Monday, February 18, 2013

..."never have I felt the joy of having such a purpose and fulfillment in my life, this time is truly sacred."

 THE biggest downpour I have seen at this point in my life... in both countries in which I have ever lived.. that is saying something.

Manuel has a hobby of crafting hand weapons and even gave a sword to Elder Celaya.

Warriors of the truth with Elder Celaya's  sword haha

Hola familia!

How is everything back in the states! It's weird to think that it has been just about 6 months since being in that wonderful country! Time doesn't really exist in the mission, you just get a certain amount of days to get up, follow the routine in the morning, get out and work as hard as you can, and pass out at night. With that kind of a routine the time just flies by. Luckily I have been given an extra week in this area! President has to go to Peru for these couple of days so this transfer is now 7 weeks long! Such great news and a little tender mercy for me, as I have grown a lot in my time here and have seen a lot of growth in the people I have been teaching.. never have I felt the joy of having such a purpose and fulfillment in my life, this time is truly sacred.

As for my week here...It has been a lot of finding, finding, finding, with all of the work we have done with investigators and recent converts of late we have been lacking a little bit with new investigators. We set a high goal this week and worked hard to reach it! We collaborated with the ward to go on member splits and they responded greatly as always! We ended up having such a great week with tons of new people to teach. We had lost a little bit of the contacting and talking to everyone part of missionary work and we realized that was something that we needed to improve. 

The people here are just great, they are such a happy people and are so willing to talk to anyone! That has proved to be a good and a bad thing haha, it`s harder to tell if they are truly interested or if they are just too nice to say no. We have made the mistake of hanging on to investigators too long when in the first place they never really had an interest, that is why we are praying to have the Spirit with us all the time to make sure we are finding by the Spirit as well as teaching by it. 

I have also come to learn that it is okay to make mistakes as missionaries. I think I have been focusing a little too much on becoming a "perfect missionary" that I realize my shortcomings and let that get me down! I have realized the importance of humility and self evaluation. There is so much to learn in every single day of being a missionary that if we just take time to ponder about what we can do better every day, we will begin to develop the Godly wisdom that is so essential in the mission and in life! I am grateful for such great finding experiences this week!

Our investigators are still doing well!

Lida Gomez is still in recovery from the operation but thanks to the ward and her faith is still hanging in strong and still reading and praying all she can that she will be able to get baptized soon! 

Edilton Bonilla and Marcela Vongera are still working with the marriage thing, but we are still visiting and teaching them all about how a marriage can bless their family right now and eternally. Edilton had a great experience this week at Stake Conference when they called him up to the stand during the priesthood session, they asked how long he had been a member and he responded that he was not yet a member. He asked him if he had goals to be baptized and he said, "Of course it's something I want to do." He then had the opportunity to hear the testimony of the Stake President about eternal families. We weren't able to be there to see it because it was the morning priesthood session that we are not required to attend, but it gave us a huge smile to hear about the experience!

Manuel Bermudez: Manuel reminds me of Ruben with his faith and preparedness, ever since he received a spiritual witness of the truth he has been trying to put his life in harmony with God`s will. He has been through so much recently that he is sufficiently humble to realize this "pearl of great price" that we have in this Gospel. It is similar to Alma's situation right before preaching faith to the poor and afflicted:

"And now when Alma heard this, he turned him about, his face immediately towards him, and he beheld with great joy; for he beheld that their afflictions had truly humbled them, and that they were in a preparation to hear the word." (Alma 32:6) 
You can just tell he has a more eternal perspective and feels great desires to please God. He revealed to us that he has had a problem with drinking coffee in the past and when we taught him the Word of Wisdom he immediately felt that it was true and committed to leave it behind. We are excited to be preparing his baptism for this Saturday, which I will get to see because of the 7 week transfer, what a blessing!

Well that is about it for the week! I want you to know how great it is, and how happy I am being a missionary! I try to express the best I can in my letters of my experiences here but I feel like one hour is never enough to fully get what I want to across. Hopefully one day I can have a talk with everyone to really let you know how I feel about missionary work!

 ¡Qué piedra de no tener el tiempo suficiente para expresarme! jaja 

Have a great week I love you all!

Elder Eliason

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