Hermana Kiley Eliason

Prolongación Adolfo López Mateos #98A

Colonia Trojes de Alonso

C.P. 20116 Jesus Maria,

Aguascalientes, Mexico

My email address: kiley.eliason@myldsmail.net

Monday, August 24, 2015

Finishing Strong!!

Our Preparation Day was relaxing. We followed the normal routine and for lunch and ate paninis. (It was the first time time Hermana Cuque had eaten a panini and she loved it). That evening we watched the video Together Forever with Fatima and Sofia, and ate popcorn. They both really liked the stories in the video and Fatima told us that she bought a notebook where she writes down her thoughts while reading the Book of Mormon.  It helps so much to take notes and write down what comes to our minds as we study.

Tuesday we taught Antonio who bought us gorditas for a late breakfast.  He is a very kind man who tries to follow Jesus Christ and likes to learn about his teachings.

We also visited a recent convert named Angel who had some confusion about the Book of Mormon. He thought that since several chapters of Isaiah are cited in 2nd Nephi, that basically the Book of Mormon is another version of the Bible.  So we dedicated a good 30 minutes explaining clearly what the Book of Mormon actually is.  It was a very powerful lesson and I could feel the Spirit testifying so strongly that what we were saying was true.

Wednesday we ate lunch in Morelos with Cristina and Jose. They are related to Hermana Enriquez.  They had offered to feed us despite their very humble resources.  I love their family and am going to miss visiting them.  Morelos is such a cute town and it was so great to be able to go every week there :)  In the evening I said good-bye to the very sweet Hermana Guille. She is like the grandma of all the missionaries and treats everyone with so much love.  She took off her oxygen tubes to take a picture with me and I assured her that my companion and the new missionary would continue visiting often. It’s sad to say good-bye to the people I’ve come to admire and care for.

Hermana Enriquez and her twin daughters.

On Thursday Hermana Cuque woke up sick. She hadn’t been able to sleep the night before and said she really didn’t feel well.  While she rested for a bit, I was able to do a little packing. Then in the evening we taught Antonio the last lesson and went over his baptism interview questions.  He was excited about his upcoming baptism on Saturday. We also visited an investigator named Veronica and her daughter Gemma when we arrived they surprised me with a very thoughtful present.  Veronica had knitted a doll version of myself! (she knits professionally and has her own little shop where we teach her).  It was so kind and it had taken her all week- and her daughter Gemma had drawn a picture of me holding a Book of Mormon.  It was so special to me and it is just another reminder to me of how blessed I’ve been to come to know so many incredible people.

Friday was my last zone conference.  I loved the topics of discussion (especially when they brought up the importance of setting goals).  I am going to miss reuniting with so many other Sisters and Elders to talk about how we can help others come unto Christ.  I’ve learned so much from each missionary during my time here. After the zone conference we took pictures and I said good-bye to my fellow missionary friends.

We taught Cruz Torres in the afternoon - I’m going to miss teaching him.  He’s been progressing so much and I know he’ll be baptized one day.  Then we visited Eriberto, who is in the middle of Alma (in the Book of Mormon).  The people here never cease to amaze me! I love them and am going to miss Mexico so much.

Hermana Cuque, Antonio and I are standing in front of the font on his baptism day
Saturday was Antonio’s special day! He was finally baptized! Everything went really smoothly and he was so happy afterwards. When I asked him how he felt, he replied “I feel changed. I feel different.”  He was smiling and I could feel the Spirit really strongly.  Then in the church we taught Alejandro (who has given up his coffee!)  It’s hard to leave an area when those you are teaching are progressing.

Sunday was a beautiful day.  Antonio was confirmed in the sacrament meeting and received the gift of the Holy Ghost.  Alejandro came to church and so did Cruz Torres! Cruz really liked all three hours and gave me a bracelet (since he makes and sells jewelry).  Eriberto came to church with a white shirt and a tie!
Eriberto in his white shirt & tie!
He gave me a Batman shirt and a thank you card for teaching him the gospel.  All the members said good-bye to me and wished me luck on my journey home.  After lunch, we went back to the house to gather up my things and head to Aguascalientes.  Hermana Cuque came with me because she is going to be training a new missionary!  It was nice not to travel alone :) I am going to miss Hermana Cuque and all the other sister missionaries I came to know and love.  I have been extremely blessed during these past 18 months here in Mexico and will never forget all that I’ve learned.  I know this is the true church and that our Heavenly Father loves us.  There aren’t enough words to describe the joy I’ve felt and the gratitude I feel towards serving a full-time mission.  And although I won’t be wearing my name badge 24/7, I will always be a missionary.

I want to thank all of my dear family members and friends who have been such a big support to me during this year and a half.  I love you all and am so thankful for your prayers, words of encouragement, and help.  I am so excited to see each of you very soon in person!! Get ready for a lot of hugs :)

Love always,

Hermana Eliason

Monday, June 1, 2015

FRESNILLO For More Learning

[Kiley will be giving her homecoming talk,

Sunday, June 14th at 9:00am
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
3354 Eucalyptus Ave
Chino Hills, CA

*Note:  there are two buildings in the same parking lot.  She will be speaking in the Stake Center; the larger of the two buildings and the one furthest from the corner. Everyone is invited to attend.]

Me and Hermana Cuque
On P-day, Hermana Cuque and I went to the big white tents set up in the Vincentinario.  It was really similar to the Artisan Fair we had visited in San Luis, and we even recognized some sellers who we had contacted! It was so cool to see artsy things from all over Mexico (and even Peru!).  We bought a few things and just enjoyed walking around.  Afterwards we ate WAFFLES for lunch!! So yummy.

In the evening, we taught Sofia and Fatima bout the Holy Ghost and how we can receive answers to our prayers through promptings and impressions.  They are super great, and I love visiting their little brick house.  :)

On Tuesday we had our last district meeting of this transfer - my LAST district meeting.  When we finished, we sang the hymn "Till We Meet" in English, Spanish, and Portuguese!  We had a good productive day - teaching new investigators and recent converts.

Wednesday morning we taught the Sanchez family.  Hermana Sanchez just needs to receive "an answer" or confirmation that this is true in order to be baptized (Her husband told us he already knows & he wants to be baptized.)  Then in the evening we taught Cristina in Morelos.  She really liked the lesson about the Creation and the Fall of Adam and Eve, because she had just started reading the Old Testament.  Many people know the Bible story of Adam and Eve, but don't understand why it was necessary or that it was part of God's plan.  (2 Nephi 2:22-25)!

Thursday morning we taught Leopoldo!!  Turns out, he's not going to get surgery and is taking medicine for the knee pain.  He was walking by the park with his cane, when he saw us and exclaimed, "Hermanas!  Where have you two been?  I've been waiting to find you and tell you that I'm not going to close my shop and I want you to continue teaching me."  So when we visited him, he told us that during the weeks we hadn't passed by his shop (thinking it was closed and he was at his house or the hospital) he had re-read the entire Book of Mormon!  He was so happy to see us again and share with us all that he had learned.  It was so incredible.  I am so glad he will continue listening to the missionaries even after I leave.  He even asked me, "Hermana Eliason, how will I send you the picture of my baptism?"  I then had to explain what an email was  :)  The rest of the day went really well too.

Here I am knocking on the door of an apartment that was on the second story
(and had super sketchy metal stairs that felt pretty loose to me!)

Hermana Cuque and I woke up at 4am on Friday to get ready and be at the church in Mineros at 5am.  This time our whole zone traveled to Fresnillo (my first area) for a conference with Elder Arnold and his wife.  Elder Arnold is a member of the Quorum of the Seventy and taught us and the zone of Fresnillo for almost 5 hours!  What a powerful and spiritual experience it was for all of us.  We discussed a wide variety of topics and he really inspired us to work harder and be better missionaries.  It made me think of the quote of President Hinckley, "Try a little harder to be a little better."  I want to always improve and change so that I can become who my Heavenly Father wants me to be.  We all have so much potential and "the worth of souls is great in the sight of God." D&C 18:10 

That evening we taught Cruz Torres, who fed us and said he wants to be baptized, but worries about making mistakes afterwards.  So we explained repentance and that baptism is something necessary for our salvation.  Hopefully he will be baptized sometime in July.

Saturday was really fun because in the evening, after lunch, we went on splits with the missionaries from Jerez (Hermana Gutierrez and Hermana McArthur).  They were staying with the Sister Training Leaders for the weekend; because Saturday & Sunday was Stake Conference and Jerez is pretty far away.

We ate at a really yummy restaurant and I got
a baguette!! With a strawberry smoothie!
I spent the afternoon with Hermana Gutierrez and she is just a doll!  She's the only child and her parents and she converted to the gospel when she was 12 years old.  Hermana Gutierrez only has 4 months in the mission and lots of energy.  We worked really well together and became friends super quickly.  At the end of the day she asked me, "Why do you have to go home now, Hermana Eliason?  I would have loved to have been your companion."  It was so sweet and I am glad for the opportunity I had to get to know her.  We were able to teach several great lessons and then listen to the Saturday night conference from 7pm - 9pm.

On Sunday the Stake Conference continued and I loved when Elder Johnson spoke about the importance of keeping the Sabbath day holy.  He said, "Sunday isn't just 3 hours."  We should stay in our church clothes all day and do activities that invite the Spirit.  I learned a lot from the different talks, and we officially planned Antonio's baptism for next Saturday!  After the conference, we visited a lot of investigators and had a great evening.

All in all, another fantastic week!  I love this area in Zacatecas and Hermana Cuque and I are working hard to help the wonderful people here.  I hope everyone is doing well and Happy June.  I'm excited for summer to start and see all of you soon!  Love you!

~Hermana Eliason

[more pictures]

2nd Story knocking!

This is Hermana Cuque and I being silly ;) 

We both wore our denim shirts today for fun

Monday, May 25, 2015

David A. Bednar Visits!

So, P-day was a lot of fun because we went to the mine.  

The mine was a big source of gold and silver and other minerals here (called the Mine of Eden).  

It was fun to learn and explore the mine. (We were in the 4th of the 7 levels.)  

Afterwards, we ate the famous Gigantic Hamburgers - and I couldn't finish because it was seriously a MONSTER!  

Then in the evening we taught the Sanchez family about the importance of prophets and having the same organization of the church as in the times of Christ with a prophet and 12 apostles.  They are really great and receptive.  Then we talked with Alejandro about obedience.  "If ye love me, keep my commandments." [John 14:15]  It's actually super simple - if we truly love God, we will do whatever it takes to obey Him.

Eating at the famous Gigantic Hamburgers
Tuesday, Hermana Cuque and I woke up at 4:00am to arrive at the church in Mineros at 5:00am and then take a bus with our whole zone of Zacatecas (and also the zone of Fresnillo) to San Luis Potosi.  We arrived around 8:30am and for the first and only time in the mission, ALL the missionaries were gathered together to hear David A. Bednar speak to us!!  We were about 200 in number and took a group photo with the Apostle Bednar before he spoke with us.  

It was an incredible afternoon and the Spirit could be felt so strongly.  The meeting (that lasted about 3 hours) was similar to a question-answer discussion.  We had the opportunity to participate and Elder David A. Bednar has a gift of connecting with the youth.  We all were edified and uplifted by this once in a life-time experience that I will never forget.  

After the meeting, we had a few minutes before our busses left to take pictures.  I got to see and hug all of my former companions that are still in the mission, for the last time.  It was a bitter-sweet moment to see EVERYONE - all the sister missionaries and all the Elders I've ever associated with.  An excellent day for me.  

We arrived back in Zacatecas in time to visit Sofia, Fatima dn Corina and then Hermana Perrata.  The lessons were very special because we tried teaching in a better manner and could definitely feel the difference.  Elder Bednar shared with us the importance of asking inspired questions during lessons and not just talking on and on until our throat dries up.  When we are constantly talking, we aren't letting the Spirit to its job in "bringing the message unto the hearts" of others.

Here I am with ALL my companions that are still here in the mission!!! (Hna. Rivera, me, Perez, Flores, and Cuque)

On Wednesday, we taught Antonio and his sisters - who at first ignored us - have come to love us and fed us brunch.  When someone is consistently kind and friendly, it is hard to have enemies (something I've learned here).  Then in the evening we went to Morelos.  I know I say this every time, but I just love that little horse town!  The people, in general, are very humble and hospitable.  We taught Cristina and Jose about our pre-earth life (or where we came from).  They were super attentive and interested in this subject that they had never heard about before.  I personally love teaching about the Plan of Salvation because I can see the faces of others light up with joy, hope and understanding.
Thursday was overcast and cloudy, which allowed my skin to take a break from being sunburned.  After a delicious lunch with the Santoyo family, we taught a new investigator named Erica and her two teenage sons.  Erica is a lawyer and her sons, Adolfo (15) and Eric (14) compete in martial arts!  It was Erica's birthday the day before and they invited us to join them in a bowl of the left-over pozole!    Then we had a fantastic first lesson with them.  In our last lesson of the day with Alejandro we explained the Word of Wisdom.  He took it all well, except for his coffee ... but we'll be working on that.  :)  

In the Mine of Eden

Friday flew by way too fast!  We taught the Sanchez family (and thanks to Hermano Sanchez' birthday, the day before ... we were invited to another bowl of left-over pozole!)  Hermano Sanchez knows the Church is true and would be baptized, but he's not legally married to his wife.  And Hermana Sanchez still hasn't asked for herself in prayer if what we've taught is true, so doesn't want to get married until she's certain.
Cruz Torres amazed us again with the amount he had studied and read and researched at lds.org!  He's seriously more than the common 'golden investigator.'  Although he works full time all week; he wants to learn, and is willing to put forth the effort to do his homework.  He studies the scriptures, the pamphlets and listens to General Conference talks online to find the truth.  And as he continues finding his answers in our doctrine, he gets so excited and always shows us his pages of notes.
Me & Hermana Perez
Some of my closest friends, Hermana. Nakken and Hermana. Fullmer
(they can both make me laugh SO hard and they both are from Utah!
All day Saturday, Hermana Marien was with us visiting and teaching others.  At the end of the day (after we had walked a ton) she asked us, "How can you guys do this every day?  I'm exhausted!"  haha.

We talked with Sofia and Fatima about the Great Apostasy and the Restoration, then watched the 20 minute video about Joseph Smith.  They both really liked it and are progressing really well.  :)

Sunday flew by and in the evening I taught the entire first lesson to a guy in English!  He lived in Texas and spoke perfect English and had taken a religion class that left him with confusion about Mormons.  As we spoke, he became more and more interested and said he wanted to come to church with us to see what we believe in and what we do.  We also left him 2 pamphlets to read.  It was so great!

Like always, it was an incredible week!  I love the mission and being a missionary  :)  I love you all and am grateful for all the prayers and support I've received from my dear friends and family members.
You guys are the best!!  Can't wait to see ya soon!
~love always,
Hermana Eliason

[more pictures]

Me & Hermana Rivera

Mine of Eden

Mine of Eden

Mine of Eden

Mine of Eden

Mine of Eden

Mine of Eden

Mine of Eden

Mine of Eden
Mine of Eden

Mine of Eden

Mine of Eden

Mine of Eden

Monday, May 18, 2015

Owl City!

After a laid-back P-day [on Monday], we visited some investigators in the evening.  We contacted Fatima last week and she introduced us to her aunt Corina and her grandma Sofia.  All three of them have become interested in our message and are very kind.  And Alejandro is still considering his baptismal date.

On Tuesday we had our first district meeting with the Elders and it went well.  Then we spent the afternoon contacting and searching for new investigators (we ended up finding three!)  I actually really like teaching the first lesson to new investigators.
This is my "really tired" face after climbing up a gigantic hill to visit one of our investigators
On Wednesday morning we went looking for a new investigator named Eloisa, who, when we found her, kindly invited us into her house.  Turns out, her granddaughter, who is about 50 years old, listened to missionaries about 25 years ago!  When we started presenting the Book of Mormon, she excitedly exclaimed, "I remember that book!  I read it before I had children, but I can only remember the name Joseph Smith."  They both listened attentively and were really receptive.  It's amazing how the Lord prepares each of us to accept the gospel at exactly the right time.  Then we visited Antonio, who keeps asking us about his baptism and started reading the Book of Mormon from the very beginning.  And, in the evening a less active member and his "girlfriend" (the've been living together for 10 months now and we've been teaching her the gospel) fed us dinner.  Oh, and they (David and Sonya) have 2 pet owls!! Apparently, it is illegal to have owls as pets, but they hide them in a cage behind their house to scare away the rats.

Thursday, we walked all over!  After teaching a recent convert named Bryan, we taught Hermana Rivera, who is a less active member.  Hermana Rivera used to be super involved in the Church and was always the first person to arrive at the Sacrament Meeting.  But when her husband became really sick, she stopped going to church and reading the scriptures.  It made me see that even the strongest members can become inactive when they stop doing the little things (prayer, scripture study, church attendance, etc.)

Friday was an excellent day.  In the morning before lunch, we visited Eriberto and Antonio.  Then we went looking for a family we had contacted earlier in the week.  The Sanchez family warmly welcomed us in, and to our surprise, in their living room, an owl was quietly perched on a tree stump!  Hermana Cuque thought it was stuffed, but then it moved and made a clicking sound.  It was so cool, because Luis (the dad) works at the zoo in the Encantada Park and has the hobby of training wild birds.  Before the owl, he was training a falcon and a messenger pigeon.  We taught the Sanchez family the first lesson and found out that they are from the DF (districto federal) and listened to the missionaries there!  After a great lesson, Luis asked us if we wanted to hold the owl - named Morico - with the special leather glove he has!!  So, of course we excitedly let Morico perch on our arms and snap some pictures  :)  His eyes were huge and yellow and he was kinda heavy!  haha
Here I am with the owl!!!

Then in the evening Cruz Torres fed us a "second lunch" and we taught him the entire Plan of Salvation.  He was so interested and wrote down the new words he learned (Premortal life, The Fall, Atonement, Spirit World, Celestial, Terrestial, Telestial, etc.)  and their meanings / scriptural reference in a notebook.  It is so fun to teach an investigator who truly appreciates and pays attention to the lesson.

Saturday was a pretty easygoing day.  We were looking for less-active members and found the sister of a less active, who had moved away several years ago.  She was really nice and we taught her and her husband.

Sunday was a really hot day, and not a cloud in the sky.  I am starting to miss beach days and swimming in a cool pool!  Alejandro and Antonio came to church and the classes were great.  Afterwards, we ate with the Enriquez family in the church (since they actually live in Morelos and didn't want to make us go all the way over there and then travel back for our appointments).  We ate pozole (a chicken soup with corn and vegetables.)

Then Marlen made visits with us in the evening.  We met a man who has dedicated years to building a house that depicts a timeline of earth since the creation of Adam and Eve.  It was really interesting 'cause the walls were covered with paintings and 3-D clay scenes from the Bible.

All in all, I had another excellent week and I hope everyone else did as well.  I love you and pray for you all each day! 

Till next week.
~Hermana Eliason

Monday, May 11, 2015

Got Hare? / Happy Mother's Day!

Monday was another laid-back P-day for Hermana Cuque and I.  We deep cleaned the apartment, found a new healthy place to eat called Natura, and did some window shopping.  After email time, we bought some things for the apartment and set off to work.  We taught a husband and wife, who accepted everything we explained, but aren't willing to continue listening because they "will never change religions."  It was sad to see older people who understood and believed in what we shared, but because of deeply-rooted traditions, would truly never make the changes necessary to follow the truth.  We always must be open-minded and humble to self-reflect and put ourselves in harmony with God's will.
Me with Hermano Leopoldo (notice that he is sitting
down in his chair cause he can´t stand up)

On Tuesday, we visited Eriberto!  He confirmed to us that on Sunday he had received the Aaronic Priesthood!  He continues improving and learning so much.  :)  On our way to our appointment with Juan Jose, I contacted a man selling strawberries!  Is it strawberry season?  I have no idea - but they were red and juicy and made me think of the strawberry fields back home.  In the evening we met with a 16 year old recent convert named, Arath, who just moved here from another state.  His conversion story was really similar to Eriberto's and his enthusiasm about the gospel made me excited to continue teaching him.  I love seeing the miraculous changes that the gospel works in others and myself.

Then, when we went with a less active member, Martin, I thought of my dad because, like him, Martin LOVES to run.  Each day he has a different hilly route that he does and told us that he can run from the cathedral (in the bottom of the valley) to the top of the Bufa in about 10 minutes!! Crazy!

Wednesday was special because Hermana Cuque and I received a very interesting gift from one of our investigators named Antonio.  When he was younger, he lived in the dessert and always has interesting stories to share.  Now that he's in his late 60's and, due to a stroke, can't move the left side of his body, he never leaves his house.  At the end of the lesson, he said he had a surprise for us and sent his niece to bring us the "gift".  A minute later I was handed a dead, skinned and frozen wild hare in a plastic bag!  haha  Apparently, rabbit was one of his favorite foods and a "dessert friend" of his had brought it to him - but since he wanted to show appreciation for our visits ... we ended up walking home with the poor thing  (eyes, teeth & a little of the cotton-tail still attached).  Hermana Cuque and I had no idea what to do with it (or how to cook it if we had wanted), so after a couple of photos, it was carefully disposed of.  :)

The "Wild Hare" gift!

Thursday flew by.  We ate lunch with the Bishop at the church because he actually lives on a ranch on the outskirts of the city about 40 minutes away.  He is a very kind man who was baptized 8 years ago with his wife.

In the evening we taught Alejandro, who is progressing and reached page 300 in the Book of Mormon!  We are praying that he will be baptized at the end of this month, or the first week of June.  He is in a band with several older men who sing classic rock in English and Spanish.  He played us one song and they actually sound pretty good.  :)

Me and Hermana Hernandez
On Friday we had the zone meeting for the month of May.  One of the Zone Leaders told us that our real goal for everyone is the temple and not just the baptismal font.  I liked that.  We should always be teaching and inviting members, less actives, converts and investigators to prepare to go to the temple.   I love the temple and can't wait to visit the nearby temples back home.  After the Zone Meeting, we had exchanges with the STL's (Sister Trainer Leaders).  It was my last time having exchanges and I enjoyed the evening with Hermana Hernandez.  She and I were in 2 of the monthly councils with the Mission President (she was with Hermana Brannelly and I was with Hermana Rivera), so we were already friends.  :)  We had an excellent lesson with Cruz Torres, who had read his pamphlet and advanced in his reading of the Book of Mormon.  He quickly understands all that we teach him and truly wants to learn the truth.  We also encountered 3 new investigators that were very friendly and receptive.  All in all, we had a fantastic and successful day.

Saturday morning after teaching Juan Jose, we finished the exchanges and met back up with our companions.  It is kinda weird to hear people make comments about my work ethic, as if I've already finished the mission, such as "Thank you Hermana Eliason for all the work you've done and the example you've been."  I think to myself, "But I'm not done yet!  I still have 4 more weeks!"  When others ask me how long I've been in the mission and I reply 17 months, they look at me with excitement and tell me "I'm almost done."  But as I near the end of my mission, there are a lot of mixed emotions.

After lunch, Hermana Cuque and I taught Crista with Hermana Marlen.  Crista is already half way through with the Book of Mormon and loves to read, so it was a pleasant surprise when she started telling us how much she enjoyed reading the Book of Mormon and also the pamphlet of the Family Proclamation we had given her.  She accepted a baptismal date for the middle of June and is progressing rapidly!

Sunday was a beautiful day.  I gave one of the main talks in the Sacrament meeting and Alejandro and Antonio came to church.  We wished all the women a Happy Mother's Day and in the evening Skyped our families.  :)  It was so FUN to chat with my Mom, Dad, siblings, aunts, uncle and cousins!  They made me laugh so much and the time we had talking together flew by too fast!  I have been so blessed with my family and I love them and miss being with them.  They are my best friends and am grateful for all they have taught me.

I would also like to express my gratitude for all my other family members and friends that have been so supportive.  Each Monday, my inbox is flooded with emails of love, encouragement, and some of life's happy updates from these family members and close friends.

I love you all!

~Hermana Eliason

[Kiley will be giving her homecoming talk,

Sunday, June 14th at 9:00am
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
3354 Eucalyptus Ave
Chino Hills, CA

*Note:  there are two buildings in the same parking lot.  She will be speaking in the Stake Center; the larger of the two buildings and the one furthest from the corner.]

Here is what the outskirts of the city look like :) run down or half built houses in dirt roads with stray dogs ;)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Still Lovin' It All!

On Monday after Hermana Mora and I said good-bye, I waited in the bus station with other missionaries for 4 hours and then my new and last companion arrived.  Her name is Hermana Cuque.  She's 20 years old, has 2 other brothers, is from Guatemala, and has 10 months in the mission.  After we dropped off her things at the house, we ate at Subway and returned so that she could unpack and I could clean.  Pretty easy-going P-day.

My new companion, Hermana Cuque
On Tuesday, we didn't have a District Meeting because we will be having a Zone Conference with the mission president on Friday.  Hermana Cuque and I have been walking non-stop and trying to find more investigators that can progress in this area.  One thing I love about Hermana Cuque, is that she has a positive outlook on life and always tries to look at the bright side.  We taught several lessons and had a good day together.

Wednesday morning, the Bishop came with us to visit Leopoldo and it was perfect!  The Bishop is a convert and currently 71 years old, and Leopoldo is going through the conversion process and is 73 years old.  So they became quick friends and although he's still a little hesitant, we're hoping Leopoldo will get baptized this month.  :)    Then we went to Morelos in the evening and taught Cristina and Jose.  Cristina told us that they want to be baptized and knows that what we've been teaching them is true, but they're going to wait till June or July because they're going to move to Tijuana!  But, by all means, they said I would need to attend their baptism in Baja California, since I live only 3 hours away.  :)  They are an incredible family and I can always feel the Spirit really strongly when we teach them.

The wide open fields on our bus ride from Morelos, to Zacatecas

On Thursday after weekly planning and lunch, we visited some less active members and recent converts.  It is starting to get hot here - pure short-sleeve shirts and sunscreen!

Friday was the Zone Conference with the mission president and his wife.  I could really feel the Spirit as President Villareal spoke about sacrifices.  He explained how the law of obedience goes hand in hand with the law of sacrifice (which are both laws of heaven).  In the scripture dictionary, it says "we must be willing to sacrifice everything for the Lord and His kingdom."  For some of us, we may have to sacrifice working on Sundays or some material "treasure".  But we also may have to offer a "broken heart" and give up our pride or selfishness.  I realized that there are a wide variety of sacrifices we can offer to the Lord, to shake off our dependance of worldly things that may bring pleasure, and find the continuous happiness that Gospel gives us.

Marlen and I posing in front of this sign with our scripture bags ;) haha

Saturday flew by!  In the morning we taught Leopoldo and he always has the deepest & most interesting questions.  Then we ate brunch with our Jehovah's Witness investigator (it was his birthday).  He said he was researching online at our church's website [lds.org] and became really interested in the doctrine of baptism for the dead.  Cruz told us it was something he had never heard about before and wanted to learn more!  He lit up as he said "Just imagine all the good we could do for our ancestors!"  I had never seen someone get so excited over family history work.  Cruz is definitely right - we can do so much good for those who have passed away.  They are depending on us to perform sacred ordinances in the temple.

In the evening we found some new investigators and taught a less active member about why it is important to go to church.  We told him that in his house we can sing, socialize, read, learn, pray, teach, and feel the Spirit (which are all great things we do on Sundays) but we can't bless an administer the Sacrament.  Partaking of the sacrament (the bread and water which represents the body and blood of Jesus Christ) is the most important part of Sunday Church activities.  It is our way of remembering the sacrifice of our Savior and showing gratitude and love towards our Heavenly Father.  When we righteously partake of the sacrament, we receive the promise to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost with us throughout the rest of the week.  It is so important to go to church and receive all the promises and blessings that our Father in Heaven is waiting to bestow upon us.

A cool museum that was once a cathedral

After an incredible testimony meeting on Sunday, Hermana Cuque and I had a lot of people to visit.  My favorite lesson was to a young single mother named Crista.  She works during the week (from home, making videos) and is studying Law in the University on weekends.  Her two little children are adorable and I could see that she loves them a lot.  She was someone Hermana Mora and I had contacted last week and was very interested in our message.  She has never been religious or attended any church.  She listened attentively and we explained about the immeasurable love God has for each of His children (just like she loves her two children immensely).  It was a beautiful day and I am so happy to be a missionary.  I love each moment and am learning new things daily.  I know this is the true church and that the gospel brings us happiness.

Thank you all for your love, prayers, and support!

~Hermana Eliason

[Kiley will be giving her homecoming talk,

Sunday, June 14th at 9:00am
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
3354 Eucalyptus Ave
Chino Hills, CA

*Note:  there are two buildings in the same parking lot.  She will be speaking in the Stake Center; the larger of the two buildings and the one furthest from the corner.]

Monday, April 27, 2015

Good-bye My Sister ...

Monday was Hermana Mora's last Preparation Day, and she wanted to climb The Bufa [pictures posted last week]  It was a beautiful day and we hiked to the top at an easy pace, taking pictures along the way.  Once we reached the very top, we explored and did some "window shopping."  It is really fun being with Hermana Mora and we have either been companions or in the same district for a total of 6 months!  But, we don't get tired of each other and have become like real sisters and best friends.  I am really going to miss her.

Tuesday was the last district meeting of this transfer and it was in spanglish :)  We have a close friendship with Elder Soto and Elder Madsen, since it is always just the 4 of us.  We took pictures and sang the last hymn, "Till We Meet" for Hermana Mora.  In the evening we visited Eriberto, who still has a glow in his face from his baptism.  Oh, and when we told him that he should cut his hair ('cause Hermana Mora is going to cut it too) he said, "If I go on a mission someday, then I'll cut it."  His answer took us by surprise, but then I thought of how amazing it would be if he went on a mission!

Elder Soto and Elder Madsen with Hermana Mora

Wednesday was warm and once again I forced myself to put sunscreen on my face - the WORST!  But, when the sun comes out, it burns pretty bad.  We had some powerful lessons in the morning and then ate at Hermana Lopez' house (who had prepared Hermana Mora's favorite food).  In the evening we enjoyed visiting Cristina and Jose in Morelos.  I love going there!  Every one knows each other and says hi.  People sit in the back of pick-ups or ride their horses and it isn't uncommon to see a man herding a flock of sheep in the cactus / shrubbery desert.  They all live very humbly, but are so happy and friendly.

Thursday was our last weekly planning session together and I am still really nervous about being left by myself in the area, because it is so big.  I guess the map will become one of my new best friends - I miss GPS!  We taught the Peralta family, who showed us the recent Christmas card they had received from the Elder who baptized them 15 years ago!  It made them so happy to still hear from him every now and then - and it made me think of the people I've come to love on the mission and the contact I hope to maintain with them for years to come.  :)

Friday was a busy day with a little bit of rain.  We visited Leopoldo, who is absolutely traumatized with the idea of Hermana Mora and I leaving.  We told him that there will always be missionaries to visit him, but since we were the first, he has become fond of our visits and is always asking, "Do you really have to go?"  He finished reading the ENTIRE Book of Mormon!  This 73 year old man is a champ and very smart.  I love teaching Leopoldo - but he hasn't been able to come to church yet for various reasons.  But with time, I know he'll be baptized.  :)

We also taught Alejandro, who said he would like to be baptized, but in a river.  So we are working on explaining that being baptized in a font is just as valid.  :)  All in all, it was a great day.  Hermana Mora spent some time before going to bed packing ... which makes me sad to see the apartment look more empty.  It'll be weird not to have her with me and it's hard to watch her tearfully fold everything up and get ready to leave.  But I know her family must be so happy and anxiously awaiting her return.

Saturday morning we taught a new investigator, who made us breakfast / brunch.  The people here are just so kind.  It was a very pretty day and we had fun together.  In every visit when the members, converts, or investigators find out that Hermana Mora is leaving, they get all sad, exchange information to stay in contact, take a picture together, and usually give her something.  It's really cute to see how much the people love the missionaries.  :)

We had the "last supper" together... haha it was pretty funny on Sunday at church

Sunday was a great last day with hermana Mora.  After church we found some new investigators and then at 6pm the movie, Meet the Mormons was shown again.  We went to see it with a family that's been investigating the church and they loved it.  In the evening, we taught several other lessons and all went well.  At night we received the call from Elder Madsen that we need to be in the bus station tomorrow (Monday) at 8am.  I am dreading the moment when I have to give Hermana Mora one last hug and say good-bye.  She has been such an incredible companion.  My new and last companion will be Hermana Cuque.  She was in my last district back in San Luis Potosi and I was able to go on exchanges with her.  I think we will get along just fine.  :)

I love you all so much and wish I had the time to write each of you personally and thank you for all the support and prayers on my behalf.  May everyone enjoy this last week of April!

~xoxoxo  Hermana Eliason

[Kiley will be giving her homecoming talk,

Sunday, June 14th at 9:00am
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
3354 Eucalyptus Ave
Chino Hills, CA

*Note:  there are two buildings in the same parking lot.  She will be speaking in the Stake Center; the larger of the two buildings and the one furthest from the corner.]

More Photos from the week


We were eating chicken and she didn´t give us utensils (since she just dropped off the food in a bag for us) and Hermana Mora said she felt like an animal for eating without a fork or anything so I jokingly started lapping up my water (to act like an animal) and she started busting up!! haha it was really funny in the moment and we re-enacted it for the photo