How it feels to end

Will you have an opportunity to check your email next Monday?

  • Yes I can get on really quick to check my email and send and verify any last minute details

When will you travel back to Vina?

  • This is how the whole shabang works.
  • Sunday at six I have interviews with President. My final, goodbye interview of my mission. It is half an hour long.
  • I go back to my sector that evening and finish packing and visiting people.
  • Monday morning I go to the office and weigh my bags (they are fine, I took Mom’s advice and have gone leaving things behind or throwing out)
  • From there I am going to be with Elder Ascanio (definitely the best friend I have made on the mission) to visit our converts close to Viña. During this time I will look really quick at my email for any details.
  • At 5:30, we have the goodbye dinner with President and his wife. That goes until about 8:00 followed by a devotional until about 10:00.
  • That is followed by going to one of two large apartments that there are and sleeping there.
  • Tuesday we are in Santiago all day. I have time to do 4 endowment sessions [at the temple] or other different things if I so choose and then leave at about 6:00 PM for the airport.
  • From there on out, you all know my itenerary.
  • 🙂 I know it by heart

Share any success or challenges for the week, and anything else that you want or need us to know.

There are so many things to share. This week we lost several investigators. We continue to actively prune our vineyard.

Now here is the good part. I have loved working with my new companion because he helps me to recognize how much I have progressed. It is like looking into a mirror 2 years ago.

He told me this morning as we worked in companionship study.

“How did President know to put us together?  Your are too much like me!!!”

I just grinned and laughed. He has no idea how much alike we are…or how much, he is like who I was. It makes it so easy to give him ideas and plans. They are the same painful processes that I lived to recognize my own imperfection and my own need to humble myself. I am obviously not perfect by any means, but I have definitely changed.

It is interesting to recognize that it is ending. However It doesn’t change how I work. I don’t know how to explain it. I know that in 10 days I will 2000 miles away and doing other things but it really doesn’t affect me.

This Sunday I spoke in church about how the work of salvation is just a work of love. I loved it. I had a big post it with notes, an outline, and a bunch of scriptures and I just felt inspired as I spoke. I don’t remember the half of what I said but I know that it affected quite a few people.

I don’t know, this letter should be “special” but in the end it is just one of many others.

I love me mission,

Thank you all for your company in this long journey.DSC09406

All of my love

Elder Tonkinson

Also just so you know I am taking lots of pictures of normal everyday things to show you how life here is in Chile

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My legs have turned to jelly

[unedited]

I am not going to lie, this was the first physically trying week that I have had in a long time. When I am tired I just get over it, eat a little more fruit, do exercise for 5 minutes to wake up or just endure. However this week my muscles are dead. We have been going running every other morning and that combined with the hills has turned my legs to jelly. However, I am getting over it and my overall physical condition and energy is changing. That is a great blessing. The word of wisdom is awesome!!

Addie and Gideon want to know what your favorite thing about Chile is?

  • There are a lot of things that I really like about Chile. Lets see where to start
  • One: I love the views. It is a lot more pituresque then the majority of the states. There are houses of all shapes and sizes. Placed agaisnt the backdrop of the ocean it really is a georgeous sight that makes for breathtaking moments.
  • Two: The culture is very different. I love the part of the culture that is open and recieving to all. For example I love that when I enter into a house for the first time and they share with me what they feel, what they think. I feel like I really get to know them within very little time.
  • Three:
  • nightime in valparaisoDSC07195Morning in ValparaisoDSC07202 DSC07199
  • Elder Sanchez (one of our zone leaders) with Elder BojorquezDSC07185This is a heart out of ties that my companion did for me one night.DSC07208

Share a humbling moment from the week.

  • I think what is humbling is when sometimes we cannot get what we want. For all of our ability, talent, energy or hope there are some things that cannot be rushed. This week I finished my adjustment from a ward to a small branch and it took me a little bit to remember that you have to take things step by step. You cannot jump from various needs to being a perfect ward in one day. I think I had a little of a vision of coming in and changing in a couple of weeks lots of things in a small branch. Not reasonable. We are starting habits and practices that as they continue to be applied will bring about changes, however it cannot just be changed becuase I want it too. Humbling realization, I liked it.

Addie “what do you like to do in Chile or favorite activity?

  • I like to teach families 🙂 but I do not believe that is what you are asking.
  • Honestly I think my favorite, un gospel related thing to do is to learn about the culture. It is interesting to see a country with a completely different history then that of my own. For example one of the greatest heroes in Chilean was a naval general. But the funny thing is that the naval general died in a battle that they lost, and it is remembered as the most heroic moment of their history. It is also interesting to see how, where we are, and who we are with changes World history. I won`t go into details but history is taught differently here.
  • Also, I love eating food. Honestly chilean food is boring for the most part. However I enjoy a couple of the dulces that they make, as well as the empanadas. (I am thinking of finding a good place in Santiago before I get on the plane to buy empanadas to bring home to you all 🙂 what do you think???!!!???

Share a learning moment from your scripture study.

  •   I am always impacted by this scripture. This time was not different. I read it last tuesday and just love it. Alma 22:18 O God, Aaron hath told me that there is a God; and if there is a God, and if thou art God, wilt thou make thyself known unto me, and I will give away all my sins to know thee ( I actulaly like the wording more in spanish where It says “I will abandon all of my sins to know thee”), and that I may be raised from the dead, and be saved at the last day. And now when the king had said these words, he was struck aas if he were dead… Why can´t everyone understand the power that there is behind that covenant. If there is a God and he does make himself known unto you, why would you not leave behind all of your sins???
  • Alma 49
    3 Behold, I said that the city of aAmmonihah had been rebuilt. I say unto you, yea, that it was in part rebuilt; and because the Lamanites had destroyed it once because of the iniquity of the people, they supposed that it would again become an easy prey for them.
    4 But behold, how great was their disappointment; for behold, the Nephites had dug up a aridge of earth round about them, which was so high that the Lamanites could not cast their stones and their arrows at them that they might take effect, neither could they come upon them save it was by their place of bentrance.
    5 Now at this time the chief acaptains of the Lamanites were astonished exceedingly, because of the wisdom of the Nephites in preparing their places of security.
  • I read this, this morning and find it interesting that the lamanites had already destroyed this city and therefore saw it as easy prey. Just like Satan sometimes sees that he has already made us fall in some area and thinks that it will be easy to do again. However this was not the case for the preparation the Moroni and his people had made. We can all prepare that way and therefore make affective the promise of Ether 12:27

Tell us about your week and whatever is on your mind.

My week was great. We found a new teaching pool, because the one that was here was really bad, and really small. When I say bad I mean small and the investigators were not progressing. It was an exciting week. Lots of movement, lots of improvement and lots of fun stories.

But all those stories shall wait for my next…and sadly last letter ;(…oh wow. That realization is super weird. The good thing is that I have to much to do to get distracted 🙂

All of  my love and lots of hugs (hugging is a habit I have developed as a missionary)

Elder Tonkinson

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Great Britain !!!

First piece of news. I am writing from the comfort of a bad plastic chair and not from my lovely swivel chair in the mission office….but it is fine 🙂 Haha, one of the many small changes from last week. It has been a great week.

Questions about the week:

Tell us about your new companion

  • My new companion..Elder Bojorquez.  He is from Pasadena California. He is my slightly more tanned clone (a lot more tan..and without red hair) but my clone nonetheless.
  • It is funny. Many of the things that he says and desires are the same things that I desired and said at the beginning of my mission:”to be the best” (but isn’t sure the best at what, just the best). He wants to know the why of everything. Not because he doesn’t want to do it, but just because he likes to understand why he has to do it. He also got frustrated the other day because I told them that for the amount of time he has that he is doing fine. These were his words “I don’t want to be fine, everyone else can be fine, I want to do great, I want to push the limits.” [I can certainly hear Elder Tonkinson saying something like that] I love his ambition.
  • It is great because I understand how to help him and how to explain things. We get along really well. He was also studying in BYU and also went traveling to europe right before he left on the mission. He likes to play soccer and is fascinated with reading. I am terribly excited for these next couple of weeks. The other funny thing is that just like I did not like being touched by others when I got here, he does not like being hugged all of the time…so I give him hugs all of the time 🙂

and area.

  • I am in (translation, Great Britain), which was where many of the rich englishman settled Valparaiso. It is not such a rich sector anymore and has a lot of gorgeous English homes that are slowly deteriorating. (I will send pictures next week). It is a branch [congregation] of roughly 40 people, and I love it. There are things that happen in small branches that could not happen in other places…for example yesterday a brother answered his phone during the sacrament meeting [the main worship service], “Hello, how are you? Fine thanks I am good. But I am in the church. Yep the Church in Rio Frio (street name) so I will call you back. Thanks bye.” Just as casual as you could be in the middle of the sacrament. There are a lot of simple concepts to be taught. For example, we also taught the secretary how to use the MLS system [the computer software that keeps membership and donation information] to print branch directories and how to print them on both sides of the paper. It was something so so so simple but they are just things that never get taught.

What are your goals for the next 3 weeks?

  • I want to exhaust myself :). Like that last lap kind of deal.
  • I want to do well things that I feel have been hard for me all of my mission. For example, we are getting up every morning to go running. I have always done my exercises, but I have not pushed myself as much as I could have. Also, my area book [a book listing investigators they have worked with and promising contacts they have made with non-members] has always been good but I want to leave it instead of a 90 in a 100.
  • I want to finish the Book of Mormon. I have fallen a little behind but I will make it without problems. (I was fixing some problems with the pension (mold on a wall, faucets that didn’t work and really bad organization) that took up a little of my time but today we finish)
  • I want to find another family that can get baptized. It was an incredible experience to help a family make the decision to be baptized and to watch as they really became converted to the plan of salvation and have the desire to have an eternal family. I want to see that again.
  • I don’t want to worry about the things that are going to happen after but at the same time I do take the time to think about how I am going to apply certain principles that I do not want to leave behind after I finish.
  • Other then that, I want to leave my companion ready to fill my place as the district leader when I leave, and I want to share with him everything that I have learned in two years.
  • There are lots of things I want to do. We are going to see how much I can make happen 🙂

Share whatever is on your mind.

  • This week, I had a great experience. With all of the time that I have had in the office I have formed a strong relationship with President Kahnlein. Therefore, when the new assistant arrived last monday, President invited me to continue participating in everything. So, I made like a third wheel and just enjoyed all of the benefits for a while. For example, I went to the goodbye dinner (my 6th goodbye dinner) and then the next day I went to Santiago to leave the old missionaries and get the new ones. All the way to Viña, the new missionaries asked me how much time I had 🙂 “24 months” I said. Which left the majority of them scratching their heads for a second and then they would ask “wait…are you going to go home as well?” And with greatest pleasure I told them “not yet” 🙂
  • But the best experience was actually after the goodbye dinner, and it is the reason that I include this in the email. The goodbye dinner is on Monday night (we eat sushi) and ends with a testimony meeting and some final words from Hermana Kahnlein and from President. We finish normally about 9:00 and the missionaries go to a couple departments to sleep. However, this time two of them had to stay late and do an English test that is available. That test takes about another hour and it took a while to get them started so they got started at about 9:30. At this time, Elder Gatica and Elder West (my replacement) went to the office to do things for the next day, and I stayed in the mission home to accompany the elders and to renew my temple recommend.  So at about 9:30, we went to the living room because both offices in the mission home were in use, and we sat down to have the interview. We finished relatively quickly, and then we just had time to talk for 30 minutes, just the two of us. It was great. He has a very clear vision of what he wants to accomplish. He thanked me for my service where I was, and we then talked a little about what was left to do in the next couple weeks and his expectation that I did not get distracted. 🙂 (I am like a train though, I have rails and I cannot leave them).  We then just talked about other things that we had talked about before, he also shared with me some impressions he had and then we talked about patriarchal blessings and their power to help us understand a little of the future and our path into that future. I think the best is that one can just feel the special spirit that there is with someone that is dedicating their life to the work. It goes easily in the top experiences of my mission.
  • This week I also got news that the father of the family we baptized got the priesthood and will be blessing the sacrament next week. WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

All is well in Zion, Zion prospereth!

Hugs for everyone!!!

Elder Tonkinson

DSC07174 DSC07168 DSC07167 DSC07163 DSC07159

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6 months later

6 Months ago I had a quick conversation with President in his office which ended with an invitation to be his assistant for some time. It seems like it was literally yesterday. This morning I was informed of my change…or that would be I logged on and took a look at it 🙂 (last use of that great power, hahaha) I am excited for my new area.  Don’t post it until after next wednesday but I will be in Gran Bretaña. A branch in the district of Valparaiso Oeste. I will serve there as a District  Leader, finishing the training of a new missionary until I leave at the beginning of December.  I am WAAAAAAAYYY excited. It is exactly what I wanted. That also means that I will not write again until Monday the 11 of November. Just so you know.

Questions: Any interesting observations from Halloween/Day of the Dead in Chile?

  • Children, but not so many, walked through the streets in costumes asking for candy. Just about the same as the US but on a much smaller scale. It wasn’t anything to get excited over.
  • Then yesterday everyone went to the cemetery to visit their departed loved ones. It was interesting but not overly surprising nor did I find it horribly interesting. It is so much greater the knowledge of a plan of salvation to comfort us then a sad visit to the cemetery. I am grateful that throughout my life we have never made it a big habit to go to the cemetery
  • At about 5 o clock in the afternoon I had a small personal party with my companion (that means I/we bought aflajores (an argentine cookieish thing)). But it was to celebrate 2 years since my setting apart as a missionary. It was fun.

What was the spiritual high point for the week?

  • We had a great lesson with an evangelical matrimony. They have been really difficult with us recently. Every thing that we left with them to read, they read and then rejected immediately. But we got there, and they asked us the following “Will we  remember things from this earth after we die?”  We said yes and shared a scripture from the Book of Mormon which explained that, that was the case.They then proceeded to ask us about resurrection and we shared in Alma 40:23
  •  23 The asoul shall be brestored to the cbody, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a dhair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and eperfect frame.
  • They then asked, “Will it really be like that? Is everyone really going to resurrected?”
  • “Yes,” we answered, “Christ did.”
  • “Yes, but he was the Christ! and we are not like him.”
  • Then we shared in 1 Corinthians 15:12: “Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 21 For since by man came adeath, by man came also theresurrection of the dead.  22 For as in aAdam all bdie, even so in cChrist shall all be madealive.”
  • They literally sat there stunned. All of their perception of resurrection and life after death was changed in a sitting with two young men who they had been attacking for 3 lessons. It was incredible.
  • They are a lot more receptive now then they were before. It was a very memorable teaching moment.

Tell us whatever is on your mind.

It has been a good week in general. We have had lots of interchanges. I really love how the mission is now. I don’t know how to describe it. I feel so comfortable. So ready for the things that are coming, sure of the things that I need to work on to make significant improvements. There is a lot of confidence that comes after working for so long to make so many changes that I really don’t get stressed anymore.

I am in general, I am doing just great.

This week I have been doing great on my reading of the Book of Mormon, 4 chapters every single day. I have enjoyed it thoroughly. One thing that really called my attention was in Alma chapter 1:15: “And it came to pass that they took him; and his name wasNehor; and they carried him upon the top of the hill Manti, and there he was caused, or rather did acknowledge, between the heavens and the earth, that what he had taught to the people was contrary to the word of God; and there he suffered an ignominiousdeath. 16 Nevertheless, this did not put an end to the spreading of priestcraft through the land; for there were many who loved the vain things of the world, and they went forth preaching afalse doctrines; and this they did for the sake of briches and honor.

Now, it calls my attention for the following reasons. According to what we read there isn’t reason to believe that up until this moment that there was great iniquity in the population. In general, they were obedient, faithful, good-doing people. It calls my attention that for one man entered all of these problems. In fact, it calls my attention that after his false preaching, when even he admitted that it was false, and when he had died it states NEVERTHELESS. I feel that in my life there are many things that start in my life and then I realize that maybe they aren’t the greatest things. For example, an innocent example, with one companion we put some goals for a while that were tied to treats. Things such as pie de limon, negritas (a cookie) and chocolates. This was certainly motivating and helped us to have better results but it took away a part of the spirit. Therefore, we stopped doing it. I found after though that I always had desires to eat those cookies or to have that pie. Interestingly even after realizing and stopping the practice, its influence continued until I came to understand again the doctrine and apply it so that I could focus myself on the work. We must be careful to root out all after affects of things that we realize are taking away the spirit or are taking us towards sin.

Anyway. I am happy.

Lots of love and hugs.

Elder Tonkinson

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Good week.

Questions of the week:

Tell us about your favorite teaching moment

  • Mark once described that it is hard sometimes to get to the computer on P-day and think back on the whole week and be able to recount what it is that happened. Recently, I have been pulling out my agenda to try and remember what were the truly incredible moments of the week.
  • The husband of a recent convert here in the ward is in the navy and has been away for about 2 months and got home for a quick weekend. He has been reading the Book of Mormon while he has been embarked. So, when we started we asked him how is reading was. He looked at us and almost embarrassed said “Well, I am not a very good reader and I have been pretty busy, but I am in Omni.” [140 pages in] 😉 hahaha. Normally when someone tells us that they have been busy and not been able to read much…they didn’t read at all. It was awesome.
  • Yesterday in interchanges with Elder Ascanio (companion from La Serena), we taught the end of the Plan of Salvation to a family of recent converts from last year. They have been having some struggles so we are teaching to fortify them. We taught about what happens after we die. When we started, the father asked us to stop and explained to us that he was having a couple of difficulties with the temptation to drink again and that it was beginning to tire him and his desire to fight. He told us a couple of stories of the temptation and then asked us what the purpose was. We felt inspired to NOT answer his question and continue with the lesson. So we did just that, and we started explaining how death is the separation of body and spirit. We read in the pamphlet where it says that “Death will not change your personality nor your desire for that which is good or bad.”  At that moment the father looked at us and said “So, if I don´t get rid of this temptation here, then I will have it in the spirit world?”  We just answered that “Yep, that is how it will be.”  With that he realized the need there was to keep fighting it.

Tell us about your favorite learning moment

  • I am currently reading 4 chapters of the Book of Mormon every day. This week, I have read all of Jacob and am now in Mosiah after getting through all of the smaller books. I loved this verse from Jacob:
  • Jacob 4:10 “Wherefore, brethren, seek not to  counsel the Lord, but to take counsel from his hand. For behold, ye yourselves know that he counseleth in bwisdom, and in justice, and in great mercy, over all his works.”
  • In thinking about that verse, I thought about in my life what I do to counsel the Lord. I think that most often I do it in my prayers. I feel that I frequently try and tell him how I want things to come out, which is completely not my duty or what I should do. I have also payed closer attention to the things which sometimes others ask and there is a phrase which at this moment I find rather interesting “We know these things that we ask of thee are just.”
  • ¿What do we really know about if our desires are just or not???
  • That has made me a lot more willing to stop counseling the Lord this week and instead accept counsel from his hand.
  • It was a great moment of revelation.

Tell us about something that made you laugh this week

  • We taught a family this week that has a 3 year old daughter. She came and sat down on the floor next to  my chair and started poking my shoes. So, I looked over at her and she looked away as if she hadn’t done anything and wasn’t involved. So I go back to teaching, and she did it again. I looked, and she looked away. And she did it for about 25 minutes, constant and steady and never once gave any reaction.
  • Last night, I was up till about 12:00. We were lying in our beds, and we just got to talking and talking and talking and before we knew it an hour had passed and we needed to go to sleep. It reminded me so much of my conversations with Mark.

Tell us about your week.

This week has been great. Full of interchanges. Full of normal missionary work. I loved it. Other than the normal office duties there was nothing extra.  So, from Monday afternoon till now we just worked.

On Tuesday evening I had a great missionary experience. I was walking in St Ines (it is a neighborhood that is on a hillside) and just felt that it was necessary to knock a door. I think it is literally the first time where I have felt really inspired to knock a specific door in all of my mission. So I of course followed the impression, and we knocked. A young mother came to the door and was so receptive to all of the things we shared. She and her husband live there with their two small children.  He wasn’t home in that moment, so we fixed a time to go by for monday.  I am super excited to share with them. They got married like a year ago. WOOOOOO. (Married people are hard to find in Chile)

 

I got a little burnt this week and the mission nurse corrected me lovingly.

“Elder your are waaay too white to be getting burnt. Don’t be a dummy” 🙂

I love Sister Hugie. She is a grandmother whose husband passed away a couple of years ago ,who is serving here alone as the mission nurse. She normally travels with us for conferences and other such things. It is nice to have a mother like figure in the office to correct us in simple terms that we can understand.

Other then that. All is well in zion. Zion prospereth…..

Everything is great,

Much love and a big hug,

Elder Tonkinson

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[I have no idea why he sent this.  He also sent a video of his companion.  Elder Tonkinson has been working to teach him English.  His companion says “Hi Tonkinson family.  I love you.”  I love to hear his accent.  Unfortunately, we have not paid to have the ability to upload video.]

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Blur

This week went by like a blur. It came and it went without even feeling it. It was just fast.

Share something you have been taught this week.

  • Something that I learned this week was to be a little more humble. When we go on interchanges we [the assistants to the president] are supposed to be the ones that train. However, this week on an interchange I was trained on how to be a good missionary. This week, we left with President to the north and did interviews for three days. On the second day, we had enough time in the afternoon to divide and conquer and go out with two pairs of Zone Leaders in La Serena. I went out with the Zone Leaders in La Serena in my old sector. I was delighted to be there and excited to be working with the both of them. When we got into a lesson at one point the investigator had a question that had nothing to do with the lesson and started expressing a bunch of doubts. I was floored. It had been a long time since I had taught an investigator this hostile and I hadn’t had time to review what we were going to teach because we had been busy all day. The two of them looked at me for a second; and then when they realized I didn’t have an instant answer, they looked at their investigator and with total calmness started to teach. They shared testimony, scriptures, and directed it to what they wanted. I was impressed and humbled. It was a good experience.

Share a recent challenge.

  • I have had a really hard time recently accepting the Lord’s timing on things. I don’t know why.  I haven’t been able to just be patient with the timing of the Lord. With other people, I haven’t found it overly difficult to wait for the Lord’s timing so that they can change or recognize. I have actually found it relatively easy compared to other moments in my life. But I just can’t get it for myself. That has been my biggest challenge recently, and I hope to get over it soon (there is the impatience again).

How has your life  been blessed by others over the past week?

It has been so fortifying to see my converts this week. They are all progressing, and all preparing themselves for callings or to pay their tithing, or various other things. I love it.

Share whatever is on your mind and tell us about your week.

There are a lot of things on my mind this week 🙂 or more to the point at this very moment, but I really don’t know how to communicate them all.

I love you all,

Elder Tonkinson

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Preparation

Questions of the week: What impressed you most from general conference? [This link takes you to the General Conference page where you can watch, listen to, or read any of the talks referred to below].

  • I think the difference for this conference from the rest that I have seen came from my preparation. I have never felt so prepared for a conference, neither have I studied so much for one before. I really took the time to think about specific things that I wanted to learn, I studied them, and then I wrote specific questions that I had. Therefore, this time I experienced conference, and I didn’t just listen to it.
  • It impressed me how focused it was. None of the messages were around the bush, and I love that our leaders can be so direct with us. So, here are some of my personal highlights (¡WARNING! many ot the quotes are not official. They are according to my perception and are likely to be highly influenced by what I desired to hear.)
  • Robert D. Hales: I believe he was talking about coming with questions in general and he said something to the effect of “you might not like the answer.”  This of course came to be prophecy when at one point I felt strongly that something that I had just heard was the answer to a specific question, and I honestly didn’t like the answer. It was something that I already knew, and it was something that I hoped for more clarification on . . . However, the Lord hardly ever works just how we want Him to.
  • Ulises Soares: Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness, showing strength, serenity, healthy self-worth, and self-control.
  • Carol M Stephens: The sacrament renews ALL covenants.
  • David A. Bednar: He promised a greater capacity to act.  I love that paying tithing empowers us.
  • Dieter F Uchtdorf: “We are all hypocrites!” I wish that I wasn’t.
  • Boyd K. Packer: I loved what he said that a “gospel centered home is a safe place to raise children.”
  • Jeffrey R. Holland: “Fatigue is the common enemy of us all.” I take that as physical, emotional and spiritual fatigue. Fatigue comes from, of course, running faster than we are able in all things. I think to a certain extent fatigue is generated by pride. We believe ourselves more capable than we are; we therefore demand more of ourselves in all aspects, and we get close to crashing.
  • L Tom Perry: “Use your bright minds to study the articles of faith and the doctrines they teach.”  I am therefore using my mind to memorize the articles of faith [a 13 point summary of the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ as written by Joseph Smith].  It has been a rather edifying activity for the week.
  • Gerald Causse: “no strangers and no outcasts.”  I think I need to make a greater effort to preoccupy myself as much in the mission as all of my life for those that have least, that have fallen hardest and who have the longest roads to walk before making it.
  • Randy D. Funk: He said in one moment “accept the invitation to rise up and repent.” It is so hard sometimes to recognize in ourselves that we are weak and need to live the process of repentance.
  • President Uchtdorf: Sorrow that brings repentance is not equal to sorrow that brings despair.
  • Henry B, Eyring: “We are blessed with the responsibility for others” As I have recently seen myself responsible for a lot more things then I have normally had. I have found great blessings in learning from that responsibility.  Which also brings me to one of the points from Edward Dube: “Past assignments should not overshadow the future.”  When I have another assignment and therefore not so much responsibility, I should not allow that to change the way I work or the effort that I put into the things that I have to do.
  • Thomas S. Monson: “Be a shepherd, not a sheepherder.”
  • Henry B. Eyring: A whole talk on how to have a happy family!! I loved it. But my idea was “you are supposed to remember things that are important to the others.”
  • Dallin H Oaks: “our policies are determined by God.”  Why do we sometimes think that it is not like this?
  • Richard G. Scott: “The Lord sees weakness differently than rebellion. He always sees it with mercy.”  Thank goodness 🙂
  • Thomas S: Monson: “May we have a commitment that does not ebb and flow.”

In general I loved conference. I felt guided and I felt uplifted.

Share a highlight from your gospel study this week?

  • This week I started the Book of Mormon from the beginning again (5 time during the mission, I believe.) My goal is to finish it again before I leave. That implies 4 chapters a day and due to difficulties with interviews this week I am now 12 chapters behind. But I will make it. I am not worried. This morning I loved, 1 Nephi 17:14. “Yea, and the Lord said also that: After ye have arrived in the promised land, ye shall aknow that I, the Lord, am bGod; and that I, the Lord, did cdeliver you from destruction; yea, that I did bring you out of the land of Jerusalem.”
  • I loved that the promise comes after the trial. I find myself so many times wanting to know that I am doing everything right before I get to the end, and many times it just cannot be that way, and we will not know until to some extent we finish the road.

For what are you most grateful?

  • I am definitely most grateful for blessings. These past weeks I have taken to go over in detail my patriarchal blessing and the blessing I received before my mission and I find them so comforting. They guide so much, and they give so much peace when one can see them fulfilling themselves little by little.
  • I am thankful for the ability to change and to grow.
  • I am thankful for loving letters every week
  • I am thankful for investigators who share their very real trials with me and allow me to help them.
  • I am thankful that even though it is hot outside, I haven’t gotten burned yet and that there is a nice breeze…I am thankful for my blessings.

Tell us about your week.

It was great and my time is up.

With all of my love y con un gran abrazo

Elder Tonkinson

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