Cody portrait

Cody portrait

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

"Don't You Ever Stop Tracting Bungalows!"

Hello Family!
It's news to me that Conno is playing football?!  What position?! ... Cannot wait for pics of him two-steppin' into the end zone, and doing his famous "T.O" touchdown dance...haha!
As for myself this week has been fabulous. It started with Elder Cunningham and I heading to Zone Leader Council at the mission home, which was such a good experience. Zone Leader Council will always be one of the highlights to the transfer.
It was good to see all the "crew" and spend some time with President Preston and his wife. It went from 10am to 5pm, with many things being discussed, such as trainings, and dated investigators in the mission. We also had some trainings from the Assistants and President.  
But the main meat of the meeting was a 2 hour discussion on "working with members." President Preston feels very strongly that this is an area that we can improve on which is true. We are very very good at finding and teaching through our own efforts, but seem to be struggling with getting referrals from members. So for 2 hours we counseled on ways that we can see this improve. Over this 2 hours we came up with a "point system" that has to do with member work. It is something that President is really excited about and so am I! It will be going mission-wide in a couple of weeks and we soon expect to see member work become more effective.
Speaking about member work, I was able to introduce myself to the Chester Ward this past Sunday and what a warm welcome they were! Within a week, no matter what ward you attend in our church you feel is something else! 
Yesterday, with it being bank holiday, us four Chester Elders were able to go to the Preston temple! It really is such a privilege to have a temple in the mission boundaries! Elder Cunningham spoke to a man that is actually from where he is from in Arizona. After they got talking he told Elder Cunningham of his daughter that is less-active, and after further discussion found out that she lives in Elder Cunningham's neighborhood! After swapping info the man informed Elder Cunningham that he was an answer to his prayer. If there is anybody that can "re-activate", it's definitely Elder Cunningham. What a miracle!
This week I choose a road to tract and as we arrived we saw that it was all bungalows a.k.a, the gathering of old folks. Both of us aren't so hot on tracting old people's homes. But before we left, I remembered a weird dream that I had a couple of transfers ago.
Elder Harris and I were tracting bungalows and decided to leave early to get to another part of town. And then I was stopped by a old woman, who yelled at me, "Don't you ever stop tracting bungalows!" This was something that I told Elder Cunningham and we laughed about it for awhile...well, actually, still laugh about it... But the point was that we stayed and tracted out the street. We were able to set up 3 appointments and even taught a lesson on the spot. All were YSA (young single adult) aged! You know what they say: Don't judge a book by its cover. Well, the same goes for missionary work. We were led to a spot and even though we may have disliked its appearance, we overcame our preconceived notions and ended up seeing great miracles. Moral or the story: Dreams can act as a reproof? Yeah I don't get it either...    
This past Sunday afternoon Elder Cunningham and I ended up in Mold early for a Tea appointment.  So we decided to prayerfully choose a street to tract. Elder Cunningham said "something that starts with New..." We looked it up in the map, and found that there was actually a "New St."  So we parked up and hit it, and we soon ran into a woman by the name of Sharon. We talked about families and helped her to answer some questions. We then committed her to sit down with us to share a lesson. She accepted and we then taught her the Restoration. It was such a miracle to be led to her! I know that by praying to know specifically where to go we were blessed to know where to go. One of the great blessings of being a missionary is to seek revelation so often and be able to act immediately!
This week we had Carol and her daughter Claire attend church! Claire was able to attend Young Womens, and is really starting to fit in with all the other girls. Carol also is loving Church! And she looks like she just feels comfortable being there.  
We are still teaching her regularly, and she is doing very well. We are working on helping her cut down some things to live the Word of Wisdom.
I can't tell you how much I enjoy being back with Elder Cunningham. We work very well together and he is just hilarious. It is a great blessing to serve with a companion again to see how far be both have come since that time!    
Elder Eliason

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Called as Zone Leader in Chester Zone

Congrats to Carly! Glad to hear everything went as planned!
I'm sorry I forgot to tell you that transfers were this week, so I'm coming to you a bit later than usual... But some exciting news is that I'm not in Ashton anymore! I have been transferred to Chester to serve with Elder Cunningham as a Zone Leader of the Chester Zone. It was quite the surprise to find out that I would already be leaving. President Preston called Sunday morning to inform me of the change so I had time to say goodbye to some of the members... But it is good to be back in the Zone from whence I had just left, Chester, like Wales, is a gorgeous place!
It is also just as good to be back serving with Elder Cunningham! Whom I just love so much! Working last night was just like old times. A lot of good things are going to happen this transfer!
As for the situation here in Chester we have a proper house that we live in. We share it with another Chester companionship that moved into the area two transfers ago. Another change is that we have a car, which is why I need to get my license ASAP! I've had some of my final lessons, now I just need to sign up and take the driving test! 
We have a total of 18 missionaries in the Zone and 4 of them are missionaries I have served with. 
We now also have a lot more meetings. Tonight we are meeting with the Stake President and President Preston, and tomorrow we will drive to the mission home for an all-day Zone Leader Council Meeting. What an opportunity this is! To continue to learn from my leaders is something I am looking forward to...
As for a summary of the week in Ashton:
Paul is doing well and should be baptised in the next couple of weeks, he just needs some time to further strengthen his testimony.
Last week I told you about "Scott," who was the step-brother of a recent convert. Well we ended up teaching him this past Tuesday in the recent converts home, and what a lesson! She (Janine) was able to answer all of his questions that investigators have. It is priceless to have a recent convert as a fellow shipper, and with her being family, even better.  
This lesson reminded me of how I left Rhyl. The last night Elder Harris and I had an amazing lesson with Kate (she is being baptised this week), and then I left. Once again the same thing happened. But how I've looked at it is I don't see the teaching of Scott as a "one-day miracle." Elder Youles and I being obedient and working hard for an entire transfer was us showing the Lord that we wanted to see success. Because, in order for us to be blessed with a baptism we must show the Lord that he can trust us with who he places in our path. 
So therein lies the main "work" for a baptism. The times when I don't have many to teach, and it seems like I am finding all the day long, it's In those moments of "trial" that I have to exercise faith, continue to be diligent and optimistic and therefore prove myself worthy to find a prepared person by the Lord.
This for me is where happiness lies as a missionary...not counting baptisms, or getting the most stats. To me happiness as a missionary comes from the satisfaction that I am doing what the Lord wants me to be doing. And then to put trust in Him and go forward. And whether or not it gets easier or harder it doesn't matter, because I'll know that it is for my good and benefit.
I also was able to go on a 3-day exchange with Poppa, Elder Moss!  And it was on August 18th. The exact day that I stepped into the mission, and he and I became companions. Crazy! We talked a lot about the good ole days in Wythenshawe and could not believe it has been a year... It's such a good thing that he was a young missionary when he trained me. Most trainers are gone after about a year. So its good to continue to be with him until he leaves in February.
This next week we are headed on a Church History Tour as a mission. President Preston knows some people who know the history like champs, so that should be exciting...
Have a fantastic week, and I'll pray for the rain for Texas!
Elder Eliason

Monday, August 15, 2011

Quick, Yet Productive Week

Touring Manchester United Stadium...pretty cool.

My trainer, Elder Moss is to my right (now a Zone Leader).

Sponge cake Elder Youles made for Billy, but ended up having it for dinner...

Afta-noon Fam!
Those pics that Dad sent of the stay in St. George remind me so much of when I headed down there. Such a good time!  Cannot believe it has been two years.
And woah, what drama with the wedding! Those US Custom guys need to simmer down a bit. Hopefully everything goes as planned!
As for my week It has been a quick one.
We started with a tour of Manchester City's stadium with the ZL's Elder Moss, and Elder Ditmer, while I swapped to have Elder Ziegler, as Elder Youles didn't want to go. But I tell you what, these football (soccer) teams have such a rich tradition about them. As I have been here I have reallied warmed up to the sport. My bad memories of never getting the ball in my youth soccer days have since dwindled...
Update on Billy:
We have seen Billy twice this week and is doing really well. We taught him the Plan of Salvation on Monday and he really understood it well where it takes most a little longer. We really emphasized the Atonement and how we must "act" to receive the blessings of the Atonement in our lives. He also had his birthday on Thursday, and Elder Youles baked him a homemade sponge cake. The only problem was he wasnt in all day. Soooo, we ate it for Dinner, because he wasn't going to be available for awhile. He also wasnt able to make it to church on Sunday, as we still don't know why. It was a bit of a surprise, seeing him buy a white shirt and tie during the week for church. But we are not too alarmed...from what we can tell he is very committed as he still has kept all the commitments we have given him.
Update on Paul:
Paul is doing marvelous. He has committed himself to stop smoking and is still set for his date of the 27th. He has made a big change this week by shaving off his bead and buying some "Just for Men" to take out the grey in his hair. His comment after we asked why was,"You know, I want to clean up my life and so I'm just going to do it all, and the beard and hair come with that." It was pretty funny to show up and see the difference. But he is doing very well! After a hiccup last week we asked him to kneel and pray for a confirmation of his date. He did, and as we returned the next time he described the "weight being lifted from his shoulders" as he did so we had one lesson this week going over Mosiah 1-5, showing him the conversion of the people and how it related to him. They wanted to "enter into a covenant", and so we likened it to him to show the importance of a covenant and what that really entails. It was a very good lesson because of an amazing fellow shipper we brought! The members really do make all the difference! He came to church this past Sunday and again loved it. The ward is doing a very good job embracing him, and making him feel comfortable. Again, so key for his LASTING conversion.
This week we have been doing some finding in some areas that have not been hit in a while. One of them being Stalybridge and the other Mossley. We walked an hour and a half to Mossley yesterday and found around the town for about 4 hours. We ended up with about 9 appointments and 3 service opportunities! It was a gold mine and a place that we will be working in the future. 
We also had a miracle this week with a man named scott. After trying to see Billy and he not being in, I ran down to him and caught him right before he headed in. I chatted him up and at first he seemed to have no interest. But after we went back and forth touching upon different gospel principles something softened his heart and he let us in to teach him right there. We then found out that he is the step-brother of a recent convert in May. It was such a good lesson and he had such good questions...  
I truly witness miracles everyday, and whether big or small they have increased my testimony. I know that the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored, and that the same church organization that Jesus Christ established is now on the earth.
Oh, how I love all of you!
Elder Eliason  

Monday, August 8, 2011

..."We know that what we do is true."

Cricket... grip it and rip it...

Elder Youles used to be a body builder. He was showing me a few tricks. As for me, it's been awhile...

Hiya Fam! 

Wow what a week for the Eliason fam! Jord is engaged! Dallin got his patriarchal blessing!... I tell you it's the best being a missionary because every Monday its like getting a "top 10" from SportsCenter.. except you get it all from your family.. ahh, its so good! 

I emailed Jord, but again let him know of my congrats! What a stud!

As for me, its been as always a fantastic week. It started last Monday with a game of cricket with most of the Zone. It was a lot of fun, and I was swinging the bat like it was a game of baseball. Still don’t know much about the rules. All we did was protect the wickets and grip it and rip it. Made for a good time!

This past district meeting was on “Teaching People, not Lessons.” We really focused on teaching to the investigator, and not a lesson per say. That really is why Preach My Gospel came about, to shift from teaching discussions to teaching by the spirit and to the needs of the people. 

It is something that President Preston has really stressed since coming in. He is one of the most personable people you will meet, and see’s the individual, not the group. He’s a great example to the rest of us.

This week we again met with Anthony, but after teaching him decided to drop him. He has not been keeping commitments, and doesn’t seem to want to budge from what “He” believes. It takes a lot to drop someone, because that means more time finding, but it is a way of showing our faith that our time needs to be spent with someone else who will act upon the message.

This week we saw Paul a couple of times and is still doing pretty well. We have taught him everything, and now the ball is in his court. He is scheduled to be baptised in two weeks, but needs to cut off smoking. It is a hard thing for him to do, but we know that if he allows himself to gain such faith, that he can quit for life… the only thing is it is his decision not ours.

He loved church this Sunday, and particularly loves gospel doctrine because of the man who teaches it. It is Brother Greathead, who is 6’9 and built like Leonard Davis of the Cowboys. His voice shakes the place as he teaches us about the New Testament. Paul just loves him…

We also took him up to the mission home fireside yesterday. It seemed like the whole mission showed up. We missionaries had to stay outside, as there was only enough room for the investigators. It was good to see old friends and companions and to see how they're doing. It's always such an inspiring sight to see all the missionaries and their investigators! It has such a sense of unity. 

People would look at our gathering and think that all of us are crazy to be here in England at the age of 19-21 and away from our families and friends for two years. What I would tell to them is we know that what we do is true. So simple, but has had the effect on all of us enough to bring us to sacrifice what we had at home for what we could do for others over here!      

This week I learned a great lesson from reading Alma 32. The chapter is about how we can acquire faith. But not only faith alone but a testimony in a principle of the gospel, example: Tithing, Word of Wisdom, etc. What I learned from this chapter is what the Lord requires of us… and what we can expect from the Lord.

In vs. 27 Alma states that we must have a “desire." This is the beginning...we must have a desire, a real desire to search what it is that we want to gain a testimony of.

It continues in the same verse to say that we must "give place," or choose to "sacrifice" and make adjustments to make this principle apart of our lives. Then in verse 28 we learn that we must "not cast it out by our unbelief" OR give up when it gets tough.

After we have kept those requirements immediate actions take place...we feel, in the words of Alma, “swelling motions”, “enlarges our soul” and “enlightens our understanding." This is the evidence of the faith in which we show. This happens until it comes to a “knowledge”(vs.34), not a belief, but a knowledge! This is something that I have been able to relate with investigators and tell them what the Lord expects of the them.

I testify that the process in which Alma spoke is real! I have felt that witness to my heart, and I know that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and the Saviour of the entire world. And if we live true to that knowledge by keeping covenants we can literally be with our families again. How grateful I am for this knowledge, and the time that I have to share it!

This week I also have had a couple of driving lessons…things are moving along smoothly. I am liking this whole manual thing!! But this small streets and tight spaces… not so much.

Today we are going through a tour of Manchester City stadium. Looking forward to it!
Love you all!

Elder Eliason

Thursday, August 4, 2011

One Year Down, But Excited for What's In Store!

Dear Fam,

Look at all this traveling you've been doing! I remember back in the
good ole days taking road trips in the van... that broke down 14
times...haha. But its good to see that you've been able to spend
some time with the fam! Did Dallin fly back or did you just meet him in

This week has been fantastic...As you know, on Tuesday was my first

interview with President Preston. It was a good "get-to-know" session
with him. It looks like he is starting to settle in. He is just an
amazing man. Just very "real" and has a real desire to see to our
needs as missionaries. His style of leadership is much different than
President Bullock, which is great! I am grateful that I get to learn
from both of them.

Well, I had my first "manual" driving lesson this week, it was quite

the experience. Why did they have to go and make driving so
complicated? I'm used to the gas pedal, and the brake. Not the
clutch, finding the bite point, handbrake kinda thing. But
nevertheless, I started to get the hang of it, as Rod, my very
talkative instructor corrected my mistakes.

A miracle happened this week when we had a woman usher us over to her

car. We recognized her as we approached... she was a potential
investigator, Sara. She asked us to come over and give her house a
blessing. We of course agreed and simply went over and said a
prayer. Then were able to teach her the Restoration.

Afterwards we tried by a man that wasn't in, we headed over and tried

by another man that was a "potential," his name is Billy. Well Billy was in, and
he let us in. We gained some trust and then we shared the Restoration
with him. He loved it. With him just losing his father we were able
to tie the message into eternal families. He willingly let us come
over two days after to show him the Restoration DVD. He again loved
it. Afterwards he accepted to come to church, and as promised he was
waiting for us at 8:50 Sunday morning. He loved church and is doing
very very well! If it weren't for us trying by the other man in his
neighborhood, I'm convinced we would have forgotten about him. But
the Lord is in the work, and led us to him. It amazes me every time,
as again and again I see the Lord's hand in this work!

Update on "Paul Glebswirlovapastalovboyarrin": (his actual last's Russian):

We have taught him three times over the past week, and he continues to
be a star! He is continuing to keep commitments we leave with him. When I
rang him up this week I asked how he liked the Prophet of the
Restoration DVD. He answered saying he has watched it 3 times.
It is good to see him dedicated to continue to learn and take in what
we teach him. Yesterday we went over the baptismal interview
questions with him, and he is set to go. All he needs to do is cut
off his smoking for good. He's gone from 40 a day to now 2 or 3.
We'll see how it goes from here!

The first  lesson this week was a good lesson because of the fellow

shipper we brought with us. Brother Fletcher was very bold with Paul saying
that he had the belief  to get down to 3 cigarettes. He just lacks
the "faith" to completely rid himself of them. It was perfect for
Paul to hear, and he agreed saying that he needed to rely upon the
Lord more and find ways he can strengthen his faith to overcome his
desire to smoke. To follow-up we had a lesson upon the atonement. We
were able to really emphasize how living the steps of the gospel of
Jesus Christ allows us to have that "mighty change of heart". Leading
to a desire to follow the commandments more completely. 
It was a great lesson! It's just amazing to be apart of the process of someone who
makes changes in their lives, and then see the blessings come to

This week I had my first ever "Kebab"-- Google it. Let me tell

you it was some kind of introduction. I've been told a lot about
them, and apparently you haven't "lived" in England until you try one.
Our Ward Mission Leader bought a couple for us. Tthey were the size of a fire log.
Apparently the biggest ones you can find in Ashton. They are
originally from the Middle East or India? But that's what most of the
fast-food restaurants or "Chippy's" seem to be like over here. The
number one food here in England is the curry, which also is Indian. 
Just goes to show the diversity of this place.

This week we also tracted into a woman who is the mother of a convert
of 4 years. She invited us in and we have since taught her twice!
She receives the Ensign every month, and has a picture of the Hawaii
temple in her bedroom. Why she isn't a member?  Just has never felt
the need. We'll we have had two great lessons with her. The next
step is getting her to church! Her name is Barbara..

We'll apparently it has been one year since I have been out but

I'll tell you that it does not feel like it. I have had such a great
year, and I am excited what is in store! I know this gospel is true,
and there is nowhere else I would rather be than amongst these English
folks :)
Love you all!

Elder Eliason

P.S - Tell Dallin he needs to email me...