Monday, October 1, 2012

email: October 1, 2012

Carol's baptism didn't happen on Saturday. She didn't feel ready so we pushed it back two weeks to October 13th. This is a pretty solid date, we are going to make sure that she is ready! Sounds like things are staying busy there in Seminole. Even though I wasn't there for long, I sure do miss it! Send my regard to everyone back home. I am so excited to hear about the Lira's going to the temple! We are going on Friday so they will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Ready for my week? Here we go:

Monday we had a lesson with Carol with the Pratt's and Chelsa. It was a really uplifting lesson, however we did learn that she wasn't ready for baptism this week... She still needs a testimony of the Restoration. I thought I had taught her that but I guess not... I took it hard knowing that she didn't know that because I felt like it reflected on the type of missionary I am. I really did feel like a failure of a missionary. However, there is always room for improvement and that is why repentance is there so I learned from it and moved on. I won't make that mistake twice!

On Tuesday, we went back to visit a potential that Elder Johnson had found while we went tracting. We showed up to his house and talked to him on his doorstep for two hours! He really didn't see the same way we do and his heart was pretty hard so I noticed right away that he wasn't the elect that we were looking for. However, it was good for Elder Johnson because he taught a lot and learned from the lesson. After that, we went and saw the Mathie's and I got to see my boys. Christopher is doing better, getting better every day. We taught them a lesson about Abinadi and how we can learn from that. We then went and taught Victor about eternal marriage. That was a good lesson, the Spirit was strong there. I love Vic so much, he seriously has become a brother to me. We always have a good discussion when we go over there.

On Wednesday, we went on exchanges with the Spanams. I got to drive a car all day! However, I think being on bike is better. You talk to WAY more people that you do in the car. My comp for the day, Elder Richins, is a greenie as well and doesn't know much Spanish yet so we visited all the families that could speak English. That poor Elder got SOOO stressed out when things started to fall through. I taught him that you have to roll with the punches and do all that you can do to stay busy and be productive. Even if it means walking in the dark and talking to people before a lesson (yes, we had to do that!). Elder Johnson learned a lot as well as we ran the area by himself without me there to give input. Overall, it was a productive day in both areas.

Thursday was our usual weekly planning. After that, we went and visited a less active lady who is 91 years old! She reminds me a lot of Great Grandma Marie Tonini. She is still full of energy at her old age. Our intention of going over there was to help her hang some pictures she wanted to hang up. After that, we taught her about prophets and about how General Conference is coming up. She then came out and gave us some of her husband's old ties and a cuff link set. He passed away about three years ago so she gave some of his old stuff to us. While I was there, I saw this ad for a french cuff dress shirt for $20! I am going to order one this week :) I am super stoked about it! I even get it custom embroidered. That night, we taught Victor again. He always wants to learn more so we go over and teach him whatever he wants to learn.

Friday we helped a sister in our ward move her mother-in-law. They weren't members so it was a great missionary opportunity to give back to the community. We made a good impact on that family and really brought the Spirit into their lives for a short period. We then went over the Carol's to see them and check up on them. Rob worked all week so it was nice to see him.

We taught Tina (Victor's sister) on Saturday. She had just gotten home from the hospital so it was good to see her back home. She is so solid, it is amazing! She is already in the book of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon. We had to push her baptism date back because of her health. Other than that, she is ready.

Sunday we had fast and testimony meeting which was really good! Both Elder Johnson and I got up and bore our testimony. I feel like Oak Valley has become my home ward because of the amount of time I have been here! After church, we went and visited the Mathie's again and taught them about prophets and General Conference. We had dinner with our new Relief Society president, Sister Murphy. Her husband is the head woman's basketball coach at the University of Redlands so he is going to get us some swag (athletic gear)! They are such a wonderful family. I honestly feel like the members trust us and love us being there. We then taught Tina again and talked about the baptismal convents. The work is progressing!

I learned a very important lesson this week. I learned how to apply the Atonement personally to me. Before, I have really taken advantage of it... I never really had to go through anything that has seriously knocked me to my knees EVERY SINGLE DAY, pleading for comfort and strength. Well, I had to hit rock bottom this week in order to apply the Atonement to my life. I was constantly praying, seeking guidance in knowing what to do and pleading for healing. I even fasted for my situation and what was going on in my heart and mind. I have never really felt the healing power of the Atonement until now. My Savior was there to pick me up when no one else was there. He gave me healing and comfort. And come to find out, I fixed the situation and everything is better now. That would not have happened if I didn't use the Atonement. I testify that my Redeemer lives! He is there for us when we need Him the most. I love Him with all my heart and I know that I am a choice Son of my Heavenly Father. When I leave things to Him, He takes care of me. Lean on Him for strength, use His grace that He gave to us. When you hit rock bottom, call out to Him "Lord save me". He will be there, I promise you that and I know that from every fiber of my being. He is there for us through anything! This truly is His work and I am so blessed to be a part of it. I know that my Redeemer lives!

I love all of y'all and miss y'all dearly. Keep working hard and always remember: Your Savior loves you!

Elder Tonini

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