Monday, March 11, 2013

email: March 11, 2013

Subj: "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it is about learning to dance in the rain"

It was another crazy week, filled with emotions so here we go.

There was a woman that died in our ward this past month that they had the funeral for on Tuesday. She was only twenty-two and she was beautiful. She was an EMT and a student. I didn't even know her and yet I was still a blubbering mess. The bishop asked our zone to help with set up and take down and we did it with a smile. We took an hour out of Preparation Day to come and set up. After the funeral was over, we were the last ones to leave to make sure that the building was clean and chairs were put up. It was the least we could to for the family and the ward. There was over 600 people at the funeral. It was insane. It went very well; it brought back memories of Grandpa's funeral. The talks were really good too; very much centered on the Plan of Salvation. There were a lot of non members there so it was good that they had a missionary mindset. There was a quote that really touched me. A Bishop that knew the woman that past said this" "We are immortal beings in a mortal state". There is a lot of truth behind that. I am so thankful for that plan and the happiness that it brings to people.

We had our lesson with Ken that night as well, finalizing the last of his baptism program. He wants me to get in the water with him so that will be a great experience for the both of us.

Zone Leader Conference was filled with surprises on Thursday. As y'all probably have heard, they are opening up 58 new missions around the world with three new ones here in SoCal. On Thursday, we got the new boundaries. The San Bernadino Mission is now going to be called the Redlands Mission and they are taking Redlands, Yucaipa, Yucca Valley, and Palm Desert into their mission. We are also losing Murrieta to the Calsbad Mission. We are going from 12 zones to seven zones. It will be interesting to see what happens, logistically wise, and what happens to those missionaries in those respective zones. I could be in another mission when I finish next year. Those changes won't take place until July however.

Remember that guy that I gave the blessing to and released him from this life? Well, he is still in the hospital; he didn't die... When I first saw the referral, I didn't believe it. I started to doubt my Priesthood and the blessings that I give to people... But I talked with Elder Craig and he helped me through that. Maybe he needs to see his family one more time before he goes; he is still in bad shape. He did though refer us to his friend in Hemet so maybe that was the reason why he needed to stay around a little bit longer.

We also had interviews on Thursday as well. I love getting the chance to sit down with President Smart and talk with him about how I am doing and how the zone is doing. He is such a wonderful man, someone that I look up to. I had my interview in his office, a place I haven't been in since I first got to California! it was kinda surreal to be there with him again. He then came to Moreno Valley to interview everyone.

We had another lesson with Ken that night as well. His home teacher came with us so that was good for the both of them. Ken has told us that he wants to be active in the Church and to be involved. That was music to my ears! He will be interviewed for the Priesthood right after his baptism on Tuesday.

Friday was a crazy day as well. We taught Anita again - we are running out of things to teach her, she just needs to get baptized already! Haha but the lesson went well with her. I seriously have the best zone, we are all super good friends. We all went out to eat at Alberto's and I got a thing of carne asada fries. Oh boy were they good! It rained all day so that was a bummer. We taught Michael again and we are planning on handing him off to the Sisters. Hopefully he will be okay with them teaching him. It will be hard to give him up but that ward needs a baptism.

Our dinner on Friday cancelled so we went to the Samoan ward party for our dinner. Holy crap, it was so much fun! I seriously miss that ward; the Church is way more true in Samoa. There is a blind brother in the Samoan ward that shocked all of us. Y'all know the Gangham Style song, right? Well, he came out and started dancing to it! He was going crazy! It was so much fun to watch. There was also a Hakka done too by some of the young men. That was super legit too. We stood in the back to watch and we get to see everyone in front of us and we saw the weirdest thing ever. There was a gay couple that came and they were all over each other! It was super weird to watch... But it's okay, God loves them too. But still, it was so much fun! I got to see everyone from the Samoan ward too!

Overall, this week was a good one. We worked hard and we even got the Standard of Excellence this week! First time on my mission! I love being here and seeing my testimony grow everyday. I love the missionaries I am serving with and serve. By the way, Elder Craig and I are preforming a musical number for Ken's baptism on Tuesday. I am playing the piano and he will sing. Before the baptism, I'll get a video of us performing and send it to y'all. I love and miss y'all so much. Stay true to the faith and remember that our Savior loves each and every one of us!

Elder Tonini

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