Just Another Day

Hi,
Okay. I am going to respond to each of your emails individually this week. So, I am going to fill you all in, on what has been happening here, how I am feeling and my plans for this next cambio [Cambio’s or transfers, happen every six weeks]
  Yeah, second cambio. I don´t even know what to say to that, I am already in my second cambio. I feel so weird, time is flying, flying, flying, almost too fast. I want to scream, slow down, let me think, and then it is tomorrow. We are working hard though.

First things first. I did not get a new companion.  Elder Wintz stays my companion, and we have roughly the same area, although we lose a little of it to the new elders that are coming to our ward. I am excited to be staying with him, and he is also going to be district leader, so that should be fun. The zone got split in to two zones. Mine has 12 people, the other has 9 (a trio of sisters makes it odd). The zone leaders and both of the district leaders for our zone are going to be living in my pension. WHOOOOO. Can you say nuts. The zone leaders had known since Friday that the changes were going to be crazy and so have been making up stories and telling them to Elder Wintz and I for the past couple days and getting us excited to finally hear what was happening this morning. They actually called Elder Wintz about being district leader this morning as we walked to the meeting. Anyway, changes are exciting. That means though, that I will probably be in La Serena until mid-May. Elder Wintz will leave at the beginning of April (he has been here 3 changes already and it will be 4) and then I will stay one after him, at least, that is what I think.

The kid that we were going to baptize yesterday is getting baptized next week because his grandpa died. However, he is continuing with his plans to get baptized this coming Sunday despite all of the comotion. He is super intelligent and has been preparing for baptism for like 4 months. There has just been a lot of teaching to do, and he has been out of town a lot. Also, another one of our investigators came to church and is getting baptized next week also. I am so excited. It has been frustrating to watch investigators slip through and decide to change their position about being baptized. However, we continue to work with lots of people and are working on making plans on how to make it better.


Interesting experiences from the week:
I had my biggest Spanish mistake yet. There is a phrase “mas chanta” which essentially means annoying. I had only heard it a couple of times and didn´t know quite how it was said, but being confident I decided to use it one day in the pension. Not like I spent hours planning on using it, it just came into my mind. At the time, however I didn´t understand the pronunciation at all, so I said “mas chancha.” Chanca, is a female pig. I have not gone a day without having it thrown in my face 🙂 Oh well, I am glad I had one.

We had an inspiration sort of moment this week. We are working with a less active member who has a smoking problem, but the first time I had met her was last week. So around the end of the lesson that we had with her I said “Hermana, si o si, usted dejerà de fumar antes de que yo vaya de la serena” or “Sister, yes or yes, you will stop smoking before I leave la serena” and then she shook my hand on it and promised to work on it. So, two days later we felt the impression to call her. So we did, reminded her of her promise to work on it and then ended the call. Super short and to the point. We stopped by last night 🙂 hahahaha, this is so good. She starts talking to us, and the first thing is how frustrated she is. She told us, she was walking into the store to by cigarillos when we called her. She felt so guilty, she couldn’t buy them, and hasn’t smoked anything since. So we have plans to keep calling.  Also, we left her house at about 15 till ten last night and she lives a long way from our pension, so we were planning on taking a collectivo to make it back to the pension on time. But just as we made the decision to do it, a member passed by and took us home. The Lord awarded us for our desires to be obedient and helped us to not spend any money on the sabbath. So cool.

So, I feel great.

Anyway, as far as this next change goes, the plans are as follows. I have realized the devestating effects of pride. In myself, I always thought about pride as an outward problem. I have, shockingly, though for the most part eliminated a lot of outward expressions of pride. I still have some, and there is always progress to be made, but I have come a long way. However, I have found that internally it is a lot different. It is super hard to tell myself to accept where I am, more to the point to accept imperfection. However, here is the plan. I have been studying and trying to apply christlike attributes in my life and will continue with that. Elder Wintz also recently told me a story of an Elder who in his last change decided to always be doing something: studying,  contacting, teaching, cleaning, working on something, always. Then one day near the end, he broke down crying because it was almost over. I am going to try and start to do that now. Every moment full. Every second, having my mind occupied with something. I am super pumped to give it a shot and we are also doing something called a purification as a zone. Start with a fast. Write all of the things that you do that take away the spirit. Try for 40 days as hard as you can to eliminate the problems and then end with a fast. Also excited there.

Alrighty, that is all from down here. Happy Valentines day, well, close. I love you all and therefore ask you to repent and keep getting better (Elder Christofferson, General Conference, look to that talk, a call to repentance is because I love you) 🙂

But really I love you,
 —
Elder Tonkinson

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