Monday, March 27, 2017

Companions, Corn and Cookies


We got to emailing late, so I have like eight minutes to write this.

Ready. Set. Go.

I GOT TO SEE HERMANA HARPER THIS WEEK! We had a trainer training meeting and so I got to see her and I definitely cried a little. Maybe a lot. Also, that was the longest day of my mission. I have never been so exhausted in my whole life.

I tried pupusas at a member's house this week, and they are SO GOOD. Also I tried elote at La Micochana. It's that corn from Nacho Libre that has mayo and cheese and chile.....SO GOOD. It has been my lifelong dream to try that corn, and it was everything I ever imagined. "Get that corn outta my face!" I love that movie.

Oh also, I got a package from Aunt Sheryl and Grandma and in it were homemade cookies from Grandma! I tried to take a selfie and my comp photobombed it. That cookies were def gone in one day, thanks to the many Elders we ran into that day. Gotta love cookies from Grandma.

So the coolest thing this week was Maria Rebatet. She came to General Women's Conference, and she hasn't even been to church yet? She came! And then the next day she came to church! I know this doesn't seem very significant, but I felt so much joy and bliss when I saw her at church. Like, indescribable joy. I have never felt that much happiness before. And all she did was go to conference. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY.

Also, at service this week we were playing checkers with this old man and he asked if we could play strip checkers instead? Then apologized for being a "dirty old man"? I had to take a little lap in my seat because I was laughing so hard.

We finally got in with the Sanchez's this week. They didn't come to church this Sunday, but Hermano is really trying hard to quit smoking, so that is awesome!!

Women's Conference was incredible. Totally an answer to my prayers. I can't wait for conference this week!!!

We paused both of the Rios families this week...which is hard but if they aren't progressing and going to church, then we have to move on and find the elect.

I love you all so very much! We have Multi-Zone this week and our days are already filled this week, so pray that I will have the strength and energy to make it through the week.

Sister Tonini
California Riverside Mission

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Hermana Tonini Sighting!

Drew's father-in-law is on the high council where Hermana Tonini is currently serving.  Look who he ran into while presiding at the General Women's Conference broadcast!

Monday, March 20, 2017


So, last Monday we contacted a referral named Maria R***. Like without an appointment, we just swung by her house. She apologized for being in shorts but said she was in nicer clothes earlier because she was expecting us...? And we had about five people to choose form to go see, but the Spirit prompted me to choose Maria. I LOVE THE HOLY GHOST. She is a golden investigator, at least so far. She used to be a Catholic and later a Jehovah's Witness and she kind of lowkey bashed on both religions? Like, that night she offered the closing prayer and asked for forgiveness for how long it has been since she's prayed. And we didn't even call her to repentance! And when we mentioned prophets to her, she thought it made total sense. Like, I feel like she is elect and ready. And we met again this week and got her on date!!

On the 17th I hit my two-month mark! Isn't that just insane?? And my comp hits her halfway mark tomorrow!

During Buscando con Fe this week we climbed up this huge hill and we were having no luck. Because it was just a bunch of big houses spread apart. However, the LAST house at the top of this big hill we ran into NACHO (CAN I BORROW SOME SWEATS?) who was a gardener for this house and he was totally interested! However, he is in the Spanish Elders' area, so we had to send it off. But it was still cool!!!

Saturday was CRAZY! We were out Buscando con Fe and a Hispanic lady just invited us into her home, and we didn't even ask! She let us teach her most of the first lesson! We have another appointment with her this week, and I am so excited! But that has NEVER happened to me before! We are lucky to even get their information, not to mention getting invited into their home????? And then the Ramona Elders had a baptism that day which we were going because one of our investigators (the one on probation and can't get baptized) was going to attend. However, he last minute didn't show up which was hard, and then we had to teach the Restoration while we were waiting for Elder Eldridge and Lupe to get dressed, because that's what we do here in this mission? We teach the whole Restoration in like seven minutes? I am not a fan. I don't understand. So, they had us teach that and I accidentally skipped over half of the Restoration and then froze up in the middle of the First Vision. SO GREAT I LOVE IT. SO MUCH. WHY CAN'T I SPEAK SPANISH? Yeah...not a good time for me.

So, this week was hard. I feel like I don't know how to teach or speak or do anything right pretty much. But we were so blessed. We have so many investigators and so many on date, and the work is excellent. It was very bittersweet. I am just going to keep working hard through this, praying, and having faith in grace. That's all I can really do.


Hermana Tonini

Monday, March 13, 2017

Fourth Floor Last Door


So, a ton of stuff happened this week, but I just want to write about one single story that blew me away.

So, this story starts before I even left for Mexico. About eight weeks ago, a man saw Sister Harris and Sister Bradshaw in Walmart and talked to them. Just a nice casual conversation.

Fast-forward to this past Friday. Hermana Chandler and I were walking down a sort of busy street when a man stopped his car in the middle of the street trying to say something to us. He pulled over and then reversed back so he could talk to us. We ran across the street and he looked at me and asked if I was the missionary from Idaho that he had talked to in Walmart. Me: But he was talking about how much he loves the missionaries, so we got his info and drove away with all of his kids in the car. Since he spoke English, we had to send it over to the Little Lake Sisters which kind of bummed me out. He stopped driving in the MIDDLE OF THE STREET  to talk to us, and we couldn't even teach him.

That night I had my first exchange, so I went with Sister Nai, who is from Australia and is the coolest human being I have ever met in my life, to her apartment with her trio. Can you guess which trio it was? The Little Lake Sisters.

So, as Sister Nai and I were out doing your typical missionary stuff Saturday evening, we finally got to our time to go contact Emmanuel. I was so excited, because I was actually going to have a chance to teach this family!! However, once we got to the address we realized it was a HUGE apartment complex...and we had no apartment number. We had two options: a. go to the next backup in our agenda b. go knock on random doors

So we looked at each other. Sis Nai: "My trio has been PRAYING for a family to teach, and I know Heavenly Father follows through on His promises." Me: "There is something special about this family and I want to find them." So, I said a prayer. I prayed knowing that we WOULD find this family.

We started with the front-facing apartments, and the first one we knocked on was a woman who said she didn't know an Emmanuel or an African American family, but that that inside and around the corner were some African American families and maybe we could look there. We went inside and there was a huge square plaza with a ton of apartments. We spent the next HOUR just going door to door knocking...looking for this family. And no one had ever seen this family before!! However, during this whole process we got two contacts, so I said to Sister Nai, "There is a reason we are out here knocking on these doors. Even if we don't find this family tonight, we were meant to knock on those two doors." And Sister Nai kept going on and on about how she was going to knock on every single door in that complex until she found this family. Even if it took a week.

So we finished that one section of that complex, and it was already 8:00 pm, which was the time we were supposed to be back at the Little Lake apt to get ready for exchanging back. However, we decided we were going to finish the last few front-facing apartments, where we started. So we went to the apartment right next to the woman who told us to go check more inside at those apartments. The one we skipped over. And I said, "How funny would it be if we wasted an hour searching when the family lived in the next apartment over?" And Hermana Nai was like, "I feel like this is it..." And the door opened and it was Immanuel's son who was sitting in the passenger seat the day before!!!
I have never smiled so hard in my life. He probably thought I was insane. I even said, "We have been searching for an hour for your family!!!!!!!!" We got his dad's number and as soon as the door closed I just cried. And maybe fist pumped. And then cried some more. We found a family WITHOUT AN APT NUMBER.  

What does this mean?

That woman didn't even know a large African American family (like legit the dad has an African accent) was living right next door to her. She didn't have to point us in the wrong direction to look for this family. But she did, and there was a reason. There were more people who needed our message. Heavenly Father wanted to see how badly we wanted this family and how hard we were willing to work to find them. I feel like His question for us is always: "How hard are you willing to work for it?" We wanted it. We wanted it bad. It was also a test of patience. We had to knock on doors for an hour to see if we had enough patience to know that our prayers are answered on His time, not ours. Heavenly Father always answers our prayers if we don't sit around expecting. We pray fervently, and then go out and do. He always follows through though, and I have a testimony of this.

He doesn't answer our prayers with the second door, he makes us work and grow until we finally open the last door of the night. then at that moment we can marvel at the love that Heavenly Father has for each of us individually and how personally he knows us. He loves His children and has a plan for each of us. I know it.

Hermana Tonini

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Re: Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?

From: Barry.Romney
Date: 3/8/17 4:46 AM (GMT-06:00)
To: Corina.Tonini
Subject: FW: Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?

Sr. Tonini (still Corina to me),

Do not be discouraged about your language.  I know just how you feel.  When I went on my mission we did not have the MTC and had to learn Japanese “in the field”.  There was no language training program whatsoever.  I had to sit in meetings and listen to try and pick out words and then look them up in the English/Japanese dictionary.  I couldn’t even tell when a word started and ended.  We all eventually learned the language…some better than others.  Your first few weeks will be a language challenge but soon you will realize that you are understanding more and more about what is going on.

Enjoy being the junior in your companionship.  There is much to learn and soon enough you will have to make many of the daily decisions…where to go, what to do, etc.  You will be blessed abundantly.

We are so proud of you and your decision to serve a mission.  What a great heritage you are providing your children…being the 4th generation of sister missionary efforts.

Con mucho amour e abrazos.


PS.  I just realized you are our first grandchild to go on a non-English speaking mission  Omedito gozaimasu (ops, that is Japanese for congratulations!)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?

GUESS WHERE MY FIRST AREA IS?? HEMET, CA! That's where my brother's in-laws live and I was here for the wedding reception. My ZLs go out with Justin Powell all the time!! I haven't seen them yet though...and I don't know if I really will.

My new companion is Hermana Chandler. She is...different from Hermana Harper. She is very strict with rules and I kind of feel like I can never do anything right with her. We have  some fun moments, but other than that....I don't know. I am learning patience and humility that's for sure. Also the Spanish is impossible. I am really struggling to speak the language. What is really difficult is not being able to understand what my investigators are saying. I can't help them if I can't understand them. It's getting a little bit better, but it's hard. This is the hardest thing I have ever done. It's hard enough teaching in English, but to do it in another language? Also, I didn't get to email the past two weeks and our Pday got switched to today because we had interviews yesterday, which means I have barely any time to write everyone.


So, I only have time to share about two of our investigators. The Rios family is so so so dear to my heart already. The fourteen-year old daughter, Aisel, has such a big heart, and every time I see her I can just see how much the gospel can bless her life. Then the other family is the Sanchez family. The mom is a member but we can't find her records from Mexico so she is going to have to get baptized again. They have an inactive and a member daughter. The two of them are SO FUNNY. It's always a hoot, and last night I understood about half of what was going on, so that's a start. I really hope the Rios family gets baptized, but we aren't sure how much of a desire they have. The Sanchez parents get baptized in like...a weekish!! I am so excited that they will be my first baptism!

We have already had a family drop us, which was hard.

So here, we don't knock on doors. We do Buscando con Fe, which means we walk down the streets and talk to people outside. On my first day, we and one guy who said he would talk to us again since we aren't Jehovah's Witness or Mormons. And then proceeded to lift up his shirt to show us all of his scars and bullet wounds. Rad.

Also we have an investigator named Carlos Albanaz, but he can't get baptized because he is on probation, which is super hard. In one, week he read 100 pages in the Book of Mormon!! Like, he wants to be baptized so bad, but he can't! Hopefully he can be baptized sometime while I am on my mission!

OH MY SUNDAY. So I bore my testimony and afterwards Hermana Conchita went and got super emotional. And as she was walking from he pulpit, she passed out!!! An ambulance came and everything!

I love being a missionary. It is hard but so so so rewarding. I have felt the Spirit so many times this week and I am just constantly learning. I am trying to be bold, because when I am, I see the blessings.

Sister Tonini
California Riverside Mission

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Now Arriving at Terminal Two

(This is a post from the mission blog):

Everyone else took the escalator.  
Elder Thorpe took the stairs.  
We applaud how anxious he was to 
arrive.... nothing to do now but wait!

Here they are now!  If it's the bottom 
of the escalator this must be Riverside!

President Mullen, you're pointing the wrong way.  

Headed to get luggage.

Gathering to get acquainted, receive new companions...

and share first testimonies.

Introducing our new missionaries and their trainers:

Elder Bryner (L) 
with his new companion, Elder Smith

Elder Hansen (L) 
with his new companion, Elder Moss. 

Elder Hansen (R)
with his new companion, Elder Eldridge. 

Sister Harper (L)
with her new companion, Sister Garcia.

Sister Harris (L)
with her new companion, Sister Keith. 

Elder Hite (L)
with his new companion, Elder Wood.

Sister Moran (R)
with her new companion, Sister Stone.

Sister Palmer (R)
with her new companion, Sister Wilde.

Elder Riding (L)
with his new companion, Elder Cornaby.  

Elder Thorpe (R)
with his new companion, Elder Frost.

Elder Williams (R)
with his new companion, Elder Young.  

Sister Tonini (L)
with her new companion, Sister Chandler.  

Welcome to the California Riverside Mission!

Saturday, March 4, 2017

I Thought You Looked Familiar

It is a small world - especially when you are a Romney.  Would you believe that Corina is related to her mission president?!?

                                                                                Hermana Tonini
President Mullen                                                           Mom
            |                                                                             |
Charlotte Romney                                                Grandpa Romney
            |                                                                             |
Gordon Romney                                                    Ianthus B. Romney Sr
            |                                                                             |
Miles Archibald Romney  -----  brothers -----       Eugene Romney
            \                                                                             /
              \                                                                          /
                \ --------------     Miles Park Romney --------  /

To make the relationship even closer, President Mullen's dad was in the El Paso stake presidency with Corina's maternal great-grandfather, IB Romney Sr, at the same time that her paternal grandfather, Daryl Tonini, was on the High Council.

Small world indeed.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Arrival Letter & Pics

1 March 2017

Gregory and Raena Tonini
Minot, ND 58701

Dear Brother and Sister Tonini,

We are so grateful to have Sister Corina Tonini join us here in the California Riverside Mission! It was exciting to meet her at the airport. I had the opportunity to interview your missionary and we were able to hear her testimony before having dinner together. We have been impressed with her testimony and desire to serve. It has been a privilege to get to know her.

Sister Tonini is now hard at work in her new area, the HEMET Zone with her companion Sister Kyandra Delaware Chandler.

Preparation day is Monday; most missionaries choose to email their family on that day. We encourage you to write or email weekly as well. Thank you for keeping your letters positive, uplifting and encouraging Sister Tonini to work hard and take advantage of the time spent here in doing the work of the Lord.

As we visited with her, this is what she said about her family: "We love baseball!!"  She is most excited about bringing others and herself to Christ.

We look forward to a wonderful experience together with your missionary.  Thank you for preparing one worthy to serve.  May God continue to bless you.


John H. Mullen, President