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 19, 2015

Teodulo & Maria's Baptism

Monday evening Anais came with us to visit Enriqueta and her daughter, Mariela.  The lesson went really well and they accepted February 14th as the date of their baptism.  So, we are going to work with them to be ready by then.  They are amazing.  Oh, and during Christmas Break, Anais got engaged!  She is planning on having her wedding in July - and since Hermana Gonzalez and I will have both completed our missions, she invited us.  I think it would be so fun to come back and visit her and all the people in this area.  :)
Hermana Gonzalez and me

Tuesday was just an excellent day!  After lunch, Hermana Nino came with us to visit Teodulo and Maria - they finally accepted the invitation to be baptized on Saturday!  I was so happy for them and the choice they made :)  Then when we taught Lulu, she told us she had felt so amazing that it's been hard for her to sleep these past 2 days!  haha  And when we told her that Teodulo & Maria decided to be baptized, she lit up and said, "I am so excited for them.  It's the best decision."  Afterwards, we went with Issac (Anais' brother) to teach Brandon about the importance of commandments.  It all went really well, and he's been reading all the pamphlets we give him.  Then, Hermana Gonzalez and I quickly taught Jose Guadalupe before heading to Retornas to do exchanges with the other Hermanas.

Wednesday I spent the day with my old/ex companion Hermana Flores!  We worked in my area of Avacion and had a fun time together.  She told me everything that happened in Fresnillo when I left and we just caught each other up to date on life  :)  Hermana Flores has such a strong spirit and always tries to look for the good in others.  I loved being with her and can learn a lot from her example.  In the evening we had all our plans fall through, so I checked in our book of people we've contacted, but never visited.  After skimming through several pages, one of the names caught my eye:  Maria Luisa.  I remembered contacting her in the street about a month ago with Hermana Mora - and she seemed really interesting.  When Hermana Flores and I knocked on her door, one of her granddaughters said she was sick and couldn't attend to us.  But I told her it was very important and that we wouldn't take up too much of her time, so the granddaughter turned back into the house to tell her grandma.  A couple of minutes later, Maria Luisa came out to greet us.  She recognized me and said, "I've been waiting for you to come.  I wasn't going to see anyone today, but when my granddaughter told me there were 2 pretty girls who had skirts on, I knew it was an answer to my prayer.  I was beginning to think that you might never come."

Maria Luisa was thrilled to hear our message and anxious to start reading the Book of Mormon.  It was a sweet experience for me; to listen to the prompting of the Holy Ghost and encounter someone who has been looking for the truth.

On Thursday we made the programs for Teodulo & Maria's baptism, and they were interviewed by Elder Summers.  Brandon said he's going to come to their baptismal service to see what it's like (since he is most likely going to be baptized next Saturday).  And in the evening, Enriqueta and Mariela also confirmed that they would really like to come to the baptism too.  We taught them with Hermana Nino and her daughter, who is the same age as Mariela.  All went really smoothly and everyone seems to be happy.
Hermana Gonzalez eating her super yummy crepe! haha

Friday was another excellent day.  After lunch we finally had our interviews with the Mission President (we have interviews every quarter - or every 3 months).  Then we visited Maria Luisa - she had not only read the introduction of the Book of Mormon, but also the testimonies of the 3 witnesses, the 8 witnesses, and testimony of Joseph Smith!  She said she is going to see the baptismal service tomorrow and also try to attend the Stake Conference on Sunday!  Oh, and she accepted the invitation to be baptized in February  :)  She's a golden investigator.  For dinner, Hermana Gonzalez and I treated ourselves to crepes!  There is this cute little "crepes, coffee & churros" stand near our house, so we enjoyed Nutella & whipped cream crepes together.

Elder Summers and Elder Rosas with
Hermana Gonzalez and me on the day of the baptism
Teodulo and Maria`s baptism!!!
Here they are with us and the bishop

Saturday was the long awaited baptism!!  Everyone on the program arrived and Teodulo & Maria brought their granddaughter, Joseline, with them.  Our musical number was great!  We (Hermana Gonzalez, the Zone Leaders, and I) all sang "Oh, My Father" - the first verse was in Spanish, the second verse in English, the third verse in Portuguese, and the last verse in Spanish.  Elder Flores accompanied us on the guitar and several people in attendance cried.  Guess you could say it was pretty professional  :)  Teodulo and Maria were baptized by the Bishop and afterwards they were even happier than before.  I loved seeing them smiling and socializing with the members.  Brandon and Maria Luisa both attended and said they liked the baptismal service.  Hermana Gonzalez and I gave them a framed picture of Jesus Christ and other members gave them a hymn book, the Doctrine & Covenants, the Pearl of Great Price, and other manuals.  We were grinning from ear to ear the whole rest of the day.

In the evening was the first session of Stake Conference.  There weren't a ton of people, because it was a Saturday night, but the talks were nice and uplifting.

On Sunday, for the Stake Conference, there wasn't enough room for everyone.  It was so packed!  I was thrilled to see so many of our recent converts and investigators show up!  Teodulo & Maria sat in the first row and shook hands with our Mission President afterwards.  Lulu arrived all on her own and was proudly singing from her new hymn book, Enriqueta and her daughter, Mariela, sat with the Ibarra family.  Brandon sat with Hermana Gonzalez and me, and Maria Luisa showed up with one of her daughters.  :)  It was so fantastic, and everyone said they had enjoyed the conference.

Our área limit is the freeway which we call The River. 
And there are always super cool bridges to cross. 
Here are two different bridges :)

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Instead of waiting for the bus, Hermana Gonzalez & I decided to walk from the Stake Center to the Nino family's house for lunch.  It was quite the adventure, because we crossed a super cool bridge and walked on the cobble stone road that runs parallel to "the Rio" - which is their freeway.  Their freeway used to be a river, and now it almost looks like a park because of all the green trees and grass that is on either side of the 4 lanes.  It only took us 15 minutes and walking is always good reflection time.

After lunch we visited Jose Guadalupe, who didn't go to the conference because his ride never passed for him.  Although he had woken up early to get ready.  He was pretty bummed, but we told him not to worry and that there would be more meetings in the stake center soon.  Jose Guadalupe has such a tender heart and is always thinking of others.  When his ride didn't show up, he waited on his porch for 2 hours, thinking that maybe something had happened with their car or maybe they had gotten lost.  He never gets angry and never blames others.

I continue to learn so much every day from the amazing people here.  I am happy and healthy and enjoying every moment in the mission.  These 18 months are flying by and like another missionary said, "What is a year-and-a half or 2 years of service, compared to an eternity?"  He is so right! 
After the mission, I'll have plenty of time to hang out with friends, work, study, go to the beach, etc.  But these 18 months are the only time I have to give all my time, energy, and talents to the Lord and missionary work.  I am so thankful for all the blessings I've received and all the miracles I've seen.  I love being a missionary and helping others come unto Christ and embrace the Gospel.

Sending all my love and lots of hugs,
Hermana Eliason

More pics:

Me, Maria & Teodulo at their baptism

Here we are again with Maria & Teodulo.  
The Little girl is their granddaughter, Joseline

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