Cody portrait

Cody portrait

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Welcome Elder Rapata from New Zealand!

Kia Ora Whanau!

That is “hello family” in Maori, for the sake of my new companion from New Zealand.  After transfers I am still serving in Chester, and now with Elder Rapata from Auckland, New Zealand.
Elder Rapata and I came out together, and were even in the same district in the MTC. We have long been wanting to serve together. He’s a very talented missionary, a hard worker, and knows the Haka. What more could you want...
Elder Cunningham has since left and gone to the YSA (Young Single Adult) ward up in Manchester. It has been different with him not being around, knowing we have now spent 4 and a half months together in the past year. 
As for everything else... the work is going great, and the temps are starting to drop. It’s getting to be that time of year! Chester is now covered in Christmas lights... I forget that they don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. After Halloween it is just a straight shot to Christmas...
Kirsty, the YSA from Chester is doing very very well. She came to church this past week and really enjoyed it.  She also has gone to Institute twice, which is so key! She is getting to become friends with them all, and is an active participant in the lessons. We are really excited about the steps she is taking.
This week we were able to teach her about the Sabbath Day and the 10 commandments.  With her coming from an agnostic background, we were able to apply to her how living these simple commandments can benefit her. It was a great lesson for us to just teach her about the purpose of commandments, and how they provide protection.
She has read up to 2 Nephi 6, and is starting to move towards a belief in God. She still won't say it, but says that she is willing to keep commitments to find out for herself. That's all we can ask! Kirsty is just a very consistent person, with a true desire to find out if what we are saying is true. 
Richard and Bianca have now sent out wedding invitations for their wedding, and so we are so excited!  Bianca has now read up to Mormon 4, and has filled her study journal with her favorite scriptures and thoughts. They continue to amaze us with their progress and desire to learn. 
Speaking of her study journal, Bianca has said how much she loves keeping one. She explained that when situations of doubt arise, she is able to open up the journal and remember the strength that a particular scripture had given her.    
They even now have home teachers, which is such a great help with integrating them into the ward. 
This week we taught Nicky tithing, and it didn't go down as well as we had thought. She didn’t seem to grasp the doctrine behind it, and that caused her to have a bit of a hiccup. 
Matthew was quite sad to see Elder Cunningham go. During church he wasn't his typical lively self saying he missed Elder Cunningham. But we did go up and see him a couple days after, and is feeling much better.
We are now focusing on helping Nicky to understand the doctrine of tithing and how it ties into faith. This will be the last hurdle before baptism. 
But she is still doing well. She pro-actively calls us up in the beginning of the week to schedule the appointments for the week. We believe that tithing was so difficult for her because she knows that what we have taught her is true. She has a testimony and knows it’s a commandment. But she thinks it will be too hard to keep. She has overcome other obstacles in the past, and this hopefully wont be any different.
Barbara Lawson is going in for surgery this weekend and wont be back home for a week or so. She came to church this past week and continues to get to know the members well.
As you can tell, we continue to teach and teach and it is such a blessing!
This week I stumbled across one of my favorite scriptures that I hadn't been over in a while. It is 2 Nephi 9:50-51. Early on in my mission it helped me to understand how to make priorities. 
Driving lessons are still going well, I have the driving test scheduled for December 20th. 
Have a great week, and I’ll speak to you Monday!
Kia Kaha,
Elder Eliason
P.S. Good luck Conno on your games!

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