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How is your accent?

  • When I focus and am concentrated on speaking well, I have a decent accent which impresses a decent number of people. But there are still many moments where I say things that are completely ridiculous. Especially if I am stressed or in a rush. The words just don’t come out pretty. However it isn’t a big deal and the majority of the time it is all good.

Based on the things you have learned on your mission, share one or two things you are planning to do to pattern your life differently after your mission than before?

  • One is planning. Just in general I never really planned before my mission. And as I have learned to plan, I have come to understand its importance. To some level I was planning days and weeks in the field.  But now, I find myself planning frequently for days, weeks, and months in advance. Recent application: I have started a post mission goals sheet that I take about 10 minutes to edit every Saturday, just so that I may have some ideas of what I want to accomplish right after I get home and for the next couple of years.
  • Another thing that I have learned is order. Not that I was super unordered or disordered or I don’t know what word I am looking for. However, I think you will easily be able to tell the difference when I get home.
  • I understand a lot more about the necessity of the application of gospel principles in the home. I have seen so many families that would have benefited from simple gospel habits, but didn’t, that it seems crazy to me now to think of not living them.
  • There are more, but my mind always goes blank when I try to write.

Tell us about your week.

This week has been another week of interviews. Tuesday we were in Valparaiso all day, Thursday in Quillota, and Friday in Villa Alemana. Next week we are going to go north for 3 days.

During the week of interviews I have come to understand this story that President Uchtdorf shared some years ago

When I was called as a General Authority, I was blessed to be tutored by many of the senior Brethren in the Church. One day I had the opportunity to drive President James E. Faust to a stake conference. During the hours we spent in the car, President Faust took the time to teach me some important principles about my assignment. He explained also how gracious the members of the Church are, especially to General Authorities. He said, “They will treat you very kindly. They will say nice things about you.” He laughed a little and then said, “Dieter, be thankful for this. But don’t you ever inhale it.”


In many situations the missionaries say a bunch of great  things about us, to us. I find myself thankful for the advice of President Uchtdorf. I am thankful for their comments. They lifted me ,and they gave me confidence. However, I feel that I haven’t inhaled it. (Another principle learned and that I hope to apply. People have the need to be praised and to feel that someone else sees their goodness. Frequently, if you praise them and then correct them, they react better).

The other good thing about the interviews is the opportunity to just talk a little in the car about different themes. We have had a lot of conversations of just getting to know you. It is interesting to understand a lot more of President’s background then before. It is also a relationship completely different then the one I had when I was serving in other assignments.

It has been a good week. I am tired, which means that I worked hard.

I don’t have any grand news, I have some fotos that I want to send, but I won’t be able to send them till next week.

I love you all and thank you for your constant letters and concern,

que tengan una semana excelente

con cariño

Elder Tonkinson

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