Monday, September 10, 2012

"So I am not going to lie, this week has been great but hard...missionary work is not easy."

The classic "here's where I'm going" MTC picture.

May the force be with me to help me learn this language...

Overlooking Cali!

My trainer Elder Matos!

Buenas tardes familia! ¿Cómo le ha ido? 

What a week it has been here in Las Ceibas! Let me start off by saying that I feel so lucky to have Elder Matos as my trainer! He is a hard worker, great teacher, and really patient with me and my broken Spanish. We have a great relationship, I feel like we are quite alike. We are always having a good time together, and when I can understand him he is hilarious! He played baseball and like I told you the Detroit Tigers were about to sign him as a 17 year old but he got hurt, and now he is on a mission! Everything happens for a reason. 

Well here in Las Ceibas they have divided the area, there are now 4 missionaries, and one of them is a gringo who came in with me! It's nice because we can joke around together about how crazy fast everyone speaks haha. But I was pleased to find out that we have 10 investigators here! And they all have real intent, the only problem is that 4 of them are families who's parents aren't married. I met one whose name is Oscar and he has a "wife" and 2 kids. One of the kids has been baptized but the wife doesn't really want the church in her life so it is a bit complicated at the moment what were are going to do. We were teaching a lesson the other day and the little boy said the closing prayer, it was so sad to hear this little boy praying to Heavenly Father to please work a miracle so that his parents could get married and his daddy could get baptized. 

Another family called the Familia Bravo Lopes that we are teaching are just awaiting their marriage papers and then they will enter the waters of baptism. They are really solid, we had lunch there today, they have 4 kids and they absolutely love to have the Elders come over. It's hilarious because they are always asking me how to say stuff in English, which has become a popular thing of the young kids here so far haha. Another guy we are teaching is a man named Juan Mota.  At first he had no belief in God but when the Elders before taught him the Plan of Salvation he really loved it and started to have a belief in God. He started coming to church and liking it, but then he went on a trip somewhere for a while and now he is a little discouraged for some reason and he didn't come to church this week. This week we will find out what happened.

The others we are just starting to teach, and have a busy week ahead of us! We had a goal to find 10 new investigators this past week since I got here and we were blessed enough to find 12! All of them from contacting. I am really starting to love just talking to people about the Gospel. Me and Elder Matos really work well together. And the people here are unreal! Just about anyone will let you in to their house and let you share a quick message. There was one street that we got in 5 straight houses. Usually we just go in and share a little message from one of the pamphlets we have usually about how the Gospel blesses families and ask them if we can come back and share the whole lesson with them. 

The people here are just so friendly! They would give you just about anything even though they have so little. Nobody has AC, carpet, or anything, everybody lives in just a little shack that usually doesn't even have electricity, yet they are happy people. They have nothing that we in the USA take for granted and they still love and care like none other. We really should be thankful for all that we are blessed with in the states. 

Another cool thing I got to do was yesterday I got to be apart of the biggest FHE known to man. We had about 30 people there and 4 of them were non members. Us missionaries got to share the spiritual message and I was privileged to share Jacob 2:18-19 "Seeking first the Kingdom of God" and it went great. We are hoping to somehow get these members excited about missionary is a hard thing to do.
So this next week we are hoping to have a few baptismal invites and also quite a few new pogressing investigators! And hopefully we can get these couples married quick! It is a huge problem here because no one wants to commit to be with someone forever so they find it easier just to live together and have kids without the commitment.

So I am not going to lie, this week has been great but hard...missionary work is not easy. There have been times when I get down when someone decides not to accept or when we are walking 12 miles a day in the blazing hot weather, but I am always reminded that this is the Lord´s work and He guides it. There are so many tender mercies everyday that remind me where I am and who I represent! I love this work and I love being a missionary!!!

Gotta go, Que tenga una buena semana! (Have a good week!)

Élder Eliason

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