Monday, May 25, 2015

The One where Samantha Got Baptized and I Hit My Year Mark

Hey everyone!

This was a good week and the weekend was pretty dang awesome!

Monday was our normal P-Day stuff. We actually ended up spending most of our day shopping haha! We drove around the 1st Ward Elders so they could get some stuff for when they go home. We played some basketball and then we had pizza dropped off to us at our apartment so we got to chill for a little bit. We had a lesson with Nicolas and his family at the end of the night. We finished up the new member lessons and I ended up not having my iPad for most of it because Nicolas' little sister was hogging it haha!

Tuesday morning we picked up the 1st Ward Elders and did some service at the temple. We dug some holes and planted a couple more plants on the backside of the temple. I can't wait to come back and see all these plants grown haha! We grabbed a quick lunch before driving to Sam's Valley to see the Mitch***'s with Brother Med***. It went really well and there was a lot of good insights shared. After we did that, we tried to get in contact with a couple that are potentials in the Area Book but they were not home. We had dinner and then met with the zone leaders at the church to prep them for Samantha's interview. Samantha and Eric came to the church and Eric met with Bishop while Samantha met with Elder Taito. Samantha finished up right after Eric did and she was found worthy to be baptized and Eric was found worthy to baptize her! That was so awesome to be there in that moment!

Wednesday morning we met up with Brother Mad*** and shared a message with him before going to lunch. We then got out of our proselyting clothes and went with Brother Med*** to see Sister Stam***. We shared a message with her and then we got to work on some yard work that she had for us. We got cleaned up and after dinner we had a lesson with Maddi at a member's home. When we asked her about the chapter we left her to read, she pulled out her phone and pulled up a list of scriptures that she liked! It was pretty awesome! We had a pretty good lesson with her about the Plan of Salvation. We are waiting right now to see what she wants to do about her baptismal date. We had set the date on the day that the youth were going to be at youth conference so we left it up to her to pray about what day it should be on. To end our night, we had correlation in Central Point and made the final preparations for Samantha's baptism.

Thursday was a milestone for me. Thursday marked one year of me being a missionary! I cannot believe how fast time has flown and how much I have grown since I walked into the doors of the MTC! We started off the morning doing weekly planning at the church and we ended up doing it with the zone leaders!! After we did weekly planning, we went and did some service at Sister Pa***'s home with the 1st Ward Elders. To celebrate my one year mark, I burned a shirt that I found in my apartment when I first came into Central Point! It was pretty awesome:) While we were building a shelter for Sister Pa***'s pet emu, a huge thunderstorm (for Oregon at least) came rolling through. Luckily we were just putting on the finishing touches when it got really bad. We got back to the apartment and got dressed for stake correlation. It was a pretty good correation meeting! President Thompson has been one of my favorite stake presidents on my mission and I love being in his correlation meetings. Anyways, after stake correlation, we had our Book of Mormon class and the 1st Ward Elders had one person there! It went really well! We talked about the Great Apostasy and such. That was pretty much the end of our night.

Friday morning I had district meeting. It was a bit dry because another district leader decided that he wanted to do a mass zone role play so I didn't have much to cover. I ended up bailing on the role play because Elder Sorensen was SUPER sick. I helped Elder White get some medication and some Saltine's and Sprite for Elder Sorensen. After we did that for them, we contacted a couple of people before having our lesson with Samantha and Eric. It was Samantha's last one before her baptism! We talked about the laws and ordinances of the Gospel and she loved it. We drove into Gold Hill to go print out Samantha's baptismal programs before picking up dinner at the church. I ended my night with Elder Sorensen so Elder White and Elder Best could go and do the youth sports night.

Saturday was the best day of my mission to date! We were at the church at 8 so we could fill the font and get it all ready for Samantha's baptism!! Samantha and Eric got there early enough so we were able to get them dressed and ready. We had a pretty good turn out and President Russell came! When it came time for Samantha to get baptized, she almost had a panic attack haha! She got in the water and Eric said the prayer perfectly but her hand and elbow were out of the water so he had to do it again. Luckily the second time was perfect all the way around and it was pretty dang awesome:) we cleaned up afterwards and then we visited a couple of people before going on splits with the 1st Ward Elders. Elder Sorensen was still not feeling good so I went out with Elder White and we visited some of the people in his area.

Sunday was a pretty close second to being the best day ever. At least for a couple of hours. Samantha asked us to be a part of her confirmation and we gladly accepted! That was pretty awesome as well. But the most awesome part of the day was when Geraldine came. She was a lady that Sister Gree*** had invited to the dinner we had a week and a half ago. She had some questions at that dinner so we left her with a Book of Mormon and a Plan of Salvation pamphlet. Well on Sunday she came to church and said that we changed her life! It was pretty sweet! Other that, church was good and we had a good lesson with the Coleman's.

This was an awesome weekend! Thank you for all your prayers!

Elder Tonini

Monday, May 18, 2015

The One Where I am halfway there!

Hey everyone,

So this was a pretty solid week for us! We had some good lessons and we are getting pumped for Samantha's baptism on Saturday! Unfortunately, Kevin wasn't able to get baptized this week but hopefully he will be in the next two weeks or so!

You ready for my week?

Monday was pretty dang awesome! I got a call from President Russell in the morning and he gave me permission to call Drew and Shavaun. It was so awesome being able to talk to them and congratulate them in person on their marriage! We did our normal P-day stuff before going over to Sister Kan***'s home for dinner with Maddi, a teenage girl who has been going to church for 6 months but hasn't taken the lessons yet. We taught her the Restoration and set her on date for June 20th (although that is probably going to be moved up a couple of weeks). It was a good lesson and we are super excited for her!

Tuesday morning we picked up the 1st Ward Elders and we went and did service at the temple. We pruned some plants down to the ground and spread some dirt around. I am super excited to be able to come back in the next year or so and see all the plants that I have helped plant begin to grow! When we finished up with that, we stopped by the Family History Center and we created a flier for the Youth Sports night that we are trying to get started up. We got cleaned up and had lunch before doing car stuff all day. We got a replacement seat belt part, tires rotated, and the oil changed. It took a good chunk of our afternoon but we were able to go teach a guy named Keith. He is more into the connection between the Native Americans and the Lamanites but we were able to read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon with him. He is an interesting guy haha he sure does love his weed! We then went and saw the Zim***'s and gave Brother Zim*** a blessing to end the night.

Wednesday morning we collected two weed whackers and went to town on Nikki's backyard! It took us a whole hour to weed whack that thing! It was pretty intense haha we were finally able to get it down to our shins but that is as far as we could get with the weed whackers. We got cleaned up and tried to see a couple of people before having dinner in Gold Hill and then a lesson with Samantha and Eric. The Gor***'s opened their home up to us so we had both Brother and Sister Gor*** there and they were pretty awesome! We taught them the 10 commandments and the law of tithing and the Gor***'s shared some great insights on those two subjects. After our lesson, we went and had correlation to end the night.

Thursday was interesting. I was up at 6 and at a church building in Medford by 7 to catch a ride to a mission wide district leader meeting in Winston. Elder Carroll, Elder Roller, and I rode up with Elder Earl, Elder Lucas, and Elder Goode from the Klamath Falls zone. We had a ton of fun! Elder Earl is companions with Elder Flora, my trainer, so we had a good talk about him. When we arrived at the Winston church building, we were instructed by President Russell and the AP's about how to be better district leaders. It was a good meeting and I felt like I learned a lot from it. We had a fun car ride back which involved a pit stop in Grant's Pass for drinks and then goofing off on the car ride home haha! Elder Best came and picked me up in Medford with the 1st Ward Elders and after we dropped them off at their apartment, Elder Best and I took off for the stake center so I could meet with Elder Roller and Elder Carroll about teaching in the zone training meeting the next day. We went from there to the retirement home near the church for a dinner/discussion with a member and some of her friends in the building. It was pretty fun! One of our former investigators was there so that was cool. We wrapped up there and went to the church for the inaugural Book of Mormon class only for it to flop.... Hopefully we get a better turn out this week! To fill in the time, we made Samantha's baptismal program and took it over to her.

Friday we had zone training meeting in the morning. Elder Best and I were at the church by 7:45 so we could iron out the final details of our segment of ZTM. It was a really good ZTM. We had some fun role plays and the district leader segment went really well. Last time we taught at ZTM, people said we didn't do a good job but we knocked it out of the park on this one! We went and talked to a couple of people after lunch before our lesson with Samantha and Eric. Brother Couvre*** was able to come with us and we had a great lesson about the baptismal interview questions and then afterwards we worked on finalizing her baptismal program. We drove over to Sister Stam***'s for dinner before coming back into Central Point for our first ever Youth Sports Night. However, just like the Book of Mormon class, no one came! We knew that the Eagle Point Elders were doing theirs at that time so we talked to them and got some ideas on what we could do to make our youth sports night a success.

Saturday morning we helped Brother Wil** mix and pour cement for a garage that he is building on his house. It was a ton of fun! We got to use a mixer and I got a good workout in haha! We went to the Family History Center afterwards and put some finishing touches on Samantha's program before going home and getting cleaned up. We shared a message with Dana before going and talking to Adam. We had a good talk with him and unfortunately we took a touch too long because our dinner was supposed to pick us up at 4:30 and we weren't even out of Adam's house till 4:35! Ooops... Luckily they were still at our apartment and took us to Original Roadhouse Grill. It was super funny because the Idiarts asked us where we wanted to go and we said Texas Roadhouse (they said we could go wherever we wanted no matter the cost!) and they thought we meant this Original Roadhouse Grill! They asked us what we thought of it and I compared it to Texas Roadhouse and they said "Wait....this isn't Texas Roadhouse?!". It was really funny but at the same time it was a good thing we didn't go to Texas Roadhouse because we probably would have never made it to our split with Brother Low***! We went with him to see the Cuf***'s. Brother Cuf*** has been investigating the Church off and on for 45 years so we shared a message about the Book of Mormon with him and his member wife. We got back to Gold Hill and we drove over to Brother Vit***' home for correlation.

Sunday was a milestone for me! May 17th 2016 is the day that I get on the plane to come home so yesterday marked 365 days left on my mission! I can't believe how fast time is flying... I feel like I got out of the MTC a few weeks ago. Anyways, Sunday was like normal, just church all day long with a bunch of meetings. The Central Point 2nd Ward set a goal for 20 baptisms for the remainder of the year and I hope that they can exercise their faith and do just that! Samantha came to church but had to leave early to go get their son. Gold Hill was ok, just the normal stuff that happens in a ward filled with old people haha! We didn't even go to Elders Quorum because we had some matters of business to attend to. We had dinner with the Hul***'s and drove into Gold Hill so Elder Best could grab some stuff from the apartment over there. We came back into town and left the truck at the apartment so we could walk around and visit some people. We tried to see Angelo and Spencer but no one came to the door. We saw that Brandon, a guy that Elder Ellsworth and I ran into back in February, was working on his car so we talked to him for a little bit. We were not able to teach him anything but we left him the Gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet for him to read since he read the other pamphlet. We walked back to the apartment and drove over to the church to update our lessons and sync up. That wrapped up our Sabbath!

I know that this Church is true. I know that my Savior loves me and I know that He lives. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God as is the Bible. I am grateful for all that each of you do for me and I am grateful for your prayers.

I love y'al! Have a great week!

Elder Jacob Tonini

Monday, May 11, 2015

The One Where I Got to Skype Home!

Hey everyone!

So this was a long week but it was pretty dang awesome! I just wanna start by congratulating Drew and Shavaun for getting married! I love ya'll and I wish I could've been there but I know I am needed out here in the OEM!

Monday was transfers and it was like any normal transfer day. We showed up at the transfer spot and I got to talk to some missionaries that I have served around and got to catch up with them. We went shopping afterwards and then we went and played ultimate and football afterwards. We had dinner with the Central Point 2nd Bishop and then hustled over to Gold Hill for a lesson only for it to cancel...

Tuesday morning we were supposed to meet up with Brother Mad*** but he had to cancel because he got sick so we tried some people in the Gold Hill area before lunch. We stopped by the Gold Hill apartment to pick some stuff up before going into Central Point for lunch and a guy was sitting right in front of our door. He told us he was hanging out with Jesus and we talked to him for a little bit. We didn't have much happen until after dinner. We went to the church and had a font-to-table-to-temple lesson with Eric and Samantha. What a font-to-table-to-temple lesson consists of is us teaching about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and showing the baptismal font to them and then showing the importance of the sacrament and show them the sacrament table. Usually it ends there, but we got a temple in our backyard and so after we talked about the sacrament we went and walked around in the temple grounds. That was an awesome experience. That whole lesson was just awesome.

Wednesday morning we drove to the church for a funeral. It was a member of the 2nd ward and I taught him a couple of times before he died. This member is the third one to pass since I have been here! It was super sad.. Anyways, after the funeral we had to go take the truck in to get a flashing light checked out. It turned out to be nothing serious so that was good. While we were there, we texted Trent and he had to cancel on us so we tried to go see a couple of people when we finished up with the truck. We had dinner and then drove into Gold Hill to go out with Brother Vit*** and see one of his home teaching families. It was a great visit! The husband usually doesn't treat missionaries well but he stuck around and was cordial! We then booked it back to Central Point for correlation.

Thursday morning found us at Sister Par***'s home helping out on her property! While I was there, I got to talk to Sister Martin! I sure do love that woman! We had a load of fun and we got a lot accomplished! We cleaned up and had lunch before doing weekly planning. We then contacted a few members before going back to Sister Pa***'s for dinner! Sister Martin bought me a Texas shirt and a Texas flag! It was super awesome! After we hit a couple of golf balls into Sister Par***'s lake and we helped her get a canoe, we had a lesson with Samantha and Eric. Although Eric's parents were not able to be there, we had a great lesson with the two of them. We talked about the law of chastity and it was easy for them to commit to live it. We then went over what Samantha could expect for her baptism and what happens during a baptismal service. When we finished the lesson, Samantha dumped all their coffee and tea and I dumped out the Dr. Pepper that I had and she committed not to drink tea or coffee and I committed not to drink Dr. Pepper. It was great!

Friday morning I had the first district meeting of the new transfer and it went really well. I used a baseball analogy about working with members and then played a game about companionship unity! It was fun stuff! After lunch I went on exchanges with Elder Burnett, one of the zone leaders over in Jacksonville. We had a lot of fun together! He was born and raised in Austin, Texas so we had a lot to talk about haha! We went and tried a few potentials that lived in this trailer park before heading out with a member to a lesson with a woman named Annette. She is an interesting woman haha! There was a lot of discussion so we were not able to go into depth about the Restoration but she said she would get baptized if she knew it was true! We then went and saw a recent convert and put her non-member husband on date! The member dropped us off after our lesson with Mary and Dave and Elder Burnett and I tracked for a couple of minutes before going to dinner. After dinner, we headed over to the church to help out the Spanish missionaries and Elder Burnett hit a bird haha! Luckily it didn't leave any damage and we made it to the church in one piece. We then tried to teach a young couple that lived in the trailer park we visited earlier but we weren't able to really teach anything... The baby threw up and a lot of other things happened but we were able to say a prayer with them and set up the expectations for when future missionaries come by.

Saturday we headed over to the church to help out the Jacksonville Ward set up for their ward party/auction. It was good that we were down near the temple because I felt like I was able to be at Drew's wedding in spirit! After we got tables and chairs set up, we headed over to one of the zone leader's investigators for some service. Stefano is a super cool guy! He had surgery sometime ago and needs help every now and then with stuff around his home. The thing we helped him out with was cleaning his cymbals (I think that's the right kind of cymbal!) for his drum sets. It was super fun and then at the end he did a cover of "What I've Done" by Linkin Park! It was pretty awesome. We exchanged back shortly after and Elder Best and I went and saw Adam. We had a good talk with him and shared a message with him about how the worth of a soul in the Lord's eyes. When we got out of Adam's house, we got a text from the zone leaders telling us to go check our emails for instructions from the AP's. We drove over to the church and helped out the Spanish Elders get ready for a baptism they were having that afternoon while we waited for our email to come. The email contained instructions for a special project we were supposed to get done by 9 that night and so we were able to get it done before driving over to Kevin's home to talk about the baptismal interview questions. We are really hopefully that he will be able to get baptized on Saturday! Keep praying for him and Samantha! After our lesson with Kevin and dinner at a member's home, we drove into a Gold Hill for a lesson with the Jankow*** family. It was a really good lesson and we got Jeff to commit to come to church! We then had correlation with Brother Vit*** to end the night.

Sunday we were at church all day and we had to sit impatiently during both sets of meetings to be able to talk to our families! Unfortunately we didn't have any investigators come to church due to sickness or moving so that stunk. Elder Best skyped his family before dinner and then after we visited with Samantha and Eric for a couple of minutes we drove to a members home and I got to Skype my mom and dad and the rest of the family! I miss y'all so much haha!

Thank you for all your prayers and your love. I know that the Book of Mormon is the keystone of our religion and I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. I know that this Church is true! There is no doubt!

Love y'all and until next time!

Elder Tonini

Monday, May 4, 2015

Ding Ding! Round 5 in Central Point

Hey everyone!

Well, I can't believe that I am saying this but I am staying for a fifth transfer in Central Point! Holy cow, I couldn't believe it when the zone leaders told me! We have a great transfer ahead of us!

Monday was pretty fun. We had zone breakfast at the place where the zone leaders live and that was yummy! A couple hours later, we got a net set up from some volleyball! It was a ton of fun and it got pretty intense! We took the 1st Ward Elders grocery shopping after we were done and while we were doing that, I realized that I had grabbed another Elder's iPad! Ooops! I was able to get it back by the end of the night so that was good. We had dinner with our new ward mission leader so that was fun!

Tuesday morning we had our normal lesson with Brother Mad***. We read a chapter out of the book of Alma and he really liked it. After he took us to lunch, we tried seeing a couple of people before our lesson with a former investigator named Trent. When we showed up to his place, he had totally forgotten and was going to be heading out the door in fifteen minutes! However, we were able to teach him still and get a return appointment set up for this upcoming week. After dinner, we went on splits with Brother Kub*** and Brother Thur***. I went with Brother Kube and we were able to talk to Sister Jord***. She was super nice and friendly! Her German Shepard though makes for a good guard dog! That was our only real success on the split. We knocked on a part-member's door but we didn't get an answer and we tried a man whom I have never met before and this lady started getting agitated and said "Don't talk religion to me boy! I see your name tag! I know who you are!" Despite the situation, we handled it calmly and asked if this guy lived her and she said no as she slammed the door. That was a fun experience to have on splits haha! After splits, we were trying to figure out what to do because it ended a lot shorter than we thought. The thought popped into my head to try and see Claudia, a lady that Elder Ellsworth and I tracted into back in February. When we knocked on the door, she was home! We shared a message about building up faith in Christ and how we can have a firm foundation in Him. It was fun talking about foundations with her because she is a realtor or something and it was a good way to help her come closer to Christ!

Wednesday morning we drove out to Sister Stam***'s home to dig a hole for a tub of sorts. I don't really know how else to describe it haha! We had to dig a pretty big hole to get that sucker to fit! However, we were able to get that knocked out in an hour and a half and she fed us Mexican food for lunch out on the patio. We went back into Central Point and spent some time at the Pea***'s home and took pictures because there was that possibility that I was leaving and they were leaving the next day for a vacation! After saying our premature good-byes to the Pea***'s, we didn't have very much else go on! We were told to retake an online Mobile Device course on our iPads before the weekend so we decided to go to that. Well it wasn't set up yet so we headed back into Gold Hill to take dinner and prepare for Kevin's lesson. On the way in, Brother Vit*** happened to be in front of us and signaled for us to turn into the local Figaros and he bought us a pizza! It was super good. We had a good lesson with Kevin that night about tithing and fast offerings. We are super pumped about him getting baptized on the 16th!

Thursday morning we had weekly planning and I made some really good plans for what we can do to help out the people here in Central Point. After lunch we went over to the Froel***'s to drop some stuff off and talked to Brother Froel***, one of the former ward mission leaders, about Brother Badizade*** and what we could do to help him. We had a lesson with Dana before driving up to Brother Badizade***'s home. We had another interesting discussion with him. He is such an intelligent man and needs to reason to overcome the probability of something happening. He mentioned all this different things about the probability of this thing happening and the probability of this thing happening. Luckily, Elder Best is very much into that kind of stuff and was able to connect with him well. Unfortunately we weren't able to make much progress with him... We hope we will be able to someday! Right before dinner, Samantha and Eric texted us and told us they need to reschedule our lesson for that night to Saturday because of a trip they were making up to Eugene. We wanted to stop by their place as soon as we got the text but we were about to run late to our dinner so we decided to try to catch them after. Well, because of the way I parked the truck and the path that I took to get to the main road took us by the park near our apartment and we saw Eric and Samantha there! We pulled over and talked to them for a few minutes and left them some scriptures to read. After a yummy dinner at KFC, we had correlation to end our night.

Friday morning was the last district meeting of the transfer! It went pretty well. We were all anxious about our calls haha. When district meeting ended and after we took a zone picture, we went with the zone leaders, Spanish, and the Medford 4th Elders and Elder Carroll to Sonic. Elder Carroll was by himself because his companion, Elder Nash, is the new AP! We had a fun time with them there. We went back to the apartment and got changed into service clothes to go mow some lawns for a couple of members. Sister Winter's lawn was a piece of cake as always. Sister Del***'s lawn was a bit tougher! It was a pretty big lawn to cover with an electric lawn mower and we couldn't even mow the whole backyard because most of it is covered in grass that goes up to my chest. We mowed as much as we could of what was already mowed. We cooled off and got changed to go see Mike. We had a great lesson about prayer with him and he even said the closing prayer! He has not done that in one of our lessons since I have been here! It was pretty cool. We drove into Gold Hill and took dinner there. We had some cash that a member gave us to us for dinner that night so we decided to grab a burger from the local burger joint near the apartment. We both got the burger known as the .50 Cal burger! Three patties, three cheeses. It was so good. The owner was quite impressed with the fact that we didn't get a single thing on our white shirts! When we finished up with dinner, we tried to see a couple of members who were in our teaching pool but we didn't talk to a single one. We had a great lesson about coming to church with the Janko*** family! The son who lives there told us that he was planning on going to church in Roseburg and that he was going to take his girlfriend as well! That was a good note to end on!

Saturday morning we were anxiously awaiting our calls and they came pretty early. We were startled to hear that only four missionaries were leaving out of eighteen despite some being here for a long time! We walked over to Calvary Temple and pushed carts. It didn't take very because we only had to push fourteen orders through! We did get some good stuff though so that was pretty awesome. After lunch, we walked around and talked to a ton of people. It wasn't necessarily about gospel things but we were able to put ourselves out there! The reason why we did that was because there was a city wide yard sale and there were a ton of people out and about! It was a ton of fun! We were even able to talk to Angelo for a little bit at his yard sale before he got swamped with people. We taught Adam a little bit about the Great Apostasy but he kept getting off topic so I am not sure how much he got out of it! After dinner I saw one of the coolest things ever! We had a lesson with Samantha and Eric about the Word of Wisdom and after we taught the lesson, we asked Eric if we could take his cigarettes and throw them out. He grabbed his last pack and took all of the cigarettes out and snapped them in half! He threw it in the trash and when we left we saw him throw the trash in the dumpster! It was super cool!

Sunday was awesome! We were asked to help bless Samantha's baby and we gladly accepted! It was a beautiful blessing and I am so grateful to have been a part of it. Fast and testimony meeting was what Samantha needed to hear also so that was an extra bonus as well! We were in church again from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm. We were pretty tired haha! We drove over to the Froel***'s to pick up the granite and man it looked good. We had dinner with the Sta***'s and then we had a lesson with a less active in the Gold Hill ward fall through so we talked to Samantha and Eric about Samantha's baptism. We had correlation to end our night.

This was a good week for us! Thank you for all your prayers and your love! I'm bummed I am missing Drew's wedding but it is for a pretty good cause I think! I know this church is true! There is no doubt!

Love y'all!
Elder Jacob Tonini