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, September 29, 2014

Off to San Luis!

On Tuesday, we had the district meeting in English!  (once every month & a half)  So that was fun :)  I am always so surprised by how my English is changing, because of day after day in constant "Spanish mode"  :)  Spanish is so AWESOME and I am so grateful to have the gift of tongues as a missionary.  Hermana Perez continues improving her English - and we put a sign on our door to our bedroom that says "English Only" so we get to help each other a lot in the different languages and that has strengthened our friendship and been such a blessing.

Wednesday we worked hard and taught a lot of lessons.  Having busy days definitely makes the time fly by faster - and in general these last months of the year always go by the quickest for me, so I feel like I'm in a time warp!  Our investigators are progressing and we have a solid relationship with the less active and active members here.  It's been so great to work in this area  :)
Here I am with Hermana Alondra and her son

Thursday we ate lunch with a less active Hermana who hasn't attended church for years.  She is so sweet and after knowing her story, you grow to love her more even though she's inactive.  I remember, at first, in the mission.  I would be irritated or sometimes frustrated with several inactive members, but now my perspective and feelings for them has dramatically changed.  I love them.  I truly want the best for each of them and their families.  And although I still get sad at times, because of situations and challenges they have / are dealing with, my emotions of frustration and irritation have been replaced with genuine interest and a deep love for them.  I've also come to realize that this deep love is the heart of every aspect of missionary work.  In Preach My Gospel it says:
Charity is 'the pure love of Christ,' and it includes God's eternal love for ALL His children.  We are to seek and develop that kind of love.  When you are filled with charity, you obey God's commandments and do all you can to serve others and help them receive the restored gospel.
As you follow the counsel in Moroni 7:48 and strive to do righteous works, your LOVE for ALL people will INCREASE, especially those among who you labor, you will come to feel a SINCERE concern for the eternal welfare and happiness of other people. 
Here is Anthony with his pet parrot
Friday was a BLAST!  We had exchanges / "intercambios" for the day and I got to work with Hermana Anderson again!  woop woop :)  We worked in her area and had a lot happen.  First, we visited 2 other sister missionaries, who have been in the hospital the past 4 days (one of them has a parasite in her stomach).  I am SO grateful for my health.  Then we attended a baptismal service - which is always an amazing experience.  Then in the evening, we contacted all the people in this little restaurant.  I passed out a Book of Mormon to one lady we contacted who lives in San Diego, CA!  She was just visiting in Mexico for a few weeks but said she's seen our temple in San Diego. She said she'd start reading the Book of Mormon on the plane flight home!  All in all, the lessons went smoothly, the people we contacted were great, and I had lots of fun with Hermana Anderson.

Saturday there was another baptism!  Hermana Perez and I brought 2 of our investigators and shared our testimonies and a lesson about faith.  It was a wonderful day and we made a lot of visits  :)

On Sunday, church went well (3 investigators attended!) So Miguel officially will be baptized!  Our lessons went well until we received the phone call from our District Leader, who informed us of changes.  We were with the Cadena family, who started to cry when they found out that I would be leaving this area.

Here are the children from the Primary Program that sang on Sunday

I have been called to be the Sister Training Leader in San Luis Potosi (it is the 3rd state of the mission) with Hermana Mora! Hermana Perez will stay here in Aguascalientes and train a new missionary :)  As a Sister Training Leader, we are responsible for all the sister missionaries in our zone (usually about 12 in total or 6 companionships)  Remember when we would have exchanges with Hermana Anderson once every 6 weeks?  I will be doing that.  Every week Hermana Mora and I will have exchanges with one of the 6 companionships of hermanas to give them advice and see their work habits.  I also will give talks in front of the whole zone once each month in the zone meetings and work more closely with the President.  We have special meetings with him and the zone leaders from the entire mission.  And lots more....
Here is Paola and her three children!

I will write more next week about what San Luis is like and how the area is, etc.  But I am super happy to be serving as the new Sister Training Leader for this zone and especially to work with Hermana Mora I can tell this is going to be a great learning experience! I can tell we are going to be a great team and accomplish a lot here! This week is going to be super busy and especially now as the Hermana Leader of this zone, there will be lots more to do and lots of responsibility.  I know I am going to learn a TON! I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week!

Hermana Eliason

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It's Time to CELEBRATE !

This week was SO much fun!

Mexican Independence Day !

On Monday night, after our visits, we went to the house of the Arondondo family for a dinner celebration with some other members from the ward.  We ate traditional pozole (a type of soup) and just enjoyed each other's company.  I don't know how to describe it, but it feels like I've know these people for years!  They are our close friends and there is definitely a special connection between those we've come to know, Hermana Perez and I.  I love each one of them and get so excited when I see them.

Then on Tuesday (the Independence day of Mexico), Hermana Perez and I dressed very patriotic in our green and red skirts and white blouses and got a lot of compliments throughout the day.  :)  In the afternoon, our whole ward got together at the church building to celebrate!  There was music, food (carne asada!!)  and everyone was happy and smiling.  The little kids were running around, giggling and playing on the basketball court. 
Here we are with our investigator, Diana

We had an investigator named Diana show up, and it was great to see her make new friends and feel included so quickly by all the other ward members.    Afterwards, we visited several families and had some powerful lessons.  Hermana Perez and I work so well together and I love feeling the Spirit when we teach with unity.  On the way home we bought tamales and elotes - which is super common food to celebrate and is really yummy.
A W E S O M E   D A Y  

On Wednesday it was overcast most of the day and rained a little while we were visiting our Relief Society President, Hermana Villalobos.  Last week she took a pretty bad fall on her knees, so it hurts her to walk and they're all bruised and swollen.  We helped her for an hour or two and it sounds crazy, but I actually miss cleaning a lot.  At the house, Hermana Perez and I are neat & tidy, so there isn't much work to do on P-days in regards to the house.  But while helping Hermana Villalobos, it made me remember Saturday mornings when my whole family would work together for a couple of hours in our yard or specific part of our home.  At the time it didn't seem too fun, but now it's something that I genuinely miss - my family and I working together  
Diana, Citlali & me

On Thursday, we had some really great lessons with our investigators.  My current favorite subject is the Plan of Salvation.  Hermana Perez and I found an article in the Liahona ( https://www.lds.org/liahona?lang=eng ) that had pictures for each stage, and made cut-outs to use in our lessons.  It has been a lot easier for the investigators to learn with some sort of visual.  Oh, and in one of our lessons with Miguel, we told him we were going to sing a musical number for his baptism, and he got all excited and told me I sing like the princess from Enchanted
! haha  That made me laugh  :)

Friday was a blast
!  In the morning we got together as a district in the Stake Center to learn more about the Church's program for those who are unemployed and looking for work.  This program could really help a lot of people - members and investigators.  
My district meeting
Then we enjoyed a yummy lunch at the house of Hermana Maribel for Elder Morales' birthday.  Afterwards we made several visits that went well - including a visit with Sinai Romero (a less active) who invited us to have ice cream in a melon before we left.  It was super yummy!!  
Eating melon with ice cream - super yummy !!
And in the evening we had our "Noche Mexicana !"  A lot of people showed up (including 4 investigators) and we watched the young men & women perform a beautiful traditional dance.  Then people sang karaoke, socialized and ate.  When everyone was singing the Mexican national anthem, I just smiled and looked at the Elders, who didn't know the words either (Elder Arnold from Idaho and Elder Morales from Guatemala :) )  But it was a ton of fun, and everyone was dressed up in traditional clothing or red, green & white.
Here are the young men and women before starting their dance :)

Saturday we made several visits with our ward mission leader, Moroni.  Although we've made visits with members before, it was great to have a return missionary with us, because he knew all the lessons.  We finalized the plans and dates for the baptisms of Miguel and Alejandra (which will be on October 4th :) ) and they both are really excited.  I am too  :)

Hermana Perez with our investigator, Diana
Then on Sunday we had a new investigator named Diana attend church!  She said she loved it and stayed for all three hours (and even gave the closing prayer in Relief Society ! )  She is 18 and would like to be baptized, but is still living with her parents who are super Catholic and won't let her :/  But overall church went really well (right now all the children are practicing for the annual Primary Program next sunday ! )

Me with the daughter of Citlali (another investigator)
In the evening, we visited Hermana Lopez, who is a young mother of 7 and pregnant with her 8th and should be delivering any day now.  I found it interesting that after her 5th child, her husband took a course and they decided to deliver their children in their home.  When I asked why, she told me that after 2 or 3 children, the doctors pretty much force the moms to have a c-section; because the operation costs more.  So they save the trip to the hospital, the cost to deliver the baby, and a c-section operation.  Anywho, I love the Lopez family and all their children are so well behaved and polite.  :)

Today we ate lunch with Hermana Jacqueline (the member from France.)  I always love talking with her!  She has traveled all over, is fluent in 4 languages, and just so genuine!  I am going to miss this area when it is time to have changes.  I love missionary work and am so happy for this time in my life to preach the gospel to those here in Mexico.  I enjoy each day with Hermana Perez and continue learning SO much.  I know this gospel is true, and each day my testimony is strengthened.

I hope you all are doing well.  I keep you in my prayers and can't wait to see you again.

Love always,

Hermana Eliason

Random Photos to share:
Hermana Perez french braided my hair

Hermana Perez with her mellon & ice cream

Me, Hermana Perez, Citlali and her boyfriend

Monday, September 15, 2014

SO much happened !

Although this week sped by super fast like all the rest, SO much happened! Well, first off, on Monday night and all of Tuesday I was too sick to leave and do our daily missionary visits, so Hermana Perez visited our investigators with Hermana Tere (a recent convert who is awesome!)  And I stayed at the house of Tere's mom with her little boy named Miguel.  I was supposed to be "resting" but Miguel is only 3 years old and would get bored of an activity after 5 minutes and run around the house saying "Alyson venga venga!!" (Which means Hermana Eliason come on!!) hahaha  So, we colored, played with blocks, visited a local park, ate lunch, and played with his toy cars ;) It was more like a babysitting day, but he is so stinkin' cute that I didn't have the heart to tell him no.  He was my companion for the day and we had fun.
This puppy was ADORABLE and fit into one of my hands, so
of course I had to take a picture with it  ;)

On Wednesday I didn't feel any better, and another visit to the doctor told me that my throat infection had spread to one of my ears, which caused a painful ear ache.  Bleh! I could not spend another day trapped indoors, so I took my antibiotics and left to go to work with Hermana Perez (who said in all of her prayers the past couple days "please bless Hermana Eliason so that she can recover and and teach with me.")  We both told each other that we love working together and she said she had really missed me in the lessons on Monday and Tuesday.  

Wednesday we also had an interview with the Mission President.  It was the 3rd interview I've had in the mission (usually every 3 months), so it was nice to talk with him.  He said my spanish was perfect and that most likely Hermana Perez and I will be having changes in 2 weeks, since she has finished her training and our area is stable. 
Hermana Perez and I with our matching Young Women's Medallions

On Thursday (still feeling groggy and weak) I went to work and was definitely strengthened by the Spirit to complete all of our visits.  Plus it is WAY easier to forget my pain and problems when I am focusing on others.  I love missionary work and helping others :)
This is Paula.  She is an awesome less-active we have been visiting.

Okay, so on Friday, after buying our healthy fruits and vegetables at Tianguis, Hermana Perez and I were walking back totally content until we realized that neither of us had keys to the house!   Ahh ... and it is almost impossible to do a break in ...  so we kindly asked our neighbors if we could ascend to their roof, walk over onto ours, and descend somehow into our patio area where we wash our clothes (because luckily we hadn't locked that door to the kitchen).  Me - being the tallest and most willing - was chosen.  And I don't want to scare anyone, so I won't go into the details ...  but just know that eventually we made it in, and it was definitely an adventure I won't soon forget ;) haha
Here I am with my umbrella, while it was pouring rain.
(half of my skirt is a different color because I was
soaking wet!)

We finally got permission after MONTHS to have little Alejandra baptized!! Her mom had always said she was "too young" and had to wait, although she meets the age of responsibility (8 years old) and has the biggest desire to be baptized.  She was so excited and has been attending church for years with her active grandmother.  When we told she could choose who would baptize her, she thought for a moment and then got a big grin on her face and said enthusiastically "I want Hermana Eliason to baptize me!" haha  It was so sweet, and we had to explain to her that Hermana Perez and I would be there for her on her special day, but that it was necessary that a man who held the Priesthood authority baptize her :)

I woke up feeling a better on Sunday and am so grateful that it was nothing major, and that I can continue working hard here with Hermana Perez in Boulevares.  I have so many other stories I wish I had time to tell But so much is happening and I am loving every minute Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying life Each day is such a gift 

Hermana Perez says I make the funniest faces & likes
to take pictures of my weird expressions ;) haha
I love making her laugh!!

This upcoming week should be really fun, because it is Mexico's Independence day tomorrow, and we will be having several fun church parties to celebrate! So hold on until next week for more stories and photos ;)

LOVE YOU ALL!!! Thank you so much for your prayers and support!

Hermana Eliason

Monday, September 8, 2014


Birthday Party for Mahonrri (he turned one and
had an adorable cake of the little boy from the movie UP)
So this week SO much happened! Starting with Monday, we visited the Arodondo family, because their only son turned 1 year old and there were several other members and investigators at their house to celebrate with food and an adorable cake!  All the little kids were busy jumping in the bouncer and giggling with delight, while the adults chatted and took pictures! It was cute and fun. And afterwards we taught one of the investigators in the house of her friend, who is a member.  Sometimes the people think that just because we are missionaries we can't laugh and have fun - but I am glad they are realizing that that is so not true! Hermana Perez and I are always happy and smiling and saying hi to everyone.

On Tuesday, one of our visits was with a less active family that moved from Northern California last year and have had a hard time adapting to the church here in Mexico. They say that the gospel is different in the United States - and since I am from California and now have 9 months here in Mexico I testified that the church or the doctrine and gospel of our religion is the same everywhere.  Of course there are differences in the culture, and perhaps the people, but I know that no matter where we are serving or living we can encounter the truth in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints :)

Then on Wednesday I ate Chilaquiles for the first time with one of our investigators named Mary (by the way, half of the women here are named Mary). haha   Pretty much chilaquiles are torn up and fried tortillas with beans, onion, cream, and meat (like nachos kinda). It was yummy and fun to help Mary prepare her famous "chilaquiles" for her Hermanitas ;)

Wow, Thursday was pretty rough. At lunch we ate with a member and her family, but afterwards it was apparent that my stomach was not happy! We ate chorizo (which is a form of pig meat) and the spaghetti had a lot of cream. The combination was not good, and I felt super nauseous. We returned home and, after buying some 7-up, things weren't getting better.  Luckily there are Elders who have the priesthood authority with the power to give  blessings. They came over and I received a blessing from Elder Chavez and Elder Montes de Oca, and afterwards I was able to take some vomiting pills and fall asleep.  In the morning I woke up better and left to continue working :) Plus Hermana Perez was so caring and helpful! She made me a yummy apple and Jamaican tea and is just so great in general.

On Friday we had our monthly zone meeting which went well. We have two new zone leaders who gave inspiring talks and motivated us to continue being obedient and working hard. I especially liked that they established some goals for our zone like contact 10 people each day.  If we are talking to more people, we will find more people who are prepared and ready to accept this gospel, and in turn will have more baptisms and success in our areas.
The sister missionaries in our zone (when we had our zone meeting this week)

Okay, Saturday was just awesome.  Apart from eating Costco pizza for lunch and visiting a lot of people, in the night before our last visit, the funniest thing happened to Hermana Perez and I!!! This whole week it had been raining, and Saturday there was a down pour, so of course the streets were flooded and we needed to cross a major street to get to our next lesson.  We saw a speed bump that now served as a little bridge that could help us cross the first part of the street and arrive at the thin plantar that divided the cars driving in the opposite direction.  Once standing in the muddy plantar we realized we had made a major mistake.  There were cars passing on both sides of us and we only needed to cross the second half of the street, but had to wait.  And while waiting, we saw a big bus approaching and creating a wave of water in it's path.  Literally this bus was like a boat creating a wake because of the flooded streets.   Hermana Perez and I were stuck with nowhere to run!!! We just said "OH NO!!" and then screamed as the bus sped past us and covered us with a wall of water. The only way I could describe this wall of water that completely soaked us is ... if any of you have visited Sea World and know that Shamu the killer whale during his show, splashes the people in the "soak section seating" with his tail ....Yeah .... that was pretty much what happened to Hermana Perez and I ;)  I literally was busting up laughing for 10 minutes afterwards and we trudged home, soaked head to toe!!
RAIN!!! Holy guacamole!! It rained SO HARD and so much!! The streets were literally rivers!!

You can´t really tell in the photo, but this is Hermana Perez absolutely soaking wet.

On Sunday I randomly started having a lot of pain in my mouth and throat.  But I tried not to focus on it because the day went great!  Nayeli and her daughters and Miguel all showed up to church!!!!! WAHOOO!!!! I was bubbling over with joy and so happy!!  Before bed I used our cellphone light to see in my mouth and saw that it was raw, bright pink/red and had white dots covering the back of my throat and tongue.   This morning it was worse, and it hurt to swallow anything and talk, so we went to the doctor and sure enough he diagnosed me with farigitis (and that is in Spanish) but in simple words its a really bad throat infection.   SO.... after a shot (OUCH!!) and a prescription for three different medicines, he said I need to rest for 48 hours and then I should be good to go again. He said it was caused from drastic changes in the temperature, stress, etc. 

So yeah that is my week in a nut shell! So much more has been happening, but there is literally no time!! I hope everyone is doing fantastic, and I will try to send out all my replies that I am behind on next week :) I LOVE you all and keep you in my prayers.

I know this church is true, and I am proud to be a missionary :)

Con amor,

Hermana Eliason

This is Hermana Emilia Mendoza who is a less active member we are visiting.

Monday, September 1, 2014

My Home Away From Home

To start off - - - HAPPY SEPTEMBER!  This will be a month of celebrations, because on the 16th is Mexico's Independence Day :)  So, get ready for a whole lot of green, white - n - red!

This week I was a little under the weather with the flu for a couple of days, but now I'm all better again.  All went well in our lessons and visits this week and on Sunday, 4 of our investigators attended church!  And this Sunday was special because it was Ward Conference (where leaders from the stake presidency attend).  It was great because the talks were uplifting and there were a lot of less active members in attendance.

During the week, Hermana Perez and I had been passing out lots of invitations for the conference, and we were so happy with the turnout.  :)  Hermana Perez and I also sang in the Ward Choir for the conference - and because I was sick, I'm not afraid to admit that I sang the first musical number with a cough drop in my mouth :)  haha  But I think we sounded great, and the two songs we sang (Joseph's First Prayer, and Peace Be Still)  really invited the Spirit.
The choir for the ward conference

The day before the Ward Conference, our ward had a big Family Home Evening night in the church.  It was so much fun!  Lots of members came and Nayeli (one of our investigators) also came with her two young daughters.  :)  The FHE consisted of several short spiritual thoughts, then games and refreshments.  The adults played charades, while the children played a game similar to Musical Chairs.  Then we all socialized while eating "arroz con leche."  I love the people in this area and in this ward SO much!  They have truly become like a big second family to me.  And I know that they love me in return, because they are always saying things like,  "When are the next transfers going to be?  Because you can't leave us.  You need to stay here your whole mission."  "We are going to pray that you don't have changes"  "We love you Hermana Alyson" :)

One funny story about my last name:  Since everyone calls me Hermana Alyson (since they can't pronounce Eliason) some members have never actually looked at my name tag to see how my last name is spelled.  So, this week, the daughter of a less active family drew me a picture and wanted to write, "To:  Hermana Eliason, From: Marisol"  But when she looked at my name tag, she gave me a confused face and worriedly asked, "Hermana Alyson!  Did someone change your name tag?"  haha

This week Hermana Perez and I also had a unique experience when a giant moth got trapped in our house!  Right now these "giant moths" are super common and we see them in many of the buildings planted on the ceilings.  I tried taking a picture of one of them, but you can't actually tell how big these moths really are!  The people here call them "ratones viejas" or "old rats"  Super gross!

One of the many GIANT moths here!

All in all, it was an exciting week full of lots of smiles, but also spiritual experiences.  For example, on Thursday, when I was feeling the worst, I couldn't sleep during the night because of a killer headache, a runny nose that made my throat raw and pounding ears because of the congestion pressure.  Finally at 5am, I decided to get on my knees and say a prayer.  Within 2 minutes afterwards, I was fast asleep and woke up without any head pain.  I know that God hears and answers our prayers.  And I know He loves His children.  "Fear thou not, for I am with thee: be not dismayed, for I am thy God:  I will strengthen thee, yea I will help thee, yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."  Isaiah 41:10

Hermana Perez's hair after I cut it :)
Today for Preparation Day, I cut Hermana Perez's hair.  :)  It turned out super cute and she likes the new look.  So, we're both happy.

For lunch, we ate lentil soup and carrot juice.  Yeah, we're super healthy ... sometimes :)  Earlier in the week, we were served enchiladas twice - and each time they were so yummy that we ate 6 or more ... I love Mexican food!

All is well.  I am happy and healthy and working hard, but enjoying every second.  Hermana Perez says hello to everyone and we are loving this time as companions in Boulevares, Aguascalientes.

Hope you all have a superb week!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Eliason

Other random photos:

Here we are with the Hermana Hernandez and her daughter Tere (recent converts)

Me with the Relief Society President Hermana Villalobos

Us with a member named Maribel