|Before I left I was able to visit with Ben and get this picture.|
|Elder Smart, Elder Boswell and yours truly. I am replacing Elder Boswell.|
My first shout-out goes to Cecily, and that she will start to feel better! It is good to hear that everything as of now has gone well. Love you Cec! Mom, Dad keep me updated!
I know this is quite a late email, hopefully Mom hasn't taken too much of a hit, haha. The reason for it is because ... again I have been transferred! After just six weeks I have left Preston and have been called to the belly of the beast, Manchester. President Preston gave me a ring whilst I and Elder Nielson were on exchanges in Barrow-and-Furnace, and had us come to the Mission Home. We then had an interview and he extended to me the call of serving as one of his Assistants.
Since then (last Friday) it has been a frenzy. Immediately Elder Boswell and Elder Smart came and picked me up in Preston and brought me back to Manchester. We had to clear up a lot of things for transfers and so forth. I replaced Elder Boswell, and will now be serving with Elder Smart who is from Sandy, UT.
The situation that I am in is unique compared to the Assistants a couple of months ago. The Assistants now have an area in which they serve, as before they would just go on exchanges with a lot of missionaries and not preside over a specific proselyting area. We will still go on many exchanges, but now mostly with new missionaries and Zone Leaders. We will still be watching over our own area, which is the YSA (Young Single Adult) ward newly formed from last year, and only one of two YSA wards in Europe.
This is a very exciting time for me as I will now have the opportunity to be around President and Sister Preston a little bit more than before. We already have had some meetings with them both and I am already learning a lot. They are such great people with a massive capacity to love.
Now something I want to make clear is that this is nothing different to me than what I have been doing before. A successful mission is not measured by the heights gained in leadership. Success as a missionary is measured primarily by 'commitment' to missionary work and to the Lord. I have learned over and over that this whole missionary work is not about us, it is not about me. I simply serve as a tool in the hands of the Lord to bring about what he would have done.
Before I left Preston I was able to say one goodbye and that was to Ben. I was able to get a quick picture and that was about it. He is struggling a bit at the moment with a couple of things that are related to his illness. He is in good hands though with two of my good good friends Elder Nielson and Elder Hughes.
We have been able to teach a few lessons here and there here in Manchester. We are teaching a referral from Elder Corbin in Stockport, named Herman who is 19 and from Portugal. He is a hilarious young man and is starting to get close to baptism. He has been able to attend many YSA activities which is always the key.
Other than him, we have 3 other people with a baptismal date, but with transfer week we have not been able to see them. After the end of this week things should start to clear up.
I wish I had more things to tell you. It has just been a week full of planning and setting up trainings for the transfer.
I am sad to leave Preston, as one transfer is never enough time for a stay. I will miss many of the ward members and definitely our investigators.
Every Monday, President puts together The Harvester which has the past week numbers, success stories and some news---with other things that President and Sister Preston have to say. The Assistants also put in a little spiritual thought for the week and this past week it was my turn to do that. So I think that will do for my spiritual thought for you this week:
In the 2012 Mission Vision we have been counseled by our beloved Mission President to “Lose Ourselves in the Service of God”. Elders and Sisters this is a process of giving to our Father in Heaven the only thing we really can give him; that is our will. What is it that would keep us from allowing our will to be swallowed up in the will of God? Elder Maxwell touches upon one of the stumbling blocks:“So many of us are kept from eventual consecration because we mistakenly think that, somehow, by letting our will be swallowed up in the will of God, we lose our individuality. What we are really worried about, of course, is not giving up self, but selfish things—like our roles, our time, our preeminence, and our possessions. “What is holding you back from walking the path of consecration? Whatever the case may be, King Benjamin poses a question that provides a remedy for all hesitations.“For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?”–Mosiah 5:13We may turn this into a statement saying: A man knows his master, when he serves him, and puts him into the thoughts and intents of his heart.If we don’t fully know our “master” then we will not know his will. Why then would we want to allow ourselves to follow it? We will inevitably follow our own desires and appetites.We testify that when you choose to forget yourself and put Jesus Christ into the thoughts and the very intents of your heart, you will start to acquire the “Mind of Christ”(1 Corin 2:16) and will see with spiritual eyes. You will begin to see the divine in every soul, including your own. You will then work because you “want to” and not because you “have to”. You will want to do nothing other than what God and his chosen servants have asked of you. In that decision, the dross of selfishness will start to be consumed and you will start to become the very individual that your Heavenly Father desires you to be, and that is nothing other than your best self.
Love, Elder Eliason