Monday, August 12, 2013

email: August 12, 2013

Subject: Another week in paradise.

I am glad that yall like Mondays. Guess what? I do too haha. It's a good break from the day to day grind so it's good to have this breaks. Living out on Winchester, it makes planning even more important because if we don't plan accordingly, we blow through miles so we have to work with that. Yes, we have been dealing with wildfires but none of them have come into the Valley. We live right next to the Hemet-Ryan airport and so we have the Cal Fire planes buzz our house all the time. I love seeing those bird fly! It makes me want to become a pilot again. I've played with the idea of pursuing that dream but that decision can wait until I finish with the Lord's work. My headaches have been doing better! I identified that it is my allergies that trigger the headaches. I wear my contacts every day as well so that helps. Yes, I am learning to live within my means. It is hard sometimes but it is good practice for later in life. Alright, ready for my week? Here we go.

We had a good Pday on Monday. After we emailed and shopped, I went to the driving range to him some balls. It was super relaxing and much needed. I got some good sun on my arms so that is always a plus haha. Our dinner was awesome! It was with our new Elders Quorum president, President F****. He has such an awesome family. It is super fun that we get to eat with all four missionaries at dinner. President Smart isn't a big fan about that but until we can get a separate calendar then that's how it's gonna happen. Sister F**** was a star soccer player at her university so we got talking about college sports. I don't know what I want to do when I get home and that's a possibility that I've toyed with doing. We then taught the family the Restoration and I used my Rubik’s cube again to teach it with the kids. Our main idea of teaching was to ask President if he knew of any home teaching families we could go see. So we got some good names from him that we are going to go see. We got our OYMs and called it good for the night after that.

We had our usual DDM on Tuesday and it was weird to train again as a district leader. It's been almost a year since I've been one so it was good to train. This was a pretty powerful DDM and I want to share it with y’all. So I started the meeting with a testifying role play to help the missionaries focus on testifying when they teach. The companionships sat down together and they testified to one of their investigators that another missionary was role playing. I stood behind them and I would tap the missionary on the shoulder when they would cut their companion off and continue on testifying. It was a good role play to start of the meeting. What was really good was what I trained on. I trained on the true meaning of Charity and how we need to implement it. Something that I have learned here is what the true meaning of charity is. The true meaning of it is SACRIFICE. That's taking the primary answer of "the true love of Christ" to another level. I then had us read 3 Nephi 28, which reads:

1 And it came to pass when Jesus had said these words, he spake unto his disciples, one by one, saying unto them: What is it that ye desire of me, after that I am gone to the Father?
2 And they all spake, save it were three, saying: We desire that after we have lived unto the age of man, that our ministry, wherein thou hast called us, may have an end, that we may speedily come unto thee in thy kingdom.
3 And he said unto them: Blessed are ye because ye desired this thing of me; therefore, after that ye are seventy and two years old ye shall come unto me in my kingdom; and with me ye shall find rest.

The key word there is MY KINGDOM. Now look at what he says to the three others.

6 And he said unto them: Behold, I know your thoughts, and ye have desired the thing which John, my beloved, who was with me in my ministry, before that I was lifted up by the Jews, desired of me.
7 Therefore, more blessed are ye, for ye shall never taste of death; but ye shall live to behold all the doings of the Father unto the children of men, even until all things shall be fulfilled according to the will of the Father, when I shall come in my glory with the powers of heaven.
8 And ye shall never endure the pains of death; but when I shall come in my glory ye shall be changed in the twinkling of an eye from mortality to immortality; and then shall ye be blessed in the kingdom of my Father.

Christ makes it pretty clear that there are two different kingdoms. Now where are those two kingdoms? I don't know but it is pretty clear that we have to be willing to sacrifice even our exhalation to receive all that the Father has. Now that's deeper doctrine but that hit me hard and made me realize that I need to work as HARD as I can if I want to get what the Father has. I then closed with a poem that brought me to tears every time I read it. Overall, it was a good DDM and good things are going to happen when we put these things into practice in our missionary lives and in our personal lives. We then had the craziest dinner appointment. Our dinner was in Winchester with some members who live in a home with a ton of nonmembers living there. Towards the end of the dinner, the members of the home freak out and run outside and there was a big ruckus outside. All of a sudden, there was a HUGE man standing in the window and he stared right at me. The Spirit INSTANTLY left. It was terrifying. He didn't mess with us when we left but it was crazy. Our appointment that night was with Sam S***** to go over home teaching list. It was good, we got some names to go see so it was good. We went and saw a part-member family that night but we didn't see the non-member husband. I guess he got really offended by missionaries so we didn't get to see him. But it's okay, we had a good lesson with the wife. It was a fun way to end the night.

We got a call on Wednesday from our part-member family the night before and said that her husband wants to show off his food storage to us. So we went over there and started to build the relationship with him. Our lesson with the G**** family went well. We put the two kids on date for baptism! We testified and they agreed for the 25th. It was an awesome lesson. Our appointment fell through for the night and so we went out for priesthood action night with the EQ. Elder Child got his first run in with marijuana! It was hilarious! Those boys were rollin' up some big blunts and he had no idea what was going on. We then talked with a crazy less-active lady that told us she used to be a stripper and everything in between. It was a crazy night to say the least!

All Thursday morning, I had to deal with a situation with the Sister who are serving in the YSA ward. It was trying to get them to teach a YSA girl but the elders are teaching them when they shouldn't be. That took all morning and drained me emotionally and spiritually so working for the rest of the day was tiring but I made it. Our dinner was with my favorite family, the R****. I love them to death! Sister R**** calls herself my adopted momma haha. She even asked about the girl I left back home! It was a good dinner with them. We saw Holly T**** again and taught Bob. He is such a funny guy! He has no teeth and every time we say goodbye or see him, he gives us the biggest hugs. It was funny.

Friday was filled with finishing weekly planning due to not being able to when I had to deal with the Sisters situation. We did see the G**** family again and taught them. We read out of the Book of Mormon. At the end of the lesson, they expressed to us that the lesson was exactly what they needed. It is an awesome feeling when you listen to the Spirit and act on things like that. We then had a lesson with Sister P**** and that was fun to get to know her. She plays the ukulele like I do! I saw hers on the table and I asked to play it and she said of course. She even complemented me on my style too. Our lesson went well, it was good to get to know her.

We had our exchange with the Zone Leaders on Saturday so I did all that I could to stay as productive. Our lessons in the morning fell through but I did get to do a baptism interview with one of the Sister's investigators. She has had a very rough life and she knows that this baptism will do so much for her. It was cool to hear her testimony in that interview. The best part of the day was when I got to see Elder Spencer. He came up to Hemet to help one of the Sisters move with their truck and we were getting a new phone so I got to see him. I love that man, even though he is from Utah and loves the Yankees. I won't hold that against him haha. He goes home next month! That is crazy so I love getting to see him again. Our dinner with Sister M**** was good and our lesson with the G**** family was funny. One of the daughters is special needs and in the middle of the lesson, she lets a long fart go. It was pretty funny. It was a funny way to end the night.

Sunday was interesting for me. I got overwhelming feelings of worthlessness, not being good enough, you aren't working hard enough, and other things like that. That was a special sacrament meeting for me because I really went to the Lord to see where I am with Him. I am in a good place with Him, I felt that as answer, but there is always room for improvement. So this week is going to be an awesome week for us. We went to a family party for dinner and then had a lesson with Sister C****. We heard she has an unbaptized granddaughter but she doesn't live there with her so it was a bust. The funniest thing happened that night though. Child and I got on a debate about Inception that lasted about an hour. It was super funny and actually quite fun. It was a good way to end the night.

Other than that, things are going well with me. I still have my usual struggles but I work every day with them. Child is doing well. He cracks me up, the other day he asked if he could wear my other pair of Oakleys in the car. Of course, I let him and he's worn them every day since. Now he dresses like me on pday and even asked to wear one of my hats! He even took my Oaks and put them on the brim like I do. He's a good kid, he's like my little brother now that I get to teach and train. But other than that, I am doing fine. I am going to be a finisher, just like how Geoff preaches. Everyone reminds me how long I have left so I have to be a finisher. I love y’all and miss the family a ton. Have a good week and know that this work is REAL! Be a missionary this week and give out a Book of Mormon! Always be a member missionary!

Elder Tonini

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