Wednesday, May 25, 2016

From the OEM Blog

Yesterday we said goodbye to eight of our missionaries that have served faithfully for two years or eighteen months.

Front row: Sister Ansus, Sister and President Russell, Sister Geisler, and Sister Newsome. 
Back row: Elder Provstgaard, Elder Wells, Elder Fetzer, Elder Roller, and Elder Tonini.

The exquisite joy we feel when missionaries come in is almost  as exquisite the sorrow we feel when we have to say goodbye to missionaries. We wish them all the best!!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mission: Accomplished

A few pictures from Elder Tonini's joyous homecoming at the (new) Minot International Airport.  We are grateful for our Church family that came and helped us welcome him home.
So his plane was a little late arriving...

Mom, Sister Hixson, Bishop Lund and President Williams

For the record, Dad got to hug him first!


Greeting not-so-little little brother

Reunited again.

With President Tyson D. Williams.  (Elder Tonini was the first missionary set apart by the then newly-called stake president)

I'm Coming Home!:)

A perk of having an iPad; I can take pictures and email!! Love y'all!

On our way to the airport

Group Picture Outside Security

With President and Sister Russell

One last picture before going our separate ways.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Two Years Are Up and I'm Headed Home

It's been over two years now.

Two years ago, a boy walked away from his family in an airport and traveled back to a place that he had called home. He had left BYU only to return to Provo to enter the MTC and begin a new chapter in his life. When he walked through those MTC doors and got his shiny new name tag with the "dork dot" on it, all he could feel was uncertainty. Two weeks flew by and the next thing this boy knew he was walking down the airport escalator towards his mission president and his wife and the assistants. He felt lost and unsure of himself. He went through some great times and some bad times. He served to the best of his abilities and sometimes he struggled to do so. This boy learned who he really is over the course of two years. Tomorrow this boy, now a young man, will be at that same airport that he came in except this time he is walking towards those doors that will lead him home to his family and his future.

This young man is me.

For the last two years I've had the glorious opportunity to serve my Savior Jesus Christ in the Oregon Eugene Mission. These last two years were the hardest two years of my life yet the most fulfilling two years ever. People say that the mission is the best two years for your life and they are totally right. I've learned a lot about myself and I've changed for the better.

A mission is something that has a lot of ups and a lot of downs. I've had some hard times. I've been in tough areas. I've had difficult companions several times on my mission, some being extremely disobedient. Thankfully I've never wrecked on my bike but biking through Oregon winters is pretty tough, especially when you are biking next to a semi in the pouring rain. Ive been out tracting and have had people yell expletives at me only because of what I was doing. I've endured countless times when people have tried to "prove" that the work I was doing was false and that I was wasting my time. I have gone from teaching a ton to being lucky to teach once a week. I've had times where I felt utterly alone and I didn't know what to do about my situation. There have been times when I felt I couldn't go any farther.

Quitting was never an option. Returning with honor was.

Despite the hardships, I've seen so many miracles and other things occur throughout my mission. I've seen people's lives change forever. I saw a baby who should've stayed in the NICU for months leave in three weeks because of a priesthood blessing. I had someone tell me that I had changed their lives forever. I've been able to serve in different service situations, for members or for the community. I've been able to watch people enter into the waters of baptism and make sacred covenants with their Father in Heaven and His Son Jesus Christ. Now those people are preparing to do more than just that. One is going to go on a mission, another is preparing to go to the temple.

Although the tough times were hard, the good times were amazing to have.

I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission. Several years ago, a friend's dad asked me why I was going on a mission and not pursuing baseball or some career. I felt like I knew why but now as I approach the end of this journey, I know exactly why I've come to the Oregon Eugene Mission.

It's because I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, called of Him to bring in the last dispensation of times and to restore the Church of Jesus Christ back on the earth. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the Lord's prophet on the earth and that the priesthood authority is found on the earth once more.

It's because I know that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on earth and that a man would get nearer to God by reading what is contained within and praying to Heavenly Father for an answer.

It's because I know that my Savior lives. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that He knows me inside and out. Through His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross, He was able to overcome death and allow me to do the same. It's because of Him that my garments can be made white when I stain them with sin. I'm grateful for my older brother and my best friend Jesus Christ. I know that His Atonement is real and that through His Atonement I can do all things.

It's because I know that families can be together forever and I want everyone to have that opportunity to be sealed with their families. I wouldn't be the person I am today without my parents and my siblings. I'm so grateful for them and forh sir love and support over the last two years.

Those are just some of the few reasons why I have come on a mission.

As my mission comes to a close, I want to thank my Savior Jesus Christ for the opportunities that I have had to preach His Gospel and defend His faith. I want to thank all of you who have supported me in any way. I'm grateful for your prayers and for your love. I'm excited to come back to the real world but I'm going to miss this great work which I have been called to do.

'Till I see y'all again and signing off for the last time,

Elder Jacob Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, May 16, 2016

One More Week!

Hey everyone,

Wow. This is possibly the last weekly email I will send as a missionary, pending on what happens that last Monday before I hop on the plane. This is super crazy, just like how this week was!

Monday was another relaxing P-Day hanging out at the church and emailing home. It was super relaxing and a lot of fun. We picked up laundry and dinner and after P-Day ended and we were about to start eating when the AP's called and informed me that my departing temple trip got moved from Wednesday in Portland to Saturday in Medford. That threw a wrench in our week haha! We got to stay in our P-Day clothes and played badminton for FHE. Nichole, our investigator who came to church, came to FHE and had fun! I did MyPlan afterwards and I got to do some planning about how I am going to go about dating and getting married! Yay!

Tuesday morning we headed over to the Senior Center and did our routine for about an hour before heading over to our first lesson with Nichole. She is a blank slate! She doesn't know too much about the Church (or anything to do with religion) so that was pretty awesome. We invited her to be baptized but she wasn't quite sure about it so we invited her to pray and read the scriptures and she said that she would do it. She is pretty awesome and we have a super awesome fellowshipper in her roommate Sienna! We got all packed up and after dinner we drove on down to Brookings for an exchange. It was a two hour drive and man it was a beautiful drive! I loved it! We got into Brookings about 10ish and once I got settled I was out for the night.

Wednesday morning we were all geared up to do three different service projects but after we missed one because of a CO2 alarm install and the other canceled we headed over to the humane society thrift store and volunteered there. Elder Bowers and I started weedwhacking some weeds and that's where the fun began! We were obviously cutting grass and a couple rolls up in a rental Mercedes Benz and parked right where we were cutting and they asked us to not cut the grass around their car... So we did the best we could but we still ended up getting grass on the car. The lady noticed us trying to get the grass off with the weedwhacker.... Ha-ha I am totally kidding. The lady did see us trying to get the grass off and came out of the thrift store and started yelling at us that it's a rental and they are responsible and blah blah blah. I understand that it's an expensive car but there wasn't any damage yet they took the thrift store's insurance information... Some people! When we got that done, I had to go shower because I was covered in grass and I was super sweaty (I'm sure that doesn't surprise anyone!). When I got cleaned up, I headed out with Elder Christiansen to do some missionary work. We attempted to contact some of their investigators but no one was home. We drove to the church so we could do an iPad check and we realized two things; we had both phones and the other Elders had the key to the church and the apartment! The Sisters unlocked the church for us and after we did the iPad check and had dinner, I did a baptismal interview for a guy named Kurt. He is so awesome. As I sat there with him, I saw how the Atonement changed his life for the better and it was pretty amazing. Needless to say, he is getting baptized! We spent the rest of our night driving back home to North Bend. We made a stop at Cape Blanco, the farthest west you can get in the continental United States. It was super cold and foggy but we made it out there!

Thursday was a blur. We did a lot of finding after the senior center but we didn't teach anyone or find anyone. The only thing that happened was the AP's stayed the night with us!

Friday we had specialized training and then we had a zone activity afterwards. We played volleyball and signed transfer journals. We went out and about contacting after dinner but it was a rough crowd. We ended up getting ready to go to the temple to end our night.

Saturday morning we left our apartment way early in the morning to get to the Roseburg transfer spot so I could go on my departing missionary temple trip! We went to the Medford temple and I got to see some of the members that I served around in Medford and Central Point. It was the highlight of the day! We also got a referral for a lady that wants to get baptized in two weeks!
President Russell, Sister Russell, Sister Newsome, Sister Ansus, Sister Geisler. Back row: Elder Wells, Elder Tonini, Elder Roller, and Elder Fetzer. Elder Provstgaard couldn't make it as he had three baptisms that day!
Sunday was good! Nothing much to report though.

That's all I got! I can't believe that I see my family next week!

Love y'all!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, May 9, 2016

When Did I End Up Tracting the Insane Asylum?

Hey everyone!

So this is going to be a short email. Honestly, I am getting worn out by typing out long weekly emails and with two more weeks to go, I will give you some of the highlights!

Tuesday was super fun! We had MLC up in Camp Alpine and I felt like I was going back in time! I talked to one of the senior couples that were there when I was serving in Junction City. We were able to be in our service clothes so that was super enjoyable. We did a lot of team building activities and had a super good lunch. Elder Swiderski had to shop for a new suit and so by the time we got that done and got dinner, we didn't get home until 9:40. It made for a very long night.

The only highlight from Wednesday was that Cameron from Medford messaged me on Facebook and I asked him when he was going to BYU-I. He messaged me back and told me that he was going to go on a mission instead!!!!!!!!!! I WAS SO STOKED!!!! He is going to be such a great missionary!

Friday we had my last ZTM and it was my easiest ZTM to teach! It was super fun. We had lunch with most of the zone and then I went on exchanges with Elder Davis in Coquille. He is a super humble kid and he is a super good missionary! We had a good long talk before we did anything though because he has had a super hard time with his companion.

Saturday was interesting! We exchanged back and taught a couple of lessons before we went tracting in the dorms at SWOCC. Everything was going good until door #9. The guy was unusual at first but then it went downhill fast! He offered Elder Swiderski $75,000 to $100,000 a year (plus dental) if he left me. The dude, who I barely talked to, kept calling me stupid and dropping f-bombs all in the while telling me to leave! It was funny at first but then it started getting pretty sketchy. We thought he was going to do something to us so we just ended up bailing.

Sunday was super awesome! We actually found an investigator at church so that was pretty cool. I got to skype my family and man I miss y'all!

That is all that I got!

Love y'all! Have a great week!

Elder Tonini

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day 2016!

With Elder Tonini returning in less than a month, we actually forgot that we would be able to Skype him on Mother's Day.  Once that brain cramp had cleared, we decided to go spend Mother's Day in Bismarck so he could also talk to Drew and his family.

It was a delightful visit that introduced a new catch phrase in the Tonini vocabulary - "but does it have a dental plan?"

He is also making good progress on his MyPlan program.  This week:  dating and marriage!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Living on a Prayer!

Hey everyone!

So we had a slow week lessons-wise but we were able to clear up our area book a little bit this week. We will be putting more people into it this week than we took out this last week! Monday was a pretty fun P-Day. We went bowling and the Florence and Reedsport Elders came down for that. I sometimes forget that I actually like bowling a lot! I bowled a game all by myself because the missionaries on the other lane were still going. We weren't able to do anything in the gym because they were refinishing it so we spent the rest of our time emailing in the family history center. The Reedsport Elders let Elder Swiderski take their car so he could pack for his exchange with Elder Provstgaard and on their way back, the oil pan exploded and they had to park it at a dental place and call us! Thankfully a member from Florence came and got them and Reedsport so they were able to go back to their areas. We had a pretty fun FHE playing Skip Bo and Uno. I did MyPlan afterwards and it took me a whole hour to do. I'm actually really enjoying doing the MyPlan and setting some goals for myself.

Tuesday I was with Elder Scott for our exchange and it went pretty well. We had Senior Center in the morning and it went pretty smoothly. A ukulele group from one of the Lutheran churches were there and it was a lot of fun! We visited a couple of people before sitting down with Greg. He is an internigator and I could see why he is taking forever. Although he loves to read the Book of Mormon, he is pretty firm in his faith (although he hasn't gone in years). We talked to him about how families can be together forever and the role that the Book of Mormon has in our lives. We had to make a lot of phone calls so that took up some of our day. We had dinner at KFC and afterwards I did an iPad inspection on Elder Scott's iPad. He had some super funny videos! We ended up heading down to Coquille and dropping off a box of copies of the Book of Mormon to them to end our night.

We left North Bend for Reedsport early Wednesday morning to exchange back. When I picked up Elder Swiderski, the Reedsport Elders' car was fixed so we took them back to North Bend so they could get their car. We picked up the other Elders and helped the Lopez's put up a cabinet in their laundry room. I got showered afterwards (the cabinet was super dirty) and we ended up doing our weekly planning because we had a couple of lessons cancel. We attempted to contact people but it became a clean out the area book day.

Thursday morning we went to the Senior Center and did our normal thing there! We didn't have too much happen except for correlation in the evening. Brother Leav*** went out with Elder Swiderski and I and we tried to contact Pat and talked to the Malag***'s about their upcoming move.

Friday we had training in the morning and then we had a pretty good district meeting about obedience. We had a super good discussion about that. After lunch we drove out to the golf course to see Jake for our lesson but he wasn't home. We texted him and he told us to meet him at his house. We drove over there annnndd he wasn't home. We went to contact another investigator but right as we pulled in, Jake texted us and told us he was actually home now so we drove BACK to his place and had a pretty good lesson with him. With it being Elder Swiderski's first lesson with him, he was able to be super bold and ask some bold questions. It was super good for him and we have a good plan to help him keep reading his scriptures. He said he isn't going to change but we know he will if he comes to know that Joseph Smith was a prophet! We had a lesson set up but it fell through (although the person we talked to is a music major- right in Elder Swiderski's ballpark) so we went contacting the rest of the day.

Saturday morning I messaged some of my recent converts on Facebook and then after talking to the AP's about people on date, we went and contacted one of the new investigators in our areabook. It felt like a MLC roleplay. The guy was throwing out all these different concerns and stuff and we just handled it as though it was a roleplay. We dropped him afterwards needless to say. We saw a guy named Chuck who is a regular at the Senior Center. He was super chatty but we were able to teach him about the Restoration and he was super intrigued by it. He has a lot of relatives who are pastors so it is going to be fun when they find out we are teaching him!

Sunday was fast and testimony meeting and it was pretty good! Nothing too weird was said over the pulpit. Elder Carter and I went on a mini exchange and we taught the Primary during sharing time about the Restoration! We did it after teaching a Primary class about obedience and giving a lady's car a jump. We were asked to teach with an object lesson so we did the Rubik's Cube object lesson! The kids loved it! We had a conference call after church with President to discuss the people that we have on date as a zone and then we dropped off the other Elders at a lesson. We talked to Pat and he has just fallen hard from the Gospel. He was SO solid when I first came in but he has been on a downhill slide since I have been here. We might end up dropping him because he is so busy and wasting his money on cars. On top of the fact that he is moving into Coos Bay possibly... So that stunk. We tried to contact a potential but his address didn't exist so we took laundry over to April's and then we correlated with the Sisters to end the day!

I'm super excited to be able to talk to the family this Sunday! :) It is going to be weird though, considering the fact that I will see y'all in a few weeks! I am working hard and we got MLC this week so it will be a fun week!

Love y'all! Have a good week!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, April 25, 2016

Another one bites the dust!

Hey everyone!

So this was a decent week for Elder Swiderski and I. Somehow, we still have not taught a full lesson together! We have gone out and contacted people but we have been teaching our investigators when we are on exchanges haha! Elder Swiderski was sick all week but we managed to get out and do missionary work.

Monday was a pretty fun P-Day! I got my hair cut first thing in the morning and then we went to the church to grab some emails before heading out to the beach! That was super fun. We threw the frisbee around on the shoreline and we also took some time walking around the cove that the beach is in. We were only there for maybe an hour or so but it was fun and the water was FREEZING! We finished up emails at the church and then I worked on MyPlan (a new program for missionaries going home) while the other Elders took our car to go grab laundry and some dry cleaning. The Lopez's fed us dinner and I talked to Pablo, the foreign exchange student that lives with them, about basketball playoffs a little bit. We headed over to FHE and played some dominos and I lost both games that were played...

Tuesday we headed out to the Senior Center in the morning and I did a lot of the dish pick up so Elder Swiderski couldn't possibly pass whatever the heck he had. It was a fun time as usual and the lunch was excellent. We spent all afternoon going through our potentials list and we had no success. We had a couple of no answers and a couple of not interested people. We had dinner way out in the boonies so that took a little while! After dinner we took some time and went through the part members to end the night.

Wednesday morning (which was 4/20.....) we got suited up for some service for a widowed sister in the ward. Before we went to her house, we took over a gallon of ice cream to the sisters because one of them was celebrating their birthday that day. Elder Rawlings and Elder Carter were with us and so we had Elder Rawlings leave the ice cream on the front step, ring the door bell, and then RUN! We didn't get caught so that was exciting. We got to Sister McDon***'s house and we proceeded to clean out her gutters and figured out what was causing her gutter to leak onto a mini fridge she has outside on her covered patio. It was a fun time, especially when I found out that Sister McDon*** is a life subscriber and is a huge Braves fan! After I got cleaned up (Elder Swiderski wasn't feeling too good so he didn't participate), I took Elder Swiderski to the Instant Care and he was diagnosed with a premature form of bronchitis. We went to Walmart and it took FOREVER to get his prescription! By the time we got back to our apartment so he could take his meds and rest, it was almost time for dinner. Elder Carter went with me on our mini exchange and we went to dinner and taught some lessons together. I felt like we should try to see Patrick and lo and behold he was home! We talked to him for a couple of minutes and he told us that he isn't going to be able to get Sunday's off anytime soon... So that means that he won't be getting baptized in May. That means we have zero people on date... Bummer. We drove out to the Jeron***'s and we caught them home as well! We taught them about making the right choices and using our agency in a way that Christ would want us to and Sister Jeron*** said that she was going to try to come to church! While we were talking, Alex, the nine year old, figured out that I know some stuff about the Halo video game series and he started pulling out all these Halo Lego things and asking me if I knew what they were. I got all of them right and he was so put out because "I know everything about Halo"! That was pretty fun!

On Thursday Elder Swiderski was feeling good enough to go do the Senior Center. A kid who has been showing up almost every Thursday for the last couple of weeks did most of the pre-lunch stuff but got the boot after he was done with it so we took the brunt of the work. I even got to work the cash register for a couple of people! We got it all broken down on time too so that was good. We picked up the other Elders before going to the church and doing our weekly planning. We attempted to contact people before and after dinner but didn't have too much luck.

Friday morning we had to do some training and then we had district meeting. Friday was another bust for us. We had nothing go on for us and no one signed up for dinner so we took dinner at our apartment again. We had a correlation meeting at Brother Leav***'s workplace and he had a really nice view of the airport and the bay so we took some pictures before we did an exchange. I went with Elder Carter in his area and Elder Rawlings went with Elder Swiderski in our area.

Saturday the others came and picked us up to go to the church to go do Facebook. We walked from the church and tried to contact a couple of their investigators but we had no luck. We met the others at the apartment and we took lunch with them. We had a lot of phone calls in the afternoon and we were supposed to go to a hand-off lesson with the Sisters but the people ended up not being home so we got BK. Mind you, we are biking and man, North Bend is super hilly! We contacted people all afternoon and then we took dinner by ourselves. Elder Carter had contacted a PM (part member) family who said they would bring us food if dinner canceled so we did and we got pizza!

Sunday was Sunday. We had our first ward council with Bishop Holt and it was super good. Church was pretty good but we didn't have any investigators show up.

That is my week! I love y'all! Have a good week!

Elder Tonini
Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Friday, April 22, 2016

An Elder Tonini Sighting!

Sister Ranae Christensen is in our ward and her mother-in-law is an office missionary in the Oregon Eugene Mission.  In addition to her mother-in-law, look who else she ran into!  Okay, it really wasn't an accident.  Sister Christensen (the missionary) has a soft spot for Elder Tonini and arranged the meeting so that Sister Christensen (from our ward) can bring back some of his stuff.

Monday, April 18, 2016

The Week Where I Get Sick...

Hey everyone,

So this is going to be a pretty short weekly email.

Tuesday we canceled our service at the senior center because I felt super sick. We went to the church instead and cleared missionary pictures off of the Family History Center computers. I still felt pretty sick and I sounded like a lung was going to be coughed out! In fact, I sounded so sick that when President Russell called us to talk about some of the people we have had on date, he told me to go take an hour nap! It was super nice but I didn't sleep much... I was coughing the entire time. We went over to the church in the evening and introduced Elder Swiderski to Brother Her*** and then we met Brother Leav*** at his house to end our day.

Wednesday was rough. I got maybe two hours of sleep the night before and I finally decided that I needed to go see a doctor and so after getting permission from Sister Phipps, I went to the Urgent Care and they gave me a prescription for some heavy duty nighttime cough medicine for my upper respiratory infection. We hung out at Walmart for half an hour waiting for my prescription and then I spent the rest of my day indoors! Elder Carter stayed with me while Elder Swiderski went with Elder Rawlings and did some work in our area. He found a new investigator named Cougar (yes, the kid is Native American) so that's good. Elder Swiderski stayed in with me after dinner so not much was accomplished. We tried to get lessons set up on the phone though so that's good.

After taking my meds on Wednesday night, I slept through the whole night and I felt loads better when I woke up on Thursday! We were able to go volunteer at the Senior Center and then we spent the afternoon planning and going through our areabook. We had a short correlation meeting and then Elder Swiderski wasn't feeling super hot so we took the evening lightly.

Friday we had training and district meeting in the morning. Elder Carter's district meeting went really well! We went and helped the Lopez's move some cabinets out and I did most of the grunt work because I was the tallest and the strongest! In return, they fed us lunch! However, all the work reactivated my symptoms so that made the day somewhat difficult. We made some contacts but we weren't able to teach anyone.

Saturday we called the family history center directors in our stake with the STL's and talked with them about what we could do to be better about using the family history centers. Elder Swiderski showed a former investigator some of his trumpeting skills before we took off for Coquille to give some supplies to the Sisters. We made some contacts throughout the evening but nothing was too fruitful.

Sunday was pretty good. We finally got a new bishop and he is one of the members that loves the missionaries so we are pretty excited! Patrick canceled our lesson for the day so we went out and contacted before dinner. We dropped off our laundry and then correlated with the sisters to end the night.

That is all I got for you this week! I love y'all and have a good week!

Elder Tonini
Oregon Eugene Mission 

"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Saturday, April 16, 2016

A Parental Confession

I have a confession to make.  I am trunky.  You may have noticed the countdown clock that I have added to the blog.  I didn't realize how excited I am for Elder Tonini to come home until I watched this YouTube video this afternoon.  

The Nashville Tribute Band performed here in Minot last night and Jason Deere, the front man for the band, made reference to this video during the concert for the missionaries.  The song itself is from their Trek CD but certainly has application to missionaries "Coming Home."

Monday, April 11, 2016

Last 6 on the Coast!

Hey everyone,

This is going to be a super short email. I spent most of my day in the car traveling to and from Roseburg. Elder Roller got transferred to Roseburg and my new companion is Elder Swiderski! I am pretty pumped up about that! I have served around him before and he is a hard worker!

To recap the week, we had MLC and spent the week planning or trying to deal with canceled lessons. It was a bad week teaching wise but we are going to change that this week! We also did a hike for P-Day so that was pretty awesome!

I love y'all! Thank you for all the support and the love! I know that the Church is true! There is no doubt!


Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April 5, 2016 MLC

There are a couple of pictures on the OEM blog of Elder Tonini:

More Elders, and Elder Halam can really get around.

Elder Huntsman, Elder Tonini, and in the back, Elder Blackwelder.

Monday, April 4, 2016

General Conference Weekend!

Hey everyone!

Don't y'all just love General Conference? Because I do! We had a pretty good week, even with Elder Roller struggling with sickness. We don't know what is going on with him but he is still trying to do missionary work so that's good!

Tuesday was our P-Day! We didn't do anything too exciting, just our normal shopping, playing basketball, and emailing. The lady who normal does our laundry couldn't do it so we asked the Blackw***s if we could do it at their place and they said yes. Elder Roller and I went over there first thing spin the morning and left after putting in our laundry, talking to Brother and Sister Blackw***, and being fed breakfast. I also got an email notification notifying me that I was "enrolled" in the MyPlan course for soon-to-be RM's.... So that was fun!

Wednesday we had some lessons set up but they all fell through so we didn't have too much luck teaching or finding anyone new to teach. One funny highlight of the day though was that after dinner and sharing a message with a member family, we were messing with a cat using a laser pointer. The family's youngest child gets outside to where the cat is and without any warning drops his pants and takes that time to use the restroom! It was pretty funny. All throughout the day, Elder Roller wasn't feeling too good so it was a pretty tough day (and week) for him.

Thursday was pretty awesome! We had our service at the senior center but we had an awesome experience that happened after we got done cleaning up. We got talking with Sonya and Jennifer, sisters who work there and they started asking us questions about why we were on missions and what the Church really believed in. We taught them a very basic Restoration lesson and then we left them the times for the General Conference sessions and they said that they would watch it. It was pretty awesome! We did our weekly planning afterwards and then we had an awesome dinner with the Blackwe***! They are such a cool family!

Friday we didn't have district meeting due to specialized training on Monday so we did accountability and then we were supposed to do training but the Elders had to run and get a prescription so that didn't happen. We had a lesson with Jake and that went super well. We went over the first couple of points in the Plan of Salvation and he is starting to get a hang of what we are trying to teach him. He has some really good questions but because of the time we weren't able to answer them as clearly as we wanted to but he committed to come to the priesthood session of General Conference. We had dinner way out in Hauser with a single sister and her less active son. We had a feast and then we shared the Follow Him video with them. The son was pretty into it and the Spirit was there so maybe he will feel the need to make some changes in his life. We tried to see the Jeron***'s but we just missed them according to the baby sitter who was watching the two kids. We spent the rest of our night out contacting people.

Saturday was jam packed with General Conference! I have come to really love this special time of the year. We showed up at the church for the morning session but to our dismay no one had set up the projector in the chapel. We got it pulled up on the family history computer and we watched it on there until the member who does all the tech stuff showed up and set it up for us and the couple of members that were there. We got lunch from KFC and took our lunch hour before the afternoon session got underway. When that session finished, we drove over to the stake president's house and picked up his son so we could go have an early dinner with Sister Wilma***. She had a ton of soda and pizza for us! We took Dan over to the church and we watched the priesthood session there. Right as we got to the church, Jake texted us and told us he wasn't going to be making it so that was a bummer but hey, there were some pretty good talks at that session! When the priesthood session was over, I kept with tradition and got ice cream! It may have not been Sonic but it was still really good ice cream!

Sunday was just another packed day of conference! I loved the talks that were given, especially Elder Holland's talk to end conference. When conference was over, we had a conversation with the Sisters and it turned into a discussion about why we came on missions. This district has been one of my favorite districts on my mission. We are super tight and it has been a great transfer. We had a conversation with the the stake president before visiting with a less active member for a few minutes. We ended up taking dinner at the other Elders' apartment before taking our laundry over to our laundry lady. We synced up our AreaBooks and correlated with the sisters to end our week.

So with this being General Conference weekend, here were a couple of my thoughts from General Conference. 

  • Sometimes we forget that we are Heavenly Father's sons and daughters. When we run into those trials, the first thing that needs to happen is that we need to remind ourselves of hour divine heritage. 
  • "You can have what you want, but you can have something better" -Elder Holland 
  • Without the proper priesthood keys, we would still be locked out of the vehicle that will take us to eternal life and exaltation. 
  • Humility will open the floodgates to a happy marriage, better relationships with those around you, and a happier life. 
  • The closer our heart is to the Savior, the more gratitude we feel and we will also feel an increased desire to repent. 
  • Not only is Jesus Christ the greatest leader to walk this earth, He is also the greatest follower! 

Just a couple of my thoughts! I love y'all and have a great week! My last transfer call is this week but more than likely I am staying to finish up in North Bend! 

Love y'all! 

Elder Tonini 

Oregon Eugene Mission 
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The One Where We Teach at the Golf Course!

Hey everyone!

This last week was Spring break so we had a difficult time teaching and finding people to teach but we made due!

Monday was an unusual Monday. We woke up early and went to the church with the other Elders and played some basketball before our studies. We spent the morning proselyting before taking three hours to do our shopping and emailing. Brother Blackw*** showed up around 5ish and he took us up to Eugene so us and the other North Bend Elders could ride up with the AP's to Portland. Well we get there and the AP's didn't have anything for us to do so we just walked around in the pouring rain for an hour or so. We ended up grabbing some McDonald's and that is where the AP's came and got us. They took us back to their place and the Reedsport and Florence Elders came there shortly thereafter. We had a big 'ol slumber party and we had a lot of fun!

Tuesday morning we were out the door at 7:00 am to go to Portland! We picked up the STL's from the Eugene YSA sisters apartment and after grabbing breakfast, we drove straight through to the temple. We were there pretty early so I was able to take some time and read the scriptures for a bit in the chapel. I was able to see some of my old mission friends while I was in the chapel so that was pretty awesome. We had a great session and I loved being in the celestial room! We stopped by Deseret Book after eating lunch in the temple cafeteria and I got some things from there. We got back to Eugene around 4 and our ride picked us up almost an hour later. It was a fun car ride and I got to talk to our member about Scouting. He said something really interesting. He said that the Scouting program teaches eternal principles. It really made me think and really appreciate what the Scouting program has done for me and my family. We got back to North Bend around 7ish and we went back to our apartment and got changed into P-Day clothes and played basketball at the church to end our P-Day!

Wednesday was a blur for us. We spent the early afternoon cleaning up our apartment in preparation for an inspection by our ward mission leader and then we spent the rest of the day contacting people and trying to get stuff set up but nothing much happened with that.

Thursday we headed out to the Senior Center in the morning and did our weekly service there. We had a really good conversation with the people that run the center about how Jesus Christ has changed our lives for the better. We then did our weekly planning and while we were doing our weekly planning, we got a text from a lady in the ward telling us that she has an investigator for us. She told us about a lady that is interested in the Gospel and gave us her name and phone number. We go to call her and as we introduce ourselves, she hung up on us! It was super strange. We shot her a text and the lady told us that while she does want to meet with missionaries, she was dealing with a family situation and couldn't meet with us for the time being. We messaged her the link to the #Hallelujah video and told her to watch it! After weekly planning, we had dinner at the Kozy Kitchen with the Underwo***. I managed to finish off the country fried steak! It was pretty dang good! We had correlation afterwards and Brother Leav*** came with us to inspect apartments. He was like a little kid because he felt like a missionary again, being in missionary apartments with missionaries. It got him so pumped up that he shared a Book of Mormon with a man in the other Elder's complex! It was pretty awesome! He then inspected our apartment an we flipped through the old missionary yearbook and talked about some of the missionaries that had served in the North Bend area since he moved here. It was a pretty fun correlation meeting!

Friday we only had to do accountability because of the temple trip so we did that before we did some training with Elder Davis and Elder Kroll. It wasn't as exciting as some of the previous ones because of the different role plays that we had to do but it was really good. We have some awesome missionaries here! We had KFC For lunch that was provided for us by Sister Rice since we didn't have dinner that night. Our afternoon consisted of driving around looking for the golf course that Jake worked at. The reason why we did this is because Jake said that he would not come to church until we came out to the course and saw him there. We went to the one that we thought he worked at but it turned out that he worked at the golf course on the other side of the peninsula! We had a beautiful drive by the beach and through the heart of Coos Bay so that was pretty sweet! We got to the golf course and we talked to the guy working the shop there about where Jake was. We waited for a couple of minutes and right

before we were going to leave, Jake showed up! He showed us a little bit of the golf course and then he remembered he had to do something really quick before we could teach him. Instead of having us sit around and do nothing, he gave us a bucket of golf balls and some clubs and we got to dink around on the driving range for a few minutes while Jake got some things cleared up with his crew. We went up into his office and shared the #Hallelujah video with him. He keeps bringing up how he feels good when we come by and we pointed out the fact that that was the Spirit working in him. He committed to come to a session of General Conference with us like he promised so we are pretty dang excited about that! We had dinner with the other elders and then we tried to get some lessons set up to end the night.

Saturday we picked up the other Elders to grab our keys that we left with them the night before and to take them to where they needed to go. Well we dropped them off and got to the church only to discover that they didn't give us our keys! So we drove back and picked those up and drove back to the church. We talked to the Sisters (who were on exchanges) and we talked to Sister Poulson about the ward and to the sister she was exchanging with about one of their people on date for baptism. We did some Facebook and worked through our AreaBook until the other Elders were ready for lunch. After eating lunch with them, we headed back over to the church and I got to Skype Loretta after her baptism! It was a super short phone call but I got to talk to her and her step son! She is going to be a kingdom builder that is for sure! We had dinner by ourselves so we both took some time and read the scriptures before going back out and doing the work. We visited with a less-active member who has been going through some really bad health problems before seeing Sue. She requested that we find the video that was shown on Sunday so after making a call and writing it all out where she could find it, we got her the video! We took that time we had and shared the #Hallelujah video with her. The Spirit was pretty strong, even with her husband watching TV! It was strong enough to make her cry. We drove out to see the Jeron***'s but they are on Spring Break so we came back and grabbed some milkshakes at BK before going to the church and updating our lessons to end the night.

Sunday was pretty good. Sacrament meeting was so awesome! The talks were great and we sang in the choir so that was good. That was most definitely the best hour at church. After grabbing some lunch we went and saw Patrick. He hasn't been doing very well with his commitments... That was super depressing. We taught him about the principle of obedience and then he proceeded to show us a video of a WWE Easter scene... It was slightly blasphemous but the wrestler bore his testimony of Christ so that was cool.. The stake patriarch and his wife fed us a ham dinner and then we had a long discussion with them and a returning less-active member about the Atonement. The Spirit was so strong! We had correlation with the Sisters at the church to talk about the zone but that got interrupted because we found out that AP's rode up with President and we were going to have to chauffeur them around along with the other North Bend Elders... So we managed to get all that done so we could go to bed at a reasonable time!

Monday morning we were out the door pretty early to get the AP's to the church building and to get the other elders for specialized training. We had an extremely good specialized training that was taught by President and Sister Russell and the AP's. President Russell taught us about being Preach My Gospel missionaries and the AP's taught us about the Apostasy in a more secular way as to increase our knowledge of what happened during the Great Apostasy. Sister Russell then talked to us about being a missionary on fire and then President wrapped it all up. It was a very good training! We spent the afternoon contacting and then we had FHE to end the night. I love and miss y'all! I can't believe that this transfer is almost done. Have a good week and I know that the Savior of the world lives!

Love y'all!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission 
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, March 21, 2016

Another Week in the Life of Elder Tonini!

Hey Everyone!

Monday was our P-Day. We dropped off our laundry first thing in the morning and went to the church to throw the ball around for a bit! We then did our studies at the other Elder's apartment before doing our grocery shopping. We also went to Ross and I finally got a new belt I had been needing. We headed over to the church and although they were doing the carpets, the carpet cleaning guys said we were fine to be there! So we played some basketball and did our emails as they cleaned the church! After that, we didn't have too much go our way. We had dinner with the family that fed us chorizo and then we found out that FHE was canceled when we showed up to the church and no one was there. We tried contacting people before going and getting our laundry.

Tuesday morning was rough. I was so tired and worn out for no reason... We went over to the senior center and helped out there. It is so much fun serving there! We went by the church before I got dressed in my suit and we drove the hour out to Florence to do a baptismal interview. This woman had been investigating the church for 11 years and after some experiences she has had recently, she decided that she wanted to be baptized before a couple that were influential in her conversion moved to Utah. I did her interview and it went extremely well and she passed the interview! After the interview we got talking to the couple that were moving to Utah and the wife turned out to be an RM that served in the OEM and went home last June! It was pretty fun being able to talk about missionaries who have gone home and what has been going on with other people! We booked it back to North Bend for dinner with the Bro*** and we went to a place called the Cozy Kitchen. I ordered a country fried chicken breakfast style and it came out on two plates! It was so much food! Almost all of us had to use the restroom so we drove to the church and used the facilities there. While we were there, we got to share a spiritual message with the Activity Day girls and eat cookies with them! We had plans to go contacting but Elder Roller was feeling pretty bad so we went home and I gave him some Doterra stuff to help him with his upset stomach.

Wednesday we started off our day by heading over to the church to help the other Elders look for some keys that they has lost the previous night. We searched around for a little bit but couldn't find them. Elder Carter and Elder Rawlings headed out to go contact people while Elder Roller and I stayed at the church so I could get a couple of things downloaded onto my iPad. I had just finished downloading the Elder Holland Face 2 Face (with the number 2) when we got a call from Elder Carter informing us that Elder Rawlings just wrecked on his bike pretty bad. We hopped in the car and got down the hill to them. Elder Rawlings had taken a bad angle while getting onto the sidewalk and wrecked, cutting up his hands and knees pretty bad and hitting his head in the process. Thankfully he had a helmet on! We thought we could just patch him up and get on with our plans to go tracting but he told us his vision had gone black and he was feeling dizzy. After a phone call to the mission nurse, we drove him and Elder Carter to the emergency room so Elder Rawlings could get checked for a possible concussion. We spent an hour there waiting for him to get checked in but they were so slow! We actually taught a lady there a little about the church before she had to go to her appointment so that was a bonus. We ended up leaving to go grab lunch and we made a couple of stops before the other Elders called us and told us that they were finished. We picked them up and took them back to their apartment for a 3:30 lunch! We took them to go get some stuff for Elder Rawlings (like a new helmet) before taking dinner at the apartment. We met Brother Hol*** at the church and he took us to our lesson with the Jeron*** family. We shot some hoops with Alex before watching the Follow Me video with Brother Jeron*** and his kids. It went really well and he brought up coming to church once again! Hopefully we will see them there in the near future! We ended our night updating the Areabook and getting on a conference call before our nightly planning.

Thursday we headed out to the senior center to do our thing there, making coffee and tea and cutting up desserts. We had a delicious St. Patrick's day lunch and then after we cleaned up we headed to the church to do our weekly planning. We ended up helping a member blow up some balloons for the Relief Society birthday party that was taking place that night. We did our weekly planning and I was in a SUPER bad mood for no reason... And my head was just pounding so I took a quick nap before dinner to get my head back in it. We had pretty much the same meal that we had for lunch but it was still super good. We didn't get too much done the rest of the night except for getting adjusted by Brother Blackw***. My back was killing me and Elder Roller had some issues with his body so Brother Blackw*** helped us out! They are probably my most favorite family in the ward right now! He told us all about the different kinds of chiropractic and we talked about our missions and stuff like that. It was relieving to have a member who remembers and understands the stress we go through as missionaries!

Friday morning we had district meeting and it was all focused around being better at doing our studies. We got some KFC before we got out of our proselyting clothes and doing some service at the Kid's Hope Center over by the hospital. This center provides counseling and help for children who have been abused and they were needing a work crew to pull the carpet out. Elder Roller and I managed to get one room done without too many issues but in one of the main rooms the carpet there was a pain in the rear! Luckily the other Elders showed up and with their help we managed to get it all pulled up. We got cleaned up and took dinner afterwards. We did some training with Elder Davis via Skype and it was a lot of fun! He is going to be a really good missionary! We were all so tired that towards the end of training we couldn't concentrate very well!

Saturday was an interesting day. We didn't get too much accomplished in the morning despite our efforts to contact people or the early afternoon because of some assignments that were given to us by the assistants. We went and saw Sister Wilma*** and we had a really good conversation with her. Her husband just passed away a week ago and we talked to her about many different things, all on a spiritual level. She has gone through so much in her life but she has remained so strong because of her deep faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We had dinner afterward and then we worked through our Areabook to end the night!

Sunday we had ward council in the morning and like always, not too much happened or got accomplished. We had Sue come to church and man that was interesting. She did fine during sacrament meeting but flipped out after Gospel Principles because she thought the other Elders, who were teaching about scriptures, were "pushing" out the Bible but when she walked out of Relief Society she was fine.... Church as a whole was super good though! The talks in sacrament meeting were about Joseph Smith and to wrap it all up, the Stake President just pounded the message home of Joseph's mission here on earth. For third hour, Elder Roller and I got to go help in the Laurel's class. The Young Woman's president had set up the room to look like a mini visitors center and she wanted us to be there like a real one would. At the end of it, we had the opportunity to bear our testimonies of the Atonement and of the Savior. I love talking about the Atonement and talking about the Savior! We had lunch with the Hii***'s and then tried to contact some of our investigators. A huge storm rolled through during dinner but it cleared out by the time we finished dinner. Because of us going to the temple tomorrow, we took our laundry over to the lady that does our laundry right before we headed over to the church for correlation and getting a conference call. You gotta love the ZL life! #calls4days We collected numbers to end the night!

I love this Gospel and I have truly come to love my mission. It has been a tough two years but it has been the most satisfying. I'm grateful for the opportunity that I have to go to the temple tomorrow! I know that the church is true! Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet and Jesus Christ, my older brother and my best friend, is my Savior and Redeemer! Love y'all! Have a tubular week!

Elder Jacob Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission 

"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, March 14, 2016

"It Is Not The Honor That You Take With You, But The Heritage You Leave Behind." - Branch Rickey

Hey everyone,

So this was a pretty crazy week! We had a lot of things happen this week!

Monday actually turned out to be our P-Day and it was so much fun! We went to the church after we did our grocery shopping and played some basketball and emailed for a little bit before we went bowling with the other North Bend missionaries, Coos Bay Sisters, and the Florence and Reedsport Elders! I actually bowled pretty well and got multiple strikes. I was really happy about that! We went back to the church and wrapped up our P-Day there. I'm going to mention dinner because it reminded me of home. The family that fed us made up some eggs and chorizo! Oh man, I was in heaven. It was so awesome. We went to the YSA FHE and played some dominoes before hanging out with the members that did our laundry while we waited for it to dry.

Tuesday morning we went to the Senior Center and volunteered there until the afternoon. They do bingo on Tuesdays and it was a lot of fun watching them play as I bussed tables. We spent our afternoon working on a part member list and praying about who we could go see. We went and contacted a part member family and we got in with them! The Jeron*** family met with missionaries in the past and they accepted a return appointment! We showed them a video about being an eternal family and they brought up that they want to come back to church but the wife's work schedule is pretty rigorous. I played basketball at the church at the end of the night and while it was fun and all, I decided that I wasn't going to play again. The whole purpose of basketball on Tuesday is to invite nonmembers to play and have fun but we have some guys who think they are one step from the NBA and it really gets me going and get SUPER competitive. So I won't be playing this week!

Wednesday we spent ALL day at the church. We had some training in case of a tsunami and President Russell instructed us about not gossiping and forgiving people. We then spent the rest of the day waiting for people to get interviewed. Basically nothing got done that day.

And nothing got done on Thursday either! President Russell called us first thing in the morning and told us that all the missionaries in the mission were to put missionary work on hold until every apartment was clean! Our apartment needed a lot of work (we have been working on it as much as time allows) so after we helped the other Elders with their apartment we worked on ours! It took forever but we got it done! We had correlation after dinner and I went with Dan to go contact some part member families but none of them were home. Elder Roller had some better luck than I did and we ended up with a new investigator!

Friday we spent the morning doing new missionary training and also doing some district leader training. We had a lesson with Jake and it went super well. We covered the Restoration and it made sense to him. He had a pretty good question about how we could know if the prophet was a false prophet but we bore our testimonies of the Restoration and of President Monson and he felt the Spirit! He accepted an invitation to come to church so we were pretty excited about that.

Saturday morning we had to exercise the priesthood in one of the Sisters' investigator's home. It was an interesting experience and you could feel the Spirit come into the home after we were done. We were super stoked to go tracting with the Easter initiative but we were told the wrong date so that was a huge let down. We had a lesson with Sue and man it is difficult to teach her. We will make progress with her but then she would loop us back to the beginning. We basically spent the entire lesson marking scriptures in the Bible and Book of Mormon to show how they are meant to be together. That was pretty much our day. We spent the rest of the day contacting but nothing fruitful came from it. Not even a cool story... :(

Sunday was pretty good! None of our investigators came to church but all three hours of church was super good! We met up with Patrick and shared with him the #Hallelujah video and discussed with him about some of his struggles. He hasn't done too hot as of late with some of our commitments but he is going to get refocused and hopefully come to church! We downloaded the Easter initiative and then we got caught up in doing some zone leader duties before our correlation with the STL's.

I love y'all! Thank you for all the support! I know that this church is true! I know that the Gospel is true and that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer! There is no doubt!

Elder Tonini
Oregon Eugene Mission

Monday, March 7, 2016

"Here We Are on Top of the Stars, Never Thought We'd Ever Get This far" - The Afters

Hey everyone!

So this was a busy week but unfortunately we weren't able to find anyone new to teach but we had some awesome moments this week!

Monday was pretty good, we just did the normal basketball and emailing stuff! We had dinner and family home evening with the stake patriarch and his wife along with a semi-less active family. I ended up doing the Rubik's Cube Restoration and that went pretty well! We got to the church in time for the end of the YSA FHE and we got to play badminton without the net. That was all fun and games until I got a random bloody nose! So I spent the rest of the night with a tissue up my nose!

Tuesday we spent the whole day pretty much at MLC in Eugene! It was pretty good and it was good to see all my old friends again! We grabbed dinner in Veneta before coming home. We had to take something to the Florence Elders so we met them in Reedsport and dropped it off to them. By the time we got back, we were away from North Bend for 14 hours.

Wednesday we spent the morning doing ZTM planning with the Sisters. We didn't have too much happen except our lesson with one of our new investigators Jake. He is so cool! At the beginning of our lesson, he was kinda stand offish but by the end the spirit was changing him and he accepted the invitation to be baptized on April 9th! We are super stoked and we hope he can make that date.

Thursday we volunteered at the senior center before doing our weekly planning and working on ZTM stuff. I got another bloody nose during it so that sucked. We had correlation in the evening before we got the relief society room set up for ZTM.

Friday we had ZTM and it went really well. I had to do the last half because Elder Roller and Elder Carter had to go do an emergency blessing. We had a zone lunch that was pretty awesome before we went and spent the whole day contacting people.

Saturday we taught our new investigator Sue about keeping the Sabbath day holy and we introduced the Restoration to her. She was so happy when we gave her a large print Book of Mormon and a large print Bible. She also accepted an invitation to come to church so that was pretty awesome!

Sunday was a rough day at church. Sue had panic attacks all during church so we are currently trying to come up with solutions to help her. We had a lesson with Patrick after church and we talked about his whole situation and about moving his date up. He is looking to come to church on the 20th so we are pretty hopeful for that. We had a lesson with Crystal and Wade came with us and we gave Crystal a blessing of comfort to help her with her stress. We synced at the church to end the night.

I love all of y'all and I love my Savior Jesus Christ! I know that He lives! #Hallelujah!

Elder Tonini


Bowling on P-Day!

Monday, February 29, 2016

We Have Travel Plans!

Elder Jacob Tonini will return on Tuesday, 24 May at 7:20 pm at Minot Airport! He isn't allowed to get trunky, but can we?!? 

Greetings from the Dirty Coos!

Hey everyone!

I had a pretty good week out here on the coast! We didn't teach as much as we would've liked to but we are going to make up for it this week! Monday I spent the morning leaving Sutherlin and going up to Eugene to meet up with my new companion Elder Roller. We packed up my stuff into a member's truck and headed out with the member and four Elders crammed into his truck! We got into Coos Bay in time to have a full P-Day. We got our grocery shopping done before going and playing basketball all afternoon. We got cleaned up and then we all pitched in to get some Little Caesars Pizza for dinner. We headed over to the church after dinner for FHE with the YSA group. It was so much fun and a great way to spend a Monday night! We played a different version of Uno and it was super fun. I ended up winning too so that made it even better!

Tuesday morning we were supposed to have service at the Senior Center but there were a ton of volunteers so we headed over to the church and I got my Area Book logged into the North Bend area. We went to go contact an investigator but he was hammered out of his mind before it was even 12 o'clock... We took lunch before going and helping a non-member move some stuff into storage. They were supposed to move to Coquille but their place there was apparently garbage. So we helped them move their stuff into two storage units and man it took forever! We were there for two hours and we could've put all of their stuff into one but the lady wanted us to do it a certain way (which didn't make ANY sense) so we had move the rest into the second unit. After dinner we had to figure out a miscalculation in the numbers reported the last week so we did that before our zone correlation with the STL's. We talked about the activities that we wanted to do and planned accordingly!

Wednesday we spent the morning contacting some of our investigators before heading to the church and making some adjustments to some reports on our iPads. We grabbed Elder Carter and Elder Rawlings and we grabbed some KFC! A member is the general manager there and since she is a single lady, she can't feed us in her home so she feeds us KFC instead. It was super good food. We had our afternoon lessons cancel but we were able to teach an investigator named Angela on the door step about the Atonement. She has been having a rough time but she has been reading her scriptures and the other assignments given to her by Elder Roller and his previous companion. We got picked up for dinner and by the time we got all the way out there, had dinner, and came back we just stayed at the church and organized our Area Book to end the night.

Thursday morning we didn't do our weekly planning! Instead, we volunteered at the Senior Center. It was a lot of fun! We actually got talking with the volunteer supervisor named Loni and we talked to her about tithing and why we go to church. It was a super good conversation. After the senior center we had to take Elder Carter to the bike shop so he could get his bike fixed. I ended up playing the Australian Shepard that was in the shop! It made me miss Yarra! We spent the rest of the afternoon doing weekly planning and then we picked up some pizzas that a member ordered for us and had that for dinner. We had a super good correlation meeting afterwards and we made a lot of progress on the ward mission plan and helping our ward make family mission plans.

Friday was AWESOME! We trained a new missionary and he is pretty awesome! During our district meeting, I got a text from Sister Christensen and she told me that Zowie had come into the world! I was on Cloud 9 the rest of the meeting! After district meeting we helped those nonmembers from earlier in the week move into a home they got in Coos Bay. Once again, the lady took over and we could've gotten in everything into the van but she wasn't having it! That took us another two hours.... Meh.. We got back to our apartment and found out that we got inspected... and our apartment wasn't the cleanest. So we spent the little time we had before dinner cleaning haha! We had a super fun dinner and then we spent the rest of the night trying to contact some of the members so I could get to know them!

Saturday was a bit of a slower day for us. We contacted some investigators and got some lessons set up but other than that we didn't have any success tracting or teaching anyone really. The one good thing that happened was we drove by an investigator's house and we saw that they were home so we turned around and talked to them for a few minutes. We ended up teaching Sue about the Book of Mormon and after we shot down some of her "concerns" (like the statement that Mormon missionaries could not enter a house if there was a cross with an angel that had wings on it...), she took a Book of Mormon and said that she would read it!

Sunday we had ward council in the morning before church and I got to meet some of the members of the ward council so that was good. Church was pretty good, especially the Gospel Principles class! That teacher was pretty awesome! We had a lesson shortly after lunch with a guy named Patrick! He is such a cool guy but has had some tough times as of late. Despite his now ex moving out, he is living the law of chastity and he told us he is going to be able to start coming to Church starting in the middle of March! We were super pumped! We taught him the baptismal interview and we gave him a blessing before booking it over and seeing a YSA member named Crystal! We had a super good discussion with her and another YSA kid before we had to go to dinner. We correlated with the STL's and updated the Area Book to end the night!

I love you all! I'm so grateful for all your support and your love! I know that the Church is true! There is no doubt!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

ZL Letter

23 February 2016

Dear Elder Jacob Romney Tonini,

Your purpose as a Zone Leader in the Oregon Eugene Mission is to help the missionaries in your zone understand and live the principles described in Preach My Gospel. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit you will lead your missionaries; teaching and providing the example for obedience, diligence, working by the spirit and humility. Specifically you will lead by example in planning, teaching, finding and working with members.

You earn the missionaries respect when you demonstrate effective work in your own area. As you produce and bring people to Christ, building a successful area, missionaries will want to be like you. You are expected to lead the way with your area; you should lead out in all key indicators. Lead by example - look at the sons of Helaman for an example:

"And they were all young men, and they were exceedingly valiant for courage, and also for strength and activity; but behold this was not all - they were men who were true at times in whatsoever thing they were entrusted.

"Yea, they were men of truth and soberness, for they had been taught to keep the commandments of God and to walk uprightly before him." (Alma 53:20-21

Always be teaching; what you do on exchanges will greatly impact your success. That's when you can demonstrate and develop in them, skills and ability to find, teach and commit. Don't forget the value of teaching your missionaries how to work with members. The most effective training you can do will be on exchanges with other missionaries. That's when you can demonstrate and develop in them skills and ability.

In addition to the above counsel, please see attached specific duties of a Zone Leader.

With profound love and trust!

H. Jeff Russell

Mission President

cc: Parents, Bishop, Stake President

Monday, February 22, 2016

Out to the Coast I Go! Oh, and I am a Zone Leader Again!

Hey everyone,

This was a decent week. We taught a couple of lessons and they were pretty much all to Loretta. She is doing so awesome! We brought Sister Par***, Brother Caldw***, and Bryson out with us to see her. She has been keeping her commitments to the tee(?) and she came to church. We also taught a girl named Catherine and we put her on date for baptism on May 7th!

So like you can see, I got transferred out to the coast! I am now in North Bend and I got made Zone leader again. I am with Elder Roller (which I am super pumped about; we came out together!) and we are going to do some work this transfer!

I love y'all! I know that the Church is true! Keep the faith and keep on enduring to the end!

Love ya!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, February 15, 2016

"You Say It's Your Birthday!" -The Beatles

Hey everyone,

Monday was a pretty good P-Day. We did our shopping before hanging out at the church all day. We had a Nerf War but I didn't participate much except as cameraman! We headed out to the Hay***'s and after having dinner with them, we helped one of the boys teach family home evening. He was teaching about Joseph Smith and the First vision and he did a really good job! We hardly had to help him. It was a lot of fun!:)

Tuesday morning we did some Facebook messaging after our studies. I'm so grateful that we can message those people in my last areas! After lunch we decided to go stop by Loretta's to see if she was home and to remind her about our lesson on Thursday. We ended up staying for an hour and we talked about her meeting her missionary stepson and the gospel things they talked about. We went tracting after Loretta's and we managed to knock three doors in an hour. Yup. Three doors. The first door took less than a minute. The second door took over 20 minutes! The guy opens the door and starts talking to us and then he asks what church we were representing. We told him and he said "Oh, that non-Christian cult!" Oh boy. He was a born-again Christian and he started saying the normal stuff about how we believe we have to work our way to heaven and stuff like that. He then started to raise his voice at us and man my blood started to boil. I managed to keep calm though and Elder Andersen and I both bore our testimonies about the Restoration before walking away. I had to take a few minutes to unwind before going to the next door, my adrenaline was pumping! We OYM'd the born again' neighbor and man, he and his wife had had some rough times. Ben's wife lost both of her parents to mistakes within the last year. We talked to him about the Plan of Salvation a little bit and left him a pamphlet with our phone number on it. We offered to help him move stuff out of his mother-in-law's place and he seemed really surprised that we would do something like that. That took up our time before dinner! We ate at our apartment and then headed over to Jackie's for a lesson. We talked about Jesus Christ with her out of the Gospel Principles book. It was good, I just wish she will act in what we are teaching her!

Wednesday was my birthday!! I got three packages full of goodies! It was awesome! We volunteered at the food pantry before heading into Roseburg for a birthday lunch at Red Robin and a visit to the chiropractor. After the chiropractor we did a companionship study with Adam. We read out of Preach My Gospel, watched a District video, and then did some role plays. He is going to be a solid missionary one of these days! After the study session, we dropped him off at his house and we volunteered at the soup kitchen, pouring drinks once more! We came back to the Caldwe*** and had birthday dinner with them. Sister Caldwe*** made Mom's meatloaf and she did a pretty dang good job! We headed over to the church to participate in a youth activity before coming back and having Texas Sheetcake for my birthday cake! It was pretty dang good too!!

Thursday started out doing weekly planning before our lesson with Loretta. Sister Parker went with us and Loretta made us a negative calorie soup for lunch. When we followed up with her on her commitment that we left her, she informed us that she had read it 3 times!! We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it went really well. She enjoyed it so much she asked to keep my little Gospel of Jesus Christ thing that I drew out! We committed her to be baptized and she said she will pick a date once she can coordinate with her husband and her step-son about when they could be in Sutherlin to participate in the baptism. Sister Parker was such a huge help during that lesson! She even invited Loretta to go with them to stake conference! It was awesome. We spent the rest of the afternoon contacting before dinner. The member who had signed up didn't realize that 1) his records (along with an address and phone number) aren't in LDS Tools and 2) that there was another man with the same last name who lived 10 miles away in the sticks. Guess where we went to for dinner? Yup, the guy out in the sticks. We are sitting there in the driveway with three massive dogs barking at us and a lady trying to talk to us from the porch when this brother calls and asks us where we were! Turns out, he lives right in the heart of Sutherlin... So we were about 30 minutes late to dinner! We had a fantastic dinner of eggs, pancakes, and bacon before heading out to the Sim***'s for a "birthday bonfire" as they put it. We roasted hot dogs and marshmallows and talked about the Gospel. We talked to them about letting go of the past mad relying on the Savior to help us through it all.

Friday was probably the longest day but it was one of the best days! We spent our morning getting the car washed in preparation of zone conference. This was an unusual zone conference. The AP's didn't come and it was just our zone so that was unusual. It was a super good zone conference. My favorite segment was President Russell's about the Atonement. He had a couple of the missionaries get up and present a talk about the Atonement before diving into his section. He didn't teach very much; instead, he showed us a video that talks about the Atonement. It depicts the story of the Institute teacher who had a student do ten push ups for each student so they could earn a gift. It was super powerful and he had each of us write three things that we are struggling with. It was a great segment! After dinner we had a portion of our zone conference with the WML and the bishops of each ward. We separated into wards and we discussed what we could do to help the work progress in Sutherlin.

Saturday was slow. We didn't have too much going for us except for our lesson with Chelsea. Her son Gabe sat in and he had some questions that we had answers to, mainly why was he here on this earth. We covered the whole Plan of Salvation and asked them to be baptized. Chelsea told us that she would but because of her Mid Evil wedding that they did (it is called handfasting), the Church will only recognize it if she had the paperwork showing that it happened. So we are in a pickle on this one! We had some lessons cancel but it ended up working for us because a man in Roseburg called us and told us that a part- member family had been living in Sutherlin for a while and he was their home teacher. His companion had bailed on him so he called us to go with him! So we had a good chat with this part member family to end our night. We talked about focusing on the Savior and not being distracted!

Sunday was pretty awesome. We had a broadcast from Salt Lake City for our stake conference and we had some really awesome talks! We came back to Sutherlin and we taught Samantha another new member lesson and then helped her and Sister Caldwell with their family history. The bishop's family dropped dinner off to us and after snarfing that down, we went to the Lea***'s and had pie! It was yummy pie! We didn't have too much happen the rest of the night so we updated our Area Books and synced to end the night!

That was my week! It had a lot of good things happen and I learned a lot this week. This is the last week of the transfer and I have a feeling I will be packing my bags this week. It has been good here in Sutherlin but I am excited to see what the Lord has in store for me for the last 13 weeks I have as a full-time missionary! I love this Gospel and I love my Savior Jesus Christ! He lives!

I love y'all and talk to you next week!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"