Weekly Letter 3 Agosto 2013

Dear Family,

This week was another adventure. Sunday at church, Monday in the office, and then from Tuesday till Friday in the north going to interviews with the missionaries.

Have you received direction on whether to extend or not?

  • Yes, very clear, exact direction. President has been permitting quite a few extensions and the last couple have been a hassle. So last weekend when we finished with some emergency changes to cover the gaps left by the leaving missionaries, President said that he was going to stop extending unless absolutely necessary. So, I am going to have my personal interview with him during this week and I am going to ask him if it is necessary. And if it is not, I am not going to extend.

What was your favorite teaching moment?

  • I love using the mission manual to teach leaders how to do better their assignments. There is a line that says ” [your] goal is not merely to supervise or motivate, but to lift, encourage, inspire and bless.” In spanish the word for lift is elevar, better translated as “to elevate.”  I like thinking about helping others in terms of elevating them, their thoughts, their actions, their words, their life style. It is a powerful concept to help others. A leader cannot hope to bring someone up behind them if they themselves are not at that level. The interviews give us the opportunity to train one on one while their companions are in interviews. So this week my favorite teaching moment was in interviews with a District leader that I had interchanges with about a month and a half ago. During that interchange we talked a lot about what it means to lead, especially in the church and as a missionary. And we talked about the applications in real life. When we finished the interviews and we left in the car, we always take a moment to talk about how the missionaries are and what they need to get better, as well as how the interviews went. In his review President said two things.
  • “He is doing a lot better then the last time I saw him.”
  • “He said that the interchange with you did him wonders. He talked for about 5 minutes of what he learned.”
  • That was gratifying to hear.

What was your favorite being taught moment?

  • For the interviews I drive a lot. My companion still doesn’t have a drivers license and the interviews are really tiring for President plus he has a bunch of things to during the “down time” in the car. So as we headed to Illapel on Tuesday morning I was driving. President opened up a report that we had sent him about the key indicators from the week. He looked at the numbers and looked over at me and said. Elder Tonkinson, how many people were baptized this weekend?”
  • “77” I said, confident that it was the correct number. I had personally prepared the excel, and I didn’t do the math.
  • “Then why is there a discrepency with the numbers I have from you and from the registrador?”
  • “I don’t know. What number do you have from the registrador?”
  • “76”
  • “Okay, give us a minute to revise and call lthe zone leaders to verify.”
  • In the second call that we did we found the error.
  • At that point president said the following “We are all human. It is fine to commit errors. However there are some errors that we shouldn’t commit. This error was from not verifying, and every time there is an error, it makes it harder to have confidence in the numbers.”
  • It was a nice reminder and at the same time we continued talking about its applications for intangibles.

What characteristics do you appreciate most about your companion?

  • He has a lot of drive to do things.
  • He likes to serve everyone.
  • When he messes up, he asks forgiveness, and he corrects himself.
  • In many things he is like me, so when I realize there is something in him that annoys me, I realize that it is something I also need to change.

Do you attend Church in the same ward most Sunday’s or are you traveling?

  • I have only travelled once on a Sunday. When President travels on Sunday he frequently goes alone.

If the first, how have you been blessed in your interactions with the members?

  • I think I realize more than anything the help the Lord gives us. Many times our interactions are short but effective with the members; and even though we don’t know that many of them and haven’t had the opportunity to meet them and establish a relationship, they are still willing to help us out.

In general, I am doing great. I can’t complain about anything.

Un abrazo fuerte a todos

Elder Tonkinson

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