42 Weeks

Last week, you indicated you would be reflecting on your one-year mark in Chile.

  • Many times to recognize growth it is essential to record the things that have happened and then to go back and review them.
  • This week I took a little time to read in my journal about the things that had happened in the last year here in Chile.
  • Really I feel the thing that I have most recognized during the year, the thing that most frequently came out in my writing was a recognition of weaknesses in me.
  • I realized how many things that I had to get better at.
  • I began to recognize better in my life when there was the influence of a loving Heavenly Father and when things were my own failings.
  • I recognized a change in excitement just to do things that were new. to an excitement to do the Work of God

We are anxious to hear your thoughts and about your trip to Vina.

  • Normal. It was nice. We had a good month as a mission and especially our zone so it was enjoyable. We talked a lot about goals for January and for 2013.
  • I learned a lot about the need to teach simply. (more on that later)
  • For the first time we included a little bit of talk about doctrine in the Conference. We just talked about the Creation and the purpose of Man. It was interesting and it was edifying to talk about the why of things in a little more depth then we normally do

Share something interesting from your studies,

a teaching moment,

  • In the conference that we have with President we always have practices. Something that we have never done before, is practice teaching a lesson, and then teach it again to the same people. But that is what we did this time. As we finished teaching the first lesson, with President observing, he pulled out Preach My Gospel. “Elders?” He asked “when was the last time that you read the short lesson plan in Preach My Gospel?”
  • We smiled and looked at each other and then admitted that while we had it memorized that we hadn’t read it in quite some time. So we reviewed it quickly and then President said “Good, now I want you to teach it like it shows. If they don’t understand a point, then share a scripture; but if they understand, there isn’t any reason to.  Focus on their needs and everything will work.
  • We then proceeded to teach according to that model and it was a lesson completely different then the first. Where as the first was evidences and connections, as much a lesson as a court case, the second was testimony, it was simple truth and it was targeted at them. We were teaching other missionaries but I could feel the difference and how it would be in a lesson with investigators. It should be of benefit to put into practice.

a challenge,

  • A challenge this week has been organization. Where as normally I am very organized and very focused this week it just cost me a little bit more then usual. We had a lot of traveling and meetings and I think that it affected me a little bit in my ability to do those things.

a success

  • Kevin Bobadilla who was baptized last week, received the Aaronic priesthood this week
  • The wife of a Family of formally less actives (9 weeks ago) received the calling as second counselor in the Relief Society. Her husband is serving as second counselor in the Young men. Their son is the only active priest in the ward. I was so excited when they asked her to stand for her calling. They were a miracle. El hermano contacted us in the street one day, we went and shared a message and ever sinse then they have been coming back to church. The Lord always prepares things for the advancement of His work.

then whatever is on your mind.

ImageWe ate a lot this week. I will include a picture of the lunch we had on the First.  It was huge and What I alone ate consisted in this

  • 9 shiskabobs (anticucho) about 10 inches long
  • A plate full of rice
  • Half a plate of “salad” of tomatoes and cebolla
  • Papas duchesas (little balls of potato)
  • Half of a pineapple, hollowed out and filled with fruit salad, with pineapple ice cream on top  times 2 [as in, two whole desserts]

DSC06168 DSC06158

Also, we went bowling today as a zone activity. It had been a long time since I went last. But I fared relatively well with a score of 103. It was fun, but I liked our last activity better. The last time we did skits of scenes from the Book of Mormon and it was a much more spiritual activity.

Changes are at the end of this week and I assume that I am leaving. I have been here in La Serena for 7 cambios. That is 42 weeks. That is a long time and if I were to stay another change, it is almost a year. It is possible but not overly likely.

We are going to change apartments. If every thing goes well inside of a week we will be living in another part of La Serena and alone, just the two of us. It is a separate Apartment connected to the House of a member from the United States (Comida Gringa 🙂

Anywhos. Se acabò el tiempo

Familia. Les quiero mucho. Gracias por todo su apoyo.

Elder Tonkinson

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