elderly couple just let us in! We talked to them for over an hour! We eventually found out that they were Jehovah's Witnesses and were not interested in our message but we were able to share some scriptures out of the Book of Mormon with them. We had a FHE to finish out the night.

Wednesday morning we had interviews with President Russell! It was really good to see him and Sister Russell again! After that, we had everything go down the drain. It was pretty bad haha. We struggled to find anyone to even talk to!

Thursday was basically the same as Wednesday.... We had all of our lessons fall through and our back ups and our back up to our back ups... dang it!

Friday was interesting. Elder Galloway had district leader training meeting with all the district leaders in the south so I was stuck in a tri companionship with two other Elders from two different areas! We hung out in Central Point 1st Ward's area because they had a lesson with Sir Jeffery, the man in the pirate hat that came to our ward. Needless to say, after our lesson with him, they will not go back to his house. There were things in that house that were pretty sketchy! We had a lesson with Mike that went super well. We read the First Presidency message with him and he really enjoyed it. We managed to get some appointments set up to finish the day.

Saturday was not fun! We had district meeting and that was about it! The only highlight from Saturday was dinner with Sister Park! She was baptized with Sister Martin in California years ago and showed me some pictures of when Sister Martin and Margo came up to visit her! She then had Elder Galloway and I dress up and dance for the senior couple while she sang a song she made up.... haha. It was fun though!

Sunday was the best day out of the week for one reason and one reason only. Angelo and Spencer agreed to be baptized in March! Spencer is such an amazing kid! He is pretty dang knowledgeable in the Gospel! I am so excited for this opportunity to teach them!

That is all for me... I forgot my journal so I didn't have everything that I wanted to include... I will do better next week!

I love you all! This Church is true! There is no doubt about it!

Elder Tonini
“Do your duty, that is best. Leave unto the Lord the rest.”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Monday, January 12, 2015

Go Ducks!

Hey everyone!

I hope the first full week of the New Year treated you well! We had a pretty slow week and unfortunately we weren't able to get a ton done like we had planned on. So here we go!

Monday was pretty good! We did our normal shopping and basketball

throughout the day. We spent a little bit of time tracting after P-Day ended but the people we talked to were rude haha! We had a great FHE with the Idia**'s and got to know them a lot better. There are four Idia** families in the ward (kinda like when Uncle Ross was in our ward!) so we are still trying to get around and get to know all of them. Brother Idia** gave us a lift over to the other side of town where dinner was. It was just the husband there because the wife had to go play for an unexpected baptism that was going on that night! We made our own veggie pizzas and after dumping a ton of Sriracha on it, it was extremely good!

Tuesday we had temple service for the first time in forever! It felt great doing our part to keep the temple grounds looking good! When Elder Galloway and I arrived, we were presented with two options; either pull up weed block and kinickinick(? I have no idea how to spell it!) or take out a whole garden bed of a different plant. We chose the latter and with the help of the Central Point 1st Ward Elders and the Sisters, we were able to knock out that whole flowerbed! The sister that runs this deal thought it would take two different days to do it; we did it in one! I also found out at that time from one of the Central Point 1st Ward Elders who heard it from a member that Craig Biggio made the Hall of Fame! Sweet! When we got home, I had leftovers for lunch because my honey had disappeared... Anyways, after we got cleaned up and had lunch, our afternoon was pretty much a bust. We were not able to meet with anyone and no one wanted to talk to us. After dinner we saw the Cole***'s and shared a New Years message with them. After the video, our conversation turned from the video to the view of life after death that the Church has! It was interesting to say the least.

Wednesday was rough. We were supposed to go chop wood for an investigator but he had to bail for the second straight week. He didn't tell us until we were gearing up to go so we were not able to get a lot done in the morning. After lunch we walked on over to Central Point East and tried to OYM while we were walking over. There was no one on our side of Pine Street to talk to! Bummer! We walked over to the member who has our bikes and she informed me that I would probably have to get the crank arm replaced eventually according to her husband. She was 100% right. Although Brother Whit*** tightened it as much as he could, it came loose the moment I started to pedal! Luckily my bike and I were able to make it home in one piece! After dropping the bikes off, we headed out trying to contact people but to no avail. After dinner we set up a couple of FHE appointments before going to the church to download some church materials on Gospel Library. I had downloaded so much stuff on the app that I had to uninstall it and reinstall it to make room! Towards the very end of our night, we decided to heed President Russell's council he gave us at the beginning of his service as mission president and went to Yo Twist, a frozen yogurt place near our apartment since one of our members gave us coupons! When we were walking over to the building, we watched in horror as this little boy ran across a dark street and almost get nailed by a mini van! Oh man that was pretty terrifying! The yogurt however was excellent!

Thursday was bad for Elder Galloway. He went to bed perfectly fine but went downhill during the night. He didn't sleep at all that night and woke up to a migraine, a sore throat, and a fever. We had several appointments that day so we made arrangements with the Gold Hill Elders to come to Central Point and one of them go with me to the appointments. We were supposed to go teach Jay P. but he messaged us and informed us that he was dealing with a nasty bout of the flu and wasn't going to be able to meet with us for awhile. When we got that message, Elder Porter and I tried seeing Jay H. but he wasn't home either! With the time we had and having access to Gold Hill's truck, I took my bike to the local bike shop and walked out having to buy another crank arm for $25 bucks. Bummer. We came back to the apartment and Elder Galloway was doing better so we ended our mini exchange with Gold Hill and tried seeing people before dinner. Dinner was great! The member who signed up for dinner took us to Texas Roadhouse! While the food was absolutely awesome (country fried chicken; my favorite!), I was quite disappointed with the lack of Texas ANYTHING in that Texas Roadhouse! Not a single Texas flag was flying or hung up on the wall! Pretty pitiful! After dinner, we had a two hour correlation meeting with Bishop. We discussed things that the stake president wants the wards to focus on and what we could do to help fulfill the goals the stake president had set. After correlation, Elder Galloway received some Airborne medicine stuff from the senior missionary couple and we hit the hay after planning to let him get some more rest.

Friday wasn't a lot of fun. We had zone training meeting in the morning and it was a good one! We learned that we are going to have interviews with President Russell this Wednesday, a district leader training meeting this week, a temple trip in February, and that we will be able to watch the national championship game tonight! We had some fun role plays and there was a lot of good instruction. After ZTM, we got a call from the bike store saying my bike was done. I ended up having to pay another $15 for the labor... I have never had so many different issues on a bike happen in the span of three months! After lunch and a quick power nap, we got a ride from a member to see Mike and watch a conference talk with him. It made a good impression on him and he shared a lot of good insights afterwards. We stopped in to see Dana afterwards but he wasn't too excited to see us, considering we woke him up from a nap haha so we just talked to him for a minute and let him go back to bed. We headed over to the church to sync our Area Books and download some more material on Gospel library before dinner. The Gold Hill Elders had a member bringing them dinner at the church and we had a member bringing us dinner so we had dinner together! Afterwards, we walked around and tried to contact members and some potentials but we came up empty.

Saturday we had service at the Calvary Temple church for the first time in forever! They had a lot of people come in so we were pretty busy taking food out to the cars! While we were waiting in line to fill up our cart, I was talking to Elder Johanson and Elder Burnett about what they were doing afterwards. They asked what I was having for lunch and I mentioned that my honey had disappeared and so I was surviving until Monday to buy more. Elder Johanson asked me what brand it was and how much was left and after I replied to his inquiry, he told me that his companion had "borrowed" my honey for the week when they were washing their laundry at our apartment! That solved the mystery of the disappearing honey. We ended up going to McDonalds (mainly because Elder Johanson offered me food!) and while we were there, Elder Burnett realized that he left his bag with his iPad in the Calvary temple church! Oops! After lunch we did not get anything accomplished. The lawns we were planning to mow did not need to be mowed, none of the people we were trying to see were around, and the investigators we had lessons set up for canceled because of something that came up. We had dinner with the family that had us over for Christmas and Elder Galloway and I had our picture taken so they could put us in their missionary scrapbook to remember the missionaries who had come through Central Point! It is a really cool idea! That pretty much finished up our night because of the lateness of the hour.

Sunday I woke up with a headache and my stomach rumbling because of a fast

President Russell asked the mission to do. Luckily we did not have any morning meetings so we were able to show up to church at our normal time. Sacrament meeting was great but Elder Galloway and I had to bail towards the end of the last talk to help a Primary teacher with a lesson. She wanted one of us to be Lucifer and the other to be Jesus and be interviewed by her Primary kids about what happened in the grand council in heaven! Elder Galloway and I were given hats and I wore a mustache and a goatee! It was a ton of fun hearing these Primary kids figure out who we were and the reason behind agency and that grand council in heaven. After church was over we waited to see if Angelo and Spencer had made it to church but they did not. We were walking back to our apartment and a member stopped and took us the rest of the way home! My headache got super bad so I laid down for a little bit and tried to get rid of it. It took a little while and some pain meds but I succeeded! After I got rid of my headache, we walked around and tried to OYM before dinner. After dinner we saw a few of the members and talked to them to wrap up our night.

I just want to close with my testimony. I know that this church is true. I know the Book of Mormon better than I have ever before and I know that it was written for our day. Joseph Smith was called to open the last dispensation and Thomas S, Monson is the prophet on the earth today. There is no doubt!

I love y'all! Have a fantastic week!

Elder Jacob Tonini
“Do your duty, that is best. Leave unto the Lord the rest.”
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Email from a member


My name is Becky H*** and I live in the Central Point 2nd Ward where Elder Tonini is serving.  He and his companion, Elder Galloway, had dinner with our family last night and I took their photo to send to you.  Elder Tonini is delightful to spend time with.  He is cheerful and always shares with us something he has learned while studying.  We see him working hard at the temple grounds regularly and we're thankful for his service!


Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Years!

Hey everyone!

I hope y'all had a great New Years! This has been a good week for us despite the holidays!

Monday was transfer day. We had a couple of hours in the morning before we were to be at the transfer spot with the other Elders so we helped out the Central Point 1st and Gold Hill Elders get ready for the transfer. Each of those companionships had one Elder leaving! Luckily, Elder Galloway and I were staying together so that was good. After transfers, we did grocery shopping and I finally got my haircut! It was a pretty solid day despite transfers!

Tuesday we tried to do some service tracting but no one was out-and-about due to the cold and when we talked to people they just shut us down. We then tried to contact people all afternoon but we got nothing... That was a huge bummer because we had some high hopes for the day!

Wednesday was New Year's Eve! We had a solid service project lined up with an investigator but he had to cancel because of the cold weather so we went with the Gold Hill Elders to go help them with a service project that was close to our area. After we cleaned up, we tried seeing a couple of people but no one was around to hear our message. We had a great dinner with a couple of members and we played Skip-Bo afterwards! The two ladies that were there just dominated all of us! It was quite embarrassing to say the least! However, I was able to win the last round! Huzzah! I didn't get swept by the two elderly sisters in Skip-Bo! We came back to the apartment and played some games to finish the night. We didn't sleep well that night because our neighbors or the people around us were popping off some big fireworks!

Thursday we were up early to go play some basketball with the zone. It was a great way to start off the New Year! The Gold Hill Elders hung out with us before we went to the stake center and watched "The Lego Movie"! It was funny that this was my third time watching this movie while most of the missionaries hadn't seen it haha! I was quoting from the movie (quietly of course) and it was pretty great haha! Elder Galloway and I couldn't stick around to help clean up because we had an appointment set up with Jay P. I had my doubts that he had remembered the appointment (we had set up the appointment two weeks prior and we had no way to contact him). When we showed up at the complex he is living in, there he was with his Bible and Triple combination opened and ready! We had a pretty awesome lesson! He had a couple of questions about Sabbath day worship and scriptures in the Bible that foretell the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. We were able to answer his questions through scriptures and the knowledge we had and that satisfied him! The best part of the lesson was when he brought up baptism and coming to church! Although we were not able to put him on date to be baptized, we feel that the Spirit is working hard in him and he knows deep down that this was the path for him. We had a lesson with Jay H. before dinner. The family feed us deep fried food! Oh man, it was like being back in Texas!

Friday was an interesting day! We had some tentative appointments set up but they fell through. We had planned on biking over the interstate to the other side of our area so after lunch we geared up and headed out on bikes. It only took a few seconds for things to start going wrong! As we were going, I noticed that my left pedal wasn't as smooth as the right pedal. I pulled over and I realized that my crank bar was coming loose! We were heading over to an area where we had members who could fix the problem so we kept moving. We were approaching the Sonic driveway and Elder Galloway was about seven feet or so in front of me. As he crossed the Sonic driveway, a lady in the turn lane shot the gap...into the same driveway I was in the process of crossing! Luckily, I had enough distance between myself and the car to slam on my brakes and avoid a collision (although I still kinda fell a little!). These two elderly ladies who had been waiting for me to cross in front of them rolled down their window and asked me if I was okay! Thankfully I was and we were able to make our way over to Central Point East. We were able to read an Ensign article with Mike and help him with some things that he couldn't do. He lives in a care home(?) with three other people who aren't able to take care of themselves. We had recently learned that another member of the Church had moved in so after we saw Mike we tried to see her but she was super sick so we couldn't see her. When we left the care home, we went by the member who fixes bikes but he wasn't home! Luckily for us, there was a member family who lived not too far from where we were so we left our bikes there and got a ride from Brother Whit***. We shared a message with Dana before dinner. Since we both still don't know very many members in the ward, we spent our night contacting the members we had no idea who they were!

Saturday Elder Galloway had district leader training in the morning so we spent our morning walking over to the church and talk about how he and the other district leaders can be better district leaders. We had a lesson with Adam about looking forward towards the future over cranberry juice, pineapple, and cheesy bread. We had a lesson set up for 2:00 with a potential investigator but she texted us about an hour before saying she was getting ready to take her daughter to Portland for surgery! Although it was a bummer, the investigator asked us to pray for her daughter so I guess that is a good sign that she recognizes the power of prayer! We had another lesson set up with Larry but he got super busy and never texted us back to tell us he was busy... so we ended up just trying to contact people before dinner! After dinner we were walking around Central Point and a man came up to us and said that he just moved into the ward and wanted to know when church was! It was pretty great timing for us to be there to help this brother out!

Sunday we had ward council bright and early in the morning! Thanks to the new year, our ward meets at 9! I was just starting to get adjusted to afternoon church! We had an awesome ward council! The ward is planning on doing an emergency preparedness fair that involves zombies! It is going to be awesome. Unfortunately, I probably won't be around for it since it won't happen until October. We had a great fast and testimony meeting. Right before Gospel Principles started, a man who comes all the time but isn't a member gave us his phone number and said he has some questions for us! We are pretty excited for the opportunity to help this brother out! After church, we waited and waited for Angelo and Spencer to show but they didn't... Although it was disappointing that we weren't able to teach them, we received news that Angelo is going to do whatever it takes to get baptized so we will see what happens! We had a huge break the fast dinner with Bishop and his whole immediate family! Oh man there was some good food! After stuffing myself with delicious food, we went out and set up some appointments with members for family home evenings. Along the way, we knocked on a couple of doors but no one was interested.

That was our week! Although we had a holiday in the middle of our week, we had a pretty decent week. One thing though that stuck out to me was our lesson with Jay P. Someone told him that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints doesn't believe in the Book of Revelations. I don't know how anyone can say that when Revelation 14:6 says:

"And I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people".

I am forever grateful for this gospel! There is no doubt!

I love y'all! Have a great week!

Elder Jacob Tonini
“Do your duty, that is best. Leave unto the Lord the rest.” -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow