Cody portrait

Cody portrait

Monday, February 28, 2011

Another Week Has Blasted By!

Hiya Family!!
Another week has blasted by! It feels like I arrived in Liverpool 2 weeks ago. With all the work we have been doing time has just been flyin'. 
But another great week here in Liverpool! We had Sports Day last Monday with the Zone, it was great. Played footie for as long as "us Americans" could handle it. We then had to bring in the basketball!
Update on Du Xin:
Du Xin is hard to get a read on because he is such a reserved kid. He always agrees to what we say, and we really don't ever have any problems with him not accepting something we teach. We got a warning from the Zone Leaders who ran into him.  They told us he said he wont make it to church. We ended up meeting with him the next day teaching about the Sabbath Day. We really emphasized the blessings that come from keeping it a day of rest, and more importantly coming to church! He accepted it and promised to come... He followed through and showed up yesterday! So he is doing well! We still have to work around his busy study schedule but progress is still moving.
Update on Nicole:
Nicole is just amazing! We had a great lesson with her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and baptism on Tuesday. She loved it so much she wanted us to come back the next day so we did! The only problem with Nicole is getting to church. She works all night Saturday...that's the next step.
Update on Ju:
Ju is a Chinese student that Elder Jin contacted near downtown Liverpool. We taught him Saturday night in his dorm and he was a star.  We found out that he has read the entire Bible. How great it was to hear that! What's another 500 pages? He accepted baptism and a date with surety. He then came to church yesterday and loved it. He even got to hear President Bullock speak in sacrament meeting. He loved his talk. We are now seeing him tonight and maybe everyday this week! Woo!
We taught a household full of people from India this week. They didn't understand everything we taught, but we invited them to attend church. Patrick (his name) said to me during Gospel Principles in his pure Indian accent, "You get to share your own experiences? Wow, in the Catholic church we don't do that. Nice. Very Nice."
In my daily Book of Mormon reading, I am now in Mormon. In chapter 9 I came across a scripture that has stuck with me over the week. First off, Mormon chapter 9 has got to be one of the best chapters in the book! At the beginning Moroni is talking to the people who deny the revelations of God and gifts that are given. He says in verse 8 : "Behold I say unto you, he that denieth these things knoweth not the Gospel of Christ; yea, he has not read the scriptures; if so, he does not understand them."
I applied that to not just deny the revelations of God, but also a single commandment or a testimony of the Book of Mormon. When we 'deny' or don't have a full testimony of a principle it's because we may not fully understand it. That's where 'study' comes into play. We must work hard to make sure that we fully understand what it is that we must do. I love this scripture because it helps investigators understand that they must work for a testimony. They will not know that the Book of Mormon is true unless they work for it; They must read it, study it and pray about it! They are then promised they will know it is true and from that see the blessings of exercising their faith. 
This upcoming week is our "Megwatzi Party" (American Food night) We have decided to make Tacos. French Toast was the initial idea, but there seems to be no 'quality' maple syrup in England. We are excited for the turn out!  They all seem to be excited. Pressure is on!
Elder Eliason  

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

New Mission President Called--Begins June 30th

Hello Hiya Hello!


This week has been a blessed one indeed. We had another amazing Zone Conference up at the Chorley Stake center this week. We found out who our new Mission President will be...President Preston is the name.  He is from the Ashton Stake, which is near Manchester. President said it is not often that a Mission President is called in his same country, but it does happen. So he will be the new man in charge as of June 30th, which will be here in no time with the way time goes.

Update on Du Xin:

He did not come to church yesterday, BUT is still doing amazing. We met with him this week about the Word of Wisdom. He knew it was coming and is grateful for a chance to give up smoking. We set goals for each day and the amount of cigarettes he can have. We met with him again last night and he seems to be taking it on like a champ! We still plan to see him twice a week. His testimony during lessons has greatly improved, he talks about the "confidence" he gets when he "prays to the God." Du Xin is just a star and we are blessed to teach him.

Update on all of other Chinese investigators:

We have taught about 30 Chinese students in the past 3 weeks and not many of them have caught the vision to come to church. They all have hectic schedules (at least that's what they say) and can only see us once a week. I am sick of teaching someone just once, so we as a companionship have made some changes in our teaching style to help us understand what they need. We hope in doing so, we will get more return appointments. We also have binned the English Class idea, we cannot find a place to hold it. But we have decided to throw a "Meguatzi" (American food) party at the church. We have told all of our investigators about it and they are excited. All we had to say was American...

We had an interesting experience this past Tuesday. We taught a man named Mike and his two friends in a cafe. We thought they were solid, but soon found out they came to "teach us". They had many different ideas than we do... It was frustrating. It is frustrating with all the confusion in this world of how to interpret the Bible. I understand Joseph Smith when he explains his confusion between sects. We knew we wouldn't be able to do much so we just invited them to read the Book of Mormon. They declined, saying it was not of God when they have not even picked it up and read it. 

I wish I could have told them all of the blessings I have experienced because of the Book of Mormon. But some people just do not have the ability to open up their hearts. I am grateful for the Book of Mormon. I know it is sacred and revelatory! It is the compound of hundreds of years of pure teachings and doctrines that is for our benefit, to answer our questions and give us direction. I am fascinated with what I find inside! I know it is true!

In my reading I am now going through 3 Nephi and the words of Jesus Christ himself. One of my favorites this week was 3 Nephi 20:8: "He that eateth this bread eateth of my body to his soul...and his soul shall never hunger nor thirst, but shall be filled."

I love how it explains the sacrament as "filling our souls." I know that is true. When we partake of the sacrament we are remembering the Savior and his sacrifice. This gives us comfort and peace that in a sense "fill our souls." I know that is what every human being desires, whether they know it or not. That is our mission as missionaries to lead them to it. To lead them to  remembrance of what they knew before this life.
Today is our ZONE SPORTS DAY...Tuebrook Elders are taking it to 'em...Ball Up...

Elder Eliason

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hello Again from Liva-pooh!


Hello again from Liva-pooh!

This week has been another great one! I say that every week but it's true!

We have been teaching a lot of Chinese people this week, it's the greatest thing!  They are the most humble people around! And I cant help but improve my Chinese.

Update on Darren and Nathan:

Well we've seen Darren once this week, he is still solid. We watched "The Testaments" and he loved it!  I thought I hadn't seen it but I vaguely remember watching it in a theatre in Salt Lake some years ago? (Mom remind me)...The only problem is it's just hard to get ahold of him to see him more.
Nathan has moved into a new flat with his16 year old girlfriend...haven't heard from him since.

One miracle we saw this week was the finding of a man named Patrick. We have been praying for our investigators to progress, and we ended up finding Patrick, who was taught by missionaries in London all the way up to the Law of Tithing. He had to move just before his baptism and lost contact with the missionaries. What a miracle! We dated him for the first week of March. He is from Nigeria, plays for the Liverpool University Football (soccer)team and is an avid NFL fan. Good pick up!

Recently we have been using a lot of "Recently Converted" Chinese members to fellowship with us. I am blown away each time they bear testimony. They come from a background that is very different from ours and England's, and through the gospel we have become united in one amazing cause.. Wu, a recent convert, gave a talk in sacrament meeting and he stole the show. In somewhat broken English he relayed to all of us his simple, pure and powerful testimony. He explained how he now understands his marriage and see's life in a different view. The Chinese people are just amazing!

Speaking of different cultures. Everytime I talk to someone on the street from a different country I write it down in my planner. I'm now at 82 different countries..Some being Iceland, Kurdish, Afghanistan, Chad, Bangladesh, Yemen, Mauritius, South Korea...

One thing I have been studying this week is the symbolism of Light/Darkness. It talks about it a lot in the scriptures, and I loved what I found. Check out Moses 7:26 then compare it to1 Nephi 12:17 then look at 1 Nephi 17:13. We are here in England bringing the light to help those know the way to the "promise land" or "eternal life"...but not just that we bring true happiness that comes now and understanding of this life and a knowledge of eternal families. I know what we share is true!

On to another week!


Elder Eliason

Monday, February 7, 2011

Week Filled with Miracles...

Hiya Family! Ya’right?!

Well it’s a gorgeous day here in Liverpool compared to what you have
been experiencing in Tejas. 4 snow days?! What is this? Seems my
middle school prayer was finally answered…5 years late. Haha. But
good for ya'll! I’m sure mom enjoyed the kids around. Ping pong? Skip

Liverpool is just the greatest place! I love it here with all the
different people I meet.  Scousers love to talk, and that's good,
because so do we.

Well it again has been a week filled with miracles. We taught 22
lessons this week and found 9 new investigators. 6 of them are
Chinese. Mé Jewfóó! (beautiful blessings). My vocab is limited
during lessons but it still is a blast to teach them. What usually
happens is, Elder Jin and Eggers teach most of the lesson then
occasionally pass it to me to bear testimony of a principle, usually
the Book of Mormon and Jesus Christ.

While teaching Chinese my testimony has surely been strengthened. We
invite everyone at the beginning of the lesson to pay attention to how
they feel. We tell them not to believe us. We say that they will know
the truthfulness of what we share through the feelings of the spirit.
I have been able to be the perfect example. I have no idea what is
being said. But I do know that whatever they are saying is true.
Especially when they say “Jer doá” or “I know” I can feel the
sincerity and truthfulness of the testimony they bear.

This past week we have taught Darren and Nathan (our miracle tracting
duo) four times, every day they have been able to. They are just
amazing!  Darren said “One week ago, I didn’t believe in God but now
I can say that there is. You convinced me.” It was so great to hear his
simple testimony he had gained in such short time. But I had to
correct him. I said “We do not convince anyone, we are simple
messengers and witnesses of Jesus Christ...God does the convincing.”
We explained more about the role of the spirit and its conversion
power. We explained that using eloquence or "proving" the Book of
Mormon true would get us nowhere. The spirit is what bears witness. It
was a powerful lesson.

Du Xin was able to come to church yesterday, as well as the Mission
home fireside. He still has such a great love for coming to church!
The only problem we may face is the opposition of school. He has
limited time to see us because of his priority of school. Just like
all the Chinese students. But nevertheless he still continues to be a stud.

One scripture I really liked this week is 3 Nephi 18:20. It is right
after Jesus institutes the sacrament. He then instructs them on
prayer. He says, "Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name,
which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be
given unto you." I see a step by step process here. First I need to
make sure it is "right" or according to his will. That can be by
prayer. Then after I know it's alright, then I must have the faith
sufficient enough to receive. And I SHALL receive. I know this
to be true. I have been able to use the power of prayer while being here in
England. I know he does answer. And of course in his own time,
sometimes that takes humility on my part to accept his timetable and
not mine. But he does answer, and I take great comfort in that direct
line I have with my Father in heaven.

1 Nephi 19:9: one of my favorites at the moment.

English class is getting there.Two weeks we should be starting. Just
need to finalize the place and getting the posters hung up!


Elder Eliason

We were out finding all day long in the rain, people thought we were
nuts, and it worked in our advantage--12 appointments! Thought we would
capture the moment.

Liverpool flag with "You'll never walk alone" motto.

England Football jersey, greatest material in the world...


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Staying In Liverpool 6 More Weeks

Hello! (Pics below)

Sorry for the delay, I forgot to tell you about transfers happening this week!

We now have a new Elder here in Liverpool. Elder Eggers replaced Elder Fawcett. Elder Eggers is from Sacramento, CA and came out in the group with me. He, like Elder Fawcett, is called to speak Chinese. He is already fitting in great.

But yes, we are still a threesome here in Tuebrook. But it seems not for long. President has made it known that next transfer he wants Chinese together without English speaking. This is because now the younger Chinese speaking Elders have grown up and can now take charge.

But enough of that news...Its apparently six months now that I have been out, but who's counting? It blows my mind that is has been that long, and I love it. The transfers have started to get quicker and quicker even though I'm doing my best to think they are taking longer. I can say I have learned A LOT over these past months from wonderful missionaries. But I must say the most learning has come from studying the scriptures and learning from my investigators. The one hour we have every morning is such a blessing. But nevertheless, there is a lot I need to improve upon, so onward.

This past week and a half has been GREAT. We have picked up many new investigators that have been solid. With the new influx of students it has been our own "Super-Bowl." We had to put on our game-face and go to work, and from that have seen miracles!

We have picked up a SOLID Chinese investigator named "Du-Xin".  He already calls himself "a new member." What a stud. He then invited 3 of his Chinese friends to be taught, and so we did! And without a doubt they were amazing. They are all coming to church this Sunday. We are stoked.

We also had quite a miracle happen. We as a companionship felt a prompting to go and tract a street near downtown. While tracting, no one seemed interested. As Elder Fawcett and Jin talked to a man at a door, I talked to two teenagers named Nathan and Darren that walked past on the side-walk. At first, like most chavs (see below for definition) they mocked what I was saying. But then, I don't know what it was but something caught their attention, well, one of them. So he said, "Come over in 5 mate," so we did, and we had an incredible lesson. They both took a 180 and were fascinated with the Restoration.

We then went back the next day and watched the video. And again they just loved it. And then again yesterday, we went back and taught the Plan of Salvation. When we walked in we noticed they had hung up our pass-a-long card, and Restoration pamphlet. I loved it!  They changed so much! And now have been texting us "Thanks for coming today" each time and are excited for church this Sunday!

I know that is no coincidence. We were led to teach them. It’s something that is very real! Such a blessing to see that miracle come about...

In my reading of the Book of Mormon this week I have been going through the latter part of Alma. Captain Moroni (aka my favorite) was a prime example of preparation. He prepared his army with all sorts of armor. But my favorite type of preparation given was one of putting trust in the Lord. Moroni was a great leader, a man of leadership. But he did not forget God. He understood that without faith, they would defeat no one.

It is something I am trying to represent in my mission. I want to prepare myself for what is to come in the future. I as well want to prepare my investigators for a strong conversion to the church.

To sum everything up the work has EXPLODED here and it is a very exciting time with Chinese speaking missionaries here. Seems this will be my last transfer here, but I sure will enjoy it! Lots of laughs and hard work. I'm loving it!

Something funny this past week was the Liverpool Football match. Since the stadium is a five minute walk from our flat, all roads around us were packed! We stick out in the flood of red scousers marching to the stadium. And so we take advantage talking to people around there. My "power statement" has been "Do you support Liverpool?" They say "Of course!"... Then I say, "Well we are sharing a message that brings you happiness even when Liverpool loses." They all say it’s impossible. Haha. But we will get one of them soon! I hear Liverpool isn't doing so hot so I guess it might work out for us!

I love you all

Elder Eliason

Cody's Word of the Week

Chavs are said to be aggressive teenagers, of working class background, who repeatedly engage in anti-social behaviour, rowdiness, or other forms of juvenile delinquency.

Our new companion Elder Eggers, from Sacramento.

My district!

Cody's new friends...

Downtown Liverpool

Downtown Liverpool

Who do you support? Of course, Liverpool!

University of Liverpool

University of Liverpool