Monday, May 29, 2017

Donkey and Baptism Crossing

So, I am in Moreno Valley!!! I love my new companion Hermana Hernandez Sanchez with all of my heart. She's like the Hispanic version of me. She's also teaching me ALL of the appropriate Spanish slang since she is fluent in Spanish. We somehow didn't take a picture together this week? The only picture we have together is the one Ken took on Sunday and sent to my parents, so at least they know what my comp looks like. (Ken is my brother's convert who goes to church in the same building as me) Until next week my friends, and I will have more pictures. Just know that I love her to death and it's always a party. We're always laughing. But we are going to work hard too.

However, work was difficult this week. Had to take the car in twice this week, plus DDM, plus Hna had to go to Riverside for a meeting because she's an STL, two service activities, baptism in Hemet........yeah. It was a VERY long week and it felt very unproductive. Like, we only taught the Restoration ONCE this week. So we only picked up two new investigators. However, hopefully this week will be better. We are going to work flippin' hard and get stuff done. Hna has another meeting in Riverside this week and we have to take the car in for a whole day this week BUT we are going to try and be as successful as we can.

The one Restoration we taught though was the COOLEST Restoration I have ever taught! I have never felt so EXCITED to teach the Restoration. I could physically feel the Spirit surging through my body. My Spanish just flowed. Like, it was awesome.

JACKI'S BAPTISM!!!!!!!! My first investigator got baptized on Saturday and it was so incredible! I love that little girl so much and my heart was so filled to walk into the room and see her dressed in white. Man, I love being a missionary. Also this picture is so gross but we got there like 5 minutes late and had to rush to get this pic in. Han chandler has a pic of her in her nice dress afterwards with us, and she will be sending it to me.)

I love the two investigators we are working with right now. They are both pretty much ready for baptism, they just each have one single obstacle standing in their way. I love being able to be part of bringing souls unto Him in two different areas. My investigators back in Hemet are still progressing and I love being able to get updates about them.

Also, did you know that there are wild donkeys here in MoVal?

Well, that's really it. Love you all.

Hermana Tonini

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Hermana Tonini Sighting!

One of Drew's famous converts (famous because he is rock-solid in the Gospel) attends a ward that shares the building with the Spanish Ward.  Guess who he ran into?

Thank you Brother Engi!

Monday, May 22, 2017


How we found my district leader the other day
Jacki, who is getting baptized this weekend drew this for me. Bffs

And We're Filling the Font

YES! WE HAVE A BAPTISM THIS SATURDAY! Our investigator, a 9 year old from a part member family, was found worthy this week! So I get to come back to Hemet for her baptism!

Yes...come back because I am leaving Hemet! I am headed to Moreno Valley!! My new comp will be Hna Hernandez Sanchez! Hna Chandler used to be comps with her, and from what I have heard about her, I already love her! We also joked around about how it would be just my luck to serve my first area in Hemet with my brother's in-laws and then MoVal where my brother's famous convert lives, and guess what? It happened! Ken's ward is in the same building as ours even! I love being able to find bits and pieces of my brother here! Also so excited to go to MoVal because the work is popping over there! And I will be coming back nearly every weekend for all of our baptisms happening here. June is going to be CRAZY for me. Excited and scared to death of this new change.

So when I was Buscando con Fe the other day with Sis DiPietro, we walked pass guys working on a roof and didn't talk to them because it might put them in danger, like if we scared them. But once we passed the house, I had a strong impression to turn around, and one of the guys ended up being interested! He lives in another town, but what a miracle that the missionaries over there can teach him!

So we did a church tour with Nap because he still hasn't been to church and it was INCREDIBLE. When we walked into the chapel the Spirit was crazy strong!! And guess what, HE CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY! He talked with his family and told them that he is going to wait to go to Anaheim on the weekends until AFTER he goes to church with us. He even stayed for all three hours! His baptism date is on the 11th, and I just can't wait. He loves the gospel so much and is so willingly to live it.

So by Saturday we only picked up one new investigator because of how insane our week has been (Hermana Chandler was on exchanges and had to take a sister to the hospital so no work got done in our area for a whole day). So I prayed SO HARD that we could find investigators and that night we picked up three, and they lived next door to each other. So we legit had a Restoration and then walked next door and had another one.

Another thing, so President stressed the importance of walking around for five minutes when a potential or referral who you try isn't home. So we have been trying to do that more. EVERY SINGLE TIME we have done it the past week or two we have found referrals for the missionaries in that area. Just with that extra five minutes we were able to find so many people for missionaries to teach. Like last night we went off four or five referrals because the four or five potentials we tried all weren't home. Missionary work truly is a team effort and it's such a blessing to help out between the Spanish and English missionaries.

So, gave a talk yesterday and didn't totally bomb it? Gabriel D*** (my best friend because he plays little league baseball) ran up and gave me a hug and then ran off saying he was going to riot and talk to the Bishop so I don't have to leave. Leaving is hard, I love these members so much.

Here's to my new adventure.


Hermana Tonini

Monday, May 15, 2017

"Should I Stay or Should I Go"

So, it was a long and crazy week. Where to begin?

Well, we have a crazy elect and prepared investigator who is perfect in every way and loves the gospel but HASN'T COME TO CHURCH. He goes out of town every Sunday. So that is super hard, but we brought a team up with us to one of our citas [appointments] and afterwards he said he could picture him as a temple worker. That's how cool he is. Love that guy, we just need to get him to church.

So then on Wednesday we had a cool experience. We were walking around this neighborhood and then realized that it was actually a 55+ neighborhood (there's a lot of those down here in sunny southern Cali). So I prayed and prayed that we would find at least one person. Just one. And guess what? We ran into three old Hispanics!!! One of them gave us his number and said to come visit his wife because she wants to be Mormon? And the other two let us into their home to teach them! They didn't want a return appointment but at least we had the opportunity to teach and testify! They also didn't let us leave until we drank TWO full glasses of orange juice. Cutie old people.

Also found out that day that our investigator who is getting baptized this upcoming Sunday doesn't have a testimony of Joseph Smith or the Book of Mormon. Yeah. So...we will see if we have our baptism on the 21st or not. I hope so because I love her with all of my heart and if she didn't get baptized it might just break me.

Then we had another cita with Nap on Thursday and we taught him the Word of Wisdom....while he was wearing a whiskey and cigars shirt. In the lesson, his answers were super long and elaborated but while we were talking about the cita afterwards, we realized that every time he answered, he would bring it back to Christ somehow. Isn't that beautiful? He can see how Jesus Christ truly is at the core of everything we share, teach, and are trying to become.

Sooooo, with our investigator from Cuba, I may or may not have given a smack down mini course on why we need to be reading the Book of Mormon after she said she hadn't really been reading....two lessons in a row. So then we decided to read where she left off, assuming she hadn't read, would have been in the beginning of 1 Nephi. Uh, no. More like JACOB. My jaw dropped. Me: "Dijo que no ha tenido la oportunidad de leer en su libro de mormon!!!!" Then she said she didn't read as much as she should have with the time she had that week. Holy moly. Jacob chapter one....can you believe that?

Multi Zones killlllllled this week. We were at the church from 6:30 to 4:30. In one of the trainings, they quoted Johnny Lingo which was golden.

So we are teaching this huge family and each time we have gone over, there has been someone new. So when a new family member was there I was all: Uh, do I teach the Restoration for the third time with this family orrrr...?? So, I just decided to start with the Book of Mormon because they hadn't read it last week. And it was a super good lesson!!! However, that poor guy hadn't even had the Restoration yet. What was I supposed to do? We had no time...and then he asked right at the end, "How come there are so many churches?" Boom. I was then able to teach the Restoration in five minutes for him. It truly was a tender mercy. (for training, since it is the last two weeks I have to be "senior comp" and lead all of the discussions. So that's why I was stressing out).

Yesterday I got to call home which was so nice! And if y'all know me well enough, then you also know that I cried my eyeballs out. Calling home is so hard but so good. Yesterday was also weird. Found out one of our investigators may or may not be a drug dealer, another investigator is actually a former of not too long ago, that the lady who wants to become Mormon is actually already taking lessons from the ENGLISH Elders, AND I invited someone who was already baptized to be baptized. (We accidentally ran into less actives that we didn't know were less actives and didn't mention they were members so I did what we always do and invite on the first lesson. AWK.)

Then today! We had crossfit in Menifee which means I got to see HERMANA HARPER THE LOVE OF MY LIFE. And I actually did ALL of crossfit which was mega super hard to do. So here is a gross sweaty pic of us after crossfit. Please enjoy. Also met Elder  Goodrich who is from Jamestown, ND today! How cool is that? #represent. Transfer calls are this Saturday! We tried making transfer predictions but it is honestly so up in the air!! So, standby, and until next week! Love y'all!!


Hermana Tonini

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Mother's Day Call!

Hermana Tonini was able to speak to much of her extended family today!  In addition to her parents and brother, Carson, in Minot, we were able to Skype in Jacob & Mandie from Provo, Drew, Shavaun, and Zowie were visiting from Bismarck, and Grandma Tonini and Aunt Sheryl were in Minot for Drew's graduation so everyone got to talk to her!

Funny story from the call as told by Hermana Tonini:

Hna Chandler:  Hermana Tonini, do you like to make pies?
Hna Tonini:  I don't even like to eat pies, why would I like to make pies?
Hna Chandler:  Well, there is a pie pan in the kitchen with your name on it!

Yes, Hermana Tonini is living in an apartment once occupied by Elders, including her own brother!  (Hopefully the pie pan had been washed since he returned home three years ago!)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Ley de Castidad

Yes, you read that right. I had the wonderful opportunity of teaching the Law of Chastity for the first time ever as a real Spanish...and I had to do it while I was on exchanges! (so I taught it by myself) Luckily it was with Maria and she is quite literally so golden. Her only thing she said she wants to change is to work on her words. Because she calls people stupid sometimes. Legit, this lady is the best. And she came to a baptism we had of an 8-year-old in the ward and then she went to the Cinco de Mayo ward activity later that day. She even bought a new skirt the day before so she can have more things to wear! She gets baptized in less than two weeks can you believe that? My heart is so full. I love her so darn much.

Had to pause a family that we have been working with for a while. I may or may not have cried a little bit in that pause talk? Fun fact: first “pause talk” ever and I was on exchanges. I had a lot of firsts that day. But yeah, it was hard but when they aren't keeping their commitments we have to give them some space to figure out what they really want...And they have family getting baptized this month so hopefully their fam can work some magic on them in the meantime.

So we, Sis Dipietro and their mini missionary, had to go seeking the other day like in the middle of the afternoon because our comps were at MLC and that was the only time we had to get seeking in that day. It got up to like 105 degrees. And we went walking for an hour and a half. SO HOT. Then it was cold and rainy this weekend? Like in the 50s? I am losing the NoDak in me because I broke out a cardi for 50-degree weather. Boo.

So at service this week at the old folk's, some old man saw me and yelled, "Hey, when did Cleopatra walk in?" He said that while I was standing with all of our Elders too. I had to take a lap. Then we went inside to play bingo and he yelled across the room to the man sitting next me, "Hey, how did you get lucky sitting next to her?" And he said back, "I don't know, but I like it!" Glad I am a hit with at least one age group of men.

Big story of the week:

So we have members that live out in Homeland. Which is out in the boonies. Like it takes us almost 30 minutes to get their house for dinner. And you have to take a dirt road off of the highway to get there. Well, the GPS decided to take us on a different dirt road to get there. At first, we were like "whoa, this is fun!" and took a couple of pictures. Then, the road got really narrow and the road started getting worse. Then we got to a big red gate. We were all like crud, because there was no way for me to turn the car around. the road was that narrow. So, it was either drive backwards all the way back down these hills or lowkey break in:

So, we opened the gate and kept going forward. We drove past some mini construction sites and drove passed a man who threw his arms up at us like, "what are you doing here, you don't belong." We didn't. Pretty sure you were on private property. Then we got to this HUGE hill. Like, super steep. And this wasn't a good dirt road, like it was loose sand. I turned to Hermana Chandler and said, "I don't think I can do this." And she said, "We don't have a choice." So I gunned it up that hill in our little wimpy car, and we somehow made it over. Like, with the conditions of the road, the steepness of the hill, and the car we were driving? Should have been impossible. Not to mention we didn't have service, which means if we didn't make it over that hill or if something happened to the car we would have been stranded out there. We were truly watched over. Looking back on this experience I thought to myself, "How often do we say, 'I don't think I can do this'?" Sometimes we don't think we are going to make it. That we don't have the capacity to keep going. Sometimes we don't, but that's why we have a Savior. The enabling power of the Atonement is so unbelievably incredible but we have to UTILIZE this grace in our lives. We can't just sit at the bottom of the hill and doubt. We have to hit the gas pedal and have faith in our Lord Jesus Christ to do the rest.

Only two more weeks left in the transfer, which means I am that much closer to finishing training! Love you all!


Hermana Tonini

Monday, May 1, 2017

Pretty Girls Need Bodyguards

So, Tuesday was MEGA CRAZY. During Buscando con Fe, we found SIX referrals between three different sets of missionaries and one for us. It was in a real sketchy part of town and some man drove by with his window down and yelled, "PRETTY GIRLS NEED BODYGUARDS” at us. We also picked up FOUR new investigators. Also, I had a strong impression the past week to go stop by a family in our ward. Usually you would peg them for a family that wasn't really super gung-ho about the Gospel, if that makes sense. However, the mom and daughter had TWO missionary experiences and they were totally willing to go out with us and continue sharing the gospel with their friends!

So in MCM [Missionary Correlation Meeting] we decided that when we have our Obra Misional Sacrament Meeting that our ward mission council is going to sing the intermediate hymn. You should hear us sing. Our little mighty group cannot sing and I lose it every time we sing to open out MCM. It's so bad, I know. I need to work on that. But still. Should be VERY interesting. Also, might have to give a talk that Sunday too. Yikes.

So on Wednesday I took over the area again. And I prayed SO STINKIN HARD for help. For the Gift of Tongues and for the Spirit. And it totally payed off! I feel like the more trust you put in the Lord, the more you can feel His support. We taught Maris the most spiritual lesson ever. Like, Sister DiPietro said that she felt the Spirit stronger than she had ever felt before in a lesson, and she doesn't speak a lick of Spanish. Like, you could visibly SEE the Spirit work on Maria, like in her countenance. It was the coolest thing ever. We got her back on date and she even prayed about baptism in the closing prayer!! Gosh, I love that lady. Then I had a Resto with a potential investigator and I taught the whole Restoration by myself and didn't crash and burn!!! And he kept saying "Lo creo" ["I believe"] throughout the whole lesson! I truly felt the Lord's hand in la obra misional [mission work] that day. Then I got to finish out the day with a home visit with one of my favorite families in the ward. Their son plays baseball and so we always talk about his game highlights!

Friday was a little hard. We had to pass of the MOST ELECT family to the English Elders because the son does not understand Spanish. We were already at the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them too. Love that family with all of my heart and it was really hard not to be selfish and keep teaching them. Like, the mom quite literally threatens to call the missionaries on her 11-year-old when he is being difficult and he stops. Ugh. Miss them.

However, we had another crazy good Buscando con Fe day. Found five referrals for the Elders and one for us! Had a really cool contact with this lady Amanda who quite literally has the cutest family I have ever seen and the Elders are teaching them now!!

Then on Saturday we had a lesson with a member's "friend." They are definitely dating but they both call each other friends. In “How to Begin Teaching,” we asked him if he had any questions and one of them was, "Do I have to be baptized to marry someone in this church?" Still want to tell me you aren't dating her? He is so great though. So elect. I was teaching about Jesus Christ and the Apostles and asked him what he thought happened after the organization and leadership of Christ's church went away? What happened to the church that Jesus Christ had set up? He's all, "Um, a lot of people started their own churches. They started walking in their own ways." Uh, yeah exactly? Like, he knew about the apostasy and the significance of the church of Jesus Christ before we even taught it to him? So he is set to be baptized in June and we are super excited about it!

Also, I was parking by the curb one day and all of a sudden this kid comes ZOOMIN down the driveway on his bike and almost T-boned me!!!! Like, his arm hairs brushed up against our car, that's how last minute he swerved.

During Gospel Principles there was a huge fight. Like someone stormed out of class. SUPER uncomfortable, not to mention it all happened in front of our investigators.

It was the most exhausting week, but it was a good, full week. Can't wait to see what new challenges and blessings are in store for this week.

Love you all!

Hermana Tonini