Wednesday, March 7, 2012

email: March 7, 2012

On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 2:18 PM, Andrew Tonini <> wrote:
My dearest mother (and father),
Thank you so much for your prayers and thoughts.
I was so blessed to be in an awesome district. We have so much fun and we are learning so much as well. We really do feel like a family. We have sister missionaries in our district too! they are awesome and help us Elders to stay on topic. I have a great companion, Elder Braithwaite. He reminds we a lot of Jacob. We butt heads but we are good friends. There are three of us going to Cali, one to Idaho, Sisters to St. George Visitors Center, and a trio going to Taiwan! We really get along really well and have tons of fun together. We have a huge Hawaiian elder that plays for BYU and another that is a wide receiver for Utah. I will send pictures home soon so you can see my new missionary family :)
I got called to be the zone leader of our zone! We were here five days and I got called to be the leader of our zone. It was quite humbling for me because I was NOT expecting that at all. I guess we were called to the leaders for a specific reason. On our first couple of hours, we had to deal with a missionary that was having conduct issues and then call the branch president. We got it taken care of but it was an awesome welcoming to the leadership.
I had seriously one of the most spiritual experiences of my life on Monday night. One of my missionaries fell and hit his head really hard on the hardwood playing basketball. He definitely had a concussion so I had to take him to the emergency room. We were there for less than ten minutes before someone asked us to give a blessing. Only did we know that our night was just about to start. We got called back into our "room" which was only a trauma bed with curtains to separate the beds. There was a woman next to us that had a super bad seizure that lasted almost five minutes. After the doctors got it to stop, I got this prompting that I needed to give her a blessing. Elder Bean (the elder who had the concussion) got the same impression as well so we acted on it and we gave her a blessing. She was so thankful that we were there for her. So we went and got Elder Bean's CT scan done and went back to the bed. The same woman had another seizure and I felt prompted to give her a blessing of comfort, so we did. However, she kept having them and having them. I started to pray, I prayed harder than I ever have before for a woman that I just barely met. I asked my Father in Heaven to stop the seizures and to help her not to be in pain anymore. Then the most amazing thing happen, her seizures started to get shorter and shorter. My prayers were actually working! I kept praying and praying for her and they kept getting shorter and shorter. After one of the later ones, she called out to us. She could barely call to us because she was in so much pain. We went to her bedside and with tears in her eyes, she asked for another blessing. I grabbed her by the hand and Elder Bean asked her to offer her a prayer. She did, expressing the faith and love she has for our Father in Heaven. After she finished, I looked her in the eyes and asked her "Do you have faith in your Lord and Savior?" She replied with tears in her eyes again that she did. I told her that if she has faith, these seizures with stop and that the pain will leave her body. We anointed and sealed the oil on her head for the second time. In that prayer, I said something that I never thought I had the power to say. I promised her that the seizures would stop. That they WOULD stop. I blessed her with healing and that she would not be in pain anymore. I could hear her just sob when I blessed her. When I finished the blessing, I told her that I believe that God will answer this blessing and that you will be okay. Soon after, the scan came back for Elder Bean. He was fine, just a mild concussion. She did have another seizure but they were getting shorter and shorter.
It is really hard to not tell that story and not cry. I cried like a baby last night in front of my branch president when I shared my testimony about the power of the priesthood. Even typing it up is bringing tears to my eyes. That was not just by luck that we went to the ER that night. We needed to be there for Barbara Jean Largent. She needed us to be there for her. How do I know this? A CT scan is only supposed to take 20 minutes to be read. We were there for an HOUR. The Lord works in mysterious ways and that was one of the ways. I was seriously humbled so much from that experience. Thank you Dad for teaching me to honor my priesthood and how to use it. I've only been here a week and I've given 5 blessings.
The new missionaries get here today so I'll be pretty busy getting them settled down. Sure do love y'all, so much. Send my love to the Branch and let them know that Seminole is being represented really well here in Utah and soon in California. I know I need to be here. This gospel is so simple and true. I love you all and miss you. Can't wait to hear from y'all next Wednesday.
Elder Tonini
P.S. A package of goodies wouldn't be too bad to get here ;)

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