Monday, November 25, 2013

email: November 25, 2013

I am glad to hear that everyone had a great week! I can feel for Mom with the headaches, I have been battling one for almost a week that won't go away. Jake told me that he is getting close to getting his papers started! I am super excited and proud of that boy. He is going to be a wayy better missionary than I ever was. Corina told me about her birthday and I am glad she growing up so quickly. Everyone is getting so old except for me! I love that Carson goes and plays in the snow. That'll be my favorite thing to go do with him in February. Hopefully there will still be some snow. Ready for my week? Shake and bake!

I got my haircut on Monday and I was looking fresh! I got a fade from one of the sisters in my ward that does hair and it looked good. I get my haircut every two weeks; I gotta find a girl who can cut hair otherwise I am going to spend some serious money on my hair haha. We actually played football with the other Elders so that was fun. I was sitting with the Elders when one of them pulled me aside and we started talking. He asked me what I thought of him and if I thought he was dorky and geeky, if I would pick on him with we were in high school and stuff like that. I told him of course not; I'm not like that at all. He thought that because he labeled me as a "jock" and he didn't have a good high school experience with kids like that. I reassured him that I wouldn't do that and that I loved him a ton. After that talk, we went and played football with him and on the last play of the game, he caught the winning touchdown pass. It was so awesome to see him get like that, all excited and happy. It made my Pday. After that, we emailed and had lunch. We hung out and I worked out that afternoon until we had dinner with the P**** family. Their kids make me laugh, their youngest is such a sweetheart - she makes me smile every time I see her. We then went to a part-member family (PMF) to give the wife a blessing and taught more about the priesthood. One of the sisters in our ward told us that her husband really likes us and so hopefully we can start teaching their whole family soon. A pretty productive Pday :).

We had our usual meeting on Tuesday but Elder Thurman got pretty sick so he had Elder Coleman train and it was really good. We made goals and set plans to help ourselves become the best missionary we can be. It was super inspiring. I actually miss training every week. I don't think my Sisters do because I tended to talk a little deeper topics than usual district leaders do... Whoops! We then had lunch and finished our studies. As part of our studies, Elder Anderson and I had a really deep companionship inventory. We talked about our weaknesses and what would keep us from baptizing in this area. We wrote it all down and made a system to keep ourselves accountable to each other. It was much needed because we are imperfect but yet we can make those weaknesses become strengths. We are gonna really focus on this this last week of the transfer. We made visits in the afternoon and then had dinner with the J*** family in our ward. It was a fun dinner; their kids are pretty crazy sometimes though. When we were leaving a quick lesson, their one-year old daughter walked up to me and sat next to me and I read her a book while Elder Anderson taught. Goodness, it makes me ready for a family! Time will come though. We then ran off to teach Kale, one of our PMF we are working with. The family loves us - we are actually having Thanksgiving dinner with them so it'll be exciting. We taught the first part of the Plan of Salvation and they understood it really well. The homework we left with them was Alma 40 to get them ready for next week when we come and teach the rest of the plan. Our goal as a companionship was to get five member present lessons this week and we got it! It was awesome to feel that accomplishment. Our goal is to get seven this week so we're gonna have to work pretty hard to make that happen!

We started off our Wednesday with a super big deep clean of the apartment. We are starting fresh and cleanliness is close to godliness so we took that as our fresh start. It was a good thing too because we felt refreshed and ready to make big things happen! We made a visit to a less-active member who is super sick to see how she was doing. We talked with her and made sure she was doing okay and left a brief lesson with her before she left for chemo. The only downfall was that my gastritis was acting up and it was become quite uncomfortable so I didn't eat very much that night at dinner at Farmer boys. We then rode to Dale’s house to have him ride his bike with us to our appointment that night. We taught Richard again and it went well. Dale and I have some conflicting doctrinal views but I put that aside and we taught well together. As we were leaving the house, Elder Anderson went to OYM this guy walking down the street and they almost got into a physical confrontation. The guy said something provocative about his sister and he about freaked. I had to jump in to cool him down before he did something stupid. And that's why we roll together in pairs :). And then to make matters worse, it starts to rain. Not just rain, POUR. And we were 15 minutes plus away from home so it was quite a fun ride. #WifePoints When we got back to the apartment, we were soaked. I showered and then went to bed. I was freezing cold! I am gonna die in Minot for sure...

We had our lesson with Ivan that went really well. We both testified and taught the first half of the Plan of Salvation. It was awesome to see the Spirit prick his heart. He started to ask us questions about our missions and about the purpose of life and everything. He really is a good kid, I love him to pieces. Right as we rolled outside to ride home, it started to rain again! It poured all day and we worked in it all day. Awesome! Our dinner went well and went to go see Kale and check up on his reading. It's not happening yet but hopefully soon.

Friday was temple day! I needed to go to the temple so badly; I have had a lot of things on my mind that I needed to go talk to God about. I got an interesting answer in the temple that I will have to tell y'all about when I call home for Christmas. It has a long back story and is super, super personal to me. After the temple, we had our temple nap for lunch and then went out to make some visits. Pizza was dropped off for us for dinner and then we went and saw Carmen again to try and set something up for us to come and teach her. Her six-year old daughter drew me a picture that I hung up on my wall. It was awesome!

All we do on Saturday is make church visits and try to get people to come to church. We stopped by Ladio's house to try and see if he would come but he's working on getting over being sick and so that might not happen. The afternoon was kind of shot due to the fact that I really rolled my ankle during lunch. Elders Thruman and Passmore came over for lunch and we started dancing and I rolled my ankle when I stepped on one of my dumbbells. Yup, I'm a dork I know. It killed all day and so we didn't go everywhere that I wanted to but we made calls to those people we missed. We saw this referral that we got from another missionary and we could tell he was on meth and so we'll see what happens with him. Anita took us to Claim Jumper for dinner because we didn't have anyone sign up so she took us. It was quite an adventure with her that night, it always is with her :). I love her to pieces!

I was pretty dead on Sunday because I started to come down with a sickness so it was a slow day for us. Both Elder Anderson and I came down with something. It was probably from the cold and rain earlier in the week. I still am sick so it'll be a fun week working through it all. Kale came to church so that was good! Our dinner made Thanksgiving dinner early for us so that was good. The only downfall was that I had gotten progressively worse so I didn't eat too much... We played some Uno and got to know the family. We did however, have two lessons with Eddy and Tom, some new people we picked up this week and last so that was good. Overall, it was a good week besides the physical ailments I am working though.

In closing, I want y'all to know how much I love MY Savior. I am so grateful for daily repentance; it is something all of need to learn and master because that is the only way back to the Father. I have grown to love the scriptures and the doctrine within its pages. I love that we have modern day prophets and the power and love they have for us. This is the most important work we can do. I'm not a full time missionary, only part time. Y'all as members ARE the full-time missionaries because y'all live in the area and make huge impacts. Keep opening your mouth and share the good news of the Gospel! I love y'all and I'm counting down the days until Christmas time!

- Elder Tonini

Monday, November 18, 2013

email: November 18, 2013

Subj: I love SUNNY Southern California :)

TODAY IS CORINA'S BIRTHDAY!!!! I can't believe my baby sister is 16 now. That is crazy! She told me all about her party and how it went. I love that sister of mine! She's one of my sweethearts :). The other one is Mom and then the last one will be my future wife, when that time comes. I watched the video of Carson wrestling and I was basically cheering in the library! I was getting some funny stares from people... I love hearing about how Jake is doing. I am soo stoked Jake is getting ready for his mission! He is gonna be twice the missionary I will ever become. I am so excited for him. I am going to make a call into one of the senior couples who helps with that process of applying for schools. I want to apply to BYU and Utah State and maybe even that school in Bismark Dad told me about. I want a few options so I can be taken care of. Ready for me week? Leggo :)

On Tuesday we emailed in the morning after DDM and that took a big chunk of our day. DDM went well, Elder Passmore trained and it was awesome! I love that missionary so much. He is such a character. I am having issue with one of my Zone Leaders so DDM is kind of hard for me. We then had a bomb lesson with Karmen and finally introduced the Book of Mormon to her. We hadn't had the chance to do it before because sitting down with her has been impossible so we decided to teach her about it on her doorstep. It went well and the scripture I shared hit her deep. Hopefully that will be the spark she needs! We then had dinner with the Jones family and that was fun. They have a one year old that came and sat next to me during the lesson with them and it was awesome. I can't wait to be a dad one day :). Our lesson with a recent convert/part-member family went well too! His name is Cale and we just picked him up. His wife was just baptized and so we are now gonna work with him. It was a good lesson, Elder Anderson and I teach really well together. I have been blessed to have him. We then got our OYMs and called it good for the night!

We had visits to do all Wednesday and we ended up picking up a former investigator and teaching Richard again! He started to dive deep into some deeper doctrine so that was a fun lesson haha. Our dinner with the B*** family went okay. The bad thing was that I voiced my opinion a little too far and kind of made Sister B*** mad.. Whoops. Oh well, she's not going to hold that against me I hope. We then went and saw our ward mission leader to have our correlation meeting. We hadn't seen him in a week and a half because of some family stuff but it was good to see him. We got our OYMs and called it good for the night.

We had our lesson with Ivan on Thursday and it went better than we had thought it was gonna go. He is willing to give us another shot and to keep praying. We came down on him hard but with love so hopefully he really felt that. We had weekly planning and made some visits to people. Our dinner was with the H*** family and that was a good dinner. I had some really good tacos and had a good conversation. Our follow up lesson with Cale went awesome! We brought a receipt convert with us (just baptized four months ago) and he testified so well to Cale! It was awesome. We then went to the church to meet his friend and we are going to hopefully start teaching. The Elders Quorum was practicing some football for Thanksgiving and so we jumped it. It was a fun way to end our night!

Friday was a good day, we gave a blessing to a less active lady in our complex and then had a bomb dinner. However, I wrecked my bike pretty bad before dinner. It was my fault but it still was pretty bad. We were riding a dirt trail doing 180's in the dirt with our bikes. I went a little too hard and I tanked it super bad. I was fine but it was right before dinner and so I showed up all dirty and stuff. Good times! We had some bomb carne asada with the M**** family. Our appointment cancelled and so we went on an obedience ride. I stayed on two tires for the rest of the night haha.

Saturday was rough for us because Elder Anderson came down with a head cold and I had a pounding headache from the night before and so we had a really slow morning. We studied and then got a call from Brother G**** about taking us to go ship our books home we got from the sister who passed away a few weeks ago. He paid to ship almost a 100 lbs of books to North Dakota. It was such a blessing to me. We then did some service for Cale's in-laws and invited them to church. The G*** came back and took us out to eat because we didn't have a dinner. That dinner was so much fun. They have a 27-year-old Down syndrome daughter that is so much fun. She has a "boyfriend" and she talks about him all the time. She told the waitress she wanted "aqua" and that she can speak Spanish. Classic! It was so much fun. We got our OYMs and called it a night.

Sunday was full of ups and downs. I can get really frustrated with our ward but I am learning patience with them though so it’s okay. I was in a pretty bad mood at the end of sacrament meeting when Janae, the G****'s down syndrome daughter, came up to me and showed me her temple book. She talked to me for about five minutes and then called me her pretty boy and then gave me a hug. It was super funny! It made my day. We then had a brief lesson with Ivan and invited him again to church. Our dinner was super cool, it was a young couple and so it made me a little trunkie.. But coming home for the night, both Elder Anderson and I wrecked on our bikes. It was a good time! We were haulin' down the sidewalk and there was this puddle that he decided to try and skid through. He went down on his side and I braked to try and avoid hitting him when my bike skidded and sent me flying over the handle bars. It was a good time haha I loved it! Didn't feel too good but it was quite an experience for me.

Well, that's what's going on with me. I am doing just fine, still trying to figure out who I am. There have been a lot of changes that have happened to me and the Lord is making me into the man He needs me to become and I am so grateful for that. I love y'all and miss y'all so much. I love my Savior and His Atonement for me. It's real and it changes peoples lives. Open your mouth this week and share the gospel!

Elder Tonini

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

email: November 12, 2013

Subject:  Another week in paradise...

… Oh my goodness, 10 degrees is ungodly cold! I am going to die in February... You know what? Instead of sending me stuff for Christmas, just buy me real nice cold gear for when I come home! That's a better idea haha. Well, ready for my week? Let's shake and bake :)

PDay was an okay time. We got to play some basketball and throw the football around in the stake center. I was running a route and I about racked myself on a table and smashed into the wall trying to catch the football. I tweaked my ankle and so I called it good after that haha. My PDays aren't the same without throwing the softball with Sisters Pack and Gambling. I miss throwing with them a lot! You can't take the ball player outta me haha. It was good to be active and workout. PDays are never long enough! Our dinner was good and then got our OYMs for the day after dinner. Nothing too exciting but we still had a good day.

On Tuesday, I went on exchanges with Elder Thurman. I love that kid to death. Although he hasn't been out very long, he already is a super good missionary. Teaching with him was a blast. We saw Richard again and tried to help him progress. We got money for dinner and so we went and helped to finish up with apartment of the member who passed away last week and then took off to dinner at Panda Express :). Some of the members there helping made some really snide comments to me that really irritated me but I got over it. Elder Thurman and I got to bond really well together and so it was a good time with him. He is a really good District Leader and look up to him a lot. Even though he is young, I still can learn from him.

Wednesday started out by helping Ladio do more drywall. It was super fun, I love helping him and getting to know him. We have done a lot of service with him because other missionaries offended him and we wanted to show him that we are legit and want to help him change. We did that all morning and then ran off to the mission office to have our interviews. They were having a sisters gathering and I got to see all of my sisters! Sisters Gambling, Pack, Hall, Anderson and Allison were all there and I got to see how they were doing. Even though I'm not their District Leader anymore, I still feel like I need to make sure they are doing okay! Interviews got backed up because sisters LOVE to talk so we were there all afternoon. Our dinner was super fun! At first, the dad came off as a huge jerk but then we got to know him and it was okay. It was a super fun dinner! I love Elder Anderson because we gave each other a hard time the entire time. It was great companion unity together haha. We didn't have anything set for the evening and since it gets so dark so fast here, we were stuck doing an obedience walk. We ended up finding this pier near our house over this little pond and so we went there. It was a good time! We played with the ducks and everything :).

Oh my goodness, Thursday was terrible. We had our lesson with Ivan and he told us that he didn't feel the Spirit at church and that it was really sad. I seriously despise testimony meeting... Only one adult talked about Christ. One! Everything else was about the sister who passed away; my only beef with that was that the whole testimony meeting was about that! You don't talk about being buried in your temple clothes over the pulpit! It crushed me to hear him say that to us. He feels the Spirit when we teach him but not during the church service. It seriously was heartbreaking... So needless to say, I was not in the best mood for the rest of the day. We did pick up some promising potentials so hopefully that will translate into something good.

Friday was Mom's birthday! I will be honest and say that I realized that half way through personal study but I still remembered it! We did some weekly planning because I was shot the day before to plan so we got some good stuff done. That afternoon, I got a call from a number in Washington. I know a few missionaries that have lived in Washington so I was kinda scared I was gonna get pranked but it was a telemarketer. I OYMed her over the phone and I got into a bash with her! It was super funny, I loved it haha. We then went and saw Carmen and invited her to church. We then were riding to the Cheesecake Factory when we got stopped by the Indian guy that talked to us for almost half an hour. It was stupid! I found it funny though that he used to work at a Circle K convenience store. I'm not racist, I promise! Hahaha but then we went to eat. At the restaurant though, Anita found the B**** family from our ward in Moreno Valley! Sister B**** is from Italy and she loved me when I was in the ward. She gave me a big hug and we caught up on things going on. It was a fun surprise! Plus I got to see Anita, it was a perfect night! That night will always be special to me :).

Saturday was SUPER long. We did drywall with Ladio again and we did it almost all afternoon. We did the ceiling which was super fun! He had this drywall jack that made it superrrrr easy to do. The reason why we went so long was because I made a deal with him that if we helped him finish then he would come to church. He didn't end up coming... But he told me that if I hit a softball further than he could then he would get baptized. Now mind you, he is someone the ward has been trying for YEARS to get baptized and so I jumped on the chance. After drywall, we got cleaned up and went out to contact people before dinner. Dinner was good even though I didn't agree with the husband's view point on a LOT of things. Plus he couldn't control his kids so it was a huge test of patience. He did, though, have a SICK Kawasaki Ninja so that was cool to talk to him about that. We then had an obedience ride and talked to this one guy again that really irritated me one night. As soon as I saw him, my heart dropped because I wasn't in the mood to bash. But he ended up being nice and talking about stuff and apologized for the other night so that was good. We rode to our ward mission leader’s house and he wasn't there... Frustrating.

I was so dead on Sunday though during church. The talks were super good though! Only if Ivan had been to that one then we wouldn't be in this situation with him that we are now. We fasted for some people we have been working with and so I got a huge headache that knocked me out pretty much all afternoon. We did though go to the bishop's house for dinner and had some fun there. I sucked some helium and sang the Star Spangled Banner because I was playing ball on Monday so that was a good time. The bishop's daughter was taking pictures of Elder Anderson and me at dinner so that was kinda weird... But we had a good lesson and got our OYMs for the day. Overall, it wasn't the best week but we made due with what we got thrown. Gotta roll with the punches and this week we took a lot of punches. But all we can do is get up off the floor and keep going. Gotta go through hell in order to appreciate heaven.

So since yesterday was a holiday, we didn't get to email so here is what we did yesterday! We shopped in the morning and then Robert came and picked us up to go disk golf! We went to a course that we got golf carts and it was a fun course. Even though I hadn't played in forever, I still did really well. I've missed Robert a lot so it was good to see him. We then went and played softball with Ladio. I got swing again and learned very quickly that hitting slow pitch is nothing like hitting a baseball. So I adjusted and started hitting bombs. Like over 400 feet; in other words, I'm kind of a big deal haha. Just kidding. But then it was time for the contest. And guess what I did? Popped all three up and I lost... I was not happy for the rest of the day. Plus I strained my hamstring and my ankle again. I came home, worked out and then went back to Ladio's home to eat dinner and for a lesson. He still wants to take the lessons so it wasn't a complete failure. Hopefully we can keep working with him and get him baptized soon.

Well, this email is super long... Sorry about that! I love y'all and I can't wait to see y'all at Christmas. President gave me the okay to call home when Jake opens his call so that will be good. Send my love to the family. I am loving my time here and it is sad to see it almost be done. I love the people I serve and the Spirit I feel everyday. I love y'all and miss everyone terribly. Work hard and open your mouth this week!

Elder Tonini

Tuesday, November 5, 2013


Elder Anderson and Elder Tonini

Good thing they are wearing helmets!

Elders with Anita

Some things never change!

Monday, November 4, 2013

email: November 4, 2013

Ready for my week? Leggo :)

Monday was pretty laid back. We had a good PDay and got to relax some. We got our OYMs and then had dinner with our second counselor that is a millionaire. He pick us up in his BIG 7 series BMW and took us out to eat. We got to know him and his family better and then got on the topic of marriage. I swear, the closer I get to the end of my mission, the more it seems like marriage is the hot topic with me. C’mon man! Anyways, it was a good time with him and getting to know him.

Tuesday was our Halloween party so we spent the day riding all over town inviting our investigators to come to church. We talked to Ivan and had a lesson with him even though he was pretty sick. We invited him to the party but he decided to stay home and not get kids sick. We also saw Carmen and her family and invited her to come to the party. Even though she nicely dropped us, we are still gonna keep going over and hopefully get her to come to church. We also talked to the F**** family and invited them. Before we went to the party, we saw Richard and had a lesson with him. We talked some deeper doctrine than usual when I teach but he asked good questions. At the party, we met some non-members and introduced ourselves to them. We are seeing some progress with the ward and I want to be that catalyst to help the ward members. The Bishop's wife asked us to man the bounce house and we gladly accepted :). It was super fun! We were throwing kids and having fun with them. When the trunk or treat got going, we had the bounce house all to ourselves. Yeehaw! I was super fun! Although some of the young women were getting a little too friendly so we had to bail... Hahahah oh man, anyways. It was a good time at the Halloween party.

Wednesday started off like usual with studies and visits and then Anita came to visit. I love that Basque Grandmother of mine! We had lunch and had a good talk with her. We got our OYMs and made more visits when we went out again for dinner! Good thing I'm on bike, otherwise I would be getting super fat! We found out a sister in our ward passed away and she was an organized hoarder... It was sad to hear that but even more of a sad thing was going through her stuff. More details on that project later.

Our Halloween started off by helping a part-member family do some drywall in their house. The husband isn't a member and he is super legit! His wife and kids are active but he isn't a member YET. We helped with that and it was super fun. However, Elder Anderson broke his seat while riding and racked himself pretty bad. It was super funny! But I felt super bad for him... Haha anyways, we ran home and got dressed to go teach Ivan. We committed him to keep reading and come to church with us. That was basically our Thursday because after that, we went and helped clean the apartment of the sister who passed away. Guess what we found? Doctrinal books galore! I have the WHOLE set of Journal of Discourses! I’m going to send them home so I can study it when I get back :). It was such a treasure she left for me, it was awesome. Our Zone Halloween activity was the pits... We couldn't combine with the other zone so we did nothing. It was lame... Oh well. I hung out with Elders Thurman and Anderson the entire time. It was still a good time though!

Friday was ZDM day and again, I really irritated some people. I guess that's just my calling as a missionary, to voice my opinion even if it will offend people. We had a goal of 37 baptisms when we only had ONE. That wasn't going to fly and so I spoke up and stepped on some toes. Oh well, I saw something that I was strongly against and so I spoke up. It was all good though, we worked it out. Lunch was good at Ancho's and then we finished weekly planning. Not too much of a busy day but busy enough to make me super tired.

Saturday was again filled with service. We helped a sister in our ward move and it was only three ward members and us four missionaries. A little disappointing to say the least. Anyways, we did that all morning and then had studies. We listened to the Glenn Beck conversion story. Super good! We then had a route of church visits to make and then had dinner with Brother K***. He is super awesome! We had Subway and then he came with us to make some visits. We didn't have too much success but we did see another recent convert/part member family that we want to start working with. There was the SICKEST motorcycle in the garage. It was super dope! I drooled all over it when I was there haha. The work is starting to pick up, slowly but surely.

Oh my goodness, Sunday was rough. We had Ivan come to church but testimony meeting was terrible! Only three people talked about Christ. Three! And two of those three were under the age of 10! There was a lady sitting with her dog in the chapel, babies crying and people talking about being buried in their temple clothes. SERIOUSLY?! Fetch man! I was not happy. Ivan liked it though and he said he would come back next week so that was a positive. Then the lesson in gospel principles was about marriage AGAIN. That topic won't leave me alone either. And then the Elders Quorum only talked about beating the other ward in football and only had a 20 minute lesson. We expressed our frustrations with the ward mission leader. We had dinner and a lesson with the bishop and then went home. Elder Anderson got super sick and it was pretty bad so we took it easy that night. Anita stopped by again and it was good to see her :). Overall, it was a decent week. Another week in paradise :).

Well, I love y’all and want y’all to know that I do. I am focused and have my motivation back. Nothing is gonna let me get in the way of finishing. I gotta be that closer, to never look back at the wheel. I want y’all to know that I love my Savior and love the people I work with. I love serving just like how the Christ did. I love Him and love learning about His gospel. Love y’all and have a great week!

Elder Tonini