Monday, May 19, 2014

"Sorry, I can't write this week."

Hola Familia, 

I am just writing to tell you that I can't write this week... I'm really sorry we just got back from the Zone  Conference in Palmira and now we have to go set up in the chapel for a baptism. 
It is possible I will be able to write either tomorrow or Monday...


Elder Eliason 

Happy Mother's Day - Skype Highlights - COMING SOON

Skype You Tomorrow!

Hey Family!

Sorry I can't write much today, we are in Popayan for Zone Conference and right now I am in the terminal waiting for a bus to get here to head back up to Cali!

I just wanted to set everything up for tomorrow, I will be calling at 6:00 Cali time... I will be on Skype again making it 4 for 4 with the Christmas/Mother's Day Calls! You might get a chance to get to know a few Elders from the office as well because we have permission to use the office computers and the Internet is great.

Oh well, I guess we will be seeing you tomorrow then! Thanks for the pics of prom Dad, Bayla looked gorgeous! See you all tomorrow!

Elder Eliason 

"The Spirit is the real teacher, and when it is present hearts are touched and lives are changed."

Hola familia como les va?

With the news of Connor in the hospital with stomach pains I can imagine that being a little bit scary for everyone! I remember the time I ended up in a hospital after taking a dive off a mountain trying to ride a bike! The good part of this story is that Connor was conscious while entering the hospital and he was in Texas with the comfort of having Mom at his side! But I am sure glad everything is okay!

Well I will very briefly detail what has been happening this week so I will have time to write a few of you individually, it has been a while since I have done that!

This past week was really great, we are working with a wonderful family we found about 3 weeks ago. The Murillo Family! It is a little strange how the family is made up because it is actually 3 sisters and each of their 1 daughters. The whole family has been to church 3 times now and have also been going to the activities we have been doing as well. They are progressing spiritually as well as socially mixing with the ward. 

A great experience we had with them was when we went to verify the first time they read the Book of Mormon. They had all read together and when they did, they all started to share with each other what they had learned. We had given them 2 Nephi 32 which talks a lot about prayer and we felt that it would be perfect for what they needed. Well when we asked them what impression they had had while reading they commented to us that they had had the feeling that baptism is what they needed to do to enter the true path. This was a little striking to us because to be honest the chapter doesn't mention the word baptism even once. 

I instantly remembered something that Elder Bednar had taught us while he was here about a year ago, he taught us that the Spirit is the real teacher, and that it is possible to receive personal inspiration for your own needs that has little or nothing to do with what the speaker or teacher is teaching. This is true conversion. We helped them understand the answer and then helped them put a baptismal date for next Saturday! The Spirit is the real teacher, and when it is present hearts are touched and lives are changed.

In the mission right now we are getting ready to start the last zone conference tour in the President Prince era. The focus this conference will be "the method" by which we teach, the Holy Ghost. We have good practices and trainings set up that should make it a special conference for every one. 

I have learned so much being at president's side, it seems like I have a journal full of wisdom that has helped me in a lot of ways. We are also planning the Mission Leadership Council and that will also be a great meeting. I have learned something about setting goals, we have tried in the past to think of the best possible ways to set our goals to the point where they are reasonable, and stretch the missionaries. However, we learned that the missionaries respond better when they are the ones who come up with the goals. Instead of putting ones on them, they come together and commit themselves to a goal. When it is their idea they respond better. So that is what we will try this time to hopefully get everyone pumped up for the last 2 months of President Prince! 

Alright! Thanks for everything, see you next week! 

Elder Eliason 

"It is always important to remember the 'why' to everything we do and not just the 'what.'"

Hiya familia! 

How is everyone?

It's kind of funny all of what is happening at home right now! Connor starts driving and Haley is finishing high school! Those are two monuments in a teenagers life and I remember them both so well when I went through them. Shout out to Conno for rocking my kanye west shirt, what a classic. Thanks mom and dad for all the updates on everything, Go Mavs!

Well my week was a pretty hectic one as you can probably see from Herman Prince's blog. It was transfer week so that means a lot of planning and not a lot of sleeping. Tuesday started at 4:45 in the morning taking the old missionaries who are finishing their missions to the airport and waiting for the new missionaries to get here. This time we only had to receive 8 so that was so much easier than last time with 27. 

It is a really fun process getting to know the new missionaries and seeing their expectations of how their missions are going to be. It reminds me quite a bit of the experience I had. I remember expecting excitedly for what my mission experience was going to be. I thought I knew what to expect but I learned quick it was nothing I had imagined. I remember the first day wanting to contact everybody I saw, didn't matter who I just wanted to do missionary work. I see this excitement in the face of almost every missionary who gets here, and it gives me that "new excitement" every time. The proselyting training we gave was really amazing as well, their was a lot of energy and passion at the beginning of these missionary's missions. 

It also reminded me of the importance of enduring. We have seen so many missionaries have that same excitement when they get here and then burn out when they face challenges. It's like the converts that when they first get baptized everything is exciting, but then the "burdens of discipleship" come and they would rather not "take up the cross" (Mark 10:21) and end up burning out as well. It is always important to remember the "why" to everything we do and not just the "what." I believe that is the difference between those who endure and those who burn out. I believe they both face challenges, but the ones who look forward with an eye of faith being transformed by the 'why' of the work, always find the way to keep going. That is something I try to apply even today, never forget the first day of my mission and the 'why' I came out in the first place.

Anyways sorry for the rant, after the great day with the new missionaries going to Cristo Rey, watching Ephraim's Rescue and going to a baptism, it was transfer day! We got up around 5:00 to get the terminal and await about 100 missionaries getting to the terminal from Pasto, Palmira, Tulua, Popayan, Buenaventura, and Zarzal. The preparation for that day is pretty intense, what with all of the logistics of where is everyone gonna stay and who has to go with who and where everyone is going and what not. There can't be a mess up or someone ends up where they shouldn't or bags get lost and a whole bunch of things. After all the craziness in the terminal we went for the training of the new missionaries which I already said was really really great.

And so now we are here planning for the zone conferences that are coming up. A big thing in the mission right now is putting the Lord's commandments in the place of being our own. For example in the 13th article of faith we state, "We believe in being honest, true, faithful...." but for all of us it says a lot more if we say, "I believe in being honest, true, faithful, benevolent...." We don't look at mission rules or commandments as outside forces that are being imposed on us, we see them as our own rules that become part of us. 

So that is basically what has been going on here, still having a great time in the mission. I love this time I am able to spend here, what a blessing it is to be able to serve with all of my time and attention.

Thanks for all the prayers, they are truly felt every day!

Have a great week, 

Elder Eliason