Wow!!! This is the best email I have gotten thus far! To hear from so much family all at once is precisely what I needed right about now. I am so glad to hear about all the wonderful things that happen at an Eliason Family Reunion, I am sad to not be there but at the same time I know that there is no place I would rather be and no place else my Heavenly Father would have me be. Thank you to all those who wrote a quick little message, I feel the strength of your prayers each day and I honestly am in awe at how wonderful of a family I have been blessed with. It is honestly SO amazing!
As for my time here in Provo, it is almost up. Bittersweet feelings are always coming to me, It is sad to leave this district of elders that have been so amazing and that I have formed such great relationships with. However, I am ready for this new challenge of going to another MTC in Colombia! I'm especially ready for the opportunity to be fully immersed in the language. I feel like my Spanish has gone as far as it can being in America and always having time to speak English. I am so ready to forge some new friendships with some latin elders! As you know I leave Tuesday at 3 in the morning, leave SLC at 6, get to DFW at 9, then get to Miami at about 2, and then get to Bogota around 7:45. So expect a call sometime while I am in Miami!
As for my last week here in Provo it has been another great fulfilling week! This week in the TRC I got to chat it up with a native name Maria from Guatamala! (shout out to uncle Jeff) It was so cool to speak with a native, she doesn't know any English and we were able to teach her about receiving revelation through the Book of Mormon. It was powerful, never is my Spanish better than when I am testifying or teaching of truth. She shared some experiences and I was able to share some as well. We have heard countless talks and lessons here on the Book of Mormon that have been so powerful and enlightening. I have such a great time reading it in Spanish, it really helps me with the language. Also we have been continuing to teach our investigators and they have now accepted baptismal dates!
I am so grateful for such wonderful teachers who make those situations feel so real. I am so glad I have so much teaching experience before I even get to Colombia! It is so amazing! I have also met a new elder from England! his name is Elder Adams and he is from Bolton. He is tall, black, and super athletic! He is ranked #3 in basketball in all of England. We tried to recruit him to our now 6 time defending champion basketball team but we all agreed that wouldn't be fair. I told him I had a brother serve in England and he lit up and asked me all about it haha, his accent is just awesome to hear and he is going to Spain. I'll be sure to get a picture with him and send it!
I'd like to share a little thought with all of you, while I was studying this week I found some gold in 1 Nephi 17, when Nephi is commanded to build a ship, and with such a challenging task liek that it would have been easy for Nephi to expect the Lord to do all the work and provide him with a ship. But nephi responds not like that, but asks where he can find ore to make tools to build the ship. I found it awesome that Nephi understood that he need the Lord's help, but that sometimes it takes pain to grow, and that the Lord wanted him to act in faith and trust that He would provide a way for it to happen. And then in verse 13 the Lord states that He will be our LIGHT, and that he will provide a way for us to accomplish what he has commanded. And that if we are obedient we will be shown the way. This brought me great comfort knowing that I have to struggle in order to grow, I can't just be given all of the things needed to be a sacred missionary all at once I have to struggle and work at them and then trust in the Lord. The Lord will be our LIGHT, but what good is light if we don't first have enough FAITH to walk in the dark. Such powerful principles can be laerned from the book of mormon!
I love you all and miss all of the family! I know that serving missions is what EVERY worthy young man should do!
Talk to you Tuesday!