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, July 28, 2014

Blog Party!

This week it was Elder Arnold’s 20th birthday on Tuesday and Hermana Perez’ 29th birthday on Thursday!   So on Wednesday, when we ate lunch with the Elders at the house of the Hernandez family, we celebrated!  The living room was decorated with balloons and streamers and the Hernandez family had prepared a really yummy meal.  Then for dessert, Elder Arnold & Hermana Perez each received a mini cake (complete with trick candles  :)  )
Happy Birthday, Hermana Perez!

The Birthday Celebration for Elder Arnold & Hermana Perez

We sang Happy Birthday to them in spanish and english and had such a fun time.  I love birthdays!  Every time there was a moment of silence during the day while walking to & from our lessons, I would say “Hermana sabe que? …. “Feliz Cumpleanos!’  (Guess what? … Happy Birthday!)  Haha  We both enjoyed a great day together.

Then later in the week we had a zone conference with the mission president and his wife.  It was a really inspiring meeting and I learned a lot from their talks.  I also received a package :) But the mission president has asked that we don’t send packages with images of the virgin - so if you’re going to send me something, just be sure it doesn’t have any mages or pictures covering the outside.  Thank you.  I love hearing from everyone and staying up to date on what’s going on in your lives.  So please email me if you want to keep in contact.  kiley.eliason@myldsmail.net  

Then on Saturday, 5 people got baptized!  We all went to the stake center and the missionaries (22 of us in total) sang a musical number.  I was so happy for these investigators that made the decision to be baptized and it was a great experience because one of our own investigators, named Caro, accompanied us to see what a baptismal service is like.  She said she felt at peace and really enjoyed the program.  Baptism is such an important step in our lives because it is a covenant (or a promise) that we make with God to be obedient and follow his commandments.

Hermana Perez and I have been working really well together.  Our visits and lessons went well this week and I am really happy.  I love each day here and continue learning more and more.  One quote I read this week that I really liked was, “There are only 2 days in the year in which you can do nothing.  The first is called yesterday, and the second is called tomorrow.”  Today is our day to change for the better.  Sometimes I find myself dwelling too much on things of the past or contemplating too much on things to come in the future, that I forget to enjoy today.  I like to ask myself what I am doing now to reach my true potential and achieve my goals.
Here I am with the mission
president's wife (Hermana Villareal)

Some random things that happened this week:
* Hermana Perez & I bought a star fruit out of curiosity, because neither of us knew what it tasted like.  It was actually really yummy (kind of had the texture of a peach).
* I bought chili shampoo - in hopes that I won’t be losing as much hair.  The water here has lots of chemicals and from walking under the sun all day, my hair isn’t too happy.
* I think my new craving is Jello!  hahah  Every night during planning before bed, I eat a cup of strawberry and peach Jello  :)

All in all, everything is superb.  I am healthy, and happy and hope you all are as well!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Eliason

Monday, July 21, 2014

Teaching and Learning

On Monday morning Hermana Perez and I hurried with cleaning the house and washing our clothes, because in the afternoon we went to the Centro for the first time.  (I can now wash all my laundry by hand within 45 minutes!!)  It wasn’t a long bus ride to the Centro, and I realized how much I miss riding the bus every day in Fresnillo.  Here in Boulevares, Hermana Perez and I have never used the buses and don’t know the routes.  But, I also like all the exercise we get from walking everywhere.

Once we arrived in the Centro, we looked for the Calle Hospitalidad to encounter [find] Correos de Mexico so I could send my package.  It almost weighed 4 kilos!! I did not realize that it was so heavy, but I was so excited to send it off to my family.  I hope it arrives safely and quickly.  We stopped by the store to buy a couple of things and then headed back home around 3pm.  I ate my new favorite meal = tortillas with avocado and cheese with yogurt on the side and some popcorn for dessert.  :)  haha

In the evening we had a family home evening with Hermana Hernandez, her daughter, Teresita.  Hermana Chavez, and the elders, we taught about forgiveness and repentance.  Afterwards we played several really fun games.  :)  we all got a good laugh from the various games and it felt so great to spend time with them.
Here I am with a 4 (almost 5) year old little girl named Itzel. She is the daughter of the girl I took a photo with last week.  Her mom is 18 years old. There are SO many young pregnancies here!  She's adorable.

On Tuesday, we had a district meeting.  Our district gets along really well.  :)  We learned about the importance of talking with EVERYONE!  Contacting is actually pretty fun for me.  

Two people we visited on Tuesday were Hermana Luz and Jaime.  Hermana Luz has recently been reactivating and coming back to church.  She accompanied us for our lesson with Andrea Campos.  Andrea said that she feels good when we visit, but doesn’t think another baptism is necessary (she was baptized as a infant.)  We explained to her that babies and infants are innocent and pure and therefore they don’t need to be baptized because baptism is for the remission of one’s sins.  She said she’d pray to receive an answer.     Jaime has been advancing rely well with the lessons, but it is hard for him to come to church on Sundays.  When we taught him, we focussed on the commandment to keep the Sabbath Day holy and why attending church is so important.  He promised to attend this Sunday.

This week we ran into Finita.  She is known throughout the colonia, because she sews everyone’s clothes and sells her famous mangonadas.  Although she says she’ll never change from her family’s Catholic traditions, Finita loves to help all the Mormon missionaries.  She hems & sews for us for free, and always sends us on our way with a mangonada (it’s like a popsicle, but in a cup.  If it’s a fruity flavor and water based you add lemon juice and chili powder - and if it is milk or cream based, you add lechera and cinnamon)  I think they’re scrumptious.  And Finita knows a little english because she lived in Ohio for 6 months when she was 19 years old.  So sometimes she’ll remember a phrase and it makes me smile.  Today as we were walking into her kitchen to pick out our mangonadas, she said, “Come on, baby!”  I was dying with laughter.  She is about 58 years old and so friendly and funny. 

Food:  On Wednesday at lunch we were able to serve ourselves caldo (it’s a soup with vegetables & chicken)  I only served myself vegetables - cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, potato, onion, and corn.  But Hermana Perez picked through the stew to find the chicken liver, which she likes.  And Miguel was content with his pato (chicken leg - but the claw part).  Some food I miss from home:  my mom’s homemade wheat bread, my dad’s famous salmon and brussel sprouts, brownies & rice crispy treats, pesto (especially with my mom’s ravioli / green beans & bell pepper dish), peanut butter, Nutella, graham crackers, veggie straws, licorice, otter pops, V8 juice & smoothies (even my mom’s super healthy smoothies with kale and spinach), tomato basil soup, paninis, waffles, etc.  I could go on & on!!  haha  I miss my parents' cooking & our kitchen.
And this is a really cool slide we visited on our p-day.
It is a super fun park and I will send more pictures of it next week.

On Saturday we encountered a young mother of 5 who is in the process of moving to Fresnillo!  Her mom died in February and asked us questions in regards to what is going to happen to us after this life.  We shared a little about the plan of salvation that our Heavenly Father has for each of us.  She was so humble and hopeful, although she shared with us that she’s lived a very hard life.  My experiences with the people here have made me so much more grateful for all the many blessings I’ve received in my wonderful life.  I’ve realized that I haven’t really had any major challenges in my life and that I’ve always been surrounded by an incredible family and fantastic friends. 

In the afternoon, we taught Jose Manuel about the importance of baptism and why we need to be baptized.  He and one of our other investigators named Fahi both accepted the invitation to be baptized on August 23rd if they receive an answer that the things we are teaching them are true.  :)

This week we met a 15 year old girl named America.  She assisted [attends] church with her aunt, because she stays here in Boulevares every weekend & lives with her mom during the week in a town an hour away.  She was so sweet and is in a critical point in her life.  She was wearing a heavy metal band T-shirt with ripped up jeans, studded bracelets and had scars all up her arms.  But I could see a light in her young eyes and a soft spot in her heart that was very different from her outward image.  We talked with her and gave her a Book of Mormon (because she said she loves to read :)  )  and sent her on her way with some skirts and blouses that were too small for us.  She was so grateful and said she’d be coming to church next Sunday with her aunt again.

I love being a missionary because I have learned not to judge anyone based on their outward appearance.  Each person has so much potential.

After our visits we returned to the house and discovered that there was no “luz” or electricity.  So it was pitch black and 9:15 at night.  Hermana Perez and I actually had fun using two candles to finish our studies / planning and get ready for bed.  And luckily by morning we had light / electricity again.

I love my mission.  I love my companion.  I love learning and am so grateful for friends and family.  Thank you for your support.

Until next week!

Hermana Eliason

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thoughts from my journal

Today I mailed a package home for my sister, Miranda's, birthday in a few weeks - so I didn't have a chance to really put a good Blog entry together.  Here are some random facts from my journal.

*     This week, we got our hair cut on Monday by our investigator, Andrea Campos, because we knew she could use the money (60 pesos = less than 6 dollars)  I am going to have such a shock with U.S. prices when I return.   
*     In the evening on Monday, we had a Family Home Evening with Nayeli and the Arrondondo family.  We talked about love, charity and forgiveness.  Afterwards we had a simple and quick dinner together (tortas).  It was good bonding time and I can tell that Nayeli is feeling more comfortable with us, the lessons, and the church in general. 
Here is a cool mural on the wall!
*     On Tuesday we taught Mariel Cadena.  She’s a single Mom, 22 years old and a less active member.  We read Helaman 5 with her and talked about repentance, and how we could apply the story in our lives.  She was really interested, and it was awesome to see her face light up.  She understood more and felt the Spirit.  I love reading the Book of Mormon and learning/connecting everything together.  :)

*     We taught the first lesson to a lady named Ime.  She lives solo (never got married or had any children) and hasn’t been working for 14 years!  She’s about 75 years old and loves to talk.  She’s receptive, but hasn’t been taking us too seriously - for example, she’s been calling us "Hermanitas" and has intended on teaching us a thing or two about the Catholics.

*     We had lunch this week with the Gaggini family (the mom & dad of Hermana Jaqualine from France)  This is their last week here & I’m really going to miss them.  They’re such great people, and I love that in their older age they are still traveling together & learning things  :)
These are the parents of Hermana Jaqualine who had been living here in Mexico
for 6 months and are returning to France this week! They were so awesome!

*     We had our district meeting on Wednesday and have two new members to our district.  I love that we are from all over the world!  I want to travel the world some day, and especially more of Mexico, Central America, and South America, because I can use my Spanish.

I love the young women here and they love me!
Here I am with two of them :)

*     A great thing about a mission is our weekly planning time.  I love it!    I learn so much from Hermana Perez and I love the advice she gives me.  I am incredibly happy in this companionship with her and I know I was called to be her trainer for a specific reason.  I love knowing that we have each other’s trust and only want to help one another progress and become better.  I can tell that she is a true and sincere friend.

*     Another family we taught this week was the Cadena family.  They are each individually great people and are striving for more unity in their home.  We talked about 8 ways in which we can strengthen our families:  
1.  have family prayers in the mornings and nights.  
2.  Have family home evenings each week.  
3.  Study the scriptures together.  
4.  Do things together like walks, card games, dinner, etc.  
5.  Learn to be kind, patient, and charitable.  
6.  Go to church each week together.  
7.  Follow the counsel given in D&C 88:119  
8.  Do temple work for your ancestors and be sealed together.   :)

*     This week we also taught a new investigator named Blanca.  She is a mother of 5 young boys and cleans houses during the day (she must be exhausted all the time!)  But she was really receptive and open.  We are also visiting her sister who lives below her, and one of her brothers who is also living in an apartment on the floor below.  (She has 14 siblings in total!)

*     Church this Sunday was SO awesome!  In the morning, we passed by for Hermana Velasco and she opened up her door all dressed up and ready!!  I am so so happy for the progress she has made!  She has stopped drinking her coffee and took the first step today in coming back to church.  We then passed by for our investigator Imelda.  She too was all dressed up and ready to go!  Wahoo!!  Best feeling ever.  Then, in the first hour for sacrament meeting, Leonardo showed up!  He has been less active for years, and he lives alone so we haven’t  officially taught him a lesson yet.  But we encountered him the other day when we were looking for Blanca’s apartment.  He is her neighbor and told us he had been baptized.  We invited him to attend church this Sunday, but that was all.  Our encounter with him lasted only 4 minutes or so, and I honestly didn’t think he’d actually attend.  So, I was pleasantly surprised!

Here is a photo of Miguel in his cute little remote car ;)
*     Funny story:  While practicing Hermana Perez’s English, we passed by 5 little girls, all playing together.  And when they heard me speak, they looked at me like a celebrity and asked me, 
       “Do you know a lot of English?”  to which I replied, 
       “Yes.  Do you girls know any English?”  
They all looked at one another, and then one of them said, 
       “Hello!”  to which the remaining little girls repeated, 
       “Hello!  Hello!  Hello!  Hello!”  haha.  It was really cute :)  
As I walked away I said 
       “Bye!”  and they all started repeating and shouting  
       “Bye!  Bye!  Bye!  Bye!

Oh, I'm out of time.  Until next week!  Thank you for your love and support!

Hermana Eliason

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


Hello family and friends!  I hope everyone had a fantastic week and all is going well.  I wanted to start off by saying how grateful I am for all the love, support, and letters/emails I’ve been receiving.  Each Monday (our Preparation Day) we are given 1 hour to email - and I have been receiving so many emails that sometimes I don’t respond until the following week or two and my responses are pretty short.  But regardless, I hope you all understand how much it means to me that you are thinking of me and keeping in touch.  I love you all and truly appreciate and miss each of you … so a huge thank you!

This week flew by, like always, and was great.  Hermana Perez and I are working really hard and loving every second of our time here.  Our area has a lot of potential, and we’ve been keeping super busy with all our visits and lessons.  Today we completed 6 weeks together!  :)

Our investigators have been progressing, but the hard part is getting them to attend church.  Almost all of them say it’s too early (starts at 9:00 am) and we’ve been doing all we can think of to help them.  For example, we call them the night before, and pass by their apartments in the morning, but they don’t open the doors because they’re all sleeping.  So that’s kinda rough - but we’ll keep working on solutions - maybe we can give them each a pet rooster :) hahaha

The weather this week wasn’t bad at all.  It never got to the point of a down pour like last week, but occasionally it would drizzle on and off.  And I liked when it was cloudy, because Hermana Perez and I weren’t dying of heat.

Funny story:  So, it takes a while for Hermana Perez to fall asleep, while on the other hand, as soon as my head hits the pillow, I am fast asleep.  Apparently, she was a little startled one night when I said, “Hermana?” to which she replied, “Si” and I asked her, “Porque siempre estamos pidiendo perdon?” (Why are we always asking for forgiveness?)   In the morning, she asked me what I meant by my question during the night, and I (of course) had no idea what she was talking about.  So, we found out this week that I talk in my sleep … in Spanish  :)  hahaha

This week was America’s Birthday (4th of July)!  I hope everyone got to see some fireworks and celebrate.  :)  Here it was just a normal day  (The Mexico Independence Day is in September)  so we did our visits and taught our lessons like any other day.
Posing for the 4th of July in the house

We had a zone meeting this week, which only happens once a month with all the other missionaries in our zone (about 24 of us in total).  I love seeing all the familiar faces and catching up with how everyone else is doing in their areas.  One thing I’ve learned about the mission is how happy someone can be for another person.  Although I hardly/barely know the majority of the people here, I love them all so much and get so excited to hear how they’re doing.
Here I am with Hermana Martinez (she arrived in the mission
the same day as me, and was companions with Hermana Flores in the CCM)
She is super nice.

Here are all the Hermanas at the zone meeting.
Each transfer, more and more American Hermanas are arriving.
On Saturday, we visited Sinai Romero - who’s been in the hospital for about a week.  She lit up when we entered the room and said it meant a lot to her that we stopped by.  For about an hour, we just sat by her bedside and listened to her talk about her life and tell stories.  Sometimes people just need to be heard and know that someone who cares, is listening to them.  It made me wish I had time to visit all the people in the hospital who are lonely and need cheering up.

“Christlike love is the greatest need we have on this planet.  Pure Christlike love flowing from righteousness can change the world.” - Jeffrey R. Holland

I love this gospel.  I know that it is true with all my heart and that it can bless the life of every person.  I love being a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  And I also love you all dearly and hope and pray for your success and happiness.


Hermana Eliason

This is the son of a recent convert named Miguel
jumping on his cute little trampoline :)