Wednesday, January 25, 2017

CCM - Week One

HELLO! This has been the longest and most difficult week of my life. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I had the coolest experience getting here. I was sitting first class, reading Jesus the Christ, when I felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned to see a man and he said: Did you serve in Riverside California? (Thanks Dad for the luggage tags) (Also this is a Spanish keyboard that does not have quotation marks) It turns out that he was a member, and he served in like Carlsbad, California! He owns a business in Mexico City, so that}s why we were on the same flight. He stayed with me all the way until we were out of security. He wouldn't even leave me until he found the driver for me. While we were waiting for luggage, we actually saw two Elders and knew they had to be..well....Elders! So we scooped them up too and he finally left after he found our guy. The driver didn't have a sign and spoke zero English so this Brother was honestly a tender mercy for the three of us. One of those two Elders is actually in my district! Elder Hagemeyer or something weird German. So we call him Elder Hache (h in Spanish). The other one was super cool and I got to talk to him for like an hour since we waited at the airport for two hours for more missionaries. However, the huge group of eleven missionaries never showed up, just one, Elder Snowden (also in our district). That was the flight my companion was on, and their flight got delayed FIVE hours because of a funny smell.

My district is fantastic. Our district is actually famous around here because we have SEVEN Hermanas and only four Elders. Usually districts are lucky to just get four Hermanas. Hermana Harper is my companion and she is such a goon. She has four brothers just like me, and one of them is even named Jacob! We also both went to BYU-I, but not at the same time because she did a year of school and then worked the semester I was at school. Then in our room we have Hermana Bassett and Hermana Tueller. Then we live in a house with five rooms, so there's a total guessed it...twenty Hermanas in our casa.

The CCM is so beautiful. Sure, it looked like a prison when we pulled up because of the walls and the security gate, but still. You can see the colorful slum houses up on the mountains right outside the walls and I love it. I also love the people here. I felt inspired on the first day, second meal, to go sit with some Latinas. It has been such a blessing. We have so many new friends, we can work on our Spanish, and I have grown to love the people I am going to go teach. What was really neat was when our Mission President found out that the Latinas that we sit with aren't actually our district. He came up to us the next day in the street and talked to us more about how being in the CCM is truly a blessing for us American stateside missionaries because we have a chance to learn every chance we get. Usually the Americans sit by district, and the only Americans who get put in Latino districts are the ones that are here for three weeks like them. He even said: Y'all are the best Hermanas here at the CCM. How cool?? And now a lot more Americans sit with the Latinos during meals. However, a couple days ago we realized that the other pair of Elders were super homesick so now we have District Dinner so we could feel more like a family. Not as good, but there has to be balance in all things. The food is INCREDIBLE. Papaya is def my new fav fruit. There's always a ton of fruits and vegetables during every meal, and there's usually always beans and tortillas. Every meal has a different dish, and on Tuesday night we have PIZZA! Speaking of which, the only time I have used dairy pills is for pizza. I have decided to just eat the food I can eat so my body will like me a little better and so I can truly cherish when I do use my pills and eat dairy. The salsa is always SUPER yummy (our teachers speak only in Spanish but will insert a really enthusiastic SUPER sometimes, so we joke around about it)

So, they made us teach a fake investigator the entire first lesson in Spanish before even having our first language class. Her name is Nilka and she is actually our teacher. It's so difficult to teach in Spanish, especially when the church vocab is way hard. I'm not going to go into detail about every lesson. Just know that we have had good ones and bad ones. The coolest one was when I read the First Vision in Spanish to Nilka and I started crying when the first word came out of my mouth. The spirit testified so strong to me that the Restoration did happen and that Joseph Smith truly saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in the Sacred Grove. Just the spirit in general here, I have felt it so many times I don't have time for all of them.

There's way way way more, but I really don't have time. I love y'all so so so much.

More Flexibility Announced for Mormon Missionary Daily Schedules

Changes are coming to the daily schedules of full-time missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The announcement was made Wednesday, January 25, 2017, following approval by the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Missionaries around the world, in counsel with their mission presidents, will be able to customize their schedules for safety, cultural, health, productivity and other needs.

Sister missionaries meet with a couple in Thailand.
“The most significant change in the schedule is to give the missionaries and also mission presidents the latitude to make the necessary decisions and adjustments in the daily work of the missionary,” said Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.
Latter-day Saint missionaries typically get up at 6:30 a.m. to exercise, shower, eat breakfast and study before proselytizing during the day. They return to their living quarters by 9:00 p.m. Those hours will now be more flexible depending on the culture of the country where the missionaries are serving.
For example, missionaries in Latin America may need to arise and return to their living quarters later. The culture in some African nations may call for missionaries to leave and return to their apartments sooner.
The missionary preparation day will also be adjusted to allow more flexibility and time for laundry and shopping, communicating with family and the mission president, exercising and participating in recreational activities.
“The thing I love about this new schedule is that it allows the missionaries to exercise their agency to determine how to best use their time,” said Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women general president and a member of the Missionary Executive Council. “It shows that the Lord trusts them to use their time wisely.”
“I think one other thing that’s intriguing about this is that this is a worldwide Church and one size doesn’t fit all,” explained Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. “So to be able to make that adjustment in areas and missions I think is very significant.”
Church leaders believe the policy change will improve the health and productivity of the missionaries, as well as provide post-mission benefits.
“It will allow missionaries after the mission to make that smooth transition into their life and have that same flexibility as they have those same goals to continue to pray and to read their scriptures and to remain close to the Lord in their life,” said Elder Brent H. Nielson, executive director of the Church’s Missionary Department.
The Church is also simplifying the information missionaries report related to those they are teaching. These “key indicators” include the number of people they find to teach, those who attend church, individuals being taught who have set a date for baptism, and those who are baptized and confirmed into the Church. 
There are currently more than 71,000 missionaries serving in 422 missions worldwide.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Hello padres! I am FINALLY at the MTC. My Pday is on Wednesday, but that wont start until next week. This is just to let you know that I got here safe and sound. Love and miss yall already. ps ignore the subject title, they made us do that.

Sister Tonini
California Riverside Mission

Monday, January 16, 2017

"Be Bold"

Hermana Tonini was officially set apart tonight as a full-time missionary for the Church of  Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints serving in the California Riverside Mission.  President Tyson Williams of the Minot North Dakota Stake took time on a Monday night so that this could be done right before she leaves tomorrow morning.  If there was theme in her setting apart, it was the counsel to be bold!

President Williams and Hermana Tonini

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Church Announces New Mission Presidents for 2017

Darrel Levi Hammon, 60, and Joanne Louise Boltz Hammon, two children, Hobble Creek 12th Ward, Springville Utah Hobble Creek Stake: California Riverside Mission, succeeding President John H. Mullen and Sister Jana Mullen. Brother Hammon is a young single adult bishop and a former bishop, ward mission leader, area welfare specialist in the Caribbean, Dominican Republic MTC presidency counselor, and missionary in the Chile ConcepciĆ³n Mission. Associate vice president, Utah Valley University. Born in Hamilton, Montana, to Dean W. Hammon and Barbara Barnes Hammon.

Sister Hammon is a Relief Society adviser and a former stake Young Women president, stake Relief Society presidency counselor, ward Young Women president, Young Women camp director, and area welfare specialist in the Caribbean. Born in Idaho Falls, Idaho, to Luke J. Boltz and Wilma Andersen Boltz.