Monday, February 27, 2017

If You Are In an Airport and You See Mormon Missionaries...

...ask them if they would like to borrow your phone to call home.

We received this gem while she was in transit in Mexico City.  She described the photographer as "a nonmember Canadian guy originally from Mexico...he was really nice!"

And then, shortly before she was to board her flight to California, she was able to borrow another traveler's phone to make a quick call.  Raena couldn't find me (I was outside shoveling snow) so by the time I got my hands on the phone, I only had a few seconds to tell her I love her and that we can't wait to talk to her in May.  Afterwards, Raena exchanged this IM with the owner of the phone:

Thank you for letting my sweet missionary call!  It meant the world!

For anything! I heard them behind me on the escalator
and they sounded so heartbroken.  I wish they could have
had more time.  She looked energetic and ready to get to work!  
You'd be very proud!

Thanks.  We really are proud of her.  Miss her so much.  Thanks for the gift!

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Mexico MTC - TONINI/CORINA - Back to the States!

This is a pretty nice itinerary - I imagine they will get to the mission home tomorrow night, go to bed, and then get after it on Tuesday.

Monday 27 February 2017
American Airlines AA 389
27 February 02:19 PM
Mexico City, (Benito Juarez Intl) (+)
Terminal: 1
27 February 05:05 PM
Dallas, (Dallas Ft Worth Intl) (+)
Terminal: D
02:46 (Non stop)
937 Miles
Booking status
Economy (S)

24A (Left side of aircraft, Window seat, No smoking seat) confirmed for Corina Tonini
BOEING 737-800
Flight meal
Food for purchase
Monday 27 February 2017
American Airlines AA 1605
27 February 07:00 PM
Dallas, (Dallas Ft Worth Intl) (+)
Terminal: 0
27 February 08:13 PM
Ontario, (La/Ontario Intl) (+)
Terminal: 4
03:13 (Non stop)
1,185 Miles
Booking status
Economy (S)

22A (Left side of aircraft, Window seat, No smoking seat) confirmed for Corina Tonini
BOEING 737-800
Flight meal
Food for purchase

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Snail Mail!

Hola mi familia!

I officially leave in less than 48 hours from the CCM.  How crazy is that?  However, I'm waiting to send this until I get back to the States because the postal system in Mexico is not super reliable.  Leaving here is...bittersweet.  I love love love my district.  We really are a family.  We joke, we laugh, we fight, we cry...everything.  Most of all, we endured the longest six weeks of our lives together.

My comp is just wonderful.  She set expectations very high.  I've had a little taste of what marriage feels like.  It's crazy how we spend so much time together...Okay, ALL of our time together.  Except with marriage, I get to CHOOSE who I do it with so it will be even better!

I have learned so much and felt so much.  However, I'm ready.  I'm ready to teach people with real problems, stories, and concerns.  I can't wait to see my first investigator baptism and feel pure bliss.  People always ask what my happiest moment in life is and I know it's going to happen on my mission.  My happiness comes from this perfect and complete gospel so I can't even imagine the joy, bringing it to others, I will feel.  The Gospel answers so many questions.  I know why I'm here and how I can endure to the end.  I know through Christ I can reach my full potential and be cleansed despite my constant imperfections.

I'm so grateful for y'all and y'all's examples to me.  It's hard being away, but I know if I work hard and stay worthy then I will bring/send blessings to y'all at home. Know that I love you and I am always praying for y'all.


Hermana Tonini

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Week Five - Going Out With a Bang


So on the 17th was my one month mark! Our teacher Hermana Martinez went to the Churroria and snuck us in FRESH MEXICAN CHURROS. To celebrate, the trio came into our room with a TON of cream soda. We decided to take pictures while making Hermana Gilman's "rat face" and we were zooming in on everyone's face and I made the mistake of drinking my cream soda while doing it and I laughed so hard it shot not only out of my mouth but OUT OF MY NOSE ALL ON THE BACK OF GILMAN'S HEAD.
So much came out of my nose that I ran to the bathroom and threw up in the sink because I couldn't breathe for a quick 30 seconds. I walked out of the bathroom with mascara streamed down my face because I cry when I throw up. And of course, they got a picture of it because the whole thing was dang funny.

On Sunday our devotionals were reaaaaaaally long and hard to sit through. Hermana Harper fell asleep during one of them and started snoring which was way funny.

So this week I ACTUALLY wore makeup twice. The first time, Hermana Martinez commented in front of the whole class the fact that I didn't actually look like a hobbit. And then yesterday I wore it again and Hermana Pavon and Hermana Monroy separately commented on it when they each walked front of the whole class. Me: thank you for acknowledging the fact that I usually never look good ever. It was way funny though, my comp died.

Here's my journal entry from last night:

We heard from President Nelson tonight and I sat in the third row, right in the middle. Best seat in the house. And every missionary had the opportunity to shake his hand. I shook the next prophet's hand. He looked into my eyes and looked at my name badge. He saw my family name that that I wear with honor and pride. Tears streamed down from my face from this simple interaction because it meant so much. 

We were supposed to go into the devotional with questions, so I had three. 1. What can I do to better represent Jesus Christ? 2. How can I be the missionary I was foreordained to become. 3. How can I bless a family member with his trials right now? 

I have been praying and fasting with these questions in mind all week. Harper asked me what my questions were and we realized we had very similar questions.  Once he was done speaking, Hermana Harper turned to me and said, "Our prayers were answered." I broke down with her because all three of my questions were answered by an apostle of God. 

  1. When he shook our hands, he saw something different than what we see in the mirror every day. He sees what we WILL become, not what we are now. But how do we get there? How do we have that potential? Well, God uses the unlikely to accomplish the impossible. Gideon and his army. Moses and the Red Sea. Joshua crossing the Jordan River at flood time. Sarah having Isaac. A virgin to be the mother of Christ. A 14-year old boy to restore the gospel. We are unlikely and God will use us to accomplish the impossible.
  2. We have been preserved for THIS time in order to gather the lost tribes of Israel.
  3. He left his Book of Mormon in the car and all he said about it was, "demerit"
  4. He was talking about how the Church is about light and then said, "Some churches especially use incense or smoke some weed to numb the senses. But no sir, not in this church!"
  5. "By the keys of the apostleship I bless you with..." and gave us so many blessings. One in particular was that our family will be drawn to the Lord through our consecration and service. An apostle blessed my family back home. It was so powerful and brought peace to my soul.

He's human. He's funny. He's an apostle.

What a blessing today was.

It really was. It was such a perfect way to go out into the field. I think I'm ready. I really don't know what to expect but I feel like I'm not progressing as much as I when I got here to the CCM. I want to go teach real people and change real lives, you know?

I might have a chance to email Monday morning before I leave for the airport, but if not, it will be awhile before I email again because I will miss my pday out in the field.

I want a different with my testimony in Spanish which will probably only be 75% correct Spanish. But it's mine, it's from my heart, and it's what I know.

Sé que este evangelio es el evangelio restaurado. Me encanta esta abra porque puedo aprender más y mi testimonio ha crecido mucho. Sé que Dios es mi Padre Celestial y nos amo mucho. Y envió su hijo para nosostros y para mi. Mediante Jesucristo puedo hacer todas las cosas porque me da fortaleza durante mis pruebas y desafíos. Estoy muy agradecida por un profeta en este tiempo. Podemos aprender mucho de nuestros profetas. Testifico que Dios es activo y nos habla hoy. Puedo recibir revelación personal, y por esto, estoy muy agradecida por oración. Oraciíon es muy importante para mi porque necesito ayuda de Dios durante el día. Tengo calluses en mis rodillas de orando mucho aquí. Me encanta el Libro de Mormón porque me ayuda con mis pruebas en mi vida. Las historias en este libro son....marvillosos. Nunca quiere parar de leer mi Libro de Mormón. Hasta Ver, voy al campo. Estoy lista, lo sé.

Hermana Tonini

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

On The Wall (Sort Of)

If you walk into almost any LDS meetinghouse,  you will find a display case with plaques for each missionary serving from that congregation. Each plaque will have a picture of the missionary, their favorite scripture, and the mission to which they have been callled.  It is very interesting to see the geographic diversity of assignments. When you walk into the Minot Stake Center, you will now see Hermana Tonini's plaque.  (They have her plaque in the display case but they haven't quite figure out how to hang them on the wall.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Week Four - Get Me Out of Here

SO, hello first of all! Today is our first real/full pday and I couldn't be happier. I'm getting a little antsy just because I'm going a little insane here at the CCM. I love my district with my whole heart but I'm getting a little tired of the classes. It's all good, I only have less than two weeks left here, isn't that just crazy?

My comp and I decided this week that we are going to finish the Book of Mormon by March 17th, two months since we left home. I picked up where I left off in 2nd Nephi before I came out and I'm almost done with Mosiah! All I want to do is just sit and read my scriptures, and I've NEVER had that desire before! I've learned and felt so much this time compared to the one time ever I read it for Personal Progress. I feel like when you read to feast it makes a huge difference than reading it to check off the box. You know? Also I love the book of Mosiah. So much. Also in one of our Book of Mormon classes this week we read a FANTASTIC chapter, so if you're looking for a good read check out Alma 38.

Also last Thursday while we were playing volleyball, which we do every day during gym time, Hermana Harper and I went for the ball at the same time. My comp spanked it and can you guess where it went? Right in my face. I went blind in my right eye for a quick second because that's how hard it hit me. We all got a good laugh out of it though, especially Elder Hagemeyer. It brought him to his knees he laughed so hard. Let's just say it's always a good time when we play volleyball.

Also I've really been praying to have more patience and charity. Charity has been easier to work on because I just do little acts of service whenever I can. But patience? Patience is on the inside and I've ALWAYS struggled with patience. Everyone in my life probably knows it too. And if you pray to develop a Christlike attribute, Heavenly Father blesses you with opportunities to grow. Which means I've had a lot of times this week that have tested my patience. A lot. I think the key point is to RECOGNIZE that they are opportunities to grow. I still have a lot to work on because I wasn't very patient in those times, BUT I'm getting better at recognizing when the Lord blesses me with opportunities to grow.

(I told my comp about this and she thinks everyone is going to think ALL of my patience trying came from her. So I am here to say they weren't ALL from her)

On Sunday, in one of our devotionals, my comp and I were asked to say the prayers. When Presidente Lyons announced it, he said "Elder Tonini will be saying the opening prayer" MY FACE GOT SO RED!! And he said Elder Harper too!! It was funny for the two of us because like two hours earlier we were talking about how sometime we are more of Elders than our Elders in our district sometimes. Mainly because we both grew up with three brothers. I firmly believe God has a sense of humor.

So since it's our fifth week that means we start a new segment called "Congrats you get to pretend to be an investigator now" on top of all of the other teaching we do. So pretty much you create a profile based on someone you know (so I'm using Camie's story of course) and then two missionaries from your district teach you. We only did the first rotation this week, which was teaching Elder Snowden with Hermana Braybrooke. We only have ten minutes for this lesson. And obviously since it was the first one, we had to get to know him. However, we wanted to leave him at the end with at message of Christ and how we are here to bring people to Him. I testified of my Savior while showing my favorite picture of the Savior and I just felt the Spirit so much. And the love I have for Him. And of His love and understanding. I just felt all of it at once and I cried. Of course. Classic Hermana Tonini. Everyone was so confused when my whole district saw I was crying bc it was only a ten minute basic lesson. But, I testified of Christ you know?

We had a crazy good lesson with Anastacia this week! She's been taking lessons for six years? (Our teacher isn't very good at background) so we told her that since she definitely knows all the doctrine, we are just going to focus on how each part of the gospel impacts her personally. That's so key when teaching is application. Otherwise, your words mean nothing. Also beforehand I prayed that I would be the Holy Ghost's tool instead of the other way around. And it helped to teach with the Spirit. It was just a great lesson, and it's all because the Spirit was there.

Yesterday was Valentine's Day how crazy?? My first holiday out in the field! Hermana Tueller wrote the three of us cards and left them on our desks in the morning. It totally made my day bc it reminded me of how Mom would always get us a little something for the holiday even though she loathes it. It was just a little touch of home, and it was perfect.

Last thing, our devotionals last night was broadcasted from the Provo MTC. AND GUESS WHO I SAW TWICE?? ELDER MCKAY MOULTON MY BEST FRIEND! I started crying bc it was such a gift from God I felt. Like I got to see him blown up on the screen watching him take notes and preparing to serve out in the field. I just love all the Elders, because that means they are all worthy Priesthood holders. My comp and I are like best friends with Elder Mikos and McCormick because Elders are just so much fun and have such strong testimonies! I'm just so grateful for their worthiness to be out here.

Also for pday today we didn`t want to go to lunch bc that meant having to get back in a dress. So we ate queso and chips for lunch (that Hermana Harper got from her mom) and we warmed the queso on the iron. Brilliant huh? Our bff Elders taught us that little trick.

And then I decided I wanted to learn how to do a handstand, which as you can see, I accomplished.

Also since I barely have any pics this week, here`s another one from the temple that I love.

Love y'all with all my heart,
Hermana Tonini

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Christ is My Redeemer - Week Three

So, we got to go to the temple again today!!! I love the Mexico City temple, it is so beautiful!!!!! I was a wonderful experience both times. However, today I did the whole session in Spanish. It was way cool because the name I was doing was a woman from Mexico, so it was really neat to make those covenants for her in her own language, you know?

I had a wonderful surprise this week!!! I got Krispy Kreme this week, twice, on the same day! Mom and Dad sent me a box and my best friend Tori, who clearly rocks, sent me some too. I actually cried when I picked the two up because I felt so loved!!

This week FLEW by!!! I am already halfway done here at the CCM!!! This email is going to be super short, and I'm sorry for that. I will make up for it with pictures.  

My favorite day this week was Sunday. It was the best Sunday of my entire life of Sundays. This is because the whole day was centered around Christ. The lesson my comp and I gave, the Relief society lesson, David A Bednar's The Character of Christ, and the devotional from my mission president. I wish I could just share everything that I learned and felt, but I just don't have alot of time today since we spent six hours of the day for the temple. Just know that I love my Savior with all my heart. And that's what I came here to do: invitar a las personas a venir a Cristo

Love y'all.

Sister Tonini
California Riverside Mission

Saturday, February 4, 2017

MTC Care Packages

Hermana Tonini has mentioned in both of her letters about services that deliver care packages to the Mexico City MTC.  What is neat about these services is that they hand-deliver them to the MTC so you don't have to pay postage to Mexico or worry about the Mexican postal service (hopefully it is better than the Brazilian postal service - but I digress).

We used Missionary Package Mexico to send her a dozen Krispy Kreme doughnuts but they have a number of other options.  Just Google "missionary package mexico" and you will find a number of sites that provide free delivery service to the MTC.

Don't forget - she is only there until February 27th!  Let's show how much we love her!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

God Truly Answers Prayers

My testimony of personal revelation has grown this week. Here´s what I wrote in my journal on the 27th:

So, we have our new investigators tomorrow, and we had to prepare. Hermana Pavon wanted us to find a BOM verse for it, so I prayed to know where to begin my search and to find materials to help Lucia, who's mad at God for her miscarriages. I went to the Index...Bible Dictionary...nothing. Then I thought of General Conference. Never before had I used General Conference to find a scripture. It was everything I needed and more. God Shall Wipe Away All Tears was WRITTEN for Lucia. It truly was revelation. It´s crazy how normal and accessible revelation is. I always just imagined like know? We all have access to personal revelation and it´s so wonderful.
You know what? I´m just going to write all of my spiritual experiences directly from my journal so I don't waste time.

We taught Lucia today and it did NOT go as planned. The only thing we used from our prep was the story of Paul and the thorn. What was super cool was that when Hermana Monroy was talking, all I could think about was how perfect she could relate. Then, once she finished, Hermana Harper was all: Hay un apóstol se llama...uh...Pedro. Me: Pablo? Her: OH, Pablo.      But like I knew in that moment that she received the same revelation as me at the same time. Like, I was already opening to my bookmark and I took over from there. Super neat.

We watched the Restoration today, and by the end almost 90% of the Hermanas in the CCM were in tears. Including me of course. It strengthens my testimony of Joseph Smith every time I watch it.
Kind of a cool moment: last night while Hermana Dayes was braiding my hair, we were talking about deep doctrine. We talked about how there are a ton of planets, yet there´s only one Christ and he came to ours. He came here to repent for every world´s sins. Because our world has the most wickedness, but there´s opposition in all things. And today in Devo they talked about it!!!! The speaker even added on how that´s why we had Michael, Gabriel, Peter/James/John, and Joseph Smith PLUS Christ to balance the wickedness. Plus, a neat scripture: D&C 135:3. It was just crazy how an obscure topic was built upon for us in less than 24 hours. Plus, it just added even more "mad respect for Joseph Smith" (as Hermana Harper put it)

Today was a perfect day. Last night I decided to pray with a question. I always pray for help, but never with questions. Except for when I prayed to know if the BOM was true, but that's really it. I had read yesterday, ´´Ask and ye shall receive, knock and it shall be opened unto you.´´ I knew I was going to the temple on Pday so I prayed that when I went, I would know if I was good enough. I was feeling so inadequate. And I know those feelings come from Satan, but I was just looking at all of the Hermanas and seeing their strengths. How was I supposed to be good enough to preach about a perfect gospel and a perfect love?

My answer came faster than I thought. It came today. We prepared to teach the Restoration and we started by asking Lucia if she had prayed to see if our lesson about how God loves her is true. She said no. From that point, our whole lesson plan was out the window. We talked about prayer the entire lesson. It was incredible. We listened, we answered her questions, Hermana found a scripture, everything. Afterwards, Hermana Monroy asked us how we though it went and she asked to see our lesson plan because we didn´t read ANYTHING off paper. We had never done that before. We told her how we listened, followed the spirit, and taught people not lessons. She didn't need the Restoration, she needed prayer. She even told us that our lesson will inspire Lucia to pray and "su lección fue perfecto." Perfect. I was a part of teaching a lesson that portrayed the perfect concept of prayer. We moved tables and sat in awe of the power of the Holy Ghost. We felt so much gratitude that we prayed. I started to cry because then, ten minutes after our lesson, the Spirit put into my remembrance my prayer and my question from last night. I'm not inadequate. I can do this. With the Spirit, I can do my best to preach about His perfect love.

(Side note, I know that if we work hard and prepare, that the Lord will make up the rest when we attempt and fail to completely capture His perfect love. I just didn't have a testimony of it. My comp is so good at teaching and testifying, and I felt like I wasn't as good as her. I couldn’t testify with the strength she has. That's why I prayed with my questions of inadequacy.)

This week has been super spiritual, if you can´t tell. And we get to go to the Mexico City temple today!!!!! That´s why I am emailing so early - we are leaving at 12 and not getting back until 6. I will have pictures of the temple next week!

So here in the CCM, I've goofed up a lot. There's always one thing a day. I don´t have time to share all of them, so I will leave you with just one:

"We taught Anastacia today and I messed up. We were talking about prayer so I asked if I could share a scripture in the BOM. I then went on with my whole intro of the BOM and then it was time to read the verse. And that's when I realized the verse I wanted to read was in the Bible. Me: ´" siento. Actualmente está en la Biblía, PERO leemos en los dos, la Biblía y en el Libro de Mormón."

Classic Hermana Tonini. Love and miss you all.

Hermana Tonini