Wednesday, July 10, 2013

"I want to make this year the greatest of my life!"

Members of the branch that came to see us off at 4:30 am!

Saying goodbyes to Yay (above) and Diana (below), 2 of the best converts ever.

Until we meet again Elder Inga!

My new companion, Elder Rivadeneira from Guayaquil, Ecuador

Hey family!
So great to hear that Haley is off on HT! I remember that is where I really got my testimony. I still remember going to the John Johnson Farm and having the first real powerful experience of my life. I believe HT is what changed everything for me, it is one of the reasons I prepared myself before leaving for my mission and gave me a real desire to go and serve. I loved that experience because I felt the Spirit ALL the time, and I remember wanting that all the time. And I could tell that my testimony grew a ton in only 3 weeks, I sure hope Haley feels the way about HT the way I did! Have fun!

I am here in my new area Ipiales, and wow it is actually cold here! It has been about a year and a half since I have felt the cold and it was quite the shock haha. After a 3 hour trip to Cali from Buenaventura and then a 14-HOUR trip from Cali to Ipiales I was pretty sick of traveling. It takes so long here because the highways are all curvy instead of straight. But it was such a tough time leaving Buenaventura. As I left I had a huge knot in my stomach that would not go away, just knowing that I might never see those people ever again made me really sad.
But here in Ipiales it is a blast! My new comp is Elder Rivadeneira from Guayaquil, Ecuador and he was a good buddy of mine even before we were companions. He was the comp of Elder Welling before he got called to be the assistant. Apart from being way cold Ipiales is just amazing for the work. It has always been one of the most fruitful of the areas in the mission, and I am so happy to be here. The zone is a lot bigger than one we had in Tura so I am excited to get to work with a lot of missionaries. 

So far it has been awesome getting to know all of the new members and investigators that we have here, it is nice to have a real chapel again! But also sad at the same time... haha. In our ward council meeting I was able to use a lot of what I learned in Tura para to help the branch understand everyone's roles, it is something I am really grateful for that part of what I learned there. The branch had been known as a branch that never helped out the missionaries, but now there is a different animo that is causing all the great success. I am adjusting back to focusing less on the branch because they have good stability here.
Well some one told me Friday that I had been out a year now... wow that is crazy, I am speechless that it has already been a year since Jordy dropped me off at the curb. I am just really motivated to become the missionary that the Lord wants me to become. I can't express with words how I feel about my mission so far but it is something I cannot thank God enough for. Not because the mission is easy but because I am working so hard for so great a cause. There is a comfort that comes from understanding the doctrines of the Gospel, and being one who has authority to teach and testify about them gives me opportunities every day to feel the Spirit of the Lord in abundance, which gives me more joy than I have ever felt before in my life. I want to make this year the greatest of my life!
Thanks for everything!
Elder Eliason

Parent's Note:

Received this kind Facebook message from a mother whose son is serving in Dallin's new area:

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