Tuesday, December 11, 2012

email: Dec 11, 2012

Subject: It is beginning to look a lot like CHRISTMAS!

Mom and Dad,

Sorry that I am emailing on Tuesday instead of yesterday. The computers were down so we couldn't email yesterday... I heard from the kids that Grandma Hartfield passed away. I am glad that she liked reading my letters and see how I was doing. She was basically my grandmother away from my real ones. But you are right, she is now with her eternal companion again and she will be doing the same work that I am doing here on the Earth. The Plan of Salvation is such a wonderful thing! I love it with all my heart. That is one of my favorite lessons to teach because it answers so many questions that people have.

I am glad that Mom is enjoying her new job. Serving people is the best thing to do! I did a lot of service for people in Beaumont but now I get to serve other missionaries as well that I have stewardship over! I have come to realize WHY I want a family of my own so badly. I like the responsibility of being entrusted of the Lord to take care of people. I have always wanted a family but I could never pinpoint WHY exactly I wanted one. This calling as Zone Leader has now opened my eyes to how special it is to have the responsibility.

This week has a good one. We have taught a lot of people and have given a lot of blessings. I love giving service to other missionaries. We have Sisters in our zone and last week they got a flat tire at 9 pm one night. They called us and we came and changed the tire for them. Even though that is a small act, it makes me feel good knowing that I could do something for someone else. The true meaning of charity is sacrifice. Sacrificing your pleasures to serve someone is exactly what the Savior did. It is an honor to be His missionaries.

We had our Christmas party this weekend and that was a good time with the ward. We had smoked tri-tip and chicken! Super good. Also, one of our investigators/ part member family told us that he wants to be baptized. SO we are going to have a baptism this weekend! Plus we have found more people and have taught a lot more too. The field is white, already to harvest and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with all his might shall NOT perish but bring salvation unto his soul! That is exactly what we are doing, working in the field for the Lord!

One thing that I am so grateful for in going to California is the scriptural knowledge that I have gotten while studying the scriptures. There is a family that we gave a blessing to and invited to baptism that we went back to see. We talked with the husband for almost an hour on his porch, answering questions about our doctrine. A year ago, I couldn't answer those questions but now I can. The gospel HAS been restored to its fullest! We are still going to go back and teach his family so hopefully good things will come of it. Have you wondered why it is so important that Christ was baptized in the river Jordan? Yes, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness but there is a deeper meaning to it. Christ walked 60 miles to get to John the Baptist. SIXTY MILES! he could have gone to Jerusalem or Jericho where there were priest there that could have baptized Him but no, He went to John because he had the AUTHORITY. The physical location in where He was baptized was significant as well. The river Jordan empties into the Dead Sea, which is the lowest place on Earth at -1,302ft below sea level. Christ was baptized in the river Jordan, near the mouth of the Dead Sea. Nephi teaches us that Christ will descend below all things (1 Nephi 11:26-27). He LITERALLY did that. He went below the lowest place on earth and ROSE above it! The gospel is SO deep that is can keep scholars learning for ages but it is as simple for a primary child to understand. I LOVE IT!

Anyways, things are going well here in Valley View. I have talked to Brother Baugh and he is going to get in touch with Dad hopefully soon. I am going to get Grandma Tonini's address to him; he was asking for it. Our zone is doing well, things are starting to look up again. Elder Spencer and I are working as hard as we can. We actually got to go to the temple on Friday. I love the temple, especially when I am struggling with things. That is a place where I can turn everything over to the Lord and He can be my strength. I love this time of year and the spirit that it brings. Christmas is a wonderful time of year. Let's make this Christmas a wonderful one and remember the true meaning of it! I love you all and cannot wait to see you on Christmas! Love you all and talk to y'all soon!

Elder Tonini

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