I am glad that you are enjoying your new job! You seem to have adjusted very well to it. I love that you love giving back to the community. All Christ did was serve, that is a wonderful way to feel how the Savior felt! And thank you for the Texas blanket! I love it, it is my new favorite! We gave everyone Power Ranger names in the zone and I got the name Texas Ranger. It sure fits, huh? :)
Thank you for not forgetting about me and putting up my stocking! I do feel like I am forgotten sometimes... I do feel a little homesick during the holidays but I have been in fantastic wards that help me feel at home. We ate at the B***'s last night and I felt like I was at home with Grandma and Grandpa Tonini. Sister B**** reminds me SO MUCH of Grandma! She spilled something and said "by golly" and I about lost it laughing! It reminded me so much of Grandma. I loved being at their house. They both gave me big hugs when I left and they even call me part of the family. They both talked so much about Grandpa and Grandma. It made me miss Grandpa a lot... But I know partially why I came to Valley View ward: it was to see the B**** family. There is such a special spirit there and it honestly feels like I have grandparents again that I can turn to.
My week has been a busy one. We played basketball on Monday with the zone and that was good times. I am not much of a basketball player but I did make some good shots so that was promising. We are playing basketball against another zone today so I am REALLY looking forward to that. It has actually rained quite a bit here in MoVal! When it rains, it floods because California is ridiculous and not know how to drain their streets. So we had fun driving through the puddles in the truck :).
We taught quite a few lesson this week and have seen some awesome progress! Our big lesson on Tuesday was Ken and he is a Wicken. Elder Chambers actually taught him when he was here in the ward! He stopped investigating but one day called us up and wanted us to come back and teach him. We have answered all of his questions and has actually said that our beliefs line up very closely to what he believes. We don't know if he went to church or not but hopefully we can put him on date for later this month or early next month.
The craziest lesson we had was when we went back to this return appointment that we got while Harvesting. It was actually a girl that Chambers had taught a year ago. She lives with her sister and we came back to visit her and got into a HUGE discussion of very weird things. The worst part was... they were both attractive. Oh boy... However, it turned out very interesting. Their beliefs were off the wall! They believe in Christianity/Hinduism/Buddhism/Scientology but they attend a Christian church. We were there for over an hour, answering quite personal questions and STUPID "what-if" questions. The Spirit was NOT there and it was very noticeable that it wasn't. Needless to say, we got out of there as fast as we could but we did NOT feel good there. So we will see what will happen with them.
We got a new investigator on Friday from a member in our ward. He is a chiropractor and one of his clients has been investigating the church but has had some real issues with her ward where she lives in Orange County. So she wants to take the lessons here with Doc and with us. She is a fantastic woman, looking for the truth. Her real only issue is that she is VERY sensitive so we have to tread carefully not to offend her. Otherwise, we will lose her trust in us. But she has awesome fellowship with Doctor C***** and us. We taught her about the true meaning of the Atonement and Christ's sacrifice for us. The true meaning of Charity is sacrifice and that was what we taught her and help her apply to her life. On top of having a good lesson, Doc gave me an adjustment and I have been feeling better! I get a free adjustment every time I go over there :) and it is fantastic! I left feeling spiritually uplifted and physically uplifted!
Our baptism that we were going to have got pushed back to Saturday. We are actually having TWO baptisms on Saturday! That will be a first for me on my mission, baptizing two individual people on the same day. Our investigators are progressing well and it is exciting to see them go through that process. Nelly, one of our eternal investigators, said last night that she is going to give us a final decision if she is going to be baptized. She has been reading and praying, seeing the good change that is happening to her. She had something happen to her on Saturday that was a huge wake up call to her so hopefully that was the change for her. We don't know what exactly happened but it was big enough to knock her on her knees and want to change. So there will be some fasting this week for her so she will get her answer!
Other than that, things are going well. I still struggle with a few things but I am learning how to cope with it and to not let it affect me. The holidays will be hard for me but don't worry, I will focus on other things rather that those issues. I have a new found love for Christmas because the true reason has so much for meaning to me. I love this time of year because Christ the reason for the season! I love y'all and miss everyone dearly. Have a wonderful Christmas and send all of our family my love!
Elder Andrew B. Tonini