Monday, November 6, 2017

Bonus Pictures

Please enjoy a victory by Hermana Tonini with our loot from Cici's Pizza and our zone in matching tshirts.



Stumbling Blocks and Stepping Stones

This week has been SO CRAZY! We taught the Law of Chastity to the Familia Ga*** - they are SO incredible, it's amazing. Our ward mission leader is already planning on submitting their names for a calling as soon as they are baptized! There is one issue that needs to be resolved before they can be baptized so I feel like there is just stumbling block after stumbling block for them, but I know that the Lord will provide a way.

We also showed them the Restoration video video this week and when we testified afterwards, there wasn't a single dry eye in the room. Even little Daniel felt the Spirit so strong it brought him to tears. Bishop told us this Sunday that he talked to Enrique and he had told him, "I want to join the Church because I know the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was called to be a prophet." Obispo said it made him tear-up a little, and it had the same impact on me when he retold the story! He also said that Isabel, the wife, had also told him that she is not worried, because she knows that the Lord will provide a way to accomplish the things He has commanded them.....a principle she learned from the Book of Mormon! What an incredible family!!! I can't wait to see the miracles that will continue to happen with this family as they turn these stumbling blocks into stepping stones.

We also had an appointment with Javier, an investigator the Hermanas were teaching, and it was a very very very difficult lesson. He was just...very negative and angry about why God is the way He is. He had a lot of question/doubts but wouldn't give me the time to answer them because he would take a little piece of what I said and bring up ANOTHER question/doubt. Like, probably worst lesson of my whole mission. Pobrecita Hna Sorensen started crying in the lesson.....and not because she was feeling the Spirit. However bad the lesson was, he told us that he KNOWS his way of thinking is bad/wrong and wants to have a change of heart. Legit, this man made me think of those stiff-necked people in the Book of Mormon, however he DESIRES  a change. So we made a return appointment. We got in the car and Hna Sorensen turned to me and said in tears, "THAT WAS TERRIBLE. I CAN'T BELIEVE WE ARE GOING BACK TO THAT HOUSE!"

Back we went. I was so nervous. I spent all of my personal study time on him and prayed so hard. What was really neat was that I was praying to finish my last personal study before heading out to his lesson and I asked, "what more do I need to know so I can help this man?" And Alma Chapter Five came IMMEDIATELY to my mind. I rushed through it really fast and found AWESOME scriptures about having a change of heart in there, which I shared with him and he loved it!! The lesson was way better, mainly because he actually let us teach and wasn't so grosero [rude]. I just couldn't stop talking, the Spirit just flowed through me and I was able to hit almost all of his concerns/questions that he had brought up last time. I love being able to receive revelation for my investigators. I am truly not alone in this work!!




Here is our Halloween picture....of us just being normal.






Love,
Hermana Tonini

Monday, October 30, 2017

Feliz Cumpleaños a Mi

SO, background story. We are working with this incredible family named the Familia Ga***. The Hermanas before us were working with them and they had a baptism date for the end of October....well that wasn't going to happen. So we sat down with them and invited them to choose a new baptism date in November and they chose the very last Sunday of the month. Jokingly, I suggested that they choose the 19th because that's the day after my birthday and they were all, "Yeah, we need more time than that."

Then we had our appointment with them this week. Well, we actually had two. The first one was with our ward mission leader and we finished up the Plan de Salvación and really hit eternal families....and they loved it. They are just sponges and love everything we teach them. Well, the next appointment we had this week was AMAZING. We sat down and after talking for a bit, the hermano got really quiet and became very serious. He looked me straight in the eyes and said, "We want to get baptized. We want to be an eternal family. And we want to change our date to a week earlier....happy birthday."

I can't even express in words the amount of love I felt not only from them but also for them. I have never had so much love for my investigators before. It was such a tender moment and I definitely cried....it was just incredible to see the impact of an eternal perspective. They crave to be sealed in the temple for the eternities. 

Not only that, but after all of this happened, I asked Hermano Ga*** who he would like to say the opening prayer and he asked his nine year old son Daniel to offer it. His prayer was so.....well...natural I guess? It was so cute, he talked about how grateful he was to have us in his home because of the alegria we bring. I was smiling during the whole prayer because it was just so good! Then, his dad said the word lagrimas (tears), and I thought he was joking around because he is ALWAYS joking around, but then he put his head in his hands and just started crying!!! We just sat there for the longest time until he stopped and put his head back up. When I asked him what was wrong, he told me that was the first time he had ever heard his son pray. Ever. The Spirit testified to me then and there that there truly are fruits to living the gospel. It was incredible to see how they were already seeing the fruits of living the gospel....seeing the changes in their home and in their family...even before baptism. Can you even imagine the incredible things that will happen with this family when they continue down the covenant pathway?

I love the Gospel. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love being a part of this work, and there's no place I'd rather be. There's more bad days than good days, and sometimes I feel like I just can't do it anymore. However, I see miracles like this and it reminds me why I am here. I know that I am here specifically for the Ga*** Family. I can't wait to see what miracles the next week holds! November is going to be great :)

Love,
Hermana Tonini

Friday, October 27, 2017

General Conference Sessions Consolidated

In a message sent to Church leadership and to be read in worship services throughout the world, the Council of the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced changes for future general conferences.

The letter states that "beginning in April 2018, the general women's session will no longer be held on the Saturday preceding the other sessions of general conference. Rather, the general priesthood and general women's sessions will each be held annually, with the general priesthood session being in April and the general women's session being in October." It continues, "These meetings will originate from the Conference Center on Saturday evening following the morning and afternoon sessions of the conference."

According to the letter, consolidating general conference sessions into one weekend furthers Church efforts "of reducing and simplifying the work of the Church and the demands made upon leaders and members."

From MormonNewsRoom.org

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Leaving, Arriving, Conferencing, Speaking, and Training: The Fun Continues

The following is an edited version of an entry on the California Riverside Mission blog.
Sun peeking through the pine trees overlooking the Mission Home
One of the special times we have with the missionaries is in multi-zone conferences. We have divided the ten zones into four different groups. So, we began on October 17 with Corona and Lake Elsinore;

Corona Zone
It was delightful! Our topics included everything from “Emergency Preparedness” to “Companionship Study” to “Short-and Long-Term Planning” to “Asking Inspired Questions” to “Obedience and Recommitting to the standards found in theMissionary Handbook” to “Finding Joy in Our Trials” to “Mission Elevated.” We also had inspired music throughout the meeting with each zone providing one musical number. What talented missionaries we have in the mission! 

The missionaries singing to the Relief Society sisters in Lake Elsinore.
We had a large group of trainers and trainees come to the Trainer-Trainee Training. As you know, we had 28 new missionaries last transfer. After four weeks, they come to the Mission Office where we do additional training. What a delight to see the progress of the new missionaries. Many of their trainers said, “They came ready to work and learn.” We loved that about them. Five companionships discussed how the 12-week training was going and how using the Book of Mormon has enhanced their training, and what they were going to do differently the next eight weeks.

Outside the front door of the Mission Home

Monday, October 23, 2017

HUMP DAY

So....I had a very long week. A LOT of rough patches. However, I am not here to complain. So instead, I am going to share a cool experience we had this week.

So, this week I had so many cool experiences when I was able to follow a prompting form the Holy Ghost and was able to see blessings. So, we had a ward activity on Saturday and therefore we just didn't have time to eat dinner. It was almost 8 and we went to stop by our investigator who ended up being sick so we lucked out there. However, we have a potential across the street from them. We hadn't even planned on seeing them.

Spirit: Their gate is unlocked for once so you can actually go in.
Me: But Spirit, I am hungry and we have Jack-in-the-Box coupons
Spirit: Stop walking to your car and go knock on the door.
Me: But Spirit....it's 8:00....I am hungry..
Spirit: JUST GO KNOCK ON THE DOOR.

So we did...we knocked on the door and a really nice man opened the door. However, his family wasn't home so we made a return apt for next week :)

We walked back to the car and I told Hna Sorensen about my debate with the Spirit (it happens a lot....He always wins.) We were in Home Gardens which is like Tia Juana and it has ZERO street lights so it is always dark and slightly sketchy. I was on such a spiritual high that I looked up towards the heaven and said, "Heavenly Father you ARE really there. You really DO answer every child's prayer. THE SPIRIT IS AWESOME. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!"

And then I heard some giggling from a house across the street from where our car was parked.

Whoops.

Well, I love being a missionary even through the hardships. I know the refiner's fire is real and that I am becoming stronger and stronger every day. I can't believe that I am already more than halfway done...there is still so much to do and so much more to become. I am excited to see what the next nine months have in store for me :)

Hermana Tonini


I don't know if you remember...but Hna Harper and I took a picture together with our trainers at the trainer/trainee mtg.....so of course we had to remake the photo :)
















Nine more to go!













We got to celebrate turning nine months together!

Friday, October 20, 2017

A Primer on Coming Changes to the Missionary Program

Changes are coming to the way The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints engages in missionary work around the world.  Such changes will include a new set of interview questions to be asked of prospective missionaries; a trimming of the number of missions to better fit the needs of each region of the world; replacing tablets with smartphones and an increased use of technologies that help find those interested in religion.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles alluded to such changes June 28, 2017, at the annual seminar for new mission presidents. In late September, two missionary department representatives—General Authority Seventy Elder Brent H. Nielson and managing director Gary Crittenden—spoke to Mormon Newsroom about the reasons for these coming changes and the areas of missionary work that will be impacted.

“We have really been focused on looking at absolutely every element of missionary operations, starting from when a missionary is thinking about preparing, through the experience that he has on his mission, and even the time after that,” Crittenden said. “And through that we’ve found opportunities where we think we can improve. Many of the changes we will talk about come from that analysis.”

Improving the Overall Mission Experience
The Church has no higher priority in its missionary work than the success and safety of each missionary—no easy task with a missionary force of nearly 70,000 serving around the world in a wide variety of circumstances.

For those preparing for missions, Church leaders have approved a standard set of interview questions to be asked of prospective missionaries uniformly across the world. The hope is that each young man and woman will be familiar with them years before they formally prepare to serve so they have a more complete understanding of the rigorous requirements of missionary work.
For those currently serving, safety is a special concern. In June of this year, the Church sent out a physical safety survey to missionaries everywhere. The results of that survey are helping the Church continue to provide missionaries with safer apartments and training videos to foster more self-awareness.

For those who return home early (the most common reason being health challenges), the Church is always seeking ways to make the transition smooth and beneficial for the missionary.
“Their mission isn’t over [when they come home],” Elder Nielson said. “They now have an opportunity after they get better to perhaps complete their mission at home serving in Church Service missions and other opportunities. We’re working diligently to try to be sure they can complete their mission and have a positive experience.”

Adjusting Missions After the Surge
When President Thomas S. Monson announced in 2012 the change in the ages for missionary service, the Church expanded the number of missions to accommodate a surge of growth in only a few years from 58,000 to 88,000 missionaries. Five years later, with its missionaries spread throughout more than 400 missions, the Church will be implementing reductions to achieve an overall number of missions that better fits the total number of missionaries and the needs in each region.

“We’ve leveled off to around 70,000 missionaries—still way up from the 58,000 we had,” Elder Nielson said. “In the orderly process of accommodating changes in our numbers, we’ll be slowly closing missions because we don’t need as many as we required for the great increase we experienced in 2012-13.”

Changes to facilities are also a part of the adjustments. For example, this year the Church has expanded its missionary training centers in Provo, Utah, and the Philippines, and finished the Ghana MTC this summer.

Using Technology to Organize, Find and be Found
Through nearly 200 years of missionary work, the Church has repeatedly recognized that methods and approaches need to be updated as cultures and technologies shift and change. Because the ways people communicate and interact are always in flux, especially for the rising generation, the Church has consulted with industry leaders in the technology world to learn how to improve. For example, the number of missions using mobile devices is being increased from 87 to 162. Tablets are being replaced with smartphones, and in the future, most missionaries will arrive on their mission with a smartphone to assist them in their study, finding and teaching.

The online world is helping those asking life’s most important questions find the Church. Technologies can identify those who might be interested in the gospel, and the Church is using such tools to help those interested in spiritual things connect with the Church’s resources.

“‘How can I find peace in my life?’ or ‘Is there a God?’ There tends to be a pattern for people who are asking,” Crittenden said. “In a world of 7.4 billion people, many online are involved in that search. They look at the same kinds of websites and seek the same kind of information. And it’s possible for us then, because they’ve asked that question, to put content in front of them that might be of interest to them. We are able to reach those who are actually searching for the truth.”

A New Testament story illustrates the challenge and the opportunity of finding people interested in faith. After his Resurrection, Jesus came to his apostles, some of whom had returned to their fishing nets after His death. At the end of a fruitless day of fishing, Jesus instructs them to “cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find” (John 21:6). The yield of fish is so large that the apostles can’t lift it into the boat.

“The lesson is that the fish were always there in the water, but Jesus directed the apostles where to find them,” Elder Nielson said. “Our circumstance is similar. God knows where to find those who are seeking truth, and that’s why we’re seeking better ways to find them. There are billions of people on earth. And here’s the amazing thing—we can now reach them in a focused way. That’s very exciting.”

From MormonNewsroom.org

Monday, October 16, 2017

I FOUND BLU



This week....wow. Um, we were seeking with faith and this guy Jon Paul tells us that he has a flippin' BLUE MACAW. Like.....from the movie Rio! I love that movie! He made his "nephew" (called him his nephew because he was flirting with us and didn't want us to know he had kids. His twin's girlfriend called him out on it and it was super funny.) get the bird and show us and they even GAVE ME A FEATHER! Okay, I know it's actually not that cool because it doesn't even look like the bird in Rio, but I was freaking out.



Also here's a picture of cute little Hna Sorensen and I. We had 1/2 priced shakes for dinner one night because there was just zero time that day to even eat dinner. We had a really good week and I can feel our friendship beginning to grow! There are still a lot of bumps in the road...but things are getting better down here in Corona! We are working with a killer family, the sister of a member and we found this game named Julio this week who is SUPER ELECT. There is just so much potential and work here in Corona! I am excited to see the fruits of our labors over the next 9 weeks :) This week will be crazy with multizones and trainer/trainee meeting BUT it's going to be awesome. We finally got to meet our ward and they are INCREDIBLE. Super missionary-minded and they took us right in. I LOVE SPANISH WARDS.

Love,
Hermana Tonini

Monday, October 9, 2017

Ummm...uh.....

I feel like ever since training started I can't remember anything that happens in the week. Like, I know we did a crap ton of stuff but it just flies by so fast I can't keep up. Sorry my emails aren't going to be much the following ten weeks!

We did have Stake Conference this week and I wanted to share what the ward mission leader from the Corona shared:

He talked about how he tried having a gospel conversation every week and shared his experiences:

"The Gospel is such a big part of our lives, yet when people ask about our lives, we bypass right by it.

"Did I ask him if he wanted a BOM? No. did I ask him if we wanted to get baptized? No. But I shared a bit of the gospel.

"We don't have to make missionary work so difficult.

"Think of your routine. Who would be open to having a conversation deeper than the scores of the last football game? Prayerfully prepare for them and find out how you can squeeze something about the gospel and the church into a conversation with them this week."

I really want to implement this when I get home. You don't just have to invite people to meet with the missionaries. Just sharing bits of your life like about ward camp-outs...or Scouts....or how you watched General Conference last weekend....sharing the Gospel becomes so much easier! I regret not letting people know about my beliefs back home. When they eventually found out I was a member, there shock made me feel so guilty. People in my life would go MONTHS before knowing I was a member of the Church. Just sharing parts of our life that include the gospel is such an easier way :)

This week was just filled with us still trying to meet all of the investigators...picking up new ones...and trying to meet families in the ward. Poco a poco we will somewhat be able to breathe.

OH! I went back to Moreno Valley for Destiny's baptism! I was so honored to give the talk on baptism and the Holy Ghost and of course started crying at the end. That day had been the end (and beginning) of a very long journey. I am so proud of this girl and everything she has done.





Love my little nugget. After this picture I said, "I love you dude." And she went, "I'm not a dude, I'm a girl!"





Hermana Ber*** did not send me home empty handed, but with lactose-free horchata <3








I LOVE MY GIRLS <3









Love,
Hermana Tonini

Monday, October 2, 2017

My Strippling Warrior

Hey crew! So my trainee's name is Hermana Sorensen and she is such a sweetheart! Her Spanish is going great! The past week was kind of stressful....but we are excited to see what the next week holds! We treated ourselves by getting elote from the elote man who was kind enough to take a picture of us :)

I don't have much for this week mainly because it is taking me a dummy long time to type because I think I may have broken my pinkie while throwing the football with some Elders...whoops. I tried to see if I could catch it one-handed and clearly failed.


Oh, get this! Hermana Roque is being trained by Hermana Alvey, but it turns out that we went to middle school together! She said we might of even had a class together? She is from Houston, and said she knows Seth Reyes and the Willis twins....crazy huh?? Small world..

I am excited to see what the next 11 weeks have in store for us and I am so excited for this opportunity to serve Hermana Sorensen and watch her grow! Love y'all lots!




Hermana Tonini

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Outgoing and Incoming Missionaries: Times of Tears and Joy!

This is an edited version of the post on the California Riverside Mission blog:

Monday and Tuesday have been days of outgoing and incoming missionaries, full of tears and joy! .....
             
Tuesday, September 26, 2017—The leaving and the coming

...Soon, the 25 new missionaries began to descend the chairs and escalator. What a grand sight. Think of it: 25 new missionaries. Three had arrived the night before from the Mexico City Missionary Training Center (MTC), which we didn’t get to meet because we were with the outgoing missionaries. We greeted them all warmly. They looked great! 

And here are 25 of the 28 who arrived! 
We whisked them off to the Mission Office where they ate a delicious lunch, participated in a truncated training because of the lateness of their arrival, had interviews with me, ate dinner, participated in an “unveiling” of who their new companions were going to be, shared their testimonies with all of us, then loaded all of the belongings and bikes in their companions and district cars, and headed home. There was no time for them to breathe, from the moment they landed until they entered their cars for the long ride home. We can tell you, though, the energy with these missionaries coupled with their new companions, was high and contagious. We love them already and will grow to love them even more! (Note: * means new missionary)

Hermanas Tonini and Sorensen*

Hermanas Harper y Caldes*

We love these new missionaries who have arrived. Stay tuned for information about the missionaries who have arrived from Puerto Rico.


Monday, September 25, 2017

When the Phone Rings

Sorry, I have zero time to write because we are doing transfer journal signing! Just know that lots and lots of tears were shed this week because I am leaving the best area, comp, and ward ever. My heart truly is here in MoVal. I am really nervous about doubling-in to Corona AND training...so prayers and advice would be wonderful! I am excited for the new challenges ahead of me and I know I will grow a lot. I can't wait to meet my trainee and hopefully set the pace and tone for her whole mission...it's a lot of pressure but if President and the Lord believe in me, then I will not doubt.


Inline image 1





SPANISH CREWWWWWW. Elder Spittle (far left) and Elder Parson (far right) are both going home and I am super sad. The older you get in the mission, the more people you know who go home..

Inline image 3












THE ZONE ❤









Inline image 4







THE LOVE OF MY LIFEEEEEE! (pizza, not my companion) (jk, I love her more than pizza)



Inline image 5











MY WARD!!!!!

Monday, September 18, 2017

J-Shon 2.0

Investigator update:

With the Ni*** family we celebrated Angel's 10th birthday with them on Monday and had a lesson afterwards. We have taught them everything already, so we are just really focusing on the Book of Mormon and helping them gain a testimony. They were really good at reading the children's one for a really long time but every since that threeish-week break when the grandpa was in the hospital, they stopped. We had invited Karly to read the actual Book of Mormon because just reading the kid one wasn't really going to help her get a super strong testimony, but she hadn't read. So for the lesson we read 3 Nephi:11 with them and it was super powerful. Hopefully when we stop by this week they will have read some. They didn't come to church on Sunday which was strange because they have come nearly every Sunday since we have been teaching them... It's difficult because they want to wait until November to get baptized because they want the dad to take the charlas (discussions) and get baptized with them but it's nearly impossible to find him home and we have made little progress with him. I love this family so much and it's going to break my heart to leave them next week.... (95% positive I am getting kicked out of MoVal)

With Destiny, she was supposed to have her baptism interview yesterday after church, but they didn't go to church...? We don't know what happened....we have an FHE with them tonight because Liz wants to know how to do one. We had a cool experience with them last week! So we are teaching Liz separately from Destiny because Liz has been inactive for nearly all of her life so she wants to be taught h everything but not in the child/simple version we give her kids. So when it was just the three of us, she asked us a bunch of questions and somehow patriarchal blessings came up and she was very interested. We went by later that week and she was so happy when she told us she talked to Obispo and she is going to receive her blessing!1 When she told us I felt the Spirit so strong. It has been so rewarding to help reactivate her and help her daughter prepare for baptism. It's incredible the changes that are happening in her family right now..

Man, I love the work.

Then we had a lesson with Olga Me***, who is a recent convert of about 9 months. So when I first got here to MoVal, she was not coming to church. Her son Kai was baptized but never even got confirmed. So at the end of my first transfer we finally got them to church so Kai could be confirmed. He had gone about two months without getting confirmed. With Hna Moran, we have made sure we got her a ride so she and her son can go to church and they come almost every Sunday. Then, with our CR lesson this week, she has kind of just kind of spewed out everything that is going wrong in her life right now. It was super sad really. In the  middle of her talking, a question came to my mind: "Have you thought about going to the temple?" I pushed it aside because she was still telling her stories but the question came to mind again at the end of the lesson and so I asked her that exact question. I asked her if she had desires to prepare herself to go to the temple and  she said yes! And I was all, "Like, you want to meet with Obispo and do the interview this Sunday?" AND SHE SAID YES!!! I am so excited that Hermana Moran is going to be able to help her do family history work and plan the temple trip so she can go for the first time :) So many great things are happening here, and I know I am leaving everything in good hands. (she couldn't make it to church bc Kai has bronchitis but she will have her interview next week)

Then I had ANOTHER COOL EXPERIENCE WOOOOOOW. So, we went to go seeking Friday morning but the place we chose ended up being a neighborhood we sought like a week ago. So I grabbed the gps to find another neighborhood nearby, but we had hit this section of our area pretty hard this transfer. I finally found an area that had streets I didn't recognize, so I was all, "Let's go seek there!" Well I found out why once we got there, I had chosen a neighborhood just outside of our area. I was getting a little frustrated because we had wasted so much time so I handed the gps over to Hna Moran and she picked ANOTHER neighborhood for us to go seeking in. However, there was no parking because there were street signs everywhere saying "No Parking Fridays from 7am-2pm for street sweepers" So then we drove over to a gated complex kind of nearby where one of our members lives and parked there. By this time we had wasted like half of our allotted buscando con fe time and I was feeling VERY frustrated. Not to mention, after walking for 30 minutes we hadn't talked to anyone. There was nobody outside. So, I did what I always do when we go seeking and there's no one outside. I prayed. I said a fervent pray in my heart that we would find at least ONE potential or referral so there would be a reason why we had to go through everything that morning. Why we ended up in this neighborhood at this time. Not even five minutes later we turned the corner and found a man in his garage who we almost didn't even see. After I contacted him and asked him if we could share a message of Jesus Christ he said, "Yeah, come on in, y'all want some water?" It was just so easy. He accepted us in with such love. Jonathon was SO nice and has such a strong faith. He ate up everything we taught him and he accepted a baptism date for October 22nd! He truly was a miracle and an answer to a prayer.

The reason for my subject title is because our Zone Leaders here also taught a Jonathon, a 9 year old boy, and in district meeting they would always call him j-shon....? Never figured out why, but now we have another j-shon in the zone and we are pretty excited about it.

Oh, yesterday I hit my 8 month mark and we also went to a reception of someone in the ward because the mom and signed up for our dinner that day, so we snagged some tacos and made a new friend named Nancy who LOVES missionaries and wanted to take lots of pictures with us :)


Love y'all! Big changes are coming next transfer...I feel it.

Hermana Tonini

P.S. So since my comp is an STL she has to give a training in Multi-Zones. Since there wasn't another STL in the other two zones, guess who had to train with her? Me.  It was terrifying. We worked really hard on it though, and I think it went pretty well!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Where's Your Faith?

We have to leave here pretty soon for Riverside for our Multi-Zone activity so here's my favorite experience from the whole week:

So, we had the coolest experience last night. We were so close to hitting standard three weeks in a row but we didn't have time to fit language study in during the day so we headed in a little early so we could be obedient and get all of our studies in. So we sent in our accountability to the zone leaders and they sent us a text back saying to go back out and work for an hour. We explained we had language study to do, but they were like, "And? Y'all need ONE more investigator until you hit standard." So at first I was a little angry, I am going to be honest. However, anger fires me up so I was like, "ALRIGHT LET'S DO THIS. I WILL BE DOING LANGUAGE STUDY UNTIL 10:30 BUT THAT'S OKAY. LET'S GO." We knelt down to pray after choosing a referral to go see and I don't think I have EVER prayed with that much passion before in my life. My faith was on fire. I knew we were going to find another investigator. Another child of God to bring back into the fold.

So we ran out to the car and went over to the Santiago Trails and guess what??? We had a lesson and picked up TWO new investigators. The whole time I just had so much faith. When she opened the door and we were talking with her in my mind I was all, "I have the faith. You will let us in and let us share a message of Jesus Christ." After we were done teaching I was all, "I have the faith. You will let us come back for a return appointment." AND THEY SAID YES. My chest was on FIRE and I just felt a burn inside of me like I have never felt before. It was incredible. I am so grateful for our incredible zone leaders that push us harder than we ever thought we could go. If it wasn't for them, we wouldn't have hit standard three weeks in a row and I wouldn't have had that faith-building experience. I am so grateful for these miracles and blessings that we get to see each and every day.

Also, if this picture doesn't explain STL/half companion life I don't know what does. So proud of my companion for completing two transfers of being an STL, she killed it.


Monday, September 4, 2017

#classic


❤ TEMPLO ❤

So I don't have much of an update because I just emailed on Friday. Just know that I feel the most blessed than I think I have ever felt in my life. I love my companion. I love Moreno Valley. My ward is incredible. We are now working with TWO incredible families plus Destiny and a new investigator Norma who came to church yesterday. I love this work with all of my heart and I learn something new every day. I am nowhere close to the missionary I need to be. I falter every day. Sometimes I feel like I still belong in training. However, I am learning to have patience with myself and just learn and move on. Progression truly is such a beautiful gift. I love being able to grow WITH my investigators. I know I am leaving in three weeks and it breaks my heart. However, I am going to make the best of the next three weeks. I love this Gospel and these precious children of God. How did I ever get so lucky to serve a mission? I loved being able to go to the temple this week. The Spirit is to tangible in the temple and I received revelation like I never have before. Oh how I long to be in the temple again...but I know there will be time for that after my mission. It was beautiful to be reminded of the sacred covenants I have made with my loving Heavenly Father.

Hermana Soto is the love of my life and she took us to not only the temple but CAFE RIO!


Isn't the Redlands Temple just stunning? 


My cutie comp let me steal her dress for the day and it was an honor to go to the temple with her. Not only are we doing work for the people that are living, but dead as well. What an honor to work together on both sides of the veil.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Friday Pday = TEMPLE!!

So, we didn't have Pday on Monday because we get to go to the temple today!!!! I am so so so excited because it has been around seven months since I got to go last!





Here was our recent MFAM project.....repainting a helicopter! I had to paint the inside of the door frame but the door wouldn't stay open so I had to get a little creative.







Here is the aftermath:



Our little Familia N is progressing super well! We taught them tithing this week and Angel comes up to me, drops two quarters in my hand, and said, "Here is my tithing!!" They come to church every Sunday and last Sunday during church, we finally taught the dad and he is willing to listen and give us a chance! It was a miracle because he is never home so the only time we see him is when he goes sometimes with the family to church! So that just means we will have to teach him and his wife during second or third hour, because that is the only time out of the week he has. Also, the little three year old Penelope picked a bunch of flowers for us and Hna Moran attempted to make a flower crown...which kind of worked?

Had a ton of testimony-building experiences that I wish I could share but they are kicking us off early today. Love y'all!

Look up 2 Nephi 4:20...it's my new favorite!

Love,
Hermana Tonini

Monday, August 21, 2017

Part 2


I dusted the top off a really old plane with a flipping paintbrush. It took two hours of me sitting on top of a ladder to just get this far. Super cool though. 



 Are you even surprised?
Sister Mackley's birthday picture. 

Sickos X2

So uh, I don't have much for this week. My comp was sick at the beginning of the week and then she got me SUPER sick so we had a really slow week. My comp hated me bc I was stubborn and didn't want to stay in. I somehow got through the week by just taking a nap everyday to get the energy to go out and work in the evening. It truly was a testimony builder of the enabling power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ because we were able to go out and work, which I didn't think I was physically capable to do. I am starting up on the recovery slope and I am really just kind of glad this week is over. What was really cool was I went to get a Priesthood blessing from my district leader Elder Peterson. Afterwards, my chest felt like it was free. I was having difficulty breathing and wheezing from my cough and it was just...gone! I love love love the priesthood. I am so blessed to be constantly surrounded by worthy priesthood holders. But anyways, this email will just have a lot of pictures, some of them are a couple of weeks old...sorry!



Our investigator Destiny (pmf/menos activo) made us slime after one of our lessons!


Our zone last transfer <3 Best zone I have ever had in the mission and half of them left us :(




Zone selfie highlighting Elder Jackson who is now AJ Jackson and I am still angry that he is home now and we are trying to riot so he comes back. 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Stray kittens and helicopter restorations, yes please!



No Sharks + No Peanuts = Baptism

Oh man, where to begin....maybe with the beginning of the week? On Pday, we went to get sushi to celebrate our last time together as Sisters because we knew Sister Ford was leaving...AND SHE IS GOING TO ANZA WITH MY TRAINER WHO IS TEMP ENGLISH MISSIONARY....so here is a picture of uncivilized Hermana Tonini trying to eat sushi. (And yes, it was delicious.)



This week with studies was super neat. I felt like this week the scriptures and conference talks were just speaking to me. I wish I could just write for hours all of the spiritual experiences I am having on the mission but there just isn't TIME.



We got transfer calls and Hna Moran and I are the only ones in the zone staying together!!!! I am super happy to get to work another six weeks with my best friend and kick trash this transfer.

We had a ton of lessons with Monserrath this week because it was the week of her baptism. In one of the lessons we asked if she was still scared for her baptism and she said she was only a little tiny bit scared because on YouTube she saw a video of a shark coming up out of the water and she was afraid there was going to be a shark in the font. Or jellyfish...or anything dangerous. So I whipped out my planner and made a list of things I needed to check for and things that were okay to leave in the font.

Acceptable:

  • sea turtles
  • dolphins
  • fish
Super duper not acceptable:

  • sharks
  • jellyfish
  • sting rays
  • piranhas
  • anacondas
  • bombs
  • cracks (the font would fall apart and she would die....duh.)


So yesterday I whipped out the checklist and we double certified the font was danger-free for Monse.

During that same lesson, she still hadn't decided if she wanted Elder Dew or Elder Spittle to baptize her, so we decided to say everything we knew about the two of them to see if that would help her decide. After going through sports, where they came from, random facts we know like how Elder Dew's sister is getting married and Elder Spittle's sister and dad served in the same mission, I said, "OH I GOT ONE. Elder Spittle is allergic to peanuts!" then Monse's eyes got real big and she goes, "I HATE PEANUTS!"

And that my friends is how we decided who was going to baptize Monse.

Her baptism was incredible, mainly because of what happened the day before her baptism. So their family was gone to Mexico for a whole month this summer because Monse's grandma was dying. Well, on Friday they found out that her grandma passed away and her dad left for Mexico immediately. So her dad wasn't going to be in town for the baptism. Plus her grandma just passed away. On Saturday we were on sick exchanges because Hna Moran is still currently very sick and Sister Mackley wasn't feeling that hot either. So I went with Sister Ford over to the Ayala's house not knowing what I was walking into. One of my strengths is that I am really good at listening when someone breaks down....but usually I never know what to say. I think it is because I am more of a listen and comfort physically instead of comforting through my words. Well, Sister Ford doesn't speak Spanish so it was all up to me. By the end of the lesson, however, Hermana Ayala and I were both in tears. the Spirit just surged through me and I somehow found the words. I was able to share with Monse how I felt when my grandpa died when I was about her age and be able to share the story of Camie and how her dad passed right before her baptism as well. Most of all, I had the opportunity to testify of the Plan of Salvation and of eternal families. Where would we be without our knowledge of the Plan of Salvation? Without knowing that we can see our loved ones again? I truly am grateful for my Savior, because He is central to that perfect plan. Nothing would be possible without Him. I testify that He lives. He loves us. He is our Redeemer and Prince of Peace.












Love,
Hermana Tonini

Monday, August 7, 2017

The Myth. The Legend. The Tonini.

Soooooo, I made some slightly bad decisions this week. Actually, just one. I decided to try one of the Teno***'s food challenges. This family does crazy food challenges for the missionaries and one of them is the burger challenge. They make a SIX POUND BURGER.
Plus a pound of fries on the side. Obviously, I am not that dumb, so we all signed up to do the half-burger challenge. So, it's still a three pound burger and half a pound of fries. That burger was my Everest. I brought pride to my family's name and FINISHED THE CHALLENGE. Elder Whiting was the only other person who could finish it with me. AKA, I beat out three other Elders. It was so hard. And I won't even get into what went on an hour later after our lesson with Vicky Teno***, our recent convert, after dinner. Luckily, we had time to make it back to the apartment. My favorite comment was from Elder Dew, "You looked so happy in all of my pictures I took, but you definitely were NOT this happy."
#struggles


Update on the family we are teaching:

So we had two lessons with them this week, and all they have left is diezmo (tithing)! We taught Palabra de Sabiduria (Word of Wisdom) and Ley de Castidad with them. Law of Chastity was definitely tricky because we had three different age groups in the family, but we somehow made it all work! Karly, the mom, is being a champ! Her daughter's third birthday was yesterday and she told us she put BYOB (bring your own beer) because she won't buy beer anymore!! She also said she went to a restaurant the other day and looked at all of her options, remembered what we taught her, and decided to just play it safe and get water!! They read in the kid's Book of Mormon every night as a family and Karly told us one night when they were watching a movie, Penelope, the three-year old, brought the children's Book of Mormon up to her and said, "Mom, can we read the Book of Mormon?" AHHHHH! <333333 Now, we are just trying to get the mom and the fourteen-year old into the actual Book of Mormon because they aren't going to gain a super strong testimony of it by reading the kid one.

We saw a lot of miracles this week, and it was really good. Last night Monserrat had her interview and she was FOUND WORTHY TO BE BAPTIZED. So there will be a baptism this Sunday! Our whole zone almost is baptizing this Sunday. Four companionship are for sure baptizing, and I think there will be a couple more. Let the battle for the font begin!

Our cutie member, Hermana Beru*** surprised us by making us skirts, so of course we wore them to church to show them off! Our members in the Nuevo Ward are INCREDIBLE.




I love y'all, keep working hard out there, k?

Love,
Hermana Tonini the 3 lb Burger Champion

P.S. I gained all of the weight that I lost back this week so don't worry, I am going on a diet for sure.

Monday, July 31, 2017

DONKAAY

This week....flew by. How is it that we only have two weeks of the transfer??? I never thought I was going to make it through this seven week transfer, but here we are!

We had the best zone activity ever. We played soccer out on the baseball fields and it was like....barely sprinkling the whole time. Then, the last ten minutes it started DOWN POURING. Like, I have never seen it rain like that in California! Maybe because it just never rains in general! So we kept playing soccer in the pouring rain and it was SO MUCH FUN!! Until we realized all of our phones were getting wet in the dugout so then we wrapped up real quick and saved our phones. Then we went back to the church, chugged some chocolate milk, and hung out in the kitchen. It was perfect! Here's a picture of the girls and I after our game in the rain.



My companion had her last exchange of the transfer as an STL....which means I also had my last exchange with Hermana Harper :(((((( I have loved being able to be her companion again, she is an incredible missionary and training is definitely calling her name. For our last exchange I got to eat with their famous member down in Perris, so of course we took selfies! We also took more pictures, but that will have to wait until next week!



Dinner cancelled on us one night, so we asked what the Sisters had planned for dinner....and it turns out that night they were doing the taco challenge! My older brother Drew had set a record at Sister Brown's house by eating 15 of her tacos.....and no missionary has beat it since. So, of COURSE Sister Ford decided she was going to challenge his record.....AND SHE BEAT IT. That girl ate 16 tacos!!!! #zonepride #SistersRule


p.s. she did not look this happy after her third plate of tacos. 



THEN GUESS WHAT??? I FINALLY SAW THE WILD DONKEYS! Remember when I first got here and I sent a picture of a donkey crossing?? We were driving to dinner and we found a whole herd of them in front of a school! I screamed of pure joy for like 10 minutes. I wanted to go out a pet them...but didn't know if donkeys were aggressive. Are they? Because if they aren't I am so taking a picture with them next time. I love those guys.



Man, I swear I do love missionary work. Here is my email to President for the week....it pretty much sums up my feelings about the work from this week. I love y'all so much!

Man, writing in Spanish takes me twice as long so for this week it will have to be English. Please forgive me! So, two weeks ago I had the most successful week of my mission and this past week I had the least successful week of mission......when it comes to numbers. Throughout my mission I have had a love-hate relationship with numbers because I hate focusing on the numbers. 

I hate getting out of a lesson and the first thought is, "yes, four new investigators right there, now we can hit standard" instead of admiring the fact the Heavenly Father has blessed and trusted us with His precious children. I hate counting how many investigators are at church and the first thought that pops in my head is, "YES, that's enough to hit standard" instead of "look how many investigators are progressing! Look at their desires! I love them so much and I feel overwhelming joy because they have the opportunity to participate in the Sacrament!!" I hate how it has changed my thinking process in that way. Also how at the end of the week if my numbers aren't high I feel like I failed, when in reality I worked super hard and we had a lot of success just in different areas of the work. For example, we had zero new investigators this week. I have never in my entire mission had zero new investigators. So it was really discouraging! However, when I look back at the week I can see that we worked really hard to get four of our investigators to church. Plus we finally got in to see our investigator who had been in Mexico the past month and got her back on date for August 13th. Also, we got in six home visits this week, which is the most home visits we have gotten in a really long time. During one of those home visits, we gained the trust of one of our youth and now she wants us to start teaching this boy she has a "thing" with! 

However, I also love numbers. They push me. They also make me realize where my weaknesses were for the week. Yesterday I prayed all day for a miracle, for us to find new investigators. I felt like my faith was on fire. I just knew that we would find someone. Just one person to teach. We worked our tails off yesterday working until the last minute possible and we ended up defeated as our time ran out. I didn't understand....I had the faith? I prayed so hard? I was a little angry, I am going to be honest. However, when I reflected back on my week I asked myself, "Did I seek with faith for the time that has been asked of me?" We only got in 6.5 hours, and hour short of what the minimum should be. If I am not putting in ALL of my efforts, is it really fair of me to expect miracles? So I really am grateful for numbers because it shows me what I need to change for the next week. How I can improve and work harder so I can be the missionary I have the potential to become. 

Let's see what the next week has in store for Hermana Tonini and Hermana Moran!


Love,
Hermana Tonini