Monday, January 25, 2016

"Coincidences are God's Way of Staying Anonymous"

Hey everyone!

I hope y'all had a good week because I sure did!

Monday was good 'ol P-Day. We did our normal shopping and then balled it up the rest of the day. With it being MLK Day, some teens were playing basketball on the other side and we ended up choosing teams and playing a little tournament. We got back to Sutherlin and then headed out to the Hay***'s for our dinner and lesson with them. We had a fun little object lesson planned! We talked about faith and why we needed faith. We then took a Mason jar and showed how without "faith", the water poured out when we tipped it over. However, after putting a card on the mouth of the Mason jar, the water stayed in the jar, just like how faith will help us through the rough parts of life! It was a great lesson!

Tuesday was our slow day. It's almost not worth mentioning except for the fact we ended up getting two dinners that day! We had dinner over at one members house and when we showed up at another's to talk about coming out to a lesson with us, they gave us more food!

Wednesday was pretty awesome. We headed into Roseburg first thing in the morning and watched the Church-wide missionary training broadcast held in SLC. We heard from the Missionary Committee and watched some training that they did. One of the biggest things that I got from that was from Elder Andersen. He instructed us to "always have the Savior on our lips". That made me think a lot about when I am out and about doing the work. Am I always testifying of Him? It was a really good broadcast. We got home to having lessons cancel on us so we took some time and visited some formers and volunteered at the soup kitchen before our lesson with Jackie. We hammered down on faith with her and talked about ways she could build her faith.

Thursday we had another training, except this time it was in Santa Clara, just north of Eugene. Elder Bowers and Elder Kimber picked us up early and we were actually one of the first missionaries to arrive despite being about an hour away! After eating donuts and talking with old mission friends, we got the specialized training underway. We talked about being firm in our commitments and not being apologetic when we extend those commitments. We also practiced using a door approach in which we introduce ourselves as representatives of Jesus Christ. Thankfully I have been doing that my whole mission thanks to a pretty good RM older brother! President Russell talked about goals and then he hit on pride. As a mission, we have been struggling with pride and I thought everything he and Sister Russell said were right in the money. It made me reflect on what I need to change! After the specialized training, we headed over to the mission office and the South Umpqua Elders got their TIWI fixed. It was fun being able to talk to Sister Christensen and Sister Sutterfield! I miss being around the office staff. By the time we got back to Sutherlin, it was time to go to dinner. The Shoema***'s took us to a Chinese place in town and Brother Shoema*** got the hungry family for four people. Holy cow there was so much food!! As we were leaving, I OYM'd the waitress after hearing her talk about losing a couple of kids and the struggles she was going through. Hopefully she gives us a call! After we got the car, we headed over to the Vincent's and I used some Deep Blue from doterra to help with my back.

Friday we did weekly planning in the morning and then went out and tried to contact people. We knocked on a part member's door but they just ignored us so that was fun. We went over to a less active's house that was nearby and he welcomed us in with open arms. The poor brother's wife was in the local Alzheimer's unit and just wasting away. He told us that they used to be active and even worked in the temple but since her diagnosis, he has struggled with going back without her. It was humbling to have him look me in the eye and tell me that he knew that they were going to be together forever. Right before we left, he asked me if I could leave a blessing on his home and man that was a tough prayer. I felt so much love for this man and I almost cried during the prayer... We continued to contact people until dinner and then afterwards kept on doing so. We decided to go visit a lady who had met with the missionaries a few months ago but told them she was going to be out of town for a little while. Despite what my previous companion said about her contacting us, we decided to contact her. As it turns out, she has been home the whole time! We had a pleasant conversation with her and she started asking us questions about how she could be temple worthy and about the temple! She is golden!

Saturday morning we took some time and did Facebook. I got to talk to Cameron for a couple of minutes. He is such a stud! I hope he goes on a mission someday. We had a lesson with Samantha that afternoon and we went over the baptismal interview questions with her and hit on the commandments again. We left her with a video of Jesus being baptized to watch for next time. We spent the next hour and a half tracting out a street near our apartment but we didn't have much luck. We were only able to hand out a pamphlet but it is better than nothing! We decided to go contact a former that lived in Jackie's trailer park and he was super receptive to us coming back and seeing him again. He LOVES family history and I think he would join the Church if his wife would let him. We will see what happens this next Saturday!

Sunday we didn't have any meetings in the morning so we were able to do our studies that morning! We got to church and Samantha, Chris, and another one of our children investigators were there at church. We had some pretty good talks too! The high priest group leader had his family tree all the way back to Adam and it was so big that the stake presidency member had to jump up and hold it for him! It was a really good talk. After church and choir, we went and saw a guy named Adam. He joined the church a year and a half ago and is getting ready to put in his mission papers. We talked about his conversion and then we discussed what we could do to help him prepare for a mission. He is so pumped and ready to go on a mission! We stopped by the sister who does our dinner calendar so we could get next month's calendar before we headed out to Roseburg with the Caldwe*** for Samantha's baptismal interview! We got to the stake center right on time; the zone leaders, not so much. The missionaries who were supposed to pick them up never showed up and wouldn't pick up their phone. Thankfully a member picked them up so that they were only an half hour late! Samantha passed her baptismal interview with flying colors and we are almost set for her baptism this Saturday!

Thank you so much for all your support over the last 20 months. I do not think I could've done it without all of y'all. I know that the Church is true. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that He is the Savior of the World. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet and that President Monson is the Lord's prophet on the earth today.

I love y'all! Stay safe and have a good week!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, January 18, 2016

The One Where I Almost Get Us Stuck!

Hey everyone!

I hope that you all had a good week. Elder Andersen and I had a pretty good week and we had some miracles happen!

Monday was transfer Monday. As all of you should have heard, I am staying in Sutherlin and Elder Andersen became my new companion! I was his zone leader in Medford and I am super excited to be serving with him. He didn't get to Roseburg until 3 o'clock so I hung out with Elder Martin and Elder Holman until the transfer van came to get them. We got back to Sutherlin and unloaded Elder Andersen's stuff before going off to dinner with the Hayd***. It was fun as always! :) By the time we got back, it was late so I introduced Elder Andersen to the Caldw***'s and then he started to unpack to end the night.

Tuesday we didn't have too much happen for us. We spent our morning helping a less active move out of the place she was staying. When we showed up, it was only Abe, Sister Parker, and us! We managed to move her furniture out and then one of the miracles of the week was that we managed to fit two couches, eight things of shelves, a queen-sized mattress and box spring, two twin mattresses, and three dressers into a 10X10 storage unit! That was fun haha! After getting cleaned up, we went through our Area Book before trying and contacting people. We ended our night over at Brother Vincent's house to introduce Elder Andersen.

Wednesday we headed over to the food pantry and handed out food until we headed over to Brother Shoema***'s home to meet with our vehicle coordinator so he could fix our tiwi. We then went over to Chelsea's home and went over the Restoration. She remembered most of what we covered the last time and at the end of it, we asked if she has been getting an answer. She said that she feels like she is being drawn to the Church! So we invited her to be baptized and she said yes. We are going to work on putting her on date this next week. We volunteered at the soup kitchen and then we had dinner dropped off to us. We went over to the church and Elder Andersen met a good chunk of the ward at Mutual!

Thursday we did weekly planning in the morning and then we headed out to go contact people. We had received a referral the night before and so we headed out to go contact him. He lives out in the sticks so it took a little while to find him. When we did, I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get back down his driveway so I turned off the road. Bad idea. I almost got us stuck. But I did it! Tony was about ready to go and pull us out! He is such a cool guy. He took the lessons eight years ago and he decided that he wanted to take the lessons again! It was so awesome! We had a ton of lessons fall through so I took Elder Andersen to see the Lea***'s.

Friday we had district meeting and it went pretty well. I used some fun object lessons and then we did some role plays about teaching about faith. We went to a Chinese place for lunch and then we went back to Sutherlin. We once again went out former finding but we didn't have much luck. We saw Jackie and we started talking to her about family history work and we committed her to do her family history work.

Saturday was a long day. We had our only lesson cancel so we once again headed out to talk to people in the streets. We discovered that some investigators were never actually taught so that made it a bit awkward. We were on foot for most of the night but no one was out on the streets... We saw Jackie again and we hammered down on going to the temple and also about coming to church.

Sunday was pretty fun. I had to give a talk during sacrament and in the middle of my talk, music started to play over the intercom! I just kept going through it though. We also had an ambulance get called because a lady was suffering a heart murmur. We taught Samantha after church and we finished up the lessons with her. She is so pumped to be baptized on the 30th! We had our dinner cancel so that threw us for a loop. We dropped off a couple of pans and then went and visited with an investigator that I haven't met yet. We ended up getting mauled by her bulldogs! It was so much fun:)

I love you all! Thank you for all that you do!

Love ya!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, January 11, 2016


Hey everyone,

So this is going to be a short email but we had a lot of cancellations and sickness happen with our investigators... But we got transfers this week and Elder Fleming is heading out to Reedsport and I am staying and getting Elder Andersen! I am so excited for this transfer! It's going to be great.

Elder Andersen ladies and gentlemen!

I love ya!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Years Eve!

Hey everyone!

So I am sorry for not getting an email sent out last week, I thought I had finished it but I never did! My bad! It was a good week though, especially getting to talk to my family on Christmas!:)

This was a super slow week for us. We had some good things go our way but we also had some rough spots.

Monday was good as always! We did our normal P-Day stuff before going back to Sutherlin for dinner with the Hay***'s. Sister Hay*** wasn't there so it was a guys night out of sorts! We had a ton of fun eating pizza and sharing a New Years message with them.

Tuesday was rough. We had a lesson set up for Savannah and Brian that night and when we texted Savannah that morning to make sure we were on for that, she said she didn't want to take the lessons anymore.... So that really stunk. All of our lessons fell through until the evening when we saw Andrew and Jackie. Andrew is our ward mission leader's son and our WML wanted us to teach his son the lessons so we started with the Restoration. Afterwards, we went and taught Jackie on her porch. We talked to her about putting a stop to her smoking and she said she wanted to do it as part of her New Years resolution! It was a super good lesson with her!

Wednesday we headed on over to the food pantry for some service. It was a slow day for them so it gave us time to talk to some of the other volunteers there. They are mostly older people and it is a ton of fun being able to talk to them and getting to know their life stories! We had a lesson with Chelsea and Daniel in the afternoon and she kept her reading commitment! It brought up the question of why our baptism is the right form of baptism instead of the way she was baptized. We were able to get it cleared up for her and we focused in on the priesthood authority. It was such a good lesson that we almost missed the soup kitchen! We ate a pizza that a member dropped off for us before going and teaching Andrew again. We ended up staying a doing a correlation of sorts afterwards and had some hot chocolate!

Thursday was New Years Eve! We did our weekly planning and then not too much happened the rest of the day. We tried to contact people but we didn't have too much success. We had to be in at 6 so after dinner we headed back to our apartment and played some Battleship before going and talking to the members that own our apartment until bedtime.

Friday morning we woke up to frost everywhere! We almost got to new missionary training late because of how frosted over our car was. Our district meeting consisted of talking about prayer and how it could help our investigators. It went pretty well even though i had to deal with some missionaries goofing off during role plays. It's whatever though hah! We helped the zone leaders get set up to watch Wreck it Ralph before we went grabbed some lunch. By the time the movie and cleanup were done, it was almost 4:30! We headed straight to Oakland for dinner and then afterwards went over to the Simm*** home and talked with them about the things that are going on in their lives. We talked a little bit about fasting with them and Sister Simm*** said she was going to fast on Sunday!

Saturday was a good day for us. We helped Chris build a helicopter because he only had one hand and couldn't put the pieces together very well. We took some time to be with him because he is still on the fence about being baptized and we figured that we could connect with him more so it was a good time all around. We went over to the Od***'s and they went out with us to see Sister Lear*** and Sister Har***. We ended up helping them clean their apartment and taking their trash out... We decided that we weren't going to teach them after that lesson, considering the fact that they listen to a 7th Day Adventist preacher more than us... We went back to the Caldw***s and had dinner with them and then had a short lesson with Chris and Samantha. We talked about what they needed to do for baptism and covered the law of chastity and word of wisdom. Samantha is really gung ho about being baptized but Chris was still on the line. He has a concern about being in the water for the baptism... We are going to help him overcome that one! We then headed over to Jackie's and we talked about charity and how she was doing with her New Year's resolution.

Sunday found us nailed by ice again, this time in the form of frozen rain. This caused the roads to get super icy and in turn, a lot of the ward wasn't able to make it to church! We were still able to get Samantha to come so that was good. We had a lesson with her afterwards and we taught her the plan of salvation. It was pretty solid. She understood it all and was able to stay focused with her brother not being there and not having any distractions. That was really the highlight of the day, besides for the Nerf fight we had at dinner with the family that fed us on Christmas! That was fun!

I love this Gospel! It has been a tough 19 months but it has produced some of the most memorable experiences I've ever had! I know the Church is true! I know that Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet on the earth today! There is no doubt.

Love y'all!

Elder Tonini

Oregon Eugene Mission
"Days Never to Be Forgotten"