Thursday, December 12, 2013

"During Christmas time because all of the kids are out of school and the families are all on vacation, so it's a little lonely at church nowadays."

Activity with the niños jugando juegos

Helping put up Christmas decorations at a members house!

Saturday night was a huge tradition of lighting candles outside the houses or something like that, and after teaching the lesson to Andres we helped them out. It was pretty fun... 

This little girl is the grandkid of the Andres I was talking about, the guy holding her below is his son. 

And.... we wish you a Merry Christmas from Colombia! Elders Eliason and Menendez haha

Hello Familia!

Thanks for the updates mom and dad! I will be praying for a great result for Haley's application in to BYU! Allen Eagles are still riding through the playoffs like its 2009, and it is colder than ever in Allen, Texas. I remember my senior year in Feburary we had 5 straight days off, think you can beat that? Well all in all, it sounds like a great start to the Christmas season! 

We also had a great start to the Christmas season with the devotional last night! I saw it in Spanish but it was still great! I loved the words of the hymn the little kids sang at the end during Elder Nelson's talk. I remember getting paid $5 to sing that song in sacrament with Codes back in the day! "I'm trying to be like Jesus, I'm following in His way." Now those words mean a lot more to me than when I sang that song! Every day in the mission I marvel at how it was possible for Him to be perfect. I have so many things to work on every single day and have so many faults that trying to be like Him is a lifelong work in progress. That's why I am thankful for the mission because it has taught me to see things more the way He would see things.

Well as for the Work here in Popayan, we are still working with the members and helping a ton of less actives. It is a little bitter sweet during Christmas time because all of the kids are out of school and the families are all on vacation, so it's a little lonely at church now a days. A lot of the investigators have left as well so it becomes a little challenging filling out that planner every night. But the Work must go on and this is the time to give everyone the message about why the birth of Christ is something we celebrate!

I remember last Christmas being super weird being away from home for the first time, but I also remember how sweet it was to be away from all of the commercialism and lose myself in a better cause. And now with this being my last Christmas in the mission I really want to focus and take advantage of the opportunity we have here! 

This Saturday we had a cool activity of service where we went to a super humble neighborhood to help a bunch of little kids in need with a morning full of games and fun and then a lunch afterwards. It reminded me of last year when our zone got to go to an orphanage to help out all the niños. I don't think I'll ever think of Christmas the same now. I always heard it was better to give than to get for Christmas, but I never believed it until I experienced it. Just like so many other things in the Gospel. 

I will tell you about a great new progressing investigator we are teaching! His name is Andres, and he has 46 years old. His story is a bit crazy. He had attended church as a little boy for many years with his family and was the only non member only because he wasn't 8 years old. Well after the infamous earthquake in 1983 here the house chapel they used at that time got destroyed and the family moved to a small pueblo nearby. The years went by and Andres moved out and never found the church again. 

Well later on he moved back to Popayan and just 2 years ago the missionaries found his son who is now 23 and taught him. He eventually got baptized but his father never felt worthy enough to go to church or even investigate with all of the family problems that were going on at the time. Turns out that last week we found his son through the records of the church and found Andres as well. We taught him and helped him understand that God forgives and invited him to church and he came! Wooh! He is really prepared and needs the Gospel in his life, I know he will continue to progress.

Well I think that is it for today!

Ohhhh, the Skype call! It's pretty much like last year, any day from Dec 20-Dec 31 I can Skype. Just let me know what ya'll want to do! I have a full hour so hit me up with when you want to do it! I can call you guys before to fix the exact time as well! Look forward to speaking to you all!

Elder Eliason

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