Do you know how lucky you are?

Hello, This is Elder Tonkinson in Parte Alta, Coquimbo, bringing you
the weekly news.

I don’t know why that just popped into my head, but it did and you
have the blessing through modern technology of hearing it (?)

Anyway, It has been a good, but relatively tiring (as always) week. In
fact, it might just be better if you assume that as I am writing that I
am tired, because I don’t remember the last time that I wrote, or did
anything during which I was not tired.

Share a lesson learned from the week or recently.
I am glad this is your first question.  Yesterday, I got hit upside the head with a lesson, which is in the subject line of this very email.  We went to visit a member, he is preparing to recieve the Melquesidic (I honestly don´t know how to spell it)  [Melchizedek, but hey, that was close :-)] priesthood. He is 55 years old and is a convert of about 5 years, who was inactive for a while. He had just received a visit from the Branch President and was excited about receiving the priesthood, when we arrived and started to share a little bit. As we got to talking, this is what he said to me:

“Can you imagine your life in 20 years from now with wife and kids? Do you realize how lucky you are?  Imagine in 20 years even with just the knowledge that you have now, how you will be able to bless your family. I tried for many years to guide my family with clarity and could not. I can a little bit better now that I have the gospel. But just imagine your chance, what a marvelous opportunity. You should be excited.”  I just sat there for a moment, thinking, pondering things. It obviously hit me that obviously it was a blessing to be able to have these things in my life so early. Obvios that it is and will be of grand benefit and yet how often do I forget that? How often do I not realize how great of an impact that it really will have and does have in my life? I look forward with a lot of hope and confidence in that my life will be a good, happy life, despite all of the trials that are
sure to come. But that hope in and of itself, as well as the confidence really doesn’t have a whole lot to do with me (I have in the mission realized that I with my own strength, abilities and talents, am not that capable. It was a humbling recognition) It has a whole lot more to do with the fact that I am confident that the things that I have learned and the consistent application of said things, will bring blessings and the answers that I need. So the great lesson of this week was gratitude.

What is a quality or characteristic you admire in your companion?
His patience and his diligence in working. He does not talk spanish very well. Not bad for a beginner, very good for a beginner but he really understands about 20% of what the people say and he hasn’t let that get him down or overly frustrated.

Were you able to fix your camera?
My camera, is at the moment at least, behaving itself. I have found a manner of storing it and taking care of it that prevents such things from happening. If all goes well then today I will go and find a place where they would be able to fix it.

Do you need anything or want anything for your birthday?
Honestly…No. I don´t need anything. There are a type of pen that are really great for marking scriptures that I have, Microns, that don’t bleed and mark well, and aren´t sold here. That could be something, because I don’t know how much longer they will last. However, everything else is alright, I don’t need anything. I have everything I could need. Maybe a handwritten letter or something.

What has brought you the most joy this week?

Two things that are mutually exlusive. Working with someone who does not speak Spanish, and the day in interchanges that I worked with someone that does speak
Spanish. Fun because there are always funny things that Elder Powner is saying, and stress relieving to work with a missionary with a little more experience who helped me get a breather during some lessons.

But joy, real joy. The satisfaction and surety that I am working my tail off doing what I should be doing and seeing the smile on the face of someone that was struggling that we were able to give the solution. That gave me joy this week.

And as always share whatever is on your mind and in your heart.
Due to a new thing that president has asked us to communicate every week I spent a lot of time in that. So my time has been cut really short by figuring out how to do it. Know that I am well, and know that the Lord is always aware.
I love you all


Elder Caleb Tonkinson
Fotos, me wearing glasses for kicks.
The sunrise this morning.
PSS There is an apostle coming to visit in october. Can you say happy Birthday.

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