Tuesday, May 29, 2012

email: May 29, 2012

We finally did get an email from Elder Tonini today (not quite sure how he was able to email on a day other P-day but that's just the dad in me coming out).  He managed to find some new pants at Ross so hopefully they will last longer than the last pairs. As is typical, his week was full of ups and downs.  First the "ups':

...The ups were that we taught a lot of lessons and found TWO new families to teach! The Ruiz Family and the Sonya and Elias Family (we don't know their last name yet, we haven't asked). They both are really neat families with a thirst to know more about what we teach about. Sonya's sister is dying from cancer and they are going through a lot of family drama so they have been super busy. The Ruiz family is super cool and the kids love us!  We had more bomb lessons with Victor (two with him) and with Jessica and Demitirus. We also found this girl name Elaine and she is super interested in the Church. We have been teaching her and she is really progressing well. Overall, things are going really well!  Oh and we also taught Mary again! Come to find out, her daughter Tammy got baptized about three weeks ago!

And the "downs":

... I have been sick for three days and I broke my bike. I stripped the crank arm and where it screws onto. I can't save it, I need a new one. I am going to take it to the shop and see what the damage will be. On top of that happening, I got super sick on Saturday and I haven't gotten any better... 

He also shared an experience that he had about not using his time wisely which cost them a valuable teaching opportunity.  As he described it:  Chambers chastised me pretty well, which I am super grateful for because now I will never forget those feelings of disappointment in myself.

Raena called the bike shop where we bought the bike and the owner (who is a member of the church) went to Drew's apartment and picked up the bike.  The damage was only $65 so not too bad.  Sure beats having to pay for a fender-bender had he been driving a car!

Memorial Day - No email

No email from Elder Tonini yesterday.  Grandma Tonini opened the Family History Center yesterday in Harrisonburg so that the missionaries in her ward could email since the public library (where they usually go on Monday) was closed.  Perhaps that explains it? We are hopeful that we might get a "snail mail" letter later this week.

Monday, May 21, 2012

email: May 21, 2012

This week has been a full one. I am starting to see miracles happen here out in the field. The first one is kind of a small one but it strengthened my testimony of prayer so much. We had a lesson that we went on splits with the Spanish missionaries. One went with Chambers to the lesson and one with me to go tracting. When we were out tracting, we came to a street corner and had no idea where to go. The Elder said pray and see where we need to go. I prayed and felt like we needed to stay going straight on the street we were on. Come to find out, we ended up talking to a lady that was looking for the Gospel. The Spanish Elder set up a return appointment to see her again. Even though that was a small miracle, it boosted my testimony so much. 

On Sunday, we taught a less active member that we found the third week we were in the area. He came to church with us for the first time in a few years. His name is Adam and he has been through soooo much as a 26 year old. He had a major heart attack, went into multiple cardiac arrests, went into a coma, and died eight times. He has been through so much and now they found pre-cancer tissue in his stomach. After church, we had a lesson with him. We had no idea what we were going to teach him so while Chambers added up numbers, I prayed about what we could teach him. I felt like we needed to teach the Restoration so that was the plan. When we got there, he asked if we could teach him about how the church came about. That was exactly what we had planned to talk about. That was another confirmation to him that the church is true and for me to know that prayer does work. 

We found a new couple that we are teaching as well. They are actually my age, living together in their own place. Matt and Aleena are super interested in what we have to say and we gave them a Book of Mormon. We came by another time and we ended up reading 3 Nephi 11 with them and some friends while they smoked houkka (its a type of tobacco). They want to learn so much about the church. 

We also are teaching a girl named Elaine. We talked to her outside her house but her dad ran us off because he didn't feel comfortable with us being there while he was at work. We gave her a mormon.org card and left. We got a referral from her in the coming days and now she is really progressing. And we are going to have a baptism in the upcoming weeks so that is something to look forward to. Jessica and Demetris are making progress as well. They didn't come to church on Sunday... but they are working on keeping the commandments so that is a positive. 

Sure do love you all, keep working hard! Oh I have a new favorite scripture. This past two weeks, something happened that really bothered me and got my mind off of the work. I read 1 Corinthians 13:11 (I think) where it says that there is a time to leave childish things behind and to become a man. I love that scripture and has really helped me. Sure do love yall!

Elder Tonini

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day Call

Thanks to Skype, we were able to talk and see Elder Tonini yesterday for Mother's Day.  And apparently, he told us all there was to tell us because we didn't get an email from him today.

The highlights from the call include:
  • We learned that his companion, Elder Chambers goes home in five weeks.
  • He doesn't iron his shirts. They just put them back in the dryer to fluff them.  He has already worn holes in two pairs of slacks because of all the time on the bike.
  • He is unaware of any qualification process that he needs to complete as a junior companion.  Perhaps with Teach My Gospel and no language to learn, juniors don't need to do anything to become a senior companion.
  • His camera is too big.  When I reminded him that he is there to preach the Gospel and not take vacation photos, he quickly changed the subject.
  • Disk golf is the primary activity on p-day.  Last week they played 54 holes.
I think his sibling were as excited to talk to him as he was to talk to us.  Everyone posted on Facebook within an hour of talking to him!


Monday, May 7, 2012

email: May 7, 2012

This week has been a busy one. We taught a lot of lessons and saw a lot of people. Jessica and Demetris are doing so well! They are continuing to progress and starting to be ready for baptism. One thing that I have realized is that having a friend for an investigator is SUPER helpful. They have made friends with a young couple in the ward and it is helping tremendously. I do have some bad news though about Mary... We have had some super good lessons with her and she was really starting to feel the Spirit when she read. She has dropped off so much stuff for us and she was really starting to make progress. We went by on Sunday to see her and she told us to go away and that she didn't want to talk to us anymore. It was seriously a punch in the nose WITH a shot below the belt all in one sentence. We turned away from her house, shaking our head and wondering why she had said that. It really got me depressed for the rest of the day...

On a better note, we had an amazing dinner last night. The family we ate with cooked us the fish that they had caught just 24 hours earlier. It was SUPER good. Plus, we had stuffed bell peppers with cream cheese and Parmesan cheese, pork loin, and really good rice. Plus, we saw something WAY cool on the ride home. They live up in community north of Beaumont and when we came home, we saw two guys on dirt bikes running from the authorities. It was super cool to see! I know that's bad but it was like in the movies!

Another cool thing that is happening this week is that we are having dinner with an investigator tomorrow and I am pretty sure that he is going to BBQ for us. Then on Wednesday, we are having another lesson with Jessica and Demetrius.

Being a missionary has its ups and downs but I sure do love it. Taylor taught me that happiness is a choice, so I am going to make that choice to be happy.

Elder Tonini

Elder Tonini's favorite activity on p-day is playing frisbee golf. He made a birdie on this hole,  throwing it from this distance (that's him leaning against the hole).