Cody portrait

Cody portrait

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"Grace is not achieved somewhere down the road. It is received right here and right now." -- Bradley R. Wilcox

Climbing Mt. Snowden: We didn't make it all the way to the top...ran out of time. Nonetheless, it was a good little trip.

Hello Family!
Well, these last couple of days have been sunshine filled. There hasn't been a cloud in the sky for days and everyone is starting to tan up....except Elder Hughes and I, it seemed we were in all week, whether it was teaching or in the office.  
We've had a great miracle unfold over the past couple of weeks with a man named Stephen in our area. Last week I received a voicemail from a number I did not recognize. He spoke of wanting to take the lessons back up and expressed his testimony of the Gospel. It took me a few days to reach him, but after we did we came to find out that he was taught a couple of transfers ago by Elders Boswell and Smart. He was a referral, and get this, he lives in Knutsford. That is where the mission office is and where we travel to all the time. The crazy thing is that Knutsford is a small town, and the fact that he is actually a YSA. Plus, was so interested in learning more that he bought a quad (scriptures) on the store.
Elder Hopper and I were on exchanges together when we first taught him. He was incredible. He had questions ready and took it all in. The greatest part is when we talked about baptism, which he accepted but then said, "When do I get to enter the temple." That is what our aim is as missionaries and Stephen has already got the mindset. We are planning to teach him as much as possible this week. 
On the sad news front, Stella is no longer wanting to meet with us. We saw her this week  and even got her to institute. She loved all of it and all things were going well. That was until Helen Smith went to pick her up for church yesterday. We got a call from her boyfriend who wasn't too happy with her decisions. You could tell it was causing some contention between the two. So long story short, she sent us a text explaining this to us and said it would be better if we stopped coming around.
It was something we were not expecting, but know this isn't the end. We will be trying to get in contact with her this week.
Shout-out to Dallin: I finally stumbled across that talk you suggested a couple of months ago titled His Grace is Sufficient by Bradley R. Wilcox (the link goes to his talk which is available both in video and text). It has set Elder Hughes on fire and his personal studies.  It pretty much has been deemed the talk of the transfer. "Grace is not achieved somewhere down the road. It is received right here and right now. It is not the finishing touch; it is the Finisher's Touch
Love, Elder Eliason

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

"time doesn't seem to ever be in our favour"

Here is Rees at baptism

Exchange with Elder Starr in Chester

Here's Nicky, I stopped by and said hello to her, she is doing very well!

TEXOMA - Elder Hughes and I finally got our picture....
Hello Family!!
What good news that is that Aunt Cindy was able to meet President Bullock! I told him that I had family in that area when he was here, good to hear they have met.
As you can tell from the pictures, Rees was baptised this past Thursday before institute. He had a great showing of support that included his non-member mom and uncle. They had told him at first that they would not be coming. But after his  persistence they showed up right before it started. At the end of the program he stood up and bore his testimony, it was aimed towards his mom, it was the highlight of the program. 
This week I also had an exchange in Chester! It is the best feeling to be back in an old area. The Elders kindly scheduled us to see Lorna in the evening. We had a great lesson with her, honestly such an incredible feeling to see accounts of how she is doing within the church. She is doing incredibly well. She was asked to speak at Stake Conference and gave a great talk. President Preston gave me a ring after to tell me about it. When I left her apartment, she gave me the hand-written testimony she wrote for the Stake Conference. A priceless gift. 
I'm sorry that my letters are not as good, time doesn't seem to ever be in our favour.  Today that is by choice as we are headed to climb Mt. Snowden in Wales! I've wanted to do it my entire mission, and today is the day. I'll send pics next week.
It was my turn again for The Corner
Obedience is the way...
The saying goes, “To get no where, follow the crowd.” Jesus Christ is not a crowd-pleaser, and invites us to forsake the paths of least resistance. Obedience is an act of faith. When we are obedient a great sense of confidence can be found. We can be sure that whatever is happening is for our benefit, for God is bound by eternal law. (D&C 82:10) Everything is underpinned by obedience. (D&C 130:21)

Faith is the power...
Faith is a principle of power. Joseph Smith said, “Had it not been for the principle of faith, the worlds would never have been framed, neither would man have been formed of the dust. It is the principle by which Jehovah works, and through which he exercises power over all temporal as well as eternal things. Take this principle or attribute—for it is an attribute—from Deity, and he would cease to exist.” Now we see why “nothing happens in missionary work, until a missionary asks in faith.”

Love is the motive...
Thomas S. Monson has said “Only good that is done for the love of doing it counts for righteousness.” Through the channel of the Holy Ghost, God can bestow this gift through our desire to receive it.  

The Spirit is the key...
When we teach without the Spirit, we teach by the power of intellect. We will speak to the mind and not to the heart. True conversion happens when hearts are changed, hearts are changed when the influence of the Holy Ghost is felt and acted upon. The Holy Ghost is central to all that we do. F. Enzio Busche, a former seventy mentioned two elements that separate us from the Spirit. 1) Lack of desire to repent.  2) Lack of desire to forgive.  

Christ is the reason...
Why do you do missionary work? Why do you speak to people on buses? Why have you left the comforts of home and family?  The Apostle Peter gives us his reason. After healing a man lame from birth, with boldness Peter declared : “Be it known unto you all, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand before you whole”. (Acts 3:10) Peter knew by what power this miracle happened.  Peter knew where his confidence lied.  Peter knew that Christ is the reason. It is written, “How shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14) So when the question of “Why?” creeps into our work, remember that Christ is the reason.
Skill of the Week:
Do not be afraid of silence.  Silence in lessons and on the street not only allows investigators to be taught by the Spirit, but for you also to be taught and given “that portion that shall be meted unto every man.”

You don’t know everything, but you know enough,

Elders Eliason & Hughes

Monday, May 14, 2012

Great to talk with you family!

It was so great to speak to you all yesterday!  It's a bit unreal that will be the last time whilst in England. It's good to hear that so much is going on in the Eliason household! 
Cannot believe that Dallin has gone through the temple! What a special occasion...good thing we will get to go before he heads out.
Some quick tid bits:
This past week, Elder Hughes and I attended both sports day's. One half of the mission on one day, and the other on the next. Around about a total of 8 hours of sport. I cannot fully describe the soreness that was felt Thursday morning. Needless to say it has given me motivation to keep my fitness up, so that the same thing doesnt happen come gym time in the summer. Overall it was a good day for the missionaries to let off some steam. 
As for us in our area, things are really starting to pick up. It has been a refreshing feeling to be out contacting more. I was back on the buses for the first time in awhile...glorious. We are teaching 4 investigators consistently that have great potential to be baptised. One of which, Reece, is getting baptised this Thursday before institute.  He has come a long way, and is now fully engrained in the YSA ward.
Love you all!
Elder Eliason

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A quick note before Mother's Day

Katrina, a recent convert
Hello Family!
I am excited for this upcomming Sunday! I will be calling around 5:30 my time, which would be 11:30 your time. With that being the case, and with some things coming up today, I'll save my week info for the phone call. A little added anticipation for you...
But it was my week for The Corner:
Missionary work is filled with setting goals, and making plans. Every week we have the same amount of time to achieve them, 168 hours. The variable is us and what we choose to do in that time. 

Throughout our week we must have in our minds continually a vision of what we desire out of each situation. This starts with asking ourselves questions such as: “What is my objective in this lesson? What do I desire to be better at this week?  What do I want to get out of church? What do I want to learn on this exchange?  What do I desire to learn in this personal study for the benefit of my investigator? What will I accomplish during this service project? Who do I want to have become at the end of my mission?” These few of many possible questions put us in the mindset of expectation.  Mastering this skill will provide increased desires and added power to act.

With having such objectives and goals comes the accountability to make things happen. Here is a story to illustrate:

Once upon a time there were four missionaries named EVERYBODY, SOMEBODY, ANYBODY, and NOBODY. There was a great and marvelous work to come to pass and EVERYBODY believed that NOBODY would do it. ANYBODY could do it, but NOBODY did. SOMEBODY became irritated with this because he thought that the responsibility to do the work was with EVERYBODY. EVERYBODY thought that SOMEBODY would do it, but NOBODY imagined that EVERYBODY would not do it. At the end of the day, EVERYBODY blamed SOMEBODY when NOBODY did what ANYBODY could have done.

 Skill of the Week:
When following up on commitments ask questions with expectation. For example ask: “Since we have last met, what have you learned from your Book of Mormon reading?”. This will show forth your faith in them, and help set the tone that you expect them to keep their commitments. A bad example would be: “Did you get a chance to read the Book of Mormon?”. Same principle applies to all follow-up. 

What desirest thou?

Elders Eliason & Hughes
Love you all!

Speak to you soon
Elder Eliason

Another transfer is here...not many left

Guess who got locked out of their flat? We did. Not because the key was lost or forgotten, but because the lock broke. Elder Smart is on the phone with the Bishop from Swinton who is a locksmith.

Another beautiful sunset in Manchester

The mayhem that are transfers
Coming to you a bit late I know, but it has been another day of transfers already. I now have a new companion, as Elder Smart has been released for his last transfer. I am now serving with Elder Hughes, who I may or may not have told you about in the future. He is from Stillwater, OK and came out with me in my group. In fact he was the first missionary that I met in the Atlanta airport. He is now the 5th missionary that I've served with from my group. We have been waiting for this Red River Rivalry to finally happen, and now it has. Manchester now has a little 'Tex-Oma' to deal with. 
Now with it being transfers week, many things to do...
Some of the people we have been teaching:
We have still been teaching Reece from Wythenshawe. He just walked into church one day and has been every since. The gospel has given him great opportunities and also challenges that have helped him to grow. He works with 3 members now, and is doing well with having friends in the YSA. He is excited to get baptised in a couple of weeks. 
JJ is another we have been teaching. He is from Kenya and is over here for school and for football. Since day one he has impressed us with his desire to learn. His curiosity about the Book of Mormon started his teaching process, he is doing well.
Juan Carlos is a young man from Venezuela! He has investigated the church in Venezuela and has even been to church there a couple of times. I'm getting a little taste of what Dallin will experience in the coming months.   
Another is Stella is a YSA from Hyde. She is from Nigeria and referred herself from A friend told her about it, she looked it up, got interested, and referred herself to meet with missionaries.  A member-missionary success story.
Yesterday I said goodbye to my good friend Elder Jin. He worked the day with us in Manchester and then we took him to the airport. It is a weird feeling saying goodbye to my ex-companions. I learned a lot from Elder Jin and will always be grateful for him, such a rich experience serving with a native Chinese missionary.
Elder Eliason