Cody portrait

Cody portrait

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Liverpool!


Ni-hao from Liverpool!!

Hello again family!  This has been a crazy past week. Again, I loved the web cam time, made my year!

Well, I am now in the heart of Liverpool serving in a threesome with Elder Fawcett from Utah and Elder Jin from mainland China. Wow, am I excited! Elder Fawcett is a Chinese speaking missionary that I am follow-up training. Elder Jin is also a Chinese speaking missionary who is still learning English. The new flat that I am in is gorgeous. It's a 3rd story flat with a picturesque view.

The primary focus for us missionaries in this area are the Chinese. We will be working the University in Liverpool almost every day. Seems familiar! Except with a Chinese twist this time. They have seen a lot of success over the past six months and we will be doing all we can to keep that up!

Last night I got to meet a lot of the new Chinese converts at a member's home, and wow, the Chinese people are celestial! They are the nicest and funniest people! This is going to be a great experience.

I'm sorry I cant say much today! We are on a tight schedule with a Coordination Meeting in an hour or so, so I best be off. I'll speak to you again on Monday!  Pictures then!

LOVE YOU!

Here's my new address:

15 Newsham Dr. Flat 7
Tuebrook, Liverpool
L6 7UG

Dad, I don't know if the Koreans are anything like the Chinese, but wow what a blessing it must have been to serve in Korea!



Elder E's  flat at 15 Newsham Drive, at least according to Google Maps

New area: Tuebrook, Liverpool

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day Treat - Video Conferencing with Elder E

Elder E looking great!
Christmas morning in the Jammies...Looking forward to talking to Family!



A few weeks ago, Cody informed us that his mission was allowing their missionaries to Skype their families for Christmas. For one hour we were able to finally get answers to all of the questions we have been wanting to ask him since he arrived in England. And to be able to see him like he was in our front room was icing on the cake.

After spending 5 months in his first area of Wyethenshawe, he will be transferred this Wednesday and he is looking forward to the new adventure that awaits. Our cup is full!




Monday, December 20, 2010

Joy To the World!


Feeling the Christmas Spirit with Elder Cunningham.

It's a Winter Wonderland!

Mike getting baptized



Merry Christmas from Manchester!



Hello!!

How is everyone? This place was hit yet again with snow and I am loving every minute of it.  If it's going to be freezing, it might as well be snowing too!

But the great news this week is that Mike was baptized and confirmed a member! It wasn't the easiest thing, but he was a champ in the end. He showed up to his baptism 45 minutes early and was overly nervous, at some points even questioning if it was the right day. So we took him into a room, read some scriptures and asked him to say a prayer. He must of felt the spirit, because he stood up and said in his proper Yorkshire accent, "Lets go ahead with the baptism." So we did. And he loved it! Right after we came out of the font he went on about how great he was feeling. It was great! 

And then on Sunday he was confirmed. It had to be the best day to be confirmed, because after church was a buffet full of food for Christmas time. The whole ward gathered for an hour or so and throughout the time Mike was getting congratulated and meeting new people. He is getting off to a great start. "Much goodness" as he always says.

Update on Martin:

Martin moved out of his flat, and is excited for his baptism on the 8th of January. He has been taught everything that is needed, so from now on we are just getting creative! But we continue to see him three times a week, and he is continuing to be a star!

Update on Nadia:

She had a bit of a hiccup in our first lesson this week, asking if she could join when it is "easier" to join.  "Like 20 years from now." Well...we assured her it wouldn't get "easier." Instead, we told her to join, and enjoy the immediate blessings that come from baptism and receiving the Holy Ghost. So she promised to improve, and since has had a new sense of motivation to continue. To help her get off smoking we have been calling her every morning at 9 to give her a "scripture of the day." Its a great way to keep daily contact and help her to continue to feel the spirit!

I would call yesterday "Big News Sunday" because a lot of news came. First off, this is my last week in Wythenshawe! Transfers will be on the 28th. This is because Elder Cunningham has been called to train. And since President Bullock attends our ward, he assured me of the change, but didn't give even a hint of the whereabouts I'm headed, just a, "Elder Eliason, your headed to a place where great things are happening in the mission, and your going to love it there," in his CEO-esk voice. Is he talking about the Isle of Man? I don't know, but we will find out soon enough.

Second we found out from President that we can SKYPE for calls home. General Authorities have sent out info saying that we are allowed to video chat on Skype! Missionary Work is getting revolutionized!  If for some reason I cant find you, or you can't find the web cam, I will just give you a ring after trying. I'm allowed one hour, and will ring you on Skype around 8:00 your time! :)

We also found out that Elder Cunningham will be getting his "Greenie" early.  As in tomorrow at our "Christmas Zone Conference" Because of our longer than usual transfer we will get him early and will be in a threesome for the next week.
 
This week's study of humility was a great one. I came across a talk given by Elder Steuer in Conference of 2002 titled "Being Teachable". It gave such great insight on the importance of:

1.Having a desire, and willingness to receive instruction.
2 Having the prayerful, and laboring mindset to improve.
3.Being obedient to instruction given.

This is something that has stuck with me. Because the only way you can grow and improve is through learning. And that is through being taught or corrected by anyone, most importantly the spirit. I know as I submit to the whisperings of the spirit I can be led to people that need my help. Or led in ways to learn and "get better."  Because having the spirit is how we access the wonderful blessings of the atonement. And if we do not have the spirit with us, we are leaning on our own understanding and our own strength. I know that can't lead far!  So this week I have committed to be more humble in all things because that is the way in which I can "get up to speed" and become what my Heavenly Father wants me to become.
 
This past week I have read so many things concerning Jesus Christ's birth! It has made this such a special time. We also have been watching "Joy to the World" with our  investigators. Have you seen it? If not, get it before Christmas!.. but Wow, I love it. We also have been getting SURPLUS amounts of chocolate, and candy from the ward and friends, and it hasn't been easy to abstain. We have fully disregarded the diet until the New Year...Its official...

This week is going to be a great one! We have "Chirstmas Zone Conference" in Chorley tomorrow. We will be able to attend a Temple Session and have dinner inside.. I'm excited!! TALK TO YOU SOON! get that account ready! :)

LOVE LOVE LOVE,
Elder Eliason

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Spirit of Christmas Is In the Air!

Feeling the Christmas Spirit!

Our  lovely bus stop that we are always at, but with a tad more snow than we would like. Coldest winter on record in the UK...just my luck.

Winter Wonderland! Our church is in the background.

Planning the day with Elder Cunningham


Hiya Hiya Family!!!

What a wonderful time of year it is! This place is beaming with lights in the town centers and downtown Manchester. I can't believe when I arrived it was still short-sleeve weather. I say it a lot but time flies. It's been crazy.

But first off,  Derek Ford (cousin), coming to TEXAS?! Is there a better place to serve a mission?! I don't think so. I was crossing my fingers for England Manchester, but going to Texas will do! Such good news, tell him my congrats!

This week started off with Jamie Roper, a ward member taking us to the beloved Costco. We spent maybe a little too much, but it was worth it. First time I've been able to buy legit peanut butter! Who knew I would miss it this much..

Later that evening we had a funny moment while tracting around. We met an elderly Jamaican women named Carmen. As soon as we mentioned the name Jesus Christ she let us in. With her was her husband and sister. They had Jesus statues everywhere, and were full of the "gospel" spirit. We did the best we could to trot through the restoration lesson but every couple of minutes they would shake the house by shouting "Hallelujah!, Hallelujah!"

We did our best to speak over their "gospel choir" shouts.. and to get across that our religion was different than theirs. But there wasn't much success.. But we did make great friends and even sang Happy Birthday to Carmen before we left.

On Friday we headed down to downtown Manchester, Picadilly area, and sang carols. It was so great, we just belted the Christmas Hymns and watched as people clapped and took pictures. My idea of bringing a CD player and blasting Josh Groban to help us keep tune as well as add some oomph didn't go through, but it did go better than I expected.

A couple of us would take turns and street contact out in front---a great way to set up appointments. If someone ends up getting baptized you could say my beautiful voice got everything started. Or that we had 8 sister missionaries with us...either one works.

With the spirit of Christmas in the air a more and more people stop and talk with us! We have even adapted our QGC (street contacting formula inspired by our mission President and formed from Preach My Gospel) to the Christmas season. We have been able to draw them in with something they are familiar with and then tie it all to the Restoration. Again, I am so thankful for the teachings and format of QGCs. Without them, the time it takes to "get up to speed" as a missionary would be far greater. It's like having a proven effective playbook when you enter the league as a rookie. If you put in the time to work, and "become" the material, you are already ahead of the game and ready to provide for the team, mission and kingdom.

Update on Mike:

He had a bit of nervousness and was feeling uneasy about his baptism a few times this past week, but we were able to reassure him for this upcoming week. He attended a Catholic church and took some of the sacrament which included wine. So he wasn't able to make his date this past week. He felt bad and I think it was good to put it off a week. Even though it was a tiny bit, we showed him how important it is to fully follow the commandments.  He is a star, and is ready for his baptism this upcoming Saturday!

Update on Martin:

He hasn't been able to move out of his flat, and has had a hard couple of weeks. He hasn't been able to fully keep the commitments so we had sort of a "bold" lesson with him. We told him that things needed to change if he wants to still be baptized.. We could tell the lesson really hit him hard, it made him think a lot. The next lesson, he had some "fire" in him.  He kept saying how its time to set goals and get where he needs to be with God.  So we set a date of the 8th of January. He is fired up and preparing himself for that date!

One of my favorite scriptures this week had to do with "Work Ethic".  James 1:22. "Be ye doers of the word, not hearers only."  I know that each week I receive counsel in all types, from the scriptures, the Mission President and leaders, conference talks, family, and it's one thing to take it all in and think it's all lovely advice. It's another to act upon and see changes come. I know that as a "doer" of all knowledge I gain, I can become what my Heavenly Father wants me to become here in England!

Patience was a great study for me this week! One of my favorite scriptures was in Proverbs. "He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding."  That scripture related patience well with knowledge. When we have a greater understanding of what comes from our actions, we are more willing to be patient and endure. Being patient means having calm endurance, knowing things will get better. One other scripture I really like is D&C 101:16, it says, "Be STILL, and KNOW that I am God".  So simple...but what I took from that is to be STILL, or patient, KNOWing through faith and hope that things will improve through doing what is right. Heavenly Father loves us, but wants us to grow and become more like him. That is through trials of our faith and patience.

I am so grateful for the eternal perspective that I have that gets me through the hard times, and to know that I have a Heavenly Father that loves me and wants me to return "home." I'm grateful to know that I can be with my family even after this life, through His perfect plan and through His son, Jesus Christ. What a wonderful opportunity it is for me to study about my Savior and His birth! We celebrate his birth, because of his life!

I love you all so much!! I hope you all are enjoying this Christmas season as much as I am! :)

LOVE LOVE LOVE,
Elder Eliason


PS- I will call home around 2pm here..8am there on Christmas! I hope that works!! :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

Power of Fasting and Prayer

Hiya Dearest Family!

It has been a cold one here in England. We saw our own little "winter wonderland" this past week. But thanks to my new scarf, I was warm! Well warm around the neck. I would have pictures for you but we forgot the camera. So anticipate them coming next week! :)

This week has flown by, which seems to be a theme. So Elder Cunningham and I are doing our best to get the most out this last month of 2010!

Update on Martin:

He slipped on the Word of Wisdom and has been moved to the 18th, but continues to be amazing.  He is getting through a lot of hard times at the moment, and has received much help from the gospel coming into his life.

Update on Mike:

He is set for the 11th and is doing well. He continues to share how blessed he has been since taking the lessons from us. We took him to the President's fireside last night and he loved it! He was even supposed to leave early but continued to stay after feeling of the sweet spirit in the home of President and Sister Bullock.

Last week's "focus" was "New Investigators" and to meet the standard of four. We struggled at the beginning of this week because of the snow. Street contacting wasn't the most effective, so we took our efforts mostly to the buses. We brought so much Christmas spirit to those buses we should of received payment!  But we went top floor and bottom floor, looking for those wonderful "prepared" people to teach! Still we didn't have much luck.

We tried getting creative, asking people if we could sing a carol duet to them, or even share a Christmas message. Still, people wouldn't let us in to teach! And on Sunday at around 4:00 we had only one new investigator, with only an hour and a half left before we headed to a fireside with Mike. 

We decided to cut tea (dinner) and tract. We said a prayer, asking to be led to three people to teach. We went house to house and nothing was coming of it until we reached house number 28 adorned with Christmas lights. Two women came to the door a mom and a daughter, we had a great conversation, and answered many of there simple questions. This was so great but there were only two of them, and both were women. 

And by the rules there must be a male in the home or another woman for us to be able to go in. So we asked and the Mom said she had another daughter upstairs.."Wow" was all I could think.

We got in and taught them all. Lucy, Kate, and Suzy. It was an amazing lesson, they had such great questions retaining to the Restoration, so it made the lesson go smoothly. After leaving there home, I cant explain how happy Elder Cunningham and I were. We had both fasted and prayed to meet our goal of four new investigators and it came to pass! Some may call that a coincidence, I don't. I know that was an answer to a prayer. We were led by the spirit to find them. The hand of God is in this work!

This week's study of knowledge was one of my favorites. I learned that knowledge only comes bit by bit, "here a little and there a little." Since being on a mission, I have come to love learning and studying the gospel.  I treasure those few hours in the morning to grow in what to teach and what I can apply to my own life.

But at the beginning of my mission, I didn't feel much "growth" from myself.  I thought everything I was putting in was coming right back out, forgotten. Needless to say while teaching lessons Elder Cunningham would turn it over to me, and I would say something that just came to me. Information I thought had been lost continues to come back through the spirit!  I now know for myself that what we learn "in" the spirit will be brought back through the whisperings of that still small voice.

I love this gospel, and love being a missionary!

Love,
Elder Eliason

Ancestors Link to Manchester

Hello, this is Elder E's father. A few weeks ago, my uncle Paul (my mother's brother) posted some interesting information on my wall about how our ancestors roots run through Manchester, where Cody is serving. Here is what he posted:

J Paul Brenchley Cody is in family genetic territory. Your gr. gr. gr. grandfather Robert Patefield Redford married Lettice in the Manchester Cathedral before he immigrated to Cache Valley. It is a beautiful old church, I hope that you can go fetch him at the end of his mission.

November 16 at 11:50am ·  ·  · See Friendship


    • Todd Eliason How awesome is that! I will be sure and tell him when we email him Sunday night! Uncle Lynn gave us some information on William Brenchley and Caroline Weller, but they lived in the County of Kent, closer to London. Thanks for sharing! This will just add to Cody's love for the people of England!

After telling Elder E about this connection last week, we got a postcard from him of the Manchester Cathedral (see below) with the following inscription on the back:

Wow! two hours after you told me about the Manchester Cathedral I found a postcard about it in Picadilly. I love finding out that family ties run through my mission boundary! I am so lucky to be in such a richly filled mission of church history. This area truly saved the church, sending 5,000 members from Liverpool to Nauvoo... Read about! Amazing!

I don't know what else to say, so I'll give you some of my "favorites" at the moment:
  • Favorite Hymn: Brightly Beams Our Father's Mercy
  • Favorite Scripture: Moroni 9:6 (Got work to do!)
  • Favorite "new" food: Corners Yogurt or crumpets 
  • Favorite talk: Tie between Let Us Be Men (Elder Christofferson) and The Grandeur of God (Elder Holland)
  • Favorite Book of Mormon Chapter: Alma 29 or Mosiah 14
  • Favorite European Car: Volkswagen Scirocco
  • Favorite Movie: Finding Faith in Christ
  • Favorite Bible Chapter: 1 Corinthians 2
  • Favorite Bible Scripture: Luke 12:34
  • Favorite D&C Scripture: Section 127: 2-4 and 138: 56-57
One of my favorite quotes lately comes from a title of a talk given by Joseph B. Wirthlin "Come What May and Love It!"
Perspective is so key! What could get us down when we have the knowledge of the true church? Not much! The hope of Israel gladdens every heart! 

Monday, November 29, 2010

4 Months! Amazed How Fast Times Goes By

Hiya Hiya!

Wow! Another week? I am continuing to be amazed of how fast time goes...

But how are ya'll? I loved seeing that Thanksgiving went well. I'm so thankful for each of you! And the pics are a definite plus!  I had my own little rendition here with the Peterson Family. Food was great!  She takes such good care of us...

Everyday this past week was like Christmas morning! I might of set a record of packages for a missionary in a week, haha!  Thank you! We set everything up the day it came. It's going to be a true Christmas this year. I also got the cookies and card! I thought I wanted to maintain my weight on my mission? Whats with the enticements of cookies every two weeks? Haha. I'm only joking. Elder Cunningham and I have put off our diet until the new year anyway. That makes the 3rd time we have put it off. But thank you so much for all the love this week! Especially those continued "SendOutCards." All of my companions get jealous!  They are such a treat to receive!  

But as I told you last week, we had Sports Day this past Friday. What a blast that was! We went from 10 to 4, playing pretty much non stop even though it was freezing. It was our own little turkey bowl. And it opened up pretty nicely with President Bullock hitting myself in stride for a 40-yard bomb. President Bullock still has it!  I even got to throw on flat ground again with Elder Boswell (catcher for SLCC). And then later in the day I played some basketball and even some ping pong. It was great bonding time with half of the mission, but needless to say I am still felling the effects. Severe soreness has struck Elder Cunningham and I, but we push through...

Now for our beloved investigators..

Update on Mike:

We had a lesson this past week where he was feeling unsure and nervous about his baptism this upcoming week. He kept telling us how he wasn't up to the standard of being baptized. This has been a common theme with Mike from the beginning. During his first lesson he almost backed out. Then Church, He called and said he wasn't coming, but then came and loved it. Now with baptism he feels the same. Elder Cunningham and I asked him the questions that are in the "Baptismal Interview," basic questions that resort around being worthy and having a testimony of the church. He answered them all well.

So we again ensured him that he was ready, and that Heavenly Father doesn't want to hold back the blessings that come from baptism. He knows it's true and is worthy.  He still was hesitant and backing out. So we said, Okay, lets kneel down right now and ask Heavenly Father if you should be baptized on the 4th. He agreed, and offered a beautiful prayer. We then paused, and after the prayer Mike was still hesitant. All we did after was bear testimony on how we know how much this will bless his life and that he was ready. After a slight pause he had a sudden change of heart. "I'll do it," he said. "Your right I feel good about it."

I know that was an answer to his prayer! He had such a change of heart, and that was because the Holy Ghost gave him the comfort needed to realize he is ready. It was amazing! Such a miracle. But he is now getting ready for his baptism. That doesn't mean he is set in stone, I know the adversary is very real and will work more than ever this week on him. But he's strong. I'm excited to see what happens!

Update on Martin:

He came to church again this past week with Nadia, his girlfriend. He is doing absolutely amazing. He is such a star, and is getting ready for his baptism this next week. He is moving out of his flat and excited for a "fresh" start. He has gone through a lot in his life, and it is amazing to see him grow. He bears his testimony at the end of every lesson pretty much, and I am in awe every time. He has a true love for God, and wants the best for himself and his family.

Nadia:

Nadia is now dated for baptism on the 18th!  She came to church yesterday and explained she was bored. But she still loves to meet with us three times a week. Hopefully we can teach the sacrament soon. Hopefully that will change her mind. She is 22 and from England.

Liam:

He is our other investigator who is progressing ever so steadily! He is 23, from England, and a professional boxer who was in the Marines for 4 years. He trains 3 times a day and still finds time to see us three times a week.  He loved the "Plan of Salvation", and it answered A LOT of his questions. He's solid.    

During my study on virtue this week, I learned how important it is to keep your thoughts clean and pure.  Because our thoughts become our actions and intentions down the road. As well when we have a pure mind we allow the holy ghost to enter in and work through us, which is vital as missionaries. I see it again and again!

I love this "Becomming Like Him" exercise! I have learned so much. And I'm glad to see it take effect on you as well! Keep on keepin' on!

I love England and I love being a missionary!

LOVE,
Elder Eliason

With Elder Krustev from Bulgaria. He is a convert of three years, and is the only member of his family. He found the church through Mormon.org. His family was opposed to him going on a mission, but he still found a way to work 6 days a week to pay for it all. WOW, such an inspiration to me!

In front of all the Christmas decorations mom sent me... thanks again! :) This picture is a little dark. I need to work on my lighting techniques. Any help, Dad? ..haha

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Work Rolls On

Hello Hello!!

The sun is now setting here at half 4, and is getting colder by the day.. but the works rolls on!

Everything is going well in Wythenshawe. Elder Cunningham and I are continuing to see blessing after blessing. The people are so great here!

Elder Cunningham is such an efficient missionary. Things get done, and they all get done in order. I love that about him. He has such a strong spirit about him as well, and is very good at teaching slowly and simply, which has been my goal since the beginning!

This past week we had Zone Conference. We had a scripture chase with all 200 England Manchester Mission scriptures. I was planning to be way behind the pack, but to my surprise I did pretty well. Who would of thought? haha. Studying the scriptures daily is paying off.

Investigators are doing great!  We had 19 lessons this past week. The most we've had!  Teaching, Teaching, Teaching!

Update on Martin:

We have taught him everything, and are just waiting for his new baptismal date of the 4th. Earlier in the week, he found a flat and will be moving in next week. It just goes to show his dedication to receive the blessings of baptism! He then said we should give his girlfriend, Nadia a call. So we did, and even set up an appointment.  She had so many questions---questions that we had answers to. She wondered why there we so many churches? We answered with the falling away after Jesus Christ. She then was like, "Great, so there's no priesthood on the earth, what do we do?" It was a perfect segue to the First Vision. She felt the spirit strongly and set up another lesson. We taught her again, and is progressing very smoothly. So exciting!

Mike:

Mike is having a couple set backs with the Word of Wisdom. But is still as excited as ever to meet with us.  He shared with us, "It's just so great to have someone to speak about religion with. People now-a-days don't seem to like to talk openly about their beliefs." He's just great! We took him to eat at a members home a couple of days ago. Seeing a proper Englishman mix in with a sweet Spanish family was a hilarious event..

Lucy:

She has been out of town. We are just waiting for her to get back! 

Charity was a great study for me this week. Charity and love cast out doubt, fear, jealousy, pride, etc. All attributes of the "natural man," and lead to driving out the spirit: the compass to our lives. Jesus Christ was truly the greatest example of pure charity and love.1 Nephi 19:9 puts its well in how he suffered all for the loving kindness he had towards us. I am so grateful for his love for me. I know exercising charity brings a new light to the people around me. The natural man slips away, and I see all as they are, children of God.

LOVE,
Elder Eliason

PS: Today we are having a FEAST at an American family's home. My own little Thanksgiving :) Also, this Friday is sports day! An entire day spent with the mission playing sports. President Bullock will head up the American Football playing QB. Sporting his retro Ricks College jersey, so I'm told! Cant wait!

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Infinite Power of Hope

Hiya Hiya!

Oh dearest family and friends...

How are you? How's the weather? Because here it is freezing. I wish I knew how freezing. Temperatures don't seem to be a commodity around here.

But wow what a wonderful week it was here in the land of Wythenshawe..

Elder Cunningham and I have been walking all over this town. Mainly up to around the University and back. We are having a lot of success up there. This week we set up 30 appointments, the most we've had yet. Truly blessed with so many students with open minds and hearts!

Elder Cunningham and I are getting along great. Just where Elder Moss and I left off.

Update on Martin:

We taught him the 10 commandments and Sabbath Day...he loved it. Keeping the Sabbath Day holy was tricky for him for a bit, but he did accept it. He explained how he is starting to understand why we have been given commandments. Not to "restrict" us but because God knows what will be best for us and what will bring us true happiness. He then came to church with us on Sunday. During our combined Priesthood lesson he raised his hand to share an experience he had with a "prompting from the Holy Ghost." While studying he had a prompting to kneel in prayer, and he said it brought immediate comfort. He continues to amaze me. We are blessed to teach him and we are seeing him again tonight!

Update on Mike:

During a lesson this week, his brother showed up and didn't like the fact we were there.  He told Mike, "We'll talk about this later." No worries, Mike is a champ.  He explained to us how many people have said things to him, but how it doesn't matter. That's thanks to his strong testimony of the Book of Mormon! He also came to church this week, drove himself for the first time.  Martin also shared something during our combined lesson, but then posed a question to the teacher, "What is Tithing?" Looks like we'll have to tend to that!

Update on Lucy:

We taught her on a freezing bench this past week. She loved the Plan of Salvation. She even said the opening prayer in Chinese. Right before she said it, she asked, "Does God know all languages?" Lucy wasn't able to make it to church. It's hard because of her busy schedule. Hopefully this week we can see her more!

I am so thankful for the Christ-Like attributes we are studying, I am learning so much that applies to me and our investigators! I love it!

As I studied hope this week I filed through the Topical Guide, Preach My Gospel, conference talks, and throughout the scriptures. I found many many things that blew my mind.  A talk that I loved was "The Infinite Power of Hope" by President Uchtdorf. I loved how he talked about the difference of things hoped "for" and things hoped "in".  Your hope "in" is centered around events that have happened in the now that strengthen your hope. Such as answers to prayers,  manifestations of the spirit. I know that is real. As I have been here in England I have seen "miracles" happen. They have opened my eyes and have strengthened my individual hope.

What we hope "for" is centered around what is yet to come.  Every day here in England people ask the questions what happens after this life? Where do we go? Do the things I do matter?

I know that the scriptures and a living prophet help give us pieces to the puzzle. It may not be a written out line by line program of what is to come, but I know that the Lord has revealed to us the essential steps and blessings that do bring hope. One of my favorite scriptures I ran across this week was, 1 Corinthians 2:9. It talks about how we cannot comprehend what God has prepared for us, those "who love him".

Hope is an amazing thing! I learned the only true hope comes through Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice. I love the way President Uchdorf put it. "Embrace and rely upon the Hope of Israel, for the love of the Son of God pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart."

I know that is true! As I have taught the Plan of Salvation I have seen investigators grasp what comes after this life. I have seen peace and comfort come into their lives. I know this gospel does bring hope. A hope that can be continually strenghtened so that when the trials and sorrow do come we may stand "immovable"!

Woah. What am I writing? A talk? Geesh... I'll tone it down next week! I just learned A LOT this past week!

Now we are headed downtown for the day! I hope you all have a great week!

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Elder Eliason  

Cody with his new companion, Elder Cunningham from Phoenix, Arizona, who has him by half an inch in the height department. Cody has drawn most likely the two tallest elders in the mission so far.



















Elders and Sisters in Cody's district. Elder Moss (his trainer) is furthest left on top row.

Doing a lot of walking in Wythenshawe!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Staying Put But With New Companion

Hello Hello!!

Where to start! I am still in the blessed land of Wythenshawe for another transfer, as Elder Moss has been transferred to Preston to head up the Chinese speaking Elders district. He is trainging again. Such a stud.

But I of course have a new companion. One that Elder Moss "called" a week ago. It is Elder Cunningham from Phoenix, Arizona. He came out the exact same time as Elder Moss and are really good friends. He is coming to Wythenshawe from the Isle of Man, aka "Paradise." But wow, he as well is a wonderful missionary. I'm excited whats in store.

He also has come at a blessed time. We now have three dated for baptism: Mike, Martin, and now Lucy. All were able to attend all hours of church last week and continue to progress. Elder Moss and I had an amazing lesson with Martin. We taught the Law of Chastity and new it would be a big lesson because he is living with his girlfriend at the moment.

Fearless, we boldly told him he either had to marry her or move out. He responded with how grateful he was to us for challenging him to do so.  He said, "Others try to sweep those kinds of things under the rug. I do need to change. Thank you so much for caring enough to help me."  I wasn't expecting that to be his response. It again just showed me the power of the spirit of conversion. He always mentions the feelings he has during lessons, and through those feelings knew he had to change. Martin is unbelievable and just loves to "study" with us, as he puts it. He is set for the 27th!

Mike is continuing on very well, even though he continues to be a bit skiddish and nervous. We had the chance to go to a fireside at President Bullock's home with him, and he loved meeting other investigators. We had Pablo, an Argentinian man (member) who recently moved in with his family, take us to and from the fireside. I have never been in a funnier car ride.  A Spanish-speaking man and a proper Englishman make for good commentary. Hilarious!. But all went well. He is still scheduled for the 27th of this month.

Lucy our amazing Chinese girl is doing great. We taught her this past week an hour before Institute. And right after she just tagged along with all the other youth for the rest of the night! We were amazed with her willingness to do so. She attended church and loved it, especially Relief Society. She is very busy with the firm she works with, but we'll get her ready soon!

I dont know if you got the email from President Bullock about studying the Christ like attributes but, we started it this past week!

This week studying the principle of "Faith" has truly strengthened my testimony. An entire week devoted to a Christ like attribute is just what I needed. I learned how important faith in Jesus Christ is in the life of our investigators. Faith includes so many things. One that I focused on was the faith to be healed. Knowing that the power of the atonement will be exercised to forgive sins and transgressions. But that is not the only thing. Faith is the foundation of everything. Faith brings knowledge. We believe and study it out then confirm with God, and through the spirit our testimony strengthens!

I can't put into words how much I love teaching and talking to new people each day!  It is such a blessing to be a missionary. I'm truly excited for this upcoming transfer in Wythenshawe as many great things are happening!

Elder Eliason

Sorry for the short and to the point email! Not much time...I'll talk to you again in 4 days, so no big!

One of my favorite chapters this week was Mosiah 4, all about Charity!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Different Cultures...Different Challenges

Hiya Hiya!!

Wow, wow, another week... Things are going so well here in Wythenshawe!

First off, That letter I got about Frank or I guess "Phrank".. was the greatest thing in the world! haha! It was like Superbowl Sunday in our flat when we saw the letter he wrote... He's a champion! Someone ask if he is going to church! Is he liking it? Still reading all day everyday?! Dad, this is your chance to fellowship Facebook style! :) As well, let him know of course I will be calling him, the second I get home!

This week we received a golden young man by the name of Martin Murphy. The Stretford Elders had taught him the first lesson, then found out he is in our boundaries. So now Martin is ours. He is awesome, already like best friends after the second lesson. His lesson was in a restaurant, but nevertheless the spirit was strong as ever. So great!    

We had a wonderful third lesson with our investigator, Mike Lohman. The man that is a bit nervous about alot of things, but has continued to become more comfortable. It has to do with a huge part of the members reaching out to him. He already has best friends in the ward. Fellowshipping is so key!

But during the lesson he continued to see his questions answered. He even made a comment after we read a scripture to him, saying, "Wow, that answered my question, right to the point" in his proper Yorkshire accent. 

It was awesome to see him receive answers from the scriptures.  I know that has helped him a lot, to want to study and learn more. Nearing the end of the lesson, when the spirit was at its peak, we extended a baptismal date. First Mike hesitated, but as we left him to silence, you could just see the spirit work on him, and ultimately give an emphatic "Yes, yes I will." 

Silence has been one of my favorite "tools" as a missionary.  It works for me and for all that we teach.  When I am asked a question, if I just sit back and wait in silence, its amazing what the spirit can teach, and whisper to me to give what is to be "meted unto every man". Again and again I see the spirit work.  In my life, and in the life of our investigators!

Mike then came to church for the second time and he loved it! He kept going on how he was so used to just sitting and being taught. But in our church he gets to participate in the Gospel Principles class and such. And participate he did! Always raising his hand to read.

I am loving the different cultures I encounter here in England!  So many different backgrounds, cultures, and personalities.  But with that also comes some challenges. 

One case we had this week, we were teaching a Chinese lady by the name of Lucy.  She spoke some good English, but definitely did not have a depth of "gospel" language. Elder Moss and I had to teach simply, and with much clarity, using symbols and pictures.  It made us stretch and be creative.  But in the end it all worked out well, with her accepting a baptismal date! 

Examples like Lucy have made me really work on "adjusting to the needs of the investigator." Which I believe has been strengthened because of the diversity here in Wythenshawe. So great!

One of my favorite scriptures that I have come across this week is Alma 29:9, well the entire chapter ties in so well to missionary work... Alma desires to be "an instrument in the Lord's hand" Something that I strive for as well. And I know that continuing to "treasure up" the words of our prophets I can be a sharp tool in the Lords hands. I know that we all can!

To help others see the blessings that are poured out from this gospel, Heavenly Father wants to bless, and guide us! We just have to do our part.  Be obedient and continue on the straight and narrow. Prayer is so real. I continue to be strengthened from its power! It's an open line to all...a way to comfort, and answers that lead to true happiness. I love sharing what I know daily and will continue to do so with all my might, mind and strength!

LOVE YOU ALL!
 

Elder Eliason


P.S. My next email will be next Wednesday because transfers are on that day.


This is Jack our "angel" that we see almost daily at 8:55 pm on his way home from work in Picadilly, some 30 miles away... and he rides his bike for all of it!


Monday, October 25, 2010

Working On All Cylinders

Hiya Hiya!!!

Such a great week! Seems to be the ongoing theme.

But anyways, the temps are starting to drop...and fast. This week Elder Moss and I had our "Soviet Union" jackets, scarves, and anything else that can warm a man on for most of the week. But we are bearing it, and still loving to talk to everyone, even if that means in freezing temps.

News on Frank: He is back in Ghana. We managed to pry him away from his sister and talk to him just 20 minutes before he headed to London to fly out. He was in great spirits, and excited to actually "be free" and do what he wants in Ghana, free from his sister. A member in our ward knows the Area Authority where he lives, and gave him all of Franks info. OH! and he added me on Facebook, Dallin accept it! He's a star. Top friend.

Last P-Day, at our zone activity I had the chance to throw a little! Elder Boswell is a catcher for SLCC and actually brought his honkin' catchers glove.  How amazing. So we tossed and I threw a couple. All strikes! But not for long. The arm is out of it. Nedless to say I'm still feeling the soreness.

We have not been able to see monstrous Boko, the man I told you about last week yet. Since he is "the star" of the Rugby team here hopefully we will see him soon!

Elder Moss and I continue to have such fun here in Wythenshawe. We are working on all cylinders these last couple of weeks, Because we have been told that we will be splitting up after this transfer, which ends in three weeks. Sad, but we will make the most of our time left!

Near the end of this past week, we hadn't seen much success with new investigators. That was until we stopped by a referral we have been meaning to stop by for awhile. It was worth it, Nigel was amazing! He loved the entire restoration, and as I extended the baptismal invitation, I was stopped before I could finish to him saying, "Yes, yes!" He has accepted a date and 3 lessons a week! What a blessing to see someone so excited. And why not, this gospel should be exciting!

We also fell into what I would deem a "trap" this week. When we headed into a lesson with this man, he pulled out a research paper he had done on our religion. He tried to go point by point of anti-literature waiting to see us be "stumped". It was one of my favorite lessons of week, because of the spirit I felt during that lesson.

I didn't see what some people would say is "wise or learned" man, I saw a man that was blinded from the truth, and lost in his ignorance. But still, even though he was harsh, I felt a strong love for him. I wanted him to feel what I feel daily and the plan that our Heavenly Father has for him! 

As we continued on trying to get through the restoration, Elder Moss and I traded off simply bearing testimony on basic principles. I just wanted him to know how it could truly bless his life. And even though we could of answered all of his questions, it would have gotten us nowhere. The spirit teaches, and the spirit converts. It was a true growing experience for me.

I know that I am the Lords "hands" here in England! I know that I can do nothing without the spirit. It is the key factor that leads and guides me each day, helping me grow into the missionary I want to become!

I love you all so much! I continue to work relentlessly each day to be worthy of your dear prayers!

Elder Eliason

P.S: WHEN my dear Rangers take the title.. I need a shirt. :)


Monday, October 18, 2010

Frank Enters the Waters of Baptism

Hello Hello!

Another week? What!? ... Time flies.

An amazing week here in Wythenshawe!  Frank was able to be baptised on Saturday! And wow, what an amazing experience for me personally. To see him progress, keep commitments and grow within this gospel was such a privilege. He overcame so much opposition through his great faith! Being my first baptism, it was pretty special.  

Frank loved to "kneel" and pray with us (all Africans here seem to love it). I know he loved this because of what he would feel. He would always tell us how good he would feel while praying, "Wow, I feel the Holy Spirit."  Hearing that is reassuring because he is heading back to Ghana in a couple of days, and he can continue to rely on his personal line to sort out questions and continue to build his faith! 

Frank in all was a true miracle.  He was found the first day he was in England.  Baptised 15 days after getting back in touch with us. And baptised just a couple days before heading back. Wow. Frank is just awesome... he is hilarious, and just loves this gospel. I wish you all could meet him!

This week we also found a 6'7 man from Fiji built like an NFL linebacker named Boku, who is in town playing for the Sale rugby team. As we taught the restoration we were having a little trouble communicating because of his little English. Nevertheless, we continued on speaking as simple and clearly as we could. 

After getting to the Book of Mormon, I thought he hadn't learned a thing. To our surprise he was understanding, slowly, but still understanding.  At the end he told us how he felt, saying, "My heart is open, and it feel good." Again, it was surprising to see him say that.  

Now looking back it was just another testament to me of how the spirit teaches. The spirit confirms and helps them feel the witness.  And once they have felt that goodness of the spirit, they want to learn more, and feel it again! I see it over and over again.

I have made a "Study Journal" with many topics. It has been one of my favorite things to "fill up" during personal study. Something that has helped me sort out these mountains of things I am learning...

This last transfer we had 50 new investigators, and one baptism came out of it. It's been tough for me to feel so much for people, and then they fall off. But I guess we are "pruning the vineyard" as Jacob says.

I am just on such a high from Franks baptism. I want all people to feel what he felt! 

I love you all dearly!

Elder Eliason

(From left to right) Elder Moss, Frank and Elder Eliason


Our apartment

This is our church


Downtown 







Monday, October 11, 2010

Frank is Ready!

Dearest Family and Friends!!

Hello again! Things are going so well here in Wythenshawe!

At the start of the week we had the first ever "Mulit-Zone Conference." The brethren have done away with Zone Conference every month, now just 4 times a year. So now we have the Multi-Zone to take its place during the vacant months...

But it was, as always, an amazing experience.  President Bullock is just amazing.  He taught about the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the Nag Hammadi Codices.. and how they testify of the Book of Mormon. It was more of a testimony strenghthener for us. We wont be going around telling anybody about it, but it is an amazing story of how a boy in Israel in the 1940s found some scrolls in a cave, which eventually led to hundreds being found. They are ancient writings that talk about many things that we know of today...So interesting! Look it up!

The Assistants to the President (APs) also went over the many key indicators of the past transfer and leading companionships. Somehow Elder Moss and I were second in the mission in "Appointments" and "New Investigators."  I say that because of how thankful I am for Elder Moss! He's got a great "get things done" attitude. And I have done my best to learn all that I can. We have been so blessed in this area!

Frank, our wonderful African investigator continues to grow closer to his baptism this upcoming Saturday! We have unveiled many things from him this past week. Elder Moss had been wondering why he just disappeared three months ago, wouldn't answer calls, etc. Well we have come to find out from him that his sister that he lives with is completely against it. She took his phone so he couldn't be contacted.  And told Elder Moss that he had moved back to Ghana, when in fact he was just sleeping upstairs.

WOW, right? This woman is definitely some opposition. The thing is that he is only in the country for two months and is staying with her. Nevertheless we have been teaching him on a bench daily, after sneaking out of the house with his Book of Mormon in his back pocket. He is just hilarious though, saying in his soft African accent, "Its my choice. If I want to join I will join the church. She needs to know that I know its true."
 
In 2 days he had read to 2 Nephi 24, so he's got the desire! Through that desire we have been able to seem him steadily progress. What an amazing blessing it has been to have him come back to us, and to teach him!

We also had the hilarious opportunity to take him to "Investigator Football." I showed up thinking that I had some "skills" in football and would be able to hang with the crew. NOT. I didn't know that practically the entire Ghana National team would be there shin guards and all. Shortly after I was dribbling the ball for the first time, from what seemed six different directions came 6 huge Africans slide tackling me to the ground. They play hard. I was a boy amongst men. Enough said. But Frank loved it, it was a great bonding moment for him and other members.

I know what I'm doing over here is the Lords work! I know that because of the feeling I get every time I share our message with someone. Lately I have felt the love of the S
aviour so strong. I know that He knows me individually, by name. Jesus Christ died not only for my sins but my weaknesses and my pains. What a joy it is to be here in England sharing that to everyone I see! How grateful I am to be part of this marvelous work going forward.

Love you All Dearly!

Elder Eliason

Monday, October 4, 2010

Give Thanks

Hiya Hiya Loved Ones...

What a great (half) week it was here in Wythenshawe!!

We had a miracle happen a couple of days ago when someone sent us a text saying.. "I don't have enough credit to call you, can you please ring me?" Of course with our curiosity we gave it a call right away.

A man named Frank picked up and asked why we hadn't been calling him? Elder Moss was puzzled and excited at the same time.  Frank had been a dropped investigator because of loss of contact.  Apparently he went south for a while, and out of contact.  But upon arriving back, he wants to still learn more! That's the joke around here. Africans love to pack up and leave for London randomly... Manchester is so much better... I'm guessing that's why he is back!

We are scheduled to see him EVERY day until his baptism. WOW, what a commitment he has made on his part.. Looks like his desire is there. Time to do our best to keep the fire burning. He even came to conference, and loved the experience. He is from Ghana, and there when they dress up, they dress up in style. He had the fad shoes that had some sort of cheetah print on it, and a checkered shirt look going on. Such a stud.

Speaking of General Conference, what a wonderful opportunity it was this weekend! Because of time difference we watched the Saturday morning at session at 5 to 7 Saturday night. Then the Priesthood session at 10am on Sunday. Followed by Sat. afternoon session at 1 to 3 on Sunday, and Sunday Morning session from 5 to 7. We unfortunately didn't get to see the last session. Good thing we get the Ensign!

It felt like another "training" meeting, which I loved. I was able to apply so many things to missionary work. One that struck me often, was the reoccurring theme of "being an example of the believers." I took that to apply to the ward, investigators, family, and fellow missionaries. 

To stand at all times as an example. Especially now, here on my mission.  To be an example by keeping the Mission rules exactly. Ultimately keeping the culture/ mission vision set by President Bullock: 1) Pure in Heart, 2) Exactly Obedient, and 3) "Preach My Gospel" missionaries. An ongoing influence among those entering the mission each six weeks.

But my favorite talk had to of been Jeffrey R. Holland. Wow! Wow, such a powerful, simple, and ever so sincere talk. Every other talk that was given I wrote down many notes and thoughts.. But with Elder Holland's talk I just sat and felt the overwhelming influences of the spirit pour over me leaving only two words on my note pad.."Give thanks".... His message of gratitude struck me solid...

I'm so thankful for the reminder that Elder Holland and President Monson gave on gratitude.. Because at all times I am grateful. But sometimes don't do the best job of expressing it.. So I guess this is my chance...

I truly am so grateful to all my friends and family! For the memories made, and ever so many laughs! I would not be here today if it were not for the love I have felt over the years from all of you!

Most importantly I am thankful for you Mom, and Dad!  For the example that you are to me! The support and love you have given, and the constant sacrifices made for me and the sibs.. Dad for the baseball lessons, and wise wisdom during challenges and Mom for the laughs, and constant effort to make sure I am given the best. (ex: haircut...shampoo?) hahah. But most of all I am thankful for your testimonies! For your love of the gospel and constant example of what I want to become!

LOVE YOU ALL DEARLY!!
Elder Eliason

P.S. - Tell me about the Colorado trip! Dad, how did Dallin get off scotch free without driving?

PICS COMING NEXT WEEK :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

6 More Weeks In Wythenshawe!

Hiya Hiya!!

I have received so many letters these past two weeks! and every time they give me a lift...I feel like a champ for the rest of the day. You all are amazing.  And I am writing back as soon as I can.

Im sorry this is coming late. I forget to tell you that this week is transfers and our P-Day is on Wednesday this week... But great news! Elder Moss and I will be going round 2 here in Wythenshawe! Another 6 weeks it is...

Wow. It has been 6 weeks. It blows my mind to see how fast it has gone. Reflecting back, It feels like yesterday that I left for the airport. But I sure am loving it here in England. I'm finally being able to understand everybody and their accents. Now it is sounds familiar and I dont even notice. Actually, we have this American family that is in the ward and every time I talk to them I notice their strong Utah accent...speaking of the accent... Everyone loves the American accent here. Kids of all ages come up to us and ask us "Hiya..do you have the time?" just so they can here our accents. It's weird and hilarious. I've told the time to half of Wythenshawe!

But anyways, I have also seen the growth in myself! My scriptural knowledge grows daily. I've gained a great love for study time! There is such power in the scriptures! And with no distractions, I get to fully dive in and get the most out of the time.

Lately most of our Investigators have been African. They are amazing...and then break your heart. We will GQ them on the street and be like "Whats most important to you?" They usually say "God and my salvation..." Elder Moss and I just sit with our mouths open and are like "Woahh......." We are so amazed every time because of the other harsh answers we get on the street...we'll just leave it at that (haha). Then they want to have us over every day! We teach them many times and then they just vanish. They lose contact and lose interest.  Its so hard!

A nearby town of Withington has now opened up for school, some 10,000 students poured into the condensed town this past week. Its becaouse of Manchester University starting up. (50,000 students attend - biggest in Europe). So now we go up there all the time, and students love to talk to us.

We even had a referral up in Withington and went to deliver a Book of Mormon. The student who was supposed to receive it didn't want it but the student who answered the door eventually let us in to teach him. Wow. It was a great lesson.. Daniel (the first referrral guy) eventually came down and loved it.  It's amazing to see the spirit work on people, and people just change. And their desire just grows!

Yesterday we had Training Camp, which is where all the Elders that have finished their first transfer come in and get trained. It was so good to see them all again! We even had my MTC companion Elder Whited, and a couple others stay with us last night in our flat.. aka.. the Mission Hotel. We have like 3 extra rooms, and 5 sinks...because it used to be a dental surgery building.

Lastly, I just love being here and feel so strongly about this gospel! The greatest part about this missionary work is that we as missionaries do not convert or convince people to do anything. We are called to be instruments in the Lord's hands! To work hard and always deliver a simple and clear message so that the spirit can bear witness to them! It's so great to see it unfold.
 
I continue to press on with faith and look forward to what the Lord has in store for me in this next transfer!

Love,
Elder Eliason