Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hi! My name is Elder Tonini

All I can say about today is, "wow." 

The branch president gave the assignment to the Tonini family (okay, I volunteered us) to administer the sacrament during our meetings today.  Jacob and Drew blessed and Carson and I passed.  It just worked out perfectly - we live in a branch were it only takes four to administer the ordinance and the age difference between Carson and Drew allowed all of us to participate.  It was a singular experience and very memorable.

After the sacrament, President Davis invited Grandma Tonini (who is visiting from Harrisonburg, Va) to come share her testimony.  She is an amazing woman who is so well grounded in the Gospel.  I was grateful that her grandchildren were able to hear her testify of how the she has found strength in the Gospel during the challenges of the last four years.

We enjoyed our monthly potluck dinner and then headed up to Lubbock so that Drew could have his final interview with President Sterling Shumway and then be set apart.  President Shumway shared his favorite mission scripture - Alma 26:22 - and testified to Drew that if he repents, exercises faith, bringing forth good works, and praying continuously, he will be "given to know the mysteries of God."  He re-affirmed to Drew that he was called to the California Riverside mission because there are people who need him to be part of their conversion.  President McCombs (second counselor) told Drew to use his Priesthood to bless people's lives.  President Kimball shared an experience from his mission that helped him overcome the homesickness he had the first three months of his mission and the love that he has for the Hawaiin people.  President Shumway gave Raena and I an opportunity to share some thoughts.  Raena reminded Drew about how important a mission is and how he has grown up listening to stories from our missions and she bore her testimony of the Gospel.  I pointed out to Drew that the topics that the stake presidency had just touched on mirrored priesthood blessings and his patriarchal blessing and that was a tender mercy from our Heavenly Father.

President Shumway then placed his hands on Drew's head and under the direction of the First Presidency, set him apart to be a full time missionary.  I won't document here the blessings that he received, but they were pretty incredible.  Great things await this young man.

So now the bags are packed, the boarding pass printed, and we are ready to go to bed and get ready for tomorrow.   

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