Monday, September 23, 2013

"We are in the midst of the biggest month we have ever had in the mission, 177 people have been confirmed."

Good friend Elder Morgan from Utah, we both have a feeling we will be each other's first gringo companion....

and sometimes I get INSANE in the morning... 

Having lunch at Zone Leader Council at mission home in Cali.

Hiya Familia! 

Wow quite a letter this week! Good to see Dad is back on his game! Way to go and keep it coming! That's great the Braves are back where they should be as division champs. 13 more in a row? No big deal.  Good to see the 'boys are back on track, Super bowl bound! haha. Also I can't believe Grandma and Grandpa are leaving this week! That means I will have two sets of grandparents who have served missions. What a blessing! I am sure the whole family will be blessed as a result of their selfless service, way to go! Good to see all of the family serving missions, it is the best thing anyone could ever do.

Well to get ya'll caught up on what's going down here in Ipiales.....

We had a great week despite the two and a half days lost for the trip up to Cali, which by the way was amazing. First off, the accent of the caleños is great and makes me remember the good times back there. The leadership council was by far the most powerful that I have been a part of. Just about everyone left that meeting super excited for what is to come in the mission. We are in the midst of the biggest month we have ever had in the mission, 177 people have been confirmed as of now this month and with 1 more weekend left to go! We spoke a lot about faith. President gave us a great vision of the kind of faith that can change everything. the type of faith that Alma the older had to bring his son to the gospel...

"Behold, the Lord hath heard the prayers of his people, and also the prayers of his servant, Alma, who is thy father; for he has prayed with much faith concerning thee that thou mightest be brought to the knowledge of the truth; therefore, for this purpose have I come to convince thee of the power and authority of God, that the prayers of his servants might be answered according to their faith."

This type of faith made an angel appear to Alma to change his ways. This is the faith or active power that we need in our missions! To gain this faith we must be clean vessels consecrated to this cause with no other distractions. We can change the impact that the people feel when we teach with this type of faith. It was so great to hear such a deep powerful lesson, I sure learned a lot! We also made tons of new plans and goals to help the missionaries build their faith in the Lord. 

We had a great week in our area as well, we now have 3 baptismal dates for early next month! One of them is named Harold, he is really great. He was a referral from a member and has progressed super fast. The problem is that he studies in Pasto and is only here on weekends. So we took advantage and taught him Saturday night and Sunday morning. On Saturday we verified his reading and praying and he said it went super well. He felt the "still voice of perfect mildness" that we had explained when we taught the Restoration and said he felt that was his answer. 

The problem was that he had a crazy nightmare afterward. Whoops. At first we didn't know what to say but then the thought came to us that when Joseph Smith was about to pray, he felt something pretty crazy as well. The adversary knew what was to happen as a result of that prayer and did all he could to stop it, but faith overcame fear and Joseph prayed and looked to heaven even more fervently and then came "the pillar of light, above the brightness of the sun." We just testified of the validity of his answer and asked him which of two experiences stood out to him more, and he obviously said the first one. There was a moment of silence and then we invited him to be baptized. It is something powerful when a missionary summons the power of his God given power and authority inviting the Holy Spirit to testify with all power that what he is invited them to do is right. He agreed and we put the date for the Saturday after conference!

We also have been teaching someone named William, who was also a referral. He is about 51 years old and lives alone, has also had tons of family problems and was very humble when we spoke to him. He was looking for a way out of his loneliness and from the first time we taught him he has said he feels a different presence in his life. He initially thought it was us the missionaries but we were quick to tell him that the peace he feels comes from the Spirit, and from the results of reading the Book of Mormon and coming to church. We also have him set for the 12th.

And the last one is Claudia, the golden of golden investigators. The problem we have run into is marriage. But the good news is that they had already had plans to get married. So the date is for later on in October. We are stoked at her progress and can't wait to get everything solved. She has also presented us to over 10 people from her English class who I have been helping the past week with their English project. It has been fun translating even though it is A LOT harder than it looks... some words just don't translate dangit! But it is fun and a challenge I enjoy. We are also starting up English classes in the church hoping to bring more people!

Well that's my week, finally things are looking way up in this area, it has been a little strange a whole month without baptisms but I know that the Lord tries us to make us stronger and I feel that this adversity has been good for me, as I have worked harder than ever these past weeks. Good things are ahead!

Thanks for the support! Y que Dios les bendiga y les proteja, vamos para arriba!

Elder Eliason

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