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

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

All Is Well

On Monday, we had a Family Home Evening with our investigator, Nayeli, and her two young daughters.  We watched The Restoration video at a member's house and talked about her questions and doubts that were the same as Joseph Smith's, like "Why are there so many religions?"  and "Which Church is true?".  We taught that the answers to all her questions and doubts would come over time through prayer, study, experience, and keeping God's commandments.  When we invited her to be baptized on September 27th, she accepted!!  Nayeli is so great and very special to us, so we'll continue as best we can to prepare her for this next step in her life.  :)

We are also currently teaching a young man named Miguel, who is the friend of a less-active member.  He was visited by other missionaries before us, but never attended church.  So we were surprised when 2 Sundays ago he showed up and said he was going to start attending so that he could be baptized on September 20th.  :)

Hermana Perez and I have the privilege of being missionaries in this area and know such amazing people.  I feel comfortable here and loved by everyone, which has helped me a lot to really focus on this work and the needs of all we teach.  I love this quote by President Ezra Taft Benson:

"I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work !   If a missionary works, [s]he will get the Spirit.  If [s]he gets the Spirit, [s]he will teach by the Spirit, and if [s]he teaches by the Spirit, [s]he will touch the hearts of the people and [s]he will be happy."

An I can truly say that I am happy.  Serving a mission was the best choice I could have ever made and I am so grateful for each day I spend here in Mexico.  :)

Now that we've finished Hermana Perez's training (which implies the first 12 weeks = 2 transfers), we get to leave the house an hour earlier.  For those that aren't really familiar with what we do everyday, here's our schedule:

6:20               Wake Up
6:30-7:00       Exercise (my jumprope, hula hoop, etc. :) )
7:00-8:00       Shower, breakfast, & get ready (make-up, iron clothes, hair, etc.)
8:00-9:00       Personal Study (read scriptures & Preach My Gospel, etc.)
9:00-10:00      Companionship Study (plan our lessons for the day & do practices)
10:00-11:00      Language Study (Spanish for me ! )
11:00-2:30       Lessons & Visits     (teaching the people)
2:30-3:30       Lunch     (teaching the people)
3:30-9:00       Lessons & Visits     (teaching the people)
9:30              Return Home
9:30-10:00      Plan with the Companion
10:00-10:30     Get ready for bed  (journal, p.j.s, etc.)
10:30              SLEEP!

The missionary schedule has really helped me learn how to prioritize my time and work efficiently.  Although I still miss the days when I had time for an afternoon nap, I like the busy and work-filled days, because the time flies by and I don't miss all the countless hours I used to spend doing unproductive activities.  Each day is such a gift and I am learning how to always look for the good in every situation.

Our healthy food purchase
Yes, at Tianguis we bought a ton of super yummy, healthy, and inexpensive fruit!  We are taking our 30 min of exercise more seriously and drinking more water and juice to drop some weight :)   We bought papaya, melon, watermelon, apples, bananas, grapes, guavas, mangos, and strawberries!  Plus, when we want a snack, we bought pumpkin seeds and granola bars  :)  so hopefully in the next couple weeks or months we can see some changes.

Here is the "tuna" cart
of the old man that
sells the prickly pears.
His name is Salvador and
he is super nice

I'm eating a prickly pear ;) yum

On Saturday, all the missionaries in Aguascalientes had a special devotional with one of the leaders of the mission named Elder Valenzuela.  He talked about the importance of the missionaries working together with the members to have more success in our areas.  This is so vital, because the members can play such an influential role in missionary work by assisting the Elders or Hermanas in lessons or giving us references.  I am so grateful for members who are actively engaged in missionary work.  :)

After the devotional I was ecstatic to see Hermana Winsor but very sad to hear that she'll be going home because of health problems.  We took a photo and gave each other several strong hugs before I said good-bye.  I'm really going to miss her sweet and sincere spirit here in the mission.
Goodbye Hermana Winsor

On Sunday, Miguel came to church again!   Wahoo  :)  Nayeli had to work, and 2 of our other progressing investigators were out of town.  But regardless, I was happy and learned a lot from the talks & lessons in church.

Hmmm.... what else .... hardly no rain this week.  Hermana Perez says I keep talking in my sleep and waking her up with spanish phrases or words that I mumble  ;)  haha  Everything is great!  Hope you all have a fantastic fun-filled week.

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Eliason

Here I am with a less active member who I adore named Paula.  She has this super cute dog named Vaca (cow) who has beautiful blue eyes. Hermana Perez and I were cracking up after the picture I took with her because her face is just hilarious as if she were saying "another picture..really..." hahaha

Me and Vaca (cow)

We got an edible arrangements style fruit bouquet from our Bishop
(that is his business and at the end of the day had an extra one left over)

Monday, August 18, 2014

More Parties!

On Tuesday, we had our district meeting in English, and Hermana Perez and I taught the lesson (about the importance of reading and using the scriptures).  It went well.  Hermana Perez knows a lot of English and has the desire to continue learning.  :)  Afterwards, our district celebrated Elder Montes de Oca's birthday with cake and a mini-Sponge Bob piñata!  We even used grapes to have a Chubby Bunny competition.  :)  1st place was Elder Montes de Oca with 14 grapes!  I was in second place with 13 grapes, and Hermana Huff in 3rd place with 12!  It was super funny and we all got a good laugh out of the competition.  Pictured below are Hermana Huff and Elder Montes de Oca in the Chubby Bunny contest!! haha

Although Hermana Perez and I don't have the permission and aren't allowed to knock on doors - we have been doing a lot of contacting in other ways.  For example, after walking around our area for almost 3 months, we've become acquainted with many of the street vendors and shop workers who we always wave to.  We've even learned their names, to say hello to them as we pass by, and have become their friends.  And now, we have talked with several of them about our mission and the desire we have to share the gospel with them in their homes  :)  Some have accepted our invitation and seem interested.

This week we had a lot of rain!  Luckily it usually starts to downpour in the evenings when we're finishing up our last lessons.  But regardless of our umbrellas and boots, sometimes the rain seems to be hitting us from all angles and we return to the house soaked.  Hermana Perez and I call it our "evening shower"  :)  So, I guess you could say we're staying extra clean!

So, right now everyone is eating and selling a lot of "tunas" - which are prickly pears (not the fish :) )  I have tried 3 different types of prickly pears and my favorite is the "blanco".  The "blanco" is a light green color, but there's also an orange color, and a bright magenta colored prickly pear!  It has an interesting texture, but I think they're pretty yummy  :)

Our lessons went well this week.  And although sometimes things can be discouraging - like when the investigators aren't home at the time of our visit or aren't reading or "don't have time" to go to church - it's absolutely incredible how much love I sill feel for them.  I know that if Herman Perez and I keep working hard and if we are completely obedient, we'll continue seeing miracles in our lives and in the lives of others.

This is Candy with her owl cake!
On Sunday, it was the birthday of one of the young adults in our ward named Candy :)  She and I have clicked so easily and are good friends.  Sometimes she accompanies Hermana Perez and I in the lessons and currently is considering serving a mission.  She invited us over for lunch and cake.  She loves owls just like me!  So I was impressed by the owl cake her mom made for her.
Here we are with Candy for her 20th birthday

Sponge Bob and Me!
Here is Hermana Perez and I
with the other Hermanas in our district :)

Here I am with my district (minus two elders)

Some things I realized aren't too common back home that I've gotten used to seeing here are:

*     OXXO's  (they are like the shops at the gas stations for grab-and-go snacks / necessities.  The difference here is it's just the shop without any gas pumps!  A gas station without the gas :) haha

An OXXO store

*     Video game rooms - Since none of the teenagers have laptops, x-boxes, play stations, flat screen TVs, etc. in their homes, they pay by the hour to sit in video game rooms and play video games.  Whenever Hermana Perez and I pass by a "game room", we always see dozens of boys and young men crowded around TV screens playing to their heart's content.

*     Big community trampolines:  Since many people don't have backyards or front yards - the neighbors will all pitch in to buy a giant trampoline to entertain all the kids usually the trampolines are just set up in the middle of the street.

This is an example of a giant community trampoline ;)

Here I am with Hermana Huff

Goofing around with Hermana Morinigo

This is our church building

I hope all goes well for everyone this week!  Thank you for all the love, support, and prayers  :)

Love you all!
Hermana Eliason

Monday, August 11, 2014


This week went so well...like always. 

First off we have been having lots of down pours in the evenings, starting around 7pm.  It is actually kinda fun because it cools us off from the scorching heat and crossing the streets (more like rivers) are definitely an adventure ;)  But I still am in love with my area here in Aguascalientes. 
It was raining a ton this week and I snapped a photo of a pretty rainbow that appeared.

Here I am with Hermana Crosby!!! I finally saw her again!
(We arrived the same day in the MTC and traveled with
one other american sister the first day in Mexico)
This week we had a multi-zone meeting with the mission president and the reunion went great, but I couldn't stop smiling from all the familiar faces I saw!! These missionaries have literally become some of my closest friends and I love seeing them.  We get to catch up on the mission life and how everything is going.  I saw Hermana Crosby who arrived the same day in the mission as me (and the same day in the CCM).  She is now training, and it was crazy to realize that we have 8 months in the mission already and will be returning home in 10 short months! WOW.  

YES! I encountered Hermana Miner!!
Here we are together.
I also met Hermana Miner who is the niece of a family friend I had heard about. 

This week Hermana Perez and I also had "intercambios" or companionship exchanges for the day.  I worked in another area with one of our Leaders named Hermana Duverje.  She was awesome and I learned a lot from her.  She is from the Dominican Republic and had such a fun personality and a huge love for the gospel (she converted to the church 3 years ago and is the only member of her family).  We did a lot of contacting and she was impressed by my love to talk so easily with complete strangers.  But it is seriously one of the things I love most - simply talking and listening to others.  I have learned so much by listening to people and then listening to the Spirit to know how to reply.  The mission is so amazing :)

Oh, on Sunday, Hermana Perez and I gave the Sacrament Meeting talks in church.  My talk was based off of a talk in the Liahonna from April 2013 called 10 Ways To Know If You Are Truly Converted.  It actually strengthened my testimony a lot to prepare this talk, and I think I delivered pretty well (because afterwards several members commented that they learned a lot from the topic of personal conversion and that my spanish was almost perfect!)  It was such a huge compliment for me, and I am glad that the Lord is using me as an instrument in His hands to help those around me.  This area has so much potential and incredible people.

A cute little puppy sleeping on my lap ! !
This is the same Saint Bernard puppy!!   But she has grown so much ! !
Here I am with the "puppy" and with Caro (one of our investigators)

Our investigators are improving...the only hard part is church attendance.  But we are working diligently together.  I love being with Hermana Perez and I learn so much from her each day.  She is super wise and always gives such great advice.  We talk openly with each other like best friends.
Today we went to the centro We had a little adventure with Hermana Huff and her companion.  We ate lunch together and did window shopping.  It was fun to explore all the stores and be immersed in the hussle and bussle of the big city It was a fun P-day!
We visited the Centro today and did some shopping for the week ! 
Here we are with Hermana Huff and her companion.  Yes, I bought a giant hula hoop for "exercise" in the mornings ;)
We had a lot of fun today
I am so happy and hope all is going well with everyone back homeMexico is my second home and I love the people and the missionary work here You are all in my thoughts and prayers.  Have a fantastic week!!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Eliason

Monday, August 4, 2014

Working Hard & Seeing Results

This week Hermana Perez and I decided to organize the area book.  The area book has the names, addresses, and information of some past investigators who stopped receiving the missionary lessons.  But only about half of these "antiguo investigadores"  have a statement describing why the past missionaries before us stopped visiting them.  So, Hermana Perez and I took upon ourselves the responsibility to investigate and try to encounter these past investigators.  This meant that we did a ton of walking this week and used our map a lot to find the 30+ addresses.

It was a rewarding experience because some of the people we met invited us into their homes and told us their feelings towards the lessons they received from other Elders that were in this area.  I could see that even if some of these people weren't ready to be baptized or accept the gospel - they all had fond memories and sincere interest in the missionaries.  And I know it's because during this time in our lives we have the Spirit with us stronger than ever, and truly are representatives of Jesus Christ.  When missionaries (Elders or Sisters) testify of gospel truths, I can see a special light in their eyes and it's like they're radiating.  It is a privilege to be a missionary and I am loving every moment.  :)
Me and Hermana Perez

Here I am with  Hermana Huff and her comp Hermana Morinigo,
and Hermana Perez at the zone meeting

This week Hermana Perez and I also saw the miracles that can come from fasting.  Hermana Perez and I fasted for a few less active members who are key to helping their entire family & others return to church.  One of these less active members was Hermana Romero.  She has 4 grown children & a niece that is currently living with her, named Caro, who is one of our investigators.  Hermana Romero, her husband, and all her children are members who inactivated over 7 years ago and haven't assisted [attended] church since.

Now she has grandchildren, son-in-laws, and daughter-in-laws who aren't members, but who have been receiving the missionary lessons from Hermana Perez and I.  We knew that if Hermana Romero starting coming back to church again - her whole family would reactivate or be baptized.

We had a very powerful and spiritual lesson with Hermana Romero and her two daughters & niece about the importance of the Sabbath Day and church attendance.  A bit to our surprise, after we finished the lesson, Hermana Romero said, "I'm going to church this Sunday."  She said it so clearly and with such determination that I'm pretty sure my jaw dropped to the floor for a moment!

When she and almost half of her family showed up to church on Sunday, I knew it was an answer to our prayers and fast.  And I cannot describe the joy I feel when someone joins the church or reactivates.  "Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God. And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father."  D&C 18: 10, 15-16

I know that God listens.  That He answers our prayers.  And I am sure that if we commit to be obedient and follow the example of His son, Jesus Christ, we will encounter true and lasting happiness.

I am so grateful for this gospel and all that I am learning.

Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive & has kept me in their prayers.  I feel strengthened when I think of each of you and the impact you've had on my life.  I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week.

Hermana Eliason

Random Notes:
*     We had a month / giant butterfly that was trapped in our house.  It was literally bigger than my hand (and I have big hands!)
*     When Hermana Perez and I are hungry, we've developed the habit of buying baked pumpkin seeds from an old lady, who sells them on the corner.

Here are some parts of my area.  This one is of a super spacious field 
and the next one is a super green park filled with tons of plants and trees that we pass through