Cody portrait

Cody portrait

Monday, October 24, 2011

Roller Coaster Week

Hello family!
This past week has been quite the roller coaster. Elder Cunningham and I say that we would be the next best companionship to put on the “Preach My Gospel” DVDs with all the drama we had this week. (The Preach My Gospel DVD’s are just a live filming of some companionships in the San Antonio mission a few years back).
We taught 25 lessons this past week, and we have been all over the place. But I am so grateful to be busy!
Lorna was a part of that roller coaster. When we sat down with her the second time this past week she told that she had some thing to tell us. Well right when she sat down she said.  “Elders,  I am afraid I cannot join the Church of Jesus Christ.”... My heart sank, and I had no idea what had happened! This was the biggest shock I have come across on my mission.  She was so solid!  What happened!
We of course began to try and understand what happened. She began to tell us that she felt a burden to the other members who give her a lift. She also then went on to say how she wouldn’t be able to keep the Law of Tithing, she believed in it, she just said she wouldn’t be able to meet it.
Immediately we asked her some testimony questions: “Do you believe the Book of Mormon to be true?” “Yes.. I do.” .. Then you believe that this is the Church of Jesus Christ?  “Yes, and that is what makes it so hard! I know that it is true, but I feel that I cannot live up to it.”
She then went on to explain how hard the past couple days had been. She mulled over a minor problem with a lift to church, and then it seemed to be blown out of proportion.  And with that, came feelings of inadequacy.
We went on to resolve her concerns using the Book of Mormon. We first turned to 1 Nephi 3:7, and told her that God is in control, and will take care of all situations through our obedience.  
As we went through the lesson, her burden seemed to lighten, and that was because the spirit was so strong in that lesson! 
When we got near the end she seemed to still be holding back a bit, we didn’t know how much we had fully resolved so we turned to Alma 7 and read the following verse with her…
 “Yea, I say unto you come and fear not, and lay aside every sin, which easily doth abeset you, which doth bind you down to destruction, yea, come and go forth, and show unto your God that ye are willing to repent of your sins and enter into a covenant with him to keep his commandments, and witness it unto him this day by going into the waters of baptism.”
We then boldly asked her “Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized this upcoming Saturday?” ...“Yes” she said, with great relief. Joan Hill (our fellowshipper, and good friend/house-mate of Lorna)  then said... “Oh yes! Oh yes! I knew you would pull through.” And then got up and gave her a big hug. It was a good way to end the lesson.  Joan Hill is 90, by the way and the most hilarious person in the Chester Ward. She has been so key in Lorna’s conversion.
So Lorna pulled through, and overcame the “trial of her faith” it seems. She is looking forward to her baptism this Saturday morning! And so are we!
Nicky also rode along in the roller coaster, but not until a lot later in the week. In fact, yesterday.  
We had stake conference with President Teixera (2nd Councilor in the Europe West Presidency) from Portugal, and Elder Wright of the Seventy who is from the U.K. They were in town because the Chester Stake was getting a new Stake President. This was a great opportunity to get our investigators to see the strength of the leadership in the church in person. The conference was held at a university in Wrexham, and we were set up in the Auditorium.   
When Nicky showed up, we could tell something was wrong.  She just wouldn’t go in. She wanted to wait in the lobby for a second to try and pose herself. She explained that she has a fear being in big crowds. We tried to help her in any way that we could. But she just wasn’t able to go in.
 After 10 minutes had passed, we still stood with her, and then the conference began. Shortly after that there came a point where I think she just decided that she wouldn’t be able to handle the large crowd. She of course felt bad, in that she thought she was letting us down. And so she started looking up train times on her phone, and then just started to walk out. And I mean literally, just started walking out. 
We did our best to try and help her see that we could find a way to get it done. But she just didn’t seem to be in her right mind. The fear took over, and she had her mind on heading back home…
After doing all that we could we headed into the conference...
Later on in the day, after we were back in Chester she gave us a call. She said that she “just froze up.” We asked if we could come around later in the afternoon, and she agreed. 
The lesson we had with her went very well. We basically just looked over the fact what had happened, and focused on her conversion.  
She was still a bit hesitant with accepting fully the things that we had taught her. And it is frustrating! Because we feel like we need to do something more. But we knew that wasn’t the case. We teach and simply invite. She is to walk the path and see the blessings that will follow. In the end it is still her choice to walk the path.
I feel we got this point across very well to her and she agreed.  So we committed her to read more from the Book of Mormon and to pray with specifics. 
It was quite the day with her, but we feel it ended well. This next week will show a lot. To see how she responds to the commitments we have set.
Richard and Bianca are doing extremely well. I cannot begin to explain the transformation they have gone through. They keep commitments like it is nothing! We continue to await their wedding in January, and see them quite often.
Barbara Lawson came to the Saturday evening session of stake conference. And she absolutely loved Elder Wright and his talk. And so afterwards we took her up and introduced her. We told him that she was an investigator, and he just took her by the hand and bore down in testimony to her. It was quite epic. But she seemed to love it!  Haha.
After that session, we project things to speed up with her. We’ll see her this week twice.
I am beginning to be a little frustrated with this whole Drivers Licence thing. Haha. I need to take the test soon, but my instructors have not been the best. They keep wasting the time with some pointless instruction to try and prolong the time I need to spend with them.  And the lessons are expensive! My plan of action is to just take two more lessons, then sign up for the driving test, and pray for the best! The good thing that comes from this is that it will make my insurance much cheaper back in the states, with me having two licences and one of them being in England, which has really high standards.
This week is going to be a great one. President Kopishka: the President of the Europe West Area, and member of the First Quorum of the Seventy will be doing a mission tour. We will have a Zone Conference with him tomorrow, and then a Zone Leader Council meeting with him at the mission home on Thursday. I'm excited!
Quotes of the week:
“Not only has the Savior suffered, but so have most of the prophets and other great men recorded in the scriptures. The point is this: if you are having a bad day, you’ve got a lot of company – very, very good company.  The best company that has ever lived.       
-- Elder Holland                                                                                        
“That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing is changed, but our power to do is increased.”  
--Heber J. Grant

Have a great week!
Elder Eliason

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