Onward Christian Soldiers

Questions: Share an experience you are thankful for this past week.

  • We had an investigator who has come to church 20 times (that is a lot to come in Chile and not get baptized) finally receive an answer. He has his baptismal interview on Wednesday and the baptism will be Sunday. He is the father of the young man that got baptized last week.
  • The miracle was the last lesson that we had. We went with a member who shared his story of conversion. It was like word for word what our investigator felt. Pretty incredible
  • I have been sleeping badly recently. I don’t really know why. But the couple nights I slept well I realized how thankful I was for them.

Share something that has made you laugh this week.

  • I ate a salad with tomato and avocado and I liked it. I remembered always saying that I would NEVER like them. That, is of course, false.
  • There is a new family from the US in one of the wards here. They have 4 kids. Of course, there is a completely different way of greeting the people here. Guys hug and girls and guys kiss on the cheek. So that is normal. However it is funny to see several of the Chilean youth overusing (of course feigning as if it were just part of the cultureit with the daughter of the family.  And seeing the sons in the family get used to it very quickly. Super funny.

If you have one that you can share, tell us about a prompting you received, a small and simple thing.

  • I receive lots of promptings as I read the scriptures. Things that I can do better or things that need to be done.
  • I think the best one was a very, very simple question. I went on interchanges to another ward with one of our district leaders. As we were eating lunch and talking it seemed very normal. They just looked and felt like a happy member family. However in the course of the conversation I felt the small prompting to ask if all of them were members. For a moment I hesitated and then just asked. As it so happens the father of the house is the only one that is not a member. As we got to talking and sharing it came around that really no one of the missionaries had ever really focused in him. In talking to him, he accepted studying the scriptures and asking in prayer as to what he should do. He is now progressing and being taught more frequently. It was a very simple prompting that helped a lot.
  • The prompting to study more thoroughly the book of Mormon. Just a normal copy of it is now filled with a lot of small promptings as I have read, paused, sought revelation and then written and reviewed daily what I have learned

What principle(s) that you were taught at home come(s) back to you most frequently on your mission?

  • One of the things that most comes back to me is that at least for me I didn’t feel that at home there were a lot of rules that were “Just because”. Everything generally had its purpose and was generally explained. Even if I didn’t understand or agree. There was a reason. In the mission I always try to explain the “why” whether to missionaries or to investigators
  • I think about honesty. Not just that we don’t lie but that we say them how it is. When we are trying to project results for a given month or week, we base it of course on what we have been told. Frequently, there is a little les directness then one would appreciate. But it is very important that people do more then just ¨not lie”
  • Directness. The way things were explained at home. Not in a round about way. Direct
  • Order. It was something very hard to do at home. But I have learned the value of order
  • There are a …grand number of things (I feel there is a better word, but I remember it not)… that I learned but this list sufficeth.

As usual, tell us about your week.

It was a good week. If I only had more time to write experiences.

  • We are teaching a catholic professor who told us that the just want to end their life with a little bit of truth 🙂
  • A man called us assassins as we were walking and then didn’t leave us alone for a bit.
  • We knelt and prayed with an investigator and watched as they recognized the spirit and accepted it as an answer (same investigator that has come 20 times).

Something I realized this week was how much harder it is here to fill all of the callings with dedicated people. There are some problems with leaders right now in the stake. There just aren’t enough that have the commitment to their callings. Our ward right now is overtaxed so we are going to see what we can do for them. They have several of the stake leaders and many of the leaders in the ward have more than one calling. I find myself thankful for the number of constant members that there are and the economical and social conditions that make it possible in the US to live the gospel a little easier.

I am thankful for all of you and hope that you enjoy this holiday season (that is another weird thing. it is hot here, and Christmas is coming). I have faithfully started listening to Christmas music and the Use of the Santa hat will begin in a couple of days. I love this time of year; it is a completely different spirit. People tend to recognize more the importance of the Savior. I hope and pray that it be a time of miracles, personally, for you my family and for everyone.

With all of my love,

Elder Caleb Tonkinson

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