Monday, February 23, 2015

Busy Busy Busy!

Hey everyone,

Monday was the great day known as P-Day. The Medford 4th Elders picked us up and took us to Walmart. Costco is right next to Walmart and Elder Kunz had a Costco card and so he introduced us to the Costco Polish dog and man it is one good hot dog! After we dropped our food off at our apartment and got changed, we headed over to the church and played some basketball. We came back to the apartment and cleaned for a little bit before going and tracting for a little bit. Brother Froe*** came and picked us up for dinner and we were able to talk to him about the work because he was a former ward mission leader so we got some good ideas from him. We tried to see some people at the end of the night but no one was around and sometimes people don't like us knocking on their doors at night haha!

Tuesday we found ourselves at the temple shoveling dirt out of a truck so we could get the dirt into a flower bed. We were able to make some papers for a FHE that we are going to start doing with the members at the family history center after we were done with the temple. We got back to the apartment and headed off on the bikes to the east side of our area. That is where we were pretty much all day long! We tried to see a ton of people that I don't think I can even mention on this email. We had a couple who didn't answer, were sick, didn't want us to come back, or they had moved. We had dinner over in that part of town so we headed over there and got there right on time. However, there was no one home... and no one was picking up our calls. So we ended up going to Taco Bell for dinner! It was super good haha! We stayed over in Central Point East and set up a couple of appointments, one with a kid named Braden. He was baptized last year and had moved soon after. For being 17, he had a magnificent beard. Other than that, we didn't really get to talk to anyone but we were able to know the area a little better so that was good.

Wednesday started off pretty well. Elder Ellsworth and I had a great study session and we had some great lessons planned out for our day. We were out and about in the morning and Jay H. drove by and told us that he was pumped to have us back over. An hour later, he had to cancel because something came up. Bummer. We had some time before our next lesson so we tried seeing some perspective elders and then we decided to go see a recent move-in named Brother Rei*** (pronounced like Ryder).It was pretty neat to talk to him about Preach My Gospel because he was one of the first groups of missionaries to use it the whole two years he was out. While we were talking about his mission, I noticed something with the Hess logo on it and I asked him about it. He takes it out and he showed us one of his Hess trucks that he collects! It was pretty sweet seeing that logo again haha! After Brother Rei***, we walked over to the church and got set up for our lesson with Angelo and Spencer. The lesson went really well. We had Brother Sta*** with us and the baby, who is adorable and all but is really noisy. He took the baby out of the room and it made the lesson so much better. We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ along with some of the commandments. The Spirit was strong and Angelo had some great comments so that made the lesson pretty sweet. Brother Sta*** took us over to the 55 and over apartment complex and we waited for Brother Hoo***. While we were waiting, Jay P. came up to us and said that we were a go for our lesson on Thursday. After our guy's night out dinner with Brother Sta***, Brother Hoo***, and Brother Huef***, we set out and talked to some of the members about setting up FHE's with them and their families.

Thursday was ok haha. We were in the middle of our weekly planning when Jay H. texted us and told us he had to cancel on us again so that stunk. We decided to take that time and go see some prospective elders on Scenic. While we were out and about trying to visit with people, Elder Ellsworth had to go to the bathroom. We thought that a certain member wasn't going to be home to let Elder Ellsworth use the bathroom but they were home! We also found out that there are records of three different people at their home haha but the members told us that they don't want to be found by the church so we can respect that. After the bathroom break, we grabbed service clothes and hustled over to the Sta***'s for our lesson with Jay. Well 15 minutes after the lesson was supposed to start, Jay P. said he lost a key and couldn't make it so Brother Sta*** took us to the Pea***'s and we helped Brother Pea*** move rocks from a garden around the house that they were renting. We had dinner out at the Hage***'s and because of the meal and the lesson we thought we had time to go out and try to see people in the boonies. However, we were running out of time before correlation but we were able to get a ride from Brother Wil*** to correlation. We had a great correlation meeting to end the night.

Friday we had a shortened district meeting because we had a mini ZTM but it worked out well! Everything happened the way I tried to have it go and we had some good from Sister Lawrence. Elder Ellsworth and I had to bail and head over to the Sta*** home for our lesson with Jay P. It was a solid lesson! We talked about the Book of Mormon and it really it home so that was super sweet! We headed over to Mike's house afterwards and had a solid lesson with him as well! We finally found a way to have him read scriptures with us. We just make the font on the iPad REALLY big so he can read with us! We biked back over to the apartment and we did service for the Hage***'s. We mowed their lawn and took care of the blackberry vines overtaking their trees. We got adjusted by Brother Kel*** afterwards and then we had dinner with the Pea***'s and another couple in the ward that I can't spell their name haha! We had another lesson with the Cole***'s and I was so tired that I was struggling to stay awake haha! But I persevered and got through it!

Saturday we had Calvary temple food pantry and it was super good! There was a ton of people that needed food so we were there for a little while. We tried seeing some people before heading out to Kalamath Falls with Brother Hea*** for a baptism of a woman who Elder Ellsworth taught. That took up the whole day basically! It was long but good and Brother Hea*** shared a lot of thoughts about missionary work!

Sunday we had Sacrament meeting in the morning and we had no investigators show up so that was a bummer. The only real highlight was that we had a great lesson with Brad, an investigator who hasn't really been progressing. We had a great Restoration lesson and we think the Spirit sparked something within him so hopefully we can get him started down the path towards baptism.

Well that is all I had to share! I love you all so much! Thank you for all the support and all that you do for me!

Love ya!

Elder Tonini

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

Monday, February 16, 2015

First week as ze District Leader

Hey everyone!

So this was an interesting week!

Tuesday was my 20th birthday! We headed out to the stake center to go do new district leader training. We were right in the middle of the training when Sister Park walked in and dropped off a bunch of goodies for my birthday! It was super sweet. We had a couple of service projects lined up but they all fell through so we went to Mike Meadows and read Mosiah 5 with him. We saw the Heady's and his daughter has the same birthday! It was pretty cool haha. We had dinner at the Nichols before trying to see some less actives and a former investigator but they were not available so we went to the church and organized LDS Tools in a way that would be beneficial to us!

Wednesday was pretty good. We basically tried part member families all day but for the most part either they were not ready to come back to church or they were not home. We were able to talk to Brother Skin*** for a little while so that was pretty good. We were trying to figure out a place to go tracting and we decided to go to a place that I have felt we should go tract for a long time. We didn't have much success until we knocked on this one door about half way through. We met a lady named Cynthia and she took a Book of Mormon and said that we could come by in the next week or so! We are hoping to get into contact with her soon! We had a great dinner at the Pea***'s and then we visited some of the members to end our night.

Thursday we had weekly planning in the morning. We decided to give Jay Par*** a call to see if we could get something set up for that day and he finally answered! We got a lesson set up with him for later that afternoon. After lunch we headed out to the north part of the 'burbs and tried to visit some part-member families out there. While we were doing that, the zone leaders called us and asked us for progress records. Luckily I had the foresight to stick the two for us and Gold Hill in my bag so we biked over to the stake center and gave that to the zone leaders. We dropped our bikes off at the Stam*** and tried once more to visit some part member families. While we trying one part member on Taylor, we knocked on the door and a girl named Anna opened the door and told us the part member wasn't living there. However, she talked to us for a few minutes and she even took a pamphlet and a card with our number on it. We got back over to the Stam*** and we taught an awesome lesson with Jay! He had a lot of questions and we (along with the Stam*** help) were able to help answer his questions. We learned after the lesson that we had stake correlation that night and so I had to get dressed up for dinner and then for stake correlation. We had a great correlation and we were able to discuss a lot about how to help the stake progress. We then had ward correlation and we met Sister Lawrence's trainee for the first time!

Friday was my first ever district meeting! Yay!.... haha! I was super stressed about it but luckily it went well! We grabbed lunch at Subway and then we went over and taught Mike about the Great Apostasy and shared a video with him. We came back to our apartment and changed into service clothes to help Brother Stamps take care of Sister Winter's lawn. We made that lawn look good haha! After we changed back into proselyting clothes we went tracting on a street close by our apartment. We got peepholed a couple of times and we didn't have much luck. We the visited some of the more active members of the ward and also some part member families.

Saturday we tried to see some part member families and former investigators over in the Cherry St. Apartments. All the formers that we tried had moved out or were not home... so that was a major bummer. We decided to go tracting and we ran into a guy named Brandon. He was all tatted up and stuff but he was super open to what we had to say and told us that he was looking for a church for him and his daughter to start going to! We are hoping to start visiting with him starting tonight! As we kept tracting, we talked to a couple of people who said that we could stop by! It was super sweet. We taught Adam about the priesthood after lunch and that went well. We tried some less actives over in the west part of town and one of them opened the door and told us that she was going to the local non-denomination church in town and said that no one from "your church" had been by. So that was a bummer haha. We then saw Ken, a man who has dementia. He had no idea who we were but when we were walking outside, he tried to make an escape! Luckily the attendant was right there and closed the door before he could leave. We then saw another less active with brain issues and we were able to establish a good connection with him. We ended the night with Papa Murphy's pizza and root beer!

Sunday we had ward council in the morning and it went really well. The ward council put some good input into the ward mission plan so that was good. We had a great sacrament meeting but only Angelo and Spencer came. We were hoping for Brandon and his daughter but they did not come. After church we tried to meet up with Angelo and Spencer but they had to cancel last second so we just went home and had lunch. We went tracting after lunch and we had some funny things said to us. This guy accused us of trying to sell stuff to him and said that we don't know what soliciting was haha! Pretty hilarious! We headed back over to the church so I could do my first ever baptismal interview! It was pretty awesome! Nicolas is a kid getting baptized over in Gold Hill and he is dead ready to get baptized! We had a great dinner at the Thurman's and then Brad bailed on us. That stunk. However, we were able to get over to the Crowe's and we were able to share a message of the Atonement so that was awesome!

Well I love all of you! Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes! You are the best!

Love y'all! There is no doubt that this church is true!

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

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Copy of leadership opportunity letter sent to Elder Tonini

February 11, 2015

Dear Elder Jacob Romney Tonini,

Your role and purpose as a District Leader in the Oregon Eugene Mission is to help the missionaries in your district understand and live the principles in Preach My Gospel.

You play a vital role in sustaining and enhancing the atmosphere of the mission. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit you will lead your missionaries; teaching and providing the example for obedience, diligence, working by the spirit and humility. Specifically you will lead by example in planning, teaching, finding, inviting and working with members.

You earn the missionaries respect when you demonstrate effective work in your own area. As you produce and bring people to Christ; building a successful area, missionaries will want to be like you. You are expected to lead the way with your area; you should lead out in all key indicators.

Lead like Moroni would:

“…if all men had been, and were, and ever would be like unto Moroni; behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever.” Moroni 48:17

At the district level you should use the Training Model (Explain, Demonstrate, Practice, Evaluate and Re-Practice). Hold your missionaries responsible for their own growth and development.

Always be teaching; what you do on exchanges will greatly impact your district’s success. That’s when you can demonstrate and develop in them skills and ability to find, teach and commit. Don’t forget the value of teaching your missionaries how to work with members.

In addition to the above counsel, please see attached specific duties of a District Leader.

With profound love,

/s/ H. Jeffery Russell
Mission President

CC: Stake President, Bishop and Parents

Monday, February 9, 2015

Wait... I'm a district leader now?!

Howdy howdy!

Well this has been an interesting week!

Monday was P-Day! We were out the door to go email at 10 because of a zone activity that was happening at noon. When we arrived at the Jacksonville's Bishop's house, you could smell the food out in the yard! It was some good stuff! Afterwards we played fishbowl and I think and we won (I think because the scorekeeper and time keeper were on our side!). We went and did our shopping and hung out the rest of the day until dinner time with our ward mission leader. It was super fun being over at Brother Thur***'s house. They have some awesome kids!

Tuesday found Elder Galloway and I waking up at 5 in order for him to get ready to go to MLC with the Zone Leaders and Elder Johanson, the other district leader in Central Point 1st Ward. We have three district leaders in our zone but the third one is going home tomorrow so he didn't have to go! I spent the day with Elder Sorenson in his area because they had a ton of lessons set up so we were over there doing work! When we left the apartment for the day, we walked over to McDonald's to sync and get some stuff downloaded on Gospel Library. While we were outside waiting to connect to the WiFi, a lady opened the door and asked us to come speak to her husband about joining the Church. We talked to this couple from Jacksonville for a little while and while the husband wasn't very talkative, we were able to set up a service project for the zone leaders (they cover Jacksonville) and tell them about who their missionaries are in their area. It was super cool to be able to be in the right spot at the right time! However, because we got talking with this lady and her husband (not like that's a bad thing), we were running late for a lesson with a guy named Robert on the other side of town. We decided to stop and pray for a miracle ride and I felt like I should call the Stam***. Brother Stam*** was walking into his house when his wife answered our phone call and he came to the rescue! Although we were cramped in his two-seater truck, we were grateful nevertheless for the ride. We showed up to Robert's house and I saw a cross on his house and around his neck when he opened the door and although I tried to hold back my thoughts that he was going to try to prove us wrong via the Bible, my thoughts became reality. It was a very interesting discussion to say the least. It felt as though he was contradicting himself on how we need faith and works and also how the Godhead operates. He really knew his scriptures well and he also knew a lot of Mormon terminology, which was strange to me! He pretty much had the kingdoms of glory learned and also called the work in the temple "temple work". Anyways, he was a very energetic reborn Christian and although he denied that he wasn't burying his head in the sand like an ostrich and not listening to what we had to say, he pretty much was doing just that! He tried to shut down our testimonies and didn't pay a lot of attention to a clip we shared of Elder Holland's talk "The Only True God and Jesus Christ Whom He Hath Sent" (which would've probably cleared up somethings for him). The good thing is that it never really became confrontational and we left with an understanding of one another. He said he would read the Book of Mormon and we said that we would read the chapters he wanted us to read so we both received commitments haha! After the lesson with Robert, we stopped by a less active before taking lunch. We went and tried to see a couple of people but they were not home so we decided to see one more person before dinner and that came in the form of Dave, an 84 year old man whose wife died two months previous. He was struggling when we showed up on his doorstep and we decided to make a list of blessings in his life and help him see that despite his hardships the Lord was still blessing him. Dinner was pretty awesome! The Edwards took us to a Mexican restaurant and I found out they are HUGE Cardinal fans! I haven't met a lot of people out here who like baseball haha! After dinner we tried seeing another less active right as the zone leaders pulled up with our companions in the back seat. They told us some of the announcements from MLC and who the new AP was and then the ZL's dropped Elder Galloway and I off at the apartment to end the night.

Holy cow that was a busy day!

Wednesday was pretty slow. We didn't have anything planned for the morning and I wanted to tidy up the apartment a little bit to try to help bring in the Spirit more so that is exactly what I did. I've really learned the importance of a clean home on my mission haha! We tried seeing a couple of people in the morning but no one answered so Elder Galloway mailed off a package so he wasn't hauling a ton of stuff during transfers. After lunch we tried seeing a less active brother named Joe but he said he thinks he got ringworm from his cat! Yeah, not going to be seeing him until he gets that taken care of haha! I then proceeded to break a shoelace and when we found out Gold Hill was in town we asked them to take us to Walmart so I could get some shoelaces. I love having two pairs of shoes haha! I would've been in trouble if I didn't have an extra pair! We tried to see people the rest of the day and the night but we had no success.

Thursday was pretty good. I had a great personal study so that started off my day on a positive note. We weekly planned for Week 1 of the next transfer and I just thought to myself, "Holy cow this transfer flew by!". After lunch we headed over and saw Jay H. and shared a message with him. He is an interesting character to say the least haha! We went over to Dana's house and we watched the "Scriptures Legacy" video with him. It is a great video and although it is a little lengthy, it is a good one to watch! That took us up to dinner and since we were on the other side of town from where our dinner was, we asked Brother Sever*** for a ride. He shows up with his mini van and kids in tow! Haha it was like being in the car when I was a little kid! Anyways, after dinner one of the members texted us and asked us if we wanted Blizzards and we said sure! He also asked if we wanted any food and since we had had soup and I was still pretty hungry, I asked for chicken tenders haha! We have some awesome members in this ward! We walked on over to correlation and for the first time since I have been here, the sisters beat us there! We had a pretty good correlation meeting and we discussed a lot about the Central Point 2nd Ward mission plan. I also found out that the ward chorister wants the ward missionaries and full time missionaries to sing a song on the 15th! When Brother Stam*** heard that we were singing he started telling everyone that I can sing! Haha that was news to me! I was sitting next to him during stake conference and I was singing the alternate chorus and apparently he thought I was pretty good at it haha!!! It was pretty funny listening to him boast about my non-existent singing skills!

Friday we had zone training meeting morning at nine in the morning. From the time we woke up to when we got to the stake center, it was just pouring like crazy! About time I saw a storm like this in Oregon haha! We had a pretty good ZTM! We had a ton of announcements, from Elder Brent H. Nielsen (if I remember correctly) coming at the end of this month to the temple trip we will be having in March. We did a ton of role plays to help us become better acquainted with doing several different kinds of door approaches and OYM approaches so that was fun. We grabbed lunch and then we tried visiting some of our shut-in, less active people but because I am still overcoming my cold from last week we weren't able to see most of them and then some of the other people just weren't available. We had dinner set up with Sister Par** and the Pea*** so Elder and Sister Pea*** picked us up and took us to dinner. When I walked into the kitchen and I saw birthday balloons and Sister Par** tells me that we are going to celebrate my birthday! I wish I had the pictures but I had a straw hat on holding a tambourine (I think) and a scepter. After she was done taking pictures, she told me to close my eyes for a surprise. I did as she asked and when I opened my eyes I saw Sister Christine Martin
standing right next to me! She had flown in to help Sister Par** out with something and they threw me a birthday party! Oh it was so awesome reconnecting and talking to her about Houston! There was a ton of food and I got a ton of candy for presents haha! It was something that I was totally not expecting and it was super awesome. What happened after that was something else I wasn't expecting!! President Russell called Elder Galloway and I and told us that he needed to speak to both of us. He told Elder Galloway he was being transferred to Grant's Pass in the Beacon Hill Ward as a district leader and then he told me that I was to be district leader and take over for Elder Galloway! Holy smokes that was a shocker! It kept me up for a good chunk of the night haha!

Saturday we received a text asking us if we could help with a move and we said yes. Brother Sum*** came and got us around 9 and we headed off towards the storage unit. The sister that we were helping move in had gone on a family history mission in Salt Lake City but had to come home because of a broken foot. She had a ton of stuff for one lady! When I walked into the storage unit, I noticed all the rat poop and I overheard one of the brethren say that she had stored some food in there, making it a target for a rat. Well sure enough as we got towards the back of the unit, a rat popped out and ran over someones foot before hiding again. Not even five minutes later, we had it cornered only for it to escape and crawl up Brother Hu***'s leg! He managed to kick it off and Brother Froeh*** landed some kicks on it before it tried to hobble away. He followed it and killed it. While we resumed packing up Sister Green***'s possessions, a man came over and asked if we could help him load up a U-Haul. Elder Galloway and I were one of the first ones over there and we saw that they had two of the bigger units in the facility and they were jammed pack with stuff! We could only help them with the unit that had a ton of boxes in it because the other one looked like a total mess. After helping them with that one unit, Elder Galloway and I went with Brother Sum*** over to sister Green***'s apartment to help move her in. It was a pretty good move! Brother Sum*** dropped us off and we got dressed in our proselyting clothes before the Gold Hill Elders came and got us so we could go get our supply orders. When we got there, the zone leaders told us about what was happening with transfers. In my first-ever district, I will have a sister training leader, a missionary who is brand new from the MTC, a elder going home, and a former zone leader as my companion. This will really be interesting! We decided to go grab a quick bite to eat at McDonald's and it was pretty inspired because Jay P. was eating there as well! We haven't been able to see him since January 1st I think! As it turns out, he is still actively reading the Book of Mormon and has just been super busy! He even found a leather bound triple combination at Goodwill for a few bucks and was reading that when we showed up! We found out that we are not able to meet in the complex that he is living in but he is good for meeting at the church so that is what we are going to do! We went and saw Adam and share a message about the Atonement with him so that was awesome.

Sunday we didn't have ward council so we showed up to the church at normal time. When we got there, I started getting a headache and it just got worse and worse throughout the sacrament and then trough gospel principles. I mentioned to the gospel principles teacher and she went into the Relief Society room and within two minutes got me the medicines I needed to keep back the headache! I love this ward so dang much! They take care of the missionaries really well! We did have a lesson planned with Spencer and Angelo but Spencer was visiting family so we were not able to meet with them. We spent pretty much of the day at the apartment, allowing Elder Galloway time to pack and then we went out and he said good bye to some of the families in the ward. We had dinner with one of the Idia*** families and we had skookies! There will be a picture included! It is basically a giant cookie with ice cream on top.

Thank y'all for everything that you do for me! Thanks for keeping me in your prayers. As I embark on this journey as a district leader, I will definitely need those prayers! I know this Church is true! There is no doubt!

I love y'all! Have a great week!

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

Monday, February 2, 2015

"I am the Master of my Fate and the Captain of my Soul"

Howdy Howdy!

So this week was rough because I was sick all week long! However, Elder Galloway and I were still able to go out and do some stuff!

Monday was good ol' P-Day. We did our shopping in the morning and hung out with other missionaries at the stake center. I also got a hair cut so I am back once again to my short haired self. Throughout the day I was feeling achy and coughing but towards the evening it just worse and worse! We had dinner/FHE with the Hea***'s and I was just coughing a lung up! I ended up taking some meds that ended up just completely knocking me out after we planned and I wrote in my journal!

Tuesday was a little better health wise but not by much! I was still achy but I felt well enough to go to the Medford temple and do our weekly service there. It was probably a bad idea haha! Elder Galloway and I took out some stumps while the other Elders worked on some plants that the Sister who runs the whole thing decided should come up. Elder Johanson was working on one of these plants and when he took it out it looked like Mickey Mouse's head! After service and getting cleaned up, we tried to go out and do stuff but I was attacked by my cold pretty badly. I developed a bad migraine and it felt as though my nose was running the Boston Marathon and my throat was the Sahara! We had dinner and then we headed over to the Steb*** family for a FHE. I was doing pretty bad so Brother Steb*** took Elder Galloway and I over to Walgreens so I could stock up on some cold meds and cough drops.

Wednesday I started feeling a little better compared to the last two days thanks to the medicine I picked up at Walgreens. After studies we headed out in service clothes to help Brother Sta*** take care of Sister Win***'s lawn. Somehow I ended up on the roof holding onto this huge limb that had potential to do some damage to this sister's house while Elder Galloway cut the limb off. I then cleaned out the gutters while Elder Galloway helped Brother Sta*** take care of some old blackberry vines. Afterwards while we were taking lunch and getting cleaned up, we got a call from Sister Cavan*** about helping her and her husband move a mattress and a box spring to someone's home. It was a piece of cake to get the mattress and box spring out of their house and into the truck but it was a totally different ballgame when we got to the house. It was one of those mobile homes that are surrounded by an electric fence and a ghetto sign on a truck that says "No Trespassing"! When Elder Galloway and I stepped into the "house", we got hit by this stench and it made me horribly sick. The state of the house was terrible and it did not help. I got outside after we took in the mattress and I was sweating and woozy and just not doing very hot! Sister Cavan*** (who had no idea it was that bad in the house) is a nurse so she was kinda worried I was going to pass out! She told me to go home and rest for the rest of the afternoon but I couldn't stand being in the apartment asleep for three hours so I took a power nap and we kept going until dinner! We had dinner with an older couple who had actually served in the OEM (Oregon Eugene Mission) and the husband had a sweet OEM tie and pen! Since we were right next to the church, we went into the family history center and I read and printed some talks about the Atonement for a talk that I might have to give in the next zone conference!

Thursday we were out the door pretty early to go down to Medford for a specialized training meeting that was called originally for the missionaries going home in May, June, and July of this year but decided to make it for everyone. It was a great meeting that focused on not wasting this time allotted to us by the Lord to serve a mission and to be obedient. I thought it was well done despite being planned this past Sunday! We came back to the apartment and had lunch before we did weekly planning since we were not able to do it that morning. We tried seeing Gene but he was sick with the flu and we tried seeing a less active named Joe but he was going out the door. We walked around and tried to OYM but nothing much happened. We had an awesome dinner though! The Stan***'s feed us tri tip! Oh man I hadn't had that good of BBQ since Philomath! We walked over to the other side of our area for correlation and it was a really good one! We had some funny moments but we were able to really make plans for those that we are seeing. The funniest part of correlation was when Brother Sta*** got tired of Elder Galloway "mistreating" his pillows and gave him a teddy bear to hold instead! Oh man it made for a good photo!

Friday we had district meeting, our last one of the transfer! The Gold Hill Elders came early so Elder Porter and I could make a pre-district meeting treat! We made some home made biscuits and gravy and MAN it was good stuff! After district meeting and a quick lunch, we went on exchanges with Gold Hill. Elder Porter came to my area and after discussing what we would be sharing with the people that we were trying to meet with, we headed out on foot. We were almost to Mike's house when this little old lady hails us over to her. It was M&M, the 97 year old great great grandmother that works at Calvary Temple food pantry, out on her knees weeding! She talked to us for a full thirty minutes about Paul, the pastor/singer(?) at Calvary temple who died of pancreatitis last week. It was a good conversation and we were able to talk about the Church a little bit with her but she wasn't interested in what we had to say haha but she absolutely loves us missionaries! We finally managed to pry ourselves away from M&M and taught Mike a lesson about dealing with adversity and it went great! I had planned on Elder Porter and I to stop by a member who is a loony bin (I don't know what else to call it) but we were not able to because of my cold... After dinner we had a really weird thing happen to us! Elder Galloway had left some stuff he needed for tomorrow and they were going to the church to pick up a package for Elder Madsen so they asked us to wait at the apartment after dinner. While we were waiting, we both heard a distinct knock on our door. We went downstairs and opened the door expecting to see the other Elders only to see nobody. We thought they were trying to scare us so we locked the door and just sat there for a second. We then heard another knock.... UPSTAIRS!!!! It was so freaky! As soon as Elder Galloway showed up to get his stuff we were out the door! We were able to talk to Sister Cro*** and schedule a time for us to come by and see her and her family so that was how we ended our night. I also managed to fill out my whole journal! I am now on my second journal on my mission!

Saturday was a pretty sweet day! Elder Porter and I had a great study session and then we prayed that there would be people out and about for us to try to talk to about the gospel. We took a different route over to the west side of the area and as we turned up the street dividing the CP1/CP2 wards, there were eight people all walking towards us! Although none of them were interested in our message, it was an awesome experience to see Heavenly Father place people in our path so we could invite them to receive the gospel. After that happened, it was about time to exchange back so we headed back to the apartment to wait for the other two Elders to show up. After we exchanged back, Elder Galloway and I went and shared a message with Adam. He throughly enjoyed it! It was a Mormon Message that used clips from a talk by Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin called "Come what may and love it". We walked over to Abby's pizza and had dinner there with a member couple before heading over to stake conference. It was a great stake conference and Elder Bruce A. Carlson of the Seventy (and a retired four star general in the Air Force) spoke to us! I got the opportunity to shake his hand afterwards! It was pretty cool!

Sunday we had stake conference and it was packed! Once again we were able to hear from some members of the stake, youth and adults alike, and then from two of the stake presidency, President Russell, and Elder Carlson. It was just awesome! We then had a lesson with Angelo and Spencer about the Plan of Salvation and that went well. The afternoon was weird though. We did a temporary exchange with the Elders in the 1st ward, mainly because of me and Elder Johanson. The chiropractor in my ward who has been adjusting me said he was only really available sometime this afternoon and would let us know and Elder Johanson was having some tightness issues in his back so we were together for a few hours. We went and taught a lady named Claire who has some memory issues and it makes it difficult for her to remember if she read or not and also to retain the information she had learned. It turned out to be a great lesson despite her memory loss! We then saw some members who were in an assisted living facility on our way to dinner. The facility was under quarantine to protect the residents against a flu outbreak but we were still allowed in. We had to wear the nursing masks and man I do not know how they can wear those all the time! We got back to the apartment to grab a quick bite to eat before heading out again when we realized we had locked ourselves out! The back window was open but Elder Johanson and I are both big guys and there was no way we were getting in until I saw the skate ramps that were in their backyard. Using that, I basically walked right in through the window and let Elder Johanson in! The chiropractor finally told us we could come by and so we walked all the way there in the pouring rain haha! When he popped my neck, my nose just cleared up in an instant! It was great! We exchanged back right after and we put in lessons into the iPad to end the night.

During the specialized training, President Russell shared a clip from the movie "Invictus". It was when Matt Damon, the leader of the South Africa rugby team, went with his team to the jail where Nelson Mandela was held. President Russell read the poem that Morgan Freeman recited during that scene. In it it says "I am the Master of my Fate and the Captain of my Soul". I am grateful that I am the master of my fate. What I do determines who I am today and who I will become. Because of this gospel I am someone that fears the Lord and turns to Him everyday in hopes of becoming someone better. This Gospel is true. There is no doubt!

Love y'all!

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