Monday, June 24, 2013

email: June 24, 2013

Mom and Dad,

So when I was looking through the pictures, I realized that it is only Corina and Carson left at home now! That is crazy. I saw pictures of Jake in his dorm and at BYU. I love it! He is growing up into such a wonderful young man. I am super grateful for him making the choice to not leave at 18 because I really miss that brother of mine! Sounds like things are going well there in ND. I talk with Feist about it all the time and we came to realize that we are in the same ward. Pretty legit haha.Ready, here comes my week:

So on Monday, we went to the driving range with the boys before people got transferred. I will have to send some pictures, they sure are funny. Transfers are always hard but change is good. Elder Kelley's new comp is pretty cool. Our apartment is still the best apartment in Hemet! After dinner, we went out contacting and we found this potential that had some good promise. It was the P***** family and we set up an appointment to come back on Wednesday.

Our Tuesday was filled with DDM and getting our two candidates for baptism interviewed! This area is finally going to have a solid baptism; they hadn't had one since February. Both Stevie and Ashley got interviewed and passed with flying colors. That was the bulk of the day. We then went off to see Aaron with Brother L****. It was neat to have Brother L***** there with us (he is the second counselor in the bishopric) so it was cool to see him bear testimony and invite Aaron back to church. We then went out and looked at Aaron's Subaru. Oh man, is this thing legit! It basically looked like the rally car edition. It was dope! He even pulled it out of the garage and floored it for us. Mmmmm did it sound beautiful! I'll still take my truck but I loved hearing it.

Oh my, do I hate meetings. We had a zone meeting that went forever. The longer I am on my mission, the more I do not want to teach less-actives. I know that sounds terrible but I am not paying $10,000 to home teach full time! That was what I basically felt like the zone conference was about. Doing the ward mission process and teaching less-actives. There is a time and a place but I haven't seen the fruits of it so I have a hard time doing it. We then went and got my bike fixed. The guy repaired my two broken spokes and trued them for only $15! That was such a blessing too.

So remember the P***** family we met on Monday? Well, we came back to see them on Wednesday and they let us in! We knocked on the door and the husband answered and he said "I know who you guys are, come on in!" It blew me away. We talked for almost two hours about life and his family, guns, motorcycles, football, you name it. They are an awesome family. And come to find out, all his family but him are LDS! So this would be an awesome family to teach the gospel to. We then went off to a Relief Society activity that we invited them to come to. Guess who showed up? THE P***** FAMILY! Oh man, was I excited. I love it, we had such a great time with the whole family. Plus the activity was awesome too. After we did that and came back home and Sam came over for us to talk. Sam was baptized about a year and a half ago and he is going on his mission to Portugal here in about 6 weeks. The thing was that he was having doubts and so I told him I wanted to talk. He came over and we had a big heart to heart. We talked about his struggles with his mission and I talked about my struggles. He helped me through it a lot so that really helped my mindset because it was really bothering me this week. But now, I feel great about it. Overall, it was a pretty good Wednesday.

We had our usual weekly planning session and then ran off to teach JR. The lesson went well but it wasn't until after the lesson that the magic started. I sat down with JR and we had a good heart-to-heart about him getting baptized. He has some concerns but we are going to work through them. He told me that if he was to get baptized, it would be within the next five weeks. That was awesome to hear and see how far he has come! He is really considering it now and he wants to do it. He just has to make sure that he is doing it for the right reasons. I told him to keep reading and praying. He is starting to really pray but not read. So that will be the next step for him. Hawkins and I are going to fast this week for him so I am hoping and praying that this will work. It is finding people like JR that has made my mission awesome! I love it so much. We had dinner with a single lady and we brought a priest with us and then ran off to the Park Hill building to check on the font for our baptism on Saturday. Good things are starting to happen here!

Hawkins had a DLC meeting Friday morning that I had to sit outside and wait for him to finish. It was okay though, I sat with Baltazar and we talked about cars and music haha. We were supposed to go on exchanges that afternoon but the ZLs took forever long to get to our apartment. It really bugs me when people are late and they don't give us a heads up. Drives me nuts. Anyways, the ZLs got there and I went out with Elder Parker to my area. We went and finalized the program with Stevie and made sure she was ready for baptism. After that, we went and visited a former, Glenda, from the area book. We tried to teach her but her ideas were so out there that it wasn't going to progress so we moved on. She has a Hindu philosophy and is not willing to change. We then ran to the O**** to visit them and see how they were doing. They are such an awesome family; very cute old couple haha. We ran home to eat then went over to Brother C***'s house to do the program. We got everything settled and typed up. We didn't print out the master copy because we were already pretty late getting home so we thought to do it the next day. Bad idea. But it was a good exchange overall.

Saturday was filled with getting everything ready for the baptism. However, a baptism for me NEVER goes smoothly. We went to the C***'s home to print off the program but then printer was out of ink. We ran back home to get Hawkin's flash drive to save it but he couldn't find it. So we ran off to the family history center to type up another one. We did that super quick but then the copier in the library didn't work! We only got eight copies printed off in like half an hour. That stunk plus Brother C*** wasn't going to make it to the baptism because he had to work so I was left to conduct. So we get to the building with only an hour and a half to fill the font. Luckily, Stevie is a small girl so it didn't need to be that high. But after we got all that situated, the baptism went well. Stevie's mom took pictures of the baptism (WHOOPS!) so that was the only negative thing that happened. We opened it up for testimonies while Stevie was drying off and the primary president's older son got up to bear his testimony and he had me in tears! I love that kid. JR was supposed to come to the baptism but he couldn't find the building! That was a huge bummer... But we are having another one soon so he can come to that. Our last lesson of the night was with a referral we got from a guy in Wildomar. It is one of his co-workers that lives in Homeland. We met at the DQ and tried to teach him. Greg is from Panama and is super funny. He wasn’t too receptive to what we taught but his fellowshipper is going to work on him. Overall, it was a busy Saturday haha.

Sunday's are always the longest for us. We start meetings at 8:45am all the way to 3pm. Joy. I confirmed Stevie and so it was official! After sacrament meeting, I got to teach gospel doctrine again. That was fun, as always haha. The members sure seem to enjoy it though and I love teaching it. Hawkins taught Elders Quorum while I was in young men’s. We then had that world-wide leadership broadcast to go to. But before that, we ran off to give a blessing to someone and ran back to the broadcast. I guess that we will eventually be getting on Facebook and the Internet more often now with missionary work. After the meeting, we ran to our lesson with Ross and committed him to stop smoking. He really wants to do! He is also someone we are going to fast for this week. It is going to kill my headaches but it will be worth it. Dinner was with the J****'s and that was cool to get to know them. They are a younger couple and super awesome. Our lesson after that was with Matt and that turned into a debate. I was already exhausted so my patience was running thin. It was fun though to get to watch the boys play. All in all, it was a good week and we have a lot of potential next week.

I cannot believe that it is almost July... I get to go to the temple with Victor on the 6th! I am super excited for that. We will hopefully have three baptism in July! One almost every weekend! I am super stoked. Well, that is about it for me. Me and my boring missionary life haha. Love y'all and miss y'all a ton. Don't worry about me, I am going to be fine! Love you and y'all are in my prayers.

Elder Tonini

Monday, June 17, 2013

email: June 17, 2013

Mom and Dad,

So I read from Elder Feist's email that his parents met y’all. I also talked to Elder Johnson and his grandparents do live there. That is kind of a small world ha-ha. I love it though, I'll be able to know some people when I go home. So Jake leaves for Provo this week? He is going to do so well at school. He is such a good man. He has come a long way. Corina is getting so old! Funny story, I actually had one of the young men add her on Facebook that is her age so that was kind of funny ha-ha. Carson sounds like he is doing super well! Goodness, I have such an awesome family. Too bad that everyone is getting older and growing up. We better have family reunions! So I had an interesting week so here it goes. Nothing really happened with everything falling through but here we go:

This past Monday, we went out to a local golf course and we played nine holes! It was so much fun, it was much needed with all the drama that was going on. The Elder that was causing trouble said another thing and that set all of us off so I asked the zone leaders to sit down and talk with them after DDM about it. After golf, to eat with the P***** family and that is always a blast. I am super close with James P***** so it was fun to go and see them. After dinner, we left and got our contacts and tried to find new people. It was a much needed P-Day with all the crap that happened so it helped me to relax and get ready for the week.

We had our DDM on Tuesday and we had our talk with the ZLs. I basically told them with what was going down and how we needed to fix the issue. This was way overdue; this talk with them so I was excited to clear the air and start to get the issue taken care of. We then went out to find and then had our dinner with the C*****. They both are huge hunters and I feel at home around them. I have come to find out how redneck I really am ha-ha. I love it though. After that, we went and taught Aaron R**** and he told us he would come to church! His niece is down from Moreno Valley to watch his daughter while he is at work so it is good to have her there with him. And they actually came to church this week so that was a good thing.

Wednesday was exchanges for me with the zone leaders. I went out with Elder Santos and we made a whole bunch of visits: seeing formers, less-actives, and potentials. We did see an older couple, the G****'s and got to know them. They are pretty less-active but super friendly. It was fun to get to know them. Oh my goodness, our lesson with the B***** family went super awkward. We wanted to finish up the commandments so we taught the Law of Chastity. However, it didn't go as well as I wanted to. Their friend, Matt, piped up and asked about masturbation. He was all up in arms about it because he thinks it is healthy for you and stuff like that. So we committed him to live it and he said heck no! It was super weird... But hey, that's missionary life for you!

We weekly planned on Thursday and made some more visits and tracted. We did though, go by and see Matt and teach him again. He is slowly but surely coming around. Hopefully he'll be able to make it back. We ate with the P***** family again and they had family come in and eat with us. It was pretty fun; I love that family. We then finished up planning for the week and got ready for the next transfer.

Friday was intervention day. We sat down with the other Elder and we talked things out. He denied everything that he supposedly said but I forgave him regardless if he did or didn't. However, he still has hard feelings towards us so he isn't talking or giving us the time of day. Oh well, I'll get over it. I've forgiven him and so I feel at peace about it. We then ran off to our lesson with Stevie. We grabbed a priest and went off to teach her. Come to find out, we weren't supposed to take him out until afterwards so that was interesting ha-ha. We contacted for the rest of the night and then we got ready to go off to MoVal on Saturday to go to our transfer meeting. Super exciting!

So Saturday morning, we got ready and drove up to MoVal to have our transfer meeting. This meeting was super hard for President Smart and his wife. I can only imagine making this decision and seeing his missionaries leaving him. But my first area is now in another zone! They created a Banning zone now. Pretty cool to see the work progress. I found out that I am staying with Elder Hawkins here in Hemet! I was pretty excited. It will be sad to see people that I served with to leave but this is part of the work here. I then left to get an adjustment from Doctor Collins. It felt so good, I needed one super bad. He thinks that the reason why I have huge headaches is because my neck is always out and it is causing the headaches. So I am going to call the mission nurse and see what I can do. Our lesson with the N***** and JayR went really well too. Brother N***** shot an oriole that has been eat his hummingbirds! The lesson also went well, we invited JayR to think about getting baptized so we will see what he thinks.

Sunday was awesome too, we had another baptism fall into place for us! We have three on date now for this month! She was a young woman that came to girls’ camp and had an awesome experience there and now she wants to get baptized. Stevie is still good for next week and Ross is hopefully gonna be on the 29th. We had four people at church! That was the highest we've had so far here. I also taught gospel doctrine to all the adults about the Plan of Salvation. That was super fun and it went really well. Our dinner was with the ward mission leader and he had a good correlation with him. We then went and tracted and I caught a bunny! It was super funny ha-ha. Then that night, we helped Elder Albright pack. I am going to miss that kid! Overall, it was a good week even though not a lot happened.

Have a wonderful week and know that I love y’all dearly! Have a good time in Utah and have a good time. I am off to the driving range to golf so I will talk to y’all next week :). Love you!

Elder Tonini

Monday, June 10, 2013

email: June 10, 2013

Alright so, here was my week:

Monday was an awesome Pday. After we emailed and got our stuff done, I went to Ross and picked up some speakers for my new iPod for my study room. I found a 5.1 surround sound for it for pretty cheap! I was super stoked, I love it. I finally have music back in my life! Don't worry, it's all mission approved :). We then ran to the driving range to go hit some balls. The same member that gave me the other set of clubs gave me a $25 gift certificate to the driving range. Seven bucks for 75 balls! It was super fun. I needed it badly after the whole thing last week. I don't know why people don't like me too much here. I guess because I'm not the "robot" missionary. But I got it resolved later this week with President. I will explain more later. We also had our mini missionary with us so that was kind of a struggle this week. By Monday, he was already driving me nuts and we hadn't even had him for two weeks. But it all worked out in the end; it was good to have him there with us.

We gave some service on Tuesday for Sister S*** and her family. They are kind of less active and we don't go over there much. Sister S*** is a pretty cool lady though, she was super appreciative for us coming over and helping to move some rocks in the backyard. After that, we cleaned up and got ready to teach little Miss Stevie K****. We did the hard-boiled egg lesson: where you boil an egg and use rubbing alcohol to create a vacuum to suck the boiled egg into the Gatorade bottle. It was kind of a batched object lesson but it was still good haha. Our lesson with JayR went well too. He is progressing super well. Our dinner with Sister M**** was kind of interesting... She liked to talk and it really wasn't too fun to sit there and listen but I did anyways. Aaron R**** is doing well, we saw him that night. We are working on getting him back to church.

President Smart came down to give our interviews with us and that was super nice to get to talk to him. I brought up the issue with the missionaries backbiting behind my back and my issues with what is going on. I told him that this usually doesn't bother me but I do represent my family as well as the Savior and I don't want to tarnish my family name either. But what he told me gave me some comfort. He told me that I am accountable to him and to the Savior. So I gave him my accountability to him and that really helped me feel better. I am going to do me and work the hardest I have ever worked. I love President a lot; he is the man. Come to find out, I am on special assignment; he didn't send me here to Hemet just because. So that answered a lot of questions and doubts too. After interviews, we went and visited the two high school girl graduates that we picked up. They are hopefully going to start progressing nicely. Besides, one of them is pretty good looking so that is always a plus :). Our dinner was a little weird. It was with a recent convert and her family. Sabrina B**** was just baptized like 6 months ago and she is an interesting lady. She doesn't have any teeth... And her family is super loud and crazy! It was interesting. Our lesson with the B**** family went well too. They are an awesome family!

We did the usual weekly planning on Thursday and we went to seed Matt, he lives with the B****’s, to come teach him and help him gain his testimony. It is coming slowly but surely. Funny story though while we were over there. Our mini saw one of the young women there helping to babysit the son. He goes up there to talk to her and comes to find out that she's only a sophomore! Haha it was super funny; we gave him a hard time about it. Other than that lesson, we weekly planned all day.

Friday was our temple trip! It was a much needed trip to the Redlands Temple. I got some crazy revelation in the temple though that I can't really talk about here in the email. Jake knows about it but that is about it. He knows the story about it. After our session, one of my contacts in Beaumont picked us up and brought us to the Sandwich Stoppe in Beaumont. Victor came and so did the O'Harra's! It was so good to see them. I get to go and see Victor at the temple here in a less than a week! It will be hard to see him go because I won't be able to call him up when I need someone to talk to... But it will all work out. We went and saw Stevie K**** again and taught her to get ready to be baptized. We went tracting and found a very cool potential family to teach! A family of almost 5 people! We had dinner with the Bickmore's and got to talk some more deep doctrine with him. They are former temple president in Mexico so he was very knowledgeable about the temple. It was fun to pick his brain and to get some new knowledge from him.

Saturday was filled with helping a family in the Fruitvale ward move into our ward. The husband has a 2012 Ford Raptor! It was super legit. None of our ward showed up to help so it was good that we showed up. We helped transporting Fruitvale around and even when to their DDM as well. Afterwards, we went to McDonalds and I got two McGangBangs! It’s a McDouble with a McChicken in the middle of it. Super good haha. It was a good day even though it was kind of slow.

Sunday was filled with meetings and going by to see people. We taught Ross again and that went well. One of the member bought him a quad! Very nice. We got our OYMs and had our mini go home. We then took studies and called it a night. We celebrated Elder Albright’s birthday that night and it was a blast. I love my mission and the guys I serve with!

Well, that was my week. I sure do love y'all and miss y’all tons. I am doing well, I think I am going to get my headaches checked out though. They are starting to get bad. I will let you know how that goes. I love you! Have a great week.

Elder Tonini

Monday, June 3, 2013

email: June 3, 2013

Subject: It is moving week for the Tonini Family!

Sounds like yall are going to have a busy week this week. I am excited for the new move and it is crazy how many of my mission friends actually have ties to North Dakota. One of the sisters in my MTC district actually has her non-member family up there in ND. It amazes me every time the company moves us how fast the house gets packed. That is a huge blessing on Mom because then she wouldn't stress out about things. Alright, ready for my week? It was interesting one so here we go:

Our PDay started out by going shopping and getting everything taken care of. It was Memorial Day so there were a lot of people out for the holiday so we talked to a lot of people. Our dinner was with the N***** family and Hawkins thought the dinner was at 6 pm but they actually said 5 pm so we showed up an hour late. We need better communication between each other. However, we did teach JayR again and that lesson went well. He understood it well; he only had a question about Adam and Eve which his mother-in-law resolved for him. He has HUGE potential and I am so excited to be there helping him. That night, we made contacts that night and fulfilled the Ballard promise.

Oh man, Tuesday was rough for me. Hawkins had a district leaders' conference which took THREE HOURS to do. That was our whole morning basically. When I got home, I came down with the biggest headache and my allergies were going insane. I ate lunch super fast and I tried to lay down to kick the headache but it never went away... Elder Albright wasn't feeling good either so I stayed home with him and Hawkins and Kelley went out to work. I tried to get feeling better but the longer I slept, the worse I felt so I just tried to power through it. We did service with the young men and that didn't help at all. Our appointment with Aaron R***** was super fun; he pulled his guns out and we started to talk about emergency preparedness haha. He has two AR-15's and an RPG casing! Super awesome. We went home because I was feeling like garbage... It wasn't fun but I powered through it the best I can.

We had exchanges with the Spaniards on Wednesday and Elder Moyer came into my area for the day. I still wasn't feeling very good so I tried my best to power through it. We made a lot of visits to people, seeing if they live in the ward boundaries and if they live there or not. We drove all the way to Sun City to check out if there was anyone out there. There was but they had moved so it was a waste of time. We exchanged back before our lesson with the B****'s. It went well and then we had Matt, a friend that is living there with him who is actually a member of the Church, came out and we kind of started to bash with each other. But amazingly, he changed around and was willing to sit down with us and talk. So we set something up for Thursday to come and sit down with him. It was kind of a batched day but we made the best out of it.

Our usual weekly planning happened and then we drove out to see Matt all the out in Winchester and he wasn't awake! I was super ticked because we wasted 10 miles driving out there. We got home and then he called us, wanting us to come by. OF COURSE. So we drove out there to go see him and we had a pretty good lesson. We made a lot of head way with him. He still has a long way to go but we are going to make it work. Our dinner was with a single sister so we took Blake M**** with us to go over. He is the same age as Corina and I offered to hook them up haha. We then went on splits with the young men and I took Blake with me to go visit another part-member family (PMF). Even though we only taught two less-active lessons, it still was a productive night regardless.

On Friday, Anita took us out to eat to Marie Callenders. It was pretty good, but way over-priced. After lunch, we ran out to Winchester to go and teach another PMF. It is the W**** family and they have an interesting story, There are two families living there together and only one person is a member. Sister W****'s caretaker comes to church with her almost every week and we wanted to come in and start teaching her but she isn't too interested yet. After the lesson, we had a spur the moment baptism interview.  After that, we had dinner with the Mc******'s. They are a super sweet old couple and it was awesome to get to talk to them. They were such a wonderful couple. We met with out Bishop and went over things for the ward.

We had service on Saturday morning and it felt so good to put the boots and Wranglers back on to go to work. The service was putting up a new fence on a horse ranch so that was fun. Later that morning was our zone conference and it was not a fun experience for me. It started out with me not liking one of the action plans for our focus and people trying to prove me wrong. However, their comments didn't help me at all so I am stuck in a bind. THEN I heard that another elder called me a "bad influence on the other younger elders because I only have 8 months left and blah blah blah". THAT really pissed me off and so I am going to prove everyone wrong and make my area the best area in Hemet. It was the fuel I needed to get my butt working even harder. Our dinner was at the Four Seasons, a super nice retirement community. The R*****'s treated us to eat and it was really good. After that, we taught the G**** family that night with Sam A***. He then took us out to Sonic to have half price shakes :). It was an interesting Saturday but it all worked out. We also got out mini that night too! He is super cool and really gun hoe about being here. We will have him for a week so it will be fun.

PEC went well on Sunday morning and so was Sacrament meeting. I still wasn't feeling very good and it really affected me throughout church. I love my ward though, they are awesome. Our of our investigators showed up at church and he wanted us to teach him. We hadn't seen him in like seven weeks and he randomly showed up to church. So we taught him second hour and he learned a lot. It was awesome to see how much he retained from the last lesson. I invited him to be baptized but he was going to be out of town for the whole summer... But it was still a great lesson. We then got invited to come share our conversion story in Teachers Quorum and that went over well. After church, I went home and slept because I had a HUGE headache and I got really sick to my stomach... I tried to get up and work but I couldn't do it. I slept until dinner but luckily, dinner made me chicken noodle soup and that helped a lot. The S*****'s are a PMF and we taught them that night. It was a good lesson; after that I went home and slept. I still don't feel good but I will be fine.

Well, that is it for me. I have a whole different mindset now and I am going to baptize all of Hemet! Haha but all in all, I am doing well. Thank you for the package, I loved the Cliff bars! I love you all and keep working hard!

Elder Tonini