Cody portrait

Cody portrait

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's Time for a Bike Ride Elder!

Pancakes...a little on the crispy side.

Peanut Butter! First time in a loooooong time. You dont realize what you have in America!

Here is Elder Okeson, who I went on exchanges with this week.

Flat tire...

Hiya Family!
First of all, my heart goes out to Derin, Lisa, and family. It was a hard thing to hear about Sunday morning, but as I hung up the phone, I was reassured with my knowledge of the Plan of Salvation. What a blessing it is to know and understand that plan! I remember playing catch with Scotty as a kid, he'll be missed!
This week was a rainy and wet week, but such a great week for Elder Youles and I.
First of all we "resurrected" the bikes that have been sitting in the corner for the past year. We put new tubes on and that was that. We did it so that we can reach the more far parts of our area. Seeing early on in this transfer that the immediate Ashton area, has been pounded pretty hard.
On Tuesday Elder Youles and I used our new bikes and traveled to Stalybridge to tract. We ran into a man named Anthony, who let us right in. We soon came to realize that he had been taught before, but lost contact with the missionaries. We taught him the Restoration and he seemed to be a little confused surrounding the Apostasy. To resolve this concern we used his chess pieces to demonstrate how after Jesus Christ was crucified, people had replaced other pieces, because they could not remember the full set of pieces or "truth."  After teaching simply about the apostasy, he said it all made sense, and agreed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. 

Since then we have seen him 3 other times!  Then on Sunday we left the flat at 7:30 to walk an hour to him, and then an hour to the church building. He is now dated for the 13th of August. What a miracle! 
Another miracle we witnessed was also by tracting. We were going through Kings Road and we met a woman named Joan (shout-out to Grandma!), she gave us 20 minutes of her time and we taught her the Restoration. She was so in-tune with what we were saying she accepted to come to church next week, and she even let us do her garden!
Upon leaving her house, two doors down from her we met IIrene, another woman who let us into her house. She accpeted our message as well, and said she too would read and pray about the Book of Mormon. 
I don't know where all of these people will take what we shared with them, and I dont know if we will even see them again. That is up to them and their desire to heed the promptings. But I do know that the Lord is preparing people to recieve us and the restored gospel, He will lead us to them or he will lead them to us!
This week I was also able to go on an exchange with Elder Okeson, a Chinese speaking missionary from Michigan, who currently lives in China. We taught two Chinese lessons and it was so great to be in one again. When you are a missionary you really get to see the magnitude of this work going forward! It is being reached to just about everybody, in just about every tongue. I am grateful to be a part of this work, and to work where the Lord see's fit for me to be!
I know that the message we share with people each day is from the Lord. God has a plan, one that brings eternal joy and satisfaction. Through choosing to abide with truth, we have the power to recieve blessings. Because it is all in our agency! Through "choosing" to serve a mission I have come to "know" my Heavenly Father more fully, and desire to obey him more completely.
Elder Eliason
This next week I will be starting my "manual" driving lessons. Could be interesting.. haha. I am paying the man up front so don't be alarmed with the withdrawal... :)
This week we have our first interviews with President Preston!




Monday, July 18, 2011

Missing Ryhl, but Loving Ashton!

Amy, one of our progressing investigators in Rhyl.

The Rhyl Chapel

Liam, Liam, Liam!

A card I made for Liam before I left.

Dean, a recent convert from Rhyl

Me with Dean's "vibrating weight loss belt" and he with his famous dog "jack" that he loves to death.

Dear Sister Pritchard. She lives in a very nice retirement facility. And every so often we would go and have lunch with her. She's lovely!

BEFORE pics of some service we rendered to some Ysa in the ward. It took about an hour. I'll tell ya one thing I miss is mowing the lawn!

Before pic...

AFTER Pic...I think it turned out rather nice, eh?


Hello Family!
I'm coming to you in lots of rain... which I hope will come your way!  Lancashire county is a huge difference in weather it seems.
I told my companion how hot it is over in Texas, and he seems not to fathom it, haha.  Here they think 80 is up there. I wish I could let them feel the rush of humidity you feel as you walk out of the DFW airport...classic! 
It's been a good last half of the week, as I am finally settling into the area. Ashton reminds me alot of Wythenshawe, just with less council estates. We had church yesterday and it was good! In my opening testimony I spoke about a couple miracles that occurred in Rhyl, and then invited them to look for the same opportunities. But the ward is great! There are actually 2 wards in this area that meet at the same building. The only other place I can compare it to is up in Chorley with all the people moving near the temple. So most wards have the building to themselves, but not here. President Preston is actually a member of the Ashton 2nd ward (well, not anymore) and has been for a long time. And actually he was even the stake president of the Ashton Stake for some years.
Speaking of President Preston...He gave me a call this past Friday evening, which surprised me. It's not everyday that you get a call from the Mission President!  He called to see how I was enjoying his "hometown" and then told me of a phone call he had with Elder Donaldson (Area Seventy from Rhyl Ward) and then thanked Elder Harris and I for some work we had done. I was amazed that he took the time to give me a ring!  He is just the most sincere man you will ever meet. He brings a different spin to the work, and it is a huge blessing to be a part of it!
Here in Ashton we have a man named Paul who is very close to baptism. He has been taught just about everything, and now we are just working on the Word of Wisdom with him. It is a blessing to come into his teaching process.

Sunday evening I started speaking to a woman who looked very familiar, I then looked into the car and her husband also looked familiar. And then it clicked. I said "Hey, wait, I taught you on the beach in Rhyl, 3 weeks ago, right?"  They affirmed and were amazed at the "coincidence" that it was to see them again. They even had the Book of Mormon in the car and were still waiting for a phone call. I found out that they actually live in Ashton and they wanted us to come around! We all know that it wasn't a "coincidence," it was meant to be, and it is the task of Elder Youles and I to see why they have been placed in our path again!
I believe the one thing that I have learned the most thus far in my mission is to feel for and act upon promptings. It is very real, and without it, this work would halt. I am grateful for Preach My Gospel, the White Handbook, and scriptures for teaching me how I may qualify for the Holy Ghost. I think of D&C 4 and it brings to mind what it is that "qualifies us" in this work. Just in that example you are able to ask yourself "Am I qualified?"... then make corrections to bring in the spirit with more power.  

To sum it up, I love my new area. Being transferred brings such a freshness to the work... and I just love the new Mission President...all is well!
Elder Eliason

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hello Ashton-under-lyne!

Dear Familia,

What a week! I have since left Rhyl and have been transferred to Ashton-under-lyne, which is just outside of good to be back!

This is now my 4th area, and 4th different Zone...Zone's are separated by stakes, coming recently from the Chester stake. I am also now reunited with Elder Moss. He is now my Zone Leader, so great!

My new companion is Elder Youles from London! My first Brit! He came out one after me, and we are looking forward to a miracle-filled transfer!

I cannot even tell you how much I am going to miss Rhyl. This happens every time! Not until after you leave do you realize how much you are going to miss the area and people. Especially the Rhyl Ward. It's the first time that we have been the only missionaries in the ward, and so it has led to many more friendships.

Update on Liam:

Well it is kind of a sad story with Liam... As you know he was doing amazing, and really changing his life around. But then he took a vacation back to Liverpool, and didn't come back with the same "fire" he had before. We soon found out that he had taken back to alcohol again, and it really messed with his progression.  This being the third time that it has happened. Every time he takes back to the drink is like another punch to his confidence. He builds it up with us, and through prayer, but then gives into temptation..

And so he has told us that he just "cannot believe in God." He says he tried hard, but to not no avail. So in a sense he has given up. Which is sad, and has been hard to take because he is such a good man, and I got to know his so well.  I just kept telling him how much I wanted him to get off the alcohol and see his son again. And as a friend the best way that I can help is through the gospel.  I know that he understands that, it's just that his will power to find it out is not there. 

So the decision was to drop him for about a month, and give him time to sit on it... We did however go back and say goodbye to him, and you could just tell he missed us. I was able to make a little collage of pictures for him... and he gave me an awesome Liverpool tie and scarf. 

It was devastating to see him slip back into the misery that his alcohol addiction brings. I just want him to be happy! But its not the end, I'll be in contact with him for years to amazing man.

I also got to go and say goodbye to Kirsty. Apparently she has been in Ireland, and hasn't been able to take our calls. She since has lost some interest and motivation, but is still interested to see us and set up an appointment....
On my last day in Rhyl we had such a miracle. For the past two weeks we have had a member referral show up to church. With that happening, we seized to set up an appointment last week for last night. We also set it up to be in the home of Elder Donaldson, who is in our ward, who is an Area Seventy, and AMAZING man.  It was the best lesson I have had since being in Rhyl! This woman, Kate, is so prepared!  She is going through a lot of hardship with raising her four kids on her own. And with the message we shared with her, her eyes and face just lit up. Of course, I am sad to be leaving her after only one lesson,  but I know that this is the Lords work, and if I was only supposed to teach the first lesson, then I am fine with that! I am just grateful to have been a part of it.

That is so good to hear that Grandpa Eliason has taken to the "Sacred Missionary Doc." I wish I could be there to testify of it! And it is so good to hear Dallin's having a good time on HT...feels like yesterday! Such a rich experience that I still remember so vividly! 

This past week I have been giving a lot of thought to what I have "become" on my mission thus far. I have had time to reflect and enjoy the memories, or ward members, companions, and recent converts. I just love being a missionary. Elder Cowley hit it on the head. On your mission you will have never had so many "lows," while also never having as many "highs." I look back and see what I have learned, and take from that and press forward. There is so much to accomplish, so many more people to meet and teach. I'm excited for what is in store.


Elder Eliason

P.S. I took many pictures whilst leaving Rhyl. I'll send them next week! :)

New Address (for now):

18 Sheldon Court

Friday, July 8, 2011

Service Can Soften the Heart

My former companion, Elder Cunningham is now our Zone Leader!

Elder Harris' Birthday Celebration

Elder Harris downs these burgers like a champ. Keeps the American spirit strong in the companionship.

We went up to Mostyn, which takes a while to get up to, so we took dinner up there and had a little picnic per say and threw the football around.

Bore Da (Welsh phrase for Good Morning)... and Happy 4th of July!

This week has been full of "on the spot" lessons and sunburns. We've had the best weather yet and the town has been flocking with people from all over. 

After District Meeting I went on an exchange with Elder Cunningham! He is now my Zone Leader, and it was blast to be back with him. Right when we stepped out of the gate to go work a kid walked by and I just said "Hey, how's it goin!" We contiuned to QGC (Quality Gospel Conversation) him, and we aught him there right on the beach. It was such a testimony builder to me of exact obedience. If we were out of the flat 20 seconds or a minute late we wouldn't have met him. He lives in Bolton and we have passed on the info...

Throughout the day Elder Cunningham and I talked about the good times we had in Wythenshawe. It has blown my mind that it has been 7 months since then. We also got to talk about the good times we had in Liverpool, with him just coming from there serving as a Zone Leader.

Update on Liam:

This week we only saw him once, because he headed to Liverpool for the week for a family get together. He is doing OK, it's just that he has had a relapse with the alcohol, and his confidence has taken a bit hit. It's sad to see what addiction can do to someone. But we know that it's a battle that he can win, it's just that he will have to involve the Lord.

We tried a new finding activity this weekend by going around tracting in service clothes. We simply asked every person for service, and then if they declined, we talked to them about the Gospel. After we were three houses in we had set up two solid appointments, but no service. Then at the fourth house we met a woman, Leslie. She was thrown for a loop when we asked to garden. She kept saying I can't afford it. We went on and on telling her we wouldnt take any of her money. 

After about 5 minutes of convincing her we "actually" wanted to help her out, she got the mower and some gardening tools and let us do some work. And we did...For an hour we attacked the front lawn until we finished. Her friend told us that her husband had passed away and that the lawn wasn't able to get done. It opened up conversation for the Plan of Salvation. 

We set up an appointment for this week, and she is so solid! It is amazing how service can soften the heart.

This week I also studied the principle of sacrifice. I've come to learn that the Lord asks us to sacrifice for the benefit of our eternal welfare. In the end, we must be willing to give up everything that is of the "natural man." If we are to "become" Christ-like, we must do some "sacrificing." And the only thing that we can put on God's altar that isn't already his, is our will. 

We must submit to do what he would have us do because he is the "potter."  We on the other hand are the "clay." And the only way we can be molded into something greater is by offering a sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit...Or in other words being humble and teachable, and acting upon the direction he gives us. By simply saying "thy will be done" we sacrifice who we are for what we can become through him. 

For myself that isn't easy, but that is what this life is for! To get better and to work towards that goal! 


Elder Eliason