Tuesday, July 16, 2013

"His hand is all over this work and it becomes clearer and clearer the longer I am out here!"

Saying goodbye to Lininger and his friend Harrison (Lininger got baptized this week!) 

Familia Giraldo from Buenaventura, greatest group of converts you will ever meet, Maria Fernanda (very left) will be going on a mission in about 9 months!

Pics from ZL Council
(Courtesy of Hermana Prince's blog)

Que mas familia! Bien no mas?? haha that is the new lingo I am getting used to here in Ipiales! It is super funny its somewhat like the English accent for us because they always go way up when they enunciate something. I couldn't help but laugh remembering Cody's accent when he got back. 
Wow that is amazing to see those fotos of HT! I had a huge deja vú looking at Haley share a scripture thought at the front of the bus. I so remember doing that and the picture of the Grandparents and Emily at the John Johnson Farm brought back a warm memory, and what a family/district (not sure what they call 'em now a days) foto with the blue shirts! What great fun and memorable experiences she is having! I read my journal and HTM (Heritage Tours Manual) from HT the other day and reminisced of all the great feelings I had there. I remember writing "Today my desire to be a missionary has more than tripled.." and.. "I promise today to get myself in gear to serve a mission." I owe so much to Grandpa E and Heritage Tours! 

I believe I will add to the "things I miss about Bayla" list:

1. Driving home from school everyday singing Look at me now by Busta Rhymes
2. Swimming in the pool every summer
3. Watching Vampire Diaries... (whaaat...??) 
4. And making fun of the boy craziness!

 Haha, good times love ya Haley!
Well as for my week here in Ipiales it was a really short one! We had ZL Council on Thursday and now that I am 14 hours away we had to travel Tuesday night up to Pasto, stay the night with the Leaders there, and then take another 10 hour trip to Cali in the morning, get there at like 8 at night, get up the next morning have the council and get on the bus and head right back. It's like going from Denver to Dallas..... yeah haha. The good thing is that it went by rather fast because one of my good friends Elder Edwards is in Pasto and we got to talk the whole trip. It is so nice to have a gringo to talk to in English for a good while. We ended up getting back at like 6 in the morning Friday and slept a little bit until 8 and then shared what we learned from the Council to the zone. The good thing is that we didn't lose the whole week because we have a great Mission Leader who visited all of our investigators with the Ward Missionaries while we were gone, such a huge help. 
We don't really have a lot of stuff right now in our area, it seems like they baptized the entire world right before I got here and now we are in rebuild mode in terms of investigators but it is almost exciting in a situation like this, a fresh slate looking out into the white harvest looking to thrust with our sickles! Finding has been such an interesting thing in my mission. Starting off the mission, I thought all you did was knock doors and that's it. What I have learned is that the people who progress are the people you find through the members. Less-actives who have family who aren't members, recent converts who have family or friends, asking members who the missionaries had been teaching and had come to church but stopped for some reason, and inspiring members to share a message with a friend or relative, there are so many smart ways to find that come from members! 
We had an interesting day Saturday, we went to visit one an investigator named Alicia who actually had a fecha to be baptized and when we showed up she was all mad at us for some reason. Turns out, she had a friend who had came to an FHE and we decided to invite her to be taught, she accepted and we went to teach her and her dad. Well, after our lesson with them the mom who is from a different religion got really mad at her and and at Alicia thinking she had told us to come. The mom spoke with the Mom of Alicia and said some not very nice things. Facing adversity, she decided to stop receiving us and not come back to church. It was a little disheartening but we kept going nonetheless. 

When we were walking down a street we heard a shout saying "Elderes, Elderes vengan!!" It turns out that it was a less active member of about 5 years who had had a pretty tough life after leaving the church. She told us of how many times she had wanted to come back to church but could never get the courage to do so, feeling unworthy. We testified of the Atonement and the miracle that is forgiveness, and that we had been sent her way to help her back. She had acted on the prompting to call out to us and we were able to bring her to church.
I thought about that experience and thought how easy it would have been to pack it in and call it a day after a horrible experience like that. The Lord always brings forth His tender-mercies for all those who exercise faith in Him. In my first area in the mission I got down A LOT, I remember thinking that all of the rejection and heart breaks was not what I thought the mission was going to be about. One P-day Codes wrote me telling me of his mission experiences and told me that getting down weakens our faith and diligence. He said something about everything that happens, happens for a reason and you just have to find out what the Lord wants you to learn or do in every situation. That helped me a lot and I know that is true, His hand is all over this work and it becomes clearer and clearer the longer I am out here!
I will have more things to tell you guys next week after we find like crazy this week!
Have a great week, Que Dios siempre derrame Sus bendiciones sobre ustedes! Y que disfruten del calor porque yo estoy con friooooo! jaja
Su loco Colombiano, Elder Eliason

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