Monday, May 27, 2013

email: May 27, 2013

Subj: Another Week Down!

How was y'all's week? Did you ever find the Feist family up in ND? Their son is so much fun to serve with. We work hard and play hard together haha. It was a good week for us the area is really starting to pick up. Here was a low down of my week:

Monday was our PDay and that was always a good time. Even though I am fairly new to the zone, we have a lot of fun together. Elder Feist brought his two gloves from home and I got to throw with him. Oh my goodness, it felt so good to get out and throw. I got my hair cut at Sister D****'s house and that was amazing. She runs a salon out of her house and it was super nice to sit down and get my hair cut. That is one of the most relaxing things I can do, I love getting it cut. Our dinner unexpectedly had to eat at 4 pm so that kind of threw us off our usual routine but we made it work. We had two appointments for the night and all of them fell through. So we went and got our OYMs and tried to contact more people. It was kind of a weird PDay but it was still productive.

We had our usual DDM on Tuesday and went to DQ for lunch. We get free DQ, it is super awesome haha. We ran home and waited for our mini missionary to get to us so we could go out and work. I drove out to Homeland to go and work on the names that we got to go see from the Bishop. We knocked off almost five names off the list out in the middle of nowhere Homeland. It actually reminds me of Seminole in a way, just the set up of the city. Our lesson with JayR went really well! This is a family that we are trying so hard to get in and to teach. Elder Hawkins made really good analogy with a glass table and the analogy with the Apostasy. It really made sense to him and it is starting to click, hopefully. Our dinner was at Red Robin and it was terrible... There was baseball one the TVs and it was so hard to focus. Seriously, baseball is my weakness haha. After dinner, we ran to the O*****'s to give them a blessing and to leave a blessing with them. They are such a cute old couple! The husband is 90 and the wife is 88. It was awesome. We went and stopped by Aaron's place and we started to go over his old mission stuff. He misses his mission so much, I don't ever want mine to end! It was a good first day with our mini.

Our Wednesday started off with giving service to a family that is moving up to Anza. They has some big stuff so they called in the big guns to help move :) haha. That took up almost our whole morning. We showered, studied for a little bit then ran off to go knock some doors. We ended up finding these two high school girls that let us in. We had Porter with us so we could actually get in the door! The one girl answered the door in a tight shirt and spandex bottoms. Oh man haha but luckily we had Porter there so it all worked out. They asked us a lot of questions and we left them with a blessing. We set something up to come by on Thursday. We had another Ward Mission Plan (WMP) lesson with the B****'s and the craziest thing happened. So I gave their two year old son my military scripture case for him to play with. He walked around with them for a while then he does something that made my jaw dropped. The son THROWS the box at his pregnant mother's stomach. My jaw dropped! I felt so bad... It was terrible. It was a great way to end the night. NOT! But she was okay, it all worked out.

We weekly planned on Thursday and got ready for the week. Porter was a champ and he helped us out to plan for everyone. After that, we went out knocking and had our lesson with Kendra and Zante (the two girls we met the day before). We had a lesson and it went well. We aren't exactly sure how we are going to keep teaching them but we are going to make it work. Our dinner was awesome, the kids were amazing. I have such a good ward here in Hemet. I love it. Our WMP lesson with the C**** went okay. They drive me nuts and they believe in a lot of false doctrine. It isn't our place to correct but we did let the ward council know about it. The last lesson of the night was with the L***** family. They moved out of our area but we still went and saw them for the last time. We are going to hand them over the the correct elders for them to go over and see them. Thursdays are one of the hardest days to be productive because we lose a lot of time with planning but it all worked out :).

Friday was INSANE. We went on exchanges and Elder Baltazar came with me into my area. Our morning was filled with making more visits to the people on our ward list project and getting their info. We had some pretty nasty rejections; some guy told us to "leave him the HELL alone and get of my doorstep!" It was interesting haha. We had almost 40 OYMs by the time we had to go to our lesson with Stevie. She is getting ready to be baptized in June so that is exciting! After that, we had NOTHING. Everything cancelled and we already visited everyone for the day so we thought to go and contact people. I had an idea to hop in Porter's Wrangler and talk to people as we drove by at stoplights and people outside walking with is PA system in his Jeep. Guess how many people we ended up contacting for the day? 143 people! It was crazy. I had so much fun. We then ate dinner at DQ again because we had no dinner for the night. That was seriously one of the best exchanged I have ever been on. We even went off roading! Icing on the cake :).

Oh my, I seriously thought I threw my back out on Saturday. We helped a potential investigators move their house and it was rough. We moved these SUPER heavy beds up two flights of stairs. That seriously lasted all day. It was rewarding but it was rough. OH! Guess who came and saw me on Saturday? Elder Scoffield! I loved seeing him. I haven't seen him in almost a year. He road his bike down here from Utah, 720 miles. It was good to see him. We seriously moved all day and it super bad. My back hurts so bad. We got our OYMs and came in because I was hurting super bad. I am okay now but it was bad on Saturday.

Guess who ended up getting the chance to speak on Sunday? I did! The youth speaker got sick and so the second councilor asked me to speak five minutes before the meeting. I love speaking in front of people. Being a missionary is awesome because I can speak on any gospel topic with no time to prepare. Everyone liked it; I talked about myself and my family, basically introduced myself to the ward. I spoke on my favorite topic: the Atonement. I loved it. After our correlation meeting with our ward mission leader, he asked me about me giving up baseball to come on my mission. That amazed him, that I would give that up to come here. I guess I earned a lot of respect from people because of that. After our meeting, we ran down to Home land to teach Ross. He is such an awesome guy. He is really soaking up the gospel. We taught the first part of the Plan of Salvation and committed him to stop drinking and smoking so he can be baptized. He really wants to do it so we will be having a legit baptism here pretty soon! Our dinner was sick and so we contacted people and then came in to study for the rest of the night. Overall, we are seeing huge progress from this area already. It has HUGE potential and I am excited to get the work moving forward.

I sure love each and every one of y'all. I love the gospel and how true it is. I love my mission and I never want to leave it! Have a wonderful week and I will talk to y'all soon :). Thank you for sending me that package! If you could, could the iPod have a screen so it is easier to navigate through the content? That would help me out a ton! Love you and thank you for your love and support :).

Elder Tonini

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

High Tech Tender Moments

I came across this blog the perfectly described our recent conversation with Elder Tonini on Mother's Day. Thank you to Middle-aged Mormon Man for the post!

Monday, May 20, 2013

email: May 20, 2013

Ready for my week? Here we go!

Monday was a good PDay; I played some basketball and then I went home and lifted in the garage. I did legs and I got up pretty high. My power-cleans got up to 225 pounds and my squat was 315 pounds. I was I was doing reps as well so it was a pretty good day. We got our OYMs (Open Your Mouths) and went to our appointments for the night. We got into a part-member family (PMF) and got to teach them. Hopefully we can pick up the husband and the kids as new investigators here in the next few weeks. Our lesson with Nikki on Tuesday went well and we picked her up as a new investigator. We had our usual DDM meeting and then went to Dairy Queen to get our lunch. A member of the stake owns it so we get to eat there for free! Luckily, we only eat there once a week so it is all good. We went and gave someone a blessing we found tracting but she TOTALLY rejected our blessing and didn't feel "anything" so we left. We had dinner with our bishop and we stopped by to see another PMF and tried to get in to teach him. It is a son-in-law to the N*****'s and he is a sweet guy but it going to take some time with him. Our ward mission process (WMP) lesson with the B***'s went well too. We had our less-active lesson with Aaron and that went well. He is a super cool guy and he has been through a lot. I am not a HUGE fan of less active work but I will do some and we are starting to see some fruits of our labors.

We rode our bikes to our lesson with Juan and Courtney to save some miles. After our lesson with them, I was ridding no handed when I heard this huge metal pop. I had no idea what it was so I just kept ridding. Come to find out, I ended up popping a spoke. Wonderful. So we took the bikes to Russ D**** in the ward, he runs a custom bike shop, and get the bike checked. He couldn't fix the spoke so I am going to another shop. That wasn't even the best part of the day either. The ZL's gave us a referral to meet up with a young guy at the Sonic in our area. So we went to Sonic (YES THERE IS A SONIC IN MY AREA!) and met with him. While we were sitting there, this guy came up to us and wanted to talk after he got his sandwich. When he sat down, he asked my comp to open up to Isaiah 7 and then to Matthew 1. My first thoughts were "oh crap, get ready to bash" and sure enough the guy just bashed hard on us. It seriously lasted like 20 minutes then he left to his car. Before he drove off, he yelled a few things to us. Five minutes later, he comes back up to us to apologize that we said all the stuff and then kept bashing! I was BEYOND PISSED. I only said a few sentences to him because I would've lost my temper and he wouldn't listen to us. His points were stupid and his arguments we not even valid. Oh man, it pissed me off. I had to go home to cool down.

Our dinner was with the ward clerk that I got to know better and then off to a bishopric meeting to go over the ward list. We got a list of 50 names to go see. Better get crackin' on it.

Thursday was kind of a slow day, all we did was weekly plan and tract basically. Our dinner was with the M****'s and then we had another WMP lesson with the C****. They are an interesting couple but they were fun to teach. We did though meet with another PMF and picked up the husband as a new investigator. He was taken the lessons quite a bit but hopefully he will come around.

Friday was pretty much the same as every day. We tracted and made visits. We did though, meet with one of our investigators and had a good lesson on baptism. We then got to go do some service for a family in our ward. He is moving to another ward but he needed the big guns to come help move so he called us. We went to Sonic afterwards and then called it good for a night.

Sam A***** in one of the other wards took us to Applebees for breakfast which was a fundraiser for the local high school cheerleader squad. It was a good breakfast and then we came back home and did our studies. We made more visits and then went to dinner with the San Jacinto Elders because we didn't have a dinner. It was super fun, I loved it. The family was super chill so it was fun. Our lesson with the G***** family was super fun. We tried the whole boiled egg and rubbing alcohol lesson and it blew up on us but it was still fun. We took our team-up to visit another PMF and taught the husband and the son. We want to meet the wife but we think there is something sketchy going on there so it will be interesting to see what happens.

Sunday was super fun because I got to go back to MoVal for a baptism! Church went well and we had an interesting guy come to church. When we saw Hawkins, he told him to lift up his shirt, in the foyer, and check out this "dog bite" he had. He wasn't dressed in his Sunday best and he kept going crazy. He got up over 20 times and he was crazy! So Eric S***** escorted him out and the guy told him that he is the French President and that the FBI are stalking his house. I thought he was on meth because of his pick marks on his body but apparently he was skitzo that didn't take his meds. We taught our golden investigator and he told us he wants to be baptized! Ohhhh yeah. I then left to go back to MoVal and that was awesome. I love the Samoan ward! I also got to see Anita so that was good. I met the Sisters and apparently one of them was new to the area and had heard a lot about me and she wanted to meet me. Ohhh boy. But it was good to see Coleman and McClain. I seriously miss that ward! I love all the wards I have served in.

Other than that, things are going well. I am working as hard as I can and working the hardest. I know that this is the Lords work and I love it! I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ! Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers. I have the best family ever! Love yall :)

Elder Tonini

P.S. Look up a Fiest family in Minot! I am serving with their son!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Victor Gets His Mission Call!

Raena just received a text message from Sister O'Hara that Victor received his call tonight to serve in the Arizona Mesa Mission.  Drew is VERY excited. Soon his fruit will start bearing fruit.

email: May 13, 2013

Subject: Three Down and One to Go....

I have looked forward in getting to call home for a while. I love getting to talk with y’all about the stuff going on and getting to see the family. Dad surprised me with his facial hair! I think he looks good with it growing out. However, it's sad knowing that I only have one more time Skyping home then I will be home from California... But it is okay, I am going to make the most out of my time here in California. So I know that we already talked about my week and the past five months but here we go :)

Monday was filled with getting things ready for the transfer over to Hemet. I didn't realize how much CRAP I had until I started to move. We ran around and said goodbye to a few more people then we got a call from the vehicle coordinator that we are ready to trade our Malibu in for a new car. So we ran down to Riverside to pick up the new car for the new Zone Leaders. Guess what car they got? They got a 2013 Ford Fusion. It was so cool to get to drive a BRAND NEW CAR! That will be the first and last time that I ever drive a new car. Brother M**** came and picked me up and we loaded up my stuff into the back of the truck. I got to fit everything into the back of the truck, weight set and all! I had such a good talk as we drove down to Hemet. We talked about my struggles I have had lately in my personal life and my concerns with the new assignment. I live with a good group of guys and I love them to pieces. I put the weight set out in the garage and now we basically have our own gym.

My first night in Hemet was interesting. Every person that I talked to that night screamed and yelled at me that I am going to hell for being a Mormon. Oh man, was I fuming. But I got over it and kept my head on straight. We have a nice townhouse but BOY was it dirty! Elder Hawkins is a good guy but we have a few different ideas about how missionary work is supposed to work. He LOVES less-active work and I don't like it too much. So we will see how it all works out.

Since the apartment was a mess, I decided that we were going to deep clean the entire apartment thoroughly and that everyone was going to help. So we went to the 99 cent store and got cleaning supplies and we went to work. We worked from 10 am to 3:30 pm, getting the apartment looking better. Now the Spirit can reside there and we can work effectively. We went over the area and we cover a huge area. We cover parts of Hemet, Winchester, Homeland and part of Romoland. I still am trying to learn the area but I am going to get it done. This area hasn't had a baptism in a very long time and I am going to change that.

Wednesday was an all-out blitz to find people. We got the bikes out and we went riding. We rode about 10 miles and we talked to everyone that we saw. We got a few potentials and hopefully they will turn into new investigators. We saw our usual less-actives and it was a very long day. We did a ton of finding but hey, that is the process we are in right now. So needless to say, I was dead tired. Thursday is the day that we are going to see if our potentials are going to turn into new investigators.

We picked up two new investigators after we gave them a blessing in their home. They have super big potential and I am super excited that I get to be a part of their journey. This area has so much potential that I am super excited about seeing how things go. We continued to do more finding on Friday and meeting with people, trying to find people to teach.

On Saturday, we got a mini missionary to come out with us. I took the young man out finding on the bikes and that was quit an amazing experience for the young man. He got to talk to people and OYM (Open Your Mouth) for the first time. I love this work and I love being a part of it. After mission, I don't know how or where I'm going to find happiness so I have to keep soaking it in as long as I can.

I was super excited about Mother's Day and talking with the family. We also found a GOLDEN new investigator and he is going to be baptized here in the next few weeks hopefully. When I stood up to shake his hand, he sized me up and my size really surprised him. He hasn't seen a big boy like me in a while, he said. I love Skyping home and it was amazing to get to talk to family. I love y’all dearly. The family I Skyped from, I got to know them very personally and it was awesome to get to talk with them. Overall, it was a decent week. I am going to keep my head up and keep working has hard as I can.

With other news, Victor will get his mission call this week! I am super stoked about that and I can't wait to get that call from him. I love y'all and I am so happy to call you my family.

Elder Tonini

Monday, May 6, 2013

email: May 6, 2013

Subject: Onward to Hemet!

As you have heard, I am going to Hemet to serve there for the next little while. Anita called me to tell me that she had talked to Mom and it just made me chuckle. Yes, she buys me all sorts of stuff and it drives me insane because I feel like I'll offend her if I say no. She replaced the old weight bench that I had with my weight set. I am not exactly sure how I will get that home but if we want a weight set at the house, I have one! Sounds like the move is coming up quickly! Can you make sure to take a lot of pictures and mail them to me so I can have them? One great thing is that I can think about home and not get trunkie. If y’all could do that, that would be wonderful! Ready for my week? Leggo :)

Monday we taught a less-active girl that we tracted into a while back. We are so close in getting her to come back to church. Plus, her dad's family aren’t members so that would be awesome to get them into church! They are Hispanic so the Spanish-speaking missionaries will take care of them but still, that would be ideal. We ate dinner with the H****'s and we sang happy birthday to Elder Coleman even though it wasn't his birthday. The kids think that anytime Mom makes a cake, it is someone's birthday so it turned out to be Coleman's birthday that night :). I got really close with their four-year-old son and I brought my Rubix's cube to show him. He carried that thing around all night and was really upset when his dad made him give it back to me. I had the thought to give it to him because it meant a lot more to him than me so I did. He gave me a big hug before I left. The cube is replaceable but that hug wasn't so it all paid off.

We taught LQ again on Tuesday and that lesson went well. We talked about baptism and what made the true form of baptism true. It really made me realize how grateful I am to be enlightened with the truth. She is having a hard time with some issues that we found out about later this week. I then had the craziest food experience. Have you ever heard of balut? It is a Pilipino dish that is basically a ten-day old fertilized duck egg. I ate it and boy was it gross! I got it on video so beware whenever that comes home! We stopped by Lisa and her family and had a quick lesson with them. We found out that their 19 year-old daughter is expecting her SECOND child now. Holy crap! She's not married either so that was kind of upsetting. Our lesson with a hopeful part-member family went well. They are a Samoan family that has been having some issues so we started teaching them in hopes to help them feel the Spirit again. It was a good way to end the night.

I went on exchanges with Elder Moss and we had a pretty good day. We had a lot of appointments fall through so we started to go through the unbaptized members list to try and find some part-member families. We gave a blessing to these four African-American young people in their garage and that went well. It is amazing how addictive gaming can be. Some of the kids were playing Minecraft and they told us that they could play it for four days straight. NOT COOL! Huge waste of time. We then stopped by to see Ken and have dinner with him. I love that man so much, it was super hard to say goodbye.

We had our last true ZLC on Thursday and it was always an interesting experience. I don't like the bureaucracy of the Church sometimes. The Church is true but the people aren't. We then had the most interesting lesson with LQ. We decided to teach her about repentance and that did NOT go down well. We found out her real concern: she hasn't forgiven the person that murdered her nephew over 10 years ago. She can't let go of it and she has a pure hatred for that person. So needless to say, the lesson didn't go as well as we would have hoped for but we aren't going to give up on her. The A**** family took us out to eat at Five Guys for the last time that night as well. I love that family dearly as well.

We had our usual meeting with Anita on Friday and she kept asking me if I was going or staying. I didn't have any gut feelings yet so i couldn't tell her yes or no. Our ZDM went super well, we did a really cool activity. We blindfolded the entire zone and led them into the chapel with the lights off and music playing. I then played DJ and played the clip from Finding Faith in Christ when Christ goes through the Atonement for us. I dubbed it back to some dramatic music and read from a talk about the Savior. We then had them take the blind folds off and we talked a little bit more about what the Savior did for us and how we can apply that into our missionary and personal lives. I thought it went super well. Of course, I got emotional but I have accepted the fact that I am that way. We saw Gracia again and had dinner with Anita as BJ's Brewhouse. It was super good, my last supper with sweet Anita.

Saturday was kind of a botched day with our appointments falling through again. We did though get to see another part-member family and teach them. They didn't come to church but we had a good lesson with them. Transfer calls came and I am leaving to go to Hemet in the Diamon Valley Ward. At first, I felt like I got demoted but then I slept on it and those feelings went away. It will be good for me to be a "regular" missionary. Plus it sounds like that area is dead so I will have my work cut out for me. I called Anita and she just cried and cried. I felt so bad for her... But I am needed in Hemet.

Sunday was super hard for me because I had to get up and say goodbye. That was so hard to get up and bear my testimony. I was a blubbering mess... But I got through it. I waited until the end so Jeffrey and Blake could hear it. I had so many people come up to me with tears in their eyes and give me a huge hug. This ward really felt like home. We then made visits all day and also got to see Weylen (a super famous horse trainer) start the process of breaking a Mustang. There was a film crew filming it and it will be on the air sometime later this year. They are following a couple horse trainers across the country and I got to see firsthand how it works. It was super awesome! Dinner with the R*****'s was super fun, we watched their little girl slide down the stairs in a cardboard box into her mattress. Super hilarious! I said goodbye to Ken, the Baugh's and a few other families. Brother Baugh gave me a "father's" blessing before I left so that was much needed. It was so hard to leave... I loved the people I served with and they will always have a piece of my heart.

Well, that was my week and my last chapter in Moreno Valley. I loved serving here and I am truly going to miss it. I love you y’all so much and miss the kids a ton. Love y’all and can't wait to talk to you on Mother's Day!

Elder Tonini

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Zone Leader Council - May 2, 2013

This was an historic day in the Riverside California Mission in that this was their last Zone Leader Council. From now on this will be Missionary Leadership Council, and will include our new Sister Trainer Leaders!