Monday, December 28, 2015


Hey all!

Wow! What a week! Christmas was truly amazing. I felt so so so happy. It is unlike any other feeling. I love Christmas in the mission. Yes, it was hard. Yes, it was wonderful.

Christmas Eve Hermana Mckendrick and I visited and sang to lots of Menos activos. It was so wonderful. The spirit of Christmas (Christ) was so strong. It brought so much joy! And everyone kept trying to give us food. Haha. Then we went to a huge park in our area and asked people if we could sing Christmas songs. We sang to probably about 30 people! And we got lots of addresses and numbers! OH! Funny story. As we were singing to a Less active she suggested we sing to the neighbors. Caroling is not something Chileans do so they were kinda confused. A 10 year old boy answered the door and then trying to offer us whatever they had he offered us cans of beer. We kindly declined with a chuckle and were given packets of ketchup instead. Haha.  The night of Christmas Eve we spend with Familia Latoja. Menos activos with a daughter on  a mission. The mom told us that having us there was like having her daughter there. :) So so sweet. I was so happy.

Christmas day we spent lunch with our Mamamita Andrea. She made us the cutest desserts. Thats where we skyped. What a blessing it was to see my beautiful family! I am so grateful to be an eternal family with those wonderful people! Yes, I cried. Yes, I laughed. I am also grateful for the Mieures who helped so much with that and I loved seeing them!

 Rosanna, Hermana Mckendrick and I on Christmas Eve.

I have been really humbled this week. Humbled by my Heavenly Father, my companion, our leaders, the ward. I know what it means when they say trial of faith by fire. In order for us to actually change and be better people we have to go through some uncomfortable and hard moments. More than 1 or 2. Being here I realize just how imperfect I am. I am trying to apply the atonement more. It is good that I am being humbled but yes I have had moments of resistance. Haha. It is all a learning process. Although, while much is a process, much can be changed in the moment. Your attitude, your vision, your accions. These things can change quickly. It is all up to us. This is something I am learning.

OH! Also this week, I pulled something in my knee on these hills and had to stay home ice it. Yet another experience to learn. My knee is fine now but I think Heavenly Father is really working on my right now. Its a blessing. :) I think. Hahaha. 

I love this work. I love being a missionary. I want so badly to be better.

I am so grateful to all of you who send me sweet Christmas emails. Thank you so so much. That means so much to me. I am blessed. Thank you.

Love you all!

Mucho amor! Olay!

Hermana Kelson

Monday, December 21, 2015

Feliz Navidad

Hola Todo!

Feliz Navidad!!!!!!!

This week started hard and ended great. Last Monday I was super depressed. So my companion suggested I get a Priesthood blessing. I did. WOW: The PRIESTHOOD IS SO REAL! IT WORKS! I have felt much better since then. I urge all to seek this beautiful gift whenever you can. 
Just a regular day in the Mish View :) Stunning, yeah?

I have been reading the conference talks for my langugage study. (in Spanish of course). Its easy for me to understand when I read. The talk by President Uchtdorf in the womans session of conference has really hit me. One quote that I really love, and I will paraphrase because i dont know it in English, says the best things in life, like homemade bread and marmalade, take PATIENCE and WORK. I am definitely learning those things here. Sometimes we just have to know that if we have patience and work hard, things will work out. They will get better. And we just have to smile along the journey. 
The Wall was just random while we were walking. Valpo is very artsy. Think of our Savior saying this.

We are teaching an abuelita named Maria right now. She is very catholic but very sweet. We are also teaching Alejandro and his mom Valentina. My companion and I think that Valentina is ready to progress and we hope that they keep their commitments. That is the hard part for people most the time, is keeping commitments. But that is the most important part because it is preparing them to make commitments with God: baptism, temple covenents, etc. 

The ward is good! We had a relief society activity this Friday. One thing I know for certain: Relief Society is the same in all the world. Haha. Okay, so not exactly the same. Chileans have better treats. You heard that right folks. Chileans have the best postres. Wowsa. Some think they are too sweet but I dont! We did a gift exchange and I got chocolate. CHACHING!

This weekend our mission put on a choral show for the public. There is a choir made up of 24 missionaries. No, I am not in it. They formed it before I came. But they are great! They sing choral Christmas stuff and Pentatonix too. Yeah, this is my mission, folks! They did it at the Playa de Deportes. Its like a stage with the ocean as the background. HOLY GORGEOUS! My companion and I had the chance to go twice. I got to see a lot of my friends from the CCM there! It was like seeing old friends or even family. It soothed my soul and helped me so so much to connect with them. Sadly, I didnt get very many pics with them.

Also this week, today in fact, our mission did a big Christmas activity for all the missionaries. We played games, did skits, ate food, and socialized. I got to wear pants for the first time in 2 months! It was a blast! If you want to see more pictures than the ones I sent then go to our mission blog. I believe it is called Vamos a Viña but I am not sure. :) There I saw more of my CCM friends. SO wonderful! Also, Quinton Dickerson (OHS)

I have been studying Faith in Jesus Christ this month. Faith is not passive. Faith is very much active. I urge you all to exercise your faith in Christ by acting on the words He taught while He was here on this earth. I know that He lived and died for me. I know He lived and died for you. I know that He loves us no matter what and came here to pray the price so that we can return home. We can never repay Him. Ever. But you know what? He doesnt want us too. He just wants us to use His Atonement as His Grace. May we all take the time to reflect on Christ this Christmas: the real reason for Christmas. 

I love you all! Thank you for your sweet emails and letters!
¡Feliz Navidad! ¡Cuidense! MUCHO AMOR ¡Olay!

Hermana Leah Kelson

Monday, December 14, 2015


Hola All!

Wow. Missionary work has lots of highs and lows. But you know, there are so many miracles here all the time! This week was kinda hard because the investigators we had when I first got here are not progressing. We have been praying to find new people to teach and praying that people keep their commitments. Our zone fasted again this Sunday for miracles. Miracles do happen! We have been contacting some great people!

The more I am with this ward the more I love them. They are a young ward but really great. People are so kind to feed us. Anyone who has ever fed the missionaries should automatically be accepted into the Celestial kingdom. :) (jk, the doctrine of Christ is a real thing) People dont have as much in my area. The outsides of their houses look very run down, the insides are usually nicer than they appear but people really are great and humble. This was especially aparent to me with INTERCAMBIOS this week. (I think that is exchanges in ingles). The Hermana leaders exchanged with us and I went to a different area, closer to Viña with Hermana De La Torre from Argentina. SHE IS SUCH A GREAT MISSIONARY! Holy moly! I learned so much from her! We taught a ton in the streets, in homes, everywhere. But her area is very quico. (like ritzy). It was very suburb california and people laugh at you when you try to approach them. Very interesting. That area also has bikes. WHAT!? So I rode a bike all day that day. Yes, I was terrified. Yes, I almost biffed it multiple times. Yes, we wore helmets. Yes, it is very hard in a skirt. Yes, it was a BLAST! Haha. But biking here in Valpo would be death because the hills are literally straight up. My calves are already beautiful after 1 week. 

I am slowly adjusting. People comment on my Spanish often. (good things and bad things) These Chilean people are wonderful! Blunt but wonderful! Jaja. I am getting a better grip of the language but it is definitely a process. That is like with most things. GOD WORKS THROUGH PROCESS! That is His way. That is always been His way and will forever be His way. 

We had the primary program in our ward yesterday. There were only about 7 kids and they asked me to play the piano for it in the moment. :) Definitely using my music a lot. My companion and I like to sing for people. We are asking Presidente Diaz if i can teach piano lessons.

We found Rudolph in Chile!

I am so grateful to all of your for your support and love. I am overwhelmed by it actually. You all keep my going when things get really hard. I thank my Heavenly Father for all of you! What a blessing it is to focus on our Savior at this time of year. If you have not seen the new Christmas video by the church I invite you to watch it. He came to save YOU! And me. And all of us. And because he did we can return to a loving Heavenly Father! What a blessing!

Hermana Leah Kelson
4 Norte 1112 Casilla 631 
Viña del Mar, Chile

Mucho Amor! Olay!

Hermana Kelson

Monday, December 7, 2015

Goodbye CCM Hello Valpo

Hello from the FIELD!!

AAAHH! What a crazy 2 weeks. The CCM was so wonderful and I am so blessed to have been there. On Thanksgiving day we went contacting in the park and my sweet companion and I found a woman who was SO prepared for the gospel! Wow! We talked for like 45 mins. I hope that the missionaries get to her. It was an experience I will never forget. Such a spiritual high! The Chileans dont celebrate Thanksgiving but thanks to Hermana Doll (#saint) we still had a bit of a Thanksgiving dinner. We also had the Provo MTC Thanksgiving devotional broadcast to us where Elder Dallin H Oaks spoke to us. Also, his daughter Jenny Oaks Baker and family played several songs. What the coolness! 

My leaving the CCM was sad. I am going to miss my sweet friends there oh so very much. BUT I am so grateful to be where I am. On Tuesday the President and his wife (President Diaz) came to the Santiago temple with all the missionaries leaving from Viña. The APs did training with us while they did the session. Then off to Viña! 
We took pics in front on the Viña clock and then they assigned companions and told us to place a Book of Mormon and find the mission home. We only had the address. I was blessed with the only latina Hermana. Thus, we arrived first with 2 contacts and empty hands. :) Hermana Diaz cooks like an angel! That night the hermanas stayed in a ¨hotel¨. (interesting adventure! So fun!) 

The next day after training in the morning we had our cambios meeting. All us new bees sat on the stand and we sang a musical number. Elder Ferrari (a very talented Elder from Chile) and I sang a duet. And then we got our trainers! My trainer is HERMANA McKENDRICK! She is so wonderful! She is from Highland Utah and has been out 6 months. Our area is her only area so she knows her way around! :) I know I will learn much from her, I already have! We are serving in the Valapariaso Oeste Almendral B ward. Valpariaso is so cool! Our view from our pension is stunning! The people here are in humble circumstances and I love them. The ward is very very brand new. (as of august) so there is lots of work to be done. 

My whole area is a hill. Like straight up. My calves are going to be beautiful. I am also glad I got over my fear of dogs a long time ago. (HA!) And we take colectivos (like loco taxis) everywhere or micros (loco buses). Even the drivers are holding on for dear life. 

Mission life is hard. But wonderful! We dont eat dinner in Chile. They have once. Which is like bread and cheese and cake at night. But we dont every have dinner appointments. Just lunch. Thus we eat at 2 pm and then not again until we get back to the appartment. Quite a change from the CCM. My body is trying to adjust. 

Also, I thought I spoke Spanish. I was wrong. Everyone in Chile finishes every sentence with Po. Dont ask me why. :)

God is Good. He has a plan for all of His Children. My companion shared something cool with me. She said that in order for that star to shine the night Christ was born, Heavenly Father had to plan it billions of years before. Just so it could shine on that one night. He does the same for us. He plans things for specific days and times all the time. There are no coincedences. 

I love you all! Thank you for your love, prayers, support, and for even glancing at my letters! 

Mucho Amor! Olay!

Hermana Leah Kelson