Tuesday, November 6, 2012

"What great gratitude I feel to be able to serve here in this great work!

Hola Familia! Que gozo de estar escribiendo en este gran mes de Noviembre! (Hello Family! What a joy to be writing in this great month of November!)

What a week this will be back in the states huh? Romney vs Obama. They are even talking about it down here believe it or not! It is on all of the TV's and everything, although they are pretty biased down here towards Obama haha. Apparently he has better policies towards the latinos! As for me, I am a missionary, therefore do not have an opinion haha. But I have also heard about the storms on the east coast, I am praying for those who have been effected. 

As for my week here in Cali, the rain has officially arrived! I was starting to wonder why I had heard so much about rain here because up until now there hadn;t been much. But this last week has been nonstop! I am really glad my parents sent me here well equipped, and I have kept dry! 

As for my investigators it has been such a great week, the Lord has really blessed us for our efforts these past couple weeks and we have taught a total of 49 lessons these past 2 weeks. Daniela Sanches continues to progress rapidly and is on schedule for her baptism on the 16th. She came to church yesterday and loved how all the young women were so united and close, she fit right in having her newly baptized cousin Viviana right along side her. She has been a blessing for Elder Malca and I to teach, and hopefully we will be able to teach her parents this week!
Daniela Dominguez is still progressing well having attended church for the second time yesterday! We have to teach her a little differently because of the understanding problem, but I honestly believe that she understands the covenant she is about to make. She continues to read and pray everyday! Her mom Vicky is having a little trouble giving up coffee, and has trouble reading and understanding. So she is a little frustrated at the moment but hopefully we can help her out this week and keep her on track for her baptism. 

We have also been blessed with 2 new progressing investigators! Their names are Yamile and Lina Marin. They are sisters, and we received them as a reference from a member who works with them. We have been teaching them these past two weeks and they seemed golden. They said that they had been looking for more purpose in their life and have always felt like something was missing.
After we had a powerful first lesson with the both of them they were really motivated to find out if this is what they had been looking for. After the 2nd lesson we gave them the baptismal invitation and Lina accepted on the spot saying that she had received all that she needed to have faith unto entering into the covenant of baptism.
Yamile had a little tougher time as she realized the seriousness of baptism and feared that after the remission of her sins she would enter back into her sins. We were able to strongly testify that because of the Atonement we are not slaves unto sin. We have no need to fear the consequences of sin because they have already been paid. Through Christ we are set free and don't have to stay with our sins, only turn unto Him with all purpose of heart and plead for His Grace. It was a powerful moment that I will not soon forget. There is nothing like testifying to someone and having the Spirit there backing up everything you say, it makes me feel like I am just there to be used as an instrument and that all the teaching is done by the Spirit. Those moments are priceless. Yamile was able to get over her fear and accept baptism! 

This experience with Yamile sparked my personal study like no other, I have learned the importance of "studying it out in your mind" what you have to say and then it will be given to you when you need it. So I was able to study about grace and found some great scripture references... Romans 6: 11-14

11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but aalive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your amortal body, that ye should obey it in the blusts thereof.
 13 Neither ayield ye your bmembers as cinstruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but dyield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments oferighteousness unto God.
 14 aFor sin shall not have bdominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
 I just love what that scripture tells us, we are under grace if we only choose it. Satan always tries to make us feel unworthy, and that we are condemned because of what we have done. But the good news is that we are free if we just look at the light that is Christ. I love being able to share this message with these great people. I love missionary work, what great gratitude I feel to be able to serve here in this great work!
Oh! And due to what seems to be a severe lack of musical talent here in the mission, I have been chosen to sing in the choir. Yep, we had somewhat of a "try out" this past week and they chose me to be in the missionary choir for the Christmas Devotional, and for the Noche de Blanca (where we have tons of baptisms in one night) we will have in December. I was pretty shocked to have been chosen to be honest haha, but I am sure it will be a good experience. We had practice last night and I was able to see tons of old friends from Bogota and Provo! 
Anyways have a great week and que Dios les bendiga! (God bless you)             
Elder Eliason
*translations courtesy of Google Translate (Dallin's father)

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