Wednesday, July 31, 2013

email: July 31, 2013

I realize that it is Wednesday again and I am just now emailing... But that is okay because I have a legit reason! My life gets crazy sometimes haha. I am glad that Momma gets to go and help with Rochelle's kids. Jesse said that Mom is a way good cook too; that made me laugh quite a bit. I love that cousin of mine; I am super excited that I get to talk to her more now with the new email changes. Anyways, is Carson back home from the Jamboree? I got a postcard from him and it seriously melted my heart. He said that there are over 40,000 scouters and none of the scouts in his troop are LDS and so he is going to do missionary work. He is such a good kid! You know, the more and more I am away from home and have time to reflect I have come to realize how blessed I am to have a family like I do. Goodness, I love each and every one of y'all! I know I have said this before but I am so glad that Jake and I have become super close and along with everyone else. My mission has really opened my eyes to who I really am and who God needs me to be. Okay, I'll get off that topic and I will fill y'all in on what had been going on this past week. Let's go!

So on Monday, we had a very AWESOME surprise. We got to the golf course after we emailed and everything and I was fixin' to tee off on the first hole when Elder Hawkins goes crazy! I couldn't understand why he was going nuts until I read the text he had gotten. Sarah had texted us and asked when Jayr could get an interview so he could get baptized on Wednesday! You seriously have no idea how excited I was or even how Hawkins reacted. This was a baptism we both had been fasting and praying for a long time. He had decided he finally wanted to do it. We had to make it quick though because his father-in-law was leaving for Montana on Thursday so we had to do it on Wednesday so we had to speed everything up. Hawkins and I were on cloud nine the entire night; we got our OYMs and then headed home to get everything ready for his baptism.

Tuesday was all focused on getting Jayr ready for his baptism interview. Our DDM went well and then we started off to get Jayr ready. We had it done and he passed; we were good to go for Wednesday! He seemed like this was what he wanted to do. Plus we talked with Sarah and the family and they both said that Jayr wouldn't do this if he didn't want to have that be done. It was super awesome to finally have him be ready to baptized. We got all the info from him and Sarah to get the baptism program set and we got that off to Brother P**** to be printed off at work. He makes some beautiful programs! I will have to send some back home for y'all to see. That night we ran over to the Stake Center to make sure that the baptism font was cleaned and ready to go. We ran off to go see Aaron again and that funniest thing happened. I crashed super hard at his house; I seriously hit a brick wall. I was so tired that my body physically came close to shutting down and making me fall asleep instantly. It was a weird feeling to have that happen so after the lesson Hawkins drove home and I went straight to bed. I didn't mind though because I needed to be alert for Jayr's baptism the next day.

All we did Wednesday was get the baptism ready for that afternoon. Hawkins was the one to baptism him so we was pretty excited to have that opportunity. Even though we had to have the baptism at 4 pm, we had a pretty good turn out. Everett and Franson drove back down to see the baptism and we had a lot of the ward family there and it was awesome to have everyone there. I got the opportunity to talk about the Holy Ghost after Rene N**** talked about baptism. Jayr's baptism was one that as long awaited. Hawkins walked into the water with him and he performed the baptism and it was such a powerful experience. We got permission to confirm at the water's edge and his father-in-law got to confirm him. I have never seen a family that happy than after that baptism. Sarah told me multiple times, “I seriously love you" haha. When I hear things like that, I can't help but make me smile. Even though I was the COMPLETE opposite of the personalities of the N**** daughters and the family, well except for Brother N****, we got a long well haha. But I am connected with that family forever and I am super happy about it. I love them to pieces and is a testimony to me of why I was called here for my mission.

Wednesday night, Thursday and Friday went by with nothing exciting. We don't have anyone else to teach so we are in the process of finding new people. Our dinner with the R**** on Wednesday was awesome. We had pizza and got to know them pretty well. I did my Restoration lesson with my Rubik’s cube and they loved it. Come to find out, they have been working with a family that lives on their street. We committed them to share a Book of Mormon with them and to have them meet with us. We had a baptism and a bomb lesson that night. We then had another similar experience with the P**** family on Thursday night too. I did the same lesson with them and we found a part member family that they had been working with. They gave us her name and address and we committed to them that we were gonna go over there on Friday and we did. When we knocked on Viki B***'s door, we had an awesome experience with her. We couldn't get in because there wasn't a man in the house but she basically quizzed us at the door and we passed! She wants us to come back and see her again. Her daughter went to girls camp and everything. We went to Steer and Stine again with a member and had a great time there. We were much anxious to hear the transfer calls the next day.

Around 7:30 am, I got a call from President that I was to be a trainer again. I was super excited because I didn't have the best experience last time I trained so I wanted to redeem myself and train again. Well, I got that wish and I was super pumped to have that call. The regular transfer calls came that night and they were sooo confusing! So what ended up happening is that the Hemet zone is getting split; there is now a San Jacinto zone along with the Hemet zone. My ward got split and the Zone Leaders are in my ward. Elder Figueroa and Wilkinson are my new zone leaders and I love them to pieces. Elder Figueroa is from El Paso and he trained of my favorite missionaries here in the mission. I was made the district leader and I now have two sets of sisters that I am responsible for. I was excited for that and for everything else.

Sunday was awesome because Ross S***** and Jayr got the priesthood! I ordained Jayr to the priesthood so that was an awesome thing for me to do. They leave on Monday for Provo so I am glad that they were able to have that happen with family there. Jake needs to find them in Provo and go see them! They are awesome. I then found out that I am moving into the guest house on Bishop's property so I got to pack all day Sunday to get ready for that. We drove up to Idyllwild to help Everett and Franson come down the hill and to get Kelley's bike up to Idyllwild to his new area. They spent the night so they didn't have to drive back down the hill for transfers.

Monday was moving day! I packed two cars full of my stuff and drove it over to the new place. The new place is super tight! I am moving into a new house and getting a brand new missionary; couldn't get any better than that. I got almost everything moved over by noon so that was pretty tight. I got my bike and weights over too and everything. We helped Jayr and Sarah get all packed up and moved. It was weird for them to not see me in a shirt and tie; they're our neighbors so they'll be seeing a lot more of that haha. Elder Johansen is also getting a greenie up in Anza so he stayed with me for the day and the rest of the night until we could go pick up our greenies. We had dinner with his branch president and had a lesson with him. We got our OYMs and then headed home for me to get unpacked and ready for tomorrow.

Oh my goodness, Tuesday was a long day. It started out with a District Leaders Council and then we had to run some errands to be ready to go up to Riverside. We are going to have an awesome zone; I get to be a part of starting a new zone so that is pretty humbling. I was at the mission office from 2 pm to almost 9 pm. It was a long day but I got to see a lot of people and to pick up my greenie!

His name is Elder Child and he is from Kaysville Utah. He is an awesome guy and I am excited to get to train him. We got him all moved in and almost settled down. It is going to be a good transfer! Well, that's all from here in Cali. I love y'all and want y'all to know that this is the Lord's work and that I love doing it. Thank you for all that you do for me! Talk to y'all on Monday :)

Elder Tonini

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

email: July 30, 2013

I did not get transferred but I am getting a new missionary to train. I couldn't email yesterday because I moved in with with my Bishop here in Diamond Valley and I did that all day and had to get other things done. I will send a full email tomorrow when I pick up my new missionary. Things are going to be interesting; I will fill you in on what is going on. 

Love you and I will talk to you tomorrow!

Elder Tonini 

Monday, July 22, 2013

email: July 22, 2013

So the more I hear about Minot, the more I get excited about going back there! I am not getting trunkie, I promise, but people do ask me all the time because I am getting close to the end and people keep reminding me of it. So this was an interesting week. Ready for it?

Let's go.We had a pretty cool PDay last week. We went golfing again and had a pretty good time. The craziest thing was that we looked up at the mountain and we see Idyllwild burning! There was a ton of smoke and we ended up watching the flame from our backyard; we hopped the wall and watched it from there. It was awesome to see the fire from there. It was crazy to watch. We had a good night and got our OYMs so it was good.

On Tuesday we met with JayR and had a sit down with him. We invited him to baptism and he said he is going to really consider it. It was a super spiritual lesson and I felt like we made good headway with it. Now we are waiting for his answer. It has to come quick because he is moving to Provo here at the end of the month. Our evening kind of fell apart but we ended up going to see an awesome family because they needed us to move a table for them because Brother R**** threw his shoulder out and is not getting any better. We stayed a little too long but it was worth going over there.

We helped with a move on Wednesday and it was for the C***** family. The family had some interesting daughters and it actually made me feel kind of uncomfortable to be around them. It is insane how dress and appearance can make an impact. It was good though because he helped them out a ton. Brother C***** then took us out to Steve's burgers and it was awesome. They are such an awesome family. We got out OYMs and after dinner with the M****s we went to Aaron's house again. We played latter ball with the Mackie's and I wrecked! While we were waiting to see Aaron, we got a call from the Idyllwild missionaries and told us that they are getting evacuating the city! They packed up their stuff and the came down to live with us until the evacuation order got lifted. We taught our lesson and we ran home. It has been a blast having the other Elders over. I love Franson and Everett. Franson is my boy! That night, Elder Wood went and bought some Veet to shave our legs. We did it that night and it was super awesome, we had a blast. This will be an interesting week with having them down here!

Our weekly planning session was SUPER DUMB. We had a zone weekly planning and it took ALL DAY LONG. It was super dumb and a waste of time. The ZL's again weren't too happy with us because we came late to the training because we were helping Brother Cole with his computer and stuff with the ward. We got lunch and we ended up getting there an hour late but I didn't feel bad because I thought it was a total waste of time. Our Thursday was pretty shot after that, we had dinner and we got our OYMs basically. That was our day. I wasn't happy but I did it anyways.

Friday was productive with going out with Franson and doing work. It was a normal Friday and we even went to eat pizza with the C*****. We had dinner with the Idyllwild missionaries so that is always fun.

Saturday was filled with talking with people and we went and saw a part-member family (PMF) and had a really good lesson with them. It was super awesome to get to meet them and start teaching them. We then went to the pioneer stake activity. I went with Fiest and got the baseball gloves and we threw for almost two hours. It was awesome but my shoulder is paying the price now. That activity was huge! It was super fun though so it was worth it. I didn't get any food so we had to go make a DQ run so I could go eat something. It was a good night, it has been awesome to have the other missionaries sleep over.

Sunday was super fun and it was funny to see how Franson react being in a real ward. That PMF that we saw on Saturday came to church! It was only the mom but she stayed for the whole church service. We had a really good Sunday and hopefully it made an impact on JayR. I have been really fasting and praying for him so he can come into the gospel. I love that family; he is so close in making that step!

We have a really good ward and I love serving here in Hemet. I will be honest though and say that I am ready for transfers. I love Hawkins but I am ready for a change. I think I know who will be my comp but we will see.I hope y'all have a wonderful week! I rolled my freakin' ankle playing ultimate football so I am in the process of taking care of that. I love you all and hope everything is going well. I got my shirt and I really like them! They are awesome. I haven't gotten my contacts yet but they will be there soon. Thank you for everything!

Love y'all.

Elder Tonini

Monday, July 15, 2013

email: July 15, 2013

Ready for the week? Here we go :)

Monday was super fun! After we emailed and did some running around Elder Everett, Franson, Wood and I went golfing at our favorite course. Everett has never golfed before and he did pretty well! I had a beautiful nine iron drive that landed seven feet from the pin. It felt so good to hit that thing and see where it landed! I shot pretty bad but I still had so much fun. We really have a good group of missionaries here in Hemet. After we golfed, we changed and ran off to dinner. We had dinner at the D****'s and it was fun to teach a FHE with them. Their dad was away on business so we grabbed Sam A**** to come with us. One of our members gave us a scripture bag with little objects in them that can represent any scripture story that has the item in it. We sat outside on the patio because the A/C went out in the house. It was a lot of fun to be with the kids and to teach them. I have gotten close with the oldest boy, Urry. He is my boy! He just turned 13 and I love him to pieces. He is a super sharp kid, along with all the other kids. The youngest, Obie, was super fun to mess with. They have an above ground pool that they play in and I took Obie and threatened to throw him in. I was just playing around but it was super fun. We got OYMs and dropped Sam off and then the Idyllwild Ward missionaries, Elders Everett and Franson, came over to our apartment and we stayed up wayyyyyy too long. We had zone conference the next day so it was interesting.

Oh my goodness was Tuesday super long. First off because I got zero sleep the night before and because we had to be up at the stake center by 7:30 in the morning. The best part was that I got to see Spencer again to catch up with him. But to top the scale, I got to see Victor! He came down from Beaumont to come to zone conference and to share his testimony with us. He stayed the whole time! It was a long six-hour conference. After that we left to go to Beaumont and to get ready for the temple! It was awesome that I got to be there every step of the way with him. it was weird going to the temple at night. I did get to see a whole bunch of people that I knew back in Oak Valley. I love the O'Harra family, they have been such a good family towards Victor. It was awesome to get to see in the temple. I gave him a big hug and told him I love him. That seriously was the best day of my mission. Plus, the missionaries in the ward got to come with him too so there were six missionaries that came to the temple with us. We then made a Denny's run that night to grab something to eat with the O'Harra's and the crew. Victor and I had a really good talk about what's been going on in my life. I tell that man everything and now I won't be able to call him up anymore when he is in Arizona. He is Utah now getting ready to enter into the MTC. I love that man so much! I got to see Anita on Wednesday and took us out to lunch. We went to Mimi's Cafe and then I gave her a blessing at the church. She was much appreciative towards me in giving her a blessing. She sure has grown attached to me but that is okay, she has been through a lot in her life so it is the least I can do. Our lesson with JayR went... Interesting. He had a pretty deep doctrinal question that we tried to answer. He wanted to understand why we believe we can become like God and why the New Jerusalem is going to be in Missouri so we addressed those issues and it ended up in getting into a deep doctrine discussion. But he said he is super close to getting baptized so we are in crunch time because they are leaving to Utah here pretty soon. We had a good rest of the day and got to visit some people.

Thursday was awesome because we did some weekly planning but then John wanted us to come over and have dinner with them! That worked out because our dinner had to cancel. We got to spend some time with the family and build some bonds with them. We have taught John once and now we need to get the whole family involved. He wanted us to come to his son's practice but it was just out of the zone so I decided that we couldn't go. Hawkins was for it but I wasn't going to break that rule. We didn't get to teach him because he left a lot quicker that we had planned on but we are planning on going over there later this week so it will be good.

Friday was exchanges with Park Hill Ward and it was super awesome. We had service with Valle Vista's former investigator out on his ranch. We were around horses and it was awesome. Ever since MoVal, I love being around those animals. There was a paint that you could tell that had been abused and it was super sad to see how it reacts now. It got pretty close to me and followed me around the pen the whole time. We were at the back corner of the pen, shoveling poop with the horse right next to us when a big semi-truck came down the road and scared the paint and she took off away from the fence. We all surrounded her because she walked in between us and we had to get out of the way pretty quick. But there was another horse, Lucky that was super nice. I hugged him and petted him and everything. I love being around those animals. After we finished with that, we ran home to shower and study for the day. We ended up studying a little too long because we got into a deep doctrine discussion again haha. Our dinner was crazy, he is Bolivian and he just loaded my plate up with food and I had to eat it. Oh my goodness it was gross but I did it! Our lesson that night was with a family and we are teaching one of the son's girlfriend's. It was a good lesson and a good way to end the night.

On Saturday we got a call from Ray D*** that he needed helped moving his family. We just baptized his daughter so we thought it would be good to help him move. It went really well, I wore a long sleeve shirt to try and sweat some fat outta myself haha. It was fun to go help his family out. His wife is expecting so it was the least we could do for them. We took studies after that and then went out to proselyte. Our dinner cancelled so the Cole's invited us over to have dinner. I love going over there to eat. Brother Cole always talks baseball with me and it is super fun to talk with him. Their grandson, Blake, has been talking to Corina so it is fun to give him a hard time. I love that family though and they have been a blessing to us here in the ward.

On Sunday, I felt prompted to fast for JayR again. Fasting always gives me the biggest headache so it pretty much killed me the entire day. Sunday's are always long because we have meetings from 8:30am until 3pm. Yay! But the fasting really paid off because we talked with Sara, JayR's wife, told us that we need to invite him on Tuesday. We are taking that comment to invite him to be baptized on Tuesday so we are super excited for that. I may fast again tomorrow too because this has been on my mind a lot lately and I really want this for that family. The biggest thing we are focusing on this week is him. After church, I had to come home and try to kick my headache. I did all that I could but it still wouldn't go away. I even showered for twenty minutes to try and get rid of it. It wouldn't leave so we went to dinner anyways. I got there and just crashed on the couch, my head hurt so bad. Sister V**** got me an ice pack and I crashed on their couch for almost an hour. I felt so much better when I woke up though, it was so nice. I talked with them until it was time to go home because I missed out on talking with them. The V**** family makes me laugh every time I see them. We came home and everyone came over for PDay eve. We played Risk and rubiks cubed it up! I love my mission so much :) it is awesome to be a part of this work.

Thank you for sending the few shirts, I need them badly. I have gotten pretty good at sowing my clothes up and fixing them! I want y'all to know that I love y'all so much and miss the family a lot. Time is flying and it is really starting to scare me.. I'll be home before I know it and that stinks! But I am not going to waste anymore time and work my hardest on the last stretch. Hope y'all have a wonderful week and know that I love you. Thank you for the prayers and the thoughts on behalf of the people we are working with. This transfer is almost over and it scares me to death! I am doing just fine with everything and I am doing the best I can. Love you and have a great week!

Elder Tonini

Monday, July 8, 2013

email: July 8, 2013

This will probably be a short email since I wrote back on Wednesday because of all the things that went down. My headaches have been under control lately and I have been able to function. That was good because it was a "Smile Back" kinda week. I made it through this week and that is all that matters. So rewind to Tuesday..

After we tried emailing at the stake center, I ran off to the urgent care to get checked out. I was feeling like crud and that was the last straw. The mission nurse gave me the okay so I went ahead and saw the urgent care doctor. He was kind of a dweeb when he was diagnosing me because I thought I had a migraine but I didn't and he mocked me for not knowing the difference. That kind of put me in a mood but I got over it. I was diagnosed with bad tension headaches and allergies (GO FIGURE!). He prescribed me with some allergy stuff and some pain medicine to help kick the headaches. We ended up teaching Aaron R**** that night too so it was an okay night. We got our OYMs earlier and so we called it a night after we saw Aaron.

Wednesday we went and finished emailing and saw a referral with one of our Bishop's sons. It was their next-door neighbor. The only problem was that the wife didn't speak any English. Good thing that Nathan M**** could speak it! He basically taught the whole lesson and did the blessing on the home for them. We taught a little bit but there was such a language barrier that Nathan had to teach the entire time. They are semi-interested so we are going to send the Spanish missionaries over to them so hopefully there will be some success in there. It was convenient to teach that lesson because we ran right off to go teach JayR. We taught the big three commandments: Chasity, Word of Wisdom, and Tithing. He understand it all and is basically living the standards already so we just need to get baptized! He is close though, he said he was coming to Ross' baptism so that will hopefully be the turning point. That night was super crazy because we had so much to do and there was only two of us. There was a move that was dropped on us and to go help set up for our dinner's son's birthday party. Luckily some of them fell through but it was stressful. We had to run to dinner and then go to the Cole's home and teach Ross. Our dinner was... Interesting. It was at a recent convert's house and it was the birthday party of her son. One of our members showed up in his blazer and handed out five copies of the Book of Mormon! It was pretty cool and we got a few referrals that we sent in. After the party, we ran to our lesson with Ross and we got him ready and finalized things for his baptism. He is such a funny guy, he thinks I am the strongest guy he has even met haha. It is super funny. He is ready though and is excited to get into the waters of baptism.

This Fourth of July didn't compare to the one I had in Beaumont a year ago but it was still awesome. Our ward and Fruitvale ward did a pancake breakfast together for the Fourth. It was pretty fun, I hung out with Elders Feist and Wood with Hawkins. There were a lot of people there and it was a good time. People were throwing a football around and Feist mentioned we should go get his gloves and go throw so we jumped in my car and we went and got them. It felt so good to throw but man is it hard to throw in pros! I got all sweaty and nasty but it was all worth it. The only bad thing was that I ripped my favorite pants... So I gotta sew them up and get them back in working order.

Hawkins had a district leader training to go to in Riverside so I got to hang with Baltazar and Franson all morning. They came over and we had breakfast and tried to study but that didn't happen... But we did get some work done that morning so it all worked out. We ran off to the K*** home to teach Stevie. In order to teach the Restoration I needed to think up of an object lesson to teach her with so I grabbed my Rubik’s cube to illustrate the Restoration. After the lesson, she ran off to find her cube so I solve it for her haha. Learning how to do that cube has really paid off here in the mission. Our dinner was freaking awesome. We had dinner with the S*****’s and I played on the trampoline for an hour with his boys. I seriously loved every minute of it, I miss that a lot. Plus, it was fun to see their two-year old son run around and be a baby. On top of that, we had ribs so that was the icing on the cake. Our lesson was the Restoration lesson with the Rubik’s cube as the object lesson. We committed them to OYM a friend and share the gospel with them. Overall, it was an awesome night and a much needed one. It makes me excited to one day be a father. I could care less about everything else, as long as I have my wife and kids I will be the happiest man alive.

On Saturday, we weekly planned and part of that was cleaning the car for zone conference on Tuesday because it won't get done on Monday so we did it that morning. Ashley D*** finally got baptized and the best part was that her father did it! It was awesome. Her baptism went smoothly, it was Ross' that we had some trouble. I love my ward mission leader but sometimes he has senior moments and we don't communicate well. We were supposed to have Ross' baptism that morning but we changed it to Sunday afternoon but he was under the impression that it was that morning. Frustrating but we got through it. Our dinner was with the N****'s and JayR. It was super awesome because I love that family. The only one I really connect with is Brother N***** but that's okay. We had burgers and then s'mores! We sat outside, ate s'mores and told stories and talked. It was such a fun night with them. We taught the girls and JayR about the Restoration using the Rubik’s cube again. Yeah! I love that cube of mine haha. It was a good ending to a "Smile Back" day.

Sunday was the big day for Ross and boy was it interesting. Our meetings went well and we got the ward excited about Ross' baptism. It was announced over the pulpit and everything. When Ross walked into the chapel and saw me, he gave a knight’s salute. It was pretty funny to see. He even got up to bear his testimony the day of his baptism in front of everyone! I got a little nervous but it went well. He is truly converted and that is awesome to see. I got up and told my story of baptizing Brenden. Our Gospel Principles class was about repentance. We got the font filled and I got to baptize him. We seriously FILLED the whole entire primary room! It was legit to see. Best part though was that JayR was there. I had a talk with his wife before third hour and so hopefully this will be the turning point. The talks were awesome at the baptism and the baptism itself was awesome. I went into the water with him and I baptized him. When he came up out of the water, he gasped for breath like he was literally born again and he gave me a huge hug in the font. It sure was a memorable baptism. After the baptism, we ran off to Brother C***'s house to get him all set up in using his computer to send things in to the stake. Bless his heart but he is so computer illiterate that he needs a lot of help. We got him squared away and ran off to dinner. That dinner was interesting because we were surrounded by young married couples. Trunky much? Haha nah but it was a fun dinner. Nathan M**** was there because he is engaged to one of the daughters in the family. Overall, it was an interesting week but it was a smile back week.

But overall, I am doing okay. Working as hard as I possibly can to get the work moving forward here. I want to end by sharing my testimony with you two. I know this is the Lord's work and I love doing it. I am grateful for trials; if we didn't have them then how could we grow? We wouldn't. This is the restored gospel and the Church that Christ set up in the primitive days. Most importantly though, I know that my Savior loves me. He knows me and He shed great drops of blood for me. I know I have a Father in Heaven that loves me so much. I love you two and everyone I serve here in California. I am super excited to go to the temple with Vic tomorrow! He is even coming to our zone conference so that will be fun to get to see him all day. I love y’all and I will talk to y’all soon.

Elder Tonini

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

email: July 3, 2013

Mom and Dad,

Yes, I have a lot of explaining to do... Sorry it is Wednesday and I am just now emailing you for last week. We went fishing on Monday (more details to come) and then I was in the middle of emailing on Tuesday when I had to go run an errand for the Zone Leaders which took up some of my time while Elder Hawkins was in a meeting. After the meeting we went to lunch and came back to the family history center to find that the center was closed and I couldn't finish my email to y'all... I finished everyone else email but the main one to the family. That's my story and I am sticking to it, because it's true! :). I also saw the weather report of Minot and let me tell you, I am jealous of your 80 degree weather! It is over 100 everyday and it is not fun. It is my last summer here so I will suck it up. Ready for my week? It'll be a few extra days so here we go :)

Last Monday was a pretty laid back p-day. We did our usual thing at the stake center and then we played basketball. I just kicked it with a couple of Elders since I am not a big basketball player. After Christmas night, I am not a huge fan of missionary basketball so I tend to stay off the court. After that, we did a little bit of shopping and we ran home and relaxed there. When the other Elders got back, I stayed home with Feist and we worked out in the garage. We did chest and we killed it. I was sore for almost four days. Everyone else went out to go check some stores out and things like that. Our dinner was with the Hartvigson family and guess what we had? BRISKET! They just killed a cow and they have all this meet and so we got to eat the brisket part of the cow. I was super excited because I haven't had brisket in forever! We had a lesson with them and they showed us a video that the young men of the stake did for girls camp. It was pretty cute, it was all about modesty and being a righteous daughter of God. It was super cool. We then got our OYMs and called it good for the night. It was a pretty laid back P-day but it was still a good one.

Tuesday was a pretty full day planned but then Hawkins got sick... He came down with some sort of stomach virus thing that was cleaning his system out. It was bad, he wasn't feeling too good so I told him that we were going to stay in so that he can sleep and get better. We were able to go out that afternoon but he stayed in for the morning. I stayed up and read my scriptures for as long as I could before I went insane so I caught up on a letter until we went to dinner and out to work. We did though get a referral sent out for the missionaries in Perris, CA so we got a little bit done. I did though get set up for my training that I was going to do on Wednesday for all the districts in Hemet so that gave me some time to prepare for that.

We had to end studies early so we could go up to the stake center to get the chapel ready for my training on Wednesday. I can't remember if I mentioned this training before, it was one I did out in Moreno Valley while I was Zone Leader there. It is all about the Atonement; I first gave the Elders instructions and prepared them for what was about to happen. I told them that whatever they put into the training is what they are going to get out of it so that they were in the right frame of mind. I had them blindfold themselves and let Hawkins and I lead them into the dark chapel with light music playing. I sat them down and then put on the part Finding Faith in Christ where Christ preforms the Atonement for all of mankind. All they heard was the audio so they had to picture it in their mind and let their mind focus on what was happening. When that finished, I played DJ with the mic on the pulpit and put more music one while I read Bruce R. McConkie's talk titled "Purifying Powers of Gethsemane." That talk is so powerful! I then had all the Elders open their eyes and remove the blindfolds while I stood at the pulpit and talked more about how we need to apply the Atonement into our lives and also to why every missionary is here in Hemet. I hate that I get so emotional when I do these kind of things but it went well. I blame you two for making me so emotional! But it went really well, it felt like the message really impacted every Elder that was there. There was one thing that really irritated me was when the ZLs walk in LATE and then walk right up to the front of the chapel during the middle of the training. Those two missionaries are trying my patience... But they are my leaders and I sustain them so I have to be patient. After the training, I came down with a super bad migraine which knocked me out for the rest of the day. It was actually a really bad tension headache but that was what I labeled it at the time. I couldn't leave my room or do anything because the light and movement killed my head. But I had to suck it up and go teach J.R. and go to dinner with the Stevenson's. They are an awesome family; the daughter's non-member boyfriend was over and we watched some Mormon Messages with the family. It was a rough dinner and lesson but I sucked it up and dealt with it.

Thursday AND Friday was kind of in the same boat as Wednesday. I still had my really bad headache and I could not kick it. I tried everything: Excedrin, Ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and even two Rock Star energy drinks and it still wouldn't leave. I was running out of ideas and I had so much medicine in me that I was having a hard time falling asleep to try and kick it. The only thing we did those two days was get our OYMs and go teach John P****. Remember John? The huge guy and his family that we tracted into the other week? We had a sit down lesson with him and taught him the Restoration. It was a good visit; it was just him and us. We learned a lot about him and his past in why he was never baptized even though his whole family was. He then showed us a video of him on YouTube doing a backyard brawl and knocking this other guy out. It was to show how rough of a past he had. He is open to hearing our message so maybe we will see some progress. He wants to take us fishing on Monday so we talked a lot about that. That was the only thing that we got done those two days due to my freakin' headache... But I got it checked so hopefully it will get better.

Saturday was my official sick day. I did not leave the apartment all day and it was miserable. I slept all day and didn't leave the house. Elder Spencer did come and see me though so that was nice. He had just been with Anita at lunch in Moreno Valley. Spencer is an Office Assistant so he travels the mission delivering things for other missionaries so he stopped in to have lunch with the MoVal ZLs and with Anita. The only bad thing was that the ZLs were on AP exchanges so Elder Drasbek was there. The reason why that was bad was because he said something to Spencer about being on Anita's iPhone setting up the scriptures for her. He flipped and called Spencer out on things and that set him off. Spencer called me and he said that Drasbek also said something about me talking with her too and that it was "not approved". That didn't set well with me either because I do not see any harm in talking with her but other people see that it is. But I'll make it work.

I was super excited to teach the youth on Sunday, even though I was still not feeling good at all. However, we had something cool happen before sacrament meeting. Ross S***** came up to us and said that he is going to get baptized next Saturday. That was a shocker to us because we weren't even expecting that from him. Best part is that he hasn't smoked since that Tuesday! It was super exciting to hear. We are going to have two baptisms next Saturday: Ashley D**** and Ross S****. It will be a busy Saturday for us but that is okay; that is what we live for as a missionary. Our lesson for the youth went really well. It was a lesson on the Atonement with an awesome object lesson. We had the young men's president do had to do 15 push-ups for every doughnut that the youth ate. Even if the youth declined it, he still did the 15 push-ups. He did almost 100 push-ups in less than 10 minutes. He was the man! We made the connection to how we shouldn't waste what our Savior did for us. I wasn't feeling good so I had zero tolerance for people talking and not paying attention so I would call kids out if they were messing around. I guess that is Dad's side in me ha. Other than that, it went super well. After church, we had our lesson with Ross and we brought Brother Cole with us and Brett his grandson. It went well, we finished up the commandments with Ross and we are preparing him for Saturday. After dinner, we took studies and called it a week. It was kind of a ineffective week but we made it the best we could.

So rewind to Monday and the reason why I missed emailing when I usually do! We got invited by John to go fishing up in Anza. We had saved our miles for the month so we had enough to drive up there and back to stay under! It was awesome but we went up there with his family to a private lake in a neighborhood that his buddy lives in. Since it is private, we didn't need a license :). We fished all day and I got super burnt... I will send pictures but don't laugh at how red I am! But it was a good afternoon, we got to know the family really well and spend time with them. John is an awesome guy, really a good father, husband and role model. There was a single mom that came with us with her two younger children that John and his family has taken watchful eyes over. The father of the family was caught molesting the four year old daughter and then giving his two older sons drugs and money for drugs. The father isn't in the picture anymore but the family is still feeling the effects of it so John invited them to come with us. That really impressed me and how John is with the boys. It was a good day overall and we even went to our Bishop's neighbor to offer to bless his home and family. That was just the icing on the cake.

So an update on my health: I went in to see urgent care and to get my headaches looked at. Come to find out, I was actually having really bad tension headaches and bad allergies that were causing the headaches. So I got a nasal spray and some pain medicine so when the headaches get bad I have something to combat it with. I made sure that the pain medicine were not narcotics so I am good in that regards. So I am going to get back on allergy medicine and see if that helps with anything. Oh and I am almost out of contacts... So I am not sure how we want to work that out. Other than that, I am doing well. I have had my ups and downs, physically and emotionally but I am staying focused on the task at hand. February is coming close... I can't afford to lose anymore time! I love y'all and miss the family dearly.  Again, sorry it took forever to email you back but I am doing okay, I promise! And also, Victor has a date for the temple! We are going July 9th; I am so excited to get to go with him. Going to the temple with him will be the highlight of my mission for sure. It will be hard having him leave to Arizona and losing daily contact with my best friend but it’s okay, that is where he needs to be! So that is the next thing coming up, besides the two baptisms on Saturday. Have a great week and talk to y'all soon.

Elder Tonini

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

email: July 1, 2013

No email this week and Monday was not a holiday so not quite sure why he didn't write.