Friday, April 25, 2014

"I know it is not easy to be a disciple of Christ in these days but as Elder Holland said, "it's worth it."

 Freezing on the bus (forgot sweater) from Pasto to Ipiales with the comp.
In Ipiales with a convert family.

Our mission logo!

Hola Familia! 

I already wrote Codes to say Feliz Cumpleaños but I think it's appropriate to start the letter with another shout out! Happy Birthday Codes! You are the best big brother anyone could ever ask for! 

Another shout out goes to the fam for going to the Final Four! That is a wonderful check mark on the bucket list dad! The picture you sent me was breathtaking, I remember going the first time to the stadium and thinking that there are people who would probably buy a ticket in the nosebleeds just to watch the game on the bigscreen! Haha 

Also, I don't know how I feel about changing the tradition of Saturday night priesthood session. Dad, you don't fix what's not broken. Haha!

But what a great session of conference! I loved the talk by Elder Donald L. Hallstrom who invited us all to change as a result from what we learned in General Conference. The phrase "That's just the way I am" doesn't cut it on the road to discipleship. We are believers in the Atonement of Christ and as such, we should believe in His enabling power to help us change what is not right in all of us. Let's put that into practice! Without application, General Conference is just one weekend of fine talks that comes and goes every 6 months! 

I was also impacted by Elder Christofferson's talk on the Resurrection. I had never taken into a count all the wonderful things that we know and depend on as a result from the fact that Christ arose on the third day. 

 “The fundamental principles of our religion are the testimony of the Apostles and Prophets, concerning Jesus Christ, that He died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended into heaven; and all other things which pertain to our religion are only appendages to it.” 

I also loved Elder Ballard's talk about following up, he was teaching us while teaching us. Especially as missionaries we have such a great need to follow up with our investigators to help them progress. It is the same for everything else, we should all be people of commitment, committed to God and to living His Gospel, and constant following up with ourselves and others is the way we keep ourselves honest and measure progress.  

I could go on all day about conference but there doesn't seem to be enough time for that. As for what has been going on here in Colombia.

We started the week diving head first into interviews, Tuesday we started with Palmira which is a town located just about 20 minutes from Cali. As I said before we are giving a training to the whole mission about teaching more directly and being able to express our main purpose as missionaries and giving them the vision of where we see them going. It went really well, we feel like the practice is really helping missionaries to understand the importance of helping the investigators understand. It is also really fun getting to know and working with so many missionaries. And it is also great because Hermana Prince makes the greatest banana bread ever and when there is some left over after the interviews we get to take advantage! 

Wednesday we did two zones in Cali and then Thursday we took my first plane ride since arriving here to Pasto. It was insane. I felt uneasy the whole plane ride what with the plane we flew on being the smallest ever I had gotten on. The turbulence was just crazy, especially arriving at the Pasto airport. The runway getting to Pasto is like in between two mountains and the start of the runway is at the edge of a cliff. Haha it was definitely an interesting experience. 

It was great to feel the cool air of Nariño again but was also not too great because I forgot my old sweater I used in Ipiales, needless to say I suffered until a missionary lent me one of his haha. The cool part was I got to visit Ipiales again and the see the new chapel they built there! Easily the biggest and prettiest chapel in the mission. I've included a pic.

We just got back about an hour ago from Pasto and are facing a brand new week of interviews and planning for what is to come in the zone conferences and webcast trainings. 

I am feeling great right now, it is a wonderful time to be a missionary and I am just trying to get everything out of it I possibly can in these last 3 months!

I hope everything is going great back home, I love you all and want you all to know that I love this Work. I know it is  not easy to be a disciple of Christ in these days but as Elder Holland said, "it's worth it." I testify that that is true, it is true in the mission field and everywhere else. We must be able to endure tough trials of our faith with our ever so sure desire to give everything for Him who we love, Him who gave everything for us.

 I hope everyone has a great week!

Elder Eliason 

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