Tuesday, November 5, 2013

"Build a Stake in 2 and a half months? That´s why the Lord chose you."

My trainer, Elder Matos, heading home! Photo Courtesty of Hermana Prince Blog

Hola familia! This is gonna be pretty quick because we have to get out and start getting to know the knew area. This will be the second time that I will be "opening" an area with there being two new missionaries in the area. Like I said before my new comp is Elder Menendez from Uruguay and I'm super excited, he is a great missionary who I will learn a ton from. 

I got a message from President the other day expaining my new assignment: 

Elder Eliason,
You have been assigned to Popayan, which has lately come alive.  Your companion will be Elder Menendez.  The two of you have a very unique assignment ... to help Popayan become a Stake of Zion.  You lack more worthy Melchizedek Priesthood holders who pay a full tithe, primarily in the Occidente branch. (Elder Menendez will bring the figures).  Help the members participate in tithing settlement ... this will bring the district closer.  Your zone must also baptize men and families in high volume while helping retain and activate former members.  Get this largely done before Elder Menendez goes home in January. Sounds easy, right?  Build a Stake in 2 and a half months? That's why the Lord chose you.
-Presidente Prince

So that will be the objective here... build a stake of Zion. Popayan has been on the verge for a while now of becoming a stake, it just needs  few more worthy Melchezidek Priesthood holders. I am really excited about this opportunity as I have been wanting to get to know Popayan for a while now. It is a city quite a bit bigger than Ipiales but smaller than Pasto, with incredible weather year round. It reminds of Utah in the summer, not too hot and not too cold. Also the zone we have here is massive, there are 20 missionaries here in Popayan. So I am looking forward to working with so many different missionaries. Another fun fact is that I will be living with 2 other missionaries again just like in Buenaventura and one of them is a new gringo, so that should be fun helping with Spanish and all. 

And last night I got in and immediately went into the area with the old ZL who was here to show me around and introduce some members and investigators. It was great because here there are a ton! I am excited to start working and getting to know everyone a little bit better! 

Saying goodbye to Ipiales was super tough. A lot of hard work and lessons learned in that city, it will never be forgotten. The hardest goodbye was with Claudia, she came to church again after a battle with the husband and kept showing her faith. My last wish was that she would keep choosing what the Lord wanted over what the world tells her to do, which in essence, is the factor that will determine each one of our success in this life. She agreed and said goodbye. There was also the Familia Malez who we helped activate that was a tough goodbye as well. I would love to go back and see all the work that I couldnt see finish, get taken advantage of. 

So that is about it! I am ready to get started here! I have always looked up to Elder Menendez as just an incredible leader, and I am grateful for the opportunity God has given me to learn from him and hopefully apply it all for the rest of my mission. I will most likely get the opportunity to "kill" him in the mission and that is something I have never done, to be honest I have only had 1 companion with less time than me in the mission, weird huh? Well cant wait to tell ya´ll all about this week on Monday.

Goodbye pics and new area pics are coming your way next time, so stay tuned! 

¡¡¡¡Que les vaya muy, pero muy bien!!!

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