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, January 27, 2014

My New Home!

I am here! I am in Mexico! Although I was called to Aguascalientes, I am actually in a completely different state called Zacatecas. Within Zacatecas is the city of Fresnillos which is my first area! This city is very old and colonial (and fun fact: this place is known for having the largest silver mine in the world!) Things are very very different here. But different isn't bad...its just new and exciting. So, here is a list describing a little bit more about what is going on down here!

The streets: There are no lines in the streets here! Traffic is insane and there are tons of modes of transportation. Lots of motorcycles, bikes, buses, cars, and walking. And no joke...almost every 5th car here is a VW bug! I keep wanting to punch someone, 'cause slug bugs are everywhere! Okay there are also no crosswalks, so we J-walk in between traffic all the time. Unless we go into the center of the city, there are no street lights, stop signs, or street names. Everyone just describes where they live based off of landmarks or stores. And unless we are in the center of the city, all the roads are either cobblestone or cement. No asphalt!

The houses and buildings: COLORS everywhere! The houses and stores are all bright blue, green, orange, yellow, red, purple... you name it! It is beautiful in my eyes, even though it looks as if all the buildings here could collapse at any moment. Since everything is super old, houses and stores are falling apart or barely holding up. Also there is absolutely NO carpet! NONE! Everything is either cement or tile. There are bars on every window and lots of gates - but at least they are colorful too! Graffeti decorates everything and the Coca-Cola logo is huge down here! There are no dishwashers and hardly any ovens. Only microwaves and stove tops are common. One thing I love is that there are elephant statues in tons of people's houses ('cause it represents good luck!)

The food: TORTILLAS! All day every day! Seriously! Lots of beans and rice with some sort of meat. My companion is surprised by my willingness to try almost anything! I had some really hot chili salsa the other day, which only made me cry a little! haha One thing that is kind of a bummer, is that the people here drink everything but water! Tons of soda and juice. If we come across some water, it is either unsafe to drink or nice and warm!

Quick story: While I was taking my morning shower (using two buckets) ... my sweet companion prepared my breakfast. A bowl of cereal. But I was a bit surprised to find upon my first bite, that the milk was hot! Apparently warm cereal is the norm here! The following day when I prepared my cereal with cold milk she thought it was weird! haha

The people: Very short! I am taller than EVERY woman so far, and most of the men. I definitely stand out a lot! All the men wear hats, boots, and grow mustaches! Tight clothing among the women is very popular - and nothing ever matches. But I kind of like it because there are tons of patterns and colors all over! The people are very friendly and polite, and the women always greet us (and each other) with a kiss on the cheek. We aren´t allowed to smile or talk to the men on the street, which is a bit weird for me. My cute little companion is my protector!

My companion: Her name is Hermana Ortiz. She is from Pachuca, Mexico and knows absolutely no English! She is super patient with me and my spanglish. She converted to our church when she was 19 years old and is now 23 years old. She teaches me so much and is very kind.

The weather: It is nice here and very similar to the weather in California. (Very sunny and warm but not scorching hot) At night I can see a lot of stars and it is pretty noisy, because of all of the stray dogs. They howl and bark a lot, but they never bug us.

I have a ton more to tell you all, but I am out of time. (this key board is in Spanish and it was hard to write without a lot of errors) I will include more stories about our investigators and area next week. I love you all so much and am very grateful for your love and support! I am doing great and adjusting to my new life here! 

My District at Provo MTC

Saying Goodbye to Hermana Braun

Hermana Eliason

Saturday, January 18, 2014

New Address .... and I'm off!

Hello everyone! This is it! On Monday I leave at 2:30am to drive up to the Salt Lake City airport and depart for Mexico. I am very very excited and anxious to go :) The six weeks I spent here at the CCM have flown by! It's like time doesn't exist here!

This will be my new address: 

Hermana Kiley Eliason
Prolongación Adolfo López Mateos #98
Colonia Trojes de Alonso
C.P. 20116 Jesus Maria,
Aguascalientes, Mexico

On Tuesday at our devotional, we all had the privilege of hearing from David A. Bednar AGAIN! On Christmas he answered some of the questions we asked him, and this time he continued that Q & A session. It was an amazing and powerful devotional. He spoke a lot about fear versus faith. I loved this quote, "Fear is the absence of action. You must overcome fear with faith through your actions."

I received my travel plans on Thursday which was a huge blessing :) There are 35 other missionaries going to Aguascalientes- which is more missionaries going to any other mission on Monday. Sounds like it should be a party!

I'm sorry this is another short post, but this week was really just spent studying and packing. I promise to include some juicy details about adventures and experiences in  Mexico starting next week! I love you all and am grateful for all the prayers and support.

To leave you with a quick thought: Don't pray everyday for grand miracles. There are simple, but plentiful miracles all around us. Pray that your eyes may be opened to see the many miracles you already have in your lives.


Hermana Eliason

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Happy New Year - (belated)

Wow!  It's been a while since I've gotten to send an email. They changed our Preparation Day from Mondays to Saturdays (but only for today and next week. After that, P-Days will be on Mondays again)

First off, Happy New Year! It blows my mind that 2013 is over! For New Year's Eve, the sisters in my district and I gathered together to share our resolutions and eat food before we went to bed around 10:30pm. We even had a Martinelli bottle of sparkling cider that we all had a sip of :) 
Photo is a little blurry
(but not because of the bubbly!)

Another thought that blows my mind, is that I will be in Mexico all of this year and into 2015! My Spanish has improved leaps and bounds.  I can communicate pretty well with our investigators, because I understand almost everything they say; and although my grammar is horrible, I can get my points across. I truly love speaking Spanish with everyone and can't wait for the day that I'm actually fluent! One of my New Year's Resolutions was to practice the language as much as possible. Sometimes it can be exhausting though. For example, Hermana Braun and I were teaching/talking to one of our investigators for about an hour and  half, and afterwards I felt physically drained and ready for a nap! haha But I love it! I love the CCM. And I absolutely love being a missionary.
Hermanas Braun & Eliason

So yesterday, I flew on a plane to Las Vegas with 10 other missionaries so we could obtain our visas at the Mexican Consulate. It honestly felt a little weird being out in public again! One thing that I really liked was when other people would say "hello sisters" or "hey there missionaries!" When we bought breakfast at the airport, the lady at the register gave us the employee discount- which was so nice! And while we were boarding the plane one of the guys we were walking past in the isle said "well, at least we know this plane isn't going down, since you missionaries are all on board!" Comments and smiles are the best as a missionary and make me feel so loved and appreciated! Being in Vegas for the day was a good break because it was so warm and sunny! I can't wait for the weather in Mexico!

Today my zone and I were able to attend a session at the Provo temple. The Spirit was so strong there and the temple is gorgeous!
Sisters  Robinson, Cook, Eliason, Green, Braun, & Morgan in front of the Provo Temple  (Hermana Green and I have become really close because we are super similar, and Yes we have the exact matching outfits - including headband!)

Here is my entire zone at dinner :)

Loving the mission life!

Most of the days here are roughly the same: tons of studying, teaching lessons, playing volleyball, eating at the cafeteria, and getting a couple hours of sleep. Sorry that my update is so short- hopefully there will be more to report on once I actually get to MEXICO! But for now, I am doing really well and love to hear from you all! Thank you for all the support and prayers.

-Hermana Eliason