Missionary Training Center, Week 7, 22 December 2011

Most exciting news is, today we should recieve our travel plans!!!!!!!!!!!! That means that I am going to leave a couple minutes of my email time for late today so that I can email you what they are. My sleep problems have continued, I wake up at about 5:20 and then go in and out in exhausting fits of sleep and then generally get out of bed at 6:10 ish. I have no appetite and am nauseated for most of the morning, which has led to the consumption of lots and lots of mints which seem to be the only thing that calm my stomach down. I went to see the doctor about it, so they are running blood tests. The other thing is, he told me to go running in the evenings because he doesn’t think that I am getting enough exercise with the 45 minutes five times a week. I think there is probably a lot of validity to that. So Elder McPherson and I went running last night. So far the only real effect is that I am not as nauseated, I still woke up at about 5:20 and then slept in fits and starts.

News for the week. Yesterday we got to host new missionarys and should get to do it again next week. That was really fun to do. Also Elder McPherson and I have been chosen to do a teaching presentation, next week, to all of the new missionaries. We are looking forward to it, except that it is in English and that gives us some serious trouble sometimes because we are so used to doing it in Spanish now. As far as the Spanish, it is slowly becoming easier and easier to speak, although I don’t always remember the grammar principles as I am talking. But it is completely natural to have a conversation in Spanish, and I can for the most part read and here with about %85 comprehension. The work goes on though.

I am going to try and finish the new testament before Christmas because I haven’t read it in a while. Which means a good deal of today will be spent doing that, because I don’t have a whole bunch of time left, and I started yesterday. Other than that, there isn’t too much exciting to report. Lots of funny, quirky things have happened, lots of good spiritual moments and lots of hours of studying, such is my life for the next week and a half, and I am thankful for it. I am not looking forward to the decrease in personal study time when I get in the field. This will thankfully be balanced by the opportunity to actually change peoples lives, so it all works out.

I received your Christmas package.  The stocking is hanging by my bed, and the other things are in the box under my bed.  Thank you; I can’t wait to open them. I sent you all a package, don’t open it till Christmas morning. [They were pocket-sized copies of the Book of Mormon with some of his favorite scriptures marked and his testimony]  I also sent you letters but am not sure if they got there yet. Christmas in the MTC will probably be good. We are going to have a massive sacrament meeting with the entire MTC, and a general authority. I am looking forward to it.  I am not saying it will be, but I suspect it will be an Apostle. Other then that, it is a lot of freeish time and opportunities to watch film of the tab [Mormon Tabernacle] choir, and some Church Christmas movies. It will be a different Christmas for sure, but I think it will be good.

Mother, you are crazy for having so many children over, but that is exciting and really a brilliant piece of service. [we had 30+ children over for three hours so their parents could shop, wrap presents, or do other things they need to get done]  Dad, I hope that your interview at UCLA goes well and that the job search as a whole continues to go well. Grandpa, thank you for all of the words of wisdom that you shared with me the last time I was in Kentucky before I left. Whenever I need a reminder to work hard, I read them and think about the example of hard work that you have set throughout your life. Hermanos y Hermanas. I love you guys; you are really fantastic siblings.  I am sorry I don’t have time to type up a quick personal message but that is just the way it works sometimes. Have a Merry Christmas and remember that you are loved. I want to end with a couple thoughts from the Tuesday devotional. Elder [L. Whitney] Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy [there are seven presidents of the Seventy] and his wife spoke. I want to focus on her thoughts. She talked about recieving well. In this time of Christmas with so much gift giving, remember that the joy of the giver frequently comes in the joy of the reciever. Recieve your gifts well and remember the gifts of the gospel as well. I love you all and shall write you this evening about what my travel plans to Chile are.

Love,

Elder Tonkinson

P.S. No Mom and Dad I am not homesick 🙂

I got the travel plans. I fly out of Salt Lake City on a direct flight for Chile at 1:50 PM on January second and should land at 8:20 am in Santiago. I leave the MTC at sometime around 10:00 am. So I will call during some of my waiting time in the MTC.  I am suppppppeeeer excited. Elder Mcpherson and I just made a plan not to speak English for pretty much the rest of our time here.  But I need to go. My time is pretty much up.

Elder Tonkinson

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