I am coming to you from a new area! I am now living in Salford, which
is in west Manchester. I am serving now as a Zone Leader of the
Manchester Zone with Elder Palmer from Sandy, Utah. He came out one
group before me and is a great missionary.
So the last couple of days have been filled with many good-bye's to
the great people of Chester. I was able to see Lorna, Barbara, Nicky
and company and many of the ward members. I will say that Chester is
a hard area to leave. Well, every area is hard to leave, but Chester
has a special place in my heart with all of the things that
happened there. And being in a four-man flat made it that much
better. I was around Elder Hopper for 4 and a half months, and Elder
Thomas for 3. I also came to know the Chester Stake very well,
serving there for a total of 9 months. But now I am grateful for the
fresh start, and the new experiences that will come from my time here
I don't know much about the area that I am now in---I've been here for
about an hour. But it is exciting to be back in Manchester. Another
exciting thing from transfers is that Elder Eggers and Elder Fawcett
are now serving as Zone Leaders in Liverpool. One year ago at this
time, I headed to Liverpool and teamed up with Elder Fawcett, and then
a couple of months later Elder Eggers, and so my former companions
are now serving together in that same place... just now as Zone
There is not much else to report on...everything else was mentioned in
I will have pictures and a lot more to talk about this next Monday!
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Monday, December 19, 2011
|Doing the Haka (part 2) at the Christmas Party at the Mission Home|
|From left to right, Elder Rapata, Kirsty, Nicky and Mathew|
|Elder Cunningham came back from his AP duties to see Kirsty get baptized.|
It has been a crazy week, but one of the best I’ve had on my mission.
This past week Nicky, Mathew, and Kirsty all got baptized!
We saw Kirsty three times before her baptism, and throughout the week she was filled with excitement for her baptism. She was making sure everything was taking care of, etc.. She is just someone that is so pro-active and outgoing. Through being so outgoing she has found herself fully involved in Institute and YSA activities, which is THE key to her lasting conversion. And it has all been her. We invited her the first time, and from then on she has been pro-active about getting there. She is such a great convert!
Now with Nicky and Mathew, I cannot begin to tell you how far they have come since we first met them. Nicky especially, has really blossomed over the past couple of weeks. She went from really shy, and reserved to being more confident every week. Nicky has been through many trials as she has grown up, and it is amazing to see the joy that she now expresses that has come through living the gospel.
Nicky’s feelings about her baptism really showed, when she came up and asked me after church, “I want Catherine to be baptised, how do we make that happen?”
Catherine is her other child who lives with her Dad, but has been to church with her many times. The only problem has been that she is never there on weekdays so it is hard to teach her. But Nicky said that she would move some things around. With her request, last night we went up and taught Catherine and committed her to baptism in January. It was a memorable lesson with her because of the testimony of Nicky that she constantly was sharing to her daughter.
These four people are very close to my heart. And seeing the three of them be baptised and confirmed this past week is the true joy of missionary work. It is very special and difficult to find words to explain.
I think back to the dreams that I had as a new missionary. I wanted so badly to see people accept the message that we had. I wanted them to feel what I had felt, and know what I knew. Seeing that now come to pass in the lives of three individuals is truly a special experience. It was what I had envisioned as a new missionary. I am grateful that the Lord has placed me here at this time to be apart of their lives. The Lord is directing this work, and we are simply the tools. It is humbling to sit back and realize how the Lord has blessed this Chester area in the past couple of months. Truly remarkable.
This week at church we had two new people come by the names of Stephanie and Chris. They are a couple that we have been teaching for a couple of weeks, and actually street contacted whilst we were finding with President Preston a few weeks back. This Sunday was the Children's Nativity, and they really enjoyed the fellowship that they received. They have great potential, and we will continue to see them!
Lorna is doing so well! I forget to write about her because she practically is a member. We see her once a week, generally on a Sunday evening and she just explains what she has learned in the week. She is now becoming an expert on family history.
The training that Elder Rapata and I gave at the mission home was on “Loving others as the Saviour does.” It was my favourite of all that I have been apart of thus far. One of the main things that we focused on was this phrase:
I love you if...
I love you because...
I love you even though...
In regards to others, sometimes we may think I’ll love you if you do something for me, I’ll love you if your nice to me. I’ll love you if you get here on time, etc... We let the way they act towards us determine how we feel about them.
Then others times we may say I love you because you made it here on time, I love you because you are always nice to me. love you because...It is still conditional upon what it is that you like about that person or what deed’s have been done to you.
Our mindset should be: I love you even though...you may not set up an appointment with me. I love you even though you do not understand why we are here and slam the door...
It applies great to missionary work, but also to all relationships that we have. Even sports teams, Dad!
The way the Saviour loves is unconditional. There is not a contract or an ultimatum to the love that he has for each of us. He sees past our faults and desires us to love him and keep his commandments. Let us all recommit to love unconditionally and show it through our service to one another.
Our day in the mission home was one to remember. We did many things, skits, gift exchanges, and watched 17 Miracles (if you haven’t see it, wow, get it and watch it).
We all got a temple recommend holder, that is soooo English, and has our mission motto on the back. It is top-notch and a lifetime gift that I will cherish.
We also had one of the best dinner’s I have ever had. See the thing is that over here they bring out their “Thanksgiving” cooking on Christmas. Sister Preston really impressed us with a proper English Christmas Dinner.
I will speak to you on Christmas Day, I will hopefully call around 3 or 4 England time.
Speak to you then!
Posted by Todd Eliason at 12:32 PM
Monday, December 12, 2011
Monday, December 5, 2011
I cannot believe it is December, but I am loving this time of year! The lights and the Christmas tree are up, and Josh Groban is on repeat...
So I can get the bad news out of the way… I failed my test, yep...failed. Why? Because I was going too slow. Yep I guess I was being a little too cautious? Who knew that could even happen. When I got there I found out I was being tested by the head honcho,“Wayne the Pain” as they call him (no joke). He was the one I went with, and he failed me with the reasons of “undue hesitation, and “slow progress.” My instructor said it was a bogus way to fail a test and he hadn’t seen anything like it...haha. But it's all OK, I'm going to take it again in a couple of weeks.
As for the good news… well, everything else that has happened..
Yes! I did see Sam last night at the mission home. She and some of the Chinese missionaries and about 12 Chinese either investigators or recent converts sang, “I Believe in Christ” and “As I have Loved You.” It was really good. You’ll have to call up Sam and have her do an encore.
To the fireside we took Nicky and Mathew. They have just really needed to hear the testimonies of other converts. And let me tell you what, it was the best mission home fireside I have been to yet. President had some recent converts share some testimonies, and then we had Elder Kerr of the Seventy speak to us. He is one of the most passionate people you would ever meet. He didn’t even need the microphone. He shared some powerful stories that were geared towards Nicky’s concerns. Afterward, in the car ride home she just kept saying home much she loved it.
At the fireside I not only saw Sam, but I saw many other people from Liverpool, and Wythenshawe that I haven’t seen in ages. It just takes you back to all the memories that you have from an area.
On Tuesday we had Zone Conference up in Chorley. In the afternoon we were able to go through the temple. This was just after I had failed my driving test and I was still a bit agitated. But the temple just worked its magic and put that all in the backseat. I was able to leave that all outside and put things back into perspective. I don’t know if I was supposed to go through that so I could gain that understanding of what the temple can do or what, but I do know that whatever may be going on in our lives the temple can align our priorities and give us the confidence to tackle all things that the world throws at us. Even a driving test. Haha!
Chiorstadh or as I have said before “Kirsty”, (Yep that is how it is spelt, it’s Welsh) is firing on all cylinders. This week we taught her twice, Law of Chastity, and Alma 47. She has been keeping all of her commitments, and went again to YSA this Tuesday. She came to church and loved it. And even invited her friend and sister to come along. Although they didn’t accept, she is already exemplifying the member-missionary purpose, which is to “invite” others to partake in the gospel. How is your missionary work going during this Christmas season?
We are having a Tea with her at a members home where there are two YSA in the family, and after that we are watching “Prophet of the Restoration.” Cannot wait!
This week I was on two exchanges and whilst I was in Wrexham I was able to teach Mary, who is a Chinese YSA investigator that they have been teaching for a couple weeks and has been coming to church. The great thing about Mary is that I street contacted her the last time I was in Wrexham! It was so great to see her, and she remembered me so well. She even thanked me for stopping her that day. Oh what a blessing it is to see the fruits of your labours! We had such a powerful lesson, and she even accepted a baptismal date. She had been describing the feelings she had been having whilst coming to church and praying, and so we showed her where those feelings come from. We used Helaman 5: 30, 45-47 to let the Book of Mormon do the teaching and help her understand that those feelings come from the Holy Ghost. You could tell that it had touched her, and so we then extended a date, and that is when she said I know it’s right, and accepted.
Everything else is going very well!
This week we have our ward Christmas party. We have been assigned to be the “Half-Time show” of sorts. We are doing the Haka...Enough said…
Have a great week!
I would of had some pictures for ya'll, but the Library has lost the card reader...next week!
Posted by Todd Eliason at 11:38 AM