Cody portrait

Cody portrait

Thursday, December 30, 2010


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!


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!


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! :)

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! :)

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!

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!