Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Only 58 Ties On That Shoelace. No Big Deal:)

The One Where We Put Three People On Date

Hey everyone!

This is really weird emailing on a Tuesday! Hopefully y'all had a great Monday and that you have a fantastic Christmas planned because I know I do! 😁

Well, we had a super fantastic week that saw some miracles!

P-Day was good as always but ended with an interesting twist. We had a super delicious zone breakfast before P-Day got underway. We played our normal games and emailed before doing our shopping. We had dinner before going and trying to contact a couple of people. We got back to our apartment and on the way to the staircase, we felt prompted to go talk to the Caldw***'s about when trash was to come. We walked in right as Brother Caldw*** was telling Brian and Savannah that they should take the missionary lessons. Pretty good timing eh? Savannah had received some bad news and was in a low place but it brought her to the point where she wanted to take the lessons!

On Tuesday we spent a little bit of our day doing former finding before our lesson with Ron. He was feeling a little frustrated about the way his scripture study was going so we talked to him for a little bit about what he could do to improve his studies. We booked it over to the Hayden's for dinner and then we shared a message about doing scripture study with them. I had fun with it! We had them watch the first little bit of "Scripture Legacy" (if you haven't seen it, you need to!) and we watched it to the point of where Moroni dies (oops, spoiler alert). We then discussed how important it was for us to have the scriptures and that we need to devote the the time and energy to reading it. It was a fun lesson. During dinner, the Hay***'s little girl decided to use me as a jungle gym.. with her fingers covered in pizza sauce! We went to the Caldw***'s for our first real sit down lesson with Savannah and holy cow it was a crazy insane lesson! Someone was a bit tipsy (not going to say who haha), Brother Caldw*** went on a couple of random tangents, the member friend they invited to come and that I had some worry about was actually a huge help, AND a former missionary who served here showed up and ended up sitting in on the lesson. I think it was one of the craziest lessons I have been a part of! The coolest part of the lesson though was when the RM talked about baptism and I felt the urge to ask her to be baptized right then and there. She said yes and Elder Fleming almost fell out of his chair! It was awesome haha!

Wednesday morning we picked up the Newton Creek Elders and drove down to Grant's Pass for Specialized Training. There was snow all over the pass! We talked about all sorts of things, from vehicle safety to locking our hearts (thank goodness for President Kimball's talk haha), to looking at key indicators as people, not numbers. It was a pretty good training and afterwards we got pizza and took a quiz on our gospel knowledge. We also got a Christmas present from President and Sister Russell in the form of an OEM lapel pin that says "Fishers of Men" with the picture of Christ beckoning to Peter, James, and John on the shore. It is pretty awesome. We got back to Sutherlin in time to volunteer at the soup kitchen. Dinner was dropped off at our place and we gobbled it up before helping the ward with the float for the Christmas parade.

Thursday morning we were supposed to do weekly planning but Elder Fleming and I had a long heart-to-heart talk that needed to happen so we moved it to the next day. The zone leaders came up here and I went with Elder Wells on exchanges. We grabbed lunch before visiting a couple of potentials and knocking out a couple of doors in a trailer park. There was one door that we could smell the stench of weed before they even opened the door. What made that door approach fun was after they said no, we walked towards their carport and right as we passed the edge of their trailer, a huge dog let out a huge bark five feet from us! It scared the heck out of us! After we tracted for a little bit and found a couple of potentials, we drove out to Glide for a lesson with a golden internigator (one who has met with the missionaries for a long time). She comes to church each week and knows its true, she just won't get married to her ex who she is dating again. We retaught her the Restoration and it went really well. Elder Wells and I taught pretty well together and bore testimony of the truthfulness of the Gospel. It was pretty awesome. The lady's ex-husband turned boyfriend sat in so he heard it all and felt the Spirit. If he didn't then that sucks for him because it was there! We tried contacting a couple of people after eating the dinner that a member dropped off us for us but that didn't work out so we got into service clothes and cleaned out the litter boxes at PetCo! It was a lot of fun.

Friday morning found us helping out the Melrose and Newton Creek Sisters with moving in one of the Melrose sisters into the Newton Creek Sisters' apartment. Sister Sowter, our sister from England, was ET'd to Grants Pass because of something that happened to the sisters down that way. I don't know all the details but that is ok! We took lunch at Taco Bell with Elder Fleming and Elder Earl before exchanging back. We did weekly planning before trying to contact people because all of our lessons fell through. Every single one.

Saturday was interesting. We helped out with the final float preparations before our lesson with Savannah. We thought it wasn't going to happen because after our lesson on Tuesday, a ton of stuff happened and we thought we weren't going to be teaching her but sure enough, she was there waiting for us! We talked about her baptismal date before talking about the Restoration. It made a lot of sense for her and she said she loved the idea of prophets! We also answered a question that she has had for a long time apparently about the relationship between God and Jesus Christ. After lunch, we had a couple of lessons set up but they fell through so we spent some time contacting people before our dinner with a part-member family. He cooked some dang good burgers and made some amazing potato salad! After sharing the "A Savior is Born" video with them, we dropped the car off at the apartment and walked over to the float! We had over 400 baggies filled with candy and pass along cards and we ran out before we got down the home stretch! It was a great time and we even won first place for non-profit organizations!

Sunday we had our Christmas program and Elder Fleming and I sang in the choir. We sang the three verses of Silent Night in English and then switched between Gallic, Portuguese, and German. It was a fun song, especially since I only had one Sunday to practice and I was sick! After church we had a lesson with Samantha and Chris and after talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them, they both committed to be baptized on January 9th by their grandpa! They both are so prepared! We participated in a potluck before stopping by the Griggs and sharing the "A Savior is Born" video with Lonnie, who isn't a member of the church. We had dinner way out in the boonies and after we came back, we talked with Savannah and the rest of the Caldw*** to end the night.

It's weird that I get to report about Monday twice in one email! We had interviews with President Russell in the morning and then we spent our day doing missionary work with little luck. At the request of the second counselor, we took some presents with us to dinner. We talked about having faith in Jesus Christ and watched President Hinckley's testimony of the Savior with the Hayd***. We taught Savannah about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she recommitted herself to be baptized on the 30th of January!

That was our week! We saw a lot of good things happen and we now have three people who are wanting to be baptized with a couple of other people on the horizon. I am so excited for Christmas! I know that Jesus Christ was born so that we could live with Him and Heavenly Father again. I know that Jesus lives!

I love you all and have a merry Christmas!

Elder Tonini

Monday, December 14, 2015

The One Where It Snows!

Hey hey hey! It's me again!

We had a pretty good week! It had some ups and downs but we overcame them and we were still able to teach and find some new people to teach! Monday was P-Day and our normal dinner at the Hay***'s. To spice up our lesson, we went over the Restoration and as we talked about Jesus Christ's earthly ministry, I pulled out my Rubik's cube and used it to explain the apostasy and the restoration. The kids loved it and I think it really helped them understand the Great Apostasy a lot better.

I don't even want to talk about Tuesday haha! Basically, we had over eight lessons scheduled and one by one they all fell through. Even our back up plans fell through! By the end of the night, we had dropped two potentials and had been dropped by our new investigator from the previous week. We decided to go see a guy named George before our lesson with Jackie and MAN that guy has some crazy ideas. He refuses to join any Christian church for two reasons. One is that he believes that the time frame isn't right for Christ to die on the Friday and then be resurrected on Sunday morning. The other reason is he believes that the Sabbath should be on Saturday still. He bashed with us over this the moment he opened his door! He also told us about when he was dragged to hell as a child... So yeah. We shared the video about why we need a Savior with Jackie and committed her to read her scriptures to end the night.

Wednesday morning we were out the door early to go to Roseburg so I could take Elder Flake and myself to Grants Pass for a district leader training meeting there. It was good, nothing much had changed from the last one I went to back in September or so. We grabbed lunch at Sonic before going back to Roseburg to switch back. We went with the Hart's to see a less active woman before spending the next hour contacting people. We volunteered at the soup kitchen that night and we tried to get a lesson set up with Betty but she is stacked all of December. A member brought us dinner at our apartment and then we taught Jackie again. We talked about her scripture reading and committed her to keep reading the Book of Mormon and to come to the ward Christmas party.

Thursday morning we had weekly planning. Towards the end of it, a member called us and asked if we could give her ten copies of the Book of Mormon for her Young Women's class and we gladly did! After lunch, we did a finding challenge with the Roseburg elders and we lost because we taught a former named Dana. We shared the A Savior is Born video and gave him a Book of Mormon. He said he would read it and agreed to a return appointment! We lost though so we had to get them ice cream on Friday. We gave Ron a blessing and taught him about enduring to the end. We spent the rest of the night at the Sim***'s home, eating dinner and sharing a message with them.

Friday morning we had ZTM and it went pretty well. We talked about OYMing and what we could do to be better missionaries. At the end of it, I got a package from Uncle Darren and Aunt Heidi! I don't have their email so you will have to thank them for me! We grabbed lunch before heading back into Sutherlin. We did't have much happen for us on Friday. No one wanted to talk to us and it was rough.

Saturday we helped out with the Christmas party and ate donuts before driving out to Oakland and talking with the Wel***. They are super cool family but have a hard time getting to church. We shared the A Savior is Born video and committed them to share it with their neighbors. We came back into Sutherlin and we went and talked with a non-member couple whose son is a member. They have been married for over 70 years! We had a good talk with them. They know so much about the church but don't want to offend other members of the family. We talked to Sister Learned and Sister Harris before heading off to the Christmas party. We had over 10 non-members there! It was a super good program too!

Sunday we woke up to snow on the ground! We had a super good church service before heading out to Roseburg for stake correlation. We came back and took lunch and then we had dinner shortly after at our apartment. While we were eating dinner, we felt like we needed to go talk to the Caldw***'s twin grandkids and as we were talking to them, they both said that they want to be baptized! I am super excited for Chris and Samantha!

That is how my week went! I love y'all! Oh and by the way, we have interviews next Monday so I will be able to email on Tuesday!

I love y'all!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, December 7, 2015

The One Where I Get Sick!

Hey everyone!

So we had a pretty good week...until the weekend haha!

Monday was transfer day! We had an interesting experience at Walmart... We OYM'd a guy in the store and then as we got to our car, he came up to us and asked us if we could give him a ride home because his roommates ditched him. For those who don't know, we can't give rides to people, not even investigators. We tell him this and he just blows up on us and started saying all this crap about how a true Christian would give him a ride home as he walked away. Nice guy right? We got to the church and emailed before heading into Sutherlin. We had dinner with a super awesome family! They are kinda sorta a part member family so we were able to teach a lesson using the #ASaviorIsBorn video. They have 7 kids so it made for an interesting lesson! We came back and I tried to get my Area book synced up but I wasn't put in the area yet so we came back and I spent some time unpacking.

Tuesday morning started off pretty well! We were just about to do companionship study when we got a phone call from a Utah number. It was a guy whose great aunt or something like that volunteers with us at the soup kitchen. He told us that she knew the Book of Mormon was true but was afraid to change. Hopefully we can start teaching her this week. We spent a good chunk of time going through the Area book and contacting some former investigators. We didn't have much luck but we did it until our lesson with Ronnie. He is a returning less active who is still learning the gospel. We talked about praying for strength and answered some questions that he had from reading Preach My Gospel. After dinner we contacted some investigators that hadn't been seen in awhile before sitting down with the new Bishop. He is super missionary minded and I'm super stoked to be able to work with him. We also talked with the new ward mission leader and he is fired up as well. It was pretty exciting to heard about some of things this ward has planned as far as missionary work goes!

Wednesday we did a lot of service work. We went to the local food pantry to help load up food for the people coming through. We had a fun conversation about the Word of Wisdom with some of the volunteers there. They were arguing about how it's about the caffeine but we cleared up that misconception. We got into our normal clothes and helped out Nephi (yes, that is his actual name) with some blackberry bushes. We got dressed back into our normal proselyting clothes and we drove out to Oakland to go do some finding. We talked to a recent convert and her non-member kids and shared the Christmas video with them and then we talked with a member before coming back into Sutherlin. Other than that, we just organized our area and tried to contact as many people as we could.

Thursday morning we did weekly planning before going back out to Oakland to visit a couple of formers. We got a lesson set up with someone who apparently used to be a member but then got their name removed because she didn't like the church very much I guess! So that will be an interesting lesson. We spent some time finding before going and seeing a semi-less active family out in the boonies. We talked about forgiveness and gave one of the daughters a blessing all the while eating pizza and me sweating up a storm! It was SO HOT yet Elder Fleming just sat there in his jacket all nice and cool. North Dakotans man!

Friday morning we left Sutherlin to go to district meeting. It was a pretty decent first district meeting. I only have one other companionship in my district so I had to make due. We focused on the Book of Mormon and how we can use it more effectively in our teaching. We grabbed lunch in Roseburg before coming back out to Sutherlin to do some missionary work. Nephi picked us up for a lesson with two less active sisters. We had an interesting conversation with them. One of them felt like part of the Book of Mormon was pointless because of all the war chapters and we spent a good chunk of our time trying to help her find ways to study the scriptures. We once again spent a good chunk out of our day finding people and we were able to talk to a former named Dana who knew a lot of members in the ward and said that we could come back. We also went to a part member family and they said that we could come back in the morning the next day! It was a pretty solid night.

Saturday had its ups and downs. I didn't feel too good all morning but we managed to pick up a new investigator in the morning! Nick is rooming at the part members home and we shared the Christmas message with him and he accepted the invitation to learn more about Jesus Christ! Hopefully we can start teaching the actual family who lives in the home haha! We tracted for a little while after lunch and we ran into a less active who had NO idea he was a member. He even told us he didn't belong to a church even though we had his membership records. We didn't have too much luck tracting so we talked to a couple of members and figured out that we can't go door to door in one of the largest suburbs in our area... That sucked. After dinner, we tried to see Raja, an investigator that hasn't been taught in awhile, but he wasn't home. This whole time, my stomach was feeling super queasy and it got to the point where I told Elder Fleming that I couldn't handle being out and about so we went home early. I'm glad we did because I ended up blowing chunks....twice. So much fun. First time I have been sick on the mission! It was a good run haha!

Sunday I woke up feeling like my back was used for a punching bag! I was feeling better though, thanks in part to a blessing that Elder Felming gave me Saturday night. I was able to sit through ward council, choir, and church! I felt super drained though so we didn't get too much done before dinner. Dinner was super fun! We watched part of the Christmas devotional and had dinner before taking part of their giant White Elephant! We had 31 people doing it! I got stuck with Poptarts and Elder Fleming got some IBC Root Beer. It was a jolly good time! We came back to Sutherlin and updated our area book before calling it a night.

Well, that's my week! It was a pretty good first week in Sutherlin and it is only going to pick up from here! I know that the Church is true and that Jesus Christ lives! There is no doubt! #ASaviorIsBorn

Love ya!
Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"