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


  1. Elder Carlson knows Grandma and Grandpa Romney. The Carlsons used to be in their ward!!!

  2. Oh man, I wish I would've known! I talked to him too! (via email)