Cody portrait

Cody portrait

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 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.


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!

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 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 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..


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.

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!


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!


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!