Puras Locuras

Okay, in reality. Not that crazy of a week. However, the changes, were NUTSSSS!!! and I mean Nuts!

Any news from transfers?
Any news? Claro que si!!! There is so much news. Presidente Kahnlein changed all of the protocols for administring the changes. He called Elder Ariza at 5:30 Friday as we were walking to a lesson to tell him that he was going to be a zone leader. Then we didn’t hear a thing until the nighttime on Saturday. There were 3 emergency changes in our zone, and I didnt receive my official change until last night. It was a lot of stress. Not knowing, and that no one knew what was happening.

I am staying here in Parte Alta, Elder Ariza went to Villa Alemana Oeste, and is going to be with Elder Wintz(my first companion). I am going to be training a new missionary and I am going to be acting as District leader and they had the nerve to call me about it last night at 11:45 as we awaited the Bus!!! 🙂 But it is all right. Just a little bit crazy. I will be with the Zone leaders until Elder Brown (the missionary that I am going to train) arrives tomorrow night, close to midnight.

I am excited; however, I am also trying to assimilate all of the information and plan for how I am going to do everything, and do it well, and do it right, and maintain tranquilidad. However, up until this moment, all is well. Elder Tonks (zone leader) and I have been discussing it, and he is directing me in what should be done. Anyway, all things will come with time and experience.

Share an awkward or embarrassing moment from the last several weeks.
There are not a whole lot of the things that make me feel embarrassed or akward anymore. You sort of have to set that aside or you cant be effective as a missionary. However, in the past couple weeks there have been a couple silly things that have happened. For example, we had lunch with a family two weeks ago. Now, almost always here in chile, there is lemon to put on salads. However, the Hermana hadn’t put a knife on the table to cut the lemon. I really didn’t think anything of it. I am resourceful and didn’t want to break up the conversation asking for a knife. So I just took my fork and started puncturing holes in the peel and then broke it open. However, everyone started commenting about it as if it were the funniest thing they had ever seen. Okay, stupid moment from Elder Tonkinson, lets laugh and forget it 🙂 But it is not that easy. Within a week I had heard the story retold to me like four times. Every single time with lots of laughter at the silly Gringo and his funny way of opening the lemon. Just one of many fun memories.

I had a mental block for a second and started talking in english during a lesson without noticing. That was actually a little embarassing.

Is there olympic fever in Chile?
Not that much. They don’t have many athletes that compete. However, they do enjoy them and it has been so hard to avoid seeing things. The opening ceremonies from what I have heard were capo! or in other words (smart) o sea. They were really cool! But no, I am just going to suffer for two weeks avoiding them.

What experiences have stretched you this week?
After 5 weeks of all the time teaching. Everything slowed down this week and we hardly taught. That was a little stretching. Just adapting back to doing a lot of searching and being on our feet all of the day.

Answer a question we should have asked.
You should have asked a number of things such as:
Is your room clean? It is marvelously organized. All the clothes folded. Books on the shelf, shoes shined, floor vacuumed, bed made and it is like that every single day.
Are you eating your vegetables? Of course I am. Tomatoes are still not a pleasure to eat and I think that palta really does actually make me feel sick. but I eat a bunch of vegatables.
Are you being humble? I am trying and there is beginning to be a difference in my general mentality towards all things.
Do you love us? Of course I love you all
Do you miss us? Not at all. No, I dont really miss you. I just remember you and am excited for the day in that we can all catch up. But I don’t really want that day to come too soon.

Give us an update on how you are feeling and how your investigators are progressing.
I feel good. Loaded with work and a whole bunch of new things to learn. But that is how I like things. Challenges are good, they help us to grow. Our investigators progressed really well last week. This week they didn’t. They didn’t come to church and hardly anyone was home. However, we have talked with a lot of them about the importance to be baptized (including an hour long lesson with an evangelical who said that their pastor was a profet and that God descended and gave him authority). But it has been a good week, and we found some really good possibilities. I am excited to be training here. We are going to have a whole ton of work to do.

Tell us something you are doing to combat perfectionism and the associated feelings of inadequacy.
I pray a whole bunch and I have quotes on the wall. From scriptures, and from talks that help me to remind me to calm down, rely on the Lord and just keep working. I have noticed a change. Whereas before my attitude was this “I can do anything, and I can do it well, and it isn’t going to be that hard” it is now “I can do anything, but it is going to be hard and it won’t be my own force that gets me through it”
This is not my work and therefore if I work my hardest, my inadequecies will not impede the plan of He who is at the head of His work.

This week I really came to a feeling of the grandness of the mission. It wasn’t that I didn’t have a vision before. It just changed. I caught hold of everthing. There was a moment in the week as we walked in the streets that I think I caught a glimpse of eternity. I dont know how to describe it. I just saw for a moment the milleniums stretched before me (not literally) and saw the two years in the context of lots of time. I really am at a lack of words to describe what I really want to communicate. However, it is enough that I say, I learned a bunch. As I said. This isn’t my work nor will it ever be.

Anyway, I am glad to have seen all of your pretty faces in the fotos. To have seen so much happiness in your countenances and to hear the fabulous blessings that come from having a family based on Gospel principles. I wait with excitement for the next one.

I hope you all realize how much I value every one of you as my family and that you are constantly within my prayers. Take care of yourselves and “Remember “how merciful the Lord hath been” -Elder Maxwell

With all of my love,

Elder Caleb Tonkinson

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