Cody portrait

Cody portrait

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


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!

Elder Eliason

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