Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Off to Buenaventura...For real this time...

Tender Mercy---Since we were delayed in going to Buenaventura, I was able to witness--and perform--the baptism of Manuel Bermudez.

Hola Familia! Que más!

Wow what a great email mom! I just love being informed once a week on how everything is going back home! I cannot believe Connor gets up at 5:30 to go work out at the rec... that just boggles my mind especially coming from an Eliason! We just don´t get up in the morning, (unless we are missionaries;) haha, and Haley with the new swimming job, just the perfect person to bring happiness to the water! What great news! Thanks for keeping me up to date Mom!

Well I am still here in Valle Grande! But I see that you have been informed via Hermana Prince that a miracle has happened and the strike has ceased! At one point during the week I heard that it was likely to last 2 months or so, apparently the government was just not wanting to budge. It even got so bad that they had to take all of the missionaries out of Popayán (a southern Colombian town and area in the mission)! So I was prepared to stay here another long while when Saturday we heard the news that they had lifted the strike and that they would clear the highways! Off to Buenaventura! I believe I have a Zone Leader training on Wednesday and then head out after that! Can't wait!

Side Note: You need to read Hermana Prince's blog post about the coffee strike and the power of fasting and prayer. In fact, the Colombian press said "Never in the history of coffee has their been an agreement like this." 

However, I did learn a valuable lesson in this whole ordeal. Right before the scheduled transfers I found myself thinking too much in what was going to happen and where I was going to go that I somewhat lost the fire that we had going before. When the strike happened and I wasn't able to go to Buenaventura I instantly knew how the Lord wanted me to react to that situation stop thinking about what's going to happen and focus on what you can control. I came across the scripture in Doctrine and Covenants 9:6:
 Do not murmur, my son, for it is wisdom in me that I have dealt with you after this manner."
 I knew that I was supposed to learn that lesson! I am grateful for this little trial that I went through because I know it will benefit me the rest of my mission! 

In other news, I have had a great week! First of all I was able to be here for the baptism of Manuel Bermudez! What a tender mercy to be here for that moment. He is someone who I have grown very close to and have seen grow so much. All of the members marvel at how prepared he was for the baptism when he bore his testimony at the end of the service. He is a completely changed man in every sense of the word. My zone leader who did his interview told me that he was one of the most prepared converts he has seen on his mission. I was very humbled and honored to have been asked to perform the baptism, it was such a blessing to feel the newly revived Spirit in such a great man come out of the waters. It was a different feeling in that baptism, I felt a confirmation of the validity of Manuel's repentance and desire to change. And the fact that by all means I shouldn't have even been there made it even sweeter. I am very thankful for such an opportunity. 

I also have great news to tell you about Cindy Jimenez, we had stopped to see her for a while after she had lost a ton of animo (encouragement) because of family. Luis kept trying to help her out but then things got pretty bad between them two as well. It was at the lowest point when one night Luis called us and told us that he thought he had lost his eternal family. Well we decided we would check in on her to see if anything had changed. She agreed to visit with us and she told us that she missed "that feeling" she always had when we were around. We were able to help her realize what had happened and that Satan had tried to destroy what we had going, which would have led to eternal happiness. 
We had such a powerful experience and she agreed that she would come back to church, and she did! She immediately recognized "that feeling" again and decided that despite what happened, she would work again towards baptism! It's a complicated situation what with the family and all, but all of us, including Luis are there to help her out. At least until Wednesday! It was another blessing to see another miracle in this area!

Well that is about it for my week! Just know that I am as focused as ever and looking so much forward to this new opportunity and challenge to serve in Buenaventura... finally! 

Love Y'all!

Elder Eliason

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