Tuesday, April 2, 2013

This was the week of baptisms!

Hola familia!!

espero que todos hayan tenido lo mejor de lo mejor esta semana de Easter! It was pretty funny to hear about the cruel joke mom and dad played on the kids haha... no Easter baskets? even I would have know that was a joke! Thanks for keeping me informed!

How emotional this past week has been! I have loved every minute of it. This was the week of baptisms! Here we do all of the zone's baptisms the same day because we don't have a baptismal font and we have to rent the pool (which is pretty costly) to have everyone get baptized. We had 7 possible baptisms at the start of the week, and we really wanted all of them to enter the water. So we had a fast to make sure that everything would go well and that nothing unexpected would happen. 

We pulled out ALL the stops. Elder Aldunate and I visited every single one of them throughout the week and also set up a ton of "nidos" with the members to get them to call, visit, hand out Liahonas, give pictures of the temple, and anything else that we could think of that would help them. We realized that the adversary is always diligent to get the people who are about to make progress to fall, so we decided to be MORE diligent. In the end, all 7 were baptized and confirmed. Among them were Luis and Diana the couple that we have been teaching these past weeks. To be honest we didn't do too much in their conversion, the members took it upon themselves to help them out and Luis y Diana have always had an extra excitement for the Gospel. 

Luis comes from a family of all members, so his conversion was a little different than the usual, he basically knew all of the lessons already and had been taught numerous times by the missionaries. He had always had doubts that had kept him from being baptized. I think what got to him was the change in his wife Diana. I know that they were brought together for a reason, that they were led to Buenaventura to accept the Gospel and will be blessed eternally for their decision. When it was his turn to get in the water, Diana, Elder Aldunate and a bunch of members were in tears knowing that after years of fighting the promptings, he gave in to the change of heart he had experienced. It was really a special feeling to be there.

The Baptismal Service at the pool was a little different experience than what I am used to haha. But I felt the same! The ordinances of the Gospel are such blessings! 

I will now tell you about a miracle this week. Ever since I have been here in Buenaventura I have been without my white shirts and garments haha. The bag that I keep them in got lost and I have been borrowing and also had to buy a whole bunch of shirts this past week. The story that I got was that another elder took it by mistake and went all the way to the Terminal to go to Pasto for his transfer. He realized he took it there and gave it to another elder to bring it to the office of the mission. Well, it never got there. Apparently the elder gave it to another elder who left the terminal without the bag by mistake. When he went to get it back it was gone!

This past week I had to take a trip to Cali to buy some new shirts as they had told me it was gone for good. I decided to keep praying and even fasting that the bag would show up and I would have all of the clothing and books that I had lost. And three weeks later we got a call from Cali saying that they found the bag! I have yet to get the story how but all that I know is that is in the mission's possession!! Halleluya! What a relief is just too big of a cliche to say how I felt at the moment haha. God lives! 

We just got exciting word that Elder David A Bednar will be coming to visit our mission the 27 and 28 of this month! I am so excited to hear from another apostle of the Lord. I feel a little spoiled knowing that this is the 2nd apostle I will be hearing from on my mission! If the experience is anything like Elder Christofferson in Bogota I am veryyy excited! I'm not sure how the translating will happen seeing as I don't believe he speaks Spanish, but it should be an amazing experience that I wont ever forget!

Thanks for all the support! I love this Work and my time to be a missionary, I have learned that this time is precious and SHORT! 9 months already down makes me scared the next 15 will go by too fast. Well gotta go! I love you ALL!!

Elder Eliason

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