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, April 27, 2015

Good-bye My Sister ...

Monday was Hermana Mora's last Preparation Day, and she wanted to climb The Bufa [pictures posted last week]  It was a beautiful day and we hiked to the top at an easy pace, taking pictures along the way.  Once we reached the very top, we explored and did some "window shopping."  It is really fun being with Hermana Mora and we have either been companions or in the same district for a total of 6 months!  But, we don't get tired of each other and have become like real sisters and best friends.  I am really going to miss her.

Tuesday was the last district meeting of this transfer and it was in spanglish :)  We have a close friendship with Elder Soto and Elder Madsen, since it is always just the 4 of us.  We took pictures and sang the last hymn, "Till We Meet" for Hermana Mora.  In the evening we visited Eriberto, who still has a glow in his face from his baptism.  Oh, and when we told him that he should cut his hair ('cause Hermana Mora is going to cut it too) he said, "If I go on a mission someday, then I'll cut it."  His answer took us by surprise, but then I thought of how amazing it would be if he went on a mission!

Elder Soto and Elder Madsen with Hermana Mora

Wednesday was warm and once again I forced myself to put sunscreen on my face - the WORST!  But, when the sun comes out, it burns pretty bad.  We had some powerful lessons in the morning and then ate at Hermana Lopez' house (who had prepared Hermana Mora's favorite food).  In the evening we enjoyed visiting Cristina and Jose in Morelos.  I love going there!  Every one knows each other and says hi.  People sit in the back of pick-ups or ride their horses and it isn't uncommon to see a man herding a flock of sheep in the cactus / shrubbery desert.  They all live very humbly, but are so happy and friendly.

Thursday was our last weekly planning session together and I am still really nervous about being left by myself in the area, because it is so big.  I guess the map will become one of my new best friends - I miss GPS!  We taught the Peralta family, who showed us the recent Christmas card they had received from the Elder who baptized them 15 years ago!  It made them so happy to still hear from him every now and then - and it made me think of the people I've come to love on the mission and the contact I hope to maintain with them for years to come.  :)

Friday was a busy day with a little bit of rain.  We visited Leopoldo, who is absolutely traumatized with the idea of Hermana Mora and I leaving.  We told him that there will always be missionaries to visit him, but since we were the first, he has become fond of our visits and is always asking, "Do you really have to go?"  He finished reading the ENTIRE Book of Mormon!  This 73 year old man is a champ and very smart.  I love teaching Leopoldo - but he hasn't been able to come to church yet for various reasons.  But with time, I know he'll be baptized.  :)

We also taught Alejandro, who said he would like to be baptized, but in a river.  So we are working on explaining that being baptized in a font is just as valid.  :)  All in all, it was a great day.  Hermana Mora spent some time before going to bed packing ... which makes me sad to see the apartment look more empty.  It'll be weird not to have her with me and it's hard to watch her tearfully fold everything up and get ready to leave.  But I know her family must be so happy and anxiously awaiting her return.

Saturday morning we taught a new investigator, who made us breakfast / brunch.  The people here are just so kind.  It was a very pretty day and we had fun together.  In every visit when the members, converts, or investigators find out that Hermana Mora is leaving, they get all sad, exchange information to stay in contact, take a picture together, and usually give her something.  It's really cute to see how much the people love the missionaries.  :)

We had the "last supper" together... haha it was pretty funny on Sunday at church

Sunday was a great last day with hermana Mora.  After church we found some new investigators and then at 6pm the movie, Meet the Mormons was shown again.  We went to see it with a family that's been investigating the church and they loved it.  In the evening, we taught several other lessons and all went well.  At night we received the call from Elder Madsen that we need to be in the bus station tomorrow (Monday) at 8am.  I am dreading the moment when I have to give Hermana Mora one last hug and say good-bye.  She has been such an incredible companion.  My new and last companion will be Hermana Cuque.  She was in my last district back in San Luis Potosi and I was able to go on exchanges with her.  I think we will get along just fine.  :)

I love you all so much and wish I had the time to write each of you personally and thank you for all the support and prayers on my behalf.  May everyone enjoy this last week of April!

~xoxoxo  Hermana Eliason

[Kiley will be giving her homecoming talk,

Sunday, June 14th at 9:00am
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
3354 Eucalyptus Ave
Chino Hills, CA

*Note:  there are two buildings in the same parking lot.  She will be speaking in the Stake Center; the larger of the two buildings and the one furthest from the corner.]

More Photos from the week


We were eating chicken and she didn´t give us utensils (since she just dropped off the food in a bag for us) and Hermana Mora said she felt like an animal for eating without a fork or anything so I jokingly started lapping up my water (to act like an animal) and she started busting up!! haha it was really funny in the moment and we re-enacted it for the photo

Monday, April 20, 2015

Eriberto's Baptism!

Monday was a very relaxing day for me  :)  After cleaning the apartment, dropping off the laundry, and eating lunch, we came back to the apartment.  While Hermana Mora did some organizing of her things (I have no idea how she's going to fit everything in just 2 suitcases) I took a nap.  It was raining, so I slept like a rock - and Hermana Mora even video taped my snoring! haha  Then we taught a couple of lessons in the evening.  We explained the importance of prayer to Alejandro and that effective prayer requires great effort.  We can't just repeat the same "memorized" phrases and then expect answers from the Holy Ghost.  We must pray sincerely, with real intent, and then patiently wait for answers to come, while living the gospel standards.

Tuesday's district meeting went smoothly.  Right afterwards we had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders.  I stayed in my area with Hermana Ridge, who is a sweet missionary from Provo , Utah.  She only has a transfer less than me (so she goes home in July) and will also be going to BYU Provo - where her dad is actually a professor!  We had a really fun day together and got along like the best of friends.  We contacted, taught some new investigators, and less actives, and walked a ton.  At some points I had to refer to the map, because sometimes I still get lost in our gigantic area.  :)

Wednesday morning Hermana Ridge and I were still together until about 1:30pm.  Then Hermana Mora was by my side again, just like always, and we finished the day by teaching Eriberto and confirming his baptism plans and going to Morelos.  I love the bus ride to and from Morelos, because it is truly beautiful and in between the town and city are wide open pastures / fields and pretty much farming communities.  The sky was like a canvas smeared with lots of pastel blues, yellows, pinks, purples, oranges, etc.  And I'm realizing more and more just how much I'm going to miss it here.  I love Mexico.

On Thursday we ate with the Santoyo family (a very wealthy husband & wife in the ward).  And everything in their house but the ceiling was wood!  Wood flooring, wood walls, 2 wooden pianos, wooden picture frames, wood table & chairs, etc.  It was a pretty cool house (I'll take a picture next time!)  We taught the super great investigator, who is 80 and received the sad news that he is going to work in the mine again and be gone for months at a time  :(  It was a bummer because he really understood all that we taught him, but he said he was going to bring his Book of Mormon and continue reading.

Then, while Hermana Mauricio made visits with us in the evening, we encountered a new investigator named Marsce with her 3 young children.  The lesson went really well and it turns out that she has a close friend who is mormon and had been inviting her to church!

Friday was just a smooth day - with lots of lessons and contacting.  Leopoldo is now in Mosiah and loves reading the Book of Mormon.  He told us, "I'm reading about the King Noah who was wicked."  I love seeing people read and understand the Book of Mormon!

Eriberto's baptism!!

The highlight of the week was Saturday!  Eriberto was finally baptized!!  It was so incredible!  The program went well and many people attended.  After he was baptized, he literally looked like a different person.  I could feel the Spirit so strongly, and have never seen someone change so drastically.  Eriberto was beaming and happy and laughing as all the elders gave him great big hugs.  Afterwards, Eriberto and we bought ice cream.  :)  The perfect day.

Sunday was an excellent day too.  Christina and Jose and their 2 little children came to church!  They are the family that we've been teaching in Morelos and drove all the way from Morelos to attend.  :)  The talks were inspiring and the classes were great.  After the 3 hours, Hermana Mora and I searched and found 4 new investigators to start teaching.  There is a lot of potential here in Zacatecas and I love finding new people who are anxious and waiting to hear the gospel.  God is truly preparing the hearts and minds of His children.

We WALKED the BUFA today [Monday April 20th]!! My legs are going to be pretty sore ;) haha But it was a lot of fun!

A quote that I liked this week was, "Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so most people don't recognize them."  It is so true!  When we are willing to work hard, opportunities will present themselves and we may find success and happiness in our lives.  Like Alma counseled his son, Helaman, "teach them to never be weary of good works" and "the time is at hand that all men shall reap a reward of their works, according to that which they have been."

I hope we can all work hard and never tire of making the right decisions.  Satan temps us with "taking the easy road", but the road is rarely easy to any place worth going.  I love you all and hope you have a marvelous week!

Hermana Eliason

[More pictures from the hike today]

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Love and Service

[This is Kiley's blog from last week.  She writes her blog on paper during the week and sends it to me as a photograph on Mondays.  Last Monday, the cyber cafe was unable to send pictures.  She was finally able to send it on Thursday. Sorry for the delay.]

After a super fun P-day in the Park Encantada, we taught Eriberto in the evening.  It is amazing how much he's changed.  There is a difference in his behavior, a light in his eyes, and a smile that more frequently shows itself.  It's incredible how the gospel truly helps others, and seeing the conversion of Eriberto has strengthened my testimony in our Loving Heavenly Father who does know us and watch over us.  I am grateful for the gospel in my life and for the positive changes it has wrought in me and those around me.

Tuesday was a normal day.  District meeting.  Lunch. Contacting.  Then in the evening, a young man from our ward (who recently received his mission call to Sonora) introduced us to his friend, Jimena.  She is golden!  She has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying to see if it is true!  We had a powerful lesson with her in the house of Emillo (the young man).

On Wednesday, after teaching Leopoldo and Juan Jose, we were supposed to be interviewed by the Mission President.  But when we arrived around 1:45pm, he told us he had been in interviews all day and hadn't eaten ... so he and his wife took us out to lunch!  We ate at a delicious restaurant - [my meal:  fish, cactus salad, mashed potatoes, some whole wheat bread, and a chocolate malt for dessert!]  After lunch we were interviewed, and the Mission President and I both can't believe how time has flown by so fast.  It was my last interview with him (aside from the one I'll receive the day before I return home).  He has been a great mission president and I am so thankful for all the service and sacrifices of both he and his family.  Afterwards, Hermana Mora and I spent the rest of the day in the little town of Morelos.

Lunch was fun on Thursday because we ate with the Bishop and his wife, the 1st Counselor of the Bishop and his wife, ... and the Elders in the church [building].  We set up a big table for the 8 of us and ate a yummy meal prepared by both families.  Then for the rest of the day, Marlen made visits with us.  This is the last week of vacations for everyone in school and Marlen said she like spending time with Hermana Mora and I.  We are trying to encourage her to consider serving a mission.  :)  Eriberto confirmed that he still wants to be baptized!  So we are shooting for next Saturday!

Friday was interesting because when we arrived with Leopoldo and asked if he had received a confirmation that what we were teaching was true, he lit up and said yes.  Apparently at night, the day we had taught him, Leopoldo had a dream that Hermana Mora was prying for him to get over his sickness and he recovered.  For him, it was a clear confirmation that we had been sent to help him.  He is still reading the Book of Mormon and when we watched the video of the Great Apostasy and Wilford Woodruff, he realized the importance of having a prophet and apostles in these latter days.

On Saturday morning, we met a new investigator named Martin; who seemed really interested in the first lesson and understood what we explained ~ aside from being 80 years old!  Okay, in the evening we taught the Vargas Family.  The Vargas Family is really just Jesus and Silvia, but they remind me SO much of Teodulo and Maria!  Hermana Mora and I both felt the same initial feeling with Teodulo and Maria that one day they'd be baptized, and today we felt the same strong impression about Jesus and Silvia.  :)  And even if Hermana Mora and I aren't around to see all the "fruits of our labors", I get so happy and excited when we meet people who will one day enter into the waters of baptism.

Sunday was Ward Conference, and the Elders and we sang a special musical number for all the members.  :)  One of the talks that I really liked focused on the commandment to love our neighbor.  But who is our neighbor?  Everyone - including ourselves.  I saw that love demonstrated in the evening when a new investigator prayed for the first time with us and asked our Heavenly Father to "bless my friends and please bless my enemies."  What a humble example of Christ-like love!

We taught 3 sisters in their mid-50's in the late afternoon while de-thorning cactus.  :)  It was fun and quite easy, so I'll be making a cactus salad for my family once I return!  haha

During this week I realized the importance of service and having a love for others.  From helping an investigator, who burned her leg go to the doctor, to aiding an elderly member walk down the church stairs - I have felt the joy that comes from helping those in need.  Like Richard G. Scott said, "We best serve our Father in Heaven by righteously influencing others and serving them."  While on the mission and "in the service of God"  I've come to comprehend that the best missionaries are always searching for different ways to serve those around them:  their companion, the members, investigators, random strangers, etc.

My invitation to everyone, is that we can always be ready and willing to serve others.  I love you all and hope you have a splendid week :)

~Hermana Eliason

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

No Blog this week - but Homecoming News!

No blog  :(
Unfortunately Kiley was unable to send her blog this week;  "in this cyber there isn't an adaptor"  She thought there would be another chance for her to send it, but I haven't received it yet.

However, we do have her Homecoming date and time confirmed!  Kiley will be giving her homecoming talk,

Sunday, June 14th at 9:00am
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
3354 Eucalyptus Ave
Chino Hills, CA

*Note:  there are two buildings in the same parking lot.  She will be speaking in the Stake Center; the larger of the two buildings and the one furthest from the corner.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

General Conference

Tuesday went really well because we worked all day (no district meeting).  We taught several progressing investigators and invited everyone to General Conference this weekend.  It is so exciting to hear the Prophet and the Apostles and since there are 4 sessions [of Conference], almost all of our investigators promised to attend at least one.  :)

Making friends with lions at the zoo!
Wednesday was a beautiful day.  It hasn't been cold these past few days and the city is still bustling with life because of the Cultural Week and all the activities.  People come from all over Mexico to listen to the concerts (today American Authors performed!) right in the center of the capital.  Hermana Mora and I walk home every night through the "downtown" and it reminds me of Main Street in Disneyland.  It is such a fun atmosphere and a great opportunity to contact!  We taught an investigator named Leopoldo for the second time and he was already half-way through 2nd Nefi [Nephi] in the Book of Mormon!  He asked good questions and said he liked reading the Book of Mormon.  I, personally, LOVE LOVE LOVE The Book of Mormon and don't get tired of reading it over and over again.  It has answers or clarifications to so many of our questions and doubts.

At the park today (Monday)

Thursday flew by after weekly planning.  It's getting kinda hard to find people in their homes because everyone is busy buying, selling, and celebrating.  All the food stands have given us opportunities to try new things.  The Zacatecas authentic sweets have caught the attention of hundreds of bees that are constantly buzzing around the hustle and bustle.  And now that the sun is out every day, people dress as if they're going to the beach!  It is all quite the sight to see.  :)

Friday was the zone meeting.  It was so stress-free to arrive without worrying about speaking in front of everyone.  I happily took notes and enjoyed the messages given by the zone leaders and sister training leaders.  Unlike my last zone, there are only 6 sister missionaries in this zone (Hermana Mora & I, Hermana Brannelly & Gutierrez & the Sister Trainer Leaders Hermana Hernandez & Rich).  At the end of the zone meeting, Hermana Mora and Elder Luciano (my old district leader) gave their testimonies, since this was their last zone meeting.  I can't believe Hermana Mora goes home in just 3 weeks!  Hermana Mora is an excellent missionary that has overcome a lot of trials.  She is a dedicated and hard worker who truly cares about others.

Hermana Mora, Brannelly & me

After the zone meeting, Hermana Brannelly was put with us for this weekend to work in our area, because her area is too dangerous.  It is fun being in a trio and we all know each other and are pretty similar - so it worked out well.  We taught several investigators and had a great day.

Saturday was incredible!  The General Conference talks were so inspiring and answered so many of my questions.  [I was able to watch all of conference with other American missionaries in the stake center in English and there were no computer problems!]  The 4 hours flew by and my hand couldn't keep up with all the notes I wanted to take.  The majority of the talks were concerning the family and the importance of living the gospel in our homes and in our lives.  I hope everyone was able to see the 2 seasons on Saturday and feel the Spirit as the apostles and leaders shared their amazing talks.  I am grateful for latter-day revelation and the guidance we can receive from God through his servants.

Then on Easter, Sunday the talks were just as incredible and special.  I loved when Rosemary Wixom shared "Find joy in the journey.  The future is as bright as your faith." and also "the Lord can only teach an inquiring mind."

The talks about overcoming the distractions and deceptions of Satan by Kevin Pearson was also a favorite.  All the talks can be applied to us and give us new ideas and points of view that invite us to change for the better.

After conference, we encountered and taught 4 new investigators!  The time change left us with more light in the evening, so we were able to contact more people.  This is a very safe area and the people are kind and hospitable.  I love working in the very center of the city and capital of Zacatecas.

Having fun at the park.

On Monday [today] we went to the Park!  (And it's the same park I went to for a multi-zone activity last year when I was serving in Fresnillo & we traveled here to play with the other zone).  It was fun to relive some of the memories in that park and show Hermana Mora around for the first time.  It was a beautiful and relaxing day for me  :)

I am very happy, healthy, and hope you all are as well.  Isn't life amazing?  I hope we can all continue enjoying the many blessings that surround us and expressing our love to those most dear to us.  Like President Monson once said, "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved."  I love you all!

Hermana Eliason

[more pictures from the park and zoo today, Monday]