A Change of Pace

My snail mail address is  Elder Caleb Tonkinson, 4 norte 1112, Viña del Mar,  Chile

I am glad that my letters made it there safely. I am going to try and send them every once in a while. I just wanted to make sure that at some point you guys got hand written letters from Chile. Anyway. I am glad that you enjoyed them, but they were weird to write given the dual time frame that I have. That being, I can send an email a week after sending the letter, and it will of course arrive first.

The Six Elders who shared the apartment in La Serena prior to the transfer

Elder Anderson

Anyway. This week was busy. Elder Wintz left and my new Companion came. His name is Elder Anderson, and he is fantastic. It has been a real change of pace. Because I was being trained the last two changes, I have had like 4 hours of studies in the morning and then we would frequently get stuck without time to go to our area before lunch. So, we wouldn’t get going until about 3 in the afternoon. Ahora, with Elder Anderson, we get out of the pension at 11:30 and have a solid two hours of work before lunch. It is so great. He is also super diligent, doesn´t get distracted during studies, and sets some huge daily goals. We are already seeing success. We are going to have a baptism this coming Sunday and the next week. Then if our plans go well the following two as well. Plus, we are finding all sorts of new people to teach. I have a feeling we are going to get a lot done.

Anyway. Personally I feel whipped. I am exhausted. I got a cold Thursday evening, it wasn’t bad until Saturday morning but since then I have just been whipped. I have no energy. So, so, so drained. It was a real bummer not to have my head clear for conference [General Conference, a series of five, two-hour broadcasts from Salt Lake City featuring messages from the Prophet, members of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and other Church leaders]. Although, it was still a fantastic conference. Anyway, I am just dressing warm, trying to take care of my body and of course working, working, working. If I haven’t gotten better by the end of the week, we might take a break one day so I can recover.

My package [a package we sent to the mission home that is still working its way to him] should come today. Within the hour de hecho. Very excited for that. Alright. We were able to view all sessions of conference live and in English. Igual I would have understood in spanish but it was a blessing to have it in English. President says that as a whole we get more out of it in our native tongue even though we understand Spanish. So he asks the wards to set up a room for us so that we can watch. It was really great. Okay. Nothing too crazy but I do have some stories from the week, including the best lesson of my mission to date. Monday night, Elder Wintz left. We were waiting in the bus terminal, and finally the bus came about 30 minutes late. The missionaries all started putting their bags in but in the end there wasn’t enough room. So Elder Wintz and another Elder slept in the terminal until six in the morning when the next bus came that headed for Viña. Tuesday morning I organized our study room, cleaned the pension, studied and just waited until 5 when my new companion came. We spent the whole afternoon running around and taking care of all sorts of little things. I bought a flash drive for 5 bucks (super great deal) and now have a place to dowload all of the pictures from you all so that I have updated pictures as I go.

Okay, I am so excited to share the story. Anyway. Wednesday evening we passed for this lady. We are going to call her Javiera. She has had interest in the church for a while, but it is hard to see her, and she has been confused about the need to really get a response to her prayers about the truth of the things that we teach. Anyway, we didn’t have a lesson planned, we were just passing to try and get one fixed for a different time. However, she was having a rough day. So we talked to her for a while outside of her house, shared a scripture, and then left her with a prayer. For us, it wasn’t that big of a deal, however. We returned Friday morning, when we had a scheduled appointment with her. As we got started teaching her the Gospel of Jesus Christ we asked her how she was in her prayers and here is what she said “When you all left the other day, I had been just having a horrific day. I was left with such a great peace, and tranquility for the rest of the day that I was just awestruck. I felt good, and it took me a little bit to realize that it was because of you guys. So in the evening as I said my prayers I thought. That was it, that was my answer. I know this is what I should be doing, I can feel myself changing.”  Elder Anderson and I sat there, stunned by the spirit of the situation. We just sat there and then bore testimony of the reality of her answer and then set a fecha for her to be baptized. Then at the end of the lesson as she said the closing prayer she just started weeping out of joy. It was powerful, really, really powerful, the Spirit that was there. It was a rough day after that but we literally rode the wave from there on. It was really special.

Sorry, I have run out of time. We are prepping for a large ward activity and for starting English classes as a way to find people and increase exposure to the church, so we have used a lot of time today on that and have quite a bit more to go. Conference was fantastic I am going to be studying my notes for my personal studies this week. I love you all.

— Elder Tonkinson

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