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, February 24, 2015

I'm a Missionary. I know it. I live it. I LOVE IT!

Monday we were able to run all our errands and get everything done a little early, so we hung around the house.  We cut out pictures, wrote in our journals, and even took a 20 minute power nap.  Then in the evening we taught 3 lessons to less active members.  The last member invited us to eat a quick dinner with her, and she prepared avocado quesadillas!  It was a pretty relaxing day.

This is the only picture we got of Teodulo opening his present
that wasn't blurry. He was excited. And this is one of his
granddaughters Joseline (the same one that went to their baptism) 
 Tuesday was Hermano Teodulo's 61st birthday and they invited us to lunch to celebrate.  We were creative in making a thoughtful and inexpensive present.  We used a cardboard box that we decorated with fun stickers, and put balloons and a card inside.  (We had even cut up paper to make confetti :) ha )   He really liked it and it was just them with 7 of their children.  We all ate red tacos and jello for dessert.  Afterwards we visited Hermana Bertha and her daughter, Paty.  We started teaching about the Plan of Salvation and Paty told us, "I never knew that we lived with God before being born."  She was super interested in the lesson as we described our premortal existence as spirits with our Heavenly Father.  I love seeing people learn!

On Wednesday, I spent my day in my area with Hermana Yanez for exchanges.  She is from Puebla and only has 2 1/2 weeks in the mission field!  I remember recently arriving to Mexico and starting my mission; and it doesn't feel like it was that long ago.  I can't believe how fast the time has flown by.  When I told Hermana Yanez that I have 14 months in the mission, she looked at me as if I am an old lady!  hahah

On Thursday we visited several people before Hermana Rivera took her english exam at Hermana Amy Rodriguez's house.  She was so nervous because it was an oral exam, where she had to talk to the computer.  But she did great and was at an advanced level!
Our Zone

Friday was a special Zone Conference with the Mission President, his wife, and his 3 assistants.  It was fun to see the zone again and the President told us that as a zone we could come to the stake center next week to see the new movie called Meet The Mormons that's going to be released in theaters this next Friday!  I'm super pumped to see it!!  The Relief Society activity for next week is actually carpooling to the movie theater to see it on opening day  :)  Our last visit was with the Rosa family, and we taught about what we do in the temple.  They have been able to do baptisms for their ancestors, but are currently preparing to be sealed as a family.  They are excited, and I am so happy for them and all their progress.  I am grateful for temples and the priesthood authority that allows us to be an eternal family and live together forever.

Saturday sped by like the blink of an eye!  We were able to visit lots of recent converts and less actives.  (This week we updated the ward list.)  I can now say that I have been to every house of present or past members that are registered in our ward!  So we did a lot of walking and knocked on tons of doors.

So Sunday I almost exploded with joy because Teodulo blessed the sacrament!!  He was so nervous, but said the prayer for the water PERFECTLY!!  I couldn't stop smiling and, to be honest, almost cried.  Plus, one of his sons, Pedro, came with his two daughters, Kenya and Sofia.  And guess what?!  They all stayed for the whole 3 hours!  Kenya and Sofia went to Primary, so Pedro was able to attend the classes.  In the Gospel Principles class, Hermana Rivera and I taught about the Priesthood with Pedro and his parents present, and they all participated so much.  It was just an excellent Sunday for me.
Biking at Tangamanga Park with Hermana Rivera

Today (Monday again) we went to the Tangamanga Park!  First we ran a little, and then we went over to Teodulo and Maria's house because they let us borrow their bikes!  So then, Hermana Rivera and I rode all over the park and had a blast!  Man, I miss riding bikes so much.  We saw the animals, played on some play-grounds, and even did a boot camp obstacle course!
Here i am doing the obstacle course. It was actually really really fun! haha

Here I am on the teeter totter! I hadn't been on one of those in FOREVER! haha

When we returned to Teodulo & Maria's house, they gave us orange juice and we helped Teodulo make his morning bread for a couple of minutes.  It was great.

Yeah, so life couldn't get better for me as a missionary!  I am loving every second here and everything is going so well.  I truly adore the people and teaching them more about Jesus Christ.

I hope everyone has a fantastic week.  Keep that smile on your face  :)

Love always,
Hermana Eliason

We carved our inicials [initials] on this tree ;)

I was trying to take a picture of hermana rivera with the bull but right before it charged towards the fence and she jumped away screaming!! I managed to snap this shot!! 

Here is where the old landing station was for the airport. My area is called Aviacion (which means aviation- for like planes!) So there was a bunch of cool things we saw- but the battery of the camera ran out! next time there will be more pictures

Okay I was totally excited about the merry go round. And then Hermana Rivera was like "cool. I can do that too." and like 20 seconds after she started spinning...I took this picture of her because she's like "I think I am going to throw up now!" hahaha

Here we are making wishes...cause there were a ton of those things all over!
(we had just finished running, and that`s why we are so red)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day

On Monday, Hermana Rivera and I deep cleaned our house and she finished unpacking.  We bought lots of fruit at Tiangis and even went running in the morning!  When we went to visit Walmart in the afternoon, I had forgotten that this week will be Valentine's Day and the whole store was filled with chocolate, teddy bears, and hearts!  After writing our families, we visited some less active members.

I have no idea why Hermana Rivera has these....but they are hilarious to put on
and we couldn't stop laughing! haha

Tuesday we had our first District Meeting as a new district.  It all went well, and afterwards we started exchanges with Hermana Empey and Hermana Cuque from our district.  Hermana Empey and I stayed in my area and started working together after the District Meeting.  She is from Washington, where her family manages a bunch of crop and orchards.  (They have about 900 acres filled with apple, peach, cherry & pear trees, but also corn, wheat, alfalfa, etc.)  It was so cool to hear what her life is like working on the farm with her 4 brothers and 1 sister.  Hermana Empey tries to be exactly obedient and works hard - so I enjoyed the day with her.

Wednesday afternoon right before lunch, we finished exchanges and I was reunited with my companion Hermana Rivera.  We had an incredible day together and taught so well with the Spirit.  Now a lot of family members of other people we've been teaching are sitting in on the lessons when we visit.  Teodulo & Maria's son, Pedro, loves learning and always participates.  Bertha's two children are progressing and want to come to church, and Enriquets's other daughter asked us for her own Book of Mormon because she was reading from her sister's and is finishing 2nd Nephi!

Enriqueta said the most touching comment after we asked her how she had been feeling when we visit.  She told us, "After the car accident, I was going through a really rough time and was even recomended to take medicine from my psychologist.  But you and your companion showed up 2 days afterwards, and I've felt so good that since the first visit, I haven't taken medicine.  Now I feel more peaceful, self-confident, and I felt a change from before."  As she was telling us all of this, I actually almost cried because it was just a really sweet experience / moment.

On Thursday, we spent the day looking for less active members on the ward list.  It was great because we could contact a lot of people and also set up a lot of new appointments.  We walked a ton, and we were both pretty worn out by the time we got home at night.
So sometimes the addresses that we had to look for didn't exist anymore.
So that was always fun! haha

On Friday we continued the search for less-actives and I actually really liked it.  It was like a crazy detective adventure to go looking for addresses and find out what had happened to a lot of people.  One less active lady told us we were the first missionaries in years to come looking for her.  It was a rewarding experience because it shows the less active members that they are never forgotten and we still care about them.  :) 

These are the balloons and her desk that I heart attacked
Saturday was Valentine's Day!!!  I heart-attacked the desk of Hermana Rivera with stickers, post-its, and balloons and she gave me an ELEPHANT!!  

This is the cute elephant she gave me with a chocolate sucker
We had an outstanding day visiting lots of people.  Lulu gave us candy in the lesson we had with her before lunch.  Then Adriana made us super yummy hamburgers for lunch, and afterwards when we got to Teodulo and Maria's house, we decorated a cake!  We wrote "amor y amistad" because to them, it's the day of love and friendship - which I kinda like better than just Valentine's Day.

In the evening, we saw Bertha and her two children who are investigating the Church.  We taught them about the Book of Mormon - and they had read the introduction just like we had asked  :)  Before going home we taught Enriqueta and two of her daughters.  (Mariela and Ximena)  We explained the priesthood power and the sacred responsibility that the men have in our church.  It was a great lesson and they committed to come to church.  When we got home, a sister in our ward, who washes our clothes, brought us tacos for dinner and a big bag of candy!  So Hermana Rivera and I were pretty happy campers  :)

Sunday was fantastic!  Enriqueta and her two daughters came to church, and Teodulo received the priesthood!  The classes went well and everyone passed out a bunch of candy.  After church we ate with the Yera family - who always fee us as if we've been fasting for like a week  :)  They give us SO much food.  Just to give you all an idea of what I ate:  6 potosi enchiladas, 2 servings of beans, a huge carne asada, vegetables, 2 glasses of mango water, and dessert!!  I felt like I was going to explode, but everything was scrumptious.

I hope everyone had an excellent Valentine's Day.  I love you all so much!


Hermana Eliason

Kenya might have gotten a little too excited 
and had frosting all over her face 
and in her hair- but still so stinkin adorable!

This is Pasaje E- E is for Eliason!

These are the posters she put on my wall! haha We are Pooh Bear and Tigger

This is during lunch when we took a quick selfie

Monday, February 9, 2015

New Beginnings

This is the reunion of zone leaders and sister training leaders
On Monday I spent the majority of the day in the bus station.  Our leaders told us to arrive at 7:30am, and it turned out that Hermana Gonzalez's bus didn't leave until after 1pm!!  But, it wasn't too bad, because I got to see a ton of sisters and elders that were also going to change areas - so it was like a big get together in the bus station.  When it was time for Hermana Gonzalez to go, she was crying, but I assured her that we'd see each other again after the mission.  :)
Me and Hermana Rivera

Then I met my new companion, Hermana Rivera.  At first I was nervous, but I quickly realized that we are exactly the same!  Another sister missionary who knows us both told me, "If I were to put the two most similar sister missionaries together, it would have been you and Hermana Rivera."  She was right, because we soon had become great friends and were making each other laugh.  Hermana Rivera is 21 years old, has two little brothers and an outgoing personality.  She speaks perfect english and has been in the mission for a year.  It's fun hearing about her home in Puerto Rico!

On Tuesday we visited Lulu, before lunch with the Loredo family.  The Loredo family is the coolest.  The Dad is our mission leader in the ward, the son always came with us to teach Brandon, and the daughter is always willing to come with us to visit investigators or pick them up on Sundays.  They made us carne asada!  It is incredible how much the members take care of us.  I am so grateful for all their help and support.  And since it is the first week in February, we got on the bus for Aguascalientes, because we have the Council Meeting with the mission president and all the zone leaders tomorrow.

Here I am with a few sisters from our zone
Wednesday was exciting because I got to see all the new zone leaders and sister training leaders.  Guess what?  Elder Oldham (an Elder that was in the M.T.C. with me) is a zone leader now!  It's weird to think that we almost have been in the mission for 14 months when I remember being in the MTC like yesterday!  Time truly flies by.  The Council Meeting was excellent, and the topics were on unity and obedience.  I learned a lot and had a fun time with Hermana Rivera.

Thursday we were able to teach a ton of people!  We've been teaching Jose Guadalupe's niece, who recently moved in with him and also the family members of some less actives and recent converts.  I love watching the family members learn and grow together.  The gospel truly brings people together.  Before heading home, we watched The Testaments movie with Enriqueta and her two daughters.  They loved it, and we all cried because it's just such a touching / inspiring movie.  It tells the story of some people who lived here in the Americas and how they prepared for and received the visit of Jesus Christ.

Friday we had the zone conference.  All but two companionships in the zone had changes - so there were a lot of new faces  :)  I talked about the importance of unity in all aspects of the mission.  To be unified, we need to be one in thought, desire, and purpose.  I learned that when Jesus Christ was praying to our Father in Heaven in the Garden of Gethsemane before carrying out the Atonement, he was mostly praying for unity.  (John 17:11, 20-23)

This is me in Walmart with a huge stuff animal caterpillar that I thought was adorable.

Saturday was a great day!  Teodulo and Maria's son, Pedro, was interested in the lesson we were teaching and decided to sit-in and listen.  I know that one day all their children will join the church and accept the gospel.  And in the evening we helped the Rose Family pack-up and move from their small house to an even smaller apartment.  They were so grateful for the time we spent helping, that they bought us tamales to eat for dinner.
This is when we ate pizza for Hermana Rivera´s 1 year anniversary in the mission

Sunday, we spent the majority of the day in church.  Before church started, we had a ward council meeting in the Bishop's office.  Then after 3 hours of services, we ate a yummy lunch with the Nino Family.  Before going to the meeting in the stake center for the leaders, we visited Patricia (Bertha's daughter).  Patricia just started listening to our missionary lessons and accepted a baptismal date in March.  :)  She works in a cake shop and gave us some scrumptious cake - so that's a bonus.  :)

Here is what my comp did for my 14 month anniversary :)
She is so cute

All in all, a fantastic week.  I am happy and healthy and hope you are as well.  Happiness is a choice as Abraham Lincoln said, "People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be".

I love you all and pray for your happiness and success.

Hermana Eliason

[more random pics]

This is Hermana Rivera and I with Hermana Flores because she was once the companion of us both

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Brandon's Baptism!

We received free facials from a ward member on P-day - so that was super relaxing / refreshing  :)  Then we followed the Monday routine:  Subway for lunch, some window shopping, our appointment at the dentist for Hermana Gonzalez's braces, and email time.  A great day, and in the evening we visited a less active family who wants to start coming back to church again.

Tuesday's district meeting was in English and I noticed that all the Americans in our district talk so differently.  Hermana Gonzalez said she can't understand Elder Summers and Elder Burns' accents, and that my English is the clearest.  She says I talk like all the American actresses in the movies.  ;) haha  Gotta love being from Southern California!  We made more visits to less-actives in the evening and saw some of our recent converts.  Something that Hermana Gonzalez and I started doing is taking 30-second videos once a day to compile all the videos into a short "movie" at the end of our missions!  It is a lot of fun and I really don't know how I got so lucky to be her companion.  We have a blast together and are the best of friends.
Me and my great companion, Hermana Gonzalez.

On Wednesday we went to Aguascalientes to renew my visa.  Our bus left at 7am and we arrived at 10am.  By the time we waited and did the paperwork and finger-prints, it was lunch time.  Right after lunch we took the 3 hour bus ride back to San Luis - where we managed to visit 2 less-active families.  :)

Brandon was interviewed for his baptism on Thursday and he and his dad were excited for tomorrow.  He is getting baptized at such a great age, because he's young and will learn quickly in the church.  His dad, Arturo, wants to be baptized but since he is a police officer, he always works on Sundays.
Here are the shoes that Teodulo and Maria
bought for us- like the tan lines?

Teodulo and Maria are still just as awesome as ever.  When we visit them, they always give us something to drink and some of their delicious bread and ask, "What are we going to learn today?"  We explained about patriarchal blessings and how they can prepare to receive their own patriarchal blessings.  Oh, and in the evening, we visited Enriqueta and her daughter, Mariela.  What was incredible was that Enriqueta and Mariela read one or two chapters in the Book of Mormon every day and are already in the second book of Nephi!!  I admire their desire to know the truth and put forth the effort to read the Book of Mormon daily.  I absolutely love the Book of Mormon and have learned so much from it's inspiring stories.

On Friday was Brandon's baptism in the late afternoon.  Everything went perfectly!  The Young Men's President, Nefi, baptized Brandon.  Nefi had prepared a musical number on the ukulele that was beautiful and lots of members were in attendance.  Afterwards, Hermano Teodulo taught the sisters in the Relief Society how to make some yummy and simple empanadas and sugar cookies.  He loved teaching everyone and I think everyone had a good experience.
This is the baptism of Brandon with his dad and grandfather

Saturday flew by so quickly.  We borrowed the block game called Jenga to explain the Apostasy in a fun / interactive way and Teodulo and Maria loved it.  Some of their grandchildren and children played too - and we hope to start teaching them soon.  They showed us their 12 chickens they bought that will soon produce the eggs that Teodulo needs to make his bread.  Brilliant idea, right?

We also played Jenga with the family "de la Rosa" and with Sara Dominguez's grandchildren.  It was a fun day.

Sunday's sacrament meeting was fantastic because it was Fast Sunday; where the congregation has the opportunity to share their testimonies.  I can't describe how happy and content I felt to see our recent converts arrive early and participate and socialize during the services.  Teodulo and Maria, Lulu, Brandon and Jose Guadalupe all have friends in the church and have been so warmly welcomed.  I am grateful for a ward that fellowships new members so well.

In the evening Hermana Gonzalez and I received the devastating news that she would be finishing her mission (or her last 6 weeks = 1 transfer) in Matahuala.  She was pretty upset with the news, and I was just sad and shocked.  We got along so well and are the best of friends, so I think that's why the news was so hard.  But she lives less than 3 hours from me, so I know we will see each other again - and we promised each other and the people here that we'd come back to visit.  So it really isn't "good-bye", more like "see you soon."
Hermana Rivera - my new companion

My new companion is Hermana Rivera.  I'll fill you all in with more info next week.

Thank you for all the love and prayers and support.

Con Amor,
Hermana Eliason

[more pics]

This is us with Hermana Fullmer in the central- bus station
This is us with elder Rosas and elder Tlaxtalteca
This is hermana Sara who is like a second mother to us :) 

This is when we were hungry and bought ourselves 
a pizza for dinner. It was like a mini pajama party! lots of fun

This is when we heart attacked the car of 
Hermana Sara who is like a second mother to us :)

This is the name badge that the ward printed out 
on the calendar for February to remind the sisters 
who is going to feed us