Hello my beloved family,
Here we go 🙂
Tell us about the most discouraging and most awesome thing that happened this week. [Our prompt]
- Well, as it so happens we taught five lessons less this week then the last week. Now, numbers aren’t even close to the most important thing, and the lessons that we had were pretty good, and we weren’t even here for one whole day this week (more on that later). However we had two days where we taught almost nothing. Elder Ariza was sickish and when we did go out it just didn’t work out. Anyway, that was a little discouraging but not really that bad.
- Friday we taught 8 lessons, found 5 new investigators, put one fecha bautismal, and arrived at the pension exhausted, and happy. Definitely a highlight of the week. The 8 lessons were also really good lessons. I love working as a missionary.
- Yesterday was a highlight. We taught two lessons. But one of them was unforgettable. There is a man that we are teaching. His wife is returning to the church after about a year of inactivity. He is an interesting character who has lived a rough life. One thing he has always talked about is his desire to feel something that he doesn’t feel is just excitement, because he has gone to other churches and gotten emotional but never really felt something like the spirit. Anyway, we tried to talk about how he felt in testimony meeting to see if we could help him recognize the spirit. He just said that he felt everyone said the same thing and it was repetitive and without any real force. We just didn’t see a way to help him feel and understand. But there was a magnificent piece of revelation and we stood up, and started to just say things how they are. “The church is true, you may feel excitement, energy or whatever other emotion in another church but it isn’t the same thing, and we don’t want you to feel that. We want you to feel what all of those members have felt. To get up and say it simply. Becuase that is what it is. This church is true, there is a profet who is guided by revelation direct from God. We represent The Son of that all powerful God and we ask that you have the faith to ask in prayer if what we say is true.”…….He sat for a moment a little quiet. We hadn’t raised our voices nor had we talked any more animated then before. His response was this “That, I felt that. There was a difference. There was like an energy, an aura flowing out from you. I felt that. How can I feel that again, all of the time?”…. The rest of the lesson was quick and we ended with a kneeling prayer. Tomorrow we are going to teach him how to pray. Such a cool experience.
Do you have any lingering affects from your fall? [our question] Fear of going onto roofs. Nothing else, a couple lingering scratches.
What ended up happening to the roof? [our question] It was finished.
Did they have the material they needed to fix it? [our question] I actually fell through something that needed to be taken off in the end anyway. So yes.
What struck you this week in your personal study? [our question]
- Everything. My study was really good this week. I came across a note from my notes in the MTC and one of the speakers had talked about our study as “Ponderful instead of Academic”. As I tried to apply that in my studies this week I am pretty sure I recieved more private revelation then ever in my life. The scriptures were literally unlocked in front of my eyes. I honestly can’t describe it nor would I try to. It was just fantastic. It is certainly a principle that I will try and apply for the rest of my life.
- In my study of the Book of Mormon this week I have been going in every direction. But something that really got me was in Alma 37:43-47
- 43 And now, my son, I would that ye should understand that these things are not without a shadow; for as our fathers were slothful to give heed to this compass (now these things were temporal) they did not prosper; even so it is with things which are spiritual.
- 44 For behold, it is as easy to give heed to the word of Christ, which will point to you a straight course to eternal bliss, as it was for our fathers to give heed to this compass, which would point unto them a straight course to the promised land.
- 45 And now I say, is there not a type in this thing? For just as surely as this director did bring our fathers, by following its course, to the promised land, shall the words of Christ, if we follow their course, carry us beyond this vale of sorrow into a far better land of promise.
- 46 O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.
- 47 And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, yea, see that ye look to God and live. Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober. My son, farewell. [Emphasis added by Elder Tonkinson]
- They aren’t scriptures that are particuraly hard to understand nor are they overly profound, it was more just the simplicity. It is so easy sometimes to forget that the way is not overly complicated. It is completely prepared. They were exciting scriptures to share with other people. I love studying the scriptures. It is the same joy when I find a new scripture, or in other words when it calls my attention, as when I find money in an old jacket. Pure bliss!!!
Anyway. There is a lot to happen this week.
- Tomorrow is a conference with president Kahnline (pronounced Kenline). Just the zone with him. So it will be nice to get to know him and see what his vision is.
- We have an activity Friday with the ward as well as intercambios.
- I get my Chilean identity card o sea carnet
- And we get to teach a bunch 🙂
Well that is most of the news for the moment. We went to a little town called Andacollo. Which is super Catholic and the zone did service and we held a devotional there to improve relations with the community. In this moment there aren’t missionaries there, but the hope is that in a year or two that missionaries can be put in there for the first time in 8 years. Cool activity.
Life continues gloriously onward in its incredible course. I am thankful to be here, and thankful for all of your prayers, letters and thoughts. They keep me safe, and they help us out in our work here. I love you all and keep you in my prayers. I assume that all is well and hope that you are enjoying the summer vacation and not dying of heat. My time has come to an end and I should go for thus hath the Lord commanded me, and I must obey. Amen. (2 Nephi 33:15)
With much love,
Elder Caleb Tonkinson