Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving and #ASaviorisBorn

Hey everyone!

So this won't be a very long email. I am currently sitting on the transfer van heading down to Roseburg! I am going to be with Elder Fleming in Sutherlin. I am still a district leader so this will make eight transfers in leadership. It is going to be a jolly good time. But to kinda recap this week, this was a pretty rough week for Elder Bowers and I. We had a ton of lessons set up for this week but one by one they all canceled. It made me so frustrated that I couldn't leave Springfield 3rd on a high note. We were still able to teach William and Richard, Brother Halford, and a couple of other people.

Thanksgiving was pretty awesome though. We started off our morning doing Turkey Bowl and it was so much fun! Afterwards I was told I had game by one of the members! I had gotten picked last so I just did work and caught almost every ball thrown to me! We got cleaned up and we took 4th ward to the mission home so one of them could do an interview with President Russell. While we were waiting there, I saw a piece of paper on the kitchen table that had the new transfer information! Apparently I am going home on May 24th instead of May 17th! I am going to be serving a full two year mission haha! We got back to Springfield in time for our Thanksgiving feast with the Bolanders and a ton of other people! There was so much good food! We then did a white elephant and played a couple of games!

That's all I got to report!

However, I do want to mention some of the things I am grateful for!

  1. My family and friends for all the support they have given to me over the last 18 months 
  2. The gospel of Jesus Christ and the hope that it has brought into my life 
  3. Food. 'nuff said. 
  4. Being able to have a roof over my head and a way to get around 
  5. The Atonement 
  6. The companions that I have had on my mission. I have learned so much from them and so much about myself 
  7. Baseball! 
  8. My church leaders 
  9. The example of my ancestors 
  10. Being able to go to the temple quarterly 
There are so many things that I am thankful for but I kept the limit to ten! I love you all and thank you for all your support! Keep sharing the gospel! #ASaviorIsBorn

Love ya!
Elder Tonini

With Elders Adams and Webb 

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, November 23, 2015

The One Where We find All Week and Go To Fuddruckers!

Hey everyone!

So despite all the cancelations and the other things that we had going on this week, we had a pretty solid week!

Monday was P-Day! We didn't do anything too crazy! We hung out at the church and emailed until 1st Ward Elders came and took us shopping. We tried contacting people after dinner but we didn't have much success.

Tuesday was fantastic. We met up with 4th Ward Elders and the Zone Leaders at the church and then Brother Clay*** and his wife drove us to Portland for our temple trip! I was not expecting being able to go back so soon but it was nice, especially with the upcoming transfer. We had a good session and after making a Deseret Book stop, the Clayton's took us to Fuddruckers (I have no idea how to spell it haha!). It has probably since one of my last high school away games that I had Fuddruckers. We got back and changed in time for dinner. We had correlation before going with our ward mission leader to go see a less-active family. We watched a video of President Monson bearing his testimony of the Savior and we were able to add ours to it as well. Despite the craziness of the kids, the Spirit was there!

Wednesday morning found us out in Walterville chopping wood again. Unfortunately, the fun ended when the last axe broke. They were old and going to break anyways so the less-active told us not to worry about it if it happened. We got back into Springfield and got cleaned up to go into Eugene to run some errands for the zone. We got back and I went with Elder Adams to go teach Georgia one last time before they take full responsibility for her. The reason they didn't this lesson is because Elder Adams was concerned she was going to ask some questions that she had hinted at in the last lesson and wanted me to be there if those questions came up. Thankfully, they didn't come up and we had a super powerful lesson with her. Unfortunately, she didn't accept our invitation to be baptized but I know she will one day! After we got our companions back, Elder Bowers and I did training and took dinner before our lesson with David and Leighanne. We watched the second half of the movie "How Rare a Possession" and they were actually pretty into it! It probably also helped that both kids were fast asleep! We talked about what Parley P. Pratt and Vincenzo Di Francesca went through and did when they received a witness of the Book of Mormon. We committed them to read a verse a day and they accepted. I almost had to break some kneecaps but they accepted.

Thursday was another good day for us. The 4th Ward Elders dropped us off at Hometown Buffet so they could take the car to Roseburg and so that I could have lunch with Sister Pope and her brother Allen! They were able to tell me so many stories about Grandpa Ben and Allen even gave me a dog tag of sorts for Howard Tonini, a brother of Benjamin's! It was such an awesome experience. The zone leaders came and picked us up so we could go on a day exchange. President Russell is trying this new thing where missionaries from different areas go into one area and tract all day long. Well, we went out with the Spanish missionaries! Elder Adams and I tracted almost all afternoon and found two new investigators! Tyler is retired Air Force and although he is somewhat agnostic, he said that he would read the whole Book of Mormon before we came back! Austin was the other investigator we picked up. She (yes, Austin is a woman) seemed pretty open to the idea of having an eternal family so we got a return appointment for Wednesday. We had dinner in Santa Clara and gave a blessing to someone out there before coming back into Springfield and tracting until the end of the night.

We had district meeting and training Friday morning and then we hopped on the bus to go pull more weeds for Bonnie. Hopefully we can start sharing the message of the Gospel with her. We got dressed in proselyting clothes and Brother Whi*** picked us up because we missed the bus. We talked about all sorts of things with him but we tried to focus it on having love and charity to those around us. We had a super fun dinner where we played a game called Pie Faced when we finished up our meal. You will have to check the videos out. The zone leaders dropped us off at Traci and Dwayne's right before our member got there. We had a really good lesson about the Law of Chastity and Dwayne and Traci said they would look into what they could do so they could be living the Law of Chastity. Our member was a huge help in this lesson! He was a former bishop so he had some really valuable insight that we did not have!

Saturday the zone leaders picked us up so we could go help out at the home food storage center. A non-LDS church group was coming in and the people at the home food storage center wanted us to be there. They were a friendly bunch and we got along quite well! We did our weekly planning after lunch before hopping on the bus to go to our lesson with the new investigators we had met on Sunday. Drake, one of the young adults in the ward, ran late because of his truck battery and after the investigators canceled on us, his battery died again! I was given the wonderful opportunity to push start his truck! It was a lot of fun! We visited with Brother Half*** and read some of Hebrews with him before taking dinner and doing training to end our night.

Sunday we got out of the apartment early so we could show up for a correlation meeting that ended up not happening! After church, we went with Marcus and Monica to see a lady that the Spanish missionaries had tracted into to see if we could teach her but she wasn't feeling good. Marcus ended up taking us to his place and BBQing for us. It was super good. By the time we got done with that, we had to plan and do training.

That is how our week went! We have a lot of good things going this next week! Thank you so much for all your prayers and your love. It is greatly appreciated! :)

I know that this church is true! I know that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet on the earth! I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God alongside the Bible. There is no doubt!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, November 16, 2015

The One Where We Serve All Week!

Hey everyone!

This was a fun week for us! We had a lot going on so let's get going!

Monday was an okay P-Day. The other missionaries that we share the car with didn't show up until 3 o'clock... So we did some quick shopping and such before coming home and eating a pizza that a member dropped off to us for dinner. I did two baptismal interviews that took up the rest of our night!

Tuesday morning saw us out the door early to go to a service project at one of the local parks. We cleared away some weeds and such that had popped up along the banks of the Willamette River. We had some good discussions with the park lady named Vanessa that was working with us. We even managed to work some gospel topics into our conversation! We went back to our area and had lunch with Sister Pope at the local pizza buffet place. She was telling me that Grandpa Ben would come to Grants Pass, Oregon to come pick blackberries to make it into jam! I need to make sure I have these stories recorded before I leave this area! We got cleaned up and then drove into Eugene for some errands at the mission office. We taught Robert Wh*** about humility before dinner. We had correlation and then I went on splits with the Streb***. We managed to contact an investigator that hasn't been taught in forever and then we talked to the De Lu***'s about the investigator and they gave us a referral for a family that has expressed interest in home food storage!

Wednesday morning we went to another service project, this time for the lady that we chopped wood for last week. We had a couple companionships out there and we got a lot of work done. We got back into normal missionary attire and I went with Elder Adams of the 4th Ward to go teach a referral named Georgia. She had called Elder Bowers and I right before the 4th Elders got her information through the Areabook. When we showed up, I recognized her as a lady that Elder Bowers and I had OYM'd at one of the bus stops almost 9 weeks ago! That was a pretty neat experience seeing how just trying to talk to as many people can bring blessings. We talked to her about her thoughts on "Finding Faith in Christ" before diving into the Plan of Salvation. It all made sense for her, which was pretty awesome. She had some questions about Joseph Smith so we will be focusing on the Restoration next time! Outside of that, we didn't have much go for us. We had a couple of lessons cancel so we tried contacting as people as we could.

Thursday started off with us at a tire place getting new tires for our Cruze. Thankfully it didn't take super long so after our lunch at 5 Guys (first time in 18 months!), we were able to get our weekly planning started. We helped set up chairs and tables for a Relief Society activity before meeting up with Jaydaquin. We talked about making the right choices using a new Mormon Message for Youth. He really enjoyed it and we committed him to keep reading the scriptures and praying. We had a lesson with David and Leighanne to wrap up our night. They didn't do the commitment that we left them so after watching the story of Parley P. Pratt on "How Rare a Possession", we recommitted them to read the introduction to the Book of Mormon. Hopefully they do it this time around!

Friday we had zone training meeting. It was probably one of my more favorite ones! We heard a lot from a whole range of missionaries. I learned a lot and it was a good meeting that allowed me to refocus and become even more determined to finish strong. After ZTM and lunch, we bussed over to a lady named Bonnie's house and we pulled weeds for her. This was after she insisted feeding us lunch and telling her caretaker we are her "boys"! Unfortunately that ran us a little late so we were late getting to our lesson with Brother Whi***. He brought it up and mentioned how he thought it would be best if we only met once a week! That made my day! He is a good guy but we could be doing more missionary work if we met with him once a week. We stopped by Jaydaquin's and we ended up going on a walk with him. He has had a rough two weeks and was feeling pretty down. We talked to him about how God is his loving Heavenly Father and that Jesus Christ took upon Himself his sins and his pains. We had a really good talk with him. After dinner we met up with William and talked to him about the talk that he is supposed to be working on and challenged him to get it done!

Saturday morning the zone leaders picked us up to go do a service project at the park in our area. Vanessa was there again so she put us to work immediately! We were weeding but she decided that we were more needed shoveling wet sand out of a water feature. That was fun stuff! Afterwards, we got pizza so that was a bonus. We had a whole day planned for finding but we ended up going to Brian and Paola's baptism because we were asked to say the prayers. We got a ride from the Eugene zone leaders back to our apartment and it was only when we got back that I realized my keys were missing! We had no way to get in our apartment! We ended up going to McDonald's and updating the Areabook on the iPad before going to dinner with the Half***'s. We read scriptures with them and Brother Half*** had some questions that we were able to answer. He took us home afterwards and we did training at the 4th Ward Elders' apartment.

Sunday morning we didn't have any meetings so we walked over to Jaydaquin's and tried to get him to church but his mom grounded him because he didn't ask.. It was weird. Church itself was pretty interesting. We talked about the law of chastity and it seemed to always go back to the new Handbook policy haha! After church we took a short lunch before going out and knocking doors. We didn't have much luck until the last door. I noticed that the car had a zombie stick figure family on the back and it said "My stick figure family ate yours" and so when John opened the door, I asked him, "Is this your car?". He said "Yeah?.." and I mentioned how I liked it and it broke the ice with him. We asked him if he thought he could be with his family for eternity and that opened him up! We left him with a plan of salvation pamphlet and a prayer! It was so cool! After dinner the zone leaders picked us up and we went to Priesthood Preview for the stake. They had asked us to sing "Called to Serve" and so we did! We got a ride home from the Gall***'s and then we updated our lessons at the church before calling it a night.

That was my week! I can't believe that I hit 18 months this week. Time is just starting to fly by and I hope and pray that I can keep moving and keep trucking on! I am so grateful for the time that I have had to be a missionary and as I approach the last six months, I am going to give my all to the Lord. There is no better time than the present!

I love all of y'all! Thank you for your prayers and your love!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, November 9, 2015

We Fam!

Monday we had P-Day! We had an awesome dinner and FHE with the first counselor in the ward and his family. We did this flour game where you basically cut sides off a packed thing of flour (like a sand castle) and whoever knocks the penny that is on top off, they have to go after it with their mouth! It was loads of fun!

Tuesday morning we had Elder Parker with us from Oak Ridge while his companion was over at a district leader training meeting. We went and tried to contact some people but no one was around so we came back to take lunch. We were sitting in the car debating on what we wanted to do when a cop pulls in and start walking over to my window! It scared me a little bit but thankfully I was not in trouble. Instead, he just want to know if I knew anything about a stolen car that was left in our parking lot. That was exciting haha. Some other missionaries owed us lunch so they took us to Taco Bell before we took off for a service project. We took the 4th Ward Elders to a less active's home in the 5th Ward area and we chopped wood for her for almost 3 hours. Needless to say, I was sore and tired when we got home and cleaned up! After dinner I was supposed to go see Tim on splits but a friend of his went to the hospital so I went with Elder Strech and Brother De Luna to go see Brayan and Paula, the couple that the Spanish Elders have on date. Paula wasn't feeling good and she need some medicine because of her pregnancy so Brother De Lu*** took us and Brayan to a pharmacy so he could get it filled. By the time we got done with it all, our day was done!

Wednesday morning we drove over to the Salg***'s for lunch before going out and trying to contact as many people as we could. We went over to Brother Half***'s home and read some scriptures with him. He is doing a lot better, especially with the turn around in events that have been happening to him! We drove over to JaydaQuin's home and had a good visit with him. We really focused on going to church and the reason why we go. It was super good, even though we had to bounce a ball between the three of us during most of it. We were able to get him to focus in on Elder Holland's video of always remembering him and we committed him to come to church. That night, we had a good visit with David and Leighanne. We have been struggling with getting them to have a desire to come to church and progressing in the gospel so we are focusing on things that would help them with that. We read a little bit of the introduction to the Book of Mormon and left them the testimony of the Witnesses to read. Hopefully they actually did it this week!

Thursday was slow for us. We had weekly planning that took all morning and then we had a lesson with William in the early afternoon. We found out he didn't do his reading (wasn't hard to figure out; he told us right off the bat) so we acted devastated (like what Elder Holland tells us to do!) and taught him about reading the scriptures. We left him the story of the Stripling warriors to read and both his grandpa and mom took note of the assignment so he should do it this week. After William, we just went out and tried to find people to teach. We tracted for a little bit and went through our potentials list but no one was home or interested. We were able to visit Tim in the evening and talk with him about his friend who was in the hospital before calling it a night.

Friday was pretty awesome! We had zone conference in Eugene and we received instruction from President Russell and Elder Marcus B. Nash and their wives. I learned so much and everything that was talked about was something that I really needed to hear. It was amazing to see those prayers get answered. We talked about enduring to the end with fire, the power of the the Book of Mormon, and about being obedient. It was super good. We also had a great Q&A with him to end it. We got back into Springfield just in time for our lesson with Robert Wh*** and talked to him about being humble. It was an okay lesson, he got off topic a ton again but he got the gist of it. We walked over to dinner and the member's daughter invited her non-member boyfriend over for dinner! We shared President Monson's testimony of the Savior and all four missionaries bore testimony of Jesus Christ and the spirit was super strong! After dinner though I was feeling super sick to my stomach but I managed to push through and teach Traci and Dwayne about following the prophet. He still really wants to be baptized but it's almost to that point where he has to start making some decisions about living some of the commandments!

Saturday morning the zone leaders came and picked us up for training over at the church. It went pretty well. I had some fun role plays for some of the younger missionaries that I based off experiences from my mission. We took lunch before going and telling Jaydaquin that we got him a ride for church and then visiting Brother Half***. I went on a temporary exchange with Elder Adams to go visit a referral that both us and the 4th Ward received haha! We spent 30 minutes wandering around in the rain trying to find this lady's house before we went to one of the members in 3rd Ward and had him look it up on his phone. When we finally found it, the apartment looked dark and no one answered the door. We left a "Finding Faith in Christ" DVD and a note on her door. We took a break at Taco Bell and had a good talk before going back with our companions. Although we didn't have any lessons happen, Saturday was probably one of my best days OYMing! We rode on the bus about six times and I handed out all the pictures of Christ that I had and everyone we talked to either was part of the church, met with missionaries, or had lived in Monahans! It was so awesome!

Sunday was crazy hah! Brother Boo*** texted us and informed us that PEC got moved up to 9 and we needed to do correlation. When we got the text, it was already 8:30! The zone leaders picked us up and we had a short correlation meeting before PEC. Due to the small space, Elder Strech and Elder Bowers went to PEC and Elder Adams (the Spanish one) and I talked for a long while. When they got out of PEC, we went into the chapel and started saying our hellos. I saw Sister Bat*** and went to ask her if she talked to David and Leighanne. There was another sister sitting right next to her and I shook her hand as well. She looked at my name tag and this is the kind of conversation that followed;

Sister: "Elder Tonini?"

Me: "Yes ma'am?"

Sister: "Who is your father?"

Me: "Uhh... Greg Tonini?"

Sister: "Are you related to Daryl (my grandpa)?"

Me: 😳"Yes?..."

Sister: "My mother was your grandpa George's cousin!"

I GOT EXTENDED FAMILY IN THIS WARD!!! It was so awesome! Sister Pope is this good sister's name and she comes from the Nelson side of the Tonini line. She is taking us out to lunch on Tuesday so we can talk more! It was so cool. We skipped priesthood because we got special permission to go march in the Veterans Day parade with a member who had a truck for the Mormon Battalion. We got soaked but it was a ton of fun. We probably would've been able to pass out more cards if we had candy and cards in bags! I was supposed to do a baptismal interview afterwards but it didn't happen. We tried contacting people but it didn't go so well so we did training to end the night!

I love you all! I know that the Church is true! There is no doubt


Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, November 2, 2015

The One Where We Talk About Bigfoot....

Hey everyone!

This was a little bit of a rougher week for Elder Bowers and me. We didn't have everything go as planned this week! But we testified and invited people to come to Christ so that is what counts!

Monday was pretty much the usual P-Day. Elder Bowers and I cleaned our apartment and got everything we needed to done at our apartment before we headed out for the day. We got emails done before going over to Walmart and doing some grocery shopping and chilling at the mall. We got back in time for dinner before go I out and contacting people. We talked to Brother Half*** for a little bit. We had a good talk with him, especially about some of the things that he is struggling with right now. We got a lesson set up for later on in the week and then we called it a night.

Tuesday we started it off by going into Eugene to go to the mission office to drop some pants off and to pick up a couple of things for the missionaries in the zone (we did really well on miles this month haha!). We came back into Springfield only to turn around and go help 2nd Ward Elders clean their apartment. They white washed into the area and opened an apartment that was already infested with bedbugs so we lathered up with deet and got the place ready to be taken care of. After throwing our clothes in the wash and getting cleaned up, we had our lesson with Robert Whi***. He went off into his own world but we talked about virtue so hopefully that helped him. The Spanish missionaries met us at the church and we went over to dinner with the Youngers. We had correlation and splits afterwards and I went and taught Tim and Courtney with the Streb***. It went pretty well! I connected with Tim's love for nature and built up on that, talking about coming closer to God. I left them Enos to read (because of Enos being a bow hunter) and set up a time to come back. Elder Bowers and I did training to end the night.

Wednesday morning started off with a text from Shawn, the guy we talked to in the park a couple of weeks ago. He said that he wanted to meet up so we got a lesson set up for later in the day. The zone leaders came over and did companionship study with us before we took off for lunch at the Salg***'s. We went over to the church and waited for Shawn to show up but he never did so we did a car inspection before going on a temporary exchange. One of the 4th Ward Elders was sick so I stayed with the sick missionary and studied Lehi's dream of the tree of life while Elder Bowers and the other missionary went out and tracked and taught JayDaQuin. We drove 2nd Ward Elders around before our dinner over at the Bishop's storehouse. We then talked with David and Leighanne about their experience at church. They had a decent one, they loved the fellowship but they had some difficulty with the fast and testimony meeting. They did say that they would come for a normal church service so that was awesome!

Thursday was rough. We had weekly planning but that dragged on because of some things that kept popping up. We then were told that 4th Ward Elders were going to be borrowing our car so that through our plans for the day out the window! It also didn't help that our lesson with Brother Half*** got pushed back. We had a good visit with Brother Half*** though and we talked a lot about the restoration of the gospel and we left him the blueprint of Christ's true church talk by Elder Callister. We had dinner with a widow and Bishop Bla*** before going to the Gam***'s for a lesson with William. We made it short and to the point. We talked about Daniel in the Lion's den and tied that in with him and how he has to build his faith in Christ and it will help him through the tough times. He actually paid attention which was really nice haha!

I don't even want to talk about Friday haha! District meeting went really well but the lesson we had right after was terrible. We had a good start but then the member we were with started confusing the heck out of our investigators and then he started talking about how Cain is Bigfoot.....Needless to say, we got dropped after the lesson, mainly because we couldn't answer one of the investigator's questions of Noah and Ezekiel. I was pretty furious though and then it didn't help that Brother Whi*** didn't show up either! We had a fantastic time with the Birds***'s though! We had some really awesome spiritual discussions with them and then they gave us a ton of food! We did training to wrap up our day.

Saturday was Halloween! One of the sisters in my district is from the Philippines and never carved a pumpkin before so during lunch we had a pumpkin carving party at the lunch! We had a ton of fun! Brother Half*** came and picked us up for stake conference. We got to meet Elder Echo Hawk of the Seventy and then had an awesome Saturday session! President Lowery of the mission presidency talked about member missionary work and it was so awesome! We then stayed inside all night long. It was a good bonding time for Elder Bowers and I.

Sunday we had stake conference. Brother Ud*** picked us up for that and it was pretty awesome. Elder Echo Hawk gave an awesome talk and afterwards we stood in the circle as Brother Ud*** got ordained to the Melchizedek Priesthood! It was super cool. Outside of that, nothing much went our way except for dinner and correlation at Brother Boo***'s

I love y'all! I can't believe it is already November! Thank you for all your support and your prayers! Have a good week and remember, the church is true, the book is blue, and Moroni is always on the ball!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"