|In front of my casa capilla after church. Going to miss this place!|
|Me and Brayan Solis with his new shirt and tie (that I gave him haha)|
|Here is my new area of Ipiales, right on the border with Ecuador!|
Wow that is so great to hear about all of the fun that was had back home this week, there is nothing like good family bonding time. I never realized how valuable that was until I got on my mission! I don't know how to explain it but that's what dad's letter and pics made me think about today. I think Cody knows what I'm talking about, I just have another perspective on families I didn't have before. I'm so glad to see that the pool hybrid soccer/water polo game has been preserved because it was a favorite of mine. Also, the Outback Steakhouse trip is what most has me jealous. Rice and Sancocho is about all I get here haha. And what a great picture of the doughnut box as a memory of a night well lived. I still remember the family all nighter when Cody was about to leave for college... great memories with the fam!
Well this week has been such a mix of emotions! The usual high and lows. I'll start with the news of the transfers. President Trochez spilled the news to mom I can see, but yes, I am leaving beloved Buenaventura. I still can't believe it but I guess I will have to come to grips with it pretty soon.
President Jose got the news from Presidente Prince Saturday and being such a great person gave me the opportunity on Sunday to give my testimony one last time in front of those members I love so much. It was a crazy moment when he announced the Elders that would be leaving the branch. I felt my stomach do a 360. It was such a surprise and quite sudden, it was like a movie of all I have been through here went through my head. It was a tough Sunday that's for sure. And then I got the news of where I'm headed last night. I'm headed wayyy south to Ipiales, almost on the border with Ecuador. I'm obviously excited about what the future holds and the new adventures I will have there but it is really tough leaving the branch behind.
We also received news that not only 3 missionaries of Buenaventura got transferred, Presidente Jose Rodriguez also got transferred to another city way up north in the area of the Medellín Mission. He works in the military and after 5 years here he got moved to another base. I really don't know how it will be without him, he is basically the only one with experience in the branch and has always been a source of strength for everyone. I wish you could have been in the meeting we had with him as missionaries. He was just bawling thinking about leaving all that he had started here. I am pretty sure a missionary will come in and be the President for a little bit until a replacement can be called. Such a blow!
The good news is that neither the missionaries nor Presidente Jose is the rock of this Church. One of the bases of the testimony I hold is that this is the Church of Jesus Christ and it is He who is at the head, and the rock of this Church. There may be difficulties but this Work will go on in Buenaventura, of this I am sure.
As for the other parts of the week we had a great baptismal meeting in the river this Saturday. Harrison Castro was able to enter the water and also be confirmed. Such a great experience to see Bryan and Harrison together at church this Sunday. Brayan was able to bless the sacrament for the first time and Harrison was confirmed and also given the Aaronic Priesthood. Those two I will miss dearly.
As for Selatiel Cruz, he was not able to be baptized this week. After not showing up at his interview we went to his house to see what had happened and he said that he just couldn't do it. He said that the persecution of family was still going on and a lot of doubts had come up. We shared Acts 5: 38-39:
38 And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:
39 But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.
We explained that what we hear can sometimes confuse the mind, but the impressions of the Holy Ghost will give us an anchor that will always remain firm. (Ether 12:4) This Work is of God and it will never be overthrown. I am sure he will turn around and accept the Gospel real soon, he is just being tested and proven, something he will be thankful for later!
Well that is about it. I love this Work and I know that the Lord's hand is in these transfers! I can leave Buenaventura with a smile knowing I did all I could for these people, there will ALWAYS be a little piece of me here.
Have a great weeek!
Just before we received Dallin's letter on Monday, we received a very short email and some photos from President Trochez, who Dallin refers to in his letter above. He is not the mission president, maybe an area president within the Colombia Cali mission, not for sure. But we were touched by his simple and kind words.
We call these PPM (Proud Parent Moments):
I just want to thank you for the great job you did preparing your son to be a great missionary he is. He is obedient, humble and lovely. He is my friend and I love him as part of my family.
President Argemiro Trochez
|Elder Eliason with President Trochez|