Monday, November 11, 2013

"Of all the districts in the mission Popayan is the closest to becoming a Stake."

A cool sunset

With future missionary Santiago and Elder Rodriguez, the best district leader ever.

Gabriel Diaz returned missionary from Chile Vina del Mar, great guy to do divisions with.

 A wonderful family who came to church my last Sunday, they all have a baptismal date!

 Diana Enriquez who I never got to see get married...

In Ipiales posing like a soccer team

The beloved familia Malez who we activated
Baptism here in Popayan!
Some great member families who were the greatest ward missionaries ever.

I will miss these valiant members!

The convert family Regalado came to meet me at the terminal!

Saying goodbye to Elder Cordova

Hola Familia!

Well this week was really interesting! We got here to Popayan and had to get to know the area, zone, city, members, chapel, and everything else being super new! The members have been a huge help, they have been showing us around and helping us get to know the people who the missionaries were teaching. It has an advantage being new because you can pretty much ask anything you want to get to know them and it helps you understand better what it is they need to progress! So we have been spending a lot of the week with members and getting to know the area.

What was really great was that the Elders before us were preparing a great young man named Camilo for baptism this week, and we were able to make it happen! Camilo had been going to church for like a year now and hadn't been baptized because his parents wanted to see a real change in him and to know that he would stick with the decision. Well, after a year they gave the permission and he finally got to be baptized. His desire is to be a missionary some day and help people who need to feel loved. Great kid and it was an honor to be apart of the baptism! 

Elder Menendez and I had a great meeting with the District President about what was to be done about using the missionaries we have to build a stake here in Popayan. He gave us a list of all the recent converts for the last 3 years and told us to look for the men who have not been ordained to the Priesthood. The 2 main requirements to becoming a stake are at least 15 Melchezidek Priesthood Holders (MPH) who pay a full tithing and there must be 1 MPH who pays tithing for every 20 members. So we are looking for families with a stable father. President Zambrano is really excited to bring Popayan to the next level. Of all the districts in the mission Popayan is the closest to becoming a stake. 

We have been thinking about giving a training this week on how to better commit our investigators. The investigators are a lot more likely to progress if they feel how much it matters to us that they progress, and that will only come by inviting them to change directly and firmly and promising the blessings that will follow. 
If we teach the perfect lesson and the investigator doesn't feel committed to do anything we have failed in our objective. We are to invite others to COME unto Christ... with "come" being an action word. We cannot believe our teaching will change the actions of our investigators because they will learn the most when we are not present. The commitments we leave every lesson are the most important part, we must do it right. There is a great chapter in Preach My Gospel that I love about committing investigators, but sometimes we stop studying it as we get older in the mission. I am excited to give the training and hopefully see some good results come of it.

Speaking of training we have another ZL Council this week and I am SO happy I no longer have to travel 13 hours to get there...what a relief... 

Sorry this letter is way random... I'm sure next week I will have a better base from which to talk about! But I will send a ton of pics! 

Have a great week!

Elder Eliason

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