Sunday, December 16, 2012

"I am trying to help others see why we celebrate Christmas!"

Hola Familia! 

Wow what great news this week! Connor becoming a Teacher, and the Allen Eagles passing on to the Semi-finals! Glad to see the curse of the second round has been broken.. and in a year where we were sleepers! How bout that! Too bad there is no other good news in the sports realm haha.

As for here in grand ole Cali Colombia, Navidad has arrived! There are lights literally everywhere you look, people really get excited down here for Christmas! I mean really excited.. I knew Caleños loved to party but during this time of year is definitely is on a different level haha. It is very strange to be at Christmas time and still be hot as can be outside! Certainly the weather doesn't reflect the time of year haha. And Choir has taken up a ridiculous amount of time! But the Christmas special devotional will be something spectacular! I have been told there is a transmission for the Saturday show the 15th, and that you can watch it from there if you have a code from the bishop or something like that. Maybe they`ll let me email when I find out more details! But for the Skype call the 22nd sounds great!!

Update on Investigators..

Luis Alfredo is progressing rapidly, the progress of his girlfriend has also helped him a lot! He has made so many changes in his life in just this past month it is crazy, not to say it has been easy but that he is willing to sacrifice and change some things because of the faith he has cultivated! We are going very well with Luis!

Ruben Cano is still trying to get over smoking, and it has proved a little difficult. He is still reading an praying like crazy an trying to depend on the Lord to help him. We have also arranged a member to visit him this week who was able to overcome a similar addiction, and that will be such a blessing to him to know that it can be done. I admire Ruben`s faith and determination. Keep him in your prayers!!

Sindy is the girlfriend of Luis and has recently received a testimony of the Restoration. We were able to teach such a powerful lesson and help her understand the need for a gospel centered home for the family that they have started. She read the B.o.m. that night and had a powerful experience with Luis there. They prayed together and said that they were overcome with what they knew was the Spirit. The baby is expected this week! It has been such a miracle that we foun them at just the perfect time.. I mean perfect timing!! 

Flor is the women we contacted from the friend of the former investigator we had, and we havent been able to meet with her that much since our first lesson and are still waiting to meet with the husband. But she is reading and praying and we hope to see her this week.

Elder Celaya and I are doing great! I am learning so much from this new responsibility! It is interesting to see how far I´ve come in 3 months.. from being afraid to talk for lack of Spanish to now having to talk all the time to back up my companion. The Lord has presented me with challenges and trials that have prepared me to help another one of His missionaries. I am so grateful right now in this time of my mission!

I have been pondering a lot this week about difficulties in life and why it is so crucial to our eternal progression to have trials... And I found some things in the New Testament that have enlighten my understanding...When the Savior was about to heal the blind man on the Sabbath, His disciples asked Him, "..who did sin, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?" He answers them "Neither... but that the works of God be made manifest in him." (John 9:2-3) Later the Savior is about to raise Lazarus from the dead and declares, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby." (John 11:4) I have learned that we are given challenges and trials in this life so that we can overcome them. Not by our means or how we want, but through Him who conquered it all, to glorify His name. We just need to be humble enough to recognize our inability to overcome them on our own, have the faith to believe that He can do what He says He can do, and literally submit ourselves to His will. Then, we will see Him work miracles in our lives and be able to fulfill our purpose which is to "become perfect in Christ." In this Christmas time I want to testify of my Savior who makes it possible or me to do what I do, He lives and is an active advocate that is always helping us along the way. His grace is sufficient! 

Love you all an even though I am far away from family this Christmas, I am always there in Spirit! I am trying to help others see why we celebrate Christmas! Have a great week!

Elder Eliason

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