Preparation

Questions of the week: What impressed you most from general conference? [This link takes you to the General Conference page where you can watch, listen to, or read any of the talks referred to below].

  • I think the difference for this conference from the rest that I have seen came from my preparation. I have never felt so prepared for a conference, neither have I studied so much for one before. I really took the time to think about specific things that I wanted to learn, I studied them, and then I wrote specific questions that I had. Therefore, this time I experienced conference, and I didn’t just listen to it.
  • It impressed me how focused it was. None of the messages were around the bush, and I love that our leaders can be so direct with us. So, here are some of my personal highlights (¡WARNING! many ot the quotes are not official. They are according to my perception and are likely to be highly influenced by what I desired to hear.)
  • Robert D. Hales: I believe he was talking about coming with questions in general and he said something to the effect of “you might not like the answer.”  This of course came to be prophecy when at one point I felt strongly that something that I had just heard was the answer to a specific question, and I honestly didn’t like the answer. It was something that I already knew, and it was something that I hoped for more clarification on . . . However, the Lord hardly ever works just how we want Him to.
  • Ulises Soares: Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness, showing strength, serenity, healthy self-worth, and self-control.
  • Carol M Stephens: The sacrament renews ALL covenants.
  • David A. Bednar: He promised a greater capacity to act.  I love that paying tithing empowers us.
  • Dieter F Uchtdorf: “We are all hypocrites!” I wish that I wasn’t.
  • Boyd K. Packer: I loved what he said that a “gospel centered home is a safe place to raise children.”
  • Jeffrey R. Holland: “Fatigue is the common enemy of us all.” I take that as physical, emotional and spiritual fatigue. Fatigue comes from, of course, running faster than we are able in all things. I think to a certain extent fatigue is generated by pride. We believe ourselves more capable than we are; we therefore demand more of ourselves in all aspects, and we get close to crashing.
  • L Tom Perry: “Use your bright minds to study the articles of faith and the doctrines they teach.”  I am therefore using my mind to memorize the articles of faith [a 13 point summary of the doctrines of the Church of Jesus Christ as written by Joseph Smith].  It has been a rather edifying activity for the week.
  • Gerald Causse: “no strangers and no outcasts.”  I think I need to make a greater effort to preoccupy myself as much in the mission as all of my life for those that have least, that have fallen hardest and who have the longest roads to walk before making it.
  • Randy D. Funk: He said in one moment “accept the invitation to rise up and repent.” It is so hard sometimes to recognize in ourselves that we are weak and need to live the process of repentance.
  • President Uchtdorf: Sorrow that brings repentance is not equal to sorrow that brings despair.
  • Henry B, Eyring: “We are blessed with the responsibility for others” As I have recently seen myself responsible for a lot more things then I have normally had. I have found great blessings in learning from that responsibility.  Which also brings me to one of the points from Edward Dube: “Past assignments should not overshadow the future.”  When I have another assignment and therefore not so much responsibility, I should not allow that to change the way I work or the effort that I put into the things that I have to do.
  • Thomas S. Monson: “Be a shepherd, not a sheepherder.”
  • Henry B. Eyring: A whole talk on how to have a happy family!! I loved it. But my idea was “you are supposed to remember things that are important to the others.”
  • Dallin H Oaks: “our policies are determined by God.”  Why do we sometimes think that it is not like this?
  • Richard G. Scott: “The Lord sees weakness differently than rebellion. He always sees it with mercy.”  Thank goodness 🙂
  • Thomas S: Monson: “May we have a commitment that does not ebb and flow.”

In general I loved conference. I felt guided and I felt uplifted.

Share a highlight from your gospel study this week?

  • This week I started the Book of Mormon from the beginning again (5 time during the mission, I believe.) My goal is to finish it again before I leave. That implies 4 chapters a day and due to difficulties with interviews this week I am now 12 chapters behind. But I will make it. I am not worried. This morning I loved, 1 Nephi 17:14. “Yea, and the Lord said also that: After ye have arrived in the promised land, ye shall aknow that I, the Lord, am bGod; and that I, the Lord, did cdeliver you from destruction; yea, that I did bring you out of the land of Jerusalem.”
  • I loved that the promise comes after the trial. I find myself so many times wanting to know that I am doing everything right before I get to the end, and many times it just cannot be that way, and we will not know until to some extent we finish the road.

For what are you most grateful?

  • I am definitely most grateful for blessings. These past weeks I have taken to go over in detail my patriarchal blessing and the blessing I received before my mission and I find them so comforting. They guide so much, and they give so much peace when one can see them fulfilling themselves little by little.
  • I am thankful for the ability to change and to grow.
  • I am thankful for loving letters every week
  • I am thankful for investigators who share their very real trials with me and allow me to help them.
  • I am thankful that even though it is hot outside, I haven’t gotten burned yet and that there is a nice breeze…I am thankful for my blessings.

Tell us about your week.

It was great and my time is up.

With all of my love y con un gran abrazo

Elder Tonkinson

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