Cody portrait

Cody portrait

Monday, April 25, 2011

Here Comes the Sun!

Our beach front property...


Our district before last transfer. The sisters have been replaced with Elders.

The sun is out and we've been loving it!

This is our flat. It's called a Masonette. We have all elderly neighbors. It's lovely.

All is well here in Rhyl! The sun has been shining non-stop, and we are not complaining!  It has yielded  many on-the-spot lessons, and great new investigators. One of them is Leon. He came running up to me and started firing off questions about Christianity. We pointed out a bench and taught this eager kid right there about the restoration. His situation reminds me of Elder Tellem's conversion story, who was street contacted at the age of 15. Leon's parents are willing to let us teach him so we are excited to see what happens!

Elder Corbin is doing very well. He continues to be a very hard working and urgent missionary. He is also a great example at time management. He's always prepared and ready to pop out the door after lunch, and tea breaks. It really shows his desire for the work!

This past Sunday was a good one! The speakers were the Bishop and his wife. They gave a great talk about the significance of the Atonement and the last week of Jesus Christ's life. It all pumped me up and gave me that boost for the week. We also were showered with food from the members. What a treat!

On Saturday we headed up to Chester for District Leaders council with the Zone Leaders. We just sat together and came up with the "Weekly Focus's" for the upcoming weeks, and reviewed what we want out of the transfer. It's a good time to be in the "Chester Zone" a lot of good things are happening! 

This transfer is going to be a busy one. We have 6 exchanges planed, one with the Assistants. For Elder Corbin's "Assistants Exchange" one with the Zone Leaders and then two each with the members of the district, Bangor, and Colwyn Bay. We also have another Sports Day this transfer with the soon departure of President Bullock. He said he has to throw another touchdown before he leaves UK soil. We also have a member of the First Seventy coming in a week or so, Elder Packer. 

We taught a man named William at a bus station in Prestatyn, then hopped on his bus to Rhyl with him and taught the rest there. It was quite the exciting event. Goes to show what some sunshine can do. Everyone has been down at the beach this past week. Our street out front is always packed.

I am grateful for the time to celebrate Easter. I am grateful for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I know that he is the Savior of the entire world. I know that he did rise again. That he does live! I know that it is important that people know this! So I will do what is necessary, to contact on the streets, knock doors, even contact on trains and buses. There is peace in the atonement of Jesus Christ that can work into our lives, but only if we 1) know about it and 2) apply it through living his gospel. 

Sorry this letter is so short, and all over the place!  Not much time today...


Elder Eliason

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Elder Tellem Transferred... Drivers License Issues

Oh, Hiya! Ya' Right?

It has been another beautiful week here in sunny Rhyl, and somehow we are already at transfers!

Well the "news" goes as follows... Elder Tellem has been shipped off to Chorley to white-wash in with a good friend of mine Elder Birliba from Moldova. Elder Corbin and I will stay the same. As for my district, the sisters who were in Bangor, have been replaced by Chinese speaking Elders. One of them being Elder Eggers! It's a pretty funny situation they are in because they are white-washing into the area, and it is a car area.  Elder Eggers or Elder Tai definitely have no experiences with the stick shift. We'll see how this goes! hah!

Elder Corbin continues to do very well in his first few weeks. He is such a fearless missionary and is always asking for tips and ways to improve. One of his strengths continues to be his organization. His planner, desk, room are all crisp and always maintained. Such a strength in a young missionary. I'm already a seasoned vet in that aspect...have been before I came out, right mum?

This past week and a half has been a lot of finding, once again.  Our day usually consists of waking up at 6:30, study till 10:00, head out and talk to people till 12:00. Then head out for another 4 hours at 1. Then at night we usually will have an appointment or two. It has been a different experience than usual as I said before, but I am adapting and loving the new "style" this area brings.

Yesterday we taught a Chinese woman!  It brought back all the memories of Liverpool. We found her on Monday, and set up a time for yesterday. As Chinese people do, she was right on time and curious to what we were going to share. She is very good, and we are excited to see where it goes. The only problem is she is married to a Welsh man, and he seems to not be the biggest fan. We'll work on him!

Now on the Bad News front... I failed my Theory Test yesterday! By two questions...unreal. I almost didn't even get to take the test. In order to take the test you first must sign your name. We'll apparently I wasn't doing it right because the woman at the desk made me do it four different times then had me sit down. After everyone else had made it through she called me up again. This time saying, "You have two more chances to match the signature on your licence, If you don't match it up, you will forfeit your chance to take the test." Talk about pressure! So my first try?... False. I was down to my last shot. And then of course, I came through with the victory...haha. I don't know what she was going on about. It looked the same every single time.

So all in all it wasn't the best morning I've had, but I'll get another shot at it soon enough! 

This week I had a big study on "Unity." It really put into perspective how essential the doctrine of unity is. It's one of the basic units of the gospel. One of the most common concerns we get on the street is, "How can there be a god? Look at all the wars and troubles going on?" It's true, people have used their agency and in some cases this world can be torn apart by opinions, and prejudice. I've learned the only thing that can bring us all together is choosing "truth." Truth doesn't waiver, it is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And when people choose truth, the influence of the Holy Ghost is present. Then the fruits are shown and the evidence is seen. 

When Jesus Christ appeared to the Nephites
he gave them the authority and power to baptize. This so that there would be "no disputations" among them. I know that what we share is truth. It leads to real answers that give comfort and understanding. It brings families closer together and brings unity that is needed to stay strong in these days of adversity.


Elder Eliason

Monday, April 11, 2011

Suit Coats Are Off!

This is our "band album cover" -- band name undecided. Maybe The Rhyll Chill

The landscaping one is our front yard...

Elder Tellem crocheting, and trying to teach us. He is quite the talented Welshman.. Knitting, Gardener, Cook.  He's got it all... I love it!

from our "View Point"on the way to a dinner appointment..

Conwy Castle, Wales UK


What a week!  The suit-coats have been off, and we have had some b-e-a-utiful weather here in Rhyl. People are flocking to this town like birds, and that's how we like it..

Update on Kirsty:

We saw her once this past week and watched the
Finding Faith in Christ DVD... Again she expressed how her faith is growing and she is seeing more and more how "real" this gospel is. Her Book of Mormon reading has been key to building her faith. We gave her the first few chapters of Mosiah, and she blew through them like a champ. They were good chapters for her talking about children and charity. She says they are her favourite thus far, and the "old English" style is getting easier and easier to understand. The only downer is she is leaving for Dublin today for two weeks. So it will be a little bit before we see her again, but before we could even say it she said, "No worries, I'm taking the book with me." She's catchin' on!

We have been taking numerous trips up to the hills of Denbigh. Wow, what a gorgeous place that is, with a castle at the top and rolling green hills all around. Google map it. But we have seen a lot of success there. Because it is a 45 minute bus ride away I don't think many missionaries have taken the trip up there. It feels like un-tilled ground. A lot more people stop and talk and are receptive. Rhyl needs a bit of a rest, people see us quite a bit around here so we are taking our time to the hills of Wales.

On the way up to Denbigh I bus-contacted a woman named Amanda. She explained how she had lost her Mum just about a year ago. Well I was able to testify of the Plan of Salvation, and she let us come up and teach her. We phoned up the only members in Denbigh and they let us teach in their home. It seemed to go together so well! It was a great lesson, and I look forward to telling you more about her!

Elder Corbin has been showing off his new skills lately and even got a kid to stop and let us teach him on a bench. It was one one of the best lessons of the transfer. Even with a three-some, it all flowed well and Gary Pary, his name, accepted to see us three times a week.

It's great to see Elder Corbin get his feet on the ground and have these experiences. I've already learned many things from him. One being his overall excitement and enthusiasm after lessons. It has been something for me that has seen its ups and downs. I need to have the same excitement when someone accepts a date, as I did when I came out.  I've seem from him how that excitement can "get the companionship going." We have really fed off of his enthusiasm. It's contagious. When we start "going through the motions" that's when we need to refocus and not let anything rob us of enthusiasm in the work. 

It reminds me of when President Bullock said, "When there comes a time when you get 'comfortable' as a missionary, you need to repent." Such a true principle to be learned there. We must always be on the up and up and that takes changes and goal setting to stretch us. 
I'm still "feeling it" after conference and have been reflecting on my notes. President Uchtdorf's talk on the priesthood has stuck with me. I've been going through the "commitment" he gave, to read a few sections from the Doctrine and Covenants and master the doctrine. One that I liked was in D&C 84:48- "(Priesthood) is confirmed for your sakes, and not for your sakes only, but for the sake of the whole world." That has definitely applied to me as a missionary. 

Service, service, service...To exercise that priesthood for the benefit of others. When given the priesthood we have "potential". We are given authority to act in the name of God. That's pretty serious stuff. But authority is different from power. The "power" comes from our righteousness. And as a missionary there is no other way to teach. As a priesthood holder I have felt a tremendous amount of responsibility to live to my potential here in England, and to do what is necessary to maximize my time in helping others come unto Christ. We as missionaries are "his hands" of missionary work, and we must do just that, work!

I also had the chance to take a train with Elder Corbin to "Bangor" (unreal train ride, gorgeous...along the coastline...Conwy Castle? Look it up, we went right around it) to interview a Chinese student for baptism. It was like revisiting sixth grade. It definitely reminded me of Liverpool. And the Chinese people. Gah! They are so great!  It was such a privilege to sit there and hear her bear her testimony. I loved it! Going back again this Thursday!      

Well I love you all dearly!

Oh, and transfers are this week, so I'll write Wednesday!


Elder Eliason

Monday, April 4, 2011

"The harder the area, the more I grow."

Hello, Hello!

No I didn't forget to write. We just haven't been able to email in the mornings because of a new "Elderly People Typing Class" that has begun at the Rhyl Library!

Weeks are still flying by and it is scaring me. Feels like a week ago me and Elder Cunningham were dressed in robes on Christmas day teaching newly arrived Elder Davis the ropes. Now he's 4 months out and I have my own new missionary...

This week was a great one with Kirsty, our "miracle train ride find." We saw her twice, once on Tuesday and again on Saturday. She has been showing her commitment by powering through the first chapters of 1 Nephi. On Tuesday we had a great lesson over the Plan of Salvation. It answered questions she had about before this life and the overall look out for what's to come after. But I think the most help of our lesson came from giving her an "Eternal Perspective." She's been divorced and now is raising two daughters,  she explained how she once had a strong faith, but has since withered away with the challenges in her life. We focused on points of how challenges shape us and make us stronger, and how we must keep the eternal spectrum in mind.

On Saturday we talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She loved how we started out talking about how faith is an "action" word, and how after we show action, we gain faith. It really motivated her to act and come to General Conference. We also helped her resolve some concerns with what "repentance" entails. She again accepted it well and felt "motivated" after the lesson. 

But as I said, she came to conference! Her and her kids. I don't know who was more excited the girls or Kirsty. We also had great ward involvement. One couple with the same aged kids invited her over for Tea (Dinner) later in the week, such a help! It also was a great session of conference she came to. It was the Saturday evening session where a lot of the talks were centered around families and teaching your kids by example, about faith. It was so great!

I love the differences that come with moving to new areas. Here we don't have as many investigators or as big a finding area, or even as big of a ward as Liverpool. This is the time where we get to be creative. The time that we get to really focus on relying on the Lord to place such people in our path. We are usually out finding or running around talking to people for 36 hours a week here. It is harder, but I love it! The farther the long toss, the harder I throw. The harder the area, the more I grow. Seems to work...

Elder Corbin continues to improve rapidly. He has seen much success in finding and that has seemed to boost his confidence. One of my favourite things about him is his love to "run." He loves it when we run back to the flat at night to make it in before 9:00. It shows he has a a great desire to be that obedient missionary. Elder Corbin is always looking for the next step and for more ways to learn. I love having him here in Rhyl! He also is quite the B-Ball player. Come July Sports Day, we are going to be the Dirk and Nash combo. Be on the look out for pics come that time...

I am grateful for conference and definitely was "spiritually fed." I am grateful for men called of God to give us such instruction. I was able to write down some questions I have had in my mind and to ultimately see them answered. Not by "the light switch" but as like the "rising of the sun"... bit by bit, as Elder Bednar explained. I loved the theme of the "Priesthood" during the Priesthood session. It really set in motion what is required of me as someone who has been given duties here in England. I am grateful for time that I have to spend in this service. I am learning and growing and seeing others learn and change. How great is this calling!

Elder Eliason