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"

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