Monday, September 28, 2015

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

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

Bonus Temple Pictures

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

The One Where I Ride The Bus!

Hey everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elder Tonini

Monday, September 21, 2015

Pictures from this last week!

Elder Perrine and the Inferno Burger!

Chilling during lunch at the recent convert's house!

Me and Elder Perrine's 64 oz drinks!

The One Where I Have Meetings For Days!

Hey everyone!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elder Tonini

Monday, September 14, 2015

The One where I start training!

Hey everyone!

So this was a crazy insane week. You ready?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love y'all!

Elder Tonini

So my week in pictures

So I need to explain the pictures!

The first picture is from the new missionary introduction meeting! The elder managed to take a selfie before it got started and I barely got in the picture.

The second picture is my trainee, Elder Bowers. After district meeting on Friday, we left the church to go take lunch and Elder Bower's bike broke. He changed gears and when he did that, his derailer snapped off his bike and he went over the handlebars! It was crazy haha! He scraped up his knee pretty good too!

The video is of me inhaling helium from a balloon that we were given by a Welfare missionary working in the Home Storage facility. We volunteered there and he gave 4 teenagers/young adults some balloons with helium. Smart, right? :)

Love y'all! I will send out the full email here in a bit!

Elder Tonini

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Elder Tonini Pictures from the Oregon Eugene Mission Blog

From the official OEM Blog (

...Then, the president calls out a new missionary's name and announces who their trainer is. Neither the missionary or the trainer know who they will be paired with up to this point. They get a little excited and hug when they meet.

Elder Bowers with Elder Tonini
Our new missionaries with their trainers!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Pictures from Mission Secretary

We took these two out for dinner tonight.  We sure love these fellow missionaries.

Sister Christensen
Mission Secretary
Thug Burger at Giant Burgers in Springfield

Monday, September 7, 2015

Trainer Call

7 September 2015

Elder Jacob Romney Tonini,

The greatest expression of trust that I can give to you is your new assignment to be a "Trainer of a New Missionary" in the Oregon Eugene Mission.  Congratulations - we are very proud of you.  It is with love and tenderness that I extend this assignment; only the very finest missionaries are given this responsibility. We only ask outstanding missionaries to train; thank you for humbly accepting this assignment.

Your purpose as a trainer is to help your new missionary understand and live the principles described in Preach My Gospel; bringing people to Christ. You will have profound, lasting influence on the new missionary's attitude and habits.  Your companion will always remember you. Please follow with exactness and faithful obedience the "Instructions for Trainers" and the "infield training for New Missionaries". These tools are inspired; and when used correctly, will bless the life of your new companion.  Give prayerful consideration to these principles:
  • You need to commit yourself to the highest example of obedience and effective proselyting  and do everything in your power to help your companion begin their mission positively.
  • Help your companion adjust to missionary life by following the daily schedule diligently,  read daily in the Missionary Handbook and obey all mission rules.
  • Hold companion study daily and help your companion develop and improve basic  missionary skills discussed in Preach My Gospel.
  • Hold daily and weekly planning sessions to help the new missionary learn how to plan and  help investigators progress toward conversion.
  • Make sure the new missionary participates fully as a contributing member of your  companionship, giving them the opportunity to take some part in each phase of the work.
  • As you begin,, please spend sufficient time in companion study and planning to thoroughly  introduce your companion to the area, daily and weekly planning and goals, the needs of the  investigators, current finding activities and work with members.
  • Report to me and your district leaders on the progress of the new missionary.

Adopt this slogan; "I will trust and not be afraid; the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song (2 Nephi 22:2)." So, embrace this new challenge.  And remember, to be a lifter of all you come in contact with, but especially your companion.

This assignment is a sacred trust between you, me and the Lord.  Demonstrate the highest example of obedience and effective proselyting; and do everything in your power to help your new companion begin their mission positively.

With profound love and trust,

/s/ H. Jeffery Russell
    Mission  President

cc: Parents, Bishop, Stake President

I'm a trainer!

Hey everyone!

So once again it is transfer time! I probably won't have too much time to write so I'm sending a short email letting y'all know that I am getting transferred! I am finally leaving the Rogue Valley for the first time in 7 transfers! I will be in the Springfield 3rd ward and I have been released as zone leader. I have been called to be a district leader and a trainer! It will be a blast!

Basically what happened this week was we had MLC up in Bandon and it was freaking awesome! We got to go out to the beach and enjoy the ocean (from a distance). We then prepared for that all week and we had dinner with Wade and Pearl! He made some awesome steak!

That's the highlight pretty much! It was a slow week but these next couple of weeks will fly by!

I love y'all!

Elder Tonini