The Week of November 5 – 12

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Last chance to tell us if there is anything you need/want for Christmas.
I want everyone in the city of La Serena to live the gospel.  Can you help me?
I don’t really want or need anything. My shoes are holding out really well.
Speculoos 🙂 haha
I would love to recieve everybodys testimony written out.
ummmmmmmm, that’s it. I know you like to have a really clear idea of what to get me, but I don’t need anything. Just give me your love, express it so that I can feel it and then I am just fine.

Share something you love about the Chilean culture and/or people.
There sayings. They have a lot of sayings and they use them at all moments. The thing is that the half of them can’t agree about what they mean.
I love their habit of “Once” It is like tea time. I love it. However I haven’t had “Once” in about 3 months. We avoid it as best as possible as it is a waste of working time.

I love their natural love for others, although the amount of bodily contact sometimes is disconcerting. They are just very contacty people. Now I am not saying that I don’t like hugs…anyway, it has been a growing process. My personal bubble is a lot smaller now and I take it a lot easier when there are people in side of it.

They are not such a physically obsessed culture. They laugh about acne, pimples, fatness and all sorts of things in public. It is a joke and culturally everyone is used to it. They don’t take it to seriously. It would be a nice additive to American culture.

Do you know how many more missionaries your mission will be receiving with the changes in missionary age?
We should be recieving about 80. Therefore, we are already figuring out which wards in the zone can get more, we are looking for houses and we are doing more Elder to Sister relationship training. With the changes in age and changes in numbers, exact obedience becomes a much more important factor. It has been simplified for us though. We can now interview any companionship that we have in the zone, whenever we feel it necesarry. It has helped a lot to keep everyone in line. It has also been a good growing experience, and I assume will serve a lot for after the mission in other callings, as well as in work.
So, we are going to see what happens. I expect it will be a great blessing. The sister missionaries are generally very well prepared and very dedicated. I have only seen one go home during my mission (that is to say, go home EARLY), which was very sad.

Tell us about your week and what is on your mind.
The past several P-days, we have been literally taking out the trash of our house, after 20 years of missionary habitation. We weeded, we have thrown away bags and bags, and have many more. We have been absolutely without mercy. The results are fantastic. About a week ago we planted grass seed and have been dedicated to watering it and weeding it with regularity. It is beginning to show fruit. Today, we finished cleaning out our garage and found about 400 spiders, 2 of which were about the size of the face of a large wristwatch, I would say a full inch and a half in diameter. We threw out an old refrigerator, an old washer and an old stove, a very old nasty matress and a couple other things. There has definitely been a change in the spirit around the pension.
We are going to buy paint today and then are going to paint within the next weeks to finish the job.

We had to go to Viña for the consejo of the zone leaders again. Our zone baptized 10 this month. Not that many, however, we did baptize the most in the mission. A definite blessing for having worked very hard in carrying out the direction that we recieved form our president. We had to do a presentation of what it is that we did.

We talked a lot about revelation and about the technicalities of dealing with more missionaries and mantaining the order.

I have been thinking alot about forgiveness recently. I have always found it hard to forgive myself. I always tend to hold myself responsable for the things that I do for way longer then I should, or not giving myself enough room for error. It really applies the “I the Lord will forgive whom I will forgive, but of thee it is required that you forgive all men” (unexact quote). That would include myself.

The devil is a cunning beast. We have a wonderful family that we are teaching that was going to come to church yesterday. They did not. The night before, the grandma in the family took a big fall and is in the hospital. They of course had to be there. Although, they too felt very sad that they couldn’t come. For anyone who has ever worked closely with investigators you should note the incredible opposicion that there always is. It is alright though, we continue praying and fasting and they continue progressing in their testimonies.

I memorized Section 121 of Doctrine and Coventants verses 34 to the end [verses 45 and 46 are some of my favorites].

We have been trying to fast [go without food and water for 24 hours] once a week for the past several weeks. It has been a wonderful blessing to feel even more the presence of the Spirit and to see direct answers to our prayers. It has increased greatly my testimony of the power of fasting.

I officially like tomatos. Especially in salads with tomatoes, avocados, lettuce, and tuna (a very typical salad here).  I never thought I would see the day.

I am happy, I am content ,and I am tired at the end of every day from having worked hard.

I have you in my prayers constantly. Remember the Lords timing

With love,

Elder Caleb Tonkinson

Grass, [missing]
Garbage [missing]
Bus rides [missing]
Face making on the year mark
My beloved plack (I have no clue how to spell that) [he means his name tag]
A church building
There may be something else but I don’t remember

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One Response to The Week of November 5 – 12

  1. Sherron Bodamer says:

    Elder Tonkinson, I don’t think you will remember me. I remember you and your family! Your mother will always have a special place in my heart!! She is a very special person. I enjoy reading your postings. They make me feel happy when I am busy feeling sad and sorry for myself. I sometimes forget how’s very blessed I am. Almost 6 and I/2 years ago I was told I had ovarian cancer, which is terminal. I am dying very slowly, because I have asked Heavenly Father for a special blessing. That I might live until my grandson, Joey Good, graduates from high school in June. Since I am in hospice and rarely go anywhere except Sacrament meeting on Sunday. Your posts are wonderful, they make me laugh and cry .i am proud of you and your willingness to serve The Lord. Thank you, Sherron Bodamer

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