Wednesday, December 4, 2013

"As members strengthen others, they strengthen themselves!"

Servicio Bautismal

Mabel got baptized! 

WOW, we're already in December! 

I am glad everything went great for Thanksgiving! We had lunch this past Thursday with an Hermana who tried to give us turkey but it didn't end up working out, turns out it is super expensive and hard to get here! Looks you were all watching a ton of football! High School, college, and NFL. Great news about the continued success of the Allen Eagles, what a machine! And that Nike logo is just about the coolest logo I have ever seen.... goodness. And I love the idea of the one scripture a day thing, sounds like a great way to remember the spiritual side of Christmas. I'm in!!

Here in Popayan it has been going great! We have been focusing a lot on just about every phase of the Work of Salvation. Working with less actives, teaching new investigators, and retaining the recent converts! Yesterday we had all of the recent converts from the past 6 months in church!! That may not sound like much but there has been over 20 converts, and for Colombia that is saying quite a lot! We have been teaching the branch about retaining converts and what they need to stay active and firm in the new path they have chosen. 

Gordon B. Hinckley had a great quote that says every convert needs 3 things, 1. a friend 2. a responsibility and 3. be nurtured by the Word of God. We have been teaching pretty much all of our lessons with members so that the investigator immediately has a friend, and run around church like maniacs setting up what our mission calls "nidos" which is basically when a member does something to help an investigator feel good at church (like showing them to classes, teaching them the hymns, giving them a Liahona, sitting by them, etc.) We basically refuse to work alone...

We have also been working a lot harder giving the converts assignments. Something I never realized that I loved about the church is all the opportunities we have to serve and ACT in the gospel and not just show up every Sunday. When a convert has something to do where he or she feels useful and feels his testimony growing, they will stay for sure. But it takes a certain liveliness in the ward to really make all this happen, and that missionary spirit is the best when everyone does his part. For way too long the missionaries have worked separate from the members and the failure to retain shows that. Especially in Colombia and other Latin-american countries where there are so many believing hearts who get baptized, as members strengthen others, they strengthen themselves! 

Speaking of which we had another baptism this week! Mabel got baptized! She was going great ever since last week and so we had a ton of time to prepare the baptismal service and it turned out SUPER. I have learned that a baptismal service done well can be a super effective tool in reactivating, retaining and finding!"Therefore, in the ordinances thereof, the power of godliness is manifest." (D&C 84:20) The Spirit is felt so strongly there that everyone has a great experience! We had a choir, a violinist, pianist, and we took advantage giving an assignment to a recent convert to give the talks! And it turned out great! Mabel was super happy and she will be a great convert to the church, she was given to us by a member, fellowshipped by members, and finally became a member! That's how it's done! 

We are also working with all of the other investigators I told you about last week as well, involving the members in every of the cases because it is really ugly finding out that one's converts haven't gone back to church, I hate that feeling and I have come to learn that the only way to make sure they make it is involving the members who will be able to stay with them in the long run. So let's all get it in gear and help the missionaries! 

I love being a missionary so much, I can't even believe the "mission year" is coming to an end! I can't wait for these last 7 months to apply all that I have learned here! 

Espero que todos puedan empezar la temporada de la Navidad con un espíritu de paz y adoración por nuestro Señor y Redentor Jesucristo. Acuérdanse del Porqué en vez de sólo el Qué de la navidad. Que Dios nos ayude a recordar por qué somos tan afortunados de tener este hermoso evangelio en nuestras vidas!

Break out the Google Translate!!

I hope everyone can start the Christmas season in a spirit of peace and worship our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Why Acuérdanse instead of only what christmas. May God help us to remember why we are so fortunate to have this beautiful gospel in our lives!

Hasta luego! Les quiero a todos!

Élder Eliason 

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