How are things going so fast?

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Questions of the week:
How does serving in a branch differ from serving in a ward in Chile?

  • Branches are just smaller generally. The biggest difference that I have seen, is the fault [not sure what he means?] in at least a couple very active families. In La Serena, there were like 15 families that were really active in the Church. Here there is one, the family of the president and his wife. The rest might be active but there aren’t their whole families.
  • We have been working a ton with menos actives recently. We have reactivated 20 in two weeks. A significant portion of the branch. We also have several new good investigators for having done it

How is your budget holding up this month?

  • My budget is fine, but I have had a lot of expenditures with transportation. But I save money every month and  a significant amount at that. I have definitely learned to budget. Although, I can do better. Just every once in a while I splurge to buy comfort foods (ie things that have to be imported and therefore are more expensive, like black beans 🙂 but in general I am good with the money. Thanks to you all. 

When have you felt the love of the Lord most strongly this week?

  • Good question!
  • I think it really comes in the moments where I push myself to the limit and then ask help and it comes. 
  • Also, there was just a quiet moment the other  day when I woke up early in the morning and looked out the window at the slowly rising sun over the mountains. I sat back and just was at peace, my mind mostly blank from the things of the day to come, my body warm and relaxed in my bed and a wonderful background. It just got me to think about the incredible love of the lord in providing it all for me. 
  • Following that day, we have been getting up at 6:30 to enjoy a more tranquil morning. It has been a big blessing.

Is there anything you wish you had brought on your mission that you do not have?

  • A larger knowledge of the scriptures then I had 🙂
  • Not really, There are lots of things that would be fun or interesting, but I don’t have any needs. Every once in a while I think that a scarf would be nice, but then I rethink it and think no. My slippers died, so I wish I had those, but it isn’t a huge deal.

How is your hard drive working for you?

  • Fantastic!!! I am trying to save letters, fotos and documents to it every week so that everything is backed up. It is an uphill battle but there is progress

Share your favorite teaching moment from the week?

  • It was on interchanges. I went to the area of one of the Elders in my district. We went to teach a recent convert and had a really good, really simple lesson. We were just reading verse by verse in the Book of Mormon and explaining his questions about things. As we talked and taught, he stopped us to tell us of how good he felt. He said “I like it when you explain it like this, there is a little fire in my chest and I can understand everything.” 
  • The spirit works in marvelous ways.
  • The other one was in a practice that I was doing with Elder Powner. His simple testimony in broken Spanish and the spirit it brought was a powerful reminder of the Power of the Spirit to do all of the teaching necessary 

Are you staying warm?

  • Mostly, and if I am not warm it is just because I am being hard headed and not wearing more clothes or because I planned badly. The weather changes fast here. But I am warm and relatively healthy.

How are your shoes holding up?

  • My shoes are doing fantastic. My nicer pair is actually getting beat up more then my cheaper pair. Therefore I am using my cheaper pair more, because they look practically new. They are super comfy though. Neither is in bad shape though, and I easily expect to get to the end of my mission with just these two pair of shoes.

Share whatever is on your mind.

  • Life is easier and more explainable when you know the Gospel and the Plan of Salvation. 
  • If you have a cold, orange juice is an excellent resource
  • Corre Corre by Jessie Joy. It is playing in the background and it is a really catchy song. Although I don’t believe that that is the title.

I must go. There is no time 🙂
I love the work and the work is going well. As always much love for your constant support and animo. I will try and write more next week. But you know how it is!
Live the Gospel and Be Happy
ALL my love


Elder Caleb Tonkinson

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