Monday, October 28, 2013

email: October 28, 2013

Subject: Boy do I have some guardian angels...

Ready for my crazy first week in Riverside? Leggo!

Monday was crazy with moving and everything. It was super hard to say goodbye to my district, especially Elder Child. We both got a little emotional in our embrace and it really made me love him even more. He is going to be a special missionary. We still talk and everything so it's not a forever goodbye. I got all moved in with Elder Anderson and we got our OYMs for the night.

On Tuesday, we took some time to organize the area. We identified potentials and formers and the current people they were teaching so we could have a plan of attack. I love being on bike, I am dropping weight like crazy. Working out hard in the morning and riding all day is gonna be good for me. We had two set up appointments that fell through but we had dinner with our WML, Brother P**** and got to know his family. We are gonna be working closely with him to make this area boom again.

Elder Tonini, some random kid, and Elder Anderson at Taco Bell

Wednesday we had DDM and got to know the zone. We are getting overrun by Sisters... Blah! There are seven sisters and eight Elders. Ohh man haha. We had lunch at McDonald's with Kavababy! I love Kava haha. He was in the area for a doctor’s appointment and so we had lunch with him. We didn't have dinner and so we worked all the way till 8pm before we ate dinner. We did meet with a part member family and had a good lesson with her and then put Richard on date! He is the son of a recent convert and he is willing to learn more and so we put him on date for baptism. President made a surprise stop by to see me and to make sure I am doing okay. I love President Smart, he is the man! We had a good heart-to-heart so it was good for me.

Thursday was a miracle day for us. We had a set lesson with a kid named Ivan. The report said he wouldn't commit to pray or go to church and they previous missionaries were fixin' to drop him but we went by to have a lesson with him. The end result? Put him on date, committed him to pray and come to church. Sometimes, you just gotta be bold with people. After that, we ran off to a blessing with a lady I contacted on the street and she let us in! We had a really good blessing and the Spirit was SO strong in that apartment. We committed them to baptism and they accepted for the 30th of November. We set something up to come by the next day and start teaching. Legit! We then finished our studies and weekly planned for the week. Dinner was good; we went to La Pollo Loco with an interesting family. They were nice but it was still interesting. Not a bad day for weekly planning!

Friday was a freaking crazy day. My guardian angel was watching over me a lot on Friday. So we had a church tour with Ivan in the morning which went reallyyyy well. The only hiccup we had was that the building was dirty so we had to clean it up some and that Brother P**** didn’t show up for the tour... I was a little frustrated about that but we made it work. And then that family we gave the blessing to on Thursday called and said that they weren't ready for organized religion and stuff like that. That was a bummer too but at least our church tour went well with Ivan. We made visits all day and boy was it interesting. Anderson has the WORST luck with riding. He ran into a wall, about fell off his bike almost six times and really did a number of the family (if you smell what I'm stepping in) during all these close call crashes. We had dinner with the B*** family and got to know them. This ward is going through some major issues... Just by talking to them, that was the feeling I got. One sister is on life support and another just fell and broke her leg. A lot going on. After dinner, we rode to the other side of our area to go visit Richard. I had a really close call with about getting ran over. I was trying to cross from the right side of the road to a street on the left side when I about when flying over my handle bars. I made a hard left turn and my pedal hit the ground super hard, about ejecting me off my seat and onto the pavement as a car was coming up the hill. By the grace of God, and my guardian angel, I saved it and rode away. It did not feel very good but I walked away from what happened. I saw my life flash before my eyes, no joke haha. But we made the visit and then called it a night. Anderson and I were both pretty beat up... Just another day in paradise :).

Saturday was filled with making church visits. We did pick up another super awesome family! It potentially could be a family of seven. We left a blessing with them and taught about how they could be a family forever. We invited them to church but they didn't end up coming... But we are gonna work with them this week and get them progressing. We rode 26 miles on Saturday making visits. Goodness I love the bike! No worries about staying under miles :). We set up some appointments with people and tried to get people to come to church. Hopefully we can get them to come! We have Sunday meetings starting at 7:15am... YUCK! Everyone was shocked to see two new faces but it was good to get to know the ward. I guess we will see how well the ward works with us. Sacrament meeting was super loud but the last speaker was awesome. He talked about the idiom "look up". He related a story that Elder Cook had with President Monson and it really made an impact on me. President Monson told him to "look up" and keep working hard. It was a way cool talk and it was presented really nicely. We came home and took a nap for lunch because we both are exhausted already and then we went out to go meet the Bishop's family. We are on the bottom of the overpass that we are about to bike up and Anderson locks his chain up and we can't get it undone. So we get a ride home from Brother J*** and he rides the spare bike to dinner. Dinner with the G****'s went well. He is a cool guy with an awesome family. They have a 27-year old down syndrome daughter that was super funny! She is so marriage crazy, it was hilarious. We made a few visits and then called it a week.

You know, I wasn’t sure how thing would be with my new companion but he really loves being with me. We had a good heart-to-heart and he wants to work really hard. He has had it hard the past six months and he feels like I am training him again. He looks up to me a lot and he wants to become a better missionary. He has already made improvements with his teaching and talking to people. I don't know what it is but I bring out the best in people. It's nothing I do, I just be myself but they seem to be attracted to me. Anderson is a really good guy and he wants to learn everything from me. It’s humbling to hear him say stuff about me like that. I guess I never realized how much I make an impact on people.

Well, I love y’all and thank y’all for the prayers. I need them! Cali drivers are not the best sometimes haha. Always know that I love y’all and miss y’all so much. Christmas is coming up and that means I get to see y’all soon! Take care of Mom for me and help her get better. Again, I love y'all so much. Don't worry, I'm not getting trunkie. I've got a lot to work to do :). I've found my drive again! Have a great week!

Elder Tonini

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