Missionary Training Center, Week 8, 29 December 2011


So I am going to answer questions first. I am not calling from the MTC. We leave the MTC at roughly 10:00 AM monday morning. and then our flight leaves from salt lake city at 1:00 in the afternoon. That means probably between 11:00 and 1:00 I will be calling from Salt Lake City. Our flight is a direct flight to Santiago [it actually stopped in Atlanta for a change of planes, but kept the same flight number], and we arrive at about 8:20 in the morning. It should be great. but that is when you should get my call. We are also supposed to get a chance to email on sunday. So, if that is true I will be even more specific if I can.

I spent most of today packing, and ended up buying two short sleeve shirts because I don’t have any, they were only about $15 dollars or less so it wasn’t a huge deal, because it is going to be hot and I figured I should give myself the option. But other then that, yeah everything is packed and ready to go except for a couple pairs of clothes to wear for the next couple days. As of now, I can’t think of anything that I need or want for that matter. I have clothes, teaching materials and personal items. The only thing I am even half worried about is my moleskin journal running out of space and me wanting to get another one.  But that won’t happen for quite some time still, and I can always just buy a different type of journal in Chile. So, don’t worry about sending me anything unless somehow I think of something in the next couple minutes and then I will say.

My Spanish is going nicely. I know pretty much all of the rules; it is just using them correctly while I am talking and with an accent that is difficult. Otherwise, yes, I am for the most part ready for the field, as ready as anyone ever can be. Thanks for offering your prayers. I would love them. Despite not feeling overly stressed or sick in any other real manner, I still am not sleeping well. I don’t wake up rested and I don’t sleep the whole night. When I wake up, I often don’t want to eat until about midday and even then I am not that hungry and nothing tastes good. I don’t know if that is a by product of the food or just a general wearing down of my body. Whatever it is, I just hope it doesn’t continue on into the field. I have an infection by my eye. It is similar to the ones that I would get in my ear but is filled with puss.  So I saw the doctor, and they got me started on some antibiotics to take care of it before I leave.  It isn’t too painful; it is just a little uncomfortable and relatively unsightly 🙂 No big deal.

There isn’t to much on my mind other than getting all ready to leave here. I want to hit the ground running. I want to be a missionary that my president can rely on wholeheartedly whenever he needs anything done. I have zero desire to be anything but the absolute best missionary in the field. That probably isn’t realistic, and I should probably change it to the best that I can be.  However, that is just part of who I am and so that is the goal. So I have just been working on preparing for that, and working on my Spanish and teaching, just like always.

My scripture study time has picked up recently because it takes less time now to plan for each lesson which means I have gotten a ton of work done in reading the scriptures which is most definitely a great, great blessing. Thank you for the pictures they look great, and you all look fabulously happy. Dad, that was marvelous work with the staircase [a spiral staircase Christmas Ornament]; that is really and truly impressive. I have no clue how you did that. I really love the one with Addie’s face and she is looking at a little something in her hands and is about excited as she possibly could be. I can’t wait to see some shots of her doing ballet. Side note, I have my [digital] picture frame set to turn on when I wake up. I absolutly love it.

You are certainly most welcome for the pictures [he had printed about eight and sent them to us]. Addie, I don’t think that you need to hang one in EVERY room of the house.

Elder Tonkinson's Spanish Scriptures

Elder Tonkinson's Spanish Scriptures

But yeah, the one of my Spanish scriptures [which we had complimented him on because of its artsy quality], is just the way that I have them set up to be able to remember all of the scriptures that I have for any given lesson, that way I can use them more effectively. It took me somewhere between 10-15 hours to do. The work was worth it though, it has saved me numerous times in lessons.

Funny story from the week. Last night Elder McPherson and I demonstrated how to begin teaching and getting to know people to the new missionariess that arrived yesterday. We knocked on one door and the guy came to the door, this door is to a large room where about 60 of the new elders are sitting, and starts talking to us. Now, we had been briefed that he was going to be relativly friendly and that he knew we were coming. This was not the case, he was super hostile at the door, and it was difficult to get started. Finally, at one point he said something about Christ, and I thought “Yes, we can work with this.”  So I said “That is the marriage we are….I mean message we are going around sharing.” Yep, that was a fun slip up 🙂 Oh well, the room laughed and we eventually got in the door and were able to start to teach him. Overall a way cool experience. I am thankful we got chosen to do it.

I am putting letters in the mail to all of you, tomorrow. They are written but we were to late to get them in today, so they will be sent tomorrow. I honestly can’t think of the other thing that I want to write about, so I am going to stop here; and if I remember [anything else], I will send it later.  Otherwise, I can’t wait to speak to you on Monday!!!!

I love you all very much,

Elder Tonkinson

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