Monday, February 12, 2018

Frazils, Bears, and Searching for Jesus

This week was such a blur...

Sunday was awesome in our little Idyllwild branch! Here are some snippets:

"You don't find time....because you'll never find it. You MAKE time to search the scriptures."

"You can't control what thoughts come into your head but you can control how long they stay there."

"You ARE your brother's keep and it is your obligation to strengthen them." (during lesson on Cain and Abel)

WE HAD THREE SPANISH LESSONS!!!! So we have two spanish families in our Anza branch and we got to do home visits with them and it was SO refreshing. We also picked up a Spanish investigator!!!!! Maria is the sister of one of the members we did the home visits with. We had tried by Maria like a week ago after Sister Ruggles, who served here, referred her to us. No luck. We went by again, and guess who just so happened to be there? Her sister Olga. So our first lesson with her was a member present, which is the best. Plus, we are finally going to be able to teach that family over in Idyllwild this week!!! We stopped by her on Sunday and JUST SO HAPPENED to get there right as she was coming home. Her son is having surgery today so she will be home all week and said she would love for us to come! She has already read the witnesses in the Book of Mormon and I invited her to read the first chapter of Nephi before we come! spanish is truly popping up here....Spanish branch here we come!!!!

Samantha is still perfect and George is off the radar because one of his family members passed away....so keep him in your prayers please!

The rest of the transfer is going to fly by even faster than it already has....temple trip, Samantha's baptism, two missionary farewells, Half-Mission activity, Multi-Zones, interviews, two exchanges, Sister Bryant's birthday......when are we even going to find time to teach?

Thank heavens for grace.

I love y'all so much!

Hermana Tonini
Long seeking days calls for Frazils. Always. 

I was going to explain the rest of my title but it just wasn't working....sorry for the cliffhanger.

Monday, February 5, 2018

4:1

So yes, the ratio of dogs to humans that we see in Anza is 4:1! But I love it! I am truly learning how to appreciate when there is someone outside of their house and how to boldly catch their attention from across their large yard. We do a ton of walking....and we have a goal to walk ALL of Anza. Even if it is half a mile between two houses. We want to find those lost sheep and give them the opportunity to know the gospel. 

We are working with two incredible people. Samantha is perfect in every way and is already in Jacob. Her understanding of the Book of Mormon is fantastic...and I can see she is truly developing a love for it! We just have a few more lessons and then making sure everything is golden for her baptism on March 4! We are also working with George who has such a desire to change! When we met with him, he had stopped drinking for four days!!! It was really neat, because a week before I came out here, I decided to start the addiction recovery program because we were working with a guy In Corona who was a big smoker. I wanted to be able to know how hard it is to stop a bad habit so I would have more patience, love, and advice for him. Well, I lasted about a week until it was transfer Saturday and we went and got ice cream....but I learned an important lesson: yes, I relapsed but that doesn't mean I can't do it. It just means I need to go a little bit longer and try a little harder next time. So it was really neat to share that experience with George! Sis Bryant is doing it with me and we made a pact with George that we are going to overcome our addictions together and keep each other accountable. 

Also, Idyllwild is beautiful with huge pine cones. 
 


Love y'all!!! 

Hermana Tonini

Monday, January 29, 2018

Go Tell it on a Mountain

So many miracles have happened this week.

I had a feeling I was getting transferred. I felt like my time was up in Corona and that I did what I came to do....the Ga*** Family. I felt like it was my time to leave, but I was wishing I had more time to build the area some more. Our family we were working with had just fallen off date and they were pretty much paused. Our other investigators were not progressing.....I just felt like the transfer was ending on a low point. I prayed for the last two weeks of the transfer. I prayed that we would find SOMEBODY elect and prepared for Hna Sorensen to work with for the next transfer. I also had a goal to get somebody other than the Ga*** Family to church. I realized halfway through the transfer that we haven't been able to get anyone else to church.

First off, we had an incredible less-active lesson with a family I didn't even know existed until last Sunday when I saw them at church. Turns out a couple of months ago they moved over into our proselyting area.  We set up an apt with them and it was AWESOME! We taught about the Libro de Mormon and it turns out his wife doesn't even feel like she has a testimony of the LdM. The husband talked about how this new year they set a goal as a couple that they were going to start coming to church and that he was so excited when we reached out to them! I have never had a less-active respond like the way he did....a lot of the times they don't want to see us. He was ELATED that we were in his home and we told him that we are coming by every single week to help them get back in the Libro de Mormon and back to church. They were so down for it!!!

Second, we had one of those long miracles in the process when we found Alicia! Her two teenage daughters got baptized on their own, which is super cool....but now they are inactive. The mom is not a member and neither is the younger brother. Well, we tried stopping by her like FOREVER ago but the people there said she moved a year ago.....so we crossed her off of our list. Well, one day we were organizing our area book and I found a teaching record for her!!One of the Hermanas put her new address in there but didn't update it in the ward list. So it was a miracle! Until there were dogs everywhere and we couldn't get to her door.....so we called her and got an apt for this week. WOW. INCREDIBLE LESSON. Okay, the reason she was paused like a year ago was because she never went to church and wouldn't make the time for the missionaries. Well, the day after we called her last week, she got a call from work saying she would be working less but longer days so she could spend more time with her family. So she wouldn't be working Thursday-Sunday. She knew it was a sign from God that she need to make time to take the lessons again. Then, I asked her to read Mosiah 2:41 and her Book of Mormon feel open right exactly to the page and she FLIPPED. She was all, "How did I happen to open it to the right page? What does this mean?" We were all, "Uhhhhh..........???" But then, I decided to leave her with Alma 7 to read as an assignment.....her Book of Mormon opened right to it.....again. She really freaked. She even tried opening it for the first time to see if it would go to Alma 7 again but it wouldn't...She was all, "WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?? Me:"Pienso que Dios quiere que lo lea." [I think God wants you to read it.]

Then I said it again with even more boldness.

It was pretty cool, not going to lie. Heavenly Father works in mysterious ways....because that was a new one for me. She said she was going to read the chapter and come to church the following Sunday!!!!!

Then, Juan came to church on Sunday and we picked up a family on Saturday!!!! I finally felt at peace leaving Corona in HERMANA HARPER'S hands. Crazy that she is taking my spot!

My last lesson was super sad with the Ga*** crew. I cried a lot....he wrote a song for me and it broke me. It's really cool though because he said he is going to make that song a tradition and sing it to all of the missionaries that leave. It was also sad because that might have been my last Spanish lesson ever.....I testified at the end of that lesson with such emotion because I knew it may have been my last time. It breaks my heart to be leaving Spanish Land, but I know I am where the Lord needs me.

So yes, I am now in Anza/Idyllwild.....two branches up in the mountains in the Hemet Stake. I am with Sister Bryant which is super funny because I told her that one day we would serve together in Anza because that's the only time Spanish and English get to serve together. And look! One Elder remembered me saying that and he said he's convinced I am a prophet. I am excited for this new adventure and to follow in my trainer's footsteps. Plus Sister Bryant is already a good friend of mine so I am excited to work with her as well. The work is picking up here and the Spanish Elders found a family last week (because last transfer it wasn't zebra so they had to come up)....so I may get to teach them!!!! It is difficult because they either go here to the English branch and I translate for them or they drive 45 minutes to the Ramona Ward where I served in the beginning of my mission and those Elders get to teach them....so we will see! It will be what's best for the family for sure.

I love y'all so much!

Hermana Tonini

P.S. I am taking Sis Ford's spot and she is the love of my life and I am super sad she goes home this week #rip

Monday, January 22, 2018

One Year [B]older and Wiser Too


Well, I have officially hit one year in the field, and it doesn't feel real. I got to celebrate with Sister Wilson since we had exchanges that day. It was super neat because she goes home with me and she was celebrating one year in the mission field. I love this girl so much, she has the biggest heart in the world!

On Thursday we had an eventful day. We got a door slammed in our face and a man who we contacted in the street said, "I don't want to be having this conversation right now. Goodbye." Then we ran into this girl named Yasmine who was freaking out because she thought her boyfriend was getting arrested by the police and wanted us to walk with her because she was scared. She told us she is in the foster system and was addicted to drugs at the age of 13. My heart ached for her and I felt saddened of how easily it is for Satan to lead us astray in this day and age. However, I know that light always wins and that even in a world as dark as this that there is light, hope and peace. How grateful I am for my Prince of Peace.

So, from multi zones this week they challenged us to share verses from the Book of Mormon during our street contacts instead of just testifying about it. So on our blitz, I decided I was going to do it and we just so happened to contact some yard workers who spoke Spanish! The guy let me share a verse with him and it was a success!!! The Book of Mormon is such a powerful tool and I can't wait to keep utilizing this herramienta in my contacts! (I know this seems pretty simple/basic, but with our other mission president, he had us contacting in a specific way so all of this is a new movement with our new mission president.)

Also, we had an awesome recent convert lesson with the Ga*** fam, in the which I ended in tears because we were reading in Enos talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ and I testified of the changes I have seen in their family. I am sad to possibly be leaving them in a week but very humbled to have been a part of their conversion. They are the reason I was sent here to this mission. Without a doubt.

Love y'all!

Hermana Tonini

Monday, January 15, 2018

The Rains Came Down...y Tambien el Lodo


Sooooooo, it rained for like two days straight here in Corona. Since we had that big fire when I first came into Corona, all of the brush was burnt down meaning we had a MUD SLIDE. It only hit the houses that were up against the mountains, but it hit them HARD!!!! Friday and Saturday morning were dedicated to helping the Bishop of Prado View Ward and his neighbors shovel mud out of their backyards. I have never seen so much mud in my life...The first day involved shoveling mud into a wheelbarrow and then running it up a small incline and dumping it out.....a very long and physically exerting process. The mud was up to our knees! Then on Saturday, we got some help from other zones and went at it again! We worked on emptying a pool full of mud....so I was in the bottom of a pool, barefoot, carrying buckets of mud out. Super cool, not going to lie.

I think the neatest part of the whole thing was watching the whole community come together. Some off-duty firefighters came and helped on Saturday and a lot of families in the neighborhood  came to help as well. I love how there is light in a time of feeling helpless. The wonderful thing about the Gospel is that the feeling never goes away. We don't need a natural disaster to feel love for others and desire to serve them.....it's a daily objective! That is one blessing I have seen on my mission is how my love for serving has grown. I think I get a little antsy if we don't have an opportunity to serve during the week.



Well, I love y'all and I hope y'all continue to find ways to serve in your homes, in your communities, and in your callings. Because there is no greater joy that we can feel than serving our brothers and sisters and serving our God.

Love,
Hermana Tonini


Monday, January 8, 2018

Me Encanta Ver el Templo.

This week was DEFINITELY a roller coaster for sure.

The bad first?

Well, one thing that I have learned on my mission is that I hate numbers. I really do. So, it turns out that the Ga*** parents don't count for "on date" or "at church." Then, our one investigator that we had on date fell off because we haven't been able to see her for the past two weeks. Our other really solid investigator has also not been able to meet with us for the past two weeks (EVERYONE IS SICK AHHHHHH) and with her, we are either putting her on date or pausing her because she didn't accept a date when we invited her in the beginning and she hasn't come to church.....BUT SHE WANTS TO CHANGE. We just haven't been able to get in with her...So by Saturday night we had 0 on date and they both said they couldn't make it to church the next day....so that was going to be 0 at church. We had a TON of potential on Saturday to pick up some new investigators but all of the appointments we set with the people we had found in the streets that week ALL FELL THROUGH. So we also had 0 new. Straight zeros. I honestly felt like a failure. We were working so hard, why weren't our numbers reflecting that??? What was I doing wrong??? So I fasted...I fasted that we might have success in our area. Because besides the Ga*** family, which is the most success I have had in my mission, we have had zero. Well, on Sunday we had our day STACKED. We were going to go see EVERYONE. We didn't find any new....but we did put a family on date!!! It was awesome to see the power of the fast and I can't wait to see what other miracles will come from it. We still had to send in a 0 for new investigators...which was difficult. I have probably done that less times than the amount of fingers on your right hand. I feel stressed and that it all falls on me....BUT, it's a new week and I am going to make some changes to show Heavenly Father that we are worthy for miracles and that we are worthy for the elect and prepared. I am fully going to lose myself in the work and find ways to dedicate and consecrate myself like I haven't done before. I feel like I have been working as hard as I can, but there is ALWAYS another level above where you are. And that's where I'm heading.

The good:

WE WENT TO THE TEMPLE THIS WEEK WITH DIANA!!! It was a very long process, but way worth it. It was incredible. The temple president talked to us before we did baptisms and shared this with us:

"President George Q. Cannon, who was counselor to four Presidents of the Church, taught that in these latter days, those who are joining the Church are joining quite precisely because their ancestors have been praying for one of their posterity to join the Church so that they, the ancestors, can receive their essential ordinances by proxy."


The Spirit testified to me like never before of this truth....not only of this truth but that it applied to the name for which Diana would do a proxy baptism. When she entered into the baptism font....for the second time in her life, I cried so hard. Seeing one of your converts in the temple is one the COOLEST things ever, and I loved every moment. I was even able to do own of my own family names, so it truly was a spiritual feast.

What a blessing it is to do missionary work on both sides of the veil. I love being a missionary.

Love,
Hermana Tonini

P.S. We did service at a secondhand store and I MAY OR MAY NOT have made a purchase. There are three more in the cabinet. I have zero regrets.



P.P.S. Also, here's Sister Goodwine and I where we belong.




Monday, January 1, 2018

My Comp Is Pretty Hot...





....literally. Yeah, she had a fever, amongst other things, for half of the week. Although she wanted me to include figuratively as well. :')  We were commanded to bunker-in Friday-Sunday. Luckily, another Sister was also sick on Saturday so we did sick exchanges. So it has been a very slow week. Her comfort food was definitely a pan of brownies I made.





The holidays were great! It was so good to call home and see their faces and hear their voices! Man, I sure do love those guys. We spent Christmas eve at the Flo***'s where we ate a LOT of tamales. We opened presents at the Ga***'s house which was awesome!



I think the neatest ting that has happened this past week was our appointment with the Familia Ga*** on Saturday. the coolest part of Hno Ga***'s conversion has been watching his prayers develop. When we first met him, he was praying to Jesus. The next lesson we shared some scriptures about prayer and how we pray to Heavenly Father and END in the name of Jesus Christ. And the next time he prayed, he changed!! Well, ever since then he has prayed correctly, but in the beginning he would always say this big elaborate intro. The same one every time. Kind of like,"Dios Padre. Dios en los cielos. Dios tan misericordioso......" Which like, he was addressing Heavenly Father but it was very.....elaborate. He has been doing that for MONTHS. In this lesson we were all kneeling down and he offered the closing prayer and he started with a simple, "Querido Padre Celestial" and continued with his prayer. I WAS SO SHOCKED. We were on sick exchanges, so when Sister Wilson and I got to Prado View's apartments I told Hermana Sorensen what happened and started tearing up! I know it doesn't seem like the biggest news anyone has every heard, but for me it was the world. Nothing brings me more joy than watching the people I  love become more and more converted to living the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Love y'all!

Hermana Tonini